Blog Posts

Barack Obama Proves He–s No Bill Clinton

By netboots, on Nov 16, 2009

[Source: California Republican Party News]

By Ron Nehring

Chairman of the California Republican Party
Fox & Hounds Daily

Milton Friedman famously observed that there is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program. In the political world, the Democrats have learned that something of the reverse is also true: there is nothing so temporary as a permanent political trend.

One year ago, Democrats were proclaiming they had established in 2008 a winning political coalition that would last a generation. Independent voters had joined labor unions, ethnic and other groups to form an invincible coalition that would guarantee Democrat victories for the foreseeable future.

Well, the ‘foreseeable future’ lasted about as long as a failed one season comedy on NBC.

What a difference a year makes. Today, Democrats are clearing out of two governor–s offices while Republicans are preparing to move in. A Republican is preparing to take a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, four counties in New York State fell this month, and the list goes on.

‘Hope’ and ‘change’ may have been enough in 2008, but that didn–t cut it in 2009.

How, and whether, Democrats choose to adapt to this new political environment will directly impact Republican prospects in 2010.

Yet, Barack Obama is proving he is no Bill Clinton. He is proving this through his governing style since taking office, and in his response to the November 2009 election.

In 2008, Barack Obama successfully appealed to the center of the American political spectrum, but he did so in a fundamentally different way than Bill Clinton did in 1992. In that year, Clinton actively campaigned as a ‘New’ Democrat: moderate, reasonable, centrist. He campaigned on a middle class tax cut, challenged leftist cultural norms with his ‘Sister Souljah’ speech, championed passage of NAFTA and expansion of free trade.

While Clinton appealed to the American center ideologically ˜ through issues as well as rhetoric ˜ Obama appealed to the center only rhetorically. That is, Obama did not embrace a centrist policy agenda during the campaign, or after. Instead, he appealed to the center by emphasizing to no end that he would move in a different direction than the unpopular President Bush. It was enough to win without compromising himself as the die-hard liberal we all knew him to be.

Consequently, Obama has not pursued a centrist policy agenda that would produce bi-partisan support.

He should have.

Consider how different the political world would be today if the President and Democrat congressional leaders had put forth a stimulus package that could garner a hundred Republican votes. Granted, it would have had to be a different package, perhaps with half as much spending plus permanent tax and regulatory relief.

What if their ‘cap and trade’ (energy tax) bill was coupled with a strong dose of permanent regulatory and tax relief that would cause domestic energy production to surge?

And what if Democrats had passed a health care bill in July that was narrowly tailored to the specific failures of our health care system, rather than a back door government takeover through the very unpopular ‘public option?’

Had this been the case, President Obama–s public support would likely be in the 60% range as Americans responded positively to a leader making good on his promises without offending their sensibilities. Republicans in Congress would be divided between those who voted for Obama–s legislation and those insisting on opposing it. The President would have remained an asset to the Democrat candidates for governor in Virginia and New Jersey. Jon Corzine would have likely won a narrow victory. The 2009 election would have failed to send a clear signal. Republican disarray would be considered a political given for the rest of the 2010 cycle.

Instead, Democrat insistence on a fundamentally leftist policy agenda jammed through Congress without any bipartisan support has had the following effects:

The Republican base is energized, as demonstrated not only by turnout at anti-tax rallies but also in the voter turnout statistics from the November election.

Independent voters have been fundamentally turned off, shifting to Republicans by a 22% margin according to Gallup. This shift has led to a 4% advantage for Republicans in Gallup–s generic ballot strength.

With the dramatic decline of his public approval, the President has become a liability to his party–s candidates.

One would think that the Democrats– rapidly dimming prospects would prompt a fundamental reassessment of the party–s policy agenda. And here Barack Obama is also proving he is no Bill Clinton.

Following the Republican landslide of 1994, Clinton tacked to the center. He proclaimed ‘the era of big government is over.’ He signed a Republican welfare reform bill that broke the cycle of dependency. Taxes were cut. The budget was balanced. Even the dreaded 55-MPH speed limit was repealed.

Yet, rather than learning the lessons of the 2009 election by shifting to a more centrist agenda, Barack Obama and the Democrat leadership in Congress are plowing ahead with the very same health care reform plan that has already proven to be so unpopular.

In fact, the Democrats– actions in Washington reflects a mentality of: ‘we have the majority now, we–re not going to have it for long, and we–re going to jam through every last bit of our agenda that we can before we have to start compromising in –11.’

Call it, ‘the Chicago Way.’

Yet while the economy continues to languish, Democrat tactics and strategies have managed to stimulate one thing: the Republican Party.


Link to blog here.

The Hypocrisy of Jerry Brown, California's Top Cop

By netboots, on Nov 12, 2009

[Source: California Republican Party News]

By Ron Nehring

Big Government, November 12

The Communications Director for California Attorney General Jerry Brown resigned last week after admitting he regularly taped telephone conversations with reporters without their permission. Under California state law, the recording of private telephone conversations without consent is illegal. Although the Attorney General–s Office worked to shut down the story by calling it an internal personnel matter, the potentially illegal behavior of a senior staff member to California–s top cop raises some serious questions.


Here–s one: How can one of the most powerful law enforcement officials in America not know his communications director routinely engaged in activities that may have been unlawful?

Or, how is it that only this senior member of the staff knew this was occurring as they currently claim?

Since we know the conversations on the tapes were transcribed, who provided those transcriptions? Was it an internal staff member? If it was an outside service, who approved the payments for such service?

Any logical line of questioning (especially from an office full of state attorneys) would seem to lead to two possible conclusions: either procedures in one of the highest profile law offices in the nation are woefully inadequate and ineffective; or, other members of staff knew what was going on and are now concealing their earlier knowledge.

Either conclusion is a disaster for a man who frequently brags of the benefits of four decades of political experience.

The irony here is that while Jerry Brown has chosen not to investigate the matter further, his office is currently pursuing the makers of the recent videos that exposed ACORN–s corrupt practices based on the same legal grounds. Apparently California–s Attorney General thinks that he and his cohorts can sidestep the very laws that they are using as justification for their investigations of ACORN filmmakers James O–Keefe and Hannah Giles.

Unfortunately, it appears Brown may manage to casually sweep this scandal under the rug while breezing into the Democratic Party–s 2010 gubernatorial nomination. With the sudden departure San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom from the race last week, Brown currently has no other opposition in the race to win the nomination of the party that likes to lecture everyone else about diversity.

The bottom line is that Brown displayed serious management deficiencies that allowed a senior member of his staff to go rogue under that neglected leadership. His double standard policy for the investigation of possible crimes under the law conveniently keeps his political pals out of the fray while aggressively going after those who exposed the problems at ACORN.

At least we know who that group will be campaigning for in 2010.


Link to posting.

CRP Praises CA Republicans on Health Care Vote

By netboots, on Nov 6, 2009

[Source: California Republican Party News]

SACRAMENTO -- Citing the higher taxes and massive expansion of government control over individual health choices that will result from Nancy Pelosi's health care bill, California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring tonight praised the members of the state's Republican delegation in the House of Representatives for voting unanimously in opposition.

"California's Republican Members of Congress tonight stood together on the side of the American people and against a giant, costly new health care bureaucracy that will transfer decisions about Americans' health out of the hands of patients and doctors and into thousands of bureaucrats' little cubicles in Washington DC," said California Republican Chairman Ron Nehring.

"Nancy Pelosi's legislative monstrosity will make health care more expensive for families, raise taxes, cut Medicare, and put bureaucrats in between doctors and patients. Other than that, it's a great bill," he added. "Republicans will continue to support fiscally responsible health care reforms that empower patients and doctors, not bureaucrats, trial lawyers and tax collectors."

California is represented by 19 Republican Members of Congress, each of whom voted against the Pelosi bill this evening.

"Tonight's vote demonstrates Democrats have no interest in learning the lessons of the 2009 elections that gave Republicans control of two governor's offices plus many state and local government posts. As the Democrats lurch further to the left, we'll seize the opportunity to teach those same lessons again in 2010," Nehring said.

New Federal Bureaucracies Created in Pelosi Health Care Bill

By netboots, on Nov 2, 2009

[Source: California Republican Party News]

The House Republican Conference has compiled a list of all the new boards, bureaucracies, commissions, and programs created in H.R. 3962, Speaker Pelosi–s government takeover of health care:

1. Retiree Reserve Trust Fund (Section 111(d), p. 61)
2. Grant program for wellness programs to small employers (Section 112, p. 62)
3. Grant program for State health access programs (Section 114, p. 72)
4. Program of administrative simplification (Section 115, p. 76)
5. Health Benefits Advisory Committee (Section 223, p. 111)
6. Health Choices Administration (Section 241, p. 131)
7. Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman (Section 244, p. 138)
8. Health Insurance Exchange (Section 201, p. 155)
9. Program for technical assistance to employees of small businesses buying Exchange coverage (Section 305(h), p. 191)
10. Mechanism for insurance risk pooling to be established by Health Choices Commissioner (Section 306(b), p. 194)
11. Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund (Section 307, p. 195)
12. State-based Health Insurance Exchanges (Section 308, p. 197)
13. Grant program for health insurance cooperatives (Section 310, p. 206)
14. ‘Public Health Insurance Option’ (Section 321, p. 211)
15. Ombudsman for ‘Public Health Insurance Option’ (Section 321(d), p. 213)
16. Account for receipts and disbursements for ‘Public Health Insurance Option’ (Section 322(b), p. 215)
17. Telehealth Advisory Committee (Section 1191 (b), p. 589)
18. Demonstration program providing reimbursement for ‘culturally and linguistically appropriate services’ (Section 1222, p. 617)
19. Demonstration program for shared decision making using patient decision aids (Section 1236, p. 648)
20. Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicare (Section 1301, p. 653)
21. Independent patient-centered medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302, p. 672)
22. Community-based medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302(d), p. 681)
23. Independence at home demonstration program (Section 1312, p. 718)
24. Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (Section 1401(a), p. 734)
25. Comparative Effectiveness Research Commission (Section 1401(a), p. 738)
26. Patient ombudsman for comparative effectiveness research (Section 1401(a), p. 753)
27. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1412(b)(1), p. 784)
28. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for nursing facilities (Section 1412 (b)(2), p. 786)
29. Special focus facility program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1413(a)(3), p. 796)
30. Special focus facility program for nursing facilities (Section 1413(b)(3), p. 804)
31. National independent monitor pilot program for skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities (Section 1422, p. 859)
32. Demonstration program for approved teaching health centers with respect to Medicare GME (Section 1502(d), p. 933)
33. Pilot program to develop anti-fraud compliance systems for Medicare providers (Section 1635, p. 978)
34. Special Inspector General for the Health Insurance Exchange (Section 1647, p. 1000)
35. Medical home pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1722, p. 1058)
36. Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1730A, p. 1073)
37. Nursing facility supplemental payment program (Section 1745, p. 1106)
38. Demonstration program for Medicaid coverage to stabilize emergency medical conditions in institutions for mental diseases (Section 1787, p. 1149)
39. Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund (Section 1802, p. 1162)
40. ‘Identifiable office or program’ within CMS to ‘provide for improved coordination between Medicare and Medicaid in the case of dual eligibles’ (Section 1905, p. 1191)
41. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Section 1907, p. 1198)
42. Public Health Investment Fund (Section 2002, p. 1214)
43. Scholarships for service in health professional needs areas (Section 2211, p. 1224)
44. Program for training medical residents in community-based settings (Section 2214, p. 1236)
45. Grant program for training in dentistry programs (Section 2215, p. 1240)
46. Public Health Workforce Corps (Section 2231, p. 1253)
47. Public health workforce scholarship program (Section 2231, p. 1254)
48. Public health workforce loan forgiveness program (Section 2231, p. 1258)
49. Grant program for innovations in interdisciplinary care (Section 2252, p. 1272)
50. Advisory Committee on Health Workforce Evaluation and Assessment (Section 2261, p. 1275)
51. Prevention and Wellness Trust (Section 2301, p. 1286)
52. Clinical Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1295)
53. Community Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1301)
54. Grant program for community prevention and wellness research (Section 2301, p. 1305)
55. Grant program for research and demonstration projects related to wellness incentives (Section 2301, p. 1305)
56. Grant program for community prevention and wellness services (Section 2301, p. 1308)
57. Grant program for public health infrastructure (Section 2301, p. 1313)
58. Center for Quality Improvement (Section 2401, p. 1322)
59. Assistant Secretary for Health Information (Section 2402, p. 1330)
60. Grant program to support the operation of school-based health clinics (Section 2511, p. 1352)
61. Grant program for nurse-managed health centers (Section 2512, p. 1361)
62. Grants for labor-management programs for nursing training (Section 2521, p. 1372)
63. Grant program for interdisciplinary mental and behavioral health training (Section 2522, p. 1382)
64. ‘No Child Left Unimmunized Against Influenza’ demonstration grant program (Section 2524, p. 1391)
65. Healthy Teen Initiative grant program regarding teen pregnancy (Section 2526, p. 1398)
66. Grant program for interdisciplinary training, education, and services for individuals with autism (Section 2527(a), p. 1402)
67. University centers for excellence in developmental disabilities education (Section 2527(b), p. 1410)
68. Grant program to implement medication therapy management services (Section 2528, p. 1412)
69. Grant program to promote positive health behaviors in underserved communities (Section 2530, p. 1422)
70. Grant program for State alternative medical liability laws (Section 2531, p. 1431)
71. Grant program to develop infant mortality programs (Section 2532, p. 1433)
72. Grant program to prepare secondary school students for careers in health professions (Section 2533, p. 1437)
73. Grant program for community-based collaborative care (Section 2534, p. 1440)
74. Grant program for community-based overweight and obesity prevention (Section 2535, p. 1457)
75. Grant program for reducing the student-to-school nurse ratio in primary and secondary schools (Section 2536, p. 1462)
76. Demonstration project of grants to medical-legal partnerships (Section 2537, p. 1464)
77. Center for Emergency Care under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (Section 2552, p. 1478)
78. Council for Emergency Care (Section 2552, p 1479)
79. Grant program to support demonstration programs that design and implement regionalized emergency care systems (Section 2553, p. 1480)
80. Grant program to assist veterans who wish to become emergency medical technicians upon discharge (Section 2554, p. 1487)
81. Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (Section 2562, p. 1494)
82. National Medical Device Registry (Section 2571, p. 1501)
83. CLASS Independence Fund (Section 2581, p. 1597)
84. CLASS Independence Fund Board of Trustees (Section 2581, p. 1598)
85. CLASS Independence Advisory Council (Section 2581, p. 1602)
86. Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women–s Health (Section 2588, p. 1610)
87. National Women–s Health Information Center (Section 2588, p. 1611)
88. Centers for Disease Control Office of Women–s Health (Section 2588, p. 1614)
89. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Women–s Health and Gender-Based Research (Section 2588, p. 1617)
90. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women–s Health (Section 2588, p. 1618)
91. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women–s Health (Section 2588, p. 1621)
92. Personal Care Attendant Workforce Advisory Panel (Section 2589(a)(2), p. 1624)
93. Grant program for national health workforce online training (Section 2591, p. 1629)
94. Grant program to disseminate best practices on implementing health workforce investment programs (Section 2591, p. 1632)
95. Demonstration program for chronic shortages of health professionals (Section 3101, p. 1717)
96. Demonstration program for substance abuse counselor educational curricula (Section 3101, p. 1719)
97. Program of Indian community education on mental illness (Section 3101, p. 1722)
98. Intergovernmental Task Force on Indian environmental and nuclear hazards (Section 3101, p. 1754)
99. Office of Indian Men–s Health (Section 3101, p. 1765)
100. Indian Health facilities appropriation advisory board (Section 3101, p. 1774)
101. Indian Health facilities needs assessment workgroup (Section 3101, p. 1775)
102. Indian Health Service tribal facilities joint venture demonstration projects (Section 3101, p. 1809)
103. Urban youth treatment center demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1873)
104. Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for diabetes prevention (Section 3101, p. 1874)
105. Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for health IT adoption (Section 3101, p. 1877)
106. Mental health technician training program (Section 3101, p. 1898)
107. Indian youth telemental health demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1909)
108. Program for treatment of child sexual abuse victims and perpetrators (Section 3101, p. 1925)
109. Program for treatment of domestic violence and sexual abuse (Section 3101, p. 1927)
110. Native American Health and Wellness Foundation (Section 3103, p. 1966)Committee for the Establishment of the Native American Health and Wellness Foundation (Section 3103, p. 1968)

Campaign Finance Laws Giving Government Excuse to Regulate Online Content

By netboots, on Oct 20, 2009

[Source: California Republican Party News]

By Ron Nehring

Chairman of the California Republican Party
Fox & Hounds Daily

Thankfully, Internet content remains largely free of government intrusion and regulation. Americans are increasingly going online for news, to plan their travel, and perform other everyday tasks like banking and keeping up with relatives. They–re also going online for the information they need to determine how they will vote. As candidates and parties consequently step up their online presence, outdated campaign finance laws are giving the bureaucrats a new opening to impose restrictions and regulations on Internet content.

Consider Scott Wagner, the candidate for St. Petersburg mayor whom the Florida Elections Commission ordered to take down an online ad because it didn–t include a ‘Paid for by’ disclaimer. Wagner argued the ‘paid for by’ disclaimer should not have been required because it was only ‘paid for’ by someone once it was clicked on, not before.

The possibilities for absurd regulation of online campaign content are endless. Consider this: As the FPPC takes a look at regulations involving California state and local candidates, should Twitter or Facebook recommending a candidate–s page or account be followed constitute an in-kind contribution? It will be interesting to see what the FPPC says, for if it determines such recommendations are in-kind contributions, will the Federal Election Commission do the same? If so, such Twitter and Facebook recommendations would constitute an illegal corporate in-kind contribution to the candidate.

Taken a step further, will the operators of sites such as Twitter and Facebook be required to track which accountholders are candidates, or potential candidates? And if these rules become too silly or complicated, what of sites that choose to be based outside of the United States? What if they are already? How much does it take to transfer your website to a server in Mexico?

So here we see the proverbial camel–s nose under the tent as regulatory busybodies in 50 states, six territories and the federal government all potentially consider how to impose new rules on Internet content all in the name of ‘fairness.’

Many of today–s state and federal campaign laws have their origin in the 1970–s, and today–s bureaucrats are attempting to apply those rules to a rapidly changing 21st century communications environment where websites and email are giving way to Twitter and Facebook as the latest communications powerhouses, often with little or no marginal costs to candidates. Government bureaucrats will never be able to keep up with the changes in how American voters and candidates are communicating.

Perhaps this is a time to consider an alternative to promulgating thousands of additional pages of regulations governing political speech, and instead consider taking steps deregulating and decriminalizing political advocacy and discourse. Today–s governor–s race in Virginia is being waged in a state with no contribution limits to state candidates, and none of the reams of regulations that typically govern the application of such limits to fundraising, spending, and the like. Seems like democracy is functioning pretty well without such restrictions on speech. The bureaucrats should take notice.


Link to posting here.

President Obama's Pattern of Bad Policies and Failed Efforts

By netboots, on Oct 7, 2009

[Source: California Republican Party News]

President Obama's most recent failure to get the 2016 Olympics to come to Chicago, is just another example of how Obama's "hope" and "change" mantra has, in reality, only produced disappointment and failure.

President Obama's inability to push Chicago through even the first round of the Olympic selection process, despite his lobbying trip to Denmark, highlights a developing pattern of failed efforts and faulty policy decisions by this president and his administration.

To refresh your memory, let's take a quick look at the some major failed reforms and proposals, both domestic and international, that Obama has spearheaded in only his first 9 months as president. Keep this in mind; these failures occurred while the Democrats are the majority leader in both houses of congress.

Stimulus - President Obama and the democrats rammed the nearly $800 billion dollar stimulus bill through congress as quickly as possible, promising that the stimulus package would "create or save 3� million jobs over the next two years" and "would keep unemployment under 8%." Not only has this expanded the reach of government into private industry, but thousands of people continued to lose jobs every month at a record paced and employment in U.S. has reached 9.8%.

Obama's Stimulus Package: Failed

Healthcare - President Obama ‏guaranteed' that his universal healthcare reform would get passed this year. Lack of public support, inaccurate accounting for the cost of the bill, and push back from members of his own democrat party, has stalled his version of the healthcare bill from even getting out of a congress that is controlled by his own party.

Obama's Healthcare Bill: Failed

Foreign Policy - President Obama has traveled down the dangerous path of appeasing and playing nice with nations that wish us ill in hopes that they will play nice with us. He has tried to open a friendly dialogue with Iran without any preconditions and for this Iran recently admitted to having a second nuclear plant, and by all appearances, is closer than ever to developing nuclear weapons with no intention to stop. In addition, he pulled the plug on the US's missile defense shield in order to appease Russia. We abandoned and angered all of our allies in Eastern Europe, yet Russia is still not playing any nicer.

Obama's Foreign Policies: Failed

Closing Gitmo - One of the first things that President Obama did when he took office was to sign an executive order which set a deadline of January 22, 2010 for closing the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. But President Obama's plan is stalling and has already missed key initial deadlines. The Senate voted 90-6 against appropriating funds for closing the base. The House also went on record last week opposing bringing Gitmo detainees to the US.

Obama's Plan to Close Gitmo: Failed

The War in Afghanistan - President Obama has taken a stand pat approach in Afghanistan and continues to ignore the requests of his top commanders for the deployment of more troops to fight the growing strength of the Taliban. Not only is he not giving General McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the men he has requested, but he has ordered them to stop bombing before they go into areas, which means we don't suppress the terrorists - making our troops more vulnerable to attack and raising the casualty toll.

Obama's Promise to Improve the War in Afghanistan: Failed

Although these are the most glaring, these are only a fraction of the failures that the Obama Administration has compiled in the infancy of his term.

Let's hope the US Olympic team performs better in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The New Political Reality

By netboots, on Sep 4, 2009

[Source: California Republican Party News]

The state of American politics is today fundamentally different than when President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid became the triumvirate of the legislative and federal branches of our government.

Less than a year ago, Barack Obama and the Democrats won a national election giving them total control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. With Al Franken's belated Minnesota victory, they even have a filibuster-proof majority in the upper house.

It's an enviable position. Or at least, it was.

In the months since, President Obama has experienced the steepest decline of public support for any modern president other than Gerald Ford following Watergate, as columnist Charles Krauthammer observes.

Meanwhile, the public's incredibly sour view of Nancy Pelosi has turned her into such a liability she is turning up in Republican television ads in much the same way Democrats featured Newt Gingrich in their messaging in the late '90s.

As a direct consequence of the pubic turning against the majority party, their legislative agenda has become mired in a morass of conflicting interests and a leadership vacuum. Democrat House members who would like to keep their jobs next year but represent conservative districts have suddenly become unreliable supporters of the liberal agenda. In the other chamber, their 60-vote majority hasn't produced much.

America remains a center-right country, yet the liberals in control of Washington assumed last year's election represented a fundamental leftward realignment of the electorate. If that were the case, the President would have had his health care bill signing ceremony by now.

Clearly the American people wanted a change in direction and perceived priorities, yet the current state of politics makes clear they did not suddenly embrace a left wing view of the role of the federal government just because they had differences with President Bush. Americans want a government that will get the economy on track, make government less of a burden, and defend the nation from those who would do us harm.

If the other team had focused on those priorities, they would be in a stronger position today.

The response we've seen from the majority party to their train coming completely off the tracks has been all too predictable: blame Republicans, and if you can find a way to blame President Bush too, so much the better.

It's a losing strategy, but the only one immediately available to them that does not involve adopting a more centrist policy agenda.

Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton, who campaigned as a "New Democrat" distinct from the party's liberal wing and demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt to changing political circumstances. First, he championed his wife's plan for a complete federal takeover of health care in America, only to later declare the "era of big government is over."

While Clinton demonstrated flexibility, Obama and his team exhibit a more dogmatic approach that they believe they have the majority, they're not going to have it forever, and they're going to plow through to get their agenda passed now while they have the chance.

It's a blunt-force approach.

And it's failed. Concurrent with the President's plummeting approval ratings, a new Rasmussen Reports poll shows 51% of Americans believe Congress is too liberal, while only 22% believe it's too conservative. Health care marks the end of this phase of the Obama presidency.

Next week the President will attempt to reshuffle the deck with a speech to a joint session of Congress. With broad majorities in both chambers it's something he shouldn't have to do, yet it's something he must do, for while the liberal leadership in Congress may support the health care plan, the American people do not. The President will attempt to change the terms of the debate to get his way despite the objections of so many Americans.

Going into 2010, Republican victory is not yet assured. We have to work for it. The President's numbers are unlikely to remain in the tank forever, and when they tick up a bit there will be a long line of liberals in the media to talk about the "comeback."

That comeback, however, is likely to be limited by what Bill Clinton possessed and Barack Obama lacks: an ability to put aside liberalism when it's a loser with the public. It was in 1994, and it is today.

Obama Policies a Step Backward in War on Terror

By netboots, on Aug 23, 2009

[Source: California Republican Party News]

The Obama Administration on Monday opted to ramp up the involvement of law enforcement in the global war on terror. What may surprise most Americans is that this new law enforcement emphasis is not aimed at those who plot and commit acts of violence, but rather the intelligence agents charged with defeating them.

Attorney General Eric Holder has named John Durham as special prosecutor as the first step toward bringing chargest against current and former CIA personnel for the interrogation techniques used on detainees, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Press reports indicate the decision to move forward toward prosecution was taken solely by AG Holder, and may even stand in contrast to the President's own stated position to move on from the national security "controversies" of the Bush Administration.

Yet, it is implausible that Holder would take such action without at least tacit approval from his boss, the President. Additionally, this action is in line with the stated desires of liberal Democrat members of Congress, including several from California, who would clearly like nothing more than a full scale witch hunt of Bush Administration officials involved with protecting America and her allies from terrorist attacks following 9/11.

Holder's moves are inconsistent with an effective national security policy, particularly regarding the global war on terror, and the related issues of securing victory in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For instance, in recent weeks we have witnessed a dramatic increase in violence in Iraq, including the bombing of the Foreign Ministry building and other key government facilities, coinciding with the withdrawal of US military forces from urban areas, and the decision by the al Maliki government to remove protective concrete barriers from many areas in Baghdad, increasing their vulnerability to attack.

Insurgents and terrorists have seen such moves as new opportunities to press on with their campaign of violence against the democratically elected government.

Likewise, what signal does it send to terrorists and insurgents to have the United States engaged in the high profile prosecution of those who were charged with fighting and defeating their violent brethren?

The answer: encouragement.

The decision to prepare for a witch hunt of Bush Administration officials (which liberals in Congress would pursue, and still may, regardless of the direction the Obama Justice Department takes) comes on the heels of last week's complete failure of the Obama Administration to block the release of convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi from prison in Scotland.

Barack Obama is credited by Europeans and American liberals with having elevated America's stature and "soft power." Yet, despite "weeks and months" of effort by the Obama State Department, it could not even convince America's closest ally, Great Britain, to not release the man responsible for the murder of 189 Americans. Instead, the bomber was released, picked up in Muammar Gaddafi's private plane, and flown back to Libya to be greeted by a massive state sponsored rally at the airport.

So much for results from the Obama diplomatic team.

Barack Obama is certainly bringing "change" to the global war on terror: treating attacks on America as law enforcement violations, and an overreliance on diplomacy that has witnessed the return of a mass murderer to his home country and fresh threats to the democratically elected government in Iraq.

CA Unemployment Spike Highlights Lack of Competitiveness

By netboots, on Aug 21, 2009

[Source: California Republican Party News]

While the national unemployment rate is leveling off at 9.7%, California's jobless rate just hit a post-World War II high of 11.9%, further underscoring the state's lack of competitiveness at precisely the time we need it most.

Globally, we're seeing Asia move ahead while France and Germany have emerged from recession ahead of the United States. Within our own country we're seeing a huge difference in how well, or poorly, states are coping with the economic downturn.

Texas has an unemployment rate well below the national average: 8% compared to the national rate of 9.7%. Meanwhile, California's high tax/high regulation model continues to force people out of work at a rate substantially higher than the rest of the nation: 2.2% higher than the national average, and 3.9 percentage points higher than Texas.

Liberals really enjoy playing the class warfare card when our team proposes to loosen up job killing regulations or ease the tax burden on job-generating small businesses. Yet, the liberal model of a big, intrusive and expensive government can in these times be seen for what it really does to working people: eliminating jobs and the opportunities that come with those jobs.

LA Times Story: California Unemployment Hits Post-World War II High