The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Sunday School Lesson Fit For an Election

Today in Sunday School, the lesson touched on Isaiah 65:21-22. For many Christian eschatologists and religions, these verses refer to a day when believers will have a better lot than they do now during a period of time called "The Millennium."

21. And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
22. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and my elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. (KJV)

Early 19th-century Presbyterian Minister Albert Barnes offered this interpretation of these verses in his "Notes on the Bible":

The idea here is, that they would live to consume; that is, to enjoy the productions of their own labor. Their property should not be wrested from them by injurious taxation, or by plunder; but they would be permitted long to possess it, until they should wear it out, or until it should be consumed. (emphasis mine)
This idea that as citizens we should be able to keep the fruits of our labors was not lost upon our founders who viewed property rights as sacred.

Let us unite our voices in voting down property and income taxes. Let us vote for candidates who will continue the Bush tax cuts and slash budgets including transfer payments.

I've studied dozens of races across our nation and have yet to find a single race where the Democrat comes even close to the Republican in supporting fiscally soundness--and yes, WV Senate Republican Candidate John Raese beats Democrat Manchin hands down for fiscal conservatism! After Democrats voted en masse for stimuluses, Obamacare, Cap-n-tax, and financial regulation all the while producing nothing but an extended recession you can't go wrong in voting Republican this year.

One final point: these past two years we (the tea party and other ordinary citizens) have had tremendous energy in holding Republicans accountable to their promised fiscal conservatism. WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO AFTER THE ELECTION. This promised self-regulation of our party should give rise to Independents and open-minded Democrats to vote for the fiscally-conservative Republican. So let's unite and go start to turn this country around on Tuesday by voting out Democrats and voting in these fiscally-conservative Republicans at all levels of government!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random Acts of Patriotism Preceding Mighty Miracles

There are so many noteworthy things happening out there across America as patriots begin their migrations to the polls. There are stories of election fraud, a beating, a church burning, rampant distortions of fact; and yet many good and praiseworthy things are happening. One of these noble acts which welled my eyes was the following video by a nearly octogenarian patriot in Utah's 2nd district:

The inspiring ad was reported by Holly on the Hill, SL Tribune, Rod Arquette Show, and by KSL the latter who I thought had the most thorough coverage of the story. It seems that although Alice is a citizen of above average import (being President of the prestigious, private Challenger School) it is clear she sought no recognition as such for the gift of tens of thousands of dollars in the form of radio ads to Morgan Philpot who hopes to join with other Republicans in restoring principle and fiscal responsibility to our country.

I regard this as a gift from Alice to us, the younger generations, that we might have hopes in growing up with a government that pays down its debts and balances it budgets. Alice could have bought another residence, travelled the world, or bequeathed the money to family or friends in a future inheritance. Instead she chose to perform a "random act of patriotism" in hopes of blessing us. I am indeed humbled.

In pondering the video, I thought to myself regardless of the actual vote count on Tuesday, we have won. We the people have won. We have won because people of all ages have awakened to the fact that their liberties have been destroyed and we are doing what we can to reverse course and return to our abandoned Constitution. We have won because we have monitored and held Matheson accountable for his votes and are now slowly reeling him in. I can't say yet if the time will be now or in a generation from now, but no matter how many times it takes, Matheson will be defeated. He will not stand. Alice has helped inspire us to move forward.

The odds are stacked so heavily against Philpot, neophyte to Federal elections. Heavy PAC and out-of-state money sustains namesake Matheson. And as the children of Israel pinned against the Red Sea, it will take a miracle for the seas to part for us to continue on to our divinely-appointed way. Yet we must go forward, polls not in our favor, and get our feet submersed before the miracle can happen. Are there enough Alices out there in the 2nd District who may not have money for a radio campaign, but will make a stand for our Republic and vote Philpot on Nov 2nd? I firmly believe there are more than plenty Utah Patriots out there to elect Philpot, IF the faith proceeds the miracle and the 2nd District as the Tolkein March of the Ents gets out and votes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Utah Constitutional Amendment ABCD's

I'm not a huge fan of amending our Utah State Constitution, let alone FOUR TIMES as is the proposal before us on November 2nd. Like dude, what is this a Constitutional Convention or something? As with voter propositions, my default is set to NO unless you can prove its a great thing we really, really need. So I got out my voter pamphlet and put the Amendments to the smell test.

Amendment D: Creating a Legislative Ethics Commision

This creates a 5 person "independent" panel of "distinguished Utahns" (language in "Argument For" section) to review complaints of unethical legislative behavior. So, let me get this right, we are creating a non-elected oligarchy to pass judgement on the legislature? And what the fishwiskers makes someone a "distinguished Utahn"? This is an absurdity of an amendment.

Then I saw who was pushing this: David Clark, Speaker of the House. Oh. That makes sense now. The same guy who lead the standing ovation to Kevin Garn's hot tub-with-a-minor confession. (Holly on the Hill) Yep. This Amendment will decidedly vault Utah into a State of Enoch where distinguished panel members appointed by noble legislators will stand as 5 wise Solomons in executing perfect judgement. NOT!!!!

If there's one thing I've learned about a Republic is WE THE PEOPLE bear the burden of executing judgement and whenever we think to give up our power to someone else to do our job we suffer the consequences of their wrong decisions and encounter huge resistance in reigning back the power that is justly ours.

Chris Buttars, the sole Republican to have the wisdom to vote against this asp summed it up in the "Argument Against":

The current process places you, the citizen, in full control of ethics violations. In fact, you ARE the ethics committee, because YOU decide whether a candidate is allowed to serve.

Do not use ethics legislation as a feel-good crutch when the real problem is that too many citizens fail to properly scrutinize before they vote.

There are no short cuts to running a proper democratic republic.

It's quite the shame more Republicans couldn't grasp the vision of Senator Buttars. I believe, if passed, this panel will permit or create far more unethical behavior than it will ever solve. This is the worst of the four proposed Amendments and gets a NO! vote from me.

Amendment C: Specific Property Tax Exemptions

This Amendment provides some property tax exemptions for entities providing water and had no opposition. Here's my take: I can find no Federal Constitutional justification for Property Tax--that is, the governmental misappropriation of private property--so if we can give anyone any break on property tax let's do it and vote YES.

Amendment B: Eligibility for Legislative Office

The innocuous intent of this Amendment belies masking the debate on appropriate requirements for office. The Amendment seeks to normalize the requirements for office between elected and appointed officials. Fair enough so far.

Where I disagree is that it limits the citizens freedom to choose whomever they want to represent them. Having a 3-consecutive year citizenship in the state seems stringent in our mobile society. Suppose someone lived in Utah all their life, but moved away two years ago for a year for employment reasons. That person is ineligible for holding office. What if my citizen-legislator has to relocate across town and outside their district to care for an aging parent? They would not be able to serve.

If the citizens feel like someone is being a carpetbagger, then let the citizens have freedom through our competitive caucus system to elect someone else.

Until requirements are eased, there is no need for normalization which moves in the direction of stringency. We the People need fewer laws and more freedoms, so it's NO on B for me.

Amendment A: Further Definition of Utah's Secret Ballot

A bit of background: there is a growing national movement to do away with secret voting when it comes to forming a union (aka "card check"). I am strongly for keeping one's vote private when it comes to unionization because a public vote opens the door for intimidation and coercion of the workers in getting them to sign on to the union. It is easy to see through the fallacy of open union balloting by simply asking promoters to defend why then shouldn't all voting be public rather than secret?

Our Utah Constitution currently says that "all elections" should be by secret ballot so it seems like we should be protected from Federal intrusion into our state (IE feds: what part of "all elections" don't your understand?) and thus we shouldn't amend our Constitution whimsically.

The problem is we have seen the unchecked iron fist of the Federal government reach in and steal our lands we need to fund our schools, steal franchises from car dealers in our state, and force us into purchasing health insurance meeting their requirements. The 10th Amendment has been spit upon and "enumerated powers" has grown to a neverending Santa's list of wants.

If this small Amendment helps clarify our laws and keep the secret ballot for unionization we currently have--which I believe it does--then do I justify this Amendment with a YES vote.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Illegal Misoginistic Email Pins PACman Blumenthal (More)

CT Democrat Senate hopeful Richard Blumenthal is literally punching himself out with disasters pouring in all seams.

In yesterday's blog, I reported on the denying of WWE fans the right to vote if they wear WWE apparel. What I neglected to report on was the other simultaneous unravelings by Blumenthal.

The Hungry PAC-man
At the beginning of his race Blumenthal boasted in an MSNBC interview: "I've never taken PAC money and I have rejected all special interest money because I have stood strong and taken legal action against many of those special interests." Yet Daniela Altimari in a Hartford Courant article Friday attests Blumenthal's latest FEC filings prove the exact opposite:
Blumenthal's latest filings with the Federal Election Commission show he's taken thousands of dollars in PAC money to fund his U.S. Senate run in the third-quarter of 2010 alone. Among those opening up their checkbooks are political action committees representing air traffic controllers, steel workers, wine and beer wholesalers and rural letter carriers.
Altimari continues naming names of PACs of all kinds including social, labor, insurance, and business PACs:

Most of the special interest money flowed from Washington, naturally....[including] a $1,370 donation this quarter from from the Planned Parenthood PAC, and $5,000 from NARAL Pro Choice America PAC....In addition to labor PACS, which were prominent on Blumenthal's donor list, he received money from the American Crystal Sugar PAC ($5,000), the New York Life Insurance PAC ($2,500) and the AFLAC PAC ($2,000)...

Someone ought to ask Blumenthal if there was any PAC contribution he turned down. At this point I'd rather put my trust in a Mexican coyote that this dishonest corruptible.

"Worst of WWE + women photos"
Perhaps the worst story of them all to break Friday was Ben Smith at the Politico who posted the following email from Blumenthal press staffer Marcy Stech to seven other Blumenthal aides and the State Democratic Party regarding trying to dig up misogynistic (or, women-hating; at least I spelled it right!) photos to hit "LM" (Linda McMahon):

Subject: Worst of WWE + women photos
Date:Fri, 22 Oct 2010 13:50:
From: [Marcy Stech]
To: Catherine Algeri, Pat McHugh, Brian Farnkoff, Dan Morrocco, Jon Donnenberg, Ty Matsdorf, Kate Hansen

Hey all — Grossman is looking for mysoginistic photos of women and WWE. Planned Parenthood wants to hit LM hard on it.What do we got?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

With the liberal Hartford Courant calling this email which points to coordination between the Blumenthal campaign and Planned Parenthood (a Blumenthal PAC contributor noted above) "at the very least embarrassing and at very the worst, potentially illegal" it is a wonder the Courant chose to endorse this candidate who engages in potentially illegal acts. Keep in mind Blumenthal is the Attorney General of Connecticut or the state's top legal cop. If anyone should be held to the highest standards, it is Blumenthal.

Blumenthal is an embarrassment. He has no idea how to create a job. He lies. And now he engages in potentially illegal acts to win campaigns? How could anyone in their right mind vote for this crook? Didn't Connecticut learn its lesson from Dodd that there is a major corruption problem with the Democratic Party in Connecticut?

Come on, Nutmeggers: you deserve better than Blumenthal. Heck, the whole country deserves better than Blumenthal.

++++ More:

Similar to Blumenthal's PAC fib, Barney Frank (Dodd's House Counterpart) admits to breaking his pledge not to take money from banks receiving TARP funds. (Boston Herald, h/t Quickwit)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

2010 Voter Intimidation Begins With a Smackdown (Updated)

With a little less than two weeks to go before polls open in Connecticut, voters are being warned by Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz1 that the wearing of any apparel with reference to WWE could result in the denial of the right to vote. In a statement Friday, Bysiewicz spokesman Harris gave authority to have local officials deny the right to vote. (Washington Post)
If the local officials feel [wearing WWE apparel] is becoming an issue, they can tell someone to cover that up or come back wearing something else.

Apparently for the unique reason that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has his wife Linda running against Bysiewicz's ally Blumenthal2, that alone makes the wearing of WWE apparel a political advertisement for McMahon. And the uniqueness of singling out WWE apparel as opposed to purple SEIU tees or Obama "O"s as being a campaign statement is what I predict will get Bysiewicz into further trouble.

Vince appropriately stepped up and issued this rousing pro-WWE video:

I recommend on November 2nd, Nutmeggers be extra vigilant and be ready to stand their ground in their First Amendment right to free speech in wearing non-political WWE apparel.

At least in 2008, voter intimidation waited until the election day.

1 This is the same Susan Bysiewicz who tried to run in the AG seat being vacated by Blumenthal but in a 7-0 CT Supreme Court decision was stopped because she lacked the 10 years of law experience for the position. Bysiewicz had tried to claim her time as Sec of State.(Wikipedia) She is obviously no legal expert when it comes to law.

2Not only are Bysiewicz and Blumenthal allied by party, but the first thing Bysiewicz did when her lack of experience for the AG position came up was to seek a favorable opinion from Blumenthal. Blumenthal would pass the grenade to the courts without offering an opinion on whether or not Bysiewicz was qualified.

++++ Update 10/24 7pm:

The clip below from points to a Politico story which covered more of the drama:

"It may be a thing where an 18-year-old kid walks in with a Smackdown T-shirt. If the moderator determines it's no big deal, it's fine," Harris said. "Forty people walking in when the Connecticut candidate for Senate is associated with the company, and her husband is the CEO — it's a celebrity type of CEO, it's not just a run-of-the-mill CEO of a company. This a well-known ubiquitous company."
Since when does poll worker's opinion surpass my right to vote? Are we a country of laws or are we subject to enforcement by arbitrary opinion? Does my right to vote cease to exist when I go to vote with likeminded individuals versus voting alone? Does my right to vote cease to exist if I'm a 40 year old wearing a WWE tee versus an 18 year old? Does my right to vote cease to exist if I'm wearing fatigues because a pro-military look might be viewed as a vote against Blumenthal who lied about his Vietnam service?

The executive branch of government--in this case the CT Sect of State--was designed to enforce established rules and laws--not interpret them through the eyes of thousands of differing poll worker's opinions. The situation in CT is totally out of control. Frankly, Bysiewicz should resign before she further embarrasses the Democratic Party and the whole state of Connecticut.

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by

CT veteran journalist Don Pesci at Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes from a Blue State points out that really it is AG Blumenthal's responsibility to "put a quick stop to the abuse of the First Amendment by issuing one of his frequent advisories" and adds:

Someone surely will put the question [of wearing WWE apparel] to Blumenthal, hopefully before voters compelled to strip by poll watchers enter voting areas to exercise their franchise and their First Amendment rights in November.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Much Does Government Fund NPR?

In light of last night's unjust firing of liberal commentator Juan Williams at NPR (FoxNews), it is appropriate to examine just how many public dollars NPR is soaking up. At first glance, it seems a modest 5.8% of funding comes from the government (see graph below taken from the NPR website):


If we dig a bit deeper into the pie, we find more public funding. The CPB or Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds 10.1% of NPR. In turn, the CPB gets roughly 15% of its funding from federal governments and 25% from state and local governments (NPR funding report). That translates into 40% of CPB funding from the government. Forty percent of the 10.1% translates into an additional four percent of NPR's total pie coming from government sources.

But public funding doesn't stop there. Consider the "University" slice: certainly huge amounts of public money go to fund our public universities to directly provide education for its students. Since it is impossible to break down what percentage of "University" money is considered public, how about NPR simply returns the money back to the universities to help lower tuition or build buildings? There is certainly no need for one public entity to fund another.

Thus if NPR wants to completely public defund itself, NPR needs to eliminate:

5.8% in direct governmental funding
4.0% in governmental funding through CPB
13.6% in university funding

23.4% in total public funding

In an era of neverending waste, we call upon all levels of government to defund NPR and put it towards reducing debt.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WSJ Shows Democratic Bias in 2010 Senate Race Map

In the Wall Street Journal's reporting on the US Senate races, it was interesting to note a small tick entitled "60 Seat Majority" placed underneath a colored band of various Senate race likelihoods. See graphic below or online:


What the WSJ really means by a "60 Seat Majority" is of course a "Democratic 60 Seat Majority" as the tick is placed at the position to include 60 Democratic Senators. Noticeably absent was a corresponding "60 Seat Majority" tick drawn towards the blue side of the color band to represent the equivalent Republicans would need.

Democrats currently hold 57 seats plus 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats. No political reporter is talking about anything close to the Democrats retaining seats; the big question is whether the Republicans can stretch to the 50-seat halfway mark (or perhaps beyond) with consensus building around a projection of 7 or 8 GOP pickups.

The position of the "60 Seat Majority" tick demonstrates biased Democratic thought by the WSJ in terms of measuring the 2010 Senate elections up to a irrelevant 60-seat Democratic Majority.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Carly Fiorina: A New Hope For California

I have been impressed with the way Carly Fiorina has carried herself in her crusade to restore economic life back to California--the state I left five years ago, now in shambles--with 2.2 million unemployed (equal to every man, woman, retiree and baby in the state of Utah) due to the neverending spend policies of Barbara Boxer and the Democrats who strangle the economic essence from the state.

Demonstrative of Carly's professional, but approachable character and business prowess is this impactful interview of Fiorina with CNBC:

Two take-home quotes from the video:

"Barabara Boxer believes every decision belongs in Washington and I think a lot of folks believe that people closest to the problems need to make the decision."

"The first thing that I will do is sit down with the Senior Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, and work on those things that we can do together to help bring relief to the people of California. And one of the first things we can do is get the water turned back on in our central valley and put people back to work."

Turning off the water for some trite minnow is an example of liberal policies wrecking havoc on the great California economy. Parts of the Central Valley once known as the "nation's salad bowl" have now become barren due to the lack of irrigation. Some of the hardest working legal immigrants in California have been devastated. If you can't figure out a way to save BOTH a minnow from annihilation and an economy from destruction, you don't deserve to be elected. It would be rather ironic if the minnow went extinct because hungry Californians caught it to use as fish-bait to feed hungry families on now-barren farms.

Thus the day of reckoning has arrived for the soon-to-be-septuagenarian Boxer to be held accountable for the devastation she has wrought upon California (not to mention the rest of the nation) for nearly three decades. How much longer does Boxer need in office to prove her unworthiness? Another six years? Twelve? Maybe some think she should just stay in office until like Byrd and Kennedy she just drops off. But I believe Californians deserve better. They deserve a change from 12%+ unemployment.

There remains no doubt in my mind that Carly have a measurable impact towards California economic prosperity while Boxer will continue to lead the once Golden State down the road of bankruptcy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Unearthing Phantom Democrats: A Search for Matheson and Utah County Commissioner Candidates

Jim Matheson, Phantom Democrat

"Phantom" Jim Matheson has been justifiably taking the heat for his lack of public appearances and contact. Bloggers with opposite political leanings have been justly taking note (Brian Halladay) (Glen Warchol).

Two months ago in a Salt Lake Tribune article by Matt Canham on this very issue, Matheson is recorded as countering the "phantom" label by asserting:

“I have been in front of the public all the time, with open questions, no script. Anyone can ask me any question they want”
Contrast this bold assertion with Matheson's performance when someone actually saw the Congressman and approached him with some legitimate questions as seen in the video below:

Keep in mind it was this selfsame "Phantom" Matheson who was the deciding controversial vote for adjournment last month instead of a budget or retaining tax cuts specifically stated so he could "go out and be with their constituents and hear from them." (KSL)

Hmm....I'm beginning to wonder if Jim Matheson really exists at all. Maybe he's like a Remington Steele where Democrats just use his recognizable surname to hang on to political power while the Claudia Wrights of the party do all the work in communicating to the district.

More Phantom Democrats Unearthed in Utah County

In April, I did a groundbreaking post on Utah County elected officials & candidates and their attendance at the Tuesday Utah County Commission meetings. With early voting starting this Tuesday, a followup was needed, see chart below:


The two Republican Utah County Commissioner candidates, Doug Witney and Gary Anderson, both attended the meetings with appropriateness: Anderson attended all excepting a pair of excused absences, Witney attended several so that he can hit the ground running when he wins.

As for the two Democrat candidates for Commissioner? As of the last available online minutes, either has yet to attend a single meeting for the entire calendar year! Why even bother running for office if you're not going to at least try and be public and informed? (For any corrections please comment below or see our profile for email address.)

Join me in electing Witney and Anderson as Utah County Commissioners.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Do You Hear The People Sing?

Yesterday at the "Phire Pelosi" rally, towards the end they played the finale music "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from one of my fav musicals: Les Miserable.

The music reminded me of the march of We the oppressed People of our great country by a federal government that won't mind our fiscal house of order and will not listen to the will of the people in letting go of power and reducing its intrusion into our lives. A government which controls, as Morgan aptly pointed out yesterday, 2/3rds of our great state and thus controlling the very resources we need to keep our state from raising taxes on its citizens and to be wealthy and prosperous. Morgan said yesterday that Emery County alone has the resources to provide the state with most of its electrical needs, but the citizens have no hope for jobs there because it is locked up in the hands of the Feds.

I posted below the video the lyrics as I found them expressive of the deeply heartfelt passion of tea partiers, concerned citizens, and patriots from both sides of the aisle rallying to restore the power back to the people and away from backroom dealing, deceit, unfathomable bills in length and complexity, and exposure to enormous quantities power for so long it has corrupted our officials. With elections upon us and early voting about to begin (Tuesday, October 19th in Utah), won't you "join in our crusade" and vote that we might again have "freedom in the garden of the Lord"? You can still register in person at your county's office through the 18th if you have been meaning to do so.

When the votes are counted on November 2nd, let us have our leaders "hear the people sing" loud and clear like the 250-person choir below:

Do you hear the people sing?
Lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light
For the wretched of the earth there is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord
They will walk behind the ploughshare,
They will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken and all men will have their reward!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes!

Tomorrow comes!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Phans" Rally to Fire Matheson and Pelosi

A few hundred people showed up on a partly cloudy afternoon during the middle of major BYU and University of Utah football action to support Morgan Philpot and to receive the Fire Pelosi bus touring all 48 states (which ran a hour behind schedule).

I was amazed at the organization and enthusiasm of the Philpot campaign. I was first greeted by one of two (yes, two!) Philpot touring buses. An acquaintance said volunteers had applied the graphics for the bus to save money for the campaign. (Amazing. I love Utah politics which truly demonstrates how the state is the Beehive State.)

With the national bus delayed, speakers addressed the crowd including GOP Chairman Dave Hansen, Senator Orrin Hatch, Congressman Rob Bishop, and of course Morgan Philpot. Bishop was careful not to come across too harsh on his colleague Matheson, but tried to instruct us that while Matheson was like the ambulance doing the best he could with cleanup in the valley, Philpot was the better "fence on the cliff" to stop America from falling off in the first place.

Admittedly Philpot isn't a star orator like a Ronald Reagan or a Cherilyn Eagar but I think some of the women in the crowd came just to check Morgan out for his purported good looks--did I actually hear someone say he was "hot"? (Er, he is married btw...) I came more for the substance and Philpot nailed the facts: he will repeal Obamacare (Matheson refuses to do so), he will have town meetings (I can't find any town meetings Matheson is having even though he left early giving himself plenty of time to campaign), and he won't vote for Nancy Pelosi like Matheson does 93% of the time. Way to go, Morgan!

Not having much taste for the rumor mill, I thought I'd share one I heard: liberal Democrats are secretly planning to vote for Philpot because Matheson doesn't listen to them and they feel the only way to get him out is to lose this time and try a different candidate in 2012. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it would make a bit of sense. Matheson faced his first primary challenge this year as a Congressman, and there is plenty of bad vibes going around about how he would be long gone if he weren't the son of a former Governor. Maybe I shouldn't speculate, but I figured I'd let the reader decide their own filter level.

At any rate, the Philpot "Phans" have their work cut out for them. No matter how much money Philpot raises--and like every non-incumbent out there he does need money if you need to ask--he will be outspent. Yet the fact the Phans were in droves during major football games alongside improved polling proved to me that Philpot has gained huge momentum. Should Philpot be able to continue the momentum for the next three weeks, not only will he win, but by a comfortable margin as the disgust level with Matheson's vote to adjourn--without budget nor attempt at tax cuts extension--is going off-the-charts. The folks are fired up and mad and want Matheson out in a bad way. Conversely should the folks start falling asleep again or have better things to do on November 2nd, Matheson will win by a comfortable margin. Because of the intensity level, I think big turnout favors Philpot.

As far as coverage, the Salt Lake Tribune was the first to the internet although all major media were out covering the event. The AP also covered the event in advance sending stories to far away places like the Stamford Advocate (CT).

Friday, October 8, 2010

17 Ethical Dilemmas for Legislators

I came across an interesting, short read by Ken G. Nelson who served as a DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) Minnesota State Legislator for 20 years.1 The reading, "Some Ethical Tensions I have Experienced As a Minnesota State Legislator," is one promoted by Harvard Professor/Lecturer Dr. David C. King who has used this paper repeatedly a course on U.S. Congress and Lawmaking (Harvard Course PAL-210).

In this read, Nelson names 17 "ethical tensions"2 he experienced without further discussion or elaboration. Although Nelson uses the word "tensions" it seemed to me that the word "tensions" was understating the seriousness of these so-called "tensions" when considering the Congressional Oath of Office each Congressman is sworn to: and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies,
foreign and domestic...
To me, this Oath means that every bill, every vote must be viewed with the underlying premise of "am I through my vote (actions) supporting and defending the US Constitution?" The resurgence of such a notion was evident in the recently-announced GOP "A Pledge to America" where on page 33 the authors promise:

For too long, Congress has ignored the proper limits imposed by the Constitution
on the federal government. Further, it has too often drafted unclear and muddled
laws, leaving to an unelected judiciary the power to interpret what the law means and by what authority the law stands. This lack of respect for the clear Constitutional limits and authorities has allowed Congress to create ineffective and costly programs that add to the massive deficit year after year.

We will require each bill moving through Congress to include a clause citing the
specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified.
Such Constitutional underpinning will help provide a moral basis to ground the legislator through their ethical dilemmas and to help treat them with the seriousness imbued by the office itself.

What follows is a discussion of Nelson's 17 ethical tensions with my response (identified in maroon) immediately following each stated tension:

(1) The ethical tension of living and working in the political culture, which operates on the pervasive and dominant value of re‑election, while voting and working against those special interests who can best help you get re‑elected. ("You ought to be able to drink their wine, eat their food, take their contributions, look them in the face, and vote against them.")

This tension must be resisted by the politician who must treat every election as a privilege and focus on serving the constituency though noble policy irrespective of potential impacts on reelection. To ameliorate such tensions, the politician should examine if they should be "drinking the wine" offered in the first place. Serving but a sole term and returning to one's profession is far more noble than a career in politics; for America has sadly been witness to acid-like exposure-to-power corruption acting upon even the most noble of our Representatives.

(2) The ethical tension of voting against your own district, even the people who helped elect you, but for an issue that solves a statewide problem. (Policy by printout and parochialism.)

A basis of justification of voting against the district may be found in the Oath of Office above: sworn loyalty to the Constitution precedes loyalty to the district. Alternatively, politicians who feel government is best administered at the most local level possible--a theme derived from the Constitution--may find naturally that solving a local problem statewide is invasive.

(3) The ethical tension of voting for an issue you are against, either because you need that issue's supporters for your next vote (trading votes), or because you are a leader in your caucus, and the caucus members have decided they want this issue to pass. (lottery ‑ less latitude as you rise in leadership)

In theory, vote trading is not in and of itself evil, but rather the absconding of it is. If one were to engage in vote trading, they must be honest and open with their constituents; the potential embarrassment of such honesty provides an answer to whether one should vote trade. If votes were examined for their Constitutionality, votes most impactful to the nation would be found to be untradeable. Vote trading for leadership advancement or preservation is immoral as it promotes power over principle.

(4) The ethical tension of taking credit on the campaign trail for what you have done for your district, but not wanting your colleagues at the capitol to hear this because they already believe you have benefited your district at the expense of theirs and it can negatively impact your effectiveness to deliver again.

Loyalty to the people of the district must supersede loyalty to the party.

(5) The ethical tension of overusing the "I" pronoun, rather than the "we" pronoun when you work on an issue, pass a bill, chair a committee or give a legislative report.

If one is honest and wants to effectively gain influence with others they will give credit where it is due. Football coaching legend Bear Bryant is often quoted: "If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it."

(6) The ethical tension of working against good ideas because they are promoted by people of the minority party which is trying to take away your majority status.

One should never work against good ideas. People who push this corrupt philosophy are tyrants concerned about the preservation of power over principles which have made our nation great. Here's a great principle: great leaders sacrifice personal and party power for the good of the nation.

(7) The ethical tension of preserving human relationships while working against people because they are of the other party or on the other side of an issue.

True relationships remain even when the parties differ in opinion. One must always treat the opposing side with respect; yet if the opposition does not return the handshake of fellowship it speaks not to a personal ethical problem, but rather belies the relationship of a friend who is in truth a colleague.

(8) The ethical tension of telling your supporters all you know or have done on an issue, knowing that it will erode their support for you.

To lie, or not to lie that is the fundamental question posed here. A lie can be guised as a part-truth inasmuch as our courts have us sware: "to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god."

(9) The ethical tension of providing a quick budget fix, to get through the next election, knowing that you are compounding the long‑term fiscal problem of the state.

It is this very kind of common, unethical action that has placed our nation in financial jeopardy. Our latest 111th Congress went took this a step further and adjourned last month to go campaign leaving undone the Constitutional neglect of passing any budget.

(10) The ethical tension of characterizing an issue for the press in an objective manner, increasing the likelihood that you won't get quoted, or overstating it to get quoted.

Same response to this as (8) above: don't lie, don't misrepresent.

(11) The ethical tension of criticizing or not criticizing the press, even when you believe they deserve it, because you know they have more ink than you do.

Thank goodness for advent of the internet and modern media that makes it much easier to present the truth than to fret over yellow journalists. Always battle for truth and don't worry about the Goliaths in the media you have to face; it's OK if you lose an ink war, it's not OK if you lie.

(12) The ethical tension of operating by certain rules; for instance, seniority,when you know that other people could better chair the committees.

One is only given so much power in life (thank goodness!) A sole politician may not be able transform entrenched power, but one can make a difference and should speak up. Doing so in a professional way may draw others to your thinking that were to abashed to speak.

(13) The ethical tension of challenging your own leadership through a clandestine process of collaboration with the minority party.

Challenges should be open--for they are strongest when they are open. Under the rule of law as we have, when clandestine purposes are someday revealed as they always are, they ultimately weaken those who participated in them.

(14) The ethical tension of voting without adequate knowledge, having others vote for you, being intimidated to vote against what you believe is right, or using the vote to get even.

Elected Representatives must be servants who have bridled their human passions for revenge and corruption. Regarding "adequate knowledge," one shouldn't vote on a bill they haven't completely read and studied which--given the thousands of pages our bills often reach--puts adequate knowledge out of the hands of all but a few specialists. In Federalist #62 Madison aptly warned against this type of "voluminous" and "incoherent" law:
It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood...
(15) The ethical tension of telling people what they want to hear, knowing that they won't find out that you acted and voted otherwise; or couching it in such a language that they will be led to believe you were on their side when, in fact, you were not.

This goes back again to (8) and (10) above: don't lie, don't misrepresent.

(16) The ethical tension of ripping the system and its process, when you are frustrated with it, knowing that your criticism plays into the hands of those who are anti‑government or those who are struggling to believe in democracy but are becoming despondent and disengaged.

The strength of our Republic lies in our freedom--and indeed responsibility--as both citizens and representatives to criticize our government when it has gone astray. As Franklin succinctly put it, we have a Republic "if [we] can keep it."

(17) The ethical tension of periodically asking yourself, "Why am I elected? Who am I serving?" and objectively measuring your answer against democratic ideals and goals and not just personal ambitions, and then asking your family the same question.

An elected Representative serves "We the People" through the Oath to uphold the Constitution. If the elected must periodically reflect on these questions, instead of having that ingrained into one's vision, it serves as a revealing symptom that the lust for power has already taken hold in the elected's heart. As one with a cancer, the elected should take immediate steps to eliminate the disease by rectifying their orientation and preventative actions to stop the disease. Like the awful mastectomy, the strong action including the possibility of immediate resignation should all be considered as options in preservation of the Oath and one's integrity.

1Although admittedly Nelson's paper is written from a Democratic or Progressive viewpoint, the bias is mostly innocuous and I will waive my minor objections in order to foster discussion and attention on Nelson's points rather than bias

2 Nelson names them only; I have numbered them for convenience sake.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Provo's Prop 1: The Recreation Tax

On November 2nd, Provo residents will have to decide whether or not to raise property taxes on themselves, their neighbors, and their future neighbors for the next 20 years. The tax hike cause isn't even to balance the budget as "bearded marxist" Delaware Senate Candidate Chris Coons did in his New Castle County Administration times, but to provide increased taxpayer-funded entertainment during the economic blight of a recession.

I am disgusted we are even talking about me having to fork out an estimated $77 per year to fund someone else's entertainment, but the pro-Prop 1 folks--who include city elected officials John Curtis and Laura Cabanilla though lacking their titles in supporting (note full list of sponsors)--think through their support of this recreation tax that they know that that is better for me than using that money to pay down my credit card and get out of debt (or whatever my family's needs may be). How is it we are a city of Repbulicans at the national level jointly decrying socialism, yet when a socialistic notion hits home we think somehow it's OK?

I am further disgusted by the misinformation by some in the pro rec-tax crowd such as Dave Olpin in the "Local Opinion" section of today's Daily Herald. Under Mr. Olpin's section "Financial" he purports:
The average homeowner of a $195,000 home would see a small increase of $2.61 per month in property taxes (less than the cost of a gallon of gas a month)
The problem with this statement isn't that it's untrue, but that it is a half truth--or better stated a 3/20th truth. As the graph available at the city's website shows below for the first three years taxes go up $2.61 a month ($31 annually) for an average $195K home; but for the remaining 17 years it skyrockets to the $77 annually I mentioned above.

Another massive piece of misinformation opined both by Mr. Olpin and Provo City is a user frequency statistic:
A recent survey indicated 78 percent of Provo residents would use a new recreation center at least monthly. (Olpin, 10/6/2010)

78% Will Visit A New Indoor Community Recreation Center Monthly ("A New Community Recreation Center in Provo", Provo City Website PowerPoint Presentation, page 5)
The problem isn't that the 78% is incorrect from the survey, but rather it is miscited. In the actual 29-page survey the wording reads: "Seventy-eight percent of respondent households would visit a new indoor recreation center with the features they most prefer at least once a month." (emphasis mine) Although the survey did try to define what those features were, it is a huge leap to omit this "most preferred feature" wording. Consider what might quickly happen to this 78% rosy statistic when you factor in the following:
  • Your most preferred feature isn't offered in the rec center?
  • Your feature were offered, but not at a time convenient to your household?
  • Your feature were offered, but not all the features needed for other household members?
  • Your feature were offered, but the user fees limited your visits?
In population terms, implying that 78% of our population will be at the rec center at least once a month breaks down to over 3,000 daily unique visits from Provo residents (not counting any repeat visits during the entire month) every day if the rec center were open 6 days a week. I'm going on record right now that you need to throw out that 78% number because it's not happening; it's simply not realistic, in my opinion.

Some argue that the Rec Center will be a community asset we will all share the benefit of. I counter that it is Provo's low tax rates we share the benefit of in inducing home ownership and to retaining and attracting business--and speaking of business, the tax burden is nearly double that of individual home owners ($141 vs $77 on properties of equal value). Rental rates on small businesses will inevitably increase as landowners pass those costs on to their tenants.

A property tax is quite possibly the worst form of tax. If you can't pay this recreation tax, you will lose your home; and how many neighbors have we been witness to in this housing-bubble devastation all across our city. Is it worth risking your home over some rec center? No!!

Here's how the rec center tax proponents won't frame their tax-increasing ambition: Suppose someone came to your door and said, for $77 a year (plus user fees) we will give you access to a beautiful new rec center in downtown Provo for the next 20 years. However, if you default on your payment, we will come and take your home from you. I think most any wise church leader or financial advisor would council heavily against you accepting such a deal. The risks of losing your home, albeit small, are far too great for you to take for such an unworthy cause.

Over a third of our citizenry surveyed wants not a single penny of taxpayer funding for the rec center (Survey, page 25). Neighbors: do we have the tyranny of a democracy where a majority votes tax increases on the minority to put their property at risk of confiscation of the government? I beseech you, even if your household has that kind of money to afford a Rec Tax to take a stand against such tyranny and to not raise my and your fellow neighbors who oppose such taxes.

Say no to the Recreation Tax: Vote NO!!! on Prop 1.

+++ Revision: 10/06 7pm
Curtis tonight graciously offered a correction that he is not using his title as Mayor to support the tax increase and I have correcting this entry to reflect this truth. This said, while he reiterates his private support of a tax increase, I feel could have and should have as Mayor spoken out against the tax increase; thus I don't hold "Mayor Curtis" blameless. It also smacks as a political caviat to say he didn't vote to raise taxes, he just promoted the project and left the citizenry to fight amongst each other over one neighbor's swimming lessons vs. my pocketbook. So much for "city unity."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bloomin'-thal Lies Again

Is Richard Blumenthal, candidate for CT Senate, capable of telling the truth just once?

I was listening to Monday's CTSEN debates made available online thanks to the Harford Courant. I was amazed at Blumenthal's reiteration over and over and over that McMahon wants to lower the minimum wage. The topic started when Laurie Perez of FoxCT played a Blumenthal ad attacking McMahon in part for "talking about lowering the minimum wage."

The ad quotes a 9/30/2010 news piece by political and opinion writer Ted Mann of In this piece Mann writes:

Most notably, McMahon said she believed Congress should consider lowering the
federal minimum wage in times of economic distress for small businesses, such as
the current recession.

Note that Mann gives no quotes for the assertion meaning he is giving his interpretation of McMahon's words. In the article's very next paragraph he gives the quote upon which he has based his interpretation:

"The minimum wage now in our country, I think we've set that and a lot of people have benefited from it in our country, but I think we ought to review how much it ought to be, and whether or not we ought to have increases in the minimum wage," McMahon said.
Nowhere in this quote does McMahon talk about lowering the minimum wage, but rather on whether it should be increased or not. And it's not just lowly me who is the lone wolf crying foul on this misrepresentation. For contrast, look at the same story covered on the same day by CT's largest circulation newspaper, The Hartford Courant:
McMahon made a point of telling reporters that she does not favor a repeal of
the minimum wage — "Don't take away that I'm saying that we should scrap minimum wage," she said.

But by mid-afternoon, supporters of McMahon's Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, seized on her remarks, using them to reinforce their portrait of a wealthy self-funding Republican who is out of touch with the concerns of Connecticut's working folks.

"We were shocked to learn that Linda McMahon supports lowering the minimum wage," said Jon Green, executive director of the Working Families Party, which announced its endorsement of Blumenthal on Thursday.

The Courant aptly pointed out that it was Jon Green of the ultra-left WFP who claimed McMahon "supported lowering the minimum wage" not McMahon.

Blumenthal tacked on to this false claim laid by Ted Mann and Jon Green, through his issuing of a false attack ad, and upped the ante again on last night's debate.

Although I personally disagree with the positions of both Blumenthal and McMahon and feel that the minimum wage is best left to the states, one thing has been reiterated to me over and over: Blumenthal will distort the truth.

With the likes of Dodd, Nutmeggers cannot afford another dishonest politician in their state.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fire Pelosi Bus Tour Coming to Utah (Updated)

This Saturday at 4:30pm at the RNC's "Fire Pelosi" Bus makes its scheduled stop at our Utah State Capitol Sandy City Hall, 10000 Centennial Parkway; the bus is visiting well over 100 cities in all 48 contiguous states. This will be a wonderful event to help support Morgan Philpot in overthrowing "lap dog" Democrat Pelosi who votes with Pelosi 93% of the time. (See my posts yesterday and Wednesday on a couple of those important votes.)

RNC Chairman Steele who has helped imbue our party with both enthusiasm and a return to our core values spoke with Greta Van Susteren on Friday's "On The Record" regarding the tour:

The Fire Pelosi Bus site also has a store where to can purchase a Fire Pelosi hat, stickers, pins, or my favorite: the Wee publican bib!

While John Dennis has raised nearly $2M to directly defeat Pelosi in San Francisco, the best way to fire Pelosi is for the Democratic incumbents to lose their majority in a big way. Particularly if you are unable to attend this Fire Pelosi tour, you may want to consider a donation now to the Philpot campaign. We are at the point now where to have the most "bang for the buck" your donation to any candidate needs to be received soon, as in the next week or two, as the campaigns need to have time to appropriately budget and spend your donation. This race is being tracked nationally by the likes of Real Clear Politics and by Dick Morris who recently claimed this may be Matheson's last term.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Matheson Appeases Pelosi With Adjournment Vote, Now To Face Angry Constituents

In Wednesday's post, I revealed how stealthy and careful liberal Matheson is with his votes, using his Obamacare vote as evidence. This week, Matheson had an equally stealthy yet revealing vote against extending Bush-era tax cuts due to expire at year's end.

Two weeks ago on September 15th, Matheson brought together 30 other Democrats in opining a short but to-the-point Statement to Speaker Pelosi (found on the Congressman's website front page) on their position on extending the tax cuts. Being the brainchild of Matheson, the Utah Congressman was the first to sign the statement which concluded:

We urge quick passage of legislation to extend the tax cuts so that American families and businessess have the certainty required to plan and make informed decisions. The sooner we act, the sooner our nation's economy will benefit.

At face value, the statement appeared to have a positive effect, prompting Pelosi to suggest that a vote to extend the tax cuts could come before the November elections.

In an interview just a week ago with KSL's veteran Doug Wright (btw, congrats to Doug who Thursday just won Utah's first individual Marconi Award) Matheson made it clear that the tax cut vote should come before the November elections:

Wright: Congressman what are your thoughts about putting off this vote until after the election? I have to be honest with you, Jim, it feels a little chicken to me.

Matheson: I feel like I may just repeat what you just said [chuckling] over the last
three minutes. Listen, not only should it not be put off till the election, the fact is it should have been done a long time ago. [full audio at KSL; emphasis mine]

A vote seemed plausible until suddenly Wednesday, Congress voted 209-209 to adjourn. Matheson shockingly sided with the in the 209 voting to adjourn without addressing the tax cut extension, let alone the matter of shirking their fundamental responsibility of passing a budget. This set up Matheson's friend and leader Pelosi to cast a tie breaking vote to adjourn and send her followers home to try and salvage their widely-forecasted large loss of seats in the House.

So how can Matheson who days before said "NO!" to Doug Wright in adjourning early, suddenly vote the opposite? Because that is precisely the kind of sneaky-vote politician Matheson has become. Matheson's voting record has brought shame to our great state.

By Thursday morning it became apparent the beehive had broke off its limb and the hornets were in full swarm. In naming a few, Blogger Holly on the Hill was all over the "Phantom Jim" vote. Doug Wright was justifyably livid and for an hour rebuked the Congressman for his vote. [Full audio archive; program begins about 6 minute mark]. Thomas Burr at the Salt Lake Tribune had Matheson in complete denial of any involvement linking the adjournment vote to the tax cuts, blaming it insead on "politics":

Any suggesting that this adjournment vote had something to do with cutting
taxes is just playing politics, Matheson said. That’s really what’s going on.

Just before Wright's program Thursday on KSL, Matheson claimed the following in trying to justify his vote:
There was no reason to stay. The bill was never going to be brought up. The Senate wasn’t going to move its bill. I think it’s important for members go out and be with their constituents and hear from them. I hope that will get some people in a better frame of mind for addressing this issue.
To Mr. Matheson I have but this to say this about your newest turncoat vote: you will surely indeed hear from your constituents.