John Hinderaker of Powerline makes the case that Bundy doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, despite sympathy for his problems with the Federal government. Yet, what is legal in the creeping lawlessness of increasingly out of control Federal agencies, bureaucracies, laws and regulations. Indeed, given the utter and staggering pile of laws, rules and regulations we’re all guilty of something, as pointed out in Glenn Reynolds’ Ham Sandwich Nation. If it weren’t for alleged violations of the desert tortoise under the Endangered Species Act, some other suitable charge could be brought against Clive Bundy to confiscate his ranch.
Most of we peasants are much too busy to devote our time to such undertakings. Most of us are too busy trying to make a living to have, after taxes, enough to take home to put food on the table, clothes on our kids’ backs and a roof over their heads. Most of us, if ever confronted by the federal government, would simple not have the time or resources to stand against such an assault.
And, there are people, however, who do have the time and resources to move the federal government against such citizens as Clive Bundy. Corrupt politicians in league with crony capitalists and other assorted rent seekers. For, the law was brought against Bundy for the purposes of such mutual enrichment. The head of the BLM is a former Senator Reid staffer. There are allegations that the interest in Bundy’s ranch is tied up in a solar project between Senator Reid’s son Rory and Chinese interests. Further, we know that Senator Reid has grown rich in office; far in excess that what could be accounted for by his Senatorial salary.
You can connect the points, but can you prove that in court? Alleged is the best we can say for this corruption is difficult to prove and far beyond Clive Bundy’s ability to ferret out. Because, this corruption follows the Chicago Way. Everything is ‘understood’ so there are very few actual quid pro quo’s actually uttered. It was ‘understood’ that the newly minted US Senator from Illinois–Obama–was going to get his mortgage from Northern Trust for his 1.5 million dollar manse in Chicago’s Hyde Park. And, it was also ‘understood’ that the lobby of Northern Trust was not going to be trashed by ACORN.
You can’t prove it. You can’t fight it. Connections with the right people and between the right people can bring down the frightening wrath of the federal government against individuals and totally destroy them. Given that one million dollars is 1/1,000,000 of a trillion dollars, what’s a million or two given away to a connected politician for a favor. With the trillions being spent in Washington DC, a million here or there simply gets lost in the clutter.
Which finally brings up the only saving grace in this temporary truce concerning the Ranch Bundy. The Second Amendment. The rule of law of last resort. The citizens that went out to protest and obstruct the depredations of the BLM agents were armed. They wisely kept their guns in their trucks and automobiles. But, the agents knew they were there. And, those agents caved. Caved because they weren’t professionals. Professionals, warriors in the true sense of the term have a discipline that keeps them from engaging in gratuitous destruction. Such as holing water tanks, destroying fences and killing prize bulls.
Bureaucrats with guns out for a little adventure away from the boredom in the office cubicle. Sniper rifles, real assault rifles! Cool toys for your little adventure scaring the peasants. Hired thugs with guns. Guns, that in other circumstances, would have been effective intimidation in gun-controled blue America. But, they knew they were up against people similarly armed and suddenly the job wasn’t easy. So, true to the thug code, you go somewhere else where the pickings are easier. They, the BLM agents, weren’t about to die for the desert tortoise.
Senator Feinstein knew exactly what she was doing with her ‘assault weapons’ ban. And, so did her fellow travelers such as Obama. The weapons they targeted are the civilian versions of similar military versions; and as such, are designed to take a beating and continue to function after literally firing hundred of rounds. These are the weapons, though lacking full auto capacity, that provide the individual citizen the necessary parity to stand against thugs in the pay of tyranny. The BLM agents caved because they knew that they against skilled marksmen–I suspect a lot of ex-military–with the necessary weapons to create that parity. And, the protesters knew that too.
Powerline brings up a good point that the most damning e-mail from the hacked East Anglia climate files was written in 1999. But, this no where near exonerates the pack of rogues of who have been pushing the anthropogenic global warming (AGM) fraud.
The authors of these e-mail, as the putative experts in the field of global climate changes would have had the most detailed knowledge of the weaknesses of their AGM arguments. They, for example would have known about the Roman warming (about 300 BC to 400 AD) and the Medieval warming (about 900 AD to 1300 AD) periods. They would have also know about the bad effects of the global cooling following those warming periods. Little events, like, the fall of Rome and the ushering in the dark ages; literally and figuratively. Or, with the onset of the little ice age, in 1300, the black plague.
Could it be, that maybe the books were being cooked, even back in 1999, because these researchers needed to make this latest bout of global warming look really bad? Did they need a little extra to explain away the fact that the internal combustion engine wasn’t around for the Roman or Medieval warmings?
We know from the asides and the chatter that these ‘scientists’ were engaged in a political agenda. They’re entitled to their opinions, political and otherwise. But, the tenor of these e-mails demonstrate that these guys didn’t check their personal opinions at the door when they punched the clock going to work at East Anglia.
And, if they did have an agenda, what was it? Were they out to ride the hobby horse of AGM with the goal of pinning the blame on carbon dioxide? Was the goal of making carbon dioxide the ‘fall guy’ the creation of rationalizations to further agendas of global governance in the name of cutting green house gas emissions? Or, to create a case for the regulatory monstrosity that is the cap and trade bill voted out of the House earlier this year? Or, an excuse to create a economy and job killing tax regime that is integral to this House bill?
Did these researchers know that there were serious shortcomings to their AGM theories that would eventually see the light of day? Did they, even in 1999, have to manufacture data to create air tight case that there is global warming, show that it was worse than any other such on record and then create the inference that carbon dioxide is the culprit to segue into the the above agendas?
Okay. This makes me a right-wing conspiracy nut-job. But, the raw data that these ‘researchers’ and ‘scientists’ are sitting on are courtesy public money and government grants. Likewise, these guys are getting paid to write these e-mails via grants that come from public monies. My money. My tax dollars.
But, there’s a simple solution to this problem. It involves taking a page from the campaign promises of our el maximo leader, Obama. Transparency. I simply propose that the raw climate data, in large part paid with my taxes, be completely and with reservation, placed in the public domain. No hacking necessary. Put all the raw data on the internet. All of it.
In the crush of the 2008 presidential election campaign, the MSM made a lot over Obama’s “cool” and “nuance.” As opposed to McCain’s high stung temperament and “gut” reactions.
Now, with Iran, we can truly see what “cool” and “nuance” are really worth. Because in the world of power politics where there is evil and real enemies. Where there are people who will just as soon as kill you as look at you. Where there are evil people who have the means to kill you; and a thousand times over. You need the guts of a fighter pilot closing in at 400 knots. The guts of a fighter who know you have one chance to get it right. Someone who’s already thought through the complex permutations and can render judgement without hesitation. Because at 400+ knots, if you hesitate, you’re dead. You are now in the world of brutal black and white, where you need to make definitive yes and no decisions. This is real executive decision making. And, this is no longer the midnight dorm room bull session where you mixed pot, alcohol and trendy discussion on some vogue Marxist theory.
This is the world of Churchill, May 1940. Dunkirk, France. 330,00 of your forces trapped on the beaches. What do you do? Sue for peace? Become Vichy England? There are historians that theorize that Hitler pulled his punches at Dunkirk to work out a peace deal. Or, with little to hope for, evacuate, re-group and hope for better fortunes in battle; hope for eventual victory. D-day, the 8th Air Force, V-E day with Britain as one of Berlin’s occupiers were, in 1940, dreams that would buy a ticket to a padded cell.
Yet, this is real history. As Mark Steyn once pointed out, crucial decisions at crucial junctures of history are never clear distinctions between unalloyed good and unalloyed bad. In many cases, in the maw of the circumstances of that decision, you have no idea that your decision will be the crucial tipping point.
So, what’s it going to be? Yes or no? Surrender to the Nazis or fight on? Pick sides with the “street” that is literally dying in its challenge of the mad mullahs that run Iran or throw you lot with the power establishment–the ruling Mullahs? The fact is that neither presidential candidate–Ahmadinejad or Mir Hussein Mousavi–is some paragon of Jeffersonian democracy. Both have had active roles in setting policies that makes Iran the pariah it now is.
Both candidates are just two flavors of dung, take your pick. Both required approval by the ruling mullahs to even run in the first place. But, the significance is that the “street” is taking this debate beyond the a presidential election. Now, the people are asking for accountability from the ruling mullahs. And, in this respect, Obama’s been handed a gift. Because there is a clear choice; to come down on the side of an electorate that wants accountability. To come down on the side of true democracy.
Yet, all we get, after a week of waffling, is Obama steps up to the plate. And, we get a kumbaya response. Let’s just all get along. The folks on the street are dying so they don’t have to get along. Instead of a response of solid and unequivocal support for the demands of accountability, Obama publicly urinates on the sacrifice of those protesters demanding that accountability; demanding the right to a vote equal to anyone else’s.
This is the 3 a.m. phone call; launch missiles or not? As far as 3 a.m. phone calls go, this is a relatively simple choice. You blow this choice and the next 3 a.m. phone call won’t be as easy. Maybe an Israeli nuclear retaliation against an Iranian nuclear attack. Standing on the side of democracy is generally the best default position you can take because democracies generally don’t make war on democracies.
But, Obama and many of his supporters have had little to do in the world of hard decision making. In the brutal world of decision making were, you as president, have your options winnowed down to two, yea or nay. Nuance has other words and synonyms. Trying to have your cake and eat it. Dithering. Waffling. Bullshitting. Intellectual Masturbation. Obama’s out of the bubble of unreality of Chicago machine politics where decisions are made by the bosses and “ratified” by bought elections to maintain the thin veneer of democracy–like Ahmadinejad’s election. But, whereas Chicago machine politics has just run a city into the ground, here we have a high stakes nuclear game afoot, a game being run by a two-bit machine politician who’s idea of high negotiation is greasing the right palms.
Sins of omission are venial; sins of commission are mortal. Except the sin of omission that allowed Obama, with a knowing wink from the MSM, to hide the true ideologic identity of his impending presidency during the last campaign. The omission was done wiht the intent to deceive; both Obama and the MSM knew that.
Change, change, change. That was not fair warning because every presidental candidate has always projected himself as such an agent. Seriously, when’s the last time a presidential candidate say “Vote for me because I’m a stick-in-the-mud like the guy I want to replace.”
No, this promise of “change” was purposely kept vague to hide an agenda that only now have become utterly manifest. An agenda that amounts to transforming America into a EU social-welfare democracy. To be sure the mask slipped a few times; the “spread the wealth” remark to Joe-the-plumber and Obama’s interview about bankrupting companies wanting to burn coal to generate electricity with “cap and trade.’
But, there was plenty of evidence that Obama was in the pocket of his socialist and Marxist mentors and professors. There was no way that Obama didn’t know what Bill Ayers true views and background were. He served as co-chair with Ayers on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to distribute some 100 million dollars of grant money. There was evidence all over that Obama was an unreconstructed Marxist from the beginning. But, like Carter, like Clinton, those embarrassing past fact were papered over by a compliant and fully knowing MSM. We knew more about a pregnant 17 year-old, who couldn’t even vote, because she happened to be the daughter of a vice-presidential candidate.
Then came January 20th and the most expensive bait-and-switch in world history was unveiled–the economic “stimulus” bill. This wasn’t creeping socialism; this was a full bore, in your face, coup d’etat. Jefferson, Madison, take a hike, you’re history.
So, now, the Democrats are trying to push this bill through before public opinion really trashes its chances of passage. As I write, three Republicans have broken ranks and the Senate version will probably pass tomorrow. I predict that the bill that will emerge from conference will merge the differences by authorizing spending for everything in the Senate and House versions; creating a bill that will almost definitely break a trillion dollars.
But, figures, especially one trillion, never lie and liars never figure. The silver lining is that this bill, if it passes, will expend the good will and credibility, almost entirely, of Obama’s nascent administration. All within the first month. Bait-and-switch has a way of pissing people off.
And, in the end, Obama will have been rolled, not by the GOP, but by his own party. And, the credibility that will be needed to try to enact the rest of his agenda will no longer be present.
The socialist revolution planned by Obama and company may have been upended by hubris. Hubris and the insularity of politicians that come from jurisdictions that sport one party rule and a whole lot of corruption on the side.
Let’s start with Pelosi. She’s busily and bravely taking bullets for Obama in pushing a frankly socialist remake of America. The results of her so-called stimulus plan is a grotesque caricature of the “tax and spend” liberal; so over the top that is will supply the likes of Jay Leno with jokes for the next century. It is a spending plan that puts the US into the realm of financial stewardship reflective of a banana republic. And, this, thankfully is its downfall; both of this particular piece of legislation and, hopefully, the rest of Obama’s agenda.
But, this grotesque spending plan is the product of a congresswoman who inhabits a district from San Francisco where her chances of being picked off by a Republican challenger is somewhat less than zero. This is the neighborhood of the Getty manse; the venue of Obama’s famous “bitter” remarks (except they really believe it there). Further, she has plenty of personal wealth, to augment her congressional perks of power to easily insulate her from any of the economic hard times now rocking many of her fellow Americans. The result is a completely tone deaf woman who thinks that cornering the condom market is economic stimulus.
The we have the exalted one; Obama. As I type, he’s had four key nominations in serious ethical trouble; one for pay to play and three for taxes. And, the grand solons of the MSM wring their hands as to how their exalted leader has such a flawed vetting process.
The real answer is again the arrogance and insulation that comes from operating in the corrupt one-party rule of the Chicago Democrat political machine. In Obama’s mind, there’s nothing wrong with his vetting because such vetting would be more than adequate in Chicago. In Chicago, everyone has ethical skeletons in the closet. To insist, in Chicago, on such things as being reasonable accurate with tax filing would amount to the pot calling the kettle black. I suspect, so conditioned to ethical lapses, that the Obama team never even realized that people outside the bubble that is Chicago machine politics may actually object to failing to report and pay hundred of thousands of dollars in taxes.
Obama, like many of his fellow traveller in the Democrat caucus, have lived their entire lives using other people’s money. Obama drew a salary as a ward heeler (the old fashioned term for “community organizer”). And, his employer, ACORN made its mark by extorting money for “free” home–the nidus of the sub prime meltdown. Through these activities, Obama was deemed worthy to co-chair the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to distribute $100 million dollars to selected friends and do nothing to do the stated goal of the Challenge, improve public education. This is the “executive” experience he now brings to the White House. Then on to the Illinois State legislature, the US Senate and now President. Obama’s a very wealthy man who never added one iota of wealth to the GDP.
And, while in Chicago, his only experience with economic policy is Chicago economic policy. The fine art of taxes and graft of the truly productive elements of the Northern Illinois economy; just enough squeeze but just short of the breaking point. The result is a miserably expensive place to live. Sales taxes hovering around ten percent. Property taxes, as compared to my home town, that aren’t just a lot more but a lot more by almost an order of magnitude.
Obama’s vice-president, Biden, got himself elected to the US Senate two years out of law school. Then kept getting re-elected and re-elected. The job in the Senate is the only job Biden’s held and only paycheck he’s has drawn for his entire adult life.
Then’s there’s Daschle. A man, since his exit from the Senate, who became a multi-millionaire trading in favors and connections. Again, wealth without one iota of economic growth or innovation. And, by the Biden’s standard of tax paying patriotism, Daschle is clearly un-American.
Yet, Obama, with a knowing wink, hands his legacy over to Pelosi, to write a “stimulus” bill that is a Trojan Horse for the down payment on the new Socialist America. To say the least, the gross excess is so excessive that it takes no effort to ridicule, it ridicules itself.
In the process, we find Obama getting rolled by both parties. First his “friends” in his party set him up with this “stimulus” and now the GOP is making him look like a fool for being within ten miles of this legislative dog. Our enemies are very astutely weighing this sterling example of presidential leadership. The real irony is that Obama is so bought into this “stimulus” that he’s practically committed to signing anything, including a pig with lipstick (couldn’t resist), that walks into the Oval Office with the word “stimulus” painted on it side.
Since his only “exeuctive” experience was giving money when chairiing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, we have a man with none. This was not an exercise in delegation, it was abdication of responsibility to Pelosi and the solons of the House Democratic Cacaus. With similiar dithering on Gitmo, were going to just outsource torture.
At bottom, politics has rough principles of honesty. Everything in politics consists of verbal agreements; you’re only as good as your word. With fellow politicians and with the public. Everyone knows to discount a certain amount of verbal hyperbole, but the bait-and-switch that is the Obama-Pelosi-Reid troika is the result of three politicians that don’t have the grounding that there are a lot of people who still value the fact that your word is your bond.
In Chicago, there is essentially a breakdown of the rule of law. A cynisicism governs all things public; born of a knowledge that everything is for sale. And, it creates a seperation between those who nominally hold the public trust and those for whom they govern. there exists a seperateness that politicians live in their own world and the subjects do what they can, after paying tribute, to keep government at arm’s length. So inured is Chicago to this attitude that a politician like Obama can assume that this is just business as usual. But, outside Chicago, outside safely Gerrymandered congressional districts are people who will look upon the lies of these insulated politicians and vote to counter these liars.
Obama discussed a 700 billion dollar economic stimulus package. But, intimated that he would be okay with even more. Congress obliged by rolling Obama with a 850 billion spending spree. Here’s some of the details from Power Line. If such a package were going to build infrastructure, we’d at least have something to show for this spending blow-out. But, this money will line the pockets of favored groups and friends. And, will leave precious little to show in terms of actual accomplishments.
Or, should I say that 850 billion dollars will be pissed away and we will have only the inflation that will rack our economy, in about a year, as the only residual for this spending.
But, Obama has lots of experience in spending other people’s money and making sure that there is nothing to show. Or, at least nothing to show in upsetting the status quo. That experience was his co-chairing the Annenberg Challenge with his buddy Bill Ayers. He managed to oversee the disbursement of 100 million dollars without affecting the quality of public education in Chicago one whit. What he really did, the good Chicago machine foot soldier he was, was to spread 100 million dollars of graft to the friends of the Chicago machine.
So, what we have is a replay of the same graft distribution; just several orders of magnitude greater. There will be no leadership on Obama’s part. Just the distribution of graft and largess. Obama’s well practiced in that art.
I’m realistic enough to realize that nothing for free in politics; especially in Chicago. But, to blatantly place a Senate seat on the auction block to the highest bidder for the personal gain of Blagojevich does boggle the mind. But, maybe not.
Over the last few decades there has been a iron triangle with the Democratic party, the MSM and the bicoastal elite to cover for almost every transgression of almost any Democratic politician. That with a constituency that only care about free government checks, abortion and gay marriage. Frankly, as long as these three things are delivered, you could get caught in bed with immature gerbils and still get re-elected; as a Democrat. Impeached philanderer, Bill Clinton still collects a government pension and is making stacks of money speechifying on the rubber chicken circuit. Hill’s about to take over at the State Department.
And, it almost becomes regarded as a birthright, for these politicians, that the law is for other people. I suspect that Blagojevich is so marinated in the corruption of Chicago/Illinois politics that it never occurred to him that what he was doing illegal. So marinated that he could presume to conduct this corruption openly over the phone even though he was already under Federal scrutiny; a federal wiretap didn’t even cross his mind.
This corruption has a real cost. Illinois, particularly the Chicago area, is a miserably expensive place to live. Sales taxes edging towards ten percent. Property taxes, at least compared to Wyoming, aren’t just higher by a percentage but almost by an order of magnitude.
And these taxes and the spending imperatives behind them come from an attitude of complete lack of respect that this money, that these corrupt politicians tax and spend, is not their money. It is this fundamental attitude that your money becomes the personal property of every tax-and-spend politician. In turn leading to a high tax and high cost environment that seems to, in particular, typify blue-state America.
Also, because there are always individuals who can command compensation regardless of the tax environment, such compensation demanded will be priced to discount these high tax levels. This drags up the entire pricing environment and drags prices and cost of living for up for everyone.
I’m only hoping the moribund Illinois GOP can seize this opportunity to push through true reform. Simultaneously, demonstrate that corrupt politics as usual has real costs; in high taxes and general cost of living.