30 September 2008

RINO on the loose...

WHY does Lindsay Graham continue to say stupid things??? Here's the latest, regarding the bailout bill:

"I have never been more disappointed in the Congress than I am today. I hope every member of the House of Representatives -- Republican and Democrat -- who voted against this legislation will work in the next twenty-four hours to improve the bill. Now is the time to put the national interest above the self interest."

For the life of me, I thought he ran as a conservative Republican six years ago. Apparently I was mistaken, or else he's working off of a very different definition of conservatism than I do. I understand that politics is sometimes about finding common ground through compromise in order to serve the greater good, but Graham appears to be a man literally compelled to compromise, particularly on what we conservatives see as mission-critical issues (e.g., amnesty).

Note to Sen. Graham: In this case, the national interest is best served by opposing the bailout, not by allowing Treasury Secretary Paulson and his staff of wild-guessers to throw out a number to which we all must ascribe in order to ensure that those who actively drove the market to the point it is at today don't suffer from their greed and short-sightedness. Interestingly enough, I would say that the national interest also serves my long-term self-interest to avoid leaving my children and their children (and their children) a huge heap of debt because we couldn't live within our means as a nation.

I'm no economist, but the market generally corrects itself, given sufficient time, because Adam Smith's "invisible hand" sees to it. Will there be loss, pain, and suffering while that happens? Most assuredly, and it may even be worse than we can imagine right now. But I am dead certain that government interference will cause more pain and suffering in the long run, because it is the government that got us into this mess to begin with. (Think Carter and the CRA...and then Clinton and the strongarming of our banking system to make loans to unqualified borrowers, and let your imagination go from there as you envision how Big Government will "fix it" for us.)

As for me, I can't envision pulling the lever for Graham again, until he either (a) learns to be true to his election-year espousal of conservatism, or (b) comes clean and calls himself what he is...a centrist who talks a good game about being conservative but has no intention of delivering on that claim. At least then I'll know he's being straight with us about who he is, and I can decide for myself what I can live with.

Somewhere, Pigs are Flying...

To my shock and pleasant surprise, someone at CNN gets it (at least on the bailout issue).

So why do I, a middle class homeowner with a 401(k) and much more to lose than gain if the market goes belly-up, oppose the bailout? Here's why. We stand at the most significant crossroads of my adult life, both with the bailout issue and the upcoming election, and the decisions that We the People make in the next two months will in every conceivable way dictate the quality of our lives for the foreseeable future. With a wife and two young children in tow, and retirement not even looming on the horizon yet, I'm going to hitch my wagon to the "no Marxism" star.

29 September 2008

An open message to Rep. Henry Brown

Note: While researching HR 3997 (the bailout bill), I discovered that my Congressman, Rep. Henry Brown, voted for the bill. This is a copy of a message I sent to Rep. Brown tonight through his re-election campaign website, www.henrybrownforcongress.com.
Dear Rep. Brown:

Shame on you, sir, for voting "Aye" on HR 3997, otherwise known as "the bailout bill." Knowing what we do about the genesis of the problems that have brought us to the point of a potential economic crisis, I cannot believe that you, as a conservative Republican, can justify your support for this horrible bill. HR 3997 has absolutely no redeeming qualities, and the American people deserve better than to be handed a bill that will extend significant economic consequences several generations into the future as our thanks for taking individual responsibility for our own finances. Your support is especially egregious when one considers that the number attached to the bailout -- over $700 million -- was admittedly pulled from thin air to serve as a large number that drew attention to the issue. Sir, your constituents deserve better leadership on this extremely important issue than you have shown with your vote today.

I have been a supporter of yours for many years, but I am incredibly disappointed that you chose to support this reprehensible piece of legislation that has no business even being considered in the halls of the United States Congress. Rest assured that I will reconsider my support for your re-election efforts this year, and will encourage my friends, colleagues, and associates to form their own opinions regarding your support of HR 3997.

If you can shed any light on your reasons for voting "Aye" on this bill, please do so. While it is unlikely that I will agree with your reasons, I would prefer to know your mind on the matter than to ascribe my own motives to your actions.

A disappointed constituent,

Michael Lisle

Hoisted on their own petard...

House Democrats, led by the indefatigably partisan Nancy Pelosi and her right-hand man, Steny Hoyer, poisoned their own well just before today's momentous vote regarding the $730 billion bailout package. By all accounts, the votes were in place to secure bipartisan support for the bailout, until Nasty Nancy decided to rub Republicans' faces in it by addressing the House and saying, "When was the last time someone asked you for $700 billion? It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush administration's failed economic policies — policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision and no discipline in the system." Appropriately disgusted by her partisanship, enough of the House Republicans who had agreed to cast their vote for it decided not to.

A few things jump out at me that I feel need to be addressed. First, too many in Congress would rather be effective partisans than effective legislators. This is true of both parties, but it seems particularly true of the current Democratic leadership. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have never seen an issue that they couldn't inject with some unnecessary partisanship (see John McCain's recent decision to suspend his campaign in an attempt to bring leadership to the bailout bill), and today's vote is a perfect example. One would think that, with public approval for Congress at all-time lows, both would make a more concerted effort to act in ways that actually engender public support for the institution. Instead, they seem more determined than ever to prove that they couldn't care less about, much less relate to, the needs of most of us.

Second, if this particular bill was really the answer (it wasn't), then why did the Democrats even need Republican votes? The Dems outnumber the Reps 235-199 in the House. Hardly a veto-proof majority, but more than enough to ensure passage of this bill. Even if every Republican had voted against this bill, the Democrats could still have passed the bill if they so desired. The reality is that the Dems wanted bipartisanship on this bill so that if (when) it failed, they would have others on whom to blame the failure. That's the M.O. for the party of jackasses (the symbol, although there are other accurate interpretations...): Ensure enough "coverage" with Republican votes that a level of plausible deniability is maintained, and you can dissemble, divert attention, and generally fool most of the people most of the time. Then you can say, presumably with a straight face, things such as:
  • "Because somebody hurt [Republicans'] feelings they decide to punish the country. ... I mean, that's hardly plausible." -- Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA
  • "We delivered on our side of the bargain." -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, congratulating Democrats on getting 60% of their caucus to vote for the bill.
  • "We did our part. As I said on the floor, this is a bipartisan responsibility and we think (Democrats) met our responsibility." -- Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-MD
  • Interestingly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Chris "Countrywide" Dodd (D-CT) either weren't able to find a camera or didn't say anything worth reporting.
(Think otherwise? I'd refer you to the recent brouhaha over the mortgage crisis itself, the roots of which are found in the Community Reinvestment Act signed originally by Carter and expanded significantly by Clinton in the name of increasing home ownership; a noble goal to be sure, except when you consider that those to whom the "right" of home ownership was to be extended lacked the means to repay the loans that lending institutions were forced at figurative gunpoint to make.)

Third, and I have to absolutely belly laugh at this, I hope The O is enjoying the feeling of the egg on his face. After insisting on Face the Nation yesterday that McCain deserved absolutely no credit for the bill, and that the key provisions were really those that he'd been whispering in Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's ear for the past two weeks, his own party could (would?) not deliver it for him. To McCain's credit, he took the high road on the issue of credit; in truth, I can't blame him, as I wouldn't want to be associated with it either.

Finally, I am incredibly disappointed with President Bush's lack of leadership on this issue. I suppose it's possible that he was offering McCain some political coverage on this hot potato issue, but I don't think so. I think, at long last, that he is just that out of touch with average Americans. He's earned the benefit of the doubt, so I'm not questioning that he thinks he's doing what's best, but in this case I disagree with him on the cure for the ill and find myself wishing that someone besides Paulson had his ear on this issue.

In the end, how much does this particular vote matter? I think it's the most important vote Congress has taken in my lifetime, because of the far-reaching effects of the bill. It is a seminal moment in American history, and I tried tonight to help my soon-to-be 11-year-old daughter understand just why it was so important. The lesson I learned from that effort is one that Pelosi, Reid, and their cronies have already learned and count on as gospel: Most folks don't have enough interest to pay attention for long.

10 September 2008

Mark My Words

I've heard The O speak before, several times. He does exceptionally well with the TelePrompter, not so much in the unscripted format. In spite of that, I believe that he's a reasonably smart man who becomes uncomfortable thinking on his feet. (Some would suggest it's because he's a paper-thin candidate who doesn't really have his own positions on issues, and is uncomfortable establishing a position until he's consulted the polls, but that's only speculation.)

So why does he keep lifting quotes from others without attributing those words until he's called on it? There was a tempest in a teacup earlier in the campaign, before the nominees were settled, when he borrowed Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's "Just Words" comments. Now it appears he's done it again, albeit from a less reputable source.

And the hits just keep on comin'...

Is the DNC deliberately sabotaging The O's campaign, or are the wounds self-inflicted? There have been too many dumb things said by the loony left to recap here, but the latest -- and one of the most egregious and offensive -- came today courtesy of Carol Fowler, chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party. In an interview reported on Jonathan Martin's blog on Politico, Fowler describes Republican VP nominee Gov. Sarah Palin's "primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”

What an utterly stupid thing to say. It is devoid of any semblance of intellectual honesty, and I am embarrassed that it was uttered by someone who lives in the same state as me. There is no redeeming quality about that statement, and there can be no other interpretation than that Ms. Fowler is a hyperpartisan attack troop serving at the pleasure of The O's campaign. Of course, it was followed by the almost immediate pseudo-apology that characterizes most such comments, which suggests that the comment was misunderstood or misinterpreted, or that the speaker said what she was trying to say in the wrong way. (For the record, Fowler went with, "I clumsily was making a point about people in South Carolina who may vote based on a single issue." Riiiiight. Odd that the statement doesn't mention those people...only Palin.)

That seems to be the M.O. on both sides of the aisle, to the detriment of We the People. The campaigns send low-level staffers or surrogates into the arena to make the ridiculous, over-the-top statement that the candidates can then repudiate, giving them at least temporary access to a piece of the moral high ground. In this instance, all I can picture is Obama as my 7-year-old son any time I catch him doing something he shouldn't, with a forced look of innocence on his face, saying, "It wasn't me. It was her."

Maybe it's Maybelline?

Much to-do about The O's ill-conceived "lipstick on a pig" comment yesterday. About nothing? I'm not so sure. The obvious connection is to Republican VP nominee Gov. Sarah Palin's line in her speech at the RNC differentiating hockey moms from pit bulls by their lipstick. Just reading the line without context (including the crowd reaction) doesn't tell much; however, if you watch the video of the comment, it's clear in my mind that he was trying to besmirch Palin in a plausibly deniable way. What galls me about the resulting brouhaha was that The O actually accused the McCain campaign of playing "the gender card," as if he and his supporters have been playing the entire campaign above board. It's presidential politics, I know, and I suppose that hoping someone in the game has any shame is too much to expect.

Interestingly, The O continues to engage Palin rather than McCain. His campaign rehashes the same tired lines about McCain, but the frequency with which the Democratic presidential nominee seems to speak directly to/about the Republican VP nominee says a lot to me about where his head is these days. Besides the difficulties in generating intelligible communication sans teleprompter, there seems to be a palpable, if unquantifiable, difference in The O and the way he carries himself. Something to watch in the days and weeks ahead...

07 September 2008

The Obama Rules

Get into an unscripted moment and make a boneheaded answer that you wish later you could undo? Well, if you're The O, you can. Just find a friendly face in the MSM (not too difficult, given their proclivity to genuflect at the drop of a hat), arrange a visit, and plant the question that allows The O to "re-address" the question with a better-thought-out, more nuanced answer. Never mind that We the People expect our leaders to have sufficiently thought-through positions BEFORE they ask for our vote; that's irrelevant. What's important is that, once the numbers show that WTP didn't like an answer, The O is given a mulligan.

Apparently, establishing clear positions on issues and then being able to think on his feet is above The O's pay grade...

05 September 2008

Bumper Snickers...

What all the best-dressed cars, SUVs, and minivans will be wearing this fall. Want one? Go here, browse the catalog, and select the category "political" to find it. You can order them in batches up to 40, and the more you order, the cheaper they get. They make the perfect gift for family, friends, and Reagan Democrats. Happy shopping!

United Statesmanship

Ever wonder why there aren't more real statesmen? I mean people on both sides of the aisle who are willing to put "Country First," as so many of the signs waving around the Xcel Center proclaimed last night, and party allegiances second. Because the current power structure won't stand for it. Every decision is calculated based on accumulation of power and punishment of those who refuse to toe the party line. Sadly, THAT condition DOES cross the aisle -- fomented by the ever-growing fringes that say disagreement is disloyalty and empowered/enabled by party leadership that can't see beyond its own narrow self-interests. It should go without saying, but We the People deserve better.

04 September 2008

The Bill of No Rights

This was originally the work of Lewis Napper. The original version can be read here. What follows is my own adaptation of an adaptation of the original.


We, the sensible People of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, envy-gnawed, guilt-ridden, self-loathing, delusional liberals and other bed-wetters.

We hold this Truth to be self-evident: that the Sorry State of the Public Schools, in combination with the Decline of Social Mores and the Advancement of Aggressive and Pernicious Self-Aggrandizement, has caused many people to be deluded, so that many Things, obvious to Persons of Good Sense, need to be explicitly spelled out.

You do not have the right to free food, housing, a new car, big-screen color TV, or any other form of wealth. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing professional couch potatoes who strive to produce nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes. If you seek the Good Things in Life through honest labor, no one will applaud you more loudly than we, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

You do not have the right to free health care. From the looks of public housing and public education, we have little faith in the state's ability to deliver cost-effective quality health care, anyway.


You do not have the right to stop something merely because it offends you. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone, not just you. You may leave the room, change the channel, express a different opinion, et cetera, but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be. Likewise, you do not have the right to government funding of your cultural tastes, even if the rest of us are so philistine as to not share them.

You do not have the right to escape the consequences of your own stupidity. If you stick a screwdriver into your eye, learn to be more careful, and do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all of your relatives independently wealthy. If you catch a fatal illness because you are too stupid to control your libido, don't expect the rest of us to shuck out a zillion dollars to find a cure for it. If you attempt to protest something by blocking a thoroughfare with your body, and somebody runs over you, don't come crying to us; we believe that such people should be run over.

You do not have the right to escape the consequences of your own inadequacy. The world has many people who are smarter than you, richer than you, better-looking than you, or more athletic than you, and we see no need for them to apologize for it, or become dumber, poorer, uglier, or clumsier, just to suit your neurotic jealousy. Get over it. Likewise, just because you are incompetent at running a commercial enterprise, do not expect Uncle Sam to help you retain your undeserved place in the market with loans, subsidies, price supports, anti-trust prosecutors, or other socialist paraphernalia.

You do not have the right to physically harm other people, even if some now-dead ancestors of theirs imposed slavery and oppression on some now-dead ancestors of yours. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim or kill someone, don't be surprised when the rest of us gang up on you and make you into lasagna.

You do not have the right to the possessions of others, even if some now-dead ancestors of theirs imposed slavery and oppression on some now-dead ancestors of yours. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised when the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big-screen color TV or a life of leisure.

Furthermore, you do not have the right to go unpunished for something you did, merely because some inconsequential legal error was made during your prosecution. But if it makes you feel any better, we'll throw the miscreant official in jail.

You do not have the right to make our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments, and if you actually go over there and do some of the fighting yourself, you might find one of us fighting alongside you. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat. Besides, the tactic we would prefer–which was last employed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki–would probably wound your sensibilities even more than the atrocities you presently decry.

You do not have the right to a paycheck of any particular size, or any paycheck at all. We expect you to obtain the skills necessary for honest labor, and we expect you to seek honest labor, but we also recognize that our businessmen need not hire or retain people whose presence in the work place is not to the employer's benefit. Likewise, you do not have the right to raises, pleasant working conditions, or to force your employer to keep your position vacant so that you still have a job when the strike is over.

You do not have the right to order other people's lives or property to suit your whims. Specifically, if they wish to cut down a tree they own, kill a spotted owl on their property, or not let you into their club, too bad. Likewise, you do not have the right to impose your crackpot economical, environmental, political or religious ideas on the rest of us.

You do not have the right to happiness. Being a human being means that you have the right to pursue happiness, which is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those around you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

Enough Already!

Let me be clear: I was not thrilled that John McCain won the Republican nomination for President. At least not until I heard Sarah Palin speak last night, and I became convinced that she could be an effective balance to his moderate tendencies. As I watch the convention coverage, though, I am beside myself with anger at the seemingly constant disruptions of the proceedings (particularly during Palin's address last night, and continuing through McCain's address, which we're now about 15 minutes into) by the utter lunatic fringe left of the Democratic party. Do these judgment-challenged folks seriously think that they're helping their cause by acting out in such a public fashion?

See, that's my basic observation about Democrats, particularly those out on the fringes: All's well when they're getting what they want and the world is turning generally in the direction they think it ought to...but woe to anyone who dares to tell them that they can't have something they want, or that they're wrong! Suddenly they become churlish and childish, acting out and throwing tantrums like spoiled children. Their actions at the RNC over the past few days are living proof. They have no respect for the institutions of society or for others, and they appear at times to be unable to control their rage; the instability of most of them is shocking. Yet so much of the MSM continues to perpetuate the myth that these folks are square in the middle of the mainstream. I have to trust that most Americans see them for what they are -- pathetic, attention-seeking nut cases, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," to quote the Bard -- and will not be influenced by their incessant screeching when it comes time to cast their votes.

Beyond the Palin

Like many, I have been sickened by the reprehensible MSM display, coordinated by their puppetmasters on the Loony Left, to smear and savage Alaska Governor (and newly minted Republican VP nominee) Sarah Palin and her family, almost from the moment that Sen. McCain announced her as his running mate last Friday. The woman has been "vetted" (and I use that term loosely, because the intent behind this vile campaign isn't to assess her ability to be VP; it's to place an anvil around her neck that will sink the Republican campaign with it) more thoroughly in six days than The O has been in the nearly two years he's been running for president.

If the MSM were truly interested in doing their jobs, they'd flock en masse to the south side of Chicago to investigate The O's connections with Tony Rezko, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (Think public schools are bad now? Just wait until The O "fixes" them.), and Dr. William Ayers of Weather Underground notoriety, just to name a few. Unfortunately for We the People, and for the republic we love, there is zero interest among the MSM in poking around in any of The O's closets for skeletons or other objects of interest; besides, it's doubtful that he keeps his good copy of The Marxist's Guide to Becoming President there.

Instead, we get the hot and heavy Palin-bashing from all quarters (stream of consciousness moment: if you support anything that Jann Wenner is involved in, such as Rolling Stone magazine, US Weekly, or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, please cease and desist immediately), and we see the lefties contorting themselves into all sorts of knots in their apoplectic fits because they were badly outmaneuvered in the VP selection process. What's funny to me is that it ultimately stems from the fact that their candidate, the fella that they finally recognized needed a handler (and no, they couldn't find anyone other than Joe "I'll get to the White House one way or another" Biden willing to take that task on), pales in comparison even to the Republican party's VP nominee in terms of REAL, RELEVANT EXPERIENCE.

Fortunately, because he has the overwhelming support of the MSM, The O can appear to stay above the fray. Never mind that he's made criticism of himself, his family, his policies, and pretty much anything else that he pleases, verboten. Now he can prove his magnanimity by insisting that all families should be off limits. Feel free to faint, or to simply kneel and kiss the ring.

Great articles about the double standard here (American Thinker) and here (the very liberal Susan Estrich).

Oh BTW...Gov. Palin knocked it out of the park tonight at the RNC. Easily the best, most real speech I've seen in a presidential beauty contest in many years. If you only read the transcripts or the articles that summarize the more salient points, you'll never get the tone and the intelligence that underlies the words, much less the hilarious biting digs against The O. I can't believe the speech was written by someone who just met her last week.