Monday, May 28, 2012

Obama crossed the Rubicon

What’s New Today

Story #1 talks about Obama’s negative advertisement strategy and how it is being accepted by Democrats but not without some misgivings.  #2 talks about some of the drawbacks to negative campaigning.  Obama needs people who are pretty well off votes.  #3 looks at the lack of coverage of the Wisconsin recall.  #4 tells of Newport Beach billing the Obama campaign for a political fundraiser and the expenses they incurred to protect the president.  #5 relates how the NYTimes is looking into Ann Romney’s horseback riding.  It seems its front page news on the old senile gray lady.  #6 is great news for America and in fact all the Americas, but not for the anti-oil people. 

Today’s Thoughts

With the deluge of negative ads coming from the Democrats, Obama is being shown to be simply another politician and one with a terrible record at that.  

Newt Gingrich on Romney’s chances, given this economy, this level of deficits, this level of debt,” he is confident that Romney could “pull away” this fall.  

Despite the fact that the newspapers tell us that the majority of babies under that age of one are minority babies, that doesn’t mean whites will soon be in the minority.  It seems minority includes race and culture (Hispanic of which ½ are identified as white).  Right now 72% of babies under the age of one are white.  

Chris Hayes, of MSNBC's says he's uncomfortable ascribing valorous terms to fallen military because it's "rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war."  I’m uncomfortable calling Mr. Hayes a journalist because it gives justifications for his stupid remarks. 

1. Democrats approve of Obama strategy recognizing the risks
After nearly two weeks of heated debate over whether President Obama should attack Mitt Romney’s tenure at a private-equity firm, Democratic leaders across the country say they are largely united behind the strategy, even as some concede an uncertain outcome and new polls show Obama has lost ground nationally.

The Democratic leaders, in numerous interviews over the last week, said they are hearing little or no resistance among the party faithful in their states to a strategy that Republicans have characterized as anti-capitalist. And Obama has no plans to back off; his campaign will roll out more stories in the coming weeks that advisers said will again show Bain Capital as a corporate menace that protects profits at the expense of people and jobs….

Obama has to go that way because it is the only thing he’s got.  The problem is that even if it worked well out of the gate (which it hasn’t) six months of negative Obama will hurt him much more than Romney. 

2. Obama needs affluent voters to win

The ham-handed Barack Obama campaign attack ads on Mitt Romney's former firm Bain Capital have drawn a lot of ire from other Democrats.

And not just because they were sloppily fact-checked (the ads hit Romney for layoffs long after he left Bain) and because a leading Obama money bundler is a Bain executive himself.

Chiming in with various degrees of disapproval were Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker ("nauseating"), former Rep. Harold Ford, Obama car czar Steven Rattner, Sen. Mark Warner and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

There are other signs of unease among Democratic elites. Obama contributions from Silicon Valley and Wall Street have failed to match 2008 numbers.

But what about the voters? Will the Bain ads help Obama? Or could there be some Bain backlash at the polls?

Start with the fact that class warfare themes have less appeal than some people think. The last Democrat elected president on a class warfare platform was Harry Truman in 1948.

One reason is that affluent voters are turned off by demonization of the successful. Back in Truman's day, affluent voters outside the South voted Republican by huge percentages. There just weren't enough of them to elect Thomas Dewey.

Today, there are a lot more affluent people. The 2008 exit poll told us that 26 percent of voters had household incomes over $100,000. Half of them voted for Obama. He needs those votes again…

This is what happens when you don’t have a record you can run on.  You have to demonize the other guy and in doing so you risk a lot. 

3. What ever happened to the Wisconsin Recall?

The Wisconsin recall is a farce​—​a childish, union-sponsored tantrum that will cost the state’s taxpayers an estimated $18 million. Perhaps the greatest irony is that Democrats rarely discuss its ostensible cause: collective bargaining. Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee who is seeking to replace Walker, did not use the phrase in the speech he gave celebrating his victory in the Democratic primary earlier this month. Graeme Zielinski, spokesman for the Wisconsin Democratic party, told Mother Jones: “Collective bargaining is not moving people.” A recent poll of Wisconsin Democrats found that just 12 percent of those surveyed said “restoring collective bargaining rights of public employees” was the most important reason to remove Walker, well behind three other choices.

There’s a reason the governor’s reforms have gone from being the center of the anti-Walker movement to a talking point to be avoided. They’ve worked. Walker took office with a projected deficit of $3.6 billion, and in two years he’s erased it. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue projected last month that the state will have a budget surplus of $154 million by the summer of 2013…

One sign that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is likely to win the election on June 5 is the sudden disappearance of national media attention to the race. The networks and newspapers that gave wall-to-wall coverage to protests in the streets of Madison in the spring of 2011 and excitedly reported on the drive to collect signatures to force a recall have gone relatively quiet as a succession of polls show Walker leading by 5 points or more. State Democrats are complaining that national Democrats aren’t devoting the time and resources necessary to defeat Walker; national Democrats are whispering to reporters that they’d warned their Wisconsin counterparts against a costly recall effort. David Axelrod has made comments in recent days downplaying the significance of the recall beyond Wisconsin. Obama himself, who once promised to walk the picket lines with his union backers when their interests were threatened, seems to want no part of the recall​—​or at least not a high-profile part…

Things are not looking good for the Democrats in Wisconsin or nationally.  I think rather than worrying about winning in November, the Democrats will be moving to damage control rather quickly. It’s not a question of will they lose.  It’s a question of how bad it will be. 

4. Newport Beach Bills Obama

The overwhelmingly Republican, exceedingly wealthy Southern California beach town of Newport Beach has slapped the Obama campaign with the bill for its February fundraising visit to the Corona del Mar neighborhood. The affluent community's City Manager Dave Kiff is behind the unprecedented billing, arguing that since the visit was campaign-related, not official presidential business, the Obama campaign should pay for the increased security, as would any private event. The bill's due date of June 9 is fast approaching, but there has been as yet no response from the Obama campaign offices in Chicago.

Seems fair to me?  What do you think?

5. NYT—the gray lady is going senile

Leave it to the New York Times to greet its vast audience of Sunday edition readers with a front-page hit job on Ann Romney. Everyone knows that Mitt Romney’s wife, along with his flock of sons, is one of his greatest strengths. Ann Romney is beautiful, smart, a great campaigner, and an all-around asset to Mitt Romney’s campaign for the presidency.

So what does the old “paper of record,” as it used to be called before everyone realized it is a left-liberal rag that regularly fails to separate outright propaganda from its news stories, do to tarnish Ann Romney?
It does the only thing possible. Run a story to prove what we already know: The Romneys are rich, they are part of the hated 1% (to use OWS lingo), and Mrs. Romney is someone who engages in a horse sport called “dressage.” Yes, it is so rare that you undoubtedly never heard of it before.

The Times informs us in the second paragraph that the sport attracts “wealthy women” in particular; that the horses who are in it cost “seven figures”; that Ann Romney goes on horse buying trips to Europe; and that Ann and Mitt floated a loan of $250,000 to $500,000 to one Jan Ebeling, Ann’s tutor in the sport and a horse scout….

So Obama’s connection with Bill Ayers isn’t an issue we should look at, but Ann Romney’s “dressage” is something that should be on the front page of the NYT. 

6. Here’s Hope and Change we can believe in even if Obama won’t

From Canada to Colombia to Brazil, oil and gas production in the Western Hemisphere is booming, with the United States emerging less dependent on supplies from an unstable Middle East. Central to the new energy equation is the United States itself, which has ramped up production and is now churning out 1.7 million more barrels of oil and liquid fuel per day than in 2005.

“There are new players and drivers in the world,” said Ruben Etcheverry, chief executive of Gas and Oil of Neuquen, a state-owned energy firm that is positioning itself to develop oil and gas fields here in Patagonia. “There is a new geopolitical shift, and those countries that never provided oil and gas can now do so. For the United States, there is a glimmer of the possibility of self-sufficiency.”

Oil produced in Persian Gulf countries — notably Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq — will remain vital to the world’s energy picture. But what was once a seemingly unalterable truth — that American oil production would steadily fall while the United States remained heavily reliant on Middle Eastern supplies — is being turned on its head…

Of course this takes away two of the main reasons for the government to give money to “green” energy.  First, it removes the peak oil argument.  Second it removes the self-sufficiency argument.  All that is left is “global warming” and that’

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