Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page
Byline: Tucson, AZ. aka refugee camp from Kalifornia.
My first try blogging on the run. Forgive spelling. Weather must be fun in the midwest. My flight Wed from St. Louis to Dallas was cancelled and now my flight back through Dallas is delayed. Aircrew in hotel shuttle described snow in Denver. More time sitting in airports. Yeah.
It seems that everybody I met here in AZ was either 1) a kalifornia refugee, 2) planning on being a california refugee, 3) wish they could plan on being a kalifornia refugee. If you want to see the effect of socialist policies on states, visit the refugee states that border them.
Well Alex, the question is, “What experiment needs to be declared a failure and terminated.”
more later…I have to get up early and catch a plane.
But as Kermit the Frog says, “You don’t have the tongue for it.”
My post on setting up a web site to push for congressional term limits stands. A commenter sent a link to http://termlimits.org. While they support term limits and are activists in defending term limits against attacks by political barnacles who don’t want to let go of their office, I didn’t see a path forward for congressional term limits.
The path forward
1) Rough out a draft constitutional amendment that imposes term limits on members of congress*. I would include term limits on Supreme Court justices as well**. It doesn’t have to be perfect because it’s going to be finalized in convention.
2a) Draft a resolution to be taken to the state legislatures calling for a constitutional convention chartered to finalize the draft amendment and submit it for ratification.
2b) Draft a resolution to be voted on by referendum tasking the legislature to approve the resolution in 2a in case the barnacles in the state house don’t want to do the right thing.
3) Look for sponsoring organizations and agents in the 50 states, or at least the 34 needed to call the constitutional convention, to begin the process of promoting the convention resolution.
4) Promote, promote, promote. Get the amendment in the public eye, especially after every public appearance of some corrupt congressional dotard. Get it on Rush, Fox, Hannity, etc.
* Having a draft amendment provides a focal point. It provides a solid object for people to reference, review, and discuss. It allows the timid to see that its not a knee jerk “vote the rascals out” and gives the rabid something to get behind…besides screaming “Vote The Rascals Out!”.
** Term limits are better than mandatory retirement age. Mandatory retirement is so discriminitory.
I need to start a Congressional Term Limits web page. Every movement nowadays starts with a web page. Sarah Palin’s run for VP was started by some college kid who created a Draft Sarah Palin web page. There’s a page pushing forgiveness of student loans that is getting traction.
Yup. Gonna have to get a domain name. Anybody want to help?
Via Belmont Club, a link to a Times Online article quoting adviser to Britain’s** PM Gordon Brown, Jonathon Porritt, as saying (nay…insisting) that the population of Britain** has to be reduced from 61 million to 30 million.
1. Countries, like all living things, have a life cycle. The are created, they flourish, they prosper, they decline, a lion eats them. Britain may want to stay away from stands of tall grass.
2. I disregard any call for a reduction in population that is not written on a suicide note or otherwise published posthumously.
3. In survivor situations, the number one characteristic that determines success or failure is the will to live. When a society elects a government that does not believe that the society is worth saving or should be saved, that society has forfeited its will to live.
** You can hardly call it Great anymore.
Don’t miss me too much.
I added “A Case for Congressional Term Limits“, but it is about three posts back because they all show up in order and it had been posted as a draft a couple days ago.
Soon to show up at a Way To Opinionated blog near you, a defense of the assertion that most of the problems with the political environment today come from the lack of term limits.
I posted a while back describing the Obamacrats economic recovery plan to trying to resuscitate a drowning man by holding his head underwater.
We’re not out of the water yet despite yesterday’s market surge caused by Geithner finally releasing a toxic asset mitigation plan. Others have noticed. It was at best a breath of fresh air before the Obamacrats plunge our heads underwater again. It is just a plan. It requires the cooperation of private capitalists who the Obamacrats have shown to have zero respect for. Who really wants to partner with the government right now? Who wants to have the opportunity to engage in some legal business transactions only to have your name dragged through the mud, hauled in front of the Congressional Clown College to perform in an act of political theater and have ACORN brownshirts pulling up in front of you house to harass your family? The Democrats all but hung out signs saying, “Let’s have a good ol’ fashion lynch’n here, ya’ all.”
And if there is any movement on the banking front, there is an endless train of Obamacrat anti-business, anti-growth, anti-free market, anti-everything policies waiting in the wings to pour water on any attempt to kindle growth in the economy.
We are not out of the water yet, and the “lifeguard” is going to try to keep the victim afloat by tying bricks to it.
I’m going to start by making a claim pretty much unsubstantiated: Most of the decay of the American Body Politics is the result of unlimited tenure in Congress. Even the anointment of The One is a result of the vile political environment created by the corrosive atmosphere that has resulted from the the large number of entrenched career politicians in Congress. Presidential term limits are already established. We only have to deal with the Obama God for at most eight years. [shudder]
It is a fallacy that congresscritters can be term limited by the voters. Such a position fails to account for: a) the power of incumbency…independent of any of the following factors; b) the corrupting influence of the congressional seniority system; c) the ability of Congress to tax the electorate for the purpose of buying its own perpetuation; and d) the ability of Congress to effectively outlaw challengers.
The reality is that without some outside effector like Constitutionally mandated limits, a challenger CAN NEVER run against an incumbent on an equal playing field. Only voluntary retirements and situations like Chris Dodd’s current self-destruction has the potential to open a seat to allow a challenger a realistic chance.
1. Incumbents always have an upper hand. They have the ability to get name recognition simply by occupying the office. They can often communicate directly with their entire constituency at taxpayer expense by distributing mailings, flyers and e-mail notices without ever saying, “Vote for me.” Do not think that a “What’s Happening in the Legislature” flyer from a politician is an altruistic act. It is spun to the benefit of the officeholder. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Politicians should communicate with their constituents. But a challenger never has that method of communications open for the entire term of office like the incumbent. And when they do, they have usually had to sell their souls to get the money to make it happen. A successful challenger is often ethically compromised the moment they take office…an inauspicious way to start. But that’s the price of fighting incumbency.
2. The congressional seniority system, whether by intent of accident, is a major corrupter not just of the officeholders, but of the electorate itself. A state or congressional district that takes it on itself to apply term limits to its congressional delegation effectively removes itself from full representation in Congress. Districts rightfully see a senior member of congress as an investment who they have spent decades returning to Congress because that is how the system is set up. Many’s the time that unpopular, ethically challenged and just downright unsavory characters have been returned to Congress because they have the seniority to ‘bring home the bacon’. Remember that the systems itself is corrupt. You get what you incentivize and the congressional seniority system incentivizes sending crooks to Washington.
3) I have always thought that failing to apply term limits was an oversight on the part of the writers of the Constitution who were trying to create a system of checks and balances to prevent abuses of power by the Government. But they did not foresee income taxes and the ability of the federal government to siphon off huge fractions of the US economy to be used by the political class to buy their offices in perpetuity.
4) The non-financial ability of congress to create barriers to challengers. McCain-Feingold is just one example of Congress creating a barrier to challengers by silencing political opposition specifically in the period just before the election when most voters are just beginning to pay attention. Most people have no clue how many laws have to be complied with in order to run for office. And as one can well expect in a system that has essentially been designed to preserve tenure forever, enforcement of those laws are far from even handed. For example, both Democrat and Republican presidential campaigns failed to file for the election in Texas by the official deadline. Neither was penalized and both candidates were put on the ballot. Two women who ran as independents (I don’t remember where) on the other hand were hit with ten thousand dollar fines for not filling out all of the proper forms with the Federal Election Commission. The US has a two party system because the two parties work together rather shamelessly to make it difficult for third parties and independents, essentially establishing a political guild that eliminates competition. Now term limits may not in itself stop the collusion between the two parties to threats to their guild. But it’s a start. And the existence of term limits would reduce the incentive of the political class to create ethically questionable restrictions to running for office because they already know that they are going to be on the outside looking in at some point.
In conclusion, congressional term limits are needed to a) level the playing field between incumbent and challenger, b) equalize the representation across the country, rather than creating power blocks established by a few districts and states having congresscritters who have managed to stay in office for sizable fractions of a century.
The Lame Stream Media owes me an apology. Actually, they owe everyone an apology.
Their offense? Putting Barack Obama, the hyper partisan, hyper racial, hyper radical leftist in the White House. This follows the tradition during the Carter administration of the billboard on the highway leading into Georgia that said (paraphrasing ‘cuz it’s been a long time) “We, the farmers of Georgia, apologize for helping make Carter president.”
About March of ’08 the major liberal news outlets (which is pretty much every one but Fox) decided that they were going to put a black man in the White House. It fit the liberal mindset of the national news world, 90% of which self-identify as Democrat and/or liberal. Channel the identify politics of liberals. Channel the victim group politics of liberals, Channel the We Can Fix All The Wrongs Of The World politics of liberals. Stand up a shallow, narcissitic black man with an exotic name, no relevant resume, who could look good reading other people’s speeches off a teleprompter, and JournoList notwithstanding, I think it was a case of mass media hysteria.
Once it looked like Obama might be a viable candidate (compared to Hillary) the media spent the rest of the campaign pushing their agenda of putting a black man in the White House. Obama was protected from any untoward coverage, like being asked awkward questions. The Joe the Plumber kerfuffle was caused by an ‘insurrgent’ sneaking past their protective cover. The media’s quest to crush him was to not just punative, but precautionary, warning anybody else who might consider looking for inconvenient truths to take the opportunity to keep their mouth’s shut. Sarah Palin’s public gang rape at the hands of the press and the savaging of her family was the reaction of mother bears protecting their cub because she posed more of a threat to their goal of putting a black man in the White House than McCain was ever going to.
Their fawning coverage of the election was positively orgasmic. Chris Matthews had his tingle up his leg. I think we know which one.
Now, 60 days….SIXTY DAYS into his administration the light is being to dawn in the liberal press what a disaster they have wrought.
…and I’m waiting for that apology.
The Great God Obama sent a letter to the President of France promising to work together in peace for the future of mankind. He sent the letter to Jacques Chirac. Now he might have had a hint that Jacques was no longer the president of France because during his His Hajj to Europe last summer, he sat down and visited with the then President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. Apparently, Mr. Sarkozy did not meet the The Great God Obama’s satisfaction. So TGGO (it’s hard to keep writing out the full name every time) fired him and re-instated Jacques. The Divinity of his Will is demonstrated by the Divine Subtlety of his expression. Rather then striking the wicked Nicky with lightening, he simply addressed a letter to who he thinks the President of France. I expect the Hungarian usurper’s resignation momentarily.
Some will claim that this misdirected letter is the result of a wholy incompetent White House staff, because a competent White House staff would have directed the letter through the State Department, where there are scads of life long civil service employees in the diplomatic corps who make it a point of keeping track of who the current Head of State is for various countries. But this cannot be, and is heresy besides, because a wholy incompetent White House staff would be indicitive of a wholy incompetent White House executive, and that cannot be because He is the One We Have Been Waiting For.