Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rush In A Rant

It seems that the whole country has gone berserk over the recent incident on the Northwest flight into Detroit on Christmas day. For those who are hibernating on the mountaintop, a young Nigerian attempted to light an explosive on the plane. Fortunately, some passengers noticed what he was doing and put a stop to his evil plan.

Now everybody is trying to figure out what to do protect us and make us totally secure in this country. Rush Limbaugh, in his characteristically angry style, has suggested that all Muslims be required to go through a separate checkout line. He doesn't explain how we will identify all Muslims. Maybe they should be required to wear green armbands, or have a large M tattooed into their forheads.

The unfortunate part about Rush's rant is that so many people actually believe that his anger is good thinking. From my perspective, we may have more to worry about from that crowd than the few radical Muslims that might slip through our grasp.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Republicans in a Panic

Republicans are in a panic these days over the situation in Congress with the healthcare bill. They have fought that all the way in both the House and now in the Senate. Now, it appears that Democrats are going to actually be able to pass this legislation. Of course it has some problems like any other complex piece of legislation does. In general, however, the healthcare proposal will make good law. So, why are Republicans in such a panic? Because it appears that Obama will be successful in fulfilling his promise for healthcare reform. And remember the stated goal of Republican is for Obama to fail. Now that it looks like he might succeed, there is indeed grounds for them to panic

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Within Two Minutes

I watched with much interest president Obama's speech to the nation regarding the war in Afghanistan. From my perspective, he laid out a clear plan, starting with a short history of our involvement in Afghanistan, the reason why got involved, and what our goals are there now. He carefully linked our military action to the devastating attack on America on September 11, 2001. If we do not destroy the terrorist network, he claimed, they will attack us again. we are not there to occupy the country or even to engage in nation building. Our military has two functions: disrupted the Al Qaeda network so that it cannot export terrorism, and train the Afghan armed forces so they can keep their own people safe and secure.

Within two minutes of his speech the commentators at Fox News were disparaging Obama and his message to theAmerican people. Listening to their critique it appeared that it was a pre-planned generic criticism which was intended to fit no matter what Obama said. Fox News seems to have two rules regarding our current president. Rule one is: everything Obama says or does is bad. Rule two is: in the unlikely event that Obama does or says something good, refer immediately to rule one. Too bad they can't be more patriotic and put the good of the nation ahead of their own rancor and hatred.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Is Huckabee Really a Liberal?

What a fascinating news item. It turns out that when he was governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee pardoned a large number of convicted criminals in his state. One of them has recently been accused of killing four police officers in the state of Washington. He gunned them down in a cold blooded murder. This brings up the question, is Mike Huckabee really a liberal in conservative clothing?

For those with long memories, Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts lost the presidency partly because of his releasing a convicted criminal named Willie Horton. He was accused of being soft on crime. From my perspective, one can ask: is Huckabee of the same stripe? It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the Republican primaries in 2012.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A More Important Question

As I write this, the nation eagerly awaits an announcement by President Obama regarding troop levels in Afghanistan. In case you have forgotten, we are at war in that far-away country. The commanding general has submitted a request for a major increase in the number of American troops under his command there. Obama has taken a long time thinking about this request and what his response should be.

From my perspective, a more important question the President needs to answer is “What is America’s goal in Afghanistan?” Most Americans have forgotten why our troops are fighting there. Obama needs to tell us what our basic goal is, then he can explain how many troops we need to accomplish that task. Hopefully he will do that sometime soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obama's Speech to Schoolchildren

Republicans are on our uproar these days over the President's recent speech to schoolchildren at the beginning of the school year. They claim he is pushing a socialist agenda on them and trying to indoctrinate them into socialism. His message: work hard and do your studies and try to improve the country thereby. Hardly seems a dangerous idea to me but the Republicans see a grand conspiracy in it. If that's the worst thing Obama ever does, this country is in good shape.
From my perspective, is unfortunate that Republicans are spending so much time trying to defeat the President. It's too bad they can't put their energies into something more productive for the improvement of our fair Republic.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ultimate Result of Hate Speech

Seldom in the history of the United States has public discourse been filled with so much hate speech. What is worrisome to me is that much of the hateful rhetoric is aimed at President Barack Obama. He has been referred to as evil, an illegal alien, a Nazi and even worse. Then we hear that at one public town hall meeting the President conducted, armed people were allowed to be near the event. One was even carrying an assault rifle.

From my perspective, such a confluence of events - hyped up hate and firearms - is a recipe for disaster. How soon will it be before some neurotic wing nut decides to rid America of the “Great Satan.” Here is my prediction: before the 2010 election there will be a major attempt on the President’s life. It is no doubt already in the planning stages.

Murder is the ultimate result of hate speech. Let those who spread hate consider the power of their words.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Short Memory

According to a recent poll, a majority of Americans do not support the war in Afghanistan. They say it is not worth the effort even though they believe we could achieve our objectives there. I find such a thing quite surprising. From my perspeective, those who oppose the war in that far off land must have a short memory. It was from Afghanistan that the attack of September 11, 2001 originated. Certainley our nation has not only the right to strike back at those who inflicted so much harm on us in an unprovoked act of war, but also the responsibility to do so. Let us not falter in this noble cause.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Frightened Republicans

I have been puzzled by the strange antics of leading Republicans recently. They display an almost visceral hatred for President Obama by making ludicrous charges against him. The "death panel" accusation regarding health care reform is a good example. I think I have found the reason for Republican angst.

What frightens Republicans most is that Obama's policies might be successful. He might get some form of health care reform legislation enacted by Congress. They hoped that would be his Waterloo. The downturn in the economy seems to have hit bottom. They fear it might actually improve before the elections in 2010. Cash for Clunkers appears to be a success. Good reason for Republicans do be frightened!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Acting Stupidly

A conservative friend of mine recently told me that President Obama’s statement that police acted stupidly in the arrest of the Harvard professor in his own home indicated the President’s lack of judgement. Here is my response:

You think the police did not act stupidly when they arrested a guy for being in his own home? What right does a cop have to intrude on the guy's home when he has been shown identification and knows the guy lives there? and then he calls for backup! It must be a low crime area if they can spare that many cops for an aging guy in his own home who is not breaking any law. To me that is acting stupidly.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

He’s Got Your Wallet

Political conservatives are screaming in rage these days over the spendthrift ways of the federal government. Led by spender in chief Barack Obama, the feds seem determined to throw money at every problem, real or imaginary, that comes to their attention. The response to such a situation is best illustrated by a cartoon which appeared in the media recently. It shows a caricature of President Obama with a huge smile skipping along taking money from a wallet and throwing it all over the place. A guy in the cartoon is thrilled saying, “ Look, he is giving us money just like he promised.” The guy’s companion has a concerned look on her face as she responds, “He’s got your wallet!”

From my perspective, the cartoonist has it right. All the money Obama is proposing to spend comes from your wallet. When Congress votes an appropriation, it comes from your wallet. When the air force requests a 350 million fighter plane, it has your wallet. When our congressman announces with pride that he is bringing federal money home to pay for a favorite project, he’s got your wallet. When George Bush gave each of us a $600 tax rebate, he got it from your wallet. All the wonderful things the government does for us comes from your wallet.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Now You Know

I live in a very conservative part of the country which has elected a Republican to Congress all but once in the last 100 years. Some of my Republican friends have expressed a good bit of rage towards President Obama recently. He is leading our beloved country down the path toward socialism which will be the ruin of the nation. He is spending us into bankruptcy. Destroying our wonderful system of healthcare. He is the Great Satan, and probably a Muslim as well. And that is some of the nicer things they say.

There is no sense in arguing with such an irrational rant. Rational discussion is out of the question. My only response is: Now you know how I felt for the last eight years with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their merry band of thugs running the country. (I will leave it at that because when I start thinking about it, I soon descend into a serious rant.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sotomayor’s Decision

President Obama recently appointed Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Republicans have branded her a "racist" because of a statement she made several years ago that a Latina woman could make a better decision than a white male.

Beyond that one seemingly biased statement is a ruling by the Appellate Court in which it upheld a lower court’s decision in the Frank Ricci case. This was a situation where a white firefighter in New Haven Connecticut studied hard and got a high score on a promotions test, but the city threw out all the scores because no black person passed the test. Being a good American, Ricci sued, claiming discrimination. The lower court denied his claim, and Sotomayor voted to uphold the lower court’s decision. This is enough for some commentators to brand her as biased against all white men.

What seems to be missed in all this is that Judge Sotomayor did not decide on the facts of the case if there was or was not discrimination. She only ruled that the lower court had appropriately applied the law in arriving at its own decision. In this she strictly adhered to the traditional role of the appellate courts in applying the law while leaving it to the lower courts to determine the facts of the case. From my perspective, Sotomayor cannot be fairly charged with bias merely because she followed legal precedent in her vote on this case. Republicans will have to dig deeper if they want to make such a characterization stick.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

General Motors

What a mess this country is in! General Motors, that great icon of American industry, has just filed for bankruptcy. For much of the twentieth century GM has provided the corporate standard around the world. How did such a business model come to the point of failure? Why did its highly compensated management team allow such a situation to develop?

Several factors are responsible for the collapse of the manufacturing titan, General Motors. The world-wide recession has taken its toll on all American businesses. An outdated contract with its labor force, which contains an unsustainably rich benefit package, played a part in its downfall. However, from my perspective, it is the structure of corporate management that is most at fault for hard times in corporate America.

The American management model gives an inordinate amount of authority to the top tier of managers with very little in the way of accountability. Even if they are fired for mismanagement, corporate CEO’s get large severance packages. There is little incentive for them to do well. Top management has an unhealthy influence on the corporate board and essentially sets their own compensation package. Further, incentives are based on short term successes rather than long term growth in the company. Thus deals that reap quick profits are preferred in place of performance over the long haul. All these, along with other factors, conspire to condemn American business to fail when economic hard times come.

Hopefully, the company that emerges from bankruptcy will have learned a lesson from the current experience. The future of manufacturing in America depends on it doing so.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I have been interested in recent revelations of the federal government’s involvement in what is known as "enhanced interrogation." In conservative circles that is the politically correct term for torture. My conservative friends go to great lengths to explain to me that methods used under the previous administration were not torture. However, such things as waterboarding were considered torture when the communists used it so it should be considered torture when we use those techniques.

There have been calls from several quarters for an investigation not only of the methods of interrogation used but also of the previous administration’s legal gyrations to make operatives think that such methods were consistent with American law. Republicans are terrified that such an investigation will throw light on what took place during the past eight years.

I find this a bit hypocritical in view of the fact that Republicans insisted on spending $50 million of federal money to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton’s failed investment in an Arkansas real estate deal. That certainly was no threat to the body politic. Government use of torture in an attempt to extract information from suspects we have captured is certainly a threat to the Republic and the rule of law for which it stands.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Work Hard, Get Rich

A recent caller to C-Span’s Washington Journal commented on the plight of individuals in economic distress. He didn’t have much sympathy for them. His simple solution to the complex problem of personal poverty was the age-old formula, "work hard, spend wisely, and you’ll get rich." Certainly that has been the American dream that brought millions of immigrants from other countries to our part of the world. The promise is if you work real hard, you will make a lot of money. Also, if you’re wise in how you spend your money and save as much as you can, you will maintain your wealth. Oh, I wish it were that simple.

I believe in the value of work. Everyone who has the ability should be engaged in productive labor. I also believed in careful spending. In fact, my motto has been, "spend less money than you make." But, my observation on the facts of life in America is that hard work does result in wealth, but not always for the person who does the hard work. If that were so, the housekeeper who will clean my hotel room when I go to the convention next week, the cooks at the restaurant where I will eat, and the waiters who will serve me would be millionaires, while Paris Hilton would live in grinding poverty. However, the reverse seems to be true. Paris Hilton’s wealth does indeed come from hard work, but certainly not her own. Rather, she benefits by the hard work of others, who in turn live on the edge of poverty.

While some people do gain wealth by their own industrious lifestyle, most wealth is accumulated by benefitting from the labor of others. In today’s world it seems that manipulating the financial system is the sure road to riches. From my perspective, one should engage in productive labor because it is a satisfying life, not merely to get rich. The old saw still applies: the sleep of the laboring man is indeed sweet.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Class Warfare?

The AIG Corporation recently stunned the American public by handing out huge bonuses to its executives even though they have run the company into near bankruptcy. What angered the public so much is that the Corporation is the beneficiary of public funds to the tune of several billion dollars. Certainly beleaguered taxpayers don’t think they should have to pay to support the lifestyle of America’s rich and pampered business executives. It is one thing to save a corporation that’s too large to fail, but it is quite another thing to reward those who have guided it to the brink of failure.

From my perspective, the corporation’s actions in rewarding bonuses to the incompetent executives is just a matter of class warfare. Usually they are the ones that scream class warfare when a liberal politician suggests that the rich ought to be taxed to provide for the needs of the poor. However, in this situation the roles seem to be reversed with the rich corporate executives being demanding support from taxes on working class America. The privileged class seems to feel they are entitled to tax money just by virtue of their position in the upper levels of America’s economic column. Maybe it’s time they are disabused of this idea and are held accountable for their own actions. No bonuses if they mess up the business.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stem Cell Research

Recently President Obama signed an executive order reversing the order of former President Bush restricting federal funds from being used by scientists who are studying embryonic stem cells. This was quite an issue eight years ago when Bush allowed scientists to use existing lines of embryonic stem cells, but forbade any new ones being used for research if federal money was involved. Now our new President has reversed that situation.

The reaction from conservatives has been quite interesting. They still maintain that a microscopic collection of stem cells is the same as human life and must therefore be protected. What they seem to ignore is that the embryos in question come from fertility clinics and if not used for research will simply be discarded. I find it worrisome that conservatives are much more concerned about protecting the life of an embryo than they are about protecting an actual human life. There was no conservative outcry, for example, when American mercenaries brutally murdered Iraqi civilians simply to clean out an intersection in Baghdad in preparation for American dignitaries to drive through in their limousines.

A second reaction has been the insistence by conservatives that embryonic stem cells are no longer needed or valuable for scientific use. They claim that the better science is using adult stem cells. From my perspective, they should let scientists decide what is the best resource for experimentation. This is not something a philosopher can determine. Thankfully, for those of us who are affected by certain neurological ailments, there is now some hope that eventually there will be a breakthrough and cures will be found. I realize it may not be in my lifetime, but I think our government should encourage scientists to move ahead at full speed.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

CIA Tapes

President Obama has given orders to open many of the archives documenting government activities in the past eight years. In the process it was discovered that over 90 videotapes of the CIA interrogating suspects were destroyed. This was not a sudden inadvertent act or an accident. These tapes were destroyed on purpose. What was on them that are government agents did not want citizens to see? One can only imagine that they involve scenes of torture.

But, one might ask, why would one imagine that these tapes included torture of suspects by our government agents when President Bush gave his word that our government did not engage in torture? Maybe these tapes included statements of national security and matters which the public should not see since it might aid the enemy who would then be able to attack us more easily. Nobody has come to that conclusion and I wonder why? Could it be that we’ve been deceived in the past and no longer trust our government to do the right thing? If so, our Republic is in a sad state.

From my perspective, this is a far worse crisis in the current economic situation. Our economy will eventually rebound, but can we ever regain the public trust after the deceptions of the past eight years? Hopefully the new President will be open enough with the American people that they can come once again to trust the word of our nation’s leader. The future of the democratic process depends upon that.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rage and Racism

Republicans, and especially those on the conservative end of the party, are all in a rage these days over the leadership of President Barrick Obama. They don’t like his stimulus plan. They don’t like his popularity. They don’t like his spending plan. And they’ve suddenly gotten religion regarding the evils of the federal debt. Of course some of the President’s supporters have charged them with racism to which they react with a great deal of anger. I doubted that racism had anything to do with it until recently.

The other morning on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, a man called in on the Republican line responding to a question regarding Obama’s budget. His statement was, and I quote directly: "Obama is ignorant and a liar. He always has been and always will be. The Democrats who voted for him hate it that Republicans bring freedom to people. You can tell all those black people who voted for him that we are never going to free any more Blacks."

So there you have it; rage and racism out in the open. I am sure that this is not typical of Republican thinking but it does identify a certain stream of racial hatred that exists within the conservative mind. Too bad for America.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Sensible Process

With much fanfare President Obama recently introduced an outline for the federal budget . While I don’t like the numbers he presented, I do appreciate his improvement on the process. Two things in particular caught my attention. First, he’s returning to the tradition of providing a ten-year outline rather than the five years the previous administration used. That gives a better look at the long-range effects of current spending decisions.

Secondly, he has returned to putting all of the expenses in the budget rather than leaving the cost of the war outside the budget. This gives a more realistic view of what our total expenditures are projected to be. Under the previous administration, the costs of the war which were substantial were left out of the budget. We only fooled ourselves into thinking we were in better shape than we actually were.

Now, if we just get the numbers down so that the budget can be brought into balance within the next four or five years I’d be much happier about the process.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sticking With Principle

I find the Republican response to the recently voted stimulus package quite interesting. They are almost unanimous in their opposition, claiming that it’s too filled with pork barrel projects. Yet, where I live all the local Republicans, who seem to control things here, are very anxious to get their hands on the money. Things are tight here in Michigan and the prospect of outside money coming in bringing smiles to even the hardest headed Republican.

What is of interest nationally, is that three Republican governors have stated they will refuse some of the money that will be made available to their states because it doesn’t properly stimulate the economy. They are sticking to their principles they claim and are willing to put their money where their mouth is. For that I give them credit. I just wish the fiscal conservative principle had prevailed during the past eight years when our government was spending money like it was going out of style.

It will be interesting to see the response in the states that are refusing to take the money. Will the Republican legislators be willing to pass up such an opportunity? And what about the voters in the state? Are they willing to take less than the rest of the nation? Each of the three governors are interested in higher office. Cynics think that this is just one way for them to energize their ultra conservative base so they can get nominated for the presidential race in 2012. If so, I say more power to them. It’s great to see a Republican that’s willing to stand up for principle.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hard to Tell

Republicans maintained remarkable solidarity in their vote against Obama’s stimulus bill in the Congress. Coming so soon after the statement by Rush Limbaugh that he hopes Obama fails in his program for the country, one wonders if the Republican congress people have the same feeling and are trying to make their hopes come true.

From my perspective, it is hard to tell if the Republicans really are so hateful of our new president that they’re willing to place the nation in danger, or if they have honestly returned to their conservative roots. Confusing the situation was the action by Republican Senator Judd Gregg, who had been appointed by Obama as Secretary of Commerce. Even though he gladly accepted the position, just a few days later he decided that his economic philosophy was incompatible with that of the President. He certainly knew that before he accepted the position in the first place. Was his sudden reversal because of economic philosophy? Or was he instructed by the Republican hierarchy that his future with the party was in jeopardy if he cooperated with the Democratic President? We will never know I am sure, but it appears that radio commentator Rush Limbaugh has far more influence in the Republican Party than I once thought.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Keeping America Safe

There is no question that there are many evil people in the world who would love to attack America and given the chance they will do so. Many of the actions taken under the Bush administration have worked quite well in keeping such people out of our fair land. I give him credit for that. However, I doubt that his extreme tactics, the use of torture and ignoring constitutional principles in dealing with suspected enemies, has had a causal relationship to protecting America from attack. John McCain, who has firsthand knowledge of the use of torture, has expressed that same opinion.

Information extracted under physical duress is highly unreliable. Under even minimal levels of torture, people will confess to what ever their interrogators want them to. As far as incarcerating suspected enemies for long periods of time without any due process of law, the founders of our republic specifically wrote protections into the Constitution from such actions. They were reacting to just that kind of policy on the part of our colonial masters at the time. Thus, the imprisonment of suspected enemies at the Guantanamo base in Cuba is antithetical to the core principles of the American nation. We certainly can keep our nation safe without violating our basic beliefs.

Unfortunately, conservatives have interpreted such statements as being soft on terrorism. It is true that brutal dictators have been quite effective in protecting their realm from terrorists. However, do we want America to sink to that level? I think not. The founders of our republic wrote into the Constitution methods for determining who is guilty and who is not. From my perspective, as much as possible, we should stick to the Constitution.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Trouble with Promises

When Barack Obama was a candidate for the office of President, he promised to do things differently if he was elected to the high office. He pledged that no longer would the special interests have a major impact on the development of public policy. To that end there would be no lobbyists placed in high positions in his administration. Well, here we are with Obama as President and guess what: he has broken that promise already.

First was his choice of William Lynn for a high position in the Defense Department. And then more recently came the nomination of former Senator Tom Daschle to a cabinet post. Both men have worked at the behest of special interest lobbies in Washington. Now, I don’t doubt that both men are eminently qualified for the positions to which they have been nominated. In fact they are possibly the best in the nation for the jobs they have been assigned. However, a promise is a promise and it’s unfortunate that it has to be broken so quickly in this new administration.

And that is the trouble with promises. They are very difficult to keep. Once made they limit the decision-making ability of the one who makes them. So, I guess the moral of the story is, be careful about what you promise. Hopefully our new young President has learned that lesson.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

He Kept Us Safe?

Faithful followers of former President George Bush are frantically trying to construct his legacy. It is a daunting task, for not much good came from his years in high office. Usually his supporters very quickly point to the fact that there was not another attack on the United States after September 11, 2001. "He kept us safe," they claim. But did he?

Just a few days after the destruction of the twin towers in New York City, America was under attack again. This time it was a biological attack when several letters containing the deadly anthrax were sent to individuals through the United States Postal Service. This attack reached right into the halls of congress when two Democratic senators were targeted. The case has never been solved although the FBI declared the case closed when a former government scientist who was under suspicion committed suicide.

I do not blame Bush for either the twin towers attack or the anthrax one. But, from my perspective, Bush can hardly claim that he kept us safe as part of his legacy. Both attacks occurred on his watch.

Monday, January 19, 2009

George Bush’s Regrets

In an interview several days ago President George Bush was asked if he had any regrets on his actions over the past eight years. He could think of only a few such as making a speech in front of a sign that said "Mission Accomplished." I do not know why he regrets such a minor thing. After all he did accomplish his stated mission in invading Iraq. The President’s purpose was to protect us from Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (nuclear bombs), bring about regime change, and punish Iraq for its involvement in the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States.

If I remember correctly, we achieved all three of those objectives rather quickly. In just a few days our armed forces conquered Iraq and eventually we saw Saddam hung by the neck till dead. Not long afterward we realized America was no longer under the threat of Iraq’s nuclear arsenal. And, we certainly have brought sufficient punishment to the population there that they will think twice before getting involved in another attack on America.

Unfortunately, George Bush was not satisfied with victory and his original goals morphed into something else which most of us have not yet figured out. I am not so sure Bush figured it out either. And so the war dragged on with no end in sight. From my perspective, what Bush should regret is going to war in the first place. Too bad he can’t see his tragic blunder in that decision.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Not Much Hope

I have become more discouraged by the day about any hope of a solution to the situation in Palestine. Every day brings more tragedy. From my perspective, both sides seem to have a death wish. Hamas does not seem to care about how many of its people are killed or maimed. They are going to fight the Israelis till all are dead. In turn the Israelis seem not to consider the long run implications of their actions. Every civilian they kill means that one more Palestinian family will have reason to hate their Jewish neighbors for a hundred years into the future.

I have read the history of the region and understand why both sides believe in the righteousness of their cause. That is why I do not have much hope in any solution this side of the second coming. Till then death and destruction will continue in that sad land.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Think First, Then Speak

Democratic leaders in the Senate are busy eating humble pie in the case of Senate appointee Roland Burris from Illinois. When Burris was appointed by the morally challenged governor Blagojevich, Majority Leader Reid and others howled in outrage, claiming they would never vote to seat him. They should have given it a bit of thought before making such a pronouncement. Outrage is wonderful and all that, but it is not a basis for decision making.

Burris’ appointment was strictly within the law and there is no legal basis for the refusal to seat him in the Senate. According to the Constitution, Article 1, Section 5, the Senate has the right to determine if one of its members is qualified to serve in that body. However, it cannot make this determination on the basis of arbitrary or capricious reasons. Burris is qualified so they must allow him to take his place in that venerable body. Next time Reid and company should think before they speak.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Slow Learners

The news from the Middle East is not good. Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, seems to have gone on a suicide frenzy by provoking Israel to attack the tiny Palestinian enclave. It is an uneven fight and the civilian population is paying a terrible price. However, it is the ordinary people who voted Hamas into power. No matter how righteous their cause, they have not yet come to grips with reality - they can never defeat the Israelis. In this the Palestinians of Gaza seem to be slow learners. The sooner they accept defeat and recognize the supremacy of Israel the sooner their life will improve.