Archive for the ‘Ronald Reagan’ Category

Happy Birthday Ronald Reagan!

February 6, 2009

Today is President Ronald Reagan’s birthday, so I thought it would be appropriate to give a little tribute to him.

Here’s a video tribute that’s on Youtube that highlights some of his best speeches:

Mr. Reagan, I speak on behalf of most Americans, we miss you, but you are truly in a better place.  I look forward to meeting you one day.  Mr. Reagan, you truly are an American hero.

God bless you.

And to Nancy Reagan, God bless you.  You, like your husband, truly are a great American.

I guess I’ll just leave you all with President Reagan’s Presidential picture:

ronald_reagan

~~Ranting Republican
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Barack Obama Issues Executive Order Increasing Presidential Transparency

January 22, 2009

Yesterday, President Obama issued his first (or second) executive order, rescinding Executive Order 13233, issued by President Bush.  Obama’s executive order restored some transparency to the White House, back to the levels before President Bush.

Here’s the executive order issued by Obama:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures governing the assertion of executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents in connection with the release of Presidential records by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Definitions. For purposes of this order:

(a) “Archivist” refers to the Archivist of the United States or his designee.

(b) “NARA” refers to the National Archives and Records Administration.

(c) “Presidential Records Act” refers to the Presidential Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 2201-2207.

(d) “NARA regulations” refers to the NARA regulations implementing the Presidential Records Act, 36 C.F.R. Part 1270.

(e) “Presidential records” refers to those documentary materials maintained by NARA pursuant to the Presidential Records Act, including Vice Presidential records.

(f) “Former President” refers to the former President during whose term or terms of office particular Presidential records were created.

(g) A “substantial question of executive privilege” exists if NARA’s disclosure of Presidential records might impair national security (including the conduct of foreign relations), law enforcement, or the deliberative processes of the executive branch.

(h) A “final court order” is a court order from which no appeal may be taken.

Sec. 2. Notice of Intent to Disclose Presidential Records.

(a) When the Archivist provides notice to the incumbent and former Presidents of his intent to disclose Presidential records pursuant to section 1270.46 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist, using any guidelines provided by the incumbent and former Presidents, shall identify any specific materials, the disclosure of which he believes may raise a substantial question of executive privilege. However, nothing in this order is intended to affect the right of the incumbent or former Presidents to invoke executive privilege with respect to materials not identified by the Archivist. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.

(b) Upon the passage of 30 days after receipt by the incumbent and former Presidents of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Archivist may disclose the records covered by the notice, unless during that time period the Archivist has received a claim of executive privilege by the incumbent or former President or the Archivist has been instructed by the incumbent President or his designee to extend the time period for a time certain and with reason for the extension of time provided in the notice. If a shorter period of time is required under the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist shall so indicate in the notice.

Sec. 3. Claim of Executive Privilege by Incumbent President.

(a) Upon receipt of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Attorney General (directly or through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel) and the Counsel to the President shall review as they deem appropriate the records covered by the notice and consult with each other, the Archivist, and such other executive agencies as they deem appropriate concerning whether invocation of executive privilege is justified.

(b) The Attorney General and the Counsel to the President, in the exercise of their discretion and after appropriate review and consultation under subsection (a) of this section, may jointly determine that invocation of executive privilege is not justified. The Archivist shall be notified promptly of any such determination.

(c) If either the Attorney General or the Counsel to the President believes that the circumstances justify invocation of executive privilege, the issue shall be presented to the President by the Counsel to the President and the Attorney General.

(d) If the President decides to invoke executive privilege, the Counsel to the President shall notify the former President, the Archivist, and the Attorney General in writing of the claim of privilege and the specific Presidential records to which it relates. After receiving such notice, the Archivist shall not disclose the privileged records unless directed to do so by an incumbent President or by a final court order.

Sec. 4. Claim of Executive Privilege by Former President.

(a) Upon receipt of a claim of executive privilege by a living former President, the Archivist shall consult with the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel), the Counsel to the President, and such other executive agencies as the Archivist deems appropriate concerning the Archivist’s determination as to whether to honor the former President’s claim of privilege or instead to disclose the Presidential records notwithstanding the claim of privilege. Any determination under section 3 of this order that executive privilege shall not be invoked by the incumbent President shall not prejudice the Archivist’s determination with respect to the former President’s claim of privilege.

(b) In making the determination referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the Archivist shall abide by any instructions given him by the incumbent President or his designee unless otherwise directed by a final court order. The Archivist shall notify the incumbent and former Presidents of his determination at least 30 days prior to disclosure of the Presidential records, unless a shorter time period is required in the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.

Sec. 5. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 6. Revocation. Executive Order 13233 of November 1, 2001, is revoked.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 21, 2009

And here’s Executive Order 13233, issued by Bush:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures implementing section 2204 of title 44 of the United States Code with respect to constitutionally based privileges, including those that apply to Presidential records reflecting military, diplomatic, or national security secrets, Presidential communications, legal advice, legal work, or the deliberative processes of the President and the President’s advisors, and to do so in a manner consistent with the Supreme Court’s decisions in Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S. 425 (1977), and other cases, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Definitions.

For purposes of this order:

(a) “Archivist” refers to the Archivist of the United States or his designee.

(b) “Presidential records” refers to those documentary materials maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration pursuant to the Presidential Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 2201-2207.

(c) “Former President” refers to the former President during whose term or terms of office particular Presidential records were created.

Sec. 2. Constitutional and Legal Background.

(a) For a period not to exceed 12 years after the conclusion of a Presidency, the Archivist administers records in accordance with the limitations on access imposed by section 2204 of title 44. After expiration of that period, section 2204(c) of title 44 directs that the Archivist administer Presidential records in accordance with section 552 of title 5, the Freedom of Information Act, including by withholding, as appropriate, records subject to exemptions (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(6), (b)(7), (b)(8), and (b)(9) of section 552. Section 2204(c)(1) of title 44 provides that exemption (b)(5) of section 552 is not available to the Archivist as a basis for withholding records, but section 2204(c)(2) recognizes that the former President or the incumbent President may assert any constitutionally based privileges, including those ordinarily encompassed within exemption (b)(5) of section 552. The President’s constitutionally based privileges subsume privileges for records that reflect: military, diplomatic, or national security secrets (the state secrets privilege); communications of the President or his advisors (the presidential communications privilege); legal advice or legal work (the attorney-client or attorney work product privileges); and the deliberative processes of the President or his advisors (the deliberative process privilege).

(b) In Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, the Supreme Court set forth the constitutional basis for the President’s privileges for confidential communications: “Unless [the President] can give his advisers some assurance of confidentiality, a President could not expect to receive the full and frank submissions of facts and opinions upon which effective discharge of his duties depends.” 433 U.S. at 448-49. The Court cited the precedent of the Constitutional Convention, the records of which were “sealed for more than 30 years after the Convention.” Id. at 447 n.11. Based on those precedents and principles, the Court ruled that constitutionally based privileges available to a President “survive[] the individual President’s tenure.” Id. at 449. The Court also held that a former President, although no longer a Government official, may assert constitutionally based privileges with respect to his Administration’s Presidential records, and expressly rejected the argument that “only an incumbent President can assert the privilege of the Presidency.” Id. at 448.

(c) The Supreme Court has held that a party seeking to overcome the constitutionally based privileges that apply to Presidential records must establish at least a “demonstrated, specific need” for particular records, a standard that turns on the nature of the proceeding and the importance of the information to that proceeding. See United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 713 (1974). Notwithstanding the constitutionally based privileges that apply to Presidential records, many former Presidents have authorized access, after what they considered an appropriate period of repose, to those records or categories of records (including otherwise privileged records) to which the former Presidents or their representatives in their discretion decided to authorize access. See Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S. at 450-51.

Sec. 3. Procedure for Administering Privileged Presidential Records.

Consistent with the requirements of the Constitution and the Presidential Records Act, the Archivist shall administer Presidential records under section 2204(c) of title 44 in the following manner:

(a) At an appropriate time after the Archivist receives a request for access to Presidential records under section 2204(c)(1), the Archivist shall provide notice to the former President and the incumbent President and, as soon as practicable, shall provide the former President and the incumbent President copies of any records that the former President and the incumbent President request to review.

(b) After receiving the records he requests, the former President shall review those records as expeditiously as possible, and for no longer than 90 days for requests that are not unduly burdensome. The Archivist shall not permit access to the records by a requester during this period of review or when requested by the former President to extend the time for review.

(c) After review of the records in question, or of any other potentially privileged records reviewed by the former President, the former President shall indicate to the Archivist whether the former President requests withholding of or authorizes access to any privileged records.

(d) Concurrent with or after the former President’s review of the records, the incumbent President or his designee may also review the records in question, or may utilize whatever other procedures the incumbent President deems appropriate to decide whether to concur in the former President’s decision to request withholding of or authorize access to the records.

(1) When the former President has requested withholding of the records:
(i) If under the standard set forth in section 4 below, the incumbent President concurs in the former President’s decision to request withholding of records as privileged, the incumbent President shall so inform the former President and the Archivist. The Archivist shall not permit access to those records by a requester unless and until the incumbent President advises the Archivist that the former President and the incumbent President agree to authorize access to the records or until so ordered by a final and nonappealable court order.
(ii) If under the standard set forth in section 4 below, the incumbent President does not concur in the former President’s decision to request withholding of the records as privileged, the incumbent President shall so inform the former President and the Archivist. Because the former President independently retains the right to assert constitutionally based privileges, the Archivist shall not permit access to the records by a requester unless and until the incumbent President advises the Archivist that the former President and the incumbent President agree to authorize access to the records or until so ordered by a final and nonappealable court order.
(2) When the former President has authorized access to the records:
(i) If under the standard set forth in section 4 below, the incumbent President concurs in the former President’s decision to authorize access to the records, the Archivist shall permit access to the records by the requester.
(ii) If under the standard set forth in section 4 below, the incumbent President does not concur in the former President’s decision to authorize access to the records, the incumbent President may independently order the Archivist to withhold privileged records. In that instance, the Archivist shall not permit access to the records by a requester unless and until the incumbent President advises the Archivist that the former President and the incumbent President agree to authorize access to the records or until so ordered by a final and nonappealable court order.
Sec. 4. Concurrence by Incumbent President.

Absent compelling circumstances, the incumbent President will concur in the privilege decision of the former President in response to a request for access under section 2204(c)(1). When the incumbent President concurs in the decision of the former President to request withholding of records within the scope of a constitutionally based privilege, the incumbent President will support that privilege claim in any forum in which the privilege claim is challenged.

Sec. 5. Incumbent President’s Right to Obtain Access.

This order does not expand or limit the incumbent President’s right to obtain access to the records of a former President pursuant to section 2205(2)(B).

Sec. 6. Right of Congress and Courts to Obtain Access.

This order does not expand or limit the rights of a court, House of Congress, or authorized committee or subcommittee of Congress to obtain access to the records of a former President pursuant to section 2205(2)(A) or section 2205(2)(C). With respect to such requests, the former President shall review the records in question and, within 21 days of receiving notice from the Archivist, indicate to the Archivist his decision with respect to any privilege. The incumbent President shall indicate his decision with respect to any privilege within 21 days after the former President has indicated his decision. Those periods may be extended by the former President or the incumbent President for requests that are burdensome. The Archivist shall not permit access to the records unless and until the incumbent President advises the Archivist that the former President and the incumbent President agree to authorize access to the records or until so ordered by a final and nonappealable court order.

Sec. 7. No Effect on Right to Withhold Records.

This order does not limit the former President’s or the incumbent President’s right to withhold records on any ground supplied by the Constitution, statute, or regulation.

Sec. 8. Withholding of Privileged Records During 12-Year Period.

In the period not to exceed 12 years after the conclusion of a Presidency during which section 2204(a) and section 2204(b) of title 44 apply, a former President or the incumbent President may request withholding of any privileged records not already protected from disclosure under section 2204. If the former President or the incumbent President so requests, the Archivist shall not permit access to any such privileged records unless and until the incumbent President advises the Archivist that the former President and the incumbent President agree to authorize access to the records or until so ordered by a final and nonappealable court order.

Sec. 9. Establishment of Procedures.

This order is not intended to indicate whether and under what circumstances a former President should assert or waive any privilege. The order is intended to establish procedures for former and incumbent Presidents to make privilege determinations.

Sec. 10. Designation of Representative.

The former President may designate a representative (or series or group of alternative representatives, as the former President in his discretion may determine) to act on his behalf for purposes of the Presidential Records Act and this order. Upon the death or disability of a former President, the former President’s designated representative shall act on his behalf for purposes of the Act and this order, including with respect to the assertion of constitutionally based privileges. In the absence of any designated representative after the former President’s death or disability, the family of the former President may designate a representative (or series or group of alternative representatives, as they in their discretion may determine) to act on the former President’s behalf for purposes of the Act and this order, including with respect to the assertion of constitutionally based privileges.

Sec. 11. Vice Presidential Records.

(a) Pursuant to section 2207 of title 44 of the United States Code, the Presidential Records Act applies to the executive records of the Vice President. Subject to subsections (b) and (c), this order shall also apply with respect to any such records that are subject to any constitutionally based privilege that the former Vice President may be entitled to invoke, but in the administration of this order with respect to such records, references in this order to a former President shall be deemed also to be references to the relevant former Vice President.

(b) Subsection (a) shall not be deemed to authorize a Vice President or former Vice President to invoke any constitutional privilege of a President or former President except as authorized by that President or former President.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to grant, limit, or otherwise affect any privilege of a President, Vice President, former President, or former Vice President.

Sec. 12. Judicial Review.

This order is intended to improve the internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party, other than a former President or his designated representative, against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.

Sec. 13. Revocation.

Executive Order 12667 of January 18, 1989, is revoked.

GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
November 1, 2001.

And here’s Executive Order 12667, issued by Reagan:

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures governing the assertion of Executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents in connection with the release of Presidential records by the National Archives and Records Administration pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Definitions.

For purposes of this Order:

(a) “Archivist” refers to the Archivist of the United States or his designee.

(b) “NARA” refers to the National Archives and Records Administration.

(c) “Presidential Records Act” refers to the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (Pub. L. No. 95-591, 92 Stat. 2523-27, as amended by Pub. L. No. 98-497, 98 Stat. 2287), codified at 44 U.S.C. 2201-2207.

(d) “NARA regulations” refers to the NARA regulations implementing the Presidential Records Act. 53 Fed. Reg. 50404 (1988), codified at 36 C.F.R. Part 1270.

(e) “Presidential records” refers to those documentary materials maintained by NARA pursuant to the Presidential Records Act and the NARA regulations.

(f) “Former President” refers to the former President during whose term or terms of office particular Presidential records were created.

(g) A “substantial question of Executive privilege” exists if NARA’s disclosure of Presidential records might impair the national security (including the conduct of foreign relations), law enforcement, or the deliberative processes of the Executive branch.

(h) A “final court order” is a court order from which no appeal may be taken.

Sec. 2. Notice of Intent to Disclose Presidential Records.

(a) When the Archivist provides notice to the incumbent and former Presidents of his intent to disclose Presidential records pursuant to section 1270.46 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist, utilizing any guidelines provided by the incumbent and former Presidents, shall identify any specific materials, the disclosure of which he believes may raise a substantial question of Executive privilege. However, nothing in this Order is intended to affect the right of the incumbent or former Presidents to invoke Executive privilege with respect to materials not identified by the Archivist. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.

(b) Upon the passage of 30 days after receipt by the incumbent and former Presidents of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Archivist may disclose the records covered by the notice, unless during that time period the Archivist has received a claim of Executive privilege by the incumbent or former President or the Archivist has been instructed by the incumbent President or his designee to extend the time period. If a shorter time period is required under the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist shall so indicate in the notice.

Sec. 3. Claim of Executive Privilege by Incumbent President.

(a) Upon receipt of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Attorney General (directly or through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel) and the Counsel to the President shall review as they deem appropriate the records covered by the notice and consult with each other, the Archivist, and such other Federal agencies as they deem appropriate concerning whether invocation of Executive privilege is justified.

(b) The Attorney General and the Counsel to the President, in the exercise of their discretion and after appropriate review and consultation under subsection (a) of this section, may jointly determine that invocation of Executive privilege is not justified. The Archivist shall be promptly notified of any such determination.

(c) If after appropriate review and consultation under subsection (a) of this section, either the Attorney General or the Counsel to the President believes that the circumstances justify invocation of Executive privilege, the issue shall be presented to the President by the Counsel to the President and the Attorney General.

(d) If the President decides to invoke Executive privilege, the Counsel to the President shall notify the former President, the Archivist, and the Attorney General in writing of the claim of privilege and the specific Presidential records to which it relates. After receiving such notice, the Archivist shall not disclose the privileged records unless directed to do so by an incumbent President or by a final court order.

Sec. 4. Claim of Executive Privilege by Former President.

(a) Upon receipt of a claim of Executive privilege by a former President, the Archivist shall consult with the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel), the Counsel to the President, and such other Federal agencies as he deems appropriate concerning the Archivist’s determination as to whether to honor the former President’s claim of privilege or instead to disclose the Presidential records notwithstanding the claim of privilege. Any determination under section 3 of this Order that Executive privilege shall not be invoked by the incumbent President shall not prejudice the Archivist’s determination with respect to the former President’s claim of privilege.

(b) In making the determination referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the Archivist shall abide by any instructions given him by the incumbent President or his designee unless otherwise directed by a final court order. The Archivist shall notify the incumbent and former Presidents of his determination at least 30 days prior to disclosure of the Presidential records, unless a shorter time period is required in the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.

Sec. 5. Judicial Review. This Order is intended only to improve the internal management of the Executive branch and is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.

RONALD REAGAN
The White House,
January 18, 1989.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:07 a. m., January 19, 1989]

As you can see, Obama’s EO and Reagan’s  are nearly identical (maybe 20 word changes overall, and nothing that changes the meaning of  anything.

Overall, I am VERY happy in President Obama’s actions here.  Personally, I thought that Bush’s order was wrong, and never should’ve been issued.  Even the courts agreed with me, because part of it was overturned in 2007.

Although I disagree with a LOT of what Obama sands for, the fact that he’s already making the Presidency more transparent (back to the days of Reagan and Clinton) makes me very happy.

Kudos to President Obama for this one.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Obama Advisor: Obama Likely to Not Repeal the Bush Tax Cuts

November 23, 2008

Well, I called this one (not on this blog, but another website I post on) over a month ago, when he said that a recession may make him delay the repealment of the Bush tax cuts.  Well, this morning on Meet the Press, an advisor on his transition team, Bill Daley (Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton), said that it’s looking like Obama isn’t going to push for them to be repealed, but just let them expire in 2011.  Here’s the transcript courtesy of Meet the Press:

MR. BROKAW: And let’s talk about taxes for just a moment ,if we can. The New York Times is reporting today that “in light of the downturn, Mr. Obama is also said to be reconsidering a campaign pledge: his proposal to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. According to several people familiar with the discussions, he might instead let those tax cuts expire as scheduled in 2011, effectively delaying any tax increase while he gives his stimulus plan a chance to work.” Is that your understanding of what may happen?

MR. DALEY: That looks more likely than not, Tom, but the president-elect is very committed to the fact that there must be greater equity in, in the responsibility of, of taxes in this country. We must bring tax relief to the middle class. He has said this now for two years as he’s been out there on the campaign, and he’s going to deliver on that. That’s an integral part of his economic recovery package next year is to bring some tax relief to the American people and the vast majority who are in the middle class, not those of us who do much better than that. So I, I think he’s going, he’s, he’s got a great team he’s putting together: Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, a whole host of other people, that he’s charged with putting this plan together. I think he’s gone out to get the most competent, qualified, experienced people to put this together. We are, as Secretary Baker said, in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis. We will come out of it, but these are times that no one’s ever seen, and it’s a global issue. And of all the people he’s put forward in these major jobs are very experienced in a global setting of economics also.

MR. BROKAW: And, Secretary [James] Baker [Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan], keeping the Bush tax cuts in place, will that be central to winning any Republican support for a massive public stimulus program of some kind?

MR. BAKER: Well, it depends on which you mean by keeping them in place. If that means he’s not going to try to repeal, not going to try to increase taxes during this very critical next two-year period, then, yes, it would be and probably would be if it means that he’s going to abandon the idea of, of keeping them, keeping taxes low thereafter. But let me, let me second what, what Secretary Daley said about the team that the president-elect is putting together. I think he’s appointed some extraordinarily capable people, and we’re going to see some more, as I understand it. And I think he’s to be commended for that. Bill Daley knows and I know that any new president has got to surround himself with competent advisers, and that’s even more so today when we’re facing the kind of economic crisis we’re facing.

May I say one other thing, Tom? I, I think that a lot of what we’re seeing out there today is a lack of confidence, and the president-elect and, as a matter of fact, the current president have to face this problem over the next 60 days. It’s unfortunate that we’re in this interregnum of a transition, but I think that something very useful might even come out of the two of them sitting down together and addressing not the, not the midterm, not the mid and long-term problem that we face that was the subject of the president-elect’s speech, but the–but facing–but addressing stability of our financial system and to see if there isn’t something that they could do jointly, together, over the next 58 to 60 days that would help us make sure that the–that the financial system is stabilized and, and secure. Because if that goes under, then this thing is even, believe it or not, going to get worse. And I think just the mere fact of their sitting down together and seeing if there’s not one thing that they could come together on would do a lot to restore confidence and, and remove the anxiety and fear that’s out there.

Well, now this is interesting, since Senator Obama has said that he would pay for his health care plan with the money that would come in from getting rid of the Bush tax cuts.  So, this will set him back 2 years which will be $100-$135 billion.

Like I’ve said before, Obama is all talk, on taxes, on Iraq, and on a lot of what he says.  He was elected on promises that he never intended to fulfill, but most Americans didn’t realize that.  Oh well, in 4 years, people will be begging for a Republican in the White House.  Either that, or they’ll excuse Obama by saying, “His problems were Bush’s fault.”  Knowing American voters, I’m scared that it may be the latter.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Analysis of Rudy Giuliani’s Speech at the RNC

September 4, 2008

Here’s my next speech analysis.  This one is for Wednesday’s keynote speaker, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani:

He’s talking about him supporting John McCain, just like he said he would.  “This year, with what’s at stake, 2008 IS the most important election in our lifetime, and we’d better get it right.”  A great quote from Giuliani.  It’s emphasizing the fact that, sure we say that every year, but this year its actually true.  This is a major cornerstone for American and whoever wins will have a huge impact on the future of this nation.

“This election represents a turning point.  It’s a decision to follow one path or the other. … The citizens of  the United States get to decide the next President [then he lists liberals].  Not anyone else but the people of America.”  And the crowd begins to chant “USA.”  And that’s just basically him saying, “Don’t pay attention to Hollywood and the media bias.  Go out and vote for a good candidate, John McCain.”

“To those Americans who still feel torn in this election. … Think about it this way: you’re hiring someone to do a job, an important job, a job that relates to the safety of yourself and your family. … You have 2 job applications in your hand with the name and the party affiliations blocked out.  They’re both good and patriotic men … You have to decide, “Who am I gonna hire?”  He’s talking about McCaain having “passed every test. … Even his adversaries acknowledge … that John McCain is a true American hero.”  And he’s talking about McCain’s sacrifice, and that really appeals to the undecided voters, and it especially appeals to military families.  He’s talking about McCain knowing that “America comes first,” and that McCain has shown that he knows this.

He’s talking about McCain running for House and Senate as a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution.  Then he switches over to Obama, a man who’s gifted with a great education, who “worked as a community organizer.  What?”  And the crowd really liked that.  “He worked!  I said–I said–Okay, okay, maybe this is the first problem on the resumé.   He worked as a community organizer.  He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.”  Talking about him being elected to the State Legislature, “and nearly 130 times, he couldn’t make a decision, he couldn’t figure out whether to vote yes, or no.  It was too tough.  He voted, ‘Present.'”  And these were some great quotes here.  He first went and took Obama’s “experience” as a community organizer and showed that it’s basically useless.  Then he went and showed that Obama basically did NOTHING when he was a state legislator.

“‘Present’ doesn’t work in an executive job.  For President of the United States, it’s not good enough to be present.  You have to make a decision.”  And that was a great line there – it really shows just how inexperienced Obama is.

Now he’s talking about Obama being a “celebrity Senator.”  He’s saying that Obama has never run a city, state, business, military unit, and he’s never had to lead people in crisis.

“He is the least experienced candidate for President of the United States in at least the last 100 years.  Not a personal attack, a statement of fact.  Barack Obama has never lead anything, nothing, nada.  Nada.  Nothing.”  People are really liking Giuliani.  This is so far a much better speech than I expected.  He’s really emphasizing that Obama doesn’t know how to run anything when it comes to executive power, and Giuliani is an expert when it comes to this.

“The choice in this election comes down to substance over style. … This is no time for on the job training.”  Another great quote!

“We agree with Joe Biden.  One time.  One time, when he said that, until he flip flopped and changed his position.  And yes, being President means being able to answer that call at 3 in the morning.  And that’s the one time we agree with Hillary.  I bet you never thought Hillary would get an applause at this convention. … Well no one can look at John McCain and say that he’s not ready to be Commander in Chief.  He is and he’s ready and we can trust him to deal with anything, anything that nature throws our way, anything that terrorists do to us.  This man has been tested over and over again, and we will be safe in his hands, and our children will be safe in his hands, and our country will be safe in the hands of John McCain.  No doubts!”  Those are some great quotes.  He’s really firing up the crowd, and really pushing the fact that McCain is ready to lead, and he’s shown before that he CAN lead.

He’s talking about Obama saying that this election is about change vs. more of the same, but it’s actually good change vs. bad change.  “Because change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.”  GREAT quote showing that Obamahas no knowledge on what to do with Iraq, let alone most key issues.

Talking about McCain will lower taxes and reduce govnerment to strengthen the dollar, lead us to energy independence, and get us to drill off shore.  The crowd chants, “Drill baby drill.”  And Giuliani is just laughing and so happy.  He’s really enjoying and feeding off of the energy of the crowd, and then putting his own energy back into the crowd.  They are loving him and this speech.  He can’t even get a sentence out.

He’s saying that McCain will promote growth, jobs, and prosperity.  “We need John McCain to save our economy and make sure it grows.  But we need him for a more important purpose … John McCain will keep us on offense against terrorism at home and abroad.”  And this is where McCain’s strong points are – national security.

“For four days in Denver, the Democrats were afraid to use the words, ‘Islamic terrorism.'”  He’s saying that they’re afraid they’re insulting someone if they use that phrase.  “Who are they insulting when they say, ‘Islamic terrorism’?  They’re insulting terrorists!”  He’s saying that they hardly mentioned September 11th.  He’s saying that they’re in denial “about the biggest threat that faces this country.”  “John McCain can win and bring victory for this country.”  He’s talking about McCain supporting the troop surge.  Now he’s just rapidly emphasizing McCain’s strong points when it comes to national security, and he’s really showing how great McCain is when it comes to these issues.

“In the single biggest policy decision in this election, John McCain got it right, and Barack Obama got it wrong!”  Showing just how bad Obama is when it comes to national security, a huge contrast to McCain.  He’s saying that McCain took a political hit for the good of the country.

Now he’s talking about Obama flip flopping on public financing, an undivided Jerusalem, and wire-tapping.

“I tell you.  If I were Joe Biden, I’d wanna get that VP thing in writing!”  That was a GREAT line.

Now, he’s quoting McCain, “I’d rather lose an election than a war.  Why, because that’s John McCain.”  Again, a great quote – showing that that’s McCain’s personality, showing that McCain has America’s best interest at hand.

Now he’s talking about McCain’s stance on the Georgia/Russia issue and that Russia has to respect the integrity of other nations.  Quoting McCain, “We are all Georgians.”  Obamafirst said that both sides were equally responsible, just like he described the relationship between Palestine and Israel.  He later changed his position and said that the UN Security Council could find a solution.  He’s saying that apparently nobody told him that Russia has veto power in the UN Security Council.  So he changed again, and put out a statement basically the same as McCain’s.  “I have some advice for Senator Obama: next time, call John McCain.”  And hat was such a GREAT example.  He showing that Obama flip flops on so many foreign policy issues.  He’s changed his timetable for Iraq so many times that I don’t even remember how long he’ll keep us there anymore.

He’s saying that like Ronald Reagan, McCain will enlarge our party.  He’s saying picking Palin was a choice for the future, that she represents a new generation.  And that she has more executive experience than the Democratic ticket combined.

He’s talking about her being a mayor, and that he likes that about her.  He’s saying that Obama said it’s not flashy and cosmopolitan enough for him where she was mayor.  He’s talking about her reducing taxes and government spending and her stances on energy.  He’s said that she’s one of the best governors in the country.  “She has an 80% approval rating.  You’d never get that in New York City.”  “This is a woman who stands up for what is right,” talking about her stopping corruption and standing up to corruption INSIDE the Republican party.

“Can you imagine how they’re gonna shake up Washington!  Look out!”  Talking about them being Mavericks.  “How dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be Vice President.  How dare they do that.  When did they ever ask a man that question?”  And they’re flashing over to Cindy McCain and the Palin family, and they’re all agreeing, including Bristol Palin, by nodding their heads.

He’s talking about giving people the right to work, giving parents choice for where kids go to school, and believing in America’s success, “a shining city on a hill” – a Reagan quote!  “So my fellow Americans, we get a chance to elect one of our great heroes and a great American.  He will be an exceptional President.  He will have with him an exceptional woman who has already proven that she can reform and that she can govern.  And now the job is up to us.  Let’s get John McCain an Sarah Palin elected, and let’s shake up Washington and  move this country forward!  God bless America.  Thank you.”

Wow – wow – that was the BEST speech I’ve heard from both conventions.  That right there my friends is a 10/10.

He hit everything he needed to hit.  He shored up the moderates, the conservatives, the economic conservatives, the national security conservatives.

That was a great speech, a very energetic speech, and one of the best speeches I’ve ever seen.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Dennis Kucinich: To Impeach, or Not to Impeach? That Is the Question

July 30, 2008

Alright – here’s another one of my stories that I’m posting as a catch-up from vacation.

Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) testified before the House Judiciary Committee (chaired by John Conyers [D-MI]), saying, “The decision before us is whether to demand accountability for one of the gravest injustices imaginable.”

Conyers reminded everybody that House rules specifically prohibit “personal abuse, innuendo or ridicule of the president,” so no direct accusations at the president were really supposed to be made, but that was largely ignored.  In fact, the hearing wasn’t an impeachment hearing, but actually was entitled, “Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations.”

I’ll briefly sum up the witnesses:

  • Former Los Angeles County Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi (he tried Charles Manson), author of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, was obviously in favor of impeachment.
  • Bruce Fein, a Deputy Attorney General in the Reagan administration – one of the smartest men I’ve ever seen.  He’s a Constitutional Law attorney and was just BRILLIANT about anything legal or historic.  The man was like an encyclopedia.  He was also in favor of impeachment, but didn’t let that bias his testimony.  He seemed to be the fairest and the most unbiased of them all.
  • Former Representative Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) – she was strongly for impeachment, but didn’t testify much.
  • Former Representative Bob Barr (R-GA), turned Libertarian.  Now their party’s Presidential nominee – for impeachment, but he had to leave early, and didn’t testify much.
  • Ross “Rocky” Anderson, founder of High Roads for Human Rights and former mayor of Salt Lake City – he, didn’t testify much, and had to leave early, also for impeachment.
  • Stephen Presser, from the the Northwestern University School of Law – very smart.  He said that if the allegations are true (that Bush lied to get us deliberately into a war), he should be impeached, but he says he doesn’t interpret the evidence the way that the pro-impeachment people do.  A VERY smart man, but I think his bias stood in the way some.  Overall, I probably agreed with him the most (a cross between him and Fein).
  • Jeremy Rabkin, from the George Mason University School of Law – you could tell he was VERY biased, but he shared the argument that Presser had, regarding the evidence.
  • Elliot Adams, President of Veterans for Peace – pro-impeachment.  I think he left early as well – I didn’t hear much from him. from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law – He also sat on the Church Committee, and was pro-impeachment, but not the the bias of Bugliosi.
  • Frederick A. O. Schwarz Jr.,

Kucinich’s articles of impeachment have yet to reach the full House, but the impeachment is not expected to go anywhere, and would probably fail in the House.  I’m not sure if the Committee voted on it at all, or not.

Overall, it was a VERY interesting hearing (I saw most of it [about the last 4 hours] the first time, and then the beginning 2 hours when I watched the re-run).  Of course, my sister mocked me for watching C-SPAN on our vacation, but I loved it.  I even had my father watching it.

Here’s my opinion: I don’t think that Bush intentionally lied to get us into Iraq.  On that note, I can’t see us impeaching him.

One of the things that Fein brought up a lot was his refusal to obey Congress and send people to testify (which I think they SHOULD do, as I indicated about Karl Rove).  He brought up some of the wiretapping and surveillance stuff.  And honestly, those are the areas that I could see a real impeachment case come up, NOT over Iraq.

But here’s the problem – we’ve only got 6 more months of Bush in office.  The amount of time and money that would go into an investigation would not make it worth it, because the Republicans in Congress would never vote to impeach Bush.  The Democrats don’t have enough support (just like the Republicans didn’t with Clinton), and I don’t see this to be a wise decision.

If Congress wants to investigate Bush after he leaves office, I say, sure, go ahead!  But I just cannot justify an investigation when we know the outcome of the impeachment.  I’m not taking a side on the impeachment.  I think a LOT of what Bush has done has gone WAY over the limits of the Constitution, but many war-time Presidents have done the same.  I would not be opposed to an investigation into this Administration, but I see an impeachment more of a way to make the Republicans look bad in an election year, than an actual attempt to remove Bush from office.

I know I’m going to take some heat from Republicans for saying this stuff, but I’m tired of partisan wars.  If Bush has done nothing wrong, an investigation will show that, but I think that, considering the severity of the accusations, for the good of the country, we do need an investigation.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Charlton Heston, Actor and Conservative Icon Has Passed Away

April 6, 2008

Charlton Heston, the actor in the classic movies The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, and Planet of the Apes passed away at the age of 84, his family is reporting.

Heston was an icon to conservatives.  He started off as a liberal and a Democrat, campaigning for Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy, but later in life, he became a conservative and a Republican, taking up issues such as affirmative action, gun rights, and abortion.  He even campaigned for Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.  In 1996, he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and he was the president and spokesman of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003.  One of his most famous quotes was directed at Al Gore in the 2000 election, saying that he wold take away his Second Amendment rights “from my cold, dead hands.”

Today, he has gone on to spend eternity with the Lord, but he will always remain a true conservative and an icon to many here on earth.

I’ll leave you with my favorite video clip of his:

We’ll miss you Mr. Heston.

~~Ranting Republican
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Why the Economic Stimulus Package Was a Terrible Idea

March 21, 2008

Alright, so I was looking around Senator Chuck Hagel’s (R-NE) website to see about his new book, and I stumbled across this press release:

Hagel Statement on Vote Against Senate Economic Stimulus Package
 
February 7th, 2008 – U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel issued the following statement today after voting against the passed United States Senate economic stimulus package:“In the last few years we have overbuilt, overmortgaged, overleveraged and abused credit. The market is now self-correcting.

“This economic stimulus package is wrongheaded, short-sighted and will only drive our country deeper into debt and continue to perpetuate this irresponsible mantra of spend, spend, spend. We are borrowing money that our children are going to have to pay back. Flying over America dropping rebate checks that we can’t cover doesn’t solve anything. This isn’t free money.”  

###

I’ve gotta say – I will always love that man and his politics – I disagree with him on a couple of things things, but he is by far my favorite politician (other than Reagan) – it still saddens me that he’s retiring, but I hope he gets back into it.  I told him on my last visit to D.C. (I should post a picture of that) that if he ever runs for anything, he has my full support.

OK, back to economics:

Here’s the bill that he was referring to: House Resolution 5140: H.R. 5140 Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 – here’s the summary, at least where I have a problem – the tax rebate stuff is fine, but Title II is dangerous:

Title II: Housing GSE and FHA Loan Limits – (Sec. 201) Raises the statutory ceiling on the maximum original principal obligation of a mortgage originated between July 1, 2007, and December 31, 2008, that may be purchased by either the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). Disregards mortgages purchased with the increased ceiling amount for purposes of meeting certain housing goals established under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992.

Expresses the sense of Congress that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should securitize mortgages acquired pursuant to the increased conforming loan limits of this Act if the manner of securitization does not: (1) impose additional costs for mortgages originated, purchased, or securitized under existing limits; or (2) interfere with the goal of adding liquidity to the market.

(Sec. 202) Establishes a temporary loan limit increase for FHA-insured mortgages in specified high-cost areas for which a borrower received credit approval by December 31, 2008.

Grants the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) discretionary authority to increase loan limits in 2008 based upon the size and location of residences in particular areas.

Directs the Secretary to publish the median house prices and mortgage principal obligation limits as revised by this Act not later than 30 days after its enactment.

And here’s why it’s dangerous: As Senator Hagel said, “we have … overmortgaged … and abused credit.  And what does this act do?  Raises limits on mortgages dealing with approved credit.  But here’s the problem (as I addressed in this post: http://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/monopoly-electronic-banking-credit-cards-terrible-for-kids/):

  1. People bought overpriced houses.
  2. They couldn’t afford these houses.
  3. Mortgages were given to people who NEVER should’ve been given mortgages, especially for as much as was loaned.
  4. People got adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), which are normally used for people with bad credit, because it puts more of the risk on the person taking out the mortgage.
    1. The problem was that SO many people took out ARMs and then couldn’t pay.
    2. The banks don’t want to foreclose, because they can’t resell the property because the market is now in a state where most of the houses are overpriced, and too many people are already in financial trouble from previous mortgages.
  5. Another problem is credit – we have people all over using credit cards for whatever they want.  Rule #1 of a credit card: NEVER buy something that you couldn’t pay with cash.  Credit cards are meant for convenience so that you don’t have to carry around a wad of cash or keep all your money in a checking account where you aren’t earning interest, NOT as a secondary source for spending money.  Rule #2: Pay off the balance monthly so you don’t get nailed with interest.
  6. Yet another problem: All this $0 downpayment stuff – sure, it looks good, but that just means that you’re going to have to pay that $500 later PLUS interest!

Americans really need to go and take a simple budget or economics class, because these quick fixes are only going to hurt us.

Why is it the government’s job to fix problems that we created?  If I go out and buy a house I can’t afford and then can’t make payments, why is it the government’s job to right my stupidity?  It’s not, but ever since FDR did it in the depression, we’ve become dependent.  Herbert Hoover was right in not helping the people who just kept investing all their money in the stock market – their stupidity cost them.  Now, I understand that banks shouldn’t have been investing money that they didn’t actually have, but I’m not talking about that – I’m talking about the individuals.

If Americans aren’t careful, the economy will be slaughtered and the government won’t be able to bail people out time after time.  LEARN from your mistakes and don’t make them again, PLEASE for the sake of all of us!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Breaking News: Nancy Reagan Hospitalized After Falling

February 17, 2008

Breaking News: Nancy Reagan, the former First Lady, and wife of America’s best President, the icon of Democracy, Ronald Wilson Reagan, has been hospitalized after falling in her home.  There is no word of her status at this point.  My prayers go out to her and her family.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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