Friday, April 20, 2012

Romney to Give Commencement Speech at Liberty University – the Left Media Speculates on Politics –Forgets Obama’s Notre Dame Invite 2009

2008 Flash back Obama actively  courted the Evangelical vote - see campaign signs from get
When President Obama was invited to speak at Notre Dame back in 2009 it caused a bit of a ruffle, as the President’s views on Abortion on Demand, did not quite mesh with the Catholic view on the same subject.  In fact, there were protests, and 65,000 protested the choice of Obama as speaker in this type of venue.  (Fox)  The visit escalated to the point where the">Bishop of the Diocese that contains the college, refused to attend.  The problem the President faced was doctrine, and when accepting an invitation to speak at a Religious Institution, one must understand the doctrine, and be prepared for some pushback if one is not in sync.    Darn those rascally Catholics who actually follow their faith.
Now Mitt Romney has been invited to give a commencement speech at the largest evangelical university – anywhere – Liberty University has a student body of 80,000 plus, and offers degree programs as varied as law, government, aeronautics, business and education – although, like the many Catholic colleges and universities where education is more about education and less about politics unless one is specifically enrolled in that course of study, Liberty does invite political figures to speak –this year Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry both spoke at the college. 
The New York Times has headlined:">”Romney to Give Commencement at Evangelical University” – giving one the impression that there is perhaps only one in the nation, and therefore, a rarity (not true).  Also, the gist of the piece by the Times, that Romney’s doing so as Virginia is a swing state (students at the University are not necessarily residents of the State of VA), the 46,000 who may attend could be from the School  of Government, or possibly Republican’s who might want to get a glimpse of the next president.  The article goes on to speak about a  Facebook protest where the Times offers: “However, the decision has already sparked controversy among students and alumni of Liberty University, with nearly 300 people commenting on the institution’s Facebook announcement within two hours of its posting. Apparently, the Times got there early, as the">Announcment Page has over 73,0000 likes and comments are generally supportive of the Romney visit.
Of course, the University has also give the honor to President George H. Bush and Ronald Reagan, therefore, to offer the opportunity to Mitt Romney comes as little to no surprise.  It may be viewed as a political point, but to the reality – it is an honor and an opportunity for Romney to deliver a message of hope to those about to graduate, entering an uncertain economy - who better than Romney to deliver a message of hope regarding the economy? 
Therefore, the Campus as large as it is, with a large student body – would have little impact on the swing state of Virginia.

However, in the 2008 election, the candidate that courted the Evangelical vote – was Barack Obama – he took every opportunity to get in front of the evangelical audience, including a trip to ”Saddleback Church”, where he was in a forum with John McCain. (ABC News) – Obama’s campaign also had an outreach program to entice the evangelical vote with a “Democrat faith conference”(ABC), and many evangelicals voted for Obama – some accounts  suggest up to 40 percent of evangelicals voted for the President (Christian Post).
Therefore, as Evangelical’s, like any denomination or voting bloc contained therein is a target for Democrat Votes (see Catholics, etc.) , then Romney is basically on their turf, and to be marginalized or demonized – take your pick.
On the one hand, the left fears that the Evangelicals may accept Romney, and reject Obama in the fall, on the other, there will be the whole Romney by virtue of speaking at Liberty, founded by Jerry Falwell, he may end up tagged under “Religious Right Wing – Far to the Right” by the same press.  It is a conundrum – and it is from those who uphold the first amendment when it comes to print or broadcast, that scream the loudest about separation of church and state – when it comes to a candidate who is not – Progressive.
Therefore, what Romney may hope to accomplish is a find speech, giving these graduates hope for the future, where none now exists. 
Flashback to 2008 – Obama actively courted a variety of denominations with campaign signs that reflected the same see Get Religion”
Romney, one gets the impression, would be gratified and perhaps humbled to speak at such an institution, given the opportunity – while not necessarily seeing a political gain- one can bet Romney’s campaign signs, at these types of events, will not feature the symbols of Christianity used in the Obama campaign of 2008 to court Christians. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bills 976 & 974 - Louisiana Overhauls Education System – Governor Jindal Signs Historic Bill for Increased School Vouchers and Teacher Accountability

Teachers protesting LA Bill 974 - image from "And so it goes in Shreveport.blogspot

The State of Louisiana has stepped up for Education, specifically targeting schools that are under performing, in two bills passed by a bipartisan legislature and signed into law yesterday by Governor Bobby Jindal. The first Bill number 974, holds teachers accountable for standards, with penalties in place for those who are under performing, while the second Bill 976, increases the availability of school vouchers for the poorest of the state of Louisiana - it is the largest School Voucher program in the nation. Under the two bills, Teachers are subject to loss of tenure and pay raises, should they not perform to standards, and those teachers that do perform are given incentives.

Huma Today reports that the historic legislation was not without some angst, especially from teachers unions, with lawsuits threatened immediately upon the bill’s passage.

It goes without saying that the stranglehold the teachers unions have on our educational system is responsible for keeping incompetent teachers in the classroom, without giving highly qualified educator the opportunity to move up the economic rung, as they so deserve. Those students, who live in districts with under performing schools, should be given the option to go opt out of that school and find quality education elsewhere – perhaps in a non-union “shop” where they might actually learn.

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, many Charters Schools have waiting lists, from parents desperate to get their children into schools equipped to teach, rather than the behemoth of the Public Education System, where in some instances, the Costs of the Administration outweighs the cost of Teachers, and there is little left in budgets for items such as textbooks (in certain cities, they do not leave the school – the reasoning: they might not come back – the result, the children have no homework and the high school graduation rates are dismal (60% in some of the larger Massachusetts cities). Of note: Massachusetts lays claim to the best education system in the country – this should send warning bells across the nation to follow the example of the Louisiana Legislature and Governor Jindal – It’s time to put children above politics and boot the unions to the curb.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gallup April 16, 2012: Romney 48, Obama 43 – Let the Speculation Begin – Romney Search for Running Mate and the Woman in Charge.

Beth Myers (to the right of Mitt Romney) is tasked with selecting potential GOP #2's - image Boston Globe

Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts and now presumptive GOP nominee, has been tracked by Gallup in a match-up with Incumbent President Barack Obama since August of 2011 (Download complete details here: at, the polling data history: August 2011: Romney 48/Obama 46, September 2011: Romney 49/ Obama 47, October: tied at 47, December: Romney 46/ Obama 47, December 16: Romney 48/Obama 50, January: tied at 48, February: Romney 50/Obama 46, tied again February 20th, March: Romney 45/ Obama 49, April: Romney 47/ Obama 45 and this past week: Romney 48/Obama 43. (Gallup).

At first glance of this polling history one finds a close race with 6 instances where Romney was on top, and 3 where President Obama held the lead, they have been tied on several occasions. However, since Romney’s main rival, Rick Santorum has existed the race, Romney’s clear path to the nomination, has, at least in the first month of polling, given him a boost, with the most recent, a 5 point lead over the President. One can anticipate that Gallup, will continue to see ups and downs, depending upon the sample of voters on and the state of the economy on any given day, however, the trend is definitely in Romney’s favor. If this were October 2012, one would be laying bets on Romney as the favorite to clearly walk away with the Presidency, however, as with any incumbent, with the exception of Jimmy Carter, the onus is on the challenger to make points.

Herein lays the good news for Mitt Romney, regardless of a left-centered media, the individual voter is now comparing their standard of living against a standard of living four years ago, and making choices based on those personal findings. In polling, one looks to the state by state Presidential Approval rating and finds 10 out of 50 states where the President is over 50% approval, and in several of those states, that is at .1% over 50%. This could be seen as an anomaly, however, Gallup, has had the same results, with a drop in approval overall for Obama in a State by State poll, two years in a row: Refer to: State of the State 2012 (Released in January), and a year earlier, February of 2011.

In addition, Carter wrote the book on what not to do to an economy, and Obama followed it to the letter, and added a few tweaks. Although to be fair to Obama, today’s consumers are not abandoning their cars due to long gas lines or shortages yet. (See 300 New England Gas Stations without Fuel).

Therefore, if one is in Romney’s shoes, one might start seriously casting about for a running mate, carefully choosing who would best complement Romney in the general election campaign as the number 2. Speculation on this process began from the moment all candidates hit the political limelight, but now, it is time to get more serious. The selection of a running mate has more to do with geography and the differential between voters by state than other factors, such as diversity, and/or the ability of the #2 to stir up the base. JFK chose a Texan, Lyndon Baines Johnson, to help him secure the South, specifically the State of Texas. There was little love lost between the two men; rather it was a “marriage of convenience” so to speak. It is the strategy of choosing the right running mate that might deliver an all important state, or region of the nation in a general.

Romney, hired Beth Myers, his long-time aid, to oversee the search for the #2 slot. (New York Times). Myers was appointed as his Gubernatorial Chief of Staff in 2002(Boston Globe), left her position in 2006 to head his Super PAC (Boston Globe) and then became his Campaign Manager in 2008 (Reuters). She has ties to both Beacon Hill and Texas and one can bet the house, those that make the “cut” so to speak, will be well-vetted.

Therefore, unless one can channel Beth Myers, the speculation on who of the many options available will make the final cut, just might be a game of frustration.
The task presented to Ms. Myers is one of the most important functions, not only for the campaign, but for the American Public, as her choice may affect History. When one considers that the Team of Romney and X will be challenging the Obama/Biden team. In the last election, Biden was so heavily overshadowed by Obama, that few if any voters even knew who Biden was (search You Tube – one must sift through Biden gaffes first) – This time, Obama and Biden have a record to run on – enough said.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Romney Hides Light Under Oversized Bushel – Knows how to Work for a Dollar? – Bill Maher Puts in Two Cents on Ann Romney – Continues War on Women

The Young Romney's in Boston - Not the lifestyle one envisions - photo NYTims

An article from Jesse Merkel at is an eye opener for those who believe Mitt and Ann Romney are beyond privileged and could care less about the “little people” There are some facts missing from the Romney narrative that could boost his appeal across the voters spectrum – these are outlined in the article that uses just a few links to news stories that are readily available.

Mitt Romney and the Silver Spoon - Although the perception of Mitt Romney as a lifelong “rich guy”, who’s out-of-touch with the regular folk is pretty much fodder for many a news article – a New York Times article tucked away under politics and fact checks suggests otherwise: Romney did inherit money from his father, but gave the entire amount away(this is also included in the article from Jesse Merkel, however, what struck most was the following paragraph from the times: “Even so, Mr. Romney benefited from his father’s wealth in another way: he relied on George Romney for a loan that he used to buy his first home, in Belmont, Mass., for $42,000.”(New York Times)

The Times in its quest to paint Romney as privileged somehow falls a tad short, when one looks at the amount that was loaned by the father to the sun - $42,000. Another key element – this was not a gift (as in benefiting) it was a loan. In the 1960’s through the 1980’s, it was not uncommon for parents to provide loans to their children – some at no interest, some at low interest, this was not something confined to the “filthy rich”, it was the way a family helped out the young couple who wanted a start in life, or to pay for a car. These were the middle class of the era, unlike the middle class today who is buried in credit card debt and one foot away from poverty. There was something about the pre-1960’s generation, children of the Great Depression, who knew the value of the dollar and gave that lesson to their children, in the form of loans.

The myth that Romney was some sort of carpetbagger in the State of Massachusetts is also debunked, he had lived in the Bay State longer than most know – electing to build his first home here.

The Merkel article also points out that Ann Romney (the pampered, never left the house, clueless stay-at-home mom: see Democrat Hillary Rosen and now Bill Maher – Obama supporter and general buffoon.) was not living the life of luxury - “In a 1994 interview with the Boston Globe, Ann Romney revealed that she and Mitt lived in a basement apartment for a few years without much income or even carpeting. (Romney gave away the bulk of his inheritance.) While finishing up college, they continued to get by on little income, having their first child while still in that small apartment.”.(Merkel)

In other words, the narrative that the campaign has not taken advantage of, including tales of heroics on the part of Romney and his Five Sons, may be in part due to the what is termed as a “Waspy” inclination to keep one’s light under a bushel. Romney is a bit of a conundrum for Conservatives, (and there are all of those many wings of the Republican Party (not unlike the Democrats) – because he is truly difficult to pinpoint, which may end up being politically to his advantage. Unlike the Santorum campaign that got boxed into the “religious zealot” category through Santorum’s defense of the Catholic Church under an Obama mandate, which mopped into the “Republican attack on Birth Control” - Santorum did not let it go, or brush it aside, but continued to make remarks and campaign on his Catholicism openly – it was a field day for the press, and in truth, although admirable to being such a “stand up guy” may have cost him.

Mitt Romney, dog on the roof of the car, aside, (since that tale with several versions, has become a campaign point for Team Obama, one has to ask - what does the incumbent intend to campaign on against Romney?), comes across now as a little less stiff, with Ann at his side, and, frankly, a guy in command of his own destiny and quite capable of getting our financial house in order – it’s what he does. Might not be the life of the party, but is that truly necessary in a President? Also, he just might, in his quest for perfection, understand protocol when meeting and greeting heads of state and proffer appropriate gifts to boot!

Read the rest of the article on Romney at

About Bill Maher: the Boston Globe has an editorial from an Obama supporter who has just about had enough – ”Bill Maher's slam on Ann Romney poses dangers for Obama” the alleged comedian, who makes his living on HBO by slamming conservative women (and using language that truly shows the mettle of the man), let loose on Ann Romney in words that suggest she was the “pampered wife” who has no clue (obligatory Maher expletive). Obviously, in a poor attempt to help Barack Obama over and above his million dollar campaign donation to Obama’s campaign, Maher’s going after Obama’s opponent – Ann Romney? – Rarely does the putz go after a man; one has to wonder why he hates women so very much, especially mothers – an analyst could have a field day with Maher – “mommy issues”. Otherwise, one could wonder why HBO would keep him on air – if not for the ratings, some of which might be made up of a mother or two, or more, considering how many American women are – mothers. It’s also quite possible that Maher didn’t get the memo that Rosen’s initial comments about Ann Romney on CNN produced a firestorm of sorts. Chalk it up to bad comedy and the need to be loved by Obama – after all he was doing the President a “favor” in his own mind.

Personal note: anyone reading this blog over the past few years understands that this blogger is lukewarm on Romney, however, as the saying goes, one learns something everyday – it was with interest that I read about the loan (and the attempt by the Times to paint it as something extraordinary and privileged, a parent having that type of money ($42,000) to loan to a son. This brought back a personal memory: as a student, who was self-funding her education, had on occasion the need to take out a loan for housing, this student went to the Bank of Mom, who wrote the check and sent along a notebook, with a payment Schedule Plus interest outlined in some detail. (Bank of Mom was what all siblings called the woman who had a brain akin to a Sperry-Rand Computer) (I have no fear of “dating myself”). This was a common practice, not just within one family but the families of friends and acquaintances in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Parents who were not “filthy rich” – but who had backgrounds in solid fiscal conservatism (and they were – Democrats!) – had actual savings, they did not pamper children into helplessness, rather, loans were the norm, and it taught more than one lesson, while instilling in those who were fortunate enough to live in that era the following: fiscal responsibility, the import of paying a loan, the import of passing on to one’s child a work ethic, which included one’s children taking personal responsibility for their lives. Bailouts were not an option one would want to approach unless one was ready for a long lecture – and a possible rejection – therefore, one strived to achieve goals set.
Somehow that changed – our society lost the value instilled in us by parents such as George Romney and this bloggers, who cared enough about their children to insure their success with the less intervention and give-aways. Now it is not uncommon for a child to be given a car, given a college education, given whatever they ask for, beyond one’s means if necessary - and therein lays the problem. What we, as a nation, have lost is the concept of personal responsibility and personal freedoms – without one, one cannot have the other.

Mitt Romney’s campaign may not have put out this tale about Romney’s first house, and humble basement apartment living, but in looking at Romney with this information – he certainly does stand in a new light – one of respect. What we need in a leader is not flash, or promises that cannot be kept, but someone who is steadfast and has a background that includes a bit of struggle and some identifier with those of who might be a wee bit suspicious of the “rich guy”. Now Romney is one of those men, who went from the bottom, to the top, on his own merits – in effect an American Success Story.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Axelrod “Endorses” Mitt Romney, Romney Leads Obama in Latest Polling, Romney on Welfare Reform versus Obama

William Weld, father of Welfare Reform (pre-Clinton/Gingrich Bill), with Mitt Romney - circa 1990 - image sunshine state news dot com

From Red State”Breaking David Axelrod Endorses Mitt Romney for President” - although satirical, one has to be confused as to whom the President’s Campaign Manger is referring. In the video clip below, Axelrod, on a Sunday morning news show, noted that the middle class needs are not being met, and that “we” as a people, can either change that – or “keep going on the same path”. If anyone watching this gave it a moment’s though, to travel on the same road we’re on, would be to re-elect the man for whom Axelrod shills, and to help the middle class, (and since when do we have a “class system in our country” – that defies the principles of our founding fathers), one would think that would be someone who was in a position or had knowledge of how to produce actual private sector jobs, rather than stimulus programs, extended unemployment benefits – jobs programs to date, have “saved” public sector jobs, such as teachers, which, without a taxpayer behind the scenes, these jobs would not exists in the public sector.

Video, comments shown twice

What might be most amazing is that to run on the administration’s record, one would have to change “history” to reflect a great record – since Academics are capable of changing history, by virtue of a rewrite, perhaps that’s what Axelrod is attempting in his latest “salvo” against Mitt Romney.

Desperation can produce many a faux pax. In the latest Rasmussen polling the Daily Presidential Tracking shows Obama down, and in a matchup with Romney, losing 48 to 44% (that would appear to be somewhere at or near the margin of error). However, with the last Gallup state by state polling released, the President had approval ratings in only 10 states that was above 50% - Obama’s Ten States show above 50% approval are: California (at 50.1%) Illinois (50.4%), New York, (54.7%), Massachusetts (55.1%), Vermont (51.3%), Connecticut (55%), New Jersey (50.8%), Delaware (50.9), Maryland (55.5%) and Hawaii (56.1%). The bigger story is that these ratings have declined, since the state by state survey in 2010.

One keeps hearing about how close this race is going to be, however, if this trend continues, state by state, an incumbent pulling 50% and some change in approval in only 10 states, does not bode well for the general election – consider the population in these 10 state: California and New York are large population centers, however, the balance are not.

So the battle has begun between Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, with the conservative wing of the Party still looking at Romney as if he had grown three horns, and many vowing to hold their noses and vote – against Obama – on the other hand, Romney appeals to the moderate – of which in this country that appears to be a growing and large segment of the population.

What does the Obama Campaign have on Mitt Romney – not much when the truth be told – it is a phenomena called “sort-term-memory loss” – when it comes to politicians, especially incumbents – Obama continues to blame Bush, blame the Republican’s, blame the Congress, but, as Harry Truman noted: “The Buck Stops Here” and those who are voting, only know that Obama has been President for four years, and in four years, nothing has improved. Therefore, you will find complains surfacing in papers such as the Boston Globe, about Mitt Romney.

The most recent example is an article from’s Political Intelligence section - Mitt Romney Says All Moms Are Working Mom’s, but Mothers on Welfare Need to Work - the headline leads one to believe, Romney put those two concepts tougher in the same sentence – not so. In one instance, Romney was defending remarks made by a CNN Political Pundit, and Democrat Operative, regarding his wife, Ann’s inability to understand the economy because she was nothing more than “a stay at home mom” – This took place last week. However, in the Romney says mothers on welfare need to work; he was in New Hampshire on the campaign trail in January.

Romney was, of course, speaking about Welfare Reform, a product of former Massachusetts peer and Governor, William Weld, which was nationalized under the Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton. The premise: a timeline was set for welfare recipients to get off the “dole”, they would go to college or get a job, (college was a two year program), and much was provided, including daycare – it was a resounding success, cutting the welfare roles and putting people to work refer to discussions on the success of the MA model up to and through 2001( Therefore, Romney is speaking about “Welfare Reform, getting individuals off the government dole and in the workforce, by incentives, and thereby reducing the welfare roles and increasing the taxpayer base. FDR has workfare, as the most often referred to Social Revolutionary (one thinks he might roll in his grave) President by Progressives, the institution of his workfare program and other benefit programs were clearly, intended to be short term – a point those who laud the programs apparently miss.

What of the incumbents views of Welfare Reform? They don’t exist: In fact, replacing Welfare Reform was primary in the Obama administration to the point where states were incentivized to increase the welfare roles – see: Presdient Obama Ends Welfare Reform.

Welfare Reform, instead replacing it with a program that increased aid to states who increased the welfare roles. By replacing Aid under Clinton’s Welfare Reform Plan, with the new TANF

Under the new system, states will once again be paid more if their Welfare roles increase. States will actually be paid even more than under the system that was in effect prior to 1996. The government has added $4 billion per year to help states increase their welfare roles.

Of course, all is well and good, if welfare is used as a transition, and enables the individual to find skills, gainful employment, and become a part of the society – In the interim; they receive benefits that are not always designed to be the most generous. Therefore, when inflation hits, for example with food and fuel, that not only hurts those in the “middle class”, but those in the “welfare class” as well.
That is evidenced by a trip to the grocery store, and finding those with EBT cards making hard choices about food – just like those in the middle class.

Clearly the administration cannot run on its record, even if there were some sleight of hand or outright miracle and the price of a gallon of gas drops to $2.25 and the unemployment rate drops to Bush Era levels (4 to 5%) between now and November, it is the sales pitch that will fall hallow. The cumulative facts must have been on Axelrod’s mind as he rambled out that statement.

Bloggers Note: As a stay at home mom for the first four years of my daughter’s life, it was not only hard work, demeaning in terms of how stay at home mothers are viewed by former peers, and the family who decides to go that route, ends up losing income and making do. However, nurturing the child is worth every sacrifice. With women, especially, it should not be an us vs. them (stay-at-home moms versus those mom’s in the workforce , especially those who are financially capable of making the choice to either stay home or work – should be supportive of one another. To do otherwise, is to take one of the most important and powerful roles a woman owns, that of bearing and rearing her children. It is politics that divides - the us versus them of the Democrats who feel they own women, and the Republican’s /Moderate Democrats such as a Bill Clinton, who feel that women have a right to be – equal – no matter which choices they make when it comes to their children. Which would you choose? Servitude or Freedom from being a political football?

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