Monthly Archives: September 2012

Real People, Real Issues

Reprinted from

Living and working in Your Nation’s Capital I forget, sometimes, that grand issues are fun to debate on CNN or MSNBC, but real people deal with real issues.

At a fundraiser for Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Oh) last night, I heard from a nurse anesthetist that there is a continuing shortage of the basic drug she uses to put people to sleep for surgery. And that when they have the drug it often has a label written in some language other than English, and that the efficacy of the drugs is not constant. Continue reading

Ken Beatrice, Mitt Romney, Reason for Losing


As I read the harsh criticisms of Mitt Romney’s campaign (none more harsh than those made by Republicans), I recall the radio sports program hosted by Ken Beatrice back in the 70’s and 80’s.

It was a great show, informative, entertaining, and often provocative, although always civil. Beatrice was infinitely knowledgeable about sports, especially about football. As I recall, he was not only the host of the show, but had a football scouting organization, and he seemed to know everything about every football player in the country, from the Pop Warner league to the NFL. When a listener would call in, it went something like this: Continue reading

Obama Phoning It In

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During President Barack Obama’s whirlwind visit to New York City, he delivered a speech to the United Nations.

In that speech Obama said, “The attacks on our civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America.”

To keep close tabs on our response to those “attacks on America” Obama played footsie with the gals on The View. And attended a reception. And Tweeted about the nature of the global issue of replacement refs in the NFL. And, for all I know, took a turn as the Naked Cowboy in Times Square. Continue reading

Congress Shall Make No Law…

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This is the full text of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; the first of the Bill of Rights. Note the first clause, of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I wanted to get the specific language of what we generally refer to as the “Freedom of Religion” on the table, because it appears that we may be on the brink of the worst sectarian violence since the end of the Third Crusade, over 800 years ago. Continue reading

Middle East Violence: Coming Clean Take 2


“You hate to think that the President would purposely mislead the American people, but it sure looks like it to me.” — House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon 9/21/2012

Let’s give the President the benefit of the doubt for now on whether he is coming clean on events in the Middle East that led to the death of our Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three others. But Chairman McKeon should hold that thought.

We should focus first on UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who on Sunday, September 16th, went on a national media bender to deliver three messages: One, the violent protests in Libya were spontaneous. Two, the protests were caused by the release of an American video that insulted the Prophet Mohammed. Three, the two former Navy Seals who were killed in Libya were part of a security detail protecting the Ambassador to that country. Continue reading

Bad News Abroad, Good News at Home

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As part of the continuing success story that is the foreign policy of Barack Obama, the U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, found his car surrounded by protesters, blocked, and pelted with plastic water bottles.

This, directly in front of the American embassy. He claimed he felt he was never in any danger and the Chinese have “expressed regret” and the U.S. State Department has expressed the same exact level of outrage as it has exhibited in the attacks on other Embassies around the world.

Which is to say, none. Continue reading

Middle East Violence Spontaneous?


“I’ve come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutal interest and mutal respect and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.”  — President Barak Obama in Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009

In the last two weeks, three years after that speech, militant Islamists have been engaging in violent, lethal protests against the United States in Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Tunisia, Indonesia, and Guinea. In Afghanistan, the U.S. is also facing violence from within, from Afghan police we have trained and work alongside.

Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, distanced her boss from the protests in a whirlwind weekend tour of Sunday talk shows. Continue reading

Obama Is Not Working

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All hell is breaking out in the Middle East and in North Africa. Israel is preparing to go to war with Iran. China and Japan are at the brink of war. Unemployment is above 8 percent. The Federal Reserve is forced to buy forty billion dollars of mortgage-backed securities a month because the Chairman is very worried that the economy will backslide into a deep recession. The debt numbers are only getting worse as the government grapples with adding a new entitlement to an already over-subscribed entitlement system.

The Obama Administration is failing on both the international and domestic stage.

And Mitt Romney is on the defensive!

How the hell does that happen? Continue reading

Obama Nice Enough Guy

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Friday night I was on Anderson Cooper’s CNN program, AC360, with one of my favorite debate partners, Paul Begala. As neither Paul nor I am a foreign policy expert we talked about the domestic political aspects of the riots – and killings – in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Cooper quoted from Friday morning’s Mullings (I don’t have the transcript but this is close): “Rich, you wrote in your column this morning that President Obama’s foreign policy is: Blame George W.”

What I wrote, in its entirety was: “Barack Obama’s foreign policy is the same as his domestic policy: It’s all George W’s fault.” Continue reading

Apology: U.S. Response to Egypt Violence

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If you think the Administration of Barak Obama has its arms around foreign policy, read this from the Associated Press yesterday: “Ultraconservative Islamist protesters climbed the walls of the United States Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and took down the American flag, replacing it with a black flag with an Islamic inscription to protest a movie attacking Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.”

Did President Obama demand that the Egyptian government provide assurances that our embassy would be protected?


In fact, Obama’s crack foreign service issued an… apology.

He apologized for the presumed existence of a movie that no one on this planet (to my knowledge) has seen in its entirety. Continue reading

Why Do Brands Think We Want to Talk?

Reprinted from Loose Change (

The head of strategy for a Fortune 25 corporation said recently: “Engagement is a two-way dialogue. Without a conversation, there is no engagement.” Corporate engagement seekers salivate over the iconic one-on-one relationships, grounded in conversation, likes, views, shares, and comments. Why are major talents at corporations so wrapped up in bright shinies and impossible goals?

It’s B.S. that without dialogue there is no engagement. Frankly, I would argue the opposite. True engagement between brands and consumers is mostly silent, happening in the quietude of interest, attention, information gathering, Continue reading

Abusing Government Institutions: Part III


“The word is out. He hasn’t paid taxes for 10 years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t.”

Those were the words of the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Harry Reid, speaking on the Senate Floor, leveling an accusation against Gov. Mitt Romney that he could not prove, for which he offered no evidence, and had every reason to believe was not true.

Reid’s attack on Romney was clearly calculated to goad the Governor into releasing more income tax returns. The tactic is pretty transparent. A person of Romney’s wealth has to have something in his income, or his tax deductions or his charitable contributions to the Mormon Church, or something else that the Democrats could exploit. Reid, who is a wealthy man, of course, has never released his. Continue reading

Are You Better Off…

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As the Democratic Party gathers in Charlotte, North Carolina this week to re-nominate Barack Obama, the big question Republicans are asking Americans to answer this week is: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

There is almost no metric that would allow a segment of the population to answer, “Yes.” But, before we get into the wrangling of the coming three days, let’s step back a bit.

Continue reading

Campaigns Part II: News Media Save Thyself


New survey data released August 27, confirmed that more than 70 percent of Americans give the economy negative marks. Nearly the same number believes the country is seriously off track and the same number, 70 percent of Americans, believes the economy will be the dominant issue in how they vote.

The Washington Post headline over that story reflected a different reality: “While the rhetoric reflects other issues, economy still dominates race.” In other words,  what the vast majority of Americans are most concerned about is not what the news media are covering. Continue reading