January 9-10, 2010 – A Cold Winter

Last week, another arctic chill swept the United States leaving states from North Dakota to Florida with temperatures well below normal.  Already, analysts are predicting that this winter will be the coldest in the U.S. since 1985, and may also rival the famously bitter cold winters of 1982 and 1977-78.  And average December 2009 temperatures were the fourteenth coldest since 1895.  In Florida, farmers raced to save millions of dollars worth of strawberries and other crops threatened by the cold temperatures, and frozen Iguanas began falling from trees.  North Texas is experiencing its coldest weather in 12 years and the weather forced 225 school districts in the area to close or delay the start of school last Thursday.  Unfortunately, hundreds of people have died across America from various cold weather related incidents. Beyond the United States, Beijing and Seoul both had record snowfalls and much of Great Britain was shut down by a severe winter storm and cold.

This severe winter weather reinforces the fact that the man made global warming theory does not match reality.  First, the climate change community (everyone earning their living supporting this theory) tried to deny the historical record of vast changes in global temperatures before industrialization, including the Medieval Warming Period and the Mini Ice Age (remember the famously inaccurate hockey stick chart).  Then they argued that their computer models accurately predicted the future of Earth temperatures and that we faced a crisis from global warming within the next few years – irreversible harm by 2012!  Now we have learned about the politically driven “science” and cover ups from “Climategate” and the agenda of wealth transfer from capitalist, constitutional democracies to third world oligarchs and despots.  Let this winter’s cold be the final death knell in this crazy climate change scheme!

Rapidly Disappearing Democrat Super Majority

Despite “Climategate” and the public opposition to nationalized healthcare, the liberal Democrats continue to sell the need for glaciation and dependency.  In fact, they appear to have no other message. As a result, it is becoming clear that their 60 vote majority in the Senate is in serious jeopardy.  Just this week, Senators Chris Dodd (D-Conn) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced that they will retire rather than seek another term in 2010.  Dodd was trailing his GOP opposition by 20% and Dorgan by 19%.  Many other Democrat Senators are in trouble as well.   Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) is trailing his GOP opposition by 10%, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark) trails her GOP opposition by 15%, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo) is trailing Republican Lt. Governor Jane Norton by 9%, and Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) is trailing conservative Republican Pat Toomey by 4%.   Even Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) leads her GOP challenger-George Pataki-by only 0.2% in a traditionally blue state.  But even more troublesome for Democrats is the Massachusetts January 19 special election to replace the late Senator Ed Kennedy.  Over the weekend, a new poll showed Republican state Senator Scott Brown in a dead heat with Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley.   Although a Republican victory in Massachusetts in the special election to replace Senator Edward Kennedy is almost too much for Republicans to hope for, the fact that a Republican is within striking distance of claiming Kennedy’s old Senate seat demonstrates how far away from the main stream of American ideas the Democrats are.  Liberal Democrats have clearly demonstrated over the past twelve months that they cannot be trusted with our security or our economy.

Entrepreneurship Lessons

This weekend, Ed Stack, Chairman and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods joins me on the program.  Ed is a terrific entrepreneur and businessman, who took over his father’s two upstate New York bait and tackle shops and grew them into a national sporting goods company.  Ed began working full time for his father in 1977, and realized early on that he needed to grow the business or risk being crushed by larger sporting goods chains.  So, in 1984, Ed bought the bait and tackle shops from his father, and began adding about one additional store each year.  In 1994, with 12 stores, Ed decided to move the company’s headquarters to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Through several economic downturns, including 2008-2009, Dick’s Sporting Goods continued to grow under Ed’s leadership.  With the recent acquisition of Golf Galaxy, the publicly traded Dick’s Sporting Goods now has over 500 stores nationwide and over $4 billion in annual revenues.  The company employs 3,000 people in the Pittsburgh area and over 30,000 people nationwide.   Not bad for a guy who at the age of 29 took out a loan and bought two bait and tackle stores from his father! Entrepreneurs like Ed are one reason why this country is strong.  They deliver valued products and services to millions of consumers who lives are made better.  In the process they create thousands of jobs, numerous professional opportunities for individuals, and wealth for Americans across the country.  This is the result of economic freedom and capitalism.   As demonstrated repeatedly through history, government simply cannot create dynamism, opportunity and wealth. There is much more to the history of Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Ed will return in the future and continue telling his story here on the Glen Meakem Program.

“Where are these Angels in Government, Who Will Run Society For Us?”

Sheila Dixon, Democrat Mayor of Baltimore resigned this past Wednesday as part of a plea deal after she was convicted of misappropriating $500 gift cards donated to the city for distribution to needy families.  She was stealing from the poor in the city she was serving.  But in spite of this disgusting crime, in return for her resignation, Dixon received probation before judgment, meaning that her convictions will be wiped off of her record if she makes a $45,000 charitable contribution and completes 500 hours of community service. In Pennsylvania, seven Democrat Party staffers-who were former managers for the House Democratic Caucus-pleaded guilty to a scheme to spend more than $1 million in state tax money for legislative campaigns.  These are the first convictions in the “BonusGate” investigation, which began in 2007.  In exchange for their guilty pleas-which could draw lengthy prison terms-the prosecution agreed to the dismissal of some of the charges.  The defendants also agreed to help the prosecution with its case against Former House Democratic Whip, Mike Veon, who is accused of masterminding the scheme to pay tax payer funded bonuses to staffers who worked on Democratic Party political campaigns.  Veon’s trial is scheduled to begin January 19.

Another Failed Obama Policy

The New York Times recently reported that President Obama’s $75 billion mortgage protection program is a failure.  It is not saving underwater homeowners from losing houses they cannot afford.  Instead, desperate homeowners continue to waste money on homes that they will eventually lose, instead of using that cash to purchase or rent more affordable residences.  Borrowers have seen their credit scores tarnished while falsely assuming that loan modifications involved no negative impact.  But this program also hurt all of us by delaying the correction in the real estate market.  In 2008 more than 1.7 million homes were “lost” through foreclosures, short sales or deeds in lieu of foreclosure. In 2009, that number rose to 2 million homes.  And in spite of President Obama’s best efforts with our tax payer money (perhaps because of those efforts), 2.4 million homes are expected to be lost in 2010. Healthcare Update There is so much that is wrong with the healthcare nationalization legislation currently being considered in Washington D.C.  An increasing number of analysts, law makers, and experts question the constitutionality of requiring individuals to purchase government sanctioned healthcare plans.   The new marriage penalty in the bill would punish married couples with $2,000 in increased healthcare costs each year the moment that they say “I do”  (In a nation where crumbling families and poorly raised children is becoming a national epidemic, how Democratic Party leaders could put a huge marriage penalty in new health care legislation is just beyond understanding).   But the biggest development this week is President Obama’s broken pledge on openness in the healthcare debate.   President Obama promised numerous times to have these discussions broadcast on C-SPAN for all Americans to see, both before and after the 2008 Presidential election (You can hear some of these promises yourself here).  His reasoning was to bring transparency to the process.  The fact that he has closed debate on the issue, encouraged mid-night and Christmas Eve votes, attacked those who opposed his plan, and lied to the American people about the contents of the various healthcare bills instead is almost laughable.  How can any of us ever trust President Obama again?  His words mean nothing. Unfortunately, a disastrous government takeover of healthcare, which will increase costs for everyone while limiting access to care, seems on the verge of becoming law. November cannot come quickly enough.  We must remain engaged and do everything that we can to protect our liberty and freedom. If you know individuals who are confused politically, please encourage them to listen to this program.   If you know individuals who are not yet registered to vote, then please encourage them to sign up before the 2010 primaries.  If we continue to stand strong in opposition to the political left’s disastrous policies-just as we did in 2009-then we will take our country and our future back into our own hands. Stand strong!

2 Responses to “January 9-10, 2010 – A Cold Winter”

  • [...] cities and towns across the United States are experiencing severe cold and record snow. After last week’s winter storm in the North East, Washington D.C. had received a total of [...]

  • [...] Ed is a terrific entrepreneur and businessman. He took over his father’s two upstate New York bait and tackle shops in 1984, and grew them into a leading national sporting goods company that now employs over 30,000 people nationwide (and 3,000 people here in Pittsburgh). Like the many other entrepreneurs who have appeared on this program, Ed recognizes that successful entrepreneurs work hard, surround themselves with the right team of people, develop and implement a compelling plan for growth, treat their customers with respect, honor their investors, and take care of their employees. Real entrepreneurs must also exercise great leadership ability and decision making skills if they hope to succeed in business. Ed has made these tough calls, and in 1994 decided to move Dick’s national headquarters to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in order to better facilitate the company’s rapid growth. Ed assessed the situation and realized that Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams, access to a large international airport, and the reasonable cost of living made Pittsburgh an ideal choice for Dick’s new headquarters. You can listen to my previous interview with Ed here. [...]

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