On the front burner …

Sen.CruzBuzzfeed.com photo

Texas Senator Ted Cruz (Buzzfeed.com photo)

Senator Cruz questions AG – Although considered a Tea Party firebrand by the left, I was again impressed by the calm, clear, concise manner in which Texas Senator Ted Cruz questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about the IRS targeting investigation during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week. Showing experience he gained as Texas Solicitor General and nine oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, he questioned the selection of an Obama supporter to conduct the investigation and pressed Holder on why, after 280 days, targeted groups have not been interviewed. I highly recommend you watch him at his best.

Republicans not the obstructionists – In just a matter of hours after the State of the Union address in which the president asked Congress “to work together on tools like bipartisan trade promotion authority, Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he was opposed saying, “I think everyone would be well-advised just not to push this right now.” Quick to remind the president that it wasn’t the Republicans who are opposing the trade legislation, House Speaker John Boehner suggested the president use that executive phone he boasted about to call Reid.

How much time does it take? – “The State Department is expected to release its environmental analysis on the Keystone XL oil pipeline as early as today,” Fox News announced.  But don’t get excited; it only sets the stage for a 90-day review period, during which the administration must determine whether the project is in the national interest.  With the left lined up to oppose Keystone’s approval, don’t expect a decision before the mid-term elections. After years of State Department and EPA dueling over environmental concerns, expect late-night comics to ask the question, “How many years does it take for Democrats to turn on a spigot?”

Did you know Liberal columnist Eugene Robinson is an authority on climate control?  After a review of global warming warnings, he says, “the large scale burning of fossil fuels has increased the concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 40 per cent.”  While admitting the uncertainty in predictions he said, “human-induced global warming is the only explanation that fits the evidence.”  Robinson most likely decided to take up the charge on climate change to support the president’s State of the Union call of urgency.

Giving no empirical evidence to back up his claim, the president said the “changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought and coastal cities dealing with floods.”  In his mind, “the debate is settled; climate change is a fact.”  “President Obama, who understands the science,” wrote Robinson, “should use his executive powers as best he can, not just to reduce carbon emissions but to prepare the country for confronting the environmental, political and military hazards of a warmer world.”  And he intends to do that, announcing he is going to sic members of his administration on states, utilities and others to reduce carbon emissions.

 

NY Times advances Hillary’s anointing

While many of the Washington pundits and the fawning media on the left are anticipating the announcement from Hillary Clinton that she plans to run for president in 2016, The New York Times Magazine of Jan. 26, 2014 published an unflattering graphic image of her for its feature, Planet Hillary.

The NY Times Magazine

The New York Times Magazine, Jan. 26, 2014

“The gravitational pull of a possible 2016 campaign is bringing all the old Clinton characters into her orbit,” the magazine states, “Can she make the stars align or will chaos prevail.”

Meanwhile, at a paid speaking appearance before members of the National Automobile Dealers Association in New Orleans, Clinton said, “My biggest regret is what happened in Benghazi.  Losing an ambassador like Chris Stevens, who was one of our best. It was a terrible tragedy losing four Americans …” Switching from “the fog of war” excuse, she now blames her lack of response to “imperfect information, unforeseen consequences and unpredictable twists and turns.”  Not only did she fail the hypothetical “3 a.m. call,” she failed to respond to five months of terrorist warnings in Benghazi. Continue reading

More from the sidelines …

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers As I watched Rep. McMorris Rodgers give the Republican response to the president’s State of the Union address last night, I wondered how many heard her mention she was the 200th woman elected to Congress, or for that matter how many viewed her remarks.  After all, a survey indicated only 30 per cent of Americans were expected to watch the president.

Despite the fact she is the top ranked Republican woman in the House, and ranked right after Representatives Boehner, Cantor and McCarthy, some beltway pundits predictably suggested she was selected to give the response to answer the Democrat’s phony war on women charge. Not surprisingly, Rep. McMorris Rodgers acquitted herself well as she related goals of the Republican Party

 Sen. Margaret Chase Smith – Coincidentally, I read of Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ selectionSenMCSmith the same day I read of another Republican woman being remembered for her achievement.  Fifty years ago (Jan. 27, 1964) Maine’s Sen. Margaret Chase Smith announced her candidacy for president of the Unites States. A strong conservative, she was the first woman to be elected to the House (1940) and the Senate (1949), and is credited with promoting women as important thinkers and leaders, not just because they were women.  David M. Shribman, writing in the Wall Street Journal, chronicled some of her efforts in her 33 years in Washington.  I recommend it to your reading.

During a U. S. Air Force public affairs assignment at Dow Air Force Base, now Bangor International Airport, I had the pleasure of meeting the Senator during her visit to the Bomarc Missile facility there (see photo at right).  Known as the “Gentle Lady from Maine,” she was strong on national defense issues.

Heard that before – In last night’s State of the Union address President Obama proved that even he is aware of one of the fallacies of big government when he promised to cut bureaucratic red tape for infrastructure construction.  During last year’s address he promised “to sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects.”  Just three months later, while appearing at a photo op in Cushing, Oklahoma he announced that the administration would cut through red tape for the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.

From the sidelines …

Problem for the Administration – Just 18 per cent of young adults say they are likelyYAF Guidestar.org image to enroll in ObamaCare, compared to 46 per cent who are not likely to enroll, according to a survey conducted by the Young America’s Foundation.  More revealing was the fact that 48 per cent consider the government too big compared to just four per cent who believe it’s too small.  Sixty-two per cent of the so-called millennials are less confident with government since the rollout of ObamaCare.

Pressuring Employers The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House has asked some of the nation’s largest employers to sign a pledge agreeing not to discriminate against the long-term unemployed when making hiring decisions. The fear is that the some four million people who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer are being stereotyped as becoming more dependent on the government.  The fact is some companies look at older individuals as less energetic and not familiar with new technologies and some are told they are overqualified. Those with college educations are also affected.

 First Lady Extends Tin Cup – A day before the president is to give his State of the Union speech, First Lady Michelle Obama sent out a “Dear Friend” letter to donors asking for contributions of $10 or more to help protect ObamaCare.  The funds will be used to help those Democrats facing problems in the coming mid-term elections.

Washington Staffers Concerned – Nearly four in ten senior staffers said they planned to look for another job in the next 12 months, a survey conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation revealed.  Worries over congressional office budget cuts, possible changes in health benefits and associated costs were leading factors.  Since many of them helped draft the health care insurance legislation, little sympathy has been shown.

 

GOP to release “guiding principles” on immigration

Republican leadership is apparently in the process of drafting “guiding principles” on immigration reform and is expected to release a statement outlining the party’s position soon, per House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy in an interview with radio stations KBAK/KBFX in Bakersfield, California this week.

140121-McCarthy-in-newsroom

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (KBAK/KBPX photo)

While immigration reform didn’t get a mention in a recent Gallup Poll of Americans’ top priority issues for 2014, the party is looking ahead to the mid-term elections facing other polls indicating they don’t fare well with Hispanic voters.  Hispanics identify with Democrats over Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin in a Gallup Poll taken mere months ago.

When Fox News asked those surveyed which policy they favored regarding illegal immigrants,  68 per cent chose the option of allowing them to remain in the country and eventually qualify for citizenship, but only if they met certain requirements like paying back taxes, learning English and passing a background check. Continue reading

Political “dirty tricks” no longer done covertly

Political dirty tricks are alive and active in the Democrat administration.  What used to done covertly by shady characters is now being done in the open by party leaders and the government under klieg lights.

After admitting it targeted Tea Party organizations and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, the IRS called upon their fellow colleagues in Treasury, the FBI, to investigate.  While the investigation continues, the FBI indicated it would not be bringing criminal charges against anyone in the IRS, as they only found evidence of mismanagement.  Surprise!  Meanwhile, Tea Party groups say they have not been questioned by the FBI. Continue reading

On the front burner …

Those health care insurers received another reminder of what it means to get in bed with big government as Moody’s Investor’s Service analysts have downgraded the industry’s outlook yesterday, noting that the administration’s changes to the rules make it difficult to know if insurers will end up with the customer base they need to make the economics of ObamaCare work out.

SenMcConnell Win McNameeGetty

Sen. Mitch McConnell ( McNamee/Getty Photo)

Not a smart move I believe Freedom Works, a grassroots organization founded in 1984 to advocate for lower taxes and less government, is making a mistake in endorsing Tea Party favorite Matt Bevin over Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.  While I have not always been enamored with McConnell’s positions, the timing is all wrong.   McConnell is a savvy campaigner with adequate funds to win, but the party doesn’t need a high-profile squabble in the run-up to the mid-terms at a time the GOP has a legitimate shot at regaining the Senate.  Bevin currently lags behind McConnell by 22 points.

ScottWalker CSMonitor.com photo

Gov. Scott Walker (CSMonitor.com Photo)

 “What do you do with a surplus?” –  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) answered his own question during his state-of-the-state address this week, saying you “give it back to the people who earned it.  It’s your money.”   Calling for a special session to provide some $800 million in tax cuts, “I ask you (the legislature) to work with me over the next few weeks to return the vast majority of the new surplus (some $900 million) to the hard working taxpayers.”  Walker’s reforms and stewardship is credited with turning around a $3.6 billion deficit situation in Wisconsin.

Pretending to be king –  Repeating a vow he made in an Oct. 24, 2011 speech in Nevada in which he insisted he couldn’t wait for Congress to do its job, President Obama said, “Where they won’t act, I will.  I’ve told my administration to keep looking every single day for actions we can take without Congress …”  Ignoring remarks about his “Imperial Presidency,” he’s now talking about making 2014 a “year of action,” in which he will issue more executive orders to continue his radical agenda.

Meanwhile Real Clear Politics reports 62.7 per cent believe the country is going in the wrong direction and 74 per cent say it feels like the country is still in a recession, according to a Fox News poll released this week.

                 “Government is not the solution to our problems;

                    government is the problem.”

                                                                                                             President Ronald Reagan

I received an e-mail from Arizona Sen. John McCain yesterday telling me about his plan to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare.  He asked me to sign his petition.  This is the same McCain who said, “We Republicans have to have a plan rather than the fool’s errand of repealing ObamaCare,” during an interview with Fox’s Neil Cavuto last October, as he dismissed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’ effort to do just that.  McCain admitted to Cavuto he had failed in his effort to reach across the aisle, saying, “I’ve been trying to carve out a compromise … and I can’t tell you we’ve achieved any progress.”   I won’t be signing McCain’s petition as I already signed the “fool’s errand” petition Senator Cruz sent me.

StephenMoore

Stephen Moore (WSJ Photo)

I have long been an admirer of Stephen Moore, a leading spokesman on the economy and fiscal policy, ever since 1999 when he founded the Club for Growth.  The Heritage Foundation announced that he will join the organization as its chief economist.  Moore left the Club for Growth in 2004 and joined the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal in 2005 after a short stint with the Free Enterprise Fund, a 501(c)(4)  organization he founded.  Readers of the WSJ and regular viewers of Fox News and Fox Business News are surely familiar with Moore’s work.  He has the unique ability to explain complex fiscal issues to average Americans.  At Heritage Moore will focus on developing solutions to critical economic issues.   I’m sure he will continue to make TV appearances and submit newspaper op-ed pieces in his new position.  If you aren’t familiar with Heritage, you should check them out.

 

 

 

Texas politics …

 

PJMedia Photo

GREG ABBOTT PJMedia Photo

Remember when Vice President Joe Biden, while introducing Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham during a 2008 campaign appearance, said “stand up, Chuck?”  Unfortunately, Chuck was confined to a wheelchair.  Not to be outdone in “gaffedom” … Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis responding to a Dallas Morning News article reporting on several discrepancies in her life story, criticized opponent Greg Abbott, suggesting he “hasn’t walked a day in my shoes.”  Of course, Texans know that Attorney General Abbott is paralyzed from the waist down and has been in a wheelchair since he was a young man.  (See my Jan 21, 2014 post, Who’s out of touch, Wendy?)

 

EN Head

San Antonio Express-News, Dec. 16, 2013

The headline says it all – This article bylined by Zeke MacCormack in the San Antonio Express-News last month caught my eye as Texas Democrats have been talking about turning our state blue.  “It’s hard to get people to run if they know they’re going to lose just because you’re a Democrat,” said Brenda Harrison, Democratic Party chairwoman of Kerr County in the article. “Democratic candidates are a rarity in the Hill Country,” wrote MacCormack, “and that longstanding political fact was freshly illustrated by party primary filings of those seeking election next November to county posts there.”

“It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Republican candidates have a mighty advantage over Democratic candidates in Kendall County,” wrote Janice Shoemaker in The Boerne Star, adding “that’s the way it has been for as long as any of us can remember …”

 

Matt McCall – Someone who said she wasn’t going to “sit on her ass” anymore and was going to get out and support  candidates she believed could change things in Washington, recently gave me a flyer from the McCall for U.S. Congress campaign.  As I reviewed McCall’s positions on issues, it was apparent that he was saying the right things to pique my interest.  One thing was missing from the flyer, however, that bothers me.  Where was the name of his party?  Where was the GOP elephant logo?   I visited his website and as I perused his biography and his stance on various issues, I found only a single mention of the Republican Party in a list of calendar appearances.  I went to the campaign website of his opponent, U. S.  Rep. Lamar Smith, the current office holder in District 21, and found party identification missing there, too.GOP_Logo

I’m from the old school with the belief that a candidate’s party affiliation has proven to lead voters in terms of which candidate they should support.  Last summer, about the time people were saying the Republican Party needed rebranding, I wrote an op-ed in opposition.  In it I pointed out that President Obama’s big government experiment was unsustainable and that by sticking to party principles we can make our brand relevant again.  In an op-ed I wrote for the Northwest Weekly, Time for conservatives to stand on principles, I related the story of how New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, who was brought up as a Democrat, learned she was a Republican after reviewing GOP principles.  We don’t need two liberal parties.  If you are a Republican, say so and stand on its principles.

Who’s out of touch, Wendy?

As Wendy Davis, the Democrat’s hopeful candidate for Governor, was making excuses for fabricating facts about her life story, she said, “my language should be tighter,” as she admitted her biography had been less than truthful.

While others are focusing on misstatements about being a teen mom, her marriage and divorce, how her education was financed, living in a trailer and other “loose” facts, it was her lack of contrition that told me what kind of person she really is.  Attempting to deflect criticism, she said, “I came from a place of struggle, and we can parse dates all day long,” as she accused her likely opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott and his campaign of being “out of touch” with struggling Texans. Continue reading

Feinstein defends Hillary

Dianne Feinstein

AP Photo

California Senator Diane Feinstein didn’t like the fact that speeches on the Senate floor and some media reports were critical of Hillary Clinton for not doing enough to prevent the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.

“Statements on the Senate floor this morning (Jan. 16, 2014) and some media reports about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report on the attack against our diplomatic mission and CIA annex in Benghazi. Libya, intimate that the report assigns culpability to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the tragedy,” said Feinstein.  Republican Senators McCain. Graham and Ayotte all made remarks critical of Clinton. Continue reading