Saturday, October 9, 2010

24 Days

95,000 Americans lose their jobs in September

The economy lost 95,000 jobs in September, and the national
unemployment rate remained steady at 9.6 percent, according to numbers released
by the U.S. Department of Labor on Friday, presenting Democrats with another
challenge in making their case to voters that they should remain in control of

Friday's unemployment report is the last that will be released
before voters go to the polls on November 2 in midterm elections that will
widely be perceived as a referendum on President Obama's first two years in

The economy lost 159,000 government jobs and added 64,000 private
sector jobs. Though the unemployment rate held at 9.6 percent, the job losses
were worse than expected.

This is not the message you wanted to hear if you are a democrat.

CNN Poll: Was Bush better president than Obama?

(CNN) - Americans are divided over whether President Barack Obama or his
predecessor has performed better in the White House, according to a new national

And a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday also
indicates in the battle for Congress, Republicans hold large advantages over the
Democrats among independents, men and blue-collar whites. The poll also
indicates that Republicans are much more enthusiastic than Democrats to vote.

By 47 to 45 percent, Americans say Obama is a better president than
George W. Bush. But that two point margin is down from a 23 point advantage one
year ago.

"Democrats may want to think twice about bringing up former
President George W. Bush's name while campaigning this year," says CNN Polling
Director Keating Holland.

Another Reason the Democrats don’t deserve to retain control

For the first time since modern budgeting was introduced with the Budget Act
of 1974, the House failed to even write a budget. This in a
year of extraordinary deficits, rising uncertainty and jittery financial
markets. Gold is going through the roof. Confidence in the dollar and the
American economy is falling -- largely because of massive overhanging
Yet no budget emerged from Congress to give guidance, let alone
reassurance, about future U.S. revenues and spending.

That's not all. Congress has not passed a single appropriations bill. To keep
the government going, Congress passed a so-called continuing resolution (CR)
before adjourning to campaign. The problem with continuing to spend at the
current level is that the last two years have seen a huge 28 percent jump in
non-defense discretionary spending. The CR continues this profligacy,
aggravating an already serious debt problem.

The Elections: How Bad for Democrats?

Here’s an interesting if self serving look at what liberals think went wrong and continues to go wrong to the left.

How did things get this bad for Obama? The reasons are numerous. The
condition of the economy is of course the chief one. If the stimulus had kept
unemployment below 8 percent, as Christina Romer, recently departed chairwoman
of the Council of Economic Advisers, once promised it would, in one of the least
advisable public comments by any Obama administration official so far on any
subject, then discontent across the land would not be so great, and the bayings
of the furious Tea Party minority would likely not be resonating as they are. By
all accounts, top presidential economic advisers like Timothy Geithner and
Lawrence Summers (who will leave office at the end of the year) really did think
the economy was going to be in recovery by now. Had they been right, the
political prognosis for Democrats would consist of lost seats, but not on nearly
the scale predicted today…..

This is not the sort of thing that is
measured by polls, but I believe the Democrats’ hesitance to tie their programs
to larger beliefs has been demoralizing to liberals and confusing or off-putting
to independents. The impression is left with voters that Republicans are fighting for the country, while Democrats are fighting for their special
. The pre-presidential Obama powerfully made this kind
of broad, patriotic appeal, both at his 2004 convention keynote address and in
his stirring Jefferson-Jackson Day speech in Iowa in November 2007. But any
sense that the Democrats are now making a coherent argument about what kind of
country they want has vaporized. Underneath all the Democrats’ bickering about
such issues as health care and the performance of Tim Geithner, that is their
real problem.

Rasmussen sees more Democrat seats in danger

With the Crystal Ball shifting 21 House race
ratings in the direction
last week, the national picture looks bright for Republicans, both from a
birds-eye view and also from a race-by-race perspective. This week we nudge
three more Democratic-held House seats into more competitive categories, as we
hone in on where exactly the GOP gains we have long projected will come from.

Democrat need to defend what has been their territory

Republican advances in traditionally
Democratic states
, including Connecticut, Oregon and Washington,
may not translate into a wave of GOP victories. But they have rattled local
campaigns and forced the Democrats to shift
attention and money
to races they didn't expect to be defending.

Rising sentiment against the party in power has washed ashore even in
coastal Oregon, where Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio won his 10th re-election two
years ago with 82% of the vote.
"I am having the same problem that Democrats
are having across the country, which is ennui," he said, noting that his
opponent's yard signs "are thick" across much of the district. Mr. DeFazio said
he is facing the fight of his political life.

Dumbing down of America—but it’s in a good cause.

Nearly half of American history teachers believe it is less
important that their students understand the common history, ideas, rights, and
responsibilities that tie the country together as Americans than that they learn
to celebrate the unique identities and experiences of its different ethnic,
religious, and immigrant groups.

Advocates of radical "social-justice"
multiculturalism in many university schools of education -- the places where
most K-12 teachers are trained -- continue to oppose assimilation with a
common culture
while instead seeking to radically transform an
"oppressive" America.

I find stories like this frightening. This might also explain the next story.

Ignorance and the New York Times

The people who run the New York Times, along with columnists like Paul
Krugman and Maureen Dowd, are so ill-informed and out of touch that their
efforts to tell the rest of us what to think grow more pitiful every day. This
is from today's NYT Corrections Section. The paper corrects a news story written
by a reporter who has no comprehension of the tax code, but nevertheless tried
to make a political point by implying that subchapter S corporations represent
some kind of tax dodge:

An article on Wednesday about the business
culture at the Tribune Company after its acquisition by Sam Zell referred
incorrectly to federal taxes on an S corporation, which Tribune became after the
deal. S corporations pay no federal taxes because shareholders are
responsible for all taxes;
therefore, taxpayers do not become
"essentially silent partners in the deal."

So we have a NYTimes reporter seeing a conspiracy in the tax code that didn’t exist. But the fact checking editors didn’t seem to know better either.

Just for fun—Irony Alert

The American Postal Workers Union has extended its internal election after
thousands of ballots appeared to have gotten lost . . . in the mail.

union's election committee was supposed to be counting those ballots this week
in downtown Washington, D.C., following a tradition mail-in election. But the
union announced that only about 39,000 ballots were turned in -- and that "a
large number of union members had not received their ballots."

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