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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who Won The Final Debate?



The last of the three presidential debates has come and gone and the spin meisters are going full speed trying to convince voters that their candidate won.

Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn who won last night's debate. Most pundits have called it a draw. I would give the edge to Mitt Romney on substance and style. He was certainly more "presidential" than a grinning, condescending, boorish President Obama.

Of Course, there are still two more weeks of furious campaigning ahead and the attack dogs will be off their leashes and barking as vociferously as ever.

So what is one to make of the 2012 presidential race?

I can't recall a more negative campaign in my lifetime. The most disconcerting thing to me is the insertion of characteristically malicious Chicago political tactics into the race for our nation's highest office.

In Chicago, where I spent a majority of my professional journalism career, the norm in political battles is to launch personal attacks and to demonize your opponent at every opportunity.

Tune in to the Starz TV show "Boss" and you will see what I mean.
Kelsey Grammer as Chicago's "Boss"

The political goon squad in the White House is a throwback to the original Mayor Daley--the one who pushed JFK over the top in 1960 and who periodically raised the dead so they could vote.

Mayor Daley knew how to win elections. Buy votes by giving people free "stuff" and make your opponent appear to be some kind of reprobate.

The gang of political operatives who surround Obama are following the same strategy.

To the credit of the majority of Americans, however, it is not working. Most Americans do not live in Chicago or Cook County and most do not like the dirty, in-your-face kind of politics that got a succession of Chicago mayors elected.

You can argue who won last night's debate, who delivered the most zingers, etc. But you cannot argue with Mitt Romney's steady climb in the collective presidential campaign polls.

I think Americans are finally seeing past the veneer of Obama's "messiah complex" and finding that this man, who was less prepared for the job than any other president in our history, is simply in over his head.

Not only does he not understand how the U.S. economy works, he is fundamentally opposed to capitalism--though you will never get him to admit it publicly.

His denials during last night's debate to the contrary, Obama DID go on an apology tour in 2009 after his election. As N. Y. Yankee's manager Casey Stengel used to say: "You can look it up." Fact checkers have already run clips of Obama apologizing in Egypt, France, and Latin America.

Specifically, in Strasbourg, France Obama said: "there have been times where America has shown arrogance and has been dismissive, even derisive."

 During a speech in Egypt Obama talked about: "a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect." Then, citing the "fear and anger" after 9/11, Obama said that in some cases, "it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals."

And of course, who can forget the awful display of cow towing when an obsequious Obama bowed before the Saudi king. I thought he was going to kiss the king's ring.  
Obama bowing to Saudi King

But more troubling is the fact that this is a president who believes the federal government has all the solutions to our fiscal woes, when in fact, the federal government is more often the cause of our economic problems.

Remember what Ronald Reagan once said: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

 Thank you President Obama. You have "helped" our nation enough. Go play another round of golf. Show us how cool you are and have another dance with Ellen DeGeneres. Visit the cackling magpies on "The View."

Or better yet. Start packing. It's time to put the adults back in the White House.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Smirkin' Joe Biden Can't KO Paul Ryan



I think the following Biblical quote sums up Joe Biden's bizarre behavior in last night's debate with Republican V.P. nominee Paul Ryan very well:

"If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet." --Proverbs 29:9.

Naturally, Democrats have rallied around Joe "the gaffer" following last evening's debate, saying that was just Joe being Joe.

I thought he was the vice-president and as such he owed a national TV audience a modicum of vice-presidential behavior--that is, being respectful rather than disdainful of your debate opponent.
Smirkin' Joe Biden in Action

And where was the alleged moderator in all of this? ABC's Martha Raddatz was strangely quiet as Biden smirked, lifted his eyes to the ceiling and shot mocking stares at Ryan.

In fact, Raddatz followed the Biden lead– interrupting the debaters 50 times. She jumped often and  heavily on Ryan, interrupting him 31 times, 12 more than the 19 times she cut off Biden. She also took a liberal tone on abortion and let Biden control the tone of  the debate by never cutting him off when he stepped all over Ryan during his remarks.

 Even CNN’s left-leaning anchor Anderson Cooper said after the debate that Biden managed to “continually inject himself” into Ryan’s comments--an understatement if ever I heard one.

Ryan suggested that Biden's behavior signaled desperation.

"Mr. Vice President, I know you are under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground," Ryan said.

Biden immediately uncorked his biggest throaty laugh of the night.

"... But I think people would be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other," Ryan said.
 In my opinion, Ryan was not forceful enough in going after Biden.

At those points when Biden burst out laughing at Ryan's remarks on such issues as Iran working toward building a nuclear weapon or how the administration was AWOL when the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Ryan should have stopped talking and said: "Joe, I am not sure why are these issues are so funny to you, but I can guarantee you they are not funny to the American people."
Smirkin' Joe Biden Guffaws Again

This is the kind of verbal counter-punching that was missing from Ryan's performance. It was patently obvious that Biden's mission was to keep Ryan off balance the entire night with his annoying eye rolling, condescending, smug attitude.

That Ryan managed to stay on his feet and weather what has to be the most disrespectful and rude conduct of a sitting vice-president in American history says something about his character.

He would not be pulled into below the belt verbal punch fest that Biden was hoping to create.

Instead, he remained on point and despite the constant badgering by both Biden and his willing sidekick Raddatz, he answered questions as best he could.

There are those who say style is not as important as substance. In a national debate for the nation's highest office, I beg to differ. Substance should take precedence. That's a given. But style should not be ignored. It says something about a person's character.

In 1988 Biden, then a presidential candidate, admitted plagiarizing a speech by Neil Kinnock, leader of the British Labor Party. It was also reported that he also plagiarized a law paper at the Syracuse University School of Law in 1965 for which he received an "F."

These revelations were reported by no less a left-leaning authority than the New York Times and as a result Biden was forced to resign from the presidential race that year. The Times and other papers said in numerous stories that Biden lacked the mental and verbal discipline to be President.

After last night, it appears he lacks the same qualities needed to be Vice-President.








Friday, October 5, 2012

EUROPE AND THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


I have just returned from a three week sojourn to Europe--specifically, Paris, Munich and Venice--and points in between aboard various trains.

A couple of things I noticed. Many Europeans are terrified that Barack Obama will be defeated in the upcoming election. This in spite of the fact that Chicago's political mafia is running the Democratic party and the Democrats NEVER or rarely lose elections in Chicago and Cook County.

After watching a plethora of German talk shows and reading a few German newspapers it was interesting to note that while many Europeans now realize Obama is NOT the political embodiment of the Second Coming, that he is in fact (horrors) a mere mortal, and that he and his socialist policies have made things worse in the U.S. and not better, they still believe it would be some kind of celestial blasphemy if he is not re-elected.

As one person on a talk show put it: "He is so intelligent and truthful."

This was, of course, before this week's debate with challenger Mitt Romney. I wonder what she thinks now after the big can of whoop ass Romney opened on an obviously ill-prepared Obama. Without his teleprompter, Obama was exposed as a shallow and ineffective speaker.

As the Bumbler-in-Chief scrambled for answers and to make his case to the American people during the debate I am sure he was wishing he could be on yet another golf course somewhere.

Obama is a very good golfer--having had plenty of practice to improve his golf game during his tenure in the White House. So far Obama as played 105 rounds of golf during his 3.5 years in office--more than anybody since President Eisenhower, who played about 200 rounds in his 8 years in office between 1952 and 1960.

According to Keith Koffler, a reporter for the White House Dossier: “Obama’s golfing takes about five hours, including the motorcades back and forth from the fairways. If one thinks of this as taking up much of the day – include getting ready to go and cooling off afterward – it's fair to say that Obama has spent more than three months of his presidency golfing.”

He might have added that he has spent another six months campaigning for re-election and three months on vacation. That means for almost a year the nation has had a president who has done everything but work at the job he was elected to do. I won't even go into the tax-payer dollars spent by Michelle Obama on her 16 vacations to places like Spain, South Africa, Aspen and Hawaii.
Michelle and Friends in Spain 2010

And believe me, these were not taken sitting in coach in the back of the plane or on a Greyhound Bus.

Of course, Michelle is not running for re-election. But it seems rather insensitive to be taking lavish vacations at a time when some 23 million American are out of work and millions more have lost their homes, businesses and savings.

But, hey, that's OK. After all, it is Barack Obama and he can do no wrong. Certainly not in Europe.

It is amazing how naive some Europeans are about the United States. Of course, the all act as if they know everything there is to know about this country--from its politics to its economy to its social issues.

It is difficult to blame them when you read European newspapers or watch news and talk shows.
For example, after this week's debate, a few European newspapers reported that Obama actually did well in his face off with Romney.

What debate were they watching--maybe it was a re-run of the Nixon-Kennedy debate of 1960.

Of course, maybe they were affected by Denver's mile-high altitude--an explanation that former Vice President Al Gore offered in Obama's defense.

The fact is this. Most, if not all, of the European nations that make up the European Union are left-leaning and are pushing hard for an Obama victory in November. In nations where the quality of life is measured by how many cradle-to grave entitlements you can extract from government, a U.S. that has a closet socialist in the White House is one Europeans can readily identify with.

Romney and Ryan scare the hell out of Europeans. They are, after all, in favor of reducing government's size and checking its intrusion into our lives and businesses. This is a philosophy that few Europeans understand or will ever embrace.

Just look at the rioting in Greece, Spain and Italy when governments attempt to get spending under control by curbing unsustainable pensions that begin at 55 and can amount to some 80 percent of one's annual salary.

When you make the majority of the populace dependent on government entitlements and handouts you wind up with Greece, Spain and Italy.

Now look at what's happened in the U.S. since 2008l. When Obama moved into the White House the number of Americans getting food stamps was 31 million. In 2000 there were just 17 million Americans on food stamps.

Today, some 47 million Americans are on food stamps--otherwise known as the newly named "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" or SNAP. That means some 23 million American household are using food stamps--fully 15 percent of the U.S. population.

And that's not the whole story. Today, there are more Americans dependent on the federal government than ever before in U.S. history.

According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  Many are enrolled in more than one.  

That is about a third of the entire population of the country.  That figure does not include Social Security or Medicare.  Today the federal government runs almost 80 different “means-tested welfare programs,” and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years. 

I agree that we will always need a safety net for those that cannot take care of themselves, but it is utterly ridiculous that the federal government is financially supporting one-third of all Americans.  How much farther do things really need to go before we finally admit that we have become a socialist nation like our European neighbors? 

At the current rate of government-sponsored dependency, it will not be very long before half the nation is on welfare.  However, we likely will never get to that point because the colossal and unsustainable debt that we are currently running up will no doubt  destroy our financial system before that ever happens.

I can hear the shovels in China already digging our grave.