Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yes, Please Run!

A report appeared today showed former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, is being asked by Florida Republicans to challenge Senator Bill Nelson in 2012. Four years after his last term as Governor ended, Bush is still a very popular figure within the state. As governor, he was a strong leader, kept taxes in Florida low, attracted new residents to the state, as well as new businesses, and was also the first Republican in Florida to serve two terms as Governor. His leadership further cemented Florida as being a state more friendly to Republicans. In a hypothetical matchup, Bush leads Nelson and I believe that if he runs, Bush will win in a very easy contest. Bush will win the reliably red portion of the state in the panhandle, northern Florida and Southwest Florida. He will also do much better than most Republicans in Southwest Florida, especially with his popularity among Seniors and Hispanics. And in the most important region of the state, the I-4 Corridor, a region which I covered during the Midterms, he will also win, as this region has been economically hammered and it is my belief, especially after an analysis of the 2010 Election, that the voters who went heavily for Obama in 2008 are aware of the ramifications of that vote and their current circumstances, therefore, they will not make that mistake again.

I doubt Nelson's popularity, as he won re-election in a Democrat year against a weak candidate in Katherine Harris, who many in the Republican Party, sadly, did not fully back, instead, sending her out as a sacrificial lamb. Florida is quickly becoming a stronghold for Republicans, as was proven this fall. Nelson is already starting to run a little scared, as he is coming out against the Administration on their NASA policy, as he rightly should, considering he was once an astronaut, and the fact that NASA is a major employer in Central Florida.

The next cycle will likely be a year where Republicans are favored and Jeb Bush gives Florida its best chance to make sure Senator Marco Rubio has a partner, who in their representation of Florida, will espouse and advocate for Conservative, small government solutions to the problems that Florida and the United States have endured under the Obama Administration.

Still in Christmas Mode and Still Snowed In

Roads still haven't improved and I still have Christmas and Disney on the brain, therefore, here is a clip of Epcot's nighttime spectacular, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. I had the pleasure of seeing this twice while I was in Florida earlier this month and I am embedding the show for my readers' enjoyment. I did not make this video, but it is one of the most well done currently on YouTube and includes the "Holiday Ending."

I am aware that much has gone on since my time away from "The 'Right' Solutions," but in due time, I will return to my coverage and commentary. Until then, enjoy Illuminations: Reflections of Earth!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowed In

Just one day after Christmas, the Northeast was pounded by an enormous blizzard that has left travel delays and much snow in its wake: 20" in New York, 18" in Boston, 12" in Philadelphia, and more in some places. What made it worse was the fact that there were strong winds all day that created extremely large snowdrifts in the Mid-Atlantic region! Driving has also been downright treacherous.

If you don't have to go anywhere, I'd stay home, as side roads still need a little more work. Safe travels for anyone having to get around.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night

"The 'Right' Solutions" would like to take the time to wish its readers a Very Merry Christmas! This holiday has such special beginnings and has, over the years, grown into a whole season that captures the hearts, reunites and draws families closer together, while mesmerizing children at the thought of Santa bringing them their present of choice. Christmas traditions across the United States, both new and old have developed, grown and have become well-known. We must also take a moment out of our day to remember our servicemen and women who are sacrificing time away from their families in their service to the United States.

Whether attending mass/church services, giving presents, opening presents, getting together with family, traveling or sitting down for a great feast, we hope for an enjoyable and memorable Christmas for all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Last month, I have been quite critical of the TSA, and rightly so, and after reading the news, I admit, I was apprehensive about flying. In the end, I must give them a tip of the cap as I saw they did a revamping of customer service since the last time I flew.

Both times, it was a pleasant experience. Departing from EWR, the only additional methods (in addition to the magnetometer and putting baggage and other materials through the x-ray machine) they used were the following: an upper body backhand patdown, and a search of my small bag as I had a myriad of chargers and portable electronics (e.g. GPS, iPod, BlackBerry, etc) in the bag. They explained in both cases what they were doing and apologized for delaying me. The female agent who searched my bag even offered to assist me in repacking it. I will make every effort to fly out of there early again (not just because of my TSA experience, but a drop in flight delays as EWR is infamous for delays due to traffic) In departing MCO, there were no additional methods used and I was able to quickly pass through before heading to the airside shuttle. Their infamous security lines were also not exceedingly long. The TSA at MCO were also rather friendly.

Both airports were using the body scanners, but in both cases, I was not required to go through them and did not have to opt-out for a public patdown, which I intended to do.

Again, this was a positive experience and I hope it continues for when I travel in 2011 and beyond.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Back to your regularly scheduled program

After a week in paradise, including a few days in one of my all-time favorite places, where I segregated myself from most news and politics, I am back and will be resuming a regular blogging schedule after catching up.

Apologies for a lack of warning of the hiatus and I look forward to welcoming you all back.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tripping and Falling

During this season, I have been becoming slowly annoyed and disenchanted with the New York Jets. While I credit Rex Ryan with improving stability and attitude with the team and in the Jets' Culture, I am very concerned by their losses, where it looked as if a different team was playing, and the attitude of some of the leaders.

Even though Rex Ryan has done a lot of good, his brashness and cockiness can have the potential blow up in his face. Confidence is good, but there are times he crosses the line into arrogance. And at this point, after getting shellacked by the Patriots and losing to a mediocre Dolphins team, there isn't much to be arrogant about. Sadly, this arrogance is imparted to the rest of the organization.

Mark Sanchez, while making gains, is not exactly Eli Manning or Phil Simms. The fact that he does not have a good backup forces a sense of entitlement on him and threatening to bench him with the 40 year old is empty. I understand Rex wants to give Sanchez confidence, but he must teach him to be a competitor, which occurs when giving him competition within the team.

Yesterday's incident with Sal Alosi tripping Nolan Carroll was absolutely uncalled for! In examining the video, it was clearly deliberate and with all the cameras at an NFL game, his getting caught was inevitable. While not as bad as Woody Hayes, it clearly provides enough evidence to question the leadership of Ryan and others on the Jets. Sanctions have come down and Alosi is suspended for the remainder of the season without pay and will be fined $25,000 by the Jets.

In the off-season, depending on what happens (I'm thinking the Jets are losing ranking on the Supe-o-meter, considering they have 2 very tough road games and they haven't scored a touchdown in 9 quarters.), Woody Johnson needs to take a close look at what the heck is going on in his organization.

Down the Appeals Path it Goes!

Big news today out of the Commonwealth of Virginia! US District Judge Henry Hudson, in a case brought forth by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (For the record, originally a Jersey guy), Virginia v. Sebelius, declared portions of the Health Care Reform Act signed by Obama and the Democrats, unconstitutional! Specifically, Hudson wrote in his decision, how the requirement for Americans to buy into the system does not comply with the Interstate Commerce Clause.

Considering the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is home to the "Rocket Docket," it is no surprise the ruling came on this date. ObamaCare is Obama's bread and butter, so his camp must be spitting mad about the ruling, therefore, it is likely they will appeal. They will have to continue the case is the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, likely the court most known for its "Constitutional" rulings, as a result, bringing the question of the Constitutionality of ObamaCare in front of the Supreme Court once and for all.

There is still a long road, and a decision pending on the Health Care challenge in the State of Florida, but today's step was one in the right direction. The people have shown they do not want this and the court has shown it does not hold Constitutional merit.

To quote Cuccinelli,
"This is a great day for the Constitution! This case is not about health insurance. It is not about health care. It's about liberty...We've won the first round of this particular fight, but we know there are others to come."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What was He Thinking!!!

I wonder who plans events like this! Whoever did, shouldn't be working at the White House because what happened today does a president with an image problem no good, whatsoever!

Today, President Obama invited President Clinton to the White House in order to meet with him to discuss economic issues, as well as publicly endorse the tax compromise. I wouldn't doubt that a "How To" on triangulation was discussed.

The fact that this meeting took place, I found very intriguing. We have known since the 2008 Election that the Clintons and Obamas are not the biggest fans of each other. Much of this was discussed in the Halperin/Heilmann book Game Change but was also shown publicly through the Fairy Tale comments, Bill Clinton's outrage on being called a racist, a rather contentious debate and an "I'm #1 moment."

Bill Clinton has got to love this! Note that the meeting between them was private so we do not know what was discussed, but if we follow the Godfather's mantra of returning a favor, I wonder what Bill Clinton may get out of this...or Hillary. Such speculation may be abound considering that she may challenge the incumbent president in a primary in 2012.

Between his "sour grapes" press conference and hostage takers comments, Obama has not had a good week, but watching Bill Clinton take command of that presser, especially after Obama left the room, does the President no good. Obama look like a small, ineffective and aloof leader to Americans and the world, as a former president (whose wife may run in 2012) has more of a command of the room than the current president.

Could we see heads roll in the White House for this blunder? Maybe Robert Gibbs? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7, 1941, A Day That Will Live in Infamy

Today is the 69th Anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, a day not only "lives in infamy," but that forever influenced the "Greatest Generation" in the same fashion that September 11, 2001 did on my generation. (And as I have said before, history is still being written on Gen-X/The 9-11 Generation) This generation stepped up to lead, protect America and defeat Nazism, Socialism and Fascism. Then, they peacefully returned home to build families, communities and the American economy that we have come to know.

Be sure to thank a member of that generation for their sacrifices and hard work that contributed to the United States in becoming the driving force for success and good in world during the 20th century and beyond!

Note: The picture above is of the USS Arizona Memorial, located over the sunken battleship destroyed by a Nakajima V5N on that day. To this day, oil still leaks from the hull to the water's surface.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Tax Issue...Resolved?

On this evening, 19 days before Christmas, Obama caved...sort of.

Obama and Congress came to an agreement on the tax issue which has been the cause of much of the economic uncertainty in the country. It must now pass Congress before the new year before the "compromise" can be enacted. Here are the nuts and bolts. The Bush Tax Cuts will be extended for another two years for all earners, unemployment will be extended for another 13 months, Social Security taxes will be cut for one year, and the inheritance tax, aka "death tax," did not make the cut and will return.

Let's look at the situation that led to this "compromise." The first Friday of every month, the unemployment numbers come up and on Friday December 3, they came out and U-3 is at 9.8%, up from the last report, and U-6 is at 17%! Jobs the government cites as "new jobs created" are temporary. For the United States, this is an absolute catastrophe and Washington had to have a response to stop the bleeding. The spectre of the sunset of the Bush Tax Cuts, along with the uncertainty of health care reform and its higher costs the new laws will incur on job creators have kept them on the job creating sidelines, contributing to this current report.

Here is Obama's statement on the "compromise:"

The President realized what he had to do politically and in studying his demeanor, he doesn't seem to be too happy about it, taking shots at the "rising deficit" (while conveniently leaving out how ObamaCare is contributing to the deficit) yet is still attempting to take credit for it with his consistent use of the word "I." At the same time, Obama is attempting to remind the incoming Republicans they need to work with him and cancel out what the Midterm Elections of 2010 told us: Obama needs to work with the incoming Republicans. Not a surprise considering he is always the first to remind his opponents he won, and on numerous occasions, sometimes using really bad metaphors.

Those on both sides of the aisle are asking themselves if they could have gained more out of this "compromise." Liberal Democrats seem spitting mad and some in the media are already predicting Obama will have a primary challenge. This has been said for a long time on "The 'Right' Solutions," but the tax "compromise" gives it further credence. The "Blue Dog" Democrats in Congress who survived, as well as those Democrats in the Senate who face very tough re-elections in 2012 and live in reality about it, knew this was the most politically expedient move to make and implored the ideologue president to give.

Republicans, on the other hand, could have gained more out of this. Let's not forget, Republicans won Congress back with one of the largest party net gains (one short of the prediction made here) in well over 50 years! They are in great position to have a greater impact on the decisions of this president and I believe Republicans could have successfully ridden this wave for more, be it a payroll tax holiday, capital gains tax cut, shorter extension of unemployment and/or more incentives for unemployed Americans to return to work such as an allowance of greater part time salary without UI penalty, as well as the full continuation of the inheritance tax.

The President and Congress are kicking the can down the road, this will be a 2012 Campaign issue and the "compromise," along with the Social Security tax holiday, allows the president to claim he cut taxes. (Even though we know it took a Midterm shellacking for him to get to this point.) The Republican running in 2012, whoever it is, must campaign to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent as it will benefit that candidate and anoint them with more valid and realistic street creds of advocating for lower taxes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

On the Air

Talk about being at the right place at the right time, I was on television this Friday evening!

Sadly, it wasn't about The Calling to Lead, but yes, I met a lot of people, did a little networking and had a blast doing it!

While in New York City tonight, I was walking up Sixth Avenue and passed by the Fox News Headquarters at 1211 Avenue of the Americas. As I was walking past, Neil Cavuto was doing a live shot for his Fox Business Network show, Cavuto. Having not had to be anywhere for a while, I stood by, watched and took a few pictures. After about 5 minutes, one of his staff members approached me and asked me a question about a segment on the negative treatment of men, aka "man-bashing" in holiday commercials. After thinking for a moment, I provided a response (which I will share below and explain the context of it) that was good enough for him to ask me to be in the final segment where this material would be covered. Along with 3 other people watching (3 men (myself included), 1 woman) we were led to an area where Neil would ask us our reaction on the commercials, which were shown on the monitor in his view.

Along the way, there were a couple of surprises, namely Gene Simmons (of KISS) appearing in the crowd, in street clothes, which is pictured below.

The gathered crowd did not have an "Elvis Reaction" because Cavuto was broadcasting, but Simmons was quite dignified and very unlike his stage persona. He said hello to all who came up to him and took pictures.

Neil prepped the segment, ran the commercials and shared his outrage. The moment then came as Neil Cavuto came up to me with the microphone, asking me what I thought. I pretty much said that as a man, I was offended by the commercials, but understand why the advertisements are done the way they are, as the advertisers believe this content is appropriately marketed to women. Continuing on, I discussed how shows like Everybody Loves Raymond and The Simpsons are rough on men, and even though they are funny, it is done for a reason and that is to attract female viewers, therefore, the direction taken by these advertisements are not surprising. I then closed, somewhat in jest, telling Neil, "I feel your rage."

Over the years, I have read studies as to why television and advertising has turned to "man-bashing" and I just came across an interesting article that further discusses it and reinforces my on-air statements. The truth of the matter is that women have been making the majority of financial decisions in families, so companies think of their bottom line, as well as the trends in popular culture, and commit this practice. While I'm not going to boycott the product, I do find that line of advertising a bit annoying. With the rise of Conservative feminism, it may be interesting to see if there is an eventual change.

In the end, it was a great experience! Neil Cavuto was very complimentary about my on-air performance and ease in front of the camera and I exchanged contact info with the producers (as I did mention The Calling to Lead to them).

Here is the segment:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Maybe He Should Shut Up and Play

New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle steps in it big time with his comments this week. On his WFAN spot this week, he claimed that booing NFL players on the field is so wrong that it is comparable to booing soldiers coming home from Iraq.

Rolle's comments and comparison is disgusting and it denigrates the sacrifices our servicemen and women make while they are over there in the sandbox away from their families. Remember, Rolle is making $37 million over 5 years while members of the military are being paid significantly less. Rolle can see his family any time he wants and drive over there in his Land Rover, Cadillac or whatever he drives, while members of our military are away from their families for very long periods of time, and every day they wake up, they risk a chance that they may never see them again. In New York, the sportswriters and fans aren't shooting at Rolle or booby trapping his path with IEDs, while our troops have to deal with those chances every day they are in the sandbox.

It's comments like these that make it not surprising that athletes aren't respected as they were a few years ago. It's difficult to pin an exact date on this waining level of respect, but a great solution to stop the booing would be to shut up and play to their potential. And Rolle as a Giant has made some great plays, but he needs to be more consistent and earn his money. Rolle and the defense apparently did not do this in the two consecutive weeks they lost to the Cowboys and the Eagles. The controversy is not new to Rolle, as he previously flapped his mouth about the Giants' organization earlier this season. It is good to see that his teammates on the Giants defense did not join in agreement with his thoughts on fan booing.

If I know Tom Coughlin, Antrel Rolle will be in his office ASAP to discuss his mouth flapping and how it is detrimental to a team that needs a strong December performance. It is my hope that Coughlin fines him for his insensitive and egotistical remark and donates the fine to the Freedom Alliance or Wounded Warriors to remind him of the clear sacrifices members of our military make. In the end, I hope Antrel Rolle realizes that the job he does every Sunday is insignificant to what the American military does, and it's because of what the American military does that allows Antrel Rolle to play football on any given Sunday.

UPDATE 12/2/10: Rolle apologized, but I still think Coughlin should fine him, even though that will not be a likelihood now.