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Newsmakers

ARCHIVE - JANUARY 2015

The Best of The Best

Who will be the
2016 candidates
for President of
the United States?


Republicans


SCOTT WALKER!

Walker has broad appeal to
GOP constituencies and is a
proven winner. Look for him
to select New Mexico
Governor Susanna Marinez
as his running mate.



Who, from among this
strong, diverse field , will
emerge victorious to return
the GOP to the White
House?

COMPETITORS
The road to the White House
leads past the Governor's
mansion. Marco Rubio, Rand
Paul and Ted Cruz need to
go back to their state capitals
and fill out their resumes.
Among governors, Jeb Bush
and Rick Perry are stale, and
worse, remind people of
GWB 43. John Kasich is
unappealing to the base.
Mike Pence is an intriguing
alternative to Walker; the
other Mike (Huckabee) is
NOT!

Democrats


ANDREW CUOMO!????

Look for Hillary to drop out
and open the way for Bill
Clinton's HUD Secretary.
Cuomo, also Cinton's
neighbor in Westchester
County, finished his 2014
re-election with $8.8 million
in the bank, and would have
no problem raising much,
much more. Look for him to
pick MA Senator Elizabeth
Warren - or even Hillary
Clinton! - as his running
mate.



Is Hillary a foregone
conclusion, or will
someone else swoop in and
steal the show?


COMPETITORS
A Clinton run is a 50/50
proposition at best, given
her failures as First Lady
(HIllaryCare) and SecState
(Reset). In the meantime the
prospect keeps her speaking
fees in the stratosphere, and
keeps a path open for the
Clinton's hand-picked
designee: Cuomo. Warren is
an instant contender if she
jumps in. Everyone else is an
also-ran at this point. Webb
is an interesting Presidential
candidate, but a non-starter
in the Primaries: this is the
extreme left Democratic
Party of Sanders and
Warren.

NO COMMENT

2015/01/21 - Try this: enter the phrase “SOTU text 201*” into a search engine for each of the last four years, and then look for the word “Yemen”. Here’s what you get:

2012 (Things are great!): “Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From Pakistan to Yemen, the al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can’t escape the reach of the United States of America. (Applause.)”

2013 (It’s going OK.): “The threat these groups pose is evolving. But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad or occupy other nations. Instead, we'll need to help countries like Yemen…”

2014 (Times are tough.): “While we have put al Qaeda’s core leadership on a path to defeat, the threat has evolved, as al Qaeda affiliates and other extremists take root in different parts of the world. In Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Mali, we have to keep working with partners to disrupt and disable these networks.”

2015 (No comment.) Crickets…

This time President Obama adroitly avoided mentioning Al Qaeda. And Yemen. In fact, even while he was delivering his State of the Union address, Iranian-backed Shia rebels in Yemen were in the process of capturing the Obama-backed Sunni President of Yemen, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in his compound and holding him for ransom. Could it get any more embarrassing?

In fact, as late as last September Obama said of Yemen “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.”.

No wonder he mostly avoided foreign affairs in the State of the Union. In fact it’s the first time since 2001 that Al Qaeda has not been mentioned in the SOTU. Because they’re on the run, supposedly…

At least the economy is getting a lift from supply-induced decline in oil prices, so there’s something Obama could take credit for. Sort of. US oil production is up 50% from 2008 to 2013, absolutely no thanks to Obama. Yet Obama claimed the oil price decline is a demand-side phenomenon caused by his alternative energy policies. Like Solyndra?

Is President Obama even worth listening to? If you tuned your TV to ESPN instead and watched Kansas State and Iowa State square off in college hoops, you missed nothing.



HIGH HOPES FOR THE 114TH CONGRESS

2015/01/07 - Happy New Year! Yes, seriously. A very, very new year, and a happy one indeed. We look forward to the new 114th Congress.

During a December 29th NPR interview President Obama threatened to use his veto pen in the new year far more frequently than he has in the past. Definitely, a new year.

Recently we have been appalled with the President’s willingness to unconstitutionally circumvent Congress and issue executive orders on major hot button issues; by contrast, we applaud the President for his newly-expressed willingness to exercise his constitutional authority to veto acts of Congress. It should be a lot of fun. We will probably disagree with most of his veto choices, but we thoroughly endorse his constitutional authority to exercise veto power.

We look forward to the new 114th Congress. Bring it on! The 111th Congress during 2009-2010, fully-controlled by Democrats, gave us legislative fiascos like ObaMcCare. The split 112th and 113th Congresses from 2011-2014, with Republican control of the House, was able to slow down the growth of government spending and stymy the worst elements of a liberal agenda, but the Democrat-controlled Senate blocked almost every positive conservative policy initiative from reaching the Oval Office. Thus, not too many vetoes over the past six years. Not a lot of drama.

But all that is about to change. With the GOP expanding its majority in the House to an almost 90-year high, and Republicans regaining control of the Senate, expect many pro-growth, pro-freedom initiatives to wind up on Obama’s desk. Keep your defibrillator handy while you wait to see what happens next.

The internet has broken open the Washington DC sausage factory. We now know what goes into “deal-making”, and we know it’s not good for us. Voters never used to have ready access to material that would inform their decision-making. We couldn’t know what bill our Representative or Senator was voting for or against, or why. In the olden days it really was like the way dinosaur fossil Nancy Pelosi described it when she said, “We need to pass the law to find out what’s inside”.

Thanks to the internet people know what’s going on. Thirty of the sixty senators who voted for ObaMcCare have either fled, or have been forcibly removed. That means that 70% of the Senators in the 114th Congress did not vote for it. Republicans have a chance to take a few good shots at it even before the Supreme Court rules in King v. Burwell. Let’s see if the President vetoes the bill, and let’s see how many Democrats sustain the veto. We’re all keeping score, and we’re all looking forward to 2016.

And then there’s the Keystone XL pipeline. Expect Republicans to pass legislation authorizing construction of the highly popular, privately-funded, job-creating pipeline, a truly "shovel-ready" infrastructure project you would think Obama and the Democrats would adore. Let’s see if a few remaining conservative Democrats – such as Joe Manchin (D-WV) – come on board. Let’s see if any liberal Democrats who voted for it in 2014 to support Mary Landrieu – such as Tom Carper (D-DE) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) – will support the Republican legislation. We’re all keeping score, and we’re all looking forward to 2016.

The Republican-controlled 114th Congress will force many tough votes on Congressional Democrats. It will force many tough veto choices on President Obama. It will force 2016 Democrat presidential hopefuls to make some tough stands. We can expect Republicans to force Democrats into some very tight spots. Watch those liberals scramble when conservatives flick on the light switch!

The major issue for Democrats is that the internet leaves slick dissembling disingenuous politicians with no place to hide. America is a conservative country and Americans are generally conservative. Republicans can win among moderates by embracing the “conservative” label; Democrats can only win among moderates by avoiding the “liberal” label. The 114th Congress will fully expose the sausage-making liberals, and the internet will leave them no place to hide. We’re all keeping score, and we’re all looking forward to 2016.



Random Ramblings


January 30, 2015 - Apparently someone worked up the nerve to explain, to the smartest-ever occupant of the White House, the inherent contradiction of his SOTU promise to help the middle class by wiping out "529" education savings plans.

It's this simple: low income people borrow for college, middle class people save for college, and high net worth people don't even worry about it. Thus, when you gut an education savings plan, you injure the middle class. Not complicated.

How can this President think he is making college affordable by pushing people away from savings and towards debt? As Pat Caddell
put it, "I have never seen a president occupying himself in his own fantasy world in the twilight zone..."

Good public policy would incentivize people to save for college, not borrow for college; and for that matter, to save for home ownership, not borrow for home ownership.

It is horrifically obvious that our President has absolutely no clue about the devastating implications of debt - be it private debt or public debt.




January 27, 2015 - The Kurds are on the brink of dealing a blow to ISIS and defeating them in the months-long battle for the Kurdish town of Kobani, Syria.

It just goes to show how hard people will fight if they feel that they actually have something to fight for.

And therein lies the problem with the Iraqi army - they don't seem to feel affinity for the country, or the ideals, or the land they are being sent to fight for.

Is it time to redraw the map of the Middle East so it makes sense? So that the governed feel represented by the culture, customs and ideals of their government? Is it time to split Iraq in three? Is it time to eliminate Syria? Is it time to carve a homeland for the Kurds out of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey? Is it time cut Turkey out of Thrace? Is it time to go back to the drawing board? How's the current map working out for anyone?



January 23, 2015 - Today in his briefing Josh Earnest compared himself to Tom Brady.

Earnest said Brady has nothing to fear from him about losing his job as an NFL quarterback, and that he has nothing to fear from Brady about losing his job as Press Secretary.

We strongly disagree with Earnest's assessment. Brady's uninformative, dissembling Sgt. Schultz routine eerily resembled a Josh Earnest performance. Could it be that Earnest's successor has in fact revealed himself?



January 21, 2015 - What goes around comes around. Obama has been circumventing Congress while issuing executive orders, and scorning the Constitution in the process.

So today John Boehner exacted some measure of retribution by usurping some Presidential duties and inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a join session of Congress on March 3.

The Spite House is fuming that the Speaker has dared to do the President's work. Press Secretary Josh Earnest called it a "breach of protocol".

Breach of protocol? Really? Like the tan suit?

Deft move by Boehner. It's not like Obama has any desire to maintain relations with our staunchest allies. It's no secret that Obama loathes Netanyahu, he's far more interested in courting his new BFF the Iranians. Yup, the same guys who just overthrew Obama's pal in Yemen.



January 12, 2015 - Obama is getting roasted for his no-show in Paris. Even Press Secretary Josh Earnest was forced to admit "we should have sent someone with a higher profile".

But in barackematics, it doesn't matter - the French don't get to vote in our elections. But, you ask, isn't it important to take a stand against these Islamic terrorists? Again the answer is "Nope", for the same reason. These Islamic terrorists wield no influence in our elections.

In barackematics, Republicans are the confluence of political opposition, and thus they, not ISIS, are the great evil, the true villains. And that explains his calculations on opposing terror: Afghans, Iraqis and the French provide no political support, so they cannot be real allies. Why bother going to Paris to hold hands with that cast of clowns?

As for Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the rest, they cannot project political opposition against Obama, thus they are not actually his enemies. Vilifying and demonizing and fighting Republicans - real, political enemies - is noble, worthwhile; picking fights with terrorists is a waste.

In barackematics, the only thing that counts is politics: who might, or will, vote for you; and who might, or will, vote against you. Politics isn't everything, it's the only thing.



January 06, 2015 - The Dow dropped about 350 points yesterday and it's on its way to another double-digit loss today.

Three major economic data points came out this morning - the Purchasing Manager's Service Index, the Institute of Supply Management non-manufacturing index, and Factory Orders - and all three showed decline, or were below expectations, or both.

Plummeting oil prices coupled with a very accommodative monetary policy ought to be spurring rapid economic growth, but they are not. There's something wrong, some millstone around our economy's neck...


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