Who Am I?

Would someone please tell me who President Barack Obama is?

Or perhaps I should say, which president he is.

When he rode to Washington D.C., following Lincoln’s rail trip, the American people were supposed to believe he was the new Lincoln. After all, Obama, like Lincoln,  was a tall, lanky lawyer from Illinois – er, make that Hawaii – known for his oratory. He announced his candidacy in Springfield, Ill., Lincoln’s old stomping ground. His inaugural theme was “A New Birth of Freedom,” a line taken from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. He even used Lincoln’s bible for his swearing in.

But somehow, that persona fizzled.

Later in January 2009,  Obama was FDR.

Time magazine put him on the cover, looking like FDR complete with the jaunty cigarette in its holder, narrow glasses and hat. Obama was starting his first 100 days. He would create public works programs to halt unemployment.  It was the New Deal all over again. Like FDR, Obama was eloquent. He is able to use new media in a profound way, just like FDR, gushed NPR. He would reassure us about the future as he made it all right again.

But somehow, that persona fizzled.

Last week Obama was on the cover of Time again, this time with Ronald Reagan. with the title “Why Obama Loves Reagan.” At Christmas Obama was said to be reading a biography of Reagan. He’s going to the center! cried pundits. He’s like Reagan because he lost congressmen in the midterm elections. Reagan’s poll numbers were down at this point, too, they say. Obama is sure to be re-elected just like Reagan.

It just so happened that last week many in the country were celebrating what would have been Reagan’s 100 birthday. What better way to get some free publicity than to glom onto a favorite president – again.

But somehow, that persona fizzled – and quickly.

Today, Obama is JFK. Yesterday’s speech to the Chamber of Commerce evoked Kennedy. the AP said. “Echoing John F. Kennedy, President Barack Obama prodded business leaders Monday to look beyond company bottom lines and ‘ask yourselves what you can do for America’.”  Other pundits noted the similarity to Kennedy’s famous “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” With his Kennedy like taxcuts, can Camelot be far behind for Obama?

The only president he hasn’t tried to be lately is George W. Bush. If he were, then there would be no one else to take the blame.

Why can’t Obama be his own president? Could it be that there is no there, there?

The only

The New Civility

President Obama’s call for civility after the Tucson tragedy must have eluded Commercial Appeal columnist Wendi C. Thomas.

She tweeted her views on the school consolidation plan proposed by Senator Mark Norris yesterday in Nashville.

“Sen. Norris has left the well. He did not drown there. Dangit. SB25 bill sails to passage.”

What a nice sentiment to broadcast on twitter. Liberal love and civility again on display.

Troubling Trends

Share Your WealthDisturbing incidents keep popping up in the news lately. Nothing that’s an earth shaking story, but trends that don’t look good for our republic.

For instance, today President Obama told the Chamber of Commerce that corporate profits “must be shared by the American worker.” We got a whiff of this with Joe the Plumber and the redistribution of wealth comment. Does Obama feel confident enough in his ratings to start this push?

Also today, the  FCC has announced it will use the Emergency Alert System, those routinely sounded alarms, to make presidential announcements in the future. “The primary goal is to provide the president with a mechanism to communicate with the American public during times of  national emergency,” a spokesman said. Does this sound like the United States or a third world banana republic?

Recently, the Wall Street Journal quoted John Heilemann, co-author of “Game Change,” who wrote some interesting tidbits in New York Magazine. Washington players shared some thoughts with him such as “President Obama rarely consulted outside the tiny charmed circle surrounding him in the White House. What you had was really 3 or 4 people running the government. I thought they put a pretty good Cabinet together, but most of those guys might as well be in the witness protection program.” Another told him, “I happen to know most of the Cabinet pretty well and I get together with them indivdually for lunch,” said one of the most respected Democrat bigwigs in Washington. “I’ve had half a dozen Cabinet members say that in the first two years, they never had one call – not one call – from the president.”

So who are these unelected people running the country? Suggestions are the chief one is Valerie Jarrett, an old friend from Chicago. She also happens to have been born in Iran to American parents. She didn’t live here the first five years of her life. One wonders what her priorities are. And there is no way to check her power since she is only accountable to the president.

When Obama spoke at the National Prayer breakfast on Thursday, he once again said some things that caused many to prick up their ears. He said, “My father, who I barely knew – I only met once for a month in my entire life – was said to be a non-believer.”

This is troubling on several levels. First, Obama had previously said that his father and mother lived together in Hawaii until he was two. Another time there was the story of Obama Sr. visiting the Dunham clan in Hawaii Christmas 1971. Which is it? Why the discrepanacies?

Then, when you consider the term “non believer” is used by Muslims to describe everyone outside Islam, it strikes you as an odd choice of words.

There is also the recently disclosed information that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano secretly met with the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010.

Obama pals William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn helped the Free Gaza flotilla that engaged in clashes with Israeli  troops, as did Code Pink. What were they doing that for?

When you consider that we have a press that will gloss over any troubling thing he says, and refuses to delve into any of his background or motives,  you wonder how the truth can get out. And what don’t we know?

Tingles Turn to Chills

Watching a 12 minute clip of Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” I literally spilled my coffee.

Matthews, the obsequious Obama cult follower famous for getting tingly legs listening to his beloved Barak,  actually threw a few barbs his way.

Talking about the administration’s handling of Mubarak and the crisis in Egypt, Chrissy said, “Barack Obama, as much as I support him in many ways, there’s a transactional quality to the guy that’s chilling.”

Y’a think?

That’s been obvious to conservatives from Day 1.

Matthews  continues. “Wasn’t Mubarak our friend for 30 years? Are we denying that? … (After Sadat’s assassination) we thought things might come apart over there and he held everything together. He was strong… and now we say it’s time for the game.. Well, we should have prepared this 20, 30 years ago. Where is the State Department? Don’t we have hundreds of people sitting over there in Foggy Bottom with no other job except to know what’s going on in Egypt… what are they doing?

“I watch Secretary Clinton today. I don’t get anything. I see anything more than 2 plus 2 are 4. I keep waiting for 5. Show me you’ve done your jobs over there…I feel ashamed as an American at how we’re doing this… what have we done as leaders and as friends? All we’ve done is watch.”

Pat Buchanan, also on the panel, said “we are coldly calculating. We look dreadful.” He describes how at first we seemed to go with the demonstrators when it looked like they would win, then the guys riding camels came in and we recalculated.

Host Joe Scarborough agreed. “Mubarak was the reason we had 30 years of peace in the region. That is worth something.”

Matthews’ bubbling over caused many to wonder if he is the White House Insider recounting and questioning the Obama administration. The web site has denied this.

But if liberals are getting worried and scared, what does this say for the leadership of our country?

“Just Make It Look Good”

The White House Insider quotes the new mantra of Obama:  whatever happens, “just make it look good.”

According to the report sent to newsflavor.com, the Insider says Obama is “clueless. Totally clueless” about Egypt and what’s going on around him.

“His primary focus is now getting elected in ’12. Everything else has been given over to (Valerie) Jarrett… The president has no interest in policy. No interest in working legislation…he is being told what to say and that is it.”

The scary scenario he describes evidently is alarming many people. It seems two issues dominate for Obama now and you can read it yourself at http://newsflavor.com/politics/world-politics/white-house-insider-obama-is-clueless-totally-clueless/.

The anonymity of the writer might make you doubt his account, but it doesn’t seem out of character with the president.

Unemployment Rate Dips

The Labor Department announced this morning that the unemployment rate has fallen to 9% and the number of jobs added for January is 36,000.

This apparent contradiction is almost like saying you got a raise, but your paycheck is smaller.

When you consider that the government looks at 130 million people working but only samples a few companies for results, how can the data be accurate? Add to that the lack of  information on how many people just stopped looking for a job or could no longer get unemployment checks because their 99 weeks ran out and the results seem dubious.

Economist Diana Swonk said on CNBC this morning that in Michigan the unemployment rate fell from 15% to 12%, but that was almost all attributed to people giving up and not looking. Similarly, this could be the explanation for the apparent good number in the face of very few hirings.

Others commented that the Bureau of Labor Statistics usually does its worst reporting in January because so many things like weather, holiday sales  and other factors distort the true number.

Tea Party initiator Rick Santelli guffawed at the 9.0% number. “There’s very little evidence about why we should ignore price appreciation; there’s very little information that quantitative easing and fed monetary policy is going to create jobs, but yet you have overwhelming evidence that the jobs market is disappointing and all of you are trying to look for that one half a spaghetti in a 50 pound spaghetti bowl. This is not great data and 15.1 is probably the unemployment rate. (Fellow panelist ) Steve (Liesman) you and I both know that the unemployment rate, the labor force moving in and out, those giving up is really probably your best statistical reason for the drop to 9.0.”

It does seem odd that the unemployment number has gone down almost a percentage point in two months. Gallup’s most recent survey yesterday estimated unmployment at 9.8% and underemployment at 18.9%.

If there is an increased optimism in business it probably correlates more to the Republican takeover of  the House and the deal to keep the Bush tax cuts than any Obama policies. Since Obama would be the one who benefits most from the  jiggered data one wonders what is really going on at the Labor Department.

Rude or Stupid?

 Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett attended the Alfalfa Club dinner  in Washington, D.C. last weekend.

The club holds an annual dinner on the last Saturday of January. About 200 members of the city’s best and brightest gather for the dinner, begun in 1913 to celebrate the birthday of Robert E. Lee. The names comes from the plant’s “willingness to do anything for a drink,” according to Wikipedia.

Maybe that’s the idea Jarrett was trying to emulate because she either committed a faux pas intentionally, or, the more  charitable among us would have to say, she’s stupid.

How else would you explain her stopping an officer, chest full of metals, to ask him to fetch her a refill on her drink. “I’d like another glass of wine,” she told him, according to astonished observers. White House economic advisor Austan Goolsbee was sitting next to her and began “cracking up nervously.” According to the Daily Caller, there was no shortage of waiters.

One would hope that someone in her position – there are those who say she directs the president’s every move – would know the difference between a waiter and a military officer. One would hope that someone in her position would know the difference between respect for a military officer and disdain. One would hope that someone in her position was not so tipsy as to not know either of these scenarios.

As sensitive as the administration is to civility and perceived snubs, you’d think Jarrett would have behaved better.

And what was it? White or red? Or didn’t she care? I suspect the latter.

Midtown Republican Club Meeting

Justin Joy
Justin Joy

Last night’s guest speaker was Justin Joy. He graciously stepped in for scheduled speaker John Ryder, who had to bow out when a viral infection made him lose his voice.

Justin briefed us on the ruling against Obama care that had come down on Monday. He has been wading through the ruling and the original bill.

“It’s such a well thought out opinion,” Joy said, that “vis a vis the Supreme Court, it will be tough to attack it. It’s a Constitutional issue.  The judge’s decision addressed two components: the Medicaid expansion and the individual mandate. In the judge’s opinion, Congress stepped over their authority.”

Newly appointed District Attorney General Amy Weirich attended the meeting and discussed Tennessee’s approach to it. Since our state attorney general is a Democrat – and is in the third year of an 8 year term – it presents difficulties. He is opposed to repeal of  the Affordable Care Act.

Justin also discussed the upcoming caucus and convention for the Shelby GOP this month. Monday, February 21, at 7 p.m. precinct caucuses will be held  at Houston High School. Delegates from each precinct will be elected and then will attend the convention, also at Houston High, Sunday, March 20 at 3. They will then elect a slate of officers and steering committee members. Joy, who is running for party chairman, urged all who can to attend. “It’s a great way to get involved at a very local level.”

Midtowners will shortly be contacted about the event and let’s hope we get a very representative turnout!

Kim Perry also came and talked about the Lincoln Day Dinner. It has been moved to March 18. Look for an announcement soon about the exciting guest speaker. Tickets are $85 for the banquet and we will have a Midtown Republican table. More info on this soon, too.

Groundhog Day

Is it me, or do you sometimes wake up and wonder what year it is? Is it 2009? 2010? 2011?

The season is a little easier. If it’s cold it’s winter, at least to us who are  global warming deniers.

But, if you take a look at the newspaper or TV, it hardly seems like the years are any different. We’re still in a recession/depression. The fact that pundits keep telling us it was  over in June 2009, but we still have unemployment over 9% does add to the time frame reference. The houses in my neighborhood that were put up for sale years ago still stand empty. Chinese goods continue to flood our markets. Unions still demand exorbitant benefits, cars keep being recalled, oil companies continue to be restrained in production.

Health care still is unresolved and firms don’t know what will happen. Doctors don’t, patients don’t. Republicans and Democrats are still at war over it. Judges rule against it, judges rule for it.

The deficit is still astronomical.  Taxes have stayed the same, but the threat of higher ones continues to loom.

Obama continues to blame George W. Bush. The media is still stuck on  demonizing Sarah Palin. Rush Limbaugh is still the left’s favorite whipping boy. The Tea Party continues to be a bunch of dangerous, gun obsessed rubes in their eyes.

Katie Couric still heads up CBS nightly news, even though she has seen a ratings dive. Ditto Sulzberger at the New York Times and the editors at The Washington Post.

The Middle  East remains in turmoil. We’re still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Immigration continues to go unchecked.

Education is still crashing; in Memphis we still have no idea what politicians want to do with our schools. The City/County fight goes on.

Funny that the person who promised hope and change can’t deliver on either. The problem is, if he sees his shadow, will we have six more years of Obama?

Charlotte Goes to Cohen Meeting

Charlotte Bergmann writes of her attendance at yesterday’s town hall meeting held by Steve Cohen.

“I went to Congressman Cohen’s town hall meeting as a constitutent because I’d received an invitation to it. I’d decided to not be confrontational and to maintain a low profile. Ultimately…it was my intention to meet the people in the district and to discover what issues were of importance to them.

A poor elderly gentleman was standing next to me wanting to ask the Congressman a question. He kept his hand raised for more than 30 minutes wanting to be acknowledged. I then brought it to the attention of Congressman Cohen. Unfortunately, the poor man was never acknowledged. The constituents were aware of the slight; I was received very warmly after the event.

I never thought Kontji (Anthony WMC reporter) was recording me. But, I was able to make some good contacts with most of the people in the room. http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13941621

I learned a lot. I learned that Cohen hates Republicans with a passion. I learned that he is threatened by his reduced power in Congress and he reassured everyone that he is still on the Transportation committee and they are bipartisan and he has been assured that he has not lost any power.

I learned that Cohen truly believes that the only way the middle class can survive is if the government gives them jobs. He told the audience that the Republicans are cutting food stamps and welfare, etc. A proud veteran told Cohen that he did not want food stamps, welfare, etc. Cohen acted as though the proud veteran was delusional and did not know what was best for him.

Most of the requests from constituents were outstanding cases that had not been resolved. Before many constituents could get their question out about their concerns, Cohen interrupted them and assigned them to one of his staff members. For the most part, the staff member recognized the constituent and replied, “Oh, yeah, I am familiar with that case.” So, it appears that constituent services are somewhat dismal.”

Charlotte Bergmann