Sunday, May 10, 2009
Nancy Pelosi is in her 12th term in Congress but, like our other poster children, her experience prior has been all politics –no real life business or professional experience. Her father was a congressman from Maryland; her brother was mayor of Baltimore. She interned for Senator Dan Brewster (D-Maryland) along with Steny Hoyer who is now House Majority Leader as she is now Speaker of the House. After moving to San Francisco in 1969 where her husband’s brother was on the Board of Supervisors, she worked in politics and got to be the Dem party chairman. Then she joined with Congressman Phillip Burton, a vociferous anti-anti-communist at the time. When Burton died his wife took the seat until she died and then Pelosi succeed Mrs. Burton and she’s been there ever since. All of her political experience has been within the radical left or liberal wing of the Dem party.
As one of the richest members of Congress –net worth in excess of $20 million --at age 69 she is not in it for the money at this time, if she ever was. Her motivation seems to be perks and power. She is third in line of presidential succession. Heady stuff.
Investors Business Daily (Apr 27 2009) remembers how outraged Pelosi was when President Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence. “The President's commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence does not serve justice, condones criminal conduct and is a betrayal of trust of the American people," she said. "Scooter" Libby went to prison because his memory of events and who said what to whom regarding Valerie Pflame differed from the recollections of others, particularly news reporters. Alleged contradictory statements were portrayed as a deliberate and malicious obstruction of justice. So what about Pelosi? She flat out lied on national TV about CIA briefings she received. On April 23, Pelosi told reporters "we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used." Rather, she said, she recalled being told by the CIA that the techniques "could be used, but not that they would." However, according to a CIA document compiled by Obama’s CIA Director, Leon Panetta, Pelosi was one of the first lawmakers briefed on the interrogations in 2002. In fact, the document lists 40 briefings provided to lawmakers on intelligence, judiciary and other panels, the first of which was provided to then-House intelligence committee chairman Porter Goss and Ms. Pelosi, the ranking Dem on on the committee, Sept. 4, 2002. That briefing is described as covering "enhanced interrogation techniques." It included the use of the techniques on detainee Abu Zubaydah, background on legal authority, and "a description of the particular [enhanced interrogation techniques] that had been employed." Libby differs with a reporter on a time line for inconsequential matters and gets prison; Pelosi lies about national security matters and gets a pass. Mr. Goss (btw, a self term-limiter when in Congress) complained about her and others who “… crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage.”
Once she requested a military plane to fly her to a Democratic Party retreat in Williamsburg, Va. - just a two-hour drive from the nation's capitol. The Defense Department said no. Her ally, Poster Boy John Murtha who chairs the subcommittee that controls the Pentagon’s money, according to a Washington Times report, called Bush officials demanding that they give her the plane. The implied threat that Murtha made: You want money for the Iraq war? You better give the speaker her plane. It was in the same week that Pelosi endorsed a resolution that the president's troop surge is "not in the national interest of the United States," she asked that military resources be diverted to her personal travel. What's her concept of national interest? She is soft on national defense-- on January 5, 2007, reacting to suggestions from President Bush that he would increase troop levels in Iraq, Pelosi joined with Poster Boy Harry “the war is lost” Reid to condemn the plan.
She really enjoys the perks of office at great expense to taxpayers. She insists on commuting to San Francisco using military aircraft to shuttle her, friends and family around the country. Judicial Watch, which obtained e-mails and other documents from a Freedom of Information request, said the correspondence shows Pelosi has abused the system in place to accommodate congressional leaders and treated the Air Force as her "personal airline." Richard Miniter writing in the New York Post says that “She wants to travel in luxury. The Air Force jet is the same size and airframe as the Boeing 757-200, which carries about 300 passengers. The C-32 boasts 42 business-class seats plus a wood-paneled state room, big-screen TV, full-size bed and crew of 16, including uniformed stewards who bring drinks and meals on request. Cost to taxpayers? A round-trip to Rep. Pelosi's home in San Francisco could easily run $300,000. Meanwhile, the same flight on a commercial jet can run less than $300.”
After his reelection President Bush made a valiant attempt to tackle one of the most urgent looming financial problems facing the country: Social Security will be broke in a few years time. He wanted to look at the alternatives and find a solution, including possible privatization. Pelosi strongly opposed the privatization of Social Security, and as minority leader imposed intense party discipline on her caucus, leading them to near-unanimous opposition of Bush's proposal and defeating any efforts to get at the problem.
Pelosi campaigned on the promise that she would clean up the GOP's waste and abuse of taxpayer's dollars. So why doesn't she use the little commuter jet that the Air Force lent to Dennis Hastert, the previous speaker? She said it was "not big enough" to accommodate her staff, supporters and other members of the California delegation. Pelosi doesn't understand why the vice president and first lady rate a bigger plane than she does, when she is two heartbeats away from the presidency. As bad as the Repubs were the Dem speaker has them beat on both wasteful spending and elitism. Then there are the speaker’s concerns about global warming. In flight, the C-32 pumps out 10,000-plus pounds of carbon an hour. How can she have her plane and complain about global warming too?
Her National Taxpayers Union rating going back to 1992 gives her the lowest grade for profligate spending, “F.” In January 2007, a Democratic congressional majority was sworn in that was elected in part by promising fiscal responsibility. The Democrats specifically pledged to limit spending increases and employ pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting to keep the budget deficit in check. It was a constant refrain from the Speaker. Listening to her one strains to find a grain of truth --she failed to deliver on anything she promised. Pelosi, one of the recipients of largesse from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, helped cause the financial crises agreeing and cooperating with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, et al. (See those Posters below.) Immediately upon taking over she rewrote House rules to ensure that the Republican minority is unable to have any influence on legislation. On it goes, we could find no socially redeeming value to her political career. What an enormous savings to the republic had she been term-limited at, say, eight years. As we say in Florida, 8 is Enough!