Monday, August 31, 2009
They've had a clear and well communicated message, they've developed substantive policy recommendations, they've been running a fantastic ground game(as evidenced by the calls I get every week to go door-to-door),......and they know how to piss off their opponent.
Check out this latest slap at Creigh Deeds...
The University of Michigan announced Sunday that it has launched an investigation into allegations that its football program regularly violates NCAA rules limiting how much time players can spend on training and practice.The statement continued...
The announcement from Michigan athletic director Bill Martin came after a Detroit Free Press article in which players from the 2008 and 2009 teams said the amount of time they spend on football during the season and in the offseason greatly exceeds NCAA limits. The players spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity because they feared repercussions from coaches.
Both involve Ted Strickland.
Both will make you want to bury your face in your hand.
A major ratings agency has given Ohio's credit rating a negative outlook, partially because of decisions made in the latest state budget.Great. As if we needed anymore confirmation that Governor Strickland was leading Ohio down the drain, now our credit is starting to resemble that of an Obama appointee.
Moody's Investors Service cited the state's decisions to delay debt payments until future years and rely on revenue from expanded gambling that is being challenged in lawsuits as factors in its decision earlier this week.
The agency also cited Ohio's deteriorating economy and revenue picture.
But don't take our word for it. Let's hear from Strickland himself in story #2...
“I know I have disappointed some of you,” the governor said. “I have at some times and in some ways disappointed myself.I now would like to provide my impersonation of Ted Strickland's press office after they read that quote this weekend.
As much as I agree with him on most issues, I find his delivery to be a bit over the top and his persona grates a bit.
But look at this video from his show last week. Jump to a little halfway through and listen to him on his "In or Out" missive.
I don't know about you, but it seems to me that unlike other conservative commentators, Beck comes across as someone with a bit more ambition than an O'Reilly or Limbaugh.
His 9/12 Project seems to have already created a virtual army of supporters. And as it builds, Beck seems posed to send them off to electoral war. Either for him, or agreeable candidates nationwide.
But if it's ever going to be Beck, a few things are required to happen, and first among them is a stretch in itself - Beck will have to give up the fortune he is making at Fox News.
But he does seem to come across as someone who could say, "enough is enough". You may disagree with the guy, and as cynical as I am, you'd still be hard pressed to convince me that he doesn't care about the well-being of his country.
The question then becomes, can someone go straight from entertainment into elected office? Sure. Reagan did it.
So, if Beck ever does seriously consider giving up studio life, he'll have to prove himself much the way Reagan did - by running for Governor of his home state. In this case, that state is Washington. Win there, serve successfully, and who knows...maybe we'll be seeing Beck for President signs waving at the 2016 Iowa caucuses.
What are the chances of all this happening? Slim to none. But I just wanted to be able to say I told you so when Gallup or Rasmussen someday put out a 'what if...' poll pitting Barack Obama and Glenn Beck.
Friday, August 28, 2009
All three knocked the wind a little further out of Ted Strickland's sails. And two of them came from the liberal left.
Apparently Ted Strickland, despite going to DC on his hands and knees begging for federal tax dollars, has failed to actually pocket the stimulus cash he so badly wanted. It's so bad that even Unions are going after him.
Gov. Ted Strickland's administration is trying to swat down a lawsuit claiming that Ohio has lagged in securing federal stimulus money, keeping thousands of union members out of work. [...] The owner, Steven Brown of National Building Resources Inc., said state officials squandered the opportunity to put thousands of laborers to work this summer by dragging their feet on applying for money from the Obama administration. Brown seeks to compel Strickland to move more decisively in the next round of applications, due in March 2010. [...]
Allison Kolodziej, a spokeswoman for Strickland, said the governor and his aides are moving quickly.
"Put simply, the governor thinks the stimulus is working," she said. "We are seeing the impacts today."
Honestly, you can't make this stuff up.
In just the six months of data between the federal stimulus being enacted and our most recent jobs data from July, Ohio unemployment has worsened by 18%.
Now imagine if Ohioans were told by the Obama and Strickland that if we passed the stimulus, Ohio unemployment would only worsen by 18% in six months.
Would anyone go for that? I don't think so.
May want to go back to the talking points drawing board, Allison.
ANOTHER LEFT HOOK!
In a post here on 3BP last July, we included a screen cap of Ted Strickland's 2006 campaign Turnaround Ohio site where he boldly stated that early education was going to be his 1st priority as Governor.
Not so much. It turns out Early Education for some of Ohio's most poor students was one of the first things to get cut when the Governor finally came out from under his rock to look at the budget mess he enabled.
One educator of early education students said this in this morning's Dispatch:
"All around the state, about 12,000 of these kids were onboard, and they've been dumped out of the boat," he said. "I don't think legislators had any idea what this program was doing. I don't think the governor knew."How's that promise working out for you, Governor?
In a follow-up to the killer story last week about Strickland taking cash donated to the blind and for organ donation, the Dispatch reports that the Governor's Administration has finally given back the money it "raided".
Although the administration has defended the raids as necessary to avoid tax increases, the governor conceded that it is wrong to redirect money that Ohioans voluntarily contributed specifically for blindness prevention and organ donation.
In the nine years since Save Our Sight program was created, for example, an estimated 129,195 children have benefited from protective eyewear and other equipment, preventing 2,500 eye injuries.
Raiding the funds was necessary to avoid tax increases? Really? That's your excuse?
Alright, fine. Since you ended up returning the money, I look forward to hearing what taxes you want raised.
Unless the definition of "necessary" has changed recently, that is....
UPDATE: As if it couldn't get anymore ridiculous for the Governor today. LOL @.....
Gov. Ted Strickland this morning revealed the resignations of the battling heads of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the State Highway Patrol.Dare I say....
Public Safety Director Henry Guzman turned in his resignation yesterday and Col. Richard H. Collins, the patrol superintendent, followed suit later in the day. Guzman will stay on until a replacement is named, and Collins will remain until Guzman's successor chooses a new superintendent.
The governor acknowledged that morale at the agency was a factor in both departures.[...]
Strickland hired Guzman, who had run the safety and service departments in Columbus and Cleveland, as public safety director shortly after taking office in 2007. Guzman was the first Hispanic cabinet officer in Ohio in years. The selection was controversial in some circles, as Guzman had never been a police officer.
WASHINGTON–In the continuing controversy surrounding the president's U.S. citizenship, a new fringe group informally known as "Afterbirthers" demanded Monday the authentication of Barack Obama's placenta from his time inside his mother's womb. "All we are asking is that the president produce a sample of his fetal membranes and vessels—preferably along with a photo of the crowning and delivery—and this will all be over," said former presidential candidate and Afterbirthers spokesman Alan Keyes, later adding that his organization would be willing to settle for a half-liter of maternal cord plasma.h/t: Hotair.com
Thursday, August 27, 2009
In November, voters can choose up to four people for Cincinnati school board. Twelve are running.
Congress has a hard enough time not looking like imbeciles, Steve. Quit trying to help.
But if you’re looking for advice from Congressman Steve Driehaus, he’ll only narrow it down. He’s endorsing five CPS hopefuls: The four-person Democratic-endorsed slate, plus independent candidate Vanessa White.
[...]But, he said, he is also supporting the four party-endorsed candidates, even though he acknowledges that he won’t be able to vote for all five. ”I know the math doesn’t work out,” Driehaus told Howard.
A Licking County minister and former Hebron Lakewood football coach could be spending the next several days camped in downtown Zanesville.It's clear that Zach Space doesn't want to face his constituents. After all, that's why, despite not being a member of any House Committees that are in any way germaine to the mission, he's overseas during recess on a CODEL trip with other Congressmen.
Coach Dave Daubenmire of Pass The Salt Ministries plans to hold a round-the-clock vigil outside of U.S. Rep. Zack Space’s Zanesville office, until Space agrees to hold a town hall meeting on health reform.
Thanks to Daubenmire, Space is learning that sometimes bad publicity is just that....bad publicity.
The most revealing portion of the IG report documents the program's results. The CIA's "detention and interrogation of terrorists has provided intelligence that has enabled the identification and apprehension of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots planned for the United States and around the world." That included the identification of Jose Padilla and Binyam Muhammed, who planned to detonate a dirty bomb, and the arrest of previously unknown members of an al Qaeda cell in Karachi, Pakistan, designated to pilot an aircraft attack in the U.S. The information also made the CIA aware of plots to attack the U.S. consulate in Karachi, hijack aircraft to fly into Heathrow, loosen track spikes to derail a U.S. train, blow up U.S. gas stations, fly an airplane into a California building, and cut the lines of suspension bridges in New York.And a follow-up from the National Review:
Though the Journal does not get into it, Binyam Mohammed was released outright by the Obama administration in February. He is now living freely in England. That's our new counterterrorism approach: Release the terrorist who planned mass-murder attacks against U.S. cities but investigate the CIA agents who prevented mass-murder attacks against U.S. cities. I suppose that's what happens when control of the Justice Department shifts from the lawyers who spent the last eight years going after the terrorists to the lawyers who spent the last eight years representing the terrorists. That certainly is Change.
Reportedly, "attendees" of theKasich town hall numbered into the thousands last night.
It proved to be a solid showing and included a solid smattering of questions as well.
Kasich was asked anything from his books (he’s writing a new one due next father’s day) to his position on school choice (he’s absolutely for school competition, whether through vouchers or charter schools). But without a doubt, a majority of the questions were simply on the economy.
What to do to get Ohio out of the “death spiral” it has been in for the past 4 years? The answers:
- Lower taxes (so simple, yet so true)
- Fewer, smarter regulators that don’t stand in the way of new business
- Smaller, more effective, efficient government
- A more highly educated and motivated workforce
Finally, he was asked, “how are the bucks going to do this year?” He responded, “if we have a good offensive line, we’ll be fine.” That couldn’t have been a more poignant answer if the question instead was, “how are conservatives going to do in 2010?” If we go on the offensive, use intelligent, smart attacks, point out the other side’s faults while at the same time pointing out our solutions… “We’ll be fine.”
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
$1.9 trillion off.
That is just staggering.
But I digress.
Here is the key passage from the editorial:
The new deficit numbers make it even more urgent that any health-care reform not only be fully paid for and certifiably budget-neutral in the eyes of independent analysts such as the CBO but also promise meaningful reductions in the cost growth of health care. So far, none of the plans under discussion measure up. The time is fast approaching for the president and Congress to face that reality, too.A column this harsh carries weight in Washington. And it will weigh particularly heavy on the minds of the decisionmakers on Capitol Hill.
And no renaming of the bill can help that.
I conclude not with words, but with a simple, glorious t-shirt:
The performance index score trend, which gauges the composite test scores of all students in Ohio public education, ticked up to 92.9 in the 08-09 school year from 92.3 in 07-08.
A 0.6% improvement! The good news for Ohio? If Ohio's unemployment rate improves at the same rate as Ohio education, unemployment will return to the levels they were at the beginning of Strickland's term in approximately 80 years.
The bad news? Ohio's graduation rate decreased by 2.3%. Why is that significant? Well, if Ohio ever wants to field an educated workforce - one that was able to actually get into college - we need to graduate students from high school. I don't care how many school districts are rated 'excellent' or 'super-duper', those ratings are arbitrary and are up to each state to determine. What matters is how many students are actually furthering their education - and that can't happen if students aren't graduating. With that being said and to be fair, Ohio's graduation rate is actually above the national average.
But it's near impossible to credit or blame Ted Strickland for any of these numbers for the mere fact that the Governor never even proposed any plan to reform education until well over halfway into his term and after the 08-09 school year.
Education Governor, my foot.
And yet Strickland wants to maintain the focus of Ohioans on reforming education.
Well, actually 664,000 reasons.
That's the number of people out of work in Ohio.
The Buckeye State has suffered a 108% jump in unemployment since Ted Strickland became Governor.
A recent poll from Rasmussen said nearly 8 in 10 Americans knew someone out of work and looking for employment. Since Ohio's unemployment rate is almost 20% higher than the national average, it's safe to assume Rasmussen's poll result would be even higher if his sample was just Ohio.
Make no mistake; jobs will be the number one issue in the 2010 Ohio Gubernatorial Election. And it won't even be close.
But that won't stop Ted Strickand from continuing his education whistlestop tour through Ohio, and it won't stop him from taking credit for Ohio test scores, and it won't stop the teacher unions from spending gobs of cash they have to focus the debate on education in an effort to keep Strickland in their back pocket. All in an effort to divert attention from the #1 issue facing Ohioans today.
They'll be wasting their time.
At the end of the day, what matters to Ohioans isn't what a political commercial tells them to care about, what matters is what's going on in their household, in their community, and among their friends and family.
And they'll see Ohio is suffering. They'll see it's been going on for far too long.
And they'll want a change.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Ohio releases the first state report cards for school districts since Gov. Ted Strickland appointed a new state superintendent and announced his education policy overhaul.So today is the starting point for judging Ted Strickland's plan for education?
The scores being released Tuesday will serve as the benchmark for how much Strickland accomplishes in fixing the state's ailing public school system.
960 days after his inauguration?
Aren't you a little late, Guv?
I know it takes time to devise ways to back out on your promise to encourage early education by actually gutting their program, but 960 days? Really?
I'm getting the feeling you aren't very good at this Governor-thing, Ted.
- Obama also confessed recently that one of his biggest pet peeves is what he calls 'the shine police' — aides and makeup artists who powder his face before he does television.
- Obama bristles when "people talk too much at meetings and prevent others from speaking."
- Obama also doesn't like people to regurgitate what he's already read in a detailed briefing book.
Now I couldn't possibly imagine these are all of the Facepalm President's pet peeves. With the help of some friends, I've compiled a list of a few others that White House staff may have glossed over.
But I don't want to talk about that.
Instead, I want to talk about one day in the national news cycle. A day that perfectly defines what Americans have learned about their savior.....er, President....since his inauguration 217 long days ago.
It began simply enough.
"Nobody is going to make any news" is the promise reported from the Obama camp as the President left to enjoy his vacation up in Martha's Vineyard. Now, we're cynical enough to appreciate the impossibility of this claim. After all, we have to learn what the President is reading and what new tricks his mutt has learned. I'm guessing "go fetch $2 trillion" isn't one of them.
And then it began. One after another. Story after story reinforcing why Americans have quickly forced the President's approval rating to plummet.
- The Department of Energy is using $300 million in stimulus funds for their own "cash-for-refrigerators" program. "Beginning late this fall, the program authorizes rebates of $50 to $200 for purchases of high-efficiency household appliances." Clunkers apparently have an impressive ability to swing the barndoor wide open and let a whole herd of bad ideas run free.
- Next up? The discovery of why the UAW is so happy to send their thugs to Town Hall meetings.They're both talking about a $10-billion provision tucked deep inside thousands of pages of health care overhaul bills that could help the UAW's retiree health-care plan and other union-backed plans. Politics pays.
- Doing their best impersonation of a Monty Python sketch, the White House breaks out The Comfy Chair. President Barack Obama has approved creation of a new, special terrorism-era interrogation unit to be supervised by the White House. Rich Galen, at one time a co-worker of mine, had this to say:
The Obama Administration and the Democrats in Congress have been in a projectile sweat about whether Karl Rove had any influence over the hiring or firing of U.S. Attorneys; the thinking being, if he was in the White House he was always acting and thinking politically. Yet, the Obama White House believes that giving the White House direct control over CIA interrogations will somehow make them more acceptable to the ACLU and the same Democrats in Congress. Bush White House interfering: Bad. Obama White House interfering: Good. What am I missing?
- And, of course, we had the daily "they're spending the stimulus dollars on what?!?!" lesson. The stimulus package is living up to its provocative name by funding a bacchanalia of behavioral sex research, a Post analysis reveals. Idiots.
- We also discovered that Obama political appointees believe they still need to score more points with Code Pink. "The document, released Monday by the Justice Department, says one interrogator said a colleague had told Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that if any other attacks happened in the United States, 'We're going to kill your children.'" My first reaction to this? So what? My second? Absolute disgust that the Obama White House is once again more interested in fighting their own CIA agents than terrorists. Cowards.
- Which brings us to Afghanistan. During the Bush years, we heard of military officers here and there speaking up against the White House. But now we have the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs going to the media in order to bring more attention to Afghanistan since our illustrious President refuses to do so himself. "The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating along with U.S. public support for the war, Washington's top military officer said on Sunday as he left open the possibility of another increase in troops."
As 3BP contributor Chobemaster said earlier yesterday, "Obama throwing 17k troops into Afghanistan when it takes, say, 27k to get that mission done is egregious. Even if you want to say 'well, Bush did the same thing' and erred on the side of reducing inflammatory presence - OK, let's learn that lesson, then. The same mistake the 2nd time is far worse.
- Finally, we are provided yet another lesson in just how incredibly poorly the government would manage health care with this doozy. "At least 1,200 veterans across the country have been mistakenly told by the Veterans Administration that they suffer from a fatal neurological disease." Not just dumb. Mean.
Seven stories in one day that highlight the crisis in leadership that this country is facing.
And I didn't even bring up health care.
It's been a long seven months.
Monday, August 24, 2009
One of the three groups eligible to get voluntary contributions did not have its funds pilfered by the state. That group:But why?
....provides about $100,000 annually for the operating accounts of the Ohio Republican and Democratic parties. No money was taken from the political parties' funds.
Now, I think we're all cynical enough to know the real reason why, but it should be the responsibility of the mainstream media to dig a little deeper into this story.
If three of these types of accounts were available, and two were tapped, it's safe to assume that the Strickland Administration had full awareness of what all three were and how they're funded. It's also safe to assume there was a conscious decision to not use the third. And where there are conscious decisions, there are e-mails and conversations.
Why did the Strickland Administration not use the funds meant to help the campaigns of each Party? Was there an agreement between Republicans and Democrats to not raid the fund? Did Strickland go it alone?
Isn't this the kind of backroom dealing and old-style politics that our elected leaders were supposed to rise above?
There is a story here.
And the voters have a right to know.
The Kasich campaign has really done a great job embracing social media and utilizing it to their advantage.
Now, after attending events open to the public in Warren and Knox Counties, Kasich is opening up the floor to the entire state of Ohio.
Sign up, and tell 'em 3BP sent ya.
On Wednesday, August 26 at 6pm EST, John Kasich will be hosting an interactive webcast where people from all over will be able to ask John a question. Your question can be about healthcare, taxes, or even how John will think the Buckeyes will do this football season. We will try to get to as many as possible.
There are three ways in which you can ask a question for the webcast:
Friday, August 21, 2009
Apparently, a squirrel wanted to jump in front of a couple's self-portrait. I don't blame him. That's quite a view.
Well, the internet didn't waste any time in creating a fun little tool....
And here is 3BP's submission (courtesy of Wadsbuck):
Amazing how, even with the help of the Obama Administration, Deeds simply can't find his voice in this election. It says a lot about the swift shift in reverse for Democrats not only in Virginia, but nationally.
With his enormous lead, McDonnell has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. As I've been pushing for months, talking heads are finally recognizing Virginia as a bellweather state heading into 2010. If the Republican candidate can pull off a victory, something Virginia Republicans haven't seen for years in a high profile statewide race, it will kick down the barn door and create a flood of momentum for Republicans nationally as we head into 2010.
This is how the story looked on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch today. Somewhere, Amanda Wurst is crying.
Rerouting donations for the blind and organ donations to help cover the mess of a budget you put together?
If I had said this was going to happen a week ago, my readers would have guffawed and gone on to the next post. You just can't make this stuff up.
The sight and organ funds, both administered by the Ohio Department of Health, were among about 70 so-called "rotary funds" raided by the Strickland administration for a total of $120 million to help close a $1.9 billion shortfall in the two-year budget that ended June 30. Rotary funds are those supported by fees or donations.So what are the odds Strickland fires yet another one of his lackeys for this screw up?
Dr. Alvin Jackson, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, you may want to bring a box to work for your personal belongings.
Just in case.
Despite the national rate showing improvement, Ohio unemployment somehow got worse and is now up to a whopping 11.2%.
18 straight months of increased job losses.
An 111% increase since Strickland took office.
664,000 Ohioans out of work.
One of the most obvious indicators that Ohio's Governor isn't serious about getting Ohio back on track is the fact that we've gone nearly 100 days without a permanent Director of Development.
On their homepage, the Ohio Department of Development claims to...
"...work to attract, create, grow, and retain businesses through competitive incentives and meaningful, targeted investments."And yet, since the former Director's embarrassing resignation due to tax problems, we still are relying on his former deputy to run the office.
Now, I'm sure Interim Director Patt-McDaniel is a nice person, but if Ohio wants to be serious about bringing jobs to Ohio, they need someone who hasn't served their entire career as a bureaucrat.
It's been 100 days, Governor. Let's get serious.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Hopefully Ohio will see a turn for the better and we'll see a dip in the unemployment rate, just as we saw the national rate recently dip a couple weeks ago.
I'm hopeful because honestly, how can things get much worse? Since 2007 Ohio has seen the number of unemployed more than double. There hasn't been a dip in the rate since January of 2008. 17 months straight of increased job losses.
That's a streak Ohio hasn't seen in almost 27 years.
[sarcasm font] Good job, Governor. [/sarcasm font off]
UPDATE: AG Candidate Dave Yost was kind enough to leave a comment to this post. I thought it deemed being moved up to the original post:
Jon,I couldn't agree more, Dave. Unfortunately for now, wishful thinking is all we have if we want to see people getting their jobs back. Clearly, Ted Strickland has been more concerned over the past three years about preserving his own political well-being rather than actually doing what's necessary to "Turn Around Ohio". When it comes to serving Ohio one thing is clear - he simply wasn't up to the task.
The ripple effects of the auto industry downsizing will drive the number higher in tomorrow's report, and for months to come.
Wishful thinking isn't going to bring Ohio back. We need John Kasich as governor, sooner than later.
We need John Kasich.
Governor, I don't think that word means what you think it means.
From a report released this morning:
The Ohio Department of Transportation said today that the trains should be able to carry passengers from downtown Cleveland to downtown Columbus in about three hours. "That competes with the expected time for highway travel of about two-and-a-half hours along the 145-mile route," the department noted.Wrong.
The actual trip may take three hours, but that doesn't include time needed to drive to the train station, park, pay for your ticket, board, depart the train, find the closest bus stop, take the bus to your general job location, and walk to the front door.
So, let's be extremely conservative and say alllll that adds only 30 minutes to the trip.
And what are the costs to the rider?
A train ticket that might be cheaper than gas if you drive alone, but probably not if you have a buddy with you. On top of that is the massive opportunity cost from losing an extra hour each way.
And lest we forget, increased taxes for all to help pay for the impending boondoggle.
The facts are these...
Governor Strickland is desperately trying to win this project to show his constituents that he actually brought Ohio something.
But what he's actually bringing is a huge pile of dog poo that Governors to come will be forced to clean up....
Ohioans are keeping their liquor cabinets well-stocked, as sales of the hard stuff rose to a record $729.9 million in the fiscal year that ended in June.Drowning your sorrows, eh Buckeyes?
The Ohio Department of Commerce said today that the total represents a 4.6 percent increase from the previous year's also-record sales of spirits greater than 21 percent alcohol, or 42 proof.
Supporters called it a success, while critics simply agreed that Americans like getting 'free money'.
Well, we can officially strike "success" from the vocabulary.
With reports from all over that the government isn't reimbursing auto dealers, and even forcing some dealers to abandon the program altogether, even the most earnest of advocates have to wonder how the government can fail at such a seemingly simple task.
From Yahoo News:
The Department of Transportation's latest update on the Car Allowance Rebate System shows that the government has received applications for about 412,000 rebates totaling $1.7 billion. But so far, the feds have approved only a fraction of those, leaving dealers furious.Interesting. Now let's fiddle with that paragraph a bit....
The Department of Health Services latest update shows that the government has recieved applications for about 1,000 heart transplants. But so far, the feds have approved only a fraction of those, leaving patients dying and donated organs now unusable.Congrats. If Obama, Pelosi, et. al have their way, you've just seen your future.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
So is Senator Judd Gregg.
And if it weren't for them and their staff, cap-and-trade could already be a reality and we probably wouldn't have 54% of Americans believing passing no health care reform is better than the plan currently in Congress.
Let me explain...
Historically speaking, voters have been cynical of Congress. And rightly so.
But believe it or not, there are good people on the Hill that are smart, do their jobs well, and most importantly, are there for the right reasons. And I don't say that because I used to be one.
So many times it's the seemingly little things that can have a profound effect on national policy. For Dave Camp and Judd Gregg, that included several letters addressed to Doug Elmendorf.
These letters spelled out specific questions about the fiscal impact of health care reform legislation and cap-and-trade(e.g., the National Energy Tax). They were carefully written to ensure Elmendorf had the correct framework with which to respond.
For those not familiar with that name, Elmendorf is the Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The same CBO that brought about this gem from Charles Krauthammer:
Reforming the health-care system is dead. Cause of death? Blunt trauma administered not by Republicans, not even by Blue Dog Democrats, but by the green eyeshades at the Congressional Budget Office.Krauthammer goes on to detail three CBO reports that have significantly impacted the national health care reform debate. Two of which were responses directly to letters submitted by Dave Camp and Judd Gregg.
Without their efforts to kickstart the CBO into action, it's quite possible we wouldn't be where we are today - with the Democrats on their heels and at eachother's throats.
By no means is this fight over. In fact, the latest rumor is that Obama and the Democratic Congress may try to ram something through without worrying about obtaining a single Republican vote.
It may work, but it will also most assuredly cost them much politically in the long run.
A similar situation happened during the stimulus debate in the Spring when the entire House GOP caucus voted against the measure. With the stimulus floundering, that vote will provide much-needed ammo in the 2010 midterm elections. Will the Democrats use the same tactic again for health care?
Nancy, I triple-dog dare ya.
Fine. Whatever. Have it both ways, Mr. President, we're used to that by now.
But let's get one thing straight. Missile defense can no longer be considered "unproven".
Two different Thaad interceptors were launched against a single target, simulating an Army operational concept of dispatching a salvo of weapons to ensure a threat is destroyed. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and industry officials declared the flight test a success shortly after it was executed.What was that other fragment?
However, they disclosed to Aviation Week only recently that the results exceeded their expectations. Early reports from the Pentagon said the second interceptor was intentionally destroyed in flight after the first disabled the target in a hit-to-kill engagement.
“Actually, what happened on the flight test was that the first interceptor hit just as it was supposed to and the second interceptor looked at all of this debris and said, ‘OK, I’ve got another something that looks interesting,’ picked out another threat, and went out and killed it,” says Tom McGrath, Thaad vice president for prime contractor Lockheed Martin. “The second intercept hit another piece of hardware. We can’t talk about what that was, but it picked out what logically you would expect it to pick out and killed it.”
Barack Obama's dignity.
Honestly, it's hard to follow this meandering diatribe.
I'm pretty sure it's either about donut holes, a ridiculously healthy cigarette habit(based on the three ashtrays), or a case study on editing video to keep run-on sentences to a minimum.
But, maybe you can ask her yourself tonight.
As a commenter informed me a couple days ago, it turns out Kilroy is having that town hall we've been waiting on. Sorta
Rather than having the courage to allow a real town hall, she's hosting a tele-conference. This ensures much more talking than the listening she promised her constituents.
But, maybe if enough of you register we can be sure to get a tough question in.
Just make sure you ask about donut holes.
It begins at 6:50 this evening.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
He came to my school to have a 'debate' of sorts with Margaret Carlson. Interestingly enough, both Novak and Carlson had children that went to Kenyon.
Well, in the debate, Novak took Carlson apart with a blend of substance and pugnaciousness that left my young mind swirling and the high concentration of Kenyon liberals stuttering. Afterwards, they both walked over to Peirce Hall for a reception. I finally built up the courage to ask Novak a question - what it was has since drifted from memory.
The look I received in return conveyed one thing - "you're an idiot, kid".
I'm sure he was right.
And it's also a look I've since mastered giving to many.
Rest in peace, Mr. Novak. You provided not only conservatives, but all Americans, a voice for responsibility and freedom. And I thank you.
In a time when we're supposed to be learning to trust our government to take over health care, a major branch of the economy, how good are they when it comes to blowing our taxpayer dollars?
Stimulus bill spending has slowed to a trickle, despite President Obama's June order to his Cabinet to speed it up.
The average stimulus spending per week has dropped severely, to just $4.2 billion over the past month from $9.7 billion during the prior four months. The government spent $2.9 billion in the week ending Aug. 7.
Taxpayer groups say the numbers show spending decisions are random and prove that the $787 billion stimulus program has had no effect on the economy.
As we've covered before on 3BP, Ohio is very close to obtaining stimulus dollars to fund a rail boondoggle throughout the state.
Well, it turns out Amtrak can't even get their report out on time.
An Amtrak study on restoring passenger train service among Ohio's major cities will be delayed two weeks until mid-September, giving the state a tighter deadline to apply for money from President Barack Obama's stimulus package.And we're supposed to expect trains to be on time from these schmucks?
As a reminder about how ridiculous an idea statewide rail really is, here is a flashback to a post from a Wednesday back in June highlighting the complete and total lack of demand for such a service...
Here are photo captures from the state's traffic cameras along I-71 at 8:30am this morning. The top being I-71 at Polaris in north Columbus, the 2nd being I-71 and 270 in south Columbus, and the bottom being I-71 and Kings Mills in Cincinnati. There aren't any on I-71 heading towards Cleveland because....well, because who wants to stare at an empty road?
A blog called The Agitator dresses down these boycotters better than I ever could. Check it out.
And yet lefties want to boycott the company because CEO John Mackey wrote an op-ed that suggests alternatives to single payer health care? It wasn’t even a nasty or mean-spirited op-ed. Mackey didn’t spread misinformation about death panels, call anyone names, or use ad hominem attacks. He put forth actual ideas and policy proposals, many of them tested and proven during his own experience running a large company. Is this really the state of debate on the left, now? “Agree with us, or we’ll crush you?”Check out the rest here. Also, pay particularly close attention to the comment section to get a good idea of what he's talking about.
These people don’t want a dicussion. They don’t want to hear ideas. They want you to shut up and do what they say, or they’re going to punish you.
h/t: AT QB
Well, as of yesterday I'm vindicated.
From Fox News Sunday on how town-hall protests have affected the health-care debate:
Astonishingly, I was wrong. Empirical evidence is in. Remarkably, the protests have had an effect of galvanizing opposition.The guy couldn't be more right when it comes to dissecting conservative policy or undressing the liberal agenda. But when it comes to the politics behind it all, he just doesn't quite measure up.
I would have thought with some of the images, and particularly the way the media have played it, as rowdies, as — portraying them essentially as a mob — that it would have a negative effect. In fact, it has had the opposite effect.
And I think the reason is that the Democrats in these town halls have had to defend the indefensible. They've been stuck with stuff in the bills like the public option that are not going to end up in the final analysis in any legislation.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Well, I found another one.
Ohio's ailing unemployment-compensation fund is $1 billion in the hole as of this week, and the shortfall is expected to top $3 billion by the end of 2010 -- six years sooner than projected.So Ohio owes 1/12 of the entire country's unemployment compensations debt?
Since Ohio's fund went broke earlier this year as the jobless rate soared, the federal government has been picking up the tab. But the money eventually must be repaid.[...]
Zach Schiller, spokesman for Policy Matters Ohio, a Cleveland-based research group, said, "At some point, Ohio will have to pay this back and we'll have to figure out how to do that. Nationwide, states are more than $12 billion in debt, so it's a national problem."
And Governor Strickland got the state there six years ahead of schedule!
Great job, Guv! [/sarcasm font off]
Stricktaft has an uncanny ability to kick the can down the road. Whether it's the budget, education, jobs....or in this case, paying the feds back $3 billion, he never fails to look the other way or hide under his desk.
Ohio needs a real leader.
It's also what Ted Strickland must have been saying for his entire first term.
- On May 6th, Ted Strickland announced his office miscalculated and Ohio was going to have to endure a $1 billion shortfall in tax revenue.
- On June 11th, Strickland admitted that the first miscalculation was miscalculated. The shortfall was really $2.3 billion.
- And now......Keno.
That's bad. Really bad.
Now, let's project that miscalculation out onto Strickland's slot machine experiment. He claims it will bring in $933 million. And 41% of that? $383 billion. Leaving another gap in the state budget....this one being being $550 million.
$550 million. That's what Ohioans need to be prepared to come up with.
For Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly, this brings up an interesting political dilemma.
As elected officials, should they do something? Since the Governor and Democrats in the legislature aren't doing anything to prepare for the almost certain massive budget shortfalls, as broken down by Tom Suddes on Sunday, should Republicans step up and begin developing, on their own, a "Rainy-Day Plan" that provides a way for Ohio to pay for Strickland's irresponsible leadership?
The positives of such a plan? It highlights the Republicans as true statesmen making a stand as elected officials working to prepare Ohio for Strickland's mistakes. Politically speaking, a number of hearings, official or otherwise, could make news and better extend the story. It would also bring the GOP into the good graces of a statewide media that has been begging for leadership at the Statehouse.
Are there risks? Sure. Any such plan would require spending cuts. And spending cuts can always be used for political gain by the opposing Party. Two variables that may mitigate that effect include the likelihood of actually voting on any such plan is unlikely for the rest of the legislative term. Also, the media may not give the Democrats much of a voice due to journalist's clear frustration with them. (then again, when has the media ever been rational?)
The constant flow of stories damaging to Governor Strickland since the 2008 presidential election has been staggering. If the GOP thinks they will keep up, from a political perspective it's more intelligent to sit back and continue to let Jello Stricktaft get hammered by the press.
If not, it may be time to make the story their own.
Among likely voters, McDonnell is up by a whopping 15 percent. 54-39.
But that isn't the most surprising part of the poll.
Virginia, a state which Barack Obama won by 6 percent, has elected two straight Democratic Governors and maintains two Democrats in the US Senate, is going back to its roots.
In the Post poll, those identifying themselves as Republicans is at the highest rate in four years.
And the most amazing number? Likely independent voters lean Republican by a margin of 20-11. The Post provides similar data that goes all the way back to 1993...and the next largest margin was 12-10 back in 2001.
In other words, Republicans in Virginia are winning swing voters by the widest margin in at least 16 years.
Now, if that can happen in Virginia, a state that most assuredly has been trending Democrat, what does that mean for other parts of the country with a similar recent electoral history and a much worse economy under Democratic rule.....like Ohio?
"...by the time we get to 2010, the governor will be held by the people of Ohio squarely responsible for the economy..."
If you read this blog, chances are you know why those words are so welcome.
Thanks for throwing your own Party under the bus. We sincerely appreciate it.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Well, I found one.
Conservative Jesse Kelly, a former Marine, is running for Congress in Arizona against Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
This past Thursday, after Giffords decided to cancel her town hall on health care at the last minute, Kelly called up the American Legion that was hosting the event and offered his services.
They were happy to oblige.
(fast forward to 1:20 for the best action)
As you can see, not only was this great campaign strategy, but it was also a perfect demonstration of someone prepared to represent his district in Congress.
Kelly did the three simple things he needed to do to make this a great event:
- He provided the audience an opportunity to speak their mind.
- He was prepared to answer challenging questions.
- He offered alternative ideas.
If you'd like more information on Jesse Kelly, visit his website by clicking here.
Those bloggers, armed with Census data, software and the collaborative input of their readers, are not going to stand for redistricting plans generated behind closed doors by a few lawmakers and political consultants—they are going to be designing and introducing their own plans into the debate and using their sites to rally support for maps that reflect their own partisan goals."Using their sites to rally support for maps."
Now, I appreciate the thousands of visitors I get to 3BP, and I may very well criticize the gerrymandering process as it approaches, but I'm not fooling myself into thinking my blog readers could get fired up about maps and storm the statehouse with torches and pitchforks.
I recognize the power of blogs. 3BP has played an essential role in helping to kickstart a number of stories that went national, from the '08 election voter fraud in Ohio to Jello Stricktaft having his messy mug splattered on Fox News, but one thing we're not expecting is a Tea Party focused on....maps.
Hell, Ohio's Secretary of State couldn't even inspire a Poli/Sci professor to get his class to submit their own maps for extra credit. From back in June:
On Thursday the Ohio Redistricting Competition partners announced the results of the successful Ohio Redistricting Competition, a project years in the making.Only 11 plans qualified to be judged. 14 were submitted. For "a project years in the making."
The competition was launched in March 2009 by a partnership of organizations and individuals, including Former Republican State Representative Joan Lawrence, The League of Women Voters of Ohio, State Representative Dan Stewart, Professor Richard Gunther - Department of Political Science at The Ohio State University, Ohio Citizen Action, and Common Cause Ohio.
Hell, if Jennifer, Joan, the League, Dan, Richard, OCA and CCO submit one each that could have been a 50% increase in the number of submissions.
Wow. You can tell the electorate was fired up.
By the way, you can see my submission here.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I think this counts.
The biggest takeaways? The massive turnaround in the health care number. Just back in Feburary Democrats were up by 15. That's an 18 point turnaround.
Government Ethics is the one issue where Democrats are more trusted than Republicans. Government. Ethics. Seriously, America? I guess we can take some solace in the fact that it's still the lowest number for either Party.
Finally, just 6 months ago, Democrats led in all of the above issues except Taxes, National Security and Immigration. And now, they only win one.
This news is all well and good, but winning the issues means nothing without quality candidates, solid fundraising, and a great ground game.
The question now for the Dems is this....how much worse can it get?
Fastest dying cities.
In Dayton. Their capital.
Plus, ya just gotta love the idea behind this meeting. These cities meeting to discuss best practices is like getting tutored by the dumbest kid in the class.
And that wasn't even the most depressing news from yesterday.
North Dakota (!!!) has started to poach the giant mass of unemployed in Ohio for their own dastardly purpose of giving them a job.
The Minot group recently attended job fairs in Columbus and Wilmington to pitch the city and state to central Ohioans. The group left with about 125 resumes.
The reason for the interest here might be as simple as the unemployment rate, which is 11.1 percent in Ohio. There are 662,000 Ohioans out of work, which is about 20,000 more than the population of North Dakota.
Awesome job, Governor Strickland.
Turnaroundohio.com, the site Ted Strickland used in the 2006 campaign to promote his plan to bring jobs to Ohio....
[gimme a sec to stop laughing]
....is for sale. Really.
Now, it's one thing to be disgustingly embarrassed by your utter failure to "Turnaround Ohio", but at least have the smarts to maintain the website so people like me can't make fun of it and share it with the masses.
$790 bucks? Tempting.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Per the Toledo Blade:
Ohio is eliminating grants of up to $2,496 for low-income community college students, and cutting them by more than 50 percent for low-income students at four-year universities. The state is axing $640 grants for 58,000 private school students and grants of up to $4,000 for 22,500 students attending two-year, for-profit schools.Massive cuts in education.
"That's a lot of money to someone like me," said Maria Zimbardi, a 33-year-old mother of three in Youngstown, Ohio, who will not receive the nearly $3,300 grant she got last year. She is working part time as a waitress while learning administrative and accounting skills at National College, and is taking out more student loans — which now total $29,000 — so she can graduate next May.
Thousands of college aged students unable to go to college thanks to the cuts made in Strickland's budget. Countless numbers unable to get retrained for new jobs due to a lack of financial aid.
But what was Ted Strickland quoted as saying in today's Lancaster Gazette?
I've been working over the last several months to convince Ohioans that, if the economy is going to rebound, we need to have educated, well-trained workers in Ohio," he said. "We can choose to be status quo and satisfied with what we've always done or we can commit ourselves to education.If ensuring that thousands of low-income Ohioans are unable to go to college is thanks to you "working" for Ohio, Governor, I think it may be time you try another field.
And what did Ted Strickland promise in his first State of the State address?
We know an educated workforce attracts jobs – economic forecasts show that more than 60 percent of new jobs will require a college degree. And yet, Ohio is 47 percent above the national average in public university tuition costs and 37th in producing college graduates.Well Ted, you have one helluva way to go about it.
My goal is clear and my budget sets the stage. In 10 years, we will increase the number of Ohioans with a college degree by 230 thousand, and we will increase the graduation rate among those who start college by 20 percent.
This is yet another in a long line of failures and broken promises from Ohio's Governor. The only difficulty next October will be deciding which of these to highlight to voters throughout the state.
And yes, before you ask, this is for real.
A $200 back-to-school giveaway for needy kids sparked a mad rush for money on the streets of New York on Tuesday.
"It's free money!" said Alecia Rumph, 26, who waited in a Morris Park, Bronx, line 300 people deep for the cash to buy uniforms and book bags for her two kids.
"Thank God for Obama. He's looking out for us."
Thousands of people lined up at banks and check-cashing shops to withdraw the cash that magically appeared on their electronic benefit cards.
Some rushed out because of rumors the money would vanish by the end of the day.
"Rumors, there's always rumors," said Teresa Medina, who waited four hours at a Pay-O-Matic in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, to get $600 for her three teenagers - just in case they were true.
The no-strings-attached money went to families receiving food stamps or welfare.
Every child between 3 and 17 was eligible for $200, which worked out to 813,845 kids across the state - including 498,866 in the city.
Billionaire philanthropist George Soros gave $35 million toward the program, with $140 million in federal stimulus funds routed through state government making up the rest.
Well, here are the numbers for 25-54 year olds as of August 11th, 2009.
And now, thanks to the National Association of Manufacturers, we have even more clarification as to why.
Impact on JobsThere's plenty of other bad news. Check it out here.
The jobs impact of [cap and trade] is delayed by the free allocation of permits and generous carbon offsets. By 2030, as emission reduction targets tighten and other [cap and trade] provisions phase out, Ohio jobs decline by 79,700 under low cost case and by 108,600 under high cost case. The primary cause of job losses would be lower industrial output due to higher energy prices, the high cost of complying with
required emissions cuts, and greater competition from overseas manufacturers with lower energy costs.
Let's hope those in Space's district remember this in 15 months.
Statement from the American College of Surgeons Regarding Recent Comments from President Obama
CHICAGO--The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight.
Yesterday during a town hall meeting, President Obama got his facts completely wrong. He stated that a surgeon gets paid $50,000 for a leg amputation when, in fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation. This payment also includes the evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation. Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for this service.
Three weeks ago, the President suggested that a surgeon's decision to remove a child's tonsils is based on the desire to make a lot of money. That remark was ill-informed and dangerous, and we were dismayed by this characterization of the work surgeons do. Surgeons make decisions about recommending operations based on what's right for the patient.
We agree with the President that the best thing for patients with diabetes is to manage the disease proactively to avoid the bad consequences that can occur, including blindness, stroke, and amputation. But as is the case for a person who has been treated for cancer and still needs to have a tumor removed, or a person who is in a terrible car crash and needs access to a trauma surgeon, there are times when even a perfectly managed diabetic patient needs a surgeon. The President's remarks are truly alarming and run the risk of damaging the all-important trust between surgeons and their patients.
We assume that the President made these mistakes unintentionally, but we would urge him to have his facts correct before making another inflammatory and incorrect statement about surgeons and surgical care.
h/t: Gold Pants
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The Senator's office did almost nothing to publicize the event, other than sending e-mails out to groups likely to join Brown in supporting Obamacare. There was apparently no advance mention of the event on Brown's official website.
Shelby Holliday of UWIRE was at the event (you can check out her Twitter feed of the event here), but apparently spent much of her time outside talking to people who couldn't get in because it was being held in a small room. Some of the people she spoke to in her story and whose remarks have been reprinted elsewhere seem to suggest the Senator's office was actively trying to avoid letting the details on this event get out.
One woman said, “We’ve been calling every day trying to find out where there’s an event and could never get any information from any of the government offices.”
A man told Holliday, “I’ve actually contacted my Representative’s and Senators’ offices asking when there were going to be town hall meetings and got no response. Then last night, I received an e-mail that was forwarded from a friend of mine that said ‘hey look, they’ve been sending out these e-mails to groups of Obama supporters and other liberal organizations.’ The e-mail was just forwarded on to me and I forwarded it on to a few other people. That’s how I found out about it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known.”
Ms. Holliday talked to Sen. Brown after the meeting and received all kinds of reassuring words about how accessible the Senator and his staff are. Apparently not all of his constituents would agree.
You can watch her full story below.
- GOP leadership better jump all over Obama's FedEx/US Postal Service comment through the rest of this Health Care reform debate. It not only highlights exactly why we shouldn't enact his plan in an easy to understand way, but it also highlights the President's inability to live without TOTUS. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, check this out:
- Creigh Deeds has gone insanely desperate in his fight to stay in the VA Guv race. His latest forays into painting McDonnell as a social extremist don't hit the frontrunner where it can do much damage. Deeds needs to focus on elaborating why he would be the better Governor. Election Day is three months out. People need details.
- Campaigns are won by winning more days than your opponent. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine definitely lost today when he tweeted that his financial experience prevented his state's economic downturn. Obviously, that makes zero sense whatsoever when you look at the situation New Jersey is in; a budget out of control, massive job loss, and broken promises. Hmmm....sounds familiar, doesn't it?
- I've been thoroughly impressed with the McDonnell campaign's grassroots and fundraising efforts. Throughout the week I'm getting updates via twitter, facebook and e-mail about opportunities to get involved. With this kind of activity I think Deeds will be hard pressed to win the Virginia ground game.
- Charles Krauthammer is brilliant at policy analysis. He's awful when it comes to political analysis.
- After yesterday, I'm really glad the President has two more Health Care town halls.
- I'm anxiously awaiting Ohio's unemployment numbers coming out next week. Gonna be interesting to see if the rate follows the national trend.
- I'm really glad Arlen Specter isn't our problem anymore.
- After watching OSU's first practice last night at 10:00pm, I've concluded that the Big Ten Network is awesome.
- Anyone else noticed PPP(D)'s surge of "birther" polls? Clearly, they're trying to paint the opposition as extreme. But based on Rasmussen's latest poll, when it comes to Health Care Reform, that doesn't seem to be working.
- Speaking of Rasmussen, his latest numbers imply some serious issues for Deeds. Not only has McDonnell strengthened his lead to nine in Virginia, but he's winning the leaners, those who initially indicate no preference, by a 49-41 margin.
- For blackberry uses, Tiny Twitter is far superior to Tweetberry.
- Finally, a special thanks to my surge of guest contributors as of late. You've all brought a fresh and thoughtful perspective to 3BP and it's appreciated.