Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page
Christmas present #1: A major tooth ache.
Christmas present #2: Vicoden. I was pretty mellow by late Christmas day. Like most pain killers, it doesn’t kill the pain as much as it makes you not care.
Belated Christmas present: Root canal. Some presents just keep on giving. [sigh]
Update: Apparently I jumped the gun on worrying about Princess Caroline being anointed to the Senate as a familial right. Apparently, the effects of inbreeding can take place in a single generation amongst the Kennedy clan and even the Kennedy worshipers that make up the Main Stream Media can’t hide it. End Update:
The publicity surrounding “Princess” Caroline’s potential anointment to the Senate has helped bring to light the current American Political Aristocracy. Political families are nothing new and go back to the Adamses at the very founding of the republic. The question has been floated as what effect it might have had on American history if George Washington had not been childless. But rarely is there such a blatant disregard for the very concept of democratic representative government as her appointment would be.
What drives this pattern where voters choose voluntarily (in most cases) to vote for political families? Do people actually think better of a politician because they are related to another politician. “They must have good political genes.” Or is it simple name recognition. A form of celebrity where people vote for the names that sound most familiar.
The problem with a political aristocracy is there isn’t a huge difference between only allowing a select few to serve and only allowing a select few to vote. The only real power of the vote is to decide who holds office. If the candidates are highly filtered before the voters get to have a say, then the vote doesn’t really mean much. This was how the single party elections in the Soviet Union were run. It’s how the single party elections in Chicago are run. It concentrates power into the hands of a few and INEVITABLY, that aristocracy sees the power granted them as a right…and an entitlement to whatever privileges they choose to give themselves. It’s easy to ration resources to the plebeians knowing that the aristocracy will never know privation.
It was casting off that sense of entitlement that was the American Experiment. Yeah, yeah…the original United States weren’t much in the way of a democracy by modern standards. And many of the Founding Fathers were social aristocrats. But not all. The ideal was real. That was that the republic could be run based on the will of the people who would choose their own representatives from amongst themselves and that power would not be vested in a hereditary political class. The lesson of history is clear what happens when the pool of available representatives gets pared down by non-democratic forces. This was why the Constitution is so cavalier about who can hold office. The writers did not want to preselect who could run.
Will recognition of this pattern of rising aristocracy give people pause when they vote? Is the current aristocracy a result of lazy voters or some perverse human characteristic to anoint kings so the voters don’t have to be responsible any more? Will future voters ever respond to political counter ads that point to a politician’s political lineage as a negative? Sen Lisa Murkowski may be having issues in Alaska with her seat being the gift from her daddy the Governor. Even though she won re-election in ’04 there is still aparently a lingering resentment left over about the nepotism thing. I have no opinion of Murkowski herself. But voter opposition to that nepotism in general is a good thing in my book.
So does this mean that I wouldn’t support a Jeb Bush presidency and the possibility of a third Bush administration? Not necessarily. Jeb Bush can legitimately stand on his record as governor of Florida, as George Dubya did with his time as governor of Texas. But I would sacrifice Jeb if it would help break the political aristocracy. What if he legally change his name to Smith and ran on his record without the family name. Would that still be the same thing?
It was 5 degrees out last night. Masonry houses with old sash windows don’t like that kind of weather. Can’t wait to see the gas bill. Shortly after moving into this house in 1988, it hit 13 below. There was ice on the inside walls of the basement. I suspect that we may be seeing that again soon. I need to inventory the cold weather gear. I don’t have the parkas and insulated overalls I used to have back then.
They promised us Global Warming. THEY PROMISED!
There was a satellite picture in the National Geographic back in the 70’s that showed snow cover in all 48 contiguous states which meant that there was snow cover on all 50 states (Hawaii gets snow cover on some of the mountain tops and Alaska, well…Duh). Are we going to do it again this year?
So many topics…so little time.
Defroster in the car couldn’t keep the ice from building up on the windshield going down the highway. Lovely day for a drive.
Associated Press says January weather in December is proof of Global Warming. Wonder what flavor Kool-Aid they drink in there.
No you say?
Democrats give money to auto companies. Unions keep their contracts intact. Unions are the biggest finaciers of the Democrats.
How much of that $15 Billion gets funneled straight to Democratic Party headquarters?
Consider this: The foreign auto makers with US factories often have higher domestic US content in their cars than the so-called US companies do. If the Increadibly Shrinking Three go bye-bye, the foreign owned companies will fill the market void, very likely with higher domestic US content than the Three Stooges used and the consequence of that could be that US auto industry employment goes up.
On how many levels can bailing out failed companies be bad?
Money is only corrupting because it gives power.
How did Obama get through the corrupt Chicago/Illinois political machine without having a financial scandal? What did he trade? We know all the players in Chicago were looking out for the number ones. They would not support him for altruistic reasons. So what did he offer? Passing up financial opportunities for power?
That Obama slid through the sewer of crooked politicos without getting dirty is as likely as Hillary not knowing anything was going on at the Rose Law Firm even though every other partner of the firm was convicted and jailed for felonies.
How do you bribe a sitting governor? You pay retainers to his wife’s law firm.
How does a politician with zero accomplishments become president?
I’m cooking the popcorn and waiting for that show to start.
The republicans in the Senate successfully stopped the auto union bailout only to have Bush say he’s going to pay the $15 Billion out of the $700 Billion TARP bill. If TARP wasn’t meant to be a gravy train for failed businesses and there is no language in it that authorized Bush to use it as a gravy train for failed businesses…then could a taxpayer suit stop it as an unconstitutional breach of power?
Any lawyers out there want to take that one on? I, unfortunately, can’t do it myself.
[Update: Corrected Blagojevich’s name. Cursed Serbian names. Do you know how many different ways you can spell “Rod”?]
Re: [Shouldn’t Be] Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Everyone’s talking about Illinois’ state governments’ “Culture of Corruption”. The problem is culture is not just government. Culture is societal. The rot and corruption of Illinois is too pervasive to exist without the tacit approval of the voters.
I went to school in Illinois in the 70’s. Lots of fellow students were from Chicago…and they were inordinately proud of their corrupt politicians. People who hold Al Capone in high honor are unlikely to respect a honest politician.
I remember back during the Nixon/McGovern election is ’72 (GAD I’m old) The choice was between the crook and the fool. Most people picked the crook because you can generally figure out what the crook is going to do versus throwing one’s lot in with a fool who might do anything. But that fact that the crook is better than the fool doesn’t mean that either choice is good.
The real problem is not yet another crooked politician getting frog marched out of the capital. The problem is the people who’s disgust is not with his corruption but with his being caught. They will in all likelihood turn around and elect another corrupt hack, hoping that this one won’t be so stupid. THAT is the real problem.
The culture of corruption is not Illinois politics. It’s Illinois. I would pin the blame clearly on Chicago. But I live across the river from East St. Louis and St. Clair County. The problem is more pervasive than just Chicago.