February 15, 2011
“We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our selection between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat in our drink, in our necessities and comforts, in our labors and in our amusements, for our callings and our creeds…our people.. must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live.. We have not time to think, no means of calling the mis-managers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow suffers. Our landholders, too…retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs, but held really in trust for the treasury, must…be contented with penury, obscurity and exile.. private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagance.
This is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering…And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debtAnd the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”
February 17, 2009
Genuine bipartisanship, assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal, whether better schools or lower deficits. This in turn assumes that the majority will be constrained — by an exacting press corps and ultimately an informed electorate — to negotiate in good faith.
If these conditions do not hold — if nobody outside Washington is really paying attention to the substance of the bill, if the true costs . . . are buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars or so — the majority party can begin every negotiation by asking for 100% of what it wants, go on to concede 10%, and then accuse any member of the minority party who fails to support this 'compromise' of being 'obstructionist.'
President Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, 2006
Oddly enough, Congress didn't seem to get this memo. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid railroaded through a wish-list of social welfare programs [including rolling back the Clinton-era welfare reforms] in a hastily-drafted, pork-laden monstrosity calling itself "stimulus." House Republicans were not invited in the drafting, nor were they permitted to amend it in any significant way. Senate Republicans were similary frozen out once three votes could be bought to prevent a filibuster.
"But it's an emergency!" we have been told. Whenever I hear a salesman start telling me I have to act now, this special won't last--that's called high-pressure. He's lying to me. This is such a big emergency that as soon as the "compromise" bill went through on the same party-line vote as the original pieces, the President promptly took a long weekend off before today's signing ceremony/photo-op.
This bill isn't about "stimulus" or "the economy." It's about pork, political payoffs, and increasing the control of the State over businesses. Especially health--but that's a topic for another post.
January 20, 2009
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
--President Barack Obama, Inaugural Speech
The problem being, IMAO, that there are many enemies out there who seek not co-existence, but annihilation of all that they disagree with--things like free speech, any religious belief different than theirs, women driving, voting or showing their faces in public.
December 29, 2008
If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it, and I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.
President-Elect Barack Obama, on visiting Sderot, Israel in July 2008.
November 11, 2008
October 30, 2008
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