Friday, July 29, 2011

Battles and Debt Ceilings

While hearing of the final plan passed by the House of Representatives and the uproar from all sides, I was reminded of the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864.

Grant moved south towards Richmond and engaged General Lee for the first time. Lee fought Grant in a place where the Confederates had advantages. Grant handled himself well, but could not be called the winner. His troops, accustomed to defeat, started packing their bags to retreat north. Then came their orders. Despite the setback, Grant was ordering them to forge ahead and move south. Campaigns against formidable enemies do not come with perfect victories in individual battles. Only perseverance and trust in the cause will win the war.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The Boehner Plan passed by the House today is not what we want and far from perfect. However, it is a plan that offers the other side a compromise. They get to spend a little more in the short term, but can't raise taxes, and we all make serious steps towards a balanced budget amendment. It is a reasonable offer, but Reid and the Democrats will reject it anyway next week because it is not what Obama and the radicals want. Republicans took a serious risk in voting for this plan, but if the Democrats respond predictably, they will be the story next week.

Politics is the art of the possible. The voters did not give Republicans much of a power base from which to work in 2010. The House still faces the power of the Senate and the presidency. These are strong obstacles, but they are concerned about the most important base of power. The American people are opposed to more debt. House Republicans worked skillfully in a political sense to obtain the best position possible, putting the Democrats into a corner. Some don't like the political game, but this is how it has worked for centuries.

How do we change things more quickly and get this debt whittled down? Get Obama and the Democrats out of power. Then make Republicans act lie Republicans when they are in control. We are in a state of crisis in this country economically and financially and I think Republicans finally get that. However, they have to work within the system that we have. That means inching forward, never giving up, and taking whatever victories you can get without sending your cart over the cliff with all banners flying.

Rally For Single Member Districts At Noon on Monday At State Capitol

Even though some GOP incumbents benefit from multi-delegate districts, all Republican legislators support the creation of single member districts. Multi-delegate districts give more advantage to incumbents and should be eliminated.

Most of southern Kanawha County is represented by seven delegates who live practically in the same Charleston neighborhood.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wonder What the Purpose of This Is

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

July 25, 2011

Executive Order--Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations



By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the activities of significant transnational criminal organizations, such as those listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Such organizations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous to the United States; they are increasingly entrenched in the operations of foreign governments and the international financial system, thereby weakening democratic institutions, degrading the rule of law, and undermining economic markets. These organizations facilitate and aggravate violent civil conflicts and increasingly facilitate the activities of other dangerous persons. I therefore determine that significant transnational criminal organizations constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

Accordingly, I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person, including any overseas branch, of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:

(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order and

(ii) any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State:

(A) to be a foreign person that constitutes a significant transnational criminal organization;

(B) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(C) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) I hereby determine that the making of donations of the types of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to:

(i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and

(ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

(d) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.

Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 3. For the purposes of this order:

(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;

(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;

(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;

(d) the term "foreign person" means any citizen or national of a foreign state, or any entity organized under the laws of a foreign state or existing in a foreign state, including any such individual or entity who is also a United States person; and

(e) the term "significant transnational criminal organization" means a group of persons, such as those listed in the Annex to this order, that includes one or more foreign persons; that engages in an ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity involving the jurisdictions of at least two foreign states; and that threatens the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.

Sec. 4. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.

Sec. 5. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.

Sec. 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit the recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).

Sec. 7. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to determine that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of the property and interests in property of a person listed in the Annex to this order, and to take necessary action to give effect to that determination.

Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 9. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on July 25, 2011.


July 24, 2011.

Game Plan For 2012

In the interests of transparency, I am just saying now that I am leaning towards Sarah Palin for the Republican nomination. I am fine with almost every other candidate, values wise, except Romney. That being said, there are more and less electable individuals.

The best way for Republicans to engage the people in 2012 lies in following part of the 1980 game plan. All out optimism. Reagan understood that after four years of malaise and crisis of confidence that Americans wanted to hear about greatness again. Obama's approach has not been hand wringing, but downright anger directed at his predecessor, Republicans, and even Democrats who are not on the same page as The Won.

We cannot have any thoughts that our current problems are a reality that Americans just have to expect. Americans are losing faith that they can work towards their dreams and the blame for that lies in overregulation and overtaxation. We still have resources and an educated, hard working population. The potential is always there for our best days to lie ahead, but we have to vote for real change for positive results.

Personally, I think that this strategy will work very well for Sarah Palin and a few of the other candidates. Not everyone can pull off the full court press on optimism. However, Palin can. Her personality and image would help to make strong expressions of optimism genuine and not simply talk. Like I said, a few others can also pull this off effectively, not just Palin.

This approach was called naive in 1980 by jaded Washington types, but it was what Americans needed to hear. Not only did it elect a president, but it laid the groundwork for the striking and stunning turnaround of the early 1980s. Optimism must be the theme for the next eighteen months to bring about a landslide victory.

A List of Federal Programs. Surely We Can Do Some Cutting From This

The above is a list of federally funded programs, including $17.5 million for boating safety. If we try, we could probably find a hundred million to cut in ten minutes or less.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An Idea That Is Beyond Bad: Federal Government Renting Out Foreclosed Homes

The Wall Street Journal last week reported that the Obama Administration is looking at taking over foreclosed homes and renting them out to try and stabilize the housing market. I suppose that they have not yet learned from government interference in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that this just does not work.

What is wrong with a natural market correction? Right now you have homes and other property in some parts of the country available at dirt cheap prices. This is the right time for individuals and businesses to acquire property and refurbish a new home or start a business. Tales of ten dollar houses have created economic activity in Detroit, a city left for dead five years ago. Big bankers' bad decisions are potentially a big deal for individuals and entrepreneurs. Why continue to reward the people who created this problem? Why not let the little guys use the free market to establish themselves in whichever way they see fit?

Obama, get out of the free market. Cut spending. Cut taxes. Stop helping your supporters and stomping on the little guy. And watch how fast this economy takes off. Our biggest economic problem is Obama himself.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jail Overcrowding A Major Issue

It's time to confront the problem because it is not getting any better. West Virginia has a problem with overcrowded jails.

Many years ago, West Virginia went from a county jail system to one of regional jails. Antiquated county lockups were supposed to be replaced with modern new facilities which would reduce costs. That did not happen. Costs, especially for counties, have risen considerably.

These jails were suppsed to be safer. That did not happen. Jails are seen as more dangerous than the state penetentiary due to the fact that staffing problems plague the regional jails. You also have a bad mixture of violent felons and non violent criminals in the new system. Does it really make sense to house a small time pot dealer from a rural area with hardened criminals from Charleston or Huntington, who are sometimes actually from the mean streets of Detroit or Atlanta? This creates very unsafe conditions for inmates whose offenses and demeanor are not violent.

What is the solution? There is no solution that does not require the spending of money that we do not have, outside of decriminalization. We don't need to decriminalize, but we can change how we approach some crimes to alleviate some of the problems.

In 2007, 87% of around 2,300 marijuana arrests in West Virginia were for simple possession, according to That means that a fairly large number of people were processed through the criminal justice system for this offense. While many offenders escaped jail time, the strain and cost of processing are significant. Why not, instead of arresting people for possession, simply issue a ticket if there is no other crime taking place? This is much more cost-effective than arrest and possible incarceration and it still enforces the law. This is one way that we can start changing our system to address the strains of overcrowded jails and overburdened courts.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yes, Obama Did Actually Say This

Obama last week actually said that it would be easier if he could do up the debt all on his own so he could have more time to talk to his kids.

Don't let that job or concept of a balanced republic get in the way of what you want there, big guy.

Who ever really thought that this man would be an effective or even competent president? No one now.

Just go play golf and let the big kids handle the important stuff.

Why the F 35?

The next generation F-35 fighter jet's path to production continues along its winding path.

Not only will American pilots be able to utilize next generation technology, but this plane will be available for export to allied countries as well, helping the program to pay for itself.

Now matter how finely constructed our current fleet of planes is, they still experience wear and tear. Like your car, each machine has a lifespan, regardless of how well maintained it is. As the Chinese upgrade their air force, we need to consider that, unlikely as it may seem now, they could be a future opponent in war. We must remain prepared.

Even Thomas Buffenbarger, a contributor to the liberal Huffington Post urges that production no longer be put off. In a recent article, he maintained that this new advance will keep our pilots safer, maintain U. S. predominance in weaponry, and sustain commitments to our most vital allies.

The United States will have to, inevitably, place more defense and war responsibilities into the hands of Europe and other reliable friends. They will have to shoulder their own burden. As we make this transition, we should continue to be the provider of the best weaponry in the world.