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After Weiner was “caught” exposing his private self in public, New York had a special election to replace him.  Here is some commentary:

In what can be taken as a referendum on Barack Obama, Republican Bob Turner  picked up a Democratic seat in New York thanks in part to his ability to attach Democratic candidate David Weprin to the President’s handling of the economy.

Although observers warn against looking too much at the special election as a bellwether for 2012, Republicans were quick to tout the win as a referendum on the President’s jobs agenda.

“Bob Turner’s victory tonight is a tribute to Republicans commitment to preserve and strengthen the middle class, create jobs, and grow our economy. And it sends a clear message that will echo nationwide: Democrats will be held accountable for their vote to pass the President’s jobs bill,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH., said in a statement.

Republican Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel sent a similar warning message to Republicans.

“Today, the Democrat’s plan to begin a new round of stimulus cost  $3.4 million and a seat in Congress. And this is only the first seat,” Israel, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “We served notice to the Democrats that we will fight them anywhere in America when it comes to defending and strengthening American’s.”

Interesting huh?  One election and the Republicans are talking all that.  But check it out.  THAT isn’t the language of the election in New York this past Tuesday.  THAT is the report from the press back when the Democrats took the Republican seat back in May.

This is one seat in one state that is likely to go away soon.  However the news may be overstated by the Republicans, in no WAY can tis be considered good news for the Democrats.

 

 

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There’s been much talk in the last few days weeks months years about the need to compromise.  To reach out, walk the aisle and find partners in diplomacy in order to strike a deal, pass legislation. And I think, to a large degree, that such sentiments are noble and admirable.  In the end, a compromise or coming together, where both sides can walk away and succeed in front of their “bosses” is, or should be, the goal.

Much of what I do in my job is such positioning, or compromising.  There are certain jobs that have to be done, some that don’t of course, and they must be done, or sunset, by a certain group of people.  Often times, the group that SHOULD be doing the work doesn’t WANNA do the work.  Or, the converse is true as well, the organizations that own the work today don’t wanna give it up.  Either way, two divergent thoughts about how to get the thing done.  Only in rare circumstances do I advocate for a total power play.  Most often I urge an agreement that will allow both managers to succeed in front of their boss.

Politics should be no different.

However, it assumes that both players are moderates.  That they don’t have the dogma associated with the zealot.  Faced with conflicting ideas and paths toward success, they feel sure that the “other guy” has the same goal in mind.

Today, that is not the case.  We are dealing with a different kind of conflict today.  We’re debating the very essence of how our government should be organized.  We are NOT debating about how we are going to run an agreed upon government.

On one side, you have a group of people who feel as free and as open a market is best suited to bring about prosperity to a nation as a whole.  On the other, you find a group f of people who feel that by taking more and more of another’s property is the best way to bring about prosperity as a whole.

This is not a debate about a middle ground, this is a debate about which form we wanna live under.

Ayn Rand said it best:

There can be no compromise between a property owner and a burglar; offering the burglar a single teaspoon of one’s silverware would not be a compromise, but a total surrender—the recognition of his right to one’s property.

I can’t compromise with today’s Democrats when it comes to their larger world view.  It has come down to what system of government we will agree to abide by.

As a general rule I try to listen to what people say with a degree of open-mindedness.  IN my line of work, I hear all kids of reasons for things gone wrong and even more for why they can’t get fixed.

All day, every day.

And, in truth, many of those folks are right.  Or mostly right.  Or maybe just kinda right.

Every once in awhile I find someone who is NEVER right and I disregard what they say out of hand.  The Reverend Barber and the North Carolina NAACP are that guy.

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s NAACP chapter says it will fight the General Assembly’s plan to redraw legislative and congressional boundaries in court and within the Obama administration.

The Rev. William Barber said Monday the group is ramping up to challenge the maps drawn by the first Republican-led Legislature since the 1870s.

The first map drawn by Republicans since the 1870s.  Can you imagine how gerrymandered that map is today; only in favor of the Democrats?  Can you imagine a scenario where that map ISN’T gonna look different than the Democrat’s map?  One that has had the advantage of being refined over 141 years?

It’s become so bad that I’m not convinced proper legislation has been passed unless and until Reverend Barber complains.  Then I KNOW it’s right!

So it turns out that the Wisconsin Democrats didn’t win as much as they wanted and, more importantly, as much as they needed..  They fell short of taking back control of the Senate.  Now, to be fair, a 17-16 majority is razor thin and in truth is probably better for government than a very large majority.  For example, who can argue about the damage the the US Senate did to the nation as a result of their super-majority in 2009-2010?  No one.

However, what is the impact?  The read?  What does this mean?

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The Wisconsin Senate is made up of 33 members.  This morning the sun shone on 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats.  A solid majority for the Republicans.

However, because Democrats are upset that properly elected Senators passed a bill that was also passed by properly elected Congressman which was then signed into law by properly elected Governors, they are forcing, and have indeed, forced, a recall election for 6 of those 19 Republican seats.

For the Democrats to emerge victorious, they must defeat 3 incumbent Republicans.  This would be a 6 seat turn around giving the cry babies, sorry, sore losers, ahem, Democrats a razor thin majority; 16-17.

Those who remember the Prosser election with sadness are destined to be sad again.  Going into the final race, the Republicans were “winning” 3-2.  But a tie goes to the losers, ahem, Democrats.  So they need to win 4 out of 6.  And the last Democrat was ahead by 2,000 votes.

However, there is no joy in Mudville as only 1 f 11 Waukesha precincts reported.  This is the Waukesha that broke for Prosser 73% to 27%.  And guess what, glory be to the gods, ‘ol Waukesha stood and delivered!  They cared for the Republican 66% to 34%.

And to think, two more Democrats will face recall elections for their actions in running away from the office they swore to serve.

 

Well, just finished watching and listening to John Boehner.

Yeah, any good will established by Obama in trying to give the Speaker of the House props for being willing to work with the Democrats is out the window.  John Boehner came out swinging and he didn’t let up.  Almost with a vengeance the Speaker took Obama to task going back to January and the President’s request for more money.  And this after sending America on the largest spending binge of all time.  While I think he’s right, I’m not sure that the approach the Republicans just took is the wise one.

Where Obama made the case that we all need to agree to get along, Boehner went right at the President.  Where Obama looked to build a coalition with the Speaker, Mr. Boehner attacked the President for his priorities and his tactics in the debt talks to date.  Further, by appearing so dug in, the Republican may have set himself up for a situation that he can’t win.  A long time ago I learned that to be successful, you have to create a situation where your opponent can retreat or compromise in honor.  I’m afraid that Mr. Speaker has removed that option from the table.  I can see many things being thrown at the TV in the Democrat Head Quarters.

This is not to say That I don’t agree with the Republicans.  We DO spend too much.  We DO waste money.  Obama DOES negotiate in bad faith.  I know Obama is not a centrist but rather an over-matched Leftist Statist.  However, tonight, America was watching, not just us political junkies.  And America wants compromise more than they want ideology.

Either way, tonight set the die.  How it impacts the debate and the 2012 elections will, of course, remain to be seen.

I’ll be a son of a bitch!  President Obama reads TarHeel Red!

In spelling out what Barack Obama SHOULD say I neatly laid out Obama’s speech for him and he delivered what I think was a very strong message; a very good speech.

Obama DID talk about the battle in Washington.  He did bring into play the question that each side would have to give and compromise.  And he did it while sounding Presidential.

Kudos Mr. President, well done.

Further, I predicted that Mr. Obama would bring up the fact that much of the problems we’re faced with today are the result of Dubya and his policies.  I mentioned that he wouldn’t blame Bush directly, but rather use the code phrase “of the last decade”.  Imagine my excitement as I was proven right within the first 90 seconds.  However, much to his credit, he only ever touched on Bush 2 more time, so I fell short of my “at least 4 times” prediction.  Obama took a shot at Bush giving him credit along the lines of Reagan, Clinton and himself; Obama.  Further, there was a shot when Obama listed the troubles that brought us to this position included tax cuts to the wealthy, 2 wars and a Medicare Part D program.

In describing the talks, Obama made the point that it was himself that compromised and agreed to a path forward that was not popular within his party.  And he did call out Republicans for failing to give ground.  So, while he didn’t credit Democrats [that honor was reserved for him] he also didn’t accuse the Republicans of “leaving him at the altar” as I suggested.

Further, I did say that Obama would mention the strategy Republicans have taken in pushing this debate out only 6 months.  And he did.  But I also said that Obama deride this as politics and blast the “two tiered approach”.  And he didn’t.  Rather, he made well-reasoned arguments against such a strategy; arguments that I tend to agree with.

Finally, I had thought Obama would take advantage of the fact that Democrats were willing to stipulate that there would be no tax increases in the plan.  That in exchange for an extension past the election, they were willing to give on those increases.  I was wrong; Obama made it clear he expects the wealthy to “pay their fair share”.

In fact, I thought the constant “we-they” warfare was a touch over the top.  He again brought oil companies, hedge fund managers and jet owners into the conversation.  He mentioned that those who have benefited the most in the past decade [a nifty wink at Dubya that even I didn’t score against him] shouldn’t be exempt from bearing part of the burden.

However underscored the class warfare argument was, it was overshadowed by some pretty strong points made by the President.  I thought his best moment was when he descried the voters who elected both himself and the House Republicans into office.  His comment that:

They’re offended by that.

Was especially on target and scored several points.  Further, Obama was strong when he mentioned that as recently as 2000 we had budget surpluses, that we need to act in a bi-partisan manner and that both parties need to shape up.  People are, after all, bone tired and are fed up with this three-ring circus.

On one hand, I’m excited that our President delivered a strong speech more leader like than I expected.  I’m humbled some that I was so wrong, but that is tempered by the fact that it’s now clear Obama not only reads my little rantings, but takes them to heart!

😉

Tonight President Obama is going to deliver a prime time speech to America tonight at 09:00 PM EDT.

I expect the President to compare and contrast the dueling debt limit bills in front of lawmakers.  On one hand is the Speaker’s plan and on the other is the Senate Majority Leader’s plan.  Obama has already come out in favor of the plan being offerred by Harry Reid; so the suspense of tonight’s address is largely gone.  What remains will be the rhetoric.

The President should stand in front of America and tell us that the leaders we have elected are working around the clock to craft a plan that cares for the future of America while at the same time keeps us in the good graces of our current debt obligations.  All American’s recognize that you can not make promises that you have no intention of keeping.  We borrowed money and entered into agreement with people from all over.  IN some cases this is foreign nations.  In others it’s with our own citizens in the form of our social programs.

We have debts and obligations.  And we mean to honor those obligations.

That being said, the future path of our economy is not an easily planned and established.  Rather, it’s gonna take a lot of work, a lot of courage and a lot of midnight oil.  There are ideological differences to be overcome.  And in today’s hyper-partisan atmosphere.  While it’s unfortunate, it’s reality.  And to ignore that reality is dangerous.  Rather we should let these people work through their challenges and come to a solution that everyone can be satisfied with; or at least one that everyone can admit some compromise on their part.

That is what he SHOULD say.  But he won’t.

President Obama will mention, at LEAST 4 times, that we are suffering through a crisis of some kind that was brought about by the policies of the last decade.  [I suspect polling has determined that people are tired of blaming Dubya, so he’s shifted to policies of the last decade.  Four times, I’m tellin’ ya.  Take it to the bank!] He’ll claim that we need leadership and not politics as usual.  Mr. Obama will make claims that he and the Democrats have been willing to compromise on this deal in order that America can make progress and that it’s the Republicans who have come to the table, worked out a deal only to demand further concessions or change the rules.

The President will claim that the Republican contingent has been held hostage to the extreme right element of the party, he may even mention the Tea Party by name.  But if he doesn’t, it’ll be clear that it is that group he is referring to.  He will remind America that it has been the Democrats that have agreed to set aside partisan politics to reach a deal based on compromise; even agreeing to virtually every Republican demand.  Only to be left at the alter at least twice.

Obama will mention that the Democrat’s plan contains spending cuts that result in a stronger economic position.  And he’ll mention that the Democrats have agreed that no tax cuts will be implemented; all this at the request of the Republicans.

He won’t mention the fact that the deal pushes the debate out past the next election, but he WILL mention that the Republicans insist on playing politics with the debt by insisting on a “two tier approach”.

I hope I’m wrong.  I bet I’m not.

The Democratic governor of Minnesota backed down yesterday.  Said governor, who claimed to be elected into office with a mandate, has realized that he’s damaging the state of Minnesota.  Unlike his election, the election of a republican congress DOES carry a mandate.  And that mandate is “no new taxes”.  So, after allowing the state to experience a government shutdown for nearly two weeks, the governor accepted a deal that the republicans had offered as far back as June 30.

Despite my serious reservations about your plan, I have concluded that continuing the state government shutdown would be even more destructive for too many Minnesotans,” Dayton wrote to legislative leaders. “Therefore I am willing to agree to something I do not agree with — your proposal — in order to spare our citizens and our state from further damage.

Dayton walked away from the edge.  I suspect that he realized his partisan agenda didn’t mesh with the responsibilities of governing a state.  And he relented.

This should serve as a guide to national republicans.  This is how the debate is to be won.

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Republicans hold both houses of congress here in North Carolina for the first time in about 140 years.  That’s a long time to wait.

For once, it’ll be a Republican lead agenda that shapes the fiscal direction in Raleigh.  Whatever bill ends up being passed into law will be one the Republicans drafted, and built and approved.  And it looks like Governor Purdue is making sure that the folks of North Carolina know that.

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