In the early 16th century, Hernan Cortes and his army of conquistadors were prepping themselves to invade, and ultimately conquer the Aztec empire. As the soldiers prepared for battle, their ships sat anchored off the coast of what is now Veracruz, in plain sight of his anxious troops.
If all else failed, they thought, they could make a quick getaway to the ships and sail to safety. Cortes realized that some in his crew where getting uneasy, and ordered that the ships be scuttled. Knowing that they would be faced with only two options—fight to survive, or die.
On Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the majority opinion to uphold Obamacare, writing that the individual mandate is equivalent to a tax, and therefore, constitutional.
For months prior to the ruling, as Mitt Romney made his way through the GOP primaries, the debate over both Obamacare and Romneycare loomed as a political sticking point for his campaign (and for the Obama campaign as well).
As the case against the law made its way through the federal courts, speculation built that it would head to the supremes and the belief that the court would strike down the individual mandate, and thus, the entire mess of it, grew stronger.
Personally, I felt that if the court struck down the law, it wouldn’t be the dominant issue that Romney had to deal with during the campaign. I’m sure this suited most conservative s and Republicans just fine.
I didn’t see how Romney could honestly make a case against Obamacare after his Romneycare experiment in Massachusetts. Making this argument eventually would end up doing more harm than good for Romney.
But John Roberts scuttled our ship. With the stroke of a pen, the lines in our political battle were redrawn.
The campaign is now about (or should be about) those who want to repeal Obamacare in its entirety, and those who want to embrace and keep this monstrosity of a law, along with its onerous regulations, bureaucracy and a price tag of over $1 trillion.
This makes things interesting for Democrats this election season. Democrats now have to make the case for defending Obamacare and embrace this law during their town halls and campaign stops this summer and fall. All this with high unemployment, an anemic economy and a toxic President. Good luck with that, Democrats.
If this is going to be an honest debate, I encourage the Democrats defend all aspects of the law. But of course, they’d rather talk about the long list of Obamacare ‘benefits’, and not about the reality of its costs. And certainly not the fact that Obamacare is about more government control and numerous new taxes, taxes that eventually will be paid for by the majority of taxpaying Americans, which is to say, the middle class. In fact, despite the court’s ruling, the White House is already trying to twist the truth.
As for Republicans and conservatives, I agree with Paul Ryan. This is our last chance. Democrats have their hands full, but as a party the GOP have to have the right conditions–the White House, a majority in the Senate, and build on gains in the House. On top of that, the Republicans need leadership with intestinal fortitude to make the right decisions when all of that is obtained. Remember, repealing Obamacare was a priority of the 2010 campaign also.
Repealing Obamacare means catching lightning in a bottle and it needs to happen within the next year. If all the conditions are met, there should be no reason why it can’t happen over the next twelve months. I for one, don’t trust politicians enough to play a waiting game. The repeal process is like cement, the longer we wait, the harder it is to remove. Just like the conquistadors, there is no turning back. The America we know is at stake.
I never really bought into the notion that there’s a friendly peace between the Obamas and the Clintons. Sure, Bill Clinton is campaigning for Obama, Hillary is the Secretary of State, and all appears to be tranquil in Democrat land. But I still don’t buy it.
I’m old enough to remember the political cage-match that was the 2008 Democratic primary, with its ugly charges of racism, the ‘pimping’ of Chelsea, the whole bit. Despite her bitter loss, Hillary still wants to be president, and I have no doubt that she will make another go of it. (I’ll leave the speculation as to whether she replaces Biden on the ticket this year or makes a solid run in 2016, for another time).
All that being said, there’s a literal endorsement battle between the two for Democrat candidates down ticket, one specifically in a congressional race here in New Jersey:
A top Obama campaign adviser is taking sides in a member-versus-member primary in New Jersey, with senior adviser David Axelrod set to campaign for Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), according to a national Democratic aide.
Rothman faces Rep. Bill Pascrell in a North Jersey district that was merged by redistricting.
Bill Clinton endorsed Pascrell this month, making this race the seventh in which he has supported a Hillary-endorsing candidate against an Obama backer.
The Pascrell campaign thinks so highly of Clinton, he made it to their latest campaign ad:
For what it’s worth, Pascrell’s district is a predominantly middle class, blue collar constituency, whereas Rothman’s former district included a sizable portion of the more affluent Bergen County which is closer to Manhattan, consisting of upper-middle class NYC commuters, and a growing immigrant population. Demographically, there’s a noticeable difference between the two, but both districts are solid blue Democrat.
And then there’s this–a source I know with knowledge of the Pascrell campaign implied that there was a financial strain on both camps because of the redistricting fight, but acknowledged the Pascrell got “a boost from the Clinton endorsement,” adding “…[Clinton's] favorables are much better than Obama, even in the cities.“
The primary’s on June 5th, and I’m thinking Pascrell wins the district, based on the demographics I mentioned and it could very well be that the Clinton endorsement puts him over the top. I’d be interested to see how the other Obama vs Clinton endorsements in other CDs go, and I’m sure the Obama campaign will be keeping an eye on that as well.
Okay, 2011 has seen many “great” storms, including the blizzards earlier in the year. But yesterday’s storm dumped about 3-4 inches of global warming onto central Jersey, and today was just warm enough to melt most of it away, creating miles of heavy, wet slush throughout the area. My friends and family in Northern Jersey were the hardest hit however, with over 6 inches in most areas (and over a foot in Sussex County).
With one of the earliest snowstorms on record (early being late October), piling snow onto trees which are still laden with leaves, which have only just recently begun to turn, the biggest danger we’ve had has been snapping trees and tree branches. Thanks to that, power is out all over the state.
During the warmer months, and into the fall, and
before after daylight savings time, I usually forgo the gym for walking and hiking. I really enjoy the seclusion and austerity of an hour-or-so walk. Roosevelt Park is somewhat close to my home and one of its great features is a 3+ mile hiking trail, which includes a paved walkway for about a quarter of the trail, and forest trails for the remainder.
This morning I bundled up to take a walk in the brisk post-storm air (sunny and upper 40s most of the day today) to find that the Nor’easter did a job on the trail that would make any landscaper proud. The trail already took a hit with Hurricane Irene this past August, and now even more damage was done. I took some photos with my iPhone.
Upon entering the trail:
Amazing how this happened:
In the following shot, you can see a stream. Up until August, you couldn’t see it from the the trail path. After Irene, it was partially visible. This morning, it’s in plain sight:
More ruined trees:
Finally, you can’t make it out to well, but here is significant damage to the trail which all but blocked the path:
At a million-dollar San Francisco fundraiser today, President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America.
“The one thing that we absolutely know for sure is that if we don’t work even harder than we did in 2008, then we’re going to have a government that tells the American people, ‘you are on your own,’” Obama told a crowd of 200 donors over lunch at the W Hotel.
“If you get sick, you’re on your own. If you can’t afford college, you’re on your own. If you don’t like that some corporation is polluting your air or the air that your child breathes, then you’re on your own,” he said. “That’s not the America I believe in. It’s not the America you believe in.”
You really don’t need to read any more to confirm that Barack Obama, the career community organizer, is just fine with Occupy Wall Street’s collective stamping of the feet. In fact, Obama has lifted the bar for populist rhetoric the past few weeks, offering student loan “relief” for college students (who have a big presence at the OWS clown parades) among other hand-outs and free passes to various freeloaders, in a pathetic attempt to buy votes.
Moreover, this is the kind of rhetoric that is red meat to the OWS crowd, and the overall base of the radical Democrat party. The politics of entitlement and dependence is a powerful opiate and will be tough for Republicans to overcome.
Indeed the Democrat fringe has used that weapon to enslave generations of blacks and minorities in a ruinous cycle of dependence. Republicans need to pound the message home about alternatives, and to point out these blatant truisms of the Democrat party.
Monty over at Ace of Spades put up his daily Doom post earlier, as he does each and every weekday morning. It’s well worth checking out for your daily fix of financial/economic misery.
As part of today’s lineup, he writes this sentence which stuck out to me and which succinctly sums up Barack Obama, the man and his career:
Obama isn’t trying to solve the problem at hand, but he wants to appear to be solving it.
To that I will add that this is all done to further his and his party’s goals of exponentially inflating the size of government. Plain and simple.
The irresponsible leader of the irresponsible Democrat majority in the US Senate:
James Sherk clarifies:
Senator Reid is not just mistaken; he has his facts exactly backwards. If the recession has barely touched one sector of the economy, it is government. Since the recession began in December 2007 the private sector shed 6.3 million net jobs, while government payrolls are down by just 392,000.
That amounts to a 5.4 percent drop in private sector employment, while government employment has slipped only one-third as much (1.8 percent). Education-related government jobs have fallen even less, down 1.4 percent.
The majority of the American unemployed, those not employed by the public sector, will be glad to know that their Senate leaders are completely clueless about what’s going on in the real world.
He left a personal fortune of approximately $6 billion and, interestingly, the bulk of his net worth was not in Apple, but rather his holdings of Disney and Pixar.
And, he appeared to be a relatively practical individual:
Jobs did not part with money easily, as he showed in June when he rejected a Cupertino City Council request for something extra for approving Apple’s new headquarters.
City council member Kris Wang jokingly asked the mogul at the time, “Do we get free Wi-Fi or something like that?”
Jobs replied, “Well, see, I’m a simpleton. I’ve always had this view that we pay taxes and the city should do those things.”
This is certainly not surprising to learn, but it is amazing that Democrats are always this brazen about their hypocrisy:
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said taking money from a group doesn’t equate to supporting them. “It’s what you fight for and how you vote, it always has been,” Kerry said in a recent interview. “It’s hard to run for office and not have somebody in some sector or some industry have contributed to you; but the question is, are you voting commonsense and values and for the interests of the people, broadly?”
See? It’s ok to pander for money from greedy, Wall Street 1%-types, who, say some OWS clowns, should be executed, and throw them under the bus while on the campaign trail at the same time.
It’s also OK for Senator Kerry to dock his boat in Rhode Island to avoid his state’s onerous luxury yacht taxes. It’s all for the betterment of Massachusetts voters, and Americans in general. So, when will you ignorant Tea Partiers stop being such rubes?
I’m still sifting through all of the remembrances and recollections about Steve Jobs since his passing last week, and here’s a bit of one that stuck out:
One of Jobs’s many gifts was that he knew what to give a shit about. He knew how to focus and prioritize his time and attention.
That would strike me as being true about most successful entrepreneurs and innovators.
This past weekend, I made a trip to the Berkshire mountains in western Massachusetts to take advantage of the long weekend, so I kind of unplugged myself from everything and tried to relax.
Yesterday, the Steve Jobs news really hit me upon waking into a Barnes & Noble, with all of this week’s news magazines were on the racks, with several of them featuring Jobs’ likeness on their covers.
It’s a three day weekend, so me and the signifcant other are packing up the car and headed to western Massachusetts, the Berkshires to be exact. As of right now, we should be driving up I-95.
Normally it’s supposed to be in the 50-60 degree range up there, but this weekend is supposed to be sunny and unusually warm–more like low 70s. Hopefully, I can get to relax and recharge from an anxious, stressful few weeks. And some nice New England foliage won’t hurt. To wit:
The leftist MoveOn.org/union-sponsored Occupy Wall Street crowd is doubling down on the anger:
Several influential New York lawmakers have received threatening emails saying it is “time to kill the wealthy” if they don’t renew the state’s tax surcharge on the millionaires, according to reports.
“It’s time to tax the millionaires!” reads the email, according to WTEN in Albany. “If you don’t, I’m going to pay a visit with my carbine to one of those tech companies you are so proud of and shoot every spoiled Ivy League [expletive] I can find.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos reportedly received the email, as did Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari. The governor’s office did not tell the New York Daily News whether the governor himself received the email.
The email, with the threatening subject line of, “time to kill the wealthy,” was detailed and disturbing.
“How hard is it for us to stake out one of the obvious access roads to some tech company, tail an employee home and toss a liquor bottle full of flaming gasoline through their nice picture window into their cute house,” wrote the author of the email.
The email references terminology that has been used in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement – that of 1 percent super-rich exploiting the remaining 99 percent of Americans. The angry message demanded that Albany politicians “stop shoveling wealth from the lower 99% into the top 1%” and “set aside your ‘no new taxes on anybody’ pledge.” [...]
“You’re going to do [renew the surcharge], or we are going to sow the kind of choas [sic] you are unequipped to deal with,” the email said. “And you’re going to find yourself in a country where you and your wealthy friends are gonig [sic] to be hunted.”
But this is not class warfare. No. That’s legitimate protesting right there.
Question for those Democrats in Congress who have not yet supported this protest–will you be denouncing the vagrants at Occupy Wall Street now, or after blood is shed?
On a night when the news of Steve Jobs’ passing and Sarah Palin’s announcement not to run for president take place within two hours of each other, he chimes in comparing the two:
It’s a fitting comparison: achievement versus resentment, creativity versus narcissism, hope versus fear. I know which one will get the bigger headlines tomorrow. And there is some comfort in knowing it will pain her.
Yeah, Steve Jobs will be getting the headlines tomorrow, Andrew. The man just passed away after a life of changing the very fabric of our lives through technological innovations, the founder and leader of one of the most powerful companies in the world.
Palin merely announced she wasn’t running for office. One definitely takes precedent over the other in the news cycle. This, despite the importance that you, yourself, and your psychotic, obsessive ramblings about Palin and her uterus have placed on her.
The weed and the meds take its toll on the normalcy of the brain, Andrew. Stay classy.
Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs had a vision and passion for his life and changed the world more than he could’ve imagined.
Ladies and gentlemen, the second in command of the United States Senate:
Holding up a plastic debit card on the Senate floor this afternoon, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., had some advice for Bank of America customers angry about the new $5 monthly fee: leave.
“Bank of America customers, vote with your feet, get the heck out of that bank,” Durbin said on the Senate floor. “Find yourself a bank or credit union that won’t gouge you for $5 a month and still will give you a debit card that you can use every single day. What Bank of America has done is an outrage.”
Durbin said consumers are rightfully outraged about last week’s announcement.
“It is hard to believe that a bank would impose such a fee on loyal customers who simply are trying to access their own money on deposit at Bank of America,” he said. “Especially when Bank of America for years has been encouraging their customers to use debit cards as much as possible.”
Most basic checking accounts at Bank of America will see a 40 percent jump in monthly costs and the bank says the debit fee will be waived for customers who upgrade to “premium” accounts that require higher minimum balances.
The Dodd-Frank financial law this month lowers “interchange fees” that banks can charge retailers for debit transactions. Fees for retailers will shrink from 44 cents to a cap of 24 cents, which has led some debit card issuers to seek other ways to make up that lost revenue. Some people have blamed Durbin for his amendment, which capped the so-called swipe fees that banks can charge retailers.
You read that correctly. Senator Durbin is encouraging a run on the largest holder of cash deposits in the country. Am I the only one that finds this disturbing? This, in addition to the fact that Dick Durbin is entirely to blame for the amendment to the Dodd-Frank monstrosity which forced the bank’s hand in the first place?
Is anyone surprised? This is class warfare–pitting one group of citizens against another. But then again, it’s part of the weaponry there at the Democrat party.
New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious guns operation as far back as July of 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.
On May 3, 2011, Holder told a Judiciary Committee hearing, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
In Fast and Furious, ATF agents allegedly allowed thousands of weapons to cross the border and fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. It’s called letting guns “walk,” and it remained secret to the public until Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered last December. Two guns from Fast and Furious were found at the scene. And ATF agent John Dodson blew the whistle on the operation.
Corruption abounds in this White House and the media is complicit in trying to hide it all.
September is usually a month of cooling down, switching gears to the fall, which happens to be my favorite season right now. Since August however, the weather here in Central Jersey has been an alternating mix of hazy, muggy days and rain. Lots of warm rainfall.
Today we actually got a respite from that, as the midday temps dropped to around 70, and a cool, steady drizzle was falling as I write this. Today felt like fall (still no sun) and this morning, looking out from my porch, I saw this:
tomorrow is supposed to be even cooler, so here’s hoping that we maintain some fall-ish weather.
Speaking of fall, it was in the fall of 1966 that the Beatles embarked on a mini-vacation from being Beatles, and enjoyed time on their own for those two months. George Harrison took off to India for about four weeks. And speaking of George, here’s the trailer for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biopic of my favorite Beatle, which looks nothing short of awesome:
The situation there is grim, and the financial and social systems there are buckling:
The worst nightmares of [...] Euroskeptics have been exceeded. The United States carried the luxury-goods industries of France and Italy and the engineered-products industries of Germany on its back for decades, but it will not and cannot do it anymore. Decline is reversible; more complicated is a death wish as thoroughly installed in the attitudes and practices of whole peoples as that of most of Europe.
If Europe cannot spark a demographic renewal, with a work force comprising fully half the people, flexible labor markets, tax rates that encourage savings and investment, an end to stealthily galloping inflation, and a reactivation of the economic and military muscle that alone confer credibility, it will quietly perish.
These are the results of cradle-to-grave statism, and Euro-socialist economic policies. There is no reason why this cannot happen here in the United States, in fact it probably already is happening. The laws of economics and common sense apply in our country as well as in Europe.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus mocked President Barack Obama’s 2008 election slogan Sunday, arguing it won’t pass the smell test with voters in 2012.
“It sounds like the new slogan is no longer ‘hope and change’,” Priebus said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “It’s, ‘Hey, it could’ve been worse’. Great bumper sticker, Debbie. I hope it works for you.”
Priebus was speaking to his counterpart at the Democratic National Committee, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was with him in the joint interview.
An aggressive Priebus also said that Wasserman Schultz’s talking points had already been proven false, referencing the recent GOP victory in New York’s special House election.
“This has already been tested in a Democratic district. These talking points have been tested, and they’re losing. They’re imploding,” he said during their animated exchange.
The exchange begins at about 4:15 in the following clip, but the whole thing is worth watching.
Notice how the Democrat plan of attack seems to have fallen back to blame Bush, then blame Bush some more. With a disastrous three years of Democrats running the federal government, this is all they have–there is no positive record to speak of, a fact that Priebus is willing to point out.
Keep in mind, Mrs. Shultz also said this earlier this year, which Republicans should be repeating over and over.
Moreover, its good to see some in the Republican party finally have the guts strike back at Democrats and their lame talking points, and go on the offensive.
Businessman Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll Saturday, beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential frontrunner who just two days earlier delivered a debate performance that was widely panned.
Cain finished with 37 percent of the vote, while Perry trailed with 15 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed with 14 percent while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum drew 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul finished with 10.5 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finished with 2 percent.
Congratulations to Herman Cain, and to Jon Huntsman who came in with 2%–which is 1 point higher than Michelle Bachmann, whose campaign is all but finished at this point.
All joking aside, it ‘s an impressive result for Cain, but we can’t make much of it until further polling data confirms Cain’s actual standing among the candidates. I’m curious to see how the next few weeks pan out, but it seems as if Republican voters are sick and tired of the Romney vs. Perry bitch-fest. Romney is a non-starter for so many grassroots conservatives, and Perry’s star seems to flame out the more they learn about him. Nobody really knows at this point.
My guess is that voters are still not impressed with the current batch of contenders. No candidate is ever without flaws, but I’m getting the feeling that voters seem to think that these individual flaws are not mitigated by big enough plusses.
Nevertheless, a big congratulations is in order for Herman Cain–excellent work in making this silly season especially more entertaining.
Meanwhile, you know who this really helps? Stacy McCain. He hasn’t been on the Cain bandwagon—he’s been the coach driver.
Probably not, but a NASA satellite is about to come crashing down to earth:
The six-ton satellite circles the Earth on a tilted orbit, and as the planet turns each day, different locations pass underneath. The satellite’s orbit on Friday afternoon will not take it over any part of North America, but by Saturday, parts of the United States will again be in its path. [...] At least 26 pieces, the largest 330 pounds, are expected to survive the plunge and land along a path 500 miles long.
Not to worry, as it’s happened before:
NASA satellites also receive considerably more attention when they come back to Earth than other debris of similar size. About one satellite five metric tons or larger re-enters the atmosphere every year.
For example, on a test flight of its Falcon 9 rocket in June 2010, the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation placed the second stage and a prototype capsule into orbit. That object, heavier than the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, came crashing back to Earth two and a half weeks later without causing a media ripple.
No hope here. But lots of change, and for the worse, in a poll taken last week:
Eight of 10 say the economy is in a recession, and nearly as many say it hasn’t improved over the past year. Even more ominous: Six in 10 predict the economy a year from now will be the same or worse than today, a downturn from the public’s views last year and the year before.
In the USA TODAY survey, the public’s economic expectations were reversed from where they stood two years ago, soon after economists calculated the recession officially had ended. In September 2009, 65% predicted the economy would be better in a year; 35% said it would be about the same or worse.
Now, 37% say things will be better in a year; 61% say they will be the same or worse.
While a third of the respondents still attribute some of the blame to President Bush, that particular Democrat talking point is fading:
Twenty-four percent say Obama deserves a great deal of the blame, up 10 points since 2009. For the first time since he took office, a majority of Americans — including six in 10 independents — say he deserves a great deal or moderate amount of blame for the nation’s economic woes.
“The blame-it-on-my-predecessor line is of decreasing help to an incumbent,” says political scientist William Mayer of Northeastern University. “It was perfectly fine when he took office, and even reasonable a year or two in, but eventually, increasingly, it becomes Obama’s economy.
I think Obama pushed the blame-it-on-Bush string much too long. About two years too long. When you campaign on vague promises of hope and change, as the savior of an economy that was teetering on disaster, there had better be solid improvements in people’s economic well-being, relatively quickly. Especially after you made it a point to tell everyone that your predecessor’s economic policies failed, with the implication being that yours are so much better.
So much for that.
So much for the “rich don’t pay taxes” meme:
The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.
There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.
This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.
Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.
Facts are difficult for the left to embrace.
This is either scraping the bottom of the ideas barrel or the president is light years ahead of the rest of us, and knows something we don’t:
Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the “Buffett Rule,” in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.
Mr. Obama will not specify a rate or other details, and it is unclear how much revenue his plan would raise. But his idea of a millionaires’ minimum tax will be prominent in the broad plan for long-term deficit reduction that he will outline at the White House on Monday.
So for the second time in a month, President Transparency proposes a literal blank slate of legislation, and is encouragin its passage. Kings have had harder times in mandating edicts.
What is this nonsense if it isn’t class warfare, and a desperate attempt to start discord among Republicans? After a disastrous few weeks for Obama and the Democrats, this is most definitely be his desired goal. The president knows that the proposed tax is dead on arrival in the House. He knows this. And anyone with a brain knows that this does nothing to create jobs, and is a drop in the bucket with regards to deficit reduction.
But Republicans will have to defend not endorsing it, and the administration, along with Democratic congressional leaders, will go on the offensive. But as the weeks drag on, and the government continues to pump out report after dismal report on the state of the economy (the September NFP report is out in a little over two weeks), it might not make a difference for the administration.
I get e-mail from Obama 2012 headquarters:
I love seeing 2008 bumper stickers on cars and bicycles when I travel across the country. But as we start to see Republican gear hit the streets, what about making sure people know you’re supporting the President in 2012?
You can do that with a 2012 campaign car magnet. Will you donate $10 or more and we’ll send you one?
An Obama 2012 car magnet? With a minimum $10 donation to the campaign? Clearly, the Obama campaign doesn’t realize there’s a recession going on right now. Oh, well. The e-mail continues:
Maybe you’re wondering how putting a magnet on your car will help re-elect the President.
When people see us out in the neighborhood showing support with our clothing, our dog leashes, our cars, or our water bottles, it starts conversations. You might get a chance to tell someone why you’re supporting the President, and maybe even convince someone to sign up to volunteer.
At the very least, you’ll show everyone that you’re on the President’s team — and you’re proud of it.
Starting conversations is good. Unfortunately for the Obama camp, I’m seeing some different sentiments on people’s cars these days. I saw this down in Cape May this past July:
Talk about starting conversations. And this one I saw on the way to work just last week:
These are all in New Jersey for pete’s sake.
And from Virginia, a state that many leftist bloggers and pundits are claiming is turning deep blue, a friend sends this:
Maybe Americans are tired of having “conversations” with this president. And maybe, just maybe, they’re about ready to move on.
Moving into the village [of Ganjgal, Afghanistan], the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above.
Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner’s position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team.
Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area.
And it doesn’t end there. Click through and read the whole thing. Sgt. Dakota Meyer is a true American hero.
With unemployment remaining over 9%, and Democrats providing nothing in the way of solutions, it’s no wonder voters are getting fed up:
[Democrat David] Weprin tried to adopt that strategy, warning that Turner would try to cut programs like Medicare and Social Security. But with unemployment still stubbornly high and voters upset with Washington over the debt ceiling negotiations, the pledge to protect entitlements was less resonant this time.
Democratic leaders trying to explain their bad night blamed it on the quirkiness of low-turnout special elections.
“The results in NY-09 are not reflective of what will happen in November 2012 when Democratic challengers run against Republican incumbents who voted to end Medicare and cut Social Security while protecting tax loopholes for big corporations and the ultra wealthy,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York.
So Democrats are still sticking to the same talking points, despite a big denunciation of those talking points. Sounds like they have no solution that doesn’t involve wasting more taxpayer money. That’s a great strategy. For Republicans.
UPDATE. Mickey Kaus echoes what I wrote earlier on the failure of Mediscare:
After decades of pledging not to touch the two sacred programs, it’s beginning to look as if Democrats can’t just suddenly agree to pull trillions out of Social Security and Medicare and expect voters to maintain their reflexive loyalties. [...]
Scaring voters about Paul Ryan and the Tea Partiers’s entitlement cuts was what was going to save Obama’s party from being dragged down even if Obama himself goes the way of Jimmy Carter. Now it looks as if that life preserver won’t float. …
Read Kaus’ entire post. He’s citing a Dave Weigel piece, which includes this bit of tragedy for Dems:
It’s the start of a problem for Democrats, who have gone from attacking the Ryan plans for entitlement reform to vouching support for some undefined “everything on the table” entitlement reform. There might not be any way for Democrats to dodge this, and there’s no sign that they want to. And that leaves all of them in the position of Democrats in New York’s 9th. Their traditional base, weary of the recession, not sure what Democrats have to offer any more, are ready to be wedged.
That Rick Perry has emerged in recent weeks as the front-runner in the GOP race is not really surprising. There was a lot of pent-up feelings over the summer about whether he would throw his hat into the ring or not, and when he finally did, it felt like voters were relieved that there was a new face. Which only confirmed my suspicions that conservatives and Republicans weren’t that fond of this particular group of contenders.
With his rise in the polls, and the media lamenting his brash approach to politics, his outspoken demeanor, etc., conservatives began taking to him as the most electable candidate–the one most likely to beat Obama. And so began the inevitable comparisons to Ronald Reagan circa 1980.
I didn’t watch last night’s CNN/Tea Party debate, but I was glad to see that Bachmann landed some jabs at Governor Perry for his Gardasil debacle. If only because someone on the stage of contenders actually addressed the issue.
To conservatives who are embracing Perry with open arms, how do you reconcile his Gardasil law with your conservative values? The chief executive of Texas signed
a law an executive order that mandated teenage girls receive a vaccination, whether they want to or not, whether their parents approve or not, under the penalty of law. That isn’t a conservative trait.
It’s certainly not the conservatism of the Tea Party, but more like a big government conservatism. Republicans have seen this movie before and it doesn’t end well for conservatives, and certainly not for the Republican party.
UPDATE. And just like that, Bachmann took any success she had with her Gardasil attack and flushed it down the toilet.
There’s a lot of talk about an upset in the making, although I’m not buying it. The pessimist in me says there’s no way in hell a Republican can take this seat, even if it is the
former seat of the disgraced Anthony Weiner.
But then there’s this from PPP”s recent polling on the race, which is truly an eye-opener:
55% of voters in the district report having voted for Obama in 2008, which is the actual percentage of the vote he got in the district. Last year a lot of the races Democrats lost were because their voters didn’t show up and the electorate was far more conservative than for a Presidential year. When you lose that way you can say, well, our voters will come back out in 2012 and we’ll be fine. But there is no enthusiasm gap here. Obama voters are showing up in the same numbers they did in 2008. But only 65% of them are voting Democratic. That’s a really big cause for concern.
Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.
UPDATE. Turner wins handily, 53% – 46% over the Demcorat Weprin. A big high-five goes out to Anthony Weiner for being a degenerate douche, President Obama for being a complete and utter failure, and a sincere thanks goes out to the people of NY-09, for putting country over party.
There’s nothing to say. Nothing really anyone can say. Just never forget.
For those who want a brief, succinct explanation of the stench of cronyism, the stench of political corruption that is the story of President Obama and Solyndra, here is a five-panel cartoon.
First one in the series:
A dismal labor report Friday showed the economy added zero net workers in August, intensifying pressure on President Obama to unveil a major jobs initiative during his speech to Congress next week.
The Labor Department report showed the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1 percent. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010.
In a nutshell, this is the great goose egg economy — a big zero, a big nothing — and this better be one hell of a speech next week. There is a plethora of bad news. You have what is going on in Greece, you have lawsuits potentially coming today or Tuesday against the banks. You have the Fed in a Wall Street Journal article overnight asking Bank of America if they are going to be OK if things get really bad. There are a lot of confidence issues in the marketplace, the jobs number only made things worse and people wonder about this jobs number and its correlation with Philly Fed. That is scary.”
Yesterday we rented a bunch of movies, and loaded up on water and some vino. This morning, I went out to get the paper and ran some errands, all the while it was about 80 degrees and a bit muggy.
The best part? This afternoon I was attempting to get some wind chimes down from the top of our patio, and awkwardly landed on my foot, apparently crushing my big toe. At least it feels like that. I’ve iced it down throughout the day, but that didn’t stop it from swelling to an uncomfortable purple color. And throbbing. I don’t think its broken, but whatever. Just another addition to the anxiety.
Right now (about 10:30 PM EST) there’s a light, steady rain, and winds blowing about 10-15 miles an hour. The Tee Vee tells me that Irene won’t touch New Jersey until sometime around 1 to 2 am tomorrow morning, and is not expected to leave until about twelve hours later. The only serious thing I’m expecting is loss of power, which would just really suck.
Nevertheless, I’m relatively safe, but not so comfortable thanks to my busted toe. To anyone reading this, hope all is well on your end.
There are many, many people commenting on the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple, and not all of it is glowing.
Say what you want about the man, but he resurrected the company from being a laughing-stock in the industry, to one of the largest and most successful companies in the world. Here is one of the more honest assessments of Jobs as I’ve seen so far:
Steve Jobs could be arrogant and unpleasant, a brutal man a sane person would not want to work for. But the products he created will be his monuments. And so will the memory of how he created those products.
Unlike those folks in Washington who dare not offend their favored constituencies—Republicans unwilling to raise taxes, Tea Party members who praise James Madison’s belief in small government but not his belief in checks and balances and compromise, Congressional Democrats unwilling to offend senior citizens or labor, a President unwilling to stick his neck out to endorse the work of the bipartisan budget-balancing commission he appointed—Steve Jobs has been a true leader.
Like Edison, he’s been an inventor and a man who has changed our lives.
Sounds like a real leader in a world where we have too few.
On Saturday in Inglewood, Calif., Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters had some harsh words for the tea party.
“I’m not afraid of anybody,” the California congresswoman told constituents in footage that appeared on ABC affiliate KABC in Los Angeles, not backing down from comments made about President Obama earlier in the week. “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened. And as far as I’m concerned — the tea party can go straight to hell.”
That proclamation was met with cheers from the audience, including attendees sporting purple SEIU T-shirts.
Tone down the rhetoric, indeed.
The Democrats thrive on hate and anger, and this story is just another example of that. And make no mistake, if it was up to progressives, Maxine Waters would be President and not Barack Obama. She’s right up their alley.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
Results be damned, it’s all about electing more and more liberals to positions of power, to keep blacks more and more suppressed:
[T]he bad policies that have always failed are the big government liberalism that has defined modern black politics.
With further thought, blacks might realize [...] that growing government and electing black politicians would make blacks better off — that explains why blacks have remained disproportionately “hurtin”.
Take the Congressional Black Caucus itself. The average poverty rate in Black Caucus districts is almost 50 percent higher than the national average. Yet, these black politicians have 100 percent re-election rates.
Maybe blacks will realize that they should blame Obama. Not because he is black, but because he is a liberal.
Or maybe it’s because of those racist, terrorist Tea Partiers. Read the whole piece.
Appealing to the credulous resentments of ignorant mobs has long been a political speciality of the Democratic Party, which habitually excites the fears and hatreds of its constituencies, even as it exploits their foolish hopes [...]
Democrats execise power through such cynical manipulation of their supporters’ dreams and nightmares. The Democrats grow rich while the people who elect them grow poor and yet always — always — the blame for their failures is externalized onto [...] the Republicans.
[T]he fools who vote for Democrats certainly deserve no better than what they’ve gotten from Obama: Absolutely nothing.
Mrs. Obama and her daughters arrived just before 2 pm Thursday on a U.S. government jet, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times, which got its information from the local airport. The first lady’s office has been silent on her travel. President Obama arrived in the evening along with the family dog Bo.
The extra costs related to Mrs. Obama’s solo trip mainly include the flight on a specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as any extra staff and Secret Service that had to be enlisted to go with her. She would also have had her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.
Mrs. Obama’s separate jet travel sends the wrong message on a host of issues, from global warming to the budget deficit to the economy – in which currently so many people can’t afford to take a vacation at all.
I know I’ve been dismissing criticism of the Obamas trip to MV in recent posts, but I’ve also acknowledged that the optics are tough. Stories like this only add fuel to the fire.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
[W]hen you look at August 2011 from Spring/Summer/Fall 2012, one more vacation isn’t going to seem like much of anything. The economy will matter, but not what it was in August 2011, what it isnow. Whatever it is, people will hold Obama responsible, so right now, he’s hoping things will be better enough that he’ll have something to claim credit for.
Could he do something right now, in August 2011, that will make the economy better at that future point, something that will be more effective than biking and golfing on Martha’s Vinyard? I don’t think he can, and if he doesn’t think he can, in my book, that’s a point in his favor. Spare me your programs and clever ideas. I like getting some evidence that he knows the limits of government.
Obama’s presidency is about getting reelected, and doing nothing right now fits that agenda just fine.
Exactly. Here’s hoping that Republicans take note.
In total agreement with Jennifer Rubin here:
The chasm between the president’s agenda (and leadership skills) and the problems we face seems to widen with each passing day. The problem is not the Martha’s Vineyard vacation but the two and a half years that preceded it. The policy initiatives and the president himself seem too small for the challenges we face. He resorts to political stunts to fill the time and directs blame to Congress, the Republicans or whatever else he can think of.
People who complain about the vacation are missing the point. I hear a lot of conservatives complaining about this vacation, as the economy seems to deteriorate with each passing day, and world markets continue to melt, and that the President should be….um, well…I’m not exactly sure what they think he should be doing. Sure the optics look bad, and I honestly don’t think the President really cares. And, as the last four years have shown us, anything the Democrats propose to “help” the economy, is bound to be a disaster.
But more importantly, as Rubin notes, when he does come back from vacation, then what? Democrats, as always, appears to be out of bullets and have nothing to contribute.
[Hat Tip: Instapundit]
Signing a bill that mandates all 13-year-old girls receive a vaccination, produced by a company who has a lobbying relationship with someone in your administration, doesn’t really sound like something a conservative would do, does it?
But that’s just me.
More from Malkin here.
This is Maxine Waters, the resident idiot in the Congressional Black Caucus speaking about the President and his current jobs tour through white America:
“We’re supportive of the president, but we’re getting tired, ya’ll. We’re getting tired. And so, what we want to do is, we want to give the president every opportunity to show what he can do and what he’s prepared to lead on. We want to give him every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what the strategy is. We don’t know why on this trip that he’s in the United States now, he’s not in any black community. We don’t know that.”
Here’s the thing Congresswoman Waters. Liberal Democrats like President Obama already assume they have the black vote in the bag, regardless of how hard Hope and Change
fifty years of liberal policies has thrown them under the bus. And it’s not so much that he’s going to see white people on his lame bus tour, but rather middle America, which includes whites, as well as blacks, as well as Hispanics, as well as Asians, etc., all across the fruited plain. With that in mind, it’s no wonder he’s out there because those are the votes not in the bag, as it were.
And of course, he needs those votes to get re-elected and continue dragging this country downward. Got it?
UPDATE. Video of the CBC meeting via Big Government:
You really feel the angst in that video. This is the failure of liberalism personified—the uncomfortably dumbfounded look of Ms. Waters (emphasis on the “dumb”), the plight of the people these liberals and their socialist policies were meant to help. All in one clip. Politically, it’s bad news for Obama—coupled with liberal supporters screaming down Debbie Wasserman Shultz in Iowa last weekend—these incidents speak volumes.
Yep, the natives are getting restless, as they were promised big government lollipops, (to borrow a phrase from Mark Steyn) and all they got were…well…nothing.
Notice the disapproval rating is up to 52% as well.
Here’s an interesting bit from Gallup’s write-up:
The crucial period for Obama will begin after Labor Day, given the relative quiet on the political front that should be the case before then. Obama will generate some news coverage this week with his bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, but after that, he has a scheduled vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, during which he will be largely out of the news — barring some major crisis.
If the president is not able to turn around the negative momentum in his ratings during the fall months, it may be more and more difficult for him to do so as the presidential campaign begins in earnest next year.
The White House is getting the word out that a “jobs plan” is on the way. Sometime in September, after his vacation. There is no urgency here on the President’s part, as millions are without work. And any plan he has will probably include more spending, useless targeted tax credits and the like.
This administration and its ideology are out of ideas, and it shows.
Of course, that distinction belongs to President 39%, who deserves all the credit:
“There is a dramatic contrast with the governor of Texas” when it comes to his record versus the president’s on job creation,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Not the least of which is that it is extremely difficult for him to deserve credit for that job creation when you have rising gas prices that created oil jobs that he had nothing to do with, when you had military spending as a result of two wars that created military jobs that he had nothing to do with, when you have the Recovery Act championed by President Obama that created jobs in Texas that he had nothing to do with.”
[...] “So it is way overblown to suggest that the job creation in Texas is squarely on the shoulders of [Perry's] policies.”
Democrats, apparently, are born liars. If the Democrat party wants to campaign on the stimulus bill to scream about all of the wonderful jobs they have created, then so be it. Try selling that to the American people for the next 15 months.
Meanwhile here’s Ms. Shultz in Iowa this past weekend, preaching to
getting booed by the Democratic faithful:
If I was a Democrat, with unemployment over 9%, a historic downgrade of our country’s credit, a stalling economy with little or no growth, I wouldn’t exactly be too confident in my party’s outlook right about now. And having this uninspiring moonbat representing the party wouldn’t be helping matters.
Confidence among U.S. consumers plunged in August to the lowest level since May 1980, adding to concern that weak employment gains and volatility in the stock market will prompt households to retrench.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment slumped to 54.9 from 63.7 the prior month. The gauge was projected to decline to 62, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.
The biggest one-week slump in stocks since 2008 and the threat of default on the nation’s debt may have exacerbated consumers’ concerns as unemployment hovers above 9 percent and companies are hesitant to hire. Rising pessimism poses a risk household spending will cool further, hindering a recovery that Federal Reserve policy makers said this week was already advancing “considerably slower” than projected.
“We’re really at the bottom of the barrel right now,” Lindsey Piegza, an economist at FTN Financial in New York, said before the report. “Americans are feeling an increasing level of frustration with their leaders in Washington. We’re also seeing a slew of weaker than expected economic reports.”
But don’t worry. President Obama’s just as frustrated and worked up about the economy that he and the Democrats have created as we all are. Doesn’t that make you feel sooo much better?
Six Republican seats were up for recall elections in the Wisconsin State Senate last night, and the Republicans held four of them.
The Tea Party effectively smacked the vitriolic left-wing progressive movement upside the head:
…[T]he union-backed Democrats picked up only two state Senate seats in Wisconsin last night, at a staggering cost in time, effort, and of course money. One of the seats was solidly Democratic, held by a Republican due to an apparent fluke of nature. The other was held by an alleged adulterer who had moved outside his district to live with his young mistress, and whose wife was supporting his recall.[...]
The people” were supposed to be on the side of the unions who protested at the state capitol when Walker’s bill passed, limiting the unions’ collective bargaining privileges against taxpayers and school districts. But it turns out that “the people” had other ideas. In the end, even a massive infusion of cash and union volunteers was not enough to deliver the three state Senate recall races the unions needed, despite the fact that President Obama carried all six of the seats in question in 2008.
This marks the unions’ third huge defeat in Wisconsin this year. The other two were the passage of Walker’s bill and the re-election of David Prosser to the state Supreme Court. The grand talk of recalling Walker himself next year seems a bit blustery now, given the great failure of last night.
The implications are clear:
…[A]almost 350,000 people voted in Tuesday’s recall elections — and Republicans won 53 percent of the total vote. After blowtorching the state with negative ads and benefiting from a favorable timetable, the unions could still only get 47 percent of Wisconsinites to support their effort.
This should make the unions think long and hard about whether they want to embark on a mission to recall Gov. Scott Walker next year. Doing so successfully would easily cost them five times as much as they just spent — and even with their recent deluge of cash, most of the public still didn’t support them at the polls. Additionally, the extra time will also give Walker’s reforms more time to work — and once the public sees that schools can manage their affairs effectively without being hamstrung by union regulations, organized labor’s argument gets even weaker.
When establishment Republicans talk about shying away from political battles, the “hills” that are not worth politically taking a hit for, I would urge them to look at Wisconsin. The Republicans there, with the Tea Party having their backs, stood for conservatism, stood for true reform, and won. Twice.
And a major hat-tip to Governor Walker who, in my book, is Republican of the Year. He stood up to the vitriol, to the onslaught of hate and violent rhetoric from the Left, to the deluge of union money and their thuggery, all for doing his job and standing up for conservatism. He never resorted to chest-thumping, never spoke with malice. He just made his case to the people of Wisconsin and they voted accordingly. All of this in the cradle of America’s modern progressive movement.
Kudos to Governor Walker, the GOP senators who won, and to the people of Wisconsin.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
While President Downgrade and a do-nothing Democratic leadership in Congress sit around calling fellow Americans terrorists for wanting lower taxes and lower government spending, some people are actually stepping up to the plate, and being brave about what needs to be done:
…[W]e need to get serious about our deficit. No more accounting gimmicks. No more cuts in “out-years” that never materialize. The permanent political class in D.C. might be fooling themselves with these Enron-like accounting games, but they’re not fooling the world’s capital markets. And we don’t need any more happy talk from the White House about “investing” in solar shingles and really fast trains. The White House shouldn’t even bother floating these new spending programs. We can’t afford them. Period.
We need to stop this deficit spending, balance our budget, repeal Obamacare, cancel all unused stimulus funds, and reform our entitlement programs. We have to have an adult conversation about our spending commitments; circumstances have changed, and we must adapt.
I know none of this will be easy, but, “thick” or not, the average American outside the D.C. politico bubble knows that we no longer have a choice! We will have entitlement reform and a balanced budget; it’s just a matter of how. We can do it ourselves in a calm, methodical, and responsible manner, or we can wait for the world’s capital markets to ram it down on us.
That’s from Sarah Palin’s new Facebook post, which is well worth reading in its entirety, especially in the light of the recent S&P downgrade, and volatility in world markets.
Swiped this from Ace’s Headlines sidebar. Watch as Rick Santelli smacks around the smug Ezra Klein:
It’s fascinating to watch. I love how Klein’s assertions are based on a book that “people say” was the best written on the financial crisis.
Here you have the intellectual Klein, learning about the world from university lecture halls and think tanks, while Santelli earns a living in the real world and dares speak truth to power on CNBC. What do you think would happen? Reality beats ivy-league utopianism every time.
It reminded me of this:
Tax cuts do not . . . create jobs . . . When we do not ask the super rich and the corporations who make billions of dollars of profits off of the American economy [for more taxes], we will not have the funds to keep that engine running . . . to make sure that we can meet our nation’s obligations to our seniors, our children and our poor.”
That was Congresswoman Barbara Lee, of the uber-liberal, progressive caucus in the House of Representatives. Both Lee and Klein share the same mindset–that the free exchange of capital and resources should be left to the discretion of the government, that is to say, not as free. That’s a scary prospect, as we are seeing the real-time results of those policies throughout Europe. Their ideology is a failed ideology of government control and power in the name of social “justice”, with dismal outcomes.
It’s telling that networks still listen to people like Klein, and people elect politicians like Lee.
The report came out this morning, and while the media and the White House give it the expected fluff, it was actually not so good news:
The economy in July generated 117,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined from 9.2 percent to 9.1 percent.
This is nice until you remember that the economy needs to create about 150,000 jobs just to keep pace with the growing work force. The decline in the unemployment rate was not due to the new jobs, but to people giving up searching for jobs. They are then not counted as unemployed, since they are not even looking.
Now, July was better than June, and the numbers were better than expected. But overall, we’re in worse shape than we were.
As we’ve seen again and again, it’s not so much that the administration is ambiguous and outright deceptive about these economic reports, it’s that the media is complicit in their deception. Par for the course from the left.
Sic semper tyrannis, means “thus always to tyrants” in Latin, but it’s primarily associated with John Wilkes Booth’s last words before assassinating President Lincoln, and were allegedly the words of Brutus before he stabbed Julius Caesar.
With that in mind, watch this Wisconsin
douchebag protester screaming the phrase at Governor Scott Walker:
I believe this
scumbag gentleman is encouraging violence against Governor Walker, don’t you? But it’s the Tea Party that induces violence and racism. Where is the media’s thought police on this?