“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

A New Day for the GOP

January ushered in a new era of GOP control in Tennessee.

In the Tennessee General Assembly, 22 new Republicans were sworn in . Of those, 14 were in previously Democrat districts. That brings our majority to 64-34-1. The first female Speaker of the House, Beth Harwell, was elected. Four new Republican state senators were sworn in and Ron Ramsey was re-elected Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate.

In the U.S. Congress, four new Republicans were sworn in: Diane Black, Scott DesJarlais, Stephen Fincher and Chuck Fleischmann. Our Tennessee delegation went from 5 Democrats – 4 Republicans to 7 Republicans and 2 Democrats.

A good way to start 2011.

Marsha Blackburn Shares Her Plans

This morning Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of  Tennessee appeared on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.” Host Stu Varney grilled her about Congress’ plans to cut the budget.

Blackburn indicated that the Republican led House will have across the board cuts and also line item cuts. In particular, she said they would start by repealing the stimulus, eliminate federal control of Fannie and Freddie, cut back funds for AmTrak and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and sell excess federal lands and properties.

“The Co.” asked her if that was enough to make a dent start in curbing  the budget.
“As Dave Ramsey would say, we’ve got to start the snowball effect,” Mrs. Blackburn said, acknowledging that their moves are just a beginning.  “We start by cutting discretionary funding, then specifics and use this to get to the bigger programs.”

Varney questioned whether Republicans would have the courage to cut a trillion in funding and risk not be re-elected.

“Yes,” Blackburn said. “The American people are overtaxed and Congress has overspent.”

The conversation then turned to the incandescent lightbulb issue, one close to Blackburn’s heart.  “Yes, we’re working our way toward that. HR911 is filed, Chairman Upton said we’ll get our hearing in front of the Energy and Commerce committee, get it to the floor and pass it.”  Blackburn thinks propsects in the Senate look good because “it is indicative of what happens when government overreaches. People around the country are so outdone witht he federal government reaching into their homes and telling them how to live their lives.”

She said the bill  will attack the CFLs on standards. For instance, she pointed out that the amount of mercury considered a contaminant in a home swimming pool equals  the amount in one CFL bulb.

While she couldn’t unequivocally promise that the bill will succeed, “we’re on the right track it has to make its way through the process.”

“Entire Act Must Be Declared Void”

So ruled a Florida judge on the Accessible Care Act (Obamacare) just minutes ago. The judge has ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. “Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the act with the individual mandate. .. it is not constitutional so the entire act must be declared void.”

God bless him!