Thursday, November 18, 2010

Charlie Rangel's Sentence 

As everyone who reads should know, Charlie Rangel, the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has been convicted by the House Ethics Committee on eleven counts of ethics rules violations. Sentencing is to be announced today.

If I were meting out the sentence, I would strip Rangel of all seniority and all the perks that go with it--i.e., he would be treated like a newly-elected freshman. I would also permanently ban him from any leadership position, including but not limited to chairmanship of any committee or subcommittee.

I realize this is harsh, but the fact is that Rangel used his position of power and influence to insulate himself from the rules that everyone else has to follow, and in so doing violated the public trust. As a committee chairman, he owed allegiance not only to his home district, but to the country at large, because his use of power affected the country at large.

With great power comes great responsibilty. When one abuses great power, one must pay a great penalty.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Veterans Day 

God bless all our veterans. Without their sacrifices our world would be much different, and far less free. And may God bless their families, without whose love, support and sacrifice our veterans could not have achieved what they did.

Now, a link to a story in Stars and Stripes featuring my favorite veteran.


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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Suspicions Confirmed 

For quite some time now, I have noted that the Democrats and Republicans have different definitions for the same terms. For example, to a Dem, "special interests" is more or less synonymous with "greedy corporations" and "Wall Street bankers" and "the rich", while to a Repub, the term means something like "big labor" and "welfare rights organizations" and "illegal immigration proponents."

The word "compromise" likewise has different meanings. Webster's first definition is "a settlement of differences by mutual adjustment or modification of opposing claims, principles, demands, etc.; agreement by mutual concession." By and large that's pretty much what a Repub means when he uses the word. It's my perception, however, that when a Dem calls for "compromise," what he really means is "you do it my way."

And so we come to an article in The Hill (online edition, 6 Nov 2010), headlined, "Obama calls for compromise, won't budge on tax cuts."

Well, there you go.

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Chris Matthews and Barney Frank 

Is it just me, or are Chris Matthews and Barney Frank extraordinarily similar in both substance and style?

They're both lefties, they're both condescending, bombastic and arrogant, they both interrupt as soon as they hear something they don't like ... what's the dif?

So is Matthews a sock puppet of Frank's, or vice versa?

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day! 

First of all, GO VOTE! if you haven't already.

Second, I'm looking forward to a very interesting evening of return-watching. Might even be more entertaining than Jon Stewart's rally last weekend. All the pundits have been exhibiting a herd mentality in stating that "the folks" won't be voting for Republicans, but rather they'll be voting against Democrats. Some Dem pundits are spinning it a bit differently, saying the voters are revolting "against Washington," but I don't buy that because there are too many open seats that are going to the Repubs.

I generally agree with the pundits that the voters are down on the Dems, and that the Repubs better respond to the public mood or there'll be hell to pay in two years. It would not surprise me to see a center-right third party emerge if the Repubs don't toe the mark. A centrist third party would be a natural home for both the disenfranchised Dems who can't abide the Obama-Pelosi style statism and those Repubs who aren't big on social issues but want a return to fiscal responsibility and a coherent set of policies, both domestic and international.

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