Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Republicans Hold Big Lead in Swing Seats

A new NPR poll in 70 House districts shows just how difficult it will be for Democrats to avoid big losses in the House this November. These are this year's swing seats -- the political terrain where the battle for control of the House of Representatives will be won or lost. Sixty of them are currently held by Democrats as compared to just ten held by Republicans.

In this battleground, voters prefer the Republicans over Democrats by eight points, 49% to 41%.

Said pollster Stan Greenberg: "In a year where voters want change and which Democrats are seen to be in power this is a tough poll, about as tough as you get."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

NBRA: Do Democrats Commit Hate Crimes Against Black Republicans?

Racists! That incendiary charge hurled by Democrats at Tea Party activists protesting against ObamaCare was shown to be totally false by Jack Cashill in his article "A Closer Look at the Capitol Steps Conspiracy".

Given the Democratic Party's 150-year record of racist rhetoric and racial violence - from the days of slavery until today - it is astonishing to see Democrats sanctimoniously playing the race card. A display of unmitigated gall describes how Democrats are falsely comparing anti-ObamaCare protestors to the anti-civil rights racists of the 1960's who were Democrats. Democrats get away with this racial hypocrisy because they know with absolute certainty that the true history of civil rights has long been buried, and the racism exhibited today by Democrats against blacks, particularly black Republicans, will be ignored by the mainstream media.

For instance, the liberal media expressed no outrage and not one word of condemnation was uttered by any Democrat after SEIU (Service Employees International Union) thugs attacked Kenneth Gladney, a black man. Gladney was beaten, kicked and called a racist name while working as a vendor at a health care reform town hall meeting in St. Louis on August 6, 2009 called by U.S. Rep. Democrat Russ Carnahan.

The assault was a calculated attempt to intimidate and silence Tea Party protestors and town hall activists. On the morning of the Gladney attack, the White House presented to Senate Democrats a “battle plan” to quell the protests. The advice given to the Democrats by the White House was to "punch back twice as hard", and the first casualty was Kenneth Gladney. In the emergency room of the St. John's Mercy Medical Center, Gladney was treated for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face suffered in the attack.

The six people arrested in the Gladney case, including a Post-Dispatch reporter, were charged with mere misdemeanor ordinance violations, with a total of ten charges spread out among the six offenders. Not one Democrat rushed to a microphone to denounce the attack against Gladney as a "hate crime".

Based on the lack of any outrage by Democrats over the Gladney beating, it seems that the newly enacted "hate crime" legislation pushed by Democrats would not apply to cases of hateful brutality against black Republicans. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009 and is designed to punish crimes of violence against people because of their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

At the core of why Democrats are feverishly painting conservatives and Republicans as racist, especially Tea Party activists, is the need to divert the public's attention away from the fact that President Barack Obama and the Democrats in control of Congress are slowly and deliberately transforming America from a free society with a representative form of government into a socialist dictatorship. A move applauded by the Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro.

Obama is now governing as a hard-core leftist, after campaigning for president as a centrist. His cynical charade was designed to convince the majority of white Americans to vote for him, the very citizens Obama now castigates as racist.

What Obama and the Democrats are ignoring while trying to silence protestors with charges of racism is the fact that average American citizens are angry because they do not want socialism. They understand that ObamaCare and Obama's out-of-control spending will produce massive deficits, high costs for consumer goods and fewer jobs. Citizens have tried to communicate this message to Obama and the Democrats in every way possible, from protesting in record numbers to historic votes against Democrats in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts.

Obama and the Democrats have chosen, at their peril, to ignore the will of the people and enact the economy-wrecking ObamaCare with one-party rule, bribing unprincipled Democrats with sleazy deals.

The powerful video posted on YouTube called "America Rising: An Open Letter to Democrat Politicians Patriotic Resistance" implores Americans to hold Democrats accountable in the 2010 elections.

A video posted on YouTube called "We The People" provides an inspiring call for us to take back our country from the socialists.

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this call is made for all Americans to unite, engage in nonviolent civil disobedience and vote in November to stop the Democrats from shredding our Constitution and governing without the consent of the governed.

History shows that during the 1960's Democrats used racist slurs and brutality against Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Republican until the day he died, and other nonviolent activists who were trying to stop the Democrats from denying civil rights to black Americans. Today, Democrats are using similar reprehensible tactics against conservatives and Republicans, especially black Republicans, who are trying to stop the Democrats from stripping civil liberties from all Americans.

While claiming to be racially sensitive, Democrats use racist invectives to denigrate black Republicans, demeaning them as "sellouts", "Uncle Toms", "House Negroes", "House N-word", or worse. The list of black Republicans attacked by Democrats is long and includes RNC Chairman Michael Steel, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, General Colin Powell and Justice Clarence Thomas.

On the left-wing Internet website called "The News Blog," Democrats posted a doctored photograph of RNC Chairman Michael Steele while he was the Lt. Governor of Maryland and running for a Senate seat. Democrats depicted Steele as a "Simple Sambo" with a blackened minstrel-style face, nappy hair and big, think red lips. The cartoon caption read: "Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house". This contemptible racist stereotype is the same one Democrats used to demean black men during the era of slavery and segregation.

Dr. Condoleezza Rice was the object of particularly vicious racist attacks by Democrats. In addition to several other appalling images of Dr. Rice produced by several Democrats, cartoonist Jeff Danziger denigrated Dr. Rice as an ignorant, barefoot "mammy", reminiscent of the stereotyped black woman in the movie "Gone with the Wind" about the slave era black woman who remarked: "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies". This is the type of racist stereotype Democrats used to demean black women during the era of slavery and segregation.

A video was shot by WKRN Video Journalist Beau Fleenor at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee that shows Al Sharpton demeaning Gen. Powell and Dr. Rice, when Sharpton was asked to give his opinions about whether Powell and Rice were "House Negroes".

An article that appeared in a Portland, Oregon paper was one of many exposing how hardly a ripple of protest was made by black Democrats when Harry Belafonte publicly denounced Gen. Powell as a "House Negro".

Posted on the Internet is an article entitled "A Black Man, The Progressive's Perfect Trojan Horse" by black entertainer Lloyd Marcus exposing Democratic Party racism toward black Tea Party protestors.

The truth about Democratic Party racism can be harsh medicine, but is sorely needed to finally eject the race-baiting poison injected into our body politic by Democrats, the architects of modern-day racism. As stated by author Michael Scheuer, the Democratic Party is the party of the four S's: slavery secession, segregation and now socialism. A prominent pundit affirmed that the Republican Party is the party of the four F's: family, faith, freedom and fairness. Civil rights history details are in the NBRA Civil Rights Newsletter that is posted on the website of the National Black Republican Association.

Written out of our history books are the following facts. The Republican Party was started in 1854 as the anti-slavery party and, after the Civil War, Republicans amended the US Constitution to grant blacks freedom (13th Amendment), citizenship (14th Amendment) and the right to vote (15th Amendment). Republicans then passed the civil rights laws to ensure blacks could exercise their Constitutional rights, including the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1867 and 1875. After Democrats took control of Congress in 1892, Democrats passed the Repeal Act of 1894 that overturned civil rights legislation enacted by the Republicans. It took Republicans nearly six decades to finally achieve passage of civil rights legislation in the 1950's and 1960's pushed through by Republican Senator Everett Dirksen over the objection of the Democrats.

In addition to their reprehensible of record of fighting against civil rights legislation, Democrats have a long history of racial violence. Recorded by liberal professor Dr. Eric Foner in his book "A Short History of Reconstruction", is the horrifying fact that Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan in 1866 to lynch and terrorize Republicans - black and white. The Klan became the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party, killing over 2,000 black Republicans and over 1,000 white Republicans.

The violence against the 1960's era civil rights protestors was inflicted by Democrats. Democrat Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor in Birmingham let loose vicious dogs and turned skin-burning fire hoses on black civil rights demonstrators. Democrat Georgia Governor Lester Maddox famously brandished ax handles to prevent blacks from patronizing his restaurant. In 1954, Democrat Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus tried to prevent desegregation of a Little Rock public school. Democrat Alabama Governor George Wallace stood in front of the Alabama schoolhouse in 1963 and thundered, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

All of these racist Democrats remained Democrats until the day they died. One survivor from that era, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, a former recruiter in the Ku Klux Klan, is still a Democrat and a prominent leader in the Democrat-controlled Congress where he was honored by his fellow Democrats as the "conscience of the Senate." It does not even make common sense to believe that after the Republicans spent over 150 years fighting the Democrats and won, the racist Democrats suddenly rushed into the arms of the Republicans. In fact Democrats declared that they would rather vote for a "yellow dog" than any one in the Republican Party, the party for blacks.

If our soldiers did and do voluntarily put their lives on the line to preserve our freedoms, then we can do no less. If Dr. King had the courage to fight for civil rights for blacks in the face of racist slurs by Democrats and threats of imprisonment or death, then we surely have the courage to stand up for our civil liberties in the face of such threats. This we owe to ourselves, our country and future generations..

Frances Rice is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and Chairman of the National Black Republican Association. She may be contacted at: www.NBRA.info 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gary Bauer : ObamaCare On Life Support

There’s an old saying that if you’re arguing process, you’ve lost the debate. In this age of Twitter and 30-second sound bites, it is generally true, and I try not to delve too deeply into the weeds of process and procedure in this daily report. But you need to know what’s going on in Congress right now.

Last week President Obama insisted that healthcare reform was so important that it deserved an up or down vote by any means necessary. Obama demanded Congress get it done before the end of March, before members of Congress have to face their constituents back home. He also ordered his liberal allies to go “nuclear” by resorting to complicated and controversial budget reconciliation rules, which he once vehemently opposed.

For days, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have struggled to figure how they can “reform” 20% of our economy under strict rules only intended to guarantee the passage of a budget. Reconciliation rules require that the House pass the Senate’s healthcare bill first, then pass a “bill of fixes” or a separate reconciliation bill, which then has to be approved by the Senate.

The problem for House Democrats is that the Senate bill includes several provisions considered onerous to many House members for a variety of reasons – from abortion funding to immigration issues, kickbacks and tax hikes. Many House Democrats do not want to vote for the Senate bill, which is reportedly “dead on arrival.” But Speaker Pelosi and other House leaders thought they had a way around it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly cancelled all House committee hearings today so she could corral members of her caucus and present details of their “end game.” One plan under consideration would invoke another parliamentary maneuver referred to as the “Slaughter rule,” after Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), chairwoman of the House Rules Committee. The Slaughter rule allows the House to vote on only the reconciliation “bill of fixes,” and in doing so consider the Senate bill as passed by the House without an actual up or down vote on the Senate’s bill.

I realize this is a lot of “inside baseball,” but it is important. Our public servants should not be going through such contortions to pass a bill the public opposes. It is an insult to the central principle of our republic: The Consent of the Governed.

The author of the reconciliation process, Sen. Robert Bryd (D-WV,) understood this. Here’s a stirring video of Byrd explaining why he refused to allow Bill Clinton to pass HillaryCare through reconciliation. All those arguments are valid today.

But there has been a major development in the past few hours. According to Roll Call, “The Senate parliamentarian has ruled that President Barack Obama must sign Congress’ original health care reform bill before the Senate can act on a companion reconciliation package.” In other words, the House must pass the Senate bill, with all its objectionable provisions, before the reconciliation bill can proceed. As I noted, there is little support for the Senate bill in the House today. Stay tuned!

Culture Of Corruption?

Every day it seems there are new headlines about new scandals. For example, Eric Massa may not be the most credible witness, but his charge that he was muscled out of Congress over his “no” vote on healthcare deserves to be investigated.

Massa initially said he was going to retire at the end of the year. Then word of an Ethics Committee investigation over alleged homosexual conduct was leaked to the press. Massa’s abrupt resignation has lowered the threshold for a majority vote on ObamaCare just as the debate is coming to a close.

Today we learned two interesting bits of information related to Mr. Massa. Though she initially denied any knowledge, Speaker Pelosi’s office reportedly knew of Massa’s odd behavior last year. And with Massa out of the picture, CBS News reported last night that the Ethics Committee shut down its investigation.

But in a stunning reversal, the House of Representatives today voted to re-open the Massa investigation. House Republican Leader John Boehner (OH) offered a resolution directing the Ethics Committee to investigate exactly what the leadership knew about Massa and when it knew it. The House overwhelmingly approved Boehner’s resolution. Stay tuned.

And late yesterday news broke that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the ranking Republican on the House Government Reform Committee, is investigating a possible felony violation of federal election laws by key White House officials. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) has stated in recent media interviews that administration officials offered him a high-level federal job if he would end his primary campaign against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA).

In short, it is alleged that someone at the White House offered Sestak, a retired three-star admiral, a bribe. According to federal law, it is illegal for any government employees to use their office “for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or election of any candidate.”

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Nancy Pelosi portrayed as villain in new kid's book

Help! Mom! Radicals Are Ruining My Country! features Speaker Pelosi as a Marie Antoinette-like elitist.

While Speaker Nancy Pelosi's approval ratings may continue to sink, her favorability among children may plummet thanks to a new children's book. Help! Mom! Radicals Are Ruining My Country! , written by author Katharine DeBrecht, slams the Speaker as an elitist, tiara-donning radical out of touch with everyday Americans.

The sequel to the bestselling Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed! continues the story of two boys who open up a lemonade stand only to have the stand seized by the government. Determined to succeed, the boys open up a swingset business, but all hope is doomed when a sweaty and sputtering Congressman Fwank and a snarky Congressman Schmoozer demand that all kids should have a swingset whether they can afford them or not.

"Tell me about it, Darrrling,Speaker Queenosie primped her professionally styled hair. Little common people are entitled to a swingset just like the rest of you commoners, she jiggled a pair of jet keys through her perfectly manicured fingers," the book describes the Pelosi-like character chastising the boys.

Queenosie and other radicals - such as a sweetheart dealmaker Senator Dudd and a cranky Senator Dontreid - run into trouble when the boys take them to task for outlandish spending on pork projects and refusing to read the bills they pass. The radicals are forced to put on dunce-like thinking caps in order to remember what inane projects were snuck into the bills.

“No, no, we cut military funding in the Popcorn Bill.”

“Oh yeah! I remember! We put the Cheeseballs for Squirrels program in the Education Bill along with the funding for a study on how talk radio affects acne in fish!”

“No no! We snuck that funding in the Energy Bill along with the funding for a study on how the number of holes in Swiss cheese affects whether girls aged 7-10 with curly hair use black or blue pens while doodling, remember?”

DeBrecht says the Pelosi character was essential to her book. “When Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House all we heard was how wonderful it was that a mother and grandmother rose through the ranks to such a position. In reality, that mother and grandmother has played an enormous role in ensuring that our children and grandchildren are shackled with debt for decades to come.”

The special edition book is available for pre-order exclusively at www.radicalsruiningmycountry.com and published by iTouch Publishers.

Katharine DeBrecht is the author of the popular Help! Mom! children’s book series. Katharine has been a frequent guest on FOX NEWS, appearing on shows such as The O’Reilly Factor, Fox & Friends, Fox News Liveand The Live Desk. She has also made appearances on Sinclair and MSNBC. A freelance writer, Katharine’s opinion pieces have been printed in newspapers across the country, including The Los Angeles Times, and online magazines such as Human Events and World Net Daily. Her books have been profiled on national television and radio outlets, such as Hardball with Chris Matthews, CNN’s Headline News and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Fox News Radio, The G. Gordon Liddy Show, NPR, XM Radio, Sirius and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and in print media across the globe. Her first book, Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!, climbed to #1 on BarnesandNoble.com in September 2005. A cum laude graduate of Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN, she resides with her husband and children in South Carolina. Her new book, Help! Mom! Radicals Are Ruining My Country! www.radicalsruiningmycountry.com, will be released November, 2009.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

From Free-Us-Now: History is repeating. Can we save America?

History is repeating. Can we save America?
Posted on October 18, 2009 by freemenow
Reprinted By: BettyJean Kling

You may fear the pundits who warn us we dare not utter these things. Why not? I fear instead not to learn from history, not to remind others lest we make the same mistake again. Take the three minutes to read this. Maybe he is wrong. What if he is right? I have felt this was for over a year – many do and while this is still America- I am not afraid nor should I be to say to. In fact it is quite American to say so. I too hope I am wrong but if not – I hope I and others like me are not too late to open your eyes!

David Kaiser is a respected historian whose published works have covered a broad range of topics, from European Warfare to American League Baseball. Born in 1947, the son of a diplomat, Kaiser spent his childhood in three capital cities: Washington D.C., Albany, New York, and Dakar, Senegal. He attended Harvard University, graduating there in 1969 with a B.A. in history. He then spent several years more at Harvard, gaining a PhD in history, which he obtained in 1976. He served in the Army Reserve from 1970 to 1976.

He is a professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the United States Naval War College. He has previously taught at Carnegie Mellon, Williams College and Harvard University. Kaiser's latest book, The Road to Dallas, about the Kennedy assassination, was just published by Harvard University Press.

History Unfolding

I am a student of history. Professionally, I have written 15 books on history that have been published in six languages, and I have studied history all my life. I have come to think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is simply a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Yes these exist, but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus.

Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten to fifteen years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.

We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back? Why?

We learned just days ago that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has “loaned” two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. That is our money. Yours and mine. And that is three times the $700 billion we all argued about so strenuously just this past September. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of “we the people,” who loaned our powers to our elected leaders. Apparently not.

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. Why?
We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate. Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, and school boards continue to back mediocrity. Why?

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it simply wants marriage to remain defined as between one man and one woman. Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?) We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic. To what purpose?

Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, social security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government. Our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and I know precisely what I am talking about) – the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x ten. And we are at war with an enemy we cannot even name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who, in turn, cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And finally, we have elected a man that no one really knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla, Alaska. All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary (Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders? No? Oh, of course. The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it. Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter and $150,000 wardrobe are more important.)

Mr. Obama's winning platform can be boiled down to one word: Change. Why?

I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now.

This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.
And that is only the beginning.

As a serious student of history, I thought I would never come to experience what the ordinary, moral German must have felt in the mid-1930s in those times, the “savior” was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they should have known was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory. Conservative “losers” read it right now.

And there were the promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and frowned and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his “brown shirts” would bully and beat them into submission. Which they did – regularly. And then, he was duly elected to office, while a full-throttled economic crisis bloomed at hand – the Great Depression. Slowly, but surely he seized the controls of government power, person by person, department by department, bureaucracy by bureaucracy. The children of German citizens were at first, encouraged to join a Youth Movement in his name where they were taught exactly what to think. Later, they were required to do so. No Jews of course,

How did he get people on his side? He did it by promising jobs to the jobless, money to the money-less, and rewards for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe, and across the world. He did it with a compliant media – did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and change. And the people surely got what they voted for.

If you think I am exaggerating, look it up. It's all there in the history books.

So read your history books. Many people of conscience objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and ridiculed. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though. And the world came to regret that he was not listened to.

Do not forget that Germany was the most educated, the most cultured country in Europe. It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And yet, in less than six years (a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency) it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors. All with the best of intentions, of course. The road to Hell is paved with them.
As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice: I can either believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust); I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades; or I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me.

I choose to believe the evidence. No doubt some people will scoff at me; others laugh, or think I am foolish, naive, or both. To some degree, perhaps I am. But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe-and why I believe it.

I pray I am wrong. I do not think I am. Perhaps the only hope is our vote in the next elections.

David Kaiser
Jamestown, Rhode Island
United States


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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good, Bad, and Just Plain Ugly Leadership

In the world of journalism, this is an old story, but in the real world (or what used to be the real world), it's a story that never grows old. A story that grows not right but ripe with time . . .

Geitner, President Obama's choice to head the Department of the Treasury, is a known tax evader. Note the adverb in that sentence: he is a known tax evader, not a convicted tax evader. There's a difference. A big, huge difference.

Geitner chose not to pay some taxes he was legally required to pay - taxes any of us would be legally required to pay. On the eve of his confirmation, Geitner paid those taxes - well, some of those taxes - and when the IRS said "Don't worry about the interest and penalty, Mr. Soon-To-Be-Boss, Geitner smiled and left, maybe adding a well-deserved "Thank you" on his way out.

My daddy owned his own business - took the farm land he inherited from his daddy and built a golf course. (During construction, I picked up enough rocks to replicate the Great Wall of China, but that's not really pertinent to this story.) He cleaned bathrooms in the clubhouse. pulled golf carts around, put returned carts on charge, delivered fresh golf carts to those stranded on the course by a golf cart that quit. He cooked hot dogs, served hot dogs, cleaned up after those who ate the hot dogs. He swept the front porch, emptied trashcans, regularly rode around the course picking up trash. He was the first one there to open the clubhouse and the last one to leave and lock-up at night. My daddy worked harder, put in longer hours, and brought home less money (at least initially) than any of his employees. Why? Because he knew that if he showed up late, employees would show up late. He knew that if he regularly left early, the employees would start to leave early. He knew that if he took packages of hot dogs home for supper without paying for them, his employees might soon be feasting their families on free hot dogs. Frankly, it made my brother, my sister, and me mad. We thought the owner (and consequently, the owner's family) should receive special consideration. Though we could see the need for rules, we didn't see why they had to apply to us - after all, Daddy was the owner. The boss. At the top.

But it made perfect sense to my daddy because he was a man of integrity, a fine man who knew the value of leading by example. If Daddy didn't respect the business enough to live by the rules he'd set, why should they. Daddy knew - he just knew - that bending the rules for his own personal gain would translate as implied consent to employees for them to do the same. It's as simple as that.

Daddy's daddy was a banker. I still remember going to the bank to deposit my 50-cent allowance, and I still have the passbook showing the deposit of 50-cents plus the matching 50-cents taken from Granddaddy's pocket. He didn't pull from the cash drawer right there within reach, he pulled those two quarters from his own pocket.

Daddy's father-in-law was the Sheriff, and before he was Sheriff, he was a Revenue Agent. Because his job was to find and destroy illegal stills, he never drank or allowed alcohol in his house.

Do you see the common thread here? These men, while they had their own quirks and could get angry or sad or goofy just like any other human being, were men who took leadership seriously. They considered it an honor to be a leader, and as a result, they considered it their duty to lead by example, holding themselves to the same standards they held everybody else to.

Maybe I'm showing my old-fashioned streak, maybe I live in la-la land, but I tell you one thing with absolutely certainty: I can still tell the difference between a good leader and a sorry one. Though you don't often hear words like honesty, loyalty, integrity, duty so much any more, it doesn't mean we shouldn't demand such character traits from our leaders.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The First 100 Hours

Three catch-up bits as I've been without internet access for over a week now:

If only I had a nickel for every time I heard a commentator remind us of how "history is being made today." If only I had a matching nickel for every time I reminded the television that history is made in America every four years.


My grandmother always said you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Why on earth anybody (other than maybe a research scientist) would want to catch flies is beyond me, but Grandmother's adage rang out again this week . . . Obama moved his campaigning lips to form words about bipartisan efforts and how he vowed to "reach across the aisle". Now that he's been sworn in (second time was the charm), his lips form words warning Republicans to quit listening to Rush Limbaugh if they want to work with the Administration and the Democrats. And when Eric Cantor (Republican from Virginia) commented on the President's proposed stimulus package, Obama's lips formed these words: "I won. I will trump you on that." Yes, that Obama surely does know how to reach across the aisle and enkindle bipartisanship.


Though I'm sure they'll get it all ironed out, the fact that the White House provided the press with a picture of Obama on his first day of work in the Oval Office and a picture of the second take at the oath, advising the press corps that these photos (snapped by the White House photographer) were the only photos they would be allowed to use alarms me. On his very first day, President Obama takes total control of the media - and they are, for the most part, the ones that helped him land that job in the White House. Even though I know that everything we read, see, or hear from mainstream media must be filtered through our own good sense, I grow alarmed when there is evidence of government-control of the media. I rest easier, however, believing that the media will not be willingly dictated. They do, after all, have their own agendas.