“I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

That is an amazing statement to have been made by someone who works at a job that pays $400,000 a year and somehow he and his wife made $5.5 million in the first year of his presidency.

These facts are noted in an editorial piece posted at Investors.com yesterday. 

The article wisely concludes:

“If the president is eager to regulate salaries, he might begin — and end — with the federal work force. Commerce Department data show that average federal worker compensation of $119,982 in 2008 was twice that of average private-sector pay ($59,909).

“If he can’t bring himself to spread federal workers’ wealth around, he and the rest of Washington need to stay away from everyone else’s income.”

When did we elect a President to tell us how much any of us should earn?  What does the President see as his ‘enough’ amount?

Another Reason To Ask The United Nations To Leave The United States

Hot Air reported yesterday that the United Nations has elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women.  Right.  According to its website, the Commission on the Status of Women is “dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women,”   The article also points out that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights includes such freedom-loving nations as China and Saudi Arabia. 

At the bottom of the article is a question asked by Jennifer Rubin:

“The U.S. couldn’t muster a word of opposition — not even call for a vote. That would be because . . . why? Because our policy is not to confront and challenge the brutal regime for which rape and discrimination are institutionalized policies. No, rather, we are in the business of trying to ingratiate ourselves, and making the U.S. as inoffensive as possible to the world’s thugocracies.”

I really wonder if both the United Nations and the United States have forgotten the call and the responsibilities of freedom.

A Truly Sad Anniversary

In 1975 on April 29, the United States began a helicopter evacuation of U. S. Citizens, South Vietnamese allies, and others out of Saigon.  On April 30, the city surrendered, and more than three million people died in the political chaos that followed.

Unfortunately, America caused the deaths of these people.  A new book, AN AMERICAN AMNESIA, written by Bruce Herschensohn, details the sequence of events that caused the massacre that followed.  The book is reviewed at DisruptThe Narrative at Word Press.  What the book tells us about our government and the media during the 1970’s is frightening and sobering in view of current events.

According to the website:

“Between the 94th Congress defunding the aid that was promised to South Viet Nam, crafting and passing the unconstitutional War Powers act, and the resignation of Nixon later that year,  the North realized that they had a new opportunity and eventually caused the collapse of South Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos within a couple of years.”

This is the reply of Cambodia’s Prince Sirik Matak as U. S. officials fled Cambodia and asked the Prince if he would like to leave:

“I thank you very sincerely for your letter and your offer to transport me towards freedom.  I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion.  As for you, and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty.  You have refused us your protection, and we can do nothing about it.  You leave, and my wish is that you and your country will find happiness under this sky.  But, mark it well, that if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is no matter, because we are all born and must die.  I have only committed this mistake of believing in you.”  (Quoted from THE AMERICAN PATRIOT’S ALMANAC by William J. Bennett and John T. E. Cribb)

Prince Matak was shot in the stomach when the Khmer Rouge seized Phnom Penh.  He was left unattended and took three days to die.  During the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror that followed, 15 million people died from execution, starvation and forced labor.

Two quotes from Democrats involved in the decision to end the funding:

“Chris Dodd:  The greatest gift our country can give to the Cambodian people is not guns, but peace, and the best way to accomplish that goal is by ending military aid now.

“George McGovern:  Cambodians would be better off if we stopped all aid to them and let them work things out in their own way.”

History will repeat itself if we turn our backs on either Iraq or Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, we are the only nation in the world that would even consider preventing the slaughter of innocents that would follow an American abandoment of either country.  We can behave honorably or we can be responsible for another slaughter as we were in 1975.

A Few Comments On Arizona’s New Immigration Law

On Saturday, MSNBC posted an article about the new immigration law just passed in Arizona.  The article states:

“It also requires local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants; allows lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws; and makes it illegal to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or knowingly transport them.

“The law sends “a clear message that Arizona is unfriendly to undocumented aliens,” said Peter Spiro, a Temple University law professor and author of the book “Beyond Citizenship: American Identity After Globalization.””

This is ridiculous.  Why shouldn’t Arizona be unfriendly to undocumented (illegal) aliens?  What part of illegal does Professor Spiro not understand?  Is illegal only illegal if he says so?

One of the arguments against the new bill is that it requires legal aliens (or recent citizens) to have their identification papers on them at all times.  Supposedly that is the beginning of a totalitarian state.  Well, wait a minute.  This is a link to A Guide for New Immigrants put out by the United States government.  On page 8 of this guide is the statement:

As a permanent resident, it is your responsibility to:

Carry proof of your permanent resident status at all times.

This is directly copied from the New Immigrants guide:

Permanent residents are issued a valid Permanent Resident

Card (Form I-551) as proof of their legal status in

the United States. Some people call this a “Green Card.”

If you are a permanent resident who is 18 years or

older, you must carry proof of your immigration status.

You must show it to an immigration officer if asked for

it.Your card is valid for 10 years and must be renewed

before it expires.You should file Form I-90 to replace or

renew your Permanent Resident Card.You can get this

form at http://www.uscis.gov or by calling the USCIS

Forms Line. There is a fee to file Form I-90.


I think we need to enforce our own laws.

Near Bakersfield, Calif., a farmer posts a sign blaming Congress for a sharp drop in water supplies that has slashed farm output.

This is a picture from yesterday’s Investors.com website.  The picture was included in an article about Congress shutting off the water to the Central Valley in California. 

The article states:

“Instead of pink blossoms and green shoots along Highway 5 in April, vast spans from Bakersfield to Fresno sit bone-dry. Brown grass, dead orchards and lifeless grapevine skeletons stretch for miles for lack of water. For every fallow field, there’s a sign that farmers have placed alongside the highway: “No Water = No Food,” “No Water = No Jobs,” “Congress Created Dust Bowl.”

“Locals say it’s been like this for two years now, as Congress and bureaucrats cite “drought,” “global warming” and “endangered species” to deny water to this $37 billion breadbasket through arbitrary “environmental” quotas.”

The consequences of this man-made drought are unemployment rates of as much as 45 percent, an increase in mortgage foreclosures, California having to import vegetables rather than growing them locally, and increased food prices for the rest of us.

The really aggravating part of this water shut-off, however, is the politics involved.  The article points out:

“Take the three congressmen who represent the valley and how they were pressured to vote for President Obama’s health care bill. It didn’t go without notice by farmers like Jasper that the 5% water allocations announced in February for all three congressional districts were lifted to 25% for the two whose Democratic representatives, Jim Costa of Fresno and Dennis Cardoza of Modesto, switched their votes on health reform from “no” to “aye.”

“Devin Nunes, a Republican from Tulare, wouldn’t sell his vote, and parts of his district had to make do with the 5% allotment.”

This is not regular ‘hardball politics.’  This kind of political move hurts everyone.  I understand the Congressmen caving into that kind of pressure, but we need people in Congress who will stand up to the bullying that is going on from Washington.  Until we put men of integrity in office who will stand up for what is right, this kind of nonsense will continue.

“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

Ronald Reagan

Hiding Information To Gain A Particular Vote

Yesterday Investors.com posted an article about the timing of the release of the report by the Medicare’s Office of the Actuary which showed that the healthcare reform act would significantly increase the cost of healthcare. 

According to the article:

“Chief Actuary Richard Foster estimated that the program would add
$311 billion over 10 years in costs beyond what would have been the
case if the legislation hadn’t become law.

“The Health and Human Services Department reportedly had the report
more than a week before the vote but refused to review it until after
the Senate bill passed the House on March 21.”

The Senate leadership needed to have healthcare reform passed to provide a victory for President Obama; they chose not be bothered by the facts in studying the bill (that’s assuming they studied the bill). 

The article further states:

“”The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the
vote,” said an unidentified HHS source in a Monday report in the
Washington Prowler blog of the American Spectator. Pardon us, but
wouldn’t it have been better if this information had been made public
or given to lawmakers before the House voted?”

I guess the loose translation of this is, “Don’t confuse me with facts.”

It is unfortunate that our “representatives” in Washington are more interested in gaining political victories than they are in representing the American people.  We need to vote all of them out in November.

George Will On Arizona’s New Immigration Law

George Will posted an editorial today at the Washington Post commenting on Arizona’s new Immigration law.  Mr. Will points out that being in the country illegally is already a federal offense–Arizona simply made it also a state offense. 

The law states that police
officers are required to try to make “a reasonable attempt” to
determine the status of a person “where reasonable suspicion exists”
that the person is here illegally
.  The implication here is that the person in question has been detained by a policeman for a legitimate reason and that as part of the investigation process of the individual, his status as an American citizen will be confirmed.  I would have thought that would have been understood already.

Mr. Will points out:

“Arizona’s law might give the nation information about whether judicious
enforcement discourages illegality. If so, it is a worthwhile
experiment in federalism.”

After learning some of the problems caused in Arizona due to illegal immigration, I applaud their efforts to enforce the law that being in the country illegally is a crime.  The principle job of a government is to protect its citizens.  Arizona is in danger of becoming the kidnapping capital of the world due to the illegals entering the state.  We need to remember that included in the illegals entering the state are drug smugglers and people who have no interest at all in contributing to the growth and well-being of America.

That being said, I would like to see our immigration process streamlined so that people who want to come here and work do not have to wait years to have their applications approved.  The way things stand right now, we are allowing a group of people to ignore our laws while taking advantage of our medical and social programs.  This is not a good situation.

Meanwhile, let’s take a look at Mexico’s immigration laws:

  • Mexico welcomes only foreigners who will be useful to Mexican society
  • Foreigners are admitted into Mexico “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress.” (Article 32)
  • Immigration officials must “ensure” that “immigrants will be useful
    elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for
    sustenance” and for their dependents. (Article 34)
  • Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal
    immigration authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of
    immigrants. (Article 73)
  • A National Population Registry keeps track of “every single individual
    who comprises the population of the country,” and verifies each
    individual’s identity. (Articles 85 and 86)
  • Foreigners with fake papers, or who enter the country under false pretenses, may be imprisoned
  • Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the
    country without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
  • Foreigners who violate the terms of their visa may be sentenced to up to six years in prison (Articles 119, 120 and 121). Foreigners who
    misrepresent the terms of their visa while in Mexico — such as working with out a permit — can also be imprisoned

It’s time for some basic reciprocity.

Cape Wind Farm Project To Be Approved

Green energy will be coming to Massachusetts.  According to Breitbart.com today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will approve the nation’s first offshore wind farm to be built in the Nantucket Sound off Cape Cod.  The wind farm will have 130 turbines. 

According to the article:

Cape Wind says it can generate power by 2012
and aims to eventually supply three-quarters of the power on Cape Cod,
which has about 225,000 residents. Cape Wind officials say it will
provide green jobs and a reliable domestic energy source, while
offshore wind advocates are hoping it can jump-start the U.S. industry.”

Theoretically this is a great idea.  The question becomes how it will work in actual practice. 

One of the issues in the debate on this project was how it would affect the ocean view from Cape Cod.  According to the article:

The project is about five miles off Cape Cod
at its closest proximity to land and 14 miles off Nantucket at the
greatest distance. According to visual simulations done for Cape Wind,
on a clear day the turbines would be about a half-inch tall on the
horizon at the nearest point and appear as specks from Nantucket.”

Two Wampanoag Indian tribes protested the construction of the wind farm because one of their sacred rituals requires an unblocked view of the sunrise over Nantucket Sound.  The article also stated that the wind farm would be built on long-submerged tribal burial grounds.  

Meanwhile, the Boston Herald reported today that Paul Kirk (the man who was the replacement Senator for Ted Kennedy for a short time) stated that Senator Kennedy would be saddened by the approval of the wind farm.

The Boston Herald also reported today:

“Without providing specific details, Salazar said project developers
will be required to undergo more marine and archaeological reviews and
take steps to reduce the turbines’ visibility from the shore. He also
said the project would be reduced in size from 170 to 130 wind turbines
– a “change” that surprised many because the size of the project had
been reduced long ago. Salazar said the conditions are “stringent,” but the project’s nine-year review has been thorough.”

Regardless of how you feel about this project, it will tell us a lot of things about the feasibility of future wind power.  New England (and its coast) have a lot of wind.  If wind power can be an alternative to our current energy sources, New England is where it will be successful.  Putting up the Cape Cod wind farm is similar to the Wright Brothers testing their airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  Kitty Hawk is always windy–if the airplane was going to fly at all, it would fly there!  If wind power is going to work at all, it will work off Cape Cod!

More Than 2000 People Gathered And Most Media Didn’t Report It

Front Page Magazine posted an article about a Solidarity with Israel Rally that took place in front of the Israeli Consulate in New York City on Sunday afternoon.  The rallying cry of the day was “Obama – Stop Pressuring Israel”.  There were more than 2000 people in attendance.

Please follow the above link to the article.  Fern Sidman, who wrote the article, explains a lot of the contradictions between Jewish groups who are supporting President Obama and don’t want to lose their influence with his administration and those Jewish groups who see the danger to Israel in making too many concessions in the name of peace.

The article reminds us:

“Rabbi Yaakov Spivak of Monsey, NY, a longtime Jewish activist, radio talk show host and a Daily News columnist intoned, “President Obama, we’re here today to tell you something. In Warsaw, they told Jews where we could build, in Lodz they told Jews where we could build, in Paris they told Jews where we could build. You will never tell us where to build in Jerusalem. We are home and Israel is our country. You are not our landlord and we are neither a vassal state nor a banana republic. Our mandate to be here today is none other than our holy Tanach, our bible which says, ‘For the sake of Zion I will not be silent and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not be quiet.””

We are in danger of taking the side of countries that want to see Israel destroyed–there has been no evidence since the Palestinians have been given the Gaza strip that they want to spend money on infrastructure or on helping their people.  Any money they have received has gone toward weapons aimed at Israel.  Until that changes and they begin to build a viable state, I see no reason why we should force Israel to make concessions to them.

The article also points out:

“A formidable contingent of Hindu and Sikh supporters of Israel was also present at the rally. “We understand all too well that a policy of appeasement towards Islamic radicalism will never bring peace to Israel or the civilized world,” declared Satya Dosapati of the Hindu Human Rights Watch.” As Hindus, we have been massacred by Muslims for thousands of years. If President Obama really believes that isolating and demonizing Israel and publicly humiliating Israel’s Prime Minister is not emboldening our Islamic enemies, then something is really wrong. Israel is a peace seeking nation and we unequivocally support their right to their homeland. The world must realize that if Israel falls then the entire world will come under the domination of a blood thirsty Islamic caliphate,” he continued.”

Israel and America are not the only countries in the crosshairs of the radical element of Islam.  The War on Terrorism should be a worldwide effort, and Mr. Dosapati realizes that.  Hopefully the rest of the world will realize it before it is too late.

Updates To Follow

The UK Sun is reporting today that Noah’s Ark has been found in Turkey.  Now please understand, I don’t have a problem with the story of Noah’s Ark, I just have a problem with it being found in Turkey.  It may actually be there, but I remain skeptical.

Anyway.  The remains of Noah’s Ark are reported to have been found by a group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers 13,000 feet up on Mount Ararat.  They claim that carbon dating places the wreckage at about 4,800 years old–about the time the ark was supposed to exist.

The Turkist government is applying for Ankara to apply for UNESCO World Heritage status in order to protect the site while a major archaeological dig will be undertaken to determine exactly what the site is. 

As I said, I have no problem believing the story of Noah’s Ark–I figure God can do pretty much anything he chooses to do–I just really have a hard time believing the wooden structure that was the ark survived almost 5,000 years.  Stay tuned.

Something To Consider

Today at the Corner at National Review Online, Mark Steyn speaks out on the recent South Park controversy involving their portrayal of Muhammad.  In response to the censorship, Sarah Norris, a cartoonist, started “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day“.  On Friday Sarah told a Seattle talk show host that “as a cartoonist, I just felt so much passion about what had happened…” noting that “it’s a cartoonist’s job to be non-PC.”

Today according to Mark Steyn:

“Her stark website today reads: “”I am NOT involved in “Everybody Draw Mohammd [sic] Day!””

What is going on here?  As the western world bows to the demands of Islam, we are more and more finding out that practicing tolerance is a one-way street.  Mr. Steyn reports of an incident in a school:

“Around 2002 she (a London Times writer) began to encounter explicitly anti-Semitic speech from Muslim students: “Does someone smell a Jew? It stinks here.” “You are not human, you are a Jew.” Had Anglo-Saxon skinheads essayed such jests, Oliver Kamm’s warriors of secular pluralism would have crushed them like bugs. But when the teacher went to the principal, and the school board, and the local “hate-crimes unit,” they all looked the other way and advised her that it would be easier if she retired. Sixty out of 75 French teachers at the school opted to leave: A couple were Jewish, a few more practicing Catholics, and most of the rest were the liberal secularists on whom Oliver Kamm’s defense of the West rests. The francophone children withdrew, too. And now the principal and most of the students and faculty are Muslim.”

There are more ways to take over a country than guns.  We need to make sure as a nation that when we are tolerant of other cultures in our midst that those cultures respect America and its culture.

Let’s Make A Deal

When I saw Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska vote against the financial reform bill yesterday, I assumed that it was because he is in political trouble in his state after reversing his vote on healthcare reform.  I was wrong.

Today’s Washington Examiner reports the following:

“On the financial bill, at the request of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Nelson had added a provision to the financial reform bill that would exempt existing derivatives contracts from new collateral requirements. The provision would have saved Berkshire Hathaway the trouble of setting aside $8 billion in collateral.

“But Senate Democrats killed that provision before yesterday’s failed vote.”

The provision that the Democrats killed will cost Berkshire Hathaway up to $8 billion in money they will have to set aside to meet the requirements of the new reform.  The company holds $63 billion in derivatives contracts with very little collateral.  Holding that much of any financial product without collateral is risky, but frankly I would be more inclined to trust Warren Buffet with my money than the government.

Media Exposed (For $100,000)

On March 20th, Representative Andre Carson claimed that when he left the Canon office building, he was greated by health care protestors shouting the “N word”.  He stated that the scene was so hostile, he expected rocks to follow.  Andrew Breitbart offered $100,000 for proof of the racial slurs.

Yesterday Big Government posted an article detailing the results of offering that $100,000.  Andrew Breitbart still has his money. 

According to the article:

“It’s not just that Congressmen Carson’s accusation of an extraordinary racist verbal assault by the tea party participants on March 20 doesn’t appear to have occurred, it’s that the accusers have now gone into the bunker and, having raised the incendiary subject, are doing everything they can to avoid the discussion.”

In replying to a statement that Andrew Breitbart ‘won’ because no one could actually provie the charge, the article further states:

“But how does that “win” manifest itself? On April 15, the day of the Tax Day Tea Party in front of the White House, and being interviewed by ABC’s Terry Moran for Nightline set to air Tuesday night, I passionately defended the movement against the powerful racism charge that has been greatly pushed by the Congressional Black Caucus’s accusation of a 1960 Selma-like incident near the Capitol.

“At least twice during the spirited questioning by Moran, bystanders screamed “racist” at me.

“The power of the propaganda. The power of the repeated accusations. The power of the relentless race-based line of questioning. They are all adding up to the liars and slanderers getting exactly what they wanted. The Tea Party is marred by racism charges while Congressman Carson, at the least, should be facing an ethics investigation, and a civil rights legend should be asking for forgiveness for allowing for the hateful lie to stand.”

It’s time for the media to stop calling people names and be willing to talk about the solutions to the economic and terrorist threats this country faces.

Ash Cloud ????

I am not a scientist, so if anyone reading this has scientific information, please comment.  I truly do not know what to make of this story.

Volcanic ash

This is a satellite picture that was posted at the UK Daily Mail website today included in a article stating that the volcanie ash cloud over Britain after the eruption of the Iceland volcano was non-existent.

According to the article:

“Jim McKenna, the Civil Aviation Authority’s head of airworthiness, strategy and policy, admitted: ‘It’s obvious that at the start of this crisis there was a lack of definitive data.

“‘It’s also true that for some of the time, the density of ash above the UK was close to undetectable.’

“The satellite images will be used by airlines in their battle to win tens of millions of pounds in compensation from governments for their losses.”

Wow.  Just wow. 

Political Intrigue In Washington

Byron York posted an article at the Washington Examiner yesterday about the Democrats in Congress deciding to go forward with an Immigration Reform Bill rather than a Cap and Trade Bill.  I suspect this move will result in neither bill passing Congress.  The failure to pass these two bills may be the only hope the Democrats have of maintaining control of Congress after the November elections.

Lindsey Graham had crafted an energy bill with John Kerry and Joe Lieberman.  The bill was supposed to be unvieled today.  But things changed.  After the unveiling of the Arizona legislation, the Democrats felt they could use the ‘crisis’ (remember “never let a crisis go to waste”) for political advantage and pass immigration reform.  That would be an amazing reach–the last effort at immigration reform (2006 and 2007) took many hours of bi-partisan work and eventually failed.  To put together a workable immigration bill before the November elections (the theory is that new Hispanic citizens will vote Democrat) and pass it (assuming someone will have time to read it) would be an amazing feat.  Also, keep in mind that with so many Congressional incumbents being seriously challenged in the November election, Congress is going to want to get out of Washington and seriously campaign before too long.

The American people have said for a number of years that the first priority of an immigration bill should be to secure the boarders.  Until we do that, anything else is meaningless.  Serial amnesty is not a workable policy for the longterm security of our country.  I support what Arizona is doing and definitely understand their reasons for taking action to reduce the number of crimes being committed in that state by illegal aliens.

Investigating Domestic Terrorism

No, this isn’t an article about some dangerous right-wing extremist or even some dangerous left-wing extremist–it’s about giving Congress the information they are looking for regarding the shooting at Fort Hood.

Today’s Washington Post posted an editorial about the difficulties the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has had getting access to documents and witnesses in the Fort Hood shooting investigation. 

According to the article:

“The committee’s chairman and ranking Republican, respectively Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (Maine), have taken the dramatic step of subpoenaing the Defense and Justice departments. The committee is looking into what advance warning the Army or others had about the risks posed by the accused Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal M. Hasan.

The Washington Post points out that the Congressional investigation could easily proceed without interfering with the criminal charges.  The goal of the Congressional investigation is different from the goal of the criminal investigation.  The Congressional investigation is looking into the incident in order to find ways of preventing future incidents–they are not involved in criminal prosecution.

I have only one idea on how to prevent future incidents–common sense.  The information that has come out about Major Hasan since the shooting shows a number of incidents that should have set off alarms.  Evidently, those alarms were ignored our of fear of being labeled anti-Muslim. 

According to the UK Telegraph on November 8th of last year:

“He (Major Hasan) also told colleagues at America’s top military hospital that non-Muslims were infidels condemned to hell who should be set on fire. The outburst came during an hour-long talk Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, gave on the Koran in front of dozens of other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington DC, where he worked for six years before arriving at Fort Hood in July.”

He is entitled to his belief that infidels are condemned to hell.  The problem is that he made it clear that he put no value on their lives.  The shooting at Fort Hood had nothing to do with a lack of laws–it had to do with an unwillingness on the part of the military to see what was right in front of them.

Legal Favoritism

I missed this when it was posted.  I’m posting it now because I think it is extremely important.  This article is based on two sources, a Wall Street Journal article on April 14th and a Big Government article by John Loudon.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a federal rule went into effect April 13th that would “require “project labor agreements” for all construction projects larger than $25 million. This means that only contractors that agree to union representation are eligible for work financed by the U.S. taxpayer.”   This is the result of an executive order signed by President Obama early in his presidency. 

The Big Government article points out:

“The cronyism that the Wall Street Journal discusses is the cynical modification to these policies that began creeping into contracts about 20 years ago.  It stipulates that no matter what the jurisdictional issues are, all of the workers will be supporting the union pension fund.”

There are a few problems with this law.  Only 15% of construction workers are unionized.  To demand that all government construction work be unionized seriously hampers the competitive bidding process–non-union contractors cannot submit bids. 

A White House economist stated that this would cut costs, but according to the Wall Street Journal, that is simply not true:

“Mr. Bernstein could check all this with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which last year commissioned an independent study showing the Obama project labor agreements would likely raise the VA’s construction costs for hospitals by as much as 9% in three of five markets–Denver, New Orleans and Orlando. In two others, New York and San Francisco, the study predicted a mixture of small cost increases and small cost savings.”

According to Big Government, pensions are the root of the problem:

“The worst part of the Obama executive order is the real reason for it.  According to a September, 2009 report by Moody’s Investor Services, construction union pensions in 2008 were just 54% funded.  Just like Social Security, the promised union pensions were too fat.  They were built on the similar demographic flaw of social security.  The system would pay full benefits to the earliest retirees, but would only be able to continue to do that if the ratio of workers to retirees is sustainable.  So what does it mean when the ratio fails?  How do you restore the footing on a plan so underfunded when the ration of worker to retiree continues to get worse?”

The question is, “What is the solution to the problem of favoritism in government?”  The answer actually is fairly simple.  Big Government concludes:

“As broad as the problem is, there are many ways to fight it.  If you are a contractor, join your local merit shop contractor association.   Let your Congressional delegation know that you are 100% against private pension fund bailouts.  Meanwhile, pay attention to all elections, not just those for partisan offices.  At least take note whether your public boards are working for you.  Finally, consider becoming a candidate yourself.  There may not be as much glamor in a City council seat, but there just may be an ABC chapter that is hungry for a candidate, willing to donate some seed money.  Help them help you.”

Paying attention to politics at all levels has always been a good idea, but I don’t think it has ever been as necessary as it is now.  If Americans do not begin to vote against the kind of favoritism that this administration is showing toward unions (violating backruptcy law in government takeovers, limiting the bidding process on construction projects, etc.), we are going to find ourselves living in a country where freedom is a distant memory.

Why I Bought A Ford !

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported Friday on the announcement that GM had paid off its government loans.  Well, things are not always what they appear to be.  I am not a financial analyst, and I don’t claim to understand everything I am about to relate, but I will do my best.

According to the article:

“During an April 20 hearing on Capital Hill, Sen. Tom Carper, (D-Del.) asked some pointed questions of Neil Barofsky, the “special watch dog” on the Wall Street Bailout, aka, TARP.

“”It’s good news in that they’re reducing their debt,” Barofsky said of the accelerated GM payments, “but they’re doing it by taking other available TARP money.”…”

Wow.  Does that mean if I pay my VISA with my MasterCard, I can consider myself out of debt?  This is my kind of accounting! 

Mr. Morrissey further reports:

“Instead, GM seems to be using TARP funds from an escrow account at Treasury to make the debt repayments. The most recent quarterly report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for TARP says “The source of funds for these quarterly [debt] payments will be other TARP funds currently held in an escrow account.” See, Office of the Special Inspector General for TARP, Quarterly Report to Congress dated April 20, 2010, page 115.”

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) has written a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner asking the following questions:

“Mr. Girsky then said that GM originally planned to pay the loan over the next five years. So the question is why–other than a desire to justify excluding GM from the administration’s TARP tax proposal–would Treasury and GM reduce GM’s TARP debt with TARP equity and then mischaracterize it as a repayment from earnings? Accordingly, please explain:

1) Your department’s justification for allowing GM to use funds from the TARP escrow account to repay TARP loans,

2) The amount of funds remaining in the TARP escrow account at Treasury that may be released to GM, and

3) The date that you anticipate that the remaining funds in escrow will be released to GM.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Please provide the requested information by April 30, 2010. …”

I, for one, would like to read the answer to that letter.



This a picture of some of our soldiers in Afghanistan.  The picture is part of an article by Michael Yon about the battle for Kandahar.  The article can be found at MichaelYon-online.com.  It is a rather long article, but I strongly suggest reading it.  Michael gives some insight into the history of the war in Afghanistan and what is involved in fighting it.

Please pray for our servicemen and women.

Attention, Massachusetts, Your Taxes Are Going Up

Howie Carr posted an article at the Boston Herald today about the fact that property taxes in Massachusetts are about to go up.  Property taxes are supposed to be limited by Proposition 2 1/2.  Proposition 2 1/2 was approved by Massachusetts voters in 1980 and put into effect in fiscal year 1982.  The Proposition limits the amount of money a city or town may raise from property taxes each year to fund municipal operations.  Well, the Massachusetts state legislature is working on finding a way to get around Proposition 2 1/2. 

According to Howie Carr:

“This time, as you know, the hacks want to sock it to homeowners, allowing the taxaholic towns to raise property taxes beyond the 2.5 percent limit imposed by Proposition 2 ½.

“The harebrained scheme is being pushed by a genius named Charlie Murphy, who is the chairman of Ways and Means. First he said this “adjustment” in Prop 2 ½, involving something called an overlay fund, was not a tax increase. But the Lowell Sun reports he then “conceded the fact that most communities would likely raise property taxes more than 2.5 percent.” Without putting it to a vote.”

Mr. Carr points out that the plan to raise property taxes is being kept rather quiet until after the filing deadline for candidates in the November election.  This year Massachusetts has many Republicans running for state and national office, and hopefully we can someday become a two-party state.  Meanwhile we need to vote out of office anyone who votes for this game to override Proposition 2 1/2.

A New Priority ??

Bloomberg.com reported yesterday that President Obama has called for an overhaul of America’s immigration laws.  The President stated that a failure to do so would result in more ‘misguided’ attempts by the states (such as Arizona) to fix those laws.

Just for the record, I don’t believe this is by accident.  I think the Obama Administration has been looking for an excuse to go after immigration reform, and Arizona provided it.

Well, hold on a minute.  It seems as if Arizona has a much better picture of the immigration issues than Washington, D. C., would have.  Arizona has been dealing with major crime problems caused by Washington’s lack of enforcement of immigration laws for years.  Last month according to Fox News, a rancher was killed (allegedly by illegal aliens) while working on his ranch.  Last year according to the Washington Times, a rancher was sued by illegals for turning them over to the Border Patrol.  When I grew up, that was called good citizenship.

I am not opposed to legal immigration.  I agree that the legal immigration system needs to be streamlined and reformed.  I do, however, object to the idea of instantly making illegal aliens citizens.  We have people who have been on waiting lists for years wanting to come to this country.  It seems to me that they should be at the head of the line–not the illegals.

My concern with Congress putting together an immigration bill is that it will be used as the basis for registering millions of new Democrats in time for the November elections.  I simply do not trust the current Congress to act in the best interests of the country they are supposed to represent.  I am also concerned that because there are only seven months until the election, something will be rushed through without anyone knowing what is actually in it (sound familiar?).  It’s time to step back and see what the impact of the new law in Arizona will be.  We can watch that for a year or so and then proceed.

Good News From The Supreme Court

According to the Associate Press yesterday, posted at the Washington Examiner, the Supreme Court has refused to hear a request for overturning the ban on federal funding to ACORN. 

“The high court on Friday refused to throw out a decision by the federal appellate court in New York City. That court had decided to freeze a judge’s determination that Congress acted unconstitutionally in yanking the group’s funding.”

Aside from the money-saving aspect of this, I think ACORN should be denied funding.  The federal government has been extremely lax in its oversight of the money it gives out to all organizations, and it is time to reevaluate all of this kind of spending.  If money given to an organization results in a positive impact on the community, that is one thing.  If money given to an organization results in highly paid staff accomplishing very little, that needs to stop.

Problems With Obamacare Are Becoming Obvious–Even Before It Begins

Yesterday Grace-Marie Turner at National Review Online posted an article about the report from Medicare’s chief actuary, Richard Foster.  The report lists nine problems with the healthcare reform bill:

  • Employer coverage will decrease–it will be cheaper for employers to pay fines than to insure employees–forcing people to enroll in Medicaid.  This will overburden Medicaid.  Seniors will lose Medicare Advantage coverage.
  • Businesses will be faced with hugh penalties because they will not be able to afford the policies the government requires.
  • The increased costs to businesses will be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices for drugs, medical devices, and premiums.
  • The “CLASS Act” long-term-care insurance is probably unsustainable.
  • National health spending will increase by $311 billion over the next ten years, increasing federal spending rather than decreasing it.
  • In 2019, there will still be approximately 23 million people uninsured–5 million illegal aliens and 18 million who pay the fine instead of the cost of insurance.
  • Spending reductions “may not be fully achievable”.  Sounds like a normal government program.
  • There will be fewer places that senior citizens will be able to go for treatment.  Access to care for senior citizens will quickly become an issue.
  • The increased demands on Medicaid will make it difficut to find care.

I got a letter from my Congressional Representative yesterday explaining how great the healthcare reform bill was.  I wrote him back that I would be actively campaigning for his opponent in November.  Please join me–if your Congressman (or Congresswoman) voted for the healthcare reform bill, please donate or campaign for their opponent in November.  We need to repeal this awful bill before it has time to do any serious damage to our country.

Michael Barone On Gangster Government

Investors.com posted an article yesterday by Michael Barone on what is happening in the financial sector of our economy under the Obama Administration.  He reminds us of the Chrysler bailout where bankruptcy law was violated and bondholders forced to accept 33 cents on the dollar on secured debts while United Auto Worker retirees were given 50 cents on the dollar on unsecured debts.  Unfortunately, the saga continues.

Last Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Goldman Sachs charging it violated the law in the sale of one of its financial products.  There are a few fishy things in this charge.  Fishy thing number one–the charges have to do with the fact that the company did not disclose that the product was put together by John Paulson–at that point, he was not well known, and disclosing his involvement would not have mattered.  Fishy thing number two–the Securities and Exchange Commission usually moves on a complaint only when they have a unanimous vote–in this case the vote was not unanimous and strictly along party lines.  Fishy thing number three–Democrats immediately cited the complaint as a reason to pass Chris Dodd’s financial reform package.

One of the provisions in the financial reform package:

“Politically connected creditors would have every reason to assume they’d get favorable treatment. The Dodd bill specifically authorizes the FDIC to treat “creditors similarly situated” differently.”

This is not a recipe for good financial governance.  There are a few other problems with the bill:

“…Dodd bill gives the Treasury and the FDIC authority to grant an unlimited number of loan guarantees to “too big to fail” firms. CEOs might want to have receipts for their contributions to Sen. Charles Schumer and the Obama campaign in hand when they apply.”

“Labor gets ‘proxy access’ to bring its agenda items before shareholders as well as annual ‘say on pay’ for executives. Consumer activists get a brand new agency funded directly out of the seniorage the Fed earns. No oversight by the Federal Reserve Board or by Congress on how the money is spent.”

The problem with the bill is that it encourages political favoritism.  We have that to some degree already–we don’t need to institutionalize it.