The Chicago Tribune Editorial “The Santorum moment “ of Tuesday 21 February dismisses Newt Gingrich as having a “mammoth ego and condescending personality.” Can't someone who engineered the last federal budget surpluses (four in a row, 1998 thru 2001) as speaker of the US House of Representatives, have any ego and personality they want? Further, if it hadn't been for Newt Gingrich, the nation would be suffering thru its 58th straight year of Democrats controlling the spending initiating branch of our federal government.
The editorial accuses Santorum of “almost trying to give ammunition to those who regard him as a right-wing extremist.” Has the Tribune ever accused the current president of being a “left-wing extremist?” Certainly not in this editorial, where he is later referred to as “a gifted campaigner” The President's only gift is the ability to use a speech-enhancing tool invented in 1984, that allows him to read a prewritten script while appearing to speak from memory. Has any member of the Tribune Editorial Board ever heard him speak without it?
The first six years of the George W Bush presidency had an average monthly deficit of $20 billion (the last two years, assisted by a Democrat House of reps raised this to $35 billion/month.) This performance was unheard of at the time (noted disapprovingly in 48 Tribune editorials in the period.)
The corresponding figure for the current president's first 31 months was $120 billion/month. This administration is in deep trouble, and they know it. No amount of telepromting can save it, regardless of the Republicans choice to run against it.
The the Wall Street Journal's 19 letters of Monday 13 February "Mandates, Womens' Rights and Religious Freedom" is the finest set of letters I've seen anywhere on a top subject of the day, and the finest letters page of the Journal I've seen in 20 years of reading The Wall Street Journal (and having two of my own letters printed in that time.)
And I'm sure the lopsided 16-3 count favoring one position of the controversy over the other accurately reflects your readership, independent of whatever your editorial board's cumulative position on the subject. To top off all of that, you include one letter each self-identified as ostensibly from one side of the argument, but supporting the other side. Great Job!
The Washington Post editorial “[Mitt] Romney]'s timely proposal to raise and index the minimum wage” (Thursday 2 February) says“the only way to raise or lower the minimum wage is through an act of Congress.” The United States Constitution cannot be clearer in defining things Congress is allowed to do in Article 1 Section 8, and it says nothing about telling citizens how much to pay for help.
Some think the General Welfare clause is justification in extreme situations, But James Madison foresaw that possibility 222 years ago and explained what the founders meant by the clause, clearly, thoroly, and I'm sure he felt finally, when in Federalist Number 41 he wrote :
“Some [Constitution doubters]... have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power "...to provide for the general welfare of the United States" amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the... general welfare....
“Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expression just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it. But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?”
And following that semicolon is a list of 17 Congressional powers, from 'borrow money on the credit of the United States' thru 'make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers'... but not a sign of dictating what one citizen must pay another for services rendered.
Unfortunately, the Father of the Constitution did not anticipate future misunderstanding of the Commerce clause.
The Wall Street Journal 1 February letter “Check With Climate Scientists for Views on Climate”, as do most doom and gloom Climate scientists, eventually refers to “computer models,” here recently showing “during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures....” But have any of these Scientists ever considered a mathematical model projecting the 4.5 billion year age of the planet on a hypothetical 80-year human lifetime? Such a model shows one real earth year being 0.561 geezer seconds. Landmarks: earliest known use of charcoal (carbon) by humans, 54 minutes ago to our 80-year-old. Humans had no idea of measuring temperature before Galileo's 1593 invention of the thermometer, 4 minutes ago to our senior citizen. The letter refers to a “long-term warming trend” that “has not abated in the past decade.” Wow! a whole decade. 5.61 seconds in our model.
Humans have been on Earth 6.5 million years, 1.44% of the Earth's age. What was the climate doing in the first 98.56% of the planet's existence?
If a scientist took a blood pressure reading of an 80 year-old fellow scientist and got 120 over 80, did it again 5 minutes later and got 124 over 78, would they call 911 for an ambulance?
I've lived in Detroit, St Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh PA, Marblehead MA. Worked as tech rep in Southern CA, Bay area, NYC, I've been to Europe a dozen times (Ireland, UK, Scotland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium.
Favorite restaurants are Gene & Georgetti's in Chicago, Roma Cafe in Detroit, Frankie and Johnie's in NYC, Rigazzi's on the hill in St. Louis (Also Charlie Gitto's, was Angelo's when I went there.)
For about a year I had small offices in Clayton MO, in the Country Club Plaza in KC. I rode a ten-speed bike around Lake Michigan (The bottom half in one week in June 1978, another week for the top half in 1980, used the Badger both times.
Don't get to travel much anymore, but still try to rent a car and go around the Lake in March every year. Sure, there's still snow, and it's not warm, OTOH there are no bugs and no toursts. Greatest little tavern in the world is Sherry's Port Bar in Garden UP MI