Do Nothing is Not an Option When it Comes to the American People

Bookmark and Share   President Barack Obama took to the podium in the East Wing of the White House today, for a hastily arranged Press Conference. The President intending to take the fight to Republicans over his Proposed Jobs bill, instead adopted, his now familiar lethargic, long-drawn out replies to journalists questions. Interestingly, he provided support for the Wall Street protests and attacked the risks bankers took as being irresponsible. On the other hand, the president promoted and justified the risk taking, when responding to questions on the Solyndra case.

President Obama tried to throw down the gauntlet to Republicans insisting they should pass his $447bn programme for creating new jobs or be punished by voters in next year’s Congressional elections. The president didn’t appear comfortable in his response when asked by a reporter, if he was trying to use President Truman’s tactic, of running against a “Do-nothing Congress.”   The Obama administration are embroiled in some of the toughest fights of their three year term between a shockingly bad economy, mounting debt and scandals ranging from the Solyndra case through to the “Fast and the furious” case. The one theme running through all the challenges facing the administration is denial, and a distinct lack or willingness, to take responsibility for any of the issues.

Speaker Boehner said the president had shown no leadership by holding rallies around the country to promote his $447 billion jobs bill, rather than negotiating with Republicans, to pass legislation that would bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

“I’ve had my share of disappointments this year, but nothing has disappointed me more than what’s happened over the last five weeks, to watch the president of the United States give up on governing, give up on leading, and spend full time campaigning,”

“I can’t tell you how dangerous our situation, our economy’s in and how dangerous the situation in Europe is,” Boehner said. “And yet the president, some 14 months before the election, throws in the towel and decides he’s going to spend all of his time out campaigning. We’re legislating, he’s campaigning. It’s very disappointing.”

 While it is fair to say that the last year hasn’t exactly being the beacon of legislative accomplishment, the general public are increasingly growing tired with all parties in Washington D.C., in failing to take real meaningful action.
While President Obama may have appeared to be talking tough, some of his choice of words like “Preaching” or “Here’s some homework for you,” still give the appearance that the president is guilty of the very charge his is attempting to level at the Republicans, which is, being out of touch with the people.

The best advice I could give the president is to take time to meet and listen to his fiercest critics. A good leader should never be afraid to take criticism and more importantly, act on it. Harsh critics often give you the most direct and honest feedback you’ll get as a leader. The important thing is that you be prepared to take it onboard and act on it, it is an opportunity not a hindrance.

The president needs to stop lecturing and trying to convince voters that he is not playing politics, the only thing that is going to turn the nation and his own fortunes around, is action!

There is an old childhood tale we tell our children here in Europe to stop them from telling falsehood’s, it is called “The boy who cried wolf.” The president needs to understand that he doesn’t carry the political influence or enthusiasm among voters that he did four years ago. The reason for this is because of his policies, leadership and the economy. He cannot carry on blaming the BIG, BAD, Republicans why? Because, people in tough times want a leader who talks about their concerns and pains, not about the cost or bruises he has endured politically.

People want to be inspired, enthused and above all, have belief that their leader will turn things around. President Obama needs to re-think his strategy and stop blaming others for the poor state of the country and start taking action; this may involve working with Republicans. He is absolutely correct; next years elections will give voters an opportunity to decide the members in Congress faith. The note of caution I would lend the president is that above all, they are voting for the leader of their nation, if you cannot provide that required leadership, the outcome of the presidential election will be a fore gone conclusion come November 2012, and he’ll then only have himself to blame, a honest fact. The most proactive step the Obama administration took on job creation this week was the farcical Tweet for Jobs initiative. I’m sorry, but I expect more from any president.

There was more bad news for the President before the press conference with the release of a new QUINNIPAC UNIVERSITY POLL showing the President’s approval ratings now stand at just 41% with 55% of responder’s disapproving of the president’s job performance. Tomorrow will see the monthly unemployment figures released for September with many commentators expecting the figure to stay at 9.1% at least.

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Trunkline 2012: Monday Mentions from The Republican Presidential Race – 9/26/11

Bookmark and Share    Some of the fallout from today’s trek down the campaign trail ………….Perry’s record under attack, Herman Cain’s Florida win raises questions, and shakes the establishment, Colorado makes the G.O.P. primary calendar a mess, Romney kisses Donald Trump’s ring, more talk about Christie running for President, the Recession Generation is quickly becoming “the Obama Generation”, Democrats try their best to let the government shutdown for the President’s benefit, and liberal discrimination against gays who disagree with them………..

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Republicans Opposed to Tax Increases Need Not Apply

Bookmark and Share    The debt ceiling debate did little to solve our problems.

In fact, as demonstrated by the S&P’s downgrading of our credit rating, if the debt ceiling arrangement did anything, it exacerbated our dire economic situation. Only two possibly promising things came out of it. One was the successful attempt to get Democrats on record as opposing a balanced budget amendment that will come up for a vote by years end. The other was the promise to deal with the budget issues that they once again refused to deal with today. In some ways this is a step in the right direction. Having a vote on the balanced budget amendment is a good first step. But as it currently stands, this is only a possible political success for Republicans, not a policy victory for Americans. Under the current make up of Congress, the bill will not pass the Senate and even if it did, there is not a veto proof Republican majority that can override President Obama’s refusal to sign such a bill. However; being able to get Democrats to vote on the issue, gives Republicans a strong image to run on in future elections. They will have the ability to claim that Democrats don’t want to balance the budget. Such a sound bite is enough to influence the votes of many swing and Independent voters and over time it could help to elect enough Republicans to actually pass a balanced budget amendment. But that is years away. In the near future, we are still left with a debt crisis.

The recent debt ceiling hike deal intends to solve our problem with the creation of a bipartisan Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that will be charged with finding a way to significantly reduce the deficit in the near future not the distant future. But the committee will be made up of 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans. 3 each will be chosen from the respective leaders of the Republican and Democrat House and Senate leadership. For Republicans that means Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will choose which Republicans are on the committee. But now we are told that both Boehner and McConnell will only consider those who voted for the recent debt ceiling agreement for the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

That means that those who rejected stifling economic tax increases will not be at the table. Instead of having any voices that will focus on making significant spending reductions along with major reforms of the entitlements which will account for the bulk of our debt, we are assured only the input of Republicans who are willing to meet Democrats demands. And what do Democrats demand? Tax increases. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid already stated that taxes will be raised by the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

It is bad enough that the so-called super committee charged with deficit reduction is composed solely of the members of the same legislative bodies that got us into the mess were in. But to limit the membership of that committee to Senators and Congresspersons who are willing to consider tax increases is a victory for Democrats. It not only weakens our hand in negotiations from the get go, it essentially concedes ground on the spending addiction we have that we have, to the left.

The Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should be balanced. Of the six Republicans on the committee, 3 should be from the group of G.O.P. members who opposed the debt ceiling hike and 3 should be from among those Republicans who voted for it. Boehner should select two of the many in his conference that voted against it, and McConnell should select one of his Senators that voted against is.

That would be balance. That would assure proper representation of the majority of people in America who believe that we need to cut more than tax and that we need to significantly reform Social Security and Medicare.

This is an issue which our Republican presidential candidates should be chiming in on. They should be criticizing our Congressional leaders who are tying conservative hands in the deficit reduction debate. They should be leading the charge and building the type of popular opinion that can persuade Boehner and McConnell to appoint members who opposed the debt ceiling debate to the deficit super committee.

This committee should really be filled by competent people who have no concern for reelection. People who have balanced budget, created solid pension plans for their employees, instituted successful private sector health insurance policies and plans, and who have created jobs. People like G.E.’s former CEO, Jack Welch. But such is not the case. Instead we are left to rely on the same forces that got us into this problem, to get us out of this problem. Given that sad reality, conservatives should be assured of representation on the super committee that is fiscally conservative, not just politically compromising.

Boehner and McConnell’s refusal to appoint anyone to the deficit reduction committee who voted against the debt ceiling hike forces fiscal conservatives to only hope that the committee is deadlocked and unable to agree upon a plan. Based upon the legislation recently passed, if the committee comes up with nothing, automatic cuts will kick in. That might just be the best thing that could happen.

That said, what do you think?  Vote in this weeks White House 2012 poll and join in the debate on White House 2012’s Facebook discussion page.  

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Is Eric Cantor Out Leading The Leaders?

Bookmark and ShareAs debt ceiling talks heat up I have been asking myself, “Self, who is leading the charge with the conservative message?” Speaker of the House John Boehner certainly has been spending a lot of time with the President. What he has been doing however is not making public those discussions. Do Republicans want secret meetings behind closed doors with President Obama? Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has kept mostly silent until recently when he laid out a plan that led most of his own party to question his sanity if only temporarily. Most of the 2012 candidates have weighed in as well with the line mostly being that those in Congress need to stand firm against tax increases but few have laid out actual plans of their own. The leader that has emerged in the debt ceiling talks has beenHouse majority leader Eric Cantor.

As Speaker Boehner and minority leader McConnell play nice with the White House in trying to reach an agreement, House majority leader Cantor has been outspoken and brash in, as the President himself stated, “calling his bluff.” Far from being politically correct Cantor has emerged as the voice of the GOP during the debt ceiling debate. One reason is his seemingly fearless disposition for going straight to the media after each and every closed door meeting at the White House. Whether the other leaders in the GOP like it or not, Eric Cantor has become the voice the public hears when they want to know what happened during the closed door discussions with the most ‘transparent’ administration ever. When McConnell unveiled his plan Cantor was the first face on the tv screen rejecting it followed by almost the entire Republican party. To the casual observer, who looked like he was in control? It wasn’t Mitch McConnell.

His un-PC ways have made him the poster child for the media in trying to paint the GOP as being, in the words of Senate majority leader Harry Reid “childish’. But in a political environment in which the GOP has come to rely on the votes of the TEA party followers to put them over the top, Cantor’s attitude may be what they need to pull in the support for their debt plans, whatever they may be. The TEA party followers are fed up with the spending and dead set against any tax hikes. They don’t trust the establishment and Cantor is positioning himself as the anti-establishment guy in these talks. Balking at the establishment by making public every thing that is happening during the discussions at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. He is also incurring the wrath of the major Democrat players including the big kahuna himself, President Obama.

Depending upon which version you believe, Obama either stormed out of the talks upset at Cantor’s stubbornness and constant interrupting every time tax increases were brought up or he dressed down the House majority leader and left. Knowing President Obama’s famously thin skin and Cantor’s increasing lack of fear of the bully pulpit, I tend to believe that Eric Cantor “called the bluff”.

As a libertarian leaning fiscal conservative I don’t agree with Eric Cantor all of the time. I do however recognize and appreciate leadership when it comes from unlikely places. Although he won’t run for the White House in 2012 (can you say VP pick?) let me be the first to say, before Anthony begins work on White House 2016 should Obama be re-elected, that Eric Cantor would be one of the 1st names I would toss in the ring.

If Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer dislike you…….you’re ok with me.

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Morning Memo: Election News from the Campaign Trail for April 22nd, 2011

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Rick Santorum Challenges Republicans To Stand Up For DOMA

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Former Pennsylvania Senator and 2012 Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is on the offensive against Republican’s who he feels have been relatively silent regarding the Obama administrations recent statement that it would no longer defend the Defense Of Marriage Act in court. Santorum, a favorite of social conservatives, says it’s no surprise that the Republican leaders haven’t done more since the administration announced earlier this week it was reversing its position on defending DOMA. DOMA says states can refuse to recognize the same-sex marriages and civil unions performed in other states. The law defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

“It is a reality that the media, not just the mainstream media but even quote-unquote conservative publications, like Fox, they tend to write rather negatively about people who stand up and fight for marriage,” Santorum said. “They describe it in terms of bigotry, in terms of discrimination, in terms of (being) homophobic. As a result of that, people stay away from it. They don’t want to be cast in that light by the media. And besides, we all have friends who are gay. I have friends who are gay. But they respect the fact that they disagree with them on policy,” said Santorum as he was on his way home from spending several days in Iowa, home to the first presidential caucuses.

“It’s very disappointing,” Santorum said Friday in an interview with USA TODAY. “Here you have a president of the United States who’s walking away from his constitutional duty to defend the law of the country.”

Santorum has specifically called on House Speaker John Boehner to appoint a counsel representing the House of Representatives to take up the issue and argue the cases in court. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said the speaker “is reviewing the situation with other congressional Republicans and all options are under discussion.”

If Santorum decides to make a run for the GOP nomination it is clear that he will be taking a strong national stance on social issues. Stances which could gain him votes should a Mike Huckabee campaign fail to materialize. If it will appeal to enough voters, who seem focused on jobs and the economy, will be the big test for the former Seanator.

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