Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pew Poll Reports No Shift Toward Liberalism

We all know that the media coverage of President Obama has been stridently tilted and biased towards every favorable angle possible. Not since John F. Kennedy has such slobbering press coverage been disguised as journalism, according to Robert Samuelson in recently.

Samuelson describes it as "collective fawning". From the campaign trail to the White House, the treatment continues. The President and his administration are a thin-skinned bunch and one tactic to tamp down opposition is to use Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to mock critics and act as though questions are not serious enough for answers. It is a smug and condescending White House press office. We will see how long the White House press corps goes along with the scenario.

"The infatuation matters because Obama's ambitions are so grand. He wants to expand health care subsidies, tightly control energy use and overhaul immigration." "He envisions the greatest growth of government since Lyndon Johnson."

Despite one campaign pledge after another broken or re-vamped, the press declines to notice. Candidate Obama pledged a bi-partisan approach to governing. Instead of showing true leadership, he has farmed out his legislative agenda to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who in turn excludes Republican input. He maintains most of the Bush years national security policies, very quietly, and with Executive Orders. He was an outspoken critic of the Bush policies and the use of Executive Orders as a candidate.

This is the problem with a President with no governing experience and no apparent true leadership qualities. He has been a perpetual candidate for his political career and it shows. His core is empty. He relies on promising everything to his base of support and then, in office, pursuing whichever path will be most fruitful to him for the next election.

Candidate Obama criticized the national deficit and now has committed the U.S. government to spending that is more than his predecessors, all combined. There is a national deficit, thanks to Obama policy, for as far as the eye can see, and the press is silent about inconsistencies.

There is hope: "A great edifice of government may arise on the narrow foundation of Obama's personal popularity. Another Pew survey shows that since the election both self-identified Republicans and Democrats have declined. Independents have increased, and there has been no consistent movement away from conservatism, nor a shift toward liberalism."

"No consistent movement away from conservatism, nor a shift toward liberalism." Good news indeed.

The press has much invested in this President. They are determined to do everything possible to see that he does not fail.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Senator Hutchinson Proposes Amendment to Help Dealerships

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson introduced an amendment that gives dealerships due to be closed on June 9, 60 more days to close and sell remaining inventory.

From the press release:

"My amendment simply states that no funds shall be expended from the Treasury to an auto manufacturer that has notified a dealership that it will be terminated without providing at least 60 days for that dealership to wind down its operations and sell its inventory. Sixty days are all we're asking for. Frankly, I wish we could go much further, because I fundamentally disagree with the decision to arbitrarily and unnecessarily close down these auto dealers."

Amendment 1189 to H.R. 2346, the Supplemental Appropriations Act:

"No funds shall be expended from the Treasury to an auto manufacturer which has notified a dealership that it will be terminated without providing at least 60 days for that dealership to wind down its operations and sell its inventory."

The amendment is endorsed by the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The ripple effect of the closing of these dealerships will impact towns and cities across the country. Especially in smaller cities and towns, the local dealership is looked to as a supporter for everything from Little League to Big Brother/Big Sister and United Way agencies.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chrysler Dealers Feel the Chicago Style of White House

More is being mentioned of the mounting evidence that the Chrysler dealerships being forced to close are Republican-owned businesses. It appears the White House is using the auto industry mess to target Republican-owned dealerships to extract a pound of political revenge.

Politics, Chicago style.

According to an article in the Washington Examiner, Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan is one of the dealership owners to receive the axe from Washington. He owns 23 dealerships in Florida and North Carolina. He is a Republican who replaced former Rep. Katherine Harris.

It is also interesting to note that the chain of Arkansas and Missouri dealerships owned by former Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McLarty and BET network founder Robert Johnson has not been touched while its competitors are being closed. Both men are, of course, heavy Democrat donors.

The article by Mark Tapscott states, "A lawyer representing a group of Chrysler dealers who are on the hit list deposed senior Chrysler executives and later told Reuters that he believes the closings have been forced on the company by the White House."

The Examiner's Michael Barone calls it "gangster government".

"The White House car czar Steven Rattner is married to Maureen White, the former national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. And let's not forget that before Rattner became a Wall Street mover and shaker, he was a New York Times reporter."

Probably just all a coincidence.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sotomayor Is Not Our Battle

To My Fellow GOPers:

President Obama has nominated Sonia Sotomayor to be the next Supreme Court Justice. Deal with it. This is one liberal replacing an outgoing liberal. The balance on the Court remains the same.

This is not the time to talk of nonsense like filibusters or trashing the nominee as a person. That is what the Democrats do when they are not in power. Disagree on her decisions? Sure. Disagree on her view on judicial activism? Definitely. Point out her honest record and her reversals by the Supreme Court? Fair game.

Do not, I repeat, do not even think about demanding a filibuster or insisting her nomination be held up due to procedural maneuvers. That is what Democrats do when they are not in power. Why was Sotomayor nominated and brought onto the bench in the first place? Yes, it was George H.W. Bush and his decision but it was due to an agreement struck with Daniel Patrick Moynihan to get seven positions filled, some vacant for over 17 months. The Democrats got 2 nominees and the Republicans got 5 nominees. She was one of their two.

I find it more than a bit ironic that those who will protest most loudly over the Sotomayor nomination are those who probably didn't even bother to vote last November. Do you know that if the millions who simply stayed home instead of voting for John McCain, because he wasn't "pure" enough for them, had not put themselves over their own country, we wouldn't have this discussion now? Elections have consequences.

It cannot be said enough - elections have consequences. Today, as the most liberal Democrat works in the White House, socializing everything from the auto industry to our health care system, Republicans want to squawk and complain that some Republicans aren't "conservative" enough. They don't need no stinkin' big tent. They actually think they have some kind of magic authority to demand some be kicked out of the party, as though the Republican party is a private club. These are the same who complain that moderate Republicans are "country club Republicans." Ironic, yes?

Listen to this carefully- in order to win elections, a political party needs the most votes cast. It is as simple as that. The winner gets to make policy decisions. The winner gets to make nominations. The winner wins. Period.

The Republican party is the original big tent party. Did we all forget that? This is the party of Abe Lincoln. This is the party without whom there would have been no Civil Rights Act. This is the party that promotes small business development - the steam engine of our economy. This is the party that stands up for education for poor children trapped in failing schools. This is the party that truly believes in freedom of speech and religion. This is the party that believes in gun rights as a basic tenet from our founding fathers.

So, stop it all already. Liberals are relishing in the distractions of our party's re-building. We need all who would call themselves Republican and those who are Independents, yet identify with the Republicans far more often than Democrats. The up and coming Hispanic vote is ours for the taking. Hispanic families are centered on conservative values.

This is the time to talk of the differences between a GOP nominee and a Democratic nominee. This is the time to talk of judicial activism versus the rule of law. This is the time to talk of our Constitution and not of "empathy". This is the time to point to the fact that those sitting on the Supreme Court due to Republican nominations have compelling "life stories", too. The first woman on the Supreme Court was put there by Ronald Reagan. The first black Secretary of State was for President G.W. Bush. Republicans can point to just as many ground-breaking appointments as Democrats and now is not the time to be muted.

It is well past time for Republicans to be vocal on issues that matter most to voters. Fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, personal responsibility, school choice, freedom of speech, and most importantly - respectful dialogue. That is growing the party. There is no way to win an election with less votes.

Common sense. Purity tests are ludicrous. No one has the right to judge who is and who is not a 'true Republican'. It continues to amaze me that those so adamant against John McCain fail to understand he was a conservative - pro life, never voted for tax hikes, no earmarks, a Reagan Republican. But it wasn't enough. He was labelled not pure enough. And, now we live with the most liberal Democrat ever in the White House. The most pro-abortion, including infanticide, Democrat in the White House. The least friendly to business and employment in the White House.

Continue to shut out people, continue to be small minded and judgemental, and the party continues to shrink. No one says to lose basic party values. The basics that Republicans agree on are all still there. The party is big enough for everyone. Or else, we will be in the wilderness for a very long time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Was Governor Perry's Agenda?

So, what was the agenda of legislation wishes from Governor Perry this session? Was there an agenda at all?

Republican women have written to him denouncing the statement of his chief campaign consultant who told "the Dallas newspaper that expanding the GOP philosophical base is like opening a "whorehouse". That according to R.G. Ratcliffe in the Houston Chronicle, from the Austin bureau. The women wrote that Perry was keeping "with how you've governed - through division and an appeal to fear."

Perry created a national embarrassment by implying a possible secession of the State of Texas from the union and then spent the next full month answering questions about his statements. What kind of publicity is that for the state? Then he claimed to be refusing stimulus money but in fact, is not. His qualm was with the strings attached to unemployment benefits but the very changes he opposed passed without problem in the Senate. A Republican dominated Senate. It appears ready to pass in the House, too.

Ratcliffe's article points out that the Senate rejected his appointee to the parole board, due to incompetence. And, his nominee for Board of Education chairman "is in grave danger." "House lawmakers also voted to abolish the Texas Department of Transportation, which is chaired by Perry's former chief of staff and replace it with an elected commission."

"I don't ever get concerned about what goes on in the Legislature," Perry said recently. "I've been doing this for 20 years. It ebbs ad flows." Perhaps after 20 years, the Governor's time on the taxpayer's payroll is over.

Many think Perry is simply distracted by an upcoming challenge in the Republican primary for his re-election by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. He has taken to throwing the red meat of silly statements like the potential for state secession and for the claims of refusing federal monies so as to stoke the far right of the party.

Is this the leadership Texas needs?

The Politics of Fear

A common talking point today is that the former administration used the politics of fear - fear mongering - to promote their policies which kept our country safe for the past years after the attacks of 9/11/01. This, I think, points to a very basic divide in the thinking of a conservative and a liberal concerning national security.

A new star is rising within the Republican party. Her name is Liz Cheney and she is the daughter of former VP Cheney. She has been on the talk show circuit defending her father’s decision to give a policy speech in defense of the Bush Doctrine and their decisions made during their two terms in office. Did you see Liz Cheney debate CNN’s Anderson Cooper? It was brilliant. Here is the link:

What you will see is a calm, yet firm argument from Ms. Cheney that rebukes the false claims put forth by Cooper. She challenges his assumption that President Obama and Democrats are correct when they claim GITMO is a recruitment tool for terrorists. She points out that the attacks in the 1990’s against the U.S., whether the 1993 WTC bombing or the African embassy bombings or the attack on the USS Cole, even 9/11/01, were all carried out before GITMO was even on a drawing board. She was never rude and she didn’t revert to nasty name calling to beef up her argument. She’s a class act.

The liberal part of the Democratic party believe that the Bush administration scared the country silly in order to receive support on the war on terror. Why do they claim that? I think it is because, in fact, that the Democrats use fear - and constant crisis mode - in order to push through their agenda, usually domestic policy. Think back to the Clinton terms - everything was a crisis. Everything had to be pushed through in a hurry. The same can be said of today’s Obama administration. Legislation is not being properly debated in the halls of Congress. The Republicans are virtually shut out of a large part of the process. Everything is being rushed before a majority of Americans wake up out of their stupor and demand a slow down - a more thoughtful process for such large decisions.

I would argue that if you are not living with a bit of fear in today’s world, you have your head in the sand. We are a nation under attack. Evil people, both internationally and domestically, plot to destroy us. Homegrown terrorists are surfacing on a regular basis. And, in domestic policy, President Obama and his fellow Democrats are socializing our American life a bit more as each week passes. Not wanting to waste the fears of the American voters during this economic crisis, the Democrats argue that this is the time for the federal government to take over ownership of everything from the auto industry to our system of health care delivery.

Take the fear and work for effective change. Fear is a great motivator.

Cross Posted:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Honor Our Heroes on Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day.

Bar-b-ques, parades, flags waving, concerts featuring patriotic music, lots of gatherings. It's all good. Most important, though, is to remember why we have the freedom to enjoy a day to honor our fallen heroes, as well as those currently serving. Thank a soldier. Here's some easy ways to do that - you don't even have to leave your chair.

Stand Up America USA
In 2005, MG Paul Vallely founded this organization to organize multi-media projects - publication of articles and books, radio and television appearances, speaking engagements and the web site. At, the visitor can read the latest on global and domestic politics, the Global War on Terrorism, economics issues and cultural issues, too.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation
Journalist Bob Woodruff was injured while covering the Iraq War and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He and his wife, Lee, founded The Bob Woodruff Foundation to provide resources and provide support to injured service members, veterans and their families. The goal is to raise $1.65 million by today - this number represents the 1.65 million troops who have deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Most importantly, the foundation focuses on those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries. If you are on Twitter, you can participate with support for the cause at: . The website is .

Warrior Legacy Foundation
This foundation, a non-partisan 501C4 organization, has a commitment to protection and promoting the reputation and dignity of America's warriors. The foundation is an advocate for the preservation and elevation of the legacy of our American heroes.

There are many organizations, foundations, community groups and individual projects out there that could use some help to honor our military. These are just three that are relatively new and easily accessible.

Thank a soldier. Honor the fallen.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Is Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House or Queen?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gave her weekly press conference Friday afternoon. This was her first audience with the media since her charges that the CIA lied to her and regularly lies to those with whom the agency briefs. After that train wreck of an appearance she promptly hightailed it out of town and spent last weekend in Arizona, too busy to accept requests for interviews on the Sunday morning shows.

So, yesterday Pelosi appeared behind her podium with several men at either side. She allowed the likes of her arch rival Majority whip Steny Hoyer and Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen to filibuster the time allowed. She finally asked for questions, 30 minutes into the gig, and when asked about the previous week's statements slurring the CIA, she shot the question down with a statement that there would be no more statements on that subject. She put on as stern a face as the botox would allow and in her firmest mommy voice said that was that. No more questions on that subject. She would not even utter the initials C I A. And, most amazingly of all was the fact that the slobbering press allowed it. They went on to talk about the subjects she wanted to focus on - energy and health care.

Some of the "journalists" present decided to yell a couple of questions on 'the subject' as Pelosi exited the room and those were predictably ignored.

In another predictable move, the House rejected a call from Republicans to investigate Pelosi's claims. Even after CIA chief Leon Panetta issued a letter to agency officers and workers that the CIA "briefed truthfully" and tried to inspire increased morale, the Democrats have circled around Pelosi.

All of this fits perfectly into the scenario painted by Jake Tapper on the blog Political Punch at ABC News. He, too, would like to know if we have an empire building here or if anyone is even noticing? On April 27 President Obama hosted the University of Ct Lady Huskies basketball team. They recently won the NCAA women's basketball championship. The White House press corps was not allowed to follow the team and the president as Obama shot hoops with the women. The White House decided to do their own filming, editing, interviews with the young women and even add on chyrons to identify who was speaking on the YouTube video.

The White House has a nasty habit of excluding the press and doing their own press. No opportunity for inconvenient questions that way. Jake Tapper called it "OTV" and bets that there would be quite a few takers for it. Why not, the sheep were too unquestioning during the lead up to the election. They are quite willing to accept whatever the spin machine from the Obama camp tells them.

The danger, of course, is that these first small steps often lead to much larger abuses. The people of Venezuela can talk about jailed journalists and a power crazed leader.

Both Pelosi and Obama are elected officials, accountable to the American people. Remember all the complaining about the Bush administration and its "secrecy", the claims that George W. Bush was acting as though he were King instead of President? Pot meet kettle.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cheney Speaks Up

Yesterday former Vice President Cheney spoke to a full room at American Enterprise Institute on the subject of national security and the policies of the Bush administration in fighting the war on terror. As a former secretary of defense, the former vice president has an experienced point of view. And, he has the viewpoint of one who has been in the meetings and helped form the policy.

Cheney is not willing to stand by and allow history to be re-written for the convenience of a new president and his personal goal of re-election to a second term. Thank you, Dick Cheney.

President Obama scheduled his speech - ironically given at the National Achieves, though his people no doubt thought it clever - only last Friday. The Cheney speech was booked over two weeks ago. Those questioning why two speeched on the same day have only Obama to ask. Obviously he felt the need to tell his own story. The Democrats in the Senate overwhelming voted along with the Republicans to deny Obama funding to close GITMO as he doesn't even have a plan to carry out this Executive Order that was so very important it had to be done on his very first day in office. It was purely theatrics - pandering to the far left that initially supported him in the primaries and allowed him to eventually beat Hillary Clinton - and he would be able to say he fulfilled a campaign promise. Even his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, now admits it was a hasty action that now must be "re-wound".

Gibbs, when asked about the dueling speeches, said that Cheney is "extending the argument" about closing GITMO and techniques used there to gather intelligence. He said that Obama is "strongly committed to changing how we conduct foreign policy." That is stating the obvious.

In Obama's speech, he declared he is not interested in finger pointing and then he proceeded to point to the Bush administration in a negative light 28 times. Pundit Charles Krauthammer called Obama "a master of disingenuous".

Cheney said,"When President Obama makes wise decisions, as I believe he has done in some respects on Afghanistan, and in reversing his plan to release incendiary photos, he deserves our support. And when he faults or mischaracterizes the national security decisions we made in the Bush years, he deserves an answer."

"So we're left to draw one of two conclusions - and here is the great dividing line in our current debate over national security. you can look at the facts and conclude that the comprehensive strategy has worked, and therefore needs to be continued as vigilantly as ever. Or you can look at the same set of facts and conclude that 9/11 was a one-off event - coordinated, devastating, but also unique and not sufficient to justify a sustained wartime effort. Whichever conclusion you arrive at, it will shape your entire view of the last seven years, and of the policies necessary to protect America for years to come."

Cheney calls for the release of the documents that show which techniques worked in gathering intelligence. Obama refuses, so far, to sign an Executive Order to release them. That is all it would take. He simply could have walked up to the second floor of the National Achieves after his speech which re-wrote history for his own benefit and signed the order. Everyone could read both sets of documents - those Obama released, though heavily redacted, to let every terrorist in the world read of our techniques, and those that would show what worked. Simple enough. One can only conclude that Obama doesn't want to be exposed as a panderer again at the expense of the safety of the American people.

I don't think our Constitution or our country will collapse due to the fact that three (3) prisoners were waterboarded. The naysayers would like you to think it was every prisoner there. It was not. It was three.

President Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Blair stated that high value information came from the methods used at GITMO. You may remember Blair is in this position as a trophy to the 'bipartisan' approach the Obama administration claims to take. Blair is certainly a qualified and dedicated professional. But, interestingly enough, his statements about the effectiveness of the techniques have been scrubbed from the Obama website.

The two speeches delivered on the same day show that we are a nation in need of a healthy debate. One-sided dialogue and lectures do not accomplish reasoned thought.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

President Obama Defends His National Security Decisions

It's official - President Barack Obama is in full blown re-election mode. Today he delivered a speech justifying his hasty and incorrect decisions made to appease either side of the political aisle - he was for the release of photos before he was against it - with the bonus of incorrectly identifying his Secretary of Defense as he proclaimed the safety of the American people is first priority with him.

President Obama decided to make his defensive speech into a personal story, as frequently happens. He is a narcissistic human and everything, it turns out, is all about him. "I stand here today as someone whose own life was made possible by these documents. My father came to our shores in search of the promise that they offered. My mother made me rise before dawn to learn of their truth when I lived as a child in a foreign land. My own American journey was paved by generations of citizens who gave meaning to those simple words - "to form a more perfect union." I have studied the Constitution as a student; I have taught it as a teacher; I have been bound by it as a lawyer and legislator. I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief, as a citizen, I know that we must never - ever - turn our back on its enduring principles for expedience sake."

Me, me, me. What American doesn't have a story of family immigration? We are a nation of immigrants. Why not carry it full circle and state that the rising before dawn in a foreign land was in Indonesia to say Muslim prayers with his Muslim step-father? Isn't this is personal story, too? His mother who left her children in Hawaii to be raised by the grandparents as she trekked around Indonesia and Africa for her work in Marxist theory?


Mr. Obama, heralded as oh so much smarter than that dunce George W. Bush, acknowledged the presence of the Secretary of Defense as "William Gates." For those playing along at home, the correct name is "Robert Gates", or if you're up for it, "Bob" Gates.

There was much irony in the speech delivered by President Obama. At the beginning he referenced "hasty" decisions made by the previous administration as they scrambled to keep our country safe after the attacks of 9/11/01. "Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions." Ironic in light of the fact that this whole speech is to bolster his decision to close GITMO while the Senate vote yesterday produced only 6 members willing to vote in favor of giving the President money to close GITMO without a clear plan. Even Press Secretary Gibbs described the Executive Order to close the facility as "hasty". Decisions have consequences.

President Obama heralded his ban on enhanced interrogation methods but failed to mention his Executive Order to allow rendition to continue. He brought in the name of John McCain as someone who was against enhanced interrogation methods but not as someone highly critical of the Obama decision to close GITMO without a clear plan. He referenced Sen. Lindsey Graham - a JAG- as someone who has voiced a favorable opinion that prisoners don't escape from SuperMax facilities - but not to the fact that Graham in on record as against bringing GITMO detainees to this country, and that he believes it violates current immigration laws.

President Obama points to the fact that 2/3 of the detainees in GITMO were released by the Bush administration. Well, if Obama thinks it is good to release them, since they have been there so long with only 3 trials so far, then why the criticism?

Obama claims our country's "moral authority" has been damaged. He is of the proficiently apologizing crowd of politicians, so this is not a surprising claim. However, it is interesting to whom the rest of the world continues to come for assistance - yes, America.

"Now, over the last several weeks, we have seen a return of the politicization of these issues that have characterized the last several years. I understand that these problems arouse passions and concerns. They should. We are confronting some of the most complicated questions that a democracy can face. But I have no interest i spending our time re-litigating the policies of the last eight years. I want to solve these problems, and I want to solve them together as Americans." That's really interesting, considering he has been at the forefront of making national security a political issue. As a candidate running for Senate in Illinois, he was conveniently anti-Iraq war. As candidate running for President, he couldn't deliver a speech without criticizing foreign policy and military decisions of the former administration - as we were a nation at war with troops overseas. He still puts into every speech either "long before I was President" or the "last eight years" or the "failed policies of the Bush administration". Plus, he left the door open to "truth commissions" to lead to prosecuting the former administration for their political opinion and decisions.

"I ran for President promising transparency, and I meant what I said." Except in the website which is to have everything on it and doesn't even come close. Except in living up to his promise to allow 5 days between a bill arriving on his desk and its signing, which also hasn't happened.

And, three or more references were made blaming the media for story lines stoking political divides. He didn't, however, bother to point to the fact that the slobbering press is very firmly planted on his side of every debate. Some press members so unprofessionally biased as to refer to former Bush administration members speeches as "sleazy" and others to publicly claim it is their "job" to see to it that Obama succeeds as President. Who of us can even imagine such help from the media given to former President Bush?

President Obama, is Michelle really proud of America yet?

Joint Resolutions in the House and Senate to Watch

During the legislative update at the Greater Houston Council of Federated Republican Women Tuesday, several Senate and House Joint Resolutions were mentioned as pending legislation to keep an eye on.

SJR1 - A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to limiting the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve. (6 terms for House of Representatives and 2 terms as a Senator)

SJR4 - A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to abolish the electoral college and to provide the direct popular election of the President and Vice President of the United States.

SJR6- A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Untied States relating to United States citizenship.
A person born in the United States shall not be a citizen of the United States unless:
1) one parent of the person is a citizen of the United States;
2) one parent of the person is an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States who resides in the United States;
3) one parent of the person is an alien performing active service in the Armed Forces of the United States; or
4) the person is naturalized in accordance with the laws of the United States.

HJR5 - A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd article of amendment thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

As Texas residents and as residents of a state greatly affected by illegal immigration, many members present at the district meeting were curious about the joint resolution on an amendment to the Constitution about U.S. citizenship. This was introduced back in January by Senator Vitter (R-LA). We all know that currently any baby born in our country is automatically a U.S. citizen, regardless of the legal status of the mother.

I asked Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) about the status of this resolution in the Senate yesterday during a bloggers tele-conference. Senator Cornyn pointed to the fact that a Constitutional amendment would be the proper action for such legislation, due to the 14th Amendment. Though originally put in place to deal with public education, the 14th Amendment states:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside."

As the Supreme Court confirmed in 1873, in Slaughter-House cases and in 1884 in Elk v Wilkins, the phrase "subject to its jurisdiction" was interpreted to exclude "children of ministers, consuls, and citizens of foreign states born within the United States. At the time, there was no issue of illegal immigration into our country. Times have changed and this is a major problem to states which must provide services for its citizens.

And, on HRJ5, the joint resolution to remove limitations on the number of terms an individual may serve as President: this is troubling, particularly in light of the current President and his push to put government in charge of all aspects of our lives.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Perry Adviser Continues Nasty Campaign Speech

"I don't think you could get far enough off the highway on the right-hand side to get to Rick Perry's right." "Is there anything too wacky that he wouldn't say to win that primary?" Those quotes from Charles Cook, editor of Cook Political Report.

As Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Gov Rick Perry square off for the Republican nomination for the 2010 election for Texas Governor, the nastiness continues from the Perry camp. First it was public boasting of his campaign that Hutchinson's husband was fair game and his career as a successful attorney in Texas would be under the microscope and now a quote from a Perry political consultant comes to light, via an article at : "But that doesn't mean you take your principles and throw them out the door and become a whorehouse and let anybody in who wants to come in, regardless," Dave Carney said.

Carney is worried. Senator Hutchinson brings voters who are moderate Republicans and Independents. It is impossible for a Republican candidate anywhere, yes even in red state Texas, to win an election without Independent voters. Both parties vie for Independents in Texas as they do in other states. Governor Perry is beholden to the far right of the Republican party - the social conservatives who only vote according to their own "moral" litmus tests.

As Rich Galen, a GOP political consultant and former Hutchinson adviser, says "What Hutchinson is saying is that what most of us are looking for is a party that has core fiscal principles - Republican principles that include people who may or may not agree on the social issues." Galen is a former chief of staff to Speaker Newt Gingrich and to VP Dan Quayle. Is he now not "Republican " enough to pass the litmus test?

So, the Perry adviser feels perfectly comfortable to say - out loud - that courting all votes is somehow to lose your core principles and to turn your philosophy into a "whorehouse". Sexist and ignorant. While more conservative voters turn out in primaries, the general voting population is more to the center-right, as is the State of Texas.

Galen says, "You can't win a major race without the independents, and independents are leaving the Republican Party. "From a professional's standpoint, you cannot win elections by getting more votes from fewer people." How many more times must the deaf litmus testers hear those words?

Senator Hutchinson is a Republican. She is fiscally conservative, strong on national defense, and is a strong voice for Texas in Washington, D.C. She backs the ban on federal funding of abortions and she is against late-term abortion. She is in favor of parental notification.

Governor Perry, a former Democrat himself, is leaning on the purity litmus test from the social conservatives to win the primary. He is actively bringing on board politically active pastors - which Republicans traditionally criticize Democrats when they use religion as a political issue. His popularity rating is in the low 30's.

Senator Hutchinson will win the support of suburban voters, women, and economic conservatives. She has a strong, proven record on voting in favor of a consistent robust national defense. Governor Perry only recently became serious over border issues.

Both are Republicans. Both can win over a Democrat as Governor in Texas. But for one to try to out-conservative another using such nasty campaigning - to a fellow Republican - well, what would Ronald Reagan say? The Eleventh Commandment - don't speak ill of a fellow Republican. Or a sister Republican.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ted Cruz, Rising Republican Star

Earlier in the year, I heard a guest speaker at a Republican women's district meeting that left me with much hope for the Republican future of the state of Texas. The speaker was Ted Cruz and he is running for state attorney general. I wrote about my impressions of him then.

Recently Mark Hemingway wrote a piece on Cruz for National Review Online weekend digital column. Cruz is gaining national attention as a rising star in the Republican party. This is his first effort at elected office. He is 38 and a new dad. His most powerful attribute is his ability to communicate to an audience. And, he most of all is unhappy enough with the Republican party to run for office and share his vision for the future. He fully understands how critical it is to be a good communicator in order to win elections. "I think what we misunderstand is that the ability to persuade and inspire is the single most important tool any public leader has." He went on to explain to Hemingway the importance of history changing speeches by Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate and Churchill's "We shall never surrender" speech.

He is a common sense conservative. "One thing Republicans do that I think is disastrous is that many conservatives try and beat their chest and say, "We are so terribly conservative --Attila the Hun, he was such a squish! But what Reagan did was say, 'The values I'm talking about are commonsense American values that have been part of this country for over 200 years. They're the values that have been in every small town and every business throughout this country.' And he connected with people."

Cruz possesses an impressive record of accomplishment even before running for public office. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. He is a debate champion. He has argued before the Supreme Court - successfully. He is the youngest to be appointed solicitor general of Texas and the longest serving. He won the Best Brief Award form the National Association of Attorneys General for 5 years in a row. And, he clerked for Supreme Court chief justice William Rehnquist. He presented 8 oral arguments before the Supreme Court. He won a landmark second amendment case - District of Columbia v. Heller. He was a domestic policy adviser for George W. Bush's 2000 campaign and then became an honest critic of the administration as it strayed from the core Republican principles.

He is an advocate of federalism. And, his vision forward is that of "opportunity conservatives", a simple and direct policy of enhancing opportunity, personal responsibility and the chance to realize the American dream.

Ted Cruz has a bright future ahead of him.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Governor Perry Dost Protest Too Much

A few days past the one month mark from the national protests known as the Tea Parties, the Governor of Texas is still trying to clean up what in the world he was trying to say as he spoke before a gathering in Austin.

On April 15, Governor Perry grabbed the microphone and the national spotlight as he tossed some red meat to the crowd - Texans are fed up and the state just may secede if Washington doesn't shape up. The crowd was a mix of bi-partisan support for lower taxes, an end to the power grabs on display in Washington, and smaller government in the lives of ordinary citizens. Governor Perry, a conservative Republican governor, is a savvy politician. A former Democrat, this is not his first rodeo. He coyly rose to support federalism while implying the ultimate - for the state of "don't mess with" Texas to simply withdraw from the Union.

Absurd? Of course. Tons o' fun for the media? You betcha. Governor Perry rode that bit of nonsense all the way with lots of interviews and op-eds. Governor Perry, further proving he doesn't get the Tea Party idea, after all, joined in with Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina to have a "Tea Party 2.0" via teleconference. Both have received lots of press for standing firm on what stimulus money their states will and will not accept from the federal government. By conducting a phone conference, they both prove they are willing to seize the Tea Party idea and exploit it for their own uses.

Texas is not rejecting all stimulus money, let that be clear. Susan Combs, state controller, has placed the state's expenditures and revenues online. She has the site in place to track all federal funds and how they are spent after they reach Austin. Governor Perry rejects the amount of federal money that comes with the strings attached as it pertains to unemployment compensation.

In Sunday's Austin American - Statesman, Perry once again denied that the State of Texas will secede under his leadership. "I can't say I was surprised that critics recast my defense of federalism and fiscal discipline into advocacy for secession from the Union. I have never advocated for secession and never will." Of course he wasn't "surprised". He counted on the cheers from the crowd as he spewed forth with the veiled threats and cameras rolling.

Perry is up for re-election. From where I sit, he is not deserving of a third term. An unprecedented third term for a Texas governor. It is time for leadership with tempered speech. Common sense decency.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Petition The RNC To Stop Stupid Resolution

The RNC is in some serious need of a shake-up. Recently, at a meeting of like-minded women, I heard from a insider source that the RNC is suffering due to the old elephants with a complete absence of constructive action plans versus new leadership with fresh ideas on how to move forward as a political party. Here is some proof of the insanity:

A special session has been called for next week with a resolution up for vote as part of the agenda. The resolution is to rebrand the Democrats as the "Democrat Socialist Party". This is not a joke. And, believe me when I tell you that I am not laughing. I am furious.

What the hell is going on? Let me be clear - any RNC member voting in the affirmative for this 10 kinds of crazy resolution has to be shown the door immediately. There is a Facebook page to sign a petition telling the RNC : Don't Pass That Stupid "Democrat Socialist" Resolution. That 's the name of the page and it is in the group section. Go there now. Sign up as a voice of reason.

Roger Simon wrote at Politico on May 13, "When I asked if such a resolution would force RNC Chairman Michael Steele to use that label when talking about Democrats in all his speeches and press releases, the RNC member replied: "Who cares?."

Michael Steele is opposed to the resolution. As the Politico article sited:"Steele said that while he believes Democrats are indeed marching America toward European-style socialism, he also said in a flash of insight that officially referring to them as the Democrat Socialist Party will accomplish little than to give the media and our opponents the opportunity to mischaracterize Republicans." Amen.

Why don't we just put a big ol' "Kick Me" sign on our backs? It'd be the same effect.

Chairman Steele didn't want the special session. The summer meeting is to be held in July. Nothing pending is so pressing that a special session is necessary. Other than the stupid resolution, the other two resolutions to be voted on are to urge Republican lawmakers to reject earmarks and to commend them for opposing bailouts and reckless spending bills, according to the article. Can we all just say, "DUH"? Is this the best they've got for strategy?

The RNC has taken most of the spending control away from Steele. Many wanted a "no confidence" vote to be taken on his leadership. That has fallen away with the takeover of funding say-so. The politics of selfish, personal aggrandizement is killing the RNC.

Too many old dinosaur elephants have forgotten why they serve at RNC. It is for the party, it is not for their own individual power grabs. All of this is petty and unproductive.

And, stupid.

Friday, May 15, 2009

President Obama Goes to Notre Dame

In recent days, the controversy of the honorary degree to be given out to President Obama at University of Notre Dame has put the spotlight on a pretense of superiority the pro-choice ivory tower elitists impose on pro-life Catholic. The decision has put the graduating students in the middle of the mess and that is unfortunate.

Let me begin by stating that I am not Catholic. I was raised in the Presbyterian church. And I am a pro-choice Republican woman. I am a proud member of the Baby Boomer generation and this how I see the whole thing.

There is an article in the Chicago Tribune written by columnist John Kass, one of my favorite newspaper writers, that goes to the heart of the controversy. I strive to maintain a common sense approach to big issues and Kass is such a voice of reason. The problem is not that the President was invited to speak at a commencement address at this Catholic university, it is in the awarding of an honorary law degree to a politician who is commonly thought to be the most pro-abortion President ever to be elected.

From what I have read on the subject, the university has hosted six sitting Presidents as commencement speakers while in office. What university would not think it a coup to have the President of the United States at graduation? The problem arises here due to the fact this is a private university with a very rich religious history and remains to present day as such. In 2004, as more and more discontent among the voters in our country rose and protested politicians who proclaim to be good, practicing Catholics yet run on the platform of the Democratic party which is pro-choice. The U.S. Catholic bishops issued a statement that "Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles and that such persons should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions." That from the Kass article. So, the honorary degree is not within the tenet put forth in the official statement.

The slobbering media are portraying the students protesting the gesture as right wing nuts, overcome with some sort of religious fanaticism instead of young people trying to uphold the beliefs of their chosen religion. These are regular, ordinary college kids who have worked hard to graduate from this good school and now speak up about a contradiction between the world of academia and their religion.

What isn't being highlighted is the story of Mary Ann Glendon. She is a law professor at Harvard and former ambassador to the Vatican. She was invited to accept the award of the Laetare Medal. This is described as the most prestigious honor awarded to American Catholics. This was to give cover to the poor decision to award the President his honorary award. Glendon, age 70, is a woman of true personal character and she declined the award. She wrote an open letter to Notre Dame's President Rev. John Jenkins. In this letter she articulated that she had no problem with the President speaking at the ceremony. She has a problem with the decision to honor him with the degree as such a strong advocate of abortion rights. Ms. Glendon quietly and respectfully lived her faith.

As Kass points out, "Notre Dame scrambled to find someone else to accept the Laetare Medal, but there were no takers." The media continues to ignore Ms. Glendon's action. They have chosen to go the route of trashing the students exercising their first amendment right of free speech as they protest the decision.

The people in Chicago and in the state of Illinois remember as State Senator Obama, he voted in favor of a law that allowed a born alive fetus from a failed abortion to be allowed to die without any life saving measures taken. It is infanticide, simply put. Obama was in the minority in believing this to be acceptable yet caved to his far left supporters.

It is interesting to note that while addressing the graduation ceremony at Arizona State University earlier this week, the President was not awarded an honorary degree. The administration said that as such a newly elected President, Obama has not achieved the distinction.

Common sense.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Voter ID Bill In Texas Legislature

A bill moving through the legislative process in Texas this year with widespread support from both sides of the aisle is the Voter ID bill. On Monday, May 11 it was voted out of the House Elections Committee on a 5-4 vote. Four of the five Republicans and one of the four Democrats voted in favor of the bill. The no vote from the one Republican was due to the fact he wanted a stronger bill.

After looking at several versions of the Voter ID bill, the Elections Committee decided to vote out the Senate Voter ID bill, unchanged, which is taken as a positive development by supporters.

The bill would go into effect in time for the 2010 elections with no delay in implementation.

The bill requires a person to show a Photo ID in order to vote.

Some supporters are asking that the alternate ID option is removed, or at least a shortened list of acceptable alternate ID, should a voter come to a polling place without a photo ID.

Now the bill will go to the House floor for a vote. This will likely happen next week. A fight is predicted as Democrat leadership opposes the bill. It will not, however, be very surprising if several earnest elected officials decide to vote in favor of the legislation. Polling shows Democrats as well as Republican voters spanning across racial and ethnic lines support Voter Photo ID.

Perhaps for a welcome change of pace, legislators will listen to the people who put them there. A photo id required for every aspect of our modern lives. Opening a bank account? Cashing a check? Using a credit card? Everyone asks for a photo ID.

And, for the ridiculous argument that "the poor" will be disadvantaged? A non-starter. If somehow someone lives a life without a photo ID - usually a driver license or ID issued at the DPS - then the state will have a program to issue an ID to anyone unable to get one on his/her own.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal for the GOP

Driving home from a monthly Saturday morning meeting with like minded women who have a passion for politics, I was feeling quite disheartened. This is not a feeling I fall prey to very often as I try to remain optimistic that the American voter will come around to some common sense. However, when I listen to women who are educated, articulate, extremely well informed on current events and passionate as conservatives/Republicans go down a road I feel so strongly is the very worst road to travel to rebuild our party, I have to stop and ponder. Is the Republican party truly lost for the next generation or so?

According to recent Gallop polls, only one in every 4 voter now identifies as a Republican. The party has been badly damaged by squandering a dozen or so years of political dominance in Washington, by falling prey to corruption and the greed. Republican leaders, including former President G.W. Bush acted as though money grew on trees and spent like Democrats. The argument that Republicans manage our nation’s piggybank better than Democrats was lost. Add the ill-conceived planning process of the Iraq war with an absolute complete failure to communicate with the American people and we have a whole lot of ground to recover as a political party.

Like many I know, the last national election ignited renewed determination in myself to become more active politically, especially at the local level. I confess, I find national and international politics far more interesting than local and state politics, but the only way to rebuild a political party is to begin at the grassroots level with local and state organizations.

This can not be said enough - we need the help of all like-minded people. All effort is important and no job is too small. Everyone can truly make a difference, one person, one event, one meeting at a time. And, here is the key - we need outreach to all communities.

And, yes, we have to listen. Get out of the echo chamber - you know, only reading blogs written by writers with whom you agree, only talking to people with whom you agree politically, watching only the tv or radio stations with conservative dominance - and listen or read what the other side is putting out there. How can arguments be made to counter the opposite view if you don’t know what the opposite view is and are ready with a different idea? Maybe your head will feel as though it will explode (mine does) but it is very important to listen to the other side.
I am active in a local Republican women’s group. I vote every election. I went to a seminar recently given by an organization out of Arlington, Virginia that taught how to be a successful political candidate and how to organize a political campaign. And, yes, I am a wonk. Not everyone will be interested at this level but we have to encourage others to become well informed and interested.

And, please, may I respectfully ask that the tossing of the “RINO” bomb be stopped? There is no such creature. This is perhaps the most destructive conversation of all. Who is anyone to judge another’s political thought? Let us remember that we, as Republicans, share a common belief that the best government is limited government, that taxes should be kept low, that our nation’s security is the foremost responsibility of its leaders and citizens, and that we were all created to live in freedom. Fiscal conservatism is the core of the Republican party. Social conservatism is a part of both Democratic and Republican parties. Moderates are in both parties and also a part of those who identify as Independents. How have the Democrats turned former red states into purple and blue states? By running conservative Democrats and winning votes of Independents, they have discovered the successful ways of the Reagan glory days.

Ronald Reagan, the greatest American president in my lifetime, knew that politics involves the art of compromise. He was not afraid to sit down and talk to political enemies. Reagan taught Republicans that social conservatism is good but not everything. In today’s world of those wishing a litmus test on Republican candidates using the strictest of social tenets, Ronald Reagan would not measure up. He was divorced, a former Democrat, a union member and leader, and yet he was not afraid to keep his core political beliefs while reaching out to all. Reagan Democrats and Independents put him into office. There are still conservative Democrats and Independents out there waiting for the chance to vote Republican again. We have to earn those votes.

I cringe when I hear “kick him/her out” of the Republican party. That is the same intolerance we point to in the far left. I am saddened when I hear “it’s a waste of time” when speaking of a listening tour by politicians. Isn’t that what the Tea Party movement is all about? Isn’t the goal to get the elected officials to listen to us? And when recently Jeb Bush said we need to move past Reagan, he was right. He meant no disrespect. His father was VP to Reagan! Bush meant that we need fresh leadership and stop relying on the past. Reagan would be the last person to encourage stagnation. He would be out there encouraging the Big Tent. The Big Tent theory brought him into the White House. Now it needs a makeover. Maintaining fiscal conservative values and encouraging the values of family and community is a winning strategy.

Start a conversation. Reach out. Bring another along. Country first.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Come In All Forms

Happy Mother's Day to all those out there.

Two mothers of note have made some news in recent days. Elizabeth Edwards who is hawking a new book; and Kate Gosselin who is making lots of money hawking her family on a TLC reality show.

Back when John Edwards was running for President and Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, I rose to defend her decision to continue on with the campaign. I defended her wishes to spend what time she has left by promoting her husband's political ambitions because I thought they were her ambitions, too. Obviously if a person is terminally ill with two very young children still at home, and this person chooses to go out and campaign as much as possible for her spouse, it must be her ambition, too. I thought she was strong and brave.

I should have known better. This is politics, after all. While hoping for the best in Elizabeth Edwards, she was in fact carrying out major fraud on the voters in the Democrat primary. John Edwards confessed his affair to his wife as he announced his candidacy and she made the decision to let it ride. She claims she didn't know it was a long time affair, or that she knew about the child until much later. The problem is, of course, why believe her now?

Oprah dutifully went to North Carolina and did the interview with John and Elizabeth at their home. I didn't watch the show - I outgrew Oprah years ago - but I have read some excerpts. All I can say is it is a real mess what this woman has allowed her family to become. What are the children to think? Are they to look upon their mother as a martyr? Their father as a selfish cad? Evidently it is still just all about them.

I don't understand why Elizabeth felt the need to pen the book. Revenge? Pity? It's not the money, there is plenty of that. She should have remained silent and tried to salvage a bit of dignity as all the truth comes out. She would have put her political party in a terrible bind if John Edwards had been the candidate - and it now comes out that some in his campaign staff made the decision to sabotage the campaign if he were to get to that point so that another candidate would move forward.

Kate Gosselin is another puzzlement. She and her husband have sold their family to TLC for the series "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" and now receive $75,000 per episode. They purchased a 26 acre spread in their state of Pennsylvania with a very large home to house the family of 10. They have a book on the bestseller list and another one coming. Kate has enjoyed lots of trips for publicity and the family has done their part, too. Now the network has taken to stirring up extra drama to get record ratings. Last season for the final episode, the viewers were led to believe there was matrimonial drama with the implication a split may be imminent. This after they received a free family trip to Hawaii for a dream wedding as a "renewal of vows" ceremony. Swarmy doesn't begin to describe this couple. They live large now due to the interest in their twins and sextuplets - all from artificial insemination - and now complain what an imposition their celebrity is on their private life. Jon was photographed leaving a bar with a 23 year old teacher and it's splashed on the cover of tabloids. Duh. How convenient that a new season is to begin soon and a new book will hit the bookstores soon. Imagine that.

At first the show was enjoyable. As a mother of one child now grown, I can't imagine having so many under the roof. But I had too many red flags flashing before my eyes after the last season. They have had too many free trips, all kinds of free products and Kate is now a regular spa visitor and traveler on her own as she plays super mom. She is not such a nice person to watch. They have been shown to be cashing in for all the kids are worth and it is troubling.

Mothers come in all forms.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Border Security With Mexico

For our monthly meeting of Republican women, we were privileged to hear a talk given by Joan Neuhaus Schaan, Fellow in Homeland Security and Terrorism at the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy. She is also the Executive Director for Houston-Harris County Regional Homeland Security Advisory Council.

Joan is an expert with unquestionable credentials. She was mobilized to active duty for Operation Noble Eagle/Enduring Freedom and deployed to Northern Command's 24 Operational Intelligence Watch in Cheyenne Mountain. At the conclusion of her tour, she was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and authorized to wear the Joint Chiefs of Staff insignia.

Her topic was border security along the Mexican border. Here are some points made during her talk to us:

Mexico is rapidly becoming a Narco State - organized crime rules. It is the rule of lead (guns) and the rule of gold.

Approximately 6,000 deaths in Mexico just in the last year - compared to the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq since 2003 totalling 4222.

The Mexican culture is one of accepting money for favors.

219 municipalities in Mexico have political campaigns funded by illegal trafficking monies.

62% of law enforcement are on the payroll of drug cartels.

The press is silenced by the murder of journalists.

Yesterday, a story appeared on with the headline: U.S. Napolitano: Mexico border violence reduced. So, I emailed it to Joan and she replied that while the level may have declined, the reports out of Mexico indicate the levels remain above that of last year.

An article appeared in a Mexican newspaper on a joint operation between the Mexican Army and Federal Police in Chihuahua which states there have been 57 murders in the month of April 2009 which was higher than the total for April 2008. Napolitano was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee and stated,"Yes we have seen a reduction in violence" due to the Mexican troops sent to Juarez. Even she admitted there is no way to know how long any reduction would last.

Homeland Security efforts along the Mexican border are woefully understaffed and under financed. While it is easy for the naysayers to claim it is racism to want secure borders, it goes to the corrupt and failing Mexican efforts to govern their own country. Mexican law enforcement officers and Chiefs of Police are fleeing to the U.S. border towns to escape death threats and kidnapping efforts on their families. It continues to spiral out of control.

Drug cartels are smuggling their goods by ever increasing sophistication. They build mock semi trailer trucks that sport the logos of American grocers and delivery services. The border is patrolled by thugs outfitted in military uniforms. Weapons are transported across the border for use by the drug cartels.

Environmental groups are suing along the border fence sections, claiming damage to native wildlife and terrain. Yet, statistics show that illegal immigration along the border at San Diego, for example, has been cut by more than 90%.

Border security is much more than simply keeping human beings out of our country. The transportation of drugs and weapons is much more destructive.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Hog Wild Over H1N1 Virus

Lead by the current administration, the country went hog wild over the swine flu, now re-named the H1N1 Virus. The virus is not transmitted through consumption of pork on your dinner plate. It is, however, the flu. The virus can be spread from pig to human via sneezing or coughing and this can happen in a third world country like Mexico, from where this flu is believed to have originated. With the frequency of easy travel, the virus has spread to many countries around the world.

This current political administration is fond of announcing that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. It is hard to imagine that this would not also be the gameplan for an outbreak of a flu virus with no current vaccine available. Some in the administration have been quite honest in their assertions that this virus provides an excellent path to further government intervention into American health care.

The irony is Mexico has socialized medicine.

The administration was quick to trot out the new Homeland Security Secretary to quell panic. Panic brought on by the administration, but never mind that. The Health and Human Resources Secretary was not in place. As another nominee with tax problems, her confirmation was delayed. Also, the department is woefully understaffed due to not filling positions and even the CDC is working under an acting director. For an administration fully intent on pushing through universal health care, it was caught flat footed.

And, Vice President Biden provided his standard gaffe by informing an early morning talk show host that he has instructed his own family members to avoid public transportation - planes and subways in particular - and the administration had to quickly walk all that panic speech back. Thanks, Joe.

By contrast, former President Bush, when faced with the potential pandemic of SARS from Asia, put into place funding and research for antivirals, like Tamiflu. They war-gamed pandemic scenarios and increased the CDC’s sample identification capabilities. The Obama administration is continuing on with this established routine.

The government as nanny has reminded us on a daily basis all the actions your mother nagged you about as a child - wash your hands all throughout the day, cover your mouth if you cough, or cover your nose while sneezing, wash your hands, use caution in confined places, wash your hands, and if you feel ill stay home form school or work. Wash your hands. Do not infect co-workers or fellow students. It’s fairly common sense applications, something sorely missing in today’s world.

All across the country, schools are closed in a panic over the suspected illnesses of students. Today the news brought some realism in the form of the refusal of Howard University to close after one student may test positive for H1N1. Good for them.

This virus is now proving to be much milder than previously feared. It is no more than ordinary flu. In any average year, in the U.S., 39,000 deaths can be attributed to standard winter flu. The country doesn’t panic and bring everyday life to a standstill over that tragic fact. We employ basic reminders of personal hygiene and common sense. Wash your hands. Stay home if you aren’t feeling well.

Do not allow this administration to push through sweeping change in our health care system. Reforms are needed, to be sure. Free market reform is needed, with practical solutions. Socialized medicine picks winners and losers. Socialized medicine limits treatments. Less is not better if it is your loved one who is ill.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Dalai Lama: "I Love President Bush".

If any recent former president had a right to become bitter, petty and vindictive, it would be George W. Bush. From the shortest of transitions into his inauguration because of a long, contested election vote count, to the immediate refusal of special interests like the Congressional Black Caucus who thought it was ok to refuse to vote to approve his election, to rare credit for working with both sides of the aisle (and then being criticized by fellow Republicans for doing so), to ads run against him portrayed as Hitler and showing his assassination as a story line in a movie, to being portrayed as a war criminal by elected officials for keeping our country safe in the years after an historically horrific attack on our soil, and so on, he should be a bitter man. But he is not and that is perhaps the best revenge against the haters.

A post on National Review Online by Jay Nordlinger makes an interesting observation from the recent visit to the Boston area by the Dalai Lama. In uber liberal, ultra GW Bush hating Cambridge at MIT, an audience member asked the Dalai Lama for an example of a leader to be looked up to as a positive influence. Who did the Dalai Lama name? "President Bush. I met him personally and liked him very much. He was honest and straightforward, and that is very important. I may not have agreed with all his policies, but I thought he was very honest and a very good leader."

While acknowledging that he didn't agree with all of President Bush's policies, he was asked about the quality of leadership and positive influence. "I love him, said the Dalai Lama of President Bush, but as far as his policies are concerned, I have reservations." Understandable. No one agrees with all the policies of any president unless they are brain dead partisans.

As Jay Nordlinger wrote: "In my experience --and I'm just generalizing here-- the better the person, the more positive he is about George W. Bush. Certainly the less snarky and narrow." "This is particularly true of those who know something about tyranny, and the need to resist it: e.g., the Dalai Lama."

George W. Bush is certainly not given adequate credit for freeing 50 million people from dictators in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is rarely given credit for saving millions in Africa from the still frequent deaths by malaria or for providing medicines to treat HIV/AIDS to the sick in Africa. Was he perfect? No. Did he fall prey to the spending like a drunken sailor culture in Washington? Yes.

Character matters. Beware of celebrity style politicians. They have little character and no core. It catches up with them every time.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Bury St. Joseph To Sell Your House

Several years ago, my youngest sister had a house she owned on the market. She was hoping for a quick sale so she could move into another she was ready to buy. During a telephone conversation one day, I asked if she'd had any nibbles on the house yet. Nothing serious, yet, she said, but she purchased and buried St. Joseph to spur the process along.

I had no idea what she was talking about. St. who? Didn't St. Joseph make baby aspirin ?

We are not a Catholic family. My two sisters and I were raised in the Presbyterian church. Granted, I survived an all girls Catholic high school and wore a St. Christopher's medal on a chain as was the trend then. But still.

My sister went on to explain. St. Joseph is the patron saint of home and employment. Many believe that if you purchase a figurine of the saint and place it upside down as you bury it then you will quickly sell your house. A friend had explained the ritual to her. We were raised in Louisiana so it didn't seem so unusual to her. In Louisiana, rituals are a way of life - whether religious, southern traditions, or even voodoo. It's all ok.

So, I grinned a bit as I read an article the other day in the Houston Chronicle about the rise in sales of St. Joseph figurines. With housing sales in a slump in some parts of the country, there is a growing demand for them. Amazon, along with True Value and Ace Hardware stores has gotten into selling them in the more nontraditional religious arena.

From the article: "The interest in St. Joseph, the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus, has a history in the real estate world. During the busts of the 1980s and 1990s, agents and homeowners revived the tradition, which might date to medieval Europe. As the story goes, a group of nuns received a needed parcel of land for their convent after burying their St. Joseph medallions and praying to the saint for aid."

Today kits are sold that include the figurine, the bag to bury them in, instructions and sample prayers.