So it appears that the media has decided that President Obama has become a lame duck president. There may be some merit to this frame of thought or it could also be wishful thinking on behalf of those who have continuously been on the losing side of his silent wrath. With the U.S. Congress hovering above an abyss with an approval rating of 14%, is it fair to even refer to it as an approval?
Unfortunately, I’m proving more of the media’s point. Why is it this President is perceived as weakened and hereby broken by this ineffective Congress? That alone should seal the deal, right? How are they remaining propped up with such lagging ratings and a nation that believes that they cannot be trusted? Lame ducks typically spend more time on Middle East Peace trips for deals that go no where and useless budget battles. His entire trip was simply to improve his ratings overseas, nothing wrong with that-however, is that a lame duck concession? How is this popular, historic figure losing his footing?
Well that might depend on the issue of the day. The republicans have found help on each issue and that help may not always be a tangible one but instead an effective message or a tactic. For example, what if you could simply make the President appear as if he was a lame duck far sooner than he actually was? What if you could make him look weak, even in the face of his own party? What if you could find a way to divide the powerful President’s party; that division, once exposed would topple his agenda as well, wouldn’t it?
The recent gun control debate, with 90% of Americans in favor of stricter laws, in support of his position, with family members of the innocently slain, millions of dollars of Bloomberg’s money propping up his message in addition to his own spin-off, Organizing For Action at work, yet, Obama fell short of the important vote in part because he couldn’t bring some in his own party onboard. How lame is that?
I don’t see Obama as the lame duck he is being made out to be, but I am not quite sure if that isn’t worse than actually being a lame duck. In January of this year, right before this President’s second inauguration, the republicans seemed against the ropes after voting to allow taxes to increase on some of the nation’s higher earners to ward off the much debated fiscal cliff.
While the Administration was making plans for the balls and adding another “win” to their column, republicans were once again strategizing. Since then, they have been successful at blocking further increases in taxes as well as preventing many obvious tax loopholes from being closed. The President believed he’d get another bite at the GOP’s apple, however, he hasn’t been able to get them to bend without additional cuts, which was not the plan, because the President has given much more than they have.
But, because the celebration over the fact that the republicans broke and were publicly humiliated in the face of their base, no one remembers that Obama has made more cuts than anyone has ever expected he would. The GOP is coming out of this fight looking like victors, making the President look more like a tax and spend liberal for daring to ask for more revenues. And that was just January.
In February, Mr. Obama made his rounds in Washington, D.C. as well as aboard Air Force One looking to urge republicans to help him stave off the Sequester by putting new revenues on the table. No one in there right mind, or their wrong one would have done such a thing the month following anything like the one they had endured just thirty days prior. This led many to believe the President wanted the Sequestered cuts to occur more than the Republicans might have.
Indeed as the President who added more than $6 trillion to the national debt, sure he was trying to save the nation when he was doing, but nevermind those details; he truly could afford to find some way to cut some cash from the budget. February was the lead up to what was to come in March.
March 1, the Republicans held their ground and watched the Obama team scramble at the last minute with the hopes of either truthfully preventing the sequester or putting in extra time trying to pin the mandatory cuts on the GOP establishment. Republicans passed an initiative to keep the government running, avoiding a March 27 shutdown and then pushed Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan out with his 2014 budget which the party immediately signed onto, regardless of how ridiculous it all might seem
Congress completed work on a spending bill, much of it the business of the Congress, all eyes have been amazed as they have begun to appear as the “do something Congress” as often critiqued by my good friend, only in my head, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post.
President Obama used to be good at three things, 1. Giving a good speech 2. Getting people to respond to his call to action and 3. Getting something done. As of late however, two out of three seems like the best he can do. His oratorical abilities are a gift and to expect that to wane is nonsense, but his ability to get people to respond in his favor, well that’s taking on a hue of a different color.
While some have already begun to believe the second term of Obama’s presidency is a failure, all of this may be too soon. Republicans are doing a job of distorting the image of this Administration, but if you think this is only about Obama, you haven’t been paying close enough attention.
If you can weaken him, his policy agenda, his administration as well as his vision for the country, you also weaken the next likely democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, who is tied to the Obama’s hip. As King David provided the resources for his Son, Solomon, Hillary will get the sought after task of building the temple, while the GOP work to ensure the supplies never materialize. This is evident because the key piece of the GOP budget for 2014 (…drumroll…) is to defund ObamaCare.
They can’t balance their budget without repealing the President’s signature healthcare plan but yet they get away with not having to explain it. The GOP presented a budget that they know won’t pass because ObamaCare is already the law, but they get away with not having to find a new way to balance the budget. Yet, Obama has gone on the offensive with having to explain his budget in some grand detail, all while facing questions about every nuance of it.
Sure, he is part to blame considering there hasn’t been one to comb through, ever, but we live in a time where one party can put forth a budget they know won’t pass, and we actually accept it as is…and we don’t hold them accountable for wasting our time. Obama made some difficult cut proposals and yet, we allow republicans to criticize a good-intended effort, how lame is that?
Valerie Jarrett, the President’s Chief Advisor needs a vacation, and a new message of attack similar to the Rahm-tonian style of his former White House Chief of Staff, now Chicago Mayor, to get this thing back on track. Mr. President, if you want a legacy that is bigger than the lame duck character you are currently perpetrating then do something about it. This “Charm Offensive” is getting pretty offensive. You’re getting dragged around by the Worst Congress Ever, period.
Lame duck or not, this President appears weak. The Israeli trip earlier this year included seeing the presidential limousine, known as the Beast, being towed on the back of a flatbed tow truck. Is this President being towed here in the states as well? Just saying. Thats my story and um sticking to it!
If you google my name, you’ll find that in 2008 I supported Barack Obama for the Presidency. To most who know me, there was shock because the previous two elections I supported George W. One reason was because of his Immigration stance. I believed this would be a great way for republicans to evolve as a party from what most believed was the “old white guy party”.
For a short time, I even worked for the “Viva Bush” get out the vote effort geared to wooing hispanics to the polls for a candidate who at the time was pushing his once flawed, “Compassionate Conservatism“. Based on the election results of the last presidential election, what was once viewed as flawed now only appears to have been politically premature. Several days ago, the former president, in a rare interview leading up to the opening of his Presidential Museum said, “These are principles that need to be articulated and defended as time goes on”, speaking of his compassionate views.
W. was wrong about a lot of things, but Immigration was not one of them. He proposed what some in today’s Congress pretend is new, Comprehensive Immigration Reform which included a path toward citizenship for the millions of undocumented workers already living in the United States but then it was called Bush’s Guest Worker Program.
Why didn’t Bush’s plan get fully enacted? 1. A majority of Bush’s own party were opposed to supporting their leader. Although Bush signed the bill into law permitting a third of the 2,100 mile border to be fenced off, his republican majority blocked it; any funding needed, would not be granted, thereby ending any hopes Bush had. 2. The financial crisis of ’08 made is something impossible to pay for. There was no money left after the tax cuts of ’01, the Afghan war of ’01, the Iraq war of ’03, and the failed Medicare privatization plan that went no where fast but used tons of cash.
Bush believed reform should be huge and done all at once to best address the true problem of controlling the border crossings, but some who supported him then are now against the same approach. Today, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner wants to instead break up the big plan into smaller pieces and pass them one by one.
Democrats think its just another way to slow down real reform; a political way to simply “say” they are doing something but allow actions to lag far behind. Republicans who opposed a path to citizenship and are afraid of having to explain this to the people in their districts love the idea because it won’t become such a divisive issue in their primary elections.
As I have said before, proponents of Immigration Reform will not stand by and watch as Republicans kick this issue down the road. Obama, has to keep his promises and prevent this issue from being watered down as the gun debate has withered.
Lets play the “What If Game”: What if Bush’s reforms had been instituted? If so, a Senator Barack Obama would not have been able to use this as a wedge issue against republicans in the 2008 campaign. Only one republican then who was running for President supported Immigration Reform and that was John McCain who went on to win the GOP nomination but lost in the general election.
Republicans could have pulled in more votes for McCain, but due to the financial crisis, he’s likely to have lost regardless. Mitt Romney in 2012 would have easily received more hispanic support which could have crippled Obama’s Minority Coalition. In 2000, Bush received more than 40% of the hispanic vote, in 2012, Romney lost by more than 40% of the same. Thats almost a 80 point swing in the opposite direction.
So 12 years ago, George W. saw the need for the path but couldn’t get it done. He rode it to victory twice, but his colleagues still believed it to be an omen, #dummies. Some politicians like Congressman Peter King, (R-NY) are simply hoping you don’t remember that they fully supported George W’s fence, which included a path for the same undocumented workers they now oppose.
Mr. King voted for it in 2006 but he says of Reforms being crafted now, “This is going to be a long process, as I see this plan now, I couldn’t support it because it would allow 11 million [undocumented immigrants] to stay in this country illegally . . . It’s very difficult for me to support something that allows that type of amnesty”. Huh? So King thinks Bush was right but Obama is wrong although its the same thing?
Now being led by Sen. Rubio of Florida, republicans have to face the music and legislate a comprehensive set of reforms if they want to become relevant. Jeb Bush, the younger brother of the only Republican President to support immigration reforms including a path to citizenship, fell into the same trap that gobbled up Romney last year. Rubio is out front, but he’s only running for the V.P. spot.
It appears, as far as the republican response to immigration goes, W. was right! The plan was there all along, but his party is too busy running away from the obvious. Although Obama is not keen on the fence, it simply costs too much to build, but he has an army of unmanned drones flying over patrolling the border and he has added twice as many border patrol agents as Bush.
As for Mr. Rubio, he can only become V.P. however if there is another Republican at the top of the ticket who is not from the state of Florida. Both candidates on the same ticket cannot be from the same state. Rubio will need all of the hispanics in the world to win…something he just won’t get. Why? Hispanic women will be too busy voting for Hillary! Thats my story and um sticking to it!
If you perform a google search on the words “Common Sense Approach” or (CSA) you might find as I did an infinite number of topics ranging from relationships, real estate, business and financial matters as well as of course, politics. Oddly enough, there is no common sense in politics; the political calculus ensures that the consequences will always far out way the urgency of the few to use common sense when crafting legislation and enforcing existing law. The death of common sense makes finding a CSA a historical footnote.
For those who are religious, just about every Christian Church in America has this branded verse of scripture somewhere in the sanctuary, Isaiah 1:18, “Come let us reason together” or in another version, Come let us settle this matter. If our political leaders on both sides of the aisle in Congress could take this approach regarding the financials of this country, we might actually get something done.
Why is it hard to find a CSA? Well, thats an easy one. There’s nothing common about how we as Americans view the way we approach fairness. The first thing to do is make sure we’re talking about the same things. Politicians are playing word games for the purpose of confusing the electorate; this is by design. So lets start by first clearing that up.
Deficit Reduction and Debt Reduction are not the same things. Just as balancing the national debt and balancing the budget are day and night. They all mean totally different things.
Here’s the skinny: The federal government simply takes in less money than it spends, Period. This is a deficit. In order to pay for this “gap” in the budget, the government has to borrow money. The money borrowed creates debt. This is not new, as a nation, we have always had debt, but that is not the same thing as a deficit. Some republicans are arguing for reducing the debt while others are calling for reducing the deficit. One can be done far more easily than the other. One affects far more Americans than the other.
The national debt is money owed to the U.S. Treasury through the form of bonds. The Treasury sold these bonds, and still does, to investors; many of them Americans, Chinese and Japanese. So the biggest debt is repaying these investors who purchased these bonds. Another huge portion of the debt is paying for bloated federal programs like Defense, Social Security which is a retirement plan for the elderly and Medicare which is a health plan for the elderly. People buy these bonds because they believe as long as the United States owes you, you’ll never be broke.
Can we use common sense to fix either of them, um sure! Duh? Lets deal with the deficit fix first. Congress as a whole, creates programs that need funding. The problem is, some of these programs are wasteful because they overlap programs that already exist. A recent report shows if these overlaps are corrected, the amount of money saved will exceed the amount recently removed from the budget through the sequester that happened earlier this year. So when you hear the President say “we need to do more to cut wasteful spending”, this is some of what he’s referring too.
But why does this take a presidential proclamation? Why does the President have to appear before anyone to say, we should stop spending foolishly? Where is the common sense in that? How much wasteful spending is actually out there? In 2009 He pushed for wasteful Defense Cuts, but the republicans didn’t want to have anything to do with that.
Why not? Again the second largest bill the United States has to pay behind Social Security is military defense spending. Is it not common sense when those cuts-cut something you want? So here in lies the problem, common sense cuts to one are simply viewed as wasteful spending to another.
Obama just last week announced 215 new proposals to cut wasteful spending in the federal government including 31 areas of “overlap” when he presented his new budget for fiscal year 2014. Why weren’t these the first areas of waste to be cut to prevent the last few years of debt debates and foolery? Wasn’t that common sense?
Isn’t it common sense to add some kind of bipartisan group to make sure this kind of “overlap” doesn’t occur anymore when new bills are created? If not in Congress, why doesn’t the infamous General Accounting Office doesn’t catch this?
We can fix the deficit, but republicans who were in office under the most recent Bush, had no desire to reduce the debt then. To the contrary, they all supported everything former President Bush authorized in the name of “terror”. Well, its now time to pay for that and it will take not only their votes to change but also their base of support. Simply put, if you supported the politician who supported Bush, typically the wealthy did, why should they now not pay more too? Is that not common sense?
Many supported policies at the time that just simply didn’t pan out as promised. You received your benefit but at the cost of many who lost big. Some breaks were granted to address a specific area of concern, but should they expected to continue forever even if they cause others pain? For example, people who bought yachts years ago at the height of the housing boom were given the right to claim their yacht as a second home and received the same tax credit everyone else got who had investment property.
Well, the housing bubble has burst nearly 5 years ago and those who received those benefits have now for the most part lost them, all except yacht owners. Doesn’t this make sense to end as well? It may have made sense then, but now? Really guys. This is stupid.
THEY SAID: “The oil revenue of that country [Iraq] could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon”…Well that didn’t happen folks. Americans, you and I paid trillions of dollars. Do republicans think I forgot about that? Someone has to pay that bill too. Although they now deny on VIDEO that they ever said this, because no one wants to be blamed for this good idea-gone wrong, this helped create the “national debt” problem that we still have. That’s not Obama’s fault.
Obama takes the blame (republicans) or credit (democrats) for the 2008 Stimulus during the height of the financial crisis. The same crisis that occurred under George Bush. Be that as it may, there is enough blame to go around, so “come let us reason together”. Just as Democrats are resisting entitlement reforms, Republicans are blocking some “common sense” measures that will help fix the deficit. Again, the deficit is the difference between what we bring in and the amount we pay out for federal programs.
Start with the issues you can agree on. Democrats agree some cuts will need to be made, but they don’t agree these cuts should be enacted so that someone keeps their tax cuts for their yacht. What doesn’t make sense about that? Cuts to Social Security and Medicaid will occur at a later date but that will be because people are simply living longer than they used to and collecting more benefits in the process.
Can’t we all reason, that the common sense approach is instead simply a “balanced approach”? Democrats will need to be even more aggressive with wasteful and overlapping spending cuts while republicans will need to go after the wasteful tax cuts that have been doled out. R’s are right for asking for more spending cuts, but not to exceed the same number of tax cuts they wish to keep. If we simply use the chart above, dollar for dollar, we could do more to reach a balanced budget than anyone could ever imagine. Why is this so hard? Isn’t that common sense? Come let us settle this matter! Thats my story and um sticking to it!
Today, President Obama called the senseless attack in Boston an “act of terror”, yet misdirected politics at a time unity is needed most can also be a poor “act”. Do you too find it amazing when politicians who supposed to know everything, get it all wrong but can’t seem to bring themselves to admit it. And even when they do, its still someone else’s fault they were wrong? The former Mayor of New York who went on to ride the 9/11 terrorism wave as a Republican Presidential hopeful re-appeared with something of a…ahem, admission.
When asked about his views concerning the bombing in Boston, MA on yesterday’s CBS “This Morning.”, Rudy Giuliani, America’s Mayor, said “It really reminds us of what we knew on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, the really big news is — and this was a horrible attack, it was a terrible attack, and my heart goes out to the people that were hurt — but it’s surprising there haven’t been more of these since Sept. 11″.
What could the Mayor have been really implying? That he had secretly hoped there would have been more domestic terror or that he had hoped Obama would have failed as President through poor leadership with regards to defending the nation’s citizens? Or may it was an admission that he was wrong?
Wrong about what you might ask? Well it was Mayor Giuliani who at the height of his presidential quest that went through the state of Florida on a bus tour promoting fear with his the sky is falling message, “if a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001″. But according to the record, and there were many of them considering Mayor Rudy repeated it often…he continued, “But if a Republican is elected, he said, especially if it is him, terrorist attacks can be anticipated and stopped.
Much of this could have been attributed to his Florida “all or nothing” tour. Giuliani had no money for a national campaign rollout, he skipped both Iowa and New Hampshire’s contests and went straight to Florida. Bush had played the same fear card four years earlier and it worked. Unfortunately, the 2004 American electorate seemed more interested in keeping the horse they had as opposed to switching for an unbroken horse they didn’t know.
As for Giuliani’s comment, the seasoned politician knows well enough to not have made that statement, albeit honest, just not necessary at a time when America is once again mourning the lost life of the innocent. Had this come from anyone else, it would have been nothing more than a blip on a radar that no one pays any attention to any longer, but coming from someone who says, “I understand terrorism in a way that is equal to or exceeds anyone else”, well, you must be called to answer for that.
I like Rudy, sometimes. He shoots straight when straight shooting is popular, but he has also played the political games when he has been called on to tow the party line. Odd coming from someone who once championed President Kennedy and partnered with the Clintons more than anyone would care to number. I get it, its politics, but is this the best time to play games when the nation is looking for a unified message to address American’s being killed in the streets?
It was President Obama who said yesterday that he had “updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats – we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens”.
As your neighbor, this is not a time for this form of under handed message bombs from either party. The three innocent people killed in this attack in Boston and their families would think it inappropriate…as we all should. This is not a time to keep score on whose presidential watch terror attacks have occurred or whose administration handled them better. The last attack, the one in Benghazi where an Ambassador and members of his security detail were killed, made its way into the 2012 presidential debates and soon after onto the floor of the Senate through hearings.
The 101 on politics here? Find the space to be civil in politics when the nation is mourning. Seek the opportunity to be unified when this country begins to heal within a new normal. Don’t keep score on things you can’t control, domestic terrorism is one of those things you cannot stop 100% of time. There was a missed opportunity from the Mayor, but its not too late. He should have given credit to the work of this President and the Intelligence Community who have worked to keep America safe. This is not a partisan issue, Thats my story and um sticking to it.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida wants to be on the Republican Party ticket in 2016 period. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida knows that he has no chance of being on that ticket if he can’t find a way to bring the Republican Party along with altering their stance on Immigration Reform with the inclusion of a path to citizenship.
The truth is, Rubio has no seat on the 2016 ticket if he can’t bring the Hispanic Community along. He has a difficult task and he knows his political window for making history in the Executive Branch on the opposite end of Pennsylvania Avenue hinges on a path for the 11million undocumented workers in this country.
Republicans got pummeled in the 2012 election and the future doesn’t look bright unless they [GOP] can find a way to appear to have heard the message from 2012. If there is no major shift in the party on immigration on the books by the next presidential election, if there is nothing the GOP can add to their cadre, they will pay and everyone, including Rubio knows it.
Lets read between the lines: In a report we did recently, Govern From The Middle, we spoke about the the Gang of Eight currently working on creating a bipartisan agreement that would effectively pass both houses of Congress and change America’s immigration policy in a historic way. All the players have something to gain, but none other than Florida’s Rubio.
He was destined to be the face of the bill, all stereotypes aside. The truth is if he doesn’t take the reins, he then loses credibility in the Hispanic community for not standing up/speaking up for them and with his ambitions, that’s a death nail. Alternatively however, if the bill fails to produce a path to citizenship, it then relegates those undocumented workers to second class citizens. As you may remember, it was not even a year ago that former republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned for self deportation.
As part of the Eight, Rubio worked very hard to draft this legislation. He labored to ensure all the conservatives’ concerns were incorporated into the proposed bill. All the members had their individual roles to play in order to bring along the business community and the AFL-CIO. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) one week ago signaled a deal. That’s same day, within hours, Rubio slammed that door of optimism shut.
Why was Rubio doing this slow walking? He knew he he needed to hedge his political bets to get assurance from the critics that they would not rip off his head. Rubio wanted them to give him a chance to make the case for the bill without having his legs ripped out from under him prematurely. Rubio wants a cleared path for his bill but he doesn’t want to be attached to it unless it is. So he is walking on both sides of the bill, figuring there is gold at one end of these rainbows.
Rubio wanted (1.) Extensive Hearings But what he got is one single hearing scheduled in a week or so. Over the last week to 10 ten days he has met privately with individual GOP senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee to brief them on the bill. (2.) Message Control According to Politico, His staff has pitched the plan to conservative thought leaders, including at the National Review and Wall Street Journal editorial board as well as the columnist Charles Krauthammer.
Who does all this meeting when they don’t believe in the bill? The problem is, Rubio continues to threaten that he will abandon the other Seven in the Gang of Eight if he finds himself in a pickle with the party critics. Odd because, it was a week ago that Sen. Schumer said, “The staffs of the eight of us are in a room working twelve-hours a day taking all the agreements that we’ve come to over the last three months and turning them into legislative, specific legislative language”. He went on to say “That’s a tedious arduous process. … but thus far we are on track.
What more did Rubio feel he needed to do? Well, after appearing to buy himself some time to effectively present the bill, the Sunday morning talk shows will all get a dose of the Florida Senator today as he makes his rounds to push discussions of the legislation. That’s right, Rubio won’t be talking this bill, but instead the need for a bill. Not sure how much of that is different from what he’s been doing but hey…it appears Rubio has found a niche.
He gets to say, he has worked on legislation, he gets to say he had made proposals for the legislation, but he has also given himself an out so if it fails, he won’t be blamed. A statement released yesterday from the Senator says, “Obviously, we’ll be informing the public, and we’ll want everyone to know everything that’s in the bill. We want everyone to know as much of what’s in the bill as possible, and we will use every opportunity we have to communicate that”.
But don’t be convince he is “All in” as some may believe. Rubio left the door open to abandoning ‘Gang and siding with others on legislation he thinks may be better received after this communication blitz is done. The ‘Gang thinks they’ve done all this already and count on their unity to keep the bill intact. Republicans will definitely work to kill the bill and caution Rubio’s sway. The GOP wants the bill broken up into smaller pieces instead of one large comprehensive package but the public will have no part of that and Rubio knows it.
At the end of the day, there must be a bill and it has to be now because the midterms are flatly approaching and the electorate is watching. It has to be one large bill. It has to be comprehensive. The polling, the public and the next election depends on it. Rubio knows what is right and he sincerely believes in this legislation or he would not have invested as much time into it. BUT, he wants to be on the ticket in 2016 and he will need the his own Confidence Coalition to do it.
Obama had the Minority Coalition; Women, African Americans and Hispanics. Rubio will need the backing of his Tea Party roots, the support of the GOP base and the voice if the Hispanic Community in order to take the historic mantle. Beware of the gamble he takes today. Rubio has just potentially hijacked the immigration issue from the rest of the ‘Gang if received well in the media and on Capital Hill, but he may have also just set himself on a course of being slow-walked himself by a party that is only interested in the next election, but not his. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Back in 2006, the former democratic Vice Presidential nominee to John Kerry and now politically exiled John Edwards promoted his view of some of the disparities between the rich and middle classes. He believed there were two school systems, two kinds of health care, two tax codes. His staff on the campaign trail with him framed his words as two Americas.
Was John Edwards actually right about this in theory? Job growth in the nation stalled four years ago at the height of the 2008 economic recession, as did an imploding housing market, all which aided in dredging an even wider trench between social classes in America. The rich seemed to get richer while the middles class to a financial beating.
As the economic forecasts predict a better fiscal outcome, the only people who seem to notice are politicians and big business. In the first five weeks of the year, the consumer optimism rose higher than the stock outlook. What does that mean exactly? More Americans felt better about the nation’s economic projection and course while the stock market was looking the other way.
Housing in most parts of the country began to tick up and it’s still moving into the positive. An increase in consumer spending-people are using their purchasing power but the Market isn’t happy because those consumers are not spending it’s debt. The weirdest thing about this country is, the business industry emeritus from your debt. You would think, having cash in circulation would be viewed as a good thing, well depends on who you’re talking too.
According to last week’s Bloomberg Weekly, John Edward’s once thought blurred view of two America’s is slowly coming not view. 40% of the 4.8 million Americans who have been out of work for more than 27 weeks are now a part of what is being called a Shadow Economy.
Americans have found a way to thrive despite the lackluster performance of our elected leaders. They have gone underground to survive. According to reports, they are doing more than simply surviving. Retailers have been struggling to understand their economic data because it simply doesn’t make sense; retail sales have outpaced reported income for the past four years. What that means is, there is more money in circulation than what is actually being reported as eared.
For some time, both political and financial leaders knew of the mysterious shadow economy but no one ever knew just how large it had gotten and how significant a role it has played over the last 4 to 5 years. As one might assume incorrectly, these incomes are not from illegal activity, but all legal trades. Because the underground runs exclusively on cash which can’t be traced, according to the Federal Reserve, the number of bills in the main stream indicates $2 trillion dollars of unclaimed transactions are in fact supporting our hobbling primary economy.
For those of you who are policy wonks here’s a bit pro-government nibbles for you as we’ll. sure, the government takes a beating because of the shadow, to the tune of $500 Billion a year in unclaimed taxes, that’s a haul. Although pay checks are getting shorter due to increased taxes, decreased services and program cuts, Business reports, consumer spending has continued to climb at record levels. It’s the kind of fuzzy math most politicians love because its often unexplainable.
No one is serious about attempting to eliminate the underground because it appears to be serving all parties involved. The retailers are happy, consumer goods are moving steadily off the shelves. Politicians are ecstatic because the country chugs along with disregard to the damage the constant political theatre creates and Americans are happy to get whatever they want by any means necessary. Homes in foreclosure have been restored in good standing and automobiles purchased which has helped automakers rebound to record sales.
There are two Americas and they both have their own economies as well. the one common denominator is the American taxpayer. They choose the winners and the losers, contrary to the thought process of big business interests. When the nation’s economic systems presents itself as robust, self reliant and strong, the shadow will once again whittle down, but until then, it will remain the brightest light in the room. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
While U.K. retailers are rationing baby milk powder and breast milk is being turned into jewelry, it seems that milk in all forms is proving to be a hot commodity. And now one British dairy farmer is using the white stuff to make vodka.
Jason Barber has created the world’s first pure milk vodka from a herd of 250 grass-grazed cows at his farm in West Dorset, England, …
2016 will bring a race similar to the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s back to the headlines. Our modern day political family dynasties, the Clinton’s and the Bushes will undoubtedly face off in the 2016 presidential election with Hillary Clinton representing the democrats and former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush. Hillary has had as many high profile political job titles as Jeb Bush has had family members occupying The White House.
The race won’t be about their personal political leanings, but instead, it will be of how the public remembers and or views their family members who came before them. It is for that reason that Jeb had better begin his own charm offensive with the American electorate now; to be able to build an offset from those who won’t remember his brother, former President of the United States, George W. Bush as fondly.
Bill Clinton has enjoyed his post presidency over the last twenty years as well as the rise in his personal approval ratings through his annual Clinton Global Initiative. The high profile counsel he has provided to the nation’s first African American POTUS, husband of the most recent Secretary of State, Mr. Clinton has used the benefits of his access in only the way he could.
But that was merely the first chapter in this dynastic saga. As Hillary Clinton’s “will-she-run/or-wont-she“ continues, the public is beginning to see the making of the first female American President, well maybe. Her opposer will likely be the only son of the 41st President, George H.W. Bush who was always expected to go all the way to The White House, Jeb Bush.
George W. was never expected to be in government, not to mention actually running for the Executive seat in Texas. Jeb Bush had already began campaigning for Governor in the state of Florida when his brother, George W. would go on to announce his intention to run in Texas of the same year. The rising star was Jeb, but that year, 1994, he would go on to lose his gubernatorial race in Florida, while his brother would take Texas.
The brother who had all the political mojo and experience would have to wait for the next election cycle while the rookie with no experience, but global name recognition-having been named after his father rode it to success. Jeb Bush went on to run again and win the state of Florida and to date is the only republican to serve two terms in Florida. Now, he is looking for higher office, finally. Only this time, instead of living outside of his father’s presidential shadow and legacy, he is tasked to live outside of his elder brother’s presidency…and that shadow still casts a large political cloud.
Hillary and Jeb will face off but they will work to establish themselves as their own power-houses but the road for both will a hard sell and a hard climb. They will not only be following hard acts, but they themselves will be followed, possibly. Just as the democratic field is being plowed to clear the way for Hillary, republicans on the other hand will allow Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) fight for the airwaves among a slew of other wanna-be’s. If Jeb is smart, and he is, he should stay out of the fray as the best moderate alternative when the others push the party too far right as they did in 2012.
The nation has shifted toward the middle on equality and tolerance. The next generation of legislators will hammer out the details of immigration, same sex equality and reforming the economy in a way where debt ceilings and stop gap budget measures won’t win the day. That next generation could very well include Chelsea Clinton, daughter of the 42nd President, Bill Clinton and the 2016 DNC nominee, Hillary Clinton as well as George P. Bush, the grandson of the 41st President, and the son of the 2016 RNC nominee, Jeb Bush.
Last week, it was Chelsea Clinton who left the door open to a possible future run for office when she said if “I thought I could make a meaningful and measurably greater impact, you know, I’d have to ask and answer that question” [then].
It was her second bite at the apple actually, in an interview with Parade Magazine, Chelsea said she would consider running for office if [I] “thought that I could make a disproportionately positive impact”. Birthed from two political animals, history will be kind to her parents. Chelsea has only to play the dutiful daughter while observing the political chronicles as they continue to unfold before her. Her time will come.
Jeb’s son, George P. Bush has already launched his political career on November 7, 2012 when he filed papers to run for state office, Texas Land Commissioner. Jeb Bush not long after sent a donor letter to raise funds for his son’s campaign, raking in just over $1.3 million dollars. It’s safe to say, George P. will be the next Land Commissioner in Texas, but not because its his dream job. More so, he needs to be in elective office, state office building his bonifides.
With his campaign war chest, name recognition and family support, George P. will be the most glorified Land Commissioner the state of Texas has ever had and probably ever will have. Texas will become ground zero in election politics in the next six, eight, ten years as the Hispanic community grows to become the new majority and republicans are racing to remain relevant. If George P. can position himself now, Texas will call on him, another George Bush. With the Bush Dynasty behind him, fluent in Spanish, his mother, Columba, born in Mexico, George P. may become the republicans manchurian.
There are more political heirs rearing their heads and lending their names to the ruckus but, these two families have found a way to remain relevant as they evolve with the American electorate. This nation doesn’t often care for political dynasties, yet we welcomed the royalty of the Kennedy’s and the grandeur of the Rockerfellers. Name recognition is as awesome as Willy Wonka’s golden ticket if that recognition allows voters to identify with a better day and time. Hillary or Jeb, but one of them will be President; it’s their time. You however have to decide which. That’s my story and um sticking to it!
Lets get straight to the point. The losing battle is the one you’ve already lost. The philosophies of “fighting the good faith” and “taking one for the team” do not always apply and are most definitely not appropriate for every school yard fight. Knowing when to say when is more about wisdom and has much less to do with theoretics and hypotheticals.
Several political fights are panning out for both parties, just that way; losing battles. For democrats, the gun control debate came at far too high of a price in Newtown and Aurora. The NRA clothed itself in all kinds of craziness which aided every national poll in the country to favor the Obama Administration’s push forUniversal Background Checks, yet, they are losing the fight for comprehensive gun reform. Or should we say, they have already lost that battle.
This should have been the political gain of the ages. Not since Ronald Reagan have republicans passed gun legislation and even then, it only passed by one vote. Keep in mind, Reagan was nearly assassinated just after the first month in office and yet the GOP nearly failed to passed new gun laws. The leader of their own party, yet Reagan barely got the job done. Gun Control was not a notch on Obama’s agenda this second term yet it would have been a big get if he could have pulled it off. He’s currently no where close.
The fight began as an emotional one for the President and the nation when we had photos plastered of the massacre on every news network for days. The democrats weren’t the only ones who knew legislation would need to move quickly while emotions were high. Republicans also knew, they would have to sow solidarity for the heinous assault on the innocence of those small children in Newtown, but also not look weak for the gun lobby.
What started as an Assault Weapons Reform bill, was morphed into a proposition on the number of bullets a magazine would be permitted to hold before forcing you to reload. Within weeks, Universal Background Checks surfaced to close the gun show loopholes, but now that even that looks unlikely, so dems are now circling back for the emotions of weary nation. What I find they are growing weary of is the politics of endless posturing in Washington, D.C. Democrats consistently win the message wars and the polling, but ultimately lose strategic ground to a party that spends more time shooting itself in the foot or stumbling over its own identity.
The President landed in Connecticut to, according to the article in the New Times by Phillip Rucker, renew his emotional plea in support of stricter gun control laws. Although the state just this past week, under its Governor Dan Malloy pushed through some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, the home state of Newtown, Obama is walking uphill quickly. He won’t get the gun reform he wants. At a time he was looking something significant, gun control was beyond ambitious it was a good-kind of crazy in a politically insane universe.
At post time, it was announced today that several Senators reached an agreement for expanding background checks but not as far as the President has pushed for…so…defeat. Some will argue, something is better than nothing, but if that something isn’t a win, it is in fact nothing.
I posted a tweet this morning acknowledging Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for his 2016 miscalculations. A republican governor in a red state having trouble passing tax reform which would totally do away with state income taxes in Louisiana. The basic premise is a head scratcher I must agree, yet, he was forced to back peddle and scrap his entire reform package.
Although the Governor is steadily building his national profile for what everyone knows will be a step towards 2016, it is however making him less like-able at home. Jindal has been seen as wrong and out of touch recently on educational cuts, his tax plan and his strong opposition to federally funded Medicaid expansion. Jindal is fighting the losing battle because he attempting to leverage his own state constituency for national fame.
Some might say Jindal is simply going for broke; spending his political capital which was gained in his recent landslide re-election campaign. Jindal has taken much of his budget agenda from the Ryan Budget plan which simply is a what? Yup, an uphill slog of a losing battle. Louisianan’s are not happy with him, the national press and the RNC loves the prospects, but if he loses the first and most important state, his own, the fallout can be catastrophic to any presidential campaign…circa 2000 Al Gore.
Another lost cause is one that seems to be seeing its opposition slowly eroding each day, almost each hour. On the issue of marriage equality among same sex couples, republicans and democrats who are not on the side of the national polling, where Americans appear more tolerant of same sex marriage and gay rights.
Some however, like former presidential candidate Rick Santorum still sides with his principles, albeit a losing one. Mr. Santorum went further saying any republican supporting gay marriage would be
suicide for the Republican Party. Although the former Pennsylvania Senator has left the door open for a 2016 run, his views are far to right-headed than his own party leaders are willing to go. This position is not enough to prevent him from winning the nomination; he will certainly please the OP base, however, in order to win to The White House, Santorum will have find a way to the moderate middle which seems highly unlikely.
The GOP is currently seeking a spring strategy to address these difficult battles ahead. They must spend less time on looking unified and more time on defining the party’s new position. Sounding principled on the losing end of the fight doesn’t win the fight, but instead, it serves as a catalyst to the ever-shrinking party. That’s my story and um sticking to it.