Friday, August 28, 2009

Kennedy Was Right about Gubernatorial Appointments of Senators, But for the Wrong Reason

The late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy’s recent suggestion that Massachusetts return to gubernatorial appointment of senators to fill vacancies temporarily was right, but for the wrong reason. He had helped initiate a change to Massachusetts’ procedure for filling such vacancies in 2004 by convincing his state's legislature to allow for a special election to fill the vacancy instead of permitting the governor to make the immediate appointment until a special election is held at the next federal election.

Because the governor of Massachusetts at the time was Republican, Kennedy did not want him to appoint a Republican to appoint a fellow member of the GOP to the Senate. He did not seem concerned at that time that the Bay State would be without the representation of two senators while the months-long process of conducting a special election took place.

Kennedy justified his recent change of mind out of concern that Massachusetts would be without its full Senate representation, but Kennedy's real concern was probably that the vacancy in the Senate seat his passing would create would leave the Democrats with only 59 seats (including the two Independents who caucus with them) – one shy of the 60-vote supermajority necessary under Senate rules to pass legislation over any filibuster by the minority. Therefore, he wanted that vacant seat to be filled quickly, which would happen if the governor appoints someone to fill the vacancy temporarily, instead of waiting for a special election. Now that the governor of Massachusetts is a Democrat, Kennedy changed his mind and supported a return to the original procedure of gubernatorial appointment.

The gubernatorial appointment of senators to fill vacancies in Senate seats temporarily should be retained, as I explain in my post “Retain Gubernatorial Appointment of Senators,” because of constitutional principles. I support gubernatorial appointment and oppose special elections as a matter of principle – no matter what the partisan situation is, unlike Kennedy and those Democrats who agree with his proposal and now favor gubernatorial appointment. Kennedy’s reversal demonstrates the foolishness of proposing procedural changes for partisan expedience instead of principle.

The Massachusetts legislature should change its procedure back to the original one and allow its governor to appoint someone to the Senate to take the seat Kennedy vacated. But until it does, the state deserves the lapse in representation it will have while the legislature decides the issue. The concern about lapses in representation should remind everyone of a practical reason to oppose Senator Russell Feingold’s proposed Constitutional Amendment to eliminate gubernatorial appointments of senators in addition to constitutional principles.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Iraqi WMD Update: How the Media Has Changed Its Story

A recent report by the liberal media suggested that Saddam Hussein had lied that he had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in order to deter an attack from Iran. The media suggests that its report proves that Iraq did not have WMDs at the time of its Liberation in 2003, or at least that the threat from Iraqi WMDs was exaggerated. However, this report validates some of the concerns about Iraqi WMDs.

Iraq under Hussein was not allowed to possess WMDs by United Nations resolutions because it had used them both against foreigners and its own citizens, as well as its history of aggression. Iraq was obligated to prove that it had destroyed its WMDs and terminated WMD production programs, much like a parolee is no longer be permitted to have firearms and must submit to inspection to prove he no longer has them.

Iraq violated those UN resolutions by failing to submit to full inspections, which gave rise to suspicion that it was hiding something. Indeed, Iraq failed to account for hundreds of chemical weapons, which are a kind of WMD, it was known to possess. It never submitted evidence that it had destroyed these WMDs, as required, (e.g. the destroyed WMDs themselves, or photographs or video of their destruction), even though Hussein insisted that Iraq had destroyed them. Therefore, it was reasonable to believe that Iraq still had WMDs at the time of its Liberation, and not reasonable to believe that it did not. Although it was not necessary to find WMD in order to believe that Iraq still had them, most of those Iraqi chemical weapons have, in fact, since been found by Coalition forces over the years, scattered about Iraq.

The media and other liberal commentators insisted that Hussein was telling the truth that Iraq did not have WMD because no large stockpiles of them or new ones have been found. But the finding of the hundreds of chemical weapons Iraq was known to have possessed proves that Iraq still had WMDs at the time of its Liberation in 2003 and also proves that Hussein had lied when he claimed to have destroyed them. After citing Hussein’s denials that he still had WMDs as proof that he no longer possessed them, the liberal media now also cites the recent report that Hussein had lied about possessing WMDs as proof that he no longer had them.

But even the new liberal media’s theory that Hussein was bluffing the Iranians by exaggerating his possession of WMDs proves that his failure to submit to proper inspections and to prove that he had destroyed his WMDs enabled him to continue to bully his neighbors, which is a concern I have been raising since before the Liberation of Iraq. As I have noted in other posts, a terrorist-sponsoring regime, like Hussein’s Iraq, that possesses WMDs or bluffs that it possesses WMDs is committing terrorism against anyone within range of its missiles, let alone against anyone who is a potential victim of any militant groups it sponsors. Hussein cleverly hid his WMDs just enough so that his neighbors still had to fear him while Western liberals and isolationists could believe his lies that Iraq no longer had them and act accordingly. The latest liberal attempt to dismiss the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq cannot change the fact that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction did represent a serious threat to his neighbors and to the interests of the United States.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Health Insurance Federalization Would Violate the Principles of Federalism and Subsidiarity

Neither health care nor health insurance generally are federal issues. Although a problem may occur “nationwide,” it is not necessarily federal. National is not the same as federal. The United States is neither a nation, nor a nation-state, but a union of states. An issue is federal only if it pertains to the Union itself, not whether it occurs in every state or would affect the economy of all the states, which is not a government responsibility. Federal responsibilities are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution (Article I Section 8). Domestic responsibilities are generally the responsibility of the states. Because the states are diverse in many ways, a policy which might be suitable for one might not be suitable for another.

This separation of powers is the principle of federalism established by the Founding Fathers. Federalism prevents the federal government that was created by the states from becoming too powerful at the expense of the rights of the states and the people.

Health care or health insurance are only issues in federal territories or other areas of federal control like military bases or Indian Reservations. It is also a benefit promised to veterans. Otherwise, to the extent that it is a government issue at all, it is a state matter. There is nothing federal about health care or health insurance. Therefore, President Barack Obama’s proposed federalization of health insurance would violate the principle of federalism, in issue which should be left to the states.

Federalism is an example of a larger principle based upon Scripture and first developed by Catholicism that would be called “subsidiarity.” Subsidiarity is the principle that the lowest unit of government as possible should exercise power. It is a principle that is opposite of centralization of power. Centralization makes people less free because it makes government ever more remote from the people, and thus too large to be flexible enough to respond to their needs. It also makes people more dependent on the centralized power. Furthermore, the significant increase in government spending and taxation would reduce the liberty of the people to spend their money as they see fit.

The federalization of health insurance would cause a centralization of power in the federal government of something that it is unnecessary for it to address, as the matter is better left to the states, or to the people. The application of the principle of subsidiarity, through the constitutional principle of federalism, would necessitate opposition to the federalization of health insurance in order to maintain the liberty and independence of the states and the people. With the exception of reforming those few areas where the federal government influences health insurance, such as limiting huge awards in federal civil suits for medical malpractice, any reforms of health insurance must be done privately or by the states.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Robert Novak, Rest in Peace

The great reporter and conservative commentator, Robert Novak, died today at the age of 78. His journalism career spanned 60 years, during which time Novak became known for his skill at reporting on inside politics in Washington, D.C. He also became known as a columnist when he teamed with Rowland Evans in 1963 in editing The Evans-Novak Report. After the death of Evans in 2001, Novak continued the column, syndicated by the Chicago Sun-Times, until this year, making it the longest-running syndicated political column in the United States. His columns were filled with nuggets of political reporting.

From 1980 to 2005, Novak was the host of CNN’s Crossfire and other various other somewhat similar shows. Crossfire featured two hosts, one representing the left and one representing the right, who cross-examined guests from both the left and the right. Novak represented the right, which thereby made him one of the few voices for limited government in the media at the time. He reliably represented conservative thought on that show, as well as on programs on other networks on which he appeared as a guest.

Novak steadfastly maintained that government should focus on what it was supposed to do (protecting the rights of its citizens), while keeping spending and taxes down, instead of spending taxpayer money ineffectively on other things like good works. His pessimism about government served as a counterpoint to the liberal “progressive” faith in government as a power to do good, which earned him the nickname “The Prince of Darkness.” Novak proudly accepted the moniker and took all the good-natured ribbing from his liberal colleagues in stride.

Novak was a staunch Cold Warrior, but his independence led him to diverge from conservatives on some policies, such as in regards to the Middle East in particular.

Novak was brought up in the Jewish faith, but he became agnostic for many years until his conversion to Catholicism at the age of 67.

May the soul of Robert Novak rest in peace and may his legacy of outstanding journalism continue to inspire journalists, and may his wisdom on the limits of government be heeded in politics.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Rest in Peace

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, died recently at the age of 88. She was the wife of Sargent Shriver, whom President Kennedy named as the first head of the Peace Corps and who was the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in 1972. Their daughter, Maria, is currently the First Lady of California.

Eunice Shriver was famous in her own right as the foundress of the Special Olympics, having been inspired by her sister Rose's struggle with mental disability. Her belief in the dignity of all human beings, which was in accordance with her Catholic faith, was reflected in her support of children who are mentally or physically disabled, whom the Special Olympics has been spectacularly successful in cherishing. Unlike some in her family, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was consistent in her belief, for she remained ardently pro-life.

May her soul rest in peace and may her legacy continue to inspire respect for all human life.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How to Measure Whether an Economic Stimulus Is Working

It is difficult to determine whether an economic stimulus is “working” because there are a variety of factors that can impact the economy. Nonetheless, one can measure whether an economic stimulus is working if the standard is whether the stimulus has, on balance, stimulated the economy, which is to say, whether it has benefited the economy. Whether a stimulus is responsible for averting a recession is a standard that might be too high to meet depending on the circumstances, even if it is the intent of the policymakers who implement it.

A comparison between the two most recent economic stimuli is helpful. President George W. Bush’s 2008 economic stimulus primarily featured $150 billion in tax credits. The Bush stimulus improved the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for one quarter of a year, but not enough to avoid the subsequent recession. Therefore, many critics argue that the stimulus did not work, but at best only delayed the recession. Indeed, it did not work if the standard of measure was whether it avoided a recession. However, Bush’s stimulus did work if the standard of measure was whether it benefited the economy. Bush’s stimulus might have averted a recession, or at least made it milder and briefer, but for the subsequent financial crisis.

President Barak Obama’s $787 billion economic “stimulus” includes a continuation of Bush's middle tax cuts, which, although they stimulate economic growth (as measured by the GDP), do not meet the definition of a stimulus, which is government spending intended to stimulate economic growth. Most of Obama's stimulus features spending. His spending might be having some positive impact on GDP, which is contracting less than it had been, but not enough to stimulate economic recovery on its own, or at least be more responsible than other factors that might be contributing to recovery.

Indeed, as in the United States, there have been some recent signs of recovery in Europe, even though Obama had dismissed the Europeans' economic stimuli as “too small,” which suggests that other factors are responsible for the recovery. Another possibility the European example suggests is that Obama's judgment about the size necessary for an effective economic stimulus is poor. For if Obama’s stimulus is already “working” with only a few percentage points worth of his $787 billion spending spree being spent this year, then the rest of it would not be necessary as an economic “stimulus.”

There are at least four other factors that are contributing to the recent evidence of the possible beginnings of economic recovery: 1) Actions by the Federal Reserve, 2) federal bailouts, 3) lower energy prices and 4) the natural business cycle.

1) Actions by the Federal Reserve. The Fed has lowered interest rates over the last few years in order to reduce inflation. It has also provided aid to banks and other financial institutions. All of these actions have helped to make credit more available for consumers and businesses.

2) Federal bailouts. Since 2008, the extraordinary federal loans to various financial institutions in particular, as well as partial federal takeovers, have also helped to thaw the nearly-frozen credit market, thus averting the collapse of the global financial system, which would have triggered a depression.

3) Lower energy prices. The price of oil is less than half of what it was a year ago, which has reduced inflationary pressure, thereby eliminating the threat of staglation (the combination of stagnation and inflation.

4) The natural business cycle. Just as the boom led to bust (i.e. the higher energy prices that caused inflation that, in turn caused an increase in interest rates which, in turn, triggered the near-collapse of the financial system) the bust will lead to boom. For example, as the value of homes decreased, the price became more affordable for lower income people to buy. Therefore, sales of homes are increasing, which is one of the leading indicators of economic growth.

An economic stimulus can stimulate the economy in the short term, at the long-term expense of increased government spending, which acts as a drag on the economy when the bill for the spending must be paid. In conclusion, economic stimuli do benefit the economy as measured by the Gross Domestic Product, even if they fall short of averting recessions, absent other factors impacting the economy.

Obama’s economic “stimulus,” however, is so large that its short-term benefit is more heavily outweighed than Bush's by the long-term cost, primarily because much of his $787 billion spending spree is not economically stimulative and is spread out over several years. Moreover, although Obama's spending, like Bush’s economic stimulus, may be having some benefit to the GDP, the recent signs of economic recovery are more likely attributable to other factors for which neither Obama nor his stimulus are responsible. In short, both Bush’s and Obama’s economic stimuli should be judged by the same measure: Judging them fairly, because they have both been beneficial to the economy, both stimuli can be said to have “worked,” at least in the short-term. However, judging the economic stimuli by the less reasonable higher standard of whether they stimulated the economy sufficiently in order to maintain or return to prosperity, they have not worked.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Opens Online Museum

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOCMF) has recently opened an online museum called the Global Museum on Communism ( The VOCMF had placed a memorial to the victims of Communism in the District of Columbia, which was dedicated by President George W. Bush in 2007. Although it had received federal approval for the memorial, the VOCMF is funded by private donations. The VOCMF will continue to raise funds for a "brick and mortar" museum, but for now the online museum provides a valuable resource for those interested in learning about the atrocities perpetuated in order to advance Communism.

The VOCMF memorializes the tens of millions of people killed by Communists and honors those heroes who resisted Communism. Since the official collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in 1989, the collective memory of westerners about the horrors committed by Communists has begun to fade. The continued existence of several Communist regimes, as well as active Marxist-Leninist guerrilla or terrorist movements around the world, make it important to understand the evil nature of Communism.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Obama's Federalization of Health Insurance Would Cover Abortion

There are several problems with President Barak Obama's plan to federalize health insurance, including the cost and the expansion of the federal bureaucracy, with the corresponding loss of liberty, as I have noted in earlier posts. Of particular concern is that government rationing of health care could adversely effect health care for seniors or others the government deems unworthy of spending money to save, and could lead to euthanasia, as happens in foreign states with similar socialized health care systems.

Another part of Obama's health insurance federalization also threatens the right to life: insurance coverage for abortion. Worse, not only would federal insurance for abortion legitimatize it and encourage more of it, but Obama and Congressional Democrats would force taxpayers to pay for abortions, even those who morally oppose it. Obama already forced taxpayers to pay organizations that promote abortion abroad, but his health insurance federalization plan would fund abortions directly with taxpayer dollars.

As critics of President Bill Clinton's 1994 plan to federalize health care noted at that time, abortion is not health care, but the opposite of it. Federal insurance coverage for abortion is one more reason to oppose Obama's radical plan to federalize health insurance.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

100 Posts to My Blog

I recently posted to my blog for the 100th time. I plan many more posts, thanks to your continued visits, which encourage me to keep posting. As usual, I have notes prepared for several already, as well as topics for others, and remain ready to comment on particular current developments, so please visit at least once or twice a week. Please feel free to suggest more topics or to post comments. Thank you for your support.

I added a new feature to my blog: a tool that enables one to search my blog more conveniently. It is located near the top of the left-hand column. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Conservative Analysis of Cash for Clunkers

As I have noted in earlier posts, the role of government, especially the federal government of the United States, is not to manage the economy, but to protect our rights. Government policies impact on the economy and ought not to harm it any more than is necessary, but there is little that the government should do economically per se.

The Obama Administration’s $787 billion so-called economic stimulus plan as an example of massive government overreach into the economy. It is one thing to provide income tax credits in order to stimulate the economy, as the Bush Administration did in 2008, but another thing to confiscate money from some citizens and give it to a favored few in furtherance of some social policy or some political payoff, as the Obama Administration is doing. The economically stimulative effect of the Obama policy is dubious because most of the stimulus money is to be spent in later years when the economy would have recovered on its own, while much of the current stimulus spending is in various forms of Congressional pork and other political patronage and favoritism of little economically stimulative value. Moreover, the price of the spending plan will be massive federal budget deficits, which would lead to even more borrowing and taxing. Concern over the long-term cost of the Obama spending spree to the economy has increased economic uncertainty, which is counterproductive to economic recovery.

Nonetheless, in February I stated in my post “Obama’s Sending Spree” that there might be some short-term economic benefit from some of the spending. Apparently, one program in particular has proven to be relatively stimulative, the “Cash for Clunkers” tax credit which rewards purchasers of new, more fuel-efficient automobiles who trade in their older, less fuel-efficient automobiles.

The program has proven the effectiveness of tax cuts, as auto sales have increased significantly. This tax credit is of the kind that benefits one major industry that the Obama Administration has already heavily subsidized at the expense of all income earners. However, it also does help one significant category of small businesses: auto dealers, in addition to automobile consumers. In short, the Cash for Clunkers program helps a few at the expense of the many, but it helps more people than most of the rest of the economic stimulus plan. Critics of the program make a legitimate point in complaining that there ought to be a corresponding tax credit for the consumption of other goods, as well, even if it were limited to other energy-efficient goods. The program is not the right kind of economic stimulus, which would be a tax credit for all income earners, as it is not appropriate for the government to meddle in the economy, especially with favoritism. Tax cuts for all income earners would give people the freedom to spend their money in economically better ways than the government would, but it would do so for the sake of liberty, with any economic benefit as a bonus. Nonetheless, Cash for Clunkers represents less wasteful government spending than most of the rest of the $787 billion boondoggle. Taking some of the money allocated for the rest of the stimulus and redirecting it to the Cash for Clunkers program would be a slight improvement over the status quo.

Let us urge the Congress and the Obama Administration to apply the economic lesson of Cash for Clunkers to the tax code and cut income taxes in order to spur more consumption by increasing liberty.

Sotomayor Ought Not Be Confirmed

Sonia Sotomayor, President Barak Obama’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, ought not to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Although her liberal record as an appellate judge is not relatively extreme, her troubling views suggest that once she is given a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land without the fear of reversal she currently should have, she will feel free to judge based upon her extremist views, despite her promises to the Senators during her confirmation hearings. Note: Sotomayor has been reversed by the Supreme Court relatively frequently.

Sotomayor’s repeated statement that a “wise Latina” would make a better judge than a non-Hispanic male suggests her bigotry, and reflects Obama’s view that empathy should prevail over impartial justice. In other words, cases will be prejudged based upon who the parties are instead of the law or the facts. Sotomayor does not even understand that the role of an appellate judge is to rule on matters of law after accepting the finding of fact by the court of original jurisdiction. In her written judicial opinions, she oddly takes it upon herself to retry the facts in certain cases without seeing the testimony of the witnesses.

However, Sotomayor’s statement that the courts are places of policy making is even more troubling. The courts are places where the law is interpreted, not made. Laws are made by legislators, not judges. Sotomayor’s embrace of such judicial activism instead of judicial restraint reflects her liberal contempt for the Constitution that she will be sworn to follow and interpret. Her arbitrary favoritism of certain parties, combined with her belief in judicial activism, would make the law subject to her whim, instead of being the product of the legislative process. With Sotomayor on the Supreme Court, Obama would continue the liberal strategy of “remaking America” by circumventing representative democracy.

Clinton, Obama Appease North Korea

Former President Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea to apparently win the release of two American journalists kidnapped by the despotic Communist regime. Their release had already been negotiated in advance between the United States and North Korea. Clinton, the husband of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was obviously making an official trip, despite the Obama Administration’s claim that the trip was not official.

Through Clinton’s trip, the Obama Administration rewarded the North Korean’s for its hostage taking by sending such a high-ranking envoy. Clinton’s presence, which followed an official expression by his wife of “remorse” for the crossing of the journalists into the Hermit Kingdom, granted North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il political legitimacy. Kim had been trying to push the U.S. into sending some senior envoy to engage in direct negotiations directly with his regime in regard to his nuclear weapons program in order to make him appear as an equal to the superpower. Indeed, Clinton was met on the airport tarmac in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang by the Communist dictatorship’s lead nuclear negotiator in what was a successful attempt to make it appear as if the U.S. was coming to the North Koreans in a position of weakness – a typical North Korean tactic. It is also typical of hostage-taking regimes like North Korea to release their hostages for maximum diplomatic advantage for appearing to be merciful, after having first made a show of power by taking the hostages, which is an act of terrorism.

The North Koreans prefer to bully the U.S. or others into this or that concession instead of negotiating diplomatically in good faith. Therefore, giving into their demands encourages the North Koreans to continue their bad behavior. The Clinton visit was similar to the visit during his administration to North Korea of former President Jimmy Carter, who negotiated the 1994 Agree Framework, which turned out to be a major example of appeasement, as the U.S. promised generous aid in return for North Korean promises to suspend its nuclear weapons program – promises it broke. Although the stakes were not nearly as high this time, the Clinton North Korean trip continues the Obama Administration's dangerous liberal policy of treating our enemies with greater respect than our friends.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Liberal Media Changes Its Story on the Taliban and Drugs

Around the start of the Afghan campaign in the War on Terrorism, the liberal media gave some credit to the Taliban for its anti-opium policies. A few years after the overthrow of the Taliban, the establishment of a representative parliamentary democracy in Afghanistan and relative peace, the media had to search for something negative to report about President George W. Bush’s “good war:” it found it in a report that Afghanistan was the largest source of heroin (which is refined from opium) in the world. The media treated this report as big news that suggested that the removal of the terrorist-sponsoring Taliban from power was not as beneficial to the United States as popularly believed, even though Afghanistan has long been the largest source of heroin in the world regardless of who held power in Kabul, the Afghan capital. There was some suggestion from the media and other critics of the U.S. effort in the Afghan War that the United States had not focused sufficiently on the drug problem. But the media focus on Afghanistan’s production of opium at least was consistent in its sympathy for the Taliban on this particular topic.

Now that the Taliban has been resurgent, however, the media blames the Taliban’s resurgence as the reason for Afghanistan’s opium problem, citing opium as a major source of funding for the militant Islamist group. It also observes that now that the United States has focused on the drug problem in Afghanistan, its eradication of the poppy crops that yield opium has been beneficial to the Taliban because it angers poor farmers who then turn against the U.S. and its Afghan allies and join with the Taliban. In other words, the Taliban at least were against opium, according to the media, and their overthrow permitted poppy production, yet the failure of the U.S. to defeat the Taliban is the reason that opium is supposedly resurgent. According to the liberal media, the U.S. can do nothing right in Afghanistan no matter what it does.

The media was wrong to credit the Taliban for its anti-opium policies, as the Taliban's current practice of encouraging opium production has proven. Drug eradication efforts have worked elsewhere, but the Obama Administration is abandoning them in Afghanistan in favor of subsidizing Afghan farmers to produce other crops, even though both eradication and subsidization would work better together than alone.

In short, the subject of the Taliban and drugs is another example of the liberal tendency to blame America first for every ill in the world.

Vice Presidents Constitutionally Lack Executive Authority

A media report recently claimed that during the George W. Bush Administration, Vice President Richard Cheney had “ordered” the Central Intelligence Agency not to reveal a proposed program to the Congress. The report is misleading.

Vice President Cheney did not order any members of the administration to do anything, as the vice president has no constitutional executive authority. As the president of the Senate, the vice president is a legislative officer, not an executive one. He could have recommended or suggested an executive action, but he did not order any action, as the media reported.

It is another misleading media phrase, often repeated by politicians and other commentators, to refer to the vice president as the “second in command,” which is language for conservatives to avoid, as the vice president cannot command anyone. His only constitutional power is to preside over the Senate and cast tie-breaking votes. Furthermore, it is often stated that vice presidents are part of the presidential administration, but they are not part of the executive branch at all. As such, it is also constitutionally inaccurate to refer to the president as the “boss” of the vice president, as vice presidents have no boss.

Four-Month Blog Hit Report

There have now been nearly 555 visits to my blog since April 2. Thirty people began their visit to my blog on its homepage and another 400 people visited my blog posts directly. Here are the statistics: hits have come from at least 42 States in the Union (with California continuing to be the state with the most visitors) and D.C. and 38 foreign states (with the United Kingdom leading in foreign visitors). The most interesting hits since my last report came from the U.S. Marines and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thank you for your patronage. Some of you are loyal readers, which I especially appreciate. Please feel free to comment to this post to make any suggestions, including topics for other posts or to ask any questions. Again, thank you.