Tag Archives: President

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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Obama, Biden, and America’s Victory in Anbar

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Yet again the American (and international) media are completely ignoring a major, major story about Iraq to talk about something far less relevant, in this case, the pregnancy of Bristol Palin’s baby. What story are the missing and failing to report on? The turn over of Anbar province from American forces to Iraqi control.

This is the best and greatest news to come out of Iraq since the announcement that Saddam Hussein was caught. But you won’t find anyone talking about. We all know why they aren’t reporting it, so I spare you the rant, but what should be highlighted over and over again as this election season goes on was how utterly and completely wrong Barack Obama and Joe Biden were on the surge in Iraq.

Both of them (and their whole party) predicted that sending an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq would do nothing but make things worse and keep America in Iraq for eternity. How wrong they were. Because of the surge and General Petraeus’ strategy, plans are in place for American withdrawal, casualties (for both Americans and Iraqis) are the lowest they have been since the beginning of the war, Prime Minister Maliki has established a relatively stable and functioning government, and the Iraqi people are able focus on living their life and building their economic stability. If we had followed the recommendations of Obama and Biden, America would have failed miserably and lost the war completely; Iraq would be another Somalia. Just watch these to hear what Obama and Biden said about the surge:

Barack Obama

Joe Biden

Look, I don’t fault people for being wrong, I am wrong all the time. But at least admit it. At least live up to being wrong. The most frustrating thing about these comments, is that it demonstrates a supreme lack of judgment and objectivity. Joe Biden has been wrong on almost every major foreign policy decision since he began his stint in the Senate, yet Barack Obama chose him as a running mate because of Joe’s foreign policy experience.

The fact is President Bush was right about the surge. Regardless of what you think about the overall war or why we went in there in the first place (which is really completely irrelevant to the current situation) you have to admit that Bush and Petraeus have done a stellar job with the surge. Undoubtedly that one unpopular and politically risky decision saved Iraq and America’s efforts there. The implementation of this strategy and Bush’s “must win” attitude reminds of what my Drill Sergeant’s would tell us in basic training, “The fastest way out of here is to graduate.” Why was it the fastest, because if you screwed up, got hurt, became ill, you would be stuck there until you straightened up or got better. The same applied in Iraq, the fastest way out of Iraq is to win; and that is exactly what is occurring.

And for all of you who always asked the asinine question, “what defines victory in Iraq?” This defines victory in Iraq, or at least this is the teenage version of victory in Iraq. Victory in Iraq is a country that is relatively free, democratic, and can stand on it’s own two feet. That is what is being sewn now. Victory.

I also posted this at swint.instablogs.com

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Filed under Barack Obama, Conservative, Democrats, Election 2008, George Bush, Iraq, John McCain, War

How is McCain So Close in the Polls?

I don’t know about you, but judging by the media coverage, the passionate supporters, the image, the speaking ability, the complete animosity toward the Republicans on the part of the general populace, and a very unpopular president, Barack Obama should be running away with this election. Everything seems to be favoring a President Obama, yet John McCain is right on his heels in the polls.  How can this be?

In the latest national polling, McCain has maintained between a 1 and 6 point deficit to Obama.  This appears to be very good news for McCain.  Real Clear Politics national polling average currently has Obama with 46.1% and McCain with 41.7%.  The latest Fox News poll gave Obama a 1 point lead, and as recent as Thursday , the rolling Gallup poll had Obama up 2.  Now in the last two days those gaps have widen, likely as a result of the “Messiah World Tour” Obama went on, and we can expect another narrowing in the next week I would suspect.

So how is it possible the race is this close?  Judging by the current atmosphere, the Democrat candidate should runaway with the election by 10 points and win nearly all the swing states.  But as of now that is not shaping up to be the case, and considering the electoral experience of McCain and the novice Obama, I wouldn’t expect McCain to fall much further behind.

The first reason that the Dems are not running away with this is their choice of candidate.  Barack is a divisive figure, even within the party.  His naive statements on foreign policy and the fact he defeated the queen bee in the nomination fight, turned off a good portion of democratic voters.  The Democrats should have nominated a moderate who could draw in more of the middle, Mark Warner, for example, would have been a run away choice and would have won the White House.

Second, is Barack’s experience.  He is a one term Senator with no executive experience whatsoever.  I have more foreign policy experience than he does.  And he is going up a extremely experienced and qualified Republican.

Third, and the most disappointing, is his name and Muslim background, perhaps even his race.  I hope that this impact is extremely limited, but I wonder, especially the muslim background. I assume this bothers a lot of voters (despite the fact he is a devout Christian now).  I wonder how many people will vote for a guy named Barack Obama?  It is of no issue to me, but I am sure it is to many others.  The fortunate thing for Obama is that many of the voter who don’t like him because of these reasons were likely going to vote for the Republican anyway, regardless of who the Dem nominee is.

Note, The last sentence above is not a criticism of the Republican Party, I don’t believe the GOP as an organization is bigoted or racist in the least, but honest observance and analysis shows that (white) racists usually vote Republican (while Black racists vote Democrat).

The third reason is John McCain.  While I can’t stand the man, he is really the most electable candidate for the GOP to nominate this season.  He is a moderate and has the reputation as a maverick.  He can successfully separate himself from the Bush administration as a result.  He appeals to many independent voters and moderate democrats who are less than thrilled with Obama.  (Here is where McCain’s veep selection may come in handy, and while I think the smartest move would be for him to nominate Sarah Palin.)  And most conservatives who dislike McCain will hold their nose and vote for him just to keep Obama out of the White House.

The final reason I think the race is close is that this is still a divided country.  While party membership numbers are down in the GOP, peoples’ personal political persuasion tend to be more conservative than liberal on average.  I think we will see the divide move even closer to 50/50 as improvments in Iraq continue to be shown and the Bush administration is somewhat vindicated.

All in all, this is a historic election, though I am less than thrilled with our options. If the Democrats lose this one, they just need to disband and start a new party.  (psst, Democratic voters, if you ever want to win a Presidential election when the political atmosphere is mostly neutral – unlike this one – stop nominating people who are the most left-wing and idealistic of your party, and start nominating people who actually somewhat represent mainstream America.  You need a somewhat moderate candidate who is pragmatic and experienced.  Fortunately, for we GOPers, your party isn’t likely to move that way soon as it has been hijacked by the communist wing of the party: I’m looking at you MoveOn and DailyKos.  The GOP had/has this problem with the “religious right”, we have been hijacked by them, but we were pragmatic and voted to win. You didn’t.)

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Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2008, John McCain, Politics, Republicans

Pray for a NC, IN Split for the Dems

Tomorrow is yet another big day on the wild ride that is the Democratic race for the Presidential nomination.   What a ride it has been and continues to be.  If you are like me, a Republican and always interested in observing history as it happens, you want this to go on as long as possible. And in order for that to happen we need at least a split victory tomorrow.  Fortunately that is looking pretty good.

The most ideal situation would be Hillary blowing out Barack in Indiana, by at least 10 points.  Then have Barack just barely beat Hillary in North Carolina by 1-4 points.   This would continue the rhetoric of late that Barack is choking, thus keeping Hillary in the race, all the while still ensuring that Barack is the most likely nominee.

As long as Hillary thinks there is a chance on earth for her to get the nomination she will stay in.  And because Barack has the easiest path to the nomination there is no way he will drop out before convention.  And convention is what we want.

Sure, having the democratic race go to convention is great for Republicans because it keeps the dems attacking each other and allows the GOP candidate, John McCain (ugh!), to keep his shirt clean and promote a positive message without being attacked by the left.  But that is only a small benefit to me, for I don’t even know if I will vote for McCain in November (don’t worry I am not voting for Barack no matter what!).

The primary reason I want this to go to convention is to witness history. Because of how the nomination process now occurs, this is likely our one and only chance to witness a meaningful convention!  Who wants to miss out on that?  Not I.   If the Dem convention actually means something this year I will tune in and be glued to the TV, I may skip work to watch it.  If it doesn’t go to convention, I won’t watch 30 seconds of it.  So please, please Indiana and North Carolina, keep the dream alive.  Help we American witness history, we will likely never have another chance.

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Filed under Democrats, Election 2008, Politics, Republicans

Cuba is Fidel’s No More

Early this morning Fidel Castro, Cuba’s leader for more than 50 years resigned his post as President.  At 81 years old and fraught with health problems, Castro announced that he will not accept the post of the Presidency following the Parliamentary meetings to be held on Sunday. 

These meetings are the first such meetings held for the newly elected parliamentary members and are the setting for which members of the “Council of State” (including the President) are chosen.

This is quite the surprising news to many of us, despite the fact that many have been speculating over it for some time.  However, I for one, didn’t expect Fidel to ever resign unless it was to simply hand over the reigns to his brother, Raul.    

Raul will likely still be Fidel’s successor and my guess is that this has already been arranged, but the question then is how much power will Raul hold?  Will he have a grip over Cuba like Fidel had? Or will Cuba’s parliament garner more control and make the country more democratic? 

I am not expert enough on Cuba to give anymore than the possibilities that I see could happen and what I hope will happen.  The first possibility that I see is also the one that I hope will occur, and that is that Cuba’s Parliament will claim some of the Presidential powers for themselves and establish a truly democratic Cuba and will write (or re-write) the constitution calling for democratic presidential elections.  

There are both reasons I think this is and is not a distinct possibility. It would not surprise me if for Fidel’s final act, he decided that he and only he in Cuban history would go down as the greatest and most revered leader.  The best way to do this after 50 years of rule is to decide that the only people as well suite as he to make decisions are the people as a whole.  Thus, he could dictate that the country will move to a more democratic system.  What result could better solidify the love a people has for their leader and revolutionary?

However, I think we would all be shocked if such a turn of events occurred.  Such a thing likely wouldn’t happen because it would then risk the ruling party eventually losing power, why would people already in power and in a system so rigged to their benefit ever want to change it?  Further, while Raul likely will not be as dominant a figure as Fidel was, he too will likely have no desire to abdicate power. 

There seems to be a great opportunity here for real and positive change in Cuba, also a great chance for America to reach out and embrace a democratically controlled Cuba.  The future of Cuba may well rest on how the United States plays its hand.  I would caution the Bush administration and diplomatic corps to be very gracious and not speak sternly and threatening to current Cuban leadership, but rather extend a hand of support and reconciliation.   Help Cuba know that we are here to offer support and are open to expanding the lines of communication.

I get the sense, all in all, that not much will rapidly change in Cuba.  I suspect that Raul will become the new President this week and it will be business as usual.  However, overtime there will gradual change for the better that may well turn Cuba into a fully democratic state.  If Cuba can get there on its own, without the U.S. demanding it or forcing it, Cuba may well find long-lasting success, we will see.

On a completely unrelated note:  Last night I watched a program on NatGeo channel on Inside North Korea.  Wow! Kim Jong Il and his father have set up a cult-like government there.  People seem to literally rever Kim Jong Il as a god.  It was disturbing to say the least.  There was a humanitarian doctor who went there to remove cataracts to help cure blindness, he performed over 1000 surgeries.  The day that the bandages were removed, people could see for the first time and rather than thanking the doctors they went to the front and praised the pictures of Kim and his father.  I was looking for signs of insincerity and I didn’t see much, it appeared that most genuinely revere him and view him as the almighty.   That is the effectiveness of locking your country out from the rest of the world.  If your people don’t know what it is like anywhere else, what do they have to complain about?  It is incredible that there is still such a place in today’s world.

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Filed under International Affairs, Politics

The Future of the GOP Race

Well, Florida did not turn out as I had hoped.  For some reason Floridians were duped into thinking that McCain would make the best President.  That is their right and congrats to McCain on his victory.  I will say that I can live with a McCain nomination, more so than a Giuliani or Huckabee one, but he has a lot of convincing to do if he wants me to vote for him in the general.  I just don’t know what kind of job he would actually do as President, I am very concerned about his temperament, especially considering it will be his finger on the button (see my last post regarding a McCain Presidency).

It appears to me that now McCain is all but a shoe in for the GOP.   I am not saying that I have lost favor for Romney, but I am being a realist.  However, all is not lost for the Romney camp or conservative Americans.  It is blatantly clear, hopefully to everyone, that the only candidate that has a remote chance of knocking off McCain in the primaries is Romney.  Huckabee has not shot.  It is also abundantly clear that McCain is loathed by a significant portion of the GOP electorate.  So conservatives should rally behind Mitt and push him through to be McCain.  There are enough of them in the GOP to do this. 

Also, Mitt has the money to compete in more states and places than McCain on Super Tuesday.  Next week, Mitt will Utah, Colorado, and Massachusetts guaranteed.  He also has a good shot to win California.  That is a must win.  Mitt MUST win California.  He also needs to do some campaigning in Minnesota and Illinois, maybe even Missouri.  Those states should be fairly Romney friendly. 

Additionally, Mitt can win in the South, though it will be tough.  He won the evangelical vote in Florida, so it shows that Huckabee is not invincible there.  He just received the backing of a majority of Tennessee legislators.  He may be able to pull a couple of those into his camp. 

The biggest problem is Huckabee, Huckabee will stay in as long as Mitt is remotely viable, because he knows he hurts Mitt.  If Huck were out of the race, like he should be, Mitt would have a much better shot.  Mitt would destroy McCain in a two man race.  Man, I hate Huckabee (at least politically). 

Further, and in a different Region, Mitt can probably win Alaska if he made on short trip up there for a couple hours, they would be thrilled that a candidate remembered them.

Of course all of this is going to be extremely difficult and is highly unlikely, but it can be done and we need to work to make it happen, a lot of people are turned off to McCain and Mitt is our only hope to knock him out.

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

Contemplating a McCain Presidency

Driving into work this morning I was contemplating the Florida GOP race and its potential ramifications.  It seems apparent to me that if John McCain wins tonight, he is going to end up being the Republican nominee for President.  Then I started thinking about what a McCain Presidency would look like.  What would he do?  How would the country be run? what would our policies be?

Ultimately, I determined that a future under McCain is not so bright, all I see is weak economic policy and more war.  You see, war and military is all McCain knows, that is his forte.  I strongly believe that he, like any President, wants his administration to be important historically and the only way he knows how to do that is through continuing our embroilment (is that a word?) in war.   Essentially, he will be Bush 3.0, but worse.  Personally, I don’t mind President Bush, I don’t think he has been a disaster of a President, in fact I think history will be kind to him.  I see much of President Bush in McCain, except I see a short temper, bitterness, and a lack of economic experience; all things that will make him worse than President Bush. 

Additionally, a McCain presidency would do great harm to the GOP.  He will not excite the GOP base come November nor throughout the next four years.  If he were to win the Presidency, I see him only being a one term President, who would get destroyed by the Democrat in 2012 — the Democrats would likely choose better candidates than divisive Hillary or no-experience Barack (look for Mark Warner of VA if he wins the Senate seat this year).   

There are only three positives I see from a McCain administration: 1. He can work with the Democrats, reaching across the aisle (but so can Mitt). 2. He will likely avoid scandal and represent the U.S. well (but so can Mitt, much better too). 3. His Presidency would mean that Hillary lost. 

As I really try to look at a McCain Presidency as objectively as I know how, I see little reason for optimism.  In fact, I think that an Obama presidency might be better for the country overall; despite the fact that I disagree with him on nearly every bit of his policy and he has no experience, at least he would bring optimism to the office.

This brings me to Mitt.  Mitt Romney, especially as I now sit here and contemplate these things, is head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates for President.   He has been an executive, knows how to reorganize and make beauracracy efficient, he is a fixer, understands the economy and how it works, he surrounds himself with bright competent people who are not afraid to tell him what he needs to hear rather than what he wants to hear.  He would represent the U.S. to the world in a much more positive light (a complete 180 contrast to President Bush).  Mitt is so superior to the other candidates it is laughable.  Of course I am a biased supporter, but that is why I am a supporter of his.  It appears that many GOP voters are slowly starting to realize this, but I fear it will be too late.  If Mitt does not win tonight, it will be highly unlikely that he can win the nomination.  What a shame that will be.

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Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Politics