Monday, April 27, 2009

Dingy Harry

In his 4th 6-year term in the US Senate, he is like our previous poster boys –never had a real job in the real world. He was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1967 at age 27 and he has been at the public trough ever since, including two terms in the U.S. House. He was chairman of the Nevada gaming commission for five years, a government job but not an elected political position. Here we have the Majority leader of the U.S. Senate making decisions that affect virtually every business and profession in the country yet he has little personal experience to guide him. Virtually every person reading this has had much more real life experience than this powerful career pol. He has not lived under the rules he makes for the rest of us.

He had a tough early life. His mother did laundry for a bordello; his father, a miner, killed himself. They didn’t have indoor plumbing in the hot desert where they lived. Maybe that is why he is so bitter and hateful in using his power.

He is a most hateful partisan who is disrespectful and doesn’t hesitate to use personal insults often calling President Bush a “liar, a “loser” or “King George.” He has insulted Clarence Thomas, Alan Greenspan and many others with whom he had disagreements. His vitriol for supporters of the war on terror was never more on display than when he told the world that “I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and — you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows — that this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq.” He voted for the war but then did all he could to hinder the effort. Imagine how the troops in the field felt when they heard the Dem leader tell them they lost the war.

We try to say something positive about each poster boy and with Harry Reid, a Mormon, we found that he does evidence some moral conviction saying “abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the mother is endangered.” He has voted to ban the partial birth abortion procedure but voted for funding groups that perform abortions. Regarding same-sex marriage, Reid has stated he believes "...marriage should be between a man and a woman." However, he voted against the Federal marriage amendment. He has opposed some gun-control measures, to his credit.
On spending he’s a major-leaguer. The National Taxpayers Union gives him an “F” rating for every year, scoring a lowly 15%. Of course, he supported the massive bailouts and with Nancy Pelosi delivered Obama the $800 billion Porkulus Bill. He voted against the bill to put a one-year moratorium on earmarks, a very modest attempt to control pork spending. Never having earned much money of his own, he has no problem spending ours. He spends money that has not been earned yet putting our children in multi-trillion dollar debt.
He opposed all attempts by the Bush administration to reform Social Security and when asked why on Meet the Press, he said, “President Bush is the worst president we’ve ever had,” as if that was a valid answer. David Gregory asked if he had any regrets about his persistent criticism of Bush, Reid responded, “I am who I am.” His adamant refusal to work with the Repubs on major fiscal reforms and his support of virtually all spending bills loaded with pork provided no offset to the big-spending Repubs, either. His constant public denigration of the president was especially damaging to the country because it was during wartime. Remember the old concept of “loyal opposition?” No more.

Reid is against drilling in ANWR, for imposing stricter emission standards, for adhering to the UN’s treaty regarding global climate change opening the political class further opportunities for control threw energy regulations and restrictions. As bad as these positions bode for our freedoms, our economy and therefore, our prosperity, Reid is also protectionist in his trade policies. He opposes Nafta, other regional trade agreements, GATT, WTO and fast-track authority for moving trade agreements through congress with an up-or-down vote which deprives our exporters of new markets. He is for more tariffs like the 54 cents a gallon on Brazilian sugar-ethanol so that it doesn’t compete with our highly subsidized and inefficient corn-ethanol. He’s for increasing the national minimum wage which deprives so many young students and low-skilled workers the opportunity to get a job. It deprives them of the opportunity to get on the first rung of the ladder.

When asked if he supported term limits on congress, he answered NO. But imagine if he was term-limited after, say, 6 or even 12 years –we may have had an experienced businessman or professional whose life experience included living under the ever increasingly restrictive federal laws and mandates. And maybe even less partisan, more open-minded Senators whose goals might not be primarily for power. It is not guaranteed but term limits of governors and state offices have proved effective in encouraging good, patriotic people to offer themselves for service to their country –the way it is supposed to be, but isn’t. Professional pols are self-serving –maybe not at first, but demonstrably so over time. Tenure corrupts.

With term limits we may not have this mind-numbingly ignorant person in a position of such power. Here’s Harry himself telling how dumb he really is:
as he explains that paying taxes in America is voluntary. He doesn’t even know about FedGov mandatory withholding taxes from paychecks in the USA! Forty years of being in the political class one loses track of how the people live. Career pols do not “serve,” they rule.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Waxman and Markey: Statists

Just when I was ready to start on the next scheduled Poster Child Henry Waxman (D-CA) jumped in front of the line with a 684-page “discussion draft” of a climate bill he is offering with Ed Markey (D-MA) that cries out for condemnation right now. Both of these extreme left-wing Dems are in their 18th terms at the FedGov trough. The damage they have wreaked upon our Republic over the past 35 years is inestimable but this bill would surely be the most destructive to our freedoms and prosperity for generations.

Both have earned the lowest ratings possible “F” from the National Taxpayers Union for their profligate spending for ever greater and more invasive government. These are statists who know of no area where you should not be governed in minute detail by FedGov. The climate bill they propose bears out this observation –read on lest you think I exaggerate.

The Wall Street Journal says, “Right off, the bill mandates that 25% of U.S. electricity come from wind, solar, geothermal or biomass by 2025. …nuclear doesn't count….Despite political favoritism and billions in subsidies, wind still only accounts for about 1% of U.S. net electric generation, and solar all of one-hundredth of 1%. So now the liberal solution is simply to force people to buy them, a la the ethanol mandate. Yet it will be difficult for renewables to ever reach 25%, given their inherent limitations (intermittency) and, ironically, green opposition (no new power lines). That won't stop Congress from punishing utilities that fail to meet an impossible goal…. “New homes ‘with slanted roofs,’ for instance, will be required to meet a ‘solar reflectance’ standard if they use ‘fiberglass asphalt-shingle roofing.’ …everything in homes will also face new efficiency regulations -- including furnaces, laundry machines, dishwashers, ‘showerheads, faucets, water closets, and urinals,’ even (or especially?) jacuzzis.” They will regulate and restrict all types of lighting: “… the bill says the feds can bring legal charges in U.S. district courts against "any person . . . distributing in commerce any covered product which does not comply." The Journal editorial concludes, “Americans should begin to understand the micromanagement over their daily lives that Congress has in store. All you have to do is read Mr. Waxman's plan.”

But these poster boys have a long record of wanting total control over your life while enriching themselves in what is now euphemistically called “public service.”

Waxman and Markey, like most of the poster children, have never worked in the real world at any productive job. They have law degrees, went into the state legislature for six and four years respectively and then into congress where they have been since 1976. Both represent extremely liberal districts –Waxman’s encompassing Hollywood, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills; Markey’s an affluent white collar district around Boston. Big liberal bucks.

Waxman’s main issues besides FedGov control of energy are socialized medicine, abortion, tobacco, AIDS and gun control. On the latter, he says, "If someone is so fearful that they are going to start using their weapons to protect their rights, it makes me very nervous that these people have weapons at all." Because he is busy taking our rights?

Markey’s positions are similar to Waxman’s, right down the liberal-left line. An excellent listing of congressional votes by issue is available on –check it out for detailed back-up of my summaries here.

Of course, they voted for the Iraq war but when the party line changed, they opposed it. Our poster boys hate George W. Bush and opposed his administration on virtually every issue including the war, Markey being especially solicitous of the enemy combatants. That is inline with his generally soft-on-crime record. They both voted against immunity for telecoms aiding in terrorist surveillance.

While Waxman often touts his Jewish faith, Markey is an ostensible Catholic who passionately embraced partial-birth abortion and other anti-Catholic issues. Both have 100% pro-abortion ratings from national Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and 0% from National Right to Life Committee (NLRC). They are in favor of same-sex marriage, too.

They’re largely protectionist, they vote for farm and other subsidies, being statists they oppose free markets and free enterprise most of the time. Pro-union, both are rated 100% by the AFL-CIO and are in favor of “card-check” that would deprive workers of the secret ballot. We need to grow the economy to be able to pay for all of their spending but do they facilitate growth? The Club For Growth rates congress on their votes on taxes, spending, free trade, school vouchers, entitlement reform and regulations. Needless to say, these guys are in single digits on that scale.

On school reform, they get failing grades again as they oppose parental choice and vote for FedGov funding and control of schools. They voted NO to school vouchers in Washington D.C. where they have proved so effective but the NEA being one of the pillars of the Party dictates how Dems vote on their issues. They even voted to take non-denominational prayer out of the schools and “under god” out of the Pledge of Allegiance. Why, I ask? What harm was caused by simple prayers in school over the past 250 years or so that it has been the practice? Because the State is God to them.

They both have a pro illegal immigrant open border stance. Both voted: NO on building a fence along the Mexican border; NO on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project; NO on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. They favor citizenship for illegals as they expect by so doing their Party will get the votes of ignorant people who have little or no understanding of freedom, responsibility and opportunity.

I try to find some vote or some redeeming value for our poster children but, alas, these two are hopeless. As career politicians, they have just one goal and that is to be reelected and enjoy the power and privileges of their status as entrenched rulers. If they have any personal beliefs or principles, they certainly are not favorable to our American Heritage of limited government, personal freedom and responsibility.

Without term limits on congress we are doomed to be ruled by professional politicians who have none of the Constitutional restraints of a time gone by when our representatives observed their oaths of office and actually “served” the people rather than themselves, their precious careers in FedGov. Please go to and sign the petition to limit terms of congress. Our Constitutional Republic cannot survive Waxmans and Markeys.

Monday, April 6, 2009

John Murtha's Culture of Corruption

It was the Abscam scandal around 1980 when was named an “un-indicted conspirator” that I first heard of John Murtha. I guess he wasn’t indicted because it appeared to me that he was still negotiating with the Arabs while the other congress crooks took the cash and got caught on film. It probably helped that he testified against two of his colleagues. Tip O’neal, the Speaker at the time, made the Ethics Committee drop the case. The prosecutor resigned in protest. See the FBI video of Murtha:

A member of the Pennsylvania legislature from 1969 to 1974, Murtha has been in the US congress ever since. He actually started out in life very well -- became an Eagle Scout as a youth, then joined the Marines in 1952 at age 20 and stayed in the Reserves after leaving active duty in 1955. He went on to college on the G.I. Bill and ran a car wash for a while until he volunteered for duty in Vietnam 1966-67 where he received the Distinguished Service Medal. It has been downhill since then.

As an ex-marine with honors, his shameful attack on fellow Marines regarding the Haditha incident in Iraq was shocking. Responding to a magazine article which reported that US Marines may be charged with killing civilians, Murtha said, “"It's much worse than reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. And that's what the report is going to tell." That was not what the report told and the accused Maries were acquitted. At least one of the Marines that Murtha defamed tried to sue him but the members protect themselves with laws that don’t apply to their subjects. On March 5, 2009 Congressman John Murtha was awarded the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award by the Secretary of the Navy. He deserved no such award! There is a petition being circulated at to tell the Navy why they should rescind this insult to the truly loyal US Navy volunteers. Of course, it is highly doubtful that Murtha would have received any such award were he not a powerful politician with influence over military appropriations.

This is the military genius who said we could have taken out Zarqawi from Okinawa! Murtha actually said on June 11, 2006, Meet The Press, “We can go to Okinawa. We can redeploy there almost instantly." Yeah, 2400 nautical miles over China and Iran. Brilliant! No wonder he’s called, the Chairman of the Cowardice Committee by some Marines, et al.

"If I'm corrupt, it's because I take care of my district," Mr. Murtha said. "My job as a member of Congress is to make sure that we take care of what we see is necessary…” Necessary to get reelected, that is. As head of the Defense Spending Committee he has the power to steer hundreds of millions of tax dollars in earmarks to companies of his choice. The fact that those companies and heir employees contribute enormous amounts to his political campaigns is supposed to go unnoticed.

There is an ongoing FBI investigation of PMA, a huge lobbying group with close ties to Murtha but Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who's a close ally, has, so far, been successful in keeping Repubs and about 18 Dems from opening a congressional investigation. Rep. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican anti-pork crusader, is on the case. Flake has offered several resolutions to open an investigation into PMA that would focus on "the relationship between earmark requests already made by members and the source and timing of past campaign contributions." Flake says that this scandal could be bigger than the Abramoff scandal. “Much bigger.” Even the NY Times advised “…Pelosi should listen to the wise Democrats who are pushing for an ethics inquiry into the far-too-cozy relationship between lawmakers and the PMA Group of super-lobbyists.”

The NY Times reported that PMA was led by Paul Magliocchetti, a Murtha protégé and former staffer, who wined and dined his former bosses and comrades with raucous dinners and big expense-account tabs. PMA funneled more than $40 million in donations to members of Congress since 1998, including $2.4 million to Mr. Murtha and $7.8 million to members of his committee. Congress, in turn, rewarded PMA clients with rarely debated earmarks. Last year, the firm was able to marshal more than 100 lawmakers to earmark $300 million in contracts for the lobbyist’s clients.

The FBI also searched the offices and personal homes of executives of Kuchera Industries, a defense contractor based in Murtha’s district. Murtha helped steer tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts to the firm over the past decade, and he threw a $100,000 fundraiser at Bill Kuchera’s ranch last year. A federal grand jury has also subpoenaed records from Concurrent Technologies Corp., a Pennsylvania nonprofit organization created with a Murtha earmark. Federal agents are also looking into a Murtha-backed research firm "Electro Optic Center." According to a source interviewed by the FBI, in one year, the Center sought $120 million in earmarks directly through Murtha's office and managers urged employees to donate to Murtha so the Center would get favorable treatment.

With all this controversy swirling around him, Murtha has remained largely silent except he did flash a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution to a CBS reporter and spat out the words, “"That's the Constitution of the United States. What it says is the Congress of the United States appropriates the money. Got that?" I guess he figures that he is the guy who decides who gets what from the people’s taxes –that is the kind of arrogance and hubris that comes from being in office too long.

The National Taxpayers Union ranks all members equally –no partisanship, they let the numbers fall strictly according to the votes on spending. Murtha gets an ‘F” grade consistently as far back as their history shows at NTU which is to 1992. He’s no friend of the taxpayer.

Murtha has put down his own constituents as “racists” and “rednecks.” Obama said the same thing about the people in small towns in Pennsylvania who he said were, “… bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Yet the overwhelmingly Democrat district voted for Obama and reelected Murtha for the 19th time. How do they explain that?

Career pols often use their FedGov access by putting family members on the payroll(s) or using their influence to gain an advantage not available to regular citizens. In Murtha’s case, his brother Kit got lobbying jobs and his son John got off easy on a cocaine distribution charge. They –career pols—are like royalty today. No longer do they serve the public; now, they rule us. Only term limits can bring our representatives back to public service from what is now blatantly, self-service. Had John Murtha been term limited in 1980, would our country be better off today? You know my answer.