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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Victor Davis Hansen on 2012 Election

In a recent Pajamas Media TV interview of Victor Davis Hansen by Roger Simon, the well know conservative writer, scholar and historian gives his opinion of President Obama and the likely debates surrounding the 2012 Presidential race.  

For the full interview, go to Pajamas TV

For the rest of the conservative web site  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rick Perry Enters the Presidential Race

It's official:  Rick Perry, the Republican Governor of Texas has entered the 2012 Presidential race.  Over the weekend, from a starting point in South Carolina, the popular Texas governor burst upon the national stage.    Following his announcement, Governor Perry traveled to New Hampshire and then to Iowa to meet voters in the heartland.

Here is his interview with Fox News

With President Obama's poll numbers sliding below the 40% level, and (according to Rassmussen Reports) his negative spread is -22.       So with the Republican field flexing it's muscle, and the loyal opposition (the GOP is surging) taking on the Main Stream Media (MSM) and the Democrat in the White House, Governor Perry's entrance into the competitive field make it that much more interesting.

For more on Rassmussen Reports:

Take some time to check out each GOP candidate for President.  And contrast their message for American with the worn out liberal approach being taken by President Obama.     Too bad we can't move the general election up to November 2011!

(c) Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media  

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Senator Rubio plan talk about the Budget

Plain talk from US Senator Rubio (R-Florida), from the floor of the US Senate on July 30, 2011:

And here’s the way I would describe it the United States of America more or less -- these are rough numbers but they’re accurate – spends about $300 billion a month. It has $180 billion a month that comes to the federal government through taxes and other sources of revenue and that means that in order to meet its bills at the end of every month it needs to borrow $120 billion.

“Now, for much of the history of this country, there have been increases in the debt limit and the ability to borrow money. But what has happened over the last few years is that it's no longer a routine vote because the people who give us our credit rating are saying too much of the money that you spend every month is borrowed and we want you to show us how over the next ten years you are going to borrow less as a percentage of what you spend.

“And so that's why, for years, where the debt limit was routine vote, it no longer can be. It’s not something that was made up in some conservative think tank. But the reality that we cannot continue to borrow 40% to 41% of every penny that the government spends has brought us to this point.

“So you would think that seeing that, our government and our leaders here in both parties would react to that immediately and work on it.

“And I've heard lot of talk today about delaying tactics and delaying votes. I would argue to you that this issue has been delayed at least for the last two and a half years.

“In the two years before I even came here, this chamber neither proposed nor passed a budget. It is a startling figure that for the last two years this government has operated without a budget. So think about that. Two years have gone by without a budget. The first two years that the President was the president, no budgets.


Democrats Delay, GOP Moves Forward

From US Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) in the National Review online edition: 

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid chose tonight to delay, and not vote on his plan to raise the debt ceiling. Republicans requested over and over, on the Senate floor, to vote on the Reid plan tonight. The Congress needs to move past the Reid plan, which cannot pass the Senate, and cannot pass the House of Representatives. The Reid plan, full of gimmicks and budgetary tricks, hands the president another credit card to max out through his reelection — the biggest credit card in history.
      The plan Republicans support avoids default, cuts spending, caps future spending, and balances the budget. This approach is supported by 60 percent of Americans. With the Democrats’ latest delay on a real solution to our nation’s fiscal problems, they bring us closer to default. We have just four days left.
     America needs a credible plan for cutting spending. Instead of plans, they ask Americans to tweet #compromise while putting out slogans such as the “Boehner Drop.” This is not governing, this is politics as usual, and the American taxpayer foots the bill.
     Without a serious effort to cut debt and prevent default, President Obama will be presiding over the first-ever downgrade of our nation’s creditworthiness. This will raise interest rates, a “debt tax,” on all Americans, which may cost by some estimates $100 billion a year. An anxious market has already lost over 530 points this week.
    While Republicans offer solutions week after week, it’s the default Democrats who say no time and time again. Democrats were the only ones talking about a government shutdown during the debate over funding the government just a few short months ago. Now they are repeating that same playbook of scare tactics and electoral politics, with much higher stakes: our nation’s economy, an economy that we found out on Friday is not growing nearly fast enough to reduce unemployment. Democrats, if serious about avoiding a rating downgrade, will quickly move past the Reid plan. And the Congress should move forward with a plan that strengthens our financial future.

For more from the National Review online:  

Boehner: Put Something on the Table!

 In a speech of support before his fellow members of the US House of Representatives, Speaker of the House John Boehner laid out his case for "Cut, Cap & Balance".     The President and majority of the US Senates (aka, Democrats) have yet to lay out a plan to go forward, and the US Senate has not passed a Federal budget in 800 days (while the Democrats have been in the majority).   As the Speaker said on Friday night:  "Put something on the table!"  

"I can tell you that I have worked with the President and the administration since the beginning of this year to avoid being in this spot. I have offered ideas. I've negotiated. Not one time, not one time did the administration ever put any plan on the table. All they would do was criticize what I put out there. I stuck my neck out a mile to try to get an agreement with the President of the United States. I stuck my neck out a mile and I put revenues on the table in order to try to come to an agreement to avert us being where we are. But a lot of people in this town can never say yes. A lot of people can never say yes. This House has acted and it is time for the administration and time for our colleagues across the aisle put something on the table!" Speaker John Boehner said on the House floor late Friday afternoon (7.29.11, US House of Representatives, during the US debt ceiling debate).

Monday, July 25, 2011

Our 10 Trillion Dollar Man

The recent blog by Victor Davis Hanson, entitled "our ten trillion dollar man".

Straight Talk from Speaker Boehner

As we watch the Main Stream Media (MSM) and the liberal press try to spin the debt crisis, here is some straight talk from Speaker of the House John Boehner.

The US House, lead by Speaker Boehner, is where all spending, tax and revenue bills originate from. The House is the only legislative body that has passed a bill, which is called "Cut, Cap and Balance". Simplly put, cut the US Federal spending, cap the debt ceiling and balance the budget. Not very complicated. But for spend & tax liberals in Washington, and President Obama, they are unwilling to look at real reform, real spending cuts and reducing the size of the bloated Federal government.

Call your US Senators today, whose last action on the budget debate was to table action on "Cut, Cap and Balance", and simply kick the can down the road. The Democrat US Senators from New Mexico (Udall, Bingaman) and Colorado (Bennett, Udall) all voted to table the bill. Clearly it's time to let our Senators know that we are disappointed in their big spending ways.

(c) 2011, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Governor Tim Pawlenty Announces for President

The Republican field of candidates for President of the US (POTUS) is geting sorted out.   With Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, Donald Trump (really?), Mike Huckabee and probably a few others (in the next few months) OUT of the race, and the early announcers in the race for Prez (Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul), the newest official candidate is former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.   Following on his heels will likely be former Utah Governor Huntsman.
Here is the Pawlenty pre-announcement video Palenty web announcement that appeared this weekend on the campaign website.   Tim's official announcement will come on Monday May 23rd in Iowa, the site of the early midwest GOP campaigning and early caucus results.

You'll note the Democrat leaning (or really biased) Main Stream Media (MSM) noting that the Republicans have a weak field and that there is not a front runner among them.     And Obama is raising lots of money and that he'll be hard to beat.    Wrong!    As John Sununu  (former US Senator from New Hampshire and contributor to the Boston Globe) aptly states in his recent editorial:

The New Hampshire primary isn’t about announcements or first impressions, and it will not be decided in May or June. With Daniels’s decision, the field may finally be set, but the long march has barely begun.
Primaries don’t repeat themselves, but as the saying goes, sometimes they rhyme. 2012, like 1996, features a Democratic president who suffered big mid-term losses, a sluggish economy, and a wide-open Republican field. Right now, that’s something of a self-fulfilling prophecy: The field is open because most voters and activists have yet to commit to a candidate; they haven’t committed to a candidate because the field is still open.
With Daniels out, focus will fall on the trio of Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Jon Huntsman. They have all served as governor, won statewide elections, and can raise considerable campaign cash. They also all have big hurdles to overcome.
So let the candidates begin their long march through the early primary and caucus states.   In a Presidential race, it is like the Olympics.    It only happens every four years, it takes tremendous preparation and team efforts and the final victor may or may not be favored early.  And a good set of primary races will yeild a stronger GOP challenger to President Obama.     
(c) 2011, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media, 

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Reasonable Approach to Fiscal Sanity

In a recent speech on the floor of the US Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Kentucky) makes the case for fiscal disipline, and lays out the arguments (as made by the tea party) for cutting spending and getting the US Federal budget under fiscal control.

Pretty plan English on what we need our elected official in Washington to do.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tough Choices for Governors

Tough Choice for Governors

Given the economic downturn, and requirement that states have to balance their budgets, the next 4 years of state budgets across the country will feature belt tightening, program reductions (and outright elimination) and challenging labor negotiations.

Here are the areas of debate, beginning with “what is the appropriate role of government in the first place?”    The big four pillars in state government are education (usually biggest slice of budget), health services, transportation and corrections.    And underlying all of these is state worker labor costs (direct pay, retirement and benefits), which are increasing much faster that state government revenues.   

The debate in Wisconsin on state and local employees and their public union representation is just the tip of the iceberg, as all 50 states and countless municipalities are struggling with their labor costs.     Should the Governor (of any given state) reduce the burden and cost of state employees (their compensation & benefits) by adjusting benefits and retirement costs or just lay state workers off (and not change benefits)?    In the example of Camden, NJ, the public employees wouldn’t negotiate a less pay and benefit package and set the stage for a 50% layoff.   

Other Governors are looking to sell state assets, privatize highways (convert to toll roads), privatize higher education (reduce subsidies and convert to enterprises).  Some Governors of deep blue states (such as Illinois) decided to raise taxes during an economic downturn.    It is unclear how increasing taxes will actually generate additional revenues, if the overall business climate and tax base is adversely impacted.   Many companies are moving their headquarters and manufacturing locations from high tax states (Michigan, New York, California and Illinois) to lower tax states such as Texas.   Thus simply raising taxes may not work.  Now that the Federal stimulus dollars are waning and spent out (a large portion of Fed dollars were used to prop up state budget shortfalls, particularly in pro-union high labor cost states), states are having to make additional cuts in spending to balance their budgets.

By John F. Cape
Senior Fellow, the Rockefeller Institute of Government 11.2010
Against this bleak background, in most areas of the country, state government has effectively lost its pricing power. In race after race, gubernatorial candidates — Republicans and Democrats alike — have rushed to assure voters that they have no intention of raising taxes. As a result, given the inherent lag between economic recovery and state revenue growth, it is likely that many states will be mired in difficult fiscal conditions until 2013 or 2014.
So, what should state leaders do? From my experience over the past 35 years working as a state budget official and consulting for state fiscal managers across the country, I would offer new governors two simple suggestions:
1) Define fundamental goals for your major programs and revenue sources to be achieved by your fourth year in office.
             2) Have your budget staff do a “back of the envelope” calculation of the Year Four costs of those spending goals and the monies potentially generated by your Year Four tax goals, and see how closely they match. These are estimates, so they don’t have to balance perfectly — they just have to be close.

If you want to be the “tax-cutting education governor” (and who doesn’t?), this exercise should be eye-opening. Unless you’re in North Dakota (which has been spared most of the current economic pain), it will likely require you to repeat step one. Once affordable long-range strategic objectives are defined, then you should begin work on the upcoming fiscal plan. Simply put, the fiscal stress in the coming years will make state budgets very unforgiving of mistakes. Embarking on spending or tax strategies that are unsustainable can result in painful course-reversals later.  This planning will not be easy or pretty. Suffice it to say that the next few years will see a greater debate about the fundamental role of government — at all levels — than we have had in 50 years. State programs and agencies that have survived untouched for years could face elimination or consolidation. Non-core assets such as real estate or liquor stores could be put on the sales block. Surely, we will see a restructuring of state and state-subsidized employee benefit programs to realign with broader labor market norms. And the result of those debates will color state fiscal plans going forward for at least a decade.

In short, successful governors will have to make hamburger out of what have previously been sacred cows, or risk seeing their agendas trampled by the herd.   John F. Cape
See the Rockefeller Institute web site 

Unlike the Federal Government, the state governments must balance their budgets.  May the great debates continue in all 50 capitals of the United States.   And the great American democratic experiment will unfold and we’ll see who can figure out how to navigate some of the roughest financial seas in the past 50 years.   

© Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,   

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sandmonkey: Voice of Protest in Egypt

So what is really happening in Egypt?   Listen for yourself, as Sandmonkey as he is interviewed with Roger Simon from Pajamas Media.    Sandmonkey shares his "on the ground" perspective of the protests in Egypt, and how the true protesters and the Egypt authorities are responding to the situation.   As many as 2 million Egyptians have joined the protests.  The long distance phone call interview was conducted on Wednesday February 2nd by Roger Simon with Sandmonkey from his undisclosed location in the City of Cairo.  As a blogger, Sandmonkey communicates that America needs to choose between the US ideas or the US interests.     From his perspective, Sandmonkey expressed that the only people who were supporting the Egyptian people were individuals who support democracy around the world, but not actual democratic governments (such as US or Europe).   The Egyptian government has been putting out many pieces of misinformation to support the existing government, and discourage the protesters.  or    

To hear the interview:

(c) 2011, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media, 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NM Roundhouse in Session in Santa Fe

In New Mexico, the citizen legislature meets for 30 day and 60 day sessions.     With 70 House members and 42 State Senators, the annual legislative session in Santa Fe is filled with pomp, circumstance, endless meetings, morning and evening events and plenty of deal making.    Over the past several years, the State Senate leadership has maintained a more conservative and thoughtful approach, while the House has seen it's share of debate.   For details on the NM legislature:     

And the cutting edge blog that is on top of what is happening in Santa Fe is Joe Monahan's political blog that follows the ins and out of politics in New Mexico.    While I'd disagree with his recent criticism of Farmington's own Representative Tom Taylor (whose is the House Minority Leader), Joe is pretty well connected with his sources in the state and has a bead on the breaking stories.

Since the session just started in mid January, they'll be plenty of entertainment over the next 50 more days, with the first female GOP Hispanic governor in the United States (Susana Martinez), a weakened Democrat Speaker of House (the Dems lost 8 seats to the GOP, but kept a slim majority in the Chamber), and the State Senate (which has been the stabilizing influence in Santa Fe during the crazy and corrupt days of Big Bill).

(c) 2011,  Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,

Friday, January 7, 2011

Reading our US Constitution

Reading our US Constitution

What a difference a majority in the House of Representatives makes.    In the new 112th Congress, with newly elected Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the people's house decided to read the sacred trust document that is the foundation of the American government.    Sounds a pretty good idea.    Except if you are the New York Times, or one of the many Democrat members who skipped the reading.

From American Thinker    by Michael Filozof

The fact is that the Democratic Party and the political Left in this country use the Constitution as nothing less than an instrument of pure demagoguery. When it suits them to cite it, they do; when it suits them to ignore it, they do; and when neither alternative suits them, they invent phrases out of whole cloth (e.g., "separation of church and state," "jury of one's peers," "freedom of expression," "right to privacy") that exist nowhere in the Constitution and invest these phrases with constitutional authority.

The reading of the Constitution on the House floor is neither a stunt nor a political trick. The Constitution is nothing less than the "supreme Law of the Land." Its purpose, as Madison wrote in Federalist #51, is to "oblige [the government] to control itself."

The great question of our time is this: will the public demand that government adhere to the Constitution and "control itself," or will the public not give a damn what the Constitution says as long as government provides bread and circuses?