A Hollywood Republican

This blog is for an open discussion on politics. My views will be to the right as will be most of the posters. But, we are willing to post alternative viewpoints as lons as they are well thought out. I started this in response to the Obama election and will continue it as long as it feeds a need.

Feb 16, 2009

A Few Thoughts from the Set about Current Affairs

We have just completed our first week of photography on “The Prince and Me 4.” The production is going really well except for a slight mishap on the set the other day. It was Friday the 13th. The sun was shining and there was not one cloud in the sky. However, it suddenly became very windy. In fact, so windy that a funnel cloud formed and lifted the lunch tent about fifty feet into the air. The tent dropped and it was suddenly very calm again. A rather small, but dangerous tornado had landed on our set.

This would have been a very interesting occurrence except for the fact that there were still people in the tent eating lunch. We immediately ran to the tent and dug out about four people who were rushed by the set paramedics to the hospital. In the end, no one was seriously injured. However, it was a scary 20 seconds or so. That’s right. It was only about 20 seconds.

The next day, the Thai crew decided that we had not asked the spirits for a proper blessing for the shoot, so we had a Buddhist ceremonial prayer session that lasted about twenty minutes before shooting. Nothing major happened that day, so I guess it worked!

Somehow, this is what I feel we need politically in this country. We are in the middle of a major economic crisis and there is no one praying to God or any gods whatsoever about how to get out of this mess. The only thing the Obama administration can come up with is to spend money. And, boy is it spending money. By the time you read this, the coveted Obama stimulus package will probably be law. And, this is no small tornado. This is the real thing.

The current spending package amounts to approximately 780 billion dollars which thankfully is substantially less than the 925 billion dollar package that was passed in the House and the 870 billion dollar package that was passed in the Senate. But, according to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, “A stimulus bill that was supposed to be timely, targeted and temporary is none of the above. And this means that Congress is about to approve a stimulus package that is not likely to have much stimulative effect.”

The general consensus is that the Democrats picked a number in the area of one trillion dollars and then just randomly figured out ways to spend the money. The vote was almost exclusively on party lines. In fact, had three Republicans in the Senate chose to follow their colleagues, then the package would not be going to the president for signature. The Senate vote was 60-38. The House vote was 246-183. Not one Republican voted for the bill in the House. In fact, approximately 10 Democrats had the guts to go against the President and voted “no.” It’s a real shame that the three Republicans in the Senate did not have the same guts as those ten House Democrats.

Senator John McCain, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend stated Obama has gone against his campaign promise to be bi-partisan. McCain feels that this is the main reason why this stimulus package had almost no Republican support whatsoever. McCain states that this was a “bad beginning because it wasn’t what we promised the American people, what President Obama promised the American people – that we would sit down together.”

This bill is supposed to either create or save jobs. In fact, Obama was selling it as a major infrastructure initiative. Let’s build roads and bridges and put people to work. Sounds like the “New Deal” right? Wrong. Only 48 billion or about six percent of the bill will go to infrastructure. And, a big chunk of that is for a high speed railway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. This sounds like a good idea, except for the fact that Senator Harry Reid from Nevada who is up for reelection in two years pushed this piece of pork into the bill in order to keep his constituents happy. So much for the lack of earmarks.

Individuals will receive a $400.00 check from the government and joint filers will receive an $800.00 check from the government. Again, this is supposed to stimulate spending and get the economy on track. Let’s analyze this a minute. How much exactly is $400.00 per person? Well, let’s see. It’s about $7.69 cents a week. Wow, that’s going to really help the average consumer. Maybe, they can buy an extra six pack. At least, Joe Six-Pack will be happy, and, of course, those who have shares in Coors and Anheuser-Busch.

In addition, Mr. Obama and the radical leftists are getting their way by creating a new welfare state. The rather large sum of $7.69 per week is being given as a handout to, not only citizens who pay income taxes, but also to those who do not pay income taxes at all. Wow, a true $400.00 free lunch! Just what I voted for last year. Oh, wait; the people that voted for Obama wanted a free lunch and a lot of free things. Maybe, they will get them all. Of course, people like me and my friends will pay for it.

I do not want to seem cynical about these things, but the “do nothing” Congress, just passed a “do nothing” bill that will be signed by a “pragmatist” president that will succeed in doing nothing to stimulate the economy. President Bush doubled the National Debt in eight years. President Obama just added another ten percent in less than one month. Not a bad record for the “best president ever.”

You may ask, why I just said, the best president ever. Well, I will tell you. I was sitting on the set yesterday and one of my crew members was Skyping with a typical leftist resident of Southern California. When my crew member asked what was going on in the world as we have no access to news from the set, the person on the other side of the line said, “We have the best president ever. He’s doing everything right.”

I mean, come on! How can anyone with any level of intelligence make a comment like that with a straight face. As I’ve stated before in this column, I wish the new President all the best and hope and pray that he is successful, but the best president ever after four weeks? This is just an example of the blind love that certain people in our country have for this man. It is beyond ridiculous.

Oh, and by the way, the best president ever would not be having such a difficult time picking a Commerce Secretary. So, far he is 0 for 2. Who will choice number 3 be? Of course, he could never be worse than choice number 2 who voluntarily withdrew his appointment because he did not agree with the President on the stimulus package or the economy. I wonder if any vetting was done at all by the President’s administrative staff on that decision?

Speaking of the best president ever, the London Times ran an article on October 31, 2008 just days before the election ranking the US Presidents according to their panel of experts. Of course, the top two were Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. No surprise there, right? However, let’s discuss two other presidents that they ranked very highly.

Number six is Dwight Eisenhower and number twelve is Lyndon Johnson. I remember growing up in the sixties and seventies and one thing I can say for the record is that both of these men were not considered good presidents at that time. In fact, Eisenhower was considered one of the worst presidents ever. As for Lyndon Johnson, he was hated more than George W. Bush is hated now. By the way, the London Times doesn’t like Mr. Bush much either. They have him ranked at 37. I strongly suggest all of my readers take a look at this poll. It is quite informative, although I admit I disagree with their positions, especially their ranking of John Kennedy. You can read it at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article5055404.ece.

As for their feeling for George W. Bush, maybe time will tell and he will go from number 37 to somewhere in the neighborhood of number 15 in the next forty years or so. Unfortunately, I will probably not be here to see it.

My thoughts on the economy and supply-side theory in increasing revenue to the government are more intellectually analyzed by Amity Schlaes who writes for Bloomberg.com. She published an article on February 6, 2009 which was forwarded to me by Arthur Brown of Los Angeles, California. The article, entitled, “Obama’s Gift to GOP is Challenge to Supply Siders”. In this article, Ms. Schlaes says that the GOP should be doing some serious thinking right now as Obama’s plan will probably not work. She also seems to agree with my analysis that the only way out of this recession is through time.

You should also all read, “A Black Woman’s View” by Anne Wortham which can be found at http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig9/wortham1.html. This article expounds an interesting viewpoint on the historic election of President Obama. I feel that this article is interesting reading although I do not agree 100% with its content.

Well that’s about if for this week. I’m back off to the set to begin week number two. Hopefully, there will be no more tornados either on the set or in our political world. Have a great week!

© 2009 by Frank T. DeMartini – All rights reserved. Permission to be quoted will be given freely upon request.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Frank -

I hope you're enjoying Thailand. Now, to the situation at hand.

I too consider myself a Republican although I did vote for Obama. I just could not begin to imagine four more years of failed Republican leadership. And that, I believe, is the point at hand. The Republican party has lost its am is fighting like hell to remain credible.

Instead of bitching about what is wrong with the Obama plan, true leaders would offer REAL alternatives. But, honestly, the Republican party has none. All they have is the almighty tax cut, the power of the market, and less regulation. All the while forgetting that they presided over creating the largest budget deficit this country has ever seen. And in the process, created the greatest disparity of wealth in our history while almost destroying the middle class (talk about social engineering).

These exact policies are, to a large degree, responsible for the mess we are in right now.

The Republican party has zero credibility in my mind. My 401K has lost 40% of its value, and the value of my home has declined. I'm working harder for less every year. But at least I still have a job.

So, how about offer solutions to these problems???????? At least Obama has the balls to get in the ring and punch. That's more than I can say for Senator McCain and company.

Take it easy. Call me when you can!

February 16, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey dude:
Thanks as usual for discussing these topics and as usual I disagree with you on nearly all of them.

The problem I have is you act as if Obama inherited both an economy and a Congress that was producing positive results.

He promised that he would not back away from facing and making the hard choices and he has gone up against many including those in his own party to move things forward. The prlblem with Washington is everyone who goes there gets homogenized into the Washington soup, people become the Stepford politicians and everything remains the same.

The US is in crisis that is amounting to the largest financial catasthrophe in the history of the world. These are the facts.

If you want to talk about government waste, Bush passed a bailout bill that had little or no oversight of the companies who received the money and in typical Bush fashion, it has had no positive effect on things. Where are all of the Republicans who are complaining about the Obama bill on this issue? (Sorry but I had to take that swipe)

I notice you called Obama a Liberal (he's not) and I can see how the socialism moniker is becoming his name tag for Republicans, but you know that this is not fair. The Republicans have given tax cuts to big business even as they took jobs out of the country by the millions. Some of these same companies are now asking for bailouts. Bush inherited a surplus and a vibrant economy and undid or presided over the undoing of all of it. I do not blame him for all of the ills, but like the CEO of GM, he was on the job.

The American people voted for a different approach and a different agenda. They want change and to begin to feel good about who their leaders are and the direction of the country. In every speech you hear Obama comment about this usually followed by him talking about what a tough job it will be to change the culture in Washington. Then he says that all of this will take time. These are big issues.

The best hope for all of us is to give him a chance. I do not mean to give him a pass, but I do mean to accept that both parties in Washington have become part of a large and virtually unmovable bowel movement that will require an Escalade sized piece of Ex-Lax to push out. At the very least we should all expect it to take a lot of time and contain many missteps, thee will be a lot of toes stepped on, but I have to beieve that even you are tired of the smell of shit coming from Washington.

The reward for all of us is that we get a better more transparent government allowing us to understand how the process works and we gain the ability to police politicians better. Right along with this we get to feel like we are the government and we matter. This is an amazing gift for us all.

I cannot escape the irony that during Bush's presidency, these same types of issues were never discussed. Phrases like being accountable and transparency never applied and in fact they were never even asked for and now the Republicans are demanding it and ridiculing the President when they feel he is not delivering it. Bush started a war in false pretenses that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and costs the US billions of dollars (contributing to this current financial crisis) and not one Republican is up in arms.

Obama has Washington honestly talking about ethics and the will of the people and it took a Democrat to put this focus front and center. He has energized citizens and people are now paying attention. This will work for him if he does a good job and against him if he does not, but in the long run it will be better for everyone.

Regarding your comments about Bush's place in history, I agree that the newness of his inadequacies does affect his rating downward, but if he was actually a good President it probably would also affect his ranking upward meaning that where he is right now is probably about right.

Regarding this article by Anne Wortham, I am very surprised that you put this article up because this is a Black Power rant if I ever heard one. She is someone who probably is a Louis Farrakkan supporter and is looking for someone much Blacker than Obama. Is that what you think America really needs?

One final point; Have you noticed how happy foreigners are when you mention you are American. Believe me, over the past three years I have been here, no one spoke positively about Bush and many look at me cross-eyed when Isaid I was American. I often had to qualify that I was not a Bush supporter. This new great feeling toward America's direction (represented by the new President) will bring value to America. It will also make me feel a lot safer about being American when I travel.

Keep writing and focus on balance and fairness.

David Allen Jones
Democrat in Exile

February 16, 2009 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger MetGuy said...

“We have the best president ever. He’s doing everything right.”
This quote reminds me of Voltaire's play, Candide.
Candide is flogged, imprisoned, forced into military service, and barely escapes being killed several times. The world around him is nearly destroyed by earthquake and fire, but his teacher, Pangloss, proclaims "We have the best of all possible leaders, so we must live in the best of all possible worlds!"

This is an example of the love affair some are having with their new liberal toy, Pres. Obama.

So much is made of our President, but, as designed, the Congress has more control over the direction of our country. They are the ones who promoted low-interest loans, and even punished banks that didn't extend home loans to shaky lenders. Enough of those loans defaulted and that's what caused the global recession. Congress authored the hugh spending bill to be signed by BHO today. That bill is full of spending the Democrats have wanted for years.

One final point: I don't care how a foreigner feels about our country or our leaders. They need to fix their own corruption and problems first before giving us another "Tsk, tsk".

February 17, 2009 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Big Swinging Dick said...

Hello Frank,

While the stimulus package has too many flaws to list, it's done.

You should focus on the next poo-nami, the tidal wave smell of the coming healthcare reform bill.

The Stimulus package included $1.1 billion for "comparative clinical effectiveness research".

Republicans are getting in early on this one - take a stand,

Big Swinging Dick
Seattle, WA

February 18, 2009 at 7:50 AM  

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