Reggie

A Story of Sacrifice

G. K. Chesterton is credited with writing the line, “A soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” I want to share a story with you. It is not a true story, but the principle contained in it is absolutely true. It was furnished to me by a great friend in Houston, Texas. It is the story of “Reggie.” They told me the big black Lab’s name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, & the people really friendly.   I’d only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming & open. Everyone waved when you passed them on the street. But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn’t hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie’s advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn’t look like “Lab people” – whatever that meant. They must’ve thought I did. But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie & his things, which consisted of a dog pad, a bag of toys (almost all of which were brand new tennis balls), his dishes & a sealed letter from his previous owner. See, Reggie & I didn’t really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike. I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that. “Okay, Reggie” I said out loud. “Let’s see if your previous owner has any advice.”


To Whomever Gets My Dog: Well, I can’t say that I’m happy you’re reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie’s new owner. I’m not even happy writing it. He knew something was different. So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you. First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he’s part squirrel, the way he hoards them. He usually always has two in his mouth, & he tries to get a third in there. Hasn’t done it yet. Doesn’t matter where you throw them, he’ll bound after them, so be careful. Don’t do it by any roads. Next, commands. Reggie knows the obvious ones -“sit”, “stay”, “come”, “heel”. He knows hand signals, too. He knows “ball” & “food” & “bone” & “treat” like nobody’s business. Feeding schedule: twice a day, regular store-bought stuff – the shelter has the brand. He’s up on his shots. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car. I don’t know how he knows when it’s time to go to the vet, but he knows. Finally, give him some time. It’s only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He’s gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the back seat, & he doesn’t bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially. And that’s why I need to share one more bit of info with you – his name’s not Reggie. He’s a smart dog, he’ll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn’t bear to give them his real name. But if someone is reading this – well it means that his new owner should know his real name. His real name is “Tank”, because that is what I drive. I told the shelter that they couldn’t make “Reggie” available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could’ve left Tank with – and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter … in the “event” … to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my CO is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he’d do it personally. And if you’re reading this, then he made good on his word. Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family. And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me. If I have to give up Tank to keep those terrible people from coming to the US , I am glad to have done so. He is my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades. All right, that’s enough. I deploy this evening & have to drop this letter off at the shelter. Maybe I’ll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth. Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, & give him an extra kiss goodnight – every night – from me. Thank you, Paul Mallory


I folded the letter & slipped it back in the envelope. Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago & posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags have been at half-mast all summer. I leaned forward in my chair & rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog. “Hey, Tank”, I said quietly. The dog’s head whipped up, his ears cocked & his eyes bright. “C’mere boy”. He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn’t heard in months. “Tank”, I whispered. His tail swished. I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood over him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff & hugged him. “It’s me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me”. Tank reached up and licked my cheek. “So whatdaya say we play some ball?” His ears perked again. Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?” Tank tore from my hands & disappeared into the next room. And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.   If you can read this without getting a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye, you just ain’t right. We’ve researched and cannot find any record of a Paul Mallory who would have died in Iraq at the time this letter would have been written, but there are thousands of Paul Mallorys that have put their lives on the line for us and made hard choices, even about the “Tanks” in their lives. This coming week we celebrate America’s birthday. Don’t forget the sacrifices it has taken to afford us the opportunity to have that celebration. A soldier is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including their life’ That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Obamacare, Game Over…Or, Game On?

Obamacare Upheld

Obamacare as it has come to be popularly known was upheld by The Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling yesterday. The ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act gave President Obama, his administration, and the Democrats a huge victory. By not declaring Obamacare unconstitutional, the supporters can, justly, claim that they were right all along. And you may rest assured that they will and you will hear the drum beat that began as soon as the ruling was read. “In upholding Obamacare, the Supreme Court certainly did not endorse the law. From the syllabus of the ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts, the swing vote as it turned out, wrote, “We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders.” Roberts expanded by writing, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” Hardly a ringing endorsement of Obamacare. In deciding for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts allowed a late argument from the administration, namely that if the individual mandate within Obamacare cannot be upheld under the Commerce Clause, then it is a tax and must be upheld since Congress has the right to tax. The previous sentence is a simplified description of the essence of the ruling, but Chief Justice Roberts decided to allow that argument and upheld the individual mandate based on the penalty being a “tax.”

Obamacare Huge Republican Issue

If the administration was handed a victory, the Republicans were handed a campaign issue on a silver platter. Remember, that the President came out early and often disclaiming that Obamacare was in any manner a tax. From the House and Senate Democrats who passed Obamacare, there were numerous promises that taxes would not be raised by the Act. Chief Justice Roberts, in allowing the mandate to stand as a tax, has exposed the Administration and its supporters to being held accountable by taxpayers for the single largest increase in taxes in American history accomplished by Obamacare, some $500 BILLION. You may expect to hear the drum beat from the Republicans on “Tax and Spend.” It began within minutes of the Obamacare ruling. So, in a weird, twisted way, the Supreme Court does what it always does and that is rule in a manner to that both sides can claim a “victory” of sorts. While we believe Obamacare should have been overturned in its entirety, the Supreme Court has made Obamacare the law of the land. Period. The only way that Obamacare will not be fully implemented is if the Republicans keep their majority in the House, gain the Senate, and gain the White House. Republicans have threatened repeal since Obamacare was first passed. They have a huge uphill battle to gain the necessary power to accomplish the repeal of Obamacare. Make no mistake; there can be no schism in any Republican race. There must be solid support for Republican candidates in every district, state, and in the national election. Ron Paul and his supporters must put away their egos and work to elect Governor Romney or the Republicans have no chance of ever repealing Obamacare. Will they do what is necessary? Time will tell. The Tea Party Republicans and the RINO republicans have to have one another at this point or the Democrats will win and the last chance at stopping Obamacare will end on November 6. We expect both sides to work on voter turnout as they never have before. We will be very surprised if this is not the most closely contested election in our history. Obamacare is a lightning rod for both sides to capitalize on to energize their base and drive voter turnout. We do not see the Obamacare ruling as being “Game Over.” Rather, we believe the “Game is on” and the stakes have never been higher.

Today Will Be Interesting

Today’s Obamacare Ruling

Today, the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare will be known. The Affordable Healthcare Act is the cornerstone piece of legislation for this President, his administration, and the Democrats who passed it in 2009. If it is upheld, today, it will be a significant victory for Mr. Obama and his agenda. If it is overturned, today, it will be viewed as a major setback and repudiation of the socialism agenda of this President.

Today’s House Vote

Today, however, will be momentous for another reason. The Attorney General of the United States is likely to be held in Contempt of Congress after a vote scheduled in the House for today. It will be the first time in US history that a sitting Attorney General would be held in contempt. Speaking of the vote in the House, Speaker John Boehner said, “We’d really rather not be there. We’d really rather have the attorney general and the president work with us to get to the bottom of a very serious issue.” Speaker Boehner added that the Obama administration had had “ample opportunity” to comply with the committee’s requests for documents. “Unfortunately, they’re not willing to show the American people the truth about what happened. It’s an unfortunate place where we are.” Today will be a next step in an investigation that has been ongoing for over a year. Since February 4, 2011, a cover-up of some sort has been going on. Documents relating to who knew what and when have been subpoenaed and stonewalled by Holder. Ultimately, Holder had Obama assert Executive Privilege. Chairman Issa challenged the President asserting privilege saying that executive privilege is for, “documents and communications that implicate the confidentiality of the President’s decision-making process, defined as those documents and communications to and from the President and his most senior advisers. Even then, it is a qualified privilege that is overcome by a showing of the committee’s need for the documents. To date, the White House has steadfastly maintained that it has not had any role in advising the [Justice] Department with respect to the Congressional investigation. The surprising assertion of executive privilege raised the question of whether that is still the case.” We are told that the Black Caucus plans to walk-out on the vote today. The CBC plans to meet at 10 AM and has solicited all Democrats to join them in a press conference on the Capitol steps during the vote. In their usual fashion, they have played the race card, claiming that because he is black, Holder is being persecuted. The point of today’s walk-out is to politicize and deem racial, the call to account for the “Fast and Furious” debacle and to explain how weapons that were allowed to be sold to drug cartels. Congress is trying to learn how those very weapons were found at the scene of the death of one of our Border Agents, Brian Terry. It is not at all clear to those of us who can reason, how today’s call to account is racial in any manner. Frankly, the race argument is so convenient for the Democrats it has become trite. Today is just another day another diatribe. Anyone who disagrees with the President’s policies is immediately called, “racist.” When outrageous behavior such as Holder has displayed is challenged, he is excused because he is black. The whole “black caucus” is racist to its core and members like Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) has perfected the use of racism to a level that is hard to comprehend. Common sense has no place in this caucus, only name-calling and posturing for a fawning media.

EPA on the Carpet Today

Today, Lisa Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, will appear before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee to review, according to a Committee memo, “Agency-wide policies and practices related to the development and use of science in regulatory decisions; the role of independent scientific advisory bodies such as the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC); and the importance of transparency, integrity, peer review, prioritization, accountability, and sustainability in the Agency’s science activities. ” Today’s hearing promises to be contentious at best. For those of us who are Washington-watchers, today is going to be very interesting.

Really, Mr. President?

Really, Mr. President? I know it is one of your favorite questions and asking it has become a national pastime, so, gather ‘round Kiddies, it’s time for another edition of, “Really, Mr. President??? When King Barry ascended to the throne in Washington…er…I mean, When Mr. Obama was elected President of the United States, he took an oath of office. Whether his hand was place on a Bible, Jeremiah Wright’s rants, or the Koran (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose) is a matter for conjecture, but the Oath of Office was administered and Mr. Obama recited it forthwith. Given the actions of the White House over the past days, the question, “Really, Mr. President?” must be asked again.

Oath of Office

The Oath of Office which Mr. Obama avowed was, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Really, Mr. President? We’re not sure that you understood what you were actually promising to do. If you did then the question, “Really, Mr. President” is all the more disturbing. The first statement is a swearing or affirming a vow. Given the lawlessness of this Administration, we do not believe that “swearing a vow” means any more to this administration than Jeff Dunham’s Achmed dummy promising, “I Keeel You!” It is a funny line when delivered properly but is totally without substance or meaning. So did you mean to promise everything else in the Oath? Really, Mr. President? The vow is to “faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.” The office of the President has always been one-third of the power in Washington. The Legislature and the Supreme Court hold equal power. However, our observations, Barry, lead us to believe that you perceive the other Branches as less significant than yours and Branches which are to be ignored, involved only as a rubber stamp, and even intimidated if your agenda is challenged in any way. Really, Mr. President? Do you really, REALLY believe that you can get away with that for more than four years? Really, Mr. President? The next phrase has to do with ability. I mean, really, Mr. President. You’ve never created a job in your life, or any other of your lives (if you are so inclined in religion). Since you have had no experience outside the public sector and has never received a dollar except at the public trough, your abilities are no doubt limited and we have tried to make exceptions for your lack of experience and expertise. But, given the next words in the Oath, the question again must be asked, “Really,Mr. President?’ Are you really that incompetent and inept? Or are your actions truly devious, deceptive, and destructive to the country that you have been elected to lead? Really, Mr. President! It’s time for a true catharsis. You see, the next phrase in the Oath explains what it is we, Americans, expect you to DO to the best of your ability. To be specific, you promised to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Now, really, Mr. President, did you read and comprehend what it is that you are to do? Can you honestly say that you have done your absolute best to preserve, protect, and defend the WHOLE Constitution of the United States? Really, Mr. President? Nowhere does the Oath you took, mention becoming the Sole Branch of Government. Nowhere does it mention that you can stonewall Congress (By the way, Nixon got thrown out of office for doing exactly that). And nowhere does the oath allow you to decide which parts of the Constitution you will preserve, protect, and defend, and which parts you will simply announce that you don’t agree with, are superior to, and that your administration has no intention to abide by. But you have done it over and over. Really, Mr. President?

Presidential Arrogance

We’ve cited instances of your unacceptable behavior in the past, so we won’t take time to regurgitate them here, but, apparently encouraged by your media hacks, that they will not hold you accountable, you have enlarged your scope. One thing in which you may take comfort, with the election only a few months away, you will not be impeached, tried, and dismissed. We promise…Really! Mr. President. When you stepped to the microphone in the Rose Garden a few days ago and announced that children of illegal aliens would no longer be deported, you had no Constitutional Power to do so. You violated your Oath of Office by simply making such a statement. Really, Mr. President? What are we to do? If you believe that the American public will sit idly on its hands and do nothing, it is because all of your pollsters are talking to Public Union members who can’t, don’t, or won’t think. Just swill from the trough. You really ought to check out the sentiment across the country. Really, Mr. President. You’re in trouble, big trouble…REALLY, Mr. President. When you jump to the defense of Eric Holder and his completely confused and chaotic Department of Justice by claiming Executive Privilege at that last possible moment and announce that this will be the end of the matter. Really, Mr. President, do you even know what “Executive Privilege” means, or probably a better question is, “Do you even care?”

Childishness, Really, Mr. President?

And then, when the Supreme Court upheld the major part of the Arizona immigration bill, which, by the way, was simply restating Federal Laws that your administration has been lax in enforcing, your Homeland Security Administration simply announces that they will not assist Arizona law enforcement in determining whether a properly detained suspect is in the country legally. Really, Mr. President, how childish! No telling what you will say or do when the Obamacare ruling comes down later this week, if it doesn’t please you. Will you take your marbles and go home to pout? Please, Mr. President! Pretty Please!

Court Set to Rule, What to Expect

Court rulings will finally come this week. We will know about 2 major issues that remain before the Supreme Court and for which rulings are due. This is the week we will know how the Court will rule on Obamacare and on Eric Holder’s Justice Department suit against the State of Arizona. Those who watch the Court closely and comment about every nuance of question, comment, or even heavy breath, seem convinced that at least the individual mandate contained within the Affordable Care Act will be struck down by the Court. We’re not sure about their conclusion. If experience is any teacher, the Court is not likely to make broad decisions in relation to total constitutionality very often. We saw that last week when the Court ruled narrowly that ABC and Fox were not advised properly, in advance, of the FCC rule regarding indecent speech. Hence, the Court did not have to rule on the First Amendment implications of the case (a ruling both sides would have desired).

If the Court Strikes Down ACA

What happens if the ACA is completely struck down because the Court decides that the individual mandate cannot be separated from the Act and therefore the entire piece of legislation is unconstitutional? Even though, we believe it unlikely the court will rule in this manner, if it were to occur, it would signal the greatest victory for conservatives imaginable. It would completely repudiate the signature legislation of the current administration. If the ruling is “unconstitutional” everything returns to the way it was before Obamacare and a “do-over” is mandated by The Court ruling. Some believe that legislators would immediately take up “healthcare reform” and begin adding back provisions that are less draconian. We’re not sure of that prediction either. We believe that The Court is very unlikely to mandate that immediate action be taken by the Congress. There is no doubt that this issue is a political football and nightmare, really, for both sides. Inasmuch as the election is not far away, we believe that it is more likely that Congress would hem and haw (they are really good at that you know) until after the election. The Court ruling and The Act will be campaign issues, no doubt, but real action is not likely to come until the majority in each Chamber and the White House has been decided. If the Democrats take the White House, hold the Senate, and gain ground in the House, count on a minimally revised version of ACA to be passed. If, on the other hand, the Republicans gain the White House, hold the House, and perhaps even gain seats (or even control) of the Senate, then the legislation ultimately produced will likely be vastly different from what was originally passed. Some manner of reform will be high on the agenda of the winner in November, but the debate will be fueled by the Court ruling this week.

If the Court Upholds ACA

But, what if the Court upholds Obamacare? Again, we doubt that the Court ruling will allow for that for the same reasons described above. But if it is upheld, count on conservatives to demand their representatives repeal each and every word. Repeal is easier said than done. Though the rhetoric concerning the Court ruling will be deafening, don’t expect much action until after the November elections. Expect to hear much about having to “study” the ruling and decide what to do next. When you hear those words, read them, “we’re stalling until after the elections.” Also, expect the side that loses the Court decision to use “judicial activism” in their description of the ruling.

If the Court Invalidates Part of the ACA

So, what does happen if the Court rules that the individual mandate can be severed from the balance of the Act? We believe that this is the most likely Court ruling, and will create immediate chaos in Congress. Those who want to see repeal will immediately bring up all the “adverse selection” data that shows the legislation will cause the insurance companies to implode. And, those who want to keep it will cry, “Foul” that not every American will be included and therefore have “medical insurance.” We will not be surprised if, after such a high-profile Supreme Court ruling, time for “study” is again trotted out. Both sides are depending on the November election to grant them a majority, if not a mandate, to advance their own agenda. Don’t be surprised, at the end of this week, to have heard much rhetoric, much crowing and much mocking. Don’t be surprised if both sides, blaming the other, keep the issue alive until January before doing any definitive work. It will be an interesting “media” week, but doubt that the Court decision will provide any all-sufficient ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

Is AARP Left Wing?

AARP is an organization that has billed itself as the advocate for senior citizens for over half a century. Sometimes perception and truth are NOT the same. I usually write all of my own material, but every now and then something is sent to me or I stumble on something of value and I want to share it with you. The article that follows was provided for me by my friend Rick Manning at Americans for Limited Government. It is worth your perusal and consideration. Thanks to Bill Wilson for creating it and to ALG for permission to re-print it.

Is AARP left-wing?

By Bill Wilson — Once called the American Association of Retired Persons, the AARP is the largest grassroots organization nationwide with over 38 million members. Presumably representing Americans of all political stripes, the organization states that it “helps people 50 and over improve the quality of their lives.” To that end, the organization provides Medicare supplemental insurance, member travel discounts, pharmaceutical services, legal assistance, and long-term care insurance. At the same time, the organization is incredibly politically active. In the past two elections, eight members of its 22-member board of directors have given significant contributions to presidential candidates, congressional candidates, and other political action committees and organizations, according to Federal Election Commission records. But there’s a catch. Since 2007, AARP board members have given almost exclusively to Democrats, with more than 97 percent of donations going to Democrat candidates and left-leaning causes, totaling over $22,000. None was given to Republican candidates during that time. In fact, two board members, Jeannine English and Ronald Daly, both maxed out with $4,600 donations to Barack Obama. Diane Pratt gave Obama $2,000 (she also gave $1,000 to Hillary Clinton). To be fair, board member Jacob Lozada gave $2,000 of donations to the Republican National Committee in the early 2000’s. And according to followthemoney.org, AARP gave donations totaling tens of thousands of dollars to Republican state committees in 2007 and 2008. While there is no inherent corruption in making political donations, what the donations made by AARP’s policy-making board do reveal are at least the ideological bent many of its board members. It is therefore fair to ask if those ideological preferences have affected the policies AARP supports. Since Obama took office AARP has certainly been a friend of his. It supported his signature health care law despite gutting Medicare by $500 billion over ten years to help pay for Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid and taxpayer-funded health care to millions of Americans currently on private insurance or uninsured. It also did not say a word when for the past two years, Obama’s misguided payroll tax holiday cost the Social Security trust fund more than $230 billion. Of course, it is not immune to supporting big government when it’s a Republican doing it. It was instrumental in 2003 in urging Congress to pass George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D — i.e. the prescription drug benefit — that many consider one of the primary reasons the program is teetering towards bankruptcy now. Were any those policies in the long-term interests of AARP’s members? Since then, the Social Security and Medicare trustees report the programs’ trust funds will be exhausted by 2033 and 2024, respectively. After that, beneficiaries will only receive a fraction of benefits they were promised. AARP’s silence on both Obama and Bush’s wasteful policies sending these entitlement programs to insolvency contrasts sharply with its full-throated opposition to Bush’s proposal to at least salvage the Social Security program by allowing workers to invest their payroll taxes into private accounts, rather than letting the government squander them. So, AARP fails to oppose initiatives that appear to be the most costly to these programs, and is dead set against proposals that might set the programs on a sustainable path. Does that make sense? Is its intransigence to entitlement reforms that allow Americans to control their own retirements in the best long-term interests of its current and future members? Probably not. But maybe they don’t care. Or perhaps they just believe that hiking taxes on younger Americans will plug the holes in these programs, no matter what burden they impose on their economic well-being. They certainly seem interested in wielding power. AARP board member Fernando Torres-Gil was nominated by Obama on May 9 to sit on the National Council on Disability. Hubert Humphrey left the AARP board to serve in the Obama Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Older Americans in Oct. 2011. All of which — the personal campaign donations to Obama, AARP’s position on issues over the years, and its board’s presidential appointments — gives the appearance of a rather cozy relationship with the current administration. If not left-wing, then, AARP is at least in favor a big government, top-down approach to senior health and retirement issues. But is that what its members really want? Surely, in addition to comfortable retirements, AARP’s paying members want a sustainable future for their children and grandchildren, too. Those two goals should not be mutually exclusive, but right now, that’s the only choice the organization appears to be offering. Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.

The Energy Fairy Tale

Energy is necessary to run this machine we call The United States. And, once upon a time, the United States had plenty of cost effective energy. But when this President was elected, America’s engergy was the wrong color. It wasn’t green enought. Energy policy from this Administration has been disastrous. But, did you see the propaganda piece from his Department of Energy that was released yesterday? It’s called, “Beyond Solyndra: How the Energy Department’s Loans are Accelerating America’s Transition to a Clean Energy Future.” It’s a real piece of work. In it, The Department of Energy explains how “the conversion to a clean energy future” has been a rousing success. All the slide show is lacking is the Disney animators, a soundtrack, and James Earl Jones to narrate it, and we would have a full blown blockbuster fairy tale.

Energy Propaganda

The Solyndra debacle is quickly glossed over with the words, the “Department’s loan portfolio as a whole is having a transformative impact.” We would agree. The Department has transformed our country into a third-world unemployment morass and “loaned” money to crony greenies, transforming them from unfeasible and economically impossible, to having plenty of our tax money to waste. One of the slides talks about “Recognitions and Validation from the Private Sector.” In that section, the Department of Energy sights three companies as “successes” and trots them out as examples of the success of the loan guarantees. One of the companies is Beacon Power. Beacon Power took a $43 million Department of Energy stimulus loan guarantee. Beacon filed for bankruptcy in October, 2011, one year after getting the loan. We paid off the loan because the Department of Energy guaranteed the loan with our tax money. Beacon Power…great energy success here, no doubt! By the way, Beacon’s bankruptcy came just two months after Solyndra’s bankruptcy which cost us $535 million. Another success story cited is, battery maker, A123. A123 received a $249 million stimulus GRANT plus another $14 million in research GRANTS. No middle-man here. Just direct gifts from the Department of Energy. And what did A123 do with the money? Well, they took a private company public. The shares opened to trading at $19.60 (which is what the owners were paid), but the shares today hover around a dollar. King Barry decreed that by 2015 there would be over a million electric cars on the road, but his powers of prognostication are lacking. Consequently, the market for A123 batteries was/is far smaller than projected by The Department of Energy. And, oh yes, the batteries A123 did produce were faulty and had to be replaced. This is exactly the sort of thing that demonstrates why an academic who has no understanding of business and the marketplace should not be allowed any position where his/her ignorance (lack of experience) will cost taxpayers money. Then the propaganda piece mentions Fisker Automotive. Now, here is another real success story for the Department of Energy. Fisker received a $529 million ATVM stimulus loan from the Department of Energy. According to an ABC News report, Fisker used the first $169 million in taxpayer funds to bring to market the Karma, a flashy $100,000 hybrid sports sedan that it assembles in Finland.” Wait, did you say, “Finland?” I thought our President was all about creating jobs in the United States. I thought he castigated “big business” for shipping jobs overseas, but I guess his words don’t apply to green energy buddies. Joseph Goebbels was the propaganda minister for the Third Reich. His skills were truly remarkable. I can’t help but wonder if the creator of this Department of Energy propaganda piece studied Goebbels in college. Turning a nightmare into a fairy tale is a neat trick and the Department of Energy did their best. We can’t wait to hear the end of the Obama fairy tale. After November 6, we can all live at least a little happier ever after knowing he can no longer make it worse.

Debasing the Presidency

The Presidency is a serious subject. It deserves honor and respect, but respect and honor for the Presidency are earned not inherent rights of the officeholder. The President is elected by the people. He is not born to the office or anointed President. He is a servant to the people, not vice-versa. One of the things my job requires of me is reading all manner of political thought and commentary. I read a great deal about the presidency. It is my “prep” for writing this column. Now and then, something strikes me funny and yesterday, something I read in the Washington Post (the unofficial publishing arm of the Democrat National Committee) that exposed the Democrat fixation with changing the subject when the subject is politically embarrassing cracked me up. Dana Milbank is an opinion writer like me. He often writes about the presidency. He would have you believe he is a journalist, as many of the so-called reporters at the Post claim, but even a cursory reading of a few of his writings will demonstrate that he is not a serious journalist. His op-ed yesterday was entitled, “Debasing the Presidency” and was a real hoot. Maybe he is auditioning for a writer’s job on Letterman or for Jon Stewart. Specifically, he took exception to reporter, Neil Munro’s disrespect for the presidency when he interrupted the President while he was reading a statement in the Rose Garden. A statement, by the way, in which he said the Justice Department would no longer deport certain illegal aliens, a new power of selective enforcement that Obama has granted his presidency. Milbank called the interruption an “outrageous and unprecedented affront” to the presidency. We call Obama’s arrogance outrageous, unprecedented, and debasing to the presidency.

Democrats and the Presidency

What is particularly hilarious about the premise and the rhetoric employed by the Post writer is the obvious, palpable, and blatant hypocrisy. Among other things, Mr. Milbank called President George W. Bush, “the least popular president in modern history.” The statement was certainly meant to demean if not debase the presidency of Bush, but it was, at best, twisted truth. Here are the facts: Bush’s average job approval rating was higher than that of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Harry Truman. Bush’s lowest score ranked ahead of Nixon and Truman. Four Presidents have had disapproval ratings above 60% and Bush was one of them. So the fact is that in 2 of 3 measurements, Bush’s presidency was NOT “the least popular…in modern history.” Add to Milbanks’ twist on history, the continuous barrage of disparaging remarks about the Bush candidacy and presidency made by Dems beginning during the Gore campaign and lasting until Obama was elected makes Milbanks’ claim of “debasing the presidency” ring very hollow. What is currently “debasing” the presidency is the president and his entire administration. I guess Milbanks and his ilk need to be reminded that the President of the United States is accountable to the American people. We do not have an aristocracy in this nation, we have a presidency. If the President debases his office by his behavior, then we, the people, have every right, one might say, the responsibility to challenge him. Because the president can control the time allotted and even who gets to ask questions in a press conference (go back and watch the last charade called a press conference…3 reporters and 8 questions), then maybe interrupting is the only way to at least ask a question, even if a response is not forthcoming. Somehow the presidency must be held accountable. Telling the president “you lie” when he is lying (Obama sales pitch to joint session of Congress, 2009) is not nearly as outrageous and unprecedented as the president, himself, and the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), key members of the presidency, attempting to intimidate the Supreme Court on the Obamacare legislation ruling. Yesterday, the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform voted, along party lines, to report out and recommend that Eric Holder be held in criminal contempt of Congress and prosecuted for not providing subpoenaed documents requested by the Committee. Holder, at the eleventh hour, has asked the president to assert Executive Privilege and he did. Another hurdle, another block in a stone wall by the president. Fast and Furious is embarrassing to the current presidency; they don’t want to show any documents that disparage any decision or action of the president or any member of his presidency, particularly in an election year. Last week, the President, decided, for obvious political reasons, to no longer enforce the Law of the Land that he swore to uphold. He decreed that certain illegal aliens are now allowed to gain immigration status and no longer will be deported. His action is a total disregard for the Legislative process and a debasing of the presidency. And….it’s not the first time he has done it. We consider his actions outrageous and unprecedented. We did not elect Barry, King. So, who is really debasing the presidency, a reporter who can’t get recognized and has a legitimate question for the President? Or a presidency that refuses to be accountable to the people who elected it? We believe the answer is obvious and that this president is the most dangerous man to ever hold the office. The Proud Americans want his presidency to come to an end in November. We need a president who respects the presidency and who is worthy of respect.

Holder’s Holdout

Eric Holder’s holdout continued yesterday and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chaired by Darrell Issa (R-CA) is prepared for a Contempt of Congress vote at 10 AM today. Holder and the Chairman have been on a collision course for over a year. Issa demanding Department of Justice documents relating to the “Fast and Furious” fiasco. Holder and the Department have refused to provide what is said to be 10s of thousands of documents, some say upwards of 100,000 documents subpoenaed by the Committee. Holder has claimed that he and his department have provided over 7,000 documents, made numerous appearances before Congress, and that is sufficient. Chairman Issa and others disagree. Holder attended a meeting with Issa last evening that was also attended by Rep Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on Issa’s committee, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the highest ranking Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The commentary following the meeting was, expectedly, divergent. Holder claimed that he had made an “unprecedented number of documents” available, while Issa said that Holder had not provided the documents or the answers the panel has been seeking. Issa used the word “disappointed” in his assessment of the meeting and went on to say, “Holder came with an offer of a briefing. We went through the process of what was being offered and responded as I think we have to. Which is that the documents that they may choose to give in the future, we need to have before tomorrow. Ultimately, the documents necessary to cause a postponement appear to be in their possession. We’re hoping that we have them tonight. If we can evaluate them even partially, then that will give us grounds to negotiate a postponement and perhaps and final resolution.” As we have commented previously, Eric Holder is typical of the Administration in which he serves. From the President down, the modus operandi is to simply do whatever you wish, damn the Constitution and its checks and balances requirement, rule by fiat, Executive Order, intimidate the Judiciary, stonewall any investigation, and criticize publicly anyone who questions you, your policies, or your plans. Yup, Mr. Holder certainly personifies everything that is wrong with this White House. Of course, Rep. Cummings defended Holder and opined that Issa intended to proceed with the vote even before the meeting began. Thank you, Mr. Cummings, toe the party-line, keep your position, hope for re-election, and your fat pension awaiting you soon. Well done! The only thing missing from the Democrat defense of Holder was placing the blame on W. Something, which, by the way, Holder has done in the past. Classic! Senator Grassley called Holder’s offer to “provide these materials, to brief on these materials, and to answer questions on these materials” in return for dropping the outstanding subpoenas. He said, “The attorney general wants to trade a briefing and the promise of delivering some small, unspecified set of documents tomorrow for a free pass today. That’s unacceptable. I’m not going to buy a pig in a poke.” It takes a Senator from the Heartland to use the “pig in a poke” reference. Not sure the Northeast Libs have any idea what he meant. Wonder if AG Holder did? Probably thought that was some kind of Tea Party code. Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner has not come out strongly in support of holding Eric Holder and the Administration accountable. His words and his actions have been somewhat evasive and he has displayed another lack of leadership the conservative base that will help him keep his job would have liked. We can’t help but wonder if Holder’s holdout is because he believes he can end-run Issa and his committee by using the Speaker. We would hope not, but tomorrow should be tell us more than whether Holder is in contempt. The fact is that the American people deserve to know if Eric Holder, the appointed head of the Department of Justice and/or if any of our elected leaders violated any principle of law and provided the weapons that killed one of our own Border Agents, Brian Terry. We deserve every shred of evidence that exists so that we can stop speculating and know the truth. Eric Holder, personally, owes that to Brian Terry’s family to provide closure. Does it seem odd that if the documents in question will exonerate everyone in the Department of Justice, that Eric Holder doesn’t want to produce them and get this over with? No one has ever claimed any sort of privilege regarding these documents, just the attitude that says, “we’ve got ‘em and you can’t have ‘em.” Holder’s, the Department of Justice’s, and therefore, the Administration’s arrogance is brightly on display. No matter the outcome on Eric Holder, come November, we need to hold this entire Administration and the Democrats that enabled them over the past four years, in Contempt of the People of the United States. We are a country of laws, not celebrities. We expect our leadership to be responsive to us, our country was designed that way. Obama and his supporters continue to thumb their nose at us and dare us to do something about it. Well, we have a Contempt of the People vote scheduled for November 6, don’t miss it!

Roger Clemens Trial…What A Waste!

Clemens, NOT Guilty!

“Clemens is NOT Guilty!” Arguably one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Roger Clemens was found not guilty of lying to Congress yesterday. Specifically, Clemens had been charged with six counts of perjury, making false statements and obstructing Congress. The government’s star witness, an admitted liar, Brian McNamee, was completely repudiated. A House committee chaired by Rep Henry Waxman (D-CA) had been convened in 2007 following a report issued by a commission headed by former Senator George Mitchell that connected many baseball players, including Clemens, with performance enhancing drugs. Clemens appeared before the panel in 2008, in a much-publicized and much-watched hearing where he denied using such substances. It has been hotly debated whether The United States Congress panel was justified in even convening such hearings, but politicians love the TV cameras, Waxman is a superb example. Clemens name and presence certainly garnered a huge audience for them. Ultimately, they decided Roger Clemens lied to them and decided to charge and try him. Yesterday, the jury of eight women and four men had to determine whether Clemens’ responses to Congressional investigators were “material” (meaning substantive rather than trivial) to the Congressional investigations, among other things, in order to convict him. The jury decided that Clemens remarks did not rise to the level required to convict. The jury decided that Clemens did not obstruct the Congressional investigation. The jury decided that Clemens did not make false statements to Congress. In fact, Roger Clemens was exonerated on all counts. The judge’s comment, “Mr. Clemens, you are free to go.” The Justice Department, which is under investigation for truly substantive charges of breaching our National Security, wasted over four years, millions of taxpayer dollars, and the time of some 179 people interviewed by some 93 federal agents, the time of everyone at the first mistrial, and now the time of the jury, the witnesses, and everyone except the lawyers (who always get paid) to produce the unanimous verdict in favor of Roger Clemens. This trial should have never happened, but we know that grandstanding is the hallmark of entertainers, not statesmen…and the current administration is full of great entertainers, but certainly few statesmen. Why couldn’t someone in the chain-of-command simply said, “NO” after the first Clemens mistrial? Common sense is lacking here. Anybody surprised? Thank God for eight women and four men who used common sense, examined the evidence and said to the government, “Roger Clemens is Not Guilty.” What is written between the lines on such a quick verdict is, “Get your arrogant, governmental nose out of business that really doesn’t concern you!” The Proud Americans rejoice with Roger Clemens. This case is a prime example of misplaced federal priorities. The trial and all of the time and expense should have never happened! What a waste!