Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Is Mark Sanford's Political Career Over?

Gov. Mark Sanford's confession of infidelity is the most recent such confession in a long list by high ranking politicians. Marital infidelity is not new, it has gone on since the dawn of time. What's bothersome to me are the expectations we mortals have of the people we elect to public office. We expect them to be as innocent as the pure driven snow then act so chagrined when they miss the mark like most of us. Some would say that the concepts of such purity and reality are mutually exclusive anyway. That being the case, do we expect too much of our elected officials? Probably, but that's not all bad. We should never stop reaching for the ideal.

In Sanford's case, I'm also concerned because his action costs us someone who might have made a strong presidential candidate in 2012. In fact, did his star rising in the Republican Party actually bring about his political demise? Was there a mole among his staff members who alerted the the liberal media and the Democrat leadership to his absense from South Carolina over Fathers' Day weekend? It certainly is possible in this era of dirty politics. In any case, Sanford's situation can't help but put a crimp in his political future. I doubt he will be a serious possibility in 2012.

Who Are the Leading 2012 Candidates?

It's still a bit early, but the Sanford affair has probably added to Mitt Romney's attraction. Had he won the GOP nomination in 2008, he might well have been elected instead of Obama. Jeb Bush is another possibility as is Sarah Palin, dispite Dem attempts to degrade her. There will be others.

Infidelity in the White House Has a History

Not much is known about the extramarital affairs of our early Presidents, but that which is known suggests it could have been as prevalent back then as it has been in recent time. There were rumors about Dolly Madison and we know for a fact Thomas Jefferson had a long term relationship with one of his slaves. During the 20th century Franklin Roosevelt had an affair that was well known to Eleanor and his closest confidants. In fact, the object of his infidelity was with him in Warm Springs, GA when he died in April 1945. Eisenhower had Kay Summersby, his driver during WWII in Europe. Jack Kennedy had at least two women on the side in the form of Marilyn Monroe and the friend of crime boss Giancana. Lynden Johnson was known for taking vitamin B shots before his frequent rolls in the hay with a lady of color and others. It was rumored that Richard Nixon had something going with Madam Chiang Kai Shek. Most recently, there was Bill Clinton who had a passion for women other than Hilliary. And, that's probably only part of the story.

Personally, I belong to the school that believes extracurricular affairs adversely impact the guilty party's effectiveness as a political leader only if the affairs come to light. That in no way makes such affairs acceptable, because they aren't.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Are We Waking Up?

Recent polls indicate that Obama's popularity may be waning. His personal popularity is holding reasonably well but his actions are drawing increased criticism especially as they relate to spending and increasing debt. Is it possible that his supporters are starting to understand that the price for increasing debt will be inflation and higher interest rates? And if people are beginning to see the latter, how long before they will also come to understand where Obama is leading the country?

Stopping the Madness

Stopping Obama will not be easy. Right now, he's got the country on a runaway train and runaway trains are not easy to stop. The only people in a position to stop him is Congress and it also is in the hands of mad men and women. Our first opportunity to slow things down will be in the 2010 mid-term elections when the entire House comes up for election along with 1/3 of the Senate. Sane voters will see to it that every member of Congress who has supported the madness emanating from the White House is voted out of office and replaced with people who will defend individual rights and abide by the U.S. Constitution as it was intended.

Term Limits Looking Better

For many years I didn't favor term limits in the belief I was voting for people who wouldn't abuse their power. I have finally reached the point where I believe all office holders eventually abuse their power if allowed to stay in office long enough. Henceforth I plan to reserve my votes for candidates who support term limits. In that way we will have a better chance to oust those who deviate from the Constitution they have sworn to defend. Reasonable limits would be as follows: U.S. President and Vice President-2 terms; U.S. Senate-2 terms; U.S. House of Representatives-4 terms; State Governors and Lt. Governors-2 terms; State Senators-12 years total; State Representatives-8 years total. State, U.S. Federal and Supreme Court Justices should not be appointed for life terms.

Properly Addressing Senators

It seems that some of our people in Congress are quite sensitive about the manner in which they are addressed. During a hearing this week, Senator Boxer (D-Cal) became irritated with a Brig. General who repeatedly used the terms "Madam" and "Ma'am" when addressing her questions. She stopped him in mid sentence and asked him to stop calling her "Madam" and to address her as "Senator". She was quick to add that she "had worked hard to reach her office and would like to be addressed as "Senator". Interestingly, in another part of their exchange, Boxer addressed the General as "Tom". Had I been the General, I would have asked Boxer to address me as "General", not by my first name. It was obvious throughout the exchange with Boxer that the General was merely doing what he had been taught to do from childhood and that was to be polite when dealing with members of the opposite sex. I think Boxer, like many of her fellow liberal/progressive Congress people, hates the U.S. military and she showed it in this moment.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Energy Development

I have concluded that the Obama administration will continue to do everything it can to prevent further development of fossil fuels and expansion of nuclear power in the U.S. This will be very much to the detriment of the country and our economy. I think Obama would like to take over the U.S. oil and gas industry much as he has done with the auto industry, but he realizes it is too strong and widespread for him to do it. We can be thankful for that.

If Obama was truly interested in developing alternative energy sources and applications, he would turn development responsibility over to private sector companies who have already done a lot of research in the area. But, that would not fit his plan to force the country into a collectivist state.

Drilling Offshore Florida

The Florida Legislature passed a ruling late in the last session that would permit drilling for oil and gas as close in to shore as 3 miles. Apparently the ruling was passed without committee review which has given some people great concern. Today's technology doesn't require a drilling rig working so close to shore. It can be done from several miles further out by adopting lateral drilling methods. It should also be noted that all offshore wells are now equipped with automatic shutoff valves which greatly reduce the likelihood of a spill.

Obama's Seizure of the Financial Industry

Obama's annouced plans for closer scrutiny and oversight of the financial industry today (June 17, 2009) are nothing more than the next step in solidifying his hold on the nation's throat. Few would deny the need for more regulation after the fiasco created by the subprime fiasco, but he plans to move well beyond reasonable regulation. He intends to regulate credit card interest rates when he should be talking about reigning in the credit card companies and their aggressive efforts to entice people into over spending and increased debt. He has made it easier for people to get mortgage funding when he should be working to get lending institutions to tighten downpayment requirements and not lending to people who don't stand a chance of being able to make payments. All of this fits in with his takeover of the U.S. auto industry and his plans to increase the tax burden on the wealthty and middle class.

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