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Friday, October 31, 2008

2008 Colorado Voter Registration

2008 Colorado Voter Registration

Colorado is a “swing state”, with voter registration split 3 ways between Republicans, Democrats and Unaffiliated voters.   As of October 22nd over 1.1 million Colorado voters had returned “mail in ballots” or had “cast an early vote” as the local courthouse.     Both La Plata County and the state of Colorado have larger numbers of unaffiliated than some “Dem” or “GOP’” states, with the Democrats and Republicans nearly the same statewide.    But a slight drop in the historical Republican registrations has Democrats competing statewide since 2006.    Colorado is not longer “solid or leaning” to the GOP, but rather the increased Unaffiliated registered voter is trending towards Democrat candidates.


Registered Voters in Colorado (for 2008 Presidential election cycle)

Final numbers for Colorado (as of October 22, out of 3,203,583):

Democrats--1,051,643 (32.8%)

Republicans--1,063,347 (33.2%)

Unaffiliateds--1,069,294 (33.4%)

As of last evening, 1,123,173 voters had returned their mail-in ballots or cast an early vote: Number of Mail-In Ballots Received--880,491
Number of Early Voting Ballots Cast--242,682


As of October 30th the Colorado Secretary of State web site   reported the following:

Colorado mail in ballots received:  993,542

Early votes cast in Colorado:  298,029

According to the Durango Herald    and the La Plata County Clerks office, here is the voter registration:

La Plata County Voter registration by party  (Durango area)

Democrat - 12,225

Republican - 11, 808

Unaffiliated - 12,862           

Libertarian - 165

ACN - 23

Green - 200

UPA - 1

Total Registered - 37,284

According to the Durango Herald Saturday edition, it is estimated that 14,000 out of 37,000 total registered voters in La Plata County will have voted.

(c) 2008, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Does a Left Turn Look Like?

We know that the American electorate is ready for a change, but exactly what “Change We Can Believe In” are we looking at?   While Presidential Bush still remains unpopular (27% approval rating), the US Congress (12% approval rating) is competing with lawyers, used car dealers and mortgage brokers for popularity.   Over the past two years of the new Congressional Democrats, the only political check on the Congressional move to the “progressive left” has been GOP Senators (with a solid filibuster firewall) and a weak GOP President.  

While many in the Main Stream Media (MSM) would lead us to believe that Obama is a centrist, his liberal voting record, his radical left wing friends, his “ spread the wealth around” socialism and his class warfare rhetoric on the campaign trial indicate otherwise.   But are the American people ready for a sharp left turn politically into European style socialism?

            Peter Dupont, in his editorial piece in the Wall Street Journal listed seven major policy shifts from an Obama administration with the backing of the Democrat controlled Congress He makes the strong case for the Europeanization of America.   In other words a trend towards socialism with full support of a Democratic President and Congress, (aka “one party rule”).  To quote Mr. Dupont in his Wall Street Journal opinion piece, “So where is the new Obama administration likely to take us? Seven things seem certain:

1)    The U.S. military will withdraw from Iraq quickly and substantially, regardless of conditions on the ground or the obvious consequence of emboldening terrorists there and around the globe.

2)    Protectionism will become our national trade policy; free trade agreements with other nations will be reduced and limited.

3)    Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses, and individuals will pay much higher Social Security taxes, all to carry out the new president's goals of "spreading the wealth around."

4)    Federal government spending will substantially increase. The new Obama proposals come to more than $300 billion annually, for education, health care, energy, environmental and many other programs, in addition to whatever is needed to meet our economic challenges. Mr. Obama proposes more than a 10% annual spending growth increase, considerably higher than under the first President Bush (6.7%), Bill Clinton (3.3%) or George W. Bush (6.4%).

5)    Federal regulation of the economy will expand, on everything from financial management companies to electricity generation and personal energy use.

6)    The power of labor unions will substantially increase, beginning with repeal of secret ballot voting to decide on union representation.

7)    Free speech will be curtailed through the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine to limit the conservative talk radio that so irritates the liberal establishment.

These policy changes will be the beginning of the Europeanization of America. There will be many more public policy changes with similar goals—nationalized health care, Kyoto-like global-warming policies, and increased education regulation and spending.” Opinion Page, Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2008

Is American ready for socialism?   Apparently, polling data from Tipp On-Line in August 2008 indicates that while the majority of Americans are not supportive of socialism, higher taxes and government ownership of industry, the Obama supporters appear to support a socialist approach.   This socialistic approach is confirmed in Senator Obama’s liberal voting record as an elected official.

“Since ADA's founding in 1947, the Annual Voting Records have served as the standard measure of political liberalism. Combining 20 key votes on a wide range of social and economic issues, both domestic and international, the Liberal Quotient (LQ) provides a basic overall picture of an elected official's political position.”   Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)  on voting records, which ADA has tracked since 1947.   US Senator Barack Obama ranked as a 95% liberal (out of 100%) on 20 issues in 2006.  Essentially, Mr. Obama is a certified liberal, as rated by the ADA “gold standard” for political liberalism in the United States.

So if the junior Senator from Illinois, (who is the least experienced and most liberal Presidential candidate in modern history), is actually elected, what is the probability that he will track to the political center and provide any challenges (vetoes) to a Democrat majority in Congress?    Or rather will Obama following his previous voting records and lead the US on a sharp turn to the left on political issues, with the full support of the majority of the Democratically controlled Congress?

As for many Americans,  “Change We Can Believe It” is a platitude that sounds good on the campaign trail.    In a year or two, under the liberal approach taken by an Obama Administration, those same Americans may be saying “Change We Can’t Stand For” as their President and his Democrat operatives in Congress turn the country sharply to the political left.

© 2008, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media, 


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Behind the Curtain? What have they done?

So exactly who are these Presidential candidates?   Are they defined by what they say, how they look, and or what the Main Stream Media (MSM) says about them?    Or should we look behind curtain, behind the debate stage, or actually consider their records?  What have they actually done, versus just what they have said or has been said about them?  Is the essence of the Presidential candidate’s speech more about the speechwriter or about the candidate or the topic of the day?  What does the candidate say “off line”, when they think that the cameras and microphones are off?   How do Presidential candidates respond with they are “off the talking points”?

Quoting from William Kristol, a leading conservative writer for the Weekly Standard  on the WS web 10/20/08 publication date.  (Oh, by the way, he is a contributor to Fox News [gasp], the “Fair & Balanced” MSM channel and the New York Times [gasp, a liberal rag!]).  Here is what Mr. Kristol wrote in regards to Senator Obama and Senator McCain:

“One is an orthodox and timid liberal, personally ambitious but intellectually conventional. For all his talk of hope and change, when has Barack Obama ever shown a willingness to break with liberal orthodoxy or Democratic dogma? What bold decision has he taken, what unpopular idea has he embraced? The odd truth about Obama is that, for all his unsavory radical associations--and they are unsavory and a legitimate issue in the campaign--he's not radical enough for the times and challenges we face.”

“The other candidate, John McCain, has been all over the map in terms of domestic policies, and has shown a management style during the campaign that makes one worry about the coherence and purposefulness of his administration. But he's shown strong character in his life, and he's done serious things. His general views are centrist, but he's willing to be bold when necessary. He won't be passive as president, and he'll think anew and act anew as he adjusts to the challenges we face, in the spirit of doing what's necessary to preserve and strengthen the underlying principles of American life.”

So why would it matter what a Presidential candidate actually did?   Why not just go for “Change We Can Believe In?”   Or follow after the “Change in Coming” mantra?

In fact, the conventional wisdom appears to say that if the candidate lacks experience, let’s just gloss over that.  It’s all about how I feel.  Right?

            Maybe we should look behind the curtain?  Who somebody is, really does matter.   What the Presidential candidates have done is more important than what they say or what is said about them.  Let’s take the approach that “observed behavior” tells more the next president than “stated promises” made by the Presidential candidate.

            So as we look behind the curtain, we have one candidate with community, legal and political experience, who has written two books about himself, but hasn’t sponsored any significant legislation.  But he is younger man, and he is still gaining experience.  He has never been in business, he has never been in the military, he has never been avid outdoorsman and he has never advocated cutting spending in a meaningful way.  Senator Obama is from Chicago, and has a full history in the Illinois legislature, although not much has been written about it.   (However, a NYM article is worth reading: Goggle “New Yorker Magazine” and search for “Making It” article on Obama).   He has had various friends for political purposes, until it gets too embarrassing for his political career, and then Barack Obama moves on (usually after disowning or disavowing the friend).  Finally, as we lift the curtain, his books, campaign rhetoric and voting record is liberal and orthodox Democrat.  Change we can believe in?   Yes, if a liberal tax and spend approach is what you’d like, then a vote for Barack will get you there in a hurry.

            Then we lift the curtain on the other candidate.    John McCain is an American hero, which makes some people feel uncomfortable, but most Americans appreciate his service to his country.   He has served in the US Navy.   His father, grandfather and his sons have served as well.   While Senator John McCain has served in Washington for 25 years, he has done so as a maverick, angering and challenging parties, their members and their leadership. He actually has led the fight to cut wasteful spending.   Imagine that: Washington living within its means!  John McCain is an older man, a seasoned warrior (literally and politically) from a long career, being involved in most of the major issues that have faced America over the past 25 years.    Is he the best speaker?    Probably not.   Is he a down the party line Republican?   Definitely not.   Does he speak his mind?   Yes, and to a degree his candor is both disarming, yet refreshing in this age of political double speak. 

            So what has Barack Obama done?  A thin resume backed by good books, winsome looks, great campaigning and over $500 million bucks.   So what has John McCain done?  Served his country with dedication, principle and candor over his 72-year lifetime.    He wrote one book, hasn’t run the best campaign, and opted for $84 million in public financing in the General election.

So, it is now up to you as a voter, to decide how experience in your lifetime best prepares you to be the President of the United States.   Oh, I forgot.   The MSM pundits, the pollsters and the Democrats have already decided for you.   Experience doesn’t matter anymore, it is about change.    And courage under fire is old fashioned; now what matters is how good your campaign is.    And the American dream, built on hard work and determination, is really no longer possible, unless the US government intervenes and spreads the wealth around.  So I guess we just close the curtain at the point, and may the best marketing plan (I mean best man) win!

© 2008, Four Corners Media,  Jasper Welch             

Monday, October 20, 2008

Style vs. Substance 10.20.08

So how important are style points?  Is the best Presidential candidate the one who is cool?   Does substance matter anymore?  What about the Commander-in-Chief role?   Between the view from the spin room after each Presidential debate and the posturing of the MSM talking heads during the campaign, it is clear that “cool” and “style” matter the most.   Substance?    That is that policy wonk stuff.  It is boring and really doesn’t matter much.   Or does it matter  in the selection of the next President?

As a Harvard educated and emerging member of the elite political class of the America, Senator Obama is well coached and disciplined.     He has the talking points down pat, from the regular Bush bashing to the class warfare rhetoric.    His background as an attorney and professional politician (and some would argue professional candidate) has served him well in this long campaign.   With the full faith of the Main Stream Media (MSM), Barrack Obama is already the President.  The November election is a mere formality. The “One” has mastered the crowds, the campaign dance and it is done. However, the rest of the folks in America still need to cast their vote.  And it is likely that substance will come up in their election decision.

            But can substance carry the day?   Senator McCain, despite a less focused and less disciplined campaign is still hanging around, just over Senator Obama’s shoulder.    The MSM says the “One” has the style, the coolness, the demeanor and temperament to be the President.  Heck, he already is the President in their mind.    But McCain who the MSM has written off several times in this Presidential campaign continues to be within striking distance.    Given the significant media bias, it is pretty amazing the John McCain is in a competitive position here in mid October.

            Maybe Senator McCain is still in this Presidential race because substance and command actually do matter.   In the third debate, the substantive issue of abortion and US Supreme Court nominations came up.   Mr. Smooth attempted to hedge on his intense abortion rights position, but his debate answer clearly communicates his firm position: “With respect to partial-birth abortion, I am completely supportive of a ban on late-term abortions, partial-birth or otherwise, as long as there's an exception for the mother's health and life, and this did not contain that exception.”  Senator Obama, October 15, 2008.   “An exception” for the health and life of the mother?  So if a fully alive child is partially delivered, and the baby is killed by the abortionist, this is okay with Senator Obama if the mother’s health or life is threatened?  This barbaric practice is about the termination of the fully alive child’s life.  The mother’s health is not the substantive issue here, but rather the exception (excuse) to fully trample upon the baby’s human rights.

To this substantive issue, Senator McCain responded: Here is it is “again, the example of the eloquence of Senator Obama.  He's “health” for the mother.  You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything.

That's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, "health."  But, look; Cindy and I are adoptive parents.  We know what a treasure and joy it is to have an adopted child in our lives.  We'll do everything we can to improve adoption in this country. But that does not mean that we will cease to protect the rights of the unborn.”   John McCain stood alone for the rights of the unborn, and pointed out the despite his eloquence, Senator Obama’s position is extreme on the substantive issue of abortion.

“Well, you know, I admire so much Senator Obama's eloquence.  And you really have to pay attention to words.  He said, we will look at offshore drilling.  Did you get that?”  John McCain as he pointed out that Senator Obama said he’d ‘look at’ offshore drilling.  As an attorney, with a smooth and eloquent style, the junior Senator from Illinois was able to appear to support offshore drilling without actually drilling for oil offshore.   The substance of the issue:  What policy should American have for energy independence?  Looking at it, or actually drilling for oil?

            Finally, let’s look at the Commander in Chief role.   The Obama campaign chose to criticize Senator McCain because he did use a computer.   The likely reason is that his war related injuries limit his keyboard abilities, but that is beside the Obama campaign point.    The logic of the Democratic campaign argument is that the GOP candidate is “out of touch”.   Or what they really mean to say is that McCain is old and behind the times, as compared the youthful, cool style of Senator Obama.   But the substance question is: Has Senator Obama ever worn a US Military uniform?    Has he ever been a US Military officer?  Is he fully prepared, based on relevant experience, to be the Commander in Chief of the US military forces?   When it comes the to the President of the United States, substance really matters.

© 2008, Four Corners Media, Jasper Welch

Monday, October 13, 2008

Other Peoples Money: Let's Just Soak the Rich 10.13.08

Other People’s Money (OPM) is always easier to spend than your own money.  And tax spenders (most of those in Washington, your State Capital or your local City or County government) are always looking for ways (called programs, rescues, infrastructure, or public works) to spend OPM on their projects.   And since, through the election process, these tax spenders were elected, the taxpayer is expected to just stay calm as the OPM (your hard earned tax money) is spent.   But if the tax spenders (particularly those in Washington DC) can change the terminology by using words such as “a next tax cut” or “refundable tax credits”, then the taxpayer may think that the check they could receive or the tax cut they may enjoy, will cost nothing and everything will be fine.  This is what Senator Obama is promising, as he seeks to buy your vote with other taxpayers money.

Warning:  Overspending in Washington will lead to a) new taxes, b) additional Federal debt, c) less of your money due to tax increases and/or higher interest rates.   Warning:  Taxing the rich is the Democrat mantra, being chanted by Obama and his legions of believers, coupled with a mythical “tax cut” for 95% of Americans.  This tax spender slight of hand would appear to most taxpayers as a good deal on the face.  But turn over the coin and what is on the other side? 

            In the Wall Street Journal  on the Opinion Page of October 13, 2008, the following appeared:

“The Tax Foundation  estimates that under the Obama plan 63 million Americans, or 44% of all tax filers, would have no income tax liability and most of those would get a check from the IRS each year. The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis estimates that by 2011, under the Obama plan, an additional 10 million filers would pay zero taxes while cashing checks from the IRS.

The total annual expenditures on refundable "tax credits" would rise over the next 10 years by $647 billion to $1.054 trillion, according to the Tax Policy Center. This means that the tax-credit welfare state would soon cost four times actual cash welfare. By redefining such income payments as "tax credits," the Obama campaign also redefines them away as a tax share of GDP. Presto, the federal tax burden looks much smaller than it really is.” 

            To quote the Tax Foundation (Obama’s Redistribution Plan, Fiscal Note #132, June 25, 2008): “In short, the Obama plan would redistribute more than $131 billion per year from the top 1 percent of taxpayers to all other taxpayers. In 2009, for example, Tax Policy Center figures show that after the income shifting in the Obama plan, the top 1 percent of taxpayers would pay a greater share of the total federal tax burden than the bottom 80 percent of Americans combined. In other words, 1.13 million Americans would pay more in all federal taxes than 128 million of their fellow citizens combined.”

Blogger note:  According to the liberals this is “fair taxation”.   In the opinion on this conservative, this Obama plan is “redistribution of wealth”.   Key those words into Google  and see what other words come up:  Marxism, Communism and South Africa.    America or economic prosperity doesn’t appear.

            But aren’t those rich people idle ladies and gentleman, that according to Senator Biden have a patriotic duty to pay more taxes?   While “taxing the rich” makes for good class warfare rhetoric, it also makes for poor economic and tax policy.   In 2004, small business owners paid 54% of all individual income taxes.   So the “soak the rich” approach to tax policy ends up taxing small businesses, who create most of the new jobs in America.   These are the same small businesses that risk their time, money and effort to build the US economy and create jobs, one small business at a time.  

            To offer straight talk to the American taxpayer: Increasing the Federal income tax rates for the highest income tax payers (top 5%), and “redistributing the wealth” the rest of the tax payers is call socialism.  Giving checks to those who pay no Federal income taxes is called welfare, not a tax cut.  Increasing individual tax rates on top 5% of income earners, increasing capital gains taxes on investments and keeping US corporate taxes the 2nd highest in the world is a recipe for slowing US economic growth, reducing new job creation and reducing owners and workers compensation.   But what the heck, it is just “Other People’s Money”.   

(c) 2008,  Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media   

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mr. Smooth vs. the Maverick: 1st part of Debate #2

Nashville, Tennessee. Tuesday October 7, 2008. A town hall format for the Presidential debate.  NBC’s Tom Brokaw, from the MSM legacy media, is serving as the moderator.  Brian Williams, the new MSM news guy at NBC is still miffed that he wasn’t selected to moderate.  Can’t even get an interview with Sarah Palin.  But we are here for the Presidential debate.

For the Dems, Mr. Smooth, the young politician from south Chicago.    Running an insurgency campaign, following the Independents model created in the University of Chicago, south side elite and African American neighborhoods.    For the GOP, the Maverick from Arizona, the warrior who has been through many tough times, including his present political challenge to catch up with Mr. Smooth.   This is the second time in the boxing ring for both candidates.

            Expectations are high.   Can the Maverick change the debate and get his momentum back?   Can Mr. Smooth satisfy the doubters?  Can he appear Presidential enough to win the election?   Will the format favor the Maverick?

            First question from Allen, what about retirees?  Mr. Smooth says the economic problems are someone else’s fault, which is the “last eight years of Bush”.   The standard line.  Good politics, but not the actual cause of the problem.  Doesn’t matter, Mr. Smooth is trying to get elected.   The Maverick announces a proposed program for the US Treasury to buy up failing mortgages so homeowners can stay in the their houses.   What?    Another multi-hundred billion-government program?  Both agree that Warren Buffet knows more about the economy and investing than either Presidential candidate knows.  Let’s go to the next question.

            Back to THE economy.  Brokaw is trying to stay in charge, but the candidates keep ignoring the lights.   It will be a problem all night: windy answers to questions.   But remember, these guys are running for president, and there are millions of Americans watching.  They need all the time they can get.  Walter has a prepared question:  What can be done to help the average American?  

            The Maverick is ready.  It is a rescue, not a bailout.   I went back to Washington to speak for the taxpayer.   How did we get here?   Problems at Freddie and Fannie.   I stood up to the lax oversight and looming problems.  Mr. Smooth over here, he took a hike.   McCain went after Obama!  New tone in debate.  Will it work?  Is it too late to slow down Mr. Smooth?

            Mr. Smooth responds.  I’ve got to correct the Maverick.   It is the fault of deregulation.   Plus I wrote letters to the Secretary of Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Wrote letters?   Do you sponsor and champion any legislation?  No, Obama sponsored none.  But that critical piece of information is left unsaid by the Smooth One.

            MSM legacy media guy:  Can the economy get much worse?   Good question, given that the stock market has lost 4,000 points (or 25% since the summer).  Mr. Smooth is on a tightrope.   His campaign instinct is to say Yes, but he realizes that he might be elected President and has to actually lead soon.  So the Smooth One said that we need to help people, and then he ran through a couple more prepared lines.  Folks trust Mr. Smooth on the economy?  I’m still trying to figure out why.  Neither candidate has been in business.  They can talk about it (THE economy), but don’t really understand it completely.  Hopefully their advisors will.  

            The Maverick was next on the economy question.   We need to stabilize the mortgage and housing market.  For someone who is not supposed to understand the economy, the former Naval Officer was sounding like he got it.   He mentioned that he and a group of Senators sent a letter on the mortgage issue, but that Mr. Smooth didn’t have his name on it.   Both candidates are getting testy, and the Maverick is getting to Mr. Smooth’s calm demeanor.

            Next question by Teresa:  How can we trust either of you with our money?   Considering the credit and financial crisis, this is an excellent question.

Mr. Smooth tries the emotional connection with an “I feel your pain” approach.  Then he proceeds to blame Bush.  It is his fault.   No one is innocent, (except for Mr. Smooth, but that is beside the point).   So let’s spend (government) money?  Have an energy plan?  Even make spending cuts?   What, actually cut spending?  A Democrat?   But then Mr. Smooth qualifies it: A net spending cut?     So we’ll raise taxes, but cut some spending, and that is a ‘net spending cut’?    A new Washington phrase is added to the liberal tax and spend lexicon.

            The Maverick weighs in.   Washington broken.   But I have been in the Swamp trying to reform the place.   Then he delivers a rehearsed line:  Let’s look at the record and well as our rhetoric.    Check out the third party watchdog groups and you’ll see the difference between Mr. Smooth and me.   Then the Maverick went after Mr. Smooth for spending, raising taxes, earmarks and not challenging the leadership in the Democratic Party.     Mr. Smooth is thinking about what could be the next question.  Can they ask about health care now?

            The MSM legacy media guy changes in the subject.  Mr. Smooth is relieved, as the economy was supposed to be his strong suit.   The question for the MSM news anchor: Health Care, Social Security and Energy Policy.  What are your priorities?  

            The Maverick jumps in.  We need to sit down, with the Democrats and the Republicans and fix these problems.   Back to the citizen questioner,  “Al, all three are important.”  And the GOP Energy policy is “all of the above”.   And get rid of earmarks.   The anti-pork crusader has to get that in.   Not a strong answer, but kept pressing Mr. Smooth on spending.   

            Mr. Smooth uses the bullet point approach.   Good debate skills.  We need to prioritize.   Energy independence is number one.   Health care is #2, and Education is #3.  The smooth one said he’d go through the budget line by line.  Really?  The Federal budget?  A flicker of hope, but it was dashed, as Mr. Smooth had to counter his opponent with some class warfare remarks.   The Smooth One brushed off earmarks.    Just doesn’t want to talk about his $928 million in earmarks for Illinois here, in a debate, with millions watching.

            The MSM legacy media moderator is really getting hot under the collar with the Presidential candidates not following the carefully negotiated rules of debate engagement.   Both candidates comply like a youngster obeys his grandmother.    They are trying, but just can’t stay within the time limits.  Finally the veteran newscaster asked a penetrating question: What sacrifices will you, as President, ask of the American people?    Hmmm.  Both candidates quickly begin to search for the debate prep answers.

            The Maverick is ready.  He understands sacrifice. The question, while economic, is on his turf of service above self.   We need to eliminate some government programs.   (Finally, an answer that is less government, not more!).   He cited examples of taking on Boeing air tanker deal. And said that “all government spending” has be looked at for making cuts.   And he reiterates his proposal for a spending freeze.   Advocates full transparency and eliminating earmarks.   Most ordinary Americans are wondering why it took a financial crises to have Congress operate with some fiscal sense and restraint?

            Mr. Smooth goes back to 911.    I guess that is the only national crisis he has seen in his lifetime. Talked about how the country came together. But then back into Bush bashing.  Mr. Smooth again criticized Bush (his favorite punching bag) about him asking American’s to “go shopping” in response to 911.  I guess this reference by Mr. Smooth was supposed to indicate that this was a “lame thing for a President to do”?   If he were President after 911, he’d advocate pubic service?  Sounds nice, but probably the “go shopping” presidential suggestion was pretty good (though corny) at the time.   Next, Mr. Smooth advocates for energy conservation and the doubling the Peace Corps.   His delivery is very smooth, yet his positions are slippery at the same time.  But what about some specifics and how to sacrifice as individuals?   No matter, if Mr. Smooth said it, it will be just fine.   The MSM will see to that.

            The MSM legacy media guy is staying on the economy:  How to break the American consumer habits of debt and easy money? 

            Mr. Smooth responds that it starts in Washington.  Not just on spending the revenue side as well (read: raise taxes).   Mr. Smooth again brushed aside earmarks, saying they only total $18 Billion dollars a year.   What!  More money than many of the States and their entire annual budgets!    Then the Smooth One goes back to his class warfare arguments, including more taxing of CEO’s.   (There are only 500 of them, and this is the extent of your tax policy?    Just bashing the CEO guy, who may actually be creating jobs and economic growth?  No matter, Mr. Smooth is trying to get elected with smooth rhetoric.   It appears to be working.).  Somehow that helps the poor?    And, he disagrees with the Maverick on a spending freeze.    Big spending tendencies are in Mr. Smooth’s political DNA.

            The Maverick pounces:  “Trying to nail down Senator Obama’s tax policies is like trying to nail Jell-O® to the wall”.   Finally a zinger!  He continues that now is not the time to raise taxes.  Leave the tax rates alone.   We can afford to tax small businesses in an adverse way. 

            Mr. Smooth is squirming.   Just got pounded on his pro-tax, big spending anti-business approach.   He tries to interrupt, but is cautioned by the MSM legacy media guy.

            To be continued…. 

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bailout Root Cause: Social Engineering 10.5.08

Now that the US Senate has loaded up the 2008 financial rescue package with additional tax ‘extenders’ and increased the size of the Bill to 441 pages at a price tag of One Trillion dollars, it was the Democrat Majority in the US House who passed the “bail out bill”.    Over the past two weeks the US markets have been volatile, the credit markets hobbled and various experts scrambling to figure out exactly how we got here.    But the historical record is clear, the US Congress, particularly the Democratic members, have had their fingerprints on legislation to advocate a greater government role in housing and related targeted loan guidelines.    In fact, in 1994 Barack Obama (note his long time affiliation with ACORN) sued Citibank under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to legally pressure a leading US Bank to make risky mortgage loans.  (More below)

            Back in 2003, when some Republican members of Congress (who were in the Majority at that time), expressed concern about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the Democrats rose to defend the government role in risky loans.  In the words of the esteemed Member of Congress, and chairman of the US House Financial Services committee Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.):   I worry, frankly, that there's a tension here. The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities (Freddie & Fannie) that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios . . . .

            Oops!   It looks like Representative Frank was exactly wrong.  For more on what the members of Congress said 5 years ago

Where did the Congressional fingerprints start?  In the beginning was the word, or in this case legislation passed by the US Congress.   

            During the administration of Jimmy Carter and a Democratically controlled Congress, the Community Reinvestment Act  (CRA) was signed into law in 1977.   This started the ball rolling whereby the government began to require banks to make loans for social engineering purposes.    For more info on the CRA legislation, impact on the housing and mortgage lending in the US, see Wikipedia:

            So how did community organizers, like Barack Obama, use the CRA as a way to leverage their agenda?  Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk show host, put it this way in his early October 2008 show: "That has provided an opening to radical groups like ACORN ... to abuse the law by forcing banks to make hundreds of millions of dollars in 'sub prime' loans to often uncreditworthy poor and minority customers.  Any bank that wants to expand or merge with another has to show it has complied with [these community redevelopment things] -- and approval can be held up by complaints filed by groups like ACORN.  In fact, intimidation tactics, public charges of racism and threats to use CRA to block business expansion have enabled ACORN to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions from America's financial institutions."  Think of ACORN as a thousand Jesse Jacksons, in terms of shaking down companies and institutions.  

            In the mid 1990’s, Democratic President Bill Clinton weighed in by expanding the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) roles in the housing marketing.  From the initial elimination red lining in targeted neighborhoods (a practice by banks that was less risky for underwriting but not socially acceptable in liberal circles) set forth in the CRA in 1970’s, the movement in Congress was to ramp up mortgage lending to targeted neighborhoods and populations (lower income, minorities and substandard housing). Social policies of home ownership were pushed onto the banking system using Freddie and Fannie (GSE’s), through lessening of credit standards and pressuring banks through community organizations like Accorn.

Ed Lasky, a blogger with American Thinker  on October 4, 2008 noted:  Nine years ago (1999), Steven Holmes of the New York Times wrote admiringly of the way Bill Clinton and the Democrats could claim credit for "Eas[ing] Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending." It amounts to a map of how Bill Clinton and Democrats created this crisis.

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.  NYT, 1999.

            According to conservative research (see TownHall at

and Media Circus Barack Obama, as a left wing activist attorney sued Citibank under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in 1994.   This lawsuit, which was settled by Citibank, is part of the legal underpinning to force banks to make poor mortgage loans in order to meet CRA requirements   Here is the direct link on the details:    

            Social justice (ACORN) plus fiscal liberals in Congress equals risky mortgage polices resulting in a US government bailout.  Another experiment in government responsibility superceding personal responsibility, resulting in the Federal government stepping back in with taxpayer dollars (2008 Rescue package passed by Democrat majority House on October 3, 2008) to fix the mess.    And to realize that Barack Obama was one of those who pushed for this social engineering at the taxpayer expense.  No wonder he had a “hands off” approach during the crisis, and preferred to stay on the campaign trail as long as possible, while blaming Wall Street “fat cats” for the mortgage loan crisis.


© 2008, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,  

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sarah Palin Connects with America 10.03.08

The Main Stream Media (MSM) doesn’t get it.  While they cannot stand Sarah Palin, the American heartland and working people in the US are liking the Governor from Alaska.  As Sarah Palin stepped onto the national stage for the VP debate, the MSM and her critics warned America that she just wasn’t ready for prime time.  The legacy media, ABC News and CBS News took their turns with pre-debate “interviews” designed to dismiss and cripple Governor Palin as a serious Vice Presidential candidate.   Then the Obama campaign played the “she is a great debater” card, thinking that they could use elevated expectations to diminish her performance.  And Joe Biden, while well prepared and coached, attempted to use his 36 years of experience in the US Senate to overwhelm the American public with his knowledge and unwavering support of Barack Obama.    Governor Palin simply asked Senator Biden if she could call him Joe, and proceeded to speak directly to the American people.    In Governor Palin’s own words: “I may not answer the question the way the moderator or you want, but I’m going to answer and talk straight to the American people.”

Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin headlined her blog:  Sarah Rocks:  Sarah Palin is the real deal. Five weeks on the campaign trail, thrust onto the national stage, she rocked tonight’s debate.  She was warm, fresh, funny, confident, energetic, personable, relentless, and on message. She roasted Obama’s flip-flops on the surge and tea-with-dictators declarations, dinged Biden’s bash-Bush rhetoric, challenged the blame-America defeatism of the Left, and exuded the sunny optimism that energized the base in the first place.

            Meanwhile, back at the legacy media “round table” on CNN on Thursday night, the talking heads spent most of their time trying to explain why Senator Joe Biden won the night, and while attempting to dismiss Governor Palin’s performance.    For the MSM, Sarah Palin is so far outside their “Obama all the time” script, that they miss the obvious: that most Americans in the middle and in the heartland (and Alaska) like Sarah Palin.  CNN’s own poll showed that Palin was more likeable (54%) that Biden (36%).    However their media graphic focused on their biased poll that said Biden did the best job (51%) as compared to Palin (35%).   

            Sarah took the questions as Gwen Ifill (referred to as “Age of Obama” by journalist and media blogger Michele Malkin) served them up to the VP candidates.   Governor Palin used a direct approach, straight forward answers and ability to connect with the TV audience.  This was in contrast to Senator Biden’s left leaning rehearsed lines and Bush-bashing responses.   Sure, Senator Biden’s 35-year history and experince in the US Senate showed in the VP debate.   As a 6-term Washington insider, he should know the topics.   But Governor Palin, in a classic line said, “Say it ain’t, Joe!” You did it again. Looking backwards again!   Sarah Palin was alive, ready to go and gave the senior Senator from Delaware all that he could handle.

            My guess is that the Obama campaign is desperately trying to spin the VP debate as a win.  The MSM is doing all they can to help.  Meanwhile, the American people are wondering, “Why is this Alaskan Governor causing such heartburn and angst with the MSM, the Washington elite and Hollywood left?”  What a difference straight talk to the American people can make.    Harry Truman and Ronald Regan demonstrated that.  While Sarah Palin is only the #2 on the ticket, her support could make the difference for John McCain this race for President.

© 2008, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Case for Freedom 10.01.08

I have looked extensively at Barack Obama's ideas and the legislation he has supported and I could not disagree more with his ideas about how to run the US. I do not think that more government is better, ever.  I honestly believe that if you want a government, that penalizes achievers and risk takers to pay for the rest of society you should vote for Obama.  Because that is exactly his plan.

I do have a few questions.  Why should the wealthy (a.k.a. successful achievers) be made to pay for people who have not worked as hard or been willing to risk as much?  What is so bad about achieving? What is so noble about being poor and why should we reward it?   Why is the government better suited to spend the money I have earned than me?  Surely the government is not wiser than me. I believe we all have an obligation to help those who are truly in need.  That is our calling as Christians. But I do not feel any obligation to enable laziness or financial irresponsibility.

What is that really creates the prosperity we all enjoy?  It is risk-taking entrepreneurs who have worked hard and risked much to create companies that create jobs and opportunity for people.  That is what drives the economy and creates prosperity.  It is those same companies that provide jobs, health insurance and pensions etc., for their workers.  If you take away the incentive to achieve, by placing a huge tax burden on more successful individuals, why would they risk their time, effort and money to invent, create, and solve problems? Why is it that people risk everything, their lives, families, etc., to come to America?  Because the opportunity exists here to work hard and be rewarded fairly for that work.

I believe that Obama preys on class envy and fear to drive his message home.  Are you really doing so poorly?  How many people do you know personally, that are suffering in the current economy?  If you really scrutinize your family, friends and acquaintances, the vast majority are doing fine.  But the media drums daily about how awful it is. Hmm.

          How many of your successful friends are greedy S.O.B.'s that have taken advantage of the downtrodden?  Or are they perhaps, interesting, intelligent, risk-takers that through their ingenuity have improved their part of the world, created a successful business, law practice, small business or medical practice that has improved the lives of its employees or members of the community it was built in and give generously to the charity of their choice?

Are there exceptions to this, are there some who do take advantage of others? Of course.  The questions boils down to whether you think it is worth the risk of having some that do not have the betterment of society at heart, in order to allow others the freedom to achieve, improve their cornerof the universe, or even the society as a whole and be rewarded accordingly without penalty.

I choose freedom and hope that as a country we protect that freedom which we have worked so hard and sacrificed so much for.

 Carroll Pawlikowski        (Jasper's sister who lives in Pennsylvania)

(c) 2008, Four Corners Media,  Jasper Welch