Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Executive problems and privilege

What’s New Today

Story #1 is a look at the meaning of Executive Privilege in regard to Fast and Furious.  #2 has a good explanation of the auto bailout.  #3 looks at the white working class and wonders what happened to its place at the democratic table.  #4 show it appears the independence are moving away from Obama.  #5 looks at the problems Obama has this coming election. 

Today’s Thoughts

At a protest in Michigan, the anti-Romney protesters admitted to being paid.  Who says Obama isn’t creating jobs!

We are starting to hear comments about racists white voters being the cause of Obama’s woes.  Actually, the white vote was much more evenly split than was the black vote that went 96% for Obama.  

It seems a passenger grabbed the crotch of a TSA supervisor in Fort Myer’s airport.  She was showing the supervisor how she was manhandled.  If they charge her with anything doesn’t that mean the TSA is committing the same offense? 

1.  Executive Privilege

President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege today is a bit like the kickoff for the NFL regular season. It doesn’t end the Fast and Furious scandal; it just takes it to another level. Everything so far was the pre-season. Now people will start to pay attention.

A president doesn’t assert executive privilege lightly. It is a relic from the powers of the king. Some things were not for parliament’s eyes, such as national security statecraft. This new phase of the Fast and Furious scandal begins with Americans who had paid no attention to the scandal hearing the news today and asking, “what are they trying to hide?”

The new phase might possibly include members of the old media asking why the Most Transparent Administration in History, isn’t. Or, it might see them going all out to defend their president.

Pay attention to how often they use the term “botched” gun running operation. This is government-generated language. If you read Pavlich’s book, you know there was nothing “botched” about Fast and Furious except the architecture. The government wants you to think the builders screwed up, not the anti-Second Amendment architects….

This really is a bad move for the president.  It doesn’t make people suddenly pay attention wondering what are they trying to hide. 

2. Obama didn't save Detroit, he saved the Unions

“When my opponents and others were arguing that we should let Detroit go bankrupt,” President Obama said in Cleveland Thursday, “we made a bet on American workers and today our auto industry is back on top of the world.”

This is true. Obama’s opponents, including Mitt Romney, did argue that General Motors and Chrysler should go bankrupt. But what Obama consistently leaves out of the story is that he did, in fact, let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt.

He just did so in a way that violated every fundamental principle of America’s bankruptcy code, undermined the rule of law, and cost taxpayers an extra $26.5 billion.

Bankruptcy expert and George Mason University Law School professor Todd Zywicki and Heritage Foundation labor expert James Sherk exposed the truth this week in their new paper: “Auto Bailout or UAW Bailout?  Taxpayers Losses Came from Subsidizing Union Compensation. “

President Bush initiated the auto bailout in 2008 when he diverted parts of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to GM and Chrysler to keep them running through the first several months of the Obama presidency.

In exchange for an eventual $80 billion total in bailout funds, the Obama administration forced both Chrysler and General Motors into bankruptcy. Both firms ceased to exist as they had for decades, and then “sold” all of their assets to new “General Motors” and “Chrysler” companies.

In a normal bankruptcy process, a bankruptcy court has a number of powers at its disposal to ensure that: 1)the emerging companies are financially competitive, 2) creditor interests are protected, and 3) all workers are treated fairly. Obama either abused or ignored all of these powers, always to the benefit of unions, and always to the detriment of taxpayers, non-union workers, and investors.

First, Section 1113 of the Bankruptcy Code empowers courts to rewrite labor contracts to make the surviving companies more competitive. Obama failed to exercise this power. Just ask Obama’s Car Czar Steve Rattner who recently admitted, “We should have asked the UAW to do a bit more. We did not ask any UAW member to take a cut in their pay.”…

I loved the line, “When my opponents and others were arguing that we should let Detroit go bankrupt, we made a bet on American workers and today our auto industry is back on top of the world.”  Followed by “what Obama consistently leaves out of the story is that he did, in fact, let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt.”

3.  The White Working Class will determine who will be President

What's up with the white working class vote? For years the horny-handed blue collar worker was the star of the New Deal Democratic coalition. It was for him, and his wife and family, that Democrats taxed the rich, invented Social Security and supported militant labor unions.

Well, that was then and this is now. White working class voters -- or white non-college voters, the exit poll group most closely approximating them -- are now a mainstay of the Republican coalition.

Ronald Brownstein, a clear-sighted and diligent analyst of demographic voting data, provided some useful perspective in his most recent National Journal column. His bottom line is that in order to win this year, Mitt Romney must capture two-thirds of white non-college voters -- about the same percentage that voted for Ronald Reagan in his 1984 landslide re-election.

The reason Romney must do so well is that white non-college voters are a smaller part of the electorate now than they were then. In 1984 they comprised 61 percent of all voters. In 2008 they comprised 39 percent.
The good news for Romney is that Republicans have been running near these levels for some time. In 2008 the white non-college vote went 58 to 40 percent for John McCain. In 2010 the white non-college vote for the House of Representatives was 63 to 33 percent Republican. Current polling shows Obama at about 33 percent among this group.

Another way to look at it is that in 1984, white non-college voters came in 7 percent more Republican than the national average. In 2008 and 2010 they came in 11 to 12 percent more Republican than average….

The Democratic Party used to be the party of the working man.  Not anymore.  They are a coalition that while having the union bosses, don’t have they union member.  And with all the talk by the MSM that the non-white vote, the unmarried women vote, and highly educated vote will determine the election, the truth is the workingman vote is bigger than any of these and they will determine who will be president in 2013. 

4.  Independent Voters Souring on Obama

Eleanor Clift, writing in The Daily Beast, reports on a focus group of a dozen independent voters. The bottom line? They are souring on Obama – including many of those who voted for him in 2008.
To be specific, Democratic pollster Peter Hart gathered a group (sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center) in Denver last week. Nine of the 12 people voted for Obama four years ago. Today, only three lean toward him. Among the findings: (a) independents “aren’t biting” when it comes to the attacks on Mitt Romney on Bain Capital; (b) to the degree the public believes the economy is improving, the president doesn’t get the credit for it; (c) the president simply is not connecting with the voters he needs to win; and (d) there’s “no sense of leadership” emanating from the president.
“Whether it’s a failure of policy or of communications is debatable,” according to Clift, “but the sense of disillusionment with Obama’s performance is real.”

“He set up expectations that began 46 months ago, and they only grew over time,” according to Hart.
One man, a 31-year-old Web designer and home remodeler who voted for Obama in 2008, said, “The whole platform was hope—I don’t feel any more hope today.”

Pressed by Hart as to which candidate he was leaning toward, this person admitted, “I don’t even know if I’m going to vote this time.” In Hart’s view, the young Web designer should be in Obama’s corner, and the fact that he isn’t is emblematic of the president’s problems...

This is why Obama will go down big in November.  He isn’t making the sale nor does he deserve to.  I remember Jimmy Carter telling us as we got close to the 1980 election, “I’ve learned so much.”  I don’t think Obama can even make this claim. 

5.  Obama’s problems

The next five months should be interesting — given that Barack Obama is now experiencing something entirely unique in his heretofore stellar career: widespread criticism of his performance and increasing weariness with his boilerplate and his teleprompted eloquence.

Starting with his Occidental days, and going on through Columbia, Harvard, Chicago, the U.S. Senate, and the 2008 campaign, rarely has Mr. Obama faced much criticism, much less any accountability that would involve judging his rhetoric by actual achievement.

Yet what worked for so long now does no longer. Obama simply cannot run on 40 months of 8 percent–plus unemployment, a June 2009 recovery that sputtered, $5 trillion in new debt, serial $1 trillion–plus annual deficits, and dismal GDP growth. Few believe any more that what he and the Democratic Congress passed in the first two years of his administration worked — and fewer still that the Republicans are to blame in the last 17 months for stopping him from pursuing even more disastrous policies. He cannot turn instead to the advantages of Obamacare, a dynamic foreign policy, national-security sobriety, a scandal-free administration, or stellar presidential appointments. The furor over security leaks makes it harder to keep conjuring up the ghost of Osama bin Laden.

What then to expect if the race remains tight or Obama finds himself behind?

1.      There will be lots more “the dog ate my homework” excuses for the dismal economy…

I personally don’t think the race will remain tight.  It will through the conventions but as the populace begins to pay attention, Romney will start to pull away.   

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