Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
We have the squishy Governor, Charlie Crist, with ridiculously high approval ratings versus the young and talented conservative former Florida Speaker of the House in Marco Rubio.
In a time when the GOP is desperate to figure out its direction, it's a battle for the Party's soul.
Do we want to squash the youthful, up and coming conservative in favor of a moderate who will assuredly win the race?
And it sucks.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of Marco Rubio. He is right on the issues and has a magnetic personality. And while it would cost one helluva lot, he'd have a decent shot at winning the seat. But sometimes we have to sacrifice the ideal candidate in order to protect the greater good. And that greater good is about increasing the likelihood that Democrats will not have an absolute Majority in the U.S. Senate.
We've already seen how dangerous our President can be without 60 Democrats in the Senate - now imagine what policies will be passed if that comes to be.
Sen. Cornyn, Chairman of the NRSC, endorsed Charlie Crist several weeks ago to the sound of conservative activists booing. Today he posted his reasoning on Red State:
Now, while I disagree with the NRSC officially endorsing Crist, the reasoning is sound from a political perspective. There is a finite amount of resources able to be spent on campaigns in 2010. And even less money available in this time of recession. It isn't sound politics to spend money unnecessarily when you can prevent a Democrat from taking the seat at a drastically lower cost.
While Rubio is certainly an up-and-comer in Florida, a recent Mason Dixon poll showed that he only has a 44 percent name ID among Republicans, which will ultimately force him to spend a lot more money introducing himself to Floridians. Govenor Crist, in contrast, has a 100 percent name ID among Republicans, according to the same poll. In a general election match-up with Democrat Congressman Kendrick Meek, Charlie Crist wins handily 55 percent to 24 percent.We have a chance to field competitive candidates in Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, California, Arkansas, and Colorado in 2010.
Will Crist be the kinda Republican we want in the Senate? No. But his election may enable Republicans to win elsewhere.
And unfortunately, some of the fault may lie with Rubio. He had the opportunity to avoid a primary with Crist, thereby risking his political career, and run for Governor instead. This would have enabled him to serve as the executive for 1-2 terms, gain more experience in a vital state in national politics and set himself up for a run for President. Now, Bill McCollum has announced his candidacy for Governor and Rubio has thrown all his chits on the table to the point where if he backed out of the Senate primary he'd lose credibility.
It's a tough and unfortunate situation. One that I hoped we could avoid. But it's all moot if Rubio is able to pull off the upset against Crist and raise much of his own cash.
And that's why the NRSC should have stayed out of it.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Sitting in the Oval Office with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday afternoon, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to a “two-state solution” and seemed to indicate his administration is more frustrated with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu than with his Palestinian counterpart.3BP's response:
Saying two states “would provide the Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security that they need,” President Obama said he was “very appreciative that President Abbas shares that view” and suggested that Netanyahu – who does not publicly support such a move – needs to come on board.
Here is one of their ads.
Pelosi's current national approval ratings? 39%.
Newt's national approval rating when he resigned? 45%.
(to be fair, Newt was as low as 25% in March of 2007)
The unknown variable, at least to me, is how well Pelosi is known in these targeted districts. Clearly her numbers at this point show her actions encourage a negative perception. Further enhancing these negatives among those who don't know her will only help the GOP challengers.
Let's keep the heat on.
When: 5pm, Monday
Where: Everal Barn - 60 N. Cleveland Avenue, Westerville
Get your tickets here.
2) Run for school board.
Oberlin students haven't said the Pledge of Allegiance as part of their school day in about 30 years, and the school board decided this week not to have them start reciting it any time soon.Idiots.
The district considered changing the decades-old policy at a parent's suggestion, but only if it could come up with a way to satisfy those who supported the move and those who did not.
The measure was only up for a first reading. If the board members had voted in favor of the proposal they would then have gone on to vote on whether to adopt the policy at a subsequent meeting. But three of the five board members voted to throw out the proposal.
But Paula Jones said at the end of the meeting that she hadn't understood what she was voting on. When she learned that her vote meant the policy would no longer be considered, she sunk in her chair and covered her eyes with her hand.
The booklet also mentions the "police academy graduates in Ohio" whose graduation ceremony President Obama attended in March, heralding how the stimulus enabled the city of Columbus to hire 25 cadets.Glad to see there is someone in the mainstream media that refuses to give the President a free pass.
But this week Police Chief Walter Distelzweig told the Columbus Dispatch that unless residents approve a tax increase, those 25 cadets face the real possibility of layoffs.
Check out the full link for more stimulus hypocrisy.
Mandel will have to make this campaign about incumbent Treasurer Kevin Boyce and the state of Ohio's economy. Pin the massive job losses on him and go to work.
Also, props to the Ohio GOP. They've recruited a great slate of statewide candidates for the 2010 election. Kasich, Portman, Taylor, Husted and now Josh Mandel. Keep up the good work, Mr. DeWine.
If you'd like to contribute to Josh, please visit http://www.joshmandel.com
In Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race, a new Quinnipiac poll finds Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) leads former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-PA) by nine points, 46% to 37%.Richards is right. No one questions Specter would have lost in the primary to Toomey. His only chance to keep his seat was to abandon his principles and switch Parties.
Specter had a 20 point lead at the beginning of May.
Said pollster Clay Richards: "Sen. Arlen Specter's numbers have slipped since the controversy that followed his switch to the Democratic Party, but he's still better off than he would have been if he stayed a Republican and faced a tough primary challenge from former Rep. Pat Toomey."
Of course, this assumes Arlen had any principles left in the first place.
The results seem to illustrate that much of the electorate is finally digesting what Specter did. And they don't like it.
This means those that don't pay attention will be vulnerable to paid media in the closing months of the election that hammers Specter for the switch.
It seems Toomey still has a shot.
And to think, Arlen. You could have left with some shred of dignity.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Those days seem a long ways away lately, eh?
We skipped class.
Confused? You should be. Let me back up.
The late 90s and 2000s have seen a dramatic surge in the diversity, intensity and quantity of communication mediums. Web pages. Twitter. Youtube. Multiple cable news channels. Blogs. Text messaging. And on and on and on.
And the problem now is not that Republicans don't know how to use these mediums...it's that they don't know how to use them properly.
So how did this happen? In the late 90s Republicans controlled Congress and had clear opposition in President Clinton. This enabled, and more importantly, forced them to speak with a unified voice in order to effectively challenge the President's policies. In the 2000s the Bush team spoke for the RNC, White House Staff, Cabinet and Vice President's office. And Congress, no thanks to 9/11 and the Iraq War, laid down in support of a war time President. We didn't need mutiple communication mediums because we already had the strongest tool in the land - the Press Secretary's podium. Make no mistake, there is no greater tool to shape the debate than the White House itself.
In the meantime, Democrats were the opposition Party. And they needed alternatives to communicate their message. It just so happened to coincide with the massive influx of communication mediums which provided liberal Congressional leadership, Party Leaders, think tanks, and strategists an opportunity to learn how they best work without the responsibility of making policy or running a war.
In short, Republicans had the bully pulpit. Democrats had time to rehearse using everything else.
So now, with situations reversed and Republicans still used to being in power or having their message muted by a Republican White House, our Party message is all over the damn place. Egos aren't kept in check and we have a seemingly infinite number of communication mediums to be exploited. And all without any real idea about how best to utilize them.
So, how do we fix it?
First, egos must be left at the door. This will take time as the Party makes up its mind who it wants to listen to. In the latest Powell/Cheney/Limbaugh tiff, Cheney and Limbaugh clearly came out ahead. As I posted months ago, our Party needs a statesman leader...not a radio host, talking head or even a former VP. (not that there isn't a clear use for Cheney, but he isn't the future face of the Party)
We need a young, conservative leader with credentials and an articulate nature...someone like Eric Cantor.
Second, we must be patient. It's going to take time for things to shake out. But we need to know we're still relevant, and that's why the gubernatorial races in the now blue states of Virginia and New Jersey this fall are so important. With Republican victories in both, which at this point seem likely, the Party will have momentum going into the all-important races of 2010. Sure, we won't retake Congress, but we can make a serious dent and hopefully swing some Gov races our way at the same time.
Finally, it will take a dedicated effort by our leadership to better coordinate the message. With all these opportunities to be heard, Republicans want to use them all. That's fine, but it needs to be done intelligently and in a unified voice.
Just leave your egos at the door.
So was Biden.
It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.You'll be hearing about this test tomorrow when you scroll through the morning's news. That is, when you're not hearing about our Latina SCOTUS nominee.
North Korea's military says it considers South Korea's participation in a U.S.-led program to intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction tantamount to a declaration of war against the North.Politically speaking, this couldn't have come at a better time for the President. The media is distracted by the Sotomayor pick and the American public has a finite attention span.
The communist North's military said in a statement Wednesday that it will respond with "immediate, strong military measures" if the South actually stops and searches any North Korean ships under the Proliferation Security Initiative.
The statement, carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency, said North Korea no longer considers itself bound by the armistice that ended the Korean War, as a protest over the South's participation.
South Korea announced its participation in the anti-proliferation program Tuesday, one day after the North conducted a nuclear test.
My assumption is Obama will express his usual "disappointment" in North Korea's action and will once again hope this latest crisis goes away without incident. But this crisis may just go beyond Obama's rhetorical gymnastics. If South Korea doesn't back down we may find ourselves in one helluva mess. On top of it all, we have 28k of our troops in Korea to worry about.
And according to our resident foreign policy genius John Bolton, this may only be the beginning...
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
“Senate Republicans will treat Judge Sotomayor fairly. But we will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law even-handedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences.The problem these bloggers find is that there is no red meat in the response - no challenge. They want McConnell to go after the nomination from the get go and say this kind of response shows he wasn't ready.
“Our Democratic colleagues have often remarked that the Senate is not a ‘rubber stamp.’ Accordingly, we trust they will ensure there is adequate time to prepare for this nomination, and a full and fair opportunity to question the nominee and debate her qualifications.”
I have to disagree.
While I understand how many wanted the Senator to go off with guns blazing, that is far below the dignity of the office of Minority Leader.
And that doesn't mean Republicans weren't ready.
Right now is the time for surrogates to pound away at Sotomayor's record of ineptitude and blatant racism. These are accusations that while accurate, would come across as far below the standard of someone in McConnell's position.
Public opinion must be shaped and her record must be exposed. But that can be done by conservatives interviewed on CNN, Fox and all over the mainstream media.
If we want to judge whether the Republican establishment was ready for this, we must wait and see their actions over the next 1-2 days.
I know it's hard to be patient these days, but just try...
She will be the first Latina American to serve on the high court.
And she's Latina.
From the opening paragraphs of articles announcing the selection this morning....
CNN: "Sotomayor would be the first Hispanic and third female U.S. Supreme Court justice if confirmed."Identity politics, anyone?
The AP: "...making her the first Hispanic in history picked to wear the robes of a justice."
Reuters: "...selecting a woman who would be the court's first Latino to replace retiring Justice David Souter."
NBC's First Read nailed it.
[D]on't ignore the politics surrounding this pick. As we've mentioned before, Latino groups have been grumbling somewhat about their representation (or lack thereof) in the Obama administration, as well as the fact that immigration reform doesn't appear to be on the White House's front-burner. But this pick buys Obama A LOT of time with Hispanics -- a demographic he won last year, 67%-31% -- on immigration and other issues. Is it a coincidence that Obama this week heads out West to Nevada and California, two states with large Latino populations?Sadly, this Latina lacks of chops for the job. After all, how many other nominees to the High Court have had their judgements reversed FOUR TIMES by the Supreme Court for such frightening reasons such as "erroneous interpretation of the tax code" and "failure to apply precedent correctly"?
But that won't stop her from getting affirmed.
What if I told you she was a racist? From a Sotomayor speech in 2001:
Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.Yes, Virginia, there is reverse racism.
Sadly, this won't stop her either.
After all, she is Latina.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
John Kasich is holding his first campaign event on June 1st in Westerville, Ohio.
And you should go.
Sign up here. It should be a hell of an event.
I noticed some space on the bottom of the new logo. It's going to look that much better with the "For Governor" attached come a week from Monday.
Want some other ways to think about this staggering number?
- More than one out of 10 Ohioans are out of work.
- An increase of 235,000 jobs lost since April of 2008.
- 15% higher than the national unemployment rate.
- Up 92% since Strickland took office.
Well, after a quick review of the Governor's website, the last press release that addressed job growth was about the creation of a Minority Business Council back on April 14th.
Before that, on December 17, 2008, a press release stating the Strickland Administration's delight about the Cooper Tire and Rubber Company deciding to stay in Ohio.
Back on October 1st, 2008, Strickland signed an executive order establishing the Economic Growth Cabinet. Obviously, they've been hard at work.
And on June 12th of 2008 he announced the signing of the Ohio Economic Stimulus Bill which has since cost taxpayers $1.5 billion and seen a loss of 178,000 jobs.
You can either start laughing or crying now.
That's four press releases in the past year that addressed efforts by the Strickland Administration to create or retain jobs within the state.
Four. Out of 124 in twelve months of staggering job losses.
This has gone beyond shameful into downright negligence.
It's about time Ohioans started recognizing the tragedy that is the Strickland Administration.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Clearly, she's trying to build her profile.
And she's kicking butt.
Anyone have any insight as to her current home? I'd like to see her wielding a little more influence than a few appearances on MSNBC.
UPDATE: A commenter corrected an error of mine. Colorado Springs is in fact part of a conservative district, but one currently represented by a Republican Doug Lamborn. Unless he moves onward and upward, it's hard to see Cheney looking at CO for a run. Also, I'd imagine her old college town being last on the list for a district to run.
UPDATE II: Looks like we beat US News to the punch. Go us.
What an amazing speech - clearly defending the actions of his Administration and the dangers of Obama's.
The two speeches given today by the President and former VP are as close as we could hope for a debate between the two. How the mainstream media depicts each will be interesting to watch. Yes, you have reason to be pessimistic, but the mere fact Cheney has been given the opportunity to share his vision is nothing but a positive for those that want to keep America safe.
Now I just wonder how quickly we'll see a Draft Cheney for President group on facebook...
UPDATE: Check out Obama messing up the name of his own Defense Secretary. Sorta frightening.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
After all, to me, facebook was created for one to network and share their lives with others. To me, politics and policy are of great interest, so I enjoy sharing what catches my eye.
Well, today on facebook I linked to this article.
Obviously, I was outraged. When you start taxing my favorite beverage in order to provide universal health care, you go too far. So, I shared the link on my facebook page.
Two faces from my past, one from my days growing up in Worthington, Ohio and another friend from my time at Kenyon, both decided to comment.
Whalen: they should tax facebook status updates...just throwing out alternatives...on second thought, that might increase my tax bill by a couple more g's...nevermindThis brief interchange between Whalen and Denise about my facebook updates exposes the amazing disconnect between Republicans and Democrats, or if you prefer, common sense and liberals.
Denise: [He] could pay for our entire country's health care if they taxed facebook status updates! Great idea Whalen!
Sure, they were just having fun and teasing, but the fact they were even capable of such logic - that taxing something brings in more money, is unfortunate, and also the way so many liberals think. Don't believe me?
Ask Ted Strickland if tax revenues have gone down with Ohio having the one of the worst tax environments in the country.
Ask Maryland where a year after Maryland became one of the first states to create a higher tax bracket for millionaires, the number of Marylanders in that bracket appears to be declining.
For the hell of it, let's take their joke seriously. Say they did start taxing facebook updates - would I still want to update my page if I had to pay money everytime? Of course not, and in turn, no tax revenue would be gained.
But still, liberals believe taxing something magically brings in more money. Presto. Just like that. They don't understand that taxing something changes behavior.
Maybe if they'll just read more of my facebook updates...
What's the story? Well, the guy chosen to fill the shoes of Lee Fisher at the Department of Development, Mark Barbash, forgot to pay 160k in taxes.
That's right, the guy working with Strickland to lead the charge of economic development in Ohio....didn't pay taxes.
Now, what could possibly make this any more ridiculous a story? Well, leave it to the Guv:
Gov. Ted Strickland said yesterday that he probably would have appointed Mark Barbash interim director of the state development department even if he had known that Barbash owes nearly $160,000 in federal and state taxes.Yep, you read that right.
Now, I know the Governor has given John Kasich plenty of ammo for the campaign trail, but this statement from the Governor just reeks of stupidity from a political and moral sense.
I can't wait to see the commercials.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Before reading the actual data, some of the headlines had me particularly worried. Here are a few examples:
From the Chicago Tribune's The Swamp:
From Teagan Goddard's well-respected Political Wire:
(note, Goddard uses 'aggregate' data to come to his conclusion, rather than the most recent data or the trend)
And from the liberal and popular Ohio blog, Buckeye State Blog:
Republicans must be screwed, eh?
Wellllllll I hate to break it to the Buckeye State Blog, but if Republicans are an endangered species, then so are Democrats.
And that's coming from the exact same Gallup Poll that their blog cited.
As you can see, the latest data shows those identifying themselves as Republicans and Democrats are equal, even with leaners.
Now, Buckeye State Blog, I don't know if you were confused, or just trying way too hard to appease your readers and keep them in some kind of fantasy land.
You can look at all the demographic data you want, but according to Gallup, Democrats have had a 9, 4, 7, 13, 7, 11 and 9 point advantage respectfully in this poll since Obama was elected.
Of course, things may change...these numbers always do. But for those saying these numbers spell out the end of the Republican Party - well, you may want to think before you post.
It's being reported that this will cost consumers $1,300 more to buy a vehicle. But Obama is selling it with the understanding that the new standards will help Americans consume 1.6 billion less barrels of oil, and in turn, help their energy costs.
So far, the media has been responding with their usual glowing praise.
I found this particularly interesting, especially after a quick googling found thus nugget from MSNBC dated March, 2004.
Now what does ANWR have to do with anything? Well, maybe this quote from the article will help:
Congress has grappled for years over whether to allow oil companies access to the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain in the Alaska refuge, which geologists believe harbors about 10.4 billion barrels of crude.So back in 2004, 10.4 billion barrels would have "little impact."
But today, 1.6 billion barrels is worth increasing costs on consumers by $1,300?
Don't fall for it.
Monday, May 18, 2009
In other words, when drafting their budget, the Governor's office miscalculated what they would be able to spend by $912.1 million.
In state spending terms, that's a shit ton.
Ironically, today Economist Art Laffer wrote an editorial appearing the Wall Street Journal stating the following:
And the evidence that we discovered in our new study for the American Legislative Exchange Council, "Rich States, Poor States," published in March, shows that Americans are more sensitive to high taxes than ever before. The tax differential between low-tax and high-tax states is widening, meaning that a relocation from high-tax California or Ohio, to no-income tax Texas or Tennessee, is all the more financially profitable both in terms of lower tax bills and more job opportunities.In other words, when you tax people at a high rate they go away, and so do the jobs they help create.
Updating some research from Richard Vedder of Ohio University, we found that from 1998 to 2007, more than 1,100 people every day including Sundays and holidays moved from the nine highest income-tax states such as California, New Jersey, New York and Ohio and relocated mostly to the nine tax-haven states with no income tax, including Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas. We also found that over these same years the no-income tax states created 89% more jobs and had 32% faster personal income growth than their high-tax counterparts.
So now let's connect the two with an analysis of Ohio's standing from Rich States, Poor States as mentioned above.
So now we know the following:
- Ohio is one of the worst taxed states in the nation
- Individuals who are taxed at a high level leave the state and take their tax contribution with them
- Ohio received almost a billion dollars less than it expected in FY '09.
After all, with an unemployment rate that has skyrocketed by 57% in one year, you'd imagine a crisis of such proportions would be considered a high priority by someone like the Governor of Ohio.
But based on a peek I had at the Governor's first fundraising letter to his supporters, that simply isn't the case. What is his solution for solving Ohio's economic crisis? Education. From Strickland's letter:
I'm convinced that the key to growing our economy is making sure we have the best educated workforce in the nation. In a global economy, good-paying jobs and capital investment go to where the workforce is most prepared. And this is an area in which Ohio can excel.Now, for argument's sake, let's not assume Strickland's education proposal isn't as deeply flawed as many who are not Unions say it is.
In other words, let's assume(as painful as it may be) it betters education for our students across the state.
Remember, unemployment in the past 12 months has skyrocketed by 57%. Almost 1 in 10 Ohioans are out of work. Ohio can't wait 10 years for Little Joey to get through middle school, high school and college so he can show prospective employers that he's ready to go to work.
With Gov. Strickland not even addressing the major problem with Ohio's tax burden, Little Joey is going to get the hell out of dodge and move somewhere that won't tax a huge wad of cash out from his wallet. Even further to the point, it won't matter how smart Little Joey is if businesses refuse to come to Ohio and deal with the massive corporate taxes that come with maintaining a business there.
It all goes back to Art Laffer's conclusion from his WSJ article linked above:
States aren't simply competing with each other. As Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently told us, "Our state is competing with Germany, France, Japan and China for business. We'd better have a pro-growth tax system or those American jobs will be out-sourced." Gov. Perry and Texas have the jobs and prosperity model exactly right. Texas created more new jobs in 2008 than all other 49 states combined. And Texas is the only state other than Georgia and North Dakota that is cutting taxes this year.If Ohio wants to solve its economic crisis, Ohio must cut taxes.
And it also must cut Ted Strickland.
When will this horrible recession be over? According to one surprising source, it’s over right now.Since the Stimulus Shit Sandwich was designed to pull us out of the recession, it's safe to say we can cut off the spending immediately, right?
The source is Robert J. Gordon, an acclaimed macroeconomist and professor at Northwestern University. It’s surprising to learn he thinks the recession is over, because he is one of seven members of the elite Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Analysis . These are the people who decide officially, for the record books, when recessions begin and end—usually many months after the fact, when the decision is really obvious.
After all, as of today approximately $101 billion of the appropriated amount has been obligated - in other words, only 12.8%. Since we're not in the recession anymore, it would make perfect logical sense to hold off on spending the rest and practicing just a weeee little bit of fiscal discipline.
Think of it this way, how do you think it would go over if our Democrat-led Congress came to the American people after a recession and said, "hey, would you mind if we spent $686 billion of your taxpayer dollars?"
Wouldn't make much sense, now would it?
So, let's just call it all off and save our future one helluva headache.
Yes, I know it won't happen, but one can dream.
Sorry for the lack of posting, but seeing as blogging pays nothing and it's summer, I decided to enjoy the weekend by going to a wine festival, spending great times with friends and the ladyfriend, and a full day of kickball earlier today on behalf of a charity in Maryland. Yes, I said kickball. It's fun. Don't judge. Ha.
It seems the previously posted Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat kept everyone's attention over the weekend in stacking up almost 1,300 views on youtube. Not bad at all.
And now we're back to our usual snarky political analysis that so many of you know and love.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Say it with me.
President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.
Some will disagree. Many will say we haven't given it enough time to do whatever good they think it will do.
But from a political perspective, it's vital for Republicans to gain the upperhand before the economy eventually does right itself(which it quite possibly would have done much faster without a stimulus in the first place) and the Democrats reap the benefits.
President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.
There is enough rhetoric and data to convincingly discuss the issue on Meet the Press or in special order speeches on the House floor.
When the President was selling the plan to the public back in January and February he explicitly stated the stimulus would quickly turn the economy around.
[The stimulus] is the right size, it is the right scope. Broadly speaking, it has the right priorities to create jobs that will jump-start our economy.So let's check this out. Did it jumpstart the economy?
Let's ask my home state of Ohio where just yesterday we learned of 2,358 more auto workers losing their jobs. Or we can ask the Washington Post which just released this mind-boggling report on the actual number of unemployed Americans:
This morning's news that U.S. unemployment has hit 13.7 million, pushing the rate to 8.9 percent, tells only half the story of this recession.President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.
The total number of Americans who are not working full-time but ought to be is actually about 22 million, or 15.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.[...]
The 15.8 percent figure is the highest since the bureau began keeping these figures in 1994. Excluding the current recession, the highest previous rate came in January 1994, when it hit 11.8 percent.
The number was 8.7 percent in December 2007, when the current recession began. That means the number of the unofficially unemployed has shot up 7.1 percentage points since then.[...]
By the way, in February, the White House predicted unemployment would top out at 8.1 percent this year, a figure that was blown through the following month.
It has made no call on how high the unofficial unemployment rate will go.
But will the public buy what we're selling?
All signs point to yes.
According to 2008's most accurate pollster, Scott Rasmussen, at time of its passing in Congress more Americans were against the stimulus than for it by a margin of 43-37. Among the all-important "unaffiliated" voters, a full 50% were against it. In other words, they came in thinking it was a bad idea. They are waiting to hear the news of its success or failure.
And how about now? Americans' confidence in the Democrats' ability to handle the economy has dropped a full 12% since right before last year's election. These people need to hear from the Republicans first. They need to know that the economy didn't buy what the President was selling.
President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.
As we detailed on Wednesday, the Administration is trying to paint a rosy picture of the economy. They are trying to convince the media and the voting public that things are turning around. While they aren't directly linking it to the stimulus, the implication they want to make is clear: With Obama in office, the economy is getting fixed.
Republicans can't let that happen.
The evidence is clear. Things aren't getting better. President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.
Come next year we'll have even more bellwethers with which we can judge the President's policies.
Of those, who are you gonna trust?
The White House still is projecting that the nation's economy will shrink by 1.2 percent this year and increase by 3.2 percent next year. In addition, it projects that "by the end of this year," the economy will be growing at a 3.5 percent annual rate.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts a gross domestic product decline of 3 percent this year, but 2.9 percent growth next year, while the April consensus of 50 blue-chip private economists sees a 2.6 percent decline in 2009 and only 1.8 percent growth next year.
Start prepping your commercials now.
"The President said things would improve. He spent nearly one trillion of our money to turn things around. He was wrong."
President Obama's stimulus plan has failed.
UPDATE: Nice timing. I beat Byron York's "The Stimulus is a Bust" column by an hour. Great minds... Ha.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
So, when you tax someone too much, they go away? Amazing.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A year after Maryland became one of the first states to create a higher tax bracket for millionaires, the state's comptroller says the number of Marylanders in that bracket appears to be declining.
The comptroller's office says taxes collected from those in the top bracket fell by about $100 million.
The number of Marylanders with more than $1 million in taxable income who filed by the end of April fell by one-third, to about 2,000.
Comptroller Peter Franchot says some may have filed for an extension, but it looks like there is a "substantial decline" in the highest bracket.
Franchot says collections could fall $130 million short of current projections if the current course continues and that could mean more budget cuts later this year.
It's a simple but important lesson. You'd think some of our friends on the left would have learned this by now.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Jim Geraghty over at the Campaign Spot has a great post detailing the turtle-like pace in which the Obama Stimulus Shit Sandwich has been rolled out.
Obama's stimulus plan cost $787 billion. So far, in the first quarterly report from Joe Biden, they have "obligated" about 11 percent, or $88 billion. Of course, "obligated" does not mean "spent." It means "entered into a binding agreement that will result in outlays, immediately or in the future." In other words, they have arranged contracts to spend this money, but the funds may still be in government accounts, instead of getting out there and being, you know, stimulative.Where he misses is connecting this new information to the slew of economic recovery rhetoric being spouted from Obama's Administration. For example, our President said on April 15th:
[UPDATE: It gets worse on page 4: "As of May 5th, $28.5 billion had already been outlaid." This would make it 3.6 percent that has actually gotten out in the economy.]
[...] from where we stand for the very first time we are beginning to see glimmers of hope and beyond that very off in the distance we can see a vision of America's future that is far different than our troubled economic past.And what kind of headlines has the Administration been getting?
So here we have the Administration providing headlines saying the economy is turning around. In other words - trying to convince the public that the stimulus is working.
But now we find out that, if true, it has to be doing it all on its own since the Stimulus Shit Sandwich hasn't really done anything yet.
But will the voters realize it?
But this time I'll admit, he's pushing a pretty damn good idea.
FL Speaker of the House and current Senate candidate Marco Rubio should run for Governor.
That helps Republicans avoid a vicious primary. It gets a Republican(well, a RINO, but still far better than Specter ever was) into the Senate in Crist. And it sets up Rubio - a young, charismatic and likeable guy - to run for a slightly bigger office in 2016 at the ripe old age of 45.
Some people complain that they want a conservative in the primary against Crist. Fine. Get one. But it doesn't have to be Rubio. If he loses, he runs the risk of becoming a non-factor far before his time.
This will give you a good idea of why he's so popular down in Florida.
Well, it looks like Mr. Boehner is doing just that. And he's keeping it simple.
Check out this headline and text from Boehner's Freedom Project site:
The National Energy Tax. The National Energy Tax. The National Energy Tax.
Keep saying it. Hopefully you'll be hearing a lot more of it.
At least that's the message conveyed by members of the RNC by this ridiculous display:
A RNC member tells Roger Simon that when committee members meet in an extraordinary special session next week, they will approve a resolution rebranding Democrats as the "Democrat Socialist Party."Back in the mid-90s I started the College Republican group at tiny and uber-liberal Kenyon College. I remember going to the statewide CR conference that year in an effort to see how other groups ran themselves and to do a bit of networking to help our group out. I promised I wouldn't put myself through that again after going through all the resolutions the CRs wanted to pass that pretty much just focused on verbose insults of Clinton and how he did things.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele didn't want the meeting to be held, but members exercised "a rarely used party rule that allows any 16 RNC members from 16 different states to demand a special meeting" forcing Steele's hand.
"Do you think he sucks?"
"Let's vote on it!"
Just plain dumb and an incredible waste of what likely would have been another ridiculous weekend at Kenyon.
And you can tell whoever these RNC members are that they were those same type of people.
Not only are they imposing their will and weakening our Chairman, they are depicting the Party as reactionary, silly and childish.
The primary job of the RNC should be to raise money and recruit candidates. Not this.
This effort muds the waters that should be our message: namely explaining to the voters why Obama's ideas are bad and why ours are good.
This isn't explaining why ideas are bad. It's namecalling. And it damages the Party.
Since he has failed to do anything during his term in office that would have substantively helped prevent Ohio's current economic situation, it's understandable that he is asking for help from anyone and everyone.
One person he has consistently 'called out' has been Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor.
Yesterday, Gov. Strickland said "I'm willing to sit down and talk with anyone,[...] quite frankly, even the auditor if she wants to come in."
Back in mid-April he called her out quite explicitly by stating:
Ohioans deserve nothing less from Auditor Mary Taylor and Republican leaders in the General Assembly than an honest answer to an important question: What taxes would you increase or what services would you cut, rather than utilize the federal stimulus resources that rightfully belong to Ohio taxpayers?Since the Governor clearly doesn't understand the duties of the Ohio Auditor of State, I decided to look it up for him myself. Here ya go:
The auditor of state shall audit all public offices as provided in this chapter. The auditor of state also may audit the accounts of private institutions, associations, boards, and corporations receiving public money for their use and may require of them annual reports in such form as the auditor of state prescribes.Now if you read blogs like I read blogs, you probably just glanced over all that nonsense.
If the auditor of state performs or contracts for the performance of an audit, including a special audit, of the public employees retirement system, school employees retirement system, state teachers retirement system, state highway patrol retirement system, or Ohio police and fire pension fund, the auditor of state shall make a timely report of the results of the audit to the Ohio retirement study council.
The auditor of state may audit the accounts of any provider as defined in section 5111.06 of the Revised Code.
If a public office has been audited by an agency of the United States government, the auditor of state may, if satisfied that the federal audit has been conducted according to principles and procedures not contrary to those of the auditor of state, use and adopt the federal audit and report in lieu of an audit by the auditor of state’s own office.
Within thirty days after the creation or dissolution or the winding up of the affairs of any public office, that public office shall notify the auditor of state in writing that this action has occurred.
To sum it up for you: it's not the role of the Auditor of State to devise solutions for budget boondoggles.
I know it may come as a bit of a shock to Governor Strickland, but Auditor Taylor does have a responsibility to the people that elected her to office to do the job which was elected to do. It's not like the job provides a bunch of spare time so she can swing by and help you do yours.
Speaking of doing what you're elected to do, here's an important bullet from your official duties as Governor of Ohio:
Submitting biennial capital and operating budgetsYep. What you're asking Mary Taylor to do is actually your job, Mr. Strickland. I did note it doesn't say "submitting rational and fiscally responsible budgets", so I guess we can forgive Ted on that one.
Now, in reality we know what Ted is doing. He's playing politics. Shocker.
But once again Governor Strickland's obsession with bucking responsibility and saving his own hide is paramount to the best interests of Ohio.
I only hope someone in Ohio media will call him out on it. Unfortunately, that's unlikely until the race for Governor starts heating up in a few months and Strickland's opponent makes it an issue that must be talked about.
The reality is that Ohio doesn't have time to just sit back and pray everything ends up ok. We need a leader. We need someone who has proven that he will do what is right rather than what is politically expedient.
Ohio needs John Kasich.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Gov. Ted Strickland has signaled that he'd be willing to discuss raising taxes in negotiations with lawmakers over how to plug a budget gap."Willing to discuss" it? Quit messing with us and just do it, Guv. This is like Strickland debating whether to quickly or slowly rip the bandaid off of the gaping wound that is Ohio's economy.
Income tax revenue for April was $322 million below projections, and Strickland's budget director is predicting slow growth, if any growth at all, in the next couple of years.
I guess I get it.
Citizens tight on money? Citizens must tighten their belts.
Strickland-led government tight on money? Citizens must tighten their belts.
Thanks to Gov. Strickland's inaction since he took office in 2007 to make Ohio more competitive, Ohio is now in the midst of a budgetary and economical crisis.
Raising taxes is no way to fix it.
Disagree? If so, hit up the comment page and provide a link to the last time a tax hike saved a ravaged economy.
I won't hold my breath.
The Ohio Department of Education says there's been a double-digit increase in the percentage of applications for Ohio's school voucher program, two years after Gov. Ted Strickland sought to eliminate it.I'm starting to wonder if there is anything Gov. Strickland gets right.
Numbers released by the department show 13,064 students applied by last month's deadline for Educational Choice Scholarships for the upcoming school year. That represents an increase of more than 20 percent from the 10,818 applications received last year.
Strickland has called school vouchers undemocratic. He unsuccessfully sought to scrap the program soon after taking office in 2007.
HBO has cancelled Screen on the Green.
According to Doninger, the cancellation of Screen on the Green had to do with financial issues involving the premium cable network's sponsorship of the event. HBO is still doing its annual summer film festival in Bryant Park in New York City this year, but the D.C. version won't be happening this summer for HBO.Without a doubt, we are now in an economic crisis of epic proportions.
Whether another sponsor comes forward to resurrect the festival is an open question, but considering the short time frame, we're not optimistic that this summer's Screen on the Green can be saved. HBO has partnered with AOL to sponsor the event since 2001, and was the sole sponsor before that.
While 3BP contributor Union Station wanted to blame Obama, another friend said it must be Bush's fault. After all, look at Obama's gift to the British Prime Minister. Barack loves movies.
But no matter who is to blame, I will truly miss doing the HBO Dance.
Clubber Lang: I'm the baddest man in the world.Today, Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call is up with an extensive look at two potential congressional race rematches. Kilroy v. Stivers and Driehaus v. Chabot.
Rocky Balboa: You don't look so bad to me.
Stivers is contemplating running again, and if he does so, he’ll join former Rep. Steve Chabot as the second Ohio Republican to have a rematch of a 2008 race next year. Without President Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, national Republicans believe Stivers and Chabot are their best shot to defeat freshman Democrats as the party seeks to regain some of the territory it has lost recently in the Buckeye State.The author nails the most important aspect of these rematches.
Right now, Driehaus and Kilroy have to be particularly nervous if normal midterm election turnout models hold up. It is safe to say both are using the power of incumbency to do whatever they can to save their seats.
And they are getting quite a bit of help from Speaker Pelosi.
The House wants to increase Members’ office budgets next fiscal year by almost 15 percent, partly because 2010 is an election year and lawmakers anticipate a surge in franked mail.How bold has Pelosi gotten as Speaker?
In a recently released budget request, the House Chief Administrative Officer asked appropriators to raise the Members’ Representational Allowances — which fund everything needed to run offices, including salaries, travel and supplies — by $90 million, citing increases “due to the election year cycle.”
“In an election year the expenditures increase and then decrease in a non-election year,” the request reads.
So bold that she sees no ethical issue with wanting to use a massive increase in federal tax dollars for campaign purposes.
Just so we're clear, this $90 million can be used to send the Congressman back to have more events in his or her district, or they can send more mail/brochures to their constituents that promote their agenda.
From my time on the Hill, I remember having some interesting options for targeting mail sent to the District. For example, Kilroy could send out a brochure touting her stance on Medicare to voters 55 and up in Franklin County. It's totally legal and these increased funds provided by Pelosi ensure voters in Kilroy and Driehaus' districts will see much of it.
But these rematches will ultimately come down to three important variables:
Favors both Republicans
While Kilroy has a solid head start, these races are both high profile enough that there will be no massive financial advantage for any candidate
- State of the Economy
Ohio isn't turning itself around anytime soon. And it is safe to say the economy will be issue number one in the Ohio Governor's race. Highlighting these deficiencies can only benefit the Republican challengers.
Monday, May 11, 2009
This post is penned by new 3BP contributor and new media grassroots extraordinaire, Henry Hill.
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland recently said that "[we would] cross that bridge when we come to it” when questioned about how to manage Ohio's massive budget shortfall.
If he wont answer that, how about this. Where are all the jobs going?
When you see numbers tossed around like 229,000 Ohio jobs lost in the past twelve months, it doesn't really hit you. It's almost too big a number to really comprehend. What does hit you are the job losses in your town - the people losing work in your county.
Recently, in my home town of Circleville, a major chemical company decided to cut 130 jobs at their plant so that they can relocate to a new plant in another state.
What does that say to me? This ‘other’ state offers better incentives to encourage businesses to come there.
This is the same thing that has been happening across the entire state of Ohio over the past year. Futures are being lost and suffering is on the rise across the state. Not only are people losing their jobs, but communities are losing their pride. As jobs leave, the schools slip, and as the schools slip, our future slips.
While Ted Strickland refuses to answer questions about the budget shortfall, maybe he can answer questions about this - what is being done to make Ohio more competitive? What are you doing to bring work back to Ohio?
It really hits home as you have to look around your own town and see houses being foreclosed and your neighbors moving away from their friends and family in an attempt to find a job.
That huge 229,000 number never hit me. That 130 lost in Circleville did. It is time Ted Strickland answers the hard questions, and I think blaming Taft is getting a tad old.
Sometimes Gibbs is good at not only not answering the question, but also trying to reframe the news story into one of Bush v. Cheney rather than Cheney v. Obama.
Of course, most of the time he's a blithering idiot.
"After all, if they never found WMDs, why did we bother invading in the first place," they'd say.
They used it as a rallying cry in opposing the Bush Administration - calling it an unjust and unnecessary war.
They said the Bush Administration instead invaded to enhance their own personal interests, namely oil.
Obviously, the real reasons for invading were much more nuanced, but that isn't what this post is about.
The massive Stimulus Shit Sandwich passed last February is the new Iraqi War.
Think about it.
What are the parallels?
- The Dems sold us on the stimulus package being what was needed to solve the economic crisis.
- The GOP(according to war dissenters) sold the Iraqi invasion as what was needed to get Saddam's WMDs.
- The Dems said our leaders were just looking out for their personal interests by invading Iraq.
- The GOP said Democrats were just trying to increase their own standing by using a massive spending bill to enhance their political base of power.
How urgent were we to implement the Stimulus?
An article back from February wonders if jobs were lost because Obama waited to sign it.
Democratic lawmakers rushed to pass the economic stimulus bill last week after sounding alarms about the devastating toll inaction would take daily on the job market.
But once it passed, President Obama waited four days to sign it.
If the link between the $787 billion recovery package and the job market is as direct and immediate as Democratic leaders say it is, then could Obama's delay have cost the economy tens of thousands more jobs?
In early February, according to Rasmussen, 50% of independent voters supported the Stimulus bill. The primary reasons being belief that this bill would quickly turn around our economy and save jobs.
What about now?
Now we're learning the Stimulus Shit Sandwich is just that - a shit sandwich.
Tying it back to the WMD analogy, Americans are learning we invaded(read: passed $1 trillion in new spending) for no good reason.
President Obama's chief economics forecaster said on Sunday that the country was not likely to see positive employment growth until 2010, even if the economy began to grow later this year.
Want evidence? Check out this graphic.
Now the question is whether those 50% of Independents who initially supported the stimulus will recognize what the Democratic Congress and President Obama have done come the 2010 and 2012 elections. Will they be able to fathom a $1 trillion failure?
The challenge to Republican candidates in regards to the Stimulus Shit Sandwich is this - communicating that spending $1 trillion should have immediately turned around the economy, and it didn't.
Let's hope it works.
UPDATE: Thanks to the guys at Hotair.com for once again linking to 3BP. We appreciate the traffic.
So Rep. Moran, do I look like I want a target painted on my chest?
In this weekend's Washington Post, Democrat Jim Moran became the first Congressman in history to ask terrorists to come to his district when he wrote an editorial welcoming Gitmo terrorists to Alexandria for their trials.
By and large, Alexandrians are civic-minded people and are ready to do their duty if it serves the greater good. They have shown this public spirit time and again. The "20th hijacker," Zacarias Moussaoui, who participated in planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon, was held and prosecuted in the Alexandria courthouse. Others who have been brought to justice in the court include the "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh; Beltway sniper John Allen Muhammad; and spies Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames.If it only were that easy. It's one thing to say you want to do it, it's another thing to make it a reality. From the Alexandria Times:
Eisenhower Avenue separates the jail where Moussaoui was housed, and the dense, newly populated Carlyle neighborhood where Moussaoui was tried, creating a frenzy of security details and media coverage.So the Moussaoui trial created a mess for Alexandria. Now imagine what securing 245 more terrorists would do?
The 2006 trial created a strain on residents, who lived in a neighborhood then resembling a military zone, with rooftop snipers and street barricades. The city’s public safety departments, too, were taxed with their own added responsibilities.
Beyond the logistical issues, Alexandria would move up to a perpetual Redin the Homeland Security Threat Advisory. Imagine how attractive a goal it would be for our enemies to free any or all of those 245 terrorists.
As for me, I'm partial to the way my home-state Ohioans are handling this situation.
As far as Rep. Steve Austria is concerned, the enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay can just forget about an extended stay in Ohio.Maybe the next Governor can come up with a new state motto. Ohio: We Like Not Being Blown Up
Austria, a Republican from Beaverceek, introduced a bill last week that would prohibit any of the detainees from being shipped to jails in Ohio.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
But make no mistake: cap and trade = massive tax increases on everyone.
Republicans need to continue working to reframe this debate as one not of the environment, but of a massively increased financial burden placed upon each and every one of us.
Here's one way to graphically represent the impact. It's a little messy and looks like it was put together by an overly enthusiastic College Republican, but it gets the point across...
(click to enlarge)