Monday, February 28, 2011

We Gotta Take the Bastards Down

It's a been a lovely couple of weeks in our recently dawned era of "new civility."

Courtesy of the internet, you can now find more videos than you'd want to see of public union supporters at demonstrations around the country spitting, screaming, punching, shoving, advocating violence, calling people who disagree with them Nazis, and engaging in other behavior your mommy would tell you isn't very nice.  That doesn't even include the ones making anonymous death threats against elected officials such as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, which I suppose would be considered felonies.

Last week at the Wisconsin rally a Boston band called the Dropkick Murphys played their latest song, called "Take 'Em Down".  Donning my music critic hat, I'd say they sound like the Pogues on a bad day without Bushmill's.  The song is essentially a folky rant that evokes the lovely specter of union goonism in all its glory.  The first line of the chorus is "we gotta take the bastards down."  Yeah, whatever.

Meanwhile from the White House we have Obama commenting about all this that " I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or when their rights are infringed upon."  My first impulse on hearing that is to say screw you, Mr. President, but I think there's much more involved here than people on either side of the issue expressing bad opinions about each other.

The White House recently let it be known that that they intend to raise more than $1 billion for Obama's 2012 re-election bid.  One problem with that is that many of the people who contributed to his campaign back in 2008 aren't so happy with how things have gone since then, and many are also unemployed, making them a lot less inclined to come up with some extra cash for the Big O.  The public employee unions at this point will be a vital source of funds for Obama's campaign.  Now that so many new Republican governors have come into office with huge state budget deficits to eliminate, and with the cost of employees being such a large share of state spending, the power of the unions and their ability to contribute to political campaigns is being threatened.  This is an intolerable situation for the White House, and they are almost openly leading the charge in favor of the unions, including VP Biden meeting with unions leaders at a conference in the White House, and the involvement of Obama's campaign wing Organizing for America in bringing out-of-state demonstrators into Wisconsin.

I can't think of any similar situation in presidential history, where a President has actually used demonstrations, disorder and sabotage of the democratic process to protect his political situation.  I can remember Nixon visiting some pro-war "hardhat" demonstrators in Manhattan around 1970, but that was as far as that went.  Maybe I'm going off on the deep end with this, but I think the most apt parallel in history for what the White House is up to is Chairman Mao riling up the students and Red Brigade against his own political enemies in the early part of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which plunged China into almost ten years of chaos.  That worked for a while for Chairman Mao, but not so well for China.

Clearly the larger public in the United States has had it with their governments being run by and for public employees and their political lackies, with the ever-escalating spending that comes with it.  Apparently the President and his party have no trouble employing a by any means necessary approach to holding on to power.  That may make them feel proud of themselves and very hopeful, but to me they're looking more and more like Napoleon the 14th. Guess what, Napoleon:  we're coming to take you away.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bad Dog!

U.S. Constitution:  "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Obama:  "They talk about me like a dog."

This is some of what has gone on in the past week or so:  

Civil unrest in Tunisia and Egypt has spread throughout Middle East, and this weekend we have news of demonstrations in China.  Gas prices are going up almost daily, with food and commodity prices also on the rise.   The Obama justice department asked the Florida federal judge who ruled Obamacare to be unconstitutional for a clarification on whether or not his order allows the administration to crack down on states that are refusing to continue implementing the health care act.  The House Republicans have passed a "continuing resolution" for this year's budget with $61 billion in cuts, a good piece short of the $100 billion cut they promised in their "Pledge to America." Joe and Jill Biden are on vacation in Florida, while Michelle and the first daughters are skiing in Vail.  Finally, a mob in Wisconsin has shut down the legislature in protest against Governor Scott Walker's plan to help balance the budget by making teachers pay for part of their retirement and healthcare costs.  There have been threats of violence against the Governor and legislators, and members of the mob have gone through the capitol building pounding on windows and doors.  Enough Democratic legislators have fled the state to prevent a quorum that would allow the legislature to proceed with a vote on the matter, which Republicans have vowed they will pass.

Regarding this last item, President Obama has apparently come out in support of the mob, saying the bill the Governor is proposing "...seems like more of an assault on unions." The national Democratic Party through Obama's "Organizing for America" have participated in organizing the protest.  Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emmanuel have also lent their support. The idea that the President and other federal officials have no business whatsoever in an individual state's legislative deliberations seems to be alien to Obama and his compadres.

So we have here another all-out leftist binge shortly on the heels of the disgusting slander-fest that went on following the Tucson murders.  It's hard not to think that Obama and the left are seizing on any opportunity they can find in an attempt to nullify the results of the November elections, using chaos and disruption to halt attempts to reverse their agenda, and personal attacks on anyone who stands against them.

Now, after two years of Obama as President, we have this state of affairs:  a national economy on its back; massive unemployment; a foreign policy so clueless it would be funny, if the consequences weren't potentially tragic; historically large budget deficits; a bankrupt Social Security system; an energy policy intent on starving the country of energy; a healthcare plan that will help bankrupt the treasury, and drive thousands of doctors out of the profession; Islamic terrorist attacks on American soil, after which the administration refuses to utter the words "Islamic terrorism;" a Justice Department suing a state government for enforcing federal laws; and a President and First Lady who have a taste for high living that, in a time of economic distress and deprivation, borders on being obscene.  

I don't know where I would find the energy and imagination if I were President to screw things up as badly as President Obama has in only half a term.  He's made it look almost effortless, to boot.

The impeachment of a President is something that most people never want to see happen.  It has the potential to tear the country apart, and no one beyond a President's most bitter enemies would be pleased to see a President subjected to such a terrible humiliation.  I don't know of anything as yet that Obama has done that would technically be considered "...Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors," but he seems for all the world to be intent on destroying any institutions, traditions and people that stand in the way of his changing this country into whatever it is he imagines it should be. For instance, in pursuing his delusional theories about economics, he's caused immense pain in the lives of millions of people.  I doubt any prosecutor would take this up, but inflicting this sort of pain on one's own countrymen in pursuit on an ideological agenda must be some sort of crime, I think.

I can't recall another presidential administration (exception, Nixon) where I thought things had gotten so bad that there was any reason at all to think of removing the President from office before his term was over.  I feel differently about Obama.

Obama has been so creative in finding ways to make things worse that I can't possibly envision what exactly he might do, but I think we should be prepared for him at some point to overstep the legal bounds of his authority. He's shown little regard for the authority of the federal courts, for instance, first in defying court orders about banning oil drilling in the Gulf; lately the administration seems to be pretending that the decision striking down Obamacare didn't really happen.  Not that they aren't busy enough already, but I think that Republicans in the Congress would do well to ponder once in a while the possibility that they might need to remove this President from office before his term is over; and that if things come to that, time might be of the essence in protecting the Republic from permanent harm.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Life Imitates Art

Just weeks after I made a guess at what sort of flak Rep. Darrell Issa might run into in his investigations of the super-transparent Obama Administration, some of Obama's political allies are wasting no time in gearing up an effort to discredit Issa and slow him down.

This week we have news from Politico that a group of Californian political operatives and others have formed an organization called "The Third Lantern" to investigate Issa and publicize their results.  The "Lantern" has been set up as a non-profit, and according to the Politico story there is no legal requirement to publicly disclose funding sources, which so far they have refused to do.  It sounds to me like they're almost begging some conservative organization to take up its own investigation of the "Lantern."  It's anybody's guess at this point who might be the moneybags behind all this--George Soros?  Bill Clinton? Kim Kardashian?  Who knows, this could even develop enough momentum to become a third rate Washington novel and a fourth rate movie, produced and directed by Sean Penn, with Charlie Sheen making a big-screen comeback as Issa.  I can already imagine myself not watching it.

As for Issa himself, he's not wasting any time either.  His committee has already begun writing subpoenas to obtain documents relating to the "Friends of Angelo" Countrywide mortgage scandal, which will no doubt generate all kinds of overdue anxiety among some current and former public officials, including Chris Dodd.  How sad.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oh I'd Like To Be a GOP Leader, That Is What I'd Truly Like To Be

It seems the Republican leaders in Congress have a liking for getting hit over the head with two-by-fours. Fresh off of doing the right thing by repealing Obamacare in the House and forcing Senate Democrats to go on record against repeal, we have news that the Republicans in the House have yet again reverted to form by offering a budget bill that falls short of their wimpy pledge of cutting $100 billion dollars, and way short of Sen. Rand Paul's proposal to cut $500 billion.  Once again fiscal conservatives and Tea Partiers are incensed.  And out come the two-by-fours...

Two Republicans in the House Appropriations Committee voted against sending the bill to the floor, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Arizona's truth-telling hero Jeff Flake, arguing that the cuts are inadequate.  It's too bad there aren't more like them in the Congress.  I don't know anything about Cynthia Lummis, but I am familiar with Jeff Flake's battles over the years at getting Republicans to live up to their proclaimed ideals of smaller government and lower taxes. I think that if they had paid attention to his arguments in the last six years we'd be in much better shape now, not having to fight our way out of the leftist swamps Obama & Co. have driven us into.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Article of Faith

A couple of disclosures about who I am will probably be a good start for this post. First, when it comes to religion, I am about as serenely faithless as you can be this side of the foxhole.  I have my own ideas about what is or isn't plausible in the universe, but I certainly don't imagine I have any special insight into spiritual matters.  Second, I have absolutely no expertise in the history or politics of Egypt--and unless you are a highly-paid reporter for a major media outlet, you probably don't either.

Last week our hero made an appearance at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, where he made a point of restating the Christian faith that he and the first lady share.  He did sound a bit aggrieved that some have questioned his sincerity about this, but who knows if that's what he really meant.  My reaction to all this:  whatever.  If he's actually sincere in his statements about his beliefs, wonderful.  If instead this is part of a strategy to position himself in a better light with religious voters, I'd say, good luck with that.  I think that with a lot religious people, actions speak louder than words.

Meanwhile the turmoil in Egypt has continued, though Mubarak at this writing has survived longer than many thought he would after the first week of the crisis.  Apparently the Muslim Brotherhood, the grandaddy of radical Islamist organisations, has become a major player in this, and they may become a big part of the government once things have been worked out, if they don't completely take over.  Of course, as has been plain to see in the cases of Afghanistan and Iran, if you put Islamic radicals in charge of your country, you'll be on the fast track to increased poverty, oppression and misery, with no easy way out--especially not through the ballot box.

His pathetically weak reaction to the 2009 unrest in Iran was an early sign that Barack Obama is not to be counted on when it comes to standing up for anyone's freedom, and I can't recall anything about his presidency since to contradict that perception.  Somehow we ended up on the same side as Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro during the Honduras situation, and just lately we've found out that Obama has yet again stuck our old friends the Brits with another shiv, this time being the newly discovered requirement (in the newly enacted START treaty) that the United States report to Russia the number and identity of nuclear missiles that we sell to Britain.  His performance during the current Egyptian crisis has been true to form.  At first he was seemingly oblivious, then he called for all sides to calm down, and finally we have been left scratching our heads as to what the hell it is he actually wants to happen.

Well, as I said at the beginning of this post, I don't have many articles of faith that I subscribe to, but after two years of watching this administration, I think I have found one I can rely on:  No matter what Obama becomes involved in, he will make it worse.