Saturday, May 16, 2009

Anti-Tax, Sharron Angle (R-NV), forms Exploratory Committee to oust Harry Reid.

Sharon Angle and Family

Sharron Angle, an anti-tax, fiscal conservative, who has an impeccable political pedigree, has announced her intention to run for the U.S. Senate against the decreasingly popular Harry Reid. Angle, a resident of Nevada for the past 50 years, is a traditional conservative– married to the same man for 35, wife and grandmother, who has an outstanding public service record, is throwing down the gauntlet against Harry Reid, whose experiencing a serious decline in popularity in the previously conservative Western State of Nevada.

Angle is not alone in a growing number of Republican members of the “oust Harry Reid” club. According to the Ely News

“ John G. Chachas, a managing director of Lazard Ltd., has been talking to Republican Party bigwigs in Nevada and Washington who are anxious to find a credible challenger to the Senate majority leader, sources said this week.

Chachas declined to comment Thursday on the speculation about his potential candidacy.

Chachas' interest in the race is said to be active but preliminary: He feels strongly that Reid could be felled by a strong opponent and would be willing to step into that role if no other satisfactory candidate does, but he might not make a decision for several months, according to people who have spoken to him and who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity.” Article from 3/29/09.

It has also been rumored that former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, may also be considering a run against the lackluster Reid.

What is interesting in all this is that both men would have roots in Nevada, yet, may be perceived as “carpet baggers”. However, conservatives nationwide, (and those who may lean conservative) are currently inclined to vote (or financially support) against wasteful government spending and for any candidate that is “not” Harry Reid (or Barney Frank or possibly now, Nancy Pelosi).

Interesting facts: The State of Nevada, with a population of approximately, 2,600,167, based on 2008 estimates, has, according to the Secretary of State, Ross Miller (Democrat who recently filed charges against ACORN for voter fraud) there are currently 1,186, 878 registered voters in the State, 519,704 Registered Democrats, 181,233 unaffiliated, and 424,015
Registered Republicans, as of April, 2009.
One might observe that over 50% of the population in Nevada is registered to vote, an interestingly high figure. (See ACORN)

Although early in the 2010 political season, the national interest in Nevada is high, due to the embattled Reid. The taxing problem is just the ticket that may prove to benefit Ms. Engle. Nevada hosted 10 official “tax day tea party’s”, from Carson City to Las Vegas to Reno. Ms. Engle’s record on taxes is strong, and in the current economy, this will stand her in good political steed, regardless of the voters’ political affiliation. For more information on Ms. Engle, visit Sharron H/T to this blogs favorite Chicago Democrats, - read their take here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Beginning of The End – Pelosi Visibly Stumbles Through Press Conference – A Gift to Political Anti-Feminists.

Nancy Pelosi - Damaging Women's Interests at Home and Abroad - photo: cinie's world wordpress (PUMA)

Nancy Pelosi, in pushing for criminal investigations of Bush Administration officials who approved certain “enhanced interrogation” techniques, appeared to be true to form – making good on promises to constituents and leftist groups to prosecute the Bush administration over the Iraq War and specifically, the alleged torture of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay’s Military prison. Pelosi, the First Female Speaker of the House, hails from California’s 8th District, which includes the infamous Mecca of American counter-culture, San Francisco. The City best known for its famed Haight Ashbury neighborhood, where the 1960’s Hippies anti-war and “tune-in and drop-out” culture has its roots, needed a Congressional representative that held solid left-of-center views, although historically and culturally, archaic, which were in sync with the City’s culture. Nancy Pelosi fit that profile, and has spent years perfecting anti-conservative, anti-war, pro-“choose a current cause” rhetoric in order to reach out to those Progressive groups both inside and outside the 8th District – a true Heroine of the Left.

Like so many of those associated with that 1960’s hippies counter-culture, Pelosi has the financial resources at hand in order to maintain her position of power, and has spent her time in the senate promoting and supporting legislation that those in the middle or to the right of center, might find reprehensible. (Considering Women’s Rights to be based soley on abortion, for example – see voting record) More over, like so many prominent leaders of the Feminist Movement, Nancy Pelosi ”married well - and uses the benefit of her husband’s resources to continue to support the ideology that is the 8th district.

Ms. Pelosi was at the top of the heap, Speaker of the House, representing California’s 8th in style, until this past week, when questions began to arise as to Ms. Pelosi’s knowledge of the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques. Apparently, Ms. Pelosi was personally aware of and approved of the use of said techniques, and has spent the last week, back peddling in obvious panic – placing the blame for her support squarely on anyone but herself. This culminated in a total meltdown before journalists yesterday, (You Tube video below) where stringing two coherent words together became difficult for the otherwise lucid Pelosi.

True to form, what is left of the one strong San Fransisco Chronicle gave a slightly different version of events; applauding Ms. Pelosi for accusing the CIA of torture, while pointing out that she has sustained political damage nationwide, which she, will, of course overcome. One has to understand that Ms. Pelosi has become an overnight sensation as the butt of late night television jokes, and her credibility as an effective leader is fast vanishing.

Unfortunately for Ms. Pelosi, despite the fact that she has the full support of the Chronicle, she will face an opponent for her House Seat in 2010. Additionally, residents of the district have full access to news sources other than the Chronicle, and they may be fully aware that, at one point, Ms. Pelosi fully supported the use of the same “enhanced interrogation” techniques that she has so publicly denounced. Further, her inability to formulate a timeline, without the appearance of intentionally misleading her constituents, is where the damage lies. Therefore, despite all the money and the power behind Ms. Pelosi, 2010 may truly be the year in which Cindy Sheehan’s is successful in her quest for the 8th District Congressional seat.

Although one may not hold the same political viewpoints as Ms. Pelosi, the Speaker, did at first, make history for women, by virtue of her position as the first female Speaker of the House. That said, she has, in her inability to remain consistent, failed to represent women nationwide as they truly are, rather she sets an example of one consisted housewife, who’s rich husband financed her into a position two heartbeats away from the President of the United States, and is visibly incapable of maintain grace under pressure. Unlike Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a moderate, (who continues to appeal to those traditional Democrats, Independents and even, yes, Conservative Feminists), Pelosi lacks the centrist credentials that would allow her to save face. (Some may recall that Ms. Pelosi strongly pushed for Ms. Clinton’s removal from the 2008 primary in favor of Barack Obama’s candidacy, and it was Ms. Pelosi’s daughter, who cast the 5th Super Delegate vote, handing the nomination to Obama, regardless of the outcome of the popular primary vote. Unfortunately, for women who aspire to higher office, regardless of party or ideology, they will now be faced with greater scrutiny because of the antics of the Speaker of the House.

Her actions and subsequent meltdown are understandable on a humanistic level: Had she been honest and noted that she was fully aware of said “interrogation techniques” from the get-go, she would have alienated her base back in the Haight, and by doing so, endanger her position in the Congress (facing re-election 2010), however, had she been straightforward, she would have at the very least, done a great service for women by acting in a manner that would have been consistent with every other male politician alive - simply stating she had a change of heart would have gone miles towards saving face, the worst case, she would have been nationally known as a “flip-flopper”. She was caught between the proverbial “rock and a hard place” and could not manage to escape.
It remains to be seen how the 8th District will truly react, given its history, however, Ms. Pelosi actions have set the wheels in motion for the elevation of a new Speaker, and, should there be a credible Democrat and woman who is capable of ascending to that seat, one can bet the House that she will be cast aside for the first male that puts forth his bid for such a lofty position.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obama Changes His Mind - No To Release of Guantanamo Photo’s – Court to Decide – Dick Cheney’s Points on National Security Taken to Heart

Barack Obama with Dick Cheney - photo cfnews13

In a stunning reversal of policy, President Obama has decided to block the release of photographs of alleged abuse of terrorists (enemy combatants) at Guantanamo Bay. The decision on Wednesday, as reported by the New York Times, reverses his previous decision not to block the release of the photographs. In doing so, the President has made a smart decision – regardless of some critics who point out that the Courts will be left with the decision, and any anger from the left will be aimed at the Courts rather than the President and his administration. An AP analysis suggests that the administrations claim of finding a new legal argument for preventing the release of the photographs is false; and that the reversal is merely political, aimed at protecting the President from the angry left. That said, the President’s decision, based on national security issues, as noted by Press Secretary Gibbs, shows a level of understanding of the scope of the global impact of the war on terror that appeared to be previously absent. One may also give credit to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who in recent weeks has kept up a continual assault on the administration, specifically hammering home the dangers of releasing said photographs. Cheney, who is not the most outspoken individual, had ratcheted up the criticism to unprecedented heights – one must assume that given Cheney’s background, motivation for the barrage was based on national security, not party affiliation. It's all possibly relative that DNA played a factor and similar decisions can be seen coming out of the Administration should Cheney, once again, be as vocally aggressive on issues of National Security..

Obama’s initial decision to approve the release of the photographs was a sticking point with Senate Republicans, and rightly so. The release of photographs from Abu Ghraib prison produced a backlash across the Middle East, and further placed an additional threat on U.S. forces in the field. Regardless f the fact, that by global standards of torture, the Abu Ghraib photographs were rather benign, they were a rallying point for the left, and those militant Islamic groups who would grasp at any straw as an excuse to attack the U.S. and its interests. Although, not armed with a crystal ball, one must imagine that any photographs of Guantanamo detainees being “tortured”, would be equally or less benign that those from the Iraqi Prison, given the fact that prisoners at Guantanamo are treated exceptionally well compared to those held in U.S. prisons (where, it can be argued, life behind bars in the U.S., although restraining offers amenities that would not be found outside the U.S.).

In reversing his decision, the President, regardless of any alleged motive, moves to protect American Troops and, as a bonus, serves to remove a possible Al Qaeda/Taliban recruiting tool as well as angering those on the fringe (Daily Kos) who see Presidents decision as “illegal” . However, in a recent Rasmussen Poll regarding the release of detainees from Guantanamo, 75% of those polled, objected to detainees being moved to the U.S. Homeland. It is not a stretch to imagine that a high percentage would also object to the release of said photographs. Therefore, Obama has moved to the center right on this particular issue, which is indicative of the majority of the American voting bloc, regardless of Party affiliation. Although one can well imagine that the New York Times editorial board will be somewhat disappointed, as its constant drumbeat of “horror” over Abu Ghraib, kept the “controversy” in the public arena for months on end the decision will set well with the majority of the American Public.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What Happens when the Government Owns a Private Business? - Top GM Executives Sell Shares – Stock Plummets – The Taxpayer Suffers

There surely is a rationale for bailing out the failing American Auto industry based on the possibility of thousands of auto workers and those working in related industries losing their jobs – that said, when was the last time the Federal Government was deemed effective management for any project? The taxpayers owning a stake in private industry (socialism) is counter to the basic principles of capitalism upon which the nation has, thus far, thrived (despite historical trends of recessions and depression). The GM debacle is a prime example of what happens when the Government steps in to “help” an industry.

First, GM has manufacturing plants outside of the U.S., specifically Brazil, where they have a profitable operation run by non-union employees. Now GM is considering moving its headquarters out of Detroit in order to save assets. This is a direct result of the forced bankruptcy of the company by the Obama administration. Knowing that the company is in deep financial trouble here in the U.S., top executives yesterday dumped GM Stock in order to salvage what little worth is left in the government owned auto maker. Should the company move to Mexico or China, those Auto Union Workers will be left holding the bag, however, due to the structure of the company’s union contract, that bag, pensions and all benefits will be the responsibility of the American Taxpayer. In other words, the U.S. Government has purchased a company (or bought controlling stakes in a company), that is basically worthless, has a huge overhead in bloated union benefits, and, no competitive products to sell.

Chrysler (also under the Obama administrations guidance), has been told that their advertising budget must be slashed in half. Historically speaking, those companies that continued to advertise during the depression in the 1930’s, survived, in fact, increased their sales over time, and those that cut back, or did not advertise at all, are now – also history.

Chrysler is an interesting case, because they have been bailed out before, under the Carter Administration. In that bailout, loans were given to the industry, and the government took a passive role, resulting in an eventual resurgence. In this case, Carter, who is most closely aligned to Obama in ideology, was a tad smarter in handling the “crisis”.

In the final analysis, only time will tell how much damage this ownership will cause the economy, if any*, and how many more hundreds of thousands will be added to the unemployment roles as the “plan” unfolds. From 800 Chrysler's car dealerships which are being forced to close, to the loss of the Detroit Headquarters of GM, to the supporting industries (small businesses that manufacture all parts for the production of said auto’s), a forecast of the number of affected individuals has yet to surface. The result will be one of the highest, if not the highest national unemployment rates in the history of the nation. This policy, will ultimately make Jimmy Carter appear to be a competent fiscal conservative, and one must remember that under Carter’s watch, the “misery index” was born.

*Should the current administration effectively manage the auto industry,immediately begin production of a reasonably priced, safe product, cut bloated union salaries, effectively market the product for both import and export and run a company, unlike the Federal govenrmetn, in the black - it may work.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Massachusetts Eyes Sales Tax Increase – Loss of Private Sector Jobs high versus Saved State Jobs

The State of Massachusetts, in a never ending quest of Deval Patrick’s’ administration and the Democrat Legislature to tax their way out of massive spending, are seeking a 25% increase in the State Sales Tax. The Massachusetts Retailers Association has predicted that should this increase occur, the Commonwealth stands to lose approximately 12,000 private sector jobs, while the Administration will save 6,000 State jobs. The argument used by the administration for the increase is based on a study by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and Beacon Hill Institute - Massachusetts ranks last in sales tax collected out of 45 states that have a similar tax. That said, this study does not take into consideration that Massachusetts has a variety of taxes and fees in place that are responsible for individuals and businesses leaving for greener pastures, while leaving those remaining to pay for the excess of Beacon Hill.

The Governor has multiple tax proposals before the Legislature in order to shore up the ever increasing budget deficit – State Lawmakers are eyeing the sales tax as a means to lessen the impact of multiple taxes on the Commonwealth, however, logic dictates that a 25% increase in the sales tax will be a boon to surrounding States, rather than Massachusetts.

Retailers in bordering New Hampshire will see an increase in sales, while those in Connecticut, who have previously lost to Massachusetts’s slightly lower sales tax, will find their citizens staying home to shop. Internet retailers outside of the Commonwealth will also benefit.

To answer the question why any increase in sales taxes produce job losses in the private retail sector, one need only to look as far back as the summer of 08, when gas prices surged to unprecedented heights, aided by both Federal and State taxes. Consumers were forced to choose between a commute to work and spending on luxury items as well as necessities, the Stimulus Checks received from the Federal Government went to pay credit card bills, resulting largely from gasoline purchases as well as an overall increase in essentials such as groceries. (A rise in retail, including grocery prices are a direct result of the trucking industry paying higher prices for fuel passed onto the consumer.) The burden placed on retailers by the rise in gasoline prices contributed heavily to the demise of retail giant, Circuit City.

Ultimately it will be up to the Governor and his simpatico Legislature to choose between the welfare of the people of the Commonwealth and the welfare of the State Government, which said outcome, is fairly predictable given the propensity for the State to do avoid reforming bloated programs and corrupt policies over protecting the last available taxpayers. (See current battle over unusual Commonwealth pension practices suddenly a focus of the Patrick Administration.)

Correction: The Retailers Association used Data by the Beacon Hill Institute – to oppose the increase. The Beacon Hill Institute is not in favor of a tax increase in the Massachusetts sales tax.
Excerpts appear below:
From the Springfield Republican article found here
“The Retailers Association of Massachusetts released the study Monday ahead of a possible state Senate vote next week to increase the sales tax. The study, prepared for the association by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston and updated from a prior report, focuses on the economic effects of increasing the sales tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent. The state House of Representatives on April 27 voted 108-51 for the increase.”

Monday, May 11, 2009

State’s Stimulus Spending – Leaves out Areas of Highest Unemployment – 60,000 Temporary Census Jobs last average of two weeks.

The Boston Globe’s AP article entitled “Stimulus Watch”, notes that counties across the country with the highest unemployment rates are not benefitting from the Stimulus Plan the Obama administration rammed through Congress in a panic. Had anyone bothered to take the extra time to put the bill together, allow everyone time to read the fine print, and/or analysis the potential for waste and further misery to the hardest hit areas, perhaps some safeguards would have been put into place. Of interest in this particular piece is the fact that shovels read projects, required under the stimulus, are so costly to plan, that many counties, specifically those with the highest unemployment rates, cannot afford the plans in the first place. Additionally, States are not required to use highway funds for economically distressed areas – the only restriction is to spend taxpayers’ dollars as fast as possible.

The result, according to the Globe Article:

“One result among many: Elk County, Pa., isn't receiving any road money despite its 13.8 percent unemployment rate. Yet the military and college community of Riley County, Kan., with its 3.4 percent unemployment, will benefit from about $56 million to build a highway, improve an intersection and restore a historic farmhouse.”

It goes without saying that those that make plans in haste, repent in leisure. Grumblings from newspaper chat rooms and other forums across the country are now focusing on the 60,000 plus temporary census jobs. From the Springfield Republican Forum, a disgruntled individual complains:

“People hired by the US Census have been screwed. They were hired in all our neighborhoods to verify addresses for next year. The job was supposed to take about 8-9 weeks. There was some talk it might go into August.
But because someone at the regional office mistrained the team leaders, the census takers in turn were mistrained and when doing their work they skipped a critical public relation step designed to educate and build up good will with the public... that being a courtesy visit to inquire about the building and to take a GPS reading.
No wonder the work went so fast in most towns.
So instead of 8-9 weeks of work which people were counting on, some census takers like in Holyoke got only a puny 2 weeks of work after a week training. It happened to a friend of mine who needed the hours to pay his mortgage.
But it's not just him. They all got screwed. “

Another Poster Adds:

“And if that isn’t bad enough, even though this stage of the census is way ahead of schedule, regional office still insists all work be finished by early next week.
You can be sure that those at regional who screwed up this stage will turn lemons into lemonade to make themselves look good… at the expense of our local people.
I know of others in this program and they too were promised 8-9 weeks of work. They were required to pass examinations, attend a week long orientation and now they are out of work after two weeks in the field.
It is not fair for ANY employer to deceive employees like this, especially deception from the federal government. This was not work being subcontracted out to a corporation, these census workers were federal employees.
This is what our government has become, a deceiving power, run by thieving politicians”

In fairness, the advertisements for these temporary census jobs do offer a range of dates from 2 weeks forward - that said, this does vary from state to state. The problem arises, when these workers, many of whom are no longer on the unemployment rolls, have to reapply - what appears to be missing in all of this Stimulus Logic, is the fact that it is a very temporary fix, one that was poorly conceived from road projects (temporary jobs - to the census.
Therefore is it any wonder that the White House is not forecasting any job growth until 2010 - so far.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Annual White House Correspondents Dinner – Press “Drools” Over Obama – Partisan Kid Gloves are On!

The Annual White House Correspondents Dinner, sponsored by the White House Correspondence Association took place last evening; available to the General Public on C-SPAN and cable news outlets such as FOX. In the past, the purpose of the dinner has been to poke fun at the sitting president, allow the sitting president to mock himself and his close associates, and overall, an opportunity for those covering the White House to “let loose a bit” and announce the incoming Association President. A comedian or comedienne generally delivers a diatribe of jokes, about the President, a roast so to speak. Politicians from both sides of the aisle are in attendance as well as a few celebrities, and certain members of the Presidents cabinet and close advisors.

The past dinners have been amusing and the Presidents gracious in their delivery, however, last evenings dinner took a sharp turn from the tradition, when Obama hosted his first of four such events.
Obama can be a funny guy, it appears that he is likable, yet, the majority of his “routine” was spent demeaning the opposing political party, which, was a departure from prior events. Additionally, comedienne Wanda Sykes, had very few references to the President, rather spent time attacking the following individuals: President George Bush (of course), Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh – the jokes were crude to say the least. For example: on Limbaugh’s statement that he would see Obama’s policies fail (specifically referring to Socialism), Sykes compared Limbaugh to the 21st hijacker, brought up his battle with drug addiction, and ended with (paraphrasing) “I hope his kidneys fail”. On the President: Sykes noted that going to bet a burger with Biden might be a mistake, and was most likely proposed by Nancy Pelosi (funny – until), a Hillary Clinton supporter (in reality Pelosi campaigned the hardest for Obama and took every opportunity to undermine the Clinton campaign.) The only “roast” delivered by Sykes to the President was should he (paraphrasing) “mess up: they would blame the half-white guy” – also, not particularly funny.

That said, the adoration of the press, (Hollywood, is a given), has reached new heights, an after dinner review by Politico correspondents, Amie Parnes and Carol E. Lee entitled “Obama's star shines brightest at WHCD” – is nauseating in its blatant worship of an elected official. The problem with a press that is so blinded by political ideology and a charismatic (to the press) leader is obvious – the occupation, which is to be a watchdog for the people, is no longer able or capable of functioning in that role. This does not, of course, apply to all journalists, and to those who are true to their profession (or calling), are still asking hard questions, although those non-partisans are few and far between. Unfortunately, the once-respected occupation, is now viewed by half of the American public, as merely partisan - and this perception has played a significant role in the loss of subscriptions and viewership for the organizations for which they work. The reason that he Internet is often credited for the demise of said organizations, is that those lost subscribers prefer to read unbiased (or possibly biased) blogs and new sites that do not openly pander to a given political ideology.

To gain perspective C-SPAN has a video archive of past events, from 1993 forward. One can note the difference in both the delivery by the given Presidents, and the attitude of the Press (Note: these videos are full length):

2006 WHCD – George W. Bush

1998 WHCD – Bill Clinton

2009 WHCD – Barack Obama

The outgoing Association President is Jennifer Loven, of the Associated Press, she will be replaced by Edwin Chen of Bloomberg News.

Woodrow Wilson – Mother’s Day Proclamation

On motherhood – as it relates to the nation, Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation honoring the “mothers of our country”, on May 9th, 1914

“Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the united States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

Personal Note: To women who hold the trust of our nation’s future and fight endlessly to uphold the import of Motherhood and the Family, regardless of position or political affiliation: “Happy Mother’s Day”.

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