Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mike Huckabee: A Portrait of Bad Judgment

Mike Huckabee is a case study of a politician who has a history of making bad choices. Especially, when it comes to pardoning criminals.
Many people are justifiably outraged that this isn't the first time that Mike Huckabee has exercised poor judgment in deciding whether or not to allow a convicted criminal to go free. The former Arkansas Governor supported the parole of a a convicted rapist named Wayne Dumond, who, upon his release from prison, raped and murdered a woman. We now learn that Maurice Clemmons, the man who killed four police officers in Washington, is the second example of Mike Huckabee's inability to protect the public from dangerous criminals.
However, what is equally outrageous is Mike Huckabee's press release made in response to this tragedy:
"The senseless and savage execution of police officers in Washington State has saddened the nation, and early reports indicate that a person of interest is a repeat offender who once lived in Arkansas and was wanted on outstanding warrants here and Washington State. The murder of any individual is profound tragedy, but the murder of a police officer is the worst of all murders in that it is an assault on every citizen and the laws we live within.
Should he be found to be responsible for this horrible tragedy, it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State. He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990, making him parole eligible and was paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state. This is a horrible and tragic event and if found and convicted the offender should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Our thoughts and prayers are and should be with the families of those honorable, brave, and heroic police officers."
As expected, Mike Huckabee doesn't admit his role in the release of Marice Clemmons. Instead, he shifts the blame on the "failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State." Yet, we all know that as Governor of Arkansas, he granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence despite the protest from prosecutors.
But it isn't surprising that Mike Huckabee is attempting to distance himself from the controversy. The former Arkansas Governor played the same blame game when Wayne Dumond raped and murdered a female victim after he obtained freedom from prison.
Mike Huckabee clearly has a history of making bad choices. Granting freedom to violent criminals does call Huckabee’s judgment into question. However, the greater problem is the lack of character displayed by the statement he released. His eagerness to throw everyone under the bus to absolve himself of blame is pretty disgraceful.
Mike Huckabee's choice in refusing accept responsibility for allowing Wayne Dumond and Maruice Clemmons to go free is just further evidence that Mike Huckabee is man who continually makes one bad decision after another.
As more facts come to light concerning the clemency of Maurice Clemmons, you can expect Mike Huckabee to evade, spin and blame others for allowing a criminal to roam the streets of America.
At least Mike Huckabee made the right choice to not run in 2012.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The KSM trial - a look into the future

(names, except for the obvious big ones, are made up and not meant to represent any specific person)

Wednesday September 23, 2011


In a stunning final development to a trial that had been a circus ever since it started, Judge Robert Smith granted a motion to dismiss the case against 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and his four comrades. The announcement was made at 10am at the beginning of the session and caused pandemonium in a trial already famous for its insanity.

"My hands are tied" stated Judge Smith just before he made the announcement that stunned everyone, even the defense, "As soon as these five individuals entered federal criminal court, they had to be granted the same rights as the average citizen who is brought before here. To follow what the prosecution is asking me to overlook would destroy all the criminal justice protections created over the last fifty years. There are too many violations of the law to overlook or ignore, and I will not see thousands of innocent found guilty all based on this one trial."

After what seemed to be a few moments of stunned disbelief, an uproar arrived like a tidal wave. The defense counsel were thrilled, the defendants were screaming "Allah Akbar", the 9/11 families were screaming in horror and anger and most reporters didn't know what to do. "This is a great day for American justice" said defense counsel Jon Roberts, one of a dozen lawyers who volunteered to defend KSM and his associates. "If the Bush administration had not violated all laws of decency and international human rights, then this would be an shut case. Instead because of Bush, Cheney, Rove and the Neo-Con cabal, an innocent man was brought through hell but now can receive justice". Roberts, a member of the ACLU, was silent on whether the five individuals would thereby sue members of the Bush administration and the U.S. government for violation of their civil rights. However he mentioned he would be willing to provide legal services for the five individuals again.

Since being brought to Manhattan for trial, the trial of these five individuals has become a circus unlike anything in American legal history. The five men brought numerous motions to dismiss based on the violation of their Miranda rights, failure to provide a speedy trial and having been tortured. Nearly every evidentiary issue became a full hearing with the government declaring nearly every piece of evidence as "protected for reasons of National Security", something that did not stand after the District Attorney tried to protect a list of CIA interrogators as classified.

"I've had enough of this! The prosecution can not hide all evidence from the defense and expect this to be a fair trial. That's something any law student would know, why don't you?" asked Judge Smith angrily before demanding the Federal Government turn over everything to KSM's defense team. "This would never have happened if the Bush administration had did its job correctly" muttered head Prosecutor Michael Dombrowski, something that did not sway Judge Smith but was stated repeatedly later by both Attorney General Holder and President Obama.

Later evidentiary hearings took on a sinister note when a member of the CIA extraction team was brought into court to testify as to the night of the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in pakistan. Alan Zahra, a ten year CIA veteran was repeatedly hammered by the defense on how KSM was not mirandized in Pakistan nor did the CIA stop questioning when KSM asked for his lawyer. Finally the CIA officer was asked about waterboarding which led to the summation of the anger among many CIA officers and American citizens "Damnit to hell, they're TERRORISTS, not American citizens. We wouldn't do this to an American citizen, but they don't get the same rights we do!" Witnesses later said the look of mortification on the eyes of the prosecutor told everyone that his case was doomed. Zahra remained defiant as he walked down from the stand his eyes locked on KSM's.

Days after testifying Zahra's wife and five year old daughter were kidnapped and, two days later, murdered by beheading. After that, no CIA officer agreed to testify but that didn't stop the New York Times from publishing the defense list of CIA members who participated in the interrogation, extraction and secret prison programs. Three individuals on that list were found murdered days later, and the CIA said that their human intelligence program was ruined for a generation. Mr Zahra refused comment at this time.

Then there was the attempt by the five individuals to represent themselves in open court, a privilege permitted by the Constitution, which Judge Smith was hamstrung to accept. Once there the five individuals made such a delay in things that it took the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn their right to defend themselves as being nothing more then a delaying tactic. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was especially notorious and nearly caused a dozen fights to break out when he called a family member of a 9/11 victim to the stand only to laugh and taunt her for her loss. Finally one man tried to jump the railing and attack the five masterminds only to have to be restrained by the NYPD to the laughing of the five individuals.

In the end, it was all the violations of federal criminal law that finally caused the case to fall apart. In an interview shortly after the stunning announcement Judge Smith admitted that the government's case took too many liberties with federal law to permit it to go forward.

"Once these individuals are brought into federal criminal court, they have to follow federal criminal law. And there are too many violations of those held rights to allow this case to go forward. If there was one or two violations of the rights of criminal defendants then maybe I could have let this slide. But if this case was allowed to continue, every right secured for defendants over the last fifty years would be destroyed. The criminal justice system is designed to let guilty go free if it means protecting that one innocent person from being railroaded. The federal government knew what they were getting into when they brought this case here." Judge Smith admitted that he hated making this decision but said "that the destruction of federal criminal law was a far greater punishment then anything individuals do to him".

Reaction in the political world to this stunning development was loud and vicious. In a released statement, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said "We have now seen the true extent of the Bush Administration's law breaking and because of that we had a slam dunk case against a known terrorist thrown out on a technicality". President Obama added "My administration strove to correct the mistakes made by the Bush administration. The next terrorist to be brought to court will not be able to get away with these shenanigans". Attorney General Holder refused comment stating that he was looking at what the next move would be against KSM and the others.

On the right the reaction was apoplectic; "The President expected a show trial but the only show he got was how far we have fallen and how pathetically weak we are" shouted radio host Rush Limbaugh "Because the administration wanted the chance to embarrass the Bush Administration in open court, we now have five terrorist who have been let go and now can sue us for their damages. What kind of a country is this that would allow this?" Sarah Palin released a statement on her facebook page calling this trial "A travesty of justice, an insult to the families of 9/11 and a mishandling of the President's constitutional duty to protect the American people".

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and the five masterminds are in a New York City jail and will likely be released in a few days. Administration officials stated there was no way they would let the five individuals free in the United States but, when asked how they could stop it, were silent. KSM gave one statement only as he was leaving court "You infidels are killing yourselves for us. But this will not stop our jihad against you!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Day After California

Its up to debate whether California will sink into the ocean or not but there is no debate that our state is falling into financial disaster. The top breaking news for California today is that the projected deficit for California is nearly $21 billion:
California's finances have been so bad that the governor's finance director, Mike Genest, told a budget forum in Washington last week that back in February he had combed through the U.S. Constitution to research whether California could legally declare bankruptcy -- or revert to some kind of territorial status. (Neither was realistic, he determined.)
Hmm...declaring bankruptcy or stop being a state and become a territory of the United States.

Movies that depict the end of the world such as 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow are quite popular at the box office.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has already held a statewide garage sale to help raise money for the state. Maybe he should do a movie about the end of California called "The Day After California" and donate the box office profits to Sacramento.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ft Hood Murderer; Four legs good, two legs better?

It's been four days since the Ft Hood massacre where Major Nidal Halik Hasan went out, screamed "Allah Akbar" and shot 13 people. In those four days there's been a lot of discussion about the motives of this individual, some based on fact and some based on nothing more then hyperbole. President Obama went out the day of the shooting and stated that we shouldn't jump to conclusions, a statement I agree with entirely. When you do that you make it far harder for the truth to come out or to gain traction. And in the end the truth is the only thing that matters.

Now there's been a bunch of information that's been discovered about this individual

1) He attended the same mosque that some of the 9/11 hijackers did, with an iman who praised the actions of this individual after the fact.

2) The intelligence community has reported that they have information that Hasan tried to contact Al-Qaeda

3) He had a history of statements that were warning flags to his fellow soldiers, including support for suicide bombings against American soldiers, he was a Muslim first and an American second. This was done in person and on message boards.

4) The Washington Post reported that he told his neighbors and friends that he was going to go out to do "God's Work" the day of the murders

5) He had gone to extreme lengths to avoid deployment

There's also a fair amount of information to suggest that while his statements made alot of people uncomfortable and were warning flags to people at both Walter Reed and Ft Hood, no one wanted to comment on it for fear of looking racist.

So with all that information, there's a STRONG case to be made that this guy is a home grown terrorist. I don't know if it meets the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard for the law but its strong.

So what's been the response?

An all out attempt to blame everything else which includes

1) Blaming 'teasing' and racism

2) Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from listening to the stories of other veterans

3) That his religion is irrelevant and you're a racist for thinking otherwise

4) That its the military's fault for being over stretched

5) That its Bush's fault

Is the 'mainstream media' discussing his faith or the mosque he attended? No instead we get reports about howthis will lead to Islamophobia or how to do such would give credence to the right wing or that there are Christian nuts too or that we can't go investigating every muslim soldier because it would destroy diversity. So we are getting every possible excuse, which conveniently enough ties in with every single liberal talking point about the war and dealing with Muslims. While alternative arguments are clearly welcome on how to explain the motive of the murderer, many of these are just grasping at liberal straws to avoid the majority of evidence. You don't get PTSD by LISTENING to veterans, you get it by being in combat. I, and millions of others, were teased and harassed (including at times for my faith) but the vast majority of us don't shoot people. And the military being overstretched and whatnot have been claims since 2003.

But what about other murders? Say......the murder of George Tiller, a Kansas Abortion Doctor. Surely they wouldn't jump to conclusions and would wait some time while fleshing out all sorts of possible excuses



A Minute

The truth is that the liberal media are more then happy to jump to conclusions about murders that would fit their template. When it was a census worker (who now people believe was a suicide) it was Glenn Beck, anti-government right wing christian militias and talk radio. When it was an abortion doctor it was every right wing blog under the sun, Christians, the Catholic Church and Rush Limbaugh. And if there's no proof, who the hell cares? Just shout it enough times as loud as you can from the roof tops and people will believe it. After all "If you tell a lie long enough loud enough then people will sooner or later believe it". But when there's proof staring at you in the face, when there's evidence of a very strong case, and it involves the murder of a 'protected class of individuals' in an effort that 'would inflame the right wing', then the motive must be blurred to the point of lunacy. You can't discuss what's right in front of you, instead you have to squint and shut your eyes.

For right now the evidence suggests that Nasan was a home grown jihadist who wanted to murder Americans who were "harming his brothers and sisters". But there are elements who want to ignore the fact that, while they scream about right wing hate and christian extremists, there are people of a certain religious faith who have perverted it beyond all logic who want to kill us because we are different then them. What you call that is willful ignorance.

The Real Lesson of the Fort Hood Massacre

The recent revelation that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the lone shooter behind the Fort Hood massacre, was that attended the same Mosque that the 9/11 terrorists. This new fact has prompted Sen. Joe Lieberman to launch a Congressional investigation to look into whether there is connection that ties these terrorists together.

While Senator Lieberman should investigate to see if such a link exists, the Fort Hood massacre raises a related issue that absolutely demands a congressional investigation.

Our military has always been vulnerable to terrorists attacks oversees yet there is a growing trend that bases within the United States are vulnerable to attacks:

"U.S. authorities have disclosed at least 10 domestic terrorism investigations in the past year, the most since 2001. A number of them involved plots or attacks against U.S. military personnel within the United States.

In September, federal prosecutors charged two North Carolina men with conspiring to kill personnel at the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico. In June, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, an American Muslim convert, allegedly shot and killed a soldier and wounded another at a military recruiting center at Little Rock in what he said was retaliation for U.S. counterterrorism policies worldwide.

In April, the last of five men convicted of planning to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J., a plot inspired by foreign terrorist groups, was sentenced to 33 years in prison."

The military is well aware of this issue and foresaw that this would be a problem in the future. In 1984, US Navy Seal named Richard Marcinko, (now retired) at the request of the U.S. Navy, created a special unit, known as Red Cell. This counter-terrorist unit was designed test to see how vulnerable Navy bases were to terrorist attacks. Red Cell tested the security of Navy bases around the world and was able to infiltrate supposedly impenetrable, highly secured bases, nuclear submarines, ships and other “secure areas”, including the Presidential plane Air Force One. The US Navy later disbanded Red Cell.

In 1992, Richard Marcinko wrote a book called Rouge Warrior in which he discusses his experiences of testing security at military bases and how vulnerable they are to Islamic terrorist attacks.

It is now 2009. The idea of military bases in the United States being under a terrorist attack is no longer a theoretical military exercise. It is now a present reality because they are increasingly becoming targets by homegrown radical jihadists.

Perhaps the real disturbing fact isn't whether or not there is a connection between Maj. Nidal Malik and the September 11th terrorists, but that our military institutions are not just vulnerable to external threats but are now vulnerable to internal threats as well.

And that is a matter for Senator Lieberman to look into.

UPDATE: Joe Gandelman at the Moderate Voice asks an important question:

If American intelligence agencies missed the signs pre-911 and they missed a big hint pre-Fort Hood, exactly what are they missing now, as you read this post?
If that is true, this fact raises another serious security concern for our military. This means homegrown jihadists are willing to be turncoats to terrorists and kill soldiers on bases U.S. bases. This raises an even scarier question: Is there a real possibility of terrorists infiltrating our military and intelligence agencies?

That is a MAJOR security concern also worth an Congressional investigation.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

GOP Wins In VA and NJ!!

Congrats to Bob McDonnell on becoming Governor of Virginia and Chris Christie on becoming the Govenor of New Jersey!

However, we're still waiting for the results of the NY-23 district race to see if Hoffman defeats Owens. From what I'm seeing on the television news right now, it doesn't appear likely that Hoffman will win.

The NY-23 election is noteworthy because grassroots conservatives fought against the GOP elite by rallying around Hoffman forcing Dede Scozzafava to resign and the GOP establishment to back Hoffman.

However, if Hoffman loses the election, it will appear that the grass root conservatives have enough clout defeat the GOP insider's candidates to but may not have enough clout to win elections.

It will also be bad news for such high profile conservatives such as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes who broke rank with the GOP elite and supported Hoffman rather than Scozzafava.

Many conservatives were particularly upset that Newt Gingrich backed Scozzafava and proclaimed that it was a embarrassment his part for endorsing her. But in the end, if Hoffman loses, the egg will be on the faces of Palin and the rebellious conservatives rather than the GOP establishment.

However, the grass-roots insurrection against the Republican Party may have lost the battle in NY-23 tonight but war between the GOP elite and the tea party conservatives has just begun as they begin to line up candidates to run against the Republican candidates in other midterm elections:
Conservatives are already planning to replicate their efforts in at least two U.S. Senate races – in California, where Chuck DeVore is challenging establishment candidate Carly Fiorina in the race to oust Barbara Boxer – and in Florida, where former House Speaker Marco Rubio is challenging Gov. Charlie Crist in the race to replace the retiring Mel Martinez.
The list of conservatives running against GOP backed candidates is growing. In Illinois, Eric Wallace, a conservative GOP candidate, is withdrawing his primary bid for Illinois' U.S. Senate and potentially re-entering the race as an Independent to challenge Rep. Mark Kirk who is supported by the Republican Party.

The most important lesson we can take from the NY-23 race comes from Erick Erickson, the editor of the conservative blog is this:
"The establishment has now learned it can be beaten from within its own base . . . If the GOP wants to fight the base in California and Florida, game on."

He added, rhetorically: "Do they want that?"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Obama Phone: Fact or Fiction!?

Apparently, there is an e-mail that's popping up in alot of people's mailbox and it showed up in my inbox this morning.

This is what the e-mail says:
I had a former employee call me earlier today inquiring about a job, and at the end of the conversation he gave me his phone number. I asked the former employee if this was a new cell phone number and he told me yes this was his “Obama phone.” I asked him what an “Obama phone” was and he went on to say that welfare recipients are now eligible to receive (1) a FREE new phone and (2) approx 70 minutes of FREE minutes every month. I was a little skeptical so I Googled it and low and behold he was telling the truth. TAXPAYER MONEY IS BEING REDISTRIBUTED TO WELFARE RECIPIENTS FOR FREE CELL PHONES. This program was started earlier this year. Enough is enough, the ship is sinking and it’s sinking fast. The very foundations that this country was built on are being shaken. The age old concepts of God, family, and hard work have flown out the window and are being replaced with “Hope and Change” and “Change we can believe in.” You can click on the link below to read more about the “Obama phone”…just have a barf bag ready.

https://www.safelinkwireless. com/EnrollmentPublic/home.aspx
We're not talking about this kind of Obama phone but a government sponsored program that allows low income people to have a cell phone that is paid for by your tax dollars.

I've been looking all over the Internet to verify this e-mail. I have looked at Snopes as well as other websites devoted to busting Internet created myths and I have been unable to verify if this is a hoax or not. The only place where any mention of this "Obama phone" is on a few message boards.

A poster named Madam X explained that the government has been subsidizing cell phones long before President Obama:
The SafeLink program is part of the Lifeline program created in 1989 under the Reagan Administration and gave free phone service to people so they could have access in cases of emergency.

After 9/11, Katrina, etc., the FCC worked to extend the program, under the Bush Administration. Their reasoning was, "Modern universal telephone service is necessary not only to ensure that the U.S. maintains a rapid, efficient, nationwide communications network, it is important for the purpose of national defense and to promote safety of life and property."
Unless there is more to this story, then there is nothing to get upset about. Some people are saying that this is just another unjustified attack on Obama and they might be right since the program was around long before Obama entered politics.

This program has been running under both republican and democratic presidential administrations and I think the real discussion is whether the government should or shouldn't be subsidizing cell phones. What do you think? Should the government running a program like this?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Palin drops out - liberals win

I wanted to write this based on the current belief that Sarah Palin, who is now resigning her post at the end of July, is doing this to get out of politics. This has been something I've been thinking about since I first heard the announcement. And this is my belief:

The Liberals not only just won but they proved they could commit political murder and get away with it.

Let me be clear that this isn't a post that says that because Palin is out Republicans can't win in 2012. If anything Obama is helping to make sure that Republicans will win if they run a decent candidate (not you Mr. McCain). I personally agreed with alot of the opinions that Palin had ridiculous untapped talent but needed some work around the edges.

My belief is that the liberals won because they followed one of Obama's mentors to the letter and did it without a peep of condemnation. What am I talking about?

Sam Alinsky's Rules for Radicals - Rule 12:

Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it and then polarize it. Isolate the target from sympathy. People hurt faster then instutitons.

The liberal media, the liberal bloggers and the like saw someone who was a pure unadulterated threat. Ever since she was first announced as the Vice Presidential nominee for John McCain, conservatives acted (mostly) with jubiliation and liberals reacted like you had just put a head of garlic in front of Dracula.

Sarah Palin was subject to more ridicule, more innuendo, more out and out lies and horrid treatment then the last five Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees put together. She had her personal life combed through by every single media outlet with a high powered magnifying glass. It did not matter that, by and large, she was clean as a candidate (she wasn't perfect but she didn't have any real red flags). For a media intent upon destroying her, that didn't matter. The old saying that "A lie will get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on" has never been more true. She was subject to a tsunami of half truths, outright lies, slanders, defamatory statements and false statements that would make a torts professor have a heart attack.

She murders wolves from helicopters, she really gave birth to the child that was her daughters', she had affairs, she was a slut, she was a bimbo, she was too ambitious, she didn't know anything, she thought she could see Russia from her house, she was Dan Qualye, she believed in Alaska seceeding from the US, she was a fundamentalist Christian wacko, she fired people for no reason, on and on and on and on have some bleeping mercy please. I'd list them all but It'd take me a month plus.

No one had EVER seen anything like it, and no one could prepare for such insanity. To the left, it didn't matter one iota, she was running against Barack Obama, the messiah. Her e-mail account was hacked into and she deserved it, her life was turned upside down and she deserved it. Her character was impugned and destroyed and she deserved it. And her only crime in all of this was to be a strong female Republican candidate. And she got basically NO help in defending herself from that. She put up as much of a fight as you can when you have an entire political party and media complex beating down on you, but one person can only do so much. She got some help from bloggers, some help from Fox News, but it was not remotely enough. And when it was all over she had conservative pundits blame her for the failures of the entire ticket (Because McCain did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to lose....riiiight), call her the reason the party was losing elections (because the governor of a quiet state like that really sets policy for the party in general) and was subjet to even more lies and innuendo. Of course that did nothing to stop the media who continued to act as if this was a new campaign season and hounded her mercilessly throughout 2008 and 2009. Again, how long can one person stand against such a wave.

I know some people out there are saying that this is a whining post. No, frankly this is the truth. I don't deny there's some complaining in this. I was and am a big Palin fan, even with her flaws. But I truly can not stand to see someone with such a future and scuh potential destroyed because of her ideals and because is not of the same class as most politicians are. And maybe its because I am your average republican but I can't stand to see an unfair fight with a bunch of "tough guys" against a woman. I'm plenty aware that she's a big girl and can take care of herself but something about that situtation always pisses me off. Guess I'm just a sexist at heart.

So what happens now? Personally I'd like to see take Andrew Sullivan, Andrea Mitchell, Daily Kos and all those other liberals groups who defamed her for over a year and sue their asses for defamation for every single penny they're worth. Another darker, Joker like part of me wouldn't mind paying every one of those individuals back in spades. Though that's not something I'd suggest, recommend or truly take seriously. No in the end there's little that i can do as your average part time blogger. Maybe some other bloggers can note this, maybe if we are lucky someone like Rush Limbaugh could discuss this.

The sad part is, it's all for naught. Liberals followed their game plan to eliminate a threat. Baring some great strategy that I'm not seeing or some amazing comeback, Palin is no longer a viable national political challenger. The liberals in that sense got exactly what they wanted; they destroyed someone they saw as a threat, and they did it with no real facts. And above all else, they did it without any real consequences to them.

And that's why Palin might very well end up similar to Bork, as a verb as much as a person.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Studying for The Bar: Will Be Back Soon

I am currently studying for the California Bar exam and I am unable to blog until after I take the exam in July.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Obama Admits The U.S. Doesn't Have Any Money To Spend

The Drudgereport has posted a portion of a transcript of Obama's interview with C-SPAN in which the President admits that the Government has run out of money to spend. I am reposting the that trasncript since its likely to be taken down in a few hours:

SCULLY: You know the numbers, $1.7 trillion debt, a national deficit of $11 trillion. At what point do we run out of money?

OBAMA: Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we've made on health care so far. This is a consequence of the crisis that we've seen and in fact our failure to make some good decisions on health care over the last several decades.

So we've got a short-term problem, which is we had to spend a lot of money to salvage our financial system, we had to deal with the auto companies, a huge recession which drains tax revenue at the same time it's putting more pressure on governments to provide unemployment insurance or make sure that food stamps are available for people who have been laid off.

So we have a short-term problem and we also have a long-term problem. The short-term problem is dwarfed by the long-term problem. And the long-term problem is Medicaid and Medicare. If we don't reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can't get control of the deficit.

So, one option is just to do nothing. We say, well, it's too expensive for us to make some short-term investments in health care. We can't afford it. We've got this big deficit. Let's just keep the health care system that we've got now.

Along that trajectory, we will see health care cost as an overall share of our federal spending grow and grow and grow and grow until essentially it consumes everything...

SCULLY: When you see GM though as “Government Motors,” you're reaction?

OBAMA: Well, you know – look we are trying to help an auto industry that is going through a combination of bad decision making over many years and an unprecedented crisis or at least a crisis we haven't seen since the 1930's. And you know the economy is going to bounce back and we want to get out of the business of helping auto companies as quickly as we can. I have got more enough to do without that. In the same way that I want to get out of the business of helping banks, but we have to make some strategic decisions about strategic industries...

SCULLY: States like California in desperate financial situation, will you be forced to bail out the states?

OBAMA: No. I think that what you're seeing in states is that anytime you got a severe recession like this, as I said before, their demands on services are higher. So, they are sending more money out. At the same time, they're bringing less tax revenue in. And that's a painful adjustment, what we're going end up seeing is lot of states making very difficult choices there...

SCULLY: William Howard Taft served on the court after his presidency, would you have any interest in being on the Supreme Court?

OBAMA: You know, I am not sure that I could get through Senate confirmation...
UPDATE: (5.24.09): Here's video of Obama's interview on C-SPAN:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Future of American Economy: Not So Good

There has been a huge amount of news coming out about different aspects of the American economy and its important to tie the various bits of information together so that we can get a good picture of what is going on for the American economy.

It has been recently reported that unemployment is on the rise in 44 states and is expected to peak over 10% according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). For those of you who do have jobs, you might be disappointed to learn that the US Dollar is decreasing in value in comparison to other currencies. This means that inflation is around the corner.

We all know that the U.S. national debt is increasing exponentially under the Obama administration but as a result of all this borrowing and spending, America is on the verge of losing its AAA credit rating and that stocks are moving on a downward trend after learning that the government faces higher interest rates to finance the various bailout plans and spending sprees. A possibility of losing the AAA credit rating is a very serious matter and is the kind of news that shouldn't be ignored.

Rush Limbaugh makes a good observation about America's future financial crisis by pointing out that if you want to see what the economic future of America will look like, take a look at California and the current economic mess it is in. Despite how you feel about Rush Limbaugh, he does have a very compelling point.

Of course, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently said the future of the U.S. economy will be fine.

Somehow, I don't believe him.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Obama & Biden: Debt?! Yes We Have!

Is there really a correlation between the way a politician manages their own personal finances and how they manage the finances of the Federal Government? It has recently been disclosed that Biden and Obama have both been living beyond their means prior to being elected to the White House.

'We Can't Keep Borrwing'; Obama Says; Except for Plastic is the headline for the Los Angeles Times' business section. The LA Times makes a good point that there is a lack of consistency between Obama's concern about the credit card debt of Americans and amount of debt our federal government is in, especially the amount of debt he racked up since he's been President.

Do you think that there is a relationship between the amount of debt a Washington D.C. politician has and how big or small a price tag a federal bill has attached to it. In other words, is it true that the bigger a politician's debt is, the more likely they will vote for bigger spending projects in comparison to a politician who has a smaller debt and will more likely to vote against big spending projects?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NYT: Social Security & Medicare Closer To Insolvency

The New York Times just released an article a few minutes ago about how the current poor economic climate has increased the moment when Social Security and Medicare will go insolvent.

The interesting thing about this article reports quotes from various politicians and bureaucrats who want to keep these kinds of programs running even when the funds are no longer available:

"The shorter deadline for Social Security insolvency does not mean that future retirees would receive nothing after that date.

The trustees noted that even when the Social Security trust fund is exhausted in 2037, tax revenues will presumably continue to come in. But benefits would be limited to the amount paid in that year, and would probably continue at only 75 percent of their promised level — 3 percentage points less than was projected in last year’s report."
What a brilliant idea!? Lets keep funding these programs even when they've gone bankrupt!! Its nice that politicians want to keep these programs from going insolvent and by working in a bipartisan manner to find a solution:

"The Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, said in a statement on Tuesday that the new projections underscored the need for a bipartisan approach to shoring up the two programs, through what he said would be “difficult but achievable changes.”

“That is why even as this president has focused on pulling our nation out of economic recession, he has made clear his commitment to working in a bipartisan way to address the long-term health of Medicare and Social Security” and, he added, “not simply pass on our debts.”
However, it is foolish to think that the leaders in Washington D.C. won't pass on our debts to younger generations in attempt to "save" these welfare programs. The truth is that politicians and bureaucrats will ALWAYS pass on the debt to the next generation. President Ronald Reagan did it in 1983 when he approved a $165 Billion bail out for Social Security. In the eyes of our elected leaders, the only solution to save Social Security is to spend more of the taxpayer's money.

The best and most wise solution to fixing this problem is to let these welfare programs (and others like it) die out when they become bankrupt. These programs should not be revived for the simple reason that welfare programs violate the U.S. Constitution.

President Franklin Pierce, in 1854, explained why such programs are unconstitutional:
"[I must question] the constitutionality and propriety of the Federal Government assuming to enter into a novel and vast field of legislation, namely, that of providing for the care and support of all those … who by any form of calamity become fit objects of public philanthropy ... I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the great almoner of public charity throughout the United States. To do so would, in my judgment, be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive of the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."
In 1887, President Grover Cleavland made this statement about the unconstitutionality of government welfare programs:
"I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and the duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.

The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood."
It is a shame that we used to have politicians who were faithful to the Constitution and refused to waste the tax payer's money. They understood that is the people, not the government, who are in the best position to help the downtrodden. They knew that it was the local community and private institutions who are the most efficient in providing relief to those who need it.

We need politicians who understand these principles. Where are they?

UPDATE: CNN had an expert come out and talk about how Medicare is the real danger, not social security. Riiiiiiight.

UPDATE #2 (5/14/09): Here's a nice blog explaining why Medicare is a real danger but Social Security is still a problem.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What!? The Deficit Is Greater Than Expected!?

In January of 2009, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director Douglas W. Elmendorf projected a $1.2 trillion deficit for this year. The CBO director has posted a revision of the deficit on his blog that the deficit is now projected at $1.8 Trillion for 2009 which is 50% greater than previously expected. What this means is that the US government is borrowing 50 cents for every dollar it spends.

However, the fact that projected deficit is 50% higher is only half of the shocking news. In reading the CBO Director's blog, we learn several interesting things which are highlighted in bold:
  • As estimated by CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation, the President’s proposals would add $4.8 trillion to the baseline deficits over the 2010–2019 period. CBO projects that if those proposals were enacted, the deficit would total $1.8 trillion (13 percent of GDP) in 2009 and $1.4 trillion (10 percent of GDP) in 2010. It would decline to about 4 percent of GDP by 2012 and remain between 4 percent and 6 percent of GDP through 2019.
  • The cumulative deficit from 2010 to 2019 under the President’s proposals would total $9.3 trillion, compared with a cumulative deficit of $4.4 trillion projected under the current-law assumptions embodied in CBO’s baseline. Debt held by the public would rise, from 41 percent of GDP in 2008 to 57 percent in 2009 and then to 82 percent of GDP by 2019 (compared with 56 percent of GDP in that year under baseline assumptions).
  • Proposed changes in tax policy would reduce revenues by an estimated $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years. Proposed changes in spending programs would add $1.7 trillion (excluding debt service) to outlays over the next 10 years. Interest costs associated with greater borrowing would add another $1.0 trillion to deficits over the 2010–2019 period.
  • Our estimates of deficits under the President’s budget exceed those anticipated by the Administration by $2.3 trillion over the 2010-2019 period. The differences arise largely because of differing projections of baseline revenues and outlays. CBO’s projection of baseline deficits exceeds the Administration’s estimate (prepared on a comparable basis) by $1.6 trillion.
Those of us who have been fiercely opposed to bailouts and other excessive government spending are justified in saying, "see I told you so!" We warned that deficit spending would get us deeper in debt and increase the public debt and take up a larger share of the GDP. Our predictions have come true and if our government continues this path of irresponsible spending, things will only get worse.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's $100 Million Budget "Cut" Explained

This video explains what Obama's $100 million budget cut really looks like:

The Swine Flu & Limited Government

It is surprising that a conservative approach to handling the recent swine flue would show up in the New York Times but it did. David Brooks has written a piece in the NYT's op-ed called Globalism Goes Viral in which he argues that decentralized institutions are better than centralized institutions in handling threats.

David Brooks' arguments can be be applied to the debate over whether or not the size of our government be big or small. The Founding Fathers knew that decentralization always works best and that's what they had when they set up a Republican form of government.

A decentralized institution, regardless if is to handle a health crisis or manage the affairs of a nation, is the best way to go. Here's what David Brooks said about why decentralized institutions are better at handling problems:
It is a fact of human nature that in times of crisis, people like to feel protected by one of their own. They will only trust people who share their historical experience, who understand their cultural assumptions about disease and the threat of outsiders and who have the legitimacy to make brutal choices. If some authority is going to restrict freedom, it should be somebody elected by the people, not a stranger.

Finally, the decentralized approach has coped reasonably well with uncertainty. It is clear from the response, so far, that there is an informal network of scientists who have met over the years and come to certain shared understandings about things like quarantining and rates of infection. It is also clear that there is a ton they don’t understand.

A single global response would produce a uniform approach. A decentralized response fosters experimentation.

In a few short paragraphs, David Brooks has successfully made the case for why a smaller, limited, decentralized government is better than a larger, expansive, centralized government.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Health Care Reform=Bigger Government

Hot Air has a nice article with revealing videos of what health care "reform" really means in the Obama Administration.

I highly recommend people go over to that website and read about it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fact: Capitalists Give Better Hugs!!

This is the perfect demonstration that capitalism is better than other economic systems because the free market will encourage people deliver a better product at a competitive price.

In this case, this video shows that that the free market will deliver better hugs than free hugs!!

For California Voters: May 19 Is Your Opportunity To Stop An Increase In Taxes!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Global Warming: Not About RisingTempratures, But Rising Taxes!!

Whenever politicians talk about Global Warming/Climate Change, they're not talking about an increase in temperature, but an increase in taxes. Listen to the conversation between Al Gore and Represenative Dingell discuss the issue of Cap and Trade:

For those of you who don't know what Cap And Trade is about, here is a brief explanation of how it works:

These measures would set a limit, or cap, on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. The effect of such a cap would be to impose rationing of coal, oil, and natural gas on the American economy. Each covered utility, oil company, and manufacturing facility would be given allowances based on past emissions or some other formula. Those companies that emit less carbon dioxide than permitted by their allowances could sell the excess to those that do not; this is the trade part of cap and trade.

The Cap and trade scheme is essentially saying that business can put out all the CO2 they want just as long as you they Congress to do it. But the truth is that corporations rarely pay taxes because they pass the taxes on to their customers in the way of higher prices. Thus, Cap and Trade or a Carbon Tax is nothing more than another attempt for the government to get more money in taxes.

Not only is it a tax but it is another method of redistributing wealth.Notice that Al Gore is in favor of BOTH a Carbon Tax and a Cap And Trade tax. Did you catch the fact that these taxes are "revenue neutral" and that the money will be returned to the "people"!? This is nothing more than a attempt by the government to redistribute wealth via taxes.

So, in the end, ladies and gentlemen, its not the corporations who will be paying these taxes. Its YOU, the regular tax payer.

And politicians wonder why citizens have Tea Parties...

UPDATE (MAY 1, 2009): The debate has no shifted to how much the Cap and Trade Tax will cost the average American family. Republicans argue it will cost every American family as much as $3,100 a year while democrats think the cost shifted to the American public will be minimal.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Celebrate Debt Day on April 26!!

I think everyone ought to look at a short article posted at Red County in which U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg has identified April 26, 2009 as Debt Day. Since 2001, Debt Day happens on a different day every year depending on how fiscially responsible the politicians are at our nation's capitol.

What is this day about? U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg gives us a brief explanation of why this day is important to all Americans:
"On Sunday, the United States Federal Government will run out of money. It won’t, however, stop spending.

April 26 is “Debt Day” – the day on which federal spending for the 2009 fiscal year reaches the end of the available revenue and begins to finance itself with borrowed money. Money borrowed against the futures of our children and grandchildren. Money borrowed from countries like China."

As you can see from the picture below, Debt Day will happen sooner than usual.

You can read more of Rep. Rehberg's article here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Should England Have Thier Own "Tea Party?"

America isn't the only country that is facing a severe financial crisis right now. England, like the United States, is also struggling with an irresponsible government that has been engaging in excessive spending and piling up a massive deficit. As of today, April 23, 2009, the United Kingdom's budget deficit to hit a record £175 billion. The economic future for Britain doesn't look very good as the total government debt will double to 79% of GDP by 2013 - the highest level since the Second World War. To make matters even worse, Britain's trade deficit gap is getting wider.

Politicians are pretty much the same around the world: They're stupid. They think raising taxes while continuing to spend beyond what they can afford will bring them out of the current economic crisis and into financial prosperity.

The British government is attempting follow America's approach to resolving the financial problem by raising taxes. Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced that he will be increasing the tax rate from 45% to 50% for those who are making £150,000 and above. That is not the only tax increase England will see. He has also announced that he will be increasing taxes on fuel, alcohol and cigarettes.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Allistar Darling, isn't afraid to explain the justification for the massive tax increases. The justification is a simple which is "to pay for additional support for people now." Basically, he's saying that an increase in taxes is needed for an increase in spending. To be even more blunt, Allstair Darling is raising taxes to keep the British Welfare state alive.

Ever since Allistar Darling released the details of the British government's budget last Thursday, the GDP fell by 1.9% during the 1st quarter, making Darling's 3.5% fall over 12 months look overly optimistic (and they only have 1.6% left for the next 9 months!)

If the forecasting by the government is wrong, then the debt figures quoted will be wrong too. It is widely expected that borrowing will exceed £200bn now.

Yet, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer refuses to learn from the past. Raising taxes on the rich never works as intended.

Mr. Darling has received a lot of harsh criticism for being financially irresponsible with the tax payer's money but taxes are only one side of the problem.

The other side of the problem is excessive spending. Even some politicians are getting upset on this issue. Look at the Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan, attacking Prime Minister Gordon for spending beyond what England can afford.

Politicians like Daniel Hannan are rare. However, the truth is that the British deficit cannot be attributed to just a single party. Falling into debt occurred regardless if political parties such as Labor, Tory, or BNP had the majority power.

I think citizens of England should have their own "tea party" as a way of fighting against financially irresponsible politicians. For obvious reasons, I don't think Britons would like call their protests "tea parties."

What do you think the name of the British version of the tea party should be called?

UPDATE (5. 22.09) : Britain's debt outlook lowered to negative from stable by Standard & Poor's

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Understanding the Deficit

It is perfectly understandable for many people to be lost and confused about the complex topic of America's national debt.

As a I stated before, America has always been a nation in debt. However, that is not entirely true. The debt was almost liquidated several times. This is proof that the United States has some history of paying off it’s debts. In other words, America hasn't always suffered under a condition of increasing debt load as seen in the graph below:

A simple way to understand the history of America's debt problem is think of it in terms of dieting. Some people attempt to lose weight and are successful at it. However, some people are only briefly successful at reducing the excess weight in which the weight comes back on or find themselves even heavier before they tried to slim down.

In keeping with the diet analogy, America's history of paying off the debt is similar to the problem of yo-yo dieting. The best way to visualize America's struggle with yo-yo debt reduction is by looking at America's deficit in chronological order of Presidential Administrations:

As you can tell, America has a habit of almost reducing the debt, letting the debt get bigger and then trying to pay it down again. This is Yo-yo debt.

One of the reasons why America struggled with paying off the debt is that it pays down the principal but has not been paying down the interest. However, the biggest factor is spending. One can argue about the amount of deficit spending between Bush and Obama but the truth is that the blame lies with both the Republicans and the Democrats.

Neither party has been financially wise or prudent in the management the taxpayer's money. Just look at how much money the Republicans and Democrats have been spending since the collapse of Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac.

If we are going to be serious about permanently erasing the national debt, you cannot do it by massive spending and bailouts. Spending money to erase a debt doesn't work. It doesn't work in personal consumer debt or business debt. Why does the government think its the exception to this rule!?

Trying to get out of debt by massive spending and bailouts is like going on a diet with the hopes of losing weight by consistently going to the local all you can eat food restaurant.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When and Where Will The Buck Stop?

America has always been a nation in debt. Shortly after the birth of our nation, our country went into debt and continued as political leaders came and left Washington D.C. President Truman once claimed that the “buck stops here” but like other politicians, he just passed the buck to the next successor coming into our nation’s capital.

America has always been a nation in debt. Shortly after the birth of our nation, our country went into debt and continued as political leaders came and left Washington D.C. President Truman once claimed that the “buck stops here” but like other politicians, he just passed the buck to the next successor coming into our nation’s capital.

As politicians passed the buck to the next generation, the national debt steadily grew. Politicians, both past and present, are infected with the false belief that they can wash their hands of responsibility for paying down the deficit and that some future generation will take up the mantle of eliminating our country’s debt.

Politicians, regardless of political party, have recklessly allowed the federal deficit get out of control. Neither party has, nor currently, been able to say no to spending beyond what our nation can afford. Consider this, in 1980, the year I was born, the US National Debt was approximately 900 Billion dollars. Today, as we speak, the US National Debt is over 11 Trillion Dollars.

The heavy mantle of paying off the debt falls on the shoulderS of every young adult in this country. They are passing the debt to my generation, and subsequent generations that are after us. The national debt is equivalent to having every man, woman and child in the country saddled with $35,000 in debt and we are piling on more debt. Let’s not forget that American individuals are also drowning in their own consumer debt as well. The American Dream is being taken away from us by irresponsible adults.

As a young adult who is about to leave higher education and enter the workplace, I have a burning question for the political leaders of our nation: will you continue to spend away our American Dream or will the buck stop with you?

I fully support the outrage over the bailout money irresponsible corporations have been given by equally irresponsible politicians. America has a history of bailing out failing airline companies, incompetent car companies, greedy savings and loan associations, and now irresponsible financial institutions. When will politicians end the practice of giving the buck to incompetent business leaders and corrupt corporations? This practice needs to stop and it needs to end today.

When we talk about the consequences of passing the buck of financial stewardship over our nation’s finances to the next flock of politicians who enter the halls of government, we’re not talking about dollars and cents. The discussion was, and never is, about money -- nor is it about taxes, reckless spending, deep deficits and gigantic bailouts. Such discussions are just a way to help us visualize what we’re really talking about, which is Rights and Freedoms.

We have learned from the sad history of nations across this planet that a government once stretched by the increase of power, never regains its original dimensions. As the government grows in size and power, it expands at the expense of the rights and freedoms of its citizens. We know that a decrease in the rights and freedoms of its citizens is a direct result of an increase in acts of oppression and abuse by the government.

We have also learned from history that when a country spends beyond its means, such as providing massive bailouts, there will be a corresponding loss of freedoms. A nation that runs on debt ensures that it will not remain free and strong forever. A state that is burdened by debt will be powerless in guaranteeing rights or preventing the loss of freedoms that were once enjoyed by the public. Likewise, the people will not have the ability to exercise their rights and freedoms because they will not have the financial ability to do so. A government that is not economically free, will abuse the citizens and rob them of whatever rights are remaining.

Despite its weaknesses and flaws, one the best protectors of individual liberty and freedom, and strongest defenses against the abuse of government power, is capitalism. When an individual is able to earn, keep and spend his wages, they are in the best position to meet his or her needs and wants, to pursue their desired careers, to support institutions that reflect their values and beliefs, to improve the community they live in, help the downtrodden or oppressed, enjoy the environment, and pursue their dreams.

Capitalism never was meant to operate only by an invisible hand. Government has the responsibility to ensure that corporations conduct honest transactions with the public and that they do not abuse their powers gained through the income from its consumers. It is to ensure that the market place operates freely, fairly and openly for all. Government should not meddle in the affairs of the free market by dictating who can get fired, how much a person’s wage should be and whether or not a business or employment contract should be honored. The government is only to be a referee to put bad corporations permanently in the penalty box and leave the good corporations to participate in the free market.

Any government that has the absolute authority to determine the flow of commerce will not be content with just having dominion over the economic sphere of the nation. It will also seek to dictate the political, social, religious, and cultural affairs of the nation. When the government has greater power than the people, inequality occurs because it is typically just the ruling class and everybody else. As a result, oppression and abuse at the hand of government occur with greater frequency and the light of individual liberty will grow dim.

We are at a unique moment in American history. We can either preserve our freedom or let it slip away from us. We choose to either avoid or face the consequences of financial irresponsibility.

To anyone even considering running for office or any politician seeking reelection: I don’t want to hear any promises other than that they will get us out of debt and stop the reckless spending of our tax dollars.

We the People, young and old, male and female, rich and poor, republican and democrat, believers or disbelievers in God, are united today in protest against the financial irresponsibility of our leaders. Prosperity is not a guarantee -- it is a challenge that must be earned every generation. But because the politicians have refused to let the buck stop with them, the buck stops with us. It stops with my generation. TODAY.

UPDATE: You can watch the speech on YouTube: