Out With The Old. In With The New.

ImageLast week should have been a wake up call for the GOP.  They received more positive press than they have in a very long time on the heels of Senator Rand Paul’s 13 hour ‘fillibuster’ in which he ranted and raved against the vague policy of the use drones on American soil.

Standing with Senator Paul and lending their assistance to the filibuster were a couple of the newer members of the GOP Senate.  Most notably Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.  Young Senators who seem unafraid to take on the establishment.  The next day the ‘establishment’ was markedly upset and doing what they could to disparage the younger Senators stand against an administration who felt the need to not only not define a very dangerous policy, but who refused to answer simple questions regarding it when asked.  I am of course speaking of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

What, I asked, would drive 2 influential Senators such as McCain and Graham go on the offensive against members of their own party who had taken a very popular stance and received more positive press for the Republicans than they have had in a couple of years?  Could it be jealousy?  McCain and Graham were both at a dinner with President Obama at the time of the filibuster reportedly trying to iron out a compromise to end sequester spending cuts.  Were the established GOP lead dogs upset that they were upstaged by their younger counterparts?  Whatever the reason for their attacks and name calling the day following the filibuster one thing became clear.  The old dogs need to retire to a shady spot under the porch if the GOP is to ever shed the “Old white man’s party” perception that it has. 

Youth and newness can be a good thing for a party that needs to do some serious reputation rebuilding after years of a war of rhetoric for the public perception that they have been losing and losing badly.  I find it reprehensible for Senators with the clout within the party that McCain and Graham have to try and make illegitimate the best positive polling the party has had in recent memory.  I have to wonder.  Are they dumb, senile or so full of themselves that they feel the need to take shots at their own when the spotlight is shone elsewhere within the party?

Regardless of the reasoning for their name calling outbursts, what happened with the filibuster should serve as notice the the GOP leadership.  There is a youthful movement within the party.  That movement is part constitutionalist, part libertarian, part tea party and part conservative.  If you don’t come to grips with it and learn to embrace what it brings to the table in regards to helping erase the perception of the ‘old white man’s party’ then be prepared to stare at the outside of the White House for a very long time.

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The Hijacking Of Lincoln

abeobama Abraham Lincoln. Arguably one of the most famous Presidents America has ever had. Whether directing the country through the Civil War, abolishing slavery or hunting vampires, Honest Abe is a pillar of American politics. The standard bearer of presidential legacies. Today however, Licoln’s memory and legacy have been hijacked by an administration and party whose actions would have the 16th President’s stove pipe hat lying flat.

While it is true that both Lincoln and Obama called Illinois home, the accurate comparisons end there. As hard as our current President may try, he is simply not only in the same ballpark as Lincoln….he isn’t even playing the same sport. Lincoln presided over the country during the most devisive time in history, the Civil War and brought the country back together. Obama took a country that was as cohesive as it had ever been following the attacks of 9/11 and divided it. Lincoln brought Democrats into the fold within his administration. Obama all but refuses to listen to Republicans.

So despite an inaugural celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in 2009, making his campaign announcement speech on the steps of the old state capital in Springfield (the site of Lincoln’s famous “House Divided” speech), delivering the state of the union on Lincoln’s birthday and getting sworn into office on the Lincoln bible, Barack Obama is no Abraham Lincoln.

The fact that the President continue to attempt to invoke Lincoln should turn the stomach of any political junkie. Calling Illinois home and being President does not make Barack Obama the 2nd coming of Abe Lincoln anymore than being a bodybuilder and calling California home makes Lou Ferrigno Governor.

The Gun Debate and the Hypocrisy Of Our Democracy

The Gun Debate and the Hypocrisy Of Our Democracy.

The Societal Participation Medal

Bookmark and Share(Author’s note: This peice was written in early 2011 and is being re-posted for it’s continued relevancy to the issues of today)

When we speak of education in this country we are usually speaking of scholastic education. Public and private schools. Reading, writing and arithmetic. In those areas, as compared to other countries, we have been steadily falling down the list in regards to comparative testing.

Just to show a non-partisan tilt to this claim I have referenced a Huffington Post article from late 2010:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/us-falls-

in-world-education-rankings_n_793185.html

It is startling data to be sure and one that politicians and educators have debated for years. How do we ensure a better education for our children and our future?

I am going to leave that battle where it is and move on to a different type of education. An education in which societal not institutional factors are failing our children’s education.

When I was a young whipper snapper we played dodge ball in the school yard. We played baseball, basketball and football in organized leagues and the winners won trophies and medals. In High school, letters were won on the athletic fields and in the classroom based on performance and attaining certain goals. We kept score and were taught to practice good sportsmanship whether we won or lost. These simple, novel parts of my childhood have been lost on today’s society.

There is no more dodge ball in the school yard. Someone could get hurt physically or worse yet their feelings could be hurt.

We still have baseball, football and basketball leagues for youngsters but there are no winners and losers. In many cases scores are not even kept and everyone gets a medal or trophy for simply participating. The same can be said in many cases for high school letters. You participated…here is your reward.

So…are we preparing our children for the trials and tribulations of the real world by sheltering them from the experience of winners and losers?

I could simply be becoming a bitter old man as I hit that magic 40 number. It is possible. Or I could be seeing, in my own children’s participation in academic and athletic competitions that there is a societal shift in the way we view winning and losing. The shift is to deny losing.

It is apparent in watching what happens in society today as compared to then that this shift to deny losing exists has had a profound impact on the way our society has come to view what they believe they are entitled to receive compared to what they have the opportunity to win if they grow their skills and work hard.

If I wanted to be a great baseball player I had to spend countless hours in the back yard throwing into a net and hitting tennis balls with a wiffle bat off my neighbors roofs and sometimes through their windows. I had to practice by playing catch with my dad or my friends. I had to go to practice in order to be able to play in a game. I had to work on skills as instructed by my coaches and run wind sprints at the end of the day. If our team had the better skilled and more prepared players, we won. If we won we were rewarded with trophies and medals. The losers? They received nothing but a pat on the back and a ‘try again next year’. Motivation to get better so they to could get the spoils of victory.

Are we teaching our children how to deal with what happens in the real world by denying them the opportunity to win or lose based upon their own hard work and skill level? I say we are not.

Our society has rapidly become one where the have not’s consistently want to be handed what the have got’s have obtained. Are there exceptions? Certainly there are. Not all people act as if they are owed something for participating. But I see the comparison between what we have been teaching our children in regards to winning and losing and the societal thoughts of a large group of people that they are entitled the same spoils of life that others have obtained through their hard work and knowledge. They want a participation medal.

Are they lazy? Some may be, most are not…but haven’t we taught them over the last several years that the losers receive the same recognition and rewards as the winners? Haven’t we taught them that simply participating is good enough? Could this be related to our poor performance in the classroom? Has taking the difference between winning and losing out of the equation instilled a mindset that no matter how we perform we will get the rewards?

Here’s a novel concept: Let’s allow them to Occupy Real Life.

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If It It, It Is. If It Isn’t, It’s Un-constitutional.

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In keeping with my quoting former President’s in discussing the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare we will quote the (in)famous William Jefferson Clinton:

“It depends on what the definition if ‘Is’ is.”

The SCOTUS decision rendering the Obamacare mandate legal only under the Congresses power to tax is not even a week under the belt but has most still hot under the collar. Conservatives are up in arms that they were betrayed by one of their own at the last moment as Chief Justice John Roberts apparently changed his mind at the 11th hour and liberals are scrambling to explain how they can still support it as a ‘tax’ which will impact millions of middle and lower class families.

The President says it’s not a tax. His chief of staff says it’s not a tax. Pelosi says it’s not a tax. John Carney says it’s not a tax. Most Democrats, especially those up for re-election who supported the bill are screaming that it’s not a tax. ***BREAKING NEWS*** The Supreme Court of the United States of America says IT’S A TAX. You wanted a ruling in your favor…you got it.

So….as most pundits and armchair constitutional lawyers try and wrap their heads around what they feel is a very complex situation, allow me to simplify it for you.

The SCOTUS ruled it’s a tax. If you are going to continue to claim publicly that it is not a tax then you are making the argument against your own bill. Which by the way AS A TAX can only be disputed after someone has to pay it which will happen in 2014. If it is not a tax then you arguing that it is in fact unconstitutional. Good, we agree on something.

So, for those of us who believe this ruling to be a gigantic infringement upon one’s personal liberty as well as a Pandora’s box of the government’s power to tax, take a chill pill. The administration and it’s surrogates are making the disputing of the ‘tax’ easy for us by claiming, despite the ruling to the contrary, that it is not a tax.

It all depends on what the definition of ‘Is’ is.

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Read My Lips………..

Bookmark and ShareAhhh….the famous words that sunk the re-election campaign of Bush 41.

“Read my lips, NO NEW TAXES!!!!!!”

As we struggle to understand the impact in the upcoming days of the SCOTUS’s 5-4 ruling in favor of upholding Obamacare one thing stood out in the opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts. The individual mandate is unconstitutional under the commerce clause but can survive as a tax.

Although the immediate impact will be a positive for the President and his supporters the lasting effects could, as in the case of Bush 41, put a severe damper on the Presidents re-election bid. Mitt Romney was struggling with Tea party support as well as the support of some libertarian leaning Republicans. Did the ruling just energize those people to jump on the Romney bandwagon 100%? I would say it helped immensely.

Obama’s promises of not raising taxes on the middle class has just been thrown a large curve ball by the SCOTUS. Did Roberts know and willingly lead the sheep to slaughter? I do not know but would like to think so.

I am anxiously awaiting the first Obama “Read My Lips” t-shirts to hit the market.

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Liberal Class Warfare Rhetoric…And Then There’s The Truth

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In what is sure to be a tough fought election full of scathing rhetoric, none has been more apparent in the last year then the class warfare being perpetrated for the most part by those on the left.

“Republican’s represent the rich. Republican’s support the rich. Evil millionaires and billionaires the lot of them.”
“Democrat’s represent the little guy. Democrat’s support the poor and downtrodden. Democrat’s are ‘one of you'”.

Basic political rhetoric that most often comes from those on the left. Especially when their fiscal record is as bad as it appears it will be heading in to the 2012 elections. They sure can’t run on the record but what they can do, and do effectively, is pit American’s against each other as they head to the ballot box using the ‘evil rich Republican’ vs. the ‘poor and middle class Democrat’ argument. An argument which I am about to prove false.

Using 2009 data from the 2010 Census, out of the top 20 states in median household income 14 of those states are Blue (Democrat), 2 are considered Purple (Center) and 4 are Red (Republican). The bottom 20 states in median household income are the exact polar opposite. Out of the states at the bottom of the income data 14 are Red, 2 are Purple and 4 are Blue. Median household income data by state

So, if the Republican’s support the rich and Democrats support the poor why is it that the richest states vote Democrat and the poorest vote Republican?

Because that’s what false data and rhetoric does. It attempts to paint a picture that isn’t always a fair and accurate one. Some politicians believe that if you repeat a lie enough it becomes the truth. That appears to be the case in regards to the class warfare being perpetrated as we head into November. The problem is as long as this false information has been perpetrated it apparently hasn’t weighed on the opinions of the classes who are supposed to be ‘at war’. The poorest states still vote Republican and the richest states still vote Democrat.

Don’t tell anyone. We don’t want the Democrats to have to change the perception they believe they have built over decades. We will simply just hope that they don’t notice the rich and poor aren’t listening.

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