Sunday, April 24, 2005

 

I'm Putting Money on My Own Horse

The Senate Republicans haven't earned my backing this year.

You'd think with the House, the Senate, the White House and a majority of the state governorships all in GOP hands that the guy on top of the white horse leading the party would be able to roll his agenda and campaign pronouncements forward. Tax reform, Social Security, immigration enforcement, judicial appointments, strong U.N. representation in the U.S. seat, and firm control of the Senate need to be accomplished. But, rather than marshalling the troops and material into an organized force against the Democrats, W's generals and lieutenants in the Senate, the RNC and the NRSC have been busy trying to look good instead of winning these important domestic fights. The two leading divisions under W that ought to be cracking heads and keeping the battle lines in formation, the Senate leadership and the RNC, seem more concerned about how to keep the fight bloodless and palatable for the viewers of network news and the readers of the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

Why did we send the GOP and various Republican support committees all that cash? Where's the solid and tangible results following the re-election of W and maintaining "control" of the House and Senate? Where are the spines? Where are the stones? How many lines drawn in the sand will the GOP blowhards have to draw? When will my money support a "bold conservative agenda" rather than an entrenched bureaucracy set up to ask me for more money?

Nuf's enough. I'm putting my money on Wagonboy's horse for now. I've put it off long enough.

This past week, during one of my 6 weeks of vacation (earned from 23 years with the same company), I gave the old Mustang convertible in the garage a little time and attention. I took it to several mechanics and shops for estimates and discussions to proceed on it's restoration and rehabilitation. For the first time in almost eight years the poor old horse saw some sunlight and felt the wind rush over it's still primered body. It had to experience these wonderful sensations while perched atop a rusty and dented 30 year old U-Haul trailer and shod with four $18 tires, but, regardless of these demeaning circumstances I'm sure it was thrilled just to be out from under the layers of garage detritus and to be moving about.

The first stop was to the suspension and brake shop. My first goal here is safety, followed by performance. The original set up on the car has disc brakes up front and drums in the rear rolling on 14" wheels providing stopping measurements in minutes rather than feet. The new set up will see beefed up suspension components, sub-frame connectors, traction bars, and large disc brakes on all four corners. Combined with larger 16" or 17" wheels and appropriate tires this new package will have it cornering flat and stopping on a dime. Or 9 cents, (in keeping with the "Not one dime" movement against the NRSC coffers!)

From there the trailered steed went to the transmission shop. The car rolled of the assembly line in October of '68 with a four speed top-loader and a Hurst linkage. That will stay in place for now. The top-loader was reloaded with new gears and linkage components a few years ago so the only things required here will be the clutch plate assembly, u-joints and installation.

On to the exhaust man! A huge George W. Bush supporter. Rush was blaring throughout the shop and signed pictures of W and Laura adorned the shop walls. We talked some politics and he was honored to meet Wagonboy who he'd heard on several occasions on the Hugh Hewitt Show. He too is holding on to his wallet until the GOP at least gives him the impression that they're in the majority. I told him my son's requirement for the exhaust system was to break windows and make small children cry. He said, "I'm in your son's camp!" Since the car is over 25 years old we don't need no stinkin' emissions controls so the old cast iron headers and restrictive mufflers can come off and a set of Tri-Y headers with proper free-flow mufflers can go on. I don't know about breaking windows, but some small children will cry.

The interior man was our last stop for the day. As the '69 GT convertible is an extremely rare Mustang, the exterior and interior must and will remain bone stock. Here new skins will go on the door panels, the proper tight loop carpeting on a sturdy pad, and correct seating panels will be set on new foam backings and cushions. A new vinyl top with a folding glass back window will be installed as well. The dashboard and gauges, though dirty, are all fine.

What about the engine?, you ask. The engine was rebuilt last year. It's a 351 Windsor 4 valve with a 650 Edelbrock carburetor. It currently sits on an engine stand next to the car which anxiously awaits it's company. Internally it's been hopped up with all sorts of goodies to approach 400hp on the dyno. What remains of that horse power after it's all hooked up and hauling the car is anyone's guess.... But it will make small children cry. Here again I'm after a stock appearance in the engine bay as much as possible to retain the rarity of this particular Mustang.

All this work and all these parts going into the Mustang depends, of course, on the approval and full support of the fetching Mrs. Wagonboy. It was after all in this very car back in 1985 that we went on our first dates. Many a fond trips and memories are shared between us in this car and it's been a part of our garage ambiance in the four places we've lived since 1990. So I'm certain she's just as eager to get this project under way and finished so we can once again relive those fun carefree days in our little hot rod.... Aren't you, Princess?

Princess?

So while the GOP dithers and pisses away any capital and majority status they have, I and many others are finding better things to do with their hard earned cash. Life goes on outside the Senate chambers, the beltway and the Sunday morning blather shows. There's kitchens and bathrooms to remodel, backyards to spruce up, sporting events to attend, vacations to take and '69 Mustangs to get running again. Let's roll. -Wb

Friday, April 08, 2005

 

The Money's On Hold

I'm holding on to my wallet until I see something I like.

I got my weekly e-mail update from Elizabeth Dole at the NRSC today. The title was "Democrat's Bait and Switch" and the topic was, of course, their absurd tactics to prevent an elected President from getting his judicial nominees onto the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote. The close of these newsletters always provides the "click to contribute" tab and I've been known to use it the past. In fact, the NRSC link is to your left on this page for convenient contributing.

But not now. Here's my response to Mrs. Dole. -Wb



The bait and switch is occurring in my Republican party. I'm not getting the conservatives I helped get elected with my past contributions. So those once numerous contributions are on hold for now.

When the Republicans start acting like they hold the Presidency, both houses of congress and a majority of the governorships in this great country I'll start sending money again. I'm not as appalled at the behavior of the Democrats as I am at the timidity of the elected party in charge. I expect the Democrats to behave as though they don't have any issues to promote other than the issue of getting in the way. But I don't expect the Republicans to sit around hemming and hawing about procedures and whining about absurd and out-of-bounds Democratic tactics. Run the bastards over! LEAD! Take charge! Pretend you've got the majorities in both houses as well as the presidency! Damn the press and the polls they rode in on!

Where the hell is the fire-in-the-belly that you all campaigned with? Are you all more worried about the diminishing invites to dinner parties and the Sunday morning talk show tour, or, are you working for a lasting legacy to leave for future generations?

What will your biographers write about 50 years from now? Will you get a foot note, a paragraph, a chapter or the whole book?

The money starts again when you Republicans get up on the wheel and start going somewhere.

Michael Smith
Northridge, Ca

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