Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sarah Palin - On the New Media and Obligation to Tell The Truth

Sarah Palin, speaking at the "Right Online conference in Las Vegas", delivered yet another inspiration speech on the power of the press - or in reality - the Power of the New Press, as defined by Matt Drudge, Andrew Breitbart, and perhaps millions of bloggers, pointing out fact versus the fiction one most often sees or hears or reads in what has become known as "The Mainstream Media". If one has not had the opportunity, or dismissed taking the opportunity due to political prejudice, to listen to Palin deliver a speech, this is the time to take ten minutes and watch and listen to the woman who, although maligned by the likes of Couric and Company, is one of the wisest of politico's - and surprisingly non-partisan (for all the Rhetoric). The speech and introduction below are courtesy of Real Clear Politics, via "The Right Scoop". There are times in history, when one individual has the ability to affect many in a positive manner, and with Palin, that is exactly who she is - a warrior for the truth, a later day Boudica or Boudicca who is fearless in her delivery, passionate in her cause to see our nation move forward, and who is an inspiration to those who would help to effect change.

This is not about one of the two Dominant Political Parties, that have appeared to meld into one - rather about individual responsibility to keep them, and the "Mainstream Media" honest - in order for generations to understand that there is a struggle, and that the "Press" and the ability for the "Press" to exist as it does under our most venerable document - the Constitution - extends beyond the power houses of print and broadcast - to the kitchen table, the college dorm. She goes further, noting that we can, indeed, be organizers and in person effect change.

Powerful, determined, and stalwart in her love for the United States of American, Sarah Palin is one to be admired and perhaps one of our greatest American political forces.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Presidential Campaign Kick-off! Romney Sense of Humor – Bus Circles Obama Campaign Honking Horn – Obama 54 Minute Speech Against Bush - Bores Press

Romney Bus on a Roll – Around Obama Speech – Side Reads: Conservative Business Leader – image CNN

The Romney and Obama Campaigns have hit the ground running – well, driving in the case of Mitt Romney – in circles – around Obama’s Campaign Kick-off speech. From: Weasel Zippers blog ”Romney Campaign Bus Drives Circles Around Obama Speech Site Honking Its Horn” shows that although he may appear “stuffy” to some, he has a sense of humor – one that apparently does not sit well with CNN who referred to the campaign as ”Political Carnival” begging the question: Who’s stuffy now?

As the press turns – the daily drama of trying to defend Obama or his campaign – the “Hollywood Hype” can be seen on the local 11 PM News (CBS Affiliates) as if it were “special” – yes this sensational Tour for Cash – received a bit of sarcasm as a “shake-down” by the President for the $40,000 ticket price at the recent Sarah Jessica Parker/Wintour event in NY (ABC New)

Obama drones on in Cleveland - about Bush Policy - seriously - image MSNBC

Obama’s speech (with Mitt and his circling bus), was panned by the press – as overly long, tired and “been there, done that” - The New York Observer:

Prior to President Barack Obama’s marathon 54 minute speech in Ohio today, the Obama campaign sent our several statements promising the speech would be a major address framing the campaign going forward. Despite the hype, the speech was mainly a rehash of themes and ideas from the president’s recent stump speeches and his remarks were widely panned as overly long by the political press corps.

This followed by tweets that offer insight into the pain and suffering of the journalists covering the event.

For a full summary of the President’s Speech visit the Examiner – - apparently the Obama campaign plans on running against George Bush – a tactic that might have worked in 2008 – but….sooner or later the general public will catch on that Bush is no longer in office, nor can he run for President – as the Office is limited to two terms. (Caution: Grab a cup of espresso before reading.)

Not to be outdone, the Press, although bored to tears, does at least have the negative ads to worry over – and it will get nasty – although most in the media will speak to Romney as negative - not mentioning Obama in a negative ad vein – Sunshine State News offers both campaign’s “negative” ads – however, looking at Romney’s ads as a Massachusetts resident used to seeing negative campaign ads that are over the top from both sides – these appear rather fact-based (Romney’s), and mundane . Both Ads appear below.

Obama Attack on Romney Ad

Romney Attack on Obama Ad

At first it looked to be a long boring campaign – Obama’s long speeches, Romney’s lack of Celebrity Backing – however, with the Bus Stunt – it’s fresh, fun and gave Mitt Romney a leg up among those with a sense of humor – Looking forward to more – give the credit to Ann Romney who mentioned more than once that her husband had a sense of humor. How refreshing – to have a choice of leadership that means business and has a sense of humor at the same time versus a campaign running away from its record and dragging up old news. Just saying.

Note to both campaigns – Knock off the repeated robo calls – it’s too soon!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Romney Taps Business – The Engine that Could – Obama Taps Hollywood – Selling an Image – Joan Rivers Isn’t Buying Any of It – Is the General Public?

The President Bets on Hollywood for Campaign Cash - image: Daily Mail UK

From the Boston Herald via McClatchy Newspapersheadline: “Mitt Romney to business Help is on the way”, speaks to a meeting that Romney attended in Washington with national business leaders – discussing his plans for an economic upturn and the differences between Obama’s policies and the policies of business. When one considers that without private businesses and one who has a clue as to how they run, there is simply no money flowing – no hiring, no research, no reinvestment – all staples that fund the Federal Government, even if there are tax cuts or “incentives” to lure businesses back to the U.S. in place. To someone who is lower to middle income, watching the price of everything rise, as the dollar stretches to the limit, with or without a job at this point, it is understood that something is very wrong with the economy. Whatever policies are in place simply are not working. The Obama Campaign shot back with the usual “go back to the policies that put the nation at risk in the first place” (paraphrasing from Herald article) – surprising that they did not invoke the “George Bush” mantra.

By now, it must be glaringly apparent to most of the nation, that the policies of the administration simply are not working, the problem being the simple rule: the Government makes on product, offers no services to sell, and cannot run without taxes – the bigger the government, the theory goes, with more entitlements, fewer jobs, and less revenue, the worse the situation becomes. One does not need to be an economics major to understand that without small to large businesses, the nation cannot pump the money into the fed necessary to keep the Government solvent. That is one concept that appears to escape most, if not all, those who are insistent on larger government and hold the belief that government can solve all problems.

Unfortunately, they forget the part that there are limited resources when there are few new hires, and businesses are afraid to hire, due to the “unknown” and often “erratic” behavior of the Fed. If one looks at the “Bush Tax Cuts” for example, the Congress has yet to agree or disagree on continuing those much maligned cuts – yet, without a strong leader to work with and convince Congress to act, party politics rule (on both sides) and nothing gets done. That affects businesses – it’s the paperwork and accounting that costs businesses when tax codes are changed modified, or rules and regulations concerning healthcare are changed or modified. It makes those investors and small businesses hesitate – and hold back on hiring. Right now the only thing that appears to be pumping money into the “economy” is the General Election campaign, and that’s a minimal effect. Romney’s prescription may sound somewhat out-dated, however, one may also call it one school of economics versus another – one that works, and then one that is based on theory, and has a short history of complications. (See Carter Administration bigger government, bigger taxes, and more misery).

It is not so much that any one person can solve all the nations problems, it’s a question of who would do the better job of pushing the Congress to work, have the ability to understand how to work with both the private sector and the government, and – here it comes – the concept of trickledown economics. Would a President Romney have the temerity to push Congress (both sides) to work on an issue to aid the public, or would he hire a committee, wait six months and then ignore the results? One only needs to look at Romney’s behavior as Governor of the Commonwealth to understand he knows how to work both sides, and that even with odds against him, he would push the most indicted body of lawmakers in the nation’s history to get something done. In other words, Romney’s confidence in his ability translates into getting the job done – the key word – job.

If one looks at the recent donors to either campaign, one finds Romney receiving aid from business and individuals – most recently the 15th richest man in the world - Sheldon Adelson, has given millions to the PAC that supports Mitt Romney’s candidacy – and that figure could, according to Forbes Magazine, go over $100 million. Those that view business as essential to the economy might factor in who is donating to whom – to get a clue as to which of the two candidates are more business (i.e. jobs oriented – or more government and ideologically driven).

Case in Point, Business Week reports that Obama is tapping into entertainer, i.e. celebrities, to support his campaign against Romney –

President Barack Obama is using the entertainment industry on both coasts to help fill the fundraising hole left by defections of some Wall Street donors.
Obama has been hitting California and New York in the race to stay ahead of Republican Mitt Romney in fundraising for the presidential campaign. He’ll be in New York tonight for the second time this month for an event at actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s house and another co-hosted by singer Mariah Carey at the Plaza Hotel, aiming to raise $4.5 million.
“If you go to New York to raise money at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house you’re really going to Los Angeles,” said Joel Aberbach, a political science professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. “He’s getting a better reception from show business people than finance people, and those are the moneyed classes on the two coasts.”
California, the headquarters for the music, movie and television industries, is outpacing New York as a funding source for both candidates. Through the end of April, California donors have raised $19 million for Obama and $10.6 for Romney compared to New York’s $12.2 million for Obama and $9.7 million for Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

It becomes a matter of who does one trust in 2012 – A celebrity who apparently has no need to worry about paying the rent or the businessman who has to worry about staying in business and build the business, which one cannot do without hiring. Sure, the report cites that the President is losing his “Wall Street” donors, but one has to look at business across the nation that apparently aren’t giving to the campaign to reelect Obama – they are looking towards Romney – the mom’s and pop’s the mid-sized businesses.

It’s all perception – if one looks at a celebrity as the know it all-tell it all – then one might be tempted to take a chance on Obama for a second term – however, if one feels that a celebrity is certainly entertaining, but no more or less politically astute than a light bulb, then they may be shopping, or in the Romney camp – with the economy always a “surprise” – poor jobs reports, etc., it’s a good bet on Romney (see Adelson).

Does this drive everyone to the point of “shut up already, we get it” (The robo-call are on, and it is annoying in June, imagine how annoying they will be in November?)
– Speaking of celebrities

Joan Rivers had a thing or two to say about both candidates – via CNN

On the presidential race, Rivers says, “How dare you spend two years campaigning? This country’s in trouble. They should do what England does. Six weeks – to find out what everyone thinks before they vote for them for Parliament. That makes sense. Two years? First of all, the President – get into the White House and do your God-damned duty. And Mitt Romney. Two years, you all hate each other and now they’re all going to come together and say, ‘but we really love him.’ I find it disgusting. The money spent? The money spent? Outrageous. Obama went to a dinner party for Democrats? $40,000 a plate. You’re not Democrats. You’re not Democrats. You’re very strong Republicans. I find the whole thing disgusting. Both sides disgusting.”

Once in a blue moon someone from tinsel-town makes a valid point. The Money spent – on both sides – while American’s are hurting – is a bit discouraging – However, it is a fact of life that a politician must campaign, (re: Rivers versus Obama), and that Primaries bring out the most devious and downright nasty sides of the participants and in the end, they sit around a campfire and toast marshmallows (Mitt and the Republicans who ran against and into the Romney Scorched Earth Policy of winning.). The idea that the two party system has pretty much melded into one big glob of self-inflated egos, and keeping the status quo – is set in the minds of many American’s – Ms. Rivers should attend a Tea Party event, she might find she fits in – because most American’s have had it – and Americans now have two choices, (not 3 real choices or 4 real choices, but two), it’s now come down to a question of continuing what Obama has done in the past four years, or moving forward with a man who has governed and run a business, and is ultimately qualified to be President – that’s Bill Clinton on Romney.

It's the Economy Stupid: Romney did not have to say that, it appears to be a given, Romney at a recent campaign rally - Mesa, AZ - image from the Washington Post

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Arizona 8th District Update - Barber Holds Lead over Kelly - Kelly Concedes - Dems Hold Giffords Seat - Rematch in November

From: The Arizona Republic: Here are the latest results in Southern Arizona's 8th Congressional District special election between Democrat Ron Barber and Republican Jesse Kelly.

Barber: 52.8 percent

Kelly: 44.4 percent

Green Party candidte Charlie Manolakis: 2.5 percent

So far, 77 precincts out of 352 precincts have been counted. These unofficial results include 39 of Pima County's 281 precincts plus 31 of Cochise County's 64 precincts; all 5 of Santa Cruz County's precincts and both of Pinal County's district.

Kelly, a Republican and former Marine, gave his concession speech and will challenge Barber in the fall according to local KVOA.

The district which cuts the city of Tucson in half, is on the U.S.-Mexican border - with all eyes on the district looking for clues that this would be a referendum one way or the other on the current administration, it appears that it was more of a referendum on the former Congressional Representative, Gabby Giffords, who had resigned her seat after the tragic shooting, of which she continues to battle with recovery - the former "Blue Dog Democrat" campaigned constantly with Barber, a former aid, and solid Democrat who promised to vote with Obama in the fall. Therefore, call this loss for the Republican Kelly a tribute to Gabby Giffords.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

AZ 8th Congressional District – Special Election Today – Referendum on The Economy (Obama) or Just Local Politics? - Analysis

The Contenders: Barber (D) vs. Kelly (R) - Image AZ Daily Star

With each special election around the nation being touted as a “referendum on the Obama Administration”, one must watch each race with caution and a huge grain of salt - Arizona’s 8th Congressional District goes to the polls today to choose a replacement for the popular Representative Gabby Gifford’s who has stepped down after the tragic shooting that rocked the nation. Gifford’s, however, is not the issue, the issue is who will best serve the interests of the District, and the special interests are out in force.

The candidates are former Gifford staffer, Ron Barber, who has Gifford’s out stumping for him in the Tucson district. The opponent, Jesse Kelly, a Republican, Marine and Iraq War veteran, ran a very close race with Gifford’s in 2010, and the money has poured into the District by both Democrats and Republican’s – very much like the race to recall Governor Walker in Wisconsin.

The recall vote in Wisconsin, which was polling as a close, race (Public Policy Polling had the race in a statistical tie on 3 separate occasions- Real Clear Politics), ended up being a route – with Walker sending the first message of revolt against Public Employee Unions and the Obama Administration of the 2012 session.

The race in the 8th has one poll shown, by Public Policy Polling, giving a 12 point lead to the Democrat, Barber. The New York Times had the 2010 race painted as “toss up”, with a projection of a 2.5 swing between Kelly and Gifford’s – and the results were in sync. This election, according to the New York Times, will also be a too close to call noting that Democrat Barber, is relying heavily on Gifford’s brand to get out the vote, while Kelly is doing retail politics – it’s a ground game versus carefully chosen venues – and a ton of advertising from special interest groups.

What happens – at this point, the race could go either way – and a race that is not the blowout that was Wisconsin, but under a 5 point margin, will bode neither well nor good for the Obama administration. Of note: there is a voter I.D. law in Arizona, and the district had been mainly Republican before Gifford’s a “Blue Dog Democrat” took the seat in 2008 (the year of the Republican Drubbing), and managed to barely hold it in 2010 (the year of the Democrat Drubbing).

To get an inside feel for the race, one can follow the “chat” set up by the Tucson Daily Star:”.

As with any mainstream media outlet (Televised, Print, Radio, Web) the political division in the nation and the ability for individuals to choose their “poison” (media), however, with this area, and the low population of the district, one might be given a rare glimpse into what is actually taking place as the chat rolls in.

In any event, Gifford’s will be a tough act to follow – voting for the District, and holding onto her seat by doing so. That requires bucking party trends, at times – similar to the Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown who won the special election in January of 2009, based on his independent streak – and he has indeed, kept his promise to vote in the interests of Massachusetts, not the Party. It is the same here, in Arizona, however, in this instance, one has an avowed Democrat in Barber, who, in what could be seen as desperation (or plain stupidity) promised to vote for Obama in November, versus a Tea Party backed candidate (and where is there a huge percentage of tea party activists? – the western United States)

All in all it is an interesting race, but as touted as the outcome may be, it really is not a national referendum unless, of course, (media) Barber wins, and then one will hear how Obama is on the upswing. Should the vote go to Kelly, there will be crickets, an article or two perhaps in local papers, and Conservative News outlets. It is, as of now, a choice between to political opponents representing two diverse political ideologies, freedom from government, versus government oversight of the individual. The later, more than anything else makes each of these very partisan races, important. When the Special Interest Groups are pumping money into small Congressional races, this early, get ready for a fight in November over each small District, Senate, and of course, the main prize, The Presidency.

*Based on available polling data and political analysis from the New York Times, articles and comments from the Tucson Daily Star – this race is, as of now, too close to call. It will be over, however, shortly after the polls close, at 7 PM MST.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mexico – 7 Dismembered on Tue., 7 Shot in SUV on Sat. – Journalist and Son Missing, 2013 U.S Aid Package to Mexico – State Department Warning Updated

Mutiliated Bodies found in Trash Bags in Residential Neighborhood - Mexico - image via Borderland Beat

From Borderland Beat: Seven Dismembered (Feet, Hands and Head) bodies were discovered, stuffed into trash bags:

The bodies were found stuffed into 13 black garbage bags and dumped in a residential area, authorities said. The victims were dressed in police uniforms but authorities confirmed none of the people killed were actually officers.

Following those found in Sinaloa, which is on the Pacific Coast, below Tucson, AZ, violence in that area continued on Saturday when “seven people were gunned down in Badiraguato, a city in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, state prosecutors said.” (Fox News Latino).

It was on Saturday that another Mexican Journalist was found missing, along with her two year old son, reporter Stephania Cardoso, 30, covers the Zocalo, Mexico police beat.. According to “Borderland Beat” Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for journalist. One might also add – anyone caught in the crosshairs of the drug/turf/wars that continue to rip through the nation to our south. The violence continues, and the U.S. State Department issues this warning February 8th 2012
The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens about the security situation in Mexico. General information on the overall security situation is provided immediately below. For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, which can vary, travelers should reference the state-by-state assessments further below.
This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Mexico dated April 22, 2011 to consolidate and update information about the security situation and to advise the public of additional restrictions on the travel of U.S. government (USG) personnel.
General Conditions:
Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day. The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes.

Nevertheless, U.S. travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter TCOs which engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity. As a result, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere. U.S. citizens have fallen victim to TCO activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery.
(Continue Reading visit U.S. State Departmenthere)

Understanding that the Government of Mexico has continued to receive Aid from the U.S. – in billions to combat the “violence” – The 2013 budget for foreign aid is beefed up slightly from 2012 (figures shown) here begins by offering Mexico 35 million in aid: “The United States will continue its partnership with Mexico and expand mutual cooperation under the Obama Administration’s Merida Initiative four pillar approach to address security risks from drug trafficking, violent crime, and rule of law capacity in Mexico. Specifically, ESF funding will focus on strengthening and institutionalizing reforms to improve the rule of law and respect for human rights and build strong and resilient communities able to withstand the pressures of crime and violence. A more stable Mexico will increase the United States' national security, unlock economic growth potential, and protect U.S. citizens along
our shared border.” Yet another $199 Million to specifically address the dismantling of organized crime, 14.4 Million (split between Colombia, El Salvador, and Mexico) to beef up their forces, Global Health Program 3,.55 Million, “Development Assistance” 25 Million, Economic Support: 18 million and on and on, including fund Border Environment Cooperation Commission.

Understanding that foreign aid is essential in some cases, (famine, aid for victims of natural disasters, cash for countries that are hostile (Pakistan), yet we throw money at them anyhow, in a good will gesture, (not a bad idea, nor a good idea –one of those one has to sit on the fence over) – However, with Mexico – it goes without saying – as NAFTA has allowed for the improvement of jobs, in agriculture among other industries, including the auto industry (check the country of origin every time you buy produce – strawberries to tomatoes), therefore, one has to ask why we continue to give Mexico huge sums of money for a “drug” war, they cannot seem to control, if anything else, the more we provide, the worse the situation becomes.
Cut the cash, put our troops on the border, force the drug cartels out of business, (American’s are nothing if not entrepreneurs, they’ll figure out a way to produce what they need and take their chances with the law) – this would cut down on illegal immigration (those seeking political asylum or entrance would have to take the embassy approach), and the option for those who are below the border to set up shop here – we certainly don’t lack for drug dealers.

Additionally, although the State Department does not specifically argue against travel to resort areas, it should be understood, that these wars are taking place across the country – random murders, kidnappings (which have spilled into the U.S. via Arizona), and the like – might not be the way one would like to remember a vacation – Head to beaches, or designations in the U.S.

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