Thursday, November 13, 2008

Those Who Ignore History

"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it," the saying goes. Foolish people are most foolish when they believe themselves wise, and thus ignore wisdom. The lessons to be learned from the 2008 general election are out there, ready to be learned, but those who most need to learn them seem to be most ignoring them. The leadership of the Republican Party appear to be too entrenched in the Grand Old Way of doing things to consider the fact that they lost an election they should have easily won. The winners of the election also fall short of wisdom. Their leadership ignores the fact that they barely squeaked out a win, and an organized, effective opposition would have wiped the floor with them.

The Republican Party needs to just finally accept the fact that the Conservative movement has made them its home. Who disagrees with this??? Senator McCain did. You see where it got him. His running mate was more popular than he was. Since 2000 Senator McCain has been betraying the Conservative movement with moderate, compromising politics. This was no surprise to anyone who paid just a little attention to the news. Senator McCain betrayed his oath to defend the Constitution with the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act, which forbids political free speech in certain circumstances, such as general elections.

It is arguable (I don't have the data, though) that McCain lost by a smaller margin of votes than those he himself lost with his own legislation. In other words, CFRA took away his own win. Poetic justice, but hardly best for the nation. In another irony, President-Elect Obama ignored and loop-holed his way through those same regulations, bringing more than three humdred million dollars into his campaign than Senator McCain did. A huge portion of his campaign donations were from "unidentified small contributors". The figure I saw was close to $360M. Since CFRA does not specifically require vetting of contributions of $200 or less, anyone on earth can contribute, including fictional characters, dead people, and foreign citizens. And they did.

Attempts to call attention to these dirty tricks were labelled "political propoganda", and hence were forbidden to all but the mass media, most of whom blithely ignored all news not advantageous to Senator Obama. Only talk radio and internet newsgatherers (bloggers and online publications) seemed at all interested in unbiased news reporting. Even FoxNews seemed to blow where the popular winds blew it. Talk radio, ironically, is not by any means obligated or considered to be unbiased. Yet, they were among the only ones to report the news stories that the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and the alphabet networks seemed happy to bury.

So, the Republicans lost. It's not the first time. They ignored their conservative base. Again, it's not the first time. What is disappointing is that the last time, they said it would be the last time.

Here's a history lesson: Midway through President Clinton's first term, Speaker Newt Gingrich and the GOP caucus came up with their "Contract For America". They clearly spelled out their conservative agenda, and pratical goals for accomplishing this agenda. The liberals viciously attacked, calling it the "Contract ON America". The conservative people of the United States, however, said (collectively) "It's about time!", voted a House majority for the first time in 20 years or more, and a Senate majority in the next two elections. Then the Beltway mentality kicked in. Lobbyists and cocktail luncheons, gifts, favors, and LOTS of pork corrupted the movement. By 2002, the conservative base knew they had been betrayed. President Bush was talking about a "New Tone" while he was being savaged by the other side. McCain, and the Gang of Twelve derailed the "nuclear option" which would have forced a vote for a Supreme Court nominee by Constitutional means, increasing his own power at the expense of his party, and the wellbeing of conservatives. President Bush was so lost, he nominated Harriet Meyers. After the bitterly contested elections of 2000 and 2004, hardly a voice was to be heard saying it was all just a conspiracy theory (which it was). No one who claimed violations of federal campaign law either provided real evidence, or was called to task for a false accusation! Again, GOP voters were left hanging out to dry, unsupported by the diminishing numbers of elected Republicans.

Over and over, the GOP has regrouped, reinvented itself, and had an epiphany, showing the way to go in the future. Here's a thought: Stop being liberals, and start fighting for your constituents.

If I had to give some advice to the Democrat party, it would be to tell them to be fastidiously, fanatically in compliance with all federal law. Otherwise they may see some of their hard-earned wins reversed. Although, historically, that's pretty unlikely.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Glass Planets Revisited

A few months ago, I wrote a post, Monday, January 21, 2008 Governments Living on Glass Planets..." My point was, basically, when the biggest market in town goes down, the competition shouldn't party too hard. There may be a reason the market went down, and others may find themselves bailing out the same sinking boat. Also, there might just have been some major, but invisible, benefit from that first market existing and doing business in the first place. In other words, your own imagined shine may just be a reflection of someone else's glow.

A few months ago, I didn't foresee bank collapse Armageddon looming on the horizon. Last week, politicians were saying, "Unless we stick a $700 BILLION patch on this boat, it will sink." Today, the DJIA dropped under 9000, the lowest in 5-1/2 years. No, I didn't expect all this.

What I said, what I'm seeing, and what I expect to see more of, is the horror in other markets as our own struggles to recover. News across the international board is bad. No national or regional stock market is raking in big windfalls as American markets tank. Why is this not so? Isn't all economics a "zero sum game", where every loser creates a winner? Shouldn't all world markets surge as NYSEX, AMEX, and NASDAQ draw down?

I'm starting to get the idea (massive sarcasm intended) that all markets are interdependent!

The Russian president is out there making comments about the failures of capitalism, and the loss of superpower status. Leading a nation which dived so deep they couldn't pay public servants or military, President Medvedev should, perhaps, tone down the smug rhetoric.

Bottom line, thrown stones come back in other nasty forms. Isn't that so, Nikkei?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Superdelegates! Assemble!

Following the disastrous candidacy of George McGovern in 1972, the DNC decided on a major rule change to ensure that the will of the people (Democrat primary voters) would never again saddle the Party with a loser candidate. How's that working out for ya??

Despite all the tragic, maddening, outrageous, blatant, horrific, anti-democratic antics perpetrated by the seemingly immune Democrat Party, rarely challenged by anyone other than Conservative talk radio and bloggers, which just destroys my faith in this future of this country, I am nonetheless laughing myself to tears about this topic.

The power elite of the DNC gathered together (I imagine) in a meeting room somewhere. "We cannot allow another McGovern to happen!" they would cry. "We must have delegates who are not slaves of the people. Delegates who can vote for the best candidate!" Who could be trusted with such power? Anyone who can be relied upon to follow the DNC leadership. Let's not get bogged down with details at this point. Let's create the "superdelegate", then worry about how to control them. People like Susie Estrich, law professor at my own one-time stomping grounds of USC, and erstwhile head-honcho of the renowned Dukakis campaign, will ALWAYS pick a winner.

The success of this effort is, um, less than evident. Who have the Democrats selected as presidential candidates? Jimmy Carter, the least effective Democrat president in history. Mondale. Dukakis. Bill Clinton, the Democrat Party's version of Nixon. Al Gore. John "Swift Boat" Kerry. And now, Senator Barak Obama. Carter won once. Clinton won twice. After each one, the country was so disgusted with the Dem administrations, it elected a GOP candidate just to get the foul taste out of its mouth.

Senator Obama, a freshman senator?? His main qualification is his complexion?? A Chicago "machine" politician?? A "Neocom" (to coin a phrase) socialist with NO understanding of how to run ANYTHING??? Good choice, Superdelegates. Way to do your Superjobs.

Please, do NOT take this as a pro-GOP rant. The GOP has lost what should have been easy wins because of their own weanie-ness. But their candidates have been selected by the voting public (mostly). Most GOP candidates have held the office of governor, which tends to be a decent indicator of ability to run something. Senators don't have that. Perhaps McCain wasn't a great choice by GOP voters. GW Bush was a governor, but took his "New Tone" policy to such an extreme that it crippled and finally killed his bi-cameral advantage. No GOP president in how many decades had ever enjoyed a same-party Senate AND House?? And he lost it??? When given a chance to pick a SCOTUS Justice, he picked his legal advisor?? Okay, maybe the GOP picked less than perfectly. But it was the PEOPLE (mostly) of the GOP who were imperfect, not (mostly) the power elite.

Do Superdelegates work? (Laugh, guffaw, chortle!) Yeah, sure!

Oops! There goes the First Amendment!

An ABC News producer was arrested at the Brown Hotel for not obeying their "no cameras" policy. The Denver Police chose to uphold the desires of the hotel over the rights of the press, and of the public to use sidewalks. The Brown Hotel is reported to have called police to charge the ABC producer with trespassing. The DPD officers on site sternly advised the prodicer to leave, and failing to do so, "roughed and cuffed" him. He's okay now, ABC says. He wasn't injured, and has been released on bond. I'm betting Legal is working up a lawsuit which will close nonessential Denver services for the next five years.

Other than Denver taxpayers and customers, no one suffers. Oh, a few poor people won't be using the City to stay comfortable when the pool closes, or busses cut back on their routes. But the Obama supporters who wanted to ensure they weren't shown on Nightline sneaking into a hotel meeting with Senator Obama's campaign staff, they won't be embarrassed.

Perhaps all of us will lose an opportunity to know a little more about the reality of the Democrat candidate for president. ABC might lose a few potential viewers. What does any of that matter? ABC wants Obama to win. They won't complain about one little rogue producer.

First amendment? It's a relic.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Superdelegates Have Been `Outed`!

In a stunning turn of events, a chain of occurrences which were open to the view of the masses brought to light the true scheme of things in the Holy Democratic Church--err--Party. The party who viciously attacked the GOP (the Republican Protestant Church) with allegations of "disenfranchising" voters, mostly the poor and minority voters, have themselves been shown to have a ghastly system in place to ensure that the votes of registered Democrats in primary and caucus elections won't deny the anointed presidential candidate from being crowned.

In case you didn't understand me, I'll state it in smaller words. Senator Hillary Clinton is the "chosen one". The big wigs of the Democrat National Committee have already decided that in the November 2008 general election, Sen. Clinton will be in the Democrat column on the "For President" line. If the little people among the backwards, poor, misguided masses vote for Senator Barak Obama, they just don't know yet that they are wrong.

Fortunately, there exists a means to correct this injustice: Superdelegates! These stalwart heroes and heroins were not elected by those misguided, poor, backwards simpletons who comprise the base of the HDC. The poor schmoes would foolishly elect delegates who would vote their way, not the HDC way. What do these peasants know about political obligation, and entitlement?

If my math is correct, each delegate holds the same influence as between 100,000 and 500,000 Democrat voters. That's a lot of influence. Someone should have kept this a secret. The general public is now seeing reports that the Senators are wooing them. Of course they are wooing them. Between 100k and 500k voters each!! Only an idiot would fail to throw her cute daughter at a college student who, at 21 years old, might be, uh, prone to persuasion. Why would they hold back from making a perfectly legal (maximum) contribution to the election funds of those superdelegates who are themselves running for some office? I don't have the exact figures, but $5,000 to $10,000 per electable superdelegate is pretty cheap for the potential return on that investment.

If you are a Democrat, and this topic makes your stomach churn, just a little, be of good cheer. Remember, your Holy Democrat Church is sanctified by the venerated spirits of JFK, FDR, and Harry Truman. The Democrat Party works in mysterious ways its wonders to perform. They can do no wrong, and will not allow you to do so, either.

I have little doubt the GOP is any better, but they keep it secret better.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Shame on You, Federal Courts!

Federal judges in a US District court have upheld the rights of the Federal Government to limit political speech. Citizens United has been told to knock off the obviously campaign-related advertisements or abide by full-disclosure and disclaimer rules required of campaign advertising.

This makes my blood boil every time I think about it. Yours should too. Think about it. This movie, right or wrong, good or bad, is a political statement. Whether it is intended, as Judges Royce C. Lamberth, A. Raymond Randolph, and Richard W. Roberts seem to believe; to affect the voting for Senator Clinton--or ANY candidate--should be utterly irrelevant!!! It is SPEECH, and is protected BY THE CONSTITUTION!!!

You judges should be utterly ashamed of yourselves for selling out the people you are here to protect! How DARE YOU?! The Campain Reform Act does NOT trump the Contitution of the United States of America! YOU do not trump the Constitution of the United States of America! It is the Constitution which bestows your power upon you, and you IGNORE it!

And yet, I have not heard ONE candidate or leader on either side of the political fence say one word about this travesty of justice! What is it? The Constitution is "nice" when you get something out of it, but who cares when some "little person" has their rights trampled on?

You elected officials take an oath to "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic", but I see very little effort from ANYONE in government to fulfill that oath.

You judges, more than the rest, should be ashamed. You are utterly derelict in your duty to protect the Constitution.

Governments Living on Glass Planets...

I've seen a few recent news articles about downtrends in international financial markets as a response to recent US stock market plunges and poor fiscal outlook. Dropping dollar vs. euro stories are old news, except to gloat new record dollar devaluations, or rising trade influx from abroad seeking bargains in depressed American economic sectors. In short, the economy sucks in the US, and foreigners are jumping in to take advantage of it.

The thing is, everything is connected. I'm no economist, and I don't understand why the dollar started falling to begin with. I mean, the root cause. Perhaps a slowing nationwide housing market has had something to do with it. Or maybe across-the-board rising costs due to rising crude oil prices are causing industry to either raise prices (reducing demand) or take a loss (reducing money supply). Regardless, worldwide America-haters have been chortling in glee. Clearly, to them, the cost of immoral leadership and imperialist meddling is the flagging economy we are currently enduring. I do not know. The fact is, our economy is having a rough spot, and people around the world love that. Or did.

The thing is, the US is not merely the tyrannical giant they imagine us to be. Tyrants don't bother paying. They take, and those who don't go along, suffer. Really, the US is the hottest market on the planet. When that market pulls back, merchants take a hit. Those merchants are the governments and people of the world.

What we have now is a temporary market shift. We've had them in the past, and they usually straighten out fairly quickly. When they don't we end up with a recession, or even a depression. The rest of the world may think that's funny, but the laughing has just stopped.

His Not-so-humble Opinions

Democrat leaders have tried to turn down the volume on President Clinton's attacks on Senator Obama, and his other campaign tactics. A San Francisco reporter was harshly pummeled verbally by Pres. Clinton for asking his involvement in the attempts to redefine the Nevada caucus system in court after it appeared Senator Obama might gain an advantage from it. The Democrat leadership is wasting its breath.

President Clinton, the celebrated husband of the Democrat presidential primary candidate, Senator Clinton, has drawn some fire for stating his opinions regarding his wife's campaign, her opponents, and the attacks she has drawn herself as a candidate. According to a Newsweek article, Senator Kennedy has reportedly advised the former President to "tone it down" (my paraphrasing), because Pres. Clinton's assaults are making the Democrat party, as a whole, look bad.

While I can certainly sympathize with this concern, consider who we are talking about. William Jefferson Clinton is a former governor and president. For eight years he was the leader of the free world. During his entire career as an elected official, he was unable to restrain his nature, leading to scandals galore. Think about the psychological effects of two decades of executive power and lascivious lifestyle. Consider the ramifications upon the core being of the person who is having his cake and eating it too, and being fanatically defended against those who are trying to point out his flaws.

His wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, may or may not have been entirely aware of his activities. Regardless, Sen. Clinton vigorously, if not viciously, defended her husband. She went to far as to allege an imaginary 'Vast right wing conspiracy' to explain the continuous barrage of media artillery against her spouse. Sen. Clinton herself faced some of the onslaught as a bystander, and certainly as an active First Lady. As First Lady of Arkansas, and later as First Lady of the United States, Senator Clinton fought in the trenches to defend her husband in battles he started. I am NOT going to argue the moral superiority of either side. I am merely pointing out that Senator Clinton took the heat for her man.

No Democrat leader is going to tell President Clinton to "tone it down" and expect to have that advise followed. To President Clinton, the only possible course of action at any time is that which brings his wife closer to winning the presidential election. ANY statement, action, claim, attack, or baldfaced lie which wins Senator Clinton votes is, by definition, appropriate. ONLY Senator Clinton has ANY power to squelch the former President. And unless his assaults harm her candidacy--and ONLY then--we should not expect her to do so.