Monthly Archives: March 2007

Murtha And A Citizen — Legislature?

As Kevin pointed out, Jack Murtha is calling for a new draft. Of course, the military brass don’t want a draft, and every military member I’ve spoken to who has served in the conscript and the volunteer army doesn’t want conscription.

But if Murtha is so enamored of citizen service, why don’t we replace our legislature with a drafted body? At the age of 18, rather than registering for selective service, our young people will register for KP duty congressional service. Those who can pass a basic American history and civics test get put into the system.

The first thing we need is term limits. One term sounds like enough to me. The next thing we do is get rid of the elective process, and choose people from the “Congressional Service” pool by random. So we’ll be replacing our entire House contingent every two years, and 1/3 of our Senate contingent in the same period.

Sure, Murtha will be out of a job… But can we really say that our “volunteer” legislature has been a success? How can we expect our legislators to enact good policies when they’ve been outside the real world for most of their lives, and are trying desperately to ensure they never go back to it? At least if we’re turning over our Congress, the people who make policy know they have to go actually live under that policy. Some would say that with such high turnover, Congress wouldn’t get very much done. Considering what they’re usually doing, I’d call that a Good Thing&#153.

Think about it: a Congress full of plumbers, secretaries, engineers, nurses, cooks, bank tellers, etc. We’re talking about people who actually know how to put things together and make things happen. I think it’s be a damn sight better than a Congress that’s about 40% full of lawyers, a class of people trained to field a debate team, don’t you?

So, Mr. Murtha, I presume we can count on your support?

Guiliani, Kerik, and Corruption

The man who commenter and self-proclaimed neo-libertarian leader Eric Dondero holds up as a strong leader of our time has fallen into yet another scandal. This one concerns his good friend, Bernard Kerik:

Federal prosecutors have told Bernard B. Kerik, whose nomination as homeland security secretary in 2004 ended in scandal, that he is likely to be charged with several felonies, including tax evasion and conspiracy to commit wiretapping.

Kerik’s indictment could set the stage for a courtroom battle that would draw attention to Kerik’s extensive business and political dealings with former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who personally recommended him to President Bush for the Cabinet. Giuliani, the front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination according to most polls, later called the recommendation a mistake.

Kerik rose from being a warden and police detective to become Giuliani’s campaign security adviser, corrections chief, police commissioner and eventual partner in Giuliani-Kerik, a security arm of Giuliani Partners, which Giuliani established after leaving office in 2001. Kerik resigned his positions in Giuliani’s firm after he was nominated to the homeland security job.

The former mayor is not in any legal jeopardy, according to legal sources directly familiar with the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is ongoing. He and his consulting firm have cooperated in the FBI’s long-running investigation of Kerik.

These allegations, while it is clear that Giuliani did nothing wrong, raise still more questions about the man’s character and competence. Guiliani hired a man to work for him both as New York police commissioner and as his business partner who is a shady character at best. This has shades of President Bush’s cronyism as exemplified in the picks of Harriet Miers for Supreme Court Justice, Alberto Gonzalez for Attorney General, and finally Mike “Heck of a Job Brownie” Brown for FEMA director. More cronyism and horrible decision making for subordinates is the last thing this country needs in a Commander in Chief in the Long War and this is yet another reason why Guiliani is not fit to be president.

EDITED: 10:36 AM CDT to fix link to

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

John Murtha Calls For A Draft

Not this shit again. Another liberal Democrat calls for slavery.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

Porking Iraq

Thomas Schatz, from the Citizens for Government Waste, penned an editorial in the New York Times over the pork in the emergency Iraq appropriations bill:

Behind all their lofty rhetoric about the Iraq war and bringing home the troops, members of the House and Senate were busy tacking on $20 billion and $18.5 billion respectively in unrelated spending to President Bush’s $103 billion request. (He intends to veto the bill.)

Despite their campaign talk about earmark reform last fall, the new Democratic leadership shamelessly used pork to buy votes — before the vote, Representatives Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Peter DeFazio of Oregon acknowledged that add-ons for their districts would influence their decisions.

The heavyweights also led by example: the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, added $20 million to eradicate Mormon crickets, and David Obey of Wisconsin, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, came away with $283 million for the Milk Income Loss Contract Program.

Schatz also includeds a handy PDF of all the different pork projects included in both versions of the appropriations bill.

My favorites from the list are…
– $2 million for the Ugandan peace process (Senate)
– $5 million for breeding, rearing and transporting of live fish (House)
– $13 million for Ewe lamb replacement and pretension (Senate)
– $20 million for Mormon cricket eradication in Nevada (Senate)
– $24 million for Sugar beat production in Minnesota (Senate)
– $25 million for Spinach growers in California (House)
– $74 million for Peanut storage here in Georgia (House)
– $100 million for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions (Senate)
– $214 million for Kosovo assistance (Senate)
– $283 million Milk Income Loss Contract program (House)

This is how our tax dollars are spent by Congress. But God bless Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC), who tried to get some of these wasteful earmarks stripped from the budget. Coburn sponsored a variety of amendments to get the pork stripped out. DeMint took to the floor of the Senate and urged fiscal responsibility.

Then there is George W. Bush. He has complained that the bill has too much pork, which it does…there is no denying that, but do not stand there at a press conference and complain about it after the spending spree Republicans had during your administration.

Hugh Hewitt’s Newspeak

Hugh Hewitt gave an interview to National Review Online where he was promoting his latest shit sandwich candidate for president. In the interview, he had this

But Rudy doesn’t care about the Marriage Amendment, and Mitt Romney does. Rudy doesn’t think there’s a problem with funding embryonic stem cell research, and Romney does. Romney’s a federalist, and I’m not sold that Rudy is. Rudy is more likely to get Soutered than Romney. That’s why, on March 28, 2007, I prefer Romney. That could change, but not in the next three months.

Now we all know that Hugh Hewitt is no intellectual giant, but I would like to think that as a lawyer he would know that advocating the use of the Constitution in order to promote social policy is anything but a Federalist approach.

The Federal Marriage Amendment is federalism can be added to such classics as:

War is peace

Ignorance is strength

Freedom is slavery

h/t: GOP Progress

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.
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