We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What the Republicans "Really" Need to do

Okay, the election is over and we can all hunker down and try to brace ourselves for the wave of Socialist "Change" that we all "need" so badly. Having lived through the Carter and Clinton Administrations, here is what will happen:

The economy won't recover any time soon, this will lead to a more balanced Congress in 2010. But in the meantime, the Democrats won't waste any time:

- Blocking any and all future efforts to drill our own oil on or off shore

- Nationalizing Abortion on Demand up to and including a near full term infant

- Raising taxes at least on those in the top two rates (since they have more money than they need and it won't hurt them in the downturn.

- Creating "Unionization by Decree", allowing any company to be unionized by having employees sign a 3X5 cards while being "encouraged" by outside organizers who will have government-permission to enter your premises whenever they want.

- Blocking any and all current and future efforts to produce more electricity from anything other than solar and wind

- Taxing coal and natural gas electric plants to "fight global Warming" and thereby raising electric rates sky high

- Filling the federal courts with leftwing judges who will ensure that the above policies are enforced through the legal system

- Start us down the path of Nationalized Healthcare

Just like we have seen, this type of "revolution" is hard to undo since having a filibuster-proof majority in Congress is a rare occurrence and even when you have a solid majority, Republicans tend to get timid.

The problem gets even tougher when so many Republican leaders want to take the party further into liberalism in the twisted idea that if they look more like Democrats, they'll win more votes. They claim that the party has to become more "inclusive", they need to reach out to specific groups including minorities, gays, soccer moms, illegal immigrants, Wal-Mart shoppers, etc. They claim that we need to get on board the global warming train even though the facts show that it is a myth.

This idea is nonsense. Just a quick look at the last two elections will show how ridiculous this idea would be. By the time his 8 years in office are done, George W Bush will leave the White House with one of the lowest approval ratings in history. His brand of liberalism, hidden behind the title of "Compassionate Conservatism", has put the country in the depths of a very severe downturn, allowing the first Socialist president in history to get elected with a strong majority in the Congress. After the Republicans gained a greater majority in 2004, they failed to make the current tax rates permanent and increased spending to levels that would make the most liberal Democrat proud. So how'd they do in the 2006 election? The real conservatives stayed home and given the choice between liberal Republicans and left-wing Democrats, liberals chose Democrats.

This year, with the help of "open primaries" where Democrats were allowed to cross over and vote, the Republicans chose the most liberal, "Democrat-lite" candidate they've ever had. The only reason that the election was so close was that people like me voted against Obama, a McCain Presidency just scared me less.

If you actually look at the results, you will see that in most cases, it was the more conservative Republican Candidates, who actually "saved their seats".

So the idea of becoming more liberal, will doom the party to second class status for decades. So how does the Republican Party, win back the love of the Country? Here is my suggestion.

#1, Drop the term "conservative". Thanks to the main-stream media, the term has morphed into so many different definitions that can be attacked from so many angles, that it no longer is a concept that Americans can rally around.

#2, Replace the conservative with Constitution. If you become the "Party of the Constitution", you eliminate many objections and attacks (who can attack the Constitution convincingly) as well as create a clear, definable difference with Democrat policies. You become the party that defends Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of individual achievement and prosperity. You become the all-inclusive party because you believe that "All are Created Equal". You become the party of small federal government, by encouraging the Concept of States' Rights, pushing government costs as close to the end user as possible and not blocking the right of any state to grow there economy because some special interest group in a state across the country opposes it.

#3, Start the education process now. Republicans need an organized effort at the grass root level. Recruit teachers, professors and local government candidates to start espousing the virtues of the Constitution. Recruit "Constitutional Activists", and like-minded lawyers to start going after local governments that always threaten loss of essential services like police and fire fighters when faced with a tax revolt as well as school boards who always look to cut sports and valuable education services when a millage vote is on the ballot. Find candidates that preach the message that government works for the people and not the other way around. Point out the absurdity that anyone should have to take these threats from an elected official.

The future of the country is at stake, one only needs to look at Western Europe to see how bad things can get under institutionalized socialism. Trying to out-liberal a socialist to try to win votes is a ridiculous notion, conservatives will walk away and liberals will always vote Democrat. It is only through embracing the Constitution and articulating the benefits for all in a way that the average voter can understand, will we finally get this country on the track that made it the envy of the world for so many years.

The “Bailout Clause” of the U.S. Constitution

Whiskey & Gunpowder
November 19, 2008
By Byron W. King
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

I was looking through my pocket-copy of the U.S. Constitution for the “Bailout Clause.” I must have missed it. If any readers out there can find the Bailout Clause, please send me a note and let me know where it is.

There is, however, a “Bankruptcy Clause” in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 4). I’ve written before about bankruptcy in Whiskey & Gunpowder. See “National Bankruptcy,” and “A Suggestion of Bankruptcy,” Part I and Part II.

The key point is that the framers of the U.S. Constitution specifically anticipated that the nation would encounter economic troubles from time to time. So they gave Congress the power to enact bankruptcy laws, as opposed to “bailout” laws. And throughout U.S. history, the various economic “Panics” — which occurred every couple of decades — always led to one direction or another in the evolution of state and federal bankruptcy laws. Hey, bankruptcy works. (Full disclosure — I used to practice bankruptcy law.)

At some times in U.S. history, the bankruptcy laws favored the creditor class. During other times, the bankruptcy laws favored debtors. The point is that the economic hardships were eventually manifested in bankruptcy proceedings.

Just as all rivers flow to the sea, bad debt must find its way to discharge. So bankruptcy court was where judges and attorneys and other financial experts (like accountants and actuaries) could deal with each case on the merits. The problems could come to some sort of resolution. Some people came out OK. Other people lost everything. But capital flowed from weak hands to strong hands, and the economy moved along.

Why Not Bankruptcy Process?

But not today. Indeed, according to the New York Times many law firms — including firms that focus on bankruptcy work — are actually scaling back and laying off staff. Why is that? Why are the politicians so eager to avoid seeing companies go into bankruptcy? The government is trying to solve the problems of gargantuan levels of debt — along with chronic insolvency and illiquidity within the economy — without resorting to the constitutional-based legal mechanisms and tools that have served the nation well for over 200 years.

Consider the problems of derivatives. Few understand them. Many so-called derivative “contracts” are little more than mathematical formulae based on a series of futuristic occurrences that are entirely speculative. Their initial value in the best of times was entirely somebody’s guess. So is it any surprise that it is all but impossible to place a value on such things during the throes of a recession? Yet derivatives are some of the “troubled assets” that the Treasury is attempting to bail out. This is ridiculous!

Why is the Treasury allowing even one dollar of taxpayer money to get near a derivative? Why not use the bankruptcy process in this kind of situation? The companies that hold unsalable derivatives should have to go into a Chapter 11 proceeding and let a bankruptcy court sort it out. If the derivatives have value, let someone say so — under oath — in front of a federal judge. If the derivatives are worthless, let the judges do what we pay them to do — void the instruments and allocate the losses.

Sure, bankruptcy cases take time to roll through the courts. But could Chapter 11 bankruptcy be any worse than the current drip-drip-drip, hemorrhage of funds into the black hole of the likes of AIG? And at least some bankruptcy judge might just put a stop to the AIG exploits of taking nice vacations to exotic resort locales.

Or what about the U.S. automobile industry? Now the domestic carmakers want some of that TARP money too. Or else what? They’ll have to file for Chapter 11? Yeah? And then?

Well on the day that the automakers file for bankruptcy, the automobile factories will still be there. The patents and designs aren’t going anywhere. The workers and design teams will stick around for a while — it’s not like there are a whole lot of other jobs out there, except maybe raking leaves in leafy suburbs.

It seems to me that General Motors, Ford or Chrysler — without the legacy costs of pensions and health care and featherbed contracts for non-working union members — would actually be a decent investment for a Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) form of financing. Any DIP-lender worth its salt would certainly go into the management suites to take names, kick ass and get rid of the deadwood. And over the long term, if U.S. automakers actually paid more for steel than they have to pay for retiree health care, then we might actually see a revival of that industry.

Meanwhile, We’re Losing Time

Meanwhile, we are losing time. “Ask me for anything,” said Napoleon to his lieutenant. “Anything but time.”

What Napoleon was saying to his subordinate was that in the context of war, there are always setbacks. Terrain, for example, is sometimes captured and lost to the enemy. But lost terrain can be regained. And troops are lost in combat, but the armed forces can be rebuilt and reconstituted from the strategic reserve. Lost time, however? Once it has passed, time is gone forever. You will never get it back, and no general — however great — can win it back on any field of battle.

It is the same thing with the declining U.S. and world economy. The world’s central bankers and treasury ministers dither, and squander capital into bottomless pits of a deflationary recession.

But the great villain in all of this is debt, pure and simple. And much debt is just a collection of bizarre debt instruments, exotic forms of speculative contracts, and obligations so massive that they will never be repaid. So why prolong the agony? Liquidate it now. Let the bankruptcy courts do what the framers intended.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

OK, Now I think You're Stupid........

The "Taker's" are now in charge and the "Maker's" are now the target. They have no interest in learning how to fish, they want your fish, and the government will now ensure that you give them your fish....or else!

In 2005, Hermann Cain wrote the book "They Think You're Stupid: Why Democrats Lost Your Vote and What Republicans Must Do to Keep It" (the Republicans didn't listen)and after the 2006 elections, I wrote a blog arguing that maybe they are right.

Agreed, the Republican party spent the previous 6 years lurching toward "liberalism light", but the idea that putting sworn enemies of American business and industry like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank in charge of the Congress still made no sense.

The financial meltdown that occurred this year, is a direct result of the policies instituted by liberals and protected by the Democrat-led Congress.

So what did we do? We elected more of them!

With the majorities they now have in the Congress and the election of Obama as President, the most left-wing, America-hating politicians in the country will be able to do whatever they want to us.

And speaking of Obama, here's what I wonder.....

If you voted for him, who did you vote for?

Did you vote for the clean, articulate, "white-sounding", Presidential-looking candidate; or did you vote for.....

The man who admits in his book that he created his circle of friends with the most radical and marxist student activists and Professors he could find?

The man who lied about his tax cut policy which is nothing more than a welfare payment? No where in his plan does he cut tax rates...for anyone and in 2010, all rates go UP to the Clinton administration rates, doubling the tax on the middle class he professes to want to help.

The man who prevented an Illinois vote that would have protected infants who survive abortion procedures?

The man who opposes drilling for our own energy supplies?

The man who wants every business in America unionized....can anybody say "Hello GM!"?

The man who admitted in an interview that energy prices, including energy for home heating and cooling would sky-rocket after he implements his "Cap and Trade" policy to save us from a Climate Change scientific theory that has more holes blown in it every day?

The man who never held a real job, failed in his endeavor to improve even a small portion of the Chicago school system and spent 145 days in Washington DC doing nothing but preparing for a presidential run?

If imagery is the recipe for political success, then the republic is doomed. Do the math, how many of us can afford to take care of our own family's needs AND take care of the needs of our neighbor's? It doesn't work, it hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried and yet, here we go.........

and there's nothing we can do for at least 2 years.