Reader Mail

Upon Further Investigation

Clintonian Latin. Jindal at the ready. Cox and Bear Stearns. No more hostage crises. RINO County, Ohio. Plus more.

7.7.08

Send to Kindle

LET THE RESEARCHER BEWARE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Clinton and Me at Georgetown:

In his "Clinton and Me" entry for Thursday, Bob Tyrrell wonders how his concluding aphorism might be rendered in Latin. Herewith my translation, suitable perhaps for inscription on the podium of a presidential bronze:

De vitis Clintonum caveat investigator

Happy Fourth!
-- John R. Dunlap
Department of Classics
Santa Clara University

Why are there not more men like you who will stand up and say "He's Naked? No Clothes!"?

I can only thank the few who are willing to call out the liars and I do thank you sir for your service to our country.

God bless you and your household.
-- Lea Pearce
Providence, North Carolina

This article would make a great epilogue for The Clinton Crack-Up.Will it appear in the next printing?
-- Stan Welli
Aurora, Illinois

JINDAL JITTERS
Re: Joseph Lawler's Cajun Seasoning:

Wow. They were going to recall him because he didn't veto something he had promised to support fast enough. Those sound like staunch, loyal, hardcore supporters. I presume they are also circulating recall petitions against all the legislators who a) actually voted for the pay raise and b) would actually have benefited from it. Wait, maybe they are!

As far as I can tell, whatever pain Jindal is now feeling can't be anywhere near as bad as those legislators that voted for it, which I assume were his political opponents. If any of them complain that he broke his promise, all he has to do is say the people have spoken. What are they going to do?
-- Roy Koczela.

I read Joseph Lawler's article "Cajun Seasoning" and I must say that during the time when this issue was center stage, I thought just as Mr. Lawler. However, in retrospect and in consideration of just how smart Jindal is, it may be that the Governor is just too smart for normal people to understand what he is really doing. True, the Governor could have stated immediately that he would veto the bill and then done so. This would have eliminated the crises, pleased the citizens, and infuriated the legislature. We citizens would have forgotten the issue but the legislature would remember it forever and taken it out on Governor Jindal by halting his reforms. We Louisiana citizens would have been fat, dumb, happy, and screwed like always.

By waiting until the last minute to veto the raise, Jindal gave the citizen's blazing anger the opportunity to build into a fire storm, 95% of which is directed at the legislature where it belongs. Governor Jindal is a hero again with the citizens and the Legislature better not block anything the Governor wants to do because we are all watching them like hawks. Way to go Bobby.

Governor Jindal, I think you may be qualified for first place on the ticket with the moderate (liberal) McCain as your VP.
-- Joe Fezio
Covington, Louisiana

Jindal's critics who bemoaned his Reaganesque pragmatism on the legislative pay issue (to increase pay from $16,000-$32,000) are illustrative of why conservatism is in a downward spiral -- too many conservatives seem to relish attacking their own rather than fighting Democrats. Ryan and Kourtney Fournier's juvenile recall petition that had the potential of helping incompetent and corrupt Louisiana Democrats speaks volumes to what is wrong in our movement. If the Fournier's are representative of a majority of conservatives we are doomed to return to decades in the wilderness reminiscent of the late '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s even if Obama is President.

Is Jindal the next Ronald Reagan? Who knows? As a Governor, Jindal has shown -- unlike Reagan when he was a Governor (Governor Reagan was pro-tax increases and pro-abortion) -- he is solidly in the right corner on taxes, social/moral issues, government reform, etc... Does he have what it takes to be McCain's running mate? Absolutely. In fact, he dwarfs the Democrat Presidential nominee in intellect, experience, ability, wisdom, moral clarity and every other factor that makes a good President. In an election year when many Americans seemed determined to elect even more buffoons (i.e., Democrats) bent on destroying America's economy and national security Jindal is a breath of fresh air.

McCain, Louisiana, and the nation would be well served to have Bobby Jindal only a heart beat away from the Presidency.
-- Chaplain Michael Tomlinson
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Governor Jindal might be a greenhorn on the national stage but he has done more than offer euphoric platitudes through change that Louisianans can believe in.

While running for Governor he provide detailed plans and policy roadmaps to move the state forward, and get Louisiana on the road to recovery, and end the boom-bust economic cycles to the citizens of Louisiana.

He has brought the citizens of Louisiana ethical reforms in the Louisiana legislature to where 60 percent of the legislatures are freshmen through the enforcement of term limits therefore removing many of those who were wedded to the old ways and were obstructionists for reform policies, and for the first time in Louisiana political history these legislatures have no pre-existing FBI investigative files.

Governor Jindal didn't just stop there. The Louisiana legislature passed all eleven of the Governor's tax initiatives, mostly by near unanimous votes and one controversial bill that gives parents who home school their children tax breaks even passed.

Governor Jindal is also planning to take on the teachers unions and those who are against parochial schools and school choice and base teachers pay on performance instead of tenure.

The man has only been governor less than one year and he has achieved success that most Louisianans couldn't even begin to think about a year ago.

Governor Jindal is human and will make a mistake here and there, but what he has achieved along with the legislatures in Louisiana will be a shining example and a testament to those politicians who put the people first instead of political careerism.
-- Melvin Leppla
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Regarding Jindal for VP...I am in total agreement with the author that Jindal needs to season his governance and help Louisiana overcome years of corrupt politicians and failed governmental systems.

I recommend McCain look to Louisiana's neighboring state of Oklahoma and choose JC Watts, a former Congressman of integrity and statesmanship. Rep.Watts is a remarkable man and a conservative African American. He comes from ranching country, was a former football star, and a voice for reasoned thinking. He and McCain would sweep the nation with a huge election victory and we conservatives could be certain that our voices are being represented in Washington.
-- Bev Gunn
East Texas Rancher

To call less than compelling Mr. Lawler's argument against Bobby Jindal's present suitability as the GOP's number two is to put it charitably. My own concern about the good Gov. would be John McCain's suitability for (and worthiness of) him!

Consider which of the two men is most demonstrably aligned with the ideologies that fueled the Reagan Revolution. See what I mean?!
-- Francis M. Hannon, Jr.
Melrose, Massachusetts

MYSTERIOUS OPTIONS
Re: Quin Hillyer's Exceptional Leadership in a Difficult Time:

Your analysis that SEC chairman Cox properly refrained from participating in the deal-making for J. P. Morgan Chase Bank's takeover of Bear Stearns with Federal Reserve financing is correct. The regulator of U.S. financial markets had no business imposing the terms of a business transaction which it is responsible for regulating. However, that does not at all give the SEC or chairman Cox an "A" grade for its conduct regarding the collapse of Bear Stearns.

Within the week of March 10, Bear Stearns' common shares traded at $70. Yet on Tuesday, March 11, options exchanges began trading March put options at a strike price of $25; those options were far out of the money and due to expire within a week, yet they were bought very heavily. On the same day, April put options began trading at strike prices as low as $20, and also were bought heavily. With the deal terms of $2 per share largely government-imposed the following Sunday, profits on the March put options alone were in the range of $175 million.

Obviously, somebody knew the Bear Stearns take-down was coming and profited greatly on the inside information. Congress demanded an SEC investigation of trading practices involved in the financial collapse of the firm. SEC reportedly opened such an investigation but closed it shortly thereafter and refused to disclose the results, even to Congress. What is going on? That would be a story worthy of your attention and a service to the country.
-- Wayne Jett
Managing Principal
Classical Capital LLC

Senator McCain, please meet Chairman Cox. He will be your running mate. The chairman will use his youth and Conservative base to offset your negatives, and with his favorite son status, he will deliver California for you. Lastly, if you don't muck things up too badly with the economy, he will be the next true Republican President of the United States.

Thank me later.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

WEASEL WORDER
Re: George Neumayr's Wedding Belle:

In addition to being exposed as the far-left ideologue he is, Obama is now showing himself to be a coward and a weasel. He can't bring himself to say that he supports same-sex marriage, so he allows his wife to be the point "man" on this issue even though she still uses subterfuge in her choice of words. The man hyped as our country's political savior and who hopes to be elected president using slogans like "change we can believe in" won't clearly articulate what kind of change he is proposing for fear that it will be resoundingly rejected by average Americans. So, in an effort to keep from alienating the ideologically pure base of his party and not offending everyone else, he parses his words when he speaks on this issue in public. He claims to be an agent of change but he's no different than the majority of politicians these days.

Just once I want to hear someone running for office say what he means without first checking with a coterie of his political consultants to make sure that his statement contains enough obfuscation to leave him wiggle-room if the comment proves to be politically damaging. It is this type of spinelessness that contributes to the abysmal approval ratings for politicians of all stripes.

I can respect a man who speaks clearly about what he believes even if I find his ideas morally repugnant; however, I detest public officials who engage in sophistry in an effort to disguise their true intentions. Should we believe Obama as he prattles on about change? I say balderdash!
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

ROSE GARDEN REDUX
Re: Peter Hannaford's Warp Speed at State:

Is it just me, or do others see the U.S. proposed opening of an "interests" section in Teheran as a de facto recognition that Iran will become a "player" after it acquires nuclear weapons? And just how do the maladroits at the State Department imagine the Mullahs will be hoodwinked into tolerating a cultural outreach program? The Iranians have such a sterling track record in respecting the inviolability of US embassies. If the State Department whiners have a personal safety problem in being posted to Baghdad, won't they become apoplectic with the creation of a new hostage boutique in Iran?
-- William J. Dye, Jr.
Glencoe, Missouri

Memories may be short, but, as I recall, the last time we had anything resembling a diplomatic mission in Tehran, the Islamicists allowed it to be raided by radicals, our diplomats were taken hostage, and our country went through a long stretch of agony and humiliation. Some reports say one of the abovementioned "radicals" is the current Iranian president.

I don't think the gain would be worth risking putting us through that again.
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

INDEPENDENCE MISERY
Re: Lawrence Henry's What America is All About:

Picking nits perhaps, but this always bothers me when I see it. It's called INDEPENDENCE DAY, not the Fourth of July.

Please, let's have some respect for the single most important day recognized in America history.

To call it anything else is akin to renaming Christmas as the "Winter Holiday."
-- Barton Snell

VOLT FACE
Re: Eric Peters's Volt of the Masses:

I don't think we have the electrical infrastructure for a massive fleet of these electric-only cars. Energy consumption in transportation is about 28% of total and 2.5 times that used by residential customers, according to Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Table 4-2. Whatever happens, it must be gradual.
-- Danny L. Newton
Cookeville, Tennessee

I did the math on the Volt compared to a 1996 Honda Civic VX (if newly produced) and Prius. Assuming $4.00 a gallon, a 15,000 mile annual mileage, 150,000 mile or 10 year life time (no battery swap out) and half the mileage around town, back and forth to work and the rest on trips of some sort I get real world cost that aren't going to be simply ignored to save a few bucks on gas. I didn't include things like property taxes and insurances on the vehicles. The more expensive the vehicle the more these cost per year. It all adds up along with the real cost of battery replacement in a 10 year or older vehicle. For the Volt I assumed it would spend 5000 miles of the 15,000 totally on battery.

My Friends Honda VX delivers a reliable 50 mpg on the highway under most conditions and mid 40s around town. The Prius ranges between 47-55 mpg for a co-worker. There is less than a 10% fuel cost difference between the two but at least an $8000.00 cost difference if the VX was produced again today. The Volt cost what the Honda VX would cost over and above the Prius or $24,000.00 more than the Honda VX or similar high mileage gas only car. At $4.00 a gallon, be it gas or E85, 80 cents per 40 mile charge on the Volt batteries the following are the annualized cost of ownership broken between fuel + annualized Investment premium over the conventional 50 mpg car.

Honda VX annual cost for fuel (15,000 miles / 50) * 4.00 = $1200.00 total annual cost.
Toyota Prius annual cost for fuel (15,000 miles / 55) * 4.00 = $1100.00 fuel + annual premium (8,000 / 10) = $1900.00 total annual cost.

Chevy Volt annual cost for fuel (10,000 / 50) * 4.00 = $800.00 + ((5000 / 40) * .80) = $100.00 = $900.00 for fuel + annual premium (24,000 / 10) = $3300.00 total annual cost.

Assuming the battery swap cost at 150,000 miles for the Prius will cost just $2000.00 that adds another $200.00 per year to the annualized cost if you intend to keep the car beyond 150,000 miles. For the Volt, I suspect the Lit_ion battery pack will cost at least twice as much or $4000.00 and add another $400.00 per year. If owners don't replace the batteries by that 150,000 mark the resale value of the vehicle will be discounted just like high mileage is due to the high cost of the battery change out.

When all is said and done, the Volt will never pay for itself within a normal life time of use even solely on batteries for the entire 150,000 miles. The chances it could actually run exclusive on batteries are remote for a mass produced vehicle in general use. The repair cost (battery swap) on a ten year old vehicle is not going to be well received no matter how much mpg the vehicle gets. The embedded gas engines in both the Prius and Volt are also going to have normal maintenance cost over their life that the battery/electric motor portion is going to compound as the vehicle ages. Money does not grow on trees and the Volt would require a fountain of money to own. Household economics will win out over wishful thinking in a free market.

My friends 1996 Honda Civil VX has nearly 400,000 miles on its original engine, cost $12,000 in 1996 and averages close to 50 mpg over the 30,000 annual miles and 90 miles a day he puts on it. Try that math with the Prius or Volt's when all the cost factors are included, fuel, annualized ownership cost ((purchase price / life span) + (annual proper tax + insurance cost / life span) + ((life span miles / 150,000 * battery swap cost) / life span)).

Be it the EV-1 or the Volt, it won't add up when all the cost factors are added up. The battery technology is simply not capable of replacing a gasoline engine at this point in time for general purpose use. If the Volt is the best GM can do at the suggested price of $40,000.00 it will suffer the same fate as the EV-1. By GM's own statement this is not suppose to be a niche vehicle but they are pricing it as just that. There are going to be a lot of high mileage vehicles in the market place that make the economics of the Volt a sure loser for GM. Don't be surprised that the silver bullet here doesn't live up to its billing.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

RINO RULE
Re: W. James Antle III's What's the Matter With Ohio?:

I appreciated W. James Antle III's piece on the Ohio Republican Party, particularly his concession at the end of the piece that 2006 Republican gubernatorial nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell, despite striking all the right conservative notes, was swamped by his opponent, Democrat Ted Strickland. I would direct Antle, and your readers, to political scientist John Fenton's 1960s book "Midwest Politics," which branded Ohio's politics as "issueless."

Blackwell ran an issues campaign: He talked about a constitutional amendment that would have limited state spending growth -- that is, before the state's sane moderate wing persuaded him to throw it out because it was disastrously worded -- and leasing the state turnpike. Strickland, meanwhile, ran on a platform that supported grandma, apple pie and the American Way.

Throw out the Democratic tidal wave in 2006; Blackwell never would have won modern Ohio, which, as Fenton noted, likes bland politicians who don't rock the boat. Politicians who, as legendary Ohio GOP Chairman Ray Bliss put it, keep issues out of campaigns. Despite sending two bedrock conservatives, John W. Bricker and Robert Taft, to the Senate in the middle of the last century, the leaders of the Ohio GOP since the 1960s have largely been moderate. Four-term Gov. James A. Rhodes loved big bond issues; George Voinovich and Mike DeWine, Ohio's two recent GOP senators, were decried as "RINOs" -- Republicans In Name Only -- by their conservative detractors in Ohio.

Better a RINO in Ohio, because, here, "true conservative" is a euphemism for "loser."
-- Kyle Kondik
Lakewood, Ohio

STAYING TRUE
Re: Peter Ferrara's The Conservative Welfare State:

Many thanks to Mr. Ferrara for bucking the trend among conservative intelligentsia regarding Grand New Party. I have been puzzled by the overly positive reactions and reviews for Douthat and Salam's prescription. Even as stalwart a conservative publication as National Review ran a syndicated opinion column from its own editor stating how important this new book is; how valuable its prescription for the Republican Party is; and finally concluding that "[t]he details are less important than the trajectory." Now Douthat, Salam, Lowry, Kristol, et. al argue that Republican pols should follow the DNC to the left, thereby returning to the Great Society and the New Deal model of expanded government. The New Deal was patently leftist; appearing across history as covertly fascist. To pick one egregious example: a New Deal farm subsidy program destroyed livestock as thousands waited in soup kitchen lines in the quest to prop up farm prices. I suppose that was quite a buttress to those hungry families and unemployed workers of the Great Depression. Why should any such ideas rooted in large government socialism be applied to the GOP, which is ostensibly home to conservatism? While it is unfortunately true that the GOP has made some move towards the ideological left (with the fallaciously branded policies of compassionate conservatism), why would the cure now be additional movement to the left?

I would submit (and Mr. Ferrara writes in agreement) that the details, the very bedrock ideals, are of the utmost importance. Conservatives from Sir Edmund Burke to William F Buckley, Jr. have told us that the details are important, the ideals are important, and our principles as conservatives are important. Over the course of time, keeping the details, ideals, and principles at the forefront of the discourse has served to differentiate conservatism (and the GOP to a large degree) from an increasingly leftist, statist liberalism that now defines the national Democrat party. Extemporaneous extrapolations of cultural and social values from the New Deal applied today are no more a prescription for renewal of the GOP than the faltering attempts to win elections via compassionate corruptions of conservatism. I find Mr. Ferrara's solutions much more agreeable and soundly grounded in conservatism.

I do not need Obama's change and I do not need Grand New Party's proposed change.
-- Jeremy Jester
Birmingham, Alabama

BACK IN ACTION
Re: Michael Roush's letter (under "Holier Than Thou") in Reader Mail's Defenses Down:

I was out of town and didn't see Mr. Roush's response to my letter of June 18 until today.

Barack the Magic Negro was coined by a (liberal=Left) columnist for the L.A. Times. Rush Limbaugh used it to make a point about how the Left views its nominee. Is that indecent or using a liberal's words to make a broader point?

You're the one who brought Coulter and Malkin into the fray, not Mr. Homnick. He was writing a specific column about a specific incident. Rather than addressing that incident you throw in the kitchen sink. You don't cite specifics, just generalities. As Mr. Dooley said, we have our share of jerks on the Right, but generally ours "attack" those who deserve attacking, not the innocent bystanders such as the Bush twins.

Holier than thou, aka
-- Deborah Durkee
Marietta, Georgia

IN DEEP DENIAL
Re: Reader responses under "Sullivan Sent Us" in Reader Mail's Mandatory Reading and Jeffrey Lord's Freedom and the View From Obamaland:

In regards to the Left's latest responses to Jeffrey Lord's article on Obamaland, all I can say is: the truth hurts, doesn't it? That's obvious by the ridiculous responses.

Either those responders have buried their heads in the sand or they have gotten quite good at denying what they're all about since the Left has done it for so long. Obama is a socialist. Obama's mother was a socialist. His friends are radicals. He stayed in a church for 20 years that hates white people and the country. His idea of patriotism is "change" -- not "freedom." What kind of change does he want? It's anybody's guess, and mine is similar to Mr. Lord's -- do as I say, don't question, unity by force.

He's an empty vessel into whom the naive or the willfully blind can pour their "hope" for "change." Good luck with that.
-- Deborah Durkee
Marietta, Georgia

I would just like to comment on the article referred to in the subject line of this email. This piece was a rather off-putting example of reckless hyperbole. The cited statements do not even approach the sort of over-reaching authoritarianism that Mr. Lord projects onto Senator Obama. What is most disappointing, is that there is a fine argument that could have been made as to keeping a skeptical eye of the use of political office as a solution to specific problems. Instead, Mr. Lord runs straight into a paranoid rant; I would compare this to the more hysterical statements made by opponents of President Bush.

Just one person's view, but this sort of outlandish & transparent axe-grinding has not made me think of your journal as a credible source. Thank you for your time.
-- Mark Entel

Very interesting, I thought, that not one of the letter-writers who were so critical of Jeffrey Lord's article on the freedoms we would stand to lose in "Obamaland" refuted any of Mr. Lord's claims, or presented any logical arguments against what he wrote. Instead, they engaged in name-calling and, in suspiciously similar form, used the side-splittingly funny "this was so stupid, I thought surely it was a parody" approach. Again, no coherent arguments, just pointless insults. Sad, but, unfortunately, typical.
-- Sheryl DeMille
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article