Selwyn DukeAll around the realm was heard a fateful cry:

'Twill make us sleep the nightmare if ye tax the other guy.

We can accept the yoke of poor polity,

If the misery cursing all gives equality.

Play one group against another, and us all you may ream,

Too busy envying each other we ignore your wicked scheme.

'Tis the rhyme of the time, no matter tyranny be nigh;

'Twill make us sleep the nightmare if ye tax the other guy.

Tax 'em high!

A study was once conducted in which participants played a game involving the accumulation of money. It had an interesting finding: Those describing themselves as leftists were much more willing than others to give up a bit of their own cash if it meant taking more from somebody else. What motivated this? It’s called envy, and we used to call such people immoral. Now we call them "liberals."

Back in the 1950s there was a TV commercial designed to induce headaches in viewers in order to increase demand for the product the commercial was hawking — a pill to cure headaches, of course. The same strategy is often practiced in politics. A story in this morning's New York Times about California Congressman Darrell Issa ("Obama's Annoyer-in-Chief") mentioned that the Republican gadfly  "was charged with two long-ago auto thefts before eventually making a fortune selling car alarms...."

There’s a maxim everyone’s heard, personally mouthed, and undoubtedly believes: “What goes around comes around.” Or, “the boomerang effect. Remarkably, however, although we’ve all heard, mouthed, and believed it, many arrogantly claim a personal exception from this law of God and Nature — even when it comes to some serious stuff like life and death, freedom and slavery, prosperity and poverty, happiness and misery, even heaven and hell.

compassTom Pauken, a lawyer and conservative political activist hailing from Texas, wrote Bringing Home America: How America Lost Her Way and How We Can Find Our Way Back for the stated purpose of critiquing how the George W. Bush administration squandered the political capital that Goldwater/Reagan conservatives had built over three decades. Pauken served as chairman of the Republican Party of Texas from 1994 to 1997, which was both before and after George W. Bush became Governor of Texas. Years earlier, he served on the transition team of President-elect Ronald Reagan and was appointed by President Reagan to head ACTION, where he worked to rein in the agency.

I used to think you had to have a sense of humor to survive in politics. I am now becoming convinced that a great many politicians have a tin ear for humor-or at least for irony. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for example, has called Russia on the carpet for that country's invasion and "continued occupation" of Georgia. Maybe I have a warped sense of humor, but I think that's funny. Maybe not laugh-out-loud (or lol in techy talk) funny, but rich in irony nonetheless. And I'm pretty sure Mme. Hillarious doesn't get it.

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