Thursday, October 7, 2010

Whose to Blame?

It’s interesting to watch was it being said online. This past summer I saw more and more generic polling indicating the Republicans were way ahead of the Democrats. I’m now seeing more and more articles trying to determine what happened to the Democrats and who’s to blame for what looks like will be happening in November.

Occasionally you see article talking about how it might not be so bad for the Democrats, but if you are following this closely you know it’s pretty well over for them. What we are really waiting to see is just how big the Republican wave will be. As Michael Barone asked, will it be 1994 again (Democrats lost 54 seats) or 1894 again (Democrats lost 100 seats).

An important fact is that every time there has been a major shift in the House of Representatives, the Senate has also been lost by the ruling party. Not good news for the Democrats in the Senate who figured to sail by this year.

Do we have a tax problem or a spending problem?

According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data, extending the tax cuts on top earners would create a budget shortfall of $700 billion over ten years. That’s $70 billion a year. Meanwhile, extending the tax cuts on the middle class would create a budget shortfall of $3,000 billion over ten years.

Now, thinking like a government official, this means that extending the tax cuts would “cost” the government $3.7 trillion over ten years. This sounds like a lot of money, but let’s put it in perspective and look at how much the federal government will be spending over the course of the next ten years.

Hispanic voters may sit this election out

Here's more bad news for the Democrats.
"They show the very same enthusiasm gap. Republican Latinos are more
positive, the Democratic Latinos are more demoralized. How is that different
from anyone else? It isn't," said James G. Gimpel, a government professor at the
University of Maryland who studies voting and immigration policy.

"Rather, they rank education, jobs and health care as their top
three issues of concern for this year's congressional campaign. Immigration
ranks as the fifth most important issue for Latino registered voters," said Mark
Hugo Lopez, associate director of the center and the report's author.

Some interesting tidbits, worth the read.

AP-GfK Poll: Working-class whites shun Dems

WASHINGTON – Desperate for jobs and cool toward President Barack Obama,
working-class whites are flocking to Republicans, turning a group long wary of
Democrats into an even bigger impediment to the party's drive to keep control of

An Associated Press-GfK poll shows whites without four-year college
degrees preferring GOP candidates by twice the margin of the last two elections,
when Democrats made significant gains in the House and Senate. The poll,
conducted last month, found this group favoring GOP hopefuls 58 percent
to 36 percent — a whopping 22 percentage-point gap.;

Recently Joe Biden made the charge; this isn’t your father’s GOP. That probably goes double for the Democrat Party. It isn’t the party of the working man anymore.

The Democrats are widening the enthusiasm gap

The Democrats are widening the enthusiasm gap against them by running
exclusively negative campaigns against their insurgent Republican rivals. The
vast proportion of Democratic and allied independent-expenditure media is
negative, portraying Republican congressional candidates as tax evaders, spousal
abusers, mob-linked, eccentric flakes, sexual molesters and absentee
officeholders (all actual charges against key GOP candidates). While these ads
may chip away at the Republican vote share in the polls, they do nothing
to generate a Democratic turnout.

The Democrats are without a theme, a message or a positive reason
to go vote. Negative ads are supposed to depress turnout — the
last thing Democrats need. But when they come up against Republican enthusiasm, they may not do much to check the GOP rise.

Why are the Democrats not as enthusiastic as the Republicans
Here’s an interesting look at the lack of Democrat enthusiasm. I noticed at the One Nation Rally that parts of the demonstrators were demonstrating against Obama. This article explains it.
So why are Democrats less enthusiastic? And why has "the progressive
donor base," as Democratic consultant Jim Jordans reports, "stopped writing

I don't think it's just because the economy remains sour or that
President Obama failed to jam a public option in the health care bill.

I find a more convincing explanation in an offhand phrase in a
subordinate clause in a brief article by Adam Serwer of the Center for American
Progress on the Washington Post's opinion pages. "There's no question," Serwer
writes, defying anyone to disagree, "that Obama has completely reversed on his
promises to roll back Bush-era national security policies."

For it is not economics but foreign policy that has motivated the
left half of the Democratic Party over the last decade.

I also found this article by Victor David Hansen which nicely fits with the article above. Notice what has happened to our foreign policy under President Obama.

But suddenly Barack Obama’s brief tenure has reminded us that, in fact,
almost all the world’s crises arose before the Bush presidency and continued
during and after it. Examine current American foreign policy toward every
region, and one of three general patterns emerges: Either things are no better since the end of 2008, or they are much worse, or the Obama administration has reverted to the Bush way of doing things — despite constant assurances to the world that Bush was at fault, American foreign policy was now reset, and global animosity arose out of past misunderstanding, insensitivity, and American hubris.

This is a pretty interesting article. I highly recommend it.

Obama was elected as the corrective to the Bush years. Yet when you're
the winner, the temptation is always there to see yourself as something more
than just an alternative -- something larger, like a paradigm-changer or a
transformational political figure. And Obama wanted nothing less than a change
from conservatism to his own brand of 21st century activism.

"When you win an election," says political scientist Bill Galston, "you are always
inclined to believe you won for the reasons you wanted to win."

In other words, you believe you won for the big stuff, not just because the voters didn't like the other guy.

...... Maybe he overestimated his personal capacity and appeal. Or his mandate. Or the extent to which the nation is actually divided on both principle and policy. Some, including his own pollster, according to knowledgeable sources, counseled caution. People wanted the president to focus on the economy, some told the president: Don't go for it all now.

But he did, precisely because he was riding high, ready to use his political capital.

Private sector sheds 39,000 jobs in September
More disasterous news for the Democrats.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private employers unexpectedly cut 39,000 jobs
in September after an upwardly revised gain of 10,000 in August, a report by a
payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

The August figure was originally reported as a loss of 10,000.

The median of estimates from 38 economists surveyed by Reuters for
the ADP Employer Services report, jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, was for a rise of 24,000 private-sector jobs in September.

Minnesota Congressional Race Gets Profane

Democratic Minnesota congressional candidate and state Sen. Tarryl Clark
released a provocative video on her campaign Web site today, one including a few
choice words for her opponent, incumbent GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. The spot's voice-over accuses Bachmann of standing up for "special interests" in Washington and backing BP during the fallout over the Gulf Coast oil spill, while
concluding that she's "not doing @#%! for the people of the Sixth District."
(The presumed expletive is bleeped out.)

This is a sure sign of desperation. You’ll hear more of this as we get closer to November 2.

Radically Redefining the Airplane

The Brilliant Idea: A cleaner, quieter craft with a radical new design,
setting the stage for a fundamental shift in aviation.

Just an interesting article I thought I would share. It has a mock up of what the plane would look like.

One Nation Rally—who was there?

An interesting video.

Panel: Gov't thwarted worst-case scenario on spill

Incompetence on display

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration blocked efforts by government scientists to tell the public just how bad the Gulf oil spill could become and made other missteps that raised questions about its competence and candor during the crisis, according to a commission appointed by the president to investigate the disaster.

In documents released Wednesday, the national oil spill commission's staff describes "not an incidental public relations problem" by the White House in the wake of the April 20 accident.
Among other things, the report says, the administration made erroneous early estimates of the spill's size, and President Barack Obama's senior energy adviser went on national TV and mischaracterized a government analysis by saying it showed most of the oil was "gone." The analysis actually said it could still be there.

"By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the Gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem," the report says.

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