Be Careful What You Wish For

The Democrats and unions were so angry in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s success in ending collective bargaining for federal employees that they thought it would convert into election victories.

We see from Prosser’s victory in the state Supreme Court race that it did not. It may not in the recall elections either, according to workers on the ground in Wisconsin. Legal Insurrection blogger William Jacobson predicts  a Massachusetts miracle in Wisconsin.

“A funny thing happened on the way to the recall,” he writes. He quotes political operatives there as saying the Democrats in the recall districts are in more danger than the Republicans they hoped to overthrow.

First, the unions flamed out on Prosser. They threw everything they had at that race and are now demoralized about the recall elections. Alarmed citizens and Republicans have been invigorated.

As Dan Hunt of Recall Wirch tells it his ground had almost no money to collect signatures, but still managed to get thousands more than needed ahead of the April 25 deadline. The unions tried to intimidate their group, showing up at signature collecting events and daring passersby to stop.  They shouted and waved protest signs, but the Republicans outmaneuvered them.

Our group used union tactics against them. They switched locations on them. Then, they invited them and offered coffee and donuts.  The Republicans even held contests with prizes for the protesters. A contest for best T-shirt, a contest for best sign; they even brought dog biscuits for the German Shepherds the unionistas brought with them. It wore down the union people and forced them to admit the Republicans were acting well.

It is possible that after the recall elections Republicans could have even more GOP senators in the legislature.

Donald, While You’re at It…

Obama's Scar
Since Donald Trump seems to be the only person willing to ask questions about Obama’s birth certificate, maybe he will ask  about the weird scar that  runs across Obama’s head.

There is a picture of Obama at a White House Christmas party talking to George Lopez, Michelle looking on in the background. In it you can see a very long scar that covers the sides and back of his head. It curves up over the crown. What is that from? Evidently the question has been asked, but has been brushed off by the White House.

Clarice Feldman at the has asked about it as has the Daily Mail. They wonder, as anyone would, whether it is from some kind of brain surgery. Since he hasn’t released his medical records as well as his birth certificate, there is no information out there to explain it.

Is that why he needs a teleprompter even when addressing a kindergarten class? Has there been some disease that has been rooted out? Has it left him with memory loss?

Why after two years of non stop campaigning and more than two years in office is Barack  Obama still so unknown to us?

It Just Gets Better

As information trickles out on the deal House speaker John Boehner brokered with the Obama administration and the Senate, it looks even better.

Powerline blog finds that “numerous studies of the health care bill will be ordered, the results of which could provide the GOP with juicy political ammunition heading into next year’s election.” Then, yearly audits by the General Accounting Office and private industry on the impact of last year’s financial services reform package will be done, too. Interesting what will surface then, especially in the collusion of banks and politicians.

The agreement also bans the IRS from hiring any more agents. This is one of the tactics to neuter the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. D.C. will be blocked from using federal funds for abortions, too.

National Review concludes the Republicans “have successfully moved the ball and set the stage for the coming battles. Democrats control two-thirds of the government, but they are playing on our turf. They look weak and disoriented.”

Word of the Week

Last week almost everything was taken up by the potential shutdown of the  government and budget cutting.  So the only word heard repeatedly was “extreme.”

Harry Reid called budget cuts extreme. Senator Chuck Schumer decried everything the Republicans proposed as extreme. In fact, he was overheard on a conference call telling fellow Democrats that extreme was the way they should portray the Republican budget.

The only problem is it didn’t work. It didn’t work on several levels. First, the American people don’t see $30-40 billion in cuts as extreme. Not when it’s just a fraction of the total budget and less than our debt payments in a week. When we’re talking trillions, $38 billion is miniscule.

Then, hasn’t the view of extreme changed anyhow? Spell it Xtreme and slap it on whatever product you’re selling and it’s a plus. Xtreme pizza, gum, hamburgers, ice cream – it means bigger and better. Xtreme sports means more adventuresome. Xtreme vacations means it’s more interesting. So this tactic proved extremely unsuccessful.

I think I prefer the word Drudge used on Saturday under a picture of John Boehner after he avoided a shutdown: Winning.


It’s best to wait until the smoke clears on an event such as the budget agreement reached last night to see what really happened.

Lots of conservatives blindly wanted the 60 billion or bust. Liberal media (pardon the repetition) will always claim that Obama came out on top. It’s always an Obama win, so best to ignore them.

However, looking at the remains today, it appears that a lot of big dead wood just got chopped. Not as much as we’d like, but a good start.

For instance, the chopping not only cut down money for programs, it axed programs. Stimulus programs  that were dangling are now gone. Other programs that were to continue will not. Remember that President Obama’s 2011 budget had called for an increase in spending of $40 billion. Instead, that won’t happen, but $38.5 billion in cuts will. You can look at that as $78.5 billion whacked.

True Obamacare money is still hanging in, but Speaker Boehner was able to isolate Obamacare and Planned Parenthood to be voted on independently. Harry Reid did not want to put these to a vote in the Senate; now he’ll have to. It puts a laser like focus on these two issues that will hit Senate Democrats who are up for reelection hard.

How did Boehner manage this? Looks like his calling for a vote to keep the troops getting paid, which the administration wasn’t for), vs. paying Planned Parenthood (which they favor because it feeds them campaign contributions) boxed Obama in.

Boehner even managed to reauthorize the scholarship/voucher programs in D.C. schools that Obama had so quickly and easily slashed. That means the disadvantaged kids there now have a chance and going to the better schools Sasha and Malia enjoy.

The Left is not very pleased, if you look at some of their blogs. The Daily Kos said, “These budget negotiations were a giant win for the Republican Party. President Obama initially cut $40 billion from his own budget proposal and he got absolutely no credit for that. The Republicans claimed in February that they wanted $32 billion in cuts from that point on. About a week ago, the President came out and announced that they had given the Republicans another $33 billion in cuts – a billion more than they originally asked for and still the Republicans wanted more. Why not? They’re dealing with the world’s worst negotiator.”

Ezra Klein at the Washington Post also felt the Democrats got the short end of the stick.

Meanwhile, the Tea Party appears to be cutting Boehner some slack. They know that the big battles such as raising  the debt ceiling, passing  the budget, plus the Obamacare and Planned Parenthood votes, lie ahead.

Some will be disappointed that there wasn’t a shutdown. Dick Morris, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh and others may feel this was a wrong turn. Others like Karl Rove and Larry Kudlow credit Boehner with a win.  So do I.


Police Director Armstrong

Toney Armstrong

Fresh from his 12-0 confirmation by the City Council yesterday, new police director Toney Armstrong dropped by the Midtown Republican Club meeting to introduce himself.

The 22 year law enforcement veteran quickly showed why he was so unanimously approved. Speaking sincerely, Armstrong showed himself a thoughtful and committed officer. He assured us that he will retain what has been working, programs like Blue Crush, sky cameras and working with the Memphis Police Foundation for extra funds from the private sector.

“Things that keep me up at night are whether I am doing enough,” he said. Balancing a budget in a time of downsizing (“We are in budget season right now and we will have to cut 10%”), keeping officers motivated (“There have been pay and furlough cuts”) and having enough staff (“The city has annexed areas and we’ve grown”) are tough issues. “It’s extremely challenging to get the tools we need to fight crime,” Armstrong also noted. “When criminals get released they get creative,” he said, noting that they have seen what the system has and how it works.

But the biggest problem he has is the community.

“People won’t get involved. We need citizen participation. 95% of our officers will show up and do their best, but only 10% of our community will do their part. Years ago we had more porches. Neighbors would sit outside and you knew your neighbors, their kids and if they were up to something. Criminals recognize us – we have our uniforms on. It’s a partnership and we have to get back to people.

“You know the African saying ‘it takes a village’? Well, the village has been broken.”

That’s why  community outreach is a big issue for Armstrong. “Tech is great, but it can’t do what I’m doing now. I want people to know that I am approachable. We have to be able to brand ourselves better, especially to kids.”

Director Armstrong was asked if the West Precinct in Midtown was moving. “I sure hope so,” he said. “We’ve outgrown it. It’s even an issue for citizens to get in and out of there and onto Union easily as well as officers.   There isn’t much space. We lease part of that property  now. It would be cheaper to build one.  The new precinct will be at Crump around the interstate and the interstate will make it easier for squad cars to get to a crime quickly.”

To those who worry that the move will mean less protection for Midtown, Director Armstrong will work to see that doesn’t happen. “My mother and mother-in-law both live in Midtown,” he said with a smile.

Even though his four years in homicide were hard, he said, “people help you through. The most enjoyable part of this job is meeting people.”

Armstrong wants the public to realize that things inevitably go wrong and problems occur. “I need you to understand that there will be storms. But we’ll do what we have to do to make the sun shine again. We need your prayers, understanding and a relationship.”

After his visit and talk to our club, a better, safer  city  looks possible. Listening to him you can’t help but feel good about living in Memphis again.


Votes Go to Kloppenberg

As of 10 a.m., Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser held that slim lead over rival Jo Ann Kloppenberg in yesterday’s election.

But then some hand counted ballots emerged to give Kloppenberg the lead by 350 votes!

The unions certainly poured money and people into Wisconsin and outspent the GOP.  Turnout was high – with one and a half million votes.

Should Prosser prevail, Governor Scott Walker’s budget and curb on collective bargaining will hold. That would bode well for other states considering those same policies.

However, a recount will inevitably be held and the Democrats often find a way to thwart the will of the voters and it looks like it has begun. Remember Norm Coleman’s lead over Al Franken in the 2006 Minnesota senate race? Franken managed to get many votes disqualified. Since then there has been proof of voter fraud on the Democrat side, but Franken still sits in the Senate.

And remember the Terry Roland-Ophelia Ford race here? Roland was leading, but the last ballots took a while to come in. When they did, surprise, surprise, Ford got a 20 vote lead.

Looks like a similar thing is happening now in Wisconsin.

RNC Chair Reince Priebus from Wisconsin needs to send all his assets to his home state. The implications are national.

Election Test Tonight

Today’s very important election in Wisconsin for state Supreme Court Justice could very well clue us in to how the public feels about unions.

Justice Prosser is up for another ten year term in the state Supreme Court. He’s a conservative Republican. His opponent, Joyce Kloppenberg, is an ultra liberal supporter of unions. If she wins today – and the unions are gushing money into the state for her – it will swing the court to a liberal agenda. In that case, nothing the legislature and/or the governor do will matter since the court will overthrow it.

Stratasphere blog correctly calls it a canary in the political coal mine election. He notes that even though more Democrat governors (think New York and California) than Republican are paring back budgets and curbing union collective bargaining rights, the GOP is getting the brunt of liberal press ire.

What the public thinks of this in light of yesterday’s announcement that the fed spent eight times more than it took in, is hard to calculate.

We’ll find out tonight.

Odd Kind of Warfare

Historian Victor Davis Hanson nails it in this paragraph:

“I cannot think of a prior war in which all the following were true at the same time: We claimed a humanitarian mission on behalf of rebels about whom we knew nothing; started bombing without congressional approval and without majority support of the American people; sought sanction from the U.N. and the Arab League, only to go way beyond their resolutions by seeking Qaddafi’s ouster; nevertheless denied that regime change was our mission, insisting that we were only establishing a no fly zone that, on each day, we went well beyond by attacking ground targets and inserting operatives on the ground – all against a monster that as late as last year we were proclaiming a rehabilitated partner in the war against terror, as our senators courted him at home and he sent his westernized progeny abroad to buy friends and influence.
“This strange so-so war has a bit of Mogadishu, a bit of Beirut 1983, some Iraq and Afghanistan, a lot of the Milosevic bombing and the no fly zone over Iraq, and is reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s fondness for now and then lobbing missiles into Afghanistan, East Africa and Iraq – not to mention Reagan’s bombing of Tripoli in 1986. It is all and nothing of all that – and by this Wednesday few will quite know what we are doing in Libya. Fewer, I’m afraid, will care.”