Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Obama’s Driving Business Out of America

President Obama’s biggest push in this down economic climate appears to be punishing the “evil”, “greedy” corporations who caused this mess (a claim that is dubious at best).   He wants to be the next FDR, a champion of the little-man, a champion of those who are poor.  That is well and good, it is extremely important that we as a society take care of those less-fortunate than I.    But increasing the tax burden on corporations and the wealthy, while claiming to cut taxes for those don’t actually pay taxes is not the way to do it.   Among the most basic principles of fiscal economics is that raising taxes stifles business growth, at least in a competitive world – which we reside in.   If one pushes and pushes, they will eventually push business out.  Thus, losing jobs in America.

In today’s economic climate this is the last thing we need.  We need to create jobs, not lose them.  But Barack, in continuing to support disasterous policy after disasterous policy, is starting to further lose them.  His refusal to cut the corporate tax rate to be more competitive with other countries may now be driving some industries out of the country:

A wave of energy companies has in the last few months announced plans to move to Switzerland — mainly for its appeal as a low-tax corporate domicile that looks relatively likely to stay out of reach of Barack Obama‘s tax-seeking administration…

Over the past six months companies including offshore drilling contractors Noble Corp and Transocean, energy-focused engineering group Foster Wheeler and oilfield services company Weatherfield International have all announced plans to shift domicile to Switzerland.

“Switzerland has a stable and developed tax regime and a network of tax treaties with most countries where we operate,” Transocean Chief Executive Bob Long said in a statement in October, when it announced its move. “As a result, the redomestication will improve our ability to maintain a competitive worldwide effective corporate tax rate.”

“One trend that we see is that particularly Bermuda-based companies are now moving to Switzerland,” said Martin Frey, a partner at law company Baker & McKenzie. “That may only partly be obviously for tax reasons, but also for security reasons and the fact that the Obama administration may go after them.”

There is a reason that various states and foreign governments lower their corporate tax structure: to lure business.  This is no secret, yet President Obama seems so bent on “punishing” corporations (most of which are ethical, productive, and valuable to our culture and society) that he completely disregards the economic consequences and, thus, the long-term health of our country; not to mention the long-term negative impact to the people in our country that he says he is most concerned about.

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Filed under Barack Obama, economy

The Coming Mexican Civil War

A few months ago when Secretary Gates and the Department of Defense listed Mexico as one of the countries in the future that face destabilization. At the time the Mexican Government and many in America scoffed at the idea. But now the reasoning for DoD’s warning is becoming apparent and probably sooner than anyone expected.

Historically, Mexico’s internal problems have been with Zaptista and other rebels in in its southern provinces. While these rebels have certainly been formidable and been the occasional thorn in the Government’s side, they have been something that the Government has been able to deal with. These groups have mostly just been a cause for Rights Activists in the U.S. and elsewhere, but no big deal.

The new threat in Mexico is scary, well-funded, and a real threat to Mexico and even the SW United States. This threat is the battles between various drug cartels and their battles with the Mexican police force and government.

Over the past half-year battles have raged in northern Mexico between these cartels. People have been murdered, villages pillaged, and women raped. It has gotten so bad that Ciudad Juarez has been determined the most dangerous city in Mexico and Mexican government had to send its military into the city. What makes this scarier is that Ciudad Juarez is literally on the U.S. border and shares the Rio Grande with El Paso, TX and there are indications that these drug wars are seeping into U.S. territory with an increase in drug-related murders and other criminal activity in places along the border from Houston to San Diego.

With this recent development of the Mexican army entering Ciudad Juarez it greatly increases the likelihood of a Mexican Civil War, however hopefully this is a minor threat and will not spill over throughout Mexico. As long as the cartels can say divided against each other there is a good chance a civil war can be avoided.

The Mexican army’s best course of action may not be to stop all the violence but only to maintain law and order in its towns and cities and protect the innocents not involved in the drug trade. It may be in their best interest to allow the drug cartels to battle it out and attenuate their numbers and, hopefully, influence.

But a long-term solution to this problem with the drug trade is more complicated. Most importantly is that the government needs to ensure that it is providing opportunities for economic growth, aka in needs provide job growth. There also needs to be good local governance and infrastructure improvements. The government needs to ensure that it or peaceful entities are providing the services and security people need rather than the cartels. They must not allow the cartels to do their jobs.

For the United States the threat is certainly not as dire, but it needs to watched closely; fortunately the Obama administration is doing so. It was reported today that the administration is looking at the possibility of deploying the National Guard to the border (but isn’t that more of a Governor’s decision?). Certainly there are political considerations to be made here, we don’t want to be “occupying” our own territory with the military. Nor do we want to get directly involved militarily with an internal Mexican struggle aside from perhaps providing equipment and logisitical support to Mexico’s army.

Nevertheless this situation needs to be watched closely and our media and people need to take this more seriously. How can there be such a major crisis right on our border, but no one seems to know or care? This threat in Mexico is both among the most serious facing U.S. Foreign Policy and also one of the best opportunities for us and Mexico to counter the drug trade and to help Mexico along in its next step towards modernization. Remember it wasn’t until the 1990’s that Mexico became a democracy, they still have a long way to go.

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Filed under Barack Obama, War

Opening the Obama Empire?

This is my first post in about 2 months, that is quite a long time and I apologize to my readers. Following the election and it’s aftermath, I was so burned out from blogging that I needed some time away to clear my head, purge myself of politics, and enjoy college football (way to go UTES!). I decided that I would get back to blogging on inauguration day and focus much of my writing on following Barack’s Presidency.

There are three striking observations that I have regarding the period of transition between President Bush and President Obama. The first observation is the cult-like fawning and love our media and many of our people have for Obama. I recognize that this is an historic election. I too am excited about our first black President and I am proud of our country. But the fawning is getting out of hand. I went down to DC a few weeks ago, bought a Metro ticket and the ticket had a picture of Obama printed on it. Are you kidding me?

People through the country are gushing, crying, and nearly worshiping Barack. It is getting out of hand. If I didn’t know better I would think that we are ushering the next emperor of the Roman Empire or the successer to Kim Jong Il in North Korea (have you seen the god-like environment he has created there? Crazy.) I don’t blame any of this on Barack Obama himself. I don’t think he has encouraged it, but it does appear that it may be getting to his head. It will be interesting to see.

The second observation is the extremely smooth transition provided by President Bush for the incoming Obama administration. I think it says a lot about the character of President Bush for the way he has handled the transition. It has arguably been the smoothest, most productive, and most efficient transition in our history, especially considering it is a transfer of party as well. I think President Bush really respects the office he holds and believes it should be held above partisanship. Regardless of what you may think of Bush, you have to admit that he has handled the transition well.

Finally, I have noticed with great interest that Barack Obama sure has been talking like a moderate-conservative. I am pretty well fine with his cabinet appointments. I am absolutely thrilled that he is leaving Secretary Gates at DoD, for example. Really I question only two appointments (that I have noticed) thus far, Tom Daschle at Health and Human Services and Leon Panetta at CIA. What? Leon Panetta will be serving as DCI? A man with zero intelligence experience? I am more qualified for that post than he is. Well, ok, I have more intel experience, but he has me on presidential employment, management, leadership, and all around good looks.

Anyway, Barack has undoubtedly moved to the right with his pre-inauguration actions and it is making the lefties who supported him very nervous. But I think the realities that face the President of the United States force any president to govern pragmatically and realistically rather than ideologically; at least in terms of major issues like security and economy. The most partisan impact a President has comes with lower-level issues like social issues and, sadly, education. Even President Bush (contrary to the mistaken beliefs of his haters) governed as a moderate. He was never a extreme right winger, an extreme right winger would never spend like Bush did for example.

All in all, Obama is off to a pretty good pre-start. It will be an interesting ride beginning today with his inauguration. Congratulations President Obama.

Mitt 2012!

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Romney’s Advice to Obama

In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Mitt Romney gave President-elect Obama some advice on the economic crisis we are now in. Perhaps the most profound advice he gave was that Obama “should forget about re-election and focus on helping the nation at a critical time. He should dismiss the people who helped him win the election and bring in people who are above politics and above party. He should surround himself with statesmen and economists, businesspeople and leaders.”   How true that is.  Besides if Obama took this advice and worked the economy issue, re-election would work itself out.

In further addressing the economy Mitt gave some great points:

  • Regarding unions:

The unions have helped Barack Obama. They will hope to be paid back. I’m particularly concerned that organized labor would call on Barack Obama to pass the card check program. This removes from American workers the right to the secret ballot in deciding whether or not to accept a union. This legislation would do more to harm America’s long-term competitiveness than almost anything I can imagine. It would be a partisan payback for organized labor but it would come with devastating consequences for the nation.

  • On the Auto Industry

Right now, the auto industry is on life support, and its prospects look extremely dim. But they don’t need to be. The industry could be turned around. There is no inherent reason why America can’t build and sell cars to Americans at least as well as the transplants are doing. Any effort to help the auto industry has to be made as part of a comprehensive strategy. Before the government issues loans to the auto industry, as has been authorized by Congress, it should insist on seeing credible and independent strategies that will return the companies to long-term sustainability. Government should not finance ongoing losses and declining market shares.

  • On the Global Economy

Far too little attention was paid to America’s long-term competitive position during the campaign. I see four major economic strategies at play in the world today: the first is ours. It combines freedom and free enterprise.

The second is China’s. It combines free enterprise with authoritarianism.

The third is Russia’s. No longer is Russia’s plan for dominance based upon industrial capacity but rather upon controlling energy throughout the world. Hence Russia’s cozy relationship with Iran and Venezuela as well as its belligerent entry into Georgia. Russia’s strategy is based on energy and authoritarianism.

The fourth strategy is represented by radical violent jihad. The intent of the jihadists is to cause the collapse of the other three, such that the “hidden Imam” or the Caliphate remains the last man standing.

The real challenge for America is how to strengthen our competitive position so that our economy outperforms those of the other three. If we’re successful, freedom will be preserved for the world. If we’re unsuccessful, the results are unthinkable.

  • On the apparent populist shift in American ideology

I can only hope the President abandons the populist current, which seems to be growing in our country. An effort to block foreign trade will only hurt America. Ultimately products in this country would become uncompetitive. Look what happened to the Soviet Union. Its cars, its watches, its goods became a joke.

The only way to remain the leading economy in the world is to be successful on a level playing field around the world. Some individuals, at the behest of special interests, seek to prevent trade with other nations by imposing America’s labor requirements and other peculiarities. That is a disguised form of protectionism.

And the GOP chose McCain!  What a bunch of idiots.  Mitt Romney is smarter than any of the candidates that ran in 2008.  And America lost when he did.  Anyway, enough of looking backwards, we need to get him in the White House in 2012, but I digress.

The fact is, on the economy he is right.  Capitalism and ‘free’ trade are what made America great and strong.  Our military might is a result of our economic might.  Our freedoms are because of economic freedom.   Protectionism and isolationism will fail every time.   The thing with capitalism is that it is not an easy pill swallow all the time.  Sometimes the market is booming and other times it is crashing, sometimes people succeed other times people fail.   But all of that is what makes capitalism great, everyone has an opportunity and everyone can pull themselves out of the “social class” they were born into.  While socialist and other economic models may succeed in bringing equality (though they never have yet), but if they do, they undoubtedly make everyone equally poor and miserable.  Capitalism is not perfect, but it is the best system in the world none the less and America’s movement away from it would be a danger to us and to the world at large.  Russia and China aren’t going to be as benevolent and nice as America and ultimately, those are the three countries that will determine the world’s future.   I would certainly rather live in a world guided by America.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans

Gracious in Defeat; Still Proud of America

I had contemplated writing my first post the morning after an Obama win and discussing why Obama will be a disaster, how McCain lost the election, how this election was wholly based on emotion and not issues, and how I think the country will be in a worse way for the next few years.  There will be plenty of time to write about things, things I will begin to write about shortly, including getting Mitt elected in 2012.  But for this post’s purposes I want to really speak from the heart and express the pride I feel as an American.

Indeed this is an historic election for the United States and even the world.  Last night American’s overwhelmingly elected out first Black president.  This accomplishment is nothing to push aside considering America’s history with Black’s.  150 years ago slavery was still prevalent and was only about to be defeated by Lincoln in the civil war, yet even after the emancipation proclamation race continued to be a major issue and the Blacks had little opportunity for success and integration into American society.  It was not until the mid-1900’s and the great civil-rights movement that broke down most of the barriers to Black progress in America.  I have longed believed that true-racism has largely been eradicated in most of America for the last 20 years; certainly there are pockets of bigots and racists throughout the country, but this holds true for whites being racist against Blacks and Blacks being racist against whites (see Jeremiah Wright).  But largely the it seems to me that race has been an overblown issue of late, driven largely by Black activists who need charges of racism to drive there personal agendas.  (I should write a full post about this, because we could even get into the actions of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson regarding Obama’s campaign, but I digress).   Finally, my belief has been validated.  The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States should eradicate the overblown charges of widespread racism in America.  Issues of race will never be fully gone.  There will always be whites killing blacks because they are black and there will always be blacks killing whites because they are white; sadly, that is reality.  But race is no longer a systemic issue and problem in our country and Barack’s election is the culminating event in Black progress.  I think it reflects great maturity and progress in the U.S. and for that, and that alone, I applaud the election of Barack Obama and the American people.

So congratulations to President Obama and his family on his victory.  I now plan on spending the next four years fighting to get you out of the White House.  That being said, you have a great opportunity to win a lot of McCain voters, like myself, over if you govern as a moderate and pragmatically.  If you show that you recognize the importance of maintaining processes that made America great, like capitalism and small government, freedom of speech, freedom or religion, etc.  I highly encourage you to avoid moving full speed ahead and implementing a large left-wing agenda and socialist policies.  Doing such will alienate many of the people who voted for you (and in 2012 expect the GOP to nominate someone who is not near as terrible a candidate as McCain was).  You and your party have the opportunity to accomplish what the GOP failed to do in last decade when they had all the power, that is to uphold American ideals such as limited government.   A left-wing agenda is the surest way to defeat in 2012, even you had to run to the right to win this election – every Democrat does.   Best of luck for you and your cabinet, I will be praying for your Presidency.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, John McCain, Politics, Progress, Progressive

11 Day’s Out, It’s All Over

It is probably a bit pre-mature, but the presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain might as well be over.  I have been contemplating writing this post for the last two weeks, but haven’t been convinced.  Well, today I am.  We are 11 days out of the election, less than two weeks and Barack’s lead is anywhere between 3 points and 11 points nationally, he is safely winning all the states that Kerry won in ’04, is comfortably ahead in a few states that Bush won in ’04, and is within the margin of error (+/-) in many states that have gone GOP in the past few elections.   There is not one state that Kerry won, even those considered “swing” states, that McCain has a chance to win. Don’t believe me?  Let’s review two “blue swing states”: Minnesota: O=56%, M=41% – 15 point lead and Pennsylvania: O= 51%, M= 41% – 10 point lead. Ouch!

Every “swing-state” is a state that went Red in ’04 and some should be solidly red. McCain is struggling mightily in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Nevada, and Colorado. Even in states like North Dakota and Montana there has been talk of Barack making a push. Are you kidding? McCain is entirely playing defense and no offense. This is not a winning strategy, in order to win the election he will pretty well have to win each of these states; at most he could lose one of them and perhaps still pull out the win. That is not going to happen.

So why is it so bad? Well, the first reason is the economy. People blame the Bush administration and by default McCain. They shouldn’t (solely) blame either. Blame falls on everyone, but especially congressional democrats who refused to address the mortgage issue when GOP congressmen were warning of an inevitable collapse. But Democrats disagreed and said the system was good because it was getting poor people into home ownership. Well we have seen how well that worked out. But McCain has failed to get that message out, he has failed to spread the word that he called for an investigation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 2 years ago. Sure much of this is the media’s fault as they refuse to seriously cover any news that may harm Obama (just look at how they have ignored the Ayers story, if that were reversed and McCain were the culprit, McCain would have been crucified). But it is also McCain’s fault. He has been awful getting information out and going on the attack. I know he doesn’t prefer that kind of politics, but it is necessary for important issues. Sarah Palin has been effective, but what can a veep do?

The other reason that McCain is losing so bad is that he is a terrible, terrible candidate. What were the GOP thinking nominating this guy. I still don’t know anyone who actually wants HIM to be President. Most people are voting for him because they don’t want Obama or because they like Palin. McCain is a terrible speaker, has no energy, doesn’t have much a platform and no message, and isn’t terribly intelligence (I am not saying he is dumb, but he is no smarter than the average American). If the GOP had nominated Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani we would probably winning or tied with Obama. The only serious GOP candidate that would have been a bigger disaster is Mike Huckabee.

A friend of mine made a great point the other day, as he has paid attention to the campaign he hears Obama speak and notices that Obama has a message. It may not be a message of much substance, but he has a message and sticks to it. That is change and hope and when he discusses his specific policy ideas he ties them all into change and hope. When he hears McCain there is no message. McCain is all over the map. Thus, there is nothing memorable about McCain, there is not one thing where people can think of McCain and think of him as President. His advisors have not handled him well. Both Karl Rove and James Carville admitted that in their elections as advisors to Bush and Clinton respectively, one of their most important responsibilities were to keep the candidate on message. Remember people don’t care about policy and specific ideas they care about what ever candidate makes them feel good, moves them, and builds trust. That’s largely it. McCain hasn’t done it in the least.

The silver lining to all of this for me is that I can’t stand either candidate. I am voting for McCain, but while holding my nose. On Tuesday night, November 4th, when CNN announces that they project Barack Obama as the next President of the United States at 9:42 pm EST (before the polls even close in the West), I will shrug my shoulders, go back to watching “Scrubs” and begin fasting and praying that the American people, and especially GOP voters, will be smart enough to nominate Mitt Romney in 2012. I still can’t believe that the GOP was stupid enough nominate McCain over Romney, amazing.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans

Barack is Right, but He Should Have Known Better

It is no secret that I am no fan of Barack Obama, but generally speaking I agree with him that this whole Pig comment thing should not really be a controversy.

For those of you who are not familiar with the controversy overtaking the United States, in a speech about economics yesterday, Barack Obama said, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” At first glance most anyone who has been following Sarah Palin and the election could understand how one would think this was a slam against Palin. But when one reads the context for which the comment was made it is clear that he was referring to Bush’s and McCain’s generally similar economic plans. Essentially he said that McCain can talk about change all he wants, referring to the economy, but “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” And then he added, immediately following that line, “You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called ‘change,’ it’s still going to stink.”

Was it a slight at Palin (referring to the lipstick)? Maybe. Was it a slight at McCain (referring to the ‘old fish’)? Maybe so. I kind of think it was meant to be a subtle jab, but I don’t put much stock into the whole controversy, those phrases were reasonable for the topic to which he was speaking and it probably shouldn’t be the issue it is.

But this politics. Anything one says can be and will be used against the candidate. I find it really disingenuous that Barack is criticizing the McCain camp for using this for political gain, as both parties take statements out of context, just as ridiculous as this, all of the time. Obama and his advisors should have known this and should have known better.

So while I think there is no merit to the attack from the GOP, Barack should have been smarter than this. And it demonstrates his political newness. You see, the most memorable line from Sarah Palin’s speech at the GOP convention was, “What is the difference between a pit bull and soccer mom? Lipstick”. As a result, anytime anyone hears the word lipstick, for whatever reason, voters are immediately going to associate that comment with Sarah Palin. If you think I am wrong, just watch the below video of Barack’s comments and pay attention to the crowd’s response when he says the lipstick line.

That kind of response would not occur in normal circumstances, the people there immediately associated the comment with Sarah Palin. Barack and his advisors should have been aware of this. And making a comment like that, regardless of its innocence and in a climate where Palin is ridiculously popular and any negativity against her that seems remotely unfair only results in increasing her popularity, is a stupid move.

You see, in this election people don’t care about policy. I think most people who have been following the election since the beginning of the primary season were well aware of this. It is about being a fixer and having a responsible leader. Most voters are fickle and fairly ignorant anyway. They don’t want to hear the nuts and bolts of welfare reform or economic policy, they want to be comfortable, safe, and feel like their President is someone they can feel safe with while the sleep. That’s it. So little lapses of judgement like this, by either candidate, is what matters. Because this is the stuff voters pay attention to. Personally, I think it is ridiculous, but it is the nature of the democratic process, at least in this election. And this is why I think McCain will ultimately win. He generally knows how to avoid these mistakes and will make fewer of them than Barack. Game over.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, John McCain, Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin