Hillary Rodham Humphrey?

July 21st, 2014

 

It is difficult to compare past events to today. It is even harder to see an analogy between the turbulent sixties and the present. That being said, I am going to give it a try.

 

I was trying to decide what politician had a history similar to Hillary Clinton. Nobody else has been a First Lady, Senator, presidential candidate and Secretary of State. But I do find some interesting parallels between her and Hubert Humphrey.

 

Humphrey was a political wunderkind. He was elected Mayor of Minneapolis at 33 and Senator 4 years later. He had a brilliant Senate career and later became Vice President. He was a leading presidential candidate in 1960 but lost to a younger, more exiting candidate, John F. Kennedy.

 

Bill Clinton was elected governor when Hillary was 32 and president when she was 45. She was a very political First Lady much like Eleanor Roosevelt. She became a Senator from New York after leaving the White House. Like Humphrey, she was a leading presidential candidate, but lost to the younger and more exciting Barack Obama. Of course she went on to be his Secretary of State.

 

There is one part of the Humphrey story I haven’t mentioned. In 1968 he ran for President again. He was tied to the unpopular Johnson administration and lost to Richard Nixon.

 

Will history repeat itself? Clearly the rollout of the book was the beginning of her campaign. It was a lackluster affair, remembered only for her gaffes about the family’s wealth. We will need to wait and see what happens in 2016.

 

Israel and Palestine

July 19th, 2014

 

Most people talk about the problems between Israelis and Palestinians in terms of black and white. One side is pictured as virtuous while the other is despicable. Which is which depends on the viewpoint of the speaker. This is too simplistic a view. After so many years of fighting, neither side has an exclusive claim on the moral high ground.

 

In an ideal world both sides would live peacefully in independent states. Unfortunately, the current situation is far from ideal. Many urge Israel to trade land for peace. They tried that in 1994. They ceded control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians. Now it is controlled by a terrorist group that lobs rockets into Israel. Israel can hardly be expected to go down the same path.

 

Palestinians have many legitimate complaints. However, the dream of statehood will never come to pass until all elements of Palestinian society care more about statehood than the destruction of Israel.

 

A Secret Society

July 13th, 2014

Imagine a government facility so secret that a congressman can't get in. Employees are threatened with termination or even jail if they breathe a word. Sounds like Fort Knox or the CIA. Actually it's a place where immigrant children are being proceesed. There is no national security consideration here. Just a desire by the Administration to avoid stories that might be politically embarassing.

When President Obama entered the White House, he promised a transparent administration. That's about as big a whopper as "If you like your insurance, you can keep it." He has estalished a level of secrecy that Richard Nixon would have loved. Meanwhile a fawning press corp does nothing.

So what is going on behind closed doors? We don't really know for sure but it appears that children are quickly being processed and shipped across the country. We have no idea what health risks this may pose. Communities are not even told what to expect.

Meanwhile, the border is as porous as ever. We have no idea if terrorists, drug dealers, criminals or gang members are coming over. Congress passed a law mandating that more fences should be built. As he has so many times, Obama has ignored the law.

So why is nothing being done? It's quite simple. Keeping Hispanics in the Democratic Party is given a higher probability than keeping the country safe.

Obama's views of ruling by fiat and excessive secrecy are hostile to our democracy. We survived Huey Long, Douglas MacArthur and Richard Nixon and we will survive Barack Obama.

Waste, Fraud and Abuse

July 11th, 2014

The federal government recently announced that they are paying out an estimated $100 billion more than they should. Some experts think the actual figure is higher. After all, the government has a strong incentive to underestimate it. Whatever the real number is, it is ridiculously high. Keep in mind that this doesn't include the cost of programs that are not needed.

The Administration constantly wants to spend more. It would seem logical that if they cut down on the waste, fraud and abuse, they would have more to spend. However, don't hold your breath waiting. People getting this booty want to keep the gravy train going. Bureaucrats have no incentive to save money. The Administration doesn't want to upset government workers since they are major contributors to the Democratic Party.

I expect next year's figure to be lower, not because of real savings, but due to phonier estimates.

 

Miracles

July 4th, 2014

 

When we read about how the country was founded, it seems like what happened was foreordained. In a few decades we went from being a series of colonies hugging the Atlantic to a strong country that went “from sea to shining sea”. Out of all the possible scenarios, what actually happened was absolutely incedible. It took a series of miraculous events.

 

We all know about the Declaration of Independence. For it to take place, all 13 colonies had to agree. Can you imagine Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and Georgia agreeing on anything today? The differences were as great then as they are now. Yet they managed to come together.

 

The idea of a ragtag, poorly equipped army taking on the greatest military power in the world seems ludicrous. They came close to annihilation several times. If they failed, the Founding Fathers would have been rounded up and hung. Yet they survived and, with the help of the French, defeated the British.

 

The victorious United States was barely a country. The Articles of Confederation led to a weak government that had no power to tax or enforce their laws. Many were distrustful of a central government but something had to be done. Many of the greatest minds of the country gathered to write the Constitution. Despite fierce opposition, it was ratified by every state.

 

A constitution is not worth the paper it is printed on if the leaders don’t follow it. Country after country has seen elected leaders turn into despots. George Washington willingly gave up power after two terms. John Adams lost in what may be the most contentious election in history. He accepted the results and quietly left town.

 

I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July. But please take a moment to think about how incredible it all was.