Wednesday, April 29

100 Days

As reporters and pundits the world over evaluate President Obama's first 100 days in office, I notice a telling trend. People either think he has been the most successful president in modern time OR they think he has been a miserable failure. There really isn't any in-between.

Looking at just a few of his "accomplishments" pretty much sums up the reasons why there is no fence sitting with this particular administration.
  • Under the guise of "economic stimulus" he was able to pass a $787 billion gift for his liberal special interest base. And he did it so quickly that no member of Congress was able to read it before they voted.
  • After campaigning on a pledge to end earmarks, he signed an appropriations bill loaded with 8,000 earmarks - and paid no political penalty.
  • President Obama has kept congressional Democrats marching with him in lockstep. House Democrats tow the party line an amazing 94 percent of the time and Senate Democrats vote Democratic 91 percent of the time.
  • President Obama has transformed the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) into giant engines of unsupervised spending. Together, they've spent the equivalent of the entire federal budget for 2007, without having to disclose where the money went.
  • Just two weeks ago, the President presided over an unprecedented bureaucratic power grab when his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health. This seemingly innocuous decision opens the door to wholesale regulation of American life by government. The threat is so great that politicians and activists are using the specter of an out-of-control EPA to force Congress to pass a $1 trillion to $2 trillion energy tax in the form of cap-and-trade legislation.
  • In an attempt to overcome anti-Americanism abroad by agreeing with it, President Obama has gone on a global apology tour, labeling America as "arrogant, dismissive and derisive" in front of foreign audiences.
  • President Obama has unleashed r open to prosecuting Bush Administration officials over the interrogation of terrorists who plotted to kill Americans.

Now that's some change I just can't believe in.

Tuesday, April 28

Specter Finally Comes out of the Closet

I've received many emails today letting me know about Senator Specter's (PA) announcement that he is leaving the Republican party to become a Democrat.

I'll tell you what I've told everyone else: Good riddance. They can have him!

In word and deed, Specter has always sounded more like a liberal democrat than a republican of any degree. I have no idea why he has lasted 30 years as Pennsylvania's senator.

Despite what he is telling the media, the reason he made the switch is because the republicans have all but abandoned him statewide. His senate seat is already being challenged by a fella name Toomey and polls show Toomey with a significant lead. So Specter is doing nothing more than making a political move in hopes of keeping his seat.

I hate to tell him, but it's going to take more than switching parties to send him back to Washington. Republicans (me included) want him gone!

Friday, April 24

So How's the Auto Makers doing with all that Bailout Money they Received?

General Motors
General Motors Corp. said Thursday that it will shut down 13 plants for "multiple weeks" in the second and third quarters to bring down the number of unsold cars in the face of dropping demand.

Ford Motor
Ford Motor Co. says it lost $1.4 billion in the first quarter, but it burned through less money as it continued to restructure without government aid during a severe auto sales downturn.

The nation's second-largest automaker said Friday that it spent $3.7 billion more than it took in during the quarter, but that's far less than the $7.2 billion the company burned through in the fourth quarter.

Ford lost 60 cents per share, compared with a gain of 3 cents per share a year ago. Excluding special items such as gains from the company's debt restructuring, the company lost 75 cents per share.

Chrysler lenders have received a new offer from the government amid a report that federal officials could be preparing a bankruptcy filing for the struggling auto maker.

The U.S. Department of Treasury has upped its offer to Chrysler lenders to $1.5 billion of first-lien debt and a 5% equity stake in the restructured company, according to a Reuters report that cited an anonymous source. This would be in exchange for the $7 billion in debt the lenders hold.

On Monday, the Chrysler lending group was seeking $4.5 billion in first-lien debt and a stake totaling 40%, the report said. These amounts were clearly well above the initial offer made by the Obama Administration, and because of that were turned down.

Meanwhile, the Treasury has begun preparing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing for Chrysler, according to a report in the New York Times. The filing could come as early as next week, according to the Times which cited people familiar with the situation.

Wednesday, April 22

Tea Party 101

The Democrats, Republicans and Independents who went to Tea Parties last week want the same thing that the patriots of 1773 wanted: To be treated as free citizens with inalienable rights, not indentured subjects of an all-powerful government.

Subjects don't complain when government makes their lives more secular and more socialized.

But citizens demand the "right to pursue happiness" as their Creator endowed them in the Declaration of Independence.

Citizens do not want to be told that they can earn up to $250,000, but above that, they are illegitimate possessors of the "people's wealth" and should expect to have it taken by the government.

Citizens do not want to be told that members of Congress or bureaucrats in the Treasury will set salary schedules and decide income for Americans in private business.

The Tea Parties were a reaction to all these threats to the American way of life.

In the News

Tuesday, April 21

Dear Mr. President

For decades, the United States has been the country to fear and to admire. We are the country people flock to in droves for opportunity and freedom. We are the country that protects our own and protects other countries too weak to protect themselves. We are generous with our resources and our money to a fault.

Those are just a few of the reasons, Mr. President, as to why I'm frustrated you aren't acting like you are the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. It doesn't have to be in a self-righteous or haughty manner, but act like you are proud of this country and what it has accomplished over the last two centuries. Stand proud for our principles and don't apologize for those things that set this country apart. Quit pretending like the United States is an ugly word. For without the United States, many countries around the world would go hungry, succumb to disease, victimize their women and children, never recover from natural disasters, and have no hope that there is a better life possible.

I know that sounds pretentious to you, but it is the truth. The United States plays an important role in this world and probably our most important role is to portray the strength and steadfastness of this nation to leaders and countries who rely on it for their own strength and determination. We didn't become this great nation by trying to be the popular kid on the block. We've never embraced our enemies or those who embrace oppression or violence in their own countries because we've condemned their actions and have worked tirelessly to bring about a better life for their people.

Frankly, in your effort to bring a new tone to the world stage you appear weak, and that is concerning. The United States' enemies have been waiting patiently for a president who is not going to stand up and aggressively defend America and her interests. They've been waiting for a president who rather talk turkey over beers than issue stern warnings and rebukes. They've been waiting for that opportunity when the United States lets her guard down just long enough for them to take advantage of her or to harm her.

Stand tall, Mr President. Be proud of this country. Don't apologize for those things that have made the world stronger. Keep our position in the world secure, not for our own ego, but because so many other people and countries depend on us for their own survival. If we fall, they fall. It we slip, they slip.

Stand tall, Mr. President. Stand tall.

Monday, April 20

The Tea Parties Rage On

Last Wednesday, Americans of all stripes and colors gathered to peacefully protest the astronomical debt this country is racking up.

What I've found amusing is how flummoxed the left is by these tea parties. They are completely befuddled by them so all they can think to do is hurl insults and reduce the participants to names like morons, idiots, and mindless robots.

My very own liberalesque brother sent me an email wanting to know what these tea parties were all about and "who's your leader?" That last question kept me laughing for days. Who's our leader? Of course, the left thinks the people who participated last Wednesday are just mindlessly following the orders of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. But that question is precisely why they don't get it.

These tea parties were a 100% grass roots effort. Employing the same social media sites that Obama so brilliantly used during the campaign, these protesters organized over the last two months on Twitter, Facebook and on blogs across the intersphere. The leaders were the lady at the post office, the grandma who babysits her grandchildren during the day, the small business owner, the young stay-at-home mom, the student. In fact, two moms were the driving force behind the tea party that took place at the Alamo in Texas that ended up drawing a national audience.

But as the left tried to comprehend where this movement of idiots came from, they were even more bothered by the reason for the gatherings.

A common theme amongst the editorial hand-wringers was the supposed irony of Americans protesting high taxes on a day when 95% of us would be receiving a tax
break. Unless, of course, you’re one of the 15-20% of adult Americans who smoke. Or maybe one of that tiny little percentage of Americans who use any electricity after Washington imposes a cap-and-trade system of energy taxation. Or if you own (or own stock in) a business facing $353 billion in increased taxes over the next ten years. Or if printing dollars by the trillions results in inflation and you happen to be an American who uses … money. But let’s not let a perfectly good meme get in the way of ridiculing taxpaying Americans.

The left also likes to point out that the first tea party was protesting taxation without representation and (duh) that's not the case today. Really? Today, we are blessed to have 535 morons representing us who don't seem to ever take in account what the American people want or say. After countless emails and phone calls, our "representatives" still do whatever they want to do. Sounds like taxation without representation to me.

I've also seen a lot of blogs and articles saying that they'd respect the protesters if they quit complaining and put forth a viable solution to the problem. I agree with that to a point. I always think a person should be willing to help solve a problem they identify, but isn't that what we have boy wonder Opie Geitner and the masterminds in congress and the anointed one in the White House? Aren't they suppose to be the best and brightest to solve this economic mess?

Americans are desperate to have their voices heard. They are doing everything they know to do to become part of the process, but it has been like beating their heads against a wall. Thus, the tea parties. The peaceful, harmless tea parties where people hold signs, sing 'God Bless America' and wear tea bags on their hats.

So why do they have the left in such a frenzy?

Monday, April 6

Obama Speaks Out Against Nuclear Weapons

Just hours after North Korea launched a long-range rocket, President Barack Obama called for "a world without nuclear weapons" and said the United States has a “moral responsibility ” to lead the way, as the only nation ever to use them.

Obama’s speech was long planned as the centerpiece of his first presidential trip overseas, but it gained new urgency after North Korea sent a multi-part rocket soaring over the Sea of Japan early Sunday morning.

you can watch the speech and read more over at Politico...

We've Got One Word for You GM: Bankruptcy

I couldn't agree more with this advice to GM written in yesterday's OC Register:
If there is any intelligent life left at General Motors, it should run –not walk–to bankruptcy court. That may be the company's only chance to free itself from the triple vise of unions, creditors and, now, President Barack Obama, who is by no means the least life-threatening of the lot.

What is maddening is that if the government would've just let them fall into bankruptcy months ago, we would'nt have wasted $14 million of taxpayer money. But what do I know, I'm just a conservative.

Great article. Take three minutes and read it.

U.N. Security Council Does Not Condemn North Korea...Yet?

After yesterday's failed launch of a rocket, leaders from around the world (except China and Russia) called on the U.N. to issue a rebuke. Leave it to the U.N. Security Council to not reach a unified response, although I'm not sure a written slap on the hand will do much to deter Kim Jong-Il.

Despite the urging of the United States and Japan, the 15-member council could not agree on a statement criticizing North Korea's rocket launch. China and Russia said they were not yet convinced that Pyongyang had violated any U.N. rules, according to council officials.

The council adjourned after three hours and agreed to continue
negotiations on a resolution in the coming days. "Every state has the right to the peaceful use of outer space," said Russia's deputy U.N. envoy, Igor Shcherbak.

complete story via The Washington Post...

Sunday, April 5

North Korea Launches Rocket

President Obama called for North Korea to be punished after the isolated communist state fired an intercontinental rocket today, defying weeks of warnings from world leaders and provoking anxiety across north-east Asia.

The UN Security Council will meet in emergency session in New York this afternoon after a demand for action from governments across the world, including the US, Britain, France and above all Japan, over whose territory the rocket flew. It is unlikely that Russia and China will agree to new sanctions because the projectile appears to have been the vehicle for a satellite, rather than an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"This provocation underscores the need for action, not just this afternoon at the UN Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons,” Mr Obama said in a speech in the Czech capital, Prague, calling for efforts towards nuclear disarmament.

“Rules must be binding, violations must be punished, words must mean something. The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response.”

continue reading here...

Weekend Reading

The First Shrink by Maureen Dowd, NYT

Obama & the Confidence Game, Peter Baker, BYT

The Master of Misdirection by Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard

Obama's Domestic Agenda Gains Credibility, Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal

Friday, April 3

Call Me Crazy...

but I just don't think this is a good idea.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he would be willing to accept prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which U.S. President Barack Obama has said he will close, the Venezuelan government said Thursday.

Nope, just doesn't seem like a good idea.

House Approves $3.6 Trillion Budget Blueprint


The Democratic-controlled Senate has passed a budget drafted to President Barack Obama's specifications, voting a few hours after the House approved a similar plan.

The Senate vote was 55-43, along party lines.

The plan calls for spending of $3.5 trillion for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 and has a deficit projected at $1.2 trillion.

It provides for higher spending on domestic programs and clears the way for action later in the year on Obama's call for an overhaul of health care, a new energy policy and changes in federal support for education.

The budget votes mark victories for the Obama administration, but tough battles lie ahead when lawmakers turn to the other items on the president's agenda.


The Democratic-controlled House approved a budget blueprint drawn to President Barack Obama's specifications Thursday and the Senate hastened to follow suit after administration allies rejected alternatives from liberals and conservatives alike. The vote in the House was 233-196, largely along party lines, for a $3.6 trillion plan that includes a deficit of $1.2 trillion.

The country wants "real change, and we have come here to make a difference," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said as both chambers worked on plans to boost spending on domestic programs, raise taxes on the wealthy in two years' time and clear the way for action later in the year on Obama's priority items of health care, energy and education.

Republicans in both houses accused Democrats of drafting plans that would hurt the recession-ravaged economy in the long run, rather than help it, and saddle future generations with too much debt.

"The administration's budget simply taxes too much, spends too much and borrows too much at a moment when we can least afford it," said the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

continue reading here

G-20 Wrap Up

I know I've said this before, but the pace at which things are moving politically is crazy. I need a full-time staff to keep on top of all the bills that are being introduced, debated, and voted on plus keeping track of our fearless President who is out solving the world's problems. But since you just have me, you'll have to settle for the highlights. A few days late.

So this week was the G-20. The G-20 is the simply the name for the nations with the 20 largest economies plus the European Union. The G-20 economies comprise 85% global gross national product, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world population.

President Obama held a press conference yesterday at the conclusion of the summit to cautiously yet optimistically tout the week's accomplishments (and a few disappointments):

  • World leaders pledged $1.1 trillion in loans and guarantees to struggling countries and agreed to crack down on tax havens and hedge funds — but failed to reach sweeping accord on more stimulus spending to attack the global economic decline.
  • The G-20 leaders said they would upgrade an existing financial forum to serve as an early warning monitor to flag problems in the global financial system.
  • U.S. and British calls for new stimulus measures was not satisfied.
  • Nor did European politicians get their goal of a global financial superregulator.
  • The leaders did bridge several gaps between the United States and some European nations over how far to regulate the market and how to curb the excesses that sparked the global economic crisis.

Here are a few additional articles that you might want to read for a more in-depth analysis from, Real Clear Politics, Shadow Government, and

Thursday, April 2

Obamas Take G-20 by Storm

It's no secret that the G-20 is going on in London this week. President Obama and the First Lady are making their debut on the world stage and, of course, they are causing quite a splash. Now I don't mean to throw stones at presidental glass houses, but I'm flummoxed by several of the stories.

1. The Obamas presented the queen with a gift of an inscribed video iPod, with preloaded songs, and a rare musical songbook signed by U.S. composer Richard Rodgers. They need to get a new gift buyer. And fast!

2. Michelle Obama touched the Queen. Apparently that is a major faux pas in the royalty handbook. In 1992, Australia's prime minister was called the "Lizard of Oz" after he put his arm around Elizabeth

3. Of course, Michelle Obama's wardrobe is under constant scrutiny. She was applauded yesterday from going from a designer dress to an outfit the average Joe could wear from J. Crew for a mere $500. Last time I checked, "average" Joes don't buy outfits that cost $500.

We're only two days into this extravaganza so I can only imagine what other hijinks the Obamas are going to stir.

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