Politics: January 2013 Archives

A friend posted tonight on Facebook that it was embarrassing that U. S. Sen. Jim Inhofe voted against the confirmation of his former Senate colleague, John Kerry (D-Mass.), as Secretary of State. Comments in reply generally agreed with this sentiment, casting aspersions on Oklahoma and Oklahomans in general. The embarrassed friend stated further in the comments, "It is astounding to me that I don't know anyone who will admit to voting for him, but he keeps winning."

I've voted for Jim Inhofe at every opportunity since his last run for mayor. One commenter made a subtle point, referring to Inhofe: "Perhaps he recalls Winter Soldier. And Kerry throwing somebody else's medals over the White House fence. And referring to Bashar Assad as a 'reformer.'"

Here's an essay from 2004, when Kerry was the Democratic nominee for president, about John Kerry's decades of flirtation with corrupt and vicious left-wing dictators. The essay quotes then Sen. Zell Miller, a Democrat who spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention:

For more than twenty years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure.

I don't always agree with Jim Inhofe. Some of his interventions in local politics have been particularly irksome to me, but I'm proud to vote for a senator who believes that a lifelong apologist for thugs and dictators should not represent America to the rest of the world.

Blog roundup 2013/01/28

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Notes hither and thither:

If you're a fan of beautiful cartoon art, you should make at least a weekly visit to Whirled of Kelly, which features the art work of Walt Kelly, most famous for the comic strip Pogo. Blogger Thomas Haller Buchanan has been running a series of Sunday strips from 1952, scanned in color from the newspaper. The sequence involves Albert telling a fractured fairy tale called Handle and Gristle. The January 2013 archive also includes scans of Story Book Records from 1946: The discs were illustrated by Walt Kelly, and he's the reader on the recordings.

Nice Deb's Sunday tradition is a hymn, and this week it's a metrical setting of Psalm 23: The King of Love My Shepherd Is.

Maggie's Notebook has a bizarre story: The State of Delaware is stripping its county sheriff's departments (all three of them) of the power to make arrests and enforce the law. This despite a constitutional provision that says that "the Sheriffs shall be conservators of the peace within the counties respectively in which they reside." Only one of the three sheriffs, from Sussex County, is objecting to the change.

Route 66 News reports on a new Route 66 Dining and Lodging Guide, handy for finding comfortable, historic, and locally owned along Route 66. (I love Jack Rittenhouse's guidebook, but it's old enough to collect Social Security, and Michael Wallis's book is old enough to drink.)

Yesterday was Gun Appreciation Day, with huge rallies at state capitols across the nation to remind officials that millions of Americans are determined to protect their right to keep and bear arms, a right with roots in the English Common Law long before the passage of the 2nd Amendment that enshrines it. (Hat tip to Ace of Spades HQ.)

Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr., applied for a concealed carry permit? Did you know that white officials in Alabama abused their discretion to deny him that permit? King and his team owned "an arsenal" of weapons to protect him against the forces that sought to harm him.

An interesting related quote from King about tyrants and oppressors:

Martin Luther King Jr. once said of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the martyred World War II pastor, "if your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi. But if you enemy has no conscience, like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer."

Bonhoeffer, a German pastor, theologian, and pacifist, joined a conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler, but was captured and executed when the plot failed.

WikiQuote has a long list of quotations from America's Founding Fathers and others regarding the right to keep and bear arms. George Mason, in 1788, in Virginia's debate on ratifying the Constitution of the United States:

Forty years ago, when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.

Patrick Henry, during the same debates, arguing against adopting the Constitution in the absence of a bill of rights:

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined....

Happy will you be if you miss the fate of those nations, who, omitting to resist their oppressors, or negligently suffering their liberty to be wrested from them, have groaned under intolerable despotism! Most of the human race are now in this deplorable condition; and those nations who have gone in search of grandeur, power, and splendor, have also fallen a sacrifice, and been the victims of their own folly. While they acquired those visionary blessings, they lost their freedom. My great objection to this government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or of waging war against tyrants. It is urged by some gentlemen, that this new plan will bring us an acquisition of strength--an army, and the militia of the states. This is an idea extremely ridiculous: gentlemen cannot be earnest. This acquisition will trample on our fallen liberty. Let my beloved Americans guard against that fatal lethargy that has pervaded the universe. Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defence, the militia, is put into the hands of Congress?

Noah Webster, arguing in support of the Constitution in the pamphlet An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (1787):

But what is tyranny? Or how can a free people be deprived of their liberties? Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety. A people can never be deprived of their liberties, whlie they retain in their own hands a power superior to any other power in the state....

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force at the command of Congress can execute no laws but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive. In spite of all the nominal powers vested in Congress by the constitution. were the system once adopted in its fullest latitude, still the actual exercise of them would be frequently interrupted by popular jealousy. I am bold to say that ten just and constitutional measures would be resisted, where one unjust or oppressive law would be enforced. The powers vested in Congress are little more than nominal; nay real power cannot be vested in them nor in any body but in the people. The source of power is in the people of this country and cannot for ages, and probably never will, be removed.

Meanwhile, at the New York State Legislature, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin was asked not to share a list of gun control measures floated by Democrats in the legislature as "it really has the capacity to dampen the enthusiasm to compromise." (Video at the link.) The list included a statewide database for all guns, a seemingly reasonable measure that has been used in other countries to lay the groundwork for later confiscation.

MORE: Susanna Gratia Hupp, a survivor of the Luby's massacre, explains why the number of bullets in a clip doesn't matter, and how the rules that discourage keeping a gun on your person at all times cost her parents their lives.

STILL MORE: Newly elected Oklahoma State Sen. Nathan Dahm has authored three bills to protect the rights of Oklahomans to keep and bear arms. One bill would treat our vehicles as an extension of our homes, allowing a firearm to be in the car without the need of a special license to carry.

Maggie's Notebook quotes extensively a column by Larry Elder, a Chicago native. It's not the gun culture that results in hundreds of murders every year in places like Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia; it's the fatherless culture.

Have seen only one press release so far from our congressmen and senators on the "compromise" they approved yesterday. Both Oklahoma senators and four out of five congressmen voted in favor of the Senate version of the bill, which raises income taxes on individuals and small businesses, does not extend the payroll tax cut, and does not cut spending, instead adding $4 trillion more to our national debt. Only one Oklahoma congressman, James Lankford, voted with the majority of House Republicans against the bill; Sullivan, Boren, Lucas, and Cole voted in favor. This appears to be the final roll call for Sullivan and Boren.

Here's the statement from Tom Coburn's office:

While this bill is far from perfect, it does prevent massive tax increases while making tax cuts permanent for 99 percent of Americans. Congress and the president, however, have a lot of work to do to address our long-tern spending problem. Our debt - which is 120 percent of our economy if you count federal, state and local debt - is still the greatest threat to our national security. We will never address that threat until Congress and the president acknowledge that the only way to save entitlement programs is to change them.

MORE: Jim Inhofe defended the bill on KRMG, describing it as a choice between the compromise with its flaws and the cost of doing nothing.

Has anyone heard any comment from the two incoming Oklahoma congressmen, Jim Bridenstine and Markwayne Mullin?

UPDATE 2013/01/03: Jim Inhofe tells Human Events that he's now Mitch McConnell's biggest fan:

"Why any conservative could not look at this bill and rejoice is beyond me," the senator told Human Events--in fact, phoning us early Thursday morning from a Midas muffler shop in Tulsa where he was having work done on his car. Inhofe had just finished with more than a dozen interviews on Sooner State talk radio on the bill and, as he told us, "one of our popular talk show hosts here in Tulsa, Pat Campbell, had been a vigorous opponent of the measure but I think I turned him around."

"When 99 percent of the taxpayers get a very large reduction in their taxes, you can't say it's not a conservative victory," he explained. "I think that many were upset because the bill didn't have spending cuts. Well, this was a tax bill and cutting spending is the next step, along with dealing with sequestration, so we don't disarm America. We'll deal with that shortly."

Inhofe cited the high income threshold on the capital gains rate, the limitations on the imposition of the death tax, and the fix for the Alternative Minimum Tax as far better than the alternative with the expiration of the George W. Bush era tax cuts.

For his part, Pat Campbell, host of the morning show on 1170 KFAQ, wrote on Facebook about Inhofe's comments: "Now this takes balls!" Campbell also wrote, "I still think this deal is a disaster!"

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from January 2013.

Politics: December 2012 is the previous archive.

Politics: February 2013 is the next archive.

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