Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back at 2011

Last year, I posted "Uncle Jay" Gilbert's singing Year in Review. He did it again for 2011, singing about the years political events and pop culture happenings, to the tune of Christmas Carols and "Holiday" songs. Definitely brings a smile to one's face, while they say "I remember that."

Rick Santorum Rising

In my post earlier this month where I endorsed Newt Gigrich, I made some comments about Rick Santorum that made some of my readers further question those comments, especially with his recent surge as the Iowa Caucuses approach. To recap, here is what I said:

"Rick Santorum (A good man who is a good conservative, but is damaged as he lost his Pennsylvania US Senate seat by 18 points)"

I very much respect Rick Santorum as a Conservative and a politician. He won his House seat in Pennsylvania, in a very blue collar, Democrat district, and won his Senate seat, in 1994, by endorsing Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America, while stressing issues relevant and important to Pennsylvania. Rick Santorum is a stellar campaigner, an expert on retail politics, and a finisher. One story about his retail politics expertise comes to mind. A good friend of mine attended P-5 in Orlando earlier this year and at the after-party, held in Orlando's Icebar, Rick Santorum was the only candidate who attended to speak to the Young Republicans gathered. In his time there, pretty much the majority of the event, Santorum made his way to speak to each person there, one on one, and not only spoke to them, but gave that person the feeling they were the only one in the room.

In Congress and the Senate, he has clearly articulated Conservative values and in this campaign, is one of the most consistent Conservatives. What happened in 2006, in losing his seat by 18 points, was unfortunate, but it also must be figured in that a Casey ran against him and it was a clear Democrat year. Even though there were those asterisks, it was still a loss by 18 points, and no matter how consistent a conservative or how much an expert in retail politics Rick Santorum is, that is the last thing America knows him by, and even though I predict at least a 3rd place finish in Iowa, he is damaged in this election and has a very high mountain to climb to gain the nomination.

But fear not, Rick Santorum fans (myself included), all is not lost. Santorum is young, at 53 years of age, and after serving in a Cabinet position or attempting to run for Pennsylvania Governor, if Tom Corbett chooses not to, he could very well mount another run for the presidency and in that run, he will be known for his consistent Conservatism and not the results of his failed 2006 campaign.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ben Nelson: Another Democrat Bites the Dust

Senator Ben Nelson, since his "Cornhusker Kickback," has become a 'dead man walking' as he approached his 2012 Senate Election in his home state of Nebraska. In this heavily Republican state, it's going to take a miracle to win re-election, despite his long service in the Senate. In order to save some face and to avoid the drubbing he will receive this November, Nelson has bowed out of the election, choosing to retire (Also being the first Nelson to leave the Senate this year, the second will lose his re-election in Florida this November!)

Even with the possiblity of Former Senator Bob Kerrey considering a run, who will move back to Nebraska, after having left for the big city, back in 2000, to be President of the New School in New York, it is a near given this seat goes Republican and one closer step to the Republicans winning back control of the Senate!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Obama-Clinton 2012?

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich (or as Rush would say, Reiccccccccccccccccccccch) has predicted, in 2012, an Obama-Clinton ticket, to shake things up, inspire the left and clinch four more years. In the article, Reich states that Clinton and Biden will switch positions.

The left has toyed with this notion, since 2008, but I hate to burst their bubble, but there is no way this would happen. It is true that this president will do anything to hold on to the reigns of power, except I don't believe he will go as far to put Hillary Clinton as his number 2.

Let's look back to the fight to 2008. The Democrat Primary got pretty contentious between these two and this can be observed by the political novice by watching those two debate (which got nasty at times), listening to Bill Clinton's comments and conversations , hearing Obama allies call the former president a racist. The Heilemann/Halperin book, Game Change, was quite revealing about the Obama-Clinton rift that I believe still exists to this day.

Obama is clearly a narcissist and like any textbook narcissist, he is not going to follow the Godfather theory of "Friends close-enemies closer," instead, he will put adversaries in positions that don't directly conflict with the attention he will receive or where they will be breathing down his neck. The Secretary of State is a prestigious position, and it does give Hillary some foreign policy chops that her detractors state she lacked, but the Secretary of State is also away from Washington frequently, staying out of the spotlight, while the President stays in it.

Bill Clinton, in a recent interview with O'Reilly, stated he will support the president in 2012, but to me, it didn't sound like a ringing endorsement. Therefore, I believe there is still some resentment there, and to me, it seems as though he'll just go "through the motions" in this cycle.

It's a nice dream for the base of the Democrat Party to have an Obama-Clinton 2012 ticket, but for the reasons stated above, the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton has a better chance of working out than would a "political marriage" of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

"The 'Right' Solutions" would like to take this moment to wish its readers a Very Merry Christmas. Whether reflecting on Jesus's birth, spending time with family and friends, or giving/receiving gifts, we hope you are all filled with the spirit of Christmas. And a special note to our men and women who wear the uniform: thank you for your service, your sacrifice and for giving up your Christmas with your family to make sure 300 million Americans have the freedom and ability to celebrate with their families. I am forever grateful! May God Bless you all on this wonderful day!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mitt Romney and No Fear

Earlier this year, I spoke of how the Republican candidate must campaign with "No Fear," must take the fight to the President and should thank Donald Trump and Sarah Palin for setting the precedent. The candidate who does this in the general election will be the 45th President, and the one who doesn't will be responsible for allowing a President who has caused unemployment to rise over 10%, has raised taxes, has grown the size/scope of the Federal Government, has made the US a laughing stock around the world and who has caused the deficit to rise over $15 trillion, to have two terms.

With that being said, I was very concerned with Mitt Romney's comments on The O'Reilly Factor this week.

Mitt Romney is giving Obama a pass on this issue and is negatively affecting his campaign, not forcing the president to articulate why he is not a socialist, and is giving up a teachable moment to not only Republicans and Conservatives, but the precious independents that the Republican establishment so covets. This president needs to be challenged and if Mitt Romney is not that Republican candidate to show no fear and do so, then maybe the Republican voters need to go shopping for a new candidate.

Gearing Up for a Fight in Iowa

As a supporter of Newt Gingrich, I was a little concerned to observe how he has been getting pummelled by Ron Paul and Mitt Romney in the lead up to the Iowa Caucuses, and then to hear his response to the attack, or lack thereof. While I'm glad he is attempting to "keep it positive" and keep the GOP united against Obama, "no negativity" is not realistic. In modern day political campaigns, a candidate cannot let an attack, personal or professional, go unanswered. Assuming they go unanswered, the opponent will see a weak spot, and thus my "Sh*t on a Wall Theory" will apply. Newt must answer and considering the financial state of his campaign (not as strong as Romney's) there are ways to respond that don't require spending money. And in response, defending himself, while transitioning to offense by comparing his positions to Romney's and how it should be Newt who is best situated to go against Obama.

With his recent challenge, Newt looks to have made the switch and Romney's refusal could lead to Newt making a final offensive push in anticipation of the January 3rd Caucus date!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong-Il Assumes Room Temperature

News reports broke tonight that evil dictator, Kim Jong-Il has passed away at age 69, after battling numerous suspected health problems, and will be succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-Un, who was groomed for the position. This is a man who indulged himself and built his army at the expense of his citizens. Kim Jong-Il has supported various kidnappings, and also starves, tortures and imprisons his own people in a stagnant Marxist country, not allowing them to be afforded the opportunities for growth and enrichment they would receive in the United States.

While Kim Jong-Il's death may be mourned in North Korea, it will be celebrated worldwide, as that is one less menace with whom the world will have to deal.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

End of the Iraq War

The last of the US troops in Iraq have just crossed into Kuwait, ending military presence in the country, after eight years. While I have expressed reservations about this and still pray that Saigon 1975 is not repeated, especially with an emboldened Iran next door, this is a time to celebrate the accomplishment of the US Military, marvel at their successes, thank those who did all they could to improve technology to save lives, honor the class and grace of these young men and women who did their jobs valiantly with many on the homefront breathing down their necks, yet we pray for 4,484 lost and 32,200 wounded, as well as their families.

Be sure to thank a military member when you see them, and we must remember: land of the free, because of the brave!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What Economic Recovery???

We've read the articles and we watched the reports that things are looking good economically this holiday season, due to a strong Black Friday, but as we pull the veneer back and actually go to the mall, 12 days before Christmas, we observe and learn the truth.

This evening, I did a little shopping at one of my favorite malls in the area, as well as one of New Jersey's largest (2nd largest, actually). We here in New Jersey love our malls and the fact that we can complete "one-stop shopping" there. Yet 12 days before Christmas, on a weekday evening, when in the past, I've had to compete for breathing room, the above picture was what I saw at the mall tonight. That picture is in a high traffic area, the main promenade just off center court (where Santa is) and right next to one of the busiest stores at the mall, the Apple Store. (located on the lower level, on the left side of that picture)

People in this country are economically hurting and I predict we will see the truth in both the December 2011 retail sales reports, as well as the January 2012 employment figures, when the temporary holiday jobs end and more unemployment benefits expire, and when that happens, leaders in Washington should be scared, considering the 2012 election cycle is about to begin.

My advice to American voters is to not just read the headlines, read the actual articles, read into everything the media and the government place before you, as well as experience it for yourself. Once that is done, Americans will come to terms that this period being advertised as a economic recovery is nothing but a fraud!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cheap Shot at Saturday's Debate?

Watching Saturday's debate, there was one question that raised my eyebrows a bit. ABC's George Stephanopoulos, the debate moderator, and the man who ran the Clinton war room that told Americans to look the other way with Bill Clinton's marital fidelity challenges, raised the issue of whether or not voters should consider marital fidelity when selecting a candidate for the presidency.

It's very sad that a national news network would take time away from the most important issues of this country like the economy, unemployment and National Security, to set up a pitch and give every candidate the opportunity to take a shot at Newt Gingrich, the current front runner, and the only candidate who has been married more than once. It was quite obvious, as they went round-robin to each candidate, and the network split-screened their comments with Newt Gingrich's facial reaction/body language. The only one who took the bait was Rick Perry, but everyone else handled their response in a graceful manner, as did Newt Gingrich, speaking of how he has reconciled his past and aged in such a way where past personal transgressions are now irrelevant.

Americans appreciate when their politicians offer a mea culpa and show a true reconciliation. Newt's reconciliation is clearly documented and his statements on the matter as well as his actions in rediscovering religion, converting to Catholicism and living its teachings should be evidence enough that he has come to terms with his past and has moved forward.

In the end, we have very big issues that will be surrounding this presidential campaign such as stalled economic growth, consistent unemployment and an incumbent that seems detached. To borrow a phrase from a friend, when we look at how he has personally dealt with it along with comparing it to the larger issues at hand,"Newt Gingrich's baggage can be carry-on, rather than needing to be checked."

Romney on the Ropes?

Republicans were watching the Republican debate that took place on Saturday closely, as a result of Newt Gingrich's surge in the primary polls. For each debate, Mitt Romney has performed very well, did not get rattled, and was rarely challenged. Saturday night in Iowa was a different story.

First is this exchange with Newt:

Second is this exchange with Rick Perry:

Let's look at the first clip. Mitt Romney came out swinging against Newt Gingrich with the four allegations, clearly underestimating the Former Speaker's ability to respond. He was clearly disarmed by Newt's "career politician" retort, which made it easier for Newt to go in for the kill. Unlike the Romney/Perry exchange, which everyone was talking about, Newt cited specifics about policy differences, as opposed to repeating already examined allegations for shock value. This was clear evidence to Romney that Newt did his research and has the experience to be with him every step of the way in this primary process, which could stretch on because of the change in counting delegates with proportional distribution as opposed to winner take all.

With the second clip, whenever a politician uses the "I'll bet you..." phrase or offers a guarantee, it's a clear sign of desperation. It does turn off voters who may not have $10,000 to bet or who do not believe in gambling, and clearly comes off as out of touch. We may remember that Tim Pawlenty made an offer, and look what happened to him.

If Mitt Romney is not going to run to the right of Newt, he needs to walk it very carefully, especially if he wants to be considered for the VP. This kind of talk may not leave him in the good graces of some, and may also cause division in a party that desperately needs to be united in 2012. Think about the Party, Mitt, and not yourself.

Friday, December 9, 2011

T Minus Three Weeks

Just a little Public Service Announcement from your friends here at "The 'Right' Solutions:" the light bulb we have come to know so well, the incandescent light bulb, the "Edison light bulb;" will be illegal to sell on January 1, 2012. They are being replaced with the stupid and dangerous florescent "curly-Q" bulbs, which are more expensive, as well the even more expensive LED light bulbs. It's very sad the Republicans did not work to overturn this stupid law when they took over in Congress.

Three more weeks to stock up...I know I have (the sales are out there) and I recommend my readers do the same!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blago's Not "Golden"

Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in a Federal Prison for his role in attempting to sell Barack Obama's Senate Seat after he won the presidency. He will not be eligible for parole in 12 years. No matter how hard he tried to rehab his reputation, he still was caught red handed (explicit language in the link) and the judge gave him an appropriate sentence.

Also relevant to Blago going away, hidden in the bylines of the big newspapers, the major Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko was recently sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison. Considering the election is less than a year away, we know why this was kept quiet.

This city and region has quite the history of political corruption and as Former Chicago City Clerk, Jim Laski, who wore a number himself, puts it, "Chicago politics has a unique flavor for corruption." (I regret not recording portions of that speech when I was in Chicago last April.) It's good to see these two go "up the river." Will there be more? Only time will tell...

Pearl Harbor: 70 Years Ago

Today, December 7, 2011, is the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, a day that not only will live in infamy, but stirred a generation of Americans to defend this nation and step up to be its leaders, even after they led us to victory. They valiantly fought on the battlefield, and then valiantly fought on the Homeland to build the United States into the nation it is today; making sure it stands as the Greatest Nation on Earth! We look at the "Greatest Generation" with awe, and to hear a surviving member of this generation tell a story about their experiences is a memorable moment; something a good friend of mine just experienced.

"The 'Right' Solutions" would like to thank the "Greatest Generation" for their sacrifice and service to the United States and admire how they've influenced many in the following generations, to lead and defend. Their story has been written well, and it is my hope that the 9-11 Generation write a story just as memorable and awe-inspiring, and this can only be done by living up to the example set by the "Greatest Generation!"

(Photo courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sad News out of Orlando: Jaws is Closing

Every time I'm in the Orlando Area, I pay a visit to Disney, but occasionally, I will head to the other side of town to visit Universal Orlando, which contains Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure; two of the best non-Disney theme parks in the US. Having visited since it opened, I know the classics of Universal Studios Florida well, one of them being Jaws, which takes guests on a "boat tour of Amity Harbor" where they have multiple "near death" encounters with Jaws. Since 1990, this ride is always a crowd pleaser and can even scare the heck out of someone who knows it well. Come January 2, 2012, Jaws will close forever, as the ride and the Amity section of the park will be developed. This is very, very sad news for me, as this is my constant favorite ride, but I have faith the replacement will be just as good, as Universal's track record is pretty good here, replacing King Kong with Revenge of the Mummy and Back to the Future with The Simpsons.

As Jaws closes forever, I'd like to leave you with a memory of this classic, ground-breaking attraction, with one of the best videos I've seen of the ride on YouTube. RIP, Jaws.

The Disney Centennial: 100 Years of Magic

It should be noted that this week celebrates the 100th birthday (had he lived) of Walt Disney. As you, the reader, well knows, I am a Disney FANATIC, therefore, "The 'Right' Solutions" would like to honor the spirit of Disney on this day by thanking him for his creativity, his ingenuity, his positive impact on American culture and the many smiles his work has not only brought me, but the billions who have watched a Disney film (Lion King and Snow White being my favorites) or set foot in a Disney theme park! Having been to Disney World and Disneyland many, many times and being an Annual Passholder to Walt Disney World, I know firsthand of the magic of these places that bring happiness and allow for an escape from the everyday issues that I write about on "The 'Right' Solutions."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Now that Cain is Gone, it Seems Newt is Next on Their List

With Cain's early exit, it looks like Newt Gingrich is next on the list, yet uniquely, it seems both the Democrats and the Republicans are gunning for him. Rush provides a good perspective on this and I do agree with his assessment.

Considering what happened to Herman Cain, Nancy Pelosi's comments today that she will break the law to October Surprise Newt should have the radar of every Republicans up, in that the left will say "damn the law," as long as it protects the president. It was good to see Newt respond to the former Speaker.

"The 'Right' Solutions" implores Speaker John Boehner to bring charges of ethics violations against Nancy Pelosi if she uses confidential material against Newt while serving on the Ethics Committee. Speaker Boeher's Washington Office Number is (202) 225-0600!

The politics of personal destruction is in full force and if Newt's experience tells me anything, he will have none of it! Most importantly, this primary should be decided by the people, and not the pundits or politicians.

Newt Gingrich for President

It's only December 2011, we've already traveled down a long road this election season. We've seen candidates rise and fall, candidates flirt with entering and candidates attempt to get drafted. For a few months, I have been giving most of the candidates multiple looks and my preference has frequently changed. At this point in the campaign, I am ready to make an endorsement and the individual who will receive my vote is Newt Gingrich.

The United States knows Newt Gingrich well, as he was the Speaker of the House from 1995-1999 and was the innovator and architect of the Republican Takeover of the House, after serving in Congress since 1978. As Speaker, he presided over a Congress that balanced the Federal Budget and brought about true Welfare Reform, dragging Bill Clinton kicking and screaming to sign this legislation. After leaving Congress, Newt continued to stay in the public eye, frequently appearing on the Fox News Channel and continuing to articulate common sense, conservative solutions in his own businesses.

Never one to stay quiet or stand back from articulating his plan for the nation, Newt entered into the Republican Primary Campaign and has continued to show himself to be a Consistent Conservative, while at the same time, performing strongly in debates, refusing to accept a false premise from those on the left and in the media, and attempting to unite his party to oppose the president, as opposed to sniping at each other. As a result, he has clearly risen above the others. And here, I will explain my reservations about those in the field:

Mitt Romney: While he seems like a nice man and is also articulate, RomneyCare will be the death of him in the general election. Not only does it discount the Republican argument against ObamaCare, but assuming it goes down 5-4 (and I believe it will), Romney will get the blame, with the indicatications that his advice was sought. It's already being written that way. I'm also troubled by Romney's interview last week with FNCs Bret Baier and questioning his fairness as a journalist. If he can't handle Baier, he's going to have a heck of the time in the general against Obama's $1 billion. Furthermore, he has been running for a long time and while he may have a strong organization, he does not have the support of the majority of the Republican Party and that is most troubling.

Michele Bachmann: When she entered into the race, I gave Michele Bachmann a very strong look at whether or not I would endorse her. I appreciate her stoic support of Conservatism, yet she has not gained traction and history is against her, as a member of Congress not in the leadership, making the jump to President.

Herman Cain: He has left the campaign and while I did give him strong consideration and when I met him, found him to be incredibly friendly, down to earth, a strong advocate of conservatism, and a brilliant off the cuff speaker, I disagreed with the National Sales Tax portion of his 9-9-9 Plan and it personified his naivete of the political process, as a result of not holding political office.

Rick Perry: When he entered in, I was very excited for his candidacy, but in the end, he was not ready for prime time, as this came out in his multiple and consistent debate flubs. While his ads were good and he seemed strong on the stump, he would have been obliterated by this president in a debate.

The others: Ron Paul, (a foreign policy nutjob) John Huntsman, (a bitter RINO who can't rise above 2%) and Rick Santorum (A good man who is a good conservative, but is damaged as he lost his Pennsylvania US Senate seat by 18 points) were not even considered.

Over the years, I've had the pleasure of meeting Newt Gingrich and hearing him speak at various events. He is incredibly friendly and generous with his time, whether in meeting the public or attending an event. I greatly disagree with the assertion that Newt Gingrich is unelectable. The blatant lies that have been said and written about him over the years have been proven false and when one puts Newt's ideas against Barack Obama's, Newt would win in a landslide. He would also intellectually destroy this president in a debate, especially if the Lincoln-Douglas style debates between the two ever occurred. And also a consideration in endorsing Newt, because of my background as an educator, Newt is a fellow historian and would have a unique perspective and knowledge, as president, of the successes and failures of his predecessors, and thus, would be able to craft, endorse and push forward an agenda that would save this nation after four years of disgrace, and bring about prosperity for years to come.

The choice was clear for me, and I hope it is as clear for my fellow Republicans.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

And Then There Were Seven...

What had been expected earlier this week when Herman Cain explained he was "re-assessing" his campaign, in a publicized affair and rally at what was thought to be the opening of his new Atlanta Headquarters, Herman Cain "suspended his campaign." In a fiery speech, appearing with his wife Gloria, where he, rightly so, lambasted the media for their conduct, he stated that he may not be running for president anymore, but he's not going away.

One of the first to get in this race, Cain caught fire after P-5 in Orlando, rising to the top of the pack. As spectacular was his rise, so was his fall from grace, even though the contributing factors were nothing more than suppositions, innuendos and assumptions.

Herman Cain's impact will continue to be felt in this campaign, as he was the first candidate who eschewed "conventional" fixes to solve problems with bold and what may seem as "unconventional" solutions. Agree or disagree with 9-9-9, it would have radically changed the tax structure in the United States. His demise was unfortunate, as the allegations were not proven true, and it still begs to answer the question how Americans will deal with the double standard held by those with the microphone.

Having met Herman Cain and attended one of his rallies, I believe this is not the last we have heard of him and I hope he will implore his supporters to join the surviving candidates and unite in making sure this president does not serve a second term.

The candidate that may very well reap the benefits of Cain dropping out is Newt Gingrich, who could, very well, receive Cain's endorsement.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Down to 8.6%

Every first Friday of the month, the new unemployment numbers are out, and the U-3 rate, those on unemployment, is down to 8.6%. Some in Washington and in the Democrat circles are throwing parties at this, but these numbers are false optimism. First, as I have said in the past, this is a number that should not be celebrating...this is very bad. The labor force continues to shrink, as many more than the amount of jobs created have "left" the job market. Let us also not forget that these new jobs created are temporary holiday retail positions. Having worked in retail sales throughout college, I've seen temporary workers come in November, and go once the New Year comes about. Those numbers will be reflected in February 2012.

This is false hope and Americans should realize the numbers aren't getting any better, instead, the books are being cooked as an electoral strategy in 2012.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ken Cuccinelli in 2013?

Rumor has it that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will seek the GOP Nomination for the Governor of Virginia in 2013, when Governor Bob McDonnell's term ends. (Virginia governors, by law are not allowed to seek consecutive terms) Cuccinelli is leading one of the two lawsuits of ObamaCare that is making its way to the US Supreme Court and is well known, not only in Virginia, but across the country. If his case wins, he will gain even more notoriety. There is likely to be a big primary battle as Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling has announced his intention to run, and waiting in the wings is former DNC Chair/Clinton Booster Terry McAuliffe.

Old Dominion will have a Battle Royale in 2013 and because it will be one of only two gubernatorial races that year, (New Jersey being the second), Americans will be watching.