Saturday, March 07, 2009

Obama to Carter to Hoover - Unemployment, Inflation and Failed Economic Policies

"Obama Talks Up Stimulus" image:

The Economic Outlook continues to decline as job losses this February were at 651,000, AFP bringing the unemployment rate to 8.1, with an overall 5.1 million American’s out of work. To counter the bad new, Obama is busy touting his job creating stimulus package, visiting Columbus Ohio, where 25 public jobs were “saved” by "stimulus". The Boston Globe reported that the President does know that there are greater job losses, but that he is indeed saving jobs; offering the 25 positions on the Cleveland Police Force as “proof” of accomplishment. The Globe, befriending the Republican Party, reiterated that “the stimulus - drew scant Republican support in Congress.”

The problem that President Obama now faces is the endless and eerily spot-on comparisons to former President Jimmy Carter – from high unemployment to an optimistic outlook in the face of disaster.

Carter Praying (for a miracle) photo upi

During the Carter Presidency, 7.3 million people we’re unemployed, carter introduced a “stimulus” which resulted in run-away inflation. Carter’s (Obama's) reaction (from Time):

Though the figures made gloomy reading, President Carter pressed ahead with his Pollyannaish forecast, telling accounting firm executives that recently lowered interest rates and a hoped-for drop in inflation by this summer mean that the nation has "turned the corner" on the economy. In fact, it looks as if U.S. business has turned the corner and come face-to-face with an unexpected precipice.

Herbert Hoover, image

What is most interesting is that Carter was also compared to a former President - Herbert Hoover. In 1979, New York Times Columnist Seymour Melman, dubbed Carter – “Jimmy Hoover” “Intended or not, Jimmy Carters’ new budget, with its unprecedented $125.8 billion for the military, will intensify inflation and other economic decay. It reminds us that there was a lesson in the inability of President Herbert Hoover and his advisors to fathom the causes of the Great Depression. Apart from intention, wrong assumptions about economic behavior produce not only scientifically incompetent theories but also policies that fail. The result of Mr. Hoover’s assumptions are known. The Carter mechanism, while still in process, is predictable.

It goes without saying that as the nation stands upon the edge of an economic precipice of Carter and Hoover proportions, that history also indicates political fortunes of these three hapless Presidents will also align. Unfortunately, so will the fortunes of so many Americans. Unless and until a voice of reason cuts through the rhetoric and political ideology, by cutting the fat from the government first, giving the private sector some hope, and invest in the taxpayer by an increase in the current tax cuts under the Obama administration, and extend those to business as well. It is no shame to break a few promises to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, if it means saving the country pain and suffering for generations to come.

Email for copy or instructions on obtaining a copy of the New York Times Article “Jimmy Hoover”

Friday, March 06, 2009

Rasmussen: Obama Approval Rating: 41%

Rasmussen’s Daily Tracking Poll for March 5, reports that 41% of those surveyed strongly approve of Obama’s job performance. In the pollsters, “By the Numbers” segment, 43% now believe he is “more ethical than other politicians”, while 69% believe the President to be “politically liberal”. As of this time, Gallop’s Daily Tracking was not released due to a storm that shut down polling offices, the last poll released showed an increase in support for the President’s Stimulus package by Democrats to a whopping 59%, but among independents (or those who decide elections), the support has gone “flat”. The last report by Gallop, was released on February 11th.
There appears to be “Trouble in River City”.

In an AP article released this morning, entitled ”How long will Americans wait for economic change?”>, the question regarding the continuous downfall of the economy is placed squarely on the shoulders of the new administration:

For Americans, the question is: How long will the economic crisis last? For President Barack Obama, it's how long will the public wait before they start demanding results?
For some people, like Ron Zick of Glenview, Ill., there's no time to waste.
"My level of patience for the entire situation we are in is zero," said Zick, a small business owner.

One would have to live in a bubble (or be so ideologically committed to a Political Party/Persona), not to understand that the honeymoon with the general public is over. What is stunning is the fact that the time involved for the general public to become un unenamored of the current administration, is less than two months into his administration.

Although the economy is, in part to blame, poor choices for nominees to critical posts, reporting from major news organizations that are less than complementary of the President, (ABC News: Obama mischaracterization of data regarding Health Care Reform), to a White House manufactured war on a Rush Limbaugh, a radio talk show host, are all contributing to the distaste of the President and, by reason, the Democrat Party. Additionally, there does not appear to be a remedy to any of the situations, rather, Obama walked into a quagmire, promising left and right to fix everything but the kitchen sink, without the ability to tackle one problem, let alone multiple problems in a short period of time. The American Public, perhaps, one of the most impatient and unforgiving of all cultures, sees his inability to resolve one issue before moving onto the next, as more than “a broken promise”. It remains to be seen what the numbers will be come April or May, however, should this trend continue unabated, Obama will face job disapproval ratings of historical proportions.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Obama Focus: Rush, Healthcare, Abbas - While Rome Burns?

Image - Nero from

Although the economy and the downturn on Wall Street has a good portion of the country in jitters, the current administration is busy dealing with a threat bigger than a few bankers in crisis – the Republican brand. Over the past few days, new coverage regarding radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, has eclipsed the conversation on the economy, possibly even overshadowing Obama’s desire to get the ball rolling on Health Care Reform. This focus on Rush, according to Politico, has been purposefully contrived by members of the administration in an effort to tarnish the Republican Brand. To wit: “Good Luck with that!”

The contrived showdown, between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the President, over budget cuts and pork in proportions never imagined, is yet another added distraction – that will, in the end, result in a signature to all programs in a budget that is sure to haunt generations to come in the form of taxes, taxes and more taxes.

Therefore, the question remains, will the tactic of trying to create a “boogeyman” in the form of a popular radio talk show host, help the DNC and the Obama administration cover their behinds and secure a Democrat Congress majority in 2010? Recall the “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy”, which, without the struggles that are taking place in middle American today, failed miserably – It is incomprehensible how someone who had attended ivy league schools (granted grades were never released) would appear to be blind the fact that, at this point in time, tactics to detract from a bigger issue – might not work – It is, after all, the economy stupid.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Obama Set to Attack “wasteful spending” by Government Contractors - Ignoring Waste in Government Agencies

In an article today from the Associated Press : President Obama is planning to address the issue of contractors, and ways that he feels tens of billions of taxpayer dollars could be saved by taking a different approach. Specifically cited in the article is the President’s fleet of Marine One Helicopters, which have gone “over budget”. Although, it goes without saying that outside contracts can often be pricey to the taxpayer, in reality contractors save the government money in the long run. How so? It has to do with the budget structure currently in place within the Federal government and the way in which government contracts are handled.
In the simplest of terms: When the government outsources a specific job, contractors bid in order to be considered, and in many cases, underbid in order to get the contract. When a contract is underbid, every penny is counted, and some working for contractors must act more like MacGyver, in order to meet federal standards and keep a job both safe and on time.

On the flip side, should a government agency, with a budget of 10 million dollars, find towards the end of the budget year, that they have spent only 8 of that 10 million, ways must be found to spend the rest and quickly, otherwise, the following year’s budget might be reduced or possibly eliminated. Therefore, $15 dollar hammers, and yearly office renovations are not uncommon. It might behoove some President and Congress at some point, in the not too distant future, to treat government agencies in much the same way as it treats these much maligned contractors. Case in point: if an agency comes in under budget, those funds would then be returned to the taxpayer in a reduction of the deficit, those working for the agency, would be rewarded in some way for being fiscally astute, and instead of being penalized, given the exact same budget (or one adjusted for inflation) the falling year. That would save a lot more than 10’s of billions.

That said, it would be out-of-character to actually make changes to what is broken in Washington when it comes to spending as usual, (within a specific party particularly). Expect the rhetoric against “contractors” (sic. The evil Halliburton) to continue, and the fact that the true waste is coming from within our own agencies, to go completely unreported. Unless of course, real "hope" and "change" ever appears in Washigton.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Obama Team Advances Rush Limbaugh As GOP Leader – Limbaugh Aids DNC Strategy

This past week, RNC Chair, Michael Steele made remarks on CNN’s D.L. Hughley show (see You Tube Video Below) that we’re taken somewhat out of context by, talk radio host, Rush Limbaugh and a “feud” of sorts ensued. Michael Steele, in answer to Hughley’s assertion that Rush Limbaugh was the “head of the GOP”, was dismissed by Steele, who referred to Limbaugh as an entertainer, additionally noting that his remarks were “incendiary” and sometimes ugly. Limbaugh, who had spoken at CPAC (an ultra conservative “rally” of sorts - not the RNC Convention), focusing on basic tenants of conservatism, and the “socialist” motives of the Obama association, brought the house down, which prompted the media, aided by Mr. Limbaugh, to anoint Limbaugh as a “leader” within the Republican Party.

Steele, is correct in his assertion that Limbaugh is an entertainer and in the give and take with Hughley noted that there was no difference between remarks made regarding Obama and those made by Democrats during the Bush administration. If one were to look objectively at the interview, one would understand that Steele was doing his job, fending off assertions that Limbaugh, not Steele, was the Head of the RNC (which, note to Limbaugh: the RNC is the Republican Party), not Mr. Limbaugh. Limbaugh, who is not out of line in outlining that conservatism and liberalism are diametrically opposed, speaking out against a “socialist” driven agenda that is being advanced by the Obama administration, was out of line in asserting that Mr. Steele had made a mistake in calling him an entertainer, not the Leader of the Republican Party. One can bet the house that Limbaugh’s ratings have gone through the proverbial roof the past few days, over a conflict that has, in large part, been manufactured by Mr. Limbaugh himself. It is not so much about power, rather it is about ratings. To be fair, Limbaugh, for his part, is sincere in his beliefs, fairly well researched and in his daily diatribes delivered from his Palm Beach studio, giving a voice to conservative think that is otherwise missing in other media formats. However, his language is often contrived and inflammatory, because the man has a sense of humor, and he is “right” on many issues that are near and dear to the hearts of conservatives. Mr. Limbaugh should have been less petty (he is, after all, an entertainer), and instead of attacking Steele for pointing out truisms, he should have attacked the source, the Obama administration and the DNC.

In a clear departure from the norm, the Los Angeles Times, ran an excellent analysis of the “Limbaugh as GOP Leader” theory being promoted by the Obama White House in order to create the illusion that Limbaugh is the head of the GOP. This tactic failed miserably in the 1990’s, with the “vast right wing” conspiracy theory advanced by the Clinton’s. With the exception of those on the “left”, (or 30% of the population), moderates, independents and conservatives do not view Limbaugh as either the head of any party, nor a threat, rather a “conservative talk show host”.

In lending credence to the “fear Rush” mantra coming from the White House, Mr. Limbaugh is not giving credit to Michael Steele, RNC Chair, who is a proven grassroots organizer (GoPAC), and duly elected head of the RNC (otherwise known as the Republican Party). Steele has kept the RNC in the spotlight by appearing on a variety of talk shows, repudiating the bailouts, the Obama administration budget, and basically out-“Rushing” Rush. The difference is that Steele does so with a certain bit of gravitas that is not the bluff and bluster of most conservative talk shows. Both men play critical roles (Steele in leadership and Limbaugh in cheerleading) and giving credit where credit is due; Steele is the bigger man, showing true leadership and political skills in issuing an “apology” to Limbaugh. The quote, here from the AP :

"I respect Rush Limbaugh, he is a national conservative leader, and in no way do I want to diminish his voice," Steele said in a statement late Monday. "I'm sure that he and I will agree most of the time, but will probably disagree some as well, which is fine.”

"The Democrats are doing everything they can to find ways to take people's attention off of their massive 36-billion-dollar-a-day spending spree that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have embarked on. To the extent that my remarks helped the Democrats in Washington to take the focus, even for one minute, off of their irresponsible expansion of government, I truly apologize."

One has to admire Michael Steele; he’s battling bruised talking head ego’s and the DNC. In the analysis of the Obama strategy to create “fear of Republicans” by touting the “Limbaugh as Leader “scenario, the Los Angeles Times, has done a great service to conservatives, giving insight into the true nature of the “Leader of the Free World”. With elections just around the corner (2010), the administration and the DNC understand that time is critical; each week since Obama took office, his approval rating has taken a step down; within the past week, having dropped another point to 58%. One would think that is a fairly decent approval rating, however, losing points on a daily basis cannot bode well for the “leader of the Democrat Party”, and should this trend continue, George Bush, upon leaving office, will have had a higher approval rating than Obama. Given that the majority of the Republic of the United States considers themselves as either moderate or conservative, there is trouble brewing in 2010 in the fight to maintain the Congress and the Senate, without a majority, the President will be stymied.

Without the public buying into “the economy is not my fault, it is George Bush’s fault”, (This public understands that Wall Street’s failure directly affects pension plans held by those who earn less than $50,000 a year, they also understand that for every action taken by the administration, Wall Street has reacted, dropping lower.), the blame will fall squarely on the shoulders of the Democrat brand. The strategy to paint “the evil” of conservatism, failed in the past, as well as bank bailouts and extreme budgets and a “nanny” state (see Carter administration.) Rush would be providing a great service to the RNC (the Republican Party) if he took the time to admit that “Steele” is correct, and become a bit “incendiary” over the “scheme to make him Leader of the Republican Party by the Obama administration. Should that occur, it would be a rallying call to both Conservatives and Moderates within the party, rather than “sheer entertainment”.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Pro-Abortion, Sebelius, Obama’s Choice for HHS – The Catholic Response

Sebelius with Late-Term Abortin Provider, Tiller, photo: Operation Rescue

Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas, has been chosen by President Barack Obama to fill the slot of Health and Human Services Secretary. Sebelius, a professed Catholic, who supports late term abortions, had been asked by , Archbishop Naumann, as recently as spring 2008, to refrain from taking communion (a Catholic Sacrament), unless she made a public statement changing her stance to one of pro-life. While, Catholics, overwhelming have voted with the Democrat Party in past elections, it remains to be seen what will happen in 2010, as high-profile Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Biden, continue to be publicly scolded by the Catholic Church, from the Pope’s scathing reception of Pelosi to the Bishop Joseph Martino, of Scranton, PA, who has banned all pro-abortion officials from St. Patrick’s day festivities, Catholic leaders are stepping up and taking a stand on an issue that is critical to Catholics of Choice, rather than Catholics of Convenience (i.e. politicians).
Kansas, is home to the infamous Dr. George Tiller, who is facing criminal charges for performing late-term abortions in defiance of Kansas State Law. Tiller and Sebelius have a give and take relationship allegedly supporting one another be it the governors campaign or the doctors criminal charges.

The political ramifications are of import as the Catholic Vote is consistently courted by pro-abortion politicians and candidates in direct opposition to the Church’s teaching. One would think that if a candidate held this point of view, it would be a difference between themselves and their specific church, however, many “professed and pro-abortion” Catholic Politician’s, routinely campaign and appeal to Catholics, bringing camera crews along to celebrate a Mass, for instance. One should understand that if these politician’s continue to accept large donations from organizations such as NARAL, which routinely fund and endorse candidates for office based on their contributions to abortion legislation. The website offers a map (here) which allows one to find out if their representatives are “acceptable” to these pro-abortion activists.

Additionally groups such as, left of center, “Catholics for Choice”, routinely support pro-abortion politicians and argue against Church Teaching. These groups appear to be more political than religious, and formed for the sole purpose of providing support for political candidates and pro-choice legislation.
One has to wonder what impact this emboldened Catholic Church will have on future elections, as Church leaders continue to point out to parishioners through services such as the Catholic News Agency, and sermons from the pulpit making voters culpable and subject to confession should they vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

As far as Sebelius is concerned, her acceptance to the post of Health and Human Services, may or may not have an impact; other than media sources suddenly finding that Catholics are now categorized into two groups: those that support abortion and the “right leaning” Catholics. It appears as if suddenly Pope Benedict and Rush Limbaugh have something in common – right wing, conservatives.

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