Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Obama, et al, Need Sensitivity Training

Obama, et al, Need Sensitivity Training
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 28, 2009

In plain English, what the hell is the matter with this pinhead masquerading as a leader? An unannounced fly-over Ground Zero in Manhattan for the purpose of a photo op near the Statue of Liberty by a plane serving as a backup to Air Force One not to mention the accompaniment of the fighter jet escorts. As Chandler Bing on Friends would say, could that BE more insensitive?

Thousands of people working Monday, April 27, in New York City, on a calm, clear spring day, when unnecessary panic ensued thanks to an overzealous administration simply trying to provide a media photo. Apparently the flight was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, but the FAA ordered an information blackout. The needless scare sent multitudes running for cover in what could have turned into an injury-laden panic.

Hey, while you’re at it Mr. Obama, why not send some brown-shirted goose-steppers into the local synagogue and a few guys in white hoods traipsing through a Selma church.

Therapists all around the New York metropolitan area are working overtime to begin with, now this idiotic decision, which White House spokesman Robert Gibbs claimed no knowledge. This is actually believable considering the man couldn’t find his own tuchus with both hands.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani called this “a terrible mistake,” rightfully chiding the Obama administration. “If it had to be done, all kinds of public announcements should have been made. Why are we spending money on this?” After all the self-righteous talk criticizing the use of private planes, added “America’s Mayor.”

The price tag for this moronic stunt has been estimated to be $325,835, said Tom Schatz with Citizens Against Government Waste. And even I, your humble scribe and avowed technotard, have heard of Adobe Photo Shop.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called this event “appalling… knowing full well that New Yorkers would still have the memory of 9/11 sketched in their minds.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) said he was “furious” that he had not been given an advance heads up and that if he had, he would have fought such an insensitive act.

There is no doubt a public announcement should have been made days in advance via multi-media sources to quell a potential panic, but this is typical of the thoughtlessness coming out of the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, while the apologist in chief is gallivanting around the world criticizing his own country and making nice with despotic dictators, back at home he has a Secretary of Homeland Security who should no longer hold her post.

Janet Napolitano, the former Arizona governor, had the audacity to call honored military veterans right wing extremists and potential domestic terrorists on the heels of a successful peaceful tax day protest. A government document, for which Napolitano offered a disingenuous apology, all but accused veterans of greater criminal activity than non-veterans and that conservative activists in general are the cause of national security problems. Additionally, this alleged intelligence assessment targeted conservatives in general, but more specifically any American opposing Obama’s social engineering, as well as those who oppose abortion, same sex marriage, and supporters of the Second Amendment. Additionally, Napolitano has called on local and state law enforcement to investigate such “miscreants.”

Napolitano has also said that strict border monitoring is not yet necessary. So it really should not be a surprise that she said “crossing the border illegally is not a crime.” Napolitano is referred to Section B, Title 1325 of the U.S. Code that states otherwise. As the former governor of a border state with Mexico, she of all people should be painfully aware of the trials and tribulations Arizonans, Californians, New Mexicans and Texans have endured. The Phoenix-metropolitan area is now the ranked as the worst and most likely place to be kidnapped in the United States, and Napolitano isn’t rankled by this horrifying piece of information?

Meanwhile, as Napolitano is ineffective as Homeland Security chief, she is now trying her hand as Secretary of Health and Human Services speaking out about the swine flu situation. Perhaps she can insult that away. She should not be holding either of those jobs.

Yet, sadly, the new HHS secretary is no more fit for that position than Napolitano. Former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, is a strong supporter of abortion rights to the point of siding with, and receiving, campaign contributions to the tune of thousands of dollars from late-term abortionist George Tiller, a.k.a. Tiller the Baby Killer. Her appointment will put a radical stamp on HHS.

Sebelius won Senate approval on Tuesday by a 65-31 margin with three senators not voting. Shame on the eight Republican senators who voted for Sebelius. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both Maine RINOs did not surprise anyone with their support of Sebelius. Neither did George Voinovich (OH), Judd Gregg (NH) or Richard Lugar (IN). However, yea votes from Kit Bond (MO) and both Kansas senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts were surprising and disappointing, especially from ardent pro-lifer Brownback who hopes to succeed Sebelius in Topeka. Had the eight Republicans stood together as the Democrats did, Sebelius could, and should, have been sent packing.

With continued administration insults and insensitivities toward more and more Americans, the GOP had better be in the trenches laying the groundwork for a strong offensive in 2010.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

RINO Specter Officially a Jackass

RINO Specter Officially a Jackass
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 28, 2009

This just in: former RINO Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has made it official just moments ago that he is leaving the GOP and returning to his Philadelphia Democratic Party roots, in what is no doubt a desperate attempt to hang on to the Senate seat to he currently clings.

Specter announced he will run in the 2010 Democratic primary. Quite frankly, if Specter had any integrity, he would do as Phil Gramm did years ago when the then Democratic Congressman, first elected in 1978 and won two subsequent reelection bids, resigned in January 1983 to run in a special election a month later as a Republican. Gramm also served in the Senate from 1985 to 2003.

Specter should resign immediately and a special election should be held. If the voters want Specter to serve them as a Democrat they can return him to the Senate; if not, he ought to be replaced. Pat Toomey, an announced GOP challenger to Specter will probably find a clear path to the Republican nomination.

Barring that, Specter should take the challenge of the Republican primary. If he is defeated, Specter should then run as an independent as Senator Joe Lieberman did in 2006 when he lost the Democratic primary, yet won the general election that November.

Specter has served in the United States Senate since 1981 as an unreliable Republican whom I have criticized in the past for his disastrous votes on issues such as the budget, bailouts and the support of numerous political appointees for whom support should not have been given. He, along with both Maine RINO Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe secured passage of much of the pork-laden projects and bailouts shoved down the throats of the American people since the beginning of this administration.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has welcomed Specter, whom he has been courting for half a decade, with open arms, and probably a big wet, sloppy kiss to boot.

Specter’s coffers are brimming with contributions supporting the senior senator’s reelection campaign. Everyone not approving of Specter’s jumping ship, politically, certainly not philosophically, should demand their contribution be returned at once. This is, as they say in TV land, Specter jumping the shark in a last desperate attempt to retain his seat. He is the ultimate opportunist’s opportunist.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Up is Down, Chavez In, Traditional Marriage Out?

Up is Down, Chavez In, Traditional Marriage Out?
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 22, 2009

Based upon recent assertions calling support of traditional male-female marriage controversial, one can clearly expect a blizzard on Independence Day and heat wave on Chanukah and Christmas in the northern hemisphere. That’s because the collective sanity has sprung a leak.

The current trend in the United States these days is the flip side of “normalcy,” to borrow a term coined by President Warren G. Harding in 1920. Normal has now become Obama talking to Venezuela’s despotic dictator Hugo Chavez while accepting a heretofore unknown book that has since shot up to near the top of the charts. The flip side is the disrespect Obama showed Great Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown with both thoughtless (and seemingly useless) gifts.

Normal has become the Obama bow before Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah – a bow that the White House denied in spite of video evidence to the contrary. Message to Obama: we don’t bow and we don’t dip our flag. The flip side is the continuing disrespect shown Brown and Britain by Obama when he returned the bust of Winston Churchill given to President George W. Bush by former Prime Minister Tony Blair following the 9/11 attacks. Obama also demonstrated his disrespect of our staunchest allies by canceling the traditional joint press conference and then referring to Britain as one of our allies, just lumping them in with others, instead of holding them in the esteem in which they have been held for years.

All of these political affronts aside, and they are not being dismissed lightly, now, support of traditional marriage is being called controversial. For those who seem to have forgotten, traditional marriage, and it still is for the time being, is the legal union of one man and one woman in the eyes of G-d and the state. Well, OK 46 states, as of April 27 when Iowa joins Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont as states allowing homosexual marriage.

And don’t get me started on Vermont – the Green Mountain State, which should be called the Pervert State. Not only has Vermont not passed a form of Jessica’s Law regarding mandatory sentencing for child sex-offenders, but the liberal state is considering legalizing “sexting” for 13 to 18-year-olds. Sexting is this new trend of teens text messaging sexual, salacious or compromising photos to one another. This will set a bad precedent and send a message to teens that their actions will have little consequence, which is wrong as such photos will haunt them for years to come.

Back to my regularly scheduled rant about how supporting traditional marriage is now deemed controversial. Carrie Prejean, 21, from San Diego and a student at San Diego Christian College has become the most famous losing contestant in the Miss USA Pageant for having the temerity to actually stand up for what she believes in and give an honest answer to the question posed her about gay marriage.

Prejean, Miss California, representing the state that overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8 last November, denying the legalization of gay marriage in the Golden State, said in her country marriage is between one man and one woman. For that answer she was castigated by a most crass, intolerable and openly gay pageant judge Perez Hilton. Hilton is certainly entitled to his opinion about gay marriage, Prejean and anything else upon which he chooses to opine, but so to is Prejean. Pageant organizer and co-owner Donald Trump praised Prejean for her answer. “I respected her answer because she gave her opinion,” said Trump.

There’s a lot to be said for the old joke, if G-d had endorsed gay marriage, he would created Adam and Steve, not Adam and Eve. There is nothing controversial about supporting the union of one man and one woman. There is nothing controversial about supporting traditional family values. What will be demanded next after gay marriage? Multiple spouses? Marriage between species? Marriage of children to adults? Where will the line be drawn?

The real controversy should be how a small community such as the gay community, not all of whom are in lock step with Hilton, should be able to dictate the morals of American society to the point where endorsement of heterosexual marriage is considered controversial.

Adding insult to injury, Hilton said Prejean should have given a politically correct answer instead of a truthful answer. What kind of message does that send? Do we really want 50 women lined up one after the other all parroting the same answer of “world peace?” No. It’s refreshing to see pageants with contestants who give thoughtful, truthful answers, even at the cost of the title. Prejean was true to herself and her convictions and she will go much further for it. That’s the lesson to be learned.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Faces, Fresh Ideas for Council

New Faces, Fresh Ideas for Council
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 19, 2009

Before enjoying the local Cinco de Mayo festivities around Alexandria, take five minutes on Tuesday, May 5 to cast ballots for City Council and School Board candidates. The polls are open from until and that a mere 19 percent of eligible voters bothered to turn out three years ago, there should not be any lines.

Of course this is more than just a public service announcement – my readers expect me to opine on those most worthy of the votes of the fair citizens of Alexandria. After six years of one-party rule on the council, and less than effective rule at that, it’s time for some new faces and fresh ideas to make Alexandria a more business-friendly city as well as a destination place for people to live, work and play.

Phil Cefaratti, Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes are just the candidates to provide balance to an unbalanced city council. While the incumbents seeking reelection and a former mayor slap each other on the backs during candidate forums over ineffective policies making it nearly impossible for new businesses to make Alexandria their home, thus stunting the economic growth of the city as well as the city coffers, Cefaratti, Fannon and Hughes are bringing fresh ideas to the table.

“Business development is the key,” said Hughes at one forum calling for the process to be “streamlined,” and that the reason doing business in Alexandria is so challenging is the fault of the incumbents. Hughes, who works at the Patent and Trademark office has called for increased business development in that immediate area in order to maximize the dollars spent by the roughly 9,000 PTO employees. Hughes also supports a reduction in the tax obligation of small business.

Fannon, on the board of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, calls for the lowering of taxes and reducing the budget as a way to make Alexandria an “All-American City.” He would also like to see the privatization of a number of city jobs. Fannon called for city government’s accountability saying “the deal is the deal,” meaning the city has changed it policies and procedures too often making it difficult for people to conduct business in Alexandria.

Turning his attention specifically to the West End, Cefaratti said it is vital to provide financial incentives for businesses to want to come to Alexandria, not impediments. The decline in business forces people to spend their money in Falls Church or Arlington, said Cefaratti, calling for the Landmark project to be stepped up sooner rather than later.

Fannon added that he would like to see Landmark become a destination center similar to the Reston Town Center, while Hughes called for mixed-use development, tax credits and incentives to spur growth at Landmark.

Fannon and Cefaratti double-teamed during a recent forum to suggest a way to save the city money on its education expenditures. “The council has not been pro-active,” said Cefaratti regarding the growth in the public school population, noting that there has been an influx of students illegally enrolled in APS when they are not actually Alexandria residents. Children whose legal residences are in Maryland or the District are attending Alexandria schools, said Cefaratti.

“We need to enforce school regulations,” said Fannon, pointing out that if there are 100 such students as described by Cefaratti, that costs Alexandria $1.8 million. That is money of which the city is being defrauded.

Incumbent Rob Krupicka confirmed that no such policy is currently on the books, but should be by the fall.

Cefaratti also called for a reduction in the size of city government. “We need to reduce the headcount,” he said, noting that the department of planning and zoning has increased by 42 percent. Fannon supported this notion specifically calling for a reduction of city employees from 2,400 to 1,900.

Government “needs to get out of the way and let the free markets work,” said Fannon, calling for more public-private partnerships in the city, an expansion of the commercial tax base and a lowering of tax rates.

Aside from business issues, Cefaratti took a swipe at the incumbents regarding the environment and how there is no penalty phase regarding the Mirant Plant. He, along with Fannon and Hughes took stances for smart growth and improvements to transportation throughout all of Alexandria, including better bus routes to ensure that a trip from the West End to Old Town via public transit does not take an hour as some citizens have testified.

There is no question change was the mantra of the past election cycle, and it is clear that positive and productive change is what Phil Cefaratti, Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes will bring to the Alexandria City Council when they are elected on Tuesday, May 5.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Toliver Disrespected as Afterthought

Toliver Disrespected as Afterthought
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 10, 2009

Following an appropriately positive article about Maryland Terrapin basketball star Marissa Coleman’s selection by the Washington Mystics as the number two overall pick in the WNBA’s draft on Thursday, April 9 came a most inappropriate afterthought of a single sentence about the very next pick in the draft – Terp standout Kristi Toliver.

While The Washington Post included a nice draft-day photo of the Terp teammates, it completely disrespected Toliver by relegating her number three overall pick by the Chicago Sky to the aforementioned one sentence in the “WNBA Notes” as if insignificant. Is that how the Post reports fairly about one of greatest players in Terps women’s basketball history?

In case the Post needs a refresher in Toliver 101, as a freshman in 2006, she canned a three-pointer sending the championship game into overtime – a game in the Terps would eventually defeat archrival Duke. Toliver holds the team record for free throw percentage and three-pointers made, also ranking third in the ACC in the latter category as well as second in the conference for assists.

In addition to being named an All-American in 2008, Toliver became the first Terp to win the Nancy Lieberman Award for the nation’s best point guard that same year, only to follow that up by being named ACC Player of the Year this year. Toliver led the Terps this season playing 35.1 minutes per game, in scoring 18.4 points per game and with an .857 free throw percentage. She should not be dismissed or disrespected simply because the local Mystics did not draft her.

Both Toliver and Coleman had superb careers at Maryland that won’t soon be forgotten – on the court for their play and off the court as both will graduate next month.

Sanford D. Horn, Maryland Class of 1988, is a member of both the university’s Alumni Association and the Terrapin Club. He is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Founding Fathers Spinning in Their Graves

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." -- James Madison, Federalist No. 51

Founding Fathers Spinning in Their Graves
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
April 2, 2009

Those gurgling, choking and gasping sounds followed by a loud thud you hear are James Madison, Patrick Henry, George Mason and John Adams collectively coming back to life then dropping dead all over again as they no longer recognize the out of control government that once knew its place in American society.

Where is it written in the Constitution that the government has the right to use my tax dollars and yours to prop up businesses that should either declare bankruptcy and go through reorganization or simply dissolve and fade into that good night?

None of the bailouts authorized by both the current and previous administrations should have been approved by Congress. Not for the auto industry, the banks or the insurance industry. Sweden announced last week that is would not rescue auto mainstay Saab, yet the United States is dumping good money into troubled auto manufacturers.  Sweden, Socialist for years, but now being led by a more conservative government, had its Minister of Enterprise quip “this is not a game of Monopoly.” This government should take a lesson from that simple philosophy and tell the troubled businesses not to pass “Go” or collect $200 billion.

Failure leads to success. Without a safety net, how many inventors struck out before striking gold? Think of the numerous failures by Thomas Edison and his creative brethren. Without failure, people do not have the drive to try again and succeed. If people are not buying cars made by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, then it is time to go back to the drawing board instead of demanding the government artificially prop them up.

Where is it written in the Constitution that the government has the right to fire a corporate CEO and require one American company to merge with another company – and a foreign one to boot?

Going under the premise that the bailouts are wrong in the first place, the government is wrong to force former GM CEO Rick Wagoner to resign. That is what stockholders and a board of directors are for. That’s free enterprise. The government is just as wrong for  forcing a merger of Chrysler with Fiat – an Italian auto maker. (I have nothing against Fiat – my father drove one in the ‘70s.)

Where is it written in the Constitution that the government has the right to thrust my tax dollars and yours on states that just say no?

When South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R) shunned the government stimulus money; that should have been the end of the discussion. But instead, the Federal Government seemed to have forgotten about a little thing called the 10th Amendment.

Here’s one that really grills my onions. How did the government get so arrogant that it can shun its job of actually reading the legislation it is entrusted with reading, understanding and upon which it must then vote? Compounding their own irresponsibility, Congress then gets even more stupid by forgetting the Constitution once again by attempting to tax their way out of the original mistake.

First Congress, the Democrats, grants a monster bailout of AIG to the tune of roughly $170 billion. Then, after not reading the bill they voted to approve, Congress discovers they granted bonuses to AIG to the tune of about $160 million. Sheepishly, Congress attempted to right their own wrongs by declaring a 90 percent tax on the AIG bonuses. Once again, members of Congress, mostly attorneys, seemed to have forgotten their contract law classes. Legislation passed is a contract and the bonuses, however unsavory, need to be honored. Conduct your due diligence, Congress. Read first, then vote – avoid the embarrassment and the faux indignation that follows.

The Obama administration’s interference with and in the corporate world is its attempt to derail capitalism and the freedom of business to succeed and, yes, fail, on its own. News blast, you arrogant, sycophantic Congress: just because Obama wants to charge down the slippery slope from capitalism to socialism like a bull in a china shop does not mean you need to let go of the reins. When it comes to things economic in nature, and we learned this in grade school civics, money bills begin in the House – of Representatives, that is, and not the White House.

There is plenty of blame to go around. President George W. Bush certainly got this ball rolling toward hell with the first round of stimulus last September, all but helping to seal Sen. John McCain’s fate in November. But that does not mean that Congress must placate Obama and his grand quest to redistribute wealth by sinking this once solvent nation into a debt from which my grandchildren’s grandchildren will be digging out like a Montana blizzard.

Couple the arrogance and stupidity with lies and misplaced disingenuous anger. Should Congress want to lay blame somewhere, all they need do is look inward. Sadly, we the people must also take credit for some of the blame as well, for it was we the people who put these irresponsible pinheads back in office. We have the government we deserve. This falls into the category of we get what we pay for. Incumbents, with their name recognition and fat-cat lobbyist contributors take the average voter for granted knowing that theirs is the name the voters will remember on Election Day. Greater than 95 percent of incumbents get reelected, most of whom do so without so much as breaking a sweat.

Let us be forewarned by the words of yet another Founding Father: “Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness,” wrote George Washington in 1753.

Clearly the words of Washington were to warn the people not to let down their guard for it is the assault from within our borders we must be mindful of – or to quote the King of Crass and the one-fingered salute, Rahm Emanuel, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” This is not to praise the partisan’s partisan, but to serve as a warning that this is the kind of down in the mud street fight one gets with this administration. Kick the nation while it’s down. While the nation is watching its collective 401k turn into a 201k and struggling to put food on the table, more and more of our rights are being eroded and more and more of the former capitalistic society in which we once freely lived is decaying from the inside.

The government does not owe anyone a living or a job. The government does not owe anyone a home or an automobile. The government does not owe anyone an education or health care either. What the government owes its citizenry is the opportunity to earn those desires; and that opportunity comes in the form of protecting our borders with as strong a military as possible and using as few of our tax dollars as possible for the construction and maintenance of our roads, bridges, tunnels as well as the internal protection of the citizens from the criminal element along with taking care of those citizens who are mentally and physically incapable of caring for themselves. That’s it.

The people know better how to spend their money then the government. More and more liberties are taken by elected officials of all stripes, which in turn diminish the liberties granted the citizenry by the Constitution.

“I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. That is the chief meaning of freedom,” said President Calvin Coolidge in his March 4, 1925 inaugural address. He may have been nicknamed “Silent Cal,” but his few words certainly packed a wallop.

The overwhelming majority of Congress needs a refresher course in the Constitution. Considering that most of them are attorneys by trade, they seem to have forgotten most of what they supposedly learned in Con-Law, and it’s not that long a document. People like Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) should be removed from Congress for their repeated lies. There are, no doubt, many others who should follow them out the doors of the hallowed halls as well.

The body politic continues to behave in an arrogant, irresponsible manner with no regard for the citizenry or anything else for that matter, save for their own reelection. It’s high time the voters wake up, and take notice that their own member may be part of the problem. It continues to astound when surveyed, the majority of folks say they like their individual member, but have no use for the institution as a whole. I am just the opposite. The institution as a whole can be salvaged if we dump the individual members – in my case, let’s start with my representative – Jim Moran (D-VA-8) who has voted in lock step in favor of every bad bill to come down the pike.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.