Sunday, September 28, 2008

Republican's Balk at ACORNs in the Recipe

Republicans have been balking at Democratic propositions on fixing the economy, and the main reason has finally come to light. There has been a taint of ACORN in the original propositions.

Republican protests that any propositions forwarded for consideration in the "bail-out" discussions have a root cause to them. Original proposals included a plan for some of the profits earned by the governmental loaning of funds to financial institutions to go to ACORN, a group closely associated with the Democratic party that does work to ensure Democrats are elected to office. Republican opposition members issued a statement on Saturday expressing their outrage at such inclusion on the part of the Democrats, outlining the reasons they would not support any proposal including monies allocated for ACORN.

In issuing the statement, House leaders are reflecting -- and also feeding -- a reaction to the provision that has exploded in the last day or more. Our colleague Ben Smith says he's gotten more than a dozen anti-ACORN e-mails in just the last few hours. The viral uprising is both organic and institutionally driven. Prominent bloggers have fed the flames and so has the Wall Street Journal editorial page; several of the e-mails sent to Smith reference a House leadership alert on the "ACORN Slush Fund" and others refer to the Journal opinion. On Thursday night, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The Crypt that his friend Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) opposes the provision.

"The draft bill includes a left-wing giveaway that would force taxpayers to bankroll a slush fund for a discredited ally of the Democratic Party," reads one leadership alert. "At issue is ACORN, an organization fraught with controversy for, among other scandals, its fraudulent voter registration activities on behalf of Democratic candidates. Rather than returning any profits made in the long-term from the economic rescue package, Democrats want to first reward their radical allies at ACORN for their (often illegal) help in getting Democrats elected to office."

In the end, how much of the bailout's potential profits are earmarked for ACORN? "None. Absolutely none. All funds would go to state and local governments," said Steven Adamske, spokesman for Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Financial Services Committee and a lead negotiator.

A proposal rife with the possibility of more corruption, more mismanagement, and more mishandling of money, proposed by the democrats? But how can this be, out of the party that had promised that if elected to majority status in 2006 it wouldn't be "politics as usual?" So far, and especially in light of the most recent situation regarding the financial market, that has been exactly what the majority party has given the American people. Despite this shady and underhanded attempt by Democrats, Nancy Pelosi has deemed to accuse Republicans of being "unpatriotic."

Fortunately, perhaps, all references and inclusions of ACORN in the Democratic proposals have been removed from their offerings, as shown in a side by side comparison of proposals that have been considered.

The question of the Constitutionality of the entire process has still not been answered completely, in the minds of many Americans. One can look throughout the contents of the Constitution and be hard pressed to find anything regarding the nation's economy, other than powers of levying taxes and tariffs and the responsibility of Congress to mint the nation's money.

We have reached, perhaps, a cross-roads, as a nation, one in which it must be decided whether to remain a free-market nation, or one that begins to turn a hard turn to socialism. The efforts of the Roosevelt administration during the great depression put the United States on the road to a quasi-socialistic state of economy that the nation has existed under ever since, growing the government larger and more intrusive into the lives of the American citizenry by leaps and bounds with each passing year.The current economic crisis, if not handled carefully and with cool heads, could change the scope of not only the American economy in coming years, but the very structure under which we, as a nation, exist. Socialism, the control of business and industry by the state, and capitalism can not exist side by side under the same roof. If the past nearly 70 years has not shown that, nothing will.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Friday, September 26, 2008

Klan Announces They Will Have A Presence at Debate

In what is sure to be a headache already for Secret Service members and other security officials in charge of making sure the candidates are safe during tonight's debate, a wild card has been thrown into the deck. The Klan is planning to show.

Confirming rumors that have been circulating the past few days, the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan have announced that they will have members present in the audience for tonight's scheduled Presidential debate between candidates John McCain and Barack Obama at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

The Klansmen will be “invisible,” trying to blend in just as anyone else, the emperor of the MWK said in an e-mail.

The emperor wrote, “The Mississippi White Knights will have officers and Klansmen on hand for the presidential debate on September 26, 2008. Our people will be in Oxford and on the campus ‘invisible.’ That means our people won’t be in regalia or demonstrating. So, I guess you’ll just have to guess which of the people present are Klansmen.

“Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions about the Mississippi White Knights.



Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.”

The e-mail came from the address,, but the sender would not identify himself nor respond to more questions.

The Latin words, “Non silba sed anthar,” translate to: “Not for oneself but for others,” a motto the Klan has used since the 19th century.

Why it should be a surprise to anyone that the Klan should put a presence at a Presidential debate in Mississippi where the first non-white candidate for a major party will be in attendance? This is a possibility and a scenario that should have been expected and made ready for from the outset, for which the Secret Service, undoubtedly, has contingency plans in place and ready. If not, then they are sorely deficient in their security arrangements.

Race has been an under the surface issue for this campaign from the outset, from the primary season in which other candidates tap danced around the issue in order not to be offensive to the Obama campaign to Obama's campaign using his race as a tool, themselves, proclaiming any and all disagreements with Obama to be based in racist attitudes. There are many, many reasons not that Obama is undesirable for the Presidency that have nothing to do, whatsoever, with his race, and those are the reasons that should be focused upon by the voting public who intend not to vote for him in the upcoming November elections.

The Klan, with it's bastardization of Confederate regalia and their adoption of the emblems of a proud nation that lasted for less than five years, has been and remains a thorn in the side for true Southerners who have, since the inception of the Confederacy in 1860, desired nothing more than the rights of the state, and more importantly, the individual, taking precedence over the powers of the federal government.

Does the Klan have the right to have a presence at tonight's debate? As American citizens interested in the political process of the nation, yes. To create a disturbance by promoting hatred based in nothing other than outdated notions of racial superiority of one skin color over another? It is a shame and a disgrace that in the 21st century such attitudes are still around and fomented by those who live their lives promoting the hatred of others who are different. In contrast and comparison, the same can be said of those members of the Islamic world who promote the same sort of hatred from their standpoint. It could be argued that there is no difference between the Klan and al Qaeda save the color of skin of their members.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Iraqi Benchmark Reached During U.S. Economic Crisis

During the focus by the American media on the circus activity going on in Washington in regards to the nation's economy and House and Senate efforts to devise a plan to fix it, an important benchmark achievement has gone all but unnoticed in Iraq.

Iraqi Parliament members have unanimously passed a resolution opening elections in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces next year, opening the door for a more stable political environment in the country and allowing for a new, more secular and more inclusive legislative body to be elected. The current system, which allowed religious authorities to dominate in the previous elections, have been reworked in order to make the electoral process more secular and less open to religious influence. It also allows for women to occupy approximately 25% of legislative seats, and will allow Sunni sects inclusion into the process, which they have boycotted since 2005, but who have allied themselves with U.S. troops in fighting against the al-Qaeda, thus allowing them to compete for positions within the the Iraqi government.

As always in Iraq's halting journey toward a new order, the reform was not complete. Elections were put off in the province surrounding the volatile city of Kirkuk, where Kurds, Sunni Arabs and other groups compete for power, and in three Kurd-run provinces. Staging fair and peaceful elections will be another major challenge: In the south of Iraq, competition among Shiite parties, including those of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Mahdi Army leader Moqtada al-Sadr, could easily spill over into violence. The importance of securing the elections is one good reason for President Bush's decision to withdraw only 8,000 of the 146,000 remaining U.S. troops in Iraq between now and February. Still, the precipitous drop in violence in Iraq during the past year offers strong reason for hope that a good election can be held -- and that the new Sunni and Shiite leaders who emerge will be well positioned to jump-start reconstruction in the provinces and negotiate with each other.

This latest benchmark has been what Ambassador Ryan Crocker has been calling one of the most important for the Iraqi's to reach and achieve. Another key benchmark expected to be reached is the distribution of revenue from Iraq's oil industry into the provinces and local economy. Perhaps, in light of the current economic crisis that is distracting the nation, for the moment, from Iraq and it's ground gaining, it should be noted that the strategy of gradual withdrawal of forces from the country has allowed it the time to develop a political system in which such benchmark achievements have been possible. Should the balance and pace that have been established be disrupted by an escalated withdrawal of American forces, it remains possible that the political stability that the region has been working toward might be undermined.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Boehner Takes Democrats to Task

In a letter from House Republican Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the issues of a day of fruitless negotiation are addressed, making clear, in no uncertain terms, the Republican stand on the "joint proposals."

Despite claims by House Democrats early on that there was a "joint proposal" that had been prepared in dealing with the economic package being bandied about by legislators, a group of Republicans have asserted that no such joint proposal had yet been agreed upon yesterday, leading to a letter sent from House Republican Leader John Boehner to House Speaker Pelosi, detailing the position of the Republicans on the issues that still need to be addressed before any proposals can be considered "joint," and taking to task certain House members, and the speaker herself, for allowing word to be given that such an item existed, leading to misinformation and confusion in an already confusing and difficult situation.

In his letter to the speaker, Boehner threatened that "a large majority of Republicans cannot - and will not - support Sec. Paulson's plan" unless she actively considers some of the measures offered by his working group.

"In the interest of the men and women we represent in Congress, I hope it does not come to that conclusion," Boehner said in his letter to the speaker.

With Republicans still overwhelmingly opposed to Treasury's bailout proposal - as well as the principles on which House and Senate Democrats agreed to on Thursday - Democratic leaders can't do much until GOP leaders iron out concerns on their side of the aisle. Leaving a meeting of Democratic leaders on Friday, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said, "The reality is that you're going to need very significant votes from both sides of the aisle."

Mentioned in particular in Boehner's letter were House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd Christopher Dodd (D-CT) for "announced that a bipartisan deal was at hand even though the reservations about the underlying proposal I had expressed to you had not been addressed. Each time such announcements were made, or even rumored, I or my staff made it clear to media and to your staff that any such deal did not include House Republicans."

Given the activity of the Democrats during yesterday's negotiations in their conduct in public eyes, it brings their reliability, honesty, integrity, and fitness to hold office into question in the eyes and minds of many American citizens. If elected officials can't be trusted to be honest in something as simple as announcing that there was no agreed upon proposal in their attempts to handle a time of crisis, what else are the Democratic officials prepared to lie about to the American people?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Thursday, September 25, 2008

GOP Claims Leverage on Bailout

Republicans are holding out on any bail out proposals being offered up for bail out measures in the current Wall Street financial debacle. What is the driving force behind their stand, and how will it affect the outcome of any proposal that does pass?

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is not pleased with the Democratic proposals coming out to "bail out" for the financial system. Shelby, who until the early 90's served in the Senate as a Democrat, is no stranger to the way that Democrats do business, which is part and parcel the reason he chose to switch parties, with the support of the majority of his constituency in his home state of Alabama, who have chosen to return him to his office since his party switch.

Republicans by and large are claiming that they have the leverage that they need to make sure that any "bail out" that is approved be done the way that they want it to be done, otherwise they will continue to balk at proposals being laid forth by Democrats, claiming that the Democrats alone will be responsible for any flawed legislation that is passed in an effort to save the United States financial system.

Reps. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are leading an effort by House Republicans to circulate the set of principles to their colleagues and like-minded Democrats, according to a senior Republican.

Asked whether the effort comes too late, the GOP official said the votes would be leverage enough to have the principles considered by congressional negotiators.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has indicated that a bill will not be brought to the floor without broad Republican support.

GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and the White House have been made aware of their alternative.

Fingers are being pointed on both sides of the aisle, as always, as politicians attempt to pass the blame for the economic situation from one to the other, with neither side truly being capable of standing in either blame nor credit for the state of the nation's economy, unless it such blame lies in economic policies that put burdens upon American businesses and their ability to conduct trade and commercial ventures both at home and abroad. The decline of the American economy lies more in the way that we have been forced, by necessity of economic survival on the part of our industry, to have our manufacturing base moved overseas and off shore due to regulatory and tax structures that make it unprofitable for large industry to maintain operations domestically. Both parties can take credit for that development.

Who suffers? The American people. There is much caution that needs to be undertaken in any federal aid lent to the financial system; caution that the tenets of the United States Constitution are not violated, caution that any aid is not a first step towards nationalization of any industry, caution that any aid rendered does no harm to the American public.

To give credit where it is due, several Republican members of the House and Senate have been warning of this coming meltdown for years, with Democrats calling for and pushing legislation for cheaper and more available credit for the public. Cheap and easy credit, if one looks to history, were the main causes for the market failures leading to the great depression, a global economic nightmare that gave rise to the regime of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, a situation that I don't think anyone wishes to see repeated less than 100 years after the rise of the last world war.

Any "bail out," a misnomer created by the main stream media, once again, for a loan proposal in which money lent to the financial institutions would be repaid to the federal government, will have to be carefully crafted and such safeguards included that the monies lent are tightly regulated, monitored, and assurances made that there be no room for abuse of the funds lent to companies so that they can continue to operate. The failure of these businesses, the inability of banking and lending to lend money to business, means an overall shutdown of the American economy at large. Such a situation would have global repercussions, creating a hole in the economic stability of other nations who trade with us, and who, in turn, trade with other nations.

This is a much larger and more broad scoped problem than many people realize.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Hefner Sacking Bunnies? Imagine That...

As economic tides continue to be in turmoil, and economic advisers are recommending that CEO's make cutbacks in order to continue to operate, how does Hugh Hefner deal with the economic crisis? By firing models, of course.

Tough times have hit the Playboy mansion. While being held as a closely guarded secret, reports have leaked out that the multi-million dollar Playboy empire may be struggling with its budget. Only the top brass at the mansion are reported to really know the true situation going on financially in the Hefner empire and the "little house that Hugh built." Rumors are that Hefner has been advised to lay off some of his staff in New York and Los Angeles or face bankruptcy, which has been denied by Hefner spokeswoman Elizabeth Austin, who said, in response to the rumored sackings, "It is our policy not to comment on corporate matters such as employee issues."

The news will be another blow to Hefner who recently discovered that two of his "bunnies" may have been cheating on him.

Holly Madison, who has previously been named as Hefner's "No.1" girlfriend, is alleged to have had an affair with magician Criss Angel and another bunny, Kendra Wilson, is reportedly dating football star Hank Baskett.

Playboy spokesman Rob Hillburger denied the rumours, saying: "The rumours that Holly left Hef for Criss Angel are not true. Holly and Kendra are all still living at the Mansion."

Actually, I wasn't aware that Hefner was a man to cringe from a blow that was delivered to him, as he has made an entire industry into and of itself out of selling sex. One would have to think that sacking staff would be something of a common occurrence at the Playboy Mansion, but it seems to be that they take great umbrage at reports of anyone being sacked over the economy...

Once and Always, An American Fighting Man


Senator Joseph Biden is the Mouse That Roared

Joe Biden, a long term Senator from Delaware cum Vice Presidential candidate, has taken upon himself the mantle of the attack dog for his running mate, Barack Obama. But is it working, or is Biden finding himself trying too hard to make himself heard?

In Leonard Wibberley's novel and the subsequent Peter Sellers movie of the same name released in 1959 The Mouse that Roared, a small and insignificant country does the unthinkable, with hilarious results; they attack the United States. While the truth is indeed often stranger than fiction, in the novel, and the movie, the theme works, and the upstart little nation wins, by losing.

Joseph Biden, while not necessarily an insignificant political candidate, has, however, taken on a task that it could be argued that he isn't up for. Biden has undertaken to attack Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain over issues of foreign policy. Biden, of course, as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, seems to think he has the upper hand on understanding how to handle foreign relations over John McCain, and possibly, in his own way of thinking, he does, as he in a recent speech criticized McCain over several points, including McCain's attitude toward Russia:

John McCain has gotten it wrong on so many fundamental issues. Imagine; imagine if we had listened to John McCain when he tried to remove Russia from the G8. That’s the industrial nations, last year. Such a move would not have done anything to stop Russia from the inextricable and unfair and overwhelming invasion of an independent country of Georgia. But I tell you what it would have done: it would have triggered a crisis in our alliance since no one else in Europe thought that action should be taken. An alliance we now need, we now need to help us in dealing with Russian aggression.”

Is Biden saying here that Russia was stopped from invading Georgia? I don't know what news outlet he was watching or where he was getting his information, but Georgia was in fact invaded by the Russians this summer and there are still, today, Russian troops occupying territory inside what is sovereign Georgian territory. Of course, Senator Biden has a record of changing things a bit to suit his own purposes, himself, having supported, initially, the war in Iraq and then changing his position on that, as well as supporting military action in Bosnia.

Perhaps there is another issue that needs to be addressed in the case of Senator Biden in examining his attacks on John McCain over issues of foreign relations. Biden, who has been a lawyer and a politician for his entire working life (Biden is one of the six longest term senators to hold office in the nation), Biden doesn't have the up close and personal experience in dealing with representatives of foreign nations in the worst of times that McCain has:

John McCain's capture and subsequent imprisonment began on October 26, 1967. He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam, when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi.[30][31] McCain fractured both arms and a leg, and then nearly drowned, when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi.[30] After he regained consciousness, some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him.[30] McCain was then transported to Hanoi's main Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton".[31]

Although McCain was badly wounded, his captors refused to treat his injuries, instead beating and interrogating him to get information, and he was given medical care only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a top admiral.[33] His status as a prisoner of war (POW) made the front pages of major newspapers.[34][35]

McCain spent six weeks in the hospital while receiving marginal care.[30] Now having lost 50 pounds (23 kg), in a chest cast, and with his hair turned white,[30] McCain was sent to a different camp on the outskirts of Hanoi[36] in December 1967, into a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live a week.[37] In March 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years.[38]

A far cry, it would seem, from state dinners and conferences. McCain is often criticized by opponents and naysayers about having no experience outside of politics and military service. That same scrutiny can be applied to Senator Biden, who is one of the six longest term senators to serve in Washington, and to Barack Obama, as well, whose work as a "community organizer" is a dressed up name for "lobbyist." Adding to that Biden's failure twice to win in a bid of his own for his party's nomination for party candidate for the Presidency, Biden, in what could be considered a conciliatory position as Vice Presidential candidate, could be, himself, that roaring mouse trying to make a bluster and noise bigger than he is capable of achieving.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man