Rhonda Robinson

Rhonda Robinson is part of NewsReal's editorial team. As a columnist, Rhonda has provided readers with thoughtful insight into social, political, and parenting issues since 1995.

Real Jobs and Towns Die in Hands of Government

2009 December 7

rough road ahead

Although it’s been three decades, I can still remember that phone conversation as if it was yesterday. I called to surprise an old high school friend, we were back in town. The voice on the other end was slightly hurried and nervous, “Oh what timing! I’m glad you called when you did. The phone is going to be shut off at any minute. We’re losing our house too.”

We had hoped to settle down and reap the benefits of the GI Bill. Problem was we went home to Decatur Illinois; a factory town and home to Archers Daniel Midland (ADM), Tate and Lyle, and Caterpillar (CAT).

Entire neighborhoods were up for sale, as factory workers were being laid off and plants shut down. It was the days of double digit interest, gasoline lines and inflation. You could say Jimmy Carter let a good crisis go to waste.

While this administration could never be accused of squandering a crisis, Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money, told Chris Matthews, on MSNBC’s Hardball his ideas on how the administration could create jobs. Obama needs to wave his “magic wand” of power and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

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Leg Thrills and Spine Chills With Chris Matthews, Part 3: Apology to the “Enemy Camp” at West Point

2009 December 4

West Point Barracks

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, is not known for his tact, nor is there any need for his audience to guess what he really thinks during his show. Yet, after saying that President Obama had chosen to give his speech to the “enemy camp” at West Point, claimed in his apology that those who really know him knew what he actually meant. He obviously felt misunderstood.

My bet is that those who know him, as well as his audience, knew exactly what he meant. That’s why they corrected him. According to Matthews, it was a friend who is a former cadet that enlightened him about cadet conduct.

That’s nice. He owed the cadets an apology. In it, he inadvertently showed his complete ignorance of the military, their values, discipline and the role a president plays as a commander-in-chief.

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Storylines With Politically Fatal Endings

2009 December 2

The Chicago Way

If Politico’s John F. Harris is correct and “Presidential politics is about storytelling” then the Obama campaign took an enormous risk using a narrative that left a lot to the individual imagination. Obama’s ambiguous call for change, created a fill-in-the-blank scenario for independents and moderates, and a call-to-arms for progressives.

In Monday’s article “7 stories Barack Obama doesn’t want told” Harris explains,

“Presented with a vivid storyline, voters naturally tend to fit every new event or piece of information into a picture that is already neatly framed in their minds.”

“The pro-Obama narrative featured an almost mystically talented young idealist who stood for change in a disciplined and thoughtful way.”

However, the storylines that are emerging, Harris asserts, are a serious threat to the president if allowed to develop.

  1. He thinks he’s playing with Monopoly money
  2. Too much Leonard Nimoy
  3. That’s the Chicago Way
  4. He’s a pushover
  5. He sees America as another pleasant country on the U.N. roll call, somewhere between Albania and Zimbabwe
  6. President Pelosi
  7. He’s in love with the man in the mirror

Throw a dart and hit one. Like all good storylines each holds an element of truth, which if elaborated upon, and would take hold, these storylines could become Obama’s seven deadly sins. As with any vice, it only takes one to destroy a well crafted image. read more…

Leg Thrills and Spine Chills With Chris Matthews: Part 2 Matthews Worries About KSM Getting an ACLU Lawyer

2009 November 24

Ground Zero

Will Barack Hussein Obama become just another name in the long list of defamed, failed, and corrupt Illinois politicians? Will he follow in Governor Blagojevich’s footsteps as another Democrat whose party abandoned him? Has his fall from political grace begun?

In the short span of time this administration has been in power, it has raised many questions in the minds of average Americans about the role of government, its competency and constitutional authority. In a rare flash of rationality, Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball had some questions of his own:

“President Obama has his chin out on about every hot issue out there, health care, terror trials, job losses, even the breast cancer report. He’s exposed and vulnerable. His poll numbers are dropping, is he just too darned intellectual? Too much the egg-head? Why did he bow that Japanese emperor? Why did he pick Tim Geithner to be his economic front man? Why all this dithering over Afghanistan? And who thought it was a wonderful idea to bring the killers of 9-11 to New York City; the media capital of the world, so they could tell their story?” read more…

Chris Matthews Wants to Know Why Socialism is a Bad Word in America

2009 November 21

When my family lived in West Berlin, some of the simple personal freedoms Germans enjoyed — freedoms that we here in the US don’t have — amazed me. They were small things, really – like no speed limit on the autobahn (highway), and no legal restrictions on the drinking age. Such restrictions have become so commonplace for us, that we can scarcely imagine life without them.

I told a German friend of mine that I found it odd that her fellow countrymen had so many more personal freedoms than we do in America. She shrugged her shoulders and said, with a sly smile, “We know first hand what socialism is, and constantly fight it. You don’t know it when you see it.”

Until recently, I didn’t realize the depth of the truth that statement held. Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain refused to label Barack Obama a socialist, probably because he didn’t want to be accused of mud-slinging. On Friday, Chris Matthews, host of Hardball on MSNBC, brought the S-word out into the open for just few brief moments. read more…

Leg Thrills and Spine Chills with Chris Matthews, Part 1: Blushing Like a Schoolboy

2009 November 19

Barack Obama may have sent thrills up the leg of Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC Hardball, but Sarah Palin has got him almost giddy and blushing like a schoolboy.

It has become Matthews‘s habit of late, to open and close his show with segments devoted to the former governor of Alaska. With her memoir Going Rogue: An American Life, hitting the shelves this week, Palin is riding a tidal wave of media attention. Matthews who doubles as a White House water boy, has certainly added to the book’s publicity campaign.

Matthews, showing all the signs of a third grade crush, continues to vacillate between insult and adoration. Repeatedly quizzing his guests about Palin’s ability to become the next Republican nominee for President, which he has predicted will be the case.

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Will Abortion Kill ObamaCare? Part 2: A Fable of Compromise

2009 November 17


Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of 2 in a series of posts by Rhonda Robinson regarding Hardball host Chris Matthews’ reporting on the fight over abortion and Obamacare. Click here for Part 1

Once upon a time there was a frog that lived on the riverbank. Life was good. The frog was full and happy; he worked hard all day catching flies. His life was satisfying.

One day a scorpion came up to the frog and told him of the wonders that wait for him on the other side of the river. At first the frog was skeptical, and a little afraid of the deadly scorpion, but then she began to whisper gently to the frog, “I have heard that on the other side there are bugs so fat and juicy they can hardly walk or fly.”

“Sadly,” the scorpion sighed, “I am not as lucky as you. I cannot swim. I will never see the land of Frog-utopia. At least that is, not without the generosity of someone such as you.” read more…

Will Abortion Kill ObamaCare? Part 1

2009 November 16


Our world has changed immensely since the 1970s: computers no longer fill an entire room, we don’t play records with a needle, and we can watch a fetus that weighs less than a few paper clips as her heart beats while she sleeps inside her mother’s womb.

The abortion debate has also changed since the seventies. The original argument was that a woman had the right to her own body. That the child growing within was not a child at all, but a mass of tissue, therefore she had a right to have it removed and no government had the right to tell her otherwise.

Over three decades later, we now argue over the ethics of late term abortion, whether a baby is entitled to medical services if she survives the abortionist’s assault, if a minor’s parents must be notified—and if abortion should be included in a new government health care system.

In a strange twist, under a president who says he would never want his daughters “punished” with a pregnancy, and his presidential clout on the line with a massive health care takeover; the Speaker of the House betrays her radical base after a call from Rome.

Pelosi’s health care bill passed, but the abortion issue could bring a democratic stalemate that defeats it in the end. The stage is set for a defining battle.

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, made a rare appearance as a moderate in a segment with Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America and Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast. read more…

Lunch Break

2009 November 12

mind your mother

Our 17 year old son’s latest trip to the ER ended in this prescription

Mind your mother daily until the day you die.

Lunch Break is NewsReal’s daily apolitical post. (We all need a break from this political stuff every now and then!) When commenting on Lunch Break posts do not start political, religious, or philosophical debates. In fact from now on any serious debating comments on Lunch Break posts will be deleted. You’ve got all of NewsReal’s other posts to get argumentative, lets keep this one pure. (Humorous debates about meaningless subjects are permitted.) read more…

Lunch Break

2009 November 12

mind your mother

Our 17 year old son’s latest trip to the ER ended in this prescription

Mind your mother daily until the day you die.

Lunch Break is NewsReal’s daily apolitical post. (We all need a break from this political stuff every now and then!) When commenting on Lunch Break posts do not start political, religious, or philosophical debates. In fact from now on any serious debating comments on Lunch Break posts will be deleted. You’ve got all of NewsReal’s other posts to get argumentative, lets keep this one pure. (Humorous debates about meaningless subjects are permitted.) read more…

When is Discrimination a Good Thing? When You're Discriminating Between Muslims and Islamists

2009 November 11


In the wake of 911, the White House went to great measure to assure the Islamic community that America was not at war with Muslims. To the extent, that it initiated a campaign to entice Muslims to join our military. West Point, along with other service academies and military installations, opened prayer rooms and recruited Imams. Non-Muslim officers and pentagon officials, along with the Bush White House, began celebrating Muslim holidays.

President Obama, on his recent apology tour, announced a “new beginning” with the Muslim world in his Cairo speech. Repairing our relations with the Muslim world was one of Obama’s presidential goals.

Yet here we are today, grieving the loss of our service men and women who were murdered, where they should have been safe. By a man who should have healed them.

And still the politically correct pipers continue to lull us to sleep as political Islam (Islamists) settle into our beds. read more…

Chris Matthews’ Epiphany: the Left is Obama’s Problem

2009 November 8


Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman, Michael Steele inadvertently flipped the light on for Obama faithful, Chris Matthews host of MSNBC Hardball. Although it was on, it was too dim for Matthews to see the entire picture.

Matthews’ started his interview with Steele by peppering his questions with insulting statements, calling conservatives “wing-nuts.” It didn’t take long for Steele to stop the questions and address the statement, asking why Matthews kept calling his people “wing-nut?”

Then Steele turned the “wing-nut” to the far left.

Steele: “What about all the left-wing-nuts who won’t let the president get his agenda through? What about all the left-wing-nuts that are the reason we don’t have health care right now? You’ve got 60 votes in the Senate, you’ve got 78 seat majority in the House, and I don’t see anyone talking about the left-wing-nuts who are stifling the health care for my mother and my family and my community. So don’t give me the name calling here.”

That’s when the light came on. Well, at least a flicker.

read more…

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