Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Europeans Awaken

Time has it wrong yet again, the lead woman in this video has been in the Netherlands for 16 years and still does not speak Dutch! Yet the story portrays Dutch politician Geert Wilders as the bad guy. Just as here in the States immigrants are coming for purely monetary reason with no intention of assimilating. In fact its quite the opposite, those now moving to Europe and America expect the native populations to accomodate them rather than becoming part of the melting pot that Western Democracies have become.

Really Mr. President...Really?

Politically, I am open to diverse views, if an idea is good it is good. I tire of my conservative acquaintances accusing me of being a liberal if I agree with Democrats on an issue just as I dislike when my liberal friends accuse me of being a talk-radio inspired, rabid right-wing automaton when agreeing with the GOP. What bothers most when dealing with the extremists of either stripe is the hypocrisy when it comes to issues. Attack the party in power but then push for the same thing when you hold the power.

This was in full view during the president’s budget speech yesterday. It was full of attacks on items recommended by HIS OWN budget reduction commission; why? Apparently because they were included in Paul Ryan’s Republican budget proposal. In typical Washington fashion, the president thinks we have the attention span of a Labrador Retriever. Many of us do; some of us do not. Mr. President, stop the hypocrisy! I know saying one thing one week and something else the next…like the previous statements never existed is Washington S.O.P.

In 2008 then candidate Obama went on record saying the president does not have the constitutional authority to go to war without the approval of congress. He was attempting to poke at Bush’s war-waging record, failing at the time to realize that Mr. Bush had the approval of congress from the beginning. If this is approval is truly needed why did the President Obama seek the approval of the United Nations, the Arab League and pretty much everyone else rather than the U.S. Congress when sending American Forces to Libya in support of the popular uprising there? A massive case of hypocrisy.

Last week the president urged congress to raise the level of the national debt without conditions as this was vital to the interests of the American public. If uncontrolled government spending is a good thing then why did then Sen. Obama vote against raising the debt limit in 2006? Might it have something to with just being contrary to a Republican president? Hypocrisy runs amok.

While I disagree with the president on most issues I have supported some of his education and transportation proposals because they were good ideas not because I like the man or the party. Conversely I disagree with the Republicans on many issues that affect the middle-class; I am a conservative, not a rubber stamp. Rather than killing the messenger because one does not like the message, the hypocrisy in Washington has gotten to the level where the messenger is killed no matter what the message.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Next stop, not even close to where you need to be

The Democrats have come with another fabulous idea to improve our transportation infrastructure…tax people by the miles they drive. They believe this will accomplish two goals, rebuilding America’s crumbling bridges and roads and encourage commuters to ride public transportation.
This is liberal standard-operating-procedure, tell the public that this will help reduce traffic and push the masses to public transit while in reality knowing most of us have no choice but to drive. This will create a new steady stream of available cash to be spent on anything but infrastructure upgrades. If you don’t think it will be misspent Google “Social Security Lock-box”.
I, as most Americans should, have some serious heartburn with this proposal. Those promoting this, along with those pushing for higher fuel taxes seem to forget that the vast majority of us have no access to mass transit of any sort. These moronic pointy heads in Washington forget that the United States is a vast, mostly rural landscape with the inhabitants working for small businesses that make even car-pooling difficult. Smaller cities that manage to subsidize a bus system have them stop every half-block making them impractical for one’s daily commute. I tried in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and my 20 minute drive became a three hour nightmare!
Portland, Maine provides a perfect example of the situation. It is a city with few large employers and those making average wages unable to afford to living in town; one must be well off or on the government dime to there. Workers are forced upwards of an hour away to afford housing. Should we punish them for wanting the American dream? Portland has a transit system but infrequent buses and restrictive hours make it little more than subsidized transportation for illegal immigrants or the cities masses of substance-abusers (which further reduces its attractiveness to the commuter).

I love mass transit, really I do, when I lived in Boston I rode the “T” daily and in Europe I didn’t even own a car, I could rent the few times I actually needed one. Many cities that manage to subsidize a bus system have them stop every half-block making their use impractical for one’s daily commute. I tried in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and my 20 minute drive became a three hour nightmare! In all fairness they have added a few express routes since then are slowly installing light rail.
The number one reason our roads, bridges and tunnels are in such a sorry state is that our fuel taxes (up to a third of the per gallon cost) are not spent on maintenance and construction as intended but instead go into the general fund to be squandered elsewhere. Do you really think this new cash-cow will be any different?
Now that I’ve alienated my liberal friends let me do the same to my conservative ones. I support the president’s desire to invest in high-speed rail; I think we need competition in inter-city travel and I would also support London-style congestion taxes in cities with viable transit systems that are underutilized. I would also support a law requiring fuel taxes being spent only on transportation projects with a portion set aside to build new or improve existing light rail systems. But for that to happen we also need to revamp the contracting system to limit the investors or government’s liability for cost over-runs – think Boston’s “Big Dig” or Norfolk’s light rail project. I support clamping down on traffic scofflaws as a funding stream for cash-strapped states. Bad driving burn more fuel and makes the highways more dangerous for all of us. I already hear the cries of intrusive government abuse by those on the right, we’re always for law and order, you know the death-penalty for murderers and long sentences for drug users, but our own crimes should somehow not be enforced. More Americans are killed on the highway than by murderers and drug-abusers combined.
We are not as compact as Europe and will never have the transit system that they have but there are things we can do to improve transit in this country. We must also understand there are some who will always need to drive themselves who should not be punished for not having a choice in the matter.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Keeping the Plame Blame Game Alive

Originally posted in 2006 I thought I'd recycle this and my follow-up Plame story to coincide with the release of "Fair Game", which attempts to support the myth that Valerie Plame was covert and that her husband found no evidence of Iraq attempting to by yellow-cake uranium in Niger. A typical Sean Penn view of history...

14 JULY 2006:

Since Valerie Plame  is attempt a civil suit against the Vice President we have liberals once again going nuts over the Plame affair. Ms. Plame , a desk bound functionary at the time of the alleged leak, was far from a covert agent. Even if she were covered by the statute in question the originator of the story (Robert Novak) has said it was neither Cheney nor Rove that gave him Ms. Plames name, therefore no crime was committed. Mr. Novak has even publicly stated that he got Ms. Plame's name from Mr. Wilson's (Plames husband) entry in Who's Who. Giving the name of a non-covert employee of the CIA is not a crime. Mr. Novak has also said that there was no effort to smear Ambassador Wilson.

What is a crime , in my opinion, is that Ms. Plame got her husband the job to go to Niger. As a government employee Ms. Plame violated ethics statutes by assisting her husband to obtain a US Government position. Mr. Wilson should also be investigated for falsifying government documents since he came back from Niger with information that did not concur with reports by British Intelligence about Iraq's attempt to buy yellow-cake uranium The left also overlooks the findings of such works as the Butler Report which go against what Mr. Wilson said about Iraq's interest in Niger. Of course part of the problem was that Amb. Wilson had no experience in this field and only obtained his appointment through the machinations of his wife.

If there were an injured party here it would be the senior leadership at the White House, Amb. Wilson's report and the ensuing "leak scandal" were nothing but premeditated attempts to defame the Bush administration.

Plame movie tries to re-write history | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

Plame movie tries to re-write history The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

Plame Game Redux

Richard Armitage, a State Department official that opposed the war in Iraq (and rightly believing she was not covert), not the White House confirmed to Robert Novak what he had learned from others that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. The Washington Post (01 SEP 2006) questions Joe Wilson’s, Plame’s husband, report on Iraq’s attempt to buy uranium from Niger and whether the conclusions were politically motivated. The paper questions Wilson’s baseless accusation of an “illegal conspiracy” to discredit him and goes on to state the charges “that it [the White House] orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson is untrue”. The Post claims, “the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson.” The question should be why prosecutor Robert Fitzgerald, who apparently discovered Armitage’s connection early in the investigation, sat on the knowledge for three years and why he charged Lewis “Scooter” Libby for perjury when apparently all Libby did was say he couldn’t remember events, that it now turns out, never happened.

Many, including elected Democrats, have used these accusations to attack the integrity of the Bush administration. Where is the call for a full investigation of Fitzgerald, Wilson and Plame? Although nothing other than Wilson’s accusations pointed to the White House many on the left did not wait for a court decision before accepting it as fact. Are apologies on the way?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pick a Card, Any Card (as long as its the race one).

Donald Trump was a guest on "The View" yesterday and he was saying that the president could end the "Birthers" arguments by simply producing a complete copy of his birth certificate. While I'm no birther and I do believe Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii I must agree with The Donald on this one.

What is the president so concerned about? Is there something wrong that might make us question his parentage or the story he tells of it? All I know is that with the real I.D. legislation now in place Americans must show a birth certificate to get a drivers license and one has always needed one to get a passport. Why isn't it required to run for president?

Whoopi Goldberg dealt out the race card yet again when she said to Trump "No white president was ever been asked for his birth certificate". Actually Ms. Goldberg you are, as usual, wrong. John McCain produced his birth certificate when members of the Obama election team accused him not being a naturally born citizen. After McCain produced a birth certificate the argument then became that that his birth in a civilian Canal Zone hospital did not count as citizenship; the courts ruled that it did.

Goldberg in her long standing practice of trying to shut down those with which she disagrees by calling them or their actions racist should do a little research before spouting off.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Work Hard and Get Ahead...or Not.

Apparently the Republicans now in control of the House of Representative feel that it is the middle-class that must be punished for the sins of congresses past. Congress misspent $2.7 trillion of Social Security trust-fund money; the answer of the freshman Republicans is to take away benefits from those forced to pay into the program. If federal employees still have access to health care and retirement plans, the solution is to attack them. While fighting ruthlessly to prevent a tax increase for those making over $250k (not that I wish a tax increase for higher earners) why take away from those making less than $100k?

I haven’t seen a single member of congress stand up and say that they would go after those that abuse the welfare system. They won’t go after the deadbeats living on Social Security Disability using phony injuries/illnesses but instead want to lower the benefit those under 55 that were forced to pay into Social Security and Medicare. Veterans are forced to use assembly line, socialized medicine while those who never served and refuse to work get real health insurance under Medicaid. They attack the retirement of federal employees while keeping their own, which happens to be the best in the government excluding the president, immediate retirement benefit which kicks in after only 12 years of service. Nor do they disparage private employers for taking away benefits from the rank-and file even when bonuses are paid to top executives; instead they join the chorus calling for a race to the bottom in middle-class compensation.

Americans have always been willing to sacrifice but before attacking those that work and make America the great nation it is go after those refusing to work or those living here illegally. Stop sending pork back to your home district in attempt to insure your long term presence in Washington. In other words do something for us rather that to us!