The
two major contenders for the 2008 election are experience (McCain)
versus inexperience (Obama). Obama's inexperience is disturbing in
that he appears to have disregarded the elected seats he occupied to
continue climbing the political ladder. Once elected, he effected
little, if any, change. Obama's political career is one of meteoric
trajectory from an obscure Illinois legislator to a short-lived U.S.
Senator (only two years into his six-year term before he hit the
presidential campaign trail) to the Democratic nominee for president
with a very good chance of winning the highest office in the land -
all with nothing backing his eligibility except good communication
skills and nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars.

The
crushing lack of leadership, underscored by the absence of even a
rudimentary understanding of the factors that contributed to the
current economic crisis, begins to unfold in the wake of a
demoralizing vote by the U.S. legislature for a $700-billion bailout.
The House of Representatives originally voted it down, obviously
holding out for earmarks from the Senate. Incredibly, the Senate
obliged, attaching an additional $125 billion worth of such bribes to
ensure the House majority vote in favor of bailing out Wall Street,
and indefinitely indenturing future generations with impossible debt.

Make
no mistake, the $700-billion request from the Bush administration
including Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chair
Ben Bernanke, is very much a bailout of Wall Street first and
foremost. The tactics used here are familiar ones. Create shock and
fear, and amplify it by fast-tracking legislative action. Create a
profound sense of urgency, coupled with vague but absolute solutions
with no time for verification or alternatives. Threaten the core
security of every citizen to justify, and obtain approval for, the
transfer of power being sought. In this case, the request is an
unprecedented transfer of power to the U.S. treasurer's office,
with virtually no oversight, regulatory control, or checks and
balances of any kind.

My
guess is that many of you are as enraged as I am over our elected
leaders' latest financial abuses. How much is enough for each of us
to take action? By action I mean, at a minimum, a phone call or
e-mail to each senator and congressman in your district expressing
your outrage, accompanied by a committed declaration that if he or
she does not act to stop these subsidies, bailouts, and wholesale
giveaways of our republic's future, then they will absolutely lose
your vote next term.

The
United States Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787. On
August 2, 1956, in commemoration of this revolutionary document,
Congress set aside the week of September 17 to 23 as Constitution
Week, with September 17 designated as Citizenship Day.

I cannot resist weighing in on the City of Davenport's new "Rules of Conduct" as they apply to certain aldermen and the mayor.

Included in the rules is the mandate to "Be honest and truthful. Tell the truth.

The ongoing abuse of Davenport taxpayers by elected officials, city administration, and DavenportOne is reaching critical mass.

On the heels of the disgraceful development agreement between the city and the Isle of Capri comes another vague, taxpayer-unfriendly project - a public market in the Freight House - to suck the financial life out of Davenport's already strained coffers.

There's good news for taxpayers and "smart riverfront" advocates relative to the Isle of Capri's (IOC) efforts to build an 11-story casino hotel and five-story parking ramp at the foot of Lock & Dam 15 in downtown Davenport.

In America, it is still entirely possible for an organized, committed grassroots effort to create change in a fraction of the time it takes Congress, state legislatures, and local municipalities put together.

Consider the recently formed Minutemen Project - a citizens' vigilance operation monitoring immigration, business, and government.

When it comes to revitalizing Davenport's downtown, the public has been led to believe that without their hard-earned tax dollars subsidizing private enterprise, we will never grow our community. First it was the two downtown parking ramps, then it was Vision Iowa, then the TIF for Ryan/Lee Enterprises, then John O'Donnell Stadium, then the Isle of Capri boatel - these projects represent the progressive trail of do-or-die projects that taxpayers had to subsidize or we would fail to attract new investment to our community.

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