Monday, January 31, 2011
This case is going to move to the next level and we are sure to hear it before the Supreme Court. As I have stated in the past, Congress must still continue to push for its repeal and defunding, as we should not rely on the courts decision as a way of ending this misguided and unconstitutional law.
A major tip of the cap must be given to not only Judge Vinson, but former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum for bringing this case forward, as well as the Attorneys General of the additional states who joined in and the governors who authorized the cooperation.
I look forward to seeing newly elected Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, bring this case forward, and once and for all, seeing the Supreme Court get rid of this trainwreck of a law!
One of the most reliable pollsters, Scott Rasmussen, (who happens to operate out of New Jersey) released results from a recent poll that is definitely a headline grabber. The results state that 46% of GOP Primary voters who support Sarah Palin might back a Third Party if she does not run.
I am still sticking by the prediction that I believe Sarah Palin will not run, but with that being said, her supporters must realize backing a third party will not defeat President Obama in 2012, which is their secondary goal. (Their primary goal, of course, is to see Sarah Palin as President.) Knowing the importance of these voters, whichever candidate wins the nomination must not only endorse conservatism, but realistically embrace it and build an agenda around it. History shows us that the Republican candidate for president wins when that candidate endorses and embraces Conservatism.
If Palin does not run or prevail, strong Conservative alternatives consist of Haley Barbour and John Thune; both of whom have the potential to snag Independents and disaffected Democrats.
In my previous post on Egypt, I was not very clear on the current living situation of the Coptic Christians in a post-Nasser Egypt and in this entry, I will touch on their plight, which also brings about some more concrete positions regarding the current situation in Egypt.
When Gamel Abdel Nasser came to power after dethroning King Farouk in 1952, he moved to a governmental practice of socialism (nationalizing industry in Egypt; much of which, was owned by Coptic Christians) and pan-Arabism (uniting the Arab world under a single banner); both of which wronged the Coptic Christian population of Egypt; undermining their identity and standing in the way of a peaceful practice of their religion.
As Egypt moved away from pan-Arabism in the late 1960s, and Sadat took power, the situation did not improve, as it should have for the copts, with, most notably, the house imprisonment of Pope Shenouda III.
Sadly, the treatment of Christians under Mubarak's rule did not improve, as during his reign there were many incidents consisting of the El Kosheh Massacres, the Nag Hammadi shootings, and the New Year's Day 2011 Alexandria Church Bombing, along with continued persecutions and crimes against Christians in Egypt.
After hearing first hand stories of the social and religious conflicts in Egypt, as well as furthering my research, two things are clear to me. First, when America gives foreign aid, that compassion must be done with conditions; in the case of Egypt, providing services to their people, providing freedoms and making sure sectarian violence does not take place. Second, it is clear that Mubarak has become complacent and derelict in his leadership, therefore he needs to go. Copts have faced discrimination and persecutions under Mubarak and the population at large face high unemployment rates. I am still concerned about more radical groups like the Muslim Brotherhood hijacking the Egyptians' justified calls for change.
It is my hope a new government that may be formed in Egypt continues and improves its status in relations with the West and Israel, gives freedoms to its people for which they yearn and does not ally with Iran or form a government similar to that of Iran. The "what's next question" makes it imperative the American and Israeli goverments keep a close eye at what is going on in Egypt and do their best to make sure Muslim Brotherhood does not take power. "The 'Right' Solutions" continues to pray for the people of Egypt and safety of its people in these very trying times.
UPDATE 1/31/11: A good column by Christoper Ruddy on Mubarak and why he needs to go.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Not much of a surprise here, but the TSA is back in the news. They are now banning new applications for airports to hire private screeners in lieu of TSA agents. In response to this directive, Florida Representative John Mica, who is now the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and who has Orlando-Sanford Airport in his district, has rightly called for hearings regarding this matter to learn more. I would also hope Mica or another related committee, down the road, examine why the TSA has not adopted the Israeli system of security, considering its effectiveness over the years.
In my recent experience with flying, I had a positive experience with the TSA at Newark-Liberty and Orlando International Airports and while the directive is under discussion, I hope for the same professionalism and courtesy extended to me, to be extended to all airline passengers in the United States.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Since Sadat's assassination, (by the Muslim Brotherhood) Hosni Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist and both political parties in the United States have continued to financially support Egypt, however, they did not threaten to cut aid if Egypt did not provide better services for their people or more freedoms. As the situation has deteriorated, frustration has built and once people began rising up, other elements, such as Muslim Brotherhood, saw the opportunity to join in.
When President Obama came to power, he had an opportunity to bring up these incentives with the Egyptians, especially early on in his term. In 2009, President Obama was at his heights in popularity and went to Egypt to give a speech about America's relationship with the Muslim world; more or less, apologizing for America's actions in the past and speaking of the history of the Muslim population. That speech was a missed opportunity and could have also contributed to preventing what we are seeing today.
Instead, he should have spoken of freedom and how openness both in government and rights can lead to financial success and stability, citing Iraq and Israel as examples in the region. When we look at what is currently going on in Egypt, this speech was a missed opportunity. As the American President, Obama holds much sway and influence in the world and instead of slamming his "predecessor" and America's relations with the Muslim world, he needed to slam Egypt, Syria, Iran and Jordan, by name, for their positions on human rights, personal freedom(s) and availability of jobs to their people.
A couple of hours ago, Dick Morris came out with a column that argues Obama could be blamed if Egypt falls into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and under the umbrella of Iran. He also cites Caroline Glick and her assertion that the possibility of Mohammed ElBaradei leading Egypt would not provide for stability in the Mideast and the world because of his close relationship with Iran and the possibility he could form a relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. I agree with the assertions of Morris and Glick, and yesterday, spoke of the importance to make sure Muslim Brotherhood does not take power. Knowing the potential for chaos, I am disappointed President Obama did not lead on this issue and speak out in yesterday's address against the Muslim Brotherhood.
For the largest country (in terms of population) in the Middle East at 80 million people to have a government that allies with Iran, the consequences of that alliance would be dire. Within Egypt, I am doubtful of additional freedoms a Muslim Brotherhoood government would give and I would fear for the safety of the Coptic Christians within Egypt, knowing the reputation of Muslim Brotherhood. In the region, a Muslim Brotherhood Egypt allied with Iran would have great worldwide economic consequences as it controls the Suez Canal. If that were to close, as occurred in the past, oil prices would skyrocket and it would be felt in the United States. There is also the chance a new Egyptian Government ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood would void the treaty with Israel and they would face a greater threat of annihilation as a result of this new alliance, which may drag the United States into a larger war in the Mideast.
In the late 1970s, President Jimmy Carter lost control of the situation in Iran and that was the last straw with America, costing him his presidency. The same could very well happen to Obama with the Muslim Brotherhood ruling Egypt. He campaigned on "change" and could very have pushed hard for that "change," but did not, and that lack of "change" could play a role in his chances for re-election in 2012.
Friday, January 28, 2011
That is an interesting question.
What started as anti-government protests are turning into anti-government riots on the streets of Cairo; protesting the 30 year rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Curfews have been declared yet are being ignored. The Egyptian government is responding by "turning off the Internet" as well as calling in the police and military to quell the riots. Some of the video being shown (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE) is rather disturbing.
While Mubarak's government has been friendly to the United States and has recognized Israel, it is a repressive regime, stifling rights and not fulfilling all the needs of the Egyptian people, as per the high unemployment rate in the country.
Jumping into the fray and hijacking the call for freedom of the primary protesters is the Muslim Brotherhood, a group long banned in Egypt, which is sympathetic to Hamas, hostile to Israel and seeks to establish a Muslim caliphate governed by Shari'a law, in place of the secular regime in Egypt. If that were to happen, it would plunge the Middle East into a volatile instability and have dire consequences for Israeli-Egyptian relations, especially with Iran as a close ally of a Muslim Brotherhood controlled Egypt. Many in the world are already fearing this result, as indicated by spikes in crude oil.
Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, commented on the situation earlier today, spoke of the role of the military and if they don't hold up the government, the uncertainty and grave implications of the situation gripping Egypt.
In this very tenuous situation, if he is to stay in power, Mubarak does need to make reforms, provide his people with more freedoms and decipher ways to create jobs, but most importantly, Muslim Brotherhood cannot come to power in Egypt. It is not about Democracy for them, it is about power and enforcing their will on the region and the world. Governments around the world, including the current government in Egypt, must make sure that another Iran is not allowed to form, and if President Obama does not want to become the next Carter in terms of foreign policy, he would be wise to make this his mission.
With the situation, there is a great fear of the "unknown" because we truly don't know what the outcome in Egypt will be. "The 'Right' Solutions" sends its well wishes and prayers to the people of Egypt that their current situation can be resolved and that everyone works together to make sure Muslim Brotherhood does not come into power in that strategic and important state in the Middle East and the world!
President Reagan cancelled the State of the Union that evening and memorialized those who were lost in the Challenger explosion in a short, graceful and moving speech, which is one of his most memorable, that did a great deal to move the healing process forward.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
At a recent Bob Hope Foundation fundraiser, Bret Baier brings down the house with his rendition of "Rapper's Delight," which was quite the crowdpleaser.
I have to give Bret Baier a lot of credit and he did a pretty darn good job!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
First, this speech provides a lesson to all of us: consistently follow the news, not just watching television news, but reading news on the Internet and in the paper! The setting and the material in the speech took those into account who only watch sporadic news and that was deceptive!
On setting...I'm not a fan of a "Date Night SOTU." In light of the Tucson shooting, they did not sit by party, "they mixed in." Colorado Senator Mark Udall proposed this mix under the umbrella of "civility," but the true meaning was to disperse the new majority to make it appear that more members of Congress are giving the president a standing ovation. Democrats did not want to see a majority sitting on their hands, hence this configuration, and the Republicans went along, and unfortunately accepted their false premise.
On the speech and substance...those who "watch" and don't "read" the news would have thought the President is moderating. The unfortunate thing about the speech is that in his own words, it was "just words, just speeches." While he was trying to talk the talk, he hasn't necessarily walked the walk in the past two years. In the speech, he called for a freeze in spending, yet it was this president who pushed through a budget busting stimulus bill that wasted $900 billion and a health care reform bill that will hamper the job creation this country so needs! In terms of the Health Care Bill, Obama further defended it, saying he'd "work with Republicans," but after the 2010 Health Care push, is that believable? He spoke of passing tax cuts, yet all he did was extend the Bush tax cuts. He spoke highly of the troops and their service in Iraq, attempting to take credit for their coming home, yet he expects Americans to forget about what he previously said about our troops, along with his thoughts on Iraq.
There were no clear solutions on how the government will assist private industry in the creation of jobs, a further "attached-at-the-hip" mentality with the environmental movement, no clear plan for stopping illegal aliens from coming into America and likely may support amnesty for the children of illegals. Despite his perceived moderation, Obama still has a strong adherence to his belief in a strong and over-reaching federal government. Between infrastructure improvements such as high speed rails, education reform (what seems like without accountability) government stepping in on R&D in industry and energy, makes one question where he is going to find the money he so wants to cut out of the budget. And it's not going to be cutting entitlements, as he did not address that.
On the bright side, the president spoke of tort reform and curbing governmental regulation. Time will tell if he leads on these issues and goes along with the Republicans, but in studying the past two years and using it as a record, I am not readily holding my breath. This is going to be quite a two years ahead of us!
Webb campaigned as a moderate, pro-military Democrat and wore his Reagan association on his sleeve. The media was very one-sided in support of Webb, as they seldom reported on his own problems with racism.
Nearly six years later, Webb is up for re-election. His record has shown him to abandon his moderate stance and his temper has come out on occasion. With the Electoral results in Virginia in 2009 and 2010, he is in big trouble and has yet to even announce his re-election campaign.
With the current political atmosphere and trend, former Senator George Allen has just declared he will be running to be the US Senate Republican nominee in 2012. He will face a primary challenge from TEA Party backed candidate, Jamie Radtke, but I do not think she will be much of a roadblock to Allen, as he has a strong and consistently conservative record in Virginia as Governor and Senator. He is effective in articulating his record and he can be considered one of the original TEA Party members, as he was articulating smaller government and an appreciation of the founders before the TEA Party was formed. In the end, Allen will likely prevail in the primary.
Considering what we saw in 2006, a Webb-Allen rematch will be one of the more closely watched Senate races in 2012.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Now that the gripes are out of the way, both teams deserve a well-earned tip of the cap for making it to the Super Bowl.
Green Bay Packers: During the 2010 season, this team was injury riddled, and even had to turn to a backup quarterback in Matt Flynn, against the New England Patriots, but despite the loss, he put in an inspiring performance that showed heart (and also raised his personal stock). With their strong defense led by Dom Capers and the phenomenal play of their starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, the Packers won the games that needed to be won during the tail end of the season and were able to earn the final spot in the playoffs (they really should be sending the Chicago Bears some champagne since they didn't show up in that regular season finale). Head Coach, Mike McCarthy, has significant playoff experience, leading the Packers to an NFC Championship game at Lambeau in 2007, so he was able to impart knowledge on how to survive in the playoffs. They faced some very tough teams in the playoffs and survived each one, earning their trip to the Super Bowl, again, thanks to the Chicago Bears.
Pittsburgh Steelers: I may be no fan of Ben Roethisberger because of his disgusting off-the-field behavior, but they have a darn good head coach in Mike Tomlin. With the trade of Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes to the Jets and the four game suspension of Roethlisberger, Tomlin appropriately filled the quarterback position, held the team together and came away with a 3-1 record before Big Ben came back. He also kept a close watch on Roethlisberger and acted like a mentor to him, and there have been accounts that his off-the-field behavior is improving as a result. With their bruising defense coached by Dick LeBeau and led by the likes of Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, along with an offense that can move the ball and a mobile quarterback, the Steelers performed well in the playoffs (and yes, the Jets played a good game) and despite the criticisms they did not have to play the Patriots, they also earned their trip to the Super Bowl.
With two coaches who are strong leaders, mobile quarterbacks, strong defenses, accurate receivers and potent running games, along with fans who travel well, the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will give the world a great Super Bowl! After what they did to the Giants, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm rooting for the Packers to win Super Bowl XLV. We'll see if that actually happens.
After a fastidious editing session, I have begun to shop the manuscript to agents and eventually hope to gain representation so as to eventually publish The Calling to Lead. The process is long, as I am sending query letters out to describe the plot of The Calling to Lead, some background information, inspiration/experience that led to its writing, as well as effective marketing strategies to put it in the hands of readers, but I have a strong resolve and will not be giving up anytime soon, as I hope to share my first novel with you all in the near future!
News broke today that a terrorist/homicide bomber exploded a device at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, killing 35 and injuring 170. Doko Umarov, a Chechen Rebel leader, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Between the Nord-Ost Seige in 2002, Beslan School Seige in 2004 and the homicide bombing of a Moscow Metro train in 2004, Russia has a history with Chechen rebels who commit these cowardly acts. History will show they will deal with these evil-doers swiftly and the same could be expected in light of this attack.
Having lived through 9-11, our hearts and prayers should be with the Russian people as we pray for those lost and the surviving family members. We also hope that Russia can eventually be a consistent partner in the War on Terror.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
From time to time, we've all heard the common philosophical riddle, "If a tree in the forest falls and nobody's there to hear it, does it make a sound?" If not for the Internet, the same theory can be applied to the question, "If a television host that nobody watches gets fired, do we know about it?"
What would have been thought of as "unthinkable" (well, at least in their world) occurred last night: MSNBC fired Keith Olbermann, thus ending the run of his 8pm show Countdown. I'm honestly not surprised about this as he has a rather contentious relationship with NBC brass and his ratings are tanking, consistently lagging behind FNC. Furthermore, his show is not only from a hard-left perspective, but is rather mean-spirited. The parody is better than the actual show! There are a few speculated reasons as to why Olbie is leaving, between the Comcast merger and wanting more money, but I'm sure that soon enough, we'll all know the truth.
Until then, it has been announced that Lawrence O'Donnell will replace Olbermann in the 8PM timeslot, and we expect a similar level of mean spirited antics, along with a likely #3 finish in ratings when comparing to the other news networks in FNC and CNN. While I was wrong about the prediction I made when Olbie was suspended in November, I still believe that we will eventually see Alan Grayson hosting a show on the MSNBC airwaves; another reason to watch Fox News.
Friday, January 21, 2011
News broke the President, a big time Chicago sports fan (who loves going to games at "Kaminsky Field"), said that if the Chicago Bears win the NFC Championship next Sunday, he will go to the Super Bowl! The game will be played in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium on February 6.
Over the past 45 years, the Super Bowl has grown into a cultural phenomenon and is the most watched sporting event every year. Ratings are huge, advertisers spend millions on air time during the game, ticket prices are expensive and the host city is a major destination during the two weeks leading up to the game. Everyone wants to be involved in the Super Bowl and sitting presidents realize this, as they know the extra headaches their attendance will cause at the game between greater security and the inconvenience a presidential visit will cause to the fans. It is for this reason they stay in the White House or Camp David to watch the game.
The Super Bowl this year is being played in the largest NFL Stadium in the US (over 100,000 fans will be in Cowboys Stadium on game day) and for the price the fans are paying to attend that game, the level of inconvenience will be higher than ever. The media will likely focus less on the game and more on the president and what he is doing during the game, which will inconvenience the fans watching, especially those rooting for the Jets or Green Bay (or Pittsburgh and Chicago). Furthermore, with the president attending, the Super Bowl will an even bigger target to terrorists or those wishing to do the United States harm. (We can hearken back to The Sum of All Fears, as we see an executive visit to the Super Bowl didn't go well...and yes, I realize that is a movie, but we are living in a post-9/11 era.)
The president must realize that the Super Bowl is about the players who have reached the apex of their sport, the fans who are in attendance or watching from home, and not about himself. Even more important is the safety of the president, players, and the fans. It is for that reason, President Obama should scratch this crazy idea and instead, watch his Bears (assuming they win) from the comfort of the White House theater. Yet if he does go, we pray for everyone's safety in Dallas on February 6!
UPDATE, 1/23/10: It's safe to say President Obama will not be attending the Super Bowl, as his Chicago Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
It now looks like she's considering suing the mall management. This is very sad and I don't think she's going to have much of a case as her status as a mall employee will work against her. A jury will believe she should have known that corridor and known there was a fountain in her path. Furthermore, an argument could be made that the only reason she is suing could be to make money where she can easily pay off pending restitution charges in an unrelated case. An analysis of this case brings me to a few conclusions about American politics and society:
1) This is clearly a frivolous lawsuit and by looking at the bigger picture, is clear evidence as to why we need tort reform in the United States.
2) As an educator, I have clearly seen students have an over-reliance on electronic devices, whether smartphones or iPods; so much so that they become oblivious to the world around them. I have always told my students to be cognizant of the world around them, even if walking around, for their own personal safety. Thank goodness this woman was not seriously injured, but it could have been worse. If she either stopped walking or looked around, falling in the fountain could have been avoided. A lesson learned for not only the millennials I have taught, but the adults who still haven't learned.
3) Will this be another reason for malls to remove fountains? I personally like malls that have fountains as it provides an aesthetic touch to the mall and positively contributes to the mall's atmosphere. Many malls have been removing fountains due to rising costs in maintenance and a belief that floor space could be better used for a kiosk. I just hope this incident doesn't give them more incentive to remove fountains.
Assuming it is filed, here's to hoping a wise judge dismisses this ridiculous lawsuit!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Speaker Boehner said it would be passed and even though it was delayed a week as a result of the shooting in Tucson, it passed! The House of Representatives has repealed ObamaCare with a bipartisan vote of 245-189! (The other side likes to talk about bipartisanship, but the only bipartisanship we've seen with this bill comes in the form of those against it) Republicans had a net gain of 63 this fall and ran on repeal. Their constituents are watching and this was a promise that had to be kept. They did that, so hats off to the Republicans and the Democrats who were brave enough to go against their party and support the will of the American voter.
The repeal will likely not be brought up in the Democrat-controlled Senate and if it does, President Obama will likely veto it. Democrats claim this is a waste of time, but Republicans should refuse to accept their fait accompli. Bring it up again in three months and vote on repeal, making the president stand by it! Do it again in another three months, making the president stand by it again! In this process, Republicans can pick off some Democrats who are more worried about protecting their seat, and by 2012, the Republicans will have a major campaign issue. The Campaign Finance Reform Supreme Court ruling, which came nearly 8 years after the law was passed, taught us we should never allow an unconstitutional bill to become law and "wait it out" in the courts while it's law. Rightly so, the House is not waiting on ObamaCare. In the meantime, Republicans should work on a replacement to the bill and that replacement must not stifle job creation, the way ObamaCare does. That replacement must include tort reform, permission to buy insurance across state lines and health savings accounts.
This repeal vote is a good sign that Republicans are standing behind principle and not backing down; exorcising the demons of 2006. Their constituents are watching and the House Republicans in this session of Congress must keep their eyes on the ball!
(NOTE: The above picture is the 2000+ page ObamaCare bill being held by Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen at a rally in late 2009)
UPDATE 1/19: An interesting statistic...of the 39 Democrats who voted against the bill in March of 2010, 30 stood for re-election. Of those 30, only 13 won and of those 13, 10 switched their positions and now support the law for which they voted against...hmmm.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Again, it's very early, but looking at the Senate in 2012, Jim Webb (VA), Bill Nelson (FL),(If Jeb runs, Nelson will definitely lose!) Claire McCaskill (MO), Sherrod Brown (OH), Bob Casey (PA), Herb Kohl (WI), Joe Manchin (WV), Jeff Bingaman (NM) should be very worried about their re-election chances and I wouldn't be surprised if any of these folks decide to step aside, or do not prevail in 2012.
Last night, Palin was interviewed on Hannity, her first interview since the shooting in Tucson. This is another example of Palin showing resolve, courage and grace in the line of fire.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity to have to speak for many and I will continue to do so. I feel very blessed to be in the position I am and I'll take the darts and the arrows because I know others have my back and I have their back."She's not going anywhere!
Friday, January 14, 2011
Big day at the RNC today, as they have elected themselves a new chairman. In the early hours, the common reaction among some of my Republican friends and the blogosphere is "Who?"
To answer their question, Reince Priebus is an attorney, the former head of the Wisconsin GOP and the former lead counsel of the RNC. He also is the youngest RNC Chair and has strong TEA Party Backing. To become chair, Priebus prevailed against current Chairman Michael Steele (who pulled out when it seemed like he would not win out in the votes), Maria Cino, who had the backing of John Boehner and many "ruling class Republicans," Saul Anuzis and Ann Wagner.
In the Republican Party, there is mixed reaction on Michael Steele. Even though Republicans won the House (with a net gain of 63) and a bulk of the Governorships, his critics believe Steele's leadership should have also netted the Senate. They have also accused him of/been bothered by his acts of self-promotion/profiteering and his spending at the RNC. Conservatives were annoyed that he and the RNC didn't readily and immediately back the more conservative candidate during the Midterm Elections of 2010 and as a result, held back financially, giving directly to the candidates. I have met Chairman Steele on a couple of occasions and found him to be honest, energetic, down to earth and passionate about why Republicans should be leading the nation. He has also been successful at recruiting young people to be tomorrow's leaders in the Republican Party. Furthermore, under his leadership, the House had its biggest net gains in years! Because of the good things he has done at the helm of the RNC, "The 'Right' Solutions" would like to give a big thank you and tip of the cap to Michael Steele.
Now that he is the new chairman, Reince Priebus has a challenging road ahead. As the chairman, he needs to head up the RNC's fundraising effort and also recoup the party's debt. With Obama and the Democrats in 2012 wanting to raise and spend spend $1 billion on the 2012 campaign, there can be one and only one solution to this quandary: consistently back and support the candidate who best articulates and espouses the tenets of Conservatism! When we look back in history at the modern presidential races, candidates such as Nixon, Reagan, George HW Bush in 1988, and George W. Bush have defined themselves as conservatives and as a result, have won; sometimes by a couple of touchdowns! Ford, George HW Bush in 1992, and McCain have defined themselves as more moderate, and therefore, lost.
This is a given and sadly, the RNC has missed the boat over the years. It is for this reason that Americans who consider themselves "Conservative" have closed their wallets to the RNC. If Reiner Preibus follows through on his promises to Conservatives and the TEA Party, in the same way Chris Christie did to New Jersey Conservatives in 2009, this could mean good things for the two years ahead in the Republican National Committee!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Again, Sarah Palin rises above the petty and morally repugnant rhetoric of those who want to harm her. With class and grace, she denounces the act of this lone nutcase, while responding to the attacks and exposing their hypocrisy by reminding Americans those detractors are doing exactly what they preach against!
She also cites the enduring strength of America, the importance of the First Amendment in our history, how it has and should be used for peaceful dissent and how we must protect it for generations to come. The most memorable quote of the speech, one that I think should be notable for those who study Palin, is as follows:
"It is the hour of when our values were challenged that we must remain resolve to protect those values."In an examination of her response, Sarah Palin was articulate and sounded very "presidential." Her words invoked the memory of Ronald Reagan, his eternal optimism, embracing of American exceptionalism and the ode to John Wintrhrop that America is a "shining city on a hill." I'm sure those on the left will hate the speech and her, as a result that they are threatened by her, but again, Sarah Palin prevails, and good for her!
UPDATE 1/12/11: And they didn't wait. Apparently, some out there don't like Sarah's use of the phrase "Blood Libel" and are trying to make the insinuation she is either anti-Semitic or stupid. Surprise, surprise, attorney Alan Derschwitz, who is heavily left leaning, defends her use of the term "Blood Libel." The leftists and anti-Palinites are sure getting desperate!
He is admired, quoted and is one of the most consistent Conservatives in the United States. He is reviled, despised and and wished evil upon by those on the left. Rush is not afraid to speak his mind, as we well learned leading up to January 20, 2009. Despite those detractors, he keeps going and is not swayed by their negativity. On this day, "The 'Right' Solutions" would like to take this moment to wish Rush Limbaugh a Happy 60th Birthday! Thank you for what you do, Rush, and keep on keeping on!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
As someone who has traveled around the world and had the wonderful opportunity to learn about the cultures of the countries I visit, I like to take it all in. There have been times there were stark differences than what I've become used to in the United States and one particular trip was when I went to the Dominican Republic, the country that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. When being transported from the airport to the beachfront hotel, I was taken aback by the extreme poverty: people living in one room tin shacks, children playing stickball with a ratty, dirty ball, children playing with makeshift toys and a definite lack of sewage. On the western side of Hispaniola, the citizens of Haiti endure an even more extreme level of poverty; the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. And sadly, this country was brought into the world spotlight one year ago.
One year ago tomorrow, Haiti was struck by a 7.0 earthquake that while only lasting 10-20 seconds, devastated this already impoverished country. Infrastructure already substandard and shoddy building materials were a recipe for disaster for urban areas such as Port-au-Prince, a city that had problems way before this earthquake. We all saw the pictures on the news and they were devastating!
Many friends of mine and one former student were touched by and/or acted as a result of this disaster in some form or another. There are three that come to mind. The former student was an at-large member of the Lynn University community, the Florida college where six of its students were killed in the collapsing Hotel Montana during the earthquake (surviving family members have now founded relief-related charities that will do work in Haiti). One friend has volunteered her time with organizations who have shipped food and medical supplies. Another friend has gone to Haiti on two relief trips with GCOM (God's One Chosen Ministry)
One year later, as these pictures show, the recovery effort is continuing, however it is slow. Governments and organizations have pledged nearly $6 billion, but all the money has not been delivered. Between hurricanes, the cholera outbreak and questions surrounding the stability, legitimacy of the Haitian Government, as well as concerns about its response.
In looking at the relief effort in Haiti, it is very unfortunate the governmental situation has hindered progress. Knowing the challenges and knowing their government's reputation, some, after the earthquake, have suggested donations should come from private citizens to charitable organizations, as opposed to from the American Government to the Haitian Government. This way, there will be a greater chance the money will get where it needs to go; to the Haitian people. What is happening with with Haiti greatly reminds me of the situation in many countries in Africa over the years: the American government gives money to the various African governments and those governments squander/steal/redirect the money that it does not get where it needs to go.
The various relief organizations have done yeoman's work and they have made sure the work they do goes directly to the people. Sadly, there is only so much that can be done by these organizations. Haiti, like the other impoverished nations around the world, must improve its governmental situation for the earthquake recovery to continue and be successful. Governments willing to give must hold the Haitian Government accountable through the aid they give, so that they can best reform in the interest of their people. This fairly elected government must provide a stable backbone to the country and work in the interest of the Haitian people. Finding that capable and stable government will be the primary factor that will determine the path Haiti will take in the earthquake recovery and in years to come.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Let's start with Rex. I previously stated that while I think there is much potential for success, there is also the potential for a hard fall. With Saturday's game, Rex and his Jets prevailed, defeating the Indianapolis Colts in the final seconds, 17-16, in their home stadium! He finally got his defeat of Peyton Manning! Rex Ryan and his coaching staff had a great game plan and the players implemented it well, especially in the second half, with some spectacular catches and great kicks along the way. Also, Rex was able to snag another YouTube moment in the postgame locker room speech. As they prepare to play the Patriots in Foxborough next weekend, I really wish he'd focus on the preparation and not on himself. While there are some that may think his bulletin board material provides incentives to his players to back up his bravado, I'm still hesitant to join in, as he needs to win the big games. We'll see this Saturday if he'll be on his way to doing just that.
On to the other coach...
I'm late on this, but here we go anyway. Sadly, the Giants did not make the playoffs, and yes it's their own fault (Still very happy I missed that 2nd game against the Eagles, but not happy I saw the game they played against the Packers), but Tom Coughlin came under fire by the sports media, who were salivating for his firing. I am very happy the powers that be at the Giants did the smart thing and retained him. For a mild-mannered guy when not on the field, it was surprising to see his reaction toward this criticism in the postgame locker room speech on Showtime's Inside the NFL.
"If the priest weren't in here, I'd say a few more things!"That will go down in history as a great line!
Yes, they missed the playoffs (and the Seahawks got in at 7-9, but to their credit, beat the Super Bowl Champion Saints last weekend), but in the end, the Giants had a 10-6 season, a pretty big deal in the NFL. (let us not forget the outcry when the 11-5 Patriots did not make the playoffs a few years ago). Summing up the 2010 season, the head coach is one of the Giants' major strengths. Tom Coughlin has much football experience and instinct (especially when it comes to challenging incorrect calls), plans for games with such detail, and in the end, he brought home the Lombardi Trophy! Considering he taught Tiki Barber how to avoid fumbles, he must reiterate those fundamentals with Amhad Bradshaw. (assuming he's back next season)
Their biggest problem is recruiting. I am still not impressed with Jerry Reese's job as a GM in recruiting players in recent years. He got lucky with a few, but it's been lackluster and I hope the Maras and Tischs realize this. When planning who will play on the 2011 team, the Giants need the most help in Special Teams (Hixon will be back next year), especially punter (bye-bye, Matt Dodge), may need to get younger players who will take over at Offensive Line and at linebacker. Another question many Giants fans will be asking is will they re-sign Plaxico Burress after he's released from prison?
As the news of the shooting in Tucson was broadcast on the airwaves, I predicted that Rahm Emanuel's words, embedded above, would come into play. I pondered posting this prediction, but again, held back as news was breaking at the moment and faster than I can write and hyperlink a blog entry.
As the weekend progressed, I'm sad to say that I was right. Between Pima County Sheriff Dupnik's irresponsible and partisan speech, the ridiculous Sarah Palin pile-on and the 'holier than thou' attacks of the left wing, the coverage of this shooting has been disgraceful and even worse than I predicted. I use the phrase 'holier than thou' because they write the narrative the way they want Americans to read it, thereby leaving much out. They speak of the incendiary rhetoric on the right, however, they forget to mention some of the left have actively called for violence, some have used rhetoric that one can perceive as stirring up violence, whether from politicians, media pundits or in Hollywood. They also leave out much of the background of Jared Lee Loughner, who acted alone: whether his left-leaning preferences, his reading habits, his sick skull shrine, or the fact that this has been in the planning since 2007!
We're almost sure to see some legislative action in response, in terms of outlawing threats to lawmakers (we hope the term "threat" is specified), or limitations in political speech, a renewal of the "Fairness Doctrine," as well as more entangling gun control laws. Hopefully, Speaker Boehner can bring some sense to the House, as this will be an early test to his leadership.
After hearing Rush's monologue today, it looks like he was right regarding the long term intentions of some in government and the media who have taken advantage of this tragedy. It is my hope that Americans read on their own to find out the omissions left out and hypocrisies put forward, and in turn, respond at the ballot box, with their remote controls and their wallets. Furthermore, I hope that lawmakers can follow the advice of Mr. John Green, whose 9 year old daughter Christina was in the wrong place at the wrong time and one of the six who were killed by Jared Lee Loughner.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
I posted about this earlier today, but took it down as a result of the changing news by the minute and now that we know more, I'm reposting.
Earlier today, Congresswoman Gabrille Giffords, a Democrat representing Arizona's 8th District, was appearing at a meet and greet event in Tucson within her home district that she has been hosting since her election in 2006. At this event, she was shot in the head at point blank range by a gunman, who was later apprehended and found out to be 22 year old Jared Loughner. Others were also shot and killed at this event including US Court of Appeals Judge John Roll and a 9 year old child. In the early hours after the shooting, major news sources reported her to have died, but she ended up surviving surgery and is now listed as critical but stable and responding to doctors. Doctors are optimistic about her recovery.
Having attended meet and greets of various Congressmen/women and Congressional Candidates, one can get up close and meet the individual, as members of Congress and candidates see it as a great opportunity to meet their constituents and get a feel for their needs, wants and desires. Truth be told, they take a chance in doing this, as do all Americans who run for office and don't have Secret Service and/or State Police protection. It is a guarantee that security at meet and greets will definitely be examined as to how to intensify it.
In the hours after the shooting, I am reading stories on the Internet how those on the left are attempting to blame the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords on Sarah Palin, as a result that the Congresswoman was one of SarahPACs "targeted districts," an election which Giffords ended up winning in a very close count. I find it absolutely reprehensible that they are using a personal tragedy to score political points. The graphics and language of targeting districts has been around for a while, and yes, Democrats have targeted. Let us also remember that some on the left have professed violence or have committed a violent act against a member of Congress, namely shooting the district office of Eric Cantor. After hearing those on the left actually call for or commit violent acts, it is absolutely ridiculous for these people to say Sarah Palin has blood on her hands!
As Americans, we need to focus our energy in praying for Congresswoman Giffords and her family in a full recovery, and that this assailant is brought to a proper and swift justice!
Friday, January 7, 2011
I couldn't help but notice what seemed like breathless excitement of those in the news reporting these numbers, but let's face it, there is nothing to be excited about! These numbers are horrible and don't tell the whole story. The jobs created that the media cites are rather low in number to constitute a recovery and what I want to know are if these jobs created are full-time positions. Working in retail in college, I remember the company for which I worked, as well as others, hire temporary workers during the Christmas shopping season, and those positions usually end after New Years Day. If that is the case, U3 will go up again in February as those workers who have left the active working market will apply for unemployment. An additional thought to figure in as to the U3 drop are those who are "giving up" and bowing out of the job market, including unemployment. That figure, U6, which isn't as readily cited is around 17%; a figure totally unacceptable for the United States. But sadly, with the economic policy our leaders are endorsing and practicing, these numbers are the reality until our leaders change course.
I really hope the Mainstream Media and those in the Federal Government who are celebrating this figure put an end to their party as they are giving Americans looking for a job false hope in a recovery that isn't there. They should actually pursue (in the media's case) the reasons why unemployment has been over 9% for 20 months and (in the case of the Federal Government) propose and institute policies that will give job creators incentive to hire more Americans, returning them to the workforce and once and for all, bringing U3 and U6 down to their levels in 2006!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
On the next day of Congressional business, Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership have called for a reading of the US Constitution on the House floor. This procedure is tying in with the new rules that state all bills proposed in the House must cite the Constitution.
It seems that our lawmakers have lost sight (and knowledge) of the Constitution so this rule change and procedure is effective. Educators have to justify how their lesson plans align with Core Content Curriculum Standards, so it should be just that members of Congress justify the Constitutionality of the bills they propose. It is very unfortunate to see those like Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Alex Altman, and Joy Behar have mocked the process and the document itself, not only in word but in action. The US Constitution has stood the test of time and has held firm as the supreme law of the United States for over 223 years! This will be a good civics lesson for all members of Congress!
Big news out of Trenton today. Five months before the end of his term, Assemblyman Jay Webber of Morris County is stepping aside in his leadership position as NJGOP Chair. Assemblyman Webber is someone I greatly admire in state politics. Named one of the Top 40 Under 40 in 2010 by Time, Webber has served as Assemblyman since 2008 and is one of New Jersey's most consistent Conservatives.
After securing a win in the 2009 GOP Gubernatorial Primary, Governor (then candidate) Chris Christie named Webber as NJGOP Chair and this sent shockwaves across the state! Over the past 20-30 years, the Republican Party in New Jersey has suffered through an identity crisis, favoring more "moderate" candidates to run statewide and the one time a Conservative was chosen by the voters (Bret Schunder in 2000), many of the moderates stayed on the sidelines. So when Chris Christie, whose Conservative credentials were doubted by some, nominated Webber, that act stated Conservatives in New Jersey will not be placed on the back burner. And in his tenure, Webber has done a phenominal job, helping the Republican Party to unite in the election last year and has facilitated a fundraising effort that has greatly benefited the Republican Party and out-fundraised the NJ Dems.
Some may still doubt Christie's Conservative credentials, but placing Jay Webber as Chairman of the NJGOP was significant, smart and took steps to healing wounds suffered (and sometimes self-inflicted) by the Republican Party in New Jersey and gave Conservatives a true voice in the party.
"The 'Right' Solutions" thanks Assemblyman Webber for his leadership and looks forward to Saddle Brook Mayor Sam Raia, who in his own right, is as effective a fundraiser, and will likely be a key player in the 2011 New Jersey Legislative Midterms.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Smartly keeping their promise, first on their agenda is to repeal the Health Care Law. The bill has already been posted online and the vote is scheduled to take place next Wednesday. (Which just so happens to be Rush Limbaugh's birthday...I'm sure the left will have a field day with that.)
ObamaCare will make its way through the courts and will one day be argued before the Supreme Court, but the courts cannot and should not be relied upon as Campaign Finance Reform taught us. Americans want their leaders to lead and as I previously argued, stand by their principles and the principles of their constituency. It is for this reason, in the case of ObamaCare, the constituents of these newly elected freshmen will be closely following the moves of Congress, and as a result, the members of Congress must put their repeal intent in writing...and make the president put his veto in writing. So many campaign ads by the Republican running against Obama can be created as a result of that veto! If the repeal does not succeed this time around, the Republican Congress must have a strong resolve to keep moving forward, whether future repeal attempts or defunding measures. Standing by principles is a sign of honest and strong leadership and if these freshmen do not, voters will not support them in two more years.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Who would have ever thought one could put Rex Ryan and Chris Christie in the same category. Well, I will! In following the news these past two years, I've discovered these two men are closely alike in many ways (some readers are thinking I am going to touch on physical resemblances, but I'm focusing on personality and leadership), and both are at a major crossroads.
Bill Parcells brought the Jets to respectability in the late 1990s and since Parcells departed, the subsequent coaches from Al Groh to Eric Mangini have been riding his legacy on the team and while they have made playoff appearances, they have not been consistent, have not appeared in any Super Bowls and had quarterbacks of varying successes lead the offense. When the Jets hired Rex Ryan and brought him to Jersey, he brought with him his brash talk, strong defensive play and gained many fans both in the Jets organization and among the fans of Jet Nation. All look at Ryan as the coach who can get the best out of his players and his young franchise quarterback in Mark Sanchez.
Sad to say, New Jersey has not had a great governor since Tom Kean back in the 1980s. Democrats in Jim Florio, Jim McGreevey, Dick Codey and Jon Corzine were seen as tax hikers, big government liberals, big spenders, part of the machine (in McGreevey's case), leader of the machine (in Codey's and Corzine's case) and corrupt (in McGreevey's and Corzine's case). Republicans in Whitman and DiFrancesco have not fared better. While Whitman attracted new businesses to New Jersey, she was a big spender and borrower and in his short leadership, DiFrancesco was also the same, as well as the fact that he had some ethical questions surrounding his past. When New Jersey voters elected Chris Christie, the charismatic and blunt-talking former US Attorney who convicted 130 corrupt politicians, they wanted things done in a different way.
In their respective leadership tenures, both Christie and Ryan have seen successes. Ryan has led the Jets to two consecutive years of respectable winning records and playoff appearances while getting the best out of his players. Christie has held the line on taxes, he has come out strong against public sector unions, he has tried to throw a lifeline to major cities like Atlantic City, and is actively working toward cutting spending in the state. Both Ryan and Christie have shown they are aggressive leaders, both Ryan and Christie say exactly what they are thinking and Ryan and Christie have become YouTube celebrities in their own right.
While they have the potential for great things, there is also the chance they could slip up. This season, Ryan has had his list of problems between the Inez Sainz incident, gaining the reputation of attracting and signing malcontents to play for the Jets, embarrassing losses to the Patriots and Dolphins that cost the Jets the AFC East, the foot-fetish thing (more a strange distraction than anything else), his alleged role in the Alosi incident and his potential to go overboard in his rhetoric. He also hasn't won "the big one" yet, as a head coach.
Christie also has incidents that have the potential to derail his administration between the Schundler Affair, less of a focus on the 6 figure/mid-level/non classroom administrators, (Remember, New Jersey has 614 local school districts with their own Boards of Education, as opposed to the county leadership structure every other state uses. Also, some of the larger districts have 2 Curriculum Supervisors per content area and average around 8-10 Assistant Superintendents) and criticisms relating to the December 2011 blizzard. Furthermore, unemployment in New Jersey is still high and Christie has many conservatives questioning his conservative credentials because he has not joined either the Virginia or Florida Health Care lawsuits making their way through the Federal Court System, as well as the fact that he has mocked some Conservatives or not endorsed them.
With those potential roadblocks, both Christie and Ryan can bring the jury to a decision in their favor by backing up their talk with action; a Super Bowl in Ryan's case and job creation, an embrace of Conservatism and proper education reform in Christie's case. They can also work to avoid future distractions similar to the ones that have dogged them in the past two years.
I think this is a fair blueprint for both leaders and as someone with a vested interest in Rex Ryan's and Chris Christie's leadership (as a Jets fan and resident of New Jersey, respectively), I wish them the best and much success in achieving positive leadership, leading to positive change in their respective organizations.
NOTE: Explicit language in some of the Rex Ryan clips.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
It's finally here: 2011! The Right Solutions wishes its readers a happy, healthy and successful 2011. This is the time of year that we take stock in what we want to do personally and professionally and we hope that if those goals are declared, you, the reader, are successful in achieving them.