Posts Tagged ‘Congress’
Yes, former South Carolina Governor was kind of a laughing stock after it was revealed that he had disappeared to Argentina for a few days to spend time with his “soul mate.”
And yes, his press conference to explain himself was one of the most painful political moments in history– actually more painful than the infamous Rep. Enid Greene Waldholtz 5-hour press conference of 1995. (Long before the days of YouTube, unfortunately, I couldn’t find video of it.)
But, defying conventional wisdom and the odds, Sanford has been elected to represent the 1st district of South Carolina in a special election.
Sanford was one of the revolutionaries of 1994. I was lucky enough to have a front row seat to the early days of the Republican Revolution and to watch the likes of John Shadegg, Sam Brownback, Steve Largent, Mark Neumann, Matt Salmon, and Mark Sanford work to implement the mandate that they felt they carried to reform Washington.
They fought Newt when he tried to compromise with Clinton. They held the line on spending, leading to the one time in 40 years that federal spending actually went down in real dollars (although it was for only one year). They were the true believers.
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Sometime after Mark Sanford was elected Governor of South Carolina, he graciously accepted an invitation to speak at a conservative conference in Reno, NV. The conference organizers were awe-struck when he insisted that he travel alone, in coach, and refused a car service. He flew into Reno by himself (no entourage, no security detail), grabbed a cab, and checked himself into the hotel. It was quintessentially Mark Sanford – low key, regular guy.
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Congress needs more Mark Sanfords. Yes, he is flawed. But few great leaders are not flawed in some way. They are human.
What I know is that the country will be better off with Mark Sanford back in Congress.
Tonight, in New Orleans, there’s sure to be a little song and dance as The Big Easy celebrates Fat Tuesday, the last day before the Lenten Season. As revelers prepare for the festivities, with the traditional wearing of masks and costumes, parades, and overeating, President Obama prepares to give the first State of the Union Address of his second term. But how different will things really be in the Capitol Building and the bayou?
During his speech, President Obama might wear the costume of bipartisanship. He often pays lip service to reaching across the aisle, but everyone in Washington knows what lies behind the mask: a man uninterested in compromise or building consensus with those who don’t share his extreme ideology.
He’ll likely display a parade of citizens who support his agenda. Whoever they are, however heartbreaking their situations may be, U.S. policy cannot be built on emotion; it must be rooted in the constitution and based on facts.
But the biggest part of President Obama’s speech tonight will be his plans for gluttonous government spending. Obama’s gobbling up your tax dollars. Like all people who “eat their feelings,” if he can have just a little bit more everything will be ok. The rich can afford it, so what’s the harm? After all, we need to “invest” in this, that and the other.
Doesn’t President Obama know that, since WWII, revenues from taxes have remained around 18% of GDP no matter the tax rates, while government spending as a percentage of GDP has sharply increased? Of course he does. But that doesn’t stop him, because after Obama’s Fat Tuesday, there is no Washington version of Lent. No time to forgo the excessive and extreme spending, compliments of the U.S. taxpayer. Try to remember that during tonight’s song and dance.
Congress and President Obama struck a deal to fund the government through next fall and avoided a shutdown.
What, you didn’t know anything about that? No surprise. I get the sense that the American people have tuned out the machinations of Washington lately. I’m going to call it the calm before the storm. There is no doubt that dark clouds are brewing and it’s going to be pretty rough for Washington – both Democrats and Republicans.
Democrats have more to lose – the Senate and the White House – and the Republicans who lose are more likely to go down in primaries to other Republicans. Let’s just say there is some serious angst out there.
Kirk Adams is one of those rare individuals who runs for public office for the right reasons. In full disclosure, Kirk is a client of my firm – but then again, my firm wouldn’t support someone who wasn’t a true conservative. Rather than rely on my words, I’ll let constituents of Kirk tell you themselves.
Click here to watch the video: Kirk Adams
First she survived the worst year for Democrats in Congress since 1938 by winning re-election. Weeks later, she survived being shot in the head at point blank range by a raving madman.
Now she demonstrates a strength of will that is nothing short of a miracle.
Gabby Giffords’ survival is amazing. It is proof that she has much more to accomplish on this earth.
As I read the cover story of this week’s People magazine and then watched the Diane Sawyer special, I realized that we really never know what our life holds in store. In Gabby’s case, it is incredible adversity and showing the true grit to overcome that adversity.
I’ll never forget that fateful Saturday morning. I had just landed in Phoenix and was walking up the sidewalk to the PF Changs at Norterra Shoppes for an early lunch with my kids. I got a text from a friend that simply read “Urgent. Call me.”
I called and my mouth dropped in shock in hearing the news that Congresswoman Giffords had been shot.
Now, ten months later, to see her, and to hear her, is inspiring. Her love of life, her love of her husband Mark, her complete strength in the face of the worst of adversity demonstrates absolute courage. She is a survivor.
We don’t know whether she will run for Congress again. In the end, it doesn’t matter. She has left an indelible mark on this world that a mere Member of Congress could only dream of.
Stay strong, Gabby. We’re praying for you, cheering for you and, most of all, forever grateful for the inspiration and miracle that you are to all of us.
What must be the world’s longest (and largest) spending spree is coming to an end. Politicos everywhere were abuzz this afternoon following Representative David Obey’s (D-WI) surprise announcement of his plans to retire at the end of this Congress. Elected in 1969 (he’s been in Congress longer than I’ve been alive, and it feels really nice to say that), Obey won all but two of his 21 elections with more than 60% of the vote (1969, in his first election, and in 1994, the year of the Republican Revolution and, importantly, when the political environment was very similar to today’s).
While the 71 year-old Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee asserted during his announcement that being “bone tired” was one of the primary motivations in making his decision (Hey, who can blame him? All those taxpayer dollars don’t spend themselves!), it no doubt deals a huge blow to House Democrats as they already face an uphill battle to November.
Will Obey’s move inspire other Dems to follow suit? How ugly will the fight for the Approps gavel get? Today’s events leave many a question mark, but it can safely be said that Republican Sean Duffy, who was already waging a fierce battle against Mr. Obey, is having a pretty great Wednesday.
Now that the health care “reform” bill has been signed into law, details that should have been disclosed and debated before the vote are starting to emerge. Obviously, Nancy Pelosi meant it when she said they’d have to “pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Amid the flurry speculation and assertions about the bill is to when and if the pre-existing conditions of children will be covered. Such uncertainty is yet another reason why a bill with major implications for everyone in America should never have been drafted in secrecy or have been exempted from standard procedure.
One of the most outrageous revelations is that staffers who work for Members in Leadership or for Committees, the primary authors of the bill itself, may not be required to purchase insurance through the state-run exchanges.
If it’s not good enough for the authors of the bill, why should the American people be stuck with it?
Democrat Congressman Alcee Hastings (FL) is the only impeached judge in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also sits on the powerful Rules Committee. This is one of the things he said in today’s Rules Committee hearing as the Democrats prepare to put government-run health care on the House floor tomorrow. This is just one example of what’s wrong with the Democrats’ approach to passing government-run health care.
“There ain’t no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something. . . When the deal goes down, all this talk about rules, we make ’em up as we go along.”
And anyone wonders why the American people are fed up with Washington?
UPDATE: Here is the video of the end of this quote.
Patrick Kennedy’s announcement that he will not seek reelection in November will be the complete end of the era of Camelot. As the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, his departure from Congress will mean that for the first time in five decades that a Kennedy will not serve in either the House or the Senate.
I have my own little personal story about Patrick Kennedy. I was in the conference room of the Resources Committee during a hearing and briefing Congressman John Shadegg on some issue before the committee. We were eating sandwiches when a young guy set down a packaged salad from Cannon carryout and walked away. Shadegg needed some salt for his sandwich and so I figured I could take the salt packet out of the salad of the staffer and gave it to Shadegg.
The young guy walked back to sit down and eat his salad, and I looked up and realized that it was freshman Congressman Patrick Kennedy. Here I thought he was a staffer (he’s barely older than me – so at the time he couldn’t have been older than 26 or 27) and took his salt packet.
I never got to apologize to him for that. So, Mr. Kennedy, I’m sorry, and I owe you a salt packet.
Here is Congressman Kennedy’s video announcement of his retirement.
The headline of a London Telegraph story reads: Barack Obama sees worst poll rating drop in 50 years.
That’s pretty ominous and fatalistic sounding, but there are a few details that make it somewhat misleading. Here is the bottom line of the story:
Gallup recorded an average daily approval rating of 53 per cent for Mr Obama for the third quarter of the year, a sharp drop from the 62 per cent he recorded from April.
His current approval rating – hovering just above the level that would make re-election an uphill struggle – is close to the bottom for newly-elected president. Mr Obama entered the White House with a soaring 78 per cent approval rating.
Yes, he is taking on water, no question, but when there is an artificially high expectation, the grind of Washington, D.C. is going to take a heavy toll. Obama’s election was a watershed moment in U.S. history: we elected the first African-American in our history. That’s a big deal, and with his campaign of “hope and change” most people’s expectations were very high. Even many voters who cast a ballot against Obama had high expectations. Think about it, his approval was at 78 percent on inauguration day. That is a remarkably high number for a President when there isn’t a national crisis that rallies the nation (e.g. Bush 41’s approval in the 90’s after Desert Storm and Bush 43’s approval in the 90’s after 9-11)
So, of course Obama’s numbers were going to come down. Yes, he certainly had something to do with his own slide in popularity. The American people are very uneasy with the rush of government involvement in huge swaths of our economy (stimulus, auto bailout, bank bailout and now the march toward a government takeover of health care) and the incredible amount of money that is being shoved out the door to pay for all this. Remember when Clinton was President and we (read Republicans) were screaming bloody murder over a budget deficit of $300 billion? That’s chump change. This year the U.S. budget deficit is an eye-popping $1.75 TRILLION. That’s almost SIX TIMES larger than Clinton’s deficits.
So, yes, Obama has seen huge fallout in his numbers, one, because he started so high, and two because he is trying to too much too fast and Democrats in Congress are not helping him.