Sunday, July 31, 2011

CPAC Ousts GOProud

The premiere event of self-labeled conservatives is the annual gathering in D.C. known as CPAC. Conservatives from all across the country convene to listen to speakers and panels of pundits as they enjoy socializing with like-minded individuals. It is now under new management and a new direction is developing.

Last year, GOProud - a gay conservative activist organization - was a sponsor of the event. There was some brouhaha made of it by the most conservative of social conservatives and some very nasty words were uttered. It was unfortunate and it was wrong.

This year the organizers of CPAC have unceremoniously dumped GOProud and will not be extending an opportunity for sponsorship to them. The board of directors wrote a letter with no explanation, just a denial of participation stated.

From the GOProud website:
GOProud represents gay conservatives and their allies. GOProud is committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy. GOProud promotes our traditional conservative agenda by influencing politics and policy at the federal level.

A top priority of GOProud is the defeat of Barack Obama in 2012. That is my top priority, too. That accomplishment will only be realized if conservatives, Republicans, Independents and Reagan Democrats pull together and make it happen. By shrinking the tent instead of expanding it, Barack Obama will succeed.

Maybe it is a case of feeling morally superior to others. Social conservatives who put social issues above the direction of the country has marginalized conservative voices. The success of the Tea Party has been on fiscal issues and the acknowledgement that, while all issues are important, our fiscal health is on life support in this country.

Prominent conservatives such as Andrew Breitbart and Roger L.Simon (Pajamas Media) have now said they will boycott CPAC. Breitbart is quite clear in his speeches that he is a Tea Party member, not a Republican or Democrat. When he announced this decision at this weekend's Smart Girl Summit in St. Louis, he received applause from the majority in the room, according to those who tweeted the info from that event. That is encouraging.

In full disclosure, I have never attended CPAC. Frankly, it has been because I thought I wouldn't be particularly comfortable with those pushing social conservatism over fiscal conservatism. By allowing those who make a personal fortune off of keeping folks divided - like some much of conservative talk radio - our country falls into the hands of candidates like Barack Obama. Demanding purity from your fellow man/woman is a path to nowhere. And, political wilderness.

Here's hoping the newly politically active Tea Party members stand with GOProud, as Breitbart leads the way.

A boycott would be a good thing. Support all conservatives. Inclusion not exclusion.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Senator Rubio is a Statesman

This is what a statesman looks like:

Noonan Calls Obama a Loser

It was noted that President Obama bounced in and out of talks with the leaders in Congress trying to hash out a solution to the whole debt ceiling debacle. His latest camera ready speechifying happened Friday as he spoke and yes, actually told the American people to contact their member of Congress again. Once a community organizer, always a community organizer, even when you sit in the Oval Office. He did, however, abandon his usual class warfare talk of millionaires and billionaires and corporate jets as he insisted on tax increases until the bitter end.

By default, then, it looks as though the Reid plan, or some modified version of it, is going to be the means by which the standoff is resolved--a compromise that meets the most important demands of both the president (borrowing authority through 2013) and the Republicans (no tax increase).

Columnist and former presidential speech writer Peggy Noonan wrote in her current piece for The Wall Street Journal that President Obama is a loser, as it pertains to his handling of the debt ceiling debate. And, that it is a pattern for him in political debates.

And so his failures in the debt ceiling fight. He wasn't serious, he was only shrewd—and shrewdness wasn't enough. He demagogued the issue—no Social Security checks—until he was called out, and then went on the hustings spouting inanities. He left conservatives scratching their heads: They could have made a better, more moving case for the liberal ideal as translated into the modern moment, than he did. He never offered a plan. In a crisis he was merely sly. And no one likes sly, no one respects it.

So he is losing a battle in which he had superior forces—the presidency, the U.S. Senate. In the process he revealed that his foes have given him too much mystique. He is not a devil, an alien, a socialist. He is a loser. And this is America, where nobody loves a loser.

Barack Obama is good at speeches and has mastered the skills necessary to use a teleprompter. Though, I would argue that in recent months his speech making skills have declined considerably, he still speaks and people listen. He is, however, not a good politician. He has close to zero governing skills and shows no progress in learning that art as we approach his third year in the White House.

Barack Obama is a cold and detached President. He doesn't engage and work on solutions - he tosses it to his Democratic leadership in Congress. He allowed his premier legislation and legacy maker - Obamacare - to be voted into law with only Democratic yes votes. Never before has a huge new entitlement program been passed with only the support of one party.

Noonan rightly pointed out in her article that no one steps up and claims to love Barack Obama. As with both Clinton and George W. Bush, when times got rough and public support plummeted, there were still core groups who proclaimed a love for their guy. I know this to be true. It happened to me with George W. Even when the darkest days were upon us, I still stated my love for the guy. I still do.

Barack Obama's polling numbers have never been lower. They have continued to fall during this debt ceiling debate. It would appear that the American public has begun to notice what a weak leader he is for the country at times of decision making. While that may be good for his opposition on election day 2012, it is not at all a good thing for our country.

When push comes to shove, Barack Obama votes present.

We deserve better.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rep Tim Scott Voted No On Boehner Bill - Kinda

Watching Rep Tim Scott in an interview on the debt ceiling debate, he said that when Speaker Boehner told the caucus to get their "ass in line", he tuned Boehner out. Why? He doesn't like bad language. Seriously. This is mature leadership from a GOP freshman? Hardly.

Man up, Buttercup. This just reeks of simply looking for excuses to snipe. It is petty and small.

And, then what happened? Just 24 hours later, Rep Tim Scott voted no to the Boehner bill, revised for the third time, but had an agreement with GOP Whip McCarthy that if the GOP needed his vote, he would vote yes. McCarthy, it was reported, stood near Scott as the vote proceeded.

When The Daily Caller caught up with Scott for an interview Friday afternoon, he confirmed he was still a “no” vote, though he did not rule out a last minute change of heart. In the end, Scott voted against Boehner’s plan, which passed the House without Democratic support.

“I think the Boehner bill is far more complete than it was before last evening,” Scott told TheDC. When asked if it might change his vote, Scott said “There’s always a chance.”

Scott was one of three who went to the House chapel and prayed on their decision last night after a vote was cancelled. He grinned as he came out saying he was "leaning no" going in and a firm no coming out.

So, let me get this straight. The guy is so delicate that his tender ears tune out if his Speaker says the word "ass" and he prays for answers to votes but then makes a deal with the Majority Whip, though he is a Tea Party darling who snipes that the Balanced Budget Amendment should be at the front end of the revised bill, not in the middle of it, so he'll vote no. What kind of game is this guy playing?

The topper was when I saw a tweet on Twitter that Scott said the last 24 hours were Speaker Boehner's finest moments.

Gonna take a while for the freshmen in the House to get their bearings, I suppose. Plus, it would be good for them to remember that the GOP controls the majority in the House but not the Senate or the White House. Under these circumstances, change is slow.

President Obama Declares Twitter War on GOP

Late Friday morning, just after his plea to the country for a debt ceiling solution, President Barack Obama launched a Twitter war on Republicans in the House and Senate. That's right. Here is the tweet attributed to him directly, not his staff:

@BarackObama Barack Obama
The time for putting party first is over. If you want to see a bipartisan #compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet. —BO

See the BO at the end of the tweet? That is suppose to be the way to verify it is written by him and not a flunky.

When have we ever had a President in office who puts his own re-election and party above all else? Make no mistake, if you go to his account page and look at the tweets in the timeline, there are no tweets aimed at Democrats on the debate, just the GOP. How's that for encouraging bi-partisanship.

To Barack Obama and his flunkies in Washington, bi-partisan means doing it their way. Having lost control of the House of Representatives and needing a few GOP Senators to thwart a filibuster, he and his team have ratcheted it up.

Barack Obama is now at an all time low in polling numbers. As of today, his latest Gallup poll number for job performance is at 40%. That is his lowest point to date.

Congress isn't so popular, either. A new low number for them was seen this week - now only 6% approve of the job they are doing. Note to Team Obama: that is Congress as a whole, not just the GOP.

We've seen prime time television coverage of speeches by Obama, press conferences with the White House press corps, and statements issued from the White House. Now we have a Twitter war declared on the GOP. Here's a thought, President Obama - instead of tossing it all off on Congress, how about a plan of your own?

President Obama's budget was unanimously rejected in the Senate by a vote of 97-0. There's some bi-partisan agreement.

President Obama - stop with the petty politics and the stunts. Get to work. Do your job. Where is your plan?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Culberson A Yes Vote on Boehner Plan

Rep John Culberson is my member of the House of Representatives. Today I received this latest update from his office on the matter of the debt ceiling vote being hashed out with Speaker Boehner.

Fortunately, Rep Culberson has shown common sense and is a yes vote on Boehner's bill.

Here is his reasoning:

As Congress continues to navigate this urgent and complicated debt crisis, you can count on me to do the right thing for the right reasons and to approach every vote as a free market, constitutional conservative. I have cosponsored a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution every session since 2001, and I am an original cosponsor of the Cut, Cap and Balance plan that puts America on track for a balanced budget. I will continue to strenuously oppose any tax increases, while pushing hard for massive spending cuts and enforceable spending caps.

My hero, Thomas Jefferson, once said, "Though you cannot see when you take one step what will be the next, yet follow truth, justice, and plain dealing, and never fear their leading you out of the labyrinth - the knot which you thought a Gordian one will un-tie itself before you." Applying those basic principles will help avert a default, and ensure the deepest possible spending cuts and the strongest possible spending caps.

I also want to stress that none of the proposed plans will affect Medicare, Social Security, or Medicaid for anyone age 55 or older. However, it would be tragically shortsighted not to reform these entitlement programs since they are unsustainable on their current path.

The gravity of a default is not lost to me, or our leadership. A 1% increase in interest rates will instantly wipe out the spending cuts while inflicting untold damage on our economy and our standing as the global financial leader and holder of the world's reserve currency.

It is imperative we reach some sort of agreement to avoid the catastrophe of default. Since the Democrat led Senate and the White House oppose both the Balanced Budget Amendment and the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan we passed out of the House, Speaker John Boehner’s latest plan appears our best option to avoid a default.

This plan contains no tax increases and achieves 80% of the spending cuts set out in Congressman Paul Ryan’s conservative Roadmap budget plan adopted this spring. The Boehner plan also contains nearly $915 billion in spending cuts over 10 years. I believe this is the largest cut we can hope to pass through the Democrat controlled Senate, and this plan also ensures that we will get a series of votes on different versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment, which gives us the best chance of sending it on to the States for ratification. The plan would require another vote on raising the debt limit in six months, providing another opportunity to achieve even larger spending cuts. I believe this plan is the best short term solution and it is absolutely imperative that we adopt it.

I am determined to leave America more free and more prosperous for our children and grandchildren just as our parents and grandparents did for us. I know the right thing to do is to cut spending and cut taxes but that is simply not possible under the current circumstances.

I am confident America will not default on its debt, but I cannot yet say which path we will take to get there. You should rest assured that I will stay true to my core principles as a Jeffersonian, free market constitutional conservative, and as he said, I am confident “the Gordian knot will untie itself.”

McCain Calls Tea Party Freshmen "Hobbits"

Now that even the Democrats are acknowledging Ronald Reagan as the gold standard of Presidents, here's a quote of his in reference to the Balanced Budget Amendment:

“Most Americans understand the need for a balanced budget and most have seen how difficult it is for the Congress to withstand the pressures to spend more. … We tried the carrot and it failed. With the stick of a balanced budget amendment, we can stop government’s squandering and overtaxing ways and save our economy.”

In March 2011, eleven Democratic senators voted in favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment. They were: Begich, Bennet, Brown, Carper, Kohl, Lieberman, Manchin, McCaskill, Nelson, Nelson, Udall.

Senate Majority Leader Reid refused to take a vote on the Cut, Cap and Balance bill sent over by the House. Majority Leader Harry Reid is quite pleased with himself. It fell 4 votes short in Senate -- Tester, Manchin, McCaskill, Warner & Ben Nelson fumbled as it was considered for a vote. You notice that three names are in both paragraphs here - Manchin, McCaskill and Nelson voted for a balanced budget amendment in March and now have turned against it. Wonder what would cause that?

The political atmosphere.

Democrats will not go along with a Balanced Budget Amendment, especially with a Democrat in the White House. That is a political reality.

Wednesday, Senator John McCain took to the Senate floor an op-ed from The Wall Street Journal and read aloud some of the text. An article encouraging the more strident of conservatives to take a second look at this demand. Though some of the language used in the piece wasn't helpful - the Hobbits crack was uncalled for in a civil debate - it is worth reading.

Senator John McCain was sounding more like the maverick when he called tea party Republicans "bizarro" for their attempts to oppose raising the debt ceiling agreement if there is no balanced budget amendment included.

"What is really amazing about this is that some members are believing that we can pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in this body with its present representation and that is foolish," the senator said. "That is worse than foolish. That is deceiving many of our constituents."

McCain blasted them for their tactics to try to push through such an amendment. "That is not fair to the American people . . . to hold out and say we will not agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a balanced budget amendment. It's unfair. It's bizarro."

McCain is getting heat from the Tea Party freshmen and others championing them in the House. Nothing new there - these are the folks with whom McCain cannot pass a test that he is conservative enough for them. Never mind that he is a Reagan conservative and socially conservative, too. Any attempt to work with the other side for legislation is considered taboo. Which brings me to the question - what do you think is the political process?

Politics is the art of the possible - and the art of persuasion. The hard truth now is that the GOP only controls part of 1/3 of the government. The Senate and the White House are in the hands of Democrats. I am not telling the Tea Party freshmen to stop trying, but I am asking for some common sense.

To the Tea Party freshmen I would say accept victory. Victory has been accomplished in this debt ceiling debate and the Democrats are livid. The only shot the Democrats have at looking victorious in this battle is to completely tear apart the GOP and especially Speaker Boehner. This cannot be allowed.

Barack Obama has been shown to have absolutely no compass on decision making skills. He'll go along with whatever he thinks will win an issue for himself and for his re-election bid. Speaker Boehner has taken the discussion from the original demand that the legislation be a clean bill - only one on raising the debt ceiling - to spending cuts in relation to spending. Now the issue of a balanced budget amendment has been advanced. That is all good. The balanced budget amendment, however, is for another day.

This is why it is so important to elect a few more Republican senators in 2012. Even if the GOP is not successful in taking back the White House, a GOP led Senate and House of Representatives would be a huge obstacle to the agenda of Barack Obama and much more realistic for the conservative agenda. The balanced budget amendment takes time, too. It has to be ratified by a majority of the states before it can be implemented in Congress.

Change takes time, especially in Washington, D.C. That is the reality of politics. The freshmen are impatient and that is understandable. Many have never held political office and are accustomed to having a more immediate gratification. The Tea Party freshmen have been victorious in re-setting the GOP in their former spending spree and that is a good thing. The lines between the GOP and Democrats are quite clear now.

Speaker Boehner deserves support and encouragement. The GOP must hang together to accomplish fiscal sanity for our nation. Now is not the time to fall apart.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Support Our Troops with USO2GO

Are you looking to make a positive statement amidst all the negative stories and actions out there in the world this summer? Here's an idea that made it's way to my inbox. How about supporting our troops serving overseas by contributing to the USO?

As part of the USO's work with the military, they encourage commanding officers to let them know exactly what troops need. In response, the military officers have told the USO what our troops need most is a way to relax and recharge. I can only imagine how very important some down time must be for those living in a war zone and in remote, difficult places.

The program is called USO2GO. You can contribute HERE.

Here's how USO2GO shipments work: Our troops request items to be sent to them on the front lines. These can include video games, sports equipment, musical equipment -- whatever they need to give them some downtime and a recharge with their teammates. The USO gets the package from home to them.

More than 400 USO2GO’s have been delivered to Iraq and Afghanistan since the inception of the program. These packages are morale-boosters in areas where there are no corner markets or PXs available to the troops. USO2GO delivers the USO’s most popular services to troops in remote and restricted areas. Everything from beanbag chairs, snacks, coffee, and toiletries to phone cards, DVDs, XBox®360, PlayStation® 3, and Nintendo's Wii™. Also available are laptops, musical instruments, art supplies, footballs, Frisbees and horseshoes. There are eight different packages available for troops to request.

Any amount contributed is appreciated.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Obama Addresses Nation on Debt Ceiling

Everyone is painfully aware that at this point it is all about posturing for the 2012 election for President Obama. The evidence is the insistence now that the deal be a long term deal by President Obama.

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin said this:

“Look, to my eye this has all been political. The desire to get to 2013 can get wrapped in economic clothing but it’s fundamentally a political argument. The president doesn’t want to talk about his record of debt between now and the election and everyone knows that. They had a deal. And the deal was sitting there, waiting to be taken, and at the moment when they could get the deal they pushed for more taxes, which is a political argument at the expense of less entitlement reform, which is the substantive problem.”

Traditionally, the debt ceiling is raised for the short term. The GOP plan has it raised through the end of 2011. For Obama to insist on one that is good through the election in 2012 is exactly as it appears - pure politics and his re-election campaign.

Barack Obama asked for and received prime time television coverage for his address to the nation on the debt ceiling discussions. Every time he addresses the nation on this matter, his poll numbers go down. It will be interesting to see if he did himself any good Monday night. Make no mistake - this was all about Barack Obama's campaign for re-election.

Obama realized that sitting on the sidelines and demanding Congress solve the problem of raising the debt ceiling didn't play well with the American people. So, he wants to appear relevant, thus the press conferences and the campaign speeches including the topic as he goes to large audiences - as he did Monday afternoon with the La Raza group.

It was a wedge driving speech, the Obama speech. He started off re-hashing the blame Bush approach and then tried to rectify this fiasco of a stimulus plan that didn't work. Then he went into the real consequences of no deal forthcoming as he tried the scare tactics. He lied about the House Republicans, which is his habit, and proclaimed that they wanted nothing short of deep spending cuts only and "harsh cuts to Medicare." Cue the DNC commercial of granny going over a cliff in her wheelchair.

He supports the Reid approach though he seemed a bit confused about it. He continued on with the riff about "shared sacrifices" and "revenues" must be raised but the Reid plan doesn't include revenue raising. Neither does the Boehner approach. It was as though Obama didn't understand what had been hashed out in the two plans over the weekend. He also lied about the Reid plan being the one Boehner walked out on Friday.

Obama made the obligatory references to corporate jet owners and big oil companies and then "people like me" who didn't ask for or want tax breaks. He said "patriotic" Americans are "willing to pitch in". So, if you are a fiscal conservative who believes the money you earn is, in fact, your money and not the government's, well, you are not patriotic. Nice.

He used the Reagan quote, of which he is quite fond lately, and then failed to note that he and every other Senate Democrat voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2007 when GW Bush was in office. Wonder why he didn't include that tidbit?

He has no plan. He doesn't understand economics. He pulls imaginary dates and numbers from the sky and declares them as the gospel truth. He is quite the speechifier. His numbers have never been lower.

Speaker Boehner answered in a short response. He began with "I serve as Speaker of the whole House", which separated his tone from that of the class warfare, wedge driving Obama speech. He noted a long held belief that "the bigger the government, the smaller the people." True that.

He calmly recanted the timeline of negotiations and made note that as the deal was on the table Friday, Obama added additional 'revenues' and thus went back on the agreed to plan. He said Obama "wouldn't accept yes as an answer" and blew the deal up with his last hour inclusion of additional taxing.

The House Republicans - those who Obama vilifies at every opportunity - are the only ones who have produced plans and legislation to be voted on. They passed Cut, Cap and Balance just last week - with some bi-partisan support. The Democrats in the Senate haven't even bothered to produce a budget in almost 900 days. The budget last voted on - submitted by Obama - was voted down unanimously in the Senate. Unanimously. Now that is bi-partisan!

Obama was playing to Independents. He failed miserably. Independents have moved past finger pointing and bare knuckled partisan politics, especially from the guy at the top hoping to get re-elected for a second term as President. Obama still hasn't fully grasped that fact.

Obama desperately does not want to be the first president to allow a government default on his watch. He's headed in that direction.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Doc Hastings Brings Forward Dept of Interior Re-Organization

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Chairman Hastings has released a new video on the legislation moving forward from the committee. In draft form, the legislation would reform the Department of Interior. The draft proposal officially abolishes the Minerals Management Service to create three separate agencies and establishes a new Under Secretary of Energy, Lands and Minerals in order to elevate the role of American energy production on public lands within the Interior Department.

The smaller is better approach to oversight seems reasonable, right? Eliminate an inefficient large bureaucracy and replace it with a more efficient organization model.

“Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it’s evident that changes need to be made to the organization and structure of the federal government’s offshore energy agencies. Reforms must increase accountability, improve efficiency, promote safety and ensure the highest ethical standards of employees. The Department of the Interior has already taken steps to restructure its organization overseeing offshore energy. While the Department has made progress, I believe Congress should pass legislation building on their reforms and write into law the structure of these agencies,” said Chairman Hastings.

The key points of the reorganization plan are as follow:

Create a new Under Secretary of Energy, Land and Minerals to be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. This position would oversee all offshore and onshore energy operations.

Abolish the MMS and create three separate, distinct agencies to handle offshore energy operations, each with clearly defined missions:
* The Bureau of Ocean Energy (BOE) is responsible for the planning, leasing and environmental work associated with offshore energy production.
* The Ocean Energy Safety Service (OESS) is responsible for permitting, safety and inspections.
* The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) is responsible for all royalty and revenue collection.
* Establish an Assistant Secretary for Ocean Energy and Safety to oversee both BOE and OESS. The current Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget will oversee ONRR. ·
*Establish a National Offshore Energy Health and Safety Academy to train the government’s offshore inspectors.
* Establish an Outer Continental Shelf Energy Safety Advisory Board, which was recently created by the Interior Department, to offer independent scientific advice on safe, responsible and timely energy production.
*Require that employees conducting safety inspections have at least three years experience in the oil and natural gas field and a degree in an appropriate field. ·* Requires annual performance reviews of inspectors.
* Require the Secretary of the Interior to certify annually that all DOI employees are in compliance with all Federal employee ethics laws and requires the Secretary to conduct a random drug testing program.

For professionals in the field of oil and gas exploration and development, the components of training and use of employees who conduct safety inspections to have a requirement of 3 years of experience and a degree in that field are very important.

Here is the video:

Boehner Proves Leadership Skills in Debt Ceiing Talks

Sunday morning, Speaker Boehner sat for an interview with Chris Wallace and explained the Republican point of view concerning the debt ceiling negotiations.

I went on “Fox News Sunday” this morning because it was the most effective way to tell everyone where things stand. It boils down to this: The president wants his $2.4 trillion debt limit increase all at once, without any guarantees that we’re going to cut more than $2.4 trillion in spending. The administration says they have to have it all upfront so we don’t have to deal with this again until after the next election. You heard the president say that himself on TV the other night.
We’ve seen this coming all year long. But here’s the challenge: To stop him, we need a vehicle that can pass in both houses.

You know, last week we passed the Cut, Cap & Balance Act and showed America our solution, our vision, as we did months ago with our budget. So we’ve done our job. And I think the nation knows it. But as you all know, the Senate tabled the Cut, Cap & Balance Act. And I think the nation knows that, too. So the question becomes — if it’s not the Cut, Cap & Balance Act itself — what CAN we pass that will protect our country from what the president is trying to orchestrate?

The White House has never gotten serious about tackling the serious issues our nation faces — not without tax hikes — and I don’t think they ever will. The path forward, I believe, is that we pull together as a team behind a new measure that has a shot at getting to the president’s desk. It’s won’t be Cut, Cap & Balance as we passed it, but it should be a package that reflects the principles of Cut, Cap & Balance. We’re committed to working with you — and with our Republican colleagues in the Senate — to get it done. No one is willing to default on the full faith and credit of the United States.

Treasury Secretary Geithner was also on the same show. He said he was surprised that this battle was continuing so close to the stated deadline of August 2. Really?, I thought.. Why was he surprised? Doesn't he realize the atmosphere in which he operates? The comment sounded phony, either way.

As of Monday morning, we are waiting to read the proposal that Speaker Boehner will present - scheduled to be ready for a Wednesday vote in the House. Senate Majority Leader Reid is set to present his plan - similar to Boehner's and it will make him appear relevant in the discussion.

The adult in the room turns out to be Speaker Boehner.

Boehner now has left the White House on the sidelines, has his troops in order and can craft a deal with the Senate. At this point, the Senate Democrats who have never put forth a plan of any type must be desperate for a deal. The ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), took the opportunity to twist the knife, putting out a statement that read in part: “The President has never put a single plan on paper that actually reduces spending, and he has no program that would substantially reduce the deficit. If he does, it’s a closely guarded secret. And if such a secret plan does exist it should be made public… The honest truth is that this president, and this Democrat-led Senate, will not agree to the level of spending cuts in a debt deal necessary to put our country on a sound path.”

We wait.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Boehner Works on Sunday Debt Ceiling Agreement

During his latest public attack on the House Republicans, President Obama said during his press conference Friday afternoon that he had "summoned" the House and Senate leaders to the White House for a meeting Saturday at 11:00 AM.

"They are going to have to explain to me how we do not default", President Obama said.

Got that? Instead of stepping up and doing his job, President Obama wants to continue on as Bystander-in-Chief and insist on continuing to lay everything at the feet of Congress.

So, turns out the meeting didn't last very long at all:

Saturday's meeting, according to White House officials, lasted for 50 minutes.

"The President wanted to know that there was a plan for preventing national default," McConnell said in a statement released after the meeting broke up. "The bipartisan leadership in Congress is committed to working on new legislation that will prevent default while substantially reducing Washington spending."

In other words, nothing was accomplished.

By late Saturday, Speaker Boehner sounded resolved to a short term extension as the path forward in the immediate future:

The office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said late Saturday that Congress will have to resort to a two-vote approach to raise the debt-ceiling and prevent a government default.

"The Democrats who run Washington have refused to offer a plan," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement. "Now, as a result, a two-step process is inevitable."

Obama remains firm in insisting that only a big solution is acceptable.

Late Saturday, Boehner convened the Congressional leaders without any representatives from the White House. Very unusual for that to happen on The Hill.

By Sunday morning talk show time, as Treasury Secretary Geithner continued the White House attack on Republicans in Congress, Speaker Boehner took the high road. He said he wouldn't take part in the "political sniping" when asked to defend the GOP against Geithner's remarks.

Boehner remains confident he can put a proposal together in time for the opening of the overseas markets - late Sunday night for us in the U.S. - so as to keep the stock markets stable, both here and around the world. Though he said he prefers a bi-partisan agreement, he said the House Republicans are prepared to go it alone in a proposal.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Boehner Ends Talks with Obama On Debt Ceiling

I have a new level of respect for Speaker of the House John Boehner. Instead of allowing President Obama and the Democrats in the debt ceiling negotiations walk all over him and "move the goal posts" at the eleventh hour of talks, he walked.

Speaker Boehner had a point to make and he did it. By insisting on a last minute demand of $400 billion in additional 'revenue' (taxes), Obama moved the goal posts from the deal on the table. Bad enough that the cuts being agreed upon - $1 trillion over ten years - are a drop in the bucket. Further demands of taxes are unacceptable.

This was then Senator Barack Obama speaking on the floor of the Senate in 2006:

The fact that we're here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign -- is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.

The vote Obama was opposing was by no means a certain outcome. It passed by 52 to 48. Which goes to show the previous partisan posturing of Democrats during the last Bush term. Every Democrat in the Senate voted against raising the debt ceiling when President Bush requested it in 2006. It is important to remember that a politician is always thinking of the next election. In this case, it was a very junior senator from Illinois - in his rookie year of service - who was considering a run for the Presidency despite his complete lack of experience at the national level.

Obama again stated that the debt ceiling was raised 18 times during the Reagan administration. He didn't, however, bring up his own opposition to the same debt ceiling being raised in 2006.

So, when the talks collapsed and Speaker Boehner stated that he would no longer be working with President Obama on this, instead working with Senator McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Reid, President Obama took his case to the White House press corps, his buddies.

First Obama spoke of the deal that collapsed:

Obama revealed that Republicans had agreed to a roughly four-to-one ratio of spending cuts to tax increases in the deal, under the proviso that the new tax revenue come only from the elimination of subsidies and other deductions. But Boehner balked when the president demanded that tax increases at least match the amount to be cut from entitlement programs.

Saying that Washington has “now run out of time” to reach a major deal on the debt ceiling, Obama has summoned Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to a White House meeting set for 11:00 A.M. on Saturday. He warned that the two sides must be able to show progress towards a deal by the time markets open on Monday.

He continued on with criticizing House Republicans and Boehner by name as not willing to get the job done. He claimed Boehner could not wrangle the Tea Party members to agree to anything. He bellowed a lot about how put upon he is with the whole process. He asked of the GOP, "Can they say yes to anything?"

Then as Boehner countered with his own press conference, he confirmed the deal that was to be and then the reason of the collapse:

At a press conference just now, House Speaker John Boehner confirmed that Republican leadership had agreed to some $800 billion in revenue as part of a deal with the White House, but said that President Obama yesterday made a last-minute demand for an additional $400 billion, which Boehner said would have had to have come from “raising taxes . . . on job-creators.” Boehner also said that he was “not really interested” in a short-term debt-ceiling increase, but instead work with bipartisan leaders in the Senate on a long-term solution.

So, there it is. Obama 'summoned' the leaders of both parties to the White House at 11:00 AM Saturday to tell him how the problem will be solved at this late hour. He admitted he is clueless, basically. Though he wants to be the adult in the room, he continues to fall short of that goal. Obama's press conference benefited from the willing puppets in the White House press corps and their softball questions. They are only too willing to go along with the meme that it is those mean Republicans in the House who will not compromise. And, by compromise, they mean capitulate.

Boehner, the actual adult in the room, stated that he would not get into the partisan sniping heard earlier - meaning the Obama press conference. He calmly articulated his position and said he would continue to work with leaders. He reiterated that the government will not be allowed to default on our debts.

Let's remember, as all his back and forth settles in, that it was Barack Obama who first walked out of a session of negotiations. It was Barack Obama who told Eric Cantor to "not call my bluff", and got up and left the room. In contrast, the House GOP,since taking the majority in January 2011, put Paul Ryan's plan to a vote, passed a budget and passed Cut, Cap and Balance. The Democrats in the Senate are approaching 900 days without a budget submitted. The last budget submitted by Obama this year was voted down unanimously in the Senate. Unanimously. Obama has not put forward his own plan. Ever. He continues to punt and wait for Congress to do his work.

So, to President Obama's question as to if the GOP can say yes to anything - the reply is, yes, we can.

Where is the leadership, President Obama asks? Right back at him, we can ask.

And, Obama would do well to remember that the branches of government are co-equals.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wasserman-Schultz vs Allen West

Do not underestimate the political hackery that will come from newly appointed DNC Chair Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. She is vicious in her attacks against Republican opponents and spares no feelings.

Wasserman-Schultz created a juicy little distraction from the debate du jour in Congress - the debt ceiling negotiations. It was deliberate and it worked. The interesting part is that she didn't get to launch her attack and get away with it, for a change. She picked the wrong guy to go off on from the floor of the House.

Wasserman-Schultz launched an attack against Congressman Allen West. Both are from South Florida districts. Wasserman-Schultz has a history of attacks against West, including organizing a protest outside his campaign office during his run. That's right, a sitting member of Congress organized a protest against a candidate running for office.

In the fall of 2010, Wasserman-Schultz personally led a protest outside West's campaign office, calling him an "extremist" who "wears his extreme disrespect as a badge of honor" and "thinks it's okay to objectify and denigrate women."

She's a peach.

West is the first African-American Republican Congressman from Florida Reconstruction. Wasserman-Schultz is a white Jewish woman.

It began with the attack by Wasserman-Schultz on the floor of the House when West was not there to address her attack. Mostly it dwelled on the fact that they were both representing a large number of people who receive Medicare and she was disgusted that West was holding true to his principles of fiscal reform. She is fond of embellishment when it comes to truthful political discourse. So, he learned of it and sent off an e-mail to Wasserman-Schultz.

Here is the pertinent part of the message:
“You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives. You have proven repeatedly that you are not a lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me."

Wasserman-Schultz is not accustomed to being called out by her target. West, however, is a retired military officer and knows a bit about self-defense. He was making his point that he will not sit by and allow her to continue on this path without response from him.

Wasserman-Schultz demanded an apology, naturally. She played the gender harassment card and got some of her posse of willing rubes, er, Democratic women, to hold a press conference demanding an apology. It was amusing to see that motley crew up there acting all insulted. Liberal women love to be the victim.

Rightfully, West refuses to apologize. He was wise to sent that e-mail to his GOP leadership in the House so as not to allow Wasserman-Schultz, who released it to the press for the publicity stunt to develop, to misquote it.

West didn't play the race card, though if he were a liberal he would have done just that. Wasserman-Schultz is fond of accusing the GOP of wanting to go back to the days of Jim Crow in the South and that is particularly insulting to West.

Contessa Brewer vs Congressman Mo Brooks

Cable show host Contessa Brewer didn't appreciate Rep Mo Brooks' competence as he answered her questions on cutting the budget and the deficit problem in D.C. She went to the usual liberal attitude: "Do you have a degree in Economics?" she asked. Yes, as a matter of fact, he does. From Duke University. With highest honors, too. Plus a degree in Political Science.

Don't ya just hate it when that happens?

Rep Mo Brooks (R-AL) v Contessa Brewer:

Check mate, Rep Mo Brooks.

This follows on the heels of a bit of strange editorializing from Brewer concerning the attack on Rupert Murdoch during his hearing before the committee of Parliament.

Brewer described the event as the "attention getter of the day." She highlighted members of Parliament "looking on in horror and then oddly added, "And I think, in some ways, this encapsulates what the British people are feeling right now about Rupert Murdoch and those involved in this phone hacking scandal."

Considering that no one knew at the time what the man's intentions were and what contents made up the pie, it's odd to link such an extremist to the legitimate anger Britons feel over the hacking.

If you were watching the hearing, you would note that the members of the committee apologized to Murduch after the heathen attacked him and questioners complimented him on his decision to stay and finish the session after the attack. One even complimented his lovely wife, Wendi Deng, for her successful punch to the heathen.

So, instead of continuing with the vilification of a successful media mogul, the tone changed to one of subtle sympathy and a note of embarrassment from the committee members.


If you were to read the Wiki page on Contessa Brewer, with a big grain of salt, you would notice that these two episodes of journalistic lapses in professionalism are but a common thread in her hosting history. If she were as intelligent as she would like to portray herself, you'd think she'd get a clue.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deals Made Behind Closed Doors

Is this how the U.S.Senate writes legislation now? Do we not find it unacceptable that a small group of politicians meet behind closed doors and submit proposals for votes? Whatever happened to transparency and public input into the process?

The debt reduction debates are going the way of the Obamacare debacle. A few people are privy to what is being moved forward and everyone else is left to read the bill when it passes. In this case, a small group already put forward what is needed - Obama's debt reduction commission - yet the House passed their own version Tuesday while the Senate advances the Gang of Six proposals. Or maybe the Reid-McConnell plan.

Or, maybe President Obama will just go with the advice former President Clinton offered recently. Just go ahead on his own and ignore Congress all together.

In an article by leftist writer Joe Conason, Clinton pretends he was all in favor of working within a balanced budget template while conveniently not mentioning that it was the new majority of Republicans in Congress that demanded he do so. It was Clinton's wild adventures into Hillarycare that led to a Republican majority in Congress for the first time in 40 years, after all.

Former President Bill Clinton says that he would invoke the so-called constitutional option to raise the nation’s debt ceiling “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me” in order to prevent a default, should Congress and the President fail to achieve agreement before the August 2 deadline.

Sharply criticizing Congressional Republicans in an exclusive Monday evening interview with The National Memo, Clinton said, “I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy.”

Conason touts the brilliance of both Clinton and Obama in matters involving the U.S. Constitution because both taught classes in universities on the subject.

Remember when the Democrats yelled about former President George W. Bush going around Congress at every opportunity, though it wasn't the case? Remember how offended they were that so many Executive Orders were signed and how GWB was making our republic into an imperial presidency?

Loyal Obots over at Politico are voicing concern about the non-transparent process that continues in Congress:

What kind of message does it send to the American public if the Washington political elites in both parties decide to collaborate on slashing popular entitlement programs without a debate? And what kind of message does it send if the public doesn’t get a chance to see specific governing plans before voting?

This debate that the American public is entitled to but being denied highlights the very clear divide between conservative and liberal political philosophies as they relate to our fiscal health as a nation. This is an opportunity being squandered behind closed doors and it is wrong.

We deserve better.

Don't Mess With Wendi Deng's Husband

Watching the hearing in Parliament which spotlighted testimony from Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, I was struck by the civility exhibited by the politicians. Yes, there were bouts of snarky comments with which to contend - they are politicians, after all, and there are points to be scored - but they are just so very polite about it all.

At the beginning, as the hearing began, a couple of protesters in the audience stood and held up blue colored signs. The chairman presiding over the event simply looked up and noticed them, which caused his understated yet firm response: "There will be none of that". He signaled for security to take them out of the room and they left. Simple as that. No hysterics, no shouting, no handcuffs.

During the testimony of Rupert Murdoch and James, a bit of action caused an emptying of the room of those not directly concerned. A man identified as a London comedian lurched forward and hit Rupert Murdoch with a shaving creme pie. He is reported to have said something about billionaires as he did so, though those of us in the television viewing audience didn't hear that. Unlike in the U.S., the television camera immediately went to focus on a wall of the room and not on the people involved.

There was one lesson, however, that we all learned today:

Do not mess with Wendi Deng's husband. She will slap the crap out of you.

But those who know Wendi were not surprised to see her leap into action to defend her man. When a man in a checkered shirt burst into the room—triggering alarm but seeming to paralyze many onlookers—and slammed a foam pie over Rupert Murdoch’s face, it was his third wife—who was a volleyball player in her youth—who went on the offensive. Wendi lunged toward the attacker, pushing down a gray-clad woman in the way with her left hand and using her right arm to smack the guy on the top of his head.

It was a wonderful bit of theatre and I completely enjoyed it. The woman was magnificent.

Wendi Deng was calm and dignified, a breath of fresh air in her salmon colored jacket amidst a sea of gray and black, up until that moment. She sprang into action like a ninja and walloped the attacker on his head. Good for her.

So, while the English are sorting all of the scandal out and the American press openly enjoying it all, now we learn that the Dept of Justice will open an investigation into potential misdeeds in the U.S. by the American branch of the Murdoch empire, News Corp - parent company of Fox News Channel. Oh, the leftists and the willing puppets in the media are so excited about it all. It is no surprise that the Dept of Justice would be eager to jump in, as this White House has been caught specifically excluding Fox News Channel from interviews as they perpetuate the meme that Fox News is conservative and biased. To the leftists and their partners in the media, any channel allowing conservatives a voice has to be bad.

In the meantime, Wendi saved the day. And the leftist with the pie did Rupert Murdoch a favor - thanks to his attack, Murdoch received sympathy from the room and received apologies from the politicians questioning him.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Michele Bachmann's Migraine Headaches

I saw this story break on the Interwebs last night and was quite surprised about the whole thing. Is it a real story? I have no reason to believe it is not.

Michele Bachmann is said to be a sufferer of migraine headaches and is medicated to prevent them and then to cope with them. Normal enough for most people but for a Presidential candidate, it calls into play the issue of ability to function in that position. Fervent Bachmann supporters immediately jumped on the story and cried foul. That is unfortunate. Let the story surface and let the truth come out.

The Minnesota Republican frequently suffers from stress-induced medical episodes that she has characterized as severe headaches. These episodes, say witnesses, occur once a week on average and can “incapacitate” her for days at time. On at least three occasions, Bachmann has landed in the hospital as a result.

“She has terrible migraine headaches. And they put her out of commission for a day or more at a time. They come out of nowhere, and they’re unpredictable,” says an adviser to Bachmann who was involved in her 2010 congressional campaign. “They level her. They put her down. It’s actually sad. It’s very painful.”

Her spokeswoman confirms that Bachmann suffers from these headaches.
Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for Bachmann, said ”she suffers from migraines and they’re under control with medicine.” Stewart contested descriptions of the episodes as “incapacitating” Bachmann but did not specify how the descriptions were wrong. “The information you have is incorrect,” Stewart said. She declined to discuss Bachmann’s hospital visits at all, saying, “I’m not going to go into her medical history.”

Reasonable people can agree that migraine headaches do, in fact, render the sufferer incapacitated. We can hope that she has found medication that relieves her pain and maybe even prevents them. No one would fault her for taking medicine and carrying it with her in daily life.

The question becomes - is this a deal breaker for her candidacy? Stress brings on these headaches. There is no more stressful job than President of the United States, right? The sources for this story are former staffers. We can question timing and motives, but that would not change the story, if true.

Michele Bachmann owes her supporters an explanation about this story and how she intends to move forward. The sooner the better.

Jane Fonda Ousted from QVC Appearance

In a move I wholeheartedly applaud, the home shopping network known as QVC cancelled an appearance by actress/author Jane Fonda. She was scheduled to hawk her latest book.

Poor Jane. She doesn't understand why the patrons of the network would be upset over her appearance and the profits she would acquire from the appearance. She calls it far right extremism, as is her default position when faced with criticism.

Somehow I don't think it was just 'far right extremists' objecting to her appearance. Decent people from all political philosophies resent her past actions.

Anyone else find the irony amusing that a far left Hollywood brat would whine when the capitalist society she enjoyed railing against in previous decades gives her its back hand slap?

Back in days of the Vietnam war, Jane Fonda earned the nickname of Hanoi Jane. Hanoi is now called Ho Chi Minh City. It's a city in North Vietnam. Until the war ended, Vietnam was split into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The U.S. was fighting to keep South Vietnam from falling into the control of the Communists in North Vietnam. Hanoi Jane jetted off to Hanoi to commiserate with the enemy and throw about claims that the U.S. was deliberately bombing dams and sweet nothings like that. She posed straddling an anti-aircraft gun, all smiley and pleased with herself. This variety of weapon shot down John McCain in that war, by the way.

So, yeah, Hanoi Jane was not exactly welcomed back home with open arms. Even those of us who were not so keen on the war were disgusted with her act of treason. Treason? Too harsh you say? No way.

Deliberately lying to make a political point in a foreign land, especially in one with which we are at war, is treasonous. It's right up there with the lies John Kerry told as he testified before Congress when he finagled his way home and ready to enter a political career.

So, yeah, boo freakin' hoo, Jane Fonda. Who cares that you missed a shot to cash in again?

Fonda said in a statement posted on her website today that the QVC television channel cancelled an appearance they had scheduled with her today to promote her new book "Prime Time," blaming the cancellation on what she called "well funded and organized political extremist groups."

In the same statement Fonda said, "I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us."

She is too far gone to understand that she did, in fact, "hurt her country" and the service members there. In her privileged, deranged world she is completely accepted as normal. Her reward? A Hollywood career, best selling work out videos (while denying the plastic surgery she had to maintain that body), and now best selling books. Cry me a river.

Keep it classy, Jane.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Governor Perry Signs Health Care Compact

Monday, Governor Perry signed into law SB7, the Health Care legislation. The press release is as follows:

Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed Senate Bill 7, which will help contain costs in the Medicaid program and improve quality and efficiency in health care. The governor was joined by Sen. Jane Nelson and Rep. John Zerwas at the signing ceremony.

"Texas faces unique challenges when it comes to health care delivery, and Washington's one-size-fits-all approach doesn't fit our needs," Gov. Perry said. "SB 7 provides state-based solutions to rising health care costs by providing millions in savings, rewarding innovation and improving the health care of Texans."

SB 7 will provide Texas $467 million in savings by expanding managed care and streamlining inefficiencies in the Medicaid program. Additionally, the bill establishes the framework for the development of new health care collaboratives and directs the Health and Human Services Commission to establish new Texas Medicaid and CHIP reimbursement models that will reward innovation, cost-efficiency and performance.

"Texans expect us to make efficient use of their tax dollars as we meet our responsibilities to those who rely on state services," Sen. Nelson said. "These reforms will produce a more effective, capable system that focuses our health care dollars on the outcomes we want for patients, and contains the unsustainable growth in our health and human service budget."

"With a cost savings of $467 million dollars, Senate Bill 7 is a critical fiscal matters bill that advances the caliber and efficiency of our health care infrastructure," Rep. Zerwas said. "I am honored to be the House sponsor of a piece of legislation that will expand the use of Medicaid managed care across the state, create an interstate healthcare compact, and establish the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency, directing the state to create a plan that will improve the delivery of health care to Texas."

The Obama administration continues to spend excessively and impose unfunded mandates upon the states, including federal health care reform, which will cost Texas taxpayers more than $27 billion over 10 years for the Medicaid expansion starting in 2014. Gov. Perry remains committed to working with fellow governors and Congress to reign in this federal overreach and pursue the flexibility states need to best administer health care to their citizens.

For more information about the governor's health care initiatives, please visit

Sunday, July 17, 2011

GOP Hopefuls Hyping Religious Views

Herman Cain supports the people living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee as they protest the building of an Islamic center in the community.

“Our constitution guarantees separation of church and state,” said Cain, a contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. “Islam combines church and state. They are using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their mosque in the community and people in the community don’t like it. They disagree with it. Sharia law is what they are trying to infuse.”

The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO made the comments while on Fox News Sunday. Residents in Murfreesboro have been protesting the building of the worship center planned by the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. Cain says he has the residents’ back.

Is this kind of pandering necessary to win the Presidential primary or does Cain truly believe this is the right move? It would appear that the man has the lines of separation between church and state a bit blurred. I understand a desire to show support for a community but at the Presidential candidate's level? It seems unnecessary to bring this can of worms into his campaign.

Another example of veiled political pandering via religious avenue is the upcoming event in Houston sponsored by Governor Perry. Calling for a day of prayer and fasting, he invites Christians to gather at Reliant Stadium.

Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.

Call upon Jesus? That is a bit of a narrow inclusion there, Governor Perry. Here in Houston, in our nation's fourth largest city, we are quite proud of our religious diversity, along with racial and ethnic diversity. Throwing the Jesus card is not so cool. Prayer is a practice utilized in most religions, not just Christianity.

And, from the Texas Constitution:

Article 1, Section 6
"All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship."

It is an unnecessary battle to bring for a politician, who is sworn to govern all of the citizens, not just Christians. Reliant Stadium is a public building. If the Governor wants to spotlight his faith, why not attend a service at a mega-church and encourage others to follow his example?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Living in Obama World

I've decided I'd like to live in Obama World. I'd like to live in a world that solely revolves around me. I'd like to live in a world that would allow me to think it is a-ok to be so self-centered that I'd think I was entitled to it all.

It is hard to listen to Barack Obama deliver a speech of any sort - press conference, campaign event, special events - and not cringe. Well, unless maybe the listener is one of the hardcore Obots among us. Obots smile and nod and applaud and laugh for approval of their guy at every opportunity. The rest of us shake our heads and wonder what planet they inhabit.

During last Friday's press conference, the president made reference to his preference of thinking about new programs in which to enslave American voters instead of the boring stuff like the debt ceiling and spending reductions.

Maybe the most unknowing moment from President Obama's debt-limit press conference the other day was when he said that "I'd rather be talking about stuff that everybody welcomes, like new programs." Define everybody—and, please, let us know when the new programs are going to stop.

Yes, Mr. President. Please, stop already.

The Obots in the White House press corps didn't bat an eye. No questions about any new programs the Obama administration plans to hoist upon us next.

The President again claimed that "80%" of the American public polled want a "balanced approach" to debt reduction. Not only is the 80% number nowhere to be found in any polling data but to him, balanced means new taxing (revenues) and maybe a token spending cut somewhere - you know, like the Defense Department's budget. His base in the Democratic party loves them some Defense Department budget cuts. Entitlement reform? Not so much.

The Obots in the White House press corps didn't bat an eye. No questions about where he came up with his 80% reference.

In Obama World, the President and First Lady party like it is 1999 and appearances don't matter. Not only are there weekly soirees at the White House with the swell folks from Hollywood and Broadway and the music world but there are weekly golf games and pick-up basketball matches with all star players and nifty vacations, too. That's peachy in more normal times but these times aren't normal.

Following the party theme in the White House, President Obama is soon celebrating his 50th birthday. In standard Obama behavior, there are several tony parties planned for this occasion, reportedly in Chicago. Chicago is logical, since that is where he last lived and that is where his re-election campaign is headquartered. His parties are to serve as fundraisers for his re-election and for the DNC, too. The most ritzy of the celebrations involve tickets to be purchased for $35,800 - the legal limit.

Speaking of legal limits - the Obama re-election campaign reported that the numbers for the second quarter reports are big. What they didn't hype is the fact that they used 220 bundlers to reach those numbers and they were from very blue states.

Did the Obot White House press corps ask any questions about all those 'fat cat' donors? Of course not. Those questions are saved for Republican candidates.

Yes. I want to live in Obama World. It's swell there.

Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate Campaign Continues Momentum

The Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate campaign continues to gain momentum. A new round of public endorsements, wins in straw polls, and strong numbers in fundraising contribute to proving the desire of Texans to elect a U.S. Senator with a proven record of standing up for Texans.

On the money front, Ted Cruz for Senate campaign announced today that it raised nearly $800,000 in the second quarter, more than anyone else in the Texas Senate race. The campaign has received 3,186 contributions to date and has donors in 241 Texas cities and over 100 Texas counties already. Notably, the campaign has also received 2,043 contributions under $250. The campaign has raised a total of over $1.8 million to date.

Some of the latest endorsements:
George P. Bush called Ted “the future of the Republican Party.”

Three former Republican Party of Texas Chairmen—Cathie Adams, Tina Benkiser and George Strake—urged conservatives to unite around Ted.

Hispanic Republicans of Texas said: “We are fortunate to have a candidate with Ted’s honesty and integrity…”

A recent piece in the San Antonio Sun-Express noted Cruz's skill in retail politics:

Cruz has undeniable strength as a retail campaigner. He is personable, energetic and passionate about the conservative cause.

While Cruz is steeped in lofty constitutional matters and federal issues, he is also a down-to-earth candidate who understands the political game. He talks the nuts and bolts of campaigning as freely as he does his crusade to promote a “free market economy.”

Cruz’s key message is that he is the candidate who has proven his determination and ability to fight for conservative causes.

He built that record as the solicitor general of Texas from 2003-2008.

His easy-going manner compliments his intelligent grasp of the issues facing Texas and Texans. His personal story coupled with his sincere delivery of his beliefs and principles of political philosophy are not lost on his audiences.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Press Conference - Obama Continues Attack On GOP

The press conference held in the White House Friday was a performance that can only be described as classic Barack Obama, candidate for President. It was a whole lot of nothing but blaming George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress as he filibustered answers from an adoring White House press corps.

Thanks go out to ABC News' Jake Tapper who once again proved to be the professional in the room. While his colleagues were busy serving up softball questions for their candidate, Barack Obama, Tapper asked the pertinent question - Mr. President, can you give one entitlement reform in which you are in favor? Nope. He couldn't do it.

Obama made some vague references to making cuts in defense programs - surprise! - and to making adjustments in Medicare spending. That was it. From there he moved on to raising revenues. That is code for taxes. He is fond lately of speaking as an authority of what Republicans want, according to the results of his polling efforts within his White House, which are reported is reported to poll continually.

The clear majority of Republican voters think that any deficit reduction package should have a balanced approach and should include some revenues. That’s not just Democrats; that’s the majority of Republicans. You’ve got a whole slew of Republican officials from previous administrations. You’ve got a bipartisan commission that has said that we need revenues.

Funny that he mentioned his bi-partisan commission. You know, the one he used to give him cover for a while on the deficit/spending problems as they put together their recommendations, and then Obama promptly dismissed them out of hand when presented with those recommendations. Classic Obama.

He scolded listeners that "we should never have gotten to this close to the deadline." Yes. True enough. President Obama and the Democratically controlled Congress have known about this deadline since 2009. When the House went back to Republican control, a budget was passed by them and the Ryan plan has been produced, too. Now they will vote on another GOP initiative, one that puts forward a balanced budget amendment.

Obama reverted back to his comfort zone - that of blaming Bush tax cuts and the wars for our woes. Never mind that the truth is that taxes actually went up for many people even after the Bush tax cuts went into effect. Never mind that Obama and the Democrats took the first 18 months of his term to push through Obamacare without any Republican support and now will put us $701 billion in the red. Never mind that Obama and his Democrats in Congress have increased discretionary spending by 84%.

A willing campaigner in the Obama press corps asked about the "tone" of the last few days of negotiations. Obama tried to make believe he doesn't much pay attention to press reports.

Well, let me say this. And I’m not trying to poke at you guys. I generally don’t watch what is said about me on cable. I generally don’t read what’s said about me, even in The Hill. And so part of this job is having a thick skin and understanding that a lot of this stuff is not personal.

That’s not going to be an impediment to — whatever Senator McConnell says about me on the floor of the Senate is not going to be an impediment to us getting a deal done. The question is going to be whether at any given moment we’re willing to set politics aside, at least briefly, in order to get something done.

I don’t expect politicians not to think about politics. But every so often there are issues that are urgent, that have to be attended to, and require us to do things we don’t like to do that run contrary to our base, that gets some constituency that helped elect us agitated because they’re looking at it from a narrow prism. We’re supposed to be stepping back and looking at it from the perspective of what’s good for the country. And if we are able to remind ourselves of that, then there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get things done.

Yeah, right.

He mentioned his favorite whipping boys at every opportunity - big oil companies, millionaires and billionaires. He made it perfectly clear that he intends to raise taxes, one way or the other. Republicans have stated an openness to closing loop holes in the tax code for corporations. That is a revenue source. Funny, Obama didn't acknowledge that as he spoke of the stubbornness of the opposition.

He continues to falsely claim that cuts supported by Republicans will throw granny over the cliff and college students will be unable to attend college and our world as we know it will come to a screeching halt. It's all he has, really, the scare tactics and demonizing of his opponents. He does it well.

We are still waiting for Barack Obama to be the adult in the room.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Well Done, Betty Ford. Rest in Peace

Betty Ford will be laid to rest in her home state of Michigan on what would have been President Ford's 98th birthday. They were married for 58 years. From all accounts it was a very special, solid union.

Her funeral was attended by 800 and included former President George W. Bush as well as First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Ladies Roslyn Carter, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Reagan.

As requested by Mrs. Ford, eulogies were delivered by Roslyn Carter,and journalist/author Cokie Roberts.

Delivering the first eulogy, former first lady Rosalynn Carter said she had "an excellent role model and a hard act to follow."

"Millions are forever in her debt today because she was never afraid to tell the truth," Carter said. "Betty was my friend."

"Mrs. Ford wanted me to remind everyone of the way things used to be in Washington," said Roberts, who as a child was one of the era's "congressional brats."

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if she timed her death to make sure she could convey the message of comity during this week when it seems so badly needed," she writes in her eulogy, which she was polishing up a few hours before the funeral.

Her guest list was pure Betty Ford. She worked with everyone during her life and that is why she was such a successful human being.

Nancy Reagan and Michelle Obama stared quietly ahead before the funeral of Betty Ford in Palm Desert, California. But sandwiched between them in the front row at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and visible on a television video feed were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President George W. Bush.

And those two, the former Democratic First Lady and the former Republican President, were in deep conversation about something. Clinton could be seen to be nodding in agreement as Bush explained something, using hand gestures. Later, Clinton was shaking her head in what appeared to be shared frustration as Bush leaned in.

Betty Ford represents the best of what used to be the Republican party. There was a time when Republican women, in particular, led the way in issues like community activism and helping those in need. There is no finer example than Betty Ford.

Betty Ford broke through the public stigma of discussing breast cancer and drug and alcohol addictions. She used her own personal experiences with both to help others.

Betty Ford had not been a typical first lady, candidly going public about her breast cancer and mastectomy in an effort to build public awareness. She often charted a public course that spoke to some of America's most controversial issues, supporting ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, liberalized abortion laws, and more women in policymaking government jobs. Privately, she had advised her husband in 1974 not to grant an unconditional pardon for Watergate disgraced President Richard Nixon, an opinion on which she later changed her mind.

Over the decades, the former first lady joined in leading numerous nonpartisan efforts, especially on issues of health-care reform, children's well being, AID's awareness and treatment, and mental health.

For the Chicago-born, Grand Rapids, Mich.-raised, middle-class mother of four who initially wanted nothing to do with the limelight — of politics, certainly — Betty Ford's was a rich and meaningful life that made a difference for America

Well done, Betty Ford. Rest in peace.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Former Obama Classmate Speaks Out

I received this in my e-mail from a long time friend. It is an eye-opener. This is written a year ago by a classmate of Barack Obama from his Columbia University days. It has been verified by Snopes.

By Wayne Allyn Root, June 6th, 2010

Barack Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos — thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.

Barack Obama is my college classmate ( Columbia University , class of ’83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University . They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands.

Add up the clues below. Taken individually they’re alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival … and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.

– Universal health care. The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions). Obama doesn’t care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?

– Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama’s biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kick-back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama “spread the wealth around.”

– Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who’s asking for a 51st state? Who’s asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers. But this has been Obama’s plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.

– Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America . But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.

– Stimulus and bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions — including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America . The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means.

– Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.

With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.

Add it up and you’ve got the perfect Marxist scheme — all devised by my Columbia University college classmate Barack Obama using the Cloward and Piven Plan.

Given the mess we find ourselves in with the current leadership in the White House, it is worth thinking about.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just Say No To Pledges

Have you seen this new pledge being pushed by social conservatives in the name of preserving the institution of marriage? And there is the added bonus of demanding a pledge of martial fidelity of leaders. Any leader, not just of the political variety.

The Vow of Civic, Religious, Lay, Business, and Social Leaders:
We the undersigned do hereby solemnly vow* that no U.S. Presidential primary candidate – nor any primary candidate for the U. S. House, Senate, Governor, state or municipal office – will, in his or her public capacity, benefit from any substantial form of aid, support, endorsement, contribution, independent expenditure, or affirmation from any of us without first affirming this Marriage Vow. Furthermore, to uphold and advance the natural Institution of Marriage, we ourselves also hereby vow* our own fidelity to this Declaration and especially, to our spouses.

It is time for all candidates to just say no to the demands of those that would have them proclaim promises to do whatever that group's agenda happens to be. Especially in the realms of social conservatism. Talk about setting them up for failure.

Aren't conservatives suppose to be all about freedom? Is it really the right of any group to demand public oaths to social mores or agendas of faith? Are these the same people that proclaim with indignation that the government has no right to sanction abortion?

By proclaiming that the candidate agrees that marriage is only between one man and one woman, the pledge goes on to even incorporate fiscal conservatism into the mix.

 Personal fidelity to my spouse.
 Respect for the marital bonds of others.
 Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.
 Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage – faithful monogamy between one man and one woman – through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.
 Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.
 Support for prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended “second chance” or “cooling-off” periods for those seeking a “quickie divorce.”
 Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal and state levels.
 Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.
 Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.
 Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.
 Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.
 Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.
 Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA‟s $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget.
 Fierce defense of the First Amendment‟s rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.

Quite the sanctimonious document, right? Yeah, it's one hot mess. So, I appreciate when a candidate says no.

Presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson charged today in a formal statement through his campaign that the Family Leader “pledge” Republican candidates for President are being asked to sign is “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded”. Governor Johnson also plans to further state his position against the Family Leader pledge this afternoon in Las Vegas, NV at a speech he will deliver at the Conservative Leadership Conference.

“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book”.

“This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue’.

How would such a silly pledge even be enforced? How would anyone know if a person is faithful to his or her spouse, for example, if that person was not caught in an affair? Some of the loudest demanding purity tests from others have gone down that road and it's not pretty. This is what lays open the Republican party to charges of hypocrisy from the other side.

This election is too important to our nation's future. We must focus on what is the top priority and that is fiscal responsibility. Stop the middle school type of pinkie swears and treat everyone with respect. If you don't trust a candidate to represent your opinions and ideals, the solution is to vote for someone else.

The good part of a large crowd of candidates running for the Republican nomination for President is that each of them would be better than Barack Obama in that office. This is no time for hissy fits and litmus tests on social issues. No one is holier than another. Don't most religions teach followers to not judge others?

This is the time for conservatives to pull together and bring along moderate Democrats, too - Reagan Democrats - to oust Barack Obama from the Oval Office. How did that whole thing about staying home and not voting for John McCain out of protest work out for you?

Grow up. Focus. And applaud any candidate unwilling to pander for votes from a narrow group of people with their own agenda at the forefront, not what is best for our country.

Debt Ceiling Extension Talks Take Two to Tango

After months of pushing for a big time and serious deal on resolving the debt ceiling debate by the Republicans, President Obama is forced into the negotiations. He even now wants us all to think he is the grown up in the room. I know, that makes me chuckle, too.

A person could get whiplash from the flipping and flopping done by this guy.

Originally, President Obama demanded a "clean" bill - a vote on only raising the debt ceiling. No spending cuts, no entitlement reform, no nothing. The Republicans said this is unacceptable and refused to go along to get along.

Remember that this is no new crisis. The Obama administration and Congress have known for the past two years that this day was coming. While the president claims not to be the can kicker-in-chief, that is exactly what he has done for two years. He punted this dilemma to a debt reduction commission and then promptly dismissed their conclusions out of hand.

Remember that last February this president sent a budget to Congress that was full of increased spending and unanimously rejected in the U.S. Senate.

Remember that the U.S. Congress and the White House have been under one party rule - the Democrats - until January 2011 when the House of Representatives changed to Republican control. The Democratically controlled House and Senate didn't produce a budget for the first two years of the Obama administration. The U.S. Senate, still under Democratic control, has not produced a budget in more than 800 days.

The House of Representatives, led by Republicans, passed a budget on April 15, 2011.

President Obama now insists that the leaders in both parties and he will meet every day until an agreement on the debt ceiling extension is finished. Now he wants a big effort. Now he wants to blame Republicans for his failures. Nothing new there, it is the only play in his playbook.

Obama held a press conference just before Monday's meeting with Congressional leaders. This proves it is all about politics with him and not serious negotiations. How could Republicans be expected to take this guy seriously when he vamps for the camera just before going into the meeting?

The press conference proved a few things, though, in that President Obama is an empty vessel. He is unable to see past his own political agenda and govern as the President of all people. He continues in waging class warfare, even though if the "rich" were taxed 100% that revenue would still not be enough to solve our economic woes. The "rich" already pay 40% of taxes as it is and half of American workers pay no federal income taxes at all. Is that fair? Is success something to be punished?

"It is not an option to sit by and do nothing," Obama said. This from the leader of the party that hasn't produced a budget in two years to avoid political fall-out. The man even said that instead of talking about our economic woes, he'd rather be talking about new programs. Are you kidding me?

And, whatever happened to all that eloquence that came with Obama speeches? He said, "it's hard to persuade people to do hard stuff". Really? How enlightening.

Obama continues to put it all into first person narrative. He's arrogant and into bare knuckled politics. It's the Chicago way. It is beneath the office of President yet he doesn't understand that.

After this little bit of theatre, where the reporters were only too happy to swallow everything he said and go along with the narrative that it is those nasty Tea Party people mucking things up on the Republican side, Speaker Boehner had a few things to say. While Obama was busy scolding all to "eat their peas" and make sacrifices despite political costs, Boehner said it takes two to tango.

This is going to take sacrifice, and this is going to take political capital on both sides, and I’m certainly willing to take my fair share of it, but if we’re going to take political capital then let’s step up and do the big thing and the right thing for the country,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “Most Americans would say that a balanced approach is a simple one: the administration gets its debt limit increase and the American people get their spending cuts and their reforms, and adding tax increases to the equation doesn’t balance anything.”

The President is not up to the task of leading. He continues to show us who he is and we need to take him at his word on that.