I watched two programs this past week-end on the economy. One was a round-table discussion on economic conditions and prospects. All I gathered for sure was Congressional dysfunction. The other was an autopsy of the current credit melt-down and sub-prime lending. There, it was charged that Congress could and would have inhibited preventative measures.
Embarrassing! The President goes to Notre Dame looking for a compromise on abortion. So embarrassing and depressing to think you can consider abortion as you might an aproporations bill or energy policy. When you say common ground you are ceding some value to an opposing viewpoint.
Abortion, as practiced in America is birth control. Nobody should think of anything but birth control. Abortion for the health and life of the mother is 6%. Rape is 1% and incest is a half of a %. After that it is birth control for the most part. After that, it has been the taking of approximately 50 million babies.
How is the cause of saving babies to be compromised? Does he mean to sit an arbitrary limit on how many babies are stuffed out. I’m with one of the President’s opposing speakers at Notre Dame when he said abortion is wicked.
It should be kept in mind that many, if not most, politicians like compromise, even when compromise is untenable. Job security is threatened when you must decide between two immovable positions, or have any ideological turmoil. Politicians like it quiet and dark, where they can do their devious work undisturbed.
The President told Planned Parenthood in the campaign that he was ready to move on abortion rights. Others are ready to move too, as evidenced by a new Gallop poll, as recent as last Friday, which said abortion opposition is growing. Now, 51% are pro-life and 42% are pro-choice.
Common ground on abortion? The common ground starts when 93% or more of abortions can no longer happen. We can negotiate on the other 7%.
The Senate voted 90 to 5 to make regulatory reform for credit cards. Mostly, curbing the rotten tricks banks were using on card-holders. Nothing was done about the cool 24% interest some banks charge. Hopefully, more reforms will be forthcoming when Congress can build more courage. One of the 5 nay votes come from Sen. Lamar Alexander, here in Tennessee. I bet the big banks are proud of Lamar.
Today (May 17) I worshiped at Pleasant Beach Baptist Church in Carter County, Tennessee. It is a country church sitting on the bank of the Watauga River in a little valley called Sandy Bottom. Today, the congregation was celebrating the 40th anniversary of their pastor, who is a friend of mine.
Pleasant Beach is a happy church and with good reason. Their worship is sincere. No pretense. When they voice a prayer it is an “up” prayer directed to the Heavenly Father and not an “out” prayer or just another closed-eyes message directed to the audience. The audience was a mixture of pretty white-haired ladies, families, youth, and children. All were church-dressed and reverent. Smiles and kindness were abundant. The large choir sang with spirit and enthusiasm. The pastor of 40 years left no doubt as to the mission of the church. All in all the church just had an aura of safety about it. It was a house of righteousness.
While sitting an listening I recalled what Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote Democracy in America, observed in our churches. He traveled to these shores in the early 19th century to learn the mysteries of American character and power. De Tocqueville surveyed all the assets of America that were unique to the world, but rejected those assets as a source of American strength. He said he discovered the true strength and genius of America in its houses of worship, describing them as flame with righteousness. DeTocqueville concluded, and declared, with a warning; ” America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
All the cultural decadence, sin, and now financial calamities have made people in all walks of life to wonder about America’s future and indeed survival.
But, like de Tocqueville, Pleasant Beach answered that question for me. Righteousness is the sustaining force. As long as the Pleasant Beaches of the world hold out there really is hope.
There is a national cure for our condition found in the scriptures. It is found in 2Chronicles 7 and goes: ” If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
As Pleasant Beach goes, so goes the nation.
Not as much is said about the dollars value as the world’s reserve currency, but few would deny it is headed south. It travels in spurts for now, but that is destined to change. When you become a debtor nation, as we are, your currency is supposed to lose value. The dollar decline will produce cataclysmic changes out in the streets, and the towns and cities of the nation. Interest rates will rise. Inflation will return. Investment will choke off. Unemployment will rise. Energy at prohibitive prices. Genuine suffering in the population. Social unrest will arrive. It will be a 180 degree change from these salad days we are living in now. Days of free money, for the banks at least, credit cards, and plenty of everything. When will these days of horror begin? It will begin when enough people and governments of the world loose confidence in the dollar. What is the timetable? Sooner rather than later, off of a decade, some say.
I can think of no ingredient more vital to the cause of captalism than fair markets. A fair market means having antitrust laws that are updated and enforced. Antitrust is the lubricant of captalism. So, it is encouraging to learn the Justice Department is positioned to put the antitrust division back in business. Pun unintended.
The bills are starting to come in on the massive effort by the last two administrations to spare any economic pain and discomfort, mainly Wall Street and bank pain. The budget deficit is 1.84 trillion. 12.9% of the GDP. As a comparison; the budget deficit-GDP ratio has been around 5% or less for the past half-century.
The figures are above White House estimates. Maybe we can start to look for everything to be above estimates regarding deficits and debt.
With an appointment coming up soon on the Supreme Court the President has the opportunity to exercise his philosophy about nominee criteria. He said he was looking for “the depth and breadth of their empathy”. He further said the “critical ingredient” is what was in a judge’s heart. Well, his criteria will move court philosophy one giant step beyond a “living Constitution”, and light years from a strict construction viewpoint.
His view would suggest Constitutional lawlessness, and if embraced would in fact repeal the same Constitution judges were commissioned to interpret. Our Constitution gives us a legislative branch to take care of our “feelings”.
I understand much of the Constitution is not completely free of any interpretation, such as article I regarding the individual states being awarded 2 Senators as an example. However, to lightly regard the written word and the well documented original intent or to become impatient with the Constitutional amendment process is a real eye-opener. For a judge to take the whole document and engineer a pleasing edict representing his personal feelings and values is rebellious.
I am starting to worry about the President.
A decision is being forced on the Republican Party as to their future. Many feel the Republican Party will ride into history. It no longer has any relevancy and unlikely to find an identity. American history teaches us that the two party system suffices, except in times of transition. Then, we have multiple parties, less concerned with consensus than the promotion of their firm convictions. History, being a reliable guide, we should look for more parties.
But, what happened to the Republicans? The Republican hierarchy abandoned their core principles, among other things. Republicans are no longer fiscally responsible. They permitted Wall Street and Wall Street thinking to dominate the party and the country since 1980. All but 8 of those years where with an Republican administration. Wall Street continued to rule in the other 8 years with much help from a Republican Congress. As we all should know, Wall Street thinking cannot be trusted.
To avert a Chapter 7 bankruptcy the Republicans, at minimum, would have to throw Wall Street in the creek. This would not be easy, as Republicans have let Wall Street become their largest stockholder.
Janet Napolitano, our new Homeland Security Secretary, is trying to clean up after Joe Biden. She is telling us what Joe really meant to say yesterday when he said Americans should avoid planes and trains, or contained areas. It is what Joe was telling his family. Joe even got medical when he explained the destructive path of a simple sneeze. Napolitano says Joe just failed to qualify his advice. He meant to say ; ” if you are sick, then avoid these confined spaces”. Right, you wish!
Ms. Napolitano needs to learn that it is easier to contain the swine flu than it is to contain Joe Biden.
The Joe Biden’s of the world will not get you in trouble. They will keep you out of trouble. The adminstration would be well-served to learn that dangerous candor can provide a much needed shield. Would Nixon have suffered the shame had Martha Mitchell surfaced much earlier?
Turn Joe loose! Let him fire away. The country needs him now more than ever.