Friday, September 30, 2011

Gingrich Introduces 21st Century Contract with America

Newt Gingrich has rolled out his 21st Century Contract with America. You may remember that Gingrich introduced the original Contract with America in 1994 as the Republicans took over as the majority party in the House for the first time in over 40 years. Gingrich led the Republicans as Speaker of the House.

The primary purpose of the 21st Century Contract with America is to lay out the scale of change that is necessary and give the American people profound reasons to believe that with courageous, systematic effort we can get America back on the right track.

The secondary purpose of the 21st Century Contract with America is to create a general management guidance so that everyone who wants to know where we are going and what we are trying to achieve will have a clear sense of purpose and definition.

Times are more dismal now and will require a bigger plan than before.

The 21st Century Contract with America will therefore be much larger than the original, and will consist of four parts.

1.A set of legislative proposals to shift America back to job creation, prosperity, freedom, and safety;

2.A “First Day” project of Executive Orders to be signed on inauguration day to immediately transform the way the executive branch works;

3.A training program for the transition teams and the appointees who will lead the shift back to Constitutional, limited government;

4.A system of citizen involvement to help us sustain grassroots support for change and help implement the change through 2021;

Here is how the new plan is like the old plan:

There are three primary similarities between the 21st Century Contract with America and the original 1994 Contract with America:

1.Both contracts are premised on the belief that a successful turnaround in the direction of our country is possible. When I was sworn in as the first Republican Speaker of the House in forty years in January 1995, the Congressional Budget Office projected that over the next decade the cumulative federal budget deficits would total $2.7 trillion. Shortly after I left office in January 1999, CBO projected that over the next decade that federal surpluses would total over $2.2 trillion– a four-year turnaround in the fiscal outlook of the United States of nearly $5 trillion. A comparable four-year improvement in the U.S fiscal outlook today would total over $8 trillion (as % of GDP).

2.Both contracts are premised on the belief that a successful national turnaround begins with profound policy turnaround. The 1994 Contract focused on balanced budgets, welfare reform, and controlled spending. The result was 11 million new jobs, four balanced budgets, welfare reform, and paying down of over $400 billion in national debt.

3.Both contracts are premised on the belief that a policy turnaround is only possible when the American people are presented during a political campaign with a clear set of choices -- and persuasive reasons why the country should move in a particular direction -- which they then endorse on Election Day.

Makes sense. Go with what works.

Here is how it differs from the original:

There are three primary differences between the 21st Century Contract with America and the original 1994 Contract with America:

1.Since the problems today are much bigger and the institutions have grown even more elitist, the Contract has to be much bigger and more fundamental in the changes it proposes;

2.The 1994 Contract grew out of Reagan’s philosophy and could be presented as a completed document but the 21st Century Contract is based on Lincoln’s principle that “As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.” Therefore the new contract has to be a work in progress which will be developed over the next year and finally unveiled in a completed form on September 27, 2012. The other reason for a more participatory, developmental approach is that after the secretly drafted stimulus and the secretly drafted Obamacare the American people are tired of imposed solutions they don’t understand and haven’t helped develop;

3.Because the 21st Century Contract calls for dramatically broader and deeper change, it requires much more emphasis on implementation and so three of the four areas of the Contract (Executive Orders on the First Day, training for appointees, a citizen based movement to insist on implementation and to help monitor implementation for eight years).

Gingrich's pledge to issue a series of Executive Orders on his first day in office - the afternoon of Inauguration Day - is interesting. He claims it is the quickest way to change course on some stifling measures placed upon the American public during the reign of Barack Obama. He would repeal Obamacare and fire all the czars, for instance, as a first order of business.

It is an interesting introduction of common sense and expediency to the ideas from the campaign. Newt Gingrich is a big ideas kind of leader. He is strong in resolve when he sets about implementing his ideas. Common sense ideas and strong resolve are two elements sorely missing within this current administration.

Gingrich's 21st Century Contract with America is a bold step in the right direction for America.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

David Dewhurst and In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants

I watched a video clip of a recent interview given by Lt Governor Dewhurst that caught my attention when he stated that he would not have signed into law the provision that illegal immigrant students would be eligible for in-state tuition. Dewhurst was breaking with Governor Perry by stating he was against the provision.

Election year conversions are nothing new in politics. This seems to me it may be one for Lt Governor Dewhurst.

Why? Well, if you look at the original vote on allowing these students in-state tuition, you will find that only five Texas legislators voted no to the bill, H.R.1918 in the House and S.1291 in the Senate. That is five out of 181 total. There does not appear to be a record of any opposition from Dewhurst at that time.

The law was signed into effect in 2001. Dewhurst became Lt. Governor in 2003. He was Texas Land Commissioner before becoming the state's Lt. Governor. If Dewhurst felt so strongly about the law, he could have ushered through legislation to change the law. He didn't.

Austin American-Statesman's Embry writes, "It’s worth noting" that state Sen. Brian Birdwell (R) "filed a bill to repeal that in-state tuition law just this year" in the state Senate, where Dewhurst is the presiding officer. The bill "was referred" to the Higher Education Cmte. "It was heard but never emerged" from that cmte.

Also, in 2005, with Dewhurst as the presiding officer of the state Senate for the session, the state Legislature passed a bill "which clarified a number of issues related to who should be considered a state resident for the purposes of in-state tuition. Among the provisions clarified by the bill was the one allowing in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants" — provided that the student had been in TX for three years and declared an intent to apply for permanent residency in the U.S. The state Senate passed that bill 29-0. "In other words," the state Senate "had a clear opportunity to change the law while Dewhurst" was LG and it chose not to.

If he felt so strongly on this issue - strong enough to deliberately separate himself from Governor Perry as he runs for the GOP presidential nomination - why hasn't he taken action in a state senate where the GOP holds the majority?

Here is the interview:

In 2012, the U.S. Senate is in play. The GOP has a real shot at taking back the majority. This will be crucial in stopping the Obama agenda, should he be re-elected. The House must retain its GOP majority and the Senate must win the GOP seats needed for a majority.

The key to strong conservative leadership in the Senate is voting for the candidate who can remain consistent in political philosophy. The other two top contenders to win the U.S. Senate seat from Texas competing against Dewhurst - former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert - both have commented on the election year conversion aspect of Dewhurst's remarks.

Ted Cruz, in a statement: "This is another Republican primary year conversion by David Dewhurst. He was for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants before he was against it. The next Senator from Texas needs to be a strong conservative who knows what he believes. I strongly oppose in-state tuition for illegal aliens, and categorically oppose amnesty or preferential treatment for illegal immigrants."

It is important for Texans to elect a consistent conservative to the U.S. Senate

Herman Cain is Dead to Me

Ronald Reagan lived by a political point of reality. He is famous for issuing the 11th Commandment - thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.

The necessity of the 11th Commandment comes into play in a very real manner during this GOP presidential primary season. Sure, the candidates will bloody each other up a bit because it is a fight to be the party's nominee. That is expected. But, the first one to take it out of bounds, I am sorry to say, is Herman Cain.

Wednesday during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Cain made a huge mistake. He stated he could not support Governor Perry should he be the party's nominee. "Today I could not support Rick Perry as the nominee for a host of reasons." He specifically gives the reason as a difference on handling illegal immigration.

This, of course, gives fodder to all the liberal publications and networks to enjoy reporting on the rifts within the Republican party. Reagan was a smart politician. For conservatives who fall all over themselves touting how much alike they are in philosophy with Reagan, this was a bone-headed mistake.

Many say that a lack of political experience is a good thing. That is not always the case. Actually, it is rarely the case. Cain is a talented man, intelligent and compelling as a candidate. Are we to believe that should Governor Perry win the GOP nomination, Cain will not vote for the GOP candidate against Barack Obama? Would he just sit home and not vote? That kind of myopic reasoning helped bring about President Obama in 2008. Conservatives chose to sit out the election and handed the victory to Obama.

How's that working out for them now?

Cain would be wise to focus his fight against Barack Obama, not Rick Perry. Or, maybe he is positioning himself for a VP slot with Mitt Romney.

I have no dog in the hunt yet, among those running for my party's nomination. I've made no decisions on who will receive my support in the primary election. I will not, however, be placing my support with Cain.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Citizens United Political Victory Fund Endorses Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate

Another major endorsement has landed in support of Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate. Wednesday afternoon the campaign issued the following:

Citizens United Political Victory Fund (CUPVF), the affiliated PAC of Citizens United, issued the following statement supporting Ted Cruz for the United States Senate race in Texas. CUPVF has contributed $5,000 to Cruz’s primary election campaign and $5,000 to his runoff campaign account.

“Ted Cruz will be a conservative force in the United States Senate,” said David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United. “Ted is a rising star in the conservative movement, and he will be a key player in repealing the disastrous liberal policies brought forth by President Barack Obama. I have full confidence that Ted Cruz is the true conservative in the race and will represent the great state of Texas with honor in the United States Senate. Texas deserves another conservative Senator.”

Gov Christie Explains American Exceptionalism at Reagan Library

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered a strong, rational and passionate speech Tuesday evening at the Ronald Reagan Library. Personally invited by Nancy Reagan, Christie did not disappoint his audience. The topic was American Exceptionalism and lessons taken from the leadership of Ronald Reagan.

Governor Christie has a growing fan base and many still hang on to the hope that he will enter this cycle's presidential race. He continues to decline the calls for a positive decision to the question of will he or won't he. He says he doesn't have the passion for it this time around, and I think everyone should respect his decision and move on. There will be a time for him if he decides to run for president in later years.

There very well may be a future run for president in play for Governor Christie. In Tuesday's speech he dipped into foreign policy and the need for leadership in the world from America.

We tend to still understand foreign policy as something designed by officials in the State Department and carried out by ambassadors and others overseas. And to some extent it is. But one of the most powerful forms of foreign policy is the example we set.

This is where it is instructive to harken back to Ronald Reagan and the PATCO affair. President Reagan’s willingness to articulate a determined stand and then carry it out at home sent the signal that the occupant of the Oval Office was someone who could be predicted to stand by his friends and stand up to his adversaries.

If President Reagan would do that at home, leaders around the world realized that he would do it abroad as well. Principle would not stop at the water’s edge. The Reagan who challenged Soviet aggression, or who attacked a Libya that supported terror was the same Reagan who stood up years before to PATCO at home for what he believed was right.

All this should and does have meaning for us today. The image of the United States around the world is not what it was, it is not what it can be and it is not what it needs to be. This country pays a price whenever our economy fails to deliver rising living standards to our citizens--which is exactly what has been the case for years now.

We pay a price when our political system cannot come together and agree on the difficult but necessary steps to rein in entitlement spending or reform our tax system.

We pay a price when special interests win out over the collective national interest. We are seeing just this in the partisan divide that has so far made it impossible to reduce our staggering deficits and to create an environment in which there is more job creation than job destruction.

Christie spoke to the lack of leadership and the unwillingness in Congress to work on finding solutions to our economic woes. He spoke of President Obama's habit of leading from behind, too.

In Washington, on the other hand, we have watched as we drift from conflict to conflict, with little or no resolution.

We watch a president who once talked about the courage of his convictions, but still has yet to find the courage to lead.

We watch a Congress at war with itself because they are unwilling to leave campaign style politics at the Capitol’s door. The result is a debt ceiling limitation debate that made our democracy appear as if we could no longer effectively govern ourselves.

And still we continue to wait and hope that our president will finally stop being a bystander in the Oval Office. We hope that he will shake off the paralysis that has made it impossible for him to take on the really big things that are obvious to all Americans and to a watching and anxious world community.

Yes, we hope. Because each and every time the president lets a moment to act pass him by, his failure is our failure too. The failure to stand up for the bipartisan debt solutions of the Simpson Bowles Commission, a report the president asked for himself...the failure to act on the country's crushing unemployment...the failure to act on ever expanding and rapidly eroding entitlement programs...the failure to discern pork barrel spending from real infrastructure investment.

The rule for effective governance is simple. It is one Ronald Reagan knew by heart. And one that he successfully employed with Social Security and the Cold War. When there is a problem, you fix it. That is the job you have been sent to do and you cannot wait for someone else to do it for you.

He spoke of the benefits of encouraging freedom and democracy around the world, especially in the middle east, and that we must lead by example.

But, there is also a foreign policy price to pay. To begin with, we diminish our ability to influence the thinking and ultimately the behavior of others. There is no better way to persuade other societies around the world to become more democratic and more market-oriented than to show that our democracy and markets work better than any other system.

Why should we care?

We should care because we believe, as President Reagan did, that democracy is the best protector of human dignity and freedom. And we know this because history shows that mature democracies are less likely to resort to force against their own people or their neighbors.

We should care because we believe in free and open trade, as exports are the best creators of high-paying jobs here and imports are a means to increase consumer choice and keep prices down.

Around the world-- in the Middle East, in Asia, in Africa and Latin America—people are debating their own political and economic futures--right now.

We have a stake in the outcome of their debates. For example, a Middle East that is largely democratic and at peace will be a Middle East that accepts Israel, rejects terrorism, and is a dependable source of energy.

There is no better way to reinforce the likelihood that others in the world will opt for more open societies and economies than to demonstrate that our own system is working

It is clear that Governor Christie is no fan of the Obama administration. He told the story of the Austrian Treasury minister who questioned why Europeans should listen to Timothy Geithner's economic views when Geithner was unwilling to listen to theirs.

Good point.

Christie spoke about the lofty speech delivered in 2004 by then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama. Back then, Obama spoke of a post-racial, post-partisan America with no red states or blue states but United States. He asked, whatever happened to that guy? We all ask that question now. Renewed class warfare as a campaign strategy may get Obama re-elected, he said, but our country suffers in the meantime from that rhetoric.

The speech was good. I have hopes of supporting a candidate Christie for President one day in the future.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Attention Houston Conservative Bloggers: Jackson-Lee Wants You to Shut Up

Attention fellow conservative bloggers in Houston area: Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee wants you to shut up. She thinks you are racist and have no business writing about politics. That was her response to Tavis Smiley and his question of what did she think about conservative ( "right wing") bloggers writing about a riff in the support of Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus after he lectured them on supporting him at their gala event.

Are you cool with that?

She "can't wait to get to the floor of the House" and talk about it. This from the woman appearing on the Tavis Smiley show - the Tavis Smiley who champions racial victimhood at every junction.

Untitled from Naked Emperor News on Vimeo.

Now, no one is going to mistake Sheila Jackson-Lee for a rocket scientist. Her hypocrisy is famous in Houston. She doesn't fail to embarrass us regularly. To Jackson-Lee, anyone less liberal than herself is "right wing".

You remember Sheila Jackson-Lee, don't you? She's the member of Congress who took a cell phone call on a town hall stage rather than respond to a question from an audience member. It was caught on tape and went viral on the Internet as the Tea Party movement exploded in the summer of 2009.

There are lots of times we'd like to tell Sheila Jackson-Lee to just shut up but there is the matter of the First Amendment. No wonder her party is so sensitive a movement in tune with the Constitution and the founding principles of our nation.

Gingrich Gains Major Tea Party Endorsement

Newt Gingrich received a big endorsement Monday from the founder of Tea Party Nation, Judson Phillips:

Gingrich is the candidate who has the vision to fundamentally change the federal government...He is the big idea man, much as Ronald Reagan was...Gingrich against Obama is a great contrast. He has a track record of accomplishments and has worked at the national level...Obama can offer nothing against him.

I'm not a Tea Party Nation person but the interesting part is the endorsement itself, not the endorser. For Tea Party people, this is something for them to notice. All of the Republicans in the presidential primary are scrambling for Tea Party support and trying to out Tea Party the next person on the debate stage.

This would fall into place with the growing evidence that Michele Bachmann is a one hit wonder with her straw poll results tanking everywhere but in Iowa. She has proven to be not up to the task and her support is shrinking. I don't think she is a bad person, she is just not presidential material. Her social issue beliefs also tend to divide instead of unite the party.

Newt knows history and politics. He knows the primary is long and that initial results don't mean so much. Otherwise, instead of hawking reversable mortgages, Fred Thompson would be president.

Somehow, Gingrich is hanging on and continuing on with presenting big ideas that capture the imagination of the voter. He also is able to remain above the fray and not fall into petty bickering with the other candidates. That benefits us all.

It may be temporary but the rise in the polls for Gingrich is worth a look and noting his actions.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gaffe-O-Rama Across the Nation with Barack Obama

Barack Obama, on a fabulous four day fundraising trip on the west coast, decided to attack Governor Perry by insulting the victims of Texas wildfires. He thinks the wildfires are the result of global climate change and is desperate for support from anyone who will listen to him these days. So, he mocked Governor Perry's skepticism of global climate change data.

Mr. Obama on Sunday took a swipe at Texas Governor Rick Perry for his skepticism regarding climate change, pointing to "a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change" as exemplification of the weakness of the Republican presidential field.

"I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately?" he asked at a campaign fundraiser in California. "You've got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change," Obama said.

So, Governor Perry responded to the unwarranted attack of a wildfire ridden state's governor who may be his challenger in November 2012:

Texas Governor Rick Perry responded Monday to criticism by President Obama regarding his position on climate change, calling the president's remarks "outrageous" and suggesting Mr. Obama was exploiting the fires for political purposes.

"It's outrageous President Obama would use the burning of 1,500 homes, the worst fires in state history, as a political attack," Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan told Politico via email. "This from a president whose nation is financially suffering and his solution is taking more money away from families by raising taxes on families and small businesses."

This attack comes on the heels of a couple of recent verbal gaffes. Whoppers, actually, but it will be no big deal because he's a Democrat. Had the gaffes come from George W. Bush, they would be front page above the fold fodder for the critics.

During his speech to the attendees of the Congressional Black Caucus, Obama let his real feelings about Jews surface. Freudian slip, anyone? He was comparing tax rates of billionaires and janitors but slipped by saying "Jews" instead of janitors. He quickly backtracked.

Oops. I guess this is no surprise to BiBi Netanyahu.

And, finally, maybe you missed Barack's declaration that our nation built the first intercontinental railroad? Well, here's his quote:

"We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad," Barack Obama.

That's what the president of the United States flat-out said Thursday during what was supposed to be a photo op to sell his jobs plan next to an allegedly deteriorating highway bridge.

See, it only matters if the gaffes come from conservatives, because, you know, conservatives are dumb and Obama went to Harvard Law School. Despite the degrees held by George W. Bush from both Yale and Harvard, he was dumb.
It's yet another humorous gaffe by the Harvard graduate, overlooked by most media for whatever reason. Like Obama saying Abraham-Come-Lately Lincoln was the founder of the Republican Party. Or Navy corpseman. Or the Austrian language. Fifty-seven states. The president of Canada. Etc.

If you talk as much as this guy likes to talk instead of governing, if you believe you are a Real Good Talker as much as this guy does, you're gonna blow a few lines. But this many?

No doubt, we'll see a collection of Obama's Best Bombs on 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend, one right after the other. No doubt. Can you imagine the media coverage of such repeated historical ignorance if it had been the last Ivy League alum president who said it?

Hey, Barack, where are those grades transcripts, anyway?

Obama Gets Congressional Black Caucus All Wee-Weed Up

Fresh off the golf course and a visit with former President Bill Clinton, President Obama travels to the west coast for a four day trip to campaign for his re-election in California and to try to garner support for his jobs non-bill at such gimmicky events as one with the LinkedIn folks. The golf game was meant to provide photos that the two are buddies and share the experiences of being president, you know. Clinton recently criticized Obama's plan to increase the tax burden on "the rich" in such a bad economy.

The paring of Clinton and Obama is a symbolic one for the White House, after Clinton critiqued Obama's jobs plan earlier this week by arguing tax increases should wait until after the economy recovers.

"It's okay with me. I'll pay more. But it won't solve the problem," the former president said, arguing that the government shouldn't raise taxes — or pursue spending cuts — "until we get this economy off the ground."

After the swell afternoon of golf, President Obama went over to the annual gathering of the Congressional Black Caucus and spoke to those present at the soiree. In full-throated get out the base mode, Obama raised his voice in commanding the people there to "stop whining" and "take off your bedroom slippers" to get him re-elected.

Here is the President Obama addressing the Congressional Black Caucus at a Washington, D.C. soiree:

Here's the thing - Obama is sinking like a rock in the polls. The members of the Congressional Black Caucus are about the only block of voters left that still support Obama with loyalty. Some may criticize him for not being liberal enough or for not working to help the black community but they will vote for him in 2012. Who else would they support?

Some present, though, were rightfully insulted by the attitude and tone of the President in his remarks. For Obama to go there and arrogantly lecture the likes of Rep John Lewis, a civil rights movement legend, for example, and imply it is he, Obama doing the tough lifting for black people is shocking. And sad. It is further proof of the tone deaf and bubble dwelling Barack Obama.

President Obama won accolades from supporters praising his speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Saturday night, but not everyone is convinced the president is invested in his recommitment to fighting Republicans and helping minority communities.

"I don't think that the president is leading from a place of compassion. I think he's leading from a place of fear right now. I don't really understand what is going on," said Erik Todd Dellums, a blog writer and actor who is the son of former Rep. Ron Dellums, D-Calif., a 13-term black lawmaker who helped pass landmark sanctions to push for an end to South African apartheid.

"The president is in a unique place and I think he's failing himself truly. And I think, race has something to do with this," said Dellums.

Obama's speech to the CBC's Annual Phoenix Awards dinner Saturday night issued a clarion call for blacks who have complained he's not done enough to help African Americans.

Encouraging the CBC and its supporters to help him pass his latest jobs bill, the president said despite the complaints, he has shepherded many laws that have helped blacks, including Wall Street reforms that offer consumer financial protections; a settlement for black farmers that has been decades in the works; new projects for public housing; expanded health care coverage and more affordable college loans.

He then urged the audience to follow him into the next battle.

"I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We've got work to do, CBC," he said.

The speech, heavy on references to civil rights marches and delivered with a sermon-style, southern affect of dropped 'g's -- as in "complainin'," drew rousing applause and support from the audience.

Barack Obama never delivered on his pledge to lead as a post-partisan president. He never delivered on his pledge to lead as a post-racial president, either. He remains the community organizer in chief and now is desperate enough to go into race baiting politics.

Americans deserve better.

Voter Registration Deadline for November 8 Election

Here is the information on the upcoming deadline for voter registration to vote in the November 8, 2011 General Election. The press release is as follows:

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 General Election is Tuesday, Oct. 11, Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Don Sumners said Monday.

“On Tuesday, Nov. 8, we’ll be voting on 10 proposed amendments to the state constitution. Voters in the City of Houston will be choosing their elected officials. The Houston, Pasadena and Cypress-Fairbanks independent school districts, the cities of Bellaire and Baytown and other entities also have elections scheduled Nov. 8,” Sumners said.

Information on the constitutional amendments is available at

“Elections have consequences. So register to vote … and you have only a few more days to do that. Those elected will set your tax rates and influence the areas where you live and work,” he added.

If you have any question about whether you are properly registered, visit the Tax Office Web site at to make sure. If you need to update your address or make a name change, you can obtain a voter registration application on the Tax Office website, at Tax Office branch locations, local post offices, libraries and City of Houston community and health centers.

To be eligible to vote Nov. 8, your completed voter registration application must be delivered to any Tax Office branch location before 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11 or mailed with a U.S. Postal Service postmark date of no later than Oct. 11, 2011. In order to be eligible to vote, state law requires citizens be registered to vote 30 days prior to the election date.

Applicants qualify to register to vote if they:
• Are a U.S. citizen and are a resident of Harris County, and
• Are at least 17 years, 10 months of age (to vote, you must be 18), and
• Have not been finally convicted of a felony, (unless they have completed all punishment including any term of incarceration, parole, supervision, period of probation, or have been pardoned); and
• Have not been determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.

For more information, please contact the Harris County Tax Office Voter Registration Department at 713-368-VOTE (8683) for help in English, 713-368-2201 in Spanish or 713-368-2202 in Vietnamese.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Florida and Michigan Straw Poll Results Show Trouble for Perry

The talk of the dismise of Rick Perry as a GOP presidential contender is premature. Before the funeral dirges go on for too long, let's stop the Chopin music and reflect on what is happening out there in primary land. The straw polls conducted in Florida and Michigan are opportunities to read the electorate in GOP political activism.

In Florida, the straw poll conducted by the Florida Republican Party as the CPAC gathering held court. The results:
Herman Cain - 37.1%
Rick Perry - 15.4%
Mitt Romney - 14%
Ron Paul - 10.4%
Gingrich - 8.4%
Huntsman - 2.3%
Bachmann - 1.5%
Herman Cain was the surprise upset in such a sound victory but the rumblings began immediately following the GOP debate in Orlando on Thursday night. Watching a conversation with a focus group who was there, it was clear that the favorability of Perry was rapidly fading. Perry was thought to be the clear frontrunner in Florida previous to the debate, according to polling data. His poor performance forced those in attendance to reconsider supporting him at this stage.

The straw poll conducted in Michigan by the Republican Leadership Conference brought a different result. Favorite son Mitt Romney won a clear victory.

Mr. Romney is a Michigan native and son of George Romney, who was Michigan’s governor during the 1960′s and is fondly remembered by many Republican party leaders today. Mitt Romney’s business background appeals to many of the state party’s leaders today
. The results:
Mitt Romney - 51%
Rick Perry - 17%
Herman Cain - 9%
Ron Paul - 8%
Bachmann - 4%
Gingrich - 4%
Santorum - 3%
Huntsman - 2%

The proof is clear in the numbers for Rick Perry. In order for him to advance as the GOP nominee in the primary, he must become a better debater with a clear, concise message. He stumbled poorly in the Thursday night debate in Florida with answers to questions on key issues. His answers on foreign policy were incoherent, to put it kindly, and he hasn't made clear the real story of his support of the Gardasil vaccine - an admirable position - or on in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants. He must speak of Romney's change of policy opinions in a clear way, too, instead of just attacking at the podium to look aggressive. He has to rise above and present a more confident demeanor.

Perry can pull it off if he focuses and practices debate skills. Maybe. I have lived in Texas throughout his years of governorship and it is common knowledge among political observers that Perry is a poor debater. He hasn't gotten better with age.

For those saying that debates don't matter, I would argue that though a debate performance may not indicate governing skill, it does present a face and voice to the voter who doesn't know a candidate. The average voter doesn't follow politics every day or do much research on the candidates, frankly. Voters have issues of interest and want to hear from the candidates on those issues before picking a favorite. Debates are the only venue if the voter doesn't get out to local forums or town halls available. If you are a voter not in a swing state or in an early primary state, chances are you will have little opportunity to hear a candidate in person, so televised debates serve the purpose of educating voters.

Rick Perry is stumbling. Mitt Romney is experienced at the national level and presents a calm confidence on stage. Herman Cain has the interest of those focusing on fiscal issues as he lays out his perspective as a business man. You may also notice that Cain is always a happy warrior. His smile is contagious and a good contrast to the non-stop bickering of Perry and Romney on stage.

The primary dates are still a long way off, in the world of politics. There is no need for anyone to panic but there are clear messages now being sent by voters to the frontrunners. They must pay attention and adjust their performances accordingly in order to remain competitive.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Obama Side Steps Congress on No Child Left Behind

For a guy who pledged not to do an end run around Congress and end the practice of using Executive Orders to govern, Barack Obama did it again Friday. He wanted the listener to think it was the evil Republican George W. Bush who penned Executive Orders and that it was unusual. The fact is, Democrat Bill Clinton issued far more Executive Orders than George W. Bush. During the Clinton days, two liberal legal minds wrote of the benefits of Executive Orders and their rightful place in a presidency. Both Bernard Nussbaum and Lawrence Tribe were in strong agreement of the practice. Signing statements are traced back to the days of James Madison.

As a matter of fact, Barack Obama began signing Executive Orders on his very first day in office.

Remember when Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008 and pledged not to govern as President Bush did, by issuing Executive Orders when he felt a bill was unconstitutional? Well, that is partly true. Barack Obama issues Executive Orders if he simply wants to side step legislation he doesn't agree with. Case in point - rolling back provisions in No Child Left Behind.

Unfortunately, the president's proposals on addressing the problems with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are as worn and gimmicky as his jobs bill. Worse, the administration's central approach to the largest federal education law has become disregarding Congress and the rule of law, by issuing states waivers in exchange for implementing the administration's pet education policies. As Education Secretary Arne Duncan hinted at this summer, Obama reaffirmed he would abuse the executive branch's authority by effectively legislating from the White House.

While George W. Bush used the Executive Order for preserving the powers of the Presidency, Barack Obama uses Executive Orders to blur the separation of powers between Congress and the President.

It appears Obama and Secretary Duncan want to continue the money flow to states for education but not the requirements for accountability.

Obama is right about one thing: NCLB needs to see legislative action. The sweeping bill greatly expanded the federal government's sway over education, sending states lots more money but requiring much in return. Now, Obama and Duncan would like to continue giving states lots of education money, but release them from accountability for it. That's exactly backward. The federal government should instead cut its education bureaucracy and funds, which rest on shaky constitutional authority anyway (the Constitution nowhere grants the federal government power to affect education), and get its sticky fingers away from central control of America's schools.

So, in Obama's words, since Congress has been slow in fixing some of the legislation's problems, he decided to go it alone. As schools have difficulty adhering to standards required to continue with federal funding, the bill has grown more unpopular, though it orginally passed with strong bi-partisan support. Everyone from the late Ted Kennedy to former First Lady Laura Bush worked on it.

Obama used the excuse of the recession for going around Congress.

President Obama today unveiled a sweeping plan to give states the flexibility they have been clamoring for under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education law.

“The goals behind No Child Left Behind were admirable ... but experience has taught us that in its implementation, [it] had some serious flaws that are hurting our children,” the president said in a White House speech, flanked by students, principals, state education leaders, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Teachers feel pressured to narrow the curriculum and teach to the test, and some states have lowered their standards to avoid penalties under the law, Mr. Obama noted.
“Congress has not been able to fix these flaws so far ... So I will,” he said. “If we’re serious about building an economy that lasts ... we’ve got to get serious about education.”

Psychology Today Magazine Pleads Obama's Case in Op-Ed

Joining in with most other publications with national circulation rosters, today I read an op-ed in "Psychology Today" which pleads for the re-election of Barack Obama. The reason? The op-ed author wants to convince you that Barack Obama works with everyone and we need more people like that leading our country.


After choking on my coffee I thought, you know, these people really believe their dribble about the open-mindedness of Barack Obama. While the profession is dominated by liberal leaning professionals, this seems a bit much. Plus, it's just a false premise.

If this professional would step back and take off the rose-colored glasses, he would see that the exact opposite is the case. This president has mocked, sternly lectured and ridiculed the party of opposition more than any other from the bully pulpit in recent history. He is incapable of making a speech or statement for the press without using straw men and referencing GOP leaders by name for political opposition. He is a bully and he is thin-skinned.

It would seem to me that the author might take a look into the mind of Barack Obama. His huge ego and unlimited arrogance allows him to be viewed as detached, aloof, and in his own bubble.

The op-ed appears in an issue about racism. I kid you not. So, this falls into place with the meme that if you disagree with the politics of Barack Obama, you are a racist. How shallow. And wrong.

The shining example of the non bi-partisan approach of Barack Obama as a president would be the passage of Obamacare. Instead of working on the most pressing issue - jobs and unemployment from the recession - he chose to ram through a huge new entitlement program, along with the Democratically controlled Congress - with no support from the GOP. This has never happened in our country's history.

I would argue that Barack Obama has made things worse. No only is the economy not recovering and a record high level of Americans are on government assistance but Obama encourages the polarization of American politics. He thrives on it, as a matter of fact.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Obama's Bridge to Nowhere Speech

It was billed as taking his case to the voter, the jobs bill speech delivered to the people in Ohio with the backdrop of a bridge in need of repair. Press Secretary Carney proclaimed it not a campaign speech.

The bridge is located in Speaker Boehner's district. The bridge leads to Kentucky, the state represented by a Republican Senator who is also the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Obama called out both of their names as he tried to make his case for his jobs bill, which is not even written into legislation for debating yet.

It was a campaign speech. He used the usual strawmen arguments. He tried to convince the audience that it was those mean Republicans who would not approve of infrastructure spending to create short term jobs, though both parties have a long history of doing just that.

Remember, there is no jobs bill to pass yet, even if all parties involved were prepared to do it tomorrow. It's just a re-election campaign speech theme that Team Obama has glommed on to.

The White House boasted about support for the jobs non-bill from Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory in an email Thursday:

Mayor Mark Mallory said that he, and the citizens of Cincinnati, are "very excited" about the possibility of the Jobs Act passing because it provides funds for infrastructure, and will allow the city to to keep firefighters and police officers on the job.

Mallory doesn't elaborate about the real problem of the federal government supplying funding for local firefighters and police officers - the money runs out. That is why so many states and local governments are facing continued fiscal difficulties. Taking federal stimulus monies only solves a problem short term. Unless real reforms are made at the local level, the cycle repeats. The original stimulus monies doled out in 2009 and 2010 have now run out. The problems were not solved by just throwing taxpayer money at them.

The White House has a bit of a problem with not properly vetting locales, too. This bridge not only has been on the drawing board for replacement for more than a decade but it wouldn't even qualify for stimulus money until 2015, at the earliest.

Smacks not only of politicization but of desperation, too, from the Obama campaign.

Cruz for Senate Campaign Releases Demon Sheep Texas Style Ad

Replacing Demon Sheep with Chupacabra, a new ad by the Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate campaign is receiving some buzz.
Politico, National Review, The Daily Caller, and several blogs across Texas are already making comparisons to Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep" ad.

What do you think?

GOP Debate in Orlando Florida with Fox News and Google

The latest debate among the GOP primary candidates for President took place Thursday night at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.


The best line of the night winner was lobbed by former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson who said, "My neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than Barack Obama has". Kudos, Governor Johnson.

Not much new was said. Those participating were: Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Gary Johnson.

Going into the debate, the polls were showing a strong leaning towards Perry by Florida voters. The interesting thing was after the debate watching the focus group with Frank Luntz. This group has flipped to supporting Romney. So, this means the Florida CPAC straw poll this weekend may be a bit different in its results than predicted. Unless the Paul campaign stuffs the ballot box again.

The ongoing bickering between Perry and Romney over the books written by each and the quotes from them is getting tiresome. Move on already.
Newt was his usual smart guy self. The audience appreciated some of his answers and he may survive a bit longer.

Rick Santorum is obnoxious. I can't abide his piousness. He chose to go after Rick Perry tonight so maybe he hopes to be Mitt Romney's vice president pick. He is hopelessly stubborn about our involvement in Afghanistan and that is unfortunate.

Herman Cain is truly improving on the stage. He is relaxed and his responses don't sound like sound bites anymore. He sounds more conversational. The audience gave him a long, loud standing ovation when he was mentioned as a cancer - stage 4 - survivor. He makes a compelling story against Obamacare using his own experiences.

Gary Johnson was strong. He is still largely unknown but he makes a lot of sense on most issues.

Michele Bachmann softened up her tone as she attacked Rick Perry over Gardasil issue. And over the border, in specific the fence and illegal immigrant children receiving in-state tuition for college in Texas.

Jon Huntsman was stronger than usual, too. He may not last much longer but he made some good points about economic policies being the most important and the need to re-gain America's leadership among the world leaders.

Ron Paul was Ron Paul.

Rick Perry has to get into a more relaxed response about his weak spots. He needs a less defensive tone on Gardasil and border security. He's going to continue to get hit on those issues and he needs to just roll with it.

Mitt Romney had a good night. He still looks presidential and his answer delivery is calm and confident. He has tuned up his comebacks to criticisms over Romneycare.

We are still a long way out from going to the voting booth and choosing a nominee. Settle in and pay attention.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Governor Perry's Latest Campaign Ad

Governor Perry's presidential campaign presents the latest ad:

This compelling video was made by the ad people from former candidate Tim Pawlenty's team. Strong message.

President Zero.

Senator Cornyn to Warren Buffett: Show Us Your Tax Returns

With the Obama administration using billionaire Warren Buffett as the rule for the new tax standard on billionaires and millionaires, Senator Cornyn (R-TX) wants to see his tax returns.

“If he’s going to be the gold standard, so to speak, in terms of what our tax policy should be, let’s look at them,” Senator John Cornyn, R-TX, said while aboard ABC’s “Subway Series with Jonathan Karl.”

Featured prominently in the Administration’s $3 trillion deficit reduction plan is the “Buffett Rule,” a controversial provision named after Warren Buffett that establishes a minimum tax on Americans making $1 million or more in income. Ahead of the president’s proposal, Buffett penned an op-ed in the The New York Times called “Stop Coddling the Superrich,” where he argued that he should not be taxed at a lower rate than his non-billionaire staff.

Cornyn suggests the Administration’s proposed “Buffett Minimum Tax” (BMT) is really just a revamped version of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) – an unpopular measure first adopted in 1969 that was designed to hit the super wealthy.

“Unless we stop this, 30 million middle income tax payers will be affected,” Cornyn said in presumed defense of the middle class. “It’s an illusion to say we’re only going to tax the rich.”

As President Obama continues on with his use of class warfare in his insistance of raising taxes during these tough economic times, approaching a double dip recession, he is fond of using his campaign contributor Buffett in an example of tax rate inequality. He tells a story of Buffett being taxed at lower rate than his secretary. It is a story comparing apples and oranges but that doesn't stop Obama. Buffett pays taxes on dividends and investments, not actual paychecks.

The White House is said to have called Buffett to "ask permission" of him to call their new tax the rich scheme after him. Who works for whom in this administration anyway? By exposing Buffett's tax records, the public would understand the false claims of class warfare.

Class warfare is a campaign tactic, not a serious economic strategy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

House Natural Resources Committee Presents 10 Step Program for Job Creation

Here is the latest from the House Natural Resources Committee, under Chairman Doc Hastings. Despite the need for energy independence, President Obama remains on a course to destroy energy production and the jobs created in the industry because of a tired and failing political ideology.

In mid-September, the House Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing to explore opportunities for job creation through new and expanded energy and mineral production. The Committee also reviewed the Obama Administration regulations and policies that have locked-up America’s vast natural resources and sent American jobs overseas. At a time when the American people are clamoring for jobs, one sector that President Obama seems to consistently overlook is domestic energy production. According to the Committee, increasing permitting efficiencies, rolling back burdensome federal regulations, or opening new areas up for responsible energy development all come at little cost to the Federal government. More importantly, the measures will have substantial impact on economic growth and job opportunities nationwide—while also decreasing our nation’s dependence on foreign energy resources. Energy and minerals are vital to our economy and increased production will be vital to getting the nation’s economy back on track.

During the hearing, in advance of the president’s “jobs” speech, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Hastings (R-WA) offered the following 10 specific ideas to remove government barriers to private sector job creation in America’s domestic energy industry:

1. Allow people in the Gulf of Mexico to return to work.
2. Resume canceled or delayed offshore energy leases.
3. Lift the ban on new offshore drilling.
4. Increase production in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
5. Allow production in a small portion of ANWR.
6. Provide certainty to U.S. businesses looking to develop our U.S. oil shale resources.
7. Eliminate bureaucratic roadblocks to renewable energy production on federal lands.
8. Streamline the process for approving offshore and onshore wind projects.
9. Reduce redundant steps that impede geothermal production.
10.Do not ban the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.

The House Natural Resources Committee has also scheduled a hearing this week on Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and its potential for jobs, energy and deficit reduction. According to the Chairman, responsible energy production on less than three percent of ANWR's total land could create thousands of jobs and $150 billion or more in revenue over the life of production.

“Faced with record deficits, near double-digit unemployment and high gasoline prices, lawmakers should not take any job-creating options off the table,” said Chairman Hastings. “While this hearing will specifically examine the benefits of developing a small portion of ANWR, we must seize this opportunity to create new jobs and generate new revenue by carefully considering all options for new onshore and offshore energy production. The Joint Committee will consider a wide range of proposals on how to meet their goal of $1.5 trillion in savings, and I hope they recognize that increased American energy production will generate billions in new revenue, without raising taxes, at no cost to the government.”

Is Your iPhone Address Book at Risk Through Skype?

Do you use Skype on your iPhone? You may be putting your entire address book at risk.

It's done through a chat message. Check out this video.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Governor Perry Blasts Obama Administration Over Palestinian Statehood Vote

Recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal voicing his support of the state of Israel and his disapproval of the planned vote of recognizing statehood for Palestine in the United Nations this week.

Surrounded by unfriendly neighbors and terror organizations that aim to destroy her, the Jewish state has never had an easy life. Today, the challenges are mounting. Israel faces growing hostility from Turkey. Its three-decades-old peace with Egypt hangs by a thread. Iran pursues nuclear weapons its leaders vow to use to annihilate Israel. Terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians from Hezbollah and Hamas continue. And now, the Palestinian leadership is intent on destroying the possibility of a negotiated settlement of the conflict with Israel in favor of unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations.

The Palestinian plan to win that one-sided endorsement from the U.N. this month in New York threatens Israel and insults the United States. The U.S. and the U.N. have long supported the idea that Israel and its neighbors should make peace through direct negotiations. The Palestinian leadership has dealt directly with Israel since 1993 but has refused to do so since March 2010. They seem to prefer theatrics in New York to the hard work of negotiation and compromise that peace will require.

Errors by the Obama administration have encouraged the Palestinians to take backward steps away from peace. It was a mistake to call for an Israeli construction freeze, including in Jerusalem, as an unprecedented precondition for talks. Indeed, the Palestinian leadership had been negotiating with Israel for years, notwithstanding settlement activity. When the Obama administration demanded a settlement freeze, it led to a freeze in Palestinian negotiations. It was a mistake to agree to the Palestinians' demand for indirect negotiations conducted through the U.S., and it was an even greater mistake for President Obama to distance himself from Israel and seek engagement with the hostile regimes in Syria and Iran.

Perry traveled to New York City for a fundraiser and rolled out the Perry Doctrine.

"People were pumped," said real estate executive Myers Mermel. "They were really enthused, beyond the ordinary pleasantries. On the campaign trail, it’s either there or it’s not. It’s definitely there for him."

Mermel said more than 100 people crowded into an apartment on Central Park West, including some who traveled from hours away.

"I was swamped by Republican county chairs from all over the state who wanted to attend," Mermel said. "We had people from as far away as Cayuga County come down and they were thrilled he was running. Finding somebody who’s popular in Manhattan and upstate is not easy to do. He appeals to both."

Perry gave brief remarks at the event, citing his strong economic record, and also touched on Israel, though "not in detail," according to Mermel.

"He said in a Perry presidency, the Perry Doctrine, would be standing with our allies," Mermel recalled.

“We would not be here today at this very precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn't naive and arrogant, misguided and dangerous,” Perry said. “The Obama policy of moral equivalency which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a very dangerous insult.”

Perry also criticized the administration's belief that any negotiations should be based on the borders Israel had before a 1967 war that expanded the Jewish state. Perry called that stance “insulting and nave.”

At a pro-Israel rally Tuesday morning near Union Station, Perry kept up his attack on the Obama administration.

GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry hosted a pro-Israel rally in New York on Tuesday morning during which he repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of "appeasement" of the Palestinians and of bungling three years of Middle East diplomacy.

"I hope you will tell the people of Israel that help is on the way," Perry told an assembled audience of Jewish organization leaders and journalists at the W Hotel on Union Square.

He called for the closing of the Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Washington and the cutting off of U.S. aid to the Palestinian leadership as punishment for their drive to seek member-state status at the United Nations.

The Obama administration had treated Palestinian and Israel concerns with equal regard, which has led to the diplomatic crisis brewing in Turtle Bay, according to Perry.

Abbas Demands Palestinian Statehood Recognition at U.N.

Palestinian President Abbas was the first international leader called by newly inaugurated President Barack Obama in January, 2009. Unusual choice for a first call from the new American President, but that was it.

Monday, President Obama went to New York City to tend to business at the U.N. His Israeli-Palestinian policy is coming off its wheels. President Abbas is in New York to push for a U.N. Security Council vote on Palestinian membership at the U.N., in their quest for statehood.

The frenetic diplomacy was happening as Abbas arrived Monday in New York to take his case to the Security Council's 15 members, nine of whose support — and no vetoes — would be needed for passage.

Obama arrives Monday evening, without a clear plan to successfully convince the Palestinians to drop their bid. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to arrive Wednesday, when the U.N. gathering formally opens.

The Palestinians are frustrated by their inability to win from Israel concessions such as a freeze on settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. And with violence out of the question and bilateral talks with Israel failing, they see the U.N. route as the only viable route for progress in the short term.

To address the Palestinian concerns, Western officials have discussed the possibility of including some timeframes, however vague, in any statement put out by the Quartet, officials said. These would focus on the restart of Israeli-Palestinian talks and signs of tangible progress once negotiations begin.

No clear plan from President Obama to address this issue?

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed not to back down despite "tremendous pressure" on the bid for U.N. recognition and membership in the world body.

Abbas insisted that the statehood goal should not derail a resumption of direct negotiations. The U.S. views the Palestinian plan as counterproductive and a potential roadblock to the peace effort. The U.S. has vowed to veto the measure in the U.N. Security Council.

The pressure from the United States and other quarters was matched by feverish efforts to offer the Palestinian leadership a viable plan forward, conscious that the current state of negotiations with the Jewish state is leading nowhere.

The Palestinians think they are at a dead end. Their insistance that Israel stop the settlements being built in the West Bank have not stopped them. However, Barack Obama does not have a friendly relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Here's a little historical perspective about the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians offered by Danny Ayalon, Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs:

Land deals for peace has never worked. By going around the peace negotiations with Israel and going directly to the U.N. to demand statehood recognition is a complete breakdown in the two state process. Palestinians are not true partners in the process. If Abbas truly wanted a peaceful, two state solution in the region, he would have accepted previous deals offered by Israelis, former President Clinton and the Bush administration. He has rejected all and the violence and Palestinian isolation continue.

Abbas does not serve his people well.

Monday, September 19, 2011

NASA Marks 50th Anniversary of Houston Named as Home of Manned Spacecraft Center

On this date in 1961, the naming of the location of the manned space center went to Houston. Happy 50th birthday, Johnson Space Center!

On the morning of Sept. 12, 1962, Kennedy gave a historic speech in Rice University’s Rice Stadium that re-emphasized his speech to Congress the previous year. During his talk, President Kennedy expressed his reasons for wanting to send Americans to the moon before the close of the decade “to become the world's leading space-faring nation.”

In 1973, the center was renamed in honor of the late president and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson. From the early Gemini, Apollo and Skylab projects to the Space Shuttle and International Space Station Programs and beyond, the center continues to lead NASA's efforts in human space exploration.

Some key dates in the history of JSC:
May 25, 1961 - President John F. Kennedy proposes to Congress the national "goal of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" by the end of the decade.
Sept. 19, 1961 - Houston is officially announced as the location of the Manned Spacecraft Center.
Sept. 22, 1961 - The first official NASA delegation visits Houston.
Oct. 24, 1961 - The Manned Spacecraft Center (Houston Office) is formally established as an entity by NASA.
Nov. 1, 1961 - The first edition of the "Space News Roundup" is published.
Sept. 12, 1962 – President John F. Kennedy gives historic speech at Rice Stadium.
Feb. 17, 1973 - Name changes from Manned Spacecraft Center to Johnson Space Center.

Obama's Deficit Plan More Of Cowardly Class Warfare

Even ardent Barack Obama fans like the writers of the website Politico are calling the deficit plan released Monday morning a "blueprint for shoring up his restless Democratic base".

President Barack Obama will release a plan Monday to cut the federal deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade, drawing half the savings from new tax revenue and sparing Medicare recipients from having to wait longer to collect benefits, senior administration officials said Sunday.

Suffering an erosion of support from the broad coalition that elected him, Obama has crafted a plan that reads more like a blueprint for shoring up his restless Democratic base than a vehicle for reaching across the aisle in search of bipartisan compromise.

His proposal forces Republicans to side with corporations and the wealthy, sidesteps the most controversial remedies for overhauling Medicare and Social Security, and offers up a populist-sounding “Buffett Rule,” which would prohibit millionaires from paying a lower tax rate than middle-class Americans.

The President delivered a campaign style lecture, it was not a plan. He is the professor-in-chief. Unfortunately, lectures are not scored by the CBO, as he well knows.

There is panic in the air. Democrats, desperate for Barack Obama to succeed in his bid for re-election, are both irritated that the last chance for the liberal 60's agenda of European social democracy has been squandered by the guy who promised it to them and also determined to pull for him in 2012. What choice do they have? He is the only guy on the ballot for them.

The President was 20 minutes late, as is his habit, and as the speech (lecture) progressed, it was clear that everything old is new again. The very tax increases Barack Obama claimed in 2009 would be bad for our country's poor economic condition is now a-ok.

Let's refresh our memory, shall we?

That is from August 2009. Is anyone going to argue that the economic climate is now strong enough for raising taxes? Is it now "the right thing to do"? That is how Obama ended his lecture from the Rose Garden today. He said it was the right thing to do.

Frankly, he should have let the teleprompter go it alone today. He was petulent, defensive and flat in his delivery. He employed the use of strawmen and berated Speaker Boehner in advance for the anticipated opposition to this stuff Obama calls a solution to our deficit woes.

No one paying attention has any hopes that this 'plan' will pass either the House or the Senate.

But his plan has little chance of passing and is already inflaming Republicans, who have vowed to oppose new taxes and have called for deep cuts in federal spending and entitlements. On Sunday, Republicans responded with vitriol to the proposal to create a special tax for millionaires.

“Class warfare may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It adds further instability to our system, more uncertainty, and it punishes job creation.”

Something odd was noted by some journalists on Twitter as the lecture ended. The audience, the White House press corps, applauded. And there was music playing. This never happens. Why did the press corps applaud?

Steve Forbes called it "political theatre". I agree. How sad.

Dakota Meyer Interviewed on Sixty Minutes

Did you watch the interview with Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor awardee, on Sixty Minutes? The real story here is that not only did Meyer deserve his recognition for personal bravery, of course, but that his commanding officers were relieved from duty due to incompetence.

An investigation conducted after the battle determined that two Army officers making those decisions in the operations center that day "were clearly negligent." "The actions of key leaders" in the command center, the report said, "were inadequate and ineffective, contributing directly to the loss of life which ensued." Because of what the report calls "poor performance" and "an atmosphere of complacency," the operations center just did not realize how bad the situation was until it was too late.

"You can't sugarcoat it," said now retired Colonel Richard Hooker, who conducted the investigation.

"The two principal officers that were named in the investigation failed to discharge their duties in a responsible way - in a way that the army and the country [have] a right to expect them to behave," Hooker said.

This is something my husband asked in the beginning, when the story first emerged. He is a veteran of the Vietnam war, so he looked at it from the viewpoint of a serviceman who was charged with taking orders from superiors. He asked, what happened to the commanding officers?

Now we know. They were disciplined. In the Sixty Minutes interview it was described as "career-ending" reprimands.

Another question surfaces: Why did Barack Obama, Commander-in-Chief, chose to award this medal to a young man, brave as he was, who disobeyed orders from his higher-ups? Was it a poke in the eye to the military? Why this young, brave man instead of countless others who didn't disobey orders while performing acts of unbelievable bravery?

It is an interesting question. No one would take away the bravery of this young man, Dakota Meyer. We are parents of a son a year younger than him and certainly honor his courage and dedication to his fellow servicemen. His brothers. It is just an interesting observation and question.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy 65th Birthday, U.S. Air Force

Today is the 65th birthday of the U.S. Air Force.

On July 26, 1947, while aboard the presidential C-54 aircraft, Sacred Cow, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, officially establishing the United States Air Force as a separate service under the National Military Establishment (renamed in 1949 the Department of Defense). The Act set out requirements for the Air Force that "it shall be organized, trained and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations. The Air Force shall be responsible for the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war."
On the same day he signed the National Security Act, President Truman signed Executive Order 9877 assigning the primary functions and responsibilities of the armed forces. The United States Air Force was charged to organize, train and equip air forces for air operations including joint operations; to gain and maintain general air superiority; to establish local air superiority where and as required; to develop a strategic air force and conduct strategic air reconnaissance operations; to provide airlift and support for airborne operations; to furnish air support to land and naval forces including support of occupation forces; and to provide air transport for the armed forces except as provided by the Navy for its own use.

Stuart Symington was sworn in as the first Secretary of the Air Force by Chief Justice Fred Vinson on Sept. 18, 1947, establishing the United States Air Force as truly an independent arm of the U.S. military.

President Obama sent along some birthday wishes of his own:

I send greetings to all those celebrating the 64th birthday of the United States Air Force.

As president, I have no greater honor than serving as commander in chief of the greatest force for peace and security the world has ever known. Performing their duties with impeccable gallantry and excellence, members of the United States Air Force embody the highest ideals of our nation.

Since America's earliest forays into flight, brave patriots have answered the call to defend our way of life from the skies above. Serving in times of war and peace, these guardians of freedom and justice have kept our people safe and strengthened our security at home. Our Airmen have also exemplified our spirit of compassion abroad, from bringing hope to a divided Berlin to aiding a recently devastated Japan.

Today, we pay special tribute to the 9/11 Generation -- the more than 5 million Americans who have worn the uniform over the past 10 years. These service members have contributed immeasurably to the excellence and professionalism of the United States Air Force. Tour after tour, they have borne the extraordinary burden of a decade of war. They have written their own remarkable chapter in the narrative of America's armed forces and earned a place among our greatest generations. It is with unending gratitude that we pledge to serve them and their families as well as they serve us.

On behalf of a grateful nation, I thank you for your service. May God bless and protect you and your families, and may God bless the United States of America.

President Barack Obama

My husband served in the USAF during the Vietnam war. The astronauts at NASA come from the USAF.

In January 1968, Helen O'Day became the first woman promoted to colonel in the USAF. She died this year at the age of 98 years old.

Our nation is grateful to all who serve.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ted Cruz Wins Garland Tea Party Straw Poll

With a victorious 64.5%, Ted Cruz, Texas candidate for U.S. Senate won the Garland Tea Party straw poll taken on September 15, 2011. Compare this margin of victory against that of David Dewhurst at 1%.

The last straw poll of note was taken by the Kerrville Republican Women on August 19, 2011 and the results were similar:
Ted Cruz – 61% David Dewhurst – 2.7%

I compare the two candidates in the poll results because it is a common thought in Texas Republican politics, especially that of grass roots level politics, that the real battle is between Cruz and Dewhurst in the GOP U.S. Senate primary race.

It is to be noted that Lt. Governor Dewhurst did not attend the event. To date, he has missed nine such events despite being invited to all of them, along with the other candidates.

Ford Ad Blasts Auto Bail-Outs

Meet Chris, the American auto buyer featured on the latest Ford commercial. He has a message about the auto bail-outs for you:

He's not an actor. He is a Ford owner. Apparently, the story is that these are his own words.

Good ad.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Boehner: Trouble Not with Tea Party, But with GOP Establishment

Speaker John Boehner delivered a jobs speech at the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday morning.

In a speech at the Economic Club of Washington, Boehner prodded the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to set the groundwork for tax reform that would lower the corporate rate and close loopholes — the preferred GOP method for cleaning up the nation’s tax system. Tax increases, Boehner said, are not an option as they seek to close a gaping $14 trillion budget hole.

“The Joint Select Committee can tackle tax reform, and it should,” Boehner said. “It’s probably not realistic to think the Joint Committee could rewrite the tax code by Nov. 23. But it can certainly lay the groundwork by then for tax reform in the future that will enhance the environment for economic growth. The committee can develop principles for broad-based tax reform that will lower rates for individuals and corporations while closing deductions, credits, and special carveouts in our tax code. And I hope it will.”
The speaker also threw his weight behind entitlement reform, something that House Republicans did in their own budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee.

After delivering his jobs speech, Speaker Boehner answered questions from the audience. He is reported to have loosened up and enjoyed the give and take. Speaking about the 87 freshmen who are largely identified as Tea Partiers, Boehner said they are not the "headaches" that are portrayed media as such for him as Leader. He said, in fact, it is the longtime Republican Representatives that are a thorn in his side. "Nothing I do is ever good enough. I understand that. There's always some...They stir up problems. It's just to be expected."

That's the headline - Boehner works well with the Tea Party wing of the party. Despite the best efforts of the administration and the DNC to proclaim that it is the Tea Party freshmen who are throwing Boehner off the GOP agenda, Boehner refuses to play that game. This narrative is deliberately employed to divide the party. Boehner is a savvy negotiator and puts in the time to find the best solutions.

Boehner re-affirmed his belief that tax increases are off the table. He said that tax increases are jobs killers and the twelve person super committee is a jobs committee. He encourages them to be bolder than in their original parameters.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Congressional Oversight Investigations Begin on Solyndra Failure

Some $36 billion doled out of taxpayer money. A paltry 3500 jobs have resulted in green energy jobs. The Obama administration's shiny example of the future of green energy jobs? Solyndra.

Now that Solyndra has filed for bankruptcy and the House committees involved are holding hearings, what's the White House plan to cover for their epic failure here? Why, blame the Bush administration, of course.

It is true that the green energy initiative began during the Bush years. So, the cover-uppers are trying mightily to pin the blame on Bush.

In prepared testimony released ahead of the hearing before the House Energy and Commerce committee, the director of the Department of Energy's loans office, Jonathan Silver, emphasizes that the program that eventually granted a $535 million loan guarantee to the troubled firm was created during the Bush administration.

The problem with this defense is that now there is a trail of emails that clearly show that the Bush administration raised many red flags about the potential for success from Solyndra and slowed the process. It is clearly the Obama administration that took over upon taking office in 2009 and making it all about political photo ops.

Rep Cliff Stearns isn't having it.

But Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of the oversight subcommittee that is conducting the Solyndra investigation, said that there's a problem with that version of events. "In reality, on January 9, 2009 -- at the end of the Bush administration -- the DOE Credit Committee voted against offering a conditional commitment to Solyndra, saying that the deal was premature and questioning its underlying financial support," Stearns said in his opening statement. "Only after Obama took control, and the stimulus passed, was the Solyndra deal pushed through."

The emails point to the micro-managing from the White House in its desire to use Solyndra as political fodder in the push to funnel big bucks into green energy projects.

The company's solar panel factory was heralded as a centerpiece of the president's green energy plan -- billed as a way to jump start a promising new industry. And internal emails uncovered by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee that were shared exclusively with ABC News show the Obama administration was keenly monitoring the progress of the loan, even as analysts were voicing serious concerns about the risk involved.

Some of the 1100 employees who lost their jobs will no doubt have stories to tell the media now. One called into a radio talk show and voiced this opinion:

While we were out there, while we were building it – cause it is a half a billion dollar plant – everyone already knew that China had developed a more inexpensive way to manufacture these solar panels. Everyone knew that the plant wouldn’t work. But they still did it. They still built it.

That was spoken by a woman who described herself as low on the totem pole of the company, yet she knew what was going on.

The Treasury Department is opening an investigation into Solyndra, too. The loan was arranged for by the Energy Department but the Federal Financing Bank made the loan. That loan falls under the Treasury Department as the Federal Financing Bank is a government lending institution.

Chairman Upton(R-MI) expects to have testimony from Solyndra in hearings next week. On CNN's John King USA program, Upton responded to revelations that former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanel wanted to help speed up the OMB side of the process so that Vice President Biden could get press for the initiative on behalf of the administration.

Well, we've got now - you know, we tried to get the documentation early on. We scheduled hearings and the administration literally didn't show up. They promised us that they were going to provide documents. They never came.

Finally, we resorted to the last resort and that was a subpoena, and in mid-July we served a subpoena on the administration. It still took more than a month to get a lot of the stuff that was there. And as we're examining now a lot of the stuff that we finally got, we're now finding these e-mails that nobody knew about before.

So, we're going to see exactly where this takes us, how did this thing get approved, and how - who made the decision to restructure the loan so that, in fact, at the end of the day because they did go belly up, in direct contradiction to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, did someone make the decision to put the taxpayer last instead of first when they filed Chapter 11.

Was AttackWatch Meant To Be So Funny?

Here's the beauty of Twitter - a completely cynical move by a paranoid and desperate White House can be turned into a joke in no time. What began as a shockingly bad move into over the top damage control is now a fun game on Twitter.

By taking the idea presented by the White House, aka the Barack Obama re-election campaign, as a quick response exercise and giving it a hashtag on Twitter (#AttackWatch), conservatives are making great sport of it all.

"Get the Facts. Fight the Smears" is the mantra of the new campaign launched by the White House. You can follow it on Twitter - @AttackWatch - and you can go to the website, too. Beware though, you are being tracked as a visitor to the website. Remember, paranoia reigns supreme in this administration.

As the 2012 presidential campaign heats up, President Obama’s campaign team has set up a new Web site,, to challenge negative statements about the president made by Republican presidential candidates and conservatives.

Obama for America national field director Jeremy Bird told ABC News that the site’s goal is to offer “resources to fight back” against attacks. Mostly, that means fact checking statements from the likes of GOP presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Perry and conservative commentator Glenn Beck and offering evidence to the contrary. The site is designed in bold red and black colors, and uses statements like “support the truth” and “fight the smears.”

This appears to be the first tweet: @AttackWatch:False allegations and smears about the President are only going to pick up as we get closer to next year's election.

There is something really creepy about this. The website is black and red, for a beginning. Ominous. Even the Washington Post notes the strange totalitarian move, more obvious than the "Fight the Smears" website during the 2008 campaign.

It’s safe to say that in its 24 hours of existence, Attack Watch has already backfired, becoming a tool for conservatives to use against Obama 2012. A tweet by conservative author Brad Thor summed it up: “Wow, not only are Obama & Co. incredibly thin-skinned, they're paranoid.”

Social media is a great equalizer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"If You Love Me, You'll Help Me Pass This Bill"

"If you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill." That off-the- teleprompter remark was said by President Obama as he spoke in North Carolina about the jobs bill in a re-election campaign style event. Sadly, I am not joking.

I'm beginning to long for the days of Bill Clinton, if we are to be under the rule of a Democratic president. I thought he was self-obsessed. Now he's looking like a fairly humble man.

It is hard to imagine another president who would equate himself into absolutely every thought and action. The numbers are bad for President Obama and he is desperate for some love. From watching the video, it would appear the silly lemmings in the audience may have filled the vacuum for him today.

See, it's tough to be Barack Obama. The man who was not vetted properly by the press, the man with no executive experience either in politics or in business, the man who had no legislative success of his own, the man who voted "present" well over 100 times in the Illinois state legislature, is now finding himself in mightly lonely territory. A majority of Americans have no faith in the jobs bill President Obama recently presented to a joint session of Congress - another grand exercise of ego. So, he doesn't even have the bounce in the polls in his favor that presidents often get after a major speech.

That is the real problem. Barack Obama is accustomed to delivering speeches but not real policy. Americans are catching on.

The thin-skinned Barack Obama is incapable of following his own pleas. He beseeches politicians to perform in a bi-partisan manner, yet he is incapable of such behavior. He is incapable of delivering a speech or just some remarks without taking a shot at the opposition.

Barack Obama fancies himself a cerebral man. He employs Chicago style politics as his way of governing. If he were unable to use straw man arguments in speeches, he'd be mute. He is nothing without class warfare.

The days of chanting hope and change are long gone. The phony narrative about Barack Obama has faded into thin air. The ego is all that remains.

Ted Cruz Speaks to United Republicans of Harris County

It is important for a political candidate to have an actual record of walking the walk as he/she talks the talk. A proven record speaks louder than promises and proclamations of agreement with party principles. How many times have you listened to a politician say one thing only to act differently once he/she is in Congress?

Aren't we just plain tired of that?

Most candidates running for political office have an "issues" page on the campaign website. This is the place where a candidate repeats the same talking point assurances as all candidates do during speeches - for Republican candidates, it is an affirmation that they have a commitment to the Second Amendment, states rights, etc. The problem is, once this candidate gets to Washington, D.C. suddenly the strong backbone that was on the campaign trail transforms into that of a jellyfish in Congress.

You can go to and find a different kind of website. Instead of an "issues" page, there is a "proven record" page. This is where Ted Cruz, running for U.S.Senate, actually points to proof of his political philosophy convictions. Fight for U.S. sovereignty? There's a link for that. Fighting voter fraud? There's a link for that, too. The page lists 15 different issues and the links take the reader to the document proving Cruz's record of working on that issue.

Ted Cruz is a happy warrior. He is calling for Republican voters to elect candidates who will be best prepared to stand up and lead the fight against the Obama agenda. He told a group of Republicans Tuesday evening that the next senator from Texas must be a fighter, a strong conservative. He said all too often the Republican response to the liberal agenda in Washington is "ready, aim, surrender". He said while that may be fine in some instances, "It's not fine right now."

While speaking of the audacity exhibited from President Obama as he blamed the Tea Party for the nation's near economic default, he said that was "like Charlie Sheen blaming his problems on the Betty Ford Clinic."

Of the recent jobs speech delivered by President Obama, Cruz said it was like Ground Hog Day. He explained his 12 step initiative for economic recovery. A video on this is taken from his website below:

A happy warrior with a proven record as a conservative fighting the good fight.

Sound good?