Thanks to the left stream media America is learning that while a student at an elite Michigan prep school, Mitt Romney was a prankster who sometimes went too far. At least two of his pranks were cruel bullying incidents. He lead a blind teacher to walk into a closed door and he traumatised an apparently gay classmate, who later came out, by forcefully cutting off his bleached blond hair, according to a poorly sourced exposé in the Washington Post.
Thanks to the right stream media, sourced in part by Barack Obama himself, we are learning, four years late, that while in high school the President was a heavy drinker, pot and cocaine user, who hung out with communist radicals. He bullied a “plump, dark” Black girl.
In recent weeks we’ve also learned that Romney transported his dog to a family vacation on the roof of his car and that Obama ate dog.
We’re likely to be in for a lot more of these types of stories over the next six months. We’ll also be in for disingenuous complaining from both the right and left about each others tactics. All of this is a positive development for America.
Especially at the presidential level, it is the duty of political opponents to do thorough opposition research and to pitch what they find to the media. If the free media doesn’t run with the findings, it is the duty of political opponents to buy media to expose their opponent’s foibles. Then the free media will investigate, report and opine on the veractity of the charges. It is the duty of responsible journalists to verify or debunk opposition research pitched to them and the public and report accordingly.
The traditional media, which is leftist for the most part, took a break from its presidential vetting duty in 2008. Likewise, Barack Obama’s political opposition, the Clintons and John McCain, took a pass on vetting Obama. The Obama camp and the traditional leftist media brilliantly employed the race card to thwart Obama’s vetting.
Both Obama and Romney should be vetted, by each other’s campaign and by the media, over the next six months. It is not unprecedented for the media to vette an incumbent President. CBS’s Dan Rather famously got in wrong and lost his job over Memogate during George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign.
As we enter the vetting season, one of the side benefits will be that the biases of the vetters will be revealed to a skeptical public. As the Internet continues to transform how we get our information and plays a more significant role in political campaigns, the truth that there is no such thing as an unbiased media source will become more and more apparent.
Posted: May 12th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, Media | Tags: Barack Obama, Breitbart, CBS, Dan Rather, George W Bush, Media, Mitt Romney, School Days School Daze, vetting, Washington Post | 4 Comments »
By Jim Morford, cross posted at InTheLobby
When I was a youngster and things weren’t going well in the economy, the Democrats would always claim, “It’s Hoover’s fault.” Republicans, on the other hand, blamed Democrats for “getting us into war” citing Wilson, Roosevelt (FDR) and Truman.
Today, things have changed. Democrats blame Bush for both the economy and for getting us into war.
But who really should bear the responsibility, if not the blame, for the problems facing our country today? To be sure, there is enough blame to be shared by both political parties for landing us in the deeply troubled economy that haunts us today. Politicians of all stripes and at all levels of government have, through fiscal irresponsibility, over taxed and over spent the public’s money. Truly, the blame can reach beyond politicians to include skillful labor unions who have negotiated benefits beyond the ability of governments and private sector employers to pay for them. Additionally, an apathetic public – perhaps the greatest cause of all our woes – has allowed corrupt politicians, avaricious businesses and organized labor to loot the public coffers.
Since the days of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, our country has been on a Fabian path to statisim. Some are surprised that the Obama Administration has accelerated the pace.
In his most recent book, The Next Decade, geopolitical analyst and founder of Stratfor George Friedman presents a provocative and insightful look into the next decade. It’s a book well worth reading, as he sees a time of massive change and what the US will need to do to survive.
Before we jump headlong into speculation about the next decade, let’s take a look at the recent past to get some idea of whose policies and actions have put us where we find ourselves today.
From 1949 until 1995, the Democratic Party held majority control of the House of Representatives, thereby acting as a restraint on one-party dominance when Republicans sometimes had majorities in the US Senate and/or the White House. The philosophy of bigger and bigger government, embraced to greater and lesser degrees by both political parties, has dominated the country since the 1930s.
It was the relatively short period from 2003 to 2007 that the Republican Party controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. Even during the “conservative” presidency of Ronald Reagan, at least one house of Congress remained in the control of the Democratic Party and government continued to grow.
The current and dramatic shift in political dominance in Washington did not just take place on January 20, 2009 when President Obama was sworn into office. The shift actually began on January 3, 2007 when the Democrats recaptured control of the US Senate. At that time, the Dow closed at over 12,600; unemployment stood at 4.6% and the economy under George W. Bush set a record of 52 consecutive months of job growth.
It was on January 3, 2007 that Barney Frank (D) became Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd (D) took over the Senate Banking Committee. 15 months later a meltdown occurred in the banking and financial services sector of our economy, notwithstanding President Bush’s urging repeatedly that serious reform was needed.
One of the most important responsibilities that a member of Congress has is to enact an annual budget for the federal government. However, the US Senate under the leadership of Harry Reid (D) has failed to pass a budget since 2009. The House, under Republican control since 2011, has twice passed budgets and sent them to the Senate, which for purely partisan reasons has failed to enact a budget bill. Unfortunately, Majority Leader Reid and his Democratic colleagues believe that partisanship is their primary responsibility, rather than fiscal stewardship and sound public policy.
The Federal budget cycle is governed mainly by six laws. Probably the most important of them is The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 that governs the basic practices of federal budgeting and spending. Because of partisan irresponsibility in refusing to enact a budget and to avoid government shutdowns, Congress gets along by enacting continuing resolutions. Doing so fails the test of fiscal responsibility. However, public apathy (cited above) allows negligent politicians to get away with it.
President George W. Bush was no fiscal conservative or effective small government advocate. During his eight years in office, he increased the federal budget by 104% and the national debt grew by $3.3 trillion.
The Obama Administration has accelerated the pace of spending and debt to unsustainable levels. Today, the national debt stands at over $15 trillion. The debt is dismissed by some as just money we owe ourselves, but the interest on that debt has to be paid out of tax revenues, or borrowed and added to the debt. That interest so far in 2012 is nearly $4 trillion. There are those politicians who see increasing taxes as the only answer to any problem. Others contend that the problem is not that government has too little in revenue, but that it is spending far too much.
Whether it is the fault of Republicans, Democrats or both, it is a useless exercise to simply blame. Rather, we must reverse course and get our fiscal house in order if we are to survive as a nation that resembles anything we have known up until now.
There are solutions, but no easy solutions. Our apathetic and dependant population “served” by corrupt and power-grasping politicians may result in our becoming more like Greece than the affluent land of opportunity we once were.
In a 2011 interview conducted by economist Donald Luskin, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan observed that he sees the United States as having crossed the threshold, a point of no return, at which we’ve taken on too great a government debt, and at the same time made too great a commitment to government control of the economy. Luskin wrote, “He told us that we won’t recognize America 20 years from now, and that we won’t like what we see.”
Jim Morford is former Associate Director of Government Relations for the NJ Education Association, former VP and chief lobbyist for the NJ Chamber of Commerce, former President of the NJ Food Council and is Executive Director Emeritus of the NJ Society for Environmental, Economic Development (NJ SEED). He is a partner in the Trenton-based consulting firm of Morford-Drulis Associates, LLC. The opinions expressed in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any clients or associates.
Posted: April 26th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: Economy, Statism | Tags: "Ronald Reagan", "Teddy Roosevelt", Alan Greenspan, Barney Frank, Bush, Chris Dodd, Democrats, Donald Luskin, Economy, FDR, Federal Reserve, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Friedman, George W Bush, Harry Reid, Hoover, InTheLobby, Jim Morford, Obama Administration, President Barack Obama, republicans, Stratfor, The Next Decade, Truman, war, Wilson, Woodrow Wilson | 4 Comments »
Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman will not be joining Governor Chris Christie on the campaign trail for Mitt Romney.
Whitman is a director of Americans Elect 2012, a PAC that converted into an educational group so that it would not have to disclose its donors. The group wants Americans to nominate a “centrist” Independent presidential candidate via Internet voting. They are working to secure ballot positions in all 50 states. So far they’re on the ballots in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Utah. There are reports that they’ve submitted petitions in California and Hawaii.
Despite their success in collecting signatures to get on ballots, there is a lot of controversy about the group that will likely hamstring their efforts going forward. There is a clause in their by laws that allows the group’s directors to disqualify “America’s” candidate. They’ve got a rule restricting how their nominee selects his/her vice presidential candidate. The group says it doesn’t support or oppose any particular candidate at this point, but Whitman has been promoting Jon Huntsman as a third party candidate and Mark McKinnon, another director of the group, said Mitt Romney doesn’t have the cojones to be president.
Sounds more like a three ring circus than a third party. Besides, the Republicans look as though they are going to nominate a centrist in either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich.
As an aside, how long will it be before a highly paid national pundit writes a column about what it means about America that the three front runners for president have weird first names?
Even without the other controversies surrounding Americans Elect 2012, Whitman joining their board should be a sign of that the group is doomed to fail. Her legacy as New Jersey’s Governor and as Administrator of the EPA under President George W. Bush is beyond embarrassing.
The messes that Governor Christie is cleaning up now….the broke pension system, broke transportation trust fund, broke unemployment insurance fund, Abbot and COAH, were all started or made worse by Whitman and her appointees. Shortly after 9-11, EPA Administrator Whitman declared the air at Ground Zero safe to breathe, thereby sending clean up workers to slow deaths and long term disabilities.
It’s little wonder that candidate Chris Christie declared that he’s not a Whitman Republican.
Despite Americans Elect’s foibles, a third party presidential candidate might be a good news for those who want President Obama to be a one termer.
In modern times, i.e., during the lifetimes of anyone likely to vote in 2012, there have been only two elected incumbent presidents denied a second term by the voters; Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. Both had significant third party challengers during their reelection bids. John Anderson, a Republican Congressman from Illinois ran against Carter and Ronald Reagan. Reagan won. Ross Perot, the populist Texas billionaire ran against Bush and Bill Clinton. Clinton won.
The bad news, from a historical perspective, is that Carter and Bush 41 also faced significant primary challenges prior to being renominated. Carter was challenged for the Democratic nomination in 1980 by Teddy Kennedy. Bush was challenged for the 1992 GOP nomination by Pat Buchanan.
Reagan’s primary challenge against Gerald Ford in 1976, preceding Carter’s election, may indicate that an incumbent’s problems within their own party may be more of a detriment to reelection than a third party challenge. Unfortunately, there is no Democrat seriously challenging Obama.
New York Post columnist John Podhoretz says New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is “clearly eyeing” a third party run for president. A Bloomberg run might be America’s best hope of defeating Obama next year. The Mayor has the resources to make a credible run and a nanny state record to appeal to enough dissatisfied Democrats and left leaning Independents.
Posted: December 4th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics | Tags: Americans Elect 2012, Bill Clinton, Chris Christie, Christine Todd Whitman, George H.W. Bush, George W Bush, Jimmy Carter, John Anderson, John Podhoretz, Jon Huntsman, Mark McKinnon, Mike Bloomberg, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ross Perot | 11 Comments »