Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
While thousands showed up to support the president, just a couple of blocks away hundreds came together to protest his arrival. They lined up down Kennedy Boulevard hoping their voices would be heard.The protest was part of the Tea Party movement. They were demanding less government and a different kind of healthcare reform, and hoping to derail the state's high-speed train. Protesters believe spending billions on rail has no place in a state facing budget cuts."Not the high speed, we don't need it. I mean, how many people are actually going to ride it? I mean, you can check a lot of trains that the government is running and there is no one on there," said Marie Brown.It was an opinion shared by many there -- more protestors arrived as the day went on.Obama supporter Thomas Nimmo decided to argue with dozens of the protesters. Little did he know, he was fighting a losing battle."I just think that these people don't really understand. They listen to one source of media and they get their talking points from that and they will be against anything that they are told to be against and I think that's really unfortunate," said Nimmo, 22.As the president's motorcade sped by, the protestors strained for the president's ear. It's doubtful he heard them."They think we're not smart enough to understand that what we're getting is economically inefficient," John Hendrix added.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
"The major networks all have the majority trust of Democrats but less than 20% from Republicans," Public Policy Polling adds. "NBC, perhaps because of the ideological bent of MSNBC, does the best among Democrats at 62%. Overall 35% of voters trust it to 44% who do not. CBS does the worst among Republicans, with 69% distrusting it. A plurality of independents express distrust of all five outlets we tested."
I'm not surprised by this. I took a telecommunications course in college and recall a study that determined Fox was the most balanced of these networks in delivering news during the 2004 presidential campaign season.
Personally, I prefer to stay away from televised networks, because I think they're all biased. I do watch CNN's Headline News in the morning to brush up on the day's big news, although the show clearly leans left.
This may sound hypocritical coming from a journalist, but why do Americans need someone to tell us or analyze news? Why can't we watch the speech, read the report and find the facts ourselves? That's my advice: Seek the information on your own. Don't trust anybody but yourself.
Tuesday night was the first meeting of 2010 for the Young Republicans of the Palm Beaches. It also marked my one-year anniversary as a member.
We’ve had guest speakers for the past few meetings. Most have been local Republican candidates, now that the campaign season is beginning to pick up.
Tuesday's guest speaker was Pat Rooney, a Republican candidate for the Florida House of Representatives in District 83. The incumbent, Republican Carl Domino, is running for state senator of District 25.
District 83 runs from the Martin County line down to the middle of Palm Beach Island, mostly covering Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter. The district has a slight Republican majority, at roughly 53 percent, Rooney said, but also includes “a huge number of Independents.”
Rooney moved to West Palm Beach from Philadelphia 18 years ago and became involved in local politics almost immediately. He served as county finance chairman in the mid-90s and continues to volunteer with the local school board, the Palm Beach County Golf Association and charity groups such as the Salvation Army.
Three years ago, Rooney was appointed by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to serve on the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District, which oversees issues such as Everglades restoration. He is also president of the Palm Beach Kennel Club and a managing partner of two small restaurants -- with staff of about 30 members each -- in North Palm Beach County.
Rooney isn’t the first in his family to enter politics. One of his six siblings, younger brother Tom, is a Republican in the state House of Representatives.
Tuesday night, Rooney sat down with roughly 20 Young Republicans and shared his political viewpoints over a glass of iced tea. Here’s what he had to say:
- Why he’s running: Rooney says he wants to change “the dynamics in Tallahassee.” Half of the representatives are attorneys, while the other half are legislators, he says. Although Rooney holds a law degree, he considers himself a “recovering attorney” because he has “the unique perspective” of running big and small businesses. He says he would bring to the state capitol an understanding of real-life business concerns, such as balancing statements and dealing with workers compensation.
- His main issue: jobs. “There are more than 1 million unemployed Floridians, and 8,000 are underemployed,” meaning they work in jobs below their skill level, such as an engineer who is a server at a restaurant, Rooney said. “People are saying, ‘I can find a better quality of life or a better job outside the state of Florida,’” and more Floridians are leaving the state for the first time since World War II. Rooney hopes to find ways to create and retain jobs and businesses. One idea he discussed is easing permit requirements for new businesses. Florida law requires businesses to obtain a hard copy of their permit before officially opening their doors, even if an electronic version of their permit has already been approved. Yet this process can take as long as a month, therefore delaying businesses from opening. Rooney proposes to allow businesses to open without a hard copy of their permit, so long as the electronic permit has processed.
- On the housing market: Rooney didn't say much here but said he thinks the housing market will still get worse and predicts another “five tough years.”
- On the SunRail project: Rooney says he's concerned about the plan's recent liability issue, which is that if an accident happens, CSX will pay for the first $10 million or so, and Florida residents must fund the rest. “As a lawyer, that scares the hell out of me,” Rooney says, adding that he would like to meet with CSX officials to get a better perspective of the overall project's costs and benefits.
- On the Business Development Board: The Kennel Club is a member of the BDB, so Rooney said he understands what the board is going through in trying to create and retain businesses: “They’re in the same cycle all of us are in: They’re having a difficult time, even with incentives," such as tax breaks and grants. He acknowledged the board's attempts but recognized that “it’s a difficult [economic] environment to do anything." He added that he wishes the board would implement more projects north of Boca Raton.
- On real estate: Rooney didn't expand too much here but said, "We have to figure out, through competition, how to get [insurance] companies to give us something reasonable. Something also to work on is fairness, to companies and to us, the consumer."
- On the Tea Party movement: Rooney pointed to the recent election of Rep. Scott Brown, R-Mass., as en example of the effects and qualities of the Tea Party movement. "I wouldn’t view the Massachusetts race as an anti-Democrat or anti-health care vote, just 'Tea Party mode,'" which he described as "dissatisfaction with the status quo." Rooney said Brown ran a clean campaign and did most of the "grunt work" -- shaking hands and meeting people -- while Brown's opponent, Democrat Martha Coakley, "ran a crappy campaign." But the results came down to more than just the candidates' campaigns, he said. “There’s something else going on," he said. Rooney added, “I hope [Tea Party Patriots are] on my side, because they’re a pretty strong influence.”
- His business advice for young professionals: Rooney pointed to recent statistics showing unemployment figures by education level, which indicate that people with higher education levels are more likely to be employed. Thus, he advises young professionals to “maybe not get [another] degree but to continue education somehow. Be versatile.” He also encourages young adults to "keep working," even if their jobs are out of their career fields.
- On the Republican Party of Florida: Rooney said the RPOF faces the same problem the Republican Party nationwide faces: “We don’t have a leader to give us a message and tell us what to do. We need much more direction.” He touted John Trasher, a Republican candidate for Florida Senate District 8, as someone who would be a leader, saying Trasher knows and understands legislators' perspective and the grassroots level.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
- Harry Mitchell = Arizona 5
- Gabrielle Giffords = Arizona 8
- Alan Grayson = Fla 8
- Mark Schauer = Mich 7
- Carol Shea-Porter = NH 1
- Mike Arcuri = NY 24
- Mary Jo Kilroy = Ohio 15
- Kathy Dahlkemper = Pa 3
- Christopher Carney = Pa 10
- Tom Perriello = Va 5
- Ann Kirkpatrick = Arizona 1
- Baron Hill = Indiana 9
- Dina Titus = Nevada 3
- John Hall = NY 19
- Stephen Driehaus = Ohio 1
- Paul Kanjorsky = Pa 11
- Dan Maffei = NY 25
- Allan Mollohan = W Va
- Nick Rahall = W Va
- Steve Kagen = Wisc
- Marion Berry = Arkansas
- John Spratt = Georgia
- Zack Space = Ohio 18
Friday, January 22, 2010
- “If there’s anybody in this building that doesn’t tell you they’re more worried about elections today, you absolutely should slap them,” said Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).
- Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called the Massachusetts race a “wake-up call” for his party and said his colleagues were in a “reflective” mood at a private lunch Wednesday.
- “Every state is now in play,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who faces the toughest reelection battle of her career — most likely against wealthy Republican Carly Fiorina.
- Asked if red-state Democrats up in 2010 and 2012 should be nervous about the electorate, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) told POLITICO, “Oh, yeah."
- Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), also up in 2012, said Democrats made a mistake by allowing bipartisan negotiations in the Senate Finance Committee to extend into the fall, saying that the lag time allowed the GOP to mischaracterize Democrats’ attempts to reform the health care system.
- Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of the more conservative members of the caucus, said some in the Democratic Party were “overreaching” and “advocating more government” than her constituents want.
- [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert] Menendez [(D-N.J.)] said the party has already learned one lesson from [Martha] Coakley’s losing campaign in Massachusetts: Democrats have got to be aggressive, defining both themselves and opponents early on — and frame the debate well before Republicans do. Menendez also said his party has to “find a way to engage independent voters in a meaningful way,” and he suggested that a focus on Obama’s proposed “financial crisis responsibility fee” might be a way to do that.
- Candidates and campaigns: The first lesson Republicans should take from Tuesday night’s victory is the GOP should run candidates everywhere this year and not worry about whether the district used to vote Republican.
- Being positive matters, and congressional Republicans should take note: In the three winning campaigns (Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts) the Republican candidate has been issue-oriented and had a positive message. In each case, Republicans drew a principled, issue-oriented difference between themselves and the Democrats.
- President Obama has had two bad anniversaries, and now is the moment for him to rethink what he is doing: The anniversary of the President’s victory in the 2008 election saw decisive Republican gubernatorial victories in two states he had carried. The anniversary of his inauguration was yesterday, and it is the same date a new Republican Senator was sent to Washington to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat, which Scott Brown reminded us is “the people’s seat.” ... The President now has an excuse to stop, rethink, recalibrate, and learn some painful lessons.
- Republicans should offer to help solve America’s jobs, security, deficit, and health challenges through an open, transparent legislative process: This offer to work together [with Democrats] to help the nation would be well received by the American people and would represent a real shift from an opposition party attitude to an alternative governing party attitude.
- The Tea Parties and populism are real: Both the Republicans and the Democrats should take notice of the scale and authenticity of the Tea Party movement. They will be back on April 15 and on dates after that. They will represent a healthy reform energy that will challenge both parties to rise to new levels of integrity and serious reform.
- Trucks beat lobbyists: If your opponent has chosen a symbol for their campaign they may have had a reason for doing it. Be very careful about flippantly highlighting your opponent’s chosen campaign symbol.
- National security matters: Every American concerned about our safety in an age of terrorism ought to read [Andy] McCarthy and look at Brown’s campaign and take heart that safety is a winning issue, and the left is absurdly on the side of putting terrorists’ rights above protecting American lives.
- Secular radicalism is a losing theme, even in Massachusetts: As the left has grown more secular and more militant in its hostility to religion it has begun to arouse strong opposition. Among Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons, and Orthodox Jews, [Democratic contender Martha] Coakley’s position represented an anti-religious bigotry which they fear.
- The American people are sovereign, and when their leaders infuriate them, they will rise up and fire the leaders: As it was with Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, the Progressive movement (especially Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson), Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan — again and again the American people find a way to overwhelm the establishment.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
"What's up? This is your boy Marvin Dixon -- that's right, comedian extraordinaire -- and I wanna invite you and THREE of your friends out to the world famous Improv. That's this Wednesday night for the Marvin Dixon Comedy Cabaret. You heard what I said: You plus three of your friends -- that means four of you -- are gonna get in on ME, get a table, have a good time."
Last night, Scott Brown won a stunning electoral upset and will be the first Republican Senator from Massachusetts in decades.
His victory sent a strong message that you and I have long known - Americans are furious with the liberal leadership in Washington. Their out of control spending and proposed takeover of health care are destructive to our country and we must continue to fight against it.
The Democrats can no longer ignore the will of the American people who oppose government-run health care and massive deficit spending. I gave you my pledge to actively fight this health care bill every step of the way and will continue to do so. Pushing to let Scott Brown represent the people that elected him is a critical step in stopping this bill from becoming law, and I hope you will make your voice heard today.
Please sign this petition to seat Scott Brown in the US Senate right away.
Dear MoveOn member,
Watching a conservative Republican replace Ted Kennedy in the Senate is simply devastating.
But as bad as the news is this morning, there's actually one reason to be hopeful.
For the last year, most Democrats in Washington have let lobbyists and corporate interests run roughshod over the people's business. Wall Street got bailouts. Bankers got bonuses. Big Insurance rewrote the health care bill. Meanwhile, ordinary Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet.
But now, finally, Democrats know they need to change course to win back voters' confidence. The question is, will they learn exactly the wrong lesson? Will they give up on change altogether? Drop health care reform? Follow the lead of conservatives like Joe Lieberman and embrace "Republican-lite"?
We need to make sure Democrats don't get it wrong this time. It's time to demand that they start truly fighting for working families. Pass reform. Rein in Wall street. Take on the banks and special interests that stand in the way of change.
Clicking here will add your name to the petition:
The petition says, "Voters want real change. It's time for the Democratic Party to stop siding with corporate interests and start fighting for working families."
If last night's proves anything, it's that voters are angry, and they want politicians who'll stand up for them. So along with this petition, we'll be delivering pitchforks—that time-honored symbol of populist rage—to the White House and every . (Don't worry, they're made of plastic.)
And if Democratic leaders want to show that they're serious about helping regular folks, they can join with the progressives in Congress who are already leading the fight for bold change. But first they're going to have to take on those in their own party who think it's more important to protect corporate profits.
The first step is to ignore the talking heads and pass a bill that would force big insurers to compete with a public health insurance option—even if that means they have to use the special reconciliation process to pass legislation without 60 votes in the Senate.
And then to win in November, Democrats need to show they're serious about restarting the economy by creating millions of new jobs—and crack down on the that got us into this mess with tough new rules to stop their predatory behavior.
Voters need to see Democrats fighting for them. It won't be easy, and it will mean ignoring the corporate lobbyists who represent banks, insurance companies, and Big Oil. But that's the point.
Clicking here will add your name to the petition:
–Justin, Carrie, Kat, Michael, and the rest of the team
(emphasis added by The Real Polichick)
What's all this talk about Democrats' taking on their own party? When in the past year has MoveOn ever held liberal politicians accountable for anything mentioned in the letter above? Have they really adopted a "policies not parties" mantra? And now they want to mail Democratic leaders pitchforks?
If you ask me, MoveOn's starting to sound a little Tea Partyish. (Except, of course, they just won't give up Obamacare ... yet.)