Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Present Day Economy And How We Got Here

Fifteen years ago* an entrepreneur by the name of Calvin set out on his rise to fame and glory in the capitalistic country once known as the United States of America. Calvin was a Liberal and believed in the American dream of 'get-rich-quick' by using any tactic that benefited his selfish desires...his personal philosophy was: "Whatever it takes; as long as the end justifies the means." Soon after starting his little business, Calvin was making what some would call, "obscene profits". Others noticed and jumped into the game to share in this new found wealth and thus competition was the new buzz word...and this was good, all the consumers benefited by lower prices. This period of prosperity lasted a limited time before the government stepped in to get their fare share of the profits in the form of taxes. Why the government did that is not entirely clear for such revenues where not needed prior to Calvin's entrepreneurial venture but Calvin's Liberal friends in Congress were able to find some pork to spend it on. Now not only was Calvin's obscene profits disappearing but all of his competition was beginning to see hard times. Calvin wanted to maintain his lifestyle of corporate jets and trophy homes so he went back to his Liberal friends in Congress to see if he could get some of his money back. The Congress agreed even though they had already spent Calvin's money on their own pay raises plus the pork they needed to avoid starving. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the next step. It was a group of Liberal brain stormers that came up with the obvious solution. "We own the printing presses." they said. "Will sombody print up some bail-out money for Calvin so we can get re-elected!" And that's the way it is... Oh! And don't go away. The Al Gore version of this story is just below... - Norman E. Hooben

* The above cartoon was published fifteen years ago.


How do you know when your computer has a virus? Take a visual check of your mother board...

A Virus-Free PC should appear like this:

I'd be concerned if you see this:


Madoff made off with billion$

Friday, December 26, 2008

Train 'em right!


Useful Idiots

Cross posted from RadarSite

Useful Idiots: The Maddening Complacency of the Dhimmi

A note from Radarsite [updated 12/25/08]: Occasionally we find a comment so disturbing and so revealing that it deserves more than just a simple reply in the comments section; it deserves an article. This is one of those occasions.
On June 4, 2008, Radarsite posted an original article "The Serpent is in the Nest: The Islamification of Dearborn, Michigan" [reposted 12/21/08]. It was subsequently sent to several other venues. The comments below represent the first response to this article from one of those websites. The subject of the article -- the danger inherent in the Muslim immigration to the U.S. -- is a highly contentious one, and passionately opposing views were not unexpected. However, what makes these particular comments so infuriating isn't the fact that the author disagrees with the premise of the article, rather, it is that typical liberal smug, condescending tone that permeates their response. And, more importantly, it is the abysmal ignorance that underlies it.

Here, then again, is the basic argument, followed by the commenter's response, and a final word from Radarsite.

The Islamic Center of America
Dearborn, Michigan
Total Population 97,775
City Area 24.4 miles
Muslim Population 30,000
500,000 Muslims live in the entire Detroit Metro Area.
Population (By Ancestry):
Arab 30.0%
German 13.7%
Polish 11.8%
Irish 9.4%
English 6.7%
Italian 6.4%


CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) spokesman Ibrahim Hooper indicated in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he wants to see the United States become a Muslim country.

In 1970 there were an estimated one-hundred thousand Muslims in the United States. Today, a mere 34 years later, the number is approximately 7-10 million! More than a quarter of a million people of Arab descent live in southeastern Michigan, making the area the second-largest Arab community outside the Middle East (after Paris, France). One frightening example of their prolific growth in American is Dearborn, Michigan. Of a total population of 90,000 Dearborn residents, 25,000 are now Arabs! And of all the Dearborn children under the age of 18, a full 58% are Arab children! Other developing centers of Arab/Muslim growth are Florida, Texas, New Jersey and California. God Bless America!

Every year huge numbers of Arabs/Muslims from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwaitis, Syria, Egypt, Albania and dozens of other ethnic Muslim states who hate America swarm into the United States and add to the already increasing numbers of Arab/Muslim. And every year hundreds of mosques, which preach the extermination of all non-Muslims and the Islamization of America, are being added to the thousands already pointing their minarets skyward. Militant Islam is rapidly spreading its tentacles across America. One of the few Islamic moderates in this country, Muhammad Hisham Kabbani of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, estimated that "extremists" have taken over 80% of the mosques in the US, nearly all funded by Saudi Arabia. These extremists are working single-mindedly to turn America into an Islamic state, with the Koran as its foundation.

Many mosques, "Islamic Learning Centers" and Arab/Muslim Student Unions are distributing large numbers of pamphlets and leaflets attacking Judaism, Christianity and other non-Muslim religions and urging young Americans (esp. angry black Americans) to convert to Islam! Not surprisingly, a large number of African-Americans convert to Islam while in the prison systems! The National Islamic Prison Foundation, which coordinates a campaign to convert inmates to Islam claim an average of 135,000 such conversions per year.

This is Islam

And this is Islam

And this...

And this...

These are our enemies

These are their symbols

And these are their words:

"This Is A War Of Destiny Between Infidelity And Islam."
(Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)

"Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!"Islam Is Not a Religion of Pacifists (1942)-- Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini

In 1996 and then again in 1998 Osama bin Laden issued two fatawa -- that Muslims should "kill civilians and military personnel from the United States and allied countries until they withdraw military forces from Islamic countries and withdraw support from Israel."

Bin Laden: "The Whole World Is Watching This War And The Two Adversaries; The Islamic Nation, On The One Hand, And The United States And Its Allies On The Other."

What is there in these simple, direct and unequivocal messages that remains obscure? What is there here that lends itself to misinterpretation? Could these undeniable experts be any less ambiguous in their pronouncements? This is, they tell us quite plainly, "a war between Infidelity and Islam", a war between "the Islamic Nation and the United States and its Allies." And, even more clearly, "Islam is not a religion of pacifists".

Yet we will not listen. We will not heed their warnings. We refuse to acknowledge the weight of their solemn words. Blinded by Hope, abandoned by Reason, we steadfastly refuse to understand their meaning.

From Blinded by Hope, Abandoned by Reason

These are the Dhimmis


7th-21st century. The notion of Dhimmitude, originating in the 7th century, still applies today to non-Muslims under Islamic rule—whether Jews or Christians, whether in Saudi Arabia or in Sudan. Dhimmitude began in 628 CE when Mohammed and his forces conquered the Jewish oasis at Khaybar. They massacred many of the Jews and forced the rest to accept a pact ("Dhimma") which rendered them inferior to their Muslim conquerors. Over the centuries, the ideology of Dhimmitude expanded into a formal system of religious apartheid.

Institutionalized apartheid. In Shari’a law, there are official discriminations against the Dhimmi, such as the poll-tax or jizya. <>R>
No legal rights. Jews may not testify in court against a Muslim and have no legal right to dispute or challenge anything done to them by Muslims. There is no such thing as a Muslim raping a Jewish woman; there is no such thing as a Muslim murdering a Jew (at most, it can be manslaughter). In contrast, a Jew who strikes a Muslim is killed.

Humiliation and vulnerability. Jews and Christians had to walk around with badges or veils identifying them as Jews or Christians. The yellow star that Jews had wear in Nazi Germany did not originate in Europe. It was borrowed from the Muslim world where it was part of the apartheid system of Dhimmitude.

Conditional protection. The protection of the Dhimmi is withdrawn if the Dhimmi rebels against Islamic law, gives allegiance to non-Muslim power (such as Israel), refuses to pay the poll-tax, entices a Muslim from his faith, or harms a Muslim or his property. If the protection is lifted, jihad resumes. For example, Islamists in Egypt who pillage and kill the Copts do so because they no longer pay their poll-tax and therefore are no longer protected.

Here are the comments

Re: The Serpent is in the Nest: The Islamification of Dearborn, Michigan
Posted: Jun 5, 2008 7:48 PM

Radarsite: "So, in other words there's nothing to worry about. To fear the Islamification of Dearborn is just another sign of American Islamophobia. Right?"

Commenter: "Why, of course not. Already we have a bunch of other serious problems that we're trying to deal with...

The Italianification of Paramus, NJ;

The Irishification of Boston;

The Cubanification of Miami;

The Snowbirdification of Coral Gables;

The Amishification of Northern Pennsylvania;

The Chinification of San Francisco;

And I don't know what it is about those northern climes, but the Bjornification of Duluth, Minn. ranks right up there. Why, do you know that One in ten kids up there is now named Sven or Brigid?

The Irishification of part of my city is so bad that those damned Micks forced the city to put up a stoplight that has the green light over the red; the only place in the country that has happened."


This, my friends is Dhimmitude in action. This is the unchanging liberal mindset. All cultures, and all peoples are the same. The immigration to the U. S of the Muslims represents no greater threat to our security than did the preceding immigration of the Poles or the Irish or the Chinese. All religions are basically the same and all are working for peace. To infer any special dangerous traits to the Muslim community is just a form of racism and intolerance.
The whole concept of the Islamist threat to America is nothing but a Republican ploy. 9/11 was an isolated event, a tragic anomaly, a senseless disastor, like a hurricane or a flood or a tornado. There is nothing is to be learned from the horrendous examples of Europe or Scandinavia or Britain.
Not only do our blinded liberals deny the threat to our Western civilization, but they work assiduously to obtruct our own efforts to combat the threats, and in so doing, have justifiably earned that ignoble label of collaborators.
One can only wonder which is the most dangerous: the obvious threats from our Islamist enemies who openly threaten our cultural survival, or the maddening complacency of the Dhimmis? -- rg

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Crisis and Response

Cross posted from Hillsdale College - December 2008
Larry P. Arnn - President, Hillsdale College
A Work of Recovery

Larry P. Arnn, the twelfth president of Hillsdale College, received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. From 1977 to 1980, he also studied at the London School of Economics and at Worcester College, Oxford University, where he served as director of research for Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. From 1985 until his appointment as president of Hillsdale College in 2000, he was president of the Claremont Institute, an education and research organization based in Southern California. In 1996, he was the founding chairman of the California Civil Rights Initiative, the voter-approved ballot initiative that prohibited racial preferences in state employment, education, and contracting. He has been published widely in national newspapers and opinion journals and sits on the board of directors of several organizations, including the Heritage Foundation, the Army War College, and the Henry Salvatori Center of Claremont McKenna College.

THE AUTUMN of 2008 has brought events in politics and economics that touch upon the meaning of our country and how it shall be governed in the future. These events are, as Lincoln said of the results of the Civil War, both "fundamental and astounding." They bring us another step away from the principles and institutions that have made our country both good and great.

It is time now for recovery, both economic and political. The two are related, but I will speak here mainly of political recovery, which will in the end determine economic policy for many years. The goal of that recovery, I will argue, is simple to state: we must recover the art of constitutional government. The means are also simple to state: we must begin by studying that art. That is because we have lost sight of it, and so its beauty is obscure to us today. If we can but see it again, its beauty will call to us as it ever has.

That we have lost sight of it is plain in several things that have happened to provoke and to worsen the economic crisis of the last three months and in our reaction to that crisis. It is also plain in the political campaign now blessedly ended. I will select one of those things, a certain reaction by John McCain that was particularly revealing. But I use this only as an example of many things that have happened in both political parties and across the government. John McCain is a fine man, indeed one of the finest, and by no means the worst in his understanding of constitutional government.

Crisis and Response

Begin with what happened. One of the worst financial crises in American history broke into public view in the first ten days of September. Several of the oldest and largest financial institutions in the world were wiped out, almost without warning, all of them highly profitable until the very eve of their demise. The government rescued the largest insurance company in the world. Two quasi-public corporations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that invest in about half the mortgages in the United States were also rescued. For several days the regular system of credit transfers that makes commerce possible was nearly frozen. The stock market has lost more than 40 percent of its value. Most recently, the financial crisis has abated at least partially, thanks in part to vigorous steps to combat it by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury. Now recession is upon us, and it is likely to be sharp and may be prolonged.

The political race was transformed by the financial crisis. It came at a terrible time for the McCain campaign, which compounded the injury by responding badly. The fact that the Senator responded so badly points to his share in the worst problem exposed by the crisis. That problem has very much to do with economics, but its heart is in politics, and it concerns the Constitution.

The two biggest events in the September meltdown happened over the weekend. On Sunday, September 7, the Treasury Department announced its $200 billion bailout of the two quasi-public corporations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For years the Wall Street Journal and others had been warning that there was trouble coming from those agencies. John McCain himself and others in Congress and in the Bush administration had given the same warnings and moved to limit the risk. These efforts were unsuccessful because of the political protection, mostly from the left in Congress, that Fannie and Freddie enjoyed. They enjoyed this protection for several reasons, one being that supporting home ownership is popular.

The weekend following the bailout of Fannie and Freddie was another busy one. This time Lehman Brothers, an old investment bank, was in trouble. And this time, in the main, the government decided to let Lehman Brothers fail. On the one hand, Lehman had been trading securities that were risky, highly leveraged, and financed with short-term borrowings. This was a prescription for disaster, and it has led to calls for more, or new and better, forms of regulation. The latter is needed. At the same time, it must be noted that the securities in question are mainly derivatives from mortgages, and so they are derivatives from that industry where the trouble is economic and political at the same time. The fall of Lehman and other investment houses cannot be understood apart from Fannie and Freddie and the practices they have carried on.

John McCain and Barack Obama both made their first statements on the Lehman collapse on the Monday after it happened. McCain would make a much better statement four days later, on September 19, when he called attention to the fact that the problems at Lehman had to do with mortgages, which means they had to do with Freddie and Fannie. Also he, John McCain, had proposed legislation to reduce the risk in Freddie and Fannie. Those in the other party had opposed that legislation. These are points relevant to the campaign then underway and now lost. He might have made them first.

McCain's first statement following the events of September 7 was not, however, about these factual points. It was nonetheless important, in part because it was what he said before he had time to think. He said in part:

Enough is enough. Enough is enough. We're going to reform the way that Wall Street does business and put an end to the greed that has driven our markets into chaos. We'll stop multimillion-dollar payouts to CEOs that have broken the public trust.

Human Nature and Government

One imagines that there is plenty of greed on Wall Street. Greed is a moral vice, a failure of justice involving taking more than one's due. To eliminate greed would surely be a fine thing, as would the elimination of any vice. It would also be an astonishing achievement.

It would be astonishing for the simple reason that the teaching and practice of virtue, and the discouragement of vice, is a necessarily continuous and difficult challenge in human affairs. Not many of us, likely, are simply vicious, simply practitioners of vice. But similarly, not many of us are simply virtuous, simply ready to do the right thing for the right reason all the time. Because we teach old books at Hillsdale College, and because we are serious about character education, we learn a certain humility about this matter. The great books beckon us to a road upward. It is not an easy road to travel, but along it lay our hopes for happiness and well-being. Along the way we all stumble, and some of us refuse even to begin the journey.

Should we build our political institutions upon the elimination of greed? A caution stirs the mind immediately at the thought of it.

James Madison writes in The Federalist Papers about faction, about our making combinations to serve our interests, even when those interests do not correspond to the public interest. One will read in vain to find the chief author of the Constitution suggesting that faction, much less greed, could ever be eliminated. Rather, he writes that "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place." In other words, we must build our political institutions to operate around the problem of human vice, to mitigate that problem by discouraging vice, but also to place our interests in alignment with the public interest. "Liberty," writes Madison, "is to faction what air is to fire." To eliminate the effects of self-interest would be to eliminate freedom itself.

This is, then, just the point. The Constitution of the United States is a document full of safeguards. It sets out to do two things: first, to build a powerful government, competent to defend our rights against oppressors both foreign and domestic; second, to limit that government, and to arrange its powers, so as to render it, itself, harmless to the liberties of those it governs. That is why we have the key devices of the Constitution: separation of powers; federalism, which requires a federal government of enumerated and not unlimited powers; bicameralism; the Bill of Rights.

Seeking to justify this set of arrangements in Federalist 51, Madison explains the need for them by reference to the imperfection of man. He compares us to angels, which relative to humans are less given to greed. In a beautiful passage, Madison explains that the reason we humans require government is also the reason why government must be limited:

But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

This lovely and telling passage connects The Federalist Papers, and also the Constitution, to the structure of law and the structure of nature that is also present most beautifully, among political documents, in the Declaration of Independence. And it follows immediately after a statement by Madison that, in order to be sure that government departments will not grow beyond the scope intended for them by the Constitution, the necessary "personal motives," along with the "constitutional means," must be combined to resist this.

Of course John McCain must know, in his heart of hearts, the truth of what Madison says. He must know it much better than I do, or than nearly any of us does. He is a man of proven virtue. Last year a young lady graduated from this college whose father was a roommate of John McCain in Hanoi. He, a brave man himself, testifies to the courage of John McCain, as do so many others. John McCain must know that the moral virtues, as well as the intellectual virtues, are rare and precious gifts, held in fullness only by a few.

He must also know that the relative supply of greed probably does not change very much from year to year. Living alongside their neighbors under equal laws that give them responsibility and authority over their lives, most people behave pretty well. Most people behave pretty well on Main Street, and most people behave pretty well on Wall Street, when they live under good laws and bear the risk of their own behavior. And if they do behave in reckless and dangerous ways, in ways that suddenly threaten the prosperity of all of us, then perhaps it is not their virtue that has altered but something else.

In a splendid essay in Forbes magazine published on November 10 ("How Capitalism Will Save Us"), Steve Forbes explains very well what that might be. It is worth saying, over and over, that someone should make Mr. Forbes Secretary of the Treasury. In his essay, he writes that the problems we face are connected to two major government policies, along with some minor ones. The major ones are the subsidy of mortgages, including risky ones, by the government, and the inflation of the currency over the last four years. This inflation is the reason that gold has more than doubled in value. It is the reason that the dollar, until the last few months, slid relentlessly against world currencies for almost four years. Forbes writes: "Greed and recklessness always run rampant during bubbles, and the mania that engulfed housing and much of the financial sector was no exception." These things have come together to make trouble.

The Art of Constitutionalism

I mention the art of constitutional government. I mean simply the art that provides good laws directed to encouraging free people to govern themselves. The national defense, secured so well as human contrivance can secure it, has a high place in this art. So too does the provision of a stable currency. So too does the protection of property and contracts. So too does the maintenance of a tax burden that does not stifle labor, savings, and investment.

Of course this list leaves out most of the federal government as we have it today. Very much and probably most of what we have today cannot be eliminated. It should, however, be managed in a new spirit. Under that spirit, decentralized administration of things would be achieved wherever possible. Under that spirit, the delegation of public goods to private and to local action should be pursued ardently. We have learned, for example, at Hillsdale College that we can achieve very little by the promulgation of rules. They are best when they serve to unite us all in the pursuit of a common mission. Students, we find, cannot be taught except when they work hard at learning; at every moment they must be helping. When they do, the classroom becomes an inspired place where teacher and student learn together. Against this truth, the hundreds of pages of unreadable rules that are promulgated and elaborated year after year by the Department of Education seem like so much foolishness.

There are models in our past of this art that would be worth studying again today. They include the wonderful Northwest Ordinance, which provided the largest subsidy to education in our nation's history, and which contained no element of federal management. They include the great Homestead Act, signed by President Lincoln, which gave federal land to any citizen who would agree to live on it and work it. The way out of our entitlement mess is implicit in such acts as these. Everyone should have the chance to work and save. Everyone should have the maximum ability to store up the fruits of his labor for his future, his family, and for those charitable causes that Americans support, and have always supported, like no other people in history. One need only read these short, principled and beautiful laws, and compare them to the kind we pass today, to see the difference. It is not details that should be legislated, but rather grand things, especially ends. We should be seeking to recover in our laws the grand and sublime simplicity of which the Constitution is a beautiful example.

If you want a contemporary picture of how these kinds of laws would look today, read a speech by Congressman Ryan of Wisconsin on entitlements. He has a mastery of that subject, and he speaks with a sublime simplicity about even complex things. His ideas, and all like them, should be united under the principle of recovery through return. The legacy of our nation is the richest political treasure in the modern world. It is there to be summoned.

The economic storm will pass, God providing. Our college has so far weathered that storm handsomely, having entered it in a position of historic strength, having a strong balance sheet, and having a conservative investment strategy that has so far done much better than the markets. None of the problems that are upon our nation need be fundamental and probably will not be.

What is fundamental is the purpose and function of our political system. Either we shall have limited government, in which a few vital things are tended to with a careful eye and strong but limited powers, or else we shall attempt to allocate the labor and capital of the nation by force of law. This second will make a disaster of a kind not seen in this country from its first days.

I began by saying that we must recover our appreciation of the beauty of constitutional government. That beauty consists first of all in an appreciation for the place of man in nature, not so high as the angels, not so low as the beasts. To recognize that place is to recognize the dignity of every human being and the responsibility to defend the rights written by the hand of the Creator in man's nature. It is to recognize also that, just as government is necessary, it is for the same reason necessary that it be limited. It cannot make angels of us. It cannot be run as if angels were in control of it.

When one sees that these principles are written in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution, he begins to see then what a revolutionary thing was achieved here in our nation. He begins to see the reason why for two centuries and more the American people have been the last best hope of mankind on earth. By becoming a student of his country, the citizen becomes again an intelligent lover of it.

Hillsdale Goes to Washington

At Hillsdale College, these principles and the books in which they are explained have been part of our curriculum for more than 160 years. Today we teach them at least as intensely as any institution on earth, for the simple reason that we teach them to every student. Now, I am pleased to report, we have also begun to teach them to our students in Washington, D.C., where our Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship has opened. It operates under the direction of the tireless and highminded Virginia Thomas and her colleague of the same quality, David Bobb.

The purpose of the Center, like the purpose of the College, is to teach. We will teach our own students who are in Washington serving as interns or on fellowships. We will teach also anyone else who has the two qualifications to be a successful student: they must be willing, and they must be able. We believe, and also we pray, that this activity proceeding in that city will ignite again first a knowledge, then a respect, and finally a love, for the things our nation has given to its own citizens and to the world.

RADARSITE: A Salary For The First Lady?

RADARSITE: A Salary For The First Lady?

Monday, December 22, 2008

From Bunker Hill To Knob Hill - Will the minutemen show up in time?

Democrats' budget ploy could shake up balance of power in Sacramento

By Mike Zapler - Mercury News

Posted: 12/21/2008 12:00:00 AM PST

SACRAMENTOOne longtime Capitol observer called it the legislative equivalent of the nuclear option.

When legislative Democrats last week unveiled a risky gambit to raise billions in new revenue by exploiting a loophole in the state Constitution, it was more than just a bid to prop up the sagging general fund. The move threatened to realign the balance of power in Sacramento — and strip Republicans of their most important source of political influence, the ability to block tax increases.

"We're going to govern, with or without our Republican colleagues," new Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg warned repeatedly in recent weeks as negotiations over the state's massive, $40 billion deficit remained deadlocked.

Whether Democrats can get away with that is another matter. Their proposal attempts to do an end-run on one of the most ingrained assumptions of state governance: That any tax increase must be approved by a two-thirds majority, and thus needs at least some Republican votes.

The Democrats' complicated plan would essentially replace taxes with fees, which need only a majority vote. It would generate $18 billion, slightly more than half in new revenue.

But although the plan cleared both legislative houses on near party-line votes, it faces legal and political hurdles, including a threatened veto by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. In one promising early sign for Democrats, the governor did not take issue with the tax proposal itself; instead, he said the plan does not do enough to cut spending and stimulate the economy.

If the governor eventually gets on board, taxpayer groups have promised to sue and go to the ballot to overturn the deal. Steinberg, who took over as Senate leader just this month, said the Legislature's lawyers have assured him the plan will hold up in court, but the matter is hardly clear cut.

One legal expert likened the proposal to an accountant finding clever ways to reduce a client's tax bill.

"The line between tax planning and tax evasion is often paper-thin," said Floyd Feeney, a professor at UC-Davis School of Law. "Whether this is good enough to fit into the tax planning category or is over the line is not an easy question to answer."

Tony Quinn, a Republican political analyst who has worked in and around the Legislature for four decades, predicted courts would not intervene to stop the plan. "They are very leery of getting involved in how the Legislature and governor pass laws," he said.

If courts do give the green light, the political ramifications could be sweeping. Republicans fret this would be the first of many Democratic attempts to raise new revenues by replacing taxes with fees.

"There will be tax after tax after tax," said Sen. George Runner, R-Antelope Valley. "Californians should be scared."

Steinberg has as much as conceded that Democrats will use the tactic again if it proves successful. And GOP legislators would be powerless to stop it.

Quinn said Republicans made a serious strategic mistake by not engaging with Democrats on taxes. Instead, they proposed a budget heavily dependent on spending cuts while refusing to consider tax hikes.

That prompted the Democratic majority to pursue what Quinn called "the nuclear option." If successful, it would leave Republicans powerless to push through any of the government reforms they want.

"Republicans are reaching the point," he said, "where they will not be relevant to the political process."

Indeed, when budget negotiations resume, legislative Republicans will find themselves on the outside looking in as Democrats and Schwarzenegger work to resolve their differences.

GOP legislative leaders seemed almost resigned to that fact. But they suggested at the same time that if the courts fail to step in, voters would have the last say, as they often do in California. Conservative interest groups are already gearing up for an initiative battle to invalidate the Democrats' move.

Said Senate Republican Leader Dave Cogdill: "People like the checks and balances that are in place now"

However it turns out, the Democratic proposal certainly shook up what had become a paralyzing debate in Sacramento.

"There hasn't been a really interesting idea in the budget discussions for a long time," said Phil Isenberg, a former Democratic state legislator and Sacramento mayor. "This is very interesting, and I mean that sincerely."

The provision designed by our Founding Fathers to protect against corruption...The founding fathers never met Hillary!

Remember this...

Hillary Ineligible? December 2nd, 2008

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is constitutionally ineligible to serve as Secretary of State in the Obama administration.

According to the Ineligibility Clause of the United States Constitution, no member of Congress can be appointed to an office that has benefited from a salary increase during the time that Senator or Representative served in Congress. A January 2008 Executive Order signed by President Bush during Hillary Clinton’s current Senate term increased the salary for Secretary of State, thereby rendering Senator Clinton ineligible for the position.

Specifically, Article I, section 6 of the U.S. Constitution provides “No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time.” The provision is seen by most as designed by our Founding Fathers to protect against corruption. Read more...

And now we have this...

The Caucus - A New York Times Blog

December 11, 2008, 4:59 pm

Congress Cuts a Salary, Helping Hillary Clinton

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has not even been confirmed as the new secretary of state. But Congress has already decided that she should get less than the person currently holding the job, Condoleezza Rice.

The move actually removes doubts about Mrs. Clinton’s ability to take the post. According to an obscure clause in the Constitution, known as the Emoluments clause, a member of Congress may not be appointed to a government position if the compensation rate for that position was increased during his or her term.

In 2006, the salary for cabinet posts was increased to $191,300 from $186,600. So late on Wednesday, Congress cut the pay for the secretary of state by about $4,700.

Yet the move does not satisfy the concerns of Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that raised the Emoluments Clause issue last week. From the group’s standpoint, the mere fact that the salary was raised during Mrs. Clinton’s term makes her ineligible to run until her term expires in 2013, regardless of Wednesday’s Congressional action to bring it back down.

“We consider it an end-run around the Constitution,” said Tom Fitton, the president of the group, which has been a longtime foe of the Clintons. “If our lawyers determine that we are able to file a legal challenge, I suspect that we would."


1. lack of integrity or honesty ...
2. in a state of progressive putrefaction...
3.moral perversion; impairment of virtue and moral principles; "the luxury and corruption among the upper classes"...

Syn: Putrescence; putrefaction; defilement; contamination; deprivation; debasement; adulteration; depravity; taint. Clinton, Hillary, Clinton, Bill, Obama, Barack...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

POTUS Pride...some people have it!

President Of The United States Convicted Of War Crimes

US President Convicted of War Crimes, Sentenced To 20 Years

A little noticed article by Reuters is claiming the President of the United States and 13 other world leaders were tried, convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for War Crimes.

Presiding judge Veroljub Rakitic said, “In the name of the people...We individual prison terms of 20 years each,” to applause from spectators in the Court Room as he read off the 14 names.

The 14 were charged, tried and found guilty of inciting a war of aggression, war crimes against the civilian population, use of banned weapons, attempted murder and violation of territorial integrity. Rakitic said arrest warrants would be forthcoming.

According to the charges filed, “They fired 600 cruise missiles and made 25,119 air sorties attacking both military and civilian targets, killing and wounding many people and causing mass destruction of property.”

Rakitic also said, “During their so-called humanitarian intervention they have killed hundreds of soldiers, civilians, and children... They have left devastation in the place of modern factories, bridges, schools.”

According to the judge, “We invited the accused to come to the court and present their defense. They ignored the invitation, or were maybe afraid to face reality and their consciences,” adding they had violated the United Nations Charter and describing the attacks as “an unauthorized aggression on a sovereign country.”

All 14 world leaders seemed unphased by the conviction, especially the United States President as he winds down his administration, preparing to hand over the reigns to a successor.

During the three days of the trial, evidence included video, forensic and survivor’s accounts.

Defense attorneys were present; one claiming the American President kept other world leaders in the dark about the war crimes being committed.

That same attorney said, “If I were the judge, and it's a good thing I am not, I would...take a gun and shoot both the U.S. President and the other scum for all the evil they have done,” expressing regret that the courts penal code did not allow higher penalties.

The attorney went on to say, “Our humane criminal code does not stipulate higher sentences because it could not be foreseen that such a crime could be committed...that is why this court is limited by the penalty and has sentenced each accused to 20 years.”

Our own media chose to ignore this trial and report, an unbelievable act given the media’s continual coverage of the scandalous administration. Reuters of Britain reported on the trial and conviction while American media focused their attention elsewhere, perhaps on the presidential campaign.

It is unreported if arrest warrants actually were issued or if they would be served, had they been issued.

No official announcement has been issued by the President’s office and it highly doubtful that the President would voluntarily surrender.

By now I am sure the Bush bashers are gleefully wringing their hands, expecting to see him “frog-marched” down the White House steps after Obama is inaugurated. As our most hated President, Bush bashers have wanted this very thing to happen to him.

But, sorry to disappoint, this is not about President Bush, but was about President Bill Clinton back in September 2000, as his administration was winding down.

It was about the actions he took in Yugoslavia, the trial held in Belgrade.

As many of you gleefully wring your hands in anticipation of such a trail for George W. Bush and imprisonment of him, just remember, this is still hanging over the head of one of your own.

For the record, I do not believe Clinton guilty of any war crimes and neither is Bush. Both acted within the authority of their office in dealing with threats abroad.

The main difference being, you embraced Clinton for his actions and have accused Bush over his. If you intend to hold one accountable, then you must hold the other as well.

Rest assured, Obama will be held equally accountable for his actions.

You all set a tone this past 8 years so don’t be surprised as it returns to you.