Monday, November 10, 2014

Clearly, the long knives are out for Valerie Jarrett.....

Given the topic of the previous post and now the current article: Fire Valerie JarrettIf Obama really wants to shake things up, his closest adviser should be the first to go. It is clear that the long knives are out in Washington DC for Valerie Jarrett.  I suspect she'll be with the Obama's to the end, which again begs the questions, Who is Valerie Jarrett?; How did she become so entangled with the Obama's?; and Why on God's green earth would she STILL be one of their closest advisors?   

From the article:
Jarrett is more than a mere senior staffer to this president, and of course she is not going to be fired outright. Not ever. If her role in this administration reflected reality, Jarrett would be called “First Big Sister” to both Michelle and Barack. And who would fire the kind of big sister who “really dedicated her entire life to the Obamas,” as New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor told me when I interviewed her about her intimate look at the first family, The Obamas? “She has thrown her entire life into their cause, and she’s made it very clear that she would happily run in front of a speeding truck for them.” 
Very moving. But the fact is, on balance it appears that Jarrett has been more an obstructer than a facilitator over the past six years when it comes to governing, and it’s probably long past time for the president to move her gently into another role. 
For starters, even today, nobody knows precisely what Jarrett does in the White House. What exactly do her titles—senior advisor to the president, assistant to the president in charge of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Public Engagement, the White House Council on Women and Girls—mean? More to the point, Jarrett has often used the aura of authority that these titles give her to stand in the way of talented White House staffers and a smoother-running administration, according to several books that have been written about the Obama presidency, among them Chuck Todd’s forthcoming The Stranger.
The author then goes on to report similar stories of Jarrett undermining Chief of Staff Emanuel and Press Secretary Gibbs as in the previously posted article.

It is a very odd relationship for an advisor to the leader of the free world.  For example:

Her undefined role combined with what by all accounts has been almost unlimited proximity to the Obamas has proved a bad mix. She seems to isolate the president from people who might help him or teach him something—and if there’s one thing that has become clear about Obama, it’s that he doesn’t get to hear enough outside voices. (According to Alter, she once declared that the Obamas wouldn’t be making “new friends” in Washington.) Jarrett micromanages guest lists for White House events big and small, hangs out in the private quarters and often joins the Obamas for dinner, says little in meetings, but walks out whispering in the president’s ear and leaving nervous staffers in her wake, according to Alter. She vacations with the first family in Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard. She is often the last one they speak to at night, and according to Alter, White House staffers took to calling her the “Night Stalker.”
Odd, don't you think?

I also don't suppose it is a mere coincidence these two articles were written and released at roughly the same time.  Almost as if to give Obama cover should he decide to pull the rip cord on Jarrett.  I don't believe for a minute it'll happen, but one can always hope....

My mistake. It's not "Limousine Liberal". The proper term is "Boardroom Liberal". Who knew?

This is from an article about Valerie Jarrett's influence on President Obama and his policies, The Obama Whisperer, No one has understood Valerie Jarrett's role, until now . Sadly, it completely ignores the effects of said policies...  Regardless, the article describes an advisor who, it should be noted, is not a cabinet member and as such required no vetting by the Senate, not that she would have gotten any in 2009 anyway...  But, I digress.  This paints the an incomplete picture of the actual person Valerie Jarrett is and gives only a few sentence glance at how she became who she is, and completely ignores how she came to such a prominent role as is painted.  

Regardless, there are a few nuggets to take away from the article.  One is the evolution of her role from prominent advisor and attender of all meetings relating to policy to one of creator of the impenetrable bubble for the POTUS.  Valerie Jarrett, they would have us believe, has out lasted all other presidential confidants, from Rahm Emanuel to Robert Gibbs, and as these people left they were replaced with people who were more amicable to Ms. Jarrett.  Again, this reinforces my earlier query on who is Valerie Jarrett?  Where did she come from?  How did she Get where she is?  How did she get involved with the Obama's?  Why is their relationship so seemingly intimate?

The other, and in my humble opinion, more important admission in this article is this regime's philosophy of "Boardroom Liberals".  This is important not just because it is an admission of this regimes philosophy, but because it is in an article in the left's bible, The New Republic. Here is (to me anyhow) the krux of the left's statist mentality:
"They emanate from the worldview that Jarrett and Obama sharecall it “boardroom liberalism.” It’s a worldview that’s steeped in social progressivism, in the values of tolerance and diversity. It takes as a given that government has a role to play in building infrastructure, regulating business, training workers, smoothing out the boom-bust cycles of the economy, providing for the poor and disadvantaged. But it is a view from on highone that presumes a dominant role for large institutions like corporations and a wisdom on the part of elites. It believes that the world works best when these elites use their power magnanimously, not when they’re forced to share it. The picture of the boardroom liberal is a corporate CEO handing a refrigerator-sized check to the head of a charity at a celebrity golf tournament. All the better if they’re surrounded by minority children and struggling moms." [emphasis added]
Bam.  Just like that, everything falls into place.....

As if that admission were not enough, the article goes on to highlight the current White House operations like this:

As it happens, the way the White House runs these days does even less to check Obama’s inclinations. According to a former high-level aide, there is no longer a daily meeting between the president and his top advisers. Under the old system, if the president waved off one adviser’s objection to his preferred plan of action, another could step in to vouch for the objection’s merit. The advice Obama gets now, though, comes more regularly through one-off interactions with the likes of Jarrett and Denis McDonough, who don’t have anyone else to back them up. In the second term, observes the former aide, “Maybe the president says, more often than in the past, ‘We’re doing it.’”
The result is that Obama has become even more persuaded of his righteousness as the years have gone on. His belief that he can win over opponents is unshaken. Unfortunately, these opponents include a party in the throes of radicalism and a self- interested class of ultra-rich that increasingly calls to mind plutocracynot people whose better instincts you can appeal to. Obama and Jarrett should know this." 
I guess this is exemplifies how Obama can stand up there and take no responsibility for the mid-term drubbing his party took this year...  Amazing.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Election 2014 Post Mortem for the GOP

I do not want to bask in the wave election wins for the GOP for too long.  Instead, I want to focus on some of the take-aways from this election:
  1. I'm begging the GOP: Please do not believe the results of this election mean that everyone loves the GOP.  As Republicans you must understand that the media in all it's forms: news outlets, TV shows, movies, and music are all still mocking you and as such will require diligence to keep from it getting out of control if you try something stupid (e.g: impeaching the first black president). 
  2. The American voter is far more sophisticated than the Republican [or Democrat, for that matter] consultants would have you believe.  It is not simply about telling people what they want to hear, but telling them the things they must come to grips with:
    • Onerous government intrusion into your life cannot not make things better
    • Government cannot and should not promise to supply all of your needs
    •  We, out here in the hinterland, understand our country needs to do a 180 and we are desperately seeking REAL STRONG LEADERSHIP.  
  3. Both Tea Party Conservatives AND establishment candidates CAN win.  
Now for the hard part:  Actually governing.  This is where the rubber hits the road.  Obama is not likely to bend on many issues (likely none).  So, you must be prepared to make not only symbolic votes, but also realistic votes to advance the ball.  For example:
  1. Keystone pipeline.  Obama is not likely to veto the requirement allowing the Keystone pipeline to begin construction.  He and the Dems have been sitting on this in order to get money from Tom Steyer.  Tom Steyer is out $74 million in this election cycle and he will have received very little from his investment.  Make it about Steyer not Obama.  Obama is such a narcissist that if you try to pin the lack of movement on him, he may continue to sit on it pretending he is still waiting for some agency to clear the project.   
  2. Grant Obama Trade Promotion Authority.  Everyone is for it, so what do you have to lose?
  3. Repatriate foreign profits of U.S. companies.  Again, allowing U.S. corporations to bring profits back to the U.S. with little or no tax consequences puts that money to work  here.  Better here than overseas.
  4. Immigration.  DO NOT PASS "COMPREHENSIVE" IMMIGRATION REFORM.  Give it to the president in bite size pieces.  Force him to go on the record about specific immigration issues.
    • Border security.  Provide the border with more resources to secure the border immediately.  Build fences where practical, use technology (ground sensors, drones, thermal imagining, etc..) where fences won't work and provide enough manpower to get those illegals who still try to get across deported back to Mexico fast.
    • Streamline the visa processing procedures to make it easier to get here for specific groups of workers: those with high-tech skills, doctors, and other professionals; manual laborers who already have an employer willing to sponsor them in the U.S.
    • Round up the children for central America who came here illegally in 2014 and get them reunited with their parents in their home country.  Pronto.
    • Require English competency for citizenship.
    • Change the anchor baby law.  If you are born to illegal immigrants, you are an illegal immigrant.
    • Once all of these are in place being enforced (this depends on who BHO appoints to AG) THEN you can begin a conversation on how to get those who are already here illegally out of the shadows, get them documented, get them paying taxes, deport the violent criminals, the rest will be issued a green-card, but would NOT be allowed to vote.  Only those who came here legally and the children of those who came here illegally would [eventually] be allowed to vote.
  5. Oversight.  Establish invasive oversight of the IRS, EPA, OSHA, NSA and every other alphabet soup agency as required by law.  Find out what went on at the IRS, Justice (fast & Furious), State (Benghazi), etc...  Do it fast and publicly.  Prosecute where necessary.  
  6. Obamacare.  Begin by repealing the entire bill let BHO veto.  Then start sending him fixes. He'd veto some, sign some, but he'd own it ALL and so would the next democrat candidate. 
    • Repeal the tax on medical devises
    • Repeal the 30 hour work week requirement
    • Allow insurance companies to sell across state lines
    • Eliminate the so-called federal "exchange"
    • Raise the threshold for subsidies
    • Tort reform - institute loser pays.
  7. Repeal Dodd-Frank.  'nuff said.
  8. Make it illegal for government agencies to confiscate assets without due process.  Make repayment of 3x the amount confiscated (plus legal fees) if agencies are found to have wrongly confiscated assets
  9. Eliminate all foreign aid to countries that are antagonistic to American interests.
This could all be done (aside from the on-going oversight) within the first 100 days or so.  This would be a HUGE embarrassment to Harry Reid and the Democrat Party.  If the GOP could get all this done in 100 or so days it would be a complete repudiation of the last 6 years of Harry Reid's Senate leadership.  They need to pick things BHO will sign quickly to create action in order to give the American electorate reason to vote for the GOP in the next election cycle.  The Obamacare items would take longer and be more advantageous for the GOP to be drawn out over time, well into the next election cycle in 2015.

Speaking of the 2016 election cycle, the GOP MUST do the following:
  1. Expand it's outreach into disaffected minority  neighborhoods.  Plenty of blacks are feeling taken advantage of by the Democrat Party and when conservative values are explained in an articulate manner they tick nearly every box that African-Americans vote on:
    • Economic recovery - not welfare.  Jobs, jobs, jobs.   I like Rand Paul's Economic Freedom Zones.
    • School choice.  Most parents that are paying attention want the child to have opportunities they did not have, including a better education.   Public school teacher's unions must be beat back in favor of the student and the taxpayer.  
    • Patriotism.  I believe every person who is a legal U.S. citizen is (or should be) proud of the U.S.  The USA was the first country in the history of the world founded by and for its citizens.  Was slavery legal?  Yes.  Was it horrible?  Yes.  Did we correct that disgrace? Yes (and 600,000 people died in the process).  Did we continue to discriminate based on the color of a person's skin?  Yes.  Did we correct that disgrace?  I believe we have.  A long time ago now.  I doubt many middle to upper class black kids have ever been discriminated against.  I'll admit they probably have been called bad names as a child, what child hasn't (I could tell you stories of what my name rhymes with)?  We need to move on.  We are not hyphened Americans.  We are Americans.  We need to come together to solve our problems.
    • Violence in the inner city.  Many inner cities are largely made up of minority populations.  Black on black crime takes a huge toll on.
    • Use the minorities we currently have elected to build on this momentum!  These people are craving leadership even more than the general population at large and being able to send elected-Republican minorities into those communities to explain our conservative values would give the GOP huge credibility.  We simply have to make sure the face of the GOP is not always a crust old white guy (a la Pat Roberts-Kansas) and is more like Mia Love-Utah, Tim Scott-SC, Nikki Haley-SC, Bobby Jindal-LA, Susana Martinez-NM, etc..)  
  2. De-emphasize social issues.  I am not saying to give up our stands on abortion, gay marriage, and legalization of pot, but they are simply not the biggest issues facing the country.  Both are legal and I would expect them to stay that way for some time.  Technology is lowering people's support of abortion and I suspect over time people will come to understand the long-term consequences of both same-sex marriage and recreational pot use.
  3. The GOP must begin to reach out to our allies around the world and let them know that the last 6 years (and next 2) are an aberration.  They must understand that the U.S. will stand beside our allies in Eastern Europe: Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Czech Republic, etc... We will stand with you against Russian aggression.  If that means installing missile bases in those countries and selling them tanks & planes, them that's what we should do.  The same goes for our ally in the Middle East - namely, Israel.  The rest (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, etc.. are faux allies and should be treated as such.
  4. Find a handful of articulate conservatives to be the new face of the GOP.  Cruz, Robio, Paul, Love, Jindal, Walker, Kasich, Haley, etc.. Get them to go into the inner cities and make sure they articulate the conservative message at least monthly where it doesn't normally get heard.  At some point the GOP HAS to make inroads into these communities.  they will not convince everyone, but they only need to convince enough or even begin to plant the seed of doubt into the minds of people who have never even heard the GOP message.  This HAS to be done and it has to be done THIS election cycle in order to hold the house, the senate AND gain the presidency in 2016.