Archive from February, 2011
25 Feb
2011
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Can Obama Pull A Reagan?

Here’s a short but sweet blog for a Friday night…Obama wants to emulate Ronald Reagan’s success in the 1984 elections. He’s hoping to ride a new economic expansion to a second term. There are many problems with this “hope”.

First of all, we have a pending, but huge inflation problem on the horizon – Reagan had rapidly declining inflation. Second, taxes were dramatically cut in 1982, whereas taxes are increasing now to Jimmy Carter-era levels. Third, we have near-record high oil prices. Fourth, we have high, long-term youth unemployment that is increasing, not decreasing like in 1984. Finally, for the first time since the 1930’s, private-sector wages are below the government’s.

Good luck winning next November, Mr. President. Or, as they say in Wayne’s World, NOT!

24 Feb
2011
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DO WE STILL STAND FOR THINGS?

Not long ago, liberals scoffed at the notion promoted by former Secretary of State Condi Rice and the last administration that the Middle East was ripe for democracy and that, if given the chance, the local population would embrace freedom, however difficult the transition might be.
“Oh no!” our liberal friends retorted. The Middle East, according to the Democrats, was too “politically entrenched” and had too long a history of authoritarianism to allow democracy to “take root.” Therefore, they concluded, our efforts in Iraq will come to naught and the entire region is destined to be forever ruled by despots.
Today we see an Iraq, though certainly not perfect, moving tenuously toward democracy. No question that the road there has been difficult and the American sacrifice enormous, but there is no denying that progress toward creating a civil society based upon democratic principles is being made.
I contend that it is this very progress at establishing democracy in Iraq which has encouraged and fostered the recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere. Yes, you read that right, I believe that the former administration’s commitment to establishing a democracy in Iraq is, in part, responsible for the great wave of protests and demands for democracy currently sweeping through the region.
And yet, despite this success (not unlike our success at defeating communism in 1989), where is America today? What is she doing to encourage this historic and inspiring march toward freedom? Are we managing the process with the skill and adeptness that President George H.W. Bush and his team used in 1989? Sadly, the answer is a resounding “No.” Rather than encouraging the calls for freedom, Mr. Obama has decided that the cautious approach is best, lest we “incite the thugs” and “encourage the violence.” President Carter (oh, sorry, I meant President Obama) doesn’t want to rock the boat, much like a hostage negotiator doesn’t want to upset a hostage taker.
With all due respect to Mr. Obama, I contend that if the United States is to continue to be the world’s “beacon of freedom,” we must never be afraid to speak out in support of democracy. Relationships and despots may come and go, but if America is to mean anything beyond just making money, worrying about how much gas costs and playing it safe, then we must be prepared to speak out and act in support of democracy no matter how risky or unpopular it might be (just ask George W. Bush). Only then, my friends, can we look in the mirror and really call ourselves Americans.

24 Feb
2011
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An Opportunity We Can’t Miss

At first, it is easy to be enraged by the radically left elements of the Democrats. It’s also easy to be amazed at how unapologetically far-left unions and their supports have been at rallies in the Midwest. It’s almost as if they are socialist and don’t care what the rest of the country thinks. You may think, “can they really be THAT myopic?”. Well, yes they can.

I was stymied at first, then came to realize the union protests are a political Godsend. We have an extraordinary political opportunity here, with the left being shrill and us being logical. Democrats are using the government shutdown playing card to hurt Republicans politically, as they did in 1995. Fortunately for us, that won’t work.

Obama isn’t as politically savvy as Bill Clinton, and John Boehner is much more well liked than Newt Gingrich (although both Speakers are great in my view). The public is much less sympathetic towards unions now, and the economy is far worse than in 1995. We must have strong, consistent message discipline. The liberal media already is saying Obama is “tacking to the center” to prepare for the 2012 Elections. Really? That’s an empty claim – no tacking to the center is happening, unless if some journalists started taking LSD during coverage of the story. We have to seize this chance to score a major political victory. We cannot allow the left to saddle us with extraordinary debt, while public sector unions enjoy salaries and benefits far above the private sector norm.

22 Feb
2011
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Note: NYYRC Book Exchange

At last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the NYYRC, club member R.D. Ferman recommended starting a Republican/conservative book exchange.

As a complement to this idea, the blog committee has offered to create a discussion pages for books that are being read by our members.  If you have any requests for books, please feel free to comment at the bottom of this page and the Blog committee will create an online discussion forum.

Reading what the greats have said before us is the best way to sharpen our political wits and instincts, and learn much about human history and human nature at the same time.  Some authors jolt you from complacency; others edify and direct; many do both, and more.

If I may be permitted to recommend the last 2 books I’ve had the pleasure to read:

H.L. Mencken’s Notes on Democracy and,

Albert Jay Nock’s Memoirs of a Superfluous Man

This period of authors did criticism very well.

20 Feb
2011
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Let’s Stand In Solidarity With Our Wisconsin Comrades

Just when you thought liberals couldn’t shift further to the left, well, they just did it again. Teacher’s unions have loudly protested even minimal contribution requirements to retirement and health care plans. Obama called the Republican sponsored plan to limit collective bargaining rights on contribution limits an “assault on unions”. Teachers refused to show up for work, and get this – so did the Democratic legislators that were supposed to vote on the proposal. They got on a bus and left – left the state that is.

When Gov. Scott Walker (R) said, “we’re broke” in Wisconsin, he meant it. Much of the industrial Midwest is suffering from the effects of the recent (and still ongoing?) severe recession. That means tax revenues have significantly declined. Why is it that teacher’s unions can’t accept budget cuts when so many Americans have had to cut their own? It’s because they have a philosophy that they are “public servants” and are entitled to free health care and state-backed, fully-funded pensions. They say it’s a matter of “fairness”. However, is it fair that most Americans contribute most of the cost of their health care and retirement, while teachers do not? Is it fair that OUR taxpayer dollars are funding this inequality? It’s disgusting to hear teachers talk about fairness when the median teacher salary nationwide is $48,000 per year versus $35,000 for the typical private-sector worker. Does “public service” entitle one to higher salaries when military personnel receive less pay than both groups? Is it fair that these unions are using children (that should be in school) to further their cause at the state capital?

Amazingly, liberal MSNBC ran an article last week about “out of control federal, state, and local government spending”. That’s not what you would expect from a liberal media outlet. It even reported that 64% of Americans do not support the Wisconsin teachers’ unions side of the argument. Republicans, we have an opportunity to win crucial swing-states in the Midwest in 2012 – Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. With the far-left drift many Democrats are moving towards, this should be easy. Let’s not be like Democrats “who snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”.

17 Feb
2011
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Painful Choices, Part 2

Fox News has reported that the President’s deficit reduction calculations fail to include interest on the national debt. White House budget staff members, who have been testifying before Congress, are focusing on “principal balances”. Feisty Republicans and the Obama Administration are using “credit card” analogies to describe and defend their positions. Obama indicated that by focusing on the “principal balaces” in the budget, it will help determine what interest is owed. Apparently for him, it’s not practical to factor existing interest, because we have to get the principal under control first to be able to make any interest projections.

Well, folks, as a individual who works in banking and is intimately familiar with credit cards, the prior period’s interest is included in THIS period’s principal. Regardless of what political persuasion that someone has, House Republicans got the finance correct this time. Interest on the national debt is 14% of the budget, last time I checked. Last fiscal year’s interest is included in this fiscal year’s new principal.

House Republicans got the (simple) finance right not because they’re Republicans, but because the nation’s “credit card” balance compounds the interest from one fiscal year to the next. Most Americans know that interest accrues on previous interest, including NEW principal. This is an inconvenient truth Obama tries to ignore, as liberals continue to mortgage America’s future.

16 Feb
2011
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Andrew Cuomo – the country’s best Democrat?

Let me preface this by saying that I am a proud and registered Republican and have been so for many years. I am also not accustomed to writing or saying many good things about the politics of the Democratic Party. But I think that we must give credit when credit is due – and that (for now) goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. From the looks of the polls, I am not the only Republican in NY State who feels this way. In the poll just released this week a strong majority of Republicans support him, as well as all other New Yorkers.

For Cuomo to be fighting for not just deficit reduction, but to reform the ridiculous budgetary laws that create mandatory increases in state spending (without taking into account how much the state is receiving in tax revenue), is in many ways admirable. This is a terrible practice put in place by historically left-wing special interests by their trusted cohorts like Sheldon Silver. Though I would expect a Republican to take these interests on, I admire the fact that Cuomo is attempting to go against these powerful groups. His calls to also deal with pension reforms, which will affect Democratic groups like the teachers’ unions is also commendable.

Even worse – as this NY Post article illustrates (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/gop_skeptical_about_skelos_k5xYaXH1nSYkeNh1I9UYQM)

 Dead Skelos is already signaling that he is caving into certain interests, in seeming to withdraw support for strengthening ethics laws. New Yorkers should know who is paying their elected leaders.

Do not get me wrong – the jury is still out. We must reserve judgment until the end of these budget negotiations. But for now, I am somewhat optimistic that the Governor has good intentions and the ability to stand up to his own base.

16 Feb
2011
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Hey Donald, You’re Fired!

The residual excitement from CPAC has left conservatives hearing more and more about master self-promoter and coiffure wonder boy Donald Trump.  While I admit to never finding the guy particularly likable, I understand he does possess a certain broad appeal to conservatives, and even some liberals.  (Full disclosure: After I heard he was stumping for Rahm Emmanuel, I knew I could never support him.)

Is he a real conservative?  Here is the Donald by the numbers.

For me, this section was all that mattered…

To know a man’s true convictions, the best place to look is often at his checkbook- so that’s just what I did.  I found it incredibly disappointing to see exactly where he sent his political contributions. Here are just a few- but for a full list you can click here.
  • 11/8/2010- $2,700-Democratic Party of Delaware
  • 10/21/2010 -$2,400- Anthony Weiner (D)
  • 9/20/2010- $10,000 – Democratic Committee of New York City
  • 2/18/2010 – $2,000- Anthony Weiner (D)
  • 4/7/2010 -$1,000 Charles Schumer (D)
  • 3/26/2009- $2,400 – Harry Reid (D)
  • 8/11/2009 -$2,000 – Bill Nelson (D)
  • 5/20/2009 – $2,000 -Charles Schumer (D)
  • Chuck Schumer?  Anthony Weiner?  Harry Reid?

    Are you kidding me?  After reading this report, I’m not even sure I’d encourage a candidate to solicit him for campaign contributions.  Likely chance that he’d be donating to the Democratic opponent!

    Republicans, we can do a lot better than this two-faced , bombastic jester.

    h/t Mark Levin via facebook

    15 Feb
    2011
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    Painful Choices

    The official budget for the US government’s 2012 fiscal year has been released to the general public. Obama claims that some “painful choices” had to be made. Republicans, meanwhile, were simply asking the President to follow recommendations of his own deficit and debt reduction panel, mainly composed of Democrats.

    Instead, Obama provided plenty of pork barrel spending. Also, he was not willing to begin scaling down Medicare and Social Security for future generations, against the advice of his panel. He even made a substantial cut in Pell Grants for low income college students, and cuts in food stamps. Can we say Jimmy Carter? Why would a liberal president stuff pork and hurt the poor at the same time? How foolish.

    What about the debt panel recommendations? Again, Obama wants Medicare and Social Security to exist in perpetuity, because he wants working and low-income households dependent on the Democrat Party for votes, for generations to come. They fear that if to many of these households become independent vis-a-vis funding their own retirement or competitively-priced private health care, they will vote Republican. Instead, they are fine with doctors and trial-lawyers milking the Medicare and Social Security systems to drive up costs and keep people dependent. Again, my fellow Republicans, we have no excuse not to win next year.

    14 Feb
    2011
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    Wishy-Washy, by Joe Mendola

    The current administration’s ongoing strategy on both the domestic economic front and in response to the dizzying events in the Middle East brings to mind that delightful book that I have enjoyed reading to my children. It’s called Mrs. Wishy-Washy and was written by Joy Cowley.

    Let’s start with Mr. Obama’s budget. Talk about wishy washy!! The President’s newly issued budget, even according to the always “objective” New York Times, “pivots” between stimulus and deficit cuts, all while leaving in place an annual deficit in excess of $1 trillion dollars. (You can be sure that our Democrat friends will try to blame that deficit on President George W. Bush but the truth is that the deficits under the Bush years were never nearly that high and were the result of wars being waged to protect our nation from attack.) How can Mr. Obama speak of fiscal responsibility when he proposes a budget whose deficit will crush any nascent economic recovery that may be trying to blossom? How can we expect to get our economic house in order if the federal government continues to spend with such reckless abandon? Is it logical that the government must spend over one trillion dollars more than it collects? How could that be? The President appointed a serious deficit reduction commission which issued some very concrete and worthwhile proposals. Not one is included in the President’s budget. To me this proves that he and the Democrats are not really interested in fiscal responsibility. Essentially when it comes to deficit reduction the President and his party are most definitely wishy-washy.

    As champions of individual freedoms and democracy, we Republican cheered at the recent event in Egypt. However, the extent to which we were inspired by the actions of the brave Egyptians, we were equally dismayed by the ineptness and lack of clarity emanating from the Obama Administration. As they did in 2009 in the face of the stolen Iranian elections and massive protests that followed, as the events in Egypt unfolded, the Administration seemed reluctant to embrace the call for freedom and to offer support to those seeking to rid themselves of the oppressiveness of authoritarian governments. Back in 2009, Obama said we could not overtly support the Iranian demonstrators because doing so would give the Iranian government an excuse to blame the protests on the US and shut down the protestors. So we said nothing and guess what happened? The Iranian government blamed us and shut down the protestors. In Egypt, the Administration’s message seemed to change not only by the day but also seemed to vary depending on the administrative official who was speaking. Imagine how Ronald Reagan or even, yes, George W. Bush, would have reacted. A single clear voice supporting democracy and freedom. Instead we have the hesitating, cautious approach or one which is, as my children might say, wishy-washy.