Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rep Waxman's Flaring Nostrils

One person's loophole is another person's tax subsidy. While the poorly written health care legislation takes away a tax free subsidy to corporations - it amounts to 28% - which provides retirees with prescription drug coverage and eliminates their need to enroll for Medicare coverage. This was written into the Medicare prescription drug plan when Congress passed it in 2003. This was responsible legislation language that took a bit of stress off of the Medicare system. Keep in mind, the employers pay 72% of the plan. In order to help pay for this dreadful legislation, the Democrats took this subsidy out of the law and intend to stick corporations with the full 100% of the price of coverage.

One may ask, well, what's the big deal? It's only 28% more in increase of costs. True. But in the case of mega corporations, that 28% sure adds up. AT&T claims it will cost them $1 billion dollars. John Deere & Co. claim a $150 million hit. Valero Energy, Verizon, Caterpillar and others have come forward to voice the true costs of the legislation as it relates to the bottom line. Today, Boeing announced it will be $150 million in additional costs.

As the corporations began to publicly come forward with new numbers, the White House and the Democratically controlled Congress feigned surprise. Rep. Henry Waxman demands these corporate executives come before his committee - he chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee - to answer questions. That means he intends to create a media circus and dramatically brow beat these job providers who are accountable to the shareholders. Waxman, who has been in office for decades, may not understand that under SEC sanction they must "immediately restate their earnings in light of their expected future retiree health liabilities" under the Financial Standard Accounting Board's 1990 statement No.106".

The White House claims it is just politics. The White House claims it is "Republican CEOs" who are stirring up trouble, instead of following the law. The White House, however, fails to point out that on the Democratic side, the AFL-CIO wrote in a December 10 letter that "eliminating it (the loophole) will be highly destabilizing for retirees who rely upon employer sponsored drug coverage" and "will impose a dramatic and immediate impact of company financial statements." Those quotes from the same Wall Street Journal article. The AFL-CIO is firmly in the Obama/Democrat camp. If they were concerned about the effects of the legislation then it can hardly be called a partisan move. Also mentioned was the opposition by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - those who are employed by AT&T and Verizon.

The tactic continues with this White House and their water carriers in Congress to bully and name call when opposition arises. This is the result of a Chicago politician and his Chicago political support team occupying the Oval Office. Leadership cues come from the top down.

April 21 is the date set for the interrogation to begin. Waxman is known as a junkyard dog and will no doubt come loaded for bear. Here's his letter:

Rep Bart Stupak is in on the action, too. You'll remember he was exposed for the sham he is as a "pro-life" advocate from the Democratic side of the aisle. He fell like a house of cards over the bogus fix for his concerns about federal dollars allotted to abortions solved by Obama's executive order signing. He's an attorney. He's not stupid. He knows after Obama leaves office, the executive order expires. Also, Obama can rescind the executive order at any time. These two now write to the corporate CEOs and state, "The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern."

Granted, these same CEOs would be able to claim higher ground in this battle had they been publicly outspoken about the estimated costs before the legislation was passed. They were all brought into the photo op 'summits' and were not aggressively a part of the public dialogue. And, now corporations with early retirees, ages 55-64, see the same loophole/subsidy taken from them will go to this group. Democrats put that into the legislation.

It appears if the CEOs were just out for political points, the opposition would have been strongly heard during the legislative process. It appears, unfortunately, these same CEOs were giving the politicians a chance. No good deed goes unpunished.

This is further starkly presented evidence that this bad piece of legislation that puts 1/6 of our national economy in the hands of government bureaucrats will result in higher personal costs and job loss.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Effect of Obamacare on the State of Texas

Senator John Cornyn breaks it down by the numbers in the effect the health care reform legislation recently signed into law by President Obama will have on the State of Texas:

1) $102,500 is the current Texas-household share of the $12 trillion national debt, which the new unsustainable healthcare entitlement will skyrocket.

2) $20,140 in new Washington spending over the first 10 years for every household in Texas.

3) 532,000 Texans enrolled in Medicare Advantage will have their benefits reduced by half. (Congressional Budget Office)

4) Approximately 7.9 million Texas households making less than $200,000 will pay higher taxes. (Joint Committee on Taxation)

5) 979,000 Texans in the individual insurance market will see premiums skyrocket by 61 percent. (Oliver Wyman)

6) 20 percent higher health care costs or a punitive new tax for failing to comply with dictates from Washington for Texas small businesses employing 50 or more people and 7,243 Texas construction companies employing 5 or more. (U.S. Census Bureau)

7) 1.25 million Texas college students will be overcharged an average of $1,800 each on their student loans to fund health care and other government programs. (Project on Student Debt)

8) $24.3 billion over 10 years in new costs to Texas (due to the unfunded Medicaid expansions) will force the governor and legislature to raise taxes, raise college tuitions, decrease the quality of education, or all three. (Texas Health and Human Services Commission)

9) The youngest 30 percent of Texans will pay 35 percent more based solely on their age as the new regulations drive up health care premiums in the individual market. (Oliver Wyman)

10) 2 million low-income Texans will be added to the state’s Medicaid rolls, even though only 38 percent of doctors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area can accept new Medicaid patients, and similar scenarios are popping up across the state. (Texas Health and Human Services Commission)

Here are some solutions offered by Senator Cornyn that would lower costs:

· Lower costs through small business health plans

· Increase competition with the purchase of insurance across state lines

· Limit junk lawsuits against doctors

· Give states incentives to lower costs and expand access

· Promote transparency about cost and quality

· Reduce waste, fraud, and abuse

· Empower patients through Health Savings Accounts

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Israel On Its Own

Sorry, Israel, you are on your own. President Obama made the demand at the very beginning of his administration that Israel halt all creation of new settlements. Now, he has doubled down and gone out of his way to insult a visiting Prime Minister. Not just any Prime Minister - the Prime Minister of our greatest ally in the Middle East. Perhaps our only ally in the Middle East, certainly until Iraq is more secure and grows stronger.

The brouhaha that grew into an international incident started as VP Biden and Dr/Mrs Biden went to Israel for a visit to the government officials. They arrived to a dinner two hours late with the Prime Minister. Along the way, an announcement by a middle management level of government minister proclaimed the new construction agreement of apartments in east Jerusalem. Netanyahu was unaware that the announcement was to be made at that time. He apologized for the inconvenience of the remarks but didn't say the construction would stop.

Obama was angry that Biden's visit was derailed over the incident. Instead of working with the Israel officials and going the diplomatic route, Obama ratcheted it up to international crisis status. This is the Chicago machine at work, folks. This is what they do.

Netanyahu apologized. Apparently, that was not enough for our president - the one who is notably traveling the globe apologizing for our country. In order to extract his pound of flesh from the visiting Netanyahu, a visit that was not to have happened due to the travel schedule of Obama, who was supposed to be in Indonesia but stayed home to ram through health care legislation. Obama decided to show utter disregard of any pretense of good manners to his visitor. Though he didn't have Netanyahu go through a side door, landscaped with bags of garbage as he did to the Dalai Lama, he wasn't exactly met with open arms.

Obama didn't accept Netanyahu's explanation of the previous incident, complete with Netanyahu pulling out a flow chart of how Jerusalem planning permission works and proof that he didn't know in advance of the announcement. Obama was set on public humiliation at his own hands to a visiting foreign leader. Obama refused to pose for photos, as is customary, and he ditched Netanyahu for dinner with Michelle and the girls.

Netanyahu refused to promise in writing any concession on settlements. The atmosphere was so poisoned that he and party left the White House as they were convinced that they would be listened to if any phone calls were made. Ehud Barak, the Defense Minister, used the Israeli Embassy for placing telephone calls.

Netanyahu came to Washington, D.C. to make a speech to AIPAC.

Jerusalem is not a settlement. This is Netanyahu's speech to AIPAC:

Hillary Clinton also spoke to AIPAC. As Secretary of State she mislead either, intentionally or unintentionally, that Hamas had re-named a town square in Palestine controlled area after a terrorist. The town square re-named after a terrorist who killed innocent Israelis was done so by Fatah officials, the party to which the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, belongs. Clinton talked up Fatah as the instrument to peace.

You may remember during the Clinton years, Hillary was captured on tape kissing the check of Sula Arafat after an Israeli attack. There is a history of Clintonian suspension of disbelief in the region. Netanyahu spoke after Clinton.

American Jews voted for Obama to the tune of 80% in 2008. This international blip has provoked Palestinian violence. For the administration to be blind to the consequences of this temper tantrum is questionable. The administration has watered down the demands placed to Iran on the nuclear weapon topic. They are determined to get a U.N. security council resolution and that is impossible without China and Russia - both of whom do business with Iran and do not support harsher sanctions. So Obama and his team appease.

For Obama to continue to demand that Israel keep capitulating to the Palestinian Authority is remarkable. And, tragic. The relationship between the U.S. and Israel is at an all time low. This, after Obama implied that the previous administration dropped the ball in the region. It was a lie told to prop himself up, as all the 'inherited' rhetoric of this president is, of course, and this does not move us in a productive direction. The previous administration worked diligently with both sides of the peace talks and there was much shuttle diplomacy with Israel and the PA. This president is short sighted and solely out for his own legacy. We are left to hope he will become experienced enough in office to change path while he can.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama to GOP: "Go For It"

I cut and pasted this from Rich Galen's column, at , after he cut and pasted it from The New York Times:

COSTLY CHANGE: The new health care law will make it more expensive for companies to offer prescription drug coverage for retirees because companies will receive smaller tax deductions for those benefits in the future.
TOUGH TO SWALLOW: One study estimates that U.S. companies could lose as much as $14 billion this year because of the tax law change.

SIDE EFFECTS: As many as 1.5 million to 2 million retirees could lose the prescription drug benefits their former employers provide because of the tax changes.

Galen comes to the same conclusion I have come to over the president's dare to Republicans running for office in November: I agree with the President. If Republicans want to run against a bill which imposes $14 billion in new costs to American businesses, and causes and 2 million retirees to lose their prescription drug benefits they should "go for it."

Think back to the beginning of the uprising that is now known as the Tea Party movement. It began with a rant on CNBC by one of their money experts. Contrary to popular spin today from the Democrats, the Tea Party movement organized and grew from discontent with out of control government spending, especially in the form of one bailout after another. Uncle Sugar is out of control. It's as simple as that. It began over TARP, then the stimulus/tax and spend program, then the mortgage bailouts, then the auto company bailouts, all along with the continued brow beating over the reform of our health care delivery system.

Two Republican governors have written opinion pieces for The Wall Street Journal. These two men are touted as rising stars in the GOP and they both speak to the new health care legislation, now law.

From Indiana, Gov Mitch Daniels "We Good Europeans" speaks to the burden to the states that the federal legislation brings. Daniels is a very successful governor and was re-elected with a strong majority of votes in 2008, though the state fell to Obama. He speaks of the elimination of a program that provides 50,000 low income Hoosiers with health insurance. These folks will be forced into Medicaid. And, with the extra burdens of expanding Medicaid to one in every four citizens, the state will have to implement increased taxes. He speaks of the need to increase job retraining programs since so many jobs will be lost due to employer mandates. And, yes, he will ask his state attorney general to join with other states to file a lawsuit over Obamacare. He acknowledges it is a long shot, but worth a try.

From Louisiana Gov Bobby Jindal writes "Persistence is the Key" and says the GOP isn't the party of no. It is the party of hell no and he is proud of that.

And this from Kimberley Strassel in The Wall Street Journal:

Democrats only got their ObamaCare victory by breaking every rule, and that was always going to come at a price. To lever the health bill through the House, Democrats used the arcane process of reconciliation. It got them a win, but it also meant Senate Democrats this week had to endure the political equivalent of water-boarding.

Here's why: reconciliation allowed Republicans to bring up unlimited amendments. Because Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) could not allow the reconciliation bill to be changed in any way—which would send it back to the House—his party was obliged to vote down every one of those amendments. And every one had been designed to make even hardened pols whimper.

Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) offered language to bar the government from subsidizing erectile dysfunction drugs for convicted pedophiles and rapists. Democrats voted . . . No! Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) proposed exempting wounded soldiers from the new tax on medical devices. Democrats: No way! Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) wanted to exempt critical access rural hospitals from funding cuts. Senate Democrats: Forget it! This was Republicans' opportunity to lay out every ugly provision and consequence of ObamaCare, and Democrats—because of the process they'd chosen—had to defend it all.

November is right around the corner.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Threats To Members of Congress

Yesterday the breaking news was of threats to members of Congress who voted for the health care reform bill. Before that, it was the news over the weekend that people in the Tea Party protests crowd were yelling racial slurs to black members of Congress as they went to vote on the bill, or even spit at one member of Congress. None of these claims have been substantiated. When the one member of Congress alleging the spitting incident brought a Capitol police officer back to point out the offender, he was unable to make the identification. Why would that be? I would venture to say the incident never happened. In this particular case, the video shows the man in the crowd cupping his mouth with his hands, a gesture commonly used to amplify a voice.

A staggering national takeover of 1/6 of our country's economy and the personal nature of one's health care delivery added to the one party vote to pass the legislation brings much political theatre in play. The only bi-partisan ingredient of this takeover and its vote occurred within those opposing the bill. Over 30 Democrats voted with all of the Republicans against the bill.

Second in command in the House, Rep Steny Hoyer, called a photo op to proclaim that 10 or so Congress people had received threats over their votes and the information has been turned over to the FBI. This was well orchestrated and the media was only too happy to oblige this story line. Also, Minority Whip Rep Clyburn, a black man from South Carolina, was their standing just behind Hoyer. The visual is everything to Democrats.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, condemned threats to members of Congress in her weekly address to the press. You may remember that Pelosi, third in the line of succession, compared Tea Party participants to Nazis and to those who were violent in the days of the Civil Rights movement. Perhaps Pelosi forgot that it was the Democratic party that ruled The South, back in the day.

The ginned up fever is breathtaking. The Tea Party crowd and talk show hosts - conservatives - are being blamed for instigating this outburst from the public. Last night on his television show - on the least watched of the news cable outlets - host Chris Matthews likened talk show host Rush Limbaugh to a villain in a James Bond movie and said the day would come that Limbaugh meet the same demise as the villain. In this movie, the villain has his head blown off. Is that inciting violence? Matthews is a former staffer on Capitol Hill. Shouldn't he be above his sort of dialogue?

Democrats reap what they have sown for almost 10 years now. Beginning with the contest between Al Gore and George W. Bush until the present day, Democrats have taken vilification of the 'enemy' to new lows in modern politics. Think of the daily barrage of hate and poison injected into political debate when George W. Bush was in office. Was a press conference called when a movie was released that depicted the assassination of Bush - using actual footage of him so that there was no doubt of the target? Did Michelle Malkin, a conservative opinion writer and commentator on television, call a press conference to announce relocating her family to Colorado from their home in Maryland, due to too many threats to her life and that of her young family? No. She moved across the country as her personal solution.

Rep Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, reports that his Virginia office was shot at last night. Did I miss that press conference? No, I didn't. I saw him say he has received many threats over the years because he is a conservative leader and also because he is Jewish. He, however, is not releasing the records to the FBI as he knows that would incite even more trouble. He called on Democrats to stop fanning the flames of discontent. Rep Jean Schmidt (R-OH) released a tape of a call from someone claiming she should have broken her back in an accident two years ago instead of lesser injuries she took from it. Where does that fall in the mix?

Here is the point - in today's world people with a national presence are targets of the loony fringes of society. Whether on the left or the right, threats of violence are wrong. Physical attacks are criminal behavior. Prosecute the physical acts, whether it is a brick thrown through a politician's home district office or a bullet fired into a window. But, stop with the trumped up claims for political points. Is a constituent calling your office and calling you a 'piece of s***' and stating that many are 'out for you' an actual threat? Does that rise to the level of a documented attack?

Here is the dirty little secret - the Democrats know what they have done is wrong. They know they will pay a heavy price at the ballot box in November. They know they have fallen on their swords for the legacy of Barack Obama, though he has a history of throwing anyone in his way under the bus. Loyalty is not a characteristic spoken about Obama. Democrats know that the problem was not with Republicans on the final votes, it was with those in their own party. This process was exposed for what it was - corrupt and unconstitutional. Never before has a huge piece of social legislation been passed with only one party voting in favor.

Republican opposition to the socialization path our nation is on is not inciting violence. Republicans are standing for principle, which is exactly what their constituents want from them. It is a welcome change from some of the actions of the last few years as Republicans have gone along to get along after the 2007 takeover of Congress by the Democrats.

The Democrats continue on with the tactic of labeling opponents as racist. The man elected to the presidency in 2008 is bi-racial. He was a self-described post racial man. We see the lie of that. He has done more harm than good to the political process by race baiting and class warfare. During the campaign his straw men in speeches were thinly veiled racial comments. This is what he counts.

Leadership comes from the top down. Obama is not a leader. He is reactionary and shirks the heavy lifting to Congress and the liberal far left of the aisle. Even now, he is in Iowa City today to tout the newly passed law. The public is so angry about it and not coming around to his way of thinking about the role of government in our lives that he has to remain in campaign mode. He assumes that if only he can give just one more speech, the American people will change their minds. Obama is a whiner and complainer. He is quick to blame Republicans and even still the last administration for his troubles. He is a small man. All of this trickles down.

Leaders, true leaders, lead by example.

Using race as the trump card in political disagreements is a lowly way to stifle dissent. During the administration of George W. Bush, we were told that dissent was patriotic as anti-war demonstrators took to the streets. Politicians, Republicans, were hung in effigy, surrounded by angry protesters, threatened with citizen arrest, and with death.

SEIU union thugs have bussed union employees to the homes of Wall Street executives to shout and picket in front of their family and neighbors. SEIU thugs are captured on video beating Tea Party protesters - as they wear SEIU t-shirts. New Black Panther Party thugs in full regalia and night sticks stood at polling places in Philadelphia to intimidate voters. Conservative speakers on college campuses are not allowed to give speeches due to hateful speech and behavior of those who disagree with them. What kind of education does this teach students - just shout down your opponent or threaten them with physical attack and they will go away?

The days of the of the Democratic party throwing the race card and Republicans allowing that to end the debate are over. Republicans have learned that going away in silence only emboldens the hateful behavior. Did the Democrats think that the horrific behavior of the past 10 years at their hands would have no repercussions?

Politicians and other national figures are in the big leagues. They know the risks of voicing a political opinion to the masses. They all have personal security details for that very reason. They are not being opposed because the president is a bi-racial man. They are not being protested because of any one's skin color. They are being opposed because the people do not want what they are ramming through.

Democrats: you reap what you sow. You have only yourselves to blame.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Let's Keep Texas Red

President Obama signed into law the sweeping federal takeover of our nation's health care system this morning in the East Room of the White House. It is his moment. This is his legacy. Now the question is, where do we go from here?

My pondering brings me to the conclusion that it is time to focus like a laser beam on local and state level politics which then lead to national politics. It starts with the local political operations, fielding and grooming candidates, to raising money for campaigns. Are you tired of candidates running for national office that fall short of your expectations? Now is the time to encourage and fund people whom you believe will lead the country in the direction worthy of support.

The point is this - if you don't get off the sidelines and educate yourself on the issues of the day, nothing changes. The same bunch in Washington, D.C. will continue to rule the agenda. Team Obama counts on the apathetic American public to wait until election day to simply vote - if even that much energy is exerted - and to fall for such simplistic chants and slogans as "Change" and "Hope" and "Fired up". What an embarrassment all of that is to intelligent people.

Here are a few campaigns that may not be getting much attention but would bring about conservative change in Washington from the great State of Texas:

From the website of Canseco for Congress :

Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that in 2009 Texas lost 276,000 jobs, second only to California.

Throughout 2009 Ciro Rodriguez has blindly supported Nancy Pelosi's massive spending bills that have driven our national debt into unprecedented levels while ignoring the skyrocketing unemployment numbers right here in Texas. Ciro and his liberal masters in Washington have proven time and again that they simply do not understand or care about our economy and are solely focused on a liberal agenda to socialize our health care and further grow an already bloated federal government

Francisco Canseco is running against Rep Ciro Rodriguez in Texas Congressional District 23.

In Texas Congressional District 18, currently represented by Sheila Jackson-Lee, John Faulk is the challenger. Go to his website and get to know his platform: If Scott Brown can bring Republican representation in the Senate from Massachusetts, Jackson-Lee can be fired, too.

And, it is important to keep GOP leadership in the governor's mansion. It is important to re-elect Governor Perry and keep Texas in the red state column. Governors make appointments and it is important to continue to work for conservative leadership. Go here to read more about Governor Perry's vision:

This is Governor Perry's statement on the health care legislation, now law:
"Unfortunately, the health care vote had more to do with expanding socialism on American soil than it does fixing our health care finance and delivery systems. The Obama health care bill undermines patient choice, personal responsibility, medical innovation and fiscal responsibility in America.

"As passed by the U.S. House, the bill will cost Texas taxpayers billions more, and drive our nation much deeper into debt. Congress's backroom deals and parliamentary maneuvers undermined the public trust and increased cynicism in our political process.

"Texas leaders will continue to do everything in our power to fight this federal excess and find ways to protect our families, taxpayers and medical providers from this gross federal overreach."

Support of candidates comes on many levels. It can be as simple as writing a check or it can be as time consuming as enthusiastically volunteering your time and energy to the campaign. It's up to you.

One person does make a difference.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"This Is What Change Looks Like"

Everyone has an opinion of the vote on nationalized health care reform taken by Congress. Attorneys General of several states have now banded together to pursue a lawsuit against the federal government as soon as President Obama signs the bill into law.

From his Facebook page, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott writes of the lawsuit:

"Just got off the AG conference call. We agreed that a multi-state lawsuit would send the strongest signal. We plan to file the moment Obama signs the bill. I anticipate him signing it tomorrow. Check back for an update at that time. I will post a link to the lawsuit when it is filed. It will lay out why the bill is unconstitutional and tramples individual and states rights"

Reaction from the Republican National Committee came in the form of a solicitation of money to help win back the House of Representative and oust Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

"In order to fund our efforts to oust Speaker Pelosi, the Republican National Committee is launching a Money Bomb to raise the resources we need to gain 40 House seats. If we gain just 40 House seats, we will fire Nancy Pelosi. Please donate, and then tell your friends to donate, so that we can end the tyrannical reign of the most aggressively left-wing Speaker in American history. Donate, so that we can fire Nancy Pelosi!"

That is the primary job of the RNC and Chairman Steele: to raise money for candidates. For all those so easily critical of Mr. Steele, it would be prudent to remember that he is good at raising money for the party.

After the vote and the process worked itself out, the president and vice-president came to the microphone and President Obama, in his remarks said, "This is what change looks like." He tried to downplay the huge adjustments that will occur under the new laws in the bill. He said it was major change but not dramatic change. The majority of Americans unhappy with the language of the bill - at least the parts to which they have been privy - do not agree with that description. Various people have been overheard saying the public option is not dead - that Pelosi will pursue that. VP Biden was heard to say, "of course we'll own the insurance companies". This bill is the beginning for total takeover, not the endgame. Rep Waxman told Stupak that "they" want the government money to pay for all abortions.

"This is what change looks like" is what the president said. This is a vote that has, in the minds of liberals, confirmed that their push to increase government control of all aspects of our lives is just and wanted. To them, government provides solutions. It is the basic philosophical difference between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans understand that less government means more personal freedom. Dependence on government to solve problems leads to enslavement. One only needs to analyse the welfare generations that system created.

The true travesty of this bill is that it is one wanted by liberal ideologues. Members of the Democratic party fell into line in order to save the Obama presidency and its agenda. Obama himself put it in those terms at the eleventh hour as many were still on the fence in their vote. Thirty plus Democrats voted with all Republicans against the bill. Never before as such sweeping legislation - a bill that literally affects every person in this country - been pushed through with only one party's support. And in this case, with only a three vote cushion. The majority of the people have consistently polled heavily against the bill. Instead of moving forward with true reforms, and with GOP support for these reforms, the administration decided to steamroll the people.

"This is what change looks like."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care Reform Passes 219-212

By a vote of 219-212, the Senate version of the health care reform bill was passed in the House of Representatives. Apparently, the small group of pro-life Democrats holding out for stronger language on federal funding of abortions was the difference of passing or failing.

Earlier in the day, drama queen MI Representative Bart Stupak held a press conference, flanked by his group, and told America that he had been bought off after all. His 30 pieces of silver come in the form of dollar appropriations to his local airport. And, he was assured that President Obama would sign an Executive Order to the notion that no federal dollars would be used for abortion. Stupak is an attorney. He knows that an Executive Order does not trump federal law. And, he knows that an Executive Order is only valid while the signing president is in office. Unfortunately, Stupak counts on the ignorance of most Americans and he will be proved right. He milked the process for all it's worth, though. We have to give him that credit. He had interview after interview on national television, proclaiming righteous indignation over the potential for federal funding for abortion in the Senate version of the bill. He was heralded by pro-life Democrats and Republicans alike as a stand up kind of guy.

Yeah, right. It served his purpose to bask in the additional publicity that this legislative sausage making provided for him. He is up for re-election, you know. The bluffing game was strong all weekend from the House leadership. Speaker Pelosi and others proclaimed they didn't really need that pro-life delegation, that the votes were there without them. Turns out that was just another fib. The bill passed with only 3 votes to spare. It takes a vote total of 216 for a majority of the House votes. The vote was nearly perfectly split between yeas and nays. And, it was solely on a party line vote.

What does this tell us? It tells me that our country's economy and health care delivery system will change forever with the stroke of a pen as the president signs this into law. It tells me that for the first time in our nation's history a major new entitlement has now been put into law with only one party's vote. It tells me that this huge piece of social legislation is the last one that will be put into place in my lifetime, perhaps in my child's lifetime. The process has been so bastardized, the political parties have been so fractured and prostituted, the trust of public officials has been so completely depleted that I think this is all she wrote. This is it for the worn out term, 'change'.

As a political scientist, credit must be given to the majority party. Democratic leadership whipped the vote within an inch of its life. Deals were dealt, promises were promised, and the midnight oil burned. Whole states were exempted from certain provisions, some states received extra money for Medicaid, some states were given extra money for choice hospitals. And, President Obama promised to come and campaign for anyone brave enough to want that. The process was so bastardized it would be wrong to not stand back and be impressed by the sheer arrogance and bold pursuit of this legislation. Overwhelmingly the polls show the American people do not want this bill yet that didn't seem to matter. Full steam ahead.

The Democrats, from President Obama to Speaker Pelosi to committee chair to back bencher counted on the voter not being interested in the process. They were prepared for the end to justify the means. They maintained a steady stream of talking points and encouraged help from the unions and other special interest groups while bashing the other special interests of insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, drug manufacturers, and so on. Anyone not falling into line with the White House was deemed the enemy. This team from the Chicago political machine knows hardball politics.

President Obama gave an interview on a cable news show and flat out stated that the process didn't matter. The president, a man touted as a constitutional scholar and professor, said the process of law making didn't matter. Stop and think about that for one a minute. Now you understand why we are where we are.

And now the true test of survival begins. Will the Republicans run for re-election on the promise of pursuing repeal of this mess? Yes. Will Republicans repeal the legislation? No. History teaches us that these huge entitlements are never repealed, they never expire. Sometimes they may be reformed further down the line, like welfare was during the Clinton years with the first Republican majority led Congress in over 40 years, but the stars are rarely aligned for that occurrence. If Republicans take back either the House or the Senate in November, it will be because of renewed support from Independents. Independent support of this president - the ones who voted for him and put him into office - has fallen away. Independents no longer approve of his leadership or his programs. America is still a center-right nation and Team Obama misread a far left liberal mandate with his election in 2008. The way Obama won the election was to campaign as a common sense centrist.

Will the GOP be smart enough to stay united and be victorious in November? Will the party provide a big enough tent to embrace everyone with a desire of fiscal conservatism and personal responsibility? Will the GOP understand that the tent is big enough for everyone of shared values and political principles. Any intention of establishing purity tests of candidates or demand of cookie cutter adherence to a self proclaimed moral leader will banish the Republican party to minority status forever.

For those who say their way is the only way? They are short sited and ignorant of politics. The first thing a political science student learns is that the goal of politics is winning. If the candidate does not win the election, the party agenda is not advanced.

Elections have consequences.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Balancing CBO Health Care Numbers

CBO Director Doug Elmendorf warned Congress that the continual pressure and the around the clock work is burning the staff out. He spoke of his concern that
though he was obligated to release the numbers, he was not able to "thoroughly examine the legislative language." He referred to the numbers as a "preliminary estimate." Speaker Pelosi and President Obama, along with others in the Democratic party supporting the massive new entitlement, embraced the report without any such warnings or disclaimers. Their goal was to simply keep the estimate under $1 trillion. That was the magic number.

This number was attained through much skillful political maneuvering. Maneuvering of the Chicago machine kind. Big giveaways were doled out as one after another politician agreed to be bought off for an affirmative vote. This is common on big legislation in our nation's capitol. The difference is that this time it is for a huge new entitlement that will affect 1/6 of our national economy. This time the American people have awoken from a long slumber and said no, enough is enough. And, of course, there is the irony that this administration was to be the one to bring all the hope and change to the people.

As The Wall Street Journal wrote today, "By the way, to make the deficit numbers "work", Democrats decided at the 11th hour to increase their new tax on investment income to 3.8% from 2.9%. Congratulations." What do you think that might do to a recovering economy and Wall Street investors?

The Washington Post expresses some hesitation in endorsing the numbers, too. The article points to the sheer size of the legislation that prohibits steadfast projections in the numbers.

Here's the link to the WaPo article:

"But perhaps the biggest risk that could cause the budget impact to diverge from the CBO estimates comes from Congress. The estimates assume that the legislation plays out as written over the coming decade, which would mean reining in the growth of payments to doctors and hospitals and implementing a tax on high-cost health insurance plans."

The only constant in Congress is change. Change in leadership, change in majority, change in the pulse of the nation. Trying to predict the numbers of this monstrosity so far out is completely unrealistic. While the Democrats want to latch on to the news of the CBO report as justification of their push forward, the numbers clearly are tentative and to claim otherwise is dishonest. refers to the data entered to reach the number sought after by the Democratic leadership as "garbage in, garbage out." There is a reference to the Cato Institutes's Michael Cannon who said, "the on-budget costs of the legislation probably account for only 40% of the total costs."

And, what will it do to the State of Texas? In a statement released by The Honorable Arlene Wohlgemuth, Texas Public Policy Foundation Executive Director, "Passage of the Senate bill would increase Texans' health insurance premiums by 61% over the next five years. Passage of the Senate bill would increase Texas' Medicaid population by 50 percent and Texas' budget deficit by several billion dollars. Passage of the Senate bill could expose Texas medical providers t more than 20 new types of medical malpractice lawsuits and pre-empt the tort reforms approved by Texas voters. All of this means that Texans' health care costs would go up, while our access to quality health care would go down."

The American people know this is smoke and mirrors time. Only the most strident of Obama supporters are in agreement on this vote. It is being billed as saving the Obama presidency. We have moved from health care/insurance reform to legacy building. This is bad legislation, bad politics and bad leadership. It is time to stop.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bret Baier Interviews President Obama

Yesterday, FOX News aired an interview between Special Report's Bret Baier and President Obama. You may remember that FOX News is equal to the devil's spawn in the minds of this White House. Why? It is because FOX News is a bit different that the other news outlets, especially on cable news - FOX actually steps back and doesn't play the role of Obama cheerleader. For this they are ridiculed and trashed by the arrogant Obama personnel and Obama himself. No one loves Barack Obama more than Barack Obama.

This interview was like no other thus far for the president. Why? Baier did his best to not allow President Obama to filibuster with answers and he asked questions for which the president clearly was not prepared. Much of the questioning centered around the process leading to the inevitable vote and the special deal-making involved to twist arms of Democrats, not Republicans. It is his own party, the party with a notable majority in Congress, that is dragging its feet on the legislation. The man clearly does not know the contents of the bill.

As this Pajamas Media piece states, the process has caught the attention of the American people:

This president has been sold to the American people as a former Constitutional law professor. He has been held up as a Constitutional law scholar. As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama broke the record for voting 'present' instead of yea or nay. The man knows about process. Now, however, he claims the American people don't care about process and that he isn't really interested in the process. Excuse me? Doesn't the Constitution outline the process of lawmaking? Doesn't the Supreme Court rule on laws based on the Constitution?

If nothing else, this political theatre to which the American people have been subjected for over a year proves one thing. Though American education no longer provides a solid background in the subject of civics - now treated as an outdated subject - it is timely and crucial knowledge. Does School House Rock tout the process of 'deeming' a bill instead of actually voting on a bill? No. "I am a bill up on Capitol Hill ......"

President Obama was visibly irritated and petulant. This is much the same reaction he projected during the ballyhooed health care reform summit with the group of Republicans and Democrats that was televised. The Republicans came prepared with ideas and facts. The President and the Democrats did not and it was a disaster for them. They had nothing but sob stories for the television audience. The president did not come across well that day either.

This continuing reaction to any sort of differing opinion does not flatter the man. President Obama hoped to simply hover above the process and not sully himself in the execution. He is not blessed with leadership qualities.

The CBO this morning released its estimate that the bill will cost $640 billion over 10 years. The CBO uses the bill language for estimates. The bill will go online for 72 hours this afternoon, to precede the vote tentatively said to happen Sunday. Will the bill double count the projected Social Security payroll taxes revenue? Or the Medicare cuts? The projected savings of $1 trillion is to be out over 20 years. No one would really be silly enough to believe a 20 year projection of government budget numbers

The president has admitted in the interview yesterday that the big fix needed for Medicare will not be accomplished with this legislation. The truth is Medicare cuts are never produced. Senior citizens are voters and campaign contributors. They are a strong force in the political world.

The argument has gone past substance of the bill language and is now all about the Obama legacy. Democrats are being told if they do not vote for the bill they will in effect take down the Obama presidency.

The president said that if a politician votes no on the bill it is a vote for the status quo. That is his current straw man. He claims the Republicans will vote no because they are happy with the status quo. That flies in the face of the reality of the GOP plans posted online and the acknowledgement of the president during the televised summit that Republicans had some good ideas. He just had no intention of using any of them.

The curtain has been pulled back. The Obama land of Oz, the hopey changey vision of unicorns and marshmallows, the superior morality of the do-gooder in chief is exposed for what it is. The man is a politician from the Chicago machine.

We told you so.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Some Truth About Natoma Canfield

The story told by President Obama yesterday at the campaign style pep rally for his health care/insurance reform bill is not exactly as he told it. Who is surprised? This has happened time and time again. Obama goes to a big touchy-feely event, in this case it was at a rally where he was introduced by the sister of the ailing woman, and tries every trick in the book to win over the audience. Except even that is phony as his audience is always a friendly one in agreement with him.

Here is some truth about Natoma Canfield:

Why does he do it? Why does he continue to embellish the truth, to put it tactfully? He does it because the facts are not on his side. It is the same with his continual use of straw men in his arguments - meaning Republicans opposed to his massive government takeover of private industry. It is not a strong way to present a case.

Obama and the Democratic leadership do not, today, have the votes to ram through a massive realignment of 1/6 of our economy - the delivery of health care and health insurance. They are now plotting to use gimmicks that are clearly unconstitutional to get something through - anything at this point will be a victory for them. This is the signature legislation for the Obama administration, with a full year devoted to it, and they all know that if nothing passes, Obama will be unable to pursue the other items on his agenda.

Most Americans are content with their insurance coverage. Yes, everyone grumbles about what is and isn't completely covered. About 85% of Americans are covered by policies and do not want sweeping changes. Health care is extremely personal and the patient wants to be in control of the decisions, not some government bureaucrat.

It is sad that Notoma is ill. It is not an exceptional case, though. As is pointed out in the article, she is now 50 years old and has been able to keep the house her parents built as she lives her life. Diagnosed with cancer at the age of 34, she was cancer free after treatment until recently when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Her insurance premiums rose over time. Again, not unusual. Though she no longer carries insurance for herself, she is being treated now at a top notch cancer center in Cleveland and, contrary to Obama, will not lose her home.

Democrats love the sad stories to make a case for anything. There is something to be said for putting a face on a problem. There is a line that shouldn't be crossed, though and Obama is particularly fond of over doing it. This is why we don't believe him anymore. Each time it seems, after some fact checking, the story has been exaggerated for effect.

Though an overwhelming majority of Americans do not want the changes Obama is about to force upon the people, he will no doubt sign something into law so that his presidency will be viable. With majorities in the House and Senate, it is quite telling that even now he has to do events like yesterday's in Ohio to pad his case.

When such sweeping legislation has to be voted in with lies and props, while exploiting the illness of others, it is very telling. This is a disaster in the making - it will not do what it is billed as doing, such as lowering insurance premiums or reducing the federal deficit. Both sides of the aisle have some goals in common - reduced premiums, expanded coverage, crossing state lines for policies, small business credits, etc, and this is where it should begin. By going to the extremes, Obama shows again himself to be a strident ideologue, not a statesman or leader.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

When Teaching History Crosses Into Intellectual Abuse

The second big story over the course of the last week, at least for those of us living in Texas, was the convening of the State Board of Education to make decisions on what will and will not be included in public school textbooks. Some news reports stated that these meetings were also important for the rest of the country as the State of Texas is the largest purchaser of textbooks so textbook publishers lean toward satisfying Texas standards.

As you would imagine, the makeup of the state board is one of a conservative member majority. Despite all the hopefulness of the Democrats in Washington, D.C. that Texas is looking more purple in voting, Texas is still a very red state. And, with the rise of the Tea Party nationwide, Washington, D.C. is told that America is still a center-right country. I am heartened to read that the conservative ideas of, for instance, history textbook content won out over the slippery slope of revisionist history. My son graduated from a public high school in Houston and I was not pleased to see Howard Zinn's version of U.S. History on the required reading list. I think that revisionist history has led to the dumbing down of American students. It is a travesty.

I watched a movie this weekend that was released in 2007, Freedom Writers . It is the true story of a young woman, on her first teaching assignment in an inner city high school. She has the class that has been written off as low achievers, the students who may not graduate. She turns them around through the use of teaching them journaling and by personalizing history. The crescendo was, after realizing that these students had never heard of The Holocaust, much less studied about it, and arranging a field trip to the city's Holocaust museum. Then, the students had a dinner with concentration camp survivors. And, later, the students raised money to bring Miep Gies, the woman who protected Anne Frank's family in Amsterdam, to visit their class and talk to them about her experience. It is a moving story. Most of all, it shows that the students were hungry for a class led by a young teacher willing to do the work of making history come alive for the students. In this case, it was connecting the dots between the brutal regime of the Nazis and the gang culture these kids were living in.

The tendency now is for textbooks to sanitize history - to scrub out important events and people in the name of political correctness. Christopher Columbus? Thomas Jefferson? We are told what horrible people they were, not of their contributions. History is often the telling of brutal stories, true. It should, however, not outweigh the exceptional place our country has come to take in the world. Our short experiment in democracy, as a young nation, is truly worth knowing. We no longer honor our nation's 'father', George Washington, with his own day. Now we have President's Day that lumps his and Lincoln's days together.

Sometimes historical facts give way to dramatization, too. As in the case of Miep Gies, she corrected a scene in the prize winning drama of 1955 - The Diary of Anne Frank. In the dramatic version, the liberty was taken to include a telephone call to warn the Franks that they were about to be arrested. That call was never made or received. Was that inclusion necessary? Did it make the story better?

It is ok, even desirable, to be proud of our country. It is not productive to continue down the blame America and her leaders for all of the world's troubles path. This is educational negligence and our students suffer for it. Ignorance is not bliss. To paraphrase an old and wise saying, if we ignore history we are doomed to repeat it.

We hear Hollywood actors speak as though they are intellectual giants and not actors memorizing lines to make millions of dollars at the box office. Tom Hanks, who has done work for veterans and active military, succumbs to the dumbing down of America. In a recent interview he stated that during WWII, Americans killed Japanese because we hated them. This hatred, he said, came from them looking different from us. He made the connection from that to the current war on terrorism. In his reasoning, American soldiers kill those who wish to kill them because they look different than them. He implies it is based on racism. Why does he do that? He does that because it is a common liberal rationalism, that differing opinions from intellectual elitists comes from a root of racism. It is ridiculous and tiresome. And, it is far from intellectual in argument.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Senator Scott Brown Delivers GOP Weekly Response

Is Bill White a Good Financial Steward?

A local blog has an interesting story concerning former Houston mayor Bill White and his bid for the job of Texas governor:

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle's R.G. Ratcliffe this week, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White flatly refused to release his complete tax returns:

And White's Houston may be bankrupt, to the point that his successor as mayor sharply criticized his financial management of that city this week and suggested the city may soon have to issue furloughs or layoffs. She said, “For years now, we have spent more money than we have taken in. You can't spend more than you earn. It is a very unbusinesslike approach to running things.”

None of this is boding particularly well for White. What is his problem with financial transparency, whether his personal tax records or those of the City of Houston under his reign? This is a troubling pattern of secrecy.

As the blogHouston post states, White seems to have a record of kicking the can down the road when it comes to financial fixes. Would he do the same if he were to be in charge of the state, too?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

RNC Women's Program Moving Forward

Yesterday I was able to listen in on a conference call for RNC Women's Program. The guest speaker was Gentry Collins, RNC Political Director. It was very interesting, chock full of statistics and polling tidbits. The future of the GOP is far from dead. We have the election of President Obama and his far left Democratic leadership to thank for that.

Visit RNC Women

Some points from Gentry Collins: One party rule is fairly rare and always short-lived. The party suffers from it, too. There have only been three instances of such rule since World War II. Now is no exception. The public is disillusioned with President Obama and downright disgusted with Congress. Democrats in Congress are at 18% approval and the GOP lead on generic ballot by 2-6 points.

Midterm elections typically favor the party out of power. One exception was in 2002 when the GOP actually picked up seats. With unemployment still so high and factoring in those who have simply stopped even looking for employment, with the cap and trade legislation passed in the House that will increase residential utilities costs, with the public frantic with outrage over pushing the monstrosity of a health care 'reform' bill and back room deals, the public is very unsatisfied. This atmosphere will benefit the GOP in November.

The electorate is ready for health care reform but they demand the kind of reform that actually reduces premium costs for families, not increase it as universal health care would do. John Q. Public has realized that the legislation now being pushed by the administration will drive up cost and voters reject it.

GOP voter turnout has dramatically improved in the recent elections - in New Jersey, in Virginia and in Massachusetts Independent voters also supported the GOP candidates. Volunteers are highly motivated and are tripling the contacts to voters from the numbers in 2008.

The grassroots base is motivated to do the hard work.

Currently, in the top 100 competitive seats, 82 are Democrats. Not many vulnerable seats are GOP this cycle. GOP recruitment is very positive all over the country for House races. Lots of "grade A" candidates are running in primaries.

Collins encouraged welcoming Tea Party groups into local party organizations. He advises candidates to work with local Tea Party leaders.

Twenty-eight states were represented on the conference call.

A timely follow up to this call arrived online this morning. "Lost and found: Young Republican enthusiasm" was the headline. The article points to the rising numbers of young voters - ages 18-29 years of age - that are turning to the GOP. The study was conducted by Harvard's Institute of Politics and is very encouraging. It showed young Republicans far more enthusiastic to vote in November than were the young Democrats interviewed. Young McCain supporters are far more likely to cast a vote in November than the young Obama supporters.

Statistically, the numbers were even on identifying as a liberal and as a conservative. Though not necessarily claiming to be Republican, they are claiming to be conservative, which will bode well for Republicans as Washington goes further to the left. There is still work to be done on the Republican brand with younger voters but there is hope for the future.

That's some hope and change we can believe in.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Iraq Votes

The first woman director in the history of American film making to win the Oscar and it was for a war movie. "The Hurt Locker" is a story of the Iraq war and a soldier who detonates bombs. It is fitting that it happens as the Iraqi officials are counting the votes from their national election. It is ironic that Barbra Streisand presented the award to her, as she failed to win this award herself and also since Streisand is of the far left "Bush's War" crowd. And, then the award winner went on to thank the troops not once but twice. Priceless.

The brave and stalwart people of Iraq did not knuckle under to threats from those wishing that democracy not move forward and came out to vote. Thirty-eight people lost their lives from attacks but the polling places were secure and the attacks were not there. The election stats are impressive - 19 million voters; 50,000 polling stations; 6,200 candidates; 325 parliamentary seats and 86 parties. In a Wall Street Journal online article by Bret Stephens, he points to the fact that "in the run-up to the vote, the general view among Iraqis and foreign observers alike was that the outcome was "too close to call". Linger over the words: "Too close to call" has never before been part of the Arab political lexicon." That in reference to the 2002 'election' of Saddam Hussein, his last as president of Iraq, when it was reported that Saddam won the election 11,445,638 to 0.

The voters refused to be intimidated. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton both issued statements of congratulation to Iraqis. This, too, smacked of irony. You will remember that these two were running for the Democrat nomination to run for President of the U.S. and came up with publicly going along with the campaign against the surge strategy that turned around the direction of the Iraq war. They were willing participants in the "General Betrayus" campaign as General Petraeus came to D.C. to explain the surge strategy at the time. The display by them and their fellow Democrats was truly despicable and purely political.

Obama appeared in the Rose Garden without a tie and VP Biden was standing just to his side. Biden, also historically wrong on Iraq as he once called for splitting up the country into three territories, at least was properly attired. U.S. Ambassador Hill, a former Bush appointed diplomat, now ambassador to Iraq, said, "Well, obviously this is a very important election for Iraq's democracy. It will help set the tone for what kind of country Iraq will be for many years to come. They will put together a government very soon and they will reach out and get different coalitions. And for the United States, this election in something on which we will base a new relationship with Iraq. We are looking for a broad-based relationship with Iraq, one that involves economics, one that involves politics, one that involves regional understandings of things. So this is a really very important time for Iraq and I think the Iraqi people really understood that and really stepped up to the occasion."

According to "The general feeling expressed by voters on election day was a longing for change and for a government that will be able to provide basic things such as water, electricity, jobs and security." A woman who said her name was Ghisoun is quoted - "It's an opportunity we can't miss -- not for us, but for our children."

The high percentage of eligible voters that turned out to vote puts our country's voter history to shame. Grateful hope for a brighter future is strong motivation. American voters could take the lesson from this recent Iraqi election.

Monday, March 08, 2010

International Women's Day - 100th Anniversary

Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. Last night the first woman director was honored for her work in the film industry in Hollywood with an Oscar. In America, we have some work to do, too.

A panel convened to speak to the issues facing women of the world at the Geneva Summit. This year the "focus is on the discrimination against women in countries marred by authoritarian repression and armed conflict".

Massouda Jalal, the first woman to run for President of Afghanistan, spoke of her historic run in 2004. "The ousting of the Taliban was a golden moment in the life of Afghanistan. I dreamed of transforming my country and liberating my country fro poverty. I dreamed of instant changes in the lives of Afghan women." She was not successful but she spoke to the strength that comes from women uniting and standing together for change. She knew her chances of election were small but to her the larger issue was the statement that the age of the Taliban reign was over.

Whether it is in the household or in the business world, women bring strong leadership, particularly in the areas of the economics of purchases and education. Women are the decision makers with household budgets. Women are the people in the trenches demanding better options and standards of education for children around the world.

Women in Africa, for instance, are learning to form co-ops to sell wares or harvested crops to support their families. This step allows families to have access to better options for health care, education of children and providing basic shelter. Foreign aid money is far better spent on community based programs that empower local women to form alliances together for economic solvency than given to governments has a whole which is more likely to be in the hands of corrupt dictators or totalitarian leaders.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Obama Narcissism Catches Up

From a column by Charles Krauthammer:

The man who vowed to undo Washington's wicked ways has directed the Congress to ram Obamacare through, by one vote if necessary, under the parliamentary device of "budget reconciliation." The man who ran as a post-partisan is determined to remake a sixth of the U.S. economy despite the absence of support from a single Republican in either house, the first time anything of this size and scope has been enacted by pure party-line vote.

Surprised? You can only be disillusioned if you were once illusioned.

Here's the thing - President Obama is a narcissist. Truly. He is so taken with himself that now we must be concerned for the general welfare of our country. As he pursues the last ditch effort for the passage of his health care reform sham bill, he shows the country - and the world - clearly who he is and it ain't pretty.

As the renowned African American poet Maya Angelou frequently says, when someone is telling you who they are, believe him. Unfortunately, the stars were perfectly aligned for candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and the American voter threw common sense to the wind in exchange for bubble gum, teeny bopper slogans like "hope" and "change" and "fired up, ready to go".

Those not enamoured with candidate Obama - those who actually looked at the short record of service in elected office that he possessed - saw a pattern. It has never been about service to his community, to his country, it is all about Barack and the next election. This remains true today and it is not just the voters who supported the other candidates in 2008. It is clear to a great many of his supporters, too. More often now we read pieces written by long time liberals, by Democrats, by liberally leaning Independents, of what is now being labeled as the president's character flaws. He no longer is being seen as possessing any core principles of his own. He can no longer claim to be doing the peoples' work.

Our country is in a deep recession. Yet, instead of truly working hard on the tragedy of unemployment that is felt by so many Americans, he chose to pursue health care reform that is anything but reform. He is a very savvy politician. He knew for his legacy to be sweeping change in the way in which our country delivers health care, he had to get it done within the very beginning of his administration. Once the American people caught on to the sham, they would object.

So, what has happened? The president allowed the Democratic leadership of Congress - the far left leadership - to write the bill. He did not intend to be saddled with the outcome. He prefers to command from above the fray. Predictably, the Democrats, with one party rule, took that freedom and ran with it. What resulted was "the worst bill ever" as it was described by The Wall Street Journal. It is a monstrosity of over 2,000 pages and no one knows exactly what all is in it. The president certainly cannot explain it.

As the premier legislation fell apart last summer, the Tea Party movement arose. At first President Obama chose to go the standard route - he criticized the protesters as loud and ignorant. Speaker Pelosi compared them to Nazis. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dismissed them, too. And then a funny thing happened. The polls shifted. Today a solid majority of Americans do not want this health care reform sham to move forward.

The president held a mock summit to show his bipartisanship and outreach to Republicans, who have been shut out of the process from the very beginning. Instead, his true nature was exposed to the viewing audience. He was dismissive and petulant. Republicans were well-versed on the bill and brought forward their own suggestions. The opposition party did very well with the viewing audience. The Republicans brought common sense solutions. The Democrats brought sob stories. Sob stories that the public no longer really believes. That is not to say that people aren't having a tough time with insurance coverage and premiums. It is to say that the Democrats think we are all stupid and will simply decide such important issues on emotions alone. Plus, too many of these stories are later proven to be fiction.

Peter Wehner in Commentary recently wrote about the optimism Obama tapped into as he announced his presidential bid. The speech spoke to believing we are one people and building a more perfect union - delivered in Springfield, Illinois where Abe Lincoln announced his own bid for president - the master of spectacles laden with props ended with:

"And if you will join me in this improbable quest, if you feel destiny calling, and see as I see, a future of endless possibility stretching before us; if you sense, as I sense, that the time is now to shake off our slumber, and slough off our fear, and make good on the debt we owe past and future generations, then I'm ready to take up the cause, and march with you, and work with you. Together, starting today, let us finish the work that needs to be done, and usher in a new birth of freedom on this Earth"

Obama was painting himself as a new age Lincoln. He has proven to fall short. He has proven to be the first affirmative action president, installed into office on the back of white guilt desperate to prove our nation has evolved to rise above our history and elect the first bi-racial president. Obama was savvy enough to know that and rode that sentiment right into the Oval Office.

No one is claiming that Obama is not a stellar candidate. It is what he does best. Unfortunately, a candidate and a leader in office are two separate people. Obama has yet to realize that.

Last week, Lynn Forester de Rothschild wrote a piece in The Daily Beast with the title "I Told You So." A lifelong Democrat, de Rothschild supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and then went to McCain rather than fall in line and support Obama. Her arguments against Obama are proving true. As she recalls, the past history of Senator Obama - brief though it was - showed no inclination to be 'bipartisan', much less 'post partisan' in politics. The one time he worked across the aisle in the Senate it was, ironically, with Senator McCain and then at the last minute reneged on the agreement rather than buck the Democrat leadership. It was a bill on ethics reform legislation. The irony is too strong here. And, President Obama shows no more bent towards strong ethical behavior than Senator Obama did.

If those falling for the hope and change mantra are now surprised that the man rated the most liberal in the Senate is a partisan and selfish hack, it is no one's fault but their own. His record - brief as it is - was there and others were pointing to it. Even in the Illinois State Senate, Obama voted "present" instead of yea or nay 129 times.

Obama published two autobiographies before he ran for president. Two. The man was in his mid forties by the time he ran for president. I say he published them instead of wrote them because I do not believe he wrote them himself. Even his great oratory skills have been diminished as he attempts to not use a teleprompter for every occasion. He had to ratchet back that habit a bit after he was ridiculed for using a teleprompter as he spoke to a group of six grade students and as he spoke to a panel of business leaders.

Journalist Julie Mason, a White House correspondent for The Examiner, is on the liberal side of the aisle. I say that because I live in Houston and when she lived here before she moved on to D.C., she co-hosted a political talk radio show and represented the liberal side of arguments against a conservative co-host. She said often that she was a proud liberal. Fine. I have no problem with anyone honest enough to state her political lens. Last week, she, too, wrote of the diminished appeal of Obama. In the article, Mason writes "But it's not just a problem in Washington. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found the president's personal approval rating dipped to 39 percent -- a stunning turnaround for a politician who just a year ago seemed to many the personification of a new, more hopeful style of bipartisan politics." That was in response to a Democratic strategist's opinion that Obama's sinking popularity - both personally and in job performance - is simply rhetoric catching up to political reality in D.C.

Disillusioned, yet?

Thursday, March 04, 2010


What is Code Red? From the web site: Project Code Red - About Us

With the House now the last line of defense to stop a government takeover of health care, Project Code Red is a multi-front effort to force Democrats to make a choice – either vote “NO” on this unpopular bill, or face the electoral consequences in November. Using various forms of traditional and direct media, Code Red will put pressure on these lawmakers to answer a simple question – will they support a job-killing government takeover of health care or will they stand with the American people who want Congress to scrap the bill and start over with reforms that will lower costs?

Here is where you can go to learn about Code Red:

If you are a blogger, you can also get this badge for your site:

The battle over the nationalization of our health care system is now firmly in the House of Representatives. This web site explains the devastating effects that will be felt by small business, in particular. It is a fact that small businesses are the engine of our economy. A government takeover of 1/6 of our national economy - without true reform - will force many small businesses out of the marketplace. Our national economic recession will continue to linger.

Let your elected officials know how you feel. They work for you. If they don't listen to the strong majority of voters who are firmly against this monstrosity of a bill, fire them in November.

Attorney General Holder Names DOJ Appointees Who Defended Detainees

For some time there has been a request for Attorney General Eric Holder to name his appointees to the Department of Justice who previously worked on the defense of detainees held at GITMO. Recently, the information has been demanded more strenuously by Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who declared, "The administration has made many highly questionable decisions when it comes to national security."

A video is going viral on the Internet produced by Keep America Safe, a group led by Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol and Debra Burlingame. This is it:

Predictably, the Obama administration loyal are outraged that this subject is in the news. Holder has now brought forward the names of the "Al Qaeda Seven" and Fox News has provided a little background on each of them. As Holder wrote to Senator Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, "all Department appointees understand that their client is the United States" and voiced opposition to any questioning of patriotism. Fair enough. But, the troubling part is from the video itself, which is comprised entirely of Holder's own words. From previously delivered speeches, Holder declares that this administration is bringing progressives back to the White House and they are bringing along those who are of like minds. "The pendulum is starting to swing" and "we're going to be looking for people who share our values." Those quotes come from the video and the question is - what values are being referred to by Holder? The conclusion made by many conservatives is that the Holder Department of Justice intends to firmly bring back the operations of treating terrorist detainees as criminals, not the enemy.

We've been down this road before and it led to the attacks of 9/11/01.

I have no problem with our system of justice that extends the opportunity to defendants the support of attorneys. Whether in criminal court or in a military tribunal, this is the standard. What is troubling, however, is the number of attorneys brought into the department who have voluntarily defended detainees. Should this many now be present and working in the department tasked with so many detainee cases? It is a reasonable question.

It is also reasonable for Senators to ask the identity of the attorneys. No hesitation seems to be made in recent years to expose the identity of those normally afforded the security of anonymity - such as CIA officers in the field - yet Holder said he wouldn't allow these names to be "dragged through the mud". That is quite a telling opinion. And, why is stating names "dragging them through the mud"?
What is being hidden? If nothing, terrific. But going on the defensive seems odd.

So, under pressure as the story is reported in a growing number of publications, and with the video on the Internet attracting so much attention, the Department of Justice responds. Too bad the administration that boasted of being the "most transparent" administration - ever - once again isn't. After releasing the names of two attorneys, Holder has now done the same with the other seven

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Tx Gov Perry In Race For Third Term

By 9:30 PM last night, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison conceded her primary race against sitting Texas governor, Rick Perry. Perry successfully defeated the senior senator from the state by a margin of more than twenty points.

So to say that this victory for the governorship is a surprise to those supporting Hutchison would not be honest. Hutchison went from being a sure winner when she first announced her intention to challenge Perry to an underdog by a sound margin. What started out as an exciting prospect for fresh faces and leadership in Austin for the state turned into just another nasty campaign led by a candidate not bashful about going negative to make a point.

Perry went negative from the first of the political ads, as he was worried about the low favorable numbers the polls showed of his job performance. The governor was at 34% favorable marks as the race began in earnest. Then the tide turned. The dissatisfaction with Washington spending and politics filtered down to Texas. For an experienced and savvy politician, Hutchison lost the race due to a very poorly run campaign and the public discontent with those in Washington, D.C. Perry successfully portrayed Hutchison as a big spending Washington politician and that is a shame. The Texas governor balanced the state budget on federal money as he bashed the money. He only refused federal stimulus money from that available for extended unemployment benefits. He claimed that money had strings attached.

Perry told the voters of Texas as he ran for his second term that he would not run for a third. He is currently the longest serving governor of Texas and it would appear that he has fallen into the trap of arrogance as such. Hutchison planned to challenge him as he ran for his second term but stayed out of the race as he said he would not run for a third term. Then he went back on his word and ran again. Hutchison remained in her senate seat as she ran against him and a third candidate entered the race.

Debra Medina captured the imagination of the Tea Party movement. Medina was a newcomer to such high profile politics and her lack of experience began to catch up with her in the final weeks of the race. She made some verbal gaffes on a national radio talk show and her numbers began to decline in the polls. At one time she was above 20% but ended much lower on election night.

Perry successfully portrayed Hutchison as a Washington insider. Then last night as he accepted the nomination, he wrapped his victory in the flag of those of Scott Brown, Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell. He hopes to continue to cash in on the support of those currently disgusted with Washington. He is, however, far from a Tea Party kind of guy when his record is honestly viewed.

Perry broke his word by running for an unprecedented third term. He is now an entrenched politician enjoying the trappings of power. That's arrogance. He is a former Democrat and long time politician. He showed a tendency to be beholding to lobbyist friends as he tried to mandate a new vaccine for young girls that hasn't had time to be tested extensively for side effects. Is that a Tea Party kind of idea? He allowed a tax to be put upon small businesses by not using the power of veto as it went into effect. Are higher taxes on the engine of economic development supported by the Tea Party movement.

Some who would have you believe they are the new leaders of the surging conservative movement are thrilled that Hutchison lost. They fell for the hype put out by the Perry campaign and now demand Hutchison resign immediately from her seat in the senate so that Perry can appoint her successor. They have their own style of arrogance as they bash others for the same. They are calling Perry the "true" conservative, the "true" Texan. Hutchison has a solidly conservative record from her time in Washington and she is a descendant of Sam Houston.

The social conservatives of the Republican party fell victim to misinformation of Hutchison's true record. They portray her as a pro-choice candidate, though she has a record showing she is well within the Republican platform with a pro-life voting record. She has served Texas well. From State Treasurer, as she fought for and was victorious in her fight to keep the state income tax free, to a solid voice in Washington, Hutchison did not deserve the attacks. Hutchison didn't deserve to be lumped with those who spend excessively. She did vote for TARP, at the request of then President Bush and Secretary Paulsen, but did not vote for the stimulus bill. Do those who voted against her know her true record? That is the fault of her campaign management. Politics is not bean bag and especially voices from outside Texas who would like to ascend into leadership in the conservative wing of politics took no prisoners. Some of it was sexist but that is not uncommon, even in the year 2010. Most of it was simply old style defining your opponent in a negative way and unfortunately Hutchison didn't get out in front of that. Her current job as senator took up time that Perry could devote to campaigning.

Perry is astute at winning elections. Texans are fond of electing him and then criticizing him for most of his term. He faces a tough opponent in November as former Houston mayor Bill White as lobbed the first of his upcoming negative campaigning, even as he accepted his party's nomination last night. Perry didn't mention White's name in his speech and he must prove he is up to the challenge. It will be an ugly race.

It will be interesting. Meanwhile, Texas has Hutchison in Washington fighting against the government takeover of health care and the agenda of the far left currently in control. For that we can be grateful.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Texas Independence Day and The Race for Governor

Happy Texas Independence Day!

Today in Texas, it is primary election day. While those in the Senate are bashing Senator Bunning for being independent in thought, unfortunately rare, and standing up to the corrupt Democratic leadership machine by putting a hold on extending entitlement benefits after the Senate passed PAYGO legislation last week, we in Texas have a different sort of independence struggle going on.

In the race for the Republican nomination for Governor, incumbent Rick Perry is running against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Debra Medina. To say this has been interesting is an understatement. While the state chairman for the Texas Democrat Party has described this contest as a 'blood bath' for the Texas Republican Party, it has proven otherwise. As I type this blog post, Hutchison is working hard to force Perry into a run-off. Medina's ascension in the polls was blunted by her performance during an interview with radio talk show personality Glenn Beck. She has proven she is not quite ready for prime time, though she is the darling of the Tea Party movement and the folks newly interested in politics due to the response to out of control nature of the elected class in Washington, D.C.

I have no bone to pick with those active in the Tea Party - I like to include some as new personal friends - and I applaud the awakening of folks not previously active in politics. The movement has been a pleasure to watch, as a political wonk, and more power to them. But, sometimes new movements bring forward candidates who are fine people, just not quite ready to lead. The Tea Party movement is doing a stellar job in educating voters but they simply have not been around long enough yet to produce those who will win over established incumbents. By 2012? It will probably be a whole different game. Kudos to them.

Governor Perry will break a record for longest serving Governor of Texas, should he win the general election in November. He said he would not run for a third term before he did. This is the problem with elected officials who don't know when to step aside. We see this in Washington with career politicians serving for decades and we see it in state politics, too.

Perry and S.C. Governor Mark Sanford tried to muscle in on the Tea Party wave last summer. Both appeared together on television interviews as they boasted of their support of the Tea Party rallies and town hall meetings. This, while Democrats entrenched in Washington dismissed them as racist, Nazis, and ignorant. Seems a bit odd when we know that Texas has a balanced budget thanks to Washington money and Sanford is asking for more federal dollars, too.

Perry has successfully cast Hutchison as a Washington insider. She is a long serving Senator yet is ready to leave the Senate and come back to Texas. Instead of welcoming that, many are ready to settle for the status quo in Texas. True, Texas is far better off than most states in this recession but Perry himself is only now exhibiting any humility over nationwide pain. He was speaking to a group of Houston business people and was caught on video making a joke saying, "what recession?" while bragging about Texas to the audience. That's fine to be proud of Texas, but not at the expense of those suffering from unemployment. And it was only extended unemployment benefits that Perry turned down from Washington, saying there were unacceptable strings attached. Plus the Tea Party stands for less taxes - Perry allowed a new tax to small businesses to go into effect.

Voters are angry with those serving in Washington. Kay Bailey Hutchison has fallen in the polls as Perry goes negative with his political ads, as he has from the beginning. Now we wait to find out if there will be a runoff.

Monday, March 01, 2010

March Is American Red Cross Month

Now, this is a proclamation we can all get behind:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 25, 2010 Presidential Proclamation -- American Red Cross Month A PROCLAMATION

From rebuilding former adversaries after World War II, to combating HIV/AIDS in Africa, to saving lives after the tragic earthquake in Haiti, the American people have an unmatched tradition of responding to challenges at home and abroad with compassion and generosity. This tradition reflects our Nation's noblest ideals and has led people around the world to see the United States as a beacon of hope. During American Red Cross Month, we honor the organizations across our country that contribute to our Nation's ongoing efforts to relieve human suffering.

Founded by Clara Barton in 1881, the American Red Cross has provided assistance and comfort to communities stricken by disasters large and small. Amidst the final months of World War I in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed "Red Cross Week" as a time for our citizens "to give generously to the continuation of the important work of relieving distress." The American Red Cross continues to help ensure our communities are more ready and resilient in the face of future disasters. I urge all Americans to embrace our shared duty to better prepare ourselves, our families, and our neighbors against a wide range of emergencies; and to visit and

Despite facing economic hardship at home, ordinary Americans are still contributing to humanitarian efforts worldwide. This year's catastrophic earthquake in Haiti caused untold suffering, and the American people have responded with speed and kindness. Donations have poured into the American Red Cross and other relief organizations. On the ground in Haiti, American search-and-rescue teams have pulled survivors from the rubble, and volunteer medical professionals continue to treat victims and save lives.

Our Nation's leadership relies upon our citizens who are motivated to act by our common humanity. This month, let us come together to celebrate the American spirit of generosity, and the dedicated individuals and organizations who keep that spirit alive.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America and Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross, by virtue of the authority vested in me by more the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2010 as American Red Cross Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, and by supporting the work of our Nation's service and relief organizations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


It began in 1943 by then President Franklin D. Roosevelt and every president since has proclaimed the month of March as American Red Cross Month. Check out their web site: And, here is the Facebook page:!/redcross?ref=mf

This stellar organization deserves your donation. With so many in need, from disasters across the globe, the need is great. Whether it is an earthquake, a flood, a hurricane, a tornado, or a wild fire, the American Red Cross is on the scene, helping our fellow man in their time of grief. Please consider a donation as a vehicle of your own personal outreach.