Sunday, December 25, 2011

Outsourcing- "The taboo issue"

The 2012 Electoral map lends insight into the thought process of political strategists. A little better than ten months before the pivotal 2012 Presidential election there is little argument that a handful of states will determine the outcome. The question becomes, "are party leaders truly in sinc with the "pulse" of their constituents?

Few would argue that "jobs" will be the key issue. Yet, there is little being said by either party on an ultra sensitive topic with voters: Outsourcing.

In 2012 this could be a "make or break" question. Big business is hedging its bets on a Romney nomination. This looks probable and if it comes to fruition, they win. Romney and Obama share a very important common denominator: They are both confirmed globalists.

I recall last summer when asking a manager of Dallas based, Lifeway Books "who" was his presidential preference. He never actually answered the question. Instead, he warned me that Texas Governor, Rick Perry was "in league with the Bilderbergers."

Fascinated, I googled "Bilderbergers" and was astonished at what I uncovered! True, Perry had some minor dealings with them, essentially two meetings. However, their man was Mitt Romney, hands down. One source, however, said that this Europeon based secret society was apprehensive. They were disappointed in the progress Romney seemed to be making toward affirmatively explaining the merits of national healthcare. There were other concerns. Evidently they were feeling out Perry to see if he might be their new guy.

I went on to learn that this same group had backed both Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Bush the Elder, John Kerry, Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter. Other notable leaders included Christopher Warren, Madeline Albright, Newt Gingrich, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell. This is obviously serious company.

Globalism is something that most people simply accept. Thomas Friedman's book, "The World is Flat" describes how the practice of leveling the world playing field has become the accepted norm. As University of Kentucky, ESL Professor, Dr. Kay Combs admitted upon reading "E" is for English, "if your proposed American English Unification Amendment were adopted, the entire world would be changed."

That would probably not be a good thing for any political leader touted as a globalist! Yet, who in the field besides Obama, Romney, Gingrich and perhaps Perry is not a globalist?

It is certainly not Ron Paul! He even accused Rick Perry of violating the Logan Act with a previous trip to Istanbul in 2004 to meet with this same organization. As an isolationist, Paul is on the opposite end of the spectrum. And, in fairness to Perry, there is no definite connection to the Bilderbergers, CFR(Council of Foreign Relations) or the Tri-Lateral Commission. It might be noted that the Clintons have ties to all three organizations.

Rick Santorum really wants to re-establish manufacturing in the United States. So much so that he is calling for a zero corporate income tax. These are noble intentions! Practical? Hard to say! Would these new plants be union, right to work or both? Where does the former Pennsylvania senator stand on outsourcing? I'm sure that he has mentioned it along the campaign trail. I just can't recall hearing it.

Even the dogmatic Michelle Bachmann has said nothing about identity theft, the fastest growing crime in America. It would seem that she would be the first one in line to say "nyet" to outsourcing jobs that required the most personal of information: the social security number.

Speaking of job creation! Does anyone truly know how many jobs would be created overnight with adoption of such a standard? Jobs within the fifty states?

The good news for Mitt Romney is that the rest of Republican field is either too damaged, too focused on the wrong issues or too utterly lost in the twilight zone to properly introduce him to the real Republicans. Who are these "real Republicans?" The ones who will actually cast their votes at the ballot boxes!

Governor Romney can be grateful to Reince Pribus, Karl Rove, Ann Colter and the rest of the all knowing Republican Establishment. They will keep this "dirty little tidbit" buried. The last thing that they want is to have their "flock" start nosing around someones dirty linen closet! It wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes! Simply go to your local bank. Did you notice the empty desks and office spaces? Where are the people?

Wall Street will tell you, "the stock prices are going up." In the meanwhile, the loser continues to be the average American. Not to mention the consumer who has seen service compromised in favor of more hefty profits for stockholders.

Nobody has considered what kind of benefit "Joe Six-Pack" would reap with the adoption of the "American English Unification Amendment." So let's take a closer look:

For starters, he would not be forced to watch his country go broke. Some say it already is broke! And, rather than swallow the Democrat solution of "a need for shared sacrifice," he could be satisfied to experience "English only." The stock market might be a little dinged! The special interests would howl! The diversity cultists would silently cut their throats! But the country would be solvent again! And, as a bonus, stronger, smarter and more secure!

Let's not forget about the jobs! With no outsoucing of jobs that utilited even a part of an Americans' social security number, look for at least 250,000 jobs to return to our shores. It may actually be much larger when you consider the contract jobs. I recently spoke to a nationwide mortgage lender who bragged that they outsourced all processing to India. Just imagine income documents, tax returns and the most personal of information floating around in cyberspace! It's little wonder identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America!

These are winning issues for a presidential wannabee. But they must first say ,"no, I am not a globalist." And frankly, any candidate who is a globalist should be dropped from consideration.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Tea Party Tomfoolery"

In an earlier blog, I had predicted that Barack Obama's "Jobs" plan was nothing more than a well laid trap for the Tea Party. He almost succeeded in getting members to bite. In fact, some actually did take the bait. Mitch McConnell, the often criticized Senate Minority leader may have saved the 2012 election for Republicans.

Of course, there are many Republicans who hold McConnell, House Speaker, John Boehner and a large number of house members in contempt. It was said that they "blinked" when the pressure was turned up. But what did they really concede?

The payroll tax holiday was favored by the majority of the country. Conventional wisdom has always mandated a simple axiom: Never raise taxes in a recession. We're still in one, no matter what some indicators might suggest!

The Keystone Pipeline should commence, as soon as practicable. 60% of America is with Republicans on this. Obama has shown signs of caving, even at the expense of losing support with Environmental Groups. The two month extension included steps in the right direction toward accomplishing this objective. Republicans had clearly positioned themselves on the side of James Hoffa.

The sticking point was extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks. This went against the grain of most Republicans. Suddenly these recipients were positioned as "lazy." Opponents said they lacked proper motivation to look for jobs. Statistics later showed that the long term unemployed were applying for jobs at a rate higher than both the short term unemployed and those not receiving unemployment insurance.

Republicans attempted to craft "unemployment insurance reform." This translated to cutting the period to 59 weeks while requiring more rigorous qualifications such as drug testing. It sounded like a pretty reasonable compromise. The problem was, these "deficit hawks" never stopped to learn who these "lazy, unmotivated" recipients were. They concluded that they were "deadbeats" and left it at that.

In truth, these "deadbeats" are older workers, many 50 plus. A large number of them live in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. In some cases, they have been downsized. In others, they have been forced out because their employers showed a preference for younger workers. There are countless sagas of workers who had already put thirty years into the work force who were suddenly out of a job. As humiliating as that is, politicians are now calling them "lazy, unmotivated deadbeats."

Barack Obama's record is dismal. But he is a cagy politician. He knew that the conventional Tea Party member would seize the chance to beat up these two million or so, "lazy, unmotivated deadbeats." He also knows where they live. Most importantly, he knows that these "lazy, unmotivated deadbeats" will vote. In a close election they could make the difference in the 2012 presidency.

The Tea Party may have saved the Republican Party. They introduced long overdue discussion in Washington. However, in their zeal to right things, they must be wary at attempts by the other side to force them into a strategic mistake! They must never forget that they are hated and feared by the other side.

It is imperative in the coming weeks for all Republicans to understand that they do not hold all the cards. The Keystone pipeline will have an impact on the mood of the country. Energy exploration and development is the key to a recovery. Standing between that recovery is Barack Obama and a dogmatic agenda. A radical Environmentalist effort to destroy the energy sector can be exposed as the primary deterrant to a return to prosperity. Republicans can bring along large numbers of Democrats to their position if they are both flexible and sensitive to other needs.

Alienating parts of an otherwise friendly constituency for "nickels and dimes" is not the recipe for victory! Besides, long term unemployed workers are not all Democrats. Some are Republicans. Others are Independents. All are predisposed to look for a 2012 election alternative to Barack Obama. Addressing their short term needs while making steps to fix the long term problem will win their support.

This is no time for "short sighted tomfoolery." The Tea Party must mature politically. Real leadership comes from the ability to look at problems from a strategically wise, multidimensional standpoint.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Republicans- "The Danger Within/ The improbable Way Out"

2011 is rapidly coming to a close. The 2012 campaign season is upon us. Don't look now, but Ron Paul might do the unthinkable: Win the Iowa Caucus.

Many Republicans like the spunky Texas Libertarian. Most respect him, to to the point of taking his candidacy seriously. Nobody would have dreamed that he might be in a position to win the Iowa caucus. There is cause for concern in some Republican circles. If Paul pulls off an upset, it could spell trouble for the Romney alternatives.

Of course, there are Republicans who have always concluded that Mitt Romney would be the nominee. As Anne Colter puts it, "no one is afraid of Mitt Romney." He is the safe, establishment moderate who has little to overcome, other than a few changes of heart over the years.

Newt Gingrich and his grand debating ability yielded an improbable climb to the top. The question becomes, "can he stay there?" Odds are, he can't! Herman Cain is now talking about his desire to be Secretary of Defense. Rick Santorum is basking over his Iowa Tea party endorsement. Michelle Bachmann is continuing to "beat up the other candidates while making a marginal case for why she is preferable." Jon Huntsman is a convincing orator. Yet Republicans still wonder why he didn't elect to take on Barack Obama in the Democratic primary.

Rick Perry? His may the most difficult to understand journey of them all!
The Texas Governor had never been the best when it came to the art of debating. It showed! Perry lost a huge lead and has never regained it. Republicans have been quick to overlook his actual record in Texas. Consistency with the issues has mattered little.

Democrats, on the other hand, saw Perry as the conservative alternative to Romney. They knew that he had both money and organization. They feared that he would steamroll to the nomination without so much as a whimper. In private circles nervous Dems pondered their options. They knew that the "class warfare" general election strategy planned for Romney would not "cut a lot of ice" with the son of tenant farmers! They were gratified to see Republicans pound Perry on peripheral issues that would hold little relevance in the general election.

Fortunately for them and Mitt Romney, Republican conservatives became bogged down on these sidebar issues, as well as overall glibness. They suddenly decided that a strong debator was more important than an accomplished candidate with an actual track record. They apparently forgot that the Establishment had already settled on the former Massachusetts Governor. Romney, a good debator was spared some of the hardballs that could have been landed upon him, especially in the early going.

Nearly everyone concludes that there were far too many debates this year.
America will readily admit that the country may have opted for "style over substance" in the 2008 Presidential election. Evidently the lesson wasn't learned! Romney was perhaps an even great beneficiary than Gingrich. With no job, other than liquidating his multitude of luxury residences, he had four years to stand in front of a mirror, honing up and perfecting his debating skills. He obviously had a background. The question was, was it the right background for an increasingly conservative party?

For anyone who has been to Massachusetts and watched some of the campaigns, here are some things to remember. Social Issues are potentially toxic. A strong safety net is an imperative. Most of the population is pre-disposed to vote Democratic. A Republican wins only when the Democrat is so bad that the electorate votes against them as a protest.

Mitt Romney is a businessman. He knows big business, how it works and how to build and restructure companies. He is a smart, clean living intellectual who looks every the inch the Fortune 500 CEO. When he served as Massachusetts Governor, he ran the Bay State the way that he ran Bain Capital. There were ups and downs. Overall, it was an effective tenure.

Social issues are a liability in the Bay State. The best way to handle them is to downplay them, preferably ignore them. Romney learned from his friend William Weld, a Republican who served as Governor in the mid nineties. A pro-choice, gay friendly, environmentally empathetic, Chief Executive will not get bogged down in "clutter issues" that are sure to come from the opposition party. The wily Weld readily endorsed Democrat, Bill Clinton in 1996, because he knew that anything less would equate to a "clutter issue."

Go back to 1992. Remember Paul Tsongas, another Romney confident? He was a Democrat, running as a "pro business liberal." He had strong backing from Dewey-Rockefeller types in the East who were unhappy with the growing influence of a Christian oriented South that was becoming increasing influential. Once supporters of Bush the Elder, they saw the transplanted Texan as someone who had compromised his youthful orientation for the 1980 Vice Presidential nod and later the 1988 nomination.

True, GOP conservatives are well aware of the Romney Pedigree. They agree that "any Republican candidate would be preferable." But that is where it has ended. After Perry crashed and burned in the debates, conservatives first went to Herman Cain, then to Newt Gingrich. Bachmann and Santorum continued to doggedly push their credentials. The one thing feared by the Romney camp, "that these conservatives might consolidate their support" has thus far not materialized.

Ron Paul, in the meantime, continued on. His backers believe that he can win, not only the nomination, but the general election. Could this happen?

Odds are not with Paul. But never say never! He is seen as a Liberatarian by the Republican establishment. His positions on defense make most party members nervous. Romney supporters fear that he might still run as a third party candidate, ultimately throwing the election to Barack Obama the same way that Ross Perot put Bill Clinton in the White House. Paul is currently saying that this won't happen. Conservatives are putting their faith in son Rand to keep Dad from changing his mind. But is it a sure thing?

Nobody truly knows! Logically, it would seem less probable if the Republican nominee held positions slightly closer to those of Paul. But who might that be? Perry? While Perry's constitutional conservatism is the closest thing to Paul's, it's pretty evident that the two aren't close! And Perry has a totally different view on world affairs! Gingrich? That seems unlikely! Bachmann? We're stretching!

In short, if Paul isn't the nominee, Republicans will pray that he doesn't do anything more than quietly endorse their nominee. His supporters are looking for a champion who can advance their Libertarian cause. These Republicans mix with Dewey-Rockefeller types like oil and water. They hold more of a kindred spirit to disgruntled, anti-war Democrats who had become disgusted with slow movement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama's braintrust recognized this and dispelled any possible defection by ending the Iraq war as scheduled. As much as Republicans may loathe the way that Iraq was handled, they should be thankful that it is not a potential issue for a third party "peace" candidate.

So much will come down to Iowa. If Paul wins, then follows up his win with a strong showing in New Hampshire, the race will be on. It is highly possible for Tea Party candidates to say, "they have had enough" of the Republican establishment. Romney has never reached out to them. Paul, to many, is the Tea Party. Many Paul supporters feel that another four years of Obama, as distasteful as it might be "would be better" than acquiescing to the GOP establishment.

This would be the ultimate disaster for the Republican party. That's why it's important for conservatives in the party to unite behind one candidate. Then chances will be better to thwart Romney's nomination on the first ballot.

Currently Newt looks to be that alternative. But can he be elected? He thinks that he can! He lacks money and organization. If Paul pulls an upset in Iowa and he fails to win South Carolina, it might be end game for the speaker.

What about the rest of the pack? This is where it gets interesting. Bachmann and Perry will likely fight it out for 4th place in the Iowa caucus. If Perry finishes fourth and Paul wins, the Texas Governor will put all his marbles on South Carolina. His hope is that Bachmann, Santorum and Cain would throw their support behind him, as an alternative to Romney. Improbable, but not totally impossible! The key would be finishing ahead of Bachmann in Iowa.

Surprisingly not in the discussion is Perry's historical ability to attract Hispanic voters. A major "bump" in the primary road that sent his candidacy spiralling(the tuition waiver) would become a key general election asset. Republicans must take at least 30% of the Hispanic vote to win the general election. 40%, the number posted by Perry in the Texas general election should be the objective. The remaining candidates, especially Romney will have problems with this key block of voters who now make up 16% of U.S. population.

In short, a stronger than expected Paul and a rejuvenated Perry(or Gingrich) could make the Tampa convention one for the ages. With new rules, it will be more difficult to win on the first ballot. This will work against Romney. In a state that is 15% Hispanic, his uncompromising position on immigration will come into focus. So will be his perceived inability to attract Latinos. Even though he might have the most delegates, a second(or third)ballot might find that alternative.

Could the Republicans ultimately turn "thumbs down" to the entire field? If no nominee surfaces by the third ballot, who knows. As improbable as it may appear, there are literally millions of registered Republicans who think that Marco Rubio would still be the best opponent to face Barack Obama in the November election.

Could anyone imagine a more difficult ticket for the Democrats to face than Marco Rubio for President and Condoleeza Rice for Vice President?

Rubio-Rice does have a ring to it!