Archive for the ‘ Politics & Government ’ Category

Does Anyone Consider Constitutionality Anymore?

We are naturally focused on the billions being poured out currently to stave off economic collapse (which it may do temporarily, but not long-term). Yet the only reason we find it so easy to spend that money is because we have a culture in the government that says everyone should receive something from the taxpayers.

Every so often, someone releases a list of where taxpayer money is going. Thanks to Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma for the latest. Here are samples, with my comments:

  • $188,000 for Lobster Institute in Maine, home of the “LobsterCam” [I was unaware the Lobster Institute was a government agency–and why are we spying on the poor lobsters?]
  • $1 million for bike paths on Louisiana levees while levees await basic repairs [Does this mean you can enjoy viewing the devastation?]
  • $2.4 million for a  retractable shade canopy at a park in West Virginia [Undoubtedly another project approved by Sen. Byrd; do you think this canopy will be named after him, like everything else in West Virginia?]
  • $24.6 million for the National Park Service’s 100th year birthday in 2016 – 8 years early [Well, we wouldn’t want to wait until the last moment]
  • $3.2 million on a blimp the Pentagon does not want [Anytime you can find anything the Pentagon doesn’t want, don’t buy it]
  • $367,000 wasted by a Texas school board on items like an inflatable alligator and under-the-sea waterslide, among other things [Now this is exactly what the federal government needs to be focusing on–the national security implications are staggering]
  • $5 million for a bridge to a zoo parking lot in St. Louis [So is this a “federal” zoo?]
  • $9,000 for a non-functioning airplane-shaped gas station in Tennessee [At least it’s non-functioning, thereby making it similar to most government programs]
  • $300,000 for specialty potatoes for high-end restaurants [Thank goodness they are “specialty” potatoes and not ordinary ones–we wouldn’t want to waste money on something ordinary]
  • The one factor all these expenditures have in common is that there is no authority in the Constitution for Congress to legislate or spend for any of them. At least Congress is being consistent.

    The Ultimate Moderate

    Hillary Clinton: How Did She Become a Moderate?
    Hillary Clinton: How Did She Become a Moderate?

    One of the supreme ironies of this election season has been the labeling of Hillary Clinton as a moderate. She is now Obama’s choice for Secretary of State, probably the highest position in his cabinet.

     How did she win the moderate label? After all, isn’t this the person who attempted to make the federal government the overseer of all health care back in the 1990s? Did anyone ever call her a moderate prior to this campaign? In fact, she was conservatives’ worst nightmare before Obama took the spotlight.

    If she is moderate, that is only in relation to the positions taken by Obama. The word “moderate,” like “conservative” and “liberal,” is a relative term. What have we come to when we consider Hillary Clinton to be a moderate?

    So, if you have read my previous two posts along with this one, you have probably perceived that I’m not at all convinced we are experiencing a revival of moderation.

    More "Moderation"

    Daschle: Former Senate Majority Leader
    Daschle: Former Senate Majority Leader

    Another of the “moderates” Obama has named to his cabinet is former Sen. Tom Daschle. When Daschle was Majority Leader in the Senate, he did everything he could to undermine any Republican movement toward limited government or less spending.

     Daschle is now slated to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, where he can be free to spend and direct the federal government into the lives of all Americans.

    Other less well-known appointments include Carole Browner, an Al Gore protege, as the new energy czar (rush out now to buy those new light bulbs) and Nancy Sutley, who will be the head of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. Sutley is currently Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles (under the extremely liberal Antonio Villaraigosa) and is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activist.

    May the Lord spare us from any more of this moderation.

    Moderation, Obama-Style

    Eric Holder--Top Law Enforcement Official in the Nation?
    Eric Holder–Top Law Enforcement Official in the Nation?

    I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how moderate Obama’s personnel picks have turned out to be. Does that count Attorney General-designate Eric Holder?

    In his previous service in the Clinton administration, Holder was in the forefront of approving pardons as Bill Clinton left office. One of those he approved was Marc Rich, who had fled the country over his illegal financial doings. Rich was granted a pardon apparently because his wife contributed a lot of money to the Clinton Library.

     Holder, as an official in the Justice Department, saw nothing wrong with the way Justice handled the Elian Gonzalez case. Remember that one? A boy picked up in the ocean as his mother tried to flee Cuba. She died, and Elian was living with relatives in Florida. Cuba demanded him back, and Justice agreed. As Byron York of National Review recalls,

    In the period before armed agents seized the child, the Justice Department had been leaking its intention to avoid any sort of armed intervention.  It would all be done quietly, they suggested.  When top Department officials were asked about it, they said nothing to change that impression.  About two weeks before the raid, Tim Russert asked Holder, “You wouldn’t send a SWAT team in the dark of night to kidnap the child, in effect?”  Holder answered, “No, we don’t expect anything like that to happen.”  Then the Department did precisely that. The day after the seizure, Holder appeared again with Russert, who asked, “Why such a dramatic change in position?” “I’m not sure I’d call it a dramatic change,” Holder answered.  “We waited ’til five in the morning, just before dawn.”

    Here’s that famous photo of this “quiet” intervention.

    Federal Agents Seizing Elian Gonzalez from His Relatives

    Federal Agents Seizing Elian Gonzalez from His Relatives

    On top of all that, Holder apparently has never seen a gun control bill he hasn’t loved. He has promoted federal licensing of handgun owners, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, and national gun registration.

    This is the person Obama wants to be the chief law enforcement officer in the federal government. This is moderation?

    We Don't Need Another "Deal"

    History Repeats Itself Again?

    History Repeats Itself Again?

    When Time magazine decided to show a cover depicting Obama as FDR, I could only shake my head. And now Obama is trying his best to be the next FDR, talking about a massive plan for public works.

    The little secret, which isn’t really much of a secret anymore (except to those who refuse to listen) is that FDR’s New Deal never brought America out of the Great Depression. By the end of the 1930s, the economy was just as depressed as when FDR took office. The unemployment rate was virtually the same.

    When the public sector spends more money, there is less to go around for the private sector, thus slowing a recovery. Of course, it looks good to spend this money and provide short-term jobs, but it doesn’t really deal with the problem.

    We need to return to the Reagan solution. Yes, I know some people say this is a different time, so different solutions are called for. Well, if that’s the case, why are we rehashing the 1930s? Reagan’s concepts are still viable today because they are principles that apply at all times: reduce taxes, cut government spending, allow the people to keep more of their own money, and let them develop their entrepreneurial ideas. It worked in the 1980s and it can work now.

    When will we ever truly learn from history?

    Obama Hubris

    Jumping the Gun?

    Jumping the Gun?

    I haven’t said a lot about the upcoming administration since the election. While I did have some commentary right after that fateful night, I have deliberately turned from devotion to politics and instead have emphasized Biblical principles and the type of spirit God wants to instill within us.

    I will, however, return to commentary on the new administration as it takes shape. Later this week, I hope to offer some thoughts on people Obama plans to appoint to his cabinet.

    Today, though, I am struck by one thought: the continuing pride/arrogance of the man we have elected. During the campaign, he was criticized for the seal that began to appear on his podium. It looked just like the official presidential seal, yet he was not yet elected to that office. It became a source of ridicule, so it disappeared from the campaign trail (and rightly so).

    Now he is at it again. Has anyone else noticed the new sign that graces his podium? I’m surprised that few commentators have said anything about this.

    This Must Be in the Constitution Somewhere, Right?

    This Must Be in the Constitution Somewhere, Right?

    Never in the history of modern American politics, as least not in my memory or base of knowledge, has the president-elect chosen to create what appears to be an official “office” celebrating his status. Some may say I’m being too picky here, but frankly, I have been stunned by what might be the highest level of hubris since the worst moments of the Clinton presidency. Yes, Obama declares that there is only one president at a time, going on record that George Bush still maintains that role, but to me, he is sending a signal with a sign like this. He is attempting to push himself up alongside the current president in the eyes of the American people. It’s as if he is saying, “I’m already here. I’m the one you should be focusing on now.”

    I’m open to seeing real humility, but it has been glaringly absent thus far. Of course, real humility–not the type that is pumped up for the cameras–can only come from a genuine acknowledgement of sin and true repentance. If that should occur in Obama’s life, then, and only then, will we witness the real thing.

    Sarcasm on the Economy

    One of my readers sent me a link to a little talk by former Sen. Fred Thompson. The reader’s comment was “Where was this Fred Thompson during the primaries”? After viewing it, I have to agree. Really, if you want to hear truth about the current state of the economy and the “solutions” being offered, this a a must-see. And if you enjoy a message being sent with just the right amount of sarcasm (humorous, not hateful), you will appreciate this. Check it out.