Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What's Newt's Real Beef with Campaign Coverage?

I'm not going to attempt to psychoanalyze Newt Gingrich, a very complicated man with whom I've exchanged fewer words than I'll use to write this blog. I will do something most writers do not do when addressing a politician's comments; however, I'll examine what he said.

Newt GingrichImage via Wikipedia
Former US House Speaker Gingrich
Viewers remember the exchange between Speaker Gingrich and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace during the Iowa GOP debate. Gingrich accused Wallace of using "gotcha questions" and "playing Mickey Mouse games". Wallace responded by stating that he was sorry if Gingrich thought questions about his record were "Mickey Mouse". It was interesting political theater, but it missed Gingrich's real point while proving that he was exactly right.

Do you remember the point Mr. Gingrich was making? It was a legitimate issue that challenged journalists and political analysts in an area where they should be held accountable. In that same exchange with Wallace, Gingrich said the following, from the debate transcripts:

GINGRICH:  I'd love to see the rest of tonight's debate asking us about what we would do to lead an America whose president has failed to lead . . .
GINGRICH:  I think that there's too much attention paid by the press corps about the campaign minutia and not enough paid by the press corps to the basic ideas that distinguish us from Barack Obama.(APPLAUSE)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pawlenty Shaken When Iowans Not Stirred

Forgive the 007 reference contained in the headline; former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will never be James Bond. If Pawlenty had been cast in one of the movies about Ian Fleming's superstar spy, it would not be in the leading role, though he might have been listed in the credits as "accountant's less interesting friend in a crowd scene".

Pawlenty was always in a mob, never able to emerge from the throng of politicians littering the Iowa landscape the past few months. Political strategists can give you many interesting theories on why this 
Official photo of Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN).Image via Wikipedia
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
happened, but it wasn't complicated. Pawlenty never seized anyone's interest and remained a somewhat unknown, somewhat distrusted, outsider in his own party.

Just as Mitt Romney's Massachusetts governorship raises concerns for conservatives, so too does Pawlenty's two terms as the Minnesota chief executive. When Republicans think of Minnesota politics they think of Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Al Franken. The blue state is not a likely origin for a GOP Presidential nominee and if a Republican is elected by that group then he is suspect. It's little wonder Pawlenty is an early casualty in this contest.

Pawlenty was outlasted by both Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. If you could pick both McCotter and Johnson out of a police line-up then you're likely a political insider. Yet, as of 11 PM on August 14th, they remain and Pawlenty, with much more national television exposure, has exited the political stage.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Who's the real friend of the TEA Party?

Liberal columnists at The Washington Post and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution appear to have embraced the TEA Party and have raised the alarm that the grassroots movement is being undermined. 

English: Official portrait of US Congressman A...
Austin Scott (GA-8)
Image via Wikipedia
The WP's Dana Milbank and the AJC's Jay Bookman are concerned that legislation introduced by freshman Georgia Representative Austin Scott to defund the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has betrayed the ideals of the TEA Party. This reveals a surprising, and heretofore suppressed, paternal concern by Messrs. Milbank and Bookman toward the conservative organization.

For readers who cringe at tortured logic, Milbank's column is helpfully entitled, "How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots". Leave aside for a moment that while Scott (GA-8) is a conservative, he has not claimed the TEA Party mantle. Relegate Milbank's confusion of legal immigrant workers and illegal immigrants to an innocent lack of understanding. What's left? Milbank accuses Scott of acting in the best interests of agri-business in his home district.

Monday, August 8, 2011

May You Live in Interesting Times

Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta, Geo...
Georgia State Capitol Building
Image via Wikipedia
Let's start with what we know about the bond rating issue and how it might affect the state of Georgia. Frankly, at this moment, it's not much.

Standard & Poor's (S&P) had reduced the bond rating of the federal government from AAA to AA+ while Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, apparently satisfied with the recent budget agreement, have allowed the US to retain their highest debt ratings.

Georgia is one of only eight states to have earned the highest debt rating from all three services - at least for now. It remains to be seen if S&P will be willing to rate individual states higher than the federal government. It may depend upon how much of a state's AAA rating is based upon backing from the federal government.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Be Courageous, Mr. President: An Open Letter

Dear Mr. President,

There are times in our lives when our vision for how the world should be is in direct conflict with the reality. When this happens our choices are between altering our world view to match reality and pretending that reality has changed. The first choice can be unsettling; it's not easy to admit that we are wrong. The second choice corrupts our view of the world and is dangerous, perhaps even deadly.
Line art representation of a Quill
Image via Wikipedia

I'm requesting, Mr. President, that you stand back and reassess your understanding of the world. At age 50 this will not be easy, but reality is knocking with a heavy fist. Many of us have noticed that the predictions of your economic advisors have been flawed and some, including me, would say that those predictions were radically incorrect. There is a single reason those predictions were so wrong. The models used by your advisors are based upon flawed assumptions of how the economy works and how people react to regulatory changes.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Top 10 Things About the Obama Administration

People are far too negative, so as a Conservative Republican I thought that I would seek out some positives from the Obama Administration. Out of a lengthy list, I culled out the top ten. I also, inadvertently found out that the President does, indeed, have many successful plans to his credit.

10.  We're creating more new millionaires every day. Between lottery winners and former billionaires, there are quite a few.
The front of a used Mark Six ticket                               Image via Wikipedia

9.  The health of our country's elderly is vastly improved. . . They are much more active. The President's plan to force them back into the workplace worked!

8.  Working people have lots of free time . . . because they're now former working people.

7.  The Gulf of Mexico is so much prettier without those unsightly oil drilling rigs, don'tcha think?

6.  Air pollution has substantially decreased . . . The President's plan to increase fuel prices worked!

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