Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Independents and Moderates A Deciding Factor In 2010

Post election analysis often reveals itself as partisan spin. However, a WSJ/NBC poll shows the shift in voting from 2008 to 2010 came from moderate Democrats and Independents...

From the WSJ Democrats Try to Crack Mystery of the Missing Voters

A popular theory of this year's midterm election holds that Democrats took a shellacking in part because big chunks of the party's core liberal base, discouraged at the path of the Obama administration, stayed home rather than show up to vote as they did in 2008.

It's an interesting narrative. It also doesn't appear to be entirely accurate.

While it's correct that some key parts of the Democratic coalition—young voters and African-Americans among them—didn't perform as they did in 2008, evidence emerging as the dust settles from this month's election suggests the bigger hole in the side of the Democratic ship came from moderates in the political center who didn't show up. (Those absences were in addition to the wave of independent swing voters also from the center who, exit polls showed, turned out but switched their votes to the Republicans.)

The case of the missing voters is important because how it is resolved will go a long way toward determining how Democrats respond to their midterm woes. If they conclude, as some argue, that the problem was an undermotivated liberal base, then the logical reaction would be a turn to the left and a staunch resistance to compromises with the Republicans who now control the House and hold expanded power in the Senate.





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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reduce Debt and Simplify Tax System

Pete V. Domenici and Alice M. Rivlin the head of the 'Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force' take a serious look a debt defiit reduction. As they note, they are likely to receice criticism for parts of their plan from bith sides, just as President Obama's fiscal commission recently did. However, it is good to see ideas come forward, and the natioanal finances taken seriously. Below is an excerpt of their summary published in the Washington Post. The entire article is certainly worth a read - Payroll tax holiday and other measures to reduce the debt

To ensure a more robust recovery, we propose a one-year "payroll tax holiday" for 2011, suspending Social Security payroll taxes for employers and employees. We also would phase in the steps to reduce deficits and debt gradually beginning in 2012, so the economy will be strong enough to absorb them.

We would stabilize the debt held by the public at less than 60 percent of gross domestic product, an internationally recognized standard; reduce annual deficits to manageable levels; and balance the "primary" budget (everything other than interest payments) by 2014.

We would dramatically simplify the tax system, establishing individual tax rates of 15 and 27 percent (from the current high of 35), cutting the corporate tax rate to 27 percent (from 35 today), ending most deductions and credits while simplifying the rest, and ensuring that nearly 90 million households no longer have to file returns. To reduce the debt, we would supplement our spending cuts with a 6.5 percent "debt-reduction sales tax."

We would strengthen Social Security so it can pay benefits for the next 75 years by gradually raising the amount of wages subject to payroll taxes; slightly reducing the growth in benefits for the top 25 percent of beneficiaries; raising the minimum benefit for long-term, low-wage workers; indexing benefits to life expectancy; and changing the calculation of cost-of-living adjustments to better reflect inflation. We would not raise the age at which senior citizens can begin receiving benefits.

We would control health-care costs - the biggest driver of long-term deficits - by reforming Medicare and Medicaid while, starting in 2018, capping and then phasing out the tax exclusion for employer-provided health care. We would reform medical malpractice laws and help address the health costs tied to rising obesity by imposing a tax on high-calorie sodas.

We would freeze domestic discretionary spending for four years and defense spending for five, both at 2011 levels, and then limit their future growth to the rate of growth in the economy.

Finally, we would cap domestic and defense discretionary spending (with tight exceptions for true emergencies) and trigger across-the-board cuts if the caps are breached; enact a strict pay-as-you-go statutory rule for tax cuts or expansions of entitlements; and enact long-term budgets for major entitlements while creating a Fiscal Accountability Commission that would recommend policy changes every five years if entitlements are exceeding their budgets.



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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oil Prices Decline

Oil prices dropped today as concerns about the economy, and the strength of the recovery grow.

From Yahoo/AP Oil prices slide

Oil prices fell again as investors took profits amid renewed concerns about the global economy. A three-day decline has erased most of the gains for the month of November.

Benchmark oil for December delivery fell $2.52, or 3 percent, to $82.34 a barrel Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange as traders considered Ireland's ongoing debt problems and worries about higher inflation in Asia.

Meanwhile, pump prices inched higher overnight to a national average of $2.893 a gallon for unleaded regular gasoline, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. The price is about 6 cents higher than it was a month ago and 26 cents more than a year ago.

Oil prices have fallen 6.1 percent since Thursday, when speculation arose that China would take steps to control its economic growth. On Tuesday, South Korea's central bank raised interest rates to curb growing inflation. Add in some concern about Ireland's impact on Europe's economic recovery and investors found good reason to secure some recent profits.





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Stocks Slip Early

Stocks open lower today...

From Yahoo/AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks retreated Tuesday following new worries about rising inflation in Asia and the possibility Ireland might need a bailout.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 73 points in morning trading. The losses piled up even as shares of two components of the index, Home Depot Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., rose more than 2 percent following improved earnings.

Asian markets fell overnight after South Korea's central bank raised interest rates to curb growing inflation. There has been speculation in recent days that China will have to take similar steps soon.

A report in the U.S. showed inflation at the wholesale level was smaller than predicted. The producer price index rose 0.4 percent last month, half of what economists' expected. The rise was due to a sharp increase in food and energy costs. Stripping out those volatile costs, prices fell 0.6 percent. The report backs up the Federal Reserve's view that inflation remains low because of sluggish growth.





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Monday, November 15, 2010

Suu Kyi calls for Democracy

Aung San Suu Kyi was freed this weekend after years of house arrest in Myanmar/Burma. This staunch advocate for democracy in Burma was asked by CNN about a way forward...

from Suu Kyi calls for dialogue with Myanmar government

"We have to work together," she said. "That is the main message. Those inside the country have to work together and also those supporters outside."

Suu Kyi had much the same message for her supporters Sunday, telling them in a speech, "I'm not going to be able to do it alone. You've got to do it with me. One person alone can't do anything as important as bringing change and democracy to a country."

"We would like to form a network of people working for democracy," she told CNN Monday, and said she would like to open a dialogue with "those who are in a position to do something, to change the situation in Burma for the better."

She said she has had no contact with Gen. Than Shwe, Myanmar's top military leader and head of state. Asked what she would say to him, she said, "I think what we are looking for is dialogue, so I'm not just thinking about what I have to say to him. I think what we have to think about is what we have to say to each other."





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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Charitable Links

Below are a handful of quality charities worth looking into. These provide either a practical application for charitable work, or provide a different look on how charities can be viewed.Hire a Veteran
CGI
Online Charity
International Charity
US Education


Other Links: Voter Info State Sites Blue Collar

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Education in Afghanistan

The Central Asia Intitute is a remarkable organization providing education, and specifically focusing on girls education in Pakistan and Afghanistan. On their website they list the following as just a part of what they have accomplished so far...

Education Projects
Education
145 schools fully or partially supported
1200+ fully or partially supported teachers
School library projects
824 graduates from Porter Training Program
Teacher Training Workshops
64,000 students educated, including 52,000 girls

The books written by Greg Mortenson - 'Three Cups of Tea' and 'From Stones to Schools' follow the establishment and activities of the CAI. They wonderful books that will make you feel good about the generous spirit of so many people in Asia and America alike.


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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Will Congress Address Energy?

Excerpt from Purple People Vote for Moderate and Independent Voters

The elections are over, the House is controlled by Republicans and the Democrats no longer have a super-majority in the Senate. So the question now is, ‘Can they work together?’ Only time will tell.

However, there is one issue (at least) that lends itself to bipartisan compromise – Energy. There are all sorts of good reasons to want a substantive energy policy. In fact there are so many reasons for addressing energy policy that Republicans and Democrats don’t have to be motivated by the same rationale…

The socio-political rationale: We purchase much of our oil from dangerous and volatile regions of the world that often don’t like the U.S. very much.

Environmental rationale: Energy derived from fossil fuels is not good for the environment.

Supply rationale: Some day we will run out of oil and coal.

Economic rationale: High energy costs and fluctuating energy costs negatively impact the economy in numerous ways...


Continue reading Will Congress Have the Backbone to Address Energy?


Links: Girls Education - NH Web - Maine Tool - Central Asia - Bassoon Reed Making

Monday, November 8, 2010

Graham and Hatch Call Out Obama on Mid Term Vote

Re-posted Graham: People Don't Love Republicans - It was Obama Overreach

Greta Van Sustren did a couple post election interviews that provided forthright, honest, at times very blunt assessments of the election results. One with Senator Lindsey Graham, the other with Senator Orrin Hatch. Both these Senators have worked across the aisle in the past, and have received heat from there own party for doing so.
GretaVan Sustren: What did you think about the Presidents press conference yesterday? Were you convinced that he was properly chasten because there was a message from the American people; or not? You shake your head no.

Senator Lindsey Graham: Well, I just don’t think he understands that it was his policies that got him into this mess. You know President Obama came in with a wave of hope. The American people picked this young man, they were hopeful he could change things, and the policies, health care and the process passing health care was everything different than he said it would be. The stimulus package, the financial regulation bill, the amount of debt, the growth of government – people rejected his policies. He lost his own Senate seat. Illinois voted for a Republican, a moderate Republican, how much clearer message can you get/give to the President. People of Illinois, like him personally, saying you’re going the wrong way. We want to check and balance you, and I don’t think he understands that. It was policies not personality that got him in this mess. People don’t love Republicans. It wasn’t like people in Illinois woke one day and said ‘Boy, I’ve been a Republican all these years and didn’t know it. It’s the Obama overreach."

Senator Orrin Hatch has been very critical of the health care legislation. He provides a unique perspective because he has often worked with Democrats specifically on health care legislation like s-chip. His entire interview is worth viewing, but he provide an amusingly blunt assessment of the health care bill when he said...
"I was going to say it was a piece of crap, but that would not be fair to some people who were very sincere in trying to do what is right."

Recommend checking out these two interview at the 'On the Record' home page.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Quality Sites

A couple quality sites that have dramatically different product offerings are Dr. Dog Pet Health Care and BioScriptives Skin Care. Dr. Dog provides pet care information and pet products with a focus on pet skin care. BioScriptives Skin Care focuses on the most advanced technology to deliver top of the line skin care products that include treatments for acne, rosacea, and more. Completely different sites, both are worth viewing. Here are a few of their top pages and products...



Therapeutic Skin Care

Monday, October 25, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

McCain Takes Questions

Exerpt of 'An Independent Call' posted originally at Purple People Vote - Senator McCain's Town Hall

A week or so after this campaign implosion, Senator McCain had a town hall meeting at the VFW in Claremont in the western part of New Hampshire at 8:00 in the morning on a Saturday. So I got up at 6:00 and headed off to the town hall, leaving some extra time in case I got lost, which I did. Once back on the right route I should have been right about on time, except I turned too soon, drove by the back side of the building and headed right out of town. When I finally found the VFW I was incredibly late. The meeting hadn’t started yet so I signed in and went up stairs into the crowded little hall. It had a stage set up in the center of the room and an AC unit that buzzed loudly in a futile attempt to keep the room from becoming a hot box. Just a moment after I found a place to stand, Senator McCain walked by towards the stage, stopping just in front of me to my right.

I felt for him, as that could not have been a good week. Everything that could have gone wrong in a campaign did, and my instinct was to pat him on the shoulder and say ‘good luck,’ or ‘next week will be better,’ or something to that effect, but then thought it probably wasn’t appropriate to pat the candidates. Senator McCain was introduced, he took the stage and spoke for a few minutes, then took questions. The first question asked was, “How can we make this campaign about issues again?” to which everyone applauded. Senator McCain then said that by talking to people directly and continuing to do these town hall forums. The second question was, “The press and pundits have declared your campaign dead. Why should we continue to support you when no one gives you any shot at winning this race?” As the fellow asked the question a big smile started to come to the Senator’s face. Senator McCain joked that he should have given the mike to someone else, but then answered that he was still in it and that he’d keep talking to people and running his race and he’d let the voters decide in January.

A lady, who was wearing a t-shirt that said “Army Mom,” had also asked a question and she, or possibly her husband, brought up the fact that Senator McCain also has two sons serving in the military. Afterwards, in an odd scene, the media swarmed Senator McCain. This small quiet New Hampshire town had a few dozen supporters standing outside calmly waiting to see Senator McCain, a few dozen reporters within two feet of Senator McCain, and nobody else around for what seemed to be miles. Senator McCain made a bee-line for the Army Mom, making sure he chatted with her, and answered any other questions she might have had. He shook hands, took pictures, and talked with people as he headed out. Then one cameraperson exclaimed, “He has to get in his car,” and started sprinting across the street along with a reporter. The locals politely waited to shake the Senator’s hand as he left, and they were in stark contrast to the media who appeared to be on Ritalin. The rest of the town apparently was still asleep.

That was one of the first moments it dawned on me that politicians often don’t get enough credit. Most rational human beings would not choose this kind of life, where a political mistake essentially garners mindless harassment, and taking a position on an issue means receiving threats and not being able to walk to your car in peace.

This was actually one of the lessons of this entire experience. Politicians, in general terms, aren’t so bad. If you take an honest look at what is expected of them, the scrutiny and criticism they receive, even on balance with the perks of having the power, prestige, and influence that comes with an important office, I don’t think it is a job too many people would take.

Look statistically at the number of politicians who do bad things versus the total number of politicians. Their profession takes the rap for the bad actions of a relative few. Granted, these bad deeds are typically more serious due to that politician’s violation of the public trust. However, not many other professions take a hit the way professional politicians do when another politician commits an offense.

Also, consider going to work and having someone, regardless of what you do, standing over your shoulder saying, ‘I wouldn’t have done that.’ Then think of the demands of the job, the media attention and interaction, the hours away from home. Is that something you would really want to sign up for?


An Independent Call by Katherine J. Morrison available at Amazon.

Supporting McCain Through Immigration Turmoil #8

Polish President Kaczynski Dead in Plane Crash

From the AP Official: no survivors in Kaczynski plane crash
MOSCOW — The governor of a Russian region where a plane carrying Poland's president has crashed says there are no survivors.

Smolensk governor Sergei Anufriev made the statement to state news channel Rossiya-24 about an hour after the Saturday crash.

The Tu-154 plane crashed near the Smolensk airport, about 400 kilometers (275 miles) west of Moscow.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife were aboard the plane, according to the Polish foreign ministry.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Obama to Pick a New Supreme Court Justice

From Yahoo Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens retiring

Stevens said Friday he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer in late June or early July. He said he hopes his successor is confirmed "well in advance of the commencement of the court's next term."

The timing of Stevens' announcement leaves ample time for the White House to settle on a successor and for Senate Democrats, who control a 59-vote majority, to conduct confirmation hearings and a vote before the court's next term begins in October. Republicans have not ruled out an attempt to delay confirmation.

Stevens' announcement had been hinted at for months. It comes 11 days before his 90th birthday.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Town Hall Experience

A week or so after this campaign implosion, Senator McCain had a town hall meeting at the VFW in Claremont in the western part of New Hampshire at 8:00 in the morning on a Saturday. So I got up at 6:00 and headed off to the town hall, leaving some extra time in case I got lost, which I did. Once back on the right route I should have been right about on time, except I turned too soon, drove by the back side of the building and headed right out of town. When I finally found the VFW I was incredibly late. The meeting hadn’t started yet so I signed in and went up stairs into the crowded little hall. It had a stage set up in the center of the room and an AC unit that buzzed loudly in a futile attempt to keep the room from becoming a hot box. Just a moment after I found a place to stand, Senator McCain walked by towards the stage, stopping just in front of me to my right.

I felt for him, as that could not have been a good week. Everything that could have gone wrong in a campaign did, and my instinct was to pat him on the shoulder and say ‘good luck,’ or ‘next week will be better,’ or something to that effect, but then thought it probably wasn’t appropriate to pat the candidates. Senator McCain was introduced, he took the stage and spoke for a few minutes, then took questions. The first question asked was, “How can we make this campaign about issues again?” to which everyone applauded. Senator McCain then said that by talking to people directly and continuing to do these town hall forums. The second question was, “The press and pundits have declared your campaign dead. Why should we continue to support you when no one gives you any shot at winning this race?” As the fellow asked the question a big smile started to come to the Senator’s face. Senator McCain joked that he should have given the mike to someone else, but then answered that he was still in it and that he’d keep talking to people and running his race and he’d let the voters decide in January.

A lady, who was wearing a t-shirt that said “Army Mom,” had also asked a question and she, or possibly her husband, brought up the fact that Senator McCain also has two sons serving in the military. Afterwards, in an odd scene, the media swarmed Senator McCain. This small quiet New Hampshire town had a few dozen supporters standing outside calmly waiting to see Senator McCain, a few dozen reporters within two feet of Senator McCain, and nobody else around for what seemed to be miles. Senator McCain made a bee-line for the Army Mom, making sure he chatted with her, and answered any other questions she might have had. He shook hands, took pictures, and talked with people as he headed out. Then one cameraperson exclaimed, “He has to get in his car,” and started sprinting across the street along with a reporter. The locals politely waited to shake the Senator’s hand as he left, and they were in stark contrast to the media who appeared to be on Ritalin. The rest of the town apparently was still asleep.

That was one of the first moments it dawned on me that politicians often don’t get enough credit. Most rational human beings would not choose this kind of life, where a political mistake essentially garners mindless harassment, and taking a position on an issue means receiving threats and not being able to walk to your car in peace.

This was actually one of the lessons of this entire experience. Politicians, in general terms, aren’t so bad. If you take an honest look at what is expected of them, the scrutiny and criticism they receive, even on balance with the perks of having the power, prestige, and influence that comes with an important office, I don’t think it is a job too many people would take.

Look statistically at the number of politicians who do bad things versus the total number of politicians. Their profession takes the rap for the bad actions of a relative few. Granted, these bad deeds are typically more serious due to that politician’s violation of the public trust. However, not many other professions take a hit the way professional politicians do when another politician commits an offense.

Also, consider going to work and having someone, regardless of what you do, standing over your shoulder saying, ‘I wouldn’t have done that.’ Then think of the demands of the job, the media attention and interaction, the hours away from home. Is that something you would really want to sign up for?


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An Independent Call from NH On by Katherine J. Morrison available at Amazon.

Supporting McCain Through Immigration Turmoil #8
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Senator McCain's First Town Hall Meeting After The Campaign Implosion #9

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Matthews Shown Up on Hardball



Video unreliable, also available at Newsbusters -> http://newsbusters.org/people/dana-loesch

Finally, someone succinctly makes the point that both sides of the political spectrum have their crazies, and that pigeonholing all the people that have problems with the health care legislation as radical or racist is intellectually dishonest. Best moment of the interview is when Chris Matthews mutters under his breath "this isn't working."


Dana Loesch Owns Chris Matthews in Debate About Tea Party Protests

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Health Care Poll

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="445" caption="CBS Health Care Poll"][/caption]

While CBS's Poll: Most Want GOP to Keep Fighting on Health Bill speaks for itself, seems pertinent to point out that there is a significant number of Democrats that want the Republicans to keep fighting this bill. It seems the only thing bipartisan about this bill is the opposition to it.


CBS Poll: Dem’s Health Care Reforms Unwanted by American People

Thursday, March 18, 2010

McCain Letter - Defeat This Bill

In a letter to supporters Senator McCain urges supporters to call their representatives in a last minute push to defeat the health care bill that he describes as a "disastrous piece of legislation."

My Friend,

This morning, the Congressional Budget Office released their final numbers on the Democrats' health care bill. They estimate this unprecedented takeover of our health care system will cost taxpayers $940 billion. This bill is full of kickbacks and back room deals, and exceeds the $900 billion ceiling President Obama set last September.

We must do everything in our power to defeat this bill from becoming law. The work we do in the final hours before the vote will make all the difference. Speaker Pelosi wants the House to vote for this bill on Sunday - less than 72 hours from the time I write this email. We have very little time to act.

I urge you to immediately call your Member of Congress to tell him or her to vote "No" on this disastrous piece of legislation. You can find your representative's office phone number at House.gov or by calling the House of Representatives main switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

The telephone lines in many Washington, DC offices are being flooded with calls from people like you who oppose this bill. If you are unable to get through to the Washington office, please call your representative's district office or contact them through the email contact form on their website.

Each poll that has been conducted shows an overwhelming majority of Americans are against the Obama Administration's attempt to impose government-run health care. Yet the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats are doing everything trying to ram this bill through Congress this weekend.

Your representative in Congress needs to know you oppose this bill, so once again, I ask that you take a few minutes right now to call your representative and ask them to vote "No" on government-run health care.

After making the call, I ask that you consider making a donation to my reelection campaign. As you may have heard, I am facing a tough reelection battle and your support is needed so that I may continue my service on your behalf and fight for the things that you and I believe in.

I thank you for your time and generosity. Your involvement will make all the difference.

Sincerely,

John McCain


McCain Urges People to Contact Their Representatives To Oppose Health Care

Sunday, March 14, 2010

McCain and Ayotte Health Care and Spending

Senator McCain came to New Hampshire this weekend to co-host a town hall meeting with Kelly Ayotte the former New Hampshire AG. Senator McCain is supporting Ayotte's bid to fill the empty Senate seat being vacated by Senate Republican Judd Gregg. The first question was to Kelly Ayotte about her recent trip to the VA. Ayotte, whose husband is an Iraq war veteran, voiced her support for a VA hospital in New Hampshire. The second question was to Senator McCain asking if the current health care bill was passed could it be repealed. While Senator McCain said that the passage of the bill would trigger a nationwide movement to repeal the bill, he also stated that defeating the current bill was far better option. He urged people speak up and speak out against the bill as strong opposition by the American people (our representatives constituents) is now what is most likely to influence the House and Senate. The questions that followed were in large part about the either health care, the huge amount of government spending, the skyrocketting national deficit, or some combination of these issues.

Some of the points made by Ayotte and McCain included:

  • The health care bill will collect money from tax payers for four years before offering any benefits in a rather blatant budgetary gimmick.

  • The huge amount of government spending is an act of generational theft, leaving future generations with a massive debt to pay off.

  • Cuts in payroll and corporate tax rates would be far more effective in stimulating economic growth than government spending.

  • The process involved in formulating the health care bill has revealed the broken promises of the Obama adminstration in terms of transparency, bipartisanship, and backroom political dealings i.e. Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana Purchase, Gator Aid, etc.


Senator McCain was back in his element hosting a town hall in New Hampshire, and Kelly Ayotte had a solid performance too stating that she would regularly conduct town hall meetings as a NH Senator. Representative Hodes, her likely Democratic competitor, has been highly reluctant to hold town hall meetings. For another take on the McCain Ayotte town hall NECN filed the report, McCain: Ayotte the 'next generation' of leadership
McCain Stumps for Ayotte - Health Care and Spending are Hot Topics

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Meeting Joe Biden

I also saw Senator Clinton, Senator Biden, and Governor Romney in person. While I wasn’t able to see Senator Clinton in a town hall format, she and President Clinton had a rally in Manchester that I attended. It is not as informative a format as a town hall, yet throughout the primary process what came through with Senator Clinton is that she is a professional. She doesn’t have a real weak area topically, and she performs consistently, regardless of format or circumstance. In time she became my second choice for president, as I was convinced that she would be competent, and she was more of a centrist than the other Democrats.

Senator Biden I had the privilege to meet at a house party hosted by state representative Jim Webber. If I have any regret in voting Republican, it is that Mr. Webber was so kind in welcoming me into his home; he introduced me to people who generally knew each other, but not me, so I almost felt obligated to vote Democrat – almost.

It was a thrill to meet Senator Biden. I’ve known of Senator Biden for as long as I’ve known that Senators exist, so while I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit it, he sort of took my breath away when he walked through the door. Something about Senator Biden just makes me smile; don’t know what it is other than that he is very likable and very, very outgoing.

Senator Biden was the only other candidate besides Senator McCain that addressed Iraq in specific detail. While his plan didn’t seem to add up the same way Senator McCain’s plan did, he gets big points from me on being direct and forthcoming. He stated how dangerous the region was, and that if we didn’t leave the region properly, the Iraqi people who had helped us would be killed.

I was right up front during Senator Biden’s talk at the house party. Senator Biden is a ‘close talker;’ he looks people right in the eye and stands just inches away from them. I however, am not, and had to keep reminding myself not back up and fall backwards out the Webbers’ screen door. When he was done he turned to the lady standing next to me and said, ‘How are you? Tell me about yourself.’ At which I thought, I need to get out of here; I can’t think of one thing about myself. However, after I left the room, I realized I’d kick myself later if I didn’t shake his hand. So I went back to the porch where he’d have to pass in order to leave, and shook his hand. He was delightful. I was happy that I remembered my name, and fortunately I’m equally happy to say I did not embarrass myself. Senator Biden made a comment about my standing up front being similar to being stuck in the first pew of a church. I was amused to hear him use that line a week or two later when one of his events was televised on C-SPAN.


Meeting Senator/Vice President Biden

An Indpendent Call by Katherine J. Morrison available at Amazon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Obama Annoyed McCain Told the Truth

In the following CSPAN clip Senator McCain addresses the numerous back room deals and political favors included in the Health Care Bill. He goes on to explain that during the campaign both he and President Obama agreed to change the way things were done in Washington. That clearly there was no 'change' in the 'politics as usual' style that resulted in this bill with its numerous goodies for particular Senators and their respective states.

President Obama's response was to chastise Senator McCain for being in campaign mode. In reality, Senator McCain simply did what the main stream media has refused to do over the last year and a half. He called him out on blantantly breaking a campaign promise. Now the CSPAN clip below, is not the clip you likely saw on the news, as the media still refuses to show criticism of President Obama. What the media presented was President Obama's rebuke with out any of that pesky critique.



However, if one actually looks at the President's record and his statement, it is one of the most blatantly hypocritical remarks made in ages. President Obama is the consumate campaigner; neither side question's ability to campaign or make a speech. Campaigning is President Obama's 'go to' move. Real Clear Politics breaks down just how politically motivated the president's travel is, as one example of the Obama White House's perpetual campaign mode.

Presidential Travel Favors Blue, Purple States

President Obama's trip to Georgia tomorrow will be his first as president. According to data shared by the indispensable Mark Knoller of CBS News, it will mark the 31st state the president has traveled to since taking office last January.

Looking more closely at those numbers, a pattern emerges that is hard to ignore. Obama has visited 23 of the 28 states he carried in November 2008, but only six of the 22 states carried by Republican John McCain. Broken into three broad categories:

Obama has made 47 stops in the 19 states he carried by more than 10 points (including 16 in neighboring Maryland).
Obama has made 44 stops in the 16 states where the final result was within 10 points (including 19 in neighboring Virginia).
Obama has made 4 stops in the 15 states that McCain carried by more than 10 points.


Obama's Hypocritical 'We're not Campaigning Anymore' Statement

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

McCain Romney the New Dynamic Duo?


Governor Romney endorsed Senator McCain's bid for re-election today. While it may have ticked off some disgruntled radio personalities, it also opens the door to what could potentially be a powerful dynamic duo...

From Time The Romney McCain Lovefest: Everybody Wins!

Times have changed. After gracefully exiting the primary, Romney became a cheerful warrior for McCain, He logged countless hours fundraising for his one-time opponent and appeared on the Senator’s behalf almost anywhere the campaign asked, including at the Democratic National Convention. His competence and dedication won him begrudging fans in McCain’s senior staff, who later freely admitted they’d misjudged him. McCain himself was deeply appreciative of Romney’s work, and was won over personally after spending time with Romney and his gracious wife Ann at the Senator’s Sedona ranch. Romney ended up in serious contention for McCain’s VP slot, and as the financial crisis took over the agenda, he became one of McCain's valued go-to sources of advice and perspective on economic issues.

So perhaps the news of Romney’s endorsement isn’t all that surprising. It's good for McCain to have someone with Romney's financial expertise and centrist appeal come out in his favor. It also helps McCain to appear connected with someone considered part the GOP's future. The question for Romney, who’s emerging as the GOP’s most serious contender for 2012, is what’s in it for him? For starters, a friendship with McCain has lots of benefits. McCain is still an excellent drawcard for fundraisers, and although Romney has vast personal wealth, having a name like McCain on board makes a big difference. McCain could also lend a Romney candidacy some foreign policy and national security credibility, particularly with Republican voters. Romney lacks it, McCain has it in spades. And McCain has always been popular in New Hampshire, a critical early state.


Romney Endorses McCain Making for A Potentially Powerful Duo

Brown Votes for Jobs

Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts is an interesting phenomenon. First, he's a Republican in a very 'blue' state. His election drew support from some unlikely allies such as Governor Romney, Senator McCain, and the tea party supporters. Yet what Brown ran on was relatively simple; kill the current health bill, reduce government spending, no NYC trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and a pledge to not behave in a highly partisan manner. Brown is already making good on two of these promises. The health care bill was denied (at least for a time) due to his election breaking the filibuster proof majority of the Democrats. Now Brown has shown that he is willing to work across the aisle as he has voted along with a handful of other moderate Republicans to support the new scaled-back jobs bill.

From Yahoo Brown revives GOP moderates' pivot role

"I came to Washington to be an independent voice, to put politics aside and to do everything in my power to help create jobs for Massachusetts families," said Brown, whose election last month gave Republicans the 41st vote that could sustain filibusters. "This Senate jobs bill is not perfect ... but I voted for it because it contains measures that will help put people back to work."

Monday's vote cleared the decks for a far larger favorable vote when the jobs legislation faces an up-or-down final tally Wednesday.

The bill features four provisions, including a $13 billion measure exempting businesses hiring the unemployed from the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and giving them another $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year.

It's undeniably modest, especially in comparison with the $862 billion economic stimulus bill enacted a year ago. It's also significantly smaller than a rival bipartisan bill unveiled earlier this month by two senior senators.

The measure is centered on tax breaks for businesses that hire new workers this year and a renewal of highway programs through Dec. 31. Both ideas have wide support in both parties. Mark Zandi, an economist with Moody's Economy.com, estimates the tax credit could spur about 250,000 new jobs.



Brown and other Moderate Republicans Vote For Jobs Bill

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Republican Primary

Dick Army head of Freedom works and former House leader is clearly unimpressed by McCain challenger Hayworth, as he cites Hayworth's political record as undistibguished.

Armey: Hayworth had 'undistinguished' House career

As former Rep. J.D. Hayworth prepares to officially enter the Republican primary race against incumbent Sen. John McCain, he probably had better not count on any support from FreedomWorks, the national conservative group closely associated with the Tea Party movement.

In a telephone interview with The Arizona Republic, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, FreedomWorks' chairman, delivered a surprisingly harsh assessment of Hayworth, with whom he served on Capitol Hill:

"We're a small organization with a limited budget. There's an awful lot of places where our presence would be needed and can really make a difference. We don't see this Arizona race as one where we need to be actively involved. It's hard for us to believe that J.D. Hayworth could mount a credible challenge to John McCain
. Obviously, we'll watch the race. But J.D. had a fairly short, undistinguished congressional career with virtually no initiative on his part. I just don't see any reason why we should be concerned about that race."


Hayworth has other problems too as Little Green Footballs points out in their article McCain Primary Opponent Hayworth: a Birther with a Twist

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hayworth Questioned About Birther Statements

Hayworth a (R) challenger for Senator McCain's Senate seat was called out by Chris Matthews as a 'birther' and Hayworth was unable to give an articulate reply...

"When Chris Matthews asked J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) whether he's "as far right as the birthers," the former Republican Congressman called on President Obama to produce his birth certificate for public inspection.

"Well, gosh, we all had to bring our birth certificates to show we were who we said we were, and we were the age we said we were, to play football in youth sports," said Hayworth, who is currently challenging John McCain (R-AZ) in Arizona's Senate primary. "Shouldn't we know exactly that anyone who wants to run for public office is a natural born citizen of the United States, and is who they say they are?"


J.D. Hayworth A Birther? McCain Challenger Calls For Obama's Birth Certificate

McCain Challenger Called On 'Nutty Right' Statements

Bayh Calls Out Partisan Rankor

It's unfortunate to see a Senator retire that has not only shown that he can work across the aisle, but clearly has a grasp of what is frustrating many Americans - bitter partisanship. In Senator Bayh's address announcing his retirement he notes a political environment that has become nearly impossible to work within. Senator Bayh sees what many Americans see, a system that is putting party before country, or more simply, a system that is putting party before effectiveness. Kudos to Senator Bayh for calling out both parties on this problem, and here's hoping he can help rectify the problem from outside Washington.
“After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned,” he said.

“My decision was not motivated by political concern,” he added. “Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election.”

Bayh had never lost an election, from his first win in 1986 as secretary of state, his wins for governor in 1988 and 1992 and his election to the U.S. Senate in 1998 and 2004.

“But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough,” Bayh said. “And it has never been what motivates me. At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor.”

From IndyStar.com Evan Bayh will not seek re-election


Senator Bayh Takes A Shot At Bitter Partisanship As He Retires

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dems Trendline Dropping Dramatically

An ABC Washington Post Poll 2010 Elections: Republicans are in the Hunt shows how Republicans have recently gained a slight advantage over Democrats on both national topics, and in the upcoming Congressional races. One of the most stark examples of the Democrats decline of support on all major issues comes from a chart showing how just a year ago Obama and the Democrats, who had enjoyed a huge advantage evrything from health care to the economy, now have seen that lead has all but disappeared within a year's time...





ABC/WaPo Chart of Dem Advantage Starkly Shows Decline in Trust

Race Heated Over Stimulus in Florida

Governor Crist and Senate challenger Marco Rubio are in an interesting race. One of the topics that Crist has taken heat for amongst many conservatives is taking federal stimulus dollars for Florida and meeting President Obama at a rally that basically supported the stimulus package. Yet the following clip shows that Mr. Rubio would have also accepted the stimulus money like all other state governors ended up doing. The action that is called into question isn't accepting stimulus money, but whether meeting with President Obama publicly was a politically correct decision.






Rubio and Crist and the Stimulus Money for Florida

Thursday, February 4, 2010

White House Nervous About Kirk Giannoulias Race in IL

Excerpt from the NYT Illinois Senate Race Worries Democrats Anew

CHICAGO — Alexi Giannoulias, the treasurer of Illinois and a basketball-playing friend of President Obama’s, won the Democratic primary here on Tuesday for the Senate seat once held by Mr. Obama. But his victory was hardly the free throw some had expected, setting off a new round of worrying among Democrats that the reliably Democratic seat might be picked off by Republicans in November.
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In an Illinois Primary Race, Victory Is Self-Declared (February 4, 2010)

With four others on the ballot, Mr. Giannoulias won 39 percent of the Democratic vote, or, as Republicans preferred to describe it on Wednesday, lost 61 percent of it. A little-known former federal prosecutor who had never run for office, David Hoffman, came within six percentage points of Mr. Giannoulias.

With much on the line here, including the symbolism of the president’s home state possibly slipping away, some Democrats were concerned that the party had played into the game plan of the Republicans, who chose Representative Mark Steven Kirk, a centrist-leaning suburbanite who hopes to appeal to the state’s independent voters and even some moderate Democrats.

Already Wednesday morning, the National Republican Senatorial Committee had issued a Web video mocking Mr. Giannoulias, 33, for what it described as questionable loans made by his family’s bank, his ties to Rod R. Blagojevich, the indicted former governor of Illinois, and more.

“Is this change we can believe in?” the video asks.

Mr. Obama called Mr. Giannoulias to congratulate him on his victory, aides said, but despite the friendship, the White House indicated in the past that it had reservations about his candidacy. At one point, White House officials tried without success to recruit another Democrat, Lisa Madigan, the state attorney general, even after Mr. Giannoulias had made his aspirations clear.

Mr. Obama, who endorsed no one in the primary, has pledged to party officials to do what he can to help keep the seat in Democratic hands. But aides said the president would invest his time and efforts in races across the country and not necessarily devote more attention to the contest for his former seat.

White House Worried About Senate Race in Illinois