Guest blog: Imminent Rebellion: Nullification, Secession, and the Constitution

Editor’s note: This is timely, in light of the Vinson judicial decision today.  James Williamson, who is one of my younger brothers, is an Ohio native who currently lives in Nevada. Among his guest blogs that have appeared at Buckeye RINO are 3 others with “imminent rebellion” included in the title (Imminent Rebellion: States vs the Federal Government; Imminent Rebellion: The Tar Pit; & Imminent Rebellion: The New Fort Sumter). All of these “imminent rebellion” articles explore the friction between the Federal government and the state governments, a conflict which James believes will quickly escalate.

IMMINENT REBELLION: NULLIFICATION, SECESSION, AND THE CONSTITUTION

Not long ago I noted that discontent was growing among the states toward the federal government.  At first I thought immigration would be the main dividing issue but now I think there is more than one lightning rod issue driving the wedges.  Recently I have been reading in the news that nullification is resurging in response to “Obamacare.”  Apparently this is now being seriously debated in the Idaho legislature with several other states watching closely.  And if you think I’m a little crazy I now have company.  Representative Jim Moran from Virginia is now making the same observation…  (Don’t think because we seemingly share a first name and agree on one point that I’m giving this guy any credibility.  I think he is dead wrong on his race comments.)

Since this seems to be a budding phenomenon in our country, let’s look at the ideas of nullification and secession for a minute.  I could write a book and include a lot of history on this topic, but I don’t think it is necessary.  In fact, I don’t think you need to look any further than the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to come to a conclusion.  Consider the following extract from Article VI:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

This sentence (in my mind) clearly precludes nullification (with one exception).  To paraphrase, laws or treaties made under the Authority of the United States supersede anything written in any state constitution or law.  In short, when you join the union you accept the constitution in its totality along with the entities that it creates; executive, legislative, and judicial.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.  A state can’t cherry pick the laws they will allow and which ones they won’t in their state.  That would create chaos and render the federal government useless.  The only exception I would make are laws, orders, decisions, etc. that clearly conflict with the constitution itself.  If that is the case then it isn’t really a law; it’s a statutory blunder.  In the case of “Obamacare” the mandatory purchase of health insurance is a prime example.  In such cases, states are perfectly justified in ignoring the provisions of the law that aren’t really law…  At least one federal judge agrees with me on this one (Hudson in Federal District Court in Virginia and now Vinson in Federal District Court in Florida . . . article from New York Times here).

So if nullification isn’t legitimate (excepting cases of unconstitutional legislation) then what about secession?  Is that also forbidden by the constitution?  It is a topic that is not addressed by the nation’s founders in the Constitution itself.  Presumably they didn’t really think any state would want to leave once it entered the union, otherwise they may have addressed it.   Let’s start with Section 3 of Article IV:

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Note the difference between territory controlled by states and territory not controlled by states.  Congress has the power to dispose of territory that doesn’t belong to a state on its own but they can’t dispose or alter the jurisdiction of any territory controlled by a state without their consent.  If the federal government is superior to the state governments then why are there restrictions on its power?  Why couldn’t the federal government decide to combine Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire at their own discretion if it is superior to the state governments?  It would be more efficient and reduce operating costs of Congress and of the executive branch.  The new state wouldn’t even be among the top 25 in population or area.

The answer is simply that the Federal government is not superior.  The United States of America is just what its name says it is:  sovereign states that are united and are located in America.  Any state that agrees to join the union needs to play by the same rules as the other states in order to maintain a union but they don’t give up their sovereignty.  Much like a labor union that governs the workplace but not the individuals that belong to it, the United States government governs collective actions like trade and war, but not individual actions of the states.

Many point out that the states created the Federal government and not the other way around.  Not only is this true but the states did not abdicate their sovereignty when they did it.  This is very apparent in the 10th Amendment.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So you English experts out there, what is the antecedent to delegated?  Who is delegating powers to the United States? Could it be? NO!!!!  It can’t be!!!!! NOT…… THE STATES!!!!!!!!!!!! Say it isn’t so!

Yes it is so.  Do you hear that Senators and Congressmen?  Do you hear that Mr. President?  Your authority is delegated to you by the states!

Taking this one step further, the states are delegated their authority by the people. That is what is unique about our nation and that is what has made it so special.  The people, the general public, everyone that can be called a citizen is a sovereign.  Sovereignty is held by the people not by the government.  All government authority is delegated and derived from the people to the states and from the states to the United States.

So if the states are sovereign can they secede from the union?  Well, if an individual leaves the country and renounces their US citizenship do they not in effect secede as an individual by leaving the jurisdiction of the United States and refusing to be governed by it?  Is it not the same with the states?  States can’t cherry pick the Federal laws, but they can accept or reject the union altogether.  Just as they voluntarily join the union they can also leave.  They cannot be compelled one way or the other.  Consider the opening sentence of the Declaration of Independence.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

So Thomas Jefferson and the signers of the Declaration all believed that there are legitimate reasons for dissolving political bands.  Furthermore they believed that sovereignty (separate and equal station) was given to them by God!  Now that’s radical thought for you.  It must make all the elites in Washington tremble to hear such words.  Perhaps that is why they have never read these documents publicly in congress until this January…

By now anyone who knows anything about history is probably thinking, “OK, smarty pants.  What about the Civil War.  Why did the North prosecute the war and compel the states to return to the union then?”  That is simple.  The United States was attacked, specifically at Fort Sumter.  That was an overt act of war.  President Lincoln and Congress were generous enough to recognize their prior status as states following the war rather than making them start over.  They didn’t have to do that.  Just like we didn’t have to give Germany and Japan their sovereignty following World War II.  We did it because we recognized that people must have liberty to govern themselves if they are to be happy and we are to have lasting peace.

I digress.

In conclusion, since the Federal government derives its authority from the states that actually makes the states (collectively) superior to the Federal government.  Without them there would be no federal government.  But without the Federal government we would still have state governments.  The federal system is dependent on the states, not the other way around.  As such, the states absolutely have the right to secede.

Oh, and Mr. Reid, you tried to remind the Republicans that the constitution was formed out of compromise.  May I point out that Amendment X was a part of the compromise between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists, two opposing parties with opposite ideals.  Compromising within your own party and making back door deals with industry is hardly in the same league….

Should a state be able to declare bankruptcy in Federal court? NO!

Oh, those rascal politicians on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.  Oh, those rascal politicians in state offices scattered around the country.  What do we do about such rascals that have bloated government spending for decades and decades now?

So many states are facing red ink, and so many of those states won’t solve the problems on their own.  Instead?  Look to the federal government for bailouts of states.

But wait!  The federal government spending even more?  For more bailouts?  How?  How can the federal government keep coming up with more dollars out of thin air?  It’s unfathomable.

So now there are some tongues wagging on Capitol Hill to provide relief to fiscally undisciplined states without committing even more federal dollars to bailouts.  It’s called bankruptcy.  Legislation may soon materialize that would allow states to declare bankruptcy.

If you are one of the lucky Americans that hasn’t been wiped out in this disastrous economy and it just so happens that you’ve invested in municipal and state government bonds thinking that they were safe bets, well, all that could change.

If it changed, then where would you invest your money that would allow it to hold its value?  Every investment that’s only on paper or that’s only a few bytes on a computer chip has its risks, and the risks are getting bigger by the day.

Workers are already being punished by this economy by losing jobs and not finding new jobs.  Perhaps it’s time to punish the investors, too.  Well, at least punish the investors who don’t own stock in financial corporations that are “too big to fail.”

If a state were to declare bankruptcy under the proposal that’s wagging tongues on Capitol Hill, bondholders would be unsecured creditors.  So, how do you get your money from cashing in bonds from a bankrupt state?  I don’t know.  With no collateral, there’s nothing a bondholder could repossess that would coax the state to pay up.  Perhaps you could take the matter to court and seek a judgment against the state, but what good would that do?  There’s no mechanism at your disposal that would allow you to collect the money the state owes you.  Futility.  Utter futility.

Oh, and state pension funds?  Gone.  Sorry about your retirement.

What if bankruptcies spread through the states like wildfire?  Is it conceivable that the federal government might do likewise?  And then what?

I think this bankruptcy idea is dead in the water, as I don’t see how it could gain any traction with voters.

Sorry, all you political rascals.  You’ll just have to learn fiscal discipline.  Unless, of course, your objective is to cause the collapse of America as we know it.

. . . And the walls come tumbling down!

Our economy is a house of cards. Our dollar isn’t backed by gold. It’s fiat money. It’s worth is determined by how much confidence the world has in it. If confidence in the dollar is destroyed, so is the dollar. It just becomes worthless paper at that point.

The politicians in DC and the cheaters on Wall Street and the Chicago Democratic Party machine have brought us to the brink of collapse. The bailouts have done nothing to strengthen the house of cards. Keep mounting card on top of card, and, at some point, the house of cards must fall. It must. So long as there are laws of physics it must fall. Our economy will topple. The only question is when. Which card will be the final one that the other cards can support? Which card will be the one that brings the
walls tumbling down?

Is your family prepared to survive through an economic collapse? I saw a big storm coming back in September 2008, and I think it’s here. Maybe it can be staved off until 2012. I definitely think we cannot get past 2014. But maybe it hits us this month.

Sure, we just elected Republicans to take control of the US House of Representatives, and the two major parties now have checks and balances that will prevent extreme partisan agendas from becoming the law of the land . . . in January, that is. The new Congress takes office in January. But maybe the collapse will occur much sooner than 2014. Maybe much sooner than 2012. It might happen this month. Despite the elections, it’s just too late. The wheels are already in motion. All the Democrats, all the Republicans, even all the Libertarians, all the Greens, all of the Constitution Party, all of the Socialist Party, cannot stop what’s already in motion. It’s a bigger mess than we can handle.

If we suffer a total and complete collapse, all your dollars in your bank accounts become worthless, despite any FDIC guarantees.

Therefore, I hope you have supplies already on hand for your family to depend upon if the worst comes to pass. Right now, you may be holiday shopping, and the sales figures seem to be better than expected, as, perhaps, some consumers have so much pent-up desire to shop that they just can’t keep a lid on it anymore. That’s okay. You might as well shop for tangible items right now if the dollar is going to be worthless later. But while you’re doing that shopping (if you’re one of the fortunate ones who still has an income in this economy), make sure you’ve got at least enough necessities on hand to last your household for at least a month. If you can stash away lots more supplies so that you can be self-sustaining for longer than a month, by all means do so. Preparedness can mitigate your feelings of vulnerability when a crisis arises.

I worry about what predicament our deployed troops might find themselves in if our government becomes insolvent, the financial industry is wiped out, and the currency loses all its value.

There are two things in the news that may possibly cause the dam to break this month. The first is the lame-duck Congress, ramming through the rest of the ill-advised uber-liberal agenda in desperation as the clock ticks down and this session ends.

The second is WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks supposedly has 10,000 pages of documents that they are preparing for posting on the web, and the USA’s financial sector will be the object of the expose.

We saw how WikiLeaks caused a scramble at the Pentagon when documents from the war in Iraq were splashed online. After that, the US Department of State was hit by an earthquake that not only may have irreparably harmed our relations with all other nations, but the field of diplomacy, itself, in every country, is now standing outside naked in a cold winter. If WikiLeaks can derail diplomacy worldwide with just a few documents, what could it do to our financial sector?

I think the documents about the financial sector will be so damaging that all confidence in it will be lost. The collapse here will then cascade all over the globe. The worst hit will be Europe. Europe is already teetering. Africa will be in dire straits because so many of those nations only squeak by because of foreign aid. The Far East owns so much of our national debt, they’ll take a big hit. South America might actually weather the storm the best.

Iceland, the first to become insolvent, and Greece the most recent to become insolvent, are relatively small nations in Europe, but when their governments finally scraped the bottom of the barrel and there was no more money there, it had destabilizing effects on the Euro.

Now it’s Ireland’s turn. Ireland denied for weeks and weeks that they were the next to follow in the footsteps of Iceland and Greece, yet it is coming to pass. The politicians in Ireland who are to blame for it all simply wanted to stay in power as long as they possibly could, thus they tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the Irish as long as they could. Sorry, but the crisis is too big to hide. The European Union is coming up with a plan to put Humpty Dumpty together again with the help of the IMF. It still might not be enough, and Europe will teeter on the brink, the Euro imperiled.

Portugal will likely be next. Their politicians are denying that their government will become insolvent, too. If the rescue of Ireland doesn’t crash Europe, maybe Portugal will.

And after Portugal, Spain is suspect. The politicians of Spain are in denial, also. If Europe managed to hold things together during Portugal’s implosion, that’ll be the end of the line. Once Spain implodes, forget it. The Euro is dead, and the European Union is in a shambles. The more solvent nations will retreat back to within their own borders, because they’ll be hard-pressed to meet the demands of their own public, let alone the demands from elsewhere. When America falls, though, not even the most solvent European nations will be spared the bloodletting.

The IMF won’t be of any help, as its chief backing comes from the United States.

If the United Nations weren’t reeling enough from the WikiLeaks targeting the U.S. State Department, it’s biggest donor, the United States, will no longer be able to fulfill its financial commitments to the U.N. The U.N., itself, hasn’t ever had its financial house in order, so they’ll easily buckle under the weight of the wreckage.

Of course the politicians in Washington DC are just as much in denial about the coming collapse as the politicians in Ireland, Portugal, and Spain are. For one thing, they are complicit in our economy’s troubles, so they really don’t want to believe that it will crash, because then everyone will know it was their fault, and from there, power will slip away from them.

The incoming Congressional Republicans are thinking, “OK, now we can get to work and make things better.” They are naive. It’s already out of their hands. They will be so utterly dumbfounded when everything falls apart. “What? How did it happen so quickly? Just when we were about to make a difference for the better with our best-laid plans, it’s a moot point because we’ve already crashed!”

Obama’s Chicago White House may have been planning to bring about this disaster. What? Sabotage? Yes. The liberals he hobnobbed with in Chicago weren’t your run-of-the-mill latte-sippers. Remember Bill Ayers? He’s only one person. There are many others who have programmed this President to sail this course. These are people who have always clamored for a revolution to overthrow the American government and the Constitution that upholds it.

Some of the wonks in Obama’s close circles have clamored for such things as:

  1. using the “green energy” push to accomplish Marxist objectives of redistributing wealth (“economic justice”);
  2. zero population growth, or perhaps even phasing in a depopulation of the planet;
  3. having a domestic military force that could perform security policing of our citizenry not unlike that of the policing our Armed Forces do on foreign soil, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan;
  4. writing a Constitution that would spell out what the government can and will do for you rather than the current Constitution, which states what the government cannot do, thus replacing limitations with bold initiatives;
  5. use the urban public schools to groom the urban youth to become the watchdogs of political correctness and become a massive voting bloc that will support progressive causes (Bill Ayers, himself, advocated for such “education reforms.”);
  6. denuclearize America so it can set the example for other nations to denuclearize, be the vanguard of peace, send no one out to foreign battlefields, and drastically reduce our military;
  7. use the persuasion of power in manipulating the American public if the power of persuasion doesn’t yield the desired effect;
  8. collaborate with the arts community and the media to amplify the desired message, and discredit sources of dissent;
  9. workers of the world unite to usher in a world government guided by the proletariat;
  10. never let a crisis go to waste, as each crisis must serve to consolidate power, and carefully and intentionally orchestrating the emergence of crises may be very desirable if doing so serves to make the public feel more vulnerable and, by extension, dependent on leadership;
  11. shape public opinion with astroturf if grassroots support for the desired agenda is weak, since those who dissent will feel powerless and offer less resistance if they are made to believe they are in the minority;
  12. it is acceptable to overthrow the government if it interferes with the propagation of progressive principles and policies.

There are other radical ideas bandied about within the circles of Chicago political power, but these give you some flavor of the voices that influence the White House.

On that last point, about government overthrow: it can be accomplished through a quisling that is able to consolidate power, through a manipulation of public sentiment, through gaming the system, through martial law, through weakening the power of the people, through violence (Bill Ayers, again), or through scrapping the existing system of governance by causing it to collapse.

I believe the Chicago White House is advancing on all of those fronts.

I’d like to credit the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance (SOB Alliance) for raising the red flags of warning back in 2008 before the presidential election took place. Many of those on the SOB Alliance blogroll posted a 13-part series collectively titled HOPE ON (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now). There were detractors that insisted that the HOPE ON series was over-the-top propaganda, but re-reading those posts now, especially the ones dealing with economics, the HOPE ON series has hit the nail on the head.

HOPE ON part 1 Obama is part of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac problem
HOPE ON part 2 Obama’s reluctance to drill
HOPE ON part 3 Above Obama’s pay grade
HOPE ON part 4 Can the other side of the aisle even be reached from where Obama is?
HOPE ON part 5 Obama requested $740 million in earmarks
HOPE ON part 6 Obama’s stances ill-defined when voting “present”
HOPE ON part 7 Obama not inspiring our trust
HOPE ON part 8 What are Obama’s intentions for the middle class
HOPE ON part 9 Measure Obama and McCain by their character
HOPE ON part 10 Obama will tax us
HOPE ON part 11 What would Ronald Reagan do?
HOPE ON part 12 Obama isn’t just liberal–he’s extremely liberal
HOPE ON part 13 McCain the real deal

Some excerpts that stand out in my mind:

Part 8: Obama has attempted to portray himself as the champion of the middle class, but the windfall profits taxes and the high-bracket income tax increases proposed by Obama will backfire in the form of rising unemployment as the government dampens earning power, not just of individuals, but of employers as well.

Part 10: Obama talk of federal initiatives and taxes make it sound as if the government creates wealth, but the government doesn’t. The people create the wealth of the nation, and tax policy must reflect that, but Obama’s principles don’t even acknowledge that.

Part 12: The Citizens Club for Growth rated Obama tied for last place with a zero rating in Obama’s first year in [U.S. Senate] office.

Part 13:  Obama has revealed himself to be a socialist. We now have the smoking gun. Now that he’s been pinned down, his counter-argument is that McCain’s platform is based on “selfishness,” which is hardly the way I’d describe John McCain when the chips are down.

Also Part 13:  It’s now been shown that Obama’s reluctant shift toward an all-of-the-above approach toward energy was just a sham, as it’s now come out that the regulatory burden to be imposed on the coal industry during an Obama presidency will be prohibitive. How many more industries, not just in the energy sector, could be impacted by regulatory burdens imposed by Obama remains to be seen.

More part 13:  Obama’s views on education reform aren’t directed at learning or achieving academic success. As shown by his work with Bill Ayers, “social justice” is to be the ultimate imperative that the schools are charged with achieving.

What strikes me about the excerpt from Part 8 is that, indeed, we have higher unemployment than anyone had projected, and Obama’s highly complicated tax proposal presented to the Congress ensures that the government’s regulatory burden upon businesses will only increase, plus, of course, he still wants the taxes to be raised on the very people who are more likely to be business owners, and, in turn, businesses are the very entity that hires workers and brings our unemployment rates down.

The excerpt from Part 10 shows that Obama’s government is very heavy-handed and intrusive. We know that government does not create wealth, but that’s exactly what Obama’s meddling with. Government does not make people healthy, but the government is meddling there, too. The rhetoric loftily asserts that we now have a government who will work on your behalf, that will no longer allow problems to be swept under the rug. Aren’t we all just happy that our government will no longer turn a blind eye to anything? Ooh! Big Brother sees what you’re going through and is here to help. Big Brother will interfere (no, not intervene, I chose the right word: interfere) on your behalf. The funny thing is, I don’t think the main motive for transforming our government into Big Brother is to spy on us. I suspect that they are trying to grow the government big enough to collapse the system so that is is scrapped and can then be replaced with a system of their own design.

The Part 12 excerpt about Obama’s voting record during his first year in the U.S. Senate speaks volumes about where we find ourselves today. How far have we come since then? Back then, he stood for zero growth. Now it’s less than zero. His radical philosophy prevents him from wanting to sustain our employment base.

To placate the citizens, of course Obama’s going to say, with his mouth, that he wants to put people back to work. He’s putting obstacle after obstacle in the way of putting people back to work, so we need to wake up and realize there is another agenda afoot. Obama’s agenda is not a jobs agenda.

If Obama’s agenda were a jobs agenda, he wouldn’t:

  • be pushing for Cap and Trade
  • on top of Obamacare
  • on top of a more complicated tax code
  • on top of a tax hike
  • on top of extending unemployment benefits
  • on top of confusion at the Federal Reserve
  • on top of bailouts for America’s least successful most unethical companies
  • on top of subsidies for industries that aren’t sustainable
  • on top of a Dream Act that will add incentives for additional foreign nationals to immigrate here illegally
  • on top of a moratorium on tapping additional oil and coal energy resources
  • on top of compensating government employees better than the private sector does
  • on top of letting SEIU union leaders shape economic policy
  • on top of continued dysfunction at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • on top of a mind-boggling budget deficit
  • on top of an unfathomable national debt.

That’s not how you create jobs. That’s how you collapse the system!

The first excerpt from Part 13 includes a link to the radio interview in which Obama emphasizes “economic justice,” which is a progressive’s euphemistic jargon for the rise of the proletariat A.K.A communism.

On energy, in the 20d excerpt of Part 13, the timing of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was impeccable. We knew that Obama wasn’t sold on the all-of-the-above approach to energy, and now he can smile like a Cheshire cat that he has the most perfect of excuses for continuing our dependence on foreign oil and subsidizing “green” fuel technologies that are money pits because none of them are on the pathway toward self-sustainability. If you want to help Americans, especially during the expensive winter heating season, stop throwing up obstacles to getting the cheapest most reliable domestic sources of energy. The agenda is collapsing the system. Everything points to it.

And from the final excerpt of Part 13, it appears that the Ayers-propelled education reforms will, once implemented, groom the youth for their role in the new system that replaces the collapsed one.

The WikiLeaks website founder is on the run right now. He’s given the ultimatum that if he is taken into custody, all the documents at WikiLeaks will instantly go public. That could happen any day now, and Mr. Assange of WikiLeaks will be the “fall guy” whose infamy will be forever memorialized in history books as the one who precipitated the crash of the world’s economy.

When we reach the “What do we do next?” phase when we’re all shell-shocked and feeling vulnerable, Obama, as President of the United States of America, will set forth a new blueprint, the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and when he does, we will finally come to understand what his meaning of the word “transformation” is.

David Arredondo guest blog: The Trojan Horse AKA the Dream Act

Editor’s note:  David Arredondo is a Lorain resident, very involved in the Lorain community and a highly visible member of the Coalition for Hispanic/Latino Issues & Progress (CHIP).  He is the vice chair for the Lorain County Republican Party.  He’s often a featured guest on WEOL radio to discuss his work with international students at Lorain County Community College (LCCC) as well as sharing a center-right perspective on political issues.  He’s also appeared as a Republican pundit on Feagler & Friends, which airs on the PBS affiliate in Cleveland, WVIZ.  Professionally, David Arredondo is the Director of International Student Services at Lorain County Community College.

THE TROJAN HORSE A.K.A. THE DREAM ACT

Talk of the Dream Act should be just that, talk; there is no reason for its passage now as it is constituted. Its passage would be costly and wasteful and continue to exacerbate an immigration system that needs to be replaced, not reformed.

Legalizing a segment of the 12million undocumented persons in this country does not help the process of replacing our current 19th-Century based system predicated on “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor.” Verily, most of the 12 million here unlawfully may be described as “the tired and poor.” Regardless of the state of our economy, it makes no sense to permanently absorb into our economy these millions who will require massive government assistance.

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that at minimum under the Dream Act, 1 million will enroll in American colleges with costs of more than $6.2 billion a year. Once again there will be a Federal mandate for the states to provide in-state tuition and financial aid. In states like California, Texas and Arizona, the costs would be even more.

The Dream Act requires an undocumented student to complete at least 2 years of college to earn permanent residency and later citizenship.Those of us in the higher ed industry know that 2 years of studies doesn’t qualify a student for much.

Perhaps the hidden effect that Liberals don’t mention is that once the student qualifies for Permanent Residency, his parents, siblings, and extended family can then apply for the same thing under our current immigration system. Looks like a Trojan Horse to me.

This is all the more reason that the proposed Dream Act must be defeated. This is why we need to replace the current system with one that puts security first and does not provide for Amnesty for the millions “tired and poor” who would be a burden on local, state and federal governments. A new system predicated on residency and citizenship for “the Best and the Brightest” is needed but only after careful study of the needs of our country and economy. “Chain Migration” that allows for one permanent resident to bring entire extended families needs to be eliminated as well.

Democrats are to blame for having the votes to do pass the Act unilaterally and failing to do so these past two years. It does not look likely that the Dream Act or Amnesty will pass anytime soon. However, I could propose a sensible and streamlined act that might.

1. Give all current undocumented children brought here by their parents who are under the age of 26 and give them the opportunity to enlist in America’s armed forces for at least 4 years. At that time they would be eligible for permanent residency and citizenship. In the military they would be trained for a specific occupation that will serve them when they muster out. Their service would make them eligible for the G.I. bill which gives them the opportunity to enroll in university for further education and training.
2. Suspend current immigration law that allows their parents who brought them here illegally from qualifying for Permanent Residency. In short, the only beneficiaries of Dream Act 2.0 law should be those who actually completed their military service.

Over the next several years we need to prioritize our nation’s needs–national security,job creation, economic growth, deficit reduction, and smaller, more efficient government.


James Williamson guest blog: Dear Santa, this is what I wish for during the 2012 election cycle . . .

Editor’s note:  James Williamson is one of my (DJW’s) younger brothers.  He is an Ohio native currently residing in Nevada.

A 2012 WISH LIST

Election season is over.  The campaigns for 2012 have not begun yet.  That means we are at a point at which the field is wide open for the next cycle and we can dream up any scenario we like.  So, in my letter to Santa this year, I’d like to ask for a few things for 2012 (because it will need to start in motion now for it to come to fruition by then).

Dear Santa,

There are so many things that I would like to ask for but I’ll try to keep the list short in hopes that I will get at least one wish.

1.    Sovereign fiscal sanity. I’d like to see it spread to the whole world but if that can’t be done then at least bring it to the US.  Nothing leads to poorer decisions than desperation, which is where the major governments of the world are headed right now.

2.    More incumbents retiring or getting defeated. While it was gratifying to see a bumper crop of new freshmen in the US Congress this year, I hope that we get even more next time.  Part of the difficulty that we have with solving our current problems with government is that the people that helped create them are the ones in charge of fixing them.  We need fresh blood and fresh thought . . . and lots of it.

3.    The death of professional lobbyists. OK, so this is probably never going to happen, but remember I called it a wish list.  One of the problems that we have today (as the Buckeye RINO has pointed out before) is that Congress no longer writes its own legislation and often doesn’t even know all the details of the legislation when they vote on it.  The actual text of most legislation is written by lobbyists or, more commonly, clients of the lobbyists.

4.    A requirement to identify who writes all text included in legislation. If we could identify who is writing the actual text of the legislation, then maybe judges could use a similar philosophy with statutory law that is used in tort law:  In case sof ambiguity, the decision will generally favor the one who did no draft of the contract (or, in this case, legislation).  Maybe that would deter corporations from getting involved in the bill writing process and our lazy representatives and senators would have a reason to do something besides take sides, bicker, and make closed-door deals when creating new legislation.

5.    A simplified tax code. I work for a retired colonel who is very intelligent and quite successful.  Once we were talking about taxes and he mentioned that when he does his taxes with an electronic filing system he will watch the tax meter and react when the number goes up or down.  It reminded me of playing pinball or gambling.  What is wrong with our tax code?  Why does it have to be so complex that even people with Ph.D.’s can’t figure out their tax liability until the IRS instructions for filing a return are published?  Corporations can afford to hire people to dedicate themselves full time to try to figure this out, but most individuals can’t, so the government strategy is to take too much and then refund back what they aren’t entitled to by law.  Would you like to pay your utility bills this way?  I read a recent article that suggests that the government can only get about 19% of GDP no matter what they do.  This is because higher taxes stifle economic growth.  So if 19% of GDP is the magic number, then why don’t we just set it there (or preferably lower) and stop all the games of cat and mouse with deductions and credits?  (OK this discussion could go on for another hundred pages so I’m going to cut it off here.)

6.    A balanced Congress. Congress always makes bad moves when one party thinks they can act with impunity in the spirit of “getting things done”.  I think the cases of Congress not doing anything are better than Congress doing something poorly.  I’m not terribly concerned about the final outcome (although, with the Tea Party Movement successes being within the Republican party, I do tend to favor them) as long as one party needs the support of the other to get legislation passed.

7.    An independent White House. Probably too much to hope for, but I really wish we could have a president that doesn’t belong to either the Democratic or Republican party.  In theory, that would keep him party-neutral and not give one party or the other the advantage in Congress by having the president on “their side”.  A third party candidate would work, but I don’t see them having any more luck getting elected than an independent.

8.    More power returned to the states. Despite what detractors say about the nation’s founders, i.e. that the founders wanted, above all, a strong federal government (their reasoning is that the Constitution created a stronger government than the Articles of Confederation that existed previously) the founders also wanted strong state governments and strong protections for individuals.  It’s about balance.  The citizenry, the municipalities, the states, and the federal government all have their respective responsibilities and limits.  One of the reasons US Senators were selected by the states before the enactment of the 17th Amendment was to maintain the balance of power between the states and the federal government.  For some reason, we have forgotten that and have trodden the 10th Amendment under foot.  Can someone remind our government that the people (not the the federal government) are sovereign?  Can the states remind the federal government why we had a revolution in the first place?  Do they remember why we rebelled against king George?  Apparently not.

Well Santa, there are probably a lot of good girls and boys with much simpler wish lists this year but why ask for toys when they just wear out, break, or get tiresome?  Why not ask for something more meaningful than mindless entertainment or pleasure?  Is that asking too much?

Sincerely,

James Williamson

P.S.   I wouldn’t want you to think that I am an ingrate. I am thankful for for my Christmas gifts from previous years: Thankful we have our independence from Britain;  thankful we have religious freedom;  thankful we have a strong military that protects us from foreign aggressors . . .  I could continue the list but I think you can fill in the rest.

“Hanging chads?” Guam vote recount

What we learned from the 2008 Senate race in Minnesota between Al Franken and Norm Coleman is that, when the results between candidates are very close, you must recount and recount and recount the votes until the Democrat wins.  If the Democrat hasn’t won yet, then it’s not yet time to stop recounting.

If there’s any scorn for Al Gore within the Democrat party, it’s because he stopped recounting too soon in 2000, and he should have called for progressives everywhere to march on the Supreme Court and burn it to the ground unless SCOTUS allowed recounting in Florida to continue until the Democrat won.

Guam, one of the 57 states of the USA (if you’re Obama, but it’s a territory of the USA if you aren’t Obama), also held its elections last Tuesday.

The following information was gleaned from Guam Pacific Daily News.

Guam Democrats are thankful to both Al Gore and Al Franken for the vote recount blueprint.  Because of Al Franken, they know that they have to keep recounting until the Democrat wins, and because of Al Gore, they know that any imperfection on any paper ballot creates ambiguity, requiring the best psychics to be assembled to channel the spirits to reveal the intent of each voter.  Luckily, Democrats have the numbers needed on the 7-member Guam Election Commission Board if, after all other attempts, gaming the system is the only other way to thwart the will of the people.

The Republican ticket for Governor and Lieutenant Governor appears to have defeated the Democrat ticket by 583 votes. That, indeed, sounds like a very small margin, but the voting population on Guam is smaller than that of any state in the USA.  In many states, automatic recounts are triggered only when the vote margin is within one percent or within less than one percent (in Ohio, it’s one-half of one percent).  In many states, recounts in races with larger vote margins must be paid for by the candidates’ campaigns or political parties.  In Guam, however, the Guam Election Commission can widen that vote margin for an automatic recount however they see fit, and, in this particular case, they’ve decided to stipulate that within a 2 percent margin the territorial government will pay for the recount.  Perhaps if they manage to overturn election night results, the Commission will be emboldened enough to call for recounts in future elections if the vote margin is within 3 percent (why stop there . . . maybe 5 percent).

The ballots will have no hanging chads, as HAVA (Help America Vote Act), passed in the wake of the Florida recount of 2000, required supposedly more reliable voting methods.  Guam uses optical scan ballots, which are the preferred ballot option for Democrats because electronic voting machines are hard-wired to rig elections in favor of Republicans.  Optical scan ballots provide more opportunities for Democrat quibbling because they are filled out by hand, and, as anyone knows, you can assert that anyone who failed to fill out such a ballot perfectly would be a voter trapped in poverty, possessing a poor education, thus unable to follow simple directions.  Anyone knows that the intention of every impoverished voter is to vote Democrat.  Only millionaires and billionaires who want tax breaks to move jobs overseas would intend to vote for Republicans.

The tabulating machines involved in the recount are programed to halt if an optical scan detects any irregularities, so that the ballot that causes the halt can be examined by humans.  There is a contingency plan if not enough ballots are irregular.

Democrat Party Treasurer Joey Duenas hinted at the pretext for continuing with recounts.  Machines, he argued, would not halt for ballots that contained votes for write-in candidates in which the bubble isn’t filled in next to the line where the candidate’s name is written.  In the past, the Guam Supreme Court has ruled that such write-in votes do not count unless the appropriate bubble is filled in.  That might not daunt Duenas, who patriotically declared,”Every vote is sacred to me.”

Perhaps if the shoe were on the other foot, with Democrats leading election night results, the votes might not have been sacred enough to call for a recount.

Mme. Speaker Pelosi, I wonder if you would clarify something. . . ?

Beginning in the summer of last year, our Representatives in Congress began convening town hall meetings to extol the virtues of proposed health care system changes.  The reception wasn’t so good.

Also making news were groups of detractors widely known as the Tea Party.

I’m trying to remember, way back then, how you characterized the negative feedback that garnered media coverage . . .

Correct me if I’m wrong, but, didn’t you say it was mere astroturf?

I think you did.  I think you said it was nothing but astroturf.

I wonder if you would care to elaborate further on that observation in light of the most recent election results.  Do you still think it’s astroturf?

Election results match up well with Buckeye RINO endorsements

Though I said in my prior post that I still wouldn’t be happy though Republicans were projected to do well in Congressional races, I have to say, looking through election results, I’m not sad either.  Their are many reasons to smile.

The candidates I endorsed did reasonably well.

In Cuyahoga County, with the new form of government, the Republican didn’t win the county executive race.  Plus, of the 11 county council winners, only three are Republicans.  I’m not sure if that will put enough distance between the county government and the scandalous rascals who will make every attempt to infiltrate it.  On the bright side, having 3 Republicans in county office is a huge improvement over zero (and it’s been zero for a long time).

The last time I checked, the Erie County Auditor race was too close to call.  There’s still a chance it could turn out the right way, in favor of Rick Jeffrey.

Unfortunately, Jeff Krabill didn’t win the 80th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.  He certainly came awfully close, though, as incumbent Dennis Murray didn’t even garner 50% in his successful re-election bid.  A Libertarian candidate, though not a winner, clearly influenced the outcome of that race.  If the Libertarians didn’t have a candidate on the ballot and it were a two person race, I don’t see how Dennis Murray would have been appealing to a Libertarian.  In a two-person race, I think Krabill would definitely have been the one who captured more than 50% of the vote.  Krabill can take solace in 3 facts: 1) He retains his seat on the Sandusky school board; 2) It took BOTH a Democrat AND a Libertarian to defeat him, as the Democrat couldn’t have done it alone; and 3) as a result of the 2010 Census and other Republican election victories, there may be a redesigned district, perhaps a more favorable one, for Krabill to run in if he chooses to take another shot at state rep in 2012.

In another race contested by more than two candidates where the winner captured less than 50% of the vote, the outcome was much more to my liking.  There was a four-way race for Lorain County Commissioner, and Joe Koziura came out on the short end of the stick. 😀  Republican Tom Williams is the new county commissioner.  Starting in January, Lorain County taxpayers will finally have an advocate working on their behalf in county offices.

Skip Lewandowski didn’t win his state rep race in the 56th District, and he would have been an excellent state rep.  Rae Lynn Brady didn’t win in the 57th, either.  On the upside, Terry Boose easily won re-election in the 58th District, Rex Damschroder prevailed in the 81st District, and the GOP recaptured the Ohio House of Representatives.

In the 13th state senate district, Gayle Manning won.

Kathleen McGervey won her election to the state school board.

The Kasich/Taylor ticket uprooted Ted Strickland from the governor’s office.

David Yost won for Ohio Auditor and Josh Mandel for Ohio Treasurer.

The GOP will lead the reapportionment process for designing new legislative district boundaries based on the new 2010 Census figures.

Maureen O’Connor and Judith Lanzinger won races for the Ohio Supreme Court.

Bob Latta won re-election.  Peter Corrigan, Rich Iott, and Tom Ganley did not win, but 5 Ohio Democrat U.S. Representative incumbents (Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Driehaus,  John Boccieri, Zack Space, and Charlie Wilson) were defeated by Republican challengers, so, in January, the Ohio delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives will include 13 Republicans and 5 Democrats.  As expected, the GOP, nationwide, picked up more than 60 House seats.

Rob Portman won the race for U.S. Senate, and the GOP made nationwide gains there, with at least a net gain of six Senate seats since the special election in Massachusetts that sent Scott Brown to Washington DC.

There you have it.  Lots to smile about this time around.

Congress predicted to be more Republican, but I’m still not happy

Election time is here.

Republican prospects for making gains in Congress appear to be in the offing.

But I’ll still be unhappy with Congress.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m energized about voting.

But I also have a melancholy feeling that won’t dissipate even with Republican control of Congress and the statehouse.

Why?  We Republicans recycle way too much of our garbage.  If I were speaking of environmental issues, you wouldn’t see a problem with that.  No, I’m talking about derelict Republican politicians who resurface in elective office when they didn’t do a good job before the Democratic tide of 2006 rolled in.  Perhaps no example illustrates this better than Jon Husted, who was Speaker of the House back in 2006, and now he’s the Republican candidate for Ohio Secretary of State.  Why is this guy still around?  Did we actually like the job he did and want to bask in those glory days again?  No.  It’s not as if I want O’Shaughnessy to win.  I don’t.  I endorsed the Libertarian, Charles Earl, in that race, but I have no expectation that he’ll come anywhere near winning this election.  I expect Earl’s percentage share of the vote will be in the very low single digits.  My conscience won’t let me offer my support to either Husted or O’Shaughnessy.

Many might say we want some new blood to take the reins of government.  But do we see any new faces?  Senator Voinovich is stepping down, so we’ll get some turnover for that seat, and I expect Rob Portman will win it handily, but is either Portman or Lee Fisher a new face?

Even if a tidal wave sweeps Republicans into power this time around, aren’t these the same guys that have been in the pipeline for about 4 years now?  Were any of them that stellar back in 2006 to say,”Hey, how about recapturing the seat you just lost?”  I think at least some of us, at least me, had been hoping the old guard would concede defeat and some newer faces would emerge to try to give the Republican Party an image makeover.

The best headlines this year were the ones where Tea Party favorites defeated the establishment in GOP primaries.  I’m not 100% on board with the Tea Party (maybe I’m 80% on board with them), but I’m very happy that they’ve become a sizable enough group to do some GOP housecleaning.  Heaven knows we’ve badly needed it.  I wish there were some astonishing Tea Party victories here in Ohio, rather than down in Kentucky, over in Delaware, way out there in Nevada, and all the way up in Alaska.  But I’ll take what I can get.

The Tea Party is really a middle-of-the-road constituency.  Many among them are not hardcore Christian conservatives.  Many are independent voters and ardent supporters of minor political parties.  The mainstream media has it all wrong.  These are not the people on the extreme conservative fringe of the political spectrum.  They are the people that live next door or down the street, or maybe even you, yourselves.

And with that false MSM portrayal of the Tea Party, the establishment has woven a narrative that the Tea Party favorites are too radical, too extreme, to represent the voters.

The word “radical” is used to describe change.  It is a change that is an abrupt departure from what was considered the norm.  I think what the establishment finds so radical about the aspirations of the Tea Party is that the establishment would be replaced by the Tea Party favorites.  There’s nothing really extreme in the ideology.  It’s all about a reluctance to relinquish power.  The crop of establishment Republicans we have before us have pretty much used ideology as just mere words to rally the masses.  They don’t really vote that way as legislators.  As legislators, they enjoy the perks of cutting deals, of being power brokers.  They are drawn to those halls of power for exactly those reasons.  They don’t really do our bidding.  That’s how we end up with a Congress we have a low opinion of.

I’d be in favor of some radical change.

With no favorable track record for the establishment to run on, since they are such hypocrites with all their conservative talk, and a focus on their track record would truly expose their hypocrisy, they have made these elections about the question marks that surround the Tea Party favorites instead of about themselves.  Radical.  Extreme.  Untested.  Inexperienced.  Unqualified.  You are being told that Tea Party candidates are radical and extreme.

In reality, the most radical and extreme thing the Tea Party hopes to do in electing candidates this year is to replace the establishment.  That’s what’s so unappealing to the establishment, is that the Tea Party’s aim is to put the incumbents out of a job, replaced by one of their own.  Otherwise, the establishment Republicans are borrowing Tea Party credos for their own propaganda about what they, themselves, stand for.  If the Tea Party is so extreme, so radical, why are the establishment Republicans echoing exactly what the Tea Party faithful are saying?  Is it just pandering for votes?  Of course it is.  They want to co-opt the Tea Party message for themselves to win enough votes to put them over the top, but those messages really don’t convey what these Republican establishment types are all about nor do they really describe how they govern.

Pure and simple, the charges of “radical” and “extreme” are a last-ditch desperate effort of the entrenched establishment to hold on to power.

What’s worse is that the establishment really thinks that they are entitled to that power.

They’ll tell you that a Christine O’Donnell in Delaware or a Joe Miller in Alaska have no rightful claim to seats in the U.S. Senate.  In O’Donnell’s case, the establishment conceded a November GOP defeat just as soon as the primary election outcome in Delaware was announced.  They took their ball and went home. They gave up.  They quit.

The most perfect illustrations of the establishment’s sense of entitlement are Charlie Crist in Florida and Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.

Former Florida Governor Crist, desperate to remain part of the national GOP establishment that he’d networked with, pulled out of a GOP primary race with Marco Rubio so that he didn’t have to make an early exit.  He’s running as an independent, instead, grasping at anything he can cling to so that he can stick around.

Lisa Murkowski had no intention of an early exit, either.  After a primary election defeat at the hands of Joe Miller, she got back in the race as a write-in candidate.  She’s that addicted to the power she wielded.  She can’t bring herself to walk away.  She is trying to claw her way back into the Senate any which way she can.

Joe Miller and Christine O’Donnell have found themselves ridiculed for episodes from their past.  Should this disqualify them from serious consideration?  Lisa Murkowski may think so, but I’ve been around the block enough to know that all those establishment politicians have episodes from their past that they hope will go unnoticed.  Christine O’Donnell, if she were placed on the scale with some sitting GOP Senator, and the blemishes from each one’s past weighed, would her demerits be any weightier than those already in the halls of power?

Lisa Murkowski, go ahead and point a finger at Joe Miller.  There are four fingers pointing back at you.

I am absolutely disgusted when a sitting politician intones that a challenger is unqualified to be a legislator.  I’m not swayed by their citations of “experience” as a reason to support them over anyone else.

The qualifications for being a Senator are the same as for being a registered voter except for a residency requirement (reside in the state you represent) and an age requirement (over 30 years old).   How could anybody that meets those requirements possibly be unqualified?  And what advantage is it to be an experienced legislator than an inexperienced one?  The more experienced you get as a legislator, the farther removed you are from the constituents you represent, and the closer the orbit around lobbyists becomes as you are exposed to their tempting propositions for a longer duration of time.

It’s okay for legislators to be amateurs.  In fact, it’s the ideal for them to be amateurs.  When amateurs write our laws, they are likely to be more fair to the ordinary people of the United States, because they feel and experience what we feel and experience.  Though it was pooh-poohed by the establishment and the MSM, I thought it was a major selling point when Christine O’Donnell said in an ad, “I’m you.”

Our Constitution has checks and balances built into it to ensure that our nation retains a government of the people, by the people, for the people.  There are the separation of powers between the branches of government (executive, judicial, legislative) to check and balance each other.  The Congress, itself, is structured with checks and balances.  It doesn’t consist of one person issuing decrees.  In the Senate, there are 100 persons and in the House there are 435, so, within each chamber, they check and balance each other, plus one chamber checks and balances the other chamber.  So, if a Tea Party favorite really does turn out to be a train wreck, the damage done is limited.

There are also checks and balances between amateurs and seasoned professional public servants.

The executive branch enforces the laws.  They administer.  A politician who aspires to the executive branch ought to demonstrate some relevant experience.  The resume of an executive branch candidate is highly relevant.  You need someone with a lot of honed skills to be effective in the executive branch, and experience can demonstrate effective skills.

Judges are also professionals.  Their chief qualifications are revealed by their resume.  They interpret the law, review it to insure a law’s fidelity to the Constitution, and deliberate over very complex matters painstakingly set forth in courtroom hearings.  They administer justice and balance the rights of the accuser with the rights of those accused when charges are lodged and suspects brought to trial.

But government decisions made only by professionals would lead us down the path of elitism which gives way to aristocracy which gives way to tyranny.

Voting is not the only check and balance amateurs have upon the professionals.  Though a judge presides over a court room, a jury of amateurs decides the outcome.  Though the executive branch carries out the law, it was intended for amateurs to make them.  Turnover was to be encouraged so that we would have some amateurs arriving with each successive election cycle, while others who’d been in Congress a long time would eventually return to private life.  That’s why elections for the U.S. House of Representatives occur every two years, to encourage such turnover to keep the Congress in touch with the people.  There ought to be no career legislators.  A career in elected political office is only fitting for the executive branch (and the judicial branch, although in the federal government, being a judge is not an elected office).

Yes, I want to show Democrats the door.  I will be voting Republican for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.  But I’m not elated that, in many cases, the Republicans poised to capture seats are the same ones we were disenchanted with back in 2006.

Guest blog: Behind enemy lines

Editor’s note:  This blog article was authored by James Williamson, one of the younger brothers of yours truly.  James grew up in Ohio, but he currently resides in Nevada, so he has a bird’s eye view of perhaps the most talked about U.S. Senate race in the nation.  It’s such a high profile Senate race that President Obama was in Las Vegas on Friday night (10/22/2010), so James went to the Harry Reid rally, even though he doesn’t support Reid, just to see the President (who he doesn’t support, either).   The title of this article is referencing his attendance at that rally.  Like much of the rest of the electorate, James is highly energized about issues of national politics, so much so, that these days he wants to blog (more often than I do) to get a few things off his chest.

BEHIND ENEMY LINES

Reidrally(1)10/22/2010

Reidrally(2)10/22/2010

It’s not every day the President of the United States comes into town.  In fact, it’s such an unusual event that even I succumbed to curiosity.  OK, so my wife was the one that wanted to go . . . but since I had never been able to say that I had seen a sitting President (or any President for that matter) in person, I went along.  I will confess that at first I wanted to shout “vote for Sharron Angle,” but I restrained myself and I’m glad I did . .  not worth taking the chance of being pummeled  . . .

On this occasion, the President was in town to rally support for the endangered Senate majority leader.  (I may add that this was my first time seeing a Senator in person, as well.)  Interestingly enough, I found that if you didn’t get caught up in the shouts and chanting it was really difficult to tell who exactly he was talking about.

President Obama said he wanted to break away from old style politics:  A Washington without partisan bickering, politics where the candidate with the most money and cynicism doesn’t always win.  He called for the parties to work together in a bipartisan way for the good of the people.  Who were you talking to Mr. President?  Look in the mirror when you make such statements.

Another interesting statement was that neither he nor Harry Reid was born with a silver spoon in their mouth.  Then he lauded Reid for being a common man saying that he had humble beginnings and remembers what it is like to have to work for a living and struggle to make ends meet.  Who are you trying to fool?  I never went to a private school while growing up (OK, I technically went to a private college, but BYU tuition was less than Ohio State for me), nor was I privileged enough to have an Ivy League education.  As for Reid, yes, he may remember what it is like to be a common man, but that’s just it:  he has to remember.  I’ll bet he has to think about it a long time to remember, though, because that is now ancient history . . .

Obama also decried campaign smear ads by Republicans and fear mongering ads by groups that aren’t even affiliated with the candidate, groups with funny names that have donors that can’t be identified.  Funny, when my brother (none other than the Buckeye RINO) was here helping me move in, he saw such an ad campaigning against Sharron Angle . . . It was in Spanish, but he noted that the endorsement by Reid was missing (“I’m Harry Reid, and I approved this message”).  I have since heard that ad and many others attacking Sharon Angle that don’t have Harry Reid’s endorsement at the end.  Most of them use very negative pathos suggesting that Angle is not only radical but dangerous based on sound bites from some of the things that she has said that don’t sound very good on the surface but aren’t really all that scary.  (Remember that Angle is a novice.  Reid has had lots of practice speaking in public about sensitive issues, Angle has not.)  I live here in Las Vegas, NV now and I can say that I have heard more of this type of attack ads directed at Angle than I have directed at Reid…  Who are you talking to Mr. President?

When the rhetoric turned to bragging about accomplishments, Obama and Reid both touted their health care reform.  Obama claimed that health care reform is making health care more affordable for consumers.  Oh really?  Then why am I faced with a 100% increase in the health insurance premium portion that I pay, plus why is the company I work for paying an additional 25% for 2011? To be fair, the dollar amounts are roughly equal, because the company I work for pays a much larger portion of the premium than I do, but combining them both represents roughly a 30% increase.   So how is a 30% increase more affordable?  Have we changed the rules of mathematics?  If so, could you explain to me the new rules so I can understand them too?

Obama said that we should move forward and not backwards, that we needed new thinking.  So when Reid bragged that the high speed rail line to California and the I-15 corridor work would bring thousands of jobs to the area in response to the economic downturn, was that a fresh idea?  Is that new thought?  Wait a minute, I seem to remember another time when we had a major economic fallout and the government started a mega-project in southern Nevada . . . Oh, yes!  The great depression and the Hoover Dam . . .  Original thinking there, Mr. Obama and Mr. Reid.  Glad you are here to come up with all these new ideas.  So what happens if it doesn’t improve the unemployment in Nevada?  Will you then say “It would have been worse if we hadn’t”, or will you blame the Republicans for ruining it?

Well if you want some really new ideas Mr. President, some radical ones, I have a few.  How about agreeing to allow use of our national parks by the native Americans as part of restoring trust after years of abuse and land grabs?  How about returning power to the states by eliminating federal agencies and programs that are better handled on a local level, like education and welfare?  If you are so anti-imperial, how about starting right here at home?  In order to compete in the world economy, why not negotiate with the rest of the Americas to adopt the US dollar the way the European Union has? (This has already worked well in Ecuador.)  Why not take it one step further and open the door to allow the states of Mexico to join our Union?  Maybe then we could keep illegal immigration at bay once conditions inside the country improve and they are no longer drawn northward.  (Of course you would have to cut off federal entitlement programs for that to work.)  Maybe then we could get the gang wars under control if we could send in our military instead of theirs.  Maybe then we could keep our retirees, that flee southward trying to keep themselves financially afloat, so that they retire inside the boundaries of the expanded US?  That’s radical thinking.  This is something no politician is even talking about, a new idea.  Re-creating the New Deal under a different name is not a new idea.

After another year, and after we are ready for the next campaign, we’ll check in, Mr. President, and see if you are having any luck with that original thought.  If you haven’t by then, we can help you out . . .

Buckeye RINO 2010 general election endorsements

Endorsements:

(Lots of Republicans, to be sure, but not all–skip to the bottom of the post to see those who aren’t)

In Cuyahoga County government elections this year, the first such under the new charter, vote for all the Republicans you possibly can, including Dolan at the top of the county ticket.  There is a partisan dimension to the corruption in Cuyahoga County.  That’s the reality.  The most powerful and entrenched Democrats caused it.  Don’t harbor delusions that they are out of the picture now.  They will find ways to infiltrate the new structure of government, too.  They always do.  To hamper such efforts at infiltration by corruptocrats, sweep out as much Democrat residue as you can by voting Republican this election.  Farmers rotate crops because planting the exact same crop every year can diminish the productivity of the land.  Likewise, every now and then, Cuyahoga County needs a crop of Republicans at the helm to keep the county fertile and productive.  Allowing the Democrats to remain entrenched over the course of decades must necessarily lead to complacency and corruption.  You can elect Democrats some other election down the road, after they’ve gotten the message drilled into their heads that they can’t keep up the shenanigans.

For Erie County Auditor, please elect Rick Jeffrey, not only for this reason, but because of what I’ve already noted about Erie County Commissioner Tom Ferrell (there’ll be another opportunity to oust Ferrell in 2012, when his current term ends–don’t waste it).  Sometimes, I think Ferrell aspires to be a Dimora and incumbent auditor Tom Paul aspires to be a Russo.  In the Auditor’s office shortly after Paul was sworn in, he wrongfully dismissed a top employee who performed her job well and did not have black marks on her record.  The former employee filed suit over the dismissal, and she won.  Erie County taxpayer money had to be squandered to legally defend an indefensible decision, and, on top of that, pay the penalty ordered by the court.  Was Tom Paul sorry for what he’d done?  No.  He said he’d do it all over again, even with the same outcome.  Who benefited from Tom Paul’s indefensible decision?  Commissioner Tom Ferrell’s wife, that’s who.  She was promoted to the position that Tom Paul wrongfully cleared out.  Let the voters clear out Paul from his position and thumbing his nose at the taxpayers when he intentionally did the wrong thing.

For Lorain County Commissioner, trust me, you don’t want Joe Koziura, though he’s the good old boy who’s the darling of the Democrat machine.  Vote for Tom Williams.  Lorain County voters have rejected proposed county tax hikes on more than one occasion.  They still haven’t rejected the politicians who keep attempting to hike those taxes.  It’s time that they did.  Joe Koziura is ready and willing to increase your taxes.  Tom Williams has pledged that he will oppose all such attempts.  Furthermore, if Koziura is elected, that would put three Lorain Democrats on the Lorain County Commission.  Not only is that an unbalanced commission, one that doesn’t represent the county as a whole, there are no good ideas nor effective elected leaders originating from Lorain.  That should be plainly evident by looking at what a disaster Lorain is, especially in comparison to the rest of the municipalities and townships in the county.  Why would you want a county run into the ground the same way that the city of Lorain has?  From the school board to city government, to county government, to those who represent the area in the Ohio General Assembly, there are no elected government officials from Lorain who have a handle on what it is they ought to be doing for the betterment of the community, with perhaps the lone exception of Jim Smith on the school board.

Having said that, also in need of replacement is the darling of the local SEIU, Sue Morano.  Please vote for Gayle Manning for Ohio Senate. Here’s a link to Manning’s campaign webpage: http://gaylemanning.com

I’ve already urged voters to support Republicans for the Ohio House of Representatives this year.

It does no good to replace Joe Koziura as state representative with a Koziura disciple, Dan Ramos, who was an actual Koziura staffer down in Columbus.  We don’t need to elect a Columbus insider.  Columbus does not have our best interests in mind.  The Plain Dealer had the good sense to endorse Henry “Skip” Lewandowski (you’ll have to scroll down the PD page to see the endorsement), and, for a change, the Lorain Morning Journal also endorsed Lewandowski for state representative in the Ohio House 56th District.  Here’s Lewandowski’s campaign webpage:  http://www.skipforohiohouse

In the Ohio House 80th District, which stretches from Erie County up into Ottawa County, please elect Jeff Krabill for state representative.  Since 2001, Krabill has held a seat on the Sandusky school board.  Incumbent Dennis Murray puts K-12 education on a back burner, but it’s an issue that the Ohio General Assembly spends a lot of time on in each session they convene.  Feel free to consult ohio.gov for more specifics on the bills which Murray is a primary sponsor of.  I failed to find any regarding education.  Many of the bills primarily sponsored by Murray concentrate on legal requirements and legal penalties, so I’m sure the trial lawyers all over Ohio are grateful to Murray, who is a lawyer himself, for finding ways to keep lawyers employed, even while the rest of the private sector is shrinking.  For example, lawyers would need to get involved in home improvements if the owner wants a company to come in and provide more than $1000 worth of improvements.  That’s HB 557.  If you commit some kind of menacing criminal offense toward another person, there are, of course, criminal penalties.  For more fresh meat for lawyers, consider this:  What if we elevated the criminal charge to the next higher degree because a homeless person was intimidated?  That’s HB 509.  If you feel like intimidating someone, find out where they live, first, because it’ll cost you extra if that someone is homeless.  Then there are the frivolous bills, like a commemorative day (HB189), a War of 1812 bicentennial commission (HB 168), and commissioning a new statue to represent Ohio in Washington DC to replace an existing statue which represents Ohio (HB 581).  HB 532 tinkers with exemptions to the taxable portion of estates, but, if it were me, I’d rather get rid of estate taxes altogether.  Why is the state entitled to a chunk of the a$$et$ that a person accumulated over a lifetime?  Did the state, somehow, earn it?  Let’s mandate a “computer take-back program” to recycle your electronic devices and create the  Electronic Waste Advisory Council to get the program off the ground.  That’s HB 447.  Municipalities and minor league baseball teams should be encouraged to partner with each other, shouldn’t they?  So if a minor league team plays home games on municipally owned property, then no property taxes will be assessed.  That’s HB 401.  Murray sponsored two bills that offer sanctions against employers who would terminate employees that are victims of domestic violence (HB 167) or employers who would terminate employees, who, during legal proceedings, are testifying regarding the company (HB 170).  These last two bills have noble purposes, but HB 170, in particular, seems hypocritical coming from Murray, and his role on the Sandusky City Commission in the dismissal of a Sandusky police chief. (Read “Smackdown on Women in Sandusky.”  It has quietly become the #1 most widely read blog post here at Buckeye RINO.)  By the way, what does any of this have to do with the challenges facing Erie and Ottawa counties right now?  I dunno.  Vote for Jeff Krabill.  This is the Krabill campaign webpage:  http://www.jeffkrabill.com/about

If you look at the top of the left hand column of this blog, you will see a search window.  Just type in some keyword, and it will pull up all the Buckeye RINO entries containing that keyword.  As a suggestion, type in “Terry”  followed by “Boose.”  There’s a lot of Terry Boose on this blog.  Read through the articles and consider this:  Unlike Murray, in the neighboring district, Boose has introduced and pursued issues that are keenly relevant to his district and to the challenges his constituents (and voters all over Ohio) are currently faced with.  Re-elect Terry Boose for state representative in the Ohio House 58th District.  Here is the Boose campaign webpage:  http://www.terryboose.com/

I’ve been very wordy with all these endorsements, so let me handle the rest with bullet points:

  • Rae Lynn Brady for state representative for the Ohio House 57th District.
  • Rex Damschroder for state representative for the Ohio House 81st District.
  • Kathleen McGervey for state school board.
  • Bob Latta for Ohio’s 5th Congressional District seat.
  • Rich Iott for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District seat.
  • Peter Corrigan for Ohio’s 10th Congressional District seat.
  • Tom Ganley for Ohio’s 13th Congressional District seat.
  • Rob Portman for U.S. Senate.
  • Maureen O’Connor and Judith Lanzinger for Ohio Supreme Court.
  • Kasich/Taylor to replace Strickland at the top of Ohio’s executive branch.
  • David Yost for Ohio Auditor.
  • Josh Mandel for Ohio Treasurer.
  • Charles R. Earl for Ohio Secretary of State.
  • Dual endorsement, take your pick:  Robert Owens or Richard Cordray for Ohio Attorney General.

Yeah, on those last two executive branch offices, you read them right.

Please vote.

Guest blog: Tea Party will not hurt the GOP

Editor’s note:  James Williamson, one of my younger brothers, an Ohio native, but currently residing in Nevada, authored this blog piece and has previously written guest blogs for Buckeye RINO, which you may read here, here, here, and here.  While I’ve often offer election endorsements, it is true that I don’t often make predictions of the outcomes.  I’m more interested in how I think you should vote rather than how I think you will vote. I have offered predictions about trends in economics, foreign affairs, and religion, though. Further, I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say the Tea Party Movement belongs to the Republicans, as independents, Libertarians, moderate Democrats, and those from other minor political parties are welcome to participate in the Party, and have, in fact, participated in significant numbers.  I concede that the public perception may be that a coalition of independents and a splinter group of Republicans (the ones who have “gone rogue”)  are the nucleus around which the Tea Party Movement has coalesced, and that the MSM plays up the dynamics of the interactions between the Tea Party Movement and the GOP, thus portraying the Tea Party Movement and the GOP as joined at the hip.  I think Sharron Angle surprised everyone with $14 million raised during the latest financial reporting cycle, which underscores the assertions that James has printed here.–DJW

TEA PARTY WILL NOT HURT THE GOP

Recently there have been some statements by prominent members of the Democratic Party that tea party candidates will weaken the GOP by placing radicals on the ballot that cannot get elected in a general election.  Don’t be fooled this nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of the Democrats.  There are at least three reasons why the Tea Party candidates will not hurt, but actually may help the GOP’s chances of taking back Congress in November.

1.       The schism within the party isn’t really a schism. Ironically it was the Republicans two years ago who were pointing at the Hillary Clinton – Barack Obama runoff that touched of serious debate (and name calling) within the Democratic Party and tried to say that the Democratic Party was on the verge of falling apart.  No such luck for the Republicans then and no such luck for the Democrats now.  Again, ironically, it was Bill Clinton who tried to calm critics in his own party by saying that there was nothing wrong with having rigorous debate within the party, that it was all part of the political process, and that there was no reason to run around yelling “The sky is falling.”   The same Bill Clinton that is now calling the Tea Party candidates radicals and extremists. Politically motivated or just an astute observer?  I’ll let you decide that.  Despite all the rhetoric, the Tea Party movement belongs in the GOP. It wouldn’t survive in the Democratic Party because it runs against everything the Democrats believe in.  The fundamentals of the movement do strike a chord with Republicans, though, as it would be impossible to win a primary if it didn’t.  The mere fact that the Tea Party candidates are winning GOP primaries is evidence that no third party is forthcoming. After all, it was when Teddy Roosevelt couldn’t win his party’s nomination that he formed the Bull Moose Party.  The Tea Partiers may be upstarts within the Republican Party but they definitely belong to it and the RNC better get used to the idea.

2.       Anti-establishmentarianism is stronger than the establishment wants to believe. It is so strong (and not without reason) that I predict that record numbers of newcomers to Congress will be elected this year.  (I haven’t done the math, but at this point that may not be much of a prediction since there are so many newcomer candidates and vacating incumbents.)  Why else could Sharron Angle be virtually tied with Harry Reid in the polls?  If Angle has no political experience, no money (compared to Reid), and no brains (according to her critics) then why is she running neck and neck with the highest ranking official in the Senate?  The answer is simple:  Voters don’t care about experience and they don’t care how much money you have.  I will make one more prediction on this one (even though the Buckeye RINO doesn’t like to make predictions, I have no qualms about doing so.  I don’t get embarrassed when I’m wrong.):  Money won’t matter this election.  In fact it may actually hurt you come November because you will be viewed as the establishment AKA the enemy.  These are perfect conditions for the Tea Party Movement and without the anti-establishment mood the movement would never have gotten off the ground.

3.        The GOP needed a whipping. As many others have noted, both parties have been swinging wildly left on the political spectrum.  Republicans barely have more fiscal restraint than Democrats.  Even on moral issues there has been a leftward drift.  Some may think that this is a reflection of the change in thought of the public or even simply progress in political thought, but support for the Tea Party Movement refutes those notions.  The public has not shifted to the left. The political elites have. With things out of balance and Washington being ever deafer to constituents, a pull back to the right is necessary to keep things in balance.  I would point out that even in Europe so-called right-wing “extremists” have made a lot of headway in the last decade.

I might even go so far as to say that the Tea Party Movement may actually become what saves our political process and averts outright revolution.  You can only ignore your constituents for so long before they get angry and only so long after that before they go for their guns….  Of course I could be wrong on that count too.  The Tea Party Movement may not be enough to get the blue bloods in Washington to listen and we may need a second American Revolution…

Why Obama should appeal a court decision against “Don’t ask, don’t tell”

Obama favors repealing “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”  So does Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.  They are of the opinion that coming out of the closet should not be cause for discharge from the military, nor should it be a bar to enlisting, so long as homosexuals in the military are following all the orders and rules given to them that everyone else must follow.

So it should be a welcome gift that a federal judge in California ruled that the Pentagon must strike down the the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, right?

But the Obama Administration is mulling an appeal over the ruling, which might baffle  many in the LGBT community, and it may baffle many others who are center-left on social issues, particularly the issues that confront the LGBT community.

But Obama absolutely ought to appeal, even though doing so would be seemingly contradictory in light of his wish to abolish “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The reason is this simple:  Separation of powers between the branches of government.  This federal judge, while feeling that “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” isn’t constitutional, is making a ruling that is not constitutional.

The President of the United States is Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s military.  The Congress has war powers.  The judicial branch of the federal government is absolutely nowhere in the chain of command.  In fact, the military has its own separate courts.

If this federal judge is permitted to run afoul of the Constitution and issue orders to the military, what kind of anarchy might ensue?  Potentially, every federal judge in the nation could be issuing orders to the military.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” preserving our Union and our Constitution requires an appeal based on the constitutional separation of powers.

We cannot have a military that has every federal judge as its boss.  There must be a unitary chain of command.  All military authority flows through just one channel.

Congress has the power to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”  Secretary Gates and the personnel at the Pentagon are gathering information together for a report to Congress and are preparing to give testimony in Congressional hearings on the policy.  Secretary Gates confirmed that the change in policy must be pursued through the channel of authority delineated in the Constitution.

Let’s not throw the Constitution into the trash bin.  Allowing all federal judges to give orders to the military would do just that.  To prevent our Constitution from being shredded, the decision cannot be allowed to stand, thus the Obama Administration should absolutely file an appeal.

Marcy Kaptur lives in a glass house & throws rocks at Rich Iott

It makes a lot more sense to call U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur an Osama Bin Laden sympathizer than to call GOP nominee Rich Iott a Nazi sympathizer.

Did she really say, in her press release characterizing Iott’s war re-enactments as equivalent to an endorsement of WW II Nazis, “To perpetuate such a twisted and dangerous view of history is outrageous and indefensible?”

Well, let’s step back in time to March 1st, 2003.  The Toledo Blade attributed quotes to Marcy Kaptur from an interview that smacks of revisionism to me.  And, by the way, her take on Osama Bin Laden omits any sympathy toward Jews.  Who is a more clear and present danger to Jews, Israel, and even America, today?  Adolph Hitler or Osama Bin Laden?

“One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown”

And she said this, too:

“I think that one thing that people of faith understand about the world of Islam is that the kind of insurgency we see occurring in many of these countries is an act of hope that life will be better using Islam as the only reed that they have to lean on.

“I think that people of faith understand that for many of the terrorists, their actions are acts of sacred piety to the point of losing their lives. And I think that people of faith understand that there is a heavy religious overtone to the opposition.”

Do people of the Jewish faith understand and put into perspective the actions of the terrorists from such a sympathetic view?  There are many within the Jewish community who exhibit religious tolerance and do not harbor personal enmity against their Muslim neighbors in America, but I don’t think there are many who would view the terrorists in the same light as Marcy Kaptur does.

From the myriad emails I get from those of the Christian faith, I’d say no, they don’t understand.  Not in the way that Marcy Kaptur understands.  Many don’t even understand my pleas  for religious tolerance on this blog.

To be sure, I have, more than once, called for more religious tolerance, and my plea for religious tolerance extended to Muslims in America.  Check it out for yourself by clicking this link and this link.

But we’re talking about terrorists, not about Muslims in America who obey all our laws.

And if the actions and propaganda of the Islamic terrorists in other parts of the world are couched in terms of “a heavy religious overtone,” what does the heavy religious overtone consist of, and to what end is it purveyed?

Annihilation of Israel?  Annihilation of the largest population of Jews outside of Israel, namely New York City?  Annihilation of America, which terrorists refer to as “the great Satan?”  Aren’t these perversions of Islamic teachings aimed toward such ends?

But Marcy Kaptur made nary a mention of the terrorists’ rampage against the Jewish religion (nor of anti-Semitism, in general) in her interview, nor in her “clarification” a few days later (World Net Daily article from March 8,2003).  She only referenced the religious convictions of the Americans engaged in the Revolutionary War against the British crown and her own Catholicism.  Is this omission tantamount to whitewashing what the terrorists truly stand for and strive for?  You decide.  But read what follows before you do.

In her interview, she was pleading for peace, to take no military action against such an “insurgency we see occurring in many of these countries.”  In the aftermath of the Holocaust, didn’t we solemnly resolve “Never again?”  Don’t these terrorists wish to emulate the Holocaust?

Her remembrance of the history surrounding the American Revolution and the motives of the American colonies’ rebellion is on shaky ground.  This is no benign revisionism.  It is “a twisted and dangerous view of history” when applied to Osama Bin Laden and his ilk.

Massachusetts was a Puritan colony.  Maryland was a Roman Catholic colony, settled by those who felt Great Britain under the Church of England was too religiously oppressive.  Yet there were colonies that were settled in large numbers by the adherents of the Church of England.

The Puritans sought to escape persecution in England by relocating, first to the Low Countries off England’s shore, and, shortly thereafter, in Massachusetts.  But that didn’t mean that the Puritans of Massachusetts championed religious liberty.  Why did Roger Williams leave Massachusetts and take on an important role in the colony of Rhode Island?  Roger Williams wanted more religious liberty than could be found in Massachusetts.

With all these competing religions in the 13 colonies, religious liberty in America had to be hammered out during the framing of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.  Religious liberty was not achieved by rebelling against Britain in the American Revolution, nor did it instigate the rebellion.  Though Americans had a lengthy list of grievances against Great Britain, heavy taxation without any representation in Parliament was the actual spark that led to the Revolution.

Armed conflict in the name of religion happened in Northern Ireland, in the Christian reconquest of Moorish Spain, during the Crusades in the Holy Land, and in many other places throughout time, but not here on American soil, not even during the American Revolution.

Yet Marcy Kaptur portrayed the terrorists as akin to Revolutionary Americans.  Such revisionist statements, if believed, would evoke sympathy toward the terrorists point of view.  Even in her clarification, though she spoke out against terrorists, she did not abandon this faulty view of history and defended her comparison between the terrorists and the Americans who fought the War of Independence.  Make no mistake, the Islamic Jihads occurring in other regions of the world are not wars for achieving independence.  Quite the opposite.  And with this comparison as the rationale for “peace” with the terrorists, her “twisted and dangerous view of history is outrageous and indefensible.”  If we exit the fight against terror in the name of peace, would peace really flourish under the rule of the terrorists?  There is no peace, whether we fight or not, but the fight against terror serves to protect us.  I think protecting ourselves is a worthwhile endeavor.  I thank God for the courageous women and men in our nation’s military who provide the most important public services rendered by any persons on the government payroll.

Marcy Kaptur further revises history, during her interview, by asserting that the attacks against us were brought about by ourselves.  We bear some blame in the attacks.

” . . . we have to learn to coexist in a world with religious states that we may not agree with and find ways to cooperate.”

Those “religious states” have even more need “to learn to coexist” than we do.  We are at the vanguard of finding ways to cooperate and coexist in the world.  We do better at it amongst ourselves within our own borders than any other country in the world does, and we endeavor, throughout the world, to follow that same ethic.

And further:

” . . . I think this is such an important moment in history is because the United States cannot become the target of the anguish of the dispossessed in the most undemocratic region of the world.”

Two things about that statement bother me.

The first is that we can make ourselves a target of the dispossessed.  Last time I checked, there are more dispossessed in the world who would rather migrate here than who would attack us.  We don’t target ourselves and we don’t make targets of ourselves.  The terrorists who cannot abide democracy choose to target us of their own volition.  We ought not to abandon democracy, not even to avoid being targeted.

The second is that, in “the most undemocratic region of the world,” the dispossessed would do far better to alleviate their anguish by contending against their own tyrants than to contend against us.  They should be seeking to gain their independence from tyranny.

If Rich Iott is a Nazi sympathizer for playing the role in such re-enactments, then whenever anyone stages a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” we should disavow and repudiate the actors who appear as Nazis in that musical as being sympathetic to the perpetrators of the Holocaust.  Hollywood ought to banish actors who play the roles of Nazis in their films for the very same reason.  Kaptur’s reasoning in denouncing Iott on these grounds is a prime exhibit of the politics of personal destruction and character assassination.  There’s no merit to what she alleges.

Kaptur’s posturing against Iott is mudslinging.  Let’s call it what it is.

Apparently, there are Kaptur henchmen who are defacing Iott yard signs with swastikas . . . or are these Kaptur supporters who have gone rogue?  In this Blade article, a Kaptur spokesperson, Mary Chris Skeldon isn’t so convincing in keeping Kaptur distanced from the vandals.

“For him to blame the actions of others on our campaign is ridiculous and a sign of desperation.”

The Kaptur campaign made a ridiculous charge in the first place that associated Iott with swastikas.  Why wouldn’t the Kaptur campaign’s mudslinging be the impetus for such antics?  And isn’t it the mudslinging, itself, a hallmark of desperation on Kaptur’s part?

Kaptur wants this story to be in the headlines rather than issues of domestic policy.  As an incumbent representative to Congress, shouldn’t she want the headlines to be the causes she championed in Congress?  Shouldn’t it be about the legislation she delivered on and the legislation she’d pursue if re-elected?  Nope.  Iott must be polling within single digits of Kaptur.  She stooped this low against Iott, but not against prior contenders that she bested by double digits.

Iott, for his part, has remained focused on issues, with press release after press release talking about reforming Congressional earmarks and reversing downward economic trends.  He’s the one taking the higher road.

Obama’s highly political “economic policy” speech in Parma

Listening to a speech billed as revelatory of Obama’s economic proposals, I was hard-pressed to identify any new direction in White House economic policy.

Before a cherry-picked audience of Cleveland-area Democrats, Obama tried to fire up his political base in advance of the November elections.  His remarks were enthusiastically received by those in attendance, but my own take on Obama’s address was that it was the very epitome of political double-speak.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of all the double-speak featured in Obama’s speech, so feel free to add to the list in the comments section:

  1. He decried inheriting a deficit of a trillion plus from the previous administration.  Then he portrayed his actions of the following year, also incurring a deficit of a trillion plus, as a rescue from a national financial meltdown and as an investment in the future, particularly an investment in education.
  2. He called for tax breaks for small businesses.  Most small businesses are not corporations.  A large number of small businesses are owned by private individuals, and such businesses report their profits or losses on the business owner’s personal income taxes.  Taxes on annual incomes over $250,000 are set to increase dramatically as temporary tax cuts expire, thus increasing the tax burdens for a significant number of small businesses.
  3. He stated that he favored a free marketplace, yet the policies he is pursuing, especially redistribution of wealth and government investment in industries that aren’t self-sustaining, continue the trend toward a centrally-planned economy.
  4. He stated that the middle class didn’t reap any economic benefits when the legislative and executive branches of federal government were controlled by Republicans.  He stated that the middle class was shrinking under Republican rule, and that he intended to grow the middle class starting with making temporary middle class tax cuts permanent.  On the other hand, he acknowledged a high unemployment rate with a forecast that it will take a long time for private sector employment to rebound.  Widespread unemployment has hit the middle class hard, and threatens to shrink the size of the middle class.
  5. He derided our largest corporations and our most influential industries for being left to regulate themselves while taking credit for saving our nation from a financial meltdown.  The most influential industry that regulated itself was the financial industry, and the largest corporations within that industry, who were the most egregious with their excesses, were the beneficiaries of bailouts that Obama supported.  As for self-serving regulators and bad actors in the financial industry instrumental in its demise, it should be noted that, in the Obama administration, Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, and Larry Summers are charged with the responsibilities of financial industry oversight.
  6. Though acknowledging that he and his party have the clout to enact laws without the help of the Republican Party due to the overwhelming Democrat majority in the current Congress, Obama, over and over again, scapegoated the Republican caucus for thwarting the legislation that the White House sought to advance.

One of the most astonishing claims that Obama made was that Ohio’s economy had grown over the past several months.  Is that what Ohio’s economy looks and feels like to you?  To me, the comment was designed to bolster the faltering Strickland gubernatorial campaign.

His frequent negative references to John Boehner alongside his criticisms that Congressional Republicans wanted to revert to failed economic policies of the past that put our nation’s economy in the ditch indicated to me that Obama is alarmed at the number of Ohio’s Congressional races now rated as tossups rather than rated as leaning toward the Democrat incumbents.

Stemming the Republican tide in the polls leading up to the general election, particularly in the swing state of Ohio, was clearly the main aim of the President’s speech.

Congressional Republicans must indeed share in the blame for our nation’s economic collapse.

Republicans (and Democrats) aided in distorting the marketplace, thus short-circuiting the natural corrections characteristic of a free marketplace.  These marketplace distortions create an uncompetitive business climate (with the health care coverage provider industry among the least competitive).  These marketplace distortions take many forms, from regulations that favor some industries and corporations over others; to earmarks and government investments in enterprises that aren’t self-sustaining; to regulatory bodies comprised of the agents of the largest corporations in an industry to the exclusion of smaller businesses and neutral, disinterested, independent parties; to forging private-public partnerships and forming hybrid private-public companies; to steering government contracts; to government marketplace intervention in the interest of political expediency; to carving out exceptions to the tax code for politically connected companies.  Lobbyists secure these marketplace advantages using incentives such as political campaign contributions.

Republicans (and Democrats) have enacted federal budgets that have run up deficits and incurred more government debt.

The business community is complicit in these machinations that have brought about our nation’s economic plunge beyond what has already been stated.  For example, the business community has clamored for greater government transparency and accountability, yet transparency and accountability should apply to the business community as well.  The Wall Street meltdown should never have happened after the debacle of Enron and the related demise of the Arthur Anderson accounting firm, but unethical business leaders continue to sidestep accountability, as the recent bailouts clearly illustrate.

These are the factors that ran our economy into the ditch–not free market capitalism, not limited government, not austere government spending, and not low tax rates.

In this speech, President Obama states that our nation has already tried the “failed” Republican approach of free market capitalism, limited government, austere budgets, and low tax rates.  Personally, I think the Congressional Republicans have talked the talk, but have not walked the walk, thus the approach Congressional Republicans give lip service to has NOT been tried.  Rank-and-file Republicans, independents, Libertarians, and even clear-thinking Democrats hope that Congressional Republicans have gotten the message (a message delivered through public polling that shows the electorate’s overwhelming disapproval of Congress and through rallies such as those organized by Tea Party groups) and finally mean what they say.

So, as we approach the November elections, should we support Congressional Republicans or Congressional Democrats?  Isn’t there a risk that Congressional Republicans still won’t walk the walk?  For myself, at least the Congressional Republicans are saying the right things about free markets, limited government, budget cuts, and tax cuts, while the Congressional Democrats and the President, himself, eschew such principles, leading me to support the Republican candidates for Congress.  After all, who is more likely to deliver on those right things?  I think since the leading Republicans are at least talking about pursuing those right things, they are more likely to deliver on them than leading Democrats are, since the Democrats are talking about pursuing an opposite approach.