Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mike Johanns Retires From Senate After One Term

One term Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns announced this week that once his term is done in the year 2015 he will be stepping down from public office after three decades of service to the State of Nebraska and the United States of America as an elected official.

The news of his upcoming retirement came as quite a shock to those in Nebraska and Washington political circles, as well as, the citizens within his State. Still healthy and vibrant in his early 60’s (age 62), many expected that the Senator would run for at least one more six year term as the senior politician from the Cornhusker State. Johanns may have been a relative newcomer on Capital Hill but he was a familiar face in Washington D.C. having served as President George W. Bush’s Agriculture Secretary and was very influential in Nebraska politics serving as the Governor of the State for eight years and was Nebraska’s Lincoln capital 47th Mayor, also for eight years.

Like many Democrats in the late 1980’s Johanns changed party affiliations to Republican due mainly to the influence President Ronald Reagan had on the more conservative branch of the Democratic wing called “Reagan Democrats.”

The reasons for his retirement were cited by the Senator and his wife in a joint press statement issued on Monday, February 18th, ”Words are inadequate to fully express our appreciation for the friendship and support you have given to us over the past three decades. With everything in life, there is a time and a season. At the end of this term, we will have been in public service over 32 years. Between the two of us, we have been on the ballot for primary and general elections 16 times and we have served in eight offices. It is time to close this chapter of our lives.”

I suppose I could be a cynical writer and say I’m not buying these excuses for his leaving a job that was just beginning to grant him a significant amount of recognition and power on important committees such as finance and agriculture and believe that there is something more here to his walking away from it all. But, I’m not going to do that. I will take the high road and take Senator Johanns at his word and accept that it is time for him and his wife Stephanie to have some quality time and life together with family and close friends. After three-plus decades of public service and office holding, grueling campaigns and hard fought battles on the Capital floor of D.C., the Nebraska State House and Lincoln City Council it is time to sit back, reflect, write a book and love his wife and family without hinderance of any kind.

Mr. Johanns was a good Mayor, a fine Governor, a proficient Agriculture Secretary and a great Senator. I only wish many others now holding office would take his example and, like our founder’s believed in wholeheartedly, do their government service to the people then get out, make room for fresh faces with new ideals and ideas.

Happy retirement Senator.

No Good Guys In the Sequestration Game

Who is responsible for this whole idea of sequestration? If you believe President Obama then the axe falls on the neck of the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, namely John Boehner and Eric Cantor. According to Republicans the idea lands squarely in the lap of the president. Neither side of the aisle is budging, nor is either willing to take responsibility. Then there is the other little mess in the mix. A recent statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney places the idea for sequestration with the Obama team who used it to try and get the needed votes from both sides of the aisle to get a temporary economic bill through the House, the same bill that comes to a close on March 1, 2013. If congress and the president cannot come to some kind of a mutual agreement on the budget within the next eight days then the massive indiscriminate cuts demanded by sequestration automatically take effect, which will hurt common citizens and our military's ability to adequately protect the borders of this nation and carry out its objectives overseas.

I really don’t care who first put sequestration on the table for consideration. The fact remains that regardless of whose hair-brained idea it was both sides of the congressional aisle and the president obviously wanted it or it would have never passed the House in the first place.

There are no good guys in this economic, buck-passing fiasco. Mr. Boehner, the Speaker of the House is just as guilty of playing politics with the economy and security of this nation and the financial welfare of every American citizen as President Obama is and both need to be held equally accountable by the American public and the press.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Politico Sees Obama As a Puppet Master

One decidedly liberal arm of the news media that in the past has been solidly behind President Obama, at times bending over backwards to give him much more than the benefit of the doubt may finally be coming to its senses and seeing this man and his administration for the master manipulators they have slyly aways been. Others like the main stream media network news outlets like CBS, NBC and ABC, as well as online news arms such as The Huffington Post and MSNBC are still quite enamored with this President and either willingly, or blindly, continue to be his puppets on the Obama Administration's strings.

Politico, however, is slowly awaking from its lulled, hypnotic sleep that many in this nation and among the media fell into a little over six years ago when this man decided to run for the highest office in the land. In a recent Politico article written by journalists Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen, the normally left leaning news page openly admits that they, like many in the press and media, were mastered by Mr. Obama and his strategists literally holding them spellbound by his nearly flawless use of “social media,” “content creation” and “precision targeting.” Vandehei and Allen likened Mr. Obama’s use of “staged leaks” and “friendly interviews” as being on “steroids” compared to how these newer technologies were used, or failed to be used, by his predecessors.

One of the main revelations these two writers came to as a result of Obama’s uncanny ability to mesmerize the press through his use of these technologies was what they have stated as a “balance of power between the White House and the press has tipped unmistakably toward government.” The conclusion they reached as a result of this finding was that this tipping point “is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House - fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press - has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly.” What is their prediction for future holders of the office of President? “..future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach.”

Is this awakening too little too late? It could be. What many of us out here in the real world, or at least 47% of us have always known is now slowly becoming a reality for at least one small arm of online news media with a fairly large reading base. Will it matter at this point with Obama still very popular with about 53% of the American public and even higher like-ability ratings overseas and very much remains the darling of most of the liberal, left and mainstream media? Perhaps it will, perhaps it won’t. But, either way at least two reporters in one of these news organizations are beginning to see the light of truth about how dangerous this man and his administration are to the balance of power in this nation and were brave enough to say so on the Politico website.

Even those within the President’s own party are slowly coming around and beginning to question the lengths Obama has gone to usurp power from the Legislative and Judicial Branches of government with his czar-like, over zealous use of Executive Orders and unilateral decision making that effects each and every American life. President Clinton’s old press secretary Mike McCurry went so far to tell Vandehei and Allen that this White House and this President “gets away with stuff I would never have dreamed of doing.” This coming from a man who worked for one of the slickest presidents in U.S. history who knew how to manipulate the press as no other. McCurry seems to be implying that Obama and his White House make the Clinton crew look like rank amateurs.

One of the number one promises then Senator Obama made to the American public on the campaign trail and during his debates with Hillary Clinton when he was running for the office of President in 2007 was that his presidency would be one of the most transparent in American history. Most members of the press, when speaking in their dark corners of the soul would greatly disagree with that citing that if anything, the Obama White House has become more akin to the last couple of years of the Nixon years. According to Ann Compton, one of the stalwarts of journalism, “The way the president’s (Obama) availability to the press has shrunk in the last two years is a disgrace.”

What Jim Vandehei, Mike Allen, Ann Compton, Mike McCurry and many others in the news media are only now coming to realize was very apparent to a small group of us from the very beginning. Barack Obama is a dangerous man who will lie, cheat, manipulate, abuse and misuse anything or anyone to accomplish his intended purposes and goals which for many of us spells the end of the United States of America as it was envisioned by its founders and fought and died for by its citizens for nearly 300 years.

This president has nearly four full years left to continue his threat to this great country. It does appear hopeful that at least at the beginning of this second term some in the press and media are starting to wake up from their hypnotic spell and realize they have been on the end of the strings of this dangerous puppet master. We can hope that this is the beginning of enlightenment for them and more along the way so that by mid-term elections enough pressure can be put on this man and his scary agenda of “change” to make him little more than a very, very ineffectual lame duck.

[Obama image courtesy of Fellowship of the Minds]