Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wizard of Oz

In case you have never experienced a Bruce Crawford extravaganza, we'd suggest you consider taking yourself and your kids or grand kids to see the full silver screen presentation of the Wizard of Oz at Joslyn Museum's theater on May 23rd.

You can read more about Bruce's presentation on the front page of today's Omaha World-Herald Entertainment section. Take our word for it though that Bruce makes these presentations much more than simply the screening of an old film.

Bruce is a movie historian with great ties to Hollywood and turns each screening into a memorable event. Take yourself, take the kids. You won't regret it. (Tickets on sale at Hy-Vee for $15 with all profits to The Omaha Hearing School).

Omaha is fortunate to have someone of Bruce Crawford's talent and ability contributing to its culture.

Hal Daub

Hal Daub has been named as Nebraska State Chairman for John McCain's Presidential bid. Co-chairing are Governor Heineman and former Republican National Committeeman Duane Acklie.

The Rumor Mill

We have been hearing from lots of sources that the new College World Series Stadium will come in at a cost considerably higher than that so far discussed amount of up to $140 million. More like $180 million. The causes include environmental mitigation of the land under the parking lots to be used for the stadium and additional demands from the NCAA.

Additional stress on the mayor's budget for the facility could come from splitting naming rights with the NCAA and their demands for concession profits.

While there will no doubt be an 'inked' deal signed shortly, watch for the costs and the additional challenges of paying for them.

Good Quote

Courtesy of today's The Patriot Post, this quote which might be another way of saying what Davy Crockett did (see Archives from April 28th):

“The difference between a philanthropist and a liberal is that a philanthropist is generous with his own money.” —Jack Kelly

More Questions About Obama

Newmax.com has an artilce today, 'Obama paid by Donor Who Got State Grant', http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/Obama_Donor_state_grant/2008/04/30/92234.html?s=al&promo_code=4A30-1 which deals with Obama being on the payroll of a company while he was in the Illinois Senate and at the same time helping the employer seek state grants without any apparent disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. This will no doubt become more fodder for Hannity, Rush and others. Maybe rightfully so.....

The Real John McCain

An excellent and insightful article in today's Wall Street Journal by Karl Rove about John McCain as revealed to him by Col. Bud Day, a cell mate of McCain's while imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam. It provides some valuable insight into the character of McCain who does not talk about his private and personal experiences as do many politicians who hope to gain from doing so. Suggest you check it out at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120951606847454685.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

If character matters, one should read this article and make a comparison of the three running for the highest office in the land......

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

GOP Senate Prospects -- Not Good

If you want the real dope on the chances for Republicans in the U.S. Senate this fall you might want to check out Congressional Quarterly's article for a blow by blow of where things look today: http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=weeklyreport-000002712175

To kind of summarize, here is briefly what they say:

"Even with their six-seat gain, the Democrats won only a razor-thin Senate majority in 2006 that left open the door for a possible GOP comeback in 2008.

The Senate:
Click Here to View Map

That door is now firmly closed, and the Democrats are well-positioned to expand their majority by picking up at least two and perhaps as many as eight seats. Public opinion on the issues — opposition to the Iraq War, annoyance at President Bush and anxiety about the economy — is as bad or worse for the GOP as it was two years ago. But the Republicans face an even bigger obstacle in the political geography: They are defending 23 seats, five of them opened by retirements; the Democrats are defending only 12, and incumbents are running again for all of them."


Not very encouraging.......

Smoking and Casinos

This article will interest our friend Pat Loontjer, smoking opponent Mark Welsch, maybe Omaha's City Council (revenue from KENO/smoking) to name a few. The article, "Codependent Addicts: States and Casinos", http://www.realclearpolitics.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/codependent_addicts_states_and.html by Froma Harrop makes some interesting points in view of both Nebraska's and Iowa's recently passed bans on public smoking and Iowa's exemption for casino floors. By the way does anyone know if Nebraska's Indian reservations are covered by the new law and even if they are will they comply?

An Old Newness?

Thomas Sowell presents a important argument, aimed at Senator Obama and voting on emotions and demographics today in his column, "An Old Newness", http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/tsowell/2008/ts_0429p.shtml Just to qoute a few of his words:

"One of the painful aspects of studying great catastrophes of the past is discovering how many times people were preoccupied with trivialities when they were teetering on the edge of doom. The demographics of the presidency are far less important than the momentous weight of responsibility that office carries.

Just the power to nominate federal judges to trial courts and appellate courts across the country, including the Supreme Court, can have an enormous impact for decades to come. There is no point feeling outraged by things done by federal judges, if you vote on the basis of emotion for those who appoint them."

Worth your time to read.

High Oil Prices

Here's a great article, with which we fully agree, "High Oil Prices - Blame the Government You Elected!", by Thomas D. Segel, http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/tsegel/2008/ts_0429p.shtml Rather than comment at length, we'd just suggest you read this to see where the real blame for high oil prices belongs.

Rep. McDermott Finally Pays Up But With Whose Money

The AP tells us today:

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Jim McDermott has paid more than $1 million to House Minority Leader John Boehner, ending a decade-long dispute over an illegally taped telephone call.

McDermott, a Seattle Democrat, paid $1,093,297 to the Ohio Republican's campaign committee earlier this month, spokesman for the two men said Monday.

The payment is in addition to $64,000 McDermott paid Boehner in January, as part of court-ordered punitive damages in the long-running case.

A federal judge ordered McDermott to compensate Boehner for attorney's fees after Boehner sued McDermott for leaking the contents of a cell phone call that was illegally recorded in 1996.

A federal court found last year that McDermott had no right to release the call, in which Republican leaders discussed an ethics case against then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.

A Florida couple recorded the cell phone call on a radio scanner and gave the tape to McDermott, who at the time was a senior member of the House ethics committee. McDermott leaked the tape to two newspapers, which published articles on the case in January 1997.

The Supreme Court decided in December not to revisit the case.

Boehner's spokesman, Kevin Smith, said the $1.09 million payment includes $628,000 from McDermott's campaign account, and about $465,000 from McDermott's legal expense trust fund."

''Every last penny will be used to help elect Republicans,'' Smith said, calling it ironic that McDermott -- an outspoken partisan -- ''is helping fund the defeat of his fellow Democrats. I wouldn't expect he'll receive a lot of thank you's come November.''

McDermott, for his part, was unbowed.

''While the amount of damages assessed in this case is significant,'' he said, ''I submit that defending the First Amendment is beyond measure and worth every penny.''

What we at the Objective Conservative find amusing, if not sad, is that Rep. McDermott didn't pay with any of his own money. NO, he used the money his campaign contributors had given him and money raised from a legal defense fund. Equally thought provoking is that the funds were paid to Boehner's campaign fund to be used for political purposes. While there is certainly a touch of the ironic in this, and we suppose the courts may have had something to say about it, it would seem that the injured party, Boehner, should have received the funds.

Guess it's always easier to break the law when you pay the fine with someone else's money.......

A Challenge to Governor Heineman and Current and Future State Senators -- PJM

Yesterday the Supreme Court Decision upheld Indiana's voter I.D. requirement (see yesterday's Objective Conservative). Today we learn, not unsurprisingly, that the Democrats are not at all happy with the decision.

From today's "Politico", http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=974520EF-3048-5C12-007897E1CB6BAE2F we get the following:

"Congressional Democrats and minority groups assailed Monday’s Supreme Court decision upholding Indiana’s photo-ID law as an affront to voting rights, but political realities in the states suggest that the ruling could have relatively limited impact nationwide. Only three states — Indiana, Florida and Georgia — currently require voters to show government-issued photo IDs before stepping into the voting booth. Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are considering similar requirements, but it’s not clear whether they can adopt them before the November elections.

Democratic insiders fear that a number of states, particularly in the Midwest and South, will copy the Indiana law now that the Supreme Court has upheld it. “There’s the concern for our side that it can spread, other states can do what Indiana did,” said a Democratic strategist. “You may see a lot more of this now.”

But Neil Bradley, director of the Voting Rights Project for the American Civil Liberties Union, noted that only states with both Republican-controlled legislatures and Republican governors have been able to implement photo ID laws, creating a de factor partisan limit on the number of places where such requirements may be imposed."

Based on the Supreme Court decision, I would challenge any of our current or would be state senators and Governor Heineman to introduce legislation in the next session requiring voters to show identification to vote. With a so-called Republican legislature (sorry, Omaha World- Herald, and my apologies to you Senators Flood, Ashford, etal, for politicizing your non-partisan body) next year would be a great time to act to protect the sanctity of the voting process by enacting such legislation. How about it? Any takers?

I know that the current liberal make-up of the Judiciary Committee would wimp out on such an opportunity, but hopefully that will change next year (with the help of new senators and a clearly expressed opinion from voters like you) and while there may be some who will suggest we don't need such a law based on past experience, why even take the risk by not enacting such common sense legislation?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CORRECTION: We are advised that should such legislation be introduced that it would go before the "Government Committee". A profound expression of regret to Senators Flood and Ashford.

More Silly Political Promises -- From McCain and Clinton

One of John McCain's 'ideas' on the high cost of fuel is to suspend the federal gas tax and diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Senator Clinton has supported that idea while Senator Barack Hussein Obama has opposed it because of the loss of federal gasoline tax revenue to the federal government and ultimately the states.

While we have a natural animosity toward taxes McCain's idea is flawed in that it will not only reduce the revenue that eventually (after federal bureaucratic laundering) funds state highway projects and maintenance, but will simply create an insignificant adjustment that, if any, will cause an increased demand for the product, thus driving up prices anyway. Worse yet, the further reduction in federal support the states rely on will just give your state legislature (can you say Nebraska?) additional reason to raise state gasoline taxes next year (or raid more funds from the cash reserve fund which is still funded by your taxes).

Another silly political promise with all kinds of unintended consequences........

A New Odor from Ilinois

Perhaps you've heard of the attempts to link Senator Obama with Tony Rezko who is currently on trial on federal corruption charges in Chicago. Seems that the name of Governor Blagojevich is coming up as the trial progresses and there is some concern he may be indicted.

You might recall that former Governor Ryan has gone to jail for his past deeds--serving a 60+ year term.

Seems that Chicago and Illinois are great places to watch the best examples of political corruption. The article gives a good list of the recently caught and convicted.

See: http://www.sj-r.com/News/stories/29462.asp

The Cost of Tracking Climate Change

There's a great article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, 'The Real Cost of Tracking Climate Change', by Steven Hayward, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120934459094348617.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries The article exposes the futility and hypocrisy of the calls being made for greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2050 by President Bush and the three who would be president. With an ever increasing population (Planned Parenthood would like to help with that), Hayward would lead us to believe that we would have to go back to pre-1900 standards of living if not the stone-age to achieve such goals. Whether you believe that greenhouse emissions are the cause of global warming, which we don't, the fact remains that the proposed goals are unrealistic and disingenuous at best.

Clinton and Earmarks

Wow! We learn from' The Hill' today that Senator Clinton has requested a record breaking $2.3 BILLION in earmarks for this year--dwarfing the $342 million she brought home (?) to New York last year. (While criticizing Clinton, we should note that the most egregious case of earmark greed last year came from Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi who took home $837 million to his constituents).

'The Hill' notes that some think this may be a soft landing strategy that will further enamor Hillary to her constituents as she faces a future re-election to the Senate should her presidential bid fail.

None the less, this is exactly why earmarks are bad. The greatest proportion of dollars go to the most powerful senators and congressmen (say Cochran and Murtha) at the expense of small states with relatively powerless senators and congressmen (say Nebraska).

See the article at: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/clinton-2.3b-in-earmarks-2008-04-28.html

Monday, April 28, 2008

Davy Crockett -- Congress NeedsYou

Courtesy of today's The Patriot Post, this great quote from Davy Crockett:

“We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money.”

Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Voter I.D. Law

Good news for honest citizens and bad news for those involved in voter fraud. The Supreme Court earlier today upheld Indiana's law requiring voters to show i.d. in order to vote. With today's technology there is little reason to believe that this is a huge inconvenience, despite Associate Justices Souter's, Breyer's and Ginsburg's votes against. Even liberal Associate Justice Stevens saw the logic and, in fact, wrote the decision for the majority.

Once again, the real importance of the appointment process to the Supreme Court comes to light. Voters will need to think carefully about this when they cast their vote for the next president since that president may very well have the opportunity to appoint replacements for at least two of the folks mentioned here.

For more on the decision, see: http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=news-000002712365

Glenn Freeman - An American Hero -- PJM

For those of you who do not know Glenn Freeman well, hopefully this will be instructive. For many of you who do, it may be repetitive but none the less needs to be said.

Glenn was honored by the National Guard Association of Nebraska on Saturday evening with the Distinguished Service Award for his service to the state's military community. His history of service goes back decades having retired as a chief master sergeant after 30 years of service to his country in 1985. Since 1997, Glenn has been a senior aide on veterans affairs to Senator Chuck Hagel. He has helped many of our veterans deal with real problems and he has played a part in the selection process of many young people who have been selected to the highest honor of attending our service military schools.

Beyond the above there is a Glenn Freeman that probably hasn't been fully recognized by all.

It is the Glenn Freeman that has led the efforts of the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge for many years. This is an organization that annually sends youths to Valley Forge for an opportunity to learn more about the history of our county. This is a brief synopsis of what Freedoms Foundation sees as its mission:

'Freedoms Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching young people the principles upon which our nation was founded. We hope to convey the close link between the rights and the responsibilities of citizens in society.

Through our education programs, collectively titled America's School for Citizenship Education, we teach Americans about America. Each year, some 3,000 students from all 50 states take part in Freedoms Foundation educational programs that include U.S. history, constitutional rights and citizens' responsibilities, core values, and the private enterprise system.

Nearly 300 elementary and secondary school educators participate in seminars and workshops on effective techniques for teaching citizenship-related topics in contemporary society.

A centerpiece in the Foundation's worldwide educational efforts is a 'Bill of Responsibilities' developed in 1985 under the Foundation's sponsorship. More than three million copies of this document, designed as a corollary to the Bill of Rights, have been circulated throughout the world. Freedoms Foundation was established after World War II by prominent business leaders to honor patriotism and good citizenship. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower served as chairman from the Foundation's founding in 1949 until his death in 1969.'

Suffice it to say that Glenn's leadership in the local chapter of Freedoms Foundation has contributed to its vigor and commitment to the effort.

Beyond the above Glenn has been an instrumental player in the building of the Douglas County and Nebraska Republican parties since his retirement from the service. He served as the Douglas County GOP Chairman in the early 1990's and has served in various capacities and has been instrumental in outreach to minorities.

One other thing about Glenn. He knows and loves and promotes the U.S. Constitution more than any other person I know. He is a strict constructionist who believes that the founding fathers gave us a document that should be immutable to the frivolous law making of judges. If you want to know what the Constitution says ask Glenn, but beware you aren't going to win any arguments unless you know the document better than he--which is unlikely.

Too often we wait until someone passes on to their final reward to extol their contributions to society. I'm glad to see that his contributions to the military community were recognized on Saturday but even happier to share my thoughts about a guy whom I am privileged to call a friend and a man who has contributed so much more.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Abortion in South Dakota

If you recall, two years ago the folks in South Dakota attempted to pass a measure to totally ban all abortions in the state. The vote failed 44% to 56%. But a slightly less restrictive opportunity to ban abortion in almost all cases will be presented to South Dakotans this fall--one that if passed will still directly confront Roe v Wade and no doubt result in a trip to the Supreme Court for ultimate adjudication. Certainly the measure being on the ballot will help conservative turnout in the state.

For more on this check out: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/26/us/26abort.html?_=18th=8oref=slogin8emc=th8pagewanted=print

Rhode Island Governor Gets Touch on Illegals

Despite the lack of intestinal fortitude and the liberal bent of the Nebraska Legislature and its Judiciary Committee, it is good to see other states and governors getting tough on illegal immigration. The latest example comes from Governor Don Carcieri of Rhode Island who, facing a budget deficit has signed an executive order directing his state patrol to get tough on illegal immigrants and to work with the U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement. He has also directed executive agencies and companies that do business with the state to utilize the federal computer system to verify citizenship status of new hires.

We'd like to see this spread to Nebraska and the other 30 or so states that could be helping enforce our immigration laws.

For more on the Rhode Island effort, check: http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headline/Default.aspx?id=77634

Friday, April 25, 2008

The 2nd District Congressional Race

Without getting into what Congressman Terry may or may not have done for North Omaha, it is interesting to read the Omaha World Herald account of the debate between Democratic candidates Carter and Esch. Both apparently think that Terry hasn't done enough for North Omaha and both promise to do more. Carter wants to find more dollars for North Omaha schools, its infrastructure, its roads and bridges and he wants to create more jobs there. He doesn't begin to say how a lowly first term congressman could begin to find the funds and then actually direct them there. Maybe he and John Murtha are going to become pals--or maybe he is going to convince good ol' John that North Omaha is really in Pennsylvania.

Esch to his credit says that instead of an ill conceived economic stimulus package to send out checks to be spent on Chinese products, while also driving up the deficit, maybe the funds should have been allocated to cities for such projects. Again, we're not sure Congressman Esch has the moxie to accomplish such.

In either case, it appears that both think that manna from heaven can easily be directed for their political promises.

We guess we understand why it's easier to issue campaign challenges that can be accomplished--such as taking drug tests....

As long as we're on the race, it's interesting to see that Esch who took such a puritanical stance against PAC money has now 'sold out' to the reality that he can't compete without it. If he'd done it two years ago, he might of stood a chance against Terry. It's too late this year. Terry will run a much better campaign and Esch's second attempt won't be pretty--once he easily beats Carter for the nomination.

Payinf for Presidential Promises

It probably won't ring well with some of us conservatives, but bad tasting medicine seldom does. What we refer to is today's 'Weekly Wastebasket' from Taxpayers for Common Sense and its commentary on 'Political Promises' which says that at some point all of the political promises being made by Obama, Clinton and McCain have to be paid for.

While we at the Objective Conservative are inclined to think that tax cuts have a positive revenue effect that may not be taken into consideration in evaluating their ultimate contribution to deficit spending, we also recognize that at some point we as a country have to stop the financial hemorrhaging our country is suffering from before it's too late. Check out: http://by110w.bay110.mail.live.com/mail/ReadMessageLight.aspx?Aux=4%7c0%7c8CA752908061020%7c&FolderID=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&InboxSortAscending=False&InboxSortBy=Date&ReadMessageId=0202defb-337b-42ff-8b74-27ffb7769512&n=45440027

If you think this is gloomy, you might want to check on the Concord Coalition ( http://www.concordcoalition.org/ ) and what it has to say about the upcoming day of reckoning.

The Global Warming Test

If you have three minutes and inclination to see what you do or don't know about global warming you might take this test: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/start.html

Another Questionalbe Obama Associate

From NewsBusters we find a piece that you can surely bet you'll be hearing about from Sean, Rush and others. Authored by Warren Todd Huston, it's titled 'Is the Media Missing Another Unsavory Obama Associate? Official Blogger Communist?' Here a quote from it:

"So, what we have here is a kid who is an official blogger for the Obama campaign having written for a socialist magazine, is known to favor the anti-American views of Noam Chomsky, had a "communist flag" in his dorm room in college, and has attended riots in France and acted as a flack for them here in America. None of these ideas as espoused by our young Obama blogger are those commonly held by a majority of Americans. In fact, many people would consider a person who appreciates communism not an American at all."

If Barack Hussein Obama's choice of friends and associates is any indication, it will make the Georgia Mafia that incompetent Jimmy Carter brought to Washington look like a bunch of saints! Check out the story at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/warner-todd-huston/2008/04/24/media-missing-another-unsavory-obama-associate-official-blogger-

California Marriage

From the Alliance For Marriage Foundation we get the following:

"WASHINGTON, DC - The Alliance for Marriage Foundation today celebrated the efforts of California voters who delivered over 1.1 million signatures to protect marriage with a constitutional amendment on the November 2008 ballot.
The signatures must be verified by county election officials before the constitutional amendment is approved for the ballot."


Assuming that they have enough signatures to get the amendment on the ballot, it will be interesting to see whether the folks in the left coast state will pass it in November. Californians have supported marriage as union between a man and a woman in recent years, but that has not been the case for elected officials and their courts which may, in fact, shortly over rule previous voter sentiment. The amendment could have a positive effect on conservative voter turnout in the fall, but sadly it won't keep those electoral votes from going to the Democratic nominee.

Thompson for McCain's V.P. -- NO

An article in "The Hill" (http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/thompson-i-would-turn-down-vp-offer-2008-04-24.html) says that Fred Thompson isn't interested in the number 2 spot in a McCain ticket. Thank goodness. For those who thought Thompson was a conservative's dream, he turned out to be a passionless, unconnecting flop. Putting him on the ticket would do about as much to energize Republicans as the lackluster Jack Kemp did to help Bob Dole get elected. Both good men in their own right but lousy choices.

We at the Objective Conservative would like to see a 45-50 year old with demonstrated conservative credentials as McCain's number 2 and we're not talking about Mitt Romney or Condi Rice. We'd like to see someone that not only could take over but could be groomed to run in 4 or 8 years rather than leave the vacuum we've faced this time around. Anyone got an opinion? Post them under comments.

McCain and his Faith

Kind of an interesting article from Bloomberg.com today about John McCain and his faith. We may have gained some insights about him that again reinforce why social conservatives can comfortably support him. Check it out at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHH18X6Vsqzk&refer=home

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More on Oil

Yesterday's column by contributor PJM aroused a few sentiments and comments about the raising of fuel economy standards. However, we think he tried to couch his support of those standards in context of a comprehensive plan reducing U.S. reliance on foreign oil and addressing same as a national security issue.

In that context, we would refer you to a great column, courtesy of Real Clear Politics, that ran last week and was authored by DeRoy Murdock. It's titled, 'More Oil Drilling, Please." We think you'll find it interesting and supportive of what needs to be done to reduce the U.S. reliance on foreign oil. Check it out at: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/more_oil_drilling_please.html

Hagel--His future

You probably caught this last weekend from Robert Novak, but in case you didn't:

"WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Friends of Sen. Chuck Hagel, the Senate's sharpest critic of President Bush's Iraq policy, say there is no chance he will endorse a Democrat for president this year.
That does not mean, however, that Hagel necessarily will back the Republican candidate, his friend John McCain. That could depend on whether McCain devises an Iraq exit strategy. Hagel and McCain, who occupy offices in the same second floor corridor of the Russell Senate Office Building, have been spotted conferring on two recent occasions.


A footnote: Although the conservative Hagel is an unlikely running mate for either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, he conceivably could end up as secretary of defense for either Democrat."

We here at the Objective Conservative think that any Republican or Democrat that was silly enough to nominate Chuck Hagel to their cabinet would get exactly what they deserve and what any inquiry into Hagel's background suggests--a maverick they couldn't control or rely on to support their polices.

McCains Friends vs. Obama's and Press Treatment

There's a good column by Jack Kelley courtesy of yesterday's Real Clear Politics, titled, 'What if McCain Had a Friend Like Ayers?" It is worth asking the question. Check out the article at:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/what_if_mccain_had_a_friend_li.html

Be Careful What You Wish for....

We received the following communique from the Catholic League today in regard to a license plate controversy in Florida in which the A.C.L.U. has intervened:

"April 24, 2008

ACLU OPPOSES CHRISTIAN LICENSE PLATES

Florida lawmakers are now debating whether to adopt a specialty license plate with the inscription “I Believe”; the design includes a Christian cross and a stained-glass window. The ACLU of Florida is opposed to the license plate. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Edward Bullard.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue took on the ACLU:

“This is not a church and state issue—it is a choice issue. No one can obtain an ‘I Believe’ license plate without purchasing it for an additional fee, and no one must buy it. Florida already allows many specialty license plates expressing all kinds of sentiments and beliefs, so to deny Christians the right to adopt a plate which expresses their convictions is to sanction discrimination. Moreover, the ACLU, as usual, is being hypocritical.

“In the 1980s and 1990s, the ACLU chapters in Louisiana and Pennsylvania opposed laws which limited the size of vulgarities on bumper stickers. For example, words that described bodily functions, women’s body parts and sex acts were only allowed if the lettering was in small print; the ACLU objected to this condition. As I pointed out in my book, Twilight of Liberty: The Legacy of the ACLU, the head of the Pittsburgh chapter at the time offered the following advice to motorists caught behind a car with a vulgar bumper sticker: ‘You can look at traffic, the trees, the cars around you.’

“The ACLU should take some of its own medicine: Those motorists who are offended by the Christian cross and an ‘I Believe’ specialty license plate should stare at the trees. As for Rep. Kelly Skidmore, a Catholic who opposes the license plate because ‘I don’t want to see the Star of David next. I don’t want to see a Torah next,’ she needs to get over it. Censorship of the public expression of religion is un-American.”

We are contacting every member of the Florida House.
Please contact
Edward.Bullard@myfloridahouse.gov and Kelly.Skidmore@myfloridahouse.gov "

To be sure we at the Objective Conservative believe that religious expression is a fundamental free speech right. On the other hand we wonder what the Catholic League will say when some organization decides it wants Wicca plates or plates that might support another religion?

Jim Esch -- Advertising Guru?

Has anyone seen Jim Esch's campaign billboards? If you recall, he may have won some kind of an award for them in his ill-fated campaign against Lee Terry two years ago. Too bad for Jim that he apparently still doesn't understand that the billboards are to promote name recognition. If you should see one (you'll more likely to miss any he has up), it's a lot of black space with an almost incomprehensible picture on one side and his crazy American flag (or so we guess) logo on the other side. Almost impossible to recognize his name.

Hey, Jim, get a different logo, or better yet try a billboard that says: "Jim Esch - Democrat -Congress"

Euro-Muslim Tensions, Immigration and Hate Crimes

Yesterday's column by Tony Blankey is an absolute must read. It reflects and ties up so many thoughts that we at the Objective Conservative have been expressing ranging from the slippery slope of hate crime legislation and its threat to free speech to unbridled immigration. If you read one column today read this one!

Check out 'Rising Euro-Muslim Tensions' at: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/rising_euromuslim_tensions.html

Planned Parenthood

There is a good column on yesterday's Real Clear Politics by Maggie Gallagher, 'Is Planned Parenthood Above the Law?"

What one is inclined to ask, beyond the racial issues brought up in the column, is why does an organization that has over $1 billion in assets and a surplus of $114 million need to receive $337 million annually from the taxpayers of our country?

It seems a little incongruous that we can fund an organization that is responsible for the murder of litter ally millions of innocents (in addition to one that is apparently permeated by racist views and sympathy for criminals) since 1972 and at the same time find it abhorrent nationally, as well as in Nebraska, to impose a death penalty on the few hundreds who have truly perpetrated heinous crimes against innocents.

Check out the article at: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/is_planned_parenthood_above_th.html

The Farm Bill

There is a lot of discussion about the farm bill from lots of corners, but it sees to us that the best solution is just to extend the current one by a year rather than to succumb to a $16 billion increase over what was budgeted. Let the new congress and the new president figure it out.

Don't forget April Hall of Shame Nominee

The opportunity to announce Jimmy Carter as the May Hall of Shame nominee early may have impacted the attention that April Hall of Shame Nominee Senator Larry Craig of Montana (yes, a Republican) rightfully deserves. Please accept our apology and 'expression of deep regret. With that said, there is a brief article in today's Washington Post titled, "Defending a 'Wide Stance' Requires a Thick Wallet." It is short and deals with how Craig is paying his legal bills for his 'Wide Stance'. Check it out at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/23/AR2008042303081_pf.html

More Piling On on Carter -- May Hall of Shamer

Cal Thomas tells us today:

"Nothing stinks as badly as a perishable item that has passed its "sell-by" date. That describes Jimmy Carter. His foreign policy was a failure when he was president, most notably his approach to Iran, which toppled that regime and gave us what we face now. Now, as ex-president, he continues to cause damage and undermine his country's foreign policy.

It is said we only have one president at a time. Apparently, Jimmy Carter thinks otherwise."

Thomas writes an excellent column on poor ol' Jimmy that is worth reading at: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/jimmy_carter_doesnt_get_it.html

Needless to say, we at the Objective Conservative just find additional credence for declaring Jimmy Carter as our nominee to The May Hall of Shame.

Educations Lessons

If you haven't read George Will's column today, "Education Lessons We Left Behind', it is a must read. If you support NCLB (No Child Left Behind), you won't like it. If you think that the new "Learning Community" created by a bunch of bureaucrats is going to help little Johnny in North Omaha or Jose in South Omaha get a better education, you won't like it either. Check it out at:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/sen_moynihan_the_neoconservati.html

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another Reason to Vote for McCain

"What about the Constitution?: “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old—and that’s the criteria by which I’ll be selecting my judges.” —Barack Hussein Obama (Quote courtesy of The Patriot Post)

'Guess we forgot....

Sunday was Earth day and this must be Earth week. Oh..............An inconvenient omission.

Miles Per Gallon and Our National Security - PJM

Well, if you've been following the news you'll note that the government will soon promulgate the new C.A.F.E. (fuel economy) standards for future automobiles with the goal to have an average miles per gallon of 31.6 miles per gallon for cars being produced in 2015.

Let me make it clear; I would normally consider this nothing but more government intrusion in our lives. I don't like mandates. I don't believe that this would normally be considered a power delegated to the federal government under our Constitution.

Having said that, I congratulate the folks in Washington for at last having the guts to raise fuel standards.

Every president and congress since 1974 has failed to recognize that this country's dependence on foreign oil is nothing less than a NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE. Yes, you can look at the many so-called 'energy bills' enthusiastically passed by congress since then, but NONE OF THEM HAS DECREASED OUR RELIANCE ON FOREIGN OIL AND, IN FACT, OUR DEPENDENCE HAS GROWN EVEN GREATER!

A COUNTRY THAT CAN DECIDE IN 'ANCIENT TIMES' TO SEND A MAN TO THE MOON IN A DECADE HAS THE ABILITY TO WEAN ITSELF OF ITS DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL!

The sad thing is that this minor energy savings step means nothing until we also understand that we need to drill for oil in ANWR and off the 'left' coast and the Gulf of Mexico, and maybe even put wind farms in the back yard of hypocrite of hypocrites Ted Kennedy.

I'm willing to let government assume this power as long as it assumes it as a NATIONAL SECURITY obligation and a comprehensive one that truly rids our country of its dependence on foreign oil. I'm willing to buy those squiggly energy bulbs from WallyWorld, to use more fuel efficient appliances, to turn down the thermostat and to buy cars that use alternative fuels or even get 31.6 miles per gallon by 2015. But doing so should be part of a well-communicated, comprehensive NATIONAL SECURITY plan to make this country energy independent.

If we don't do this we only await the day when a huge firestorm consumes the Middle East and it will no longer be a matter of buying gas at some outrageous price like $10 a gallon but rather a situation where there will be no gas available with the ensuing worldwide economic disruption and depression.

Increased C.A.F.E. standards are just a small part of what must be done to assure our national security.

Hate Crimes That Won't Go Away

Well, seems the Democrats and Senator Carl Levin in particular want to once again try to attach more hate crimes legislation to, once again, the defense spending authorization bill. They tried it last year and it failed. It shouldn't even be considered this year. We at the Objective Conservative HATE hate crimes. A crime is a crime is a crime no matter who it is perpetrated against or what his or her reason for perpetrating it. To create 'hate crimes' does no more than confer PREFERRED STATUS ON SOME at the EXPENSE OF OTHERS. If someone murders your child is his life any less valuable because of the reason?

One last thought, the ultimate goal of hate crime legislation is to control 'hate speech' as well. You only need to look to Canada to see some of the frightening implications of that where ministers can't freely communicate moral values without fear of being charged under hate crime law. Hate Crimes=a slippery slope.

You can read more about Senator Levin's foolishness at: http://www.gopusa.com/news/2008/april/0423_hate_crimesp.shtml

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Ice is Melting, The Ice is Melting, The Ice is.....

More on the so-called "Global Warming" issue. Here's a quote from an article that appeared April 18th in the Wall Street Journal by Patrick Michaels, a senior fellow in environmental sciences at the CATO Institute:

"This prompts the ultimate question: Why is the news on global warming always bad? Perhaps because there's little incentive to look at things the other way. If you do, you're liable to be pilloried by your colleagues. If global warming isn't such a threat, who needs all that funding? Who needs the army of policy wonks crawling around the world with bold plans to stop climate change?"

Maybe Michaels is got it right. In a way, it's kind of like the smoking controversy although if government really believed the scientists or had the courage it could just outlaw tobacco rather than subsidize it, tax it to support itself, and provide millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to fund thousands of jobs none of which would probably exist if you just banned the product.

In any event, check out the article and the 'inconvenient truth' about global warming at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120847988943824973.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

McCain-Feingold and its little ramifications

While we at the Objective Conservative will remain steadfast in our support of Senator McCain, we are not uncritical of him when it comes to his support of McCain-Feingold. Whether it is working (doubtful) or not and whether it is an issue that the average voter even really cares about (we don't think he does), it is nonetheless just more regulation for smart folks to get around as we've seen with the creations of 527's, etc. A good example of how ridiculous things have become is in a recent New York Times article you can read at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/washington/20lobby.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print

Mark Twain Speaks

We missed the anniversary of Mark Twain's death yesterday (1910) and thought we would share with you a few of his thoughts:

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt."

"When in doubt, tell the truth."

"We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking."

"Always do right. That will gratify some of the people, and astonish the rest."

"It is not worth while to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible."

"The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet."

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress."

"For in a Republic, who is “the country”? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant—merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them"

"Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

'In the first place God made idiots; that was for practice; then he made school boards."

"The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them"

Watch Those Calories--Big Brother is Watching

For those of you who support more government involvement in your life you'll be pleased to know that if you eat in New York you'll have ample protection or will have to acknowledge your own disregard of personal responsibility for your health when you chow down since a federal court has upheld the law requiring restaurants to post calorie counts next to prices on menus. As we recall this law hits the fast food restaurants more than the sit down and order ones, but of course that can be addressed in the future as the food police increasingly protect you from obesity!

We see this as just more government intrusion in our lives, but for those of you who want more government in lieu of personal responsibility check out the editorial with which WE DO NOT AGREE: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/21/opinion/21mon4.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print

Two Michelles, one Obama, one Malkin

May seem like we're 'piling on' the Democrats today--maybe we are. With Jimmy Carter that doesn't require much effort. But now, we'll go to Barach H. (Hussein) Obama and his wife because there is an excellent article on National Review Online (previously forwarded to us by a regular reader) about Michelle Obama written by columnist Michelle Malkin. The former has taken a beating for her 'for the first time' comments and deservedly so. The latter draws some apt comparisons between the two which do much to demonstrate one's way of looking at life in America. A good short read at: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTM0ZTMwNTRlM2ZkZjA1OTdjZGI1YmM4ZWI4MDUxOTQ=#more

Education In America

While we don't want you to think that we only talk about what is in the New York Times, there is a pretty good editorial by one of its columnists today, Bob Herbert, on education. While in his first sentence he seems to display that mistaken liberal mentality that the federal government has to do something about education and that Hillary and Obama aren't talking enough about it, the rest of the editorial is a pretty good assessment about education in America today. You might want to check it out at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/opinion/22herbert.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print

Sadly, education in this country isn't going to improve by federal dollars or dictates but rather by folks demanding more of their schools at the local level. Additional bureaucracy (can you say Learning Community?) won't improve it either.

The Time's latest effort to tarnish McCain

The New York Times continues its Anti-McCain offensive today with a piece about McCain's relationship with an Arizona developer. The piece really doesn't do any damage to McCain who has stayed clear of questionable involvement's since Keating Five, but you will no doubt be hearing more about Keating Five and this relationship as the Times continues its effort to discredit McCain through both contrived editorials and innuendo.

You can read the piece at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/us/politics/22diamond.html?_r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=print

We want to know if you're going home

You'll be reading today about the federal government's intent to finally implement the final part of the U.S.-Visit program which requires the fingerprints of all foreigners leaving the country. If folks are here on visas and are going home it would seem appropriate that our government know so it knows who is overstaying their welcome and who has left. However, in what appears to be an unfunded mandate it seems the feds want the airlines to do this although there seems to be no consistent requirements as to when and where it is done in the departure process. It would seem to us that TSA or Customs or I.C.E., instruments of the end user-the federal government, should be doing this since monitoring who comes and goes from the U.S. is truly a reasonable responsibility of the feds. The airlines, most of whom are going bankrupt or have already done so, shouldn't have to bear the financial burden.

For more on this see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/21/AR2008042103036_pf.html

The Real Jimmy Carter

We probably aren't what you would call presidential historians here at the Objective Conservative but since we have no love for President Carter and his subversive peace missions we were amused at a story on Newsmax.com today by Ronald Kessler, titled "The Real Jimmy Carter." It's fairly short but might give you a different insight into this guy that some of us thought was simply a well-meaning, good Christian but seriously inept president. Check it out at: http://www.newsmax.com/kessler/jimmy_carter/2008/04/21/89639.html

Could Obama be opposed to Hate Crimes?

We here at the Objective Conservative consistently oppose 'hate crime' legislation. We believe a murder is a murder no matter what the motivation or color of the victim or by whom it is committed. So as we read an article on Newsmax.com today about Barack Obama's former opposition to the death penalty (we're told he now supports it in the most heinous of crimes), we're struck by his quote explaining why he opposed the death penalty for certain crimes....

“There’s a strong overlap between gang affiliation and young men of color . . . I think it’s problematic for them to be singled out as more likely to receive the death penalty for carrying out certain acts than are others who do the same thing,”

We're sure if you look at Obama's record you'll find plenty to show his support of hate (and thought) crime legislation, but apparently punishment shouldn't apply if crimes are predominantly perpetrated by members of one race or ethnic group???????

This is why 'hate crime' legislation is just plain wrong and it also shows that Barack Obama is just a plain hypocrite.

You can read the article the purpose of which is to discuss a "Willie Horton" type of ad that will start running today in some venues at: http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/obama_willie_horton/2008/04/21/89813.html?s=al&promo_code=49B1-1

Monday, April 21, 2008

Charity and the Government

From today's The Patriot Post, a quote from Cal Thomas that is worthy of reflection by those who want government to go far beyond the powers vested to it in the Constitution:

"Before government hijacked charity in the form of the New Deal and Great Society, compassion and charity began at home. People were to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit prisoners, care for widows and orphans and love their enemies. Those were biblical commands to individuals, not government. Democratic politicians see things differently. Apparently believing there aren’t enough caring people, they want compassion to originate in Washington, depriving it of its true meaning. They define compassion as big and ever-growing government and a guaranteed check forever with no expectation—or requirement—the recipient will ever better his or her circumstances. Traditionally, Republican compassion has encouraged private charity with government picking up the leftovers of what religious and other charitable institutions were unable to do. President Bush, through his ‘faith-based initiative,’ took this one step further by subsidizing religious groups with federal money. This removes the responsibility and privilege from individuals and turns it over to government. When that happens, religious organizations become one more constituency in the never-ending campaign for political support. Once, evangelicals ‘prayed it in’ when they needed money. Now too many of them ask government to ‘send it in’.” —Cal Thomas

We at the Objective Conservative believe that charity begins at home, not from the taxpayers' pocketbooks. What ever happened to the concept of neighbor helping neighbor, of churches helping, of charitable organizations helping meet the needs of folks? Is it a wonder why the Al Gores of the world don't donate to charities? Perhaps they really do believe that charity is an act and responsibility of government.

One additional quote, also courtesy of The Patriot Post, this one from Ronald Reagan:
“Wouldn’t it be better for the human spirit and for the soul of this Nation to encourage people to accept more responsibility to care for one another, rather than leaving those tasks to paid bureaucrats?” —Ronald Reagan

Congressman Terry Reports-We find little good in it

Congressman Lee Terry forwarded his e-mail summary of his efforts over the last week titled, "Empowering People, Not Government". Certainly a wise thought from a guy that is pretty conservative. However, when he laments the lack of government funds for drug grants and his vote to increase those dollars, one wonders where he'll get that money from. Does he really believe more government is empowering? Certainly seems to us here at the Objective Conservative that Lee and his fellows in the House and the Senate should start worrying about how there will be anything left in the budget for anything other than Defense, prescribed programs and Medicare and Social Security thirty years from now....unless he wants his kids and grandchildren to foot the bill through HUGE TAX INCREASES.

The Congressman also talks about student loan legislation which among other things, "expands the exception for "extenuating circumstances" to permit lenders to utilize their discretion to lend to borrowers who are 180 days delinquent on their home mortgage eligible to borrow. " Is this empowering to anyone other than those who made poor financial choices in their lives?

Also, according to Terry, "Another provision in the bill would allow students attending an entire institution of higher education to be eligible to receive loans through the lender-of-last resort provisions. The Secretary of Education is given temporary authority to purchase student loans from lenders for one year. This provision requires that the funds paid to the eligible lender shall be used to ensure their continued participation in Federal student loan programs and make new loans." And where is this empowering people,not government?

Let's see, our country is or may be in recession part of which is caused by making bad (sub-prime) mortgages and we want to abet that by making student loans to folks who are 180 days behind on their mortgage payments and let the Secretary of Education purchase more bad loans as a lender of last resort? Is it any wonder our country is facing the financial woes it is?

More on Global Warming

From Newsmax.com, this item on global warming that would not be inconsistent with essayist Doug Patton's article today:

'Hurricane Expert Reconsiders Global Warming Link
Prominent MIT hurricane scientist Kerry Emanuel has publicly reversed his view regarding global warming's alleged impact on hurricanes.'

“The [computer] models are telling us something quite different from what nature seems to be telling us," said Emanuel, whose views on hurricanes and global warming have been prominently cited by Al Gore and other promoters of climate change fear.

He told the New York Times. "There are various interpretations possible: The big increase in hurricane power over the past 30 years or so may not have much to do with global warming, or the models are simply not faithfully reproducing what nature is doing. Hard to know which to believe yet.”

In 2005, a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Emmanuel asserted in a paper that he had found statistical evidence linking rising hurricane energy and global warming.
His conversion is a very important new development in the climate debate, said Marc Morano, a top aide to climate change skeptic Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.

"First, 2007 turned out to be the ‘tipping point’ for global warming fears, and 2008 appears to be the year of vindication for skeptics as many prominent scientists reverse their climate views, more and more skeptical scientists speak out, and new data debunks man-made climate fears.
“Now another major scientist reconsiders his views on a significant aspect of man-made climate fears.”

When Political Correctness Becomes Conventional Wisdom -- Doug Patton

April 21, 2008

Until last week, I still had hope. I still believed, perhaps naively, that the majority of Americans were wise enough to see the truth. Perhaps they are, but given the onslaught of political correctness now surrounding the topic, I seriously doubt it. I think we have lost the battle.

The issue is global warming, now cleverly called “climate change” by those who seek to explain away those pesky unseasonable drops in temperature that contradict the idea of “warming.”

The reason for my despair is two-fold. First, a page caught my eye in my latest issue of World Magazine. There on page 49 was a full-page ad for the Evangelical Climate Initiative. The most disturbing line read, “According to an Ellison Research poll, 84 percent of evangelicals support federal legislation to significantly reduce carbon emissions that cause global warming, and increasingly Christians are calling for action to protect the world God entrusted to us.”

That is a depressing statistic. If it is correct, it tells me that the vast majority of American evangelicals now believe the lies and pseudo-science being propagated by Al Gore and his minions, elitists who would have us roll back our technology by a century in the name of “going green.”

But the final straw for me was a new television commercial featuring Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, wherein the past and present Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives tell us that the one thing on which they can agree is that we are making the planet warmer and we must do something about it.

Newt Gingrich favors private sector solutions to most problems, and recent interviews he has given on the subject leave little doubt that this issue is no exception. Since there is more than ample scientific opinion in opposition to Gore and his Chicken Little crowd, it is disappointing that Newt has accepted the concept that human activity has any significant impact on the temperature of the planet. Nevertheless, Gingrich should be shrewd enough to know that Nancy Pelosi has big government solutions in mind, and his teaming with her can do nothing but give credence to that philosophy.

By lending his name to this message, Newt Gingrich is playing right into the hands of the Left, thereby giving credibility to the idea that this is a crisis in the making, that humans are responsible for it and government has the answers. Combine his considerable political weight among conservative Christians with the Evangelical Climate Initiative’s message to Christians about this issue, and you have a political disaster in the making.

Con artists like Gore have enriched themselves on this issue, taking home Oscars, Nobel Prizes and millions of dollars. Meanwhile, evangelical leaders are setting up their flocks for extreme fleecing by leftist politicos like Barack Obama, who will appeal for Christian votes by talking in glowing, biblical-sounding terms about “being good stewards of God’s creation.”

Climate change scientists have no evidence for their theories that cannot be refuted by experts of equal or greater stature. Bill Gray, for example, is the world’s most famous authority on hurricanes. Working in the atmospheric science department of Colorado State University, he predicts the number of hurricanes each tropical storm season will produce. A towering figure in his field, he has trained dozens of scientists over the years.

Gray has testified on global warming before Congress. He has given speeches, written articles and done all he can think of to get his message out. Yet, he has been ostracized by his colleagues, cut off from government funding and invested more than $100,000 of his own money to keep his research going — all because he contends that global warming is a fraud.

“I am of the opinion that this is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people,” he says. “I’ve been in meteorology over 50 years. I’ve worked damn hard, and I’ve been around. My feeling is some of us older guys who’ve been around have not been asked about this. It’s sort of a baby boomer, yuppie thing.”

Unfortunately, it appears that the yuppies have won and their political correctness has now become conventional wisdom. Welcome to the 19th Century.

____________________________________________________________________________

© Copyright 2008 by Doug Patton

Earmarks, Fraud, Contributions, Interchanges in Florida--maybe Nebraska?

Last Thursday the Objective Conservative reported on an earmark that mysteriously got changed from the point of passage to the signing of the bill in 'Earmarks -- Bad and getting Badder' (see Archives below for that article). If you missed that you might want to check out Friday's iteration from Taxpayers for Common Sense's Weekly Wastebasket, "Earmark from Nowhere" at: http://by110w.bay110.mail.live.com/mail/ReadMessageLight.aspx?Action=DeleteMessage&FolderID=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&InboxSortAscending=False&InboxSortBy=Date&ReadMessageId=85da726b-440c-4b5e-9632-fd3bac10e4f6&n=381217271

Fortunately, the ethics panels of both houses are looking into this as will the Justice Department. This has all the earmarks (excuse the pun) of displaying the worst of the process, an Alaska Congressman involved in an earmark for a Florida Interstate Interchange who somehow seems to be the beneficiary of campaign contributions from the beneficiary of the interchange.

Hopefully, this Alaska Congressman won't be involved in any requests for earmarks for Seldin Company and the proposed Pflug Interchange west of Omaha.....

Carter Continues Disgracing America and Allies

Jimmy Carter continues to earn his nomination to Objective Conservative's May Hall of Shame. Reports by the AP document his activities as Hamas continues its terrorist attacks just prior to Passover. See: http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=76876 and if that's not enough for Gary Bauer's read about it at http://www.onenewsnow.com/Security/Default.aspx?id=76686

Of Carter, Senator Lieberman said, "There is a long list of people who thought they could reason with dictators and killers, going back to Neville Chamberlain and Hitler in the 1930s, but it has been shown to be absolutely wrong." See more at: http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/lieberman_carter_hamas/2008/04/17/88974.html?s=al&promo_code=497F-1

Another Reason to Vote for McCain

If you are still of the mind that John McCain isn't the perfect conservative you are probably right. On the other hand, if you're a social conservative, there is only one place to go this year and that's with McCain. Proof positive comes with the endorsement of McCain by National Right to Life, surely an endorsement neither Hillary or Barack will get or seek.

Senator Lautenbaugh -- A Conservative

Governor Heineman made a good choice in appointing Scott Lautenbaug to fill the seat of Senator Mick Mines (a moderate to liberal RINO). Lautenbaugh has completed his first session in the legislature and in an e-mail to friends and constituents summed up his first 60 days thusly:

"I think I had a very good session, and I’m excited to let our neighbors know of my record, and ask for their support as we go forward. My priority bill—which passed—was a tax cut for small businesses, to spur economic growth. And, since I’m always asked, I should point out that I voted against the gas tax increase every chance I had. I fought the repeal of capital punishment, and protected the rights of the unborn. "

We at the Objective Conservative wish we had 48 others like Scott serving us in Lincoln. With Ernie Chambers gone (and hopefully the public gushing of the media over him) and with RINO Republican Dwite Pedersen finishing his term (who says term limits aren't good) things already look better for 2009. Senator Lautenbaugh, hold on to your conservative values!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Elton John and Hillary

One wasn't surprised that good ol' Elton showed up to promote good ol' Hillary the other night. Had we been thinking, we might have asked the same question that Judicial Watch has asked. If Sir John isn't an American citizen how can he donate his talent to Hillary to raise money? One would bet that if Hillary had John's regular concert appearance fees that those fees would far exceed the income to her. Maybe that's exactly what should happen.

Check out the article: http://www.onenewsnow.com/Election2008/Default.aspx?id=76215

The Supremes, Ernie and the Chair

It's good to see that the U.S. Supreme Court made some positive rulings on the death penalty and lethal injection.

Now if Nebraska can only get its act together. Hopefully, Attorney General Bruning's effort to restore the use of the electric chair and his plea to the same court will gain merit as a result of yesterday's ruling. While neither Governor Heineman nor the State Legislature will have any success in changing things as long as Senator Chambers and the current Judiciary Committee are in place, one can only hope that with Chambers gone and with a new Judiciary Committee in 2009 some semblance of reason will ensue.

I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you

There was a 'regulatory fairness' hearing held in Omaha on Tuesday the purpose of which was to get input from small business owners on how the SBA and other federal departments might help them. Guess what? According to the Omaha World-Herald almost everyone that attended was a federal employee! Also, according to the OWH, one of the few business people who attended was afraid to give his name for fear of retaliation. He apparently had been fined $7,000 by OSHA at one point for having his time clock connected to an outlet by an unapproved $7.90 extension cord. Rather that tell him to get an approved cord, they simply fined him and he had to hire an attorney to negotiate with them....

Yes, I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.....

Guns, Wal-Mart, Mayor Fahey, Mayor Blooberg and Senator Ashford

Well, there may be many liberals that are happy about Wal-mart's politically correct decision to take and retain photos of folks buying shotguns and rifles, maintain an alert system to prevent sales of such to folks who in the past have bought guns used subsequently in a crime and to do better background checks on their employees who sell the guns. Incidentally, shotguns and rifles are seldom used in crimes and the only place where Wal-Mart sells handguns is in Alaska where folks apparently are more worried about a bear killing you than a fellow human.

In any event, this effort will satisfy such leaders as Mayor Bloomberg, Mayor Fahey and certainly Nebraska State Senator Brad Ashford all of whom are of the fundamental belief that guns, not people, kill people. While these folks no doubt look for the U.S. Supreme Court to further take away the gun ownership rights of citizens, the upcoming decision by that court in regard to gun ownership and restrictions in Washington D.C. will no doubt be a blow to them.

As to Wal-Mart, they just open up a door to be used and subpoenaed by law enforcement agencies. No doubt, good senators like Ashford will see no reason why Scheels, Bass Pro Shop, Cabela's, Canfields and thousands of ma and pa stores shouldn't do the same. Who knows, maybe that will lead to even better ideas like requiring that everyone that buys alcohol, cigarettes or spray cans of paint must also be photographed. Their Real I.D. Act driver's licenses won't be good enough.

The Legislature and the Real I.D. Act

We've pointed out in the past the paradoxical concerns associated with the Real I.D. Act as passed by Congress. That is that the Real I.D. Act is an unfunded mandate that will cost the states millions of dollars while at the same time it will presumably make it much more difficult for terrorists and illegals to get a driver's license (despite the efforts to the contrary by such as Nebraska State Senator Aquilar and former Governor, and Objective Hall of Shame member, Elliott Spizter). In an ideal situation, maybe it would be okay if the feds would just pay for the additional expense.

Nonetheless, your legislature has begun the process of moving to comply, if not completely, with the act despite resolving last year to oppose the act. Out state senators will not be happy with what they will have to do next, shut down county drivers license testing stations. On the other hand if future Nebraska legislators don't get their act together, citizens may find they will need a passport to simply board an airplane (to anywhere) or to get into some federal offices. Not much of a choice....

One sad result of the new licenses, which retiring Nebraska Senator Carol Hudkins sees as a positive, is that the racial and ethnic information on the license may allow courts to "better" determine if law enforcement organizations are 'profiling'. We think that may be an unintended consequence of the law that is to help identify real terrorist and illegal aliens.....

Heineman and the Legislature -- Wrong

Many of you may feel relieved that your Legislature, which thankfully adjourns today, did not adopt Senator Fischer's effort to raise gasoline taxes through a new fuel tax mechanism which was still approved by the Legislature and Governor Heineman. Of course what your Legislature and the governor did do was divert $15 million from the cash reserve fund (rainy day) fund to be used for highway construction projects

Let's see. A rainy day (cash reserve) fund is supposed to be there to avoid tax increases like those passed by the Legislature during tough times of 2003. So should the economy further deteriorate (wait for the next fiscal projections from the state on this), next year's budget will be further stressed and either services will have to be decreased or taxes raised or money taken from the cash reserve fund to keep services and not raise taxes. In any event, YOU, THE TAXPAYER, will have to 'refund' the cash reserve for real future crises.

In the eyes of the Objective Conservative, using cash reserves during difficult times for highway construction or contributions to cultural endowment funds (see archives) is not a wise decision. On this Governor Heineman and the Legislature are wrong. They will pay the price next year.

Political Prediction

Given the recent financial disclosures, it looks like Barack Obama can expect no electoral votes to come from Nebraska's oddball method of awarding electoral votes should he become the Democrat nominee for President. Republican Congressman Terry has $500,000 in the bank while his two potential Democrat opponents have raised and have on hand single digit percentages of Terry's war chest, plus Terry is taking nothing for granted this year. Their fundraising abilitites demonstrate that their national party will see them as no more than token candidates to fill the D-box on the ballott. Same is true with Congressmen Fortenberry and Smith.

With neo-Democrat Raimondo's television advertising it will be interesting to see if his media blitz will simply overwhelm Omaha World Herald favorite Scott Kleeb for the Democrat nomination. Certainly, Raimondo will be a much more formidable challenger for likely Republican U.S. Senate nominee Mike Johanns.

World Herald Gets it Right

Buried in the "Furthermore" section on the April 16 OWH editorial page:

"Omahans continue to wait for the conclusion of high-profile homicide cases that remain unsolved. Few excuses have been offered, and few should be, as solving criminal death cases should be a top police priority. Left largely unnoted has been the damaging impact of the loss of many of the Omaha Police Department's most experienced homicide investigators during the city/s recent retirement benefits controversy" (our italics).

There is no question that Mayor Mike Fahey, should he seek re-election, should explain not only the huge fiscal impact of his political decision to sell his soul and Omaha's pocketbook to the police and fire unions and their retirement, but also to the tremendous loss of competent personnel as a result.

Jimmy Carter

We can no longer stand by without comment about former (thankfully) President Jimmy Carter's near treason 'peace missions', and when the editorial staff at the Washington Post agrees with us, we are now impelled to name Jimmy Carter our early choice for the May Hall of Shame Award.

Jimmy Carter was an inept president that watched America's image in the world fall to new lows, an inept president that watched our citizens held captive by Iran, and inept president that virtually destroyed the military preparedness of our country and an inept president who propelled the economy to truly its worst point since the Great Depression.

With that kind of record, having already demonstrated his reaching his level of incompetence under the Peter Principle, he continues to display his ineptness, his disdain for our allies (can you say Israel?), his "I'm sorry for being an American' attitude and his complete disregard for the processes of conducting American foreign policy by his nearly if not treasonous contact and dealing with enemies of our country.

See the editorial at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/16/AR2008041603097_pf.html

A Matter of Priorities

Just a thought--President Bush, yesterday, suggested a voluntary response to the recommendation by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that global greenhouse emissions must drop before 2015. In view of this (see archives for yesterday, Bush and the Church of Global Warming) and our thoughts today about Medicare's problems (Medicare-Why No Action), one wonders which is the more definable and more date certain crisis and which issue requires more immediate attention. Of course, if you believe in the infallibility of the U.N., you might reach a different conclusion.

Earmarks -- Bad and Getting Badder

Being no fan of earmarks we at the Objective Conservative are less than amused by an article in today's Washington Post. Seems an Alaska Congressman, Representative Don Young, and yes, a Republican, may have had a hand in altering the wording of an earmark AFTER it was passed by congress and BEFORE it was sent to the president for signing into law. What makes this even more ludicrous is the fact that the earmark wasn't for some Alaska 'bridge to nowhere', but rather for an interstate highway interchange in Florida, or at least that is what it became in the bill sent to the White House for signing. It might be a logical question to ask why an Alaskan Congressman is pushing an earmark for a Florida interchange. Does something smell fishy about this to begin with? There may be a little taint here of not only the ethics of the congressman but also rewarding one's donors.

Again, we think earmarks are the source of wasted spending, corruption and a short-change to those states not represented by the John Murtha's and Robert Byrd's of the Congress. It's a little hard to be sympathetic toward any representative or senator that gets in trouble for their earmark efforts. See the full story at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/16/AR2008041603480_pf.html

Bridgette Bardot -- Porn Star could be Guilty of Hate Speech

From our friends at Real Clear Politics today comes an article about none other than Bridget Bardot:

"French former film star Brigitte Bardot went on trial on Tuesday for insulting Muslims, the fifth time she has faced the charge of "inciting racial hatred" over her controversial remarks about Islam and its followers.

"Prosecutors asked that the Paris court hand the 73-year-old former sex symbol a two-month suspended prison sentence and fine her 15,000 euros ($23,760) for saying the Muslim community was "destroying our country and imposing its acts".


While it seems a little strange that we would show support for a porno film star on the same day we discuss religion, we are nonetheless just a little opinionated about anything smacking of hate crimes. Believing as we do that a crime is a crime regardless of the victim, we see what is happening to Bardot in France as a warning to Americans about what may happen to them as hate crime legislation begins to erode their First Amendment rights and as thought and speech become prosecutable....See the article at: http://time-blog.com/real_clear_politics/2008/04/free_speech_on_trial.html

The Pope, Pelosi, Kerry, etal -- Editorial Staff

Not to be swayed by avoiding controversial subjects, those of us at the Objective Conservative who are Catholics all agree that there can be nothing more hypocritical and disgusting as the thought of Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry and other pro-choice politicians receiving Holy Communion at the the Mass being offered by Pope Benedict XVI today in Washington. Like RINO (Republicans in name only) Republicans, these CINOs are nothing more than Catholics in Name only. For more on this issue, check out the story on Newsmax: http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/Abortion_Rights_Lawmakers/2008/04/17/88737.html?s=al&promo_code=496C-1

Medicare -- Why no Action?

From our friends at the American Enterprise Institute we have some pretty bad news:

"Medicare is in serious fiscal trouble, but no one seems to be paying attention. The Medicare trustees recently issued their annual report, and the news is not good. If current trends continue, Medicare's Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will be depleted in 2019. To make good on the health care benefits promised to Americans, future generations face a tax bill of $85 trillion (measured in today's dollars). That makes the mortgage bailout, which is unlikely to cost more than $1 trillion, look like chicken feed. Why are we ignoring a calamity that will affect every American? What can we do to avoid fiscal disaster?"

As the 2008 election draws near, where is the discussion about this? Where is the angst over a crisis that will leave your children and grand children facing huge tax increases that will certainly threaten their standard of living? You might want to reflect on this or even ask your candidates for federal office what they plan on doing about it. The longer you allow a cancer to spread the less chance you have to cure the patient. In the case of Medicare, the cancer is spreading rapidly and no one is even acting to prevent its spread or find a cure. For more on this you might read the entire article at: http://by110w.bay110.mail.live.com/mail/ReadMessageLight.aspx?AllowUnsafe=True&FolderID=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&InboxSortAscending=False&InboxSortBy=Date&ReadMessageId=edb2401c-5617-4650-a837-c1d5b6d85b5e&n=774717814

After paying your taxes this week, this won't make you feel any better.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slavery Debate Ended - PJM

If you have not already found out, the legislature withdrew the "expression of profound regret/apology for slavery" resolution. Actually, Senator Dwite Pedersen withdrew the resolution because as the Omaha World Herald puts it he had reconsidered the resolution of profound regret vs his earlier resolution apologizing for slavery and and "his principles would not allow him to proceed with the altered resolution." The World Herald further says that, "Expressing regret rather than apologizing is not what he wanted or what those who brought the resolution to him wanted." Pedersen said, "I cannot take up the time of this Legislature for something I cannot support," and "I do not do this with anger, without thought or without hurt."

Well, the senator should have never wasted the Legislature's time on this to begin with. Pedersen introduced this resolution at the urging of a friend and history buff supposedly hoping to promote racial healing and to educate Nebraskans of the history of slavery here.

I guess I still don't understand how I promote racial healing for something no one I ever knew and no one that was ever related to me did 150 years ago in a society that fought a war over what had gone on in our country for a couple hundred years and practiced at least from the time of Moses. I still wonder if I have to throw away or burn the Bible? Maybe Pedersen should be promulgating a resolution of thanks' to the millions of men and women, and their descendents, who died fighting to end the odious institution of slavery?

This is going to sound very hard edged, and I guess the input of those of you who are living today and reading it today and may take offense at it today may determine whether I owe someone an apology, but if Senator Pedersen wants to promote racial harmony he might well do so by not creating modern day victims because someone did something bad to their ancestors 150 or more years ago (if he wants to do that, there will be many groups and nationalities waiting in line for their apology as well). He might say to all that, "you are responsible for your own life and if you succeed it well be because of your own efforts. If you fail, it will because you failed--not because of what someone did to your ancestors." It's appropriate that this issue has now been put to bed, and thankfully Senator Pedersen will not be returning to the Legislature to reintroduce it next year. However, be forewarned that Senator Pedersen has filed for a seat on the soon to be populated "Learning Community Board" so maybe he'll be promoting it there next year....as he helps create yet another bureaucracy.

Too Much Government

Not that we want to promote books here but onenewsnow.com today has a brief synopsis mentioning Marc Nuttle's book, Moment of Truth: How the Government's Addiction to Spending and Power Will Destroy Everything That Makes America Great. Nuttle is a former Reagan aide and campaign strategist. The article has some interesting quotes from his book and is very short so you might want to read it at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/Printer.aspx?id=76099

A Few More Reflections on April 15th

These quotes courtesy of The Patriot:

“As Americans [pass] another income-tax filing deadline, they are still burdened by an impossibly complex tax code that, with accompanying regulations, now consists of more than 60,000 pages. The average person who prepares his or her own taxes spends 34 hours on a 1040 long form, according to the IRS. That’s almost a full work week. Of course, 84 million taxpayers, about 60% of the total, find the whole thing so daunting that they pay someone else to prepare their returns. This helps underwrite a $65 billion industry of tax preparation and related services, and it enables the wealthy to exploit the code’s many artfully crafted loopholes. Alas, few people in Washington seem to care about the taxpayer’s plight. The last serious pruning of the tax code came in 1986; since then, it has grown like kudzu. In his first three years in office, President Bush added new marginal rates, new deductions and a raft of temporary tax cuts... The major presidential candidates all propose tax changes, but none sees simplification as an end in itself... The sad truth about America’s current political culture is that it no longer looks at the tax code as a way of efficiently raising revenue to provide for the common good. If it did, it would not tolerate a system so complex and subject to manipulation. Rather, the income tax has morphed into a way of appealing to broad demographic groups and narrow lobbies to achieve political and policy goals. Groups that have influence get tax breaks. Groups that don’t end up paying, in dollars and in time.” —USA Today

“I would like to electrocute everyone who uses the word ‘fair’ in connection with income tax policies.” —William F. Buckley Jr.

“To tax the community for the advantage of a class is not protection: it is plunder.” —Benjamin Disraeli “

A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny.” —Calvin Coolidge

“Lord, the money we do spend on Government and it’s not one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money twenty years ago.” —Will Rogers