Year’s Best Blogs

The 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards are out. Here’s a few choice ones. If you haven’t visited these sites, take a look and book mark them. They are all excellent.

Best Political Blog: Michelle Malkin

Best Political Analysis: Ed Morissey at Hot Air ties with Erick Erickson at Redstate

Best Conservative News Blog: Weasel Zippers tied with Gateway Pundit

Best Op Ed: American Thinker

Best News Analysis: American Spectator

Best Talker’s: Mark Levin

Best Group Blog: Right Wing News

Best Media Watchdog: NewsBusters

Best Media Analysis Story of 2010: Verum Serum – The Pigford Case and Why the New York Times Doesn’t Want to Talk About It

Rockwell Award for Best Artwork: iOwnTheWorld

Dali Award for Most Creative Blogging: Curmdugeonly ties with Skeptical & SondraK

Best European Award: Gates of Vienna

Best Economics Blog: Tie with Global Economic Analysis and Zero Hedge

For more, check www.directorblue.blogspot.com

Stop START

The Senate is poised to have a vote on START today. Some Senators are wavering and considering voting for Obama’s plan. Both Senators Corker and Alexander are undecided. Although the treaty reaches parity in strategic nuclear weapons, it locks in a 10,000 to 200 Russian advantage in tactical nukes and bars the U.S. from developing interceptor missiles as shields.

To contact Senator Alexander, call his Memphis office at 544-4224; in D.C. (202)-224-4944. Senator Corker can be reached in Memphis at 683-1910; in D.C. at (202)-224-0566.

Wasting Away

While most Americans are watching their pennies this Christmas time, Congress hasn’t been. Fortunately, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has been watching their spending and presents it all in “Wastebook.” It’s his yearly look at their profligacy and it doesn’t disappoints.

As Sen. Coburn notes, “we are borrowing over $44,000 per person in the United Staes.” Most Americans realize that somebody is going to have to pay this hefty bill.

You can take a look at the whole project at his site, www.coburn.senate.gov, but here’s the table of contents:

Upkeep for Unused Monkey House and other Buildings: $175 million.

Sprucing Up Apartments before they are torn down in Shreveport, La.: $1.5 million.

Museum Where Neon Signs go to Die: $1.8 million.

Free Grateful Dead Archive: $615,000.

Agencies Unnecessary Printing Costs: $930 million.

Studying World of Warcraft and Other Virtual Games: $2.9 million.

Department of Energy Fails to Turn off the Lights: $2.2 million.

Fraudulent Medical Testing by Criminal Gangs: $35 million.

Poems in Zoos: $997,766.

Shooting Range Armed With Taxpayer Dollars: $15.68 million.

And yes, there are pictures.

President Valerie Jarrett?

The White House insider says Valerie Jarrett is in essence running the country. The senior advisor to Obama, she was born in 1956 in Shiraz, Iran, and only moved to the U.S. in 1963. The insider says she and the First Lady have made a formidable team. He also discusses the Obama/Clinton presser, Attorney General Eric Holder’s problems at the DOJ and whether Republican Darryl Issa will go after scandals there next year at www.newsflavor.com. Interesting reading to say the least.

‘Twas the Week before Christmas

William Kristol
William Kristol

’Twas the week before Christmas, and all through
the House
The liberals were stirring, and boy did they grouse!
While earmarks were hung on the Reid bill with care
In hopes that the public would not see them there,

The “rich folks” were nestled all snug in their bed—
In hopes they’d be spared, like the president said—
While Nancy in kerchief and Bernie in cap
Were hunting for corpses that Congress could tap.

So the week before Christmas there came the big test:
Did liberals still have the power to best
The public and almost the whole GOP,
Or had they been routed?—yes, that’s what we’d see.

The tax cutters crushed all the Dems in their way,
And the omnibus crashed like a blown-out soufflé.
In the end, we discovered, elections do matter—
And so does a public that makes a loud clatter.

A tax cut for Christmas is mighty surprisin’,
With nary an earmark to cloud the horizon—
Obamacare’s reeling, there’s progress in ’Stan,
It’s important next year that we stick with the plan.

By then we’ll have entered the era of Boehner:
Our pocketbooks fuller, our politics saner.
We’ll even buy beers for the lib’ruls to cry in
When they see the budget from Chairman Paul Ryan.

So The Standard exclaims, with the future so bright:
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

— William Kristol, The Weekly Standard

New Shelby GOP Club

A new club has joined the ranks of Shelby County Republican groups. The website, www.thegotvclub.com, describes itself as “a cool, networking club for citizens who, when they exercise their right to vote have the necessary information to protect their own interests and thus are a force to be reckoned with.”

Former Republican congressional candidate Charlotte Bergmann is behind the effort. The initial event is scheduled for Tuesday, January 25, at 11:30 at the Crescent Club, 6075 Poplar in east Memphis. Talk radio host Andrew Clarksenior and FACT executive director Josh Davis will be the initial speakers. Cost for the event is $21.49 and you can register at the site.

Midtown Republican Club is all for more GOP clubs! One focusing on specific issues can only help us know what is going on and what we can do about it.

Two Who Get It

Increasingly, Michelle Bachmann and Mike Pence in Congress are the two stepping up on behalf of the American electorate. They get it. They get that their constituencies don’t want these pork laden bills.

This morning Pence (R-IN) explained his stance on Fox News.

“It’s a tough call,” he said, referring to  the bill that would extend the Bush tax cuts for all while loading on the earmarks. Pence has been a champion of the tax cuts, but can’t stomach the pork and so will vote against it.

Pence doesn’t like the two year extension part either. “We don’t have a temporary economy and a two year extension on tax rates is simply not going to encourage the kind of investment in capital formation that would create jobs.”

He has problems with the process, too.

“Why are we getting this take it or leave it bill that was crafted between the Senate and the White House? The Constitution in Article 1, Section 7 says all bills regarding revenue are to originate in the House of Representatives.”

He wants Congress to address the concerns of the voters. “The American people said in deafening terms on November 2 put your fiscal house in order, stop all the runaway spending, the deficit, the debt, the bailouts and the takeovers. Give us some certainty in the tax code.” Only then will business pick up, he says.

Pence was uncertain how the vote will go today. If you want to contact your senators and congressmen, please refer to the Midtown Facts box on the left of this page.

Who Will Lead the RNC?

Five challengers have lined up to topple Michael Steele from his chairmanship post at the RNC.

Most of us are unacquainted with these people who will have an enormous impact on the next election. The Daily Caller website has linked with Americans for Tax Reform to hold a debate January 3 among the six. It will be livestreamed at the Daily Caller and Republicans can submit questions in advance.

In case you have forgotten why Michael Steele doesn’t garner acclaim, even though the GOP triumphed in 2010, Politico has assembled a few of his many gaffes. These “Steelisms” include his announcement in January of this year that “the GOP won’t win the House.” Nothing like a positive attitude, hmm? How about his declaration that the “war in Afghanistan isn’t worth fighting” which he announced this summer. Steele bristled when a reporter called Rush Limbaugh the de facto head of the GOP. Steele called Rush “an entertainer” and his show “incendiary” and “ugly.” Rush did not return the jibes; he considers Steele a friend. In November 2009 Steele went on to say that “White GOPers were scared in the 2008 election.” And these are just a few.

Nuff said.

So who are the people offering to take his place?

Saul Anuzis was the first to declare. He is a former Michigan GOP chair. He works with Newt Gingrich on his American Solutions, so gets the former speaker’s backing. Anuzis notes “we lost some heartbreaking statewide races in Illinois, Colorado, West Virginia, Washington and Nevada this year. Without a fully funded victory program we will be overwhelmed by the efforts of the unions, the Obama campaign and all their allies,” he says.

Maria Cino, a native of Buffalo, New York, most recently lobbied for drug company Pfizer. Before that she organized the 2008 GOP convention and had been appointed deputy secretary of transportation by George W. Bush. She’s a friend of Bushies like Dana Perino and Mary Matalin, who held a fund raiser at her house for her. Twice as many people showed up as expected and the take shattered their fund raising expectations. Cino wins the support of GWB, Dick Cheney and Ed Gillespie.

Another woman, Ann Wagner, has tossed her hat in the ring. The Missourian was chairman of Roy Blunt’s successful senatorial campaign, which Politico called among the ten best in 2010. Before that she was appointed by President Bush ambassador to Luxembourg. Wagner has called for more aggressive fund raising, better management,  reinvigorated political operations and new communications intiatives.  Our Tennessee RNC chair, Chris Devaney, has thrown his support to her.

Reince Priebus – it’s a he and he’s 36 – was the top legal counsel at the RNC. He helped Steele get elected two years ago and was the chairman of the Wisconsin GOP. Wisconsin was a bright spot for us, garnering a Republican governor and senator in that often blue state. Priebus wants “less drama, more hard work, more results and more focus on winning” in the next RNC Chairman. One problem to overcome is his slip up during an interview calling for Obama to be executed three times in a discussion about Osama Bin Laden. The left would never let this be forgotten.

Gentry Collins, again, a guy, just announced his candidacy Dec. 13. He’s an Iowa Republican and was a regional campaign manager for McCain in 2008.  Collins, a former aide to Steele sent a scathing resignation letter to Steele in which he cited “the major donor base withers”; that Steele “spent too much on fundraising rather than winning elections and squandered opportunities to help Republican candidate in key races in 2010.”

Norm Coleman, the former senator from Minnesota, was considered one of the challengers, but told the Daily Caller he won’t run against Steele.