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No Sowell

Re: William Tucker’s What Conservatives Want:

What a fantastic analysis; it ought to be required reading for all, along with the writings of Thomas Sowell AND Walter Williams. Thank you!
Steven Dennis
Raleigh, North Carolina

William Tucker’s lamentations on his son’s politics and the never-ending class warfare battles of Paul Krugman, et al., reminded me of a recent news item. The story summed up a report by an economic think tank, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, that once again attempted to quantify the rich-get-richer-and-the-poor-get-poorer theory, with the claim that in some areas, the economic/income gap between the top and the bottom of the scale has grown since the 1980s.

Mr. Tucker referenced Thomas Sowell, a man who I also believe is our greatest living philosopher. Ironically, at the same time I read the story and report mentioned above, I was working my way through a used copy of Sowell’s 1995 masterpiece The Vision of the Anointed. The timing couldn’t have been better. The tragic economic analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities served as a perfect example of Sowell’s theories on how the “anointed” (translation: the American Left) bend and twist statistics and assumptions to create problem for which the only solutions are, as expected, taking more from America’s achievers or increasing “entitlements” like unemployment or the minimum wage. Of course, we all know how well such programs improve the overall economy and help close that income gap.

Sowell discusses this exact scenario, along with many other similar ones in The Vision of the Anointed, proving that his theories on liberalism, documented 15 years ago, still hold true today, perhaps with even greater intensity. The authors of the report don’t seem to account for Sowell’s obvious conclusion that people frequently don’t remain in the same economic situation over a long period of time. In 1980, I worked in retail and made about $15,000 a year. My wife was a teacher and made even less. Twenty-eight years later, through hard work and persistence, we make a solid six-figure combined income. When I retire in about 20 years, I will, in all likelihood, be in a different economic bracket than I am today. That is, if taxes don’t eat away all my retirement investments, at which point I will rejoin the bottom of that economic scale.

As anecdotal as my story might be, I’d bet that it’s similar to that of millions of other people over that period of time. There will always be rich and poor and varying degrees of wealth in between. The idea is to move as high as possible. Paul Krugman may believe that “Americans, understandably, have lost confidence in the prospects for a return to real prosperity,” but I’m not buying it.

Mr. Tucker, fear not for your son’s wandering into Marxism. When he begins working and experiences, first hand, the wonders of the payroll tax withholding system or opens the property tax statement on that new house, he’ll come back to the fold.
Joe Dougherty
Orange Park, Florida

Voltaire may have inadvertently summed up liberalism most succinctly: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” In other words, if you don’t believe in liberals’ vision of a perfect world and how to implement it, you’re the enemy — period.
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

I enjoyed reading Tucker’s essay about his Marxist son and it reminded me of a statement attributed to Churchill that a friend, professor, and mentor shared with me: “If a man is not a socialist in his youth, he has no heart. If he is one as an adult, he has no brain.” I’ve seen numerous variations of this attributed to different sources but none of that matters. The essential truth does.
Mark Long

Re: Larry Thornberry’s McCain Losing in Florida:

Mr. Thornberry has written my Monday morning smile…he is rising to the level of Mark Steyn and that is a great level to be on, believe me.

His moderate/liberal views aside, Charlie Crist reminds me of George Hamilton, the very tanned Hollywood personality. Mr. Crist’s tan is way too dark and his gravitas is way too light. But that is exactly who John McCain wants, right? Either him or Joe Lieberman! Get ready Conservatives, the Maverick is about to rub your noses in it again!
Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

I thought all the illegals in Florida were supposed to vote for McCain. I guess there is no honor amount thieves, or illegals!
Burton Hollabaugh
Marion, Indiana

It’s no wonder McCain is behind in the geriatric capital of America. There is absolutely no vigor or fire in his campaign. Every time I hear this “life long conservative” speak I get the urge to take a nap. What McCain needs more than anything is a dose of salts, some really strong coffee, or perhaps some Geritol.

Wake me when it’s over.

Larry Thornberry has it right about Charlie Crist: he’s an empty tuxedo. So far, John McCain has demonstrated little that would persuade anyone he’s a sharp contrast to either Democratic candidate. That’s his biggest problem.

Charlie Crist won’t help him solve it.
Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Re: Thomas Cheplick’s The Lady or the Lion?:

Assuming that Obama gets nominated — and, really, the fat lady ain’t sung her song yet on Hillary’s defeat — I’d say that hell’s first ice-skating rink will open for business before she gets picked or assents to serve as the lecturer-in-chief’s veep running-mate.

Bayh gets bye-byed; Judas gets his 30 pieces of silver at the Naval Observatory.
C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

About Obama’s choice of VP, should he be nominated, which he won’t:

There is a large bloc of conservatives who, disliking McCain, and weary of being dissed by GOP leadership, might support a Barack/Clinton ticket just for the fun of watching Hillary languish in the obscurity and silence of the vice-presidency. Perhaps that will convince Barack.

But there is only one Democrat poised enough to perform well in every circumstance, and able enough to deliver as many of the same votes as the three people mentioned by Cheplick: the Honorable Nancy Pelosi. She has political connections that span the continent and date back to the New Deal. She knows heavyweights in the world of business and finance, and could call upon them to fund a presidential campaign. She has the respect of many members of Congress, where she is known as a woman capable of doing whatever it takes to win, and having integrity enough to pay for the victory. And she has been running for president since the day she assumed office.

Her appeal to vocal feminists is as great as Hillary’s. But unlike Hillary, she is pretty, well tailored, well assembled and courteous. She can attract clandestine feminists, who want to see women in high office, but are unlikely to support a candidate who talks like a teamster and looks like a bowling pin in a leisure suit

Her service to California Latinos will attract almost as many Hispanics as Richardson. She won’t marshal as much six-pack support as Bayh, but among her lifelong ties to traditional Democrats there are some ties to organized labor. That will help.

Finally, there are many people in both houses of Congress, and on both sides of the aisle, who owe her favors. She can make things easier for Barack when he discovers that governing isn’t all talk.

Her place on the ticket is almost inevitable, given that she will be one of the heavyweights who decides who gets the nomination, should that matter be decided in Denver.

But this is all idle speculation. Hillary will be the nominee. Obama will be her VP.
Edmund Dantes
Coshocton, Ohio

Re: W. James Antle III’s Dapper Dann:

Hillary, looking for a VP for those who miss The Boy President? Ohio, an important battle ground state, has a VP pick for you. Talk about a “Dream Ticket!” Want to keep Billy Boy out of the headlines? Dapper Dann is ready to step in. Need to distract the public from the economic mess in which it will be mired should you pass your economic and health plans, look for the VP for a quick source of distraction. Thinking about a dynasty? Dapper Dann has all the qualifications he needs to step up and become a Democratic Presidential nominee following any Clinton administration: a law degree, a mixture of self-righteousness and hypocrisy, the ability to sexually harass employees and then flat out deny any wrong doing. Maybe the ‘OO’s are the new ’80’s.
Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

As a lifelong Ohioan, and someone who has lived in or near the Mahoning Valley, I felt compelled to comment on Mr. Antle’s article. I have followed the career of Mr. Dann for a number of years and have noted that part of his shtick, so to speak, has always been to villify Republicans as “corrupt,” living in “the culture of corruption,” you know, the usual garbage from the party of special interests. So, in the process of battling my schadenfreude at the self immolation of Mr. Dann and his cronies, I have stumbled upon another political idiocy, one that assisted Mr. Dann in winning the election over Mrs. Montgomery, a fine Attorney General who actually got things done without resorting to turning the state’s law enforcement bureaucracy into Bluto Blutarsky’s Delta House.

Though I do not live in the city of Warren, Ohio, any longer, I still subscribe to one of the two Mahoning Valley dailies, The Warren Tribune Chronicle (the other is The Youngstown Vindicator). This last Sunday, on the Editorial Page, the folks at the Tribune penned an editorial which was critical of Dann for the antics already delineated by Mr. Antle. One of the points set forth was an apology for its pre-election endorsement of Dann, an endorsement that could not now be taken back, mores the pity. Suddenly it came to me! I experienced an epiphany! What business does a newspaper have endorsing candidates, that is, choosing one over others, and putting its recommendation for voting on that particular individual? As the Tribune stated, once given, once the person is elected, the endorsement is history and can never be taken back. So, wouldn’t it make more sense for a newspaper to background all of the candidates, list their qualifications and their bios, and then let the voters make their choices accordingly? How did choosing one over the others become the province of the press?

Pity the poor Warren Tribune Chronicle. It is stuck with the stench of this wholly unfit Attorney General that it helped elect. So, tell me Trib, who do you endorse for POTUS?
Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

A JAG attorney once told me, “Once an attorney loses his integrity it’s lost forever.” By all accounts it looks like Marc Dann either didn’t have it to begin with or uses it at his convenience. The liberal Democrats attitude is, Dann should be given a 2nd transition a do-over if you will. This line of thinking is so typical of today’s Democrats and many Republicans. Americans are being brainwashed into thinking that they are not responsible for their actions, and if they do wrong that’s OK, their allowed a do-over because life should oriented into being a non-results lifestyle.

Marc Dann violated the confidence of Ohioans and the integrity of the office of attorney general. Governor Strickland would be remiss in his duties as Governor if he allows Dann’s juvenile transgressions to go unpunished. Because the citizens of Ohio expect results not do-overs out
of the office of Attorney General.
Melvin Leppla
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Sucker Bet:

The article you wrote regarding the strange things happening in the Obama campaign could have been titled “Baroque” Obama. You are the successful writer and commentator but the depth of this man’s character is far more confounding that your publication has so far plumbed.
John Anderson
Flat Rock, North Carolina

To continue your Guys and Dolls comparison, Sen. Obama might want to consider quoting Nicely Nicely to the Rev. Wright: “Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down. Sit down you’re rockin’ the boat”!
Gretchen L. Chellson
Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Eli Lehrer’s Enduring Disaster:

The May 2 opinion piece by Eli Lehrer, “Ensuring Disaster” displayed a marked lack of understanding of the proposed privately funded state and national backstops that are included in the Homeowners’ Defense Act and in legislation currently being considered in states around the country.

The natural catastrophe backstops, such as the comprehensive approach established in the Homeowners’ Defense Act that was passed in a by the U.S. House of Representatives, are not anything like the Federal Flood Insurance Program, which acts as an insurer and provides flood coverage to risk-prone properties at rates that do not reflect real exposure risks. The U.S. House recognized that it is time to learn from the mistakes of the past and overwhelmingly passed the bill with a large bi-partisan majority.

Nor are these plans “insurers of last resort” that would saddle taxpayers with new debt. In fact, should any program be exhausted before adequate funding had accrued, it is the insurance companies, not the taxpayers who would be on the hook.

What the programs would do is save consumers and taxpayers an estimated $10 billion from the cost of their annual homeowners’ premiums, bring more predictability and stability to the market, encourage prevention and mitigation, and help stem the taxpayer drain that is imposed in our current after-the-fact catastrophe program.

A privately financed national catastrophe fund would rely on actuarially sound payments from participating states with high catastrophe exposure that would be deposited into the fund and grow free of taxes, building reserves proactively before catastrophe strikes. The fund would stand as a backstop to the private insurance market enabling the private market to more efficiently serve consumers in highly-exposed areas with less fear of going bankrupt and with less exclusive dependence on volatile and unpredictable off-shore private reinsurance. The national backstop’s principal, and bulk of its investment income, could only be used to pay claims in the aftermath of a true, massive catastrophe. A limited portion of the investment income of the fund could be used to improve public education, enhance prevention and mitigation programs and help support first responder programs.

Such a fund would mitigate the insurance crisis still looming across the country and reduce the burden on taxpayers by building reserves before the next catastrophe. It would also allow the insurance market to continue providing consumers across the country with the protection they need and deserve.

Using insurer deposits to protect their policyholders and, ultimately, make insurance more available and affordable to reduce the burden on American taxpayers who end up paying for big government programs to repair and rebuild uninsured properties following catastrophe, is an efficient private sector solution that the nation desperately needs. Time for the U.S. Senate to act is before the crisis worsens, and policymakers supporting this comprehensive, integrated approach should be applauded for their leadership.
Admiral James M. Loy (USCG Ret.)
Washington, D.C.

Re: Robert Stacy McCain’s Obama’s Eagleton Affair:

Stacy McCain wrote: “As the airwaves echoed with those arguments, the jack [of spades] jumped out of that brand-new deck again. Rev. Wright’s late-April whirlwind tour….”

Using the term “jack of spades” in a story about African Americans, especially a race baiter like Rev. Wright, was probably not a good idea.
David Serbin

Re: Freddy Gray’s Hard Labour:

Feel it? The accelerating pace of profound change, that is. It adds excitement to our workaday lives and makes news junkies of us all. Let’s hope the changes will be for the better.
David Govett
Davis, California

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