Just A Guy

Just A Guy

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Unethical, maybe. Illegal? Nope

The response by Congress to AIG's payment with tax money of bonuses to employees is nothing more than poorly considered grandstanding. The imposition of a retroactive confiscatory tax on those particular people violates the Constitution in at least three ways: it singles out particular people who have not violated any law for civil punishment, and it takes the form of a bill of attainer and/or an ex post facto law, both of which are specifically prohibited under the Constitution.

Do I think it was wise for these people to take the bonuses to which they are entitled under contract law? No. Does it even rise to the level of immoral or unethical? Perhaps. But was it illegal? From all I've seen (and lawyers tend not to make judgments on stuff they haven't reviewed personally, so there's my caveat), two things make the Congress' action not just grandstanding but embarrassingly stupid: first, AIG was contractually obligated to make these payments; second, it was the Congress that approved billions of dollars in bailout money with not a single real limit on how it was to be spent. The arrogance, the hypocrisy, the plain old stupidity, are breathtaking.

Shouldn't there be some kind of test these people have to take that shows they're minimally conversant in the particulars of the document that creates the elective offices they hold?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mr. President - please define "gyrations"...

“Day to day gyrations of the stock market” – this is how our Commander in Chief describes the Dow’s fall from 12,000 in September to its current 6,500 level. My concern is less that he doesn’t know what’s going on in the stock market – I don’t either. My concern is the dismissive attitude we see whenever anyone asks Mr. Obama a question whose answer might be uncomfortable or inconvenient, or otherwise not in line with his string of campaign promises. “Don’t worry about it” is beginning to sound like, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”, or worse: “Your worries are silly, ridiculous and beneath my dignity to address”. It smacks of the elitism, the “let them eat cake” attitude he and the other Democrats currently in positions of authority attributed to the previous administration and the Republican Congress.

I want this nation to recover. I want government to be in its intended role as servant of the people, not ruler of the people. I want this administration and this Congress to understand and remember that, in the words of Rush Limbaugh last weekend, they are elected to be temporary stewards of the nation, not to remake the nation. This nation has survived worse than we are currently experiencing, and it is arrogant in the extreme to think that one President’s view of how this nation should look trumps all those who have gone before and that the nation must change to fit his view.

Monday, March 2, 2009

"We Need Your Help!"

So it's been a couple weeks since anything hacked me off enough to write about. Here's one: I am tired of being insulted by the people who are supposed to represent my views.

I gave a couple hundred bucks - once - to the Republican National Campaign Committee, and agreed to serve on their Business Advisory Council, thinking this might be an opportunity to offer up some observations or suggestions, me bein' a small business owner and all. Imagine my delight (can't you just?) when Chairman Tom Cole notified me that I'd been selected for the honor of being an "Honorary National Chairman - Texas" for all my contributions to the cause. At this point (after playing with the little wooden gavel they mailed me that had a solid brass plaque proclaiming my achievement), I started thinking, "Wait - have I actually made a substantive contribution other than my two c-notes? Hmmm...." Surprise of surprises, I then started receiving "personal" faxes from the selfsame Tom Cole, telling me how delighted he was, yadda yadda yadda, and (you guessed it) asking for more money. Fool me once, shame on you...I wasn't about to be fooled twice. Sent my polite declination (I kept the cool gavel, though), and have continued getting the "personal" faxes (and phone calls, and letters) telling how important I am to the conservative cause and seeking my input (and my money).

Look - in '94, we sent a Republican majority to Congress, the first majority in 40 years, and excitement and anticipation were high that ethics and integrity were making a comeback. Twelve years later, we lost the majority, partly because the people we sent to represent conservative, small government, anti-pork values took less than two years to become completely enslaved to the same system they ostensibly were elected to clean up.

So when my own party starts telling me how "we need your help to return conservative values to Congress", I get a real and increasing pain in the hind parts. That, and I start thinking, "These people really do think I'm a rube!" A twit. A tool, a pawn, a yawping yokel. Further alliterations fail me - I'm dangerously close to the fate of Screwtape when he got so apoplectic he turned into a large caterpillar.

I didn't stop being a conservative. The party of Lincoln, the party of conservatism turned from principles to profit and power above all else, betrayed and left rank-and-file conservatives holding the reins of the valiant Reagan steed. It's time to reject the perfumed princes. It's time for tea parties, not just in protest of the horrendous "stimulus" and bailout packages, but in protest of those who presume to speak for conservatism but in reality just want, to quote Mel Brooks, "their phoney-baloney jobs" back.