The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Archive for March 2013

The Magic (D)

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Not too long ago there was a fun little thing going around Twitter where conservative minded folks decided if they put a (D) next to their name they could pretty much say and do anything they wanted on social media or anywhere else for that matter, without repercussion or reproach.  The idea being, if you’re a Democrat you can get away with anything and the media won’t call you out on it.

Whether there is a lot, little, or no truth to that assumption is up for debate and opinion, but it seems as we read, listen, and watch our mainstream media to have at least some validity.

The Magic of (D)Example: Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted today on 24 counts of racketeering and other federal corruption charges. Witnesses in the five-month trial said Kilpatrick steered city contracts toward a friend for a share of the spoils. He also used political donations and a non-profit fund for personal spending. Kilpatrick could get 20 years in prison. He already served 14 months in an unrelated obstruction of justice case.

Kilpatrick’s political career has been a mess of corruption, scandal, indictments, and prison time. One would think he would be a national laughingstock by now — especially given that he’s the son of a former congresswoman — and if he were a Republican, he may very well have become one of the most ridiculed men in America. But because of the “D” that follows his name, the liberal media hold back on the venom, opting instead for either the kid gloves treatment or complete silence.

Ironically this story has not generated the kind of interest a story like, say, Todd Akin (R) and his rape remarks got, or Marco Rubio’s awkward sip of water during the State of the Union rebuttal, and neither of those were criminal acts!

The CBS Evening News and ABC World News both broadcasted from the Vatican and focused most of their attention on the pending election of the next pope. But even when they got around to other news, there was not a peep about Detroit’s ex-mayor.

PBS, to their credit, did mention Kilpatrick on the NewsHour. However, the story was condensed into a 25-second blurb and stuffed into the “Other News of the Day” segment. What’s more, PBS failed to mention that Kilpatrick is a Democrat even though we have seen party affiliation of Republicans in trouble with the law reported before.

Perhaps they were busy with what are clearly weightier matters. Monday’s NBC Nightly News, for example, found time to mention Justin Timberlake’s recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, the ten worst places to retire in America, and the plight of penguins in Antarctica, but doggonit, no time for Mr. Kilpatrick’s conviction.

Maybe that (D) thing has something going for it after all.


This Won’t Be the First Time

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“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential cause of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.”–Will Durant

If the United States were the first in history to experience a debt crisis with deficits that are about to bring this nation to its financial knees, government officials might have some excuse for what they’ve done.

The most frustrating thing about this mess is that our elected leaders knew where this would end from the beginning and if they didn’t know they have no business running a lemonade stand let alone a nation.  If it’s ignorance that got us here we have a bone to pick with our education system and its failure to teach history.  Because historical precedents for what we are now experiencing are many and should be part of every high school curriculum

Every country that has spent beyond its means has spiraled to disaster. The crash the US is about to experience has been experienced many times before.

Rome anyone?

FallOfRomeThree successive Roman emperors, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, all emptied their treasuries to pay for lavish ceremonial feasts, luxurious villas, elaborate temples, servants who never served, and bribes to the army and praetorian guard to ensure loyalty. When the money ran out, these arrogant rulers raised taxes, seized the assets of wealthy citizens, or expanded the money supply by remitting old coins using more base metal and less gold and silver.

What they got from this manipulation was severe inflation. In one thirty-year period during the third century A.D., the price of wheat rose 100,000 percent! A loaf of bread that cost the equivalent of $2.00 at the start of the period cost $2.000 at the end. By the time Rome collapsed high taxes had already destroyed Roman commerce. Cities and towns were reduced to ruin by lack of investment in their maintenance, the population was impoverished and dwindling, and riots and rebellion were commonplace.

Thirteen hundred years later, Spain, which had been one of the mightiest countries in Europe, began running huge deficits to pay for wars, a bloated civil service, and endemic corruption. By the end of the sixteenth century, revenues covered only half the state’s spending. Sound Familiar? Repeated currency devaluations, growing inflation, and a murderous tax burden killed off Spanish industry and agriculture. Impoverished, Spain lost its global influence as its empire contracted to a fraction of former size.

America In Ruins

Some economists think if the U.S. is very, very lucky it can fix its debt/deficit and suffer no more in the process than Great Britain has in the last thirty years. Great Britain’s economy didn’t so much crash as run aground. In 1976, the British government had to ask the IMF for help in servicing its debt, an acute embarrassment to the once mighty kingdom. In 1979, with inflation nearing 14%, British elected Margaret Thatcher to right the ship. Her platform stressed fiscal conservatism, lower taxes, and a reduced public sector. Thatcher’s unpleasant task was to remind Brits that though the public might make unlimited demands on the government for services, the government’s resources were still finite.

If the United States has its own Margaret Thatcher, We haven’t elected him or her to national office yet.

One thing is certain in these troubling times: What we do now will determine what happens to us later, both as individuals and as a nation. Little time remains for us to act, and, even then, our actions must be decisive, bold and radical if they are to prove effective. Forestalling the demise of our country requires the commitment and participation of all of us.

And it has to start now.

Written by DCL

March 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm


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Heard on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program today and had to share. I think we should have a Rewind Y2K Bash and see what happens in the morning. ‘Cause tonight we’re gonna party like its 1999!