Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Solutions and problems

What’s New Today

Story #1 looks to conventional energy to pull America out of the current economic malaise.  #2 tells of the Consumer confidence index dropping for the third straight month.  It does not bode well of Obama.  #3 tells why one conservative thinks Obama will lose.  #4 relates that the man who seconded President Obama in 2008 is leaving the Democratic Party and going Republican.  #5 shows how the Democratic strategy analysts are kidding themselves as more and more of their assumptions prove false.  #6 perhaps give some hope to the Democrats.  It seems Obama is a scrapper and willing to claw and fight til the end.  I highly recommend you read #7.  It tells the truth that if the Republicans “compromise” with the Democrats, they become part of the problem which is why the Democrats keep calling for them to compromise. 

Today’s Thoughts

Obama and the Democrats seem intent on following California over the cliff rather than any of the states that are actually recovering.  You would think they would be smarter than that.

It appears the smartest man in the world (well at least the smartest President ever) has upset Poland by referring to Polish Death Camps when they were actually German Death Camps in occupied Poland.  I guess history along with economics isn’t BHO’s strong suit.  

Obamacare is partial paid for by stealing money from Medicare.  How does that work?  The Medicare trustees must assume that physician reimbursements under Medicaid will drop to 55% of private health insurance by 2086, while physicians serving Medicare patients "would eventually fall to 26% of private health insurance levels."  It isn’t going to happen and Obamacare isn’t going to do any of the things Obama promised it would.  

Although the number is small, the percentage of Americans turning in their passports has increased by 338% since Barack Obama has become President

1.  The Path to Prosperity and the Presidency

Energy, the lifeblood of the economy, is the Achilles heel of President Barack Obama.  Mitt Romney can win the November election if he concentrates his campaign on a sensible energy policy.
Mr. Romney will have to make a case not merely against Mr. Obama's failings but also for why he has the better plan to restore prosperity. (WSJ  4-26-12)

... optimistic conservative vision that can inspire the party faithful, appeal to swing voters and set out a governing agenda should he win in November...  

As a presumed candidate for the U.S. presidency, Romney should spell out now a coherent policy of low-cost and secure energy that would boost the U.S. economy, ensure jobs and prosperity, and raise people up from poverty.  Fundamentally, he and his surrogates must educate and inspire the public.

He should pledge specific goals: lower gasoline prices, cheaper household electricity, cheaper fertilizer for farmers and lower food prices for everybody, cheaper transport fuels for aviation and for the trucking industry, lower raw material costs for the chemical industry.  He should also indicate the kind of people who would be part of his team, who would fill the crucial posts and carry out these policies.  His running mate should have a record of endorsing these goals….

This is the magic bullet for the economy and one that Obama can’t take because he is religiously against fossil fuels at least any that are drilled in America.  America is sitting on great wealth just waiting for us to be sensible and use it. 

2.  No Confidence in Obamanomics

Consumer confidence took a "surprise" tumble in May, as home prices hit 10-year lows. Tell us again why economists keep calling bad economic news about Obama's so-called recovery "unexpected"?

Analysts had predicted the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index would climb to 70 in May. Instead it dropped more than four points to 64.9, the biggest drop since last fall.

It's the latest in another round of disappointing numbers. Just a few weeks ago, new jobs came in "unexpectedly" low. And before that, GDP data disappointed.

Underperforming economic indicators have been so common under Obama that the only mystery is why the experts keep getting caught off guard.

In the case of the Consumer Confidence Index, the current number — bad as it is — doesn't even tell the whole story.

First, it's worth noting the index has fallen for three months. Even if it had hit forecasts, it would still be well below 90, which signals a healthy economy…

It’s unexpected because the MSM really wants Obamanomics to work.  It is the triumph of hope over experience. 

3.  Obama will lose in November

It is time to call the 2012 election.  President Obama cannot win.  He will likely lose big, in a very lopsided election.  Pundits will claim to be surprised when the outcome becomes apparent.  They should not be, as the signs of such a result are everywhere, despite the mainstream media's attempts to suppress them.

There are numerous reasons why Obama will lose.  Incompetence, likeability, and duplicity are a few.  Obama has alienated too many in the electorate, including large numbers who supported him the first time.  In 2012, many will vote against him or (even better) just stay home….

….Why Obama Will Lose the Election

Why Obama will lose this next election is less difficult to understand than how he won the first time.  Barack Obama was a fluke, an unlikely candidate with no demonstrated experience in anything other than reading a teleprompter and sounding good.

He was pushed to his party's nomination as a result of the media.  His election was a quirk, rather than something earned.  Any Democrat who gained the nomination was likely ensured the presidency.  Bush fatigue and the hapless John McCain made that almost certain.

Obama will lose the next election because his greatest asset, his unknownness, exists no longer.  Voter imagination can no longer be manipulated in the presence of facts.  Quite simply, Obama will not be re-elected because too many people now know him.  His biggest attribute has been taken away.

What people got was nothing like what they were promised or imagined.  What was a blank slate upon which to imagine an Obama presidency now is a full-blown portrait filled with failure, warts, and scars.
Obama's track record is abysmal. Floyd and Mary Beth Brown discussed four of Obama's failures:
  • Obama's 825 billion dollar stimulus failed to keep unemployment below 8 percent as promised. Since President Obama's stimulus passed, America has lost 1.1 million jobs. If you count people who have become discouraged and are no longer seeking jobs, some economists believe that real unemployment rate is above twenty percent.
  • Obama called his health care package one of his major accomplishments. He told CBS' Steve Kroft he was "putting in place a system in which we're going to start lowering health care costs." Yet it has failed to make health insurance more affordable. According to the fact watchdog website, ObamaCare is actually making health care "less affordable." Workers paid an average of $132 more for family coverage just this year.
  • Obama predicted his investments in green energy would create 5 million jobs, but the Wall Street Journal reports: "The green jobs subsidy story gets more embarrassing by the day. Three years ago President Obama promised that by the end of the decade, America would have five million green jobs, but so far, some $90 billion in government spending has delivered very few."
  • Obama pledged to cut the deficit in half, saying: "And that's why today I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office." Even if every part of Obama's deficit reduction proposal was enacted, the deficit at the end of his first term would still be $1.33 trillion, more than twice what he promised….

This is an excellent article with a lot more specifics telling you why Obama will lose big.  The one thing the author didn’t mention that I feel with also hurt Obama is his going so negative so soon.  That will hurt the last thing he had going for him, people like him.  After six months of bashing Romney, blaming Bush, and telling transparent lies, he will lose that as well.  

4.  Democrat who seconded Obama’s nomination in 2008 Switches Parties

The former Alabama congressman (Artur Davis), an early Barack Obama endorser who lost a bid for governor last year, announces online that he's leaving the Democratic Party and changing his registration to a different state:

If I were to run, it would be as a Republican. And I am in the process of changing my voter registration from Alabama to Virginia, a development which likely does represent a closing of one chapter and perhaps the opening of another.

As to the horse-race question that animated parts of the blogosphere, it is true that people whose judgment I value have asked me to weigh the prospect of running in one of the Northern Virginia congressional districts in 2014 or 2016, or alternatively, for a seat in the Virginia legislature in 2015. If that sounds imprecise, it’s a function of how uncertain political opportunities can be—and if that sounds expedient, never lose sight of the fact that politics is not wishfulness, it’s the execution of a long, draining process to win votes and help and relationships while your adversaries are working just as hard to tear down the ground you build. …

On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way—it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.

Alex Isenstadt has more here.  Davis's move is not surprising, given the trajectory of his activities and public comments over the last year, but it is still remarkable for a politician who gave a seconding speech to nominate Barack Obama at the 2008 Democratic convention.

Watch for the signs, omens, things that tell you which way the political winds are blowing and you will see it is an ill wind if you are a democrat.

5.  Are Obama Aides Fooling Themselves?

“Axelrod is endeavoring not to panic. So reads a sentence in John Heilemann’s exhaustive article on Barack Obama's campaign in this week's New York magazine….

Heilemann's article is well-sourced. It's based on interviews with David Axelrod, the former White House aide now back in Chicago, David Plouffe, the 2008 manager now in the White House, and Jim Messina, the current campaign manager.

The picture Heilemann draws is of campaign managers whose assumptions have been proved wrong and who seem to be fooling themselves about what will work in the campaign.
One assumption that has been proved wrong is that the Obama campaign would raise $1 billion and that, as in 2008, far more money would be spent for Democrats than Republicans.

Heilemann reports the campaign managers' alibis. Obama has given donors "shabby treatment," he writes. This of a president who has attended more fundraisers than his four predecessors combined.
As for the Obama-authorized super-PAC being $90 million short of its $100 million goal, well, it was late getting started and some money givers don't like negative ads.

A more plausible explanation is that big Democratic donors don't trust the political judgment of super-PAC head Bill Burton -- who was passed over for promotion to White House press secretary -- the way big Republican donors trust Karl Rove.

Here's another: A lot of people like the way Obama has governed less than they liked the idea of Obama governing.

A second assumption is that the Obama managers "see Romney as a walking, talking bull's-eye" and have "contempt for his skills as a political performer."

You can find some basis for this in Romney's performance in the primaries. But you can also find evidence to the contrary. In my own experience as a political consultant, I found it dangerous to assume your opponents will screw up. Sometimes they don't.

As for fooling themselves, I have to wonder whether the Obama people were spoofing Heilemann at points. He quotes Plouffe as saying. "Let's be clear what [Romney] would do as president," and then summarizes: "Potentially abortion will be criminalized. Women will be denied contraceptive services. He's far right on immigration. He supports efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage."

These claims don't seem sustainable to me. No one seriously thinks there's any likelihood of criminalizing abortion or banning contraception. Romney brushed off that last one in a debate.
Nor is there any chance an anti-same-sex marriage amendment would get the two-thirds it needs in Congress to go to the states. Opposing legalization of illegal immigrants is not a clear vote-loser particularly now that, the Pew Hispanic Center reports, a million have left the country….

There is a lot of information out there that is very discouraging if you are an Obama supporter.  The MSM tries to cover it up or minimize its importance, but it’s there and it spells doom for Obama and the Democrats in November.

6.  Desperately seeking votes

…John Heilemann, co-author of a definitive work on the 2008 election called Game Change, writes in a new piece in New York magazine that for “anyone still starry-eyed about Obama” the 2012 campaign will disabuse them of that notion:

The months ahead will provide a bracing revelation about what he truly is: not a savior, not a saint, not a man above the fray, but a brass-knuckled, pipe-hitting, red-in-tooth-and-claw brawler determined to do what is necessary to stay in power — in other words, a politician.

If the mainstream-media journalists who spent so little time in 2008 looking into the Daley machine that Barack Obama sprang from want to do more due diligence this time, they could start with a closer look at Eric Whitaker and the rest of Obama’s inner circle. It’s probably a much richer mine of stories than any investigation of Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital days or Ann Romney’s obsession with expensive horses is likely to provide.

Tooth and nail is the way the group will fight, but they are kidding themselves. 

7.  The Truth about Spending

….But all of these numbers are a sideshow: Republicans in Washington helped create the problem, and Romney should concede the point.

Focused on fighting a war, Bush -- never a tightwad to begin with -- handed the keys to the Treasury to Tom DeLay and Denny Hastert, and they spent enough money to burn a wet mule. On Bush's watch, education spending more than doubled, the government enacted the biggest expansion in entitlements since the Great Society (Medicare Part D), and we created a vast new government agency (the Department of Homeland Security).

And yet, to listen to Obama and his allies, the Bush years were a time of "market fundamentalism" and government inaction. That's in part because when it comes to domestic policy, Democrats will always want to spend more than Republicans, so Republicans are always branded as mean-spiritedly frugal by comparison.

Nearly every problem with spending and debt associated with the Bush years was made far worse under Obama. The man campaigned as an outsider who was going to change course before we went over a fiscal cliff. Instead, when he got behind the wheel, as it were, he hit the gas instead of the brakes -- and yet has the temerity to claim that all of the forward momentum is Bush's fault.

Worse, the current obsession with "compromise" in Washington boils down to the argument that Republicans should revert back to being part of the problem, enabling Obama to "invest" even more money in his pet schemes.

Romney is under no obligation to defend the Republican performance during the Bush years. Indeed, if he's serious about fixing what's wrong with Washington, he has an obligation not to defend it. This is an argument that the Tea Party -- which famously dealt Obama's party a shellacking in 2010 -- and independents alike are entirely open to. Voters don't want a president to rein in runaway Democratic spending; they want one to rein in runaway Washington spending.

Let Obama play the partisan blame game. He's the partisan insider this time. The role of bipartisan outsider is Romney's for the taking.

A well thought out article regarding spending.  I especially liked the part that compromise would make Republicans part of the problem.  That is very true. 

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