According to Public Policy Polling, the five most popular states, with their favorable/unfavorable numbers in parenthesis, are Hawaii (54/10), Colorado (44/9), Tennessee (48/14), South Dakota (42/8) and Virginia (45/13). The least popular include California (27/44), Illinois (19/29) and New Jersey (25/32).
Here are a few noteworthy items for consideration on this day after Christmas.
It’s Who You Know: President Obama has nominated Kevin McNulty to the U.S. District court in New Jersey. McNulty just happens to be married to Fran, sister of Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Wonder if there is any connection there, hmm?
A Day That Will Live in Infamy: Really? That’s what campaign director for Newt Gingrich compares his disqualification from the Virginia primary ballot to. Yes, “Newt and I agree the analogy is December 1941,” Michael Knull writes. Did I miss something? How many died in this fiasco?
Is This the Beginning: The China Daily says “China’s biggest provincial borrowers are deferring payments on their loans just two months after the country’s regulator said some local government companies would be allowed to do so… Hunan Provincial Expressway Construction Group is delaying payment on 3.11 billion yuan in interest, documents governing the securities show this month.” And they’re not alone. China’s second largest debtor is doing the same thing, as are two others among the 11 largest debtors. Doesn’t sound like China’s economy is as solid as they say.
What’s Next, Burkas?: The Orlando Sentinel reports that CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) has succeeded in getting the Department of Defense to allow students to wear an Islamic head scarf (hijab) or a turban to participate in Jr. ROTC. CAIR wrote to Defense chief Leon Panetta who OK’d it after CAIR objected when a student at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn., was forced to transfer out because she wanted to wear a hijab while marching in the September Homecoming Parade.
Georgeann King and Reince Priebus
When he took the podium as guest speaker at the Lincoln Day Dinner Friday night, Reince Priebus began his talk with an admission. “It’s a bizarre name,” he said. “My son’s name is Jack, my daughter is Grace, my sister is Marie and I got Reince.” It’s pronounced like the river Rhine with an s on the end. “It’s a mix of my German and Greek background, ” he said.
With that out of the way, the newly elected RNC Chairman said he was here “for one reason: to make Barack Obama a one term president.
“The president is on target to run the first billion dollar campaign. We won the Superbowl last year (with the 2010 midterms), but we’re going to have to work together for victory in 2012,” he said.
Priebus outlined his plan. “We need to do three things. No. 1 – find people of their word to run for office. Second, win elections. Third, govern like we campaign. We must be the Republicans and conservatives we said we were on election day and govern that way.”
He says we will ask “are you better off today than you were three years ago? The deficit is up, unemployment is up, health care costs are up, gasoline is up. We needd as a party to wake up and start the outrage now and say enough! No more hiding about where we are financially. We are on the verge of spending 42 cents on every single dollar made in the U.S. to run the federal government. If Americans can cut back, the federal government can do it, too.”
Priebus says the GOP governors are already doing it with spending cuts. “Governors Walker in Wisconsin, Kasich in Ohio, Daniels in Indiana and Christie in New Jersey are leading the way. Frankly, it’s time we had this discussion. What happened in Wisconsin means the green flag has gone down.”
Priebus, who is from Wisconsin, believes Governor Walker will prevail. He helped him win and helped the legislature flip from Democrat to Republican as chairman of the Wisconsin Republican party. “People ask me how did we turn the state around? We did because we made more phone calls and more track calls than any other state. We had an army on the ground.”
But Priebus acknowledges that it wasn’t and isn’t just about seeing one party succeed.
“You’re here tonight not because of the party, but because you care about the country.”
An elementary school named for Barack Obama in Asbury Park, N.J., has closed. Even though they spent an astronomical $36,000 per student, test scores were poor. Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to hire personal tutors?
The much ballyhooed movie that attempts to tackle the failure of public education is now playing in Memphis at the Ridgeway. Yesterday I saw it and agree with critics that it is on point and should be seen by everyone who cares about the direction of the country.
For conservatives, it probably just reaffirms what most have felt about the system for the past few decades: that it is an endless money pit in which we keep tossing dollars without any better results achieved. Over the years students and the schools seem to get worse.
The movie makes it’s points through the eyes of five families who are trying to get in the few successful schools in their areas. Parents go to great lengths against big odds to try to secure a place at the better schools which are the more independent, inventive KIPP, charter and optional schools. For most of them it remains a dream.
Educators talk about the bureaucracy and teachers unions that strangle their efforts. Pupils willing to apply themselves grapple with the reality that they’re not going to get any help. Presidents continue to sign legislation aimed at fixing the problem, but each seems to fail.
The filmmaker couldn’t do without a gratuitous shot at Reagan for his remark that maybe the Education Department should be abolished and at Bush for a slip of the tongue when he said our childrens instead of children. Barack Obama doesn’t get much play; curious (or maybe not), the filmmaker didn’t mention Obama’s choosing a private school for his daughters while ending the successful voucher program in D.C. for underprivileged students. And since the movie came out, the superintendent of D.C. schools, Michelle Rhee, has left the program when her sponsor, the mayor, lost his seat in the recent primary. New Jersey’s governor Chris Christie offered her a post in his state.
The take away message for me in the movie is we have ceded too much power to the federal government. The schools that succeed are outside their purview. Politicians have depended so much on the support of teachers unions that the education part doesn’t matter. When students fail the government simply moves the metric – down. There is no desire among them to change the system and the system is killing progress. Citizens become enslaved to government when it ought to be that government works to please the people.
Unless some drastic change takes place in education, it looks like we are stuck with an increasingly bad status quo.
And if you like that, the health care system looks like it will follow the same downward slope as education unless Obamacare is repealed. Just substitute health care for schools in the movie for a frightening glimpse of all of our futures.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has reportedly asked Michelle Rhee to take on the job of New Jersey education commissioner. Ms. Rhee, the acclaimed Washington, D.C., former schools chancellor, resigned her post when the mayor of D.C. lost his post in the recent primary. She is said to be mulling it and considering family needs.
Last night our own Ben Ferguson, talk radio host on KWAM, joined the panel of Fox Business Networks’ “Money Rocks” show with Eric Bolling. Others on it included former New York Congressman Vito Fossella, Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, detective Bo Dietl, comedian Joe Piscopo. The topic? Which state has the most corrupt politicians.
It was a fierce competition what with several New Yorkers there, Chicago natives and Piscopo from New Jersey, but Ferguson held his own. He cataloged the various contributions, shall we say, of our own beloved Ford family. Of course, he was able to personally thank New York state for taking Harold Ford Jr. I concur. It was nice of them to take him. Now would they like any others?
Last night at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference Newt Gingrich shared his thoughts on the current situation the country finds itself in and what to do about it in stark, realistic terms.
He said he would never have dreamed a year ago – or even last December – that the Republicans would have had such an opportunity to take back the House and Senate in 2010. He feels the Democrats have not acknowledge the wave building against them, even after our victories in Virginia and New Jersey trumped by Senator Scott Brown’s win in Massachussettts.
We need to frame the campaign by calling attention to the differences between liberal policies and the traditional American values. For instance, that the country was founded on freedom and they are offering serfdom. Do we hold to the work ethic or go with their redistribution of wealth? Gingrich feels were are in the most serious conflict we have been in since the 1850s.
He holds to two beliefs. Number 1: elections have consequences. Number 2: consequences have elections.
He gave three “assignments” to us:
1. Talk about the secular socialism goals of Obama. Point out that we’re not in a power struggle, but a struggle over core values. That is, does a work ethic matter? Are we endowed with rights by our Creator, or does government define who we are? Obama, he says, is following a set of values antithetical to American traditions.
2. He will be discussing his 2 + 2= 4 slogan that will be outlined at American Solutions. He talked about how the Poles in the 70s put up signs in their home windows and businesses that said 2 + 2 = 4. It comes from thoughts by Camus and Orwell who say you can be made to believe that 2 + 2 = 5 if the government succeeds in propagandizing us. With those signs in their windows they voiced their opposition, but could not be arrested or questioned by putting up such an inoffensive sign.
3. Project positive ideas. When asked on topics our candidates need to say yes to a balanced budget, not just deriding the Dems’ plans. Yes to stopping the loss of Medicare dollars to fund other projects. In other words, “Let me tell you what I’m for.”
I look forward to his new book and ideas that he will be rolling out soon.
He certainly seemed like someone running for president and I’ve never seen him better. He presents his thoughts so clearly you just can’t disagree. Gingrich got a big ovation from attendees.
Someone recently asked me why I bothered to work at the polls. It is boring, it is long, the pay is poor and it sometimes seems like a waste of time.
Then, you look at the elections such as the NY 23, New Jersey and Virginia; consider the ACORN videos, the Black Panthers in Pennsylvania and wonder how many fraudulent elections have taken place. Many times we Republicans have believed that we could trust our officials. Often we are outnumbered as workers. It can’t happen anymore. We must get in there and monitor what happens to ensure fair elections. Our military men give up years of their lives to protect this country. Certainly, civilians can give a little to protect freedom, too.
If Republicans are absent from black precincts, doesn’t that give a poor impression? We cannot give up on our neighbors. In the end it might be the person to person working together that changes minds.
At the least, it is a very educational experience to see how our system of governance works.