Saturday, March 31, 2012

Three for Sunday

What’s new Today

Story #1 tells us of Naomi Wolf calling for a boycott of Katy Perry after her Marine pop single.  #2 Mr. All of the Above when it comes to power has announced a delay of off shore drilling by 5 years.  Sure we believe you Mr. Obama. #3 looks at Obamacare and finds it to be why now? 

1.  Left calls for Katy Perry Boycott

Katy Perry transforms herself into a U.S. Marine in her latest power-pop single, "Part of Me," which addresses female empowerment and pays particular tribute to service women.

However, at least one media type doesn't support Perry's Marines shout-out.

Prominent feminist Naomi Wolf, author of "The Beauty Myth" and one of many who were arrested amid the Occupy Wall Street protests last year, is urging Americans to boycott the singer, labeling her video "a total piece of propaganda for the Marines."

"I really want to find out if she was paid by them for making it," Wolf wrote on her Facebook page. "It is truly shameful... I would suggest a boycott of this singer whom I really liked - if you are as offended as this glorification of violence as I am." …

So the next time you hear someone on the left say they support our troops, I would suggest a little skepticism. 

2.  Obama delays offshore drilling for another five years

Yesterday the Obama administration announced a delaying tactic which will put off the possibility of new offshore oil drilling on the Atlantic coast for at least five years:

The announcement by the Interior Department sets into motion what will be at least a five year environmental survey to determine whether and where oil production might occur.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell notes that a planned lease sale, which the administration cancelled last year, will now be put off until at least 2018. As you might expect, Republicans were not impressed with the decision:

"The president's actions have closed an entire new area to drilling on his watch and cheats Virginians out of thousands of jobs," said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee. The announcement "continues the president's election-year political ploy of giving speeches and talking about drilling after having spent the first three years in office blocking, delaying and driving up the cost of producing energy in America," he said….

It appears we have a bi-polar president running for reelection.  First he’s against drilling, and then he says he is for it.  Now it appears he’s against it again.

3.  Healthcare and Occam Razor

…So back we go to the question I posed the other day: why “health care” and why now? The shrieking desperation on the Left — as the “reality based community” finally ran up against real reality in Washington — is an indication that there’s something far more important at stake here than “health care.” This was their time, this was their moment, and now, as Peggy Noonan notes, it’s all slipping away. Why, it’s enough to remind one of this Star Trek episode, which after all was for the children, too.

As the Gormogons point out, we have two choices when confronting the wreck of Obamacare: Either the bill was drafted by incompetent idiots or they knew exactly what they were doing:

Does Obamacare lower the costs of health insurance for all Americans? We know the answer is no, and this comes from the CBO. We also know that insurance costs have jumped up since passage. Strike this one.

Does Obamacare provide increased access to healthcare? No.

Does Obamacare provide insurance coverage to more Americans? Again, no: the number of options actually dwindles under Obamacare, and buy-in costs are much higher than if free markets were allowed to pursue competitive options.

Does Obamacare reform Medicaid? No, it makes Medicaid worse by dumping millions of previously disallowed participants, while also pulling a half-billion dollars out of it.

Does Obamacare provide better healthcare to participants? No, again. In fact, evidence of rationing and regulated control of treatments ensures that participants will have fewer health options.

So what does Obamacare achieve…? The only logical extension of the question “what did its authors intend” is that Obamacare is nothing less than a massive liberal/leftist attempt to give out free stuff that their special interests want…

No wonder the left is in shock.  They thought they had a continuing source of goodies and power and it is all slipping away. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Lonely Left

What’s new Today

Story #1 tells how cloistered the left seems to be.  They are absolutely shocked that Obamacare may be declared Unconstitutional.  #2 is a column by Peggy Noonan talking about how the real Barack Obama is coming out and that isn’t pretty and it isn’t good for his reelection campaign. In fact, the number of people who don’t like him is on the rise.  #3 talks about the youth vote.  It appears his popularity there is in a free fall.  #4 tells you of another loss by the EPA in court.  #5 is an interesting look at what is a conservative position on SCOTUS on Obamacare. 

1.  Liberals shocked:  The Right might Prevail

The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable parochialism of American liberals.

They’re so convinced of their own correctness — and so determined to believe conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded — that they find themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments, b) effectively countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal self-satisfaction as they do so.

That’s what happened this week. There appears to be no question in the mind of anyone who read the transcripts or listened to the oral arguments that the conservative lawyers and justices made mincemeat out of the Obama administration’s advocates and the liberal members of the court.

This came as a startling shock to the liberals who write about the court….

There’s no telling which of 10 possible ways the high court will finally rule. But one thing is for certain: There will again come a time when liberals and conservatives disagree on a fundamental intellectual matter. Conservatives will take liberals and their arguments seriously and try to find the best way to argue the other side.

And the liberals will put their fingers in their ears and sing, “La la la.”

The left somehow thinks of itself as the rational party.  It is anything but.  Leftist beliefs are just that, beliefs.  The reality of the world they live in is nonexistent and it seems no matter how many times what they try doesn’t work, the fault is always they didn’t go far enough to the left. 

2.  The Real Barack Obama is Coming Out

Something's happening to President Obama's relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, "Nothing new there," but actually I think there is. I'm referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.

It's not due to the election, and it's not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn't happening.

What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it's his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it's a big fault.

The shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? "You're kidding me. That's not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it's not even constitutional!" Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church's religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives.

What a sour taste this all left. How shocking it was, including for those in the church who'd been in touch with the administration and were murmuring about having been misled.

Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for "space" and said he will have "more flexibility" in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he'd been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy….

Obama appears to be showing more and more that he is simply another politician, but he is also a hard left ideologue who brings none of the gifts we were led to believe he would bring to the Presidency.  People know things haven’t worked out well, but now they are seeing that the image we had of the first black President wasn’t even remotely real.

3.   The Youth Vote 2012

On election night 2008, freshman Meagan Cassidy left Lake Forest College and hopped a train to Chicago to celebrate Barack Obama’s impending victory.

“There was probably no better place to be,” Cassidy said in a phone interview. The excitement generated that evening spurred her on to become an intern and then a field organizer in three congressional contests and two human rights campaigns.

Now a senior, Cassidy, 21, said she’s not working on a campaign this time around. She’s too busy looking for a job at a nonprofit advocacy group. She and her friends aren’t discussing the election as much as in 2008, she said.

“There is not much talk of Obama at all,” Cassidy said of the mood on campus, which extends beyond the president. “I don’t think anyone’s satisfied.”

I think this may be Obama’s epitaph, “I don’t think anyone’s satisfied.”

4.  The Obama EPA Loses in Court again

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had “no legal basis” to disapprove a Texas plan for implementing federal air-quality standards, a court said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans ordered the agency to reconsider the Texas regulations and “limit its review” to ensuring that they meet the “minimal” Clean Air Act requirements that govern state implementation plans.

“If Texas’s regulations satisfy those basic requirements, the EPA must approve them,” the court said in its 22-page March 26 ruling.

The EPA rejected Texas’s rules on minor new-source review permits in September 2010, contending they didn’t meet Clean Air Act requirements. The Texas attorney general, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and businesses sued the EPA, challenging the ruling.

The EPA failed to identify any provisions of the law that the Texas program violated, the appeals court said. The agency also missed a deadline to rule on the Texas permit plan, the court said….

Here’s a second big loss for the EPA in the past month.  The Obama Administration appears to be a collection of leftist who don’t do well in staying within the law. 

5.  Conservative Interpretations

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg likes the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act and other ingredients of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka "ObamaCare." Why, she asked toward the end of three days of hearings, shouldn't the court keep the good stuff in ObamaCare and just dump the unconstitutional bits?

The court, she explained, is presented with "a choice between a wrecking operation ... or a salvage job. And the more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything."

"Conservative" is a funny word. It can mean lots of different things. It reminds me of that line from G.K. Chesterton about the word "good." "The word 'good' has many meanings," he observed. "For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of 500 yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man."

Conservative can mean cautious in temperament -- a man who wears belts and suspenders. Similarly, it sometimes suggests someone who's averse to change. It can also refer to the political ideology or philosophy founded by Edmund Burke and popularized and Americanized by people like Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley and George Will

Things can get complicated because these different meanings can overlap. Many strident liberals can have conservative temperaments, and many philosophical conservatives can have private lives that make a brothel during Fleet Week seem like a retirement-home chess club. Conservatives in America love the free market, which is the greatest source of change in human history. Liberals, alleged lovers of change and "progress," often champion an agenda dedicated to preserving the past. Just consider how much of the Democratic Party's rhetoric is dedicated to preserving a policy regime implemented by Franklin Roosevelt nearly 80 years ago….

The conservative thing to do -- and I don't mean politically conservative -- is to send the whole thing back to Congress and have it done right...

…Some liberals note that one option Congress could pursue would be to pass a far more left-wing piece of legislation that mandates a single-payer system, i.e., socialized medicine. That would -- or at least could -- be constitutional. And that's true: Congress could do that, and I'm sure Justice Ginsburg would be pleased if it did.

And if that happened, the right and conservative thing for the court to do would be to let it happen.

This issue has been twisted by those on the left to try to save Obamacare.  We’ve heard that mandates were a right wing idea and they name right wingers who spoke highly of it.  But if they accepted our Constitution, they would know that even if 99.9% of the people approved of something, it wouldn’t carry the day if it violated our Constitution. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March: A Really Bad Month for the Democrats

What’s new Today

Story #1 tells of just how bad a month it’s been for the Democrats.  #2 relates how the President’s budget was voted down in the House 414-0.  #3 tells us about the Progressive Caucus’s budget cuts down on deficit spending through tax increases of $3 trillion over 10 years.  #4 looks at the train wreck at the Supreme Court for Obamacare and cautions people not to blame the Solicitor General but rather the law itself.  #5 relates how mob justice is brewing in the Trayvon Martin case.  It seems when an Hispanic Democrat kills a black youth, it’s obviously white Republicans who are to blame.  #6 looks at race relations in our post racial Obama Presidency.  And finally #7 is good news regarding energy.  Well not if you are a global warmist who see the devil in oil. 

1.  The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Month for the Left

It is typical for politically-engaged people to note the weaknesses and defects of their own side, while overestimating the strength and prowess of their opponents. This is not a bad instinct, but sometimes it’s worth stepping back and trying to view the whole scene from a neutral perspective. It is possible a neutral or objective observer would conclude that the Left has just had about the worst month in longer than I can recall….

It has been a very bad month for the left even though they’ve had a series of events that they were trying to swing into being a disaster for the right.  In almost every case they’ve been damaged more the right has been. Add to what this article reminds us of, the open mic gaffe by President Obama, the violence by the OWS crowd on their 6 months anniversary in Zuccotti Park, and the Washington Post story of what happened last September when Obama and Boehner tried to do a big deal.  The Post comes down on the side that said it was the Democrats who screwed up the deal.  I guess you would call it a fluke of a month. 

2.  Obama’s budget defeated 414-0

President Obama's budget was defeated 414-0 in the House late Wednesday, in a vote Republicans arranged to try to embarrass him and shelve his plan for the rest of the year.

The vote came as the House worked its way through its own fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, written by Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan. Republicans wrote an amendment that contained Mr. Obama's budget and offered it on the floor, daring Democrats to back the plan, which calls for major tax increases and yet still adds trillions of dollars to the deficit over the next decade.

"It’s not a charade. It’s not a gimmick — unless what the president sent us is the same," said Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a freshman Republican from South Carolina who sponsored Mr. Obama's proposal for purposes of the debate. "I would encourage the Democrats to embrace this landmark Democrat document and support it. Personally, I will be voting against it."

But no Democrats accepted the challenge.

They have their own alternative they wrote, which closely tracks the president's deficit numbers, though it changes the details of his plan. That plan will receive a vote on Thursday, as will Mr. Ryan's proposal.

Senate Democrats have said they will not bring a budget to the floor this year, though Republicans in the chamber have talked about trying to at least force a vote on Mr. Obama's plan there as well.

Last year, when they forced a vote on his 2012 budget, it was defeated 97-0.

Yes, this is great leadership from the Obama Administration.  His budgets are so bad he doesn’t get a single vote for it in the House and the Democratically controlled Senate won’t even take it up to vote on it.

3.  The Progressive’s “Budget for All”

If you want to know why House Democrats lost 63 seats in the 2010 elections -- the largest political defeat since 1938 -- look no further than the budget put forward this week by the 83-member Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Perhaps unsatisfied with the title they used last year -- "The People's Budget" -- the CPC calls this one the "Budget for All." It raises taxes to levels never seen before -- not even during World War II -- guts defense spending and splurges on a number of liberal priorities.

Reps. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn., released the document Tuesday, indicating that they composed it after "listening to the American people and reflecting their values." They should have listened a bit harder. At a time when Americans tell Gallup they think the federal government wastes 51 cents of every dollar it spends, the CPC budget puts that spending on steroids.

Government spending would rise from $3.6 trillion a year now to $5.7 trillion a year in 2022. That is only slightly more than President Obama's budget. But where Obama's budget adds $6.4 trillion to the debt by 2022, the CPC budget adds only $3 trillion. That's because the liberal lawmakers pay for all that new spending with massive tax hikes

Progressive don’t understand that people don’t trust them.  They assume if they buy people off they will get their votes, but that doesn’t seem to be working for them yet. 

4.  Obamacare:  Don’t blame Verrilli

Don’t blame the Solicitor General. He worked with what he had. The day after his argument, there still is no good answer to the questions asked by Scalia and Alito.

There is a brutal ad released by the RNC. It is brutal not because Verrilli stammered.

In the audio clip, Verrilli acknowledges the political truth that this entire takeover of the health care system was in the face of an insurance system that worked well for the overwhelming majority of Americans.

Rather than finding a way to help the 15%, the Democrats decided on a mountain of legislative language and regulations, with the mandate sitting high on top of the mountain, the Democratic Party equivalent of planting the flag.

It was a takeover.  I believe the Democrats decided to “end it rather than mend it.”  And when you do something as sweeping as this legislation, you suddenly find that it doesn’t reduce costs, people can’t keep their insurance if they like it, you have to cover abortion drugs even if you are a church and morally opposed to abortion, and you do have to pass the bill to see what is in it (turns out this was the most truthful things said by a democrat about the bill).

5.  Kill Zimmerman

Barack Obama has remained silent as the usual suspects have been busy stirring up hate aimed at George Zimmerman, the Florida Hispanic involved in the shooting death of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin. Now the anger has taken a new twist, breaking out on Twitter with an account named “Kill Zimmerman.”  It features an image of Zimmerman in crosshairs.

So a Hispanic Democrat kills a black youth and white Republicans are at fault.  I love the civility you feel from the left.

6.  Race Relations under Obama

If you're a white person who voted for Barack Obama believing that his election would usher in a post-racial era in America, you must be very disappointed. Race relations have in fact never been more volatile and the nation is now sitting on a time bomb as we draw closer to another election. Whose fault is it? Race-baiting demagogues like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are feverishly trying to exploit the recent killing of a young black man in Florida for their own selfish agenda to boost their fading relevance. Typically they have jumped to conclusions before all the actual facts have been uncovered.

They are once again inciting racial violence by calling the killing of a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, a bias crime because the shooter, George Zimmerman, was first purported to be a white man. It turns out Zimmerman is a Hispanic from a biracial family but why let a little thing like the truth stop them from provoking a mob. The New Black Panther party, which has already been protected by Attorney General Eric Holder, has offered a bounty of 10k on Zimmerman's head. Director Spike Lee, ever sensitive to attacks on blacks, re-tweeted the address of the Zimmerman family. Now why would he do that unless he hoped that a vindictive mob would exact payback for young Martin's death?

The liberal media jumped on the bandwagon to help the efforts of these race-exploiters by posting a photo of the young Martin as a bright-eyed youth full of innocence. That photo provided by Martin's family is in stark contrast to the one posted on his Facebook displaying a much tougher demeanor. An eyewitness to the shooting has disputed the media's version and claims that the victim had actually attacked Zimmerman and this account was the reason police did not make an arrest. Since I was not there, prudence would dictate I pause before drawing a conclusion and await all the determining facts but that is not how Sharpton and Jackson operate….

Obama has to demonize his opponents and polls show that only 35% of white Americans approval of Mr. Obama’s performance. 

7.  Good News:  A new Age of Oil

The world was reinvented in the 1970s by soaring oil prices and massive transfers of national wealth. It could be again if the price of petroleum crashes — a real possibility given the amazing estimates about the new gas and oil reserves on the North American continent. The Canadian tar sands, deepwater exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, horizontal drilling off the eastern and western American coastlines, fracking in once-untapped sites in North Dakota, and new pipelines from Alaska and Canada could double North American gas and oil production within a decade.

Given that North America in general and the United States in particular might soon be completely autonomous in natural-gas production and without much need of imported oil within a decade, life as we have known it for nearly the last half-century would change radically.

Take the Middle East. The United States currently devotes about $50 billion of its military budget to patrolling the Persian Gulf and stationing thousands of troops in the region…

Unemployment here in the United States has not dipped below 5 percent since February 2008, during the last year of the Bush administration. But some estimates suggest that 3 to 4 million jobs will follow from new gas and oil production alone…

It’s more than a bit ironic, just when the left got an anti-fossil fuel president in office, the global warming scam has been mortally wounded and fossil fuels has suddenly become much more available.  It appears rather than being in the age of “Peak Oil” we are more likely at the beginning of the age of plentiful oil.  And while science in the area of solar and wind power lags, technology is bringing unheard of gifts of fuels that will allow America to keep its position as the most productive country on earth. 

SCOTUS/Obamacare hearings are over

What’s new Today

Story #1 relates what happened in the Obamacare/SCOTUS hearings.  #2 shows how the spin has begun about the possibility of Obamacare being declared Unconstitutional.  It would help the Democrats (or so the spin goes).  #3 seems timely with a story about healthcare in the UK.  Rationing anyone? #4 looks at a Rasmussen poll on the Senate race in Ohio.  #5 delves into the Unemployment numbers we are seeing.  Are they real?  #6 looks at more polling and finds the electorate is mad at Obama regarding the price of gasoline.  #7 is a story on the disingenuous actions of President Obama on oil exploration.  It appears he’s ok with oil companies looking, but not drilling.  #8 looks at the protestors in Wisconsin and makes you wonder if we should have some kind of test before someone is able to vote.  And #9 is great news for people in wheelchairs.

1.  Day 3: SCOTUS and Obamacare

The argument today is about severability — that is, whether, if a portion of the Act is struck down, some or all of the rest of the Act must fall along with it.

The Court was skeptical that the whole act should fall if the individual mandate is invalid. But there wasn’t any clear indication of how far the Court would go. It seemed like there wasn’t much question, except from Justice Sotomayor that the community rating and mandatory issue provisions would fail, that is the government’s position. The fact that the liberals were very engaged, particularly Justice Kagan, may show that they are very worried that the mandate is going to be held unconstitutional.

And from Amy Howe:

Almost all of the Justices asked Clement questions, and many were skeptical of his argument that if the mandate and the provisions link to it go, all that would be left is a hollow shell.

But Ed Kneedler also faced skeptical questions, especially from the more conservative Justices, who asked him how the Court should figure out what other provisions must go. Are we supposed to go through the whole 2700 pages, they asked? (Justice Scalia suggested that this would violate the Eighth Amendment.)

Thus, it sounds like the parts of the Act that would destroy the private insurance companies will go down along with the individual mandate — that these provisions of the Act are not severable (which seems obvious to me). The harder question was whether the entire Act will fall.

The three days have not been good to the Administration.  It appears we’ve gone a long way from when the bill was passed and someone asked Nancy Pelosi about the Constitutionality of the new law to which she answered, “Are you serious?”  I guess they were. 

2.  Let the spin begin:  A healthcare loss will help the Democrats

While the Obama administration fights to protect the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, Democratic strategist and CNN contributor James Carville said a Supreme Court overruling may not be such a bad thing for the president, politically.

"I think this will be the best thing that has ever happened to the Democratic Party," Carville said Tuesday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

He added: "You know, what the Democrats are going to say, and it is completely justified, 'We tried, we did something, go see a 5-4 Supreme Court majority'."…

I don’t agree.  If SCOTUS overturns the mandate, but lets the law stay on the books, it helps the Republicans because it energizes their base to elect a congress and a president who will repeal Obamacare.  If they strike the entire law done, it energizes the Democratic base and takes away an issue from the Republicans.

3.  Healthcare in the UK

Even the most sentimental champions of the NHS recognise its dark side. Given that its Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson has demanded a 20 billion pound efficiency savings if the NHS is to survive, and that demographic changes mean millions more elderly people will rely on its services (and space), the NHS can only do one thing: ration.

If rationing is acceptable, though, scapegoating is not. And too much evidence points to the elderly being the scapegoats in the battle to save the NHS.  As the Telegraph reports today, elderly patients are being denied the best cancer care. The figures are alarming: lack of treatment is contributing to 14,000 deaths a year among the over-75s. Men and women are dying prematurely each year because their diseases are diagnosed later and less likely to be operated on.

Already the elderly are short-changed when it comes to nurses' time…

This treatment is cruel and unfair: age comes to us all, and is not the result of lifestyle choices. There are plenty of conditions, though, that are the direct result of bad habits, poor diet, and the wrong choices. These conditions range from obesity and diabetes to smoking-related diseases like emphesema. If a 20-stone, 30-something woman comes into hospital with a bad diabetic attack, does she deserve to be at the front of the queue or the back? She has chosen to stuff her face with Mars bars and Coke, and is now suffering the consequences of her choice...

…Does the obese 30-something lay claim to NHS services and a hospital bed when this means thousands of others will have to do without?

The septuagenarian who develops breast cancer has done nothing wrong – except grow old. The NHS has to consider that there are deserving cases and undeserving ones. Age should not be a barrier to optimum care; but bad habits should be.

This discussion is one we will be having in the USA if Obamacare isn’t struck down or repealed.  We’ve already seen how many promises made during the debate have been wrong (cost estimates, if you want to keep your healthcare you can, federal conscience laws will remain in place, etc.) but this is the big one.  Even though the law set up IPAB, Obama and the Democrats claimed there would be no rationing.  No country that has national health insurance has not rationed care and hopefully we won’t get into the situation of deciding who is more deserving and who has “done something wrong” aka they got what they deserved. 

4.  Rasmussen:  Ohio Senate Race

Republican Josh Mandel, in the first Rasmussen Reports survey since his decisive primary victory, is now running neck-and-neck with Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race.

The latest telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Buckeye State finds Brown and Mandel each with 43% support. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and another 11% are undecided.

The Senate will be going Republican this year. 

5.  Obama’s funny numbers regarding Unemployment

Declining jobless numbers, sprouting lately from the Obama administration like so many spring crocuses, have left even the Chairman of the Federal Reserve puzzled over figures that are "out of sync" with the overall economy.

"[T]he combination of relatively modest GDP growth with the more substantial improvement in the labor market over the past year is something of a puzzle," Bernanke admitted to the National Association for Business Economics earlier this week.

Bernanke then proceeded to explain why unemployment figures from the administration seem so out of step with the reality most folks are experiencing. He started with a basic, but often overlooked, part of the jobless equation. "The monthly increase in payroll employment, which commands so much public attention, is a net change," he said. "It equals the number of hires during the month less the number of separations (including layoffs, quits, and other separations)[.]"

In other words, the U.S. job market is in a constant state of flux, with people leaving the workforce due to retirement, or being fired, or leaving a job for a better position, etc. Likewise, some of the positions will be refilled, taking a person out of the ranks of the unemployed. These are not jobs created, but replacement hirings. Then Bernanke concluded, "the increase in employment since the end of 2009 has been due to a significant decline in layoffs but only a moderate improvement in hiring."

So, despite the Obamedia's attempt to paint a sunny picture heading into the November election -- note their relative inattention to Bernanke's speech -- very few new jobs are actually being created during Obama's watch. In fact, the most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cited by Bernanke, show that the number of people being hired has declined in 2012 -- even as Obama officials reported that unemployment figures came down…

It’s even funnier than that.  The numbers used to come up with the unemployment rate shows 1.5 million more people working in February than were working at the end of November.  During this time period the BLS says 734,000 new jobs were created.  Where are those other 766,000 jobs? 

6.  Voters angry with Obama

More than two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling high gasoline prices, although most do not blame him for them, according to a Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Tuesday.

Sixty-eight percent disapprove and 24 percent approve of how Obama is responding to price increases that have become one of the biggest issues in the 2012 presidential campaign.

In the past month, U.S. fuel prices have jumped about $0.30 per gallon to about $3.90 and the Republicans seeking to replace the Democrat in the November 6 election have seized upon the issue to attack his energy policies.

The disapproval reaches across party lines, potentially spelling trouble for Obama in the election, although the online survey showed voters hold oil companies or foreign countries more accountable than politicians for the price spike.

"Obama is getting heat for it but people aren't necessarily blaming him for it," said Chris Jackson, research director for Ipsos public affairs.

Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents all disapprove of the president's handling of gas prices, according to the online poll of 606 Americans conducted March 26-27.

Eighty-nine percent of Republicans said they disapproved, as did 52 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents…

When people go into the voting booth, Obama better hope they haven’t had to fill the car with gasoline in the previous week. 

7.  Obama tells oil companies:  “Chew but don’t swallow”

The Obama administration today endorsed new oil and gas exploration along the Atlantic Coast, setting the stage for possible future drilling lease sales.

The announcement by the Interior Department sets into motion what will be at least a five year environmental survey to determine whether and where oil production might occur.

It also comes as President Obama faces mounting pressure over high gas prices and criticism from Republicans that he has opposed more drilling for oil.

“Making decisions based on sound science, public input and the best information available is a critical component to this administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

But Republicans say the announcement is simply for show. Obama delayed and then cancelled a planned 2011 drilling lease sale for areas off the Virginia coast following the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

There are also no guarantees the administration will approve drilling permits at the end of the environmental review.

The president’s actions have closed an entire new area to drilling on his watch and cheats Virginians out of thousands of jobs,” said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee….

See why we should pay no attention to the fact that there are more rigs drilling in the last three years in the past 30?  It has absolutely NOTHING to do with this President. 

8.  The Left relies on the lowest common denominator

This is an unbelievable video of the people protesting against Scott Walker and Rick Santorum. 

9.  Amazing new device may make Wheelchairs obsolete

This is truly good news.