Weekly Musing 9-8-13
I’m a Republican because…
I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.
I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.
I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.
I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.
I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations, and that the best government is that which governs least.
I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.
I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
FINALLY, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.
Syria: I am NOT an Isolationist nor a Non-Interventionist. I believe America does have a unique role to play in the world. However, I see NO strategic interest in the United States getting in the middle of a civil war…especially since our best case scenario is helping the best of two or more evils win.
Syria, Russia & China: Forget the bombs, sable rattling and putting Americans at risk. The proper response to the games being played is to move forward and put a missile defense system in Poland or the Czech Republic, sell Taiwan the additional defensive weapons they have requested and insure our ally Israel is prepared to defend itself.
U.S. Senate – MI: Dr. Rob Steele sent out an email this week letting folks know he is still considering his options to run for the Republican nomination. He joins National Committeewoman Terri Land and Oakland County Judge Kim Small who are all at various stages of their decision making process. Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra announced he will not seek the nomination. Clearly Michigan Republicans see this as an opportunity of a life time!
The Stupid Purge: So now we have a self-appointed group of “true conservatives” who want to purge everyone who doesn’t agree with them 100% (OK, maybe 90% with certain pre-approved exception) from the Republican Party. If you “purge” those who agree with you 70% to 90% of the time, you are VERY LIKELY to help elect those whose policies you abhor 80% to 100% of the time!
Center-Right Coalition: The Republican Party has traditionally been a “center-right coalition” formed to elect citizens who agree with us “most” of the time. It’s NOT a question of “moderate” vs conservative, but rather a question of winning elections to effect public policy. We need to fight our fights and nominate our candidates in the primary, and then support the most conservative candidate who can win. Otherwise we lose…we lose on policy, we lose culturally and we lose on principle to the left.
The Real RINO’s: A “Republican in Name Only” is maybe the “activist” who claims to be a Republican but the “walks” away from the Republican nominee if “their” candidate isn’t nominated. They vote third party or stay home, helping the Democrats elect the more liberal candidate. From the party’s perspective, this is true for Republican conservatives, libertarians and moderates.
RINO Test: In the last presidential election, as a Republican, I would have worked for and voted for either Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and/or Ron Paul – whomever would have been “our” nominee. A “RINO” would not have said that!?!
Raising the Minimum Wage: “Most minimum wage earners are not in poverty, yet their employment opportunities are impaired as well as those who are. This is but one of the poorly designed policies that are created by politicians who have little or no understanding of how business works. They promise higher legislated wages or other benefits to constituents who don’t understand the true economic impact in order to gain votes.” Forbes 12/13/12
Anuzis on Off the Record | September 6, 2013 | #4311
This week’s vote to expand Medicaid in Michigan, and conflict between Governor Snyder and the Tea Party. The guest is Saul Anuzis, former state GOP chair. Bill Ballenger, Emily Lawler, and Chad Livengood join senior capitol correspondent Tim Skubick.
There are two segments, one during the regular interview and then there is an “overtime” segment that apparently some self annointed conservative “judges” find offensive.
It really is time a third party…maybe even a fourth so folks can actually participate where they are move comfortable.
Only in America!?! Federal Judge Rules Food Stamp Recipients Can Unionize
In a surprise ruling, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals issued a unanimous opinion supporting the right of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to unionize in order to assure equitable access to benefits, along with an uninterrupted flow of payments should the federal government be forced to temporarily shut down due to congressional budget stalemates.
P.S. it’s satire, but worth the read!
John Boehner: Tie debt limit to spending cuts
While the eventual result — the Budget Control Act — has flaws (especially the “sequester” that President Obama developed and insisted upon), it has actually reduced federal spending for the first time in decades.
There is no need for market-rattling showdowns or brinksmanship in the discussion this fall. The sooner President Obama starts to work with both parties to solve Washington’s spending problem, the better it will be for our economy.
This issue isn’t just about dollars and cents. Unless we deal with this spending problem honestly and forthrightly, our kids and grandkids are going to face a much dimmer future. And we simply won’t have prosperity — today, or in the future — unless we address the massive deficits and debt that are hurting our economy and jeopardizing the American dream.
The GOP Hasn’t Shown Up
There’s a lesson here for a national Republican Party that is still in the midst of soul-searching after the losses in 2012. Nearly a year later, the GOP still lacks a coherent vision, agenda and strategy for expanding its relevance. It’s lacking a broad-based message and the party’s leadership looks adrift despite the President’s 35% approval rating on the economy. GOP leaders in Washington continue to be played like a fiddle by the President, botching opportunities to highlight the Administration’s abuse of power and failing to put forth an aggressive plan to reduce the size of government. With more than 20 million people still out of work and the lowest workforce participation rate in decades, the GOP – the party that is supposed to carry the pro-growth agenda – has been absent. It now faces a conundrum on Syria which is also designed to highlight their inaction and insulate the President from criticism.
True, some might say that that the Speaker and Majority Leader have put forth meaningful proposals to reduce the deficit etc, but nobody knows what they are and they won’t get credit for any of them.
Saving the elephants from the rabbits
Most voters instinctively know that it’s time to “throw the bums out.” Yet it’s still tempting to give our own representative and senators a pass. Do they really deserve it, though? No, not if they played a role in creating this mess or were unable or unwilling to prevent it. The era of pretending that the Republican-establishment career politicians will save America is over.
It’s tempting also to buy into the defeatist notion that America cannot be saved or at least that one person cannot make a difference. It’s simply not true. One need look no further than the transformative influence that Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee have had upon the Senate. Imagine if they could have just one more warrior on their side. Or three more. Or five more. There is genuine reason for hope.
Despite voter ID law, minority turnout up in Georgia
Turnout among black and Hispanic voters increased from 2006 to 2010, dramatically outpacing population growth for those groups over the same period.
On the other hand, Georgia’s top elections official could not point to a single case of ballot fraud the voter ID law had prevented.
Jobless rate is worse than you think
On Labor Day, we celebrate the American worker. And more than four years since the Great Recession ended in June 2009, the unemployment rate is 7.4%, a big improvement from the high of 10% in the fall of 2009. Unfortunately, the rate is hugely misleading: Most of that improvement was for all the wrong reasons.
Remember, jobless workers are not counted as being part of the labor force unless they are actively looking for work, and the decline in the unemployment rate since its peak has mostly been the result of workers dropping out of — or not entering — the labor force.
According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, if the labor market were healthy, the labor force would number about 159.2 million. But the actual labor force numbers just 155.8 million. That means about 3.4 million “missing workers” are out there — jobless people who would be in the labor force if job opportunities were strong.
AMEN – Bolton: It’s time for the world to understand that Barack Obama and the United States are NOT the same thing
“My answer to that is ‘no’ and here’s the hard reality. It is entirely possible that there are humanitarian tragedies all around the world that tug at our hearts. But that doesn’t mean there’s an American interest, one way the other, in resolving the conflict. We’ve got huge interests at stake in the region as a whole, in Syria because of Iran in particular. But there are conflicts where there are no white hats and no American interests. People say we’re not the world’s policeman. That’s not the issue here. The issue here is that we should not use military force in pursuit of abstractions. We are not the world’s nanny.”
Five leadership lessons on Syria and military power for Commander-in-Chief Obama
President Obama’s Saturday speech on Syria (where he decided not to decide) offers at least five fine examples of how not to employ military power.
Consulting with Congress is, of course, exactly the right step to take before committing both U.S. armed forces and the American people to ventures overseas. But, how the president got to this point is a lesson in lousy leadership.
Citing Obamacare, 40,000 Longshoremen Quit the AFL-CIO
In what is being reported as a surprise move, the 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO, one of the nation’s largest private sector unions. The Longshoremen citied Obamacare and immigration reform as two important causes of their disaffiliation.
The Longshoreman leader said, “President Obama ran on a platform that he would not tax medical plans and at the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention, you stated that labor would not stand for a tax on our benefits.” But, regardless of that promise, the President has pushed for just such a tax and Trumka and the AFL-CIO bowed to political pressure lining up behind Obama’s tax on those plans.
McEllrath also went on to say that they support stronger immigration reform than the AFL-CIO is supporting.
90,473,000: Record Number Not in Labor Force–Up Almost 10M Under Obama
The number of Americans who are 16 years or older and who have decided not to participate in the nation’s labor force has pushed past 90,000,000 for the first time, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS counts a person as participating in the labor force if they are 16 years or older and either have a job or have actively sought a job in the last four weeks. A person is not participating in the labor force if they are 16 or older and have not sought a job in the last four weeks. – See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/90473000-record-number-not-labor-force-almost-10m-under-obama#sthash.xgz1F5oZ.dpuf
Fight Fire With Fire – I Like this Idea!
No one will confront Obama the way he deserves to be confronted because he is black. Actually he is half black, raised by whites and one Indonesian but no matter, since racist liberals have made the color of one’s skin decisive. It is because Obama is a minority that no one will hold him to a common standard; or confront him with what he has actually done. Any political consultant will tell you that you can’t. This is how race conscious and race-prejudiced our country has become.
This is why Republicans lose elections. Because what is true of Obama is true of the Democratic Party and the socialists generally. They present themselves as the party of minorities, whom they use as human shields whenever they are attacked, portraying their critics as indecent and racist. If we can’t hold Obama accountable, how can we hold any Democrat, any liberal or any socialist accountable? Because this is how they fight, and will do so until a counter-strategy is put in place.
My purpose in coming here today is to outline such a strategy, one that will take down the socialists at election time, and between election times, and defend the market-based democracy we all hold dear. Defend it when we are attacked as racist, insensitive and unfair. Which is how they will always attack us.
What Do We Stand For?
As the United States, led by the Administration of President Barack Obama, moves toward yet another possible war in the Mideast, using covert terrorists as proxies and enacting violent policy based on dubious or nonexistent evidence and far-flung accusations, I realize that with all the blathering voices out there telling us what to think, what to do, what to fear, whom to admire, whom to worship, how to live and what to aspire, perhaps it is time for each of us to solemnly question what we stand for and what America is supposed to stand for.
Nine Women Remaking the Right
While the Republican National Committee brass writes autopsies for the party’s 2012 losses and GOP lawmakers in Congress fight with each other over who’s a true conservative and who’s a wacko bird, a new generation of Republican women is breathing new life into the Grand Old Party. Here, nine GOP women with the potential to revitalize the right. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will.
How Fragile Is the New Democratic Coalition?
In the simplest terms, Democrats started to win populous suburban counties in big states with lots of Electoral College votes beginning with Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign in 1992, at the same time that they began to lose sparsely populated rural counties, many of which lie in small states with very few Electoral College votes.
Take two states as an illustration of this phenomenon: small, thinly populated West Virginia and populous, relatively suburban Pennsylvania.
Political commitments are molded by a wide-ranging array of forces from economic security to the type of job a voter holds to his or her place in a status hierarchy or a community. This complexity, and the built-in potential for new fissures, means that any political coalition — whether it’s constructed on the model of a big tent or of a working partnership — is inherently fragile. How well equipped is the Democratic party to smooth over differences between its wealthiest and its poorest supporters, its most culturally liberal and its most culturally traditional voters? Does the Republican Party have the ability to fracture this new Democratic coalition?
Did Twitter Kill the Boys on the Bus? Searching for a better way to cover a campaign
“[John] Dickerson’s take: ‘If I were running an actual news division, I would probably ban people from Twitter in some way.’ That Dickerson, one of the more forward-thinking and tech-savvy reporters in the business, would even consider such an idea speaks to how frustrated many campaign veterans are with today’s shoot-first-and-update-later style of political journalism. David Carr of The New York Times said he would enact a curt but elegant Twitter policy if he were running campaign coverage: ‘Tweet less, dear colleagues.’ ‘I unfollowed a lot of political reporters, because you are tweeting for your colleagues, you are not tweeting for me,’ Carr said. ‘I would say, put the phone in your pocket. Start focusing on the people that are in front of you. Don’t worry about so much what the other guy is doing. Be willing to play off the ball.”
Xi Jinping reshapes his foreign policy team
China’s government has undergone several key leadership changes since Xi Jinping assumed office earlier this year, including reshaping his foreign affairs team, the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily reports.
Qiushi, a journal under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, recently run an article by state councilor Yang Jiechi, indicating that the former foreign minister has replaced Dai Bingguo as the new director of the general office of foreign affairs leadership group of the Central Committee.
China Developing Super Electromagnet Pulse Bomb To Use In War Against U.S.
China is gearing up for war against the United States and their top weapon is a super electromagnetic pulse bomb that can blanket the U.S. and send America back to the dark ages in less than one second.
Past reports from Chinese military websites and Asian newspapers have outlined a several attacks that China could launch to win a war against the more technologically and militarily advanced United States.
Half Of The United States Lives In These Counties
Using Census data, we’ve figured out that half of the United States population is clustered in just the 146 biggest counties out of over 3000.
Here’s the map, with said counties shaded in. Below the map is the list of all the counties, so you can see if you live in one of them.
The 37%: The real number that should haunt the GOP
It’s feasible the next Democratic nominee for president could win the White House by accruing just 37 percent of the white vote.
That’s one of several staggering statistics that jumps out in Ron Brownstein’s fresh examination of Republicans reliance on the white voter for National Journal.
Here’s the key graph that encapsulates the daunting math the GOP faces in 2016 if it doesn’t make significant inroads with non-whites:
If minorities reach 30 percent of the vote next time, and the 2016 Democratic nominee again attracts support from roughly 80 percent of them, he or she would need to capture only 37 percent of whites to win a majority of the popular vote. In that scenario, to win a national majority, the GOP would need almost 63 percent of whites. Since 1976, the only Republican who has reached even 60 percent among whites was Reagan (with his 64 percent in 1984). Since Reagan’s peak, the Democratic share of the white vote has varied only between 39 percent (Obama in 2012 and Clinton in the three-way election of 1992), and 43 percent (Obama in 2008 and Clinton in 1996).
Enemy Inside the Wire: The Untold Story of the Battle of Bastion
One year ago this month, under cover of night, fifteen Taliban, dressed as American soldiers, snuck onto one of the largest air bases in Afghanistan. What followed was a bloody confrontation highlighting a startling security lapse, with hundreds of millions in matériel lost in a matter of hours—the worst day for American airpower since the Tet Offensive. Yet the attack faded from view before anyone could figure out what went wrong. For the first time, Matthieu Aikins relives those heart-pounding moments and offers an extraordinary account of the Battle of Bastion..
The Stranglehold on Our Politics
The state government’s power over the redrawing of congressional districts every ten years is probably the single most determining factor of our political situation. It’s clear that the Republicans were successful in winning and using the 2010 elections as a prelude to the most distorted and partisan redistricting in modern times. Their approach was so different in degree as to be a difference in substance—and the post-2010 politics in Washington resemble nothing that has gone before. There has been something of a war raging among students of electoral politics over the role of redistricting in our current situation. But Sam Wang of Princeton, a neuroscientist who founded the Princeton Election Consortium, wrote in The New York Times earlier this year:
Political scientists have identified other factors that have influenced the relationship between votes and seats in the past. Concentration of voters in urban areas can, for example, limit how districts are drawn, creating a natural packing effect. But in 2012 the net effect of intentional gerrymandering was far larger than any one factor.
Moreover, the redistricting has become different from the process that we learned about in civics classes. Traditional “gerrymandering,” which had been practiced since the early 1800s, involved drawing weirdly shaped districts for the purpose of protecting incumbents. But in recent years redistricting has developed into a vicious fight for control of redistricting—though the shape of the districts can be just as weird.
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