FLASHBACK – Laredo, Texas in 1961: The city is unique for having the distinction of flying seven flags. They include the Six Flags of Texas plus the flag of the brief Republic of the Rio Grande (Laredo was its capital). In 1836, when Texas revolted, there were less than 2,000 citizens in Laredo.
The army of Mexican General Santa Ana marched through Laredo, the “gateway to Mexico,” on their way to the Alamo. Today the population is over 250,000.
From 1965 to 1967, NBC aired a western television series called Laredo, which was a spinoff of The Virginian. The song “The Streets of Laredo” has been recorded by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Roy Rogers.
Congratulations to State Rep. Doreen Costa (R-RI) who is on the front page of today’s Providence Journal for being one of the few lawmakers to have a perfect 100% attendance score. Also, Politifact’s “Truth-O-Meter” ranked her claim as “true,” when she said “This is the only state in the country that bypassed the General Assembly to authorize in-state tuition for undocumented and illegal immigrants.”
She is sponsoring legislation to repeal the decision, and says “There is a process that should have been followed but the Governor chose not to do it.” She says this is a decision for the legislature to make, not a board handpicked by the liberal Governor.
Rhode Island and Hawaii are the most Democratic states in the nation, but Costa has been able to gather support from 19 of the 38 state senators and 26 of the 75 state representatives to repeal the decision.
The policy has already been repealed in Wisconsin.
The GM bailout was a topic in last night’s debate. What was not said was that Obama allowed very generous terms for his UAW supporters. He did not help GM trim costs, and he reversed the strict conditions imposed by Bush.
Taxpayers are expected to lose a minimum of $23 billion on the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. According to the Heritage Foundation, “The administration violated basic principles of bankruptcy law and transferred money to the UAW at taxpayer expense. The government could have executed the bailout with no net cost to taxpayers” if it had followed standard Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules.
Instead, the Obama administration granted of preferential creditor status to the UAW which cost an extra $26.5 billion. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says “the deal eschewed the typical wage corrections associated with reorganizational bankruptcy and there were no union pay cuts at GM. ”
Had the car companies just gone bankrupt without government interference, they would have had the protection of the courts, and union contracts would have been renegotiated or just torn up. Barack Obama rescued the UAW, not GM and Chrysler. Romney’s December 2008 op-ed article in opposition to the bailout is being criticized. He advocated a structured bankruptcy with no special treatment for the UAW.
A formal bailout failed in the Senate in 2008 because conservatives did not believe the conditions were stringent. Bush deserves credit for setting tough targets for the two companies — a two-thirds cut in debt, a 50% reduction in payments to health care funds for UAW retirees, and proof of net positive value by March 31, 2009. The money Bush lent was repaid in April 2010.
Obama increased the loans to $80 billion and the government still owns GM stock in connection with the company’s June 2009 out-of-court prepackaged bankruptcy. Once again, it was orchestrated by the Obama administration to protect the UAW. Bond holder rights were subordinated to UAW rights.
The bond holders were essentially wiped out. The United Auto Workers, as an unsecured creditor, received a 17.5% ownership interest in General Motors and 55% of Chrysler, while the companies’ bondholders got hosed.
Finally, the government caused part of GM’s problem. For three decades fuel-economy rules ensured that Detroit couldn’t specialize in its most profitable models—pickups, minivans, SUVs—and had to continue making smaller sedans at high-cost UAW-organized factories that it sold at a loss.
Michael Silence: “To say today’s endorsement by The Tennessean newspaper is an eyebrow raiser is an understatement. This is the same newspaper where former Vice President Al Gore got his start in journalism.
“They endorsed Obama in 2008. Of course, the paper endorsed Gore in 2000. In 2004, the paper endorsed Democrat John Kerry over President Bush. The endorsement will have political junkies across the country buzzing.”
Here’s part of the editorial:
“America needs strong leadership; yet, our leaders in Washington have seldom looked more impotent. . . .
“Because as important as foreign policy, social issues, immigration and the environment continue to be, this election hinges on Americans’ fear of a European-style economic collapse. No other issue will matter more, and to more voters, on Election Day.
“The next president must be the one with the best chance to get the crushing, $16 trillion national debt under control, coupled with the more immediate need of enabling a vibrant job market.
“It is because the economy is paramount that The Tennessean endorses Gov. Mitt Romney for president.”
Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) continues to be the frontrunner and may soon represent a new Congressional District. She was an Obama delegate, served on the White House Health Reform Task Force, and was with the President when Obamacare was signed. She has visited the White House at least 25 times.
The GOP has plenty of ammunition against her, but this is a tough district. Sinema led a war protest while wearing a pink tutu in her role of spokesperson for the Green Party. In 2003, she recalled “singing and spiraling” in a “pagan” dance pit in Miami during another anti-war rally.
In discussing women who do not have outside jobs she said “These women who act like staying at home, leeching off their husbands or boyfriends, and just cashing the checks is some sort of feminism because they’re choosing to live that life. That’s bullshit. I mean, what the f–k are we really talking about here?”
After the 9/11 attack she organized the Arizona Alliance for Peace and Justice (AAPJ), which denounces U.S. military aid to Israel. In accordance with AAPJ’s commitment to “world disarmament,” Sinema wrote that US military and political leaders have “blood on their hands,” and stated her opposition to using any military force to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. She has also accused the police of “repression and brutality.”
In today’s polling averages Romney is ahead by 1.4%. Four years ago today Obama had an 8.2% lead. All of the attention is on Ohio but Pennsylvania has more electoral votes.
It is now in the tossup category and three recent polls have Romney within the margin of error. Romney campaigned in the state this week and predicted victory. The change is most apparent in the Pittsburgh region among what use to be called Reagan Democrats. The area has thousands of signs proclaiming “Stop the War on Coal – Fire Obama.”
In September, the House passed the “Stop the War on Coal Act.” In addition to coal, 270,000 Pennsylvania jobs are connect to hydraulic fracturing, and there are few Obama fans in the energy industry. They could provide the crucial 2% victory margin the GOP needs.
Shown at the Romney rally today in Las Vegas are Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM), Ann-Marie Murrell of PolitiChick, and actress Courtenay Turner of the ‘Living the Life’ TV series. Martinez is the first Latina to hold a governorship, and has been campaigning for the GOP ticket in Florida and Arizona.
When she took office, Martinez fired the chef in the governor’s mansion, grounded the executive jet, halved her staff, and balanced the budget. She addressed the Republican National Convention immediately before Paul Ryan.
Today she said “Too many Americans are out of work, and our debt is out of control. This election needs to be about those issues. Obama promised to bring us all together, to cut unemployment, to pass immigration reform in his first year, but he didn’t even have the courage to try.
“He promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term, but it has been four straight years of trillion dollar deficits.”
Murrell says “Las Vegas is crucial to this election. It has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 12.1%, and one of the highest foreclosure rates as well. I drove all through the suburbs today and saw only a few Obama signs.”