Friday, November 30, 2012

Will We Ever See Another Conservative President? -- Doug Patton


After the shellacking taken in this year’s presidential election, will we ever see another conservative president? In the past, I have opined with great optimism in this space about the strength of the “farm team” of courageous conservative leaders — men like Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Bob McDonnell, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, and women like Nicky Haley, Susanna Martinez, Sarah Palin and Deb Fischer — whose ascendency gives dispirited conservatives hope for the salvation of the Republic in the years to come.

After this year’s election, I no longer believe that even the bold leadership of these officials and former officials will be enough. If America is to continue as we have known it, some fundamental steps must be taken to reclaim the nation that once was a shining city on a hill.

Step #1: The borders. Republicans should stop pretending they have any chance of out-pandering Democrats on the issue of immigration. No further talks should be undertaken with liberals about “comprehensive immigration reform” until there is an enforceable system of border control between Mexico and the United States. Call me racist all you want, but every American with anything functioning in his or her cranial cavity knows that our southern border is an open invitation to criminal elements ranging from violent drug dealers to international terrorists.

Step #2: Education. Abraham Lincoln famously said that the philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. The generation that just re-elected the most radical president in the history of the country has proven that adage to be true. The time has come for conservatives to step up and run for state and local school boards, as well as university regent boards. Conservative patriots with the financial means to do so must begin to fund scholarships to educate the next generation of journalists, college professors, lawyers, judges and other public officials. The only way we will bring social and fiscal sanity back to America is to counteract lies with truth.

Step #3: The news media. The rise of talk radio and the Fox News Channel has shown that Americans are hungry for voices other than the standard “progressive” claptrap that has emanated from the ivory towers of Manhattan and Washington, D.C., at least since Watergate. The next time a major news media entity goes up for sale, billionaire conservatives should step forward and buy it — and then start reporting the truth.

Step #4: The culture. Over the years, we have seen some relief from the sewage that regularly flows out of our entertainment industry. Despite Mel Gibson’s tragic personal meltdown later on, his “Passion of the Christ” was one of the biggest hits to come out of Hollywood in decades. CBS’s “Blue Bloods” is a Friday night TV hit enjoyed by millions of tradition-minded Americans who like a little action along with a depiction of some solid family values. The show depicts a family of cops who love each other, their wives and their community, and who actually say grace over their Sunday dinner. Imagine that! We need more “Blue Bloods” and less “Two and a half Men,” but we will never get there without more bold traditional conservatives with clout in Hollywood.

Step #5: Last, but far from least, America needs spiritual revival. For the last one hundred years — beginning with Woodrow Wilson, continuing on steroids with FDR, and culminating with the election and re-election of Barack Obama — government has been our god. Stating the antidote as plainly as possible, God must once again become our god. Does that mean that God wants a Republican president? No, but I think He would be pleased with a humble leader who believes in liberty and who acknowledges that God, not government, is the answer to our problems.

Disaster surely awaits us if we continue in the direction we are now headed, and change will not happen next year or in the next election cycle. What is as certain as tomorrow’s sunrise is that we will not see it happen at all if we do not take the first steps down a different path than the one we now tread.
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© 2012 by Doug Patton
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Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.com and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton. For info on using Doug’s columns at your publication or website, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hagel For Secretary Of Defense? Heaven Protect Us

Heaven protect us.   Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense?   

This turncoat Republican, failed and un-re-electable U.S. Senator, inept non-presidential presidential candidate, Bob Kerrey supporter, Barack Obama ass-licker is a candidate for Secretary of Defense?

We can think of only one reason for Obama to even entertain such a stupid, foolish idea and that is to slam Nebraskans for electing Deb Fischer.  

But the truth of the matter is that if President has a brain in his liberal head he will realize that Hagel is a totally untrustable, unreliable individual who can't and could never be counted on to carry out Obama directives.  

Sadly, Hagel who we believe suffers from delayed post traumatic stress syndrome, wants simply to be relevant.   He isn't-except in his own mind.   His lack of relevance was only recently highlighted by his failed attempt to help liberal, fellow Easterner Bob Kerrey become a U.S. Senator.   That showed just how toxic and out of touch Hagel is.

Fortunately, this can only be hype by Obama and associates to assuage Hagel's failed efforts and his Republican 'lick-up' status.

Report: Chuck Hagel being vetted for top State, Defense posts

By Daniel Strauss - 11/28/12 05:36 PM ET

"Former Sen. Chuck Hagel is being vetted for top security posts in the Obama administration, according to a report.

Foreign Policy magazine
reported on Wednesday that the Nebraska Republican is being vetted for secretary of State or Defense.

Hagel, a centrist on foreign policy, has expressed support for some of the Obama administration's recent national security policies.

Foreign Policy noted that Hagel has also been an outspoken critic of some of former President George W. Bush's policies on national security. He called the war in Iraq "an absolute replay of Vietnam."

Even after he left the Senate, Hagel has continued to weigh in on politics. He has criticized the Republican Party as being in the hands of the "extreme right" and said former President Reagan "would be stunned by the party today."

Just after the 2012 presidential election, Hagel, who is the chairman of the Atlantic Council,
said that the current political environment was more conducive to deal-making than in past years.

"I think also because Barack Obama will not stand for an election again — at least he says he won't — that takes the political tension out of this to some extent," Hagel said. "There's always political tension and that's good, but that gives him more latitude, Republicans more latitude to finding a solution."


Hagel endorsed Democrat Bob Kerrey over Republican Deb Fischer in the Nebraska Senate race to replace outgoing Sen. Ben Nelson (D). The endorsement was a coup for Kerrey, as Hagel remains particularly influential in his home state. Fischer won the Senate seat.

Consideration of Hagel, who currently is the co-chairman of Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board, comes as top Republicans are expressing strong opposition to the possibility of Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice succeeding Hillary Clinton as secretary of State when Clinton steps down. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has also been mentioned as a possible nominee to succeed Clinton, and for the top Defense Department slot.

If Hagel did become secretary of Defense, he would not be the first Republican in that position to serve Obama. Bob Gates, also a Republican, served as Obama's first secretary of Defense. Ray LaHood, a former GOP congressman, serves as Obama's transportation secretary."

Friday, November 23, 2012

P.E.T.A. Cartoon of the Day

After our little article about revolting turkeys yesterday, we thought we'd share a photo with you that should make true P.E.T.A (People for ethical treatment of animals) folks happy.    Of course, the photo makes our friends at P.E.TA., People for Eating Tasty Animals a little nervous.

Bob and Jerry: Public Servant, or Privileged Class?


Here is something from our friends at Citizens Agains Government Waste about state verses private compensation.   While Nebraska state government has done a relatively good job in preventing great disparities, that is not the case with many others.

"I want to urge you to read our new report, Public Servants or Privileged Class: How State Government Employees are Paid Better than Their Private-Sector Counterparts.

The report analyzes state government employee wages and benefits in all 50 states, and for the first time, provides a detailed comparison of compensation for public- and private-sector workers in the same job categories, from architecture and engineering to transportation. Watch the video below, which vividly illustrates how public-sector workers are paid more than their private-sector counterparts.



Shockingly, the report found that no state government pays its employees on par or below what the private sector pays; that the largest percentage difference in pay between the public and private sector is 40 percent; and that the highest difference in pay is $61 per hour. 
 
This disproportionate public-sector compensation is a major driver of unfunded state and municipal pension liabilities across the country, which pundits and experts of all political stripes have accurately described as a looming financial crisis."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey's Attack: What Would You Do


Across the nation, terrorist turkey attacks against Americans are on the increase (see below).   

But what would you do if you had become the prey for Americans to consume on one special day of the year for hundreds of years?   

What would you do if you had been rebuked by a nation that was satisfied to eat you but didn't regard you as fit to be its national symbol choosing instead a bird that you couldn't eat, couldn't hunt and the possession of whose feathers could land you in federal court?   

What would you do if you were one of the chosen few who had to rely on some guy in the White House to pardon you so you could spend the rest of your life in a petting zoo somewhere?

YOU'D REVOLT.   You'd take your fight to the streets!

According to our friends at Cowboybyte.com., that's just what is happening in Brookline where innocent residents are under siege by wild turkeys who've decided not to take it any more!

p.s.   Somehow it seems incongruous that there is no federal program to repel these terroristic attacks and even more incongruous that in the face of such onslaughts the leader of the free world would pardon these terrorists rather than send out a SEAL team to eradicate the menace once and for all.......


Complaints About Turkey Attacks On The Rise In Brookline
"Neighbors are on the offensive in Brookline after what some residents are describing as aggressive turkeys.

“They were attacking the vehicle,” Karen Halvorson said outside her home in the Aspinwall Hill neighborhood.

After getting in her truck, a neighbor came and ran the birds off but it didn’t stop there.
“Then, the turkeys came and started attacking my front door,” she said.

A second run-in came a few weeks ago as she walked nearby.


looked back and three of them charged me,” she explained.

She moved to the center of the street to avoid the animals, but it wasn’t enough.
“The turkey flew in my face and scratched my neck,” she said.

Halvorson refuses to give up her walks so she has taken precautions.

“I went down to the hiking store and I got a hiking stick with a big ball on top of it. I walk with it all the time and now I never go without my phone,” she said."


Cartoon of the Day


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cartoon of the Day


It's HERE!

Of course, we knew these were coming, but the Obama administration made them formal yesterday by releasing new regulations which will:
  1. Require insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
  2. Place new limits on how much insurers can vary their premiums.
  3. Prohibit insurers from varying premiums based on gender and health status
Sounds pretty good if you are sick or don't take care of yourself, i.e. develop diabetes because of your lifestyle, smoke, etc.

Probably sounds good if you are older since your premium will now be no more than 3 times greater than a 20 year-old.   Of course, if you are part of the notoriously uninsured young 20 somethings that currently have no insurance or rely on their parents to accept the responsibility of insuring them until they turn 26, it might not be so good since actuarily speaking your premium should be 1/5th of that of some old fart and now will be only 1/3 of that old fart.   In other words under Obamacare, the 20 year-old will now be subsidizing the old-fart's premium.

And of course, there will be no premium based on gender equity (that will probably eliminate confusion for transgenders, gays, etc), but again that makes no actuarial sense.

Oh, and of course everyone will pay for insurance whether they want it or not or else those 15,000 new government employed I.R.S. agents will be handling their non-compliance.

While these new regulations may be popular with some, they will be VERY EXPENSIVE FOR ALL.   Some of the rich and the 'middle class' will find themselves paying extra taxes on their sale of investments and second homes.   Some will find they are in the market for insurance because their employers (maybe even Bob Kerrey's Grandmothers and Prairie Life) will find it a lot cheaper to drop employee plans, letting the government (taxpayers) pick up the costs.   And for the businesses that do keep their plans or those left without them estimates are health insurance cost increases of 25% to 100%.

Welcome to Obamacare!

Is Rubio Not Ready for Prime Time?


There are days we just can't help but scratch our heads over stupid, inept comments made by conservative politicians.   Sadly, one of our favorites, Senator Marco Rubio, made one recently that will follow him around for a long time.   His comment that the question had nothing to do with the economy was fine. but really to say that the age of the earth is a great mystery and not acknowledge simply that given the scientific knowledge we have indicates the earth is billions of years old only leads to the liberal media positioning hm as a Bible-thumping nut. 

Marco Rubio has a bright career ahead of him.   We'd like to see him as a presidential candidate in 2016, but he really will need to think before he opens his mouth if he wants to get there.....

This from our friends at DC Links:

Media freak out over Rubio’s remarks on age of the Earth
Posted By Alex Pappas

"The media are in full freak-out mode over Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s comments about the age of the Earth.

“I got a chill when I read Rubio’s statements,” Phil Plait, an astronomy blogger, wrote in a story at Slate.

It all started when GQ magazine published an interview with the Republican senator on Monday that included the question, “How old do you think the Earth is?”
Scientists estimate that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, though Christians cite the Bible in saying the Earth is younger. It’s the sort of question meant to give insight into whether someone believes in evolution or creationism — or both.

“I’m not a scientist, man,” Rubio responded to the question from the GQ reporter, going on to explain that the question is “one of the great mysteries.”

“I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow,” Rubio said. “I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.”

News outlets – ranging from the Washington Post to Politico – drew attention to the remarks. Liberals and left-leaning outlets subsequently mocked Rubio for it.

“As I like to say, the GOP doesn’t just want to roll back the New Deal; it wants to roll back the Enlightenment,” the liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote.
“Scientists agree: the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. But don’t tell that to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) — he thinks the age of the Earth can be discovered by studying the Bible,” a blogger at the left-wing ThinkProgress wrote.

Conservatives, other the other hand, dismissed the inquiry as a “gotcha question” and the subsequent response as manufactured outrage designed to make Rubio, viewed as a future star of the Republican Party, look bad.

Rubio aides, however, don’t seem to be sweating it.

“We thought it was a good interview, so it’s great people are talking about it and (hopefully) linking to it,” spokesman Alex Conant told The Daily Caller."

Why I'm Thankful in 2012 -- Doug Patton

The older I get, the more I realize the importance of the little things that are right in front of me to appreciate all year long. So, once again, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, this uniquely American holiday, here is the list of blessings for which I am thankful in 2012.

First and foremost, I am thankful to God, who gives me what the Bible calls "a peace that passes all understanding." This was at the core of the first Thanksgiving celebration in Colonial America, as red men shared their bounty with white men, and early Americans gave thanks to Almighty God for the gift of life.

I am thankful for my loving bride, Pam, a beautiful, talented, godly woman who has borne my troubles and my children, who has been my life partner and my prayer warrior, my trusted counselor and my best friend for 43 years and counting. As always, she will insist on rising early on Thanksgiving morning to prepare the traditional home-cooked dinner for the family she loves.

I am thankful for our sons. Both of them grew up far too fast, and as they went out to make their own way in the world, they left behind a trail of memories for their mother and me. This Thanksgiving, as always, we will once again rejoice in their company and the gift of the five grandchildren they have given us.

I am thankful for the warmth of a wonderful old home filled with character and history, built by my wife's grandfather in the winter of 1915. The land on which it sits is covered with large oak trees and has been in her family since before the Civil War. The story goes that the frozen Nebraska topsoil had to be blasted open with dynamite, and the basement dug out using a team of mules. Since then, the home has never been out of the family, and for the last 33 years we have called it our home.

In a corner of the living room sits a handmade antique rocking chair with a long history of its own. It was a wedding gift from my great-grandfather to his new bride in 1900, and it has rocked five generations of Patton babies. In Pam’s art studio upstairs sits another old rocker with a similar past from her side of the family.

I am thankful for the people in my life who know me well and still love me. You know who you are. As I told one of my sons many years ago, during a lecture about peer pressure, the people who love us will still be here long after the people we try so hard to impress have forgotten our names.

I am thankful for the Founders of the United States of America, who risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor that I might be born in a free country. When I consider the odds of having been placed here in this nation at this moment in time, I cannot do the math. With so many billions of people in this world who live in political, economic and/or spiritual bondage, I am in awe of the blessing God has granted me.

I am thankful for the Declaration of Independence, which acknowledges that my rights come from God, not from man. I am thankful for the Constitution — especially the First Amendment, which guarantees us the right to worship God freely and me the right to express my opinion in this column every week.

I am thankful that I still live in a Constitutional Republic, where the ballot box has consequences and the people are able to make corrections to the course on which our leaders have put our nation, and that in this land I love, power is transferred peacefully, following free and open elections.

We have plenty of problems. Political scandal, fiscal cliffs, budgets, tyrants and corruption — all these will be there next week as topics about which I can opine. This week, I just want to be thankful. May we all be thankful, and may God richly bless America and her people in these trying times.
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© 2012 by Doug Patton
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Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.com and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton. For info on using Doug’s columns at your publication or website, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Platte Institute Agrrees with Heineman on State Exchange Issue

We have the following from our friends at the Platte Institute and it is obvious that they are glad Governor Heineman made the right decision on opting out of a state controlled insurance health exchange.   In fact, with the number of states that are doing this and the fact that the federal government hasn't allocated funds to run these exchanges perhaps there is still a chance to at least partially kill this insidious thing known as Obamacare by starving it to death!

"Trending: States rejecting state-based health insurance exchanges citing high costs and lack of meaningful local control.
 
The Platte Institute was pleased to see Nebraska join other states including Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Missouri, Indiana, Maine, South Carolina, Kansas and Wisconsin in declining to create a state-based health insurance exchange. State-based insurance exchanges are too costly for taxpayers and lack meaningful local oversight.
 
The Platte Institute for Economic Research has been steadfast in presenting information about why and how Nebraska lawmakers can oppose implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), more commonly known as Obamacare.
 
In April of 2011 the Platte Institute brought in Michael Tanner, CATO Institute Senior Fellow, to present "Bad Medicine: A Guide to the Real Costs and Consequences of the New Health Care Law." This study points out the pitfalls of state-based health care exchanges, including lack of local control. A December 7, 2011 Platte Chat encouraged Nebraska to oppose a state exchange due to the cost to Nebraska taxpayers and federal control of the program, "Say No to Health Care Exchange." In February of 2012 Platte Institute brought in Michael Cannon from the CATO Institute to testify against a state exchange at the Unicameral Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee hearing. And in March and July of 2011 Platte Institute again sounded the alarm that "Health Care Exchanges Don't Work," and offered suggestions on how to proceed, "The Next Step on Health Care."
 
Most recently, Platte Institute partnered with the CATO Institute and Americans for Prosperity-Nebraska to have Michael Tanner come to Nebraska again and present reasons for states to resist the implementation of Obamacare. In addition to the cost to local taxpayers and the lack of any local control, Tanner detailed additional reasons to resist setting up a state-based insurance exchange:
  • If states decline to create an exchange and default to the federal exchange, there is doubt that the federal government has the funds to do so. Congress has not even appropriated any funding for this purpose.
  • One PPACA provision makes insurance subsidies available only through state exchanges. The federal government cannot offer subsidies.
  • PPACA requires employers with 50+ workers to provide health insurance or pay a tax, but only if at least one employee qualifies for subsidies under the exchange. So if subsidies can be provided only through state-authorized exchanges, states could theoretically block the employer mandate by refusing local exchanges. This loophole could be addressed legislatively, but would be open to legal challenge.
Fiscal analysis of budget impacts for Nebraska done by the Department of Insurance and the Department of Health and Human Services calculate the cost of a state insurance exchange for Fiscal Years 2013-2020 at $646 million; while the cost of a federal insurance exchange is $176 million. The cost of a state exchange to Nebraska taxpayers is $470 million more than a federal exchange.[i]
 
Perhaps chief among the reasons cited by states that have defaulted to the federal exchange is that state-created exchanges are not state-controlled exchanges. Governors who have rejected exchanges have said exchanges will be controlled in Washington with no meaningful local input. [ii]
 
Some states took preemptive action in an attempt to prevent the implementation of the PPACA. Operating an exchange is actually illegal in 14 states. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia have enacted statutes, constitutional amendments, or both, forbidding state employees to participate in an essential exchange function: implementing individual and employer mandates. [iii]
 
Many Governors have lamented that the Obama administration has repeatedly refused to provide crucial information state officials need to make their decision. [iv] Nebraska sent a letter requesting additional information on September 6 and has not yet received a response.
 
For these and other reasons, the Platte Institute agrees with the decision to decline a state-based insurance exchange for Nebraska.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Heineman in Good Company

It seems Governor Heineman is not alone in his wise decision to tell Kathleen Sebelius and Barack Obama what they can do with their health care exchanges.   There are now 19 states that have said, 'You run it!".   More are considering.

Here's an article from NetRight Daily with more information:




Obamacare implementation craters under state objections

By Rick Manning —

"The national health care law jumped back into the headlines last week as a deadline for states to decide whether to establish individual state health care exchanges approached and then was extended by the Obama Administration to December 14.
The delay was requested by the Republican Governor’s Association whose members had posed questions of the Obama Administration about the law over the past few months that remained unanswered.

Over the past week, the list of states not participating in the system has grown to nineteen as the states of Wisconsin, Ohio and Nebraska chose to join sixteen others in rejecting the state health insurance exchange that is called for under the Obamacare law.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin announced his choice in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday writing, “No matter which option is chosen, Wisconsin taxpayers will not have meaningful control over the health care policies and services sold to Wisconsin residents.”

Walker’s letter continued by stating, “If the state option is chosen, however, Wisconsinites face risk from a federal mandate lacking long-term guaranteed funding.”
Other governor’s from around the nation weighed in against the state exchanges with Ohio Governor John Kasich announcing, “Turning down a state-based health exchange and saying no to federal regulation of Ohio’s health insurance industry and Medicaid eligibility determination is the best approach for Ohio.”

Maine Governor Paul LePage wrote to Sebelius explaining why his state won’t implement the state exchange saying, “In the end, a state exchange puts the burden onto the states and the expense onto our taxpayers, without giving the state the authority and flexibility we must have to best meet the needs of the people of Maine.”
The state health care exchanges are a creation of the Obamacare law where the state would create a massive database of health insurance options that those without insurance could access. The state is given the option under the law to either create the exchange or to leave it up to the federal government to provide it.

Another under-reported aspect of the law is that the statute itself only allows the state exchange to levy penalties against employers who are accused of not following the requirements of the law. After the law passed it was discovered that federal exchanges do not have the authority to impose penalties. Upon this discovery, the IRS hurriedly wrote regulations claiming that power contrary to what the law allows.

Employers in states without a state exchange will have the option of contesting any penalties in court with a reasonable likelihood of success due to the IRS’ extra-legal regulations.

The probable net effect is that states whose governors refuse to enact state exchanges will put their states at a significant economic advantage over those businesses in states with one. The promise of lower health insurance costs will help employers in these states who want to expand without worrying if hiring an additional employee will throw themselves into new Obamacare taxes.

Currently, nineteen states are rejecting the state exchanges, sixteen states are enacting them, three are attempting a state/federal exchange hybrid, and twelve will decide before the new December 14 deadline.

The undecided states are: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia."

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.


Read more at NetRightDaily.com: http://netrightdaily.com/2012/11/obamacare-implementation-craters-under-state-objections/#ixzz2CgRlvckn

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cartoon of the Day


Romney Crushed in Largest Counties

Here is more from Sabato and his Crystal Ball on the 2012 election, and it's not good.  It simply says that the larger counties are great fodder for Democrats and Democratic vote.

As an aside, we here at the Objective Conservative, believe that Omaha and Douglas County are becoming much more 'urbane' like these cities.  From our standpoint, this will make it an even greater challenge to elect Republicans in the future here at home.


" …but Romney crushed in the biggest counties

Obama’s failures in rural Appalachia are worth noting, but even more so are Romney’s setbacks in the nation’s 50 most populous counties.
Romney won only six of the nation’s 50 largest counties (as measured by the Census Bureau). This was a significant drop-off from the last two winning Republican presidents, George W. Bush in 2004 -- who won 16 of these 50 counties in 2004 -- and George H.W. Bush in 1988 -- who won a majority of these counties, 29-21, in his victory over Michael Dukakis.

Chart 3: Presidential results in the 50 largest counties currently, 1988, 2000 and 2012



 
Notes: Counties based on 2011 Census estimates. The 2012 election results are from Politico; 2000 and 1988 are from Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Elections. Counties listed in order of population size.
Note that the Democratic margin in these counties generally increased over the three elections in question; granted, this is not necessarily an apples to apples comparison -- we’re comparing a Democratic victory to two Republican victories, and the 50 biggest counties today were not the 50 biggest 12 or 24 years ago -- but it’s still fair to say that just as Democratic strength is waning in rural America, it is growing in the country’s most densely populated counties."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cartoon of the Day


Why the Governor Said "No" and Why Others Should Do So

If you are wondering why Governor Heineman and, hopefully, other Republican governors across the nation have or should say no to state exchanges, perhaps this from Tony Perkin's Washington Report will help you understand.  At the last minute, Kathleen Sebelius gave governors an additional month to make their decision.    Governor Heineman didn't need the extra month nor do those others still considering what to do.

"Losing the White House was tough, but in two years, conservatives may look back and realize they won the foundation for the future--in the states. Republicans' moderate message may have blown it nationally, but conservatism continued to rack up governorships at a surprising clip. After last Tuesday's election, they now control 30 of the 50 states' top jobs--the most for either party since 2000. Even North Carolina, which had gone 24 years without a Republican at the helm, elected one. Obviously, November 6 was not the failure of conservative principles that some pundits are painting it as. Instead it was a failure of Washington to lead by those principles.

In the states, voters are rewarding the men and women who govern without compromise on strong values, limited government, and fiscal responsibility. They've seen the benefits of it as more states reap prosperity from lower taxes, reformed entitlements, and budget surpluses where there were once deficits.

Today, these governors have an opportunity to do something equally significant: hold the line on the President's health care law. As we speak, conservative governors from across the country are meeting in Nevada with one burning question on their minds. Will they bar the door from ObamaCare or give in to the temptation to join the health care exchanges in their states? Because of how the policy is structured, the road to ObamaCare leads straight through the governors' desks. Based on the Supreme Court's decision, the federal government has to implement the President's program, but it cannot force states to run it. So don't fall for the line from governors like Rick Scott who are now saying that ObamaCare is the law of the land and suddenly states have to fall in line. They don't.

With 60% of states under GOP management, 180 million people have plenty of reasons for optimism. As FRC's Ken Klukowski explains in an excellent op-ed for Breitbart today, "If a state refuses to set up [a health care exchange], then the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will set up the exchange, but there will be no subsidies." The states that do participate will have to bear 10% of the financial responsibility for the health care law. But, as many governors, including Iowa's Terry Branstad pointed out today, "We don't want to get trapped in something we can't afford and can't be sustained."

That's because there is absolutely no guarantee that the federal government will have the money to hold up its end of the bargain in states every year. That opens up these governors to huge liabilities in the future. If Washington runs out of ways to finance its 90% share of the exchange, then it will simply transfer the burden to states. And, as Ken points out, once you're in--you're in. Governors who agree now are permanently putting their states on the hook for the 2,700-page law and the thousands of regulations issued by HHS in the years to come. "New regulations are coming out all the time, so the federal government has a blank check to profoundly change the [states'] system anytime it chooses."

The deadline for the governors' decisions is this week, although Republicans have asked for an extension. While this sounds like a no-brainer, even conservative governors have a lot to lose. Remember what happened to Governor Rick Perry when he zeroed out Planned Parenthood? The Obama administration retaliated by stripped his state's Medicaid funding. There is no telling what the President will threaten by way of federal programs or assistance if states refuse to join his exchange. But if these governors have the strength to withstand the pressure now, they'll be glad they did in five years, when other states are going bankrupt from the influx of poor people, the lack of federal help, the exodus of doctors to states without big government medicine, and the loss of sovereignty on a whole host of issues (like conscience).

Do your part to push your state in the right direction. Pick up the phone and encourage your governor to say "yes" to the future by saying "no" to ObamaCare now."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Obama and Appalachia

A little more on the 2012 election from Sabato and his Crystal Ball:



"Obama routed in Appalachia…
To see the change in the Democratic coalition over the years, first look at Appalachia. The mountainous region stretching from New York in the north all the way to Mississippi in the South was at one time a decent source of votes for Democratic presidential candidates: Southern Democrats Jimmy Carter (in 1976) and Bill Clinton (in 1992 and 1996) -- the last two Democratic presidents before Obama -- did reasonably well in the region in their victories: Carter won more than two-thirds of the 428 Appalachian counties in 1976, and Clinton won close to half (see chart below). In this election, the region was unkind to Obama; he won only 7% of Appalachian counties in his successful reelection bid last week. In fact, Obama lost every county in West Virginia, the only state wholly contained in Appalachia.

Chart 2: Democratic performance in Appalachia, 1976, 1996, 2008 and 2012


Note: *Counties included are the 428 counties and independent cities classified as part of Appalachia by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Appalachia, as defined by the commission, covers all of West Virginia and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.


Petraeus' Testimony Will Make Little Difference -- Doug Patton


The fall of retired Army General David Petraeus is a story as old as the Garden of Eden. Sin has consequences. It does not undo a lifetime of service, nor does it negate every good deed ever performed, but it leaves a mark, a scar, like nails driven into a fine table top. The nails can be removed, just as transgressions can be forgiven, but the scars will remain.
 
As anachronistic as it may sound in this day and age, David Petraeus has betrayed his own wife, debased another man’s wife, dishonored his profession and generally defamed the four stars he wore so proudly. And all that fruit salad on the uniform now hanging in his closet cannot erase the shame he has brought upon himself, his family and his nation.
 
The explanations for the Petraeus scandal run the gamut, from “it’s just sex” to “the White House has blackmailed him.” As usual, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. It is doubtful that a man willing to jeopardize his marriage, his family and his distinguished career for sexual pleasure in the arms of another woman would be so honorable as to resign from his post in disgrace if he were not forced to do so.
 
That said, many questions remain unanswered, the most important being this: Will a Congress that has allowed itself to be made largely irrelevant during Barack Obama’s first term have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to him and demand accountability now that he has been returned to office for another four years?
 
During Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial, even the supposedly honorable Joe Lieberman, who on the Senate floor spoke so disapprovingly of the president’s loutish behavior, in the end voted against Clinton’s conviction for lying under oath. As David Schippers, chief investigative counsel for the proceedings, wrote in his book, “Sellout, the inside story of the Clinton impeachment,” a member of the Republican Senate leadership assured him that if video evidence could be shown that Bill Clinton shot someone dead in broad daylight, they still could not get the two-thirds majority necessary to convict him — because Democrats would never vote to remove him from office.
 
My own sense is that there is not a single Democrat — and only a handful of Republicans — who would be willing to speak truth to power and then follow through on their words. Mitt Romney certainly did not make a major issue of the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya.
 
So as David Petraeus prepares to testify before a closed congressional committee about that shameful night, a resolve settles over those of us who do not believe the whole truth will ever be known. The newly reaffirmed tyrant, Barack Obama, will not allow it to be known.
 
After all, this is a president who has bullied his way through four years in office and been re-elected to a second term.
 
He has shipped guns illegally into Mexico and watched as people on both sides of the border were murdered by the drug cartels using them.
 
He has borrowed trillions from China in order to spend tax dollars to be collected from generations yet unborn, to fund stimulus programs that stimulate nothing be the growth of government.
 
He has rammed through a health care bill opposed by a majority of the American people, which will surely bankrupt the nation, then managed to see it ruled constitutional by a Supreme Court that apparently no longer understands what the Constitution even says.
 
He apparently went to bed while brave Americans were fighting for their lives in a foreign consulate, got up the next day and made up a flagrantly false story about the reasons for the attack, and then flew off to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraiser.
 
And because he has disregarded the whole process of submitting a budget to Congress, none has been passed during his entire first term.
 
And yet we gave him a second term!
 
He believes, with some justification, that those who returned him to office will believe whatever ridiculous story he tells them about anything — which is why it will likely make little or no difference what David Petraeus says behind closed doors before the United States Congress.
______________________________________________________________________________
© 2012 by Doug Patton
______________________________________________________________________________
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.com and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton. For info on using Doug’s columns at your publication or website, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com.
As we noted earlier in the week the spring city election campaign has already begun.  We mentioned the mayoral race but the race for the city council has just begun.  As you can see candidate Ed Truemper and supporters will be out campaigning on Saturday:

"Help Ed Truemper Spread the Word

Join us on November 17th for a lit blitz!

You are invited to help Ed Truemper spread his message throughout the District by volunteering for his first literature drop.

When: Saturday, November 17th starting at 10am
Where: Meet at campaign headquarters at 5807 Maple Street
What: Grab a map, some materials, and place literature in neighborhood doors (You don't have to knock and talk, just drive and drop!)

Bring a friend or two to help out.

Ed will be knocking and talking until 2pm so if you can't make it at 10am but want to help out before 2pm, let us know!


Please RSVP to Randi at (402) 551-0466 or randi@edtruemper.com

See you on Saturday!!"
As you no doubt know the 'native American' Elizabeth Warren defeated Scott Brown for the United States Senate in Massachussetts last week.   We thought the following e-mail sent to Moveon.Org supporters says a lot about Move On's efforts.   Just thought we'd share:

"Dear James:
I still can't believe it, even as I'm writing it. I'm in Washington, D.C. right now for the Senate's freshman orientation!
 
They have some strict rules around here, and I don't want to get caught passing notes. But I had to take a quick moment to say:
THANK YOU.
When I came up with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a lot of people in Washington said it would never happen. But not MoveOn. When Wall Street spent millions of dollars to kill the consumer agency, folks like you rolled up your sleeves and out-worked them.
So when I decided to run for the United States Senate, I knew that we'd need the heart, the guts, and the muscle of MoveOn members once again—and wow, did you deliver!
I am amazed and incredibly grateful for the $1 million that MoveOn members contributed to our campaign $5 and $10 at a time. I'm proud of every YouTube video you posted and every quote you shared to introduce your friends to our campaign. And I'll never forget the 750 volunteers that you recruited across Massachusetts in our critical Get Out the Vote efforts to push us over the top.
You took our message not only inbox-to-inbox but doorstep-to-doorstep. That's exactly what this campaign was all about.
We've already won two big campaigns together, but we've still got a lot of work to do.
That starts with getting people back to work. And we've got to make sure that millionaires, billionaires, and Big Oil companies pay their share. We've got to protect Medicare, Social Security, and health care. We've got to hold Wall Street accountable and level the playing field for working families.
 
I'm ready to fight for that, MoveOn members—and I hope you'll be there with me once again.
Thanks again for all you do."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Governor Gets it Right

Good for Governor Heineman.   He made the right decision for the state of Nebraska by letting the federal government establish an exchange.   We hope lots of other governors show the same courage by day's end.....

2012 Election 'Take-a-ways'

For those of you who don't follow Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball we thought we'd share some of his 'take-a-ways' from the election over the next few days.

"1. 2012 results mirror 2008
Crystal Ball Senior Columnist Alan Abramowitz points out in the chart below that how a state voted in 2008 was predictive of how it voted in 2012. The correlation between President Obama's margin in 2012 and his margin in 2008 across all 50 states and D.C. is .96. In other words, you can closely predict Obama's margin in 2012 almost perfectly from his margin in 2008; his drop from 2008 to 2012 was fairly uniform, and limited the number of electoral votes he lost from 2008.


Chart 1: Comparing 2012 Obama vote to 2008


The biggest outliers are Utah, where Obama did substantially worse than expected in 2012, and Alaska, where he did substantially better than expected. Mitt Romney’s Mormonism probably explains why Obama underperformed in Utah, and Sarah Palin’s absence from the national ticket might explain Obama’s uptick in Alaska."
Here is a good response to the anti-fossil arguments on the Keystone XL Pipeline being advocated by the 'nut-job' Jane Fonda Fleming Kleeb (See post immediately below).

Keystone XL pipeline deserves a second look

By Cindy Schild, American Petroleum Institute

"It’s been four long years in the making. There was media praise and scrutiny. There were meetings upon meetings to explain how the next four years could be better. And in the end, we supported what we thought was in our national interest.

If only the Keystone XL pipeline could have enjoyed the same fate as President Obama. There are plenty of parallels that could be drawn between this past presidential campaign and the long road the Keystone XL pipeline has been forced down. Fortunately for Mr. Obama, he knew he would have an answer on November 6. But TransCanada and the 20,000 Americans who could be benefitting from new jobs going into 2013 haven’t been so lucky.

These facts haven’t gone unnoticed in the public domain. Mere moments after President Obama was reelected, policymakers and pundits alike named KXL as one of the first decisions the next president would be pushed to address. In considering a President Romney, the outcome was clear – he vowed to approve KXL on day one. But despite running a campaign built on an “all of the above” energy platform, there are still uncertainties around how an Obama administration will move forward with the project.

Are the job numbers too few? If the Canadian Energy Research Institute has anything to say about it, the job numbers could be even more significant than what would be created during construction. Considering the pipeline will begin in the oil sands of Alberta, development of the oil sands that is linked to KXL could support 117,000 new U.S. jobs by 2035.

Are party politics at play? Over the years, KXL has proven to be a bipartisan issue, as was recently demonstrated in the results of the 2012 election. Two states along the northern route of KXL, Montana and North Dakota, historically known to be Republican strongholds, elected Democratic senators who have been staunch supporters of the project.

Do we not need another pipeline? The President himself stood in front of miles of unlaid pipe in Cushing, Okla., this past March and declared that “we’re actually producing so much oil and gas in places like North Dakota and Colorado that we don’t have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it to where it needs to go.” A completed Keystone XL will indeed help transport more energy resources from our largest trading partner in Canada to American refineries.

But what many forget is that KXL is as much a connector to Canadian resources as it is to various American oil fields – transporting as much as 65,000 barrels of oil per day from the U.S. Bakken shale alone.

Is it the controversy over oil sands? Oil sands crudes have been found to be no more corrosive than any other crude oil that has been transported through American pipelines for decades. Even the U.S. State Department, which has jurisdiction over approval for international infrastructure projects like pipelines, found that KXL would “have a degree of safety over any other” pipeline, and would produce only “limited adverse environmental impacts.”

After numerous public hearings, seven congressional votes, and 57 safety measures agreed to by TransCanada, what is the Obama administration waiting for? Public polling throughout 2012 suggests that the majority of Americans are in favor of Keystone XL. Even in Nebraska, a state that has twice encouraged TransCanada to change the pipeline’s route through the state, supports the project by a margin of more than two-to-one.

The Keystone XL pipeline is more than just a political talking point; it fills a critical infrastructure void as our nation moves toward becoming the largest oil producer in the world, creates much needed jobs, and meets – and exceeds – both Canadian and American regulatory standards for pipeline safety.
Whether it’s a Secretary Clinton or another appointee who evaluates the final State Department environmental review of the project in the new year, the facts support the decision to find Keystone XL in our nation’s interest. We can’t afford “four more years.”"

Schild is a senior manager of Downstream at the American Petroleum Institute and the executive director of Oil Sands Fact Check.

Jane 'Fonda' Fleming Kleeb Not About To Give Up

The 'nut-job' Jane 'Fonda' Fleming Kleeb isn't about to give up on her effort to destroy the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline not only for Nebraska but for the entire nation.     Let's face it, she just thinks that the U.S. can be powered for the IMMEDIATE FUTURE by solar and wind power and apparently by letting the enemies of the country to continue to hold it ransom by their anti-American, terrorist dependence

So here is part of her most recent communication which tells us what she is going to be up to.  Fortunately for her and her effort she has a friend who will continue to occupy the White House for the next four years....



"Together we can stop the pipeline and use our voices to get our country moving towards clean energy. It all starts with standing in the way of Keystone XL. Three events are happening in the next few weeks, and we need you there to show there is no stopping Nebraskans from standing up for our land and water.
Dear President Obama
Nov. 18, 2pm
Online and in DC
Jane is bringing the pictures everyone took this past week to DC. You can watch the rally outside the White House live and online at www.boldnebraska.org. You can tune in at Noon CT to hear Bill McKibben's presentation on the pipeline and climate change. Folks in DC will march from Bill's talk to the White House at 2pm CT.
Do the Math Tour with Bill McKibben
Dec. 1st, 7-9:30pm
Joslyn Museum, Omaha


Author and leader Bill McKibben is on a national tour to talk about climate, oil subsidies and the pipeline. DJ Spooky will be at the event. Reception at 5pm. Doors open to theatre at 6pm. Show starts at 7pm.
DEQ Hearing, NEAT Meeting and Rally
Dec. 4th, 4pm
Albion


The DEQ Hearing announced they will hold only one hearing on the proposed pipeline route. Even though citizens have sued the state of Nebraska over the DEQ process, it is critical that we show up and formally testify about the risks of this route, tarsands and property rights. The DEQ hearing starts at 6pm, but we are holding a NEAT landowner and supporter meeting and a rally beforehand. If you are coming, please fill out this form letting us know what topics you will cover in your testimony.
We stand in the way of TransCanada's risky pipeline. No Washington insider will stop this pipeline. The citizens of our state will protect our land and water, and it continues by joining us at these events. If you have any questions, please email us at info@boldnebraska.org."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stothert For Mayor



We noted already the fact that the campaign for mayor and city council is on.  Along with Dave Nabity's e-mail (below) we received the following one the same day from City Council Woman Jean Stothert who was very visible in her effort to elect Republicans during the last months--something we didn't see from other Republican candidates.

Here is what Jean had to say, and incidentally, you might note from our calendar (below right) that Jean is hosting the Omaha Republican Business and Professional Meeting next Monday at her home..

p.s. Incidentally, we are told several of those who gave money to Nabity have given Stothert money as well and that some on his invitation list did not authorize the use of their names.

--------------------------------------------------

"Well, it’s over.

President Obama will be on the job for 4 more years. Like many, I am disappointed, but now is not the time to be discouraged.







Those who created the framework for our great country centuries ago would be shocked at how big, expensive and unreachable our federal government has become. In many ways, it has become too large to run efficiently, and is too costly to be effective.



But, we cannot give up. The future of our great country is at stake and we owe it to those who preceded us, and to those who will follow, to continue to make this country a beacon of freedom and liberty.



What’s more, many local issues are the ones that affect us most directly – every day issues like the condition of our roads and bridges, and the steadily increasing tax burden placed on us by City Hall these last 3 years.



But there is something we can do. With the federal elections over, we can turn our attention to matters closer to home, where your involvement and support of local candidates can make a big difference.






Many of the challenges we face today in Washington are being repeated in Omaha:







o The federal debt in Washington is jeopardizing our financial future, just as overblown union pensions are threatening our city finances;





o a detached and wasteful federal government resembles the often shady, secret dealings of our current city leadership;





o the political gridlock in our nation's capital can be seen here in the "my way or the highway" approach of our current Mayor.



The good news is - we can do something about it! Our message of change, to a more conservative approach to running our city is a strong and winning message. But, we need to get the word out and that takes campaign funds. I would be so honored if you would join me and contribute $500, $100, $50, $25, or as much as you can, today.





If you are tired of the leadership that brought us secret pay raises for political appointees, then it's time for a new Mayor.





If you are optimistic - as I am - about our great and vibrant city and the potential that is ahead, then it is time for a new Mayor.





Together, we will make Omaha's future even brighter.










Thank you for dedicating yourself to making a difference.




Sincerely,