.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, December 05, 2008


What is economic stimulus?
By Richard Rahn

How much should the U.S. government spend on an economic stimulus program? If you have trouble answering the question, it is because it is the wrong question.

The United States (and the world) economy is (or at least has been for the last few months) in decline with rising unemployment rates. It is widely believed the government must "do something." The political and media classes, and even many economists, call for an "economic stimulus program." But what do they mean by "stimulus," and will it do any good? [Continue reading]


Auto Bailout Won't Prevent Bankruptcy

By Jack Kelly

This column is about the automobile industry. But I want to begin it with three numbers, because they define the environment in which the fate of the Big Three must be discussed.

The first is $13.84 trillion. That's the estimated value of all the goods and services produced in the United tates last year.

The second is $7.6 trillion. That, according to the Bloomberg News Service, is the current amount for which taxpayers could be on the hook for the bailouts to date of financial institutions. It's more than half the value of the gross domestic product.

The third is $4.6 trillion. That, according to Jim Bianco of Bianco Research, is the inflation-adjusted cost of World War II. The potential liabilities our policymakers have imposed upon the taxpayers in the last two months are nearly twice as much as what we spent in nearly four years fighting the Germans and the Japanese.

Read the rest at Real Clear Politics.

"There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence."

--James Madison, Speech in Congress, 22 April 1790

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mexico Drug Cartels Send Message of Chaos, Death

MEXICO CITY -- The death squads of the drug cartels are killing in spectacularly gruesome ways, using the violence as a language to deliver a message to society.

Increasingly, bodies show unmistakable signs of torture. Videos of executions are posted on the Internet, as taunts, as warnings. Corpses are dumped on playgrounds, with neatly printed notes beside them. And very often, the heads have been removed. [READ ON]

U.S. clears way for controversial drug aid to Mexico
Houston Chronicle

As Hearings Resume, UAW Offers Concessions

Washington Post:
Urging an Auto Bailout, Union Retreats on Terms Of Health Care, Jobs Bank

Unions' euphoria gives way to worry

Boston Globe:
Financial crisis has labor on the defensive


Ignorance Reigns Supreme
Walter E. Williams

How about a few civics questions? Name the three branches of government. If you answered the executive, legislative and judicial, you are more informed than 50 percent of Americans. The Delaware-based Intercollegiate Studies Institute recently released the results of their national survey titled “Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions.” The survey questions were not rocket science. Of the 2,508 nationwide samples of Americans taking ISI’s civic literacy test, 71 percent failed; the average score on the test was 49 percent.

Kashmir Residents Fear Another War

On Oct. 21, 2008, the Kaman bridge across Kashmir’s Line of Control opened for the first trade convoy between the two portions of divided Kashmir in 60 years. Many Kashmiris fear the rise in tensions between India and Pakistan may put such initiatives in jeopardy.
Srinagar, Kashmir (CNSNews.com) – Tensions between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India sparked by the Mumbai terror attacks have prompted concerns in Kashmir that a five-year-old ceasefire along the de facto border dividing the disputed territory may collapse.

Indian officials blamed the banned Pakistani extremist organization Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) for the attack on India’s financial capital, a claim denied by the group.

Fears of a resumption of fighting in Kashmir were heightened when Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday would not rule out a military response, and when Taliban leaders in Pakistan offered a truce to Pakistani forces and a pledge to fight alongside them against India in the event of a war.


Stop Using the Word ‘Islam’ in Reports on Terrorism, Islamic Bloc Says
The OIC wants media coverage of terror attacks to avoid use of any references to Islam.

(CNSNews.com) – If the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) had its way, media reporting on terrorist activity would exclude “any reference to Islam” – whatever the affiliation, identity or motivation of the perpetrators.

The bloc of Islamic nations, which is spearheading a drive at the United Nations to have the “defamation” of Islam outlawed, this week voiced criticism about media coverage of recent terrorist attacks.

Pakistan Won’t Hand Over Suspects

Pakistan Won’t Hand Over Suspects Demanded by India
(CNSNews.com) – Despite its pledge to the United States to cooperate fully, Pakistan is refusing to hand over Muslim fugitives whom India has linked to last week’s assault in Mumbai.

A spokesman for Hafiz Saeed, an Islamic leader at the top of India’s suspect list, told CNSNews.com on Thursday that the accusations against Saeed were unwarranted.


I was not aware that there might be a problem. But then again why should I? A constitutional scholar I am not.

Byrd’s Office Explores Constitutionality of Sen. Clinton Serving as Secretary of State
(CNSNews.com) - The Senate’s senior member and staunchest constitutional advocate on the Democratic side of the aisle, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, is exploring whether Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) is eligible to become secretary of state in the Obama administration.

The question of eligibility arises from Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution. It says that no member of Congress can be appointed to a civil office that benefited from a salary increase during the time that House or Senate member served. On Jan. 4, 2008, President Bush signed an executive order raising the salaries of cabinet secretaries from $186,600 to $191,300, a cost of living adjustment.

Constitutional scholars who spoke to CNSNews.com agreed this issue is a valid one in the confirmation process of Clinton, who President-elect Barack Obama announced Monday would be his nominee for secretary of state.


Financial Bailout: ‘What Is the Exit Strategy?’ House Republicans Ask
(CNSNews.com) - Now that the government has spent $350 billion of the $700-billion financial bailout package, how is that taxpayer money contributing to the nation's economic recovery? And how will the government get out of the banking business?

House Republicans want to know, and on Tuesday, they sent another letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, raising concerns about the "lack of transparency" in the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).

Commission Recommends U.S. Use ‘Direct Force’--If Needed

Commission Recommends U.S. Use ‘Direct Force’--If Needed--to Stop Iran, N. Korea Nuke Programs
Washington (CNSNews.com) – A bipartisan commission appointed by Congress is warning the incoming Obama administration that it must not rule out the use of “direct force” – military action – against Iran and North Korea, if diplomatic negotiations fail to stop their nuclear weapons programs.


Ha. This is funny. Or is it? I don't know if I should laugh, or cry.

Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Madison, wrote:

"But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years."

6 September 1789

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thomas Sowell:
"Most people on the left are not opposed to freedom. They are just in favor of all sorts of things that are incompatible with freedom."

Read more about Freedom and the Left.

Well, THEY probably are NOT interested in 72 virgins

Some female Al Qaida operatives bailing on their suicide missions
BAGHDAD — Not all Al Qaida women agents trained for suicide missions in Iraq are fully on board. Some have an exit strategy.

U.S. military officials said Al Qaida women operatives have been negotiating with Iraqi authorities for their surrender. The women were said to have been urged by their families and Sunni clerics in northern Iraq to end insurgency activities. More at World Tribune.

The lovely UN is at it again

UN agency backs nuclear aid for Syria one year after bombing of reactor
LONDON — The International Atomic Energy Agency, on the heels of an investigation that found undeclared processed uranium in Syria, has approved nuclear assistance to the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Read more at World Tribune.

Monday, December 01, 2008

"The Constitution shall never be construed...to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."

-- Samuel Adams

"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."

-- Samuel Adams


Lost in the dramatic disaster unfolding on Wall Street and the brazen hypocrisy of the Hillary Clinton nomination is President-elect Obama's double signal that the war on terror is now over. His appointment of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as Secretary of Homeland Security signals that the Department will once again focus on southern border immigration issues rather than on fighting terrorism.

He could have selected a Rudy Giuliani or a Louis Free or a Ray Kelly anyone with real life experience in battling terrorists. Instead he chose a governor with no knowledge of the subject whose obvious credential is her proximity to the border. The Department of Homeland Security is a polyglot agency which includes immigration enforcement (the old INS) among its many missions. It is also charged with fighting drugs (the old DEA), and battling terrorism. By appointing someone who knows nothing about terrorism but everything about immigration, Obama has signaled the lack of priority he will give to domestic efforts to keep us safe.

Imagine if .....
[read on]

"Candidate Obama maligned the Bush tax cuts for benefiting the rich. But President-elect Obama now intends to retain all the tax cuts, keeping the lower rates on the 'rich' until they expire in 2011 -- a far cry from his campaign promises. What about Bush's 'stupid' Iraq war? Obama now wants Bush's secretary of defense, Robert Gates, to stay. Huh? Gates supported the successful surge and the change in counterinsurgent strategy. Obama opposed the surge, attempted to stop it, and predicted failure. Candidate Obama promised to have combat troops out within a year or 16 months of his administration, but President Bush and the Iraqi government now tentatively agree to have all troops out by 2011, a timetable unfathomable but for Bush's courageous and ultimately successful decision to surge. What about the Guantanamo Bay detainees, the 'evil' interrogation techniques and 'unlawful' wiretaps? Obama -- actually faced with governing -- seems now to understand the complex legal questions Bush grappled with. Gitmo contains some really, really bad people, and Obama's security advisers now appreciate the complex legal and logistical problems. ... So where does this leave us? Bush wasn't so evil after all. And running for and governing as president are two different things. But don't expect the Obama-loving media to notice or care."

-- Larry Elder, author and radio talk show host


"Congratulations, tolerance mau-mauers: Your shakedown of a Christian-targeted dating website worked. Homosexuals will no longer be denied the inalienable 'right' to hook up with same-sex partners on eHarmony. What a landmark triumph for social progress, eh? New Jersey plaintiff Eric McKinley can now crown himself the new Rosa Parks -- heroically breaking down inhumane barriers to Internet matchmaking by forcing a law-abiding private company to provide services it was never created to provide. 'Men seeking men' has now been enshrined with 'I have a dream' as a civil rights rallying cry of the 21st century. Bully for you, Mr. McKinley. You bully. Neil Warren, eHarmony's founder, is a gentle, grandfatherly businessman who launched his popular dating site to support heterosexual marriage. A 'Focus on the Family' author with a divinity degree, Warren encourages healthy, lasting unions between men and women of all faiths, mixed faiths or no faith at all. Don't like what eHarmony sells? Go somewhere else. There are thousands upon thousands of dating sites on the Internet that cater to gays, lesbians, Jews, Muslims, Trekkies, runners, you name it. No matter. In the name of tolerance, McKinley refused to tolerate eHarmony's right to operate a lawful business that didn't give him what he wanted. He filed a discrimination complaint against eHarmony with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights in 2005. To be clear: eHarmony never, ever refused to do business with anyone. The company broke no laws. Their great 'sin' was not providing a politically correct service that a publicity-seeking gay plaintiff demanded they provide."

--columnist Michelle Malkin


"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream--the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, 'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.' " --Ronald Reagan


"For years, using the powers of the Community Reinvestment Act and other regulatory powers, along with threats of legal action if the loan approval rates varied from the population profile, politicians have pressured banks and other lending institutions into lending to people they would not lend to otherwise. Yet, when all this blows up in our faces and the economy turns down, what is the answer? To have more economic decisions made by politicians, because they choose to say that 'deregulation' is the cause of our problems. Regardless of how much suffocating regulation may have been responsible for an economic debacle, politicians have learned that they can get away with it if they call it 'deregulation.' No matter what happens, for politicians it is 'heads I win and tails you lose.' If we keep listening to the politicians and their media allies, we are all going to keep losing, big time."

-- Thomas Sowell


"We are witnessing a new hysterical style, in which the Baby Boomer 'me generation' that now runs America jettisons knowledge of the past and daily proclaims that each new development requires both a radical solution and another bogeyman to blame for being mean or unfair to them. We haven't seen such frenzy since the Y2K sham, when we were warned to stock up on flashlights and bottled water as our nation's computers would simply shut down on Jan. 1, 2000 -- and with them the country itself. Get a grip. Much of our current panic is psychological, and hyped by instantaneous electronic communications and second-by-second 24-hour news blasts. There has not been a nationwide plague that felled our workers. No earthquake has destroyed American infrastructure. The material United States before the September 2008 financial panic is largely the same as the one after. Once we tighten our belts and pay off the debts run up by Wall Street speculators and millions of borrowers who walked away from what they owed others -- and we can do this in a $13 trillion annual economy -- sanity will return."

-- Victor Davis Hanson

The ruling Democrats have a choice

"[O]ne kind of economic distortion ... will come from the political directives issued by newly empowered politicians. First, bank presidents are gravely warned by one senator after another about 'hoarding' their bailout money. But hoarding is another word for recapitalizing to shore up your balance sheet to ensure solvency. Is that not the fiduciary responsibility of bank directors? And isn't pushing money out the window with too little capital precisely the lending laxity that produced this crisis in the first place? Never mind. The banks will knuckle under to the commissars of Capitol Hill. They control the purse. Prudence will yield to politics. Even more egregious will be the directives to a nationalized Detroit. Sen. Charles Schumer, the noted automotive engineer, declared 'unacceptable' last week 'a business model based on gas.' Instead, 'We need a business model based on cars of the future, and we already know what that future is: the plug-in hybrid electric car.' The Chevy Volt, for example? It has huge remaining technological hurdles, gets 40 miles on a charge and will sell for about $40,000, necessitating a $7,500 outright government subsidy. Who but the rich and politically correct will choose that over a $12,000 gas-powered Hyundai? The new Detroit churning out Schumer-mobiles will make the steel mills of the Soviet Union look the model of efficiency. The ruling Democrats have a choice: Rescue this economy to return it to market control. Or use this crisis to seize the commanding heights of the economy for the greater social good. Note: The latter has already been tried. The results are filed under 'History, ash heap of.' "

--columnist Charles Krauthammer

"All socialism involves slavery.... That which fundamentally distinguishes the slave is that he labors under coercion to satisfy another's desires. The relation admits of many gradations. Oppressive taxation is a form of slavery of the individual to the community as a whole. The essential question is -- How much is he compelled to labor for other benefit than his own, and how much can he labor for his own benefit?"

--Herbert Spencer, 1820 – 1903 English philosopher; prominent classical liberal political theorist.

Univ. of Toledo Sued for Firing Christian Official Who Expressed Biblical View Against Homosexuality

ANN ARBOR, MI — Crystal Dixon, a high ranking African American official at the University of Toledo, was summarily fired in May of this year by the University because she wrote a newspaper commentary expressing her personal Christian views regarding homosexuality.

Dixon was responding to an opinion article written by the editor-in-chief of the Toledo Free Press entitled, “Gay Rights and Wrongs.” In her private editorial, Dixon objected to the comparison of “gay rights” with the civil rights struggles of African Americans. She wrote, “As a Black woman... I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are ‘civil rights victims.’ Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended.”

Read more at Thomas More Law Center - News.



Myths in politics take on a life of their own and the Obama campaign has been quick to cloak its incredible electoral success with a new coat of mythology. Two fantasies, in particular, pervade the amazing triumph of the Obama candidacy: That young people propelled him to victory by finally voting in large numbers and that small donors financed his campaign. Were either myth a reality, it would be big news. Ever since the voting age was dropped to 18, politicians have been waiting for young voters to rock the system. But turnout among the young has been consistently and disappointingly low. From the manifest enthusiasm for Obama on ....
Continue reading.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Obama's health-care czar

Tom Daschle book lays out plan
By Tony Blankley
Washington Times
As President-elect Obama's apparent choice for Health and Human Services Secretary and as White House health care czar, it is a fair guess that Tom Daschle's view on health-care legislation may be decisive.

So it is worth reading his book "Critical: What we can do about the health-care crisis," in which the gracious former Senate leader lays out without equivocation both the policy he recommends and the tactics for how to pass it. He proposes setting up a board to establish standards for health-care delivery that would be modeled on how the Federal Reserve Board and Securities and Exchange Commission oversee banks and
........ [continue]


Five Hard Truths For RINOS

By John Hawkins
After a GOP beating, there is always a debate between the people who want the party to become more principled and those who want to turn the GOP into a poll-driven pile of mush that they believe will be more appealing to centrists. The problem with this whole discussion is that the "we need to be more moderate" crowd tends to simply ignore a number of inconvenient facts that make their position completely untenable.

We've already gone the moderate route -- and lost. One of the most surreal aspects of the post-2008 campaign is listening to moderates pretend that the last eight years never happened.

You say that the GOP can't win as a small government party. Well, we've already tried being a big government party for the last 8 years and it failed. You think running a...... [continue]

Another Call for Rangel to Resign from Ways & Means

By Amanda Carpenter
The New York Times called on Rep. Charlie Rangel to resign his chairmanship from the powerful Ways & Means Committee in September when all his financial shenanigans were beginning to come to light. Now the Washington Post is calling for the chairman's ouster, too.

Neither of these calls, however, have gotten much play in the cable television news programs. Read more.

Obama’s Grand Experiment: Global Warming Cap-and-Trade Policy
By Tom Borelli
Obama is creating his own version of FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society. In the middle of an economic crisis, Obama’s “Grand Experiment” is to build a federal bureaucracy to transform our economy by forcing it to run on costly unproven energy sources instead of established fossil fuels.

Same Old New Deal?
By George Will