Archive for August, 2015

Reflections on Day 2 of Defending the Dream Summit

Three Republican contenders addressed the gathering on Day 2 – Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry.  Ted Cruz was clearly the crowd favorite.  His arrival drew a large and loud crowd to shake hands and take “selfies.”  However, all three candidates received warm welcomes.  Of interesting note, a number of attendees who left early waiting until after Marco Rubio spoke.

Ted Cruz had no new revelations, but certainly knew how to charm the crowd and speak forcefully.  He came out in shirtsleeves looking as if he had just come in from the Iowa State Fair, relaxed and approachable.  His best line was “The New York Times says ‘Cruz can’t win because Washington elites hate him.’ I thought that was the point of the campaign.”  He repeated his determination to repeal Obamacare, stand for fiscal restraint and to defund Planned Parenthood – all which were well received.

Marco Rubio also engaged the audience.  He focused on the nation’s economic ills and that their cause lied in the nation’s inability to be competitive globally because of our tax and regulatory structure.  He also addressed the need for changes in college education to make it more affordable, more available and more responsive to economic need.  He related his own $100,000 student loan debt and graduates aren’t getting jobs that allows them to pay off the enormous debt.  He reached out to Republicans who have been angered by the lack of results from victories in Congressional elections – a clear outreach to those drawn to Donald Trump.  He said,”Change has not happened. You are right to be frustrated and even angry, but our anger does not define us.” He further added that we are “one election away” from lasting change.  He also recounted his family’s immigrant story that became his story.  He concluded with a powerful, “It’s not just my story. It’s your story. It’s our story.”

While many have speculated that Rick Perry’s campaign was out of steam, he showed no sign of that.  His speech was powerful and confident.  While most of the candidates were very restrained in talking about the other Republican candidates, Perry – without mentioning names – took obvious swipes at Scott Walker and John Kasich.  He criticized Walker’s  changing positions on guest worker status and Kasich’s Medicaid expansion.  He had a notable quip on the expansion,  “The goal should not be to add a million more to its rolls, but to make coverage more affordable.”   He decried the intrusions of Washington on state and local governments by stating, “The Constitution is my owner’s manual and it still has a 10th Amendment” and “It’s time for the federal government to get out of the healthcare and education business and do its job-defend our borders.”  Both lines drew thunderous applause.  While the crowd response was not as enthusiastic as Cruz, from the Twitter response to Perry’s speech, you would have thought his support was overwhelming.

Fiorna Forcefully Calls Out Hillary for “Lies” and Trump for “Acting like a Politician”

Carly Fiorna sat down with NBC’s Chuck Todd and discussed Hillary Clinton.  While expressing admiration for Clinton, she criticized Clinton “lies” on Benghazi, emails and the server.  When Chuck Todd challenged her and asked how she knew she was lying, without batting an eye, Fiorna replied, “Oh for Heaven’s sake” and proceeded to explain what we now know about the Benghazi chronology.

Todd also asked her about the controversy surrounding the 14th Amendment and Donald Trump.  Her reply was just as sharp.  “He may not be a politician, but he sure is acting like a politician.”  She referred to the 14th Amendment issue as a “bright, shiny object” to distract from the real issues – securing the borders and reforming immigration.

Fiorna on NBC’s Meet the Press

Webb Doesn’t Want to Appear Left Out, Met with Biden Too

The swirl of speculation that Vice-President Joe Biden will enter the race for President continues.  Jim Webb, though ignored in the polls as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President, wanted to make sure everyone knew that Joe met privately with him too.

Webb Also Privately Met Biden

Not that Democrats Are Worried …. But …. Biden Meets with Warren Privately

This was not a scheduled meeting. Sounds like someone is running.

CNN reports Biden Meets with Warren privately

The Final Lie Exposed: Clinton Emails Were Classified on Day 1

Reuters has now revealed that “dozens” – at least 30 according to the Hill – of Hillary Clinton’s emails going back to 2009 were marked “classified” from the beginning.  Hillary Clinton is running out of lies and excuses. At a minimum, she violated established federal policies for records handling and management.  At worst, she has committed felonies and should face indictment.

Her first claim: there was no classified information, which we know is false. Her second claim: there was no information which was classified at the time, which was also shown to be false.  Her third claim: there was no information which was “marked” classified.  No we know all are false.  It’s time for Hillary to own up to the truth and time for Democrats to stop making excuses.  She violated the law.  She did so for the the specific purpose of has sought to suppress public records.She endangered national security.    How many lives were placed in jeopardy by her criminal actions?  Was the location of Ambassador Stevens divulged through her actions?  If so, she is directly responsible for his death, and the deaths of the other 3 Americans in Benghazi.

It’s time for Hillary Clinton to be honest and take responsibility for her actions – if she seeks to lead.  If she just wants to avoid criminal prosecution, she should be quiet and lawyer up.  Oh wait, she’s doing that.

Are we a society of laws in which all play by the same rules?  Hillary has long made claims to be for fairness and for “income equality.”  What about equality before the law?  Are the rules different for the “political class”?


Reflections on Day 1 of the Defending the American Dream Summit

There were some great moments yesterday.  Perhaps the most impactful and impassioned speech came not in a main session, but in a break out event which included Sonnie Johnson from in her response to the “Black Lives Matter” movement.  Sonnie’s response was that “Black Life Matters.”   She described how the movement has only valued lives when they have been ended or abused at the hands of whites. However, no value is placed on Black lives living in economic disparity. No value is placed on lives in crime ridden neighborhoods and the victims of drive-by shootings and other acts of violence at the hands of other blacks.  She began to cry for those she has known and lost in her community.  It was powerful and moving.

Two Republican contenders addressed the main session yesterday – Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal.  I thought Jeb Bush gave perhaps one of the best speeches I’ve heard him give.  No mention of Donald Trump or the other contenders.  He made a plea for smaller government and – popular with the crowd – term limits for members of Congress.

Bob Jindal did quite well – far better than what I have observed in previous speeches and his debate performance.  I was impressed that he ignored the podium and directly spoke to the crowd with no notes.  He gave the most memorable line of the day – “Our next President will sit across the table from Putin or an Ayatollah. He better not need a teleprompter.”  Following his speech, he engaged the audience, shaking hands and did not immediately leave.

Federal Judge Tells State Dept. Hillary Violated Federal Records Policy


Judge Sullivan lectured government attorneys at a hearing yesterday on the lawsuit regarding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for Hillary Clinton’s emails while she served as Secretary of State. “We wouldn’t be here today if this employee had followed government policy,” said U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.  The Justice Department sought to avoid the request with the claim that Hillary’s personal emails were not subject to FOIA.  The judge rejected the argument because of the unusual circumstances arising from a violation of government policy.

The judge also chided government attorneys for their unresponsiveness in not knowing what information, including the server and the thumb drives, over which the FBI actually had control.

It’s time to end the charade of the vast right wing conspiracy.  At a minimum, Hillary violated Federal Government policy for records management in her obvious attempt to skirt public records laws and Freedom of Information Act requests.

Andre Carson (D-IN7) Ranked 4th Least Effective Congressmen


Congratulations Indiana 7th District. Our Congressman, Andre Carson was number 4 on the list of least effective Congressmen by In 7 years, he has sponsored 50 bills – none of which have gotten out of committee, much less passed. Glad to see you’re taking care of us here at home Congressman Carson.

Mark Cuban is not “The Man in the Arena”

MARK CUBAN: I want to be a Republican, but the party has one big problem

Business Insider interviewed billionaire Mark Cuban in which he declares: “I want to be a Republican, but the party has one big problem.”  He then releases a rant of his complaints with Republicans while praising fellow billionaire Donald Trump.

Personally, I’m tired of billionaires telling me what’s wrong with my party while they have been AWOL in the public square for years. The truth is, those same billionaires – by Donald Trump’s own admission – are often what is wrong with American politics. For Cuban to lecture me and other Republicans about what’s wrong with the Republican party is utterly incredulous.

While thousands of us have been in the trenches for years, supporting and recruiting candidates, registering voters, answering phones, making calls, getting people out to the polls, analyzing election data and polling, and engaging in public discussion of issues, they have contributed nothing to the political dialogue. Men like Cuban and Trump earned their billions, without lifting a finger or making a commitment toward changes in the political realm. Trump has readily admitted that he made contributions for access and influence, not to effect societal change.  Now, for their own personal aggrandizement, they have an opinion and expect we listen to them just because they are billionaires. Mr. Cuban is certainly entitled to his opinion. You will pardon me if I feel no need to pay much attention – especially when his opinion is merely trotting out the tired Democratic talking points about Republicans.

Mr. Cuban sets a list of grievances against Republicans and offers a list of leadership traits.  To your leader list, Mr. Cuban, you need to add that leaders don’t watch from the sidelines and criticize. You do not lead by saying “Now here’s what you need to do.” You lead by commitment, example and sacrifice. You lead with the promise to build up a cause, not threaten to take your toys to another playground if you aren’t “treated fairly” as Donald Trump has often asserted.

Instead as Teddy Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

One of Mr. Cuban’s tired “Democratic” criticisms is that he claims Republicans are focused on the past. If Mr. Cuban had been paying attention, there is a Republican who has rejected focusing on the past. He is focused on America’s future. His name is Marco Rubio.