Archive for March, 2008

The Economy Needs Bold Action, Not Partisan Attacks

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

John McCain gave a masterful speech on the economy this week.

Masterful because McCain’s plan would, in his words:

“ ….strengthen the foundations of the millions of businesses small and large that provide jobs for American workers. There is no government program or policy that is a substitute for a good job. These steps would also strengthen the U.S. dollar and help to control the rising cost of living that hurts our families.”

Naturally, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton immediately attacked him.

Obama:

“John McCain has said that he doesn’t understand the economy as well as he should, and yesterday he proved it in the speech he gave about the housing crisis.”

Hillary Clinton:

“It sounds remarkably like Herbert Hoover, and I don’t think that’s a good economic policy.”

Ad hominem attacks aren’t the way to get the economy moving in the right direction again.

Bold action will — the kind of steps Sen. McCain would take, such as:

  • keeping taxes low on our families, entrepreneurs, and small businesses
  • making the tax code simpler and fair by eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax
  • improving the ability of our companies to compete by reducing our corporate tax rate
  • providing investment incentives and controlling rising health care costs

As someone with a lot of practical business experience, I see first-hand everyday how much these sound policies are needed.

It’s fine to debate policy. I enjoy a good discussion, most especially with my political adversaries, about the direction our country should be headed in. I’m confident that our side will win each debate, on the merits. But let’s leave it at that – a debate over tactics and strategy, not personality.

Sen. McCain is right in saying, “I will not play election year politics with the housing crisis. I will evaluate everything in terms of whether it might be harmful or helpful to our effort to deal with the crisis we face now.”

I hope the other candidates follow his example.

Meantime, you can see part of McCain’s speech in this Associated Press YouTube video.

A Quick Look At John McCain And The Polls

Friday, March 21st, 2008

As Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to fumble over each other headed to the April 22 Pennsylvania primary, a couple of recent polls have me excited about the general election.

Here’s one in particular that caught my attention, the new Gallup poll:

  • John McCain’s 67% favorable rating is the highest of any of the three major candidates running for president, and ties for his highest in Gallup polling history
  • Barack Obama’s favorable rating is now at 62%
  • Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating, 53%, is significantly lower than those of the other two candidates

And Larry Kudlow noted on his National Review Online blog:

“Has anyone noticed that John McCain is surging in the polls? According to the latest print from Rasmussen and Zogby, McCain now holds a 6 to 8 point lead against Hill-Bama.”

Of course, everyone knows that polls this early are, for the most part, worth the paper – or the Internet – they’re printed on. Still, I’m thrilled that John McCain has secured the Republican nomination for President. Winning the presidency certainly is no easy task – either Clinton or Obama will be formidable foes. But I firmly believe that our party has chosen the best candidate to keep the White House in November. I’m honored to be part of Team McCain – but more important, I think America can achieve greatness with John McCain as president.

By the way, a photo in The New York Times captured John and Cindy McCain in Dallas March 4 reacting to the TV announcement that he was the nominee. It’s a great picture — and I’m not just saying that because, well, that’s me in there, too!

John McCain Fred Malek from New York Times

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The Truth About The “Malek Manual”

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

I’m thrilled to be a blogger. I enjoy the rapid fire exchange of ideas and the debate that occurs all the time in the blogosphere. And I enjoy hearing all opinions, even those contrary to my own.

But one thing that gets under my skin is when fiction parading as fact enters the general political discussion.

In a recent posting on Daily Kos the author said:

One of Nixon’s advisors, Fred Malek, compiled a manual of techniques for ensuring that government agencies were more “responsive” to Nixon’s political goals. The Malek Manual described how administration officials could thwart federal laws prohibiting the firing and hiring of career employees based on their political affiliation.

What’s wrong with that?

A few things:

1) I did not compile, nor author, that manual.

2) It was written by Alan May in 1974.

3) That was a year after I had left the White House (I left the White House and became Deputy Director of OMB in Jan. 1973)

Why is my name linked to this document? It can’t just be that people like the alliteration, since the “May Manual” is just as catchy. And his authorship of the manual is public record – both the Washington Post and National Journal have reported that Alan May wrote it.

So how did the document get dubbed the “Malek Manual”? Unfortunately for me, it was found in my files because a copy was sent to me as a “courtesy.” I found it distasteful. But did not in fact have anything to do with creating it.

My alleged authorship of the “Malek Manual” is one of those myths which will probably linger around for a while longer. But let the record be straight, I left government service feeling a great degree of respect for the dedication and excellence of civil service employees, and support the federal laws prohibiting the firing and hiring of civil servants based on their political affiliations. Claiming I wrote the so-called “Malek Manual” is a falsehood, plain and simple.

Setting The Record Straight

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

I am fortunate today to be in a position to give something back to my community. So I don’t want to seem ungrateful when mentioning that being a somewhat public figure brings with it a certain amount of notoriety. I have always been proud of my lifelong work in philanthropy, politics, baseball, business, and cancer research. My years serving various presidential administrations and elections, in particular, were an important time in my life. Unfortunately, it is incidents from that earliest time in my life that sometimes get dredged up over and over again – and I’ve addressed my time in the Nixon administration 35 years ago and have been very straightforward about it.

Recently, however, other allegations have again surfaced on the blogosphere – allegations which are hurtful, and more importantly, untrue. I’m talking about an incident dating back nearly 50 years, when I was on active duty in the Army. Rumors abound that I killed and barbecued a dog in the summer of 1959. This is simply not true.

A recent statement from one person who was there – retired and highly decorated Colonel, Andrew P. O’Meara, Jr. – couldn’t make it more clear:

“Scurrilous allegations have recently been directed at Fred Malek charging that he killed and barbecued a dog in the summer of 1959. The allegations are totally false. During a trip to Peoria, IL in the summer of 1959, I became inebriated and in an ill-advised preparation for Ranger School survival training, I killed and barbecued a dog [Fred and a few others happened to be on the trip to Peoria but had nothing to do with the incident]. I was subsequently arrested, brought before a Magistrate, fined $200 for cruelty to animals and the incident was closed, I take full responsibility for my ill-advised actions that were a source of embarrassment to the Army and the Ranger School

Andy takes full responsibility for the incident. I’d like to thank Andy for being a man with the integrity, to volunteer this information on the record and help keep the record straight and clear up my name.

It would have been far easier to ignore this issue, so I thank him for bringing the facts to light however uncomfortable it might be. Andy sets an example of admitting our mistakes and moving on, hopefully leaving the world a better place than we found it. And that’s what I’d like to do as well.

Hopefully this will begin to clarify and refocus attention on my future works and the subjects that I am passionate about.

Again, thank you Andy.