Friday, September 30, 2011

channeling Carter

As The PJ Tatler entitled, "Jimmy Carter 2.0 has just delivered Malaise 2.0," when instead of leading and inspiring, Obama continues to deliver jabs at America, most recently in this Orlando, FL interview yesterday...

Picking up the sentiment of the Tatler:

This president has said some dumb things, but this may well be the dumbest yet. America hasn’t “gone soft,” our economy is being strangled by over-regulation resulting, at least in part, from Obama’s own agenda. The entrepreneurs and working men and women of American will be thrilled, I’m sure, to hear a man who has never really worked in a normal job tell them that they have “gone soft” while he plots new ways to keep mis-spending their hard-earned money.

The Virginian reminds us that the Obama's have had a plan for us all along with this little bit from Michelle on the campaign trail in 2008 (via NRO):

Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

...and that we all look into the shiny swaying watch as it moves back, and forth, and back, and forth.  If Moochelle could pull herself away from the lavish vacations, she might see the cynicism in her own statements...doubtful, though. 

First, blame Bush.  Then blame Republicans.  Now blame the People.  What's next?  Freedom?  Oh yeah, some are already doing that.  So, let's not forget just why the comparison to Carter is out there...

Any perceived softness is through the uninspiring leadership and dictatorial rule that both Jimmy & Jr., and their ilk, have imposed on America.  The audacity...

they don't have the votes (UPDATE)

Levin helped break this story on his show last night...Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) says they don't have the votes for Obama's jobs bill (a.k.a. jobs 'killing' bill, or as Levin calls it the 'Save Obama's job bill'). My response: "Not enough votes to raise taxes? GOOD!"

Here's more details...

Although, I kinda agree with Levin as well, "Bring up the Obama bill. Let's get the vulnerable Democrats voting. Let's get the oil state Democrats voting. Let's get the Democrats who are scared to death about raising taxes, let's get 'em voting. Let's take the issue away from Obama, when he loses 5,6,7 Democrat votes in a bipartisan defeat. That's what needs to be done."

UPDATE: On Monday, Cantor says that Obama's jobs bill is dead on arrival in the House.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

...and Cain makes three!

Fox News has released the latest poll that points to the prediction that many, including An Ebb and Flow, made after last Thursday’s GOP debate: Romney overtakes Perry, and Cain receives a significant bump.

There’s a magical number floating around right now…let’s see if you can pick it out with these few lines from that report on the Fox News poll:

Three September debates have shaken-up the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Herman Cain has jumped into the top tier. Rick Perry’s stumbled. Mitt Romney's holding steady.

The new poll found Cain’s support has nearly tripled among GOP primary voters to 17 percent.
That’s up from 6 percent before this month’s debates, and puts him in what is essentially a three-way tie with Perry and Romney.

The deemed 'two-man' commentary that promulgates among the prescribed 'top tier' candidates is being chipped away at by that magical number 3...and that's a good thing, particularly in a primary. Upon Perry's entry, this is what we had with Romney/Perry/Bachmann for a brief time. But as we're actively learning, challenges among the top tier are fine, but 'sniping', particularly with emotional charges over principally proven substance, gets a prescribed top tier candidate nowhere among many in the electorate, and the punditry and pollsters know that (which in turn, helps them hone their respective trades). It's what happened to Bachmann, with the "poor, little girls" attempt to tug at heartstrings, and aside from Perry's unpolished debating skills, it's what's happening to him, by simply referring to the rejection of in-state tuition for illegals as ‘heartless’. To be clear, Perry has walked back from that statement and apologized for addressing the issue as such. But the fact of the matter is these are liberal-like tactics, and even though Perry or Bachmann have what's considered more conservative credentials than Fox's perceived 'electable' frontrunner, Romney has quite successfully come out on top of such skirmishes in the debates.

Some would argue that Romney deserves to be put under the same scrutiny, particularly by moderators in the debates. I would certainly be one to agree with that. However, if you think about it, he has to some degree already, which is why he bowed out the first time around and didn’t win the nomination. Now, that didn’t cover the ObamaCare/RomneyCare comparisons, but if you think about that as well, Americans have had a few years to mull over that one. That’s no excuse not to address it, especially since everyone else’s past is finding itself under the magnifying glass, but perhaps that can provide insight into the moderators’ choices not to press the issue. Although I wouldn’t necessarily apply the old adage that time heals all wounds, Time has nonetheless been very beneficial to Mitt.

In Herman Cain’s case, as Daniel Henninger admits in his latest WSJ op ed, it’s time for folks to drop the cloudy ‘electability’ argument, or that he’s never held elected political office, and take a more serious look at a man who absolutely has a record of success in the private sector front lines. And after perusing through much of that, as well as admitting he’s rewritten his ‘presidential-selection software’ given our modern deciders for choosing frontrunners, Henninger surmises:

Put it this way: The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain's life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality.

Herman Cain is a credible candidate. Whether he deserves to be president is something voters will decide. But he deserves a serious look.

This would be the advice I'd give to Herman Cain: steer clear of the emotional responses that we’ve seen cripple others in the top spot, and stick to substance (just as you have) to differentiate your candidacy, continue pointing it out, and do it all with that unique flavor that only Herman Cain can supply. That genuineness will cut through the polished Romney mold. (I'd offer the same advice to Perry as well, although I've always contended that the illegal issue would come back to bite Perry more than any other fault)

Past that, Herman Cain faces the same obstacle that great conservatives like Marco Rubio face: the Establishment’s assessment of ‘experience’ when it comes to the charge of ‘electability’. But to add to Mr. Henninger’s call to consider the seriousness of Cain’s candidacy over that, I’d re-emphasize his contributions to the private sector and remember, this is no community organizer we’re discussing here.

ADDENDUM: Further dispelling the establishment detractors, Cain placed 2nd in a new Florida statewide poll, just two points behind Romney's 27%, and garnering a substantial lead over Perry, who's at 13%.  Full steam ahead...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More inefficient crony socialism

As details are coming out on the extravagance of Solyndra’s $733M plant, complete with robots & spa showers, we find out, as IBD reports, “The Department of Energy is set this week to announce whether nine federal loan guarantees amounting to $6.5 billion for green energy projects will get final approval.” Well, at least two of them have been, as of today. The Obama administration approved the loans worth more than $1B for solar energy projects in Nevada and Arizona. And what a coincidence, as Gateway Pundit identifies a connection:

It’s as if Solyndra never happened. The Obama Administration is giving $737 million to a Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve. PCG is an investment partner with SolarReserve. Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law happens to be the number two man at PCG.

Adding insult to injury, as that previous IBD report also notes, the total number of full-time, permanent jobs that these nine federal loans would create, “according to the DOE's own figures, a grand total of 283. That is nearly $23 million per job.” It’d be laughable if it wasn’t so damn infuriating. The Hill indicates that out of the $737M being loaned to Tonopah, a grand total of 45 permanent jobs will be created (that’s a little over $16M per job!). No efficiency like government efficiency.

And the icing on the cake is given by Breitbart’s Big Government in ascertaining what Obama knew and when he knew it:

According to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, President Obama was warned nearly a year ago that Energy Secretary Stephen Chu’s department was not rigorous enough in vetting loan recipients and they ran the risk of funneling federal money to companies that shouldn’t receive it, or didn’t need it. And the warnings came from the President’s top economic advisers Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner.

Now that we know what the President knew, and when he knew it, it’s instructive to look at how his administration reacted to the information provided by the President’s top economic geniuses. The White House ignored their advice and doubled-down on the risky and fruitless endeavor of “investing” in unproven companies like Solyndra.

And with the additional loans approved today, we see quite clearly that this president hasn’t learned a damn thing. He’s gonna do what he’s gonna do, despite the inefficiencies, waste, exorbitant costs to taxpayers and blatant cronyism.

ADDENDUM: On Thursday, Neil Cavuto had a candid talk with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on the rush to spend the remaining money, but little regard given towards the value of that spending.  Johnson says, "This is the wrong way to try and spend taxpayer's money, and we just ought to let these programs expire and return that money to the taxpayer."

Statist desires from North Carolina

Caught in the act, she now says it was a 'joke'.  But if this was a joke, when North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue suggested Congressional elections should be suspended, she desperately needs to work on her delivery.

“Listen to the Governor’s words: She wasn’t joking at all,” North Carolina GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood told The Daily Caller. “The congressional Democrats are wildly unpopular in North Carolina, so she may have been trying to invent a solution to save their jobs from public accountability.”

Perdue's comments echo Leftist sentiments that we've heard before of securing power, and are reminiscent of Peter Orzag's latest hit, "Why we need less democracy."  I know these guys want a socialist democracy to replace, or rather rip up the roots of, our constitutional republic, but...err, statist fascism is not the solution, folks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Zogby’s Cain bests CNN’s Perry (Rasmussen UPDATE!)

Polls schmolls…I’ve said it. Sometimes they seem to be all over the place. To be honest, I was suspect of the presidential polls yesterday, when CNN assured us that Perry was still on top (28%) with Romney trailing closer (21%) and Cain barely on the radar (7%) after his stellar debate performance and proceeding upset in the FL straw poll. Well, we get a bit of a different story from the latest Zogby poll that began to trickle out last night. Newsmax reports, “Texas Gov. Rick Perry has tumbled among GOP primary voters and now trails business executive Herman Cain in the race for the nomination, according to the latest IBOPE Zogby Poll.” Human Events alludes to further details:

A new Zogby poll puts Herman Cain at the top of the Republican field, as the top choice of 28% of poll respondents…Interestingly, this poll was conducted after the Orlando GOP debate, but before Cain won the Florida straw poll. It’s a huge surge for Cain, who was polling at 12% just two weeks previously, and was floating at a campaign low of 8% two weeks before that. Aside from that bitter 8% number, Cain has generally done quite well in the Zogby poll, usually good enough for second or third place. On the other hand, Rick Perry’s numbers in the Zogby poll have cratered, falling 19% in just two weeks. His debut last month was also his high-water mark thus far, when Zogby had him at 41%.

This is a bit more indicative of the sentiment that seemed to resonate out of Florida and onto the national landscape over the weekend, as opposed to the results that CNN churned out. At any rate, they are polls and the results could change on a dime; however, two polls in a row raising Cain to the head of the pack could be an indication of something larger…we’ll just have to wait and see. I can’t deny, though, that I do receive an adequate amount of glee when reflecting on Rush’s congratulatory remarks to Herman Cain and his 9-9-9 plan winning the FL straw poll: “Folks, do you realize, I mean Herman Cain won big, and think about this. We could be on the brink of an historic election. Think about this. Let's say that Herman Cain goes all the way, wins the Republican presidential nomination…Herman Cain could be our first authentically black president. Stop and think about that.”  Right on, right on...

UPDATE: While not confirming frontrunner status, Rasmussen says Cain is that defeating Obama, that is! With all the detraction from results of Monday's Zogby poll, suggested by many in the beltway, along with supporters of either of the perceived frontrunners, throughout yesterday, rather than rebut, I'd just point to the latest Rasmussen poll showing Cain closing in on our current occupant in the White House.

The Obama gaffe-o-rama

The man makes it too easy. For all the grief that the Left gave George W. Bush for 8 years with his swagger and discombobulations, it's especially ironic that our dear leader, who was touted as being infinitely superior both rhetorically and intellectually, has turned into a gaffe-fest of his own devices. Now, of course, you won't hear the mainstream media go out of their way, as with Bush, to point out what's beginning to be common occurrences of cognitive lapses, among his theater of mischief, but if one looks at alternative media (which by the way, is quickly becoming more reliable than the 'standards'), you'll find a cascade of gaffes, insults, lies and coordinated setups.

Let's start with the gaffes. Here's one that's been replayed throughout Monday: the Freudian slip of the tongue...

"...Jew...uh, eh...Janitor..." Nice one...especially after that NY-9 upset a few weeks ago.

Levin pointed out another one on Monday's show that apparently Obama has goofed twice now. Back on the perpetual campaign trail, while touting his jobless bill, he's said that Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t be paying a LOWER tax rate than Warren Buffett, but then turns around and says she shouldn’t be paying a higher effective tax rate than Warren Buffett. As The Right Scoop accurately indicates, "He can’t even keep up with all the lies he’s telling." This is the centerpiece for his 'tax the rich' message, and the man can't even keep his lines straight.

Oh, and this one...just last week when Obama went to tout his not-so-shovel-ready jobs bill before the backdrop of the Brent Spence Bridge that doesn't really need repairs, just expansion, he lobbed another one, "Intercontinental Railroad"'s Transcontinental Railroad, genius.

And then two weeks ago, when he held his unnecessary address before a joint session of Congress to announce his jobless bill, he re-educated us with some good ol' Republican history. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was the "founder of the Republican Party?" Yeah, me neither...

Ed Morrissey of HotAir gives a much more accurate historical telling of the Republican Party's roots.  But at least he got the name of the railroad right in that one...never mind that fudged the accuracy of who did what, as one Human Events reader observed: "Lincoln's government did not build the transcontinental railroad. Government started laying the groundwork going back to the 1850s, but the private sector did the job. Government involvement in the railroads led to some of the worst scandals in American history to that point, notably the Credit Mobilier scandal. So citing government linkage with railroads really undermines the big government case."

I didn't even get into Obama losing his cool while twisting MLK's words and delivering a podium-slapping, boots-marching, tongue-lashing sermon of sorts for the CBC to "stop complaining."  Nor did I get around to the total setup question delivered by another rich liberal at the LinkedIn town hall, in which The Right Scoop ponders, "How ironic it is that the one person Obama picks would be the one rich guy who wants Obama to raise his taxes."  Yes, how contrived indeed.  No, between this, the above gaffes, and his record low polls, I think the irony is quite clear...and sweet.

Quite frankly, this crown jewel should have been the indicator for what should never have been before anyone pulled the lever...

...cracks me up every time...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Through the wormhole of feigned racial outrage

Prior to Herman Cain’s upset victory in the FL presidential straw poll, there seemed to be a little bit of a dust-up focused around comments from yet another Hollywood Democrat lashing out at the tea party with charges of racism.  This time from a famed actor and host of a current Science Channel program:

Interesting enough, though, I though Freeman had a desire to move away from the ridiculous rhetoric of race:

You heard that right folks…so let’s put the two Morgan’s side-by-side:

(courtesy of aipolitics)

Neil Cavuto asked tea party favorite Herman Cain about the exchange, and here’s his dynamite response:

To venture a step further into this corruptive philosophy that targets groups like the tea party, who oppose the policies of Obama, as somehow racist for doing so, Dan Joseph of the Media Research Center took cameras inside the Congressional Black Caucus Conference to get a response from the question: “Do you think the tea party is racist?” The responses are in one sense not surprising, yet on the other hand, astounding…

Again, we hear Herman Cain called an Oreo…a racially-charged term that denigrates two ethnicities in one instance.  How civil.

Let me take a stab at explaining this mentality from the perspective of a white Mississippi boy growing up with the looming scrutiny of any minute action being pervasively viewed as racially motivated (a phenomenon that takes the negative stereotypes and perpetually cast them onto the state by Hollywood types...I'll concede that it also doesn't help when actual instance of racism do occur, b/c you undoubtedly get "see, I told you so" reactions). I had heard this response before, but once upon a time, I wanted to verify with some black schoolmates in high school, the idea (my personal opinion) that anybody is capable of projecting racism, despite ethnicity. Here's what I 'learned' back then: Only whites can be racist, b/c they never experienced slavery; blacks can be discriminatory, but it's not the same thing (more of a judgmental action), thus it's acceptable...believe that?! Now besides none of these folks ever experiencing slavery for themselves, they nonetheless project that oppression on themselves, and turn it into victimization, b/c they've been generationally indoctrinated to believe this crap through decades of liberal thought perpetuated by the very party that DID INDEED keep them enslaved and segregated! Guys like Allen West & Herman Cain, as well as other names known and unknown, see through this subversive facade, but many in the black community, too many, buy into this hook, line & sinker.

Here’s the simple fact of the matter: The CBC and its supporters, like Freeman, can't cope with the phenomenon that so many Americans of all ethnicities (granted more white than black based solely from simple statistics) are rejecting liberalism and its false teachings of victimization, so it's easier to seize on any perceived color differences and whip out the race card, despite an overwhelmingly colorblind choice of Herman Cain as the definitive straw poll victor following the FL debates. Likewise, they can't see that the tea party wasn't just about Obama entering the White House; rather, this grassroots movement was about the larger scope of coming off a 8-year Republican stint that progressively turned more statist (particularly at the end with the bailouts) and entering a Democrat administration who openly embraces statist policies, outspending and overburdening its people, that includes minorities.

ADDENDUM:  Obama's coping mechanisms are a bit different (i.e., piss off EVERYBODY!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Florida break out

Exciting news from Florida in Saturday's presidential straw poll, as The Hill reported:

Herman Cain pulled off a shocking upset victory in Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll on Saturday. The Georgia businessman won more votes than the Republican primary's frontrunners -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- combined.

(courtesy of the St. Petersburg Times)

In a video released minutes after the results, Cain told supporters, “Folks, this is what you call momentum. The Herman Cain Train is picking up steam.”

An Ebb and Flow has written several observations on Herman Cain since his entry into the presidential race, mentionably "Raisin' Cain" and "How we Cain work it out", as well as agreeing with the astute observations of Aaron Goldstein from The American Spectator, who projected Cain to be the man to break out, if anyone could.  As Tony Lee of Human Events put it, "Businessman Herman Cain re-introduced himself to America and was substantive, inspirational, and personable, and his stock improved more than any other candidate's after the debate."  Indeed.

Cain's down-to-earth demeanor and conservative principled message is resonating with voters, some of whom were already on the train, but many of whom are especially exhausted with the media attention given to the deemed frontrunners and, in Florida's case, prefer the genuinely refreshing debate performance of this man with a plan.

Just take this exchange for example:

Of course the detractors of both Romney and Perry camps are playing damage control; and likewise, the Establishment types continue to decry Cain as a 'joke' and 'not serious' (not quite as harsh, but nevertheless reminiscent of the liberal declarations of 'oreo' or 'uncle tom'). I would contend the assertion that only those of proper political breed, who have had a hand in every part of the economic, social and moral abyss our nation finds itself at the precipice of, are the only able-bodied beings to get us out of this debacle is assuredly unserious.

Who's to say if Cain's bump will last, but it does point to a defining moment in this primary season when at least one group of people from one state decided to look beyond pure politics and embrace the common sense of Principle.

Friday, September 23, 2011

No fear of a shutdown here

Here we go again…except this time, most aren’t even paying attention. Once again, we’re at the point where yet another continuing resolution needs to be passed to keep the gov’t allegedly running past the end of the month, ultimately because a Democrat President and his Senate have refused to work from a budget over the past 3 years! They’re also refusing to make any real cuts and stop spending…surprise. Likewise, Boehner and Cantor are getting weak-kneed and trying to cut any deal they can that might allow them to skirt principle, but still get enough Republicans to cave…double surprise.

Harry Reid says “When two sides can't get everything they want, they meet in the middle…” Let me translate: The middle, or common ground, means doing whatever Harry Reid and Democrat leaders demand!

The Hill reports:

The Senate on Friday rejected a House spending bill to keep the government funded and made plans to return to Washington next week.

In a 59-36 vote, the Senate tabled the House legislation approved early Friday morning. The continuing resolution would keep the government funded through Nov. 18; without a new funding measure, the government would shut down after next Thursday.

Democrats in the Senate object to the bill's funding level for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and were upset over deep cuts to an energy program the GOP reduced as an offset to the increased funds to FEMA.

Who’s the ‘Party of No’? As a HotAir piece accurately states, “So we came within a few inches of actually having you all do your jobs and keep things going and you decided to play tit-for-tat and shoot down the bill to hang on to a pool of money for a “green jobs” incentive program which was largely going unspent anyway? Oh, my.”

Gotta ask. The way the Democrats continue to unrelentingly spend, would it really kill them to shut down the inefficiencies of gov’t, while continuing to keep the constitutionally allotted functions of government running? Or are they playing that little game of ‘if-we-don’t-continue-spending-then-seniors-won’t-receive-their-social-security-checks-and-military-won’t-get-paid’?  Huhhh...

The not-so-something review of the FNC/Google GOP debate (UPDATES)

I, like many of you, have been following these GOP debates pretty closely, with optimism, skepticism and yes, some disappointment.  And with my inconspicuous image above (ha!), tonight's performance may leave some pining for Palin to enter the race ASAP!  But before we hear the first gasps, let me explain where I'm going with this. 

I honestly don't think this was one of the better debates, that may have been the CNN/tea party one; however, this debate will begin to solidify a few directions for voters.  Rather than go through a multitude of clips like I have in the past, instead, let's explore where this appears to be heading. 

To start, I'd like to take this moment to humbly agree with another review of the Fox News/Google GOP debate.  I believe Aaron Goldstein's American Spectator entry has pretty much nailed the results of Thursday night's performance.

In a nutshell, Romney will make gains to the detriment of Perry's underperformance(s) - I make that parenthetically plural to denote the progressive backslide from the last few debates.  In all honesty, he's not instilling the confidence that voters are wanting to see.  That's not something that I say lightly or with any satisfaction, believe me!  As Goldstein writes:

Rick Perry - As I mentioned earlier, Perry isn't an attack dog. Turning his focus on Romney didn't bring out the best in him. I thought he defended his immigration and HPV vaccine policies reasonably well although those positions might work better with independents than with the GOP and Tea Party base.

Mitt Romney - On balance, he got the better of his exchanges with Perry as he did last week in Tampa. Aside from Perry, only Herman Cain took a swipe at Romney and Romney did not respond directly to Cain. It was probably the wisest course of action. Romney did not make any serious mistakes.

However, if there might be one bright side to this, I'd also agree with Mr. Goldstein's assessment of the most likely break out candidate, who made one of the strongest impressions of the night, and that is Herman Cain.

Herman Cain - If there's any candidate who deserves more consideration from the national media, it's Cain. He struck all the right notes. You could say he performed to the nines. The audience was with him throughout the debate. Even the other candidates seemed to be with him especially when he spoke about surviving cancer and how his chances at survival would have been greatly reduced under Obamacare.

I think you'll find a fair assessment of the rest of the candidates as well, including Bachmann hanging on (not necessarily harming or helping herself).  However, with the Perry/Romney show and the potential for Cain to progress, I think Goldstein is right on the money. So with that, Perry's got some work to do without trying to out-Romney Romney, and best of luck to raisin' Cain...conservatives are rooting for ya!

Now, where does Palin fit into this, or does she at all?  Either one of two things is going to occur.  There are a few more debates scheduled before year's end, and the first primaries will start in February.  Either she will get in at the last possible moment, which some believe she may have recently alluded to when stating, "Mark my word, it is going to be an unconventional election process."  I'm still searching to see if there's an angle here that I'm not initially seeing to be somewhat of a stealth candidate within the rules for filing and final deadlines for the highest office in the land, but I'm not completely sold on her taking that direction.  The 'or' to this would be that she will supply a major endorsement to the GOP nominee, and launch a concerted groundswell of cohesion and support among the party, despite her detractors on the Left or Right, with the united goal of defeated Barack Obama and his statists hordes in 2012.  That's just my two cents...we'll see how it goes.

UPDATE: Well, we see by Saturday's FL straw poll results, Cain received more than that well deserved bump! The Hill reports:

Herman Cain pulled off a shocking upset victory in Florida’s Presidency 5 Straw Poll on Saturday. The Georgia businessman won more votes than the Republican primary's frontrunners -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- combined.

UPDATE II: After a few rounds of disputed polls, the latest Fox News poll provides the predictable results immediately following last Thursday's debate: Romney overtakes Perry, and Herman Cain receives a significant bump!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Barry's bridge to nowhere

Pure politics.

That is, the trip to Cincinnati's Brent Spence Bridge that Obama is using as the backdrop to his new stimulus...err, I mean, jobs bill. I'm certain it's just coincidence that this bridge, which links Ohio and Kentucky, lies in House Speaker John Boehner's district...shear coincidence, as well as the fact that he chose to give his speech on the Ohio side when Kentucky owns the bridge (btw, Kentucky is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's home state). But the fact is the project is moving forward with or without Obama's latest stimulus, or without the first stimulus for that matter. As Andrew Stiles reminds us:

The term “shovel-ready” comes to mind. However, there is nothing “shovel-ready” about the Brent Spence Bridge. Analysis on the project began only recently, and the Federal Highway Administration has yet to open the issue to public comment. Even if all the necessary funding were in place (which it’s not), the FHWA estimates, the earliest possible start date for construction on the project would be 2015, with a completion date in 2022.

Part of the reason is that various noise and environmental studies are still being conducted to ensure that the project is in compliance with state and federal regulations. According to a 2004 agreement between Ohio and Kentucky, the “environmental phase” of the Brent Spence Bridge project was estimated to cost $18 million.

I think the bold text in the second paragraph speaks for itself as to the ridiculous cost of regulatory studies. But, as Stiles says in an accompanying post, concerning the 'shovel-readiness' of this job, "don’t expect Obama to mention any of that in his speech today."

Perhaps even more peculiar, as the Los Angeles Times reports, "It doesn't really need repairs!"

It's got decades of good life left in its steel spans. It's just overloaded. The bridge was built to handle 85,000 cars and trucks a day, which seemed like a lot back during construction in the Nixon era...So, plans are not to repair or replace the Brent Spence Bridge, but to build another bridge nearby to ease the loads.

But the bright side of this is that the people of Ohio aren't buying this photo op either, as The Cincinnati Enquirer concludes:

The bill itself contains no mention of the Brent Spence bridge, or any other specific projects. Even if the bill is passed, it’s not clear funding included in the bill for stimulus or the creation of a national infrastructure bank would ever reach the bridge.

That’s because if the point of the jobs bill is to create jobs now, then the Brent Spence Bridge may make a nice backdrop for a speech, but it’s not the best example of a shovel-ready project.

If this bridge is in such need of repair, as the President touts, then why overlook it throughout any of the past three summers of recovery? It obviously wasn't as important as Solyndra or LightSquared.  Yet another example of Obama's facade of concern for jobs and the average working man (notice I didn't append 'union' to that sentence).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The 'new politics' of scandal and cronyism

Heritage's Morning Bell piece focusing on the sordid scandals of the Obama Administration points to the astronomical level of corruption that you might not know about "if you solely paid attention to the mainstream media." However, we've paid attention to these since the beginning and have continued to.

...while President Barack Obama attempts to sell the country on hundreds of billions in new stimulus spending and $1.5 trillion in new taxes, his Administration is smack in the middle of several growing scandals: the Operation Fast and Furious gun-running debacle and the crony capitalism wrongdoing involving Solyndra and LightSquared.

Besides covering the basis and latest happenings of these scandals, the latest of which, LightSquared, involves two U.S. officials (including a four-star Air Force general) who allege the White House asked them to commit perjury to rush through testing for the politically-connected company, we're also informed of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa's latest investigative directions.

A cross-border gun-running scandal, deaths in the United States and Mexico, staff removals and resignations, secret audio recordings, complaints from foreign officials, hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, bankruptcy, an FBI raid, campaign donors, and allegations of inappropriate White House influence in congressional testimony. There are serious questions coming out of Washington. It’s time the media start demanding answers.

Well past time to not only start demanding answers, but to stop shielding this administration.

Oh, and let us not forget about the Gibson raids while Obama seeks to pass his phony jobs bill!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Facts are stubborn things

Those famous words are the utterance of our second president, John Adams. On the opposite end of the spectrum, and barely at that, lies our current inhabitant of the White House, who, on Monday, stated "Middle-class families shouldn't pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires." So, are the rich taxed less? Well, Stephen Ohlemacher of the AP did a little fact checking, and the data he found tells quite a different story than Obama's claims:

On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.

There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

Ohlemacher goes on to explain how those households making more than a million do indeed pay higher federal taxes, including income & payroll taxes, than lower income households. Here's this year's tax brackets on wages:

over $1 million @ 29.1%
$50,000 and $75,000 @ 15%
$40,000 and $50,000 @ 12.5%
$20,000 and $30,000 @ 5.7%

2009 figures show similar variations: $1+ million @ 24.4%, $100,000 to $125,000 @ 9.9%, $50,000 to $60,000 @ 6.3%.

Here's where Obama blurs distinctions: wages vs. investments!

Obama's claim hinges on the fact that, for high-income families and individuals, investment income is often taxed at a lower rate than wages. The top tax rate for dividends and capital gains is 15 percent. The top marginal tax rate for wages is 35 percent, though that is reserved for taxable income above $379,150.

Seems as though Obama has miscalculated a bit and jumped the shark with his 'Buffett Rule'.  However, Obama doesn't want the distinction between wages and investments understood or explained.  His bets are hedged on emotional responses against the rich over understanding that wages and investments are different entities and are treated, or taxed, as such. In fact, investments are double taxed at both the corporate and personal levels!  What Obama and Buffet are advancing is the notion of now taxing investments even more, which I alluded to in last night's post, because not only are the rich an easy target, but confiscating more wealth is the statist thing to do.  Rile up, or manipulate, working voters, while guilting the wealthy.  But they didn't count on the stubborn facts of the matter.

Right ways to approach taxes

Here's a few reminders of the right ways to approach taxes (ht: Levin):

John Kennedy '62...

Obama's certainly no JFK.

Ronald Reagan '85...

Paul Ryan would agree.

Barack Obama '09 (who's this guy?!)...

...and we're still in a recession, Mr. President.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Obama’s waging war on job creators

‘Spend, then Tax’ has been the Democrat template for decades. Creating program after program, many paid for with future revenue projections that can’t possibly produce economic stability, nor success. We’ve witnessed this practice, and its results, in real-time over a mere 3 years under the Obama Administration. And the emotional manipulation to condone this habit is as old as the irresponsible practice itself. Class warfare and wealth redistribution are the tools of the trade. This administration’s mantra is constantly recited from top down, “the rich need to pay their fair share.” Never mind that the rich already pay towards the vast majority of EVERYTHING (top 10% pays 70% of taxes), while nearly 50% pay virtually NOTHING, then receive benefits among 77 welfare programs and become lifetime dependents of government. And that’s somehow fair?!

With that prefaced, and acknowledging that Obama has already wasted $1T on stimulus, now he’s proposing to confiscate even more to create jobs…and, as always, the easy target is the rich. From Reuters:

Obama's plan, which will be sent to the "super committee" of six Republicans and six Democrats considering deficit reduction, proposes $3 trillion in savings over the next decade. Roughly half of those savings come from higher tax revenues, under the president's proposal.

That would include allowing tax breaks for upper income Americans to expire at the end of 2012, capping popular deductions for things like mortgage interest and charitable donations, and closing corporate tax loopholes.

His call to overhaul the U.S. tax code included a "Buffett Rule," named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, that would set a minimum tax rate for people earning more than $1 million a year.

How peculiar, what does taxing the rich have to do with job creation? Well, actually, this scheme is antithetical to job creation! Waging war on job creators through higher taxation loses more jobs.

How many times does it have to be restated: government doesn’t create jobs. And the proof couldn’t be more obvious than with the latest headlines focusing on companies that Obama has given half-a-trillion dollars to…they’ve all gone bankrupt! Job creation is the role of private industry.

Only Barack Obama would use what he’s coined the “Buffett Rule” to raise $1.5T in new taxes on investors and job creators (a.k.a. ‘the rich’ and ‘big corporations’) to offset the largest Democrat spending spree in U.S. history over the past 3 years, and call it a “Jobs Bill.” Likewise, only a man, who owes more than 1 billion in back taxes, be absolutely fine with his name being used as the political motivator for such an ideologically devious plan.

If you can venture beyond the poisonous class envy and jealousy that Obama feeds to Americans, one might be able to recognize that since most income for the wealthy is in the form of capital gains and dividends (of which are already double taxed), Obama and Buffet are launching an assault against the general concept of investing. Despite the media’s portrayal, the overall act of investing isn’t evil. Investing creates opportunities, inspires innovation and provides jobs…there’s where the focus of any jobs bill should be, if at all. But honestly, the more freedom in investing, the less government should feel the need to intrude in our daily lives. The most important point that these men fail to grasp, or perhaps they do and they're hoping we won't, is that increased taxation, or revenue, put towards debt doesn’t insure increased efficiency in government or its spending.  We've witnessed and lived quite the contrary for decades.

As Rush said earlier today, perhaps “it’s time for Democrats to start paying their fair share” for continuing to support statists, who drive our economy off a fiscal cliff with their programs and policies, then always turn to higher taxes as the answer for their recklessness.  Oh, that's not fair?  It's not meant to be.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A glimpse of Levin’s next book, perhaps?

On Friday’s Mark Levin Show show, during the first segment of the second hour, Levin took a question from one caller that, although referring to it as a ‘profound’ one, he says, “Well, first of all, I can’t go into it in great, great substance…uhh (chuckle)…for a reason that I don’t want to say right now…but let me touch on it.” Hmm, suspicious. It’s common knowledge among listeners and fans of Mark Levin that he’s currently working on his next book, and he typically keeps a lid on the topic while working towards completion. I’m probably not the only one who noticed that disclaimer of sorts, but I am left wondering if Mark gave us a glimpse of what his next book will be about…?

Question: If the Constitution was to prevent the tyranny that we see, how did we go wrong?

Answer: “Because we have had individuals, both in and out of office, who have made it their objective to delink the society from the Constitution, and they have largely succeeded. And there’s a history behind this, and there are particular individuals who’ve been involved in this, and they have largely succeeded. So even today, when you dare to bring up the Constitution, you’re attacked…”Well, what are you? You oppose Social Security and Medicare? You don’t believe in the highway system? What, you don’t believe in this? You don’t believe in that?”…that’s what’s happened. And now, it’s been institutionalized. So now they are using the Constitution and abusing the Constitution to impose the will of temporary politicians and a massive bureaucracy on us. And the really big turning point came when the Supreme Court, having fought this kind of political heresy, embraced it, endorsed it, gave its imprimatur, and now we call it ‘precedent’, which means to we pedestrians, there’s no way out, because they’re saying “We have opinions, we’ve issued opinions in the past that say this is all perfectly good, and we follow our past precedent, so we’re gonna keep saying it’s good. So it gets worse and worse and worse. And that’s one of the reasons this individual mandate battle is so crucial. If we win that battle in the Supreme Court, it’ll be the first time really, in decades, that we’ve pulled back from the precipice, in that the Supreme Court has finally stood up and said, “No, actually, government, you can’t do that. No actually, government, Congress, the President, you can’t force individuals to do things against their best interest all the time. And this is one of those cases where we’re saying no.” And I promise you, they will be trashed in the most vicious way, the same way Obama and his liberal drone friends attacked them when they dared – in a small way, a very, very small way – to uphold the First Amendment when it comes to political speech. Let me put it to you this way: Liberalism and Constitutionalism cannot work together. They’re incompatible…Liberalism and the Constitution are incompatible.”

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, U.S. Constitution!

“While a constitution may set forth rights and liberties, only the citizens can maintain and guarantee those freedoms. Active and informed citizenship is not just a right; it is a duty.” ~ Ronald Reagan, September 17, 1981 (Constitution Day)

You probably won't hear a lot about it today. Rest assured, Google won't create a 'doodle' for it. Nonetheless, today we celebrate the 224th anniversary for the passage of our Constitution.  "Let us rededicate ourselves to our Founding Principles."

Here's a message from the former Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, Ed Meese, on how important the preservation of the Constitution is, now more than ever:

The Constitution of the United States of America has endured over two centuries. It remains the object of reverence for nearly all Americans and an object of admiration by peoples around the world. Unfortunately, the assault by 20th century liberal theorists and activist judges has seriously undermined respect for America’s core principles, denigrating some constitutional rights they disagree with and making up others.

Fortunately, there has been a renewed interest in the Constitution in recent years, as Americans seek to understand the founding principles and enduring truths that form the bedrock of our chosen form of self-government. Clearly, the future of liberty depends on America reclaiming its constitutional first principles.

BOOM! Crony Capitalism takes another hit (UPDATE)

If you've seen the latest Ford ad series with new buyers being surprised by a spontaneous press conference, then you'll get a kick out of their latest one.  Chris, a real Ford F-150 pick-up owner is featured in the new ad, and is asked by one reporter, "Chris, was buying American important to you?"  Chris's response, as well as the fact that Ford decided to focus on this specific Q&A out of the entirety of footage shot, is nothing short of courageous, considering the ensuing scandals of Obama's corrupt administration.

Ed Morrissey's analysis of the ad is spot on:

It’s brilliant in terms of distancing Ford from the anger taxpayers (and potential buyers) feel over the bailouts of Ford rivals GM and Chrysler. After all, taxpayers will end up losing about $14 billion for their trouble, and a lot of investors got screwed in the politically-manipulated bankruptcy proceedings for both companies. Any competitive edge helps, of course, and this is a natural argument — so much so that it’s curious that Ford hasn’t really pressed that point until now.

But it also feels like something more than just a sales pitch, too. The statement that America is about taking risks and enduring failure rather than expecting government to bail everyone out sounds more like a big thumb in the eye of the Obama administration, whose latest jobs bill keeps extending unemployment benefits, and which continues to propose spending billions on subsidies for businesses that can’t succeed on their own — like Solyndra.

UPDATE: The video (above) has been replaced with a new link. Seems the Obama Administration pressured Ford to pull the ad (surprise), but after fumbling around with some PR explanations as to why it disappeared on YouTube, Ford appears to have reposted it to their YouTube account.  These guys can dish it out, but they can't take it at all when they're criticized the least bit.  Ed Morrissey covers the details over at HotAir.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Most Scandalous Administration

I’ve tried numerous times throughout the week to put pen to paper, metaphorically speaking, to address the numerous scandals plaguing the Obama Administration, but I literally can’t keep up with the amount of information and breaking news pouring out of these, as even newer issues arise. Quite frankly, this Administration is making Nixon’s escapades look like a walk in the park! So much so, that even the media are unable to shield Obama and his cronies from these atrocities. So, let me just post some of the latest revelations…hang on tight, it's a very bumpy ride!

Gunrunner: Operation Fast & Furious

Here's the latest on the one that kicked off the laundry list of scandals.  The amount of resistance and obstruction on this one is astonishing…

Rep. Darrell Issa spoke to Laura Ingraham earlier this week, stating AG Eric Holder’s dangerous ineptitude:

@1:26 - "This thing was dumber than Iran-Contra, and as a Republican I hate to say that, but this was so dumb that there was no chance of it ever yielding the kind of solutions that they claimed it would."
@1:58 - "We have a paper trail of so many people knowing that the only way the Attorney General didn't know is he made sure he didn't want to know. But if you don't want to know something of this sort then you shouldn't have the job he has. And ultimately that's one of the questions is, if he didn't know, is he that inept that he is dangerous to have as the Attorney General, and that is for the president to decide."

Issa also spoke to Bret Baier yesterday, discussing the trail that leads all the way to the White House:

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) says it is now very apparent, if it was not before, that the White House was deeply connected in the "Fast & Furious" mission where guns were trafficked across the US-Mexico border.

HotAir reported Wednesday that the DoJ told GOP investigators that more Fast & Furious guns have been linked to three more murders in Mexico. Issa is fed up with both the ineptness and obvious obstruction in this investigation, and laid into yet another assistant AG…

Here’s another little back and forth, courtesy of CNSNews, between McCain, Napolitano and Mueller…

Denial, denial, denial…

That same HotAir report mentioned above says there may be some good news for the Administration, though: “If you’re caught between two hugely embarrassing scandals, better that the media focuses on the one without a body count, no?” And that leads to the next…

Green Hell: Solyndra

There’s been 24-7 reporting on this one, particularly this week, but the real kicker came with a Solyndra employee who made a call to the Mark Levin Show last Wednesday…

Mark Levin rebroadcasts a phone call received from a Solyndra employee which may have prompted the FBI to raid Solyndra and start an official investigation into White House funding and the events which led to Solyndra filing for bankruptcy. Aired 9/14/2011.

What ensued after that little call, was an FBI raid and an onslaught of investigative reports from ABC, who divulged the email correspondence of White House officials, showing how closely the Administration was monitoring the huge loan…

…to a relatively damning NBC indictment of White House involvement in this “green embarrassment”:

On Wednesday, HotAir reported on the grilling of DoE officials over the Solyndra scandal. It’s been, shall we say, fast & furious
Here’s freshman Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) pulling teeth with DoE’s Jonathan Silver concerning the loan guarantee program:

Likewise, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) can’t seem to get Silver to say whose in charge of giving $535 million to the bankrupt Solyndra:

“You’re the driver, Mr. Silver. You’re the driver.”

And this scandal just keeps growing…the spigot has consistently turned counterclockwise on this one, as more info comes rushing out…the White House ignored at least three watchdog reports criticizing DoE’s loan controlspending bankruptcy didn’t keep Solyndra from sending cash to lobbyists…and on and on and on (this RedState link echoes my previous sentiment, “Solyndra Scandal looks more and more like Obama’s Watergate”…indeed. However this may only be one of the hydra’s green heads growing out of Sec. Steven Chu’s DoE, as we take a look back to discover another $500+ million loan given to an Al Gore-backed “green” car company. The crony capitalism coming out of this White House is never ending.

And to that point, Levin adds that Solyndra is “the tip of the green iceberg scandal”

Let’s hope to hell that Solyndra proves to be bad for Obama’s reelection…at the very least, for the sake of the money that we’ll never recover.
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Now, onto a brand new beast…

Bombshell: General pressured to commit perjury

White House pressured general to change testimony to benefit Democrat donor.  That was the headline that crossed the circuits yesterday in reference to a report that came from The Daily Beast of all places. HotAir sets this up, “With the White House already reeling over the Solyndra collapse, a new scandal may have erupted today that could make the disappearance of $535 million in taxpayer funds look like a paperwork glitch,” and The Right Scoop joins in to knock it down, “a new pay-for-play scandal is breaking today that involves the White House pressuring an Air Force general to change his testimony to the benefit of a Democrat donor about a wireless project (owned by Democrat donor) interfering with the military’s GPS system.”

There’s limited info on this one right now, but Ed Morrissey pegs the troubling nature of this one, “If the White House has been leaning on the military to mislead Congress in order to benefit Democratic donors, that indicates a whole new level of corruption, one that could seriously damage the non-partisan nature of civilian control of the military.”

Does it not feel like there’s literally a new scandal, or element of an already existing one, brewing daily? Crony Capitalism, something that the Right is constantly being accused of, has run amuck and exponentially grown since the inception of the current administration.  Not only to the extent of what we know, but moreover what we don't know, this could be the most corrupt administration that America has ever seen.

The Carter 'Kiss of Death'

While Perry is racking up endorsements from other Republican Governors and congressional members, Romney received a mentionable one of his own...Jimmy Carter?! Now either this is the weirdest joke of reverse psychology (particularly not mentioning Huntsman, a Democrat's Republican), or Perry slipped Carter a Gardasil! What am I saying...Carter's distorted mind has been naturally warping on its own for quite sometime now. And if that death knell wasn't enough, he gave Bachmann a little love peck as well...from The Hill:

On former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, the former Democratic president said he would like to see Romney win the Republican presidential nomination.

"I'm not taking a position, but I would be very pleased to see him win the Republican nomination," Carter said on an interview on MSNBC set to air Thursday night.

Carter also said he appreciated that Rep. Bachmann (R-Minn.) worked on Carter's presidential campaign in 1976. Bachmann has mentioned how she was a Democrat during college but switched parties after because she disagreed with certain foreign and domestic policies of the left.

"I know, and I appreciate that she helped me out!," Carter said.

Carter expressed confidence that Obama would be reelected.

Aaannd that last part is where he returns to delusional-land, once again. Aside from Perry, I bet Cain, Gengrich and Santorum are breathing a sigh of relief that he didn't mention them!  So, although Perry's biggest weakness still needs to be improved upon (no, not the inoculation controversy, but his softness on illegal immigration), this would seem to solidify his ranking as the Republican frontrunner, and likely nominee...certainly a better fate than Carter's Kiss of Death!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hump day hilarity & high jinx

The high jinx and hilarity kept rolling along throughout the day, so thought I’d simply lump a few of these into one smörgåsbord of laughter and ridiculousness…

Remember this question asked in Monday night’s GOP debate: “Out of every dollar that I earn, how much do you think that I deserve to keep?” Who’d a thought that this ‘question you’ll never hear at a Democrat debate’ would be asked of a Democrat so soon? Well, listen to how Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) twists in the wind while claiming that Americans aren’t entitled to all of their own money

“I’ll put it this way, you don’t deserve to keep all of it. It’s not a question of deserving, because what government is, is those things that we decide to do together… I think you need to pay your fair share for things we've decided are our national priorities ." 

Spoken like a true statist, before arriving at her allotted percentages dependent on wealth, of course.

Speaking of the soft tyranny of statism…let’s turn to Obama’s latest jokes. While out on the campaign trail…er, excuse me, jobs stump (wink, wink)…Obama wore his desperation on his sleeve while attempting to revive that cult of personality that landed him the gig…

We don’t love ya, and we’re not gonna help ya pass that bill…but we will help ya pass THIS one….you know, the actual American Jobs Act filed by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Apparently, Democrats were too disinterested in Obama’s plan, so Gohmert swiped the name and filed a vastly improved bill!

On top of that one, Republican senators called on a vote for a jobs bill of their own that would counter the NLRB’s complaint against Boeing for their alleged retaliation against union workers. And Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) sent a clear message to Obama: “Pass THIS now!”

As one Gateway Pundit commenter added: “He forgot the part about 'If you love me' pass this bill now.”

Maybe we should report Rep. Gohmert and Sen. Paul to Obama’s new watchdog site, Attaaaaack Waaaaaaatch:

Ok, jokes aside, here’s the actual site…LOL! It’s just too hard not to laugh. If you love him, you’ll go to…Attaaaaack Waaaaaaatch!! Ok, ok…