What’s New Today
Story numbers 1 to 3 are todays Signs of Desperation. #4 is a Poly Sci Prof’s look at the coming election. He doesn’t see it as being close. #5 talks about Obama and the Chicago way. #6 tells of the DNCC’s apology to Sheldon Adelson. #7 looks at how Progressivism slows growth and #8 is the story of Ted Cruz, a new Tea Party favorite.
July was a relatively good month for job creation with 163,000 new positions added, but the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent.
“In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a great shift occurred in what Alexis de Tocqueville called ‘habits of the mind’ -- or more exactly, habits of the lip. People stopped sneering at market innovativeness and other bourgeois virtues.” As attitudes changed, so did behavior, leading to more than two centuries of constant innovation and rising living standards. Obama is once again sneering at market innovations and other bourgeois virtues (You didn’t build that).
Rasmussen today shows Obama’s support at 43% vs Romney’s 47% with Obama facing a -23% strongly disapprove/strongly approve number. Of the people not in the strongly category, Romney needs to win 21% of them to win the presidency, while Obama needs to win 80% of them.
“In a little-noticed move, Solyndra LLC officially released it bankruptcy plan this week. The official word from it is that taxpayers will recover only $24 million of the about $527 million that the failed solar panel company drew from its $535 million federal loan guarantee, according to a report from Dow Jones newswire. So we are out $502 million. Thank you Barack Obama.
1.Signs of Desperation
President Obama spoke to supporters in Florida this afternoon, but was careful to stick to his script, relying heavily on his teleprompters.
The president campaigned without teleprompters last month when he made his controversial "you didn't build that remark about business owners.
A campaign aide insisted last week that Obama's slip up wouldn't change the campaign's teleprompter strategy.
“The attempts by the Romney campaign to make this into their rallying cry haven’t changed anything,” said a senior campaign official to the Hill, adding that Obama “has done events without a teleprompter since then.”
The teleprompter made Obama more of an automaton, but kept him out of trouble.
2. Signs of Desperation part 2
From a friend watching the Olympics: "How about that Michael Phelps? But let's remember he didn't win all those medals, someone else did. After all, he and I swam in public pools, built by state employees using tax dollars. He got training from the USOC, and ate food grown by the Department of Agriculture. He should play fair and share his medals with people like me, who can barely keep my head above water, let alone swim."
The note was merry and ironic. And as the games progress, we'll be hearing a lot more of this kind of thing, because President Obama's comment—"You didn't build that"—is the political gift that keeps on giving.
They are now the most famous words he has said in his presidency. And oh, how he wishes they weren't.
There was lots of chatter this week about the decision to have Bill Clinton speak in prime time on the penultimate night of the Democratic Convention. Is it a sign of panic? Would the president give Big Dawg such a prominent spot if he wasn't nervous? Does it gall him to ask for help from the guy who said of his 2008 candidacy, "This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen"?
But all this kind of misses the point.
The central fact of Bill Clinton is that he is really good at politics. And he has every reason to want to give a really good speech—to show he's still got it like nobody else, to demonstrate he's still the most beloved figure in the party, to do his wife proud. And of course to rub Mr. Obama's nose in it….
Clinton speaking is one of those good news/bad news items for the Obama Administration. He can do a great job, but does that help them or simply remind the Democratic faithful how disappointed they find themselves after almost 4 years of Obama?
3. Signs of Desperation part 3
On July 17th, the Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Ohio Democratic Party filed suit in OH to strike down part of that state's law governing voting by members of the military. Their suit said that part of the law is "arbitrary" with "no discernible rational basis."
Currently, Ohio allows the public to vote early in-person up until the Friday before the election. Members of the military are given three extra days to do so. While the Democrats may see this as "arbitrary" and having "no discernible rational basis," I think it is entirely reasonable given the demands on servicemen and women's time and their obligations to their sworn duty…
Can you spell hypocrisy? How about D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T-S. The Democrats are suing states for having voter ID laws while trying to keep military voters down (they vote overwhelmingly Republican).
4. Political Scientist: Obama will lose in a near Landslide
Political Scientist Douglas Hibbs looks at two factors when forecasting presidential elections: a) per capita real disposable personal income over the incumbent president’s term, and b) cumulative U.S. military fatalities in overseas conflicts.
And he’s predicting a near-landslide win for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama, with Obama losing by about as big a margin in 2012 as he won back in 2008. Under Hibbs Bread and Peace model, Romney wins 52.5% to Obama’s 47.5%.
First, here is how Hibbs sees the “peace” part of his equation.
To project Obama’s 2012 vote I’ll make the plausible assumption that American military fatalities in Afghanistan continue running at the (politically relatively low) average quarterly rate of the past year: 95 or 0.3 per millions of population. At Election Day cumulative Fatalities then would amount to approximately 1500 or 4.8 per millions of population, which would depress Obama’s expected two-‐party vote share by less than a quarter of a percentage point −0.5 ⋅ 4.8 = −0.24%. Baring a really big escalation in the aggressiveness of fighters resisting US military presence in Afghanistan, plausible alternative assumptions about the flow of American body bags during the next four months would only negligibly affect my projections of Obama’s re-‐election prospects.
Now the “bread” part of the equation:
Consequently, growth rates of per capita real disposable personal income over the remainder of the term will be the decisive as yet unrealized fundamental factor in the 2012 presidential election. Calculations in the table 3 show that according to the Bread and Peace model per capita real income growth rates must average out at nearly 6 percent after 2012:q2 for Obama to have a decent chance of re-‐election. If the US economy experiences an unanticipated reversal of fortune with growth surging to rates not uncommon in the initial robust phase of recoveries from deep contractions, Obama could squeak out a win, as implied by the last column of table 3. However the pace of recovery from the 2008 Great Recession remains sluggish, and the famous 2009 book This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff documents how recoveries from contractions originating with the bursting of speculative financial bubbles are not V‐shaped as in garden-variety recessions, but instead are typically prolonged U-shaped affairs lasting 5 to 6 years. The univariate statistical properties of postwar per capita real disposable personal incomes indicate that the chances of weighted-average growth on the order of 6% over the one and one-third quarters remaining until Election Day 2012 are no better than 1/10.
Here is that Table #3 Hibbs refers to. It shows how much of the two-party vote Obama would get under different economic scenarios.
The economy has been the primary factor in most Presidential elections. A good economy equals reelection. A bad economy equal defeat for the incumbent President. Obama could prove Romney was Satan and his chances for reelection in this economy would still be iffy.
5. Obama and the Chicago Way
One of the more messianic moments of the 2008 presidential campaign came when Michele Obama promised that her husband would heal us all.
Only Barack Obama could help us all "fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation."
Four years later, it has become more apparent than ever that it is President Obama with a broken soul. His presidency collapsing around him, the true colors of the man have come to light. What we see now is not pretty.
Even most of Mr. Obama's critics in the beginning felt he was basically a nice guy not up to the job. He was a good, decent, well-intentioned man with some incorrect ideas. It seems that analysis was a bit too generous.
President Obama has decided that the only way to cling to power is to obliterate Mitt Romney from a humanity standpoint. Nothing is off limits. The Democratic briefing book that read "kill Romney" is on the verge of being taken literally.
How else does one explain the scorched Earth campaign being waged by the candidate who entered American presidential politics with flowery prose about "hope," "change we can believe in," and "Yes, we can?"
When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, President Obama gave a stirring speech where he exalted all of us to speak to each other "in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."
The words were beautiful, but sadly President Obama did not mean anything he said that day.
In the last three years he has pitted America against each other. He has divided this nation based on class, race, and gender. Now his surrogates are preparing to demonize Mr. Romney in a manner that makes the late Joseph McCarthy look cherubic by comparison.
Nothing is off limits when the Chicago way takes over….
Obama’s unfavorable are going up. So why he tries to demonize Romney, he is hurting himself as well. That probably explains why the race seems to be frozen. But in the end, when people have to make a decision, Obama has given the voter an excuse to vote for Romney.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued a public apology Thursday afternoon to billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson for charging that the Republican mega donor was tied to the Chinese mob and a prostitution ring.
“In press statements issued on June 29 and July 2, 2012, the DCCC made unsubstantiated allegations that attacked Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of the opposing party. This was wrong. The statements were untrue and unfair and we retract them,” the DCCC wrote. “The DCCC extends its sincere apology to Mr. Adelson and his family for any injury we have caused.”
The statement is an attempt by the Democratic party committee to try and make a potential defamation lawsuit go away.
Ron Reese, a spokesman for Adelson, said: “We are gratified that the DCCC has acknowledged [its] error. More broadly, this should serve notice to those who would attempt to smear Mr. Adelson by repeating the false and inflammatory statements of a fired employee - that this is a very slippery slope.”
Adelson’s attorneys threatened legal action last month after the DCCC sent out an email June 29 stating that Adelson “personally approved of prostitution and knew of other improper activity at his company’s properties in the Chinese enclave of Macau, China.”
In that same email, the DCCC asked: “What will Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and House Republicans do with their Chinese prostitution money?”
It appears lying seems to be the Democrats primary election strategy. From claiming Romney facilitated shipping jobs overseas to Romney had 10 years in which he didn’t pay any taxes (I’m thinking that may be true if you go back to when he was under 11 years of age) there seems to be no limit to the lies they are willing to tell.
7. Slow Economic Growth: The Problem is Progressives
The Big Picture Lesson of the 20th century was that capitalism works and socialism and communism don’t. The rest of the world learned that lesson far better because they and their close neighbors suffered far more with the socialist and communist progeny of Saul Alinsky’s first radical. But America should know better because it has enjoyed most the workers’ paradise of capitalism.
Yet those who call themselves Progressive, a polite, Americanized word for Marxist, refuse to accept that obvious conclusion. That is why our politics have become so nasty. The Progressives know they can’t win a debate based on reason. So they turn to name calling, demonization, ostracism, anything to distract from and avoid a reasoned debate. Hence the widespread use of the term “dumbass” by pot smoking hippie Progressives in commenting on the reasoning of careful scholars that they disagree with, or the ubiquitous allegations that anyone who disagrees with them is lying, or bought off.
… That is why the Progressives are so fundamentally in rebellion against the U.S. Constitution. That governing framework was designed to preserve the rights and liberties of the people, and to restrain the powers of government and of self-appointed, supposedly benevolent despots. But if you are so sure you are so much smarter and more moral than everyone else, then the Constitution is an outdated, 18th century barrier to your imposition of your notion of the perfect society on everyone else. That is why for over 100 years now, so-called Progressivism has been an open conspiracy against the Constitution, and so at its root treason.
All of the supposed fevered passions of the Progressives are really just props to justify more control over more money and power for them. The Progressives claim they will take care of the poor, if only we will give control over the money and power to the Progressives. They are not really interested in economic growth and prosperity, which is the only real solution to poverty. That does not expand their power and control over the rest of us. They are interested in promoting dependency, which builds their political machine, and their power….
Progressivism is a dangerous, anti-freedom movement that continually lies to the American people and to themselves. But most telling of all is that their policies don’t work.
8. Ted Cruz: A force to be reckoned with
As a teenager, Ted Cruz was an intense and eloquent parser of free-market economics, dazzling Rotary Clubs here in Houston by reciting the Constitution. At Princeton, he was a champion debater and an intellectual leader of a band of conservative students. He was a star at Harvard Law School and clerked for the chief justice of the United States.
But few may have imagined Mr. Cruz, 41, in his newest role, as the Tea Party favorite and Republican candidate for the United States Senate, trading verbal orchids with the likes of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Mr. Cruz earned the nomination on Tuesday in a runoff election after more than a year of sweaty street campaigning, drawing national attention for beating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the more experienced nominee of the Texas Republican establishment.
“I’d have predicted that he would be a professor, not a politician,” said Robert P. George, Mr. Cruz’s adviser at Princeton in the early 1990s. Professor George, a noted social conservative, said that Mr. Cruz stood out even among his Ivy League peers as “intellectually and morally serious,” writing his thesis on the separation of powers.
“But he’s certainly not a shrinking violet,” Professor George quickly added in an interview on Tuesday — to which, Mr. Dewhurst, a wealthy conservative who had the support of Gov. Rick Perry, can attest.
Mr. Cruz’s victory in November is all but assured in this heavily Republican state and marks a shift to the right in the already conservative party here. Political elders and experts who have watched him during his time here as state solicitor general and on the campaign trail predict that he will be an intellectual force in Congress on behalf of constitutional limits on federal power…
Cruz appears to be a new member of a strong bench in the Republican Party.