Monday, October 31, 2011

Plouffe Goes On Attack of Romney

This is low for even a White House staffer. Speaking on a Sunday morning show, David Plouffe struck a personal attack on GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney:

White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Sunday said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has “no core” when it comes to taking a firm stance on difficult issues.

“Issue after issue after issue, he’s moved all over the place,” Plouffe said on NBC’s Meet the Press, citing the former Massachusetts governor’s shifts to the right on climate change, gay marriage, and abortion.

“What you need in that office is conviction, you need to have a true compass, and you’ve got to be willing to make tough calls,” Plouffe said. “You get the sense that if he had to say the sky was green and the grass was blue to win an election, he’d do it.”

Remember this is from a taxpayer paid White House staffer. He left the administration long enough to help set up the Chicago headquarters for Obama's re-election and to sell his book, then he came back on board at the White House. Apparently the White House is just as nervous as the re-election team about Obama's odds of winning a second term. They have taken to criticizing individual GOP candidates in the primary race, not waiting for the actual candidate who will compete with Obama for the 2012 election.
Romney is one who has come out ahead of Obama in polling for winning that election.

Even an obvious partisan in the media noticed that Plouffe was going over the line in his personal attack of Romney. The noted to the round table panel that it was new ground being broken. The host of that show noted the new ground being broken by Plouffe to his guests on the panel for discussion of that interview. Partisans on both sides were divided on if Plouffe should apologize to Romney for a personal attack on national television. The Republican partisan said yes while the Democratic ones said no. No surprise there. We are a deeply divided country where more and more often it seems anything goes. Instead of arguing the issues, discussions devolve into personal attacks.

Politics of Division Rule in Obama White House

I have to admit, the level of stubbornness of President Obama on display as he campaigns for re-election across America is a sight to behold. How many articles and blog posts have been written about his divisive and abrasive tone in his speeches? How many times have talking heads on television commented about the man who spoke of bringing the country together in 2008 now is the most divisive of Presidents in recent history? Yet, he doubles down and continues on.

The result is a continuing spiral of negative rhetoric instead of bolstering the people, cheering them on to hang in there until times are better. Everyone gets sucked into the mix and that is why the great malaise has set in. Instead of a feeling of hopefulness, a general feeling of hopelessness has blanketed the country. For the first time, a substantial majority of Americans believe our best days are behind us.

How did this happen? I think it is a result of the rise of Barack Obama to the presidency. A man with some state legislative experience became a U.S. Senator and then almost immediately started running for the biggest job in the world. A new Fox News Poll shows 76% now say they are dissatisfied with the direction of the country.

The Presidency demands a seasoned politician, truth be told. This is why former governors make good presidents. States are smaller governments that require lots of the same decisions as are made on the federal level. Whether it is budget decisions or National Guard deployments, decision making experience is necessary to be a successful president.

Another ability that a governor develops is that of working with both parties. President Obama, only having experience in state legislation where he voted a record breaking amount of "present" instead of yea or nay on bills and then only briefly in his first term as a U.S. Senator, never developed the ability to work with all sides of an argument. This lack of experience has been painfully apparent throughout his term as president. He famously told Senator John McCain, "I won, John", as McCain was arguing his point of view in the first months of the Obama administration.

As Barack Obama campaigned for president in 2008, he criticized then President Bush for using too many Executive Orders in governing. Now, however, as he runs for his second term, President Obama thinks this is exactly how he must govern. Why? Because the Congressional Republicans are bringing forward their own job creating bills and therefore, Obama wants the Republicans to look as though they are not doing their jobs. They are and that is a sore spot for such a failed presidency.

Using the catch phrase We Can't Wait, Obama is now going around the country bragging about signing Executive Orders to go around Congress which is not able to pass his spending bill labeled as a jobs bill. HERE is a list of his Executive Orders for 2011, so far. Recently President Obama stated he would use Executive Orders to put through a mortgage re-finance bill and a student loan re-payment bill.

Speaker Boehner voiced his concern of this practice on a radio talk show and said of the Senate's refusal to bring up the 15 jobs creation bills that have passed in the House, "You know what, we can’t wait. We’ve got 15 bills that have passed the House that would help job creators around our country. They’re called the Forgotten 15; they’re sitting over in the United States Senate." We can't wait for Senate Democrats to pass them."

The Democratically controlled Senate refuses to take up the Forgotten 15 for debate and votes. The Senate still has not pass a budget in more than 900 days. That is where the "obstruction" lies. President Obama should talk to his own party and instruct them to work with Republicans to get our economy moving again.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Keeping Drug Cartel Recruitment Out of Houston Schools

Recently, Senator John Cornyn visited with top officials at Houston Independent School District and the topic was preventing drug cartel recruitment in the schools.

On Monday, I met with top officials from the Houston Independent School District, one of the nation’s largest school districts, to discuss the recent warning from the Texas Department of Public Safety that Mexican drug cartels are attempting to recruit high school students. Terry Grier, HISD Superintendent, and Jimmy Dotson, HISD Chief of Police, assured me that they have no evidence to indicate that the cartels have been successful in any attempts to recruit HISD students. This is largely due to the proactive measures that the school district has taken to address this threat. HISD has the nation’s only fully accredited school district police force. This includes a gang task force dedicated to tracking gang activity and sharing intelligence with multi-jurisdictional gang task forces on the regional, state and federal levels. We all acknowledged that constant vigilance is required to protect our students, and I am confident in HISD’s ability to do so.

As Texans, we’re not strangers to the senseless brutality of the drug cartels on the other side of the border. DPS’s warning stands as further proof that the border must be secured for the sake of all Texans—especially our children.

HISD has implemented a program - G.R.E.A.T. which educates middle schoolers on the dangers of gangs and their recruitment tactics.

Gang life can be attractive to some teens looking for a way to be a part of something and to stand out.

"They're looking for leadership, that guidance, and a sense of belonging," said Bradford Roland of the HPD Gang Division.

HPD sends officers to high-risk Houston Independent School Districts campuses to teach middle school students about gang resistance. The program is called G.R.E.A.T., which stands for Gang Resistance Education and Training.

G.R.E.A.T. is a national program that has also partnered with such organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs, and National Association of Police Athletic Leagues.

Since the G.R.E.A.T. Program went nationwide in 1992, many law enforcement agencies and schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Canada, Central America, England, and military bases in Japan and Germany have implemented the program. Currently, the G.R.E.A.T. Program is delivered in over 500 communities across the United States. In order to maintain the integrity of the G.R.E.A.T. Program, it is necessary to have a strong organizational structure to regulate decisions and program or curricula changes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Senator Burr Responds to Obama's Weekly Radio Address Criticizing GOP

This week, President Obama once again used his weekly radio address to complain about Republicans and their unwillingness to go along to get along with him when it comes to his jobs bill.

In the Weekly Republican Address, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr contrasts President Obama's call for more Washington spending with Republicans' proposals to get government out of the way of job creators.

Sen. Burr says, "Some in Washington, including the President, are suggesting that we simply spend more money. We've already tried that - it did not spur job growth then, and it won't now. The American people realize that this is not about how much money Washington can spend. It's about getting government out of the way and creating the climate for growth and jobs."

He explains, "The President has even ignored the suggestions of his own commission. Rather than implement even a single one of the strategic reforms and investments suggested by Simpson-Bowles, we continue to ignore our fiscal problems and focus only on spending more money and expanding the size of the federal government. This lack of fiscal discipline is unsustainable and cannot continue -- you know it, and I know it. The longer we kick the can down the road, the more difficult it will be to address our real problems and spur real job growth."

"Fortunately, Sen. Burr says, "there is an alternative to the President's approach. While some in Washington are focused on creating more government jobs, Republicans want to drive job creation in the private sector.

"We have a jobs proposal that would:
1. Simplify and stabilize the tax code
2. Rein in government regulations
3. Cap spending and reduce budget deficits
4. Propose common sense healthcare solutions
5. Encourage domestic energy development
6. Create a competitive workforce, and
7. Increase exports

The American people deserve a debate on these issues. Our proposal is simple, and it makes it easier for businesses to thrive, grow, and hire."

He concludes, "Despite ideological differences, many of these proposals -- such as tax reform, regulatory reform, and increased trade opportunities - have the support of Republicans and Democrats. There is bipartisan agreement on the need to fundamentally reform our tax code to make it simpler, more fair, and more predictable for all Americans and job creators. The American people are hurting, and our economy is in grave danger. It's time for Congress to focus on the American people and not how difficult change might be."

Republicans in the House continue to send a positive and constructive message. They have passed 15 job creating bills that are being ignored in the Democratically controlled Senate. It is time for President Obama to come in off the campaign trail and do the serious work of putting our nation on the right economic track again.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Forgotten 15 Job Creating Bills Passed by House, Ignored by Senate

The recurring slogan du jour from Team Obama, in particular the campaigner-in-chief himself, is We Can't Wait. As in, he can't wait for the Congress to do its job in legislating us out of this economic mess. It is a false charge, especially in light of the fact that the Republican-led House of Representatives has passed job creating bills that lay unattended in the Democratically controlled Senate. Why doesn't President Obama talk to Senate Majority Leader Reid about bringing those bills up for debate and votes?

There are currently 15 "forgotten" job creating bills referenced by Speaker of the House Boehner and his leadership team that should be taken up in the Senate. And, Thursday the House passed a rare bi-partisan agreement in the form of a bill that eliminates the withholding of 3% of payments to government contractors. It is a minor victory, to be sure, but a victory for those seeking common ground to move forward. The bill was passed orginally in 2006 yet has not been enacted. The purpose was to ensure that those companies doing business with the federal government paid their share of taxes.

The vote was 406-16. The President supports the action. The Senate Democrats blocked the action last week but plan to take it up again next week.
HERE is a list of the Forgotten 15.

I am particularly anxious for numbers 4 through 7 to be taken up in the Senate. Now.

4) Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R 1230) – Helps to reduce energy prices and promote job creation by expediting offshore oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and the Virginia coast.
• Introduced by Rep. Doc Hastings (WA) on March 29, 2011
• Passed the House by a vote of 266-149 on May 5, 2011
5) Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229) – Promotes job creation and reduces energy prices by reinstating oil drilling permits in the Gulf Coast.
• Introduced by Rep. Doc Hastings (WA) on March 29, 2011
• Passed the House by a vote of 263-163 on May 11, 2011
6) Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act (H.R 1231) – Promotes lower energy costs and job creation by allowing drilling in at least 50 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf areas known to contain the most oil and gas.
• Introduced by Rep. Doc Hastings (WA) on March 29, 2011
• Passed the House by a vote of 243-179 on May 12, 2011
7) The Jobs and Energy Permitting Act H.R 2021) – Promotes job growth and reduces energy costs by expediting the process of obtaining an offshore drilling permit.
• Introduced by Rep. Cory Gardner (CO) on May 26, 2011
• Passed the House by a vote of 255-166 on June 22, 2011

As I wrote this week in an article for The Texas Conservative, energy independence will help turn our economy around. Energy exploration and production will create jobs immediately.

Here are some facts that counter the Obama administration's claim that the drilling permit process is moving along just fine and that the moratorium is lifted:

•Over the past five years, 73.4 percent of plans submitted to BOEMRE were approved. That number dropped to 52 percent in 2010 and stands at 37 percent in 2011.
•The federal government approved these plans in an average of 60.6 days over the past five years. That number increased to 67 days in 2010. But it skyrocketed to 115 days this year.
•So far in October, the government has issued just one deepwater drilling permit. The average over the past three years is seven new permit approvals per month.

Listen to the House leadership speak about the "Forgotten 15".

The President need only look to the Democratically controlled Senate to vote on these job creating bills and send them to him to sign.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rep Paul Ryan Presents "Saving the American Idea" Speech

During his current trip to the west coast,President Obama said that we have lost our motivation, our imagination to build big things like the Golden Gate Bridge. Really? What I see is people motivated and full of imagination yearning for the chance to do big things but are hamstrung thanks to big government red tape and the permitting process and fees out the wazoo.

It is obvious at this point that Barack Obama will spend the next year campaigning for re-election using scare tactics and dishonest arguments to try to woo audiences into supporting him in November 2012.

Clearly, President Obama is of the political philosophy that in order to "do big things" there must be oodles of taxpayer money funding the projects. Private initiatives are hindered in the world of Barack Obama. He believes in choosing government projects over private enterprise.

President Obama told an audience that if Republicans win the election in November 2012, that people will be on their own. He said that the Tea Party people want to discard Social Security and Medicare, that Republicans want dirty water and air, that Republicans want the regulations on good business practices to be reversed. He said Republicans want people to do without health care. This is the talk of a desperate candidate.

What Barack Obama fails to understand is that we are a nation in malaise. We are a nation with a majority of people of the opinion that our best days are behind us. Consumer confidence is at an historical low and companies are too uncertain of what the future holds to hire workers. President Obama contributes to all of this with his political talk. Independent voters have fled from supporting his re-election. If he continues on with this kind of campaigning, he has no hope of winning their support back.

In order to make himself look better to the voters, Barack Obama has decided to make the Republican party the enemy. He is suppose to be the President of all Americans but he has never governed as such. His legacy- making legislation - Obamacare - was signed into law with only support from the Democratic party. A major entitlement has never been signed into law with only the support of one party in Congress. Maybe that is the change Obama promised in 2008. The people, however, do not approve.

Wednesday,Rep. Paul Ryan spoke to the need to seek unity and work together for our country's economic revival.

“Instead of appealing to the hope and optimism that were hallmarks of his first campaign, he has launched his second campaign by preying on the emotions of fear, envy, and resentment,” Ryan told a group gathered at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.

“The president likes to use Warren Buffett and his secretary as an example of why we should raise taxes on the rich. Well, Warren Buffett gets the same health and retirement benefits from the government as his secretary,” Ryan said in prepared remarks. “But our proposals to modestly income-adjust Social Security and Medicare benefits have been met with sheer demagoguery by leading members of the president’s party.”

The theme of Ryan’s speech was “Saving the American Idea: Rejecting fear, envy and the politics of division.” Ryan argued that the Founding Fathers rejected traditional European notions of class and economic opportunity. But “the president’s policies have moved us closer to the European model,” he said.

Americans want to be uplifted, to be given a boost of courage to get through these difficult economic times. The bitter politics of division are not what the times demand of politicians.

Do you remember what he said? He said that what’s stopped us from meeting our nation’s greatest challenges is, quote, “the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics – the ease with which we’re distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big

Ryan calls the political talk "intellectual laziness". I agree. It is time to move past the easy, cheap shots and have a truthful debate on the issues.

Ted Cruz Speaks to Fox Station in Beaumont

Recently, Ted Cruz, candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas, was interviewed by a local Fox station in Beaumont. During the interview, the point was made by Cruz that we are truly at a crossroads. Do we fight and maintain our free enterprise system or do we allow our country to succumb to the growing reach of government?

Here is the interview:

One of the reasons Ted Cruz captured my attention some time ago was because his is a positive message. Do not confuse a positive message for weakness. The easiest tactic in a political battle is to go negative.

Today conservatives are crying out for happy warriors - candidates strong enough in their own message to wage the battle without dividing the party in the end. Once the primary votes are tallied, the party will have to come together to send a strong conservative to the U.S. Senate. Republicans need all the help they can get there. Remember, our goal is to take back the majority in the Senate. This will be particularly important if Barack Obama is re-elected. Republicans must maintain control of the House of Representatives and gain control of the Senate. It's that simple.

Happy warriors. Clear, concise and positive messages will win the election.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Obama Turns to Hollywood for Re-Election Story

President Obama has turned to his pals in Hollywood to provide support in getting out his message - if he can get his message straight, that is. Recent attempts to popularize snappy slogans have failed for Team Obama. Whether it is Attack Watch or the newest, We Can't Wait, Republicans have been successful in a rapid response. The messages have been co-opted and used against the re-election campaign.

Obama has lost his mojo.

So, on his latest re-election campaign trip out West, Obama met with Hollywood big shots.

The event was not a fundraiser, and attendees were not asked to donate to the Obama reelection campaign. But those invited have been ardent supporters of the president and were identified as "influencers" with the ability to help Obama shape the national political conversation heading into a tough race in 2012.

An insider who attended the hour-long meeting with the Obama campaign staff tells THR that the vibe was casual. The president appeared for about 25 to 30 minutes, telling the group that his campaign would be tough and he needed their help to engage the Hollywood community in particular and the general public at large

Obama to Hollywood: Help me get my message together!

This report comes out the same day we learn that this year's holiday gifts to foreign libraries and embassies will be Barack Obama's memoir. You know, one of the two he has written so far. I'm not kidding.

The takeaway? The State Department is spending $70,000 of taxpayer money on the gesture.

A review of the expenditures in a federal database did not reveal any examples of State Department purchases of books by former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. The purchases of Mr. Obama’s literary work mostly, but not always, took place in the months after Mr. Obama captured the White House.

Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group, said if the federal government is looking to cut costs, eliminating purchases of Mr. Obama’s books is a good place to start.

“It’s inappropriate for U.S. taxpayer dollars to be spent on this,” she said. “This sounds like propaganda.”

Barack Obama has become a very wealthy man due to book sale profits received after he became President of the United States.

So, film propaganda and literary propaganda appear to be the method of re-election for a man who is tanking in the polls and desperate for America to love him unconditionally and blindly again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Perry's Economic Plan - Cut, Balance and Grow

Tuesday morning, Governor Perry presents his plan for tax reform and reining in spending. He calls it Cut, Balance and Grow. It is a Flat Tax concept which leaves in place such major tax deductions as the mortgage deduction. Perry's plan would be a choice - keep the current rate of taxation on your income or choose Perry's new plan.

The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate. The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

Steve Forbes has endorsed Governor Perry for President and endorses his economic plan. Forbes' plan when he ran for President himself, you may remember, was for a 17% flat tax. The Perry Plan, is 20% and keeps mortgage deductions, state and local sales tax deductions and charitable donation deductions.

Perry's economic team presented the plan to bloggers in a conference call before Perry spoke. Here are some highlights:

The plan eliminates taxes on capital gains, the estate tax (death tax), and taxes currently in place on social security income.

The corporate tax rate would be 20% and eliminate loopholes.

Perry would declare a moratorium on all pending regulations and audit all regulatory measures taken since 2008. Federal regulations would sunset unless Congress renews them annually. He would implement an easy and identifiable, searchable federal regulatory data base. An annual regulatory budget would have to be submitted by each agency.

There is no VAT or Federal sales tax.

Social Security must be improved and enhanced for all generations. Those currently on it will not be affected. Treat the Social Security trust fund as the highway trust fund is run - protect the funds and only use the funds for that program. Younger workers would have the option of investing in personal IRAs. The age requirement for benefits would be reformed using life longetivity statistics.

He chose 2020 as the date for achieving a balanced budget though he calls for an immediate Balanced Budget Amendment. He reasons that it cannot be predicted when Congress would pass that amendment so 2020 would be a legitimate date.

The Perry plan brings Medicaid back to states responsibility. No more begging the federal government for waivers.

On Medicare, he would work with those who have presented reasonable plans - such as Rep Paul Ryan and Senator Tom Coburn and Senator Joe Lieberman. Preserve current benefits, increase eligibility requirements to reflect life expectancy, bring market forces to the program and reform waste, fraud and abuse in the system.

Automatic government shutdown protestion - no using troops or senior citizens as bargaining chips. Ban earmarks. Emergency spending only on emergencies. PAYGO - only spend on a program if another of equal or greater amount is eliminated. No more government bail-outs. No federal government worker raises.

Repeal Obamacare. Repeal Dodd-Frank. Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley.

Now is the time for bold steps, not the time to be timid. A President will never achieve what he/she wants unless they shoot for it and set the bar high. There is no need for class warfare - creating jobs is the way to increase tax revenue.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Team Obama Claims "We Can't Wait"

President Obama is on the west coast this week raising money for his re-election and ginning up support for his agenda. This week it is an attempt via social media called "We Can't Wait".

Just like the previous attempt, "Attack Watch", the "We Can't Wait" campaign is failing big time, too. Conservatives run circles around liberals in avenues of social media, on Twitter in particular, and have successfully co-opted this #WeCantWait hashtag, too. It's just fun.

Six days after the GOP debate, President Obama sweeps into Vegas to herald administrative steps to make it “easier for some homeowners to refinance their mortgages.” In August, Nevada registered the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the 56th month in a row, per RealtyTrac.

--A White House official: “[U]sing the mantra ‘We Can’t Wait,’ the President will kick off an effort to put pressure on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act by highlighting a series of executive actions that his Administration will take without help from Republicans in Congress. … [In remarks at 5:30 p.m. ET at a private residence in Las Vegas, following a meeting with homeowners], the President will highlight a set of steps [announced this morning by Federal Housing Finance Agency] to make it easier for some homeowners to refinance their mortgages and [on Wednesday in Denver], the Administration will announce measures to help students better manage their student loan debt when they graduate.

“[W]e decided to stop waiting for Congress to fix No Child Left Behind, and decided to give states the flexibility they need to help our children meet higher standards. And the President acted to dramatically reduce the time it takes for small businesses to get paid when they have a contract with the federal government, and eliminated regulations that will save hospitals and patients billions of dollars. While President Obama continues to take executive actions, Republicans in Congress will have the opportunity to do what’s right for the country. They’ll have a chance to vote on a bill that will make an immediate investment of $50 billion in our nation’s surface transportation infrastructure and a $10 billion investment to create a bipartisan National Infrastructure bank. Together, these initiatives will put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, rails, and runways.”

What all this means is that President Obama has made the decision to rule through Executive Order in order to push his agenda through, because he cannot get the votes in Congress. He cannot get the votes in Congress because he continues to send up bills for votes that consist of the same failed policies he has tried up to now. The latest is this scheme to "help" those homeowners who are underwater (owe more than house is worth) with their mortgages.

Republicans have again co-opted an Obama administration slogan to mock the president.

On Monday, the GOP used Obama's #WeCantWait hashtag to criticize Democrats for the state of the economy.

"#WeCantWait to make @BarackObama a one-term president," tweeted Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

The administration launched the social media campaign to buoy public support for a set of stimulus-oriented executive actions the president plans to announce throughout the week.

"Using the mantra 'we can’t wait,' the President will highlight executive actions that his administration will take," said White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer in a blog post. "He’ll continue to pressure Congressional Republicans to put country before party and pass the American Jobs Act, but he believes we cannot wait, so he will act where they won't."

What Mr. Pfeiffer conveniently omits from his statement is that the opposition to the failed policies of Barack Obama has been a bi-partisan effort. Democrats have joined with Republicans to vote them down in Congress.

The mortgage re-finance program was tried already and failed miserably. Now this will help those who may not be able to re-pay their mortgages yet will be allowed to drag it all out with loans awarded with lesser fees, etc.

Remember when the 2008 candidate Obama promised he would not be a president who ruled by Executive Order? He actually began with the Executive Orders on the afternoon in which he was inaugurated.

Remember when Barack Obama was touted as a Constitutional scholar? Shouldn't he respect the three co-equal branches of government? It is a sign of weakness that he has made the decision to bypass Congress and put back into place more of the same old failed policies.

We Can't Wait until November 2012.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why I Donated to Houston NPR

"I can't believe we have reached a point in this country where we are not allowed to express how we feel", ABC News President David Weston said to Juan Williams after he was very publicly fired from his gig with NPR. It was one year ago this week that Williams voiced his opinion about traveling with those dressed as Muslims on airplanes and was fired for those remarks.

"They want me to shut up and I will not", he said during a question and answer session during the Texas Book Festival. His book "Muzzled" was highlighted and he was interviewed by Glenn Frankel, Director of the University of Texas School of Journalism. Notoriously liberal, Frankel tried mightily to get Williams to bash Fox News Channel and Williams refused to do so. Frankel is the out of touch stereotype of liberals from days past.

I didn't realize it has been a year since the drama between Williams and the bureaucrats at NPR resulted in his dismissal. It was a bit of irony for me as I donated to our local NPR station here in Houston earlier that day.

Yes, this Republican donated to NPR.

NPR in Houston is the oldest such station in the country. Surprised? It's true. The NPR station in Houston went on air in 1950 broadcast from the University of Houston campus with student volunteers. It still operates from there and also now includes another station which broadcasts classical music. KUHF does not take money from University of Houston or from the State of Texas.

I listen to KUHF while I drive in the car. Like most women busy running a home and organizing a family, plus having a life of my own, I'm in the car a lot. I turn on KUHF because it keeps me informed, entertained and thinking. Yes, it irritates me to no end at times with the liberal guest line-up and no pretense of fair and balanced coverage on any issue. But, I know what to expect.

I was trained in political science in my college years. It was my course of study. There was always political discussion during my time living at home. I don't remember ever not being interested in politics. All of this shaped my desire to hear all sides and to keep current on what the other side is up to, so to speak.

If you do not know what the other side is saying, how will you be able to debate or persuade the other side to come to the conservative side?

I do not support the national organization of NPR. It is fine by me if all federal funding was stopped for them. They are clearly not out for anything but the agenda of far left progressive politics. There is no support for freedom of speech if that speech isn't exactly from their own talking points. The ugly side of progressive politics and broadcasting was laid bare in the Williams incident.

My local station brings the popular programs - Fresh Air, All Things Considered, Engines of our Ingenuity (with U of Houston's own John Leinhart), and my new favorite - BBC's World Have Your Say. And I love the Saturday morning game show Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.

There are stories told on This American Life that bring me to tears. They are so well done.

So, after many years of not donating, I went online and donated this year. Since I do use it every day I felt that that it is only fair. No federal funds, private funds. I believe public radio - and public television, for that matter - can be privately sustained and thrive. Plus, I believe there is a need and market for both.

For my donation, I skipped another coffee mug or tote bag and went with supporting the partnering up with Trees for Houston. My donation will be marked for watering and caring for trees that have been so badly affected by our very long draught.

It's a good thing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

American Troops to Leave Iraq by Year's End

Friday, after a teleconference call with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, President Obama announced the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq by year's end.

President Obama: "In the next two months our troops will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home"

Some politicians and those hoping to be the next President jumped ugly on this announcement. It is nothing new, though, in the calendar of events. This agreement was made by former President George W. Bush and don't remember a whole lot of jumping on him when the agreement was hammered out back then.

A bit of a glitch occurred as the Iraqi leaders requested up to 5,000 troops to remain in Iraq to continue training but would not allow immunity from prosecution should incidents occur. The concern was particularly with Iraqi deaths at the hands of American soldiers. Defense Secretary Panetta unequivocally stated that this is unacceptable. The complete withdrawal indicates the Iraqi leadership was unwilling to allow the protection to soldiers.

Some reactions from Republicans:

"I feel all we have worked for, fought for, and sacrificed for is very much in jeopardy by today’s announcement. I hope I am wrong and the President is right, but I fear this decision has set in motion events that will come back to haunt our country," said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the most vocal proponents of the war, in a statement.

“President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women," Romney said in a statement. "The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government."

"Today's announcement that we will remove all of our forces from Iraq is a political decision and not a military one; it represents the complete failure of President Obama to secure an agreement with Iraq for our troops to remain there to preserve the peace and demonstrates how far our foreign policy leadership has fallen," Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said in a statement. She said the U.s. should have demanded repayment for its cost of liberating Iraq, and demanded that Obama "return to the negotiating table with Iraq and lead from the front and not from weakness in Iraq and in the world."

California Rep. Buck McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, criticized the decision in the same vein as most other Republicans.

"I remain concerned that this full withdrawal of US forces will make that road tougher than it needs to be. Multiple experts have testified before my committee that the Iraqis still lack important capacities in their ability to maintain their internal stability and territorial integrity," he said. "These shortcomings could reverse the decade of hard work and sacrifice both countries have endured to build a free Iraq."

While we all are deeply concerned of what the next step for Iraq will be, whether it can truly protect itself from the continued obstruction from Iran, it is not wise for Republicans to be playing politics with the decision to carry on, to honor an agreement made in 2008 with the Iraqi people.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Taxpayers Paid for Obama's Failed Bus Tour

The battle over control of the Senate will be a tough one for an unpopular President Obama, who is predicted to drag down his fellow Democrats in November 2012.

“One of the results of the class warfare and the divisive rhetoric that the president is using now is that I think he’s slowly whittling his way down to just the core or base Democratic vote,” Cornyn told POLITICO. “And independents are fleeing. That’s not a recipe to win an election where you depend on not only the base vote but also independents.”

President Obama faces a battle for re-election. He is increasingly unpopular and not just with Republicans. Independents are turning away from him in droves.

Now comes an Investors Business Daily/TIPP survey showing, according to IBD, that a "majority of Americans now oppose giving President Obama a second term, and that by 51%-41% respondents in October picking 'someone new deserves a chance,' over Obama 'deserves to be re-elected.' Among independents it was 54%-36%".

And it gets worse. The current ABC News/Washington Post polling finds that 55% of American people believe a Republican will win the election, and 37% that Obama will win. Democrats expect to win by 58% to 33% percent, while Republicans believe they will win 83% to 13%. By 54% to 36%, independents think a Republican will beat Mr. Obama.

Thursday the Senate voted down a "bite sized" piece of the jobs bill legislation. By a vote of 50-50, the bill failed to reach a 60 vote threshold. This vote was for the alleged job creation of public employees (union) such as firefighters, law enforcement and teachers.

Obama and his Democratic allies are acting like they've found a winning issue in repeatedly pressing popular ideas such as infrastructure spending and boosting hiring of police officers and firefighters. The sluggish economy and lower tax revenues have caused many teachers' jobs to be cut over the past several years.

"For the second time in two weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a bill that would create jobs and get our economy going again," Obama said in a statement after the vote. "Every American deserves an explanation as to why Republicans refuse to step up to the plate and do what's necessary to create jobs and grow the economy right now."

The public has caught on to the fact that the desperate Obama re-election team has decided to use a divided Congress as a weapon to push his failed policies. The public realizes that the previous spending bills pushed by this administration and Congressional Democrats have failed miserably.

According to the AP-GfK poll, Obama's party has lost the faith of the public on handling the economy. In the new poll, only 38 percent said they trust Democrats to do a better job than Republicans in handling the economy, the first time Democrats have fallen below 40 percent in the poll. Some 43 percent trust the Republicans more.

President Obama and a few in his party's base seem to be the only ones who any longer believe that Republicans are not putting forth alternatives to the big government legislation Obama is determined to sign into law. He stubbornly clings to his outmoded political ideology which has been proven to be ineffective in today's economic climate. The solution doesn't lie in throwing more money at cities and states for quick, short term employment of public employees. That money ends and the jobs are cut all over again.

The Senate vote came as President Obama finished up a three day taxpayer funded bus tour to two important swing states in his re-election bid - North Carolina and Virginia. Claiming it was to gin up support for his jobs bill, he did nothing but criticize Republicans for opposing more of his failed policies in the legislation. He claimed Republicans were too stupid to understand the total jobs bill so he was going to break it up into "bite sized" pieces. He bullied them by saying that Republicans would have to explain to voters why they didn't vote for the bill.

Republicans are happy to do the explaining. It has been going on for quite some time. The Republican led House of Representatives has passed several jobs bills which the Democratically controlled Senate has refused to even debate, much less bring up for a vote. That is fact.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Biden to Reporter: "Don't Screw With Me"

Vice President Joe Biden is known for his rhetorical gaffes. This is the man who was brought onto the Obama ticket in 2008 to give Obama some bona fides as a serious person seeking the office of President. This was the talking point from Team Obama. Republicans knew otherwise.

Joe Biden is a career politician. He was elected at a young age - still in his twenties - and never left. He has fallen prey to a common effect from a life in elected political office - he thinks he's special. He long ago forgot that he works for us, not the other way around.

Despite the aw shucks, I'm just a guy from Delaware, Biden is one arrogant hombre. You may remember that he was the one who described Barack Obama as "clean" and "articulate" as he also sought the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. He enjoys the political smack talk. He has embarrassed himself yet again as he tries to gin up support for a jobs bill that is only popular with unions at this point - especially since they are the ones who will benefit from it.

Recently in Flint, Michigan Biden claimed that if the jobs bill is not passed by Congress, then crime will be rampant. He claimed that crime statistics are up because law enforcement has been laid off due to the economic conditions in cities like Flint. The trouble is, this is not true. Crime is down in cities all across America. Besides plagiarism, Biden is also known for re-writing history to fit his opinion.

Biden's latest happened again in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Coming under criticism for the temporary solution of throwing money at cities for the hiring of law enforcement and fire fighters and teachers, he fails to understand that once the money (which comes with many strings and lots of red tape) runs out, the people will be laid off again if reforms are not made in that city. He's all indignant because people understand basic economics, you see.

So, he ramped it up and said that he'd like for the opponents of the jobs bill to know what it is like to face a gun pointed at their heads or face being raped. Keep it classy, Joe.

This is the game plan. Instead of debating the jobs bill and working with the opposition to pass pieces that are palatable to both sides of the aisle, Biden has chosen to be dramatic for effect. This just pushes people farther away but he doesn't understand that point.

Since so many Democrats are opposed to the jobs bill - not one Democrat co-sponsor in the House and the Senate voted it down - are they bad and heartless like the GOP he mocks?

When asked after his speech if the Vice President should be using such inflammatory rhetoric, he was rushed off by his staff. Before the bum's rush, he tried to explain what he meant to say and told the young man asking the question, whom he thought was misquoting him, "don't screw with me". Tough guy, that Joe.

"Do you regret using the rape reference to describe Senate opposition" to the bill, Jason Mattera asked Biden as he left a rally with police unions and others who have faced the budget ax in recent months.
"I didn't use ... no, no, no," Biden responded. "Let's get it straight, guy. Don't screw around with me. Let's get it straight."
"You didn't use a rape reference," said Mattera, of the conservative news organization Human Events.
"No, let me explain," Biden said, pointing toward Mattera. "I said rape was up three times in Flint. Those are the numbers. Go look at the numbers. Murder is up; rape is up; burglary is up. That's what I said."
"And if the Republicans don't pass this bill, then rape will continue to rise?" the reporter asked.
"Murder will continue to rise; rape will continue to rise; all crime will continue to rise," Biden said.
Asked by Mattera whether it was appropriate to use such language, Biden scoffed and walked away.

GOP Debate in Las Vegas

Here are some thoughts from the Tuesday night Republican debate in Las Vegas.

CNN moderator Anderson Cooper was not an aggressive host. He pretty much got out of the way and let the candidates duke it out among themselves. This was a good thing. So, kudos to him. It was the first such debate where the candidates were aggressive against each other. Especially Herman Cain and his 9-9-9 Plan. And, the hostility between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry runs a river wide and deep.

Everyone jumped ugly on Herman Cain's economic plan as soon as the opening statements were finished. Cain seems to be the only one who understands his plan and that is the problem. He has got to come up with a simple and concise explanation without telling the viewer to go to his web site for it. Voters won't do that. Voters are lazy and not involved until it is time to go to the voting booth, as a general rule. Using the apples and oranges argument was bizarre and unclear.

Herman Cain seems to be almost proud of his ignorance of foreign policy matters and that is unacceptable. This is where his lack of political experience is most apparent. He reminds us all that the presidency is not an entry level position.

Mitt Romney won the debate, as usual, but this time he had to work for it. He has released two videos over the last two days, both negative, and both targeting Rick Perry. He clearly views Perry has his main competition for the nomination. Perry did something the others have been unable to do so far - he made Romney lose his cool demeanor on stage.

Rick Perry finally gave a performance worthy of discussion. The very thing that the pundits are writing about - the vengeance which he took after Romney at every turn - is the very thing that will be used against the party in the general election by Team Obama. The soundbites that the back and forth between Romney and Perry produced will be the gift that keeps on giving to our opponents once the primary season is over. Perry has several points he can make against Romney without going nasty and the last thing he should be dwelling on is the alleged hiring of illegal immigrants to take care of his lawn work. This was settled back in 2008 and to bring it all up again is a waste of time. He has to learn to counter his opponents without being so aggressive that he looks desperate.

Newt Gingrich continued on with his role of professor. He remains the one candidate that rises up the fray and remembers that it is Barack Obama that is the enemy in this battle, not his fellow Republicans. He is a happy warrior.

Michele Bachmann actually scored a few points by bringing some solid points into the debate - especially as she spoke of HHS scrapping the CLASS entitlement from Obamacare and explaining the naviete of Herman Cain towards foreign policy. Then she ruined it by choking up while speaking about moms who are struggling in this bad economy and going through foreclosure. Her point was a valid one - that of the emotional struggles of those facing foreclosure - but she did herself no favors by tearing up for the camera.

Ron Paul is the grumpy old man who wants you to get off his lawn. He continued with the predictable themes of his disgust over the Federal Reserve and our foreign policies.

Rick Santorum, who desperately wants the voter to think of him as super family man, opened by saying his three year old daughter had surgery that day and was doing well. Here's the thing, he is at the bottom of the heap and he could have easily skipped the debate to be there for his daughter and wife. He didn't. He comes off as a bitter and sanctimonious candidate. No one likes him and he still doesn't understand that he is only as good as his last election. Which he lost.

Jon Huntsman was not missed.

The next debate has a foreign policy and national security theme. Maybe Herman Cain will discontinue the book tour long enough to study.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cornyn Bill Stops Funding for Fast and Furious

Tuesday the Senate unanimously voted to end the funding for the program called Fast and Furious. The bill was introduced by Senator John Cornyn.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called the vote "just the first step towards ensuring that such a foolish operation can never be repeated by our own law enforcement.

"The Senate voted Tuesday to effectively block the Justice Department from undertaking gun-smuggling probes like the flawed "Operation Fast and Furious" aimed at breaking up networks running guns to Mexican drug cartels but that lost track of hundreds of the weapons, some of which were used to commit crimes in Mexico and the United States.

The 99-0 vote would block the government from transferring guns to drug cartels unless federal agents "continuously monitor or control" the weapons.

The gunwalker program has been an utter failure. Guns from this program have been found on the scene of the murder of a Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, in Arizona and investigations are ongoing in Congress. Most guns have gone missing.

The vote came as the Senate debated a $128 billion spending measure that would fund Justice Department operations and those of several other Cabinet agencies for the 2012 budget year already under way.

Operation Fast and Furious was a gun-smuggling investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives aimed at tracking small-time illicit gun buyers up the chain to major traffickers in an effort to take down arms networks. In the process, ATF agents lost track of many of the weapons.

Obama and his Bus on the Campaign Trail

President Obama continues on with his three day swing state tour of North Carolina and Virginia as he tries to muster up support for his jobs bill. He is campaigning for re-election, of course, as the choice of states indicates, but he wants the taxpayer to foot the bill and calls it a bus tour to get Americans to tell Congress (code for Republicans) to pass the bill.

Chants of "four more years" break out as he speaks at rallies. He feigns concern that, though he appreciates their support, he is focused on the next thirteen months. Yeah, right. If President Obama was so concerned about the economic condition and jobs growth in our country, he would have fulfilled his pledge to focus like a laser on the economy. He said he would not rest until more jobs were created and unemployment numbers came down. Instead, he focused on pushing through Obamacare for the first eighteen months of his administration while unemployment rose, and the stimulus bill failed. And he continues to play weekly rounds of golf and party at the White House as though everything is peachy keen.

The man is simply in a bubble. It's not uncommon for the President to become isolated, surrounding himself with yes men and women. This man, though, promised to be different. He promised to bring people together, to listen to all sides of the arguments, to work with everyone. Instead, he went from bringing Republicans and Democrats together for a photo opish summit on putting together a budget in his first term and then telling John McCain and Paul Ryan that "I won" when they didn't budge on their disagreements with his spending priorities. He regularly uses his speeches and press conferences to criticize the GOP for not going along to get along.

We deserve better. We deserve the kind of leader Barack Obama promised he would be.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Perry For President Ad is Force for Positive Messaging

There is a new ad out from Governor Perry's campaign. It is a positive, record touting, substantive ad. This is what we need, people. Forget about the doom and gloom ads from one campaign to another. Americans are begging for strong, positive leadership.

"Make what Americans buy, buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world." - Rick Perry

Let President Obama continue on with his divisive, hyper-partisan campaign rhetoric on the road. Let him continue on in Washington, D.C. in this mode. He is driving the Independents, the not so interested in politics voters away from him in droves. Let them come to vote for a Republican for President.

Positive messages. Real solutions. Happy warriors.

We can do this in 2012.

Polling the Occupy Wall Street Crowd

A very interesting poll has been conducted among the Occupy Wall Street crowd in New York City. Pollster Doug Schoen's company has conducted the first such effort and the results are written up in a piece for The Wall Street Journal.

As the poll indicates, it is a mistake for the Democrats in elected office to throw their support behind this group. The group is no more supportive of Democrats than of Republicans in office. And, the antics of the group are turning off Independent voters, a group crucial to winning re-election in 2012 for Barack Obama.

The ideology of the protesters is that of the far left. Redistribution of wealth? Check. Free social programs for all? Check. Civil disobedience? Check. Resorting to violence to push the agenda? Check.

This is not mainstream America by any definition. While the White House spokespeople are stating with confidence that these people represent average Americans who are discussing what everyone else is discussing around the much fabled kitchen table, this poll shows a different opinion.

The vast majority of the protesters are employed and only 15% unemployed. The majority of them voted for Barack Obama in 2008 yet only 48% say they will vote for his re-election. A quarter of them say they will not vote at all. Fewer than one in three identify as a Democrat. The same amount claim no party affiliation.

The common thread is left wing ideology. They are isolationists, anti-capitalists, and in favor of heavy government regulation of private industry.

They are equally divided on the government's decision to bail out the banks. Most are in favor of raising taxes on the wealthy but 58% are not in favor of raising taxes on others.

Here's the problem for the Democrats: 41% of Americans identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. Thus, it is just not smart politics for the White House and other Democrats to glom onto the movement. Average Americans have no patience today for hyper-partisan politics and a President who encourages it.

Schoen's piece is well worth a read.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Run-Off Likely From GOP Primary for Texas U.S. Senate Seat

A recent poll taken by an independent company, not paid for by any campaign, indicates a run-off is likely from the GOP primary for U.S. Senator in Texas. The seat vacated by retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is up for grabs in a field of several fine candidates. At the top now are former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz and current Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. It is a virtual tie for first place between the two men.

Azimuth polling is a non-partisan polling company.

The exact spread between the two frontrunners is less than 1% (.59%). The number of undecideds (including no response entries) remains very high, but is not enough to give either leading candidate a clear majority, suggesting the likelihood, at this early date, of a run-off.

Candidate Graph Percent

Ted Cruz 32%
David Dewhurst 31%
Tom Leppert 8%
Lela Pittenger 5%
Elizabeth Ames Jones 4%
Glenn Addison 3%
Andre Castanuela 1%
Curtis Cleaver 0%
Undecided 14%

What jumped out to me was how far back former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert has fallen back. In earlier polling results, he was much stronger. His economic plan was widely accepted as well done.

The sample was taken from 4372 Republican voters from all across Texas. The participants were identified as Republican voters in 2008 and 2010, as well as party leaders and activists. In other words, these were not just registered voters, these people vote.

Michelle Obama to Fundraise in Houston

Looks like Michelle Obama will be in Houston on November 1, 2011 to campaign for her husband's re-election. According to a local news reporter's blog, the invitation was extended by a personal friend of the Obama's and refers to Michelle Obama as the best surrogate for President Obama.

I am extremely honored to be a part of the committee bringing my friend, First Lady Michelle Obama to Houston on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 for two events! (it brings back memories of the campaign travel for 2008)

First, please consider joining us for a Reception at the Westin Oaks Galleria, at 3:30 pm. You can attend this event for $250 with the opportunity to hear Mrs. Obama speak about the important issues we are facing today (she is the ultimate surrogate for our President). Also, there will be a VIP reception with local dignitaries and a photo opportunity with the First Lady, at higher contribution levels.

The reception link provides details and contribution levels


The second event is a Private Dinner at a home in Houston. Each dinner guest will have the opportunity for a photo with the First Lady.

The dinner link provides details and contribution levels.


Two great events, one exciting evening…I hope you are able to attend one of them. Join me in making this a great evening as we welcome OUR First Lady to Texas. You will be inspired! Please make your contribution today so that we can show Texas size support for OUR President for the upcoming campaign…we must keep moving forward.

If you are able to attend, please let me know. In addition, I would be grateful if you would enter my name, LaRence Snowden in the box asking “who encouraged you to make this contribution.”

If you have any questions, please email me ( or give me a call at 713-302-1463. If you know of others who might be interested in either event please forward their names to me, and I will contact them as well (letting them know that you provided the connection). It will be a day to remember in Houston!!!

I am counting on you – join me on November 1st.

With the Obama campaign boasting of the amount of funds raised so far, north of $70 million, how much will Michelle Obama be sent out to raise more? It is interesting that she is on the trail so far out from the election, though.

Obama Picks Public Union Employees As Favorites In Jobs Bill

When the latest jobs bill surfaced, after months of putting it off until after summer vacation season, President Obama said that it had to be passed as is, not breaking it up. When the immediate backlash of that demand was sounded by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, President Obama backed down. Now he is again making demands - this time for Congress to pass the jobs bill in increments.

The President now claims that the jobs bill has failed to be passed by either the House, where it has no Democratic co-sponsors, or the U.S. Senate, because it must have been too complicated for the members of Congress to understand. He used it as a joke, you see, because making his opponents into punch lines is something he enjoys doing.

In an admission that the bill must be voted on in pieces, this week the President will tour the swing states of North Carolina and Virginia in taxpayer purchased buses - there are two of them for him and the entourage - and try to make his case that first he will insist Congress vote on a package to put public employees back to work in states short on cash. He once again chooses union employees over ordinary working people. With tens of millions of unemployed Americans not in public worker unions, this is an incredible slight.

And, it is a short term solution.

Cities and states taking federal money to re-hire laid off workers - teachers, fire fighters, police - will see short term relief. By taking federal money, they will be beholden to the government to make employment demands. They will have to agree to the length of employment and, therefore are stuck with the additional employees when the money runs out. The money runs out in a year or so and then the problems return. The city or state is still faced with budget shortfalls if the necessary reforms are not made, if the city or state simply takes the money and continues on with business as usual.

It is one reason why the original stimulus bill failed - simply tossing money at a bad situation doesn't work well. It sets the local government up for failure.

One Thousand Days of President Barack Obama

Monday marks Day One Thousand for the presidency of Barack Obama. Here's a little summary of his record so far:


How's that hope and change working out for you?

Instead of focusing "like a laser" on jobs and the economy as he promised, President Obama focused on his legacy. As incredible as it may seem to most of us, the newly elected President Obama decided he would put his mark in history above the country's best interests. He decided to push Obamacare on the American people despite its unpopularity and with a lack of any support from the Republicans in Congress. Never before had a major new entitlement been voted into law with only one party's support. Certainly not an entitlement that affects 1/6 of our national economy. Yet, he insisted and demanded it to be so.

Now, with unemployment stubbornly exceeding 9%, his policies deemed failures, and a blanket of despair hovering over us all, President Obama has made the decision that he will not be re-elected without ramping up support from a disillusioned Democratic base. In order to do this, he has now embraced the Occupy Wall Street movement. He even gave them a shout-out in his remarks at the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue dedication on the National Mall Sunday morning.

Ironic since the Occupy Wall Streeters are no more supportive of him then they are of capitalists. And, candidate Barack Obama received more Wall Street campaign donations than any other candidate in history. The President purchased two specially built buses for his re-election campaign and the American taxpayer paid the bill. Now he embarks on his second bus trip to swing states, calling it official business. Taxpayers are on the hook for this joy ride, as with the first one, and the theme is his demands that Congress pass his vastly unpopular "jobs" bill. Not only do the GOP politicians oppose most of it, there are no Democratic co-sponsors of it in the House. The Senate failed to pass it. No one thinks the bill is going anywhere unless major re-writes are completed, yet it is an excuse for Obama to enjoy a bus tour.

And, that's where we are after 1,000 days of President Obama.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Obama Turns To Campaign Rhetoric While Honoring MLK, Jr.

President Barack Obama is, if nothing else, consistent in his ability to turn every speaking engagement into an effort for his re-election campaign. On Sunday morning, he did it again. During a dedication ceremony honoring the newly completed statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall, Barack Obama resorted to the politics of division, not inclusion.

Even the Washington Post writer saw the connection.

As Ronald Reagan would say, "There you go again".

Obama went so far as to say,"Little has changed since 50 years ago" and went on to pitch school improvements and infrastructure spending. It is almost impossible to fathom the utter arrogance of a man who has benefitted mightily from the sacrifices made by Dr. King and yet fails to show proper respect on a day dedicated to his memory.

Barack Obama was voted into the office of President of the United States with little experience in elected office and after only 2 years as a U.S. Senator. He didn't even finish one term before running and winning the presidency. Many white voters voted for him because of his skin color, though they would not admit their white guilt issues in doing so. The man swept people off their feet with his initial national exposure during the Democratic National Convention in 2004, including me, as he spoke of no red states or blue states only the United States. He spoke of a post racial and post partisan America. We fell for it all. We thought he was a new kind of politician, capable of leading by example, calling on our higher angels to bring the nation together.

We were wrong. I am happy I voted for John McCain. Barack Obama was a mirage in an expensive suit, posing as a new kind of politician, one willing to reach out to all sides. One who would put country above ideological philosophy. He has done no such thing. He has been the most partisan of Presidents. He encourages class warfare and is now counting on that storyline for re-election. He uses his bully pulpit to, well, be a bully.

He has been a failure in leading the country to better economic times. He has been a failure in bringing the people of our country together. He refuses to listen to opposing views, instead turning to ridicule and anger. He is not a happy warrior.

Barack Obama would never have been elected President 50 years ago. He has done little to alleviate problems facing the black community today. Unemployment among blacks is at an all time high, at crisis levels around the country. Pushing victimhood or blaming the previous administration does them no good.

Via Gateway Pundit, we hear the zings at the previous administration:

An opportunity was squandered today. Barack Obama failed in properly honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Obama Scolds Republicans in Weekly Address

As President Obama plans to board the taxpayer funded touring bus for another campaign swing disguised as selling his jobs bill he has ratcheted up his nasty commentary about Republicans who are refusing to sign on to a really bad bill. He says in his weekly address that Republicans are "stirring up fights".

In his weekly address, President Obama scolded Republicans for “stirring up fights” on Capitol Hill over issues that will not create jobs immediately instead of focusing on passing portions of the American Jobs Act.

However, the president said he will give Republicans “another chance” and that next week he will urge Congress to vote on “putting hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classroom, cops back on the streets and firefighters back on the job.”

“If they vote ‘no’ on that, they’ll have to tell you why,” Obama said. “They’ll have to tell you why teachers in your community don’t deserve a paycheck again. They’ll have to tell your kids why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back. They’ll have to tell you why they’re against commonsense proposals that would help families and strengthen our communities right now.”

It is odd to hear a career politician, Barack Obama, claiming the opposition is "stirring up fights", when clearly that is politics. Especially in these divisive and ideological battles over political philosophy, "fights" will break out. It is his job, however, as President to bring both sides together and practice the art of compromise in order to solve the problems facing our nation. That is what Barack Obama doesn't understand - his lack of leadership skills is destructive in the problem solving process.

Barack Obama has nothing of note to run on for re-election. His premier legislation, the one he counted on to make his political legacy, was Obamacare. He ignored all of the nation's pressing issues by focusing on an issue most Americans thought should be reformed, not completely brought under government control - personal health care. The only solution he pursued to mending our ailing economy was to insist on stimulus spending which wasn't monitored properly and has failed to produce results. Now the majority of Americans want Obamacare tossed out and his legacy building efforts have backfired.

The GOP weekly address was delivered by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy speaks to Obama's false claims that the GOP hasn't offered alternatives or voiced specific objections.

"The American people realize that Washington is not the solution. Washington is the problem. You've told us that you want accountability and serious leadership. That's why we've said, 'Enough is enough.' We hear you. We get it. Let me be clear. We are on the side of the American people. We join with millions of Americans to say no to new taxes, new regulations, more Washington spending and taxes. It hasn't in the past, and it won't work now. Americans deserve progress, not partisanship."

He also promotes the House Republican Plan for America's Job Creators and discusses areas where Republicans and Democrats can work together to spur job growth

The facts disprove the Obama criticisms. The House has passed several jobs bills, none of which the Democratically controlled Senate has chosen to take up and bring up for a vote. Who are the obstructionists?

Republican Presidents As Environmental Stewards

It is something I have never quite understood, the commonly held notion that conservatives and Republicans are not environmentally friendly politicians. It is a matter of communication, I conclude. Republicans are not the best at getting the message out, of correcting silly attacks.

I read something this morning that made me think about this.

George W. Bush was a constant target of the far left environmentalists and also targeted as though he is a man of lesser intelligence, by Washington, D.C. elite and life long college professor standards. It's the easy stereotype, that a Republican president is never as brilliant or intellectually curious as a Democratic president.

Along comes a blurb from Bill Clinton on George W. Bush in a recent interview:

Clinton invokes George W. Bush as an environmentalist techno-geek. As governor of Texas ('and not a lot of people know this') he signed legislation to make it more attractive to put up windmills, 'so that Texas is now the number one producer of wind energy in America. On a good day, when the wind is blowing, Texas gets 25 per cent of its baseload of electricity from wind.' ...

Why don't "a lot of people know this"? Because it wouldn't fit the stereotype, now would it? The fact of the matter is, the Republican presidents have been the ones leading in true environmental and conservation legislation.

The fact is that yes, of course, George W. Bush is an environmentalist. He's a landowner. The exercise of clearing brush on his property, for example, is not just for keeping in physical shape, it is a necessary chore for managing his property.

All the way back to Teddy Roosevelt - who began the network of federal lands used as national parks - to current day, from Richard Nixon who created the EPA and signed into law the Clean Air Act, to George W. Bush who designated the largest marine sanctuary in our nation's history, Republican presidents have led the way in conservation and environmentalism.

To deny this and allow the Democrats to wear the mantle of great environmental stewards is re-writing history.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cain Rises to the Top of GOP Field and Newt Follows

New polling numbers are in after the last GOP debate Tuesday night in New Hampshire. The top spot goes to Herman Cain. Mitt Romney slips to second place and in some polls, Newt Gingrich comes in third.

In a WSJ/NBC poll conducted from October 6 - 10, before the debate on October 11, Cain came in first with 27%, Romney with 23% and Perry with 16%. Polls conducted by Rasmussen and Public Policy Polling have Gingrich in third place. The polls are fluid, of course, and some still show Romney in first place.

Meanwhile, another poll in the 2012 horse race released Wednesday, a Reuters/Ipsos Public Affairs National Poll, showed Romney on top with 23% and Cain in second at 19% - a difference that also fell within the sampling error.

Cain has clearly taken the most conservative of voters away from both Bachmann and Perry. Is he the flavor of the month? He says no but time will tell. The most conservative in the GOP have jumped from candidate to candidate, both declared and undecleared, so they have shown fickleness. From Donald Trump to Michele Bachmann to Chris Christie to Rick Perry, the most conservative think they have a great candidate who will meet the purity tests only to discover they are all mere mortals with mixed bags of philosophy and voting records.

In order to continue on, Cain is going to have to get off the book tour and ramp up his campaign organization plus raise some serious money. Both Romney and Perry will have plenty of money moving forward.

I like Herman Cain. I think, however, once people fully digest his 999 economic plan, reality will set in and second thoughts may begin. Plus, he has no foreign policy experience or any elected experience. The presidency is not an entry level position. We've been paying the price for an extremely inexperienced person in the Oval Office since Barack Obama was elected on sound bites and celebrity appeal.

Let's not go down that path again.

I think Cain would be a terrific choice for Vice-President.

As for Newt, I think it is terrific that he is getting a second look. His is a brillant and curious mind. He puts forth many worthwhile ideas and the best attribute is that he refuses to get down in the gutter with other candidates. He truly adheres to Reagan's Eleventh Commandment and is a happy warrior. The attacks should be aimed at Barack Obama, not at other candidates. The primary voters can determine who to support without the unnecessary and divisive negativity.

Biden Issues Dire Warnings of Violence If Jobs Bill Isn't Passed

Vice President Biden claimed that rape and murder will increase if President Obama's jobs bill isn't passed by Congress. Yes, that's right. In Flint, Michigan Biden was trying to rally support for a jobs bill that even the Democrats in Congress can't get behind and he claims that rampant lawlessness will spring out if the bill doesn't pass. There is stimulus/spending money for more police in some cities, apparently, and Biden was promoting that aspect of the bill. He chose to use scare tactics.

Maybe Biden just has Halloween on his mind. He calls the economic downturn capable of producing a witches brew.

Biden brought his pitch for the American Jobs Act to Flint, an industrial city that suffers from high crime and declining employment. He said statistics show that Flint's rate of murders, rapes and fires rose sharply in the past two years as police and fire staffing levels have dropped.

"It's hard enough to do your job in good economic times. ... It's almost impossible to serve in bad economic times," he told officials in a downtown fire station. "That is a witches' brew. That is a mixture for a cancer in the city."

The bill would pump $5 billion into supporting jobs for police and firefighters, which Biden said is the government's "most basic obligation to keep its citizens safe."

Here's the thing - Democrats resort to scare tactics as they promote pumping billions of tax dollars into cities that are failing to properly manage themselves. How about demanding better local leadership and fiscally responsible policies? These cities failing so dramatically - especially in states like Michigan - have been under Democratic rule for decades.

The problem with federal stimulus money coming in and rescuing failing cities is that if the necessary reforms are not made, the money never makes much of a difference. Federal money comes with strings and deadlines. Federal money only lasts so long and then, if the reforms are not implemented, the city is back to square one. The same problems are there.

Look at this chart:

Interesting, right? That is a picture of the realities of public policy and consequences in governing a city.

Biden said his over the top statements surrounded by firefighters in Flint. No one would be against public safety and decent wages for those who provide that safety. It was cheap political theatre.

Depending on money from the federal government is no way to govern.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Third Quarter Numbers Come In for Texans in U.S. Senate Race

The Third Quarter ended on September 30. As the reports are filed to meet the deadline, October 15 for the FEC reports, some numbers are being touted to get out in front of others. The Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate campaign released the following Thursday:

The Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate campaign today announced raising $1,057,953 in the third-quarter fundraising period, more than the campaign has raised in any other previous quarter. The Cruz campaign has now raised over $2.8 million, and has more than $2.4 million cash on hand.

Because of these remarkable fundraising totals:
Cruz has now raised more money for the Senate race than any other candidate in Texas.
Cruz’s strongest financial quarter came after David Dewhurst entered the race.
Cruz has raised more money for the Senate race than the sitting Lt.Governor, despite the fact that virtually every lobbyist in the state is compelled to contribute to his campaign.

To date, the campaign has received contributions from 6,987 total donors, from 459 Texas cities, 166 counties, and all 50 States. The campaign is aggressively raising money across the nation, and sixty-five percent of the total money raised is from Texas.

This follows on the heels of the Dewhurst campaign. Wednesday, the David Dewhurst for U.S. Senate campaign sent this out in an email:

Building off the tremendous grassroots support we have seen from Texans across the state, we raised a record-breaking $2.64 million this fundraising quarter – more than any other U.S. Senate campaign in Texas history!

What the email didn't say, however, was reported in The Texas Tribune. Dewhurst wrote a check for $2 million of his own money for the campaign, too.

David Dewhurst raised $2.6 million for his U.S. Senate race — his campaign says that's a record for one quarter — and kicked in another $2 million of his own money, ending September with "more than $4 million" on in the bank, according to his campaign. The filing deadline comes later in the week, but the lieutenant governor wanted his own spotlight. And he wanted to send a message to announced and potential primary opponents: This is going to be expensive.

So, I asked the Cruz campaign for a response to the number released by the Dewhurst campaign, which was larger in the Third Quarter. This is the response:

"It's surprising that David Dewhurst was only able to raise $2.6 million. Dewhurst was widely expected to have raised $5 million or more; he's the sitting Lieutenant Governor and every lobbyist in the State is compelled to donate to him. Regardless, Dewhurst will have plenty of money--he'll pour millions of his own personal fortune into the race--but he can't win if he keeps hiding from grassroots voters and trying to cover up his liberal tax-and-spend record. No amount of money can help him duck from his true record."

Now we wait for the report that Tom Leppert, former Dallas mayor, files for his Third Quarter numbers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The GOP Debate in New Hampshire

The GOP debate was interesting in a dull kind of way. If the viewer was a political junkie and political debates are must-see tv, then no doubt that person watched. Hello, my name is Karen and I am a political junkie. Otherwise, I find it difficult to imagine that the non-politically obsessed hung in there for the full debate.

The debates are getting boring. The field needs to narrow, and soon. The leaders have emerged.

The three to watch: Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Rick Perry.

Clearly, the winner of the debate was Mitt Romney. He remains calm and above the fray on stage with the others trying to score points against him. He's been running for years and his answers are well rehearsed and polished.

Herman Cain was targeted during this debate, as he has risen dramatically in the polls. Every answer, it seemed, revolved around a pitch for his 999 Plan for economic recovery. The more scrutiny given to this plan, the more Americans may not find it so viable. On the surface it resembles instituting a European style VAT tax while keeping the federal income tax, too. Plus, it would tax items not currently taxed yet consumed by all - like groceries. Cain is self-assured and a happy warrior. If nothing else, his candidacy has opened a national dialogue on race and politics, for which we should all be grateful.

Rick Perry. Oh, Governor Perry. Where to begin? As a resident of the great state of Texas, I already knew that debating was not his strong suit. The problem is, though, when you run for president, those who don't know a candidate are subject to taking debate performances at face value. Perry isn't quick on his feet with articulating the successes he's had in Texas and that's a shame. He needs greater debate preparation if he is to remain viable. Plus, he tends to fade half way through the debate. He's needs to find stronger debate stamina.

Ron Paul is a one trick pony. He goes on about the Federal Reserve and it's all predictable. He is a skillful fundraiser, though, and will last a bit longer. He games the straw poll system and appears to have more support than he truly does. Paying bussed in supporters for a one day ticket to straw poll events doesn't move into getting votes in the election.

Newt Gingrich is still the smartest man in the room. He has experienced a bit of a bump in polls but he probably won't last much longer. In a celebrity obsessed society, brains don't trump looks and that's not to our benefit.

Rick Santorum is toast. He comes off as a whiner and prickly. Though he lost his last statewide election he needs more than a self-righteous personality to garner trust that he can win a national election against the sitting president.

Jon Huntsman is going nowhere. It is hard to believe he lasts much longer, either.

Michele Bachmann was a flash in the pan. She is just not up to the task. She has a habit of misstating facts and historical events and it wears thin. She needs more than a new hairstyle to continuing competing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Minister Calls Mormonism a Theological Cult

Did we really have to throw the Mormon card? Seriously? Didn't we work this out four years ago?

You can rest assured that the liberals asking the questions during the GOP debate Tuesday night in New Hampshire will gleefully try their best to make more hay from the idiotic remarks delivered by the minister of the First Baptist Church in Dallas at the Values Voter Summit about the Mormon religion and Mitt Romney. Maybe he didn't know that Jon Huntsman is also a Mormon. The Democrats and their willing rubes, the media, are having a field day with another circular firing squad launched among the GOP hopefuls running for the presidential nomination.

While deliberately brushing aside stories of the sermons delivered by then candidate Barack Obama's minister Rev. Wright in his Chicago church of whom Obama declared to be his spiritual mentor, like an uncle to him, now they wish to jump on some ignorant and divisive statements from a minister in Dallas who introduced Rick Perry at the Value Voter Summit. This minister, by the way, said he is not anything more than an acquaintance of Perry's. Perry doesn't attend his church.

The minister said that those in the Mormon faith are a member of a cult, not a Christian religion. A theological cult.

Never the less, Perry is taking the heat for Rev Jeffress's remarks. Perry's strategy is to out-Christian the other candidates, to go after the evangelic protestant voter who was supporting Michele Bachmann before he entered the race. It's worked up until now.

As George W. Bush policy adviser Peter Wehner wrote this weekend, Jeffress is “embarrassingly unequipped for American politics.”

“As a minister, Jeffress is certainly free to express his views of Mormonism to his congregation and in a Sunday school class,” Wehner wrote. “But it’s the clumsy and destructive manner in which Jeffress has injected religion into politics which has caused the stir.”

Wehner reminded readers that Jeffress’s own standard is at odds with the founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, who famously said he would rather be ruled by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian.

While declaring he could never support Romney for not being a Christian, he then admits that he would support the man he considers a member of a cult over a president whom he concedes is a Christian.

Wehner then rightly concludes, “The Reverend Jeffress is making this up as he goes along.”

I guess Rev Jeffress would not have supported a Catholic for President either unless it was the only Republican choice? Many evangelical protestants believe that Catholicism isn't the way to Heaven, either. And certainly not Jews.

Huntsman's response to the Reverend?
... former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, another Mormon candidate in the race, called Jeffress a "moron."

This minister did more harm than good for Rick Perry as he struggles to get back to top spot in the GOP field. Religious bigotry has no place in politics. Ministers, as beneficiaries of tax-exempt organizations, should remain out of political discourse. Their job is to preach religious thought, not politics.

The President of the United States is president to all Americans, not just those of his or her religious faith.

And those in the media, the liberal Obama voters, are the last people to vote for a Mormon, a recent poll tells us. Karl Rove stated recently that when Mitt Romney's father ran for President there were no articles concerning his religion. Now we see a media enjoying pushing religious differences in the GOP, but certainly not among fellow Democrats.

A Gallup poll shows that of those questioned on being comfortable with voting for a Mormon, 68% GOP, 64% Independent, and 49% Democrat answered favorably. Projection, much, media?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Presents Some Demands

There is now a list of demands compiled by the Occupy Wall Street folks on their official website. There is also now a disclaimer at the top of the list by the administrator which states that this is only one list of demands not officially sanctioned by the movement. That in itself is a bit odd. If it is not "official" then why is it even there? Oh yes, the disclaimer states that "irresponsible" media outlets like Fox News (of course!) are promoting it as a real story.

Besides the standard demands, such as free health care for everyone and the abolition of private insurance companies, there are a few interesting ones.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

The final conclusion of the author is that all the demands, when met, will create so many jobs that open borders will be a necessity. People from everywhere will be needed to fill the jobs, apparently.

The infiltration of unions has raised up and one of the demands deals with membership availability for all workers.

The irony is rich within this movement. Not only do those who protest against evil corporate America use products which sprang forth from corporate investment, they depend on these inventions just like everyone else does.

Becca, a sweet “organic gardener” from Brooklyn, was there to “end a capitalist system that treats people like cattle” and live in an America where everyone has “equal wealth.” She wanted a country with a “high tax,” a la “Sweden and Finland,” to ensure “personal well-being.” (Those Scandinavian examples both have a much lower corporate tax rate—26 percent and 26.3 percent, respectively— than the U.S.’s 35 percent rate, but let’s not get hung up on details.) Then the irony gods flexed their muscles as a friend interrupted Becca; she handed him her Visa card to order something over the phone. The revolution will not be televised, but it will be magnetized.

And yes, they are tweeting the revolution. Facebook pages are sprouting up, too.