Tag Archives: U.S. Senate

A Bad New Year for Democrats

As we approach the beginning of a new Congress and the inauguration of the “change” president-elect Barack Obama, the Democrat Party faces old school challenges. As the tally for the U.S. Senate stands now, three Democrats seats remain unfilled.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, under the specter of indictment for offering a Senate seat to the highest bidder, appointed a Democrat with a track record and credentials to fill the Illinois Senate seat vacated by the president-elect. U.S. Senate Democrat leaders and the Illinois Secretary of State both balked at seating ANYONE appointed by Blagojevich given his recent history. Now legal authorities question whether anyone can stop the seating of Buris as the governor has unfettered discretion even though he has abused that discretion. This Democrat infighting cannot be beneficial to the president elect.

In New York, Senator Hillary Clinton, former presidential candidate, is now an appointee for the Obama cabinet. Two complications bubble up in this situation. First, will Governor Patterson appoint JFK’s daughter Caroline Kennedy to take Clinton’s seat? In face of complaints that Kennedy is untested and lacks credentials, Patterson, according to reports, continues to consider Kennedy as a candidate. Kennedy’s self-promotion tours failed based on news accounts. If nominated, can she get reelected? Is that something that Patterson should consider? Would Kennedy need to be able to campaign or will name recognition be enough?

On January 3, 2008, the New York Times reported the appearance of impropriety for Senator Clinton after reviewing the financial records of former President Bill Clinton’s foundation. A developer Robert J. Congel donated $100,000 to Bill Clinton’s foundation during the course of Hillary Clinton’s promotion and advocacy of Congel’s bid for tax breaks to expand and renovate a mall in Syracuse. Under normal circumstances, Bill Clinton’s finances would not be under such scrutiny. In consideration for a nomination of Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton agreed, as a condition of such nomination, to disclose these financial documents. Should the Senate simply ignore the coincidence?

Further consider, that Hillary Clinton’s husband received donations from countries with which she will be required to negotiate, threaten and work with if she is confirmed by the Senate. Is this complicated relationship-the Clinton marriage/financial union as viewed in light of the foundation donations-an appropriate spectacle to be considering during this already stressful and tenuous political time? Will Barack Obama caste Hillary Clinton aside to avoid the further specter of corruption? Has he read “Blood Sport”?

Finally, Al Franken. Senate Republicans vow to block Franken taking a seat in the US Senate while legal challenges are pending. Legal challenges, you ask? Yes, as the recount continued during November and December, previously uncounted votes for Franken were “discovered” in hidden places. Seriously, does this pass the sniff test? Do the people of Minnesota really want us to believe that their bureaucrats are THAT incompetent?

So, it seems that during this joyous time for Democrats, the party shows signs of its own fissures. Among his other duties both domestic and international, Barack Obama should add unifier of the Democrat party. No one else has stepped into that breach. If he wants to pass his stimulus/bailout/taxpayer relief bill quickly, the president elect needs to mediate these problems. Otherwise, Congress will stalemated and the Senate Democrats will be 3 votes down!

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Filed under Congress, Democrat Party, Media, News, Presidents, Senator Clinton, Senator Obama

Inertia

As an observer of people and systems, I spend quite a bit of time railing against the inanity of government: local, state and federal. This weekend I found some perspective on the issue. Perhaps I am late to this realization but Newton and his law of motion “A body in motion tends to stay in motion; A body at rest tends to stay at rest” or something like that…(I studied History, Political Science and Law) inform my epiphany.

Government is a body at rest. Lethargy reigns. Stagnation remains the rule. Business, on the other hand, constantly moves. A business that remains stagnant becomes outdated or dies. Government abides no such constraints. The United States Constitution with its attendant amendments, statutes, regulations, and the several States, with their smaller government bodies exist because as a nation we have agreed that those should exist, not because these particular items are productive or marketable.

Taking this obvious revelation, consider promises made by the dominant party presidential candidates. Facing a governmental body at rest, i.e. a Congress trapped in quicksand, are the promises of change within the government realistic? Can one person in the executive branch effect change among 435 Congress members and 100 Senators in the legislative branch? Doubtful. 

The parties and the candidates persist in their promises to resolve oil prices, to fix problems with sporting games at varying levels, to green the environment, and to stop a war for which a majority voted. But business moves onward and upward. Oil companies, if faced with a tax on profits, will find a detour or go out of business. Quite simply, this country depends on capitalism for innovation and variety. The providers of innovation must make a profit or move on to another product. Unlike government, which takes it’s “profits” or “taxes” at the point of gun behind the shield of a badge, business must make money.

If the government nationalizes any industry for the purpose on moderating profits or imposes taxes to “punish” the businesses’ windfall, this country will be taking a dangerous step away from representative government and our basic foundations.

At this point, voters control must be focused on legislative branches of government at all levels. The presidential candidates once inaugurated, will have less influence over change than he had as a senator.  To effect change, real change, voters must find elected officials who will eschew the stagnation of government, but acknowledge that the stagnation exists. Voters must find elected officials who will combat stagnation and lethargy, not just spout hot air, while maintaining the status quo. Elect candidates who understand that innovation brings change, that status quo creates an unending quagmire.

Until the inspiration and innovation of business entrepreneurs find a way to impact government, this country will remain “at rest” and no amount of discussion about change will change the inertial forces at work.

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Filed under 2008 Election, Democrat Party, Economy, Media, News, Politics, Presidents, Senator Obama, Taxes

Hypocrisy of the Left

The University of Georgia scheduled Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, native Georgian, to deliver the commencement address this Spring. Some at the University challenge this choice. Why? Because during a Senate confirmation hearing, after which Thomas was confirmed and placed on the bench for life, sexual harassment claims were raised.

The challenge leads me to wonder: what if Bill Clinton were scheduled to speak? Would anyone of these challengers speak up? Would they note that sitting President Bill Clinton lied under oath, lied to the country, engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate while President of the United States, is alleged to have forced women to engage in sex acts with him? Not likely. When the issue of sexual harassment by former President Clinton arises, the left is deaf. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Many on the Left stood by Clinton through all of these allegations. Defended his behavior. The allegation of one incident against Thomas, to the Left, far outweighs the multiple allegations against Clinton.

The Senate investigated Justice Thomas, as only the Senate can, live and in technicolor, for all willing to watch. Thomas’s dirty laundry was dragged out in public for all to see, not hidden behind closed door depositions. Anita Hill was forced through the indignity of live testimony for all the public to see. The Senate made its determination that Thomas was fit to sit as a Justice on the Supreme Court.

Let me clear about a couple of things: I believed Anita Hill, I believed Kathleen Wiley and I believed Paula Jones. But on both issues: Clinton and Thomas-the Senate spoke. Both issues should be settled. But, Justice Thomas can not get away from it. Former President Clinton gives daily speeches and no one seems to recall his problems.

Please ladies and gentlemen of the Left, give it a rest. Your hypocrisy is deafening.

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