Gun Control Killed; Obama’s Head Explodes

Well, the Senate effort to curtail Second Amendment rights failed today in the Senate, and in his typical th[7]fashion, the empty suit currently occupying the Oval Office placed the majority of the “blame” (“credit”, in my opinion) on the Republicans.

As most readers of my scribbling know, I’m no big fan of the GOP. But they’re not the issue here; the Blamer-in-Chief’s post-defeat presser statement is.

Hey, Obummer, YOUR OWN PARTY CONTROLS THE SENATE, you doofus, and that’s where it failed. You didn’t need a single GOP vote, as we saw with your jamdown of Obamacare, if YOUR OWN PARTY had supported this nonsense.

What a flaming cretin.

© Brian Baker 2013

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It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

CommissarObama copyYou’ve really got to hand it to Commissar Obama. When it comes to going all in on his socialist agenda, he’s certainly wasting no time at all now that he never has to face the electorate again.

The latest example is the hysteria over the tragic shootings at the elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. There are several illustrative elements I think are worth considering. First, how is this incident any different from the one that took place in Aurora, Colorado in a movie theater during the premiere of the latest “Batman” movie (and of which I wrote a few essays ago)? Why didn’t that massacre, with a much higher body count, lead to these panicked Chicken Little gun control efforts from our socialist brethren?

I’ll tell you exactly why: that shooting took place only a month or two before the next national election, and the socialists know that gun control is an election-killer for them, whereas this event happened as absolutely far as possible from the next election, so they’re banking on the electorate’s short attention span in making this the most opportune time possible for them to try to realize their dream of imposing Draconian gun restrictions.

Then there’s the added benefit to Comrade Obama of using this event, and its headline-grabbing nature, to distract everyone from the very real and immediate problem that is facing this country, and his arrogance and ineptitude in dealing with it, namely our looming fiscal insolvency. It’s a classic case of presidential sleight-of-hand: “Hey, look! We need to save the kids and ban guns! Don’t pay any attention to what my other hand’s doing!”

It’s pure, sheer political cynicism, chicanery and hypocrisy of the first order.

Speaking of hypocrisy and chicanery, whatever happened to the investigation into “Operation Fast And Furious”, in which Eric Holder and the BATF ran thousands of full-auto assault weapons into Mexico in an effort to gin up a fraudulent case that American gun laws were too lax, resulting in the deaths of over 300 Mexican citizens and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry?

Anyway, here are some points to consider. The Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings both took place in venues which are already under stringent gun restrictions. In fact, Connecticut already has an “assault weapon” ban in place ( Link ), as does Denver ( Link ), of which Aurora is a suburb and under its jurisdiction, under Municipal Code 38-130. So, in light of that, how would any new federal laws have prevented these killings? They wouldn’t have, plain and simple, as both shooters were already violating “assault weapon” bans.

I hear a lot blather about how the Second Amendment was written in the 18th Century and therefore only covers the technology of the time, i.e. flintlocks. Using that rationale, I guess the First Amendment right of free speech only covers hand-operated movable-type printing presses, then, and not the internet, TV, radio, movies, computers, automated printing presses, or telephones of any kind.

The blather continues with the usual nonsense that the Amendment only covers members of the active duty military and National Guard because it mentions a “well-regulated militia”. Here’s the complete text:

“Amendment II

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

MinutemanAnd what is the “militia”? It is the body of the whole populace of able-bodied law-abiding citizens, as defined by the Founders in their contemporary writings and encoded by Title 10 US Code, Section 311. And, as mentioned in the Amendment, this is an issue of “a free state”; it doesn’t mention deer hunting anywhere. It’s about freedom from government tyranny, a condition assured by an armed populace capable of resisting oppression.

This is a country founded on the principle of equality, with no “privileged classes”, and the cops and soldiers are just citizens like everybody else. EVERY citizen has an equal right to equal weaponry. If the cops and soldiers can have them, so can any other law-abiding citizen.

Otherwise, we don’t have an “equal society”; we have a ruling class – the “privileged” – and a subject class – all the rest of us.

Thanks, but I think I’ll pass. I’m not anyone’s “subject”. I’m a free man, and citizen with full rights.

© Brian Baker 2013

Phew! We Didn’t Fall Off The “Fiscal Cliff”!!!

Um… wow… I’m so relieved, I’m sure. The world has been saved from a return to the Dark Ages.

Or not.

I’m sick to death of hearing about the ginned-up non-emergency of the “fiscal cliff”. As a matter of fact, the term tops the annual list published by Lake Superior State University of words that should be “Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness” ( Link ).

I read an article today ( here ) entitled “How Much Should We Really Fear the Next Budget Fight?”

And my reaction was: We shouldn’t FEAR it at all. We conservatives should WELCOME it as an opportunity to take this battle to where it needs to be: about profligate and insane SPENDING. No country in history ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity. We’re squandering the next couple of generations’ inheritance and chance at prosperity, and dooming them to poverty and government dependency, AT BEST.

Is that what “the land of the free and the home of the brave” is supposed to mean? The populace chained to and enslaved by the government’s dependency plantation, slaves to whatever “largesse” our government masters deign to let us keep of our own earnings?

fiscal cliff bipartisanReally? THIS is what we fought a Revolution for? To trade in a tyrannical King George for a tyrannical Commissar Obama and Slavemaster Reid, aided and abetted by Quislings Boehner and McConnell?

I say no! By God, I hope not!

© Brian Baker 2013

Socialist Anti-Gun Vultures Swoop!

vulture

We’ve all heard about the tragic and horrible killings at an elementary school in Connecticut carried out by a nutjob who also killed his mother, all the killings carried out using guns he stole from her. It turns out he’d actually tried to legally buy at least one gun prior to the event and was turned down by the appropriate authorities.

As predictably as the sun rising in the east, the “usual suspects” in the gun-banning crowd swoopno guns onto the still-warm corpses with opportunistic shrieks of glee at their good fortune in finding another excuse to try to somehow stop madmen from carrying out their deranged acts, evidently under the illusion that curtailing gun rights is a magic panacea for insanity.

Democrat Senators Joe Lieberman, Diane Feinstein, Chuckie Schumer (of course) and Dick Durbin, as well as New York Mayor Michael “Big Gulp” Bloomberg, have already taken the lead in exploiting this mess to advance their leftist/socialist agenda of banning guns, Feinstein vowing to introduce her same old, tired “assault weapon ban” yet again when the Senate reconvenes next year.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the fact-checker. It turns out that “mass shootings” aren’t exactly the rising phenomenon those zealots claim they are. In fact, according to criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, and Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, there has been no increase in these incidents, and in fact “while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s.” ( Link )

Democrats have avoided gun control like the plague in recent years because they know it’s a political loser for them. I won’t go into all the stats; suffice it to say that the anti-gun sentiment in the country that peaked in about the 1970s has completely reversed itself in the last couple of decades. I think the only reasons these socialists are trying again now are twofold:thCA1J3QJR first, this is an especially terrible event, as it involved little kids. They’re hoping for an emotional backlash. And secondly, it’s a couple of years until the next election, and they’re banking on the electorate having a short memory. Of course, they’ve made that particular miscalculation with great regularity in the past. But then, the socialists definitely aren’t the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.

Another thing to bear in mind: the killer tried to buy a gun, and the current system worked. He was prevented from doing so, and had to steal the guns he used. So… what law, exactly, do the gun-haters think is going to “solve” this problem? Logically, the only thing that could work would be for all the guns in the country to magically vanish. How would that be accomplished?

ripcon 2Any law banning gun ownership is already deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the Heller and McDonald cases. Further, just a week ago 7th District Court Justice Posner held that Illinois’s total ban on public gun carry was also unconstitutional.

We’ve also had quite a bit of experience on the efficacy of bans in general. If “bans” were effective, we wouldn’t have a drug problem in this country, nor would there be any illegal aliens. How’s that been working out?

Let’s also not forget the mass murderer in Norway, Anders Breivik, who last year killed 77 people during his rampage, using a bomb to kill 8 and guns to kill 69 more, most of them young teens. Compared to this country Norway has very strict gun laws, and yet…

I think it’s funny – as in “hypocritical” – how so many on the Left are using this event as a vehicle to advance their gun control agenda while at the same time they’ve remained absolutely mute on Obama’s and Holder’s Operation Fast & Furious, the gun-running scheme which resulted in the deaths of over 300 Mexican citizens and one US Border Patrol agent named Brian Terry. That operation was very possibly conceived to gin up a case for arguing that our domestic gun laws were too lax, a political exercise in every way, and it backfired when they lost control of it. Where was the outrage then?

I guess “outrage” is very selective in nature.

© Brian Baker 2012

Romney Lost; Some Quick Thoughts

Well, it looks like the Golfer-in-Chief won a second term, much to the country’s detriment. It’s been an interesting election, to say the least. Here are some thoughts.

I have to admit, I called this one wrong. Even though the dynamic was very similar to the Reagan/Carter race of 1980, the outcome was completely reversed. I think several factors came into play. First, of course, is that Romney’s no Reagan as far as political skill and presentation. I also think that Romney made a very bad call in not making Benghazi-Gate a very major election issue, right along with Fast & Furious.

But there’s another issue that’s developed in the intervening 32 years that doesn’t portend at all well for the future of this country: the emergence of class warfare as a major political football, and the fact that almost 50% of this country’s populace is on some form of the government dole. I’ve written several times that when that percentage hits 50%+1 vote, this country’s doomed. I’ve seen nothing to change my mind. We’re in very serious trouble.

*                          *                           *

Now that The Amateur has won re-election, is he going to continue to Blame Bush for all this country’s problems? At what point will he start to accept responsibility for this lousy economy… if ever? Or will Biden, if he runs to replace Obama, decide to start blaming… Obama? How long can they keep pointing at Bush? They’ve already set a new world’s record in that event.

*                         *                           *

Fortunately, the GOP has retained control of the House. That means Darryl Issa is still his committee’s chairman. I predict that when the new Congress is seated in January, he’ll be aggressively pursuing AG Holder on the Fast & Furious debacle, and giving Obama some real problems on the Benghazi-Gate mess. I know Obama wanted to run out the election clock on that problem – and with the help of the lamestream media, he did – but it hasn’t gone away. I think it’s barely started.

And again, with the GOP retaining control of the House it’s going to be pretty hard for him to enact what’s sure to be an even more radical socialist agenda, now that he no longer has to answer to an electorate.

*                         *                             *

The destructive effect of “identity politics” and polarization can’t be overstated, and it’s a pernicious and cynical aspect that the leftists have used to full effect. The “Hispanic bloc” and the “black vote” are glaring examples of groups that vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, even to their own detriment.

Frankly, I don’t see this situation improving in the foreseeable future; if anything, it’s going to get worse. The welfare policies of the Democrats as initiated by LBJ have essentially enslaved the blacks on the new plantation of government dependency. The devil’s bargain Reagan entered into in 1986 when he signed into law the Simpson-Mazzoli “one time, never to be repeated” amnesty for illegal aliens didn’t solve our illegal alien problem; it merely opened the door even wider with the implied promise to new border-crossers that if they can somehow merely wait out the clock they, too, will be rewarded with citizenship and all the government freebies that come with it.

*                           *                                *

The biggest danger regarding the Judiciary is that Scalia – the oldest of the conservatives – will either retire or die. I think he’s too motivated to retire for anything other than health reasons, so we have to pray for his continued good health. The re-elected Commissar will be making other judicial appointments, though, giving him the opportunity to pack the lower courts with like-minded socialists.

That leaves it up to the Senate GOPers to finally – FINALLY – start playing the confirmation game by the same “rules” that their Dem counterparts use, meaning there are none. Time to take off the gloves and play hardball!

Will they do it? Who knows? The jury’s out on that one.

*                            *                                  *

True and effective democracy is hard work. Over the years I’ve written several essays on the topic, including “Bread and Circuses”, in which I’ve pointed out that we’re heading on a fatal course that, if uncorrected, will lead to the demise of this country as we know it as our freedoms and independence are whittled away. This election is a confirmation of those predictions.

The Founding Fathers were well aware of the problem. In 1814 John Adams wrote: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

I’ll leave it at that.

© Brian Baker 2012

Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown and the Usual Class-Warfare Shtick

Typical One-Trick Pony

Reporting From Greece On The Pacific: This Just In!

Greeceifornia’s $16 BILLION in the red. That’s $16,000,000,000. The number 16, followed by nine zeros. A lot of money in anyone’s book.

Moonbeam

And, as usual, the socialists running this state – the Top Dog being Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown – can only think of one solution to the problem: more taxes.

There’s enough money for a $100 BILLION “high-speed rail to nowhere” boondoggle.

There’s enough money to pay illegal aliens to go to college through the state DREAM law.

There’s enough money to give public employees retirement pensions and medical benefits that private-sector workers can only envy.

There’s $54 million hidden away in a Parks Department bank account.

We have 1/8th of the nation’s populace and 1/3rd of the nation’s welfare recipients.

And they shrug their shoulders that we’re $16 billion in the red and swirling the drain? And tell us that we need to increase taxes… AGAIN?

Welcome to Greeceifornia!

Giving those morons more money is like taking a drunk to a bar to dry him out. No way, Jose.

So the solution, according to Moonbeam and his socialist minions, is a pair of competing ballot propositions this November, Propositions 30 and 38. Prop 38 is an increase in income tax rates on everybody; Prop 30 – promoted by Brown – allegedly goes to the state’s “education” behemoth, but in reality it allocates funding to try to stem the tsunami of red ink. It imposes an increase in the state sales tax (again affecting everybody) in addition to tax increases on “the rich”, defined as those earning over $250K annually.

According to the legislative analysis of Prop 30: “These new tax rates would affect about 1 percent of California PIT (personal income tax) filers. (These taxpayers currently pay about 40 percent of state personal income taxes.)”

Occutard

Look at that again. That “greedy” one percent is ALREADY paying 40% of the income taxes collected by the state. How dare they? Not enough! Let’s jack them up even more!

Brown’s strategy here is painfully transparent. Had he tried to have enacted a proposition that depended solely on a sales tax increase to close the budget shortfall, it would have been lucky to get a single vote at the ballot box. That would have affected everybody, and would have required a very significant increase in the sales tax rate, which is already high in this state. Instead, we have a whopping increase in the tax rate on those evil “rich”, a move that in this state – with so many people victims of class envy and participants in class warfare – gives it a much better chance of passage. This is the cynical tune the Left has been playing for many years, from Brown at the state level all the way up to Obama in this year’s presidential election.

Should Prop 30 pass, of course, the rest of us suckers who live in this sorry state will also be on the hook for some of that tab that’s now come due for many years of unfettered and obscene spending. But Brown’s counting on class warfare to make our “contribution” more palatable and politically viable, particularly since – again according to the Legislative Analyst – “… the vast majority of the additional revenue from this measure would come from the PIT rate increases on upper-income taxpayers.” The small portion the rest of us are stuck with is simply Brown’s “beard” for yet another unfair tax increase on the small business owners and job producers, what few who still live here, as it gives him an excuse to claim that the burden is being “spread around”. It’s not, other than in a very minor and almost purely symbolic way.

All of this while there’s no discussion at all from Brown & Company on any meaningful cuts or reforms on the spending commitments in this state. Don’t fall for it! Let’s see some major cuts in spending first! Let’s reprioritize first! Then we can talk about what taxes need to be raised – if any – to address any remaining shortfall.

This state used to be able to function within a reasonable budget with reasonable tax rates, and even enjoy surpluses. That’s the condition to which we must return. There is no Money Tree Forest, and it’s time the socialists who run this state learn that simple fact.

As Maggie Thatcher noted, “The trouble with socialism is that it always runs out of other people’s money”.

©Brian Baker 2012

A Manifesto To Save America

 

“A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy”

                                                                       Alexander Tytler   1747 – 1843 (Pop. Attrib.)

When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. Sell not liberty to purchase power”

                                                Benjamin Franklin  1706 – 1790

People familiar with my writings, both in my blogs and in various Letters To The Editors and Guest Columns published in newspapers, know I’ve long maintained that this country is far down along the path to self-destruction. Back in February 2008, at my Townhall blog, I wrote an essay entitled “Bread and Circuses” (Read it here) in which I drew parallels between our country today and the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

The Roberts Court

Most recently, we have the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) discovering and endowing the government with vast new powers to use taxation to force people to behave in certain ways, and enter into contracts to purchase goods and services. For the first time in our history, a tax can be imposed on people for not doing something. It’s as if King George imposed a tea tax on the colonists for not drinking tea.

To achieve this repugnant decision, as I’ve described previously, Chief Judas Roberts ignored all bounds of reason, logic and constitutionality in order to side with the liberal “ignore the Constitution” faction of the Court. Whatever his motives – and speculation on that runs rampant – neither Roberts nor any other Justice will ever suffer any consequences for their actions or decisions because the Constitution guarantees them lifetime tenure.

Then we have the problem with the inequitable nature of our current tax system which has led to debts and deficits that will inevitably bankrupt this country if not resolved somehow. Almost 50% of the populace pays little to no federal income taxes at all, and the top 5% of earners – those earning anything over a mere $154,643 (statistics) – pay almost 59% of all the income tax money collected. Yet they’re still castigated for “not paying their fair share”.

Meanwhile, that bottom 50% pays almost nothing at all but still has an equal say, through their power to vote, in how tax burdens are allocated and the funds spent. Naturally, as they really have no skin in the game as far as fiscal prudence is concerned, they’re going to be inclined to vote for their own economic self-interest, meaning that they’re all for robbing Peter to pay Paul, since someone else is always going to be the Peter that pays their Paul. Paul really doesn’t care if Peter goes broke.

Further, what’s going to happen when the tax non-payers outnumber the taxpayers? Then we’ll have a situation akin to three foxes and a chicken voting on what’s for dinner. It won’t be pretty, and at that point this country will be completely doomed.

I believe this country’s only hope of salvation lies in a major restructuring of how we do things, and that can only be properly enacted by amending the Constitution. Therefore I’d like to propose the following four constitutional amendments.

“Judicial Accountability Amendment:  After 12 years of serving on the federal bench, each judge including Supreme Court Justices shall be replaced, unless reconfirmed by the US Senate.”

Hopefully, that would force the judiciary to be more responsive to the actual Constitution, but no matter what it would impose accountability on the Mandarins In Black Robes.

“Flat Tax Amendment:  Every person who receives income, from whatever source and without exception, shall have that income taxed at the same rate of X%. The tax rate may be changed by Congress by votes of 2/3 in each House.”

The “X” rate of taxation would be determined during the amendment process, but this would certainly eliminate the inequality of tax rates and burdens. Further, it would eliminate the motivation of those with no tax exposure to burden those who actually do pay taxes with ridiculous obligations that simply can’t be met.

Everyone would then have at least some skin in the game.

Further, the super-majority requirement to change the tax rate would force some fiscal sanity on Congress, and force them to start to cut spending. Raising the tax rate would become a VERY politically risky move… as it should be.

“Voter Eligibility Amendment:  No person who is exempt, for whatever reason, from paying income taxes shall be eligible to vote.”

A companion piece to the prior Amendment, this would assure that anyone who might still escape any tax obligation would also lose their ability to influence the outcome of legislation that forces everyone else to pay up.

“Tax Legitimacy Amendment: Taxes shall be imposed solely to raise revenue for the legitimate function of government as defined in the US Constitution. Any tax or spending bill must cite the appropriate and legitimate constitutional authority for that program or expenditure. No tax shall be imposed whose purpose is to influence the behavior of citizens, either individually or as a group; nor shall taxes be imposed as a penalty.”

The most immediate effect of this Amendment would be to void Obamacare and repeal the recent SCOTUS decision, much like the 14th Amendment killed the Dred Scott decision; and it would prevent the kind of laws – as well as judicial decisions – that grant such unbridled power to the government that the people’s ability to make their own decisions is completely pre-empted.

Unless these amendments – or something very much like them – are enacted, this country as we know it is finished. We may still be in existence physically, but we’ll ultimately devolve into a Euro-trash “social democracy” like Greece. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the political will exists in this country to take those necessary steps.

I hope I’m proven wrong, but I am not sanguine…

© Brian Baker 2012

Indicting Obama

“The Buck Sure Doesn’t Stop HERE!

The Truman presidency has been mythologized in many ways. Time and faulty human memory have worked to make the man somewhat of a legend, and as one of the characters in the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” noted, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”.

But one thing you have to hand to the man: he took responsibility for everything that took place under his administration. As the sign on his desk said, “The buck stops here”, and he meant it.

Contrast that to the current occupant of the Oval Office, the amateur who refuses to take responsibility for anything that’s happened during his utterly incompetent administration.

As I noted in my last essay, very shortly after his inauguration, in an interview with Matt Lauer, Obama stated, “… I will be held accountable. You know, I’ve got four years. A year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress. But there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

Big words. How do they stack up to reality, you ask? Well… let’s take a quick look, shall we?

The Economy: Four years ago, one of the very few issues Obama actually took any kind of definable stand on was the economy; how bad it was and how he’d “fix” it. That was actually what the Lauer interview was all about.

But what have we heard for the last three years (at least)? “Blame Bush”. It’s all “Bush’s fault” or the fault of “my predecessor”. It’s not my fault. The buck doesn’t stop here. The dog ate my homework. Where’s that accountability he bragged about to Lauer?

One of two things happened: Either he was truly ignorant of what his prediction entailed – in which case he was just plain unqualified for the job – or he lied.

Gas Prices: When he took office a gallon of gas was about $1.87; now it’s over $4.00 out here in Greeceifornia. And, of course, the constant refrain is that the President doesn’t “control” gas prices. While semantically true, the President does control key policies that have a direct effect on gas prices, primarily policies which affect availability, which – according to the irrefutable law of supply and demand – directly determine what oil, and therefore gasoline, are going to cost.

Quite simply, the more there is of something, the less it’s going to cost. Scarcity is what drives up price.

This President has done everything in his power to block domestic access to the absolute ocean of oil upon which we sit, plain and simple. But he won’t acknowledge that; oh, no! It’s always someone else’s fault: Iran, the Saudis, world oil markets, speculators, the e-e-e-e-vil oil companies … everyone under the sun except him. But the reality is that he’s the one person standing in the way of allowing this country to do the one thing that would entirely solve the problem: letting us drill, baby, drill!

Solyndra:  Of course, one of the big reasons Obama continues to block domestic oil extraction is his worship at the altar to the myth of “alternate energy”, from which we got the boondoggle funding of solar manufacturer Solyndra to the tune of over $500 million, after which they promptly went bankrupt.

Naturally, it was simply another “blame Bush” moment. It seems the Bush people had considered that same funding… but what Obama had failed to mention was that they also had decided Solyndra wasn’t a sound company in which to make that investment, so this one ended up being another egg-on-the-face moment for the ObaMessiah. But ya gotta give him props for trying, right? After all, “the buck doesn’t stop here!”, at least if he can help it.

He didn’t even learn from that debacle, repeating it with SunPower and even doubling down, wasting over $1.2 Billion and “creating” all of 15 jobs from a company over $820 Million in debt.

Obamacare:  His “signature” (and just about only) piece of legislation, which is hugely unpopular with the people and on the verge of being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Of course, that’s not his fault. That will be due to the “partisan” nature of those Justices who decide against it. I guess the ones who find for it aren’t “partisan” somehow. “Partisanship” only seems to be a feature of those who don’t agree with Obama (and liberals in general, apparently. Evidently, leftists are never “partisan”. They must be “principled”).

Bottom line: “The buck doesn’t stop here! It’s the ‘partisan’ Justices.”

Gridlock:  Always the fault of the other party and their obstructive “partisanship”, of course. The buck doesn’t stop with Obama. It’s the fault of the GOP. Naturally.

It doesn’t matter that his own party had complete control of Congress for the first two years of his presidency and could pass absolutely anything they wanted. Somehow or another, the GOP was still at fault. Now, of course, the GOP has control of the House, and so it’s their fault that his proposals go nowhere. Not that anything’s really changed; even when his own party controlled everything, they didn’t bother to pass a budget, even though they didn’t need one single GOP vote to do so. And it doesn’t matter that ObaMessiah’s own budget proposals have been killed in the Democrat-controlled Senate by his own party.

The buck doesn’t stop here. It’s the GOP’s fault.

Rancorous political tone:  Which, of course, only refers to things said by his opponents. When he calls his political opponents “enemies”, that’s not rancorous, of course. Because the buck doesn’t stop here. When Bill Maher calls Sarah Palin a “c***”, that’s not “rancor”, and Maher’s $1 Million political donation is happily accepted.

Operation Fast And Furious:  Early in his presidency Obama tried to gin up a case that gun laws were too lax, allowing thousands of guns to “leak” across the border into the murderous hands of the Mexican drug cartels, leading to thousands of deaths. Hence Operation Fast And Furious was born.

It turned out that those guns were being “walked” across the border through straw purchases as part of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tax and Firearms (BATF) operation purportedly in place to trace and apprehend the end users of those very guns. Only problem was, the BATF lost track of those guns, the Mexican authorities were never informed of this operation, lots of people died – including at least one US Border Patrol agent named Brian Terry – and thousands of guns (enough to arm an Army battalion, literally) ended up in the hands of Very Bad Guys.

When this whole debacle came to light, we saw Operation The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here come into being in a major way. It seems that no one of any authority ever had any knowledge of any such program. It must have been devised and implemented by gremlins. Maybe Santa’s Helpers decided to gift the drug cartels or something, because this whole operation seems to have appeared out of thin air, with no one in charge, or knowledgeable, or having given authorization, or overseeing it, or answerable for it.

The BATF is part of the Justice Department, of which Attorney-General Eric Holder is in charge… except it seems that the guy “in charge” isn’t informed of critical operations, at least according to Holder. The buck doesn’t stop with Holder, the man in charge of his department.

And, of course, Holder reports to Obama, who doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that there’s an investigation by Congress going on about this issue. Utter silence. Because, of course, the buck can’t stop at Obama’s desk if he closes his eyes and refuses to even acknowledge it. His silence is deafening.

The last time I saw this kind of stonewalling was during the Watergate era. A lot of people lost their jobs – including a sitting President – and several went to prison.

White House leaks:  Over the last couple of weeks secrets concerning highly-classified military and intelligence operations have been leaked to the press. The only perceptible beneficiary of those leaks would be Obama himself, as the leaked material seems to be of a nature that would enhance his being perceived as a decisive and tough “war leader”, beneficial during an election year, particularly for an incumbent with big problems to overcome on other issues (maybe like those outlined above? Just sayin’…).

The only way secrets of that nature could be accessible would be if someone very high up – at White House level – leaked them.

Of course… “the buck doesn’t stop here!”, according to the White House.

Of course it doesn’t. No responsible President or his minions would purposefully leak information that could lead to the deaths of agents working on our nation’s behalf in foreign and hostile countries, simply to enhance his political prospects. The idea’s unthinkable… right?

I even had to laugh at that one myself, and I knew it was coming…

“The Buck Does Stop HERE”… Except It Really Doesn’t:  In his desperation to try to cobble together a winning coalition and secure a second term, Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage a few weeks ago. For his die-hard supporters, that seems to be a little too late on the issue, easily pegged as a cynical ploy to try to regain the LGBT vote that supported him so enthusiastically last time and has been so disappointed by his performance to this point.

More importantly… who cares what a presidential candidate thinks about what is essentially a state issue: the definition of marriage? That varies from state to state, as is proper. So he’s grabbing the buck where it’s irrelevant.

And doing the same thing with his announcement this past week that he’s going to grant work permits to illegal aliens who meet certain criteria. Sorry, Obama, you don’t have the power or authority to do that. You’re sworn to uphold the law as passed and enacted by Congress. Nowhere in the current law is there any authority to take it upon yourself to determine who is and who is not allowed to get work permits as an alien. You have to abide by the law as written and properly passed and enacted. And lawsuits have already been filed against you to address your actions.

Which is particularly ironic in that he had his Justice Department minion Holder file a lawsuit against the State of Arizona over its SB1070 law, which allowed its own police forces to help enforce federal immigration law. Their law was enacted on the premise that the feds weren’t effectively enforcing the extant laws. And here he is, proving their point.

The problem for the ObaMessiah is that he’s not Emperor; he doesn’t get to pick and choose what laws he’s going to have his administration enforce. He’s sworn to enforce the laws on the books as written and lawfully enacted.

So, in this case grabbing that buck he tries the rest of the time to avoid simply doesn’t wash. It’s easily and accurately perceived as nothing more than an attempt at cheap populism aimed at a very specific voter demographic.

Bottom Line:  Except when he gets it wrong, as in the amnesty and same-sex marriage issues, not only is Obama’s slogan “The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here!”, it’s “Buck?… What Buck?”

I indict Obama for dodging responsibility for his actions and the actions of those who work for him; of world-class hypocrisy; for speaking out of both sides of his mouth; for illegal arrogation of power to himself in violation of the US Constitution; and for just basically being the lousiest President since… ever.

The only guy who ever made Jimmy Carter look good by comparison.

© Brian Baker 2012

My Mom, Political Bellwether

The week before last I went down to San Diego to visit Mom. Let me tell you a little bit about her, to set the stage.

Mom’s Armenian, born and raised in Iran where my dad met her after WW2. She’s a post-war bride, an immigrant who did the whole Ellis Island thing, got her US citizenship, and became a productive member of society, raising two young kids alone when she became a widow at a young age while working her tail off to provide them a good standard of living.

Like many (if not most) immigrants of her era, she’s politically conservative, subscribing to the traditional American values that made this country a Mecca for them. But over the last few election cycles, as health issues have affected her mobility, she’s become much less politically active, by which I mean she hasn’t voted in the last few elections.

When I visited her we talked politics, as is usual. She’s very concerned about the direction Obama has taken this country, and the implications of his policies and how they’re affecting our economic soundness, as well as our standing in the world community; so much so that she has determined to cast her vote in this election come November. Each time, she asks me how I assess the status of the race, and what I think the outcome will be.

Each time, I tell her that in my opinion, if the election were held today, I think Obama would handily lose. Further, that contrary to the popular wisdom and polling data, I think it could well be a landslide of Reaganesque proportions. And that barring any unusual event between now and November, I don’t think Obama has a chance.

I then point out to her that she, herself, is a great example of the dynamic that’s in effect. She’s so motivated to see him gone that she’s more engaged in the political scene than she’s been in almost two decades, and is bound and determined to make her voice heard. And because of that, she’s a great example – a bellwether – of what’s ahead in November as so many other people just like her – people who aren’t normally involved directly in the process – get themselves to the polls to get rid of the amateur/socialist in the White House.

Most of the current polls indicate a very tight race, with Obama sometimes in the lead, and sometimes Romney. But don’t let those polls fool you; there’s a dynamic in this country I haven’t seen since 1980, when the polls showed Carter with the lead over Reagan, right up to end of the campaign, when the only poll that matters – the actual vote results – ushered Reagan into the White House with a 49-state landslide victory. I well remember the absolute shock (and outrage!) of the newscasters of the time when they were announcing the election results, and that Reagan had won.

In 1976 Carter’s campaign for President revolved around the country’s disaffection for anything Nixon, including his policies and his replacement, Gerald Ford. Carter was the “not Nixon” candidate. By 1980, he’d demolished the economy, inflation was through the roof, interest rates on loans were at record highs, property values had crashed, there were gas lines at the pumps as prices soared, we’d lost our international prestige, and Americans had been held hostage in Iran for over a year.

In 2008 Obama’s campaign for President revolved around the country’s disaffection for Bush and his policies. Obama was the “not Bush”; McCain was tarred as being “Bush 3”. And now, in 2012, he’s demolished the economy, the country’s in debt to its hairline, gas prices are at record highs (having more than doubled since he took office), credit card interest rates are at record highs, property values are in the doldrums, right along with our international prestige, our national credit rating has been downgraded for the first time in history and is in danger of being so again, and he’s perceived by large segments of the populace as having run rampant over the Constitution with such programs as Obamacare and his penchant for abusing the Executive Order power to make laws not properly enacted by Congress.

In 1980 Carter had lost the enthusiastic support of much of his base, and energized his opponents by his actions. In 2010 Obama finds himself in exactly the same position. Again, remember my Mom; she’s going to vote for the first time in many years just to get rid of the guy.

That’s what’s going to make the difference this year, and why I’m predicting that – barring unforeseen major events – we could very well see another landslide this year.

In 2009, shortly after he took office, Matt Lauer interviewed Obama, and he had this to say: “One nice thing about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable. You know, I’ve got four years. A year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress. But there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

I think he predicted that one correctly. Probably a first for him. Let’s all do our best to make his at that time arrogant prediction a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

© Brian Baker 2012

 

Greeceifornia

If the states are, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis described them, “laboratories of democracy”, then California is the preeminent example in this country of the pitfalls and perils of socialism run amok.

It’s no secret that this state has been swirling the financial drain for many years now, spinning in a maelstrom of red ink. Massive deficits, accompanied by soaring taxes and Draconian regulatory burdens, have joined to drive out productive people and the companies that employ them. This state has about 14% (about 1/7th) of the nation’s population, and about 1/3rd of its welfare recipients. About 25% of the country’s illegal aliens live here (LINK).

We have among the highest state and local tax burdens in the country. We rank #6 in state and local tax burden per capita (LINK), but bear in mind that large percentage of people on welfare and the illegal aliens. If you factor them out, we’d be even higher on that list. We rank at #48 in state business tax climate, being better than only New York and New Jersey. We have the highest sales taxes in the country; we have the second-highest gasoline taxes, bested only by New York (LINK) by a mere 1/2 cent/gallon.

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The Democrats rule this state with an iron fist; their GOP “opposition” is comprised for the most part of a bunch of, shall we say, “moderates” (to put it kindly). All you have to do is look to our former Governator to see an embodiment of the problem there.

Those same Democrats are owned by the unions of both government workers and the private sector. The government-worker unions alone have managed to burden this state with wage levels and benefit costs that are bankrupting us, and there’s absolutely no effort among the ruling elites to do anything whatsoever to address that problem.

For years we’ve had annual deficits that have been in the tens of billions of dollars. Yet somehow, in spite of that, current Governor Jerry Brown and his minions have found the money to enact the state DREAM Act to fund the educations of illegal aliens, and to proceed with a high-speed train to nowhere that’s going to cost in excess of $100 Billion, according to the best estimates.

In what shouldn’t surprise anyone, Brown released a statement on May 12th that our budget shortfall this year is $9.2 billion more than projected (LINK), for a total of about a $16 billion shortfall. It seems that “…tax collections have not come in as high as expected and the economy isn’t growing as fast as hoped for.” I guess that’s what happens when you scare all the productive people out of the state with confiscatory taxes and punitive regulations coupled with insane spending priorities.

So… what’s the latest “solution” to our problems being proposed by Brown and the rest of the socialists… er, I mean, Democrats? If you guessed “more taxes!”, you win a one-way ticket to Athens. Greece, not Georgia. (Well, not really. But you get the point.)

We have two competing ballot propositions coming up that would raise taxes. Brown’s would raise income and sales taxes (and remember, our sales taxes are already the highest in the country); the competing ballot would only raise income taxes.

Brown, as is SOP, threatens that failure to enact his proposition will “…force severe cuts to schools and public safety…”. Notice how these “failures” to pass tax increases never “force severe cuts” to funding for illegal aliens, or bullet trains to nowhere, or pay increases and outrageous benefits to government union workers, or anything like that. No, we’ve got plenty of money for those things, somehow.

The hypocrisy, ineptitude, cynicism, and downright turpitude pile up so fast you need wings to stay above it. This is government failure on a massive scale.

We are Greeceifornia.

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© Brian Baker 2012