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Obama sides with GOP on extending Bush tax cuts

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Put all partisan liberals and progressives on suicide watch:

President Obama announced a tentative deal with Congressional Republicans on Monday to extend the Bush-era tax cuts at all income levels for two years as part of a package that would also keep benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed, cut payroll taxes for all workers for a year and take other steps to bolster the economy.

The deal appeared to resolve the first major standoff since the midterm elections between the White House and newly empowered Republicans on Capitol Hill. But it also highlighted the strains Mr. Obama faces in his own party as he navigates between a desire to get things done and a retreat from his own positions and the principles of many liberals.

Congressional Democrats pointedly noted that they had yet to agree to any deal, even as many Republicans signaled that they would go along.

Mr. Obama said that he did not like some elements of the framework, but that he had agreed to it to avoid having taxes increase for middle class Americans at the end of the year. He said that in return for agreeing to Republican demands that income tax rates not go up on upper-income brackets, he had secured substantial assistance to lower- and middle-income workers as well as the unemployed.

Conventional wisdom says that the Republicans won this political battle, and won it big.  Democrats on the other hand, well, they can suck on this:

To say that Republicans are triumphant would be an understatement. They won the philosophical point (tax hikes impede economic growth) and, candidly, are more than delighted to have a repeat of this debate for the presidential campaign in 2012. Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform, which strenuously pushed for extension of the Bush tax cuts, tells me,”If 2012 is a referendum on Obamacare and tax hikes, we win.” Well, there will be lots of other issues, and 2012 in political terms is a long way off.

[…]

…[T]he White House sided with the Republicans. And it was Democratic gloomy faces all around. The president looked solemn as he announced the deal. Reid pointedly refused to endorse the deal; his spokesman issued a statement that Reid would have to consult with his fellow Democrats. One Senate adviser said that the party caucus meeting tomorrow should “be interesting.”

Drew M:

This is going to drive the left off the edge. Raising taxes was a big part of the Obama campaign and a lot of Democrats ran and lost on it last month. Now Obama is cutting it adrift. The Democrats bet hanging tough on tax increases would motivate the base in November more than cutting a deal would win them independent votes. Congrats on getting the worst of all worlds.

A few things to take away from this.  What about spending cuts?  I’d like the Republicans in both chambers of Congress to stand firm and be as aggressive pulling back spending as they were for extending the Bush tax cuts.  Something tells me not to hold my breath.  

And extending unemployment insurance is a back-breaker for many small businesses.  How will they fare over the next 13 months?

From what I can gather, the CW is cool with this deal, and might make most of us feel warm and fuzzy about sticking it to the Democrats, but I’m not so sure.

Screwed up priorities

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Meeting with Republican Congressional leaders for the first time since his party’s mid-term drubbing by the GOP, President Obama lays down the law:

“Today we had the beginning of a new dialogue that I hope — and I’m sure most Americans hope — will help break through the noise and produce real gains,” the president said after a two-hour session that included Democratic Congressional leaders as well. “And as we all agreed, that should begin today because there’s some things we need to get done in the weeks before Congress leaves town for the holidays.”

Apparently, one of the “things” that Obama and the Democrats have in mind include opening the floodgates for illegal aliens rather than you know, voting on a federal budget, which is something the Constitution requires the US Congress to do, and which still hadn’t been completed before the Dems left town before the election.  And oh yeah, how about making a decision on the extending the Bush tax cuts, so that families and small businesses know what to expect in 2011?

Luckily, the Republicans in Congress are at least acting like they’re serious about our fiscal problems:

Senate Republicans are vowing to block all legislative business until Democrats hold votes on bills to extend the Bush-era tax cuts and keep the government funded through the new year.

In a letter signed by all 42 Republicans, Republicans warn they will filibuster any attempt to bring forward any bill besides those two measures. That could further complicate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desire to complete a laundry list of other bills in the final weeks of the 111th Congress.

Citing the nation’s high unemployment rate and the desire to “focus on creating an environment for private-sector job growth” Republicans are telling Reid “that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.

“With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities,” the letter said. “While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate’s attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.”

The move was discussed by GOP leaders in a Monday evening meeting, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his colleagues to sign the letter at a Tuesday lunch. If Republicans all agree to this maneuver, it’ll prevent the Senate from reaching the 60 votes needed to kill a GOP filibuster and advance legislation.

Unfortunately for Republicans, they will be the ones who will be forced to make difficult decisions when it comes to fiscal policy, as President Obama and the Democrats are content in kicking the can down the road.

Election Post

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Needless to say, last night was a big win for Republicans and specifically, for conservative grassroots activism.  As of midnight, the GOP picked up a minimum of 63 House seats–anything over 39 would have been considered a huge victory, and there are still some races left to be called.

Despite all the hand-wringing over the Senate, picking up 6 seats was nothing to sneeze at, and as I’m writing this, the seats in Colorado, Alaska and Washington, are still not decided.  I say this only because of the mind-boggling ineptitude of John Cornyn and the NRSC throughout the campaign.

I’m looking forward to seeing all the new conservative Senators in the GOP caucus–especially Marco Rubio and Kelly Ayotte.  These two are special because they showed that conservatives can win as long as we have strong candidates, in spite of party issues.  Ayotte won her primary a few months back, and the New Hampshire GOP rallied behind her, and she brought a decisive victory.   In Rubio’s case, the guy was 30 points down in the polls, when the geniuses at the NRSC tapped Charlie Crist for the spot, resulting in an embarrassing turn of events for the Obama-hugging Crist.

Take all of this, plus the huge gains that Republicans made in state governments and you have, well…a tsunami.

Here in New Jersey, Jon Runyan won decisively in the 3rd CD, while Scott Sipprelle and Anna Little came up short.  Kudos to all three for running good campaigns and especially to Anna Little in the 6th CD.  She missed the mark by about 11 points, which is honestly not so good in a Republican wave year, but it’s better than anyone has been able to get to Frank Pallone in forever.  More importantly, the Little campaign was a true grassroots campaign and it’s a solid foundation for us to build on here in New Jersey.

Similar campaigns throughout the country should take note of what happened here in the 6th, as electoral change doesn’t just happen overnight and from the top.  It’s a bottom-up operation that takes a while to cultivate.  We’re headed in the right direction in that aspect.

Some other election night thougths:

  • MSNBC’s election night “panel” of idiocy, ignorance and immaturity made CNN’s coverage appear watchable by comparison.

To wrap it all up, I like this excerpt from Mike Allen yesterday morning.  It was aimed at the candidates, but I think it sums it up for everyone else as well:

Soak it in – people will write books about this day. Enjoy the ride – the bonds from this campaign will last your life. Give someone grace, a break, karma – we all need it sooner or later, usually sooner. Thank you for putting up with the press, and congratulations on your hard work and dedication to something larger than yourself.

Congratulations to all the conservative Republicans out there in the new House majority.

Now get to work…

Election Day Eve in NJ-6

November 1, 2010 1 comment

It’s still an uphill battle for Anna Little, going up against 11 term congressman Frank Pallone, but the race has received some increased media attention over the past few weeks, and polls are showing a tightening race.

Republicans are headed for a huge victory tomorrow with gains all over the map. That makes seemingly impossible races like NJ-6 within reach.  At a rally a few weeks ago, Governor Christie said that it would be a shame if we wake up on November 3rd to see candidates like Anna Little miss out by a few points, just because voters felt as if they had no choice or no chance.

This past Saturday, I was at a Halloween/birthday party and I was talking with a fellow district resident.  We started talking politics and she asked what I knew about Anna Little, and she had only heard about her over the past few weeks.   When our conversation was over, I asked her to relay my words of wisdom to others who had decided to sit the election out.   Who knows what will come of that, but the point is every little bit will help.

Anna Little will be appearing with Governor Christie tonight for a last GOTV rally in Middletown NJ at Bachstadt’s Tavern, 8 Bray Avenue, from 7-9 PM.  Make it out there if you can, bring people who might be interested or see what you can do to help in the last few hours before election day.

If you think we’ve done enough, think again.  There’s always more to be done.

Anna Little For Congress

DSCC buying ad time in Alaska

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

The Senate race in Alaska is turning out to be a major clusterfark for the GOP:

In a last-ditch effort to aid their Senate nominee Scott McAdams, Democrats purchased airtime Friday in Alaska.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee purchased $165,000 worth of ads that will start airing this weekend, according to Andrew MacLeod, the general sales manager at Anchorage television station KTUU.

The DSCC’s eleventh-hour independent expenditure suggests the committee believes McAdams has a chance to defeat Republican Joe Miller and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is running a write-in campaign to retain her seat. McAdams was widely viewed as a long-shot candidate when he filed to challenge Murkowski earlier this year, but the unique dynamics of what became a three-way race have given the Democrat an opening — although it’s unclear yet from recent polling how much of a shot McAdams truly has.

Two polls released this week show the initial front-runner in the general election, Miller, losing ground.

A month ago, I didn’t think anyone in the Republican party could possibly beat Mike Castle as wanker of the year.  Lisa Murkowski has done that, and then some.

UPDATE.  And just to prove my point even further, Dan Riehl has this bit of Murkowski insanity.

Boehner: Not a time for compromise

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Maybe a bit too presumptuous, but good for John Boehner:

Republicans aren’t in the mood for compromise, especially on repealing healthcare reform, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday.

Boehner, the party leader who would likely become Speaker in a GOP-controlled House, distanced himself from a senior senator’s suggestion last week that trying to repeal the new healthcare reform law wasn’t in Republicans’ best interest.

“This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles,” Boehner said during an appearance on conservative Sean Hannity’s radio show.

The political gods are fickle, and they have decided to give Boehner and the Republicans the mother of all second chances.  If indeed, the GOP wins control of the House, let’s hope that Boehner stays true to his word.

Election 2010: These are the stakes

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Mark Steyn’s latest column is required reading for everyone:

In America, one party is openly committed to driving the nation off the cliff, and the other party is full of guys content to go along for the ride as long as we shift down to third gear. That’s no longer enough of a choice. If your candidate isn’t committed to fewer government agencies with fewer employees on lower rates of pay, he’s part of the problem. This is the last chance for the GOP to restore its credentials. If it blows it, all bets are off for 2012.

Once the clock strikes midnight on November 2nd, no matter how big or how small the Republican wave will be, the same activists, bloggers and figureheads on the Right who’ve spent the better part of the last two years getting Republicans elected, need to start holding their feet to the fire.  Period.

(Via Instapundit)

AZ-7: Ruth McClung moneybomb tomorrow

October 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Ruth McClung is making life hell for the socialist Democrat, Raul Grijalva in Arizona’s 7th congressional district.  RCP currently lists this race as a Toss Up which is something the Democrats were not expecting as recently as September, and has caught the Grijalva campaign off-guard and light in the treasury. 

The Democrats don’t want this to be a problem:

Democrats won’t let Grijalva go down without a fight, and his once-depleted coffers are beginning to swell again.

Since Saturday, he’s reported raising $75,500 — $15,400 of which came from Arizona, according to campaign finance records.

The competition for the seat was sleepy until the last few weeks when polling showed the contest tightening. Many Democrats believe Grijalva will pull it out in the end — mostly because the Democratic-leaning district gave President Obama 57 percent of its votes in 2008.

But they are privately critical of his failure to build a stronger campaign and of his political misfire on the boycott, which he endorsed in response to Arizona’s tough new immigration crackdown law.

The book on Grijalva: If he loses, it will be from a self-inflicted wound. If he wins, he will have drawn valualbe resources away from other Democratic campaigns that could have used the money.

Democrats losing districts like Arizona’s 7th means the difference between a wave and a tsunami for Republicans in 2010.  I prefer the latter.

Conservative activists need to bleed Grijalva’s coffers dry by supporting Ruth McClung and get out the vote.  

And what better time for a Ruth McClung moneybomb than tomorrow?

Ruth McClung for Congress

A GOP cleansing

October 23, 2010 Leave a comment

RNC Chairman Michael Steele has been touring the country stumping for GOP candidates in the “Fire Pelosi” tour bus.  The latest stop was in Concord, New Hampshire.

A Republican voter had an interesting take on what Republicans are doing in 2010:

Steele closed his remarks with a request that audience members take time to write down a headline they hope to see the morning after the election and put it somewhere they can see it every day.

“Ask yourselves: What have I done today to make that headline come true?” Steele said.

Sue Companion, a 46-year-old from Northwood, attended Steele’s speech with her 3-year-old son Austin. A Republican since she began voting during the Reagan administration, she had been following the bus tour online and saw that it was coming to New Hampshire.

I want to see something different happen in Washington,” she said. Instead of “more politics and more business as usual,” Companion said she wants “more of what the American people want to see happening.”

Republicans who get elected in the coming tsunami on November 2nd, better take note.  This is a call for real change in Washington.  People are disgusted by what they’re seeing in Washington.  Poll after poll shows that we hold Washington pols in complete and utter contempt.  Republicans are no exception to this–they are just as unpopular as Democrats.

We can expect to see a lot of new faces in the Republican caucus in the 112th Congress.  Those who were real Tea Partiers, I expect to do what they were elected to do–for the most part.  The other Republicans who just rode the coattails of the anti-Democrat party sentiments of the electorate, had better step up to the plate and listen to the message that voters are sending.

Early voting in Chicago not going as planned for Dems

October 23, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Let’s look at early voting […] and the fact that for the first time since its inception, the suburbs are surpassing the city in turnout. In some cases, the ratio is 3-1.

I’m not seeing the early voting numbers pop yet,” Allen said. “This will be a first if the trend continues.”

With just one more week of early voting left, Cook County Clerk David Orr, a Democrat, doesn’t mince words: “There is certainly a scare here for the Democrats.”

For Democratic top-of-the-ticket candidates Pat Quinn for governor and Alexi Giannoulias for U.S. Senate, there has got to be real concern about mobilizing the African-American vote in Chicago, a base that they need to turn out in significant numbers.

And yet, the signs are worrisome. Though midterm elections always show a drop in voter participation from the preceding presidential election, there are 40,000 fewer registered black voters now than in the 2006 midterm.

And though the historic presidential run of Barack Obama registered new voters of all races and ethnicities in droves, producing a spike of 190,000 voters in 2008 in Chicago, that gain has nearly been erased in the current canvass. There are today almost 160,000 fewer voters than two years ago. For whatever reason — the highly mobile young may have moved, the elderly may have died — they’re gone now.

The Hope and Change mystique of the 2008 election seems more and more like a mirage with each passing day.