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Connecticut and Dodd the Dud Is Yet Another Faultline For Democrats In 2010

Bookmark and Share   In 2008 Connecticut Democrat Senator Chris Dodd was running for the Democrat’s presidential nomination. Now as 2010 approaches he is running for his political life and more and more it is looking like that race will be as successful as his run for President. As a major player in the regulatory schemes that helped bring the DoddDudU4Prezhousing and finance markets to their knees and ushered in the economic crisis that confronts us today, the doldrums that Dodd wades into among Connecticut voters is well deserved.

As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd, along with his counterpart, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Barney “Elmer Fudd” Frank of Massachusetts, led the way for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enter into an unprecedented level of issuing trillions of dollars in low-risk investments that were only sustainable if real estate prices continued rising.

The problem is that real estate prices ceased to rise and started to fall. By the time this reversal took place, it was too late. The lack of liquidity that stemmed from the defaulting of the excessive overextended volume of sub-prime loans began to tighten up the lending of money throughout the entire banking and finance markets and the worldwide credit crunch and economic crisis that we face was born.

It did not have to happen.

In 2005 Alan Greenspan warned Congress of the urgent need to tighten regulations on the systemic abuse that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were partaking in. Before Congress he testified that “if Fannie and Freddie continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,” he said. “We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.”

The advice and circumstances prompted Republicans in 2006 to sponsor new regulations that would have placed the two housing lenders under strict requirements that would have severely limited their ability to take excessive risks and would have corrected illegitimate recording practices that they were participating in. They would have also averted financial ruin.

Chris Dodd rejected these corrective measures. And while refusing to adopt these regulatory measures, he was simultaneously collecting oodles of dollars from Fannie and Freddie and became the largest recipient of campaign contributions from the very entities that he refused to correct.

Another words, Dodd dodged efforts that would have helped to stem the troubling tide of the economic red ink and financial calamity that we found ourselves awash in during 2008.

You can try to put the blame on someone else. You can try to blame it on Bush and you can accuse me of falsifying the factual record on this issue but you would lying. The truth is that President G.W. Bush and his administration called for tighter regulation of government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a total of seventeen times.

On top of that, Republicans sponsored legislation aimed specifically at the tighter regulations and more accurate recording practices that the President and Alan Greenspan asked for. The measure, S.190, was sponsored By Republican Chuck Hagle and co-sponsored by Republican Senators Elizabeth Dole, John Sununu and Senator and former Republican nominee for President John McCain. But with Dodd at the helm of the banking committee, Republicans couldn’t even get the Senate to vote on the matter.

In the meantime while Dodd stalled efforts to avert financial ruin and campaigned for President in Iowa, Fannie and Freddie spat out a trillion dollars worth of sub-prime mortgages between 2005 and 2007 and by 2008, money stopped flowing throughout our nation.

The facts have forced some like Democrat Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama to state, “like a lot of my Democratic colleagues I was too slow to appreciate the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie. I defended their efforts to encourage affordable homeownership when in retrospect I should have heeded the concerns raised by their regulator in 2004. Frankly, I wish my Democratic colleagues would admit when it comes to Fannie and Freddie, we were wrong.”

But the reality of the circumstances which force Dodd to shoulder the largest share of blame for the financial catastrophe that we must endure is not the only burden he must bear as he runs for a fifth term in the United States Senate.

After refusing to stem the economic crisis that Dodd and Democrats could have averted, the Connecticut Senator found himself in the key position of shaping the legislative bailout of Countrywide Financial Corp., a company that found itself needing bailout bucks after operating under the regulatory practices that Dodd refused to reform.

But this brought rise to an ugly conflict of interest. It was discovered that in two separate sweetheart deals, Dodd was the recipient of two cut-rate mortgages of nearly $800,000 from Countrywide Financial. The political favoritism that Countrywide afforded to the Chairman of the senate committee that oversees their business practices is seen as, to say the least, shady and Senator Dodd has not been forthcoming with the details of the arrangements. Instead, without remorse he has promised to refinance the Countrywide deals, which would save him at least $70,000 over the life of the mortgages.

Then in February of this year, after bailing out AIG, Dodd slipped an amendment into the stimulus bill that ensured that executives of firms bailed out by the government could still collect already contracted bonuses. When this slight of hand came to light, Dodd denied doing it. An intense barrage of outright public indignation forced a glaring spotlight on Dodd until he finally admitted to being responsible for the amendment but ultimately he claimed that President Obama made him do it.

Now after being the first Democrat to throw his Democrat President under the bus, a slew of recent improprieties and slights of hand and a prior history of questionable real estate and financing schemes extending from as far back as 1986, Dodd must confront a very leery and disgruntled Connecticut electorate.

With a negative rating for him of anywhere from 38% to 42%, voters in the Nutmeg State have Chris Dodd trailing his likely Republican opponent Rob Simmons by 9%.

A closer look at the most recent Quinnipiac poll that reveals this troubling news for Dodd shows that while the incumbent Senator has somewhat solidified his base Democrat vote with 74% of them willing to again vote for him, his support among the state’s Independent voters continues to slide and Simmons has leaped out to a 29% lead over Dodd among them. With 87% of all Connecticut Republicans declaring confidence in their likely nominee and an overwhelming preponderance of Independent voters also inclined to support him, the numbers seem to add up to an end to Dodd’s almost three decades in the Senate and his lifetime of financial scheming.

As a former Congressman Rob Simmons has a record that could, at best, be considered moderate. It certainly isn’t one that could be construed as that of a cutting edge conservative.

For those of my school of thought, that would not exactly make Rob Simmons my first choice for a senate seat but we are talking about Connecticut. This is a state that, on occassion, considers Joe Lieberman too conservative for their liking so perhaps Simmons is the closest to being a voice of sanity that we can expect out if this region of New England.

But the story here is less the fact that Simmons seems to be in a position to give Dodd a run for his money than it is the fact that Dodd has become a total dud.

In a previous post I pointed out the many instances where conservatives are mounting challenges to the Republican establishment and to the wing of moderates who have compromised away too many of the principles that make us Republicans. I also pointed out that in addition to this emergence of more traditional Republicans some successes of the G.O.P. in 2010 will be brought about by the mere ineptness of many of the Democrats that they will be challenging. The Simmons-Dodd race is just another such example of the latter as Chris Dodd proves himself to be one of the most inept Democrats of all.

So as 2010 approaches, look for Connecticut to provide one of the tremors that will lead to a political earthquake that shifts the tectonic plates of ideological influence and shapes a new landscape on Capitol Hill in the not too distant future.

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OFFER LEGISLATURE MERIT PAY LINKED TO THE ECONOMIES THAT THEY MANIPULATE

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ASSEMBLYMAN RICHARD MERKT
ASSEMBLYMAN RICHARD MERKT

Assemblyman Richard Merkt recently proposed to slash the salaries of New Jersey lawmakers by 10%.However, the Assemblyman is a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination and the proposal could be viewed as an election gimmick. Then again, everything that any lawmaker does can be seen as a election gimmick.

In light of the recent pay raise of federal legislators, Merkt’s proposal is a noble one and worth looking at.

So his point is well taken. Times are tough and our representatives should be willing to make sacrifices and at least pretend to be empathetic to the people whose lives they affect.

Besides, lawmakers are partially responsible for any state’s economy including the one we are currently in here in Jersey so they should be more directly effected. I say they are partly responsibly because not everything is their fault. Nature, world events and human stupidity outside of Trenton politics, all play a part. But our lawmakers are elected to both steer us and our state economy in the right direction and to help our state better cope with the situations that we are dealt.

That being the case, it can easily be said that the current state legislature has not done a good job.

New Jersey has led the way in economic trouble over the past few years and under the direction of Governor Jon Corzine, the state legislature has been ill equipped at handling the situation. In fact, together the Democrat controlled state legislature and Democrat Governor have made matters worse.

Together they raised taxes, increased fees made it harder to do business in New Jersey and expanded opportunities for government corruption.

It could be said that Republicans bare no responsibility for this situation since they do not control any branch of state government. I can agree with that but it still doesn’t get Republicans off the hook.

Both parties have failed the people of New Jersey to one degree or another.

Democrats have failed to do anything right and Republicans have failed at convincing anyone that they could do better.

Given these circumstances, I have a more interesting proposal than Assemblyman Merkt’s.

How about we link state legislative and executive salaries to the economy and taxes of the state that they run.

Currently New Jersey State Assembly members and Senators make $49,000 a year.

I say let us reduce those salaries to a base of $41.000 a year and then use the following standard.

  1. For every percent or portion of a percentage that any given legislature raises income and property taxes, their salaries are decreased by 2%. For every percentage or degree of a percentage that they decrease income and property taxes their salaries can be raise by half of one percent.
  2. For every percent or portion of a percentage that they raise a sales or service tax, their salaries also decrease by that same percentage. Conversely, their salaries can be raised by half a percent for every full percent of a decrease in such taxes.
  3. For any new tax created, their salaries are reduced by 2% plus the equivalent percentage of that new tax.
  4. Every toll increase passed during any legislative session is matched by a reduction in legislative salaries that equal to the percentage of that increase.
  5. And finally, state legislative salaries are further reduced by the same number of percentage points that the state’s unemployment rate is whenever it exceeds 4%.

To make it fair. Newly elected legislators would not be held accountable for the taxes and economic situation that any previous legislative session, which they did not have a hand in, was responsible for, and so they would start with the base pay of 41K.

Of course, such measures would not prevent rich people like Governor Jon Corzine from raising fees and taxes, misappropriating funds and offering sweet heart deals to sweethearts like Carla Katz. After all, Corzine took a $400 million golden parachute from Wall Street and doesn’t even accept his salary for Governor but this system could help to make less well off lawmakers work a little harder to address our problems and to fight the wealthy Governor. Having their own pockets linked to what they pick out of ours could just help to make them finally work together for the benefit of themselves as well as us. Maybe such a pay scale system will help to really create a sense of bipartisanship?

Perhaps if the lawmakers of New Jersey had their financial well being directly linked to the state’s financial well being and our own financial opportunities, maybe tax increases and increased fees for everything from driving to landscaping and joining a gym will be viewed as a last resort. Like it should be.

Perhaps by immediately linking their decisions directly to their own incomes, they may better empathize with the financial impact that they bring to bare on those they are representing .

You could say that it is not fair to those who vote against penalizing taxes or policies that drive businesses away and raise the unemployment in the state. That might be so, but, those who simply voted against something are still culpable. They have more than a responsibility to vote against such measures. They have the responsibility of leadership and the responsibility of making their case and doing it so well that a preponderance of people in the state as well as the legislature are persuaded by their arguments. They must convince people why others are wrong and they are right. Failing to do so is a failure that they share in common with those who support regressive economic policies.

So Assemblyman Merkt’s proposed 10 % reduction in salary is nice.

It is certainly going in a direction far better than the 2.8% pay increase that Congress is willing to take, at of all times, now. But the gesture Merkt is making could be made more meaningful and be more enduring. By linking legislative salaries to their actions we are adding a new incentive to politics and a new level of innovation……..political merit pay. If you do a good job and keep a good economy going you get paid better.

Is this crazy?

Maybe it is. Maybe it is as far fetched as a State Senator taking money from a no show job given to him by a school funded with state money that the same State Senator helped procure with tax payer dollars that he helped get through the state legislature. Maybe this political merit pay scale sounds just as crazy as that same corrupt State Senator getting his state funded pension after ripping the state off and being convicted.

But just like former *Senator Wayne Bryant, it may sound crazy but it could be true if like Wayne Bryant, we just did it.

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*Wayne Bryant pressured officials of University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey  to create a no-show job  that  allowed him to lobby himsef’ for taxpayer funds. Bryant also chaired the Senate Appropriations comittee which Funneled large sums of taxpayers dollare to UMDNJ.

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punchline-politics21

I was talking to a friend of mine’s little girl the other day.

I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and she replied, 

I want to be President!” 

Both of her parents are liberal Democrats and were standing there. So then I asked her, “If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?”

She replied, “I’d give houses to all the homeless people.” 

“Wow – what a worthy goal.” I told her, “You don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you $50. Then I’ll take you over to the grocery store where this homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward a new house.” 

Since she is only 6, she thought that over for a few seconds. While her Mom glared at me, she looked me straight in the eye and asked,

“Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?” 

And I said, “Welcome to the Republican Party.” 

Her folks still aren’t talking to me.

 Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md

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CHRISTIE TELLS SUPPORTERS THAT HE WILL MAKE IT OFFICIAL

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FORMER MORRIS COUNTY FREEHOLDER AND FEDERAL PROSECUTOR CHRIS CHRISTIE

FORMER MORRIS COUNTY FREEHOLDER AND FEDERAL PROSECUTOR CHRIS CHRISTIE

This morning Chris Christie officially declared that he will make a run for the Republican nomination for Governor official during the first week of February.

 

With access to lists of Republican supporters and activists collected by Christie supporters such as State Senator Joe Kyrillos, the former prosecutor sent the following message.

Dear Friend,

This morning I am filing papers to begin the process to become a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Jersey.

I did not take this step lightly. It was only after careful consideration and consultation with my family that I decided to become a candidate.

New Jersey is broken. New Jersey’s taxes have become so unaffordable that more families are leaving our state than moving here. Our state’s business tax climate is ranked 50th in the nation and has become so unattractive to employers that only government jobs are growing in New Jersey. Yet nothing in Trenton gets done to fix these problems.

We can change this. We can solve these problems if we’re willing to make the tough decisions.

In my seven years as your United States Attorney, I didn’t shy away from any of the tough decisions. I took on corporate greed, political corruption, terrorism and environmental polluters. Public officials from both parties were prosecuted for corruption – more than 130 were convicted, and not one was acquitted. Corporate executives who cheated their companies and hurt their workers were successfully prosecuted. Terrorist plots were disrupted; polluters punished.

Many didn’t believe we could win these battles. We did, and with strong leadership we will win the fight for Governor and change this state for the better.

My formal announcement for Governor will come in the first week in February and I hope you will join us (I will email you the details). With strong leadership now, we can fix our broken state and make it more affordable for all New Jersey families.

Sincerely,

Chris Christie

The filing of papers with the State Board of Elections to begin making his his candidacy for Governor of New Jersey a reality is about time.

For Christie to stall his decision to run or not run any longer would be detrimental to both his own success and our party’s success.

It is no secret that he would probably be running and to begin with a late, or later start than he already intends, only makes things tougher for the G.O.P. than they may already be.

From the message sent out by Christie, which essentially makes his intentions clear, one can see that the soon to be candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Jersey is banking on a campaign that will play up his prosecutorial, clean government credentials and business interests.

Those are important issues however, Christie would be wise to highlight the damage done to the citizens of New Jersey due to the anti business climate that Corzine and Democrats have created in the state more than just the desire of businesses. The focus needs to be on the people. By simply making himself the “pro-business” candidate, Christie will fall into a trap that Democrats are great at. It is a trap that, in the minds of voters, Democrats perpetuate a sense that Republicans are the party for big business.

So Christie needs to carefully phrase his intentions to improve the environment for business in New Jersey.antchristiey

 

One of the most encouraging comments in his email was a reference to the fact that only government jobs are growing in New Jersey. If Christie can hammer home the fact that Democrats have made government a business that they treat like corrupt Wall Street, ponzi schemers and profit from at the sake of taxpayers, he may be on to a winning theme in November.

But first he must get our nomination.

It is my hope that Chris Christie will work hard for that nomination. He just might have to with people like Assemblyman Richard Merkt and former Mayor Steve Lonegan on his tail.

The two, especially Mayor Lonegan are going to be innovative in their approaches to government and in a time when Americans were wanting “change”, New Jerseyans are really wanting change. Business as usual is not something that New Jersey residents want from government and people like Steve Lonegan are anything but business usual. Many can see that as a refreshing change from the business as usual that we have gotten from the current administration in Trenton.

So once Christie does become an official candidate and starts campaigning as one, it will be interesting to see how he distinguishes himself from the pack and from your run of the mill politicians.

And the sooner he starts trying to do so, the better.

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POSTED EARLIER TODAYJACK KEMP – A POLITICAL ICON BATTLES CANCER

It has been reported that Jack Kemp has cancer.

His office released the following statement:

“Mr. Kemp has been undergoing tests to determine the origin of the disease and the options for continued treatment. He will continue to serve as Chairman of Kemp Partners and plans to remain involved in his business, charitable and politically related activities. Mr. Kemp and his family are grateful for the thoughts and prayers of friends and appreciate respect for their privacy at this time”……….

To Read More, Go To:

https://politics247.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/jack-kemp-a-political-icon-battles-cancer/

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CORZINE TAKES NEW JERSEY FOR A RIDE….On the Hindenburg

 

Governor Jon Corzine

Governor Jon Corzine

Governor Jon Corzine has declared that he is slashing New Jersey’s budget by as much as $812 million in order to close in on the state’s $2.1 billion budget gap.

Wow, a whopping $812 million dollars. That will do a lot. Well not really. But I guess Governor Corzine knows what he is doing. I mean after all, he is a Wall Street genius and we all know how smart those Wall Streeter’s are and he did have a golden parachute that earned him $4oo million dollars after he got pushed out of Goldman Sachs.

So maybe his $812 million in budget cuts are smart. I am not too sure though.

 When Jon Corzine first came to Trenton, in just six short months he increased taxes in New Jersey by almost $2 billion dollars. This happened after he ran for Governor promising to “control spending”.

Now Corzine is up for reelection and we have a budget deficit slightly larger than the total amount of revenue he raised in tax increases when he first took office.

I think we can safely say that Governor Corzine did not “controls spending”

Ponzi Schemer Bernie Madoff

Ponzi Schemer Bernie Madoff

In fact Governor Corzine has not controlled anything in New Jersey. What he has done is try to take his Wall Street experience and apply it to government. The problem is that his finance experience depends upon bailouts and golden parachutes. He has even delayed a presentation of New Jersey’s own annual budget till March in the hope that the federal government will come to his rescue. I bet you didn’t know that when we elected Barack Obama, he became the de facto finance chairman for New Jersey.

When it comes to budgets, Jon Corzine attended the Bernie Madoff School of Finance. It is located right next to the Jim McGreevey School of Ethics, where ,by the way, Governor Corzine also got a degree.

Disgraced Ex-Governor Jim McGreevey

Disgraced Ex-Governor Jim McGreevey

His major in finance and minor in ethics both came in handy during his secret negotiations with his former girlfriend Carla Katz, as the two hammered out a lucrative state contract that greatly benefited the Communication Workers Union that Katz presided over. For the Governor’s efforts, Katz and the CWA made out like bandits and taxpayers got suckered out of more money than investors in Madoff’s ponzi scheme. More than a year later and we’re still trying to figure out how that deal happened and the courts are figuring out exactly why Corzine and Katz refuse to release the details.

But all is well. The Governor has promised to make $812 million dollars in cuts to the budget. Some of the cuts include $11,000 from adolescent illiteracy, $4 million from The turnpike and parkway, $15 million from aid to municipalities and $75 million from public schools.

Never mind the over 83 aides that the Governor has earning a hundred thousand dollars or more a year. Never mind the countless patronage positions that exist in every school district, municipal government, state agency and legislative staff. Never mind the endless array of programs that government should not be involved in in any fashion. No, none of those things add up.

Let’s face it. Like everything else Jon Corzine has said or dne, it is meaningless. It is just like his first gesture when he

Jon Corzine

Jon Corzine

 initially took office. With generosity and sincerity of purpose, Jon Corzine made it clear that he would not accept the $175,000 annual salary that comes with the job. Oh boy, thank you Jon. That is so,….. it is so,……. so kind of you. I mean with a personal fortune in excess of $400 million dollars those few thousand must really be a great sacrifice for you.

Sarcasm aside, it was a publicity stunt and like everything else, the gesture was meaningless. It was not a sign of sincere intentions and it did not make a difference. Much like his entire tenure as Governor.

To date, the only significant action that New Jersey has encountered under his leadership was the abolishment of the death penalty in New Jersey and the worthiness of that achievement is quite debatable.

Other than that, he has raised taxes every chance he has gotten and he has pushed for increasing tolls on our roadways every year for decades to come. He even pushed for putting tolls on roads that don’t have any tolls.

The Hindenbyrg Going Down In Lakehurst, New Jersey

The Hindenburg Going Down In Lakehurst, New Jersey

Truth is, Jon Corzine is like the Hindenburg. He floats around like a big deal but instead of getting us from point A to point B, he explodes and unleashes a load of rubble allover the place. There is not a single problem that he has solved or improvement that he has created. All he has done is enter into shady deals, hire inept cabinet officials, tinker with budgets and raise taxes.

New Jersey really does need a change.

We need a leader who can take control of circumstances, not be controlled by circumstances. We need someone who can clean up the mess, not make a mess.

It is time for Republicans in New Jersey to get their act together.  The Republican Minority Leaders in the Senate and Assembly have better get on message.  They need to create and present their own budget, drop everything else and from High Point to Cape May, make that budget known.  They need to point to the empty list of  achievements that the Governor has accomplished and point out what the Democrat majorities in the legislature blocked.  Beyond pointing out what they did wrong and the right things that they didn’t do, Republicans need to make it clear what they would do and present New Jersey with their roadmap.

After that, we have to get rid of Corzine.

Ridding ourselves of him wont eliminate all of New Jersey’s problems but it will at least help prevent us from getting into more trouble.

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punchline-politics21

The rest of the world cannot understand how after bitter election campaigns

…….American politicians can return to reality. For instance, Sarah Palin has invited to her great state of Alaska the men who defeated her, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

She has provided a moose hunting trip for their enjoyment and has hired two other prominent men to assist them. Dick Cheney will instruct them in safe gun handling, and Ted Kennedy will drive them back to their cabins in the evening.

What a gal! That Sarah is such a sport and thinks of everything!

Submitted by Bill, Ardmore, Pa.

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THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE AND THE SARATIZATION OF STALE POLITICS

In 1968 the campaign of Hubert Humphrey was the first presidential election to use a television ad attacking the oppositions vice presidential nominee. It was used to make fun of Richard of Nixon’s selection of then Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew.

That election was won by Richard Nixon with 301 electoral votes to 191 electoral votes. Third party candidate, Governor George Wallace won 5 southern states and 46 electoral votes.

The ad on Agnew had little effect.

Today we face a much different electoral map, yet one thing that is not different is the use of Sarah Palin by the opposition in this election. Many private groups have taken it upon themselves to run ads, on behalf of Barack Obama, that focus on Palin.

Governor Palin will Saratize the stale political atmosphere

Governor Palin will Saratize the stale political atmosphere

The great attention on Palin came within days of the boost that her addition to the ticket brought to John McCain’s candidacy. A sort of fear overcame the liberal extremists within the Obama camp and outside of it. They were caught off guard by the selection. They were offended by the presentation of a strong, accomplished woman that was not Hillary Clinton or who married into power.

When she was first announced as McCain’s running mate, the Obamakins stated that her only experience is as a small town mayor. They skipped right over the fact that she is a sitting governor. They immediately wrote off her experience because “some” of it, was rooted in a small town and from their perspective small town America doesn’t matter.

Since than, the left has attacked her family, her education and her religion. They have lied about her decisions and actions and claimed that she banned books that were not even published at the time and that she supported secession from the Union when she simply spoke against secession before groups that did advance that cause.

In other words, the left went nuts. They did not know how to deal with her candidacy and they still don’t.

As the vice presidential debate approaches I am sure that they are still at wits end when it comes to coping with her presence on the stage. They have more lies ready to hit to the stands. They have more distortions that they are ready to perpetuate on the internet and over the airwaves. They have plenty of mud to throw but they have little constructive commentary to replace their mud with.

During the course of the debate, I am confident of one thing, Sarah Palin will be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale political environment. I am sure she will provide rational sectors of the electorate, with confidence in her abilities and beyond that she will instill a sense of confidence in her ability to bring about their desire for reform of business as usual, Washington, DC, politics.

You see, Sarah Palin does lack experience. She lacks the experience of Washington, DC and it’s go along to get along mentality. She lacks the experience of putting aside one priority for someone’s political favor. Palin lacks the experience of inaction and double talk. On the other hand she has the experience of standing up to the status quo, eliminating deadweight and defeating obstacles to progress. She has the experience of being able to make government work for the people, not against them.

The left can make all the false charges that they want but the truth of Governor Palin’s record cannot be changed. She has spent her time in public service tackling corruption and standing up to the powers that be, even when they were in her own party. She has developed economic policies that enrichened the pockets of Alaskans, not legislated money out of their pockets.

To the contrary, her debate opponent, Joe Biden, has never once opposed a tax increase, reduced the size of

Biden will use DC doubletalk to poluute the political atmosphere

Biden will use DC doubletalk to poluute the political atmosphere

government or stood up to his party and he is a longtime member of the liberal establishment. He is the type of Washington insider that gets hung up on politics and losses sight of positive progress. Biden is the politician who made the decision to hold a “trial” to determine whether, a decade earlier, Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had committed the outrages of remarking to Anita Hill that dirt on a can of soda looked like pubic hair. Biden is the man who recently touted that the answer to Iraq’s problem was splitting the sovereign nation up into thirds based upon religious sects.

Just as was the case in the 1968 election, this election will not hinge on the vice presidential candidates or their debate and the left’s attacks on Palin will make even less difference. Most people vote for the President, not the Vice President but what people, especially undecided and independent voters, will walk away with is a sense of which ticket is more suited to change the way Washington works. Change in the sense of reform that will take effect from the top down.

I believe that Sarah Palin will Saratize the stale atmosphere of DC politics and that her common sense talk will prevail over Biden’s DC doubletalk.

And for those of you who want to claim that when it comes to the vice presidency, Sarah Palin does not have enough experience but when it comes to the Presidency, Barack Obama does……..I suggest you take a look at this:

 

 

 

Top 10 Signs Your Presidential Candidate is Under-Qualified

1.- Promises to improve foreign relations with Hawaii.

2.- Runs a series of attack ads against Martin Sheen’s character on “The West Wing”.

3.- His #1 choice to work on his cabinet is “That Bob Vila guy”.

4. – Outstanding record as Governor of Rhode Island nullified by the fact that no one cares.

5. – Got his degree in Political Economics by bribing Sally Struthers with a chocolate donut.

6. – Anybody mentions Washington, he asks, “The state or the DC thingie?”

7. – At the debates, answers every question with a snarled, “You wanna wrestle?”

8. – Vows to put an end to the war in Pokemon and free the Pikachu refugees once and for all 

9. – Says the Pledge of Allegiance as quickly as possible, then shouts, “I win!”

                10. -On the very first question of the debate, he attempts to use a lifeline.

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OBAMA and McCAIN NEED TO RESCUE ANY RESCUE PACKAGE

One will be President.  Both need to show us why they should be.

One will be President. Both need to show us why they should be.

Presidents must provide leadership that leads us away from crisis if they see it coming. If they didn’t see it coming, they must get us through it.

The current financial crisis that our nation is being warned of could have been avoided if we acted on some of the preventive measures that would have averted the recent need for a 700 billion dollar rescue package. Not avoiding it is something that I blame President Bush for. Note, I do not blame him for the problem but I do blame him and the administration for not seeing it coming. I blame him for not heading the advice of others who warned us about the mortgage lending practices which have inevitably threatened every other, major, area of the economy. People like John McCain who in 2005 proposed measures to correct our course and avoid the ice field.

Someone was asleep at the wheel on this one. It was akin to being on duty in the watchtower and still not seeing the iceberg that sunk the Titanic.

I will blame the President for allowing the issue to get to this point and requiring an historic, expensive hurried, solution to what should have been avoided, but I will not blame him for creating the problem that he did not acknowledge until it was too late.

Clinton's National Homeowners Strategt led to out national economic unraveling

Nat'l Homeoners Strategy led to crisis

This was a problem created, in part, by the Clinton era.

Under the Clinton administration mandates were created that forced FannieMae and FreddieMac to extend high risks loans to low income and minority applicants. Clinton‘s National Homeowners Strategy was a financial scheme that promoted insanely low down payments and coerced lenders into giving mortgage loans to first-time buyers with unstable financing and incomes. It was a way to increase homeownership. That is an admirable motive but as usual,the  liberal mentality, forced government to do that which it should not have done. Essentially, the Clinton era initiatives that forced government action on private sector interests led to the need for government to take over FannieMae and FreddieMac. This is not to say that private sector greed and bad business practices did not add to the wrong minded government policy, it did, but what happened here is that government solutions to one problem, created another . Now, ironically, the government which helped to create this problem is having to solve it.

There are many lessons that can be learned from this. Whether you refuse to learn those lessons is up to you but the lessons are there. The left , under Nancy Pelosi, want to point fingers at Republicans and blame the entire problem on their tendencies for deregulation. That could almost be plausible if it was true. Unfortunately for liberals, it is not true. Conservatives are not for no regulation. Conservatives are for less regulations. They are against government regulations such as the Clinton era housing initiatives which forced FannieMae and FreddieMac to enter into high risk loans that should never have had the opportunity to be defaulted on. Republicans are against the type of regulations that prevent reasonable growth of our economy that is based upon sound policy and business practices.

Such was the case in 2005 when John McCain sponsored the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act which was specifically aimed at reeling in the higher than acceptable risk taking of FannieMae and FreddieMac. It was also designed to reign in many of the shady recording practices that both institutions were conducting.

The Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 was, as it’s name indicates, a bill of regulatory reform, a bill that would have reformed the regulations which have added to the creation of the current economic crisis. The bill was ignored and denied by Democrats and the Democrat chairmen of the committees responsible for the bill. Congressman Barney frank and senator Chris Dodd did not act on this corrective initiative. Yet today, they join with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in blaming Republicans.

Pelosi’s lack of ability to lead has been clear for many years. During the last two years, as Speaker of the House,her lack of leadership has been profound. It lacked the ability to get her own party in line and pass their own liberal initiatives. That is why this is one of history’s least productive congressional legislative
The most unaccomplished Speaker in history

The most unaccomplished Speaker in history

sessions.

Between President Bush sleeping at the economic wheel and the house Democrat leaders’s lack of ability to accomplish anything, we need a leader to step forward. For me that leadership should come from the next President. It should come from the individual who will be steering our economic ship with whatever the burden of the solution to this crisis is.

Barack Obama and John McCain are incumbent senators. They have a responsibility to live up to in those capacities and they should not use a political campaign as an excuse for avoiding that responsibility.

John McCain was right when last week he suspended normal campaign activity in a stated attempt to deal with the legislative package aimed at rescuing the economy. He was wrong to back away from this original position. In doing so we are back to square one and Nancy Pelosi’s lack of leadership along with that of President Bush and Committee Chairs Dodd and Barney still leaves us crying out for effective leadership.

John McCain is no Nostradamus, but on this issue he has been ahead of the curve and his instincts have been right, at least since 2005 when he proposed measures that would have not allowed things to spiral out of control and bring us to this point. McCain should continue with those instincts and apply them in his capacity as a sitting senator.

Why did he reject the solutions before it bacame a problem?

Why did he reject the solutions before it baecame a problem?

I understand that neither McCain or Obama sit on the House Financial Services Committee or the Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee, which are the primary committees handling the bailout package. However, their involvement on the issue,along, with their colleagues can interject some much needed initiatives and direction into those committees. To believe that since they are not on the committee, they have nothing to do with it or no ability to influence it is absurd.

If either of these two men have the capacity to lead us that their individual campaigns would have us believe than now is their chance to show it.

Too late now to save the process he helped to sink

Too late now to save the process he helped to sink

Now is the time for them to demonstrate their purported abilities to solve problems and unite people together to properly address our national concerns. If either of these men have the answers to our problems, than now is the time to provide those answers. If the economic dangers we are witnessing are truly a crisis, now is the time to answer their calls to duty.

Get off their high horses and get behind their legislative desks of responsibility. Do not politicize the crisis in stump speeches before adoring supporters in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Colorado.  Go to Washington, D.C. and rally the legislative geniuses of Capital Hill together behind appropriate, legitimate legislation that will address the crisis.

I want McCain and Obama to present their rescue packages. A package of legislative measures that:

A. – Produces an acceptable level of fluidity in the credit markets
B. – Prevent the abusive practice of an overextension of risky loans.
C. – Tightens the recording practices of all federal monetary institutions.
D. – Eliminates the Clinton era National Homeownership Strategy policies
E. – Levees a payback with interest on any and all monies invested in bailout packages
F. – Eliminate golden parachutes for executive officers responsible for insolvency

Obama and McCain may not sit on the committees charged with hammering out such a package but they are

Talk is cheap. Action is essential.

Talk is cheap. Action is essential.

charged with the responsibility to create a package that the proper committees must address. Through their leadership they can create a plan that is good enough to garner support and strong enough to rally behind. If they cannot do this than they have no right to comment on the process and use it to advance their candidacies for President.

I want them to demonstrate through deed, not word, how good their abilities are to resolve problems and deal with crisis.

If either McCain or Obama want to demonstrate that they have the ability to accomplish things as President, now is the chance to show it, not just talk about it. The cry for leadership in this crisis is loud and clear and if Obama and/or McCain refuse to answer those cries, than neither one should be asking for the chance to lead our nation for the next four years to come.

Last Wednesday, when McCain embraced the issue and suspended his campaign, he was on track. It was the right thing to do. Since than he has strayed off this track and now we still do not have a rescue package in place. Now, more than ever he needs to get back on track, suspend his campaign and take the lead on the issue. Develop a plan that can win the day and help propel him to the White House.

A campaign is a great forum for ideas to be expressed but a time of crisis is a great forum for leadership to be practiced. McCain and Obama need to practice it now.

punchline politics

A Guide to U.S. Newspapers 

 

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
2. The New York Times is read by people who think they run the country.
3. The Washington Post is read by people who think they should run the country.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand the Washington Post. They do, however like the smog statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could spare the time, and if they didn’t have to leave L.A. to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country, and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country either, as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country, or that anyone is running it; but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority, feministic atheist dwarfs, who also happen to be illegal aliens from ANY country or galaxy as long as they are democrats.

10. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.

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IF A DEAL IS NOT MET, POSTPONE THE DEBATE. PUT COUNTRY BEFORE POLITICS

McCain Putting Country First

McCain Putting Country First

Days ago I wondered why aren’t the two men who are sitting, United States Senators, and running to assume the presidency of the United States, actively involved in the proposed, largest in history, government bailout and economic initiative that we are about implement? It would only seem logical that their potential leadership as presidents be applied in this process.

This past Wednesday, John McCain took to thinking the same way. He announced that he would suspend all of his normal campaign activities, including a scheduled debate on foreign affairs, in order to actively participate in shaping the rushed legislation to correct the economic woes that exist within several sectors of the financial market . He called upon Barack Obama to do the same.

Contrary to the opinion of critics and liberals, this was a move that called for a cessation in the political pugilism of a campaign and replace it with action. The economic policy initiative being worked on here is a an expensive proposal that requires due diligence and attention. By suspending the political exploitation of the issue to participate in the process and allow for proper attention to it, John McCain has once again put country first and shown us that he is serving a cause greater than self.

John McCain has been in the lead on this issue since 2005 when he put forward Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005. It was a measure that would have prevented the lack of proper regulation and recording practices that allowed the current crisis to get to this point. Democrats, including the current chairmen of the house and senate committees responsible for such legislation, blocked it.

Liberals Chris Dodd and Barney Franks are the Chairmen of the committees which oversaw the very aspects of the process which led to the crisis we are now in. Suddenly they are working together, holding hearings and trying to hammer out a solution to a problem that has now exploded. Where have they been prior to this? For them to suggest that John McCain is not needed to solve this crisis and that he need not to suspend his campaign to address the issue properly is preposterous. He is a sitting Senator, as is Obama. Since 2005, McCain has tried to avoid the problem we are now facing and led the way to prevent it. For the last two years, his first years in the senate, Barack Obama has campaigned for President. I would suggest that of the two, John McCain is the more rational voice on the issue. His actions to postpone that which would distract from the dire attention needed for this bailout package are not only right, they are prudent.

Detractors claim that this a political ploy. They suggest that a President must be able to handle more than one issue at a time. That is true, however, a President must also be able to demonstrate that he can properly prioritize issues and actions. A president needs the instincts and judgment that allows fellow Americans to understand the urgency of a situation. When 9/11 struck, we accepted it’s obvious importance as the most immediate concern to our nation and we accepted the postponement of other priorities in order to focus on the main concern. The failing of certain sectors of the financial market does not compare to the tragedy and horror of 9/11 but it does represent the necessity for the same type of urgency for action and attention.

I am concerned with the rush of pork barrel spending, legislators to craft a 700 billion dollar legislative initiative. I understand the need for the relatively quick development of the initiative but quick is not what the government is good at. They botch up things that they work on for years, yet we are  suppose to be confident in something that they throw together in days.

That being said, since there is the need for congress to quickly come up with a package that corrects certain wrongs before they start infecting other areas of our economy, I want them to spend the few days in question working on it, focused on it and not distracted from it. I want McCain’s input and leadership on this issue. I want attention to detail that opposes any last minute, unaffiliated, pork barrel measures added on to this bill. I do not want to see the crisis used as a political game with bumper sticker slogans being used to solve the problem.

If this budget bailout package is not worked out in time for Friday’s debate, than so be it. The work to create a truly proper and effective bailout package will still need to be done and I would not mind the two candidates applying themselves to it. One of the two will inherit an administration that will have to deal with the results of this legislation and I prefer them to work on it. I do not want them to be debating foreign affairs while our

Obama, Putting Politics First

Obama, Putting Politics First

nation deals with the most drastic measures in the history of economic affairs.

You can call McCain’s suspension of regular campaign activity a ploy but I call it a judgment call that demonstrates his sincere sense of responsibility and desire to put country first. Barack Osama’s “call me if you need me” attitude democrats the judgment of his “above my pay grade attitude. Both men are elected representatives in the United states Senate and both men have responsibilities to that position. Barack Obama is taking that responsibility lightly and putting his campaign for president first.

 

Rules Of Washington

If it’s worth fighting for, it’s worth fighting dirty for.

Don’t lie, cheat or steal…unnecessarily.

There is always one more son of a bitch than you counted on.

An honest answer can get you into a lot of trouble.

The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.

Chicken little only has to be right once.

“NO” is only an interim response.

You can’t kill a bad idea.

If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried.

The truth is a variable.

A porcupine with his quills down in just another fat rodent.

You can agree with any concept or notional future option, in principle, but fight implementation every step of the way.

A promise is not a guarantee.

If you can’t counter the argument, leave the meeting

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BE REAL ABOUT THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

The Economy Is Sound Enough To Endure Bursting Bubbles
The Economy Is Sound Enough To Endure Bursting Bubbles

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the race for President heats up, issues are sometimes being discussed. At late, the topic of discussion seems to be the economy. As the economy has hit a bump due to the bursting of the bubble in the housing market, several financial institutions have gone or are on the verge of going bankrupt. As result the government is stepping in, in an attempt to head off the ripple effect that these collapses may cause.

It should be noted that the house flipping craze which caused many wide eyed risk takers to enter into over the past 5 years, have found out that they bit off more than could chew. The mortgages taken out on houses that they never intended to live in have come due and they could no longer afford the gambles that they made. The problem is that the housing market turned and after these house flippers invested tons of money into these homes in order to increase there values and sell them for a whopping profit, they find themselves without enough money to pay the mortgages that they used to buy the property in the first place.

Were it not for these risk takers willingness to overextend themselves the lending markets would not have overextended themselves. But because they have the chickens are coming home to roost and as result many innocent people who did not make such gambles are at risk. The lack of return to lenders from bankrupt gamblers have forced lenders to tighten up and the market has shrunk.

Now I do not presume to have the answers, I am not Alan Greenspan and I offer to you that Alan Greenspan did not have the answers either but I will say this, the American people did not enter into the risks that the house flipping, get rich quick, entrepreneurs did and although we are all suffering because of them, we should not be forced to bail them out.

If Joe Blow goes to the Kentucky Derby and places life savings on BushWonFloriduh to win and subsequently loses because Clinton-Lied came in first, should the federal reserve be forced to come in and subsidize Joe Blow?

Now of course the intricacies of the economy go beyond that analogy and there is a need for the government to step in and enact necessary measures that prevent the nation from entering into an economic unraveling due to a collapse that could lead to higher unemployment and a further shrinking of the economy and they are doing so. But this leads us back to this campaign for President.

Barack “America” and John McCain are now tussling over the economy. Obama blames Republicans, the current administration and John McCain for the closing of Lehman Bros., the takeover of FannieMae and Mac and the pending circumstances surrounding A.I.G… He wants more regulation. Given the circumstances I can say that I agree. And so does John McCain who unlike Barack Obama, called for regulations that would leave the national economy at less risk than it has been. The difference is the extent to which that the regulation goes.

I believe Obama’s liberal drive for control will lead to overregulation, which without his realizing or understanding, would lead to an eventual shrinking of the economy, just as it has done in the past when liberal overregulation killed certain market sectors and destroyed economic growth.

On top of this Barack Obama leads his charge by going on a political rant that accuses John McCain of being out of touch. He makes this accusation based on the fact that McCain believes our economy is sound.

Well I have news for Barack, McCain is right. Despite the collapse of a financial institution that overextended itself and a sector of the housing market that saw it’s over inflated market bubble burst , in September, the economy posted a strong gain of 3.3 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter. This was led by growth in consumer spending, exports, and the recent stimulus package. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the level of growth demonstrated the “resilience of the economy in the face of high energy prices, a weak housing market, and difficulties in the financial markets“.

On top of that, orders for durable goods have been rising in recent months and productivity growth over the past four quarters has been strong at 3.4 percent – above the averages for each of the past three decades over the course of the Administration.

What this amounts to is the fact that despite recent troubles in certain sectors, the American economy is sound. Sound enough to not fall apart due to crisis in anyone sector.

Unlike the house flippers who helped to bring on the problems that we are seeing unfold, the American economy and it’s people do not put all our eggs in one basket.

According to James Sherk, an analyst and expert in labor economics, macroeconomics, fiscal policy, and economic growth, politicians like Obama, in the case of the economy, “should not get away with spinning gold into straw to score political points. While the economy is not doing as well as it did at the height of the tech bubble, it is still growing strongly”.

In other words the economy is “sound” and over exaggerated claims that the sky is falling should not be made by a politician who has yet to demonstrate that he has the judgment to do what is right.

John McCain warned of the need to regulate against the type of activity that led to the headlines we are reading today, Barack Obama did not. Yet Obama comes before us to say that he can solve the problem and he does so by overreaching and offering the type of regulation that would take the word “free” out of “free markets”. What John McCain has offered are measures that would prevent the type of overextension that is causing the federal government to now step in and share in the burden of.

What John McCain is doing is telling the truth. He is not trying to create a national downturn in the economy so that he can come off as the messianic savior that Barack “America” makes himself out to be. John McCain is not trying to make things seem worse so that he can get elected. He is the telling the truth when he says “the American economy is sound”. Were it not, we would not be able to endure the headlines that we read today.

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THE TOP 10 POLITICAL HAPPENINGS OF 2008

With the new year here, we have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to thank the passage of time for resolving some situations. While some happenings in 2008 came and went, other events of 2008 still require time, time that will absorb much of 2009 and even beyond.

So today, before we forge ahead with the rest of this new year, we reflect on the events that shaped politics and the politics that shaped events, by presenting to you the 10 most significant political stories of the year that helped to get us where we are today.

TONY SNOW

TONY SNOW

10. – THE DEATHS OF TIM RUSSERT and TONY SNOW

TIM RUSSERT

TIM RUSSERT

Both of these men loved politics. For a time they were both involved in politics on different sides of the aisle and during  a different time they covered both sides of the aisle in politics . Tony Snow started in print and broadcast journalism delivering political news and commentary and ended his career in politics as the Press Secretary for President Bush. Tim Russert began in politics working for a political legend, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and ended covering politics on NBC. As host of Meet The Press, Tim became a part of every American household and despite his personal left leaning tendencies Tim Russert was respected for probing questions that were leveled at liberals and conservatives alike. Tony Snow was also a partisan. For decades he was a favorite in conservative circles, yet when delivering a news story people of every party carefully listened to the insightful delivery of facts that he presented. His last major endeavor was one that helped provide the White House with the ability to properly convey the right messages. Tony served as Press Secretary for 17 months. Probably the most understandable 17 months of the Presidents two terms in office. Tim Russert died after suffering a massive heart attack on Jun 13th at the age of 58 and Tony Snow died after battling colon cancer on July 12th at the age of 53. In life they shaped politics and political opinion. In death, they left us a legacy of lessons and examples to follow.

 

 

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

9 . – IS THAT CAMPAIGN MONEY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME?

 

The Empire State helped to set a tone for 2008 when early in the year, New York’s Governor, Elliot Spitzer got caught up in scandal. After serving only 14 months in office the rising Democrat star found himself standing next to his wife announcing his resignation. Suspicious transfers of money in and out of Spitzer’s bank account led federal investigators to believe that he might be taking bribes. However their probe discovered that for over several years Spitzer wasn’t taking bribes, he was paying out at least $80,000 for prostitutes. The period covered his tenure as New York’s Attorney General as well as his brief time as Governor. The happiest people of all in this episode were David Paterson and New Jersey. As Spitzer’s Lieutenant Governor, Paterson, became New York’s first African American Governor, and the nation’s first legally blind one. New Jersey was just happy to know that they were no longer the only state in the region to lose a governor because of sexual scandals and illegal conduct.

 

 

8. – WEEKEND AT KIM’S

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

 

Around August rumors began to circulate that North Korea’s obscure and, to put it kindly, eccentric leader, Kim Jong-Il, was dead. Since then no reputable sources have either seen him or heard from him. Not that that is unusual, few people have ever heard or seen Kim Jong-Il, but what is unusual are recent decisions that Kim Jong-Il supposedly made to eliminate efforts to develop nuclear power. Did Kim make that decision? Is North Korea really abandoning nuclear ambitions? Or is North Korea propping up Kim Jong-Il, like a bad, out of sync, Korean version of “Weekend At Bernie’s” while a different, unknown, brain dead ruler is pulling the strings and, at the same time, trying to pull the wool over our eyes? All jokes aside, the sensitivity of the situation is a dire one. Chaos on the Korean Peninsula could create a ripple effect that no one can afford. Dramatic events could alter sensitive relations with South Korea and negotiations with the United States. All of which could result in tensions throughout the world including those involving hard feelings between North Korea and Japan. And let us not forget North Korea’s greatest ally, China. With their booming economy, the Chinese are ambitious. Knowing who is in charge of things could be helpful in 2009.

 

 

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

7. – BID WELL FIDEL?

 

In 1959 Cuba took on the face of Fidel Castro. Just 90 miles off of our shores, Cuban communism and Castro were too close for comfort. As much as we didn’t like it, invasions, coups and even assassination attempts did not eliminate Castro’s hold on power. However, time did reduce Castro’s influence. As time changed most of the world, Castro and Cuba didn’t but the logistics which helped to make him a thorn in our side did change. The, once feared communist Soviet-Cuban relationship lost it’s potency as the Soviet Union lost it’s hammer and sickle. As time went by, our concerns with Cuba focused more on human rights for Cubans than defense from Cuba. So it was still welcome news when, in February, we discovered that an ailing Fidel Castro was resigning from office. Not that it mattered much. Before stepping down, Fidel told the Cuban Communist Party that they were too elect his brother Raul to be the new Commander in Chief. The event did not change things very much but after almost 50 years in power, and events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzales and other disconcerting situations, as minor as the effects of this change may be, Fidel’s painstakingly slow departure from the world stage is welcomed and ranks as the seventh most dramatic political occurrence of 2008.

 

 ant1georgis1a2

6. – THE GEOGIAN-RUSSIAN WAR

 

It was not a battle that reshaped Europe again but the surprising developments that caused the Russian Army to invade a neighboring, breakaway Republic with internationally recognized sovereignty, gave us all a glimpse of reality. It may not be the Soviet Union anymore but a bear by any other name is still a bear and the vulnerabilities of newly formed and reformed European nations and those with relatively new freedoms still offer some new Russian leaders the same old reasons for wanting control. The incident helped to demonstrate that freedom in parts of Europe is still a fragile concept.

 

 

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

5. – THE EBAY APPOINTMENT

 

2008 ended with a story that will carry well into the first months of 2009. As President-Elect Obama vacated his seat in the U.S. Senate, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began a private auction process to determine who will fill the vacancy. As investigators, under the direction of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigated Blagojevich for numerous improprieties, they discovered that he was basing his appointment to the senate seat on who could give him the most for it. Blago wanted either a “cushy union” job, a high paying cabinet position or at the very least an enormous financial campaign contribution. After being arrested the Illinois state legislature began impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich and he began digging in his heals refusing to resign. The events have the potential for drawing in some big name co-conspirators and participants. From Rep. Jesse Jackson, jr. to President -Elect Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuelle, many reputations may yet be questioned in this scandal. And to make things even more interesting, Blagojevich took the opportunity to raise the stakes and named Roland Burris, a long time, old line, liberal Chicago Democrat party machine hack to replace Barack Obama. Not at all concerned with peoples faith in government, or the integrity of the process, Burriss accepted the tainted appointment and in doing so, puts the United States and it’s Democrat leader, Harry Reid in the position of denying to seat someone that would be the only African American in the United States Senate. So coming in as the fifth top political occurrence in 2008 is the story that will keep on bleeding and keep us reading…..the process to replace a Barack Obama in the senate.

 

 

4. – BRINGING OUTSIDERS IN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

 

One of the most important political decisions made in 2008 was John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. It was a controversial choice for some and one of the only right decisions made in the opinions of others. No matter how you see it, it remains one of the most spoken about political stories of the year. Beyond the newsworthiness are the implications. For many it was a sign of the fact that government needs thinking that is as far removed from the Washington D.C. mentality as Alaska is from Washington D.C itself. Many Americans are tired of Washington politics and want common sense as opposed to the one hand washes the other, old boys bureaucracy that we perceive as screwing us more than helping us. Sarah Palin embodied, and still does embody, that thinking. She is a political outsider who became a Governor by opposing the political class while representing the working class. Without abandoning conservative Republican principles, Sarah Palin fought against corrupt Republican and liberal politicians. Although picking Sarah Palin for Vice President may have been the right decision for John McCain, trying to restrict and control her wasn’t. By trying to script Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign lost out on the greatest advantageous quality Palin brought to the ticket…….her anti-establishment, outsider qualities. As McCain lost the election for President, Sarh Palin won exposure. Exposure that has made her a person who conservatives look forward to advancing the cause and for Americans to have to consider for national leadership in the future. So at number four in 2008 is the selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Thank you senator McCain!

 

 

ant1oil23. – “OILS WELL” IN THE ECONOMY?

 

The price of oil ranks third on our list of top stories. As prices for a barrel of oil soared to heights in excess of 150 dollars a barrel , gas prices flew up to over 4 dollars a gallon and the ripple effects raise the cost of everything from milk, eggs and bread to lumber, air fares, and life in general. The high cost of energy generated heated debates over domestic oil drilling, and pushed issues like immigration and terrorism off of the front burners in the race for President. Based upon the duration of the immediate negative effects of the price of oil combined with its ripple effects on the economy, its control of the political agenda and the long term policy initiatives that it created, oil prices is number 3 in ‘08. It is also likely to become a top story again, at least around August of ‘09, when the now delightfully low prices we see rise back up.

 

 

2. – THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

 

Putting all political opinion aside, Barack Obama ran a long hard campaign, that Republican strategists are dissecting in order to reproduce in elections of their own. The Obama campaign not only effectively tapped into voter dissatisfaction, they organized it and organized it well. Their utilization of the internet was exemplary and their ability to win favor through eloquence and style over substance and fact was done to political perfection. Despite some pitfalls such as Bill Ayers, ACORN, Rev. Wright, admitting a desire akin to socialism by stating that he wanted to spread the wealth, Barack Obama won big. To do so his campaign raised historic amounts of money and more than just raising that money, they spent it right and put it to good use. A use that mobilized the forces well enough to produce his substantial victory. The election of President-Elect Barack Obama comes in second not only because of how he won but because he did win. His victory marked the election of America’s first African American President. Like any other first, it is notable and in this case it is profoundly notable. It demonstrates an undeniable ability for our nation to overcome racial differences and the evidence of decency overcoming prejudice is promising. The effects of President-Elect Obama’s leadership are yet to be seen but the lessons learned and points made by his election are unquestionable.

 

 

ant1bailout21 . – BAIL OUT MANIA

 

POLITICS 24/7 considers the 700 billion dollar bailout that the federal government approved to be the most profound and important story of 2009. Not only was the suggested need for this bailout indicative of our wrong ways of the past, it signaled a continuation of wrong ways in the future. Our promotion of spending as the answer to all of our problems has created generations ands a government that spend beyond our means. The 700 billion dollar bailout meant to solve our problems didn’t solve our anything, it just provided a quick fix. It did however, create more problems. It has called upon more people and more industries to put their own hands out. The bailout set in motion a sense of government control that has taken freedom, with all of it’s risks and promises, out of the free market and it has helped to move America closer to the socialism that we have fought against in the past. Many major events come and go in politics. What we once saw as earth shattering developments often become something that we later laugh about but we fear that bailout trend established in 2008 is no laughing matter for any time.

 

2008 was an intense year. There were many events and some of the most dramatic ones did not involve politics. Human nature played a role in all of them though and hopefully our better instincts will drive the events and politics of 2009.

With that in mind we wish everyone a happy new year and hope that our better instincts help to make each and every day better than the last.

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