The Political Winds Are Changing


“SENATORS CHALLENGE KERRY’S SYRIA CLAIMS – (McClatchy Washington Bureau) – Senators from both parties pressed President Barack Obama’s top Cabinet offices Tuesday to provide guarantees that no U.S. troops would be sent to Syria . . . ”   We can’t afford any more lame attempts at nation-building or world-policing.  Let’s build some infrastructure here instead of in the Middle East for a change.

“NC HOUSE VOTES TO OVERRIDE 2 VETOES BY MCCRORY – Charlotte Observer – The (NC) state House on Tuesday took little more than half an hour to override the governor’s vetoes of two bills, on immigration and drug-testing welfare recipients . . . The votes marked the first split between Republican lawmakers, who control the General Assembly with a veto-proof majority, and the new governor of the same party.”  Isn’t it refreshing that Republicans are beginning to self-police?  Those whose main interest is re-election must be replaced or overruled by elected officials who stand on conservative principles.

“CITY’S STREETCAR MISSES GRANT, SUFFERS SETBACK – Charlotte Observer – “. . . the city would use $63 million in reserve funds and also apply for a $63 million federal TIGER grant.”  These federal grants are so out of control – why should taxpayers in Billings pay for a boondoggle streetcar project in Charlotte?  Or vice-versa?  Grant money does not grow on trees – it comes out of family budgets.

Last weekend I attended the “Saving the American Dream Summit” in Orlando, where two potential Republican contenders for the 2016 presidential race learned that the Republican “base” has turned resolutely to the right.  Sen. Marco Rubio was met with a strident chorus of “No Amnesty!” calls throughout his speech, and the large crowd erupted into applause when Gov. Rick Scott was admonished to “Stop Common Core”.

I sense a definite turn in the political winds, as lately we see incumbent liberals deflecting scandals and questions about their motives, and squishy Republicans facing a recharged constituency that demands adherence to true conservative principles.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a storm wind that will ring
The freedom bell for peace of mind

The Wind of Change – the Scorpions


Yeah, Right, We Hate Women and Kids

Conservatives are big meanies, right?  We hate women, and minorities and children.  We want dirty air and water, and we would throw Granny over the cliff in a heartbeat.  All because we want to take money from poor people and give it to rich people.

Today I took my two-year old twin grandkids out for their first fishing experience.   It was Grandpa heaven – digging the worms, baiting the hooks, enjoying the warm sunshine on the dock with a picnic lunch.  Lydia caught a fat little catfish right away, and minutes later Conrad caught a perch.  They were mesmerized, and Grandpa was a hero.  “Goodbye, Mr. Fish,” they waved, as we threw them back in the water to get bigger for next time.

Yeah, I kind of care about these little guys.  So much that I will do anything to protect them and their futures.   I am compelled to work toward reducing the debt so they won’t be burdened with crushing taxes.  I want to strengthen our private sector economy so they can have meaningful jobs and live in a secure, prosperous nation.   I am driven to improve our educational system so their adult lives will be rich and rewarding.  I would never condone anything in their environment that would harm them in any way.

Liberals, you can accuse me, and my fellow conservatives, of a lot of things.  But let’s drop the crap about how we hate women and children.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Here’s a song I wrote for the kids a while back, looking forward to this day!

Let’s go fishin’, it’s a beautiful day
There’s not a single cloud in the sky, now, what do you say?
Nothin’ better than a fish on your line
Just take him off and throw him back, he’ll be bigger next time

Let’s Go Fishin’ – Tom Balek

The “Grown-Up In The Room” – Still Herman Cain

A few weeks ago I nominated Paul Ryan to the “Old Bean Counters” club, of which I am the founding member.  We “Old Bean Counters” believe in the sanctity of honest accounting.  We understand that careful budgeting and controls (fail to plan, plan to fail) results in success for businesses and for governments.  And we believe we could save the nation’s economy if we were allowed to move in and clean up the books.

Today another eloquent statement in support of fiscal sanity was written by our level-headed old friend Herman Cain.  I remain a huge Cain fan.  He gets my top grade for leadership, common sense, and patriotism.  Herman is still the “grown-up” in the room, and must be added to the “Bean Counters” club.

The War of Words: No One Wins
By Herman Cain

As someone who has spent a long career in the business world, confronting problems and solving them, I find that there’s something surreal about two weeks of political conventions in a nation that faces very big problems – and desperately needs effective solutions.

In the business world, when people are attacking each other, hurling accusations and leveling blame, the first thing a leader has to do is put a stop to that. In such an environment, it is extremely difficult to devise solutions, and it is almost impossible to implement them effectively.

Today’s political environment is exactly what I just described on a 24/7 basis. It is a never-ending war on words. And this is a war that no one wins.

This is not going to be one of those columns where the writer tries to appear above the fray by blaming both sides equally, and pretends not to be taking sides. Get real. You know perfectly well that I support Mitt Romney and that I oppose Barack Obama. You’ve read my criticisms of Obama’s policies in this space and others. I am not decrying all criticism because a) it is a healthy part of our system of government; and b) I engage in it as much as anyone.

But there’s a difference between honest criticism and simply saying anything you have to say for the sake of your own power. This is the phenomenon that was on display at the Democrats’ convention in Charlotte, and it was astounding.

Consider the fact that the Democrats apparently have decided the word “voucher” can be used in a negative way to hang a political anvil around Republicans. Repeatedly, they attacked Republicans for wanting to replace Medicare with what they call “Vouchercare.” What made this so appalling was not the mere fact that there’s nothing wrong with a voucher, which is simply premium support that seniors can use to purchase their own insurance. No, what made this so appalling is the fact that, even as the Democrats were tossing this word around as if it were a euphemism for a concentration camp roundup, the Obama Administration itself was in the process of moving 2 million seniors into vouchers as a pilot program designed to improve Medicare.

In other words, they don’t even mean what they say. They simply say it because it’s tested well with focus groups or something. Attack vouchers and land blows against Republicans. You know it’s total BS, but it works.

Another example is their constant use of the phrase “middle class,” usually accompanied by a denunciation of “tax cuts for millionaires.” You’d think, to listen to these guys, that the middle class was doing great under them – since they warn darkly of its fate in the event of a Republican victory. In fact, middle class incomes have fallen by more than $4,000 per household since Obama took office. The people who constantly drone on about the middle class have nothing to offer the middle class. But the words sure sound good.

Republicans can be susceptible to the same thing. They spent a lot of time at their convention attacking out-of-control federal spending. And rightly so. But they did that in 1994, and were handed control of Congress by voters who agreed with them. The Republican Congresses of the 1990s did control spending for awhile, which is why we got the balanced budgets that Bill Clinton attributes to his own excellence in arithmetic. But by the time we hit the new millennium, congressional Republicans had discovered that they liked spending too – and pretty soon fiscal discipline was a thing of the past. Yet here they are in 2012, saying the same words. It might win them the election. And if it does – and they remain mere words – no one will have won.

It’s easy to blame this on political consultants who poll-test every theme and concept, and put it before focus groups to see how it will play. It’s easy to blame the shallow news media, which covers the horse race and the strategy of every campaign as if there’s no such thing as governing that comes after the election.

But ultimately, it’s the candidates who choose to follow these strategies, using these words to get elected knowing full well that they don’t mean what they’re saying.

This country is in big trouble. The national debt, now at $16 trillion, is more than our entire gross domestic product. Our unfunded entitlement obligations run into the hundreds of trillions. We have 15 percent of the population on food stamps. We have 15 percent of the population either unemployed or underemployed. And the federal government is spending a quarter of our GDP every year in a futile attempt to somehow fix all this. It is not working.

Under these circumstances, it is absolutely mandatory that the nation turn to leaders who are serious about solutions, serious about honest data and willing to give it to us straight about the nation’s situation. It is still possible to fix this mess, but it can’t be done by people who are unserious, dishonest and willing to say absolutely anything to remain in power.

In the business world, you need to understand facts, test your ideas and be honest about when solutions to problems are not working. Otherwise you will never make the necessary adjustments. People who do this are respected, because they are the ones who ultimately get results. Those who are out of ideas, and offer nothing more than the same ideas that have already failed, are fired. Sometimes, if they have integrity, they recognize that they are not the right people for the job and they step aside to make room for more competent leadership.

That’s why business leaders solve problems but the political class never does. And it’s ultimately the responsibility of the voters not to put up with this nonsense. If our only response to the very real problems facing this nation is a war of words, people need to understand that is a war that no one wins.

We still need ya, Herman.  Welcome to the Bean Counters club.  And keep reminding us it’s time to grow up.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Come back when you grow up, girl
You’re still livin’ in a paper-doll world
Livin’ ain’t easy, lovin’s twice as tough
So come back, baby, when you grow up

Come Back When You Grow Up – Bobby Vee