Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It Feels Like 1979

Over the past several weeks the media has focused on the three ring circus that is the race for the Republican nomination.  And why not!   The Republican candidates have provided more grist for the media mill than any pundit could ever want. 
In the past twenty four hours alone we have witnessed some of the most bizarre behavior ever displayed on the political scene. 
The Cain Train got knocked off the rails by accusations of a thirteen year extra marital affair.  Cain naturally denied the allegations.  But when five women accuse you of some type of inappropriate sexual behavior it is time to reassess your candidacy.  Cain said he was going to reassess.  Then he said he wasn’t.  When pressed to clarify he responded with: “9-9-9, we're fine.”   Bizarre!
Meanwhile the Newtster continues to take aim at his own foot.  Denying allegations that he acted as a lobbyist for Freddie and Fannie; Newt said that the proof that he never, ever acted as a lobbyist  lies in the simple fact that he didn’t need the money.  He says he was charging $60,000 for a speech and the “number of speeches we were selling was on the rise.”  Nothing endears a candidate with the voters like bragging that you make more money for a 30 minute speech than the average elementary school teacher makes in a year.
Rick Perry (remember him?) while addressing a youth group urged all those “who reach the age of 21 by the November 12th election day to get out and vote.”  Apparently Governor Perry does not realize that the voting age in this country has been 18 years of age since 1971…or that the 2012 election will be held on November 6.  Maybe it’s different in Texas!
While Democrats are no doubt giddy watching the Republican circus spin out of control, there is cause for concern.
The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll released today shows the President’s approval rating at a historic low of 43%.  That is the lowest rating recorded for a President during this time in his first term in modern history; dropping the President below the previous low marks given to Jimmy Carter in 1979.  Obama’s approval rating among independent voters is even worse; an alarming 30%.
 In 1979 the country was on very unsure footing economically.  The Middle East was in turmoil and the US Embassy in Iran had been seized.  The race for the Republican nomination was a muddled mess with a B grade actor named Reagan in the thick of things.  Jimmy Carter held the White House.  But the electorate saw Carter as a technocratic President who thought he was the smartest guy in the room.  They saw him as being too aloof, too isolated and too self absorbed to master the little things necessary to get things done in Washington.  Carter’s historically low approval ratings soon proved to be prophetic.
It’s beginning to feel an awful lot like 1979.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jon Huntsman...The Invisible Man

What is the deal with Republicans and Jon Huntsman?  Why is the guy who is by far the most qualified of all the Republican hopefuls polling at 8% of the vote?  Why is Jon Huntsman seemingly invisible to the Republican electorate?

Let’s examine his record and his position on the issues.

Huntsman is the former governor of Utah…so he knows how to run a big political organization and work within budgetary constraints.  During his term as governor Utah ranked #1 in job creation.

Huntsman is the former ambassador to China…our largest economic competitor.  His knowledge of the Chinese culture and his foreign policy bona fides are vastly superior to all the other candidates.

He is strong on the NRA and a strong advocate of pro-life.

His economic plan is the most comprehensive proposal proffered by any of the candidates and is endorsed by the Wall street Journal.  Yesterday Huntsman provided one of the most salient moments in the campaign when he spoke about his plans to end too big to fail. His plan includes a cap on the size banks would be allowed to grow as well as caps on the amount they would be allowed to leverage.  He would shut down Fannie and Freddie and he would repeal Dodd-Frank.  He is the only candidate who has shown the courage to address this issue.

And last but not least…Huntsman believes that capitalism means that the function of government is to create an environment that encourages business development but allows those that are unable to compete to fail.

He is educated, well spoken, and photogenic; and as far as we know maintains a skeleton free closet.

In short, Jon huntsman is the only true conservative running for the Republican nomination; and he is the only candidate qualified to hold the office of President of the United States.

It’s too bad the Republican Party cannot see this.  While they continue to parade one flawed candidate after another before the blinding lights of public scrutiny; the only candidate currently running who has a chance to beat Obama remains invisible.       

Monday, November 28, 2011

Needed: 1.) Brokered Convention

Newt Gingrich garnered a huge feather in his cap Sunday when the New Hampshire Union Leader announced that it was supporting Gingrich for the Republican nomination.  The Union Leader is the state’s largest and most influential newspaper; and its endorsement carries substantial weight on both the local and national stage.
As a long time proponent of conservative values one would assume that the Union Leader is endorsing Newt as a champion of their cause.  Therefore it is curious how they are able to square their conservative values with Newt’s not so conservative past. 
Perhaps they didn’t realize that Newt supported the $7 trillion dollar Medicare Prescription Drug Plan; one of the largest social welfare programs in our nation’s history.  Perhaps they didn’t realize that Newt supported Ted Kennedy’s immigration policy for amnesty for illegal immigrants.  Maybe they didn’t know that Newt supported ethanol subsidies or the individual mandate.  Or maybe they just forgot they he called Paul Ryan’s deficit reduction plan “right wing social engineering.”
 Maybe they just didn’t realize that Newt flip flops more than Willard Mitt Romney.
The fact is this endorsement isn’t about Newt…it’s about Romney.  The traditional conservatives hate Mitt so much so that even Newt looks good to them.   Even the endorsement itself is telling; calling Newt: “the best candidate who is running.”
The Republican nominating process is a mess.  Romney is the leader but 75% of conservatives do not like nor trust him.  Gingrich is a shill.  And the only true conservative of substance is Huntsman…who can’t stop acting like a diplomat long enough to actually campaign like he wants the job.
So here is a little tip for the Republican Party.
If Republicans really want to beat Obama their only true path to victory is through a brokered convention.  It would be ugly and messy and lot of political blood would be spilled.  But only through a brokered convention could a candidate like Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Mitch Daniels or Chris Christie emerge.  Any of these four would give Obama a run. 
Otherwise it’s all about Mitt…and Democrats would like nothing better.   

Friday, November 18, 2011

Paving The Way For A Third Party Candidate

It is looking more and more likely that the Super Committee is a super dud.  The committee,  established as a last ditch effort  to reach  a compromise on cutting the deficit, shows no sign of progress as the November 23rd deadline looms ever closer.
 For the past six months they have worked toward the goal of cutting the $15 trillion dollar deficit by a paltry $1.2 trillion dollars. The committee itself was stacked by both parties with partisan representatives, specifically chosen because they would never waiver from their ideology. The idea that the committee would be able to set ideology aside in order to craft a meaningful solution was never in the cards.  “What’s next?” is a question no one in Washington can answer.
There is growing evidence that the American people are fed up with the ideological disease that has infected Washington.  The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements are the most visible examples of this unrest.  One hates government…the other hates big business.  Both are dissatisfied with the lack of leadership emanating from the Hill.  Both want change.
The Congressional approval rate stands at 9%.  How bad is that?  11% of the population would like to see the country go Communist.  40% of the population approves of the IRS.  BP had a 16% approval rating during the gulf oil spill.   
So what if anything does this mean?  It means that the country is becoming more open to a third political party.  The groundwork is being laid for someone who speaks in complete pragmatic sentences instead of ideological sound bites; someone willing to buck the traditional cronyism that pervades Washington.  It won’t happen during this election cycle.  But if the current gridlock continues it would not surprise us to see third party candidates emerge in 2016.       
As Republicans and Democrats alike continue to put party and politics over pragmatism and common sense they open the door for an alternative.  We believe that this time it could really happen.          

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Newt Soars Then Stumbles

On Monday we referred to Newt Gingrich as the latest flavor of the month in the “Anybody but Romney” campaign for the Republican nomination.
We may have spoken bit too soon.  Newt’s lead may not last the week.
Caught in another lie, Newt struggled to explain his relationship with Freddie Mac; an institution that you won’t find listed on any conservative “A” list.
It seems Newt did some work with Freddie Mac in 2006 for which he says he was paid $300,000.  During the CNBC debate Newt said that he “offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do” and warned them that their lending practices were “insane.”  He said that he advised the troubled firm as a “historian” and that he did not act as a lobbyist.
Bloomberg reports that former Freddie Mac executives familiar with Newt’s work in 2006 seem to disagree.  They say that Newt was paid between $1.6 and $1.8 million to “build bridges to Capitol Hill Republicans and develop an arrangement on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it”.  Apparently this does not constitute “lobbying” in the World of Newt.
But then Newt is a very unique, complex and cerebral individual; and it is difficult for us mere mortals to comprehend the depth of his knowledge or the intricate inner workings of his activities.  As he told CNN: “Because I am much like Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, I am such an unconventional political figure that you really need to design a unique campaign that fits the way I operate and what I’m trying to do.”
Newt’s unique campaign, masquerading as a book tour, has taken him to the top of the polls.  But Newt had best tread lightly.  In this Republican campaign, maintaining flavor of the month status is tenuous at best.  Whether you are a “historian” or a “lobbyist” aiding and abetting the enemy for a cool $1.6 million will get you knocked off your perch.        

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If Supreme Court Repeals Mandate...Then What?

The United Sates Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on the constitutionality of a key component of President Obama’s signature domestic achievement: the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act.  The Court will decide whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to mandate that Americans buy health insurance or suffer a financial penalty.  Furthermore, if the requirement to buy insurance is unconstitutional, the court will decide if the law is unconstitutional in its entirety or if portions of the law may remain in effect.
The Obama administration has been pushing hard for the Court to undertake the argument believing that they stand on strong legal ground.  On the other side of the aisle, every single contender for the GOP presidential nomination has said that they would make repealing the law their first course of business if elected.
The truth is that this is a bad law.  It is a watered down compromise that doesn’t go far enough to curb health care costs and provide coverage for 50 million Americans that live without access to health care.  But it is a start.  And many of the provisions in the law like portability, protection for people with pre-existing conditions, expanded coverage for young adults and more oversight on health insurers, are quite popular, and will be hard to repeal.
So what happens if conservatives get their way and the Court votes to repeal the law?  Then what?  Do we return to the old private health insurance system that was costing every American 18% of their paycheck…and rising?  Do we return to the old system that left 50 million Americans without coverage?  Opponents tend to forget that the old system didn’t work and its skyrocketing costs were bankrupting the country.
And here is the one major issue that no one seems to be discussing; you cannot provide health care through the current private industry system…and control costs…if you continue to provide health services to those who do not pay for it.  The system simply cannot maintain low affordable rates if you allow 50 million uninsured Americans access to health services...for free.  Someone has to pay for it. 
It seems there are two solutions.  At present those who are insured continue to pay for the uninsured through increased premiums.  The other alternative is to deny coverage to the uninsured…in essence leaving them to fend for themselves or die in the streets. Several of the GOP presidential hopefuls favor the latter alternative.
The purpose of the “mandate” is to force the uninsured to pay something into the system in order to help defray the cost of the services they receive, while at the same time holding down premiums for the rest of the buying public.  Under the current system either everybody pays or it doesn’t work.
Opponents of Obama’s health care plan have yet to offer a viable alternative.  Their one and only proposal, to cut regulations allowing private insurers to market across state lines, does nothing to solve the problem of who pays for the rapidly growing number of uninsured people in this country.
If you do away with the mandate then you have to find another solution…or we are right back where we started.        

Monday, November 14, 2011

Next Up...Newt!

On the heels of last Saturday’s debates Newt Gingrich is the new flavor of the month in the “Anybody but Romney” race for the Republican nomination.  According to several polls released today, Gingrich has moved into a statistical tie with Mitt Romney and the fading Herman Cain.
If you watched the debate, which several local TV affiliates abandoned after the first hour to air an NCIS rerun, you know that leading this weak field is merely being the best of a sorry lot.  Each candidate illustrated in his or her own unique way that they are unqualified to be President of the United States.
Herman Cain clearly demonstrated that he is over his head in the foreign affairs arena.  Cain could not provide one minute of substantive foreign policy detail.  Saying that you would surround yourself with international experts and seek their counsel doesn’t cut it.
Michelle Bachmann informed us that the CIA is run by the ACLU and that we should follow China’s lead in ridding ourselves of the social safety net that drains our economy.  “After all” she said, “China doesn’t have ADTC and their economy is growing.”???
Mitt and Rick Perry want to bomb or invade Iran, Pakistan and any other nation that doesn’t do our bidding.
And then there’s Newt.  Newt continues to bloviate and hawks his books and movie productions like a carnival barker.  His book tour turned political campaign has surprisingly gained some footing since his campaign staff abandoned him en masse last summer.  Now he finds himself in a dead heat with Romney.  If he can discipline himself to spend time on the campaign trail instead of cruise ships; and if he can filter what goes on in his mind from passing through his lips, he might have a chance when the Iowa Caucuses begin.  His three marriages and million dollar line of credit at Tiffany’s will not enamor him with Joe six-pack; but who knows what the future holds for this three ring circus.
Meanwhile, near the bottom of the polls lies the only candidate with the experience and bone fides to give Obama a run.  But Jon Huntsman continues to act like a diplomat rather than a guy who really wants to be President.         


One More Advantage For the "Haves"

“60 Minutes” aired a startling segment last night that is truly “must see TV”.
Since the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 it has been illegal for someone to make an investment decision on information not available to the general public.  That is unless you are a member of congress.
In a segment titled: “Congress: Trading On Inside Information”  60 Minutes sheds light on the little known fact that members of Congress can legally profit from trading on non-public information made privy to them during their deliberations  on the Hill.  In other words if a member of Congress knows that a bill is soon to pass that will cause a rise in the value of certain commodities; he or she is legally permitted to make personal trades on Wall Street that take advantage of that insider information.  Conversely, if a member learns that upcoming legislation will cause a decrease in the value of certain commodities that the member holds in his or her portfolio; the member is legally permitted to sell off those shares to avoid a financial loss.
Records show that Congressional members have been taking advantage of this loophole for decades…and making millions in the process.  Efforts by a few concerned members to pass legislation that would close the loophole have received little support.  The only people who can correct this inequity are the very people who profit from it.
This is just another example of why Washington is broken and why the disparity between the “haves” and the “have nots” grows ever wider.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank A Veteran Today

Today is Veteran’s Day.  It is the day we acknowledge and honor those who provide the ultimate public service.
Most of us won’t.  Caught up in our busy daily lives, most of us won’t pause for a second to think about how very different our lives would be if not for those who volunteer to serve.
 That’s the key word…volunteer.  We tend to take for granted that we don’t have mandatory military service in this country.  Those that volunteer do so knowing full well that in this time of war they may be asked to give the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.  Not many of us have the courage to do that.
We don’t mean to get all schmaltzy about this…but it is true.  Take a moment to seriously consider giving your life for your country.  It is a very sobering thought and it provides a whole different perspective to the words “serving your country.”
So today, if you know a veteran or if you pass a member of the military on the street, take just a moment to thank them for their service.  It is the very least we can give to those who have given so much.
To all the members of the military, past and present…thank you for your service.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Acting In The Best Interest Of The University"

The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees fired legendary football coach, Joe Paterno, and university President, Graham Spanier Wednesday night amid a firestorm of criticism over how the university handled sexual abuse allegations against former assistant football coach, John Sandusky.  Board Vice Chair John Surma said the trustees, having learned the details of allegations made their decision “in the best interest of the university.”
It only took them eleven years.
Penn State supervisory personnel were made aware of John Sandusky’s inappropriate acts with minors as far back as the fall of 2000.  They did nothing. 
On March 1, 2002 a 28 year old graduate assistant, Mike McQueary allegedly witnessed Sandusky raping a 10 year old boy in the locker room showers.  He did nothing.  He did not stop the assault.  He did not call the police.  He told his dad. 
On March 2nd McQueary reported the incident to Joe Paterno…who reported the incident to athletic director Tim Curley…who reported the incident to Vice President Gary Schultz…who reported the incident to President Spanier.  They did nothing until March 27, 2002…when they took away Sandusky’s keys to the locker room.  At no time did any of them contact the police.
Over the next eleven years Sandusky was often seen in the company of young boys around the campus and on the sidelines of Penn State football games.  There are now at least 8 reported incidents of similar accusations against Sandusky; many occurring after the 2002 incident.
Sandusky has been arrested and faces criminal charges.  McQueary still serves as an assistant coach on the Penn State staff.  Curley has taken a leave of absence and Schultz has elected to resign.
How does this happen?  How does a 28 year old grad student witness the rape of a minor and not step in to stop the attack?  How does the most powerful man on campus, a legendary coach who has devoted his life to doing things the right way, not use that influence to make certain that justice is done. How do educated men who have taken as their profession the task of educating and mentoring our youth, turn their backs on a ten year old boy?
It happened because they were acting “in the best interest of the university.”
Unfortunately nobody at Penn State considered the interests of the ten year old boy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ohio Votes "No" On Partisan Politics

In the world of American politics the state of Ohio looms large.  It is a key swing state populated by centrists that reject radical ideology from both the left and the right.  If you are running for national office, carrying the Buckeye state is key; particularly if you are a Republican.    No Republican President since Abraham Lincoln has won the White House without carrying Ohio.  Elections in Ohio have national implications.
So it was a huge blow to Republicans when Ohioans voted overwhelmingly to repeal Governor Kasich’s signature piece of legislation; Ohio Senate Bill SB 5.  SB 5 limited the collective bargaining rights of the state’s 359,000 government workers.  It also required employees to pay at least 15% of their health care costs and 10% of their retirement contributions.
SB 5 was the cornerstone of Kasich’s austerity efforts to reduce spending in the state.  He portrayed the bill as a necessary component of his plan to balance the budget and create jobs.  Democrats countered that the bill was nothing more than an attempt to crush the union.  Independents asked the most important question: “what does limiting collective bargaining rights have to do with creating jobs?”  The answer of course is…nothing.  The voters listened and rebuked the governor.
The SB 5 vote in Ohio is just another example of over reach on the part of a newly installed Republican majority.  Kasich in Ohio, Walker in Wisconsin, Scott in Florida and Christie in New Jersey all took office believing that they had received an ideological mandate from the voters.  They failed to understand that what the voters want is thoughtful, effective leadership that is fair. These governors put partisanship ahead of the good of the people and they were properly chastised for their efforts.
This off year result in Ohio is just another sign that our politics are fluid and that nothing should be taken for granted.  Just look at the last three years.  In 2009 the Democrats, buoyed by the historic election of the first black President imposed their will in Congress.  Two years later the voters showed Nancy Pelosi and her caucus the door sweeping the Republicans into power.  One year later the polls show the Congressional approval rating stands at a horrendously low 9%. The Democratic President presides over a failing economy and alarmingly high unemployment.  Yet his political machine was able to generate a massive movement that repealed a key piece of Republican legislation in an important swing state.
Radical, ideological rhetoric may sound good on talk radio and it may help a candidate win a primary; but it has no place in governing.  Elected officials who allow themselves to be held captive by their radical political base do so at their peril.  The past few years have proven quite clearly that majority of the country is tired of the games and the gridlock. 
The people want progress.  If the incumbents can’t provide it the voters will find someone that will.                

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Today is voting day.  Voters across the nation will decide a number of statewide issues including who will live in the governor’s mansion in Kentucky and Mississippi.  In Ohio voters will decide whether to repeal a law that that limits the collective bargaining rights of 350,000 government workers and whether people should be required to purchase health care coverage under the President’s health care reform bill.  Similar issues will be decided in states all across the country.
Our purpose here is not to debate the pros or cons of these issues.  Our purpose is simply to encourage you to take the time to vote.
We live in a country where every citizen has a say in the way in which we live our lives.  It is a right, a responsibility, and yes, a privilege that is denied to billions of people across the world.  Our forefathers fought for it and many of our parents and grandparents died for it.
Whatever your party affiliation…whatever your views…we encourage you to take the time today to express them in the only way that really matters.  Complete the task that is the essence of who we are as a country.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Conservatives Still Trying To Justify the Iraq War

In his most recent column Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Charles Krauthammer criticizes President Obama’s decision to withdraw all of our troops from Iraq by December 31, 2011.  In a piece titled: “Obama Has Blown Lasting Gain In Iraq” Krauthammer states that by pulling all of our troops out of Iraq Obama has thrown away our victory and paved the way  for Iranian influence in the region.  He says that Obama opposed the war from the beginning and placed his vindication for opposition ahead of his obligation to defend the security of the nation.  And then Krauthammer jumps the shark saying that the President was obligated to defend the strategic gains that we had achieved because the country had paid such a terrible price in blood and treasure to achieve those gains.
Krauthammer is a world renowned columnist; but in this piece he is twisting the facts to fit his ideology.  He seems to forget that Iraq belongs to the Iraqi’s.   (We wonder how Krauthammer would feel about several thousand foreign military personnel  patrolling his neighborhood with immunity.)
Krauthammer chooses to ignore that the December 31, 2011 deadline for the withdrawal of all our troops was negotiated by Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.  Obama is merely carrying out the agreement.  He also chooses to ignore the fact that the democratically elected Iraqi government wants our troops out by December 31, 2011.  Last but certainly not least, Krauthammer chooses to ignore that 75% of the people that pay Obama’s salary want our troops brought home by the end of the year.
The President’s promise to bring our troops home was not just some throw away campaign slogan; in fact it was the central issue of the 2008 election.  The President opposed the war from the very beginning while his chief opponent, Hillary Clinton, supported the invasion.  If not for that one vote it can certainly be argued that Hillary Clinton would be sitting in the White House today.  The American people want out…now.  The President’s obligation is to the American people not the Iraqi government. 
And as for the brave men and women who fought and died or were wounded in this war…the burden of their sacrifice lies on the shoulders of those who sent them to fight a war that should never have been fought.   To lay that guilt on the shoulders of President Obama is unconscionable.
Will Iran attempt to insert its influence into the region once the American troops leave?  Absolutely!  Is there a chance that all that we have accomplished in Iraq will be lost in an ensuing civil war?  No doubt!  But unless we are willing to occupy Iraq forever there is the very real possibility that these events will occur if we leave in 2011, 2021, or 2031.  These are the consequences one should consider before raining “Shock and Awe” down on a foreign power.
Krauthammer, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and their conservative brethren just cannot bring themselves to the realization that although we may have won the military battle in Iraq we will never really be victorious.              

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Never Fear...Congress Is Here

It may come as a surprise to learn that there are folks living in this country unaware that the economy is in the tank and that a whole bunch of people are out of work.  It may come as even more of a shock to learn that apparently several of them serve in the United States Congress.  Based on the legislation passed by this august body one must assume that, economically speaking, things are just fine. 
A review of the body of work produced by the 112th United States Congress shows that other than a temporary extension of the Small business Act and an authorization to raise the debt ceiling, this Congress has done absolutely nothing to address the economic situation in this country.  Instead, Congress has filled its time debating the following:  
-outlawing Sharia Law
-legality of gay marriage
-gays in the military
-English as our national language
-abortion rights
-testing for human growth hormone in major league baseball
Their most recent debates produced legislation authorizing the US mint to produce commemorative coins honoring the 75th anniversary of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame…AND…legislation reaffirming that “In God We Trust” is our national motto.
When Republicans took control of the House they promised to revive the economy and put people back to work.  The results speak for themselves.  Lest anyone think that we are placing blame for this nonsense on the Republican controlled House, it should be noted that the Democratic controlled Senate is equally responsible.  To that point; it has been 918 days since the Senate passed a budget.  918 days!  It is hard to talk seriously about fiscal responsibility and economic solutions when you cannot even agree on a budget.
So to those of you that think we are on the verge of economic Armageddon…chill out!  The US Congress is working diligently toward a solution.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tired Of Waiting..Americans Are Acting

Bank of America Corp. just became the latest in a long list of institutions and conglomerates to bow to the will of the people.
Overwhelmed by the Twitterazzi and inundated by online petitions voicing outrage, Bank of America, the nation’s second largest bank, announced that it is withdrawing its plan to charge a $5 monthly fee for debit card transactions.  BOA joins JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo in succumbing to public pressure to cancel debit card fees. 
This stunning reversal in policy was forced by a ground swell of anger over the failing economic conditions in this country and the major role the financial system played in bringing about the decline.  In recent weeks that anger blossomed into the Occupy Wall Street movement which has evolved into a global call for change.
Some may dismiss the Occupy Wall Street movement out of hand…but they do so at their peril.  Americans are angry and not only are they not going to take it anymore…they are doing something about it.
The most notable example lies in the Tea party movement.  Criticize the Tea Party if you will…and we have…often… but the Tea Party folks got angry, got organized and focused their attention on Washington.  They spearheaded a movement that won Republican control of the House and then they changed the face of our politics by taking control of the Republican Party.  In spite of their small numbers they have successfully forced the party to shut down every initiative proposed by a very popular Democratic President.  Love them or hate them they are a clear example of the power behind the will of the people.
During his campaign for President then Senator Obama promised “change you can believe in.”  As evidenced by current events, the people are tired of waiting.
Washington would do well to listen.        

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The magical mystery tour that is the Republican campaign for President took another trip down the yellow brick road yesterday.  One after another the candidates meandered through the land of wild mushrooms and pixy dust.
Frontrunner Mitt Romney started things off in the important swing state of Ohio.  Romney was pressed for his stance on the most important local issue facing Ohio voters next Tuesday; Ohio
SB-5.  Ohio SB-5 is unpopular Republican Governor Kasich’s attempt to outlaw collective bargaining rights for government workers.  The law is wildly unpopular and certain to be repealed when Ohioans vote next week.  Never one to take a firm stand on any controversy Romney held true to form, and within 24 hours flip- flopped on the issue.  He eventually said he supported the governor’s efforts but his reputation as a slithering flip flopper was secured.  Romney continued to avoid the Sunday talk shows and has declined all in-depth interview requests, apparently realizing his lack of conviction would be laid bare by seasoned interviewers.   
Then came Rick Perry, whose speech before a conservative group in New Hampshire caused viewers to seriously question his blood/alcohol content.  So bizarre and nonsensical was the Perry speech that words cannot do it justice.  The speech has gone viral; so you’ll have to view it on YouTube in order to get the full affect.  Those who recall the “screaming speech” that torpedoed former Governor Howard Dean’s presidential aspirations will feel a sense of déjà vu.
Perry’s speech would have captured the media’s attention if not for the continued saga of Herman Cain.  POLITICO became aware of facts indicating that Cain had been accused of sexual harassment by two women while serving as President of the National Restaurant Association back in the 90’s.  The women allegedly agreed to out of court settlements.  POLITICO gave Cain ten days to respond before running the story.  Once the story hit Cain stumbled and bumble his response so badly that one has to question his qualifications to run a lemonade stand much less the United States of America.  During a twelve hour period Cain appeared publically four times to address the issue.  Each time he changed his story.  At one point when POLTICO asked about the incident, Cain turned the question around asking if the reporter could remember every incident that occurred in his life 12 years ago.  We can’t speak for Mr. Cain or the POLTICO reporter…but if we had been accused of sexual harassment 12 years ago we are quite certain that we would remember the details.  Cain finally found clarity and remembered that something happened sometime during his time at the association, and that some money was paid for something.
Lost in all the fog of the Romney/Perry/Cain fairy tale was Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich, who claims to be a serious candidate, was apparently out drumming up support for the Oslo Caucuses.  Gingrich dialed in to an event in Oslo yesterday.  Why?  We don’t know.
Palin, Trump, Gingrich, Romney, Perry and Cain…apparently these are the best of the best that the Republican Party has to offer for the position of President of the United States. 
You would think that the party who has so successfully blocked virtually every proposal offered by a very popular Democratic President could do better.
Stay tuned as the magical mystery tour continues.