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Home | February 2008 Archives

 William F. Buckley | February 29, 2008 | Digg This


In 1960, at the age of 19, I had recently, as a sophomore, been elected President of the Harvard Student Council.

Bill Buckley invited me, by virtue of my achievement, to be one of the principal speakers at the Fifth Anniversary Dinner of National Review magazine held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

When I came under attack from Harvard liberals because of my role in 1960 as a founder of Young Americans for Freedom and my outspoken opposition to all forms of socialism, Communism, and liberalism, Buckley wrote two columns in my defense which were prominently placed in National Review magazine.

On a subsequent occasion, when I was doing all I could to aid anti-Soviet Angolan Freedom Fighter Jonas Savimbi while the U.S. State Department was doing all it could to limit Savimbi’s ability to defend against the Marxist-Leninist military onslaught, I asked Bill Buckley to write a column explaining the issue and pressing the Reagan administration to overrule its Left-wing Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Chester Crocker. Buckley accommodated me by letting me write the column, which was dispatched under his by-line.

On every occasion I dealt with Buckley, the result was positive, even though he and I had numerous policy differences, involving such issues as CIA control of the U.S. National Student Association and his support for the surrender of the U.S. Canal and Zone in Panama.

I am grateful to have enjoyed Bill Buckley’s friendship. May he rest in peace.

 President Bush's Top 10 | February 22, 2008 | Digg This


Human Events (2/4/08) does a good job of delineating the Top 10 Big-Government Requests in President Bush’s State of the Union:

1. Keynesian Economic "Growth" Package

"This is a good agreement that will keep our economy growing and our people working. And this Congress must pass it as soon as possible."

2. Global Regulations on Greenhouse Gases

"Let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases."

3. More Global AIDS Funding

"I call on you to double our initial commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS by approving an additional $30 billion over the next five years."

4. No Child Left Behind

"It is succeeding. And we owe it to America’s children, their parents and their teachers to strengthen this good law."

5. More Ethanol and Hybrid Subsidies

"Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future."

6. Global "Green" Subsidies
"Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources."

7. Double Taxpayer-Funded R&D

"I ask Congress to double federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences and ensure America remains the most dynamic nation on Earth."

8. More Foreign Aid

"The Millennium Challenge Account…and I ask you to fully fund this important initiative."

9. Even More Foreign Aid

"I ask Congress to support an innovative proposal to provide food assistance by purchasing crops directly from farmers in the developing world, so we can build up local agriculture and help break the cycle of famine."

10. Coal Subsidies

"Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions."

 The "Mayor of Hollywood" | February 21, 2008 | Digg This


In 1992, when I was the U.S. Taxpayers Party nominee for President of the United States, on a campaign stop in Hollywood, I was warmly greeted and hosted by Johnny Grant, the Honorary Mayor of Hollywood who died recently at the age of 84.

 McCain-? | February 13, 2008 | Digg This


Now that John McCain seems to be on track to win the Republican Presidential nomination (although the convention is months away and much can happen between now and then), speculation has begun regarding potential Vice Presidential running mates.

Here is a brief summary of some of the names being mentioned:

  1. Mike Huckabee – Huckabee is strong in the South, where McCain is weak. Many of the states which McCain won on Super Tuesday will almost certainly go with the Democrats in November, including California and New York. This strengthens Huckabee’s hand in the decision process.
  2. U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison – McCain may want to have a female running mate. In the case of Kay Bailey Hutchison, he would have a partner from a swing state with a considerable number of electoral votes – Texas.
  3. Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana (age 48) moved in McCain’s direction on the immigration issue. He has been defending Rush Limbaugh against encroachments by the FCC, and he is still regarded as a conservative by most Republicans who know him. Given the fact that McCain, at age 72, would be the oldest person ever to begin a first term as President, having a relatively young Vice Presidential ticket mate, is something McCain will surely consider.
  4. Former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee would add strength to McCain in the South.
  5. Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist would add credibility to McCain in the South, although his involvement in health care issues would be a potential weakness, as well as a strength.
  6. U.S. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas sided with McCain on the immigration issue and is very popular with pro-life Christians.
  7. Florida Governor Charlie Crist gave his strong endorsement to McCain at a crucial moment just before the Florida primary.
  8. Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina is a strong conservative, widely respected by all familiar with him. The fact that he is a governor is another argument in his favor.
  9. Tim Pawlenty, who has served as governor of Minnesota, was an early McCain backer and would also be considered.
  10. Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi is very popular with all wings of the Republican Party and would add strength to McCain in the South.
  11. Former California Congressman Chris Cox, currently Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, would provide a level of economic understanding and sophistication which McCain personally lacks.

I am sure there are others on McCain’s short list, but those are the names which come to mind at this time.

 Bush & McGovern | February 7, 2008 | Digg This


Do you remember George McGovern? I do.

As a candidate for President in 1972, he urged that every American citizen be given $1,000.

George W. Bush is the new McGovern. He wants to give less money to those who paid more taxes and more money to those who have paid less in taxes.

In addition to being unconstitutional, the Bush stimulus scheme is outrageously stupid.

Here follows a list of those members of the U.S. House of Representatives who, for various reasons, opposed the stimulus package:

Brian Baird (D-WA), Marion Berry (D-AR), F. Allen Boyd (D-FL), Paul Broun (R-GA), Michael Burgess (R-TX), John Campbell (R-CA), Howard Coble (R-NC), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Barbara Cubin (R-At Large-WY), Tom Davis (R-VA), Nathan Deal (R-GA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Randy Forbes (R-VA), Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Virgil Goode (R-VA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Timothy Johnson (R-IL), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Jack Kingston (R-GA), John Linder (R-GA), Ron Paul (R-TX), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Ted Poe (R-TX), Tom Price (R-GA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), John Shadegg (R-AZ), Adam Smith (D-WA), Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Gene Taylor (D-MS), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), and Robert Wexler (D-FL).

 Walter Williams on the Housing Crisis | February 6, 2008 | Digg This


In an important January 23 article on, Dr. Walter Williams makes these comments:

"A subprime lender is one who makes loans to borrowers who do not qualify for loans from mainstream lenders. It's a market that has evolved to permit borrowers with poor credit history and an unstable financial situation the opportunity to get home mortgages. The catch is they pay a higher and typically an adjustable rate mortgage. Encouraged by the housing bubble, easy credit, along with the expectation that housing prices would continue to appreciate, many subprime borrowers took out mortgages they could not afford in the long run, particularly if interest rates rose and housing prices depreciated.

"As with most economic problems, we find the hand of government. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, whose provisions were strengthened during the Clinton administration, is a federal law that mandates lenders to offer credit throughout their entire market and discourages them from restricting their credit services to high-income markets, a practice known as redlining. In other words, the Community Reinvestment Act encourages banks and thrifts to make loans to riskier customers.

"According to an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nov. 4, 2007, titled "Black Atlantans often snared by subprime loans," by Carrie Teegardin, a national study of credit scores, not just mortgage loan applicants, found that 52 percent of blacks have credit scores that would classify them as subprime borrowers compared with 16 percent of whites.

"President Bush's plan to deal with the subprime crisis is to freeze interest rates on adjustable rate mortgages. Freezing interest rates would stop people's mortgage payments from increasing."

In particular, Dr. Walter Williams calls the subprime bailout a violation of the Fifth Amendment.

"That is a gross violation of basic contract rights and would appear to be a Fifth Amendment violation. If a contractual agreement is willingly entered into and agreed upon by a borrower and lender, it is binding and if broken by one party or the other, harsh penalties should ensue.

"Now here comes government, under the Bush plan, to declare millions of contracts null and void. The long-run effect of the Bush plan is to make lending institutions even more selective in choosing borrowers. Then there's the question: If government can invalidate the terms of one kind of contractual agreement where the borrowers can't pay, what's to say that it won't invalidate other contractual agreements where the borrowers encounter hardship, and what will that do to financial markets?

"The Bush bailout, as well as Federal Reserve Bank cuts in interest rates, is a wealth transfer from creditworthy people and taxpayers to those who made ill-advised credit decisions, and that includes banks as well as borrowers. According to Temple University professor of economics William Dunkelberg, 96 percent of all mortgages are being paid on time. Thirty percent of American homeowners have no mortgage. Delinquency rates were higher in the 1980s than they are today. Only 2 to 3 percent of all mortgages are in foreclosure. The government bailout helps a few people at a huge cost to the rest of the economy."

(Walter E. Williams, Ph.D., is the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.)

 Evan Galbraith | February 1, 2008 | Digg This


In years gone by, I had the privilege of working with Ambassador Evan Galbraith on some key anti-Communist issues. He seemed to me to be a decent and knowledgeable man.

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