Friday, May 28, 2010

The Cover Up

“It’s never the crime but the cover up that takes politicians down.” Now, the triumvirate of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Joe Sestak have short-order cooked up a whopper of a story to explain away Sestak’s three-month-old allegation of being offered a job in Obama’s administration (Navy Secretary?) in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Democrat Senatorial primary race in favor of Arlen Specter.

I’m not even going to parse all the inconsistencies and suspicious circumstances surrounding this pre-Memorial-Day rationalization of this possible White House felony. I’m just going to say that this cover up is so transparent as to be embarrassing. I herein predict that this sophomoric mendacity is now the beginning of the end to this mob of Chicago thugs’ jack boot on the throat of the American populus. It may take into 2011 for this all to transpire, but I’ve seen this B-movie too many times before.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Crisis Management

President Obama has had more than his share of crises. To whit:
- near domestic financial meltdown
- Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis
- escalating medical-care costs crisis
- collapsing Euro crisis
- North Korea belligerency (including torpedo attack)
- multiple domestic terrorist attacks
- South/Central America swinging left
- Pakistan/Afghanistan insurgency crisis
- illegal immigrant crisis (including new Arizona law)
- Iran going-nuclear crisis
- unemployment crisis
- continuing Arab/Israeli crisis
- looming U.S. national debt crisis
- a critical shortage of wagyu beef

The question poses itself: How well has he and his administration handled these crises?

 ala Keystone Kops
 “it’s all Bush’s fault”
 used as an opportunity to push their agenda
 with aplomb
 very professionally/all under control

Please cast your vote from the above … or chose your own designation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Bear Trap

Let me start by saying that I am not a Libertarian. Libertarians too often take stands that are so pure and theoretical that they appear loopy ... and thus fall into rhetorical traps. But, without agreeing, I do think I halfway understand Libertarians. Yesterday Rand Paul, the newly selected Republican candidate for the Senate from Kentucky, fell into one of these bear traps set by Rachel Maddow from MSNBC. Ms. Maddow asked Rand Paul whether the civil-rights decisions of the 1960's were right in removing the then-prevalent Southern exclusion of blacks from sitting at lunch counters (a clever semantic twist recalling Selma, Alabama sit-ins ... can we call this Rachel-profiling?). Mr. Paul, with typical Libertarian naïveté did not directly answer this question by first vigorously decrying such segregation (as do I) but, instead, replied with some twisted logic about whether restaurant owners had the right to exclude gun-toting patrons from their "private" premises.

I think I know what Rand Paul meant to be saying (but didn't). To whit: although it was proper for the federal government to force the integration of public accommodations, now governments of all ilks have taken this prerogative to increasing anti-Libertarian extremes ... first smoking was banned in restaurants, then trans-fats, now some localities are even trying to exclude the use of salt. Even the EPA has recently decreed that carbon dioxide, which all of us exhale and which is essential for plant survival, is an air pollutant ... of all things. I do think Libertarians justly rankle at such extreme governmental intrusion into our private lives and thus lumber into such semantic pitfalls as Rachael Maddow set for Rand Paul yesterday. Unfortunately, our knee-jerk video media does not allow for explanations that take more than two sentences ... and thus, politicians, who take principled positions, are continually snared.

It will be interesting to see whether Rand Paul today is given the time and leeway to better make his Libertarian case by the media talking heads, particularly those on MSNBC.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Are We Nuts?

Whilst perusing the Homeland Security website here, I came across the fact that, in 2009, the United States granted permanent residency status to these numbers of immigrants from the following countries:

Pakistan         21,555
Iran                 18,553
Somalia          13,390
Iraq                  12,111
Venezuela      11,154
Afghanistan     3,165
Yemen               3.134
Syria                   2,442
Saudi Arabia    1,418
North Korea          67

We even granted permanent residency status to 1,366 people whose former country was unknown.  I don't know about you, but this doesn't make me feel very homeland secure. And given what has happened recently with the Times Square bomber being a recently naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, the obvious question comes to mind for Janet Napolitano: Are we cuckoo-pie nuts?

P.S., for those who believe that we are not doing enough to help our impoverished southern neighbor, we issued 164,920 green cards to Mexicans in 2009.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flood …


Insurance?  We don’t need no stinking flood insurance!

Our neighbors just received over $7,000 from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to compensate them for the basement flood damage they received in the recent 50-year record rainfall here in Massachusetts. They really did suffer considerable damage: a new furnace, a new hot water heater, a long motel stay, etc. but could not persuade their insurance company to pay for their losses … even though they had a flood rider. Other friends got an unspecified (but possibly equivalent) FEMA recompense for considerably less real damage … but here they had no flood insurance coverage. We also got a $2,000 FEMA settlement for redoing a basement floor and other tradesmen visits. We also had no flood insurance.

Now the question that rises out of this largess is: why would anyone buy flood insurance when the Federal government is willing, nay eager to pay citizens for loss of this type? Since our government seems prone to declare disasters much more readily than in times past, I would suggest that private flood insurance has been usurped by taxpayer-funded vote buying. I surmise that, in the first instance mentioned above, the insurance company was reluctant to pay anything out to our neighbors since it knew that a federal disaster had been declared and therefore FEMA could step in its stead.

While we are not now ready to give this $2,000 FEMA settlement back, I do suffer from a guilt pang for helping, in our small way, to push our federal debt load into the multi-multi-trillion dollars. I rationalize this angst by mimicking Rush Limbaugh (“exhibiting absurdity by being absurd”) in that, “I decry greed by being greedy.”