March 2011

Forever Entitled

by Bill O'Connell on March 31, 2011

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“I always use the word extreme, that’s what the caucus instructed me to do the other week, extreme cuts and all these riders, and Boehner’s in a box but if he supports the Tea Party, there’s inevitably [be] a shutdown.  – Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)

In an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Senator Marco Rubio said:

Every generation has had to confront and solve serious challenges and, because they did, each has left the next better off. Until now.

It brought to mind the movie Generation Zero, that chronicles the origins of the great financial meltdown that we have experienced. In that movie they point to one of the contributing factors the transition in power from those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II to the Baby Boomers, who knew little deprivation in their lives. Now as these boomers, of which I am one, took the reins of power, caution was thrown to the wind.

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The Stark Difference between Democrats and Republicans

by Bill O'Connell on March 30, 2011

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Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. – Barry Goldwater

“I always use the word extreme, that’s what the caucus instructed me to do the other week, extreme cuts and all these riders, and Boehner’s in a box but if he supports the Tea Party, there’s inevitably [be] a shutdown.  – Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)

From a partisan point of view, I think it would be the best thing in the world to have a shutdown. If I was head of DNC, I would be quietly rooting for it. I know who’s going to get blamed – we’ve been down this road before.” – Howard Dean, former DNC Chairman

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The New Welfare Recipients Are Politicians

by Bill O'Connell on March 30, 2011

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The new model of public service that we are being sold from Democrats and progressives is to get elected and then do nothing and stop anyone who tries to actually serve those who elected them. Shall we call it a politician subsidy or welfare, where we pay them to do nothing?

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The Case for Term Limits?

by Bill O'Connell on March 28, 2011

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Minimal to non-existent; Unlikely; No serious reforms were on the way; Needs to take a close look; Hardly the inspiring rhetoric of Knute Rockne or Winston Churchill. Tim Bishop’s back in his congressional seat starting his fifth term in office and already the group he was meeting with, the Long Island Farm Bureau, was expressing buyer’s remorse.

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Rand Paul Does Some Heavy Lifting

by Bill O'Connell on March 27, 2011

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Maybe it was because he was trained as a medical doctor that Rand Paul knows that if you are going to lift something heavy you have to bend your knees and keep your back straight. Contrast that to the other members of Congress who stand on tiptoes, with their legs straight, bent at the waist leaning far over and picking through the $1.6 trillion deficit using only their thumb and forefinger, to find some morsel that they can extract from the budget, crying all the while “It’s too heavy, it’s too heavy.”

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Congressman Bishop: Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

by Bill O'Connell on March 25, 2011

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On a report that his challenger from last fall, Randy Altschuler, may be looking at a rematch, Tim Bishop’s team wasted no time throwing away all pretense of what they preach to get back in the gutter to revel in the politics of personal attack.

What Bishop Says

In a speech on the floor of the House during consideration of a vote to repeal ObamaCare, Congressman Bishop had this to say:

“Mr. Speaker, I believe it is time this Congress does what President Obama called on Americans to do last week: approach our debates and our differences with civility and honesty. We appear to be doing reasonably well with regard to civility, but less so with honesty.”

What Bishop Does

Jon Schneider, Tim Bishop’s spokesman responded to the report of a rematch with juvenile name calling:

“Randy Outsourcer couldn’t win in a once-in-a-generation year for Republicans,” writes Jon Schneider, the spokesman, using the campaign’s negative nickname for Altschuler. “While Tim Bishop will be able to run in 2012 on his record of fighting House Republican efforts to cut 1,000 jobs at Brookhaven National Lab, Randy will remain a fatally flawed outsourcer with a track record of getting rich by shipping American jobs overseas.”

“Randy Outsourcer”? That is hardly civil nor honest. It is the kind of discourse you would expect in a grammar school lunchroom or schoolyard.

The Facts

Congressman Bishop’s main argument for reelecting him was that his opponent created a successful company that provided services to businesses and some of those services were provided from offshore locations. We live in a global economy, but don’t let facts get in the way. Will Mr. Bishop tell Canon, USA, to close their North and South American headquarters in Melville, which employs 1,200 Long Islanders, because everyone knows outsourcing is bad? Let’s send those jobs back to Japan where they belong! How about SRI, a German manufacturing and engineering giant looking at Long Island; or WiseCon and Surikat, two Chilean companies? Let us not forget all the foreign based auto companies that employ tens of thousands of Americans here in America. Go home foreigners!

But don’t look too closely at Bishop’s record. After all, he voted for the bailout with taxpayer money of GM and Chrysler. After getting our money Chrysler announced the construction of a $570 million engine plant in Mexico. GM for their part quickly announced that they were increasing their offshore production by 53%. These are high paying manufacturing jobs. So what does Congressman Bishop have to say about his proclivity to outsource using not his own money and taking risks on his own, but with our money? I’m still waiting on a response to the letter I sent to him nearly two months ago asking that very question.

Perhaps it is just a lack of understanding of economics. A study by Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck school of business found that for every job outsourced overseas, two new jobs were create here. In a global economy it is foolhardy to try pick and choose among products based on their country of origin. In 1989, I bought a Ford Probe GT. It was built by Mazda, in Canada, but Ford owned 25% of Mazda. So what was it? Who cares? Pursuing this line of thinking will take us back to the days of Smoot-Hawley tariffs that plunged us deeper into the Great Depression, but that shouldn’t be surprising. The progressives, like Tim Bishop, are doing everything else to mimic the Great Depression.

Time for a New Strategy

It is interesting that Mr. Schneider picked Tim Bishop’s current efforts to save the jobs of 1000 workers at the Brookhaven National Labs. He doesn’t mention his votes for ObamaCare, the Stimulus, the auto bailouts. While saving 1000 jobs is admirable, what about the rest of the 700,000 citizens in his district. He just wants to hand them the bill. Since government has no money except that which it gets from its citizens through taxes, every big government program has an invoice that has to be paid. Take, for example, the stimulus. His constituents share of that bill is about $3 billion. He “successfully” brought home $679 million according to www.recovery.gov. That would be like getting a $679,000 house for “free” with a $3 million mortgage attached to it. Are there any takers out there for that deal?

Next time around Mr. Bishop may actually have to run on his record, but let’s leave the taunts and childish names behind and have an adult debate on the issues. The people of the district deserve as much.

That’s my opinion; I’d like to know yours. Please comment below.

 

 

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Introducing the 2012 Senate Scorecard

by Bill O'Connell on March 24, 2011

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The most popular post at Liberty’s Lifeline since it was first penned on November 4, 2010 is titled, Next Up, the Senate Class of 2012. In watching the continued interest in who is up for election in the Senate in 2012, Liberty’s Lifeline has decided to introduce the 2012 Senate Scorecard.

The purpose of the Senate Scorecard is to provide a convenient reference for informing citizens on what these senators stand for. The scorecard which can be accessed through the “Scorecard” page tab up top or by linking here, shows how the senators, who will be facing the voters in November of 2012, voted on major pieces of legislation.

The senators will be listed in the left column grouped by Democrats, Independents, and then Republicans. If their name is in a normal font, they are standing for reelection; if in bold, they have announced their retirement; and if italicized, they already have an announced primary challenger. The headings of the other columns indicate the name of a particular piece of legislation and below, how that particular senator voted on that legislation.

Liberty’s Lifeline hopes this will help our fellow citizens make an informed decision on which candidates to support or challenge.

 

That’s my opinion; I’d like to know yours.  Please comment below.

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An Inconvenient Document

by Bill O'Connell on March 22, 2011

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The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.—War Powers Resolution of 1973, Section 2(c)

How many times have we heard both during the 2008 presidential campaign and since that Barack Obama was a constitutional scholar? Where did he find the time? Between being a community organizer, a Illinois state legislator, a law school professor, U.S. Senator and presidential candidate, when did he find time for his constitutional scholarship?

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Well Past Time to Get Serious about Spending

by Bill O'Connell on March 17, 2011

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You have to smack your head listening to Schumer, Weiner, Pelosi, Reid wailing like crybabies that the spending cuts proposed by the Republicans are too harsh. Perhaps it’s time to shut the government down and like a parent at wits end, send the babies home for a timeout.

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Obama Brackets as Libya Burns

by Bill O'Connell on March 16, 2011

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To No Fly or Not to No Fly, that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of indecision

Or take arms against a tin pot dictator

And by opposing end him. To golf, to play

No more – and by play to say we end

The heartache, and the thousand responsibilities

This job requires. ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To golf, to play –

To play, perchance to bracket: ay, there’s the rub,

To watch one’s pick, march on the final four

When at last we watch Duke play Pitt,

Must give us pause. There’s the respect

That makes calamity of getting elected.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of this job,

Bush’s problems, the Tea Party’s contumely

The pangs of despised polls, the Constitution’s stubbornness,

The insolence of office, and the spurns

That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,

When he himself might his departure make

With an electoral loss? Who would want this job?

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after this office,

The undiscovered retirement, from whose bourn

Only Bill Clinton returns, puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than to fly to others that we know not of?

Thus making decisions does make cowards of us all,

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of

Longing to be a community organizer again

Or to be able to vote “present”

And lose the name of action. – Soft you now,

Jimmy Carter, to you I will be compared

By all my sins remembered.

Apologies to William Shakespeare

That’s my opinion; I’d like to know yours.  Please comment below.

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