Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

This from an e-mail I received recently, on the meaning shared on Memorial Day.

It is the
not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the
salutes the Flag,

It is
who serves
under the Flag,


This takes you to a Moment of Remembrance :

The National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day to pause in an act of national unity (duration: one minute).The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom. It will help to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be. In this shared remembrance, we connect as Americans.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

American Exceptionalism? What Exceptionalism?

What runs through the brains of President Obama and his VP, Joe Biden? Is it simply a natural reflex to assume there is no exceptionalism to America on the far left? Just days before Memorial Day weekend and events scheduled to honor the sacrifices of brave men and women in our nation's defense, Biden jets off to Brussels and declares it the capitol of the world. Take that, America!

Here is the video:

No, in the mind of the Vice President of the United States, it is a perfectly acceptable remark to declare Brussels the capitol of the world. And, here we were under the impression it would be Washington, D.C. Especially if you are an American.

President Obama is not laying a wreath at Arlington Cemetery, as is the tradition of American presidents in observance of Memorial Day. No, no. Ushering in a new day of hope and change, this president is flying off to his adopted hometown of Chicago to spend the long weekend with the family in a little vacation. He is sending VP Biden and Mrs. Biden to do the official ceremonies. They will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and also host a breakfast for Gold Star families at the White House.

President Obama will be the first of recent presidents to abandon the ceremony at Arlington Cemetery. Bill Clinton participated each year of his eight in office. George W. Bush participated in 7 ceremonies, the one he missed was due to his participation in ceremonies in Normandy.

Instead of going to Arlington Cemetery and honoring the fallen who are remembered on this day, Obama will give a speech at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, just south of Chicago. This will be the 11th annual ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. It was declared a national cemetery in 1999.

While it may not be necessary to honor the fallen heroes at Arlington, it is a tradition that should be encouraged. This is where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was placed and it is especially important to remember that. Any cemetery can be used which holds the fallen, of course, but Arlington National Cemetery is indeed a special place. To many Americans, this is another example that President Obama does not fully appreciate the importance of some very worthy traditions held in high regard by us.

Thanks to the brave sacrifices of our military, we are free to celebrate our nation's freedoms every day. The very least we can do is set aside a day to remember them.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Comparing BP's Oil Spill and Hurricane Katrina

It was wrong for the Democrats to lead the charge that the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the long, slow response to help the people in the path of the storm was all the fault of George W. Bush. Likewise, it is wrong for people to lay the blame for the slow response in capping the oil spill at the feet of Barack Obama.

That said, it is not unusual for people to respond to reactions by the most powerful man in the world as he deals with disasters. Those criticizing the slow reaction of George W. Bush have some ground on which to stand. The picture published of him looking out the window of Air Force One as he flew over New Orleans was an incredible blunder. And, whomever advised him to not stop in, say, Baton Rouge to talk to the people on the ground right away poorly served the president. Barack Obama criticized Bush as loudly as any other Democrat looking to make political points, not help the people needing it. Bush did go several days later and make an impassioned speech in Jackson Square to reassure everyone that the federal government was doing all it could.

Barack Obama didn't go to the Gulf coast for two weeks after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and the lives of eleven men were lost. He has let three more weeks go by before his second trip to the region. And, most think it is only because he has come under fire for his perceived negligence. In politics, perception is everything. This president was touted as Mr. Cool and Calm as he campaigned for the office. We were all expected to fall for the narrative that this is the preferred personality of a great leader. Maybe. But experience matters, too. The fact is, Obama's administration was slow to react, maybe not fully realizing the severity of the disaster. But, for a president who strongly believes in the power of the government running as much of our lives as possible, it was odd that he left so much to others initially. Now he is playing catch-up, even holding his first press conference at the White House in over 300 days. And, he still blames the previous administration for as much as possible.

The Washington Times editorial refers to the oil spill as Obama's 'Oily Katrina'.

Agree or not with the politics of Karl Rove, no one denies he is a plain talker and will cut to the heart of a situation. Here is an except from an article in the LA Times online:

Now, Rove on Democrats trying to blame George W. Bush for last month's oil spill, as The Ticket revealed here Tuesday:

"Obama Administration officials last year short-circuited the process and allowed Transocean and British Petroleum to drill this well to put this unit at the place that they were drilling and to do so without full environmental review and a full safety review.
It was Obama Administration officials.
Chris Dodd, you know, is reaching back. I wish he knew the facts. He clearly knew that facts when he got that improper mortgage from people he was writing legislation benefits for, but he doesn't have the facts known here.
In fact, it was on the front page of the New York Times....that the decision to allow this rig to drill in this place was granted last year with expedited approvals without a full environmental and safety review by Obama Administration officials.
And, finally, Rove on presidential behavior:
Look, the American people don't elect a president with the hope that he's going to spend most of his time blaming his predecessor. They elect a president to get things done.
I think it hurts President Obama. It makes him look weak. You know, this constant 'poor us, we were handed a bad thing, all the problems are the problems of the previous administration.' You know, look, when Bush came into office he had a recession.
You didn't hear Bush go out and say, 'Well you know Clinton, the stock market peaked in March of 2000. NASDAQ lost 50% of it's value. We were headed to a recession and it's all Clinton's fault and we are cleaning up after the Clinton mess.'
The American people don't want to hear that. So, look, that's fine if they want to do that because I think it hurts them. It diminishes them. It makes them look weak and pitiful and that's not what the American people want.
The reason why the President has such a low approval rating when he should have high ones, is because of the way he conducts himself in office."

Elizabeth Birnbaum, Director of Minerals Management Service, has resigned as a result of the oil spill travesty. She blames the agency she "inherited" in need of reform. Of course she does. The "inherited" excuse is prevalent with this administration, from President Obama on down. He says the word so much that the thought must run through the minds of his employees. Read her self-pitying resignation statement HERE. The odd part of her resignation is that President Obama was in the dark about it as he said in the press conference held yesterday. He said he didn't know if she resigned or was fired. This from the man who was trying mightily to convey the message that he was in charge of the disaster response.

Also, this tidbit emerges from Birnbaum's testimony before Congress: inspectors at MMS are unionized. HERE is the story of the last inspection of the Deepwater Horizon. Quite a cozy little corrupt set-up there.

President Obama has photo ops and interviews galore to account for his whereabouts and his agenda this last month and more since the Deepwater Horizon exploded. He's had date nights with his wife, vacation trips, interviews for sports shows, golf games, basketball games, a White House Corespondents dinner, a State Dinner, and graduation addresses. All standard stuff, to be sure, but hardly the appearance of the man who says he 'won't rest' until the oil spill is plugged or until everyone looking for a job has one. Words matter. An interesting twist is that now even the most ardent ideologues from the Democratic party are loudly voicing displeasure of how the president is handling this environmental and human crisis.

Sometimes criticism is legitimate.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

President Obama Holds Press Conference - Finally

President Obama held a press conference at the White House - the first in more than 300 days. As is his habit, he droned on in his answers and only called on a few journalists - 10 in total. He was in full professorial mode.

The bulk of the questions pertained to the BP oil spill. "From the moment this diaster began, the Federal government has been in command", began his repetitive response to questioning. He held to the talking points that his administration had been in charge "from Day One." He stated that BP "is operating at our direction." He also made clear that he intends to use this tragedy to push his political agenda of 'clean' energy legislation. He urged the Senate to pass the bill the House passed last year. And then he said he didn't want the oil spill to be in the standard political filter as other political discourse. He fibbed that he didn't care about the politics of it all.

He is a politician from Chicago, above all else. Of course he cares about the politics of any event while he's the top guy. Let's not forget his continued loud criticisms of the handling of Hurricane Katrina by the Bush administration when he was briefly in the U.S. Senate.

Obama touted the 'brain trust' involved in assisting BP in strategy and solutions for the oil spill. He pointed to Dr. Steven Chu, the Energy Secretary who is a Nobel prize award winner. Considering that Obama himself is a Nobel prize winner, that award holds less prestige than in previous times. Obama did, however, encourage tourism to the Gulf coast, so there's that.

Obama has suspended operations for 33 deep water drilling leases currently underway. No concern for those workers expressed, though. Maybe because oil rig workers aren't unionized they don't become as important as, say, auto factory workers. He did, for the first time during this crisis, remind everyone that he grew up in Hawaii and that the ocean is 'sacred' to him and he sympathises with those along the coast frustrated by slow actions.

Channeling the Jimmy Carter days, the president says his elementary school age daughter Malia sticks her head into his room as he shaves in the morning and asks, "Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?" Shades of Jimmy Carter's breakfast talks with young daughter Amy on nuclear proliferation.

There was standard Bush bashing. Though now into the second of his four year term, the meme continues that everything bad is the fault of George W. Bush. Just as Secretary Salazar blamed Bush for "corrupt practices", Obama restated the claim. He did say that Salazar's fascist language of keeping his boot on the throat of BP is not appropriate. But the blame Bush thread continues. He said he didn't know if Elizabeth Birnbaum was fired or not. Her resignation was reported today and originally it was reported that the Mineral Management Services director had been fired. Why wouldn't the big boss know if she was fired? Who's in charge here?

Obama said that deep water drilling is expensive and risky. True enough. Then he said, "You never heard me say 'drill, baby, drill'. We can't drill our way out of the problem." Standard liberal talking points. And just wrong. Obama announced the cancellation of lease sales in Louisiana and Virginia. More oilfield unemployment to come.

It was asked of the president, why only help from two countries is being utilized and not from all 17 countries that have offered help or equipment. It was learned that only the help from Mexico and Norway has been accepted to date.

Helen Thomas asked when our troops would stop killing innocent Afghani people, when would he bring the troops all home. And, she said, "don't use a Bushism" that if we don't fight them there, the terrorists will come here. Everyone still in full blame Bush mode.

Asked about the increased presence of National Guardsmen on our southern border, by a Mexican journalist, Obama touted also the $500 million set aside for the exercise. He said, in response to the new Arizona law, that he didn't approve of it and that he didn't approve or disapprove of the boycott by some of that state. Imagine that. A President of the United States doesn't come out against the boycott of one of our own fifty states. Or as candidate Obama said, 57 states.

How long before the man who claimed his administration would be the most transparent ever releases its statement about the mess brought about by the alleged bribe to Rep Sestak in hopes he wouldn't run against Sen Arlen Specter? Obama said it would be forthcoming soon. He said it wouldn't be weeks but soon. And, he said his administration didn't do anything wrong.

Will it be another 300 plus days before he stands and answers questions from the press again?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Professor Booed During Arizona Commencement

The recent debate over the Arizona legislation passed to address the growing crisis of the effects from illegal immigration facing the state moved into the May 2010 Commencement Ceremony for the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Professor Sandra Soto decided it was appropriate to deliver a speech to the graduating class by inserting her own political opinion of the legislation. What should have solely been about the graduates and their accomplishments and hopes for the future became an avenue for a far left liberal professor to spew fort with her misrepresentation of the law.

The professor deliberately lied about the law. For her inappropriate tone and material, she was very loudly booed by the audience. Good for them. It is proper that they - the parents and loved ones that paid the tuition bills and supported the young people - protested the nonsense coming from the professor.

HERE is Sandra Soto's bio and info on the University of Arizona Women's Studies Department web page.

It has now been announced that President Obama, under strong criticism from all sides of the debate, is sending 1200 National Guard troops to our country's southern border. The current number 'monitoring' the border is 340. The new order includes $500 million. Make no mistake, this is welcome but it is for show. 1200 troops is far below the number needed. Plus, these people will not have the authority or training to do anything much more than push pencils at desk jobs or perhaps change a tire on a Jeep. They are not there to enforce. They are there to monitor and assist the Border Patrol.

During a closed door meeting over lunch with Senate Republicans, President Obama tried to make a show of reaching out. According to reports from those present, he showed himself as he is - thin skinned and petulant. Instead of showing leadership, he continues to agitate and provoke, as is his experience from his 'community organizer' days in Chicago. When Senator McCain told him that securing the border would have to come before immigration reform legislation could move forward with GOP support, Obama told him that this was not an acceptable approach.

McCain said, "I said we needed to secure the border first. I pointed out that members of his administration who have not read the law have mischaracterized the law." As is his habit, Obama tried to one-up former President Bush by claiming he is doing more for border security than done by Bush. Former President Bush sent 6,000 guardsmen to the border in 2006. The commitment was for two years.

President Bush and John McCain tried to get immigration reform passed and it was stopped by both Democrats and Republicans. Democrats have been in charge of both houses of Congress since 2007. It is well past time for the federal government to do its job - secure the border - and stop bullying states that are left no other choice but to do it on their own.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

America Speaking Out

The folks at Contract from America have a new initiative. Generally speaking, I do not support 'contracts' to be signed by candidates for elected office. They smack of litmus tests and that is not an inclusive exercise. But, in the case of the Contract From America, their 10 point statement of principles is representative of the economic area of basic Republican and conservative thought. It is productive for Republicans and conservatives to focus on fiscal issues that unite us over the social issues that divide us. Our nation is in dire straits, in need of true fiscal common sense.

The website states:

This site was developed by House Republicans as part of an official effort to increase the dialogue between Americans and their Congress. Here, Americans are provided a new platform to share their priorities and ideas for a national policy agenda. As Republicans, we are committed to our principles of limited, more accountable government; economic freedom; lower taxes; fiscal responsibility; protecting life, American values, and the Constitution; and providing for strong national security. This is an open forum, however, where all Americans are welcome to respectfully offer their opinions, regardless of party affiliation and whether we endorse them or not. It is our hope the active engagement of the American people will produce a robust debate that will aid in the construction of a new American agenda.

Dialogue between the American public and elected officials is a good thing. I won't dwell on the fact that this is a bit slow out of the gate and instead show support for the effort. It seems to be loosely similar to the YouVote idea recently launched by House Republicans and quite successful. If Republicans are to maximize the opportunity presented to them by the mismanagement of Congress by the Democrats in November, it is crucial that every initiative for dialogue be launched and used.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Salazar Preens, Jindal Takes Charge in Oil Spill Recovery

You may remember Secretary Salazar and his quote showing off his inner Nazi and macho role playing saying he and the administration would 'keep a boot on the throat of BP' as they deal with the drilling accident. Now, continuing along his violent speech pattern: “If we find (BP is) not doing what they're supposed to be doing, we'll push them out of the way appropriately,” Salazar said.

Everyone feeling better now?

A recap of Salazar's visit to Houston is HERE

Here is my question. After the administration, including and most especially President Obama, essentially ignored this tragedy from the beginning and then tried to change the narrative by claiming they were involved "from day one" and the slobbering press continued to do the administration's bidding, why is it acceptable that Secretary Salazar goes for weeks at a time without a visit to the Gulf coast? He showed up in Houston yesterday morning and admitted it has been weeks since he has been to BP's headquarters. It was, what, nineteen days or so before the president bothered to go to the coast and act as though he is on top of the situation. Imagine a Republican president with that slow of a time frame for a personal visit.

Today Salazar and Napolitano will go to Louisiana for more photo ops to show how involved they are in the situation. Yesterday Governor Jindal held a press conference with area state officials to lay out his plans forward. There is no more patience left for federal response or that from BP. He's pushing Salazar and his crew out of the way. He stated that his requests made to the federal government for equipment for preventing the oil from moving to the coastline has not been answered in a responsible way. The state has received a fraction of his request, more than 30 days after the fact.

Salazar has no experience in the offshore drilling sector. He is a standard liberal acting as though they are the environmental saviors. He conveniently never mentions it was him and his agency that signed off on the drilling waivers only days before this tragedy occurred. He does not have clean hands.

Typical of Washington, the president made a big deal of sending out a team of inspectors to oil rigs drilling offshore in the Gulf of Mexico with subsea blowout preventer (BOP)stacks after the Deepwater Horizon's accident. This was to show how involved the administration was in the whole thing. Anyone read or hear anything of the results of all these inspections? No? Imagine that.

Go HERE for the reports.

The reason that there was no press coverage of the inspection reports is because there is no 'there' there. The one rig drilling for BP, no surprise, has a rather substantial infraction and it was corrected. And, it was a problem with testing the BOP pressure. Other than that one, the others didn't amount to much. The Nautilus mentioned is the sister rig to the Deepwater Horizon, the rig commissioned by my husband in S. Korea in the shipyard as it was built. It drills for Shell, not BP - an important distinction. On inspection, it did well. A crumpled paper coffee cup was removed so as not to be a potential fire hazard. That infraction in no way compares to the seriousness of improper testing of the BOP.

Secretary Salazar huffing and puffing about the slow work of plugging up this oil leak is buffoonery. It is what we have come to expect from our government in times of emergency.

Bob Woodward, liberal journalist, spews forth with more absurdity: ..I think the one thing we’ve learned about oil is—it’s kind of answered the question why the oil companies have been making so much money. You don’t have to go down there and pump it. It just comes to you once you pierce the shell of the bottom. All of this is coming, you know, no pumps. It’s spewing out. Watch and cringe:


Sunday, May 23, 2010

POTUS Delivers Commencement Address at West Point

As I listened to President Obama deliver the commencement address to the graduating class of 2010 from West Point, all I could think of was that the audience must have felt short-changed. The speech was delivered by a liberal with no clue about the military. That was painfully obvious. The speech was poorly written - the fault of speech writers, not the president - and tossed in everything but assurances from a supportive commander in chief. Passion was absent and emotion was non-existent.

HERE is the text.

Among the lines delivered, Obama continued the far left lie that the U.S. decided to 'go it alone' in Iraq. This completely re-writes history. After 17 U.N. resolutions were ignored and the newly minted war on terror became the issue to the day, The U.S. entered Iraq but we had a small coalition of partners. To write off the contributions of Great Britain, Australia, Poland, Italy, Germany, and other partners is just wrong. Many nations have sacrificed for Iraq's freedom from Saddam. His slap at the previous administration - "In the past, we've always had the foresight to avoid acting alone."

"We must develop clean energy that can power new industry and unbound us from foreign oil and preserve our planet. We have to pursue science and research that unlocks wonders as unforeseen to us today as the microchip and the surface of the moon were a century ago." Liberal pap.

And, more jabs - "But this is a different kind of war. There will be no simple moment of surrender to mark the journey's end - no armistice, no banner headline. Though we have had more success eliminating al Qaeda leaders in recent months than in recent years..." Really?

An interesting recap was written by a parent in the audience. The author uses a pen name to remain anonymous but his child graduated from West Point yesterday.

His assessment of the audience's lukewarm reception - polite applause included - was apparent through the television lens, too. There were several awkward pauses as the president waited for applause that was not forthcoming. For a man who is heralded as the best speech deliverer, ever, he was halting and clumsy. He was not in his comfort zone.

President Obama did, however, show promise. This speech was noticeably absent of his standard insertions of "I" into each sentence.

I couldn't help but reflect back to previous speeches since the current wars began by former President Bush and Secretary of Defense Gates. Obviously the West Point audience did, too.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Texas Public Policy Foundation Establishes Eighth Policy Center

Recently I wrote about new initiatives put forward by the GOP. Now, I see a similar initiative has begun at Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin.
The foundation is announcing a new policy center - the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies. The Center for Tenth Amendment Studies was established to pursue the restoration of the Constitution's original system of checks and balances through which citizens can restrain their own government and thereby enjoy their unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Center will accomplish this through research and outreach to policymakers and the public.

Foundation President Brooke Rollins continues, "The Center for Tenth Amendment Studies is arguably the most important project we have undertaken. Texas has shown that it can meet the needs of its citizens without the support or interference of the federal government. Now it is time to address the more fundamental question of how we can protect our freedoms and roll back the encroachments of an increasingly voracious national government."

Two attorneys - both constitutional experts - have joined in the new policy center as Senior Fellows. Ted Cruz, former Solicitor General for the State of Texas and Scott Brister, former Texas Supreme Court justice, should establish the Foundation's eighth policy center as a think tank reaching for new solutions to restore the proper balance between the federal government, the State of Texas, and individuals.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Calderon Bashes America. POTUS Agrees.

President Calderon visited the U.S. and met with President Obama yesterday before an official state dinner in his honor. Shame on President Obama for allowing Calderon to criticize America and then jumping into the fray and agreeing with him against one of our own states. Shame of this far left ideologue for his continued campaigning at the expense of leadership. Shame on the ignorance, deliberate or not, of this president who enjoys touting himself as a constitutional scholar. He continues to deliberately lie about the wording of the Arizona legislation to score points and it is wrong. To say that you object because there is a possibility that the law may be poorly enforced neglects to recognize that any law has that possibility. And, once again, the chief law enforcer of the country disparages the law enforcement forces of our nation. Just as Obama was quick to jump in and criticize the law enforcement of Cambridge, Massachusetts, he now does the same to those in Arizona. How low can this man go before the pubic rises and says enough is enough? It is long past time to demand real leadership, not school yard bully tactics from the president.

If the president or his administration bothered to read the 10 page law, they would read that the law specifically prohibits law enforcement from stopping anyone on the basis of skin color or ethnic profile. The only ones to be stopped are those who are breaking a law, regardless of skin color. There has been a federal law requiring those here on work visas or naturalized citizens to carry papers with them for many years. Everyone is asked for identification by law enforcement if stopped for questioning over activities witnessed.

This is what infuriates American citizens.

If the president was truly interested in working on immigration reform, he would support measures to increase legal immigration. He would secure our border with Mexico, first and foremost. It is his top duty as the Commander in Chief, as written in our country's constitution, to protect our nation's people. He would support measures to find a path for those here illegally to become citizens. He would support fines to employers who encourage illegal immigration by offering jobs. He would support deporting, immediately, those who are here illegally and arrested for illegal activities. He would stop the partisan and insulting language used by those in the Democrat party that wish to claim Hispanic voters as future voters.

We are in desperate need of common sense in this country.

It is important to argue for legal immigration, as Mitt Romney does. The Romney family has strong Mexican roots. It is crucial for the GOP to stop allowing the Democrats to make the argument that Republicans are anti-immigration. It is crucial to make the case for legal immigration.

The Romney family has a long Mexican history. Mitt's great grandfather left the U.S. to avoid religious persecution in 1884. He created a Mormon community in Chihauhua that still exists today. The Romney family has lived the hope of a better life in a neighboring country. The GOP has to get out front on the issue and encourage reform that would bring in educated and highly skilled workers, not simply allow low skilled workers to cross the border to be hired at lower wages. It is good fiscal policy to encourage those who want higher education and excel in their chosen field, whether it is science or mathematics or computer technology.

Mexican President Calderon came under questioning from the press, while President Bush was in office, for the reports that he has a brother living in the U.S. illegally. It was fine to question him then but now apparently it is not. President Obama has a distant relative living in the northeast illegally, after ignoring a deportation order, and now has been given a waiver to stay in this country.

Did the president work on this issue as a U.S. senator? Has he made it a top priority in his agenda? No to both of those questions. He knows it is a political hot potato and is only interested in future votes. He continues to prove to be unserious by his public posturing. The majority of the American people polled support the Arizona legislation. Once again, Obama is at odds with majority opinion. Once again, he doubles down against American voters.

First Lady Michelle Obama visited an elementary school with the first lady of Mexico yesterday. While there, Mrs. Obama was questioned by a little girl about her husband requiring the showing of papers by people. The little girl was mistaken about that, of course, but Mrs. Obama went with it. She said the subject needed action. Then the little girl told Mrs. Obama that her mother didn't have papers.

This little girl in Maryland presented the First Lady and her guest with an awkward moment. Too bad Mrs. Obama wasn't better prepared with her answer. Granted, there is only so much she could have said to a second grade student but there has to be a way of talking to children and explaining our nation's sovereignty.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ct Attorney General Blumenthal Fakes War Tales

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was caught in a big time lie. Running for the Senate seat now occupied by Senator Chris Dodd, who is retiring,has been exposed by The New York Times for his lies - in the form of resume padding. Blumenthal made many references on the campaign trail to his time spent in Vietnam and of mistreatment as a veteran. He used the claims of being spit upon and such as was common mistreatment of real war veterans of that day.

Blumenthal went to the West Hartford VFW to try and stop the bleeding. The small stage was all decked out with American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars members.

Turns out Blumenthal is indeed a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. He did not, however leave the country in service. His time overseas was spent in college. Blumenthal had a number of deferrals, like the previously criticized VP Cheney. You may remember that former President Bush was criticized for being a member of the USAF national guard. Suddenly it is chic to be a Democrat with military service, for political expediency. It would appear, however, that the military service must be real or the public isn't quite so impressed.

As the newspaper account reports, Blumenthal was advised to apologize, mean it and move on. His statement before the press wasn't exactly an apology, though. He said he "regretted" his words. He didn't say he was sorry for doing it. He says it was the use of "a few misplaced words" that he regrets. When finally pressed by the reporters if he was sorry, the veterans on stage told him not to be swayed by them and he repeated his previous wording.

The youtube video of the non-apology:

Then, in regards to the veterans he used as his stage props for the press conference, according to the news account he used another fake war veteran. This guy claimed to be a POW and wore medals he didn't really earn. Nice,huh? According to THIS William Joseph Trumpower is also known as Elliott Storm. He was asked by the Blumenthal campaign to come to support the candidate today and Storm called his pals in his group, "Vet Pack". This group advocates for veterans in need of post traumatic stress syndrome.

Many political insiders now think Blumenthal's long political career is over. We will wait to see how it all plays out. Perhaps Senator John Kerry has some advice.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rep Mark Souder Leaves in Disgrace

Once again the GOP is reminded of the consequences of those candidates running for office as beacons of moral superiority. Today, Rep Mark Souder, R-IN, just two weeks ago ran for re-election and won his primary in a tough race, has come forward and admitted to martial infidelity with a part time staff member. His all but certain re-election is now toast.

From the CNN blog Rep Souder said as he announced his departure from Washington:

"I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff," he said. "In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C, any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain.
"I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process,"

How does his family feel about the youtube video he did with is lady friend on the subject of abstinence?

The hypocrisy and arrogance is breathtaking.

Souder claims it is the poisonous atmosphere that is the enemy, not his loutish behavior. Time and time again, we see those who claim to represent moral integrity and religious values prove the opposite after a little time in national office and are then sent to the dust bin of political history. This man even has a video interview with the other woman discussing his moral superiority - on abstinence.

One party does not hold the higher moral integrity. People are people, no matter of which party they belong to politically. Beware of those who would tout morality over all else. They belong in a pulpit, not political office.

Monday, May 17, 2010

New GOP Initiatives

Two new initiatives from the GOP are being introduced. Both have promise.

In the YouCut program,House Republicans present to site visitors the opportunity to vote on several proposals for cutting the budget. They began the voting on Wednesday of last week and as of Thursday, 70,000 votes had been recorded.

The second new initiative was launched on May 6. Ten House Republicans
came together to form the 10th Amendment Task Force. This is touted to "usher in a 'New Era of Federalism' and will work to ensure that the principles within the 10Amendment to the U.S. Constitution serve as a framework for Republicans to fundamentally alter the way government interacts with and touches people on a daily basis." That explanation from the office of Rep. Tom Price. The goal is to send more power back to states and local governments away from Washington.

The original ten:
Rob Bishop (UT-01)
Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
Jason Chaffetz (UT-03)
Michael Conaway (TX-11)
John Culberson (TX-07)
Scott Garrett (NJ-0)
Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)

The Washington Post reports on three other initiatives being discussed among small groups of conservatives. They include stressing the importance of marriage,as former President Bush did in his "Healthy Marriage Initiative". This program's funding expires next year. President Obama has a pilot program focusing on fathers, which will replace the Bush program. Both the social value and economic value of marriage are to be stressed by the GOP.

Also discussed by Rep. Paul Ryan is Social Security and Medicare reform. He suggests turning Medicare away from being a government run program in to one where people use vouchers to buy private insurance coverage. For Social Security, he suggests benefits to be calculated on inflation instead of wage increases.

And the last of those mentioned in the Washington Post article was on of a parent tax cut. Economist Robert Stein claims the tax code is unfair to parents. He suggests a formula of $4,000 per child tax credit. Then that is funded by reform of the income tax code. Income tax would be in two categories - one 15% of income and the other 35%. This plan does hike taxes on some - those in the upper middle class who would be bumped up to the 35% tax level. Those may include couples without children or those who have grown children.

Politico notices that the House of Representatives, fearing the mid-term election massacre sure to come, is now all about politics over substance. It's interesting when the press has to report on the obvious, on their own, because the atmosphere has become as it is now. It seems the House Democrats are using political games as the America Competes bill-a science initiative- makes its way through. They have added 54 amendments, all of which are purely vanity votes. They need a little something to take home to the folks which may save their butts in tough re-elections.

Maybe all those incumbent Democrats wouldn't be in such tough re-election races if they hadn't spent so much money with so little in results. Just a thought.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Needs Adult Discussion

Something sorely missing and greatly needed in today's verbal discourse is some grown up talk. Take, for instance, the talk surrounding the Horizon Deepwater oil spill.

We've read the quotes and heard the quips that span from no one taking full responsibility to those who would shut down offshore oil drilling all together as a response to the oil spill. We've reached crazy town. Most importantly, those living on the coast are suffering and some of it is inflicted by the press coverage. To hear some reports, one would think that the beaches were coated and the natural environment was gone forever.

Those who make their livings on the Gulf coast need your support. Do not cancel your summer vacation yet. Do not stop buying and eating seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. None of that has been affected. Yet. There is no way of knowing what the damage will be but it is not time for irrational action. Why can't we take a breath and keep up with the progress being made? Or not being made.

The dirty little secret is now coming out. Everyone is responsible. Dealing with the tone of the discourse, leadership comes from the top. President Obama was slow off the mark on this disaster and now is in complete cya mode. Understandable after the public reaction to a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina and the federal response to that. However, Team Obama was oddly silent and passive in the beginning. We heard a lot of 'everything is under control' quotes. He made a quick trip to the coast and met with various important people. This was, however, many days after the event. President Bush, after Hurricane Katrina, went to speak at Jackson Square to reassure all of federal commitment much sooner. That is one example that neither party can claim superiority in federal response and reaction. This is now being shown and the Democrats who hated President Bush so viciously that they were willing to slander him on a daily basis are now coming to understand. Or admit.

The president made a statement that is now portrayed by the slobbering press as 'tough' and 'angry' a couple of days ago from the Rose Garden. He said that he was 'not impressed' with the way the executives from the companies involved handled the congressional hearings. Well, Mr. President, it is not for you to be impressed. And, as he lightly chided the federal government's involvement as inadequate, he called for calm civility. Then he bashed the previous administration again. He enjoys a new phrase now. He now says "for the last 10 years or so" when he bashes the previous administration. He has gotten the message that the public is tired of his whining about what he 'inherited'. Sort of. This call for calm action was just a day or so after he went to Manhattan for a big bucks fundraiser and loudly bashed the GOP for entertainment. Where is his own civility?

It is a shame that of all the policies that President Obama has decided to continue from the Bush administration, a civil tone is not one of them.

You can go HERE for a web site of my husband's. He commissioned the Horizon's sister rig in Korea. You can find pictures there that may be informative. The site hasn't been updated in a couple of years but you'll get a glimpse into oil drilling rigs.

Here is a web site on the response activities.

The finger pointing is unseemly at all levels. It is, however, human nature. It would be refreshing if an adult dialogue would begin. Offshore oil drilling is the most regulated and taxed of all American industry. The federal government plays a large part in the operations. This Obama administration has greatly benefited from campaign donations from oil industry coffers, as did its predecessors. Candidate Obama received the most campaign dollars from BP. Surprise! Do not fall for the old meme that it is the evil GOP in bed with energy companies. Energy companies are like any other industry. The people running them and working for them contribute to both political parties.

"You have to come up with assurances to the American people that this won't happen again." That quote from far left Democrat Senator Charles Schumer on a Sunday morning talk show. How absurd. And, how exactly would one do that? There is no such guarantee. Anything run by human beings has a certain amount of human risk.

Deep water offshore oil drilling is the new frontier. It is done far offshore. To compare this tragedy to the Exxon Valdez is to not understand the difference between an oil freighter that hit rocky shoreline and an offshore drilling rig drilling a well. Both accidents. Completely different circumstances. BP doesn't have a stellar safety record and no one is claiming they are fault free. Neither is Transocean, the drilling contractor. Yes, Halliburton had a hand in it as the data collector and testing operation. This will all be sorted out. In the mean time, there is an uncontrolled gush of oil coming from that well. Let's remember the priority.

It would be helpful for all sections of this arena looking for answers to try to remain adult in discussion and deed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

POTUS Bashes GOP - Press Notices

From Reuters: President Obama went to Buffalo yesterday to talk about small business initiatives from his legislation that he thinks will be of benefit to them. And, he'll do some of his standard Republican bashing. For a guy who campaigned as the 'post partisan' candidate, he has come full circle. Unless you didn't believe that claim in the first place. Just another compliment to himself from he who thinks most highly of himself.

The Reuters account of the Buffalo trip also described the president as 'knocking' Republicans. The report mentioned that Obama would tout Congress working to pass more legislation to create jobs.

There was the token mention of the president meeting with and thanking NYC police from the presidential flacks as he went on to Manhattan for a top dollar fundraiser at the St. Regis. Maybe he wanted to make it look like something more than standard fundraising. "After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want to keys back. No! You can't drive. We don't want to have to go back into the ditch. We just go the car out." The 185 donors present heard more - what even the ABC News reporter said "painted the Republican party in unflattering light, as the party standing in the way of reform". "They've done their best to gum up the works to make it look broken. To say no to every single thing".

Is it the Republicans "making things look broken"? I think an increasing unemployment percentage number and more hired for government jobs than private sector jobs speaks for the "broken" economy. It was the job of the GOP to say no to the bloated and ineffective stimulus/spending bill and the rest of the power grabbing legislation that the American public was strongly against. The Democratically controlled Congress and President refuse to acknowledge how unpopular their agenda is and strong arm members of their own party to pass bad legislation.

Repealing Obamacare will be at the top of the GOP agenda as they take back control of Congress in November. He knows this and said, "I'm confident that as long as we're able to get our message out, with your help the American people aren't going to let that happen." He asks for help from donors when he is in a tight spot but doesn't listen when they disagree with the agenda.

Of Nancy Pelosi, he said at this DCCC fundraiser, "Nancy Pelosi, that's one tough lady. And, she's so elegant. Even as she's ripping your heart out. If you mess with her." Pelosi introduced him that evening. He loves the violent hyperbole. It's the Chicago way of doing politics.

President Obama has only held one-third of the question and answers sessions with the press that former President Bush held in his first year in office. Another campaign pledge from Obama is broken - that of being the 'most transparent' administration, ever. Instead, what we have is an administration and Congress so determined to push forward a radically leftist agenda, against the wishes of the majority of the American people, that major legislation has been written in complete secrecy. Speaker of the House Pelosi, who promised the highest level of transparency before Obama did, even said that they had to pass Obamacare so that we could all see what is in it. Imagine if Republicans had taken 1/6 of the entire American economy and thrown it to the wind as this legislation did. Would the press have been so complacent?

Maybe the absence of press conferences is bringing about some truth telling from the media - those who are now being a bit more honest about the tone and comments coming from the president towards political opponents. Maybe they are beginning to wake up a bit and feel a bit used. Without the open cheer leading from the press, Obama would have never been elected to the office of President in the first place.

Are they embarrassed yet?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Obama Delivers Commencement Speech at Hampton College

President Obama gave a commencement speech to the graduates of Hampton College over the weekend. This historically black college was the setting for the President to berate the influence of technology in our lives. That is ironic, considering this president benefited mightily from online support and technology while he ran for the office of President. And, this administration enjoys touting available web sites to push their agenda.

This is the President that balked at the notion of giving up his personal Blackberry. This is the President who regularly addressed supporters online during the last campaign. This is the President who allowed - perhaps encouraged - his flacks to mock his opponent John McCain as they sought the presidency for his lack of computer skills. See, he's older and just not cool for Team Obama.

Perhaps Obama is now re-thinking the whole technology thing. A quote from his latest USA Today interview: "There are always costs in doing big things." That was his reaction to the fact that his agenda has produced "huge financial and political costs".

Perhaps the thin skinned president is not fully appreciative of the freedom that technology presents to Americans. He, ever the narcissist, is distressed over the instant quotes and stories that are produced on the Internet and on around the clock cable news and talk radio. He doesn't appreciate criticism. His administration even feels comfortable in shutting out the press - for example, trying to keep FOX News at arms length - and ducking out to catch his daughter's soccer game with the press pool reporter. The president hasn't held a press conference since last July. All of this from the guy who promised to have the most transparent administration ever.

Technology is freedom. Children in schools and readers in public libraries benefit from computer access. Moms on the go keep in touch with family members with cell phones. And, yes, a president is held more accountable if more questions are asked and investigated. Citizen journalists are not the enemy. He said, "Some of the craziest claims can quickly claim traction" in blogs and talk radio. He doesn't speak to the fact that often his spokespeople frequently characterize claims as false when the opposite is true. The recent battle over Obamacare is prime example. Much of the opposition's claims have been proven true though Team Obama would have you believe it is all crackpot hyperbole.

It is hard to believe a president so tech savvy would bemoan the gadgets in our lives.

And, why did the man who claimed to be the post-racial candidate use the word 'emancipation' in his commencement speech? Was it because it was a historically black college? He extolled the virtues of Dorothy Height and her refusal to be denied a college education. That was legitimate. He equated iPods and Xboxes with slavery. "...information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation."

Mr. President, information is power, not a distraction.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Arizona Gov Brewer Responds to POTUS

Los Angeles has now become the largest of U.S. cities to vote yes on a boycott of the state of Arizona. The California State Senate President, Darrell Steinberg, told an interviewer today that he approves of this vote because the law signed by Governor Brewer allows police to stop anyone simply because of the color of their skin and demand proof of legal citizenship. This is how the rabid left portrays the action taken out of desperation by the leaders in the state of Arizona. They are determined to make political hay out of a governor trying to make a bad situation better in her state. The state is desperate for federal help and it is being ignored.

Well, except for the 'joke' President Obama told to the swell politicians and journalists and celebrities present at the White House Corespondents Dinner. His punch line was to the effect of "and we all know what can happen to you in Arizona". What a knee slapper. Almost as good as his predator drone joke, which if he was George W. Bush would have been enough to send Democrats into impeachment language. Remember how they all reacted to Bush's skit of looking for wmd in the Oval Office? But, President Wonderful gets a pass.

Here is a devastating video put out from Governor Brewer in direct response to the Obama "joke":

I am not entirely convinced that the law signed by the governor was the best that could have been done. I am, however, entirely sympathetic with the people of Arizona, especially as a resident of the south east part of Texas. We, too, need help with illegal immigration. That is the key, the illegal part of the immigration. We are still a nation that welcomes immigrants. As long as they come in through the front door and follow the law, we welcome newcomers here. It really is as simple as that.

Governor Perry says that he appealed to the federal government - back to the Bush administration - for help along the Texas and Mexico border. No response from either the Bush or the Obama administrations. There are parts of our border now that have become war zones over drug trafficking and human smuggling. How long before other states follow suit with Arizona?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Elena Kagan Chosen for SCOTUS

Obama, according to his spokespeople, wanted to nominate someone who would be a different kind of nominee. Kagan falls short of this goal. If she is seated, and there is little doubt that she will be, the Supreme Court will be comprised solely of Catholics and Jews. All graduates of Harvard or Yale, there will remain only one black on the bench, Clarence Thomas who was placed there by a Republican president. Though Obama made a point of boasting that the Supreme Court would be comprised of three women now, the first woman was seated on the court by a Republican president.

From The Washington Post:

On the other hand, Kagan is by no means a radically different pick from any of the court's current members. In some ways, she would add to the cloistered, East Coast mentality of the current court. Her lack of judicial experience could be a negative, especially with a public that thinks being a judge is pretty important.

Many of the current justices hail from New York, or have ties to the city. All but one are from east of the Mississippi River. Picking Kagan does not send a message that Obama wants the court to represent the country better geographically.

Conservatives are noting the irony of a liberal Democrat president nominating a liberal Democrat who has a less than stellar record of hiring minorities. From Kagan, whose leadership at Harvard Law marked an unprecedented expansion of the program’s faculty, hired 32 tenured and tenure-track faculty. With one exception, all were white; only seven were women.

“Because Kagan does not have a record and because her tenure at Dean is offered as one of her qualifications for the Supreme Court, it is more than fair to ask where racial inclusion figures in her judicial philosophy,” wrote Guy-Uriel Charles, the founding director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics. “Kagan’s hiring at Harvard is one of the few data points that we have on how she might think about racial inclusion.”

Kagan is not an outside-the-box nominee. She is very much the same old same old. If she is gay, she is not 'out' so that will not be touted. I hope Republicans rise above that. Her personal character is not in question. It is her ideology that must be questioned. Democrats do love their racial/gender/ethnic politics yet this nominee will be known as one who hasn't been a judge. That is her one difference from the others on the bench now.

Kagan previously lamented the process of confirming a Supreme Court nominee. She is on record for claiming that little is really determined of a nominee's true positions from the confirmation process. This could be interesting now that she is the nominee. She has very little paper trail and no experience on the bench of which to determine how she may rule on the court. She received a bi-partisan nod when going through the confirmation process for her current position as Solicitor General. At the time, she was said to be Obama's future Supreme Court choice. This nomination does not come out of the blue.

From the reports out there now, it would appear that Kagan is the best that Republicans can hope for from this president. Obama was no more likely to nominate anyone with conservative cred any more than George W. Bush was likely to nominate anyone with liberal cred. Since the administration of Bill Clinton, Supreme Court picks have been solely on ideology and to think otherwise is foolish. And, remember, we have the true legacy of Ted Kennedy - the nasty, contentious confirmation hearings now considered the norm - to thank.

Kagan appears to have a history of bringing in conservative thought into the process. As Dean of Harvard Law School, she hired conservative professors. Not a lot but at least some. She will have to deal with her participation in trying to ban military recruiters from the grounds of Harvard and her perceived hostility to the military. We will see Obama flakes coming to her defense over this issue.

Now is the time for scrutiny of Kagan's record and decisions. Now is the time for open and fair questioning.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Senator Bob Bennett Loses to Tea Party Mania

Two term Senator Bob Bennett of Utah lost out on his bid for re-election Saturday. During a tearful concession speech he alluded to the poisonous atmosphere of the political times. Across the country the mark of a new wave of conservatism is taking root. The current meme in the national press is the claim that Bob Bennett is the first causality of the new wave.

This is wrong, as is usually the case when the media tries to describe anything conservative in this country. The first causalities of the Tea Party movement and a new wave of Americans demanding fiscal conservatism, not just social conservatism, were felt in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts earlier in this year. The problem with Bennett is that he was part of the group that justifies bad votes by claiming they know best. Even during the concession speech Bennett claimed he would cast the same votes - clearly he still doesn't understand the message.

A quote from George Will on ABC's Sunday show:
This is an anti-Washington year. How do you get more Washington than a three-term senator who occupies the seat once held by his father, a four-term senator, who before that worked on the Senate staff and then as a lobbyist in Washington? He's a wonderful man and a terrific Senator. But the fact is, he's going against terrific head-winds this year and he cast three votes: TARP, stimulus and an individual mandate for health care. Now, you might like one, two or all three of those, but being opposed to them is not outside the mainstream of American political argument.

Yes, this is an anti-Washington year. Bennett's fatal mistake was voting for the stimulus when clearly the public outcry as the Tea Party took to the streets in bigger and bigger protests told all of the elected officials not to vote for it. Then, if he was forgiven for not grasping the public outrage right away, he should have gotten the message after last summer's town halls and protests against Obamacare. By working with Democrats to craft together an alternative but agreeing to leave in the individual mandate shows he is clueless.

There is potential for the Tea Party movement to bring in too many candidates with no experience or firm grasp of crafting public policy. To run simply to boot out the incumbents is not productive if the incumbent is a worthy candidate for re-election. Time will tell soon enough if this will be the case. In the meantime, Bennett is the poster boy today. Maybe he grew too comfortable in office. Maybe he arrogantly did not take seriously the will of the people he served. This is the problem with those who do not know when to step aside.

Bennett originally said he would be a two term Senator, should he be entrusted by the voters with office. He broke that promise and ran for a third term. He should have quit when he was ahead.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Updating the Perry vs White Race for Governor

From an update by the Republican Party of Texas:

Former Houston mayor and Democrat gubernatorial nominee Bill White launched a $400,000 media buy in Houston this week. Why is Bill White blowing so much money to advertise in the city where he was mayor, six months before the election? Probably because in spite of his best efforts, his real record is getting out, and that record isn't pretty.

The Houston that Bill White left behind is deeply in debt. Bill White's successor has had to hike water rates for residents by as much as 30%, and she has contemplated furloughs for city workers including fire fighters and police, along with other cuts in city services. The Houston METRO is engulfed in a scandal that centers on the two members who were hand-picked to be on that board by Bill White.

Today, president and CEO, Frank J. Wilson resigned from METRO.

From Mark Miner of the Rick Perry for Governor campaign: “Refusing to release his taxes for his years in public service is just one example of dishonesty from Bill White, who hides the fact that he supports Obamacare, that he believes cap and trade doesn’t go far enough, that he joined a group of mayors against gun rights, and that his fiscal mismanagement left Houston with more debt per capita than California. With a record like this, no wonder Bill White is on the run.”

Some pundits of Texas politics say this will be an interesting race. Perry is ahead in the latest polls by four points or so. Democrats like to say that Texas is a purple state now but most political geeks in the state tend to stick with the Texas-is-a-red-state meme. Bill White is a multi-millionaire and has the financial advantage over Perry. It will be interesting to watch how he spends tons of his own money while doing the aw-shucks man of the people routine on the campaign trail.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Obey Retires

It is a bit ironic that longtime U.S. Representative David Obey announced his retirement from elected office yesterday. Last night Karl Rove spoke to an audience about his new book and told some interesting behind the scenes stories from the Bush presidency years. One particularly compelling story was that of the day of 9/11/01.
Part of the story involved those who were on board Air Force One as it tried to bring its passengers back to Washington. He spoke of the professionalism of the Secret Service agents and of the unknown - not knowing when another attack or attempt on the life of the president would come. The reporters covering the trip - originally a trip to Florida and a classroom visit as the president was working on No Child Left Behind legislation - were tense, as was everyone. One noted reporter who completely lost control of his emotions as the jet landed safely in Washington is now the chief of staff for Vice President Biden. Rove never mentioned the man by name.

One of the questions asked of Rove by an audience member was what advice he would give to a young person considering a life in politics. Rove said the person should finish school, get a degree, and then go on about his/her life. The person should find what it is that he/she wants to do in life. Be active in the community. Volunteer and work for local candidates. Then, if the opportunity arises, and politics is still a passion, then run for office. Someone planning a life in elected office is in for disappointment. To plan to run in a specific year or to attain elected office at a specific age is not a path to happiness. And, it is important to live where you are happy.

Rove pointed to the fact he was once in favor of term limits but now is not so strident. However, for politicians to stay and make it a life's total body of work is not a good thing. The case of Rep Obey is a prime example.

Obey has served 21 terms representing a district in western Wisconsin. For forty years he has been an ardent cheerleader for every liberal spending project that came down the pike. His district is mostly a conservative one but he is Obey remains thanks to union support and a large war chest. He faces tough re-election prospects this time from a young (age 38) conservative known for his stint on a reality television show. Obey claims he was ready to retire back in 2001 but was angered by an 'arrogant' President George W. Bush. He claims Bush would not bow to the spending projects Obey wanted to put on the legislative agenda. So, Obey decided to stay for the eight Bush administration years. What a stupid claim to make.

From The Washington Times:

Mr. Obey said he would have retired eight years ago but for an encounter with Mr. Bush at the White House that so infuriated him that he vowed to outlast the president.

The congressman said the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate appropriations committees met with White House officials after Sept. 11, 2001, to present a list of areas that needed more funding. The president dropped in on the meeting and, according to Mr. Obey, rejected the list, saying he'd already figured out how much the country would spend.

"If I hadn't experienced that meeting and experienced the absolute stubbornness of the Bush administration on that occasion, I would have left this place a long time ago," he said.

Obey has succumbed to a common illness on Capitol Hill - an insufferable ego and inflated sense of importance. That is the result of all those decades of 'public service'. It is way past time for him to go and live off the handsome retirement package he'll receive for his decades of 'public service'. And the irony is lost on him that the current administration makes the Bush administration look like complete appeasers. The Obama administration and the Democratic leadership on The Hill do not even try to disguise their utter contempt for the minority party and do not include them in any legislation negotiations. Is there any wonder that the atmosphere is so poisonous? Obey has had a heavy hand in it all.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

RNC Chairman Focuses on November

RNC Chairman Michael Steele congratulates the winners of the various primaries held yesterday.

Countdown to Victory in November

Yesterday, May 4, officially marked the six month countdown to the November elections. Today, I would like to congratulate each and every Republican nominee who won their primary in Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio and who will help bring the Republican Party to sweeping victories in five months, three weeks, and six days.

This fall, the GOP will field an All-Star team of candidates who are committed to the conservative ideals of lower taxes, fiscal restraint and controlling the deficit. We are excited to offer strong nominees who will represent the voice of America – your voice – in Washington, D.C., and state capitals across the country. These candidates will offer real alternatives to the big-government, reckless-spending, job-killing agenda of the Democrats.

•Hoosier Dan Coats will work to turn the seat of retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) red, bringing us one seat closer to our ultimate goal of retaking the Senate.
•In North Carolina, Senator Richard Burr will continue to provide the steady Republican leadership that the state and the country need to defeat the leftist agenda of President Obama.
•Gubernatorial candidate John Kasich and Senatorial candidate Rob Portman will lead the Republican ticket in Ohio that will help turn this economy around and create the jobs that are so desperately needed.
The clock is ticking on the days of one party rule in D.C. We know the country craves the kind of leadership that will bring us back to the economic growth, fiscal responsibility, and limited government that has made us so successful in the past. Republicans stand ready to lead the United States to future prosperity and I am confident that Americans across the ideological spectrum will turn out in droves to put our candidates into office and get our country back on track.

So, again, congratulations to all the candidates who won the Republican nomination, you have our full support – the countdown to November 2nd is on!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

In Reporting On Terrorist Shahzad, Reality Bites

The Obama administration does it again. A terror attack is thwarted in Times Square on a Saturday night as thousands are walking around, enjoying the weekend, and the Obama spokespeople refuse to call it what it was. They again were slow to even label it a terrorist act.

The difficulty in appreciating the 'no drama Obama' public face is that it comes off as indifference. It comes off as cowardly in the face of danger. It does not come off as cool or mature. To show a bit of emotion would be refreshing. Obama waited until the event was well over to speak words written by others as he responded. Then, in order to avoid criticism as they took for the lame first response during the time of the Christmas underwear bomber incident, Attorney General Holder held a press conference at 1:30 AM when the capture was announced but took no questions. Then Team Obama sent out every member of the administration remotely responsible for response to this latest act today to do a mega press conference to appear to be all hands on deck. It's all about appearances for these people. The heavy influence of advertising and publicity superstars is evident. The president is on camera virtually almost every single day yet during the most serious of times, he is absent. It is just bizarre.

Those concerned with the politically correct response to danger look as though they live in another world. Here are a couple of examples:

Mayor Bloomberg said in an interview when asked if the terrorist could have been 'home-grown': "Home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything."

As illustrated HERE,some in the leftist mainstream media opening wish for any extremist but a Muslim extremist to be the perpetrators of violence to that their own bigotry can bear out. To the majority in the bloviating liberal press and media, to be conservative is to be a loon on the fringe.

Tea Party people have been savaged in the press. To hear the logic of the media people, they are violent racists who are enraged that a black man (or half black) is in the White House. So blinded by their rage, they have taken to the streets with their guns to spit on Congress members and threaten violent retribution. What is not told during media reports or press accounts covering liberal protests, for example the marches in support of illegal immigration, is that these are the protests and marches that turn violent. These are the events where law enforcement is attacked and injured, where businesses are vandalized, where participants physically attack counter-protesters as well as verbally abuse them. Somehow it is always the Tea Party crowds that are 'ugly' and 'divisive'.

Kudos to the law enforcement agencies that worked together and captured Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen. Shahzad is from Pakistan, where his wife and young children still live. He is a 30 year old man from a wealthy family but in personal financial difficulties here, according to press reports. As an American citizen, he was Mirandized and does continue to talk to investigators. He was captured 53 hours after he ran from the scene of the burning SUV at JFK airport attempting to fly to Dubai.

So, no, the terror suspect is not an angry white guy from a Tea Party rally protesting the socialization of our country's social programs and industries. I don't know that I've read how Shahzad feels about Obamacare.

Eventually even the media folks will have to face the real world and all the ugly truths.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Harris County DA Pat Lykos Sees Progress

Today I heard Pat Lykos, Harris County District Attorney, speak. She spoke of her innovative ideas and progress in her office.

With a staff of 600 and only 68 investigators, there is more than enough work to go around. Harris County, the third largest county in the country, with 34 municipalities, is more diverse and challenging than just about any other spot in the country. Currently, due to budget restraints, there is a freeze on new hiring.

A program called "Do the Right Thing" is now in place in schools and receiving rave reviews from teachers. The program targets children in eighth grade that are affected by violence. There is a writing component in the program that teachers are very supportive of and it allows the students to relay their personal experiences.

In the revised and renewed Victim's Rights Program, a caller no longer goes right to voicemail. Now a caller speaks to a real person on the other end of the line. Lykos uncovered corruption in the form of theft in the program. Restitution payments - money orders - from as far back as twenty years were found to have not been sent to the victims involved. A clerk in the program was cashing the money orders for herself - over $200,000 worth - and is now awaiting sentencing for her actions.

Lykos has created a Child Endangerment Division and was the first in the nation to prosecute a case involving an adult male and an 11 year old girl involved through video gaming. He reached out to her through her Playstation use.

The District Attorney's office has an active Animal Cruelty Unit. Dog fighting is a big problem in the county. Particularly disturbing is the number of children brought to these fights. Lykos spoke of the documented link between animal cruelty in childhood and adult crime.

The District Attorney's office is now collecting a database of international gangs operating in the county. Lykos said that virtually every international and domestic gang is represented in Harris County.

Lykos has placed as a priority working with the mayor to put in place an independent crime lab. No one wants innocent people to be prosecuted.

When asked by an audience member if illegal immigrants comprise the majority of those committing criminal acts, Lykos said that the number of DWIs are disproportionally committed by illegal immigrants.

Members of the audience were surprised to learn that DPS sells personal information on those applying for a drivers license. Credit card companies wanted the information made available and the Texas state legislature complied. Now her office is working on introducing legislation to allow Harris County to opt out of this.

Lykos would like to introduce a pilot project for the mentally ill in the county. She spoke of the need for housing for this population and the need for the ability to transition those in need back into society. She believes this can be accomplished by educating those in a transition program and if not, provide housing for those not capable of caring for themselves. Locally, Lykos praised the efforts of the Salvation Army and Star of Hope. She also praised the Boy Scouts for their work in the county.

Harris County is the beneficiary of a new District Attorney who is passionate about her work and thinks outside the box for solutions. Tough job. Smart woman.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

About the Deepwater Horizon Accident

President Obama plans to come to the Gulf coast on Sunday, according to published reports. Only yesterday did his cabinet members go and survey the situation. Then they held a photo op with Governor Jindal. The Obama administration realizes now that it has been slow off the mark and are in full over-compensation mode.

Only today is it formally announced that someone from the Coast Guard has been named to head up the operations with the national effort.

Here is an interesting interview with a survivor from the blow out. The man called into the Mark Levin radio show to tell his story.

The irony, of course, is that BP has for the past several years now, blitzed the televisions of America with commercials claiming to be the 'green' energy company. Within the industry, among the working professionals, there have been conversations of the hazards of the cost cutting methods of the company. BP was not literally drilling for oil - they hired Transocean to do that. The rig is owned by Transocean and the workers were mostly Transocean personnel. That is how the oil drilling industry works.

Full disclosure: my husband commissioned the Horizon's sister rig, Nautilus, in the Korean shipyard when the two were built, several years back. A photo from his website of the Nautilus has been used in news reports about the Horizon. My husband is an engineer in the oil drilling industry.

We are now 11 days out from the event. So to say that the administration has been slow in its response is an understatement. I do not begrudge any sector of the economy that sees a tragic event receive presidential attention. However, this event was obviously ignored initially. The president didn't even make a statement for more than 24 hours, though the search was on for eleven men. Not to be cynical but it is probably no coincidence that it was an accident that occurred offshore from a red state - Louisiana - and the Republican governor were the ones needing assistance, not a state that voted for Obama in 2008. Obama had time to campaign across the country for his agenda, to eulogize the coal miners in West Virginia, to go on a weekend getaway with Michelle, and to carry on his normal schedule in Washington. It is legitimate to criticize the response from him and his administration.

HERE is a good site to watch for updates on the situation on the Gulf coast.

It is interesting to note the reaction from the press since the tragedy happened. During other events, especially during the years of the George W. Bush presidency and especially during the Hurricane Katrina days, everyone was pointing fingers and yelling about the perceived slights from Washington. Silence now. Fortunately, this time Louisiana has a Republican governor that knew what to do. And, he demanded attention from Washington.

The knee jerk reactions that have since happened do not help. Talk of shutting down drilling? Talk of 're-thinking' a previously announced expansion of offshore drilling? That is neither leadership nor sound judgement. This was a horrible accident within a dangerous profession. Those who bring our energy to us know that this was a fluke - a slap from nature. It was unpredictable and there was no escape for those eleven souls directly in the line of the explosion.
BP will bear the cost of this disaster. The Transocean crew will be under scrutiny for their work performance. It should be noted that this rig and BP were given an award last year for safety. They were scheduled to receive it again this year. The oil drilling industry is the most regulated and taxed of any American industry.

Let the investigation go forward. Support those working to contain the oil spill. Hold in your thoughts those who work offshore - the oil drilling workers as well as the fishermen. Our Gulf coast needs you.