Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Obama Out of Step With the World

Last weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel won re-election in Germany. Germany has now gone to the center-right in politics, abandoning the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The SPD only won 23.5 percent of the vote, the worst numbers since World War II.

Merkel is of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and along with its partner, the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), their total percentage of the vote was 34 percent. So, combining a coalition government of CDU and CSU, along with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), the ruling percentage is at 49 percent.

Merkel is a business friendly leader and ran on a platform of cutting personal taxes to a level of 35 percent. The U.S., going in the opposite direction with the Obama administration will be at 39 percent again after they allow the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2011. Also, despite the SPD using the war in Afghanistan as a way to try to garner votes, they were unsuccessful in that effort. And, even with the potential of terrorist attacks - as proclaimed by bin Laden just before the voting got underway - the German voters stepped up and carried on. They did not behave as the Spanish did in 2004.

Merkel is shifting German economic policy to the right, but gradually. She is smart enough to build her coalitions and listen to the citizens. She promises to simplify the tax code, and she also wants to extend the use of Germany's nuclear power plants, formerly ordered closed by 2021. She is going the common sense way of reducing governmental interference in the economy and encouraging privatizations.

Team Obama would do well to notice the newly emerging Europe, especially as the Democrats love to proclaim the sophistication and superior intellect of the Europeans to the American voter.

At the U.N. Assembly last week, Obama proclaimed "no nation can or should try to dominate another." He boasts about turning the U.S. foreign policy around, going beyond the pale to separate himself from President G.W. Bush. Ironic, considering all of the foreign policy decisions Obama has made which are continuances of the Bush Doctrine.

As Obama chaired the Security Council, we were told of the "historic" level of the event. Truth be known, other Presidents have chosen to bypass the hypocrisy of the council - with the presence of some of the world's worst characters on board. Something not reported much - surprise! - was the schooling French President Sarkozy gave to Obama, in his speech. It went like this:

"We are here to guarantee peace. We are right to talk about the future. But the present comes before the future, and the present includes two major nuclear crises. The peoples of the entire world are listening to what we are saying, including our promises, commitments and speeches. But we lie in the real world, not in a virtual one. We say we must reduce. President Obama himself has said that he dreams of a world without nuclear weapons. Before our very eyes, two countries are doing exactly the opposite at this very moment. Since 2005, Iran has violated five Security Council Resolutions. I support America's extended hand. But what have these proposals for dialogue produced for the international community? Nothing but more enriched uranium and more centrifuges. And last but not least, it has resulted in a statement by Iranian leaders calling for wiping off the map a Member of the United Nations. What are we to do? What conclusion are we to draw? At a certain moment hard facts will force us to take decisions." From there he went on to talk of North Korea, violating Security Council decisions since 1993.

Team Obama has proclaimed nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament as their calling on the world stage. He did so again in the presence of the worst actors in the world. And, of course, by disarmament he means, the U.S. should lead the way. It all plays into his world apology tour. Team Obama has a strange idea that it is productive to embrace our foes while shoving to the side our friends.

As Europe abandons 40 years of the march to socialist ideas in action and appeasing brutal dictators, President Obama is only too eager to go the opposite way with America. He is out of step with the world. Time for him to accept some of those hard facts Sarkozy warned of.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Is Afghanistan the "Good War", Mr. President?

The election in Afghanistan was less than perfect, to be charitable, and now the Obama administration sees an opening to stall on some major decision-making. While our soldiers are in the field, Obama decides to vote "present" on the strategy for Afghanistan.

Going on the 9th anniversary of the beginning of the war, General McChrystal, the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, wants a change in the execution of the war on the ground. Secretary of Defense Gates is walking a tightrope between supporting his generals and his commander-in-chief. After announcing last spring that he was sending additional troops to Afghanistan, it would appear the president has decided to put the war on the back burner as he concentrates on his vast domestic agenda.

This weekend's televised interview with General McChrystal does little to reassure Americans and our partners in NATO that President Obama is making the war on terror a priority. McChrystal has presented his request for a buildup in troops and Gates is stalling on behalf of Obama. The request is the product of the ordered review Gates issued to McChrystal in June.

From the report: "Success is achievable, but it will not be attained simply by trying harder or "doubling down" on the previous strategy. Additional resources are required, but focusing on force or resource requirements misses the point entirely. The key take away from this assessment is the urgent need for a significant change to our strategy and the way we think and operate. Our strategy cannot be focused on seizing terrain or destroying insurgent forces; our objective must be the population. In the struggle to gain the support of the people, every action we take must enable this effort."

This is the dire part: "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."

The president has stated he intends to kick the decision down the road for several weeks. He appears to be in no rush to hash it all out. It appears he is looking for a semi-graceful way in which to deny McChrystal the additional support.

Let's keep in mind that Obama replaced the commander in place with McChrystal - touted as Obama's personal pick. McChrystal is a protege of General Petraeus. That means he is planning to use the Iraq strategy of counter-terrorism on the ground. That strategy turned around the war in Iraq and may well in Afghanistan. Obama is nervous that the Petraeus strategy will lead to long term commitment and it will look bad for him.

Vice-President Biden, consistently on the wrong side of history in America's foreign policy, is said to be pushing the idea of withdrawing troops while increasing the use of technology, such as the unmanned drone attacks. He forgets that Rumsfield also tried the high tech approach instead of boots on the ground in Iraq without success. The Powell Doctrine of overwhelming the enemy still works best.

An encouraging statement from Gates came this weekend, too. He said in a televised interview, "The notion of timelines and exit strategies and so on, frankly, I think would all be a strategic mistake. The reality is, failure in Afghanistan would be a huge setback for the United States." The usual groups on the left side of the political aisle are demanding an exit from Afghanistan. It is interesting to note that there does not seem to be the media hysteria over no exit strategy from this war as there was over the perceived lack of exit plan from Iraq during the Bush administration. Gates noted an early withdrawal would be perceived as failure, just as it was for the Soviet Union in 1989, after 10 years of battle.

On the campaign trail, Obama loved to boast that he was anti-war in Iraq from the beginning. He was a state senator in Illinois when the war began so he wasn't a part of the process in Washington. He declared the war in Afghanistan the "good war", the war we must win. The war that Bush abandoned unfinished. He didn't bother to note that victory was swift when we entered there after 9/11/01. The problems developed with the lack of continued resources and moving the focus onto Iraq.

Now, suddenly Obama notices that the government in Afghanistan is corrupted. This is nothing new to anyone. Obama is using it as an excuse to vote "present" for now. With troops on the ground and increasing attacks, this is not a strong leadership move.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tina Benkiser Joins Perry Campaign

Yesterday a press release on Governor Perry's web site declared that Texas Republican Party chairman Tina Benkiser has joined their team for the governor's re-election as a senior adviser.

"I am stepping down as chairman so that I can enthusiastically support the only true conservative n the Texas governor's race, Governor Rick Perry," said Benkiser. "Gov. Perry loves Texas and he cares about Texans. He has shown leadership when Washington has not, and he has shown courage when others have bailed. I look forward to embracing my role as senior advisor to Governor Perry's re-election effort and I am confident that my choice will move the cause for conservatism forward."

The woman who bailed on her job as chair of the state Republican party claims "others have bailed." And she is embracing the failed strategy of assuming the wisdom of judging "true" conservatives. A political party is not a private club. There is no admissions committee which gets to tell others who is and isn't a true anything. What kind of leader repels potential members of a party by flaunting litmus tests?

Benkiser, earlier in the year, tried very hard to be elected co-chair of the Republican National Committee by hitching her wagon to the campaign of Ken Blackwell for the top spot on the ticket. In all likelihood, that campaign, if successful, would have required her to resign as State Chair, too.

As Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Benkiser has overseen an increase of Republican officeholders by 22% from the time she came into the position in 2003. However, in recent elections, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties have "floundered", according to an article in the Austin Statesman. The article continues, "They've lost ground in the Texas House, Senate and the U.S. House (after gains thanks to mid-decade redistricting)."

If Benkiser is using the Perry re-election campaign as some kind of stepping stone to a more prominent national position, she may be interested in what some in Washington, D.C. are saying about Kay Bailey Hutchison - her fellow elected Texas politicians. From the Dallas Morning News on September 20, 2009: "Nearly half the Texas Republicans in Congress support Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in her bid to oust Gov. Rick Perry. Perry doesn't tout a single endorsement. Those staying neutral worry about betting on the wrong horse. Many are loath to pick one friend over another."

"The Hutchison camp includes nine of the 20 Texas Republicans in the House, among them moderates and conservatives: Reps. Kevin Brady of The Woodlands, Michael Burgess of Flower Mound, John Culberson of Houston, Louie Gohmert of Tyler, Kay Granger of Fort Worth, Kenny Marchant of Coppell, Mac Thornberry of Clarendon and Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock."

As the articles points out, some who supported Perry in 2006, as Hutchison decided not to run and potentially divide the party, now back Hutchison. "Gohmert has said that one key reason he endorsed Perry that year was because the governor promised not to run again.."

Rep. Brady, a strong conservative voice in Washington, he pointed to Hutchison's work "on tax cuts and hurricane relief." "She is remarkably effective," Brady said. "I've never seen anyone produce, with values, so much for Texas."

Benkiser said, in the Perry press release, "Gov. Perry loves Texas and he cares about Texans." Sounds like Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rep Culberson Posts HealthCare Legislation Online

At a recent technology conference, Representative John Culberson found a vendor that could post legislation online and allow readers to comment. The company is Rep Culberson (R-TX) used the company to post health care legislation on his congressional website.

I am pleased to mention that Culberson is my district Representative in Washington, D.C. For now, only his constituents can read the legislation on his site. We enter our zip code and can then also comment, if we so wish.

I was happy to see this write-up in the Washington Times, by Amanda Carpenter, yet not surprised. Culberson is known as a tech-savvy elected official. He leads in the use of cutting edge technology to stay connected with constituents. He frequently uses teleconference calls to stay in touch with those in his district - his office dials the household and the invitation is extended to participate with him. He uses Twitter, Facebook, he live streams conference calls, etc.

Posting this legislation is costly, as the article points out. "It's fairly expensive to do, about $3,000, and I'm doing it out of my office budget," he said. He is planning to do the same for the cap and trade legislation and recently released memos from the Dept of Treasury explaining the costs of that bill.

Rep. Culberson is leading the way in transparency today with legislation affecting all of us.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Team Obama Infiltrates Houston Mayor Race

This is turning out to be quite the interesting political season right here in Houston, Texas. The current race for Mayor, for example, just keeps getting more interesting.

Officially, the race for Mayor of Houston is billed as a "non-partisan" contest. Everyone knows, however, the political affiliation of the candidates. In the current race, the race is dominated by Democrats. That is not unusual. Our current mayor, Bill White, is a former deputy Secretary of Energy from the Clinton administration. He is now pursuing the soon to be vacant Senate seat of Kay Bailey Hutchison.

The three leading candidates from the Democrat side of the aisle are Gene Locke - a wealthy black lawyer; Annise Parker, the current City Controller and first openly gay former City Council member; and Peter Brown, a wealthy architect and current City Council member.

Enter Team Obama. A couple of weeks ago, the DNC held its national fall meeting in Austin. A prominent member of the Obama campaign has been dispatched to Houston to work on Gene Locke's campaign - the presumed front runner in the race. This person is Temo Figueroa.

Who is Temo Figueroa? He was the assistant political director at AFSCME and oversaw the union's independent expenditure program during the 2006 elections. He was Administrator of AFSCME Council 18, New Mexico, served on the DNC's Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling, and he was National Latino Vote Director for Barack Obama before becoming national Field Director for his presidential campaign.

And, now the Locke staff is receiving notice for bringing in Opel Simmons, listed as Campaign Staff on Locke's Campaign Finance Report. Opel Simmons was involved in one of the largest "Voter Suppression" scandals in 2004 in the state of Wisconsin. Simmons was arrested but not charged because he cooperated with investigators. The suppression? You may remember during the 2004 election, 100 GOP vans were disabled by tire slashing so that they could not be used to transport voters to the polls who were unable to drive themselves. The name of the operation was termed "Operation Elephant Takeover", according to

And, Gene Locke's campaign headquarters is the same as the Obama headquarters from the last election. The mural of Obama is still on the outside brick exterior.

As a rule, Texans don't care much for outside influence in our political races. Will the same hold true this time?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama Surprised at Angry Americans

Last Sunday, President Obama appeared on five shows for interviews. It was a blitz and the media was all slobbery about it. Only George Stephanopoulos had the integrity to ask real questions and hold the President accountable. Obama repaid George by chastising him for using a dictionary definition of the word "tax".

That is how we know Team Obama is slowly becoming aware they have lost the American people. Slow to the party, this new administration came in on a head of steam. They believed their own press, their own talking points and thought all this massive governmental change was going to be a snap. Why, the American voters voted for change, right?

Well, good morning, Mr. President. The American people voted against President Bush and the Republicans. After eight years of constant media drumming that Bush and the Republicans are evil, warmongering, racist homophobes who want children to go unvaccinated and old people to eat cat food while living on the street, they said enough is enough. The economy crashed last fall and that all but guaranteed a Democratic President. Remember, last September John McCain was still ahead of Obama in the polls.

So, what's everyone so ginned up about now? The administration came in and immediately closed Camp Gitmo without a plan as to where the prisoners would go and no country stepping forward to take them. The administration said they would investigate CIA interrogators after Obama pledged to 'move on' and not look back on the campaign trail - and the reported incidents had already been investigated. The administration pushed through the largest piece of legislation that would produce the highest national deficit in history without even being read by politicians. No Republicans voted for it. Now Blue Dog Democrats are having regrets after a summer of town hall meetings where their constituents have let their opinions be known.

We were promised unemployment would not rise above 8% if the stimulus/spending bill was passed. It is almost 10% now. We were told all about all of these shovel-ready jobs just waiting for the go-ahead to begin. Hasn't happened. The administration continues to measure success in the form of 'jobs saved' which is gibberish and impossible to measure. It's a stunt.

And now health care/health insurance reform is the topic of greatest concern. Obama want control of 1/6 of our national economy with solely Democrats writing the legislation. They won, you see, so they get to call all the shots. Americans are scared and outraged at the same time. Obama has yet to clearly state what his plan is. He has no plan. He farmed out the bill to the House and the Senate. He has thrown under the bus Doctors, Drug Manufacturers, Hospitals and demanded they all trot up to the White House and go along with the extortion of deal making to survive when the 'reforms' are made. The medical insurance companies are all that are left. Originally the favored comrades, now they are the enemy. Yes, reform is needed in insurance coverage and delivery. There is much waste in government run Medicare and Medicaid. The government run VA hospital system is a mess.

People of common sense ponder why we don't fix the abuses and overages first, then go from there. Assure all are able to receive insurance that want it and no denials for pre-existing conditions. If someone becomes terminally ill, coverage cannot be dropped.

And, most importantly, tort reform. States like Mississippi and Texas have shown great strides in cutting insurance costs due to tort reform.

The hypocrisy is emerging, too. Last week, Speaker Pelosi arrived in a caravan of darkened windowed SUV's (carbon foot print!) to speak for a few minutes to a group at a privately owned - doctor owned - hospital here in Houston. Pelosi visited North Cypress Medical Center long enough (45 minutes) to pick up whatever checks she was there to pick up. A group of 200 assembled quickly - the event was not publicized for obvious reasons - and protested her arrival along the street she traveled. They were not allowed on hospital property. My friend was among them with her husband and she reported that even the Constables - out in big force at taxpayer expense - were grinning at the protesters. Mounted officers were on site and bomb-sniffing dogs, too, she reported. Passing cars and trucks honked support to those standing in protest.

Then MoveOn decided they would call for protests in front of insurance offices around the country. They called on their friends at SEIU, AFL-CIO, and Van Jones's Color of Change to produce warm bodies for the protests. They were called "Big Insurance: Sick of It". Clever, huh. Houston Tea Party got wind of this and a quick protest was organized in front of an insurance company in a busy spot of town.

Getting the picture? Town halls and meetings with Congress people all summer were dismissed by Team Obama as angry mobs, racists, Nazis, and gasp, 'organized'. Ironic coming from the man who bragged of being a community organizer. And, Sen Barbara Boxer wanted to know why they were all so 'well-dressed'? She, you see, is used to a different kind of protester out there in California.

Obama continues to ask for, and be given, lots of air time to talk about health care/insurance reform. He says nothing different, though and frustration grows. He blames blogs and cable news - OK, just FOX News - and talk radio for his problems. He is the Whiner-in-Chief.

85% of Americans say they are insured and happy with their health care. That is a big problem for a man who wants to toss it all out and bring in government run health care. He'll deny it but he lies. He is on video telling audiences for the past 10 years that he is in support of the public option as the only real reform.

There is little else more personal than health care to Americans. It affects each and every one of us. The President thought his election was a mandate to finally, after trying for 40 years, push America to the far left in politics. Whoa! Is he ever surprised at his reception.

Soon, the American press will start to actually act as journalists and not fans of Obama. OK, probably not, but we can hope for some of that kind of change.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WH Uses Artists As Useful Idiots

The mainstream media and the leftist cable organizations didn't bother to report the discovery, but on August 10 the director of communication for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Yosi Sergant and Buffy Wicks, White House Office of Public Engagement staffer who reports directly to Valerie Jarrett held a conference call with thousands of artists and activists. Their mission was to recruit them to create art that would push the Obama agenda.

On first blush, you may ask what's the big deal? The arts community is traditionally liberal and certainly strongly supported Obama in the election. But, you would be missing a very important distinction. This call, directly out of the White House, clearly violated the specific legislation used for the creation of the NEA. The NEA is "the largest single funder of art in the country", as pointed out in a piece written by Andrew Klavan for Pajamas Media. He writes from the viewpoint of a lifelong member of the arts community. He quotes the political director (really?!) for Russell Simmons, "hip-hop mogul" saying to the participants, "you are the thought leaders. You are the ones that, if you create a piece of art or promote a piece of art, or create a campaign for a company, and tell our country and our young people sort of what to do and what to be into; and what's cool and what's not cool."

Useful idiots. That is what the Obama administration and their trained mouthpieces think of the artistic community. Propaganda machine on steroids. And, oh yeah, be cool.

From the WSJ online: "Did the Obama administration break any laws in its attempt to enlist federally subsidized artists as partisan foot soldiers? We're not expert enough to know, but Power Line's John Hinderaker has this analysis:"

"The operation may well have been illegal. Public funds are not supposed to be expended to support partisan projects. Beyond that, it is unconstitutional to grant or deny federal funds on the basis of the recipient's political actions or opinions. National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley. The NEA is the single largest funder of the arts, and several participants in the August 10 conference call had recently received NEA checks. It would have been entirely reasonable for those on the phone call to conclude that future NEA funding could be influenced by their willingness to play ball with the Obama administration's political agenda. "

"Moreover, the Hatch Act limits the ability of federal employees to engage in partisan politics. [Ex-NEA communications director Yosi] Sergant's sending of the email invitation to artists and arts groups, using his government email account, could be considered a bright line violation of the act, as could his apparent solicitation of political support from any arts group that had an application for funding pending before the NEA. Likewise, [the White House's Buffy] Wicks' participation in the call would appear to be illegal if she was "on duty" and if the call was deemed political in nature."

Buffy Wicks -WH Office of Public Engagement - former astroturfer, Obama & Union & ACORN cog, is listed as in charge of - channeling volunteers into left wing community organizations. She is supervised by Valerie Jarrett. How was the artistic community to take this call? It would seem an implication of a quid pro quo to the unsuspecting listener.

After the transcript of this teleconference call was made public by - the brain child of Andrew Breitbart, the White House has signaled that perhaps they will re-visit this action. As Roger Kimball points out, these loons are absolutely drunk on their own perception of how powerful they truly are in the big picture. They are in charge and they will tell you what is best for you. And, they will use your favorite artist, filmmaker, actor or writer as a means to the end.

Yosi Sergant has since been "re-assigned" and no longer listed as director of communications for NEA.

As Kimball says, stay tuned. This is only the beginning.

This is the link to the transcript and audio -

Monday, September 21, 2009

Poland and the Czech Republic Under the Bus

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration’s decision to cancel plans to build a missile-defense system in Eastern Europe:

“I am disappointed with the Administration’s decision to cancel plans to develop missile defenses in Eastern Europe. This decision calls into question the security and diplomatic commitments the United States has made to Poland and the Czech Republic, and has the potential to undermine perceived American leadership in Eastern Europe. Given the strong and enduring relationships we have forged with the region’s nations since the end of the Cold War, we should not, I believe, take steps backward in strengthening these ties. Yet I fear the Administration’s decision will do just that, and at a time when Eastern European nations are increasingly wary of renewed Russian adventurism.

“Given the serious and growing threats posed by Iran’s missile and nuclear programs, now is the time when we should look to strengthen our defenses, and those of our allies. Missile defense in Europe has been a key component of this approach. I believe the decision to abandon it unilaterally is seriously misguided.”

On the seventieth anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland, President Obama announced a revision of the missile defense system in Europe, in Poland and the Czech Republic, in particular. From David Frum: "Sept. 17, 2009, is the day that the Obama administration yielded to Russian pressure and canceled the proposed missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic. Today also happens to be the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, when Russia gulped down its share of the territories assigned by the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Everyone in Poland remembers that anniversary. Apparently the Obama White House does not."

A disturbing pattern of slapping our friends and hugging our foes seems to be the foreign policy strategy of President Obama and his administration. Obama didn't even have the decency to pick up the telephone and call the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, before making his announcement to scrap the planning and building of the missile defense base in Poland. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, called around midnight but he refused her call. Who would blame him? It was the duty of the President to call his foreign equal in politics. According to Ben Smith in Politico, "A Polish Embassy spokesman noted that Tusk ultimately spoke to Obama, while Clinton spoke to the country's foreign minister.

Protocol matters on the world stage. The Obama administration continues to drop the ball.

Lech Walesa, former Polish President, said, "Americans have always cared only about their interests, and all other countries have been used for their purposes. This is another example. Poles need to review our view of American, we must first all take care of our business." .""I could tell from what I saw, what kind of policies President Obama cultivates. I simply don't like this policy, not because this shield was required in Poland, but because of the way we were treated."

And, from the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolanek, former prime minister, said, "This is not good news for the Czech state, for Czech freedom and independence. It puts us in a position where we are not firmly anchored in terms of partnership, security and alliance, and that's a certain threat."

Joe Biden downplayed the Iranian threat to the U.S. So, with his track record of usually being on the wrong side of history in American foreign policy, that should speak volumes. You may recall that recently about Russia, Biden said, "They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable." While that all may be true, but he said it to a Wall Street Journal reporter just after the diplomatic bum's rush was brought to Russia by Obama and Clinton. Hillary was already off to a rocky start there with her inane "reset" button fiasco. Russian newspapers had a field day with Biden's remarks.

Team Obama has a pattern of turning on our friends - Honduras the latest before this. Some lessons in protocol and friendship are sorely needed.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Governor Perry Denies Reality in Texas

Rick Perry would like to serve the state of Texas for a third term as its Governor. He is being challenged by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Debra Medina in the Republican primary. It would be an unprecedented third term for the Governor.

The problem with public servants who do not know when to stop running for re-election is that their own agenda becomes corrupted. The perks of the office become taken for granted. Living in a bubble, paid for by the taxpayers, is a little too seductive.

Recently, a YouTube video appeared featuring Rick Perry speaking to a group of business leaders here in Houston. Here's a link:

The video shows that Rick Perry has fallen into the trap of arrogance and is appearing to be tone deaf to the real life problems of the citizens of Texas. In the past, Perry has made remarks that have produced chuckles from supporters and cringes from others. The latest fiasco relished by the far right was the secession debacle - bellowing against federal monies while taking federal monies. Talking smack and using the 10th Amendment to gain attention and support from the base of the party. It was an embarrassment as he went on national television programs and tried to explain his overwrought political speeches, using the Tea Party movement for his own publicity. Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina did the same. They were quite the pair.

Now, it is Rick Perry speaking before business leaders in Houston denying there is a recession in the State of Texas. As is printed in by Paul Burka Perry asks the question of recession, "We're in one?" As he references a report that says Texas will be the first state to come out of the recession, he denies Texas is in a recession and everyone has a good laugh.

This kind of arrogance will lose the election for Perry. This kind of arrogance is what leads a man known for discipline on the campaign trail to make such callous remarks. Unemployment is up to 8% now in Texas, a high percentage for our state. While we may be better off than the rest of the country, we are not insulated. All of us are very aware of the economic atmosphere and most of us are feeling it in some way. Even those of us in the oil and gas industry are hurting. To flippantly ask, "We're in one?" is beyond the pale.

The latest Rasmussen poll shows Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison up 2 points over Perry. Texans don't want a leader like Perry who shows a lack of compassion and a lack of a grasp of reality. Perhaps he has been living in that expensive rental property on the Lake a bit too long as the Governor's mansion is being re-built.

Words matter.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Houston City Council Forum on Constitution Day

September 17 is Constitution Day. Some Houstonians participated in a candidate's forum for those seeking a seat on the City Council from Districts A & G. The forum was hosted by three Republican Women clubs: Memorial West Republican Women, Village Republican Women and Magic Circle Republican Women. What better way to honor our system of government than to openly participate?

From "On this date in 1787, delegates from each state, signed the final Constitution, which is today teh longest-lasting and most imitated national Constitution in the world, securing our rights and assuring the blessings of liberty, for ourselves and our posterity. In 1787, the Constitution unified the country by providing a stable national government over thirteen separate states. The Constitution continues to unify us as Americans and Conservatives. As Americans, the continued success and viablility of our country depends on our fidelity to, and the faithful exposition and interpretation of the Constitution. Despite Conservative's intellectual diversity and policies differences, our future as a movement rests on our ability to defend the democratic processes defined in the Constitution."

The forum for Houston City Council candidates in District A & G provided an opportunity for the voters to learn about the candidates and hear their vision for our city. Thirteen candidates put themselves out there and answered questions for about an hour and a half. Each candidate answered each question. Each was allowed to give an opening statement and then a closing statement.

Our audience turnout was strong for the evening forum. An area was set up for the candidates to offer their campaign materials and all stayed after the forum to talk to the voters. The race is a non-partisan one, but some conservative or liberal positions could be picked up from candidate's answers. The evening was very civil and respectful.

It was a perfect way to honor Constitution Day here in Houston, Texas.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cap And Trade Study Hidden By Obama Administration

It's the study the Obama administration didn't want you to read. In keeping with the far left's dogma of global warming, the first big agenda item passed in the House of Representatives was Cap and Trade legislation. Reasonable people knew this is merely a cap and tax bill to stifle production at all levels in our country. Maybe the greenies want us to go back to a pre-Industrial Age by shuttering factories and demanding the banning of the use of crude oil. Sshhh...don't tell them that crude oil in needed in virtually everything in our lives today, including their sacred wind mills and solar panels.

No thanks. I think we can all agree that being the world's leader in a high standard of living is where we would like to remain.

Texas Senator John Cornyn has revealed a memo from the Obama administration that points directly to a statement from the Department of Treasury analysis that discredits all that has been favorably touted by this legislation from the far left liberal politicians.

“President Obama once said transparency would be one of the ‘touchstones’ of his presidency. But nine months in, it seems that promise has been forgotten. Now we learn that a report from within his own Administration has been covered up that directly contradicts the selling points that the President and Congressional Democrats have been using for months to convince the American people that cap-and-trade legislation is needed. No matter how hard they try, they cannot hide from the facts. Cap-and-trade legislation would be devastating to middle-class Texas families. It will not help the economy, it would raise taxes, kill up to 400,000 jobs in Texas alone and be catastrophic for Texas energy producers, ranchers and farmers.”

Some points from the analysis that directly affect the people of Texas are:

· According to a the Department of Treasury’s analysis, new taxes would be between $100 and $200 billion each year, costing families up to 1,761 each year. (

· The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) found the legislation could cost our nation 2 million jobs and reduce economic growth by 2.4 percent by 2030. (

· Comptroller Susan Combs has estimated that Texas could lose 135,000 to 277,000 jobs in 2012, with potential job losses increasing to 400,000 by the year 2030. (

· Recent data from the Congressional Budget Office indicates that Texans would see their electric bills increase by $1.1 billion that year. (

Both President Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi promised Americans a new level of transparency in government. They continue to break that promise.

This cap and trade legislation is bad for the state of Texas and all taxpayers in Texas.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ACORN Support Is Nuts

Monday Senator Mike Johanns,(R-Neb)offered up an amendment to cut federal funding to ACORN. The vote in the Senate was 83-7. Finally, a member of Congress was able to bring about a strong rebuke of this scandal riddled group. For several years, investigations from both sides of the aisle have been stopped by the House leadership and not successful in the Senate. Even Rep. John Conyers tried to bring about an investigation in his committee after the last round of voter registration fraud charges, then convictions, in 2008. He said he was stopped by "the powers that be."

You would think, in light of the latest round of videos showing ACORN workers mentoring a young woman and her pimp about the best way to set up a house for prostitution, using underage girls brought in from Central America. These videos were produced by a young film maker and a young woman who is politically active. The fact that these two people are conservatives seem to now lessen the severity of the fraud being committed by ACORN. In the minds of some, being conservative is worse than being a mentor - paid for by tax dollars - to a young pimp and prostitute.

FOX News is leading the way on ACORN investigations so most on the left feel entitled to brush off the whole mess. The only fair and balanced news coverage they acknowledge is that of every other network - meaning standard liberal leaning news coverage. That they are so blind remains a mystery.

From the
"President Obama, who was once an attorney for ACORN, has not commented publicly on the embattled group's growing troubles.Speaking to ACORN before last year's presidential election Obama promised to call on them during the transition and promised they would have "input into the agenda of the next Presidency of the United States of America".

If Obama bothers to speak about ACORN, no doubt they will be thrown under the bus with all the other former associates of Obama that became politically difficult. Even his own white grandmother, the woman he credits with raising him, was thrown under the bus as he attempted to make a major speech on race. The dupes on the left ate it up.

ACORN is full of fraud and criminal activity from the top down. Their rallying cry is, "We're just community organizers, just like the president used to be." That was the quote from Bonnie Greathouse last May. She is ACORN's chief organizer in Nevada. Obama was proud to tout his relationship with ACORN during the campaign. He was a lawyer for their voter registration drive in Chicago. He is proud to say he led the operation. After he was elected President, he told them they would be a strong voice in his agenda.

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was a driving force in Obama's election to the presidency. ACORN was founded by two brothers, Wade and Dale Rathke. Wade Rathke filed a lawsuit in 1995 against the state of California for exemption from the minimum wage. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rathke claimed "the more that ACORN must pay each individual outreach worker...the fewer outreach workers will be able to hire." Rathke has since been forced from the reins after it was discovered he covered up for brother Dale's embezzlement of over $1 million dollars from the organization. Dale was the chief financial officer. For whom did Rathke become the chief organizer? SEIU, of course. He is based out of New Orleans.

You may be familiar with SEIU in recent press coverage - they are the paid thugs who show up at town hall meetings to cause trouble, to cause distractions and disrupt the meetings of members of Congress not on board with the government takeover of national health care.

Some former employees are coming forward with their stories from ACORN. Marcel Reid, according to the Wall Street Journal piece, was "one of eight national ACORN board members who were removed last year after demanding an audit of the group's books. She notes that Relations Board in 2003 for illegally firing workers trying to organize a union." ACORN received $7.4 million in contributions from the SEIU between 2005 and 2008 but actively fights unionization efforts by its own employees. Ms. Reid also notes ACORN was sanctioned by the National Labor Relations Board in 2003 for illegally firing workers trying to organize a union."
These are the seven Senators voting to allow ACORN to continue to receive federal money: Whitehouse of Rhode Island; Casey of PA; Gillibrand of NY; Sanders and Leahy both of VT; Durbin and Burris both of Illinois. All Democrats.

Multi-state investigations are ongoing on ACORN. These seven Senators should be told that their ideology is showing in an unfavorable light.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Harris County Republican Chairman Race

This morning Memorial West Republican Women was the first such group to hold a candidate forum for the three running for Harris County Republican chairman. The election will be in March.

The three candidates are incumbent Jared Woodfill, currently in his fourth term; Ed Hubbard, and Paul Simpson. All are lawyers. All are showing signs of a strong, interesting race.

In the world of politics, certainly in Harris County, it is well known that Republican women are hard workers for candidates. Ed Hubbard has received the message loud and clear. He is promoting his ideas of reaching out to Republican women on his Facebook page. Jared Woodfill is a bit late to the game - he hosted Republican Women club presidents recently for a luncheon and to show a PowerPoint presentation of his ideas to move the party forward. Most presidents have felt left out of the county party leadership decisions and many feel it was Woodfill acting inclusive as this time he is not unopposed for reelection.

Simpson speaks strongly and concisely. He is the newcomer in the race - filing right around the deadline - but has a lifelong history working within the Republican party. He told us he began in High School and led the Rice University College Republicans. He is a longtime precinct chairman. He points to a strong ability to be a successful fundraiser.

It is good to have a choice in this race. Many Republicans have stopped working locally due to frustration with leadership not always open to inclusiveness. For too long the social conservatives have set the agenda. Both fiscal and social conservatives must work together to be a successful party. And, the party must learn that disagreement is healthy and expands ideas.

Paul Simpson claimed to have been at the inaugural event for the local Hispanic Republican group recently formed for community outreach and activism. He said the local party leaders were not there.

Tax Payers March on Washington D.C.

The media mostly ignored it. The Democrats mock it. There was no flood of front page coverage from newspapers. There were no news anchors posing as slobbering teenagers waxing poetic about the magic of it all. There were, however, a whole lot of people marching on the Capitol Saturday.

For the first time in the memories of most alive today, a huge rally was brought to Washington, D.C. with no real leader. They led themselves. They went to voice their concern and disgust about the direction in which this nation is heading.

President Obama and his administration has chosen to mock and belittle them. Despite the fact that over the summer break, the favorable polling numbers sharply declined as members of Congress held town meetings. The President's top marketer, David Axelrod, to this day claims that these protesting crowds are not true representatives of most Americans.

The President says, "We will call you out" if the truth is uttered. His method is to blur reality and claim anything other than positive response to any of his ideas of big government are lies or distortions. He claims Republicans simply want to bring him down for political reasons. He claims Republicans have no ideas and simply want to say no.

It is the President who lies about all this. He is unable to have honest debate. Why? Because he has never been in a leadership position and is simply a campaigner. He ignores, mocks and tries to destroy his critics at his own risk.

American taxpayers are from all parties, all walks of life. Senator Barbara Boxer voiced surprise that so many at town hall meetings are "well dressed", she being a liberal from California and used to burnt out former hippies leading dissent. Those showing up and voicing displeasure are not just Republicans, not just conservatives. Obama has lost a huge chunk of Independent support, support he must have to be re-elected.

American taxpayers are angry over the coming of increased taxes, a bloated federal government only growing larger, the existence of more than 30 'czars' in the White House who are accountable to no one but Obama and not confirmed by the Senate or vetted very well, high unemployment, huge national debt, and now a President hell-bent to snatch 1/6 of the national economy in one fell swoop and nationalize health care.

The bitter pill for Obama to swallow is that his own party is not united on his plan. Well, if he had a plan. Another problem is that he has no plan, only vague ideas that he wants Congress to write up into a bill for him. He simply wants something to sign and be able to say he did health care reform. He has bet his presidency on it. Realizing that 85% of Americans say they are happy with insurance coverage, he now says that it is health care insurance that he is reforming. The world knows America has the best health care system available anywhere.

Rep. Joe Wilson lost control and yelled out, "You lie" to Obama as he spoke before a joint session of Congress on the matter. It had to do with the fact that illegal immigrants would receive free care under Obama's public option plan - national health care. Obama claimed there was no such provision and it was one of the slurs uttered by those in opposition. The fact is, it was there and is now out thanks to Rep. Wilson. Changes were made to take it out after facts were checked. Wilson's method was not respectful but it did bring results.

The President has given over one hundred speeches trying to sell his reform. Problem is, it is not sounding any better to anyone. The problem is not the speeches, it is the legislation. Written by the far left with no Republican input, the House has a bill over 1300 pages long and so convoluted that no one understands what is in there. Not even the President. The Senate is working on several bills and is different than the House bill. It is all a confusing mess.

Unlike crowds in support of the administration that show up at rallys and demonstrations, these regular people are not paid stooges of the Unions or special interest groups. They are there on their own dime and emotions.

The President doesn't demand tort reform. He doesn't demand anything to truly reform health care in this country. He only seeks to expand what is already there. That is no solution.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Memories of September 11, 2001

I am a contributor for the Sept issue of Today's Mama, an online e-zine. The subject is 9/11/01 memories. This is what I wrote:

The morning was like most others. I was busy trying to put myself together and nagging my son to hurry up. I got him to school to board a chartered bus that would take him and the other sixth graders to the gloriously beautiful spot in Texas known as Enchanted Rock. The sixth graders were to participate in several days and nights of outdoor education, a part of the school’s curriculum.
The weather was good. I stood around in the parking lot of the school with other moms, chatting, catching up with each other. One mom friend was sitting in her new SUV – the one with the cool media screens in it – and she was watching an early morning news show.
The bus left with our children. My friend got out of her SUV to wave goodbye and came over to a group of us. “Have you heard?” “What?” “We’ve been attacked”. On it went. All of us were too shocked to say anything other than simple questions and listen to her answers. Then she said, “We are a nation at war now.”
My first reaction to that simple statement was, no, she’s just exaggerating. We aren’t at war. We had been through a long slumber of treating attacks to our military and embassies as though they were criminal acts, not acts of war. But, this proved to be a different attack. On our own soil. Thousands of our neighbors and visitors to our country were dead. It was too horrible to imagine. I went to the school library, where I was a regular volunteer, and sat at one of the little tables to let it all sink in, in quiet. Rumors were rampant. The school’s Internet access in the library was shut down so that students wouldn’t read news accounts before they could be told. Lots of airplanes were unaccounted for.
And, then the second attack.
My husband had landed in Hong Kong, on a business trip, in the wee hours of the morning here. My son was on a bus to an adventure. We were all scattered and it was a surreal feeling. I went home and watched the television coverage, as the rest of the nation did then.
Turns out, we are a nation at war.

What strikes me to this day, reflecting back, is the sadness we all felt as we dealt with the utter shock of the day's events. We were awakened from a long slumber. There is no going back. We are still a nation at war.

I remember the some not very complimentary examples of less than professional behavior from the news media and then in the days following, from the politicians hoping to stir up partisan attacks on the President and his administration. That would continue for the next eight years.

President Bush did not go into office as a war time President. He became one on 9/11/01.

Bush had 90% approval rating after his address on the ground at Ground Zero - a number never before, or after, seen. Then, he would suffer the abuses of the Democrats looking to score political points on the tragedy. Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy going to the floor of the Senate and demanding to know what the President knew and when he knew it. It was as though Hillary had complete amnesia that her own husband's administration had dealt with threats from Osama bin Laden for the previous eight years. While speaking during a joint session of Congress in 2005, the State of the Union address, Bush was booed and heckled by Democrats who were by then loudly anti-war on everything, mostly for political points. How quickly all of that is forgotten in today's finger pointing of Democrats on anything they view as offensive behavior from Republicans.

I remember news anchors like the late Peter Jennings demanding to know why the President didn't immediately return to the White House from his trip to Florida where he was reading to school children as a part of his No Child Left Behind initiative. The President was in the hands of the Secret Service and they refused to allow his return but hacks like Jennings assumed they knew better. They implied the President was cowardly - in hiding. They made me sick on that day.

We saw Democrats loudly boo President Bush during joint addresses of Congress - in particular his State of the Union address in 2005 - yet Democrats want to censure Rep Joe Wilson for his outburst during a joint session of Congress address on Obama's health care initiative.

The bottom line is this - we have been without attack on our soil since 9/11/01. President Bush was a strong and persistent leader. Leaders around the world were not confused as to where he stood on our national security. After seven years of continued criticism for his decisions, Obama retains and continues most of the Bush foreign policies. That speaks volumes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Project 2996 - Remembering Garth Feeney

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11,2001. I am again participating in Project 2996 - an online effort to remember those lives lost that day. This is the web site:

I was asked to contribute on the story of Garth Feeney.

Garth Feeney was in the Windows on the World Restaurant on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center's north tower. He was director of corporate development for Data Synapse Inc., in Manhattan, a software company. His office was about a mile from the World Trade Center. He was at the World Trade Center participating in a conference; his boss scheduled to speak at noon that day. Along with three co-workers, he had gone ahead to staff a booth for the conference.

In an article in the St. Petersburg Times online, readers became aware that his mother, Judy Feeney, learned of the attacks on the World Trade Center while watching Good Morning America after her coming in from her morning walk. She is described as a resident of Lansbrook and 57 years old. Her husband, also named Garth, 56.

Garth was able to phone his mother and tell her that he and about 70 others were led into a corner of the building with less smoke. He said he didn't know if he'd make it out and that he loved her. That was the last time she spoke with her son.

Feeney graduated in 1991 from East Lake High School. He was captain of the varsity swim team, played soccer and tennis, was in the National Honor Society and named the Army Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1991, according to the article.

He went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in engineering and also in business from Wharton School. He was a literacy tutor for adults while in college and established an after-school program for less fortunate children.

He was employed for the company, Data Synapse, less than a year.

He last visited with his parents in July of that year, attending his 10 year high school reunion. Before that he was in Florida to watch his brother Matthew graduate from Saint Leo University - Chris Matthews of MSNBC was the graduation speaker.

Garth Feeney was survived by his parents, two borthers, his grandmother, five uncles, five aunts and 18 cousins, plus his girlfriend of 3 1/2 years.

We remember.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama's Joint Session Health Care Address

"Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the health care bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism." That is a quote from a piece written by Camille Paglia in Salon. How could anyone watching and listening to the President last night deliver his lecture on health insurance reform not agree?

The President and his administration are in desperation mode. Having horribly misjudged the influence of ordinary citizens rising up and protesting the government takeover of a most basic personal issue like health care and the massive financial impact it will have on the country, Obama stepped before a joint session of Congress and declared the Republicans liars. Then he demanded civility in the argument.

Hence the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine emerges.

Republicans have been shut out of the legislative process. Many have tried to meet with the President since last May, under the impression he was honest in his pledges to work listen to all ideas. The most dire of election consequences is prevalent in Washington today - one party rule. And, now, the President seems intent on passing major, transformational legislation without a single Republican vote.

The President called together a joint session of Congress to twist some Democrat arms on the subject. The last time this happened the year was 1994 and the President was Bill Clinton. He held up a shiny plastic card and said every American would have one. He would accept nothing less. He allowed Hillary to write a huge health care bill in secret with unnamed 'experts' and no accountability. The public and the politicians said no. Republicans were voted back into power, too. Clinton now says it was because the Democrats failed to pass the legislation. In reality, it was because the American voter said no. That dynamic is in play today.

President Obama has hung the success of his presidency on health care reform. He is not a leader, but a campaigner. He is counting on letting his Democratically controlled Congress moving legislation and he'll fly around the country delivering stump speeches on the issue du jour.

The problem is not with Republicans but with his own party. As of today, there are not enough Democrat votes to pass the Pelosi style legislation. And, in the Senate, there are not 60 votes. The Blue Dog Democrats were taken to task by their constituents after allowing their leadership to talk them into voting in favor of cap and trade legislation and all the tax increases that will follow. Now Pelosi and Reid are twisting arms again. There is resistance now and rightly so. These Democrats will likely not win re-election in 2010 if the general mood persists though out the country. The voters simply have had enough.

President Obama offered no ideas on how the trillion dollar reform will be financed. Voters know. It will be taxes on small business and on those not desiring insurance coverage. They will be 'fined', which is code for tax. Doctor wages will be reduced. Hospital reimbursements will decline. You get the picture.

Another interesting moment happened when the President declared there are 30 million uninsured. That number is down from the number normally bantered about - 47 million. Why? The lesser number takes out the illegal immigrants. Obama has to make the claim that illegal immigrants will not be covered.

The President called the death panels "a lie". He bashed opponents - the Republicans, talk show hosts, cable tv personalities, "prominent politicians" - as being deceitful and fear mongers. Then he called for civility. To say the inner thug of the Obama personality was showing is an understatement.

"We will call you out", he told the audience, on any perceived misstatements on his plan. Problem is, he has no plan. He has some bill moving around Congress but he didn't participate in the writing of the legislation and he appears to not know many details in the 1300 pages of legislation to be voted on in the House. He is deliberately short on details, falling instead into talking in campaign style talking points.

Last night, instead of a copy of the President's speech as is customary, members of Congress were handed a laminated card with talking points printed out on it. It could have been a burger joint menu. That speaks volumes.

The President did nothing to move the ball. He may receive a bump up in his falling poll numbers for a bit but soon will be back in the same spot. Senior citizens and Independents no longer trust the legislation. That is huge. When asked, health care is number three in the ranks of American concerns - employment and the deficit are the first two. More than 80% are happy with their insurance coverage.

Reform is needed. Republicans have good ideas. The President himself lies when he builds the straw man that Republicans have no plan and only want to say no for political reasons. Representative Joe Wilson called out "liar" during the speech. That was wrong and he apologized. A real apology - not a Democrat-style one that said he was sorry "if anyone was offended". He said he was wrong. The President was also wrong to call his opposition liars. No apology from him yet.

The President cannot call for civility in one breath and in the next continue on with his partisan speeches. He is the President of all of us. He must rise to the occasion and be a leader, not a campaigner.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

If John McCain Was the 43rd President

The question is: What shape would the Republican party be in had John McCain won the 2000 election. How would the politics of the day be different had George Bush not been the 43rd President of the United States, but instead John McCain?

It is hard to imagine that the most common complaint of the Republican party under George W. Bush - runaway federal spending - would have existed in a McCain presidency. McCain is a strong anti-earmark crusader and walks the walk. He has never delivered an earmark to his constituents in Arizona. They reward him by re-election.

Yet, the far right calls McCain a RINO - a Republican in name only.

A President John McCain would have been a strong protector of our country after the attack of 9/11/01. And, frankly, I think Osama bin Laden would have been captured or killed shortly after the battle was brought to the Taliban in Afghanistan as our nation responded to the attacks. Would he have gone on to oust Saddam Hussein? I don't know.

A President John McCain would have worked with both sides of the aisle for important legislation - just as George W. Bush did on No Child Left Behind and for expanding Medicare for prescription drugs for senior citizens. McCain, however, is the one who bears the brunt of criticism for working with the other side.

McCain is of the old school of politics. He knows civility accomplishes more than venom. It is a sign of maturity. Be the loyal opposition, yes, but move the agenda forward productively. The country does not do well with one party rule. How are we doing now? Are the very ones who criticize the McCains in Congress the same ones complaining that the minority is not listened to or allowed input in legislation now?

McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation would not have been written and passed in 2002. That would get that argument out of the way.

The American voter rebelled after eight years of Republicans acting like Democrats after enjoying being a majority in Congress and having the White House for the first time in over 40 years. It was too heady of an experience for them not to succumb to the corruption that happens with one party rule. They were human and fallible.

It is hard to believe that a President McCain ushered into office in January 2001 would have taken the Republican party to its present condition.

Who's the real RINO? The loud and obnoxious in tone who still don't get that this is a center-right leaning nation but do not understand that it takes more than the voice of the far right to be a successful movement are doomed to continue to allow the far left monopoly in Washington, now present.

Political parties are not private clubs. Big tents are necessary. Disagreement is good and allows for growth. Independents must feel welcome and needed. They are essential to victory. And, if a voter doesn't understand that politics is all about winning, then we are further afield than feared now. If your party doesn't win, your agenda is not on the front burner.

Grown up people know that no one is 100% happy all the time. President Reagan said he was ok with those who agreed with him 80% of the time. Was he a RINO?

Common sense works.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Obama Speaks To The AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic

Today President Obama addressed the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic. Considering their unprecedented financial support during the campaign, it was only fitting that he should be there today.

Mark Knoller, White House Corespondent for CBS Radio, "tweeted" from the speech:"Obama says he can't think of a better place to be that at the nation's biggest Labor Day picnic sponsored by the AFL-CIO." Well, you dance with the one who brought you, is what I say. Also interesting that Knoller made this observation: "Obama sounds in campaign mode as he begins Labor Day speech: "How y’all feeling today?. Are you fired up?" Oh no, not that babble again. Is the teleprompter taking the day off?

On health care, Knoller tweets:"Obama says its time for the debate to end: "It's time to act and get this thing done," he says of health care reform." Well, now. Considering President Obama has never bothered to lay out his specific plan for health care reform to the American people, instead allowing Congress to write multiple bills simultaneously, that is quite a telling quote. The nation is so fractured and so firmly against the bills coming out of Congress that Obama now has to roll up his sleeves and actually participate in the process. He has coerced the networks into yet again giving him time Wednesday night so that he can try to persuade everyone to get on the bandwagon.

Most say, too little, too late.

This is what happens when a man is elected to the highest office in the land and is nowhere near qualified to lead. He was briefly in the U.S. Senate after spending several years in the Illinois state legislature and has been in perpetual candidate mode. He remains there. He has no executive experience and it shows. He has completely lost control of his big agenda and now is in a bit of a panic.

The far left - with whom Obama is in alliance - demands a total change to public option. The right is aghast that 17% of our national economy would be squandered away in a big government takeover with so little known of the details. The middle - the Independents - are abandoning Obama in droves and now his popular polling numbers are about 48%.

No one thought Obama would crash to earth so swiftly. As a matter of fact, only Gerald Ford has descended in public support at such a rate.

WestWingReport tweets: "Obama to #healthcare opponents. "We've heard all the lies." Asks: "What's your solution?" Says "Nothing, you don't have a solution." By opponents, Obama means Republicans. It is a lie he perpetrates. Several Republican written alternatives are out there. Problem is, with a one party government, the minority is shut out as the majority fancies. And this majority fancies it.

The man who ran on a platform promising to bring bi-partisan governance to Washington sure seems to have turned out to be the very worse kind of ordinary politician.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Van Jones Did Himself In

"The biggest problems that we're facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that's what I intend to reverse when I'm president of the United States."
-Sen. Barack Obama, March 31, 2008

This morning the buzz in the pundit world is that Van Jones has resigned. It is interesting that his resignation statement was released at midnight Saturday night on a long Labor Day weekend. Also interesting is the terse "we thank him for his service" response from the White House. There is no way Jones could have lasted any longer with the emergence of his history of political activity and thought. To say his agenda is out of the mainstream is to understate his philosophy.

Something that seems apparent to me in the whole brouhaha over the resignation of Van Jones, the "Green Jobs Czar" in the Obama administration, is the problem with a czar appointment system gone wild. Officially, these are men and women appointed by the President to advise on policy. All Presidents use them. This President, however, has brought it to a new level. At last count, the number of known czars is over 30. As with his escalation of government involvement in our lives, it is clear the change Obama is bringing to America is his left wing agenda writ large. There is nothing small about the plans of the Obama administration. Seems almost quaint now that Bush senior adviser Karl Rove's presence created eight years of teeth grinding from the left.

So, when conservative talk show host Glenn Beck began delving into the ever mounting number of czars in today's White House, as a series of programs on his daytime television show, some interesting characters emerged. One in particular. No doubt today you are learning about Van Jones. Unless you watch FOX News or listen to talk radio or read conservative leaning web sites, you would have no idea about the troubling history of Jones to mainstream America. The traditional network media and other cable outlets chose to ignore the emerging story and continue to carry water for their candidate.

Journalism truly is dead in America.

Turns out that Jones has a habit of speaking in public for audiences and referring to Republicans in vulgar terms. He was a self-professed communist in the 1990's. Most troubling, and the straw that broke the camel's back, was the emergence of Jones' signature on a 9/11 "Truther" petition demanding investigation into the Bush administration after the terrorist attacks. Byron York in The Examiner summarized Jones' recent activities - supporting Mumia abu-Jamal the cop-killer; in 2008 "he accused "white polluters" of "steering poison into the people of color communities"; that he was affiliated with an anti-American publication called "war Times" from 2002 to 2004; that in 2005 he said, "You've never seen a Columbine done by a black child"; and that earlier this year he called Republicans "a--holes". When controversy erupted, Jones apologized for the 'Truther' episode and his remarks about the GOP."

Not exactly middle America.

Jones' did the standard I'm sorry if anyone is offended by my remarks type of apology. Not that he was wrong in his assumptions or has changed his views of our country, just sorry if he offended. Why can't liberals learn to apologize?

Some are high-fiving Glenn Beck for ridding the administration of this czar. While Beck got the ball rolling with the series he has begun on the czars, he is not the sole victor. It was the outcry from the American people. For those reading and learning for themselves and not relying on the defunct journalism community, the reality of the facts were disturbing. The fuss was made online and in social media outlets. Some journalists picked up the ball and began asking questions by the end of last week. CBS ran a report on Saturday. Not a peep from The New York Times, but the Washington Post did mention the controversy, late to the game as it was.

And, as Byron York so aptly states, "it was Jones' radical politics that did him in." In his resignation statement Jones proclaims:

"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.” The facts were evident in videos and quotes. It was not "opponents of reform" (read conservatives) but Americans of all political thought. Liberal and conservative pundits were placing bets on how long the guy would last before he took his place under Obama's bus. It is completely in the character we now know of Jones that he would chose to leave the White House portraying himself as a victim. He has not matured to a level of accepting responsibility for his own actions.

Along this same timeline, an advertisers' boycott was organized by after a remark was uttered by Beck on a FOX News morning show. It wasn't about Jones. It was an opinion about Obama. Its founder? Van Jones. The idea was to get the advertisers on the Glenn Beck show to pull their spots to force Beck off the air. Didn't work, though some companies did cave to the liberal base.

The problem with the czars is that they are not held accountable by Congress. They are not confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are required to be. In the case of Jones, he was put in charge of $80 million of the stimulus monies to devote to "green jobs". The problem is that there is no real definition of a green job. There is no evidence that they have been created.

And, as evident in this very incident, the traditional media in this country no longer feels obligated to do its job. When necessary, a blind eye will be turned in support of this president and only after citizen journalists demand it will the story emerge.

And, for the record, conservatives want reform, too. Just not what the Obama administration is selling.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Indiana Governor Daniels Successfully Leads in Tough Times

Continuing in his rise to the top of a new group of Republican leaders with innovative and successful ideas, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is one to watch. The GOP would do well to encourage Daniels to run for higher office.

After the state was governed by three consecutive Democratic governors, Evan Bayh, Frank O'Bannon, and Joe Kernan, Daniels has the state back on track. Nearly bankrupt as Daniels took office in January, 2005, Indiana is in far better shape than most states in today's slow economy. In his recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Daniels points to reforms in state procurement, contracting out jobs, cutting costs, and scrutiny of expenditures by demanding annual improvement in all departments. He also reduced state employees to the tune of 5,000 from the level state employee numbers were in 2004.

Daniels warns that state governments are in for some hard times. After the federal money from the stimulus package is spent, states will likely be right back in the same spot two years from now. "The Obama administration's "stimulus" package in effect shared the use of Uncle Sam's printing press for two years. But after the money runs out, the states will be back where they were. Even if Congress goes for a second round of stimulus funding, driven by the political panic of bankrupt Democratic governors, it would only postpone the reckoning."

"The "progressive" states that built their enormous public burdens by soaking the wealthy will hit the wall first and hardest. California, which extracts more than half its income taxes from a fraction of 1% of its citizens, is extreme but hardly alone in its over reliance on a few, highly mobile taxpayers. Both individuals and businesses are fleeing soak-the-rich states already. Those who remain in high-tax states will be making few if any capital gains tax payments in the years to come. Even if the stock market comes roaring back to life, the best it could do is speed the deduction of recent losses."

Indiana welcomes business investors in a business-friendly environment. "Since January we have welcomed the consolidation of more than 30 firms that closed up shop elsewhere and chose us as the low-cost, enterprise-friendly environment among their current locations."

Daniels left public service in Washington, D.C. - having served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for President George W. Bush - to return to Indiana and ran for the office for governor.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Back To School Address From The President

On September 8, President Obama is set to address the public school children of America via video. The intent, stated by the White House, is to encourage students pre-K through grade 12 to stay in school and work hard as they pursue their education. And, he is to encourage personal responsibility.

Contrary to what Dept of Ed Secretary Arne Duncan said, this is not the first time a President of the U.S. has spoken to a wide audience of school children. As Duncan tried to prop up this President as some sort of trailblazer in this endeavor, he misspoke. His Department also had to amend some of its proposed lesson plans distributed to teachers revolving around this video.

The outrage from conservatives is all over the place. How dare this President come into the public school system and try to convert the tender minds of young children into Obamatrons. I have to say, I don't have a problem with this. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan both spoke to a wide audience of students while in office. Both offering stay in school type of addresses. Reagan also addressed the Challenger shuttle tragedy.

What I do have a problem with - in alliance with other conservatives - is the manner in which this was handled by the White House and the Dept of Education. Local input was missing. No input from school boards, school districts, parents, and so on. If the Dept is going to include lesson plans and assignments for students, local input is essential. It was a staggering show of arrogance that assumed no one would object to the lesson plans, in particular. The lesson plans are split up for pre-K to 6th graders and 7th through 12th graders. "What is the President trying to tell me?" What is the President asking me to do?" Innocent enough.

The catch was in one suggestion that the students write a letter to themselves detailing who they can each "help" the President. This is the part that had to be erased and for which the White House now admits was handled poorly.

News flash - none of us are here to "help" the President. He serves us. We, as citizens, help our country. Now the recommendation is for the letters to state how the students can achieve their long term and short term education goals. That makes more sense and age appropriate.

Conservatives are not breaking ground here, either, in their criticism. When Ronald Reagan spoke to school students about education and saying no to drugs, he was the target of criticism from Democrats. House Majority Leader, Richard Gephardt said, "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the President." Patricia Schroeder, D-CO, said his speech showed "the arrogance of power" and that the White House was wrong to use "precious dollars for campaigns when we are struggling for every silly dime we can get for education."

Another wrong-headed exercise from the world of celebrity is now in the school system. A school principal in Utah is apologizing for showing a video made by Obama supporting celebrities. The message to the kids is to work for the agenda of Obama, besides being green and various assorted bumper sticker slogans.

Actress Demi Moore pledges to "serve our President" while other celebrities pledge to flush toilets less or drive hybrid cars. Moore is confused on the role of public servants, including the President. No one ever claimed celebrities were confused with rocket scientists.

The point being, parents are responsible for teaching their children about personal responsibility and civic duty. Celebrities and Presidents do not have a place in overriding or substituting for parents and lessons at home. And, the public school system is not the place for political activity, from either side of the aisle.

Here's an idea: this President is particularly obsessed about being in front of the camera. He could have avoided all of this ruckus by speaking to American families together at home. He could have called for network time at the beginning of the school year, as he is over health care reform, and spoken to families about education and the like. If he is so intent on preaching to us, he could have made it a more family and parent friendly gesture.

Some school districts are not running the video. Some in Texas are not. Here in Houston, Houston Independent School District - one of the nation's largest - is allowing parents to "opt out" their children.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Obama's Afghanistan Debate

America's involvement in the war in Afghanistan has been much in the news this summer. August has proven to be the deadliest month so far for the U.S. soldiers. And, support here at home is tanking.

Americans are war weary. And, Afghanistan is a different kind of place that most Americans cannot relate to. Basically, it is a country still in the Bronze Age in most places. It is a nation organized and ruled in a tribal approach. It is not just cultural issues that are prevalent, it is the tribal aspect that Americans are unfamiliar with in dealing with enemies.

General Stanley McChrystal, the commander in Kabul, has completed an evaluation requested by the President and he recommends a broader approach - which means more troops. He hasn't technically made the request, due to pressure from those not in agreement, but he is said to be laying the groundwork for such a request.

Some argue for a reduced force and different strategy - VP Joe Biden, who has a track record of being on the wrong side of history in foreign conflicts - wants a more limited, counterterrorism approach, according to an article in This is essentially what we are already doing, which isn't working. So, it would be typical Biden. According to the article, McChrystal's strategy of counterinsurgency would have the mission of protecting people by persuading the population, not destroying the enemy.

President Obama has referred to the war in Afghanistan as "the good war". He used it as an example of a noble venture for our country, as opposed to how he has consistently trash talked the war in Iraq - going so far as to proudly run for President as the anti-war candidate. It is who he is. And now he is flipping a coin to decide how he will pursue this war.

The Obama administration no longer allows the term "war on terror" to be used. Recently Press Secretary Robert Gibbs slipped in a briefing and used the term to justify Obama's policy grab when it came to legislation to allow the President to take control over the Internet during anything the White House deems a national emergency. The very policies put into effect by the Bush administration that team Obama bashed for the past eight years is now justification for them to pursue their own power grabs.

Last Spring President Obama announced the implementation of his "new policy" in Afghanistan. Whatever that strategy was, it has proven to be unsuccessful. Truth is, things have gotten worse. Team Obama is resorting to the favored default position, that they "inherited" this war and it was mishandled previously.

With his favorable rating plunging in the polls, perhaps President Obama will step up and begin to appear to lead, not just play defense to the previous administration.