Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Small business vs big government

What’s New Today

Story #1 looks at lemonade stands realizing the kid didn’t build it on their own.  #2 looks at Romney’s fundamental flaw.  #3 is another look at polls and their demographics.  #4 talks about Obama’s uphill battle.  If  he wins a close one he will be the first incumbent to do so getting fewer votes than he did in his first election. #5 discusses Obama’s negative campaigning and asks how it is going.  Not too well.  #6 finds that the left is anti-science if it violates their political beliefs. 

Today’s Thoughts

Barack Obama said: we tried our plan — and it worked.”  He said that in Oakland California where the unemployment rate is 13.7%.  I think Obama’s new strategy is the one used in the movie Guide for a Married Man.  Simply deny reality.

In 1991, murder peaked in the United States when there were 9.8 deaths per 100,000 people.  That rate has declined over the last 20 years so that in 2010, the last year for which statistics are available, there were 4.8 deaths per 100,000.  In other words, the rate has been cut in half.

Wisconsin’s Democratic Party no longer has the Majority.  Having just won the majority last month in a recall election, they lost it when Senator Jim Cullen left the Democratic party.  The Republicans are expected to win it back in November.

On Tuesday, UPS reduced its forecast for 2012, saying it expected GDP growth to be 1 percent in the second half of the year.

1.  Lemonade Stands:  You didn’t build it on your own
Here we have a number of cases of how President Obama was correct.  These kids had a lemonade stand and let’s face it they “DID NOT” build their businesses on their own.  Parents helped, a lot.   But guess who stopped them from being successful?  That’s right, Obama’s savior (government) is saving us all from lemonade of unknown origin possibly hurting the general public.  

2.  Romney’s fundamental flaw

One was the divorced son of an alcoholic shoe salesman; another, the stepson of an alcoholic car salesman; still another, the self-proclaimed "black sheep" of his family.

The history of the American presidency is a history of men who have suffered -- and largely overcome -- humble beginnings, immense family hardships, profound personal tragedies, and humiliating public failures.

To put it another way, when considering whom they want to lead them, Americans naturally gravitate toward flawed characters – people whose success is rooted in failure, and whose lives contain the familiar arc of a redemption narrative.

But Mitt Romney doesn't fit this mold. In fact, he may be the least flawed presidential candidate in recent American history. His main flaw, it seems, is that he doesn't really have one….

This doesn’t keep Obama from trying to pin one on him.  From how he treated his dog to when he left Bain Capital, BHO is trying to find a fatal flaw for Romney.  So far no luck. 

3.  Polls and Party Affiliation

In its 2012 American Values Survey, the Pew Research Center identified a new and profound dividing line in American politics. “Americans’ values and basic beliefs,” Pew concluded, “are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years.” Partisan identification, Pew added, “has now become the single largest fissure in American society, with the values gap between Republicans and Democrats greater than gender, age, race or class divides.”

Pollsters should bend over backwards to make sure their sampling methodology reflects this insight. Oversample the adherents of one party or the other, Pew’s research tells us, and you might as well toss the entire poll onto the trash heap.

Perhaps this is why President Obama’s standing in the polls is higher than one might expect, given the steady stream of negative economic news. Pollsters may be getting this all-important criterion of valid polling — the correct ratio of Republicans to Democrats — wrong…

The Post poll found the two candidates in a dead heat — 47 percent to 47 percent. Obama’s job-approval rating remained stuck at 47 percent, and his disapproval checked in at a disappointing, but politically manageable, 49 percent. Slightly more than half of Americans disapproved of his handling of the major policy issues.
But lost in all the analysis is that the poll may have included far too many Democrats and too few Republicans in its sample; 33 percent of those surveyed were Democrats, and only 24 percent were Republicans. That cuts against the voluminous data on partisan affiliation collected by the Gallup Organization.
According to Gallup, Democrats outnumbered Republicans nationally by up to nine percentage points for a considerable spell. But over the past few years, the GOP has erased that advantage. In the most recent Gallup data, from June, the two parties are at absolute parity, with 30 percent of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats, 30 percent as Republicans, and 39 percent as independents. This partisan parity remains largely in place even when Gallup adds “leaners” (independents who lean toward one party or the other) to the GOP and Democratic numbers.

Reconfiguring the Post poll to reflect Gallup’s findings would dramatically alter the top-line numbers. Romney’s strength would rise significantly as Obama’s fell. Romney, it turns out, may actually be ahead by as much as four or five points….

Always check the polls demographics.  It will tell you the true state of the race.  Then with the uncommitted, give 75% to Romney. 

4.  Obama’s uphill battle

Quick, now. Try to name big segments of the electorate, or even prominent individuals, who opposed Barack Obama in 2008 but have joined his campaign for re-election. Difficulty in answering that question caused even the president, in a fleeting moment of candor, to suggest that he could easily lose the White House.

On May 10, Obama soured the mood of enthusiastic donors at a Seattle fundraiser by telling them that "this election is actually going to be even closer than the last." In other words, he knows that he has lost supporters, rather than gaining them, during his three-and-a-half years of leadership.

A "closer election" means that one of the few iron rules of U.S. politics indicates he'll lose his bid for a second term.  History offers not one example of a chief executive whose popular appeal declined during his first term of office but nonetheless managed to eke out a re-election victory, as Obama proposes to do. Among the 24 elected presidents who sought second terms, all 15 who earned back-to-back victories drew more support in bids for re-election than they did in their previous campaigns…

This isn’t rocket science.  If a president runs for reelection and loses support, it most likely means he’s not be successful.  Regardless of Obama’s comment  “we tried our plan — and it worked,” it didn’t work and he knows it.

5.  Is Obama getting a bang for his buck

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign spent millions of dollars over the past few weeks in an advertising blitz aimed at negatively defining GOP challenger Mitt Romney -- an effort that, according to several national polls and political experts, has met with tepid results.

Those ads include a spot in heavy rotation with Romney singing "America the Beautiful" at a campaign event as out-of-context phrases from news reports such as "outsourced jobs to India" and "had millions in a Swiss bank account" appear on the screen. According to Vanderbilt University's Ad Rating Project, which polled 600 Democrats, Republicans and independents, 73% said the ad was "negative."
More than half of independents polled said they disliked the ad.

The Obama campaign is "trying to build a personality frame around Romney. 'Here's Richie Rich. He's out of touch with the public ...," said Paul Brewer, a professor and assistant director for research at the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication.

The blitz is all about the Obama campaign's attempt to introduce Romney to the American people before the GOP candidate has a chance to introduce himself, said Kenneth Goldstein, president of Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, a Washington-based firm that analyzes advertising spending on political and policy issues. 

"There's lots of people saying it didn't move the needle at all, and there's lots of people who say the (negative campaign ads) in June had a big influence in battleground states ...," Goldstein said. "What we do know is that there was not this huge shift."

The needle isn’t moving but it appears the pollsters have to stack the deck even further in Obama’s favor.  We are now getting polls with a 12% Democratic plurality.  When the actual election happens it is likely the Republicans will outnumber the democrats and Obama will lose big. 

6.  Are Liberals anti-science? 

Whoever said inquisitions and witch hunts were things of the past? A big one is going on now. The sociologist Mark Regnerus, at the University of Texas at Austin, is being smeared in the media and subjected to an inquiry by his university over allegations of scientific misconduct.

Regnerus's offense? His article in the July 2012 issue of Social Science Research reported that adult children of parents who had same-sex romantic relationships, including same-sex couples as parents, have more emotional and social problems than do adult children of heterosexual parents with intact marriages. That's it. Regnerus published ideologically unpopular research results on the contentious matter of same-sex relationships. And now he is being made to pay.

In today's political climate, and particularly in the discipline of sociology—dominated as it is by a progressive orthodoxy—what Regnerus did is unacceptable. It makes him a heretic, a traitor—and so he must be thrown under the bus.

Regnerus's study was based on a nationally representative sample of adult Americans, including an adequate number of respondents who had parents with same-sex relationships to make valid statistical comparisons. His data were collected by a survey firm that conducts top studies, such as the American National Election Survey, which is supported by the National Science Foundation. His sample was a clear improvement over those used by most previous studies on this topic.

Regnerus was trained in one of the best graduate programs in the country and was a postdoctoral fellow under an internationally renowned scholar of family, Glen Elder, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Full disclosure: I was on the faculty in Regnerus's department and advised him for some years, but was not his dissertation chair.) His article underwent peer review, and the journal's editor stands behind it. Regnerus also acknowledges the limitations of his study in his article, as he has done in subsequent interviews. And another recent study relying on a nationally representative sample also suggests that children of same-sex parents differ from children from intact, heterosexual marriages.

But never mind that. None of it matters. Advocacy groups and academics who support gay marriage view Regnerus's findings as threatening. (As an aside, that is unnecessary, since his findings can be interpreted to support legal same-sex marriage, as a way to counter the family instability that helps produce the emotional and social problems Regnerus and others have found.)

Regnerus has been attacked by sociologists all around the country, including some from his own department. He has been vilified by journalists who obviously (based on what they write) understand little about social-science research. And the journal in which Regnerus published his article has been the target of a pressure campaign…

Remind you of anything?  If you follow global warming at all, you have similar things going on. It appears the left believes in science unless it goes against their other beliefs. 

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