November 2008


Well folks, the change America’s voters desperately wanted is beginning to materialize before us.

During the campaign, at every stop we heard the droning from the leading Democratic candidate that to vote for McCain/Palin was to continue with the same ol’ Bush-era policies. We heard how Obama described himself as an agent of change and that he had the leadership and qualities necessary to pull Washington away from the status-quo. Rii-ight.

So, what do we have now? Well, it’s looking like this:

Veterans of Bill Clinton’s presidency will hold vital jobs throughout the government, although a bit farther from the Oval Office, Obama tapped some of Clinton’s closest allies for important jobs.

John Podesta, Clinton’s former White House chief of staff, is heading the transition effort.

Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a former top Clinton adviser, is Obama’s chief of staff.

Former Clinton appointees Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano appear in line for Cabinet posts.

Obama has signaled plans to name former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state.
As of November 29, 2008, Obama announced he will give the position to Hillary. The official announcement will take place on Monday, November 30, 2008.

While crying for a defeat of McCain citing a continuation of Bush policies, Obama’s supporters are now praising him for reaching out to his toughest primary opponent.

Doesn’t this sound a bit hypocritical? Isn’t this a double standard? On the one hand we had the battle cry for change and now on the other we get none in terms of the thinkers within the administration. This is beginning to shape up as a repeat of the Clinton administration.

The big change we got from the Clinton-era was the highest tax increase the nation has ever seen. When the surplus started to pile up we heard Al Gore telling us our government should keep that surplus in some kind of lock-box for a rainy day. Leave it to the gile of Gore.

Some may argue that Obama needs to surround himself with seasoned Democrats experienced in the ways of federal government, but can’t Obama find anyone not part of the same old bunch of tired Democrats?

Like the commercial which once asked “Where’s the beef?”, I have to ask the obvious: “Where’s the change and how is it going to come from the same bunch of Clinton-era thinkers?”

Then there is the old adage, “The more things change the more they look the same.”

Some change, huh?

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Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury

In October 2003, he was named president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Once at the New York Fed, he became Vice Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee component.

In 2006, he also became a member of the Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty.

In March 2008, he arranged the rescue and sale of Bear Stearns.

As a Treasury official, he helped manage multiple international crisis of the 1990s in Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand.

On November 24, 2008, President-elect Barack Obama nominated Geithner to be Treasury Secretary

Geithner believes, along with Hank Paulson, that the Treasury Department needs new authority to experiment with responses to the financial crisis of 2008.

Lawrence Summers, Director of the National Economic Council

Summers was on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan from 1982-1983. He also served as an economic adviser to the Dukakis Presidential campaign in 1988

Christina Romer, Director of the Council of Economic Advisors

She obtained her bachelor’s degree from The College of William & Mary in 1981, and her PhD. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985. Upon completion of her doctorate, she started working as an assistant professor at Princeton University. In 1988 she moved to UC Berkeley. She is a former vice president of the American Economic Association, a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a winner of the Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award.

She is serving on the Business Cycle Dating Committee at the National Bureau of Economic Research.[

Melody Barnes, Director of the Domestic Policy Council

Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

When working Americans act irresponsibly with their finances and fall behind on their rent/mortgage, credit card payments we have to answer to our lenders. If we cannot pay, our collateral is seized and our homes are foreclosed and we use whatever resources we have left to start over. That sounds, fair doesn’t it? Personal responsibility and accountability are the key components there.

Not so for the banks. Not so for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Government Sponsored Enterprises. They appear to be operating under a different set of rules. There doesn’t seem to be accountability whatsoever. I haven’t seen a single CEO fired or a single polititian lose their seat on a single board. There’s something wrong with that.

As all of these recent events slowly unfold, we are getting conditioned to the idea that when companies act irresponsibly and wreak them as we have seen, all we have to do is to look to the national treasury for the bailout. In the case of the banking industry, there are few options. They cannot declare bankruptcy and have the world fall into a depression scenario.

But in the case of the auto industry, we seem to believe the solution to their problem is also in the national treasury They appear to believe that since the banks are getting a bailout, why not them, too.

The message we send to these industries is clear and not healthy for our economy. In the process, we are certainly well on our way to a socialist society with government owning industry.

So who do we blame? Who should we hold responsible? Who is accountable? Who should pay?

Why haven’t we seen heads roll?

The scary part about the recovery plan for the auto industry is in Nancy Pelosi’s plan; save the unions. Truth is, the unions are a large component to the problem.

I read a story at the site of a famous journal which described the efforts of one auto company demonstrating innovation and vision by designing a plan that positioned the company to offer state-of-the-art autos using an alternate energy source. The plan to build these autos would be put into effect once gas prices became high enough. The trouble was that the execs couldn’t figure out how to make money with the plan. The production costs where too high. The main problem was that before the production line even rolls, there is a $5000 to $6000 cost associated with benefits demanded by the unions.

These are the same execs who agreed to the labor union’s demands and signed the labor contract.

Adopted in 1917, the constitution of the United Mexican States borrows heavily from American constitutional and legal principles. It combines those principles with a strong sense nationalism, cultural self-identity, paternalism, and state power. Mexico’s constitution contains many provisions to protect the country from foreigners, including foreigners legally resident in the country and even foreign-born people who have become naturalized Mexican citizens. The Mexican constitution segregates immigrants and naturalized citizens from native-born citizens by denying immigrants basic human rights that Mexican immigrants enjoy in the United States.

Summary

In brief, the Mexican Constitution states that:

  • – Immigrants and foreign visitors are banned from public political discourse.
  • – Immigrants and foreigners are denied certain basic property rights.
  • – Immigrants are denied equal employment rights.
  • – Immigrants and naturalized citizens will never be treated as real Mexican citizens.
  • – Immigrants and naturalized citizens are not to be trusted in public service.
  • – Immigrants and naturalized citizens may never become members of the clergy.
  • – Private citizens may make citizens arrests of lawbreakers (i.e., illegal immigrants) and hand them to the authorities.
  • – Immigrants may be expelled from Mexico for any reason and without due process.

The whole thing can be read here.

As I was driving into work I was directing blame to the Republican Party. In so doing, I was trying to formulate what I would say/suggest/demand of the Republican Party leadership in the face of the McCain disaster.

So what’s wrong? It begins with the inherent flaws in the electorial process. I would like to know why the East coast decides the candidates for Texas and the rest of the country. I certainly got no chance to choose my candidate (no, McCain was not my choice). There is a disconnect between the party’s philosophy and people who identify themselves as conservative which pulls them to the Republican Party.

After reading this, I still believe there is a gulf between what I see as problems in the Republican Party and what is identified by Rep. Flake.

In the meantime, the sun came up in the same place as it did yesterday, my coffee tastes the same, my car radio stations are still where I set them. I haven’t sprouted a third arm from out of my chest.

The world has not come to an end.

As a voting American I am faced with a choice between the candidates which our two-party system has presented.  If I want a stake in the course my country takes I have to decide to vote for one or the other.  Staying home on November 4 is also an option, but then I will have no right to complain about the things I disagree with.  In the meantime I will compare the  accomplishments of one candidate against the accomplishments of the other. When I do, the merits of each become self-evident.

If I leave the emotion out of it and examine the policies of each candidate based solely upon their own words and not the words of political analysts or pundits or the opinions of others on the street then I believe I will be using the right process to make the best possible choice – not for me, but for my country.  If I can believe that my country provides the best possible economic environment and adopts policies which allows for its economy to thrive and to endure the bad times by enabling its people then the rest should take care of itself.

There are some people who were going to vote for McCain but then decided not to strictly because McCain chose Sarah Palin as a running mate.  It is difficult for me to fathom the decision making process behind it.  In the final analysis I believe such a decision is driven by emotion.  If it’s driven by intellect it either ignores the established role of the V.P. or is a failure to understand it.  It also ignores history. For some reason there is a belief the V.P. choice makes all the difference in the world when it comes to making policy and deciding America’s course.

Let’s look at the history.  What is the legacy of Carter’s V.P. choice which we still contend with today?  Do you even know the name of who he/she was? What is the legacy of Gore, Quayle, Bush Sr., Mondale, etc. which we can examine to help us determine if, in the end, it actually matters?  What will be the lagacy of Dick Cheney which America will feel the effects of years after he leaves office? What will be his lasting impact?

If we are going to be concerned with people whose decisions will impact America then we only have to look to another female for a proper perspective. By comparison she not only has more chance of changing our country than Sarah Palin ever will – Nancy Pelosi will make a lasting impact.  As Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi determines which issues Congress will focus upon and then vote on.  She decides the content and schedule.  If she disagrees with a bill – for any reason, petty or otherwise – it will not see the light of day.  Good or bad, we will be dealing with Nancy Pelosi’s legacy for many, many years.

I have to admit, getting people to fret over and to focus upon John McCain’s choice for V.P. is a clever ruse which diverts us from the real issues.

Sort of like that ol’ Jedi mind trick.

Who’s fooling who?

When I look at the planks in each of the platforms from which we have to chose, it quickly becomes clear which of the two our country can best tolerate and at the end of the 4 years, will have less of a legacy to undo.

It’s about the country – not what government promises to do for me. I will do for me if the government will get out of my way and let me have the opportunities to do it. I do not need for the government to dip into my pocket any more than it already does and to give it to whom they deem worthy of what was mine.

If I took the attitude which Obama and his ilk wants me and the rest of the country to warm up to I would have taken the candy from each one of the Trick-or-Treaters who knocked on my door last night instead of giving them any. Better yet, I should have taken candy from one kiddos bag and given it to the other standing next to them. Boy – I can almost see the expressions on their faces now.

I will keep my money, my guns and my freedom. The Dems can keep their change.

Vote for the country’s sake.

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