Obama Policies a Step Backward in War on Terror
The Obama Administration on Monday opted to ramp up the involvement of law enforcement in the global war on terror. What may surprise most Americans is that this new law enforcement emphasis is not aimed at those who plot and commit acts of violence, but rather the intelligence agents charged with defeating them.
Attorney General Eric Holder has named John Durham as special prosecutor as the first step toward bringing chargest against current and former CIA personnel for the interrogation techniques used on detainees, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Press reports indicate the decision to move forward toward prosecution was taken solely by AG Holder, and may even stand in contrast to the President's own stated position to move on from the national security "controversies" of the Bush Administration.
Yet, it is implausible that Holder would take such action without at least tacit approval from his boss, the President. Additionally, this action is in line with the stated desires of liberal Democrat members of Congress, including several from California, who would clearly like nothing more than a full scale witch hunt of Bush Administration officials involved with protecting America and her allies from terrorist attacks following 9/11.
Holder's moves are inconsistent with an effective national security policy, particularly regarding the global war on terror, and the related issues of securing victory in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For instance, in recent weeks we have witnessed a dramatic increase in violence in Iraq, including the bombing of the Foreign Ministry building and other key government facilities, coinciding with the withdrawal of US military forces from urban areas, and the decision by the al Maliki government to remove protective concrete barriers from many areas in Baghdad, increasing their vulnerability to attack.
Insurgents and terrorists have seen such moves as new opportunities to press on with their campaign of violence against the democratically elected government.
Likewise, what signal does it send to terrorists and insurgents to have the United States engaged in the high profile prosecution of those who were charged with fighting and defeating their violent brethren?
The answer: encouragement.
The decision to prepare for a witch hunt of Bush Administration officials (which liberals in Congress would pursue, and still may, regardless of the direction the Obama Justice Department takes) comes on the heels of last week's complete failure of the Obama Administration to block the release of convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi from prison in Scotland.
Barack Obama is credited by Europeans and American liberals with having elevated America's stature and "soft power." Yet, despite "weeks and months" of effort by the Obama State Department, it could not even convince America's closest ally, Great Britain, to not release the man responsible for the murder of 189 Americans. Instead, the bomber was released, picked up in Muammar Gaddafi's private plane, and flown back to Libya to be greeted by a massive state sponsored rally at the airport.
So much for results from the Obama diplomatic team.
Barack Obama is certainly bringing "change" to the global war on terror: treating attacks on America as law enforcement violations, and an overreliance on diplomacy that has witnessed the return of a mass murderer to his home country and fresh threats to the democratically elected government in Iraq.
CA Unemployment Spike Highlights Lack of Competitiveness
While the national unemployment rate is leveling off at 9.7%, California's jobless rate just hit a post-World War II high of 11.9%, further underscoring the state's lack of competitiveness at precisely the time we need it most.
Globally, we're seeing Asia move ahead while France and Germany have emerged from recession ahead
of the United States. Within our own country we're seeing a huge difference in how well, or poorly, states are coping with the economic downturn.
Texas has an unemployment rate well below the national average: 8% compared to the national rate of 9.7%. Meanwhile, California's high tax/high regulation model continues to force people out of work at a rate substantially higher than the rest of the nation: 2.2% higher than the national average, and 3.9 percentage points higher than Texas.
Liberals really enjoy playing the class warfare card when our team proposes to loosen up job killing regulations or ease the tax burden on job-generating small businesses. Yet, the liberal model of a big, intrusive and expensive government can in these times be seen for what it really does to working people: eliminating jobs and the opportunities that come with those jobs.LA Times Story: California Unemployment Hits Post-World War II High
The GOP "Conspiracy" on Health Care
You know the wheels have come off the Democrat campaign to put the experts who run the post office in charge of your personal health when the President of the United States takes the time to complain that his plan is off the tracks because of a nefarious GOP "conspiracy."
All of a sudden the Republican Party's efforts to provide a better alternative to health care reform gets cast as a "conspiracy." This is political spin from a party which has lost control of a signature issue, both internally and externally. When Democrats work together to plan a legislative initiative it's a campaign, when Republicans do it it's a "conspiracy." Got it.
Whether it's the same "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" Hillary Clinton blamed for the crushing defeat of her own health care takeover plan, we're not sure.
The reality is that the President and his the leaders of his party in Congress are to blame for the public's sour reaction to their plans to have a lot more of the decisions about people's health made in Washington D.C. instead of at the doctor's office. Americans know it's possible to improve the system without vastly expanding the government's role in health.
The Democrats control both houses of Congress, they have a filibuser-proof majority in the Senate, they control the White House -- and yet it's the Republicans who are to blame for the fact they can't get their own team together to vote for their poorly written bill.
No one credible believes this nonsense.
Politico: Dem Party Ratings Plummet
I'll let this morning's Politico article
speak for itself:
The percentage of Americans who hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party has slipped below 50 percent for the first time since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday.
Only 49 percent of Americans now hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party, down from 62 percent in the same poll shortly after Obama assumed office. Democratic favorable ratings hovered around 60 percent as recently as April, when 59 percent of those polled held a favorable view.
So the Democrats are down to 49% favorable, and our party is at 40%: a 9% advantage to the Democrats, down from the 22% advantage they enjoyed at the beginning of the year. I would be more concerned about their 9% advantage, but a quick look over at the Rasmussen numbers
out today shows that Republicans are leading in the generic Congressional ballot test by 5%.
Obama: You "More than Likely" Won't Lose Your Insurance
Republicans have been quick to point out that under the Democrats' big government health "reform" plan, millions of Americans could be forced out of their health insurance plan and onto the government plan. Interestingly, here's what Barack Obama had to say in a bit of a Freudian slip on the issue a few days ago:
"The only point I want to make about this is, whether you're for or against a public option, just understand that the public option is not a government takeover of health insurance. Everybody here who still has -- who has currently private insurance, you know, you would more than likely
still be on your private insurance plan. Employers wouldn't stop suddenly providing health insurance." (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Town Hall On Health Insurance Reform,
Belgrade, MT, 8/14/09)
"More than likely."
The "more than likely" standard runs counter to what Obama and the Democrats have been claiming all along, like when he said, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan." (President Barack Obama, Remarks At Town Hall On Health Insurance Reform,
Portsmouth, NH, 8/11/09)
Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, the reality is that under their plan over 88 million people could be forced onto government-run health insurance. "Under current law, there will be about 158.1 million people who are covered under an employer plan as workers, dependents or early retirees in 2011. If the act were fully implemented in that year, about 88.1 million workers would shift from private employer insurance to the public plan." (John Shelis, Vice President, Lewin Group, "Analysis Of The July 15 draft Of The American Affordable Health Choices Act Of 2009
Governor Tackling Unsustainable Govt Employee Pensions
Governor Schwarzenegger and Republicans have for years called attention to the unsustainable pension obligations state and local governments owe and will owe to past, current and future workers under current plans that far outstrip government's ability to pay. Reform is necessary and Republicans are leading the charge again.
In today's Sacramento Bee, Dale Kasler covers the story
Weeks after wrapping up a deal to close a $26 billion budget deficit, Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking aim at what he calls California's next great
fiscal problem: the state's battered pension system.
Reviving an idea he floated during budget negotiations in June,
Schwarzenegger wants legislation creating a two-tier system that would deliver
lower benefits to newly hired public employees – not only state workers but
firefighters, police officers, teachers, and other local-government
Along with proposed cutbacks in retiree health benefits, Schwarzenegger
says, the plan would save $90 billion over the next 30 years.
House Republicans Release New Video on Dems and Health Care
The House Republican Conference has released a new web video, “Disinformation,”
to further highlight the discrepencies in Barack Obama’s and Congressional Democrats’ rhetoric vs. the reality on health care reform.Watch the video: Disinformation
Independents Weigh in on Heathcare Town Halls: More Trouble for Dems
Another sign that the Democrats are in big trouble with their big government healthcare takeover ideas is the reaction independent voters have had to the Democrat townhall meetings this month where they have gotten more than an earful from concerned citizens.
From USA Today/Gallup:In a survey of 1,000 adults taken Tuesday, 34% say demonstrations at the hometown sessions have made them more sympathetic to the protesters' views; 21% say they are less sympathetic. Independents by 2-to-1, 35%-16%, say they are more sympathetic to the protesters now.Complete story in USA Today
Myths About Taxing the Rich
Liberals try to talk their way out of raising taxes most often by claiming they're only taxing "the rich." Nevermind the fact that the first tax increase the Democrats passed was an increase on tobacco products, which studies show disproportionately impacts not the rich but the poor.
In any case, our friends at the Heritage Foundation have published an excellent quick reference guide to seven myths the left likes to perpetuate to justify tax increases.
Read the brief article:Seven Myths About Taxing the Rich
Liberals Propose Taxpayers Fund Congressional Campaigns
It's one thing when you see outrageous claims made by a Congressional candidate you oppose. At least you're not paying for it. Under a new plan advocated by liberal Democrats, you will be.
The Fair Elections Now Act (what is it with liberals and always having to add the word "now" to everything, usually while screaming it?) would put taxpayers on the hook for paying for Congressional campaigns. Of course, what the government pays for, it also controls.
John Samples, Director of the Center for Responsive Government at the Cato Institute, makes the case as to why this is a terrible idea.
Testimony:A Look at HR 1826 and the Public Financing of Congressional Campaigns
As Predicted: Obama's Labor Department Goes to Bat for Labor Officals
The guys running organized labor must be pretty satisfied with Californian Hilda Solis, named by Barack Obama to run the Labor Department.
Under her predecessor, Elaine Chao, the Department adopted a long list of reforms aimed at increasing transparency in how unions operate and giving union members the tools and information needed to make good decisions concerning who runs their union.
These reforms were vehemently opposed by the guys running today's national unions -- people with little interest in, say, increasing the disclosure of financial information to members, rigorously enforcing rules against conflicts of interest, etc.
By properly funding the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), the Bush Labor Department increased audits from 238 to 791, indicted 1,004 union officials leading to 929 convictions of those guilty of defrauding union members. Over $93 million was recovered.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is taking the Department in an entirely different direction.
Read the full article:The Anti-Chao: Hilda Solis Goes to Bat for Big Labor
Unions Push for Job Killing Tax on Tires
The United Steelworkers union wants a new tax (tariff) on Chinese-made tires, ignoring a study which shows that for every one job saved in manufacturing, up to 25 jobs in installation and distribution could be lost.
More of the kind of "change" people were not looking for last November.
WSJ Story: Obama's Trade Test
Young Republicans Critical to Our Success
Our party benefits from a strong Young Republicans presence throughout the state, organized under the California Young Republicans and the Young Republican Federation of California.
To become a majority in California, and across the country, the growth and success of our YR chapters is essential. YR chapters are organizing hubs for campaign volunteers, activists, and a growing number of elected officials and candidates.
This weekend the YRFC is meeting in Ventura County with headline speaker former Miss California Carrie Prejean and featuring speakers including Congressman Dan Lungren, AG candidate Tom Harman, Senator Tony Strickland, and more. The high quality of the speakers the YR's are drawing speaks to the importance of this group and a recognition that a strong and growing YR presence is essential for a strong and growing party.For more information, visit their convention website.