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As I began to write this post – I found myself writing an open letter to the President – here’s what I’d say:

Mr. President, your campaign is over.  You ran a well run campaign, demonized a good man, fired up your supporters, and won an election some might say was against the odds, given your record.  Some might even say your supporters went a bit overboard (as in the Hamilton County, Ohio voter who was proud to get to vote for you multiple times).  You received significantly more votes than did Mitt Romney, but it was not a landslide (you really only received about 29% of the vote based on the total eligible voters – not just those who came out to cast a ballot).   But you did win, and you now are the people’s President – including mine.  As an American, I appreciate the differences in this vast land that builds our character – who we are.  There are many views that mix all together and make this country great.  But I have a problem Mr. President – I’m concerned that there is much hard work to do to help make this country remain the exceptional nation it has always been – and yet you choose to continue campaigning, rather than lead.

Remember Mr. President – you were elected as the President of the United States, serving the people of these United States – NOT, as it seems of recent, just those who voted for you (remember, only 29% of the country).  While I’m perfectly fine with your need to rile up support from your party in an attempt to win an election, now that you have won, it is time to serve ALL the people.  Of course this is not an easy thing to do – you must listen to others views, thoughtfully consider these, and weave them into how you lead the nation.  It means rolling up your sleeves, facilitating rigorous discussion, and compromising on your views, considering your ideas might not be the best approach.  Leading this nation based on fear and one-sided thinking is hurting our country – one we both love and care for.  Always placing blame on others is not leadership – it is “victimship”.

The Sequestration was an idea you pushed for – thinking these indiscriminate cuts would drive both parties to work hard to avoid them – Congress bought into the idea – sure it was the “easy” thing to do – pass a bill saying if we can’t figure this out over the next 12 or so months, these nasty tax hikes and cuts will automatically go into effect – kind of like MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction).  But what did YOU do to help drive a solution that would solve this problem – well, OK  you were busy getting reelected.  When it was time for America to go over the “fiscal  cliff”, everyone kicked the can down the road a few more months.  You already won the election, so it was your time to lead the country – to take republican and democratic leaders and bring them together (why not a great week at Camp David).  Facilitate a discussion to identify common ground, compromise on certain principles, and develop a solution that addresses ALL American views.  Do this hard work to reform tax code, reform entitlements, find ways to make the government operate more efficiently – do even more with less (it can be done).

As my President, that is what I expect you to do.  Under NO circumstances do I want you to take a partisan approach to solving our nations problems, and then spend my money to run around in perpetual campaign mode, trying to convince those you’ve pushed away that it’s your way, or the world collapses.  If you want the government to take a bigger role then its supposed to do – then find ways to do it that will reduce our spending.  As my President, I expect you to bring this country together to solve our problems, to protect our interests, and to be a good steward of OUR money.

Mr. President, I’m disappointed in your leadership skills, your ability to understand our economy, your lack of business skills, your lack of concern about the views of a significant portion of this country that you should be listening to, and your inability to bring congress together to solve the challenges we face.  In the remaining years of your last term, I pray you find the wisdom to correct your shortcomings and the strength to face the tough challenges head on.  Creating and environment of fear, and then blaming someone else for this fear is simply immoral.

Best regards,

A Concerned American

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One thing that REALLY gets to me is when the news media, or opposing political party blatantly takes a comment completely out of context. Case in point is the recent speech by Mitt Romney where at one point, the words “I like to fire people” were uttered. So a number of opponents, as well as the news media, decided to make this a main stream story. So if you listened to the words used in the context they were intended, the discussion was about service provider choices – having a choice of insurance providers so you can make a choice to get rid of one that may not be serving your needs.  But the sound bite is trimmed to take on whatever meaning someone wants – even polar opposite to what was actually said.  Here’s the article from Fox News: Romney Defends ‘Fire People’ Remark, Says Comments Taken Out of Context

In this sound bite, 142 character, text message world we live in, people actually buy into this garbage.  They hear someone saying that Mitt likes to fire people and they believe it.  Why has politics become so rampant with dishonest representation of facts?  Someone, please tell me!!  The sad thing is that this kind of banter ends up demonizing a candidate making it difficult for people to take what they say seriously.  This country is hurting in many ways because of this type of rhetoric by both parties.  I encourage people to take the time and listen, become more familiar with the truth – read deeply into the stories – put the words in the proper context and stop believing what the “spinners” are telling you to believe because at best its only a half-truth and more likely a complete lie or grotesque distortion of the truth.  Let’s have honest discussions about where each person wants to take our country – not twist each word into an alternate truth which has no basis of fact.  The key is careful, deliberate, listening – with an open mind.  People in this country have lost the ability to listen and decide,  resorting to ignoring and distorting.

Wake up America and take time to listen and learn.  Think for yourself – that’s what freedom is all about!

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I’m sorry to say that the leadership (I use this word very loosely) in Washington DC is absolutely inept.  This so called super committee which was charged with finding a mere trillion or so in cuts over the past few months, seems to be coming up at the end of the race empty handed.  They were sent off to make the hard decisions that the rest of the congress apparently weren’t up to making and they still failed!  They all should be FIRED!  The government will spend in excess of 44 trillion over the next 10 years, and this group of supposed elite lawmakers could not come up with a about 3% in savings?  We are only talking 3%.  I’m sure that putting a little bit of pressure on every department in the US Government – including entitlements, the intelligent people who actually are working for America could think of ways to improve a process here, save a few dollars there, and get to 5% savings without a sweat!  LETS GET REAL HERE!  You can not tell me the government is running at its most efficient point at the moment. Simply by taking some actions to look at how we are spending money department by department we would find that perhaps, just from doing things smarter, we could eliminate in excess of 10% from most departments.

The Super Committee was a very bad idea.  It’s time for the congress to get to work to do what they are paid to do and get to the business of preserving and protecting America and getting our government in order.  Stop the petty politics, get to work or get out of the way.  The current administration is deteriorating our country and its time for real change.  We need a major transformation in how Government does business, and how its measured.  We need to stop the madness.

If I were on the committee, I would insist the Government freeze spending at 2001 levels.  Cut every line in the budget by 12%.  Each department would need to live within this 12% reduced budget by finding process improvements, head count reductions as appropriate, and potential changes in services provided.  I use 12% as I feel while there are a number of government agencies where process improvements could yield even more.  I also feel there may be areas of the government that may be operating at higher efficiency, and may not be able to reduce spending by as much – so maybe we end up with a savings of 9 – 10% (which is more than 3 times what the inept Super Committee tried to accomplish).  Each department then would be measured on productivity, and rewarded at some level based on specific productivity criteria.

Right now the government is running like a ship with the throttle wide open, heading into a pile of rocks, and the captain off on the deck politicking.  We need a captain who will pull back on the throttle and steer the ship into calmer waters.  We need a leader who will take charge and get America heading in the right direction.

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Barricades Go Down!

Just a quick update to the previous post on the Milk Street Cafe.  Bloomberg removed the barricades blocking patrons from getting to the Cafe – hope this helps!

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