Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Don't Make Promises... (I Can't Break)

“I Don’t Make Promises… (I Can’t Break)” is the title of a song by artist Shannon Curfman. I chose this song as the opening for my Blog Talk Radio program‘Conservative Republican Forum’ (which airs Saturdays at 6PM Eastern) because it seems that politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are incapable of telling the truth to their constituents. It seemed very appropriate for a show about politics in America today.

Republicans lost their majorities in the House and Senate, as well as, the White House because they didn’t keep their promises and acted like Democrats, abandoning fiscal responsibility and expanding government in both size and reach. They deserved to lose and opened the door for Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama to breeze into power.

When Barack Obama ran for President he promised the nation change we could “believe in” and many, though not this correspondent, believed him. Candidate Obama promised the most transparent White House in history. He promised that negotiations and deliberations would be on C-Span for the public to see. Obama also promised that there would be no earmarks in any bill he signed into law, “none”. We were told by this president that if his “stimulus” weren’t signed into law that the unemployment rate would soar over 10% and that if it was signed into law that the unemployment rate wouldn’t go above 8%. He said that all bills would be posted on the Internet for a week, so that the public would have the chance to read and comment on them before they were signed into law.

Almost a year into his first (and hopefully only) term it seems that President Obama doesn’t make promises that he can’t break. The only change he’s brought to Washington is an increase in deficit spending and a tremendous expansion in the size of the federal government. The White House wouldn’t even release a list of visitors to the People’s House until a Freedom of Information Act request forced them to so and the President’s transparency taskforce met behind closed doors with no media allowed. The healthcare bills in both the House and Senate have been written, in secret, with no Republicans being allowed to participate. The no earmarks promise has been broken repeatedly, as has the promise to post all legislation on the Internet before being signed into law. The “stimulus” was passed without even the members of Congress reading it and yet the unemployment rate is over 10% nationally and much higher in many states.

It seems that the only promises that are being kept are the ones that Obama and company have made to their cronies, like SEIU and GE. Those are promises that most of us would prefer he break. SEIU was allowed to write the “stimulus” bill which is why union employees, especially those working for the federal government, are getting raises while people all over the country continue to lose their jobs. General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, whose NBC and MSNBC “news” divisions have been in the tank for Obama from day one, is on the president’s Economic Council and was appointed to the board of the New York Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, when he was in China Obama negotiated a deal for GE to manufacture wind turbines to be sold to China.

So I suggest that from now on, instead of playing “Hail to the Chief” when President Obama enters a room, the band should instead play “I Don’t Make Promises… (I Can’t Break)”.

Monday, December 14, 2009

TEA Party: Movement or Political Party?

The TEA Party movement is an amazing grassroots phenomenon that has energized Americans in every state of the Union. Ordinary citizens, Republican, Independent, Conservative and even Democrat have been inspired and provoked into standing up, speaking out and demanding that their elected officials actually represent them, instead of ignoring and even denigrating them.

However, due to frustration, anger and the misguided idea that a third party is necessary to elect fiscally responsible candidates, the TEA Party has morphed, from a grassroots movement, into a political party in it’s own right. It is now an officially recognized and registered party here in Florida where it will be one of 32 minor political parties.

It’s easy to understand the irritation and dissatisfaction with the GOP that has led some to want another party that represents fiscally conservative principles. I share much of that frustration. But the “solution” may have unintended, though very predictable, consequences. The result of this new party, if it catches on, will be to split the conservative and Republican votes and hand seats to the very liberal candidates that the TEA Partiers seek to remove.

There is a group within the movement that believes that Republicans, across the board, are just as bad as their Democrat counterparts. There is no doubt that the Republican Party as a whole has behaved more like “tax and spend” Democrats, than fiscally responsible Republicans in recent years. The GOP has paid for this behavior with huge losses in both the 2006 and 2008 election cycles. The nation has paid for their behavior with huge spending and deficits that make the Bush administration look almost responsible.

Beyond the out of control spending of the Obama Administration and the Reid/Pelosi ruled Congress, the legislation we’ve seen coming from the Progressives in charge has been all about growing government and increasing it’s impact on the day-to-day lives of every American. Cap and Tax, so-called healthcare reform, “Cash for Clunkers”, the trillion dollar stimulus and other legislation being pushed by those currently in the majority are all about power and keeping power for the Democrats and their union allies at the expense of future generations.

Many conservatives want to “clean house” in 2010, literally replacing every member of Congress. This is an unattainable, and in this author’s opinion, irresponsible goal. We know that some members of Congress, like Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank, are in districts that are so liberal and/or progressive that it would be virtually impossible to unseat them. In addition, there are some GOP members of Congress, like Michele Bachmann, Mike Pence and Jim DeMint that have remembered their conservative principles and more importantly that the law of our republic is still the Constitution.

Some who favor the TEA Party becoming a political party point to the recent election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District as an example of what a third party can accomplish. What these well meaning people ignore is the fact that even with a Republican candidate as liberal as Dede Scozzafava was, chosen in a backroom by Party bosses and who ultimately dropped out of the race and endorsed the Democrat candidate, the Conservative still candidate lost.

While the frustration that inspired this new political party is understandable and justified, it has led to an ill-conceived and ill-advised transformation of the TEA Party movement into a political party in Florida, that instead of electing more fiscally responsible candidates, may split conservative votes and save or create dozens of liberal/progressive election victories.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

History ignored, distorted and rewritten

This week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-NV went to the floor of the United States Senate and made a mockery of himself by ignoring, distorting and rewriting history to suit his narrative that, opponents of the current healthcare “reform” bill are akin to those that fought abolishing slavery or opposed women’s suffrage.

Of course Senator Reid’s interpretation of history has little to do with reality. Reid ignores the fact that it was a Republican, Abraham Lincoln, that freed the slaves. He ignores the fact that it was Democrats that fought to maintain Jim Crow laws and against the Civil Rights Act. In fact the only current member of Congress that was once a member of the KKK, is Democrat Senator Robert Byrd.

So when Reid says, “You think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, slow down, it’s too early. Let’s wait. Things aren’t bad enough…” He’s talking about his party.

They used to say that “history is written by the victors”, nowadays it seems that history is rewritten by the Progressives. Whether it’s former-President Carter trying to make people believe that he was a great president, or Barney Frank trying to convince people he had nothing to do with the demise of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the mortgage crisis, the theme is the same. These progressive politicians spout historical misinformation to support their positions and the liberal media, rather than fact checking and correcting, reports the falsehoods as fact.

One of my favorite examples came from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this year. While crying crocodile tears and expressing as much emotion as her Botox paralyzed face will permit, Pelosi talked about how concerned she was “… about some of the language that is being used because I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco, this kind of rhetoric. … It created a climate in which violence took place. … I wish we would all curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements and understand that some of the ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statements may assume. … You have to take responsibility for any incitement that may cause.” Now first of all the language the Speaker was referring to was simply people peacefully expressing their opposition to excessive taxes and spending from Washington, DC. Beyond that Nancy ignores the fact that she and her fellow Democrats were calling people that attended Tea Parties and town halls “un-American” for exercising their 1st Amendment rights and that the only actual violence that has occurred was by those on the left. SEIU thugs beating a black man in Missouri for selling “Don’t Tread On Me” patches, a pro-healthcare protestor biting the finger off an anti-Obamacare protestor and numerous incidences of those on the left spitting on their rivals on the right. In addition the violence in the late ‘70s she was referring to was the murders of Democrats George Moscone and Harvey Milk by the deranged Dan White, another Democrat!

Our own president, an Ivy League graduate, in talking about why he’s uncomfortable using the word “victory” with regard to Afghanistan, “because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur,” distorted history. For those that may be victims of the progressive education system, the Instrument of Surrender in WWII between the Allies and the Japanese was signed onboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay, by several Japanese government and military officials, not Emperor Hirohito.

History does not smile on the progressive movement or its follower’s attempts to “fundamentally change America”, which may explain why they have such distain for it. It also explains why a progressive version of history and civics is being taught to American children in public schools and in our colleges and universities. The next generation won’t be able to tell you why December 7th, 1941 was a pivotal day in our history, much less why September 11th, 2001 was. The teachers and the textbooks they employ teach our children a history lesson that most of us wouldn’t even recognize. This is dangerous and shameful and it won’t end until we insist that facts be taught as history. Until then they’ll continue to ignore, distort and rewrite history to suit their needs.

Friday, December 4, 2009


After more than three months of meetings and deliberations with top political, diplomatic and military leaders President Barack Obama delivered to the American People his strategy for Afghanistan. At least that’s what the White House would like us to have come away from the speech thinking.

After watching Mr. Obama deliver yet another unremarkable televised address to the nation intended to lay out his reasoning and strategy for defeating the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, this correspondent was left feeling that the president’s “strategy” for Afghanistan was to appease everyone, please no one and set the stage for a full retreat from what he has called “the war of necessity”.

The speech was unremarkable, in part, because though the administration chose the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as the setting, they failed to get the desired response and impact from the venue. The cadets in attendance, having been made to sit in their seats for four hours before the president’s remarks, looked like they were sitting through a boring lecture, not live remarks by their Commander-in-Chief. Their response to President Obama appeared to be more polite than enthusiastic.

In addition, Obama now looks so rehearsed when he delivers a speech that he lacks any genuine emotion or passion for what he’s discussing. He turns from one side of the audience to the other on cue, to read from the Teleprompters, he taps the podium at a regular interval and doesn’t inspire confidence in his sincerity or his competence.

The most remarkable thing about President Obama’s speech in my view was how in one sentence he talked about sending 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan and in the very next sentence talked about pulling them out after 18 months. The “Community Organizer-in-Chief” displayed his continuing naivety, inexperience and weakness in those two sentences. He is sending 10,000 fewer troops than his handpicked commander, General McChrystal, has said are necessary to avoid “defeat” and he’s setting a timetable for withdrawal (or retreat), as though the Taliban or Al-Qaeda can be convinced to adhere to his schedule.

In fact, the Taliban issued a statement shortly after the speech, saying they will only fight harder when more American soldiers arrive in Afghanistan.

It will take 6 months to deploy the 30,000 additional troops the president has authorized, giving them only 12 months at full strength to achieve their goals. After 18 months, it is unlikely the Afghan Army and Police will be fully trained to takeover from U.S. personnel. It is very likely that Taliban and Al-Qaeda attacks against U.S. and Afghan troops will be up, as will the casualty rates. Could it be that this delay and strategy are designed to turn the public against the war and allow Obama to withdraw all our troops?

The Obama Administration has been using negative rhetoric to portray our Afghan allies, as corrupt and weak. They’ve been laying the ground work to blame the Afghan political leadership and military if we fail.

Obama really didn’t articulate a new strategy and he failed to satisfy either his base on the left, or his opponents on the right. Those on the left want all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan immediately. They aren’t happy that Obama is sending additional troops and politically this could hurt Democrats in the 2010 mid-term elections.

Those on the right will point to the president “dithering” on his decision and how our troops currently in the field are the ultimately paying the price for the president’s indecision. Conservatives will also correctly point to the fact that the rules of engagement that our military is still restricted by will not allow for victory, a word the administration is loathe to use with regard to Afghanistan.

Ultimately Obama’s Afghan speech was meant to appease everyone, please no one and set the stage for a retreat from that nation, without victory. It won’t improve the morale of servicemen and women, it won’t silence critics on either side of the aisle, it won’t make us safer at home, it won’t make our troops or the Afghan people anymore secure on the ground and it won’t lead to victory in Afghanistan over the Taliban or Al-Qaeda.