May It Be

Yesterday, I wrote about the federal judge in Virginia who astutely speared the healthcare bill by pointing out in his ruling that the individual mandate forcing people to buy health insurance was manifestly unconstitutional. I used a fairly good number of words to describe that, but one cartoonist illustrated it rather succinctly:

Back up that vehicle; let’s restore the original intent.

In other congressional news, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is at it again. He’s attempting to shove another massive bill through the Congress without anyone getting a chance to read it. What is this penchant for 2,000-page bills, anyway? This is reminiscent of the ploy he used to ram through Obamacare.

Reid obviously is ignoring the results of the November elections and acting as if nothing has changed. The bill’s cost is $1.1 trillion [1 billion of which is for the healthcare boondoggle] and includes more than 20,000 earmarks. This is the dying wish of a lame-duck Congress that knows it won’t have this kind of opportunity again. It’s also without conscience–the voters said no to these shenanigans, and many of those who are pushing it won’t be in office next month.

Stated plainly, it is wrong for a discredited legislative body to try to force its way on the American people after those people have thrown them out of power. Republicans are saying they will filibuster and do anything else they can to kill this. Let’s hope they are true to their promise.

The Obama/Democrat policies have been a disaster because they are based on unsound principles. I think I sense a spirit from the past reasserting itself:

May it be, Lord. May it be.

The Lame-Duck Congress

Does anyone remember that an election took place about a month ago? If so, please remind the current congressional leadership. This lame-duck Congress is desiring to throw away its crutches.

The election said one thing quite demonstrably: the Democrat leadership is hereby repudiated. Yet that leadership, still clinging to its last gasps of power, is attempting to ram through a series of bills that it knows won’t stand a chance in January when the new members take their seats.

Yesterday, the House voted to raise taxes on anyone making more than $250,000 by letting the Bush tax cuts expire when the new year begins. Now, that’s not the way they framed it, of course. They want us to see them as the champions of the “little guy,” who needs the current tax rates to stay where they are. But those evil rich people don’t deserve such a “break.” They had their vote; they made their political point as they once again tried to create class warfare. Yet it was all for show and isn’t going to be accepted in the Senate, where the Republican minority can stall it.

In fact, Republicans in the Senate have decided they will filibuster any bill that is not dealing with the two most crucial items: extending the tax cuts to everyone and ensuring that a budget is passed. Anything else is peripheral at the moment.

I firmly believe it is wrong, in light of the late elections and what they mean, for this very lame duck to continue to push its agenda. All other matters should be left for the new Congress to debate, a Congress that more fully represents what the American people voted for in November.

The Pelosi-Reid circus needs to come to an inglorious end immediately.

When this new Congress does meet, it can then be held accountable for carrying out the mandate it has received. The president, meanwhile, will have a new tactic he can use:

Be prepared for it. It will come to pass.

More Election Fallout

The common term for what happened on Tuesday is a Republican tsunami. Yet there were places unaffected by it. Not every state took part in this wave. They were kind of like the odd men out in the crowd:

Perhaps the most discouraging race was in Nevada where Harry Reid pulled it out, but the state most oblivious to the emergence of the Republican majority was California. Barbara “Call Me Senator” Boxer now has six more years at the public trough. California also decided to return to the inglorious Jerry “Governor Moonbeam” Brown days of yesteryear. The legalization of marijuana initiative failed to pass, but maybe that’s because too many of the voters were already smoking it when they went to the polls. The cartoonists have had a field day with that:

Then there’s this one:

And finally …

For the president, the path is clear, but what is not clear is whether he will take it:

For Republicans, there is also a well-defined path now that they have the majority in the House. Again, there is trepidation in some circles whether they will follow through:

For their sake, and for the sake of the country, now is the time to stay principled and firm.

They Deserve to Win

As a counterpoint to yesterday’s post, where I listed the politicians who most deserved to lose this year, today I’ll focus on the positive—those who really deserve to win. Now, that doesn’t mean they all will win, but the nation would be better off if they did.

I’m going to start close to home with Florida’s Senate race. No one, when the race began, expected Marco Rubio to gain any traction. He had been speaker of the Florida House, and many expected him to rise up in the future, but not now, not against sitting governor Charlie Crist.

What I admire most about Rubio is his commitment to principle, which is what led him to challenge Crist in the first place. He knew Crist was not a truly principled conservative, and he wanted Republicans to have a chance to vote for one. It was a hard task he took upon himself, yet he began chipping away at Crist’s lead. The chipping then turned into a full-fledged electoral demolition. A shocked Crist found himself behind the young upstart.

Now Rubio is leading in a three-way race with Crist as a so-called independent, and the Democrat no-hoper Kendrick Meek. National Republicans have diverted funds elsewhere, secure in the belief that Rubio will be the next Florida senator. He deserves to win.

Crossing the nation and making a sharp northern turn to Alaska, my next deserving candidate is Joe Miller, who surprised everyone when he won the Republican Senate primary against incumbent senator Lisa Murkowski. Miller is a true constitutionalist. He wants the federal government to be held to its constitutional limitations.

That outlook has apparently scared some sitting Republican senators who are far more comfortable with Murkowski—they refused to remove her from a leadership position when she rejected the voters’ choice and decided to run a write-in campaign to keep her job.

Polls show the two running neck-and-neck, with Miller holding a slight lead. If he were to be turned back now, it would be a stinging defeat for the forces of reform and devotion to limited government. This is a race worth watching for the future of the soul of the Republican Party. Miller should be that future; he deserves to win.

Sharron Angle, in Nevada, has the unenviable task of knocking off Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Yet she is proving equal to that task. Derided as an extremist by Democrats [and some Republicans], she has had to fight for the right to be heard. Last week, she not only held her own in a debate with Reid, but the consensus seems to be that she won that debate.

Like Miller, Angle is a constitutionalist who is in sync with the Tea Party movement. That by itself is enough to get one labeled an extremist in the mainstream media, but early voting indicates that more Republicans are casting ballots right now than Democrats. Will that trend hold through the actual election day? If righteousness and justice mean anything, Sharron Angle will be the next senator from Nevada. She deserves to win.

My next choice may be a surprise for some readers, particularly if you have fallen for a media hit job. Christine O’Donnell, running for Joe Biden’s old Senate seat in Delaware, has suffered a barrage of ridicule, but most of it has been manufactured. Whenever Bill Maher decides to inject himself into a race, you have to know something is rotten. An old tape of one of O’Donnell’s appearances on his show [which, I understand, actually never even aired], has her talking about a teenage flirtation she had with witchcraft. She makes it clear she never really got into it, but the media jumped on this as a sign that she was unfit for office.

Since when is the media concerned about witchcraft? I didn’t know it bothered liberals that much. I mean, aren’t they the tolerant ones? In fact, Christians have a better grasp of what happened here. Teenagers sometimes experiment and get involved in foolish ventures. Then they grow up. That’s what happened with O’Donnell.

A few days ago, she debated her opponent, Chris Coons. In the course of the debate, the media did it again. They portrayed her as not realizing the First Amendment includes the separation of chuch and state. But if you actually listen to what she said, she was questioning the phrase “separation of church and state” as not being part of the First Amendment. And she’s right. The words “separation,” “church,” and “state” are nowhere to be found in the Amendment. That’s simply the description liberals have used in their attempt to keep religion out of the public sphere. The First Amendment only says there will be no establishment of religion [i.e., no official state church] and that Congress cannot prohibit one’s freedom of religion.

O’Donnell was accurate in what she was saying, but you’d never know that by the press reports. The media is in the tank for her opponent. O’Donnell probably won’t win this seat, but you never can tell, especially if this turns out to be a Republican tidal wave. At the very least, she deserves to win.

I’m returning to Florida now for my final candidate—Republican Rick Scott, who is running for governor. Scott’s upstart primary victory over longtime Republican official Bill McCollum startled many. The race was so intense that there was concern as to whether Scott could mend fences with the state GOP, but the fence-mending seems to be almost complete.

Scott’s Democrat opponent, Alex Sink, is following the same playbook McCollum used in the primary: depict Scott as a crook because the hospital chain he ran was fined by the federal government for Medicare fraud. I’ve done a lot of reading about that incident and have come away convinced Scott was not attempting to defraud anyone. A recent well-researched article from a source outside Scott’s campaign has explained the situation more fully than anything else I’ve read, and in my mind exonerates Scott from all those accusations. For those who are interested, you can find that article here. It is a little long, but it covers the issue comprehensively.

While CEO of Columbia/HCA, Scott created the best hospital chain in America, working closely with doctors and cutting costs. Later, when Obamacare came to the forefront, Scott started an organization called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, which effectively attacked the philosophy behind Obama’s quest for control of American healthcare. As governor, Scott would continue his cost-cutting measures to bring fiscal sanity back to the state and would maintain a principled  position against the healthcare takeover.

Additionally, Scott is an evangelical Christian who helped start a church in Naples, and who sits on the church board. He has worked with organizations such as World Vision. His faith appears to be genuine.

The latest polls keep bouncing around in this race, so it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top. However, with Obama’s popularity at an all-time low in Florida, there is hope that Scott can pull it out. After all, in case you haven’t heard this refrain yet, he deserves to win.

They Deserve to Lose

Today, I would like to single out those running for office who are so unacceptable that they truly deserve to lose their races. Of course, if I tried to list everyone I thought should be included in that category, this would be an exceptionally long posting, so I’ve decided to concentrate only on those who have a chance to lose. Consequently, you won’t find individuals such as Nancy Pelosi in this list; she is a mirror image of her district. However, if things go as I hope they do, she will lose as well—her post as Speaker of the House.

We can start, though, with her counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Reid used to be pro-life. At least that’s what he claimed. As the premier pusher of the Obama agenda, he scuttled whatever small amount of credibility he had on that issue. He also famously declared the Iraq War lost—then came the surge, which he still refuses to recognize as having achieved a measure of stability in that country. Reid has shown himself to be insufferable in his constant comments—“only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good”—and the Rush Limbaugh name for him, “Dingy Harry,” seems rather appropriate. Nevada needs to divest itself of this national embarrassment.

Barbara “don’t call me ma’am” Boxer is trying for her fourth term as senator from California. She is about as prickly as they come, which led to that comment above to a military officer during a congressional hearing. She really loves being a senator and having the perks of the office. Boxer also secured travel for the radical group Code Pink to go to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004 to give aid to the people who had killed 51 Americans that same month. Even the extremely liberal newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle, refused to endorse her this year due to her undistinguished record. Her opponent, Carly Fiorina, a pro-life woman who has experience in the business world, would be a welcome relief to Californians who have had enough of Boxer.

Let’s stay in California for the Retread of the Year Award. Yes, Jerry Brown is running for governor again. He already had that job back in the 1970s, following Ronald Reagan and ruining most of what Reagan had accomplished. He was known as Governor Moonbeam back then for his New Age philosophy. He hasn’t changed much. When California voters rejected a referendum on homosexual marriage, Brown, who is currently the state’s attorney general, made it clear he wasn’t going to enforce that vote. A real attorney general cannot make a decision like that. Brown as governor would be a disaster—again.

How about a Republican? Well, perhaps a Republican. It’s a little hard to tell right now. Her name is Lisa Murkowski, and she lost the Alaskan Republican senate primary to attorney Joe Miller. Only Murkowski refuses to believe it, so she’s now spearheading a write-in campaign because … well, because she wants to stay a senator. She doesn’t exactly have a solid set of philosophical beliefs that guide her besides wanting to be a senator. She’s not pro-life, so she dilutes the Republican side of the aisle on that issue. How did she get to be a senator in the first place? Her dad, who resigned from the Senate to become governor of Alaska, appointed her to take his place. She really earned that job, didn’t she? The main thing driving her now seems to be that she is a sore loser. May she remain one.

Then there’s Massachusetts icon Barney Frank. He first hit the national radar many years ago as one of the first outspoken homosexual congressmen. Shortly afterward, the House ethics committee had to investigate accusations that a prostitution ring was operating out of his D.C. townhouse. Those accusations turned out to be true. Frank’s response? Gosh, I had no idea that was happening! A mere slap on the wrist later, he remained in the Democratic leadership. He’s been back in the news as one of the key proponents of forcing banks to give mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, thereby triggering the massive econonic crisis we’re still experiencing. He also, along with Sen. Chris Dodd, has been the main supporter of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, blocking any real oversight of those corrupt lending institutions—which still march on uncorrected today as he helps derail any legislation that would hold them accountable for their actions. For the first time in his political career, he actually has a real race to run against a genuine opponent. Will Frank’s many sins catch up to him this year? It’s still a long shot, but it would be one of the most gratifying of all the races if he were to go down to defeat at last.

Let’s go to my current state of Florida for the final two who deserve most to lose. How can I neglect to mention Congressman Alan Grayson, the most obnoxious man in Congress—and that’s going up against some pretty stiff competition. I had an entire post on Grayson not long ago, so I won’t try to repeat everything again. If you don’t remember him, you can remember one of his most arresting moments when, on the floor of the House, he concluded that the Republican healthcare plan was for people to die quickly. May his tenure in Congress suffer the same fate.

Last, but not in any way least, is the winner of the Chameleon of the Year Award, Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Forcefully declaring himself to be a Reagan conservative who was proud to be a Republican and who would never leave the party to run as an independent, Crist thought he had clear sailing into the open Senate seat. Then he ran into a buzzsaw named Marco Rubio. When it became painfully obvious to Crist that he couldn’t win the primary, he cut his ties with the Republicans and ran as an independent. Over the past couple of months, he has changed his position on almost every issue as he attempts to get Democratic votes to go along with independents who are scared and not thinking clearly [thanks to President Obama for that brilliant insight]. Now he’s trailing Rubio badly in the general election. This may be Crist’s swan song; for the sake of all Floridians, and the nation at large, let’s hope it is.

Well, that’s my list of those who most deserve to lose. If they all do lose, America will be the winner.

The "Rich" and Those Tax Cuts

I’m hopeful that the American voter is coming to terms with the need to extend the Bush tax cuts indefinitely. There’s always an attempt to appeal to class conflict and envy toward those who have more, but the truth is that the “rich” in Democrat-speak include any business that makes more than $250,000. These are the small businesses that do most of the hiring in the country. If they are taxed more, hiring will stall accordingly. Hurting those people [and I am not one of them] will hurt everyone in the long term.

Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid refused to take a vote on extending the cuts before adjourning the Congress. They are threatening to use the lame duck session after the election to ram through whatever they want, while they still have the majority in both Houses. Of course, there are some who continue to disbelieve the polls and are hoping for the best:

After all, they staked everything on hope and change. I have a feeling the change is coming, and it might offer some genuine hope this time.

Are You Serious?

On Thursday, there was a “debate” in Nevada. I have to put that in quotes because one of the debaters failed to show up in person, thereby saving himself the embarrassment of having to answer questions.

His name is Harry Reid. He was there—on video. That allowed him to say what he wanted without any real give-and-take with people who might ask hard questions. When his video ran, the audience largely allowed him his say; there were no unseemly outbreaks of hostility.

Harry, though, was represented at the event. He bused in a lot of union supporters whose primary job, it seems, was to heckle Sharron Angle, his opponent in the Senate race.

Angle had to answer questions directly from a moderator. Often, according to accounts of the evening, she was rudely interrupted, jeered, and generally ridiculed.

Then, as the debate ended, Reid supporters in the audience started arguments with Angle supporters. A mini-brawl broke out, which is not unusual when union thugs are brought in to “handle” an event.

Why wasn’t Reid there? Well, perhaps he was taking care of serious business at the Capitol.

 

A really serious Judiciary subcommittee hearing was held yesterday morning to discuss the plight of immigrant farm workers. The chair of the committee, Democrat Zoe Lofgren, invited comedian Stephen Colbert to be one of the witnesses. By all accounts—other than Nancy Pelosi’s—this appearance was a travesty. Colbert hammed it up, in character, rather than speaking as himself. The Democrats on the subcommittee were embarrassed—as they should have been.

I guess this is what passes for taking care of the nation’s business.

Meanwhile, the Republicans, as I remarked in yesterday’s post, made a serious attempt to deal with the many problems tearing us apart. Their Pledge to America offered a principled opposition to current policies and charted a course correction. The infusion of Tea Party activism was responsible for much of the nature of this document.

I realize some conservatives are disgruntled with the effort. As I noted previously, action must follow words. However, there are some people who are constitutionally disgruntled; they will never be pleased with anything but perfection, as they perceive it. I don’t want to be one of them. I will give credit where it is due, and for now, the Pledge is an effort that deserves praise.

In a most unserious political environment under Democratic leadership, it’s gratifying to witness a serious foray into sound political philosophy and policies that flow from that philosophy.