Strong America Now – a movement to reduce wasteful government spending

February 23, 2011

Photo of Mike George

Mike George, author and former consultant

George is taking his message to the Internet and the Hawkeye State, the stomping ground for many presidential contenders, whom he hopes will be receptive to his ideas.

He is quoted in the Omaha World-Herald saying, ““We can reduce federal spending by $500 billion per year just by waste reduction.”

George also said he believes “Iowa is the lever by which you can move the world.”

Strong America Now, a non-profit organization, is billed as a movement dedicated to mobilizing and educating grassroots activists about the danger of America’s continuing budget deficits and ever-increasing national debt, and offers a solution to which they believe all parties can agree.

Michael L. George is a former consultant with a track record of reducing the costs associated with large corporations and the federal government. Private sector clients of the George Group, a company founded by George in 1986, included Caterpillar, Xerox, Eli Lilly, Alcan, Honeywell/Allied Signal, ITT, and United Technologies among others.

His management methodologies, known as the Lean Six Sigma process, are outlined in a series of books authored by George.

In 2004, the United States Navy selected the George Group to use the Lean Six Sigma process to reduce costs and production cycle time, while improving quality. The U.S. Army followed and currently has 5,000 waste reduction projects underway, contributing to an annual cost savings of $100 billion, according to statement made by Secretary of Defense Bob Gates.

In 2007, George retired and sold his company to Accenture, relinquishing commercial interests in Lean Six Sigma. His aim now has turned to sharing his expertise with members of Congress and groups across the county that will listen.

For more details, visit: http://strongamericanow.com

Mike George, founder of Strong America Now, was in Council Bluffs Feb. 16, touting the message that government needs to target wasteful spending, not cut programs. He thinks its a message that can help draw Republicans and Democrats together in taking steps to reign in the national deficit.


Tea Party Patriots hold national summit this week in Phoenix

February 23, 2011

Tea Party buttonThis week, the Tea Party Patriots, a group billing itself as the movement’s largest grassroots organization, will hold its first national policy conference in Phoenix. The group claims to have more than 3,000 locally organized chapters and more than 15 million supporters nationally.

Several probable 2012 presidential contenders will be speaking at the “American Policy Summit-Pathways to Liberty,” including Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Georgia businessman Herman Cain and Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas).

The conference begins Friday, Feb. 25 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The Tea Party is an American political movement, generally recognized as conservative and libertarian. It has sponsored protests around the country and supported political candidates since 2009. The grassroots movement was a force in the 2010 elections, toppling a number of key Democratic-held Congressional and gubernatorial seats.

Supporters endorse reduced government spending, fiscal responsibility and free markets, opposes “Obamacare,”and adheres to an originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. The name “Tea Party” is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, a protest by colonists who objected to a British tax on tea in 1773 and protested by dumping tea taken from docked British ships into the harbor. The Tea Party movement has caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

For more details, visit: www.summit11.org.


GOP presidential contenders make host of political blunders

February 22, 2011

EditorialOops artwork

Despite the fact that President Obama is vulnerable in the next election due to his many unpopular political positions, the GOP’s presidential contenders seem to be making a host of political blunders.

Here are some of the recent “Top 5.”

  • Taking sides in Wisconsin’s labor debate and protests. The union in Wisconsin represents state employees of all political persuasions, not just Democrats. Nothing infuriates voters more than getting in their pocketbooks; in this case, the paychecks of Wisconsin’s employees. Aligning with a Republican governor for the sake of party solidarity is a strategic blunder.
  • Playing dodge ball versus showing leadership. Lines like “I’m seriously looking at running for president,” “I’m not ruling it out” or “I’m going to pray and talk to my family” have become lame and tiresome. A courageous leader doesn’t second guess himself or herself.
  • An inflated ego that says “I am well known” and don’t need to be introduced to the Iowa electoral.
  • The compulsion to comment on every issue, especially every hot social issue, like abortion and religious freedom.
  • Letting the Evangelical Christian right leadership in Iowa lead you around the state. The Associated Press reported this week that “The Iowa caucus might have gotten too conservative for its own good.” The Iowa Republican party’s shift to the far right may be why high-profile contenders like Mitt Romney are spending less time in the state. It could also alienate moderates and independents in the state.

CPAC comes to a close, Rep. Ron Paul wins straw poll

February 13, 2011

U.S. Congressman Ron Paul

The 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which drew thousands of conservative activists to Washington, D.C. over the past three days, has wrapped up. Although the Iowa caucuses will be the first state test of the nominating fight about a year from now, most of the GOP’s presidential prospects tried to impress as many of the nation’s most active conservatives as they could during the conference.

The conference is sponsored by the American Conservative Union. It dates to 1973, when then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan was the featured speaker to an audience of about 125.

CPAC has grown substantially in numbers since 1973, and become a place where economic and social conservatives come together in search of common ground, as key constituencies in the Republican Party. Nearly 10,000 Republican strategists, vendors and activists from around the country were in attendance.

Familiar Republicans spoke at the conference, including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New Hampshire Gov. Mitt Romney, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Herman Cain, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and South Dakota Sen. John Thune. Iowa Rep. Steve King also played a visible part in the conference, speaking to the general audience and serving as a participant in forums on immigration and tax policy.

After former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson supporters suggested he was snubbed at CPAC for supporting gay rights and marijuana legalization, Johnson scored a last-minute speaking invitation.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee did not attend CPAC due to scheduling conflicts.

A key feature of the conference is the Presidential Straw Poll, which this year included the names of 15 Republicans. Winning the greatest number of votes was U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, he garnered 30 percent. Paul finished ahead of Mitt Romney getting 23 percent, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christi and Gary Johnson each receiving 6 percent.

The Texas congressman, a libertarian-thinking Republican, earned an ardent following in the 2008 GOP presidential primaries.

While straw polls don’t always match up with results of presidential primaries, they do take the political temperature of those who participate. Paul’s message of smaller government apparently resonated with conference-goers, as their number one issue, according to the poll results, was the size and role of government. In the January 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses, Mike Huckabee received the greatest number of delegates, followed by Mitt Romney, John McCain and Ron Paul.


Gary Johnson places first in RLC straw poll and third in CPAC poll

February 13, 2011

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson took first place in the presidential straw poll conducted at the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) national convention Feb. 12, held in Arlington, VA.  Ron Paul came in second and Newt Gingrich third.

The Republican Liberty Caucus is “the small government, liberty-loving wing of the Republican Party.”

Johnson also came in third at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held this week in Washington, D.C., trailing winner Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. 

After decades of growing federal spending, Johnson believes in fixing government spending, deficit reduction and limiting the role of government, a sentiment made popular during the November election and apparently carrying forward with CPAC and RLC attendees.

Johnson also raises eyebrows wherever he goes because of his controversial advocacy for the legalization of marijuana.

Johnson was last in Iowa Feb. 10, where he visited with potential caucus-goers at an Ames coffee shop, as part of the Our America Initiative, a 501(c)4 political action committee.


New York listeners follow Iowa voters and presidential issues

February 13, 2011

On Feb. 7, one year from the 2012 Iowa Caucuses, WNYC announced that Joyce Russell, statehouse reporter for Iowa Public Radio, will join the station as It’s A Free Country launches a new collaboration with Iowa Public Radio to track voters and issues. WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York’s flagship public radio stations, broadcasting programs from National Public Radio and Public Radio International.

Iowa Public Radio includes WOI AM and FM at Iowa State University, WSUI-AM and KSUI-FM at the University of Iowa, and KUNI-FM and KHKE-FM at the University of Northern Iowa. The operations have combined revenues of about $7 million annually and about 60 employees.


Bush(es) on 2012 presidential ballot

February 12, 2011

None of the top GOP presidential contenders has officially filed as a candidate, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of Americans anxious to serve their country. A total of 85 individuals have filed their Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2012. See the “Candidates-Declared” section of this site for the complete listing.

The names you won’t find on the list are Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty or most anyone else whose name you’d recognize.

You will find some of the dark horse and unusual candidates previously featured on this website, like: Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey, a Republican from Florida; Randal Terry, the outspoken pro-life activist and founder of Operation Rescue; and self-proclaimed “King of the Birthers,” Andy Martin.

If you’re looking for a household name, how about Bush. Tanner Cline McCumber Bush and Savannah Jewel McCumber Bush included on their filings a claim to being the “legal son” and “legal daughter” of John “Jeb” Bush, former governor of Florida. Handwritten in the margins of their documents is a statement that they have been filed by “Laura Jane McCumber Bush,” the “legal wife of Jeb Bush due to the worlds largest terrorists organization plotting our assassination.” Laura Jane McCumber filed her own Statement of Candidacy last June. The McCumbers live in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Laura Jane McCumber’s Myspace page may lend a clue to the credibility and legitimacy of their candidacies and claims. The outrageous allegations and rantings on the site are a clear indication of someone detached from reality. My guess is that Martha Stewart is not planning Savannah’s wedding, the boxes delivered to her house are not part of a government sting operation, and no one is casting spells on her.