Presidential election

The Progressive Assault on the Electoral College

by Bill O'Connell on December 10, 2010

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Comments submitted in response to a previous post, “The Progressive War on Federalism,” focused on the Electoral College and a movement called the National Popular Vote (http://www.nationalpopularvote.com) bill.  Rather than argue against my point it only seemed to reinforce it.  The objective of this movement, which before this commenter’s contribution I was unaware of, is to abolish, or should I say neuter, the Electoral College and replace it with the direct election of the president.  This movement looks to further weaken the states and move us away from federalism and toward a strong monolithic central government.  Here is my analysis.

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The Progressive War on Federalism

by Bill O'Connell on December 6, 2010

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I still find myself in awe of our Founding Fathers who created our form of government.  The competing ideas that they sifted through to come up with our Constitution and the safeguards in it is wondrous.  The designs upon it by the progressives is by equal measure disturbing.

  

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Time to Go, Hillary

by Bill O'Connell on August 17, 2009

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From being the foregone conclusion as the first woman President of the United States in 2008 to a marginalized, snarky misrepresentative of the United States, it time for her to realize, the band stopped playing and everyone has gone home but her.  It’s time to call it a day and resign.

Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

Proving, once again, he is the master of hardball politics, Barack Obama dangled the Secretary of State job in front of his vanquished rival.  She took the bait.  No more would she be a force in the Senate able to challenge Obama at the first stumble.  She was now part of the problem, not a potential solution.  Once ensconced at Foggy Bottom, she thought she enhance her image by holding the most prestigious post in the Cabinet.  But she again underestimated Barack Obama.

He proceeded to divvy up foreign policy among many advisers, undercutting Hillary every step of the way.  She’s no fool, she can see it and it is eating away at her, to the point where she is becoming a gaffe machine to rival Joe Biden.

She’s No Condoleezza Rice

Upstaged by her husband in North Korea, negotiating the release of the journalist hostages, she was asked what her husband thought about another matter while in Africa.  In a similar situation, Condoleezza Rice, would have handled that with aplomb and not become rattled. But here is Hillary’s response.  Hillary Snaps.  Smacking down a questioner on the world stage?  Well that will surely “correct” our image as the Ugly Americans.

The Apology Tour Continues

She goes on to make a speech in Nigeria and wants to emphasize that there is no place in the world for corrupt elections.  A very good point to make, that few could argue with.  But what does she use as an analogy?  She openly suggests that Jeb Bush fixed the 2000 Presidential election for his brother.  Of all the analogies of corrupt elections that she could have used, let’s see, Iran?  Cuba?  the old Soviet Union? she points to the oldest democracy in history and suggest that we are as corrupt as any third world dictator.  Hillary Compares U.S. Elections to Third World Corruption.  Disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful.  Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who endorsed Hillary to take his Senate seat, must be turning over in his grave.  He used to staunchly defend the United States at the UN and here his protege is saying we are no better than the worst of them.

In Honduras, the rule of law is being followed to prevent a Chavez style dictator from taking over that country, and who does Hillary and the Obama administration support?  The Chavez puppet.  What about standing up for democracy in our Hemisphere?  It is time for her to go.

The Gore Thing in 2000

Let’s get this straight one more time.  On election night 2000, Gore lost Florida.  He lost the recount.  He lost the re-recount.  He lost the re-re-recount.  He lost the official recount.  He lost the private recount sponsored by newspapers.

Their count showed that Bush’s razor-thin margin of 537 votes — certified in December by the Florida Secretary of State’s office — would have tripled to 1,665 votes if counted according to standards advocated by his Democratic rival, former Vice President Al Gore.

“In the end, I think we probably confirmed that President Bush should have been president of the United States,” said Mark Seibel, the paper’s managing editor. “I think that it was worthwhile because so many people had questions about how the ballots had been handled and how the process had worked.” — CNN

If Democrats and their radical supporters want to salve their wounds with this myth, live the fantasy.  But don’t smear this country with these lies while acting as our chief diplomat.

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The 12% Solution

by Bill O'Connell on October 25, 2008

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Eleven days to go before the 2008 election and the talk seems to still revolve about this being a Democratic year and where big gains are expected in both the House and the Senate.  When you stop to think about it, does this make sense?  Sure, President Bush has extremely low approval numbers and regardless of who wins the Presidential election on November 4th, it won’t be him.  But what about Congress?

The 110th Congress, led by the Democrats, has the lowest approval rating in history, around 12%, and yet, the American people are expected to not only return them to Congress but increase their numbers.  Wasn’t it bad enough?  Do they need to reach zero in the approval department?

Just what, exactly have they accomplished?  Sure, they raised the minimum wage, which will help about 4% of the population, at least those who don’t also happen to lose their jobs as a result because their employer can’t afford the increase, especially now that we are looking at a recession. But what else have they done?

Nancy Pelosi promised the most ethical Congress in history.  How’s that working out, Nancy?

  • Well let’s start with a twofer.  Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the committee that writes tax law, forgot that he had to pay taxes himself.  It seems he has this villa in the Dominican Republic, that he rents out but that he hasn’t reported the income on his tax filings.  Closer to home, it was learned that Congressman Rangel has not one, not two, not three, but four rent controlled apartments.  Democrats have staunchly defended rent control as being necessary to provide people with affordable housing.  Never mind that in the seventies it led to large swaths of burnt out buildings in New York and other cities because landlords couldn’t afford to maintain them when the rents wouldn’t keep up with the runaway inflation.  But Congressman Rangel needs affordable housing because his Congressional salary is only $169,300 per year.  Although he said he will give up one of the apartments that he uses as a campaign office, which may be illegal.  Does Nancy Pelosi know this is going on?  Because you don’t hear much about it.
  • As our financial system is on the brink of collapse, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, chairmen respectively of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, are wondering how this all happened.  Despite calls for increased regulation by the Bush administration, shortly after they took office, Barney and Chris said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were just fine.  Dodd may have even gotten a sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide mortgage for being a “friend of Angelo” Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide, but that was before Countrywide collapsed and was acquired by Bank of America.  But don’t worry, Henry Waxman of California is holding hearings on the whole financial mess.  He will also address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac once he finishes pillorying the executives of every firm on Wall Street, but he probably won’t get around to it until after the election.  Busy, busy.
  • Have you heard about Tim Mahoney?  He won the seat formerly held by Mark Foley in Florida.  If you recall, Mark Foley was sending inappropriate e-mails to some congressional pages, and rightfully lost his seat.  Not to be outdone, Tim Mahoney steps in and ends up paying off, to the tune of $121,000 his mistress who he fired from a job on his congressional staff.  He met her during the campaign and hired her at $36,000 per year.  When she found out the married congressman was having affairs with other women, she broke it off and was then fired.  Is Nancy on the case making sure that the pristine ethical standard that she set isn’t besmirched?  Well, Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL), chair of the Democratic Caucus is working diligently to keep this buried, so that it doesn’t hurt Mahoney’s reelection chances.  Nancy Pelosi, call your office.

Have you had enough, yet?

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Save Me, I’m Drowning!

by Bill O'Connell on October 14, 2008

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What brings someone off the sidelines and into the game?  I have always enjoyed history and politics.  I savor a meaty conversation with both conservatives and liberals.  Up until now those conversations have been private.  I generally kept my views concealed from strangers.  As the 2008 Presidential election draws near I have become more concerned about the loss of our liberty.  Both candidates have, to one degree or another, taken liberties with our liberty.

Government has grown enormously and shows no sign of abating.  The larger our government becomes, the less liberty we enjoy.  The more complex it becomes, the less it is a government of the people, by the people, for the people and more a government of, by and for the bureaucrats.

One of the primary arguments against term limits is that it takes time to understand the complexity of government and if we employ term limits the politicians would be forced out of office just as they were starting to understand it.  Does that scare you?  It certainly scares me.  I see a permanent underclass of bureaucrats who really run the government, and our representatives and we are just dragged along for the ride.

Consider the financial emergency we currently face.  When Treasury secretary Hank Paulson came up with his $700 billion rescue plan it was said to consist of 3  pages.  When the House of Representatives crafted that into legislation it became 110 pages.  That was voted down and then the Senate produced their version.  That one weighed in at 450 pages.  Think about it.  Suppose you are a Senator.  You have to vote on this critical issue and time is perilously short.  Do you have time to sit down and read a 450 page document?  Not only read it but comprehend it and all of its implications?  Or do you rely on staffers and lobbyists telling you what it says and how you should vote?  From 3 pages to 110 pages to 450 pages in about a week and a half.  That is simply staggering.

As I watched this debacle unfold, I envisioned Lady Liberty sinking into New York Harbor, struggling to tread water.  The turning point for me was reading that Christopher Buckley, son of the conservative icon, William F. Buckley, Jr., was going to pull the lever for Barack Obama.  Before Lady Liberty slipped beneath the waves I felt compelled to heave a lifeline to the ol’ gal and dive in.

It is my strongly held belief that to a great extent we have forgotten what liberty means.  We have forgotten the principle upon which this nation was founded and the ideal for which hundreds of thousands of Americans shed their blood to protect and defend it.

It is my purpose and intent, in my own meager and humble way, to reignite that spark and, rekindle that flame so that Lady Liberty’s torch can continue burning brightly as a beacon for the world rather than a remain on the sidelines, sadly shaking my head as the torch flickers out.

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