Monday, November 28, 2011

Gingrich Endorsed by NH Union Leader

Over the weekend, all the political news buzz was about Newt Gingrich's endorsement by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, the only statewide newspaper in that state.

While Republican strategists say that the New Hampshire Union Leader’s endorsement Sunday of Newt Gingrich goes a long way to projecting the former House Speaker as the preeminent “anti-Romney” candidate in the GOP primary field, some strategists suggest that it won’t give him enough of a boost to overcome former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s formidable lead in the polls.

“It legitimizes Gingrich’s status as the conservative alternative to Romney in a way no other candidate has been able to yet,” Republican political consultant Jim Dyke told TheDC.

“It is a blow to everyone trying to be the anti-Romney,” echoed Dan Hazelwood, a Republican consultant.

“It adds another layer of legitimacy to his rise,” emailed Republican consultant Reed Galen.

The Union Leader is a conservative bastion and New Hampshire’s only statewide paper. It was one of the first outlets to throw its weight behind Ronald Reagan, all the way back in 1975 when Reagan primary-challenged President Gerald Ford. Its endorsement gives Gingrich a boost in the first in the nation primary state, but it also has salience outside of the state, Dyke said.

“It affects perception broadly until something trumps it,” he argued.

“It will also help fundraising and further push the lower tier candidates to the sidelines,” said Galen.

Do endorsements really matter to most voters in the long run? Probably not so much. But they do create buzz which helps raise money and allows more air time on 24 hour cable channels.

Do I think this will allow Gingrich to win New Hampshire in the GOP primary? Probably not. Romney has a very comfortable lead there and is a favorite son of the state, having been a neighboring governor and a property owner in New Hampshire. But, it may create the kind of momentum for Gingrich, if the buzz is sustained, to allow for a longer primary fight. That's is a good thing.

A longer primary fight will strengthen the eventual nominee. And, that will bring about a stronger candidate when that person goes up against the Chicago political machine behind Barack Obama.

From an interview in Newsmax:

In a September interview with Newsmax, Clinton had predicted that Gingrich, who at the time was polling in the single digits, would make a comeback.

“He’s articulate and he tries to think of a conservative version of an idea that will solve a legitimate problem,” Clinton told Newsmax in the exclusive interview this week, by way of explaining the Gingrich resurgence. Gingrich holds frontrunner status in the race for the GOP nomination, as several polls have him surpassing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Clinton continued: “For example, I watched the national security debate last night. And Newt said two things that would make an independent voter say, ‘Well, I gotta consider that.’

“He said, ‘OK, I don’t want to legitimize immigrants who came here undocumented, illegally.’ On the other hand, a lot of those people have been here for years, they worked hard, they paid taxes, they’ve got kids in the schools, they’re not criminals, we’re going to have a hard time sending them all home, there’s millions of them. So, I’d like to have a process where they could be here legally but not have a path to citizenship. That sort of splits the difference between the immigration reforms proposed by President Bush and President Obama, which would give a path to citizenship, and would be a version of what President Reagan did.”

Clinton was impressed that Gingrich devised a “red card” system that would be used to be used to stop normalizing the immigration status of illegals if efforts to control the border proved ineffective.“That was a thoughtful response,” Clinton said.

The former president also credited Gingrich for innovative thinking in his plan to give workers an option to invest their Social Security retirement funds privately. Gingrich said there should be a guarantee, so that, if markets nose-dive, workers would not receive less than they would have received under the old Social Security system.

“See, that’s a new wrinkle on this,” Clinton said, crediting Gingrich for thinking out of the box. “So he’s always . . . I think he’s doing well just because he’s thinking, and people are hungry for ideas that make some sense.”

Don't for even a minute fall for this sorta kinda praise from the former President who was impeached by the House of Representatives under the leadership of the former Speaker. Clinton only worked with Gingrich during his time in office because he had no other choice. The political hoopla over Hillarycare brought on a majority of Republican leadership in Congress for the first time in forty years and Clinton had to work with them. Under Gingrich's leadership, Clinton was forced to sign welfare reform and balancing the federal budget, to name two examples of Gingrich initiatives which changed Washington, D.C.

So, for Clinton to now sound somewhat supportive of a position held by Gingrich one has to think it is just political theatre. Clinton has a new book out and enjoys the spotlight that support for a Gingrich initiative would bring. For Clinton, it is about himself, not Gingrich.

Like everything else in the world of politics, take it with a grain of salt.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act

Given the opportunity, the domestic oil and gas industry is a job creator.

The American Petroleum Institute recently commissioned a study by the Wood Mackenzie consulting firm, which estimated that better federal energy policy would create an additional 1.4 million jobs by 2030.

But this President and his willing lackeys in the Department of Interior and the Department of Energy have made the conscious decision to work diligently to destroy the domestic oil and gas industry.

Yet earlier this month the Interior Department released a new five-year plan that puts most of the Outer Continental Shelf off-limits for oil drilling. And the Administration has delayed for at least another year the Keystone XL pipeline that is shovel-ready to create 20,000 new direct, pipeline-related jobs.

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue recently noted that federal revenue from offshore bonus bids (from lease sales) in fiscal 2011 was merely $36 million—down from $9.5 billion in fiscal 2008. The Obama Administration has managed the nearly impossible feat of turning energy policy into a money loser, pouring taxpayer dollars into green-energy busts like Solyndra. The Washington Post reported in September that Mr. Obama's $38.6 billion green loan program had created a mere 3,500 jobs over two years. He had predicted it would "save or create" 65,000.

Speaker Boehner's office released the following on GOP efforts to advance domestic oil and gas production:

In the coming weeks, House Republicans will formally introduce the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (set to be H.R. 7), which would link new American energy production to high-priority infrastructure projects. Instead of more ‘stimulus’ spending or wasteful earmarks, the bill would permanently remove government barriers to American energy production and use the revenues to repair and improve America’s roads and bridges – both of which support long-term job growth. Republicans expect to move the bill through the House before the end of the year.

The American Energy Infrastructure Jobs Act is the latest measure in the House GOP American Energy Initiative, an ongoing effort to support job creation and lower energy prices for families and businesses by allowing increased production of American-made energy. This measure would help create millions of new American jobs by eliminating some of the unnecessary government barriers that prevent our country from utilizing its vast energy resources, and also provide a new revenue stream for infrastructure repair and improvement. Specifically, the American Energy Infrastructure Jobs Act includes:

* The Energy Security and Transportation Jobs Act, introduced by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), which would lift President Obama’s drilling ban on new offshore areas by requiring the administration to lease offshore areas estimated to contain the most oil and natural gas resources.

* The Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act (“PIONEERS” Act), introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CA), which would set clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promote shale technology research and development.

* The Alaskan Energy for American Jobs Act, introduced by Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK), which would open less than three percent of ANWR’s 19 million acres in the North Slope, an area that was specifically set aside by Congress and President Jimmy Carter, for oil and natural gas development

And this:

Rather than relying on ‘stimulus’ spending, higher taxes and short-term gimmicks, the American Energy Infrastructure Jobs Act would build on the natural link between energy production and infrastructure. The measure provides responsible infrastructure funding for the next five years, and links new energy revenue from production of American energy to the Highway Trust Fund. Specifically, the bill would:

* Fund High-Priority Projects. The bill would remove federal requirements that currently force states to spend highway money on non-highway activities, helping to ensure that our nation’s highways and bridges are repaired and properly maintained and that federal dollars are spent on our most critical infrastructure needs.

* Speed Up Bureaucratic Approvals. The bill would speed up bureaucratic approvals and streamline the project delivery process – the real hurdles delaying improvements to highways, bridges, and other projects – with reforms like concurrent review that will cut the project review and permitting process in half.

* Eliminate Needless Programs. The bill would eliminate and consolidate nearly 70 surface transportation programs that are either duplicative or not in the federal interest.

* Embrace More Private-Sector Involvement. The bill would reform financing programs to increase private sector involvement in infrastructure.

* Enhance Safety Programs. The bill would strengthen safety programs and gives states more flexibility to develop innovative safety initiatives that save lives.

* Include No Earmarks. Like every bill passed through the House since the American people entrusted Republicans with a majority, this one will have no earmarks in it.

This is more legislation coming from the House GOP, who have been leading with common sense job creation bills. Unfortunately, the Democratically controlled Senate has refused to take up any of the twenty plus job creating bills passed by the House.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gingrich on Illegal Immigration Reform

The headline out of the GOP debate in Washington, D.C. is that the candidates have differing opinions on tackling big issues. While the mainstream media and liberals are enjoying flaming the fires of dissent and encouraging chasms in the party, this is a good sign. It is time for the facades to come down and allow all of the candidates to put real solutions forward. In fact, we have to demand it of them.

Newt Gingrich is the current front runner in polls so it is his turn to be taken down a few notches by the others.

The big kerfuffle from Tuesday night's debate is over tackling illegal immigration reform. What do you do with the estimated eleven million people in our country illegally? Newt Gingrich gave an honest, common sensical response and his challengers went nuts. Michele Bachmann's camp was issuing statements - incorrect interpretations of Gingrich's answer, by the way - before the debate was finished.

Here is Gingrich's position: instead of a knee-jerk style of blanket deportation, he is offering up a solution that would involve a local compenent to the federal law. Though the actual implimentation is questionable, he favors an approach used in the draft boards for WWII.  Read this from Newt's 10 Point Plan:

6. Create a path to earned legality for some of the millions of people who are here outside the law.

There are currently anywhere from 8 to 12 million people living in the United States who entered illegally.

These people range from day laborers who arrived recently, to grandparents who have been paying taxes, supporting their families and obeying the law for decades.

We need a system that enforces the rule of law, ensures that those who broke the law pay a stiff penalty, but also acknowledges that it is neither optimal nor feasible nor humane to deport every single illegal immigrant.

We need a path to legality, but not citizenship, for some of these individuals who have deep ties to America, including family, church and community ties. We also need a path to swift but dignified repatriation for those who are transient and have no roots in America.

We need a process that can distinguish at the human level.

Congress must charge the Department of Justice to establish a “citizens’ review” process for those here outside the law. It would establish committees to process these cases in individual communities and determine who will continue on this path to legality, and who will be sent home. Congress must define understandable, clear, objective legal standards that will be applied equally during this process. While this process is ongoing, those here outside the law will be granted Temporary Legal Status for a certain, limited period of time until all have had the opportunity to apply and appear in front of committees.

Applicants must first pass a criminal background check, and then the local committees will assess applications based on family and community ties, and ability to support oneself via employment without the assistance of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs.

The government will rigorously enforce a requirement that all individuals seeking this path to legality must be able to prove that they can independently pay for private health insurance. If an individual cannot prove this, they will lose the ability to stay in the United States.

Furthermore, proficiency in English within a certain number of years, similar to the requirement for naturalization, will be required for anyone who seeks continued legal status in the United States.

Once an applicant has been granted the right to obtain legal status, he or she will have to pay a penalty of at least $5,000.

Moving forward, those who receive this status will have to prove on a regular basis that they can support themselves without entitlement programs and pay for health insurance or else risk the ability to stay in the United States.

Doesn't that make sense? Sounds like a conservative's approach to reforming the problem to me. When you hear Democrats and other Republicans and the media state that Gingrich wants blanket amnesty to all of those illegally here, you have the truth before you. Just read it.

Then, read this quote:

"`I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country. With these 11 million people, let's have them registered, know who they are. Those who've been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn't be here; those that are paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.''

Newt Gingrich's common sense approach to illegal immigration sounds a lot like that guy, doesn't it? That quote comes from Mitt Romney during an appearance in 2007 on Meet the Press. Mitt Romney is now busy trying to demonize Gingrich in the GOP presidential primary because Gingrich shows leadership with an actual plan, not a blanket knee-jerk reaction for political expediency.

We are a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of laws, too. To say that the Republican party is anti-immigrant is a lie. We are a party that demands legal immigration and respect for our borders. We believe in our nation's gifts of diversity and the strengths everyone brings to the table.

We believe those with criminal records should be sent home:

7. Deportation of criminals and gang members should be efficient and fast.

We must end the practice of “catch and release,” under which dangerous criminals here illegally are caught by law enforcement, but then quickly returned to society.

When someone is here illegally and is dangerous, there should be expedited procedures to remove them from the United States as rapidly as possible.

The current system is so cumbersome and time-consuming that many arrested non-citizens are released back into society and simply break their word and disappear. This is wrong and dangerous.

We need strong leadership in our country and common sense solutions to our biggest problems. Whether it is our struggling economy or national security issues, we must stand behind the most conservative candidate on the Republican side who can defeat Barack Obama in November 2012. That is the most important fact to remember.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

GOP Debate in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday night brought us the eleventh GOP presidential primary debate from Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by CNN and sponsored by The Heritage Foundation and AEI. Members of the two conservative think tanks asked questions from the audience. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer was the moderator.

The topic was national security/foreign policy. At times it was not clear that this was the theme, however. Candidates veered off into tangents and Blitzer lost control a couple of times, allowing the candidates to ramble on and interject themselves out of turn.

Here's my ranking for the three who deserve top ranking on performance:
1. Newt Gingrich
2. Mitt Romney
3. Michele Bachmann

Yes, Michele Bachmann had a good night. She used her experience on the House Intelligence committee to her advantage by bringing some common sense to the debate, especially on the topic of foreign aid. She reminded all that it is a complicated issue and not deserving of simply saying the U.S. should cut off foreign aid when the going gets tough with another country who is usually an allie - such as Pakistan. She called out Governor Perry on this, as he insisted that Pakistan was not worthy of aid as they harbor terrorists. She explained that the U.S. gets intelligence that we otherwise might not receive without it.

Jon Huntsman used his experience as a former ambassador to tout that the U.S. has to get its own house in order before trying to solve problems elsewhere in the world. He wants our troops out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible. It is too bad that he was not asked about China's rise in power and our relationship with the Chinese.

Rick Santorum made a few good points using his Senatorial experience but is still not an impressive candidate. He fluctuates between smug and self serving to impatient and whiny.

Ron Paul wants you to get off his lawn.

Governor Perry didn't embarrass himself. He also didn't do so well. He is settling into a decent answer on the immigration question but, unfortunately, Newt Gingrich better articulates that position.

Herman Cain was out of his element. He can only get so far with giving his standard answer that he will listen to experts in field, or generals on the ground. He has to actually come up with a plan or a vision somewhere along the line if he wants to be taken seriously.

Mitt Romney was is usual steady, aggressive without being too obnoxious, self. He became a bit strident about his support for Israel in light of a potential nuclear weapon being developed in Iran as Ron Paul and Herman Cain were throwing Israel under the bus.

And so, that leaves Newt Gingrich as the winner. He was professorial without being condescending. The media and liberals will, however, take his answer on immigration and try to divide everyone up with a ginned up exaggeration of his stance. It will be said that he is pro-amnesty for illegal immigrants when he was simply stating that as the party of the family, the Republicans, we should be more pragmatic and see the insanity of saying the U.S. should deport eleven million people who came here illegally. His idea is to go to a system where a panel will look at individual cases and choose who should stay here. If the person has no ties here, for example, and has recently arrived here, then that person should have to leave. In a perfect world, the other GOP candidates would not take the bait or try to twist the answer into something it was not.

This is not a perfect world.

The next debate is December 10 at Drake University in Des Moines,Iowa.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gingrich In Top Spot on Foreign Policy According to Polls

Tonight's GOP debate will focus on foreign policy. In a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac and CNN, Newt Gingrich comes in at the top spot for his experience and trustworthiness in foreign policy matters:

Which Republican candidate do you think would do the best job handling foreign policy?
Gingrich 46%
Romney 16%
Paul 5%

Which Republican candidate do you think is best described as having the knowledge and experience necessary to be a good president?
Gingrich 48%
Romney 22%
Cain 7%

Which Republican candidate is the most qualified to be Commander-in-Chief?
Gingrich 36%
Romney 20%
Perry 12%

Which Republican candidate is most likely to understand complex issues?
Gingrich 43%
Romney 18%
Cain 12%

Tonight's GOP debate will be carried on CNN and hosted by The Heritage Foundation and AEI. CNN's Wolf Blitzer is the moderator.

The reason why voters trust Newt is because he's an experienced national leader who has studied and been involved with national security issues for over 30 years. A few highlights:
*Worked with Pentagon on force transformation issues from his earliest years as a Congressman.
*Longest serving teacher of the Joint War-Fighting course for Major Generals (started in 1987).
*Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Honorary Professor at the National Defense University (since 1983).
*Member of the Defense Policy Board, where he received classified intelligence briefings.
*Has volunteered hundreds of hours to the Pentagon since leaving the Speakership to advise on numerous issues, including force transformation and 21st century threats.
*Co-Chair of the United Nations Reform Commission.
*Member of the Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security/21st Century.

In CNN's latest poll, the results were similar. Gingrich was the most favored as Commander-in-Chief.

In the CNN poll, 36% said Gingrich is most qualified to be commander-in-chief, compared to 20% for Romney. And 25% said Gingrich is most likely to agree with them on the issues that matter most, compared to 18% for Cain and 16% for Romney.

Watch the debate. Think for yourself and support the candidate of your choice.

Cruz for Senate Campaign Video Airs Texans Voice on TSA

This is the latest video from the Ted Cruz for Senate campaign. As Lt. Governor of Texas, David Dewhurst is president of the State Senate. When the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill to correct TSA's overly zealous security screenings, the State Senate never brought the bill up for a vote. Many Texans lay the blame for that at the feet of Dewhurst.

I just endured the x-ray screening and a bonus additional quick pat down as I traveled back and forth to Washington, D.C. from Houston last weekend. I understand the displeasure expressed by my fellow travelers.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ted Cruz Wins Greater Houston Council November Straw Poll

Greater Houston Council does not endorse one candidate over another in a GOP primary. This is to compare the results of the straw poll taken at the May 2011 meeting and the November 2011 meeting.

U.S.Senate Race

Candidate that you think most embodies the listed characteristics:

May 17, 2011 November 15, 2011
1. Ted Cruz 45.5% 1. Ted Cruz 63.4%
2. David Dewhurst 36.4% 2. David Dewhurst 24.4%
3. Elizabeth Ames Jones 9.1% 3. Tom Leppert 4.9%
4. Michael Williams 3 % 4. Lela Pittenger 4.9%
5. Rogers Williams 3 % 5. Glenn Addison 2.4%
6. Michael McCaul 3 %

Candidate that you think can win against a Democrat:

May 17, 2011 November 15, 2011
1. David Dewhurst 55.2% 1. Ted Cruz 65%
2. Ted Cruz 27.6% 2. David Dewhurst 35%
3. Michael Williams 13.8%
4. Tom Leppert 3.4%

Please remember that candidates have changed since May 2011 and that if a current candidate was not listed, it is because they received no votes.

Gingrich on the Super Committee

Why does Newt Gingrich drive his opponents crazy? Because he's right. And, he was absolutely correct in his assessment of the Super Committee.

Instead of political gamesmanship and elite little committees, it would be nice if the elected officials in Congress would stop the nonsense and do their job. It would be nice if we actually saw some of that transparency we were promised by Barack Obama as he ran for President and then claimed his would be the most transparent administration, ever.

Yeah, right.

Today it is expected the committee will announce that no deal has been made to reduce our federal deficit. What a surprise! Not. None of the committee members from either party are known for being able to work across the aisle, so it was never meant to be a serious effort.

President Obama does what he does best - he led from behind. He shoves off the big tasks to Congress - like he did for Obamacare - and waits for the heavy lifting to be finished. Then, should the task be completed, he swoops in and takes the credit.

We are without political leadership and we are drowning. We need a statesman willing to speak the truth and make the hard decisions, wherever that may lead for that person's re-election bid.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Senator Toomey Delivers Weekly GOP Address

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) delivers the GOP weekly address on restoring economic growth and reforming the tax code.

Republicans on the joint commission - the Super Committee - have proposed a plan. Job creating tax reform and curbing the deficit by cutting spending is the plan. Is tightening our belt by 2% at the federal level too much?

Gingrich Explains Tea Party vs OWS

This is what happens when someone in the audience wants to yell out a message via the Occupy Wall Street movement during a speech delivered by Newt Gingrich:

"There is no such thing in America as the 99%".

Gingrich explains the difference between the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement HERE

Any questions?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No New Oil and Gas Drilling Under Obama's Reign

This was released by the House Natural Resources Committee concerning the end of new oil and gas drilling for a five year period, as imposed by the Obama administration:

After imposing a nearly three-year moratorium on new offshore drilling, the Obama Administration announced a draft plan this week that closes the majority of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to new energy production through 2017. The draft five-year plan prohibits new offshore energy development and only allows lease sales to occur in areas that are already open. The draft plan places portions of Alaska and the entire Atlantic and Pacific Coasts off-limits to new energy production and job creation. "The Obama Administration's draft plan places some of the most promising energy resources in the world off-limits... No new drilling or new lease sales will occur during President Obama's term in office - despite the overwhelming support of the American people for new offshore energy production. The President's plan is to simply say 'no' to new energy production and 'no' to new American jobs created by new offshore drilling. It's a plan that is sending American jobs overseas, forfeiting new revenue, and denying access to American energy that would lessen our dependence on hostile Middle Eastern oil," said Chairman Doc Hastings. Next week, the Committee will hear from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on this draft plan and other energy-related concerns at an oversight hearing on "The Future of U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Development on Federal Lands and Waters."

Let's think. Why would Team Obama use a five year plan? Would it be because that would be the length of time for Obama's reign as President of the U.S., should he win re-election? Why, yes it would. How convenient to the man so beholden to the powerful environmental lobby in our country.

Oil workers aren't unionized, so they must be eliminated. I have written often of the determination of this administration to destroy the domestic oil and gas industry and how ruthless they are in pursuing that goal.

First it was a moratorium on drilling in deep water in the Gulf of Mexico. Then it was a cessation of issuing permits on existing wells and on-going drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The administration continues to slow walk any permits and has shut down any lease sale approvals. Period. Now we see the presentation of a five year plan to deny any new activity at all.


After the proposed 5 year ban:


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Perry Responds to Congressional Insider Trading Story

Sunday evening the investigative reporting television program "60 Minutes" ran a story about insider trading done by Congress members using upcoming legislation and information available to them. The interview was about "Throw Them All Out" by Hoover Institute fellow Peter Schweizer,

It is alleged that members of Congress - some examples given were Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker of the House Boehner - made some tidy sums of money from their trades. These trades were impossible for those without inside information to make for such profits. Hence, the ethical violations. The point the author made was that technically, this behavior is not illegal.

Though the number of Democrats is alleged to be much higher than Republicans who made such trades, in usual dinosaur media fashion the show only concentrated on the Republicans involved, except for Pelosi. No fair and balanced pretense at CBS News.

Members of Congress can legally make trades on non-public information they obtain during their official duties, CBS News' '60 Minutes' reported on Sunday night.

Branded 'honest graft,' lawmakers can use market-moving information that they learn in congressional committees to trade on the stock market — actions that likely would carry stiff jail and civil penalties if they did not hold public office.

"This is a venture opportunity," Schweizer told '60 Minutes.' "This is an opportunity to leverage your position in public service and use that position to enrich yourself, your friends, and your family."

It is particularly troubling that members of Congress would profit during the economic downturn experienced by our country in recent years.

Rick Perry, GOP primary presidential candidate, responds to the Congressional insider trading story:

Cain's Brain Freeze on Libya

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain experienced his own form of brain freeze Monday as he sat for questions from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Asked about his take on Libya and how President Obama performed, Cain stumbled.

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has revealed a precarious grasp of foreign affairs when he appeared unable to answer any questions on the Libya uprising.

In a meeting with the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the pizza magnate – and former frontrunner in the Republican leadership contest – stumbled repeatedly when asked whether he agreed with the way Barack Obama dealt with the situation.

Cain, whose star has begun to wane following a string of sexual harassment allegations, struggled to show he understood what had been happening in Libya and why.

He paused, leaning back in his chair before replying: "OK, Libya. President Obama supported the uprising, correct?

"President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi. Just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before I say, 'yes I agree,' or 'no I didn't agree.' I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason – nope, that's a different one. I gotta go back to, see … Got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me, did I agree or not disagree with Obama on?"

His inquisitors tried to eke out what Cain would have done had he been in the White House but to little avail.

He said: "Some people say as president you're supposed to know everything. No you don't. I believe in having all the information, as much of it as I possibly can, rather than making a decision or statement about whether I totally agree or disagree when I wasn't privy to the situation."

After much fidgeting and prevarication, Cain eventually claimed that he would have done a better job than the president.

Cain's spokesman attributed the hesitation to tiredness, saying Cain had only slept for four hours because of a busy campaign schedule when he sat for the interview.


The question can be asked of why Cain was in Milwaukee to begin with, since he probably should be concentrating on Iowa or New Hampshire, early primary states. Maybe he was selling books on the book tour part of the presidential candidate campaign. Besides that, why is he doing editorial board interviews if he is so tired he can't answer a fairly basic foreign policy question? He has to be able to articulate more than just saying Obama handled it wrong.

This, unfortunately for his campaign, does nothing to booster his performance that lagged so obviously during the last GOP debate. The subject was foreign policy and it was quite apparent that this is not Cain's strong suit.

Continuing to punt to 'experts' and advisers is not acceptable when one is interviewing for the President of the United States.

Let's go to the video:

Painful. Tired or not, the presidency is a 24/7 job.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Super Committee is a Sham

In ten days, the group of politicians who comprise the so-called Super Committee will have arrived at their deadline to provide their solution to the federal deficit. They are charged with finding spending cuts and revenue grabs to get our economic downturn under control. The deal deadline is November 23, 2011.

The committee consists of six Republicans and six Democrats. Three from each party are members of the House of Representatives and three are from the Senate.

Standard accounting gimmicks are in play, as shown here by one used by the Democrats:

Democrats on the supercommittee have proposed that the savings from the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan be used to pay for a new stimulus package, according to a summary of the $2.3 trillion plan obtained by The Hill.

The GOP is opposed to counting the war savings in the supercommittee package and does not want the panel’s special powers to be used to fast-track President Obama’s stimulus request.

It is understandable if you missed a very interesting fact from the bogus exercise that is this Super Committee - the penalties put into place if an agreement is not met by the deadline don't really go into effect until 2013. Yes, that's right, 2013. After the presidential election and the re-election campaigns of Congress. Somehow this little nugget managed to avoid publicity at the birth of the committee.

Failure by the panel would result in $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts divided between discretionary and security spending.

Clearly, this is just another Obama punt. Desperate for positive approval in polling as he clings to hope of re-election, the president decided to declare the need for yet another committee to figure out the hard stuff. In this case, the deficit hole we are in. There should have never been a committee needed. GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich called the committee idea "stupid".

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) a staunch fiscal conservative made some painful concessions concerning revenues and even that was turned away by the Democrats on the committee. Nothing short of big tax hikes, in the name of new revenue, will suffice for them.

Two days after Republicans on the so-called super committee, led by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, offered a $1.5 trillion package that included, for the first time, new tax revenue to the tune of about $300 billion, Democrats are rejecting the offer.

Toomey and his GOP colleagues on the panel put about $600 billion in total revenue on the table, including auctioning broadcast spectrum space, the sale of excess federal land, Medicare premium increases for wealthier seniors, and modifying tax write-offs for mortgage interest and charitable giving. Some of that total figure, according to one senior GOP aide, was to come from "growth" as a result of predicted improvements in the economy. In exchange, Republicans sought to lower Bush-era tax rates, in particular the top rate from 35% to 28%, as well as, making all of the current marginal income tax rates permanent.

Super committee co-chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., scoffed at the proposal, telling reporters that Republicans had not offered "real revenue."

Asked if Democrats had made a counter-offer to the Toomey proposal, Kerry said he would give no details "on anything we've offered or they've offered."

Just more of the same from those sent to Washington to do the peoples' business.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

GOP Debate in South Carolina

Saturday night CBS News and National Journal hosted the latest of the GOP primary debates. Scott Pelley of CBS and Major Garrett of National Journal were the moderators. The subject was foreign policy. It was labeled the Commander-in-Chief debate. It was perhaps the worst debate so far as far as the moderation went. Scott Pelley was smug and openly hostile to the candidates. CBS does not know how to do a debate.

The debate was only televised for the first hour and then the viewer had to switch to viewing it online. My reception of the livestream was wonky so I gave up after sitting through it a few minutes. Here are some observations from what I did see:

During the day I read many tweets online from the big conservative blogging conference in Denver this weekend. The activists were being told to thoroughly vet the candidates, which I thought was a bit insulting but they seemed to capture that as a mantra. Then, in a bit of irony not unnoticed by moi, they were complaining that yet another GOP primary debate was being held tonight. Really? Where does vetting come from? Watching candidates answer questions, thinking on their feet, interacting with each other is a great opportunity to vet a candidate.

Newt won this debate. Governor Perry gave his best performance so far, which he badly needed to do.

Lots of interesting tidbits come out of these debates, too. For instance, I learned that Jon Huntsman has two sons in the Navy. Did you know that?

The audience was apparently instructed to hold their applause but that was broken as time went on. On answer brought some booing from the crowd and Scott Pelley scolded them against doing so. He said that booing would not be tolerated and that a respectful tone would be maintained. He didn't say how that would be enforced but that was that.

Newt Gingrich was still the most knowledgeable on the subject. All of them had their moments of good clarity on the questions but it is hard to get past the fact that Gingrich leaves the others in his dust. During the token question concerning the issue of torture, Gingrich correctly schooled Pelley on what constitutes a war crime and a combatant. Pelley tried to argue but Gingrich shut him down. Funny how the press confuse themselves as the smartest people in the room.

Here are a few facts from Newt's bio online that are often overlooked, for those interested in vetting him on foreign policy:

*Speaker of the House involved with key intelligence matters

*Member of the Defense Policy Board under President George W. Bush, which provided strategic counsel to the Pentagon and Secretary of Defense on how to better address threats facing the United States

*Longest-serving teacher of the Joint War Fighting course for Major Generals at Air University

*Honorary Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University

*Member of the United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, the Hart/Rudman Commission to examine our national security challenges as far out as 2025.

*Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

*Member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Terrorism Task Force

Foreign policy and national security are important to conservative voters. I think Gingrich has more working knowledge of these areas than the others in that debate. He certainly outweighs the current administration's experts.

The GOP primary debates are not to be dismissed, even if there are an abundance of them. It's all a part of the process. This debate will be used to factor in support of the slate of candidates.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Boycott This List of Companies Supporting More Energy Regulations

I believe in voting with my pocketbook. Many years ago, I read a book on consumerism and learning to purchase products according to your personal beliefs. It sounds a bit out-there in the beginning, as in how can one person make an impact, but here's the thing: one person gradually becomes more people and it does make a difference.

Companies are hyper aware of social perception of their products. Opinion polls and consumer focus groups are used by all the top brands and large companies dependent on reputation and brand loyalty for profit.

Have you noticed a trend towards marketing for women? Why is that, you ask? Companies are marketing with an eye toward the woman consumer because in most households it is the woman who is making the purchasing decisions. Whether it is the routine trip to the grocery store or researching the best deal for a major appliance, it is usually being done by a woman. Women make a big difference in the marketplace and I want to see that power grow.

I learned of this list from fellow Houston political blogger and friend, Michelle, and it is worth sharing. This list caught my attention because one of my primary interests is the energy industry and this list is one of companies who support the Obama administration's energy policies.

These companies are members of BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) and USCAP (U.S. Climate Action Partnership). The companies support regulations that will drive up the cost of energy and will do nothing for energy independence.

The energy industry is the most regulated industry in the country. That some would lobby for more regulations means that the companies are in it for political favor and not common sense. Green energy is fine but it is no where near playing a major part in our energy needs and is rife now with political cronyism, as seen in the decisions made in the Obama administration to choose companies like Solyndra which then promptly failed to the tune of millions and millions of taxpayer dollars.

The Obama administration is no friend of the energy industry. As has been proven in decisions made concerning the oil and gas industry, it is apparent the ideologues are in charge and trying mightily to destroy it. President Obama is a coward, unwilling to make the final decisions between powerful lobbyists.

With some of the companies on the list, it is hard to purchase from other companies. For example, Dow Chemicals. Just do the best you can.

An informed consumer is a powerful person. Embrace your personal power as a consumer. Do it for your family, your community and your country.

Honoring America's Veterans in GOP Weekly Address

Rep Joe Heck (R-NV) delivers this week's GOP weekly address. He is a 20 year Army Reserve member and tells a moving story from his last deployment to Afghanistan in 2008.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Obama Votes Present on Keystone Pipeline Decision

In a blatantly political and cowardly move, President Obama has chosen to vote "present" on approving the Keystone Pipeline. You may remember that then Illinois state senator Obama held the all-time record of "present" votes instead of a "yea" or "nay".

Showing an utter abdication of leadership, Obama is unable to risk offending either the unions - who want the construction jobs - or the environmental extremists - who threatened to not support his re-election bid. So, in true cowardly fashion, Barack Obama has announced that he will just wait until after the November 2012 election to come to a decision and publicly announce that decision. He claims more research must be made. Already 18 months of research and decision making actions have been made but this is Obama's excuse.

It might be a good example of excessive red tape from the behemoth government that slows the decision making process so much. But, in this case, this is pure, raw politics.

How does Canada feel about this cowardly punt?

The U.S. State Department’s decision to delay its review of TransCanada Corp.’s $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline until after next year’s presidential election may doom the project and accelerate Canada’s efforts to ship crude to Asia, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said.

“The decision to delay it that long is actually quite a crucial decision. I’m not sure this project would survive that kind of delay,” Flaherty said yesterday in an interview at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu. “It may mean that we may have to move quickly to ensure that we can export our oil to Asia through British Columbia.”

The deferral on Keystone XL is a blow to the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who called U.S. approval of the pipeline a “no brainer.” Canadian officials underestimated the strength of resistance to the project by Nebraska farmers and environmentalists, political and foreign-policy experts said.

The State Department said yesterday it will study an alternative route to avoid environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska. Nebraskan farmers, officials in the state and some members of Congress argue the proposed route across the Sandhills area risks contaminating the Ogallala aquifer that supplies water to 1.5 million people.

The geography has been studied and found to be sound. We know how to do pipelines. The huge pipeline through Alaska has performed just fine, thank you very much, without any major incidents. Much like the bogus claims that Alaskan wildlife would suffer from oil and gas production, the pipeline would be done scientifically sensitive and environmentally aware of its surroundings.

The first clue that the opposition was full of straw men was when the Hollywood celebs began speaking out in disapproval. They are usually on the wrong side of an argument, especially if it has to do with an alleged environmental issue.

This pipeline project will provide thousands upon thousands of jobs. This is one project that is truly shovel-ready, unlike the others that were promised in the first spending stimulus debacle from Team Obama. Environmental issues are but an asterisk in polling today as Americans focus on jobs and economic issues.

After the postponement was announced, two big environmental groups declared they can now support Obama in re-election endorsements. Swell. Barack Obama asked for this job. He begged for votes like all other candidates do on the campaign trail. He has failed this country miserably.

House Speaker John Boehner issued the following statement after the Obama administration called for consideration of a new route for the Keystone XL pipeline, triggering a new environmental review and delaying a final decision on approval of the project into 2013.

“More than 20,000 new American jobs have just been sacrificed in the name of political expediency. By punting on this project, the President has made clear that campaign politics are driving U.S. policy decisions – at the expense of American jobs. The current project has already been deemed environmentally sound, and calling for a new route is nothing but a thinly-veiled attempt to avoid upsetting the President’s political base before the election. It’s a failure of leadership.

“The production of American-made energy has a direct link to American job creation. That’s why House Republicans will soon introduce and pass jobs legislation that ties the permanent expansion of American energy production to an increase in new infrastructure projects. Today is another reminder that the President’s energy policy is destroying American jobs while Republicans are focused on using American resources to put people back to work.”

NOTE: Last week, Speaker Boehner announced that House Republicans will formally introduce an energy & infrastructure jobs bill, and move it through the House before the end of the year. The bill will link expanded American energy production with initiatives to repair and improve infrastructure, permanently removing barriers to private-sector growth.

Woodfill Announces Revised Filing Deadlines for Harris County

Recently I wrote about the denial by the Justice Department of the new re-districting plan put forward by the Texas legislature. Because the Justice Department is allowing the lawsuits against the plan to move forward, the filing deadlines have been adjusted for the upcoming March 2012 primary elections.

HERE is what I wrote about that decision and the new dates.

Harris County Republican Party chairman Jared Woodfill issued a press release about the new filing deadlines and information for Harris County precinct chairs:

Today, Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill issued an advisory for all precinct chairs, elected officials and announced candidates with an update on the 2012 primary election filing period and changes to the election calendar over the next several weeks and months.

Said Chairman Woodfill, "As a result of a court order from a federal panel of judges in San Antonio, the new filing period for the March 2012 Primary Elections has been condensed and pushed back to November 28 to December 15, 2011. These changes apply to all races on the March 2012 Primary Election ballot in Texas - federal, state, county, and local offices."

In a court order this past weekend, a three-judge federal panel in San Antonio overseeing the legislative redistricting trial, issued the mandate of these changes in order to allow for enough time to complete the process of drawing interim legislative maps for the 2012 Texas Primary Elections.

Chairman Woodfill remarked, "At this time, it is not clear what legislative lines and districts will be ordered by the court, and this delay in their ruling has necessitated the changes in the election calendar. We do expect that the federal panel will be handing down interim maps later this month. In a related topic for our Harris County Commissioners Court to decide, once those interim maps are implemented, the federal panel in San Antonio has granted a deadline of December 13 for new precinct lines to be enacted so that our county's precincts can be properly organized along the lines of the new districts."

To comply with the new filing period, Chairman Woodfill also announced the Party will be available to receive applications for a place on the Republican primary ballot at the following location and date.

November 28, 2011 through December 15, 2011
Harris County Republican Party Headquarters
3311 Richmond, Ste. 219, Houston, TX 77098
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (6:00 PM 12/15/2011)

Chairman Woodfill concluded by thanking his executive committee and county election officials. "This will be a very busy time for many people who would rather be spending time with their friends and loved ones in the holiday season. On behalf of the Harris County Republican Party, I would like to thank all of you in advance for the support and dedication in helping us pull together this condensed schedule and for understanding the importance of this work to our county and state. If you have any questions about the new filing period and related changes, please call our Primary office at 832-303-2021."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The GOP Debate in Michigan

Wednesday night in Rochester, Michigan on the campus of Oakland University, CNBC and the Michigan Republican Party hosted the latest GOP presidential primary debate. "Your Money, Your Vote" was the theme and the subject was fixing the economy. It was debate number 10.

Pre-debate, CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow stated that "Newt has the wave". He said Gingrich has both the domestic and foreign policy knowledge to lead the country. He mentioned that he thinks the Cain supporters will turn to Gingrich as they fall away from the Cain train. I think he's correct in that assumption. Republicans are still looking for the anti-Romney candidate and Newt fits the bill nicely.

We have a two man race at this point, my friends. I continue to think it's all about Romney and Gingrich. Herman Cain turned in an ok performance but he continues to punt when he is asked about specifics of entitlement reforms. Governor Perry was doing just fine, perhaps redeeming himself, until he had the huge brain freeze in stating three federal agencies he'd eliminate. There was no surviving that moment.

The other candidates are wasting our time.

Let me say something about Governor Perry's brain freeze - I completely sympathize with the man. I frequently speak in front of an audience and it is only human to forget your train of thought at times. Fortunately for me, I'm not in front of a television camera carrying it to homes around the nation. I literally gasped as he struggled to find the words and I have nothing but compliments for how he has handled the situation since then. Thursday morning he was on all the morning shows facing it head on and with a sense of humility and humor. That is leadership. It is as simple as that.

Huntsman, Santorum, Bachmann and Paul will hang on as long as possible and irate the rest of us along the way. Perhaps the one who angers me the most is Santorum. He is mean spirited and boastful without a record to back himself up. He can preen about his support of current ideas from back in the day when he was an elected official but the fact is, he lost his last election and today he is not the first, second or third place favorite in his own state for the GOP nomination. My gut tells me his is not worthy and is too egotistic to understand that.

Newt won the debate. Romney looked a bit tired or off his best somehow. Even his perfect hair was a little messed up. He came in at a strong second place Wednesday night. Cain was steady and managed to insert his 9-9-9 Plan in to just about every answer, so whomever was coaching him did a good job. Romney admitted that Ron Paul was correct in some of his assertions about the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke, as did Gingrich during the debate.

The two main moderators, John Harwood and Maria Bartiromo, were tough but mostly fair in questioning the candidates. Bartiromo is a bit much at times but we knew that going into the evening. Gingrich was effective in bringing her tone of sanctimonious superiority down a notch or two.

Of note to me from the audience was how they reacted as the moderators broached the subject of Cain's current difficulties with the sexual harassment claims. The audience booed when Romney was asked by Bartiromo if he would hire a personal with this in his history. Romney, to his credit, refused to take the bait and said that was for Cain to resolve himself. Cain said, "The American people deserve better than a President tried in the court of public opinion". Harwood then said, "Let's get back to the economy" and the audience applauded in approval.

It was interesting that the debate was held in Michigan. The state has been completely devastated under the leadership of Democrats for the past forty years or so and is home to the auto industry, the recipient of huge government bail-outs. Romney was questioned about his position on the bail-out and said that he was in favor of allowing the auto companies to go into bankruptcy to allow them to re-structure and move forward. On the question that he flip flops on his position, he said, "I am a man of steadiness and constancy"; "I will be true to my family, my faith and my country"; "I will never apologize for the United States of America".

It is too bad that Governor Perry was unable to articulate his plan for $10,000 four year college degrees in the short time allowed during the discussion on higher education financial reform. His is a cutting edge idea that deserves to be tested. As a parent of a college student, I certainly find it exciting and innovative. Governor Perry proposed the idea in his State of the State address in February, 2011.

The next debate is Saturday. The topic is foreign policy.

Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate Releases Video Honoring Veterans

In honor of Veteran's Day, U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz has released a video with respect and pride in our nation's heroes. The video is a moving tribute.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

On the Fall of the Berlin Wall Twenty-Two Years Later

Today, November 9, 2011, marks the 22nd anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On this date in 1989, the announcement that travel restrictions between East and West Germany would be lifted. President Ronald Reagan demanded of Soviet leader Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" during an earlier trip to West Germany.

German reunification happened less than a year after the announcement. Today the President of Germany, Angela Merkel, is one who was raised in East Germany and remembers the feeling of exhilaration of the announcement.

Merkel, who grew up in East Germany and was one of thousands to cross that night, recalled that "before the joy of freedom came, many people suffered."

The wall's opening came hours after a botched announcement by a senior communist official on a cold, wet night in 1989.

At the end of a plodding news conference, Politburo spokesman Guenter Schabowski offhandedly said East Germany was lifting restrictions on travel across its border with West Germany.

Pressed on when the regulation would take effect, he looked down at his notes and stammered: "As far as I know, this enters into force ... this is immediately, without delay."

Schabowski has said he didn't know that the change wasn't supposed to be announced until the following morning.

East Berliners streamed toward border crossings. Facing huge crowds and lacking instructions from above, border guards opened the gates — and the wall was on its way into history.

Merkel said she was among the East Germans who, hearing Schabowski's words, thought "something might happen on the evening of Nov. 9." Like many others, she made her way across.

Some thoughts from President Reagan after the announcement was made that the Wall would, in fact, come down:

Cain Maintains Innocence in Sexual Harrassment Charges

Herman Cain held a press conference to declare in no uncertain language that he is innocent of the charges of sexual harassment against him. Just before his press conference began, another woman went public. She is referred to as woman #1 from the original settlement story from the National Restaurant Association. She went public as she said the confidentiality clause in the original settlement has been violated. She invited all the other women to come together with her and hold a joint news conference.

We learn today that a joint news conference with at least two of the women accusers will happen in the next few days.

Here's what I took away from the press conference - Herman Cain has to decide if he is running for president or if he is selling his book. He has been very poorly served by his staff and he was several days late in going before the press on this matter. He continues to declare his innocence and doesn't sway on that, which is good. He continues to say he doesn't know some of the women and never "acted inappropriately" with anyone. Ever. That is bad. How can anyone make that statement? Inappropriate is in the eye of the beholder, in many cases.

And, most importantly from a public relations standpoint, Mr. Cain should have had Mrs. Cain standing next to him as he made his remarks before the question and answer portion of the press conference. He was there with a well-known Atlanta lawyer instead.

To date, there are now five women who are claiming sexual harassment from Mr. Cain:

Accuser one: Today identified as Karen Kraushaar, 55, who worked with Cain at the NRA in the nineties. She is said to have received a settlement claim from the company after a series of 'inappropriate behaviours' from Cain.

Accuser two: Still unnamed. She, along with Karen Kraushaar, were the women to start the scandal against the Republican when details of their settlement were reported on Politico.

Accuser three: Still unnamed. Another former NRA employee who considered filing a workplace complaint against Cain over what she deemed sexually suggestive, aggressive and unwanted behaviour.

Accuser four: Sharon Bialek was the first woman to come out publicly. She claims Cain tried to grope her genitals and push her head towards his crotch when she went to him for advice in 1997.

Accuser five: Former employee of the United States Agency for International Development Donna Donella, 40, from Arlington, said the Republican presidential candidate asked her to help arrange a dinner date for him with an Egyptian businesswoman following a speech he delivered in the country nine years ago. She said she didn't feel comfortable about it so refused.

There are arguments to be made about character issues of accusers 1 and 4 that have surfaced in news accounts. The women and their choices in life are not the issue, though. The issue is the continued press barrage on Mr. Cain to prove his innocence. The assumption is that he is guilty. He may be but it is not the job of the press to decide his guilt or innocence.

It can be said that the press didn't seem too interested in the affairs of Bill Clinton or the education and personal life of Barack Obama. It can be said that the press willingly allowed John Edwards to have an affair with someone on the campaign trail and father a child with her as his wife fought terminal cancer without a story being written about it for more than a year. It can be said that if the politician is a Democrat the line of thought is that personal life doesn't matter; it is not our business. We are told it is between the man and his wife. But for a Republican, the gloves come off and any accusation is a-oka . Let the facts emerge in their own sweet time and assume the worst in the meantime.

Mr. Cain has made the mistake of blaming everyone for this trouble. He blamed the press, he blamed Rick Perry's campaign, he blamed Democrats, he blamed everyone but himself for his predicament.

Herman Cain has some fault here, whether he is guilty of this inappropriate behavior or not. He allowed a national online publication to run a story after being given 10 days notice in advance. He chose to allow the story to run and then played defense. He should have come out before it was published and told his story. He has flip flopped around on his story and of his memory of time lines.

I find it implausible that a man who is running as a successful businessman who solves problems cannot get a handle on how to settle this situation. It has gone from bad to worse. He now finds himself painted into a corner where if any receipts or paper trail can put him with these women it will be the final straw for his run for the nomination. He has offered to take a lie detector test. It has gotten out of hand.

Last night Cain's Chief of Staff Mark Block went on a national television show and accused yet another person as the source of all the media reporting and was proven to be absolutely incorrect in his theory.

Desperate to deflect attention from the growing number of women who have accused Herman Cain of sexual misconduct, the Cain campaign has resorted to telling outright lies on national television. Last night, Cain chief of staff Mark Block went on Fox's Hannity show and said: "At the press conference it was brought up that Karen Kraushaar had come out as one of the women, so we've come to find out that her son works at POLITICO, the organization that originally put this story out."

Sean Hannity then pressed Block: "Have you confirmed that? I've been hearing that all day, rumors about that, you have confirmed that now right?"

Block responded: "We confirmed it with ahhh... that he does indeed work at Politico and that's his mother, yes."

The person referenced by Block not only doesn't work for Politico anymore but is now executive editor at The Hotline and not related to the accuser. If Block is not fired over this stunt, Herman Cain doesn't deserve the trust of voters.

The question remains - does Herman Cain truly want to be President of the United States?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Obama and Sarkozy Trash Netanyahu in Conversation

So, Barack Obama goes to Europe to attend the G20 and he's gossiping with Sarkozy about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. They are lamenting the necessity of dealing with Netanyahu. Sarkozy calls him a liar. Obama agrees and whines about how difficult it is to have to deal with Netanyahu. And, their mics were open.


If a French website, Arret sur Images, had not reported the snide remarks, we would not know of them. The press in the room decided to not report of the open mic remarks. There's your professional journalists at work.

The remarks were part of what the American and French leaders believed to be a private chat after a news conference in Cannes last week, during the G20 economic conference. The pair were still wearing microphones, and some journalists who still had their headphones on for translation caught the remarks, which were first reported by the French photo agency Arret Sur Images.

A Reuters news agency reporter who was also present has since confirmed the exchange.

As the two leaders discussion turns to Israel and the Palestinians, Sarkozy is first to express his distaste for the conservative Israeli Prime Minister.

"I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," the French president was heard to say.

In response, according to the account by Arret Sur Images, Mr. Obama sympathizes with Sarkozy's frustration, saying, "you're fed up, but I have to deal with him every day."

The initial topic of discussion which led Sarkozy and Mr. Obama to their apparent Netanyahu-bashing was France's support of the Palestinian's bid for membership in the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sought unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations several weeks ago - first by the powerful U.N. Security Council, and then, when that failed, by UNESCO.

The United States has vowed to veto a statehood bid in the Security Council, and France likewise says it would not back the move, but Paris did vote in favor of UNESCO membership - a move which irked Washington.

Seems a bit odd that such a media savvy guy as Obama would make such a mistake.

I am working very hard so that President Obama no longer feels the heavy burden of working with Netanyahu after November 2012. I will be happy for him to return to the private sector and allow a new President in office who will truly support Israel.

Gingrich Ascends in Polls

The takeaway from recent polling of the GOP candidates for President is that Newt Gingrich is a sleeper. He's slowly rising in the polls and in most of them, he is now in third place behind Romney and Cain.

You can see the wrap up on the various polls HERE

Interesting, right? Romney seems to be unable to break out of a steady 20-25% of support and Cain continues to remain at the top. Time will tell if the current kerfuffle will sink his popularity. And, look at Gingrich. He's on the ascent.

I think the more people take a look at Gingrich, the more they approve of what he brings to the table. Unlike some who think it's not a good thing that GOP voters and Independents are all over the place with support of the candidates, I think it is good at this point. We still have debates to watch among the field and the new calendar of early primaries and caucuses will force voters to focus as we reach the end of the year.

Whether or not you put much stock into the results of televised debates or not, the fact it that they are important. Why? They are important because whomever is the GOP nominee will go up against Barack Obama. Obama can hold his own and the GOP candidate will have to be able to do so, too. Since I'm not an Obama fan, I find that he continues to lose his mojo. Without his teleprompter, I think he stumbles and hestitates in addressing questions. Debating skills are important in a campaign.

Gingrich is not afraid to get out in front with his opinions. He was the only one of the candidates to declare the Super Committee, for example, a really stupid idea. Turns out, he's right. They are deadlocked in traditional positions - the Democrats demand substantial tax hikes, Republicans demand spending cuts.

Would women voters actually support Gingrich in light of his personal history? I don't know. I do think it is important that the GOP get it right with our nominee because I am convinced that Barack Obama can be defeated, even with his huge war chest of cash and the power of the incumbency. Think Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. We have no Reagan this time around but we must rally around the strongest candidate.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Smart Girls Politics Action

This week Smart Girls Politics Action celebrates its third anniversary. Spreading the mantra Engage, Educate, Empower, Smart Girls Politics Action has brought together conservative women to work for the important issues of the day.

In the election cycle of 2010, women voted for conservative and Republican candidates in the largest numbers ever.

Here is a message of congratulations from Rep.Cathy McMorris Rodgers:

McMorris Rodgers was elected to Congress from the state of Washington in 2004. In 2009, she was chosen to a member of Republican Leadership and is vice-chair of the conference.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Cain-Gingrich Lincoln-Douglas Style Debate

Saturday night in The Woodlands, Texas, two men from Georgia running for President came together for what was billed as a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich faced each other in more of a discussion than a debate. The host of the event, Texas Patriots PAC, a Tea Party group, brought in Rep Steve King from Iowa and Americans for Prosperity's Texas Chairman Ben Streusand as moderators.

I had the privilege of being in the room and these are some thoughts about the event.

First let me say, it wasn't a debate in the traditional Lincoln-Douglas style by any stretch of the imagination but it was an in-depth discussion. The discussion is certainly preferable to the sound bite answers and one minute time frame of traditional presidential debates. Mr. Gingrich shines as the smartest man in the room and this is a perfect venue for him. What is obvious is that the two men are friends and like each other. Both are respectful of the other and as Gingrich pointed out, there were no gotcha questions throughout the event. The two men have worked together since they both opposed Hillarycare in the 1990's so there is a personal history there.

The discussion focused on entitlements.

Representative King was too talky. As a politician, every question he posed was in reference to something he was working on or something he thought should be worked on in Congress. He droned on too much.

What is clear is this - Herman Cain, while a smart guy and successful in his own private sector career, is not ready to lead the nation. Not the whole nation and not ready to deal with all of our problems, both domestic and foreign. He passed to Newt several times when he was to begin a discussion on specific reforms on Medicare and on Social Security. Cain relied on jumping off of Newt's points and was prone to speak in generalizations. This venue was to allow the candidates to drill down and get into specifics, so Cain looked to be weaker.

For instance, when asked about problem solving to reform a defined benefit plan in the current Medicare system, Cain punted and asked Gingrich to speak first. Gingrich was able to speak of several benefit plans without hesitation, as though off the top of his head. Newt pointed to the fact that entitlement reform comes from providing a better value, not mandatory laws.

Both men are supportive of Rep Paul Ryan's economic plan. Cain said, "I haven't found anything I disagree with in it".

Gingrich loves to tweak the national press and did so Saturday night. With the back wall of the room filled with media and bloggers, and the C-SPAN cameras rolling, Newt expressed his opinion that many are more interested in writing about opinion, not facts. Cain, when asked by Gingrich what the most surprising thing is that he's discovered as he's been running for President, said that he wasn't expecting the press to simply lie while reporting a story. He prefaced that opinion by saying he didn't go to "PC" school.

Gingrich said his formula for solving problems is: 1. Go with bold ideas with definite deadlines, 2. Delegate like crazy, and 3. Do not allow 'experts' in the room. He said that common sense is such a radical idea in Washington that no one understands it.

Gingrich, a former history professor, explained the history of Social Security as it moved from a free-standing program to a part of the national budget during the days of LBJ. President Johnson did it to cover up the national deficit. He advocates for Social Security to go back to a stand alone budget.

No one explains American history better than Newt Gingrich.

Newt said that any candidate "who isn't ready to allow younger workers to choose (private investment) isn't serious" about entitlement reform of Social Security. Cain brought up his favorite example of Chile and its model for retirement investment. Gingrich brought up the Galveston, Texas model. Cain stated that 30 countries have an optional personal account retirement opportunity and that he liked the reform put forward by former President George W. Bush, which didn't get through Congress at the time.

Neither man approves of Barack Obama in the White House as President. Gingrich said, "This president is about as candid and accurate about what he tells the American people as Bernie Madoff".

I think there was more vigorous applause for Gingrich during the evening, maybe due to the fact that Gingrich is able to go into detail and speak in a common sense language. And it is obvious that Gingrich has pondered these issues for a long time.

Newt announced that Sean Hannity has offered an hour on his show to the two men for a discussion, perhaps on economics, in the future. Cain seemed to approve of the offer.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Obama Slams Republicans From Europe

President Obama is in France this week, solving the problems of the world. Or not. He has accomplished virtually nothing, as is the usual outcome of these gatherings but, hey, it's a European vacation and lots of photos for the re-election campaign, too. The absurdity of Barack Obama arriving in France on Tuesday and declaring that the European economic mess would be solved in a period of 48 hours was laughable, except it was just depressing.

The President of the United States is clueless. And, he went to Europe to spread that word.

Taking his re-election campaign across the pond, Obama decided to bash the Republicans in the Senate as he participated in some press opportunities. After the Senate failed to pass a section of his so-called jobs bill, President Obama took his disappointment to the world press.

"For the third time in recent weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a jobs bill that independent economists said would boost our economy and put Americans back to work. At a time when more than a million construction workers are looking for a job, they voted "no" to putting them back to work doing the work America needs done -- rebuilding our roads, bridges, airports and transit systems. That makes no sense.

It makes no sense when you consider that this bill was made up of the same kinds of common-sense proposals that many of these senators have fought for in the past. It was fully paid for. And even though it was supported by more than 70% of the American people -- Republicans, Democrats and independents -- 100% of Senate Republicans said no. It's more clear than ever that Republicans in Washington are out of touch with Americans from all ends of the political spectrum.

The American people deserve to know why their Republican representatives in Washington refuse to put some of the workers hit hardest by the economic downturn back on the job rebuilding America. They deserve an explanation as to why Republicans refuse to step up to the plate and do what's necessary to create jobs and grow the economy right now. It's time for Republicans in Congress to put country ahead of party and listen to the people they were elected to serve. It's time for them to do their job and focus on Americans' jobs. And until they do, I will continue to do everything in my power to move this country forward."

He conveniently forgets to mention that there are Democrats who also are not voting in favor of the pieces of the jobs bill that the Senate chooses to bring up, knowing the votes are not there. It is political theatre for the re-election of Obama and it is at the expense of Americans looking to Washington to lead us out of this economic mess.

Men's Wearhouse Support Occupy Wall Street Movement

Men's Wearhouse has stepped in it. When businesses wade into politics, the result is rarely good. In this case, it is in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Men's Wearhouse is a large chain selling moderately priced men's garments, specifically suits and formal wear. We've all seen the commercials. Well, a social media firestorm broke out in the last couple of days as a poster positioned in the front window of a store in Oakland offered the chain's support of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The poster said the store would close on November 2 in solidarity with the protesters.

HERE is the photo.

This is their entry on Facebook:
We closed our store near Oakland City Hall today, for one day, to express the company's concern for the issue of wealth disparity in our country. The issue affects our employees and customers across the political spectrum.

This is where the consumer has the power. We take our business elsewhere. Supporting protests is one thing. Protesting is a basic American right. But to support thugs, unions agitators and the like is unacceptable.

And, sometimes the pandering to the criminals turns ugly against the supporters. Men's Wearhouse suffered damage to its storefront just as other businesses did as rioting broke out.

Other businesses that professed support for Occupy Oakland's general strike didn't escape the damage. Windows at the Men's Wearhouse, which closed Wednesday and put up signs of support, were shattered.

Occupy Men's Wearhouse by letting them sell to the protesters. Tell them to stick to selling mens wear. The company will feel the pinch in the cash register.

I guarantee it.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Offers Come in From Houston and DFW to Host Cruz-Dewhurst Debates

This is the latest update for the possible Cruz/Dewhurst debates, Lincoln-Douglas style in the U.S. Senate race in Texas. King Street Patriots in Houston has offered to host the venue with local talk show host Michael Berry serving as moderator. In the Dallas area, several Tea Party organizations have come together to offer to host a debate.

This is the press release:

Local grassroots organizations in the Greater Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas have offered to host David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz as participants in a pair of Lincoln-Douglas style debates. Cruz proposed a series of such debates in a public letter to Dewhurst released on Monday.

King Street Patriots of Houston has offered its 300-seat hall as a venue for one of the debates. King Street Patriots founder and president Catherine Engelbrecht noted the importance of such debates in evaluating candidates, noting “Good governing requires the ability to clearly articulate points and powerfully defend positions. These debates will allow voters to get a glimpse of the candidate’s potential prowess on the floor of the Senate, where they will be called upon to speak on behalf of all Texans.” The group has proposed November 28 and December 5 as potential event dates, but has made clear that they are committed to working with the candidates’ schedules.

Houston talk radio host Michael Berry of 740 KTRH has offered to serve as a moderator for any debate in the Houston area. Berry explains, “Texas primary voters deserve the benefit of hearing the candidates debate the issues. This is an important seat and will help determine the direction of the Senate. I hope Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst will agree to participate.”

In North Texas, a coalition comprising the Dallas Tea Party, Garland Tea Party, Mesquite-Sunnyvale Tea Party, NE Tarrant Tea Party and the Park Cities-Preston Hollow Tea Party have come together to make a similar offer to the candidates. Julie McCarty, President of the NE Tarrant Tea Party, is hopeful that an event will be organized in North Texas. “Citizens are taking a much closer look at the candidates these days,” McCarty notes, “Any candidate that expects our support is going to have to show up and make the case.” The Dallas-Fort Worth coalition is proposing to hold the debate on the campus of the University of Texas at Dallas. They are prepared to work with the candidates and the University to identify mutually-acceptable dates for a debate.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Sit-In For Rape Kit Processing Reform at Houston City Hall

Today, Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 12:00 noon, a peaceful sit-in is being held at City Hall for a show of support for rape victims. Houston has a problem with the large backlog of unprocessed rape kits. This gathering brings focus to the problem and asks that those in leadership at City Hall to reform the system and take action for the sake of the victims.

The sit-in is not a political event, and no political speeches will be delivered. I received notice of it in an email from the Jack O'Connor for Mayor campaign.

Here is the email announcement:

Please join concerned citizens in asking the Mayor to process the thousands of untested rape kits. I ask for your support of ALL victims who have waited in the dark on the sidelines waiting for justice to be served. Information is as follows:

What: Sit In At City Hall
Who: Concerned Citizens and Victims
Why: Process the Untested Rape Kits
Where: City Hall (Steps on the Bagby side) 901 Bagby Houston, TX 77002
When: Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 12:00PM

Attire: Wear red, white or pink. Red to represent the victim's courage. White to represent peace and justice in having the kits tested. Pink to represent women/girls who have been victimized.

Props: Bring a rose or carnation in any of those colors to leave on the steps of City Hall as a reminder to process the kits.

DESCRIPTION: A peaceful rally to urge the Mayor to take action. Our point is to make a presence and stance on bringing justice to victims by having the kits tested.

***DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a political event. NO political speeches. This is simply a show of solidarity for the victims and their families in having justice served.

Obama Declares God Wants His Jobs Bill Passed

President Obama went to another bridge to speak about his jobs bill that is languishing in Congress.  It still has no support from either party yet he continues to blame Republicans. If his jobs bill was so fabulous, wouldn't it at least have one Democratic sponsor in the House of Representatives?

A small amount of time was taken to have a vote on a non-binding resolution to state that the national motto is In God We Trust and it passed with bi-partisan support.  Instead of the President of all the people in the country mocked Republicans and Democrats in the House for not spending every moment on a bill that none of them want to bring up. 

The president rebuked the House of Representatives for passing a bill reaffirming the US motto "In God We Trust" rather than getting to work on his stalled $447 billion jobs program.
"That's not putting people back to work. I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work," the president said.

That's a bit odd, isn't it? Even of the arrogant and vain Barack Obama this is going a bit over the top.

In recent votes, several Democratic senators from conservative states where the president's economic policies are unpopular, have also declined to back portions of the jobs plans.

It's a tough re-election for Obama, despite the spinning coming out of the DNC and Oval Office. The country is in a funk and now Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke has put out a of the next three years. He says unemployment will barely get below 9%gloomy prediction next year and jobs simply will not be out there. The economy is still recovering too slowly.

“I’m dissatisfied with the economy – unemployment is far too high,” said Mr. Bernanke after the Federal Reserve, after its latest meeting, reduced its estimate of US economic growth for the coming two years. It now foresees slower growth of 2.5 to 2.9 percent next year, and 3.0 to 3.5 percent in 2013, with the unemployment rate above 7.8 percent two years from now.
Instead of blaming Republicans for the woes of the nation, maybe President Obama could work with both sides of the aisle for solutions as he promised to do in 2008 while he campaigned for this term.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Letting Herman Be Herman

It's been a rough few days for Herman Cain. Two different stories have broken that can derail his candidacy, though there is no noticeable fall-out yet. As a matter of fact, the day the story about sexual harassment broke, the Cain campaign said a record number of dollars was raised for his bid. I've been reading comments that the media is trying to destroy GOP presidential Herman Cain.

This is an understandable charge coming from conservatives, given the blatant double standard in journalism we see regularly. The media consists of liberals, we know this. Here's the thing - we know this. Do you get it? Since we know this, it is even more important that conservative candidates are prepared in election battles. How can it be 2011 and we have candidates so unprepared?

In a presidential election where the incumbent - a Democrat - is so low in favorable numbers for job performance and voters are looking for an electable alternative, it is inexcusable for a Republican candidate to fall for the usual traps. In the case of the sexual harassment charges, the Cain campaign was given a heads-up 10 days ahead of the story being published and the candidate said it was ultimately his decision not to respond. Really? Did he think it would all just go away? He should have a campaign staff capable of crisis management, no matter how unlikely it is that that candidate will ultimately be the party's nominee. He should have called a press conference immediately, after getting his story straight on the events, and gotten out in front of the pending story.

How many times must we see this mistake play out before all candidates learn the lesson - get out in front of bad stories. Be on the offense, not the defense. It's true the media is out for the gotcha story, especially against conservative candidates, but, come on. The unprepared candidate has to take some responsibility for the situation, too.

Not only has the Cain story continued to evolve over the course of now 48 hours, as I write this, but the story grows. First he said he didn't know anything about a settlement. Then he said he didn't follow up on how the claims were handled and resolved. Then he said he didn't remember signing a settlement and so on. Finally he was parsing the definition of settlement and sounding horribly Clintonian as he did so.

My question, as a woman who worked for many years in the business world, is this - how can someone claim to not remember basic facts about an issue as explosive as sexual harassment in the workplace? And, if this is an isolated incident from the 1990's, why doesn't it stand out even clearer in his memory. Why didn't he monitor how it was being handled and the details of the settlement? Why didn't he want to know? And, if it comes out that he did do all the steps most people would do, why did he not come clean right away?

And, for those on the left who wrapped Bill Clinton in a protective cocoon during all of his unsavory affairs while in office, I say this - you have absolutely no standing in this discussion. Step off.

The expression the campaign likes to use is, "let Herman be Herman". Well, that is fine but it doesn't excuse incompetence and it doesn't excuse less than straightforward behavior, either. He is running on the fact that he is a businessman, not a politician. His behavior, however, is more like a politician at this point.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Grassroots Texans Network Offers to Host Cruz-Dewhurst Debates

As a follow up to the invitation extended by U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz to Lt Governor David Dewhurst Monday, today The Grassroots Texans Network offered to organize the Lincoln-Douglas debates should they be agreed upon.

This is the press release:

In an open letter released today, the organizers of a statewide grassroots network have offered to host a series of Lincoln-Douglas debates proposed by U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz. Cruz issued a public proposal to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in a letter released on Monday.

The organization, known as The Grassroots Texans Network, is offering the candidates assistance in identifying local hosts, securing venues, negotiating dates and times and actively promoting the events to the public. The group has begun the process of reaching out to local grassroots organizations across Texas in order to identify potential venues and dates for the debates.

In the letter released today, group founder Ken Emanuelson notes, “the people of Texas are best served when they are provided with ample opportunities to get to know,full well, the candidates presented to them for election. We write to both of you today, in good faith, in the pursuit of that goal.”

Monday’s letter from Cruz to Dewhurst proposed a series of five debates in the Lincoln-Douglas style. The Grassroots Texans group proposes to host the five events in various locations around the state, in order to maximize the opportunities for Texas voters to evaluate the candidates. Organizers are in the process of contacting local organizations in Dallas, Houston, Austin,San Antonio and Tyler, and hope to host a debate in each of these cities.

The Grassroots Texans Network is a non-partisan statewide network of hardworking Texans dedicated to the advancement of fundamental American principles such as limited government, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, the rule of law and American sovereignty. The network’s mission is to advance these core principles by informing fellow Texans on the issues and working to actively engage them in the political process.

Who is The Grassroots Texans Network? According to the description on their website -

We are not an organization, coalition or alliance, but rather a network of Texans working individually toward common goals. We research, inform, strategize, train, petition, rally, walk, call and just basically do whatever it takes to stand up and fight for the core American values we believe in.

Updates will follow here if the debates are agreed to by both campaigns.