A Caution To Conservatives

William F. Buckley is said to have stated that Conservatives should ‘support the most viable conservative candidate.’ That’s a very important statement.

The exact quote:

“The wisest choice would be the one who would win. No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest. I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win.”
-William F. Buckley Jr.

Right now there are two parties in Washington–the first is composed of the Democrats and the establishment Republicans, and the second is composed of the conservatives who have been elected since 2010. The 2014 mid-terms are important. They will determine whether the Democrats and establishment Republicans continue their tax and spend ways or if fiscal sanity makes an appearance.

Many Republican candidates who have been in office for a while are being challenged for the first time in primary campaigns by more conservative candidates. There is nothing wrong with the fact that establishment candidates are being challenged, but I have a word of caution.

In a world of instant news, cell phones that record and take pictures, twitter and facebook, candidates need to be more disciplined than they ever have been. Because the opposition is more than willing to take any comment out of context and twist words, candidates need to adhere to a specific group of lukewarm comments in order to get elected. I am not suggesting that candidates lie or misrepresent themselves, but I am saying that discipline on the part of the candidates will be crucial to this election.

Primary elections are important. You can judge a candidate by the way he runs his primary campaign–does he speak without thinking, does he make statements that cause him to have to  backtrack, is he respectful of the people who come out to hear him and eventually support him?

My advice to conservatives is simple–make sure your candidates are ready for prime time. Otherwise, you will be wasting money and time and accomplishing nothing.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Craven County Republican Party 2014 Convention

Today I had the privilege of attending the Craven County Republican Party 2014 Convention. As I have previously indicated, moving to North Carolina from Massachusetts has been a bit of a culture shock.

There were almost one hundred people at the Convention, and there was unity on the basic principles the Republican Party has traditionally stood for. Some of the candidates for federal, state and local offices spoke. Other candidates send representatives who explained their candidate’s platforms. There were some very basic themes in the goals listed by the candidates and their representatives–strong families, a government in Washington that adheres the the principles of the U.S. Constitution, and a strong American foreign policy.

There were two resolutions considered by the Convention. The first resolution opposed the implementation of the Common Core educational standards. The resolution detailed the problems with Common Core:

1. The program by-passes and overrides the local community’s control of education in the community.

2. Common Core involves the collection of data on our children that is an invasion of privacy. There is no promise in today’s world of that data being kept private.

3. The inflexibility of the Common Core program–it is a one size fits all approach that is copyrighted and cannot be altered.

4. Common Core increases the cost of education while providing no proven results.

The resolution passed.

The second resolution stated that the Craven County Republican Party supported the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association’s January 24, 2014 Resolution. The text of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association’s January 24, 2014 Resolution can be found here. The resolution simply reaffirms the rights of Americans under the U.S. Constitution. Those rights include the right to bear arms and, the right to due process, and protection against unlawful searches and seizures. That resolution also passed. Unfortunately, an affirmation of these rights is needed at this time–Connecticut recently passed a law that was in violation of the Second Amendment.

At this time, there are deep divisions in our country regarding culture and politics. It was encouraging to me to spend time with a group of people who understand the roots of our Republic and support our Constitution.

It was a very enjoyable convention.

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pictures vs. Words

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article quoting a leak to the Washington Post on President Obama’s proposed budget. The Washington Post reported: “With 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to era of austerity:”

It has always been my belief that a picture is worth a thousand words. From Yahoo.com:

federalspending

Where is the austerity?

However, there is more to the problem.

John Hinderaker reminds us:

But wait! Democrats and Republicans agreed on discretionary spending levels that supposedly were binding for a decade to come in the Budget Control Act, which included the sequester. Just a few months ago, the Ryan-Murray compromise modified the sequester and increased discretionary spending. That bipartisan agreement was supposed to put spending debates to rest for at least the next couple of years. Now, apparently, the Obama administration intends to throw all prior agreements into the trash can, and demand still higher spending.

This illustrates a point that I have made over and over: all budget agreements that purport to achieve savings over a long period of time, usually a decade, are a farce. The savings always come in the “out years,” but the out years never arrive. Once you get past the current fiscal year, budget agreements are not worth the paper they are printed on. For Republicans to agree to more spending today in exchange for hypothetical cuts in later years is folly–those cuts will never come.

Leadership in both political parties do not desire to cut federal spending. Their debate is only over which party will control the massive spending. That is why it is imperative that we change the establishment leadership of the Republican party. The Republicans used to be the party of small government, there is hope that they can be again. The Democrats have always supported big government. The only solution to this problem is new leadership in the Republican party.

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

This List May Be A Surprise To Some People

Open Secrets has posted a list of the top donors to Republicans and Democrats from 1989 to 2014. It is not really a surprise to me that you have to go down to number 17 to find a donor who donated more to the Republicans than Democrats. Koch Industries, the organization liberals love to cite as the buyer of elections, is number 59 on the list.

There is too much money in American politics, but it is ironic that most of the people who have traditionally complained about that fact do not realize that it’s not the rich Republicans contributing the money–it’s unions who support Democrats. Keep in mind that the union membership does not always have a say in how their dues are spent. At least in industry, a CEO is accountable to either stockholders or executive board members. Of the top fifteen organizations giving the most money, 12 are unions. Of the top fifteen organizations giving the most money, there are four organizations that gave to both parties fairly equally, and none that gave a majority of their money to Republicans.

Yes, there probably is too much money in politics, but it isn’t coming from rich Republicans.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Agenda?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today pointing out that the big three networks gave the Chris Christie bridge scandal 17 times more news coverage in one day than they gave the IRS scandal in six months. Hmmm.

The article reports:

Since Wednesday night, NBC News included six reports over 14 minutes and 14 seconds. CBS devoted five reports over 12 minutes and 27 seconds. ABC managed 4 stories over seven minutes and 47 seconds, said MRC.

As a comparison over the last six months, NBC featured five seconds on updating the IRS story. CBS responded with a minute and 41 seconds. ABC produced a meager 22 seconds.

Make no mistake, this is about taking out the person the Democrat party considers the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. It also needs to be noted that as the polling numbers now stand, Chris Christie defeats Hillary Clinton in a Presidential campaign.

At this point I would like to state that I don’t want the Republicans to run Chris Christie for President. I think we can do better. There are other governors out there who have good track records, conservative credentials, and a lot more class than Chris Christie.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

I’m Convinced There Is Something In The Water In Washington, D.C.

Today the National Journal posted a story about the relationship between the Tea Party members in Congress and the Tea Party members trying to get elected to Congress.

The article cites some examples:

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida won’t take sides in GOP incumbent primaries because of his own experience of running against the establishment’s pick. Neither will Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who rode tea-party support to take down a three-term incumbent. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas are also unlikely to back any of the conservatives taking on Republican senators; in fact, Paul is committing heresy in the eyes of tea-party hard-liners by endorsing two Washington insiders, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and Wyoming Sen. Michael Enzi.

This show of decorum from senators who instigated the unpopular government shutdown is striking at a time of mounting friction between the establishment and tea-party wings of the Republican Party. So what’s behind it? The upshot of the tea-party caucus’s largely staying on the sidelines—and, in Paul’s case, endorsing two of his colleagues—is that of all the protocols the conservative insurgency has trashed on Capitol Hill, a member endorsing a colleague’s opponent remains strictly taboo.

Note to Republicans–it’s not a club–it’s a government, and right now it isn’t working very well.

The Tea Party is a grass roots movement. It was started and has been joined by people who do not like business as usual in Washington. If Congressmen who are elected by the Tea Party become part of business as usual, they will be unelected. The Tea Party will gain strength as people feel the weight of government over-reach. Since the Tea Party is responsible for what life there is in the Republican party, the Republicans in Congress need to support Tea Party candidates when they are running against business as usual candidates.

Enhanced by Zemanta

I’ve Heard This Song Before

About the only thing good I can say about the Congressional Budget deal is that there is a Congressional Budget deal. After that it gets a little foggy. Part of the problem was that neither side was really in a strong position to negotiate–the Republican establishment is still slamming the Tea Party for the shutdown and President Obama’s approval ratings are sinking like a stone. The establishment Republicans and the President are both desperate for a political victory. As usual, courtesy of the establishment Republicans, the Tea Party is out in the cold. The sad part of that fact is that the Tea Party is the only group in Washington that does actually represent a change from our self-destructive spending habits.

Heritage.org posted an article this morning stating three things in the budget agreement that indicate things in Washington have not changed:

The deal announced yesterday raises discretionary spending above the bipartisan spending agreement forged in 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act. Spending for defense and non-defense domestic programs would be raised by $45 billion in 2014 and by $18 billion in 2015.

… The agreement says that the increased spending is fully offset elsewhere in the budget, using a mix of spending cuts and non-tax revenue. Make no mistake, raising revenue to spend more is simply taxing and spending.

…It spends now and delays savings till later. The budget deal would spend $63 billion over the next two years—but take 10 years to make up for this splurge. This is a common Washington gimmick.

Until Americans are willing to elect people to Congress who will actually cut spending, we are going to see more of the same. It will be interesting to see who supports this deal. It is a deal that is pleasing to the Washington establishment. It may be the best deal the Republicans could have gotten, but it is not a good deal.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Some Good Advice From A Senior Democrat

On Thursday, The Atlantic posted an article written by Ted Van Dyk, a Democrat campaign strategist who once worked for Hubert Humphrey. The article examines what the current Democrat party needs to do to maintain its power in the 2016 election. He is obviously not happy with the direction his party is currently taking.

He points out that the Barack Obama that is President today is very different than the Barack Obama that campaigned in 2008. (Actually, I disagree with that statement–Barack Obama has not changed–he has just behaved the way a community organizer would behave. Barack Obama had no administrative experience. Some Americans understood that–many Americans ignored that fact.)

Mr. Van Dyk notes:

Before 2008, Obama looked like a liberal of moderate temperament. He had the bad luck to take office at a time of financial and economic crises overshadowing everything else. He has said since that he underestimated at the time the depth of the crises. That no doubt led him, before growth and stability had been restored, to undertake in 2009 a remake of the entire health sector. Both his stimulus package and healthcare proposal were mainly designed by House Democratic leaders and the interest groups that supported his 2008 campaign. There was no serious attempt, in formulating either program, to draw Republicans into participation, as LBJ had done in 1965. Provisions allowing the sale of health-insurance products across state lines, and providing for meaningful tort reform, could have done that without forfeiting Democratic support. Trial lawyers would have objected but not jeopardized the bill’s passage.

This is spin. The depth of the crisis had nothing to do with ObamaCare. ObamaCare was the result of lack of leadership on the part of the President–he didn’t write it, and I doubt that he has read it–he simply let the old Democrat guard in Congress put together their dream package for special interests–that is why there are so many Democrat supporters excluded from many of the regulations, e.g. union plans that are grandfathered in.

Mr. Van Dyk further notes:

Obama’s 2012 reelection is little comfort for Democrats. His total vote was smaller than in 2008, and it did not constitute a mandate for any particular agenda. It instead depended on two things: first, an unprecedentedly skillful identification and mobilization of key Obama voter groups that had grown in importance over the previous four years; and second, highly effective scare campaigns designed to convince those groups that Mitt Romney and Republicans were heartless plutocrats, servants of wealth, and enemies of women, Latinos, African Americans, and the middle class.

Demonizing his opponent worked for President Obama. The Republicans, hopefully, have learned from that experience and will not let it happen again. The demonization began during the Republican primaries and was not answered by the Republicans at the time. By the time the charges were answered, the moment had passed and the conversation had moved on. The foundation for some of the demonization of Mitt Romney began with the question by George Stephanopoulos to Mitt Romney on birth control. That was not a ridiculous question–it paved the way for the charges that the Republicans were waging a ‘war on women.’

Mr. Van Dyk concludes:

Wedge politics and tailored political messaging can bring a campaign or even a presidency short-term success. But, for the longer run, most Americans feel they are in it together and badly want bipartisan action to keep the economy stable and growing, to keep the country safe here and abroad, and to keep American society open and fair. Americans want from Democrats what Obama promised in his 2008 campaign. Financial and economic crises diverted him, he opted for partisanship with his first-term initiatives, and the resulting gridlock leaves Democrats with three years to consider their future path.

By 2016, this veteran hopes, party leaders will conclude that the big things should be tackled first and that, because of their difficulty, they must be addressed on a bipartisan basis. May they also conclude that there is more to gain by uniting all Americans than by treating them separately as political subgroups.

I agree that bipartisanship is the solution, but I am not sure it is possible. Washington has become a snake pit of one-upmanship rather than a place where people actually work together to solve America’s problems. I suspect the only solution to that situation is to remove anyone from office who has been there for more than one term.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

There Is No Resemblance To Truth In These Statements

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about President Obama’s speech today regarding ObamaCare. The President is still campaigning–he is not even approaching the idea of solving problems. The speech simply repeated the idea that the only failure on the part of ObamaCare was due to the lack of support by Republicans. There was no acknowledgement of the fact that the Republicans might have some valid points or than their objections to ObamaCare might be well founded.

The article quotes the President’s speech:

Now, we may never satisfy the law’s opponents. I think that’s fair to say. Some of them are rooting for this law to fail — that’s not my opinion, by the way, they say it pretty explicitly. (Laughter.) Some have already convinced themselves that the law has failed, regardless of the evidence. But I would advise them to check with the people who are here today and the people that they represent all across the country whose lives have been changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act.

Maybe he can’t satisfy the law’s opponents because it is a bad law. If President Obama keeps up this sort of rhetoric, he will reduce the Democrats to a minority party for the foreseeable future.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Different Perspective

On Monday, Peter Beinart posted an article at the Daily Beast about the recent government shutdown with a different perspective than we have heard in the past few days.

Mr. Beinart believes that the shutdown is a Republican victory. He states:

Republicans, being less supportive of federal spending on things like “education, energy and medical research,” were more supportive of the sequester. Indeed, as recently as last month, GOP leaders described locking in the sequester cuts—via a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) that extended them into 2014—as a major victory. In a memo to fellow Republicans on September 6, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor boasted that by “signing a CR at sequester levels, the President would be endorsing a level of spending that wipes away all the increases he and Congressional Democrats made while they were in charge and returns us to a pre-2008 level of discretionary spending.”

…It’s not just that Obama looks likely to accept the sequester cuts as the basis for future budget negotiations. It’s that while he’s been trying to reopen the government and prevent a debt default, his chances of passing any significant progressive legislation have receded. Despite overwhelming public support, gun control is dead. Comprehensive immigration reform, once considered the politically easy part of Obama’s second term agenda, looks unlikely. And the other items Obama trumpeted in this year’s state of the union address—climate change legislation, infrastructure investment, universal preschool, voting rights protections, a boost to the minimum wage—have been largely forgotten.

The end of the shutdown was not a Republican victory–generally speaking, they caved. However, if we have successfully moved the point of baseline budgeting back to pre-TARP levels, that is wonderful. For anyone who is not familiar with baseline budgeting, it is the procedure Washington used to increase spending while claiming that they have cut the budget. If a department’s budget was going to increase 10 percent and only increases 5 percent, that is considered a cut. They are still spending more, but it is considered a cut.

Fiscal responsibility should not be a political issue. Both parties need to realize that we cannot go on printing money forever. I am glad that the shutdown is over and that the World War II veterans will again be able to visit their memorial, but fiscal sanity needs to come to America.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Moving The Goalposts When It’s Convenient

One problem with the current negotiations in Washington regarding the government shutdown is that both sides keep moving the goalposts. President Obama says he’s not talking to anyone unless they surrender first, and the Republicans don’t seem to know exactly what they want.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today about the current state of affairs. He noted that Senator Susan Collins has made a suggestion that meets the needs of what both sides originally said they wanted.

The article reports:

Collins’ proposal would have extended government funding for six months and boosted the debt ceiling through the end of January. By way of a fig leaf for Republicans, it also would have delayed a medical device tax in the health care law for two years and instituted an income verification requirement for qualifying for Obamacare subsidies.

Democrats rejected the plan not because of the Obamacare fig leaf, but because they want more money for the government. Collins’ proposal would have retained the spending levels established by the sequester, though it would have provided the government with much-needed flexibility in spending this money.

Evidently the debate has morphed from differences in ObamaCare to the ever-present debate on government spending.

As long as either side believes that the shutdown is working for them politically, it will not be solved. Right now the Democrats believe it is working for them. As long as they believe that, the government will remain closed.

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Will Be Very Interesting To Watch

I am hoping that this story is not accurate, but I am afraid it is. Breitbart.com reported today that the President and the Republicans in Congress have reached an agreement that will end the government shutdown. Why am I hoping that the story is not accurate? Because if I read the story right, the Republicans gave away the store.

The article reports:

Aside from reopening the government and agreeing to raise America‘s debt over the current $16.7 trillion limit, the Republicans made several other concession to President Obama and the Democrats. One such example is that Obamacare would receive funding. The Republicans would get to take out a portion of the president’s signature legislation, but the law would substantially remain intact.

The article explains that the agreement under discussion would repeal the medical device tax and require better income verification requirements for people looking for government subsidies to pay for their health insurance.

The article concludes:

The GOP surrender comes at a time when it is in a stronger position than it was during the partial government shutdown in 1995/96. The public generally blames both parties and President Obama for the fiscal stalemate. Obama’s approval ratings, meanwhile, have cratered to 37%, the lowest of his Presidency. 

In addition, 61% of the public thinks significant spending cuts have to be part of any deal to lift the debt ceiling. By that, they mean actual cuts, not a “framework” to discuss cuts. 

The House GOP has signaled to the Democrats that it is desperate to end the stand-off. They will, of course, promise that they will have more “leverage” next time. They’ve said that so many times, they probably even believe it. 

The mainstream media is not saying much about this tentative agreement. Based on recent news reports, the Republicans are negotiating with themselves while the President stands back and watches. It really is time for that method of doing things to stop.

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Article Has No Title–It’s Just A Basic Vent!

Harry Truman is credited with saying, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Both the Republicans and the Democrats could learn from that statement.

It is a national scandal that the taxpayers are going to be expected to subsidize the healthcare of Congressional staffers at levels that the taxpayers themselves will not be eligible for. It is also a national scandal that the President, who has the ability to determine where the money goes during a government shutdown, has chosen to shut down the military commissaries and cancel sports events at the military academies. Why doesn’t he simply cut his (and Congress’) expense accounts?

Why have the Democrats refused to meet in conference with the Republicans to resolve the shutdown? This is political theater at its worst.

The government shutdown will end as soon as the President and the Democrats in Congress begin to be blamed for the stalemate. At that point all disagreement on everything will magically disappear.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Way Forward

The whining has already started–Democrats are accusing Republicans of trying to shut down the government. The charge is based on the fact that the Republicans are trying to find a way to defund ObamaCare. Republicans don’t want to shut down the government–the Republicans don’t have the power to shut down the government–they control one quarter of Congress. The Democrats are the only ones who have the ability to shut down the government, but that won’t stop the media from blaming the Republicans.

The Daily Caller posted a story yesterday that offers a solution to this dilemma. As I said, the Republicans do not have the power to stop ObamaCare, but they are looking for ways to defund it.

The article explains:

Republican Rep. Tom Graves and 42 House cosponsors introduced a budget plan Thursday to defund Obamacare without forcing a government shutdown, placing pressure solely on the shoulders of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Graves’ Security, Stability, and Fairness Resolution is a continuing resolution budget bill that offers a fiscal year 2014 budget that keeps the government open but does not fund Obamacare. The Obama administration has already delayed the law’s employer mandate until 2015, after the 2014 midterm elections.

It makes sense for everyone to delay ObamaCare. It is becoming obvious that the law is not ready for prime time. There have already been delays on several aspects of the law, and according to Townhall.com on September 11, not a single state seems  to be completely ready for ObamaCare.

Politically there are two schools of thought on how Republicans should deal with ObamaCare. The idea of defunding the program is one, but there is another one. Some pundits have suggested that ObamaCare should be allowed to go forward because it will most likely collapse under its own weight. That is a gamble I would rather not take, but if the government does shut down, we can be assured that the media will blame Republicans. Frankly, I would like to see the House adopt Tom Graves’ plan.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Something To Consider

I really haven’t made up my mind as to whether or not it is better to defund ObamaCare or simply delay it. The danger of defunding it is that if that causes a government shutdown, the Democrats have a perfect opportunity to change the subject. If Democrats successfully change the subject, they win, ObamaCare goes into effect, and all Americans lose a great deal of both their freedom and their money.

The Heritage Foundation posted an article today explaining why they believe it is better to defund ObamaCare than to delay it. The article points out that ObamaCare is “a massive, government-centered restructuring of American health care.”

The article lists some of the problems with simply delaying ObamaCare:

Simply delaying Obamacare:

  • …doesn’t stop Obamacare from harming people. Regulators could continue to enforce the Health and Human Services (HHS) anti-conscience mandate and issue new Obamacare rules that raise costs and premiums for struggling businesses and families alike.
  • …is a gift to the Obama Administration. Federal bureaucrats have missed nearly half of their self-imposed deadlines to get the law up and running. Why provide them more time to make sure thousands of regulations are entrenched in the private health care sector?
  • …doesn’t stop Obamacare programs from launching. A 53-page Obamacare timeline shows that in 2014 alone, 27 separate Obamacare programs and requirements are scheduled to take effect.

In the article, Heritage’s senior policy analyst Chris Jacobs explains that defunding ObamaCare should not cause a government shutdown. He points out that conservatives do not want to shut down the government, they simply want to defund ObamaCare. My problem with that is my belief that the Democrat party will not allow the Republican party to defund ObamaCare without shutting down the government. Considering the bias in the American media, there is no way the Democrats would have to take responsibility for shutting down the government–the Republicans would be blamed.

I agree that ObamaCare needs to be stopped immediately. I am just not sure it can be done by Republicans who control one part of one branch of our government. I support their cause, I am just not sure if defunding will be successful, and I wonder what it will cost Republicans in the long run.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Would Happen To The Presidential Debates If The Playing Field Were Level

The purpose of this article is not to bring up the Candy Crowley incident again. Ms. Crowley made a mistake that had major political ramifications. That is unfortunate, but every one of us has at some time said things we regretted. If you haven’t, I congratulate you, but I have to admit that my foot occasionally finds its way into my mouth. The mainstream media has played more of a role in presidential politics than they should when they have moderated debates. When George Stepanopoulos asked Mitt Romney about birth control early in 2012, he paved the way for the charges that the Republicans were waging a ‘war on women.’ So what would happen if the debate platform were taken out of the hands of the mainstream media?

DaTechGuy posted a story today about the recent statement by Reince Priebus that if NBC and CNN move forward on their documentary on Hillary Clinton, he will deny those networks access to Republican presidential debates. Those networks realize the part the debates play in skewing the picture Americans have of the candidates. Having the mainstream media moderate the debates as well as report the news probably adds at least 10 points to the approval ratings of Democrat candidates.

Yesterday Breitbart.com commented:

And if past is prologue, CNN and NBC hosting GOP primary debates is a much more effective way to put Clinton in the White House than a Hillary miniseries and documentary. 

The left understand that CNN and NBC are at their most effective at winning elections for Democrats when they hide behind a phony shield of objectivity. For good reason, the left is concerned these Hillary projects might weaken that shield.

DaTechGuy comments:

The problem becomes if you pull out of these debates or keep these people from moderating them then the MSM storyline becomes: “GOP candidates duck real journalists.” and that would be the meme on every single network and their excuse to duck out of coverage.

However the Hillary Movies solve this problem admirably. It provides an excuse, a justification, well of COURSE we can’t have our debates with the people from CNN or NBC. as Renice put it:

It will be extremely interesting to see how this all turns out.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Stacking The Audience

In case you wondered how a President who has presided over the worst economic recovery in American history manages to draw such favorable audiences, the following story might be a clue.

Today the National Review reported that at yesterday’s speech at the University of Central Missouri, students who held tickets but were wearing Tea Party, patriotic, or other clothing deemed to be Republican inspired were not admitted to the speech. Despite the fact that the students held tickets to the event, the students were turned away due to ‘security’ concerns.

The article suggests:

I’d like to offer a helpful tip to all College Republicans who hope to attend an Obama speech in the future: Odds of admission improve if you wear a Che Guevara t-shirt, an “I Heart Kim Jong Uncampaign button, and/or a ballcap displaying the slogan “Obama Girl” prominently above the brim.

We are currently being governed by thugs who specialize in propaganda.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Fireworks on Morning Joe

The Daily Caller reported today on Jay Carney‘s appearance on the Morning Joe Show with Joe Scarborough. Evidently Joe Scarborough was actually looking for information from Jay Carney, and Jay Carney was not willing to be forthcoming.

The article at the Daily Caller posted some of the exchange between the two men:

“At the beginning, you said it was just the Cincinnati office,” Scarborough said. “And then we find out more people in Washington are involved. And then this past week we found out, despite what any of us think of the investigations on Capitol Hill — and I see you smiling, I don’t know that there’s anything to smile about, that it wasn’t a couple of crazy people in Cincinnati, that this information actually went up to the Chief Counsel of the IRS, which was one of two political appointees by the president of the United States and the entire IRS. So it doesn’t sound phony to me, Jay.”

CARNEY: I greatly appreciate that that is the line pushed by Republicans who want Washington to be focused on scandals instead of the economy —
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no, no, no, no, Jay — is that the truth or not? Don’t give me talking points! That doesn’t work on this show. So answer my question, and then let’s talk about the economy.
CARNEY: When you get to the question I’ll answer it—

Looks like some of the Jay Carney charm took a slight vacation. The only involvement by the Republicans in the IRS scandal is that they were the targets of the illegal activity.

Enhanced by Zemanta

When Unions Panic

Last night the Senate reached an agreement to avoid the “nuclear option” that prevented the end of the filibuster in blocking Presidential appointments. So what’s the deal, and what’s it all about?

CNS News reminds us:

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has been very good at getting under Democratic Leader Harry Reid‘s (D-Nev) skin by holding up all sorts of bills and nominations.

But, before you cluck-cluck at the Republicans, it is well to remember that way back in 2005, when they were in the minority, Senate Democrats did exactly the same thing, which led then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) to contemplate the exact same “nuclear option” that Senator Reid was threatening earlier this week.

But there’s more. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Big Labor desperately wants a quorum of at least three National Labor Relations Board nominees to keep issuing pro-union orders that have become the NLRB’s standard operating procedure in the Obama years. Today there are only three board members and Chairman Mark Pearce is set to resign on August 27.
Under Tuesday’s Senate deal, the Obama Administration will agree to withdraw the nominations of the two NLRB board members whom Mr. Obama first appointed in January 2012 as recess appointments though the Senate wasn’t in recess. The President will then nominate two new pro-union board members, whom Republicans won’t filibuster, as well as two GOP nominees. Mr. Trumka gets his new legal quorum.

So why are the unions so concerned? This chart from Google might explain something:

Loss of members means loss of prestige, but there’s more. In June 2010, I reported on the status of union pension funds (rightwinggranny.com):

In a column in the Washington Examiner in April, Mark Hemingway pointed out that the average union pension plan had only enough money to cover 62 percent of its financial obligations.  Pension plans that are below 80 percent funding are considered “endangered” by the government; below 65 percent is considered “critical.”  Union membership is declining, which means that less people are paying into these funds.

Unions have a rightful place in America. However, in recent years they have attempted to usurp power beyond what was their original purpose. Meanwhile, union leaders live like kings and workers pay mandatory dues and struggle to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the unions see the Obama Administration as an opportunity to increase their power and influence (and the wealth of their leaders). Hopefully the next election will restore a balance between unions and those who choose not to join them. Meanwhile, the Republicans are making some really bad decisions.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Two Perspectives On The Massachusetts Special Election

Yesterday Massachusetts voted for Ed Markey to replace John Kerry in the Senate. Massachusetts is a very blue state, so the results were not really a surprise, but as Scott Brown has proved, a Republican can win in Massachusetts. Scott Brown won one election. He didn’t win the second time he ran. The first time Scott Brown ran for the Senate he had the support of the Tea Party. Scott Brown made it very clear that he was not a conservative, but that he opposed ObamaCare, the issue of the day. The second time Scott Brown ran, he ran as sort of a generic independent and distanced himself from the Tea Party. He lost. Therein lies the lesson.

Michael Graham posted an article in the Boston Herald today about yesterday’s election.

Michael Graham reports:

The Gomez candidacy is the perfect reflection of the thinking of the failed Massachusetts Republican party leadership. Find a Republican who doesn’t like Republicans, make it someone with money to self-finance all the local consultants who need jobs, and — if possible — a woman or minority.

Have them run on the “I can’t wait to work with those great Democrats in D.C.” platform, spend as much time as possible criticizing the national GOP, and then ride that tide of independent voters to victory!

Gabriel Gomez met all those qualifications. And, as happened 99 times before, he lost.

DaTechGuy posted an article on his blog this morning that said pretty much the same thing in different words. He relates the events on the form of a fairy tale:

Once upon a time there was a political party in Massachusetts called the GOP that regularly lost elections for National office and that party had a choice to make.

For the 2nd time in four years they had a chance to face a Democrat after a tough primary race alone on a ballot without city counselors, town clerks,  governors counselors, ballots questions ,  state reps or senators that might have voters who supported them to help increase the Democrat party vote.

The last time this happened everyone, including the party expected to lose.  But the Tea Party base was energized, they volunteered in large numbers and they helped draw volunteers and funds from members of the GOP base nationwide.  Their candidate, with nothing to lose,  embraced that base and highlighted a single key issue that polled well among both the party and independents who made up the majority of the electorate in the campaign.

DaTechGuy points out that when Republican candidates alienate the Tea Party they lose. It’s not that the Tea Party is all that powerful, but the fact is that recently any enthusiasm and ideas in the Republican Party have come from the Tea Party.

The traditional Republican party has become part of the Washington establishment–they are more interested in holding on to power than representing the American people. There is very little difference between establishment Republicans and Democrats. The Tea Party is a direct threat to the Washington establishment–they want smaller government, lower taxes, transparency in government, etc. The Republican and Democrat parties represent themselves and the low-information voters who have no idea what is going on. As more Americans wake up to the direction our government is taking us, there will be fewer establishment candidates and more people who actually want to serve in office. Unless the establishment Republicans embrace the Tea Party, they will become a permanent minority party. As long as the Democrats have the unions and low-information voters, they will maintain their power in states like Massachusetts.

Enhanced by Zemanta

I Wondered About This When I First Heard It

Yesterday Hot Air posted a story about the Democrat‘s claim that the e-mails regarding Benghazi had been doctored by the Republicans. That claim was made by Dan Pfeiffer on his Sunday round of talk show appearances. So what is the story behind the claim?

The article reports:

Nothing was “doctored.” Following the House report, Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard revealed a significant amount of new detail, followed by Jon Karl at ABC News. Both Hayes and Karl refer to summaries of the emails, meaning they presumably relied a great deal on the notes of those at the March 19 White House briefing. Karl inaccurately quotes from one email, which may have been based on faulty note-taking or some other error. While this is significant, the email in question exists and has the same core content as the email quoted by Karl — there was no wholesale fabrication.

The article explains why some of the initial reports were not totally accurate:

The incorrect versions – and they were inaccurate quotes – were not generated by GOP operatives. They were extracted by ABC’s Jon Karl from notes taken by attendees at the original meeting when the White House refused to initially allow anyone to have copies which could have been used for full referencing. ABC went with the notes, being the closest thing anyone had to an official record, and the GOP worked off those notes.

As the scandal continues, pay attention to who says what and question everything you read or hear. That is the only way we will ever get to the truth.

Enhanced by Zemanta

About Those Airport Flight Delays

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the flight delays the traveling public has been experiencing and their solution.

I love the opening paragraph of the article:

The Democrats proposed sequestration as part of a package to secure an increase in the debt ceiling, but they never expected it to go into effect. When it did, they felt double-crossed, apparently because they thought Republicans owed it to them to fold like a cheap suit, as usual. When the Republicans figured out that sticking with the sequester was a pretty good outcome–it represented a modest, but real, restraint on federal spending, which is what Republicans always say they want–the Democrats went to Plan B.

Plan B or course was cutting in places where the cuts would be most visible and hurt the American public the most. There was no regard for what was good for the country. But some Americans are getting smarter and seeing through the game that is being played. First of all–they are not cuts–they are cuts in the rate of growth. Second of all–some of the Republican leadership is as guilty as the Democrats on this one. The only people in Congress who seem to have any idea that government spending is truly out of control are some of the House Republicans–generally not the leadership.

Yesterday The Hill posted the following:

The House on Friday passed legislation that would let the government redirect millions of dollars to air traffic controllers’ salaries and expenses in a bid to end sequester-related furloughs that have caused flight delays around the country.

Members approved the Reducing Flight Delays Act in an overwhelming 361-41 vote, just a day after the Senate approved the same bill by unanimous consent. A two-thirds vote was needed, as House leaders called it up as a suspension bill.

The bill was sent directly to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

The vote is a victory for House Republicans, who had been pushing for a restructuring of the $600 million sequester cut to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to avoid air traffic controller layoffs. In contrast, Democrats were looking for a broader solution to the sequester that included new taxes.

As John Hinderaker points out in the Power Line article, the sequester does not need a solution–it is a solution. I guess The Hill hasn’t figured that one out yet.

The article at Power Line concludes:

One of conservatives’ chief frustrations for a generation is that most Americans say the federal government spends too much money, and wastes too much money, yet it has proved more less impossible to convert this consensus into meaningful spending cuts. Perhaps the sequester will be seen, with hindsight, as the moment when the American people finally said “Enough,” and meant it.

I hope so.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Will Congress Ever Have The Integrity To Pass A Law Requiring Its Members To Live Under The Laws It Passes?

When America was founded, the idea was that average Americans would go to Washington to serve in government for one or two terms and then return to private life, living under the laws they had passed while in Washington. Unfortunately, that principle has gone the way of corsets and hoop skirts.

Yesterday Politico posted an article with the headline, “Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption.” Really? If it isn’t good enough for Congress, let’s repeal it on the spot. There is no reason to keep a law in place if Congress does not want to live under it.

The article reports:

Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.

It is becoming very obvious that Obamacare is a mess. It is unfortunate that the Republicans have not come up with an alternative they could bring to the floor and pass to replace it.

The article reports:

Republicans, though, haven’t been able to coalesce around a legislative health care plan of their own, either. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) pushed a bill this week that would shift funds from a health care prevention fund to create a high-risk pool for sick Americans. That bill couldn’t even get a vote on the House floor as conservatives revolted, embarrassing Cantor and his leadership team. GOP leadership pulled the bill.

Is there anyone in Washington who has a clue?

Enhanced by Zemanta

All Politics Is Local

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill is credited with the quote “All politics is local.” I will admit to having a tendency not to follow local politics, but tonight there was a local political event that was a tribute to both the Democrat and Republican parties.

Tonight was Plainville Candidates Night. The event was sponsored by the Plainville Democratic and Republican Town Committees and was a shining example of successful bi-partisanship.

Representatives for two of the Republican candidates for the U. S. Senate seat spoke at the meeting. Bill Rivers, who represented Michael Sullivan, emphasized Michael Sullivan’s experience as the Plymouth Country District Attorney, U. S. Attorney and with the ATF.  Mr. Rivers pointed out that Michael Sullivan had prosecuted both the shoe bomber and and former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Tom Finneran. Michael Sullivan is tough on crime, and while a U. S. Attorney started a bureau to investigate healthcare fraud. The economy and jobs are his primary issue, and he supports a balanced budget.

Dan Winslow was represented by Justin Henson. Dan Winslow currently serves in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Representative Winslow has served as a Wrentham district judge and as chief legal counsel for Governor Romney. Representative Winslow has been endorsed by Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation. He supports revising the tax code and lowering tax rates. Representative Winslow supports the Second Amendment and has an A+ rating from the Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) in Massachusetts.

The evening continued with local candidates–some running unopposed and some running opposed. The evening culminated with the four candidates for the Board of Selectmen–Andrea Soucy, Mark Blinten, Clinton Crocker, and John Mutascio. The final question to each candidate was, “Why You?” There were four distinct answers:

Andrea Soucy–’Institutional Memory’–experience in negotiating for the town, “knows where the bodies are buried”–knows the organizations in town.

Mark Blinten–young person with new thoughts and new outlooks that could be beneficial–change can be a good thing–wants to bring community together–town needs fresh ideas and new opportunities.

Clinton Crocker–read recommendations and evaluations from two former Wood School principals–interacts and communicates effectively.

John Mutascio–has worked in town and met many residents–volunteered in Plainville–served on the Planning Board for more than a year.

Candidates night was recorded for Cable TV and will be broadcast on Plainville’s local access cable channel. If you are a resident of the town, I strongly suggest you watch the program to learn more about the candidates.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta