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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Possibility of an Imperial Democrat Party

"We have heard of the impious doctrine in the old world, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the new, in another shape - that the solid happiness of the people is to be sacrificed to the views of political institutions of a different form? It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object.” — James Madison

Last week George Will wrote for the Patriot Post:

“At his Friday news conference-cum-tantrum, Barack Obama imperiously summoned congressional leaders to his presence: 'I've told' them 'I want them here at 11 a.m.' By Saturday, his administration seemed to be cultivating chaos by suddenly postulating a new deadline: The debt-ceiling impasse must end before Asian markets opened Sunday evening Eastern time, lest the heavens fall. Those markets opened; the heavens held. ... Obama has marginalized himself. Inordinate self-regard is an occupational hazard of politics and part of the job description of the rhetorical presidency, this incessant tutor. Still, upon what meat doth this our current Caesar feed that he has grown so great that he presumes to command leaders of a coequal branch of government? He once boasted (June 3, 2008) that he could influence the oceans' rise; he must be disabused of comparable delusions about controlling Congress."

In the February 23, 2009 edition of the New American Jack Kenny opined:

“Something similar, but more subtle, can be seen today. Barack Obama had been president for exactly one month when he addressed a gathering of the nation's mayors in Washington last Friday. One month apparently was time enough for him to flex his imperial muscles and survey his vast new powers. For he warned the city mayors that he would be watching them to make sure the money they receive under the economic stimulus bill is spent wisely and well: "If a federal agency proposes a project that will waste that money, I will not hesitate to call them out on it, and put a stop to it," he said. "I want everyone here to be on notice that if a local government does the same, I will call them out on it, and use the full power of my office and our administration to stop it."

The Democrat Party wants to be the party of an Imperial America, an America ruled from Washington, D.C. They want an America where we will no longer be citizens, but subjects — subjects to imperial presidency.

To accomplish the goal the Democrats need to insure their continued election to national office without amending the Constitution. This process is now in2011-07-27-chronicle play in 31 states. It’s called the National Popular Vote. The NPV would basically override the Electoral College by assigning the state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. Even conservatives and Tea Partiers are supporting this measure. They think it would nullify some of the bigger states like California, Texas and New York.

Earlier this month, California’s legislature passed Assembly Bill 459, which would adopt the National Popular Vote compact. Under this scheme, the state’s Electoral College slate would go to the presidential candidate with the most popular votes nationwide, whether or not that candidate won California. The compact would take effect only after it gained approval from states with a combined 270 electoral votes, the minimum necessary to elect a president. So far, seven states and the District of Columbia have joined the compact, for a total of 77 electoral votes. Governor Jerry Brown’s signature would add California’s 55 for a total 132.

It’s a terrible idea. Driving the compact is the memory of the 2000 presidential election, in which George W. Bush won the slimmest of electoral-vote majorities even though Al Gore gained a plurality of popular votes. But that election itself suggests a fatal flaw in the proposal. A legal battle over the Florida vote ended in a controversial Supreme Court decision. As messy as that fight was, it had the virtue of taking place only in one closely contested state. The compact would tear down that firewall and extend the madness nationwide. If the national popular vote decided the presidency, the losing side in a tight race would challenge election results everywhere it could, even in states where the margin was large. If you liked Florida 2000, you’ll love the National Popular Vote.

Absent a constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College, the idea of a “national popular vote” is fuzzy at best. In our federal system, each state has its own laws for counting votes. No official, definitive national tally takes place. Even when there isn’t a contested election, determining what counts as a vote for whom can be ambiguous. In 1960, Alabama voters cast ballots directly for electors, not presidential candidates. Of the 11 Democrat electors who won, five voted for John F. Kennedy, while six electors supported segregationist Senator Harry Byrd (D-Virginia). Even though JFK’s name wasn’t even on the state ballot, most reference books credit all of Alabama’s 324,050 Democratic popular votes to him, thus giving him a national margin of 113,000. But by following the Electoral College split, one could plausibly assign him 5/11 of the state popular vote. By this means of counting, Kennedy’s Alabama total was 144,355 —meaning he would have lost the national popular vote to Nixon by more than 50,000. So would Nixon have become president in 1960 if the National Popular Vote had been in place? Not so fast: the Kennedy forces, like any other losing side, would have mounted an all-out legal battle.

Nowhere in the Constitution is there a mention of “popular” vote to elect the President of the United States. Article II, Section states:

“The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:

Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.

The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each state having one vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.”

This Article was amended by the XII Amendment which states:

The electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;--The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;--the person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

Our Founders were specific in their not wanting national popular vote to elect a president. This would have smelled like a democracy, something they did not want. They wanted a republic, where states had more rights than the central government — something so many of my fellow Americans do not understand.

Look ahead to 2012. Suppose President Obama wins big in California while narrowly losing the national popular vote to, say, Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann. Suppose further that California would tip the election one way or the other. Would Democrats gladly let the state’s electoral votes, and the presidency, go to the hated GOP candidate? Of course not. In the legislature or in the courts, they would try to break the compact. The folks at the National Popular Vote organization insist that the compact is airtight. But if they doubt that California is full of lawyers who know how to get out of a contract, they aren’t following the Hollywood trade press. Contemplating a President Perry or Bachmann, Democratic attorneys would suddenly remember that the state constitution does not empower the legislature to let nonresidents decide state elections, and that the United States Constitution requires congressional approval of interstate compacts.

Even in the unlikely event that this scheme survived legal and political challenges, it would still be a mistake. Under the current system, candidates must build a coalition of states that gets them to 270 electoral votes. Accordingly, they campaign in places where their election is not a sure thing. Republicans go to Pennsylvania and Michigan, while Democrats stump in Virginia and Missouri. The proposed plan would change those strategies dramatically. Each side would focus on ramping up turnout in its base areas: Republicans in Texas, Democrats in California and New York, for instance. The likely result would be heightened partisan polarization.

The proposal’s California supporters point out that presidential candidates spend little time in the state during the general election. That’s true, but irrelevant. During fundraising season, candidates come here with outstretched hands and bended knees. Moreover, the state enjoys enormous clout on Capitol Hill. During the past decade, Californians have chaired key House committees including Appropriations, Rules, and Ways and Means. They’ve also served as Majority Whip and Speaker of the House. Both of our U.S. senators currently chair major committees. No one can seriously contend that California lacks political power in Washington. This is a faux argument put forth by the Democrat majority to insure a perpetual Democrat imperial presidency.

So, on the one hand we have a system that produces results that Americans accept, and does not deny California a powerful seat at the political table. On the other, we have a risky scheme whose only sure result would be to make lots of money for lots of lawyers. It’s a sign of dysfunction that California’s state lawmakers chose the latter.

We have a system that has worked well for 234 years. Yes, there have been a few glitches, but the system has worked as our Founders envisioned. We made a mistake when we adopted the Seventeenth Amendment that allowed senators to be elected by popular vote. This amendment has brought forth an imperial senate where senators can serve to the detriment of the people of their state. As Example Florida has a Republican controlled state legislature and a Republican governor, but is saddled with a Democrat senator who tows his party line and not the interest of the state.

In retrospect, the amendment failed to accomplish what was expected of it, and in most cases failed dismally. Exorbitant expenditures, alliances with well-financed lobby groups, and electioneering sleights-of-hand have continued to characterize Senate campaigns long after the constitutional nostrum was implemented. In fact, such tendencies have grown increasingly problematic. Insofar as the Senate also has participated in lavishing vast sums on federal projects of dubious value to the general welfare, and producing encyclopedic volumes of legislation that never will be read or understood by the great mass of Americans, it can hardly be the case that popular elections have strengthened the upper chamber's resistance to the advances of special interests. Ironically, those elections have not even succeeded in improving the Senate's popularity, which, according to one senior member, currently places a senator at about "the level of a used-car salesman."

Instead of a National Public Vote compact we should repeal the 17th Amendment.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Opinions, Opinions and More Opinions

"Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them." — Thomas Jefferson

I consider myself above average in intelligence and knowledge. No, I am not a scholar, but I have been educated in the fields of civil engineering, land surveying and business. In the totality of my 55 years working in these fields I missed only one month of employment during the period when my wife and I relocated from Ohio to California in 1962.

I have never taken a penny of government money for unemployment, disability, food stamps, government grants, student loans, school lunches, WIC or aid to dependent children. My three children were the dependents of my wife and I and we paid for everything they did. We sent them to private Parochial school because we did not believe in the government run schools and wanted them to receive an education that was based on morality and a belief in Jesus Christ. However, we did pay an enormous amount (and still do) in property taxes to support our failing government schools. We owned our own homes for 47 years and never missed a mortgage payment or went into default.

We supported my parents for twenty years until they both passed away by having a large enough house for them to live with us. All or our children graduated from a college preparatory private Parochial school with two of the receiving baccalaureate degrees, one in surveying engineering and photogrammetry and the other in history. My son also received a master’s degree in information technology. My both daughters never had a child out of wedlock, used drugs or got into trouble with the law. Since their graduation from college or high school they have worked, earned a living and paid taxes

For the last 35 years of my career I owned or was a partner in a middle-sized civil engineering and land surveying firm. I and my partners were able to grow our firm to over 800 employees before I retired. That meant we supported 800 families, provided them income to pay for 800 mortgages, car payments, school tuitions, vacations and food. We provided our employees with health care and contributions to their 401k. In 2005 we were mentioned in the Engineering News Record as one of the best firms in the United States to work for.

For 55 I paid income taxes and disability insurance. As a business owner I paid unemployment insurance and our contributions to social security and Medicare. For 42 years I paid my personal contributions to Medicare without ever missing one payment.

I never went to college, but did attend numerous classes at extension colleges in civil engineering, project management, business and finance, writing, German and photography I obtained certification as a highway engineer and land surveyor through a two-year correspondence school while I worked every day and studied at night while I helped raise our young children.

When I became of voting age I was a registered Democrat and voted for Democrats. I considered myself a moderate liberal who believed in national defense, the space program, civil rights and programs that would help the poor. Over the years, as I traveled the world and began to see the failings of these social programs, I began to transform to a conservative. I also did not agree with the Democrats constant adherence to abortion.

Baptized, raised and married as a Roman Catholic I now consider myself a Christian with no affiliation to any organized denomination. I do, however, find my religious beliefs more in line with the Baptists, especially on issues like abortion and gay marriage.

For the past twenty or so years I have supported conservative candidates usually Republicans) and fifteen or so years ago I changed my registration to Republican so I could vote for the more conservative candidate in the primaries. I wanted to have a voice in who the Republican nominee would be. I have studied American history, understand the Constitution and read some of the Federalist Papers. I am a devotee of Bastiat, Hayek, von Mises, Hazlitt, Smith, Friedman and Ayn Rand. I believe in the free market, small federal government the Tenth Amendment, free speech, fiscal and personal responsibility, our Founders, American exceptionalism, our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, balanced budgets, school choice and liberty. I also believe as George Washington said; “To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." Or as the Roman author Publius Flavius Vegetius said some fifteen hundred years ago; “Si vis pacem, para bellum.

I do not believe in social or economic justice, the welfare state, socialism in any form, fascism, Marxism, one world government, the UN, a living Constitution, pacifism, illegal immigration or abortion.

I write all of this personal history and beliefs as a preface to what I am about to say in my following post. I believe it will help the reader understand where my opining stems from. We are all a products of not only our education, but of our life experiences and observations. As the Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero said; “Rational ability without education has oftener raised man to glory and virtue, than education without natural ability." I believe my life experience has enhanced my rational ability to the point where I can claim that one’s academic pedigree does not outweigh the validity of my argument. You can read more about me in my autobiography Footsteps on the Land.

Over the past week I have heard numerous and conflicting opinions on the solutions to our debt ceiling crisis. I have heard about various plans ranging from Cut, Cap and Balance, the Harry Reid Plan, the Boehner Plan, the Penny Plan to Obama’s no plan. As a rational American I am confused as to what plan I should support if any. I have heard conservative politicians and pundits who I agree with and support take varying positions on these plans. Some say take the best deal you can get. Others say don’t vote for any plan that does not contain a balanced budget amendment. Still others say Republicans should not be intransigent as they will suffer the blame and Obama will win.

Obama and Geithner claim the will be a crisis on August 2nd and we will not be able to pay seniors and our military. Many others say we take in about $200 billion each month from tax revenues and the service on our debt is $21 billion and Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and military payments amount to another $124 billion and we have enough money to service these mandated entitlements. Click here to see how much is spent each year on what.

I cannot decide who the worst negotiators are, Republican leaders or House conservatives.

John Boehner’s plan couldn’t get the votes last night so Boehner had to agree to add language conditioning a vote on a balanced budget amendment — an amendment House Republicans said could not pass so there was no reason to pursue Cut, Cap, and Balance. The vote will now be today.

Note: while writing this post the House just passed the Boehner Bill 3.0 with 26 Republicans voting no. The bill went to the Senate where Harry Reid’s Democrats just voted to table it by a vote of 59-41. Now Reid and his Democrats will gut Boehner 3.0 and put their own words in and the debt ceiling will be raised and we will all suffer.

The vote now is all about fear and messaging — fear of blame and a very weak message. In fact, the House will send a weaker message than Cut, Cap, and Balance. It’ll also get less votes in either House than Cut, Cap, and Balance.

Last night on Sean Hannity’s show, Senator Rand Paul said around a dozen Republican Senators will vote against Boehner’s plan. And they must. Because if they do not, I have a sneaking suspicion that Harry Reid will strip out the balanced budget amendment language and the second vote on the debt ceiling, send it back to the House, and get it passed with a hundred Democrats. House Conservatives who don’t like the plan, but are willing to trade their vote for a balanced budget amendment are about to be force fed the plan they don’t like by Harry Reid and all with their help.

Frankly, the House Republicans have turned this vote into a cult of personality vote. It is not about saving the Republic, fighting Obama, or cutting the debt. And you remember that when they vote for it.

John Boehner has convinced House Republicans that they are both getting a good deal and that if it fails, Boehner himself is in jeopardy. (keep in mind Boehner is elected in his Ohio district not by a national election) So House Republicans will vote for the plan, see the Senate either kill it or butcher it, and then be stuck. It’s all about John Boehner now — nothing else.

To console themselves, Boehner is going to give House conservatives their balanced budget amendment language and then have them do the very thing they promised they’d fight — fund ObamaCare.

Yes, you see that’s the dirty little secret glossed over by everyone. John Boehner’s plan contemplates ObamaCare’s continuation. And House Republicans will sell their souls today for a balanced budget amendment that the Senate will strip from the plan in the best case scenario.

I think the House Republicans are the worst negotiators, but imagine if John Boehner had been half as aggressive with the Democrats as he has been these past 24 hours with House conservatives.

Oh, and I still don’t think anyone can answer this question: if the House GOP only controls one half of one branch of the federal government and has no power, why the hell do they keep throwing plans against the wall hoping something will stick? Do they have Stockholm Syndrome?

House conservatives should vote no.

A balanced budget amendment is worth fighting for. A balanced budget amendment is worth holding the line for. But it is not worth being fooled into voting for a plan by it including a BBA on a subsequent debt ceiling vote knowing with 100% certainty that not only will Harry Reid strip it out in the Senate, but that your own leadership will sell you out on when it comes back to you. Your symbolic vote — and it is a symbolic vote — will be used to play you as a fool.

Hold the freaking line. The negotiating hand improves once you move past fear of the unknown.

Oh, and while you are at it, get rid of the deficit commission that you know good and well will raise taxes. It is only as strong as its weakest link.

The lies and distortions have gotten so outrageous in the past few days that I simply must get up on my soapbox one more time and try to clear up a few of the biggest piles of malarkey. (Some of you may prefer a stronger word for what’s being thrown around.) Here are the latest “Big Four” that got my goat.

There is no August. 2nd deadline

I know; it’s hard to believe. All we’ve heard for months is economic catastrophe will befall us if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by Tuesday.

But where did that date come from? It was plucked out of thin air by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. It has no basis in fact, in law or in any accounting data anyone can present. The big spenders in Washington simply picked a date at random with which to frighten the American public.

Even Geithner admits that “technically” the government ran out of money two months ago. He says he used “extraordinary measures” and “accounting maneuvers” to delay the crisis as long as possible. But if he could do it for eight weeks, why not nine? Or 10?

Obama threatens to stiff seniors and vets

This one really has me steamed. Two weeks ago, the President told CBS News, “I cannot guarantee that those [Social Security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. …this is not just a matter of Social Security checks. These are veterans’ checks, these are folks on disability and their checks.”

All of which,is a big, fat lie. (Click here if for more information on one.) If Social Security checks go out late, it will be because Barack Obama and his henchmen wanted to frighten our senior citizens and disabled vets out of their wits. (And frighten them into voting for him again in 2012, I should add.)

Can you think of anything this man has done that’s more despicable? (Well, OK, I’ll admit that killing a bunch of innocent civilians in Libya and other places is also pretty bad.)

There is plenty of money to pay our debts

The latest figures I could find show that the government expects to take in about $173 billion in revenue in August. Interest payments on Treasury securities for the month come to about $21 billion. We can pay every penny we owe and still have $151 billion left for other things. Not everything the Democrats want to do, I’ll admit. Not even everything they’ve already authorized. But so what?

It’s time to do what every family in America has to do when the money runs out, folks. Cut spending.

It’s all the Republicans’ fault

This may be the biggest whopper of them all. It wasn’t the Republicans who ran up those gigantic deficits. Barack Obama has forced our government to borrow more money in the past two years than any prior President did in eight.

Yet he wants you to believe that everything would be hunky-dory if it weren’t for those troglodytes in Congress. Is there anyone in America who actually believes this? Besides a few leftist university professors and some community organizers, that is.

Please remember that as President of the United States, Barack Obama was legally required to present a budget to Congress a year ago. Let me also remind you that back then, he had a solid Democratic majority in both houses. He could have gotten virtually anything he wanted passed. Why didn’t he? Remember that on Valentine’s Day of 2010 he did present a budget and the Senate rejected it by a vote of 97-0.

Oh, and here’s a kicker you probably don’t know: According to a law passed way back in the days when Jimmy “Killer Rabbit” Carter was President, Obama’s budget had to be balanced.

Yup, even I forgot about this one. Section 7 of Public Law 95-435 declares, “Beginning with fiscal year 1981, the total budget outlays of the Federal Government shall not exceed its receipts.”

This has been the law of the land for 30 years, ladies and gentlemen. It’s never been repealed. Of course, I’ve got to admit it’s never been obeyed, either. That’s another objection I have to a Balanced Budget Amendment. If the big spenders in Washington won’t obey this law, what makes you think they’ll obey another one that says essentially the same thing?

In yet another speech filled with lies and deception, our Dissembler in Chief declared last week that “Congress has run up the credit card.” Who told it to, Mr. President? In fact, who insisted on all of that additional spending? May I respectfully suggest, sir, that for the answer you look in a mirror?

The President keeps trotting out his lament about corporate jets and how awful it is that our country allows this “tax break for the rich.” Apparently, this canard plays well in Peoria, so he uses it again and again.

Here’s how petty the President is being. If businesses weren’t allowed special deductions for the depreciation of those jets, government tax revenue would go up $3 billion. Or to put it another way, Obama’s deficit just for this year would be slashed from $1.4 trillion to — are you ready for this? — $1.397 trillion. That’s really impressive, isn’t it?

If the Democrats could do this 1,000 times, the Internal Revenue Service would collect an additional $300 billion in taxes. That is about one-third the deficit Barack Obama has incurred for this year.

Barack Obama is one of the most divisive, dishonest and mean-spirited men to ever hold high office in this country. And considering the competition, that’s saying something.

So what if we run out of money?

The bean counters tell us that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the government of the United States won’t be able to pay about 44 percent of the bills coming due next month.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

I’m serious. Think for a moment about what would happen if this country went a month with the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Interior, Agriculture and a bunch of others doing nothing, because they didn’t have the funds?

I think we would quickly find out we don’t need them. And that this country is a richer, freer, more prosperous place without them. Private industry would create millions of new jobs. Profits would go up. So would tax revenue.

Ask some of the oldsters out there what happened at the end of World War II. Millions of soldiers returned home, ready to roll up their sleeves and go to work. Thousands of factories that were busy making war material turned their attention to making consumer goods. And this nation rode a wave of prosperity, innovation and job creation that lasted for decades.

I think the same thing would happen again, if the bloated, oppressive bureaucracy our politicians have created were shut down or at least drastically trimmed.

As a fellow writer put it, wouldn’t you relish the prospect of “thousands of government employees, people with perfectly productive minds, some of them quite brilliant, making the change from parasites to producers?”

Sure you would. We can dream, can’t we?

Obama really just wants to avoid having to go through another battle before Election Day. His rejection of the Boehner Plan has nothing to do with the markets or the economy. It is purely political.

He’s desperate to avoid having to face this issue again. He’s lost ten points in job approval over the battle so far and he wants to get out of town before he loses more.

So the Republican message to Harry Reid is simple: If you want more debt authority so that it takes us to the end of the year, come up with more cuts. Not phony cuts in military spending but real cuts scored by the Congressional Budget Office.

The Boehner Plan, as passed tonight, may be a good start. If a government shutdown eventuates because Reid won’t put up extra cuts or because Obama wants to punt this issue until after the election, then they will incur massive blame from the voters.

And remember one thing: Obama has no choice. He can’t let default take place for two reasons: 1) It would make him look weak and hurt his presidency dramatically; and 2) It would be evident that the shutdown is not the disaster he has been predicting and he would be caught crying “wolf.”

Republicans should sit back, after passing the Boehner Plan and make the Democrats and the president come to them. Obama is stuck and Republicans should take advantage of his lack of maneuverability. They already have the key concession: Reid agreeing to a cuts-only approach. With that concession in their pockets, they should play a waiting game that Obama cannot match.

Always remember that no matter how much the public may not like intransigence by House Republicans, it is Obama who is suffering by this issue. If Obama and Boehner turn off the public by their fencing and maneuvering, so be it. Obama is running for president and Boehner is not. Boehner can afford to take the hit. Obama can’t.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oslo, Fort Hood and Sally Quinn

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." — John Adams

When a lunatic named Jared Lee Loughner killed six people and injured 13 more last January, liberal accusations of conservative complicity in the assault emerged faster than the sedatives could slow Loughner from “wild-eyed mass-murderer” to “Chris Matthews.” As the twisted tale unfolded, it became readily apparent that Loughner was inspired not by Sarah Palin (nor any other conservative), but by the voices in his head. With the revelation that among Loughner’s victims was not only U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), but a staunchly conservative Federal judge named John Roll, who died shielding another victim from Loughner, the coordinated liberal effort to pin the actions of a madman on people who don’t read The New York Times evaporated as quickly as liberals’ feigned concern for Giffords (but not Roll). By the way, Giffords is improving at a nearly miraculous rate. She may never return to Congress, but she returned to her husband, family and friends. I’ll wager that being discarded by the Democrats the moment she stopped being an effective political prop is meaningless to Giffords’ loved ones; they’re probably just overjoyed to have her home.

Following the failure of Loughner to provide an effective brickbat with which liberals could defame conservatives, the left went back to its usual litany of hate speech, slander and outright dishonesty. President Barack Obama and his racist minion, Attorney General Eric Holder, weathered a few storms of their own creation. Narcoterrorists from Mexico to Honduras obtained guns from the U.S. through an almost impossibly ill-conceived program called “Operation Fast and Furious.” While the cost of the program reached tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars, the human cost was even higher. Fortunately, Obama and Holder had the corporate media to bury the story; and with corporate media outlets ignoring the carnage, the liberal rank-and-file missed it through either ignorance or obscene partisanship. Liberals are perfectly willing to shriek at the top of their lungs about terrorism that they can claim is inspired by conservative women or talk radio, but terrorists who were literally armed by a Democrat President are evidently less useful in a campaign than — say — throwing grandma off a cliff.

And then, last Friday afternoon, the monotonous buzz of liberal mendacity, gender bias and racism was shattered by the roar of a terrorist attack in Oslo, Norway. Once it became apparent that the perpetrator was not striking a blow for Muhammad — despite The New York Times’ latest bout with erroneous reporting (“Helpers of the Global Jihad?” What is that, the Hamas junior varsity?) — I started counting the moments until someone tried to link the actions of some fruitcake in the land of the midnight sun to the Tea Party or Sahara Palin. It did not take the Times long to change their story and pronounce that right wing Christian fundamentalists were responsible.

As expected, the wait was shorter than Jayson Blair’s post-scandal career. Knowing that the corporate media’s big outlets would need a few moments to figure out the best way to spin the tragedy to some twisted advantage, I took an off-ramp from the Information Superhighway to the seedy part of town: the Democrat-friendly hate speech site As expected, the cacophony was full-throated in the maximum-security wing of the liberal movement. But the wing nuts were trying an interesting new tack; they were actually accusing American conservatives of being more terrifying than the alleged Oslo shooter, Anders Behring Breivik. According to the lead tinfoil hat brigadier Markos Moulitsas:

“…in the United States, (the Tea Party) movement is indeed fundamentalist Christian, populated by sects of millions that would seem strange to an Europeanist of the sort Breivik is. Those people are the actual mirror image of Al Qaeda, or more correctly the Taliban, and they don’t need to go around putting car bombs and driving planes into buildings because they have the US Armed Forces do that for them.”

A comment like that (which apparently has been removed from the website) is made doubly interesting given the fact that Moulitsas is on record excusing Islamofascist murder of Americans. I’m half surprised he didn’t retroactively blame the Tea Party for the 2004 Fallujah incident he infamously celebrated. And not that I’m going to be a stickler for accuracy from the bottom of the blogosphere barrel, but when did the “U.S. Armed Forces” start driving planes into buildings? Something tells me ol’ Kos might want to avoid Fort Stewart forever.

I’m actually fascinated by the ability liberals possess to abandon logic on the altar of their political prejudices. They can accuse Grandpa and Grandma Kettle of Anytown, U.S.A., of being somehow complicit in the Oslo horror because they have a Gadsden flag bumper sticker on the back of their ’99 Grand Marquis, while simultaneously suggesting that the Islamofascists who dress their women like freak show beekeepers and stone people to death are merely misunderstood.

Meanwhile, the sole factor identifying Breivik as “right wing” is his apparent aversion to the spread of Islam. Imagine the logical contortions necessary for liberals to simultaneously claim not only is Islamofascist tyranny like the Taliban “right wing,” but so are the people who most vehemently find it objectionable. To put that in American terms: “Charles Rangel is a scumbag; let’s make him President.”

Look, people. There are different kinds of terrorism. Among them: religiously inspired terrorism, which involves flying planes into buildings (which the Democrat Moulitsas says is a common tactic of the U.S. military), or murdering four people, dismembering them, burning the corpses and hanging them from a bridge (to which the Democrat Moulitsas says: “Screw them.”). There’s governmental terrorism, which involves running people over with tanks, or forcing them to spend 30 years in a Siberian diamond mine in return for suggesting Lenin was a jerk, or shooting their wife and children in Idaho because they didn’t vote for Bill Clinton. There’s narcoterrorism, which lately involved drug dealers shooting people with guns supplied by the Obama Administration. And there’s American terrorism, which involves a Gadsden flag sticker on the bumper of your Grand Marquis — at least that’s what Mr. Soros says.

Despite the best efforts of the Democrats to smear conservatives with the tar brush of terrorism, the Tea Party has yet to bomb a single government office, shoot a single person or fly a single plane into a single building. In fact, the most the Tea Party has deployed is the occasional strong condemnation; it’s not as if the Tea Party is the Service Employees International Union or anything. And the tendency of liberalism’s leading lights to suggest the alternative is either true or is simply a “matter of time” isn’t just defamatory, it’s — well — rude.

The very same New York Times which erroneously issued the initial report that the Oslo attacks were the work of Islamofascists got back in line with the rest of the liberal storm troopers breathlessly assigning American bloggers like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer complicity in Breivik’s actions. As Geller pointed out, this is paper-thin logic on a par with suggesting the Beatles were responsible for Charles Manson’s murder spree. To shine a current light on it: It’s akin to suggesting the Quran is responsible for… hmm.

Let’s be honest with each other for a moment. Anders Breivik is a Norwegian Tim McVeigh, not a Norwegian Osama bin Laden. Putting aside liberal mendacity, his actions don’t relate to the political ideology of anyone but the perpetrator. Breivik’s brand of terror is spooky-loners type stuff. It’s obviously devastating, but it’s terror with a finite growth curve, a career path with no long-term prospects. It’s sad, tragic and painful for the victims and those who seek a more peaceful world. While Breivik may identify himself as a “Christian,” even the bats in Fred Phelps’ Westboro belfry aren’t blowing up buildings and shooting kids

What’s worth noting in the wake of the Oslo attacks is an apparently visceral need for liberals to link Breivik to their fellow citizens. Granted, with Obama on the ropes just eight months after the GOP dropped a hammer on the Democrats in the House of Representatives, the Democrats are understandably desperate. But the implication that American conservatism is any way the birthplace of Anders Breivik borders on schadenfreude.

I recognize the liberal addiction to authority. But 76 people are dead in Norway. Surely, the Democrats in the United States could have waited for the funerals before turning this tragedy into a campaign slogan.

Now enter Sally Quinn, the “faith” writer of The Washington Post, a self-proclaimed Catholic who supports abortion gay marriage and every other human behavior condemned by the Pope. This week Quinn had a dust up with Bill O’Reilly on his Factor program and vehemently stated Breivik was a Christian, yet her Muslim “friends” tell her terrorists the likes of Major Nidal Hassan and all the other radical Islamists who fly planes into buildings, strap on bombs and blow up kids in the market square or slaughter a family in the home are not real Muslims. The dust up went something like this as reported by

Of all the headlines of the bombing and shooting incident last weekend in Norway, Bill O’Reilly has taken most objection to the description of insane butcher Anders Breivik as “Christian.” After a monologue last night on the matter, O’Reilly challenged the author of one of those headlines, the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn, to defend the label.

Quinn opened the floor by nothing that Breivik himself had used the words “I am a Christian,” but that was not anywhere near enough for O’Reilly. “There is no evidence at all that ties this guy to Christianity,” O’Reilly argued, “no evidence this guy is in any church.” Quinn countered that there were texts he had written with the label in them, noting particularly his claim that “we believe in Christianity as a cultural social identity and moral platform.”

“What?! That’s insane!” replied O’Reilly, responding to Breivik’s words. “Mussolini called himself a Christian,” he argued, but in neither example is there any Christian activity– certainly killing is not approved of in Christian teachings. To Quinn, this didn’t quite matter because he self-applied the label: “if someone says they’re a Christian, you have to take them at their word.” She also argued that the same conversation had come up after the attacks at Ford Hood, where Nidal Hassan fired at his colleagues and killed a number of them. O’Reilly didn’t see the analog, as “he carried a business card that said ‘Soldier of Allah,’ and he committed his crimes in the name of Allah.” The Christian God, on the other hand, did not seem to play into the reasoning behind Breivik’s attacks. Nonetheless, Quinn countered that “most Muslims would tell you that guy is not a Muslim,” leaving writers with the same identity dilemma. She also concluded– being given the last word, that Breivik did have a religious goal: “the guy wants to rid the Christian Europe of the Islamic faith.”

You can view the complete video by clicking here.

Sally Quinn and her ilk just will not accept the fact that Muslims are responsible for 99% of the terrorist attacks in this world. They are typical of the liberal left wing apologists who run around screaming don’t blame Muslims for what Muslims do.

According to reporting done by the website NewsBusters, the Times wasn't so quick to brand the men who killed 52 people in the London subway back in 2005. The Times story on that terror incident described the situation this way: "The plot was carried out by a sleeper cell of homegrown extremists rather than highly trained terrorists exported to Britain."

Homegrown? The four London killers were all Muslim extremists, yet the Times avoided the religious label.

If the paper was consistent, it would have described Brevik as "homegrown," right? The guy was born and raised in Norway.

So why are the New York Times and some other liberal media playing the "Christian extremist" card?

Two reasons. First, some on the left want to make an equivalency argument between Muslim terrorism and other kinds of violent acts. The Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh, was often branded "a right wing terrorist" in the media. Terrorism is terrorism, the analysis goes; it's not fair to constantly emphasize Muslim terrorism without acknowledging the others. Besides, bad men like George W. Bush overhype the Muslim threat and use it to do evil things like invade Iraq.

The second reason is purely political. The left well understands that Christian opposition to things like abortion, gay marriage, and drug legalization makes those liberal causes more difficult to achieve. Thus, anything that diminishes Christianity is fair game to be promoted. Every newsworthy sin committed by a Christian is highlighted with a sneering reference to hypocrisy. Any whiff of Christian intolerance is celebrated in the press.

Just today three men were taken into custody by the authorities for planning another attack at Fort Hood, and low and behold they are Muslims. How about that one Sally? Fox News reports:

“An Army private has been arrested in connection with an alleged plot to attack Fort Hood soldiers that authorities suggest was close to being carried out. The arrest, first reported by Fox News, comes nearly two years after a deadly shooting rampage at the base.

Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, an AWOL soldier from Fort Campbell in Kentucky, was arrested by the Killeen, Texas, Police Department near Fort Hood and remains in custody at the Killeen jail.

Abdo, 21, was found with weapons, explosives and jihadist materials at the time of his arrest, a senior Army source confirms to Fox News. He was arrested at around 2 p.m. Wednesday after someone called authorities to report a suspicious individual.

Eric Vasys, a spokesman with the FBI's San Antonio Office, said authorities found firearms and bomb making components inside Abdo's motel room. Sources also say Abdo was attempting to make a purchase at Guns Galore in Killeen, the same ammunition store where Maj. Nidal Hasan purchased weapons that were allegedly used to gun down 13 people and wound 30 others at the base on Nov. 5, 2009.

Sources said Abdo had enough materials to make two bombs, including 18 pounds of sugar and six pounds of smokeless gunpowder -- a possible trigger for an explosive. A pressure cooker was also found. Another counterterrorism source said the bomb making materials and methodology came "straight out of Inspire (a terrorist magazine) and an Al Qaeda explosives course manual."

Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin alluded to the severity of the threat at a news conference Thursday afternoon announcing the arrest.

"We would probably be here today giving a different briefing had he not been stopped," Baldwin said, and military personnel appeared to be the target.

ABC News reported, citing law enforcement documents, that the target wasn't the base itself but a nearby restaurant that is popular with personnel from Fort Hood.

Police in Killeen received information from the owners of Guns Galore about a suspicious male who entered the store and, after asking about smokeless gun powder, purchased as much as six pounds of the powder, three boxes of 12 gauge ammunition and a magazine for a Springfield 9mm. The man allegedly paid for the items in cash and then left in a cab.

Bob Jenkins, a Fort Campbell spokesman, told Fox News that Abdo was also being investigated for child pornography found on his government computer.

Abdo went AWOL on July 4. On the eve of his first deployment to Afghanistan -- after only one year in the Army -- Abdo applied for conscientious objector status as a Muslim. It was denied by his superiors at Fort Campbell but later overturned by the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Army review board.”

So how long will it take Sally Quinn’s Muslims friends to convince her that Abdo was not a real Muslim, just a pretend Muslim trying to get out of the Army?

Liberal Censorship

Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain. — Frederic Bastiat

As I have said in previous posts every totalitarian and tyrannical dictatorship from has begun on the left. Most recent examples of this fact are the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Maoist China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Rwanda and Uganda. All of these tyrannical governments began with the cry of “for the betterment of the people.”

The one thing they all have in common is that they muzzled the free press and any opposing opinions to their elitist socialist programs. They could not have gained power unless the press was either muzzled or they had enough sycophants in their camp to spin their dialect.

The York Times economic columnist Paul Krugman on Tuesday said it wasPaul Krugman a "moral issue" for the press to censor conservative views about the debt ceiling.

Quite shockingly, the Nobel laureate took to his blog to complain that the news media are being too fair and balanced in their coverage of this highly contentious issue:

“Watching our system deal with the debt ceiling crisis — a wholly self-inflicted crisis, which may nonetheless have disastrous consequences — it’s increasingly obvious that what we’re looking at is the destructive influence of a cult that has really poisoned our political system.

And no, I don’t mean the fanaticism of the right. Well, OK, that too. But my feeling about those people is that they are what they are; you might as well denounce wolves for being carnivores. Crazy is what they do and what they are.

No, the cult that I see as reflecting a true moral failure is the cult of balance, of centrism.”

Wow! Balance and centrism is a "true moral failure":

“So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that.”

In Krugman’s elitist view we, the people are to stupid to understand the complexities of our national debt and budgets. Only “educated” folks like Krugman should be listened to:

The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president. Once again, health reform — his only major change to government — was modeled on Republican plans, indeed plans coming from the Heritage Foundation. And everything else — including the wrongheaded emphasis on austerity in the face of high unemployment — is according to the conservative playbook.

What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism; no way for most voters, who get their information on the fly rather than doing careful study of the issues, to understand what’s really going on.

You have to ask, what would it take for these news organizations and pundits to actually break with the convention that both sides are equally at fault? This is the clearest, starkest situation one can imagine short of civil war. If this won’t do it, nothing will.”

I'm not sure what news reports Krugman has been watching, but the ones I’ve been monitoring at concerning this matter, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Krugman’s own New York Times, have been anything but balanced.

The take for weeks has been that taxes must be raised to solve this problem and that it is the Republicans — and, in particular, Tea Party freshmen in the House — that are refusing to "compromise."

A new Media Research Center study on this issue found that ABC, CBS, and NBC have consistently cast the GOP as the villains in this debate: (You can download the PDF version by clicking here)

“On Election Day 2010, then-CBS Early Show anchor Harry Smith posed a hypothetical question about newly-elected Republicans to Ann Coulter: “There’ll be a routine vote, for instance, to increase the debt ceiling and the Tea Party guys are going to say, ‘Over my dead body,’ and the government comes to a screeching halt. Then what happens?” The conservative author confidently predicted: “Well, the media will blame the Republicans.”

And that’s precisely what has occurred. A Media Research CenterChart0727 study of the Big Three network evening and morning programs finds that, when it came to assigning blame for lack of a debt ceiling resolution, ABC, CBS and NBC’s coverage has placed the overwhelming majority of the blame on Republicans’ doorstep.

MRC analysts watched all 202 stories on the debt ceiling from July 1 through July 22, looking for statements which assigned blame or responsibility for the failure to reach a settlement. Of the 85 stories that included such statements, the skew was lopsidedly anti-Republican, with 56 stories (66%) mainly assigning them the blame for the impasse. Even though Democrats control both the Senate and the White House, only 17 network stories (20%) suggested they bore more responsibility, a greater than three-to-one disparity (see chart at right). Twelve stories offered a balanced discussion of which party ought to be blamed.”

But Krugman in his strange world doesn't see it that way:

“What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism; no way for most voters, who get their information on the fly rather than doing careful study of the issues, to understand what’s really going on. And yes, I think this is a moral issue.”

So, in Krugman's view, it has become a "moral issue" for the news media to only report the side he agrees with. To solve this, he is advocating the press censor reports attempting to present the view from the right. And he works for one of the largest newspapers in the country.

As viewer of numerous news and opinion shows and reader of various Internet news sites and blogs I can tell you that only the Fox News Channel presents a balanced debate on the debt ceiling issue. They consistently bring conservatives, liberals and Tea Partiers to present their side of the issue. Most of the time the liberals can only present spin and talking points while, in my opinion the true conservatives put forth facts. As John Adams said during his defense of the British soldiers accused of murder in the Boston Massacre; “facts are stubborn things.”

Progressive liberals like Krugman do not care about facts. They care about ideology and social justice. Due to their academic pedigree they can’t tolerate contrary opinions to their closely held beliefs. They are like professors who will beat you over the head with their academic status and brilliance, but as a mentor of mine told me years ago; “Your academic pedigree does not outweigh the validity of my argument.” Or to quote Marcus Tullius Cicero; Rational ability without education has oftener raised man to glory and virtue, than education without natural ability.”

Over the years there have been “brilliant” academics that believed the earth was flat, an iron ball would fall faster than a feather and the sun and planets revolved about the earth. When I study physics in 1955 we used a text book written by “brilliant” academics in the 1940s that stated the atom was the smallest element in the universe. Of course Hiroshima and Nagasaki had not happened at the time the book was written.

There is a common perception in the media today that goes like this. If you are a conservative with a university education your academic pedigree is securitized (Sarah Palin). If you are a conservative without a university education you are just dumb. If you are a liberal with a University pedigree you are brilliant (Barack Obama) and if you are a liberal without an university pedigree you are an artists or an activist.

Progressive left-wing liberals like Krugman and his sycophantic followers just can’t tolerate any opinion other than the ones they cling to. They want those other “diverse and contrary” views silenced because they believe those opinions muddy the waters they are swimming in. They want everyone to march in lockstep to their ideology and woe to you if you don’t.

Well I certainly will not but Krugman’s pontifications. In fact I rarely read the New York Times. Liberal commentator and Fox News contributor Bob Beckel (a person I rarely, if ever, agree with) claimed he did not read the New York Times and quipped on the new FNC panel show, The Five, when the subject of Obama’s recent speech at the University of Maryland in which he talked about the increasingly “splintered” media with Democrats only getting their news from The New York Times and MSNBC while Republicans use Fox News and editorials in the Wall Street Journal came up. While these aren’t exactly new comments from the President, the panelists read much into them and had a lot of issues. Bob Beckel’s were probably the most entertaining. His problem? No one watches MSNBC.

While Greg Gutfeld and Dana Perino speculated that the statement was a veiled attack on Fox News, guest host Andrew Napolitano thought Obama was excusing his own failings and Andrea Tantaros contributed by claiming she uses the New York Times for toilet paper (ouch), Beckel went right for MSNBC:

“First of all, the President also ought to know, when he talks about that, I don’t know of six people that watch MSNBC. I don’t want to pick on a rival but they’re not a rival. They’re like a kindergartner playing baseball against the Yankees.”

If Krugman watched this show (which I doubt he did) he would have gone ballistic. Oh my God, no one watches the left-wing MSNBC and uses my paper as toilet paper. No wonder he wants censorship. How dare these right-wing fascists cast dispersions on the views of the left? In Krugman’s view he is in the tower and we, conservatives, belong in the dungeon. Krugman would have given Goebbels run for his job.

It's getting really scary out there, folks. When the pinhead, pimple on the ass of the world Krugman reaches the intellectual of Hazlitt, Hayek, von Mises or Friedman I might give his some respect, but until then he is someone to simply ignore. So he was given the Nobel Prize, but so were Jimmy Carter and Barack Hussein Obama.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

RINOS, RINOS Everywhere

"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution ... taking from the federal government their power of borrowing." — Thomas Jefferson (Letter of November 26th, 1798)

There is an old poem about an ancient mariner who is adrift in a small boat on the ocean and he bemoans; “water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.” The same can be applied to so-called conservatives in Washington and the media regarding the current debate over the raising of the debt ceiling — RINOS, RINOS everywhere and not an ounce of unity or courage.

The Republican controlled House is beginning to cut and run in face of the opposition from the likes of Harry Reid and Barack Obama. While Obama is losing the war in the polls the Republican leadership and the conservative press is willing to surrender for fear of facing blame for a government shutdown and losing at the polls in 2012.

An example of this is an editorial in the Wall Street Journal and read on the floor of the Senate by none other than he biggest RINO of them all, John McCain. The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal opines:

“Under the two-phase Boehner plan, Congress would authorize $1 trillion in new debt in return for $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade. Most of that will come from caps on domestic discretionary spending over 10 years—the Pentagon and homeland security are exempt—with automatic spending cuts if the caps are breached. While one Congress cannot bind another, the proposal would at least guarantee real reductions in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

The danger for the GOP is that the committee could end up proposing tax increases, since the committee's only remit is the deficit, not the larger fiscal landscape or the size of government. A poorly chosen Republican nominee could defect, and any structural change to entitlements almost certainly can't pass the Senate.

Then again, unless the plan passed, Mr. Obama couldn't request the additional $1.6 trillion debt ceiling increase that he would soon need. The political incentive is for a reasonable package, and many Senate Democrats also don't want to vote for tax increases before 2012.

Strangely, some Republicans and conservative activists are condemning this as a fiscal sellout. Senator Jim DeMint put out a statement raking the Speaker for seeking "a better political debt deal, instead of a debt solution" (emphasis, needless to say, his). The usually sensible Club for Growth and Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, are scoring a vote for the Boehner plan as negative on similar grounds.

But what none of these critics have is an alternative strategy for achieving anything nearly as fiscally or politically beneficial as Mr. Boehner's plan. The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.

This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell into GOP Senate nominees. The reality is that the debt limit will be raised one way or another, and the only issue now is with how much fiscal reform and what political fallout.

If the Reid plan passes the Senate after Mr. Boehner's plan failed in the House, Mr. Boehner would be forced to beseech Nancy Pelosi and the White House to deliver Democratic votes to raise the debt limit. Mr. Obama's price could be the tax increases that the GOP has so far rejected. But who knows what else Mr. Obama would demand, and Congress might rush through, amid a political panic and financial market turmoil as the Treasury closed down government services to meet its debt obligations.

It's true that the Boehner plan doesn't solve the long-term debt problem, but Mr. Obama won't agree to anything that does. The GOP plan also may not prevent a U.S. national credit downgrade, but it has a better chance of doing so than Mr. Reid's. The Boehner plan is the most credible proposal with a chance of becoming law before the 2012 election.”

Here we have a reputable conservative leaning paper taking shots at the Tea Party, the folks responsible for giving the Republicans control of the House and an almost majority in the Senate in 2010. Now they want to turn on the Tea Party and their supporters for not falling in lock step with Boehner and McConnell. They claim that the current Boehner plan is the best deal we can get and the Republicans should take it. They ask where are the other plans that could be presented to the American people.

Just think for a moment on those days in 1776 at the Philadelphian Assembly Hall when the delegates to the Continental Congress were in heated debate over the adoption of a Declaration of Independence. There were those like Adams, Jefferson, Lee and Franklin who wanted to move forward with the Declaration. And here were those like Dickenson and Rutledge were I opposition. Their opposition was not based on philosophical principles, but on tactics. They wanted a wait and see strategy and to that end they drafted a letter to George III stating their grievances, but offering an olive branch of moderation. King George rejected the offer and those in favor of the Declaration won he debate and on July 4th 1776 we became an independent nation.

In another example of willingness to surrender we can look at George Washington, the Commander of the Continental Army, and his travails. Washington had never won a battle. He was running out of food, clothing ammunition. His army was in decline due to enlistments being up and some desertions. He was quartered at Valley Forge during one of the worst winters in decades. There were those who wanted to make a deal with the British and declare some sort of a truce with General Howe, the Commander-in Chief of the British forces in the colonies. But then came Trenton!

What if the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal or Weekly Standard had been present at these events? Or if pundits like Charles Krauthammer, Karl Rove or other so-called conservatives had been pontificating of these events? It they would have had their way the British would have won and as Franklin quipped the members of the Continental Congress would have all been hanged together.

The conservative debate over the Boehner plan is very similar to the one over the continuing resolution that averted a government shutdown in April. Conservatives who thought Republicans would pay the political price for any shutdown, thus setting back the cause of more meaningful spending cuts, thought avoiding that scenario while getting even token budget cuts was a victory. Conservatives who were less concerned about the fallout of a government shutdown wanted nothing less than real spending cuts.

That debate is playing out once again. Conservatives who think Republicans will be hurt by August 2 passing by without an increase in the debt ceiling support the Boehner plan. Those who think Republicans can survive that deadline want something much stronger. The biggest problems facing conservative Boehner plan supporters this time is that 1.) The CBO score of the CR turned out to be so deflating last time and 2.) The CBO has already scored the Boehner plan this time around before the vote, with less than dazzling results.

Instead of blasting away at other conservatives and questioning their motives and intelligence they should be attacking the enemy — Barack Obama and the Democrats. They should be promoting other plans like the one put forth by Connie Mack (the husband of my Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack) in which he proposes the one penny solution.

President Barack Obama proposed his 2011 budget during February 2010. He indicated that jobs, health care, clean energy, education, and infrastructure would be priorities. The total requested spending was $3.83 trillion and the federal deficit was forecast to be $1.56 trillion in 2010 and $1.27 trillion in 2011.(This budget was rejected by the Senate with a vote 0f 97-0). Total debt is budgeted to increase from $11.9 trillion in FY2009, to $13.8 trillion in FY2010, and $15.1 trillion in FY2011.

On February 14, 2011, President Obama released his 2012 Federal Budget. The report updated the projected 2011 deficit to $1.645 trillion. This is based on estimated revenues of $2.173 trillion and outlays of $3.818 trillion.

Right now under the tyranny of the Obama administration the federal government is on track for increasing spending at the rate of 7.5% each year. This means that federal spending would be $4.104 trillion in 2013, $4.412 trillion in 2014 and $4.743 trillion in 2015 and if revenue doesn’t increase our deficit will rise to $2.570 trillion. With unemployment holding a 9.5% there is little chance that revenues will increase over the next two or three years. How will we cover this deficit? We will borrow the money from China.

What will this money be used for? As Obama has stated it will be used for social programs that bring little or no benefit to our nation and for paying for the increases in the salaries and benefits of the federal work force.

Representative Connie Mack and Senator Rand Paul have a better plan. It is called the “Penny Plan.” In the Penny Plan the Congress will be forced to cut federal spending by 1% each year for the next six years until the federal budget was capped at 18% of GDP.

The copper-plated penny — you can find them virtually anywhere.

While some question its very existence, to Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., it's the key to trimming a bloated government. He's nicknamed the measure, officially known as One Percent Spending Reduction Act, "The Mack Penny Plan."

"It's a bill that says to Congress that you'll have to cut 1 percent - or one penny — out of every federal dollar for six years," he explained.

He told CBN News if Washington embraces his idea, it would cut $7.5 trillion, cap federal spending at 18 percent of the economy, and balance the budget in eight years.

"It's one penny out of every federal dollar. It's not a lot of money. This is something we should be able to do easily," Mack said.

According to my Excel spreadsheet the numbers for Mack’s plan would look like this:

FY 2012 – $3.382 trillion

less one percent = $3.348 trillion cap

FY 2013 – $3.348 trillion

less one percent = $3.315 trillion cap

FY 2014 – $3.315 trillion

less one percent = $3.282 trillion cap

FY 2015 – $3.282 trillion

less one percent = $3.249 trillion cap

FY 2016 – $3.249 trillion

less one percent = $3.216 trillion cap

FY 2017 – $3.216 trillion

less one percent = $3.184 trillion cap

But if Washington can't, the plan comes with a fail-safe trigger — a 1 percent across-the-board cut in all federal spending.

The one cent solution is gaining supporters on Capitol Hill. So far, Mack's proposal has around 40 co-sponsors, and Sen. Mike Enzi, (R-Wyo.), recently introduced the same legislation in the Senate. The plan also has its own grassroots network with supporters in every state.

But Michael Linden, director for tax and budget policy at the Center for American Progress, says when it comes to entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, Mack's plan runs into problems.

"The cost of running the Social Security program goes up every year, not because Congress is changing how much we're giving to each beneficiary, but because there are more beneficiaries," the Florida lawmaker said.

"And if the benefit just keeps pace with inflation," he continued, "the cost of Social Security goes up every year because of prices and because of more people."

But Mack believes the beauty of his plan is that Congress could cut some programs more and some less — so long as it makes a total reduction of 1 percent from spending each year.

"Either the Congress is going to decide where those cuts are going to come from, or it's going to be across the board," Mack said. "And most members would rather us find ways to make those cuts without doing across the board. That is really the stick out there."

"The Congress and the president need to work together, or, if not, all of us will go home sharing in the responsibility that we cut across the board," he warned.

As the debt ceiling deadline gets closer, Mack and other Republicans are insisting that GOP negotiators include their demands in any agreement.

"The only way I'm voting to raise the debt ceiling is if we have a Balanced Budget Amendment, if we have my bill, and if we put caps on spending and an automatic rollback of the debt ceiling," Mack said. Click here for more information on "The One Percent Spending Reduction Act"

The major problem we have with any debt reduction is the intransigent man in the White House, Barack Obama.

The politicians most responsible for America's debt crisis are portrayed by the media as "grown-ups" while those least responsible for it are dubbed "intransigent." Veteran profligate spenders have been credited in recent days with a "balanced approach" to the crisis, even as Tea Partiers in Congress with no fingerprints on the debt have been cast as recklessly indifferent to it.

The mainstream media exclusively defines "intransigence" as conservative opposition to non-negotiable liberal demands. Hence, President Obama's willingness to risk default rather than drop his insistence on tax increases isn't considered intransigent and reckless but principled and mature.

Polls suggest that this media manipulation of the debate over the debt ceiling is paying off for the Democrats. One recent poll says that the American public views Republican leaders as more responsible for the stalemate than Obama. Perhaps a political version of the Stockholm Syndrome is at work here. Obama certainly likes to play the captor turned hostage negotiator, saving the people from a crisis into which he has thrown them. On he other hand polls show that 66% of Americans want no new taxes and a reduction in spending. So much for polls.

At his barrage of press conferences in recent days, Obama has presented himself as the people's advocate who is bravely confronting a problem that both Democrats and Republicans have long ignored. This role ill-befits a president who spent two and a half years pooh-poohing the calls of deficit hawks.

He said at one of the press conferences, striking a remarkably patronizing tone: "Now, what is important is that even as we raise the debt ceiling, we also solve the problem of underlying debt and deficits. I'm glad that congressional leaders don't want to default, but I think the American people expect more than that. They expect that we actually try to solve this problem, we get our fiscal house in order."

Obama considers it very heroic that he is even contemplating unspecified spending cuts and expects Republicans to make a similar "sacrifice" and swallow tax increases. This line of negotiation is a self-serving diversionary sham given that the crisis is due wholly to overspending. He is simply using a crisis that he compounded through trillions of dollars in heedless expenditures to push an ideological agenda extraneous to the issue under discussion.

An honest media would expose this gambit as raw exploitation of a self-generated crisis. But, instead, it treats his euphemistic calls for tax hikes — he wants any deal to include a "revenue component" — as the epitome of reasonableness, and has assisted him in turning the discussion into a referendum on Republican flexibility.

Obama is, in effect, asking overtaxed Americans for yet another bailout, a bailout that will allow him to resume the very deficit spending that catapulted the country into this crisis in the first place. Republicans have properly pointed out that tax increases will only make a bad economy worse. But the more fundamental argument against what Obama proposes is that it is unjust: Why should the American people have to pay more taxes for Washington's habitual mistakes?

Overspending politicians are in no position to demand "sacrifice" from others, including from the rich whose already enormous tax payments make spending sprees in Washington possible. "Millionaires and billionaires can afford to do a little bit more," says Obama, adding that "we can close corporate loopholes so that oil companies aren't getting unnecessary tax breaks or that corporate jet owners aren't getting unnecessary tax breaks."

The media calls this the "balanced approach" of "grown-ups," but it is nothing more than scape goating by a childish community organizer who would rather engage in juvenile and idle class warfare than acknowledge his own complicity in the crisis. He had two and a half years to fix the problem and he didn't. Corporate jet owners, oil company executives, small business owners, and Tea Partiers aren't responsible for this mess; he is. While he was monitoring the "sacrifices" of others, he was making none himself and burying America in debt.

If we must suffer this man for another term we must get a totally Republican controlled Congress that in the words of Thomas Jefferson “ In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

I would like to close this post with a quote from Russell Kirk’s book, The American Cause:

“The constitutions of the American commonwealth are intended - and have successfully operated - to restrain political power: to prevent any person or clique or party from dominating permanently the government of the country. Sir Henry Maine, the nineteenth-century historian of law, remarked that the American Constitution is the great political achievement of modern times. The American constitutional system reconciles popular government with private and local rights. It has been called “filtered democracy” - that is, the reign of public opinion chastened and limited by enduring laws, political checks and balances, and representative institutions. It combines stability with popular sovereignty.

It is one of the great premises of American political theory that all just authority comes form the people, under God: not from a monarch or a governing class, but from the innumerable individuals who make up the public. The people delegate to government only so much power as they think is prudent for government to exercise; they reserve to themselves all the powers and rights that are not expressly granted to the federal or state or local governments. Government is the creation of the people, not their master. Thus the American political system, first of all, is a system of limited, delegated powers, entrusted to political officers and representatives and leaders for certain well-defined public purposes. Only through the recognition of this theory of popular sovereignty, and only through this explicit delegation of powers, the founders of the American Republic believed, could be the American nation keep clear of tyranny or anarchy. The theory and the system have succeeded: America never has endured a dictator or tolerated violent social disorder.”

I firmly believe that Americans are not ready to abandon the Constitutional principles of limited government, nor are they ready to allow the federal government to continue to overstep those principles. We have achieved the greatest freedom of any people on earth and history has not provided another prospect for bettering mankind. What it has shown us is that government must be bound “…from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” But, if through the transformation and chaos orchestrated from the left in their quest for social and economic “justice” we should fall into anarchy we will lose this Republic and never regain it.

Boehner Grounds into a Double Play

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” — Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

Late yesterday afternoon, the CBO reaffirmed all of the concerns of the Tea Party’s concerns with Speaker Boehner’s Budget Control Act of 2011 — plus interest (pun intended). A report from The Hill states:

“The CBO informed Boehner on Tuesday that his debt-ceiling fallback plan would reduce the deficit by about $850 billion over 10 years.

House GOP rank-and-file members had been waiting eagerly for the score, as they were worried the bill would not measure up to claims made by House leadership.

Leadership on Monday said the bill would reduce discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years in return for a $900 billion increase in the debt limit.”

Conservatives have asserted ad nauseam that any proposed budget plan that fails to countermand the current prodigal spending levels, including the modestly reduced spending levels of 2011, is not worth the paper it is printed on. The CBO estimates that Boehner’s $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts will only save us $850 billion over ten years. This means that Obama’s credit card increase will be higher than the concurrent spending cuts, thus voiding the promise of the dollar-for-dollar agreement. Moreover, the CBO estimates that all the cuts will be back loaded, as the estimated savings for next year — the only enforceable year — will be a negligible $1 billion! It turns out that an extra $4 billion in mandatory spending for Pell Grants will ostensibly wipe out any savings from the paltry discretionary cuts.

This plan is worse than a strikeout; it’s a ground ball into a double play.

A mere lousy plan would have destroyed our leverage over the debt ceiling fight; Boehner’s plan obviates our future leverage over the FY 2012 budget fight in late September as well. The House-passed budget resolution, known as the Paul Ryan budget, authorized $1.019 trillion in non-emergency discretionary spending for FY 2012. Boehner’s bill authorizes $1.043 trillion.

Additionally, all the reforms in entitlement and welfare spending that were adopted in the Ryan budget (including reforms of Pell Grants) will be jettisoned and exchanged for a grand bargain formulated by the Super Commission. Yes, I know, it’s a committee; not a commission.

Consequently, when the 2012 budget fight boils over after the summer recess, we will lose our leverage to fight for the Ryan budget. So, all the hard work that has gone into passing the appropriations bills and fulfilling the mandate from the budget resolution would have been a waste. The Boehner plan has already overshot the spending levels of those bills. Democrats will laugh at them during those pretentious days at the end of the fiscal year.

Concurrently, there is another unforeseen vice to this plan. The two largest non-defense appropriations bills; the Labor/HHS/Education and Transportation/HUD bills, are being saved until after August. The Ryan budget blueprint achieved the most savings from these bills; $26 billion of the estimated $47 trillion in discretionary savings for 2012. Boehner’s plan, or any 2.0 version of it, would allow liberal Republican appropriators to reinstate some of the spending to the most pernicious activities of some of the worst government agencies. Congressman Steve LaTourette, a shill for Big Labor, is already agog over the opportunity to spend more on Labor.

John Boehner, to his credit, is planning to rewrite his bill. He needs to go for a home run and stick with Cut, Cap, and Balance. At the very least, we don’t need another double play.

I hate to accuse a president of lying, but President Obama is selling a massive fraud to the American people by warning of a catastrophe if the debt limit is not increased. There will be no catastrophe unless the president goes out of his way to will it and create it.

Federal spending averages about $300 billion per month. Federal tax collections run to about $180 billion. Our vital obligations are a lot less than that: Federal debt service is about $25 billion per month. Social Security is about $58 billion per month. The entire defense budget also is about $58 billion per month. Tax revenues are more than sufficient to fund each of these items if the president chooses to allocate federal tax money to this purpose.

Confronted by a congressional refusal to raise the debt limit, the president will have a choice as to where to allocate the tax revenues that will continueaaa1_145 to flow in. If he wishes to cause a catastrophic crisis by deliberately routing the money to purposes other than debt service, he can do so. If he wants to trigger a massive political crisis by withholding tax revenues from Social Security or military pay, he can do that, too. But these decisions are his to make. He could do the responsible thing and make sure these vital expenses are paid and withhold money from the run-of-the-mill federal bureaucracy, closing or restricting the activities of the departments of Labor, Agriculture, HUD, State, Justice, Commerce and the various boards and commissions. American can do very well without an FCC or an FTC or an NLRB for a few days or weeks.

The real political threat to Obama is that the debt limit is not increased and few people notice any change in their lives and nobody much cares. So some will have to wait a few more weeks for passports. So what?

The president is likening the government shutdown that would follow failure to raise the debt limit to that which took place in 1995-96. But in those years, there was a prohibition against spending money Congress had not yet appropriated. Now it's perfectly legal to spend any money that comes into the Treasury; there just won't be as much of it, because the debt limit will preclude further borrowing. The president still can fund any 60 percent of the government he wants (the proportion that comes from tax revenues).

In his speech to the nation Monday night, Obama used tricky words to camouflage these obvious facts. He no longer spoke of defaulting on money we owe, but instead used the more vague phrase "defaulting on our obligations." By that he means our obligations to the bureaucrats, not to our creditors.

Since when are we obliged to fund the bureaucracy? The Congress voted the money, but if it rescinds the borrowing authority, the money won't be there and it won't be spent.

Obama's entire strategy is to conceal his real goal: protecting every last desk in the bureaucracy behind a facade of threatening to close the most popular and fiscally necessary programs. He's like a local mayor who knows that nobody is going to get hot and bothered if the commercial licensing bureau gets closed for a few days, so he warns that teachers and police will have to be laid off if there are budget cuts.

The House and Senate are close to a deal. They both agree to raise the debt limit without tax hikes. The Senate wants it raised by two years, the House for one. The Senate is pushing to include accounting gimmicks like ending the wars as a savings; the House is resisting. But these all are bridgeable gaps. None of these differences are causes for a breakdown. The only player who is holding out for tax hikes is the president, who has staked out a position to the left of his senators. It's time for him to come in from the cold.

If GOP leaders are serious, they will fight for a deal that upholds the integrity of the Ryan budget, both on the discretionary and mandatory sides of the ledger.

Consider that John Boehner and Harry Reid named their different legislation to raise the debt ceiling by the identical name.

Consider also that John Boehner and Harry Reid’s legislation are virtually mirror images to each other — a fact that the rhetoric has obscured, but is in reality accurate.

Consider, in fact, that Boehner and Reid use the same language in various portions of their legislation.

Consider that John Boehner told Sean Hannity tax hikes could come out of his deficit commission despite earlier denials.

Consider also that in one of the key differing portions, John Boehner uses Mitch McConnell’s gimmick of letting the President raise the debt ceiling on his own with merely a congressional vote of “disapproval” that the President can then veto. This is a gimmick embraced by Harry Reid.

Consider that John Boehner claimed actual cuts to the federal budget for 2012 would be just over $6 billion — that is for an entire year. The federal government spends $10 billion a day.

Consider that the Congressional Budget Office determined late last evening that the actual amount of cuts for 2012 would only be $1 billion for the whole year, or about 2.5 hours of federal government spending.

And then consider that the White House, after the Congressional Budget Office’s determination, defended John Boehner on the White House website even after White House officials said they would recommend the President veto Boehner’s plan — actually a different statement from the past. In the past, the White House said definitively that the President would veto the GOP’s idea. Now, they are just saying it’ll be recommended to the President.

Consider all these things and it seems the White House and Harry Reid are perfectly willing to let John Boehner pass his plan if he can get it out of the House. Their very hostility is designed to reassure Republicans. They’ll sign it into law. Then they will blame the GOP when our credit rating is downgraded — something sure to happen with John Boehner’s plan.

Finally, consider this — we are all being played. The conservatives are up front with what they want. The House, Senate, and White House seem to be working at cross purposes, but hiding some of their cards. The only group up front with what it wants — real spending cuts — is the Tea Party movement being portrayed even by the Wall Street Journal as fringe.

I’m left with the only inescapable conclusion one can derive from all of this. Republicans are being played for fools, will wind up with all of the blame and very few cuts and the size and scope of the federal government will continue to grow all thanks to John Boehner who is on his third plan continuing to compromise not with the Democrats, but with the Republicans.

I like the idea of a smaller increase in the debt ceiling to give time and a sense of urgency to work out some very difficult problems that can’t be solved in the short term.

I like the idea of this debate taking place again during the course of the 2012 election campaign as a way to put our candidates at all levels on the record in favor of fiscal sanity.

I like the idea of statutory caps on spending though, having lived through the era of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act and the Concord Coalition, I’m not terribly confident about any statutory measure that doesn’t involve federal marshals and congressmen spending time in jail for failure to comply. Just remember, there is statutory requirement that the Senate pass an annual budget, which they haven’t done in almost 500 days.

What is unthinkable, in my view, is this bastardized “joint committee.”

As they say, the devil is in the details. I’ll freely admit that I don’t know the details of how this committee would operate but, on the other hand, the people who want us to support the plan haven’t seen fit to share those details either. This makes it, to use the metaphor I grew up with, a pig in a poke.

On its face the idea looks enticing. To get any substantive reform of Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security through the Senate requires finding a way to 1) ensure the bill is actually voted on and 2) prevent the lefty Dems who dominate that body from using a filibuster or attaching contradictory amendments. In the final analysis, this is the kind of operation that will have to take place, something along the lines of the Base Realignment and Closing Commissions (BRAC) that will prevent a minority of senators from driving us into the fiscal ditch.

The main problem with this is that conservatives will only have a maximum of three votes on the committee. There is no way a Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, or even that arch-conservative Orin Hatch are going to be selected by McConnell to sit on the committee. We’ll have three squishy, go-along-get-along “RINO “statesmen” who will do what they are told by Schumer, Durbin, and Reid. From the outset, conservatives lose this battle.

I would like to remind all of you liberals with a memory as long as a flea that you icon of liberalism, John Kennedy, realized that taxes were a drain on our economy and created job Loss. He was also a leader, unlike Obama, who was willing to introduce his plan for moving he economy forward and bring it to the American people.

The second problem is that we don’t know what the “joint committee” will look at. We know from the outset that at least six of the twelve members will consider any reductions in taxes as a “tax expenditure” and will demand that tax rates be up for negotiation. I’d feel better if there was more exactness in describing what the joint committee would cut.

The third problem is, and it may result in a poor choice of words by the various sources, that there is no requirement that the president sign anything to get the $1.5T in additional debt authority. In other words, the joint committee is engaged in little more than mutual onanism.

This makes the deal a non-starter as far as I’m concerned. I’d feel much more comfortable with the Speaker committed to executing the first half of the plan as often as it takes because the man who determines the success or failure of the second part is Obama who has shown he cares about nothing more than his reelection.