Sunday, November 27, 2016

Eight Long Years

Eight Long Years ago I was finishing the final chapter of Doctor Jerome Corsi's book on election night. I had stopped watching the news coverage earlier in the evening. It didn't look good for Senator McCain. Of course, he didn't look good at any point during the campaign; a shadow-boxer unwilling to throw a punch. Earlier that year a younger, healthier Hillary Clinton started her primary campaign; one of entitlement and arrogance, only to be taken out of contention by a younger, upstart Senator that nobody had heard about before that year. So I was one of very few who decided to take a closer look and that's why I had read more than enough before I was halfway through Dr. Corsi's thorough investigation "The Obama Nation". I can't remember the hour. It was getting late though. The house was asleep, a baby Cooper in his crib. Lauren in her room and Amy fast asleep, preparing for another school day. I heard fireworks go off a couple of streets over. I knew in that moment that Obama had won.

Much of this Blog was observations and criticism aimed at the Obama administration's first term in office. We saw Republicans mount stalwart defenses, blocking many of BHO's unConstitutional power grabs, seeing the genesis of a movement dubbed the Tea Party, seeing Scott Brown elected to the "Kennedy Senate seat". Victories in the mid-terms for Republicans or perhaps more accurately, Obama-Care supporting Democrats paying the price with their constituencies. Victory in 2012 just required a candidate to capitalize on the case that had been made to so many of the uninformed and unwitting voters who supported Barry in the first election. Now Barrack Hussein was exposed as the socialist few understood him to be in 2008.

But the Republicans were too cute by half and nominated the loser (Mitt Romney) to the previous loser (John McCain).

When I woke up the morning of November 7th in 2012 I saw the look on Amy's face and much like the fireworks I heard in the previous election, it told me all I needed to know. I must admit that I was disbelieving. How could the Republican candidate lose when a clear case and a manageable path had already been made by the Tea Party conservatives?

Well here we are in 2016. That feeling all the Hillary supporters are experiencing, I can identify with it. But their candidate, much like Romney, never made a compelling case to the voters. And she was mired in scandals, this time of her own making rather than a matter of Bill's "indiscretions" and poor judgement.

But that wasn't going to be enough by itself. A bombastic neophyte candidate; a "reality show" performer, a producer of beauty pageants, a bankruptcy prone casino owner -- never mind the Billions in real estate wealth he'd amassed - he had to become the champion for the people. He tapped into the anger, the utter outrage of the "Forgotten Man". He was so effective and became a conduit for this rising tide of anti-establishment, revolutionary fervor that his own amateur missteps couldn't even dampen his momentum.

Eight years have passed. For some this is many "Lost Summers". Those who have remained marginally to unemployed during much of the administration. those who could never revive their credit rating, those who saw a mass exodus of jobs overseas and to immigrant (legal and illegal) labor. Nearly a decade is gone and for many so is the American dream. We've done well. I am not complaining or contemplating a better decade that might have been for my family. But our country has suffered unquestionably during the Liberal Left's long siege against our liberty and prosperity.

I went to bed before the results from the first states were even called this year. Amy and I early voted and then instituted a self-imposed media blackout for the last week of the election.  I woke up around 3:30 a.m. Having gone to bed so early it didn't really strike me as odd. Maybe I had felt a "disturbance in the Force". Maybe I heard "millions of voices crying out" but in this case they were NOT being silenced. I hesitated before checking the news feed on my tablet. I had been disappointed too often and was prepared for the worst. A Hillary presidency would cement the destructive measures her predecessor had made against America. As long as I didn't check the news anything was still a possibility. I thought about the day ahead. I had taken a vacation day just so I could avoid the gloating of those liberal Austinians at work. And after trying to delay the inevitability of a post-election day result I finally sat up, opened up my tablet and looked.

There were individual news alerts about victories in various states. Some states that were surely a surprise like Wisconsin. Others that were an absolute necessity like Florida and Iowa. And then, . . . what was this? Pennsylvania?!

Trump had won. Which more importantly meant, Trump had defeated Hillary and the Leftists.

And in retrospect it was better getting to watch the election results this way instead

This time I was awake before Amy. I tried to be quiet while I made these signs that would greet her as she came to the kitchen. A sheaf of paper fell so she watched me make the signs. I was not so much being coy as I was genuinely speechless. So I let the signs do the talking. This time she was in disbelief but joyfully so.

We hung the signs anyway so our soon-to-be 14 year old daughter could see the results of the penultimate Presidential election before she, herself could vote. After-all, these elections were about our children anyway. Their's were the "Summers" that have been "Lost".

Within the week Dick Morris would characterize this not as a "change election" nor a "referendum or mandate" but as a "peaceful revolution"

What were the words I could not utter to my wife but could only print on signs?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Very Personal Vision of the Future

All politics are personal. Someone said that. Many others have repeated it.
I believe that to be true. Otherwise, what's the point?

As millions of Americans (most of whom I've never met and will never know personally) go to the polls to elect someone that is going to have an impact on me personally, I think about my vision, not for America's future, not for their future but for my own individual, personal American future.

I want to wake up every morning next year with lower taxes and tax certainty. Because of this I'm able to save more, spend more and plan beyond the end of the month.

I want to read less, watch less and blog less about politics because government is adhering to it's Constitutional mandates and needs less watching.

I want Al Qaeda and every other radical faction of Islamist extremism to truly be on the run. I want China to be playing fair in the world economy and I want Russia, North Korea and Iran to fear our economic as well as our military strength. I want America's place in the world to be like it was when I served in the Army: a position of such strength that our enemies fear us and the world community truly respects us even if they don't love us. Because only then will the threat of yet another war be diminished.

I want there to be less poverty so taking care of those still living in poverty is easier and so my own extended family is less likely to be struggling to maintain a household and a middle-class standard of living. When my wife calls them it will be to talk about our nephews and nieces who are involved in activities, getting good grades and growing up with a positive outlook about their own future. My wife won't get off the phone with a worried look on her face leaving me to ask, "what's wrong?" only to hear about another lost job, a battle with a bank about a loan, declining health or an impending eviction.

I want to worry less about my parents losing their Medicare Part B coverage and having no control over the tests doctors order and the preventative medicine their chosen doctor prescribes because there will be no IPAB (rationing/death panel) between my parents and their health care.

I want to be taking my kids to sports practices and other extracurricular activities. I want the conversations with the other parents on the sidelines and in the back of the auditorium to be something other than, "when are we going to get rid of this guy, Obama? When are we going to get government out of our lives" or if we are talking about each others work it is how we feel secure in our jobs, how we are waiting for a promotion and how our companies are hiring more people instead of laying off coworkers.

I want to fill up my car and my wife's SUV on the weekends and end up paying so much less for a tank of gas that we still have money to take the kids to a movie or perhaps just take a drive somewhere out in to the country.

I want to turn on the TV in the evening and NOT see the President because instead of campaigning he's hard at work with his Cabinet and with the Legislative leadership getting big, important, essential things done for my country and when he's not doing that, he's not doing really anything because he knows that staying out of the way of capable and freedom loving people is the best and most American thing any President can do.

Because what I want is more freedom and less government intrusion in to my everyday life. I want the tidewaters of big government to be receding rather than advancing upward across the shoreline of my personal freedom.

And I choose that metaphor to end because I want to be on vacation, near a beach somewhere with my family, facing up the coastline, with my children in front of me, their shadows getting longer and taller as the bright sun moves across the sky. And if I am there next summer then I will be closer to my personal vision of my America.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Pamphleteer

In the early part of the primary season in 2008 I was having a conversation with an ultra-liberal friend who wanted to convince me that then candidate Obama had a clearly articulated agenda. I asked what it was. One or two elements at least. "Well, I am sure it's out there somewhere. On the website. Look there."

At the time this told me everything I needed to know. While Hillary was talking policy, much of which was a part of her lifelong liberal history in politics, Obama was talking platitudes and the ABB (Anyone But Bush) crowd was buying whatever he was shilling from the stump. People didn't really know who he was or what he intended to do. They just knew he was new and different from everyone else and that was good enough. It also told me that no one I knew was vetting the candidate and no one was drilling down on policy positions. Some of us bothered to do our own vetting of the candidate and we're not so surprised about the past four years. Perhaps my only two surprises are how rapidly he pushed a truly liberal agenda to fundamentally change America and how stalwart America has been in spite of the sheer force of the Obama agenda.

It's four years later and now we all know what we got out of this blind-bargain. Those still in the Obama camp are either coming from the same anti-American ultra-liberal position or they are committing the most massive rationalization of denial and self-delusion. The simple facts can't be argued. The general sweep of this administration has been one of broken-promises, either incompetence or a lack of interest in governing, or both resulting in unmitigated failure. America is worse off than it was four years ago and teetering on the brink of even greater economic catastrophe which will translate into more misery at the personal level of each and every citizen high, low and particularly the in between a.k.a. middle-class.

So the question is, what's Obama's next act? What will he offer to do if re-elected?

Well let's start with an understanding that those of us who vetted him the first time around paid close attention to his résumé. The difference between now and then is he can add Nobel Prize Winner and "acting" President of the United States. But the rhetoric tells us he hasn't really gained any job experience from the hyper-partisan approach to governing which led to the "shellacking" he and his party took in the 2010 mid-terms. Nor has he learned anything about an American public who has rejected Obamacare and other policies by an overwhelming majority. Nor has he gained an experience level as he trudges through the  dump-truck loads of scandals amassing on his White House doorstep, moving from one to the next in the same fashion of obfuscation, ignorance and obstinance (Inspector General Walpin, Security Breaches leaking details of Stuxnet and the Osama bin Laden raid, Fast & Furious, Illegal Campaign Contributions, WH Soyndra, Benghazi, etc.)

So looking back on the original résumé will tell us everything we need to know and show us everything we will get out of another four years of an Obama White House.

He has ghost-written multiple books about himself with scant few actual accomplishments. We will probably get yet another book. But the self-celebration of this megalomaniac will occur whether he is dictating it in the Oval Office or in the den of his Rezko financed house in Chicago.

He'll keep stalling and dodging the investigation of his scandal-plagued administration. And with no chance of being "Constitutionally" re-elected he won't even bother giving the most cursory appearance of transparency and cooperation.

But his one and only real job skill that stands out on his résumé,
if you can call it that, is campaigning. And that is borne out of a life of "community organizing".

I call him the Rabble-Rouser in Chief. His Alinsky-ite tactics have been on display for five years and on a national stage but the reason that some have written about the ever-shrinking President is that on a national stage, street corner rabble-rousing looks no bigger than it does on the actual street corners where he got his start.

He's gone from carrying a clip board, handing out voter registration cards, flyers to anti-American rallies and pamphlets to . . . well, the same thing on a national scale. Here we are seeing the final days of a campaign that started back in 2009. He's been working to maximize voter turn-out and his latest prop (some may call agitprop) is the 20 page full color pamphlet. This is the "plan" he was coaxed to provide by his opponents after failing to put get out in front after the debates.

As Romney so aptly put, "attacking me is not a agenda". This statement is so irrefutable and of course, underscores one simple reality. If Obama is reelected he no longer serves any purpose as President. He won't need to campaign for reelection and he can't accomplish any real benefit for American citizens by continuing to bash-Bush or attack a Romney who will no longer be running for President at that point.

My question about an agenda is finally answered although it was no easier to find then back in 2008 when I asked that friend what this largely unknown character was going to do for the country in his first term. I had to navigate past many pages that requested a campaign contribution just to be able to read the pamphlet without paying for it, at least not a second time.

The pamphleteer has recycled a lot of tired rhetoric and a fair dose of Romney's own ideas and packaged it up with meaningless graphs and staged photos of the President mugging the camera wearing faux-empathetic expressions.

Well, at least we all got more than 5 days to read it, unlike his promise about the daylight that major legislation would see, legislation that was rammed through with horse-trades and bullying.

But honestly, for a campaign that has been going on for years and not just months, why is it that the pamphlet, the "pathetic picture book", as Rich Lowry calls it, why was that released only 14 days prior to election day? It's because it wasn't really ever intended to be read. Obama himself dropped it on the stage floor and had to hunt for it during a campaign speech, then making a self-effacing joke about it.

His prop is not an agenda for our future. Neither are his attacks on Romney, Republicans, the "1%", job-creators, the energy sector and most of all middle-class Americans facing inflation, a shrunken and anemic economy and the biggest ever tax increase in our tax paying lives. (read about it here: )

If you are really undecided. If you are really taking your voting decision right down to the wire then read what is in the pamphlet and consider the question: "Is there enough in the pamphlet that is different from what I've already seen (and that hasn't really worked), that speaks specifically to me and will improve my life enough so that I would consider letting this guy run MY Country for another four years?"

But I think you already know the answer without even getting past the cover of this thin, glossy prop.

Americans need more than a pamphleteer. We need more than rhetoric. We need more than a community that is "organized" and we certainly need more than rabble that is roused to march towards the logo of a false-vision. We need a plan and we need a proven leader who is ready to make that plan a reality.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Path Without Ohio

If 2010 and the Tea Party taught us anything it is that the truly historic thing about 2008 is that history and conventional wisdom doesn't necessarily apply.

The left leaning pundits and the Beltway types keep pushing the idea that no President in modern history has been elected without Ohio. To which I say, the South used to be a bastion of Democrat electoral votes at one point in time and that is clearly no longer the case. If Dixie-crats still exsisted then why is there not a single electoral map that shows Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia in play as a swing state? Times change. This may be the year of the victory without Ohio.

The simple fact of the matter is there is at least one logical, mathematical formulation that gets Romney to 270 without Ohio. Here's one of mine.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Too Cute by Half?

My favorite part about the 3rd and Final debate is the word "final".

I don't know if I could take another one with all the Super Bowl pre-game build up that is only eclipsed by the post game "Spin room" sessions. I mean, they call it a "SPIN ROOM"! They could release the transcripts before the broadcast and before the actual debate for that matter and then I could go to bed at a reasonable hour.

If I've been ready to cast my vote in this election since the Spring of 2009 then I am twice as ready now.

The pundits on the Right say that Romney's Obama appreciation society was a smart tactic; part of a larger strategy. Very little daylight between their positions. Aimed towards capturing undecided women who are more likely to be war weary doves. In retrospect he was able to lock Obama in a boxer's hug, preventing his opponent from swinging big and landing any blows; ultimately taking Obama out of his own strategy to a point of frustration and visible irritation. Meanwhile, Romney just needed to come away looking "presidential" and not lose the debate or at least not lose it through some grande blunder. And the economy is Romney's big winner so diverting attention away from the domestic issues in the final weeks dilutes his strongest angle of attack.

And if it sends Obama back to Chicago in January, I guess I won't say much more about it. But for now . . .

I was really uneasy about a lack of punches by Romney in the final round of the heavy weight bout. I was made to feel increasingly uneasy as he agreed with Obama on so many foreign policy positions and even responded wrong "in the main" by 180 degrees to say that the mission was close to being achieved in Afghanistan which immediately evoked images of U.S. servicemen being gunned down by newly minted Afghani security forces. Its working, you say? Benghazi went asked (sort of) by Bob Schieffer and totally unanswered and unchallenged.

The Right is dining out days later on zingers about a shrinking Navy and Obama's lame and incorrect response about bayonets. There was really only one truly presidential, albeit Reaganesque moment when Romney went on the attack about the "apology tour". The long answer was very well delivered and perfectly capped off with “We don’t dictate to nations. We free nations from dictators.”

Obama was so flummoxed he turned his head and tried to get a lifeline from the moderator.

enough said.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Reagan Question or The 2012 Moment

Years ago, maybe as early as 2009 the bumper stickers and T-Shirts were popping up with the slogan

The comparisons and similarities were only compounded over the past four years by the petulance, the ridiculous "green" agenda that manifested as a war on fossil fuels and skyrocketing gasoline prices, a roiling sea of anti-American sentiment in the Middle East; essentially failed policies followed by negative results and blame-staking by the man in the oval office.

So as we entered the campaign season many of us have been waiting for the moment.

The pivotal moment in the 1980 election came in the one and only debate a little more than a week before the election.

Watch it here:

Last night we may have seen that moment.
In The Weekly Standard article by Jeffrey H. Anderson he writes

An undecided voter said to Obama, “Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I’m not that optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive.”
Obama immediately began his reply as follows:  “Well, we’ve gone through a tough four years. There’s no doubt about it.”

To which Anderson concludes Obama is admitting: I haven’t done or accomplished anything to earn your vote in 2012, and you’re right not to be as optimistic as in 2008, because it’s been a rough four years with me at the helm.  


Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Video Killed the Radio Star"

I seem to recall polls that were taken during one of the historic debates between Nixon and Kennedy. Radio listeners, hearing the content and, from a style perspective, only the intonation thought Nixon won. Of course, that debate was historic because the "optics" were very unfavorable to Nixon who looked small, sweaty (read as nervousness) and pale. The people who watched the debate on TV gave Kennedy the win.

Last night I was driving my daughter back from Volleyball practice and thanks to the wonders of a space age technology era (ushered in by Kennedy) I was listening to the start of the debate via satellite radio. I listened to a good 10 minutes of back and forth, heavy on statistics, verbal sparring, occasional jabs but I wasn't hearing anything that grabbed me and so I assumed there was a television audience who's eyes were glazing over. Where Romney was hanging a lot on this debate I felt that he was losing.

Between over-exposed Obama trying to sell the same, tired rhetoric peppered with some outright obfuscation of the facts and a lame attempt to co-opt Republican positions and Romney sounding like the Bain CEO reading a 10-k from one of the many public companies failing to reach their revenue goals in an Obama economy, well, I was growing not only disappointed but bored.

I switched off the radio. Came home. Got the kids to bed and thought I'd come back to it in the morning and hear the pundits who would use a salvo of coordinated DNC talking points to eviscerate Romney.

But I went to the DVR recording and once again, just as they did in the Nixon-Kennedy era, the "optics" provided a fundamentally different impression. The combination of the content and the visuals were in favor of Romney and Obama's own cheerleaders thought so based on their tweets and post debate commentaries.