Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Romney's Biggest Demographic in FL Was Women

As reported here and here.

52 percent of women overall, and 51 percent of married women.

Also notable about Romney voters:

Self-described moderates, 62 percent;
$200K+ in income, 60 percent;
Self-described moderate/liberal, 59 percent;
Oppose Tea Party, 57 percent;
Religion Catholic, 56 percent;
Abortion legal in all cases, 57 percent;
Doing well financially, 52 percent;
Foreclosures not a problem where I live, 54 percent;
Mitt about right on the issues, 82 percent;
Decided more than a month ago, 55 percent;
Campaign ads were important to decision, 59 percent;
Self-described Republican, 48 percent;
Self-described Independent, 41 percent.

"Sure, I'm a Republican."

Romney Trots Out Wife Ann To Defend His Conservatism

Oh yeah, that'll convince 'em, getting your wife to defend you against the attacks.

What a sissy.

“I know where his values are on a personal level. He is a conservative guy. I know how he has governed from a conservative point of view, and I know how he will govern, which is from a conservative place to rein in the spending, and help the country."

Repeat after me, "Mittens is a Reagan Robot, just like Newt."

FL Exit Polls Show Women Go Big For Romney at 51 Percent, Gingrich Second with 29

As reported here:

Among women, Texas Rep. Ron Paul won six percent, Gingrich won 29 percent, Romney won 51 percent and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 13 percent.

Why aren't Santorum's and Paul's negatives with women indicative of their (non-existent) infidelities?

Erick Erickson predicted here that Cain and Gingrich would do poorly with women and not progress to the nomination because of their alleged infidelities.

Republican women in Florida must be pro-choice big time.

The So-Called Conservatives Invented ObamaCare

So says James Taranto in so many words, quoted here in Forbes last October:

“Whatever the particular differences, the Heritage mandate [dating back as far as 1989] was indistinguishable in principle from the ObamaCare one. In both cases, the federal government would force individuals to purchase a product from a private company—something that Congress has never done before. ...  [I]t seems to us that the [subsequent Heritage Foundation] brief [against ObamaCare] overstates the extent to which the proposed Heritage mandate was ‘limited' [i.e. to catastrophic coverage]. But it is clear that Heritage has repudiated the idea of an individual mandate… All these years later, it pleases us that our erstwhile employer has come around. ... [I]t worries us that Mitt Romney, who may well be the next president, lacked the instinct to be offended by the idea when it crossed his desk in Boston. ... [T]he next time a think tank or a blue-ribbon commission comes up with an idea this bad, can we trust President Romney to reject it?"

The Heritage Foundation has ingloriously flipped on the issue of the healthcare mandate. It should have more vigorously vetted its origins instead of grasping at straws against HillaryCare.

Lick finger, check wind, go with The Tea Party.

To some, this is enough. But not for the true born sons of liberty.

Laughs at Fed Meetings Peaked With Housing Bubble in 2006

So says The Daily Stag Hunt here, where the data show that laughs suddenly surged in 2006.

Compared with the average of 20 laughs per meeting in the previous six years, laughs in 2006 bubbled up to an average of nearly 44, an increase of 115 percent.

Call it "irrational exuberance."

The meeting with the fewest laughs? October 1, 2001, with just 7 recorded laughs during the Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

It's Romney Who Disavowed Reagan, Not Gingrich

From The Washington Times, here:

Meanwhile, Mr. Romney’s allies who are pushing this false narrative that Mr. Gingrich is insufficiently Reaganesque couldn’t care less that it is their candidate who disavowed Reaganism. “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush,” boasted Mr. Romney. “I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.” Of course he’s not. Why is that? Mitt’s answer: “I’m someone who is moderate and my views are progressive.”

Who's The Opportunist? Newt Gingrich or Pat Buchanan?

Pat Buchanan has asserted (video and discussion here) that the Reagan White House viewed Newt Gingrich as something of a political opportunist and Rockefeller Republican:

“[I]n the Reagan White House, Newt Gingrich was considered quite frankly by a lot of folks to be something of a political opportunist and who was not trusted and who had played no role whatsoever. He was a Rockefeller Republican in the great Goldwater-Rockefeller battle, where conservatism came of age.”

Michael Reagan on The Laura Ingraham Show this morning found that amusing, coming from a guy who left the Republican Party to run for The Presidency on a third party ticket when he felt he could no longer get any traction in the GOP. Michael Reagan also pointed out that his father the president had once been a liberal Democrat before switching to the Republican Party in 1962.

Pat doesn't name names. Maybe "a lot of folks" is just code for "Pat Buchanan." Quite frankly.

Punish Gingrich's Character Assassins At The Ballot Box

So says Thomas Sowell, here.

'Wasteful Spending Will Always Rise To The Level Of Revenues'

So says Arthur Laffer in support of Newt Gingrich in The Wall Street Journal, here:

Mr. Gingrich's flat tax proposals—along with his proposed balanced budget amendment—would put a quick stop to overspending and return America to fiscal soundness. No other candidate comes close to doing this.

Here is a corollary I learned from a Harvard-trained philosopher, PJWM:

'Work expands to fill the time allotted.'

Rush Limbaugh Gets 'Hermaphrodite' Spectacularly Wrong

This is almost charmingly naive when you think about it:

Wait 'til you hear what was said about them and what these guys were saying about each other back in 1800. Only on their deathbeds when they both died within seconds of each other, according to legend -- only on their deathbeds -- did they put it all back together. Well, prior to that Adams had sent Jefferson a letter. "Jefferson's camp accused President Adams of having a "hideous hermaphroditical character..." He accused him of being a hermaphrodite, which of course means that you have neither the aspects of a man or a woman. You're like a moderate. "You hermaphrodite!" It's like calling somebody a moderate with no sex organs to boot. You know, no nothing.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Radio Talker Mark Levin Doesn't Know What He's Talking About On Speaker Gingrich

“I like Newt Gingrich a lot. But he had nothing to do with the development of supply-side economics. …It pre-dated his election to the House by several years. So he didn’t help Ronald Reagan develop supply-side economics. He wasn’t even on Ronald Reagan’s radar at the time. I’m not trying to be controversial or rude, but I want you to know the facts.”


Conservatism Has Never Meant So Little, Especially to the Likes of Pete Wehner

Or, to put it another way, today's neo-conservative idea of fundamental change means a return only to the spending trend line assumed by Rep. Paul Ryan's budget, established in the 1970s.

As if such a reaction against the nearly vertical spending trend, first of George W. Bush in the 2000s and then the even worse one of Barack Obama after him, would represent an achievement.

(See the discussion illustrating the differences, here.)

I refer, of course, to Peter Wehner's post at Commentary, here:

The single most important [!] idea, when it comes to fundamentally changing Washington, is the budget plan put forward by Representative Paul Ryan last April. When most massive-scale-of-change [!] conservatives were defending Ryan’s plan against scorching criticisms from the left, Gingrich described the plan as an example of “right-wing social engineering.” It was Gingrich, not the rest of us, who was counseling caution, timidity, and an unwillingness to shape (rather than follow) public opinion. (The Medicare reform plan Gingrich eventually put out wasn’t nearly as bold and far-reaching as the one put out by Governor Romney.)

So much for Mr. Fundamental Change.

This is the problem with a conservatism which has no imagination, although its implicit repudiation of the dramatic spending under George W. Bush is rather refreshing considering where it comes from.

Be that as it may, after a leftist Obama lurches the country dramatically toward oblivion, any pull-back from that instantly becomes fundamental change, when all it is, once achieved, is really just a pale reflection of what real conservatism might actually have looked like.

Newt's formulation has been interpreted with the emphasis all on the "right-wing" idea of the formulation, when it's the "social" which I think was his real target.

Speaker Gingrich was mocking today's right wing for its lack of imagination, as if codifying social welfare spending at a somewhat reduced level represented an achievement. When his taunt was misunderstood and quickly became toxic to him, he realized he had no political recourse but to recant and change the subject. The truth had become the enemy of the political, which is why professors have so little impact. Believe me, it frustrates the hell out of them.

Regrettably, most of us on first blush assumed Speaker Gingrich meant his criticism from the left, and, horror of horrors, that he now supposedly lived there. No one wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe his was a criticism from the right.

I know I didn't.

On further reflection I suggest Speaker Gingrich meant to criticize Ryan's plan because it represented a conservative codification of big government (albeit on a smaller scale than Obama was implementing at the time). He meant thereby to criticize it as an (unacceptable) truce with the post-war consensus for Social Security, Medicare and their iterative expansions under Republican and Democrat administrations.

Consider that the trend line of spending of the status quo ante Obama was itself a radical departure from the post-war period, and even from that established in the 1960s. The new and truly radical trend began after the recession of 1974. Real conservatism, if it could exist at all, would seek to recapture the post-war trend lines of spending before 1974, but Paul Ryan's plan is nothing more than a return to that untenable trend.

A Newt Gingrich presidency might make such episodes of misunderstanding a more frequent occurrence, but from the look of things Americans appear instead to be hoping for the bell to ring so they can get to the next class, which will be, thankfully, lunch, study hall, or possibly human health and hygiene.

I, for one, hope Newt sticks around to keep entertaining the thinkers in the class.

But we're most probably going to end up with a very boring president instead of him, not unlike the one we have now.

Probably the same one. 

Romney Has Changed His Position On Abortion At Least Three Times

So says David Catron for The American Spectator here:

Perhaps the most egregious of Romney's one-eighties have involved abortion. He has changed his position on that issue at least three times. During the 1994 Senate race against Kennedy he said, "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country." In 2001, however, he published a letter in The Salt Lake Tribune in which he wrote, "I do not wish to be labeled prochoice." If the "evolution" had stopped there, many would accept what could well have been a genuine change of heart. But when he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 he declared, "I will protect the right of a woman to choose under the law of the country and the laws of the Commonwealth." Now, for purposes of his current presidential campaign, he's again "pro-life." How he avoids vertigo while executing so many pirouettes is anyone's guess.

Rick Santorum on Mandates: Romney's For Them, 27 States Disagree and So Does Santorum

From his campaign website, here:

"The Romneycare individual mandate is essentially the same as the Obamacare individual mandate. Both reform laws rely on the government’s ability to tax and fine individuals to coerce them into purchasing “approved” health-insurance plans. Because of his support for an individual mandate, Mitt Romney finds himself at odds with the governors and attorneys general of 27 states, who are currently suing the federal government on the grounds that it is unconstitutional for the government to force people to purchase anything, even health insurance.

"Romney’s insistence that Romneycare is somehow different from Obamacare, simply because it was implemented at the state level rather than the federal level, is misleading. Romneycare, like Obamacare, is a massive intrusion of government into the private sphere. Neither of these government-run, top-down approaches to health care is the right prescription for America."

Treasury Dept. Has Boosted Auto Bailout Cost From $14 Billion to $23.77 Billion

As reported here by The Detroit News.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rage Against the Machine: Palin's Half Endorsement of Newt is Merely Luddite

Even at this late date Palin cannot declare whose side she is on. She's pathetic and she's a coward.

As seen here:

"When both party machines and many in the media are trying to crucify Newt Gingrich for bucking the tide and bucking the establishment, that tells you something. And I say, you know, you have to rage against the machine at this point in order to defend our republic and save what is good and secure and prosperous about our nation," Sarah Palin said on FOX News' "Justice with Judge Jeanine" program.

"We need somebody who is engaged in sudden and relentless reform and isn't afraid to shake up that establishment. So, if for no other reason, rage against the machine, vote for Newt; annoy a liberal, vote Newt.

Yeah, we need somebody alright, but it ain't YOU.

Gov. Johnson, NM, Now Seeks Libertarian Mantle and Favors Gay Marriage

Gee, what a shock, a libertarian for gay marriage.

From HuffPo, here:

Former New Mexico GOP Gov. Gary Johnson says he’s the best presidential choice for gay voters -- better than even President Obama -- calling Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney "out of touch." ...

Currently seeking the Libertarian Party nomination, Johnson dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination back in December, after appearing in two of the televised national debates in 2011. He came out for marriage equality in the fall, after first supporting civil unions.

Tea Party Princess Michele Bachmann Still Sitting on the Fence

Today in fact, here:

Bachmann declined to endorse a candidate - though she said she reserved the right to do so later - and said "I am on board the team, put it that way, no matter who our nominee will be."

Perry, Cain and Palin are on board with Newt.

Where's Michele?

Ann Coulter, Supporter of Mitt Romney and Gay Rights, Prominently Featured on GOProud.org

Republicans Must Repudiate George W. Bush NOW

So Roger Kimball, here:

[P]oll numbers might be wildly different come November. But the current numbers are not without significance.  They tell us, above all, that there is a great hunger that is not being satisfied. They also tell us that there is widespread unhappiness, not to say disgust, with the status quo ante. The Republican establishment seems unwilling or unable to take this on board. They are still playing the game with yesterday’s dice.

Romney in 1994 Was All For Mainstreaming Gay Rights

As reported in The New York Times, here, in 2006:

“We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern,” Mr. Romney wrote in a detailed plea for the support of the club [Log Cabin Republicans], a gay Republican organization.

Mitt Romney epitomizes everything that is wrong with the Republican Party, and our country, in our time.

Herman Cain Endorses Newt Gingrich Saturday, January 28th, 2012

As reported by Politico, here:

"I hereby officially and enthusiastically endorse Newt Gingrich for president of the United States," Cain told the cheering crowd here. "Speaker Gingrich is a patriot. Speaker Gingrich is not afraid of bold ideas. And I also know that Speaker Gingrich is running for president and going through this sausage-grinder-- I know what this sausage-grinder is all about. I know he is going through this sausage-grinder because he cares about the future of the United States of America."

Gov. Rick Perry Endorses Newt Gingrich Thursday, January 19th, 2012

As reported by Politico, here:

“I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform this country,” Perry said. ...

“Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?” said Perry.

Citing his Christian faith, Perry said of Gingrich: “I believe in the power of redemption.”

New Republic Article by Timothy Noah on Rick Santorum's Healthcare Mandate Views is False

The evidence cited in Timothy Noah's article for The New Republic most certainly does NOT prove that Rick Santorum once favored a healthcare mandate. Noah lazily reads today's debate about compulsory coverage back into a 1994 debate that was about private vs. employer-provided coverage.

In one article here from 1994, the emphasis is clearly on drawing a contrast between privately purchased coverage by individuals vs. the common practice of employer purchased coverage for employees. A mandate to purchase coverage is not in view:

"Santorum and Watkins would require individuals to buy health insurance rather than forcing employers to pay for employee benefits. ... Santorum introduced the idea of a medical savings account, called Medisave, which has become part of the Gramm bill. Under it, workers would buy major medical insurance and could make tax-free contributions to a Medisave account, from which they would pay for preventive services."

It is insane to press this language to prove Santorum supported government compulsion to purchase insurance in a 1994 race against an incumbent Democrat who was running away from Hillarycare at the time.

The same is true of this story:

"Wofford supports a modified version of President Clinton's call for health coverage for all Americans, funded largely by requiring employers to pay most of the premiums, as many do today.

"For several years, Santorum has promoted a Republican alternative. It would require workers to buy their own health insurance and allow monthly tax-free contributions into "Medisave" accounts to pay for routine medical services."

The context of the debate as presented is entirely within the world of work and employer provided health plans. The issue of compulsory coverage, and of coverage for individuals NOT employed, is wholly unaddressed.

But if Noah had actually bothered to read this article which he also cites (conveniently with a broken link), it should have been crystal clear to him that Santorum was operating in a healthcare environment which "offered," not "compelled," and that Santorum explicitly declined to offer the marginally employed person coverage of the type he was advocating at the time. Santorum's idea of healthcare restructuring was not universal, not compulsory, and wholly confined to the world of work:

U.S. Rep. Rick Santorum, R-Pittsburgh area, and Joe Watkins, a Philadelphia businessman who worked in the Bush White House, are seeking the Republican Senate nomination, creating the only true Senate primary race. ...

Santorum and Watkins both oppose having businesses provide health care for their employees. Instead, they would require individuals to purchase insurance. ...

They also oppose government-run health care and disagree with controls on doctor or hospital fees. They would cap malpractice awards. ...

The candidates split on offering health care for "marginally employed" people, with Watkins supporting it. Both oppose federally funded abortions.

Edison's Bright Idea Took Decades To Catch On

So says Linda Simon for Bloomberg, here:

By 1910, more than 30 years after Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb in 1879, only about 10 percent of American homes had been wired. Even in the glittering Roaring Twenties, only about 20 percent of homes had electricity -- not because of a lack of electrical contractors, but because of a lack of consumer enthusiasm.

Advertisers proclaimed that homes with electricity would be brighter, cozier and happier, but the public wasn't buying.

Perpetual Fascism: Government Still Owns 458 Companies, Is Owed $133 Billion Under TARP

Brought to you by the friendly folks at the two main political parties.

As reported by the AP this week:

A government watchdog says U.S. taxpayers are still owed $132.9 billion that companies haven't repaid from the financial bailout, and some of that will never be recovered.

The bailout launched at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008 will continue to exist for years, says a report issued Thursday by Christy Romero, the acting special inspector general for the $700 billion bailout. Some bailout programs, such as the effort to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by reducing mortgage payments, will last as late as 2017, costing the government an additional $51 billion or so.

Read it all here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

John McCain: Anti-Mormon Tea Party Hobbits Cost Romney South Carolina

“We haven’t had time to do a real analysis of the Romney race in South Carolina, but once we break that down, there was some element of anti-Mormonism in that vote,” McCain asserted. “I’m not saying all of it, but there were elements there. There was nothing that Mitt Romney could have done.”

Could that bias, if it exists, extend beyond the Palmetto State to others in the South if the primary drags on? “I’m not sure [but] I don’t think so,” McCain said, pointing to Georgia as one place he doesn’t believe would hold Romney’s religion against him.

McCain cited the possible anti-Mormonism in response to a query about the growing Tea Party support Gingrich has begun to draw, particularly in Florida.

Emergency Rooms: Ronald Reagan's Illegal Immigrant Magnets

Heritage Foundation Director Responsible for Healthcare Mandate Idea in 1989

It's one of three dirty little secrets about the Republicans that they are intellectually responsible for the healthcare mandate idea which we have so vehemently opposed but which now stares us in the face in ObamaCare. If ObamaCare were in fact a Bolshevik plot, that must mean the commies own also the Republican Party, not just the Democrat.

A Heritage Foundation director named Stuart Butler presented a paper in 1989 which contains the idea of the healthcare mandate, backed up by some of the absurd reasoning many of us had been attacking in the debate over the Senate healthcare bill, for example, the analogy between car insurance and health insurance.

The link to the full paper is here.

And here's an excerpt on the mandate:

This paragraph sounds like a Newt Gingrich talking point.

Boobs like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity incessantly promote the Heritage Foundation to their audiences, while claiming the mantle of conservatism. But as we all come to learn sooner or later, saying doesn't make it so.

Government compulsion continues to be the nexus of political conflict in America. Unfortunately for us, the Republican establishment is for it as much as our enemies on the left.

For more, regrettably, see here:

It wouldn't have been at all odd for any of these Republicans to support the individual mandate in the past, because it was a Republican idea, hatched by Stuart Butler and some others at the Heritage Foundation. (Documentation here.) Heritage has desperately tried to disavow it, but to no avail. Even James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, apparently present at the creation, concedes the point. You sometimes hear conservatives defend their past support for the individual mandate by saying that something was needed to head off more ambitious health insurance schemes like Hillarycare, but that's another way of saying that whenever a conservative proposes any solution to the health care crisis he or she does so in bad faith. Vote Republican if you like, but don't kid yourself that a Republican president would replace Obamacare with anything at all. Not even Romney would. You might even say especially Romney, since the issue has brought him nothing but grief since the 2012 cycle began.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sarah Palin Wonders Why the So-Called Right Now Uses the Tactics of the Left Vs. Newt

She comes out in defense of Newt tonight here, and this is more true than she knows:

What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history. It was Alinsky tactics at their worst. ...

Well, "former" leftists, otherwise known as neo-conservative Israel-firsters, did this to Newt, and they ought to know! They are now comfortably wedded to the Republican establishment after co-opting formerly reliable conservative bastions like National Review.

Gov. Palin concludes with this:

I question whether the GOP establishment would ever employ the same harsh tactics they used on Newt against Obama. I didn’t see it in 2008. Many of these same characters sat on their thumbs in ‘08 and let Obama escape unvetted. Oddly, they’re now using every available microscope and endoscope – along with rewriting history – in attempts to character assassinate anyone challenging their chosen one in their own party’s primary. So, one must ask, who are they really running against?

Isn't it obvious? They're running against us.

Friends Meet Today About Florida, Around 1700 Hours


Rush Limbaugh Seriously Asks Us To Believe Elliott Abrams Was Spoon-fed

Not once. Not twice. But three times.

[I]t seems like Elliott Abrams has been had.  It seems like Elliott Abrams had a piece at National Review really ripping into Newt, was spoon-fed some out-of-context stuff. ...

So Jeffrey Lord got together with some peopl[e], and found out that it appears that Mr. Abrams been spoon-fed some stuff that he didn't question because there is an institutional dislike for Newt amongst the conservative establishment and so on and so forth. ...

[T]here were the videos of some examples selectively edited. You know, things left out and starting point of the edited version, not really the starting point. So there you have it. But, however, folks, I'm just gonna have to assume here that Elliott Abrams was spoon-fed this stuff by the Romney people.

Elsewhere in his remarks Rush lets this whopper fly:

Elliott Abrams' reputation is beyond repute [sic]. He's gold. He's the coin of the realm, and that's what made people curious.

Assistant Secretaries of State for eight years under Ronald Reagan aren't spoon-fed anything, particularly Harvard grads with BA, MA and JD degrees who go on to plead guilty to two misdemeanors of withholding information from Congress.

Gee, what could Elliott Abrams and Newt Gingrich have disagreed about in 1986 which would have caused Abrams today to attempt to re-write Newt Gingrich's relationship with Ronald Reagan in order to discredit Newt's run for president?

An "institutional dislike"?

Try a fundamental difference over the meaning and limits of conservatism.

Gingrich's Low Taxes and Hard Money Scare the Bejeebers Out of Democrats

As seen here.

Romney believes in neither.

Rush Limbaugh is such a fraud today: Elliott Abrams was spoon-fed a bunch of Newt excerpts!!!

Like Eliott Abrams had no idea what Gingrich was saying in the well of the House every night for five hours, and is too stupid to remember today.

This is all about Gingrich's opposition to neo-conservatism. The whole controversy has become a veritable litmus test for it, and Rush tries to paper this over with some kakamaymee story while the Republican establishment, which is neo-conservative, launches a jihad against the former Speaker of the House, Ronald Reagan's best friend in the Congress.

'Co-opt Reagan! Co-opt Reagan!', that's the neo-conservative marching order.

Rush really does think his audience is stupid.

What a Shock: Washington Post Users Think Romney Won Debate

They also want him to have won. So they can beat him.

Conservatives think Gingrich was put on the defensive by Romney and that it was Santorum who scored the most important points against Romney. Gingrich was in a tough position, having to counter the Romney character assassination team without looking like the caricature of intemperance Romney is painting.

Insisting on audience participation also doubled back on Gingrich. Romney packed the house through his superior campaign organization, giving him the appearance of persuading.

Jan. 31 will tell the true tale, however, as elections always do.

2011 GDP Plummets 43 Percent to 1.7 Percent Overall, Q4 at 2.8 Percent, Q3 at 1.8 Percent

And don't forget. 25 percent of GDP is from government spending.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports today here:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 1.8 percent. ... Real GDP increased 1.7 percent in 2011 (that is, from the 2010 annual level to the 2011 annual level), compared with an increase of 3.0 percent in 2010.

Mitt Romney To Tea Party: ObamaCare's 'Not Worth Getting Angry About'

From the debate last night, as reproduced here:

Santorum said, “Just so I understand this, in Massachusetts, everybody is mandated as a condition of breathing in Massachusetts, to buy health insurance, and if you don’t, and if you don’t, you have to pay a fine.”

Moments later, as the discussion over Romneycare and Obamacare continued, Romney rebuked Santorum, saying, “First of all, it's not worth getting angry about.”

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tax Collectors For The Welfare State

'Romney Will Be The Nominee and Will Lose': Ann Coulter at CPAC 2011

You know, if Ann Coulter keeps changing her mind about things, like about GOProud for instance, someone, somewhere, someday might actually accuse her of being a woman.

Here is the video.

h/t Legal Insurrection

(Maybe she now likes Romney so much because Mormonism makes changing your mind, say about blacks or polygamy, so easy).

'People matter more than Wall Street'

Quoted here.

Gingrich's Work Product: A Comma

"We therefore oppose any attempts to increase taxes, which would harm the recovery and reverse the trend to restoring control of the economy to individual Americans."

With the comma, you believe all tax increases would harm economic progress. Without it, you believe that only some tax increases would harm the economy.

Newt wanted the comma. Bob Dole did not.

Story here:

The Gingrich work product? Making certain that Ronald Reagan was not put on record leaving the door open for any more ill-fated tax increases. Dole was furious with the young Newt -- and, it might be noted, recently made a point of endorsing Mitt Romney. Hmmmmm.

Illinois Firearm Owner Identification Surged 6 Percent in 2010

In the wake of the Supremes' McDonald decision, which neutered Chicago's ban on gun ownership, it appears gun ownership has surged in Illinois, which requires a Firearm Owner's ID Card to purchase a gun in the state. It is thought many of the new holders of the cards are in Chicago.

I used mine in 1993 to protect myself from Bill Clinton.

The story is here:

As of Jan. 1, 2011, there were nearly 1.4 million FOID card holders statewide, compared to more than 1.3 million a year earlier, Bond said. That’s an increase of more than 6 percent.

Sen. Fred Thompson Comes Out For Newt Gingrich

I think the American people see what is going on there, see what's going on in their own country. That is why they are organizing in hamlets and communities and towns all across this nation. You know, some of them are called Tea Parties.

That's my view and I have come to the growing realization for me anyway that Newt Gingrich is the guy who can articulate what America is all about . . . and not just read the talking points or do it off the teleprompter.

He can make the case for free markets and our basic case that lower taxes can be good for everybody. Bring about growth, it's good for everybody. He is not afraid. He is tough. He is experienced. I don't think any more it's an advantage to be able to say I know nothing about the operation of the federal government. I know something about it. Newt knows something about it. It is a colossal mess. ...

He conceived and carried out really a revolution in American politics at that time. We were able to balance the budget for about four years in a row, pass welfare reform and begin to rebuild a depleted military. These things can be done, but we can't be apologetic about it or be tentative about it.

We can't look surprised, you know, if we get off of our talking points. We have to stand up to the establishment on both sides of the aisle and to the news media and carry this thing through. These times are different in America, Sean. The old rules don't apply anymore.

People are concerned. People are frightened. People see their country going in a direction that is different from the first principles that made us the envy of the world. That is why you're seeing people react the way they did in South Carolina.

Romney Distanced Himself From Reagan-Bush In 1994 Race Vs. Ted Kennedy

If anyone's had a question mark hanging over him about his fealty to Ronald Reagan, it is Mitt Romney, for this from 1994, as recounted here:

Kennedy said discussions about supporting families shouldn’t be used to score "political hits," prompting Romney to fire back that he wasn’t politicizing the issue -- Kennedy was.
"I mentioned nothing about politics or your position at all. I talked about what I’d do to help strengthen families, and you talked about Reagan-Bush. Look, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush," Romney said, in a clear attempt to distance himself from the former president.

The irony being that Newt Gingrich and the Republicans were poised at the very same time to take an historic victory and extend the Reagan Revolution by recapturing the House.

So while Mitt Romney was running for Senate in Massachusetts in 1994 to the left, Gingrich and company were running right, against both HillaryCare and gays in the military.

So for the first 15 years of the Reagan Revolution Mitt Romney is firmly outside of the movement. It's not until the George W. Bush administration and while governor of Massachusetts that Mitt starts to think he too can become president, and dutifully tracks right.

Republicans didn't believe him in 2007 and 2008 and chose John McCain instead.

South Carolina voters have just said they don't believe him now, either. 

So Gingrich Didn't Treat Ronald Reagan Like a King. Big Deal.

The Washington Post has it correct, here:

According to then-assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, Gingrich consistently voted for Reagan’s policies but was known more for his public criticism of the president. However, Reagan National Security Advisory Bud McFarlane, a Gingrich supporter, said Wednesday the congressman was “very influential” in the adoption of supply-side economics and the economic recovery.

On CSPAN Monday morning, Gingrich told Romney to stay out of fights “about a history he doesn’t understand.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama's Symbol of Tax Injustice (Warren Buffett's Secretary) Must Make $200K To $500K

She can't possibly represent any of the 99 million American workers, 66 percent of the workforce, who make $40,000 per year or less. Fewer than 2.1 million American workers in 2010 made $200K or more.

This woman is no poor secretary. She's in the top 2 percent of wage earners, among the richest people in the country. In point of fact, at her income level and tax rate she pays more in taxes than average workers earn in a year, any of whom would gladly trade places with her.

So Forbes here:

We can get an approximate answer by consulting IRS data on tax rates by adjusted gross income, which would approximate her salary, assuming she does not have significant dividend, interest or capital-gains income (like her boss). I assume Buffet keeps her too busy for her to hold a second job. I also do not know if she is married and filing jointly. If so, it is deceptive for Obama to use her as an example. The higher rate may be due to her husband’s income.  So I assume the tax rate Obama refers to is from her own earnings.

Insofar as Buffet (like Mitt Romney) earns income primarily from capital gains, which are taxed at 15 percent (and according to Obama need to be raised for reasons of fairness), we need to determine how much income a taxpayer like Bosanek must earn in order to pay an average tax rate above fifteen percent. This is easy to do.

The IRS publishes detailed tax tables by income level. The latest results are for 2009. They show that taxpayers earning an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000 pay an average rate of twelve percent. This is below Buffet’s rate; so she must earn more than that. Taxpayers earning adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 to $500,000, pay an average tax rate of nineteen percent. Therefore Buffet must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary above two hundred thousand.

Even in the most absurd hypothetical situation where the IRS confiscated every last red cent of her $200K salary, Warren Buffett still would be paying nearly 35 times more in taxes than she.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. Accuses Newt Gingrich of Deviancy

How long have I been saying it? At least for 15 years, but in private, I have been aware of it longer. Newt Gingrich is conservatism's Bill Clinton, but without the charm. He has acquired wit, but he has all the charm of barbed wire.

Newt and Bill are, of course, 1960s-generation narcissists, and they share the same problems: waywardness and deviancy. Newt, like Bill, has a proclivity for girl-hopping. It's not as egregious as Bill's, but then Newt is not as drop-dead beautiful. His public record is already besmeared with tawdry divorces, and there are private encounters with the fair sex that doubtless will come out. If I have heard of some, you can be sure the Democrats have heard of more.

I've heard things in private, too, but about the deviant behavior of R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.

It's odd that the founder of a magazine lately notable for its libertarianism wants to go there.

Really bad form, old boy.

Warren Buffett's 2010 Tax Bill Was $6.9 Million. Was That 'At Least As Much As His Secretary's'?

The details of Warren Buffett's taxes for 2010 were only partially revealed last August and became the subject of critical examination, as for example here:

Buffett also said his federal income tax bill came to $6,923,494, or 17.4% of his taxable income -- two points he revealed in a New York Times op-ed in August urging Congress to tax the wealthy more. ... [But t]he current tax system already satisfies the Buffett Rule. Americans on average pay 16% of their total income in federal income and payroll taxes, while millionaires pay an average of 20.1%, according to the Tax Policy Center.

The Tax Policy Center is a generally more liberal think tank than The Tax Foundation.

The president's statement in last night's State of the Union deliberately suggests Buffett's secretary paid more in taxes than Buffett did when you know that that is completely disingenuous as well as inconceivable:

Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.

Common nonsense.

Federal Workers Delinquent on 2010 Taxes by $3.4 Billion, 3 Percent More Than 2009

As reported here:

According to records released by the Internal Revenue Service, active and retired federal employees and military personnel combined owed $3,420,168,684 in unpaid taxes for 2010, an increase of more than 3 percent over the previous year.

Michael Steele Gets Something Right

Quoted here:

“I think any conversation about having someone else come into this race at this point is not even feasible, it’s just outright stupid. ... It’s the establishment of Washington again foisting on them someone who didn’t go through the gauntlet, had not come to their kitchens or their businesses, that we’re now told we should support because these other guys aren’t right for the establishment crowd?”

Associated Press Says Obama Is Still Pushing Plans That Already Flopped

Howie Carr Reminds Us It Takes One To Know One, Unless You're A Boob

For The Boston Herald, here:

To the “Jersey Shore” MTV crowd, Newt would come across as a fat, nasty, pasty old man. They’re not going to realize what a boob Barack is, because they’re boobs, too.

And the media are never going to give a candidate Newt the opportunity to unmask the president.


John Kass Joins The Elite Opposition To Newt Gingrich And Defends His Own

John Kass for The Chicago Tribune here doesn't want a bully in the bully pulpit:

The reporter asked the right question, but blinked and gulped anyway, clear signals that he didn't want any more. This inflamed the bully in Newt, and he bore down on his victim as a frog to a fly, the tongue a deadly bludgeon on national television.

The prospect of four years of Newt crucifying the press on a daily basis is just too much for some people to take.

Gov. Mitch Daniels is Out of His Mind

"[Obama] did not cause the economic and fiscal crises that continue in America tonight."

Republicans who intend to win don't talk like that.

For the rest, go here.

Over 2500 Americans in 2010-11 Ditch Citizenship Over Taxes

They've found their back-up countries.

Story here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

50 Million Children Have Paid The Price For Women's Equality

Kelly Boggs, here:

[P]ro-choicers are more than happy for preborn children to pay the price for a woman's so-called "liberation" and "equality."

The day the Supreme Court granted a person the "liberty" to take the life of a preborn baby for any reason, or for no reason, was a dark day in the history of the United States. As a result, over the last 39 years more than 50 million preborn babies have had their lives sacrificed on the altar of "liberation."

I will observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade this year as a day of infamy on par with other dark dates on the calendar of history. Pearl Harbor, Sept. 11, the Holocaust, and the Rwandan genocide are horrific events in which millions of innocent people lost their lives. But the number of babies aborted since Jan. 22, 1973 is many more times the combined number of those who died in those atrocities.

Consistency: Looks Pretty Much The Same Everyday

Romney's Unfavorables Now As Bad As Newt's!

So National Journal, here:

Just 31 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Romney, the poll shows. Almost half, 49 percent, have an unfavorable opinion, and 21 percent said they have no opinion. Romney now holds virtually the same favorable and unfavorable ratings as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose numbers have also dropped over the past month -- suggesting that the ugly, protracted fight for the Republican presidential nomination is dragging down its two most prominent participants.

US Senate's Biggest Prick Gets What He Deserves

A puck to the face:

Story here.

'Compassionate' Elites Plunder The Middle Class To Help The Poor

They don't call them levelers for nothing.

Seen here, in which a single parent of three making $3,625 can end up with more disposable income than a similar person making $30,000, or one making $14,500 ends up with more than one making $60,000:

Ann Coulter Furious Over Newt Attacking Media. It Must Be Working.

Doing her best for her man, Romney, here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

If The Republicans Were Smart, They'd Follow The Rahm Emanuel Strategy

Rahm's strategy was to make the big tent Democrat party open to so-called fiscal and social conservatives in competitive states. It was a feint to the right.

They were liars, mostly. Some were dupes. And their public face was the "Blue Dogs" who helped the Democrats take over the House in 2006. It bled votes from the Republicans and brought them into the party, while their elected representatives dutifully voted for almost everything the Democrat left under Pelosi and Reid and Obama put forward after 2008, although not without occasional difficulty, especially in the case of ObamaCare.

That's why this analysis from one "Ben Shapiro" here is totally wrong (a troll?) and rather sad to see this late in the game because it misses the Emanuel strategy entirely:

John Kerry was a flip-flopper, a wishy-washy liberal who made liberals squeamish. So they responded by moving to the left, bringing in Nancy Pelosi to run the House and the anti-Kerry, Howard Dean, to run the Democratic National Committee. The result was a Democratic victory in 2006 in the House, and the victory of the most far-left candidate in American history, Barack Obama, in 2008.

The Emanuel strategy recognized what polls tell us even today, nearly a decade on: the American people are not Democrat or Republican predominantly, but conservative in their self-understanding, however ill-defined that may be. Liberalism as a category still comes in last, as Politico reports here:

Conservatives continue to make up the largest segment of political views in the country, outnumbering liberals nearly two-to-one, according to a new poll Thursday.

The Gallup survey found that 40 percent of Americans consider themselves conservative; 35 percent consider themselves moderate; and 21 percent see themselves as liberal. The figures did not change from 2010.

These simple facts explain why Newt Gingrich is doing so well on chewing gum and chicken wire against one of the richest Republicans to run for office in decades.

Republicans, if they want to win, should embrace this. People like Tim Pawlenty, Bill Bennett, and Ann Coulter should get with the program and stop supporting an unelectable guy whom Republicans rightly discarded in 2008 for JOHN S. McCAIN, of all people.

Gingrich's chief appeal is his ability to go mano a mano with the media, which are an unpaid arm of the Obama campaign, C-student shills who deserve a real education for once.

Gingrich will give it to them.

We might not get real conservatism, but no one can say with a straight face that we'll get that from Mitt Romney. We're trying to fill the Bully Pulpit here. It's the most important lectureship without tenure in the history of mankind. Newt never got tenure in academe, and I can't think of a better person to fill this chair at this time than Newt.

Feint right, Republicans. You've done it before, you can do it again.

We know you don't mean it. 

"I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me."

-- Ronald Reagan, August 1962

Ann Coulter's Favorite Governor Picks New Jersey's First Gay Justice

Philly eyeball news has the story here:

If confirmed, Bruce A. Harris would become New Jersey’s first openly gay justice.

Chris Christie gets a twofer: Bruce Harris is black.

German Americans Continue As USA's Largest Self-Reported Ancestral Group

So Wikipedia, here, citing Census data:

German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group. California, Texas and Pennsylvania have the largest numbers of German origin, although upper Midwestern states, including Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, have the highest proportion of German Americans at over one-third.

Supremes Rule Unanimously Against Warrantless GPS Use By Police

As reported by The Washington Post here:

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects.

The GPS device helped authorities link Washington, D.C., nightclub owner Antoine Jones to a suburban house used to stash money and drugs. He was sentenced to life in prison before the appeals court overturned the conviction.





President Obama: Murder Your Baby . . . Fulfill Your Dreams

A sick man, for a sick society, quoted here:

“And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

As a state lawmaker in Illinois, he voted four times against legislation to protect the life of a baby that survived a botched abortion. He voted against such legislation at the state level in 2001, 2002 and 2003. 

TSA Interferes With Senator's Travel to Washington, DC

ABC News actually gets the story right, here:

The U.S. Constitution actually protects federal lawmakers from detention while they’re on the way to the Capital [sic].

“The Senators and Representatives…shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same….” according to Article I, Section 6.

The Senate is back in session today at 2 p.m., with votes scheduled at 4:30 p.m.

Forty-eight States . . . Fifty-eight States . . . Whatever

"It is just wonderful to be back in Oregon, and over the last 15 months we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in fifty ... seven states? I think one left to go. One left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to, even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it."

-- Barack Obama, May 9, 2008 (video here)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Liberal George Bush Dramatically Expanded Food Stamps, But Obama Out-Liberaled Him

From an excellent summary of the food stamp facts since 1969 in The Wall Street Journal, here:

George W. Bush expanded food stamp eligibility with the egregious 2002 farm bill by adjusting deductions and income tests and encouraging states to find more participants. The Pelosi Congress then rebranded the program in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of June 2008 to emphasize nutrition rather than the stigma of receiving handouts. As a result and also thanks to the recession in 2008, food stamp participation rose by 10.9 million across the Bush Presidency.

But Mr. Obama is now outstripping that dubious achievement, and in only three years rather than eight. The 2009 stimulus bill increased maximum benefits and authorized more money for states to administer the program. Some 11.2 million more people have joined the rolls from 2009 through 2011, including 4.4 million last year during what was ostensibly an economic recovery.

46.2 million Americans get food stamps according to the latest data here. Fewer than 5 million received them in 1969.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

John Hawkins' Mistake: 'A Republican president IS the conservative movement'

In an otherwise sterling clarion call to stop Mitt Romney, John Hawkins of Right Wing News here displays what is fundamentally wrong with America's current conception of itself as a nation:

"A Republican president IS the conservative movement."

If that's true, then why are we bothering electing representatives and Senators? Why not simply go for dictatorship? One almost wonders if this is some weird transposition of a conception of religious vicariousness to politics: one man dying for the nation and all that. 

No. America led by a single (blended strong) man instead of the founders' America of a nation governed through intimate representation is what the last 100 years have been all about. Since 1913 this country has had 435 representatives in the US House when by today it should have grown to 10,267.

Presidents are elected by electors after all, not by the people. I would rather have 10,367 electors next autumn than today's measly, rich, corrupt 535, precisely because a president would have to persuade a lot more of them, not just before inauguration day, but for the entire four years of his term in office thereafter.

As things stand, however, a president ignores the Congress once he gets elected. Obama has done so spectacularly, even when his own party controlled the House. And make no mistake about it, the less represented you are, the happier is Washington DC, the better to stick it to you, my dear.

An adequately sized Congress is the people, not the president, otherwise America is finished, so-called conservative president or no. Representation, not the presidency, was the most significant issue debated in the ratification debates.

That's why Congress is held in record low esteem today: IT DOES NOT REPRESENT US.

2.5 Million Homes Lost to Foreclosure. How About At Least Another 4.5 Million?

Laurie Goodman is back in the news on housing, here:

All told, Goodman warns that more than 10 million of the nation's 55 million mortgage holders could default by 2018. ...
To avoid the "moral hazard" of rewarding foolish borrowers, Goodman recommends that lenders swap immediate principal reductions for shares of any gains on the mortgaged house when it is sold.

In 2010 she was talking 11-12 million defaults, so the new, only slightly lower, estimate shows that in the intervening two years she has corrected her predictive range by at most 16 percent.