Friday, May 31, 2013

Crazy Train!

Eight year old Josh Welsh was suspended by his school for chewing his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun.
The NRA contacted eight year old Josh Welsh and awarded him lifetime membership.
Eight year old Josh Welsh has become an icon in the eyes of gun advocates.

The president has been reluctant to provide arms to the Syrian rebels.
John McCain thinks he should.
John McCain snuck into Syria to meet with rebel leaders and express his solidarity.
John McCain intentionally undermined the president.
John McCain posed for pictures with rebel leaders.
Two of men posing with McCain are known kidnappers.

Tea Party Republicans love the constitution.
Tea Party Republicans hate wasteful spending.
Tea Party Republicans demand a balanced budget.
Tea Party Republicans control the Republican Party.
The Republican Party controls the House of Representatives.
The Republican controlled House passed a budget.
The Republican led House chastised the Democrat led Senate for failing to pass a budget for four years.
The Democrat led Senate finally passed a budget.
According to the constitution, the two budgets must go to “conference” to reach a compromise.
Tea Party Republican Senators Cruz, Rubio, Lee and Rand are blocking nominees to the conference committee, thereby obstructing the constitutional process and blocking a balanced budget.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Remembering Charles Bruce Brownson

The growing rift between the Justice Department and the media just keeps getting worse.
On orders from the president, Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to meet with the Washington bureau chiefs of several media outlets to discuss guidelines for journalists in leak investigations.  Mr. Holder has requested that the discussion be kept off the record.
The New York Times, Washington Post and Associated Press have declined to attend, citing the “off the record” request as a non-starter.  Several other media outlets are expected to follow suit.
The Obama administration and the Justice Department in particular have a real obsession with “leaks.”  In the case of the AP scandal, the Justice Department alleges that the leak in question threatened national security and endangered the lives of American operatives.  They responded by subpoenaing the phone records of the Associated Press and FOXNEWS, reasoning that the records would trace back to the leak.  This ham-handed approach has infuriated the press and handed the president’s opponents grist for their conspiracy theory mill.
Democrat administrations generally get pretty favorable coverage from the media.  This president in particular has been given the benefit of the doubt more often than not.  Pissing off a strong political opponent can make life difficult.  Pissing off the media can be political suicide.
The media can attack with the ferocity of a shark when they smell blood in the water.  But they are terribly thin skinned when finding themselves on the other side of the barb.  They can turn on you in an instant.
Obama needs the media to help push through his second term agenda.  No, he doesn’t rely on the “lame stream” media to the degree his predecessors did because his administration has been so successful in using social media to carry his message.  But he DOES need the Fourth Estate if he has any hope of advancing his policies.
Is the Obama administration justified in wanting to ferret out leaks that may threaten national security and endanger the lives of American operatives and citizens?  Absolutely!  Did the Obama administration trample all over the 1st amendment by pulling the phone records of the press?  Absolutely!  Did they add insult to injury by agreeing to discuss the matter with the media “off the record?” No doubt about it!
Former Indiana congressman Charles Bruce Brownson once famously said:  “Never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”
Perhaps the president should pass that bit of wisdom along to Eric Holder.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

People In Glass Houses...

There are a number of big stories in today’s news…
The economic recovery is gaining strength.  The markets are posting record “highs” while housing and auto sales are soaring.  The IRS investigation has moved from a handful of low level beaurocrats to officials occupying the highest levels of the tax collector’s food chain.  And the president and Governor Christie have renewed their “bromance” on the Jersey Shore.
But we would like to comment today on a story that is near and dear to our hearts…
Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachman has announced that she will not seek a fifth term in office.
In a lengthy, rambling convoluted video posted on her website Bachman tells us all the reasons that she is not quitting while leaving out the reasons she is.  She says she is not quitting because she faces a tough challenge for her seat and there is a distinct possibility that she will go out a loser.  She says that she is not quitting because the congressional ethics committee, the Justice Department, and the FBI are all looking into allegations that she mishandled campaign funds during her presidential run.  She says she IS quitting because “Eight years is simply enough.”
“Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”
Congresswomen Bachman’s litany, like so many of her statements throughout her career, is simply untrue.  Her decision to quit was not the result of a long thought out contemplative process.  This was quick kneejerk reaction to some very bad news coming Bachman’s way.  We know this because just last Thursday Bachman made a huge ad buy, running ads to kick off her re-election efforts eighteen months before the 2014 mid-terms.  Bachman had every intention of running…until something spooked her.  Now she can avoid going out a loser.  She can attempt to remake her image and, ala Sarah Palin, make millions on the speech circuit and book tours.
Michelle Bachman was a Tea Party Republican who liked to make headlines with her inflammatory language.  She liked to throw out catchphrases like liberty, religious freedom, family values and constitutional rights while criticizing individuals that didn’t practice those values the same way she did. 
She attacked the president mercilessly, questioning his faith, his birthright and his belief in the tenants of capitalism. And she sponsored or co-sponsored over 35 bills to overturn the Affordable Care Act on the basis that at its core “Obamacare” was the very embodiment of socialism, communism and Marxism that threaten the very ideals on which this nation was founded.
But it was not Congresswomen Bachman’s politics that made us cringe.  It was the self righteous, moral indignation that she spewed while demonizing gays and pro-choice advocates.  For Congresswomen Bachman saw gays as sub-human and their sexual predisposition as depraved, aberrant behavior.  She and her husband believed that one could simply “pray the gay away.”  She called pro-choice advocates as murders…plain and simple.  And she viewed those who disagreed with her position as flawed in their own right.
Now we know the Congresswomen Bachman is just like so many other public figures…preaching from the moral high ground while using their power and privilege to subvert the very values they have so righteously avowed.
People in glass houses should not throw stones.           


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It Is Always About The Money

If this story is true…it really, really stinks.
We live in a world where access to information is the key to success.  Gaining access to a particular piece of information before the competition can often mean billions in return.  So it is not surprising that the information gathering business has become “big business,” particularly within the hallowed halls of Wall Street. 
And since money and politics go hand in hand it comes as no surprise that there is an growing class of consultants in Washington that specialize in providing information to Wall Street; dealing in what is referred to as the “political intelligence” business.
What is surprising is that according to several media outlets, the White House has allowed access to these political intelligence consultants and provided them with advanced information on major White House initiatives.
The Washington Post is reporting that “Wall Street investors repeatedly held private discussions with Obama Administration officials, including a top White House adviser helping to implement the Affordable Care Act....These White House meetings were reportedly arranged by political intelligence firms who specialize in providing information to Wall Street."
The Affordable Care Act will have huge financial implications on the insurance, pharmaceutical and health provider industries.  Advanced access to information could provide investors in these industries with an unfair advantage.
If these reports are true do they constitute some form of insider trading?  It is too early to tell.  At the very least it is just one more sign that the system is rigged.  The rich just keep getting richer and the chasm between the haves and the have nots grows ever wider.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Breaking News!

Have you noticed the change in message from the Republican Party?
It used to be all you heard them talk about were the president’s “failed policies” on the economy.  But that dog won’t hunt anymore because the “failed policies of the Obama administration” are working…much to the chagrin of Boehner and McConnell.
The economy has strengthened over the past two years.  Consumer spending is up and the polls show consumer confidence is growing.  Auto and housing sales are rising.  Just last week Ford announced that it will be hiring 44,000 additional workers to staff rising production demands.  The DOW is closing at record highs. The budget deficit is dropping faster than expected.  According to the CBO the deficit will drop this year to $642 billion after four straight years of red numbers over a trillion.
The president’s economic agenda is working.  On the international front, he got bin Laden has kept us safe. (Note to Republicans…you say Boston Marathon bombing…we say 9/11.)
So when the president’s policies are working and his favorability ratings are rising what the hell do you do if you are a Republican?
You blame the president for the Benghazi attack, for the IRS improprieties and for the Justice department’s assault on the first amendment.
We have always said that a sitting president gets all the blame and all the glory for events that occur on his/her watch.  These three events will certainly stall the president’s agenda moving forward.
Thank God for “scandals” because without them there would be nothing for Republicans to talk about.
We have been saying for years that the president’s policies are working. 
Breaking news!  The AP just picked up the story.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This Is What We Call Our Foreign Policy

The president is expected to make give a major foreign policy speech today.  He is expected to announce new limits on the use of drones and renew his efforts to close Gitmo.
For those of you who may have forgotten… we are at war.  In fact we have been at war for over a decade. 
Weird, huh?  
There is in fact an ongoing military conflict in country called Afghanistan where tens of thousands of American soldiers have seen action.  There are zero prospects of us winning this war so we are trying to get out as gracefully as we can.  We are training the Afghans in the art of military warfare so they can defend themselves.  Some of the Afghans shoot and kill their American trainers.  Our partner in Afghanistan is a guy named Hamid Kharzai.  He is the Afghan president.  We pay him millions of dollars to say the he likes us.  He says he likes our enemies better.   But he encourages us to continue to pay him millions of dollars because, well, you never know. 
We are also engaged in military operations in a bunch of countries against whom we have not bothered to officially declare war.  We are engaging those enemies through the use of “drones.”  Drones are remote controlled unmanned aircraft capable of firing deadly missiles with less than precision accuracy.  The president reviews a “hit list” and personally authorizes these drone attacks.   Sometimes the drones kill innocent bystanders.  Sometimes they kill Americans.  While this is unfortunate it is deemed preferable to putting more American boots on the ground.
There is a place called Gitmo where we incarcerate people that we call enemy combatants.  We call them “enemy combatants” so we can hold them there indefinitely without filing any charges against them.  Sometimes we go to extreme measures to get them to get to tell us their military secrets.  The international community calls these measures torture.  We call them enhanced interrogation techniques.  We don’t call them torture because torturing people would be a violation of international law.  We would never violate international law because we are a nation of laws.  We like to say that a lot.  There is no evidence that these “enhanced interrogation techniques” provide us with any useful information…but we use them anyway.
At any rate, the president wants to close Gitmo because he thinks we should be trying these people in our federal courts and incarcerating the guilty in our federal prisons.  But his opponents don’t want to try these people in our courts because they might have to reveal a whole mess of secret stuff to get a conviction…like the fact that we torture people.
This is what we call our “foreign policy.” It’s all kind of a mess. 
The president is going to talk about it today.   


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Deja' Vu!

We know that this White House and its Justice Department are obsessed with “leaks”.  Attorney General Eric holder has prosecuted more “leakers” than John Mitchell, Ed Meese and John Ashcroft combined.
We know that the Justice Department has secretly subpoenaed the phone records of the Associated Press.  The subpoena’s wide net included not only reporter’s office and fax numbers but their cell and home phones as well.  All under the catch phrase:  “a threat national security.”
We are now learning that the AP was not the only organization to be swept up in the DOJ’s net.
Several news sources are reporting that in addition to the AP phone records the DOJ also subpoenaed more than 30 phone numbers associated with FOX NEWS and two phone numbers at the White House.
We don’t know exactly what is going on at the DOJ.  But those of us old enough to remember Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers are feeling a sense of déjà vu.
If you are a small government does not get any better than this.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Life has a way of putting things in perspective.
Today, as we view events in Washington through the prism of the death and devastation in Moore, Oklahoma…
 …we realize how trivial “politics” truly is.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mr. President: Keep The Country Moving Forward

This is interesting.
With all the “scandals” surrounding this administration over the past few weeks you would expect the president’s popularity to be taking a hit.  Actually quite the opposite is happening.
According to the latest CNN opinion poll the president’s approval rating stands at 53%; a 2% increase over last month.   Apparently the American people have been able to sort through the hair-on-fire machinations of the president’s opponents and see them for the political echo chamber that they really are.
The people like this guy.  It’s time for him to take advantage of his likability.  It’s time to go on the offensive.
The president is good at making speeches.  We’d like to see him make another one…on a big stage…with big specific plans about creating jobs and fixing the economy.  We’d like to see him draw a stark contrast between his looking to the future while his opponents wallow in the past. 
The president has acknowledged that mistakes were made.  He has expressed his outrage and vowed to correct the situations.  “But America can’t stand still.  We have to move forward.”
Tell us how Mr. President.  Give us the specifics.  And then stay on point like a pit bull on a bone.
Yes, the Republican led hearings will continue and the president’s opponents will do everything in their power to use this opportunity to halt his agenda.  But Washington should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. 
The American people don’t like what happened in Benghazi, or at the IRS or at the Justice department.  They want steps taken to make certain that these events never happen again.  The president needs to assure them that he gets it and that he will do what is necessary to make things right.
But what the people really care about are jobs, the economy and their livelihood. 
The president needs to tap into that and keep the country moving forward.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Missed Opportunity!

Every once in a while life presents each of us a golden opportunity to succeed.  We don’t necessarily deserve it.  We didn’t do anything to earn it.  It just falls in our lap.  And the manner in which we handle that opportunity can go a long way toward determining our future success or failure.
The Obama administration, by way of the IRS has handed the Republicans such an opportunity.  The question is how will they handle it.
The partisan divide that separates Democrats from Republicans stems from the very core of their beliefs.  Democrats believe that government can and should play an important role in improving the lives of the people.  They believe that government can be trusted to do what is best its citizens.   Republicans believe that government is intrusive and serves as an unnecessary impediment to our individual freedom.  They believe that government is incompetent at best and corrupt at worst.
The IRS “scandal” plays right into Republicans hands.  The events which occurred at the IRS are at the very least evidence of incompetence.  Whether corruption has permeated the organization is yet to be seen.  Either way, it is not good for the White House.
The IRS plays an important role in the lives of every American.  The agency has virtually unlimited power to make one’s life a living hell.  Therefore the credibility of the IRS must be sacrosanct.   Any question as to the credibility and fairness of this agency will have a rippling effect throughout the federal government.
So how will Republicans handle this golden political opportunity?  So far the answer is…not well.
“Nixon”… “Watergate”… “Criminal”…“Impeachment”…these are just a few of the “hair-on-fire” responses from Republicans on the Hill after learning that the IRS had inappropriately targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny.  Having learned that the president had fired the acting IRS chairman, Speaker Boehner said: “I want to know who is going to jail.”
This is the hate speech that we have come to expect whenever Republicans have a gripe against this administration.  Fear and loathing overwhelms common sense.  It seems that whenever the Republican Party has an opportunity to look its best in seems to look its worst.  Whenever there is blood in the water the wackos come out to play.  We haven’t seen right wing star Michelle Bachman since she was slaughtered in the Republican primaries.  But there she was this week spouting conspiracy theories at every turn.
This is Republican overreach at its finest.  Republicans don’t have to do anything.  The facts speak for themselves…their small government argument playing out for all to see.    The president is operating without a net.  Not only did he fail to cultivate relationships with his Republican opponents he didn’t bother to reach out to his Democrat supporters either.  Consequently members of his party have joined in the rioting in the streets.  “Ye shall reap what ye shall sew.”  Republicans can be the adult in the room while the Democrats implode and the press goes postal.  But they just can’t help themselves.
Republicans have an opportunity to follow their national chairman’s advice and “stop being the stupid party.”  The early returns are not promising.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


We doubt that the president read our recent blog, but somebody finally got his ear.
The president stepped out of the bubble yesterday and forcefully addressed the three “scandals” that have threatened to derail his administration.
He expressed his outrage over the actions of IRS agents who targeted conservative groups.  He fired the acting IRS commissioner and promised that future actions would be forthcoming.
The White House released over 100 pages of previously classified emails pertaining to the Benghazi incident.  The emails clearly show that that the White House played no part in “scrubbing “the content of the controversial talking points used by Susan Rice on the Sunday talk shows.  They show that the CIA wanted any reference to terrorist organizations removed from the talking points because there was an ongoing CIA and FBI investigation as to the perpetrators of the attacks that killed four Americans including Ambassador Stephens.  The emails prove that the Republican accusations of a White House cover up for political reasons are unfounded.
The White House addressed the AP scandal, announcing its support for legislation that would put into effect a federal “shield law” protecting reporters and their sources.  40 states currently have “shield laws” in place.  Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is expected to announce the bill at a news conference today.  The purpose is to protect the first amendment rights of reporters within the framework of doing their jobs.
On another matter outside the three highly publicized scandals…the president will meet today with the Joint Chiefs to address the highly publicized revelations of sexual abuse within the military.  The president condemned those in the military who prey sexually on their rank subordinates.  He called for their prosecution and dishonorable discharge.  It is believed that he will seek changes that allow victims to seek redress outside the military chain of command.  Sexual abuse is rampant in the military.  The VA reports that they are currently treating over 50,000 MEN who have been abused sexually by their superiors.
This is the Barak Obama that his supporters have been waiting for…visibly angry over the abuse within his administration…handing out punishment to the perpetrators…taking decisive steps to make certain the abuse of power doesn’t happen again. 
The president stepped up.  He “owned” it.  And he responded in a clear decisive manner.
This is not over.  The situation at the IRS in particular will have a long shelf life with the American people.  These “scandals” have handed the president’s opponents a platter full of red meat.  They will play loose with the facts to gain an advantage. 
The president likes to make a public pronouncement on a subject and move on.  As if his word should be enough.  That doesn’t work.  He has to stay on this and make sure that his statements are backed up by decisive and effective action.  Only then will he have any chance of executing his second term agenda.
The president had a good day yesterday.  We need to see more of that Barak Obama.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Who's In Charge?

The CIA muddies the waters on Benghazi.
The IRS targets conservative political groups.
The Justice Department taps the phone records of the Associated Press.
The president says he first learned about all of these events while watching the news.
It’s Christmas in May for the Republican Party!  Mitch McConnell almost peed himself.
Obama's second term agenda…forget about it.
Immigration reform…not gonna’ happen.
Tax reform…nope!
Revisit gun control…seriously?
The only thing you will hear coming out of Washington from now until the mid-terms is the constant drone of investigative hearings.
The president has only himself to blame.
We along with many others have criticized the president for his reluctance to cultivate relationships on both sides of the aisle.  He has recently dipped his toe in the “schmooze” waters but it is too little too late.  Now he finds himself operating without a net.  Republicans smell blood in the water and Democrats are showing him their back.
As for the press…  The president has always counted on the press to carry his message. 
Now?   This from an op-ed piece in today’s New York Times on the AP phone records:
“We will not allow these tactics to scare us off.”
This president likes to make public speeches and then sit back and watch as events play out.  He is comfortable wearing the cloak of plausible deniability.  “I first heard about it on the news.” 
If this president honestly first learned about his justice department’s investigation into press leaks exposing  operations that placed American lives in jeopardy and threatened national security on the evening news…then there is a serious, serious problem within his administration.   
While addressing reporters at a recent press conference the president lamented the constant turmoil that looms over Washington.  “I’d just like to govern” he said.
So govern!
Call in the people that were involved in these scandals.  Get the facts.  Take responsibility.  Express your outrage.  Fire those responsible.  Tell the American people what you intend to do to make certain it never happens again. 
And then ACT.
We have said time and time again that a president gets all the blame and all the credit for the events that occur on his watch.  Benghazi, the IRS, the AP mess…these are his whether he knew about them first hand or caught the headline on cable news. 
Own it!  Act on it!  Govern!
Treasury, Justice, State the CIA!  This is YOUR administration, Mr. President.  If you are not in charge who in the hell is?
Chris Mathews recently said that the only time that a voter has any say in the direction of the country is at the polls.  The voter makes a choice as to who he or she wants to drive the car.  Obama will steer the country a bit toward the left.  Romney would have chosen a road more to the right.  The voters chose Obama to drive the car.
Drive the damn car, Mr. President! 
Stop lounging in the back seat.


Monday, May 13, 2013


The AP is reporting that the Cincinnati office of the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative political groups for extra scrutiny as they applied for non-profit status. 
According to the AP, organizations who used terms like; tea party, patriots, constitution, bill of rights, limiting/expanding government among other were sent to team of specialists for further investigation…adding months to the approval process.
Freedom of political speech in this country is sacrosanct. 
The IRS wields enormous power that affects the lives of every American. 
For the IRS to target any group because of their political affiliations is not only outrageous…
…it is tyranny.       

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stop Already With The Red Line Drawing

The president has said that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would be a “Red Line” that once crossed would result in serious consequences.
There is now evidence that the Syrian government has in fact used chemical weapons against the rebel forces.
So where are the consequences?
The silence from the White House is deafening.
So is the saber rattling from the right.
Does anyone in our government remember Iraq?
Iraq was a civil war between Sunni and Shia with the Kurds standing in the wings.
Saddam had used chemical weapons against the Kurds.
Rumor was that he was going to sell similar weapons to terrorists who would use them against us.
So we unleashed the full force and might of the US military on Saddam.
Ten years later Saddam is gone…and where are we?
The violence in Syria is a secular conflict…Sunni vs. Shia.
Are we going to make the same mistake again?
The president drew a red line in the sand.
He should stop doing that.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Conspiracy Theories Abound

If you follow the conservative news outlets you know that when it comes to our Muslim, Kenyan, racist, gay socialist president, conspiracy theories abound.
From “Birthers” to Benghazi…background checks to border security… bigotry to bombing drones…there is no end to the alleged ulterior motives of the Obama administration.
The one that we find most fascinating goes something like this: 
“The Obama administration is implementing its socialist agenda with the explicit intent of bringing capitalism to its knees.”
When Barak Obama was sworn in as president on January 20, 2009 the Dow Jones closed at 8,077.
Yesterday the Dow Jones closed at a record high 15,105.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Second Chances or Double Standard

Four years ago Mark Sanford was the very popular Governor of South Carolina.
He was considered a viable candidate for the White House.
Four years ago Mark Sanford disappeared for five days.
When he surfaced he said that he had been communing with nature along the Appalachian Trail.
It turns out that Mark Sanford was communing with his mistress in Argentina.
Four years ago Mark Sanford was forced to resign.
Yesterday Mark Sanford won a special election for the United States House of Representatives.
He won by 9 points.

William Jefferson Clinton served as our nation’s 42nd president.
President Clinton was known to have some difficulty keeping his zipper zipped.
President Clinton had an affair with an intern.
He lied about the affair to the American people.
He lied about the affair in sworn testimony before the United States Congress.
He committed perjury.
President Clinton was impeached by the United States House of Representatives.
Today, former President Clinton is one of the most popular public figures in our history.

Newt Gingrich once served as the powerful Speaker of the House.
He was forced to resign for misappropriating $300,000 in public funds.
Newt Gingrich has been married three times.
He was having an affair with his now current wife while his now former wife was dying of cancer.
Newt Gingrich is a bestselling author and successful film producer.
He was a viable Republican candidate for the presidency.

Two years ago Anthony Weiner served as a member of the United States House of Representatives.
He was considered a rising star in the Democratic Party.
His wife served as the number one advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Two years ago it was reveled that Anthony Weiner had been emailing photos of his wiener to female admirers.
Anthony Weiner was forced to resign.
Today Anthony Weiner is running for the powerful office of Mayor of New York city.

They say we are a nation of second chances.  So we have to ask…

Would Nancy Pelosi have been elected the first woman Speaker of the House had she hiked the Appalachian Trail as Mark Sanford did?
Would she be Minority Leader if she had emailed photos of her “naughty bits” to ardent admirers?

If Hillary Rodham Clinton had followed her husband’s path, would she have ever been elected State Senator from New York? 
If she had communed with an Argentine lover would she have had a chance to challenge Barak Obama?
Would she have been appointed Secretary of State?
If Hillary Rodham Clinton had committed perjury would she be a serious contender to be the first woman president in our history.

Second chances...more like double standard.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cut this...Cut that...Whoa don't cut THAT!

Republicans like spending cuts.  They like spending cuts almost as much as they like their guns.
If you want to cut the size of government…”shrink it down to where you can drown it in a bathtub”… Grover Nordquist and his boys have got your back.
Do you want to cut food stamps…John Boehner’s right there with you.
Do you want to cut Meals on Wheels…Mitch McConnell’s your wingman.
Want to cut Head Start…Paul Ryan’s got you covered.
Do you want to furlough a bunch of air traffic controllers…
I said, do you want to furlough a bunch of air traffic controllers…
Let’s try this…Do you want to close Yellowstone for the summer…
How about cancelling White House tours…
Hello!  Are you with me?  Where did everybody go?
Republicans like spending cuts.  As long as those spending cuts don’t affect well healed businessmen and tourists with enough dough to take a vacation. 
Pissed off because the FAA furloughs have you waiting a bit too long at the airport…John Boehner will take care of that for you.
Need those food stamps to survive…sorry ‘bout your luck.


Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Maddness!

70,000 people attended the NRA National Convention this weekend.
Their largest crowd ever.
They gave Sarah Palin a standing ovation.
Rick Perry’s introductory video showed him blasting targets with an AR-15 while Guns & Roses blasted in the background.
Wayne LaPierre ginned up the crowd.
 “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun…is a good guy with a gun.” 
“How many Bostonians huddled in fear wishing they had a gun?”
A 25 year old law student has produced a functioning plastic gun through the use of a 3D printer.  The gun uses 38 caliber rounds and can fire off six shots before losing its functionality. 
The inventor calls himself an anarchist.
Bra holsters were on display.
A pink pickup truck was tattooed with “Lipstick & Lead.”

The Heritage Foundation says that any immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship is too expensive and will hurt the economy. 
Deporting up 11 million “illegals” who work for next to nothing apparently will not.

The Israelis bombed a weapons facility in Damascus, Syria. 
The weapons were made in Iran…
...sold to Syria…
...intended for Hezbollah in Lebanon
…to use against the Israelis.

The Karzai government is universally known to be corrupt.
NYT reports say that the CIA has been delivering plastic garbage bags full of cash to the Karzai government for decades.
Karzai invested millions of dollars in Dubai. 
When Dubai went belly up so did Karzai.
In a weekend press conference Karzai said that the hopes the media reports about the CIA money will not stop the money from coming. 
“We need the money…We hope that this flow of money will continue.”
Nineteen US soldiers were killed last week as the Taliban “Spring Offensive” kicked off in Afghanistan.

It’s madness!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Toomey Tells The Truth

“In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so politicized.  There are some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.”
                                  Senator Pat Toomey (R. Pa.) Co-author of the failed legislation on background checks

It is hard to find common ground when the people you are dealing with are motivated by a spiteful vendetta rather than the common good.
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for Barak Obama to be a one term president.”
Since the day Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. Ky.) uttered those infamous words Republicans have done everything in their power to thwart the president’s agenda.  They have used obfuscation, demagoguery and outright lies to paint this president and his policies as “un-American.”They have not allowed opinion polls, public pressure or facts to stand in their way.
In some respects they have been rewarded for their efforts.  They took back control of the House in 2010 and gained additional seats in both chambers in 2012.  Their game plan has worked on a local congressional level.
But it has been an utter failure in the general elections.  Republicans have lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 national elections, and Barak Obama defeated his Republican opponents by a landslide in each of the last two.
Republicans have flatly denied that they have become the party of “No.”  They say that their disagreements with the president are “philosophical” and their unwillingness to support his agenda is “supported by the will of the people.”
Whatever the rationale, their “philosophy” and polarizing rhetoric has served to significantly weaken the Republican Party’s influence in national politics.  Thanks to firebrands like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul women, gays, Asians, Hispanics, and students are turning away in droves. 
The Republican response to the massive erosion of support among these groups…
…“Our policies are sound…we just need to talk to them as if they are our equals.”
                                                                           Reince Preibus, Chairman Republican National Party
Republicans view the world from a windowless room.  Their party platform has but one plank…stop Obama.
Senator Toomey did not tell us anything that we didn’t already know.  But the fact that he said it speaks volumes.
Kudos to Senator Toomey for speaking the truth!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Plenty Of Blame To Go Around

The president held a news conference yesterday to mark the first 100 days of his second term.  The reviews are in…and they are not good.
According to the pundits the president came off as “defensive,” “weak” and having lost his “juice.”  By all accounts this president is in full lame duck mode.
To some extent they are correct.  The president has taken some pretty big hits of late and in spite of his protestations to the contrary, rumors of his demise are NOT greatly exaggerated.  He took a big hit on the sequester cuts and another one on background checks.  Just the other day congress ran over him and sent the air traffic controllers back to work.  And the last thing he expected 100 days into his second term is to be answering questions on why he hasn’t been able to close Gitmo.  For a guy that just came off a resounding general election win he seems spending a lot of time on defense rather than offense.
The president likes to point the finger of blame at congress; and they have certainly been a key partner in the gridlock that has brought Washington to its knees.  (We’ll get to congress in a minute.) But if the president is honest with himself he has to know that some of the blame falls on his shoulders.
The president and his supporters thought his landslide re-election would pave the way for passing his second term agenda.  Perhaps they believed that Republicans would simply lay down their swords.  Quite the contrary!  Republicans have shown that their resolve to stay the course holds true.  They will continue do anything they can to stop this president…even to the extent of voting “No” on issues supported by 90% of the country. 
We have written many times before about the president’s distaste for the nuts and bolts of Washington politics.  He is loath to get down in the weeds and participate in the wheeling and dealing that makes Washington work.  He prefers to work from the stump and the podium rather than the smoky backrooms and musty hallways.  He prefers to let the voters do the heavy lifting.  Thus far that strategy has failed.  It’s his job to find a way to make it work.
When people talk about the president’s unwillingness to get his hands dirty when dealing with congress they like to bring up the past.  They like to talk about the good old days when LBJ and Ronald Reagan would do whatever was necessary to get congress to do their bidding.  (Count us among those who would like to see a little more LBJ type smack down in this president’s approach.) 
But in fairness, LBJ and Reagan didn’t have to deal with a Senate that requires 60 votes to order lunch.  They didn’t have to deal with a Congress willing to vote “No” on issues favored by 90% of the voters.  And LBJ and Reagan didn’t have to deal with the racism, bigotry and outright hatred that this president deals with every single day.
The president still has time to turn the tide and cement his legacy.  He can still get a bill on background checks through congress.  He can get a budget deal done.  And he has a very good shot at immigration reform.  Add those initiatives to passing comprehensive health care, saving of the auto and banking industries, turning around the economy, bringing an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the elimination of bin laden; this president has a legacy that will stand the test of history.  It is his job to find a way to get it done.
We assume that this president will continue to favor the podium over the poker game.  We assume that his opponents will continue to do everything in their power to stop him.  The ultimate victor will be decided in the mid-terms.  If the president has successfully made his case then his party will wrest control of both chambers on the hill.  If he fails then his second term agenda is toast.  In the meantime the finger pointing will continue and gridlock will prevail.
There is plenty of blame to go around.