Friday, April 29, 2011

The Obama “Race Card” From Whoopie to Letterman “Hollywood” Knocks Trump - The Ugly Truth of Unintended Consequences

The latest celebrity to jump on the “Race Card “angle of the 2012 Obama Campaign appears to be late night talk show host David Letterman. In a recent interview with Dr. Phil, Letterman said that Trumps questioning of the President’s birth certificate and college records, “smacks of racism”. It appears to be somewhat recycled: Back in 2008 a piece from Ben Smith, suggested that McCain would receive the racist vote (or those would not vote for Obama. The fact that 46 percent of the U.S. Public did not vote for Obama, rather McCain, apparently makes them racists as well. and that’s when the insanity began.

If one Google's “those who voted for Obama racism”, one can find a series of articles written in the 2008 period suggesting that either McCain was a racist or those that voted for the “ticket” were somehow racist. It is, perhaps, the most ludicrous charge ever presented by those who want to grab a piece of the limelight while at the same time, sticking it to “Brand X” Republican running against Obama. The problem with the theory, however, fails to explain the Caucasians who overwhelming did vote for Obama in the 2008 election. The fact that someone does not agrees with a person political affiliation, and/or past voting history, or current actions, apparently makes that persona racist if the target of the non-vote or disagreement on policy happens to be one Barack Obama.

In 2003, when George Bush was running for a second term against John Kerry, the question was ”How did George Bush Get into Yale?” (Journal Sentinel). There was much ado about the grades President Bush may have produced, and it was assumed that John Kerry, the Democrat who ran against Bush in 2004, was a genius whose grades bested Bush by a wide margin. Only problem was that both men has less than stellar grades, once they were released proved them to be “parallel”. Yet the perception persists by liberals and the press: Bush is basically not that smart.

Therefore, the attacks on Bush and his intellect, to the attacks on McCain, and now Trump for being “racists” are nothing more than attacks of conservatism. The later, however, having the unintended consequences of ramping up racism, especially among today’s youth, the whole group that will be voting in 2012. Those who are tired of the, what amounts to BS from the press and people they either never heard of from Hollywood or would not watch, are now leaning anywhere but Obama.

Meanwhile, Trump comes out and questions the President’s birth certificate, which is summarily produced, and asks to immediately move onto more important issues – like unemployment, inflation and jobs, but not before getting in a jab about the authenticity of the document. It is vintage Trump style. Now, those in news and those who are polling assume that Trump rise in the polls is due to the fact that he questioned Obama’s birth certificate and since those must be Republican’s leaning towards trump, they must also be “birthers” (or those who question Obama’s eligibility), and therefore, might even have voted for McCain, therefore – Trump receives the racist vote.

Herein in the reason that Obama got elected: he received support from all races, religions and ethnic groups in a number greater than McCain because a) McCain’s campaign made mistakes and was also tainted with the “Bush” brush and b) Obama over promised on everything from middle class tax cuts to the unemployment numbers to a greater respect for the nation in the world view. In other words, Caucasians, men and women, young and old, voted for Obama because they felt he would make a better President than McCain, not because he was the first African-American candidate. Proving, one would think, that race is a non-issue in Presidential policies, it is policy that Trumps.

In reviewing the policies of the Obama administration and where the nation stands now, a growing percentage of the voting public is just uncomfortable with the decisions the President has made – his approval ranks are down, not because he is African American, but because he is perceived as incompetent (Ties into Trump asking for his college records vis a vis college record asked and answered for one George Bush). The fact that American’s are allowed to question the ability and policies of a President, a Senator, a Congressman, a Mayor, has nothing to do with race and everything to do with competence. Unless of course, you’re the press or members of the entertainment industry who feel they need a boost in ratings, or should at the least, jump on the “Democrat Candidates bandwagon” using every conceivable weapon in an arsenal available for that candidate to get him (or her) elected.

In the case of the current President, they apparently cannot argue on anything other than “Trump is A Racist” and if it were Huckabee in the running, or Plain, or name a Republican, and this includes the ever side-winding, issue moderate, Mitt Romney, they would also be a racist, for running against Obama, and God forbid, potentially asking the tough questions about why the country has gone to hell in a hand basket based on the man’s policies. It is glaringly apparent at this point, that Obama is incapable of running on a record, or on future promises, as the public, for the most part, will not buy a second time. Trump, not unlike Reagan (both called clowns, and buffoons’ upon thinking of entering the race), had to dodge questions about competence based on the fact that they were – somehow not Democrats.

Fortunately for Trump, or Palin or Huckabee or Romney, and/or a possibly unnamed candidate, whoever runs on the 2012 GOP ticket, has a majority of the electorate looking critically at the President, and although they will take time vetting the GOP candidates, it will be on the real issues. The more that the press and their counterparts in entertainment, continue crying “wolf!” (race), the more the public will be turned towards the GOP candidate. It is because those who voted for McCain know they were doing so based on either party loyalty or a preference for policy, rather than a vote against candidate Obama because of race. Alternately, those that did vote for Obama on the basis of his promises and slogan of “Hope and Change”, not on race (as seriously was suggested as “white guilt”: see article ”Will American’s Vote for Obama again due to White Gilt Here in the 2012 election No kidding.

Are there those who voted against Obama because he was an African American – quite possibly true, but to believe that the majority of American’s who did defies reason. The same way that those who voted against McCain because a) he was old (ageism) and b) he had a female running made (sexism), were, again, not in the majority.
Some of the reasons that people are not voting for Obama in 2012 include:
The economy
The lack of jobs
His perceived lack of leadership both at home and abroad
He’s old news and not a big celebrity anymore.

The later from the youth vote: who also could not name the vice president they voted for while voting for Obama in 2008. They will not know the 2012 GOP’ bottom of the ticket either, unless that ticket is Trump and pick a celebrity.

There should, seriously be a test for voters.

How do they feel about being charged a racist? Ask the African-American students who like the Donald – they don’t read the newspapers, they read online blogs, and live on Facebook and Twitter along with their Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic peers. – Ask your 18 year old’s friends, the answer will shock you – they know they aren’t racist, they do know they are afraid for their future; they want a President who looks like he can “run things”.
So do a lot of old white women, white men, middle income men and women, Republican’s, the majority of Independents and a segment of Democrats who are more moderate than “Progressive”?

Expect the charges to intensify, expect the press and Hollywood to get more ridiculous as the time grows closer to the GOP choosing a candidate. It is what it is, policy, and there are major mistakes in policies, those that one’s friends and admirers continue to make regardless of the fact that it is going to have the opposite intended result.

Therefore, should Obama lose the election to “name a Republican”, then the prevailing theory will be that a) 30% of liberals, all of the members of the Press and several entertainer will be moving to Canada, and the majority of the U.S. voting population are racists!

Therapists are going to make millions.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

MA Govenor Deval Patrick to Public Employee Unions After Loss of House Vote – “This is Not Wisconsin”…Because He Hasn’t Signed the Bill Yet!

Massachusetts Union Demonstrations Over Anti-Collective Bargaining Bill - Sure Looks Like Wisconsin! image WBUR

From: The Worcester Telegram and Gazette: Deval Patrick (D) Massachusetts told unions to “dial down the rhetoric”, after the House voted 113 to 42 to allow the Commonwealth’s Cities and Towns to change co-pays and deductibles on Union contracts in order to avoid layoffs. The roll call available here at” shows the majority of Democrat legislatures voting with the reality of the Commonwealth drowning in debt.

The fact, again, that Patrick, who insists that this is “not Wisconsin” failed to mention as the Gazette points out, that the major difference in the two bills, is that Massachusetts’ has not yet reached his desk. It has to first go to the Mass. Senate, however, should it pass the Senate, the Governor, does not have the right to veto the legislation.

The Unions next target: The Massachusetts Senate.
It is not that they do not understand that without a change in the system, they are faced with layoffs; it is that the unions prize the fact that they can invest themselves in the legislative process, in order to continue to hold sway over its membership. Layoffs are all but guaranteed should this measure not pass the Senate.

The question now arises; how many of the rank and file are willing to take a chance at being layer off, without the security of continued unemployment checks that, in the current economic climate (rising food, fuel costs), would push them into penury. Additionally, with the Federal Government Stimulus end, the budget battle at the Federal Level with Republican’s asking for major concession from the Democrats in order to balance the budget, and those Democrats, to borrow a phrase from the Governor “dialing up the rhetoric” over giving up one red cent of spending, how long can the Federal Government be able to fund the States?

The ridiculous cost of health care insurance plans in Massachusetts, due to the Mandated Health Care bill, and few choices in carriers to allow competition to drive pricing downward, is causing the cities and town of the Commonwealth to seriously look at staff reductions including essential police and fire, and public workers – others include teachers. The big problem: The States are asking those employees of the towns and cities to join a health care plan that is now offered to workers at the State Level.

This is not Wisconsin? Oh yes it is.

It is not that the Massachusetts municipal public employee’s union members will not have health care that is the problem; it is that they will lose “collective bargaining” rights should this bill pass. The fact that these “salaried union officials”, hired by and for the union, are holding sway over the fiscal futures of their membership, as well as the health and well-being of the individuals in Massachusetts towns and cities, who face reductions in Police and Fire, shows just how powerful the unions believe they have become, just as their membership continues to decline.
The Massachusetts State Employees Health Plan options here at show eleven different benefits plans from which to choose, with month rates (published as of 2020 here at that are to say the least, less than the Commonwealths’ Connector (universal health care plan) that is not offering, according to its website, plans to new enrollees. Those costs for family plans on a level with the State Employees can run up to $3,264.81 per month!
for State mandated insurance from the Commonwealth.

Therefore, should one be laid off, the future isn't too rosey: the economy continues to decline and tax revenues spiral downward, as there may be additional layoffs in the private tax paying sector, coupled with the rising costs of food and fuel, which may force residents to move to more tax friendly states, those extra tax dollars to pay for municipal plans may be something that no longer exists. Massachusetts is broke.

That would leave the employees: fire, police, public works, and yes, teachers, without a job, without health care and without control over their own density all because some highly paid union bosses do not want to give up their power over the employees and/or the Commonwealth.

It is not that employees across the board, that face danger and harm every day, be it fire, police and or those who work in the variety of department of public work across the commonwealth do not need a union, they do – but they need a union that cares about the employees enough to make sane choices for them when it comes to losing a few battles to win the greater war. It is mind-boggling that these men and women, who protect and serve us, are being forced to lose everything in favor of a union official that will lose nothing. (Unless of course, that union official no longer has any “rank and file” left).

There are a few fine points that are in the article that also bring up questions about the relationship of unions and the Commonwealth. Again from the Gazette
Patrick makes note that the unions will have a seat at the table of during the legislative process, and additionally, the final version of the House bill included: a measure would let unions share in 20 percent of the savings. It also would allow sharing up to 10 percent of savings from other insurance coverage changes they agreed to by unions.
One thing of note: the unions will share in 20 percent of the savings, not the rank and file.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2012 GOP Update – Trump Heads to New Hampshire - Ups the Ante with Meet and Greets with Likely Voters Today – Close To MA Far From Hollywood

Donald Trump first foray today into New Hampshire, image Western

From The Union Leader, Granite State: Donald Trump, potential 2012 GOP Presidential candidate, has two visits to the Nation’s first primary state: one today in Portsmouth, and one on May 11th at a Greater Nashua Chamber event. The stops today will include several businesses in Portsmouth to meet with locals, and although one shop has confirmed the visit with local media, the New Hampshire GOP noted that the schedule has not been published. Trump is expected to travel with heavy security and will make stops in Dover and Portsmouth. The shop owner that “leaked” the visit to local media, Maine-ly New Hampshire, has hosted candidates from both political parties over the years, and features products made in the Granite State. The fact that Trump is headed to New Hampshire willing to meet with “the locals” indicates just how serious he is regarding a bid for the presidency. It will be interesting to see how and if the U.S. media covers this first foray – if they intend to focus on the more controversial subjects that Trump brings to bear or if they will stray from the sensational and report on Trumps economic views, which are, obviously the businessman’s strong suit.

Trump, who in recent polls, from several different pollsters including Gallup, where he tied for first place with Mike Huckabee, indicate that he is, at the present time, viewed as a viable contender for the top slot. Although he has been compared by blogs and some in the media, to 1992 candidate, independent Ross Perot, since a report in a a Wall Street Journal article earlier in April, indicated that he might consider running as an independent if he did not win the nomination. However, since that report was released, Trump has since made statements that he would not do anything to jeopardize the chances of getting Obama out office, including a run as an independent.

Hollywood continues to weigh in, first comedian Jerry Seinfeld, then Charlie Sheen and Robert Di Nero offered their “take” on Trump as a “used car salesman” and “terrible person” (LA Times Blogs), which, one has to take with a grain of salt, even when Trump fires back and defends himself. The fact that the aforementioned, although talented in their fields, could use the “exposure”, as the media is sure to report, ad naseum that Trump is a “horrible person” for calling out members of the Hollywood crowd, it remains to be seen just how much weight, if any, these types of individuals carry – the first response is that they will of course, appeal to a fan base that is like-minded, and secondly, not unlike Tina Fey’s beef with Sarah Palin, can justify their own failures and low ratings and show cancellations (or lack of any job period), by blaming the politician’s or potential politician’s “followers”, thus giving them a few more minutes in the spotlight.

Trump, whose popularity, especially among Republican and Republican leaning independents, is based most likely on the fact that he is straight forward and says what the thinks, regardless of how not politically correct he is when making a certain statement. Frankly, it can be refreshing to hear someone lay it out, fearless of the consequences of speaking one’s own mind – it is especially appealing to those who might now be suffering from the nations economic malaise, who are ready to forgive a media faux pax such as asking for a birth certificate and or college thesis from the President, in exchange for business intellect and a chance that Trump might just right the ship and bring badly needed jobs into the country. One cannot imagine Trump for example, setting up a commission to study a problem that is causing $5.00 to $6.00 per gallon gasoline, (when as Sarah Palin recently noted, individual states have already done these studies), rather he would most likely tell OPEC where to go, while lifting the ban on oil drilling by U.S. companies in the U.S., and cutting the Federal Gas Tax until supply drove down the price of oil. That perceived reaction is fueling his popularity.

Back to the New Hampshire visit – not for nothing is this possibly one of the strongest tests for Trump as he goes into Mitt Romney’s back yard – it will of course, remain to be seen how many Massachusetts New Hampshire bound cars will be heading to Portsmouth today, not to beat the sales tax (of course that is a plus), but to possibly get to meet Trump and ask him a question or two? It is, after all, only an hour from Boston, 2 hours from Springfield, and about a half hour from the border town of Haverhill – a proverbial hop, skip and jump in terms of New England travelers. Judging from the Google queries for Maine-ly New Hampshire (or Maine-ly New England), one can bet that the coverage and or the crowds will bode well for New Hampshire businesses, as well as Trump. (As of 6:22 a.m. Wed. 4/27/11)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2012 Update: Iowa Huckabee Ties Obama in Latest Poll, National GOP Trump and Huckabee Tied

The latest Iowa Presidential poll by Public Policy Pollingsees former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tied with President Obama at 45% each , Mitt Romney is the next closest GOP “possible” contender garnering 41% to Obama’s 45%. The pollster notes that the “good news” for Obama is that he is besting GOP potential candidates Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump by “double digits”, however, the bad news is in the marginals - 50% of those surveyed voted for Obama in 2008, with the makeup of the poll: 38% Democrat, 33% Republican and the balance Independent/other. The shift if political think in this particular group sees the independent’s leaning towards a GOP candidate – it appears there is less of an “interest” in the “rock star” candidate, now President, Obama.

Although recently launching his bid for re-election via Facebook, the President’s 2012 Campaign Website: appears to be drawing little fanfare at this point. When one visits the forums section of the website<= one need only plug in their zip code to find other Obama enthusiast in their area. In a test of the site, using the feature “newest groups created”, one finds several new area support groups, each with one to three “fans” who are “in”. In a specific search in the heart of Massachusetts (blue), and visits the Springfield MA group – one finds that the “fans” originally signed up in 2007 and 2008, with a quick members search showing no new fans since those dates. To search in your area, go to the find a group section here, plug in your zip code, and multiple groups will appear some public, others “private”. The Public groups are accessible – to view membership in a public group, click on the plus sign inside a circle graphic to the right of the Directory bar.

One would think that at this point, in the bluest state, the President would be drawing new devotees, especially this “late” in the campaign. The fact that it is truly “early” in terms of campaigns and while the majority of the press assails the GOP for not producing candidates who are committed to running at this point, most Presidential campaigns prior to 2007 did not fully form until mid-summer of the year before – this gives Huckabee, Romney, Trump, or someone yet unnamed time to throw their hat in the ring, despite the prevailing media think.

In the PPP Iowa Poll, one has to consider that Huckabee won Iowa in the GOP caucus in 2008 and continues to have ground support in that state, however, he also has topped the Gallup national poll, and the latest poll shows the former governor tied with businessman, Donald Trump for the GOP nomination. The poll taken April 22 shows Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin as the only other candidates in “double digits”. These “polls” and results will of course, drive some decisions as to who may or may not enter the race, however, should Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump enter, along with Romney, Palin, Ron Paul (who announced his exploratory committee yesterday, Michelle Bachman, and others mentioned as “possible”, it is, despite the dogma from those who do not lean “conservative”, a fine group of possible candidates from which to choose the next potential leader of the U.S. Both Trump and Huckabee have more extensive experience in “management” than the balance of the candidates, with Palin and Romney having approximately equal time in government management positions. (Romney’s term as Governor of Massachusetts, and Palin's term as Governor of Arkansas prior to being Mayor of Wasilla, AK). The entire group, with few exceptions has held more business/governing posts than the current occupant at the White House.

This race, as it rounds the spring of 2011 and heads towards summer, with the current anxiety levels across all spectrums of the population vis a vis the economy, gives the edge to Huckabee and Trump (and this is despite Trumps “negatives” i.e.: the press), who both have had experience pulling either a State and or a business from less than stellar status into “winners”. In an interview on Fox, commentator Dick Morris may have hit the nail on the head when he noted (paraphrasing): “What we need are winners”, in reference to his predication that Trump could indeed win the presidency.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Massachusetts Unions Battle to Retain Full Health Care Bargaining Rights As Stimulus Funds End – State Cannot Continue to Fund Cities Employee Benefit

FromThe Boston Globe: The Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee in attempting to patch together a FY 2012 budget post Stimulus, has had to make some serious cuts, one of which is aid to municipalities that continues to fund union employee Cadillac health plan. Instead, the Ways and Means committee has proposed giving each town and municipality the right to set co-pays and deductibles in order to make ends meet. The Massachusetts Municipal Association is supportive of the measure, noting in a recent press release, that the legislation is critical to controlling costs and avoiding layoffs.

Revere Mayor Thomas Ambrosino joined the other local and school officials in thanking House Speaker Robert DeLeo and House Ways and Means Chair Brian Dempsey for putting forth “the most critical piece of municipal relief legislation in years.”

“In many communities, like Revere,” he said, “the increase in the single line item for health insurance exceeds what we can raise under Proposition 2 1/2 for the year. After four years of local aid cuts, this is a way for us to finally gain some financial relief.

“We look at this as a job-savings bill,” Ambrosino said. “Without this kind of relief, many communities will be looking at laying off union employees.”

In the overview from the Massachusetts House Budget the language primarily states that “tough choices” need to be made in light of the loss of the Federal Stimulus. There are also proposals in the budget to place a moratorium on all new Mandated Health Benefits in the State until July of 2012, along with some other tough choices not yet brought to light by the press.

The unions have been pressuring Massachustts law makers to stand against the proposal giving towns and municipalities the ability to set co-pays and deductibles on employees medical plans from Salem News: members of employees unions would be given an option to join a plan that is “still better than the private sector”

The Unions declined.

The question is: with Massachusetts taxpayers a dying breed, with the Federal Government essentially broke, where do the unions expect the Commonwealth to find the cash? Raise taxes on the “wealthy” of course. The problem lays in the fact that the wealthy also have left the state, and so have the corporations. In reality it is less about the benefits, and more about the potential loss of control over the legislative process and the employees under their thumb that has left the union representatives and those elected officials opposing the plan (after speaking with the union representatives) without a fiscal brain.

One has to ask, what cuts will be made for FY2013, if the trend of higher gas prices, food and dwindling tax base forces the Commonwealth and the Federal Government to make even tougher choices – although this is the “election season” – without cutting waste (See Report whereby 100 billion dollars in wasteful spending was found, and yet, not addressed.) and restructuring the budget process at the federal level, while continuing to support current and new entitlement pogroms, the buck will come to a screeching halt, and there will simply be no money to pay for anything.

The problem with is that this is an election year therefore: if the Republicans suggest making slight changes to the current social security program (raising the retirement age for those born after 1955, for example) to age 67, they are out to take your grandmothers social security away. If they defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that actually collects from insurance carriers, and has private donors and is capable of being self-sustaining – the Republicans are out to murder women – it is the insanity of the public debate as it applies to appeasing one’s base in elections that one apparently looses site of the fact that – there is no money.

The Unions may have to give up more than they bargained for: should the State (pick one) due to the end of the Stimulus Funds (not a surprise they were only to last 2 years), all those that were hired under this program, will lose their jobs. If the unions are not willing to allow the municipal employees to take a cut in medical program benefits (a cut which, again, would be better than the private sector), they are not dealing with the reality of the huge loss of income from dues that will result in having fewer employee pockets to pick in the end run. Therefore, one has to understand just how serious the conditions are when the Democrats on Beacon Hill in the Bluest State of Massachusetts, start to look at ways to cut entitlements – this is a sign that the end of big government will come as the reality of high corporate taxes sending jobs overseas, the increasing burden on state taxpayers causing them to flee in droves, (to states that have better tax options) leaving the Commonwealth (and similar states) with little more than hope and some pocket change.

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