Another Write-wing Conspirator

Commentary, observations, musing, and ranting from the middle of the road (or just to the right of center. Usually.) featuring The Curmudgeon

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 42 other followers

  • Recent Posts

  • Top Posts

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Welcome to The Curmudgeon’s lair

    Welcome to my curmudgeondom. As you’ll soon learn, your reactions to my missives here are likely to range from fear to loathing to tears to outright rage—and I just might even evoke from you an occasional sober nod or two.

    If you see a posting you like and wish to share it with others, by all means feel free to do so. I'd prefer that you send the link to your friends, but you're also welcome to reproduce anything here—as long as you retain my identity on the document. If you have a web site of your own and wish to post a link to this blog (or to a specific post), again, feel free to do so.

    The purpose of this blog is simple: to provide me a vehicle for sounding-off on whatever topic suits me at the moment. While there’s sure to be no shortage of politically-oriented palaver here, it is by no means all (nor necessarily even most) of what will be proffered to your discerning mind. You’ll also find that my personal politics, ethics, morals, and standards are pretty much “all over the map” (according to my mother-in-law)—so, don’t be surprised to see rants regarding, say, the interference of churches in politics, politically-correct anything, “nanny” laws, taxes, the United Nations, Congress, the Commissioner of Baseball, the State of Ohio’s speed limits, steroids, Jesse Jackson, the “mainstream” media, ultra-liberals, ultra-conservatives, the price of cigarettes, Obamarxism, regulating sales of alcohol, gasoline price manipulation, Muslim foot baths, illegal immigration, laws banning the sale of adult sex toys, cell phones, heavy-handed cops, meddlesome politicians, Hillary, Billary, our all-but-self-proclaimed uncrowned Queen Nancy, “W”, eminent domain, freedom of speech, and the designated hitter all in succession. It is, as I said, my curmudgeondom — and I have the credentials and bona fides to lay claim to the title of The Curmudgeon. So, there.

    Some of the postings you'll encounter may seem familiar—especially to those who know me personally. By way of explanation… I once had an ongoing relationship with a local newspaper, and had a number of published opinion pieces—some of which may be posted here. My arrangement was for a feature entitled An Opposing View; given that the editorial staff had a generally liberal, left-of-center view, it stands to reason that my "opposing" view would generally be perceived as coming from the right (in more ways than one, in my own humble opinion). These posts will be annotated as having been previously published.

    Comments, of course, are always welcome. You may agree or disagree with me. Doesn’t matter. Of course, I reserve the right to completely ignore you — but, feel free to let your feelings be known, anyway. And if you don't want to comment directly here, my e-mail address is: jimseeber@gmail.com .

    Oh, and…yes, I can spell. That "Write-wing" is only a play on words. So, there. Again.

    Welcome, once again. Strap in and hang on.

  • Twitter

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • About this “curmudgeon” guy…

    Armchair philosopher, politically-incorrect political commentator, raconteur, retired air traffic controller, dilettante truck driver, US Army veteran, recluse, sometime-writer, redneck convert neè Buckeye, ne'er-do-well, bon vivant, unrepentant libertine, unapologetic libertarian, and (of course) curmudgeon…

    Anything else you wanna know—just ask.

  • Blog Stats

    • 12,818 hits

Archive for the ‘election’ Category

The Presidential Worm

Posted by The Curmudgeon on April 5, 2011

The early bird has struck.

In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Barack Obama announced his candidacy for re-election; if there’s a surprise involved at all, it’s the method of making this announcement.

Never one to shy away from cameras or microphones, Obama selected as his vehicle a peculiar web announcement in which he doesn’t even speak (the only real surprise), and his only appearance is a brief video clip taken during his inauguration. The announcement itself was decidedly low-key, lacking the pump-’em-up energy that marked his 2008 campaign; rather, it seemed more of a slow warm-up signal to his organizers to start oiling-up the apparatus for another run.

Though it’s unlikely that Obama opted for this approach in response to voters’ laments of being weary of the near-daily doses of Obama saturation, voter fatigue was repeatedly cited in the weeks preceding the ’08 election and should be considered a potential issue this time around. Indeed, one might speculate that the strategy was specifically intended to make Obama a candidate without having him look like a campaigning politician—a seemingly pointless effort given that most of the country is convinced that he never actually stopped campaigning after the 2008 race, but probably necessary since he’s now officially set himself on an absurdly long campaign trail. (And you thought Christmas shopping was the only thing that keeps coming earlier.)

Oh, and it sets the stage for his campaign machine to start raising the staggering heaps of cash his campaign is expected to consume, with estimates of an eventual $1 billion war chest being freely tossed-about.

The upshot of all this? Republicans need to take note: The early bird tends to get the election worm—and there’s no clear GOP favorite yet on the horizon.

.

________



Advertisements

Posted in democrat, election, obama, politics, Republican, speech, speeches, vote | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Soon They Forget

Posted by The Curmudgeon on December 15, 2010

Congressional amnesia strikes again.

Shortly before the “shellacking” he received last month, Barack Obama suggested that Republicans were pinning their hopes on voters suddenly developing amnesia. In an earlier comment, he also asserted that “elections have consequences.”

For those with short memories (that would apparently include most of Congress), voters overwhelmingly jettisoned Democrats in droves (sixty-three of them, to be precise) — giving Republicans control of the House of Representatives, narrowing the Democrats’ margin of control in the Senate, and delivering an unmistakable message to the Obama regime.

How soon they forget.

Just today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) stood before the Senate and bluntly asked whether all of Congress was “tone-deaf” and stricken with amnesia.

The reason?

A massive, 1.2 trillion-dollar “omnibus” spending measure being rammed-through the lame-duck Congress by soon-to-be departing Democrats apparently intent on looting the nation’s treasury on their way out the door. More than 2400 pages long and delivered to members of Congress only three days ago, it’s apparently been read by absolutely no one (does this sound familiar?) and loaded with “earmarks” and hidden pet projects.

In other words, they (Congress) didn’t learn a damned thing. They heard us, loud and clear—and simply don’t give a damn about what we want or what we have to say.

To be sure, it isn’t just Democrats responsible; indeed, at least two of the leading “earmarkers” are Republicans. That said, the entire effort still is being shepherded by Democrats—many of them lame ducks with nothing to lose.

Similarly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is intent on ramming-through his backdoor amnesty program (aka “The Dream Act”)—again relying on colleagues with nothing to lose by supporting the measure.

And just to round things out, “always-in-campaign-mode” Obama seems to think he’s still gearing-up for last November’s election, likening Republicans to “hostage-takers” in the ongoing battle of the soon-to-expire Bush era tax cuts. (Ironically, some of his stiffest opposition is yet again within his own party.)

However all this shakes out, everyone needs to keep one thing in mind: Though the lame ducks are already on their way out, they won’t be able to carry it off without help—and those who remain in office will be up for re-election in 2012.

Let’s hope voters hold the culprits accountable just as they did last month; since this batch of crooks obviously didn’t get the message, perhaps their replacements will.

__________

Posted in budget, congress, corruption, debt, deficit, earmark, economy, election, illegal aliens, immigration reform, income tax, obama, politics, pork barrel spending, Reid | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Democrats’ Reactions to Elections: In Denial, Defiant, or Delusional?

Posted by The Curmudgeon on November 9, 2010

Is it that they “just don’t get it” or that they’re that obsessed?

In the aftermath of the drubbing Democrats received in the midterm election, their leaders’ reactions evoked expressions from an incredulous electorate ranging from disbelief to disgust—with a large helping thrown-in of the same fury voters just expressed overwhelmingly with their ballots.

“He just doesn’t get it” seems the most common retort to Barack Obama’s assessment that voters had somehow managed to misunderstand his intentions. Widespread response to (soon-to-be former) Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s defense of her role in ramming through the very policies and legislative efforts that ultimately resulted in the Democrats’ being ousted from scores of posts across the nation has alternated between guffaws and a lot of swearing (though we’ve noted that would-be Queen Nancy has suddenly acquired a taste for bipartisanship—now that her party has been emphatically relegated to the back seat).

“Shove it down our throats now, and we’ll shove it up your (picture of an ass—the equine variety) in 2010” was a common warning during the epic arm-twisting that was Obama’s push for his brand of health care. Democrats ignored the warning. Some even ridiculed it (recall Pelosi’s snarky dismissal as “Astroturf” the grassroots uprising that was born). They laughed.

They’re not laughing anymore.

The prospect of forty-years’ dominance of government by Democrats confidently predicted by strategist James Carville after the 2008 election has been obliterated. The seemingly invincible Obama juggernaut is staggering, stunned by a thunderous right cross that few other than the most optimistic Republican pundits forecast. Even now, wary Democrats (particularly in the Senate—where twenty of their members are up for re-election in 2012) are very carefully charting their courses for the anticipated onslaught of what they see as hordes of Republican visigoths intent on dismantling as much of the preceding two years of Democratic rule as they possibly can. And Obama himself is damaged—perhaps beyond repair—with his aura of invincibility shattered and his once-powerful coterie of congressional supporters joining the voters in jumping ship.

Even fellow Democrats have joined the chorus of criticism, with failed Florida gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink appearing to encapsulate the problem. She paints a picture of an Obama regime that completely disregards what it’s told, intent on its own agenda. In particular, she pointed out the badly-handled Gulf cleanup effort wherein the administration turned a deaf ear to state and local officials. Sink was also especially critical of the White House for refusing to acknowledge public resistance to the health care “reform” with which Obama seems uniquely obsessed.

And against this backdrop the Democrats’ standard bearer can muster no better response than to say that we all misunderstood him. One might infer that he’s saying it’s all our fault for being too stupid to appreciate the genius behind his concepts—much as Bill Press said. (Way to win ’em over, Bill.)

Right.

To the contrary…we got the message—loud and clear. We repeatedly replied—loud and clear.

Obama and his minions heard us—loud and clear.

And they summarily dismissed us.

They’re not tone-deaf, at all. They simply don’t give a damn what we think or what we want. They know what’s good for us—and they’re hell-bent on forcing it upon us.

Obama maintains that he merely has to re-package his message. That’s all. (Is he telling us that—or still trying to convince himself?)

Ri-iiiiight.

Obama’s real problem is that he seems to have believed as Gospel the flowery praise heaped upon him by the mainstream media. It should not be forgotten that he got elected more on charisma and voter discontent than on substance. He has never demonstrated political brinkmanship; he’s never had to, owing to the huge numerical advantage he had in Congress—which he wielded as artfully as a cudgel.

And now he’s going to stick with a proven loser, no longer in a position to twist arms with impunity, pinning his hopes yet again on ideas that voters just overwhelmingly rejected.

Let the 2012 election season begin.

__________
.

Posted in ballot, election, mainstream media, obama, ObamaCare, Pelosi, politics, tea party, vote | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Prodigal President Soundly Spanked

Posted by The Curmudgeon on November 3, 2010

The voters took away his car keys; so…now what?

Shortly after his inauguration, Barack Obama fired-off a few terse comments at Republicans:  “Elections have consequences”…”That’s why we have elections”…and (my personal favorite) “I won.”

Having thus spake, he made clear far in advance that he now knows what to expect in the wake of yesterday’s election debacle.

As Joe Biden might put it: This is a big f– – – – – g deal.

Not as big as Republicans (and sensible voters everywhere) had hoped for—but still big.  Very big.

The message sent to the Obama regime (sent—but not likely to be well-received) was clear: We ain’t happy—and you’re to blame.  It was a repudiation of Obama’s agenda, with scores of Democrat whipping-boys bearing the brunt of the voters’ wrath.  The numbers clearly show voter disapproval of ObamaCare and cap-and-trade.  Had the Democrats been pushing weak candidates, the message might’ve been less concise; however, many longtime incumbent Democrats were sent packing—and those who backed Obama’s unpopular policies fared the worst.  Obama himself suddenly seems about as embraceable as plutonium, and survival-minded Democrats appear to have been prescient in distancing themselves from him during the weeks preceding the election.  Indeed, Obama’s intense campaigning seems to have been ineffective (if not harmful) in most key races; those nine trips he took to Ohio attempting to bolster relatively popular Governor Ted Strickland, for example, became instead an embarrassment as John Kasich won a close contest that many see as a bellwether.

That’s gotta hurt.

Nor could this be seen as merely a reactionary “throw the incumbents out” election, as incumbent Republicans in fact enjoyed widespread success.  Moreover, Republicans fared well in contests for open seats both in Congress and in a record number of gubernatorial contests.  Those two indicators pretty well establish this as more of a “throw the Democrats out” election.

Where does this leave us?

Well, the Republicans captured solid control of the House of Representatives, and the Democrats’ hold on the Senate is now tenuous.  The Democrats’ majority is a slim one, and there’s much doubt as to how many of their “majority” will toe the party line; in particular, their most high-profile victor of this election — Joe Manchin of West Virginia — is seen by many as more of a Republican than many Republicans are, having already denounced both ObamaCare and cap-and-trade.  Moreover, Democrats in both houses who survived the massacre are now faced with re-assessing their own stands on key issues—making Congressional support of Obama’s agenda somewhat less than reliable.  (With twenty Senate Democrats and only ten Republicans up for re-election in 2012, the message delivered via this 2010 election will reverberate for a long time; having had a glimpse of what may be in store for them in two years, who’s likely to drink the Obama Kool-Aid with such a likely fate awaiting?)

The Tea Party contingent played a role (much to the consternation of the Democrat leadership), but it was a mixed message.  Some Tea Party-backed candidates (most notably Senator-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky) ran well, but losses by their highly-publicized candidates in Delaware (Michelle O’Donnell) and Nevada (Sharron Angle) in races that many felt should have been easy pick-ups by Republicans helped Democrats retain Senate control.  (Still, it’s pleasant to visualize soon-to-be former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi choking on Astroturf.)  It’s clear that Republicans need to take seriously their input, and make adjustments to party stances accordingly.  The newly-elected Tea Partiers are likely to exert pressure to control spending and taxes—and the Republican leadership would be well-advised to listen.

The runaway spending has to stop.  Period.  If no other message came across from this election, that one has to.

The Democrats’ ever-expanding dream of an ever-expanding government must also be reined-in.  The people are beyond simply being wary of government intrusion into business, finance, medicine, and (especially) into our everyday private lives.

In short: Less government is better government.

True to form, Democrats are already murmuring about the coming gerrymandering (you know: the gerrymandering that they had planned to control—but that control was largely lost with the ascension of all those Republican governors) of district lines, proving once again that they can get in that first punch ahead of Republicans with disturbing consistency.  (One can only hope that Republicans will eventually learn.  “Get there firstest with the mostest,” counseled Nathan Bedford Forrest—a lesson Democrats long ago embraced.)  With the imminent re-apportioning of congressional seats and the inevitable re-drawing of district lines, GOP governors will be able to influence the political landscape for years to come.

And what of our favorite flagellant—the manchild-in-chief?  Will he take this to heart and mend his ways?

Don’t count on it.  It’s far more likely that he’ll “double down” (in the current parlance) and merely adjust the means by which he tries to force-feed us his agenda.  For now, anyway.  It’s doubtful that his prodigious ego will allow him to do otherwise.  If Republicans have learned nothing else since the 2008 election, they should’ve at least concluded that the only way to do business with Obama is from a position of strength.  They’ll have to ram their agenda down his throat—just as he has force-fed us all since his ascendancy to the White House.  He’ll never play ball unless there’s a gun placed to his head.

With this election, Republicans acquired such a gun.

__________

Posted in ballot, budget, cap-and-trade, debt, deficit, economy, election, federal bail-out, health care costs, health care reform, illegal aliens, manchild, obama, ObamaCare, opinion, Pelosi, politics, Reid, stimulus, vote | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Who Would REALLY Benefit from Voter “Amnesia”?

Posted by The Curmudgeon on November 1, 2010

There’s much that Obama would have us forget, too.

Hip-deep in his perpetual campaigning, Barack Obama derisively pointed out to voters last week that Republicans were pinning their hopes on the electorate’s suddenly developing “amnesia”—then reiterated once again his oft-repeated claim that responsibility for everything currently going awry anywhere in the known universe should be laid at the GOP’s feet.

As usual, there was a modicum of validity to the manchild-in-chief’s assertion; after all, has there ever been a political candidate who didn’t wish the voters would forget about something?

Obama should keep in mind, however, that there’s also much that he would like to erase from the voters’ collective memory. Though not actually running for re-election himself, the imminent midterm election is very much a referendum on his record—and the outcome is crucial to his future plans. To a candidate who won the preceding election owing largely to voter vacuity, the continued cluelessness of the electorate is of inestimable value.

Our manchild-in-chief would much prefer, for example, that we not remember the intense pressure brought to bear by his regime to ram through his unpopular ObamaCare travesty far enough in advance of this election that we wouldn’t remember the promised transparency that turned to occlusion. We’re likewise expected to forget the behind-the-scenes deal-brokering and outright bribery that made his showcase legislation possible, notably the “Cornhusker Kickback” and the “Louisiana Purchase.” It’s supposed to fade from memory that the prohibition on using federal funds for abortions was inexplicably left out of the grand health care reform legislation, a claimed oversight that Obama promised to correct via executive order (the order was in fact issued—but it now seems to have less in the way of teeth than was claimed at the time signed it).

Though Obama has stubbornly clung to his habitual hammering of his predecessor for the nation’s economic woes and rising employment, the simple fact is that his own profligate spending (you remember: the spending that he insisted was necessary to hold unemployment under eight percent) has buried us under a mountain of debt from which we may never recover—and unemployment has now crept perilously close to ten percent.

He would dearly love for us to forget all about the problem of illegal immigration and his own scandalous refusal to secure the nation’s borders. (How very curious…we haven’t heard a word about “comprehensive immigration reform” for a few weeks—have we?) He’d like us all to forget that his response to the chaotic border situation was to sic his Justice Department on the state of Arizona for daring to do what he refused to do. He wants us to forget all about the efforts to secure amnesty for some twelve million future Democrats illegal immigrants.

It’s supposed to slip our minds that our first “post-racial” chief executive has in fact fanned the flames of racism. We’re supposed to no longer recall the specter of New Black Panther Party goons convicted of intimidating voters in Philadelphia—only to be sent on their merry way by Obama’s Justice Departmant, which inexcusably declined to pursue the case. We’re supposed to conveniently forget Obama’s own rash (and obviously incorrect) berating of the Cambridge Police Department and Sgt. James Crowley—who, as it turns out, hadn’t acted so “stupidly” as Obama had claimed. We’re supposed to not notice when he manages to find that “Negro dialect” that Harry Reid said he lacked—when he’s busy whipping-up support among a black crowd by creating an “us-versus-them” atmosphere.

We’re supposed to forget about the steady procession of tax cheats, avowed communists and socialists, and far left-wing whack-jobs he’s welcomed to his regime. We’re supposed to forget the blatant power grabs and attempts to exert direct government control over banking, manufacturing, communications, and the media (it’s telling when Helen Thomas — hardly a conservative icon — criticizes the administration for doing so).

He would like for many of us to forget how badly he needs to emerge from the midterm election with Democrats controlling Congress — though he’s quick to remind those who voted for him in 2008 that it’s essential for them to keep the faith, as he needs that power base “to continue with my agenda”…whatever his agenda may comprise. (His obsession with secrecy and hidden deals leaves us constantly guessing.)

We’re expected to forget all about the vacations, travel, and high living that his regime is enjoying at taxpayer expense while much of the nation struggles just to make ends meet. We’re not supposed to remember the unprecedented arrogance shown by himself and his henchmen. We’re expected to forget the tax that isn’t a tax, then is, then isn’t—depending, it seems, entirely on what our narcissistic dear leader is trying to pull at any given time. He wants us to forget the political thuggery that Democrats have freely exercised from the moment they grasped the reins of government.

Let’s hope enough of us have better memories than he gives us credit for.

__________

Posted in ballot, border security, budget, corruption, debt, deficit, economy, election, federal bail-out, health care reform, illegal aliens, immigration, immigration reform, manchild, media corruption, national security, obama, ObamaCare, politics, Reid, stimulus, tax, unemployment, vote, waste | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Memo to Conservative Commentators: Shut Up—Before You Ruin Everything

Posted by The Curmudgeon on October 26, 2010

No chickens have yet hatched; now, stop counting.

Recent months have proved very encouraging for Republicans, tea-partiers, conservatives in general, and everyone else who regards the Obama-Reid-Pelosi triumvirate with a level of disdain ordinarily reserved for toenail fungus. Poll results for the Obama regime have been in virtual free-fall, Pelosi is widely viewed as the long-lost twin sister of the Wicked Witch of the West, and opinions are split as to whether Reid should be medicated and escorted to a padded cell or merely voted out to pasture. Indeed, congressional Democrats in general are scurrying for cover with a vigor more commonly observed in cockroaches caught out in the open when the lights are turned on, distancing themselves from their standard-bearer and onetime champion as they frantically seek to preserve careers seemingly doomed by their association with their dear leader.

Not surprisingly, conservative pundits are having a field day, trumpeting daily poll results and confidently predicting a resounding defeat for Democrats in the upcoming mid-term election. They’ve been positively giddy, smugly delighting in the Democrats’ apparent distress, speculating on whether control of one or both houses of Congress will change hands, and even boldly formulating their post-election agenda. Indeed, the GOP euphoria has soared to such a level that prominent commentators seem nearly at a loss for ideas on what to do next.

I have a suggestion for them: Shut the hell up. Now—before you screw everything up.

The grandstanding, chest-beating, and overconfidence are having an undesired effect: They’re now serving to energize the Democrats’ base.

Republican operatives should take particular note of the more subtle indications emerging from those polls. As predicted here months ago, the shake-up in the power structure that seems imminent is not the result of voters falling madly in love with the GOP. Don’t forget that they voted Republicans out not so long ago. As is often the case, this is less a matter of people voting for a party’s agenda and more a matter of voting against another party’s agenda. It’s not that everyone suddenly embraced the philosophy of the Republicans; rather, they’re now at least as disgusted with Democrats—and apparently even more so (for the moment, anyway; voters, however, are notoriously fickle).

If Republicans learned nothing else from political developments of the past several years, at least two clear messages should have sunk in: First, that the strategy they adopted back when they last had control of the government (and lost it) is a proven loser, and second, that the framing of the message is sometimes as important as the message itself. Pundits, power brokers, and voters alike have expressed outright revulsion over the arrogance shown by Democrats—and especially by Obama; for Republicans to now bombard everyone with essentially the same appearance borders on plain stupidity.

Yes, the Democrats have shown a remarkable talent for shooting themselves in the foot. Yes, Obama’s silver tongue seems to have turned to clay (thanks, Jim Croce, for that line). Yes, predictions of the disastrous effects of the Democrats’ actions now appear to have been correct. Yes, the poll numbers have been encouraging.

However…

The single most important variable at the moment is the question of how many people will actually get off their butts and vote this time around. Indications there have been favorable for the much-motivated Republicans, with apathy and complacency among Democrats and uncommitted independents boding well—but, if Republicans aren’t careful at this point, they’ll succeed only in talking their way right out of what seems an almost-certain victory. Would-be Republican voters may note this viewing of the election outcome as a foregone conclusion and not bother to vote, thinking it’s already in the bag. It should also be noted that the grandiose claims of Republican leaders have been seized upon by Democrats, and they’re using that ammunition to whip-up support. (For those who hadn’t noticed…many key Congressional and gubernatorial races have suddenly tightened within the past few days.)

Stop obsessing over polls; the only one that counts is the last one. The rest should be viewed as nothing more than indicators of where support should be bolstered.

Remember that no chickens have yet hatched; you guys haven’t actually won anything. Not yet. Stop acting like the boss—at least, until you actually become the boss.
 

________

 

Posted in economy, election, obama, Pelosi, politics, Reid, vote | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Money Pit: An Old Law Holds True

Posted by The Curmudgeon on August 11, 2010

Parkinson’s Law meets Obama…and Pelosi…and Reid…

In 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson first advanced a concept which eventually became known as “Parkinson’s Law.” Though it’s undergone some revisions and refinements (and led to a number of corollaries), its basic premise remains: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

For example, imagine a worker performing a routine task normally requiring sixteen man-hours (nominally, two business days) to complete. Now, imagine that some genius efficiency expert determines that forty hours (one work week) should actually be alloted for this task. According to Parkinson’s maxim, over a period of time our worker will adjust his routine to expend all forty hours alloted for the task—though he’d previously accomplished the same task on numerous occasions within the constraints of the old standard of sixteen hours. (It could also be argued that for a unionized operation there would be an additional demand for overtime—but, that’s fodder for a different rant.)

One popular corollary of this basic premise will sound familiar to most readers: Data expands to fill the space available for storage (i.e., go ahead and buy that humongous hard drive that makes your current drive look puny by comparison—but, you’re still gonna fill it up).

Another corollary is attributed to Parkinson, himself, and is sometimes referred to as “Parkinson’s Second Law”: Expenditures rise to meet income.

Based upon that assertion, one might reasonably deduce that the esteemed Mr. Parkinson must have at some point studied the spending habits of Democrats.

One might also be inclined to pose a hybrid corollary: Congress increases spending to consume whatever money is available—and even spends money that ain’t there.

Most budgets (whether business, military, or household) are intended to establish limits—not goals to attain. Employees are — from the top down — generally encouraged to find ways to reduce spending. Bringing in a project “under budget” is regarded favorably, as doing so makes available previously committed funds to be applied to other projects; should an overly-generous authorization be encountered, it’s not considered acceptable to spend more lavishly in an effort to insure that all alloted funds are exhausted. Exceeding the budget isn’t allowed; when one runs out of alloted funds, there simply isn’t any more money to spend. Work stops. The household has to wait until next month to buy that new television. The Army parks its tanks, trucks, and helicopters because there’s no money to purchase fuel. Plants close. Employees are furloughed.

Conversely, consider recent comments made by Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) to a gathering of his constituents:

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned up here, and I didn’t really need to come up here to learn it, is the only way to get Congress to balance the budget is to give them no choice. The only way to keep them out of the cookie jar is to give them no choice. Which is why, whether its balanced budget acts or pay as you go legislation or any of that—it’s the only thing.” (And now for the best part—with emphasis added…) “If you don’t tie our hands, we’ll keep stealing.”

One scarcely knows whether to be aghast at Perriello’s unexpectedly frank admission or curiously relieved by the refreshing honesty of it; at any rate, it at least confirmed what many already believed. (We’ve been known to sing the praises of an honest crook from time to time.)

Of course, Mr. Perriello overlooks recent history. Obama himself (after racking-up trillions in debt) exhorted Congress to adopt “paygo” to ensure that future expenditures would be deficit-neutral. Congressional Democrats enthusiastically(?) accepted the challenge and shepherded the legislation to passage.

…then began side-stepping their own brand spanking-new rule less than a week later.

More recently, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) cut short Congress’ summer recess, summoning members back to Washington to pass new bail-out legislation, tweeting that “I will be calling the House back into session early next week to save teachers’ jobs and help seniors & children.” (more on that in a moment) The price tag? More than $26 billion added to the staggering deficit (forget actually paying for the measure; all this spending merely adds to the mounting debt—for which there are no funds). Actually, the measure as written assigns the tax debt to U.S. firms operating in overseas markets; however, if these firms respond by simply not shifting funds back home to be taxed, the burden for the resulting shortfall (added to the potential loss of $120 billion in profits that might also be kept overseas) would be transferred to…us.

The latest? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (you know; the federally-financed lenders on which Congress just spent billions upon billions of bail-out dollars it doesn’t have) just crawled back out of the woodwork, hats in hand, to beg for another $3 billion in federal alms. (Don’t breathe a sigh of relief, just yet; this latest request is merely intended to cover the shortfall for the current fiscal quarter. Stay tuned.)

Oh, and (in case it escaped anyone’s attention) there was yet another report released a few days ago showing that the massive “stimulus” package last year had been squandered in large measure on such boondoggles as:

  • $762,000 to create interactive choreography programs at the University of North Carolina
  • $296,000 for a study of dog domestication at Cornell University
  • $2,000,000 to send researchers from the California Academy of Sciences to islands in the Indian Ocean to study exotic ants
  • $500,000 for new windows at the Mt. St. Helens visitors center in Amboy, Washington. (The building has been closed since 2007 and there are no immediate plans to reopen it.)
  • $89,000 to replace sidewalks in Boynton, Oklahoma (The “old” sidewalks had been built only five years before. Moreover, one of them goes nowhere near any houses or businesses and leads directly into a ditch.)
  • $1,200,000 to create a museum in an abandoned train station in Glasboro, NJ

It should be noted that it’s unclear whether this “stimulus” package — intended to create jobs — actually created more than a relative handful.

How does this happen?

No great mystery. Remember the health care reform package? Remember how scandalized we all were to learn that virtually no one in Congress had read it prior to voting on it? It was 1,017 pages long.

This year’s federal budget is 2,450 pages long; how many people do you think have read all of that one? Or last year’s? Or the year before?

Pork-barrel projects are generally concealed very carefully within such spending measures; it’s sometimes nearly impossible to figure out who inserted specific expenditures (if anyone even notices them). In many cases, it’s a matter of “you vote for mine, and I’ll vote for yours.”

And we give these clowns the key to the treasury. Which probably explains why it’s currently empty.

As to Pelosi’s latest effort? Forget saving teachers’ jobs; that’s not what it’s about.

This bail-out is superficially intended to help debt-ridden states (those that refused to rein-in spending…California and New York, for example—blue states, it should be noted) to balance their budgets. The fix will be temporary, as these states have yet to make the necessary cuts in expenditures to ensure long-term viability (last year’s $862 billion “stimulus” package included $145 billion to balance state budgets—and it obviously didn’t last very long). So, Congress will now be voting to decide whether the states that practiced fiscal responsibility are ultimately going to be taxed to bail-out those that refused to.

But, wait; there’s more (R.I.P., Billy Mays). Consider these figures compiled by Americans for Limited Government in a recent newsletter:

Out of the estimated 3.3 million public school teachers nationwide, teachers’ unions were expecting about 160,000 layoffs this year—roughly 4.8 percent of all teachers. Slightly more than 38 percent of those expected layoffs are centered in just three states: 9,000 in New Jersey, 16,000 in New York and 36,000 in California.

About 57 percent of those 160,000 teachers are unionized, with contributions to state and local unions averaging $300 per teacher. Add another $162 per teacher to the National Education Association and $190 per teacher to the American Federation of Teachers (as reported by Education Next), and Congress will in effect be voting to pump no less than $40 million (emphasis mine) into the political coffers of teachers’ unions.*

Quickly, now; which party do you think will be the beneficiary of union contributions?

In other words: If you’re a Republican in a state that has a balanced budget, you can expect to be taxed not only to pay for wasteful spending in California and New York, but also to contribute indirectly to Democrats’ campaign funds.

Not that Queen Nancy (from California—just in case you’ve forgotten) has such thoughts in her mind. She just wants to help teachers and old folks and children. Oh, and cops and firefighters (again, widely unionized). Just ask her.

Just don’t ask her exactly what’s in the measure, nor what it’s actually intended to achieve. (Remember that she once said that Congress “has to pass the legislation in order for you to find out what’s in it.”)

Her mission is, at best, to spend more and more money that we don’t have.

Once again, Parkinson is proven a sage.

So is Congressman Perriello.

Somebody tie Washington’s hands—quickly.

 

 

UPDATE: The $26 billion in spending has been approved by Congress and awaits Obama’s signature.

The watchword now is “BOHICA.” (Bend Over, Here It Comes Again)

* ALG drew heavily from the following sources:

NetRight Daily How 39 Dems and Snowe and Collins Gave $40 Billion to Teachers Unions
EducationNext The Long Reach of Teachers Unions
The Heritage Foundation Teachers Unions Stifle Education Reform

__________

 

Posted in budget, corruption, debt, deficit, economy, education, election, federal bail-out, labor, obama, Parkinson's Law, Pelosi, politics, Reid, stimulus, tax, waste | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Tough Week for Logic

Posted by The Curmudgeon on July 13, 2010

Conventional wisdom and common sense take it on the chin

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chief John Morton revealed last week that his agency had resources only to remove four hundred thousand illegal immigrants per year. That’s about 4% of the estimated eleven million believed to be here—with more arriving every day. This announcement comes on the heels of Arizona’s passage of tough new legislation for dealing with illegal immigrants, which (logically) federal officials might be expected to welcome as needed bolstering of their efforts.

And the Obama regime’s response to Arizona’s initiative?

It filed suit against the state for what it characterized as an attempt to preempt federal authority (you know: the job that the Feds haven’t been doing).

Sure. That makes a lot of sense. (Cue the old cartoon of the dopey dog intoning: “Du-uuh…dat sounds log-i-cul.”)

It was a busy week for the Department of Justice. Far from Arizona (Philadelphia, to be precise), another high-profile case reclaimed the public’s attention.

Remember the 2008 election? Now, remember the ugly specter of the New Black Panther Party goons clad in black paramilitary garb and berets, wielding clubs outside a polling place? Well, that’s called “voter intimidation”—and it’s a federal crime. The sort of red meat upon which Justice Department attorneys feed. Justice has an entire unit devoted to this kind of stuff—and one might imagine they were all chortling with glee over the ease with which they’d be able to make this case. In fact, the goons made it even easier by not bothering to show up for the trial. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Summary judgment. An easy, slam-dunk conviction. All that remained was sentencing.

…until Obama’s Justice Department arbitrarily dropped the case without official comment. (Cue the dopey mutt, again.)

Justice officials also announced, however, that they’d be investigating the case of Johannes Mehserle (a transit cop—and white), convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of Oscar Grant (who was being arrested at the time for his involvement in a public melee—and black). Meanwhile, comments and testimony furnished by former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams — assigned to the Voting Rights Section until his recent resignation — suggest a culture within Justice that vigorously prosecutes cases involving minority plaintiffs and white defendants, but seems to have no interest when the roles are reversed.

And then there’s NASA administrator Charles Bolden’s revelation that he was charged by Obama with the mission “…perhaps foremost, (to) find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science…and math and engineering.” (Sorry; even the dopey mutt’s scratching his head over this one.)

Of course, it could be argued that all this is, in fact, perfectly logical—but it makes no sense to us because we’re not viewing it all in the proper context.

For example, Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) recently revealed that during a private meeting with Obama, he’d reiterated his stance that the Mexican border must be secured before any comprehensive immigration reform measure could be considered. According to Kyl, Obama replied that “The problem is…if we secure the border, then you all (congressional Republicans) won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.” Kyl added that “In other words, they’re holding it (border security) hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with comprehensive immigration reform.” This, despite Kyl’s reminding Obama that both the President and Congress have a duty and a responsibility to secure the border—immigration “reform” notwithstanding. It follows, then, that anything that serves to enhance border security or otherwise combat illegal immigration runs counter to Obama’s agenda—so, he sics the Justice Department on Arizona.

In other words: in Obamaworld, the megalomaniac-in-chief’s political aims trump his Constitutional duties, federal law, the will of the people, and pretty much everything else.

Make sense, now?

________
 

Posted in ballot, border security, corruption, election, hate crimes, illegal aliens, immigration, immigration reform, muslim, national security, obama, politics, terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The U.S. is NOT Mexico Norte

Posted by The Curmudgeon on May 26, 2010

What Obama, Congress, and Calderón don’t grasp—or simply choose to ignore

One scarcely knows where to begin in trying to keep abreast of events unfolding in the ongoing and escalating controversy over Arizona’s recently-enacted immigration law. What began as a desperation-driven attempt by the state of Arizona to plug the gaps created by federal negligence spawned a groundswell of public outcry and political posturing on both sides of the Mexican border.

…and—as predicted—Barack Hussein Obama and his henchmen responded with alacrity to the opportunity for extracting political gain from the situation (that “never let a good crisis go to waste” philosophy); indeed, one might wish that they’d shown as much enthusiasm in warding-off the current state of affairs.

To briefly recap:

The Arizona legislature finally got fed-up with waiting for the Feds to do their job and took matters into their own hands. Obama immediately condemned the action, in concert with Attorney General Eric “Holding Pattern” Holder and Department of Homeland Security head (and former Arizona governor) Janet Napolitano—though both Cabinet members were subsequently forced to admit that neither had actually read the legislation they’d so quickly attacked. (We can only wonder whether Obama’s read it; nobody asked him. Any bets?)

Obama, of course, immediately attempted to turn the debate away from his own failures (and, to be sure, his predecessors’), blaming Republicans in Congress for not joining with him in embracing the Democrats’ standard call for “comprehensive immigration reform” (read: “amnesty and pathway to citizenship”). Correctly citing the frustration felt by the good citizens of Arizona over Federal inaction, he incorrectly attributed this frustration to a universal desire for said “reform”—and lamented that he’s been stymied in his attempts to “fix” things by the loss of the Democrats’ sixty-vote supermajority in the Senate, imploring Republicans to “help” him. Designated legislative meddler Charles Schumer (D-NY) wrote a letter to current Arizona governor Jan Brewer, calling on her to likewise fall in love with his yet-to-be-finalized “reform” legislation. (There is no substantiation that the Democrats’ new official euphemism for illegal aliens really is “undocumented Democrats”—yet.)

Demonstrations and boycotts ensued, with the state of Arizona (and the 84% of its voters who favor the state’s initiative) being pressured to abandon the effort.

The Arizona folks (here’s the part I like, by the way) responded to the mayor of Los Angeles’ boycott threats with a simple message: “Go ahead; make my day. Boycott us—and we’ll turn off your damn’ lights.” (Okay; so, I paraphrased. A little.)

The guy who heads ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), John Morton, announced that his agency might not bother to “process” illegal aliens apprehended by Arizona police authorities; apparently, this suggests that not only will ICE not go out and apprehend the illegal aliens—a big part of its mission—it won’t even finish the job when others take up the slack and apprehend the illegal aliens for them. (Why does this clown still have a job?)

And, of course, Mexican President Felipe Calderón appeared before a joint session of Congress to denounce the Arizona law, lecture us in the niceties of border protocol, and tell us that we need to ban assault weapons—for which congressional Democrats awarded him a standing ovation.

The reader will at this point kindly choke-down the bile that may be felt rising within.

Obama and his ilk are nothing if not consistent; they continue to press their radical agenda—including amnesty and citizenship for those who have, in many cases, openly flouted the law. The people of this nation are angry not only at the government’s failure to meet its obligations, but also for its (that would be Obama’s) bullheadedness in pursuing a course the people emphatically reject. No, the people aren’t frustrated with Congress’s failure to implement comprehensive immigration reform; they’re mad as hell that the government (a) isn’t doing its job, and (b) isn’t listening to them—opting, instead, to ram an unacceptable policy down the nation’s collective throats. Indeed, reports surfacing from Republican lawmakers indicate that just yesterday they informed Obama that any “reform” effort must first address the issue of border security—and in the latest demonstration of his version of bipartisanship, Obama stubbornly rejected the notion. (The Anointed One did, however, reveal that he plans to send some 1200 National Guard troops to the border region—though not in an enforcement role. The general feeling is that his intent in doing so was to forestall stronger congressional action.)

Probably the most galling development, though, was the Democrats’ inviting Calderón to appear before Congress and lecture them (and, therefore, us) in the first place. No, wait; even more galling was the specter of Democrats actually giving this pompous ass a standing ovation. (Some may have considered it fitting that Democrats—who embrace an ass as their party symbol—were so quick to embrace a fellow ass.)

Who the hell does Calderón think he is? The guy’s nothing but a tinhorn who ascended to office amid allegations of election improprieties in a country notorious for corruption. He wants open borders—but only for northbound traffic. His own nation’s human rights record has been widely assailed. He called for an assault weapons ban in the United States, citing figures that are highly suspect (and not for the first time) to support his claim of arms being shipped south to Mexico—ignoring the simple fact that the weapon of choice for Mexican thugs (the ubiquitous AK-47) isn’t even manufactured here; it is, however, readily available throughout the world. (One wonders whether Obama—known to favor such a ban—might’ve planted that idea.) Calderón conveniently overlooks the graft that is a way of life in his country—and it’s unlikely that the drug cartels could flourish without some assistance from among his own law enforcement officials. The final irony? His own government’s lax enforcement along the border—indeed, it has long fostered illegal immigration into the U.S.—has also contributed to the alleged flow of weapons and drug money smuggled into Mexico from the north. Moreover, someone needs to remind this little man that his meager authority ends at the Rio Grande—and that meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation just might result in him getting his ass kicked. (One might suspect that there is an ample supply of volunteers eager to shoulder that burden.)

Enough, already. This is not rocket science. It isn’t brain surgery. While purported to be a complex problem, the matter of illegal aliens is in fact a very simple one—and it has relatively simple solutions. This has gone on far too long. The Federal government—from the White House to Congress to the responsible agencies involved—all of them need to get off their dead butts and simply do their job.

Quit playing politics and pandering for votes; secure the border—as required by the Constitution.

________

Posted in Arizona, border security, corruption, election, illegal aliens, immigration, immigration reform, national security, obama, political correctness, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Case for Government Sticking to the Job It’s Actually SUPPOSED to Do

Posted by The Curmudgeon on April 25, 2010

An object lesson in how not to provide for the common defense and secure the blessings of liberty.

At a time when the federal government seems obsessed with by turns either boldly thrusting or slyly insinuating itself into a seemingly endless array of initiatives in which it doesn’t belong, it might be nice to see our fearless leaders occupy themselves with addressing a few minor issues lying within the realm of authority that they actually have.

Securing the nation, for example, springs to mind.

Unburdened for the moment of the crushing pressure of dealing with such crucial matters as athletes using steroids, major league baseball going on strike, publicly spanking corporate executives, and removing salt from our hot dogs, Congress might now be disposed toward turning its attention to the nation’s southern border—preferably before that particular handbasket actually completes its long-unfolding journey to Hell.

With the memory of rancher Rob Krentz’s murder (allegedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant) still fresh, Arizona’s legislature finally decided that several decades of federal neglect was enough and took steps to crack down on illegal immigration—ordinarily (and by law, arguably) the exclusive domain of the federal government. Refusing to be dissuaded by criticism from immigrants’ rights activists, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a measure granting police broader authority in identifying and apprehending illegal aliens. Though police are required by law to enforce this legislation in accordance with federal standards already in place, the great hue and cry over immigrants’ rights and hand-wringing over perceived threats to civil liberties commenced even before the measure was passed.

Making good on her stated intent to sign the legislation, Governor Jan Brewer remarked that “We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act. But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.”

Coincidentally, the White House also found use for the term “misguided” as Barack Obama condemned Arizona’s action.

He’s probably correct—to a degree.

Border security is rightly a federal matter. So is immigration. No argument, there.

The problem is that the federal government has been profoundly — some say willfully — neglectful of its duty to secure the border, and long ago lost any semblance of control over the flood of illegal immigrants, with an estimated twelve million illegal aliens now in the U.S. Obama acknowledged the federal government’s failings, as well, though in a back-handed manner—and with a different agenda altogether.

In keeping with his regime’s policy of never letting a good crisis go to waste, Obama seized the opportunity to blame Congress for not enacting comprehensive immigration reform — and of course urged lawmakers to do so forthwith — claiming that federal complacency has led others to act precipitously.

He’s partially correct—but demanding the wrong solution.

Arizonans didn’t act out of frustration over Congress’s inability to enact comprehensive immigration reform; they acted out of frustration over the federal government’s utter failure (or refusal) to enforce existing law.

We’ve heard for several years the mounting cries for comprehensive immigration reform, and those demands consistently include calls for amnesty or pathways to citizenship—measures overwhelmingly opposed by the populace. Indeed, there’s common belief that lax enforcement has been but one tool employed in applying pressure for passage of this so-called “reform,” allowing proponents to cite the resulting state of affairs to bolster charges that the immigration system is “broken”—which it isn’t.

Stripped to its essence, Obama’s renewed demand for “reform” is nothing more than political opportunism, attempting to capitalize on Arizona’s exasperation by reviving proposed legislation that’s currently stalled in congressional doldrums—legislation which includes an amnesty provision. Indeed, it could be argued that the Arizona legislature may have unwittingly supplied the Obama regime with the perfect vehicle for advancing his amnesty-and-citizenship scheme; on the other hand — possibly lacking adequate support in a Congress still reeling from the recent health care reform nightmare — Obama may now be forced to abandon his plan in order to soothe tensions in the region and focus on the remainder of his agenda.

Back when nationwide media attention was first drawn to the Minuteman Project’s efforts to monitor the border, numerous suggestions and requests went out for troops — whether Regular Army or National Guard — to be deployed to safeguard the border and establish a presence intended to keep a lid on things; each either fell on deaf ears or was greeted with a laundry list of reasons (including legal uncertainties) why this couldn’t be done. Mindful of a growing list of crimes committed by illegal aliens and mounting losses incurred by area residents, I speculated at the time that (a) as tensions rose, the likelihood increased that there’d be a general flare-up of violence in the region, and (b) that troops might eventually be dispatched to preserve order—but also that there was at least an even chance that they’d be tasked with ensuring the safety and well-being of illegal aliens rather than with safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens they’re intended to protect and serve.

Owing to Arizona’s actions, we may soon find out.

It’s said that Nature abhors a vacuum; it could be argued that government does, as well. Arizona lawmakers acted — for better or worse — simply because the federal government repeatedly failed to do so. By chronically ignoring one of its most fundamental responsibilities, the federal government created a perfect storm of unrest and danger.

Something for the nation’s political leaders to think about the next time they decide to address matters that lie beyond their rightful scope of authority—all the while neglecting their statutory duties.

________

Posted in Arizona, border security, corruption, economy, election, illegal aliens, immigration, immigration reform, national security, obama, political correctness, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »