Monday, July 30, 2012

Update with 99 days to go

What’s New Today

Story #1 is today’s sign of desperation from the Obama Campaign.  #2 is a poll that shows after all the negative ads on Mr. Romney’s character, the voters don’t see any difference between Governor Romney and President Obama.  #3 reviews Romney’s speech in Israel.  #4 reviews the hope and change for 2012.  #5 shows that Obama is lying to himself.  #6 is a story about voter fraud.  #7 is an excellent article explaining while 2004 and 2012 are totally different.  #8 looks a sexual predators who are teaching in our schools.  

Today’s Thoughts

If you watched the opening ceremony of the London Olympics you were treated to homage to the NHS (Britain’s National Health Service).  Celebrating the NHS is definitely a left wing dream as in 2009, it was reported that approximately 300 patients died each year of malnutrition in British hospital wards. Starving their patients to death is not good medicine.

It appears Obama’s change on gay marriage has allowed Democrats to play the bigot card.  The problem is the card is overdrawn and doesn’t work anymore.  

A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show.  The program has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.   Obama doesn’t have a clue. 

 Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the Osama bin Laden “kill” mission  in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March.  Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book. 

1.  Signs of Desperation

David Axelrod’s anxiety over Barak Obama’s reelection chances is now on full display. In the latest personal e-mail from the Obama campaign, Axelrod starts to act paranoid:
You know what's kind of amazing?

That we're not getting blown away in the face of unprecedented, unlimited spending from super PACs, Mitt Romney, and all the other shadowy groups trashing Barack Obama nonstop.
Shadowy groups? Is he hallucinating? Perhaps his boss has reinstituted the Choom Gang and Axelrod has been puffing away – the donors to Romney’s campaign and pro-Romney Super PACs has received consistent and brutal scrutiny.

It’s worth noting the violent language here. For a campaign that whines about incivility on a regular basis to use the phrase “blown away” is inconsistent, to say the least.
Axelrod continues:

In June, nearly 80 percent of the money Romney and the Republicans raised came from just 6 percent of the donations they received -- and that's before we count the super PACs. The other side relies on fewer people giving more, and with this year's new rules, it's a lot more.

Even with all that, we're still in a position of strength heading into the final three months of this race, thanks to grassroots supporters like you. When I talk to a reporter or go on TV, I'm damn proud to tell people that….

I do believe the left is not only desperate, but delusional as well. 

2.  As Obama attacks Romney’s Character, voters see no difference

Mitt Romney holds thin advantages over President Obama on leadership, personal values and honesty, according to a new poll for The Hill.

The poll, conducted for The Hill by Pulse Opinion Research, suggests voters see little difference between the candidates on character issues that Democrats have cited as key to Obama’s appeal
It found 48 percent of voters consider Romney the stronger leader, compared to 44 percent who favored Obama.

Similarly, 47 percent of likely voters also said Romney most shares their values while 44 percent picked Obama.

When asked which candidate voters considered more honest and trustworthy, 46 percent said Romney and 44 percent said Obama — a result within the poll’s 3 percentage point margin of error.

The results may prompt new questions about the effectiveness of the Obama campaign’s effort to characterize Romney as a calculating former corporate executive who has little in common with ordinary voters….

If these factors are equal, what’s a voter to do?  Perhaps look at Obama’s record over the past three years?

3.  Romney’s Remarkable Speech in Jerusalem

Mitt Romney, the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee, delivered a stem winder of a speech to the Jerusalem Foundation yesterday, packing emotional support with frank policy statements. The contrast with Obama could hardly be more dramatic. Indeed, one could go through the speech and note the many refutations of Obama. For example, the opening comment that “To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land” directly contrasts with Obama’s crabbed statement in Cairo about “the aspiration for a Jewish homeland [being] rooted in a tragic history.”

Also, in contrast to the nonsensical Obama administration stance on Jerusalem being Israel’s capital — sneaking into change captions that mistakenly identified it as that and going through verbal gymnastics to avoid calling it that — Romney came out and plainly called Jerusalem “the capital of Israel.”…

But of the whole speech, it is the final words that most struck me: “May God bless America, and may He bless and protect the Nation of Israel.” When last did a politician ask the Lord to protect another country and not his own?

Comments: (1) Obama and Romney stand as far apart on Israel as they do on the sources of economic growth. (2) Over and over again, Romney returned to the moral bonds between the two countries; yes, there are mutual benefits from our connection, but ultimately it reflects something higher and greater than any of us. (3) If he is elected, it will be fascinating to watch to what extent the outlook expressed today will translate to the workaday policy issues. I expect it will have a substantial effect. 

Romney’s trip to Israel is a success by any measure.  Perhaps someday Obama can scout out Israel to see if he and the family should visit it on vacation. 

4.  Hope for Change

The presidential campaign remains very close, but some of the polling information must continue to cause alarm in the Obama campaign. Sixty-five percent of respondents in a recent Rasmussen Reports poll felt our nation was on the "wrong track," and surveys by National Public Radio and ABC News/Washington Post showed similar results. Sixty-four percent of respondents in a recent CBS News poll thought President Obama's policies have contributed "some" or "a lot" to the economic turndown. And as the election gets closer, the president's approval rating continues to lag below the all-important 50% mark in almost every survey.

Americans are frustrated over today's economy and worried about the direction of our country. To some degree they blame Mr. Obama for the weak economy and his policies for stifling economic growth. But our nation's overall dissatisfaction can also be attributed to a disappointment in the way that this president has governed.  The Obama administration has forced policies either by ramming them through Congress or implementing them unilaterally when lawmakers refused. And Mr. Obama's politics, contrary to his promise of postpartisanship, have been the most partisan and cynical we have seen in a long while. All this is obvious in many matters:

Taxes. Big tax hikes coming in January will serve as dampers on economic growth.  ObamaCare imposes a new 3.8% tax on investment income. On top of that, if the Bush tax increases aren't extended, the top income tax rates will rise to 23.8% from 15% on capital gains and to 43.4% from 15% on dividends….

…• Energy. The American people hear Mr. Obama talk about a broad energy strategy, but they see an administration that has attacked the coal industry with onerous regulations, done little or nothing to assist the natural gas boom, done what it can to slow down oil production, and wasted money on other initiatives that please green supporters but don't lower the cost of energy

Health care. Although ObamaCare remains unpopular, the Supreme Court ruling upholding it means that a 17% transfer of our economy from the marketplace to the control of the federal government is coming unless Congress and a President Romney can stop it. At a time when our nation needs lower taxes and more flexibility in health-care decisions, ObamaCare has increased taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars and allowed government to regulate most of our health care decisions….

So basically what the American people are seeing is that things cost more, are taxed more while the results are less than what it used to be.  Obama is toast in November. 

5.  Obama lies again—this time to himself

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has been slamming President Obama for a statement he made about the economy in a recent speech: "We tried our plan," Obama said, "and it worked." Taken out of context, it sounds like he is claiming credit for mending the economy. In context, however, it appears that Obama was referring to the Clinton years as the time when Democrats tried "our plan" -- a plan that included raising taxes -- and the economy did well.

As we noted last week, this is a revisionist view of the Clinton era, which produced its greatest economic boom only after Clinton cut taxes on high-income investors and inheritors in 1997. But it's not hard to see why Romney is playing up Obama's quote. It sounds damning because no one in America believes that Obama's economic plan has worked in any sense of the word -- not even the president himself can possibly believe it….

The only things Obama has left are lies and he apparently is doing what Dr. Goebbels said could happen.  “If you tell a lie often enough, pretty soon you’ll begin to believe it yourself.”

6.  NAACP Executive sentence for voter Fraud

While NAACP President Benjamin Jealous lashed out at new state laws requiring photo ID for voting, an NAACP executive sits in prison, sentenced for carrying out a massive voter fraud scheme.

In a story ignored by the national media, in April a Tunica County, Miss., jury convicted NAACP official Lessadolla Sowers on 10 counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots. Sowers is identified on an NAACP website as a member of the Tunica County NAACP Executive Committee.

Sowers received a five-year prison term for each of the 10 counts, but Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster permitted Sowers to serve those terms concurrently, according to the Tunica Times, the only media outlet to cover the sentencing.

“This crime cuts against the fabric of our free society,” Judge Webster said.

Sowers was found guilty of voting in the names of Carrie Collins, Walter Howard, Sheena Shelton, Alberta Pickett, Draper Cotton and Eddie Davis. She was also convicted of voting in the names of four dead persons: James L. Young, Dora Price, Dorothy Harris, and David Ross.

In the trial, forensic scientist Bo Scales testified that Sowers’s DNA was found on the inner seals of five envelopes containing absentee ballots….

The NAACP has had other problems with voter fraud. The NAACP National Voter Fund registered a dead man to vote in Lake County, Ohio, in 2004. That same year, out of 325 voter registration cards filed by the NAACP in Cleveland, 48 were flagged as fraudulent.

But the NAACP’s voter fraud record doesn’t approach that of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. At least 54 individuals employed by or associated with ACORN have been convicted of voter fraud….

Liberals still don’t believe voter fraud is a problem.  

7.  Will 2012 be a repeat of 2004?

…As in 2004, the incumbent has been running negative ads against the challenger, hoping to disqualify him as Bill Clinton disqualified Bob Dole in 1996. Many Democrats think that Barack Obama's attacks on Mitt Romney's business career will have the same effect that they think the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads had on John Kerry in 2004.

But, as William Galston of the Brookings Institution, an alumnus of the Clinton White House, writes in The New Republic, "the evidence in favor of all these propositions is remarkably thin."

Galston points out that in 2004 no single issue was as prominent as the economy is this year and that on most significant issues George W. Bush had a clear edge by the end of the campaign. He cites polling evidence that the Swift Boat ads hurt Kerry less than did Bush ads replaying his March statement that "I did actually vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."…

…But there are at least two other salient differences between 2004 and 2012.

One is that the 2004 election occurred during a period of unusual stability in American voting behavior.

In the preceding four congressional elections, Republicans won between 48 and 51 percent of the popular vote for the House and Democrats won between 46 and 49 percent. In 2004 the parties' percentages in both the presidential and congressional popular vote were within the same narrow ranges.

Since then, voting behavior has been much more volatile. In the last three congressional elections, Republicans' share of the House popular vote has ranged from 43 to 52 percent and Democrats' share from 45 to 54 percent.

In 2004, only three states cast their electoral votes for a different party than in 2000, and the margins were narrow in all cases.

In other words, almost all voters in 2004 were firmly committed to one party or the other. Bush political supremo Karl Rove was right in saying there were few uncommitted voters and that his campaign's big task was to turn out the faithful. The Kerry campaign operated on the same assumption.

But in recent years, lots of American voters, at least by historical standards, have flipped from one party to the other, and in both directions.

The conventional wisdom is that we know with certainty the identity of the dozen or so battleground states. But the list has changed since 2008.

In 2008, Obama carried Indiana and lost Missouri by only 3,903 votes. Today, Indiana and Missouri aren't on anyone's target list.

In contrast, most analysts' battleground list this year includes Michigan and Wisconsin, which Obama carried in 2008 with 57 and 56 percent of the vote…

Getting out the base isn’t enough in 2012.  There aren’t enough Democrats to reelect Obama.  Most of the polls that have it tied or Obama slightly ahead have demographics with the Democrats holding a 7-12 percent advantage over Republican voters.  That isn’t going to happen.  Right now Romney is up by approximately 5% with 4-5% undecided.  The undecided will break approximately 75% for Romney which means he’s likely to win by 8% or more. 

8.  Teacher’s Unions Protect Sexual Predators

By resisting almost any change aimed at improving our public schools, teachers unions have become a ripe target for reformers across the ideological spectrum. Even Hollywood, famously sympathetic to organized labor, has turned on unions with the documentary "Waiting for 'Superman'" (2010) and a feature film, "Won't Back Down," to be released later this year. But perhaps most damaging to the unions' credibility is their position on sexual misconduct involving teachers and students in New York schools, which is even causing union members to begin to lose faith.

In the last five years in New York City, 97 tenured teachers or school employees have been charged by the Department of Education with sexual misconduct. Among the charges substantiated by the city's special commissioner of investigation—that is, found to have sufficient merit that an arbitrator's full examination was justified—in the 2011-12 school year:

• An assistant principal at a Brooklyn high school made explicit sexual remarks to three different girls, including asking one of them if she would perform oral sex on him.

• A teacher in Queens had a sexual relationship with a 13-year old girl and sent her inappropriate messages through email and Facebook.

If this kind of behavior were happening in any adult workplace in America, there would be zero tolerance. Yet our public school children are defenseless.

Here's why. Under current New York law, an accusation is first vetted by an independent investigator. (In New York City, that's the special commissioner of investigation; elsewhere in the state, it can be an independent law firm or the local school superintendent.) Then the case goes before an employment arbitrator. The local teachers union and school district together choose the arbitrators, who in turn are paid up to $1,400 per day. And therein lies the problem. 

For many arbitrators, their livelihood depends on pleasing the unions (whether the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, or other local unions). And the unions—believing that they are helping the cause of teachers by being weak on sexual predators—prefer suspensions and fines, and not dismissal, for teachers charged with inappropriate sexual conduct. The effects of this policy are mounting….

There is a major problem with sexual abuse in the public schools even though you never hear about it. This problem has been estimate by Carol Shakeshaft as “likely more than 100 times the abuse by [Catholic] priests.”

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