Saturday, February 27, 2010

Senator Coburn Speaks Also As A Physician

Friday, February 26, 2010

Texas Senators Support Judge John Stevens, Jr.

U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and John Cornyn, R-Texas, today issued the following statements regarding the President’s nomination of Judge John Stevens Jr. of Beaumont to be U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. Sens. Hutchison and Cornyn reviewed the applications for this vacancy through their Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, and ultimately recommended Judge Stevens to President Obama last year.

“I’m pleased Judge John Stevens Jr. of Beaumont has been nominated to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. Given Judge Stevens’ extensive legal and judicial experience, Senator Cornyn and I proudly recommended him. Judge Stevens’ service to Jefferson County and the Eastern District makes him the right choice for U.S. Attorney, and I'm pleased that he will be coming to the Senate for confirmation,” Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said.

“I applaud the President's nomination of Judge John Stevens Jr. of Beaumont to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. After careful review of Judge Stevens' impressive record and the input of our Democrat and Republican colleagues in the Texas congressional delegation, Sen. Hutchison and I were proud to recommend Judge Stevens to President Obama. I believe our Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee was an instrumental tool, and Judge Stevens' nomination is a fine example of the good work that can be done for Texas when we put partisanship aside and work together to make the best choice for Texas,” Sen. Cornyn said.

“Our bipartisan committee was impressed by Judge Stevens’ extensive prosecutorial experience and demonstrated ability. He will be an outstanding United States Attorney for the people of the Eastern District. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Senators Hutchison and Cornyn to identify the best-qualified lawyers in Texas to serve as prosecutors and judges,” said Daniel K. Hedges of Porter and Hedges LLP, who serves as the chairman of Senators Cornyn and Hutchison's bipartisan Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, which screens prospective federal judges and U.S. Attorneys.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

White House Health Care Summit

Today the White House held its Health Care Summit - the bipartisan gathering that was to open up the dialogue between the parties involved in the reform legislation. The President was the moderator. It is not his strongest suit.

While claiming he was there to listen and bring everyone together, President Obama spent time after each Republican spoke to either do his version of a correction of facts stated or to simply argue a point. He didn't bother to speak to any of the Democrats present after they each spoke. I guess they were all on a previously agreed upon page.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the President is the head of the Executive branch of government and the Congress people are part of the Legislative branch. Thus, the Executive branch was tag teaming the GOP side of the Legislative branch. Fine, but Obama was certainly insincere, at the very least, in his pretense that he was there to bring people together. He was there to demand capitulation.

In the land of the Democrats, bipartisanship means surrender. Surrender of your principles and ideas if they are not the same as the Democrats and the President. The President is a thin skinned man and openly shows disdain on his face for the really smart guys in the room - for example, Rep Paul Ryan or Senator Tom Coburn, a practicing doctor from Oklahoma. In a nutshell, they ran circles around his ideas and used common sense in their approach.

Dick Durbin actually implied that medical malpractice reform is not needed. He implied that patients actually need no limits to lawsuit compensation. He used an example of a woman who went in for a relatively minor procedure on her face and was burned by the oxygen mask. Instead of realizing the woman should have sued the manufacturer of the piece of medical equipment - where her compensation is not limited - instead we were told she shouldn't be restricted from what she could reap from the doctors.

The president will not rule out reconciliation as a means to an end. He is deaf to the pleas from a strong majority of Americans who are saying they do not want any part of Obamacare. Instead of focusing on the points on which both sides of the argument agree, President Obama is insisting on a sweeping government takeover of 1/6 of our national economy. To attempt such a takeover on a simple majority - a 51 vote approval - would be unprecedented. Is this the change American voters were expecting? If so, votes will be conducted in an entirely new way from now on, no matter which party is in the majority. That will be important to remember as the forecast for Democrats is grim in the elections of November 2010.

The fact is, Obama doesn't have his majority party in line. The Democrats could have had all of this done by now if they had been united. Fortunately for the American people, this is not the case. Common sense Democrats and those Democrats on the far left fringe are all upset with their leader. To blame the GOP for this mess is insincere and petty.

This is what happens when a man with no executive experience is in the White House. He lectures and points his finger at his audience and then turns it all over to Congress. He doesn't lead his party or unite them. His only recourse is to whine that he inherited a mess and it is the GOP's fault. Well, the man ran for the office and asked for your vote to get it. He didn't 'inherit' anything. He assumed the position and responsibility of the leader of the free world.

Man up, President Obama. You have consensus right now on several points of true reform - removing pre-existing condition issues, purchasing insurance across state lines, tax credits for small businesses, and yes, tort reform. All of these steps would work. All of these steps are acceptable to both sides of the aisle and the majority of the American people.

What is the rush to have a massive government overtake of 1/6 of the American economy if the reforms don't go into effect until 2014? It is a political calculation, of course. Obama is the consummate campaigner and politician. He is not a national leader, nor is he a true reformer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Senator Scott Brown's Vote on Jobs Bill Cloture

By a vote of 70-28 Harry Reid's jobs bill passed in the Senate this morning.

"...a $15 billion jobs-creation package today that would provide tax breaks to small businesses that hire workers who have been unemployed for at least 60 days."

Read more: Congress and Jobs: If At First You Don't Succeed at

This vote today was made possible by a bi-partisan effort yesterday to move for cloture. GOP Senators Snowe, Collins, Voinovich, Bond and Brown voted to cut off debate on the jobs bill.

Yes, Senator Brown. Senator Scott Brown, the much heralded newest GOP member of the Senate from the very blue state of Massachusetts. The far right wing of the GOP did the predictable - they tweeted and blogged and pundited that Brown had betrayed them. How dare he vote with Democrats. Sure, they expect such action from Snowe and Collins and sometimes from Voinovich - yet, rarely from Bond - and now Brown has joined the "RINO" wing of the party. This simply further proves the utter insanity of those who would label any Republican or conservative one way or another, especially on the weight of a lone vote.

Brown, quoted in The Washington Post said, "I've taken three votes," Brown said with exasperation. "And to say I've sold out any particular party or interest group, I think, is certainly unfair."

Scott Brown was supported by 'conservatives' and those who would be the determiners of who is 'conservative' or Republican, because of his position on Obamacare. He won the support of the voters of Massachusetts because he was a reasonable, common sense alternative to the Kennedy clone running against him on the Democratic ballot. Scott Brown is a New England Republican. He is a true Republican, regardless of what the far right of the party would have you believe is a true Republican. He will continue to vote the way he believes is the best for the residents of his state, which is how it should be.

In just about one month's time, my prediction has proven itself out on Scott Brown. I predicted that very soon the Tea Party voters and those who demand control of the Republican party from the far right would be disappointed in Senator Brown. They do not care about common sense as it relates to a particular district or state. They believe in sweeping generalities and thus lose support from the more pragmatic of the party. And, pragmatic is not another word for RINO. Soon enough even the most stubborn of those who vote Republican will understand that there is no such thing as a RINO - only those who do not understand politics. Or human beings.

And, for that alone, I am grateful to Senator Scott Brown.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Is CPAC Outdated?

Is the annual gathering of CPAC in Washington, D.C. in need of some tweaking? From the method used in the straw poll, resulting in Rep. Ron Paul as the winner as frontrunner in the 2012 presidential race to a nasty spewing of homophobia by a young man from California who was asked to speak as a representative of Young Americans for Freedom.

The straw poll is seen now as a joke. The majority of attendees this year were 18 to 25 years old. It is recorded that 52% were in that age range. We can applaud young people getting involved in conservative politics. We cannot, however, allow a convention of conservatives to be represented by Ron Paul.

We cannot allow hateful, low brow homophobic outbursts serve as honest 'convictions' or debate on a thoughtful panel. Ryan Sorba showed himself to be a very small person and out to make a buck of the lowest of human thought. A person who uses The Bible to give cover to hateful speech against fellow human beings is not representative of Christians. Sorba was upset that CPAC allowed GOProud to sponsor the gathering.

GOProud was created about eight months ago with the goal of expanding the Republican party in the vision of the open tent idea. Without welcoming those who share our fiscal conservative values, the GOP will continue to shrink and lose elections. A voter's sexuality has no revelevence to those of us convinced our country is moving in the wrong direction.

Who appointed Ryan Sorba the judge of his fellow GOPers?

Instead of speaking on the agreed upon topic of the panel, Sorba decided to create controversy and no doubt hoped to sell some books along the way. Sorba is the author of a book, "Born Gay Hoax", so it doesn't take much brain power to figure out where he is coming from. The bright moment was that Sorba was booed away from the podium.

There are those who would defend Sorba's rant about CPAC allowing GOProud as a sponsor. Whether it was simply in the name of freedom of speech or of his right to his 'convictions', there is no justification for a young man to strong arm his personal thoughts onto an audience expecting to hear an entirely different topic discussed.

Erick Erickson, of the conservative web site RedState, sent this message on Twitter:
"I thought it impolite for Ryan Sorba to get on stage at CPAC and denounce GOProud, but I commend the guy for standing for his convictions."

That is just wrong. Erickson is fond of saying that his two goals are to guest host for Rush Limbaugh and to be the keynote speaker at CPAC. Lofty goals demand more life experience than accepting the rants of the ignorant.

The John Birch Society was also a sponsor of CPAC. Did they have a place at the table? That organization seems outdated and no necessary as their objective was to route out Communists in our country. The Cold War is over. Ronald Reagan is heralded with that.

Would Ronald Reagan approve of the actions of Ryan Sorba or of the John Birch Society now? I don't think so. Reagan stood firmly for his convictions without shrinking the party or allowing the fringes to control it.

There is a place for all men and women of good will in the Republican party. And those so proud to say they are conservatives before they are Republican? Spare me the sanctimony. You fool no one with such rhetoric. Glenn Beck was a miserable keynote speaker. He seems to believe it boosts him up to bash Republicans as well as Democrats. He refused to acknowledge the progress the GOP has made this past year. Maybe he misread the election of Scott Brown, Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell, and the up and coming candidates being brought forward by the grass roots. Beck is a buffoon and deserves no applause for his theatrics.

Health Care Summit As A Photo Op

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Republican Leadership, today issued this statement following the release of the White House’s health care reform bill:

“The only thing that has changed about this health care proposal is its return address. President Obama has gone behind closed doors to combine the bills passed by the House and Senate, both of which were overwhelmingly rejected by the American people, to produce yet another spending bill that will undoubtedly suffer the same fate, as well,” Sen. Cornyn said.

If the President is so tone deaf or arrogant as to deny a fresh start to his health care/insurance legislation, then where are the Republicans to begin? If reconcilation is not point blank ruled out as a device to push through a throughly unwanted bill then how are the Republicans to feel as though this coming together by both sides is anything other than a photo op for President Obama? It is simply a staged event so that the talking points from the Democrats can include that he listened to "all sides" of the debate. Yeah, right.

The lastest written effort from the President is posted online and is essentially the bill that was passed by the Senate in December. You will remember the dramatic run up to the Christmas holiday, with wheeling and dealing galore to secure the necessary 60 vote minimum. No Republicans voted for the bill.

There is movement in the Senate for the 60 votes required to break a filibuster to be brought down to the 51 vote mark. Now that the Democrats no longer hold a 60 member majority, they are hoping to lower the traditional standard for such a vast, sweeping reform and only need 51 votes to send it to the reconcilation process with the House. It would be unprecedented for such a change in our economy to be moved forward wit reconcilation. Is this the change we can all believe in? It looks more like traditional ham handed Chicago politics to American voters. This explains the lowest numbers yet for this president and for such a vastly unpopular Congress, too.

Is it any wonder that popular thought is beginning to realize this president is likely to be a one-term president?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

No One Gets Out Unscathed, Senator Bayh

I'm looking at you, Senator Evan Bayh. As George Will said on Sunday morning television, "I don't quite know what his problem is". He points to the man who complains that Congress is rife with paralyzing partisanship yet Bayh himself is neck deep in it.

Let's recall: Senator Evan Bayh voted against the nominations of Chief Justice Roberts, Sam Alito, Sec of State Rice, voted for all the bailouts and for the Senate health care fiasco. Bayh has no credibility on masking himself as a moderate. Or even as a little listened to moderate member of the Senate

Evan Bayh supports lowering the number of votes to break a filibuster in the Senate from 60-55. Is that a way to the path of a bipartisan meeting of the minds? Remember when, not so long ago, there was a Republican president in the White House and a Senate run by the GOP? Remember when judges were not being given hearings and votes on the floor due to Democratic obstructionism? Remember when the gang of 14 worked out a solution that gave Democrats a few of their favored nominees and the rest went to Republicans, instead of the GOP leadership using the option of the 'nuclear option', which is a 51 vote majority instead of a 60 vote majority? Back in those times, Democrats were livid that the GOP leadership was even considering that option as a way to break through the divide. Now, what a surprise. Suddenly the 60 vote tally needed to block a filibuster is not a good thing.

Hardly the idea of a moderate decrying the lack of bipartisanship in Congress.

Sounds like Bayh was having some sort of publicity seeking fit. He dropped out of an all but certain victorious re-election bid with little warning to the Indiana state Democratic party. He told his staff on Friday and Senate Majority Leader Reid on Monday, just before the announcement to the press in Indianapolis, according to reports. So, not only is Bayh a faux moderate but he is also not a team player for his party. Looks like he's burned the candle at both ends for too long.

Was some sort of personal scandal about to erupt? We don't know. Maybe nothing will come of it and Bayh will go on to work in the private sector, free to make his millions of dollars as head of something or another. His wife is a successful lobbyist in D.C. so the family has worked both sides of Capitol Hill for some time now.

Bayh used the reasoning to not seek re-election that it is just not good working in the Senate now. It sounds whiny for someone benefiting for so long in politics. Maybe it is not so much fun when you don't get to be a star or the one setting the rules. Let's remember it is the Democratic party that has large majorities in Congress. They are the one setting the agenda and making the rules to work with. Bayh's disillusionment must be with his own party, and not with the GOP, or anything the GOP does to stand up for their own agenda.

That's politics, Senator Bayh.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Principled Bi-Partisanship From Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich entered the room to deliver his speech to CPAC to a standing room only audience on their feet and excited to receive him. The song playing was "Eye of the Tiger" and it continued to play as Newt slowly made his way to the stage, slowed by those extending hands for shaking and patting him on the back.

Gingrich's approach is optimistic. "A coming, massive conservative majority", as Newt Gingrich said during his speech to CPAC, is credited to the presidency of Barack Obama.

"Two plus two equals four" - a bold new slogan for the next few years. Gingrich says 'there are more of us than there are of them', those who support the veering to the hard left ideologue of the current president. The slogan was used in a Camus novel - authorities can't stand the truth. And, George Orwell to the torturer, as the innocent citizen realizes what if two plus two really does equal four? A secular socialist machine is so far away from our ideals, as Americans, to personal freedom, that it must be exposed for what it is. The forcefulness of saddling Americans with the health care/insurance reform legislation is a prime example.

Time to pass a balanced budget amendment to return government to ending all the spending. Newt reminded the audience - 2.9% increase per year, including entitlements while balancing the budget and creating jobs while he was Speaker of the House.

No tax increases. They are job killing and must be defeated, especially during a major recession.

Time has come to tell the truth about corruption of government run unions of this country. Corruption as a systemic process by which rules were changed so that government got its way. For example, union contracts in NY that it takes 7 yrs to fire a bad teacher. Rooms were set up to place bad teachers, outside of classroom, yet still paid and pensions being paid. It costs NY $50 million a year. That is $50 million not spent in classrooms on students, where it is suppose to be spent.

Principled bi-partisanship will be necessary as GOP takes back Congress and the presidency. Newt believes Congress will go back to the GOP in 2010 and to GOP in presidency in 2012. Newt points to his working with Clinton. He used the Reagan adage of "trust by verify" in those dealings and was successful. He hopes GOP leaders will insist 50/50 split in time and agenda during the hc 'bipartisan' forum. He advises the GOP to insist starting over on bill and pledge to work with him. Litigation reform and stop paying the crooks - the theft of payment sent to doctors who abuse government programs are two basic starting points of agreement that can be bipartisan.

Principled bipartisanship is not simply standing back as the Democrats implode. GOP must step forward and be brave enough to say let's work together. Do not be afraid of the left's ideas.

There is nothing bipartisan about President Obama. He has absolutely no past history of working with the GOP in his political career. Even those who are usually charading as not biased - reporters and authors - have come to begin speaking about the selfish concern of Obama about his own career, even at the expense of this Democratic leadership.

Douglas Brinkley, author and historian, said recently that the Obama administration failed to 'package' his agenda the first year in office. Chuck Todd, reporter on MSNBC, said senior Democrats in Congress bemoan that Obama is not all about successful legislation but his own political career. Both of these men are huge Obama supporters and any pretense otherwise of journalistic nonpartisanship was long gone during the last presidential campaign. The conclusions now drawn on the gang that can't shoot straight is eyebrow raising good. It is interesting to watch as the wheels come off the bus that Obama is prone to throw friends, family and colleagues under as they get in the way of his dream legacy.

From The Wall Street Journal online: "One Democratic official went further, saying some Democratic House members actually believe that the White House "wouldn't mind having a foil, and that foil is a Republican [House] majority--that would serve their political purposes going into 2012." "

"These House Democrats say privately that veterans of Bill Clinton's administration working in Obama's White House may think having a Republican majority in Congress will help Obama win reelection, as it did Clinton in 1996. House Democrats know that Obama will do whatever it takes to win reelection, whether or not it helps members keep their seats this year."

Principled bipartisanship is not selling out for conservatives. It is leadership. It is moving your agenda forward. It is time to understand that simple truth and rise to the occasion. The perfect storm approaches.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Woods Speaks

Why did the press bother with the stage Tiger Woods mea culpa statement? Only a select few were allowed to be in the room with Woods and there was no opportunity for questions after he read the statement.

I didn't watch the spectacle. Why did anyone? As long as the charade of athletes as role models continues the American sports fan will be disappointed. Why? Because athletes are regular flesh and blood human beings, just like everyone else. Surprise! They are not superheroes or superior humans. They are people.

Somewhere along the line athletes were vaulted into the highest echelon of envy. I do not begrudge anyone their passion for sports and watching sports, I do so myself, but we have to come to terms with reality. Tiger Woods is the wealthiest athlete ever. He plays golf and is a billionaire. A billionaire. Think about that.

He makes so much money for the same reason the rest do, it is all about the sponsorship money. Teams make huge profits with the big name athletes. Athletes sign contracts to hawk product. It's all such a cozy little world. For this very reason, Tiger Woods was allowed for years to be a sleazy man while adoring fans thought he was above reproach.

My real interest is in Woods' fellow golfers. They now say it was common knowledge that Tiger was a nasty person - rude to fans and others on the Tour, and that they are not surprised that the man was an adulterer. Because of their silence, Tiger was enabled to rake in the bucks and take the bows for his own ego. He is hardly a role model for young people dreaming of being a professional golfer.

Who among us thinks it is reasonable that these special athletes make millions and yet, the true American heroes - teachers, firefighters, policemen and women, EMTs, an so on - are working double shifts and second jobs to support their families? A spectacle like the staged statement of Woods - solely for his own benefit - remind us of how upside down our world can get.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Mount Vernon Statement

Republicans/conservatives are oh so proud of themselves, as they have signed yet another proclamation of their principles:
Look, Wm F. Buckley they are not. It is all well and good that these people have chosen to write down their principles of conservative thought. Do we really need it? Of course not. Huffing and puffing and making more lists of what is and isn't conservative principle is what makes a party shrink, not expand. It is narrow and exclusive. It is not a welcoming exercise.

While recommitting to conservative ideas is admirable, providing cover to the religious right of the party in the name of this commitment is not. For too long, the far right of the Republican party - the conservative party - has allowed the political principles to be hijacked in the name of religious purism. It is small minded and simply not right. Separation of church and state is what this country was founded upon. To proclaim yourself holier than your opponent is not a substantive argument.

I listened with interest to some of the CPAC speakers during this opening day of their annual convention. Yes, it is a convention. Many livelihoods depend upon the loyal and stalwart of the Republican party. To deny that the conservatives are not Republican is inane. Some, like talk show and tv show millionaire Sean Hannity enjoy stating that he is conservative but not necessarily Republican in political thought. Really? Listening to those who quote bible verses while addressing the crowd simply made me cringe.

It is easy to ride the wave of unrest now present across the country. William F. Buckley, however, had no such luxury. He was a man ahead of his time. To now see the likes of some who are loudly patting themselves on their collective backs to sign this document is just a bit much for those of us of a certain age.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Houston Area GOP Women Meet For Annual Seminar

Today was the annual Nuts & Bolts Seminar hosted by the Greater Houston Council of the Texas Federation of Republican Women. The setting was Northwest Forest Convention Center. This is proving to be a very interesting election year for the GOP, given the indigestion felt by so many voters.

So, who showed up to press the flesh and smile for the crowd? The turn out was robust, as may be expected. From the top of the ballot, Governor Perry sent senior adviser Tina Benkiser to address the GOP women at the end of the seminar session, before breaking for the luncheon. Benkiser is the former chairman of the Texas Republican Party. She is also a former president of a Republican Women's club.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison addressed the crowd as a luncheon speaker. She mingled among the crowd during the break between seminar and luncheon. I shook her hand and enjoyed a brief conversation with her. She is very open and relaxed. She, too, is a former member of a Republican Women's club and was active in the Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW).

It was interesting that Governor Perry didn't show up to speak for himself. He spoke to the TFRW delegates in November in Galveston during the convention and gushed about how important Republican women are to campaigns. And, what has happened to Debra Medina? She is a former Wharton Co GOP Chairman and knows the importance of support from a group like those in attendance today, those who represent Greater Houston Council.

Ted Cruz, previously a candidate for Tx Attorney General, delivered the prayer at the beginning of the luncheon. All of the candidates in attendance were acknowledged. Another note of interest - Ed Hubbard and Paul Simpson, the leading candidates for Harris Co Republican Party chairman were there and stayed for lunch. Jared Woodfill, current chairman running for re-election, was a no-show.

The keynote speaker for the luncheon was Manuel Rosales, Deputy Director of Coalitions, RNC. He brought greetings from Chairman Michael Steele. Steele, he said, was meeting with 45 Tea Party leaders in D.C. this afternoon. Rosales presented an interesting program highlighting outreach efforts made to all communities and his ideas of thinking outside of the box.

November will bring a much anticipated election.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents Day - Faux Holiday

It all began with a tweet. Today, being the faux holiday of "Presidents Day", instead of feeling all warm and fuzzy about previous officeholders, it just irritates me.

Why lump Presidents together? Seems ironic, especially given the trend of making each and every one of our children feel like the most brilliant and unique human being on planet earth. Don't former presidents deserve individual acknowledgement, too?
Smart guy Basil has this informative post on the subject which I learned about from his tweet on Twitter this morning. Without enough coffee, and with not enough sleep last night, I was feeling a bit testy as I remembered this silly holiday today. I tweeted a bit snarkily "Happy Presidents Day. What a stupid, dumbed down excuse for a federal holiday. Washington & Lincoln both deserve own day." After which Basil kindly pointed me to his blog post today.

Thanks, Basil.

Today is the date we now recognize as George Washington's birthday. Our first president. The man who led the troops across the Delaware River on Christmas Day. The first and certainly the standard bearer for future leaders, this man deserves his own day. If not him, then whom? Until 1971, both Abraham Lincoln's and George Washington's birthdays were honored as federal holidays. Then President Richard Nixon decided to combine the two and Presidents Day was born. We were led astray by a fellow Republican.

Abraham Lincoln, the Republican president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation and presided over the nation's Civil War, is no longer honored on a day solely devoted to remembering him. Now the day is chock full of retail store sales and that is how America celebrates. Frankly, Abe gets the short end of those retail store sales ads, too, as it is usually a likeness of Washington used to promote the sales, not Lincoln.

And we wonder why the re-writing of history is so prevalent in today's textbooks? It all starts somewhere. It's the Howard Zinning of American History.

TX Newspapers Endorse Hutchison For Governor

The Austin American-Statesman, Beaumont Enterprise, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Marshall News Messenger, San Antonio Express-News And Wichita Falls Times Record News Endorse Kay Bailey Hutchison For Governor

The Houston Chronicle Says Kay Has Been “A Reliable And Effective Representative” For Texas

The Wichita Falls Times Record News Says Kay Will Serve Texas – Especially North Texas – Well

The San Antonio Express-News Says Kay Offers “Clarity On The Issues”:

The Marshall News Messenger Says A Vote For Kay Is A Vote For “Better Government

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Says Kay “Would Bring The Leadership Texas Needs”:

The Dallas Morning News Calls Kay A “Statesman” Who Is “Better Equipped” To Lead Texas

The Beaumont Enterprise Calls Kay “Visionary” And A “Stronger Candidate” In November

The Austin American-Statesman Says Kay Offers “A Record Of Substantive Leadership

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Press Secretary Gibbs Enters Twitter World

Yesterday President Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, used the online messaging service, Twitter, for the first time. Or so he would have you believe. Does it make sense?

Using the Twitter name of @PressSec, Gibbs has only made one 'tweet' so far and in that one he asked for tips. It is a bit too much to swallow that a member of this administration would have you believe that in 2010 he is just now going online with Twitter, especially the top mouthpiece of the administration.

Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign we were told that the Obama campaign was the smartest ever with their use of electronic campaigning. They had the biggest e-mail list ever, they used YouTube and video streaming like no other campaign ever before, and don't forget all the televised campaign appearances with all the cool props. Now we are to believe that Gibbs is only a recent user of Twitter?

Gibbs has been with Barack Obama - Team Obama - for years. You'll remember it was Obama who complained he would have to wean himself off his Blackberry addiction when he became President Obama.

Is it a coincidence that the news that Obama hires someone to 'tweet' for him in his Twitter account breaks due to a help wanted ad coming to light around the time Gibbs makes his Twitter presence known? Diversion, much? This administration is very masterful in attention diversion techniques.

Conservatives have taken the lead from liberals on Twitter. After much smug and condescending remarks by liberals as their man Obama ran for president, the cool kids have been overrun by a newly awakened conservative movement. Conservatives were fired up and ready to go, to coin Obama slogans, after the results of the 2008 election and Twitter was ripe for the taking. Top Conservatives On Twitter (TCOT) was formed along with the Rebuild the Party initiative online. The mix has been very successful.

So, I think it would be safe to say that, given the track record of the savvy use of technology by these advertising and publicity professionals in the Obama administration, the newly arrived Gibbs to Twitter is a bit too much to believe as he asks for 'tips'.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Is Debra Medina a 9/11 Truther?

Ah, well, it was interesting while it lasted. Debra Medina, running in the GOP primary for Texas governor just hit a wall. Rising in the polls and with buzz generated by that, Medina was a guest on the Glenn Beck radio show this morning. Here's where it all went horribly wrong:

A clip from today's Glenn Beck radio show:

So, the gasps were heard all around. Is Debra Medina a 9/11 truther, they ask? Maybe. She wouldn't answer the question. She claims that there is evidence not released by the government and that not all the evidence is in. Maybe she hasn't read the confessions put forward by those who claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack - radical Islamists.

Medina is a former chairwoman of the Wharton County GOP in Texas. She has a history of a more Libertarian wing of the GOP than the traditional members. A good background of her support of the Ron Paul wave is here:

I have listened to Debra Medina, up close, and she starts out good but then goes off a cliff. When I heard her speak, it was at a meeting of Republican women. She is personable and open to questions. During the question and answer session, she said she home schooled her two children. Then she admitted she only taught them about creationism in their science curriculum. She said that the age of the earth is still in question and that she believes it is somewhere around 4,000 years old.

Check, please.

The results of the March 2 GOP primary will be interesting. Early voting begins February 16.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bipartisanship Means GOP Surrender

The term bipartisanship is defined by this White House as GOP surrender. Turns out, it is as simple as that. Yesterday, President Obama made an unannounced visit to the White House press room and took over the briefing with reporters. As he jumped from the subjects of jobs creation, the floundering economic recovery and the ever present health care/insurance reform agenda, he also attempted to show sincerity in his rhetoric on a bipartisan approach to legislating his agenda. Now that he has essentially frittered away his first year in office and reading the dismal polling numbers on his approval ratings, President Obama is making a phony outreach to Republicans.

Can't we all just get along?

And, by get along, he means can't Republicans simply just surrender and go along with the Obama agenda? On Twitter, WH CBS Radio correspondent Mark Knoller tweeted that bipartisanship seems to mean GOP surrender. Knoller said in his tweet what the GOP has known all along. The fact is, Obama has no record as a politician who is interested in a bipartisan approach to governing or legislating. The nonsensical campaign he ran for the presidential election was just that, full of nonsense. The campaign has nothing to do with reality. Even the most loyal of Obama supporters are now realizing that.

As the Obama administration swept into Washington, it was all good times and happy, happy, joy, joy. The White House briefings were filled with lots of laughter and lots of Obama love. Now, one year into the President's four year term, times are changing. As reported in Politico: the laughter is fading. Maybe the White House press reporters are finally realizing what fools they were being taken for and now may start doing their jobs. Time will tell.

President Obama is fond of the technique of using straw men to bolster his speeches. His favorite is to claim that his critics - the GOP - simply want to "do nothing". He likes to claim that no alternative proposals, say, for health care/insurance reform, have been brought forward for him to consider. More untruths, to put it kindly. Even after the elections recently, Obama remains deaf and in denial. His agenda is not welcomed by the majority of Americans and yet he has no intention of ratcheting it back. So be it.

As he was 'reaching out' in his token way in the White House press room, just a short while later his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs decided to make another of his trademark surly jokes at the expense of someone else. His target was Sarah Palin, now a private citizen. From the podium he showed his version of hand written notes on the palm of his hand. Hilarious, no? Even his buddies in the press groaned loudly and moved on to the business at hand. And, in an article written by Michael Gerson in The Washington Post, we learn of an attack to Rep Paul Ryan and his plan for a balanced budget originating from the Democratic National Committee just days after Obama singled out Ryan in his televised visit to the GOP gathering in Maryland. Even the CBO concluded that Ryan's approach to the budget does, indeed, achieve a balanced budget. But, since Ryan is likable and a rising star in the GOP, he must be shut down by the 'post partisan' President Obama.

Jennifer Rubin writes about it and of a slush fund discovered to discredit the Tea Party movement by funneling money from online contributions to offices of a "prominent Democratic party lawyer"-

The truth is that the GOP members of the House and Senate have produced alternatives to the Obama agenda. The response has been to be ignored and shut out by the one party control of Congress. Here is the latest on health care/insurance reform that would find bipartisan agreement:

Unfortunately, President Obama again stated firmly yesterday that he had no intention of starting over. For him, bipartisanship is solely defined as GOP surrender.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Brennan Claims War on Terror Politicized

As Deputy Homeland Security adviser on counter terrorism goes about claiming that Republican lawmakers are "politicizing" the handling of terrorists as they are captured and brought to justice, one word flashes in my mind: swarmy. John Brennan is swarmy. It would appear that Brennan is the designated water carrier on this issue and is the flack sent out to the chat shows to diffuse the criticism of this administration's bungling of processing Christmas Day bomber Abdulmutallab.

For a man who has bragged about being active in the last five administrations, you would think he would have a better grasp of working with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Instead, he just sounds nasty and seems to have fallen into the Obama administration's favorite riff - just blame the Republicans when things go wrong and the Democrats in charge are called out on it. Here's an op-ed written by Brennan and published in USA Today:

Brennan perpetuates the lie in the Mirandizing of Richard Reeves, the shoe bomber. He, along with the Obama flacks, claim that Mirandizing Abdulmutallab is no different than how Reeves was treated by the Bush administration One problem with that re-write of history: no one criticized that because the military court process was not in place yet, given that the incident with Reeves was only three months after 9/11/01. Plus, the reason top GOP leaders are angry with the lies being perpetuated by this administration now that their complete incompetence has been shown, is that the Obama administration claimed that the new "High-Value Interrogation Group" put into place recently by the FBI would not automatically Mirandize terror suspects. They claimed they would use a case by case basis to form that decision. Was that just a part of the lie machine, too?

So, while Brennan is now claiming that when he briefed top GOP lawmakers on the decision to retain Abdumutallab in FBI custody instead of military police custody that none of them asked questions, the GOP lawmakers assumed that the previous stated policy of this administration would stand - that it was to be assumed Abdumutallab would not be Mirandized without specifically telling lawmakers of that decision.

The Obama administration knows how badly this has been treated. They have even broken the patience of the two more liberal Republican Senators from Maine, Senators Collins and Snowe, who frequently afford the Obama administration some bipartisan cover on votes. Both have been aghast at the facts as they unfold - or don't - in hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Collins is ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee. Collins, in fact, was the one called upon to do the Republican response to the President's weekly address. She left no doubt that she is disgusted.

Collins was particularly angry when she heard the testimony of Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence. He stated the decision to Mirandize Abdulmutallab was a "mistake".

Now the administration is in full CYA mode. Press Secretary Gibbs has even gone to the trouble to refute conclusions made by these hearings. Collins and Snowe have not backed down. That has sent shock waves to the Team Obama. As Collins said in her weekly address response: "The Obama administration appears to have a blind spot when it comes to the war on terrorism." Ouch.

So, to the likes of swarmy Team Obama members the question is: Who, exactly is it that is "politicizing " the war on terror?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Phony Feminists and Super Bowl Commercials

Super Bowl 44 was the most watched television show in history. The very first Super Bowl victory by the New Orleans Saints was one was the books. Not only did the team beat the odds makers, it has brought about a fresh boost of enthusiasm for the city.

A Super Bowl tradition is the viewing and critiquing of the commercials. This year there was the added bonus of the loudly bellowed snit of some of the women in the outdated, outmoded, out of touch feminist movement. The women who have hijacked a perfectly good movement have brought shame to those of us who are feminists. They have given the term a bad name.

What was the snit about? CBS allowed the showing of a message ad, not allowed before in Super Bowl time. The message? A pro-life testamony given by the mother of widely known college quarterback, Tim Tebow. The silliness of the brouhaha was evident, once the audience actually saw the commercials. Not only were they so benign that if you were not paying attention you may not have realized what the message was, now they are complaining that one of the ads promotes violence against women. Why? Because in one of the ads - they were run in a bit of a story line - Tebow appears to tackle his mother and then she bounces right back up. Obviously done in a campy kind of humor, the loud in the feminist movement have been reduced to whining over a non-act. There was nothing to their concern over a pro-life message ad, so they had to do something to attempt to save face.

They are shameful and not at all effective.

Sad, really. Many women who have come before all of us worked very hard to make the lives of us better today. We stand on their shoulders. These women make a mockery out of serious women everywhere.

Hey, did I miss all the outrage by the loud over the Go-Daddy commercials? Now, those are demeaning to women.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Tea Party Convention in Nashville - Media Disapproves

The media coverage of the Tea Party convention being held in Nashville this weekend is interesting, to say the least. Outlets like CNN are emphasizing the perceived split in the movement. It is as though they are surprised that the standard mainstream media stereotype of conservatives - that they walk in lockstep - is not true after all. Surprise!

It is far too simplistic to expect any group of people to be completely in agreement on every issue. The GOP is not and neither is the Democratic party. How silly is it to expect that? While the liberal outlets have gone to "crash the party" - as a CNN anchor described their coverage - and take pleasure in poking fun at the attendees, the very fact that the coverage is happening points to the arrival of the Tea Party movement in today's politics. By the time the Obama administration realized the growing impact on public opinion made by the Tea Party protests and town hall meetings, the train had left the station. The administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress were reduced to belittling and demonizing ordinary citizens, newly awakened to the political process and mightily energized. Just as Team Obama is continuing on the false meme that the Republicans in Congress are the 'party of no', Obama wants the Democrats to believe the Tea Party participants are kooks, racists and dangerous. To this administration, 'right wing extremists' are the enemy.

Funny, during the eight years of the Bush administration, we were told that dissent was patriotic.

This administration is laden with those who have never faced meeting a payroll. This administration has a skewered ratio of those from academia/policy think tanks versus those from the real world. It is a foreign thought that regular working people would be outraged at the level of government spending and government takeover of private industry as now seen. This administration continues with the belief that 'government' creates jobs and a huge takeover of 1/6 of our economy - health care - is a "Christmas gift", as it was characterized by Speaker of the House Pelosi.

Conservatives have mobilized. The Tea Party movement is not a Republican party movement. It is a group who, though they probably are more in line with the Republican party when votes are cast, is comprised by members of both parties and mostly of those who see themselves as independents. These fiscally conservative people want to remind Team Obama that jobs are not created by government, but that government can create the climate for job growth. This climate is not created with government spending with strings attached. It is created by tax cuts and de-regulation so that employers can spend their profits by hiring more employees and providing a robust work force.

So, rather than remain open to all sides, the national media has flocked to Nashville, along with new media, and set about expressing their opinion. That opinion is not too favorable to those who would stop the agenda of their candidate of choice. This president was ushered into office due in no small part to a swooning media. Now they have too much invested to speak truth to power. Or, to report with integrity.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Does Sarah Palin Have a Double Standard with Retarded?

In the middle of the whole "retarded" brouhaha, the Secretary of Education had to apologize for a perfectly innocent remark aimed at the education community in New Orleans. Arne Duncan said that Hurricane Katrina was "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans." While the comment was not intentionally insensitive, I don't think, it was taken as a slap in the face by those living in the area.

What outsiders don't completely understand is that Hurricane Katrina was a life changing event for the people along the Gulf Coast. Not just those living in New Orleans, but also other parts of the coast. The wounds are still right at the surface. Some areas were much harder hit - those along the Mississippi coast - and complete towns were wiped out. New Orleans was at least blessed with a standing infrastructure in place. The French Quarter was spared since it is above sea level - built there in the wisdom of those who founded the city.

So, though Duncan was trying to say that with the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina comes a wiping of the slate. A clean start for the completely dysfunctional educational system in New Orleans. Much like a remark made by former First Lady Barbara Bush at the time of the event and those displaced by the hurricane came to Houston and other cities to start over. She said they would have life better than ever before. What she meant was that a whole world of new opportunity would open up for the evacuees. And, that is exactly what has happened. My city of Houston opened its arms and provided shelter and sustenance to all. In many cases, we still are, in fact. They have benefited from free rent, free utilities and job and education opportunities not available in their previous home.

But, the political speech police are ever active. Each and every sentence by anyone with a recognizable name is parsed and criticized. Duncan apologized for speaking his truth after it backfired. He should, instead, have received kudos for the attention his department has showered on New Orleans and the attention now being harnessed by concerned parents and others in the community. He should be encouraged to continue on into Mississippi and Alabama where communities were destroyed, leaving schools and libraries flattened.

Build up, don't tear down.

For political wonks and junkies, it was no big surprise to read recently reports that Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel lashed out at liberal activists some months back by calling them "f--king retards". Emanuel is known for crude and obnoxious behavior. He employs a take-no-prisoners approach to politics. The dirty little secret that emerged is that liberals are just as prejudiced in their personal actions as are some on the other side of the aisle. People are people.

While the left insists on having the high ground in arguments of prejudice and bigotry, it is simply not true. What a person does in private is who that person is, the true display of character. That Emanuel was exposed as a man of little personal character is not breaking news. What was news is that after all these months, when exposed, he had to apologize for his insensitive remark.

Who called loudest for an apology? Sarah Palin. She also insists Emanuel be fired. That won't happen, of course, but it is her demand. Palin, mother of a child born with Down Syndrome, is a champion of the mentally impaired. So, here's a rub to conservatives - she has gone after Rush Limbaugh, head guru to the far right on talk radio, as he took off on Emanuel on his show. Limbaugh used the word "retard" over and over for effect. He lambasted the politically correct who demand twisting vocabularies into softer terms. Palin called his display "crude and demeaning". She didn't, however call for his removal from talk radio. She didn't even call for a boycott for effect.

Nor has Palin severed ties with Texas Governor Rick Perry. Palin is scheduled to appear at a Perry fundraiser in Houston. She has endorsed Perry in the hotly contested GOP primary. Perry, however, employs a campaign adviser, David Carney, who is said to have repeatedly said "retarded" in a conference call between all three GOP campaigns as they worked out plans for a televised debate. Palin has not uttered a word about this revelation.

Also, in the same meme, along with Palin, rock and roller Ted Nugent will appear at said fundraiser. He is quoted as using the word 'retarded' in describing folks who don't approve of hunting. This was in Royal Flush Magazine. He said hunting and eating deer is perfect, "unless you're retarded." Again, silence from Palin.

That's the problem with the speech police. Once you begin, it is a slippery slope. It must be exhausting. It is easy for conservatives to bash liberals on such topics. But, in fairness, conservatives must be as honest in criticism. If Palin wants to police the word, 'retarded', that is her prerogative. But, as a self-proclaimed leader of the common man, she has to be honest and call it as it is on both sides.

As a woman of a certain age, I remember lots of terms that have fallen by the wayside. Mostly for the better, it is important to not get so caught up in sensitive feelings. From my own childhood, I remember a common adjective,"mongoloid" for mentally retarded, also a description of mentally disabled. None of it was meant to be cruel or demeaning. When bullying people use terms now viewed as derogatory, certainly the person should be called out. Doesn't matter who the insensitive, nasty person is in real life.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"This Budget is Insane"

Yesterday, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), said of the newly delivered to Congress budget, "This budget is insane."

The budget is $3.8 trillion. The President went off to New Hampshire to sell the new budget to the people paying for it - the taxpayers - and spoke of the fact they 'we' can't be spending money we don't have. Ironic, huh? While this administration is tripling the national debt and blaming former President Bush for everything, still, he would like for us to believe he is a deficit hawk. Talk about Groundhog Day scenarios.

Nerves are raw on Capitol Hill. Republicans trying to move common sense solutions forward are being thwarted by ideological Democrats who believe the solution to everything is for government to throw money at the problem. Even Senator Judd Gregg, the Senator from New Hampshire known for his calm demeanor, exploded yesterday at Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, during a hearing.

Orszag was trying to explain the intention of the Obama administration to use monies paid back - from the TARP loans - the first of the recent federal bailouts - for loans to smaller banks. Senator Gregg, the author of the TARP legislation, told Orszag that this idea was illegal, as the law is written. The monies are to be used to pay down the national debt, since the loan to the banks was borrowed money. What was Orszag's response? He said the administration intended to change the law.

TARP has worked well. President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson deserve some credit for this, whether you agree that the government should have bailed out the big banking institutions or not. The monies have been paid back and some have been paid back with interest. The government has made a little money off TARP.

Comparing TARP to the next bailouts, which have happened under the Obama administration, beginning with the stimulus bill shows a different story. Subsequent bailouts have not been successful to move the economy into the right direction, as we were told.

From : "The proposed budget over the next decade would rack up $45.8 trillion in new spending, $9.1 trillion in deficits and more than $2 trillion in higher taxes on Americans. It will double the national debt held by the public to over $18 trillion, while raising taxes on 3.2 million small businesses and upper-income taxpayers — the very people the administration is counting on to pull us out of recession."

Yes, this is insane. We cannot spend our way out of debt. That fact was proven back in the days of the Great Depression. The current party in power - the Democrats - are trying to relive the days of FDR and promote massive federal government intervention as the way forward. From taking over the automobile industry, appointing a "pay czar" to tell private business how much they are allowed to pay their executives, and picking winners and losers for the goodies, our nation is not on the right track. We were told that the stimulus/spending bill had to be passed - though no one even knew what all was in the legislation - so that unemployment would not reach 8%. It is now over 10%. Yet, the Obama administration stubbornly pushes on with failing policies.

The definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Sounds familiar.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Bush Administration Lawyers OK On Torture Memos

A little reported bit of news was spotted as I perused news sites over the weekend. Those Bush administration lawyers wrote the memos pertaining to the use of harsh interrogation methods who were vilified and then investigated? Not guilty of anything more than perhaps "poor judgement", according to Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek.

So much for the meme that Bush allowed torture. While the findings only begrudgingly acknowledge that the 2002 memo on, say, waterboarding, are not a violation of professional obligations - as previously declared in a report from the Justice Department - it does state that they showed "poor judgement". The reviewer, David Margolis, was the one who downgraded the original declaration. Had the original findings stood, a state bar association could have administered disciplinary action.

Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor, have been on the receiving end of vile and completely politically motivated hateful op-eds and other written venues for years. Those so deranged by there hate of George W. Bush let little get in the way of spouting their own opinions as the facts.

The report is being declassified and will furnish details of how waterboarding was inserted into the torture debate. Also, the report will provide details on Yoo's insistence that the commander in chief has the wartime power to override the ban on torture by federal law.

Liberals will not be pleased with this conclusion. That may be why this story is not widely reported. Had the ruling gone the other way, well, no doubt it would have made every front page - above the fold - in the country.