Judy B. Lloyd

307 POSTS 9 COMMENTS

0

Gov Nikki Haley-Google GlassesCrossposted at Fox and Hounds Daily

Being a Republican in California is a lonely job only made bearable with a little help from our friends across the country.

That was certainly evident at the Annual Spring Seminar, hosted by The Lincoln Club of Northern California, an organization of high profile business leaders and Republican donors who favor freer markets and less government. The Seminar was held in gorgeous Pebble Beach this past weekend.

The Club has been a favorite for national players. High level donors and business people in the Club serve as policy advisers and give generously on the national, state, and local levels.

Even in the liberal Bay Area, the Club enjoys a 70% win rate among local Republicans it backs.

“A” list players like Condoleezza Rice, George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Jeb Bush, and U.S. Senator Rand Paul, have been featured and honored at past events in Northern California.

This year’s Spring Seminar’s political energizers included South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), Congressmen Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

National pundits and policy leaders on hand for the weekend included new RNC CTO Andy Barkett, national pollster John McLaughlin and Students Matter Founder David Welch.

Gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari spoke at the opening reception, just prior to launching his jobs plan for rebuilding the middle class. Secretary of State Candidates Pete Peterson and Dan Schnur were also on hand and talked about making the office more business-friendly, reducing fees, and upgrading technology, which is desperately needed.

Governor Haley, had just tested Google Glass the day before and discussed progress on Google’s new campus in Charleston, South Carolina. Haley, whose first job was keeping the books for her family’s clothing store – at the age of 13 – is an articulate and accomplished woman role model for Republicans. She discussed efforts to improve education and promote a jobs friendly environment. South Carolina unemployment is at its lowest point, 6.4%.

“I learned how hard it is to make a dollar and how easy it is for government to take it,” said Governor Haley.

Business leaders are quite familiar with California government’s ability to tax anything they can, in this land where Democrat super majorities rule our legislative chambers.

I was anxious to hear Andy Barkett’s thoughts as a big data guy on what went wrong in 2012 and what we can do to fix things now. Barkett has worked with some of the largest data sets in the world, managing infrastructure engineering teams at Facebook and Google. He’s an impressive addition to the national effort who gets it when it comes to engaging voters online. I’m a fan.

Pollster McLaughlin, a friend of 30 years who I know as a straight talker, reviewed national trends on Obamacare, jobs, and national security. He’s fresh off Rep. David Jolly’s special election victory in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. If Republicans follow McLaughlin’s advice, we might win a few.

With take-back of the U.S. Senate a national priority for Republicans, it was refreshing to hear U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell say that he intends to be the offensive coordinator of the U.S. Senate next year.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was exceptionally generous with his time with Club members and gave a rousing speech about the failure of national health care. He challenged small business leaders to fight for what they believe –

“Business people must be force multipliers. Get thoroughly involved. If we are united, we have a chance of saving our country,” said Senator Johnson.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger, a 36-year old Iraq War veteran talked of country, heart, soul and generations who were better in 1989, just after Reagan was President when America was stronger and communism was coming to a halt. He got emotional talking about veterans and so did everyone else. Kinzinger is among a group of exciting young leaders the Lincoln Club has featured in its programs.

Recently, Republicans have enjoyed victories in special elections across the country as well as in the state senate and San Diego. While we have a lot of work to do, the retreat energized Republicans who know they can make a difference with the help of strong business advocates across the country.

7

NFIB voice of small businessToday, the National Federation of Independent Business released a new video today which questioned President Obama’s policies and whether they are working for small businesses.

The association is asking a simple question:

Have you as a small business owner seen the relief promised by President Obama in your own business?

You can view the NFIB video which outlines promises made here:

I serve on the California Leadership Team for the NFIB and I’m curious too about whether or not small business owners in my state are thriving under President Obama.

Coincidentally and also of interest — the NFIB has yet to find a single business whose costs have decreased under Obamacare.

View Neil Cavuto’s interview on this subject here.

 

3

MLKRichard Sherman really blew it. He blew it as a stand-out football player, a Seattle Seahawk, and a Black American. And he did it all in the 24 hours surrounding the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birthday.

Let me tell you why I’m so incensed with this incident and why I think it is such a black mark on the NFL and on African Americans.

Lots of folks like me are NFL football fans. We love to see our team win (#HTTR) and we love the game in all its glory.

Part of the glory is the NFL players themselves and their quirky personalities.

Peyton Manning-headshotFans are falling in love all over again with Peyton Manning – and who wouldn’t? Manning has been a standout 4-time MVP quarterback with 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts under his belt and has reinvigorated the Denver Broncos after his return to the position after injury.

He’s hilarious on Saturday Night Live and recently wrote a book with father, Archie Manning, where he opens up about his Christian faith and life-lessons he learned growing up. According to the excerpt:

“Like my dad, I make it a point when I speak to groups to talk about priorities, and when it’s schoolkids, I rank those priorities as: faith, family, and education, then football. For me generally it had always been the big four: faith, family, friends, and football. And I tell all of them that as important as football is to me, it can never be higher than fourth.”

That’s rhetoric from a role model I can relate to. It turns out that most families with children who grew up middle class in small towns like I did feel the same.

Contrast that with Seattle Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman’s rant which took place directly after the Seahawks victory over the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday -

My first thought – which I took directly to Facebook – was -

“Are you kidding me with this? What unsportsmanlike conduct. Throw a yellow flag on Facebook!”

Now some people will say that I’m contrasting a Lilly white, Christian with a black guy with well documented anger management issues. Others will say its because of Sherman’s youth – that “it’s all part of the game” — and that the football rants are a post-game phenomenon to psych up the fan base. But there’s more to the story.

Read more here.

Savory Summer Cranberry & Sweet Pepper Salad

Summer is a time when vegetables are fresh, colorful, and plentiful.  I often like to create a savory summer salad from whatever’s left in the fridge and see how it turns out.

One of my favorite creations is this summer salad with dried cranberries, radicchio and red butter lettuces, sweet pepper, green chives, and mushrooms.

You can add in almost any vegetable that compliments the sweet & sour nature of this salad and there are two dressing choices I like – one bold, one light.

Try it out and let me know what you think:

Ingredients:

Red Butter Lettuce

Red Radicchio Lettuce

Fresh White Mushrooms (sliced)

Assorted Red, Yellow, Orange, or Green Peppers (chopped small)

Dried Cranberries

Gruyere, Emanthaller or Swiss Cheese of your choice (cubed)

Snipped Green Chives (as a garnish or throughout)

Toss the vegetables with the lettuces.  If you like a bolder look, consider dressing the salad and leaving the white mushrooms and cheese on top.

For the dressing, use a bold Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil or get sassy with a light dressing of fresh Lemon, White Wine Vinegar, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Enjoy!

###

Jobs (1)The last jobs report of 2013 was delivered on Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Obama Administration’s salvation is that the unemployment rate declined from 7% to 6.7%. Unfortunately for them, that’s not the figure economists are talking about.

Instead, smart guys who understand the economy are focused on the fact that the U.S. economy only added 74,000 new jobs for December. This is far short of economic forecasts for the time period, which were that more than 200,000 jobs would be created.

For small business owners — like the people I work with at the National Federation of Independent Business – this means more uncertainty, more hedging our bets, and less opportunities for job seekers, many of whom have left the job market all together.

Meanwhile, the discussion in Congress revolves around U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and his Democrat colleagues’ attempt to reinstate unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. These benefits expired on December 31st.

What we are talking about is extending “temporary”, “emergency” unemployment insurance – 4.5 years into a recovery. At some point, it becomes neither “temporary” nor an “emergency”.

Of course, Democrats talked about income inequality and said that Republicans are being mean-spirited. Reid himself enraged Republicans by pushing through an extension of benefits through a procedural move that didn’t allow Republicans to offer amendments.

This maneuver was giant middle finger in the air to Republicans from Harry Reid. It’s no way to begin a meaningful, bipartisan debate on jobs in 2014.

In spite of Reid’s antics, Republicans believe they can work with Democrats on a solution if Democrats will meet them part way.

They know that keeping the chronically unemployed on government assistance only stifles their ability to get back to work and succeed.

The solution is making America more competitive for business investment, expansion and providing an environment where small businesses can create jobs. A better approach would actually be getting people into jobs and focusing on that rather than more government dependency.

Even Obama top allies on the economy say that an extension doesn’t solve the problem for the chronic jobless. Check this article out – published today from the Manhattan Institute:

“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that extending the benefits through 2014 would cost $26 billion. Despite — or perhaps because of — last month’s budget fights, neither Obama nor congressional supporters of the increase have proposed a way of paying for the extension.

Many economists, including two former Obama economic advisers, Princeton professor Alan Krueger and Harvard professor Larry Summers, have written that extending benefits increases unemployment. The longer the duration of unemployment benefits, the longer people stay out of work.”

So once again, America is at a crossroads over the same issue – chronic dependence on more government.

It’s no wonder people are skeptical of Obamacare. If the U.S. can only create a portion of the jobs it needs to sustain a meaningful recovery and put Americans back to work, how can we possibly think of adding more government bureaucracy that stifles America’s small businesses?

Small businesses are responsible for creating 70% of America’s jobs. Isn’t it time that President Obama and the Democrats realized that getting people back to work is more important than creating more dependence on government?

 

 

 

christie conferenceThere’s one thing you can bank on in 2014: Any candidate considered in a strong position as a 2016 Presidential contender will be media fodder for the next two years.

This is especially true of Republicans – people like Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey – who is leading in public polls as a strong 2016 contender.

This week’s media flap had to do with a really dumb move by some staffers of Governor Christie which involved traffic congestion on the George Washington Bridge – the most traveled bridge in New Jersey. The incident occurred last September on the bridge which serves as a gateway between New Jersey and New York State.

The story involves the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Bridgett Ann Kelly, who was at the forefront of the scandal. Kelly suggested in emails that it was time for pay back against the Mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The Fort Lee Mayor is Mark Sokolich, a Christie foe who did not back the Governor in his bid for re-election last year. The payback? Traffic congestion on the most traveled bridge in the state, which is in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Federal prosecutors at the U.S. Department of Justice have referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey whose office is looking into bad behavior by public servants in the matter. That’s not good for Christie. He served in the highest law enforcement role in New Jersey prior to being elected Governor.

Governor Christie apologized saying that the conduct showed “a lack of respect for the appropriate role of government and the people we are trusted to serve.”

You can view the video of Governor Christie’s statement, courtesy of CNN News.

The staff who put Governor Christie in this position should be ashamed of themselves. This act of political pay-back is exactly what the American people hate.

When you take on a top level job for a President, a Governor, a Congressman, or even a Mayor, you take an oath of office stating that you will act in the best interests of the people.

Kelly’s online communications were callous and inappropriate as were those of other government workers who may have caused havoc on the bridge. There were several medical emergencies which were not attended to in as timely of a fashion as they could have been. This is bad. It’s a public relations nightmare.

All that said, Governor Christie’s decisiveness in firing his Deputy Chief of Staff immediately was the right thing to do.

It’s not the first time or the last time we’ll see government workers causing mayhem with the public it serves. Whether that mayhem is caused by an over-zealous loyalist or an appointee who acts inappropriately with the intent to do harm is irrelevant.

What is relevant is this: The fact that Christie acted swiftly shows his determination and stamina when it comes to the public ‘good’. We expect this of our public officials. We applaud him for acting quickly, in the best interests of the people of New Jersey.

###

3

Bush 41 Anniversary photoThose of you who follow the Bush family may have already known that today marks the 69th wedding anniversary for President George H.W. Bush (“41″) and former First Lady Barbara Bush.

The news hit the airwaves nationally probably more than usual because of the former First Lady’s recent hospitalization.

She was released yesterday, just one day prior to her anniversary.

“I cannot thank the doctors and nurses at Houston Methodist enough for making sure I got the best treatment and got back to George and our dogs as quickly as possible,” Mrs. Bush said through a family spokesperson.

One thing I didn’t know previously was that George and Barbara were married in Rye, New York, very close to where I grew up – upstate from New York City. Here’s a story from the community newspaper that you may find of interest. It talks about the Bush’s meeting as teens and marrying a year and a half later, after President Bush was in the Navy torpedo bomber.

The Bush 41 Library released this tweet today -

Bush 41 Anniversary

We at Thoughtful Women extend our very best wishes and congratulations to the 41st President and former First Lady. Here’s a wish for many happy returns!

Share your memories! What do you remember most about President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush?

PRIVACY for students LOGO-for-websiteAmong the strangest most ridiculous laws passed by the California legislature and signed by Governor Brown is the bill commonly known as the ‘bathroom bill.’

The law allows transgender students to use facilities and join sports teams that are consistent with their gender identity.

Most parents I’ve talked to find the bill to be completely silly. Think about teenage boys going into the girl’s locker room just for the fun of it. What an opportunity this presents for ‘selfies’ of a prankster boy with a background of girls in training bras.

Opponents of the bill have been gathering signatures to overturn the law, which went into effect on January 1, 2014. They hope to restore some dignity to our schools by taking it to the streets and letting the people decide if they think its a good idea.

It seems to me a reasonable way to let the majority, rather than the few percent this would impact, decide if Democrats in the legislature were correct in writing and supporting this law.

The coalition of parents, students and faith-based organizations leading the charge is Privacy for all Students. They’ve hired veteran strategist Frank Schubert to manage the campaign. He was the mastermind behind California’s Proposition 8 (Defense of Marriage Act).

Officials are expected to report on January 8 on whether they’ve obtained the required amount of valid signatures to take the law, AB 1266, to the public for a statewide vote.

California Democrat Secretary of State Deborah Bowen recently rejected signatures from two small counties in California (Tulare and Mono) but yesterday a Sacramento Supreme Court justice over-ruled her, accepting 5,000 signatures from opponents.

You can read more here in the Sacramento Bee about the judge’s opinion. Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted.

Laura Bush rose photo
The Laura Bush rose

It seems that everywhere we go in the days just before New Year’s Day, there is some sort of focus on the biggest scandals, the baddest celebrities, the top celebrity divorces, and other topics which invoke negative reactions from viewers.

So, why not try something new?

How about if we focus on the good things that we can do to make someone else’s life brighter?

Two such stories come to mind that I read over the last week.

One involves a story that could have been tragic but ended up being perhaps the most enlightening story I’ve ever heard. It had to do with one woman’s perseverance after being run over by a car while serving on military duty in San Diego. She could have been left for dead but was saved by two passers by. Twenty years and 100 surgeries later, she has become a technology entrepreneur, whose company is funded by some of the greatest names in the Silicon Valley.

Another has to do with Boston Red Sox pitcher, Jon Lester, a cancer survivor, and his quest to raise awareness of childhood cancers. This video shows his interaction that a child’s father called “beyond motivational”.

Nancy Reagan photo
The Nancy Reagan rose

Imagine if all of us employed that concept in our daily dealings with people and strove to be beyond motivational.

What if it was less about the negatives in life and more about finding something positive to do each day to make a new friend or help another?

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t express their points of view or click on celebrity stories, even though they are negative. God knows that our economy would fare better without the threat of Obamacare and the uncertainty it brings to America’s small businesses. God knows that we could have gone all year without Miley Cyrus ‘twerking’ fiasco. We’d also be a lot better off with less Kardashian, in my humble opinion.

In the big picture of life, the celebrities don’t make my life any better or any worse.

But there are some things that I can do to make my life more impactful in 2014.

Here are 3 simple things:

1. Make a new friend – every day

Ronald Reagan rose
The Ronald Reagan Rose

For those more cynical than I am, it may sound silly. But, what if every day we found a new friend and made someone else’s day brighter?

2. Do something nice for someone – every day

Sometimes you don’t realize that the simplest things in life make a real difference for people whose day isn’t going the way it should.  It’s the simple things. Things like: letting someone you don’t know get in line ahead of you if they don’t have as many things at the grocery store.

It could be helping an elder with a task they seem to struggle with, holding the door open, or doing that extra special thing for your spouse or child.

Better yet, help someone you don’t know who looks like they can use a hand. And always thank a veteran for his or her service.

3. Empower yourself to make your own life better – every day

We all make New Year’s Resolutions.

Sometimes we stick with them and sometimes we don’t.

As we get older, lifestyle changes are things we can’t ignore. It may be balancing diet and exercise, drinking less alcohol, one less dessert, cutting back on caffeine, or saving money for that extra special manicure or massage you’d like.

The important thing is to do something that makes you thrive and be healthier. This is something nobody else can do for you – but you can do it to treat yourself.

Veterans honor photo
The Veterans Honor rose

The simple things in life not only make the world go around, they make people smile.

Taking the time to think about every day things we can do in 2014 to make our own lives cheerier and more consequential is certainly worth trying.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

tortellini soupOne of the things that makes us warm inside on a cold, winter day is a bowl of soup. Being Italian, I’ve always favored a pasta soup or pasta fagioli.

I’ve never been one for the all-in-one soups. They often have too much salt and not enough fresh ingredients. So, I make my own nearly always, and it only takes about 30-40 minutes.

Tortellini soup is a scrumptious dish that’s filling – especially if you eat it like I do with some Italian bread or a baguette on the side. Try this one out and let me know if you like it.

Ingredients:

1 Boneless breast of chicken, cooked with Italian spices

Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Fresh Spinach (how ever much you like)

1 Fresh Red Pepper

3-4 Large, Fresh White Mushrooms

1/4 Onion or Leek

Black Pepper (to taste)

Spinach Tortellini (or whatever kind you prefer)

Parsley & Parmesan (garnish)

How to do it:

Heat the broth to a slight boil.

After you’ve cooked the chicken, you can add it to a broth that is already cooking to enhance the flavor.

You can slightly saute the leek (or onion), the red pepper and the white mushrooms if you prefer, or just slice them and put them in raw. Either way works depending on whether you like pre-cooked veggies or put them in fresh, like I do.

Wash the spinach and put it in last – it only takes about 3-4 minutes to cook.

Separately, cook the tortellini according to directions for al dente pasta. Spoon some tortellini in your soup bowl and spoon the soup over it.

You can finish by garnishing with some fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese if you’d like.

Enjoy a hearty meal!

Like this recipe? Let us know!