Thursday, September 30, 2010

U.S. Border Violence Escalates

President Obama and his administration can talk all they want about how much the expenditure of money and human work force has increased under their watch. The fact remains that the southern border of our country is not secured and violence is spiraling out of control. Here is a report from the AP today:

An American tourist was shot in the back of the head in Mexican waters on Thursday after being ambushed by armed boaters, a Texas sheriff said. It happened on a lake where run-ins with pirates had already put fishermen and Texas officials on alert.

Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said a 30-year-old man and his wife were riding jet skis back from Mexico when about six gunmen approached in two boats. Gonzalez said the man was shot as the couple sped away.

What happened to the man was unclear. Gonzalez said the man's wife tried circling back to get him, but retreated back to U.S. waters after being fired upon again.

"They saw them approaching and started revving it up back to the U.S. side," Gonzalez said. "The guys just started shooting at them from behind."

Gonzalez said he has contacted the Mexican consulate and asked them to look for the man. He said there was nothing else he could do.

The shooting happened on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake, about 60 miles down the border from Laredo. Earlier this year, several fishermen were robbed at gunpoint on the lake's Mexican side.

In those robberies, authorities say the gunmen traveled in the low-slung, underpowered commercial Mexican fishing boats that are familiar in the area. They asked for money, drugs and guns, and took what cash was available, but no one was hurt.

Falcon Lake is a dammed section of the Rio Grande that straddles the border. The border is marked by 14 partially submerged concrete towers that mark the Rio Grande's path before the lake was created in 1954.

Officials have sought in recent months to assure boaters that the U.S. side of the lake is safer.

Gonzalez said the couple shot at Thursday never spoke the gunmen. He said the couple lived in McAllen, Texas, and had ridden their jet skis over to Mexico for sightseeing.

The shooting happened about 2:45 p.m., said Texas Parks & Wildlife Department spokesman Mike Cox. He said the department has two boats with seven game wardens on the lake.

Gonzalez has previously chalked up the dangerous waters as the product of fighting between rival Mexican drug gangs.

Violence on the Mexican side of the lake has been climbing for several months, as a fractured partnership between the region's dominant Gulf Cartel and its former enforcers, the Zetas, plunged many of the area's Mexican border cities into violence.

Scolding the Electorate Into Voting

What kind of strategy is it when the leader of your political party ridicules and complains about voter support instead of asking for their votes? The President and Vice President are making headlines for their strange tactics on the campaign trail as they try to gin up some level of enthusiasm from pessimistic Democrats as we head into the November mid-term elections. Democratic voters know the odds of a Republican sweep in House elections and that their majority is soon to come to an end. The heady days of total control with ample majorities in both houses of Congress and in the White House are about to end.

Instead of stump speeches bucking up the base voters of the party, as is the normal method of asking for voters to turn out at the polls on election day, instead of cheer leading them into some sort of motivation to get out and cast a vote, President Obama and Vice President Biden has chosen to ridicule and scold what few supporters they have left.

John Podhoretz nails it: Obama is talking to voters as though he is their boss, or their principal, or their father. He is not any of those things. He is their employee. And employers don't like it when their employees yell at them -- even if their employees have it right.

The advertising and public relations wing of Team Obama have scheduled Obama for a series of backyard chats with "ordinary" Americans. The hosts are hand selected stalwart Democratic supporters and the guests in attendance are screened in advance. There is nothing spontaneous or "ordinary" about this kind of photo op. At best the backyard settings are hokey. At worst, they are cynically keeping the President in the daily news cycle.

A big focus is being placed on the younger voting population and college campuses are a favorite for the President as he tries to appear on televised broadcast news on a daily basis. These appearances are being scaled back, though, as he no longer fills an auditorium.

Here's an example: of President Obama trying to lit a fire under the younger electorate.

The advertising and public relations wing of Team Obama have scheduled Obama for a series of backyard chats with "ordinary" Americans. The hosts are hand selected stalwart Democratic supporters and the guests in attendance are screened in advance. There is nothing spontaneous or "ordinary" about this kind of photo op. At best the backyard settings are hokey. At worst, they are cynically keeping the President in the daily news cycle. We read that these dog and pony shows are to combat the image that Obama is out of touch, living in a bubble, and does not relate to the ordinary American though his personal popularity numbers are good. We are told it is only his policies that Americans are rebelling against. So far this approach isn't working. It is only a matter of time before his falling poll numbers spread into this personal numbers. He would do himself some good if he was seen as moderating his strident actions after the mid-term elections in November but most analysts do not think that will happen. He is not as Bill Clinton was in 1994 after the Republican Revolution. Obama truly believes he has done nothing wrong. He truly finds nothing wrong in ramming through legislation with only down the line party votes, even if he ran as the post-partisan candidate. No hope of that anywhere in sight.

This is proving to be normal behavior from the president. Instead of learning and listening to the voters, to his base support, he blames them for defeats in mid-term elections that haven't even occurred yet. He reads the opinion polls - despite denying that he pays much attention to them, his administration has used them more extensively than any other previous administration - and he reads of very low enthusiasm levels inside the Democratic party. Republican voters are greatly enthusiastic this election cycle and ready to vote.

The Democrats have an odd way of motivating voters. From The Wall Street Journal: Mr. Obama added that "if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place." Making the case for left-wing voters to show up in November, Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone that he is presiding over "the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward."

Obama does fancy himself as an intellectual, despite the fact that he consistently gets very basic facts wrong, whether it is the 57 states debacle or misstating lines of the Constitution (strange since he is suppose to be a constitutional scholar), or our nation's history in general. His is a world view different than most Americans, whether he chooses to accept that reality or not.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meet Ron Johnson - A Candidate For Today

Attention voters: We could use a lot more of these kind of candidates. This is the Republican running against entrenched Democrat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. Meet Ron Johnson:

Russ Feingold is running away from his water carrying of the Obama agenda. Every time Obama appeared in Wisconsin - several times, as it is a swing state and he is nervous. Until tonight. He brought Obama into Wisconsin for a fundraiser. In the last polling, Johnson is up a couple of points. Feingold is shocked, to put it mildly. The Democrats planned on this seat being safe for them to retain.

Russ Feingold is feeling the heat and that is a good thing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Liz Claman Reports On Hercules Rig 201

I watched the Fox Business Channel for most of the day on Monday because of an on-going story line that day. They sent a channel anchor, Liz Claman, out to an oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The drilling rig was in shallow water and it was "stacked". Stacked means it is not working.

You can find a video of one of Claman's live shots here:

The drilling rig was one of the Hercules' jack-up rigs about 3 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a victim of the Obama oil drilling moratorium. While the administration would like to sell the moratorium as one that only affects deep water oil drilling, it in fact affects all oil drilling. This moratorium affects shallow water drilling because the government is not issuing drilling permits as it should be doing. The issuing of permits is basically non-existent compared to the requests made and the need for offshore drilling.

Liz Claman did a fine job reporting on board of the Hercules 201. I was on board a Hercules drilling rig just like it in the late 1980's with the assistance of my husband, an engineer in the business. He brought me aboard a stacked rig in Galveston and I was able to take a tour of an oil drilling rig. My husband has worked for Hercules during his career, as he has for many other oil drilling companies. It was quite an experience for me at the time.

Claman wanted viewers to see the very real story of the effects of the oil drilling moratorium on the people in the industry. She interviewed the CEO of the company and he spoke of the business community's concerns. She interviewed workers who spoke of their own stories - families to support, concerns of losing jobs, distrust of governmental regulations coming down the pike, and of their responsible work records drilling in shallow water.

It is easy to speak of oil drilling and energy policy in general terms. It is easy to point to mistakes or terrible accidents. The fact is that the bad is rare and the history of oil drilling is one of success in the Gulf of Mexico. Continuing on with the moratorium talk is irresponsible by the Obama administration. Jobs have been lost for no real reason, other than overreaction for political gain. It has backfired and rigs are moving out of the Gulf of Mexico for opportunities overseas. These rigs, in all likelihood, will not return. This only increases our country's dependence on foreign oil, on oil purchased from those who do not have our best interests at heart. How smart is that?

Inspections of all deep water oil drilling rigs were performed immediately after the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. The district federal court has twice ruled that the federal moratorium is not just and must be lifted. The oil drilling companies, however, are unable to drill without permits. It is a no-win situation that prevents future planning.

It is past time for the Obama administration to make clear the moratorium will not be forced upon the oil drilling industry by them and allow our nation's energy needs to be met with the help of oil and natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico.

Monday, September 27, 2010

GOP "Pledge To America"

Rather than the steps of the Capitol building, with the House GOP membership behind them, the House GOP leadership rolled out a pledge to voters at a hardware store in Sterling, Virginia. Dressed in shirt sleeves and polo shirts, the setting was deliberately simple and casual. The nod to the grassroots populist movement in the country obvious.

I'm disappointed to read that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) didn't play a part in the pledge or its presentation. Is he being shown the door by GOP House leadership? I certainly hope now. Ryan has a reasoned, common sense approach to fiscal responsibility that is sorely needed in Washington. He shines in economic discussions, especially when put up against Barack Obama. Ryan has his own plan offered and ignored by this administration for economic reform. Ryan does say the GOP pledge is the first step towards the right path. I am heartened, though, that Rep Ryan is line place to be chairman of the House budget committee.

Ryan says earmark reform isn't in the current pledge because the GOP has already pledged reform on that and this new pledge is not for rehashing previous reform decisions. Interesting.

Vice-President Biden mocked the GOP pledge. That's ok. No one listens to Biden anyway. He's only around to give Obama legitimacy on foreign policy and even in that he has been historically wrong in his policy opinions.

As reported in The Hill, former President Clinton urged the Democrats to produce their own pledge of ideas for governance as the House Republicans did.

"I think the Democrats should put on a card no more than five and no less than three things they plan to do," he said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe. "I know how easy it is to lose hold of the message, it happened to us in 1993 and 1994." The problem with that is, President Obama refuses to acknowledge that he brings the country to the edge of the cliff again as he claims to have put it back on the right course. Statistic after statistic shows otherwise and it is getting harder and harder to push the idea that the country is now on the right path.

The big question after the November elections will be, will Obama see the anger of the American taxpayer, finally and change course as Bill Clinton did in 1994, or will he stubbornly forge ahead with his lurch to the left?

Some of the farther right - some of the Tea Party movement - describe the GOP Pledge as not going far enough. They are complaining that social issues, for example, are not more prominently featured. The Tea Party, in general, though is more of a fiscal conservative movement and steers clear of heavy involvement in the social issues. That is why so many Independents feel comfortable moving towards the Tea Party. I find it interesting that those most conservative who advocate for less government involvement in our lives and public policy feel so strongly that it is the government's business to get involved in the most intimate of issues - the issue of marriage, for example. Many of the farther right who publicly criticize the GOP Pledge do so to get a headline and further their own careers as pundits.

From Senator John Cornyn :

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-TX), and Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) released the following joint statement in support of “A Pledge to America.”

“Americans are speaking out and we are listening. The proposals put forward today by House Republicans reflect what Americans are saying. They want to us to focus on jobs first, fight wasteful Washington spending, repeal and replace the health spending bill and shrink an exploding deficit. Americans want a smaller, less costly and more accountable government.

“We strongly support this effort, and together, House and Senate Republicans will continue to fight for these principles. While the White House will retain the veto pen, House and Senate Republicans will focus on making America more competitive, reducing the size and cost of government, keeping our nation strong and secure, and reining in the massive health care costs and mandates imposed by the Democrats’ health spending bill.”

The Democrats did the predictable, sending out leadership to mock the pledge and firmly state that the GOP simply wants to go back to the past. They want the voter to think the GOP will not produce any new ideas or produce results for the economy. These same people are the ones putting off a vote on the Bush era tax cuts that have now been tax law for a decade. They would like for them all to sunset but only have nerve enough now to make with the standard class warfare on the campaign trail - end the tax cuts for "the rich", the millionaires and the billionaires. They claim anyone making $250,000 or more - for single individuals the amount is $200,000 per year - are rich enough to cough up more tax money for them to mismanage. They believe in deciding how much money a person in America can make in any given year.

The rising American taxpaying majority doesn't agree. We will find out the level of frustration and anger towards the malpractice practiced by the Democratic leadership in this country on November 2.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Was Iran Attacked By Stuxnet?

A story hit the Internet yesterday that captured my husband's attention and held it for the afternoon as he did some research into it. Then I read this in my normal daily inbox news updates from various virtual sources. From Pajamas Media and Roger L. Simon, using the original reference:

From Asia Bizz:

The Iranian Ministry has stated that some 30000 industrial computers have been infected by Stuxnet. One of the main operations done by Stuxnet is that it extracts vital information from these systems and then sends it somewhere abroad. Iran has termed this virus as a spy virus, as it is deploying vital data to other countries. On the other hand it is said, a similar attack has been reported from Iran’s latest nuclear power plant facility, but these reports have not yet been confirmed.

Do I have your attention now? What information was extracted from these thousands of industrial Iranian computers and where did it go?

It is obvious that this is a big story and also that the mainstream media would ignore it. It's not celebrity driven or an opportunity for bashing of conservative politicians before the mid-term elections, so frankly, the regular media outlets will miss it. That is another reason this story is an important one.

While Americans sleep and tune out to the world in general - just as we were pre-9/11/01 - the world moves on. While the 24/7 cable news channels obsess over the latest celeb to go to jail or to rehab, while the he said/ no, he said back and forth between political parties continues as we run up to the mid-term elections, while we focus on the lesser issues like celebs testifying before a congressional committee, our foreign policy and national security issues are front and center.

This story, to be honest, felt to be above my pay grade in its specifics and technical mumbo-jumbo. That is why my husband was so helpful. An engineer for the oil drilling business, this story is right up his alley. This kind of cyber attack - and especially since it is of industrial form - is compelling. He doesn't frighten easily and has been in the industry over 35 years. Yesterday afternoon as he was glued in front of his computer doing the research on this story he looked up at one point and said, "This is scary."

My husband, as Simon does, came to the conclusion that in all likelihood, Siemens (the German giant in electronics) is involved. Simons points to the history of the German company in relation to evil regimes and that, too, is an interesting piece of the puzzle.
Initially my husband's interest was tweaked because the cyber attack happens to the PLC through Windows software. Plus it is so easily implemented with a commonly used tool - a thumb drive in a USB port. Siemens designed the Iranian software that has been infected with the malware - not a coincidence, no doubt.

As an Engineer who works with PLC’s all the time he is always looking to protect his PLC’s from doing something dangerous when the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) software, running in Windows, crashes or freezes, and keep the Windows computers protected from the Internet (that’s why Stuxnet is spread on thumb drives) so the SCADA program can’t be controlled remotely. Nobody ever thought of protecting the PLC from malicious software. This is the first time this has happened.

So, the question is - who was working on the Siemens Step 5 PLC software? Was it initiated by Israel, working alone? Or was America involved? It is hard to believe that Israel would initiate this sort of successful attack and the Obama administration would remain silent. It would seem that Obama or his mouthpieces would condemn Israel, as they are prone to do at every opportunity. We think back to the attack from Israel on Iraq as Saddam ramped up his war arsenal and reflect on present day possibilities.

Whomever it was had enough skill to find four (4) undiscovered holes in the Windows code to insert their code malware.

"The implications of Stuxnet are very large, a lot larger than some thought at first," Michael Assante, former security chief for the North American Electric Reliability Corp., told The Christian Science Monitor. (IDG News Service also covered the news.) "Stuxnet is a directed attack. It's the type of threat we've been worried about for a long time. It means we have to move more quickly with our defenses--much more quickly." Read more:

Do I have your attention yet?

GOP Pledge vs Obama Criticisms

While President Obama continues to bash businesses that produce jobs and help our economy out of this recession; and while he continues to berate House Minority Speaker Boehner (which most Americans do not know), the GOP comes forward with a pledge and plan for the future.

The GOP listened to the people. They are ready to lead us into better fiscal times, despite opposition from their liberal colleagues. The time is now. Let's all pledge to help our country back onto the path of prosperity for all of us.

If you would like to view the pledge on Facebook, you can find it here:!/PledgeToAmerica?v=app_4949752878

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Plug the Drilling Moratorium

From The Wall Street Journal:
For an Administration that loves to tout stimulus projects that create a handful jobs here or there, it takes some nerve to describe the loss of up to 12,000 high-paying Gulf jobs as a triumph. Also unmentioned in the report is that if the Administration had listened to its own outside experts—who insisted a moratorium was unnecessary—the jobs lost would have been near zero. It is the White House that handed the Gulf these pink slips—not the spill, or a poor economy.

And there's the rub. The real fear is that the Administration is using the oil spill as an excuse to shut down the drilling that the enviro left finds so offensive. The President stacked his oil-spill commission with antidrilling environmentalists, who will be predisposed to recommend that any lifting of the ban be accompanied by a severe regulatory regime. The result would be a moratorium in everything but name.

The reports are in. The extra inspections of deep water drilling rigs were finished n a matter of days after the tragic accident resulted in the oil spill. The time is now. The deep water oil drilling moratorium must be cancelled.

Even Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is showing a bit of resolve to force the issue.
Louisiana's senior senator, Mary Landrieu, has written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to say she will place a hold on OMB nominee Jack Lew until she is assured by senior White House staff that the moratorium will be lifted.

“Due to the Administration’s unwillingness to reverse or modify its policies that have halted all deepwater and nearly all shallow-water energy exploration, I cannot in good conscience allow this nomination to proceed until I receive a commitment from Mr. Lew, the President, or another senior economic advisor to reverse these policies, which have been so detrimental to working families across the Gulf Coast,” Landrieu wrote in a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The moratorium also affects the oil drilling in shallow water. As this article points out, this, too, is intentional on the part of Team Obama: After the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Administration and other critics bullied and badgered the oil and gas regulators. Now the regulators are so fearful, they seldom approve any of the necessary permits to produce energy.

Reuters writes that, “Before BP’s record Macondo oil leak, U.S. regulators approved about a dozen [shallow water] drilling permits a month…since [the disaster] they’ve barely managed one a month…” In other words, there is a de facto moratorium on shallow water exploration because of the Administration’s (in)actions

Energy policy is too far reaching to be made into a purely political battle on ideology. Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has been conducted safely for decades. This accident was used for fodder for the far left to pick on a favored target - oil drilling. It is a short-sighted philosophy and it is simply arrogant. President Obama didn't mind sending millions of dollars in aide to Brazil for their oil drilling industry. It is shameful. It is inexcusable.

It is time to end the deep water drilling moratorium.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kristi Thibaut - Ties to ACORN

ACORN has infiltrated the state representative race for Tx State Representative for House District 133. The incumbent, Kristi Thibaut, worked as a paid lobbyist for ACORN.

From a statement released by her Republican challenger Jim Murphy:
“I am calling on Kristi Thibaut to resign her board position with Texans Together, publicly denounce the fraudulent actions of the Houston Votes project, and return the $43,500 that she has taken for her campaign,” said Murphy. “Voters need to be assured that my opponent is not part of these actions, or beholden to their agenda.”

Texans Together has been in the news recently for the dust-up over fraudulent voter registration forms in their get out the vote efforts, in their Texas Votes project. Though they claim to be bi-partisan, it is a fact they lean heavily to the Democratic column.

The Republican Party of Texas (RPT) recently launched a website, that details her lobbyist activities on behalf of the discredited organization. From that website comes this video on Thibaut's roster of major campaign contributors:

Fellow District 133 members, I recommend you join with me and vote for Jim Murphy for our State Representative in Austin.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jimmy Carter Preens On 60 Minutes

Former President Jimmy Carter is on the publicity trail as he pushes his new book -"White House Diary." He sat for an interview with 60 Minute's Lesley Stahl. Fairly standard Stahl interview - she all wide-eyed and giddy to be in the presence of a Democratic politician - and more than pleased to help Carter booster his overblown ego.

As the interview revealed, the most interesting tidbit for a political junkie was this:

But when all is said and done, and many will be surprised to hear this: Jimmy Carter got more of his programs passed than Reagan, Nixon, Ford, George H. W. Bush, Clinton or George W. Bush.

"I had the best batting average in Congress in recent history of any president, except Lyndon Johnson," Carter said.

"And yet, as I say, there's the sense that you were a failed president," Stahl said.

"I think I was identified as a failed president because I wasn't re-elected," he replied.

Mr. Carter is not perceived as a failed President due to his inability to secure a second term in the White House. He is perceived as a failure because of the havoc he caused in the lives of everyday Americans. Soaring mortgage rates, winding lines at gas stations, gas rationing, soaring energy prices, and the failure to secure the release of our fellow Americans held hostage in Iran for so very long. That is what Americans remember from the days of Carter. For most Americans, it was a very difficult time.

Those with warm and fuzzy thoughts about the late Senator Kennedy will no doubt flinch over Carter's hatred for the man:
"The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy's deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed," Carter says. "It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill." Carter despised Kennedy for daring to challenge him in his run for re-election. Kennedy was a hardball politician who thought of no one else but his own legacy and this included taking American politics down into the battleground trenches it has devolved into today. Just as Kennedy is the father of vicious Senate confirmation hearings now standard, he also employed the tactics of vanity politics. Just as the hard left politicians deny any Republican president reform of failing social programs or entitlements, Kennedy denied Carter his health insurance reform. Kennedy, reflecting upon his political career at the end of his life even admitted his regret for not supporting former President Richard Nixon's bi-partisan health care reform legislation.

Jimmy Carter, however, waiting until after the death of Ted Kennedy to accuse him of sabotaging his health care reform legislation is quite an eyeopener, even for the headlines Carter has produced in the past. Carter knows what his legacy will be - the worst American President in modern times - and is desperate to change its course. The only hope he has is if President Obama continues on with his current course of governing. Then, he may not be the worst, just the second worst.

Also mentioned from the world of Carter delusion was the statement that he believes he "probably" crafted a better post-Oval Office role for himself than other ex-presidents have." That in an article at The Imagine that. Carter is so self-absorbed that he thinks his years as an former president are superior to others. That would be hard to prove, especially in light of the fact that he set the precedent of bashing a sitting president, which was not the practice out of respect. His nasty remarks in the form of criticism of President G.W. Bush and even Bill Clinton erase any goodwill felt towards him for his work with Habitat for Humanity or other non-profits.

Past presidents go on to remain active in voluntary public service and public politics. Two superior examples are both former Presidents Bush and Bill Clinton.

He made the self-congratulatory remarks at the beginning of the week former president Clinton has the annual Clinton Global Initiative conference in conjunction of the United Nations session. The timing can only be seen as deliberate here, too.

Americans come away seeing a very angry old man. That's a pity, given the opportunities in life this man has been presented.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Obama's Town Hall Meeting on CNBC

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to stand before the President of the United States at a town hall meeting and state that you are tired of defending him to critics. This woman did just that and folks on both sides of the aisle are cheering her on.

"I'm one of your middle class Americans. And quite frankly, I'm exhausted. Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for," a woman told President Obama at a town hall.

"My husband and I have joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hot dogs and beans era of our lives, but, quite frankly, it's starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we're headed again, and, quite frankly, Mr. President, I need you to answer this honestly. Is this my new reality?," she added.

Obama's initial reaction was to laugh as the woman spoke. It was an odd reaction to most who witnessed it. Then he went on to attack the Tea Party movement:
But, he insisted, the economy is moving in the right direction. He also took the opportunity to challenge the Tea Party, calling out the grassroots movement for being too vague: "What would you do?" he asked of them. “It’s not enough to say ‘get control of spending.’ I think its important for you to say, ‘I’m willing to cut veterans’ benefits,’ or ‘I’m willing to cut Medicare or Social Security,’ or ‘I’m willing to see taxes go up.’

The Tea Party attack was not unexpected to political observers. And the fact that he immediately went to military cuts and scaring the audience with the Medicare and Social Security reference is classic liberal demagogue.

The New York Times reported that the latest election year strategy against the GOP by Team Obama is to go after the Tea Party movement and link them as extremists uniting with the Republican party, wishing to take the country into the past. “We need to get out the message that it’s now really dangerous to re-empower the Republican Party,” said one Democratic strategist who has spoken with White House advisers but requested anonymity to discuss private strategy talks.

The White House denies any such strategy.

He also went into the standard denying the possibility of extending the Bush tax cuts, now law for 10 years. By not allowing them to sunset, it does not make it a tax cut. It makes the law continue. No new tax cuts are coming. It simply allows the rates to remain the same. Obama and the Democrats continue to call them as new tax cuts. The implication is false and deliberate so as to allow tax rates to go up.

Obama and the Democrats are very nervous of the upcoming elections. The writing is on the wall and CNBC allowed a floundering President Obama to have an hour on a televised campaign stop. He called it a town hall but since he continues in campaign mode - he never stopped after he won the 2009 election - it was just another campaign stop for him. Same talking points with the added flavor of the new attacks on the Tea Party. The audience was hand picked by CNBC. The CEO of GE, the parent company of NBC is an adviser to Obama and a big supporter.

After the town hall, Obama boarded Air Force One and flew off to do two DNC fundraisers. Just another day. Problems? What problems?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Examining the Obama Stimulus in Texas

Economists declared the recession officially over. The National Bureau of Economic Research report that the recession ended in June, 2009 but the recovery is still very slow. That is of cold comfort to the millions of Americans struggling to keep pace with their obligations and to those nervous about losing a job in a floundering national economy.

The National Bureau of Economic Research, a private nonprofit research group that is considered the official arbiter of economic contractions and expansions, took pains to note that a determination of the end of the recession doesn't mean the economy has returned to vigorous growth.

"The committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity," the panel said in a statement after meeting Sunday.

While the November mid-term elections point to a change in majority control in the House of Representatives, the Senate will most probably remain under control of the Democrats but with a much smaller majority. The upheaval guarantees that plans are being made for a vigorous push in a busy lame duck session. Between the election and the new Congress being sworn in during January, 2011, Democrats will strive to make the most of their fading power. The Democrats will try to push through any unfinished legislative dreams. One concern is that there is a plan for a second stimulus bill.

The first stimulus bill signed into law by President Obama - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - was sold by this administration's economic advisers to the American taxpayers as a cushion against higher unemployment rates and a boost to state economies. To date, it has been a failure. Unemployment is almost at 10% and private sector jobs are not emerging. Government-related jobs are flourishing, however. The country's disposition is tense and increasingly angry. Since the stimulus was signed into effect, 2.4 million jobs have been lost.

According to a recently released Policy Brief from Texas Public Policy Foundation, the numbers are in on how well the State of Texas has fared. You may read the entire report here:

While Texas has fared well as a business-friendly state, the numbers are in on the effects of the Obama stimulus plan. Texas unemployment has grown from 6.5 percent in February 2009 to 8.3 percent in August 2010. As the report states, nearly $18 billion has come into the state and local economies yet private sector jobs are not being created as the job market remains weak. Non-farm jobs have decreased by about 99,100. Per capita personal income has decreased and as long as the government continues to intervene in the private sector, business of all sizes are not confident to hire more workers. The trend is not good. In contrast, government -related employment have increased by 105,400 jobs. The policy brief concludes the rise is in Government and Educational & Health Services sectors.

The Obama stimulus has failed. To date, the results have not been as sold by this administration to the taxpayer. Spending has not historically been the solution to digging out of a national recession. The data in this policy brief shows the same.

Monday, September 20, 2010

No Senate Confirmation For Elizabeth Warren

Sounds like President Obama has gone to his default campaign speech again if the accounts of his appearance at the Congressional Black Caucus gala are any indication of his autumn speech template. Pushing identity politics again, the candidate who promised to be the post-racial, post-partisan President was heard begging black politicians to rev up their base and get the black vote out for Democrats.

When will black voters finally awake from their long coma and realize that they have been taken for granted for all these years as Democrats appeal to them for support? Election after election we witness a legislative bone tossed here and there so that the loyal among them show up at the polls and vote Democratic.

In a fiery speech to the Congressional Black Caucus, Obama warned that Republicans hoping to seize control of Congress want "to do what's right politically, instead of what's right — period."

"I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, to go back to your workplaces, to go to the churches, and go to the barbershops and go to the beauty shops. And tell them we've got more work to do," Obama said to cheers from a black-tie audience at the Washington Convention Center. "Tell them we can't wait to organize. Tell them that the time for action is now."

Once a community organizer in Chicago, Obama knows the most effective words to use to rile up a crowd. He is nervous about the coming GOP sweep in the mid-term elections and he is trying to paddle upstream at this late date.

About the same time as community organizer became a career description on President Obama's resume, he also taught constitutional law classes at the University of Illinois - the employer of his wife, Michelle. As he ran for President, this teaching experience, though brief ( as with all resume building jobs on the record for this ambitious, impatient man) was touted as proof of what a smart man he would be as leader of the free world. Turns out Obama has, as President, run around the Constitution at every opportunity.

It would seem that President Obama is no graduate of the Dale Carnegie School of Business - he shows no aptitude for making friends and influencing people. Certainly not of the GOP variety of humans. And, now with the mid-term elections approaching rapidly on the calendar, his own Democrats are bailing out on him. This article speaks to the utter arrogance of his governing style.

We would have thought a Harvard law professor would object to the extra-legality of this arrangement, but then this is also the crew that gave us ObamaCare via budget reconciliation and put Donald Berwick in charge of Medicare without a Senate debate. Remind us again why the tea party critique of Obama governance is crazy.

The new bureau was already destined to be a bureaucratic rogue. When Members of Congress objected to it being "independent" in the way Ms. Warren hoped, Mr. Dodd and the Administration cooked up a plan to make it part of the Federal Reserve without actually answering to anyone there. The bureau has independent rule-making authority and can grant itself an annual budget up to $646 million. It will draw this money from the operations of the Fed, so the bureau needn't deal with the messy intrusions of Congressional appropriators and will therefore receive limited Congressional oversight.

Rather than show complete confidence in his selection of Elizabeth Warren, an old friend from his days at Harvard Law School, he has again chosen to appoint her as one of his czars. He has chosen an appointment over the traditional route of Senate confirmation and a standard term of service for her. The agency she developed and lobbied for will now be led by a woman with no accountability to the American taxpayer.

We have here another end-run around Constitutional niceties so Team Obama can invest huge authority in an unelected official who is unable to withstand a public vetting. So a bureau inside an agency (the Fed) that it doesn't report to, with a budget not subject to Congressional control, now gets a leader not subject to Senate confirmation. If Dick Cheney had tried this, he'd have been accused of staging a coup.

His actions tell the tale of his presidency. President Obama is desperate to try and maintain his Democratic majority in Congress to continue his pursuit of moving American legislative policy further to the left. Another example of his pandering - he and his family were spotted attending St. John's Church Sunday morning. Though the President and First Lady made headlines as they tested out different churches immediately after the whole family re-located to Washington, D.C. in January, 2009,the First Family has not joined a church. They do worship in chapel services at Camp David, we are told, and the President is quite fond of his Sunday golf games. This photo op smacks of election year desperation no matter what is in Obama's heart.

The speech to the those attending the Congressional Black Caucus gala also included classic Obama and Democratic class warfare: So, we’ve got more work to do; we’ve got a plan to finish. Of course, the other side has a plan too. It’s a plan to turn back the clock on all the progress we’ve made. To paraphrase my friend Deval Patrick, the last election was a changing of the guard; now we need to guard the change. Because everything we’re for, our opponents have spent two years fighting against. They’ve said no to unemployment insurance. No to middle class tax cuts. No to small business loans. No we can’t. That’s their motto.

Obama enjoys accusing the GOP of being for "the fat cats" though he was elected with the most contributions from Wall Street ever. His success as a politician is completely beholden to union support as well as minority voters. He deliberately misrepresents the accomplishments of former President Bush for his own benefit. President Bush cut taxes on middle class families during the last decade that Obama is so fond of referencing as badly run. Middle class families saw their income rise by approximately $2,000 thanks to Bush tax cuts that now will be re-named Obama tax cuts as a last minute campaign ploy by Team Obama.

President Obama habitually accuses Republicans in Congress of only acting on political expediency. It is projection on his part, pure and simple.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Carla Bruni Speaks Up About Michelle

This from a London account on Mrs. Obama's description of her feeling towards her new job: "Don't ask! It's hell. I can't stand it!"

Maybe Mrs. Obama has a different opinion of hell than others. To most people, hell is being unemployed; not being able to support one's family. Hell is not having enough food to feed one's children. Hell is losing the family home to foreclosure. Hell is a sick child. Hell is old and aging parents needing medical attention and living assistance. Hell is living with terminal illness.

Hell is mounting debt with no end in sight. Hell is living without resources as a battered spouse. Hell is waking to a feeling of utter despair each morning.

To most people, living the life of the First Lady is not hell. The First Lady, while functioning in a fishbowl and organizing responsibilities as she raises two young female children, is not living in hell. She is the recipient of a full staff - larger than previous First Ladies - and a live-in mother who helps with the girls. She is the recipient of more available opportunities than most people will ever dream of in real life. She can literally do as she pleases as she chooses what activities will fill her days.

President and Mrs. Obama do not even bother with the pretense of appearing to lead normal lives. While he plays round after round of golf at private and exclusive clubs, she shows up to do community service in designer, high end sneakers. She makes comments about checks that Americans received under President Bush to spur on the economy - about $600 each - and snarled that such an amount wouldn't even pay for a pair of earrings. This was such an oddly out-of-touch comment that I still remember it to this day. What a world she lives in.

It is an honor and exceptional privilege to live in the White House, the peoples' house, and be addressed as First Lady. She has a ready made audience at every event and rally. She is surrounded by people who are employed to serve. She even took a White House chef along to Martha's Vineyard on her last vacation.

France's First Lady Carla Bruni is justified in her surprise at Mrs. Obama's remarks. She has included the conversation in the book, "Carla and The Ambitious", in which she collaborated. She has plenty of critics, so expect the Obamatrons to come out in Michelle's corner. For example: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is a narcissistic sexual huntress and calculated climber who figures out whom to seduce and then does it to achieve her goals, or so says a controversial new unauthorized biography, Carla: Une Vie Secrete, by French journalist Besma Lahouri. Nice, huh?

No doubt the slobbering press will take this into account as quotes from Mrs. Obama come to light. Something to be remembered, though is this - Barack Obama didn't "inherit" this job and its problems. He campaigned for it. He begged for votes. He wanted it, as a career politician, as the highest political job in the land and in the world. Michelle Obama benefited from her husband's career, too. Even after he won his seat as U.S. Senator, her salary at the Univ of Chicago medical center almost tripled. It increased to over $300,000. Not too shabby. She herself is no stranger to politics. Her father worked for the city of Chicago and was plugged into Dailey machine politics. Her best friend was Jesse Jackson's daughter. She's no babe in the woods to the realities of politics. Her statements that are simply whines are unbecoming, to say the least.

Some spokespeople have dutifully come to the aide of Mrs. Obama. They deny the quote. The real problem with the denials? Michelle Obama has a history of making unfortunate remarks in speeches and campaign spots. She told one group of women in Chicago that Barack Obama could be shot while performing the ordinary task of filling up his gas tank at the neighborhood gas station - because he is a black man. She told an audience at a campaign rally that she was finally proud of her country - "for the first time in my life I am really proud of my country" - because Barack Obama was a presidential candidate. She told yet another audience that America is a "mean" country. All of this from the woman who was to become the First Lady.

Past performances do not inspire Michelle Obama's detractors to believe this latest blunder is any kind of mistake at all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cornyn Statement on O'Donnell Race

Senator Cornyn released the following statement concerning the NRSC and Christine O'Donnell brouhaha:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), released the following statement regarding the Delaware Senate race:

"Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee - and I personally as the committee's chairman - strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.

"I reached out to Christine this morning, andas I have conveyed to all of our nominees, I offered her my personal congratulations and let her know that she has our support. This support includes a check for $42,000 - the maximum allowable donation that we have provided to all of our nominees - which the NRSC will send to her campaign today.

"We remain committed to holding Democrat nominee New Castle County Executive Chris Coons accountable this November, as we inform voters about his record of driving his county to the brink of bankruptcy and supporting his party's reckless spending policies in Washington.

"In the weeks ahead, we will decide where to best allocate additional financial resources among the large number of competitive races at stake this November. While it's not in Republicans' interest to advertise our spending strategy to our opponents, it's worth noting that just yesterday, the NRSC's first independent expenditure ad aired in support of Dr. Rand Paul's campaign in Kentucky, where we firmly believe that he will win in November.

"It remains to be seen whether national Democrats will provide a similar level of support for many of their nominees, including in key battleground states like Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, and New Hampshire, among others. The Democrats' indecision reflects the fact that Republicans are on offense in at least 12 Democrat-held states and we are leading in the polls in seven of those 12 states.

From Laura Bush to Michelle Obama

Seeing a bit of the memorial service on September 11th commemorating the terrorist attacks of that day and more specifically, the plane crash in that field in Pennsylvania, it was an exercise in contrast in First Ladies. Both former First Lady Laura Bush and present First Lady Michelle Obama were speakers for the ceremony. I couldn't help but compare the two women.

A picture was published in the Sunday newspaper of Michelle Obama wiping away a tear during the ceremony. Too bad she didn't express that emotion as she campaigned two years ago for her husband. We all remember her statement that she was "never really proud of her country" until her husband ran for President. What a shallow and egocentric statement. Too bad she didn't even acknowledge her pride in the U.S. as we recovered and healed to the worst attack on our shores since the attack at Pearl Harbor. Our country's history is rich in accomplishment and good deeds. Shame on her for being so obtuse.

Laura Bush still exhibits her calm and quiet dignity. Make no mistake, she is no shrinking violet. She is a strong and accomplished woman in her own right. She is a Republican women so she was easily dismissed as no one of importance by the ugly left in our country and that is their loss. Laura Bush helped tool the No Child Left Behind legislation, President Bush's premier piece of legislation early on in his administration. She was on Capitol Hill with Ted Kennedy on September 11, 2001.

Laura Bush was a strong advocate for adoption issues. Laura Bush was a strong advocate for women's health issues. She educated women at home and abroad about heart health and even opened clinics in Muslim nations - Saudi Arabia, in particular - so that women could have breast exams and ob-gyn exams. Laura Bush led an initiative to provide nets for bedding in countries - particularly in Africa - who suffer high mortality rates due to malaria, a completely preventable disease.

Michelle Obama has gone a different route. Understandable that she would want to make her own way, she has chosen to dovetail into her husband's health care reform efforts. There have been missteps along the way but she is doing ok, overall. She should remember to not wear the expensive designer sneakers as she "gardens" with the school children and serves food at soup kitchens. It brings sarcastic press reports. Tone deaf.

Her latest snafu has resulted in more talk of the tone deafness of her service. She has decided to be nagger-in-chief about the nation's menus. Having learned better nutritional habits due to her children's eating habits, she now feels the need to lecture on the rest of America's eating habits. True, much work is needed in educating parents about nutrition and adults need reminders that fresh foods, fruits and veggies are important in our daily diets, Americans are feeling a strong overload on governmental interference into our lives. It is tone deaf for her to speak to the National Restaurant Association, as she did yesterday, and begin to sound as though she will insist on legislation on proper eating habits. It smacks of more nanny state overreach.

Because when it comes to more governmental intervention into one's personal life, especially one's children, then we have no time to spare. As reported in The LA Times : The first lady doesn't mind ordinary families eating out on special occasions. But, she claimed, restaurant efforts to reduce calories and fats have been insufficient. And too slow. "We just don't have the time to waste," Mrs. Obama added.

Hardly the kind of speech that restaurant owners appreciated. In our struggling economy she should be out promoting small business and encouraging patronage of restaurants, not rapping them on the knuckles for being slow to reduce portions and reduce calories in dishes. Who made her the food police?

She worked the health care costs of poor nutrition into the speech. Perhaps that is her justification for being so intrusive into family life. She suggested apple slices instead of french fries with burgers. Well, fast food restaurants have been doing that for a while now. Where is the new idea there?

Frankly, Michelle Obama loses some credibility in the area of lecturing everyone else on nutrition. Her own husband does not follow her lead. There are numerous press accounts of President Obama eating at hamburger joints, eating pizza, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, etc. Hardly a role model, just a regular person. Perhaps Michelle Obama should figure out what works on her husband and then take that plan to the rest of us. Sagging restaurant sales would be better off for it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

McConnell Says No To Tax Hikes

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stepped up and introduced a firm rebuff to the Obama planned legislation to create more class warfare in the form of picking winners and losers as it pertains to income tax rates. On a Sunday morning chat show,House Minority Leader Boehner seemed to step into the trap set by President Obama and said he would vote in favor of extending tax cuts to the middle class if that was the only tax cut legislation he could get. He threw the tax cut extension to upper income earners under the bus, essentially. The slobbering press made much of this slip on Boehner's part - especially since Boehner is receiving so much play in the media as the new whipping boy of Team Obama. Press Secretary Gibbs has even been going back and forth with Boehner in a Twitter war of words. Is this appropriate behavior for the Obama administration? Evidently they think so, what with the example set from the top, from the President himself.

From The Washington Times:
I'm introducing legislation today that ensures that no one in this country will pay higher income taxes next year than they are right now," Mr. McConnell said on the Senate floor. "We can't let the people who've been hit hardest by this recession and who need to create the jobs that will get out of it foot the bill for the Democrats' two-year adventure in expanded government."

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said, "I will do everything in my power to stop President Obama and Speaker Pelosi from raising taxes on working families, small-business people, and investors." And, continuing on the circling of the wagons, House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence said at a Sunday rally in his home state of Indiana, "No American should face a tax increase in January...not one. We will not compromise our economy to accommodate the class warfare rhetoric of this administration."

From the Daily Caller:
In a statement delivered on the Senate floor Monday afternoon, McConnell drew a clear line about the potential tax hikes, and announced that he would draft legislation that he said would ensure that “no one in this country will pay higher income taxes next year than they are right now.”

“Democrat leaders need to listen to what the American people have been shouting at us for the past 19 months: the reckless spending has got to stop. So far, they’ve made no concrete concessions. But now it’s time they join Republicans, stand up to the administration, and declare that the spending spree is over,” McConnell said in the statement. “Republicans are offering a choice: more of the same or the new direction Americans are asking for.”

Senator Cornyn (R-TX) released his statement of support of Senator McConnell's bill: U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Republican Leadership, has cosponsored legislation, The Tax Hike Prevention Act, introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that would permanently extend the 2001 & 2003 tax cuts at a time that unemployment remains high and job creation is stagnant.

“With millions of Americans facing the largest tax increase in the nation’s history and many still trying to make ends meet, this bill will protect our families, seniors, and small businesses who are trying to weather this economic storm,” said Senator Cornyn. “Raising taxes is the last thing we should be doing during a recession. If these tax cuts are not permanently extended Texans will send more of their hard-earned dollars to Washington, while small businesses, the backbone of our economy, will remain on the sidelines in the face of more economic uncertainty.”

To amend his poor choice of Sunday morning statement, Boehner released a statement Sunday evening calling on Democrats to "pass legislation to cut spending and freeze tax rates without any further delay."

That's more like it, Mr. Boehner.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Obama Bashes Boehner As Boogey Man

Just as the GOP tried to make Nancy Pelosi the boogie woman during the 2006 elections, the Democrats are at a loss for a winning campaign strategy. So, when all else fails, blame the GOP for their failures. In a remarkable turn of events, President Obama has lightened up on his constant whines against former President Bush and has taken to beating up, verbally, Minority Leader John Boehner.

Unfortunately for President Obama and his team of nasty minions, few other than political junkies know the name of John Boehner, much less his job. The New York Times, faithful slobbering lemmings for Obama, dutifully ran a hit piece against Leader Boehner. His shortcomings? Well, Boehner smokes, plays golf and is friendly with lobbyists. The problem with that critique, which is supposed to prove Boehner's unsuitable to lead the House of Representatives? That same string of words describes President Obama. And, in Obama's case, he has allowed waivers for those he appoints to join Team Obama to get around their lobbyist careers. Nancy Pelosi, by the way, has accepted double the campaign contributions from "lobbyists" that Boehner has accepted.


At least Boehner is a current office holder. The others consuming endless ink in criticism by Team Obama - private citizens Sarah Palin and Newt Gringrich, for example - seem unusual choices, especially by the President himself. It diminishes the position when the President is the hatchet man. Usually that job falls to the Vice President. Maybe this is more of the change we were promised by candidate Obama. He seems comfortable in allowing the image of the most powerful man on earth to devolve into that of just another politician from the south side of Chicago. Thug politics.

In the latest publicity stunt from this White House to make the president appear more in touch and a regular guy - the phony backyard gatherings at private homes in swing states. And in the backyard of a family in Virginia yesterday, Obama launched into attacks on Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell. Unable to tout his failed initiatives, he has little else but to try to ratchet up distrust of the minority party should they take control of Congress in November mid-term elections.

President Obama appears to be a small man. He plays bare knuckle politics and throws public temper tantrums in the form of whining about legislative opposition when it arises. A man with very little national political experience, he is one to whom personal success came rather easily. He is not accustomed to hearing the word, "no". He is a man, after all, who sued to keep political competition in his personal primary battles off the ballot.

On Sept. 8 in Parma, Ohio, Obama mentioned the name Boehner 9 times during a speech before a hand picked group of supporters. Nine times. He elevates Boehner to the level of President.

Obama has lost his mojo. He is no longer seen as an articulate speaker, his addiction to the teleprompter exposed. He is no longer "no drama Obama" as he jumps into every controversy with his personal opinion, whether it is a local or national issue. He is no longer the smart, capable guy ready to handle any emergency. The Gulf oil spill exposed Obama's inability to notice an impending catastrophe and act accordingly.

Obama has been exposed as a ideologue unwilling to see the forest for the trees. His legislative successes he touts are all roundly unpopular with the ordinary American. He and First Lady Michelle fiddle as Rome burns. Whether it is extravagant summer vacations to Spain or continuous rounds of golf and shooting hoops with a dream all-star team summoned to the White House court to play with the President, they both are leading by an out of touch example. The top notch entertaining continues with weekly soirees at the White House hosted by the First Couple. Obama postponed his initial trip to the Gulf Coast to see the oil spill damage for a day to greet sports stars. Priorities?

November 2 may be a rude awakening for Team Obama.

Monday, September 13, 2010

In Summary:
The spot highlights the economic success Texas is experiencing because of the leadership and pro-growth policies put into place by Governor Rick Perry.

The keys to success? Don't spend all the money. Keep taxes low. Keep regulations fair and predictable. Tort reform to prevent frivolous and junk lawsuits. Fund an accountable education system. Then get out of the way and let entrepreneurs and the private sector do what the private sector does best-- create jobs. Since 2005, Texas has created far more private-sector jobs than all over states combined.

As the Governor continues traveling the state, bringing his positive message directly to Texans, the momentum and excitement of our campaign continues to get stronger every day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gov Christie Is Republican Leadership in Action

This is Republican leadership.

Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson - Another Corrupt Democrat?

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, U.S. Representative from Dallas and former president of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), is caught up in a major ethical snafu. It would appear she played fast and loose with some CBC scholarship monies.

It was recently reported that the Congressional ethics panel is investigating Johnson's handling of the scholarship money as her own grandchildren and great-nephews are shown to be on the receiving end of the assistance. Thanks, Grandma!

Johnson went on a national cable talk show to proclaim her innocence. She mentioned that she thought the names of those young men sounded familiar. Really? She was only vaguely familiar with the names of her own grandchildren? Talk about a lame statement.

Then the incriminating evidence was stumbled upon by the Dallas newspaper.

There has been a reported letter by Johnson directing the CBC scholarship money to go directly to her grandsons and not to their chosen universities. Short and to the point: Please accept the enclosed scholarship checks for Preston Moore and Gregory Moore. If possible I would like for their checks to be made out to them instead of the University. It is reported in The Dallas Morning News after Johnson appeared on CNN and proclaimed her innocence in any wrongdoing.

From the Dallas Morning News: Relatives were not the only ineligible winners Dallas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson picked for scholarships funded by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

At least five other college students the Democrat chose since 2005 didn't live in her district or that of any other caucus member, as required by the nonprofit foundation.

None of the five had any apparent relation to Johnson, unlike her two grandsons, two great-nephews and two children of her top Dallas-based aide to whom she awarded at least 23 scholarships in the last five years.

The Dallas Morning News reviewed all of Johnson's selections in that period. The scholarships, from corporate and private donors, are intended for worthy students who live or go to college in the district of a black caucus member.

Johnson's list is full of scholar athletes and academic high achievers. But there is also a pattern of violations of eligibility requirements that extends beyond relatives.

Johnson is serving her ninth term in Congress. Sounds as though it is time for her to retire.

Friday, September 10, 2010

America Is Better Than This

America is better than this. Election after election, voters are presented with choices, many of whom are the better of two mediocre candidates. Voting for the lesser of two evils is no way to send representation to offices of legislative power. Those currently serving in Washington, D.C. are mired in the inability of being able to move from campaign mode into governing mode. Democrats cheerlead for the current President, though they find themselves having to run from his legislative track record, as it is deeply unpopular with everyday America. Republicans are stuck in a position that finds them pulled by 'establishment' Republican leadership versus a more populist group of Tea Party supported candidates. All the while, the Obama administration is determined to keep the divides widening by feeding rifts between the haves and the have nots.

This is no way to govern a country.

Why has President Obama lost so much of Independent voter support so rapidly? I think it is because he has completely misread the general population, the middle class of the country. He is stuck in class warfare and the rest of the country has moved on. Most people simply want to be gainfully employed and wish better for their children. Most people do not dwell on who has what and do not live in bitter envy of those more successful financially. Most people simply strive to keep moving upwardly on the financial ladder.

We are devoid of true leadership. A president who cannot mature past finger pointing and the blame game when his own legislative policies fail and are not popular with a majority of Americans will not inspire others. Americans were sold a bill of goods on this guy as he ran for the highest office in the land and he completely believed his own hype. He was the one who told campaign rally audiences that he was the one we have been waiting for - that by simply voting him into the leader of the free world, the sea levels would rise and the rest of the world would love us. He campaigned on the naive idea that he would extend a hand of friendship to those who wish us destroyed and all would be rainbows and unicorns.

President Obama simply doesn't understand some basics. He doesn't understand we are long past the days of big social programs and government programs guaranteeing benefits not earned. He doesn't understand the generations ruined by dependence on government programs or that the office of the president requires a certain decorum. He doesn't understand some true history of our nation. Perhaps he does truly see himself as a new age FDR, but the reality is that the increase in big government programs under FDR prolonged the Great Depression. Obama is still under the impression that all the legislators have to do is throw money at problems and all will be solved.

From The Wall Street Journal:
To be clear: The anxieties Mr. Obama is describing are real. But not everyone can spend 40 years pouring concrete or driving a city bus. Eventually, instead of a president ranting constantly about "greed and recklessness," we're going to need a national leader willing to spend his time in office getting everyone, from top to bottom, believing they are on the same national team.

What happens when the make-work construction job is completed? The worker is out of a job again. This is why FDR failed to curb the Great Depression and this is why the programs proposed by Obama will not sit well with Republicans. Hiring more workers on the government's dime is not the solution. Small business must be nurtured and supported.

So, why is Obama all of a sudden a big tax cutting supporter of small business? Because it is very close to a mid-term election and the poll numbers are very bad for the Democrats. He will no longer be able to shove through legislation strongly opposed by a majority of Americans. It looks as though Speaker Pelosi will be replaced and that gives hope to voters. No more far left agenda pushing and no more arm twisting, and back room deals, to get the work done.

From a column by Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal:

It's not too early to assess the damage done by America's 44th president. He squandered his mandate and the public's enormous good will. He alienated voters and dropped a heavy yoke on his party with useless spending and a shockingly unpopular health-care bill. With pressure mounting and a potentially epic loss looming, Mr. Obama has gone from a commanding, engaging candidate to an arrogant, self-pitying president. It is not pretty to witness.

It is now time for us to go to the polls and vote our conscious. The choice is clear - keep moving in the far left agenda direction or put a halt to the march against our personal freedoms and liberty. It is time for a change of direction. More middle, less edges.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Dept of Ed Denies Tx Ed Comm of $830 Million

Senator John Cornyn released this on the denial of the Department of Education to the request by the State of Texas:

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education announced it has denied an application from Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott for $830 million from the Ed Jobs Fund:

“As Texas children and teachers work their way into the school year, it’s unacceptable that they won’t have access to the full range of federal resources available to them,” Sen. Cornyn said. “It is unfathomable why Texas Democrats would unanimously support the politically charged Doggett Amendment, which unfairly hamstrings the efforts of educators statewide and sends critical Texas taxpayer dollars that should be used in Texas classrooms to schools in California and New York.”


In the coming days Sens. Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) will introduce legislation stripping the Doggett Amendment language and Texas-related provisions from the Education Jobs fund.

On August 6, members of the Texas Republican Congressional Delegation joined Sens. John Cornyn and Hutchison in writing to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging her to remove language from the state bailout bill that would penalize Texas and bar the State from accessing important federal education dollars that every other state will be able to access to support their schools and teachers.

Obama's Last Ditch Economic Gimmick Before Election

President Obama rolls out a new spending bonanza in Ohio. Surprise! He's going to a swing state again. Unless there is a natural disaster somewhere else, the swing states are the only ones Obama is interested in visiting. Now it is to hawk his newest campaign gimmick in the lead-up to the mid-term elections, a spending bill to offer tax breaks to small businesses and lots of money for infrastructure work.

Why is it that only 2 months before a pivotal election for his political agenda does Obama decide that tax cuts are good for small business? It is because he sees the polls and is panicked? For all his GOP bashing and blaming the minority party for not jumping on board of his tragically flawed economic policies, the general public is not falling for his schtick. All of the traditional economic markers are down due to his failed original stimulus/spending legislation and yet now he continues to propose more money to throw down a hole.

Small business credits in the form of tax cuts should have been predominant in the original economic legislation of this administration. Instead, Team Obama failed to put two and two together, as they are all from the university and think tank worlds, not the job creating business world. Most small business owners pay taxes at the individual rate. Most small business owners are in the $250,000 and up range of tax brackets - the very ones denied a break by this administration, as they are pegged as "the rich". A small business owner filing taxes as an individual earning $250,000 or so is not going to take a leap of faith with this administration to hire more help or expand a business in inventory or equipment. This administration has shown its cards - they intend to tax and tax some more to continue class warfare and the small business owner be damned. Not to mention the uncertainty and unease that the upcoming costs of health care reform/scheme has produced for all businesses in this country.

From an article in The Washington Times which speaks to the blatant political gamesmanship of this spending bill proposal:

"He's just throwing it on the wall, hoping it will stick," said Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee and generally a fan of road-building, who said Mr. Obama muffed this one. "The strongest supporter of infrastructure on the Republican side is me, and he's certainly not getting my vote."

The infrastructure re-vamping is a huge bone toss to the union members, a key faction of the Democratic base. He is hoping to get them excited enough to get out and vote for other Democrats in the mid-term elections. It's as simple as that. Why else wait so long into his first term for all this? His favorable numbers are in the tank, that is why, and Team Obama is concerned that Democrats will stay home in November. They are trying to fend off a complete tsunami by the GOP.

An article in USA Today points to a quote by an economist respected by both Democrats and Republican, Mark Zandi. Zandi was an advisor to the 2008 McCain presidential campaign and has advised Obama, too.

"I don't think they're game-changers," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "I don't think they're going to add up to a lot of new jobs."

Zandi says companies probably wouldn't ramp up spending to take advantage of the deduction until next year: "Most companies are going to sit back and make sure the business landscape is safe before they jump in."

No doubt Team Obama will pooh-pooh Zandi's prediction now.

And, one wonders what Team Obama, mostly Obama himself, thinks of former budget director Peter Orszag's opinion. He thinks the "Bush" tax cuts should remain in place, at least for the next two years. Perhaps there is a bit of tension between the two men. From The Wall Street Journal: In other words, Orszag would kick the problem down the road two years, so that at this time in 2012, Americans will again face the economic consequences of an imminent tax hike. Also in 2012, Obama will be seeking re-election. One begins to suspect Orszag would like to see his erstwhile boss lose.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

International Burn a Koran Day

A Gainesville pastor plans to stage a publicity grabbing event on the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The Dove World Outreach Center is a small evangelical Christian church with a membership of just 50. The center of the controversy is the act itself - to burn Korans, the Islamic holy book. The pastor, Terry Jones, has named the project "International Burn a Koran Day". He claims it is "a message of warning to the radical element of Islam", according to an article in The Washington Post.

Jones now carries a pistol in response to the more than 100 death threats he has received so far. He states that the church is firmly committed to carrying out the event but is also "weighing the situation".

General Petraeus weighs in on the planned event:
"It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems," Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said in a statement. "Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."

So does the Obama administration spokesperson:
The White House also condemned the Florida church's plan, with press secretary Robert Gibbs reiterating Petraeus's contention that U.S. forces could be put in harm's way as a result.

And, the State Department, too:
"State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called the proposed demonstration "un-American" and said it was "inconsistent with the values of religious tolerance and religious freedom."

Jones says he agrees with General Petraeus about the potential for provocation of violence. And, in Kabul, protests have begun. Jones was burned in effigy as a crowd of about 500 chanted "Long live Islam" and "Death to America". Various local politicians and members of parliament spoke to the crowd. Some began to throw rocks as a U.S. military convoy went by but they were ordered to stop with a threat of arrest by the speakers.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul released this: "The United States government in no way condones such acts of disrespect against the religion of Islam, and is deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups."

It is a mistake, especially as a nation at war in a strongly Muslim country - Afghanistan - to provide Jones with publicity. The media and General Petraeus have brought this misguided man far more fame than he would have ever achieved without such a drastic display. There are kooks residing within all groups of people. This pastor is just as obnoxious as anyone who would burn a book. Any book. How would he be able to criticize the burning of The Bible in the future if he moves forward with burning a Koran? Or a Torah? All religious books are protected in the very freedoms for which soldiers are fighting in places like Afghanistan. Those who wish to kill us over religious differences do not deserve the elevation to victim by those who would allow that due to their own selfish indulgences.

Perhaps Pastor Jones needs to pray a little harder.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Obama's Labor Day Union Pander

While President Obama is fond of belittling the GOP leadership of the nation and claim all Republicans want to do is regain control of Congress and go back to past policies, it is clear he is stuck in his own desire to bring back the past. The liberal past of big government programs, make-work projects and deficit spending over the cliff. He longs for the days of big union power and a strong workforce presence.

The President flew to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to deliver his Labor Day speech to the union members and their families at a huge annual picnic held there. As is his habit, the man who promised a post-partisan way of governing, devolved into cheap partisan political talk about the GOP. From the text of his speech:

But there are some folks in Washington who see things differently. (Boos.) You know what I’m talking about. (Applause.) When it comes to just about everything we’ve done to strengthen our middle class, to rebuild our economy, almost every Republican in Congress says no. (Boos.) Even on things we usually agree on, they say no. If I said the sky was blue, they say no. (Laughter and applause.) If I said fish live in the sea, they’d say no. (Laughter.) They just think it’s better to score political points before an election than to solve problems. So they said no to help for small businesses, even when the small businesses said we desperately need this. This used to be their key constituency, they said. They said no. No to middle-class tax cuts. They say they’re for tax cuts; I say, okay, let’s give tax cuts to the middle class. No. (Laughter.) No to clean energy jobs. No to making college more affordable. No to reforming Wall Street. They’re saying right now, no to cutting more taxes for small business owners and helping them get financing.

You know, I heard — somebody out here was yelling “Yes we can.” Remember that was our slogan? Their slogan is “No we can’t.” (Applause.) No, no, no, no.

The reason he went to Milwaukee, besides to pander to working class voters in a state hit hard by the economic policies of Democrats and those who support union boss demands, was to announce his big idea of spending even more borrowed money from China on a new stimulus/spending project. This stimulus project is to be pushed as a 'small' stimulus program to put people back to work (read union members) improving our nation's infrastructure.

This president is beholding to union support. This is nothing new for the Democrats but he has ramped it up to new levels. There is a revolving door to the Oval Office from top union leaders and their access to the members of Team Obama. Andy Stern who headed up the SEIU until April, 2010 is a close advisor to the president and has visited the White House numerous times according to the visitor log. Stern is credited with growing union membership during an era when America saw declining support for unions in general.

If the infrastructure package is to stimulate employment, why didn't he include it in the initial spending bill when he entered office? Instead of simply throwing money in every direction imaginable with abysmal results to date, the stimulus was to target the increase in unemployed Americans. It failed miserably.

The Wall Street Journal, an on target summary of the efforts of this administration's economic strategy:

In sum, never before has government spent so much and intervened so directly in credit allocation to spur growth, yet the results have been mediocre at best. In return for adding nearly $3 trillion in federal debt in two years, we still have 14.9 million unemployed.

The president was in Milwaukee to tout his support for working class Americans. It is his default tactic - class warfare. If he can't win an argument by pitting Democrats against Republicans, as he does by blaming the GOP for blocking his legislative proposals though the Democrats have a super majority in Congress and don't need GOP support on legislation, he then falls back on pitting the middle class against the wealthier Americans. There is simply no new thinking from the candidate who promised to 'change' the ways of Washington and lead in a new era of post partisanship.

An interesting bit was when the president who is so dependent on his beloved teleprompter veered off his prepared speech to insert an ad lib - that Republicans are berating him like a dog. Odd. Especially coming from a man who has employed smearing talk against GOP members who oppose his policies, including continuing to blame the previous administration and president for his own failures. When does the exalted new leadership kick in?

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, rallyed the union members by bashing any of the opposition groups to the failed policies of the Obama administration. Here is a bit of his speech:

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pressed President Obama and the Democratic agenda heading into midterm elections, a day after steadfastly defending the administration’s efforts in the face of stubbornly high unemployment.

The union leader opened for Obama at the annual Milwaukee Area Labor Council Laborfest, along with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.).

“President Obama and Democratic leaders share our vision of an America built on good jobs — and together, we’re going to get America back to work,” Trumka told the union crowd. “It won’t be the bankers. It won’t be the Tea Partiers. It won’t be the ‘party of no’.”

Trumka, too, has been the recipient of unprecedented White House access as a union big shot. He is a pro at pitting union versus non-union sections of the population. He encourages disdain for the very people who can provide the environment for his union members to work - bankers providing credit lines to business, and business owners responsible for hiring, as well as those demanding less government spending to stabilize our economic future.

At a time when the president finds his approval ratings at 40% for his handling of the economy, you would think he would try a reversal of course and listen to others for alternative solutions which may provide better results than his so far.

Weekly Republican Address 9/4/10: Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY)

Monday, September 06, 2010

A Different Kind of Labor Day in 1989

From the U.S. Dept of Labor's website:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

In a different definition of Labor Day weekend, in 1989, on that weekend, I exerted a specific form of labor. Our son was born. After a very long 22 hours of labor, he was born on September 2 at 11:48 AM. I remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday, not 21 years ago. Natural childbirth will has that effect.

He is the joy of my life and I am a very proud mom.

Live long and prosper.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Oil Drilling Moratorium Saga Continues on Gulf Coast

As another accident involving the oil drilling and production process occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, west of the site of the BP oil spill, the alarmists jumped ugly. Leaning Left is a pre-requisite read to comparing the two recent oil drilling incidents. It is clear from the article that it is a different scenario. It is drilling vs production and it is shallow vs deep water environments. Add to that, the incident outside of Vermilion Bay occurred during construction, not during drilling operations. So, yes, nothing adds up to a comparison.

As the Times-Picayune’s David Hammer writes this morning, yesterday’s accident aboard Mariner Energy’s Vermilion 380 platform in the Gulf, which resulted in a fire it took several hours to put out, is being put forth as further evidence the offshore oil industry is out of control and needs to be curtailed if not ended.

And as Hammer notes, it takes some rather severe contortions to create equivalency between the Vermilion 380 accident and BP’s Deepwater Horizon nightmare. Contortions, it must be said, which only someone with a left-wing agenda would wish to practice.

Here is an article reporting of Louisiana Governor Jindal supporting an end to the job killing drilling moratorium.

There is no doubt in the minds of common sense Americans that the deep water drilling moratorium is a politically motivated, job killing action taken by this administration. As with the rest of his appointments, President Obama filled energy and interior department positions with far left, extreme elitists hell-bent on stopping oil drilling and production using our own country's natural resources. As it currently stands, America's crude oil imports exceed 60%. Where is our oil coming from? Mostly from countries that do not wish us well. At some point, oil production becomes a national security issue, too.

An issue of great concern is the federal government’s ability to effectively implement new rules and regulations. One of the roadblocks to complying with the new regulations set by the BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management), formerly the MMS (Mineral Management Services), is the “worst case discharge” rule. Prior to the Deep Horizon blowout, a company requesting a permit to drill a well on the shelf (shallow water Gulf of Mexico) would have to provide proof that the company could respond to a worst-case scenario of 200%. In other words, to calculate this estimate a company must identify what would be the very most the well could blowout and then multiply that by 200%. The concluding estimate would then be what the company must be capable of responding to. The current rule is 200%, however, the BOEM’s new proposed rule for worst-case scenario response is 400%.

The 400% ruling is a deal killer for most all companies operating on the continental shelf. On a recent conference call the BOEM and a group of operators discussed the current issues concerning shallow water permitting. Specific to the conversation, operators asked the question to BOEM officials, “How did you come up with the number of 400%?” The BOEM official replied, “We did it internally. We got together and came up with 400%. We needed to do something and that’s what we did.”

So, while Congressmen with a leftist, anti-oil industry agenda continue on with crazy make-work project ideas like a desire to dismantle drilling platforms no longer in use, the true mission as they see it,is clear. Throw up every obstacle imaginable to squash oil exploration and drilling to appease the clueless, elitist environmentalists and hope to score votes in November. It is blatant and nasty political grandstanding.