Monday, October 20, 2014

Every Republican running in this next election should thank President Obama...

...for this pre-election soundbite/gift:

From the Washington Post: "A couple weeks ago, President Obama declared that, while he wasn't on the Nov. 4 ballot, his policies were. And just about every GOP candidate in a red or swing state soon launched an ad using that comment to tie his or her Democratic opponent to Obama...While it's the second time Obama has gone down this road, this comment probably stings more than the last one for Democrats running in key Senate races -- almost all of which are in red or swing states where Obama is quite unpopular...While Obama's previous comment suggested the election was indeed something of a referendum on him, these comments suggest not only that, but that Democratic candidates are actually on-board with him -- something most of them have made pains to argue is not the case...Obama's comments are the kind of thing Democrats might privately say to assure donors, but wouldn't really say in public."

Just a few more weeks...

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Finally, someone gets it...

And that person is Elbert Guillory, a Louisiana State Senator and candidate for Lt. Governor in 2015 who famously switched to being a Republican. Currently, he's giving U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu a run for her money -- which is no small thing, considering Louisiana is a solidly blue state.

As the respected blog Legal Insurrection points out, "This ad is brilliant, and every strategist needs to get on its level immediately. Real Clear Politics has the Louisiana Senate Race listed as a toss up, and the last thing a candidate like Landrieu needs is an ad contrasting her life of relative privilege with life on Academy Street. The winning message for 2014 isn’t 'Democrats are bad.' The winning message is, “these things that are happening to you are bad, and I know how to fix it.' This ad is what that messaging looks like."


(h/t: Legal Insurrection)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

‘Sure Sounds Like Cheney’...

Fox News’ Shep Smith quizzed State Department press secretary Jen Psaki Wednesday afternoon over the legality of the U.S. airstrikes in Syria, saying “it sure sounds like” former Vice President Dick Cheney’s doctrine of preemptive war.

That grilled to perfection...

Susan Rice: When Obama repeatedly boasted about defeating al Qaeda...

...he didn’t mean all of al Qaeda.

In an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, National Security Adviser Susan Rice was asked, "What happened to the days when the administration was able to say it felt confident that we had dealt a crippling blow to al Qaeda and Islamic militants?" Lauer also wondered about the President boasting that al Qaeda was "on the run" and "decimated" during the 2012 campaign.  Rice said the administration was only referring to its actions against "al Qaeda core" in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that al Qaeda "has metastasized" "to places like the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, parts of Africa, Somalia," Mali and Syria.

Glad she cleared that up... 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why Your Plan Was Cancelled: Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act

There's a bizarre reason why millions of Americans saw their health plans cancelled in 2013 and, as explained in a new video featuring Robert Graboyes of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, millions more will lose their plans in years to come.

"If you like your plan..."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"What we saw at the People's Climate March"

If you thought the '60s, the silly protests, the Commies & Socialists, and all of the other "fringe elements" had disappeared...well, you're wrong.

From Reason TV: "Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of New York City today to call for more action to combat global warming, in what organizers are calling the largest climate change march in history. Kmele Foster, co-host of Fox Business' The Independents, was on the scene for Reason TV talking to the participants."

Saturday, September 6, 2014

On high alert

Here's the latest from friend and radio colleague Larry Johnson, who is posting from Europe. (As previously noted, Larry was formerly employed by the CIA and the State Department; today he's consultant and frequently quoted on counterterrorism, intel and international matters.) This appeared on his blog, No Quarter. A seasoned and reasonable observer/commentator, Larry discovered something -- unreported elsewhere -- while in Paris.

Paris on High Alert, But Baghdad the Target
Something is going on in Paris, at least last night. Police were out in massive numbers surrounding the U.S. Embassy and the British Embassy. No public warning was issued, however.
I happened to be walking with the wife along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées on the Champs Elysee last night heading towards Place de La Concorde. Couple of blocks west of Place de la Concorde we ran into a gauntlet of police. Vehicles parked bumper to bumper. Officers kitted out, some with body armor and automatic weapons.
But the real concern is with the Americans still in Baghdad. The first tell was Obama finally authorizing the deployment last week of an additional 350 troops to the Green Zone. The threat from ISIS is not abating. Chatter is hot and heavy about something happening on the anniversary of 11 September.
I am not enjoying the delicious irony of Mr. Nobel Peace Prize Obama (granted that prize for simply being a nice looking black man with no accomplishments) conducting more drone strikes than George W. Bush and reversing course on carrying out military operations in Iraq. It is just the reality. Unfortunately, Obama is worried more about managing the domestic political consequences of taking action against ISIS than he is in crafting a genuine strategy to deal with the menace.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

On leadership...

A lot has been said during these last few weeks about our president...and his feckless foreign policy.

A lot.

The "back story":
  • Across the Pacific, the Chinese are "projecting power" with their growing blue water navy, harassing neighboring nations and threatening expansion. The ChiComms are being so aggressive that Vietnam is turning to its old nemesis, Japan, for aid; and Japan, no friend of nuclear weapons, is giving serious thought to changing its constitution to allow its military to have nukes. (The wild North Koreans also figure into the equation.)
  • In Eastern Europe, Vlad Putin is doing his best to restore some bizarro version of old Imperial Russia. First, it was Crimea (now a wholly owned subsidiary of Moscow); and now, Ukraine is seeing its sovereign territory nibbled away...daily. Next up: Lithuania? Can we get a Estonia? Latvia? How about Poland? (And you thought the Cold War had ended.)
  • The worst appears in the guise of a rogue bunch of "non-state actors," who are tearing-up the Middle East and threatening everyone else. Known as ISIL, ISIS or "those bat-sh** crazy bastards," the group (once called the "jayvee" team by President Barack Obama), has now swelled to more than 20,000 strong. Nerves were further rattled when, last week, Obama said he had "no strategy" in place to deal with ISIL/ISIS...a group that has been steadily menacing for close to a year. (Even The Washington Post's editorial board took notice!)

Which brings us to the following. Below is a perfect dissection of the problems at hand...chief among them: a lack of leadership -- on the part of our president.

This piece is by Kevin Elliott, a Bay Area public relations professional who knows a thing or two about leadership, strategy and communication. The White House would be smart to follow his lead(s) here. But then, that's probably expecting waaaaay to much.

The Bliss Index gives you Kevin Elliott:

I've been trolling the news this morning and it is interesting to see how ideology colors pronouncements by various news outlets. Various outlets that are either balanced or conservative in their editorial policy point to the British Prime Minister -- the man with a plan -- as the example of leadership. 

The same outlets reflect the frustration of the nation at the President's announcement that he doesn't have a plan to deal with the growing threat that his defense secretary has called, "unlike anything we've ever seen." 

Enter the other side... The Huffington Post is beside itself that American conservatives are praising David Cameron's no-nonsense tough talk. HuffPo points out that at least we are bombing the terrorists. And then they go on to lament the daily cost of the military action on the Islamic State. 

In Britain, the left opposition is answering Cameron with a call for (wait for it) mandatory programs for deradicalization for young jihadi wanna-bees. Okay, so if some nut wants to run off and fight for the terrorists, the Labor Party wants to send them to a mandatory government program. 


Where is Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill? Okay, at least the British have their clear leader... But why is it wrong for us to ask -- no, demand -- clear and unambiguous leadership? 

President Obama has made his position clear repeatedly. The threats against our country are of our own making, he believes. They are the result of generations of exploitation at home and abroad. He was elected, he believes, to get us out of foreign conflicts and he has declared those wars in the Levant and Afghanistan to be over. 

We will not get a firm, clear word from the White House that we are committed to defeating or destroying the Islamic State. It's not his style and doesn't fit his narrative. So, instead, we will have an election this year...and another in 2016. 

And if anyone doesn't believe that elections have consequences, you need look no further than this week...either here in the US or over in the UK.


Bonus add: Dilbert gets it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

That crazy Kim Jong Un!

North Korea is mad! Dance video features Kim Jong Un

From NPR:

He grins, he fumes, he fights — and through it all, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dances his way in and out of preposterous situations. That's the premise of a video that has become popular in China and reportedly sparked a protest from North Korea.

Citing "a source in China," the reports that "the North feels the clip, which shows Kim dancing and Kung-Fu fighting, 'seriously compromises Kim's dignity and authority.'"

The newspaper says that after North Korea asked China to stop the video from spreading, "Beijing was unable to oblige."

In the video, Kim's face is superimposed onto a kitchen sink's worth of videos, in scenes taken from everything from viral dance videos and TV shows to the vaudevillian action film Kung Fu Hustle. In one segment, Kim pirouettes in a dance studio — before being hit with a kick delivered by President Obama. Other world leaders also make appearances, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

And while a couple of sequences make fun of Kim's fascination with weaponry, we'll note that the video doesn't accuse the North Korean leader of not having rhythm.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Some thoughts on "the Beautiful Game"... and America

June 30, 1994

Why Americans Will Never Love Soccer

By Jeff Bliss

DESPITE THE MEDIA-DRIVEN FAUX EXCITEMENT, we Americans will never go crazy about the game of soccer. And without sounding too much like Joe McCarthy, I have to say soccer is un-American.

Let me explain. Soccer is not about anything Americans appreciate. The very fact that it's called football elsewhere enrages enough red meat gridiron fans to keep soccer from ever being popular here.

First, real football players must weigh as much as an Army tank and wear twice as much protective armor. Soccer players run around in little more than their underwear. Americans like equipment: first-baseman's mitts, helmets, and menacing face masks. Soccer has precious little of this.

Second, we didn't invent the that means it can't be all that great. OK, you think you're smart because you know about baseball's ties to cricket and American football's ties to rugby. The truth is we took these games and improved them. Soccer, on the other hand, belongs to the world (like the metric system).

Suggestions from the United States to modify soccer, such as allowing eye gouging and body slams, have been largely ignored. If it ain't ours and if it can't hurt you, we don't want it. (Suggestions to return the game to its pre-Columbian roots, with the losing team facing execution, have also been dismissed.)

Third, and most importantly, sports symbolize a people. As an example, let us compare baseball and soccer. Soccer is the perfect metaphor for the rest of the world. Baseball, our national pastime, is the story of individuals banding together for a common goal. Everyone has the same chance to be a hero or a goat, and every player has a specialized skill used for the good of the team. Additional examples, like baseball statistics, go on ad nauseam. Believe me.

Soccer, on the other hand, is about a bunch of guys who wander around a field chasing a ball. It's a game of turnovers: I've got the ball. No, now you've got the ball. No, I have the ball. No, you have the ball. No, he has the ball. . . well, you get the idea. We don't like that in a sport or anything else in our lives. We want stability. Also, there's "diving"  (falling to the turf and pretending to be grievously fouled). Actually, there's a lot of diving. A lot. As soon as their team gains an advantage, the "injured" players always make a speedy recovery (the quickness rivals any faith healer's powers).

One more thing. Soccer, played on a field only slightly smaller than the continent of Asia, is ridiculously low-scoring and tie games are not unusual. We like scoring. We like it so much, we made touchdowns worth six points. A total of six points in a soccer game is usually regarded as scandalous (no one ever worries about a juiced-up ball in soccer). I know what I'm talking about. During my short-lived career as a high school and college soccer player, I scored a total of one goal -- just a few short of what most pro players score during their entire careers. OK, so it was against my own team . . .

And please don't mention youth soccer. I acknowledge its popularity -- I played it. But the secret is youth soccer is a conspiracy of parents across the nation: get those youngsters out there running their heads off for an hour or more on Saturday mornings and they're less likely to raise hell around the house the rest of the weekend. Why do you think I made my kids play?

All kidding aside, soccer is a great game.

It's just not our game.
(Note: I wrote this piece when the U.S. hosted the World Cup in 1994. A few minor alterations have been made.)

Casting doubt...

Doubt is never hard to come by when you're talking about the Obama Administration's foreign policy. (Bonus doubt points: White House spokeshole Jay Carney lies about it with a straight face.)


Friday, June 6, 2014

Forward! Forward! Forward!

The men, most recently boys, 
clamber into small boats.
Swells, towering above open tops,
fill craft with water and doubt.

Packed in cold, wet misery
they stand, shoulder-to-shoulder
struggle against a roiled ocean,
reality and the unknowns.

Floating boxes, filled with hopes,
cast away from mother ships.
Certain death now within arm's reach.
Curses, prayers and cries offered up.

A boat tips, they go into the water
nothing can be done
except to witness final battles,
as this one drives to sand – and hell.

Still untouched, yet already scarred.
Bullets scream overhead (and everywhere else),
their trajectories always mysterious.
The common plea: “Let this be done.”

Finally, all-stop…for the vessel.
The ramp, once a shield, falls in expectation.
The next order unneeded:
Forward! Forward! Forward!

Noise, noise everywhere – deafening beyond words.
Brothers float by, borne on reddened surf.
From above, “saws” rip the multitudes.
No rescue or sanctuary – the boat is gone.

Onward, half-swimming, half-crawling
through the wire, traps and humanity.
A singular thought: “To land” –
even if just for final rest.

Ordered chaos swirls and cloaks.
The way ahead: the only way.
Fighting with backs to the sea.
There is no return. 

– Jeff Bliss

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

“Stunned” by White House’s dishonest rhetoric on equal pay…

Is anyone actually "stunned" by the Obama Administration's lies these days?

When the current administration isn't busy trying to divide Americans along race or economic lines, it plays the gender card.

Today's Presidential pep rally.     (via White House Instagram)

Today's White House efforts, namely to call attention to a specious view that most women are not earning a fair paycheck (because of their gender), has been dismissed by large numbers of economists. In addition, it's also been undercut by the administration's own actions: It doesn't pay women staffers at the same level that it does male staffers.

Of course, this is nothing new. The Bliss Index has reported on this fact, time and again. But the news sure surprised the news folks. Check out the following video:

From The Cato Institute's online magazine, Reason: "White House Press Secretary Jay Carney doesn't like when you apply the same logic governing wages in private businesses to his employer's own payroll. As President Obama prepares to sign an executive order addressing the gender gap in federal contractors' wages, critics have pointed out that female White House staffers make an average of 88 cents for every dollar male staffers earn."

The article by continues: "Carney protested that this was misleading, because women and men holding similar positions at the White House are paid equivalent salaries. Because women outnumber men at the lowest levels of the employee chain, however, the average female salary at the White House is lower. Carney is right: It is misleading to average the salaries of men and women in widely varying positions and then use this as evidence that women are being discriminated against. That women disproportionately make up lower-paid positions may point to some broad, systematic gender bias, past or present, but it doesn't equate to outright sexist behavior on an employer's part."

Read more here... 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

That was then, this is now...

Remember when Mr. Obama promised that his "Affordable Care Act" would drive down health insurance premiums?

My, how times change...

According to a piece (with video) at The Hill, "Premiums will rise in 2015 under ObamaCare, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday.'I think premiums are likely to go up, but go up at a smaller pace than what we’ve seen since 2010,' Sebelius said in response to a question from Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.). 'The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act,' she said during testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee."

 Another broken Obamacare promise...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Early surrender?

"Tingles" acknowledges the obvious...

“It’s going to be very hard to hold the Senate — I think the Senate goes,” Chris Matthews said on MSNBC's Morning Joe earlier today. “I think we heard from the Ghost of Christmas Future this week; they’re going to lose the Senate,” he added, referring to Republican David Jolly’s victory Tuesday in Florida’s special congressional election.

 The fat lady hasn't begun to sing, but it sounds like she's in the wings and warming-up...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

One heckuva long drive...

And wet, too!

During the Democrats' all-night climate change "talkathon"/
sleepover in the Senate last night, Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J. -- aka: media darling) let the world know that once upon a time, he drove all the way to the Aloha State.
“I just do want to say that right after I turned 17 and got my New Jersey driver’s license, one of the earliest places I drove was a trip — the only trip I have ever taken was to Hawai'i,” he said.

So which freeway did he take? 

Bonus: Dan Quayle still not getting a pass from the media...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fighting for 'the fundamental rights of free men'...

With a major hat tip to the blog, Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter, from which much of this was taken...

Venezuela is in turmoil. Petty dictators, corruption and evil have put a great people on its collective back.

The people have, understandably, risen-up against the Marxist dirtbags who have run their nation into the ground -- and both sides appear to be fighting a last-ditch battle for their respective survival. The street fighting and crackdowns have been intense and bloody.

The world is watching, but aside from the jackbooted thugs of the Castro regime sending troops and arms to help prop-up the dictator in Caracas, about all the world seems to be doing, is watching.

In an effort to gain international attention and assistance -- not to mention the intercession of Pope Francis, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López Mendoza wrote to the Pope. For that, and for his outspoken leadership, he was arrested and jailed.

Below is his message...

Mendoza being arrested by state security officers.

Caracas, February 17, 2014

His Holiness
Pope Francisco
Supreme Pontiff

With deep admiration and full of humility, I ask your blessings to the people of Venezuela in moments of profound difficulty for all Venezuelans hit by the most severe economic crisis, by insecurity accompanied by unleashed impunity and the loss increasingly accelerated of our freedoms for all Venezuelans, especially those of us who have contrary thoughts to those who govern today.

I am writing this letter from the underground and within a few hours of appearing before the manipulated justice of my country, which has issued an arrest warrant attributing against me the crimes of murder and terrorism, for the simple fact of having called our people to exercise our right to protest as it is protected in our Constitution and the fundamental rights of free men. This situation of persecution and criminalization of protest has affected hundreds of youth who have been detained, tortured and subjected to unfounded processes that seek to plant fear and limit the voice of millions of Venezuelans who promote change.

I have taken the audacity to write these lines because I am convinced, as millions are in Venezuela, that your voice, your guidance, and your blessing to our people at this time can make a profound impact on the next destination of our country.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to talk with the Polish leader Lech Walesa, who I asked what was the most decisive event in his years long struggle that culminated with the fall of communism, his response was immediate and very precise: The visit and the message of John Paul II to Poland. 

I understand that the historical circumstances are very different , but like the twilight years of communism in Europe, now in Venezuela we are living in times of deep despair and hopelessness, a word, a sentence, a message from you I'm sure could make a significant impact, the encounter of our people with peace, liberty and democracy.

Chances are when you read this letter I will already be jailed on the orders of Nicolas Maduro; a situation that I 'm willing to take on if in something it contributes to awaken our people on the need to together make a change.

With the mere fact that you read these lines and keep a place in your heart for the Venezuelan people will give us immense strength to move forward, guided by the teachings of Christ our Lord.

Leopoldo López Mendoza

"[S]pare no efforts to promote national reconciliation through mutual forgiveness and sincere dialogue, respect for truth and justice, able to address specific issues for the common good."- Pope Francisco on the current situation in Venezuela, Feb. 26.

"I have taken the audacity to write these lines because I am convinced, as millions in Venezuela , that your voice , your guidance and your blessing to our people at this time can make a profound impact on the next destination of our country."- Leopoldo López Mendoza, Feb. 17.

Original handwritten text in Spanish:

"I pledge allegiance to the flag"...

When patriotism is trumped by political correctness...

Today’s Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School Dist. (9th Cir. Feb. 27, 2014) upholds a California high school’s decision to forbid students from wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

Lost today in Federal court...

That's right -- we now live in a country where our own flag can be considered "a substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities" and be prohibited on a public school campus, while another nation's flag (Mexico's) can be paraded, hoisted, saluted and celebrated. (See the report below on the original news/events.)

America: It was great while it lasted.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My, how times change...

About those "Executive Orders," Mr. President...

Remember: He's got "a pen and a phone!"


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Welcome to The Bliss Index Weekend Wrap...

Yes, Nancy Pelosi is clueless. So, what's new?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) seemed unaware that several of her former staffers have gone on to lobby for big corporations Thursday on The Daily Show. The exchange with Jon Stewart went something like this: 

Pelosi: "I don't know if any of my staffers have gone to work for federal contractors."
Stewart: "I do."


Waiting for something -- anything.

Welcome to "The Recovery" 
When most Americans think of President Obama, only one thing comes to mind ...... Long-term joblessness.

You paid for 'em...

National secrets?
Newspaper: "We'd like to see how much retailers are raking in from the food stamp program."
Obama Administration: "That's none of your business."
Federal court: "We'll see about that."

President Obama signs a bill cutting student loan interest rates.
Unfortunately, no one asked him to "show his work."

Math is hard. 
This just in: There's a program the government has spent boatloads of cash on...but doesn't know how much it costs to do so.
Shocking, right?

"The president lied? I'm shocked!"

No, women don't make only 77 percent of what men in comparable jobs make. It's a long-discredited lie the president told and one that he keeps repeating.

Throwing your hard-earned money down a rathole...

What's $1 billion between friends?
We wasted a ton of money propping-up a corrupt regime in Afghanistan? Surprised?

And with that...have a great week!

Monday, January 20, 2014

"Anti-Gun California Legislator Makes a Fool of Himself"...

If you don't know what you're talking about, you might not want to be writing laws about it...that know...that thing you don't like but don't know anything about...

You know...that gun thing.

Friday, January 3, 2014

On the radio...

A look at the year ahead...

I'll be joining Dave Conglaton (KVEC 920) at 5 p.m. tonight to discuss some of the big events of 2013...and to make some wild predictions about the new year's news.

If you're not near a Central Coast radio, you can listen online here. And don't forget, Dave takes if you'd like to join the discussion, you can call (800) 549-KVEC or (805) 543-8830.

See you on the radio!