3/5/15: THE COMPANY YOU KEEP

3/5/15: THE COMPANY YOU KEEP

So we’re refraining from supplying arms to help Ukraine expel Russian invaders, so we can get the murderous Putin’s help in negotiating a nuclear deal with with the equally murderous tyrants in Tehran.  Makes sense, huh?  Not to me.

Putin’s denials he had nothing to do with the hit on Boris Nemtsov are about as laughable as his denials that the non-uniformed Russian troops in Ukraine aren’t his.  He’s not only a liar; he’s a murderer.  My guess is that Nemtsov’s “girlfriend” was involved, too.  She fingered him.  How many professional assassins leave a potential eyewitness unharmed?  How could the assassin possibly know where Nemtsov would be without the girl’s help?  She apparently said taking a stroll on the open bridge was Nemtsov’s idea, but of course she would.  She led him to his death.  It may have been a honey trap all along, and all ex-KGB Putin’s idea.  

So these are the people we’re dealing with.  Murders in Moscow, terrorists in Iran.  And we’re making deals with them?  How about no deals with anybody we can’t possibly rely on.  Use crushing sanctions on them both.  Putin has already taken Crimea, is in the process of taking eastern Ukraine, and will shortly set his sights on Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.  What are we going to do then?  And all this is encouraging China to make its move on Taiwan.  What do they have to fear from this President?  Nothing.

I’m not suggesting boots on the ground, but crushing and relentless sanctions on both Russia and Iran to force regime change.  In addition, in the case of Iran, let the Jews bombs the bejesus out of them.  Prime Minister Netanyahu all but promised just that if we would finally see our enemies for who they are. 

One final thought: the pending “agreement” with Iran is an arms control TREATY, just the ones we did with the old USSR, and must be ratified by the Senate.  Period.  And, thank God, the deal under consideration will never be ratified.       

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.144 Trillion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $95.510 Trillion

Debt per Taxpayer (ND+UE): $965,365

Annual Interest on ND: $239.570 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $477.230 Billion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT, AND NOBODY’S TALKING ABOUT IT. 

 

3/3/15: GRAND POLITICAL THEATER

3/3/15: GRAND POLITICAL THEATER

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in town today to tell Congress why the administration has it all wrong on the Iran nuclear deal.  His point — and who can argue? — is that the only way to prevent Iran from going nuclear is to make them remove their centrifuges and give up their stockpiles of enriched uranium.  The administration seems to be on the verge of a deal to do neither and to allow Iran to become a legitimate nuclear power after a decade or so of what will no doubt prove to be impossible verification.  The administration and Democrats are in full panic mode, because Bibi is of course right, so they are boycotting his speech and besmirching the man publicly.  Never in my life has a foreign leader come to town to undercut U.S. policy publicy.  It doesn’t get any better than this.  

Iran will never willingly give up its centrifuges or its enriched uranium stockpiles.  Never.  Nobody’s suggesting American boots on the ground.  All Bibi wants to do is bomb the shit out of them, and the Jews will do it if we give them the green light.  We can impose brutal sanctions that will cripple the Iranian economy and foment civil unrest.  That should be our goal — regime change.  

In the meantime, Iran is thumbing their noses at us.  Last week they shot missiles at a faux American aircraft carrier in the Straits of Hormuz.  This week they’re attacking Tikrit with the Iraqi Army days after we announced we’d be hitting Mosul in April with the same Army.  Obviously, their intent was to beat us to the punch.  But it’s not all bad.  Iran is leading Shiite elements against ISIS, which is Sunni, and that’s what I’ve been hoping for all along — a Sunni/Shiite internecine war that will thin the ranks of both.  Let’s see Iran win that war while Israel is bombing them and we’re squeezing their economy.  Then we can clean up the mess with moderate Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.  Adios, Ayatollahs.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.142 Trillion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $95.492 Trillion

Debt per Taxpayer (ND+UE): $965,307

Annual Interest on ND @.07%!): $239.457 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $477.311 Billion

WE’RE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT, AND NOBODY’S TALKING ABOUT IT.

2/26/15: SUCKER PLAY

2/26/15: SUCKER PLAY

Mitch McConnell is being widely hailed as a genius for navigating the Senate’s way out of the impasse over funding for the Department of Homeland Security.  Not so quick.  By separating DHS funding  from the House’s rollback of the President’s unconstitutional amendment to our immigration laws, the Senator is walking into a trap.

First, Senate Democrats could vote with Republicans to give DHS clean funding through September, but then filibuster the rollback, thus preventing it from reaching the Senate floor.  So Senator McConnell must obtain Democrat assurances they will not resort to the tactic, or he should exercise the nuclear option and deny filibuster power on that bill.  Democrats know the bill will be passed if it comes to the floor because Republicans hold the majority.

Second, even if the rollback passes the House and Senate, the President will surely veto it, and Republicans can’t override a veto in either chamber.  So it’s really a feckless exercise, more like a concession that the House was wrong to begin with to tie the two bills together.  Mr. McConnell says he wants Senators to have the opportunity to “go on record” against the President’s immigration power grab.  The hell with the “record”; this is about rolling it back, not just protesting it.

The only way to roll it back is to do as the House did, tie them together and stick to our guns.  DHS will survive.  Most employees will have to report to work as essential; they just won’t get paid for awhile.  Republicans simply can’t back down in the short-term.  This is a fight worth having.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.138 Trillion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $95.251 Trillion

Debt per Taxpayer (ND+UE): $957,395

Annual Interest on Debt (@.07%!): $239.186 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $477.506 Billion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

2/24/15: FATUOUS

2/24/15: FATUOUS

As you may know, the Bible of the New Left is Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” which I just finished reading.  Honestly, I found it highly educational, exploring as it does the sufferings of various American groups: blacks, women, and natives.  I am aware of all the counter-arguments, but I could not help be touched by stories like little girls working 18 hours a day/6 days per week in the garment district in the late 1800s, for $3 per week, out of which they were to pay for their own needles and thread.  Good Lord, how could anyone, even the Robber Barons of the day, permit such monstrous injustice?  I did find Professor Zinn’s treatment of our Cold War foreign policy one-dimensional, for indeed behind every socialist “freedom fighter” stood the spectre of the Soviet Union, a brutal totalitarian dictatorship.   

The punchline, of course, is what society does the Professor and his New Left propose as an alternative to our capitalist democracy.  Well, here it is, and I quote him at length:

               “The society’s levers of powers would have to be taken away from those whose drives have led us to the present state – the giant corporations, the military, and their politician collaborators. We would need – by a coordinated effort of local groups all over the country – to reconstruct the economy for both efficiency and justice, producing in a cooperative way what people need most. We would start on our neighborhoods, our cities, our workplaces. Work of some kind would be needed by everyone, including people now kept out of the work force – children, old people, “handicapped” people. Society could use the enormous energy now idle, the skills and talents now unused. Everyone could share the routine but necessary jobs for a few hours a day, and leave most of the time free for enjoyment, creativity, labors of love, and yet produce enough for an equal and ample distribution of goods. Certain basic things would be abundant enough to be taken out of the money system and be available — free – to everyone: food, housing, health care, education, transportation.

                   “The great problem would be to work out a way of accomplishing this without a centralized bureaucracy, using not the incentives of prison and punishment, but those incentives of cooperation which spring from natural human desires, which in the past have been used by the state in times of war, but also by social movements that gave hints of how people might behave in different conditions. Decisions would be made by small groups of people in their workplaces, their neighborhoods – a net work of cooperatives, in communication with one another, a neighborly socialism avoiding the class hierarchies of capitalisms and the harsh dictatorships that have taken the name ‘socialist.’

                   “People in time, in friendly communities, might create a new, diversified, nonviolent culture, in which all forms of personal and group expression would be possible. Men and women, black and white, old and young, could then cherish their differences as positive attributes, not as reasons for domination. New values of cooperation and freedom might then show up in the relations of people, the upbringing of children.”

What is there to say about this except that it is completely fatuous?  Is an ideal society really one in which everyone works, including “children, old people, the ‘handicapped?'”  More critically, as he himself says, “The great problem would be to work out a way of accomplishing this without a centralized bureaucracy … ”  Yes, indeed, for every socialist country in history has been in reality a communist dictatorship: the Soviet Union, Red China, North Korea and Cuba.  How else does one decide who makes what and who gets what.  I prefer the free market of ideas and production to any bureacuratic idea of what’s just.  That’s why Zinn’s vision fails, why the New Left cannot succeed, because to attain “justice,” we must surrender “freedom,” which is a far more precious commodity to me.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL. 

THERE’S NO ROOM TODAY FOR DEBT NUMBERS, EXCEPT DEBT PER TAXPAYER: $963,383  (APPROACHING ONE MILLION APIECE)

 

2/19/15: WHY WE LOVE DEMOCRATS

2/19/15: WHY WE LOVE DEMOCRATS

So Oregon’s Democrat governor has had to resign under fire.  It’s a case study replete with lessons in the problems of liberal politics.  First, the man was a 4-term governor, ala FDR’s presidential tenure.  Second, his “first lady” was his live-in girlfriend, not a wife.  Seems much younger, rather pretty with big tits, so it’s not all bad.  The problem is she was on the take from green energy companies.  They hired her as a consultant and paid her north of 200 grand, and she had the governor’s ear as to which of them would get state government subsidies.  Who do you think got the subsidies?  It’s a straight bribery case.

And that’s the root of the problem — government subsidized industries.  I heard one wag decry the fact that the “market for green energy does not permit producers to be cost effective,” like it’s the market’s problem.  That’s just modern-speak for “they’re not profitable.”  Of course, because of the twin myths of global warming and human fault, the libs say we must turn away from oil and gas and pursue windmills and solar power.  Only in Obama’s world do we pursue green energy projects even though their so expensive and produce so little return.  The only way the concerns can function is with government subsidies.  That’s why conservatives are suspicious about climate change and green energy, because it appears to be just another dodge to increase spending in an environment rife with corruption.  Sure, let’s spend billions of taxpayer dollars to produce inefficient power, and government insiders will collect millions in payoffs so they government dollars go to the “right” companies.  It’s the 60s radio payola scandal all over again, this time dressed up as serious policy.

Lastly, the governor has been replaced by a female bisexual, who looks like a college librarian.  Now Oregon can have a first lady and a first man, simultaneously.  Maybe they’ll both live in with new governor.  You can’t make this stuff up.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.132 Trillion

Unfunded Liabilities: $94.637 Trillion

Debt per Taxpayer (ND+UL): $958,572

Annual Interest on ND (@.06%!): $238.802 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit (add to ND): $477.782 Billion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

2/18/15: OFF RAMP

2/18/15: OFF RAMP

I coudn’t blog yesterday.  My internet was down due to wintry weather.  

What’s on my mind today is the tug of war between Conress and President over his executive order on immigration.  We all know the House tied funding for DHS past February 27 to repeal of the order, which DHS will administer.  Contrary to popular wisdom, I think it’s a fight worth having.  It’s an illegal order but the courts won’t get involved if Congress sues because it raises a “political question,” from which they abstain.  I disagree, and think it’s a case about separation of powers which “arises under the Constitution” and is therefore justiciable.  But that’s not the way the courts work, so the defunding option is the only path available to Congress to challenge the order.  The Republican Senate should abolish the filibuster rule on this bill, vote the bill into law, and let the President face a tough choice: fund DHS or stick with his illegal order. 

But Congress may have an off-ramp.  A federal judge in Texas enjoined the order yesterday in a suit by 26 states.  It’s ironic to hear administration defenders dismiss the ruling as a decision by a single judge, when that’s all they needed in Alabama on the gay marriage question.  In any event, the administration promises an appeal, and Congress could let that play out and give a clean but short-term funding extension to DHS.  That would certainly pass the Senate, and may frankly be the expedient move here.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.131 Trillion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $94.631 Trillion

Debt per Taxpayer (ND+UE): $958,967

Annual Interest on ND: $238.747 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $477.822 Billion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

2/12/15: FRUSTRATION SQUARED

2/12/15: FRUSTRATION SQUARED

Of course Alabama Chief Judge Roy Moore is off his rocker telling probate judges in his state they don’t have to comply with the federal district court ruling allowing gay marriage there.  The Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution requires compliance by state officials.  But I symphathize with him.  What kind of a system do we have that gives a single unelected federal judge the power to force compliance by every official in a state, from the governor down to justices of the peace?  Yet that is the system we have.  Those in the civil rights movement favor just such a system, as well they might given their experience both as slaves and in the Jim Crow era in the south, but blacks are a bastion of opposition to gay marriage.  Go figure.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is no exception.  He of the “pubic hair in my coke” — what an appallingly low level of public discourse we have — filed an unusual dissent from the high court’s recent refusal to stay the Alabama decision, accusing his fellow Justices of prejudging the gay marriage case they will decide by June.  And of course they have prejudged it.  Unlike the pundits, I previously predicted here, not a 5-4 vote striking down all bans — but at least a 6-3 if not a 7-2 vote.  Justice Kennedy will be joined for sure by Justice Roberts, and perhaps Justice Alito, in siding with the liberal gang of four (4) Justices.  Those of us who oppose gay marriage can count only on Justices Thomas and Scalia.  Let’s face it folks: it’s over.  We will have nationwide gay marriage by June 30, the deadline for the Court to deliver its decision.  It will be the baddest day in Black Rock, second only to January 22, 1973.  If you require elaboration, go read somebody else’s blog. 

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.119 Trillion

Unfunded Entitlements: $94.090 Trillion

Debt per Taxpayer (ND+UE): $954,257

Annual Interest on Debt (@.07%!): $238.362 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $478.099 Billion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

2/10/15: RIDICULOUSLY MIGHTY UCONN

2/10/15: RIDICULOUSLY MIGHTY UCONN

The Husky girls faced #1 ranked and undefeated South Carolina last night and routed them by 25, 87-62.  Connecticut trailed 18-15 midway through the first half, went on a patented 21-2 run, led by at least 10 the rest of the way, and won going away, scoring the last 11 points of the “contest.”  If the pundits are right and Geno’s practices more than make up for the team’s lackluster competition in the All American Conference, they should be a shoo-in for a 10th national championship.  

But what then?  Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moira Jefferson are probably enough to carry them to yet another title the following year, and Stewie will thus accomplish what no girl has done before — win 4 NCAA titles in 4 years.  After that, I don’t know.  The team’s reserves are very good but not dominant.  They really need to reload if not next year, then for sure for 2016-17, or Geno might well think about retirement when his contract expires after the 2017-18 season.  UConn’s program remains a big draw, but what girl wouldn’t rather play in a major conference?  Several programs in better conferences may eventually be in a position to overtake UConn — Baylor in the Big 12, Stanford in the Pac 12, and both Notre Dame and Louisville in the ACC, just to mention a few.  And let’s not ignore Tennessee, SC and Kentucky in the SEC.  Hard to believe the end could be in sight for UConn, but never count Geno out.  He’s full of surprises, like benching Stewie and Tuck after just 5 minutes in the game before SC.  If you watched last night, you could see they were MOTIVATED.  Anyway, let’s enjoy it while it lasts.  The UConn girls of today and the UCLA boys of yesteryear stand alone atop college basketball. 

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.118 Trillion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $94.080 Trillion

Debt per Taxpayer (ND+UE): $954,249

Annual Interest on ND: $238.256 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $478.176 Billion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.