Obama’s Relationship Problem

Obama Listening Tour SC Obama’s Relationship Problem

In the wake of the partial government shut-down, with the vivid reminder of closures of our national monuments, many people blame the President and Democrats who agree with him. Others blame the Republicans in Congress.

Neither side appears to have wavered much from their mantras, shown much independence, or demonstrate any ability to negotiate.

And that’s the problem.

Without strong leaders in Congress willing to negotiate to get things done on key policy issues, the mantra falls to the President. When the President and the Congress fail to agree, the government shuts down.

There are many complicated aspects to the Washington drama that involve the debt ceiling, the appropriations process, continuing resolutions, and lots of other hard to understand “process” issues that Congress must follow.

But beyond the weeds and sausage-making are simple approaches that impact American families and people who own small businesses. We negotiate with our business colleagues and families to reach civility, certainty, and common ground using common sense. Washington has lost track of these simple principles.

Relationships are critical in Washington. The lack of trust between the President and Congress is evident, and it’s frustrating to Americans watching.

It falls to the President to be the “adult” when it comes to negotiating on budget priorities in the wake of congressional bickering. He must act like he’s the head of the household when family members are squabbling in the Congress.

Instead, he’s thumbing his nose at Republicans and playing the blame game. He thinks that because the polls say that Congress shouldn’t shut down the government because of problems with Obamacare, he’s somehow “winning”.

The political gamesmanship continues with liberals calling U.S. Senator Ted Cruz a host of bad names and the Obama Administration saying that it doesn’t really matter when the shutdown ends.

U.S. Majority Leader Harry Reid jumped into the fray as well, calling Speaker Boehner a ‘coward’. Really?

Everyday Americans wonder why the Congress and the President are acting like school yard bullies who can’t get along. If they were in their kids’ play yard, they’d tell their kids to avoid these bullies. Now, everyone looks like a bully in Washington.

These real life, working families are becoming more frustrated by the day. They create jobs, pay the household bills, drive their kids to school, and like to hike in a scenic park on the weekend. If their weekend getaway is a national park, it may be closed. And that’s why they’re pissed.

Republicans are to blame as well. They must do a better job defining the debate beyond just Obamacare. There is a lack of a big picture understanding of what bloated government programs really cost.  The price tag has increased. We are now $17 trillion in debt. Who’s paying for this? Our kids will bear this burden.

As families struggle to find good jobs and an increasing number of baby boomers remain under-employed, there is more focus on family and personal budgeting.

Still, the Republicans’ message hasn’t penetrated. They need to talk beyond their base on the risks of Obamacare to Latinas who own small businesses and Asian moms who worry about the cost of their kids’ education. They need to build a greater awareness that the sweeping health care reform known as Obamacare is too risky of an investment to make right now.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn said today that the Obamacare price tag started at $863 million but that the price tag has gone up. Rep. Peter Roskam said on CNBC that Obamacare would cost $1.9 trillion over 10 years. That’s a lot of dough to shell out for a program that is showing problems with implementation and enrollment its first week. The uncertainty of the price points and the way the law is structured is a problem that the Obama Administration ignores.

Americans watching the Washington drama will be weary of signing up for Obamacare because they lack trust in their government in the wake of bickering and shutdowns.

The last time the government was shut down was seventeen years ago. At that time, I worked on Capitol Hill. It was 1996, and it was the classic battle between President Bill Clinton, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, and U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Back then, Bob Dole was able to make a deal with Clinton and Gingrich and get things moving again. Yes, it was a Presidential election year; but in spite of the political posturing (remember Dole ran against Clinton), they got it done because they truly believed that the American people deserved a well-run government. Neither side got exactly what they wanted, but they were able to negotiate a deal.

A friend who was part of the Reagan Revolution said to me today:

“I never thought I’d say this – but I miss Bill Clinton”.

It wasn’t an endorsement of Hilary 2016, but a statement from a time when a Democrat President was willing to work with a Republican Congress to get things done.

The expectation was set years earlier by Republican President Ronald Reagan, U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill (a Democrat), and Howard Baker, the U.S. Senate Majority Leader. I’ll never forget a picture that Tip O’Neill penned to Senators Bob Dole and Howard Baker. It read:

“We three, Americans first.”

These are two examples of divided government under two different Presidents. They understood that they needed to get along and get things done.

President Obama is the head of American government and needs to spend some time getting to know the people in Congress. He must extend a more welcoming hand, find common ground, and expend some of his political capital and work with – not against – his family in Congress. People expect that of our leader. To do anything less is childish and unbecoming of a head of state.


This commentary originally appeared at ThoughtfulWomen.org.


Photo credit: terrellaftermath



It’s been a long time since I tuned in BSNBC.  It is amazing how ‘progressives’ go from bad to worse.  What passes for ‘journalism’ over there is little more than a mosh pit, a conservative meat grinder, and a propaganda arm of the Obama machine.

The basic routine is having one or two speed talkers gang-slam some Republican guest:

BS interrogator:  “So we see millions of people desperate for health insurance at the exchanges.  Why do you want to prevent them from having health coverage?”

Republican: “We want to . . . “

Interrogator: “Yes, only the rich get healthcare in this country   Why do you want only the rich to be healthy? Don’t you care about women and children and the poor and minorities?”

Republican: “Our plan for reform . . . “

Interrogator: “The Affordable Care Act is law. Don’t you respect the Constitution?”

Republican:  “According to the Constitution . . .”

Interrogator: “Republicans only comprise 1/5th of the government.  Don’t you respect the will of the majority?”

Republican:  “The majority of the American people . . .”

Interrogator:  “Ted Cruz is a thug according to many people on your side of the aisle, don’t you agree?”

Republican:  “Senator Cruz . . .”

Interrogator:  “How can you possibly defend a position that violates the Constitution behind the activism of thugs and lawbreakers to the detriment of the poor and disenfranchised.  It smacks of racism, doesn’t it?”

Republican: “We think ObamaCare discriminates because . . .”

Interrogator:  “Eighty million people in this country are dying far too soon because Republicans don’t want to spend money on healthcare.  It’s shameful.”

Republican:  “We want reform without bankrupting the country . . .”

Interrogator:  “That’s all the time we have.  Always a pleasure having you on Congressman.  And now to Rachel Maddow who reports tonight on why Newt Gingrich is responsible for the government shutdown, another Republican crime worthy of execution.”


NPS Tries To Close Privately Funded Mt. Vernon During Shutdown

George Washington 2 SC 276x300 NPS tries to close privately funded Mt. Vernon during shutdown

Much like the sequestration before it, the Obama regime is using America’s federal government shutdown to inflict as much pain onto citizens as possible. Whether threatening to arrest nonagenarian veterans or prohibiting Arizonans from reopening the Grand Canyon with private donations, these systematic closures are designed to sting.

Though these decisions warrant criticism, at least there is an element of federal funding present through which the administration can justify the closures. Such is not the case with the Mount Vernon Estate in Virginia.

According to the destination’s media director, Melissa Wood, the National Park Service arrived earlier this week to close down the parking lot surrounding the home of George Washington. The problem with that move, however, is that the federal government does not own or fund Mount Vernon.

Citing “a misunderstanding over the ownership of the spaces,” Wood noted that NPS officials reversed course after conceding “their mistake.”

Former House Speaker and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich took to Twitter with his opinion of the debacle.

Calling the move “disgusting,” Gingrich tweeted it was a “deliberate effort by Obama to hurt the public.”

While his sentiment is likely accurate, there is another troubling aspect associated with this incident. Judging from Wood’s assessment of the situation, the federal government has no idea what they even own. It seems that federal agencies just assume everything in the U.S. is under their purview and control.

Private citizens generously donate funds to keep Mount Vernon open and, in one fell swoop, federal overlords arrive in an attempt to shutter the plantation.

Not only does this story highlight the savagery of government conduct, it also proves how insanely bloated our federal bureaucracy has become.

For that reason, many Americans don’t view the shutdown as an obstacle to be avoided, but as a good start toward bringing the federal government back in line with the Constitution.

–Western Journalism staff writer

Photo Credit: OZinOH (Creative Commons)

Obama’s Hubris: “I’m Too Important To Negotiate”

Obama Excalibur Stuck Cantor Cruz SC Obamas Hubris: Im Too Important to Negotiate

As I write, America is in the midst of a partial government shutdown. And there’s one major roadblock that’s keeping Congress gridlocked: Obamacare.

I find this very ironic. You see, the issue Americans care the most about isn’t Obamacare… it’s jobs. Yet jobs are taking an incredible amount of collateral damage from the healthcare law that the Senate and the president are so insistent on funding.

The list of companies cutting both jobs and benefits is long. Some recognizable names include United Parcel Service (UPS), International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), and Wendy’s (WEN). Community colleges, public school systems, and even state and local government agencies are cutting hours and jobs because of the unworkable monstrosity that is Obamacare. A report in Investor’s Business Daily claims that 16,500 hours of work have just evaporated for Americans.

But according to Obama and Senator Harry Reid, no adjustments can be made. Only the well-connected labor unions, large employers, and government officials who’ve already received exemptions can stay out of Obamacare. On the other hand, the little people (like you and me) are stuck.

Well, not totally stuck. You see, we’ve uncovered an incredible opportunity. It allows everyday people like you and me to invest alongside the political elite and profit no matter the circumstances on Capitol Hill (and let’s face it, they’re pretty dire right now). Political insiders have been making a fortune using this method, and they want to keep it a secret. But we found out anyway.

And this is where I get confused. You see, the U.S. Constitution established separate branches of government for a reason: to build consensus. If there’s no consensus, a policy shouldn’t be pursued. The nation has spoken, and it doesn’t want the negative effects of Obamacare. The House of Representatives has spoken, and it’s trying to represent the people’s wishes. But Obama simply refuses to negotiate. He and Harry Reid have made it clear: It’s their way or the highway.

Late on the night of September 30, in an attempt to avoid a shutdown, the House leadership appointed members to a conference committee to meet with the Senate. The Senate, on the other hand, refused to send anyone to negotiate. Faced with this type of arrogance, there was little that could be done. As I predicted, the government shut down.

Irony Abounds

Coincidentally, the government shut down because of Obamacare on October 1, 2013 – which was also the first day of the Obamacare exchanges.

And what about those exchanges? According to the best reports I can find, they’re experiencing outages and glitches in over 34 states. Better yet, you (like me) probably received a document from your employer outlining your “rights” under Obamacare. I tried to read through the lines of government doublespeak, and I’ve concluded that I get less care, I pay more money, and I can’t keep my doctor, as he’s chosen to exempt his practice from Obamacare. Some start to the Obamacare era.

With that in mind, I fear for a resolution to the shutdown that doesn’t challenge the status quo. I believe the forces fighting Obamacare need to stick to their collective guns and hold strong. If they do, Obama will be forced to come to the table at some point.

It’s disappointing that he’s stayed away thus far, but I’m not surprised. In fact, I’m convinced that Obama thinks he will benefit from renewed political crisis. He believes that the GOP will take the brunt of the blame if a prolonged shutdown leads to uncertainty or, worse, a renewed financial crisis.

If Obama wants a crisis – and his actions imply that he does – he’s a greater fool than I thought. He will not escape blame for this downturn. Bob Woodward of The Washington Post agrees. Yesterday morning on MSNBC, he stated, “Obama gets the blame if this confrontation spins out of control and leads to a renewed financial crisis.”

Now, I don’t believe it will; but I’ve never seen any president with this much unchecked arrogance. When President Bill Clinton was facing a government shutdown, his actions were the opposite of Obama’s. Clinton was at the table negotiating with then-Senator Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich every day. He didn’t head out to the links and disappear like Obama. That takes a special kind of hubris.


This commentary originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

Obama Spits On Every President’​s Grave

Pesidents Grave 300x229 Obama Spits on Every President’​s Grave

It’s been the goal of all U.S. presidents since the end of World War II to limit Russian influence in the Middle East…until today.

Now, Obama welcomes Russia in so that they can annul the results of his own foolhardy statements.

In the last week, our president first asked Congress to authorize acts of war against Syria because of the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Then, he spun 180 degrees and essentially said, “scratch that – Syria’s number one ally, Russia, has changed my mind.”

These endless verbal acrobatics are the result of one Obama sentence. During the heat of the 2012 campaign, when he was preening his tough guy image, Obama blurted out: “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is when we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.”

Now, Obama’s inept foreign policy is being guided by a sentence most experts consider a gaffe. He didn’t set a red line so much as he painted the United States into a corner.

The outcome is increased Russian influence in a dangerous region of the globe. I expect frightening consequences.  Putin is now in charge of disarming chemical weapons in Syria… the same country Russia has spent the last half century arming. Meanwhile, Putin is actually escalating the shipment of conventional arms to Syria, ensuring that Syrian civil war continues.

While Obama has been pontificating about chemical weapons, over 100,000 Syrians have been killed by the conventional weapons that Putin continues pouring into Assad’s waiting arms.

In addition to what he’s doing in Syria, Putin is using the cover from Obama to double down in Iran. The Russians announced this week that they’re selling sophisticated S-300 air defense missiles to Iran and are also ready to help build a second nuclear reactor for the Bushehr nuclear plant.

Abject Failure at the Highest Levels

And yet, in spite of all that Putin is doing, my real revulsion is for Obama’s alleged opponents in D.C. John Boehner isn’t even a good foil for Obama, let alone a respected opponent that can force improvements in the governance of the country.

Every political leader can benefit from a well-matched opponent who constantly pressures an administration to improve policy. Ronald Reagan had Tip O’Neill, Bill Clinton had Newt Gingrich and Richard Nixon had Hubert Humphrey. These men made each other better politicians and statesmen.

But Boehner schemes to keep his job by not making waves. If he does nothing, then nobody can dislike him. Therefore Boehner rallied to Obama’s side during the Syria flip-flops.

As Congress returns to Washington this week, the issues are mounting up. In less than 17 days, the Federal Government will shut down unless appropriations bills for the new fiscal year, starting October 1, are passed.

For the last few months, the Ponzi schemes in the U.S. Treasury Department have had to be doubly complex to keep us from defaulting on our national debts. Unless radical spending cuts are enacted, another extension of the debt ceiling is now overdue.

Does anyone besides me think the United States is a three ring circus, and all the acts are clowns?

The congressional agenda now includes budgets way behind schedule, default or worse, and war. Obama and our dysfunctional government have given new definition to the words, “crisis management.” There isn’t a single issue plaguing America that’s being solved through dispassionate debate and cool-headed management.

My job is to help Capitol Hill Daily readers make sense of this madness, but sometimes the players are so maddening that even I can’t make heads or tails of the chaos.

Boehner is now pushing for a continuing resolution to keep Obamacare funded, and I expect him to help Obama get the debt extended again with nary a peep of resistance.

Meanwhile, the world is inching closer and closer to a bigger war. America’s finances are stretched beyond breaking, and while both Boehner and Obama may be retired before the reckoning comes, the pain suffered will be greater for their malfeasance.

Your eyes on the Hill,   Floyd G. Brown

This commentary was originally published at CapitalHillDaily.com and is re-published here with permission.

Photo Credit:  Standard Compliant