Friday, May 11, 2012

Romney Leaps ahead of Obama

What’s new Today 

Story #1 has Romney’s advantage as Obama moves further to the left.  #2 shows the latest Rasmussen Poll with Romney up by 7%.  #3 has a heartwarming story for the book The Real Romney.  #4 is an interesting article on government regulations.  #5 looks at left wing nationalization of industries in Argentina.  #6 looks at the improvements in Wisconsin before the recall.  #7 looks at unionism and reality. 

Today’s thoughts

Wisconsin to the general election may be analogous to the Spanish Civil War to World War II that is a preview of what is to come. 

Bill Clinton thought so little of President Obamamocking him as an “amateur” — that he pressed his wife last summer to quit her job as secretary of state and challenge him in the primaries, a new book claims.  It’s worth reading about here.

The polls are starting to turn significantly against the Democrats.  Rasmussen has Obama down by 7% and Scott Walker up by 5% in Wisconsin.  This shouldn’t be a surprise.  Unemployment is above 8% even the way the government figures it and more and more Americans are dropping out of the labor force. 

1.  Romney’s advantage and Obama’s dilemma
Romney in this process has one advantage: Obama had to move left on policies and turn up the left-friendly rhetoric to get back his base, thereby potentially turning off critical moderate voters in swing states. Romney essentially (and ironically) has been able to keep his tone and positions consistent. He remains the “can fix it” businessman who is conservative in temperament but not ideologically driven. In other words, Romney hasn’t sacrificed his appeal to moderates while getting back his base, in large part because between Hilary Rosen and Obama’s “evolution” on gay marriage, his base came to him.

When you see a Web ad or hear an interview with one of the candidates, you should imagine how, for example, an under-employed worker in Ohio, a mother in Florida, a financial adviser in the Philly suburbs or a Hispanic small businessman in New Mexico would react. Those may be the voters in the sorts of places who haven’t already lined up with a candidate. They are influenced not only by the economy, but also by intangibles (Is this guy responsible? Could I stand hearing that one for four years?)
Given that those are the people in play, Romney has the advantage for now in focusing on the issues those particular voters care about. He also has an effective argument that on the issue they care most about, the economy, the president isn’t up to the job. Obama’s problem with these voters — who are indifferent to or slightly hostile to the idea of gay marriage, don’t much like a lot of name-calling and have been hobbled by the anemic recovery — remains: What is he going to say to them?
At some point, if Romney clears the bar that Republican challengers usually face (He’s not a nut, right?) Obama may find it difficult to devise an effective appeal to the most critical voters of all. If you think about it, just about everything Obama has done over the last year has been designed to corral the left. Now, what’s he going to do to win the voters who matter most?

The personal endorsement of gay marriage is not a winning move by Obama and the way he couched it, it appears he knows it.  It’s his personal opinion and it’s really a state’s issue so what it turns out to be is an attempt to satisfy the left that expected much more from him when he was elected in 2008.  He’s trying to goose up their voting numbers, but as this article points out, in doing so he is alienating the critical part of the voting public.

2.   Romney reaches 50% in Rasmussen Poll

Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll has Mitt Romney holding a seven-point lead over President Obama, with a 3 percent margin of error.

From the report:

This is the first time Romney has reached the 50% level of support and is his largest lead ever over the president. It comes a week after a disappointing jobs report that raised new questions about the state of the economy.

We are still six months away, but this doesn’t surprise me.  IF we were electing most popular, Obama might win.  But President requires more than being a nice guy. 

     3.  The Real Mitt Romney

It was shaping up to be a hard Christmas for Mark and Sheryl Nixon. They had recently moved their family to the Boston area. . .and didn’t know many people. And then. . .they got the kind of phone call every parent dreads. [Their sons] Rob and Reed had been driving back from a youth gathering at the Mormon meeting house. . .Shortly after leaving the parking lot, Reed lost control of the red Oldsmobile minivan. The car sideswiped a utility pole, struck two trees, and. . .flipped over. . . .In a flash, the two Nixon boys, standouts on the high school cross-country team, became quadriplegics. . . .

The family suddenly needed a major addition to their house. They needed a special van to transport their sons. Their financial and emotional burdens were vast. Shortly before the holidays. . .Mark Nixon, a professor of accounting at Bentley University outside Boston, got a call at his office. It was Mitt Romney. He said he wanted to help. Would they be home on Christmas eve? 

That morning. . .the Nixons opened their door to find not just Mitt but Ann Romney and their sons. They held large boxes. Inside were a massive stereo system for Rob. . .and a VCR for Reed. They’d also brought Reed a check, not knowing what else to get him. The Romneys stayed for a while. Their sons helped set up Rob’s new stereo. “What a Christmas surprise for the boys,” Sheryl wrote in her journal at the time.
The Nixons were floored. They shared a faith with Romney but didn’t really know him – they weren’t strangers, but neither were they friends. At that point, Romney held no formal leadership position in the Mormon church. He bore no direct ecclesiastical obligation to help. . . .What impressed the Nixons more than anything was that Mitt and Ann, despite their own packed holiday calendars, made a point of delivering the gifts themselves, spending time with family, and, by bringing their children with them, leading by example. . . .

That wasn’t all. Romney had also told Mark not to worry about Rob’s or Reed’s college education; he would pay for it. The Nixons, in the end, didn’t need to help. But Romney continued to quietly lend his hand. He participated in a 5K road race and fund-raiser for Rob and Reed at Bentley the next spring. He contributed substantial financial gifts toward golf tournament fund-raisers in subsequent years. 

With the crumbling bullying story of a teenage Mitt Romney, here’s a real story related in the book The Real Romney. 

         4.   Government regulations:  Do Barbers really need a license?

DO BARBERS REALLY NEED A LICENSE?   Dick Carpenter and Lisa Knepper of the Institute for Justice discuss their jaw-dropping licensing report in the Wall Street Journal today.  Among their findings:  Cosmetologists need, on average, 10 times as many days to fulfill their educational and training requirements (372) than emergency medical technicians (33). In fact, 66 ...

Whenever you discuss regulations with liberals they immediately accuse you have wanting to poison the air and water and kill children.  Perhaps we simply want a chance to get a cheap haircut. 

          5.   Nationalization—so how’s Argentina doing?

…Among the first moves Néstor Kirchner, Ms Fernández’s late husband, made on becoming president in 2003 was the renationalisation of Correo Argentino, the country’s postal service. At the time this was seen as a swipe at Grupo Macri, the concession holder, because the son of its boss had become an opposition politician. It turned out to be the start of a trend: Kirchner later took over the railways, a radio-spectrum operator, a shipyard and a water company. Since succeeding him in 2007, Ms Fernández has netted bigger fish: before grabbing YPF last month, she had expropriated Argentina’s private pension funds and its flagship airline.
 Under public control, the financial results of these firms range from mediocre to dismal. In the past year the government has spent nearly $3 billion to prop them up, and the official budget suggests that figure will double in 2012. AySA, the water company, and Aerolíneas Argentinas, the airline, have been particularly needy: they cost the state $972m and $840m last year. Though the firms lost money in private hands as well, their former owners say they struggled only because regulators subjected them to strict price controls.

The government has tried to downplay the importance of the losses by arguing that nationalisations were intended to provide public services, not to make money. But the companies have served their customers no better than they have the treasury. Buenos Aires and its suburbs have only three waste-water treatment plants for 10m residents, and often suffer flash floods that drench entire avenues. Just 47% of households in the region have sewerage, half the share in greater Santiago, Chile’s capital.

Meanwhile, only 56% of Aerolíneas Argentinas’ flights run on time, and the company sits near the bottom of most industry rankings. On its website Mariano Recalde, its boss—a former labour lawyer whose father is a pro-government congressman—vaunts its change of livery, which now features the national flag’s sky blue. “The Argentine colours rise with every take-off of an Aerolíneas flight,” he writes….

I especially liked the quote “The government has tried to downplay the importance of the losses by arguing that nationalisations were intended to provide public services, not to make money.”  They’ve certainly succeeded in not making money.  Single payer healthcare would provide similar results. 

          6.   Wisconsin’s back from the brink

Wisconsin has pulled back from the brink of fiscal insolvency after Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining and budget reforms, despite doomsday warnings of fiscal disaster.

Neighboring Illinois, whose Democratic governor opted for tax hikes, has not fared as well.

Wisconsin voters appear happy with Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s economic resurgence. Gov. Walker got 626,538 votes in his May 8 uncontested recall primary, more than the two main Democratic candidates combined.

That total is also more than all the GOP candidates combined in the contested 2010 GOP primary, as well as the highest voter turnout for a gubernatorial primary in 60 years.

Unemployment has dropped from 7.7 percent to 6.8 percent since Walker took office. Unemployment in neighboring Illinois, however, only dropped below 9 percent in March—the first time it has done so in two years.

Wisconsin property taxes have fallen for the first time in 12 years. The state’s adult debt per capita is roughly $687. Illinois’ is about $853.

The two states took divergent paths in 2010 in dealing with looming fiscal insolvency. While Walker pushed spending cuts and public sector reforms, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the state legislature floated $7 billion in new taxes, including a 67 percent individual income tax increase and a 46 percent corporate tax increase….

Things are looking good for Scott Walker in the upcoming recall election.  The latest poll had him up 50-45 percent over his Democratic challenger. 

         7.  Union Members Better Wake Up - Fast!

Americans need to be reschooled or in the case of young public school students schooled for the first time on what a business is. It is not a charity but is generally established primarily to make a profit. If it is successful it will be able to hire and pay good wages to hard workers. If it isn't it will either have to cut expenses or shut down.

One would think that in this horrible economy, those employed with a halfway decent job would hold on to it and yet union members are foolishly electing to strike thinking that union leadership have their best interest at heart. 

Last week, Caterpillar workers went out on strike for better wages and health care after negotiations fell apart. I would suggest that they do their homework and look up the case of the Stella D'Oro factory workers in the Bronx and wake up to reality. 

I watched an HBO documentary, "No Contract, No Cookies," which chronicled the 11-month old strike of workers protesting their unfair wages. The company owners maintained that the hourly wages of $18 to $22 an hour and nine weeks of paid leave made the factory unprofitable and demanded significant reductions in wages and benefits.
That's when the union bosses stepped in and organized a hard fought strike with picket lines throughout the fall, winter and spring as the recession deepened. 

The union sued the company and won their case in court, winning the right to return to work. Not one worker broke ranks and the documentary showed the glee on their faces as they learned the result of their suit. Happy ending? Not quite. 

Soon after they returned, the owners closed the factory…. 

To the more left wing reader, the answer seems clear, the government should force the owners to keep the factory going even if it is losing money.  To anyone with any education that idea only works for government jobs. 

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