Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Epistle to the New Year

Dear New Year 2009:

Since it is traditional for each year in the final stages of its existence to address its successor with a recap of happenings on its watch, as well as some suggestions and even prognostications concerning the future, herein is the tradition carried out. A general summary is that the year was little different from most years, complete with occurrences both good and bad, important and trivial, with the judgments concerning each category very subjectively made.

Technologically, the year was unbelievably productive, the most graphic evidence being that motorists, when having cell-phone conversations interrupted as they crash into trees or lamp posts, can now call the paramedics as soon as their airbags deflate, thus often saving their own lives. Since the most advanced cell-phones also determine a missing pulse within ten feet of its assigned body, a message is beamed directly to the nearest mortuary, thus saving everyone a lot of trouble. Cell-phones with digital/screen displays allow dialoguers to see each other, thus making it nearly impossible for one or the other to lie about location, activity, or companions, thus decreasing (or perhaps increasing) the domestic murder-rate. Those using the latest iPods can now contemporaneously listen to music, watch a movie, play a game, check the usual soap opera, send an insult to the appropriate congressman, and vote in Florida, the latter activity guaranteeing against the formidable challenge of voting machines.

Socially, the driving forces have been accommodated/usurped by the "mainstream media" and involve, as usual, diversity, multiculturalism, discrimination, racism, and hate-Bushism. The d/m/d/r/h-B forces made a stronger than usual effort to have Christ removed from Christmas, as, for example, in Washington, but were repulsed in the final analysis, as proven by the Washington governor being attacked by truth and, facing the danger of losing out politically, restoring Christ to Christmas. Most store head-honchos were not familiar with the second chapter of Luke and simply claimed they thought the proper spelling of "holy days" was simply "holidays" and that Rudolph, in any case, was an ordained animal, perfectly acceptable to the mainline denominations, whether gay or straight.

In looking forward to 04 July 2006, I would suggest you keep a watchful eye on the combined law-school faculties of Yale and Harvard, as well as the House of Representatives, rumored to be lobbying for Independence Day to be renamed The Happy Hour, since the term independence connotes a certain anathema to the concept of victim-hood, which is all the rage currently, not least because of its susceptibility to litigation involving all sorts of discrimination and, of course, multitudes of lawyers. The law-people insist that there never was an American revolution in the first place, since both the governments left standing in 1783 were made up primarily of English-speakers (Anglo-speakers in order not to offend the millions of Mexicans now in the country). Moreover, the term revolution, according to the law-faculty ethicists, possesses a sanguinary sense not suited to civilized discourse and intercourse since the shedding of blood is unthinkable for any reason. These teachers refer to the action in the Middle East as the "Iraqi Governmental Adjustment," since the term war seems to upset students, at least those not in the ROTC, notwithstanding that most students don't know what "governmental" means. Also, most law-school students are now women, thus the demand for a sweeter, gentler nation, except in court, of course, for which courses are now designed to teach toughness, how to swear convincingly, and the art of chasing ambulances while wearing high heels. When not visiting his "love-child," former Senator John Edwards is a primary teacher.

The ideal mantra for African Americans and recommended by the ACLU for all Americans – REMEMBER NEW ORLEANS – was grandly introduced at the Millions More Movement in October 2005 in Washington D.C., when the Reverend Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, was recognized as the savior of the race. Claiming that the U.S. government had sabotaged the Lake Pontchartrain levee in order to kill blacks (especially if poor), Farrakhan took over from both the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton as the Numero Uno African American alive anywhere in the world until the latest election confirmed Barack Obama in that position. This mantra has taken the place of REMEMBER THE ALAMO and REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR as the slogan of choice and all citizens have been asked to greet each other, as in 2006, using it instead of "Gimme five, what's up, man?" or "Impeach Bush" (too late for that, anyway). This mantra/slogan, it is rumored, will be used by all democratic candidates in the campaigns of your year, and Howard Dean of the SCREAM© fame will bellow it in all his campaign appearances, at least until his larynx ruptures or his lungs deflate, whichever comes first.

Internationally, the nation may or may not be hated throughout the world, depending upon whether one reads an east- or west-coast newspaper, listens to talk-radio, watches the major networks or Fox News, lives on either coast or somewhere in between. Southerners and evangelicals (not necessarily synonymous) tend to think of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as worthy undertakings, while the Coasters, denominational mainliners, and New Englanders tend to think of United Nations resolutions as edicts directly from the oracle at Delphi. Obviously, the liberal element has been unable to separate the purely domestic from the international and resorts to Deaniac-speak (fast, furious, spontaneous, obfuscatory, largely unintelligible) when pressed for positions on any issues, though "spiritual" liberals (not necessarily an oxymoron) view Obama as the Messiah, who will walk the Potomac instead of Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day. Consequently, expect organizations such as the National Organization of Women and most homosexual/lesbian groups to insist that SCOTUS justices Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia represent a threat to domestic tranquility, the pursuit of happiness and world peace since they encourage more American births and less womb-murder. The UN-IPCC and Al Gore have predicted that land will disappear in the near future, so have a boat handy and be sure it has AC.

Economically, the nation is in good shape, though the government is now buying up huge chunks of real estate, the auto industry, and the banks, with more purchases to come. The Fed is printing money fast enough to make things happen, though the word is that it's simply borrowing from China, Japan, and Russia, which have threatened to call in all debts and thus foreclose on the nation. So, in the near future, anything bearing the label "made in China" might have been made in Hoboken. The word is that House Banking guru Barney Frank has suggested selling San Francisco to Monaco for enough to bail out the government and everyone else but that Speaker Pelosi doesn't go along since minimum wage in Monaco is $400 per hour for housecleaners and $600 for baby-sitting grandchildren.

Best wishes, New Year 2009, and keep your powder dry; save your Confederate money; make love…not war; if it feels good, do it; hug a tree, and good luck!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Politics as Comedy

An entirely new wrinkle has been introduced into politics with the entrance of Caroline Kennedy/Schlossberg into...what? Ordinarily, office-seekers campaign in a structured race to get the most votes by the electorate, but the electorate has no say in who the next senator from New York will be, since Senator Clinton’s replacement will not be elected but merely appointed by New York Governor David Paterson. So...there's no race for the seat and the only "crowd" to which an appeal must be made is just that one man. Kennedy, however, is making the stops and pushing the buttons in an effort, apparently, to manufacture so much pressure that the governor will be forced to make her an offer she can't refuse.

There's already enough pressure in that Paterson would be tempting fate and perhaps inviting the scorn of more than half the voters if he doesn't appoint a woman to the job, since a woman holds the seat now and political correctness must be observed. Someday, Paterson probably will run for the governorship, which he simply inherited a while back when former governor Elliot Spitzer was caught in hanky-panky with the ladies of the night. Obviously, he needs the distaff vote.

Six ladies from New York now hold House seats in Washington and would be likely choices, especially since Kennedy's governmental/political experience amounts to zilch minus, especially when compared to theirs. Or in the state, the likely appointee would be experienced Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who also was head of HUD in the Clinton administration for four years. Ironically, he was at one time married to a Kennedy cousin.

Adding a wrinkle to the wrinkle, though not as new a wrinkle, is the fact that Kennedy can use her huge wealth to buy just about anything, even a Washington political office, though folks like Mitt Romney discovered in 2007-08 that money can't buy everything...even a Washington political office.

Or, take the case of Bruce Lunsford of Kentucky. In 2003, a few years after serving as the head honcho of a company, Vencor, that went into bankruptcy, Lunsford, apparently having provided himself a golden parachute, decided to run for the governorship of Kentucky and entered the democrat primary race with a view toward buying the seat. He spent $7 million but somewhere his train ran off the tracks and he fell out with the party, switched sides, and opted to support the republican, Ernie Fletcher, who won the seat.

He decided to make the run again in 2007, dropped another $7 million on the project, made nice with his party...and lost in the primary to Steve Beshear, who won the seat. Not to worry, since Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's seat was up for grabs this year. Yep...Lunsford went for it, won the primary, dropped another $5.5 million...and lost. Total expenditure to unsuccessfully buy a seat somewhere: $19.5 million.

About half of the 100 senators in Washington are millionaires, so Kennedy, Romney or Lunsford certainly would feel at home in the Senate, counting their money and casting the votes (accordingly?). Since maybe one percent of the population is made up of millionaires, it seems a bit unseemly for this deep differential to obtain. Half the senators are millionaires and they all are slated to make at least $174,040.40 per year, beginning in January. Add to that the salaries of the wives who work, probably most of them, and the senators might have a hard time grasping what the so-called "little guy" is facing these days.

In 2005, 28% of House members had million-dollar incomes (according to dissidentvoice.org and not much has changed), so the "people's house" is not hurting as much as the citizens' house and the reps get the same wages as the senators. Median family income in 2005 was $56,194, so the solons might do well not to inordinately criticize the nasty entrepreneurs who make too much. The lawmakers (just think of the expense accounts, great pensions, and the perks) have taken good care of themselves.

Obviously, Kennedy-Schlossberg doesn't need the money, has no experience in government, and is so naive or opportunistic that she runs for election when all that's at stake is an appointment. This is the kind of New York politics that sickens. Caroline's uncle, with little to do and wealthy enough not to have to work after leaving the Johnson administration, moved to New York and won the Senate. Hillary Clinton, with even less to do after hubby Bill was done and her White House digs were gone, moved to New York and went to the Senate. Robert Kennedy at least had had government experience as attorney general, but Clinton had none, as is the case with Caroline.

It's the celebrity thing, of course, coupled with the feminist attack on that monstrous "glass ceiling." As Father Pfleger might have it, Caroline is "entitled," as he sardonically similarly satirically ridiculed Hillary in the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright's church in Chicago, adding considerable body language to provide accent. Perhaps Pfleger should pull that act in a New York church vis-a-vis Caroline in behalf of getting Al Sharpton appointed. After all, it worked for Obamessiah.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ballad of the Bailout

[or the night before Christmas, 2008]

’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the shop
All the elves had been sneaking...well, more than a drop;
In the stable the reindeer had been overfed
And now, nearly foundered, were just short of dead!
In his workshop old Santa, well-worn and quite tired,
Saw his elves stagger wildly and screamed, “You’re all fired!”
With their work in a shambles, all the toys quite ill-made,
He decided on WalMart...go there...make a raid;
So he ran to the stable to hitch up the deer
And found them unable to get off their rear;
Even young Rudolph, with his nose dimly red,
Was rapidly losing that light for the sled!
So mad Claus became that he kicked at the cat...
And that caused Ms. Santa to start a wild spat;
They argued a while, then he threw in his hat...
She yelled, “Just get lost,” and then threw out his hat!
He had second thoughts about making that raid,
Decided that WalMart would have to be paid;
He whined to Ms. Claus that he needed some bread...
She threw out his cards...yeah...she aimed at his head!
So...what could he do in this circumstance weird,
Since the worst that could happen is now what he feared;
He considered FedEx and, of course, U-P-S,
And needed a bailout to set right this mess
Since those outfits cost...well...an arm and a leg,
But with no ride to Congress, not there could he beg;
And then he remembered that Al Gore had said
The North Pole was melting into a seabed;
So he looked all around, all he saw was...yep...ice,
But Nobel affirmed! A sled wouldn't suffice;
He first thought a boat would just do the trick,
But boats cannot fly...that fact made him half-sick!
He thought long and hard...then it suddenly came...
A brilliant idea...helicopter the game!
He contacted Bush and the Air National Guard...
For services free and right to his backyard;
He made a good case to be one "point of light,"
A light that was needed throughout the whole night;
The prexy said "yes" and Claus roared through the sky
And finished his rounds just as morning drew nigh;
And that’s why the WalMart and Toys-Are-Us
And Target and K-Mart put up such a fuss;
Their post-Christmas shelves were as bare as a bear
On Polarized ice, with Gore's seas never there;
With wailing quite loud...oh...so loud and so long,
They joined with G-M in its sad, mournful song
For bailouts and freebies and earmarks and grants,
For things for their shelves...from new toys to new pants;
They all made it clear that the nation would die
If they, like G-M, were to belly-up lie;
And so they were bailed BUT old Santa Claus found
A cell in San Quentin, its features renowned,
Would then be his home...furnished by Uncle Sam –
North Pole credit cards were...well...not worth a damn.

~ Old Killjoy Clark ~

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Shrinking VEEP

There was an interesting juxtaposition of the current vice president and the veep-elect on the talking-head shows Sunday. Chris Wallace interviewed Dick Cheney for Fox and George Stephanopoulis did the honors with Joe Biden for ABC. Interesting. One couldn’t watch both but could catch parts of each.

Chris and Dick discussed the fact that, according to the transition team, Biden somewhere along the way had decided to "shrink" the power of the vice presidency...or at least the executive. Joe and George discussed the "unitary president" thing, Biden thinking the executive branch has arrogated too much power to itself in the current administration, having accused Cheney a while back of perhaps being the most dangerous vice president in all of history. Maybe he forgot Aaron Burr, who, while he was vice president in the Jefferson administration, got so mad he killed Alexander Hamilton. Cheney only used bird-shot and didn't even try for the ultimate.

The most revealing thing in the Biden interview had to do with the fact that Pastor Rick Warren is slated to give the invocation at Barack Obama’s inaugural next month. It was lost on both men that the prayer will be...well, a prayer...like a supplication to God, something that a believer in God would understand almost instinctively. Instead, Biden and Stephanopoulis considered the prayer a political matter only, so the effort was made to determine how the prayer helps or hurts the elected men politically, most likely with a view already toward the next election in 2012.

Of course, the matter of "healing" took center stage, apparently some sort of healing of the American public that the prayer is supposed to miraculously effect, sort of like God thundering from the heavens to the crowd at/on the inaugural stand like He did in the episode of Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai in the giving of the Ten Commandments. It's quite probable that most of the citizens don't know they're sick, either individually or collectively or even politically, but they are reminded by the politicians in every election cycle that the great unwashed is in need of healing. The talkers like S and B probably mean a healing that sutures the political parties together without even a scar...and warm-fuzzies all around the operating room. What a laugh! The gashes are what make the difference.

Some of the offended ones in need of healing were especially mentioned – the homosexual/lesbian/bi-sexual/transgender crowd that is screaming mean things because Warren says that marriage can only be a man-woman thing, never mind that Obama publicly said the same thing when he appeared earlier this year in an interview with Warren. Warren campaigned in California – where he lives and has that privilege – to see that the law (Prop 8) codified this position.

Obama, needing the liberal vote, very publicly did the opposite concerning the proposition even though he didn't live in California, making himself either a disgusting hypocrite or simply an opportunist or too stupid to see the disparity or all three. Already on the record as insisting that each state should settle this matter for itself, he could've stayed out of it, but Hillary beat him in California by more than a half-million votes anyway. Does anyone know what Obama actually believes? Only the Shadow knows, presumably.

So, naturally old George asked Joe in behalf of ABC and the screamers for a timeline on when the new prexy would rid the military of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, never mind that Bill Clinton had tried that "military order" thing back in '93 as almost his first presidential action, so necessary to the armed forces are homosexuals. He got the current policy instead of what he wanted, the result being more damaging to the HLBT constituency. Biden was smart enough to explain that Obama has more pressing problems, another way of saying that he will not fight his generals and admirals over that. Sexual perversion is unacceptable in the military, whether in the bathroom, a foxhole or on a ship.

Cheney cited to Wallace as important the fact that the country hasn't been terrorized since 9/11 and mentioned that date as the "highest moment" of the administration. He defended the surveillance programs that Biden criticized at ABC but made his best points when he described his meetings with Congressional leaders, who were acquiescent in the administration's approach and even advised against going to Congress for some specific legislation concerning intelligence-gathering since that would compromise a program that worked. As ranking member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Biden had to know all this. Cheney also defended the interrogation program and insisted that every method used was lawful.

Cheney also mentioned some precedents the administration had for its quick decisions such as concerning the saboteurs tried by a military commission and executed during FDR's conduct of WWII, with the Supreme Court giving a ruling of approval of those commissions. He might have mentioned FDR's and Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, but he was too nice for that. He did mention that Biden, a law professor, had mistakenly claimed that the executive's power was outlined in Article One of the Constitution. It isn't, of course.

It's not hard to imagine the new veep's role shrinking vis-a-vis its extent in this administration. Obama likely will see to that without any help from Biden, who, nevertheless, characterized the new boss as "clean" and "articulate" during the primary dogfight. This is what he said last February: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." Was he discriminating against all other African Americans like Condoleezza Rice, maybe? Egad!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Politician Reflex - LIE!

It's virtually axiomatic that the first impulse by practically all elected officials and bureaucrats when they face a problem (the politically correct term is "issue") is to lie. Most of the time they follow the impulse, only to discover later that they've begun weaving a web of falsehoods in which they become trapped. President Clinton discovered this when he declared that he "did not have sex with that woman." In the process that followed, he was exposed as a perjurer (felon) when he was impeached in the House, but, of course, was not convicted in the Senate.

This is the exact statement of 05 November 2008 on the official Web-site of the office of the governor of Illinois: "Governor Blagojevich Congratulates President-elect Obama and Discusses U.S. Senate Seat To fill President-Elect Barack Obama's Senate seat, Governor will use deliberate process to select Suitable replacement". There's no attempt here to explain the discrepancies in the use of capital letters, as well as the obvious grammatical mess (run-on sentence and, no, there wasn't a period at the end), except that this was prepared in a state office and that just about says it all.

A couple weeks or so later, Obama's campaign manager, David Axelrod, confirmed publicly on television that Obama and the governor had talked about the seat vacated by Obama upon his kick upstairs. Axelrod later recanted (surprise, surprise), so another lie was born (this guy would not have been mistaken), this time trapping Axelrod, who would have been worse than road-kill if he hadn't corrected the "issue" of "misspeaking." After all, of what use is being a campaign manager if not for some plush reward handed out by a satisfied candidate, not one who has been caught in a lie because of a hired hand's recanted "misspeaking?" What rubbish!

Not surprisingly, in a later press conference, Obama used the plural "we" when talking about the back-and-forth with Governor Blagojevich, but realized almost immediately that he should have said "I," which he then did, in explaining that he had NEVER talked with the governor. So...the web was being built, and Obama will sooner or later have to admit some things.

If Obama had simply said he had discussed the matter with the governor, this would be a non-problem (or non-issue, to be politically correct...there are no problems these days). Any half-bright observer would have expected Obama and the governor to discuss this matter, and would have expected that a quid pro quo would be operative. That's how the crooked way government often if not most often works. As he so profanely put it, the governor had a valuable property and he wasn't about to give it away, certainly not for a paltry expression of "appreciation." The governor already was under investigation so he was apparently told by Obama or his gofer that there would be no payoff; otherwise, the stink would have gone ballistic.

So...why haven't these people come clean? They could have avoided all the current problems (okay, issues) by simply telling the truth at the very outset. Instead, they've pointed up once again that the political machine in especially Chicago actually represents an orgy of incest in which the participants take great pleasure in greatly enhancing each other's status/wealth/power/whatever by any underhanded way possible. The LIE is the tool of choice in effecting protection for this racket, but the liars quite often are too clever by half and wind up with their web of deceit choking them. Or...that's another way of saying they're dumb as a gourd and consider the great unwashed out here in the boondocks even dumber, too dumb to see through it all.

Perhaps the most grandiose LIE in the latest campaign was regurgitated by Obama's choice for Secretary of State. It's doubtful that Senator Clinton will ever mention again her trip to Bosnia in 1996. Her excuse for cooking up that scene, simply that she "misspoke," is laughable – no greeting party and dodging sniper's bullets on the tarmac as she and Chelsea ran from the plane for their lives. She had the tale (LIE) rehearsed and told it over and over, apparently never dreaming that someone would produce a comprehensive film of what actually happened – a greeting party including the Bosnian president and small children and a truck loaded with paparazzi clicking away as she and Chelsea grandly marched from the plane on the tarmac.

This sort of blatant dishonesty should have exempted Clinton from consideration for State or anything else and actually should have landed her before the Senate Ethics Committee. She was caught in the web of her own deceit when there was never a reason for it, though she might have thought such a cooked-up farce could gain her some sort of military bona fides – facing down the enemy, maybe, or smart enough to retreat in the face of annihilation. But then, of course, she did have the guts to call General Petraeus a LIAR...right to his face in a public Senate hearing. Get that...the general a LIAR?

Okay...Clinton's LIE was necessary as the primary tool for gaining the presidency and saving the nation. Egad! Is it any wonder that the Congress had an approval rating of just 12% last month, up from 9% in the summer, according to Rasmussen (24 November 2008)? She will be a laughingstock as she meets with foreign officials who are well aware of her perfidy and the reward for it.

The BIG LIE! Tell it often so the dummies out in the boonies will be snowed by it. Three cheers for Obama and Clinton. The voters have spoken.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

KERA - Educational Bomb

Brian Crabtree, age 18, allegedly brutally raped and killed two-year-old Katelynn Stinnett, as reported recently in the Lexington Herald-Leader. That this unseemly, monstrous thing happened is not surprising since the papers are full on practically a daily basis of similar occurrences perpetrated by "significant others," whether shack-up boyfriends or stepfathers or druggies. In many if not most cases, the mother is an accomplice, whether as a passive enabler or as an active participant in the crime.

The Crabtree alleged murder/molestation is different in that Crabtree was "babysitting" his male friend's children, but the result, sadly, was the same. The child's parents had divorced and apparently the bulk of responsibility for the two children involved belonged to the father. This is unusual, but in the current social stance of the country, the unusual is becoming more and more the usual, with the children, the most vulnerable, taking the suffering, bearing the atrocious consequences.

The shocker with respect to Crabtree was noted by his public defender, to wit, that Crabtree had an IQ of 68. This is from Psychologie online: "An easy way to interpret an IQ is to use the following rules: A score that is no more than one standard deviation (=15) away from 100, can be interpreted as a normal score. A score that is between one and two standard deviations away from 100 can be interpreted as low (70-85) or high (115-130). A score that is more than two standard deviations away from 100 can be interpreted as very low (lower than 70) or very high (higher than 130)."

Crabtree has an IQ defined as "very low." What this, if anything, has to do with his crime is yet to be seen. Even more shocking, according to the public defender, is the fact that Crabtree can neither read nor write. Even more shocking than that is the fact that Crabtree graduated from Bourbon County High School last May, apparently right on time for his age. How does a student who can neither read nor write graduate from the eighth-grade, much less from the twelfth? If this is true, what should one suppose about the education system in Bourbon County?

In 1990, the legislature passed the infamous Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), which included in its provisions the highest tax increase in the state's history, a huge portion of it just pork. The end-all and be-all of this Act, inculcating the concept titled "Outcomes Based Education" and much if not most of which has either been legislatively dismantled or simply ignored or both, was self-esteem. Under this pedagogy, it was okay for the student to calculate that 2+2 equaled 5 as long as the student felt okay.

One can't know about Crabtree's innate cognitive ability, but one thing is sure, namely, that Crabtree entered school around 1996 and spent his entire school experience within the parameters of KERA. Result: inability even to read or write at age 18 (at least functionally illiterate), ergo, the inability to do anything requiring those skills, which is almost anything. Indeed, Kentucky's schools are probably worse now than they were in 1990, but much of KERA remains...more's the pity.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, December 15, 2008

Under the Bus!

It's mid-afternoon in a room over the Anything Goes Bar on a busy street in South Chicago. In attendance are William Ayers, his wife Bernardine Dohrn, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Father Michael Phleger, and the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, hereinafter referenced as A, D, B, P, and W.

~A: We all know why we’re here, I assume, so...

~W: Actually, I don’t know, Bill...after all, this place was known as the most lascivious – that word's in the King James and means lewd or lustful – speakeasy in all of Illinois during the twenties and thirties and, even though I’ve retired, my former flock would be traumatized if they knew...well...I just came because you said it was a meeting to set up some kind of new damnation for America and...

~P: The King James, did you say, Jeremiah? Man, I gotta get back to reading the Word. All I've been doing lately is trying to form some kind of appeal to the Pope so John Kerry can receive communion again. He might want to run again in...

~D: Hah! Kerry'll be 'way too old in 2016, and Barry has it tied up till then, Mike, so forget the juice and crumpet bit – make that unleavened crumpet – and get back to reading that crucifixion account...wish I coulda been there to hammer the...(giggles hysterically)...nails...oh, what crap!

~B: Watch it, Bern, I'm #$%^&* Eastern Orthodox and I don't appreciate that one &^$#@ bit, so just knock it off right now or I'll get the &^%@# outta here...

~A: Cool it, you guys...cool it right now. Cut Bernardine some slack...she dreamed of Charles Manson again last night and got up and stuck a fork in the cat, so she's having PTSD today. Try a little kindness.

~W: I'm kind, Bill, I'm kind...just puzzled why we can't meet in the library or some place...you know...not some seedy bar...besides, black folk never came to this speakeasy back then. They had to get drunk out on the sidewalk and get hauled off to...

~A: We're celebrities, Jeremiah, the preeminent and most loyal of Barry's supporters. We can't all be seen together in public. In fact, it's better if we're not seen anywhere right now. That might steal some thunder from him right now when he's already trying to explain away old Rod's...

~B: Watch it, Bill! I don't appreciate that one #%^*&^ bit. We were in an honest discussion with Barry's crowd about that &^%(* ambassadorship. Those things are bought and sold after every *&*&*&^ election, as you well know. At least, I didn't threaten to "*&#@^ blow up the...

~D: Hey, hey, blow 'em away...that's the way it was...right, Bill? If we coulda just got enough TNT, we might've blown down the White House...whee...ol' Tricky Dick flyin' over the capitol...without an airplane...oh...ha...ha...

~A: Cool it, Bernardine...those days are long-gone...how I miss 'em...

~P: Did you guys actually blow up stuff? I never really believed anybody would...

~W: Blow up stuff? Man, Bill and Bern put the ol' Hiroshima right on the Pentagon...just like Reagan and his gang put the HIV on us black folk! Father, you need to get out more, especially with that routine on Hillary...oh...hahahahaha...I'm still laughin' at that bump-and-grind routine in my pulpit...had all my folk stompin' and hollerin' and climbin' the walls...all in the spirit, o' course...

~B: %#@**&!!!! This place sounds like the ^#&@% loony bin. Hey, Bill, what did you guys have to sell...or buy...whichever? You didn't go to jail, so some #^&$# Chicago politician got you the %$#& off the hook. Who was it?

~A: Long time ago there, Rod. Dead men tell no tales or lies and neither do I, but when the money's right, anything goes, just like the name of this place. I guess Elliot Ness was the last straight guy in Chicago and that was 'way back in...

~B: Any way we can put the arm on Barry, Bill? We all laid it on the &$^#@ line for him, and he even laid it all on the &^$%# line for me. Any #$@*& loyalty from that end? That %#$&&^ New Yorker article even claimed Barry got to be high-profile stuff when he and Rahm advised on my %&#$* governor-campaign. I called that &^$%** Rahm last night and he just snarled in my ear and said I'd be *^&%$# lucky if I didn't get a *^&#%# horse-head in my bed. Is he throwing me under...

~A: Naw...we just gotta lay low for a while. We're Barry's best friends but we carry a bit of baggage right now. It'll take a while for him to settle in and then...I'm sure he'll replace Hillary with me at State, and maybe see that Jeremiah gets to be chaplain of the Senate and Bernardine – she teaches law, ya know – will replace Holden as Attorney General. Father, you'll probably be ambassador to the Vatican. That act in Jeremiah's church bought you almost anything you want – stopped Hillary cold.

~D: Whee!!!! Attorney General!!! Oh, Bill, we can put half of Congress in jail...maybe even water-board the suckers. There's enough corruption in that outfit to make old Blago here look good. As the Indians say...get out the long knives to the Long Knives...whee...maybe do executions by guillotine. Oh....hahahahaha!!!!!

~A: Throwing you under the what, Rod? Barry's loyal...he'll see that you get either a job or the best cell at Eglin. Not to worry...they have a great golf course there.

~P: Oh...I get it...under the bus. Oh...what a joke. I get it...I get it. That's why Barry has said he doesn't remember who we are...under the bus...oh...how quaint!

~W: Bill, you still haven't explained why we're here.

~A: It's to set up our new organization to get ready to make sure Barry wins again...in 2012.

~D: Will it have an arsenal...especially for bombs, RPGs, machetes, butcher knives, AK-47s?

~A: Cool it, Bernardine. Barry is known not only as the messiah but also as the smartest guy in Washington, so I've thought of the best name for the new organization: the Universalism to Negate Demeaning of Erudite Realists, Theologians and Honest Educators Basic to the United States.

~P: Oh...it will be known by its acronym...UNDER THE BUS! How cool!

~A: H-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-a-a-r-r-g-g-h-h-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H!!!!!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, December 12, 2008

Government - Just Print Money, Build Cars?

As a continuation of his assertion that a diversity of religions militated against the danger of one that might become a political party, James Madison wrote in Federalist #10 in November 1787: "A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State." Madison obviously could not have conceived of a whole nation raging for paper money and an abolition of debts, acting through the people's elected officials. One state? Yes. The nation? No, but that's what seems to be happening.

It is instructive that the Constitution forbids states from being operated beyond their means of taxpayer or other support, as in line with Madison's thinking, while at the same time the nation, driven by its elected officials into red ink, is intent upon printing money and allowing huge corporations to willy-nilly become debt-free at the same time those "little people" unable to make mortgage payments are introduced to the street, many if not most of them at the behest of the banking systems bailed out by the government. The unfairness of this is palpable, especially since that same government (Congress) made it possible for this very thing to happen, first by establishing institutions such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then encouraging them to award mortgages to people who couldn't afford them, and then completely ignoring its responsibility of oversight. This is disgusting. Madison must be spinning.

As if the current state of affairs is not bad enough, the current Congressional clamor led by the democrats is that the Congress must also bail out automobile companies (okay, American automobile companies), notwithstanding that they choose not to insist on conditions that will allow those companies a chance to compete on a level playing-field with foreign-owned companies, the only way they can repay any government loan. By extension, of course, this can mean any company. Strangely, however, the lawmakers sat idly by while practically all manufacturing entities other than the car industry farmed out their production to foreign countries – everything from shoes to wearing apparel to electronic gadgets and on and on over the last decades.

A tragic figure in this mess is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in whose Kentucky is located not only the huge Toyota plant in Georgetown, as well as American Toyota headquarters in northern Kentucky, the huge Ford truck-plant in Louisville, and many small privately-owned suppliers to these plants and others. He understands the problem associated with a unionized GM worker realizing a total package of $69.00 ($29.78 in salary) per hour while his un-unionized counterpart at Toyota receives $48.00 ($30.00 in salary), as reported by the Associated Press. The GM worker makes 44% more than the Toyota worker. A differential this huge is intolerable if General Motors is to operate competitively. McConnell, in an act of actual statesmanship, has taken the high road, demanding that the auto companies and UAW get their acts together. This could be costly politically, so he can be thankful that he's just been reelected. The wonder is, however, that American companies have been able to do as well as they have.

This country needs desperately to recapture its manufacturing base. In order to do this, both workers and management will be required to scale back. In this regard, it should be noted that many if not most auto- workers are paid nearly their working-wage while they are laid off. In other industries, such as the railroads, this is not the case, this fact known in this corner personally. The unreal bonuses and golden parachutes must become a thing of the past. The clothing and electronic industries need to come home. Toyota has proven that companies who do well by their workers do not have to be unionized and thus be constricted by often intolerable labor contracts. Unionized workers need to bring their hierarchies under control, since union honchos are no different from those in management – out to drain the "little people" for every possible dollar.

This is a turning point in the nation's existence. The incoming administration is heavily socialist-oriented and can seize this recession as the tool for getting its way, especially as coupled with a democrat-controlled Congress. Incoming president Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, recently said this: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." That's not even subtle. The government is already into banking. Democrats are clamoring for a "car czar," meaning government control of the auto industry. The citizens will wind up "eating cake" if wise heads do not prevail and if statesmanship is not allowed to trump petty partisan politics and flawed governance determined to make the state and not the individual the be-all and end-all of everything.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Bumbling Congress

And the beat goes on. Not in the adult lifetime of this writer has there ever been a time such as now when both the government and the private sector have become so totally leaderless that the nation is in danger of economic collapse and/or a rapid increase of speed downward toward the now almost certain socialism that the liberals have craved for so many years. In the private sector, greed and stupidity on the part of both management and labor are the culprits. In the government sector, corruption and stark incompetence are the culprits.

Why did the banking and mortgage institutions fail, precipitating the domino-effect with respect to other enterprises? They failed because the members of Congress collectively sat on their well-appointed behinds and completely deserted their oversight responsibilities, whether for reasons of financial or campaign-fund gains or out of sheer petty politics. Who knows? In the Senate, for instance, every trick imaginable and reams of hours of time have been expended in unsuccessfully trying to nail somebody in the administration for the firing of a handful of federal prosecutors, notwithstanding that they can be fired without cause at any time, as proven when Bill Clinton sacked all but one of them on the same day in 1993 without so much as a fare-thee-well.

The nation's welfare is not the primary interest of this Congress. This was proven baldly in the recent elections throughout the nation. The filling of campaign chests is the primary interest. The fact that Obama could actually raise $743 million just to run for one office is both unbelievable and intolerable. This kind of waste also speaks ill of a nation whose "little" people are so gullible that they give of their hard-earned cash, not realizing that the "fat cats," institutionally and individually, on the prowl for whatever they can gain actually put up most of the money. Everything in Washington and state capitals is bought and sold, and the "little" people are not in the market.

Predictably as the result of "nobody being at home" in both government and private enterprises, the nation, cursed with bickering partisans in Washington, has wandered into the wilderness and seems slated to remain there for a long time...just like the Israelites of the Old Testament, who fell into bickering on practically the day after Moses led them from slavery in Egypt and, as a result, were banished by God to the wilderness for 40 years, or roughly until the generation of the ingrates had passed on.

Now, it appears that the Congress is about to appoint some sort of "automobile czar," thus socializing the car industry, just as it is already in the business of running the banking systems, this latest, of course, after throwing billions of taxpayer dollars into the car-makers' enterprise as it did with the banks. When Obama and his democrat Congress gear up in January and begin enacting their social programs, it's gangbusters time. The nation can survive by printing money for just so long. Sooner or later, the bottom will disappear and the government will own everything and tell the citizens exactly what they can and cannot have or do.

This is not what the founding fathers had in mind. They set up a very small federal government but succeeding generations, especially in the last 75 or so years, have made it into the end-all and be-all of everything. In the last 35 or so years, it has operated on the basis of political correctness, not to be mistaken for civil rights, the ultimate philosophy/result of that concept being socialism. As the nation is driven toward this political form – mistakenly believing it the course of least resistance – personal incentive will be deadened and all the desired results accruing to the using and compensating of the brightest and the best will not materialize.

Soon, drastic budget-cuts will be the "wailing cry." The cuts will come primarily from the defense budget, this administration being the first one since at least the 1930s to be composed of a president and vice president with not a smidgeon of military experience, not even boot camp, nor have the House Speaker and Senate majority leader worn the uniform. The magic word now is "diplomacy," as if actual threats to national security can simply be "talked away" at the very time when governments run by Islamic fanatics have vowed to rule the world and apparently intend to use terrorism as the main weapon until such time as they can raise actual armies.

Not even the Great depression of the 1930s, infinitely worse than the current recession, propelled the nation toward socialism. It remains to be seen whether or not current lawmakers have the intestinal fortitude to take a stand in favor of the free enterprise system that has made this nation the envy of the world. Getting rid of a majority of bumbling legislators through the electoral process seems impossible, so one can only hope.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


There are some sad sights to be seen occasionally on the TV "nature shows," hapless zebras torn apart by hyenas or full-grown fish snatched from the water by powerful birds of prey – the weaker manipulated and killed by the stronger. The game is survival and it's nature's way, but it's unbearably ugly. The winner gains only existence, nothing more, nothing less.

There are some sad sights to be seen now in this country in the arena of politics. In this area, the weaker has almost always been neutralized by the stronger, never mind who or what is right. One would hope that the major motivation occasioning the fights between individuals and/or parties is the preserving (survival) of the nation. More often, they seem to primarily concern the survival of the individual and/or the party. In other words, the winner, instead of merely gaining existence, whether for self or party, gains whatever level of existence is desired, whether premised on money, fame, power, or whatever.

There are some sad sights to be seen now in this country in the arena of commerce. They reflect the same elements as those of politics – mainly those concerning or driving self-interest. The recent failures of the banks and mortgage institutions, eventuating unhappily in failures of enterprises all across the economic spectrum, are the result of self-interest carried to the penultimate degree, which degree always involves the stronger few impacting adversely the weaker multitudes. Thus, the few heavily compensated greed-addicts at the top secure their filthy lucre on the backs of those who toil.

There are some sad sights to be seen now in this country in the world of labor unions, though their power has greatly diminished to the point that they now represent only some 12% or so of workers. The bosses at the top have made an industry of...well, being at the top. There was a time when these people served a useful purpose in securing living-wages and other benefits but brainwashed the rank-and-file into believing that the worker deserved as much as the entrepreneur who whether by intelligence, inheritance, risk-taking, or just plain good luck "made it." A good example was seen in the late 60s when the United Transportation Union was formed as a merger of other rail unions with one result being the installing of some 23 or so vice presidents, if memory serves, complete with offices, staffs, expense accounts, etc. The union membership was only 230,000 at that time. If Walmart today had the same ratio (1:1,000), it would need 1,900 vice presidents for its number of employees, 1,900,000 in 2006. Weird!

A blue whale can eat up to four tons of krill (shrimp-like invertebrates) a day just to exist. A crooked CEO can work a deal gaining him tens of millions of dollars a year, while the assembly-line worker or fast-food laborer makes chump change by comparison, but the CEO could still make a fair salary providing for luxuries in addition to existence on perhaps only ten times the wages earned by the drones. Use this analogy in conjunction with politicians, business folks and union leaders. That, too, is ugly.

As bad as these elements are singly, when in collusion they are deadly. When entrepreneurs (lobbyists) combine with politicians, they deliver a double-whammy to the little people. How did the CEOs manage to feather their nests and establish their golden parachutes while bringing down their companies and throwing thousands out of work and/or literally stealing their homes? First, they got the proper laws passed. Enter, for instance, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, creatures of both private and public enterprise. Then, the governmental watchdogs, known as the Congress-people, look the other way. The regulators can be straight as a stick, as has been shown for a number of years, but if their hands are tied by a Congress either fast asleep, on the take, or just plain dumb...gangbusters!

Add the unions to the mixture and the collusion is even dirtier, although union members actually belong to the little people. They get cheated by their own outfits, although they also provide the manpower and money to keep the right folks in power in order to advance their agendas. They've helped the entrepreneurs in this country lose especially their manufacturing bases to other countries...priced both sides (management & labor) right out of the market. Result: the loss of a middle class.

Some 20 years ago, this writer, as a Norfolk Southern Railroad employee, noticed the railroad roadbed. The trains had cars of American rolled-steel in their consists, but the 132-pound rail (132 pounds per linear foot) on which the trains were operated came from Japan. Japan, which is the world’s second largest economy but lacks natural resources, imports all of its iron ore, with 60% coming from Brazil. Get the picture. In the U.S., there were all the iron ore, coal and everything else to manufacture rail, but the Japanese could import every ton of iron ore it used from all around the globe, produce product, pay shipping, and still undersell the American steel mills. American steel-towns have been dying since the 60s, taking the middle class with them.

Two things are necessary to the existence of both a democracy and a capitalistic system, proven by this country to be the best government model and best economic model, respectively, in the world: integrity and an educated population. The former is sadly lacking in this country now and the result of this lack is obvious in the current recession. Former Fannie Mae CEO Frank Raines, for instance, was hounded out of his office account of an accounting scandal, otherwise known as "cooking the books," but not until he had accumulated scores of millions of dollars. He was both a private and governmental executive – the perfect example of collusion...the whale (greedy bureaucrats/politicians/entrepreneurs/unionists) swallowing the krill (the little people).

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Hopeless Congress

The writer of this corner looks back over the last six or seven decades, then contemplates what he has learned from the history books and comes to the conclusion that this country is more poorly led now than at any time in its history with respect to the Congress. There have been times when the nation has been poorly led but with the justified excuse that the lawmakers at those times had nothing like the resources available (historically, technically) to the leaders of today to use in coping with the grave responsibilities of governance. It's a given, of course, that corruption always has its place, no matter the era.

The so-called financial crisis is the best current proof that this country's Congress is either collectively as dumb as a gourd, on the take constantly from lobbyists, etc., or simply doesn't give a fig about its constitutional mandates, which its members have sworn to obey in maintaining the welfare of the populace, instead of manipulating it for whatever purpose. It's been obvious for a number of years, as borne out in a plethora of congressional hearings, as well as recounted by experts in/or counseling the media, that the country has been headed toward this catastrophe; yet, despite its pompous and oft-repeated blabbering regarding the importance of its oversight responsibilities, Congress, after enacting it years ago (something for nothing concept), has allowed the current mess to happen.

This is from the New York Times of 11 September 2003: "The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago. Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry." President Bush early in his administration recognized the problem but was stiffed by his own dimwitted Congress in doing anything about it.

This is from the New York Times of 30 September 1999: "Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits. In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called sub-prime borrowers." In other words, a quasi-governmental agency was being virtually coerced to ultimately take over loans that would in time go into default, with the U.S taxpayer being the patsy.

Some of the most damning democratic demagoguing concerning the current Fannie Mae fiasco that has brought the financial markets to the brink occurred in a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in 2004, with the video available on the Internet. The democrats actually tried to lynch the regulator who was trying to move them toward a resolution of the problem eventuating in the current mess. New York Representative Gregory Meeks actually made a jackass of himself in the process, is still on the committee, and should be forced to watch that video ten times a day. Indeed, everyone should watch Meeks's histrionics at least once to understand that buffoons actually make it into Congress.

Committee member Maxine Waters – still on the committee – seemed determined in 2004 to convince everyone that Fannie Mae Chairman Franklin Raines was the greatest thing since both sliced bread and peanut butter. Raines was finally forced out of his job because of a $6.3 billion accounting scandal (cooking the books), but not until he had reamed the agency in less than seven years for a cool $91 million, a very golden parachute. Strangely, he's not in some federal prison. Instead, this tinhorn crook served as an Obama adviser during the campaign. Waters and Meeks, both African Americans, like Raines, turned the whole thing into a racial opportunity. To their credit, the republicans in this video tried to make some sense, but political correctness damned their efforts, as is the case today.

For his part in 2004, member Barney Frank could find nothing wrong. Now, as chairman of that same committee, he's blustering and bumbling all over the place and blaming republicans for not fixing something he helped destroy. He said unequivocally that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Fannie/Freddie. Ironically, Senator Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and also a recent presidential contender, reaped a windfall from Countrywide, the defunct mortgage monster. Over the terms of his sugar-stick loans, he could make $75,000. Now, he sits like a toad on a palm frond in a stinking pond, like Frank, holding hearings about problems he and Frank could have prevented.

The republicans ran both houses of Congress until 2007, so they're entirely complicit in the current mess. Many if not most of them still sit on their respective committees and share the blame equally, even though the regulators to whom they apparently turned a deaf ear operated in a republican administration. Indeed, three of the finalists in the recent campaigns – Obama, Biden, McCain – were all in the Senate while Freddy/Fannie hurtled toward the wreck, which eventuated in the destruction of everything.

Predictably, when the panic-mongers began wringing their hands lately about what to do, the Congress heaved heavily and delivered itself of an act giving $700 billion to the Secretary of the Treasury to just DO SOMETHING. So...he began buying the government into the banking systems, which used the money for their own purposes, not the least of which involved acquisitions and golden parachutes. Now, both the current and incoming administrations are again throwing out numbers in the billions (actually trillions) for the taxpayers to cough up to clean up the mess caused primarily by a Congress either fast asleep or as high as a kite on something. Actually, the numbers mean nothing because none of the above, including Obama and his gang, has the remotest idea of what to do, except to conduct massive giveaways...paid by somebody else, of course. Just print the money until the bottom busts.

This is so disgusting. Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff, said this recently: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." That about says it all. The Clintons – with Emanuel as part of that administration – could not achieve their socialistic goals because there wasn't an invaluable "serious crisis." What Emanuel means is simply that now, with the government taking over everything from banks to auto plants and handing out the peons' money to the peons, the time is ripe to supplant the free enterprise system with socialism. Both the administration and the Congress are in the hands of the democrats now...so, will they bite the bullet and maintain the system that has made this country the envy of the world...or sink it into the cesspool of socialism...with everyone placed on the level of the lowest common denominator?

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ky. Modus Operandi - Corruption/Cronyism

Kentucky citizens can take heart in the fact that state government is operating as it always does, with corruption as its defining modus operandi and the taxpayers as the patsies supporting the MO main thrust – cronyism. The Lexington Herald-Leader, as it often does, has given some recent examples. Ralph Coldiron III: $100,000 per year (job advertised with maximum salary of about $80,000) for collecting some fees, probably a job that could be handled by a smart clerk. Coldiron quit his job, beating being furloughed from a restaurant operation, and needed a job. His restaurant colleague, Adam Edelen, is Beshear's chief of staff. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Same department: Commercial Mobile Radio Service Emergency Telecommunications Board. Aaron Horner: $70,000 per year as Coldiron's Deputy for External Affairs, whatever that is. He was a campaign worker and House aide on labor and transportation issues to U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth. Supposedly, this makes him an expert on emergency telecommunications stuff. Another job for a smart clerk…or deputy clerk! Chuck Geveden: $70,000 as chief administrative officer, making one wonder what Coldiron is supposed to do. Geveden was Beshear's driver during the campaign. Earlier, he had been school-resource officer for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, whatever in the world that is.

Same department: Paul “Will” Carle: $52,000 per year as staff adviser, apparently a job that involves what anyone says it does. Carle had been a fund-raiser for Attorney General Jack Conway's campaign, making him an expert at staff-advising, whatever that is. Oh well….Geveden later took another position at the public trough called the Transportation Department and Carle moved on to another spot in the trough in the governor's office.

And then there's the interesting case of Ron Bishop, director of the Lexington hoosegow. His salary: $111,793 per year. Slight catch: Bishop, though his job would seem to require a Lexington residency and on-site 24/7 responsibilities, lives in Louisville, meaning he commutes daily and presumably is never available at night. No problem: The local government provides him a car to make that commute and pays for the fuel to make it run – some $15,000 since 2004. The top jailer lives nearly a hundred miles from the jail, so who actually runs the operation? Talk about a sweetheart deal…but that's city government at its absolute worst.

And then there's the case of Michael Gobb, executive director of Lexington's Bluegrass Airport, the 117th largest in the nation. That's 117th! His salary is $219,450, up from $92,019 just ten years ago when he began his tenure – an increase of a whopping 138 percent but not quite as much as that of Joker Phillips, the offense coordinator of the UK football team. Imagine getting a raise of more then one-and-one-third-hundred percent in just ten years. The director of Louisville's Standiford Field makes less, even though his operation handles nearly four times the number of passengers as Bluegrass.

In a recent two-year period, Gobb ran up a travel/training expense account of $279,310, while the Louisville director managed for the comparable period getting by on $173,673, or 61% less. Gobb and four other Bluegrass officials managed to spend five or six days roughing it in Hawaii in January this year in attending a conference so extensive that a couple days just weren't enough. Gobb and his four directors are each furnished a car and a key to the airport gas pump. They had more than $23,000 in gas charges 2006-08. All of this...while passenger boardings were down by one percent 1999-2007. Nationally, they were up by 13%.

So...there it is, just a smattering of the rip-offs that occur in government bureaucracies. Is it any wonder that taxpayers desperately try to figure ways to cut down on the taxes when they see their hard-earned cash literally stolen by the people who do it...just because they can, also with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge from the apparatchiks who make it possible? From the governor right on down through the airport board there ought to be a massive apology. The breath is not to be held until that happens. The guv will just scream for casinos to help pay off even more of his gang, while the airport board wanders in the wilderness and scratches its head in figuring out why it didn't receive some of the gifts and liquor that Gobb charged at the Liquor Barn for a measly $6,500.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, November 20, 2008

O, A, M - The Three Stooges Redux

It's late at night in a cave just east of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (or just west…depending on where U.S. drones are dropping bombs). Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda head honcho, and his second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hereinafter referred to as O, A, and M, respectively.

~O: The American elections are finally over and…praise Allah…Hussein has won. As they sing in democrat circles, "Happy Days Are Here Again." (starts singing)

~M (perplexed): What is this strange song…not even the whine of a muezzin with the tonsillitis sounds so…

~A: Stop it, Osama…Allah be mortified…he’s been listening to the short-wave Voice of America again, Mahmoud. Ever since we lost our Dixie Chicks CD he's…

~O: The whine of a sick muezzin! Is that what you said, Mahmoud? (brandishes AK-47) Allah prepare to receive a…ah well…Barry has won and he makes the whole world sing…

~M: Put that down, Osama…I was making a joke…Allah have a sense of humor…your commanding, majestic voice is what inspires beheadings, bombers, suicide pilots, rapes in Sudan and most everywhere else…in short, you are second only to Mullah Omar in inspiring…

~O: Second to Omar…surely you jest, Mahmoud. I’m second to no one. (points AK-47) I’m the…

~A: Calm down, Osama. The Barry who won is not the Manilow that makes the whole world sing, like you think. He's the great Obamessiah. Mahmoud only means that Mullah Omar is the Commander of the Faithful, making him – even with that one eye and not much education like I, as a doctor, have – the most esteemed Muslim alive, even if less than 30% of the Afghanis who appointed him can read…Allah be embarrassed! Besides, he has refused to turn us over to the evil Great Satan Cheney, who shoots innocent bird-hunters, and Omar could deliver us most any time. Imagine being shot in the behind with bird-shot!

~O (lowering the gun): Ah…you're right, Ayman…sorry, Mahmoud…it's living in these bat-infested caves all these years that's made my life, besides being one of supreme sacrifice, so miserable.

~A: Oh woe, Mahmoud…Allah take notice of the sacrifice of your servants. If we venture out to a Pakistani village the drones fly overhead and take pictures and if we venture for a night or two to Kabul, the evil Karzai sets his henchmen out to get us. Even now, he is begging the Americans to let Mullah Omar have safe passage to his tribe, never mind the ten million dollars the U.S. has promised as reward for him.

~O: Bah! Only ten million for that one-eyed Taliban. I'm worth 25 million U.S. dollars…Allah take notice…another reason for never getting too close to anyone, even in Pakistan, where that crooked widower of Benazir is president now and would sell his entire family for the price of a dozen Texas longhorns…

~A: Speaking of which, Mahmoud, have you brought us any steaks? All we have here is goat bologna, overripe figs, a few mushrooms and MREs the American GIs trade to the Karzai army for the caviar the Russians send us as a bribe to keep al Qaeda from flying airliners into all those skyscrapers they showed off during the Olympics, which is then traded back to the Americans for cigarettes. Oh…ha…ha…Allah be glorified…as if we had any more such brave pilots to send to the virgins!

~M: U-m-m-m. I understand that the main reason is that the Chinese won't issue driver licenses to good Muslims so they can attend Chinese flying-schools, like the stupid Americans did when…who was he…Slick Willie…was president. As for steaks, Mullah Omar told me to tell you that you can eat cake.

~O: Ah…Slick Willie…whew…whew…WHEW…WHEW…all those interns without these awful burkas…without much of anything…who could blame him for…WHEW!!!

~A: Allah be ashamed for Osama! Stop that drooling, Osama…your beard is getting matted. But to the business at hand, Mahmoud! What does the election of this Barry Hussein Obama mean for us?

~M: It means that he and I will talk without preconditions, which is the same as saying without being in the same country. Hoo-hah ! Allah be thanked for my wisdom…I have already sent word to this Rahm Emanuel, his assistant who they say sends dead fish to his enemies…most everybody…ha…ha…that the preconditions will be set by me, not by him…and that he'd better not reveal that to the stupid American citizens or I will have Ayatollah Khomenei pronounce a fatwa on the Howard Dean, the savior of the democrats. I heard that this Emanuel put a horse's head in Dean's bed…must have been the ultimate compliment…with plenty of blood!

~A: a-a-r-r-h-h-g-g-A-A-R-R-H-H-G-G-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H…ON TO WISCONSIN…

~O (firing AK-47 at the ceiling): Shut up, Ayman…sheesh…look at these dead bats all over my prayer rug and mangy feathers in our hookah! Forgive him, Mahmoud…as you know, Ayman vents his frustrations and admirations by using the Dean scream…Allah be not deafened by this fool…not to mention us…and alerting the American Rangers who might be lurking anywhere these days!

~A: Allah be sanitized…you've upset our latrine ditch again, Osama, and now look at what's streaming under your prayer rug. Mahmoud, how long will it take to talk the Obamessiah into keeping troops in that accursed Iraq so they won't be sent here?

~M: Surely you jest, Ayman. I will talk the Obamessiah into taking all the Americans out of Iraq immediately so al-Maliki and the rest of us Shiites can take over Iraq and…

~A (brandishing AK-47): Stop right there, Mahmoud. (shoots AK-47 through the cave entrance, killing two bodyguards) What's this business about the Shiites taking over Iraq?

~M: Ayman, Ayman. The Shiites are 60% of the population…we're entitled…like that Father Pfleger said about Hillary while he was preaching and doing what the Americans call the bump-and-grind in that church that claims the Garden of Eden was in the Congo. Besides, Saddam and his Sunni gang ran the place for 25 years and killed 400,000 Shiites, give or take a few thousand…so it IS our turn.

~O: There is a certain weird logic to that, Mahmoud, but do you plan to talk the Obamessiah into taking all these UN troops, especially the Americans, out of Afghanistan, like you've promised.

~M: It's as good as done, Osama. Anyone who can thrill 200,000 in Berlin and make the leg of the American MSNBC guru Chris Matthews tingle can do anything. I'm making him a present of the state-of-the-art teleprompter – made in China – to let him know of my sincerity. And with the American economy going into the tank since the democrats have been taking over Congress since 2005, I plan to buy off the entire democrat caucus in both houses and talk the Obamessiah out of the White House, claiming no preconditions, and take over the government. It's all in that vision I had while speaking at the United Nations. What's in this hookah, anyway? (nods off)

~ A & O: a-a-r-r-g-g-h-h-a-a-r-r-g-g-h-h-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H!!!!!!!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DNC Memorandum #38

Office of Dr. Howard Dean, chair-whoopee (the new SCREAM©)

***My allusion to being virtually certain of keeping my job in Memo #37 was actually another campaign ploy. I had decided long ago that one term would be enough but I needed to scare the republican governors into a panic when they met recently and roughed it in that posh Miami establishment. My ruse worked, as proven by their collective incoherence regarding whom they might choose as their next big-time loser chairing the RNC, thus total chaos in the Republican Party, already thoroughly trashed by my magnificent leadership since 2005. Any notion of fear concerning my job and a possible power-play by Rahm Emanuel, is without credence, since Chief Obama (thanks for the Native-American vote) knows who was right all along and who has won both the Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008. Also, Emanuel has never mailed me a dead fish and has insisted he will not do it again.

***President Obama, in looking over the newspapers and in a phone conversation with Dan Rather, has recognized that the current recession has built up to the current mess during the nearly two years that the democrats have ruled the Congress, including while both he and the vice president have been in the Senate (okay, once in a while). He’s indicated, therefore, that he needs a red/yellow/black/white-paper (diversity as god) explaining that the fault lies with the republicans. He would like an emphasis on the Hoover administration in the 1920s-30s, if that fits and assuming anyone remembers it, but feels it imperative that the actual blame be placed on the Reagan years, when prosperity and self-confidence got out of hand, thus nullifying the normal gloom and doom that should be present in the United Sates at all times, especially as noted by the Europeans, who recognize evil/shame when they see it. Since neither the Senate nor the House provided oversight of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in 2007-08, the housing problem is not to be mentioned in the paper, no matter how apropos.

***President Obama in a conversation with a fifth-grader discovered contrary to his belief that Nancy Reagan did not have séances in the White House when she was first lady. He also discovered that former first lady Clinton was into séances, and this explains her recent conference with him, though the official leak was about the State Secretary job, which Governor Richardson is seeking, as well as Senator Kerry and lots of other people. The wag who suggested that this is mostly because of all the free trips around the world having meaningless conferences and eating exotic food makes the position attractive has been assigned to registering voters for 2010 in the Everglades, where two staffers disappeared without a trace last summer. Though President Obama has indicated no faith in séances, he has suggested – off the record, of course – that he might do well to channel Aaron Burr…just in case Ahmadinejad, when they meet without preconditions, should suggest a mano a mano settlement with respect to Iranian nuclear allowance. Beheading-swords rather than pistols are the weapons of choice in Iran, so I’ve suggested channeling al Zarqawi instead, al Qaeda’s best butcher in Iraq until he was caught in the wrong house at the right time in 2006.

***The rumor that William Ayers will become the Secretary of Homeland Security and anti-terrorism czar has no basis in fact and all staffers are directed to make this known. The staffer who posted the notice It Takes One To Know One by the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced snack-bar and body-mass-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, blue-state-map, and Bush-dart-board has been disciplined by having to listen to Ayers’ statement “We didn’t do enough” 576,000 times. He can be visited at Maryland Insane Asylum but only during the periods when he’s in his straitjacket.

***Work is progressing by the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah (sic ’em with the HIV) Wright and Father Pfleger on the new definition of the “typical white person.” Senator Leahy, acting as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, asked to participate in forming the definition but was turned down by the reverends because of his proclivity to leak to any media person who will treat him with respect, not that any are known (little joke there). Michael Moore has scrubbed his new movie project tentatively entitled "The Great Satan is Red and Caucasian" in favor of a newer movie tentatively entitled “Calypso Louie Discovers Messiah.” The background music will be reggae and Harry Bellafonte will appear to sing the Fig-newton Boat Song.

***Applications are being taken now for those wishing to participate in President (remember to always use this title) Obama’s transition team. Rumors that chief-of-staff Emanuel insists on arm-wrestling every applicant are untrue. (A word to the wise, however – be sure to lose, the rumor being taken seriously that those who win are turned over for reeducation to the ACORN enforcement arm, trained by Ayers, in Chicago). Two bodies found in Lake Michigan bore DNC tattoos and tongue-rings with the DNC emblem engraved thereon and another top staffer with a strong arm and weak mind woke up the other morning to find a horse’s head in his bed.

***Your chairperson has taken no vacations since January 2005 and thus will take the rest of the year off…with pay. You will be working for a new chairperson early next year, whose first act will probably be to fire you, so be thinking of catching on with the staff of a new Congressperson. Suggestion: don’t show up for an interview wearing a tank-top or mini-mini-skirt, the usual thing around here. Some of these new congresspersons are yahoos and don’t know what’s cool yet.

***You will note from the above (for recent college graduates) that I am adding a new SCREAM© to my repertoire as I prepare for the banquet and liberal-university speaker-circuit (megabucks galore). Instead of the “On to Wisconsin” motif, it will be a simple but hugely amplified WHOOPEE!!! It will be a sort of cross between a Tarzan yell and a diesel-locomotive-horn and is already copyrighted, so you may not use it without permission. I will introduce the new SCREAM© in a speech sponsored by the ACLU at Guantanamo. It will be billed as the “I Have a Scream II” speech but will be directed toward the ocean in order not to offend the prisoners unless the Greens nix this plan account of disturbing the whale mating-calls. Until we meet again – HAPPY HUNTING…but not with Cheney.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bailout...the Perfect Scam

The current bailout, if anything, proves that the American public is one huge "sucker," having been used by the powers-that-be in both the public and private sectors for whatever purposes serve their interests. The Freddie/Fannie debacle is at the bottom of the mess and this just about says it all since those agencies form a combine of public and private incest, with the illegitimate offspring being bankruptcy. The taxpayers – ordinary folks naively trusting both sectors – are hit with the loss, notwithstanding that hundreds of billions of bailout loot goes to the Chinese, the holders of immense proportions of American bad debt.

This, too, points to the problem. Why should the Chinese, who have experts of their own who should have knowledge of what’s been happening for years, especially since the democrats took over Congress in January 2007, get well at the expense of innocent Americans? If their experts let them down, then they should bite their own bullet – okay, they have, at least to an extent – and bail themselves out the best way they can. Last month, Treasury Secretary Paulson said, "We're not proud of all the mistakes that were made by many different people, different parties, failures of our regulatory system, failures of market discipline that got us here." Not proud? Egad!

The folks in the private sector function on the basis of profit and greed. The elected officials and bureaucrats in government are supposed to function as protectors of the public welfare. Former Fannie Mae CEOs Johnson and Raines are representative of both groups, especially with regard to greed. They milked their institution for tens of millions of dollars, cooking the books and using the government agency as a tool to feed their greed. That they can escape prison for their thievery seems impossible, but both men played significant roles in Obama's campaign until they were called out publicly, so the notion that the democrat "good ol' boy network," especially with a soon-to-be-democrat attorney general, will make them pay for their perfidy is just that – a notion.

Folks expect the private sector operatives to steal them blind whenever they get the chance or can make the chance, but they should be able to have confidence in their elected officials to keep those operatives as honest as possible, both management and labor. This is the worst part and involves both political parties. Either the elected representatives in both the Senate and the House are in on the deals (much proof of that lately)…or, they are collectively dumb as a gourd…or both.

The pointers to the current crisis have been evident for a long while and public pronouncements referencing it have been all over the place. This means that the solons should have seen the handwriting on the wall long ago and prevented the crisis from happening. Instead, despite testimonies in hearings and all the rest, they stuck their heads in the sand and let what they thought (or at least hoped) were the good times roll on. The simple truth that there's no such thing as a "free lunch" never seemed to register, so they let the smooth operators run the nation's business into the ground.

This has happened positively since the democrats took over both houses of Congress in January 2006. Perhaps it's instructive to ponder that the best way to turn a nation into socialism is to bankrupt it first. Obama has already made it plain that he intends to redistribute the wealth from the most responsible citizens to the most irresponsible. This amounts to punishing those who make the system work by taking what they can earn and giving it away. This is not a cold-hearted statement, just a fact.

As a result, the government now owns parts of banks, lending agencies, mortgage institutions, automobile manufacturing (courtesy of the average John Doe and the pensioners), and the list will go on as the operators see what they consider a good thing. The elected officials, who, along with Obama, clamor for a socialistic system are in the majority now and in a position to make the country the primary owner of everything. The fat cats don't think they have to worry about this approach because they are immunized through having plenty of everything, while the proletariat can eat cake.

The fat cats may err. The Olde Europe model is not likely to work in this country, not least because individualism is too strong a concept for the middle class, especially, to forfeit. This is ironic because Obama/Biden made their play to the middle class, with the notion clearly in mind to scam it just like the "shrewd" mortgage-makers didn't explain to their victims just how they could not actually afford the property they were letting them buy – and scamming the whole system in the process to feed their greed.

So…does Obama intend to keep printing money? Does he mean to extort the wealthy (whoever that is) or the high wage-earners, who can loophole the government to shreds, and reduce taxes on 95% of the population when 38% will pay no taxes in 2009 anyway? How does that work – monthly stimulus checks, perhaps? Perhaps he means to cream the top five percent and cut income taxes for the 62% who actually will pay taxes…minus that five percent, of course. That's wealth redistribution, but don't tell that to the 38%. They don't get a cut…they don't pay anyway, and they won't get a stimulus, either. Voodoo economics? Naw…socialism!

The founding fathers (even considering their own faults) would flip in their graves if they could see this pie-in-the-sky gang in operation. The stock market is in the tank and will stay there because Obama has made it plain that profit is bad and will soon indicate that the guilty will not pay.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, November 07, 2008

White House de Rigueur

Dear Barry,

I'm taking the liberty of making some suggestions relative to running the government and operating the White house. These thoughts have been crystallized through the hard knocks of experience, not gazing through a crystal ball or consulting the Oracle of Delphi, sometimes known more familiarly as Dick Cheney.

There's a small alcove to the left of the Oval Office, sometimes called the "crying room," although at least one president has used it for another purpose. It's good to repair there occasionally when events become a bit too much. I've spent time there since the election because it reminded me that I soon will have to buy my own plane and face the carbon taxes applied thereto. As a favor, would you ask Al Gore if there are any loopholes concerning this tax? Also, you may feel the need for this room when all the people who claim you promised them something for their vote (multiple votes, in Chicago) show up to collect. In your case, that line may reach to the Canadian border.

This room is stocked with super-strength Kleenex especially designed for protracted periods of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. I used up to three boxes at a time myself when the mainstream media constantly harped on my alleged mispronunciation of nucular. Because of its therapeutic nature, it's the only non-partisan room in the White House, so I welcomed Senator Kerry there to handle his disappointment at discovering that the medals/ribbons he threw over the fence in 1971 would not be accepted in the Smithsonian.

Down the hall is a room designated VPHP, these initials standing for Vice Presidential Holding Pattern. It's equipped with everything needed to control a vice president who becomes a problem, usually by thinking for himself or saying what he thinks – or both. About the only time Cheney spent much time there had nothing to do with thinking, however, but as a hideaway from the press after he shot that guy in Texas. In the case of your vice president, you may need to furnish the room as an actual apartment complex, since you will be wise to keep him there indefinitely. You can't banish him there without cause, of course, but he will probably provide that in approximately the first minute of his first press conference.

Vice President Gore spent so much time in that room that it was called "An Inconvenient Room" by the press corps. During the Carter administration, it was called the "Mondale Malaise Room." This room has such things as a shock-treatment machine to help make the veep more amenable to reality and a hypnotist to help him recognize it. This is important since Senator Biden often speaks without benefit of either prior or present thought, such as when he implied some months ago that you would be a learning-on-the-job president.

There are two presidential disposal cans, in your case a blue one for actual trash and the chartreuse can for presidential news-leaks. This method was introduced when it was discovered during the Nixon administration that reporters routinely went through the trashcans behind the house of State Secretary Kissinger for any tidbit of information (translated, scoop). There's a code, of course, and the handful of press people that you can trust (but never bet the farm on these guys) have to be informed. For instance, if someone is to be fired, the name is slipped into an Ex-Lax box, thus indicating a purge is in order. By printing or enunciating this leak, a reporter simply encourages the official to resign, thus probably foreclosing a messy scene and doing you a favor in return for the favor (translated, poop-scoop).

Between the VPHP and the OO is the COSA (Chief of Staff Asylum). Chiefs of Staff have a reputation for approaching loony-tunes mode at times since they spend so much time on the job and always have at least five phones ringing/beeping/clanging at one time. Also, they have the messy job of being the surrogate in-your-face-creature for the president vis-à-vis anyone the press secretary also can't insult, as well as publicly insulting people the president can't afford to offend but also can't stand.

A resident psychiatrist is assigned to this room and has full authority for treatment, even using straitjackets as temporary therapy. I have authorized two psychiatrists for your Chief, Rahm Emanuel, who is known for having frothed at the mouth when he snarled at a short-order cook for taking a full minute to prepare a hamburger. There also are doggie-bones in the COSA now for when Emanuel feels the need to gnaw on something besides his fingernails (that missing finger an over-gnawed nail?).

Finally, in the sub-sub-sub-sub-basement there is a lounge-like hall called the Orgy Room. This room – furnished with the proper libations, equipment and personnel – is used for conferences with key members of Congress, with a sort of understanding that "anything goes." While I certainly never imbibe, I know that deals can be more easily struck after the key members have – shall we say – become oblivious of reality. I never enter until the time is right, and a good chief of staff calls the shot on the timing, provided he has not joined the orgy. If he has (you will know about Emanuel if he bites someone), then just turn out the lights.

These are just a few items of interest. Call me if you need more information. Feel free at any time the crying room doesn't do the job to come on down to Crawford and we can chop wood together while taking turns swearing at the Congress and other miscreants, such as our most hated talking-heads.



And so it goes…Jim Clark.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

DNC Memorandum #37

From the office of Dr. Howard Dean, chair-leader (Hooray for our side!)

***First, a word of appreciation for all the hard work. Our man has won and the nation will never be the same. The rumor that DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel, soon to be Senator Obama's chief of staff, has challenged me to a duel is untrue. The fact that I was right in 2005 and have been ever since regarding the management of the party has been construed by NBC/ABC/CBS/MSNBC/CNN and Dan Rather as a slap in Emanuel's face, thus properly demanding a duel a la Aaron Burr-mode, is the cause of this rumor. Dueling is against the law, of course, but if goaded I will suggest marshmallows at 30 feet, and the Honorable Right Reverend Imam Dr. Louis Farrakhan will be my second, having earned that right by correctly identifying Obama as the Messiah. In line to be Emanuel's second is Michelle Obama, having earned that right by correctly identifying the nation as being mean, thus an ideal location for a duel. In any case, a possible duel will not be fought in Pennsylvania, since the citizens there might clutch their Bibles and handguns together and accidentally kill someone while flipping to Psalm 23.

***It's been reported that Senator Kerry is seeking to be the new Secretary of State, and this office has been requested to make every effort to find the medals and ribbons he threw over the fence in 1971. He has presented a number of versions of this patriotic act, which obviously qualifies him for the post and could be used in his Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, though the senator has no clear memory of which medals or what fence or exactly what day were involved but is certain that it didn't happen in Cambodia at Christmas-time in 1968. Metal detectors will be assigned to staffers who are willing to search. In the absence of success, the rumor is that a medical doctor who can perform electoral miracles would be next in line and especially useful in dealing with Kenya's health officials, Prime Minister Odinga (Obama's cousin), and terrorists, all groups perhaps being the same.

***Senator Clinton has posted a notice on the bulletin board by the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced snack-bar and body-mass-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, and blue-state-map that she is accepting contributions to help pay back her $12.5 million loan to herself during the primary race. Those who can't give cash are invited to mow her lawn, do her laundry, write hate-republican speeches for her and carry signs at the capitol generally espousing her ousting of Majority Leader Reid. Use your ingenuity in doing this. For instance: STOP THE WHINE; CLINTON IN 09. The senator (or somebody – little joke there) is writing a book of explanation tentatively entitled "It Takes a Majority to Raise Anything."

***Incoming Vice President Biden exuberantly PROMISED in a recent speech that someone would throw a world crisis at President Obama within six months of next January 20. The recently announced deployment of Russian missiles near Poland doesn't count (this crisis rightly belongs to Bush and Cheney), even if it's true (unlikely), and no other evidence of world crises is currently extant or even predicted. Biden has requested a small group of the brightest staffers to volunteer for an effort to foment a crisis somewhere outside the country (maybe Tijuana), but not too serious to demand anything more than just a slight payoff (maybe just a couple million for somewhere like Grand Cayman Island). Volunteers will be responsible for all expenses (including burial, especially eventuating from an overdose). This means, of course, that San Francisco is not eligible, even though it has tried to foment a military crisis for Bush and even though its city council does not consider the city part of the U.S. Biden has made it plain that he simply cannot break a promise, especially since the campaign blew up his plagiarism gaffe again.

***Incoming Vice President Biden explained last year and until he dropped out of the presidential race months ago, with one-half a delegate, that the presidency is not an on-the-job-training exercise, so incoming President Obama has requested a red/yellow/black/white (diversity-cool) paper describing his completed training for the job. The staffer who comes up with this document will naturally use Obama's Berlin victory as evidence of world-affairs erudition. Consequently she/he/it will be given a trip to Berlin as reward but will have to pay all expenses. I never said that working at the DNC would be a rose-garden, and I won't say it again.

***Former Deputy National Security Adviser in the Clinton administration James Steinberg is rumored to be in line as Obama's National Security Adviser. This being the case, staffers are required to never mention the 1993 WTC bombing, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, the 1998 embassy-bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2000 USS Cole bombing, or 9/11. The reason is obvious, of course, and the 9/11 episode is mentioned because it, too, was hatched in the Clinton administration and everybody knows this – even in Appalachia and Arkansas. Also – and this is extremely important – never mention that no terrorist attacks have been made in this country since 9/11…again, for obvious reasons.

***I am virtually certain of keeping my job but am requesting that all staffers keep a lookout for positions calling for a first-class political/medical/propaganda ace in the slight chance that Emanuel or Speaker-Grandma Pelosi will demand a pound of Vermont flesh…and I don't mean that of Senator "Leaky" (couldn't resist) Leahy.

***There have been inquiries as to why Senator Obama made his victory speech in Grant Park without any supporters, campaign staffers, fund-raisers of $607 million, girls-for-Obama, etc., appearing with him on the stage. This was due to the precedent set by the Honorable Reverend Dr. Louis Farrakhan at the 2005 "Millions More" affair in D.C., who alone (okay, his daughter, too) spoke from the main throne while all other speakers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Julianne Malveaux, were forced to speak from the secondary throne. The Grant Park enthroning indicated that Messiah is set apart, just as was the case with the Greek columns at the convention in Arizona, notwithstanding that the Apaches and not the Greeks "inhabited the land." Give no credence to the rumor that President Obama will nominate SCOTUS judges who will promise to rule that the term "president" in the Constitution can be legally interchanged with "Messiah" or what any president chooses to rule appropriate. This does not apply to the vice presidency since the term Vice Messiah is a hopeless oxymoron.

***President (word just came that the senator requires that title now instead of waiting for the inauguration) Obama no longer has any need for red/yellow/black/white papers describing a typical Pentecostal and typical Muslim, since the election is over and so who cares what either one is. The votes are in. President Obama is also reconsidering the definition of a typical white person, also now that the election is over. No staffer need worry about having to work on this. The rumor is that the services of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger have been engaged in constructing the new definition. When they have finished their work, Michael Moore will produce a movie on the subject tentatively entitled "The Great Satan is Red and Caucasian."

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Process - SICK!

Every four years the same hue-and-cry is heard, to wit, that something needs to be done about national elections resulting from campaigns that are far too long and are powered more by the money candidates can raise than by their resumes. This cycle has been the worst within memory reaching back to the 1940s, when the perpetrator of this corner took notice as an adult. Indeed, this cycle is marked more by its obscenity with respect to the garish commercialization of the office than by anything else.

The current trouble started back in the 1970s when the primaries came on line as the actual determinants with respect to the nominees. Concurrent with the rapidly increasing use of TV, candidates started early and made actual vocations of campaigning for months and even years at a time, notwithstanding that many if not most of them were already in elected offices and thus glaringly neglecting the duties which they had been elected to discharge and which they had sworn to carry out. Both Senator Obama and McCain have been AWOL in the Senate for so long that they might have trouble finding the restrooms, as has Senator Clinton, who’s actually been campaigning for the presidency since 2000, when she bought and paid for a New York Senate seat as a stepping-stone to the presidency after never having lived in that state.

Though popularity has long been a part of the process, the popularity contest this year has been obscene to the point of trivializing the election and the office…so obscene that the largest rally for any candidate was held in Berlin (not Ohio), Germany. The whole "world-affairs-education" trip made by Senator Obama (an admission of his almost total ignorance), in which he was fully prepared for the office, took a whole week to complete. It was a photo-op exercise, nothing more, nothing less.

Picking Sara Palin for his running mate was too transparent a gimmick on the part of Senator McCain, who must have felt that countering a black with a woman was the way to "back in." It was cynical, though it must be admitted that she has had far more actual experience at governing than any of the other three candidates, all of them senators who had never run any kind of operation, although McCain did take credit for "running" a U.S. Navy fighter squadron. While McCain and Biden at least had had decades of service in Congress, Obama, who took office in 2005, had pulled out of his Senate duties by 2006 to start campaigning and has done nothing else since then.

The parties need to get their acts together. The superficiality of the process was graphically shown this year when the democrat delegates of Michigan and Florida were not to be seated in the convention because the democrat pooh-bahs were miffed at their states' lunge toward the front of the pack with respect to holding their primaries. One remembers that famous TVed debate. Of course, when it became clear that Obama didn't have to worry – VOILA! – the rules were ignored. Disgusting!

Ironically, if a campaigner had to undergo a security check, Senator Obama probably couldn't pass it, mainly because of his close associations with well documented subversives, people like William Ayers and his partner-in-terrorism-crime-wife Bernardine Dorhn, Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Louis Farrakhan, and the honchos in ACORN, a subversive organization dedicated to milking governments on all levels for everything it can get, as well as perpetrating fraud in its well-documented registration efforts.

Solutions to this problem are not hard to recognize. If state primaries are to be held, they should all be held on the same day not more than four months before an election (July, first Tuesday). Campaigns should be legislatively sanctioned to begin eight months before the election (March). The conventions don't matter and could be held at any time. Vice presidents should be chosen in the primaries, not by the prez-candidate. Campaigning would then be prohibited before March of an election year, immeasurable relief for the public. There should be a cap on the amount any candidate can spend, no matter how much she/he raises. Actually, the intervals could be much shorter since both radio and TV make exposure so complete that everything a voter needs to know can be learned in a very short time.

Actually, the parties should like this approach. For one thing, campaigns wouldn't be started so early that changing world and national situations would necessitate constant changes in both philosophy and, more importantly, the spinning and speech-writing process. Case in point: the Iraq "Surge." This blind-sided Obama, who had already declared the Iraq effort a loss. Case in point: the Afghani/Taliban re-surge. This blind-sided McCain. The only wild-card thrown into the four months preceding the current election has been the economic mess, but even the run-up to that was perfectly obvious many months ago. The current Congress was totally asleep at the switch, led by Senator Harry "the Whiner" Reid and Speaker "the Grandma/Nanny" Pelosi, but McCain has had to take the hit since the democrats, playing upon a perceived ignorance on the part of the public, successfully laid it at the feet of Bush/McCain.

In any case, the constant theme sounded by the public for months has been along the lines of "Just get it over with!" This cycle has comprised irrefutable proof that the election process has been prostituted to the extent of being silly, superficial, dishonest and depraved. Enough already!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark