Monday, June 29, 2009

When A Coup Isn't A Coup

As President Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, try to arrive on the same page as far as their thoughts on the situation on the ground in Honduras goes, let's look at what happened.

President Mel Zelaya, protege of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, overstepped his authority and the people were not given a voice. Zelaya tried to change the Honduran Constitution, which is allowable if he had bothered to follow the law of the land. He was required to use a national referendum to call a constituent assembly. This has to be approved by Congress. Zelaya declared the vote and asked his mentor, Hugo Chavez, to provide the shipment of ballots from Venezuela.

Hondurans rebelled. The Supreme Court declared the referendum unconstitutional. The military was instructed to not carry out the logistics of the vote, according to an article by Mary Anastasia O'Grady in The Wall Street Journal online. The General who told Zelaya the military had to comply was fired. The Supreme Court ordered that he be reinstated. Zelaya refused the ruling.

Zelaya called together a mob of supporters who distributed the ballots even though the decision that the referendum vote was illegal. Zelaya was arrested by the military Saturday and flown to Costa Rica.

The thugs called this a coup. This term was taken up by the media and even by our own President and Secretary of State. The facts do not bear this out. President Obama is busy calling this "illegal" while, in fact, it was the democratically elected leader of Honduras who was doing the illegal act.

Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama offered statements that were not exactly on the same page. Clinton was far more measured than Obama in stating that this is not an ordinary 'coup' and that the situation is fluid.

The military was carrying out the order from the Supreme Court. The President was defying the rule of law. Roberto Micheletti has been sworn in as President. He was previously in an office equivalent to that of our Speaker of the House.

U.S. diplomats have been quietly working behind the scenes for several weeks to try to discourage a 'coup' and the violence that followed. Unfortunately they were not successful and the military carried out its orders.

Why is it so difficult for President Obama to stand up for freedom and the people demanding it? First, as a presidential candidate, he let down the people of Georgia against Russia; next it was the people in the streets of Tehran and other cities in Iran; and now it is the voter in Hondura. This is disturbing. The leader of the free world is expected to be stronger than that.

It is as though Obama considers his standing - his popularity - with the OAS as the most important consideration. The fact is that OAS is corrupt and has even allowed Cuba into its organization. OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza was encouraged by Zelaya to allow Cuba as a member. Insulza does not seem to be concerned about Zelaya's power grab.

Clinton said Honduras should be "condemned by all" Sunday before she took a more measured stance today. Maybe she is realizing the side for which she should champion.

Maybe she can clue in our President. Honduras does not have to go the route of Venezuela.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jenny Sanford Sets Example

I didn't know what she even looked like but on Thursday, I became Jenny Sanford's biggest fan. The best part of the strange and rambling statement from Gov Mark Sanford's press availability to declare his whereabouts as he went missing for a few days was the fact that his wife, Jenny, was nowhere to be seen.

The fact that a politician has been found to be cheating on his wife is not a new story and not shocking. It is all too common. The taste of power does odd things to an ego. But the continued appearances of scorned wives standing by the side of their unfaithful husbands is a bit too much for most people to endure. For once, a political wife stood on her own and denied the media that photo opportunity.

After reading a bit about Jenny Sanford, I am impressed. The granddaughter of the founder of Skil power tool company, she graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in finance. She worked on Wall Street for an investment banking firm. She is a millionaire. She helped her husband launch a political career and ran his campaigns for Congress and then governor. Campaign workers lived in their basement.

She is formidable in her own right. She is the mother of four young sons and her family's survival is utmost on her mind. If her husband can rise to her terms, the marriage may mend. If not, she has made it clear that her first priority is the raising of her children. She was told of the affair five months ago and recently separated from Sanford. "We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage."

This is a strong woman.

Maybe the example of Jenny Sanford's absence as her husband tells the world about this weakness for an Argentinian woman will strengthen the next political wife to face the same break of marital vows.

The matter of if Sanford will resign from his office as governor is fodder for the talking heads on cable television. He appears to be standing firm in his insistence that he will stay in office. This is a different situation than the standard cheating spouse story. This elected office - the top of the chain of command for his state - left the state without the proper instructions or process put into place. No one knew his whereabouts. He put his staff in a precarious position.

One less potential presidential candidate on the Republican 2012 list.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The President of Cool Feels No Pain

Did you notice during the last press conference with President Obama that the questioners were a bit more aggressive in asking actual questions? Not quite where they should be, yet, but a glimmer of hope for some change in the slobbering adoration of this President and anything that he says or does.

The President was on the defensive and a bit testy when he was pressed for real answers, not pie in the sky generalizations. The man is thin-skinned. His skin has not toughened as he hasn't faced real opposition in his brief time on a national stage.

A terrific post by blogger The Anchoress, lists some questions that should have been asked by the adoring press corp at the White House yesterday of President Obama. As the White House is busy coordinating questions with the Huffington Post blogger allowed to participate in the session yesterday, it reminds one of the daily telephone chats that lay out the daily talking points for elected officials in the Democratic Party supplied by Rahm Emmanuel and company. It is quite the cozy arrangement. The liberal cheerleaders of President Obama, those who demand so much transparency in government are quite happy to go along to get along. Such change in this administration!

One question concerned the 'hot dog diplomacy' in light of the demonstrations in Iran. The Obama decision to invite Iranian ambassadors to American consulates around the globe for 4th of July celebrations - the first such invitations ever - is now seen as less than acceptable. First, no Iranian ambassadors accepted any invitations and then after some questioning, the White House quietly rescinded the invitations.

Something not being asked: where is the curiosity about the letter sent to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei several weeks ago - long before the elections - requesting dialogue and engagement between our two countries, as reported by CNN? Christiane Amanpour broke the news. Seems Obama assumed the Supreme Leader would succeed with his election plans and Obama wanted to sit around a table with him and talk things over.

According to The CNN Wire: "Khamenei made an indirect reference to the letter in his sermon on Friday at Tehran University: "The U.S. President said that we were waiting for a day like this to see people on the street," the Iranian leader said. "Some people attributed these remarks to Obama and the they write letters to say we're ready to have ties; that we respect the Islamic Republic and on the other hand they make such comments Which one should we believe?"

"One Iranian source said before the election, "We thought President Obama would send congratulations to President Ahmedinajad" and his senior advisers had already prepared a response to the anticipated note, which never came."

Far left Democrats have an odd acceptance of totalitarian dictatorships. It even confuses the dictators.

Obama was asked if the strong statements by Senators McCain and Graham in support of the Iranian demonstrators had strengthened his statements of support. He was embarrassed, as he should be. He is the leader of the free world and it is his job to promote freedom for all people, not kowtow and use respectful tones for dictators. He bowed to the Saudi King as he visited him and the left was fine with that. Remember when President Bush extended his hand to assist the feeble old man walk into his ranch? That was re-run over and over, mocking Bush for holding his hand. Simple courtesy is different than capitulation.

From Richard Cohen in The Washington Post: "If McCain, Graham and others have a valid complaint, it is not with Obama's words but with his music. The President of Cool seems emotionally disconnected from events in Tehran - not unconcerned but not particularly upset, either. This is a quality that will cost Obama plenty in coming years. He can acknowledge your pain, but he cannot feel it."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Supporting Senator Hutchison

Frankly, I don't understand those living outside of a state inserting themselves into a state election. Some of that is beginning here in Texas and it is just odd. These same people are from the far right of the party and were the most enamoured with Governor Perry as he went off the cliff with the embarrassing publicity he generated for our state concerning secession.

Perry had to spend many days explaining a remark he made at a Tea Party demonstration about the federal stimulus money. He made lots of bluster over turning down the stimulus money and it was just plain wrong. He was deceitful about the fact that the State of Texas received the majority of the stimulus money allotted. He was turning down the money which would have transformed future unemployment compensation distribution. The Texas State Controller, Susan Combs, has a transparent online tracking system of the stimulus money as it is received and distributed.

The very far right pundits who cheered on Perry for standing up in support of the 10th amendment are now feeling perfectly free to weigh in on another state's race for governor. The polls are not too favorable for Governor Perry - he is not very well liked, though he does have faithful of the base of the Republican party. If your sole issue is on the pro-life agenda, Perry is your man. He is quite good at stirring up the base with social issues.

Unfortunately for Perry, most Texans are more concerned about fiscal issues. While he has cut some taxes and Texas still leads the country on the employment numbers, he has done nothing to tighten the border. Illegal immigration is a huge dollar suck from our state coffers.

Perry has appointed all of the Texas A & M University board of directors and it is in chaos. He supported the head of the State Board of Education and he has now been replaced after embarrassing Texas as a self proclaimed creationist willing to short the science education of Texas school children to fit his personal beliefs. Texas' ranking nationally is nothing to write home about.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is running against Perry. Perry is running for an unprecedented third term as governor. Perry is a former Democrat who benefited from the 2000 election of George W. Bush as President. As Lt Governor, Perry rose to Governor at that time. He was re-elected with less than half of the vote. He wants a third term.

Senator Hutchison has a wide variety of experience at the state and national level. She was State Treasurer and led the fight against a proposed Texas state income tax. She put into place cost cutting measures and increased investments and returns of state monies to $1 billion for the first time in Texas state history.

She was the first Texas Republican woman elected to the State House of Representatives. She has been in the U.S. Senate - the first woman elected to the Senate from Texas - and has been a strong advocate for military families, transportation issues, property rights, and energy legislation. She is a strong supporter of NASA. Most importantly, she can work with both sides of the aisle.

Perhaps that is the problem for the far right. If an elected official is seen as someone who can work with others to produce legislation, then that person must be a sell-out. It is a very juvenile and myopic way of looking at the legislative process. These same people will be the ones yelling loudest as the current administration in Washington, with enough votes to exclude the minority party - the Republicans- pushes through legislation without Republican support.

A favorite criticism is that Hutchison is not a 'true conservative'. She isn't a 'real Republican'. Those holding silly purity tests so dear are the ones who will guarantee that Republicans will be in the wilderness for many years to come. Political parties are not private clubs. The idea is to include as many people as possible, to appeal to as many voters as possible.

The name of the game in politics is to win elections. There are distinct differences between the two parties. Unfortunately, some Republicans think they hold some kind of moral authority over others. This arrogance is a big obstacle to overcome as reasonable people work to bring the Republican party back on track.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Obama Hits the Snooze Button

In March President Obama released a video he made for the Iranian people to extend Persian New Year good wishes. He spoke of a "new beginning" in the relationship between Iran and America.

The people of Iran who voted for anyone other than Ahmadinejad feel the election was rigged. The Iranian entity responsible for election oversight, The Guardian Council, now states that ballot boxes were stuffed. The true power in the country, the mullahs, have declared Ahmadinejad the winner.

Iranian citizens took to the street. Demonstrators held signs, written in English, demanding to know what happened to their votes. The majority of Iran's citizens are under the age of 30. They are the best educated and the most techno-savvy in that part of the world. They are brave and risking their own lives to protest.

The demonstrations began Saturday, after the vote on Friday. More than a week has passed and the Iranian protesters are still waiting for a strong, distinct message from the leader of the free world of support. The people in Iran longing for freedom made the error of mistaking the flowery video talk from President Obama as an indication that he would stand with them as they stood up for themselves.

This is not an issue that pits left versus right in our country. It is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is an American issue. Above all else, America stands for freedom and democracy. The President has chosen to go the safe route at the expense of the Iranian people. While President Obama does everything possible to prove he is the anti-G.W. Bush guy, he in fact shows international naivete in foreign policy. The message the Iranians receive is that they cannot count on strong support from America this time around.

It is ironic that at the time America elects a far left candidate as President that Europe is going back to conservative rule. This is also evident as this drama in Iran unfolds. Who were the strong voices out front for the Iranian people? It was France, Germany and Great Britain. Even the Italian President, with shaky support of his own in Italy, came out in support of the protesters. The Congress of the U.S. passed resolutions in both houses to voice strong support for free elections and solidarity with the people of Iran Friday.

President Obama began with a very weak statement, three days after the election, saying that he didn't want to appear to be 'meddling' in the politics of Iran. Then he said there was no real difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi, the candidate thought to have won the popular vote. This was very discouraging to the protesters. The White House realized its error and walked the statement back a few days later. Only after eight days passed did the president issue a statement that violence was not to be tolerated.

Mr. President, standing strong for the most basic of American values, freedom and democracy, is not meddling. It is your job.

Too little, too late. Obama continues to issue paper statements and not on camera. For a president obsessed with the camera and daily press coverage on all news channels, it is a bit odd that he is now hesitant to do the right thing.

The world looks to America as a defender of freedom and democracy. There is no doubt that the Iranian protesters know we support them. However, it is the responsibility of the American president to say so in a strong and unwavering voice.

In Foreign Policy, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, an Iranian filmmaker and Mousavi external spokesman, spoke from Paris of the disappointment he felt in the statements issued by Obama.
He asked if Obama would appreciate it if a world leader claimed there was no difference between himself and GW Bush. As for the similarities of this revolution and the one in 1979, he said, "These young people who are int he streets are looking for peace and democracy. The previous revolution was a revolution of traditionalism against modernism; but not this is a revolution of modernism against traditionalism. The previous revolution had a frown; this one has a smile on its face. The previous revolution was red; this one is green. We can say that this is a 21st century revolution, but the other was a 20th century revolution. That revolution was led by the people who were educated by the epoch of the shah, and this generation was brought up by the mullahs inside the Islamic Revolution. We have many young people, and maturity is killing the fathers. In each generation, we kill our fathers. And our fathers [today] are the mullahs."

Just as then candidate Obama was slow off the mark during the Russian invasion of Georgia and opposing candidate John McCain showed the way for support of the Georgian nation, the same is true today as President Obama is led by Congress and other vocal politicians to do the right thing.

It is said that Obama is dug in. He will not go any further than he has in his vocal support. That is a shame. Americans don't want to 'meddle' in Iranian politics but we do want the protesters to know we stand with them. For Obama to hold fast to his naive theory that he will be able to negotiate with Iran on the issue of nuclear proliferation is inane.

The 3:00 AM alarm went off. Obama hit the snooze button. And, gassed up the golf cart.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Remembering Juneteenth
A Celebration of Freedom

As we celebrate Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, it is fitting that we pause to recognize the origin of this important part of our African American heritage. June 19th marks the day in 1865 when word reached blacks in Texas that slavery in the United States had been abolished.

More than two years earlier, on January 1, 1863, Republican President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Delivered during the American Civil War, this proclamation ordered the freeing of all slaves in states that were rebelling against Union forces.The proclamation had little effect in Texas, where there were few Union troops to enforce the order. News of the proclamation officially reached Texas on June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger, backed by nearly 2,000 troops, arrived in the city of Galveston and publicly announced that slavery in the United States had ended.

Republicans had passed the Thirteenth Amendment on January 31,1865 that was ratified on December 6, 1865 to abolish slavery in the United States. Reactions among newly freed slaves ranged from shock and disbelief to jubilant celebration. That day has been known ever since as Juneteenth, a name probably derived from the slang combination of the words June and nineteenth.

Juneteenth commemorations began in Texas in 1866. Within a few years they had spread to other states and became an annual tradition, celebrating freedom for blacks in addition to many other themes, including education, self-improvement, African American accomplishments throughout history, and tolerance and respect for all cultures.

This history of Juneteenth was distributed by the chairman of the Harris Co Republican Party.

Following the Money in Health Care Reform

Following some of the health care reform legislation markup session on C-SPAN yesterday, I noticed at the end of the session, acting Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT) was visited by his wife and two young daughters.

This might not have been of much interest, except I've read recently about Mrs. Dodd's connections with the health care industry. She receives a very comfortable income from her board memberships on five corporations and a sixth board membership compensation is not listed publicly. Articles online from The Hartford Courant and Yahoo News have summarized connections and numbers on Mrs. Dodd, as well as on others - Democrats Jay Rockefeller and Tom Harkin besides Dodd in the Senate, and Republicans Tom Coburn, Judd Gregg, John Kyl and Orrin Hatch. All have stock in parmaceutical or biotech companies. Also, it has been noted that the property and house owned by Dodd in County Galway, Ireland, purchased with the help of disgraced CEO of Countrywide Financial, has more than tripled in value according to a property appraisal recently performed.

Jackie Clegg Dodd has hired a personal ethics lawyer to deal with any conflicts of interest. Since her marriage in 1999 to Senator Dodd, her income has quadrupled. Now in a six-figure range, it is all due to her generous compensation from corporate boards of directors. She is a former legislative aide to former astronaut and chair of the Senate banking committee, Republican Senator Jake Garn. Her degree - a master's in national security studies.

She did work as a staffer on the banking and the appropriations committees. Then she was appointed as a special assistant to the chairman of the Export-Import Bank. This bank "was created to provide export financing for U.S. goods and service." That according to

"An official familiar with the bank's operations said that Clegg Dodd's duties at the bank involved, for the greater part, administration and public and congressional relations. The official, who asked not to be identified for fear of offending Dodd, said he does not believe that Clegg Dodd's legislative and banking experience qualified her as an audit committee expert. When she left the bank in 2001, her salary was $125,700 per year.

Clegg Dodd was compensated to the tune of approximately $500,000 in 2007 and again in 2008 from corporate boards. Her compensation is a mix of cash - about half - and equity. Needless to say, this is political opposition fodder by Dodd's opponents. Dodd is in danger of losing his seat during this re-election cycle. Having been so prominent in the housing financial scandals truly damaged his image in Connecticut. "In Washington, offering employment to the spouses and family members of politicians is a time-honored, if not so honorable, tradition," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the nonprofit watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics. It's another way for politicians to gain income and for donors, potential donors, people and industries with business before government to curry favor with powerful members who have jurisdiction over their issues."

In the article on Courant .com, State Republican Chairman Christorpher Healy is quoted as saying her directorships don't "pass the smirk test." He continues, "I think in general the volume and the depth of value that Mrs. Dodd seems to have acquired would make even a gullible person wince at the hint of nepotism and favors that would be shown toward the spouse of a very powerful political leader."

From SEC filings, Clegg Dodd is listed as director of Cardiome Pharma Corp and Javelin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - both pharmaceutical firms. Also, Brookdale Senior Living Inc; Blockbuster, Inc; and CME Group Inc, the world's largest futures exchange. She is listed as a director of a startup - Pear Tree Pharmaceuticals, though no compensation is reported publicly.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Twitter the Revolution

President Obama claims it would be 'meddling' to issue a strong statement of support for the people of Iran as they rally in the streets this week in protest of the bogus election results released by the country's theocratic leadership. The Iranian people hope otherwise that Americans will be secure enough in the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil, between freedom and tyranny, to stand with them.

The American people are. President Obama is not.

In The New York Times, a leak is written about from the camps of VP Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both asking the President for stronger support of the Iranian people. If the report is true, it marks the first true leak of a rift in the Executive branch.

This comes on the heels of a story that the social network Twitter was asked to postpone and re-schedule a maintenance service of the network as the Iranians continue to use Twitter, as best as they can, to get the latest information out to the world. This request is credited to the State Department. While Hillary Clinton went on the record that she doesn't use Twitter, apparently her Department of State does and that is good. While the government of Iran is shutting down social media networks as quickly as they can, Twitter seems to remain up and running for many there.

People around the globe are wearing green in support of the Iranian people. Those using Twitter are coloring avatars green. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are voicing support for the Iranian people, as are ordinary Americans and people around the world.

French President Sarkozy has voiced strong support for the people of Iran. He was first to come out and denounce the election results as fraud. He voiced support for expressions of freedom from the Iranians. Germany called on authorities to allow peaceful demonstrations, release of political prisoners and lifting media restrictions. Canada called for a fully transparent investigation into electoral discrepancies.

America's place in the world is as the leader of freedom in the world. Unfortunately, President Obama shows insecurity in this role. Unable to lead, he remained silent for a full two days. Then he released a weak statement that he didn't want the U.S. to look like meddlers. This is unfortunate. As the people of Iran cried out for international support, risking life and limb, the new President remain silent.

Proving again that appeasement doesn't work, the Iranian leadership accused America of interfering anyway.

A President of strong personal character and leadership ethics would have not hesitated. Senator John McCain was at the forefront in voicing support for the people protesting the election results. You may remember he also had to lead candidate Obama into supporting the people of Georgia as they fought off Russian thuggery during the presidential campaign. Obama was not up to the challenge then, either.

President Obama failed the first 3:00 AM call.

A cartoon from the Cleveland Dispatch:

GOProud Issues Statement on Presidential Memo

Yesterday President Obama tossed a bone to the gay electorate and issued a "memorandum" concerning benefits for gay federal employees. These benefits, however, do not include health care or retirement.

This is seen as "a total sham" by GOProud, "the only national gay conservative group", according to Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director. He believes it is meant to appease the gay community in light of President Obama's refusal to honor campaign promises - to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and also the Defense of Marriage Act.

Also, reports have surfaced about the difficulty the Democratic Party is having raising money, even when Obama is the headliner. For a fundraiser later this month, mention has been made that tables purchased by LGBT groups have been cancelled. This is in response to the gay community's disappointment in Obama so far.

Obama claims to support Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, as it works through the House and Senate. According to the press release by GOProud:

"It is time that President Obama be held accountable for the promises he made as candidate Obama - and no political slight of hand, not even one that includes a flashy Oval Office signing, should be accepted as a substitute for real action."

You can join with GOProud as they represent gay conservatives and their allies on Facebook and follow on Twitter. The web site is :

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Senator Ensign and Family Values

The problem with a political party that holds itself higher on moral issues is, politicians are but mere mortals. And, now, Senator John Ensign of Nevada is the latest to fall short of his own expectations.

The problem with a political party that, over time, decides to be the one true voice for family values is that human beings are not perfect and that goes double for politicians. Republicans are the victim of their own insane desire to dictate who is moral and who is not. After forty years in the political wilderness, Republicans came into power in the early 1990's and it was a glorious thing for those of us who were born and came of age during the wilderness years. Unfortunately, the leadership of the party decided to go with some hot button issues as litmus tests and continued on in this fashion as a way of keeping power. And, as is prone to happen, those speaking most loudly about purity were involved in less than family valued behavior.

Religious beliefs are important to a large segment of our population. America was founded as a Judea-Christian nation. Fine. However, I have a hard time believing that our Founding Fathers would approve of one political party claiming moral high ground over the other.

So, we reap what is sown. Politicians from the Republican party are expected to live a more pure life than Democrats and when caught doing otherwise, all hell breaks loose. Newt Gingrich, for example, a man of unequaled historic knowledge and big ideas is not able to run for President due to personal history. Rush Limbaugh is mocked to this day for a drug problem he overcame several years ago, as well as for his multiple marriages. Mitt Romney was told by some voters that they would never vote for him because he is Morman. Apparently they think their religion is better, which is not very Christian, is it?

Now, the story of Senator John Ensign surfaces. Yesterday the public was subjected to the story of his martial infidelities and the standard lines of "I'm sorry", garnished with the hurt he caused his family and supporters. Why did he do it yesterday when the affair was in 2007 into 2008 and he is now reconciled with his wife and children? The story is that the other woman's husband was demanding money. The other woman was a staffer and married at the time of the affair. Plus her husband was a friend and staffer for Ensign, too. It is all just a little too cozy and icky.

Now the usual questioning begins - should he resign? Is he still considered a possible candidate for President in 2012? The answer to both is no, as I see it. He hasn't been accused of illegal activity, only immoral activity. He has very bad judgment when it comes to his personal life. His constituents will have the decision to vote for him again in 2012 if he runs for re-election to the Senate. It is their call. He represents them. And, for a run for President in 2012? I don't see that happening.

Ensign is not just someone caught in a personal lie. He enjoys talking up the fact he is a born again Christian. And, he is a member of Promise Keepers, the male Christian group with the mission of mentoring men to be strong family men. He demanded Sen. Larry Craig resign as he faced the bathroom arrest episode - calling it an atrocity. He called for President Clinton to resign over his sexual escapades.

Do you see a pattern with humans? Those yelling most adamantly about something are usually guilty of the problem themselves. If someone has to proclaim religious integrity, family values, moral high ground or other personal character issues, there is usually a problem. Just as someone feeling the need to tell others what a hero they are or how generous or anything else, it is usually the opposite.

As long as Republicans allow those who want to own religion or family values more than the next political party to be so prominent in the public view, the party will continue to shrink. Who wants to be lectured to by such hypocrites? There are a large percent of conservatives in the Democratic party. There are a large percent of conservatives who consider themselves Independent.

Purity tests don't work for Republicans, whether it is on who is a "true" Republican or who is a real family values person.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Managing Investigations - Chicago Style in the White House

An interesting new story of Obama overreach has surfaced. Over the weekend, The Washington Times posted an editorial titled "Walpin-gate" and described the June 11 firing of 78 year old Gerald Walpin, inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Mr. Walpin was driving in his car on June 11 when he received one hour's notice from the White House to immediately resign or be fired. No reason was given. Walpin was simply told he "no longer had the fullest confidence" in him.

Ironically, or not, then Senator Barack Obama was a co-sponsor for the Inspector General Reform Act while in his brief stay in the U.S. Senate. The reform states there must be 30 days from notice to Congress to dismissal and a reason stronger than "no confidence" is needed. Walpin said this morning, "I'm still waiting if there is any possible reason" for his dismissal. The reason is to be in writing, according to the legislation passed and according to the Senate report language, "The requirement to notify the Congress in advance of the reasons for the removal should serve to ensure that Inspectors General are not removed for political reasons."

Maybe the political machine from Chicago that now occupies the West Wing of the White House thought they could issue orders and go around Congress, since we continue to see such actions there. All the czars in power, not answering to Congress or the American taxpayer? How convenient.

The story is unfolding concerning Mr. Walpin. Mr. Walpin, a Bush appointee who stayed on in the job, was investigating alleged misuse of federal grants by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Johnson is a former NBA basketball star and a big Obama supporter. The office found that Johnson used Americorps grants "to pay volunteers to engage in school board political activities, run personal errands for Johnson and even wash his car." That from The Washington Times.
A trip taken by Americorps grant recipients to Harlem from California to lobby for the expansion of the St. HOPE program is part of the complaints.

Let's be clear here - Americorps asked for the investigation in the first place. Mr. Walpin was performing his job in his leadership role of his office. Walpin wasn't the one out in the field, collecting data and evidence. That was done by his staff. Yet, Sacramento U.S. Attorney Larry Brown is criticizing Walpin, according to The Washington Times, for publicing announcing the investigation. Brown wanted it kept quiet. Brown's office reached a settlement with the nonprofit education group led by Kevin Johnson. Brown's office ordered the nonprofit to repay half of the $850,000 in grant money, including $72,836.50 from Johnson personally.

As Johnson ran for the Mayor's office last September, Walpin announced that Johnson, St. Hope Academy and former St. HOPE executive director Dana Gonzalez, were all suspended "from participating in federal contracts or grants until the investigation was complete." That from Jake Tapper. Questions were raised to the stimulus bill funding for Sacramento as part of that suspension involving Johnson.

So, in April, the agreement was reached for repayment of less than half of the misused federal grant monies. Walpin was not consulted on the settlement.

Senator Charles Grassley has requested a full investigation. "There have been no negative findings against Mr. Walpin by the Integrity Committee of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, and Mr. Walpin has identified millions of dollar s in Americorps funds either wasted outright or spent in violation of established guidelines. In other words, it appears he has been doing his job. We cannot afford to have Inspector General independence threatened."
Johnson has not paid the amount due from himself, to date.

Grassley demands that Alan D. Solomont, chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, provide "any and all records, email, memorandum, documents, communications, or other information, whether in draft or final form" as it relates to the firing of Walpin by President Obama, according to Jake Tapper, on his ABC News blog, Political Punch. Grassley is also looking into the possibility that First Lady Michelle Obama's office is involved.

St. HOPE Academy, the nonprofit community service organization run by Johnson, admitted misuse of federal grant funding. Grassley notes that less than half of the funds misused will be returned under the agreement. A form of a payment plan has been allowed to St. HOPE Academy over a decade.

Michelle Obama's possible involvement comes in since it is her office that oversees the Corporation for National and Community Service. According to Jake Tapper, a report in Youth Today, an independent , nationally distributed newspaper for professionals in the youth service field, reports that ad"Some decisions about CNCS are being made by First Lady Michelle Obama, according to service advocates (who asked not to be named). Last week, Mrs. Obama announced that her chief of staff, Jackie Norris, would move to CNCS as a senior adviser. Officials said yesterday that Norris is scheduled to arrive on June 22."

No reaction from the White House to Grassley's letter.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Joe Biden On Meet the Press

Usually I find VP Joe Biden to be a pompous and self-satisfied politician. To be expected, I suppose, from a man who has been in Washington as an elected official since the age of 29 and now in his 60's. Yesterday, however, I was almost pleasantly surprised by his appearance on Meet the Press.

Biden, known for verbal gaffes though he was brought onto the Obama ticket as the voice of experience, was on point throughout the appearance. He repeated the talking points of the day on national health care reform and on the fuzzy math of the stimulus success to date. I only noticed once or twice a slap at the previous administration - "inherited" and "eight years of" being used. Six months into this administration, the public is growing a bit weary of this line of excuses.

The word of the morning for Biden was "ecometrics". He was trying to explain the numbers used to measure jobs gained by the passage of the stimulus package. He eventually admitted it was all just a guess. There is no legitimate measurement of a saved job, as the administration claims. That is jibberish. As Joe Scarborough pointed out after the Biden appearance, unemployment has risen, not fallen. It is now at 9.4% when we were told it would be at 8% if nothing was done immediately, thus the speed of the passage of the legislation that no one read.

Biden was grilled a bit by David Gregory, the host. Gregory seems to be growing into the job. He asked Biden about the motives of former VP Dick Cheney as he publicly speaks out in defense of the Bush administration. Biden said he wouldn't judge motivation. He took the high road, for a change.

The Biden interview was a pleasant surprise. I almost enjoyed listening to him.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Obama Golfs While Iranians Wait

President Obama is playing golf today instead of commenting on the Iranian election travesty. Imagine if former President Bush did something like that. He quit playing golf in 2003 after the diplomat from the U.N. was killed in a terror attack. Anyone remember that he said it didn't look right for him to be out on the golf course as so many troubles brewed in the world?

Seems to me that candidate Obama told us several times a day that the United States had gone to hell in a hand basket under the watch of George W. Bush. He told us that it was the worst economy since the Great Depression, some of his wing nuts even tried to say things were WORSE than the Great Depression until that was squashed for the lunacy it was. So, why so carefree, Barack? Or, is it just ok if a liberal Democrat does it?

It would be nice if President Obama could issue a statement or a video, personally, on his thoughts of the Iranian election process. He makes videos daily, it seems, for mass distribution around the world on all kinds of subjects, mostly about how he is solving the problems of the United States and how he needs the cooperation of everyone to do so. Then he calls leaders from only one party into the White House to solve the problems of health care, of instance, but never mind that.

In 2005, as the emerging theme of a public outcry for freedom was in the forefront, then President George W. Bush said, "And to the Iranian you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." More than 24 hours after the sham results, Obama remains silent.

This is the problem with liberal naivete: Obama went out on the far left limb of the tree as he campaigned for President. He said he would meet with Iranian officials without preconditions. Period. So, what is the incentive to alter behavior? Instead of group hugs and soothing talk, some leadership is now needed. At the very least, he should be going directly to the Iranian people and offering support. He goes directly to the U.S. people daily. Or, is it that there are no votes from Iranians?

The candidate of Hope and Change is more of the same. The deficit is on steroids. He continues the Bush Doctrine on the war on terror. The 'most transparent administration ever' fails to post legislation on the web site for 5 days of viewing before signing as he promised. And, he polls like no other White House has done. I suppose that is the change he meant.

Also, the goodies are going to the big dollar supporters. More ambassadors have been announced: Howard Gutman is going to be U.S. envoy to Belgium; former Va Lt. Gov. Donald Beyer will be ambassador to Switzerland and Luxenbourg; Vinai Thummalapally, a Colorado businessman will be going to Belize and Mark Gitenstein, another Washington lawyer, will go to Romania. Is this too much change for you?

My blog friend, Maria, has a terrific post that you should read. You can find it here. She can tell you about the hypocrisy of the liberals.

Obama Shuts Out Republican Input on Health Care Reform

As the Obama administration rolls out its push for health care insurance reform, community activist style, the straw man arguments pop up again. President Obama is the master of using straw men as the villains in his speeches, regardless of the topic. On the campaign trail, the straw men were everything from racist white people who would be sure to remind you that he is a black man (though he is bi-racial) to the imaginary Republicans who thought the economy needed no help at all from Washington to control the recession. And, now? The straw man has emerged as those who would do nothing to reform health care and insurance matters that are so out of control. I've yet to hear anyone voice the opinion that nothing should be done, but maybe that is just me.

Obama likes to use his thin skinned bristling at any criticism and declare the opposition simply as uninformed or out of touch. It never seems to occur to him that only a bit more than half of the voters put him into office and there is still a difference of opinion out there on the direction of any reform measures. Certainly there is a cornucopia of opinions on a matter as large as health care, which consumes 1/6 of our economy.

In the mean time, I recommend checking out a web site: and look at some common sense ideas. The Heritage Foundation and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently conducted a teleconference to promote the web site and to allow Rep. Ryan, a rising star in the Republican party and on the budget and health care solutions, to answer some questions.

Just as Rep. Ryan stated, President Obama seeks to politicize reforms, whether it is health care or energy policy or the tax code. As a report in Roll Call, published online on June 11 stated, "Top aides to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) called a last-minute, pre-emptive strike on Wednesday with a group of prominent Democratic lobbyists, warning them to advise their clients not to attend a meeting with Senate Republicans set for Thursday. Russell Sullivan, the top staffer on Finance, and Jon Selib, Baucus' chief of staff, met with a bloc of more than 20 contract lobbyists, including several former Baucus aides. "They said, 'Republicans are having this meeting and you need to let all of your clients know if they have someone there, that will be viewed as a hostile act,'"said a Democratic lobbyist who attended the meeting. "Going to the Republican meeting will say, 'I'm interested in working with Republicans to stop health care reform,'"the lobbyist added."

So, the aides to Baucus follow the talking points of the administration that Republicans don't want health care reform. What they aren't honest enough to say is that Republicans are working on health care reform solutions that do not include heavy reliance on a public option - government run health care.

Currently, several Democrats are on record as opposed to the public option solution. They are Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK). Landrieu, Specter and Nelson have all called the public option a deal breaker or simply say no to the question of if they are open to the option. Begich, only six months into his term says he would be "cautious of any public option until it is all laid out."

Like the other sweeping reforms being rushed through Congress before voters fully understand the implications or even with enough time for the office holders to read all of the legislation, the administration is determined to rush health care reform at record speed. The strategy is to get as much done in Washington as quickly as possible before Obama's popularity begins to dip. Already his poll numbers are slipping and for the first time in a long time, Republican ideas now are favored by the regular American voter in 6 out of 10 of the most common issues facing the population. This administration polls more than any other administration in history so the latest trends must be disturbing.

Even former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is weighing in publicly with the demonization of Republicans. This is nothing new for Dean, however, as he was quoted as spewing such hateful lines as Republicans are racists - the only people of color at Republican gatherings are the wait staff - and Republicans are homophobes, etc. Now Dean, bitter that Obama passed him up as Secretary of Health and Human Services (he is a licensed physician), is going after Republicans again. He criticises two Republican physicians - Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA). Dean says of Coburn, "Public health care does a better job for its patients than private health care, " he said. "The senator is wrong. He's well-intentioned, he's a physician, I respect that, but he's wrong about economics." That from The Hill. Remember, Tom Coburn is the leading opponent of earmarks and unnecessary government spending in the Senate, along with John McCain. And to Gingrey's remarks that a public plan would make it more difficult to get care, Dean called him "an embarrassment."

Well, Howard Dean should know about being an embarrassment.

So, this is the change brought on by the administration of hope and change. Beginning the health care reform process by the President recording a video to be played at 'house parties' across the country last weekend, demanding of his Senate chairman on the budget committee to insist only lobbyists on board with whatever the administration proposes be allowed into meetings, total exclusion of Republicans in White House meetings, and allowing Speaker Nancy Pelosi once again to be the face of the legislation with her far left wing agenda.

This is the same candidate who promised bi-partisanship. This is the same candidate who promised "the most transparent administration in history". This is the candidate who had no executive leadership experience or private sector experience. This is why he is the wrong man for the presidency.

Friday, June 12, 2009

About Letterman

The back and forth between late night television supporters of David Letterman and those who support the Palin family has been entertainment news fodder during the course of the past couple of days. I say, enough already. Let it go.

Yes, all the critics of Letterman are correct. It is common sense that we don't condone the off color remarks, disguised in the form of a "joke", especially as a 62 year old man drags a 14 year old girl into the fray. Whether he admits it or not, Letterman was making a sex joke aimed at a 14 year old as she watched a baseball game in NYC with her parents during an event honoring volunteers who work on behalf of disabled Americans. Willow Palin was in the stands with her parents, not Bristol Palin. Bristol Palin is the unwed mom to the Palin's grandchild born last December.

When some observant viewers began to speak up against such ugly 'humor', Letterman did as he always does, he backpedaled and changed his story. He claimed, oh no, no, no, he would have never made a crass joke involving sex with a 14 year old girl. Why, never in a million years would he do such a thing. He meant that other Palin daughter. In the world of David Letterman and the rest of the tony far left crowd in Manhattan, 18 year old unwed mothers are fair game, especially if their mom is a conservative politician.

Let's acknowledge who David Letterman is: Letterman is a former C student from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, who, upon graduation, landed a job as a weatherman at a local television station in Indianapolis. From there he went to a failed early morning show which led to the late night slot. He is known for his snide remarks and in his younger days he was able to carry it off with minimal offense to the viewer. Today, however, he simply comes off as bitter and nasty. His humor is mean-spirited and his audience is mostly too young to care much about professional integrity.

Letterman, as he holds himself above everyone else, is the father of a young son. He didn't bother to marry the mother of his child though they have been in a committed relationship for many years. How about folks who would make bastard child jokes to him? Would that be fair game in the world of Letterman?

That said, I suggest conservatives and supporters of the Palin family and now, lo and behold, NOW, ratchet down the discourse. Yes, the National Organization of Women formally came out and denounced Letterman for his nasty 'jokes'. Statuary rape is not funny, even against a conservative politician's daughter.

Stop with the calling for the firing of David Letterman. It isn't going to happen and further boosts his publicity. He is set to sign a new contract, as I type this. We believe in free speech in this country - we hold the First Amendment dear - and that includes stupid, ugly remarks, too. David Letterman deserves all the scorn he receives. Feel the need to let Letterman know of your disgust? Fire off an email to him and his network. Let his advertisers know your feelings. All of that is perfectly legitimate. That is the American way.

Do not, however, my fellow Republicans and conservatives, fall into the methods of the angry left in this country. Do not demand someone be fired because you do not approve of his speech. Just do as I did many years ago, change the channel.

Just change the channel.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jew Hating Abounds

During the days of the last presidential campaign, the spiritual home of then Senator Barack Obama and his family was spotlighted, willingly or not. At the helm of the church is the Black Liberation follower, Rev Jeremiah Wright. Barack Obama joined the church at the encouragement of his then girlfriend, Michelle, as she was raised in the church. Her parents were founding parishioners.

But, not just the doctrine of Black Liberation surfaced. Also abundantly evident was a strong strain of anti-Semitism and subscription to the liberal blame America for its troubles line of political philosophy. This church is very much involved in political activities and political endorsements. That is the very reason a young and eager to be a politician Obama joined.

After Rev Wright's tapes were run on cable television, the ones which show him preaching about the chickens coming home to roost on 9/11/01, Obama stood firm in his love of Wright. He continued to call him a spiritual mentor, "like an uncle", a member of his family, etc. as more speeches and quotes surfaced up until Wright called him, "just a politician". Then, all bets were off. Obama decided to formally denounce Wright and leave the church.

The point is, Barack Obama became a Christian and joined Wright's church and was a member in good standing for 20 years. He was married in the church and his children were baptised by Wright. One would assume that Obama and his family agree with the utterances of Wright if they were members in good standing for so long.

Recently, Wright again put his foot in his mouth, in public at the 95th annual Hampton University Ministers' Conference. He told a reporter from the Daily -Press of Newport News, VA , when asked if he had spoken to President Obama since he took office, "them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office."

Wright is promoting a book, and no I'm not going to publish its title. Wright accused "Zionists" of "ethnic cleaning" in Gaza without acknowledging that it was former Prime Minister Sharon who forced the Jews from Gaza four years before those remarks. The media is again silent.

So, while Obama is in the middle east, and telling us we "must remain vigilant against anti-Semitism and prejudice in all its forms", he is silent when actual quotes from those within his own circle surface. There is a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in this country, as well as the world, and the President who is to represent "change" is silent. A crazy old man killed a young security guard and injured another guard yesterday at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Much more has been made of the fact the old man is a white supremacist than an anti-Semite.

How could Obama remain in that church in Chicago and listen to the hate spewed from the pulpit for 20 years - whether it was about Jews or white people or anyone else - and yet his supporters are so blind and willfully ignorant as to not question his motives? Would you sit there and listen to such hateful things? Would you continue to financially support the church as he and Michelle did? The last year of their membership shows more than $25,000 donated to the church, as they became millionaires from Obama's book sales. That is, by the way, the largest amount contributed to a non-profit by the couple. Previously, they contributed an embarrassing small amount to charity.

Perhaps in the Obama social circles, it is just acceptable to be Jew haters. Perhaps it is more important to be all about race. Certainly it does not matter to the American press - they have far too much invested in this president to report on questionable alliances or prejudices. We were told in the campaign days that we are not to question his religious affiliations - though he was raised in Muslim schools by a Muslim father and step-father in Indonesia. His mother was agnostic, by his admission. He said his grandmother still living in Kenya was Christian yet she comes out this year and calls herself Muslim and is taking the Hajj journey. How convenient. He ran from any connection with a Muslim upbringing during the campaign and yet now embraces the Muslim parts of his "life story" as he befriends the middle east for political purposes.

Character matters. Core personal principles matter. A lack of either is bad news for our country. This is the result when just a "politician" is elected to the highest office in the land.

Fact Checks About Kay B Hutchison

In recent days, several newspaper articles have appeared that show a deliberate slant towards Governor Perry as he seeks an historic third term in that office. Some facts seem to be missing from some articles written about Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Perry's primary opponent.

In an article by Todd Gillman for the Dallas Morning News, it was written that "in 1976, the senator and her husband backed President Gerald Ford against challenger and future President Ronald Reagan. Primary voters punished Ray Hutchison two years later when he lost a run for governor. Here are some facts conveniently omitted: Senator Hutchison was then a member of the Ford administration. She was supporting her boss. Ray Hutchison was Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. And, four years later, Kay Bailey Hutchison was Chairwoman of Texas Women Leadership and a strong Reagan supporter.

Interesting tidbit - In 1984, Rick Perry was elected as a Democrat to the Texas legislature and in 1988, he served as the State Chairman for a Democrat U.S. Senator in the Primary Election during an unsuccessful bid for President.

Also from Todd Gillman, Senator Hutchison said that if she were governor instead of Gov Perry now, there would be no need to call a special session to Austin. "Because I would be hands-on, working hard through the session and I would be working with the Legislature, which is what I think the governor should do."

Recently, Minnesota Gov Tim Pawlenty said that three terms is too many for a governor. He is not seeking his third term. "I've talked to a lot of governors that have served three terms without naming names, I think in their quiet or private moments, confidentially, they'd say you know it wasn't their best effort that last term." A piece by Wayne Slater in The Dallas Morning News runs that quote.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Austen Goolsbee Re-Writes History

"Taking over the White House doesn't come with a magic pen to rewrite history." That is a quote from former White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino in response to recent remarks by Obama advisor Austan Goolsbee. Goolsbee stated that the Bush administration "kicked the can down the road"

Perino responded to Goolsbee's history re-write in Politico's "The Arena" and it is good she did. For too long, the media simply encourages the spin from this White House and how terribly put upon it is by the acts of the previous administration. Since when did taking the reins of power in our country be assumed to be anything other than the most difficult job in the world? The constant finger pointing and whining of "inherited" problems is growing quite old. The President and his administration sound juvenile and petty. They should all at least attempt to show the same respect for the previous administration as was shown to the one before that by them.

Even at the time of the original emergency loans to the automakers, news agencies reported that it was a necessary step to avoid total collapse of the industry and all the ripple effects of that choice. The current administration has simply used the automakers failures as a reason to take it over and allow major payback to the unions that brought them into power. How very convenient.

The emerging problem for the Obama administration is, while certainly not much or quickly enough, the media is slowly awakening to the disgracefully one-sided coverage of it all. It is to be expected, of course, as they have so much to lose as the public notices. During the campaign it became obvious at an early date that the media covering Obama that they were all in. No holds. Obama could do no wrong and he was the best person ever to run for the office. Now they have to live with the consequences and there is simply no saving face for them.

Phil Bronstein, San Francisco Chronicle, wrote recently about this. He wrote of his observation that during the German stop on Obama's recent overseas trip, as soon as Obama told reporters to stop asking about his trip agenda, they did. Simple as that. They are a very obedient group. And so very unprofessional.

President and Mrs. Obama took a Saturday night "date night" to NYC and the press swooned. How romantic. Dinner and a play on Broadway. The Mrs. wanted it. Quite an expensive date, especially when there's a big ole recession going on out here in every person land.

It does point to the arrogance of this first couple at times. Do as I say, not as I do. They seem to be tone deaf. Michelle Obama wears a white dress to the somber ceremony at Normandy. No one blinks an eye - she's a fashion trend maker! Carla Bruni had on an off white dress but wore a black jacket over it. Michelle Obama stuck out like a sore thumb. Was it on purpose? Or does she simply not know that black or a dark neutral color outfit was appropriate? Does she wear white to funerals, too? Not one word from the fashionistas who previously were quick to critique every outfit worn by other First Ladies.

Obama is known to keep the Oval Office at 72 degrees as he demands Americans conserve energy. He continues in campaign mode as he instructs his staff to arrange one out of town event per week, preferably with a town hall component.

Let's remember it was the Democrats who demanded the auto industry be bailed out. Let's remember that Republicans offering the out of bankruptcy as a better solution were shouted down as uncaring, union hating Neanderthals. Turns out, leaders like Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) were correct and GM is now in bankruptcy just as Chrysler was before them. All of that taxpayer bailout money and the result was still bankruptcy. It is Obama's auto industry now.

Keith Hennessey provides a timeline of the auto rescue in The Wall Street Journal, Saturday June 6 edition. Clearly, the Obama administration continues in re-writing history for their own benefit.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Obama Appoints Big Dollar Friends to Posts

The candidate of hope and change, the one who wasn't going to conduct business as usual has been exposed for anything but the change his supporters bought into without doing any real research into the background of the candidate. Now safely tucked into the White House, President Obama does what all presidents have done in the past - he is rewarding his big dollar donors with ambassadorships.

Two recently rewarded are Nicole Avant, from the music industry who will be enjoying her post in the Bahamas and Charles Rivkin, CEO of Wild Brain who is off to France.

As background, from an article in the LA Times, Avant is a former Clinton supporter, via the family ties, but broke for Obama. Rivkin, formerly head of Jim Henson productions, is the son of JFK's ambassador to Luxembourg and LBJ's representative to Senegal and Gambia. So, that would be a legacy appointment, right?

Also from the LA Times, mention is made of the appointment of former Iowa Rep. Jim Leach as the new chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Obama people would like to make hay over the fact that Leach is a Republican but the fact is, he was an Obama supporter during the campaign and spoke at the Democratic national Convention in Denver. He is described as the Obama answer to the GOP support from Senator Joe Lieberman. Leach didn't receive much attention at the Convention by the attendees.

Barack Obama has never had the history of being a politician who truly does business in any other fashion than the status quo. He makes lovely speeches proclaiming differently and those inclined to buy into it will disagree, but the facts are the facts.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Big Tent Party

A Republican fundraiser luncheon was held Friday, benefiting a Republican Womens group. The theme was "Under the Big Tent". A circus thread was weaving throughout the event. The "Ringmaster" was the Harris County District Attorney, Pat Lykos.

She has made headlines since her swearing in ceremony in January. Pat Lykos is a woman known for thinking outside the box and that can ruffle feathers of the well-entrenched. Most recently she made news for her ideas of dealing with first time offenders. She is the first woman to hold the office in Harris County and she is a hard working Republican woman. Besides her duties of event announcer on stage, she provided a brief speech that encouraged the GOP to work hard to defeat the dastardly policies of the current administration. She spoke of the defeat of Barry Goldwater and then the rising of Ronald Reagan after the disaster of Jimmy Carter - another 'hope and change' candidate. She is convinced that the election of Barack Obama will galvanize conservatives again and the Republican party will come back strong.

Former Solicitor General of Texas, Ted Cruz, was the keynote speaker. Cruz is running for State of Texas Attorney General. As has been noted previously in this blog, Cruz is a rising star in the Republican party. If the Democrats continue to push a candidate's life story over qualifications - like was done of Barack Obama - then Ted Cruz is certainly strong competition at that level, plus the added bonus that he has much high level, successful experience in his law career. He was the youngest Solicitor General for Texas and many have hopes of lots more years ahead of this young Republican.

Boy Scout Troop 641 did the Presentation of the Colors. Pat Lykos reminded us to stand with the Scouts as more troops continue to do push back from outside special interest groups.

Representative John Culberson was present and extended thanks to a local State Representative for her work on behalf of the Republican party when a fellow Republican needed some help during the recent Legislative Session.

The big tent theme was timely. As Republicans continue on with the circular firing squad, wasting valuable time better used to help rebuild the party, it is good to remember the history of the GOP. The original big tent party.

A statue of Ronald Reagan was unveiled at a White House ceremony last week. It would be beneficial for those most willing to invoke the name of Ronald Reagan - many not old enough to remember the Reagan years first hand - to stop with the lip service and walk the walk. The walk begins with acceptance of the Reagan idea of a big tent party. Reagan won by forming a coalition of conservatives from both parties and Independents, too. The term Reagan Democrats was born. Reagan was famous for saying that if a person agreed with him 80% of the time, he could work with that person.

It is only common sense, yet so many are blind to the concept today. Smarting from back to back election defeats, Republicans must fight the urge to go more extreme in dialogue. While social conservatism has a place in the GOP, it is not the original intent of the party. That fact is lost on the most strident. The GOP was founded on the core principles of small government, less taxation and strong national security. Too often for many in the party, usually those new to the party, the social issues rule the vote.

It is important to remember that within the Democratic party a strong number of social conservatives uphold the same social mores as Republicans. Finding common ground is not weakness, it is strength. Finding common ground is not selling out core principles, it is growing the party. Without more voters, victories at the polling stations will not exist. Without victories, our agenda is not moved through Congress. It is really as simple as that.

The GOP began by standing up against the expansion of slavery. The GOP was a progressive one, actually. The GOP was counter status quo. Abraham Lincoln personified the common sense principles that established the GOP. The Democrats have bought minority votes for decades with the introduction of huge social programs. Over the course of years, it is becoming more and more evident how destructive this idea of the government running lives has been to our country. The GOP must continue to reach out to all Americans and extend the hand of friendship to all who would join in the good fight.

The GOP is not a single issue party. A strong 50 state strategy, the kind the Obama campaign was astute enough to work, is needed. Republicans, like people in general, come in all shapes. A person running as a Republican in the Northeast will not necessarily have the same campaign as a Republican running in Texas. The same with those in the West. All are just as equally Republican and no one has the right to declare who is and isn't a 'real' Republican - as long as the basic founding principles of the party are held intact.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Obama Delivers A Speech in Cairo

President Obama delivered a speech in Cairo, Egypt. The speech was a campaign promise made to pander to votes of the anti-war base of his party. It is as though to deliver a speech in a Muslim country, peace will break out all over the world. Were that true, it would have happened after any number of speeches delivered by members of previous administrations. Obama's people may be determined for the average listener to believe this was an "historic" speech but they are sadly mistaken. Or, deliberately misleading for political points. Pretty words. Aptly, though not superbly, delivered. No solutions offered. This is the problem with a novice in the White House. Novice because he has no leadership experience. No executive experience leading more than himself. He lectures but he does not produce solutions.

No mention was made of the contributions to that part of the world by our own military. No mention of the millions of Muslims that have been aided, fed, supported and freed by our military members. From Bosnia to Somalia to Kuwait to Afghanistan to Iraq, a debt of gratitude is owed. A free republic always trumps a brutal dictatorship.

If this Democratic president wants to be taken seriously as a supporter of our military members, their families and our national security needs, he must walk the walk. It would be a decent move to stop reaching backwards and criticizing the previous administration - however subtly delivered - while taking a swipe at our own military and intelligence agencies. By saying we violated the principles of our Founding Fathers after the terror attacks of 9/11/01, President Obama appears out of touch with basic legal tenets and the opinions of average Americans. As a self-professed legal scholar from his years of studying and teaching Constitutional Law, the President knows he is being disingenuous by such small minded statements. It is also well past time to stop with the exaggerations for political points. He knows that the enhanced interrogation techniques were used on only three prisoners, whether he personally agrees with that decision or not.

If this Democratic president wants to continue to make his argument that the U.S. should profusely apologize around the world for our actions after the terror attacks of 9/11/01, then he has an obligation to release all of the CIA classified documents that pertain to this subject. Not just de-classifying the documents that side with his claims.

President Obama is a master of delivering moral equivalencies in his speeches - particularly when he is speaking of his notions of good versus bad. As Jonathan Tobin wrote in Commentary, "As a statement of philosophy as well as a proclamation of American values it was as morally unserious a speech as an American president has ever made." By failing - deliberately - to speak of his complete support for the state of Israel to exist, he states that both Israel and Palestine are equal partners in the road to peace. This is utter nonsense. Palestine refuses to acknowledge the right of existence of Israel and have stated they will never do so. The U.N. declared the state of Israel just over 60 years ago. It was, in fact, Arabs in the region that enslaved the Palestinians for almost 40 of the next years, not at all connected with the birth of the state of Israel. Why didn't Obama mention that, if , in fact he knows the history of the region? Equating the struggles of the people of Palestine with the American civil rights movement was vapid indeed.

Why didn't Obama plan to stop in Israel while he was in the neighborhood?

President Obama declared it perfectly acceptable for nuclear development in Iran. Though he used the pap nonsense that it is for energy, as the Iranian mad men state, everyone - especially Israel - know what the goal is there. Ironic that Obama resists nuclear power as an energy source in his own country.

On religion, Obama declared, "Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." Really?

On women's rights Obama again does the moral equivalency act. "Now let me be clear: issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world." This is so intellectually deceptive. To compare the life of an American woman with those in Muslim nations in the struggle for "equal rights" is vacuous.

Was there any mention to the initiatives of former First Lady Laura Bush in the Arab world for women and girls health care? No. He was busy pumping new global efforts that he was only announcing during the speech. America, under leadership from Laura Bush, brought clinics in Saudi Arabia for breast health care and for combating malaria in Africa. Not to mention the work credited to both Laura and George W. Bush in Africa for AIDS patients. No. Just his claim that he wants to eradicate polio in partnership with the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Opportunities were missed if the purpose of this speech was more than simply fulfilling some silly campaign promise to pander for votes from the anti-war crowd of his base support. Americans expect better from their President. Let's hope President Obama grows into his new job.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Obama Embraces His Inner Muslim

President Obama has taken his show on the road and the destination is the Muslim world. I'll write about the folly of lumping all Muslims into the Arab world, as he is doing, at another time. This is about honesty and common sense. I am still determined to bring back common sense into the public arena.

At the end of an interview with the press and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President Obama concluded his remarks with "Shukran". That is Arabic for thank you. On its face, it is a polite gesture as a foreigner who doesn't speak the country's language. World travelers know the value of even the smallest attempts at the native language by her people. I do it, too. In my city, Houston, we are known as one of the most diverse cities in the country and it is not unusual to be in business establishments owned by immigrants to our country. If I know something basic - thank you, hello, goodbye - in their native language, I will use it. I can do that in Mandarin, French (almost fluent), and Spanish. I can say bad words in Finnish, thanks to a college roommate but that's for another day, too.

What comes across as insincere about President Obama's newly public embrace of all things Muslim is that during the campaign, his handlers were determined to keep it all out of the fray. His Muslim father was described as 'agnostic', his mother was described as atheist, his step-father who adopted him and moved his family to Indonesia enrolled him in Muslim school but it was not to be spoken of, and only his conversion to Christianity was discussed. He began his Christian journey during his move to Chicago and his life with Michelle. He joined her church - the Black liberation Christian church of Rev. Wright - so that was controversial, too. Obama tried to remain above it all. Then, after various embarrassing statements by Rev. Wright, the topper was Wright calling Obama "a politician" and that was it. Obama left the church. No more questioning of the judgment of Barack Obama raising his young daughters in the church their mother was raised in.

One radio talk show host in Cincinnati was chastised when he dared to use the middle name of Barack Obama - Hussein. It was labeled a slur. Like it or not, the candidate's name was the candidate's name. Why didn't he simply embrace it instead of making a division with it? We know why. He's a politician. He was running for President. Instead of embracing it and educating audiences, he chose to demonize.

It was as though he was denying his Muslim heritage. Why was he ashamed of it? Haven't we been taught over and over again that everyone is entitled to the religion of their choice in this country? It is with great pride that we acknowledge our freedoms, including freedom of religion. President Obama has a disturbing way of handling controversy - instead of talking about a subject head-on, he demonizes his opposition. That does not speak well of his character.

President Obama, now safely nestled into office, is all about Muslim outreach. That's fine, on its face. Too little credit is given to former President Bush who was out front immediately after the attacks of 9/11/01 with outreach to the Muslim community. He was the first to say that we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with Islamic fanatics.

Candidate Obama and now President Obama inflates the divide between the Muslim world and the rest of the world. He does it for political reasons. Now, however, it is well past time for him to show leadership on the world stage. Stop with the perpetual apologies, with the constant blame-America-first guilt trips. That attitude, despite what Obama proclaims, is not respected in the Muslim world. They view it as weakness.

Obama told French tv reporter, Laura Haim on Canal Plus that the "U.S. also could be considered as "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world'." That is simply not true. And it was an unnecessary pander. He goes to Cairo to give, what his staff call an "historic" speech. They have yet to acknowledge former Sec of State Condi Rice's truly historic speech in Cairo in 2005. She was a woman, a Black American, a U.S. Secretary of State, honest enough to state clearly that the past 60 years of turning the other way and accepting business as usual in that part of the world must end. Human rights, religious freedom, decent living conditions are all necessary for a freer world.

In Turkey, President Obama said, "Americans do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation." John McCain was criticized for calling America a Christian nation in 2007. George W. Bush was ridiculed relentlessly for his faith.

America is a Judea-Christian nation. We have all of the world's religions represented in our country and we are a richer nation for it. However, we were founded a Judea-Christian nation. We state, "In God We Trust", not in Allah or in Buddha.

It is good for President Obama to now publicly embrace his Muslim heritage. It must be good karma for his life. It is definitely healthy for his daughters to freely know their heritage. Obama is the first African American president, true. But he is of Kenyan ancestry, not west African ancestry as that of, say, his wife and the majority of the Black Americans who have been a part of the fabric of our nation's history from the days of our Founding Fathers.

It is reported that his Muslim grandmother who lives in Kenya will go on the Hajj this year. That never would have been acknowledged by the Obama campaign last fall. Will it be this year? Will the press who were determined to have Obama elected actually begin to ask questions as matters come up?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Why is President Obama Silent on Recruiter Terror Attack?

Where is the statement from President Obama, who proclaims his support and appreciation of the U.S. military, on the terrorist attack at the Arkansas recruiting office? One soldier was killed and another is hospitalized. Nothing but silence from the commander-in-chief.

The terror attack was carried out by an American citizen - a homegrown jihadist. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, his chosen name not his birth name, trained in Yemen as a jihadist. He has since made statements that he is part of an organized group of jihadists and that he was prepared to shoot more soldiers but there were only two at the time available to him.

The sound of crickets chirping in the silence from the commander-in-chief and from most of the slobbering press who elevate this presidency.

Note the contrast to the murder of the abortion doctor in Wichita one day before from the President - abortion supporter in chief. This president, the most pro-abortion in history who voted in support of infanticide as an Illinois state senator, rushed to make a statement denouncing the abortionist's murder. The Attorney General immediately put up a statement on the Justice Department's web site pledging to "bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice."

In today's Washington Times, there is this: "There is a fundamental blind spot in some circles as to the threat posed by homegrown Muslim radicals. The March Department of Homeland Security Domestic Extremist Lexicon, which was pulled quickly in the wake of controversy with other department publications, was noteworthy for listing Jewish extremism and various forms of Christian extremism but making no mention of any form of Muslim extremism." No mention of any form of Muslim extremism.

Was the terror attack too inconveniently timely? As the President prepared for his tour of the middle east and his self-proclaimed "major" speech in Egypt, as he proclaimed the U.S. as a country with one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, was he simply too cowardly to be as honest with Muslim extremists as he proclaims the importance of honesty with our ally, Israel? Isn't is just as important to call a terrorist jihadist for what he is?

This is the second terror attack by homegrown jihadists in the last two months. The Washington Times editorial reminds us of the four black Muslim converts arrested on May 20 "for plotting to blow up a New York synagogue and use an anti-aircraft weapon to attack military aircraft in Newburgh, N.Y. Jim Houri, vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, who has followed these incidents closely, says he is "surprised we're not hearing more reports about this."

The President of the United States, the commander-in-chief, has a duty to support our service men and women abroad and at home. He also has the duty to acknowledge threats honestly and in a timely fashion. "Honesty" goes to both sides.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hutchinson Benefits From Poor Perry Performance

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst refused to call up a bill that would have given the Legislature greater power to override a governor's veto. Dewhurst presides over the Senate. It is said that Dewhurst claims Governor Perry asked for the bill to be sidelined.

According to the, in some apparent backroom dealing, the governor who has vetoed more bills than any other - being the longest-serving governor, didn't favor the bill being moved forward by State Senator Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio. "According to a Dallas Morning News piece, Wentworth says the governor and lieutenant governor conspired to keep the Senate from considering the proposed amendment - despite the fact that 26 of 31 senators favored its passage."

It is no wonder, then, that the obvious winner from the just ended Texas Legislative session is Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Wayne Slater and Christy Hoppe write of this conclusion in the Dallas Morning News. "Kay Bailey Hutchinson steered clear of Austin, but the fractious 140-day session that ended Monday without tackling some high-profile problems gives her plenty with which to target Gov. Rick Perry in the coming Republican primary.

"The summary judgment in regard to this session is lack of leadership," said Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson. "That's her theme."

While pandering to the social conservatives, Perry failed to deliver on any of his promises to them. Perry was vocal on his support of mandatory ultrasounds before an abortion and of fighting Washington environmental regulations on business. "Moreover, the governor cast himself in populist terms, attending anti-tax "tea party" protests, touting states' rights and sympathizing with advocates of secession."

"While Perry has focused on recruiting the party's most conservative wing, Hutchinson's political blueprint envisions an appeal to center-right voters. To that end, the partisan warfare it ignited underscores her message that Texas needs a leader who can unite people, not divide them."

Pandering for the next election is not a good strategy for state leadership.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Good News As Bush Builds Legacy

The good press has begun for former President George W. Bush. Despite eight years of nothing but hate from the left and then from the right, too, Bush is out of the political limelight and leading a somewhat normal life. He and former First Lady Laura Bush are settling into their new home in Dallas and he is telling the tale that he is just a regular neighbor, picking up the poo of his dogs on their walks.

Last week he and another former President Clinton appeared together in Canada, sharing a stage and having a "conversation", complete with moderator. The moderator was former envoy to the U.S., Frank McKenna. Tickets were sold and both received polite applause and the large number of expected protesters outside did not appear. Originally thought to number 15,000, the protesters numbered only barely 200. The audience of 6,000 were not privy to a heated debate either. Both men were reported to be very respectful and defended each other's tenure in office.

Unlike President Obama, who to this day cannot make a speech without blaming or criticizing the Bush administration, President Bush said he will not criticize Obama - he said there are enough critics in America. We all miss the Bush family class in Washington. It is sorely needed.

Also last week, Laura and George W. Bush came to Houston and received the 2009 Leadership Award from the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. Little reported, Bush was praised for creating the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The program is credited with saving more than 1.1 million lives and reducing AIDS-related deaths by more than 10 percent across sub-Saharan Africa. Laura Bush was honored for her role as an advocate for mothers and children with HIV/AIDS and for her five trips to Africa.

Guests representing each of the countries which have the program were present.

Clinton praised Bush's AIDS initiatives and the racial and ethnic diversity of his Cabinet.