Saturday, September 10, 2011

"America's Mayor" Gives GOP Address on 9/11 Anniversary

Former New York City Mayor gives this week's Republican address on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Who can forget his remarkable courage, leadership and calm in the midst of that chaos and destruction?  Like Washington at Valley Forge, it was providential. As I listened to his words, I was filled with gratitude -- and worried that this administration cannot comprehend the nature of the enemy who attacked us. 

Here's the video, and here's his text:

“Everyone can remember exactly where they were when they first learned that our country had been attacked.  As with Pearl Harbor and the John F. Kennedy assassination, these defining events have a big impact on a nation because they're not just a shared experience, they're a shared memory.

“On the 10th anniversary of the attacks, we must take stock of what we've learned.

“The attacks had two purposes.  The first was to kill as many Americans as possible.  The second was to destroy America's spirit.

“As we remember the thousands of lives lost on that day, there’s no doubt that the terrorists achieved their first goal and will leave us with a deep wound forever.

“When it comes to destroying our spirit, however…as we consider the rescue and recovery effort we witnessed at the time of and in the aftermath of the attacks, it’s clear that the terrorists failed.

“The country was not broken, but rather, it was more united in the days after September 11 than at any time in my lifetime.  We displayed heroic spirit in many ways, but perhaps the most heroic was the unity of spirit that we shared as Americans.  The American people demonstrated one of the most basic values that we share - our love of freedom and the value we place on individual human life.

“People often ask me, ‘Is America safer now than it was before September 11?’  The answer is:  ‘Yes, but not as safe as we should be.’  We're safer because we faced a difficult truth.  A danger that we allowed to fester and grow without confronting properly, was suddenly staring us in the face.

“The engagement of Islamic extremist terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is an important part of our having prevented additional large-scale attacks.  We’ve made significant improvements in intelligence gathering and in airport security.  But much work remains.  We have not significantly improved port security and our state and local governments range from very well prepared to not prepared at all.  We’ve even seen some massive breakdowns in security, as demonstrated by the near attack on Christmas morning in 2009, as well as the inappropriate decision-making and irrational application of political correctness in the attack at Fort Hood.

“Perhaps the most dangerous impulse we've developed since September 11 is impatience demonstrated by the calls to put our armed forces on timetables.  It's a re-emergence of a dangerous historical pattern that sometimes afflicts America --  a desire to demilitarize by minimizing the dangers we face and that’s led to catastrophes in the past, including the ‘peace dividend’ taken in the 90's as Islamic extremist terrorists were attacking us regularly.

“American security requires a long-term military presence in the part of the world where people and organizations are plotting to kill us.  The timetable should not be based on a politically expedient calendar, but on when we've eliminated the threat of domestic attacks being generated in that particular part of the world. We must not allow impatience to prevent our military from achieving its objective in Iraq and Afghanistan and the objective is the elimination of the threat to our nation. 

“Finally, America must take care of those who were harmed during the difficult and dangerous recovery effort.  We must not forget what it meant to the country to watch these brave men and women work toward recovery and they shouldn't be abandoned now.  If they become ill, we are responsible for taking care of them.  After all, they took care of us.

“The lesson of September 11 is that America is truly exceptional.  We withstood the worst attack in our history, intended by our enemies to destroy us.  Instead, it drew us closer and it made us more united.  Our love for freedom and for one another had given us a strength that surprised even ourselves.  At the same time, it's a strength that must be guarded and nurtured.  We must rediscover our unity.  We must never forget what we witnessed on that day, both the incomprehensible face of pure evil and the depth of love and compassion.  Today, ten years later, the fight continues and the memories remain etched into our national character.”

Friday, September 9, 2011

Obama Gave Federal Money to Corrupt Green Firm Where Obama Fundraiser Invested

The name Solyndra is about to become a big problem for the Obama administration. ABC News has done an expose on a green technology firm called Solyndra, to which the Obama administration gave stimulus money amid great fanfare -- even a presidential visit. Solyndra has devolved from the Obama administration's example of shining sustainability, to bankruptcy, to a federal raid and Congressional investigations.

Now ABC reports that Obama administration officials "from the Department of Energy have for months been sitting in on board meetings as 'observers' at Solyndra, getting an up-close view as the solar energy company careened towards bankruptcy after spending more than $500 million in federal loan money."

That is, the Obama administration was complicit in this mess, that has resulted in 1,1000 people losing their job and taxpayers losing millions in wasted stimulus money.

It is impossible to square the company's collapse with its CEO's visit to Congress this summer when Brian Harrison praised the government loan and cited the company as an example of successful green technology. Just two months later and the FBI is raiding the building.

This is where it matters that Republicans control the House:  Congressional investigations.

Perhaps the House can explore: (1) why Solyndra misrepresented its financial condition; (2) how the company got such a sweet loan; and (2) whether its loan is connected to the fact that one of its largest investors is George B. Kaiser, Obama's billionaire fundraiser.

While they're at it, the House should investigate the subject matter of those 16, count them 16 visits that Kaiser made to the Obama administration.

Whoever decided to send Obama to Solyndra's headquarters to tout green technologies is probably hiding under his or her desk.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rand Paul Responds to Obama's Joblessness Speech

Sen. Rand Paul's take on the president's "jobs speech":

If the President were to ask me my advice on how to deal with the worst recession since the Great Depression, I would politely ask him to turn off the teleprompter. It’s hard to have a conversation with the American people when speaking through scripted words. And besides, the script really isn’t working.
I would tell the President, politely, to turn off the teleprompters. To turn off and maybe to quiet the loudmouths who are calling us – those who oppose some of his plans – “terrorists.” Those who are hurling invective at us as if that is somehow constructive. I would tell him to turn off or disassociate himself with this type of rhetoric.
Leadership means accepting responsibility. Accepting responsibility for where we are after nearly three years of his administration. For the first year or two it was always Bush’s fault. The economy, the recession – it’s all Bush’s fault. But at some point and time leadership means accepting responsibility.
We have unemployment nearly 10 percent. This administration is set to accumulate more debt than all 43 Presidents combined. With the unemployment, 2 million new workers are out of work. Leadership means accepting responsibility. And I would ask at this point that he accept some responsibility for this failed economy and for these failed policies and that we try something new.
Leadership isn’t just attaching blame to the other side and saying it’s just the Republican’s fault. But likewise, it’s not us standing up and saying it’s just the Democrat’s fault. It’s both sides admitting that there’s blame to go around.
The No. 1 problem that fuels our deficit crisis – that has us pushing on toward this deficit problem – is entitlements. And this is not anyone’s fault. It’s not the Democrats fault. It’s not the Republican’s fault.
Entitlements are broken because of two incontrovertible facts: No.1, people are living longer; No. 2 there are less workers than retirees. When Social Security was started there were dozens of workers for every retiree. Now we’re less than three workers for one retiree and we’re headed toward a time where there’s going to be one worker for one retiree. Social Security now pays out more than it brings in. These are just facts.
We can fix these programs but we can’t fix them if we involve ourselves in the rhetoric where each side or one side is calling the other terrorists. Mr. President, we need to get beyond that type of rhetoric. We need to sit down together and try to figure out our nation’s problems.
Likewise, I don’t think it’s good for you to simply say it’s the rich, blame the rich, the rich are not paying their fair share. Well, the facts speak otherwise: We have a progressive income tax in our country. In fact, the top 1 percent of wage earners who earn about 20 percent of the income, pay 38 percent of the income tax. The top 10 percent of wage earners which earn about 50 percent of the income, pay 70 percent of the income tax. So the only thing the facts could tell us about the tax code is that the wealthy are paying their fair share – their fair share and then some.
You point out examples and say, well, this corporation didn’t pay any tax or this individual didn’t pay any tax. Those are anecdotes and anecdotes do not make a trend and do not make the truth. The truth is that the middle class and the rich pay the vast majority of the income tax. In fact, the bottom 50 percent, nearly half of all income tax is paid by those above, nearly have of income tax, nearly half of wage earners don’t pay any income tax.
So really we need to get our facts straight and get beyond sort of this blame-the-rich game. This class war-fare, this class envy. We need to remember that this is America; where the American dream is open to all. You, Mr. President, are a product of the American Dream. You should be proud of those who gain wealth. You should be proud of those who make a profit. We should extol the successes of American businesses, of American individuals. That would help us to move forward.
Now we do face a problem, we do have great joblessness in our country. How would we fix it? I would have five different things we would do. I think if we did these then our economy would begin to rebound. We would see a recovery almost immediately.
No. 1: We need a balance budget amendment to the Constitution. For too long we have been running these massive debts and debt has a face. Some economists are saying that our debt causes a million people to be out of work each year. Debt also causes our prices to go up. Gas prices have doubled. That’s because we are financing our debt by printing new money, that’s what the rising price is. These rising prices hurt seniors; these rising prices hurt those who are on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder. So the first thing we need to do is get rid of our debt problem: a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
Now in order to do that you also have to have a spending plan. The second thing I would say is that we need a spending plan. You did propose a budget, but everyone voted against it. All 100 Senators; all the Republicans and all the Democrats voted against your plan. So obviously it wasn’t a plan that was acceptable to representatives on either sides of the aisle.
But I think there is a spending plan that America would accept and I call it the Penny Plan. The Penny Plan would cut the spending by one percent each year for six years. Cut one penny of every dollar of federal spending. Families have to do across America when times are tight, is there any reason why government couldn’t cut one percent of spending? If you cut one percent of spending for six years, and then free spending for two more years, your budget will balance in eight years. So it’s not enough just to have a balanced budget amendment, we have to have a spending plan that tells us and shows us how we could get to a balanced budget.
No. 3: I think we should immediately cut in half the corporate income tax, we should eliminate the capital gains taxes and we should make the tax rates that are out there now, give them some permanence, so businesses could have some predictability.
No. 4: I think we need a regulatory moratorium; we need to add no new regulations. In fact, I think it would be a good idea to repeal one regulation every week until the economy starts recovering. The regulatory burden is adding $2 trillion to the economic woes that we have in our country. And if we could get a business-friendly, regulatory-friendly government that acknowledges that we need some regulations, but that we’ve gone way overboard. I think that you would see an enormous recovery to economy.
And No. 5: We have to have an entitlement reform. Like I say this is no one’s fault. We are living longer; they’re folks-there’s just not as many workers to pay taxes anymore. So we have to fix entitlements and we can fix them. I’ve mentioned these to you and to others in your Administration. We could allow the age to gradually rise for social security over a 20- or 30-year period and we could allow means testing. Which would mean the rich would bear more of the burden for paying for their benefits and their entitlements. These are things that both sides of the aisle could come together on and I think if we did you would see an economic boom like we haven’t seen in a long time.
In order to get there though, many people say “Oh we have to compromise.” Well compromise goes both ways. You’ve put forward your ideas tonight. You need to come talk to us about how we could work with you, but that means you need to entertain some of our ideas.
Thank you and God bless America.

McConnell's Prequel to Obama's Jobs Speech

Former Majority Leader (still love the sound of that) Nancy Pelosi takes umbrage that Republicans will not give a response to President Barack Obama's job speech tonight.  And why should they.  The speech comes nearly three years too late and include retreads of previous Obama solutions, in particular, more billions of government spending.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has written a piece for Politico today, sort of an advance response to Obama's inevitable "solutions." McConnell proposes specific steps to allow the private sector to increase jobs:

  • cut government regulations
  • simplify the tax code
  • reform the budgetary process so that every line item is reviewed annually
  • pass free trade agreements with Central America.
Here's McConnell's piece in full:

President Barack Obama will reportedly do two things in his speech to a joint session of Congress tonight: ask us to believe that a second stimulus will be more effective than his first; and pin the blame on others for a jobs crisis that his own economic policies have done more than anything else to perpetuate.
Such a speech would, no doubt, cheer the most ardent Democratic partisans. But it would do nothing to create jobs.
That’s why many of us believe the president should instead begin by candidly acknowledging the failures of an economic agenda that centers on massive government spending and debt. He should then reach across the aisle for a plan that puts people and business at the forefront of any effort to lift the economy.
The plan we’re suggesting is built on the simple premise that if the American people are going to have control over their destiny, they need to have more control of their economy. The only way we can bring about a stable, long-term recovery is by shifting the center of gravity away from Washington and toward those who actually create jobs.
Above all, this means putting an end to the regulatory overreach that’s holding job creators back. The president took a positive step last week by reversing himself on a proposed ozone regulation. But he’ll need to do more if he’s intent on sparking serious and sustained job creation.
The administration has 4,000 regulations in the pipeline, according to one estimate. Every one should be reviewed. If the president really wants to create jobs, he needs to be as bold about liberating job creators as he has been about shackling them.

Putting the American people back in charge of our economy also means reforming an outdated tax code. Washington should get out of the business of picking winners and losers and lower the U.S. corporate tax rate — the second highest in the world, behind Japan.
We should also level the playing field with overseas competitors by approving the free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea that have been languishing on the president’s desk. These pacts would help create tens of thousands of jobs here by vastly expanding the market for U.S. goods.

Another thing we need to do is reform the budget process. There is no good reason that nearly three-fourths of government spending is on autopilot. Or that last year’s spending levels should automatically carry over into the next — regardless of whether they’re effective or affordable. Reforming the budget process is an essential part of getting Washington to live within its means and thus removing the specter of default.

Contrary to the president’s claims, the economic approach outlined here is not aimed at pleasing any one party or constituency. It’s aimed instead at giving back to the American people the tools they need to do the work that Washington has not been able to do, despite its best efforts over the past few years.

Equally important: All these ideas are rooted in a respect for the independence, the wisdom and the power, as President John F. Kennedy once put it, “of a free people and the efficiency of free institutions.”

The president is free to blame his political adversaries, his predecessor or even natural disasters for America’s economic challenges. Tonight, he may blame any future such challenges on those who choose not to rubber-stamp his latest proposals.

It should be noted, however, that this is precisely what Democratic majorities did during the president’s first two years in office. Where did that get us? The national debt exploded, America’s once-pristine credit rating was downgraded for the first time in our history, the average length of unemployment recently surpassed 40 weeks for the first time ever. Just last week, we learned that in August not a single new job was created in this country — not one.

Here’s the bottom line: There are now 1.7 million fewer jobs in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, than there were before the president signed the economic stimulus into law. By the president’s own standards, in other words, the centerpiece of his jobs agenda has been a failure.

At this point, most Americans have concluded that the problem with our economy isn’t that Washington is doing too little — but that it’s doing too much.

Whether you believe this or not, however, there is a simpler reason for opposing the president’s economic agenda that has nothing whatsoever to do with politics: It hasn’t worked as advertised.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

RIM Investors call on RIM to Sell Itselft

Investment firm Jaguar Financial told Research in Motion, or RIM, the parent company of BlackBerry, that it's time to sell itself or its patents, according to Bloomberg. RIM's value has fallen nearly 50% this year. Jaguar says that RIM is putting all its eggs in one basket on its new QNX-Platform which will be available on RIM's 2012 smart phones.

Personally, I think RIM needs to downgrade significantly, but not go away. Many companies only allow BlackBerrys versus Android and Apple phones due to security concerns, so there definitely still is a market for BlackBerrys, although I believe that will slowly decline as Android and iOS improve.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Gov. Race is Over

Sen. David Williams, despite a brilliant intellect, cannot overcome the perception that he is a big jerk. He is loathed by voters across the political spectrum.  Sadly, I therefore agree with Joe Gerth's analysis and that on Joe Arnold's blog:  the Kentucky gubernatorial race is over.

It is hard to conceive of a scandal big enough to dethrone Beshear.  The vanilla Beshear has not done anything to deserve reelection, but he will win by default because Republicans put up the wrong candidate.

In light of this reality, Republicans need to focus time and money on the down-ticket races. It's triage time.

 Todd P'Pool has a real shot against Attorney General Jack Conway. P'Pool has done a great job picking issues --coal, Obamacare -- that showcase the ideological differences between the two candidates.

Moreover, Conway's run for U.S. Senate against Sen. Rand Paul may have boosted Conway's name ID, but in the process of getting trounced, he looked silly, thanks to the Aqua Buddha ad. Conway is vulnerable. P'Pool needs the resources pick up where Rand Paul left off and end Jack Conway's career once and for all.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Now Who's Endorsing Todd P'Pool?

A mysterious media advisory from Todd P'Pool's campaign:  look for a "major" endorsement of the Republican nominee for Kentucky Attorney General, to take place this Wed.

Who could it be?

He already has both of Kentucky's U.S. Senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.  David Williams backed him early on. Several Attorneys General from other states have endorsed him or even campaigned.  Trey Grayson has praised him, as well as Mike Huckabee. The Fraternal Order of Police has endorse P'Pool.

Maybe one of the presidential contenders?  Not sure that would make much difference.

Perhaps a sports celebrity?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Critique of Obama's Speech to Congress

The great thing about critiquing Obama's speeches is that you do not have to hear them first, because they are all basically the same. By now we could give them ourselves, except for we could never match his skill with a teleprompter. So, here is a critique of next week's speech to the joint session of Congress. The speech will contain the following:

1. He will eloquently pour forth much high sounding language that means nothing. He will be very articulate and use wonderful cadence in doing this. Most of his words will be like pretty balloons, nice to watch as they float off into the air, but ultimately having no known destination.

2. Obama will blame the current economic situation on everyone and everything but himself. Following is partial list of who or what he will blame: George Bush, the European economic crisis, Hurricane Irene, George Bush, the Japanese sunami, the Tea Party, unrest in the Middle East, George Bush, China, the Republican Party, Wall Street, rich people, George Bush.

3. He will propose massive government expenditures on jobs stimulus that will be failures just like the first ones. They will be paid for by additional borrowing that will add to the burden of our crushing debt. He will talk about creating jobs, while proposing more things that will destroy jobs.

4. He will talk about bipartisanship and the need for Democrats and Republicans to come together for the good of the American people. He will say that we should be above partisan politics at this time of national crisis. What he really means by this is that Republicans should roll over and let his hyper-partisan politics carry the day.

5. At some point, he will tilt his head back, lift his nose in the air and in a condescending tone let us know that he is the adult in the room, that he is above the fray, a cool, calm and collected leader. It will be an admirable acting job.

There you have it, no need to listen to it.