Wednesday, August 31, 2011

President Obama Caves in Less than a Day - A Sad Day for America

President Obama has said he wakes up every morning worried about American jobs.

President Obama had three years to call a joint session of Congress to address the jobs problem.

President Obama had 9 ½ days of vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to call a special session of Congress to present his plan for jobs.

Instead, he called for a Joint Session of Congress for next week to present his plan – the reelection plan.

Congress is not in session Monday, Tuesday or Friday next week. That leaves Wednesday or Thursday.

Wednesday is a long-scheduled Republican debate at the Reagan Library. Thursday is the kickoff of the NFL Season – Green Bay versus N’awlins.

Jay Carney, the President’s press spokesman, announced today that the President’s speech will be on Wednesday. The President’s Office advised NBC that they could move the coverage of the Republican debate.

The Republicans objected; preempting an opposing party’s long scheduled debate looks pity and a political dirty trick.

Jay Carney suggested the GOP is free to move the time of the debate.

Speaker Boehner advised the White House that Wednesday was unacceptable, but that Thursday would work.

The White House announced earlier tonight that the Joint Session will be on Thursday, September 8.

The President caved to the Speaker in less than 12 hours.

This is the type of act that makes any Administration appear incompetent and weak.

All they had to do was get a commitment from the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader.

Instead, they announced the Joint Session without clearing it in advance.

It was either an initial decision reeking of incompetence or political gamesmanship.

The public is looking for leadership. They also are looking for meaningful proposals from the President - not a campaign speech next Thursday.

Let me add though that I think the GOP also mishandled the situation. They should have moved their scheduled debate back an hour, and asked the media for equal time to respond to the President’s address. The debate would be the response with all 12 Republicans candidates blasting the President’s proposals in real time. This debate would receive a much higher audience than it otherwise would have and whoever delivers the Republican response on Thursday night.

Which do we watch live, and which do we TIVO Thursday night – the President or the NFL?

A sad day for America, and miscalculation by both parties. That’s not what Americans want from Washington.

President Obama's Problem - He's Not President Clinton

Success has many a proud parent, but failure an orphan.

Therein lies President Obama’s problem.

He gave the left everything it wanted, but now he’s in President Johnson’s position.

At some point during Vietnam, the President looked around, and all the advisors, the best and brightest, that urged entry into Vietnam had abandoned him, with the exception of Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

President Johnson was abandoned. He gave up reelection.

President Obama is watching the economy dive on his watch. How ironic! It was the Wall Street collapse that led to his election.

Unemployment is 9.1% on his watch.

The national debt was downgraded on his watch.

Inflation, especially food inflation, is rearing its ugly little head on his watch.

Housing continues downward on his watch.

The banking industry, especially the largest of all, the Bank of America, is shaky on his watch.

The Republicans won control of the House and most state legislatures and governorships in 2008 and are in the process of defanging the public sector employee unions in many of the Midwest states.

All this is the opposite of what his economic advisors told him would happen. These economics advisors, the best and brightest, have returned to Berkeley, Chicago, and Harvard. They abandoned him. They have tenure. They don’t have to stand for reelection.

He bailed out the UAW by stiffing the Chrysler and GM debt holders.

The Stimulus Bill propped up public sector employees (SEIU, NEA, AFT, AFSCME) for
two years.

His NLRB is handing power to the private sector unions.

He gave America government health care.

He’s subsidizing a green economy.

He’s implementing amnesty.

He appointed a Latina to the Supreme Court.

His EPA is delivering on Cap and Trade.

What more can they want?

They want out.

A columnist in Newsweek compared the President to Chamberlain and appeasement for giving in on the debt limit.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters is willing to take on the President.

He expected criticism from conservatives, but not the liberals.

The liberals face an intellectual problem.

They can look inwards to themselves and recognize the failure of Keynesian economics, and all they believe in. Their dream for America is failing.

Or they can attack the President.

The President is also at a loss. He too is a true believer. He soaked up the Reverend Wright’s Liberation Theology for 20 years. He started his political career at the house of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. He believes in fairness, equality, redistributionism, and the workers. He is a true believer.

Five days before his inauguration, he said “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming America.” His goal was to transform America. He is on his way, but not in the way he expected. He wanted America to emulate Western Europe and social
democracy. Look where that’s gotten Europe.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt connected with the American people during the Great Depression. He felt our pain.

President William Jefferson Clinton was an astute politician who balanced the populism and the conservatism of Arkansas voters. President Clinton knew when to
tack, veer, or drop anchor. He felt our pain.

President Clinton's telepromter failed once. Clinton continued his speech without missing a beat.

President Obama's telepromter failed once. The President froze.

President Barack Hussein Obama’s problem is clueless. He did what he promised, and it failed. His rhetoric is being tuned out, unless he admits a mistake and reverses course. A mea culpa might work, but he’s incapable of admitting the mistakes.

President Obama’s problem is that he is no President Clinton.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On Wisconsin - Republicans Hold Onto Wisconsin Again

The Republicans won another major victory in Wisconsin yesterday.

Wisconsin is historically one of the most progressive states, as blue as they come - a bulwark of the Democratic Party. Both Al Gore and John Kerry beat Bush in Wisconsin, albeit it narrowly. The strength of the Democratic Party is centered in Milwaukee, Madison and the large unionized workforce.

The 2010 mid-term elections led to a Republican landslide nationally. The Republicans won the House and gained substantially in the Senate.

The real landslide though was at the state level. Republicans won a record number of state legislators and gained many governorships. 20 legislative chambers flipped from Democratic to Republican. The sweep was most apparent in the Midwest, where the Republicans gained control of the legislatures and governorships in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, as well as Pennsylvania. They won control of the legislature, but barely lost the governorship in Minnesota. Illinois remained Democratic, and the Democrats barely hung onto the Senate in Iowa.

Just as the Democrats in 2008 used their victory to ram legislation through Congress, the newly Red states took the opportunity to curb the power of the public sector unions.

Governor Scott Walker led the way in Wisconsin. His measure was billed as an attempt to rein in a $3.6 billion budget gap by curbing collective bargaining tights of public employees and requiring them to pay a greater share of their pensions and healthcare premiums, but it was union busting in reality.

It wasn’t union busting in the traditional sense of breaking the union, but union busting in the sense of emasculating their political powers. No longer will public employees be required to pay dues to the union, which dues in turn will be funneled to Democratic candidates.

The unions could still turn out their vote, but might no longer be the bank for the Democrats. Governor Walker was driving a stake into the financial heart of the Democratic-union alliance.

Hence, the substantial, at times violent, opposition to the legislation.

The unions responded by filing a lawsuit to enjoin the legislation. A friendly judge in Madison enjoined the statute. The ultimate decision would be by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which was divided 4:3 with a conservative majority.

The next step of the unions was to fight the reelection of conservative Judge David Prosser to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The campaign was expensive and vicious, but Judge Prosser won the April 5 election by about 7,000 votes.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court shortly afterwards upheld the legislation with Judge Prosser casting the deciding vote in a 4:3 decision.

The unions then turned to the recall, seeking to replace 6 Republican Senators with Democrats – hence the election yesterday. The Senate was split 19-14 after the 2010 election. A recall of three Republicans would turn the Senate.

The Democrats won only 2 seats yesterday with the Republicans holding onto 4. The results were something of a shocker to the unions. They expected victory in many of the Senate districts, which are based in the Milwaukee area. Over $30 million was poured into the elections by both sides. The unions got out the vote. But it wasn’t enough.

It’s not over though. The Republicans responded to the Democratic recall efforts by targeting 3 Democratic Senators for recall. One won retention last week, and the other two are being voted on next week. Speculation is that one of the two seats could flip to the Republicans.

The latest Democratic act is to promise a recall effort against Governor Walker next year.

Lost in all this political flurry is that the Governor signed a Republican gerrymandered reapportionment bill the other day, strengthening Republican prospects in future elections.

As a blue state turns red, the Democratic Party is fighting to retain its historic place in Wisconsin politics. It's fighting for political survival. If the Democrats lose, they should blame President Obama and not Governor Walker.

Maybe Wisconsin is once again leading America.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Is President Obama the second Coming of President Hoover?

Many, including oui, feared that President Obama would be the second coming of President Jimmy Carter.

Mea culpa; mea mas culpa.

After his speech earlier today, President Obama is coming across as the rebirth of Herbert Hoover.

History tells us that President Hoover’s inaction was one of the major causes of the depth of the Great depression.

History is written by the winners. FDR was a winner, and Hoover a loser. Hence, FDR, the activist FDR, was a winner, one of the greatest presidents in American history, and President Hoover, the inactive Hoover, is one of the worst.

The truth is slightly different. President Hoover did prime the pump, albeit not to the extent as President Roosevelt.

Yet, President Hoover was constrained by the economic orthodoxy of the time. He signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff and substantial tax increases in 1932 (with the highest rate of 64%), both of which are universally viewed as turning a recession into a depression. He also inaugurated public works projects, but clearly not to the extent of President Roosevelt.

President Obama believes in protectionism and tax increases.

The great British economist, John Maynard Keynes, proposed the Keynesian solution to economic slumps – spending tremendous sums of public funds to prime the pump and trigger the multiplier effect.

President Roosevelt took Keynes to heart, as well as increasing taxes. He engaged the American people. Remember, his theme song was “Happy days Are Here Again.”
Of course, he didn’t fix the Great Depression. World War II and the post-war spending binge set off the great American economic recovery, coupled with the reality that the European countries and Japan were economically crippled.

President Obama’s speech today proposed no new solutions, but was mostly a regurgitation of his talking points - extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits, and infrastructure investment to prime the pump, while raising taxes.

The $870 billion Stimulus Bill was supposed to put America back to work with “Shovel Ready” jobs, but it was primarily a public employee union subsidy. He invested his political capital in Green Jobs and Keynes.

The Stimulus Bill failed, and the President exhausted his stimulus goodwill with that bill. The progressive Agenda failed.The voters in 2010 rejected it.

President Obama could be bold. His original economic team of academic superstars has bailed on him. Keynes failed. The Treasury Department has done all that it can. The Fed has exhausted existing remedies. The Obama Administration has run out of options, except to print money.

President Obama must be bold or he will lose reelection. He should recognize that Obamanomics has failed, and shift course. One attribute of FDR was flexibility; he was not wed to any one program.

President Obama is a tried and true progressive, weaned on Tax the Rich and Spread the Wealth. He is a community organizer who believes the government is the source of money. He knows that Labor is due its due.

He never understood that the wealth of America was built on cheap energy (oil, gas, and coal) and entrepreneurism. He forgot that he was elected on the stock market collapse and the subsequent economic collapse.

What he promised today was Hoover – steady on the status quo.

The people must know that the President is with them. President Roosevelt's Fireside Speeches resonated with Americans. President Obama took no responsibility and exhibited no leadership.

Crisis is the test of leadership. President Hoover did not step up. President George W. Bush was not perceived to step up. Leadership must look America in the eye – not rotate between teleprompters. Leaders must offer hope and inspiration – not blank words and talking points. The American people do not want to hear a broken record.

His acolytes responded to Standard and Poor’s downgrade of America’s credit rating as a political issue. They attacked S & P, blamed it on the Tea party, which Vice President Biden called terrorists, with the Treasury Department telling the major banks to ignore S & P, and that the credit agency made a $2 trillion computation error.

S & P downgraded today the debts of several federal agencies, such as Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, as well as insurance companies, such as Warren Buffett’s. The nation’s debt is not $14 billion, but much more when one considers the federal guarantee of loans, such as Fannie and Freddy and the Federal Home Loan Bank, guaranteed federal student loans, and who knows how many more.

President Obama quoted Warren Buffett as questioning S & P’s downgrade. Let us remember that Buffett’s company. Berkshire Hathaway, controlled Moody’s, the major credit rating agency that along with S & P and Fitch’s missed the housing debacle.

Unless the economy turns around quickly, President Obama will have a primary opponent and be a one term president whose legacy is worse than Carter’s and Hoover’s.

President Obama’s response to the economic crisis is to schedule two fund raisers tonight. His job is paramount. That tells it all.