Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blumenthal's Arrogant Ambition

From The Hill online:
"That was Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) potential 2012 Democratic opponent getting lit into by Fox News’s Glenn Beck on Monday.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal remained calm and collected as Beck hammered him over and over again about how much legal authority he has to intervene in the controversial AIG bonuses.
It probably wasn’t a great moment for the attorney general, but he’s got a golden opportunity right now to win some votes for 2012 if he handles the situation right.
And while Beck might have a point about legal authority, he acknowledges the vast majority of people will remain on Blumenthal’s side on this one."

And, that's the problem, isn't it? The American public is clueless on the distinction of what is the actual law in this country and what is the will of an overaggressive state attorney general. In the case of Mr. Blumenthal, his personal political ambitions are running roughshod over the Constitution.

Blumenthal justifies the threats and harassment of the AIG executives as a public display of angry taxpayers. In the case of the AIG executives, however, the most blatant of the public displays involved a busload of professional protesters parking outside of a private home and then the disgruntled-for-hire carried signs and shouted on cue. Where were the busloads of taxpayers urged to picket in front of Senator Dodd's Connecticut home? Dodd was the largest recipient of campaign donations originating from AIG and now comes the story that the top earners were encouraged to contribute to Dodd as he would be the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Plus, there is the pesky little nugget that Dodd insisted the bonuses were kept in place in the spending bill that no one bothered to read before voting to pass.

Talk show host Beck asked Blumenthal a simple question - where is the law that allows the confiscation of the contractually legal executive bonuses after they were awarded? Blumenthal was forced to admit there is no law to pursue here, simply what "ought" to be. The same is true with Blumenthal's colleague in New York, Andrew Cuomo. Both, in the end, only grandstanding for political fodder in upcoming campaigns.

The American taxpayer loses again.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thinking Women

Recently, some good examples of women helping women - regardless of political persuasion - have produced rewarding results. March is the month designated to recognize International Women's Day.

A new website has been launched this month by some intelligent, politically savvy women. The site, www.motherofallconservatives.com, brings thought provoking political content from a conservative point of view. My blog friend, Lizzi at The Bitten Word; Megan Jordan who is the brain behind BlogNosh.com; Allie Worthington who began the phenom known as Domestic Bliss; Dana Loesch from Mamalogues in the blog world and talent of her own St. Louis radio show; Kim Priestap from Wizbang; Christine, a former physician and now a freelance photographer; Leslie Finger from the Seattle Mom Blog Community; Katie Howard of Moms in the Right blog are the founders. New contributors are being brought in and I am happy to say that I am one. My slot is Tuesday afternoons and I will publish a post each week then. I encourage you to check it out.

I watched an interview recently conducted with Sally Field. She was in Washington, D.C. to attend an award ceremony for Vital Voices. This is the description from the website:

"Vital Voices Global Partnership’s programs invest in emerging and established women leaders who are working to increase women's political participation and representation, build women business leaders and catalyze successful entrepreneurship, and combat human rights violations that are widely affecting women across the globe. In raising these women’s voices, we promote positive change to transform our world."

Actress Sally Field, a Democrat, was praising Republican women like Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and former First Lady Laura Bush for work throughout the years with the organization. The original idea of the global partnership sprung from the Beijing conference attended by then First Lady Hillary Clinton. It concentrated on women's rights around the world.

Laura Bush continues to do an enormous amount of work on behalf of Afghani women and will be remembered for bringing the message of the importance of breast health and mammograms to Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries in the Arab world.

Kay Bailey Hutchinson spoke of her admiration of now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strong personal dignity as she lost her quest to be the Democratic Presidential nominee. As Senator Hutchinson spoke of Clinton's ability to never let her face show her pain as she conceded the race, Clinton was described in the newspaper account as tearing up with emotion while listening to the tribute.

Thinking women. Actively involved women. It's a good thing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thank Our Heroes

Today was a very long day. It is filed under "parenting is not for wimps". Such is life. However, there was a shining moment that I will share here.

I thanked an Airman dressed in fatigues today. It was such a treat. I don't call attention to a very simple gesture to pat myself on the back. I'm doing it to encourage you to take the same opportunity. I know, it can seem a bit awkward to walk up to a stranger and say thank you. Just get over yourself. Do it.

The setting was inside a very large comfort center off I-10 not too far outside of San Antonio. It's the kind of place where you can multi-task - fill up the gas tank, use the very clean rest rooms, and buy snacks and even nationally known fast food. Also, lots of cheesy souvenirs are available for tourists. Randolph Air Force Base is located in San Antonio. As it happens, my husband was stationed there during his stint in the Vietnam years. I didn't know him then. But, I digress. This young man was walking past me in one of the aisles loaded with snacks. I noticed the fatigues out of the corner of my eye. I turned and saw he was alone, doing what I was doing, looking for junk food. I grabbed a bag of sour cream and onion chips and went over to him. Pausing just a second, I looked up at him, into his eyes and said, "Thank you for your service." Simple as that. Five words.

Frankly, he was startled. He blinked and his smile went from ear to ear. Collecting himself, he said, "Thank you, Ma'am." Other than the fact I'm still a little sensitive about the whole "ma'am" thing, even though I am a Baby Boomer not getting any younger, my smile was fairly large, too.

President Obama has begun to release his plans to expand troops in Afghanistan. Our military and civilian forces are still in Iraq. We are in many countries around the world as keepers of the peace. Take the opportunity to step out of your own comfort zone and thank them whenever you can.

You'll feel great, too. I promise.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Different For Its Own Sake

"What I’ve told them directly, because I have heard some of this, is they need to spend a little time outside of New York. Because if you go to North Dakota or you go to Iowa or if you go to Arkansas, where folks would be thrilled to be making $75,000 a year without a bonus, then I think they’d get a sense of why people are frustrated. I think we have to understand the severity of the crisis that we’re in right now. The fact is, because of bad bets made on Wall Street, there have been enormous losses. There were a whole bunch of folks who, on paper, if you looked at quarterly reports, were wildly successful selling derivatives that turned out to be completely worthless…. " That was a response to the question during the 60 Minutes interview as to the point of if it were the President's responsibility to decide the salaries of bankers.

There is something that does not sit well with many Americans when the nouveau riche President claims to know the salary dreams of those who are not making his fabulous book deals and taxpayer funded salary. There is something a bit unseemly when the President inks a book deal to "repackage" his last book into a classroom book for middle schoolers just days before his inauguration. There is something unseemly about a sitting President leading the nation through a particularly tough patch while yucking it up on late night talk shows and making jokes about the disgust Americans have for another auto bailout.

You may remember this is the same man as candidate who went to Iowa to campaign at the start of the presidential primary season and worked "arugula" and "Whole Foods" into his speech. There are no Whole Foods markets in Iowa.

The man is President of the United States. In his myopic zeal for trashing all things proper of the White House and traditions held by previous Presidents, he looks unserious and not at all "different" or cutting edge, as he fancies himself. Doing things just to be different is juvenile.

Today it was reported that President Obama will make an appearance during the Univision music awards ceremony. This "different" move wouldn't have anything to do with pandering for the Hispanic vote next time around, would it? Change we can believe in?

Today the Secretary of Treasury, a tax cheat, told members of Congress that he wants even more power. He wants the power to decide winners and losers in all major businesses. He wants to also set salaries and decide on bonus policy. Where would that nightmare end?

Yesterday, the Secretary of Treasury, a tax cheat, murmured that he would certainly have no problem with considering a world currency to replace the dollar and the value of the dollar plunged. The market was none too excited about that idiocy, either. Then, after being thrown a life preserver from that event's moderator, he backtracked. China must have been terribly entertained.

Smoke and mirrors rule the day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thoughts on the Press Conference

Some thoughts from President Obama's press conference:

Did you learn anything new? Me neither. He seemed to be a bit off his game and started off slowly. Instead of the teleprompter screens on either side, he read from a large screen in back of the reporters present. He does better with the teleprompter.

I find it disturbing when an elected official wins the office sought and then whines about the tasks going forward. President Obama has a nasty habit of taking responsibility for solving the problems we face as a nation while continuing to say it is a mess he "inherited". He didn't inherit anything. He asked for the job and he received it. He also blamed the Republicans in Congress for our problems, especially in their criticism of his budget. The budget is what he is trying to sell now, but it is not only to Republicans. Many Democrats are complaining about the out of whack budget numbers and projections, too. That is his bigger problem. He had to make an appearance on Captiol Hill today to twist arms as he met with Democrats.

The finger pointing is an action that diminishes President Obama as a leader. This is when his inexperience at the executive level is most obvious. He is paid to figure it all out, just as he said he could as a candidate. He told us he had the necessary experience to handle this moment in history. He has to step up and let the criticism go - develop a thicker skin. There is no way the Republicans will sit by and accept his economic rush toward socialism with a fight, especially since those in office now are receiving the message loudly and clearly to get back to the basics of the fiscal philosophy of the Republican party.

Obama falsely claims that the Republicans in the House have not offered up an alternative to his massive spending budget. That is out and out false. As the tech guy he is, surely he checks out youtube regularly. Minority Leader Boehner has an alternative budget proposal in a March 17 youtube video. Also, Rep. Paul Ryan wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal with his ideas.

And, we remember that it was the Democrats - with him as a member himself - that were in control of both houses of Congress since 2007.

Obama feigned "anger" about the AIG executive bonuses. What baloney. He was part of the plan to protect those bonuses in his bailout program. He cannot continue to have it both ways. Perhaps some of those journalists in the room will begin to put the dots together and write about the whole timeline and actions.

Obama made some swipes at the former administration's foreign policy decisions, too. The last question asked had to do with the peace process for Israel and Palestine. Who was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since the 2007 takeover by Democrats? Now VP Joe Biden. And, it was President Bush who was the first president to call for a two state solution in his road map to peace.

The International Herald Tribune, "The Global Edition of The New York Times", called his press conference boring. They described him as lecturing, not talking to answer questions.

Frank Luntz, author of "Words That Work" and a pollster said that according to his polling American viewers don't respond well to complaining. They also thought he didn't offer specifics for his plans to expand the government as it has never been expanded in our nation's history. He pledged he could do the job as he campaigned and voters expect him to do it, not complain about what he "inherited".

No reporters from the major newspapers were called on for questions. The Washington Times and Stars and Stripes were called on as representatives of the nation's newspapers. Obama only answered 13 questions as he reverted to long lectures instead of concise and informative answers. He chose questioners from a chart by calling out a name and then looking around and asking if that person was there. What?

All in all the performance was not his finest.

Obama and Constitutional Law

The President is a former constitutional law professor, briefly but still, in Illinois. When the ridiculous bill in the House of Representatives passed declaring that those who received bonuses at AIG would be taxed at 100% - 90% federal, 10% state - President Obama said nothing. He allowed the smokescreen to play out for several days. The media? Asleep at the wheel.

The tax would be a bill of attainment. It is clearly unconstitutional. The President clearly knew this fact. Much of the House of Representatives probably knew this, too, yet voted to pass such a measure. If they didn't know it, why didn't they? We seem to have quite a low standard for elected officials. They passed the measure purely for political theatre. The folks back home are steamed and they wanted to act as though they were doing something. The President was thrilled with the distraction - even dispatching some of his union supporters on buses to the homes of AIG executives in Connecticut to protest the bonuses. All on the day he appeared on the Jay Leno show with all the eyes on that stunt.

Did any buses go to the home of Senator Chris Dodd, (D-CT)? No. Did they know Chris Dodd wrote a provision into the bill no one bothered to read that specifically protected the bonuses? Or that Mrs. Dodd sat on a corporate board that supervised an offshoot of AIG? She was paid for that plum gig, too. Would she have begun her own "consulting" firm to get this type of business if her husband were not the Senator from Connecticut and recipient of big campaign donation dollars from, say, AIG?

"I look forward to receiving a final product that will serve as a strong signal to the executives who run these firms that such compensation will not be tolerated." That from the constitutional professor in chief. Then the Attorney General of CT got into the mix for his own publicity and shamed and threatened the executives until 9 out of 10 have now given back their bonuses. Hopefully, the 10th one is telling the Attorney General to stick it.

The Treasury Secretary was on Capitol Hill testifying before Barney Frank's Banking Committee today. The same Barney Frank who was a driving force in the economic collaspe with his entrenched support of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and his campaign contributions from banks that fell into the arms of the bailout. Secretary Geithner, tax cheat, would like to have even more power over large corporations to reign in salaries and bonuses that the administration doesn't approve of. Imagine that power grab. Where would it stop? Who's next?

It is interesting, all the silence from the press. They are truly accomplished in turning the other way when it comes to covering this administration. Not a peep to question the constitutional question of this tax. They are perfectly content to let this administration and Democrat majority Congress chose who will win and who will lose, even to the point of using the U.S. tax code.

Throughout the Bush administration there was daily coverage of complaints of how that administration was trampling on the Constitution. The sustained outrage of the perceived power grabs to keep our country safe after the murderous attacks on 9/11/01 was a constant in press coverage. So what happened? The journalism community completely surrendered to this administration before it was even this administration. It was all political theatre. The country reaps what it sows.

Now it is known that Senator Cardin is looking for co-sponsors for his newspaper bailout bill. Newspaper bailout. Rewarding more failure. Rewarding journalists for looking the other way for their favorite politicians.

The administration marches on.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We Need Smarter Americans

The commercial said we need smarter energy grids. We need smarter cities. We need smarter everything. Frankly, we need smarter Americans.

Our fellow citizens are so riddled with short attention spans that the cult of the celebrity is dominant. Entertainment shows are treated as news shows. Viewers actually have claimed to receive the bulk of their current events coverage from shows like Jon Stewart's and the one hosted by Stephen Colbert. Sad but true.

Recently, NASA allowed write in suggestions in a contest to name a room of the new international space station. Four choices were given by the agency and then Stephen Colbert instructed his minions to write in his name as a selection. They did and now the name "Colbert" is shown as the winner of the contest. NASA reserves the right to overrule the stupid public choice.

Candidate Obama knew the intoxicating effects of celebrity on the American voter. He was the celebrity in the presidential race. Stages were crafted, teleprompters were packed, chants were issued to crowds, and two autobiographies were written by the politician. It takes a certain size of ego to write two books all about yourself before the age of 45. Two books about the wonder that is you. All show, no go.

Obama encouraged the comparison to Abe Lincoln, both announcing candidacy in Springfield. The absurdity escaped the shallow thinker - the majority of voters - and the fawning began. Lincoln was the first Republican president, after all. Obama is a far left liberal Democrat. Abe Lincoln was a native son of Illinois. Obama came to Illinois via Hawaii, Indonesia, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The problem with an ego too large is that the person believes the publicity. Humility leaves and is replaced with arrogance. Slowly, the very people so public in support of candidate Obama, so willing to swallow such shallow promises of "hope and change" as though every election is not based on those two objectives, are now waking to the reality of the man. The latest Zogby poll, for example, shows a 50/50 end result when respondents are asked to rate the new President's performance so far in office. Just two weeks ago, Obama's numbers were in the 70% approval area. And, Zogby polling is known to lean left.

Shallow Americans looked beyond the lack of qualifications of the candidate Obama and simply believed in his ability to deliver a stirring speech - on teleprompter - and ignored the stammering human answering questions in informal settings. Shallow Americans looked beyond the absence of any experience whatsoever in decision making at the executive level and voted for the candidate with the least experience of all running, at a time of national crisis. Shallow Americans looked beyond the last of the Vietnam vets to run for President promising to handle the war on terror with military experience and confidence and instead voted for a defeatist who publicly chastised the General who won the war in Iraq using counter-terrorism strategy written himself. Shallow Americans believed government programs and the promises of all things for all people would actually work in a free republic. Self interests over love of country ruled election day.

Campaign promise after promise has now been broken. There are blogs written listing the daily blunders of this new administration. Voters were promised such integrity, transparency and a new way of business in D.C. Even in the area of national defense, for which many of the far left voted for Obama the great diplomat, the Bush appointee Bob Gates remains. For now. Gates said he'll stay a year but makes no further commitment beyond that. Gates is a patriot. The bad guys are laughing at our new administration.

When candidate Obama was running, he was the second top candidate to receive campaign contributions from AIG - Chris Dodd being number one. Both men now feign ignorance of any involvement. The Obama staff were so insistent that the largest spending bill ever in U.S. history be passed by a vanity target date that legislators didn't even read it before voting on it. How convenient for Obama and his agenda. Now, while all the ginned up hostility against a company like AIG generates all the news coverage, many dangerous moves are made in the White House as the public is distracted. That is the plan. Targeted 100% taxing? Census bureau manipulation in the West Wing? Close Gimo with no plan for the inmates? Write a letter to the former leader of France instead of the current one and pledge allegiance? Flim-flam on jobs created and those "saved"? Hold weekly cocktail parties for the Washington elite in the White House? Issue an order to staff for a weekly campaign style event outside of Washington to continue a nonstop re-election campaign? Doom and gloom on the economy for two years then overnight understand that presidental tone makes a difference and do a complete flip, expecting consumers to be optimistic?

Wake up, America. Read a history book. Form an independent opinion. Grow up.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mary Tyler Moore Still Makes Us Smile

From the Drudge Report: "The son of the poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has taken his own life, 46 years after his mother gassed herself while he slept.
Nicholas Hughes hanged himself at his home in Alaska after battling against depression for some time, his sister Frieda said yesterday.
He was 47, unmarried with no children of his own and had until recently been a professor of fisheries and ocean sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Dr Hughes’s death adds a further tragic chapter to a family history that has been raked over with morbid fascination for two generations."

Tragic, as all suicides are. If you have personally experienced the horror of a loved one committing suicide, you know that a certain level of guilt will remain behind with the survivors. It is human nature to believe the surviving loved ones could have saved the person. Deep down, we all think we can rescue another human being. If only that were true.

In Sunday's edition of Parade Magazine actress Mary Tyler Moore was spotlighted. She spoke of still not being able to forgive herself for her son's suicide. Her son Richard, her only child, died at the age of 24 by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. That was in 1980. She still blames herself for poor parenting.

Moore lives in Greenwich, CT with her third husband, a physician 18 years younger than herself. She has written a new memoir, "Growing Up Again" and it is about her life as a diabetic. Proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She is international chairman for the organization.

As a political junkie, the most interesting portion of the article was her proclamation that she would have campaigned for John McCain for President had he just asked her. She said she watches "a lot" of Fox News. She likes Charles Krauthammer and Bill O'Reilly. So, of course, the interviewer, Kevin Sessums, asks the question: "Is Mary Tyler Moore a right-winger". How probing. She said she is more of a libertarian centrist. Maybe the brilliant interviewer didn't realize there are a large population of people in the Republican party that identify as such.

I grew up watching Mary Tyler Moore on television. She still makes me smile. How refreshing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Stop the Outrage

Outrage seems to be the mood of the day, every day. Cable news networks are awash in stories of federal dollars flying out the window as anyone questioned about the distribution of said dollars points to the next guy and says, hey, it wasn't me. The President himself says in one breath that he'll take full responsibility for the economic recovery efforts as he then in the next sentence bemoans the mess he "inherited" from the previous years, as though it isn't a mess created by both parties. Perhaps he forgot that the Congress has been run by members of his own party since 2007. Perhaps he forgot he voted for much of this mess, as a U.S. Senator.

Both parties have created this mess. True, it began with the meltdown of the real estate market and mortgage financing with policies that trace back to the days of Jimmy Carter (Carter, again!) and the ramping up of lending policies insisted upon by the Clinton administration and continued on in the G.W. Bush administration - all in the name of minority home ownership - but both parties moved it along to the point we found ourselves in last fall.

The height of political theatrical fake outrage occurred when the man who came out of retirement to try and salvage the recovery of the AIG mess, for the sum of a token $1 per year compensation, was grilled like a piece of meat for a weekend pool party. Edward Liddy has been threatened and his family is in the sites of outraged Americans, too. Who will ever come forward voluntarily and try to help the country with treatment like he received from the House committee? The worst part was Barney Frank - a man directly involved in our economic collapse - as he demanded the names of those who have received bonuses. It was a very McCarthy - like moment. I thought Frank and his ilk didn't approve of such tactics. It was truly disgusting and scary, too. If Frank feels entitled to put at physical risk those receiving bonuses for the sake of a dramatic moment for the television cameras, who will he come after next?

The disgust and frustration of the American taxpayer is understandable. The Obama administration - when not complaining about inheriting the mess - has fumbled mightily. Tim Geithner was chosen to be Secretary of the Treasury though he was an integral part of the original taxpayer bailout in October, 2008 - and he is a tax cheat now heading up the IRS. Now he is having trouble finding deputies to serve in his department. Why can't they find capable people who are not afraid of the vetting process? Is there no one left from the world of economics who pays their personal tax burden?

Outrage is the mood of the day, every day, with verbal gaffes from both sides of the aisle, too. Senator Chuck Grassley, (R-IA) demanded executives bow deeply, apologize and resign, or commit suicide. President Obama compares the economy to suicide bombers - it's blowing up and has to be stopped. President Obama compares his bowling game to that of someone in Special Olympics. Many are offended by all of these statements. Those of us who have been personally affected by suicide within our own families, people who feel Obama doesn't take the war on terror seriously enough, parents of special needs children all have a reason to flinch.

There comes a point, however, when we all just have to take a breath. Times are tough. Everyone is feeling the stress. People are on edge and nerves are on the raw side. Political correctness continues to wreck havoc on normal conversation. We are all a bit too sensitive. Do people really think any of these statements were intentionally uttered to hurt someone else? We are all just human beings, no more, no less.

Yes, I think there remains a glaring double standard of what a conservative can say and what a liberal can say with predictable outcomes. That has been the truth forever. Life goes on.

Daily, nonstop wailing over remarks are not helpful. It's time we all just step back and breath.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ted Cruz - An Immigration Story

Recently, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was taped giving a speech in her district of San Francisco. Her focus was illegal immigration and the raids on work places. She called them "unAmerican". She said, "You are special people" to those in her audience. She vowed to continue to fight for their rights. We are left to assume the audience was comprised of illegal immigrants.

It is shameful for elected officials to claim any American citizen opposing illegal immigration is anti immigrant. The fact is our country was made by immigrants. Legal immigration has built and enriched our country. Who is not proud that America is referred to as a melting pot? Our national diversity - built on legal immigration - is to be celebrated.

This week, the Greater Houston Council of Federated Republican Women was honored to have Ted Cruz,who served for 5 1/2 years as Solicitor General of Texas, as our guest speaker. What is a Solicitor General? A Solicitor General is the chief appellate lawyer of Texas. His career has been chock full of accomplishment. He was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist and a Princeton alumni. He considers Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts a good friend. He has argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the state of Texas dozens of times. Among his last winning decisions, before leaving the position, was the decision that would have ended U.S. sovern rights to be replaced by International Law in the World Court as seen in the trial of the Mexican citizen who tortured and murdered two teenage girls in Houston as Mexico insisted the man was above American law (which, unfortunately, G.W. Bush supported). The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on that decision. The horrible realization that 3 of the Justices actually agreed that the World Court can overrule the American court system is truly scary.

Ted Cruz is a brilliant legal expert, an articulate public speaker and possesses a wicked sense of humor. The audience was entertained by his amusing personal stories, too. He is first generation Cuban American. He is passionate about fighting for America to remain a free, open, Capitalist country. Growing up in a family truly focused on politics, it is natural that he has the career he has today. His wife and their 11 month old daughter were present, too, at our meeting. The next generation is being educated.

As Cruz pointed out, as the Republican party goes forward, it is important to recognize three tenets in future candidates: 1. sound principles, 2. a backbone and competence to stand and fight, 3. the ability to communicate. He spoke of his frustration that the Republicans seem to be attracted to candidates who can't string 3 sentences together. We all share that frustration. The single most important requirement for a candidate is to combine the ability to motivate, inspire and communicate.

It is important for the loyal opposition to remain focused, inspired, and communicate a positive alternative to the policies coming out of Washington today. As Cruz pointed out, there is nothing extreme in Reagan conservatism. The portrayal by Democrats of the Republican party as the party of no is bogus. Alternatives are offered regularly and this must continue, in such a way as to merit recognition on the stage of ideas.

Message communication is essential.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Holding On To Hope - Keep The Change

In a major move towards implementing some "change" in how Washington conducts business, President Obama appointed the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team as the ambassador to Ireland. He was a big donor supporter of Obama in the campaign. Oh. Wait. That appointment is just like all the others that have occurred in administrations throughout history. Well, we will keep our hope.

In a dignified and confident approach to the daily White House press briefings, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs refuses to name call and call out specific individuals of the loyal opposition in hopes of getting a few yuks out of the slobbering press in the room. Oh. Wait. He continues to drag the name of Rush Limbaugh into his answers of standard adoring softball questions concerning Republicans in the news and then goes on to claim former VP Cheney is a member of a "Republican cabal." Wow. There's a cabal? Where's my membership form? Must have been lost in the mail. Well, we will keep our hope.

The President shows indignant disapproval of the AIG executive bonuses issued though they have been given a very large taxpayer bailout to remain in business. He had no idea that would happen. Oh. Wait. He was a member of the Senate, even though he was rarely there during the longest presidental campaign in U.S. history, and Secretary Geithner who was a member of the team for the original rescue program under the administration from whom Obama "inherited" the mess, met with the CEO of AIG just last week. And, the retention bonus plan was there all along. The bonus plan was there back in 2008 and was a part of the plan voted on in the Senate. Oops. Now the public is awakening and Obama will try to pull out the charm offense by appearing on Leno's late night chat show. He's the first sitting president to go on a chat show in that format so there's some change. Even though all those Obama elites said they didn't want a president they could just sit and have a beer with, they expected more, I'm sure it will be favorably accepted by the loyal followers. Was that the change they wanted? A celebrity president instead of an every man president? Someone who glistens coming out of the surf in Hawaii and poses with the family on all the magazine covers while saying he won't use the family as political props? A never ending presidential campaign where the President himself instructs staff to plan for at least one "campaign style" event every week outside of Washington so that he appears to be listening and "available"? And, don't forget the teleprompter with the facts feed into it for the question period.

The only change in Washington are the names on the doors. You remember, the Obama campaign enjoyed referring to "just moving the chairs on the deck" when speaking about the opposing candidate in the general election last summer and autumn. Turns out that's his own plan.

Laura and Meghan: Let It Go

It began with an article Meghan McCain wrote for The Daily Beast on Ann Coulter and the more strident of the conservative voices in our nation's political discussion. Ann Coulter did not feel dissed by it, however, or at least not strongly enough to go pubic with a response back to Ms. McCain. Unfortunately, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham did.

On her national radio show last week, Ingraham decided to tear into McCain by using a particularly low form of ridicule. She mocked her as a "Valley Girl gone awry" and she referred to her as a "plus sized model". The free download is now available on her web site: www.lauraingraham.com for you to form your own opinion. Ingraham speaks in what she would consider a Valley Girl voice and accent as she responds to snippets of McCain's interview on a morning talk show.

Meghan McCain responded to Ingraham in a piece in The Daily Beast by writing of her disappointment with Laura's choice of focusing on her body and not her words. She took cheap shots that are beneath her years of education and public punditry. Meghan wrote that this is just as offensive as the critics of her mother on the campaign trail who remarked that Cindy McCain is too thin and frail looking. She questions why women have to go there with the personal attacks instead of a discussion of political ideas. McCain said her intention in writing the piece on her opinion of Ann Coulter's tactics was to begin a dialogue among Republicans.

Let's be clear - Meghan McCain is not overweight. She is a healthy, normal size. She is not thin and she is not making a living as a model. Unlike her mom, she doesn't wear a size 0 jean. And, she's ok with that. She is not a Valley Girl, either. She is young and she is educated. She graduated from Columbia University and hit the campaign trail with her parents to support her father's bid for the presidency. She recorded the campaign on her personal blog - www.mccainblogette.com - and she now writes for The Daily Beast. She has written for Newsweek and she was an intern during her college years for Saturday Night Live.

Last week, Ingraham mocked McCain on her radio show after the daughter of former GOP presidential nominee John McCain urged Republicans to seek compromise with Democrats. Ingraham called McCain “a Valley Girl gone awry” and a “plus-sized model.”

As mentioned at CNNPolitics.com, on "The View" Meghan said,“What do young women think when I speak my mind about politics and I want to have a political discussion about the ideological future of the Republican Party, and the answer is, ‘She’s fat, she shouldn’t have an opinion.’ What kind of message are we sending young women?”

The View’s conservative co-host, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, called Ingraham’s remarks “a low blow.”

Ingraham responded to McCain once again on her show, telling McCain that she needs to learn to deal with satire and “teasing.”“Can I say ‘lighten up,’ or is that offensive too?”

Then, in Laura's E-Blast today she writes solely on her ongoing tussle with McCain. She begins "Memo to Meghan McCain: Enjoy the media coverage while it lasts, but know you're being used. You are the flavor of the month in left-wing media land because you are a Republican bashing the GOP. Likewise, your dad is most popular among the same people when he is slamming his Republican brethren in full-blown "maverick" fashion. At least he backs up his views with a lifetime of sacrifice and public service. What is Ms. McCain's own political, business, or real-world experience that lends credibility to her argument that the GOP needs to "moderate" (read: abandon its core principles)?

She ends with: "Next time, just for fun, Meghan should pretend that she's had a change of heart and is now a pro-life conservative. Then she'll really see how the Mean Girls treatment feels."

Laura Ingraham brings in John McCain, as she is not one to ever miss the opportunity to bash him. Ingraham is at least 20 years older than Meghan McCain and she should find a more productive and less personal way to debate her ideas. The fact that Laura Ingraham is so closed off to any ideas she feels are outside of her narrow view of conservatism is one reason younger people are turned off by the Republican party. Let's hope one day Ingraham will understand that.

Dialogue is good. The Republican party will be successful again as it reaches out to many voices with the common goal of fiscal conservatism and personal freedom. Social conservatives are not the sum total of the party. The Republican party is bigger than that and must move with the growing pains or the party will never go forward.

Enough with the circular firing squads. Lay off of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh. Let Michael Steele do his job. Let Rush do his job. Meghan and Laura have theirs to do, too. Laura Ingraham needs a bit less ego and Meghan will mature as she goes, too.

Let it go.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blame Hillary for the Gift Giving Fiasco

When the President of the United States has a personal moment of embarrassment, Americans can laugh and shrug it off as just something that could happen to any of us. For example, the moment caught on tape - and played endlessly - of President Bush unable to open a door to leave the answering session of a conference. Or perhaps the moment new President Obama walked through a window sill instead of the door at the White House. That moment was only briefly shown, however. Either example shows some humaness and is not a lasting mark for anyone.

Some of the basic competence of the current administration is being questioned now, though, just as the question of competence was apparent during the second G.W.Bush administration. For all the roses tossed by the media and the Democrats in this country to the new administration, as we are to believe this group is so organized and professional in their hit-the-ground-running style, the wheels are flying off the bus.

Not only has the curtain been pulled back on the poorly managed vetting process of the new people in charge of staffing the place, but now it seems the administration is sorely lacking in basic common courtesy and decorum. On the international stage these two words - courtesy and decorum - are very important. Like class, either you have it or you don't. The position of head of protocol is one that is in dire need of stepping up and guiding the new first couple in the White House. President and Mrs. Obama, while trying desparately to be a part of the glittery, glamourous crowd of the rich and powerful in Washington - including living large and entertaining big at least once a week in the White House, as the President wants to toss around the comparisons to the Great Depression to the current economy - have begun the quiet diplomacy of gift giving to our friends overseas on an incredibly embarrasing note.

When Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife visited the White House recently, the British Prime Minister was almost giddy with glee of forging a relationship with the new president. He assumed, rightfully so, that a bond was present between our two countries and we would all continue to work together on the international stage. Silly Prime Minister. His first clue should have been that he was not the first foreign dignitary called by the new president. That honor went to the current president of Palestine.

President Obama returned the bust of Winston Churchill which was displayed in the Oval Office. Winston Churchill was half American, after all. The bust was a gift loaned from former Prime Minister Tony Blair to former President George W. Bush after 9/11/01 as a show of support. He cancelled a joint appearance in the Rose Garden and held only a brief, low energy availability in the White House and this embarrassed our British friends.

For the gift exchange, Prime Minister Brown gave the new president several thoughtful gifts, including a pen holder "made from a Royal Navy vessel that once fought to end the Atlantic slave trade and a first edition of the eight-volume biography of Winston Churchill begun by WInston's son Randolph and completed by Sir Martin Gilbert. Obama paid him back with a stack of Hollywood movies on DVD that Brown could just as easily have ordered from Netflix", said Arthur Herman in a recent column in the New York Post. Mrs. Brown presented the Obama girls with dresses from the top boutique for girls in London along with matching necklaces, and a collection of books by British authors. The Brown boys were given small plastic models of Marine One from the Obamas.

Rich Galen, who writes a column called Mullings on the Internet, is the former press secretary to Newt Gingrich and Washington insider. He brought up an interesting point as all of this drama played out. He pointed to the "Peter Principle" - "In a hierachy every employee tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence", in a recent column. As diplomats around the world scratch their heads and wonder what the new group in the White House is up to, it is Hillary Clinton who is technically in charge of the Gift Division of the Office of Protocol in the State Department. This is the division tasked with coming up with gifts for diplomats and officials during foreign visits. Maybe Hillary wanted to get the first term of Barack Obama off to a shaky start in the gift giving department.

In recent days, even the most ardent Obama fans are beginning to express doubts of the degree of competence of the new administration. Not only from the hiring of lobbyists, though Obama was using the word as though it were a swear word on the campaign trail while claiming he would never hire such low lifes in his administration, but obvious contradictions like bringing in Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Geithner was a part of the former administration's initial bail out program as head of the Federal Reserve in New York. If the Bush policies and actions were destroying the economy, why bring in an archetect of the bail out program to solve the current problems?

From the NY Post:"His promises and policies contradict each other often enough that evidence of hypocrisy is ceasing to be news. Remember the pledges about bipartisanship and high ethics? They're so last year.

The beat goes on. Last week, Obama brazenly gave a speech about earmark reform just after he quietly signed a $410 billion spending bill that had about 9,000 earmarks in it. He denounced Bush's habit of disregarding pieces of laws he didn't like, so-called signing statements, then issued one himself.

And in an absolute jaw-dropper, he told business leaders, "I don't like the idea of spending more government money, nor am I interested in expanding government's role."

No wonder Americans are confused. Our President is, too."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

You Are Not Alone

During today's meeting of Saturday Morning in America - Houston Chapter - the importance of gathering with like-minded people was acknowledged. Many of the women gathered around the table watched the Glenn Beck program yesterday with the theme of his 9-12 Project.

Viewing parties were held around the country. Viewing parties were also held as far away as Australia. Service men and women in Iraq watched. Some at the gathering this morning attended those, too. One in a Houston area community was attended by the head of the Border Patrol. He encouraged people to support a Houston Police Officer recently shot by an illegal immigrant by attending a rally at Houston City Hall on Tuesday, March 24. This person was a drug kingpin and married to a woman with an even larger presence in drug trafficking from Mexico. The officer shot is in critical condition. He is a twenty plus year veteran who insisted on being the first man through the door during the raid. At 57 years of age, he has a wife and family. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual story for Houston.

We are living in confusing times. We are told the economy is the worst in decades. Then we are told this week, by the same man who did nothing but doom and gloom speeches as he bashed the last administration, that it will be ok and we will recover. Finally he tried to bolster the American people. The stock market has lost more in the first months of his administration than any previous ones but he brushes it off as though it is a common voter tracking poll. He thinks the American people are stupid.

Republicans are rebuilding and recruiting candidates to counter this current Democrat leadership in Washington. Americans don't appreciate being told that there is an agenda to be pushed through quickly while the President is liked by the public. Quick. Quick. Never waste a good crisis, that is the mantra. First it was credited to Rahm Emanuel and then by Hillary Clinton, on an overseas trip speaking to a group of young people. There's some change you can believe in.

Not only is it important for like-minded people to gather and exchange ideas, as well as frustrations, but it is also a place for ideas to take action. New opportunities are coming forth. In Harris County, for example, a day's workshop will be held in April to train future candidates and campaign management. Also, on April 15 there will be a Tax Day Tea Party in downtown Houston with the main Post Office as the location. In May, those interested in the national security issues of our country will be welcomed to a day's presentation from Brigitte Gabriel and her organization, ACT For America.

As the President takes the time to slap Republicans while answering questions with the President of Brazil - telling a "joking" statement that Republicans would like for him to be lost in the Amazon - while he insists he is all about a post partisan America, as Democrat groups around the country form under the umbrella of Unity 09 to work on a permanent Democrat majority in Washington by hateful and misleading commercials - as the President insists he wants to bring the political parties together, the veneer cracks. President Obama is receiving criticism from many on his own side of the aisle now as the realization that the campaign speeches were only that. Talk. Even now he travels with the teleprompter and is fed facts through the screen, unable to garner support with his less than stellar off the cuff answers. Turns out experience governing does matter.

You are not alone.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

From Rush to Eric Cantor - Moving Target

Move over, Rush. The new target of the foursome of James, Paul, Rahm and Stan is Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor.

Rep. Eric Cantor is an up and comer in the Republican party. He is the House Minority Whip and the only Jewish Republican member in the House of Representatives. He is well spoken, intelligent and not afraid to take on the challenge of leading Republicans back into power. The Democrats hate him.

President Obama, continuing on with the disturbing trend of calling out folks in disagreement with him, by name, as he speaks to his adoring crowds, said at a White House summit on entitlement reform last month, "I'm going to keep on talking to Eric Cantor. Someday, sooner or later, he's gong to say, 'Boy, Obama had a good idea.'" That from Politico. See, it's not about the American people and good policy. It's not about disagreement over basic party philosophy. It's all about the President and his "good ideas". Is that the change voters wanted?

David Plouffe, Obama campaign manager now writing a book, wrote in the Washington Post "Rush Limbaugh's voice could be heard in the words of new Republican quarterback Eric Cantor."

In Michigan, Florida and California, union groups are using robocalls telling voters to ask their representatives why they agree with Eric Cantor. They refer to the Republican party as the party of no. Old and outdated taunts, to be sure, and blatantly false, given the fact that Cantor is one who leads in providing members of the House alternatives to vote on when he opposes legislation put forth by Democrats.

That's why they hate him in the White House and in Speaker Pelosi's office. Cantor is not a part of the just say no crowd. He is an emerging leader of the party, mainly due to the fact that he provides alternative voting opportunities.

Americans United for Change - the hateful special interest group funded with union monies and back by George Soros, too - recently stated through its spokesman Jeremy Funk, "it's important to define new faces who emerge on the right." They would like to define Cantor before Cantor is known to more Americans. This group intends to continue the never ending campaign mode of the Obama administration.

Cantor's latest bill addresses foreclosures. It changes tax code provisions on gifts and capital gains, including making it easier for owners to sell investment property. Also, any home buyer who puts down 5% receive an immediate tax credit. Unlike the Obama administration's plan, which deals almost exclusively with first time home buyers, this bill helps all home buyers. And, he doesn't support the bill passed that allows bankruptcy judges to change the terms of a mortgage. Judges will now be allowed to set the terms of a mortgage. Think about that.

The fact is Eric Cantor has found common ground with President Obama, as serious legislators will. He agrees with the push to streamline and computerize health records. He agrees with withdrawing troops from Iraq and the schedule put forward. He agrees with lower mortgage interest rates. He agrees that some large banks should not be allowed to fail.

Cantor sees the Socialist creep in our government. He is a strong voice of loyal opposition. The Democrats hate him and have targeted him, lead by the group out of the White House. Is that the change America needs?

Though Newsweek continues with Obama mania, the current issue with the cover of a piece of tape over Rush Limbaugh's mouth reading "Enough", make no mistake. Rush was the first target in the grand scheme of running a continual campaign for the re-election of Barack Obama. Any Republican rising to lead will be thrown into the mix. George Soros, billionaire from Hungary and former Nazi sympathizer wishing Socialism in the U.S., is only too happy to fund the activities of the haters.

The Democratic National Committee is planning to put up a billboard near Limbaugh's house and is asking for message ideas. The winning slogan will be put on a billboard near Rush's home so that he sees it. Jen O'Malley Dillon, Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee is sending out e-mails asking for votes on the top five suggestions so far. Does she have a bit too much time on her hands?

Given the choice, we will find that Americans prefer a voice who stands strong for American values and beliefs over a Socialist billionaire from Europe funding campaigns against our military leadership and the American taxpayer.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Obama Rhetoric Rings Hollow Even to Liberals

The pork laden omnibus spending package is slated for a vote tomorrow in the Senate. Majority Leader Reid pulled it Thursday upon realization that the votes were not there for passage. The embarrassed Leader will bring it back tomorrow, as the government's current funding ends Wednesday. Two Democrat Senators were publicly opposing the bill and gets lots of publicity for it, so the ever growing opposition to the Obama plan to grow the government to even larger proportions continues.

Some Democrats didn't appreciate the public opposition of Senator Bayh, in particular, as he was the sham face of "moderate" support for team Obama as a Midwesterner from Indiana, and some of his colleagues discussed whether or not Bayh should lose some of his earmarks for pet projects as punishment "for betraying the party", as written in The Hill, by writer Alexander Bolton. Betraying the party. Not betraying the country, betraying the party.

While President Obama and his First Lady Michelle party on at the White House between campaign stops around the country and the District of Columbia, some are noticing the unfocused pursuance of agenda. It's a bit much for the President who lectures the successful business people about using corporate jets and luxury trappings while he does the same, with enthusiasm. Even David Gergen, Obama supporter on CNN, said recently, "There is no doubt that his ambition for reforms in other areas do not allow him to give the economy his full attention."

While some supporters claim the 2008 election was proof that liberalism is back and here to stay, the stirrings of opposition claim otherwise. The moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives, the Blue Dog Democrats, are finding their voice. Eleven of them voted with all the Republicans in the House to oppose the spending/stimulus bill. As they continue to go home and listen to the voters they will rely upon to re-elect them, they realize the American public is recovering from the Obama drunken blind support. A large percentage of those who voted for Obama are on record that they were clueless as to his agenda. They just wanted "change" and they wanted to vote for the bi-racial candidate, too. This is hardly a strong mandate for full blown liberalism and a bend to socialism. At this point in the new administration, Obama's popularity rating is only average compared to recent presidents - he is lower than Jimmy Carter, Clinton and both Bushes.

Obama's speeches are beginning to show up as fact-checked. Recently this was looked at from a speech on the spending bill and job creation: "Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs." According to Fact Check: "This is a recurrent Obama formulation. But job creation projections are uncertain even in stable times, and some of the economists relied on by Obama in making his forecast acknowledge a great deal of uncertainty in their numbers. The president's own economists, in a report prepared last month, stated, "It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error." Beyond that, it's unlikely the nation will ever know how many jobs are saved as a result of the stimulus. While it's clear when jobs are abolished, there's no economic gauge that tracks job preservation. The estimates are based on economic assumptions of ow many jobs would be lost without the stimulus." Not so reassuring.

The name of President Obama, then Senator Obama, has been erased from the list of earmark cosponsors in the omnibus spending bill. Transparency, anyone?

One Blue Dog Democrat, Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) is vocally criticizing the budget for the cut in defense spending. All other areas of the budget receive increases, except the defense department. He remarks "I don't like ti...change is not running up even bigger deficits that George Bush did", as it pertained to the spending bill.

As Mike Allen wrote on Politico.com last week, "Some of Obama's 53 percent of the popular vote was no doubt a rejection of John McCain rather than an embrace of his own ideas. But by treating his victory, combined with Democratic gains in Congress, as an unambiguous ideological mandate, he is betting that others will see it the same way." This is sounded out by the most loyal Obama supporters - those that claim the election was proof that liberalism reigns now.

Instead of jetting around the country in search of future votes during his re-election campaign in 2011, fawning over those living in swing states, it is in the best interests of the country to remain in Washington and show true concern of the economy. Wall Street and the banks are not feeling the sincerity. The stock market has lost ground consistently since the inauguration. No one, other than those making the policies - and even they admit it is all a crap shoot - seems to have a grip on the economic recovery situation. The Treasury Secretary has yet to present his big plan, so highly touted by President Obama that we were told Geithner, tax cheat in residence, was the only person to handle the job.

Rep. Kevin Brady(R-TX), told Geithner, "It looks like somebody's cooking the books." And, budget chief, Peter Orszag while continuing on with the dishonest argument that the omnibus is just business from the previous year and the Bush administration that must be pushed through, admits that including expenditures for the Iraq war as it winds down props up the claims of all the deficit reductions down the line. If it were not so sad, it would almost be amusing at the predictability of hanging the expense of the war on terror with our economic distress. Couldn't have been all the other spending on growing the government and not using the power of the spending veto throughout the previous eight years, could it?

As Charles Krauthammer writes, "Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime."

Economist Robert Samuelson, one of several liberal economists now coming out criticizing the Obama policies, writes, "The gap between Obama rhetoric and Obama reality transcends the budget, as do the consequences. In 2009, the stock market has declined 23.78% (through March 5) says Wilshire Associates. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page blames Obama's policies for all the fall. That's unfair; the economy's deterioration was a big cause. Still, Obama isn't blameless. Confidence (too little) and uncertainty (too much) define this crisis. Obama's double talk reduces the first and raises the second." "Obama is the great pretender. He repeatedly says he's doing things that he isn't trusting his powerful rhetoric to obscure the difference. He has made "responsibility" a personal theme; the budget's cover line is "A New Era of Responsibility". He says the budget begins "making the tough choices necessary to restore fiscal discipline." It doesn't."

Continuing to blame the mess he "inherited" is wearing thin. He has to stop the making of excuses and get on with it. Leadership is needed and we have yet to see it. President Bush is not blameless but he is not the problem now. Democrats allowed the real estate market to crash due to refusal to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - even the New York Times called his idea, "the most significant regulatory overhaul in housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago., as recently quoted in IBDeditorials.com. Obama allows corrupt politicians like Barney Frank to speak out about prosecuting bankers now without any response. Were those complaining that the loyal opposition won't now go along with the socialism agenda of our country the same ones who were hell bent for the previous administration to fail on its desired reforms?

It is well past time for the president to stay in Washington and deal with the continued lack of confidence in his economic recovery plans.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Mr. President, Stop Campaigning.

It is interesting that President Obama tells a NYT reporter Friday that Americans shouldn't be fearful over the economy. What has he been doing himself, for more than a year? Doom and gloom. He deliberately painted the worst possible scenario because it benefited his campaign. It is only because the economy went into a strong recession that Obama won the election.

Instead of following the pattern of a previous president that faced huge problems - FDR - and raising the spirits of the American people before insisting everyone get on board with radical agendas. Now one of his most powerful foot soldiers, Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) claims he'll push to prosecute those he thinks are responsible for the economic downturn. He didn't, however, volunteer to put himself on trial. He was a major force behind the bad policies, those that the Bush administration warned about three years ago and Republicans have tried to fix since 1992, not to mention all the campaign monies given to the likes of Frank by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and regional banks.

Wall Street is Main Street. Since the 1990's and the rise of companies encouraging employees to buy into 401k's and retirement plans, over 60% of Americans are stock holders. And, for the President to act as though a daily monitoring of the stock market is meaningless is to deny reality. The stock market is a barometer of the confidence of the American people in its government. After the barrage of doom and gloom for so long for his own advantage, is it any wonder that Americans are nervous about the leadership coming out of Washington? Is it any wonder that Americans hear the president recommend everyone buy stocks now and they simply think, what is this guy talking about? He doesn't instill confidence. He does not lead.

The president appointed a tax evader as his Secretary of Treasury. Geithner is also one who was involved in the economic policy of the previous Bush administration - he was in the New York Reserve - and represents no change in direction. He hasn't produced a working strategy on bank reform. Until the banks are under control, recovery is not possible. Instead, we have a president jetting around the country, campaign style, pushing the socialism of America through health care and raising taxes on the very small business people who will be the driving force in economic recovery and transforming energy policy. Even far left liberals have begun to criticize President Obama for his slow appointments to his economic team. This week, two women took themselves out of nomination for positions in Geithner's treasury department.

Instead of buzzing around the country as he is doing - the president even issued a directive to his staff to schedule at least one "campaign style" event outside of Washington every week - President Obama should stay in the oval office and learn about leadership and governing. His complete lack of experience in governing is showing. He has yet to cross the gulf between voting on legislation and making executive decision while leading the electorate. He has to get out of campaign mode. He has lived in campaign mode for the last four years of his career and it shows now. He is already saying "in my first term" as though he assumes he'll be re-elected. He is only less than 50 days into his administration. Give it a rest already.

Some Democrats have come out against the latest omnibus bill. He is encouraged to veto it due to all the ridiculous ear marks, though we are told there are none. We are told it is just a holdover budget from the last administration. This is de-bunked and Karl Rove wrote of it recently in The Wall Street Journal. Rove was left to bring clarity to the bill since the media wasn't willing to tell the story. "Mr. Obama has only his own lack of engagement and leadership to blame." "Mr. Obama ceded authority to congressional appropriators, who wrote the stimulus bill that is history's largest spending increase. Then Mr. Obama got behind the pork-laden omnibus-spending bill. And Mr. Obama has also proposed $4 trillion in outlays this fiscal year and $3.6 trillion next fiscal year." "If America 'cannot and will not sustain' deficits like Mr. Bush's, as Mr. Obama said during the campaign, how can Mr. Obama sustain the geometrically larger ones he's flogging?" If the omnibus bill now before the Senate, for which the vote has been postponed due to lack of yes votes, were truly "last year's business" and has to be pushed on through, then the Senate could scrub the overspending and pass that. The fact is that the spending is to provide government services for the next six months. That is the new administration's next six months. The budget goes forward, not backwards.

If President Obama was anyone other than just another far left politician from Chicago, he'd veto the omnibus budget bill. He would live up to his promises to the American voter and not turn a blind eye to ear marks. Plus, he would live up to his promise to allow bills to be online for 5 days prior to Congress voting on them. Where is all the transparency promised?

President Obama ran on bi-partisanship promises and a desire to change the tone in Washington. He has made some odd choices in staff, given these campaign promises. Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, is calling out Republicans on the Sunday talk shows, as though only Republicans have objections to the budget submitted to Congress. "There they go again" he said as a reference to Ronald Reagan and the loyal opposition. He stressed the urgency of health care reform. "We have to get health-care reform done this year." Really? Where did this urgent time table come from? If the administration were an honest broker in change - if the new President was an honest broker in the change mantra - we would be told that the far left knows that health care reform will not be possible to the extents they want with the passage of time. Time is not a friend to a president with a big transforming agenda. The president's popularity will fall and his talk of urgency with his agenda will fade.

Republicans are being portrayed as the party of "no". This is dishonest. John McCain has offered alternatives in the Senate. The Republicans in the House have been shut out completely. Senator Coburn and Senator DeMint have offered amendments to take out the excesses and keep stimulating tax cuts. None have succeeded.

Watching Senator McCain over the course of the past several days as he is interviewed, I can't help but ponder how the agenda would differ. While Republicans agree on reform for the health care industry and in the energy sector, the importance of the small business person would be elevated, not diminished.

It is long past time for President Obama to stop his campaign events and begin to lead.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

White House Behind Limbaugh Attacks

It all began, as far as most would believe, on January 21, in Palm Beach. Sean Hannity went to Florida to interview Rush Limbaugh and hear his opinions of the newly inaugurated administration. The vast left wing conspiracy, to use a remake of a Clinton era term since they are all back in the Obama White House, was only too happy to take snippets of the interview and spin it to bash Rush Limbaugh.

Turns out, according to Politico, the gang of four that has held conference type calls since the days of the first Clinton presidential campaign and continue with the tradition today, James Carville, Paul Begala, Stan Greenberg, and Rahm Emanuel have planned for this manufactured controversy all along. Their willing cohorts, the media, are egging it on with glee. The hate-filled Democrats must have a target or life has no meaning. No more Bush to be deranged over, no more Karl Rove or Dick Cheney to wish out loud to be frog marched out of the White House, so their agreed upon foil was Limbaugh.

Greenberg - married to a member of the House - and Carville are partners in a polling company, Democracy Corps. Back in October the foundation of the current controversy was set by these two rabid partisan Democrats. They found, through their polling, that Limbaugh is unpopular with young voters under the age of 40. Since then, the strategy was to prop Limbaugh up as though he leads the Republican party. Especially on appearances on CNN and through mouthpiece Emanuel, the fix was in. Why else would the president name Limbaugh in particular as one who shouldn't be listened to by Republicans in Congress if his agenda was to be passed? Didn't anyone find that a bit odd? Since when does a president call out specific names outside of the political electorate as those to be avoided? Did George Bush call out George Soros publicly?

Limbaugh's interview with Hannity was picked apart by the Democrat cabol and they pushed the soundbite of Limbaugh voicing his hope that Obama's policies fail. Somehow this is a big shocker that Limbaugh doesn't support Obama's socialization of the American economy. The snippets run are disingenuous and to be expected by this gang of four. Greenburg was on George Stephanopoulos' Sunday morning show - George being a member of the daily chats with the inner four - and Karl Rove was on the panel, too. Greenburg all but spit on Rove.

The riff goes that Limbaugh said he doesn't want the President to succeed. It's all about the President and not the policies. So, it went from there and the media didn't bother to point to the distinction. Again, journalism is dead.

Michael Steele is the very popular newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was dragged into this bickering by answering a question on a talk show hosted by a celebrity - on CNN - who now poses as a political commenter. Michael Steele, answering a question if Limbaugh is the "de facto leader of the Republican party" said "No, he's not. I'm the de facto leader of the Republican party." He went on to describe Limbaugh as an entertainer who can be incendiary and it sometimes gets ugly.

The left was orgasmic and the right went nuts. Both got it wrong. The longer this plays out, the more digging into the background continues, the worse it looks for the White House - the president who was to be "post partisan" and "change the tone in Washington". The White House that said, after appointing the hyper partisan Emanuel as Chief of Staff (and another Chicago politician) that he is quite apt at reaching across the aisle to get legislation passed.

The right was outraged at a perceived slap at their beloved Rush. The fact is, Rush is an entertainer. He is the very loud voice of the most conservative wing of the Republican party. He has a huge audience and he has been at it on a national stage for 20 years. The left hates his success. Liberal talk radio consistently fails and there is now talk that the Fairness Doctrine will be brought back into play now that Washington is led by an all far left Democrat controlled House, Senate and White House.

Rush Limbaugh is not a leader of the Republican Party. He doesn't raise money for the party. He doesn't write legislation. He doesn't endorse candidates in primary elections. He has not held political office. And, he does resort to some bomb throwing as a way to make a point. It's a part of his act. He has sharp elbows. His fans love him. His enemies want him destroyed.

Steele has apologized to Limbaugh for the whole episode. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs thought it proper to note this fact at the end of his briefing yesterday at the White House - "I was a little surprised at the speed in which Mr. Steele, the head of the RNC, apologized to the head of the Republican Party", grinning as he said it. David Plouffe, inner circle guy (Chicago) of Obama published an op-ed in the Washington Post chiding "Republicans for being paralyzed with fear of crossing their leader", according to Politico.com. A senior White House aide has been tasked with helping to guide the Limbaugh strategy, states the article.

Limbaugh was a huge hit during his speech to CPAC over the weekend. The attendance at the annual event was at record numbers, double last year's. The base of the party is fired up and the White House is worried. The White House is determined to blame Limbaugh for the failures of their announced policies to bring confidence to the American consumer. Wall Street has no confidence in the Obama policies.

AFL-CIO has a lavish winter conference retreat in South Beach. They are the union honchos funding Americans United for Change. The commercials run against Republicans are misleading and nasty in tone. Shouldn't they be working on a more efficient way of governing unions? Americans United for Change is working closely with the White House and the DNC. Tim Kaine, touted for his even keeled outreach to both sides as he governed the State of Virginia and then hand picked as DNC chairman by Obama, ridiculed Steele for his apology to Limbaugh. Brad Woodhouse runs Americans United for Change and runs the anti-Limbaugh ad on television. Woodhouse is set to become communications director at the DNC.

The Obamas enjoy entertaining like it's 1999 in the White House, usually on Wednesday nights. The swells in Washington think this is just great - the Obamas are carrying on their Chicago lifestyle where they were known as quite the social butterflies. Expensive designer beef, top notch Hollywood entertainment, no holds barred - hey, aren't we in the worst recession in decades? Or, is that just for the little people?

Americans are beginning to connect the dots.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Cornyn's Call to Republicans

Senator John Cornyn is doing some heavy lifting in Washington, D.C. to help rebuild the Republican party. His task, as National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair is to recruit and retain Republicans to win Senate seats. It's as simple as that.

The complicated part is recruiting candidates. Senator Cornyn, a conservative from Texas, is a realist when it comes to recruitment. He is in the Ronald Reagan mode of "I would rather have a Republican that would vote with me 80 percent of the time than a liberal Democrat voting with me 0 percent of the time." This is causing a bit of heartburn among those posing as purists in the GOP.

Senator Cornyn is urging conservative outreach to Hispanics because they are the most conservative voters in the country and are a good fit with Republicans both on social values and work ethic. "It's critical that our candidates fit their states if they're going to win." This quote appeared in thehill.com recently and included this one, too - "I understand when people are occasionally frustrated with the way some of my colleagues vote. I am too. But a circular firing squad within our party is no solution. We must broaden our party and increase our appeal among groups that share our values but don't necessarily identify as conservatives or vote consistently as Republicans."

"Ninety percent of the game is to recruit candidates who can communicate our principles, who work hard and who can connect with voters in their states. And the NRSC can offer strong candidates the tools and resources they need to win."

In Politico, Cornyn said, "Reaching out to these people does not mean watering down our rhetoric. "Reaching out does mean getting out there and meeting these folks."

In order to grow the party, it is in everyone's best interests to broaden our horizons. To expect conservatives to win elections if less than half of the population of voters relates to the message is to cover ears and shut eyes to the political realities in America. The much referenced Reagan knew this. He embraced outreach to everyone and realized it does not mean loss of political purity.

Those so quick to quote Reagan and insist if only the Republican party went to a rigid litmus test for candidates, then victory would be there. To lob the term "RINO" is to be narrow minded in thought. To expect only those who agree with your own opinions 100% as truly conservative is an impossible standard. Is there anyone who agrees with anyone else 100% of the time? Why expect a large group of people to meet that mark?

Stakes are high. America is on a disaster course with complete Democrat leadership in Washington. Blue Dog Democrats are the Obama administration's throne in its side. These politicians bring future Republican votes.

Every vote counts.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Senator Cornyn Takes Role as Watchdog

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is joining a working group which serves as a watchdog over implementation of the economic spending bill. The group is tasked with monitoring waste, fraud, and abuse. They will bring any signs to the attention of Congress, the Administration and the American people. Also on the panel are Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Rep Eric Cantor (R-VA) and others from the House and Senate.

Senator Cornyn issued a press release:

"The stimulus was signed into law and the funds are already making their way to the states. While I did not vote for the plan, it is now public law and it will use billions of Texas taxpayer dollars. The economy must be revived, and I want this plan to work. But in order for it to work, we must hold those responsible for distributing the funds accountable."

"The President told mayors he will 'call them out' if they are wasteful with the stimulus funds they receive. Vice President Biden, who has been tasked with overseeing the implementation of the stimulus, has said he will be a 'bit of a pain in the neck' and will use the media to 'embarrass them for not doing what they're suppose to."

"Frankly, this slap-on-the-wrist approach to monitoring the implementation of more than $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars is a far cry from the kind of accountability Texas taxpayers are expecting. If the stimulus bill had not been crafted behind closed doors, void of bipartisan input and tangible accountability measures, we probably would not need the watchdog group we are launching today."

"But this is not the case. It would be foolish to sit back and cross our fingers, hoping that every agency and entity across the country is going to behave responsibly and spend these funds fairly, or to expect they even have the manpower needed to carry out the distribution of the funds."

"Take the Department of Energy for example. According to recent news reports, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced his intention to quickly disburse $32.7 billion in stimulus grants and $130 billion in loans. In almost the same breath, the Energy Department's Inspector General issued a report citing a personnel shortage in the office that processes funding applications. The IG wrote, "we recognize that the goals of expediency and accountability may prove difficult to fully reconcile."

:The working group my colleagues and I are launching today will aggressively oversee how taxpayer dollars are being spent and not only identify instances of waste or abuse, but call for Congressional hearings and action to root out abuse and correct it. It is our hope this group will help to ensure the stimulus funds are being disbursed for initiatives that will have a direct, positive effect on the health of our nation's economy."

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rick Perry Opens Bag of Dirty Tricks

"Gov. Rick Perry's re-election campaign has been asking Dallas City Hall for information concerning rival Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and her husband, a signal that the campaign could turn personal." That from an article by the AP on the Houston Chronicle's website.

Senator Hutchinson's husband, Ray, is a successful Dallas bond attorney. Perry's campaign has filed open records requests all across the state, according to the article, on a fishing expedition into his business dealings. They claim the campaign is interested in determining if he has benefited from his wife's work in the Senate.

Ray Hutchinson's response was to label the search as "stupid". "I don't know what she does. I don't communicate with her staff," he said.

Perry's spokesperson, Mark Miner, is fond of using a nickname popular with the Perry campaign for Senator Hutchinson - "Senator Bailout". Hutchinson's campaign manager, Rick Wiley, credits Perry's low poll numbers as the reason for the nasty turn.

Recently, in Texas Monthly, Paul Burka wrote a detailed comparison between Perry and Hutchinson as they will be competing for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas. He likened it to the match between former Governor Ann Richards and George W. Bush in 1994.

Burka writes, "Who votes in a Republican primary? Texas does not require registration by party, so anyone can vote in either party's primary. In practice, however, primary voters tend to be the party faithful - the ideologues and the activists who seldom miss an election. From the fifties through the seventies, when the Democratic party dominated Texas and the Republican party was small and ineffective, Republicans frequently voted in the Democratic primary rather than their own to ensure that the state's leaders would be conservative. In a Perry -Hutchinson primary, without a serious Democratic race for governor, both Perry and Hutchinson would likely reach out to Democrats to cross party lines: rural conservatives for Perry and urban and suburban moderates for Hutchinson."

"Two members of the same party could hardly have more divergent views. Perry began his political career as a Democratic state legislator and became a Republican in 1989 t run for agriculture commissioner. He is the kind of convert who, as the saying goes, is more Catholic than the pope. His support for a bill that would authorize "Choose Life" license plates will help him amass political capital during the current legislative session. Hutchinson supports a woman's right to choose in select circumstances, but she doesn't call herself pro-choice."

"Hutchinson takes a more traditional approach to public policy." On spending, Hutchinson thinks of it as investment in the future. Her focus would be "funding for public schools, more flagship universities to stop 'brain drain' and improvements in public health."

From the time Senator Hutchinson voiced the formation of her exploration committee, she has polled comfortably ahead of Governor Perry. This is why the Perry campaign will ratchet up the negative attacks. By going after the Senator and her husband in personal terms, Perry reinforces all that voters are looking to change. Senator Hutchinson is known for her calm and warm personal approach to voters.

If Rick Perry were to win re-election, he would set a record for longest serving Governor for the state of Texas. His campaign intends to paint Hutchinson as less than conservative in politics. Perry's strongest negative is his extreme partisanship. His low poll numbers reflect that, too.

Senator Hutchinson has some of the strongest ratings from conservative alliances in Washington, D.C. She consistently ranks high in her conservative voting record.

Governor Perry may want to re-think his strategy.