Friday, August 31, 2012

Two Council Members Stand Up to Big Spender Suttle

Once again we have apparently only two Omaha City Council Members who have the fiscal responsibility to stand up against Omaha's big-spending, tax-everything-and-anything Mayor Jim Suttle and his five council clones.

On Tuesday Councilwoman Jean Stothert and Franklin Thompson had the guts to stand up for the taxpayer.....

By a 5-2 vote Stothert and Thompson opposed new spending in every department.  While there was no tax increase, Stothert and Thompson voted no to increased spending of $1.5 million.

On Thursday, however, a giddy Mayor Suttle, in the Omaha World-Herald, actually thanked the city council for the increased spending to fund his initiatives.   He thanked the council for putting extra money in HIS truancy program, Bright Futures.  Since when is Bright Futures HIS truancy program?

Stothert told us her votes were based on her goals of: 1) No tax increases; 2) Reduced spending; 3) Increasing the city's cash reserve, and; putting more money into roads.   Obviously her colleagues disagreed.

Even worse, $500,000 of the extra spending was based on an estimate they made that property tax collections would be some $800,000 more than estimated by the finance director who said they were wrong.    Additionally, those five took money out of the cash reserve and out of the health care fund--just a little risky.

Oh well, the spend thrift mayor and the council members other than Stothert and Thompson are happy.   Forget the taxpayers...

Suttle: There He Goes Again

Ronald Reagan used to use the terminology, "There you go again."   Somehow that same terminology seems to apply to Omaha's failed Mayor Jim Suttle who like his hero Barack Obama has virtually nothing to show for his three plus years in office other than increased taxes and more business-unfriendly regulations.   Like his other hero Mayor Bloomberg he wants to make Omaha a nanny-city.   And, of course, there is always an excuse for crime like guns and landlords.  So, we now have a release from Aida Amoura, who has apparently returned from her unpaid leave, telling us that the mayor is going to hold two press conferences to deal with guns and landlords beginning today.

Here is the release:


"Media Advisory

To:  News Directors

Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle’s Landlord Task Force will be releasing recommendations on a plan aimed at reducing crime in the city at a news conference tomorrow, August 30, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. The news conference will be held in the Mayor’s Media Room on the 3rd Floor of the City County building on 1819 Farnam Street in Omaha.  Task Force members and representatives from community organizations will be present at the event.  Next week on Wednesday, September 5th at 10:00 a.m., the Mayor’s Illegal Gun Task Force will be releasing their recommendations at the same location.


Media Contact:

Aida Amoura


Communications Director


Mayor Jim Suttle

444-3520"

Kerry Still Crying After Eight Years

Eight years later and still crying about the 'Swift Boat' scandal, John Kerry is trying to raise money so those evil Republicans won't do it to Barack....

Dear Ralph:

I have one message burned into my memory for everyone who cares about the outcome of this year's presidential election:

Respond quickly and powerfully to attacks from the other side.

We've got to step up and fight back before it's too late.

What makes 2012 different from when I ran for president in 2004 is that the other side doesn't have to wait for an outside group to come along with false attacks.

Consider this: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth spent about $23 million on smear ads against me in 2004.

This year, the Romney campaign and super PACs have promised to spend more than $1 billion.

Barack Obama has been a tremendous leader who has moved our country forward in more ways than we even probably now realize. He needs another four years to get the job done.

If you tune in to the convention, you'll see that Mitt Romney and his allies have no qualms about misleading voters if it means defeating President Obama.

But their attacks won't work if enough people step up to protect the President's record.

Don't let them get away with it.

The campaign faces a critical fundraising deadline tomorrow night.
Please make a donation of $5 or more today:

And it's Romney-Ryan in a Landslide -- Doug Patton


This week, I’m going out on a limb by publicly stating an opinion I have been expressing privately for some time: I believe Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama in a near landslide comparable to Ronald Reagan’s win over Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Many of my friends and family, while hoping I’m right, actually think I’m crazy. My wife fears that there is now a disproportionate number of people in America who have gotten used to the idea of having things handed to them by government, rather than cherishing the opportunity to work for those things themselves.

After the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare this summer, my brother, who lives in the battleground state of Missouri, announced with resignation that, “Obama has just been re-elected.” He reaffirmed that belief recently, during the Todd Akin flap in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race, by once again declaring his state all but lost for Republicans, including Mitt Romney.

A close friend, with whom I have worked on numerous campaigns and who now works for a conservative lobbying organization, has a tendency to fret about all things political. He has been a basket case over the possibility of Obama, part two.

I point out to him that no president from either party since FDR’s second campaign in 1936 has ever been re-elected with an unemployment rate even approaching the numbers we are seeing today. I tell him that any incumbent president who cannot get his poll numbers above 50 percent cannot and will not win.

Sometimes my friend’s anxiety is temporarily assuaged, but there is no doubt in my mind that he will sleep much better after he has seen my prediction come true on November 6th. (Won’t we all?)

Now comes a scientific study of presidential elections, from a pair of faculty members at the University of Colorado, which reinforces the political gut feeling that has been driving my prophecies to a large degree. The long-term model used for this study is the brainchild of Professors Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry, working at CU’s Boulder and Denver campuses, respectively. Their prototype, Bickers and Berry stress, analyzes economic data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, including both state and national unemployment figures, as well as changes in real per capita income, among other factors.

Since 1980, their model has accurately predicted every presidential election. Their analysis was accurate even in those years when there was a strong third party candidate running (John Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996). Perhaps most impressive, their model worked in predicting that Al Gore would win the popular vote in 2000 while losing the electoral vote to George W. Bush.

So what does the model forecast for 2012? They predict that Mitt Romney will soundly defeat Barack Obama by winning 32 states, 53 percent of the popular vote and a whopping 320 electoral votes (270 are needed to win).

“The apparent advantage of being a Democratic candidate and holding the White House disappears,” Professor Berry notes, “when the national unemployment rate hits 5.6 percent. The incumbency advantage enjoyed by President Obama, though statistically significant, is not great enough to offset high rates of unemployment currently experienced in many of the states.”

Berry and Bickers are predicting that Romney will defeat Obama in almost every battleground state, as well as a few the GOP hasn’t won in decades. These include North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and, yes, the “show me” state of Missouri.

Bickers notes that their election prediction model suggests that “presidential elections are about big things and the stewardship of the national economy. It’s not about gaffes, political commercials or day-to-day campaign tactics. I find that heartening for our democracy.

“Based on our forecasting model,” Professor Bickers adds, “it becomes clear that the president is in electoral trouble.”

As my little sister, who lives in the battleground state of Iowa, would say, “From his lips to God’s ears!”

© 2012 by Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns are syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to email him with their pithy comments at dpatton@cagle.com. For info on using his column at your publication or website, please email Cart Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another Bad Day For Nebraska Republican Party and its Chairman



Yesterday we talked of the lack of respect shown by the Nebraska Republican Party and its Chairman Mark Fahleson toward the Ron Paul members of the state’s delegation to the Republican National Convention.

Sadly, yet another and perhaps even more egregious example of abhorrent behavior on the part of Chairman Fahleson has come to our attention.

In this case, his behavior could be termed anti-black, anti-Jewish and anti-woman. Apparently, the Republican Party that Fahleson would have everyone believe is an open tent isn’t so open or welcoming.

So what happened?

Fahleson refused to allow a long-time former Nebraska delegate a guest passes for her daughter and her nursing-child. Fahleson and the party had confirmed that the individual, who ran as a delegate and wasn’t elected, would get two guest passes for the convention for which she paid $250 each. Relying on such the individual and her daughter (a prior Republican National Convention page) paid airfare and hotel to attend the required five days. The individual and her daughter showed up, Fahleson wouldn’t issue a guest pass for the nursing child and then rescinded the individual’s daughter’s pass as well. Why? Because this black, Jewish woman supposedly had said to some undisclosed member of Fahleson’s staff that he was a racist.   She denies ever saying any such thing and we know and believer her.

Given Fahleson’s response one might just ask who is the racist? Who is anti-Jewish? Who is anti-women?

Apparently, Fahleson failed to listen to Mrs. Romney’s speech on Tuesday evening--a speech which was supposed to attract women to the GOP ticket, a speech that was supposed to ameliorate the anti-female perception that liberals promote. And apparently in his petty small-minded vindictiveness Fahleson didn’t heed the party’s outreach to minorities and the Jewish. 


Further, he repeatedly told the individual involved that "It's not my problem your daughter is nursing."

Fortunately, Nebraska Republican National Committeeman Pete Ricketts stepped up and resolved the problem. We would have expected nothing less of Ricketts who is a true gentleman and a Republican who appreciated the efforts of the individual involved (her son has spent the summer working for Lee Terry). We should have expected the same of Fahleson whose actions only bring disgrace on himself and the Nebraska Republican Party.

Why a Tribute to Ron Paul?

Even after the Republican National Convention gave Ron Paul a neat four minute tribute (see above), the Ron Paul battle seems to go on ad infinitum.   

Paul has yet to endorse Romney which tells you something about his political reasoning.     Does he want Barack Obama elected for four more devastating years?  Perhaps, he thinks, as we believe, that he simply wants to pass his torch on to son Rand (whom we like) so he can run for the presidency in 2016 after Obama has destroyed the economy, appointed liberal Supreme Court judges who will affect our country for generations to come and retreated from our position in the world?

What we do know is that Congressman Paul's 'principles' are out of touch with reality and ultimately the best interests of the United States.   His failure to recognize reality may well jeopardize this election and imperil the future of the nation.

When we read the latest message from the eternal, never-ending Paul campaign we wonder why any tribute at all was due him....




Dear Jim:

"I’ve been doing conventions long enough to realize that when you don’t have the numbers, things will not go your way.

Today, we didn’t have the numbers. That is not in question.

Four years ago, the Republican Party simply handled our R3VOLUTION by slamming the door in our faces with hardly any consequences.

Today, the GOP establishment can no longer afford to employ these tactics.

Instead, they’ve adopted new ones.

Properly elected Ron Paul delegates were stripped from us. And when a motion was made to amend the Credentials Committee Report, it was ignored.

Morton Blackwell, a longtime conservative activist and RNC Rules Committee expert, found himself indefinitely detained – along with the rest of the Virginia delegation.

The RNC’s bus driver responsible for transporting delegates somehow “got lost” for well over an hour until a critical Rules Committee meeting adjourned.

Blackwell and the Virginia delegation were heading up the efforts to defeat new RNC rules proposed by Washington, D.C.-based insider attorneys.

These rules are designed to turn the Republican Party into a top-down organization and strip power away from state parties and grassroots activists of every stripe.

All efforts to vote down these onerous rules were ignored despite a clear split in the voice vote.

Sadly, these rules will now govern the party.

While it is almost certain we did not have the votes on the floor to win either of these battles, a fair and open debate and recognition of our motions would have been a better way for these problems to have been handled.

It didn’t have to be this way. And quite frankly, it’s a shame.

It’s a shame for Ron Paul supporters. It’s a shame for conservative activists of all stripes, and it’s a shame for the Republican Party.

However, you and I have much to be proud of.

Many of the amendments our campaign fought for were included in the new GOP platform. Four years ago, many politicians in both parties scoffed at our efforts to audit the Federal Reserve.

Now it’s in the Republican Platform – along with internet freedom, war only under a Congressional declaration, support for a gold commission, and fighting back against domestic drones.

We also forced the establishment to cave in and seat more of our delegates than they wanted to.

Instead of being shut out of the convention, Ron Paul was able to walk the floor and talk to his delegates Tuesday afternoon.

Coalitions that have been built over the past several weeks on these battles will last long into the future.

Our liberty movement is growing. It’s growing fast.

And the underhanded actions we’ve seen over the past week are sure to drive more folks into our camp.

I’m proud of our liberty movement. I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished. I’m proud of you.

I strongly believe you and I are the future.

Winning won’t be easy. Our opponents are determined to maintain their iron grip on power.

But their days are numbered – if I can count on you to keep up the fight.

The Ron Paul R3VOLUTION is not coming to end.

Our R3VOLUTION will not end until limited government, free markets, sound money, and respect for individual liberty, constitutional principles, and a pro-America foreign policy are finally restored in America.

And you will play a vital role in making this a reality.

For Liberty,

John Tate
Campaign Manager
P.S. The establishment is going to use every trick in the book to hold onto their power.

But they know you and I are the future of the Republican Party. Their days in power are numbered - if I can count on you to stay involved.
Our R3VOLUTION did not end today. It’s only beginning."

This Is America!

This is the America Republicans and most Americans believe in--a land that guarantees opportunity, a land that guarantees that through hard work, not government, one can become anything, a land that gives everyone who works hard great opportunity.   It's not a land where government guarantees equal results to all.... 

A little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham - the most segregated big city in America - her parents can't take her to a movie theater or a restaurant - but they make her believe that even though she can't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter - she can be President of the United States and she becomes the Secretary of State.    ---   Condoleezza Rice   
 
 
"When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself." 
 ---Paul Ryan

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Embarrassing Moment for Nebraska

We don't often agree with the Ron Paul folks.   But we respect the fact that they have used, some say abused, the system to elect delegates to the local, county, state and, yes the Republican National Convention.

These folks deserved to be heard when it came time for the delegations to cast their votes.   Most states, proud or not, cast their delegate votes for Romney, Santorum or Paul.  

Sadly, Mark Fahleson, the Chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party, and the Nebraska Republican Delegation (most of whom were on a boat rather than on the floor of the convention at the time) chose to repeat their 2008 tradition of not casting the votes of all of the duly elected delegates.   In fact, when it came time to cast those votes, Fahleson cast only 33 votes for Romney and failed to cast or acknowledge the two delegates who were committed to Ron Paul. 

Those two delegates and the efforts of the Ron Paul folks who worked so hard to organize and elect delegates in Nebraska deserved to be recognized.   

Perhaps if the Nebraska Republican Party leadership had openly faced and reacted to the Ron Paul effort in 2008, things would have been different this year.  They didn't and were surprised by the Paul effort, but only because of their denial and inaction.

If the Paul folks are to be welcomed and encouraged to join and become part of the overall Nebraska Republican Party efforts, they shouldn't be ignored or shunned.  Nor should their efforts and accomplishments.

Mark Fahleson and the Nebraska Republican Party should be ashamed of their actions by not acknowledging and casting those two votes for Ron Paul yesterday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If you haven't read the post below by Patrick McPherson you should do so as the inclusion herein is a perfect example of the divisive efforts by the everlasting, refusal to recognize reality efforts of U.S. Congressman Ron Paul in his futile effort to somehow build his ego even at the cost of electing Barack Hussein Obama.

Will Future Nebraska Republican Primaries Become Relevant? -- Patrick McPherson

Right now the Nebraska Republican Presidential Primary is simply a beauty contest since no delegates to the national convention are elected as a result of it.    What the primary does is indicate whom those voters who take the time to go to the polls want as their next president.     But, those results are in no way binding on the actual election of delegates which occurs at the Republican State Convention.

The Republican National Convention is pondering a change contained in Rule 12 and this is what the revised rule would be:

RULE NO. 12

Amendments

The Republican National Committee may, by three-fourths (3/4) vote of its entire membership, amend Rule Nos. 1-11 and 13-25. Any such amendment shall be considered by the Republican National Committee only if it was passed by a majority vote of the Standing Committee on Rules after having been submitted in writing at least ten (10) days in advance of its consideration by the Republican National Committee and shall take effect thirty (30) days after adoption. No such amendment shall be adopted after September 30, 2014.




RULE NO. 16 (formerly 15)

Election, Selection, Allocation, or Binding of Delegates and Alternate Delegates

(a) Binding and Allocation.

(1) Any statewide presidential preference vote that permits a choice among candidates for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in a primary, caucuses, or a state convention must be used to allocate and bind the state's delegation to the national convention in either a proportional or winner-take-all manner, except for delegates and alternate delegates who appear on a ballot in a statewide election and are elected directly by primary voters.

(2) For any manner of binding or allocating delegates permitted by these rules, no delegate or alternate delegate who is bound or allocated to a particular presidential candidate may be certified under Rule No. 20 if the presidential candidate to whom the delegate or alternate delegate is bound or allocated has, in consultation with the state party, disavowed the delegate or alternate delegate.

The rule, if adopted would basically require the winner of the Nebraska Republican Presidential Primary to receive at least the same proportion of delegates as he or she received in the primary.

By adopting such a rule Nebraska's Republican Presidential Primary would become relevant.   Yes, the votes cast by citizens in the primary would actually mean something as delegates to the Republican National Convention would be allocated in a manner to at least assure the winner the same percentage of delegates as votes cast, if not all of them.

Two reasons instantly come to mind as reasons to adopt this beyond allowing the will of the citizens to be reflected in the delegate allocation:
  • By making the primary relevant, potential Republican presidential candidates would actually have a reason to come to the state, to spend money advertising here--Nebraska offers about 35 potential delegates for any presidential candidate at the national convention.
  • By making the primary relevant and rewarding the winner of it there would be no way for others to hijack the delegation, an effort that the Ron Paul folks made in 2008 and 2012 and will no doubt try again in 2016 when Ron is gone and Rand becomes their likely candidate.
It is time to make Nebraska's Republican Presidential Primary relevant and fair, one that encourages candidates to come to the state and allows the vote of the people to reward the winner with the delegates he or she EARNS from the citizens that take the time to listen and make their choice known through their effort to vote.
               ------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                   Patrick McPherson is co-editor of the Objective Conservative and a frequent contributor


Acela Turco on Fox News

Republican candidate for Legislative District 31, Acela Turco made national news on Fox News with an interview on Hispanics in the Republican Party.   Although the clip is over 50 minutes long you can find her 4 minute interview beginning just after the 9 minute mark on the clip by going to: http://video.foxnews.com/v/1808965025001/

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ad Watch-Obama Mediscare Ad: "Promises" - Obama for America TV Ad

Not surprising, the Obama campaign is attacking Romney on Medicare and using its mediscare tactics to do so.    Apparently, it's easier to demagouge the opponent rather than offer real solutions to the problem that will leave all Medicare recipients, present and future, losing benefits.

If I Ran a Super PAC -- Doug Patton

At one time or another, most people have fantasized about what they would do if they were rich. I’m talking what we used to call filthy rich. I know what I would do. I would start a Super PAC. I would fund it myself, write the ads, make the media buys, and drive liberals crazy. It would be so much fun.

I would start with Mitt Romney’s taxes. The Obama campaign points out that Romney pays a lower percentage rate than does his running mate, Paul Ryan. The premise of the argument is faulty, of course, but conservatives don’t seem to know how to stop the other side from defining the issue.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger first ran for governor of California, he tapped billionaire Warren Buffett to advise him on economic issues. Buffett proceeded to tell the media that he paid more than $14,000 in property taxes annually on his primary residence in Omaha, which was valued at $500,000, while paying less than $2,000 a year on his $2.4 million home in Laguna Beach, California. It was Buffet’s belief that the California model, not Nebraska’s, was the flawed one.

This attitude is at the heart of the current debate over Mitt Romney’s tax bill. My fantasy Super PAC ad would ask several questions: Where is it written that government always has to grow? If a wealthy person pays a lower rate than someone making less, why is it logical to assume that the rich guy’s taxes should be raised? Why not lower the taxes of the person with a more modest income? Of what benefit is it to Paul Ryan — or any of us — to raise Mitt Romney’s taxes? You want to help me out? Lower my taxes!
 
My second Super PAC commercial would fill the vacuum left by Republicans who have abandoned Missouri GOP U.S. Senate nominee Todd Akin. Admittedly, by expressing his opposition to abortion in cases of rape the way he did, Akin provided a giant political hole through which pro-abortion radicals could drive an armored personnel carrier. Democrats and the national media (but then, I’m being redundant, aren’t I?) immediately began calling for Akin’s head and linking him to Romney and Ryan. This hysteria on the left was soon followed by frightened GOP establishment types like Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove throwing Akin under the bus by threatening to cut off funding for his campaign unless he steps down as the Republican nominee challenging U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill. To his credit, he has refused to do so.
 
Akin has apologized for the clumsy way in which he addressed the issue, but that, of course, is not enough. When liberals apologize for “misspeaking” (think Joe Biden every other week), everyone is supposed to accept it at face value. When the apology comes from a conservative, the candidate cannot do enough bowing and scraping to stop the harangue.
 
As is so often the case, the Republican Party and its candidates are going to be tarred and feathered from top to bottom with the Akin comment regardless of what they do — or what he does. That’s why my Super PAC would immediately start running ads in Missouri contrasting the views of Barack Obama and Claire McCaskill with those of Todd Akin and other conservative Republicans.

My ads would tell Missouri voters the truth about Obama’s radical views on abortion. They would learn that as a state senator in Illinois, he supported infanticide by opposing the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which called for saving the life of a baby born alive in the course of a botched abortion. Voters in the “Show Me” state would be told the truth about Obamacare, which, among other things, forces religious institutions to provide abortion services through their health plans — a loathsome provision for which Claire McCaskill provided the crucial 60th vote in the United States Senate.

As long as I’m fantasizing, I think I’ll run my ads in every battleground state. Let’s just see if these really are discussions the White House and their pet candidates want to have. 

© 2012 by Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns are syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to email him with their pithy comments at dpatton@cagle.com. For info on using his column at your publication or website, please email Cart Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ad Watch (Ryan): Rhetoric vs Reality - Radio Ad

Here us a new radio ad paid for by Catholicvote.org.    It suggests that maybe the country needs a 'new' Catholic Vice President.   We suspect that the current "Catholic dujour" vice president might take offense.

Ad Watch (Obama): America Doesn't Need a Birther-in-Chief

We suspect that the Obama campaign would like to make the best of Mitt Romney's "no one needs to check my birth certificate" remark and apparently they think they are doing so with the latest ad.   We wonder.   Doesn't it just further elevate the issue and doubt of some of about Obama's background.     Hope they turn it into a television ad rather than just a web one.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ad Watch (Romney): "Never Happened"

And yet another ad on welfare reform by the Republican National Committee..

Ad Watch (Romney): Only In America

The Romney campaign has released a new add taking on Obama's gutting of the work requirement in welfare reform which keeps people in a cycle of government dependency.

Paul Ryan is Despicable --- Anonymous


A friend forwarded this anonymous e-mail to us.  It speaks for itself.

Well, early last Saturday morning we learned that Congressman Paul Ryan, Republican from Wisconsin, is to be Mitt Romney's pick for the next Vice President of The United States.

What are we to think of this selection? He's not a graduate of Columbia University. He's not a graduate of Harvard. He wasn't selected as the President of the Harvard Law Review. He didn't get a special free quota scholarship ride to any prestigious university and, instead, had to work his way through Miami University of Ohio. For God's sake the man drove the Oscar Mayer Wiener Truck one summer and waited tables another!

One morning when Paul Ryan was sixteen years old he went in to wake his father up and found him dead of a heart attack. He didn't write two books about that experience. Instead, he assumed the role of adult at an early age, never having the luxury to pursue youthful drug use and the art of socialist revolution.

Instead, Paul Ryan and his mother took his grandmother, suffering from Alzheimer's, into the household and served as the primary care provider for his grandma. His grandma wasn't the Vice President of the Bank of Hawaii so she could offer nothing in return, except the element of "need".

Once Paul Ryan got his BA in Economics from Miami University of Ohio he was hired as a staff economist in Wisconsin Senator Kastin's office. The job must have not paid well because young Ryan moonlighted as a waiter and fitness trainer. No one offered him a "token honor" position at the University of Chicago and a $200,000 dollar a year salary.

When a still young Paul Ryan returned to Wisconsin to run for Congress he didn't demonize his opponent and dig up dirt to shovel against him. He waited until the standing Congressman vacated the office before seeking the office. In Janesville, Wisconsin they don't have a big political machine to promote you, to criminalize your opponent; instead Paul Ryan had to go door to door and sit at kitchen tables and listen to his future constituents.

After getting elected to Congress Paul Ryan didn't triumphantly march into Washington, buy himself a Georgetown townhouse and proceed over to K Street to rub elbows with lobbyists. He bunked in his Congressional office and used the house gym for showers and a fresh change of clothes.

Paul Ryan then married and took his bride back to Janesville. He lives on the same street he lived on as a kid and shares the neighborhood with eight other members of the Ryan clan. He hunts with the local Janesville hunt club and attends PTA meetings and other civic functions.

For those who can't make those public functions, Paul Ryan bought an old bread truck, converted it into a "mobile constituent office" and drives around to meet with those who need his help and attention.

No, I don't know if we can vote for a guy like this. He doesn't have a regal pedigree; he's Irish for God's sake! No one awarded him a Nobel Peace Prize two months after getting elected. No one threw flowers or got "chills down their leg" as a he took his seat in Congress.

What is most despicable about Paul Ryan is that he has had the nerve to write the House Budget for three years in a row. He's is brazen and heartless in advocating in that budget for a $5 trillion dollar reduction in federal spending over the next ten years! The House passed his budget three years in a row and three years in a row the Democratically controlled Senate has let it die in the upper house, without ever proposing a budget of their own. What is wrong with this guy? If Congress were to cut $5 trillion dollars from the budget where would the President get the money to give $500 million dollars to a bankrupt Solyndra? Or $200 million dollars for bankrupt Energy 1? Or $11 billion dollars to illegal aliens filing INIT, non-resident tax returns to claim $11 billion big ones in child tax credits, even for their children living in Mexico?

I don't know. Paul Ryan seems heartless to me. He keeps wanting to cut government waste, he keeps wanting to put a halt to those big GSA conventions in Vegas and, worse, he keeps trying to make people look at that $16.7 trillion dollar deficit! The guy's no fun at all!

Who wants a numbers cruncher? Who wants someone spoiling the party by showing folks the
bill and demanding fiscal responsibility!
Well, I guess I do.

Omaha Mass Transit

With all the recent dialogue (if you could call it that) about the recently passed transportation plan by the Omaha City Council, we'd suggest folks take a look at the Platte Institute's commentary on Omaha Mass Transit:

Today, the Platte Institute for Economic Research released a study on Omaha's Mass Transit system and concluded that the city must focus on making its public transit system sustainable before it begins to consider expanding it, as has been suggested by local officials.
 
Omaha's current system, while quite similar to cities of similar size, is only used by approximately 2 percent of Omaha's workforce. This small number results from the transit system being unable to attain choice ridership-those who have other methods of transportation but choose to ride public transit. Choice ridership typically increases when a city is overwhelmed by traffic congestion, high parking costs, and high costs to own a car. Choice ridership is a necessity in order to pursue a mass transit project, and without choice ridership, it is likely the mass transit system will not be able to continue functioning, much less expand.
 
The system is funded by three primary sources: local property taxes, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds, and user fees. User fees only cover 11.1 percent of operational costs, far below the national average of 35 percent. The user fees paid by customers are far below what it actually costs to transport them, and Omaha's fees are far below the rates collected by comparable cities. In 2011, the cost of riding the Metro was approximately $7.41 per rider, but the average rider fee collected was $1.07. The difference is then paid by the Transit Authority through taxes and government grants. Over the past two years, the Transit Authority reported net cash operating losses of $21.5 and 21.3 million, while operating cash inflows were $4.4 and 4.3 million, respectively. This indicates that if the Transit Agency wants to break even it needs to increase fares, decrease services provided, or both.
 
On the farebox recovery ratio-one of the key statistics for measuring cost efficiency that compares passenger revenues to operating expenses-Omaha falls far behind its comparable cities. The national average for the farebox ratio is approximately 35 percent, with the remaining 65 percent of funding coming from taxes and federal and state grant; Omaha's transit system has a farebox rate of only 11.4 percent. Of comparable cities, Omaha has the lowest one way cash fare at $1.25. To even begin to be comparable with other cities, Omaha would have to raise its fares to at least $1.75, the same rate used by Lincoln's public transit. A 40 percent increase in the current fare would result in a farebox recovery rate of approximately 16 percent. However, even this farebox rate would be below the national average, suggesting that the transit system is running inefficiently compared to its peers. If Omaha's transit system is to be successful, it must reduce operating expenditures and create a lean cost structure eliminating non-value added activities, only then can the city benefit from increased ridership, which is needed for economies of scale to take place.
 
Because Omaha's public transportation has less than two percent ridership, there does not appear to be a need for expansion of public transportation in Omaha. Instead of building a system where services exceed demand, one option for the City and Transit Agency to focus on would be to concentrate services on the niche market of those who have no alternative means of transportation. Such a shift of focus would allow those who cannot drive access to transportation while decreasing the financial burden on taxpayers. This makes much more sense than artificially increasing demand by eliminating parking spots in the Metro, increasing the parking costs, or increasing various fees/taxes for drivers in Omaha.
 
Another option would be to reduce the number of unique routes. In Omaha, 500 miles of bus routes are unique and nearly every route intersects or runs parallel with other routes. This results in raising costs with little actual benefit. To bring down costs, the Metro should begin closing routes that see little or no traffic and divert focus only to its most used routes.
 
Further, the Transit Agency currently has a large unfunded pension problem, with 37.29 percent of salaried workers pensions and 38.34 percent of hourly workers pensions currently unfunded, with an unfunded actuarial accrued liability of $2,771,618 for salaried workers and $10,296,146 for hourly employees. Therefore, it only makes sense for the Transit Agency to shift from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan in order to avoid this fiscal disaster. Indeed, most private companies are finding that such a switch is one of the ways to keep a positive operating cash flow, an example that would help the Transit Agency immensely.
 
A final option that would help make the Transit Agency fiscally sustainable would be privatization. Privatizing the system would reintroduce innovation as companies have profit incentives that the government-run system currently does not have.
 
It is important for Omaha's public transportation to be more cost-efficient for taxpayers and more accessible and productive for consumers. Reforms such as focusing on the most used routes and shifting from defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans may provide this fiscal stability. Privatization may also be a possibility for Omaha's transit problems. The current path is unsustainable, and instead of building more in the hopes of change, Omaha must consider reforming the system so that is serves the best interests of taxpayers, operators, and consumers.
 
The full study may be downloaded here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cardinal Dolan to Give Benediction at Republican National Convention

We are certainly glad that the Catholic Church has one leader who isn't afraid to stand up for First Amendment rights and who understands that religious freedom is threatened by government whether it be life issues or family values.   Sadly, not all of the Catholic Bishops in our country are as willing to do so and their inaction and timidity threaten and imperil their own church and the religious freedom of all.  

With that said, we're pleased that Cardinal Dolan will be at the Republican Convention.

From the Hill's Blog Briefing Room

"Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will give the benediction on the concluding night of the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney revealed Wednesday night.

Romney was asked about a new regulation, implemented earlier this year by the Obama administration, that would require employers to provide free access to birth control through their health insurance. During his response, Romney revealed Dolan had been tabbed to give the benediction.

"Well, first of all, I’ll continue to meet with to Cardinal Dolan — who by the way is going to offer the benediction on the last evening of the Republican convention after my acceptance speech," Romney told radio host Raymond Arroyo. "So I am making it very clear that the interest of religious freedom is something I support wholeheartedly and will work with him and with others to assure that each piece of legislation that we consider is thought also in terms of its impact on religious freedom and tolerance.""

Ad Watch (Romney): No Evidence

Here's a new one from Romney's campaign that's kind of fun---and true....

Ad Watch (Obama): "Clear Choice"

Now we have one from Bill Clinton

It Would Be a Republican Scandal and a Violation of the Voter Rights Act

Yes, if a Republican, Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, or a minor Republican official said it, that person and the Republican Party would be accused of trying to crookedly manipulate the upcoming election and he'd be charged with voter rights crimes.  But when the lovely Michelle Obama says something, it's just a simple mistake.

Where is the press outrage?  Where is the Republican outrage?  Oh, it's a Democrat....


Here is what Mrs. Obama said yesterday in Florida:

Michelle Obama, speaking yesterday at a campaign event in Florida:
So that one new voter that you register in your precinct -- think about it -- that one neighbor that you get to the polls on November the 2 I want you to understand, that could be the one that makes the difference. That one conversation, that one new volunteer you recruit, that could be the one that puts this over the top.
The presidential election this year is November 6.

Is Obama Getting Desparate?

We know that the Romney/Republican team is out raising Obama and the Democrats the last couple of months and that Romney, a good fiscal manager, has lots more in the bank so from a financial standpoint things aren't too bad for the conservative cause.

With that in mind we wonder if the current occupant of the White House is beginning to fret given today's e-mail from him:

Obama for America
"James --

It's August 23rd. And 75 days from now, I'll either be looking at another four years in the White House -- or the end of this opportunity.

I know what's at stake for the parents worrying about health care, the kids who need help to go to college, and the seniors who want a secure retirement.

But we're getting outspent by wide margins in critical battleground states -- and what we do about that today could be the difference between winning and losing on November 6th.

So as we near one of the last fundraising deadlines of this campaign, I'm asking you to pitch in $3 right now:


Thanks for all you do,

Barack"

A Movie You Must See: 2016 Obama's America

This is a movie you should see and you should see it this weekend when it comes to Omaha and other theaters across America.   

It's based on Dinesh D'Souza's book which we've recommended to you in the past.

It will open at Oakview AMC and the Rave Westroad theaters this weekend.  Also at Twinn Creek in Bellevue. 

It will remind you of the devestating choice America made in electing Obama in 2008 and the consequences should he be re-elected this fall.

The New Obama James Bond Film "Freefall"

This little bit of humor, if there can be humor about the destruction of the United States, comes to you courtesy of Americans for Limited Government...

California as an Example for America?

Is the 9th largest economy in the world an example of where the U.S. and Omaha as well are headed?    The huge pension debts, the highest unemployment in the U.S. and 34% of the population receiving welfare?  If it were a country, we'd probably be calling it Greece II.   

Sadly, this is a state that represent where the rest of the country seems to be going.   With that said, we're glad that the State of Nebraska seems to have its act in pretty good order.   On the other hand, we wish we could say the same about the City of Omaha and its mayor which seem to like the California model.

With that said, take a look at the following which appeared in Netright Daily:

The not-so Golden State of America
By Rebekah Rast

"In the 1850s droves of gold-hunters hoping to make it rich rushed into what would later be established as the Golden State.
The pristine beaches, vast mountains and plenty of opportunity persuaded some to stay in the state. But now, California is facing a different kind of rush—one that is causing people to pick up and leave.

The state boasts a population of more than 37 million. However, the Orange County Register reports that 870,550 people left the state between 2005 and 2009. “That’s like the whole city of San Francisco just up and left,” the article states.
What is chasing people away?

It might have something to do with the state having the third highest unemployment rate in the nation at 10.7 percent and the $500 billion of unfunded liabilities of its pension systems and a roughly $16 billion deficit. The state, with one-ninth of the U.S. population, is also home to 34 percent of the welfare recipients in the country. If that’s not enough, California’s top-down tax structure deters businesses from opening or expanding, and the environmental movement is in full swing in the state, even preventing the agriculturally rich Central Valley from receiving its full water allocation.

These are some unfortunate statistics coming from a state with the ninth largest economy in the world.

The icing on the cake could be recent reporting from CNBC that there is a shortage of farm labor workers in California this year and some crops are left unattended and unpicked. It is not news that these jobs are typically filled by California’s southern neighbor. Is a bad economic climate keeping them away as well?

The repercussions of this fiscal mess are being seen in cities like Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Bernardino—all of which have recently declared bankruptcy.

Municipalities in the state are overrun with pension liabilities from union contracts they simply cannot afford. Declaring bankruptcy allows city governments to rebuild, reorganize and renegotiate their obligations.

For example, the city of Vallejo in northern California came out of bankruptcy almost a year ago. Though the number of cities workers and employees are greatly reduced, home prices have dropped and many businesses were forced to close their doors, the city now has a feasible plan to work itself back into prosperity.

Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis told the Los Angeles Times, “I feel excited about where we are. Although it was difficult, and it required a lot of stress on everybody… I think we’ve done the right thing. And now we’re doing all the things to bring our city back.”

The city of Vallejo is not alone. In June, voters of San Diego and San Jose overwhelming supported ballot initiatives designed to help balance city budgets by cutting retirement benefits for city workers.

Taking hints from the voters of these cities, there is hope for a state initiative on the ballot this November on pension reform.

Maybe there is some hope and the tarnished reputation of California can be golden once again."

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) and NetRightDaily.com. You can follow her on twitter at @RebekahRast.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How Long Do We Kick the Can Down the Road?

Since we've pledged to stay away from distractions (see below) we thought we'd really get serious and here is something to be serious about--America's financial future.  The Congressional Budget Office has made it's predictions of financial crisis even more dire.   While both Republicans and Democrats continue to kick the can down the road, the cure becomes even more harsh.  

This country is going to be Greece and Spain if something isn't done and done soon.   Yet, politicians refuse to deal with the tough decisions because they don't want to be demagogued for supporting the needed actions by their opponents.   Sadly, neither they nor the American will wake up to the situation until their fellow citizens are rioting in the streets.  

It's time to face the fact that none of the choices available today are going to happen without severe spending cuts and yes probably even tax increases and we're not just talking about tax increases on the poor.   The 47% to 51% of the American public which pays no federal income taxes should be part of the solution as well.   Perhaps if they had some financial ownership in the country rather than just benefiting from the country's largess they would be more inclined to think about the future of their children and grand children and less worried about voting for the guy that makes promises to give me more.

But enough of our diatribe.  Check out the article below from the Hill On The Money but take a Prilosec first.....

CBO warns of deep recession if Congress fails to avert 'fiscal cliff'

By Erik Wasson - 08/22/12 10:00 AM ET

"The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Wednesday warned the economy will enter a recession next year if the country goes over the so-called fiscal cliff.

In its most dire warning yet about the fiscal cliff, the CBO said the economy would contract by 0.5 percent in calendar year 2013 if the George W. Bush-era tax rates expire and automatic spending cuts are implemented.

Unemployment also would rise from 8.2 percent in 2012 to 9.1 percent next year, the office estimates.

The contraction would be very severe in the first half of 2013. CBO sees the economy contracting by 2.9 percent in the first half — deeper than the 1.3 percent negative growth it had seen previously from the fiscal cliff.

To put the figures in context, the economy was contracting at a quarterly rate of about 3.5 percent at the depth of the recession in the early 1990s. The CBO said a recession caused by the fiscal cliff would likely resemble that downturn more than the more recent recession caused by the financial crisis, when the economy contracted at an 8.9 percent rate in the final quarter of 2008.

The gloomy picture of rising debt and weak economic growth marks CBO’s final major report before the November election. The report is a sharp contrast with the 1.1 percent in growth the CBO projected in January for 2013 and 0.5 percent growth it projected in May.

CBO says the fiscal cliff will be worse than it had previously projected and that the “underlying strength” of the economy is weaker.

It said the effects of the fiscal cliff are worse in part because Congress extended a payroll tax holiday in February that is also set to expire in January.

Congressional gridlock means the risk of Congress doing nothing to prevent the tax hikes and spending cuts is real.

Democrats last month threatened to let the nation go over the fiscal cliff unless Republicans agree to a “balanced” deficit package that includes some tax increases. The GOP has so far doubled down on its insistence that a deficit solution include only cuts to non-defense social spending.

CBO projects a deficit of $1.1 trillion this year, the fourth year of budget shortfalls over $1 trillion. This is a slight decrease from the $1.2 trillion that CBO projected in March.

The report notes that debt held by the public will reach 73 percent of the economy this year, “the highest level since 1950 and about twice the 36 percent of GDP that it measured at the end of 2007.”

The CBO report puts the focus back on President Obama’s economic policies and the fiscal issues that the Republican presidential ticket of Mitt Romney and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) considers its strength. The presidential debate this week has been dominated by a controversy surrounding abortion rights and the remarks of GOP Missouri senatorial candidate Rep. Todd Akin.

As usual, the CBO presents two sets of 10-year economic and deficit projections. One is based on current law and the other is based on what Congress has typically done in the past.

Under the current-law baseline, the deficit next year would shrink to $641 billion.
This assumes that a series of policies known as the fiscal cliff take place. They include automatic spending cuts triggered by the August 2011 deal to raise the debt ceiling; expiration of the Bush-era tax rates; a sharp cut in Medicare doctor payments; and the failure to index the Alternative Minimum Tax for inflation, which would raise taxes for many households.

The $641 billion budget deficit estimate is larger than the $585 billion deficit CBO had projected in January.

Under these CBO assumptions, the government would add $2.3 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years.

Under a current policy baseline in which Congress avoids the spending cuts, passes a “doc fix” and extends the Bush-era rates, the deficit would again top $1 trillion in 2013.

But economic growth would be better. CBO estimates under this baseline that GOP growth would be about 1.7 percent, with unemployment dipping slightly, to 8 percent.
In this scenario, over 10 years nearly $10 trillion would be added in deficits and the debt held by the public would reach 90 percent of GDP — the threshold some scholars consider to be the hallmark of a Greece-style debt crisis.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said he was continuing work on a "grand bargain" deficit-reduction plan that would avoid the fiscal cliff.
“This year’s deficit is a stark reminder of the Great Recession’s lasting impact on the nation’s balance sheet," he said in a statement. "We know from experience that a recovery from a financial crisis is shallower and takes longer than a recovery from a typical recession.”

House GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said the CBO report is a reminder of the stakes of the election.

“During an historic employment crisis that will be remedied only by stronger economic growth and more jobs, today’s report is further proof that President Obama has put America on a path of slower growth and fewer jobs," Hensarling said in a statement. “CBO’s report reiterates the sad fact that President Obama’s higher taxes, runaway spending, and debt are endangering our nation’s economy, our national security, and our children’s hope for a better future.”

House Budget Committee ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) blamed Republicans in Congress for holding up economic growth.

“President Obama has a plan to create jobs, stabilize debt, protect Medicare and Social Security, and replace the damaging, indiscriminate cuts from the sequester with a targeted, balanced approach to deficit reduction," Van Hollen said.

"The President’s plan would also extend tax relief for 98 percent of Americans,” he said. “Yet Republicans in Congress refuse to enact the President’s plan, choosing instead to protect special interests and tax breaks for the wealthiest in our country.”"

Enough for the Distractions

We'll call it quits with our distraction to the distractions of the last few days with the following cartoon.   Rich Galen (see post below) started this and had it right in that the distractions prevented some serious discussions.   Although we've dived into the pool of distractions, there will be no more...

More on Skinny Dipping: The Evil Webs Politicians Weave

If you haven't read the post immediately below, you should.   And with that in mind we came across the following article in the Daily Caller which exposes the skinny dipping episode as a potential political plot potentially woven by a Republican in another state.   


"Three different high-ranking Republican staffers on Capitol Hill have told The Daily Caller of a growing consensus that at least part of a Sunday article by Politico’s Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan was planted by Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert in order to damage his primary opponent, Rep. Ben Quayle.

Schweikert’s office denies the charge, but a campaign spokesperson would only say that the congressman never “gave” or “provided” the entire story to the Virginia-based news outlet. Quayle’s involvement in the saga, while embarrassing, was relatively minor.

The story itself contained signPolitico reported that several freshman GOP members of Congress on an official trip to Israel went on an alcohol-fueled swim in the Sea of Galilee.

The Politico story disclosed that Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee. Yoder has apologized.

Other GOP lawmakers and staffers, according to Politico, joined Yoder for the swim — among them Quayle, Florida Rep. Steve Southerland, New York Reps. Tom Reed and Michael Grimm, and California Rep. Jeff Denham. Politico reported that those details were confirmed by unnamed GOP sources.

Sherman and Bresnahan also charged that the FBI investigated the event. “The FBI looked into whether any inappropriate behavior occurred,” they wrote, ”but the interviews do not appear to have resulted in any formal allegations of wrongdoing.”
Sherman, Bresnahan and Politico drove the story Monday, getting higher- and higher-ranking politicians to comment on the incident, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, all of whom criticized the congressmen involved. MSNBC featured the story on “Morning Joe,” where Mark Halperin slammed the GOP congressmen’s antics."ificant inaccuracies pertaining to both an alleged FBI investigation and Quayle’s involvement in what became a one-day mini-scandal."


Congressman Yoder Gets 'Nudist Endorsement (Sort of)

It's Wednesday and time for us to lighten up a little.   With that in mind it caught our eye that at least someone has come to the defense of Kansas Republican U.S. Congressman Kevin Yoder whose not so recent skinny dip in the Sea of Galilee just came to the attention of the American public.    Yes, the nudists are on his side anyway although we're not sure how many of them live and vote in Kansas.   Well, small it may be, but it is a coalition he should be able to count on.

Actually, the article below from the staff of the Tampa Bay Times was kind of interesting in the information it provided.    Maybe Yoder should see if he can't get a nudist event set up for those boring Republicans that will be there next week.....

Florida nudist association: U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder is 'typical American who enjoys skinny-dipping'

"The Florida-based American Association for Nude Recreation put out this amusing news release.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (August 21, 2012) -- The U.S. has a long history of political skinny dippers: John Quincy Adams, Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and George W. Bush all abandoned their skivvies for a refreshing swim. President Johnson even went skinny-dipping while in office with evangelist Billy Graham. Other famous promoters of skinny-dipping include such notable Americans as Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Herman Melville and Norman Rockwell.
Heck, prior to the mid-1800s, most everyone skinny-dipped -- swimwear hadn't been invented.

But in light of the broo-ha-ha over Rep. Kevin Yoder’s skinny-dip in the Sea of Galilee, the American Assn. for Nude Recreation (http://www.aanr.com) weighs in on the issue …

Fact: in a 2006 Roper poll, it showed that 25% of adult Americans have skinny dipped in mixed company. Worldwide, topless and nude sunbathing is one of the fastest growing vacation choices. Did you know all beaches in Spain are legally topless, and many are nude.

Fact: Congressman Yoder's mistake was picking a spot to go skinny-dipping that is illegal under Israeli law. Alternatively, he should have gone to Tel-Baruch beach north of Tel-Aviv, which has a long history of topless and nude sunbathing. Then instead of being in hot water, he'd have been in refreshing nudist waters.

Fact: The American Association for Nude Recreation advocates people should skinny-dip in appropriate settings like their own back yards, nudist resorts and clubs, legal nude beaches, etc.

Obviously, Congressman Yoder is a typical American who enjoys skinny-dipping, like over 50 million other Americans. In the spirit of keeping him out of trouble in the future, here is a list of Legal Nude beaches for him and other Americans (in the public eye or not) to skinny dip at in North America.

Haulover/Miami Beach; Gunnison/Sandy Hook, NJ; Rooster Rock/Columbia Gorge, Or.; Lighthouse Beach/Fire Island, NY; Hippie Hollow/Austin, Tx; Black’s Beach/La Jolla, Ca.; Baker Beach/San Francisco, Collins Beach/Sauvie Island, Or.; Little Beach/Maui; San Gregorio Beach/Ca.; Wreck Beach/Vancouver."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stupid Statements: Akin Should Get Out of Senate Race


No question that yesterday was not a good day for the Republican brand with revelations about skinny dipping Congressman Kevin Yoder of Kansas and the stupid 'macaca' statement by Congressman and would-be candidate for the U.S. Senate from Missouri Todd Akin.
We hate to get on the band wagon, but Akin should step aside for both the good of the Romney-Ryan ticket and for preserving the hope of G.O.P. control (takeover if you're a liberal) of the U.S. Senate this fall. His comments were stupid and inappropriate. It was another macaca statement that will guarantee his loss if he stays in for the election. And, with the possibility of Obama winning this fall it becomes even more important that the Republicans, not Harry Reid, control the U.S. Senate as well as the House of Representatives.

The worst thing any politician can do is go off script.  That's what Akin did and it's fatal in this case.   The next worst thing a politician should do is not forget that when he puts on a silly costume or does something stupid with others around, that it will not come back to haunt him....
With that said, we thought we'd share with you a column written by Rich Galen, a frequent guest on Fox and other cable networks which pretty well assesses what the 'revelations' of yesterday cost the Republican Party.



Oh My Akin Back

Rich Galen
Tuesday August 21, 2012
"t's time for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to get their arms around the Republican Members of the House and give - at least some of them - a Leroy Jethro Gibbs slap to the back of the head.

Yesterday was a day that should have featured the Obamas answering questions about the charges of crankiness, stubbornness, and general dysfunction among the White House and Chicago campaign staffs.

We'll come back to that later.

Instead it was all about Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) who was asked during a TV interview whether he thought abortion was justified in cases of rape.

Akin responded thus:
"It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."
That statement is so wrong on so many levels that you have to wonder whether (a) Akin slept through junior high health class, and (b) what the hell's an illegitimate rape?"

Akin is running for U.S. Senate against the weakest Democrat incumbent in the land, Missouri's U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.

In just 18 words, Todd "The Geneticist" Akin took a race in which he was favored and, maybe, handed control of the Senate back to the Democrats next January.

It didn't take long for everyone from Mitt Romney, who said Akin's comments were "insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong;" to the Chairman of the GOP Senate campaign Committee, John Cornyn (R-Tx) who said Akin's words were "wrong, offensive, and indefensible;" and called on Akin to "rethink his candidacy."

That would have been more than enough to wreck the day, but noooooo.

Politico.com had reported Sunday night that Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) had gone skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee last summer while he and as many as 29 of his colleagues were on a fact-finding tour of Israel.

According to the report the CODEL (Congressional Delegation) was on a trip
sponsored by a group affiliated with the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) to visit holy sites in Israel "while their Israeli government hosts drive home the huge importance of U.S. support of Israel

I am a fan of Israel and of AIPAC. I am not a fan of a bunch of Members of Congress, their spouses, their children, and senior staffers acting like a bunch of fraternity boys and sorority girls having a kegger during rush week while on a trip overseas.

In one of the least surprising sentences of this, or any other election year, Politico reporters Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan wrote that "several" of those presen
"privately admitted that alcohol may have played a role in why some of those present decided to jump in."

What was that line by Claude Raines in "Casablanca" again?

And they wonder why Americans have such an abysmally low opinion of Congress.

What yesterday's Twitter-fest should have been about was a new e-book by Politico's Glenn Thrush named "Obama's Last Stand.

In a summary of his book, Thrush writes:
"President Barack Obama's campaign team, celebrated four years ago for its exceptional cohesion and eyes-on-the-prize strategic focus, has been shadowed this time by a succession of political disagreements and personal rivalries that haunted the effort at the outset." This campaign, according to Thrush, is about "Obama's own burning competitiveness" coupled with his "remorseless focus on beating Mitt Romney - an opponent he genuinely views with contempt …
That prompted me to Tweet (@richgalen)
Reading "Obamas
Rather than beating up Obama quoting Thrush's book yesterday, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had to spend their day condemning Todd Akin and tsk-tsking over the actions of the Republican CODEL in Israel.


Not the best day of the campaign and none of it was Romney's fault."