Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We nuked ourselves

We just got back from a week in beautiful SW Montana and Yellowstone, and what a great time we had out there. A whole week of peace, quiet and enjoying the beauty our nation has to offer.

However, I seems that I can't go away for a week without things falling apart for the GOP and its principles. Once again the GOP leadership has managed to "snatch defeat from the handa of victory" with their latest compromise. Needless to say, I'm very upset with the GOP leadership and their current deviation from our parties principles of less government, lower spending and fulfillment of the mission the American people elected them to complete.

There's not much more I can say, so I'll post today's letter from Chuck Muth since he says it all so eloquently. Read below and see if you agree with him; I know that I do.

SPIN CITY & THE FILI-BLUSTER

Thanks to Republican "moderates," a "deal" has now been struck where the Democrats will be allowed to continue obstructing judicial nominees when they see fit and Republicans get...well, pretty much squat. They had the carpet pulled out from under them and woke up this morning with a big ol' egg covering their face, thanks to what the mainstream media considers to be the Magnificent Seven. Here's the roster:

Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island
Mike DeWine of Ohio
Susan Collins of Maine
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
John McCain of Arizona
John W. Warner of Virginia
Olympia J. Snowe of Maine

Did I mention Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island? More on him later.

As is to be expected, Republican leaders are in full "spin" mode, trying to tell conservatives that this huge loss on a matter of principle is actually a win; that this sow's ear is actually a silk purse. I can't remember the last time I had this much Suzy Sunshine blown up my skirt.

In the defenders estimation, Bill Frist has been a mensch. He stayed the course. He's a rock. Blah, blah, blah. He just couldn't get his whole team to row in the same direction. I'm not buying it.

I wonder what Steinbrenner would do with such a manager?

Here's the bottom line: For their part, the Democrats "agreed" to allow three previously-blocked nominees, but not all ten, to come to the floor for an up-or-down vote. Hello? Those three were already coming to the floor for a vote once the "nuclear option" had been deployed anyway. Some "concession" on the D's part, huh? For our part, we agreed to allow the Democrats to continue filibustering judges in the future. Lovely.

After hearing how the Democrats distorted the judicial and personal records of Owen and Brown over the last five days, you just know it will be a walk in the park for them to come up with "extraordinary circumstances" to block a future nominee. And by retaining the right to filibuster judges, you can pretty much kiss any hope that the president will risk nominating Justice Scalia to replace Chief Justice Rehnquist when he retires.

The Democrats bought time...and time is on their side. The longer this thing drags out, the less likely Republicans are to enforce the principle of every nominee getting an up-or-down vote. And the less likely that President Bush will appoint any more "Scalias." Get ready for a rash "Souters" coming down the pike.

I'm not excusing what the McCainiacs did here; but Bill Frist is the leader and he's been misplaying this issue from Day One. He should have used the power of his office to stop these filibusters two years ago. If he didn't have the 51 Republican votes, he should have told us who the weak-kneed Republicans were BACK THEN so we could have had a chance to deal with them directly from the grassroots level and at the ballot box. But Frist covered for these upstarts. And now they've cut his legs off from under him.

Frist was also in a position to stop Arlen Specter from gaining the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee last year and put someone there who actually AGREED with his plan to use the nuclear option to bust the filibusters. Instead, he "cut a deal" with Specter and handed him the gavel. In return, Specter helped hand Republicans a major and embarrassing defeat by encouraging and enabling this "compromise."

Bill Frist wants to be president. Bill Frist can kiss that dream goodbye. If he can't even handle running the Senate, what business does he have running the COUNTRY? "Trying" isn't good enough. There is no substitute for victory. Second place is like not even being there. Bill Frist needs to step down from his "leadership" position and turn running the Senate over to someone else, someone not afraid to crack the whip on his own troops from time to time.

This was a big one folks. This was important. And we were embarrassed by this "deal"...big time. Someone needs to answer for that.

One last question: Do those of you who say having RINO (Republican In Name Only) Lincoln Chafee on our team is better than having a Democrat in his seat still believe that? If so, you're hopeless. Boy, do I wish the Libertarians would put somebody half-credible up against him next year. That's one Republican race I'd LOVE to see "spoiled." Hey, hey, ho, ho...Lincoln Chafee's gotta go.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Real ID is really bad

Sorry for the lack of blogging, but with my early mornings and commute I've been pretty tapped out recently. However, that doesn't mean that I don't want to share my thoughts with you, my loyal readers, so today I'm going to do just that on new legislation that will effect us all and tramples on states rights in the name of "national security".

The legislation I'm referring to the the Real ID Act of 2005 legislation passed last week by the House and pending this week by the Senate. When I say "passed", I'm not referring to the standard practice of introducing a bill and debating its merits before voting on it; rather, it was slipped in as an amendment to the $82 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill. To me, this is an indicator of the amount of support it had in Congress as separate legislation and how much certain members of Congress wanted to hide it from the general public as well as other congressmen to shield it from hearings and debate.

I'm not going to discuss how it will effect illegal immigration, other than to point out that a small group of senators is working to get the amendment removed prior to its passage. Anyone who knows me knows that any effort to crack down on illegal immigration will find no enemy in me. And if those efforts help prevent terrorist attacks and facilitate the arrest and detainment of said terrorist suspects, then that's an added bonus. And I won't even start on the subjects of the new potential for identity theft (by criminals, terrorists or govt. employees); imposition of a national id card; travel restrictions; violations of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments (last two already happening); or other potential abuses of the new power the federal government would wield over the masses and states.

What I am more concerned about is the blunt and deliberate reach of the federal government into an area that the definite realm of the states and the breaching of states rights in the name of "national security". There is nothing more firmly rooted in the "states' rights" garden patch than the issuance & regulation of driving rights, licenses and ID cards for thier residents. By passing this new law, the federal government has effectively abrogated this right of the states to issue legal identification to their residents and taken on this burden themselves.

Well, you might say, the legislation does allow states to "opt out" of the legislation. While that option is there, any state chosing to exercise this option will have their id's essentially "invalidated" for use in boarding planes, trains, entering federal buildings, etc.; those states will then be forced to issue a second "certified" id card that meets Real ID Act standards for use in these instances. Essentially, any state that refuses to participate will risk having their citizens relegated to "second-class" status and be barred from most forms of interstate/international travel and from physical interaction from virtually all sectors of the federal government. So once again we have forced compliance with unfunded mandates forced upon the states "for our own good & safety."

Wait, what country are we living in? Didn't the Soviet Union collapse 15 years ago under the weight of a burdensome government bureaucracy that tried to do everything "in the name of safety & peace"? Our constitution was written specifically to enumerate certain duties upon the Federal government and all the others upon the states; I don't see the regulation and issuance of identification cards mentioned anywhere in it. Once again, this to me is another example of federal goverment blackmailing the states into submission, a la seat belt laws, DUI limits, road funds, etc.; the list is endless.

While it is a good idea to propose a set of standards for driver licenses so that there is some uniformity of information nationwide, these standards should be crafted with generous input from the states. These standards should then be implemented by the states voluntarially and strengthed if desired (Virgina has some of the toughest licensing laws in the country, and I've had the experience of getting a license here in the last year). However, if a state chooses not to implement these standards or doesn't implement the "cookie cutter/ one-size-fits-all" solution that the Beltway loves to impose, then their residents shouldn't be penalized or excluded from some of our most basic freedoms: travel & government interaction.

I see this as sailing into a rough sea without out storm warnings, charts & life boats. Unfortunately, I don't think that many will see the problems with it until its too late (read: the TSA and airport security), and then it will be impossible to reverse our course and avoid the storm.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

More government stupidity in action

Haven't had time to post much due to work and other concerns, but I found this on Drudge and thought I'd pass it along: City removes "Welcome Back Soldier sign."

Just another sign of how obtuse government bureaucracy has become in regards to the citizenry. They'll remove signs like this but leave others up on light poles advertising wieght-loss & get-rich-quick schemes. Sounds to me like the city workers have their priorities in the wrong order.