Archive for August, 2010

Republicans maintaining its edge going into September

August 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m not a big polling cheerleader but here goes, as per Rasmussen:

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on all 10 of the important issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports.

The GOP has consistently been trusted on most issues for months now, but in July they held the lead on only nine of the key issues.

Republicans lead Democrats 47% to 39% on the economy, which remains the most important issue to voters. Those numbers are nearly identical to those found in June. Republicans have held the advantage on the economy since May of last year.

But for the first time in months, Republicans now hold a slight edge on the issues of government ethics and corruption, 40% to 38%. Voters have been mostly undecided for the past several months on which party to trust more on this issue, but Democrats have held small leads since February.  Still, more than one-in-five voters (22%) are still not sure which party to trust more on ethics issues.

Wow. A two point lead on the ethics issue.  This certainly isn’t 2006 anymore.

Not to be a wet blanket, but it’s a byproduct of the two-party system that voters are turning to the Republicans.  Polls still show that the Republicans along with Democrats, are still held in complete disregard.

But voters are appearing to realize that corrupt, Democrats with pocket-book power, running wild in Washington D.C.,  is not in their best interests.

Open Thread (Weekend edition)

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

The weather’s supposed to be beautiful here in Jersey the next few days and as such, I am headed to the shore  for a few days. 

 In the meantime, some cool music:

Enjoy the weekend…

Categories: Everything Else

House Democrats feeling the heat

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Trying not to get too optimistic here, but I have to admit this is awesome:

Top Democrats are growing markedly more pessimistic about holding the House, privately conceding that the summertime economic and political recovery they were banking on will not likely materialize by Election Day.

In conversations with more than two dozen party insiders, most of whom requested anonymity to speak candidly about the state of play, Democrats in and out of Washington say they are increasingly alarmed about the economic and polling data they have seen in recent weeks.

They no longer believe the jobs and housing markets will recover – or that anything resembling the White House’s promise of a “recovery summer” is under way. They are even more concerned by indications that House Democrats once considered safe – such as Rep. Betty Sutton, who occupies an Ohio seat that President Barack Obama won with 57 percent of the vote in 2008 – are in real trouble.

In two close races, endangered Democrats are even running ads touting how they oppose their leadership.

“Democrats kept thinking: ‘We’re going to get better. We’re going to get well before the election,’” said one of Washington’s best-connected Democrats. “But as of this week, you now have people saying that Republicans are going to win the House. And now it’s starting to look like the Senate is going to be a lot closer than people thought.”

A Democratic pollster working on several key races said, “The reality is that [the House majority] is probably gone.” His data shows the Democrats’ problems are only getting worse. “It’s spreading,” the pollster said.

But…but….healthcare reform!  Financial regulation reform!  Cap and trade in the pipeline! 

Yeah, Democrats love the congressional leadership, the White House and their progressive agenda so much, they feel they have to run away from them in their campaign ads. 

I’m also looking forward to reading the liberal blogs and watching the media explain how these at-risk moderate Democrats are not “real” Democrats, and how what the American people want are solidly liberal Democrats to be in the majority in Congress.  So much so that they’re willing to throw these bums out and replace them with…Republicans?


Beyond the 2010 midterms

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio made an interesting statement this week, noting that should the Republican party win big in November, as they are expected to do, it should provide a springboard for the 2012 election.

Of course, the left side of the blogosphere is tsk-tsking the comments (how dare politicians actually think about playing politics!).

But I seem to recall back in 2006 that the liberals were openly applauding the idea of that year’s midterms as a “first step” in their agenda–that the election was just a building block for congressional majorities and the White House in 2008.  Again, when the Left engages in politics, its for altruistic betterment of society.  When the Right does it, it’s well—just dirty politics.

This kind of rhetoric is plain ignorance and propaganda.  To the extent that what conservative activists are supporting is the antithesis of everything that the Obama Democrats stand for, then yes–2010 should be setting the stage for 2012.  Part of that is making sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president.

But I digress.

Andy McCarthy is up with an interesting post agreeing with Congressman Jordan’s statement:

Even if the GOP takes back both chambers, they will not have veto-proof majorities (either in straight Republican numbers or in the sense of a “working majority” that assumes peeling off some Dems). The president is obviously not going to sign off on what he regards as his signature progressive achievements. Consequently, the best the Republicans can expect — and this would be pretty good — is to tee up repeal, force Obama to veto it, and set up the 2012 election as being about the president who is the obstacle to reversing policies the American people despise.

I don’t have great hope for repeal, though I devoutly hope I am wrong. In any case, though, it’s a project that has to take at least two election cycles: first developing a mandate for repeal and finally electing a president who is willing to execute the mandate. So if they win in ’10, they have to start the ’12 campaign instantly. Anything else means collaborating with the White House in the consolidation of Obama’s new New Deal — which, though it would force Obama to give some ground, would on the whole be a permanent victory for big government.

I’m just as pessimistic as McCarthy.  I’ve written about this over and over.  Sure, the GOP has a great shot at taking back the House and an extremely outside shot in the Senate.  But in terms of having enough firepower to push-back on the progressive agenda (the crown-jewel of which, healthcare reform, has already been passed into law), the Republicans pretty much need the 2010-2012 strategy, as it were.

But take note conservatives, the most critical bit of McCarthy’s post, which I completely agree with:

If I am right that Obama is not a conventional politician, that he is a movement leftist who cares more about imposing his program than being reelected, we are in for a very difficult time, beginning with the lame-duck session right after the election. And if you thought the last two years were bad in terms of transparency, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

As long as the president had commanding majorities in Congress (2009-10), he had a powerful incentive to ram through unpopular legislation. Legislation is a relatively open process. Even with all the backroom horsetrading, the process of passing laws requires public debate and public voting. But executive agencies conduct much of their business behind closed doors, and they are notorious for ignoring congressional oversight demands.

We could end up longing for the days when you had to pass the bill in order to know what was in it; soon, you won’t know what your government is doing until it’s already done.

Is there anything more socially and politically dangerous as a politician who doesn’t care about getting re-elected?  We’ve been warned.

Existing home sales lowest since 1995

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment


Sales of previously owned U.S. homes took a record plunge in July to their slowest pace in 15 years, underlining the housing market’s struggle to find its footing without government aid.

Tuesday’s report from the National Association of Realtors, which was much worse than market expectations, was the latest data that indicated economic activity continued to slacken into the third quarter.

The NAR said overall sales were at their lowest since it started the existing-home sales data series in 1999, with single-family home sales that account for most business at their lowest since 1995. Association chief economist Lawrence Yun characterized overall sales as the softest since 1995.

The dismal sales report came as Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans warned the risk of a double-dip recession was higher than six months ago. He doubted that output will actually shrink but said recovery will be modest.

“It is becoming abundantly clear that the housing market is undermining the already faltering wider economic recovery. With the increasingly inevitable double-dip in prices yet to come, things could yet get a lot worse,” said Paul Dales, a U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.

How bad was this report?  Very bad:

This is a really, really bad report. The awfulness of July’s sales were a little exaggerated due to all of the demand having been pulled forward form the buyer credit. But it’s unclear how many months of demand were captured early by the credit, so it’s hard to know when its effect will wear off.

Bah!  It’s all good.  Joe Biden, the Veep in charge of overseeing economic stimulus says we’re on the right track.

The RNC vs conservatives

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

R.S. McCain brings my attention to this blog post from Duane Lester of the All American Blogger, in which Lester sticks it to the RNC and their money woes:

It’s very simple. If you want our money, you have to espouse our beliefs. I’m not going to part with my dollars so you can direct them to Dede Scozzafava’s campaign in New York. Instead, I’ll drop $20 to a candidate I know needs the money and shares my values.


The establishment Republicans are in trouble and have to change. Until they get that message and make some adjustments, the money is just not going to be there.

This is spot on.  Clearly Lester is following the lead of other intelligent, but not so sophisticated, conservative bloggers out there.

In all seriousness, though.  Be sure to read Lester’s entire post.

It serves as a reminder that, in this very important mid-term election year, it would serve conservatives well to note how inept and incompetent the RNC really is.  Imagine if they really had their act together?  Sure the rot began to set in before Michael Steele became chairman, but he hasn’t exactly been a guiding light for conservatives or the party.

The Republican party should not be about the RNC anymore.  It should be about the grassroots.  We each have the ability to make it so.  Observe the field in your local and state elections.  Pick the conservative candidate and support them.  Plain and simple.

The internet never, ever forgets

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

After weeks of being lazy, I finally got around to reading this interesting piece from the Times’ magazine a few weeks ago.

This bit sums up the article best:

We’ve known for years that the Web allows for unprecedented voyeurism, exhibitionism and inadvertent indiscretion, but we are only beginning to understand the costs of an age in which so much of what we say, and of what others say about us, goes into our permanent — and public — digital files.

The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is threatening, at an almost existential level, our ability to control our identities; to preserve the option of reinventing ourselves and starting anew; to overcome our checkered pasts.

This should be required reading for anyone who enjoys posting every frickin’ detail of their lives on Facebook or if they have kids who do the same.  Even if you don’t, read the whole thing.

Quote of the Week (2010 Midterms edition)

August 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Charlie Cook is pretty optimistic about the coming GOP victory this November:

This doesn’t look or feel like a normal midterm election. “There are two kinds of elections,” [Charlie Cook] said. “There’s sort of the Tip O’Neill all-politics-is-local, and then there are wave elections. We’re seeing just every sign in the world that this is going to be a wave, and a pretty good-sized wave.”

Apparently that wave doesn’t touch the other chamber of Congress:

Republicans would have to take over 10 seats now controlled by Democrats to pull off that feat, and even this wave doesn’t appear sufficient to accomplish that. In numerical terms, Mr. Cook sees 18 Senate seats up for election this year that could, plausibly, change party hands one way or the other, and Republicans would have to win 16 of the 18 to take over.

That task is “a couple of orders of magnitude higher” than the challenge Republicans face taking back the House, he said.

As always, take the prognosticators with a big, grain of salt.  I understand the political and ideological differences between the House and Senate–the former being more extreme ideologically (more conservatives and more liberals), while the latter tends to have more of a moderate blend among its members.

That being said, although it feels as if the GOP is in for a big November, anything can happen to make it less so.  I hope I’m wrong.  But it seems that if an enormous wave of the caliber that Cook is expecting can inflict serious damage to the Democratic majorities, shouldn’t some of that fall onto the Senate as well?

No thrills up my leg

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Via Ben Smith, Iowa Republicans were polled on the outlook for the 2012 field, and it isn’t exactly a barn-burner:

The poll shows that the 2012 contest is going to begin right where the 2008 Iowa Caucuses left off, with Mike Huckabee leading Mitt Romney. Huckabee comes out on top of the poll garnering 22 percent, Romney finishes second with 18 percent, and Newt Gingrich finishes surprisingly well with 14 percent in third place. Sarah Palin finishes a disappointing fourth with 11 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul garnered 5 percent, while Pawlenty, and South Dakota Senator John Thune each received 1 percent.

Yes it’s still very early. But I have no faith in any of these candidates–not Palin, not Romney, certainly not Huckabee–to be able to win a national election against Barack Obama.

Despite Republican momentum in 2010, which was to be expected, 2012 is light-years away politically speaking.  The grassroots activism is certainly a plus, but the RNC is still a rotten apple.  It’s virtually a headless operation (thank you Chairman Steele).

And as if things weren’t murky enough, this also stuck out from the Iowa Republican piece:

If there is a surprise in the poll, it’s the strength of Newt Gingrich. Gingrich has been a frequent visitor to Iowa over the past decade. He has headlined events for the Republican Party of Iowa, various political candidates, and held activist workshops across the state. His affection for and understanding of Iowa will definitely be an asset should he seek the Republican nomination.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Gingrich is running.  But we have been warned.  Gingrich winning the nomination would be a disaster for the Republican party and would ensure four more years of an Obama presidency.

China knocking on the door

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

China is now the second largest economy in the world, passing Japan:

…[U]nseating Japan — and in recent years passing Germany, France and Great Britain — underscores China’s growing clout and bolsters forecasts that China will pass the United States as the world’s biggest economy as early as 2030. America’s gross domestic product was about $14 trillion in 2009.

“This has enormous significance,” said Nicholas R. Lardy, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “It reconfirms what’s been happening for the better part of a decade: China has been eclipsing Japan economically. For everyone in China’s region, they’re now the biggest trading partner rather than the U.S. or Japan.”