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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

First of all – Happy New Year!  We survived the end of the world (Dec 21, 2012), and now have been led to the edge of the cliff, had one leg and one arm over it, and then were pulled back.  But did we really?  If you really look at what we’ve accomplished – I’d say it amounts to about nothing, especially when it comes to spending.  The reality of the situation is we actually jumped off the cliff on November 6th.

Much to the false claims of Obama – taxes will be going up on at least 77% of all Americans (not just the 1%.  Obamacare is laden with hidden taxes here and there.  The balanced approach Obama speaks of must mean that for every additional cent he can grab in revenue, he’ll balance that with a cent of increased spending – to hell with the 16 trillion we owe.  Now that he has been re-elected, he can exert his will to accomplish his far left ideology – destroying the country as we know it.

This country has a spending problem – not just a little problem, but an enormous problem.  WE MUST STOP SPENDING!  We can not afford to continue to allow every government program, including entitlements to continue to grow willy nilly. The government – ALL of it, needs to redefine what the word “cut” means, what “balance” means, and what “debt” means.  Reducing the rate of growth in spending is NOT the same as cutting spending.  This madness must stop.

The President has little comprehension of leadership, which has led to the most divisive congress I’ve seen in my lifetime.  The buck stops with him and how he handles leadership.  Our country failed to elect a leader – it instead chose a crafty politician who is putting his own radical ideas into play, rather than providing the leadership this country so desperately needs.  Leadership of all Americans – that means it is important for the President to work diligently to lead both parties to work together – bringing together good ideas from both sides and blending them into solutions that work for all.

We have a spending problem – you fix a spending problem by looking at ways to eliminate waste, refine processes to improve efficiency, and by driving continuous improvements.  That does not mean that services must be eliminated or even reduced – just executed more efficiently.  We have a spending problem – freeze all levels of spending at some baseline rate – be it 2008, or even 2010 levels (and remove unusual one time expenditures – like wars).  Now – do everything possible to maintain or increase the levels of services based on this baseline amount – I guarantee you that waste and other inefficiencies will be found, and more can be done with less.  This is the attitude our entire congress must adopt.  That is what a leader would do – take on the real problem head on – not just add to it.  If our government was a business, the board of directors would have ousted the entire lot and brought in new blood to get the job done.  Unfortunately, emotions and blatant misinformation has led America to already jump off the cliff.

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I’m not sure what has been going on around Washington DC of late, especially in the back rooms were all the heavy negotiation is going on, but it’s clear what President Obama wants.  Obama does not seem to be seriously negotiating for anything.  He has been dangling offers here and there, attempting to portray he wants to compromise – but there is no indication he’s negotiating seriously.  But Why?  He doesn’t want the country to drive off the cliff – does he?  Let’s think about this – hmmmm, significant cuts in defense spending, tax increases for all – more revenue to spend…AND, he can blame the Republicans for the mess it creates.  Democrats have wanted to reduce defense spending for years, and think of what they could do with all the additional revenue – more programs to deploy to get more Americans dependent on the government.  But what about a second recession?  Well, first, it’s all the republicans fault anyway – and it’ll run its course before the next election cycle, doing no harm to democrats in office.  This is the democrats best chance to cut defense and have the blame fall on the republicans.

It is clear there is little interest at this point to solve the economic crisis we face – the crisis is government spending.  The crisis is also related to the beliefs in congress of the meaning of the word “cut”.  Merriam-Webster defines “cut” as “reduce amount”.  In congress, this really means, “reduce growth”.  BUT, then, Pelosi goes out and claims these so-called “cuts” are now going to take food out of children’s mouths…UUGGHHHH!  We have a bunch of spending addicts in Washington – and no one who knows what work must be done to reduce spending, improve efficiencies, reduce waste, and drive economic expansion.

When will the political posturing end!

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So this is what we get – this is what America chose – What were we thinking?  The election is over and the business of running the country is at hand.  However, the consequence of choosing a professional campaigner is now leading us to the edge of the “fiscal cliff”.  The problem is simple, the decisions that need to be made are difficult, and it takes a real leader to be able to pull this together in a way that will bring us back from the brink.  Negotiating by being completely intransient is, well, just obtuse.  So Obama sends his lap dog Geithner into negotiate with Boehner and delivers a proposal which in essence is dead on arrival, a plan similar to what not a single democrat in the House or Senate would approve – but OK – a starting point.  Boehner then submits a counter offer, which is a more reasonable offer with some compromises on the revenue side – but the President quickly rejects and stands pat on the position of increasing tax rates on the wealthy.  Not that anyone expected Obama to accept with open arms. So what does Obama do – CAMPAIGN (see previous post – President or Perpetual Campaigner).  First a photo-op with Mitt (see I’m reaching out), then a Twitter feed (tell us how a $2000 tax increase will hurt your family), then a campaign stop at a toy factory (wait – I thought the campaign was over) – Are ads next?  That is NOT leadership.  This country is not in very good fiscal shape and we needed a leader who would use his skills and talent to bring both democrat and republican to the table – to hash out ideas, figure out a solution both sides could work with.  Make the hard decisions to accept compromise, even on fundamental campaign promises.

So here are a few suggestions Mr. President.  First – bring together key leadership from the House and Senate, from both parties.  Go to Camp David, or other suitable quiet location, with zero press corps, take away cell phones, and limit contact to the outside world (meaning  lobbyists).  Second – spend the first two days developing a clear problem statement (no discussion of solutions).  It might go something like this – Government is spending too much money, government has efficiency issues, the government has specific obligations it must uphold…something along those lines.  Third – invite  several successful businessmen or women (try to keep a good mix of political affiliations) to the party to participate in identifying some clear goals.  Keep them high level – like… need to generate x billion in revenue, reduce spending by y billion – put time limits on it.  NOW, brainstorm on ideas – again, reject nothing – spend a day on this – keep the ideas in categories – revenue ideas, spending reduction ideas.  Assign values to the ideas.  Use the business folks to run some sanity checks on the ideas and the values assigned.

OK – we are about 4 days into this process.  Next comes the fun part – separate into mixed teams of 6 or 7 (democrats, republicans, businessmen on each team)  Give them 24 hours to take all of the ideas presented, with the values agreed and develop a proposal they will have to defend as a team.  Pick enough from the revenue column, and spending savings column to equal the agreed goal numbers.  I’m assuming you might have three or four teams.  At the end of the 24 hour period, they come back together and present the solution to the entire group.  Then everyone gets to, by secret ballot,  force rank these solutions – then choose the highest ranked solution.  Bring this back to the full House and Senate and hash out details, put into lawyer speak – crisis averted.

What is that – one week?  Please tell me WHY that approach wouldn’t work?  Think about it…

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Well – spin this as you might, but judging from the various reactions of the “non-spinners”, I do believe Mitt pulled off another victory.  I do agree President Obama  did step it up a notch for this debate, and he had a couple of moments, although I don’t know I remember what they were.  I certainly don’t think responding to everything your opponent just said as “none of that is true” each time it’s your turn is a proper debating technique.  Obama was weak on energy and taxes, and did not provide any convincing argument around fixing the economy.  The interesting thing about Obama is he did seem to get into a better groove towards the end of the debate.  His tirade on his activities around Libya and his bravado that the buck stops with him seem to give him more energy and confidence, but he never answered the question asked of him about the refusal to provide additional security – or if you take his answer as what he actually said – security was refused and its his fault because he was responsible.  He forfeited his final statement of the debate by not taking an opportunity to again answer the question posed.  Instead he chose to bring up the 47% statement of Romney and continued his negative attack.  The question posed offered Obama a chance to counter how his opponents are portraying him and to talk about himself in a positive light – maybe he just didn’t have anything he could say? Romney had a number of good moments, challenging the President on drilling permits for oil and natural gas production on federal lands and laying out the litany of failures of the President over the past four years.  I think the moderator tripped up Mitt a bit with the unusual “life line” she threw Obama on the “act of terror” comment – which in the end, Mitt was actually correct.  Mitt lost the opportunity at that moment to slam Obama on the continued confusion the administration has created over the terrible Benghazi attack.  One other thought – the questions chosen were a bit lame and I really think they should give the debaters 3 minutes each instead of the two.  I did not like this debate as much as the first.

We do have a big choice ahead of us – and let me stop for a moment and say, I do believe Obama is a good man, father, and husband.  I’ve always thought he was intelligent and a skilled campaigner.  My biggest concern with Obama is his inexperience as a leader.  It shows he does not have what it takes to be a good, strong leader – a leader that has the skills to bring opposing ideas together in a way that develops a new approach to solving the most difficult issues.  He’s a smart man, who promised hope and change and was skilled at least at selling that “product”.  He just did not deliver – you can’t step into the job of POTUS and learn leadership skills “on the job”.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney HAS leadership skills.  He is driven to succeed at what ever he takes on.  He does understand the private sector – he must, given his success.  Knowing how to examine a business, understand its strengths and weaknesses, and devise a path to improve the health of that business is what Mitt has been doing.  We can not stay on the path we are on for another four years.  A change must be made now in the course of America before it’s too late.  We need to change direction quickly and decisively to keep this grand experiment, the United States, alive and growing.

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What an event!  Anticipation had been building for weeks – the first of a three game series.  There had been lots of trash talk going on for the month leading into the event – name calling, accusations, misrepresentations.  One team was seen as having an edge, favored to win – even though the past month had been kind of tough.  The other team, looking at reality, determined to minimize damages and lower expectations, took up the role as underdog.  The night arrived and both teams prepped, scrimmages against surrogates, and practiced their one liners.  Obama won the coin toss and chose to take the first question – and it went down hill from there.

The debate actually was one of the better ones in recent years.  While Jim Lehrer had difficulties keeping the two warriors on track, the exchange of wit and wisdom was exciting.  Romney took the ball and went on the offensive – he explained his position clearly, and the scene morphed into that of a teacher lecturing his student.  Throughout the duration of the debate, Romney remained energetic and on the offensive.  Obama struggled less the teleprompter, and repeating his 30 sec commercial sound bites became monotonous.  Rhetoric vs sensible explanations wins every time.  When the dust settled, and the last word spoken, it was a very clear win for the challenger – delivering at a level beyond expectations.  Time of possession favored the incumbent (42 min, 40 sec), versus the 38 min, 14 sec for Romney.  Romney did have more words though…

For those on the fence, this must have been able to push them over to the Romney camp – if they listened and watched carefully.  Even the liberal media conceded the win to Mitt – and immediately looked for who or what to blame on his poor performance.  Al Gore contributed his poor performance to the Denver thin air (interesting as it appeared Romney was breathing the same thin air).  Others wondered if he was distracted by something – his anniversary, pressing Presidential duties (next visit to The View), something had him off his game.  I’m waiting for this to be George’s fault!

The key plays of the night:

When Mitt asked Obama why he spent his first two years shoving Obamacare legislation down the throats of congress instead of focusing on jobs – given the President “inherited” such a messed up economy.

When Mitt explained how he worked across the aisle in Massachusetts where he faced an 87% democratic majority.

When Mitt asked why Obama did nothing with the Simpson-Boles legislation when it was presented – why did he not lead and bring the parties together to work out the differences.

When Obama reached out to Jim to move on to the next topic when he had no answers to Mitt’s questions – when he really couldn’t defend his rhetoric.

The choice was never made clearer in this first debate – Mitt Romney wants to help this country get back on track, and he has the experience and drive to make it happen.  One down, two more to go (plus the VP debate – which also is going to be quite entertaining!).  I’m looking forward to the next game – Obama has a lot of work to do if he thinks he can even this series up.

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Just four months to go and we’ll elect the next president of the United States.  The campaigns are gearing up to rev up their supporters and sound bites fill the air with half-truths at best, and in many cases, outright lies.  Words or actions are twisted like a pretzel to portray the candidate as if they are monsters.  That seems to be the method of choice for most campaigns, and based on the handlers that look at reaction to these negative campaigns, they seem to work.  I’m not certain if that’s a good reflection on either the campaigners or the people it sways?  Negative campaigns in most political contests are expected at some level, but at the presidential level, it seems to really lower to prestige of the office.  This country is really suffering – suffering from mistakes of the past, from global economic realities, from lack of exceptional leadership.  President Obama is not a skilled leader, but a talented campaigner.  He’s been in campaign mode since he started his quest for office – and is still in that mode.  Any of the policies he has desired to push through have not been promoted with a healthy debate on the merits, but mainly by negatives (typical campaign approach) related to alternate approaches.  This constant barrage of negativism over the past 3 1/2 years is  further divided congress and the American people.

There have been a number of attacks on Romney by the Obama campaign that are either simply false, or at best a twisted version of reality.  Romney is a businessman who knows what it takes to run a company, to drive profits and grow businesses.  You do this by understanding how business operates, and understanding how to improve efficiencies.  Companies that are profitable can expand, can grow, can hire, and can help other companies to grow (by using them in the supply chain).  Expansion may even take place in other countries (yes, we operate in a Global economy).  That’s what business is about – growth through innovation, growth through efficiencies, growth through expansion.  It’s clear that our bloated, inefficient government could use some proven business processes to reduce expenses and run more effectively.  Let’s have a healthy debate on that – instead of calling Romney a felon, let’s have a discussion on how Obamacare is going to be an efficient program that will truly help our health care system?  Instead of calling Romney the king of outsourcing, lets talk about elimination of wasteful government spending.  Let’s stop talking in sound bites and have a discussion on how we can reduce the size of the government and improve the lives of all Americans by getting America back to work.

I think the most frustrating thing is many Americans make decisions just on sound bites, because it’s too hard to understand the reality of the facts. Wake up America – before it’s too late!

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