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Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi’
November 11th, 2010 at 9:33 pm
Re: House GOP Leadership Team Taking Shape
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Ashton makes a good point about the geographic diversity of the GOP House leadership in comparison to its Democratic predecessor. Another interesting addition may be Kristi Noem, the incoming freshman who will serve as the At-Large Representative for South Dakota and who looks to be in line to fill a new position being created to give some leadership representation to the burgeoning ranks of Tea Party-affiliated conservatives. Noem is attractive, articulate, and has a compelling biography. She looks to be a definite rising star in the party.

I think the mix of the two parties may be reflective of what caused the Democrats to go astray in the past few years. Looking at the new Republican leadership, only Texan Jeb Hensarling comes from a state where Republicans are reliably strong in both federal and state elections. Democrats, on the other hand, populated their leadership ranks with figures from the deepest of the deep blue states. They governed that way too. And in so doing, they forgot all the lessons that gave them control of the Congress.

In the 2006 and 2008 election cycles, Rahm Emanuel in the House and Chuck Schumer in the Senate gave considerable flexibility to their recruited candidates, allowing them to run with conservative positions on a host of issues that allowed them to escape being tarred as liberals in the Midwest, the South, and the Mountain West. While they succeeded in getting a large percentage of those candidates elected, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda then lurched so heavily to the left that the new members had to run for reelection in the shadow of a record that undermined all their pretensions of moderation.

The facile interpretation of this trend is that a party always has to govern from the center to keep its majority. That’s also the rationale for liberals like  E.J. Dionne, who hope that the new conservative majority’s stand on principle will alienate them from the electorate. In his most recent column, Dionne writes:

Give Republicans credit for this: They don’t chase the center, they try to move it. Democrats can play a loser’s game of scrambling after a center being pushed ever rightward. Or they can stand their ground and show how far their opponents are from moderate, problem-solving governance. Why should Democrats take Republican advice that Republicans themselves would never be foolish enough to follow?

This is what happens when a static mind attempts to comprehend a dynamic landscape. The problem with Dionne’s analysis is that he assumes the left and the right are equidistant from the center. This is false. When Gallup polled the question in June, 42 percent of Americans identified as conservative, 35 percent said they were moderate, and 20 percent said they were liberal. That means the self-identified center-right represents an astonishing 77 percent of the country. By contrast, the center-left at its theoretical apex is only a slight majority of Americans. When you then factor in that 56 percent of independents broke for Republicans this year — and that that represented a 36 point swing from 2006 — you see how steep the hill is for Democrats.

Dionne and his counterparts in Congress need to learn the lesson: in a center-right country, it’s more important for Democrats to moderate than Republicans. If you doubt that, ask Bill Clinton — he might remind you that he’s the only Democratic president to be elected twice since FDR.

November 11th, 2010 at 1:49 pm
House GOP Leadership Team Taking Shape

With Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announcing the end of her campaign to be Republican Conference Chairman, the likely top four House GOP leadership spots look like this:

(1)   Speaker – Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)

(2)   Majority Leader – Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

(3)   Majority Whip – Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

(4)   Conference Chairman – Rep. Jeb Hersarling (R-TX)

It’s always interesting to see where leadership team members are from because it indicates where the strength of the party lies.  Since leadership positions are sought and won by members with multiple terms in office, it’s intriguing to see four Republicans representing each corner of the country.

Contrast this with the locations represented by the outgoing top four House Democrat leaders:

(1)   Speaker – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

(2)   Majority Leader – Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

(3)   Majority Whip – Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)

(4)   Caucus Chairman – Rep. John Larson (D-CT)

Aside from Clyburn, all the Democrat leaders come from deep blue coastal states (e.g. California, Maryland, and Connecticut).  Counting Clyburn, the Democrats’ claim to a “southern” voice is tied to a gerrymandered district designed to elect a liberal African-American.  If Hoyer beats Clyburn for the Minority Whip post, even that fig leaf of regional diversity will blow away.

The House Democratic caucus lost 29 of 57 “blue dog” members last Tuesday, making the remaining chamber membership much more liberal.  It also wiped out the Democrats’ claims to represent regions other than the high-tax, morally bankrupt coasts.  That, combined with Nancy Pelosi’s likely retention as caucus leader, will make it substantially more difficult for the party to recruit viable candidates in 2012.

Conservatives shouldn’t count on gifts like this forever, but for now, we’ll gladly take them.

November 8th, 2010 at 10:08 pm
White House Denial Watch, Day 6
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It’s been clear ever since President Obama’s irritable East Room press conference the day after the midterm elections that the White House is in deep denial over its refutation by the American electorate.

What’s shocking, however, is just how much the bunker mentality is getting noticed even in Democratic circles. A new Politico story by Mike Allen & Jim VandeHei entitled “President Obama Isolated Ahead of 2012” brings an administration dead set on standing athwart reality into sharp relief. The piece, well worth reading in its entirety, is filled to the brim with damning testimonials about the Obama White House’s incompetence on basic politics. One of the more glaring quotes:

… Business leaders, even the few who continue to be Obama-friendly, say they are convinced he is hostile to free markets and the private sector. Some of these executives have balance sheets flush with cash but are reluctant to add jobs or expand in part because they don’t trust Obama’s instincts for growth.

“He used anti-corporate, confrontational rhetoric too for legislative gain and kept doing it after folks found it gratuitous,” a top executive said. “During health reform, it was the bad, evil hospitals. . . Same with financial regulation: It was fat cats, greed, corruption.”

Other executives complained that Obama did not do enough outreach, even after the friction became clear. And executives who did get an audience complain that he is too often behind a podium, not doing the off-the-record question-and-answer sessions that would make them feel more involved and maybe promote understanding between the two sides.

If only two-thirds of this article is true, Obama’s administration is closer to the hapless Jimmy Carter’s than even his most dogged antagonists have realized.


November 4th, 2010 at 10:51 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Nancy Pelosi’s House
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 2nd, 2010 at 10:02 am
“Dewey Defeats Truman” – This Date in History Provides Cautionary Tale
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By all accounts, American voters have regained sobriety and will deliver resounding victories for conservatives today.  This date in history, however, provides a cautionary tale for anyone even thinking of not voting because they assume that victory is in the bag.

Today in 1948, political pundits were so certain of a Thomas Dewey victory over Harry Truman that the Chicago Tribune prematurely published its infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline.  Need another cautionary tale?  How about the 2008 Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken?  There, Franken and his election attorneys somehow contorted an election night deficit into a narrow recount victory, possibly with the help of felon voters.  Nobody’s laughing now that the chronically unfunny Franken routinely makes a mockery of his Senate seat.

So don’t take anything for granted.  Too many people have fought and died to protect your right to affect this nation’s course, and too many people have worked too hard to provide alternatives to the bland “same ol’, same ol'” choice.  You don’t want to be kicking yourself tomorrow.

October 29th, 2010 at 4:02 pm
Video: A Liberal Halloween
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Wondering what some liberal icons will be wearing this Halloween?  CFIF’s Renee Giachino presents you with a speculative guide on what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Vice President Joe Biden and others with be posing as this October 31.

 

October 19th, 2010 at 3:29 pm
Gallup Poll: Republicans Do Something They’ve Never Done Before
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We’re now exactly two weeks from the long-awaited 2010 Congressional midterm election and report card for President Obama.  By now, the question is simply how high the expletive decibel level will ascend on election night inside the White House.

On that front, a Gallup poll brings news every bit as chilly and cloudy for Democrats as today’s Washington, D.C. weather.  In fact, the poll shows a high for Republicans that even 1994 didn’t bring.  According to polling completed this past weekend, Republicans now possess a 5-point lead in voter preference, 48% to 43%.  And here’s the really bad news for Democrats:  that’s not among likely voters, but among registered voters.  (Among likely voters, the GOP lead expands to 11% or 17%, depending on whether the “high turnout” or “low turnout” polling model is applied.)

Let’s put that historic lead in perspective.  In 2002, the party holding the White House hadn’t added both House and Senate seats in its first mid-term since 1934, but the supposedly failed President Bush broke almost 70 years of precedent by adding 8 House and 2 Senate seats.  Even that year, however, Democrats held a 9-point polling lead in mid-October among registered voters.  And during the famous 1994 election season that rejected two years of Clintonian rule alongside a Democratic House and Senate, Republicans only held a 3-point lead on October 18-19, which switched back to a 3-point Democrat lead by October 22-25.  If this is any indication, Democrats aren’t going to need seat belts this year, they’re going to need airbags.

October 18th, 2010 at 10:12 am
Severability Clause: Pelosi Had to Pass the Bill to Find Out What Wasn’t In It
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“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”  That was Nancy Pelosi last March, promoting that Pandora’s Box known as ObamaCare.  Well, it turns out that Pelosi and the bill’s proponents may be upset to find out what is not in it.  Namely, they failed to include a severability clause in their haste.

So what is a “severability clause,” and why might it matter?  A severability clause is a simple provision stating that if a court later declares one or more subsections of a bill void, the remainder of the bill remains valid and enforceable.  Without a severability clause, an entire bill can be jeopardized even if a very small part of it is stricken by the judicial branch.  Now, with separate lawsuits challenging ObamaCare quickly proceeding toward judicial reckoning, it is possible that the entire package may crumble if its individual mandate (forcing free citizens to engage in involuntary commerce by purchasing approved health insurance) or some other clause falls.

There is no guarantee in this regard, as the Supreme Court just this year curiously allowed the tangled Sarbanes-Oxley web to survive despite its own absence of a severability clause.  Nevertheless, the complete demise of ObamaCare due to the failure to add a simple severability provision could be one positive byproduct of ObamaCare’s sloppy birth.

September 24th, 2010 at 12:31 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Party of No More
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

September 17th, 2010 at 9:05 am
“It’s the Spending, Stupid”: WSJ’s Daniel Henninger Should Like CFIF’s “One More Vote” Initiative
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In his weekly Wonder Land column entitled “It’s the Spending, Stupid,” The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger describes how “concern” over out-of-control federal spending has reached the boiling point:

They, the voters, are not ‘concerned’ about Uncle Sam’s spending floating toward the moon.  They are enraged, furious, crazed and desperate.”

Heninger rightfully points out that it won’t be enough for voters to simply return Republicans to House and Senate majorities this November.  Rather, something more lasting, tangible, and assuring is needed:

If voters give control of the House to the GOP, the party desperately needs to establish credibility on spending.  Absent that, little else is possible.  Independent voters now know that the national Democratic Party, hopelessly joined to the public-sector unions, will never stabilize public outlays.  In a sense, the GOP’s impending victory is meaningless, a win by default.  If the Republican rookies entering Congress next year don’t do something identifiably real to stop the federal spending balloon, voters two years from now will start throwing the GOP under the bus.”

Enter CFIF’s new “One More Vote” citizen activist campaign.  “One More Vote” refers to the fact that Congress fell just one vote short in the 1990s of passing a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, and sending it to the states for ratification.  Echoing Daniel Henninger’s commentary this week, the “One More Vote” homepage states that, “Currently, there are several worthy ideas proposed in Congress.  But we need more than ideas.  We need a solution.”  Accordingly, “One More Vote” proposes a Constitutional amendment requiring (1) a federal balanced budget annually, (2) a 60% majority of both houses of Congress to raise the debt ceiling, and (3) a 60% vote of both houses of Congress to increase or create new taxes.

It’s precisely the type of real, lasting and tangible change that enraged American voters described by Henninger demand.  Click on “One More Vote” now, and join the movement.  This time, let’s make sure the change is real.

August 20th, 2010 at 10:54 am
White House Allies: Abandon Claim that ObamaCare Will Reduce Deficit/Costs
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Ohhhh, so ~now~ they tell us?  White House allies are instructing operatives to abandon the claim that ObamaCare will reduce healthcare costs and the deficit.  Instead, they now seek to persuade the electorate that we can “improve it.”

According to Politico, the messaging conference call and PowerPoint presentation acknowledges the failure of the promises shamelessly fed to the public by ObamaCare advocates:

The presentation’s final page of ‘Don’ts’ counsels against claiming ‘the law will reduce costs and the deficit.’  The presentation advises, instead, sales pitches that play on personal narratives and promises to change the legislation.”

If this doesn’t make you angry and ready to line up at dawn to vote this November, have your pulse checked.

August 20th, 2010 at 10:28 am
Video – Pelosi’s Folly: We Learned What’s in the Healthcare Bill

Prior to ramming ObamaCare through Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously pledged that they had to pass the bill in order for the American people to learn what’s in it.  Now that the dust has settled, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses what we’ve “learned.”  It’s not pretty.

 

August 5th, 2010 at 11:32 am
Everything You Need to Know About Pelosi and Company’s Commitment to Deficit Reduction

From a story today in The Hill:

Four House Democrats who have proposed significant spending cuts were chastised at a recent caucus meeting for targeting programs senior appropriators had deemed vital, according to lawmakers and aides.

Reps. Gary Peters (Mich.), John Adler (N.J.), Jim Himes (Conn.) and Peter Welch (Vt.) introduced an amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill that would cut a dozen programs — totaling $1.4 billion — that had been added on top of President Obama’s initial budget request.

It was an effort to target a few government programs to chip away at a massive budget deficit — just as House leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have ordered committee heads to do.

Read the full story here.

August 2nd, 2010 at 10:58 am
Perhaps Tom DeLay Should’ve Played the Race Card
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Pulling the race card is beginning to carry about as much cachet as Y2K alerts.

You know things have gotten bad when even Howard “I Have a Scream” Dean feels entitled to pull it (without bothering to understand that Shirley Sherrod was fired by the Obama Administration before supposedly “racist” Fox News had even referenced her name).  Fox News commentator Juan Williams, who is actually one of the less-insane liberals in public discourse, unfortunately seemed to resort to it yesterday on “Fox News Sunday.”  Commenting on new ethical charges against Rep. Charles Rangel (D – New York) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D – California), Williams immediately raised the issue of the two defendants’ race.  Why in the world should that be the immediate consideration while discussing these serious charges?

Too bad that former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay didn’t think of this.  Hey, if Howard Dean can try it, why not DeLay?

July 20th, 2010 at 10:19 am
Five Reasons Why Sen. Harry Reid’s Joblessness Ploy Is a Bad Idea
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Senate Majority Leader (for the time being, at least)  Harry Reid (D – Nevada) mistakenly believes that he’s got a winning card with his scheduled vote today on yet another unemployment benefit extension.  Reid, along with co-conspirators Nancy Pelosi and President Obama, predictably mischaracterize Republican opposition to the vote that will immediately follow the introduction of replacement West Virginia Senator Carte Goodwin.

But here are some facts.  First, Senate Republicans only request that unemployment benefit extensions be offset with cuts in other forms of runaway federal spending.  Second, Harry Reid’s proposed extension will add $30 billion to this year’s projected $1.4 trillion deficit.  Third, unemployment benefits already stretch for 99 weeks – almost two full years.  Fourth, there have already been seven extensions in unemployment benefits during the period in which Obama’s $1 trillion “stimulus” spending has instead managed to stifle what should be a robust cyclical rebound by this point.  Fifth, even Obama’s own economic advisers have proclaimed that jobless benefits actually perpetuate and exacerbate unemployment itself.

Here’s the better policy prescription:  prevent upcoming tax increases, slow the federal government’s breakneck spending expansion and reduce the threat of anti-growth regulatory uncertainty.  When we implemented those prescriptions during the Reagan Administration, we witnessed astounding two-year gross domestic product growth of approximately 7% over eight consecutive quarters in 1983-1984.  How much longer will it take Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama to finally learn that simple lesson?

June 25th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
The Case Against Financial Regulatory Reform, Summed Up By One of Its Chief Sponsors

Remember when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to put the American people at ease by stating “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it?”  

She was talking about ObamaCare, just prior to its final passage.  At the time, few people – including Pelosi and her Congressional colleagues – actually understood the consequences of passing the unpopular 2,000-plus-page bill.  But to Pelosi and her liberal majority, it was “very, very exciting.”  Never mind that it will actually raise health care costs, force people who like their insurance to get a new plan approved by government bureaucrats and limit access to care. Despite all the warnings and opposition from the American people, hindsight is 20/20, you know.

Well, now it appears that another member of the Congressional leadership has decided to follow Pelosi’s lead while announcing his own excitement about the prospect of passing yet another 2,000-page “reform” bill.

At 5:39 EST this morning – when most Americans were still asleep – key House and Senate lawmakers struck a deal on Financial Regulatory Reform, legislation that gives the federal government broad powers over the nation’s financial sector.   As Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) aptly noted, “it deals with every single aspect of our lives.” 

What does that mean for the average American family out there?  Well, according to Mr. Dodd, “No one will know until this is actually in place how it works.” 

Huh?  When the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and a chief architect of this legislation admits that he doesn’t know – indeed, that “no one will know” – the  consequences of a bill that he largely wrote and that “deals with every single aspect of our lives,” shouldn’t that be reason enough to oppose it?

April 22nd, 2010 at 11:01 am
Pelosi’s Big News: Taxpayers Just Spent $140,000 on New Light Fixtures and Window Shades for the House Cafeteria

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had some big news to announce yesterday.  So in typical Washington fashion, she did what any politician would do.  Pelosi called a press conference.  Her big news?  With the Capitol Hill press corps huddled before her, the Speaker announced that she had spent $140,000 in taxpayer money on new “energy efficient” light fixtures and window shades for the House cafeteria.

But that’s not all.  The fancy new light fixtures and window shades, which automatically raise and lower based on the amount of sunlight that shines through, were a bargain, according to Pelosi and Stephen Ayers, the Architect of the Capitol.  Indeed, Ayers bragged:

I think this fixture was $800 a year ago, and it’s now just over $300, so in one year that’s a pretty significant savings – which allows us to begin using this kind of equipment and technology, because we’re able to get a good return on investment.  At $800 a fixture we can’t get a good return on investment, but when it gets down to $300 – and I’m sure it will go even lower – we’re able to get a good return on investment.”

And just how “good” will that “return on investment” be?  So “good” that Ayers and Pelosi believe that, based on estimates of what will be saved in energy costs, it will only take, well, a mere decade for the light fixtures and window shades to pay for themselves. 

Okay, okay.   What’s $140,000 in the grand scheme of things?  Especially when you consider the federal deficit will exceed $1.5 trillion this year alone.  But that’s not the point.

At a time when millions of Americans are out of work, and millions more are taking to the streets to protest excessive government spending, including the Speaker’s push to cripple the U.S. economy with a “climate change” bill complete with a job-killing Cap-and-Trade scheme, it’s the symbolism of it all.

We’re sure there are many Americans who would love to replace the light fixtures and window treatments in their homes.  But times are tough.  Just as the average American family has been forced to do without new luxuries for their house, with record deficits strangling the federal budget, the time has long passed for Pelosi to do without in hers too!

April 9th, 2010 at 9:12 am
Stupak to Retire. So Was It All Worth It, Congressman?
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Congressman Bart Stupak (D – Michigan), whose “I voted against the bill before I voted for it” sellout proved pivotal in foisting ObamaCare upon America, now announces he will not run for reelection this November.

So tell us, Congressman – was it all worth it?  You initially took a principled stand against ObamaCare, but then sold out your own cause on the basis of a promise from Barack Obama to issue an executive order, which doesn’t carry the force of Congressional law.  This is the same Barack Obama who promised during his campaign to abide by public campaign finance limitations, then changed his mind when that became politically inconvenient.  The same Barack Obama who opposed Hillary Clinton’s healthcare proposal because it imposed an individual mandate, but whose ultimate bill included that same individual mandate.

Now, even Politico comments that “without Stupak on the ballot, the seat becomes an immediate pickup opportunity for Republicans.”  In other words, even Nancy Pelosi now knows how it feels to be blindsided by Bart Stupak.

April 8th, 2010 at 8:57 am
Facilitating Obamunism: Almost Half of Americans Now Pay No Income Tax
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How will we halt the growth of big government when a majority of citizens contribute less than they receive in benefits from the state?

As Congressman Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin) and others note, when that “tipping point” is reached, it will incentivize voters to perpetually increase government spending and taxes, since “the rich” are the only ones paying for the largess.  Unfortunately, we continue to approach that dangerous point in America.  According to the Tax Policy Center, an astonishing 47% of Americans owed the federal government no income taxes in 2009.  In other words, almost half of Americans are immune from actually paying income tax for the benefits everyone enjoys, such as national defense, education, police, fire and highways.  Moreover, despite absurd claims that “the rich don’t pay their fair share,” the top 10% of income earners pay almost 75% of the nation’s income taxes.  In contrast, the bottom 40% of income earners actually profit from the federal income tax, because they receive more dollars in tax credits than they otherwise owe.

Those on the left welcome this phenomenon, because it encourages voters to further enlarge the nanny state (as in, Nanny Pelosi state?).  And why not?  The suckers who actually work hard and increase their incomes will have to pay for it all, anyway.

March 25th, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Who Knew Nancy Pelosi Was a Peter Drucker Acolyte?

Probably not even the Speaker herself.  But that doesn’t change the fact that her managing of Obamacare mirrors the characteristics of effective leaders Drucker identifies in his classic, The Effective Executive.  There are eight points Drucker sees in every effective executive.

(1)    They asked, “What needs to be done?”

(2)    They asked, “What is right for the enterprise?”

(3)    They developed action plans.

(4)    They took responsibility for decisions.

(5)    They took responsibility for communicating.

(6)    They were focused on opportunities rather than problems.

(7)    They ran productive meetings.

(8)    They thought and said “we” rather than “I.”

I think most observers would agree that Pelosi nailed numbers 3-8, and number 1; especially with her members in Congress.  Was anyone certain she wouldn’t pass the bill?  If I had to pick a flaw it would be failure to comply with number 2, the only normative criteria on the list.  It isn’t right for the American enterprise and its constitutional structure to ram a bill through Congress by using tricks and gimmicks because doing so destroys people’s confidence that we are a nation of rules, not (wo)men.  But as we see with Democrats like Pelosi, the only thing that matters is “winning” – even if it means corrupting government in the process.

For that, Dr. Drucker would no doubt be appalled.