Friday, February 25, 2011
Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...
With all the eye catching news this past week, it would be easy to miss this item. But don't. What is it? The Obama Administration has stated that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is, in their opinion, unconstitutional, and has subsequently ordered the Department of Justice not to enforce the law. The audacity of this tactic by the Obama administration is stunning. What it amounts to is a selective enforcement of the laws of our land based on the whim or political perspective of the occupant of the White House. The precedent that this establishes if frightful for our nation. Imagine allowing the Executive Branch to only enforce the laws it liked and disregard the laws it didn't? The DOMA is a legally enacted law- you can agree with it or not- and for the Executive Branch to tell the Legislative Branch it is instructing the Judicial Branch not to enforce this law is giving up representative government and replacing it with rule by fiat. In case you don't remember, the Executive Branch is charged with conducting foreign affairs, commanding the armed forces, and faithfully executing the laws of our nation. There is a process for repealing laws, and it is not by dint of the will of the occupant of the White House. I think rather than worry about selective enforcement of certain laws, the current administration should pay attention to the areas for which it is responsible, and which it has failed miserably in managing competently.
They say that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Apparently, I have been riding the elevator with some very intelligent people.
Readers of this blog know that rule number one when looking at any situation is to follow the money. Why don't we follow the money in the Wisconsin brouhaha over collective bargaining? One of the claims is that the loss of collective bargaining privileges disadvantages state workers, notably teachers. Let's take a look at the sweetheart deal the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) has created under the current collective bargaining arrangement, shall we? One of the provision of the collective bargaining agreement with the WEAC, which is the largest teacher's union in the state, is that the identity of the insurance company that provides health coverage to the teachers is not made public. Why is this important? Because the WCEA has forced many local school boards in the collective bargaining process into purchasing insurance from WEA Trust, an insurance company that was established by, you guessed it, the WCEA. The WEA Trust provides very comprehensive coverage to the teachers in Wisconsin. At an incredibly high cost. Paid for by the taxpayers. Some school districts have jettisoned the WEA Trust insurance, and have reported six figure savings in their insurance cost while still providing high quality coverage. This is about the money, folks. The public employee unions have ridden the financial gravy train that you and I have provided for years. It has to stop now.
I decided to go for a walk last night. My wife asked me how long I would be gone. I told her the whole time.
How close are we to $5.00 per gallon gasoline? This picture was sent to me on February 23rd, and was taken at a Shell station in California, and it is a harbinger of things to come:
There are a lot of reasons that we have gotten ourselves into this situation, not the least of which is an incoherent energy policy and the failure to develop our own resources. The next time you pull up to the pump and pay exorbitant prices for gas, think about the voting record of those in Congress that establish our energy policy. I have, and here is a compilation of the voting results from the House of Representatives on critical energy issues:
ANWR Exploration: Republicans 91% For; Democrats 86% Opposed
Oil Shale Exploration: Republicans 90% For; Democrats 86% Opposed
Increased Refinery Capacity: Republicans 97% For; Democrats 96% Opposed
Outer Continental Shelf Exploration: Republicans 81% for: Democrats 86% Opposed
Historically, 86% of Democrats have voted against increasing the production of America's natural resources. Instead, they seem happy with 51% of our energy requirements being imported from the Middle East. Think about that the next time you pull up pump and pay these kinds of prices for gas. More importantly, think about it the next time you enter the voting booth.
I was going to buy a copy of "The Power of Positive Thinking", but then I thought; what good will that do?
And that, my friends, is my view.