Before After
BEFORE AFTER (4 MONTHS LATER)

 

A while ago I posted a short note on one of the “green” initiatives by a student group on campus. This was funded from student fees as an effort, I suppose, to promote environmental awareness. To me, these two pictures represent perfectly the sometimes misguided efforts of people who generally ignore the law of unintended consequences.

In a political world close to an election, one would do well to look behind the fluff of election rhetoric and attempt to ferret out the substance of the candidates and the facts of what will occur. The Biocube is a fitting metaphor for what will become of our economy, our foreign policy, and our standard of living if we are subjected to a veto proof 60 member majority in the Senate under the governing reins of Reid, Pelosi and Obama (RePO).

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Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Treasury Staff have been working five weeks non-stop through weekends and away from wives and family to attempt to resolve one of the most complicated and interwoven nests of pit vipers ever conceived. First there was Bear Sterns, then Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then Lehman Brothers and Merill Lynch, followed immediately by AIG, and now what looks to be a rash of capital deficient investment houses and banks. Critics are everywhere and are second guessing their every move with front page news and breaking news reports on the crises entertainment channels. Our candidates for President, in spite of their economic illiteracy are formulating “plans” which, while having no bearing on reality, are spot-on to their philosophical leanings: Obama — we need more regulation and more government; McCain – we need to reform Wall Street as well as Washington.

But the best out of Washington comes from Congress. Both Republican and Democrat ranking members are a bit put out that Paulson has not included them in discussions and strategy plans to resolve the crisis. (A crisis they are largely responsible for.) It should be obvious to most that Paulson and Bernanke are a tad busy to put up with the posturing that would result, and have excluded them largely for the same reasons that generals exclude them during the execution of a battle plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated Wall Street is a problem — “a multi-trillion dollar issue.” But this requires study and can’t be done on an unrealistic timeline. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank and Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd both want to consider the problem, but believe that there is insufficient time to consider the issue this year, i.e., before they adjourn for the autumn political campaigning season. Dodd has postponed the Banking Committee meeting.

So while the evil Bush administration appointees are working in the worst pressure cooker of the century (so far) attempting to resolve a difficult set of problems, Congress is more concerned about the election, and would rather not perform any action that might be construed to be a position on the crisis that might affect their standing in the polls. In other words, … business as usual.

I have been waiting, watching and thinking about the current political landscape. With the annoyance of a two year campaign, I have kept my opinions pretty much to myself with a few exceptions which address issues more than candidates. As we plunge into the pre-November hysteria, I feel obligated to weigh in with a few thoughts.

As my readers might suspect, I have Republican leanings, although to be accurate, they are more Libertarian than true Republican. The whole earmark thing and growth of the bureaucracy makes me want to draw and quarter the Republicans. I have come to the conclusion that the first two years of Clinton and the first six years of Bush are two of the best arguments for never letting one party control the entire Government.

First, I am impressed by Obama. I think that he could very well be a decent president provided he was backed by a Republican Congress. ( I think that we can all agree here that a true third party is not in the cards.) He has very straight line liberal tendencies which I probably will not agree with, but I can see that he would be a catharsis to the nation — or an enema depending on your point of view.
At the very least, it would shut up the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world — an effect to be greatly desired in my book. A popular vote for Obama would dispell the myth that every white middle-class worker is a racist.

However, I will not vote for Obama because he is not going to have a Republican Congress. Pelosi, Reid and Obama is a triumvirate that gives me the shudders. Rather than the change we want and desire, we will be hamstrung by the special interests of labor, the environmentalists, and the redistributionists. While I am sure that that condition will exist only for two or at most four years, it will take an additional four to six years to undo and correct the policies that they will implement without adult supervision, just in tax policy and the economy alone. God knows what effects could occur in the state of the world that would be more persistent even permanent.

I wasn’t inclined to vote for McCain either. It strikes me that Congresscritters make poor Presidents as they are too much attuned to compromise and not enough to leadership. Certain things are not suitable for compromise — like your principles. This doesn’t leave me much choice if I want my vote to count. Voting for a third party, not voting, or writing in Mickey Mouse — same difference. McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin changed things however. Granted that she is as useful as a “bucket of warm spit” as they say in actual job responsibilities; she still brings true leadership ability to the ticket. To my way of thinking, leadership is what is important in the position. Even if McCain is a compromiser, the influence of Palin will be felt and that is a positive thing.

I believe that the media and Beltway pundits are overlooking the desire of the American people for leadership. They certainly don’t find it in Pelosi and Reid who called a recess rather than vote on off-shore drilling, which 74% of Americans support. They see the promise of leadership in Obama, but the actuality of leadership in Palin. McCain, in his selection of Sarah Palin, has won the White House in 2008 if only he has the sense to know it.