Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wisconsin and other Democratic disappointments

What’s New Today

Story #1 tells us it is beginning.  We are starting to hear the excuses for the coming election.  #2 tells of why Obama will try to dump Biden.  Hillary would be a great choice, but it is doubtful she will do it.  She gains almost nothing by joining the sinking ship and risks a lot.  #3 Eliot Spitzer think Obama should run on his record.  Of course he also thinks we’ve been using Keynesian economics for the past 70 years.  I guess he was busy in a bawdy house from 1980 to 2008.  #4 tells how the Democrats are claiming the NYT poll is biased.  It is, but it is biased toward the Democrats.  #5 tells you to remember to be careful what you ask for because what you end up getting may not be the results you were looking for especially in Wisconsin.  #6 lays out the problems in California which may act as a warning to the country.  #7 looks at what the Democrat policies mean to the cost of energy. 

Today’s Thoughts

I saw an interesting article today questioning whether we are no longer close to peak oil and we may have passed peak government.  

On the View on Tuesday, Obama told the people not to comparing him to the Almighty.  I’ve never made that mistake, have you?  

Doug Ross in his blog posted a list of translation from Californese to Texan.  Some of the translations include: Arsenal of Weapons (C)-- Gun Collection (T).. Delicate Wetlands (C)-- Swamp (T).. Undocumented Worker (C) -- Illegal Alien (T).

Latest news on the Zimmerman case shows that Zimmerman had a broken nose, multiple abrasions, and a hurt back while Trayvon Martin had bruised knuckles.  It seems the facts are supporting Zimmerman’s version of what happened. 

1. And it begins…

Asked during a television interview how close he expected the result of November's presidential election to be, Mr Obama said: "When your name is Barack Obama, it's always tight".
After a host noted that his full name was "Barack Hussein Obama," he repeated this twice, stressing the middle name that has led conspiracy theorists to claim erroneously that he is secretly Muslim.
The remarks, made on ABC's The View, appeared to be a rare admission by Mr Obama that four years after he became the first black US president, his ethnicity continues to repel some American voters. 

Asked "why do you say that now, after four years?" Mr Obama appeared to gather his thoughts and said: "I think it's going to be tight because the fact of the matter is, the country has gone through a very difficult time – the worst financial crisis, the worst economic crisis, since the 1930s."

It’s beginning already.  Obama and the Democrats are getting their excuses in line.  When he is defeated, it won’t be because he’s failed, but rather the American public has failed.  They couldn’t support a black man.  They were too prejudiced to elect someone who believed in common decency and gay marriage. And in the final analysis, it was Bush’s fault, but he’s having to pay for it. 

2. Expect a Desperate Obama to Dump Biden
Vice President Joe Biden isn't invited to Sunday campaign strategy meetings at the White House, The New York Times reported May 4.
President Barack Obama designated Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., his top surrogate on foreign policy issues, fueling speculation he'd be secretary of state in a second Obama administration.
So Washington is abuzz with rumors the president will replace Mr. Biden with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
He ought to. Slow Joe is a national embarrassment….
…Something stupid the vice president says makes news nearly every week. Last week he suggested to a group of rabbis that the Bush administration was to blame for the Iranian nuclear weapons crisis, as opposed to Iran.
Mr. Biden may suffer from logorrhea, which Merriam-Webster defines as "pathologically excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness that is characteristic especially of the manic phase of bipolar disorder." So what the White House calls "Joe Bombs" will keep on coming, a prospect which must chill Team Obama.
But there are downsides to dumping him. The move would reek of desperation.
Dumping a loyal supporter, however feckless, would seem ruthless and selfish. These are not traits a president wants foremost in voters' minds when he's hoping that his personal-approval ratings will compensate for his low job-approval ratings.
If Mr. Obama dumps Slow Joe, he'd be admitting he chose poorly in 2008. This president can't afford to give voters more reasons for questioning his judgment.

I have no doubt that this has been talked about.  The question is whether Clinton would take the job.  The upside would be the VP is a kick off point to get the Democrat Nomination in 2016.  But she probably can have it then anyway and there is no guarantee they would win.   Another downside is if they win anything that goes wrong in the next four years would be her fault and would distract from her electability.  

3. Spitzer wants Obama to run on his Record

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," former Gov. Eliot Spitzer (why do they give him a forum?) offered the Democratic Party's defense of the Obama economy. The Republicans, Spitzer sputtered "want to go back to medieval medicine, the bloodletting, leeches. They want to go back to the very crazy economics that brought us over the cliff and created a cataclysm."

Ah, ABC must have hired him for his high-minded contribution to the debate. Spitzer continued: "What we tried here under Barack Obama is Keynesian economics, restructure the economy, invest where you need to. It worked for 70 years. It will work in the next 100 years. That is what the public should focus on."
Spitzer must not have been paying attention when we experienced stagflation in the 1970s -- impossible under the Keynesian model. Does Spitzer really want the public to focus on the Obama economic record? The president doesn't seem to. He scarcely mentions the nearly $1 trillion economic stimulus, Dodd-Frank or Obamacare. He seems more eager to talk about free contraceptives, gay marriage and bashing the rich. Obama doesn't seem to think there's anything to boast about. In fact, he's been creative about finding excuses. The financial crisis was worse than we knew, he says. Or it was the Japanese earthquake, the European debt crisis or the Arab Spring.

Let's take Spitzer up on his invitation and focus on the economic record. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was supposed to jump-start the economy and keep unemployment below 8 percent, clearly failed. Unemployment topped 10 percent after the stimulus became law and has remained above 8 percent since.

Spitzer’s attack on the Republicans certainly seems to fit Jonah Goldberg’s latest book, Tyranny of Cliches.  Medieval medicine?  The bloodletting?  Leeches?  And when was the last time you heard him mention Obamacare? 

4. NYT poll biased?
It's not the first time the New York Times has been accused of bias, but it may be the funniest. Charlie Spiering of the Washington Examiner reports that the charge was leveled this morning by the Obama campaign. MSNBC host Chuck Todd asked deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter to comment on the latest Times/CBS News poll, and she said: "The methodology was significantly biased." She then "said that she didn't want to bore the viewers with talk of methodology, but repeated that she believed the poll was flawed." Pressed by Todd, she said: "It's a biased sample, so they re-biased the same sample." Glad she cleared that up.

The Time’s headline finding was that an overwhelming majority of respondents, 67%, think the president backed same-sex marriage last week "mostly for political reasons," while only 24% think he did it "mostly because he thinks it is right." This column agrees with the 24% more than the 67%, but in any case Obama has managed a neat trick: He has managed to look like a cynical opportunist while taking an unpopular position.

This poll was biased, toward the Democrats.  Looking at the demographics it had 36% Democrats, 30% Republicans and 34% Independents.  Of course it then appears that Democrats are suspicious of Obama’s motives too.    

5. Be Careful what you ask for

The labor movement and its left-wing allies in the Democratic Party thought they were doing something extremely clever when they reacted to their defeats at the hands of Scott Walker in the Wisconsin legislature by starting a recall campaign. The recall enabled the losers of the 2010 election where Walker and the GOP swept to power in the state to, in effect, get a do-over in which they could act as if the previous result didn’t really count. But as the latest polls from Wisconsin show, they are on the eve of a catastrophic loss that will not only leave Walker in power and stronger than ever but also deal the Democrats a crucial loss that may be a harbinger of more setbacks in the fall.

The latest We Ask America poll in Wisconsin shows Walker expanding his lead over the Democratic alternative, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Walker, who was shown in previous polls to have a smaller advantage, now is ahead by a decisive 52-43 margin. With Walker going over the 50 percent mark for the first time in this race, this is a devastating result as it was assumed that once the Democrats picked their candidate the race would get closer. Instead, Barrett’s victory in the Democratic primary over a candidate preferred by the unions seems to have reminded Wisconsin voters that they already had a choice between Walker and Barrett in 2010 and picked the former….

….Walker stood his ground last year and passed measures that will prevent municipal and state worker unions from holding the state hostage and bringing it to the edge of bankruptcy. His effort to remove some — though not all — of their collective bargaining rights led to his demonization in the press and a vicious campaign aimed at making it impossible for Walker to govern.

But rather than making an example out of him and showing that any challenge to union domination of state government will be punished, the recall may turn out to have the opposite effect. It may not only elevate Walker to a figure of national stature. It could effectively demonstrate that the power of the union movement is finished….

What appears to be happening is not what the Democrats and the Unions thought would happen or what they need to happen.  A loss here will be a blow for both the unions and the Democrats.

6. California:  A warning of things to come

Recently, I was driving down pot-holed, two-lane, non-freeway 101 near Monterey (unchanged since the 1960s) when the radio blared that on a recent science test administered to public schools, California scored 47th in the nation. As I looked at the congested traffic on the decrepit highway and digested the idea that our public schools are competitive only with Mississippi and Alabama, I wondered — is that what we get for a more than 10 percent income tax, 10 percent state and local sales taxes, and the highest gas taxes in the nation?

To sum up why California has yet another deficit — this time a $16 billion whopper — is pretty easy: The number of demonized one-percenters who pay over 10 percent in their salary to the state has been shrinking, as thousands flee with their ideas, energy, business, and capital to nearby no-tax states, and others make less money due to more and more costs and regulations — while the number of those receiving all sorts of state housing, food, medical, education, and legal support is soaring. (In crude parlance, California increasingly is seen by some as a very bad deal, in terms of the sort of schools, safety, transportation, and housing per taxes paid in comparison to Reno, Tahoe, or Austin, but by far more people as a very good deal in comparison to the costs versus benefits in, for example, Oaxaca or El Salvador.)
In the last two decades, the number added to the prison rolls (ca. 115,000) was not that much smaller than the number of new tax-filers (150,000). And of the last 10 million added to the state’s population, 7 million are on Medicaid.

But California being California, such reductionist thinking is taboo, and we are not allowed to make any suggestion that there is a connection between fleeing entrepreneurs, massive and illegal influxes of undocumented foreign nationals in recent years, and record public salaries and unfunded pensions….

70 percent of the people who have been added to California’s population are on Medicaid?  California is one of the 50 experiments that show us the results of policy decisions.  Progressivism doesn’t work.

7. Obama, the Greens and the Cost of Energy

[T]wenty-nine states (and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) have required utility companies to deliver specified minimum amounts of electricity from “renewable” sources, including wind and solar power. California recently adopted the most stringent of these so-called renewable portfolio standards (RPS), requiring 33 percent of its electricity to be renewable by 2020. …
But this patchwork of state rules—which now affects the electricity bills of about two-thirds of the U.S. population as well as countless businesses and industrial users—has sprung up in recent years without the benefit of the states fully calculating their costs. …

[W]e have compared the costs of electricity in RPS [renewable portfolio standards] and non-RPS states, using price information from the EIA. Our analysis has revealed a pattern of mostly higher costs in states with RPS mandates:

* In 2010, the average price of residential electricity in RPS states was 31.9 percent higher than it was in non-RPS states. Commercial electricity rates were 27.4 percent higher, and industrial rates were 30.7 percent higher.

The progressives tell us about global warming and berate us if we question them.  But their policies will hurt the country and the people who live here. 

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