Jun 24, 2010

McChrystal's Failure Is Also President Obama's Failure

First off lets not give any credit to the behavior of General McChrystal and the other top military staff in his "inner circle" who were dumb enough to allow exclusive access to a reporter from Rolling Stones Magazine. That is just insane and unprecedented. From a military standpoint his behavior was inexcusable and his resignation was warranted considering the circumstances.

Now I don't want to be a conspiracy theorist, but the unusual circumstances of how all of this went down has to make the average American wonder what General McChrystal's motives really were in allowing the Rolling Stones Magazine article titled, "The Runaway General" to be written let alone be publish? Just think about it for a second. An exclusive interview with a reporter from Rolling Stones Magazine. Come on!! As an American this makes me wonder just what the hell is going on in Afghanistan?

Then on top of the fiasco of McChrystal's resignation yesterday the liberal media began spinning the events as President Obama finally demonstrating his strong leadership skills. Last night on Hardball, Chris Matthews was loving all over the President highlighting that Obama was finally stepping up and demonstrating his leadership skills by fulfilling his Constitutional duty as Commander in Chief. Really Chris Matthews. After more than a year in office he finally is stepping up and leading after he was backed into a corner by McChrystal and otherwise had no choice? Sounds like real leadership to me.

The truth is that Obama's Afghanistan strategy is nothing short of a circus at this point. Which also includes the events of yesterday that utimately led to McChrystal's resignation. The handling of the war in Afghanistan by President Obama and his administration officials during the past year should anger every American who supports our brave men and women in uniform. All the Obama Administration has accomplished thus far according to the article is to make things worse in Afghanistan by increasing political tensions with his withdrawal date strategy and the actions of his inept administration officials in Afghanistan. Which by the way resulted in bolstering support for the Taliban and increased the number of American soldiers killed.

In my opinion McChrystal must have been so frustrated with the Obama Administration's policies that he had a, "you want the truth you can't handle the truth" moment. Or maybe he thought that the prospects of winning the war were so bad that he just thought to himself what the hell. Either way I have tremendous sympathy for the man after reading the article. What did we expect him to do give his two weeks notice and collect unemployment? I hope he receives some credit for shinning a much needed light on just how bad the situation is in Afghanistan. I am hopeful that the the Rolling Stone Magazine article will be read for what it really is a scathing indictment of the failed policies of President Obama.

Why the stimulus has failed?

Article from Newt.Org

Last week we found out that, even while the White House is ramping up its public relations efforts to highlight construction projects funded with stimulus jobs, overall jobless claims are climbing.

This development is unfortunate for all those seeking employment, but hardly unexpected.

With the Institute for Policy Innovation’s Peter Ferrara, Newt writes about “The Circus of Obamanomics” in Chapter 12 of To Save America:
The Left like these stimulus bills because they get to use big government to allocate massive sums of money to their favorite projects and interest groups. But this approach never improves the economy, because the underlying Keynesian economics are wrong…

Trickle-down bureaucracy does not create wealth. Obama’s stimulus simply borrowed close to $1 trillion from the private economy to pour a trillion back in through increased government spending, producing no net economic gain.

They also present data that shows Obamanomics actually threatens America’s economic recovery:
The recession officially began in December 2007, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The average recession since World War II has lasted ten months, with the longest spanning sixteen months. But the Bush-Obama recession lasted almost two years thanks to the outdated Keynesian policies adopted by both presidents…Moreover, the weak rebound violates a historic rule: the deeper the recession the stronger the recovery. Based on the severity of the past recession, real growth over 2010 should be 6-8 percent…

Obama’s high tax, high spending approach along with the Fed’s easy money, cheap dollar policies…are policies for long-term economic stagnation, and perhaps another, even deeper recession. If they are not completely replaced with pro-growth alternatives, we will suffer less opportunity, less upward mobility, and a long-term decline in America’s standard of living...
Newt and Peter then outline a set of proposals that would reinvigorate the American economy and cut unemployment from 10 down to 3-4 percent. In addition to substantial spending cuts and a robust energy plan, their proposals include:
  1. Slash the corporate tax rate to 12.5%, matching Ireland;
  2. Abolish capital gains taxes to match China;
  3. Cut federal payroll taxes for two years followed by a permanent personal account option for younger workers;
  4. Abolish the death tax;
  5. Allow for 100 percent expensing of new equipment purchases by businesses, stimulating investment in new, productive technologies;
  6. Repeal the disastrous mark-to-market accounting that exacerbated the financial crisis;
  7. Break up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and move their successors back to the free market;
  8. Adopt a strong monetary policy, ensuring lower interest rates and more long-term capital investment.

Jun 22, 2010

A Message from Mike Kelly: Good Luck with That!

Yesterday I received an email message from the Mike Kelly campaign. It was an abrupt little message providing contact information for the “new” campaign team (the old contacts were all fired . . . dismissed . . . let go . . . kicked to the curb). The message also provided instructions for publicizing Mike’s latest “letter to the editor”. There was no courteous “hi there” from Mike or his new campaign people . . . just instructions and marching orders.

Here is Mike’s letter in its entirety:


Now that the dust has settled, I wanted to write and acknowledge the voters, volunteers, and ther candidates who played a role in the 3rd Congressional district's Primary Election. As you ll know, it was a hotly contested battle for the Republican nomination and I am both humbled and flattered to be moving forward on the General Election ballot. My wife Vicky and I want to thank the other candidates for a spirited campaign, the voters who participated, our tremendous volunteers for all their hard work, and the media outlets for recognizing the importance of the race and giving the candidates the opportunity to share his and her views on the issues that families in western Pennsylvania care most about.

The other five candidates in the Primary deserve our respect and admiration. They are all patriots who have a deep concern for our country's future and they showed their passion by coming forward and getting their names on the ballot. They, like me, worked tirelessly for months to earn the support of voters in all of the district's seven counties. Because of them, I am a better candidate and, it is my hope, that we are a stronger party. To those of you who supported someone other than me during the Primary, I plan on making a similar effort to earn your support moving forward.
What we have learned throughout this process is that there is far more that unites us than separates us.

While I will work tirelessly to unite the Republican Party, our message is an inclusive one that I hope will appeal to people regardless of party affiliation. You don't have to be a Republican or Democrat to oppose deficit spending. You don't have to be a Republican or a Democrat to support policies and initiatives that will lower our unemployment rate in western Pennsylvania. You don't have to be a Republican or Democrat to say "no" to additional Wall Street bailouts and nationalized health care. These are quality-of-life issues that should be party-blind and I will campaign accordingly by reaching-out to like-minded Democrats and Independents throughout the district. This election isn't about party or geography. Instead, it's about the direction of our country. It's about how the policies of this administration and congress have adversely affected western Pennsylvania.

Between now and November I look forward to visiting your communities, hearing your concerns, and building relationships in all seven of the counties that make up our Congressional district. I have a lot of work to do and can assure you that I am up to the task. Together, I am confident that we can get western Pennsylvania, and our country, back on the right track.

Thank you,
Mike Kelly
Republican Candidate for Congress

Now, for my response to Mike’s letter:

First, the email that I received wasn’t even the slightest bit friendly or polite. It was strictly instructions. It was an interesting way to try to get the press onto the Kelly bandwagon . . . reverse psychology of some type I suppose. “Good luck with that”, Mike.

Second, I find it funny that Mike Kelly decided to contact and thank the other five candidates in the race through a letter to the editor. Sort of odd, don’t you think? It would seem that a personal call from Mike would be more appropriate, but I guess that isn’t Mike’s style either. It seems to imply that Mike doesn’t consider the other five (5) candidates OR their supporters to be very important. Again I say, “good luck with that”.

Third, Mike states that he is not trying to unite conservatives, but instead is attempting to unite Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. It would be a great move if I believed it, but it sounds like the words of a politician . . . not a leader or public servant.

He states “it isn’t about party or geography”, but I’d like to disagree. Mike’s priorities should VERY MUCH be about GEOGRAPHY. Since the Primary, Mike has been everywhere BUT northwestern Pennsylvania. In true RINO fashion, Mike’s attention has been spent in Washington DC . . . with no interest in healing the wounds in the 3rd Congressional District that were left after the Primary. Mike is a “DC Guy” now I suppose, but I would warn that he ought not to count those chickens too prematurely (if you know what I mean).

Mike Kelly’s new image as a Phil English Republican is not going to fair well with Republicans, Democrats, or Independents in our cozy little corner of Northwestern Pennsylvania. In case Mike was unaware, Phil English LOST because voters in the 3rd Congressional District were tired of big spending, selfish politicians. I wouldn’t be so quick to harness my horse to the “Phil English” wagon, but that is a choice that Mike needs to make. After all, this election is Mike’s to lose. The only person that might advise Mike Kelly to tie himself to Phil English would be none other than “Phil English” himself, but surely Mike Kelly is smarter than that . . . right?

In closing I say to Mike Kelly and his new team . . . “Good luck with that”.

As always, just my opinion.
~Roberta Biros, Editor of Mercer County Conservatives


Racists vs. Socialists: Are the labels accurate?

Guest Column By Lowman S. Henry

The presidency of Barack Obama has become one of the most polarizing, if not the most polarizing administration, in U.S. history. The Rasmussen Reports daily presidential tracking poll this past weekend found 26% strongly approve of the job Barack Obama is doing, while 43% strongly disapprove. That totals 69% of the electorate holding strong opinions about the president with only 31% voicing less stringent views.

Along with the polarization, the public discourse has sunk to a relatively low level with supporters of the president and his policies frequently branding opponents as "racists," and those opposing the president's initiatives labeling him a "socialist."

The charges of racism reached a fever pitch during many of the TEA party rallies of recent months. Those on the left of the political spectrum have difficulty explaining such widespread and visceral public opposition to Obama policies. Lacking a rational explanation they play the race card. But is opposition to the sharp leftward tilt of the Obama Administration really rooted in racism?

Racism is defined as "hatred or intolerance of another race or races." Opposing the bail-out of Wall Street bankers, the preponderance of who are white, hardly seems like a racist position. Conservatives were as critical of the Bush Administration for TARP as they were of the Obama Administration over the stimulus bill. One president was white, the other is black. Race played no role in conservative opposition to the bills.

Much of the animosity toward the president's policies has been generated by concerns over the rapidly skyrocketing federal debt. Children of all races will have to repay that debt. Loss of freedom as the federal government expands its control over more facets of the formerly free market economy also drives public opposition to the president. The loss of economic freedom afflicts whites and blacks equally.

The president seeks to expand union power via card check and a wide range of changes to administrative policies. Yet, as he strengthens teacher unions it is the black community that suffers most from sub-par public schools, particularly in the inner cities. Conservatives advocate school choice, which Obama and the unions oppose. In the recent gubernatorial primary in Pennsylvania it was a black Democrat who made school choice the centerpiece of his campaign because he knows the current union-dominated system disproportionately fails black students.

Now let's take a look at the definition of a socialist. Webster defines socialism as "the theory or system of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society or the community rather than by private individuals."

Under President Obama, the federal government has extended its control into the production and distribution systems of the nation's largest automaker, with the president actually firing the chairman of General Motors. The recently passed health care "reform" bill effectively nationalized one-third of the economy. The federal government owns or exerts virtual control over some of the nation's largest financial institutions, and is about to implement far-reaching additional regulations. And, Obama seeks to take government control of energy via so-called "cap and trade" legislation.

Overlay the Webster definition of socialism with the Obama agenda and you get a precise match. Add in the president's own repeated statements, beginning with his encounter with Joe the Plumber on the campaign trail, suggesting that wealthier Americans have too much and the government should take it from them and give to the poor, and you get the classic socialist dictum "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

Those who brand the Obama agenda as socialist are technically correct. It is an agenda that has in the scant time frame of less than 18-months vastly expanded federal control of the economy. The next step will be massive new and/or increased taxes so that the federal government can take more from the productive sector and hand it off to the non-productive sector. It is the very embodiment of socialism.

At the same time as conservatives and TEA party activists oppose these socialist policies, they call for less government regulation, lower taxes, and unleashing the dynamic energy of the free market economy. Those are proven prescriptions for generating economic growth.

The president has said: "if the economy is good for folks from the bottom up, it is good for everybody." Indeed an economic system that encourages investment, entrepreneurship, and the creation of jobs is one whose rising tide lifts all boats. And that is the very antithesis of racism.

Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His email address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.

Jun 1, 2010

Doing the 3rd Congressional District Math: Mike Kelly vs. Kathy Dahlkemper

Written by Roberta Biros

The Primary Election is now past . . . seemingly long past. The election results are technically still “unofficial”, but we all know what happened. Allow me to summarize briefly . . .

Dahlkemper vs. Marin

In the race for the highly coveted 3rd Congressional District, the top vote getter on the Democrat ticket was Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper. She won her race against a not-so-impressive opponent in Mel Marin. Mrs. Dahlkemper ended up with 73.2% of the vote. Most interesting about this race was that Mel Marin managed to have 26.8% of the voters select his name over the current incumbent, which is symbolic of the number of DEMOCRATS that don’t support “their candidate”.

That means that roughly 27% of Democrats preferred to vote for “anyone but Kathy Dahlkemper”.

Kelly vs. Huber, Grabb, Fisher, Franz, and Moore

On the Republican ticket, six candidates battled it out for the nomination. The “unofficial” winner was Mike Kelly. The stunning statistic in this case is that Kelly managed the win with only 28.2% of the vote. That means that roughly 72% of Republicans preferred to vote for “anyone but Mike Kelly”. In the end, Mike Kelly’s actual vote count was only slightly higher than that of the Democrat candidate, Mel Marin. Hmmmm. Sort of makes you stop and think, doesn't it?

What does all of this mean?

When the final votes were tallied, 27% of Democrat votes and 72% of Republican votes are up for grabs in November. That is a huge number and it makes the race a difficult one to call.

I’ll be the first one to say that Kathy Dahlkemper has an enormous uphill battle to win re-election for her second term, but it is only fair to say that Mike Kelly isn’t going to have an easy job ahead of him either. This race IS NOT a gimme!

Mike Kelly has a very difficult task ahead of him. The very heated race for the Republican nomination left “the right” fractured. There were six really great candidates, and the supporters of each of those six campaigns were extremely loyal to “their guy” (or “gal”). In the end there are six different camps that need to be united. If Mike Kelly fails to be a “uniter”, he will also fail to beat Kathy Dahlkemper in November.

Mike Kelly’s campaign became a very public and personal battle with Paul Huber (the #2 vote getter). The negative attacks that transpired will be difficult for Huber supporters to shake off. They will NOT be inspired to get out to vote for Mike Kelly in the General Election without a HUGE effort on Mike Kelly’s part.

Grabb, Fisher, Franz, and Moore supporters were also left feeling empty in the end. Each of these four candidates managed to inspire their conservative supporters in their own ways, and those conservatives will find it difficult to get behind Kelly whole-heartedly. Again, without a very serious effort from Mike Kelly to court conservatives, those conservatives might decide to stick with “the enemy that they know” in Kathy Dahlkemper. This is a very dangerous possibility, and if Kelly isn’t considering it he deserves to lose in November.

Mike Kelly needs to motivate disenfranchised conservatives to support him, and he must also entice disgruntled Democrats to choose him over Kathy Dahlkemper. I realize that it is still early, but so far I’ve seen nothing of Mike Kelly . . . I mean nothing . . . like he disappeared off the face of the Earth!

Mike Kelly needs to act quickly or he risks losing the interest of concerned citizens. If things continue on their current path, Kathy Dahlkemper will be our Congresswoman again in November.

As always, just my opinion.