Saturday, August 07, 2010

Can Bill Clinton Save Congressman Richard Neal? Neal (D-MA2), An Endangered Species, Faces Uphill Battle in Bid for Reelection - First Time in Career

Richard Neal, (D-MA2nd)image from

Primary Update: Tom Wesley is the Republican challenger to Richard Neal (D-MA2). See article Here on Neal internal polling. See article Tom Wesley Candidate Profile for more information. Odds on this particular race have not changed. Neal continues to struggle.

Massachusetts: (via the Atlantic) and The Boston Globe: Former President Bill Clinton will be making a trip back to Massachusetts to attempt to buoy the campaign of incumbent Democrat, Richard Neal. Neal, who is a reliable (100%) vote along party lines, may have noticed that his chances for reelection to an 11th term in the Congress are rapidly dwindling. Neals opponentDr. Jay Fleitman, of Northampton, MA is a formidable opponent to Neal. Fleitman, served on the Board of Health for the City of Northampton, only giving up his position to focus on the race.

Dr.Jay Fleitman - Candiate for U.S. Congress MA Hampden 2nd - image Tommy Devine Blog

The City of Northampton, known throughout the Pioneer Valley as “NoHo” is a mini-bastion of Progressive Democrats, home to Smith College, street artists and a thriving left of center populace of artists and educators. It’s often described among locals as a mini-Greenwich Village – one which would hardly embrace a Republican – with the exception of Dr. Jay Fleitman. Fleitman has since put boots on the ground, and has volunteers pounding the pavement in the larger Western Massachusetts Cities. He is being greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm when it is mentioned that Neal is the target.

What Neal may or may not know, is that the populace in Western Mass has had an epiphany of sorts, knowing for instance that disgraced Chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Democrat Charles Rangels, had chosen Neal to be his successor. That is hardly an endorsement one would welcome coming into an election, as an incumbent and a Democrat in 2010, even, or perhaps, especially in Massachusetts.

The NRCC smells blood: while Googleing to see who was running SEM(Search Engine Marketing) advertising in the districts in Massachusetts, one found the NRCC ads pop up in both the 5th (Tsongas) and the Hampden 2nd( Neal) districts. Reading tea leaves are always a risk, however, for the NRCC to put one dime into the State of Massachusetts speaks volumes, and as the targeting was so specific, it leads one to believe that someone outside of the state believes these districts may be in play. The people on the “ground” in Massachusetts know that the Hamden Second is in play. Ask anyone about Neal, Republican, Democrat and Independent, and the response is the same – some variation of “he’s got to go”. The fact that Neal is known here, in the district, as a career politician does not help the incumbent who has run unopposed up until this year. He was on the Springfield City Council in 1978 to the Mayor’s office in 1984 and has been in Congress since 1989. There’s something about a land sale and the Basketball Hall of fame that irks Springfield residents, who have never had an option to “vote him out of office”. Now they do.

Clinton may be one of the most popular politicians, period in the Bay State, perhaps only eclipsed by his wife, Hillary, who won the popular vote in Massachusetts in 2008. It is doubtful that Clinton, regardless of how popular he is with Democrats and Independents, he will be able to pull Neal out of the frying pan. Now, if Clinton were running for the District that might be a different story.

However, it depends a great deal, with little information from the articles, other than Clinton is making a trip to support Neal, whether Clinton will be here to raise funds for Neal, or if he will directly campaign for him. Neal, who initially supported Hillary Clintons run in 2008, endorsed Barack Obama in June of that year essentially throwing Clintons under the bus at the Democrat Convention where Neal, as a Super delegate followed the rest of the Massachusetts delegation and voted for Obama.

What may have not gone unnoticed during the Brown-Coakley campaign: Democrats, Independents and Green Party members were all stumping for Brown – not merely casting a vote (which in itself is shocking) but working the phone banks and going door to door.
Browns election was caste in the media as a fluke, and now, as the 2010 mid-term looms, the general consensus of the “talking heads” from the Beltway to Beacon Hill, is that none of the Republicans running stand a chance at taking a seat from the Incumbent Democrat. Perhaps they believe that if they print it and/or broadcast it often enough, they may pick up a vote for Neal, Tsongas or Frank – then again, that strategy didn’t appear to work so well for Coakley – and the sentiment on the ground in Massachusetts has not waned, in fact, if nothing else, the animosity towards incumbents has increased.

Finally, it’s all about the money. Article after article points out that the incumbents have huge war chests (much of which they fail to mention is carried over and any new contributions come mainly from lobbyist and, further, that each district in Massachusetts will be holding a primary September 14th) and that the challengers cannot possibly compete against the likes of Neal and Tsongas. However, the fact that there are multiple challengers filing with the FEC ( here ) is it itself an anomaly for the Bay State. One would think, by the numbers of Republicans on the ballot that one woke up in Kansas. Logic follows that once the primary results are in the men or women left standing will either have the backing of the National party or the people – the later being more important in getting the job done (see Scott Brown).

It is not, inconceivable at this point that a minimum of four Congressional Seats are in play in the Bay State. Since every website featuring a play by play on how many seats are in play lists only one open seat (Delahunt’s retirement and the 10th) as being a toss-up, or, better yet, as the entire state of Massachusetts as “safe Democrat” it is a set-up similar to the Special election of January 19th, 2010.

Therefore, looking at these races from a conservative point of view, and enjoying a wager now and again, we offer the “odds” based on the noble sport of American Foot Ball. Handicapping the Massachusetts Districts: (Naming only the incumbent), as it stands now:

Hampden 1: Olver plus 6
Hampden 2: Neal minus 3
Mass. 3: McGovern plus 3
Mass 4: Frank plus 6
Mass. 5: Tsongas minus 3
Mass. 6: Tierney minus 3
Mass. 7: Markey plus 9
Mass. 8: Capuano plus 3 (Democrat Primary against Joseph P. Kennedy pending)
Mass. 9: Lynch plus 9
Mass 10: Open: Perry (R) plus 6

Looking at this from a wagers point of view, safe bets would be Markey, Lynch and Olver, in the Case of Capuano, (based on the primary) one might take Kennedy, (talking a field goal here), Hamden 2nd, Neal (although one can expect that line to move after the primary) Mass 3: no bet yet, Mass. 4 – depending upon the outcome of the primary – take the underdog (it’s a touchdown), Mass. 5, take the opponent, Tsongas needs to be minus 6 to be a safe bet. Tierney in the 6th, and Perry in the 10th appear “safe” bets at this point.

The above illustrates this blogs point of view regarding the current status of each Congressional District in Massachusetts and does not reflect an invitation to gamble on any political race (although it is done), rather to illustrate how important each vote is, and how with few exceptions, the Massachustts Congressional Delegation may change come November. Should the climate here, in the Bay State remain the same, one will see many notables coming in to the Bay State round the 2nd week of October to help stump for endangered incumbents.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Massachusetts 4th District Republican Debate: Bielat versus Sholley, Scheduled.

Earl Sholley 4th District Congressional Candidate - photo Steve Azzara PR Web

This blog has confirmed a debate between the two Republican Candidates for the Massachusetts 4th District Congressional Seat, will take place on August 11th at 7:00 am hosted on The Jeff Katz Show, Boston radio WXKS.

Sean Bielat Candidate for US Congress, photo Mass Beacon

The Debate is the only one confirmed schedule prior to the primary which takes place on September 14th, 2010. The winner of the primary will go on to face Congressional Representative, Barney Frank in November. Sholley, who ran a late-start campaign against Frank in 2008, had the opportunity to debate Frank at the time. Video of the debate can be found on YouTube here.

Mr. Beilat’s appearance at the debate is tentative, his wife is expecting their first child, should she be in delivery on the morning of the 11th, Mr. Beilat will, of course, not be available. It would be a service to both the voters of the 4th District as well as every citizen of the United States (given Mr. Frank is the incumbent), that should this occur, the debate be reschedule prior to the primary, either in this venue or any other available.

The debate, depending upon Mr. Beilat's attendance, will be available through streaming as well as podcast. As this debate is of such import (given Massachusetts newly found conservatism), it is suggested that readers tune in on August 11th at 7:00 am to the Jeff Katz program.

Elena Kagan Confirmed - Senate Roll Call – How they Voted

Elena Kagan, an Obama administration attorney, and former Harvard Law School Professor has become the fourth woman nominated to the Supreme Court. She is the second Obama nominee to be appointed to the Supreme court. Kagan follows Sandra Day O’Connor (Reagan), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Clinton) and Obama’s first appointee, Sonia Sotomayor.

Kagan's appointment will not, at this point, affect the current “ideological” makeup of the court, however, as she has no judicial record, one cannot, at this juncture, anticipate how Kagan will rule on any given case. That said, given recent rulings by liberal thinking justices on the lower courts, it is assumed that Kagan will legislate from the bench, similar to other left-leaning justices who base rulings on a “living Constitution” rather than the intent of the Document as a rule of law for the nation. Considering recent rulings by justices (Arizona Illegal Alien Law and California overturn of Proposition 8) who would inject political or personal opinion rather than rule on law, it is not unreasonable to have doubts about Ms. Kagan, that said, one must wait and offer the benefit of the doubt. As Kagen will be seated in August, interested U.S. Citizens will have an opportunity to determine how she will rule on any given case. Kagan may surprise both the right and the left ideologically.

About the office: Justice appointments are permanent, made by the Executive Branch, and subject to replacement upon retirement, death or, according to the U.S. Constitution, Impeachment. The Senate functions in both the judicial confirmation as well as the impeachment process see: , The Role of the Senate in Judicial
Impeachment Proceedings: Procedure, Practice, and Data – pdf file here.

Kagan was confirmed by a vote of 63 to 37 the following roll call by order of State from

Grouped by Home State

  • Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Nay, Shelby (R-AL), Nay

  • Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Yea, Murkowski (R-AK), Nay

  • Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Nay, McCain (R-AZ), Nay

  • Arkansas: Lincoln (D-AR), Yea, Pryor (D-AR), Yea

  • California: Boxer (D-CA), Yea, Feinstein (D-CA), Yea

  • Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Yea, Udall (D-CO), Yea

  • Connecticut: Dodd (D-CT), Yea, Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea

  • Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Yea, Kaufman (D-DE), Yea

  • Florida: LeMieux (R-FL), Nay, Nelson (D-FL), Yea

  • Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Nay, Isakson (R-GA), Nay

  • Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Yea, Inouye (D-HI), Yea

  • Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Nay, Risch (R-ID), Nay

  • Illinois: Burris (D-IL), Yea, Durbin (D-IL), Yea

  • Indiana: Bayh (D-IN), Yea, Lugar (R-IN), Yea

  • Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Nay, Harkin (D-IA), Yea

  • Kansas: Brownback (R-KS), Nay, Roberts (R-KS), Nay

  • Kentucky: Bunning (R-KY), Nay, McConnell (R-KY), Nay

  • Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Yea, Vitter (R-LA), Nay

  • Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea, Snowe (R-ME), Yea

  • Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Yea, Mikulski (D-MD), Yea

  • Massachusetts: Brown (R-MA), Nay, Kerry (D-MA), Yea

  • Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Yea, Stabenow (D-MI), Yea

  • Minnesota: Franken (D-MN), Yea, Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea

  • Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Nay, Wicker (R-MS), Nay

  • Missouri: Bond (R-MO), Nay, McCaskill (D-MO), Yea

  • Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Yea, Tester (D-MT), Yea

  • Nebraska: Johanns (R-NE), Nay, Nelson (D-NE), Nay

  • Nevada: Ensign (R-NV), Nay, Reid (D-NV), Yea

  • New Hampshire: Gregg (R-NH), Yea, Shaheen (D-NH), Yea

  • New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea, Menendez (D-NJ), Yea

  • New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Yea, Udall (D-NM), Yea

  • New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea, Schumer (D-NY), Yea

  • North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Nay Hagan (D-NC), Yea

  • North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Yea Dorgan (D-ND), Yea

  • Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Yea Voinovich (R-OH), Nay

  • Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Nay Inhofe (R-OK), Nay

  • Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Yea Wyden (D-OR), Yea

  • Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea Specter (D-PA), Yea

  • Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Yea Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea

  • South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Nay Graham (R-SC), Yea

  • South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Yea Thune (R-SD), Nay

  • Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Nay Corker (R-TN), Nay

  • Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Nay Hutchison (R-TX), Nay

  • Utah: Bennett (R-UT), Nay Hatch (R-UT), Nay

  • Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Yea Sanders (I-VT), Yea

  • Virginia: Warner (D-VA), Yea Webb (D-VA), Yea

  • Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Yea Murray (D-WA), Yea

  • West Virginia: Goodwin (D-WV), Yea Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea

  • Wisconsin: Feingold (D-WI), Yea Kohl (D-WI), Yea

  • Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Nay Enzi (R-WY), Nay

  • Should one feel strongly about the way one’s Senator voted, contact information for your Senator can be found here: at

    Thursday, August 05, 2010

    Maine Duo, Collins (R-ME) and Snow(R-ME), Cave to Teachers Union in Senate State Bail Out Bills

    ME Senators Collins and Snow - image Politico

    It comes as no surprise that Senators Collins and Snow have decided to vote “yes” on a “State Aid” package which was opposed by both Republicans and Democrats concerned with adding to the burgeoning deficit. This decision effectively blocked the possibility of a Filibuster by Republicans opposed to adding more aid, unless paid for in some measure (cuts or unspent Stimulus funds). According to the LA Times the duo were influenced by Teachers Unions, who “produced ads urging” both Senators to “cross the aisle”, which they did.

    Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), was quoted in the LA Times as suggesting “money doesn’t appear on trees”, in reference to the fact that the federal government cannot go on printing money. Also mentioned were State Governors who may have been forced to make “painful cuts”, and of course: “The package also provides $10 billion in education funds, and the National Education Assn. estimates that 138,000 teachers' jobs could be saved.” The National Education Association is one of the National Teachers Unions. The full article is here .

    State Governors might look to Chris Christie of NJ for some help in understanding how to a) keep ones job, and b) cut the budgets, regardless of any ad campaigns run by the unions. In a recent gallop poll on “trust in institutions”, the unions and public education both fell in “confidence levels” in the 2010 survey. Education dropped 4 points to 34 percent, and organized labor was just above Congress at 20%, in between the media sits uncomfortably at 25 (Newspapers) and 22 (television news), proving that the public is no longer buying under performing schools across the board, backed by unions that protect incompetence and a media that backs them up (see LA Times). A message to these Governors: The voters are behind "touch decisions".

    The motion to move forward (Senate Roll call here with the package was ballyhooed as “jobs saving” and, of course, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA 8), will get that whipped through the Congress so that the President can sign the nation further in penury. The language used in the moving this bill closer to the President’s desk says it all: (Library of Congress) a “Motion to waive all applicable budgetary discipline “.

    The Bill, originally under S Amendment 4575, and be found modified as S6572, the CBO report is available here

    In order to find the actual language one must first sift through what the “aid” package might be “tacked onto” as, per usual, it makes locating the bill a tad difficult (not impossible). Best read on the subject: The memo from Democrat Policy Committee describes how this wonder bill morphed from a transportation and safety act into aid for teachers and increased “Medicaid”.

    Apologies to Katie Couric and those Ivy League “betters” whose current system is either purposefully convoluted in order to “protect those pesky masses (we the people in Progressive speak)” or they have no clue and just think they do. (See Rachel Maddow convoluted speak on Missouri Referendum rejecting Obama’s Government Health Care Plan below – using Katie Couric “speak” – “where do they come up with this stuff?”

    Herein lays the problem, the voters are fed up with extra money spent at this point, regardless, or especially if they see union backed advertising and teachers. In addition, the “masses” are now watching every move out of Congress, especially if it comes to the great, great, great grandchildren paying the tab.

    Must something be done to keep quality teachers in the classrooms, essential state services moving along, and of course, medication and essential services to our seniors? – Absolutely, however, the time has come to make cuts that are painful, and raise taxes, one or the other, and quite frankly possibly both), as the Democrat Congress and Senate since 2006, has been on a spending spree that has seen no equal. The only way to stop the nonsense is to vote in November, and to any one Congressional Representative, or Senator, regardless of Party who spends with abandon or is compelled to listen to a Union rather than a constituent, there are alternatives on the ballot worthy of a chance.

    Rachel Maddow needs to “get a clue” as it is not merely “white old men” running to the polls, but Latinos as well as woman and men of all ages and all parties, who are unemployed, over taxed, and sick of the continued growth of government and their insatiable appetite to spend the United State into the Stone Age.

    Therefore, to do unto Obama (stop him cold by cutting the purse strings), which was done to George W. Bush from 2006 forward with a Democrat majority in both houses), get to the polls and vote. With a Republican majority in both the house and the senate, further damage would be shut down for two years, allowing for some breathing space and possible recovery. In 2012, depending upon the right Democrat Presidential candidate, a return to a reasonable government is possible (blatant plug for Hillary Clinton). Barring a reasonable and responsible offering by the Democrats, the obvious choice would be to move cautiously forward to a Republican candidate which would, once again, set the stage for a Congress and Administration in Concert.

    Both Snow and Collins are up for re-election soon. Snow will be up for reelection in 2012 and Collins was reelected in 2008, Senators serve for a term of 6 years, she will be up for reelection in 2014.

    Maddow video

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    Wednesday, August 04, 2010

    Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Bets Karl Rove Clinton Will Run in 2012 – Broadcast August 3, 2010

    While flipping through news offerings during the breaks in “America’s Got Talent” (a “realty show” worth watching in this humble opinion), I came across a segment on the “O”Reilly Factor” featuring former Bush advisor, Karl Rove and host, Bill O’Reilly. The discussion under way regarded Barak Obama’s continuously declining poll numbers – and whether or not, should they fall below 40% or further, Hillary Clinton would run against Obama for the 2008 Democrat nomination. The exchange included O’Reilly’s certainty that Clinton would run, against Karl Rove’s insistence (looking not quite sure) that she would not based on her loyalty to Obama and the Democrat Party.

    One would, in this case, have to bet against Rove, as it would be her loyalty to both the nation and the Democrat Party to offer herself as a candidate for President, rather than allow the White House to fall out of her Party’s hands should Obama continue on the Carter path to self-destruction. O’Reilly, in this instance, made a fairly “safe bet”.

    Those who have not watched a talent competition, for like or dislike, are encouraged to at least take a look at this series season of “America’s Got Talent” – clips from the show are available at Compared to other offerings on the major networks, this particular program offers entertainment, and a sense of pride in America. (See talented politician Hillary Clinton who has pride in America.)

    One favorite below - Opera - go figure!

    Breaking - CBS Katie Couric Raw Footage Mocking Gov. Sarah Palin and State of Alaska Day One of Palin Nomination as V.P.

    Katie Couric, CBS News Anchor, more fluff than substance image:

    The raw footage below show below depicts CBS news anchor, Katie Couric, making comments during a “rehearsal” of the evening news the day Sarah Palin was nominated as the second woman in U.S. history to be nominated as a Vice Presidential running mate for a major political party. During her rehearsal, Couric, running through Palin’s bio as a mother, names her children Trig and Track and then states “Where the hell do they get these names?” On Wasilla, Alaska, Couric purposely mispronounces (Wasilla, Alaska) “Wa-sil-a” several times – to the obvious glee of her “crew”.
    The woman who was responsible for boiling down a seven hour taped interview that made Palin out to be, in plain speak, an idiot, (i.e. The infamous “What do you read?”) was gunning to diminish Palin’s immediate appeal at the Republican convention as well as the national stage from the get-go.
    Couric, whose ratings had been sagging on CBS news, either did this in hopes of bumping up her stock with CBC (which succeeded) or as a dedicated progressive who would stop at nothing to see her preferred candidate succeed. As a so-called journalist, Couric, in this video proves why Gallops Trust in Institution polls for 2010 shows only 22% of Americans “trust” television news, down 1 point from 2009. Couric as a "source of news", as well as any other journalist who would inject opinion and literally “invent” the facts in order to fit their personal political and/or in this case as well “socio-econonmic” beliefs, taints every colleague with the same brush of suspicion.
    The video, released by, is not surprising to those who did due diligence and bothered to look into Palin’s background as the first woman Governor of the State of Alaska. Unfortunately, Couric took the low road, in total disrespecting every woman in America that is not up to her standards. Had Couric and her ilk been honest and reported straight facts across the board about all of the women running for office, it would be probable that Hillary Clinton would have faced McCain and Palin in the 2008 presidential race. What type of “rehearsal footage” is out there that describes Hillary Clinton, the front-running in the 2008 Democrat primary? The influence of the institution may have waned, fortunately, over the past two years, and this in no small part due to individuals such as Couric. Ms. Couric not only did a great disservice to her country, women in general, and her colleagues, but to the industry as a whole, one which needs, financially, the viewership and/or subscribers (case of print) in order to survive.
    How the long video will be available on YouTube is also anyone’s guess – given CBS’s long history, as a news organization, of “manufacturing news” (see Dan Rather) – can they afford another drop in viewership due to “rouge” reporters such as Couric?

    Ms. Couric should make immediate apologies to both Sarah Palin and her family, the City of Wasilla Alaska and the American Public.

    Tuesday, August 03, 2010

    Senate – Reid Fails to Move State Aid Bill – Fed Budget Bust As States Must Be Prepared to Rein In Spending – Analysis

    Beleaguered Harry Reid Falls Short on Federal Aid to States

    The long and the short of it – the federal government’s deficit, without the tax base to sustain the status quo, let alone increases in spending (unemployment equals loss of income for the federal government), combined with the end of the “Stimulus”, will leave states relying on federal funds with no choice but to cut budgets and services.

    Politico reported yesterday that Democrats in the Senate now understand that current spending levels are unsustainable and will make cuts from the President’s budget for 2011 after “summer recess” The title of the Politico article says it all “Budget Woes Snare State Aid”. States such as Pennsylvania were waiting to hear when the federal aid would arrive, as they cannot balance their budgets without help from the federal government.
    Massachusetts has cut a “third of their local aid”, according to South Coast Today. First on the chopping block, higher education, with more cuts to follow:

    “Looking ahead, experts warn of more painful cuts next year as one-time federal stimulus money disappears and the state grapples with a $2 billion shortfall.”

    Those taxpayers left standing can anticipate hefty increases come next year, as Congress is prepared to implement a round of tax increases during a “Lame Duck Session”. Depending upon which news source one is reading on this subject, either the Lame Duck Session and impending tax increases are nothing more than a tool of the Republican’s attempting to keep the Democrats from “allegedly” spending the U.S. into bankruptcy (”The Lame Duck Looms”), or the more assertive Human Events article Tax Hike Planned for Lame Duck Session”, which outlines the “plan” by Democrats to fund the Presidents massive entitlement programs. Both articles are suggested reading. This due to the simple fact that it appears ideology trumps sanity with the 111th Congress. The backlash over public debt and spending which Democrats are admitting will cost them power in 2010, are the same Democrats prepared to sink 2012 in order to further progressive interests.

    If, while waiting for new Congressional members to take their seats, outgoing members push through tax hikes, only one Political Party will take the blame – and this sets the stage for yet another backlash of the American public who is demanding the Government back off their paychecks, and find a way to increase private sector jobs, be it through tax cuts, or tax cuts.

    Either way, both the States and Federal Government must realize that the nation can no longer sustain the unprecedented levels of spending. As U.S. taxpayers go further into debt, increases in local taxes (example: water bills raise for home owners, to fund sewer projects – which is a tax, either way one slices it). Inflation is reported to have stayed the same for food, however, in reporting the overall rate of inflation, the Department of Labor leaves food and fuel out of the equation – due to the volatile nature (i.e. ability to increase at a much higher rate). One thing is certain, the paycheck has remained the same, yet there is less “discretionary income".

    It is estimated that only 50% of U.S. citizens actually pay taxes, and as employment opportunities remain the same (unemployment), or decrease, those left paying taxes (or currently paying taxes) are not large enough in scope and or income to sustain either state or federal current spending levels. Something has to give. The road back to prosperity is never an easy one – during the years immediately preceding the Carter administration, Ronald Reagan had to get a house in order, make painful cuts, and raise taxes for a short period, in order to bring the house in order enough to cut taxes across the board and get the nation moving forward.

    Somehow, we survived and prospered, and yet, a mere thirty years later, a new administration has done nothing but mirror the Progressive Carter administration, and even ramped it up a notch, in order to push the nation, once again to the brink – the culprit – spending until there is a fiscal crisis at which point, one has to tax, everyone.

    Unfortunately, the message got through to the Democrats in the Senate at the 11th hour (the majority Party always controls the purse strings, so any additional spending bills passed or not passed by the House or the Senate or the House are owned by the Democrats at this point. ) As not one of them, from the President to the most junior congressional representative can take personal responsibility (It is George Bush’s fault), for any of this mess, the nation is reacting now in kind.

    In order to alleviate a lot of heartache, it would be suggested that governors look to some true inspiration, regardless of political leaning, in order to save their states, and ask New Jersey’s, Chris Christie, for help in the way of lessons on how to deal with out of control labor groups, (see Teachers Union), and get more power into the hands of individual cities and towns.

    It is simple, as services and cuts are made, there are going to have to be some extremely painful choices, for example, Harry Reid’s plans for a monorail, and millions spent on stimulus signs (signs announcing the stimulus is about to work), would have been better placed in courses for lawmakers from the Federal, State and Local levels on fiscal responsibility.

    It is time to take the needs of the people to heart, the taxpayer and the non taxpayer in total – Stimulus under Franklin D. Roosevelt involved an entitlement program that put the unemployed to work for the government – it did not in any way shape or form, include welfare – rather workfare – it’s a concept whose time has come again. In concert, taxes must be cut to stimulate corporate spending (on jobs and research) as well as individual spending on all levels (to pay for the salaries of those on workfare). Additionally, the offices and positions created by every single bill passed by this Congress and President have added to the government work force, and those salaries must be paid by the taxpayer – why not outsource and take the burden off the taxpayer, give the jobs to American companies, and let the private sector handle every aspect of the Federal budget. (With the exception of the military, this is one area that is the Federal Governments responsibility.)

    Monday, August 02, 2010

    Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel Ethics Charges – Politico Runs with Race Card

    Both Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel have come under the cloud of ethics charges from within Congress – a body of their peers, for allegations with legs. In both cases, months have gone by, and yet nothing came out of hearings until recently, unfortunately for the House Democrats, less than 100 days before a mid-term election, where they are trailing in polls. The committee that oversees house ethics is made up of equal parts Democrats and Republicans, and has brought ethics charges against peers, most often, with punishment no worse than a public (inside Congress) admonishment from their peers. That said, since the two national figures, Rangel and Waters have been brought up on charges, within a week of each other – over at Politicoit must be about race. The article, entitled: “Ethics Cases Raise Racial Questions”, points out the fact that both Maxine and Charlie are African-American – and that the last time anyone (they can recall) who was brought up on ethics charges, was New Gingrich (who was cleared of all wrong-doing, but not before he resigned).

    Apparently, Politico has forgotten about Tom Delay , who faced ethics charges and was also cleared of any wrong-doing, but none-the-less resigned.
    Could it be, that rather than Maxine and Charlie sharing a common background – that both have made errors in judgment that would be considered somewhat unethical – regardless of whether they are black, white, Asian or “other”. The article by Politico continues to name other recent cases where African-American’s got their hands caught in the proverbial “cookie jar” – most recent was Jesse Jackson Junior who was found to be less than truthful when it came to an Illinois Senate Seat for Sale.

    The problem lays not with the fact that they are African American, (or any other racial or ethnic background) - the problem lays with the fact that they got caught – Timing in life being everything – the press is growing concerned that ethics violations by Waters and Rangel might, in some way, affect the outcome of the 2010 elections – that, according to polls taken over the past year, ship has sailed – the Democrats are trailing on Generic Congressional Ballots by an average of 4.8 points, with the latest polls shown an 11 point deficit (Real Clear Politics). It is obvious, therefore, that regardless of what charges may come down the pike for both Waters and Rangel, it would have little if any impact, as the general public appears to have made up its collective mind. It may be worth noting in specific races, as both Rangel and Waters face reelection in 2010 - but ethics charges do not necessarily equate, in Democrat terms, with a loss of one’s seat (See Barney Frank (D-MA).

    It has become increasingly popular by both the media and the political class to charge “race” as soon as something that may impact public opinion rears its ugly head – unfortunately, calling “wolf” one time too many, has unintended consequences. The country now is more divided than at any other time in history – not only politically but racially and ethnically – with the daily media drumbeat of separatism rather than inclusion. It is articles such as this, which pulls American’s further apart, pits one group against another and does no good what-so-ever. Herein lays a fresh approach, both Rangel and Waters, being American Citizens, have allegations and charges pending regarding ethics violations – it is personal responsibility rather than any other lesson that should be brought to the public, specifically by the media.

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