Monday, November 29, 2010

Dude! What Happened to the Hurricanes? 2010 Mildest Season in Decades Continues Trend Despite Global Warming Hysteria!

Someone call Al Gore!
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This is becoming quite a habit. Since former Vice President Al Gore first presented "An Inconvenient Truth" in which he claimed, with the help of so-called scientists, that hurricanes would become more frequent and ever more violent I've been following the stats from hurricane seasons. Like most else in Gore's fraudulent film, the opposite of what he predicted has happened.

Despite the predictions of hurricane researchers who speculated that we might see anywhere from three to five major storms in 2010 each with what's called Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 100 or higher, there wasn't one storm that even approached those levels. Hurricane Igor (similar to Al Gore) came closest but only with a short burst of hurricane strength winds and an ACE of only 42.4.

From Florida State University's Global Tropical Cyclone Activity Update and Research Page :
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Not only was there not a single named hurricane to make landfall in the United States, but the overall hurricane energy is at the lowest point in decades!

Cancun Conference Last Ditch for Global Warming Nuts!

Of course this REALITY won't stop the fantastical fatalists who prophesy doom and gloom unless we immediately assign to them control of the West's use of energy along with trillions in taxes to support their mission which has more to do with one world socialist government than the environment. The same bunch of nuts who gathered in Copenhagen last winter and fortunately failed to impose their will on the saner members of society are at it again in a conference in Cancun.

The Cancun crowd won't succeed any better than the Copenhagen bunch. The jig is up. More and more people are aware that global warming has been exposed as the most massive fraud of all time. What a shame we can't prosecute the idiots who have done so much to distract citizens of the world from the REAL problems that we CAN do something about!

Obama's Favorite Union to Drop Health Coverage for Children of Poor Workers!

And right before Christmas!

Former President of the Service Employees International Union, Andy Stern, was among the top visitors to the White House in the early days of the Obama Administration. Stern and SEIU were among the biggest backers of Obama's health care reform efforts.

Now, not only has SEIU New York chapter received a waiver exempting it from the new health care law, they are dropping coverage for the children of the poorest of their workers. From the Wall Street Journal:
One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.

...
The fund informed its members late last month that their dependents will no longer be covered as of Jan. 1, 2011. Currently about 6,000 children are covered by the benefit fund, some until age 23.

...
“In addition, new federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26,” Behroozi wrote in a letter to members Oct. 22. “Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

So much for Obama's promise that if you like your current health care plan you can keep it!

Meanwhile, union executives who have gold plated or "Cadillac" health care plans which were exempted from the same taxation other Americans with similar benefits face under Obama Care are free to continue enjoying the fruits of other people's labor!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dems Who Sought to Sabotage America at War Now Point the Finger at GOP

Why is it that Dems always accuse us of doing the same thing THEY DO?

Former Bush Speechwriter Michael Gerson has a column in the Washington Post in which he dissects the liberal's attempt to excuse Obama's failing policies by blaming the Republicans. Nothing new you say? Except that Dems are now suggesting GOP leaders would sabotage policies that work for political purposes.

I wonder where Dems got that idea? Could it when Harry Reid said of the Iraq war "this war is lost" or when then Senator Obama said the surge wouldn't work, Dems were prepared to sacrifice our nation in war to smear the Bush Administration with defeat? Now they are trying to paint the GOP with that same vile brush?

Here's an excerpt from Gerson's column:

Matt Yglesias warns the White House to be prepared for "deliberate economic sabotage" from the GOP -- as though Chamber of Commerce SWAT teams, no doubt funded by foreigners, are preparing attacks on the electrical grid. Paul Krugman contends "Republicans want the economy to stay weak as long as there's a Democrat in the White House." Steve Benen explains, "We're talking about a major political party ... possibly undermining the strength of the country -- on purpose, in public, without apology or shame -- for no other reason than to give themselves a campaign advantage in 2012." Benen's posting was titled, "None Dare Call it Sabotage."

So what is the proof of this charge? It seems to have something to do with Republicans criticizing quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve. And opposing federal spending. And, according to Benen, creating "massive economic uncertainty by vowing to gut the national health care system."

One is tempted to respond that it is a trillion dollars in new debt, the prospect of higher taxes and a complicated, disruptive health reform law that have created "massive economic uncertainty." For the purposes of this argument, however, it is sufficient to say that all these economic policy debates have two sides.

Yet this is precisely what the sabotage theorists must deny. They must assert that the case for liberal policies is so self-evident that all opposition is malevolent. But given the recent record of liberal economics, policies that seem self-evident to them now seem questionable to many. Objective conditions call for alternatives. And Republicans are advocating the conservative alternatives -- monetary restraint, lower spending, lower taxes -- they have embraced for 30 years.

The counterargument to such lunacy is that many consider what the Democrats are doing is not only reckless and dangerous. Some even think Democrats are trying to sabotage the economy according to the Alinsky communist model so that a complete left wing takeover is possible.

Either way, one thing is clear: Dems who adhere to this sabotage theory (some of whom may have been involved in those earlier efforts to sabotage Bush's Iraq policy) have negated any intellectual integrity they might once have possessed and have no real place in an honest discussion of ideas. Their inability to accept that in a democratic process, there are at least two legitimate points of view, means they can play no useful role as we move forward.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why Americans Need to Care About Obama's START Treaty with Russia

It will be nearly impossible to correct Obama's mistake once the treaty is ratified!

I know that most people don't pay a great deal of attention to arms control treaties. We either find them way too complicated or are just more interested in who wins Dancing with the Stars.

But there's a big reason why people need to pay attention to the START Treaty that the Obama Administration has placed before the Senate. Once the treaty is ratified it will be nearly impossible to change it and there are lots of good reasons why we need to ask important questions about what this treaty really represents and demand answers from the Obama Administration BEFORE the Senate votes on ratification.

Readers will recall that the Obama Administration promised the American people transparency. That's a promise they've had a hard time living up to in the health care debate and the same is true with this arms control agreement. Concerns over what the Obama Administration promised to the Russians, especially where it concerns missile defense, has led some Senators who are charged with the Constitutional duty to "advise and consent" to request the record of negotiation discussions where this and other issues were considered. The Obama Administration has refused to release these records even though there is a precedent for doing so from the Reagan Administration which released negotiating records on earlier arms control treaties with the Soviets after Democrat Senators demanded them.

The truth is we do NOT KNOW what Obama has promised the Russians and unlike the health care bill where Nancy Pelosi said we have to pass the bill to "find out what's in it" any weakness in a treaty of this sort requiring a vote of 2/3rds to pass the Senate isn't easily undone.

Can we just take the Obama Administration's word for it that they haven't sold out missile defense which we need now more than ever with the North Korean and Iranian threats increasing? I don't think so!

The Obama Administration is pushing the Senate to ratify this treaty without delay and there is pressure to vote on it before the newly elected members of the Senate are seated next January. Why the rush? You know the answer... we've seen this pattern before with other legislation and regretted it.

There's no reason to rush this treaty and certainly no vote should be taken until the Obama Administration comes clean with what they have told the Russians behind the scenes! President Reagan used to recite the old Russian proverb: "doveryai, no proveryai" (Доверяй, но проверяй) which translates to "trust but verify." When it comes to Obama, we can't afford to take his word for it!

UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer: Irrelevance of Start!

As usual, Charles Krauthammer nails it. Here's an excerpt of his latest column which addresses this issue:
It's a lame-duck session. Time is running out. Unemployment is high, the economy is dangerously weak and, with five weeks to go, no one knows what tax anyone will be paying on everything from income to dividends to death when the current rates expire Jan. 1. And what is the president demanding that Congress pass as "a top priority"? To what did he devote his latest weekly radio address? Ratification of his New START treaty.


Good grief. Even among national security concerns, New START is way down at the bottom of the list.
...
The worst thing about this treaty, however, is that it is simply a distraction. It gives the illusion of doing something about nuclear danger by addressing a non-problem, Russia, while doing nothing about the real problem - Iran and North Korea. The utter irrelevance of New START to nuclear safety was dramatically underscored last week by the revelation of that North Korean uranium enrichment plant, built with such sophistication that it left the former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory "stunned." It could become the ultimate proliferation factory. Pyongyang is already a serial proliferator. It has nothing else to sell. Iran, Syria and al-Qaeda have the money to buy.

Iran's Islamic Republic lives to bring down the Great Satan. North Korea, nuclear-armed and in a succession crisis, has just shelled South Korean territory for the first time since the Korean armistice. Obama peddling New START is the guy looking for his wallet under the lamppost because that's where the light is good - even though he lost the wallet on the other side of town.

Libs Who Defend TSA Pat Downs Among Those Who Said Bush Monitoring Terrorists Violated Civil Liberties?

Does the left have more concern for the rights of terrorists than they do with the rights of American citizens?

Here's Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo from Tuesday, November 23rd:



Excerpt:
O'REILLY: Scenes showing a 3-year-old being patted down by a federal security agent are whipping up a frenzy of indignation, especially in the conservative community. Now, you'd think the opposite, that right-wingers would want stringent security and left-wingers would be opposed, but it's the opposite, with many left-wing pundits defending the airport chaos:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL CROWLEY, TIME: There's this minor inconvenience that people are having to go through. It's not ideal, we should fix it. But I just -- I think that people getting very upset about something that's not that big of deal.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC: I mean, this has to be done. I mean, I'm sorry that it's intrusive and I'm very sorry that people are insulted. But, you know, the alternative is that we risk something.

MIKE BARNICLE, BOSTON HERALD: What does it say about us as a culture that we get more bent out of shape about this issue than we do about massive unemployment?

MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS: I hate to even think of what happens if the government caves in on this and relaxes these procedures and someone manages to get something on board a plane.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

That's interesting, isn't it? So why is the left on board with the intrusive security?

"Talking Points" does not like to speculate, but I think it has to do with defending President Obama. I just can't think of anything else.

Remember: The left opposed nearly all the Bush anti-terror programs -- everything -- and now they're OK with body scanning and pat-downs? A few years ago, liberals were screaming - screaming - about the New York City police randomly checking packages on the subways. So this is an amazing turn of events, is it not?

As we said Monday, the solution to the problem is random selection, putting some passengers through the body scanners. But not Opie and Aunt Bee. They are no threat. While some will scream profiling, this is about efficiency.

Remember: Since the airport security systems have been installed after 9/11, not one terrorist has been apprehended inside a U.S. airport. Not one.

And these same libs think it's an invasion of civil liberties for Arizona to enforce immigration laws or for voters to be required to show picture identification.

Those on the right have long been concerned about the erosion of civil liberties by an expanding federal government. What a shame that those on the left change their tune depending on who is in the White House and are always on the wrong side of the issue!

The Lesson of the First Thanksgiving

One that sadly, it seems we are forgetting...

PhotobucketWilliam Bradford was one of the leaders of that group of persons we call "The Pilgrims." They settled in what is now Massachusetts in 1620 after a long and perilous sea voyage. Bradford became Governor, a post in which he served off and on for over 30 years. He completed "History of Plymouth Plantation" in 1650 (text here).

The first months after their arrival half the Pilgrims died of disease, starvation or exposure to the elements. At first, they banded together to share the fruits of labor equally among themselves. Here's Bradford's report of the success of the collective "redistributive" approach:
The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato's and other ancients applauded by some of later times; and that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors and victuals, clothes etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it.
Three years later "after much debate of things" they decided to try things differently and let everyone work the land for themselves:

This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.
The lesson here: socialist "redistributive" policies "breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment." Labor free to reap it's own reward provides an abundance for all to enjoy!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Obama's 3 AM Phone Call: North Korea Calls His Bluff on Weak Foreign Policy

Weakness invites war!

Readers will recall that during the 2008 presidential campaign Hillary Clinton ran an ad about the 3 AM phone call which suggested Obama wasn't fit to lead in a national crisis? Well, Obama got the call Tuesday morning, though it arrived at 3:55 AM. The North Koreans had launched an artillery attack on South Korea, killing two and injuring 20. This comes after the news from last spring that the North Koreans were behind a torpedo attack on a South Korean naval vessel that killed 46 South Koreans and the recent revelation that the North Koreans have been cheating all along and have developed an advanced nuclear facility capable of producing bomb making materials.

In response to the latest attack by North Korea, Obama did what he does best: talk. "This is a serious and ongoing threat that needs to be dealt with," Obama told Barbara Walters in an interview. Yeah, that ought to get the North Korean's attention. Later he said: "This is just one more provocative incident in a series that we've seen over the last several months."

Just as it was with the results of the November 2nd election, Obama appears clueless as to the reasons why the North Koreans are behaving as they do. It's because his Administration projects weakness. Less than two weeks ago, Obama was in South Korea to attend the G-20 Summit and foreign leaders made it abundantly clear that they reject Obama's leadership on a range of issues. North Korea certainly couldn't have missed that signal.

North Korea obviously feels they have nothing to lose by attacking South Korea as the United States, the only power which could do anything about it, is led by a man with neither the experience nor the inclination to stand up to dangerous rogue states.

North Korea is sending a message to all the rogue states around the world that they have nothing to fear from Obama whose indifference may bring war as a result of his weakness!

P.S. Wonder what that 3:55 AM phone call went like this morning? The Mike's America original video of March 2009 had it nailed:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque Wants Taxpayer Money to Build Islamic Center!

As if we needed another reason to oppose this victory monument to Mohammed!

These guys have some nerve!

Mosque Money Shocker
by John Avlon
The Daily Beast

Developers of the controversial Park51 Islamic community center and mosque located two blocks from ground zero earlier this month applied for roughly $5 million in federal grant money set aside for the redevelopment of lower Manhattan after the attacks of September 11, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The audacious move stands to reignite the embers of a divisive debate that dominated headlines surrounding the ninth anniversary of the attacks this fall, say people vested in the issue.

The application was submitted under a “community and cultural enhancement” grant program administered by the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation (LMDC), which oversaw the $20 billion in federal aid allocated in the wake of 9/11 and is currently doling out millions in remaining taxpayer funds for community development. The redevelopment board declined to comment on the application (as did officials from Park51), citing the continuing and confidential process of determining the grant winners.
I wonder how those who wailed about the right of this questionable Muslim entity to build a mosque will feel about the application to take one quarter of  the money allocated to community redevelopment in lower Manhattan? Will they insist that if we just give them the money the Muslims will like us? Will the Muslim developer who threatened violence if the mosque were not built threaten violence if he doesn't get the grant?

Whatever happened to the idea of separation between Mosque and State? Or does that only apply to Christian churches?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Video: President Bush Gets TSA-Style Pat Down on Tonight Show

And after the opening bit, stay tuned for Leno's interview with former President Bush!

TSA Ad: We'll Touch You in "Certain Special Places"

Also on the lighter side is this from Saturday Night Live:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't Grope Me! Airport Insanity Continues

Obama not only has his hands in our wallets!

Where are all the liberals who boo hooed about "domestic spying" when President Bush ordered the monitoring of terrorist communications overseas? There was not ONE documented case of a U.S. citizens whose right to privacy was violated.

And now, Obama's Dept. of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration are giving what amounts to strip searches in full view of the flying public in airports across the country.

The Denver Post sent a photographer out to Denver International Airport who took the following photos on Wednesday:

How's it hanging?

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And here's another picture of a TSA (Touching Senstive Areas) agent checking out the underwear of a woman passenger.

We've yet to catch ONE terrorist using these invasive, intrusive and troubling methods. Is it any wonder Americans concerned with the senseless invasion of their privacy are rebelling?

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Feel free to print out the graphic above and wear it as a badge next time you go through airport "security."

Newsweek Puts Obama on Cover as Hindu god Shiva "The Destroyer"

And I thought he was a Muslim!

In June 2009 Newsweek Editor Evan Thomas wondered if Obama was  a "sort of God." Apparently Newsweek has decided that Obama is the Hindu god Shiva, described as  "the destroyer, and will appear as a naked ascetic accompanied by demons, encircled with serpents and necklaces of skulls." Sounds like a description of Obama meeting with Congressional Democrats.

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And isn't it amusing that Newsweek echoes the current liberal theme that the "modern presidency may be too much for one person to handle?" I can't recall anyone on the right using that as an excuse during the Bush years!

Obama is obviously in WAAAYYYY over his head and he doesn't seem to realize it. He's the furthest thing from a god or minor deity as one could get!

Is it any wonder Newsweek is on the brink of total failure?

Families of Americans Killed in Embassy Bombing Get No Justice from Obama's Civilian Trial of Terrorist

And the bomber nearly escaped scot-free!

Anyone concerned about the weakness of using civilian courts for the trial of terrorists captured overseas were confirmed in their opinion by the verdict in the Ahmed Ghailani case. Ghailani was tried in New York City and the Jury found him not guilty in 284 of the charges, including the 224 charges of murder for those killed in the embassy bombings which included 12 Americans. He was only found guilty on one count of conspiracy to destroy U.S. property.

The verdict is a slap in the face of the Obama Administration as Peter Finn writing at the Washington Post reports:
The Obama administration had hoped that a conviction on most, if not all, of the charges would help clear the way for federal prosecutions of other Guantanamo detainees - including Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
...
The failure to convict Ghailani, a native of Tanzania, on the most serious terrorism charges will bolster the arguments of those who say the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be kept open, both to host military commissions for some prisoners and to hold others indefinitely and without trial under the laws of war.

Finn goes on to say that the verdict was a "close call" and one wonders what would have happened if Ghailani had been found innocent on all charges. Would the terrorist had been set free?

Key testimony in the case was blocked by the judge because the identity of the witness was learned as a result of the milder forms of enhanced interrogation techniques which did not include waterboarding (which was done on only the three worst terrorist saving thousands of lives)

The verdict is another in a long line of failures in nearly every sphere of governance which continue to pile up and haunt the Obama Administration. So far, they seem impervious to the lessons that those with a less rigid far left ideological perspective might take from the experience!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Airport Insanity: TSA Pats Down Nuns & 3 Year Olds, not Terrorists. Plus: George Soros Profits from Body Scanners

Yet the govt. won't profile people who might actually BE terrorists!
Here's a curious photo. A nun gets a patdown by a TSA airport security agent wearing a muslim headscarf:

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Match that up with the news of the patdowns of three year old children (here and here) and we have to wonder what the heck is going on.

Homeland Security, which runs the Transportation Security Administration whose agents conduct these invasive patdowns refuses to use profiling that would single out Muslim men of a certain age who are the most likely perpetrators of terrorist atrocities. And while we are comforted that three year old children and nuns are less likely to be used to carry explosives through airport security we wonder how many Muslim extremists were whisked past the search area as this travesty is unfolding?

Billionaire Socialist George Soros Profits from Airport Body Scanners

And if you don't want to go through the humiliation of the patdown you can step into the X-Ray body scanner which takes a picture of your naked body. How's that for an alternative? More and more airports are installing these scanners causing upset nationwide. Guess who's making money off the nationwide installation of these nasty machine? George Soros, the Democrats money man and the same man who as a boy helped direct fellow Jews to the gas chambers in World War II. Now he's doing the same thing for Americans!

Two Dem Sens, Coons and Manchin Sworn in Today but GOP's Kirk Forced to Wait

Dems will use every technicality and loophole to block Kirk from voting as lame duck session begins!

If you wondered whether Democrats were prepared to put brass knuckles partisanship behind them following the November 2nd election you got your answer Monday and it's a solid "NO!"

At 4 PM Monday, both Democrat Senators Manchin of West Virginia and Coons "The Bearded Marxist" of Delaware were sworn into office. They were elected to finish the existing terms respectively of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) who died and Sen. Joe Biden(D-DE) who became Vice President in 2009.

But the man elected to fill the remainder of Obama's unexpired senate term in Illinois, Mark Kirk, a REPUBLICAN, was not sworn in today. The reason? Illinois law allows the state to delay certifying his election until November 29 and the Dems who control that state and could very easily certify him now have refused to do so.

One would think that President Obama might intervene and request that Illinois officials certify Kirk as the winner now, especially considering that it is his old seat and that he might want to demonstrate his willingness to create a less partisan atmosphere in Washington. But if you thought such a thing, you would be wrong.

It's too soon to say what votes might be taken in the Senate as it convenes in a few days that Kirk might miss. But it's one sure sign that despite the unmistakable election message sent by the voters earlier this month Democrats are conducting business as usual!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Resurrection of George W. Bush and the Contrast with Obama

Bush will never say a critical word about Obama but his book tour reminds Americans that Obama can't hold a candle to Bush!

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If you have watched much television at all this past week you probably saw an interview with former President Bush who launched his book tour the week following the election. His book, Decision Points is flying off the shelves. It's already #1 at Amazon.com and you can purchase the book by clicking on the link in the box at right.

The former President has granted extensive interviews to news outlets and others like Oprah Winfrey. There was an excellent one hour interview Sean Hannity conducted with Bush at his ranch in Crawford (video). Hannity will follow that interview up with a one hour special on the Bush Presidency with the former president in attendance on Monday night.

But since most readers here aren't likely to have seen the interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, it's worth embedding in this post. Lauer includes many other personal reflections from President Bush that we haven't seen elsewhere:


Compare a Relaxed, Humorous Bush with "Defensive,"Prickly," "Thin Skinned" Obama

All told the Bush interviews are an excellent reminder of the man George W. Bush is and was as president. His relaxed style, indifferent to much of the harsh criticism against him, stands in start contrast with Obama who was described in news reports as "prickly," "thin skinned," and "defensive" when facing criticism of the failure of his Asian trip.

The contrast wasn't lost on Toby Harnden writing for the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph:

The Decider returns to haunt Mr Nuance as George W. Bush eclipses Barack Obama
By Toby Harnden
Daily TelegraphNovember 13, 2010

Say what you like about former President George W. Bush, but his sense of timing is impeccable. Just after his successor Barack Obama took a self-described "shellacking" at the polls, Dubya was back, mocking the current occupant of the White House by his very presence.

For the 43rd President, the return must have been sweet.

Obama was elected in large part because he was the unBush: biracial not bluebood; silky tongue, not foot-in-mouth; reflective not impetuous; cool rather than hot.
...
During the 2008 election campaign, Obama slammed Bush at every turn. Since then, the 44th President has almost ceaselessly blamed his predecessor for everything, even stooping to lambast Karl Rove, Bush's long-time aide, by name during the recent mid-terms campaign.

But the anti-Bush shtick soon wore thin. Two years after Obama was anointed, the halo around his head seemed distinctly tarnished. In his post-defeat interview with 60 Minutes, Obama was at his most listless and meandering, projecting all the certainty of a Hamlet on the Potomac.

Right on cue, Bush entered, stage Right, clutching a copy of his 497-page memoir Decision Points, a tome full of breezy certainty.

Did he order the waterboarding of terrorist suspects? "Damn right."

Did he ever have doubts about pre-war intelligence on Iraq? "I really didn't." Bor[ed] of Mr Nuance, Americans lapped it up.
...
Bush must know, however, that his steadfast refusal to make any comment at all about Obama's presidency stands in stark contrast to the derision he has received from his successor. He is self-aware enough to realise that his pithy, confident interview answers are sharply different from Obama's wordy circumlocutions.

Who would have thought that the man hailed as a great American orator and whose stage at the 2008 Democratic convention was a faux Greek temple would be shown up in terms of the theatricality and articulation of the presidency by the man derided as a tongue-tied bumbler and global village idiot?
...
[P]erhaps only a performance in office as myopic, self-absorbed and hubristic as that of Obama could have brought about a Bush rehabilitation so swiftly.  
The one, and as yet ONLY thing Americans can thank Obama for is the rapidity with which he has shown just how wise Bush is and how much more advanced conservative ideas are than the alternative!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

White House Gives Big Pay Raise to Employees While U.S. Workers Get Scr*wed!

Do Taxpayers think they are getting their money's worth from Obama's White House?

Imagine if you are the head of a large company and you've just had the worst year of performance ever. What's the first thing you do? Give raises to all the people who did such a lousy job? Apparently, that's just what Obama did for White House staff.

And what's more, Obama circumvented the empty meaniningless gesture of freezing salary for top employees by promoting them to positions with a different title and a bigger paycheck but basically doing the same work.

Biggest on the list of this scam are the folks who are responsible for press, communications and speech writing. I thought Obama said his Administration had a "failure to communicate" but many of these folks are raises running from 33% to 66%.

Overall, the average raise among White House employees was 9% which is three times the best of what private sector workers could expect. I suppose it's because they did such a great job helping to put Americans back to work!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Like Voters, G-20 Summit Leaders Reject Obama's Economic Plan

Obama's attempt to use foreign policy to bolster his sagging image fails!

It's often said that U.S. presidents turn to foreign policy when they get in trouble at home. That might explain why Obama scheduled his latest overseas trip days after what he knew would be a resounding rejection of his policies by voters at the polls.

Unfortunately for Obama it doesn't appear that his overseas gambit paid off. Reporting on the G-20 Summit which was part of the trip the Washington Post did it's best with the headline "After G20, Obama says his global influence is intact." The article actually makes Obama's spin on the trip look rather defensive and provides few details to back up Obama's claim.

But Dems know they are in trouble when the New York Times refuses to cover for them. Unlike the Post, the Times ran two stories neither of which flatter Obama. First up was "Traveling in Asia, Obama’s Glow Dims" in which reporter Sheryl Gay Stohlberg laments  how much things have changed in just one year. "The heads of state who had gathered here did not seem shy about putting Mr. Obama on the defensive," Stohlberg reports.

The G-20 Summit exposed just how isolated Obama's economic position is among world governments who reject the reckless big spending spree his government has undertaken. The second New York Times report on the summit ran with this headline in NY Time's sister paper The Boston Globe: "Obama’s economic view is rejected on world stage." The article reveals our allies deep disaffection with Obama's policies:

President Obama’s hopes of emerging from his Asia trip with the twin victories of a free trade agreement with South Korea and a unified approach to spurring global economic growth ran into resistance on all fronts yesterday, putting Obama at odds with his key allies and largest trading partners.
...
[T]here was no way to avoid discussion of the fundamental differences of economic strategy. After five largely harmonious meetings in the past two years to deal with the most severe downturn since the Depression, major disputes broke out between Washington and China, Britain, Germany, and Brazil.

Each rejected core elements of Obama’s strategy of stimulating growth before focusing on deficit reduction. Several major nations continued to accuse the Federal Reserve of deliberately devaluing the dollar last week in an effort to put the costs of America’s competitive troubles on trading partners, rather than taking politically tough measures to rein in spending at home.

The result was that Obama repeatedly found himself on the defensive.
Another Failure to Communicate?

I suppose Obama will chalk up this rejection of his world economic outlook with the same "failure to communicate" that he used to dismiss voter concerns expressed in the November election over spending and the growth of government. I doubt his massive ego will allow it to dawn on him that when the voters of his own countries are joined by world leaders in rejecting his economic program it might be time to change.

Obama's attempt to come back to the U.S. with a foreign policy victory has failed. And worse than coming back empty handed, he comes back further isolated from the consensus of policy among world leaders.

It appears that both U.S. voters and world leaders understand the folly, if not danger, of reckless and damaging Obama economic policies. When is this warning going to register with Obama?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Obama AWOL 2nd Year from Veterans Day Commemoration

Though he did find time to honor Indonesian veterans on that country's Heroes Day!

I don't think Americans expect their President to preside every year over the solemn ceremonies at Arlington National Ceremony in honor of our nation's veterans. But Obama has yet to make an appearance for the second year in a row.
Recalling what a stink some liberals made when President Bush missed the event in 2007 I went back to one of the complaining web sites to see whether they have objected to Obama's dual absences. As you probably guessed, not a peep!

Click for highlights of President Bush's participation at Arlingotn on the Bush White House web site: 2002, 20032004, 2006. In 2001 he was in New York for a Veterans Prayer Breakfast. In 2005 he spoke at Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania. In 2008 he was back in New York for the rededication of the Intrepid. In 2007 he was at the Ranch in Crawford, Texas following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Where's Obama? Overseas. In marking Indonesia's Heroes Day on November 10, 2010 Obama spoke at the University of Jakarta and said this:

OBAMA: When my stepfather was a boy, he watched his own father and older brother leave home to fight and die in the struggle for Indonesian independence. And I’m happy to be here on Heroes Day to honor the memory of so many Indonesians who have sacrificed on behalf of this great country.
Of course when Obama talks about "this great country" he's referring to Indonesia where he grew up, not the U.S. Charles Hurt in the New York Post adds: "And the White House wonders why so many people think there is something foreign about this guy."

Obama's disdain for veterans and for those currently serving in the U.S. military is made clear by his indifference to the mounting death toll in Afghanistan and Obama's reluctance and delay in seeking any kind of support for our troops. Frankly, I bet most veterans are just fine with him skipping the Arlington ceremony. They probably don't want to listen to any more of his empty speeches anyway!

Monday, November 08, 2010

They're Baaaaccccckkkkk! Pelosi, Obama & Reid Sequel Worse Than Original?

They refuse to learn the lesson of November 2nd!

It's usually the case that the sequel of a classic film is usually much worse than the original. Since Halloween was just a short time back, let's use the classic horror film "Poltergeist" as an example. The first sequel was really bad. But something about the trailer for that second film comes to mind when I consider the happy reunion of Obama, Reid and Pelosi as they return to Washington and take up where they left off.



On November 2nd the voters said they wanted real change from the change Obama, Reid and Pelosi  delivered in the past two years. Taking Obama's metaphor about who gets the keys to the car, voters overwhelmingly directed that the keys be taken away from the three pranksters who not only didn't get the car out of the ditch, but drove it in further.

Obama, Reid & Pelosi "Stuck on Stupid!"
 Obama, Reid and Pelosi refuse to accept the voter's message. As General Honore of New Orleans Katrina rescue fame would say they are "stuck on stupid."

In Obama's news conference on the Wednesday following the election he refused to conceded that his policies were the reason for voter's anger. Shortly after that press conference Obama gave an interview to 60 Minutes in which he trotted out the old "failure to communicate" excuse. Considering how Obama has been everywhere from Comedy Central to MTV and The View this excuse is laughable.

But Democrats aren't laughing. Centrist Alex Sink, who lost the Florida governor's race to Rick Scott called the White House attitude "tone deaf" and suggested it contributed to her narrow loss. One Democrat strategist went further and described the attitude in the White House was "willful defiance." The same report bemoans the fact that there doesn't appear to be any big shakeup on the horizon in the White House with Democrats left complaining about the junior league operation still running the show.

In Obama's Saturday radio address he held out the hope of compromise on preventing a coming tax increase. But the compromise he has in mind is that of the new Republican majority in Congress compromising in favor of his failed policies. The Hill reports it this way:

Obama calls for compromise, won't budge on tax cuts
By Kevin Cullum - 11/06/10

Days after Democrats received a self-described "shellacking" at the polls, President Obama called for an end to campaigning and an embrace of compromise.

But he signaled no willingness to bend on the first challenge likely to face him from a Republican House as he advocated the permanent extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year despite the GOP's resolve to extend the tax cuts for all income brackets.

In his weekly address Saturday, Obama said that Democrats and Republicans not only agree on middle-class tax cuts but the need to rein in spending, and used this to try to drive his position on the tax cuts.
...
Obama noted the importance of extending the tax cuts in the lame-duck session, but focused the address on digging in against the full extension sought by Republicans and some Democrats.
Whether Obama is "digging in" or doubling down, there is no sign he is ready to moderate the policies which have clearly failed and which the voters overwhelmingly rejected.

Ding Dong, the Witch is Minority Leader

While Republicans were eager to dethrone Nancy Pelosi from the Speaker's Chair, now that she's lost we're not so eager that she leave town altogether. Her decision to run for Minority Leader will give voters frequent reminders of why they voted Republican. Keeping Nasty Nancy around will do more damage to Democrats who needed a fresh face to lead their party in the House after the electoral massacre of last Tuesday.

Obviously, Nancy didn't get the message. In interviews and news reports she is putting out the line that "Democrats have nothing to apologize for, nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to regret." Does this sound like someone who is listening to the voter's demand for a different course?

Democrats who were defeated in last week's congressional elections have penned a letter to Pelosi. It's not pretty:
[O]ne mark of a strong leader is the ability to discern when it is time to pass the baton. As defeated members, whose party needs to rebuild, we are counting on you to show the strength of your leadership in this dark hour. We ask that you step aside as leader of our party in the House.
Even the New York Times thinks it's time for Nancy to go. In a Monday editorial titled "A New Leader for the Democrats" they say that what Democrats need in the House is a leader who can be  ":a clear and convincing voice to help Americans understand that Democratic policies are not bankrupting the country, advancing socialism or destroying freedom."

 Hmmm... Does that sound like another "failure to communicate" not a failure of policy? What America needs are Democrat leaders who don't advocate policies which WILL bankrupt the country, advance socialis and destroy freedom.
Harry Reid Underground.... for now

Harry Reid has managed to stay out of the limelight for now, which is smart considering what a poor job Obama and Pelosi are doing. But don't worry, the man who has all the charm of a creepy funeral home director will be back in front of the microphones very soon. And despite his dirty win in Nevada, a campaign that was negative from start to finish, there's little doubt he'll be a constant reminder to voters on why Democrats needed to be replaced wherever possible nationwide.

So, the same old team that did so much to drive voters to the GOP over the last two years will be back for more. Good for the GOP as we begin working towards 2012. But bad for the country. Speaking of classic films, the following graphic captures it all:

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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Did National GOP Fail in Get Out the Vote Effort in Key Senate Races?

Why did candidates underperform polls?

It's Not DeMint's Fault!

The day after the November 2nd election some establishment GOP members of the U.S. Senate blamed Jim Demint, South Carolina's junior Republican Senator, for the loss of seats in Delaware, Nevada and Colorado. Taking those three seats would have meant a 50-50 tie in the Senate. Not enough to win control as Vice President Biden would have cast the tie breaking vote in favor of Democrat control.

Yet the long knives are out for DeMint despite the fact that DeMint was not involved in the primary races in Delaware or Nevada and as Politico reports:

DeMint got behind newly-elected GOP senators Pat Toomey (Penn.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Ron Johnson (Wisc.) in primaries even as party officials had varying degrees of skepticism about their general election prospects.
DeMint raised over $7 million for GOP candidates, outraising all other GOP Senators including those who are now complaining about him.

What's behind the DeMint bashing? I suspect that establishment GOP Senators are eager to marginalize his successes in advance of DeMint's proposal for earmark reform; which is still opposed by some GOP officials who didn't get or understand the message of the Tea Parties.

Where was GOP groundgame?

The real nagging question from this election is why did several GOP Senate candidates underperform at the ballot box when compared to polling trends in those races? Forget Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, who admittedly had her flaws and never had a lead. Look at Sharron Angle in Nevada (DeMint did not back Angle in the primary). Every poll at the end gave her a slight lead but she lost to Harry Reid by almost six points. What put Reid over the top was a massive get out the vote effort that trumped what might otherwise have been an Angle win. It was a get out the vote (GOTV) effort fraught with corruption but even the ethical portion of the effort he made was unmatched by the GOP. Where was the national GOP get out the vote machine in this key race?

In Colorado Ken Buck (DeMint backed him in the primary) was also ahead in polls at the end only to lose by less than 1 point. Again, no sign of any significant national GOP GOTV effort. Instead, the group American Crossroads, affiliated with Karl Rove, used a consultant with weak ties to grass roots voters in Colorado in a last ditch effort that was overpowered by Colorado's unions and progressive groups like Moveon.org who have an excellent track record in the state. As this analysis in the Colorado Independent points out: "Tea Party enthusiasm is no substitute for well-organized political movement infrastructure."

Lastly, it's important to note that Dino Rossi in Washington State, not an early DeMint or Tea Party backed favorite, lost his race narrowly to Patty Murray. The independent group American Crossroads helped here too but the question remains: where was the GOP groundgame?

$8 Million Down the Drain in California!

While GOP GOTV efforts in NV, CO, WA and elsewhere were starved for cash both the RNC and National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee dumped $8 million into California to help out Carly Fiornia. Barbara Boxer beat Fiorina by  over 9 points; doubling the margin of her polling leads in the closing days. No matter how much many of us would have liked to see Barbara Boxer defeated, it's possible that taking away a good portion of that $8 million could have made the difference in the key races above.

There is also the problem of cutbacks in overall spending on GOTV efforts by the RNC after fundraising fell short. This weakness on the part of GOP Chairman Michael Steele's performance will be up for discussion as he runs for a second term as Chairman.

GOP MUST Improve GOTV Effort Before 2012!

Obviously, blaming Jim DeMint for losses in a handful of close races is absurd. And the worst thing about such a calumny is that it takes away the spotlight from where it needs to be. Namely, on implementing and FUNDING a better get out the vote effort in key states. Obama, big labor and the well funded progressive machine have kept in place the organization they used to put Obama over the top in 2008. In many cases they actually PAY people to do the grass roots grunt work while the GOP continues to rely on volunteers.

As it was in the Colorado race, the bottom line is that tea party enthusiasm is not enough to overcome a well oiled and well funded progressive machine. What's called for her is a honest look at the shortcomings in the architecture of our get out the vote effort nationwide. What will happen in 2012 in must win states like Ohio when their may be less Tea Party enthusiasm but a great outpouring of Democrat support for Obama's re-election? We have less than two years to address this issue and blaming Jim DeMint will only make the problem worse!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Republican Minorities Chalk Up Historic Victories

I guess all those Tea Partiers weren't racists after all!

Here's another important, but little noticed story from Tuesday's historic win:

Washington (AP) - The historic Republican wave also produced historic results for minority candidates, from Latina and Indian-American governors to a pair of black congressmen from the deep South.

In New Mexico, Susana Martinez was elected as the nation's first female Hispanic governor. Nikki Haley, whose parents were born in India, will be the first woman governor in South Carolina, and Brian Sandoval became Nevada's first Hispanic governor.

Insurance company owner Tim Scott will be the first black Republican congressman from South Carolina since Reconstruction, after easily winning in his conservative district. Scott, a 45-year-old state representative, earned a primary victory over the son of the one-time segregationist U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond.

In Florida, military veteran Allen West outfought a two-term Democrat to win his House race. He is the first black Republican elected to Congress from Florida since a former slave served two terms in the 1870s.
...
Several Latino Republicans defeated incumbent House Democrats. In Texas, Bill Flores snatched a seat from Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards, who had served 20 years in Congress, and Francisco Canseco beat 11-year veteran Ciro Rodriguez. Jamie Herrera became the first Latino congressman from Washington state.
It's especially worthy to note that all these minority candidates were elected in white majority districts!

Sarah Palin and Newly Elected Friends Take a Victory Lap

Despite the constant attempt to marginalize her, a large majority of Palin backed candidates WON last Tuesday!


Among the various news outlets reporting on Palin backed candidates (CBS, WashPost, Associated Press) there seems to be some discrepancy as to the actual number of candidates Palin endorsed, but the overall conclusion is clear. Palin backed dozens of succesful GOP House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates, including some in key 2012 states. The Associated Press, whose report is somewhere in the middle put the numbers like this:
Palin's bottom-line, though, had Tuesday night as a win for her. In races called, her backed candidates won 37 of 52 House contests. She backed seven victorious gubernatorial candidates. In the Senate, she went six for 10 in races.
There were some high profile disappointments, especially Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O'Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller in Alaska. But the overall picture is one of pure Palin power.

Once again, Palin has proven that her star power is more than just a novelty. She can get the job done when it counts. And Tuesday's successes put her in a much stronger position should she decide to run in 2012!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

GOP House and Senate Leaders Vow Votes on Health Care Repeal, Tax Cuts and Lower Spending!

They're not backing down or compromising!

There were whispers in Washington on Wednesday suggesting that the GOP was likely to seek compromise and accommodation with Obama and the Dems. Most likely, the rumors were started by Dems seeking to undermine the sense of victory and accomplishment that most Republicans are feeling in the wake of the biggest GOP nationwide non-presidential victory in over 70 years! There might also be a few establishment GOP types in Washington, whose bread and butter (more like caviar) depends on selling out conservative principles but these are few.

All these rumors can be easily put to rest with the statements today by incoming House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.

Here's Boehner's interview on Fox News:


Fox News "Special Report," transcript November 4, 2010.

BOEHNER: Bret, I am not going to compromise on my principles nor am I going to compromise the will of the American people. To the extent that the president wants to work with us on reducing the size, scope and the intrusion of the federal government, we're willing to work with him. The American people spoke pretty loudly the other night. They want us to stop the spending. And it's going to be our principal goal. The second goal is that they want jobs in America. And you can't have jobs in America when -- when you have all this uncertainty coming out of Washington. And when you extend tax rates for a year, you leave all the uncertainty hanging out there.
...
BAIER: Health care -- the president says he's willing to tweak the health care law. You say you're committed to repealing it. There's a big distance between tweaking and repealing.

BOEHNER: Oh, that's a very big difference.

BAIER: You're still committed to repealing it?

BOEHNER: This health care bill will ruin the best health care system in the world and it will bankrupt our country.

BAIER: So you'll take a vote on...

BOEHNER: I am convinced...

BAIER: -- repealing it?

BOEHNER: We are going to repeal Obama Care and replace it with common sense reforms that will bring down the costs of health insurance.

BAIER: So what do you say to critics who say this vote is really a charade, knowing that a Democratic Senate will either stop it or the president will veto it and that it's taking time and you could be dealing with something else?

Why not try to compromise and -- and at least affect it now, the health care law, that you can?

BOEHNER: First and foremost, this is about the greatest health care system in the world. And secondly, let's not forget, this is also about jobs. And if you look at all of the requirements on employers, you can understand why they're not hiring new employees, because we've raised the cost of employment.

Beyond repealing Obama Care, we're going to do everything we can to stop this bill from being implemented, to make sure it never happens. And, frankly, if we're successful, this will become the number one issue in the presidential election in 2012.

BAIER: How -- how much time are you going to spend on this?

BOEHNER: As much...

BAIER: We've spent...

BOEHNER: -- as much as it takes.
Senate Minority Leader McConnell at Heritage Foundation


Mitch McConnell address to the Heritage Foundation
Washington, D.C.
GOP Senate transcript
November 4th, 2010

“As Democrats governed left, Republicans stood together time and again, making the case for conservative alternatives. And over the course of 19 months, Democrats added $3 trillion to the debt, more than 2.5 million Americans would lose their jobs … and Republicans would win races in states that had gone solidly for Democrats in 2008 —states like Virginia, New Jersey, and, of all places, Massachusetts. Clearly, the Democrat agenda was not the change Americans had hoped for. And Republicans were offering a clear alternative. That was the message of those races. And that was the message on Tuesday.

“The question now is whether Americans were wise to entrust Republicans with the task of reversing the damage. In answer, I would argue that Republicans can be entrusted with the task voters have given us — not because we say so, but because we’ve already been at it for two years. We have shown that we share the priorities the people have voiced. We have fought to defend them. Now we’re ready to get back to work on their behalf.

“Which raises a practical question: what can Americans expect from Republicans now?

“Let’s start with the big picture. Over the past week, some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office. But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things. We can hope the President will start listening to the electorate after Tuesday’s election. But we can’t plan on it. And it would be foolish to expect that Republicans will be able to completely reverse the damage Democrats have done as long as a Democrat holds the veto pen.

“There’s just no getting around it.

“By their own admission, leaders of the Republican Revolution of 1994 think their greatest mistake was overlooking the power of the veto. They gave the impression they were somehow in charge when they weren’t. And after President Clinton vetoed their bills, making it impossible for them to accomplish all their goals, they ended up being viewed as failures, sellouts, or both. Today, Democrats not only have the White House. They have the Senate too. So we have to be realistic about what we can and cannot achieve, while at the same recognizing that realism should never be confused with capitulation.

“On health care, that means we can — and should — propose and vote on straight repeal, repeatedly. But we can’t expect the president to sign it. So we’ll also have to work, in the House, on denying funds for implementation, and, in the Senate, on votes against its most egregious provisions. At the same time, we’ll need to continue educating the public about the ill-effects of this bill on individuals young and old, families, and small businesses.

“And this is why oversight will play a crucial role in Republican efforts going forward.

“We may not be able to bring about straight repeal in the next two years, and we may not win every vote against targeted provisions, even though we should have bipartisan support for some. But we can compel administration officials to attempt to defend this indefensible health spending bill and other costly, government-driven measures, like the Stimulus and financial reform. We also need groups like Heritage to continue studying the ill-effects of the health care bill, and to show how its implementation is hurting families, seniors, and small businesses, limiting choices and making us less competitive. We welcome any help we can get in reversing the damage this bill has done and will do.

“Through oversight we’ll also keep a spotlight on the various agencies the administration will now use to advance through regulation what it can’t through legislation. Potential backdoor efforts in this area could include imposing a new national energy tax through the EPA now that cap-and-trade is dead, additional health care provisions through HHS, Card Check through the National Labor Relations Board, and some form of immigration change through the use of administrative amnesty and the selective enforcement of our laws.
It's clear GOP leaders understand the message of the November 2nd election and are committed to carrying out the agenda they ran on and one that the overwhelming majority of the American people voted to support!

To Democrats and some establishment Republicans who say compromise is the only way forward, I invite them to compromise with the MAJORITY!

Do Democrats Hope GOP Fails?

Do they want us to be successful in our efforts to restrain the size and scope of government?

Remember the shock and outrage in January 2009 when Rush Limbaugh summed up his hopes for the incoming Obama Administration by saying "I hope he fails?" Rush has the story of that line on his website in case you've been living in a cave in Afghanistan until now. The last thing that Rush and millions of conservatives nationwide wanted was for Obama's big government powe rgrab to succeed.

Now, with the GOP taking control of the House of Representatives and Republican leaders in both the House and Senate proclaiming their goals of reducing spending, making the Bush tax cuts permanent and repealing Obama Care I wonder if Democrats who were shocked at Limbaugh's statement will be wishing all success to the GOP?

I invite readers to list the liberals who are showing their support for GOP success in the new congress to drop links to those statements by liberals in the comments section.

Do I expect to hear crickets chirping? You bet!

News Conference Reveals Obama Doesn't Get Election Results: His Policies Were Rejected; Not a Failure to Communicate

The only failure to communicate is his stubborn unwillingness to hear and understand the voice of the American people!

Tuesday was a tough night for Democrats and Obama's whiny, defensive press conference in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday didn't make things any better. While repeatedely saying he took "responsiblity" for the bad result, he always seemed to find a way to suggest that it wasn't his fault.

He said he wanted to work with Republicans and will listen to their ideas. We've heard this a dozen times by now and when push comes to shove he always demanded we do it his way. At one point in the press conference he said: "it comes to job creation, if Republicans have good ideas for job growth that can drive down the unemployment rate, and we haven’t thought of them, we haven’t looked at them but we think they have a chance of working, we want to try some." Republicans have been trying to share their ideas for job growth with Obama from the first day of his Administration and he's dismissed nearly all of them. Same thing with health care.

Once again, Obama talked about the "pretty big mess" he inherited and used that tired old analogy of the car in the ditch one more time claiming that Republicans were  "pushing in opposite direction" from where he wanted to go.

Reporters Critical Questions

You can read Obama's stale rhetoric for yourself if you choose. Here's the White House transcript. What I found more interesting were the critical questions being asked by reporters. Here's a sample:

Ben Feller  AP: Are you willing to concede at all that what happened last night was not just an expression of frustration about the economy, but a fundamental rejection of your agenda? And given the results, who do you think speaks to the true voice of the American people right now: you or John Boehner?

Savannah Guthrie NBC: Just following up on what Ben just talked about, you don’t seem to be reflecting or second-guessing any of the policy decisions you’ve made, instead saying the message the voters were sending was about frustration with the economy or maybe even chalking it up to a failure on your part to communicate effectively. If you’re not reflecting on your policy agenda, is it possible voters can conclude you’re still not getting it? Would you still resist the notion that voters rejected the policy choices you made?

Peter Baker NYTimes: After your election two years ago, when you met with Republicans you said that, in discussing what policies might go forward, that elections have consequences, and that you pointed out that you had won. I wonder what consequences you think this election should have then, in terms of your policies. Are there areas that you’re willing -- can you name today areas that you would be willing to compromise on that you might not have been willing to compromise on in the past?

Ed Henry CNN:  On personal, you had a lot of fun on the campaign trail by saying that the Republicans were drinking a Slurpee and sitting on the sidelines while you were trying to pull the car out of the ditch. But the point of the story was that you said if you want to go forward, you put the car in “D”; if you want to go backwards, you put it in “R.” Now that there are least 60 House districts that seem to have rejected that message, is it possible that there are a majority of Americans who think your policies are taking us in reverse? And what specific changes will you make to your approach to try to fix that and better connect with the American people?

Followup: the idea that your policies are taking the country in reverse. You just reject that idea altogether that your policies could be going in reverse?

Matt Spetalnick Reuters: How do you respond to those who say the election outcome, at least in part, was voters saying that they see you as out of touch with their personal economic pain? And are you willing to make any changes in your leadership style?
Does this questioning mean the "news" media will suddenly be more critical of Obama? Alas, we've seen it all before. News editors and anchors are likely highlight soundbites of the best of Obama's response and leave critical questioning or Obama's stumbling answers on the cutting room floor.

But the very fact that the reporter for the New York Times is willing to ask such a question may mean that such critical reporting of Obama may escape the editor and leak into the paper and the wider press by osmosis.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Maps Show Massive Nationwide Shift to GOP.

Disappointment over Reid win in NV doesn't dim the Tsunami of change which hit on Tuesday!

Senate: Reid, but also lots of Red!

We won every race in which a GOP incumbent was running and thus far have picked up six seats from Dems including Feingold in Wisconsin. Don't tell the defeated Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas that the voters weren't mad about Obama Care!

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Senate wins 2010
 
Visit Politico for the latest updates of this map.

House a Sea of Red!

60 is the current number of House GOP pickups but a number of the 11 undecided races lean towards the GOP so expect that number to rise. Some big Dems went down to defeat last night. Many had been in office for years. Note the concentration of red around the Great Lakes region and the change from 2008:
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2010 House elections

2010 GOP House victory map. Visit Politico for updates.

Here's what the House map looked like after the 2008 House elections:
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House 2008 election
Tea Party Bags 30 Democrats!

If you are interested in how effective the Tea Parties were House contests, consider this map from the NY Times. 39 seats which the GOP won were Tea Party candidates. Not bad!

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Tea Party House victories [red with black stripes indicates GOP pickup].
Way to Go Governors!

So much red! Note again the red around the Great Lakes. Big states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin switched to the GOP.
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2010 Governor's Races

State Legislatures go RED!

From National Journal's Hotline on Call:
Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures -- the most in the modern era. To put that number in perspective: In the 1994 GOP wave, Republicans picked up 472 seats. The previous record was in the post-Watergate election of 1974, when Democrats picked up 628 seats.
The Republican State Leadership Committee which works to elect GOP House and Senate legislative bodies in the states had a big night. They had a target list to switch 17 legislative bodies from Democrat to Republican control. They won 19. Not one legislative body flipped to the Democrats!

Note again the concentration of red around the Great Lakes:
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GOP state legislative takeovers
source: National Council of State Legislatures

Here's the total partisan breakdown of legislative bodies incorporating yesterday's gains:

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Control by party of state legislatures

What does it mean for 2012?

Look again at the Great Lakes states. In contests for U.S. Senator, U.S. House, Governor and State Legislatures the GOP scored big throughout the region. Overall, the gains in GOP statehouses give them control over the majority of the Electoral College states. New GOP Administrations in key states along with the higher number of elected GOP officials will give the 2012 GOP nominee a big edge we did not have in 2008.

Here's the 2008 Electoral College map:
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Flip enough of Obama's 2008 states to red and the GOP wins. Check out the 2012 electoral vote calculator if you wish to test your own scenario.

Solid GOP wins across the board in Great Lakes and other states does not guarantee an Obama defeat in 2012 but certainly makes a victory for Democrats much more difficult.

Reflections on the Big Win: The Good, The Bad and Harry Reid

As of 1:30 AM Wednesday, the ballots are still being counted in many races, but the message is loud and clear!

GOP Cleaned Pelosi's Clock

I've been using Politico's results map most of the night and the one thing that struck me most of all is how red these maps have become. Take a look at the results map for House elections. Huge sections of the country went from Dem to GOP, including nearly the entire state of Ohio. There hasn't been a Dem wipeout of these proportions in my lifetime. We're on track to exceed earlier expectations with a probable 60 seat pickup.

John Boehner, the presumptive Speaker of the House became emotional remembering how far he's come to reach tonight's victory. We've all taken that road with him:


States turn to GOP for Governors

The map showing results for governor's races is also overwhelmingly red. Notice the huge shift in the Great Lakes' states including a win for John Kasich in Ohio (I helped with his first congressional campaign). Also, Niki Haley will become the first female Governor of South Carolina. These newly minted governors will play a big role in redistricting of House seats in 2011 and the presidential campaign of 2012.

Senate Sees Red, But Keeps Reid

The results map for Senate races is also a sea of red. Note again how the Great Lakes region running from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin is red. That includes Kirk's win of the Illinois seat once held by Obama.

The big win of the night went to Marco Rubio with almost 50% of the vote in a three way race. He's on his way to stardom and a bright future in national politics. The biggest disappointment was Angle's loss to Harry Reid in Nevada. Unbelievable that voters in that state would return Reid, but in the end, he outworked Angle to get out the vote.

As of now, races in Colorado and Washington state are too close to call. But one thing is certain, even though Dems will still control the Senate, there has been a seismic shift in the balance of that body strongly favoring the GOP. Reid will find it much harder, if not impossible, to advance any further with Obama's agenda.

Reflections on Polls and the Wave

One thing that became clear is that the polls of a number of senate races actually undervalued Democrat performance. Angle was shown to be ahead in most of the closing polls but lost by five points. The race in Colorado is closer than expected and so too in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

One might have thought that the wave which overturned Dem control of the House would have lifted more GOP Senate candidates with it. That didn't happen.

There is also a lesson here for the future. Don't let your hopes for a big win get the better of your brain which is telling you to be more cautious and stick to the numbers. Even the numbers can be wrong.

Two years from now we may find ourselves looking eagerly to dethrone Obama. But let's remember Tuesday's lesson to be more cautious in our expectations.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New Black Panthers Return to Philly Polling Place

Why not? Obama's Dept. of Justice has decreed that NO black voter intimidation will be prosecuted!

Fox 29 in Philadelphia reports that the New Black Panthers are back outside the same polling place in Philly where voters were harassed with racist remarks and intimidating behavior in 2008.

O.K. So the lone figure isn't swinging a club and shooting racial epithets as they did in 2008, but the intention violates a court order filed after the 2008 voter intimidation suit dismissed by the Obama Dept. of Justice.

Speaking of which, the  draft of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report on that case shows clear efforts by Obama political appointees to block the prosecution of the New Black Panthers, or ANY case in which Blacks are accused of voter intimidation.  That report concludes that Obama's DOJ is: "at war with its core mission of guaranteeing equal protection (under) the laws for all Americans.''

Civil rights mean NOTHING if they are not extended to ALL Americans no matter what skin color! Obama's DOJ has violated that principle!
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