Disgusting! A local guy was arrested for peeing in the fitting room of a department store. What kind of community do we live in? . . . Heard about a new GPS game that uses QR codes. Looked into it and saw many plastered these around the mall. Ugh! No interest in chasing crap in yet another game . . . What a visual! As I walked my daughter into mass the other day, we witnessed a couple of boys jumping the fence into the playground. Perhaps a little time inside the building would serve these boys better . . . Netanyahu just gave a most impressive, impassioned, and persuasive speech . . . My latest issue of Columbia mentioned that the magazine is available for the Kindle. When I looked into that, I learned it will cost me $1.99 per issue. Huh? I already pay for this. Why would I pay more to receive an electronic copy that costs virtually nothing more to deliver it to me? . . . Does anyone understand Gingrich’s endgame? He has no shot and the few delegates he has will not influence the convention at all. Just wondering why he is still in . . . Made a decision today (Friday, really, but it was made known today) about my placement for next academic year . . . 70° scheduled for Thursday. Woohoo . . . In that regard, my lawn is already greening . . . Rush Limbaugh was absolutely wrong with his language regarding Ms. Fluke . . . They’re playing baseball in Florida. Life is good! . . . I’ve delivered so many speeches I now have a repertoire. Tomorrow evening I am giving a speech I delivered a year ago. I’ve worked on this a bit, but just fine-tuning. Interestingly, I weighed a hell of a lot more when I delivered this last. Someone videotaped that speech and boy, was I fat! . . . Had a fabulous sirloin steak at Texas Roadhouse this evening. It was a fundraiser for Beetle’s school. The joint was packed. Even the nuns showed up . . .
Vote or don’t.
I don’t subscribe to the “everyone should vote” school of thought. Every non-felon citizen should be given the opportunity to vote, but you won’t catch me hassling someone to vote when they’ve put less thought into the vote for President of the United States than into their vote for American Idol.
If voting feels like a chore then you probably don’t care enough to have put enough thought into your vote to make it worthwhile to you or your local, state, and federal government. Don’t vote based on political ads and the desire for a free Starbucks coffee.
Don’t worry that you feel like you are wasting your rights. The right to vote will be there if you grow up enough to put some thought into your vote. It’s an important right, but so is the right to a jury trial in a criminal case, and you wouldn’t go out of your way to use that just to say you did.
If you think you have a good reason to vote for McCain or Obama, Rossi or Gregoire, or your county commissioner, and are proud to go wait in line to vote, go do it. If you are a little fuzzy on your reasons and want to vote because you want the “I voted” sticker to impress Doris from accounting, don’t waste your time or ours.
I read the New Jersey ballot questions to my students today. The wording is baffling.
Do you approve the proposed amendment to the State Constitution which provides that, after this amendment becomes part of the Constitution, a law enacted thereafter that authorizes State debt created through the sale of bonds by any autonomous public corporate entity, established either as an instrumentality of the State or otherwise exercising public and essential governmental functions, such as an independent State authority, which debt or liability has a pledge of an annual appropriation as the ways and means to pay the interest of such debt or liability as it falls due and pay and discharge the principal of such debt, will be subject to voter approval, unless the payment of the debt is made subject to appropriations of an independent non-State source of revenue paid by third persons for the use of the object or work bonded for, or are from a source of State revenue otherwise required to be appropriated pursuant to another provision of the Constitution?
Shall the amendment to Article VI, Section VI, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, agreed to by the Legislature, providing that judges of inferior courts with jurisdiction extending to more than one municipality be appointed as provided in law rather than as provided in the Constitution which requires nomination by the Governor and appointment with the advice and consent of the Senate, be approved?
My students’ eyes rolled. I explained that many folks who would answer those today would be equally baffled.
Tonight I wrote in Newt Gingrich for president. It is the first time I ever wrote in a vote. Of course, write-in is not the proper term. I typed it in as we have electronic voting here.
I held Fritz in my arms as I did this. I noticed that as I completed the ballot that there was something written on the screen. Someone before me had written in a candidate for a local election . . . in pen . . . on the machine . . . in the blank where one would have typed in the answer.
Yes, there are some folks who should not vote.
I’ll grant that my initial reaction to McCain’s move was WTF? followed closely by This may be a very good political move. Then it dawned on me that while it garners all the attention now and shines an interesting, if not positive, light on McCain, it only works in the end if his work in D.C. is productive.
And what is McCain going to do while in D.C.? Lobby hard for spending $700 billion of taxpayer money to bail out private businesses.
I have favorable opinions of Goldman Sachs. In addition to ousting Jon Corzine as its CEO a decade ago, my BIL works for the company. Goldman today announced $5 billion of funds coming in from none other than Warren “I Should Pay More Taxes” Buffet. It is also going to sell $5 billion of common stock. Together that $10 billion is expected to help out Goldman. Not a penny of my money is used.
I’ve been pondering the election booth of late. I am on record that neither Barack Obama or John McCain meet my standards for President of the United States. The addition of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin to the tickets has not changed that opinion.
I’ve been challenged as to how I will vote based on that. Some suggest that my opinion is nullified because of this. I reject that. Just because I dismiss the two major parties’ nominees does not mean I have forfeited my opinion. And just because I refuse to vote for either of the likely men to be elected, also does not mean that I forfeit anything.
Yet, I will be in the voting booth and I will be faced with voting for someone. I considered Bob Barr. He is the former Republican who is running as the Libertarian candidate. Eh . . . I have some Libertarian tendencies, but Barr has never impressed me. He is one of the faces of Clinton’s impeachment.
I half-toyed with the idea of writing myself in. But the fact of the matter is that I am not fit to be POTUS. I would be too far over my head. That, I decided, would be a wasted vote. I thought of writing in Fred Thompson, who I initially supported. But Fred, as much as I like his views, doesn’t truly seem prepared to lead our country; he was barely prepared to run his own campaign.
So the question then is Who is the best candidate to be POTUS? After careful consideration I have concluded that Newt Gingrich is the person best suited to lead our country.
Make no mistake, I have some issues with the former Speaker of the House. The womanizing and the shady book deals aside, his politics are right and he has demonstrated leadership since he left public office. He did not become a lobbyist as so many others have.
Gingrich has foreign policy experience, legislative experience, and is currently heading an organization that is spearheading not only community action, but sparking conversations on improving our country. That is leadership.
Gingrich is correct on the big issues: immigration, war, taxes, abortion, etc.
It’s true, writing in Gingrich’s name on 4 November most likely is not going to make him president. The beauty of this country is that everyone is entitled to pull the lever (push the button) once per election. I will do so proudly for Newt Ginrich.
Newt Gingrich will not run for president. It was unlikely that he would have, but he had been teasing the public recently with a promise of running if he were able to raise $30 million in a quarter.
The official reason that he will provide this afternoon is that he has learned that he is unable to explore a run and remain chairman of American Solutions.
While Gingrich has political baggage that would dog him during a race, the American people are worse off today. Gingrich is a political heavyweight. He is a thinker. He is a statesman. I do not see a man or woman of his caliber in the race.
I have been reading a lot of Newt’s stuff recently. He has ideas. Good ideas. He understands the issues as this clip highlights.
Hat tip to my mother for pointing this video out.
One of the tenets of conservatism that I follow is that smaller government is better. The following is part of the Taking Back Our Streets Act that Republicans proposed in 1994 as it attempted to implement its Contract With America.
Does this sound like smaller government to you?
Law Enforcement Block Grants (Title IV)
The bill authorizes a total of $10 million over five years ($2 million in each of FY 1996-2000) for local governments to fund law enforcement programs. These block grants replace the police, prevention and drug courts titles of the recently-enacted crime bill. Under the bill, money may be used to (1) hire, train or employ law
enforcement officers; (2) pay overtime to police officers; (3) purchase equipment and technology directly related to basic law enforcement purposes; (4) enhance school security measures (e.g., police patrols around school grounds, metal detectors, fences, closed circuit cameras, gun hotlines, etc.); (5) establish citizen neighborhood watch programs; and/or (6) fund programs that advance moral standards and the values of citizenship and involve local law enforcement officials .
To qualify for these grants, a unit of local government must show that it will (1) establish a trust fund in which block grant money is to be deposited; (2) use the money within two years; (3) spend the money in accordance with the guidelines in this section; (4) use approved accounting, audit and fiscal procedures; (5) make any requested records available to the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the comptroller of the U.S. for review; and (6) submit the required progress reports. Each state that applies is to automatically receive 0.25 percent of the funds as well as additional funds based on its number of reported violent crimes in 1993 compared to the rest of the country. States are to distribute the funds among local units of government based on their population and the number of reported violent crimes in 1993 compared to the rest of the local governmental units in the state .
If a unit of local government does not spend all of its grant money within two years of receipt, it must repay the unused portion to the Bureau of Justice Assistance within three months. The bill also stipulates that (1) this grant money is intended to supplement, not supplant, state funds; (2) grantees may not use more than 2.5 percent of their grant for administrative costs; and (3) grantees must hold one public hearing on the proposed use of their grant. The bill also sets out procedures to be used if a local government violates any portion of this title .
As noted above, The bill repeals sections of the recently-enacted crime control act that provide specific funds for drug courts, recreational programs, community justice programs and other social prevention spending. Bill sponsors argue that providing money directly to local law enforcers and letting them decide how to spend the funds (as the Taking Back Our Streets Act does) is preferable to the current law approach of authorizing specific amounts of money for programs approved by Washington bureaucrats.
As I asked earlier today, how does purchasing equipment for local police departments fit into the federal role as defined by the U.S. Constitution? Yes, I think police departments need equipment. Yes, I think government should provide it. No, I do not believe the federal government should be the level that does so.
I am reading Contract With America. As many know, I am in favor of detailed plans and looking back, this was definitely bold of Republicans to put out there.
It doesn’t seem like much of Contract was actually implemented, at least not in the form it was presented in the Contract.
Part of the Taking Back Our Streets Act that Republicans proposed provided federal funds to states to prosecute capital cases. This came at the end of a rather detailed section that explained how criminals, once they have exhausted their appeals, challenge the constitutionality of their sentences (habeas corpus). Prior to the proposal of tax dollars being spent, a rather logical appeal to restrict how long a criminal has to challenge his sentence was made. Then came the call to fund states defense of habeas corpus cases. Huh?
It seems a stretch to fund a different level of government’s court cases. If a state wants to defend a case, it should be up to that government to do so, not the feds to do it for them. While The Fiscal Responsibility Act dealt with balancing the budget and line-item vetoes, most folks (at least conservatives) think that fiscal responsibility comes from reducing spending, not adding to it.
A lot of attention is given to originalism and how it applies to the Supreme Court. It seems to me this “movement” is easily applied to the other branches of government as well. Where, for instance, in the Constitution would one find the provision for federal governments to fund state government’s court cases? It seems to me the Constitution lays out who is responsible for what and that those rights not specifically assigned to the federal government are left to the states or to the people.
So, if a state is tired of its convicted criminals from challenging the constitutionality of the sentence applied by the state, it should rectify it via amendments to its constitution. If it chooses not to, then the state has in effect decided to fund its own defense when criminals challenge in court.
Therefore, no need for the feds to get involved and certainly no need for federal tax dollars to fund it. To me, that is fiscal responsibility.
I did not like hearing Newt Gingrich say we should pay students in Detroit to go to school.
. . . we should basically fundamentally replace the Detroit school system with a series of experiments to see if they’ll work.
I would include paying kids in very poor neighborhoods the equivalent of working at McDonald’s if they took math and science and got a B or better.
While I understand that the system is broken and he wants to try new things, paying students for grades is the proper motivation for children.
I did applaud when he stated the federal Department of Education was useless.
I do think a president has an obligation to say to the country, “You can’t compete with China and India if your education system is failing,” and that has to be solved locally.
And frankly, I think the federal Department of Education is not a useful asset in trying to solve that.
Gingrich is positioning himself well for a run. He is the only one, I dare say, with policy knowledge and a real plan. Is it enough to overcome his baggage?
I continue to read the Contract With America and after that, Winning The Future: A 21st Century Contract With America.