The Obama Speech - And Rebuttal

Some quick-hit thoughts and reactions to last night’s speech and rebuttal:

• Our new President is a nice guy. The more he loosens up and relaxes himself - and smiles that huge and friendly and sincere smile - the more time he buys himself to cope with these cascading fiscal and banking problems;

• Because he fought for the Stimulus Plan and the Republicans did not join him, the economy now becomes Obama’s sooner than if the GOP was a part of it. In other words, Obama took ownership once his own prescription and protocols were implemented; blaming G.W. Bush won’t last much past this year.

• That is not to say that the Republicans escape the consequences of the ongoing financial meltdown; in fact, they have the blame painted all over them. And this taint will last for years to come.

• The GOP brand has lost its one-time luster as the party better able to cope with fiscal and national security matters. It will take years to get that special mantle back - if we can ever get it back.

• The Obama Administration is going to have more trouble with their fellow Democrats up on the Hill than they are with the Republicans. Yes, that is true. The GOP is - for the next 2 years anyway - almost completely inconsequential; but the leftist Democrats are feeling their oats and will soon want to move ever farther to the Left than Obama.

• Thus a new tension will soon arise - between these long-time House and Senate bulls who have been waiting for years to have un-checked power - and the Obama Administration which will soon realize their agenda is too much, too soon.

• Barack Obama is spending all his political capital now; he is speaking and travelling at a furious rate for a new president. Indeed, he does risk wearing out his welcome and suffering overexposure. At some point the public gets sick of the same speech over and over again and they begin to tune it out.

• Already the polling shows his numbers among Republicans falling quickly (to be expected) and among Independents to be slightly eroding (somewhat worrisome for Team Obama). And the markets tank after every big speech he makes!

• After a month it is clear that Obama fancies himself as the Salesman-in-Chief - much more than a hands-on administrator who is on top of everything in the Executive Branch. We have already seen break-downs in this model in the Daschle, Richardson and Geithner vetting procedures and the lard inside the Stimulus Bill, which Obama should have written instead of having Nancy Pelosi do it.

• Everything - EVERYTHING - for the Obama Administration depends on solving the ongoing banking problem.

• It is startling that so far neither Obama nor Geithner has come up with a bold, innovative plan to fix this mess and get people feeling better about it.

• Nor has the GOP offered up anything but Nays.

• Why not this simple, bold plan: the US Government - acting as a surgeon operating on a deteriorating patient - goes to the heart of the problem: the toxic, cancerous tumors in each bank - these securitized (bad) mortgages - and cuts them out of the patients’ balance sheets. All these cancerous tumors are gathered up into one federal bank - in the model of the S&L mess of 20 years ago - and held there until their value increases.

• Presto, the banks’ balance sheets are free and clear of the debts that were inhibiting lending - (their MRIs are suddenly clean of cancer now!)

• The Federal Government holds these toxic assets for as long as it takes for the housing market to recover - which it will because there will be pent-up demand for housing in the long run. We are a growing, now-over-300 million people population - and the demand for housing will eventually drive home values up again - although maybe not back to where they have been.

• We need a bold plan like this. Instead, Team Obama is following Team Bush’s approach - and it isn’t working.

• As for Louisiana Governor Jindal’s response last night: he seems like an earnest, nice young man. But his body language is weak, he diction makes it difficult to hear him - plus there were audio problems with his transmission last night.

• He is not the next great conservative leader. Period. He is no dynamo, no firebrand, no passionate leader who can rally a dispirited Right and bring the shattered GOP back to power.

• He is too young, too inexperienced and lacks the Big-Ego confidence it takes. Just the meek way he approached the microphone last night told us much about him: he is not ready - and may never be.

• But that is OK. The next few years are try-out time for men and women who want to lead the GOP Rennaissance. Many will try, most will fail - and perhaps some new leader with new ideas will emerge.

• Until then, we conservatives are in the wilderness. And we better get used to it for a while. We earned it by following the Bushes over the cliff.

The REAL National Pastime: Lying and Cheating

While reading Joe Torre’s book, THE YANKEE YEARS, written with Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, a few things came into focus:

• Steroid use really does make a player hit, throw and run better;

• Pitchers can throw appreciably harder and hitters’ eyesight, reflexes, fast-twitch muscles and reactions are markedly improved by using the right steroid for the right athlete;

• The proof is in the pudding: take the one-time Mets catcher, Todd Hundley. In 1996 he hit 16 home runs and earned $1 million. That off-season he asked Mets clubhouse attendant and on-the-side steroid dealer, Kurt Rodomski, for “something” to elevate his game. Rodomski complied and began shooting Hundley up; yes, Hudley worked out in conjunction with the steroids to maximize their effect. Rodomski told him, “You’re going to hit 40 homers now.” Sure enough, in 1997 Hundley hit 41 homers - the most ever by a catcher up to that point - and went on to earn another $37 million in his career!

• From the Torre-Verducci book it is clear that steroids and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) have become unbelievably widespread throughout baseball.

• Just look at old ESPN Classic games from 30 years ago and see how thin-waisted and scrawny and wiry the players used to be. Now they are hulking monsters!

• Yes, this was - and is - cheating. Even if prior to 2004 the rules of Major League Baseball did not prohibit steroids, the laws of all the states prohibited possession and/or the purchase of these drugs. Yet the players - through their so-called ‘personal trainers’ - tried to circumvent the law and get injected with these powerful drugs.

• As a result of this cheating, the players made gobs and gobs of money!!!

• And, in the process, they have cheated. Period.

• You know what? In America - even if it takes a long, long time - cheaters and liars get exposed. The truth always comes out.

• And from A-Rod to Barry Bonds to Roger Clemens to Mark Maguire - they all have been or are being exposed as the cheaters and liars they are.

OK. That is baseball. Our one-time National Pastime. Just a sport. Not anything of any real substance.

Oh yeah?

Guess what?

The very same pattern has overtaken us as a nation.

Cheating and lying are all over the place in the leadership class.

From politicians to lawyers to doctors to business titans to leaders in the entertainment industry.

Madoff, Enron, no-WMD-in-Iraq, the“I never had sex with that woman - Miss Lewinsky,” soldiers ripping off our aid to Iraq, mortgage-lenders ‘teasing’ home-buyers with deceptively low rates and then jacking them up, wide-spread Medicaid fraud, famous historians committing plagiarism and getting away with it, self-centered business leaders taking huge bonuses while laying off their lesser-paid subordinates, overpaid executives spending $1.2 million to decorate an office while the bank is going bust - we could go on and on and on.

The point is clear: like the ballplayers who - while blessed with incredible, superior athletic talent - still wanted to cheat to do even better - these societal leaders also want to cheat and lie about it to make even more money; more money than any one person could ever reasonably spend.

This Super-Sized greed and drive is out-of-wack with our values of fair play, hard work and treating all people fairly and equally.

And these privileged people - in key positions of leadership across the spectrum - are dragging down our country, making awful decisions that harm thousands of people, and are helping to destroy the once-glorious image of the good old U.S.A.

The only good thing about this recession is that it will “shake out” the system and flush many of these greedy jerks down the tubes. Unfortunately, along with them go many, many good people.

America is a self-correcting nation. We do address our problems - sometimes a little too slowly for many of us - but we do face up to things. In this case, we need widespread condemnation of the lying and the cheating and the rip-offs.

And we need to re-instate a long-lost sentiment in our society: shame.

Until these crooks and cheats feel genuine shame for what they have done, they will continue to do it.

They need that kind of shame where you hide your face on the perp walk - not smile into the mug shot camera as if you are proud of what you have done - and can’t face your friends and family and instead you’d rather jump off a building.

Today’s frauds and crooks and cheats revel in their notoriety.

That needs to change - and fast.

Prediction: America is undergoing a whole lot of “change” right now - most of it forced by the crumbling economy. In ten years we will be a stronger nation and a better-behaved people than we are today.

Rushing to the End of the GOP?

The “rush” that hurts us all is - not Rush Limbaugh - but rushing into a massive almost-$800 billion spending bill - without the proper hearings, time to consider and debate.

Yes, the so-called Stimulus is almost the law of the land. But that does not make it the best possible stimulus bill to help revive a sick economy.

In fact this is the third time in the last 6 ½ years that a President - twice G.W. Bush and now Barack Obama - has basically held a gun to the Congress’ head and forced them to short-circuit their normal way of doing legislative business - a ‘way’ that has served our nation well for over 200 years.

But in the 2002 vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq, the September/October 2008 TARP votes and now this massive stimulus spending bill, the Congress has been “rushed” into making fork-in-the-road decisions that will affect the country for decades to come.

Mistakes are made in this situation. No Member of either the House or Senate has yet read this huge over-1000-page bill; nor will they before they vote on it. Hand-written additions - of huge consequence - will be snuck in - and few if any Members will even know about them until it is too late.

Now, the basic thought behind this Democratic-written bill is simple: Democrats and liberals believe that any and all government spending - no matter what it is spent on - is a good thing. The Left loves government spending - on everything!

They truly believe the more government spends, the more it gins up economic activity. Thus they blatantly put all those pork elements in there because they believed even those wasteful, ridiculous items will help spur a sick economy. They are the true practitioners of Trickle Down (from DC) Economics.

(Republicans - before the profligate and budget-busting Era of G.W. Bush and a GOP Congress - used to be fiscal conservatives; and we believed that the best stimulus was not government spending but tax cuts to allow increased consumer spending; this is From-the-People-Up Economics. That was what happened in 1981 and revived an economy that was much sicker then that it is today.)

Only because of Republican opposition and the news media/talk radio world exposing these spending items did some of them get removed from the bill. However, there are still many in here. And you have Senator Charles Schumer saying that these wasteful pork items are not a big deal! Oh how the Democrats mis-understand the anger of the American people about government spending!

Had the normal legislative process been followed, the rest of this junk would have been exposed. But by “rushing” this bill through, the wool has been pulled over the taxpayer’s heads.

The Democrats hope that the economy turns around by 2010 and 2012. Conventional wisdom is that if the economy is still mired in a recession, the Democrats will - again - be thrown out of office. President Obama has admitted he will be a “one-termer” if he can’t get the economy turned around.

But what if the Democrats have a plan to eliminate- as a political force - the Republican Party?

Let us look at a few seemingly small news items that lead us to a big conclusion:

• Senator Debbie Stabenow (D. Mich.) floated the idea - again -of re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine; Nancy Pelosi has already supported this move;

• The White House is contemplating moving the 2010 Census out of the Commerce Department and into Rahm Emmanuel’s White House Office;

• Preliminary talk out of the House about “normalizing” the immigration status of the 11-20 million illegals now in the country;

Here is the Democratic plan to eliminate the GOP and thus guarantee one-party rule for decades to come:

• Stifle and dilute and weaken Rush/Sean/Savage/Ingraham and so many others who act as a counter-weight to the left-leaning so-called Mainstream Media by re-imposing the so-called Fairness Doctrine;

• Change the Census counting procedure to “estimate” the count in heavily Democratic areas and thus allow most states to re-draw Congressional and state legislative districts to guarantee Democratic majorities for at least the next decade;

• Give amnesty to the millions of illegals - and then hand them registration forms and register ‘em all as Democrats!

• (The moving of the Census out of Commerce is because a Republican - Judd Gregg - is about to become Commerce Secretary and he obviously wouldn’t support rigging the census; but Rahm Emmanuel - the former Clinton White House Political Director and House Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman - is a totally political creature who will try to use the Census to expand the Democratic majority in the House.)

The Republican Party - already limping after the 2006 and 2008 elections - is on the verge of political annihilation if the Democrats have their way.

The Democrats believe in payback - Big Time - and they are not going to risk another 1994 Republican Revolution. Instead, they will now try systematically to crush the remnants of the GOP.

John LeBoutillier to Guest on "Imus in the Morning"

Wednesday, February 4th @ 6:30 AM. Please Listen!

Be President - Not Legislator-in-Chief

Since President Obama’s Inauguration we have seen the Congress - both the Democrats and the Republicans - behave in the most disgustingly political way in the middle of a national crisis - while the White House stands back and acts like a passive player in the game. Let us examine:

Everyone knows the deteriorating economy is the whole shebang politically; every other pet issue - big and small - has to take a back seat until things get back on track.

There is real angst in our nation; some wonder if we will ever get back on track.

Instilling confidence that we will recover is a major part of the solution.

So what does the House of Representatives do?

They resort to their innate character!

The Democrats create a so-called stimulus package that is an unmitigated disaster - loaded with increased welfare benefits for the states, more spending on already-existing entitlement programs, pet social-spending projects and all sorts of other Christmas Tree spending to please various Democrat Members.

In sum, this bill is a joke. And a disgrace.

And why isn’t the new President setting the agenda - instead of allowing Nancy Pelosi and now Harry Reid to set it?

The President is supposed to be the Commander-in-Chief, not the Legislator-in-Chief.

Let’s go back to the last time we had an analogous economic situation: in 1981, with the economy in a clear free-fall with the Misery Index, double digit inflation, interest rates and unemployment, President Reagan set the agenda with his up-until-then unheard-of idea to cut all tax rates 25% across the board over a three year period. And he had a House of Representatives controlled by the opposition party. And yet he convinced them to follow his plan.

Now, in 2009, why isn’t there an Obama Plan? Why is Obama ceding this crucial First Action of his Presidency to a discredited hack like Nancy Pelosi?

And why is Obama dumping on Rush Limbaugh, thereby elevating Rush to equal status to the Presidency? How can resuscitating the dispirited Right possibly help the President?

Republicans are shattered after the failed Bush years and the loss of the House, Senate, White House and so many state houses. In fact, the Republican Party doesn’t really exist at the moment. So what does President Obama do? He breathes life into Rush and gets him back in the game and thereby emboldens the GOP.


An old dictum applies here: what makes good economics makes bad politics. And what makes good politics makes bad economics.

President Obama, with sky-high ratings and the good will from most of America, needs to craft a credible and good economic plan which will help stimulate economic growth and then use his political skills to sell that plan to the people and to Congress. He is the national leader and needs to use that position to herd Congress toward what he thinks is best.

He must stop the Congress from creating a political plan and then slapping an economic name on it and claiming it will act as a stimulus.

The President, during his Super Bowl TV interview with Matt Lauer, said, “The important thing is to get it passed.” But this is before the “it” has even been created!!! The Senate has yet to take up their own version and then the two houses need to reconcile their two versions.

Mr. Obama acts as if just passing any old “it” will do the job.

Well, it won’t. The stimulus package will work only if it gets average Americans back to spending - as the key to the American and world economy is for the American consumer to spend money. Period.

And that consumer will not start spending based on the pathetic bill being produced on Capitol Hill.

As for the Republican Party, their position today as a national party is substantially worse than it was in the wake of Richard Nixon and the Watergate fiasco. They are dispirited, depressed and totally shell-shocked over their demise.

The GOP is like an alcoholic who has yet to admit his problems. And until he does - and until they do - they can’t begin to re-build themselves.

Their problem is that they have allowed themselves to be led by leaders who turn off people. G.W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin are all cut from the same cloth: they are arrogant, swaggering, strutting, self-centered and “all about themselves” - instead of what is best for the Republican Party and the nation.

No wonder Senator Mitch McConnell is worried that the GOP has been reduced to a “regional party” and that a massive Gallup survey shows the Republican Party is now a majority party in only five states!

The House GOP contingent did a principled thing by unanimously opposing the Pelosi Bill last week. But they need to put forth their own plan - one that is shockingly simple - and one that would indeed stimulate consumer spending and help people keep their homes.

Here is such a plan: scrap all this new spending - which is going to cost about one trillion dollars. In its place, suspend all federal personal income taxes for the next year - period.

That would cost the same trillion - but would be such a jolt to the average American; he/she would suddenly have a lot of dough they hadn’t counted one. And they’d spend it to pay mortgages or buy things.

And for those who don’t pay federal taxes, the US Government could tap the TARP fund and give everyone some money.

Wouldn’t it be better to give them the money than these jerks on Wall Street?


In sum what we have in Washington today - and have had for a while - are all the players, ignorant of political history and too ambitious for their own good - who aren’t playing their roles properly:

The new President, perhaps too young and inexperienced - having never run anything in his life - to feel confident in his leadership, has allowed his party to seize control of the process.

The Democratic Hill leadership sees a chance to re-create their glory days of massive social spending programs. And they also see that in Obama they have a President who will allow them to do it - even if that will not solve the economic disaster which has overcome us.

The Republican opposition, instead of offering innovative, principled ideas and thus beginning to reassert themselves as the voices of fiscal sanity (hard to do after their irresponsible spending orgy of the Bush Years), spends time attacking or defending a radio talk show host or allowing itself to get caught up in the tit-for-tat of inside-the-beltway bickering.

In the middle of all of this, we need a grown-up to speak to the truth: we are in major trouble here, and we need a plan that will work - not a political plan to rip off even more money from the American people.