Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Objective/Practical Conservative vs Dogmatic Conservative and the Republican Party - Gerald Florine

It was with some concern that I read last week’s column (Monday, June 21, 2010
God Bless Joe Barton, So Long GOP -- Doug Patton) by O.C. contributor Doug Patton regarding his decision to part company with the Republican Party over the issue of Congressman Barton’s apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward during Congressional hearings on BP’s role in the gulf oil disaster. In such a decision, one has to determine one’s personal balance between values and objectives, and the impact of one’s decision on contemporary circumstances. Mr. Patton obviously determined that his values overrode pragmatism, and some unfortunate timidity on the part of Republican Congressional leadership regarding comments by Mr. Barton. I can certainly understand Mr. Patton’s frustration with what has occurred, and with some in the Republican Party hierarchy. But in the opinion of this hopefully, pragmatic, hopefully “objective” conservative, there is both right and wrong in what Congressman Barton said, in the reaction of the Republican House leadership, and that Mr. Patton’s approach might be somewhat self defeating in his reaction to what has transpired.

Let me begin with Congressman Barton. Yes, I fully agree that BP was the victim of an Obama “shake-down”, and that the Obama Administration is guilty of gross hypocrisy when it comes to the rule of law!

When it comes to trying or retaining “terrorists”, the Administration portrays itself as sticklers for human rights and the rule of law (as contrasted to the alleged “war crimes” of the Bush Administration!). When it pertains to corporate entities, they completely ignore established law and choose to rule by decree and intimidation! In the case of BP, the company had agreed to meet the financial obligations of the oil spill. But that obviously wasn’t enough for the Administration! Obama wanted to show that he was “in charge” after negative public reaction to date to his leadership in the aftermath of the blowout, and he was going to deal vigorously with BP. Unfortunately, the Administration’s reaction to and handling of the oil spill has appeared to have been derelict and bordering on irresponsible. At the same time, there appears to be every indication that BP carelessly attempted to minimize expenses and cut corners in its attempt to bring Deep Horizon quickly on line. Congressman Barton’s error, in his frustration with the Administration’s handling of the situation, was to apologize to CEO Hayward! It would have been constructive for Mr. Barton to question the process by which BP was to cover the costs of the disaster, and question why the Administration thought it was necessary, other than for political reasons, to badger BP into establishing the escrow account. Mr. Barton should NEVER have apologized to Mr. Hayward! It merely added to the elitist media’s ongoing charges that the Republicans are in bed with the evil capitalists! Congressman Barton was correct with much of his commentary. But an apology was absolutely not required, and was a political faux pas!

Unfortunately, the Republican leadership then went into full panic mode. Realizing the potential political damage of Barton’s apology, and rather than using the situation to make the necessary rational points, they succumbed to the fear of the media and populist rebuke (forget MSNBC & CNN, etc. - even Fox’s Ted Baxter (one has to listen to Rush on this one!) was on his bully pulpit!), and forced the Congressman to recant his apology and apologize himself for fear of losing his seniority! This points to at least two major problems with current Republican Congressional leadership. They appear to be frightened of the Beltway and Big Apple pundits, even to the point of being unwilling to occasionally stand up for their principles in the face of the Administration’s onslaught on the very foundation of law, government, and social institutions! It literally sent chills up my spine recently when Nebraska Republican National Committeeman Pete Ricketts, whose conservative credentials certainly are not in doubt, stated that we don’t like to use the term “capitalism” any more because of its growing negative connotations in the elitist media! Which essentially means that we are allowing the Administration and elite media to set the “definition” agenda!

Redefining that agenda will require a pragmatic approach based upon the basic ideals that we understand to define our governing principles. At a time when there is a populist fervor emanating from multiple directions (Tea Party groups, anti-incumbency movements from both left and right, righteous indignation from both socialist left and libertarian right), the Republican Party must seek to form a coalition of voters that will potentially lead to control of at least one, if not both, houses of Congress this November, in order to stem the statist tide that threatens to destroy this nation economically, as well as undermine every basic principle upon which this nation was founded! So, yes, there needs to be more backbone shown by the Republican Congressional leadership. It does come, in fits and starts, from individual members of Congress, as well as a few Republican governors (or Ex’s!). At the same time, the leadership was probably correct in coming down hard on Congressman Barton for his ill-timed apology, albeit in a manner that reflected poorly on themselves, rather than pointing the finger back at the Obama Administration, where the focus should have been!

The next question is how should concerned Republicans / conservatives react to all of this? Mr. Patton, certainly a principled man, chooses to leave the Republican Party because of its timidity and failure to reflect the “purity” of Mr. Patton’s conservative beliefs. Personally, as a self proclaimed pragmatist, I also strongly believe that it becomes incumbent upon Republican Party activists to work to apprise their Party officials and elected representatives of their concerns, and, if necessary, dramatically lobby to demand that those representatives more vocally and effectively represent the basic ideals that have made this nation strong for over two centuries, overcoming, at the most critical moments, various monumental hurdles.

How else than through the Republican Party can this be accomplished? Certainly not by an assortment of fringe groups with various and sundry goals! Would not a third Party effectively give permanent control to the Democrat Party, controlled by the most extreme leftist elements?
A political Party is necessarily a coalition of relatively like-minded individuals, who nevertheless provide a spectrum of thought, which ultimately will coalesce around ideas and ideals that are functional AND idealistic! The political ideological pendulum swings back and forth. When it swings too far in one direction, as it has now, it becomes necessary to be vocally active, and, in some cases, to sacrifice what is necessary to achieve those goals! It has become necessary to attempt to shake Republican leadership out of their Beltway lethargy, and provide a rallying point for their constituents. At the same time, it is incumbent upon individual members of the Congress & Senate (i.e. Representatives Terry, Fortenberry, Smith, and Senator Johanns) to also provide that leadership to their constituents, and reflect that to their leadership! Let’s bring our concerns to them! Let’s let them know that they must be that first line of defense against the horrors of what we see emanating from the White House and the Democrat Congressional leadership. Perhaps Mr. Patton believes that leaving the Party will draw the necessary attention to achieve those goals. It is my considered opinion that the ONLY organ we have available to defeating the leftist onslaught is the Republican Party. Let’s do everything we can to help it get the job done!

Goodbye 'Blatt'

If you haven't noticed it by our paucity of posts over the last few days or by our comments on the 'fence', the majority of the OC staff has spent a good deal of time over the last 10 days at the College World Series. While we certainly have had some issues with some of the decisions that have been made relative to the 'fence', weather and security issues, it was a great finale to a great facility, Rosenblatt Stadium.

To watch those young men from those eight teams play their hearts out is to also watch the future of baseball and so much of it comes through Omaha.

There have been some truly great videos shown at the series before and during the game. We really liked the one that began with Rosenblatt under snow. But with that said we were curious about U.S.A. Today's commentary on the last game. Along with that we found a nice video that they produced which says a lot about Omaha. If you are interested in the CWS and Rosenblatt you might want to check it out at: http://www.usatoday.com/video/index.htm#/MLB/Rosenblatt%20Stadium%20hosts%20its%20Last%20College%20World%20Series/43169522001/43575005001/96571581001

Among comments in their article, U.S.A. Today noted some of these:

"OMAHA (AP) — South Carolina provided a perfect send-off for Rosenblatt Stadium.

Almost two weeks ago, Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner was soaking up the atmosphere during the opening ceremonies for the College World Series when he let his mind drift.

"It dawned on me, it would be wonderful to go deep into this thing and be around at the end," Tanner said. "I know the new stadium will be very special and a great facility.

"But this is history. And we'll be a part of the College World Series and Rosenblatt for a long, long time."

They sure will, after Whit Merrifield's RBI single with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning gave South Carolina its first baseball national championship with a 2-1 victory over UCLA in the College World Series on Tuesday night.

Each team had plenty of scoring chances, but had difficulty converting in Rosenblatt's finale before the event moves to a new downtown stadium next year. A video tribute to the stadium, fireworks and a trumpeter playing a slow version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" finished Rosenblatt's 61-year run as the CWS home.

"To be the last team to win it here, that's amazing," said winning pitcher Matt Price."

Obama in Bush's World?

We generally like Stuart Rothenberg and his political analysis. He's basically conservative in his prognostications and displays solid thought and knowledge. With that said, his recent column, 'President Obama, Welcome to Bush's World' is a worthwhile read at: http://rothenbergpoliticalreport.blogspot.com/

Among other things, Rothenberg concludes:

Democratic strategists are deluding themselves if they believe that passing a financial reform bill or a small-business measure will change the public’s mood. It won’t. Voters won’t care by the time November rolls around unless their mood brightens.

If bad news continues in our nation’s newspapers and on the evening news, whether about jobs and the economy, foreign policy or the environment, the public will quickly discount Democratic achievements on Capitol Hill as ineffectual and insufficient.

That’s why Republicans were punished in 2006 and 2008, and it’s why Democrats are headed for the same fate. The president needs some good news. Unfortunately for him (Obama) and his party, time is running out, and tomorrow’s news is largely beyond their control.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The 17th Amendment Was a Very Bad Idea - Doug Patton

June 28, 2010

"When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated."
— Thomas Jefferson, in 1821

The most anti-American president in the history of the country — at least until Barack Obama entered the White House — was Woodrow Wilson. Elected in 1912, Wilson was a racist progressive Democrat who viewed the Founders and the Constitution with disdain. During his first year in office, he promoted two of the most destructive amendments to the U.S. Constitution ever ratified — the 16th, which gave us the direct federal income tax, and the 17th, which provided for the direct election of U.S. Senators.

The popular election of our Senators is bad public policy because it stripped the states of the one voice of representation they had in Washington, DC. James Madison, remembered as the Father of the Constitution, cautioned against "nationalism," wherein a strong national government would rule from Washington. Madison instead favored a new system, to be known as "federalism," which would give co-equal powers to the state and the federal governments. One of the key aspects of maintaining this distinction was the manner in which U.S. Senators were selected.

The House of Representatives, Madison said, would be the direct advocate for the people, and would be elected through their direct vote. U.S. Senators would be selected by their state legislatures, and would represent the interests of the states. By the end of the 19th Century, widespread corruption within state legislatures was rampant. At least that was the excuse used by those who advocated ratification of the 17th Amendment. As if there is no corruption surrounding this issue under the current system. Anyone been watching the trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in Illinois?

Imagine how much more accountable United States Senators would be to the states they allegedly represent if they had to answer to the legislators in that state, rather than to the fickle whim of voters.

Blagojevich is on trial for trying to sell Barack Obama's old Senate seat. If the state legislature had been tasked with finding a replacement, rather than the governor, perhaps the people of Illinois might have someone more competent than Roland Burris.

Perhaps Sen. Ben Nelson would have listened to his constituents' opinion on Obamacare if he had known that the Nebraska Legislature could have replaced him at will.

Do you think that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would have so brazenly disregarded the wishes of Nevada had his fate rested in the hands of the legislature?

How does the fact that Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut raises almost all his campaign money from out of state donors — a practice that would be neither necessary nor tolerated under the old system — further the interests of his state?

What are the chances Sen. John Kerry would not be called on the carpet by the Massachusetts Legislature for voting in favor of a federal health care bill that duplicates legislation already in effect at the state level?

Today, Alaska does not have the authority to allow oil drilling in ANWR because of federal interference. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is battling the feds over his state's right to protect its coastal wetlands from BP's oil spill. Jindal has also had to take the Obama administration to court in order to stop the president's moratorium on offshore drilling. The state of Arizona is being sued by the Justice Department for enforcing immigration law. Everywhere we turn, the states are being crushed under the boot heel of an out-of-control federal government.

The United States has repealed only one amendment in the 223 years since the Constitution was ratified. It is time for the 17th Amendment to join the 18th on the ash heap of history.

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© 2010 by Doug Patton
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Doug Patton is a former speechwriter and public policy advisor who now works as a freelance writer. His weekly columns appear in newspapers across the country and on various Internet websites, including Human Events Online and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers can e-mail him at dougpatton@cox.net.

Friday, June 25, 2010

John Thune on the Rise


We've made no bones about it that we like John Thune as a potential candidate for the presidency in 2012. He's young, he's conservative, he hasn't been 'Quayled.' Congressional Quarterly has a article about Thune that might be worth checking out at: http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news-000003687104&topic=Feature

Conservative America

While Republicans seem to not be highly regarded from a registration standpoint and a confidence standpoint it is interesting that some 43% of Americans polled by Gallup describe themselves as 'conservative' as opposed to only 20% who describe themselves as 'liberal'. 35% describe themselves as moderate which means this is still a right of center nation.

Hopefully, this bodes well for tea party, conservative and Republican candidates who can articulate a message that makes sense to these voters.

You can read more about this at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/141032/2010-Conservatives-Outnumber-Moderates-Liberals.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All Gallup Headlines - Politics

Charlie Crist -- The Next Arlen Specter?

Remember that Fox News interview/debate about two months ago when Charlie Crist said he was a Republican and intended to run as one? Then a few weeks later when he abandoned his party? Well, now he is using a major Democrat D.C. fundraiser to get dollars to finance his campaign against Marco Rubio even as Democrats have a less marketable candidate supported by Bill Clinton and others.

We believe that Marco Rubio is the future of the Republican Party. Wait until he gives the keynote speech in Tampa at the Republican National Convention about two years from now.

In the interim he has to win a three-way race against a Democrat want-a-be and a Rockefeller Republican who would rather win than stand for anything. If by some chance he wins, it will be a win for the Democrat party and a loss for America.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Giving Arizona land to Mexico

From Town Hall's Washington Beat:

"CEDING LAND TO MEXICO: BELIEVE IT It appears that part of Arizona has been ceded back to Mexico. Not literally, of course, but in practice. The U.S. government has recommended that Americans do not travel to a section of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge along the Arizona-Mexico border. The level of violence is so high that law enforcement officials have been unable to get a handle on the area, despite frequent requests from Arizona for federal assistance. Signs have been installed telling Americans to keep out. The section was initially closed in 2006 under President Bush, but in light of the recent Arizona immigration law controversy, the move was considered particularly alarming."

So why would Arizonans be unhappy with the federal government's efforts? Not too hard to guess.

Movin' Against Corporations

In today's 'we get e-mail' category we have one from our friends at Moveon.org who are asking 2/3s of their members to vote on their campaign against big business which is as follows:
  1. Overturn Citizens United: Amend the Constitution to protect America from unlimited corporate spending on our elections by overturning the Supreme Court's decision giving corporations the same First Amendment rights as people.
  2. Fair Elections Now: Pass the Fair Elections Now Act, providing public financing to candidates who are supported by small donors so they can compete with corporate-backed and self-funded candidates.
  3. Lobbyist Reform Act: Pass legislation to end the overwhelming influence of corporate lobbyists by: prohibiting individuals from switching from corporate lobbying to government service, or vice-versa, within a 5-year period; stopping corporate lobbyists from giving gifts and providing free travel to government officials; and posting online the attendees and content of all meetings between lobbyists and government officials.

We don't particularly agree with the first two items and it seems to us that Moveon's hero, Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama has already proved that he doesn't support the last by his hiring practices as he has created the most ethical and transparent presidency in history-or so he'd have you believe.

The Gulf Spill and the Rule of Law

We don't question whether British Petroleum is responsible for what has happened in the Gulf of America, oops Gulf of Mexico. We do believe that the rule of law is operative and that once again the Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama has exceeded his authority in bullying BP to set aside $20 billion to be awarded by his selectee to those whom he believe deserves BP's money.

With the above in mind we found several interesting columns that might be of interest.
We thought that a column by Terry Jeffrey summarized it pretty well when he said:

"A president who has established a pattern of using executive power to unilaterally bully and intimidate corporate executives into surrendering their stockholders' property will be a happy precedent for them -- and a dangerous one for private property rights and the rule of law."

But then what happened with the auto companies as their rights and those of their bondholders were forgotten under the dictates of the president. All of these actions will some day come home to roost and the American citizens will be the losers.
In yet another column Jacob Sullum concludes that this same abrogation of the rule of law by the president shows that his campaign promises were merely show as well when he concludes:
"Some disillusioned supporters suggest that Obama changed his mind about executive power after he started wielding it. But his pre-election concessions to political expediency indicate he was faking it all along. A politician who believes he is above the law is not above lying to the public about his principles."
Finally, you might also check out Michael Barone's Column, 'Obama's Thugery is Useless in Fighting Spill' at: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_michael_barone/obama_s_thuggery_is_useless_in_fighting_spill
Barone concludes a rather comprehensive column on the issue with the following:
"Finally, there's the $20 billion escrow fund that Obama pried out of the BP treasury at the White House when he talked for the first time, 57 days after the rig exploded, with BP Chairman Tony Hayward. It's pleasing to think that those injured by BP will be paid off speedily, but House Republican Joe Barton had a point, though an impolitic one, when he called this a "shakedown."
For there already are laws in place that ensure that BP will be held responsible for damages, and the company has said it will comply. So what we have is government transferring property from one party, an admittedly unattractive one, to others, not based on pre-existing laws but on decisions by one man, pay czar Kenneth Feinberg.

Feinberg gets good reviews from everyone. But the Constitution does not command "no person ... shall ... be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law except by the decision of a person as wise and capable as Kenneth Feinberg." The Framers stopped at "due process of law."

Obama doesn't. "If he sees any impropriety in politicians ordering executives about, upstaging the courts and threatening confiscation, he has not said so," write the editors of The Economist, who then suggest that markets see Obama as "an American version of Vladimir Putin." Except that Putin is an effective thug."

Our Nanny State to the Rescue of the Homeless

Seems that Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama has a plan to end homelessness in ten years. As we asked in our earlier post http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/22/v-print/1693924/obama-administration-vows-to-end.html#ixzz0rkVmOztZ, isn't government wonderful?

The program, 'Opening Doors: A Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness' is another effort of our nanny state to do what private organizations and charities should do--not government. But then who would have ever thought that government would run our health care, our banks and our auto manufacturers?

Maybe the government should just allow all these homeless people to just apply for home purchase credits (see aforementioned article or below)?

Thanks for that tax-credit

Somehow most of our contributors failed to apply for their $8,000 home buyer's credit, but it is nice to know that according to U.S.A. Today, others, apparently wiser or maybe just craftier did so including nearly 1300 prisoners. Isn't this a great country where a guy who already has a permanent home furnished by the government with daily vittles and cable television can also have a home?


"Despite efforts by the IRS to combat scams, thousands of individuals — including nearly 1,300 prison inmates — have defrauded the government of millions of dollars in home buyer credits, Treasury's inspector general reported Wednesday.

The home buyer credit provided a federal tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers for tax year 2008, the subject of the report. The credit, created to revive the housing market, was later extended to repeat home buyers. The latest credit expired with sale contracts signed as of April 30.

In response to earlier reports of widespread fraud, the IRS tightened reporting requirements for taxpayers who claimed the credit. But additional controls are needed, the inspector general said. Among the report's findings:
•1,295 prisoners, including 241 serving life sentences, received $9.1 million in credits, even though they were incarcerated at the time they reported that they purchased their home. These prisoners didn't file joint returns, so their claims could not have been the result of purchases made with or by their spouses, the report said.
•2,555 taxpayers received $17.6 million in credits for homes purchased before the dates allowed by law.
•10,282 taxpayers received credits for homes that were also used by other taxpayers to claim the credit. In one case, 67 taxpayers used the same home to claim the credit."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McChrystal and Rolling Stone

The Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama fired General Stanley McChrystal. McChrystal forgot his role under the U.S. Constitution and forgot that he worked for the Commander In Chief. If George W. Bush were the president and this had happened to him Republicans would have applauded the general's firing. We're not interested in discussing that because as hard as it is to agree with the leader of the free world, we do.

What we thought might be of interest is the Rolling Stone article which you can find at: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236 It's not very exciting, but like the Arizona immigration law, it's wise to read it before criticizing...

America's disgust with Congress

About a week ago we discussed Mitch McConnell and his reticence to campaign against his 'colleague' Harry Ried and suggested that much of his reason was self-serving (Tuesday, June 15, 2010 Promoting HIS Status Quo Through Civility and Collegiality). We won't go into it but might suggest that you take a gander at the Gallup opinion survey that discusses why the American public is more disgusted with congress than at any time they have ever measured. Of course one of those reasons is 'Self-serving, self-interested, corrupt." Check it out at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/141008/Americans-Congress-Ineffective-Self-Serving-Entrenched.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All

CWS Fans and Players Deserve Apology

The City of Omaha, the Mayor, the Parks Department, the Omaha Police Department and its chief and the College World Series (CWS) and its management owe the citizens of Omaha and its visitors to last night’s CWS game an apology for their reckless endangerment of fans and their display of managerial incompetence.

Several of our contributors were present at the CWS Clemson/Oklahoma game last night. At approximately 10:00 p.m. fans were told that the game was suspended because of lightning in the area. Many folks began to leave although they were given no further information from the announcer. Others stayed around either under the covered grandstand or in the concourse waiting for more information or to see if the game would be resumed. It was more than 30 minutes later when the announcement was made during a downpour and a windstorm with close and frequent lightning strikes that the game would be postponed.

Because of the wind, lightning and torrential downpour many fans lingered in the stands and in the concourse waiting for abatement of the weather. Many delayed leaving both then and originally because of the difficulty of getting some 23,000 fans through the 'cattle-shoot' exits created by the ‘enfencement’ of the complex by those that sought the Homeland Security grant because it was available.

For those fans, hoping to wait out the passing of the storm they were ‘ordered’ by Omaha Police and CWS employees to “leave the building now” shortly after the postponement announcement. There was no empathy for those folks not dressed to go out in the weather. There was no empathy for those too old to easily walk out in the weather. There was no empathy for those in wheel chairs and with other disabilities that were simply herded out of the stadium like cattle. There was no regard for any of the 23,000 plus fans safety. There was no Omaha politeness or hospitality.


The actions of all of those mentioned in the first paragraph constituted the reckless endangerment of those attending the game. Here are our thoughts:

  • The CWS has done a horrendous job of dealing with lightning and weather issues throughout the series. Sunday, in a much delayed game, the CWS decision makers chose not to avoid lightning in the area in order to finish its last game. While that game was being concluded there were lightning strikes well within 8 miles and there was in fact an ongoing lightning storm as fans and players remained on the field and in the stands.

  • Last night the CWS decision makers could have easily announced prior to postponing the game that a severe storm was on its way which would likely postpone or delay the game. Fans with concerns about the severe thunderstorm onslaught could have begun a much more orderly evacuation of the stadium. We’re sure the CWS decision makers knew the storm was coming and we’d assert that they acted with reckless disregard for the safety of the fans and players by not informing them of the approaching storm.

  • Once the storm was in full force remaining fans were TOLD TO GET OUT OF THE BUILDING. They were yelled at by Omaha Police and CWS employees. Not only did their actions constitute further disregard for the safety of the fans but it was a totally embarrassing display of impoliteness by those charged with making the CWS a fan-centered, safe experience.

Having observed the above our contributors would suggest:


  1. The CWS apologize for its treatment of fans last night.

  2. The CWS establish a consistent approach to dealing with weather issues that provides fans and players appropriate warning of oncoming weather events rather than waiting until they occur.

  3. That Police Chief Alex Hayes and the Mayor of Omaha, Jim Suttle and the Omaha Parks Department apologize for the inappropriate treatment of fans and visitors who were yelled as they were herded like cattle out of the stadium into a dangerous weather event.

    Last night was not a good night for Omaha’s image with its constituents and for its image with those fans that come from across the country to support their teams. It was an embarrassing night for the management of the CWS. Most important, it represented a total disregard for the safety of those that the CWS, the City and its law enforcement are charged with protecting.

    Shame on all of you. Citizens and fans deserve better. They deserve your commitment to take action to better protect them and their interests. They deserve your apology.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hypocrisy and the GOP

We at the Objective Conservative tend to be a little bit on the cynical side from time to time...well, most of the time. Frankly, we don't blame contributors like Doug Patton for leaving the Republican Party. Hypocrisy seems to abide there as well as in the Democrat party.

With that said, there's an interesting column, 'The Tea Party and the GOP Establishment: Dance of Hypocrisy,' by David Corn which can be found at: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/06/11/the-tea-party-and-gop-establishment-dance-of-hypocrisy/

It exposes the hypocrisy of guy we should frankly like, Rand Paul. It also discusses Senator Lindsey Graham and his reversal on global warming and cap-and-trade. Corn failed to mention John McCain's reversal on illegal immigration, but we did so that is enough for now.

Why are citizens, not just Tea Partiers, so upset with congress? Because, frankly, they'll tell you what you want to hear to get your money and your votes whether they believe in it or not and whether they've condemned the process or not.

Guess that's why we're cynical.......

Monday, June 21, 2010

God Bless Joe Barton, So Long GOP -- Doug Patton

June 21, 2010

Mark Bradley and I have been friends for 25 years, and we have worked together on more than a few Republican campaigns. He's the issues wonk; I'm the word guy. For years, Mark and I have been daring each other. I've been challenging him to put his name on a ballot — something I recommend all Americans do at least once in their lives (yes, I've had my turn) — while Mark has been daring me to change my political affiliation from Republican to Independent. I'm still waiting for him to run for something, but last Friday I made the leap from "R" to "I."

I don't remember which of the GOP congressional leadership's insipid, cowardly acts finally drove Mark from the party. For me, it was watching Rep. Joe Barton, R-TX, being thrown under the bus by House leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor during House Energy sub-committee hearings last week. They even threatened to strip Barton of his committee assignment. His crime? Telling the truth about the Obama extortion of a private company.

"I'm speaking now totally for myself…but I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday," Barton told BP CEO Tony Hayward during the hearing. "I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown — in this case a twenty billion dollar shakedown — with the attorney general of the United States conducting a criminal investigation…participating in what amounts to a twenty billion dollar slush fund that's unprecedented in our nation's history, that's got no legal standing, and which sets what I think is a terrible precedent for the future.

"If I called you into my office…and said, 'If you put so many millions of dollars in a project in my congressional district,' I could go to jail — and should go to jail," Barton continued. "Now there is no question that BP owns this lease…BP made decisions that objective people think compromised safety…[and] BP is liable for the damages. But we have a due process system where we go through hearings and litigation to determine what those damages are and when those damages should be paid.

"So, I'm only speaking for myself…but I apologize," Barton concluded. "I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, is subject to some sort of political pressure, that again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize."

I have no sympathy for BP. Eleven people died when the Deepwater Horizon exploded. There can be little doubt, whether due to negligence or pure bad luck, that BP is responsible not only for the original accident but also for the cleanup and the damages to coastal businesses. It was BP's rig pumping BP's oil for BP's profits. They took the risks for the profits, and there are penalties on the books for such calamities as this one.

But let us also never forget that this is not Venezuela and Barack Obama is not Hugo Chavez, much as he may thirst for that kind of power. To bring in BP's chairman and board members and order them to fork over $20 billion is exactly what Joe Barton called it: a shakedown. The President of the United States is tasked with enforcing the laws, not making up new ones as he goes along. We live in a constitutional republic, not a dictatorship nor an oligarchy. He has no authority to do what he has done. But then, that has rarely stopped him in the last year-and-a-half.

Obama's actions should outrage every American, but it should have the Republican congressional leadership absolutely up in arms. God bless Joe Barton and the handful of courageous House conservatives like Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota and Steve King of Iowa, who have defended him. Shame on the congressional cowards who are condemning him.

I believe passionately in the principles spelled out in the Republican platform, and I have been a registered Republican for most of my adult life, but until the GOP leadership stops tinkering around the edges and starts defending this nation against the Marxist tyranny of this president, I will remain a proud, independent conservative.
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© 2010 by Doug Patton
______________________________________________________________________________
Doug Patton is a former speechwriter and public policy advisor who now works as a freelance writer. His weekly columns appear in newspapers across the country and on various Internet websites, including Human Events Online and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers can e-mail him at dougpatton@cox.net.
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Code Inspection at CWS?

Seems the City of Omaha and Mayor Suttle have turned their heads on code enforcement at the College World Series. Some of our contributors were at the Famous Dave's church over the weekend and were refused use of indoor plumbing despite the fact that food and drink were being prepared and served in the make-shift restaurant. Folks who needed to deal with nature's call were told to go outside and down the steps to the port-a-potties.

Yes, Famous Dave's pays $35,000 to rent the old church for 10 days during the CWS. One would think that they could provide their clients indoor plumbing or in the present case, maybe the City of Omaha might act on this.

The Fence - Installment 2

Several of our contributors were at the College World Series this weekend and we had a chance to further consider the "benefits" of the 'fence'. Apparently, Homeland Security had enough money to finance its erection and hopefully its tear down unless Royals games (July 3 - 25,000 folks there for game and fireworks) constitute an equal opportunity for terrorists in which case one would think the 'fence' should stay up for the balance of the last season. Actually, the 'fence' made a great place for many many beer posters so we suppose Miller and Bud probably liked it.

As some of our contributors were being ushered out of Rosenblatt for lighting and storm delays one thought did occur and that was that the constricted exits could have caused a real problem themselves in the event of a real severe storm or a terrorist attack. In fact, the constricted exits constitute a real danger in themselves since in such a situation there was a real possibility that folks would have been trampled getting out. We suppose Homeland Security and our incompetent Mayor, who no doubt was happy to get a government grant for anything regardless of need, never thought of that.

Our contributors were told that the nightly evacuation of the parking lot allowed the police to use a bomb sniffing job to walk around vehicles as they entered the lot. That was nice although there was nothing to prevent anyone from walking in with explosive materials and then taking them to a vehicle.
This whole 'fence' issue leads us to wonder what the 'security issue' presents for next year's CWS at a new location. Given the proximity of the stadium to several streets, will the city and Homeland Security not have to close all those streets to prevent a terrorist attack? That will be popular as folks are detoured off of Cumings and other streets.

Oh well, in a time of national and local financial crisis it should make all of us feel more secure that our incompetent mayor and Homeland Security have the bucks to spend on such efforts.

Thank you.....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Government Intervention

We might have put this in our "Today's Recommended Columns" (see sidebar) but we really think you should read 'A Mind-Changing Page' by Thomas Sowell. It's about government intervention now, in the Great Depression and in 1987. It's short and worth the read. Too bad Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama and his financial advisers didn't read their history earlier....

Check it out at: http://townhall.com/Common/PrintPage.aspx?g=75db334e-a530-47a0-94ca-4f22ea1061f4&t=c

Friday, June 18, 2010

Republican Lite?

Of course the staff at the Objective Conservative is excited about the possibility of CHANGE. Not the kind we've gotten since 2008 with Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama. Not the kind we've gotten from Judas Ben Nelson who sold out what values he claimed he had for his Cornhusker Kickback. No we're excited about deposing lots of liberals this November 2nd.

Unfortunately for us and for the Republican Party and for conservatives-none of whom should be equated-some of that change won't be as dynamic or philosophically in sync as we/they would like. If you recall Republicans and conservatives and Tea Party folks across the country were nothing other than ebullient about the election of Scott Brown in January. Some of that glow has worn a little as conservatives, Republicans and Tea Party folks have seen that Senator Brown isn't entirely to their liking in every aspect. That was to be expected. And, surely, our country is better off with Scott Brown in the U.S. Senate than it would have been had his challenger won.

While California's gubernatorial race may not affect the country in the same way it's U.S. Senate race will, it is nonetheless of interest. It's interesting because current Attorney General and Former Governor Moonbeam, o0ps we meant Brown is the recycled nominee for the Democrats while Meg Brown is the Republican nominee. But things are a little different in California and conservative politics there is just a little different than out here in fly-0ver land. You can see that in Whitman's latest campaign commercial which is entirely in Spanish. You can also see it in what her commercial says.

Here is what the translation of her commercial reads:

"Meg Whitman is a different kind of candidate. She is a business leader ready to fix Sacramento, ready to create more jobs and better schools in California. She respects our community. She is the Republican who opposes the Arizona law and opposed Proposition 187.
"She means real change."

It is important to elect Whitman, but those that celebrate her election will certainly not have all of their conservative wishes fulfilled.....

South Carolina Democrat Senate Nominee and Nebraska Elections

While we were perusing the online addition of Newsweek (somehow it was in our e-mail) we saw an article about one of the Democrat's finest candidates for this fall's U.S. Senate contests, Alvin Green who won the honor of carrying the Democrat torch in November against Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. You've probably already read the reports that find it a puzzlement that some guy that no one knew who wasn't even on the radar screen of anyone other than the authorities who are looking to indict him for a felony won the Democrat nomination.

What's worse is the conclusion of the State Democrat party which after a meeting a couple of days ago Real Clear Politics notes, "In a statement following the state party executive committee vote, Chairwoman Carol Fowler said: "South Carolina Democrats are ready to move past the primary and focus on taking our state back with our Democratic slate. These men and women we have nominated truly represent our core values and will change the direction of our state."

Newsweek has an article that tries to answer the question, but basically in the end concludes that it a mystery unlikely to ever be solved. However, one of the issues that they bring up is the issue of ballot-position-effect or name-order-effect which suggests that because a name appears first on the ballot of unknowns, it creates a bias to check that box. There's probably some truth to that. If you care to read more on other potential contributory reasons for Green's nomination you can do so at: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/06/17/can-anyone-explain-how-alvin-greene-actually-won.html

Having noted the above, we thought it might be instructive to our readers to note that the ballot-position-effect or name-order-effect is one that doesn't occur in Nebraska. Nebraska law requires that names on the ballot be rotated in order to avoid such. That is also one of the reasons that Nebraska ballots are among the most complicated in the country.

Saint Sarah?

We admittedly aren't the greatest fans of Sarah Palin. We respect her for energizing many folks and she will help elect some candidates, Tea Party and other, along the way while she earns lots of money in speaking fees. Will she ever be of presidential timber? We doubt it. But on the other hand nearly a year-and-a-half of the current president's administration proves that she would have been at least as qualified as the bozo who currently occupies the Oval Office.

With that said, we saw an interesting article in of all places Newsweek about Sarah and her ability to energize conservative Christian women, particularly as related to the abortion issue. It's a little lengthy, but does provide an interesting incite into Palin and those that she seems to have mesmerized. You can check it out, Saint Sarah, at: http://www.newsweek.com/2010/06/11/saint-sarah.html

Thursday, June 17, 2010

THE FENCE












The "fence" that the Suttle administration has erected around College World Series Headquarters has created lots of questions, angst and rumors.
First of all, the questions:
  • Why would the Suttle administration put up such a fence in the very last year of the CWS at Rosenblatt stadium?

  • What is the purpose of the fence?

  • Why must tents and the parking lot be cleared every day?

Then the angst:

  • Why punish fans (many from out of town) who've never created any problems in the past by these new regulations?

  • Why build a fortress around the stadium?

  • What has changed from past years that necessitates this?

The Rumors:

  • Is Nobel Laureate Prince of Peace President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack "Barry Soetoro" Hussein Obama coming to Omaha to throw out the first pitch?

  • Is George W. Bush coming for an encore performance to throw out the first pitch?

  • Is the fence and property being prepared as appropriate incarceration or just a temporary home and potential holding facility for the illegals that will no doubt find themselves persona non grata in Fremont after next Monday's vote?

Well we are not sure what the real reason is for this unsightly inconvenience. It certainly makes no sense to erect such an enclosure just because it's the last year of Rosenblatt and the CWS. We rather doubt that CWS attendees will bring sufficient tools (given the entry inspections) to unscrew their seats and walk out with them. Given Omaha's bleak financial situation, one would also assume that Omaha's incompetent mayor could find better ways to spend the city's paucity of funds than by erecting such an enclosure. Of course, this is the same decision maker that hires folks at 20% to 80% more than their predecessors and signs illegal leases for $50,000 SUVs so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.

We have talked with a number of folks who think something is up and we certainly hope it is more than just a hair brained idea of the administration. Some really believe the president is going to drop in to throw out the first pitch. We're told that the management of the stadium is not happy that some "unwanted visitor" may appear. We're told that U.S. Secret Service folks are in town. We're told that in a CWS golf tournament on Thursday Creighton Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen was called away without reason from the game. We're told that Jack Diesing missed the same golf outing so he could go back to Indianapolis to meet a new boss. We're told that astronaut Clayton Anderson wanted to throw out the first pitch on Saturday using the baseball he carried into space and that he was told that he should be at Rosenblatt but that it couldn't be confirmed that he would have such an honor until it happened.

While we'd just as soon see the President of the Free World attend to his duties minding British Petroleum and the oil crisis in the gulf, we certainly hope that either he or GW is the reason for the stadium enclosure rather than just some stupid idea by a mayor whose stupidity is already blatantly evident to the most unenlightened.

Guess we'll wait and see.

Welcome to San Diego

With the blatant incompetence that has been exhibited by current Mayor Suttle and former Mayor Fahey, Omaha's financial future may be that of bankruptcy.

Increasingly, it becomes evident that former Mayor Fahey gave away the financial future of Omaha to a bunch of union thugs on the fire and police departments who care more about enriching themselves than the future viability of their city.

Mayor Suttle's refusal to deal with these folks should be no surprise as he sat on the council and didn't say a word about the problem until after he was elected mayor and all of a sudden had a "Eureka" moment.

Well, the greed and mismanagement may come to an end that ultimately punishes those who selfishly enriched themselves.

Right now it seems San Diego is experiencing the end stages of where Omaha is headed. Yes, that wonderful community, saddled by greedy union contracts, is now openly looking at Chapter 9 Bankruptcy. Given the greed of the unions and the incompetence of this and the prior administrations Omaha can't be far behind....

Here's what Bloomberg had to say about San Diego's situation:

San Diego May Use Bankruptcy to Roll Back Benefits

By Joe Mysak
The city of San Diego should consider Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy to help it reduce fringe benefits, pension and health obligations.

That's one of the
suggestions made by the San Diego County Grand Jury, which does the normal duties of recommending indictments as well as reporting on local governments and special districts.

San Diego is the fifth major city in the U.S. this year, and the second in California, where people are talking about bankruptcy as a means to "restructure and reorganize their assets and debts while providing relief from current and future obligations," in the words of the grand jury's 22-page report, published on June 8.

San Diego has unfunded liabilities of $2.2 billion in its pension plan and $1.3 billion for health care, which the report calls "unsustainable."

More than two years of cutting budgets and the mounting public pension crisis have made the unthinkable an option, maybe even an attractive one.

"Municipalities are not required to raise taxes or cut costs to the bone before filing for reorganization under Chapter 9," the grand jury report says, quoting from a presentation at an October 2009, San Diego County Taxpayers Association seminar.

A Republican Congressional Takeover?

We at the Objective Conservative are generally pretty impressed with the rationale and lack of bias by Larry Sabato and his Crystal Ball predictions. In his Thursday newsletter he discusses where the November congressional elections appear to be going. He's predicting a GOP gain of 32 seats but in his editor's note today has this to say:

"Editor’s Note: These days the best D.C. parlor game is guessing November’s House results. We’ve recently made our own contribution, with a district-by-district analysis that projects—as of early June—a Republican net gain of 32 seats. But the Crystal Ball has always done House projections in two ways. The second method requires advanced statistical modeling of the sort Professor Alan Abramowitz provides in this week’s Crystal Ball. Prof. Abramowitz’s record has been superb in election prognostication, and his analysis shows a GOP gain of 39 House seats—precisely the number needed to take control. There is not much difference between 32 and 39 in a June forecast. Both methods will be tweaked as we enter late summer and early fall. There are two reasonable conclusions to draw from these numbers. First, whether they gain 25 or 32 or 39 or 50 seats on November 2, Republicans are headed for a good midterm year, though it is very unlikely to match the over-the-top prognostications of some GOP leaders (who have gone as far as +70 to 100 or more seats). Second, Republican control of the House is on the bubble. Events over the next four months, reflected in President Obama’s approval rating in good part, will determine whether Republicans fall over or under the all-important number of 39."
- Larry J. Sabato
We tend to be a little pessimistic in our outlook, but we do find Sabato's and Abraowitz's projections interesting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

VOICE's Opppostion to Beltway Planning

In our 'we get e-mail' category we received an interesting one from VOICE.

Do you remember Jim Esch? Former and two-time loser opponent of Congressman Lee Terry? Now registered independent? And now, one of the keepers of VOICE?

Well it appears that Jim Esch and his VOICE organization (not a think-tank) is opposed to MAPA's (Metropolitan Area Planning Agency) looking to the future with a new Omaha beltway. In fact, Voice is seeking petition signers and circulators to gather more than another 400 signatures (they claim to have 600 now) by the Forth of July to oppose any beltway planning. Seems they've been drinking the social justice sustainable community water and feel the cost of building a beltway to meet the future transportation needs of a growing metropolitan area will deter their efforts. Perhaps, but a city that doesn't plan for future transportation is one that will not grow or pay multiple times over to correct its failure to do so later.

Well, at least Jim Esch seems to have found his niche.

Here's what their petition says:
"I stand for a transportation plan that benefits all of Omaha.
To our civic leaders and representatives on the MAPA board,
Every day we see the effects of a city decentralizing. We see police, fire, and snow removal personnel being asked to cover more miles on budgets that don't keep pace; we see schools and hospitals forced to expand into the outer areas while balancing the renovation needs of aging campuses; we see new neighborhoods being built on last year's farmland while families living in older parts of our city are frustrated by flooding sewers, aging bridges, and crumbling pot-holed streets. The likely consequences of the above compound into a significantly reduced quality of life for all who call this city home, particularly among already vulnerable populations.
This issue is not getting better, it’s getting worse. The recent MAPA transportation plan including its re-energized effort to wrap Omaha in a $700-800 million 1950’s era beltway is exactly what we don't need. The centrifugal force of highway development in our rural exterior would forever change the trajectory of future investment while paving the way for ever-expanding suburban sprawl. We share a history of non-holistic planning decisions that have created a city stratified across race and class.
Our future planning efforts must strive for a more just and inclusive environment, rather than one that further segregates and isolates our diverse communities.
As residents of our established neighborhoods, beneficiaries of our existing infrastructure, and stewards of our existing institutions, we must demand that transportation planning FOCUS ON THE NEEDS OF ALL OF OMAHA.
Our metropolitan area needs a transportation plan that meets the following criteria.
· Features an integrated plan to spur new development in existing neighborhoods, nurture jobs near existing populations and progressively plan for more sustainable transportation.
· Limits the need to build new water, sewer, power and transportation systems while ensuring that existing systems are repaired, updated and continually maintained.
· Ensures sustained growth in parts of the city that suffer from a lack of quality education, jobs, and affordable quality housing.
·
Supports existing efforts to reduce segregation along social and economic lines.
·
Includes analysis and consideration of the beltway’s effect on the citizens already suffering from the lack of upward mobility and locked into a cycle of unemployment, poverty and crime.
· Prioritizes preserving existing farmland for future food production and protects the need for readily accessible open space.
At the conclusion of the most recent VOICE public meeting, over 90% of attendees indicated they were strongly against the current proposal to build a beltway and a similar percentage feel there is a strong correlation between city planning and equal opportunity. I stand with those attendees. The proposed beltway would not be a well planned next step for our City, and I urge you, our civic leaders, to stop the beltway and provide our citizens with a new transportation plan that benefits all."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Promoting HIS Status Quo Through Civility and Collegiality

Seems Sentate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, while promoting Republican senate want-t0-bes across the nation has taken a hands off approach to Dirty Harry Reid. It has said he won't campaign against Reid in Nevada because he believes the work of the senate must go on. He doesn't want things to deteriorate as they did in 2004 when Republican Majority Leader Frist went to South Dakota to campaign against Tom Daschle. Seems that worked pretty well for Republicans but Mitchell would prefer to maintain 'decorum'.

McConnell, like Reid, is used to the special treatment that he gets. He has perpetual U.S. Secret Service protection and is chauffeured around in limousines with their sirens blaring and their lights ablaze so he doesn't have to wait for anything or be exposed to the masses. He would rather protect his position, keep Dirty Harry or his successor, from any challenge by the Democrat Leader of the Senate in his next election(2014).

Yes, McConnell is out actively campaigning for other Republicans but his hands-off approach to Harry Reid is instructive. It's instructive about what's wrong with these beltway-mentality Republicans and Democrats whose first interest in their re-election rather than that of their country and party.....

Sarah Will Have Many Markers to Call in for 2012 - Doug Patton

June 14, 2010

Say what you will about her political choices, but Sarah Palin knows how to spot winners. She picked Scott Brown for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, then supported Rick Perry over Kay Bailey Hutchison for governor of Texas. She endorsed Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination against uber-progressive California Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Palin's endorsement of Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate in Florida helped drive fickle Charlie Crist out of the GOP primary race. And it will be very interesting watching her campaign for Republican Pat Toomey over Democrat Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania's Senate race. But probably her most dramatic political choices this year have been Sharron Angle to face Harry Reid in Nevada and for Nikki Haley to be the next governor of South Carolina.

Some, myself included, have argued that Sarah Palin's one misstep was her decision to campaign for her 2008 running mate, Sen. John McCain, even though we all know why she did it. Personally, I hope former Congressman J.D. Hayworth defeats McCain for the nomination this year in Arizona, but it is unlikely the former Alaska Governor's political rising star will be dimmed either way. If McCain loses, it will be a mere blip in Palin's long string of victorious endorsements. If he wins, she will be credited with influencing enough Tea Party conservatives to put him over the top. Regardless, she will have a grateful incumbent in her corner.

Palin is building a stack of political markers that will become golden chits in 2012. If she is running for president, she is doing it the old fashioned way, the way Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan did it in 1968 and 1980, respectively. After his razor-thin defeat for the presidency in 1960, Nixon followed up with his embarrassing loss for governor of California in 1962. It was after that race that he told us we "wouldn't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore."

Six years later, he was elected President of the United States. From 1964, in the aftermath of Barry Goldwater's trouncing at the hands of Lyndon Johnson, until 1968, when he once again claimed the Republican presidential nomination, Richard Nixon campaigned relentlessly, from coast to coast, for GOP gubernatorial and congressional candidates. In the process, he helped a lot of hopefuls win public office. This translated into the grateful support of a lot of newly elected officials at the 1968 Republican Convention.

After serving two terms as governor of California and then challenging accidental President Gerald Ford in 1976, Ronald Reagan spent the next three years raising money and campaigning for Republican candidates around the country. By 1980, despite a full stable of other GOP candidates, Reagan was the favorite among conservatives, who by then had taken control of the Republican Party.

Despite yammering liberal pundits cackling about Sarah Palin's alleged lack of intelligence and qualifications, she may yet have the last laugh. She has written a best-selling book, commands six figure speaking fees, and is building up a lot of good will within the party.

But there is another reason Sarah Palin may yet emerge as the most likely candidate to win the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. The disastrous manner in which Obama and company are handling the Gulf oil spill, combined with the extremely unpopular environmental regulations they are trying to implement as a result, could very well open the door for a rival who knows a thing or two about energy policy.

The fact is that Barack Obama has never run so much as a cash register at a convenience store, and he has surrounded himself with similarly ignorant eggheads, thus making him extremely vulnerable to a challenge from someone who has, in fact, not only run a large state but also has had vast experience negotiating tough deals with oil company executives. That someone is Sarah Palin. As one of the most knowledgeable public figures in the country on the issue of energy policy, Palin can take the conservative message right into the center of the storm.
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© 2010 by Doug Patton
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Doug Patton is a former speechwriter and public policy advisor who now works as a freelance writer. His weekly columns appear in newspapers across the country and on various Internet websites, including Human Events Online and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers can e-mail him at dougpatton@cox.net.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Suttle's First Year

If you haven't noticed it in our Suttle Watch (see sidebar), Omaha's mayor has now been in office one year. We obviously haven't been very impressed with his performance thus far but perhaps we are a little biased. We fully expect Suttle to further violate his lower property tax and lower tax pledges with the unveiling of his 2011 budget which will no doubt contain a substantial property tax increase as well as a call for an increase in the wheel tax and possibly a occupation and/or entertainment tax. Suttle calls these taxes a logical way to bring broaden Omaha's tax revenue base. We call it failure to achieve spending cuts and failure to stand up to the police and fire unions.

Having said this, we received our 'Platte Chat' courtesy of the Platte Institute in our e-mail today titled, "Suttle's Campaign Pledges: One Year Later," authored by Alex West. It's perhaps a little less biased in its approach to Suttle's performance than we are. We'll let you decide should you decide to read the whole thing at: http://sn117w.snt117.mail.live.com/default.aspx?rru=inbox&wa=wsignin1.0

However, for the sake of brevity, we'll just give you the summary of the article which reads:

Suttle's record of fidelity to campaign promises over the past year shows mixed results on the economic front. For instance, while he abandoned his campaign stance of lowering property taxes by cutting waste and modernizing city services, Suttle followed through with his commitment to attracting new clean energy companies. Another ambiguous portion of the evaluation is Suttle's commitment to securing enough of the federal stimulus package to pay for the unfunded mandate to rebuild Omaha's sewer system. The process for which, though bleak, is still unfinished. Finally, consider Suttle's inconsistencies in maintaining his commitment to campaign promises. In view of those pledges where Suttle has fallen short, the cynical might say hyperbole is just part of the electoral process, while others might contend that times change and therefore so do the solutions. In any case, voters will need to find contentment in the pledges that are fulfilled, and judge for themselves those incomplete or negated assurances.

The Democrat's Best

Looks Like Senator Jim DeMint will have even less problem being re-elected this fall given his Democrat opponent. Doesn't say much for the intelligence or viability of Democrats in South Carolina........This guy is so inconsequential he doesn't even qualify for our Hall of Shame Award.


"Alvin Greene, the man who won the South Carolina Democratic Senate nomination last night despite having no money, no web site and really no campaign at all, has a felony charge pending, the Associated Press reports.

Court records show 32-year-old Alvin Greene was arrested in November and charged with showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student. The felony charge carries up to five years in prison.

Greene said he had no comment when asked about the charge Wednesday and hung up on a reporter.

Last night, Greene, an unemployed veteran, astonishingly beat Vic Rawl, a judge and former state legislator, with 59% of the vote. Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler told the AP that "people who didn't know either candidate and voted alphabetically may help explain Greene's win."

If he remains the nominee in November, he'll face the popular conservative incumbent Jim DeMint."

Will They Come To Nebraska?

Seems that the recently passed Arizona Law (S 1070) is having an impact on illegals who appear to be packing up and looking for their next venue. Will they head to Nebraska? Maybe, if the legislature doesn't step up and send them (and Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack (Barry Soetoro) Hussein Obama the same message that Arizona did.

An article in U.S.A. Today says:

Arizona's tough new immigration enforcement law is fueling an exodus of Hispanics from the state seven weeks before it goes into effect, according to officials and residents in the state.

Though no one has precise figures, reports from school officials, businesses and individuals indicate worried Hispanics — both legal and illegal — are leaving the state in anticipation of the law, which will go into effect July 29.

Schools in Hispanic areas report unusual drops in enrollment. The Balsz Elementary School District is 75% Hispanic, and within a month of the law's passage, the parents of 70 students pulled them out of school, said District Superintendent Jeffrey Smith. The district lost seven students over the same one-month period last year, and parents tell Smith the Arizona law is the reason for leaving."

You can read the balance of the article at: http://www.usatoday.com/cleanprint/?1276185782656

OBSERVATIONS OF A TOTALLY CONFUSED HUSKER FAN!






Greed! Egos! Double Dealing! Back Stabbing! Old Grudges! Long-standing Feuds! One-Upmanship! One might conclude I’ve just watched a re-run of the 30 year old prime time soap ‘Dallas’. But no, I’ve merely been reading the news, and intermittently listening to talk radio regarding the impending cataclysm defined as ‘athletic conference realignment’!

Yes, it appears that our beloved UN-L / Husker Nation may very soon be a member of that esteemed eleven (soon to be 12 to 16) member athletic / academic assemblage of Midwest to Upper Midwest institutions of higher education known as the Big 10. Should that in fact occur, the national landscape for major college athletics is going to change seismically. However, will it, in fact, be for the better , one may ask! What are the real goals here? What is the motivating factor for this impending change. Simply stated, it’s money, potential prestige, and, yes, ego & one-upmanship! It would appear that the initial goal of the Big 10 / 11 was to somehow force the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame into an alliance. Unfortunately, the F.I. were not to be (as of yet) intimidated by such pressure, leaving the Big 10/11 to ramp up it’s diabolical scheme, thus setting in motion the domino effect that will change the collegiate athletic scene in this country for years to come. And, egging everyone on, were the managers of the various TV sports networks (including the B T’s personal playground!). Now Longhorn Country wants its own network! And the Pac-10 folk decided they weren’t going to wait, and are apparently ready to jump off the high board and potentially raid the entire Big 12 South! So into uncharted territory we charge onward!

What, potentially, does UN-L gain from a potential move? For Dr. Tom and the athletic department, there is the siren call of significantly more annual revenue from Big 10 TV and more balanced conference payouts, given the population base of the current conference structure. For Chancellor Harvey, there is the prestige of aligning UN-L with the allegedly more prestigious institutions of that conference, and the prospect of significantly more millions in research funding (per the 6/9 World-Herald). But how does the ultimate payout compare to what could be achieved with a new Big 12 TV contract, a Big 12 association with the Pac-10, even some in-conference concessions from the Evil Empire (also know as UT - aka Longhorns!)? Is this merely a matter of basic economics? Where might the “ego” factor intrude? With Chancellor Harvey, an esteemed academic who, according to most, has done an estimable job of managing UN-L during his tenure, recall two episodes of his adhering to the siren call of hipness & “bigger & better”, i.e. the ludicrous Tommy Lee episode, and the Steve Pederson / Bill Callahan fiasco! With Dr. Tom, the exemplary, stoic, brilliant coach, who brings the aura of analytic integrity to each of his endeavors, described the other day by one of his former players as being like an elephant (“he never forgets!”), to what extent do the obvious snubs from the former Southwest Conference members, and many of the former fellow Big 8 members, in Big 12 votes over the years, impact his views on staying in the Big 12, or moving where the “take” is more lucrative? But will Nebraska be received any better in the expanded Big 10, or will they always be the new kid on the block, the outsider? What will happen to the athletic programs? In football, will Bo have to drop the “peso” and go back to three linebackers? Will NU continue to be able to recruit Texas and California as they have been, or will that eventually become more limited? Will NU football, in fact, DECLINE (yes, that’s what I said) to the level of the Big 10? Will NU baseball ever recover in a lesser league? What impact will the mega-conferences eventually have on college sports? Will Kansas, Iowa, Utah, etc. congressional delegations (Brownback, Roberts, Grassley, Hatch) be able to stop the moves that could potentially push their universities back into minor-league status? Can the aggrieved schools left out of the game of musical chairs obtain injunctions to stop the re-alignment? Will Congressional representatives attempt to impose anti-trust legislation against the expansion? Are potentially 16 team conferences really sustainable in the long term?

This all goes well beyond the ability of UN-L to build on its academic status and adding guaranteed revenue for its athletic programs. This involves, essentially, the total reorganization of university level athletics in the U.S. And Chancellor Perlman and Dr. Osborne appear, at least at this point, in the driver’s seat! But will they be heralded as local saviors of the UN-L athletic and academic programs, or will they become national pariahs as the culprits who help turned university athletics into a monolithic cash first, cash only assortment of haves and have-nots!

But if that’s what it’s all about, bring on those rodents (Gophers) and varmints (Badgers & Wolverines) from the North country, as well as those strange birds (Hawkeyes!) from across the Missouri! And speaking of grudges, having spent a little over two years in Minnesota and Iowa in my formative years, I distinctly recall, sitting at a school desk, seeing etched in the wood the statement “Nebraska - nothing but miles and miles of miles and miles”, and listening to Minneapolis / St. Paul broadcasters ridiculing those Nebraska “accents” when NU & MU were still meeting in Lincoln )! So, if that’s the way it must be, let’s go out there and kick some Big 10 behind while we have the opportunity!

And, by the way, in this contemporary soap opera, who is it that is playing J.R., Bobby, Sue Ellen, etc? Is NU treating ISU, KU, KSU, etc., the way J.R. treated Sue Ellen and his various mistresses? Or are they the noble Bobby, seeking enlightenment to the East?

The cliffhanger will continue on Friday!
 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's Only $485 MILLION

What's wrong with Washington is evident when it comes to the continued efforts by folks like Representative Ike Skelton (D-MO) to build an unwanted engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. While Secretary of Defense Gates is looking for a way to save $110 Billion, we have guys like this trying to produce jobs in their home states by giving the Pentagon something they don't even want. For more on this check out: http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=cqmidday-000003678542


Greece, here we come.......

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stenberg for Senate 2012

Well, it appears from Don Stenberg's latest speeches at GOP county conventions that the soon-to-be Nebraska State Treasurer is running for the U.S. Senate rather than the treasurer position. His stump speech this week to county conventions contains nothing less than a diatribe consisting of 8 items that need to be done at the federal government.

Perhaps Don is getting the cart ahead of the horse? No question he will be elected treasurer in November. But 2012? Whatever Don thinks, Dave Heineman is the odds on favorite. The national GOP mucky mucks will settle for nothing less than him to run against the politically moribund Judas Ben Nelson who seems intent on lying his way to re-election.

Don, at best, is third choice for the job since if Heineman surprises and decides against a run, Jon Bruning would find much more favor with those national mucky mucks. In fact, if it went beyond Heineman and Bruning (highly unlikely) Shane Osborn will probably be the next guy in line.
Don's a great guy and a solid conservative, but when it comes to the U.S. Senate, he hasn't and won't cross the finish line.

Why Americans Should Love Partisanship -- Doug Patton

June 7, 2010

"Hey! You can't fight in here! This is the war room!" — From Dr. Strangelove

Over the last several years, Americans have gotten the impression that partisanship is an unhealthy affliction in our public discourse. Too many of us have come to believe that it is somehow important for politicians to agree to get along, even during election years. Democrats, while publicly denying their devotion to partisanship, practice it continually. Republicans, when practicing it, feel guilty and tend to make excuses for it.

Imagine if members of Congress could simply hide their party affiliation behind a non-partisan label. Picture yourself stepping into the voting booth and finding nothing on the ballot to indicate whether a candidate was a Republican, a Democrat, a Nazi or a Communist. If eliminating partisanship were the goal, then such a system would be the solution.

In fact, why not simply eliminate one House of the Congress? Let's just elect a group of erudite U.S. Senators and send all those bickering members of the House of Representatives home to find some real work. That should ensure civility in Washington.

There is, in fact, a place where just such an experiment has already been tried. Until the Great Depression, the State of Nebraska had a partisan, bicameral legislative system. As was the case in all other states at the time, the Nebraska Legislature was patterned after the United States Congress. In 1937, that all changed. Nebraska voters were hoodwinked by a liberal Republican U.S. Senator by the name of George Norris into approving an amendment to the state's constitution that created a non-partisan Unicameral Legislature — the only one in the nation, before or since.

The experiment was and is a disaster. Nebraska, once known as the "white spot" of the nation (no income tax and no sales tax), now taxes its 1.7 million people at draconian levels. Norris's idealistic notion that the people, though ballot initiatives, would somehow become the state's "second house" has given way to a system where 49 state senators run roughshod over the people while hiding behind a non-partisan label. Meanwhile, the real "second house" is made up of a gaggle of lobbyists beholden to special interests.

Political parties, which exist for the purpose of articulating certain philosophical principles and for holding officeholders accountable for adhering to those principles, are essential to the continuance of the Republic. Partisanship is good. Partisanship works. It is the lifeblood of our political system and has been ever since Thomas Jefferson battled John Adams over the issue of state's rights versus a strong national government. It is in the midst of political battle that good government is forged. In the heated moments when legislators fight to articulate their political philosophies, liberal or conservative, defending them passionately until someone wins — this is when history is made.

The attack on partisanship has become so ridiculous in recent years that Republican John McCain was seriously touted as a possible running mate for Democrat John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign. McCain, always happy to foster his maverick image by accepting praise from liberals, did little to dampen the speculation at the time. In fact, he told a fawning press that he would actually consider such an offer because, he said, "John Kerry is my friend." This may at least partially explain why McCain is not in the White House today.

Leftist sixties radical turned conservative commentator David Horowitz, in his political handbook, "The Art of Political War," has written that, "Politics is war conducted by other means." As the nation heads toward the most important off-year election in our lifetime, one that will determine what sort of country we will be in the future, Republicans seem far too content with appeasing their opponents with civility and non-partisanship. Meanwhile, as always, Democrats prepare for war.

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© 2010 by Doug Patton
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Doug Patton is a former speechwriter and public policy advisor who now works as a freelance writer. His weekly columns appear in newspapers across the country and on various Internet websites, including Human Events Online and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers can e-mail him at dougpatton@cox.net.