To the world that works.
Gee Republicans can be dumb. I can't believe that they are trying to tar Barack Obama with the scandal involving Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Unless there emerges a direct link between Obama and the Governor's apparent wrong-doing then the Republicans only make themselves look opportunistic and partisan by implying there is a connection without producing any evidence. This is exactly the politics of personal destruction that has turned off the voters to the Republican party.
Liberals are also displaying stupidity with their recent attacks on Obama for not appointing more fire breathing leftists to his cabinet. That is so typical of why the American Left is always so ineffective, the minute they get any power they immediately lunge for each other's throats. Excuse me, but regarding Obama can the guy actually get sworn into office before we declare him a disappointment? Just a thought.
Some good thoughts are coming out of Newt Gingrich these days. By many accounts Gingrich is contemptible on a personal level, but at the same time I would say he is one of the foremost political geniuses of our time. Even if you disagree with him, smart people pay attention to what he says.
Question: What do (D), convicted Senator Ted Stevens (R), failing public school administrators, and the 80 percent of retiring California Highway Patrol chiefs who apply for disability have in common?
Answer: None of them is honest, and all of them are part of America’s already vast and rapidly expanding government. The idea that big government is inherently corrupting is as old as America itself. It was part of the Founders’ case for casting off the chains of the British monarchy.
More recently, the principle that big government breeds big corruption was perhaps expressed best by humorist P.J. O’Rourke, who said:
“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”
The shocking case of corruption in the office of the governor of Illinois by Rod Blagojevich is just the most obvious manifestation of this tendency for dishonesty to grow as government grows.
When the Detroit public school system continues to take money for the 76 percent of students that it fails to graduate on time or at all, its administrators aren’t being honest. When 80 percent -- 80 percent! -- of California Highway Patrol assistant and deputy chiefs claim a disability at retirement to inflate their pensions, they are not being honest. (Also see this shocking story from yesterday’s New York Times).
When at least 25 percent of the $50 billion of the taxpayers’ money spent each year on Medicaid in New York is likely due to fraud, waste and misuse, it’s not only the individuals defrauding the system that are being dishonest, but the government officials allowing this travesty to continue are dishonest as well. The list could go on and on.
It’s examples like these that have caused Americans to lose faith and trust in their government. It was Republicans who paid the price for this in November, but in reality, all of us are paying. And we’ll only pay more as the federal government moves further and further into part-ownership of America’s insurance companies, banks, financial institutions and, most likely, Detroit’s auto industry.
That’s why I believe that the most important words in rethinking government in the next decade won’t be vague promises like “change” or massive government attempts at make-work “stimulus.” The four most important words in rethinking government in the years to come will be these:
But note one thing: Each of these words emphatically do not describe hulking behemoths like bureaucracies, bloated labor unions, or massive corporations.
Honesty, effectiveness, productivity and creativity don’t describe Washington. They describe places like Silicon Valley. They describe the lean, agile and innovative companies and institutions that are making American better every day. Honesty, effectiveness, productivity and creativity describe the world that works rather than the world that fails.
Speaking of the world that fails, I love the editorial in yesterday's Springfield Republican about the gang of incompetents that are holding up essential legislation necessary for Springfield to be returned to self-government. Dig these excerpts.
State Rep. Benjamin Swan, a prominent city tax scofflaw, told our reporter that he is freezing progress on the bill until the state inspector general completes a review of the city's decision to terminate a contract with one of his pals in the towing business. Pay your tax bill, Rep. Swan....
Reps. Sean F. Curran and Angelo J. Puppolo Jr., along with the tax scofflaw, amended the bill in October to remove any control a new financial manager for the city would have over the city's school department budget. That means that instead of a trained financial professional being involved with the school department's budget, personnel policies and contract bargaining, the Springfield School Committee would do that.
Curran and Puppolo agreed to be the teachers union pets in this one. And with that amendment, the teachers union would return to its days of playing the School Committee members like puppets.
Once again some of Springfield's elected officials have proven that they cannot be trusted to look out for the bests interests of the city as a whole or to manage its finances in a professional way. It appears to us they are building another good case for the state to keep the Finance Control Board in place.
Sad but true. It is time for Springfield to be freed from state control and to stand on its own two feet, but it is discouraging to see how little has changed in the political culture of gimmie, gimmie, gimmie. The city's so-called leaders continue to play games with Springfield's future for selfish, short-term gain.
At the heart of the problem is the ignorant voters. The Control Board has made the hard decisions and necessary reforms, but the electorate has refused to change the political leadership. Incumbents are routinely returned to office, often with no opposition, while nothing short of a criminal indictment cause anyone to resign - and even then pols like Chris Asselin have been known to resist. I don't know what the answer is. Isn't there anything that will anger the voters of Springfield sufficiently to inspire them to clean house?
To read the entire Springfield Republican editorial click here.
Me and Jay Libardi, shortly before his death.
My neighbor has turned his pine tree into a red, white and blue holiday ornament.
Northampton's historic Wiggins Tavern has plenty of lights up this year, none of which one would have seen when Wiggins celebrated its first Christmas in 1786.
Finally, here's some classic footage of a freshman arriving at UMass in 1969.
In a small New England town, the owner of a new bar/tavern licence started construction of a building to house his business. The local Catholic church started a campaign of public prayer vigils to block the bar from opening. Work progressed however right up till the week before opening, when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.
The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, till the bar
owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means. The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise in its reply to the court.
As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he lamented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this! It appears from the paperwork that we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn't!"