Monday, April 30, 2012

Is Obama overplaying his hand?

What’s new Today 

Story #1 tells that the solutions Obama brought with him into office doesn’t seem to be working. #2 Obama has held more fundraisers at this point in his first term than the previous five presidents did all together.  It appears he’s having to work a lot harder for money.  #3 Dana Perino thinks the Obama team is overplaying their hand. They had a perfectly good positive ad about taking down bin Laden and couldn’t help but make it a negative ad.  Not smart.  #4 is another look at Obama’s problem with the Youth vote compared to 2008.  #5 tells us why we have progressives rather than liberals.  #6 wonders about Elizabeth Warren’s status as a minority.  And finally #7 tells about a great new book out from Jonah Goldberg. 

Today’s thoughts

According to Jonah Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves that they’re not ideological.

Mitt Romney is running against a different man than the Pied Piper of "transformational change" who won the 2008 presidential election. Romney's opponent is that man's clone -- scaled down to one-eighth the size. He's a much smaller and distinctly meaner version of the Barack Obama of four years ago.

It appears one of the points that brought George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton together was a shared distain for Jimmy Carter according to the new book “The President’s Club.”   

If you look at what’s going on it appears the Obama campaign is sputtering.  First Hilary Rosen attack Ann Romney and the backlash effectively makes her off limits.  Now the Obama ad on killing Bin Laden and questioning if Romney would have ordered it seems to be taking his very real accomplishment off the table for future ads. 

1.   Obama’s Economy

…Barack Obama’s original economic team — Austan Goolsbee, Christina Romer, Larry Summers, Peter Orszag — have long fled the administration, and have proved mostly wrong in all their therapies and prognostications of 2009. Despite the stimulus of borrowing over $5 trillion in less than four years, near-zero interest rates, and chronic deficits, the U.S. economy is in the weakest recovery since the Great Depression and mired in the longest streak of continuous unemployment of 8 percent or higher — 38 months — since the 1930s. The Mexican economy is growing more rapidly than is ours. Why did not massive annual $1 trillion–plus deficits spark a recovery, as government claimed an ever larger percentage of GDP, and new public-works projects were heralded by the administration?

Much of the answer is found in the collective psyche of those Americans who traditionally hire, purchase, or invest capital. An economy is simply the aggregate of millions of private agendas, of people sensing and reacting to a commonly perceived landscape. Yet since January 2009, that landscape has been bleak and foreboding.

Take the debt. The problem is not just that Obama has borrowed $5 trillion in less than four years, but also that he has offered few plans to reduce the ongoing borrowing and none at all to pay down the debt. Instead, he has demonized as heartless anyone who opposes his serial $1 trillion annual deficits….

Obama is going after the oil companies for $4 billion per year when the deficit he’s running is $1.3 trillion per year.  Other than more taxes what have you heard him talk about? 

2.   Obama Has More Fundraisers Than The Previous Five Presidents—Combined.

Barack Obama has already held more fundraising events to build cash for his re-election bid than all five Presidents since Richard Nixon combined, according to figures to be published in a new book.

Obama is also the only president in the past 35 years to visit every electoral battleground state in his first year of office.

The figures, contained a in a new book called The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign by Brendan J. Doherty, due to be published by University Press of Kansas in July, give statistical backing to the notion that Obama is more preoccupied with being re-elected than any other commander-in-chief of modern times.

Doherty, who has compiled statistics about presidential travel and fundraising going back to President Jimmy Carter in 1977, found that Obama had held 104 fundraisers by March 6th this year, compared to 94 held by Presidents Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.

Since then, Obama has held another 20 fundraisers, bringing his total to 124. Carter held four re-election fundraisers in 1980, Reagan zero in 1984, Bush Snr 19 in 1992, Clinton 14 in 1996 and Bush Jnr 57 in 2004.

Well, this is a historic presidency. Stand by for the election ad blitz, because the money is flowing on both sides.    

3.  Dana Perino: Obama may be overplaying hand

Former Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday where she was asked to weigh in on the Obama administration’s latest campaign push to put Osama bin Laden’s death in the forefront of the President’s reelection effort. Perino said that Obama may be overplaying their advantage with the  Osama bin Laden ad that claims Mitt Romney may not have made the decision to go after OBL. Perino wondered why Obama’s team would “question what anybody else would have done because how do they know?” …

Expect Obama’s campaign to do this over and over again.  This was the one place they didn’t need to go negative, yet they did.  Six months of this is going to diminish Obama in the eyes of the country and will help lead to a big loss in November for the President. 

4.   Obama’s Problem with the Youth Vote

They lapped up President Obama’s 2008 promise of “hope” and “change,” but his inability to deliver has turned younger voters cynical and disillusioned, according to a new analysis of 18-29-year-olds who backed the president but are now skeptical of him.

“It will take a decade before they believe in hope and change,” said GOP pollster Ed Goeas. Worse, he said, younger voters are “disillusioned” with Obama and have turned “cynical” of his rhetoric.

He recently traveled to Raleigh, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio, to conduct focus groups with voters aged 18-29 who backed Obama in 2008. He found them gravely concerned about unemployment, the economy and gas prices. “They are very decidedly unhappy,” he said.

Mostly, they are upset that the president didn’t make good on his promises.
“There is no belief that the economy is getting better,” he found….

You are seeing polls all over the place showing Obama way up or barely up with the under 30 crowd.  The one thing that does seem to be constant is that far fewer young people plan to vote than do the other age groups. 

5.   The New Regressives

About fifteen years ago, many liberals began to self-identify as progressives—partly because of the implosion of the Great Society and the Reagan reaction that had tarnished the liberal brand and left it as something akin to “permissive” or “naïve,” partly because “progressive” was supposedly an ideological rather than a political identification, and had included some early twentieth-century Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover.

But twenty-first century progressivism is not aimed at political reform. There is no new effort at
racial unity. There is not much realization that we are in a globalized, rapidly changing, high-tech economy or that race and gender are not as they were fifty years ago. Instead, progressivism has become a reactionary return to the 1960s—or even well before….

In the 1880s, liberalism quit looking at liberty as the answer and moved onto Progressivism.  In the 1980s they shed their focus on progress and looked to simple control. They are now looking to go backwards with their ties to environmentalism. 

6.   Elizabeth Warren Minority?

Despite claiming she never used her Native American heritage when applying for a job, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign admitted last night the Democrat listed her minority status in professional directories for years when she taught at the University of Texas and the University of

From 1986 to 1995, Warren’s name is included in the Association of American Law Schools’
annual directory of minority law teachers, according to records obtained by the Herald.

The campaign for GOP U.S. Sen. Scott Brown last night called for Warren to “come clean.”
“This story raises serious questions about Elizabeth Warren’s credibility. The record now shows Prof. Warren did claim to be a‘minority,’ and that she attempted to mislead the public about these facts whenshe was first asked about the issue last week,” said Brown spokesman Jim Barnett.
“Prof. Warren needs to come clean about her motivations for making these claims and explain the contradictions between her rhetoric and the record.”…

Kind of like Democrats who cheat on their taxes when they call for raising them on everyone else, Elizabeth Warren used special status designed to help actual minorities, not just pretend ones. 

     7.  "The Tyranny of Clichés”

…But with "The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas", not only has Goldberg (editor-at-large for National Review Online) avoided the sophomore slump -- in
many ways he has an even bigger triumph on his hands.

Everything conservatives will be looking for is on every page of "Tyranny."
Just as he did with "Liberal Fascism," Goldberg uses scholarly history, damning logic, pop culture, and laugh-out-loud humor to connect the dots that expose the Left as thevacuous, dishonest, State-addicted mercenaries they really are. But what sets "Tyranny" apart from its predecessor and, in my opinion, improves on it, is two things:

First, simply by its title alone, "Liberal Fascism" was red meat for the Right; a delicious, timely, page-turning balm in The Year Of Obama. As we were getting our electoral butts kicked in every corner of America -- as our worst political nightmares were impossibly coming true -- we could at least get under the covers and flick a flashlight onto Jonah's reassurance that we were right, dammit!

"Liberal Fascism" is ours and all ours, but to its credit, "Tyranny" is less so.

"Tyranny" isn't red meat as much as it's an argument. Yes, so was "Liberal Fascism," but that was a more pointed argument made from a somewhat belligerent posture (which I loved). "Tyranny," though, is something I would (and have) send to my Obama-loving, swing state-dwelling,
left-wing mother. For years now, the two of us have fired books at one another in the hopes of persuading the other to see the light, and because Goldberg's theme is less about partisan politics than it is about intellectual honesty, I'm convinced it's going to be one of my more persuasive missives.

"Tyranny" isn't about ideology. Don't get me wrong, Goldberg still takes
it to the Left, but liberalism (for very good reason) is merely the vehicle the
author drives to explore the much bigger theme of how and why the left and their allies in media and academia haveallowed political debate to devolve into cliché. The over-arching theme,
however, is even bigger and speaks to conservative and liberal alike:


Just in time. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On target

What’s new Today 

Story #1 tells of lottery winners holding on to their welfare checks.  #2 brings together Gasland with our crucifixion EPA official.  #3 show the inconsistency of the NY Times editorial pages.  Their position depends upon which way the left needs it to go.  #4 gives you more on cosmic rays vs CO2. 

Today’s thoughts

It appears a number of Hugo Chavez underlings are jockeying for position to succeed him even as certain government functions seem to have shut down without him. 

In regard to Osama bin Laden, we are seeing Obama and the Democrats bragging about how they killed a man. 

From the White House Correspondence Dinner and Jimmy Kimmel, “There’s a term for guys like President Obama. Probably not two terms, but there is.’

1.   Michigan’s examples of the Welfare State run Amok

Never has there been a clearer manifestation of the addictiveness of our entitlement culture than what occurred recently in the state of Michigan -- not once, but twice.

For several months after winning a $1 million state lottery jackpot, 25-year-old Michigan resident, Amanda Clayton, collected thousands of dollars in state assistance. Clayton reportedly received approximately $5,500 in food stamps and public medical benefits. She was exposed by a Detroit news station, WDIV-TV4, in March and has since been arrested for welfare fraud.

When confronted by the Detroit station and asked if she felt that she had a right to the money, Clayton replied, "I mean I kinda do." She further added, "I feel that it's okay because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay. I have two houses." Clayton then declared that she intended to continue to use her benefits until she was cut off.

Perhaps Ms. Clayton learned her trade from 60-year-old Leroy Hick. In June of 2010 Hick won $2 million in a Michigan state lottery TV show. In May of 2011, the Detroit News noted that, according to Hick's attorney, Michigan's state "Department of Human Services determined he was still eligible for food stamps."

The News also noted that, "Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income and follows federal guidelines; lottery winnings are considered liquid assets and don't count as income. As long as Fick's gross income stays below the eligibility requirement for food stamps, he can receive them, even if he has a million dollars in the bank."…

… Not only are Mr. Fick and Ms. Clayton guilty of defrauding the taxpayer, they are an example of the worst kind of greed. Other than get "lucky," neither of them did a thing to accumulate their wealth. Yet they continued unapologetically to seek more through other means that would again require them to do almost nothing. They are the poster children for an entitlement society….

Here’s an example of the 1% that are truly taking advantage of the system.  Do nothing but take everything.

2.  ‘Gasland’ and the EPA

…EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz, who became deservedly infamous last week when his public articulation of his "Crucify Them" philosophy towards enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in a speech a year ago was exposed, really loves the film, which industry officials have shown is riddled with deceptions and outright falsehoods. Not only that, he was also involved in making it:

Armendariz said in the same speech his proudest moment in his first year at EPA was to have its enforcers watch “Gasland,” an anti-fracking propaganda documentary financed by the government of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, who also opposes all U.S. drilling. Armendariz collaborated with its makers, and got his name in the credits…

So much for the left being ones who believe in science.  The movie was filled with scientific errors.  It was a propaganda piece pure and simple. 

3.   The NY Times flip flops

A few days after the Supreme Court finished hearing oral argument in the legal challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last month, The New York Times ran an unsigned editorial denouncing the Court’s conservative justices for their apparent willingness to strike down President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. “For anyone who still thought legal conservatives are dedicated to judicial restraint,” the Times huffed, “the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the health care case should put that idea to rest. There has been no court less restrained in signaling its willingness to replace law made by Congress with law made by justices.”

Pretty forceful words.  In fact, they strongly echoed the arguments made by well-known legal conservative Robert Bork, the former federal appeals court judge who was unsuccessfully nominated to the Supreme Court in 1987. In his bestselling 1990 book The Tempting of America, Bork argued that the “first principle” of the American system wasn’t the protection of individual rights, it was majority rule. “In wide areas of life,” Bork wrote, “majorities are entitled to rule, if they wish, simply because they are majorities.” For the courts, this meant adopting a pro-government posture of judicial restraint—precisely what The New York Times wants the Supreme Court to do in the health care case.

Yet just two days ago the Times ran another unsigned editorial that offered a very different take on judicial restraint. In that piece, the paper attacked GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for asking Bork to head up his campaign’s Justice Advisory Committee. According to the Times, Romney's acceptance of Bork and his “extreme views” reveals the shortcomings of Romney’s own approach to the law. So what’s so bad about Bork? Here’s the Times again:

[T]he confirmation shed considerable light on Mr. Bork’s extreme views. As a critic of what he called the “imperial judiciary,” he contended that, except when the Constitution expressly says otherwise, the court must defer to the will of the majority. Otherwise, he said, it makes “corrupt constitutional law” that is constrained only by the personal values of justices, leaving government subject to the “tyranny of the minority.”

To recap: The New York Times attacks the current Supreme Court for abandoning judicial restraint and “signaling its willingness to replace law made by Congress,” then turns around less than a month later to attack Judge Bork for advocating judicial restraint and saying that “the court must defer to the will of the majority.”

While both the left and the right seem to be guilty of changing their positions depending upon circumstances, this is just another example of how easily the left does it. 

4.  The Real Cause of Extreme Weather

…Meanwhile, the mainstream media has been largely hiding from the public the actual cause of recent extreme weather events -- big amplitude swings in the jet stream. In an April 2 YouTube video British astrophysicist Piers Corbyn explains why severe weather occurs regularly every 60 years, plus or minus 5 years:

Technically, they say, "Well, the big extremes are caused by changes in the track of low pressure systems as they go around the globe, and when there's big amplitude swings in this track, then you do get more extreme events." However, they don't know where these big amplitude swings come from.

However, we do understand the origin of these big amplitude swings in the jet stream, and these are caused by a mingling of solar-magnetic factors and lunar factors which is why the basic signal is the 60 year signal we've mentioned.

And for the last three years we have been in the middle of one of these peaks of big swings in the jet stream, and we are going to carry on like this for at least another year or so. And right now we are in, perhaps, the most exciting phase of this 60 year cycle.

Corbyn is a brilliant astrophysicist. He looks for repetitions of historic solar-magnetic factors (such as sunspots) and bases his long-range weather forecasts on what those patterns, when combined with moon factors, caused in the past. His long-range predictions have been correct about 85% of the time. He makes his money, mostly from British insurance companies and farmers, by successfully predicting extreme weather events.

We are fortunate that he is starting to make long-term predictions about U.S. weather. In the same YouTube video, he notes that he correctly predicted March's extreme weather in the U.S.:

The thirteenth to fifteenth of March, we specifically predicted this in our forecast in detail, we said there would be tornadoes and giant hail in the lower Midwest. That happened.

We also said, after that there would be a big heat wave in the central and eastern parts of the USA. That happened.

And then we said that would turn into or change into something more focused on Texas with intense heat in Texas. That happened.

And then, finally, there was a cold blast just coming down from Canada in the Northeast part of America at the end of March carrying into April which we predicted.

The theory that climate change, both global warming and cooling, is related to magnetic disturbances on the sun and cloud-creating cosmic rays is supported by a large number of scientists who have published their findings in refereed journals This theory has succeeded in explaining climate changes whether the scale is years or hundreds of millions of years. For example, it explains the colder climate from 2006-2010 as partly the result of reduced solar activity and the recent warmer climate as partly the result of solar activity rising throughout 2011.

Its adherents don't deny that global temperatures may be influenced by greenhouse gas concentrations, but they hold that the influence of greenhouse gases on the weather is probably small. Once the contributions of solar and cosmic rays to climate are precisely determined, it will be possible to determine what is left to be explained by other influences.

In contrast, the AGW theorists can't explain why earth temperatures stopped rising in 1998, despite the continuing rise in carbon dioxide concentrations. They are vicious toward those who oppose them, calling them "deniers" and unscientific. One could argue that it is they who are the deniers. It is scandalous that none of those involved in the East Anglia revelations of attempts to suppress publication of contrary findings has been punished by the universities employing them.

In short, there are two competing theories. The solar/cosmic ray theory successfully predicts weather and climate. The man-made global warming theory correctly predicts opinion polls….

Certainly an 85% rate of correctly predicting the weather both long and short term is a lot better than the AGW crowd. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

An AGW alternative

What’s new Today 

Story #1 tells what really happened with the Osama bin Laden killing.  #2 tells of Obama’s problem with the economy.  Mediocre is not good enough.  #3 Is a story on a new study which puts the AGW hypothesis on its head. 

Today’s thoughts

With Obama still talking about green power and the jobs it will create has he noticed Spain which decided to take that route in Europe has an unemployment rate of 24.4%.

If the President and the Democrats are so eager to insure that the interest rate on college loans doesn’t increase, why is he threatening to veto the bill passed in the House?

1.   Obama’s Gutsy Call?

Today, Time magazine got hold of a memo written by then-CIA head Leon Panetta after he received orders from Barack Obama’s team to greenlight the bin Laden mission. Here’s the text, which summarized the situation:

Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault.

The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am….

Only the memo doesn’t show a gutsy call. It doesn’t show a president willing to take the blame for a mission gone wrong. It shows a CYA maneuver by the White House….

Talk about bad timing.  The DNC has just put out an ad that reiterates the “gutsy call” scenario and questions whether Romney would have made it.  It appears that the qualification of the “risk profile” was a perfect cover to blame the military if things went badly.

2.  Obama’s economic problem

Weak Growth, Weak Hiring

How weak was the economy's 2.2 percent growth rate from January through March? It depends.

Consider that a growth rate of 2.5 percent or higher is considered good when the economy is healthy.  But not at a time of high unemployment.

With 12.7 million people unemployed, today's economy needs much faster growth to boost hiring. Growth would have to be roughly 4 percent for a full year to lower the unemployment rate, now 8.2 percent, by 1 percentage point.

This is a huge problem for Obama.  Even if the growth spurted now, the unemployment rate would most likely rise as there are 5 million people missing from the employment numbers and they would come back into the unemployed numbers. 

3.  Svensmark's cosmic Jackpot--a death knell for AGW?

Nigel Calder asks us to republish this post for maximum exposure. He writes:  

Today the Royal Astronomical Society in London publishes (online) Henrik Svensmark’s latest paper entitled “Evidence of nearby supernovae affecting life on Earth”. After years of effort Svensmark shows how the variable frequency of stellar explosions not far from our planet has ruled over the changing fortunes of living things throughout the past half billion years. Appearing in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, it’s a giant of a paper, with 22 figures, 30 equations and about 15,000 words. See the RAS press release at

By taking me back to when I reported the victory of the pioneers of plate tectonics in their battle against the most eminent geophysicists of the day, it makes me feel 40 years younger. Shredding the textbooks, Tuzo Wilson, Dan McKenzie and Jason Morgan merrily explained earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain-building, and even the varying depth of the ocean, simply by the drift of fragments of the lithosphere in various directions around the globe.

In Svensmark’s new paper an equally concise theory, that cosmic rays from exploded stars cool the world by increasing the cloud cover, leads to amazing explanations, not least for why evolution sometimes was rampant and sometimes faltered. In both senses of the word, this is a stellar revision of the story of life.

Here are the main results:

·         The long-term diversity of life in the sea depends on the sea-level set by plate tectonics and the local supernova rate set by the astrophysics, and on virtually nothing else.

·         The long-term primary productivity of life in the sea – the net growth of photosynthetic microbes – depends on the supernova rate, and on virtually nothing else.

·         Exceptionally close supernovae account for short-lived falls in sea-level during the past 500 million years, long-known to geophysicists but never convincingly explained..

·         As the geological and astronomical records converge, the match between climate and supernova rates gets better and better, with high rates bringing icy times.

Presented with due caution as well as with consideration for the feelings of experts in several fields of research, a story unfolds in which everything meshes like well-made clockwork. Anyone who wishes to pooh-pooh any piece of it by saying “correlation is not necessarily causality” should offer some other mega-theory that says why several mutually supportive coincidences arise between events in our galactic neighbourhood and living conditions on the Earth.

An amusing point is that Svensmark stands the currently popular carbon dioxide story on its head. Some geoscientists want to blame the drastic alternations of hot and icy conditions during the past 500 million years on increases and decreases in carbon dioxide, which they explain in intricate ways. For Svensmark, the changes driven by the stars govern the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Climate and life control CO2, not the other way around.

By implication, supernovae also determine the amount of oxygen available for animals like you and me to breathe. So the inherently simple cosmic-ray/cloud hypothesis now has far-reaching consequences, which I’ve tried to sum up in this diagram.

Cosmic rays in action. The main findings in the new Svensmark paper concern the uppermost stellar band, the green band of living things and, on the right, atmospheric chemistry. Although solar modulation of galactic cosmic rays is important to us on short timescales, its effects are smaller and briefer than the major long-term changes controlled by the rate of formation of big stars in our vicinity, and their self-destruction as supernovae. Although copyrighted, this figure may be reproduced with due acknowledgement in the context of Henrik Svensmark's work.

By way of explanation

The text of “Evidence of nearby supernovae affecting life on Earth” is available via The paper is highly technical, as befits a professional journal, so to non-expert eyes even the illustrations may be a little puzzling. So I’ve enlisted the aid of Liz Calder to explain the way one of the most striking graphs, Svensmark’s Figure 20, was put together. That graph shows how, over the past 440 million years, the changing rates of supernova explosions relatively close to the Earth have strongly influenced the biodiversity of marine invertebrate animals, from trilobites of ancient times to lobsters of today. Svensmark’s published caption ends: “Evidently marine biodiversity is largely explained by a combination of sea-level and astrophysical activity.” To follow his argument you need to see how Figure 20 draws on information in Figure 19. That tells of the total diversity of the sea creatures in the fossil record, fluctuating between times of rapid evolution and times of recession….

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's on

What’s new Today 

Story #1 tells of how the American public is not looking with favor on the Obama’s and their many vacations.  #2 looks specifically at the cost of the First Lady’s trip to Spain in August of 2010.  #3 explains why Republicans should be happy.  #4 looks at the Democratic Party and wonders where the moderates have gone.  #5 is an excellent look at the recall election in Wisconsin and what it means.  #6 is a hard to believe account of what a Michigan School Teacher finds as inhumane treatment.  #7 looks at why the Democrats will never exploit the one resource that could pull the country out of the economic doldrums we are in.

Today’s thoughts

Paul Ryan said this:  If you believe in freedom, liberty, self-determination, free enterprise, I don’t care if you’re a Muslim, Jewish, Agnostic, Christian, gay, straight, Latino, black, white, Irish, whatever. Join us.”

Unexpectedly (plan to hear the word a lot in the next six months), GDP grew at a disappointing 2.2% in the first quarter down from the fourth quarter’s 3.0%. 

1.  Obama’s politics of Envy spreads to the First Family

Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing “staycations” because they can’t afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family’s 17 lavish vacations around the world and don’t want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas’ holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters.

“They view everything through
their own personal situation and if they can’t afford to do it, they can’t
enjoy it, they don’t like Obama using
their tax dollars to benefit himself,”
said pollster John McLaughlin. “In
this case, they see him as out of touch.
While they are struggling he’s not sharing in that struggle and he’s basically
doing what they can’t do on their tax dollars,” added the GOP pollster.

He and several other top-tier
Republican pollsters, organized by Resurgent Republic, traveled to 11
battleground states to host focus groups of independent and swing voters,
mostly Democrats, who voted for President Obama in 2008 but who are now on the

McLaughlin handled blue collar
and Catholic voters in Pittsburgh on April 3 and Cleveland on March 20. He
found that they are very depressed about
the economy and feel that their tax dollars are being sucked up by both the
rich and those living on government assistance…

Envy is like fire.  Once you start to play with it you frequently find yourself getting burned. 

2.   Michelle’s 2010 trip to Spain cost the Taxpayers $470,000.

First lady Michelle Obama's 2010 trip to Spain cost taxpayers nearly $470,000, according to a conservative watchdog group that obtained Secret Service records from the overseas excursion.

That trip, which the first lady took with her younger daughter Sasha, drew widespread criticism at the time -- as the visuals of the first lady in an elegant Mediterranean setting clashed with the still-struggling U.S. economy.

Judicial Watch, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request, claimed Thursday that documents show the trip cost at least $467,585.

Those costs are split between Secret Service expenses and expenses for the flight and flight crew.

Secret Service costs totaled nearly $255,000, according to Judicial Watch...

I don’t think Americans begrudge the Obama’s vacation time, but Hawaii, Spain, Martha Vineyard, etc. seems to be over the top. Add to this the trip by Malia to Mexico, taking a plane to the Vineyard to arrive 4 hours earlier than the President and you have a case for resentment.   The message is “we aren’t really all in this together.” 

3.  Obama looks Bush League

Maybe the 2012 election is simpler than we think.

It will be about Mr. Obama.

Did you like the past four years? Good, you can get four more.

Do the president and his people strike you as competent? If so, you can renew his contract, and he will renew theirs.

If you don't want to rehire him, you will look at the other guy. Does he strike you as credible, a possible president? Then you can hire him.

Republicans should cheer up.

 Peggy Noonan has it again.  It’s really very simple and that is why I’m confident that Obama will be a one term president.

4.  Are there any moderate Democrats?

The defeat of two conservative House Democrats by more liberal opponents in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary illustrates the strong hold the new health care law still has over committed Democratic voters and foreshadows an even more polarized Congress next year in the aftermath of the latest round of redistricting . . . .

Representatives Jason Altmire and Tim Holden both lost in primaries to opponents who joined together with activist groups to pummel the veteran lawmakers over the opposition to the new health care law and climate change legislation — positions they had used to their advantage in the past to show their independence from President Obama and the Democratic Party.

“A lot of us thought of his record as his strength,” said Hugh M. Reiley, the chairman of the Schuylkill County Democratic Party, referring to Mr. Holden. “He was not falling prey to all that party bickering. He was able to reach across the aisle.”

“Last night, the Democratic Party became more liberal,” he added.

The Democrats keep saying the Republicans aren’t the party it used to be.  It appears neither are the Democrats.  Their leadership certainly is much more extreme than is the Republicans.

5.  What the Wisconsin Recall Election is all about

A recall election for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is scheduled for June 5. But on the ballot that day will effectively be whether we should establish in law after all these years a new aristocracy in America, not subject to the democratic will of the people like everyone else, with special legal privileges, including the right to plunder the taxpayers with virtual impunity. That new aristocracy is state and local government public employee unions.

Nationwide, these public employee unions plunder taxpayers for pay for state and local government workers that is on average 45% more than the taxpayers paying those salaries make in the private sector. The bill to taxpayers for each of these workers includes an average hourly wage of $26.25, plus another $13.56 in hourly costs for benefits, for total hourly costs of $39.81, or $80,000 per year on average. This is true in Wisconsin as well. Indeed, the Manhattan Institute’s E.J. McMahon reports that for public school teachers in Milwaukee, the annual cost of family health coverage is $26,844, for which the teachers were paying nothing.

State and local government workers today are not exploited in sweat shop conditions for poverty wages as the workers in union lore of old. Today it is taxpayers who are the ones being exploited….

This is an important election.  The Unions are putting everything they can into it and it appears they will spend $60 million there.  If they win they hope to roll back the conservative tide that is flowing in.  If they fail, they will be under attack in many more states. 

6.  Unfair in Michigan to State Workers?

Terry List, a teacher in Saginaw Township, Mich., has a depressing lesson for her students: “I would not recommend to my pupils to become a teacher in Michigan.”

What’s discouraging her? A proposed pension-reform bill in Michigan would derail her plans to retire — at age 47.

After these rapacious reforms, List would have to work another 16 years, to age 63, in order to earn her retiree health-care benefits. “I understand we have to tighten our belts,” she laments, “but we don’t have to use a tourniquet and cut off the blood supply entirely.” Under the reforms, such a tourniquet means she could still retire now and have a guaranteed income for the rest of her life, but she’d have to pay for her own health care until age 65 — like, you know, most Americans…

This is very much the issue that people are beginning to understand.  While the private unions have driven jobs out of the Country, the public sector unions are driving our country into the poor house. 

7.  The Left’s Oil Blindness

In 2010, America’s proved oil reserves stood at 31 billion barrels, just slightly below the 33.8 billion barrels of proved reserves the United States had in 1990. But over that two-decade period, the domestic oil sector produced about 52 billion barrels of oil. In other words, between 1990 and 2010, the United States produced nearly twice as much oil as we believed the whole country had in 1990, and yet at the end of that period, we still had about the same amount in proven reserves. What’s going on? In a word: innovation. And few industries on the planet have been as innovative as the American oil and gas sector.

It’s not the size of your reserves that counts, it’s what you do with them. And the U.S. oil and gas sector has been remarkably proficient at exploiting this country’s vast mineral wealth. Over the past century or so, oil and gas drilling has gone from a business dominated by wildcatters armed mainly with a hunch and a prayer to one where the latest seismic and “geosteering” technologies allow drillers to steer their bits so accurately that they can arrive within inches of their target zone two miles (or more) beneath the Earth’s surface.

Add in ongoing improvements in horizontal drilling—and yes, in hydraulic fracturing, the bugaboo of many environmental groups—and the changes are easily seen. For instance, over the last five years, Southwestern Energy, a Houston-based company drilling in the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, has halved the number of days it takes to drill an average well while nearly tripling the amount of gas it gets during the initial phase of production. Southwestern has done it by tweaking the fracturing process while more than doubling the length of the horizontal segments, so that more of the well is in contact with the source rock….

Obama has repeatedly made the claim that “clean” energy is the way of the future. But the president dares not admit the obvious: Over the past few years, the oil and gas sector has out-innovated the political darlings of the moment: solar and wind energy. Four years ago this month, natural gas prices were over $10. Today, the price is about $2. Despite all of the hype—and billions of dollars in subsidies doled out to solar and wind energy projects over the past few years—the clear reality is that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing and the incremental production gains that have resulted from them, have resulted in a tidal wave of new natural-gas production that is pricing wind and solar energy out of the market…

If you read the last bolded words I’ve posted you will realize why the left is so upset by hydraulic fracturing.  It has made their dreams of sunlight and windmills seem even more preposterous than they were before.