Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Obama and Romney and Hurricane Sandy Relief

The response to the Hurricane Sandy victims by both presidential candidates has been measured and as good as can be expected. 

From a local blog I read on Wednesday:

The President moved immediately to provide support from FEMA and to lessen the burden of providing federal support. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey responded gratefully to the President and thanked him and his team for their prompt attention and support. As we know, the President is a Democrat and the Governor of New Jersey is a Republican.
OK. President Obama did his job. Maybe this is so praiseworthy because he has been on the campaign trail for months now and not so much looking presidential, especially with the negativity in his campaign. 

It was of note that President Obama stressed the importance of his message to relief agencies and the federal government - remove any red tape that may get in the way of helping our fellow Americans out.  Yes.  The president who has signed into law the most regulations - ever - is now asking for the red tape to ratchet down a bit.

Then the critique on Mitt Romney:

Governor Romney has mostly remained classy during this crisis as well. He has been using his campaign rallies to raise funds and collect food for the Red Cross. But alas, a national crisis has shifted focus off of the campaign.
"Mostly classy"?  Mitt Romney was scheduled to campaign in Ohio.  Instead of the planned rally, his campaign arranged to turn it into a food drive and the campaign encouraged everyone who was able to make a  financial donation to the Red Cross.  His campaign sent out emails all day long and into the evening - I received several - encouraging those that could to send a donation to Red Cross.

Why the qualifier? 

It is a sad fact that liberals across the Internet actually criticized Romney for the food drive.  Red Cross prefers financial donations and that is understandable.  They, however, said they were working with the Romney campaign.  Also, the Red Cross is not the only charity involved in assisting victims of disasters.  No doubt that the others would be grateful for help, too. 

When the top of the ticket leads with a strategy of negative personal attacks on his opponent because he has no good record to run on for re-election, as the president has done, this is to be expected from his supporters.  I learned long ago as a new parent, we adults lead by example. Too bad President Obama never learned that lesson.

Only one candidate is actually the sitting president.  The other was respectful of his role and didn't try to head to the disaster zone to clog things up.  You may have heard that NYC Mayor Bloomberg asked President Obama to not come to NYC as the city tries to get back on its feet.  Presidential entourages and security details create havoc anywhere they go and disaster scenes don't need the added confusion.  Bloomberg agreed that going to New Jersey and touring whereever Governor Christie took him was a better move.

Real leadership is not a photo op.  Real leadership is knowing the best decision to make, using common sense judgement and having the best interests of America at heart.  Mitt Romney remained far more than "mostly" classy.

It's Time To Vote, America

As a superstitious person, I hesitate to allow myself to be too optimistic about the pending returns from this presidential race. Only six days out from election day as I type this, it would appear that a tide has turned and Mitt Romney has the wind at his back. Recent signs from news reports indicate this may well be a very good year for the Republicans when all the votes are tallied. From both liberal and conservative sources, the message from voters is sounding more and more the same.

  Regardless of the forum, voters are relating the same concerns and expressing the same disappointment with the state of our country. I enjoy listening to a radio program on NPR broadcast locally during the noon hour. If I am in my car running errands or picking up lunch, I have it on. The host is even and the participants weigh in on the day's most talked about issues from around the world. Based in London, "World Have Your Say" frequently the show will travel to broadcast from the road. Recently the show has been broadcasting from various locales in America, given the upcoming election.

  Make no mistake, this is a politically liberal radio show. It's the BBC, after all. Liberal voices usually outweigh conservatives. Monday's show, however, was surprising in that the guests were all voicing the same opinion. During the time I tuned in - not the entire show - I listened to small business owners and community leaders from Scranton, PA - the vice president's hometown - and they were not sounding as though they would be casting votes for Barack Obama. Each person said essentially the same - that they were unclear as to where the economy was heading and the uncertainty was a jobs killer and not helpful to entrepreneurs. Obamacare and the mandates it will bring beginning in 2013 will not allow small businesses to expand and the onset of ever increasing regulations are killing fragile businesses.

  The fact that all the voices were on the same page was surprising.

  Then, Tuesday night I listened as an executive in the White Castle hamburger organization spoke about the economy. White Castle is a family owned business with over 10,000 employees in several states. Clearly this man was not going to be voting for Barack Obama. Though measured and professional in his answers to questions, he articulated displeasure with the increase in the estate tax percentage, for instance, advocated by Team Obama. As a family owned business, an increased estate tax is a burden that affects future growth. The program was a conservative leaning one and the floundering economic recovery of our country is a frequent topic. This interview was conducted in a Midwestern state.

  Both sides of the political aisle are coming together and sounding very much alike. Economic concerns - especially in the business world - transcend political ideology in this election. It is time for new leadership.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Obama Uses Hurricane Sandy For Campaign Boost

The coming of Hurricane Sandy was the coming of a campaign bonus for Team Obama, as their reasoning went. Obama can score some points for appearing presidential as a natural disaster approached and reap some votes along the way.  Does that sound cynical?  No need to look any further than the photo op of President Obama sitting in the Situation Room in the White House, allegedly being briefed on the storm.

This is what Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News Channel Monday night:

It’s hard to look at this, playing the president, playing the Commander in Chief in what’s a natural disaster that really doesn’t require a lot of from the White House. It’s up to the governors mostly. The White House and the government release money. That’s all they do and he’s really good at releasing money.
That sums it up.

Team Obama is quite skilled in the posturing department.  We've seen the photos of them during the killing of bin Laden. "GM is alive and bin Laden is dead" is a nifty campaigning slogan for the president and vice president on the road.   No such photos are available, however, from the live feed of the murdering attacks by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya. 

"Well, he says he's not concerned about the impact on the elections," syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said about Obama and Hurricane Sandy on Monday's broadcast of "Special Report" on FOX News. "I'm sure he's very sincere on that. It is a little odd that he shows up in the briefing room, where he hasn't shown up in the briefing room for about, what, a month and a half? On Libya, or for everything else for that matter. Then you get the photo-ops of him in the Situation Room deploying, I guess, the utility crews who will restore power all over America. Whereas you would think he might want to use the Situation Room and had convene high level people during the nine hours our people were under attack in Benghazi."
This president and his administration invite cynicism. 

Both the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign have scaled back campaign events due to the storm and out of respect for its victims. The Romney campaign put a campaign bus to good use - gathering up emergency supplies and delivering them for those in need. Romney continues to ask those in attendance of his speeches to donate to recovery efforts.

Note this: Obama flew out of Washington, D.C. on Air Force One to Florida Sunday night as the storm approached. He then cancelled his campaign event with Bill Clinton in Tampa after landing there.  He decided it wouldn't look so good after all and returned to Washington. Not only was this a waste of taxpayer money but it invited the cynicism to build.

From the Romney campaign:

Today, Gov. Romney is scheduled to attend a storm relief event at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio, where he will be joined by Richard Petty and Randy Owen and help collect donations for storm-relief efforts:

Paul Ryan will be in Wisconsin to drop by the La Crosse Victory Center in La Crosse and the Hudson Victory Center in Hudson, where he will thank volunteers who are delivering or collecting items for storm relief efforts. All Wisconsin Victory Centers will collect donations for storm-relief efforts on Tuesday, Oct. 30 and Wednesday, Oct. 31:

Ann Romney will also attend events in Wisconsin and then travel to Iowa. She will visit the Green Bay Victory Office in Wisconsin, the Davenport Victory Center in Iowa as well as the Cedar Rapids Victory Office in Iowa, where she will participate in storm relief collection efforts. She will then attend a Victory Rally at the Temple for the Performing Arts in Des Moines, Iowa.
Seven days until Election Day.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Des Moines Register Endorses Mitt Romney for President

A funny thing happened on the way to Election Day 2012 - the Des Moines Register has endorsed Mitt Romney for President. Why is that a big deal, you might ask? It's a very big deal because that newspaper has not endorsed a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972. Here are a couple of quotes that explain their logic:
The president’s best efforts to resuscitate the stumbling economy have fallen short. Nothing indicates it would change with a second term in the White House.
Voters should give Mitt Romney a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America — with the understanding that he would face the same assessment in four years if he does not succeed.
The Des Moines Register uses common sense logic on the two most important aspects of the Romney candidacy - his business experience, all successful, and his ability to work with Democrats as well as Republicans to make things happen.  Barack Obama has failed in both areas and there is absolutely no indication that he has any intention to do things differently in the next four years.

Friday, October 26, 2012

C Club of Houston Supports Fiscal Conservatives

Here is something to watch before you head out to vote, Harris County voters:

The C Club, a bi-partisan conservative group of Harris County business leaders, promotes candidates in local races who will carry the torch of fiscal conservatism. From the website:

The “C” Club's non-partisan support of political candidates is heavily based upon, but not limited to, the candidate's support of conservative fiscal policies; and, the preservation of our communities and the promotion of a strong economy. Founded in 1964, the “C” Club PAC is composed of 100 fiscally conservative Houston business and professional members who make a continuous study of local, Texas government. Each year the “C” Club PAC strives to evaluate each candidate in the races for the City of Houston and Harris County. In particular, the “C” Club focuses on the Justices and Judges seeking out the best candidate to promote conservative values.

Go to the website and look at the club's endorsements as you head out to early vote. Help protect Harris County from actions which harm our way of life.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What A Change Four Years Make

What a change we have seen from candidate Obama in 2008 to President Obama in 2012. Four years ago, Barack Obama told us we didn't deserve name-calling, mudslinging, and petty attacks. Fast-forward to this campaign cycle and you'll see a much different Barack Obama. It's time for a change. Mitt Romney has a way forward. If you are able to early vote, please do so. Otherwise, go on Election Day and bring a friend or three with you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Third and Final Presidential Debate

"Romney went large and Obama went very small. Shockingly small." That is what conservative pundit and writer Charles Krauthammer said of the third and final debate of the presidential campaign. This one was on foreign policy.  All Mitt Romney had to do was to show the voter that he is capable of being commander in chief and that he knows the world's terrain. He did just that.

By the end of the debate one remark in particular was troubling for Team Obama in the spin room : the attack dog, David Plouffe, had to back track on Obama's claim that he didn't insist on military cuts in the sequestration order that the president signed off on, when his lack of presidential leadership made the sequestration order necessary during fiscal policy talks as a major governmental shutdown loomed large in the background.

The Commander-in-Chief mocked Mitt Romney on military might. He claimed our military is beyond using horses and bayonets. The Marines, however, beg to disagree, Mr. President.  Oops.

The snarky Barack Obama showed up to the debate and did his candidacy no favors.  Obama looked like a bully though most of the debate.  He and Mitt Romney both did ok on foreign policy answers but the demeanor of the two could not have been in sharper contrast. Romney kept his calm composure and allowed Obama to look bad.  Romney is a happy warrior and Obama has never been one.

This is a good summary on the discussion about the U.S. - Israel alliance:

  • Israel came up half-way through at 9:45.
  • Schieffer asked: "Would either of you declare that an attack on Israel is an attack on the U.S. which is a pledge we've made to other allies."
  • This debate, remember, is in Florida with a huge Jewish population.
  • Obama answered first and didn't agree, but said "We will stand with Israel" even when Schieffer pushed him on it.
  • I'm not sure what the difference is, but Obama does and that Obama didn't agree will not be lost on those in America who want to protect Israel against an Iranian attack.
  • Romney said "If Israel is attacked we have their back; not just diplomatically … but militarily" which was a much stronger answer. We'll see over the next few days what effect that has on the polls in the state of Florida.
  • Romney scored by reciting a litany of places in the Middle East that Obama had visited early in his Presidency while skipping Israel. He quoted Obama as saying that America would no longer dictate to other nations. Romney said, "We have not dictated to other nations, we have freed other nations from dictators."

  • The foreign policy debate turned many times to economic matters, which played to Romney's strength. It is impossible, of course, to have a strong military and remain the hope of the world if our economy is diminished.  Obama has four years of supporting failing economic policy and Romney capitalized on those points.

    Both men proved that they are able to assume the role of Commander-in-Chief. Only Romney, however, won the debate.

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    Houston Chronicle Endorses Mitt Romney

    The Houston Chronicle has endorsed Mitt Romney for President. Announced first with a tweet on Twitter late Saturday night, it was announced on a local news channel's 10:00 PM broadcast, using the tweet as reference. 

    The news spread quickly on Twitter. I tweeted it and immediately the re-tweets began.  From across the country interested in politics, the re-tweets continued long after I called it a night and went to bed.  Why was it such a surprise for the Houston Chronicle to endorse Mitt Romney this year? The Houston Chronicle broke a forty-four year tradition of endorsing Republicans for President when the paper endorsed Barack Obama in 2008.  As the editor writes, the editorial board fell for the hope and change being sold in Obama's 2008 campaign and now the utter failure of delivery of said hope and change is a bitter pill to swallow.

    The Chronicle's backing of Barack Obama in 2008 broke a 44-year string of endorsing Republican candidates for president. Like so many others, we were captivated by the Illinois senator's soaring rhetoric and energized by his promise to move American politics beyond partisan gridlock and into an era of hope and change. 
    It hasn't happened. Four years later, President Obama's deeds have failed to match his words, much less his specific vows to cut the national debt by half and bring the nation's unemployment rate to 6 percent. As Texans, it is a particular vexation that this president's attitude toward the interests of our state has occasionally bordered on contempt, particularly in decisions relating to the NASA budget and the energy sector. The hurtful symbol of this attitude of insensitivity to Texans' feelings was the administration's choice to deny Space City's bid to become home to one of the retired space shuttles.
    Though by any measure the Houston Chronicle is a left leaning newspaper, the editorial board usually utilizes common sense and a practical knowledge for the best interests of Houston, Harris County and Texas.  It appears that the board recognizes the same problems that the rest of those supporting a change in leadership recognize: the divisive nature of this president has been responsible for much of his failed leadership. Having never lead in the real world before, Barack Obama had no experience to draw upon when the two parties in Washington clashed over policy disagreements. Obama doesn't know how to bring people together for a workable solution to the major problems facing our nation.

    The Houston Chronicle recognizes the perceived disdain for Texas broadcast by the president and his administration. It seems at every turn, Texas received the president's back hand. Whether it was his utter contempt for the oil and gas industry or his dismantling of NASA or even his slow walking of declarations of emergency when Texas experienced natural disasters, Texas has been treated as an unwanted step-child.

    The Houston Chronicle recognizes the experience Mitt Romney has in working in a bi-partisan manner, having led the Massachusetts legislature - 88% Democratic - for four years and successfully improved that state.  Romney can bring both sides of an issue together and encourage workable solutions to move the struggling economy ahead.

    The most important issue facing our nation at this time remains to be the economy.  Mitt Romney has a solid history of business success.  We simply cannot afford four more years of lackluster economic recovery. 

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    Obama Calls American Deaths in Libya Not Optimal

    President Obama again hurt and insulted the survivors left behind from the terrorist attacks in Libya and other hot spots overseas. This week on The Daily Show he called the deaths of four Americans in Libya, including our ambassador to that country, "not optimal". We still remember his recent description of those murdered overseas by terrorists as "bumps in the road". We hope, as American voters, that the person occupying the Oval Office will have the grace and dignity to show respect to all Americans in times of trouble. We expect our leader to be articulate and able to voice our sorrow in times of death and despair. How does Barack Obama compare to his predecessors? Let's take a look:

    Imagine the grieving families of those killed as they hear the Commander in Chief speak so callously of the dead. Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith has been in the press since the murders were first reported and still has not received answers to her questions from President Obama or from Secretary of State Clinton. She said this after the President's indelicate remark:
    "My son is not very 'optimal' -- he is also very dead. I've not been 'optimal' since he died and the past few weeks have been pure hell," she said. "How can you say somebody being killed is not very 'optimal'? I don't think the president has the right idea of the English language."
    President Obama is a trained lawyer, graduating from Harvard Law School. He was Editor of the Harvard Law Review. We are told how articulate he is and how very intelligent the man is. He is a seasoned Chicago politician. He knows that words matter and he know exactly what he is relating to an audience. There is no excuse for such crass dialogue from him, unless he truly is the cold fish he is reported to be when it comes to anyone other than himself.

    Friday, October 19, 2012

    Cornyn to Pentagon: DoD is Shirking Overseas Ballot Obligations

    Friday Senator Cornyn's office released a statement of his concern about the diligence shown by the Department of Defense collecting overseas ballots.

    U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, today wrote to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to express his concern over the Department of Defense not complying with its legal obligation to collect ballots from overseas troops and return them to the U.S. in a timely manner. Under a provision of the Military Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act authored by Sen. Cornyn, DoD is required to collect completed absentee ballots seven days prior to Election Day and then deliver them via express-mail to local election officials in the U.S. so that their votes may be counted. Recent communication from the Federal Voting Assistance Program, as well as an internal review by the military postal system, indicates that DoD is not complying with the law.
    “I am disappointed that DoD is shirking its ballot collection obligations under the MOVE Act. Many overseas service members are forward-deployed in units with high operational tempos and in austere environments, both of which make it harder for them to hand-carry their completed ballots to a post office or postal clerk by the deadline,”said Sen. Cornyn. “Therefore, Congress intended for DoD to play a more active role in the absentee voting process by collecting these completed ballots from these service members. Under no circumstances should DoD be shifting its obligations onto the shoulders of overseas service members, many of which are serving in harm’s way.”
    Here is the letter sent to Secretary Panetta:
                                                                                                                     October 19, 2012
    The Honorable Leon E. Panetta
    Secretary of Defense
    1000 Defense Pentagon
    Washington, DC 20301-1000
      Dear Secretary Panetta:
    I write to express concern over whether the Department of Defense (DoD) is prepared to fulfill its statutory obligations this election season as to the collection and delivery of the completed absentee ballots of our overseas military service members.

    As you know, Congress enacted the 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (“MOVE Act”) to end the longstanding disenfranchisement of our military service members, particularly those overseas. Prior to the MOVE Act, the absentee voting process for overseas service members had been hamstrung by slow, antiquated, and often dysfunctional delivery methods, which for many resulted in their votes not being counted.

     As an author of the MOVE Act, I sought to guarantee that the votes of our overseas service members would be counted, and also to force DoD to play a more hands-on role in the absentee voting process.

      In order to simplify the voting process for overseas service members, I wrote a provision into the MOVE Act (codified at 42 USC § 1973ff-2a) that requires DoD to collect their completed absentee ballots seven days prior to Election Day and then deliver them via express-mail back to local election officials in the U.S. in time to be counted. However, with Election Day 2012 rapidly approaching, it has come to my attention that DoD is not fully complying with either part of this provision.''

    First, DoD has clear obligations regarding the express-mail delivery of completed ballots, yet it failed to meet them in the last election. For nearly one in 10 overseas service members who tried to vote in 2010 using this system, their completed ballots did not make it home in time to be counted, as required by federal law. There can be little doubt that those service members were disenfranchised. I am sure you find that prospect just as troubling as I do, and I have major concerns that this failure may well be repeated this year.

    After the 2010 election, DoD’s Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) documented widespread problems with the delivery of absentee military ballots from overseas. The MPSA specifically reviewed ballot handling procedures and MOVE Act compliance, and its report revealed that:
      · The completed ballots of eight percent (2,075 total) of overseas service members who express-mailed them were not delivered to election officials on time, and the delivery of 118 forward-deployed service members’ ballots took at least 20 days (13 days longer than permitted).

    · Nearly 4,000 overseas service members who tried to express-mail their completed ballots were unable to track them to confirm their successful delivery to election officials. · In a survey of military post office users, 11 percent said their postal locations had not been given all the supplies and equipment necessary to support the 2010 election.

    · The Army Inspector General, in an assessment of the military postal system conducted prior to the 2010 elections, found clear deficiencies with DoD’s handling of voting materials. It concluded that mail clerks had not been properly trained to conduct mailroom operations, and that in some cases absentee ballots had been treated as low-priority bulk mail instead of official election mail.

    Unfortunately, I have no indication that these problems have been solved since the 2010 election, especially given the significant problems reported at DoD’s Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) over the last few months.

      Second, I am disappointed that DoD is shirking its ballot collection obligations under the MOVE Act. Many overseas service members are forward-deployed in units with high operational tempos and in austere environments, both of which make it harder for them to hand-carry their completed ballots to a post office or postal clerk by the deadline. Therefore, Congress intended for DoD to play a more active role in the absentee voting process by collecting these completed ballots from these service members. However, an email sent by FVAP to military service members on October 4 shows that DoD is not doing its duty. It reads: “Go to your overseas military post office or postal clerk and use the Label 11-DOD on your absentee ballot and mail it.” A similar instruction appears on widely used MPSA posters, instructing service members to carry out the express-mail process on their own, including obtaining and affixing the express-mail tracking sticker. To be clear, that is not what the MOVE Act required. The law assigned these responsibilities to DoD. Under no circumstances should DoD be shifting its obligations onto the shoulders of overseas service members, many of which are serving in harm’s way.

      We have a duty to our men and women in uniform to ensure they have a voice in choosing their elected leaders. The right to vote is one of the most basic and fundamental rights enjoyed by American citizens, and one which our military service members bravely defend, sometimes at great personal cost. We must do whatever it takes to ensure their votes count.

      I have greatly appreciated your recent personal efforts to help safeguard the voting rights of our service members and their families, as well as your leadership in encouraging our military service members to exercise their right to vote. I ask that you take a similar interest in ensuring these additional problems are addressed. Thank you for your faithful service to our nation and your strong support of our men and women in uniform and their families.

    United States Senator

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Candidates Tied in Second Debate While Crowley Lost

    Four years ago, in Barack Obama's first run for President, he promised an audience at Hofstra University that during his first term as President, he would reform Medicare and Social Security. We now know he never even put forward a plan to do so.  He also promised, back then, to cut spending. We now know he has tripled the national deficit. Going back to Hofstra, the audience there must have been curious to hear his plans now.

    A "memo of understanding" was signed by both candidates after negotiations.  Candy Crowley, not a part of the memo of understanding, changed the agreement and declared she would ask follow-up questions, if she deemed them necessary.

    Note that the memo of understanding was released to the press by Mark Halperin of TIME, not from the Commission on Presidential Debates, who negotiated the agreement with the campaigns.

    Last month we noted that advocacy groups asked the Commission on Presidential debates to release the secret documents that form as the basis for the three Presidential and one Vice Presidential debates. The document, called a “memo of understanding,” is crafted by the CPD along with the Romney and Obama campaigns. The CPD declined, so TIME‘s Mark Halperin decided to release it for them. Halperin already reported that the two campaigns have taken issue with comments made by tomorrow’s debate moderator, Candy Crowley. The full document sheds light on exactly what role the moderator is supposed to play. Among the rules: Crowley is not supposed to ask any follow-ups, and may not “coach” audience questioners She may also not ask for “show of hands” questions. The Commission also says it will try and limit the angles of TV cameras by locking them into place, and by forbidding shots of family members or friends, or audience reaction shots.
    The audience members at this town hall were picked by the Gallup organization. Gallup claims that these voters are the ones who are likely voters who remain undecided in this election. These voters were not undecided voters, if you ask me. Either that or else the only questions Candy Crowley chose were the ones which favored responses by Obama. It was just ridiculous.

    Candy Crowley turned out to be a disappointment. I enjoy her most of the time as a CNN political reporter. Tuesday night, however, she was a cheerleader for Obama, giving him a total of almost four more minutes than she gave Mitt Romney and cut off Romney at every opportunity while Obama filibustered answers. It was clearly an unbalanced debate and she frequently let it get out of control. The two candidates were, at times, overly aggressive towards each other in order to make their points and Crowley simply lost control.

    We will soon know if the fact checkers will honestly judge Obama's statements on energy production, Libya and taxes. He told some whoppers. Mitt Romney pushed back effectively on most issues.  On Libya, Candy Crowley felt entitled to jump to President Obama's defense and that was just wrong. She was to be impartial and she failed.

    I think the debate was a tie. Mitt Romney, however, will benefit more in the end because historically whomever wins the first debate does better in the election. The second and third debates are not so important to voters, historically speaking.  We will soon know if this proves true for this election. Obama had no place to go but up in this debate. His first debate was so dismal that simply coming prepared was a winning move for him. I have no doubt that the Obama-loving press will declare him the winner.

    The real loser in this debate was Candy Crowley and CNN as her employer.

    Sunday, October 14, 2012

    A Day at Westside GOP Campaign Headquarters

    I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Westside Republican Headquarters Friday. For about six hours I watched a steady stream of interested and engaged voters come through the door and request yard signs for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan along with bumper stickers, lapel buttons, and literature.  Visitors also took home yard signs and literature for candidates running for Harris County offices and state representative office.  Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate yard signs were also popular.

    The one and only vice presidential debate was the shown the night before so that event was a hot topic of conversation.  I think that much like the first presidential debate, the vice presidential debate revved up the voting population.  Both debates allowed the campaigns to show very clear choices in the candidates and that motivates voters to become involved in the process. The conservative voting population is fired up and ready to vote.

    I heard some interesting stories from those who walked in and asked to pick up yard signs and anything else available from candidates.  One 40-something looking woman talked to me about moving from Ohio to Texas so that her husband could continue to work in the auto industry, as he had lost his job during Obama's famous saving of the industry.  She remarked that it is a mystery to her how any Ohio voter could support Obama in November.

    A man came in and talked about a fundraising event he is having next weekend and was looking for items to use for it.  He came in wearing a Romney t-shirt and thanked us for opening the headquarters for the campaigns.

    A man came in from Chicago. He is in Houston working and wanted to do some phone banking on his lunch hour.  He talked about Chicago politics and the lack of winning Republican candidates there.  He had a lot of energy and promised to come back and work the phones again.  I don't doubt his word for a minute.  He was one motivated man.

    A pilot came in and wanted to connect with any groups going to swing states for get out the vote efforts. He is offering to fly them where they need to go during his week off from work.

    Some people came in with their children in tow. It was fun to watch parents explain the process to their children and note the excitement in the behavior of the children as they began to understand things. Been there, done that.

    Two men came in looking for an answer to a question obviously carried over from their lunch time discussion.  They were dressed as though they worked in a nearby office building.  They were arguing about the electoral college.  I hope we answered their question.  Having been around politics for so long now, I was somewhat hesitant to get too deep into that conversation.  Cynical as I can be, one cannot be too careful against the other party.  For all we knew, these two were Democrats looking for something good to feed to a reporter somewhere.  These two men were wondering how Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can win if the electoral college totals point to an Obama victory.  I don't agree with that premise at this stage of the battle and I wasn't about to say anything to give them any disparity against the Romney campaign, which I believe is surging now.

    It was a good day.  There is renewed enthusiasm out there, from what we are seeing at the headquarters. 


    Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Ryan-Biden Vice Presidential Debate

    Thursday night the one and only debate was held between the two candidates running for vice president. Incumbent Joe Biden debated challenger Paul Ryan. Frankly, if I were not a political junkie, I may have been strongly tempted to switch to something else. This debate was rather a hot mess.

    Before the debate, an article ran that was from the Pew Research Center which proclaimed there would be no clear winner in the debate. In the article, the point was made that though voters are rather equally mixed on the like/don't like Paul Ryan question, Vice President Biden has low favorable numbers.
    The national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 4-7 among 1,511 adults, including 1,201 registered voters, finds that 39% of voters view Biden favorably, while 51% offer an unfavorable impression of the vice president. Just more than four-in-ten (44%) view Ryan favorably, while about as many (40%) have an unfavorable view. A separate survey, also conducted Oct. 4-7, among 1,006 adults and 812 registered voters, finds that voters are divided over who will do better in Thursday’s vice presidential debate. Four-in-ten (40%) say Ryan will do a better job while 34% expect Biden to do better.
    The current survey finds that just 35% of independent voters have a favorable opinion of Biden, while 52% view him unfavorably. As many independent voters view Ryan favorably (42%) as unfavorably (42%).
    The independent voter being the crucial ones to win over at this point in the campaign process, Biden's low approval is a worrisome thing for Team Obama. He did himself no favors with his odd personal comportment. He smirked, laughed and snarled his way through the debate. He showed contempt and disrespect for Paul Ryan. He looked condescending and arrogant, to say the least.

    Women voters, in particular, will not approve of this behavior. Women raise their children to be respectful human beings, even in the face of a disagreement. Rude children are punished. Biden may well be punished by poll numbers from disapproving viewers.

    Biden is thought to be a foreign policy expert by the Democrats and that is why Barack Obama chose him in 2008.  During the foreign policy portion of the debate, Biden conveniently denied voting for the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war, too. He shrugged off Iran's capability of completing a nuclear weapon and he accused the Romney-Ryan ticket of desiring another war.  He also denied that the White House knew that the American consulate in Libya requested more security in Benghazi before the terrorist attacks.

    Paul Ryan was in his element on the budget issues, despite constant interruptions from Biden and little help from the moderator.  Martha Raddatz, ABC Senior foreign affairs correspondent, was the moderator and while clearly a supporter of Biden's, she did a better job than I thought she would.  Maybe that is not saying a lot, but she did have to overcome some pre-debate publicity that Barack Obama was a wedding guest to her marriage to one of her ex-husbands.  So, there was that.

    Some quick after debate polling shows mixed results: CNBC had Ryan the clear winner:
    According to a tweet from CNBC's verified Twitter account, an after-debate poll shows Ryan crushing Biden 56 - 36%
    And, AP shows Ryan the clear winner:
    According to Twitter the Associated Press also has Ryan winning tonight by a spread of 51-43.
    br /> An online poll by CBS had Biden the winner:
    Of the 431 polled immediately following the debate, 31 percent deemed Ryan the winner, and 19 percent said they felt it was a tie. Party-wise it's a switch from last week's presidential debate, which uncommitted voters handed easily to Romney over President Obama.


    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    American Crossroads New Video on Benghazi Intelligence

    This is particularly timely, as today the U.S. House Oversight committee held a hearing on the lead up to the attack, and the aftermath, where Obama refused to call the attack terrorism for two weeks despite overwhelming evidence that it was organized by militants with ties to al-Qaeda. This video, based extensively on news accounts by CNN, Reuters, The Washington Post and The Daily Beast, distills for viewers the details of the fiasco, and the timeline as events unfolded.

    This is a devastating new video on the incompetent and deceitful response to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya from American Crossroads:

    What did this president know, and when did he know it? Why has a cover-up been allowed for so long? Why was Secretary Rice sent out to be the fall woman for the State Department's decisions? Why wasn't Hillary Clinton answering the questions on the Sunday morning shows?  If the information was incomplete and now the excuse used for the lies - now documented - being told? Why was Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi and not in the secured embassy in Tripoli on the anniversary of 9/11 when the threats were out there for months before?

    The American people and the loved ones of those murdered in Benghazi on 9/11/12 deserve answers. 

    Tuesday, October 09, 2012

    Romney Addresses Foreign Policy at VMI

    Monday morning Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered his vision of America's place in the world by addressing an audience at Virginia Military Institute (VMI).  He outlined his ideas on foreign policy, including the theme that America leads best through strength. 

    Peace through strength. Romney used a VMI graduate to make the point, George Marshall.

    For more than 170 years, VMI has done more than educate students. It has guided their transformation into citizens, and warriors, and leaders. VMI graduates have served with honor in our nation’s defense, just as many are doing today in Afghanistan and other lands. Since the September 11th attacks, many of VMI’s sons and daughters have defended America, and I mourn with you the 15 brave souls who have been lost. I join you in praying for the many VMI graduates and all Americans who are now serving in harm’s way. May God bless all who serve, and all who have served. Of all the VMI graduates, none is more distinguished than George Marshall—the Chief of Staff of the Army who became Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, who helped to vanquish fascism and then planned Europe’s rescue from despair. His commitment to peace was born of his direct knowledge of the awful costs and consequences of war. General Marshall once said, “The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.” Those words were true in his time—and they still echo in ours.
    Romney strongly criticized President Obama for his lack of transparency in the Libya terrorist attacks and for failing to present a strong front in the Middle East in general.
    The attacks against us in Libya were not an isolated incident. They were accompanied by anti-American riots in nearly two dozen other countries, mostly in the Middle East, but also in Africa and Asia. Our embassies have been attacked. Our flag has been burned. Many of our citizens have been threatened and driven from their overseas homes by vicious mobs, shouting “Death to America.” These mobs hoisted the black banner of Islamic extremism over American embassies on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
    Romney spoke of the leadership provided by George Marshall:
    Statesmen like Marshall rallied our nation to rise to its responsibilities as the leader of the free world. We helped our friends to build and sustain free societies and free markets. We defended our friends, and ourselves, from our common enemies. We led. And though the path was long and uncertain, the thought of war in Europe is as inconceivable today as it seemed inevitable in the last century. This is what makes America exceptional: It is not just the character of our country—it is the record of our accomplishments. America has a proud history of strong, confident, principled global leadership—a history that has been written by patriots of both parties. That is America at its best. And it is the standard by which we measure every President, as well as anyone who wishes to be President. Unfortunately, this President’s policies have not been equal to our best examples of world leadership. And nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East.
    Romney spoke of the president's weak friendship shown to Israel and how it affects the difficulties in dealing with Iran.

    The relationship between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel, our closest ally in the region, has suffered great strains. The President explicitly stated that his goal was to put “daylight” between the United States and Israel. And he has succeeded. This is a dangerous situation that has set back the hope of peace in the Middle East and emboldened our mutual adversaries, especially Iran.
    Iran today has never been closer to a nuclear weapons capability. It has never posed a greater danger to our friends, our allies, and to us. And it has never acted less deterred by America, as was made clear last year when Iranian agents plotted to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in our nation’s capital. And yet, when millions of Iranians took to the streets in June of 2009, when they demanded freedom from a cruel regime that threatens the world, when they cried out, “Are you with us, or are you with them?”—the American President was silent.
    Romney noted that the president's tendency to lead from behind shows a weakness of America overseas and that hope is not a strategy on the world stage:

    I know the President hopes for a safer, freer, and a more prosperous Middle East allied with the United States. I share this hope. But hope is not a strategy. We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds, when our defense spending is being arbitrarily and deeply cut, when we have no trade agenda to speak of, and the perception of our strategy is not one of partnership, but of passivity.
    The greater tragedy of it all is that we are missing an historic opportunity to win new friends who share our values in the Middle East—friends who are fighting for their own futures against the very same violent extremists, and evil tyrants, and angry mobs who seek to harm us. Unfortunately, so many of these people who could be our friends feel that our President is indifferent to their quest for freedom and dignity. As one Syrian woman put it, “We will not forget that you forgot about us.”
    It is time to change course in the Middle East. That course should be organized around these bedrock principles: America must have confidence in our cause, clarity in our purpose and resolve in our might. No friend of America will question our commitment to support them… no enemy that attacks America will question our resolve to defeat them… and no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt America’s capability to back up our words.

    Peace through strength, not saber rattling as Obama supporters would characterize Romney's position:
    And I will roll back President Obama’s deep and arbitrary cuts to our national defense that would devastate our military. I will make the critical defense investments that we need to remain secure. The decisions we make today will determine our ability to protect America tomorrow. The first purpose of a strong military is to prevent war.
    Concerning foreign aid and trade agreements, Romney stresses that both come with responsibility and mutual respect to work together:

    I will make further reforms to our foreign assistance to create incentives for good governance, free enterprise, and greater trade, in the Middle East and beyond. I will organize all assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with responsibility and accountability to prioritize efforts and produce results. I will rally our friends and allies to match our generosity with theirs. And I will make it clear to the recipients of our aid that, in return for our material support, they must meet the responsibilities of every decent modern government—to respect the rights of all of their citizens, including women and minorities… to ensure space for civil society, a free media, political parties, and an independent judiciary… and to abide by their international commitments to protect our diplomats and our property.
    I will champion free trade and restore it as a critical element of our strategy, both in the Middle East and across the world. The President has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years. I will reverse that failure. I will work with nations around the world that are committed to the principles of free enterprise, expanding existing relationships and establishing new ones.

    And, finally, the role of America in the world. He points out that the nations in the world count on our strength of commitment and our leadership. We are a war-weary nation but we must remain resolute and forge ahead through a peaceful strength:
    I know many Americans are asking a different question: “Why us?” I know many Americans are asking whether our country today—with our ailing economy, and our massive debt, and after 11 years at war—is still capable of leading. I believe that if America does not lead, others will—others who do not share our interests and our values—and the world will grow darker, for our friends and for us. America’s security and the cause of freedom cannot afford four more years like the last four years. I am running for President because I believe the leader of the free world has a duty, to our citizens, and to our friends everywhere, to use America’s great influence—wisely, with solemnity and without false pride, but also firmly and actively—to shape events in ways that secure our interests, further our values, prevent conflict, and make the world better—not perfect, but better. Our friends and allies across the globe do not want less American leadership. They want more—more of our moral support, more of our security cooperation, more of our trade, and more of our assistance in building free societies and thriving economies. So many people across the world still look to America as the best hope of humankind. So many people still have faith in America. We must show them that we still have faith in ourselves—that we have the will and the wisdom to revive our stagnant economy, to roll back our unsustainable debt, to reform our government, to reverse the catastrophic cuts now threatening our national defense, to renew the sources of our great power, and to lead the course of human events.
    The speech was well-balanced and thoughtful. It was what America needed to hear, proving again that Mitt Romney is the man to guide America with a change of leadership.

    Sunday, October 07, 2012

    Obama Arrogance Proves Most Destructive

    I think this excerpt clearly illustrates the single most defining personality flaw of  President Obama:
    Barack Obama, perhaps the most self-confident person to occupy that office in our lifetime, was always skating along the edge of a cliff of self-destructive arrogance. No other president would have thought to berate the members of the Supreme Court as they sat in front of him during his State of the Union speech. The famous George Washington University speech in which he ridiculed his Republican partners in the deficit-negotiation talks, who had come to the speech expecting to hear a policy response, was another sign of potential danger.

    And finally there was the report a few weeks ago that Mr. Obama did not respect Gov. Romney and did not consider him competent to be president.
    It is standard for the swells in the media and on the Democratic side of the aisle to berate former President George W. Bush as someone less than intelligent to be President of the United States. Though he, too, earned a degree from Harvard - a MBA, thank you - and an undergrad degree from Yale University, he is usually considered a lightweight in the intellectual department by those thinking themselves superior.  No one, however, ever accused him of a disturbing degree of arrogance in his personality.  He was a humble man leading in a humble way.

    By pulling the wool over enough voter's eyes, frankly, President Obama intends to win re-election much as he did his first term - by mouthing plenty of empty platitudes and making promises he can not possibly keep in a second term.   He has yet to be held responsible for his failures in bringing recovery to our floundering economy and his residence in a well-protected bubble of praise and encouragement from his own staff and the White House press corps, along with all of the usual supporters in the mainstream media, has produced a man clueless to the reality that he very well may be defeated in November. He has relied on a campaign run much as he has governed - allow surrogates to frame the issues and deploy hateful attacks on his opponents.  The goal has been to continue putting forth issues into the discussion that distract from the economic realities on the ground. Above all else, the Obama campaign intends to make the election about everything but the economy.

    The Republican stitched all of this together into a frontal assault on the economic reality of the last four years. This is something Mr. Obama doesn't want to discuss, preferring to talk about "the mess" he inherited and the hope and change that will finally arrive in a second term. He even said during the debate that the crucial question is "not where we've been but where we're going."
    The theme of the Obama campaign is "Forward".  The irony is that in order to boost enthusiasm for the campaign, Team Obama had to drag out Bill Clinton, dust him off and put him at the podium during the Democratic National Committee's convention last month. There is no love lost between the two men so that must have been a bitter pill to swallow. We are now told that Clinton was the man with the best economy in recent history and we must go back to his policies.  The problem with that is that 2012 is not 1994.  President Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming into fiscal responsibility that led to his successes by a Republican congress, the first Republican majorities in more than forty years brought on by the voters refusal to accept Hillarycare, as Clinton's sweeping health insurance power grab was called back then.  Clinton had to work with a Republican controlled congress, as he had no other choice.  Newt Gingrich and his leadership structure in the House of Representatives brought in a mandate from the voters demanding a balanced budget, spending reforms, and entitlement reforms. 

    Barack Obama  admitted to a "shellacking" in November 2010 as his Obamacare legislation was soundly rejected by the electorate across the country.  Republicans took back control of the House with a large majority.  The Senate is now up for grabs, too.  If Barack Obama is re-elected, he will be forced to work with Republicans if he is to accomplish anything at all.  Though he is quite fond of ruling with executive orders, - something he criticized former President Bush about - the man described as a constitutional scholar will have to learn the real art of governing for all Americans, not just Democrats.

    The reality is that I think President Obama is, simply put, incapable of governing. He has never had the opportunity to learn the skill and he has never put in the time or ambition to learn how to govern.  His arrogance brought him to the place he is now - he allowed an adoring media to propel him into the office and he allowed his Democratic congress to do his bidding in legislative action.  He allowed Peolsi and Reid to write and pass through Obamacare because he wanted nothing more than a huge new entitlement on which to hang his hat as his own presidential legacy. He was so determined to shove through his legacy making legislation that it was done on a single party vote - that which has never been done before. Ever. The man was unable to get any Republicans to vote on it.

    Barack Obama knows how to do one thing and that is to campaign for elected office.  He's good at it, after all these years. Every move he makes is in the framework of the next election.  He ran for state representative and lost in Illinois so he moved on to running for the state senate.  He won and hung around long enough to push to the national scene.  He delivered a good speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and was crowned the next rising star in the party.  I'll admit I watched the speech and fell for it, too. The man can deliver a speech with his trusty teleprompter. That was before, of course, I knew who he was or his story.

    As U.S. Senator Obama, Barack felt entitled to running for President after barely two years in that office. He felt entitled because no one ever tells him otherwise. His arrogance is justified.

    Unfortunately for America, Barack Obama did not rise to the challenge of the office. After he won the 2008 election, he continued on as before.  He never fulfilled campaign promises - particularly the ones that he would bring us all together and work for all Americans. He kept his eye on the 2012 election instead. The man has no core.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012

    Romney Scores Big Win in Denver Debate

    It is fair to say that polling and focus groups are all in agreement, as strange as that is in this election cycle - Republican candidate Mitt Romney clearly was the solid winner in the first presidential debate Wednesday night.  Held at Denver University in Denver, Colorado and moderated by PBS anchor Jim Lehrer, President Obama turned in a lackluster and unfocused performance. He may as well have looked at his watch on camera. The hour and a half debate must have felt like a lifetime for Barack Obama.

    Here is an eye-opener:

     Sixty-seven percent of registered voters who watched the debate said GOP nominee Mitt Romney won the debate, while 25% said President Barack Obama came out as the winner, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released late Wednesday night.

    Hardly a conservative leaning polling outlet. 

    The theme was on the economy and all that that topic encompasses. It is, of course, Mitt Romney's strong suit.  And, truth be told, it is Barack Obama's weakest subject.  Mitt Romney has more than twenty-five years as a successful business person and Barack Obama has no such experience. He is responsible for the policies that have brought about the weakest economic recovery from a recession in American history. 

    The performance brought to the American voter Wednesday night was that of a man who has never been challenged by the White House press corp.  He has been allowed to remain in an ego-stroking bubble and is naturally a thin-skinned personality anyway.  He is not held responsible for any of the things he says, however untrue they may be. Mitt Romney has been accused of not presenting specifics of his proposals and that was addressed.  Romney came loaded for bear.  He dominated the debate clock.  He looked at Obama and at the audience as he delivered his answers.  He looked at Obama as Obama spoke. He reminded Mr. Lehrer when he was due time for a response, as per the debate rules. He utilized all of the solid debate tactics of a winning participant.

    Mitt Romney led.

    President Obama is quite fond of straw men arguments as he presents his facts.  Mitt Romney did not allow this and challenged Obama on his facts. Romney was firm yet respectful.  Obama has a tendency to smirk and Romney holds a far more attractive relaxed half smile. Smirks are not good optics.

    This was the Mitt Romney that conservatives have been waiting to see.  He was strong in his answers, loaded with facts and numbers to back up his arguments, and he was confident.  Obama was clearly unprepared and shrinking away from Romney. 

    There is a clear choice in this election.  Obama has failed to deliver on his campaign promises made during the 2008 election cycle.  There is no indication he can fulfill any new ones.  He was the one who stated that "if I don't have this done in 3 1/2 years then this is going to be a one term proposition" and " I'll cut the deficit in half in my first term".  Now he is left with saying that he didn't know how bad the economic condition of this country really was when he took over and no one could have done better.  He even has to lean on Bill Clinton to boost his re-election chances.  The problem is, the Bush people briefed all of the incoming Obama people extensively.  They've all written about it in their books that have since been published.  Also, the recession was already technically about over when Obama took office.  The economic recovery that has not occurred are solely on Obama and his administration's policy decisions. 

    We deserve the experience and knowledge of Mitt Romney.  He has a proven record of working with both parties to get the task accomplished.  Obama has a proven record of not being able to do so.  We deserve a real leader.

    Tuesday, October 02, 2012

    Belo Debate with Ted Cruz and Paul Sadler for U.S. Senate

    Tuesday night brought the first debate featuring the Texas candidates for U.S. Senate - Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Paul Sadler.  The format was described as "unstructured" and it lived up to that description.  WFAA-TV's Ron Corning served as Master of Ceremonies.  Debate moderators were WFAA's Brad Watson and Dallas Morning News' political reporter Gromer Jeffers.

    Some highlights:

    Jeffers used Mitt Romney's video on 47% remark to begin the section on the budget, entitlements and taxes. Paul Sadler says Ted Cruz's answer is "just crazy" when the topic was on government programs for poor, aged, disabled was discussed. Cruz stated that Democrats use entitlement programs for a voting majority and any honest theorist would come to the same conclusion.  LBJ was a smart politician who used big entitlement programs as a way to grow his party. 

    While discussing tax reform without new taxes and reducing spending so that small businesses can expand and hire new employees, Paul Sadler bashed Ted Cruz for his government service and not "creating jobs, or owning a business".  He said he and his wife owned a small business. Then he brought up -several times- his own government service days.

    A 1998 Loyola University conference featuring President Obama on video was played with his fondness of  re-distribution of wealth comment. Sadler said, "I don't agree with that at all".

    Sadler asked if Cruz is a birther. I'm not kidding. Does he agree that Obama is a commander-in-chief?  Ted Cruz wishes he were a stronger commander-in-chief.  Did he believe he is a Christian? Yes, it got a little weird. 

    Sadler wants to let Bush tax cuts expire but he didn't actually have the nerve to say so. His opinion goes further than Obama on that. He denied that and then a video from a May 3 Houston PBS forum was played. He stated, "have to let those Bush tax cuts go in order to pay down the national debt" - no qualification for income levels.  Cruz asked which Texans he would raise taxes on.  Bush tax cuts expiring would affect all income levels. Sadler stayed with his claim that he would make income levels the qualifier.

    During the foreign affairs - Sadler said the Senate shouldn't cut off foreign aid to Egypt, Libya, etc.  Wants a stop to any holds on aid to Libya. Cruz said they America shouldn't fund those who behave contrary to our interests. "Bullies and tyrants don't respect weakness". Use aid to Egypt, for example, as leverage. He doesn't want foreign aid completely cancelled. He defended himself from the charge of  "slander" from Sadler when he pointed out that that Obama didn't make time to meet with Netanyahu instead he went to The View and the Letterman show.

    Sadler was short on real policy talk and long on the nasty personal attacks: "I don't know what world you live in, Ted".  "Crazy".  "Birther".  Then Sadler had the nerve to say that Ted Cruz is big on labeling and name-calling when it was he using that behavior.  Sadler was also fond of pointing his finger at Cruz.  Actually it was more of a jabbing motion into the air in the direction of Ted Cruz.

    On health care, Ted Cruz was featured on video stating that the first bill he intends to introduce in the Senate is a repeal of Obamacare. He made two points:  1. designed to move into universal health care. 2. rammed through in "brazen display of arrogance" contrary to will of majority of Americans.   Sadler rebuked this with claim it is a  "Clear indication of inexperience". Obamacare is greatest patient benefits we've "seen in 75 years".  "We've already won".  Sadler said Cruz just wants to score political points and show up on Sunday shows.  Cruz replied, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch".  He countered that by "we've already won", Sadler neglects to say it's taxpayer money paying for any expansion of entitlements.

    On illegal immigrants Sadler supports a path to citizenship for undocumented workers. He wants a secure border.  He wants the use of surveillance equipment.  He supports the DREAM Act and a worker permit program.  Cruz doesn't support path to citizenship, which is code for amnesty. The moderator pointed out that there are 1.65 million illegal immigrants in Texas as he asked if Cruz supports mass deportation. No he does not. Cruz said first we have to have a secure border.  "Sadly I don't think either party has been serious on this issue". Then a strong e-verify system for employers must be put into place.  

    Sadler said towards the end of the debate, "you tell so many lies it's unbelievable".  This was particularly forceful from him as he was irritated that Cruz pointed out that Sadler voted against conceal/carry law in Texas. Sadler demanded to know if Cruz owns a gun (yes, he does) and if he hunts. It was strange but he was insistent on the questioning.  He boasted that he and his four sons all hunt. Is that a pre-requisite for being a U.S. senator from Texas?  It looked more like some kind of out-machoing exercise, frankly.  Sadler want to be a manly man.

    Pointing finger as he said,"Don't interrupt me, Ted" was particularly laugh inducing here. Sadler aggressively interrupted every one of Ted Cruz's answers and even brought in Heidi Cruz into an answer. Ted Cruz rightfully blasted Sadler for that low mark.  

    The final question was if Cruz can be effective if Democrats keep the Senate and Obama is re-elected?  If they are solving problems, I can compromise for effective results, said Cruz.

    Sadler was asked how effective can he be in a majority of Republican Texas elected officials.  He said he would be able to be effective using his experience in the state legislature.

    It was an entertaining debate in the sense that Sadler was so noticeably rude and angry.  He frequently called Cruz a liar and several times called him crazy.  His attacks were of a personal nature and it was a sign of pure desperation.  He trails badly in the polls and he knows he has no hopes of election.  However, he does himself no favors by displaying this behavior even if there are no other future runs for political office.

    Cornyn Demands Answers On TX Gun-Walking Program

    Senator Cornyn presses on in his search for the truth about any gun-walking programs in Texas and in the death of ICE agent Jamie Zapata.  Here is the latest from his office:

    "U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, today wrote to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder requesting him to immediately disclose information related to the existence of any potential “gun-walking” programs in the State of Texas and provide answers to the family of fallen U.S. ICE Agent Jaime Zapata about the source of the weapons found at his murder scene, one of which has been linked to a Texas-based straw purchaser.
    Sen. Cornyn first requested this information from the Attorney General more than one year ago and to date has only received a routine response indicating a review was taking place and additional information would be provided. As it stands, various sources, including sworn testimony and court documents, indicate that ATF not only allowed firearms to cross from Texas into Mexico but also asked Texas gun store owners to transfer weapons to suspected drug cartel agents.
    “More than 19 months have passed since the murder of my fellow Texan and U.S. ICE Agent Jaime Zapata. His family deserves answers, not more stonewalling. I ask that you immediately disclose the details of any “gun-walking” program or tactics carried out by your Department in the State of Texas,” Sen. Cornyn wrote."
    The full text of the letter is below and attached.
    October 2, 2012
    The Honorable Eric H. Holder
    Attorney General
    U.S. Department of Justice
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20530-0001
    Dear Attorney General Holder:
    On August 11, 2011, I sent you a letter asking that you promptly disclose the details of any “gun-walking” programs that the Department of Justice may have operated in the State of Texas. On November 4, 2011, I received a cursory response from your staff claiming that the Department was “currently engaged in a review of the allegations you have brought to our attention and will provide you with additional information as soon as possible.” Eleven months have passed since I received this response, and your Department has failed to answer my questions. This is unacceptable.
    As you are aware, on February 15, 2011, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Jaime Zapata, one of my constituents, was brutally murdered in a Los Zetas Cartel ambush on a highway near San Luis Potosí, Mexico. One of the weapons used to murder Agent Zapata was purchased in Texas on October 10, 2010, and was subsequently traced to a Texas-based firearms trafficking ring managed by Otilio Osorio, Ranferi Osorio, and Kelvin Morrison. Even more troubling, Senator Grassley and Representative Issa have uncovered a trail of documents suggesting that ATF agents may have had probable cause to arrest the members of this gun trafficking ring approximately three weeks prior to the purchase of the weapon used to murder Agent Zapata. At the very least, documents show that ATF could have arrested these criminals three months prior to Agent Zapata’s murder, when they illegally transferred 40 weapons to an ATF informant. They were not arrested until after Agent Zapata’s death.
    Additionally, the attorney for Carter’s Country, a Houston chain of outdoor sports stores, has reported that ATF agents directed their store clerks to go through with the sale of multiple firearms to suspicious purchasers between 2006 and 2010, even when these clerks had grave concerns about the sales in question. Carter’s Country representatives have stated that ATF agents did not always show up to interdict the weapons that they directed the store clerks to transfer to suspicious purchasers.
    More than 19 months have passed since the murder of my fellow Texan and U.S. ICE Agent Jaime Zapata. His family deserves answers, not more stonewalling. I ask that you immediately disclose the details of any “gun-walking” program or tactics carried out by your Department in the State of Texas.
    United States Senator

    Monday, October 01, 2012

    Cornyn Demands Answer for Military Voter Disenfranchisement

    Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.
    Here is a statement from Senator Cornyn as he continues working to insure that our military heroes receive the opportunity to vote in the November 2012 elections: 
    U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, today issued the following statement regarding reports by the Military Voter Protection Project (MVPP) indicating a 92-percent drop in absentee-ballot requests by service members in the state of Virginia (versus 2008 requests). MVPP has also concluded that absentee ballot requests by service members are down by well over 50 percent in other states including Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, and Nevada. The MVPP report comes on the heels of a report issued by the Pentagon’s Inspector General indicating deficient on-base voter assistance for military service members and their families, mandated by the 2009 law, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, or MOVE Act.
    “Today we’re learning our men and women in uniform may be even more disenfranchised than they were before sweeping reforms were signed into law two years ago to make it easier for them to exercise their right to vote. This is an unacceptable failure by Pentagon leaders to comply with the law and ensure our service members and their families are able to exercise one of the most fundamental rights for which they sacrifice every day.
    “DoD leaders must answer for this serious failure and do everything in their power to make this right for military voters and their family members.”
    In September, Sen. Cornyn and several colleagues wrote to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, voicing concerns with the DoD’s inadequate implementation of on-base voter assistance for military service members and their families. The Senators outlined immediate action items that must be taken to ensure members of the military and their family have the opportunity to vote in November’s election. A copy of that letter can be foundhere.