Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Smoke and Promises

Why are baby boomers concerned about their impending retirement?

They've been over promised.
Why do our kids think they should have everything Britney Spears has and 'someone' should do something about global poverty and freeze environmental conditions as they were 50 years ago?.

They've been over promised.

Why are some folks in mortgage trouble from the past couple of years?

They've been over promised.

Why do they think it's up to someone else to bail them out?

They've been over promised.

Why is the State of Illinois (depending upon who's doing the estimates) $ 140 billions in debt?

They have over promised.

Why is Medicaid and Medicare unsustainable?

They have over promised.

Why are your property taxes more than your house payment?

They have over promised.

Why will all of this rhetoric about hope, change, and believing lead to further despair?

You guessed it.

What in the heavens does the President of the United States have to do with local education funding? Nothing.

What does the President of the United States have to do with teacher salaries? Nothing.

What does the President of the United States have to do with job creation? Nothing.

What does the President of the United States have to do with your health care insurance? Nothing.

We need leadership based in hope, faith, and 'the shining city on the hill'. No doubt. We need to inspire youth. No doubt. We need to make government more accountable. To be sure. Ronald Reagan epitomized this vision. However he, as did the Founders, believed that the hope, faith, inspiration, and foundation of the "city on the hill'', are the people. They believed that getting out of their way was the best hope for the brightest American future. That is why Reagan was a constitutionalist and this nonsense about President Bush and the current administration 'destroying' the Constitution and individual rights is just that - nonsense. The over riding theme of the document is the 'limitation' of government. Contrast Ronald Regan's themes with the same promises but based on one man, woman, or one federal administration 'giving' hope, faith, inspiration to the people by moving wealth around.

They over promise and they do it in a particularly objectionable way, and if they succeed in the bamboozlement you will see a disillusionment in this country that will make the 60's and 70' look like a tea party.

Pre-Barack Pride?

I defy Michelle Obama to watch one of those Space Shuttle landings (I'm sure she never has) like this morning, or a Shuttle launch and not feel pride in America.

I know she's a little young to remember with appreciation Apollo 8 circling the moon Christmas eve of 1968.

I suppose she was not impressed with the way Americans responded in the wake of the 9-11 attacks.

I doubt she was proud when the United States unilaterally turned over essentially all of its Global Positioning Satellite technology to the world at large.

This country definitely has its problems. But I shudder at someone who has never been proud to be an American until her husband is put into politics. I think this country is a bit larger than Barack Obama.

I suppose she was ashamed of the "miracle" U.S. hockey team defeating the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics.

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of humility to be proud of your country.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

U.S. Senators as U.S. Presidents

Barring something completely unforeseen it appears as if our next President will be a sitting United States Senator.

Only two men were ever elected President directly from the U.S. Senate. The first was Warren G. Harding, who served in the Senate from March 4, 1915, until his resignation, effective January 13, 1921, having been elected President.

The other sitting Senator to ascend to the presidency was John F. Kennedy, who served in the Senate from January 3, 1953 to December 22, 1960, when he resigned to become President.

In an interesting twist President Garfield had a connection to the U.S. Senate.
As was the practice until the Constitution was amended in 1913 to provide for direct election of U.S. Senators, the Ohio state legislature elected Garfield on January 13, 1880 to serve as a U.S. Senator. His Senate term was to have begun in March of the following year. Garfield never served in the Senate, however, having been elected U.S. President in the interim. On the day he would have started his Senate service, March 4, 1881, he was instead attending his inauguration as President.

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OK, I guess I have to admit that there are two Americas: The one that no one wants to live in any more and the one where everyone is moving to.
Unfortunately, it appears that our next president will be from Illinois or New York, two of the eight states the local government has screwed up so bad that no one wants to do business there any more. I guess both Hillary and Obama can claim that their states have licked the immigration problem bay increasing taxes and regulation so much that no one wants to come to their states any more.