The Markum Report - The Conservative Blog of Galveston County, Texas Ladies and Gentlemen.... Now Forming at the North End of Kyle Field... the Nationally Famous.. Fightin' Texas Aggie Band !

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How a Romney Biden Administration could happen

The described scenario in today's Houston Chronicle is what could happen if you don't get out to vote. Early voting has already started.  The lines at the Calder Annex were about 30 minutes long but there was no wait at Creekside Intermediate just 10 minutes up FM 518 (W. Main Street ) in League City.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Texans will pay a price for cap and trade if it passes the U.S. Senate

Barry Smitherman is the Chairman of the Public Utility Commission here in Texas. According to his recent op-ed piece in the Houston Chronicle, "the proposed climate change legislation [ cap and trade] , intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the next 40 years, will substantially raise electricity bills. An analysis recently released by ERCOT, the electric grid operator for most of Texas, joins other reports from around the country that project significant job losses and dramatic increases in the cost of electricity if this legislation is enacted."

Yet another reason to contact your U.S Senator and urge this bill be defeated in the Senate.

Obama's Cap and Trade Program is a Tax on the Working Class

This Wall Street Journal piece should dispel any doubt that cap and trade is in fact a tax on the working class. According to the article, "hit hardest [ by the cost of the new program] would be the 95% of working families" Mr. Obama keeps mentioning, usually omitting that his no-new-taxes pledge comes with the caveat "unless you use energy." Putting a price on carbon is regressive by definition because poor and middle-income households spend more of their paychecks on things like gas to drive to work, groceries or home heating."

Now that the bill has passed the U.S. House, the only salvation will come from the U.S Senate.

The cap-and-trade bill is a massive new tax on American families and American businesses. It's especially bad public policy to pass such a huge new tax burden at a time when many families already face economic hardship.

If the American people understand what this bill does, it will die as it should in the U.S. Senate.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seven Reasons for Healthy Skepticism about the Obama Administration

Now that we have a new President, it’s critical that Republicans hold President Obama’s feet to the fire. If we learned anything from the 08 election it’s that voters ,when given a choice between free spending Democrats and big government Republicans who strive to be Democrats-Lite, always go for the real thing.

Our role must now change to what it should have been all along, making sure that government spending is reigned in, holding elected officials to their promises to shrink the size and scope of government, and using fiscal discipline and free market solutions to get money back into people’s pockets where they can spend it to fight this recession.

Towards that end, Politico has the following article which lays out nicely seven reasons for healthy skepticism about President Obama’s ability to match the hope of his campaign rhetoric with the reality of governing.

Even in a city of cynics, the Inauguration of a new president — and the infusion of new ideas, new personalities and new energy that comes with it — summons feelings of reverence.

Barack Obama, especially, is the object of inaugural good feelings. He has assembled an impressive White House and Cabinet team. The country is clearly in his corner. With the economy gasping, and two wars dragging on sullenly, even many Republicans who ordinarily might enjoy seeing Obama fail now root for him to succeed. The stakes are simply too great.

Amid all these high hopes, it may seem needlessly sour to point out why expectations must be kept in check. But it is also realistic. Here are seven reasons to be skeptical of Obama’s chances — and the Washington establishment he now

1. The genius fallacy

There is no disputing Obama has built a Cabinet of sharp and experienced public officials. His staff, especially on national security and economic matters, is often praised as brilliant — and that’s by Republicans. But recent history teaches us to be wary of the larger-than-life Washington figures supposedly striding across history’s stage. Consider the economy. Everyone seems to agree Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner are smart, vastly qualified to manage and repair the economy. Everyone was saying the exact same things about the two economic geniuses of the 1990s: Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan. Now Rubin has been reduced to making excuses for his involvement in high-risk investments and for helping oversee the demise of Citigroup, which lost $10 billion in the past three months alone. The onetime oracular Greenspan has admitted to Congress that his once-revered economic philosophy had “a flaw,” and many blame him for turning a blind eye to the housing bubble.

As it happens, the Obama economic team is full of Rubin protégés, including Geithner and Summers. Geithner had to recently admit he failed to pay taxes on a big chunk of income — as part of his confirmation process to run tax policy and the Internal Revenue Service. As president of the New York Fed, he was integrally involved in the decision not to rescue Lehman Bros., which many see, in retrospect, as a grievous error. The reception of the Obama economic team recalls the reception of President George W. Bush’s foreign policy team eight years ago. Many Democrats applauded the experience of Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell. As Bush named his national security team in 2000, The New York Times editorialized: “Putting superstar players on the court does not always guarantee harmony or success.” In retrospect, that was an understatement, indeed.

2. The herd instinct

The most bipartisan tradition in Washington is to laud bipartisanship, even while lamenting that there is not enough of it. But the instinct for bipartisanship overlooks an inconvenient fact: Some of Washington’s biggest blunders occur when the government moves to do big things with big support. Bush won the much-regretted Iraq war resolution of October 2002 with strong Democratic backing.

The current economic crisis produces similar pressure to get on board the train — never mind for sure where it’s going. It is easy to sympathize with the temptation. Top officials on Obama’s team told us in recent days that things are much worse than most people appreciate. The Obama staff and top lawmakers are getting stern warnings that the banking system in particular is extremely fragile and could collapse. So they are moving with amazing speed to pump money into the economy.

First up is the stimulus package that could top $900 billion. It is a mind-numbing number rarely contemplated in U.S. history — and yet it might not work. There are no guarantees people will spend money the government doles out or that it will be
enough to offset miserable economic performance elsewhere. The history isn’t

Rewind just a few months back. Republicans and Democrats alike said the best of many bad options was to approve $700 billion to prop up banks, mainly to thaw the credit freeze and juice the economy. Half the money is gone now. Many banks took the cash and sat on it. Some used it increase lending. But much of it was wasted or unaccounted for. Now Washington wants to spend the rest of it. And a top Hill aide told Politico’s David Rogers that Democrats will probably need to request even more.

3. We are broke.

The past several months have produced a rare convergence. Something that politicians of both parties find pleasurable — spending money — has overlapped with what economists and policy experts of all ideological stripes said is urgently necessary. As “Saturday Night Live’s” Church Lady used to say, “How convenient.”
One month from now, Democrats will likely have passed the massive stimulus bill and Obama will have signed it into law. The new Treasury Department will be well on its way to spending the second $350 billion chunk of the $700 billion bank bailout fund. After this rush of activity, the ability to spend during the balance of Obama’s first term — never mind if there is a second — will be sharply constrained.

Instead, the new administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill will awaken to another first: the prospect of the national deficit approaching $2 trillion. For most, these numbers are simply too big to ponder. But ponder this: This country has never reckoned with deficits like these. Wait, it gets worse. Remember those entitlement programs the elderly and poor need more than ever: Social Security and Medicare? In budget terms, they are more troubled than ever. Social Security’s surpluses “begin to decline in 2011 and then turn into rapidly growing deficits as the baby boom generation retires,” according to one recent report. “Medicare’s financial status,” the report said, “is even worse.” Basically, the government needs more money than ever at a time when people are losing jobs, income and confidence.

4. Words, words, words

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, though starkly different men, both viewed the presidency as pre-eminently a decision-making job. Clinton often waved away speech drafts bloated with lofty language by saying: “Words, words, words.” Obama seems to have a different view of the presidency. He thinks that the right decisions can be reached by putting reasonable and enlightened people together and reaching a consensus. He believes his job as president is to educate and inspire, largely matters of style. He knows he is good with words. He knows he has great style. So that’s why he projects exceptional confidence in his ability to do the job. We don’t know yet how justified Obama is in his self-confidence — or how naive. But he is almost certain to face many tests, probably imminently, in which the test will be Obama’s ability to act quickly and shrewdly — and not merely describe his actions smoothly or impress people with nuance. And an unlike a governor — who must decide what’s in a budget and what gets cut, or whether a person to be executed at midnight should be spared — Obama has not made many decisions for which the consequences affect more than himself.

5. He rarely challenges the home team.

Obama frequently talks of the need to transcend partisanship. And he invokes his support for charter schools — a not-terribly-controversial idea — as evidence that he is willing to challenge Democratic special interest groups. In fact, there are few examples of him making decisions during the campaign or the transition that offended his own party’s constituencies, or using rhetoric that challenged his own supporters to rethink assumptions or yield on a favored cause.

Has Obama ever delivered a “Sister Souljah speech”? Ever stood up to organized labor in the way that Clinton did in passing North American Free Trade Agreement? This is not a good sign. By Obama’s lights, the national interest usually coincides with his personal interest. Back to you, Church Lady.

6. Everyone is winging it.

No matter how much confidence Obama or other politicians project, the reality is the current economic crisis has totally scrambled the intellectual assumptions of almost every policymaker. People who used to bemoan deficits want to spend like crazy. Improvisation is the only proper response. But the chances that improvisation will take the country to exactly the right destination — without some serious wrong turns along the way — seem very slight.

7. The watchdogs are dozing.

The big media companies that once invested in serious accountability journalism are shells of their former selves. The Tribune Co. — in other words, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune — has slashed its Washington staff by more than half. Newspaper chains such as Cox are fleeing D.C. altogether. The end result: There are few reporters in this country doing the kind of investigative reporting that hold government officials’ feet to the fire.

Think back eight years to the pre-Iraq war reporting and consider the words of Scott McClellan in his otherwise humdrum book. “The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise,” McClellan wrote. “In this case, the ‘liberal media’ didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.” Rigorous reporting is even more important when you have one-party rule in Washington. Democrats, like Republicans, are simply less likely to scrutinize a president of their own. The end result here: Don’t expect the Democratic Congress to investigate the Obama administration or hold a bunch of tough oversight hearings. That means the only real check on Obama is the same one it’s always been — the voters.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain leads Obama in new national poll

Coming off his best fundraising month to date, John McCain's campaign surged to a 5-point lead over Obama. The stuning 12- point turn around (Obama was leading McCain by 7 points last month) comes as voters are starting to focus on the elections post Labor Day.

McCain is peaking at just the right time and has planned his VP announcement just a few days after the Democrat convention to limit the convention bounce for Obama.


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