Gingrich’s big, hollow win in Georgia

Many news outlets are reporting Gingrich’s win in Georgia’s Super Tuesday primary as distinct and expected. It was supposed to prelude Gingrich’s “March on The South.” However, at closer analysis, last night may have been the warm-salt watered gargle of the proverbial fat-lady singing for Gingrich’s bid for Presidency.

With Gingrich’s last win in South Carolina, the understood strategy seems to have been gathering strength in all Southern states and staying in the game. These states of the most concentrated number of delegates and will give any candidate more bang for their political buck. He was expected to win big in Georgia and polls projected Gingrich was surging in Tennessee as late as Monday. To be seen as a Southern victory, Gingrich would have needed to beat Romney in both states. He would also have needed to beat Romney by a high home-state percentage to obtain base support bragging rights. Instead, Gingrich lost Tennessee to Rick Santorum (he simply won’t step-aside as Gingrich suggested). Though this may not have been a death-blow, coming in behind Mitt Romney certain has to hurt. This indicates chinks in the Gingrich amour, even in Southern states. Under-performing in a state like Tennessee, a neighboring state to Georgia, suggests Gingrich will have a more difficult time than anticipated trekking through the South. He will have to fight against the ultra-conservative appeal of Santorum (from this point known as The Yankee) for the “anti-Romney” voters. If he performs this way in Mississippi and Alabama, that Yankee may destroy Gingrich’s campaign in the same way Sherman burned Atlanta. Santorum could rename his Southern campaigning “The Neo-Yankee March to the Sea.”

The bad news doesn’t stop there for Gingrich. Although he won Georgia’s primary, the less than spectacular results suggest he under-performed in that state as well. With 76 delegates up for grabs, he stated prior that he needed to win Georgia in order to maintain relevance. Since two nomadic candidates were competing in “home” states where they have held high-profile public office—Romney as former Governor of Massachusetts and Gingrich as former Congressman in Georgia— both were expected to win big (garner at least 50% of the vote or better) and gain momentum. This was especially important for Newt Gingrich as his campaign is marred by debt and could use a third wind. While Romney won decidedly  in Massachusetts by over 72%, Gingrich’s Georgia win was only 47.2%, less than the 50% needed to appear as a solid bet. In order to make Romney’s performance pitiful in Georgia, he needed to keep him below 20% overall and in most major voting congressional districts. Gingrich was unsuccessful. Romney obtained 25.9% on average (right on target). This allows him to take at least 13 delegates from the state. Gingrich walks away with 46. There are still 15 delegates unallocated. Based on elections reporting, Romney stands to gain a few more delegates, making this win in Georgia even more hollow for the former House Spea

The next Southern battles occur March 13 in Alabama and Mississippi. Based on the above results, these contest may just continue hammering the slow nail in Gingrich’s presidential-hopeful coffin.

Romney Taking Heat Over Position on Auto-Bailout in Michigan

Throughout the media Mitt Romney has taken heat for his position on the auto-industry bailouts.  Voters are noticing, too, as recent polls show that Santorum has taken the lead in the state.  It comes at a particularly bad time as the Michigan primary is just weeks away.

Earlier this week, Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in the Detroit News criticizing the 2009 bailout of Detroit’s Big Three automakers.  In it, he stands by his position at the time of letting the companies go through a managed bankruptcy, which was eventually done by Obama, and touts his Michigan roots as the son of former American Motor Company and Michigan Governor George Romney.  Romney goes on to blast Obama, calling the bailout and subsequent caving to union demands “crony capitalism on a grand scale”. Continue reading

Candidates tell Georgia to kiss their grits;CNN cancels Super Tuesday debate

Georgia is being bombarded by stump speeches, campaign fundraisers and rallies by the four leading GOP candidates Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul. No surprise, Georgia has a hefty 76 delegates at stake. The delegates will be divided according to the rules of the state GOP. Thus, there is something for everyone to gain in their fight for the hearts and minds of Georgia voters.

While all of the rallies and kumbaya politics sounds warm and fuzzy, this penchant for the positive seems to have left a bad taste in the mouths of GOP’ers around the state. Georgia will not be on these candidates’ minds as Romney, Santorum, and Paul have all formally declined appearing at the CNN Super Tuesday Debate to be held March 1 in Atlanta. These candidates appear to give the cold-shoulder to both Georgia and Ohio whose states actually have the largest delegate counts up for grabs Super Tuesday and partnered together for this event. With only Newt Gingrich on board, it seems this event will more than likely be canceled.

Should Georgia GOP’ers be offended? R.C. Hammer, a Gingrich spokesperson, tweeter this response earlier “@MittRomney spits in Georgia’s face and cancels Atlanta debate appearance. #CNN.” If this is indeed how it appears Georgia’s primary voters, they will have the chance to spit back Super Tuesday.

Do you think it is a smart move for any of the leading candidates to skip this debate? Have you heard enough and already know who you are voting for? We will know the answer in a few weeks.

The Republicans’ fading colours – The Spectator Magazine

Link to the original article:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/all/7648068/web-exclusive-the-republicans-fading-colours.thtml

 

Web exclusive: The Republicans’ fading colours

11 February 2012

CPAC Review essay by White House 2012 writer David Cowan published on The Spectator magazine website

 

Growing up in the 1960s, my primary school in Cambridge had an outdoor roofless boy’s toilets, and we happily enjoyed urinating up the wall. It was a sign we were getting further up the school when one day we were able to urinate over the wall itself — much to the annoyance of people on the other side. This memory came to mind this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington DC over the weekend, the annual gathering of some ten thousand political activists. This year CPAC was a pissing contest to see who was the most conservative.

The three Republican frontrunners, Santorum, Romney and Gingrich, in that order, sought to reach the base and convince activists about their conservative qualities. The themes they all offered were: what’s wrong with the Obama administration; a shopping list of what conservative policies would work better; an appeal to American exceptionalism; and a return to the founding principles of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

The three candidates are looking for the right to fight an Obama administration seen as somewhat Carteresque, from failed election promises through to the ideological infighting. Obama, though personally liked (Ann Coulter joked he would make a nice neighbour, unless you’re Chinese, then he’d keep borrowing stuff), is seen as ineffective and evasive.

To reenergise America, the candidates laid claim to the mantle of Ronald Reagan, frequently invoking his name and sunny disposition. Yet herein lies the rub. Reagan defeated Carter with ideas for the economy and foreign policy, successfully combining a conservative vision and charm to appeal to swing voters. At CPAC 1974, Reagan gave his famous ‘bold colours, not pale pastels’ speech, asserting conservative principles. This weekend showed that some of the colours have long since faded.

Things were certainly off-colour last time I was here, back in 2009, as defeated activists sought to pick themselves up after Obama’s coronation. The biggest cheers then were for Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, as they offered succour. Newt entered to his incongruous theme tune ‘Eye of the Tiger’, but instead of entering stage right he walked in through the crowd, parting them Moses-like, shaking hands and hugging supporters.

The danger three years on is, of course, an election that will see CPAC 2013 take place after a second Obama inauguration. Expect then a sinking sense of what might have been. For many American conservatives a Republican failure this year will exacerbate what they fear most: n irreversible dependency culture and Europeanisation. Daniel Hannan flew into DC to warn on just this point, expressing his amazement to rapt delegates that while Europe is driving off the cliff they can see America in their rear-view mirror, overtaking them.

Back in 2009 something else happened at CPAC. Sarah Palin was slated to speak, but failed to appear either in person or via a hastily announced satellite link. This was the signal that Sarah was taking the celebrity high road, rather than the political low road. This year, however, she did appear as closing speaker to offer the benediction — but not the one most people expected. She did not endorse Gingrich, as he himself alluded to in his own speech by quoting her husband Todd. She called for unity, but convoluted as ever, Palin said ‘whoever our nominee is we must work together to get him over the finishing line, and then next year we will have a true conservative in the Oval office’ — only to go on Fox news on Sunday afternoon to say she is still to be convinced Romney that is indeed a conservative.

Despite this, and despite the Santorum surge, Romney will see this conference as mission accomplished — reinforced by the CPAC Straw Poll narrowly backing his candidature. Out of the three candidates it looks seemed that Romney pissed the highest this weekend. And, while still divided, all the delegates would agree about who should be standing on the other side of the wall, on the receiving end.

CPAC and Sarah Palin mark a turn to unity

 

A vintage fiery performance: Palin told delegates we'll keep our guns, God and Constitution, and Obama can keep the change.

The most remarkable event of today’s CPAC was Sarah Palin endorsing unity. Instead of showing her support for any one candidate, she called for unity, saying that whoever the nominee is the GOP must defeat Obama. Whoever the nominee is conservatives must work together, she told an ecstatic audience, and the nation will have a true conservative in the White House.

The unity message, great!

It followed the announcement that Mitt Romney had narrowly won the CPAC Straw Poll, following his mission to the conference to prove his conservative credentials. It seems it may be mission accomplished. Certainly Romney will be feeling a lot better about his appeal to the conservative base after today.

The other remarkable performance came from the ever-popular Daniel Hannan, British Member for the European Parliament. Warning America not to go down the European road, he was amazed that while Europe is driving off the cliff they can see America in their rear-view mirror and overtaking them!

After his talk, I had a good conversation with him, as we walked through the hotel, including a detour through the kitchens! I asked him if he endorsed any candidates? He, just a little coyly, suggested it was difficult to choose, but stressed it was important for the party to unite behind a candidate and get Obama, who earlier in the day John Bolton called the “first post-American President”, out of the White House.

Daniel Hannan warns America not to follow Europe down a path and off a cliff

Hannan also urged me to write that the GOP must stop having so many debates, as it is only serving to divide the party. He also said Republicans need to focus on the budget, not all the side issues that divide conservatives. With that he headed for the airport, though many didn’t want him to leave and asked if he could be made an honorary American instead.

This has been an important few days for conservatives, and may finally signal the road to unity. Romney should start to pull firmly into the lead, and though Santorum and Gingrich will no doubt continue, they will see their numbers dwindle.

The New York Times carried a report ahead of Sarah Palin’s speech that she didn’t think a brokered RNC would be a problem. This is just a liberal wet dream. The reality is, Sarah Palin has signalled this important moment, and shown that there is less stomach for infighting.

I picked up my media credentials on Thursday at CPAC fearful of a divided party that would succeed only in rolling out the red carpet for President Obama. After three days, I happily left making my way through the handful of sorry-looking OWS protesters feeling that I can see November from here.

GOP Leaders call for minority outreach from CPAC: Just fuzzy talk?

At this year’s CPAC convention, this popular gathering of conservative voices heard many battle cries. Within the battle cries for unity, there was, as Andrew Breitbart described, a “dog whistle” blown. It is a cry that has been heard before for several years. Leaders emphasized the need to extend grassroots outreach to minorities, particularly Blacks and Latinos.

According to the latest U. S. Census report, more than 50 million Hispanics call America home. This accounts for one-sixth of the total population. Blacks account for almost 12 percent of the population. In 11 key battleground voting areas, minority youth are now the majority—of which 17 percent are from mixed-race families. By2042, it is projected that the minority will be the majority. Yet, during the last decade of election cycles, the Republican votes have decreased by approximately 10 percent with Hispanics . Most strategist believe it will be impossible to compete in the 2012 Presidential election without at least 40 percent minority support based on these latest numbers. The voters’ demographic and Congressional districts are changing before our eyes.

These numbers could not have been more reflected than the 2008 Presidential election. Pew research indicated a 70/30 Hispanic voter split favoring the Democratic party for executive office and a 60/40 split for Congress. 95 percent of Black voters cast their ballots for Obama in 2008. These numbers should scare the GOP. Indeed, it has made them proactive. However, the result isn’t to connecting; it is fear-mongering. Granted, many of the fear-mongering can be attributed to fallacies spewed by the Democratic party about Republicans, but there has not been much done to set the record straight. To the White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, the tactic maybe to ignore these communities because they are not convinced they would vote straight Republican. While Democrats would convince you Republicans would go out of their way to halt the Black vote, the Republican response  has been to (seemingly)  not encourage it.  The Southern strategy, as some call it, has been lightly veiled in poorly coded verbiage throughout this election cycle. In large delegate states, it may be a detriment in the general election.

Other GOP leaders have decided to take a more direct approach by going into these communities and informing them of how Republican economic policies and core, conservative values mirror what works best in allowing those communities to thrive. The GOP has heard this message before time and again. Each election cycle, we hear much talk about what will be done to reach urban and minority voters. The key to outreach is allowing others to connect with your message. This requires identifiable, well-qualified faces in leadership positions. Though there are a few shell organizations here and there whose mission is to bridge this gap, the effectiveness of these organizations can be seen by the results (or, in this case, lack there of).

The success of these organizations are heavily contingent upon their leadership. The minority ambassadors for the Republicans to Hispanics are impressive. Marco Rubio appeals to a large and varied audience. Republican Presidential candidate,Mitt Romney’s family has a long history of missionary service within Latin America. The Latino National Republican Coalition also does direct, grassroots outreach and organizing for Hispanics around the country successfully.

On the other hand, some Black Republican Councils merely serve as networking events with other black conservatives. Often, the leaders are jockeying for appointed positions within the party and take no true interest in outreach initiatives. It is merely another affiliation to place on their resume. Instead, they safely preach to the choir. They seemingly care more to safeguard their perceived status. Outreach and membership growth is not a priority.

The GOP ambassadors to the black community leave much to be desired. Black conservatism has risen by at least 10 percent from 2004 to 2008. By many accounts, the numbers may be far greater. However, minstrel politics with Amos and Andy style shucking and jiving for the very audience, (conservative WASPS) who will already vote Republican creates myths and deep disdain from black voters. While the black experience is not one unified experience, the Black community would appreciate being approach with respect. Instead, Blacks see polarizing figures who come across as if they are completely disconnected from Black American culture and the Black American voter. This is not about using The King’s English or dressing properly. This is about having a person look at you, hear what you say and try to connect with you on a human level. With GOP Black ambassadors, this is a missing ingredient.The GOP continues to present the “untouchable overachiever”.  The reason why Obama did so well with everyone, not just the black community, is because he is the seen as the “brotha done good.”  He is portrayed as the smart guy who cares about all people.  It is difficult to see where any of the high-profile Black Republican ambassadors have this same urban appeal with a conservative twist.

Will the GOP FINALLY listen? Will the GOP truly do the work necessary to empower all communities by simply doing the grassroots outreach work? Ironically, some have done so and it isn’t from where one might expect. The Tea party, after having voted in the highest number of black representatives into Congress since reconstruction, has openly put forth a strategy for minority outreach. These events will occur in places such as Texas,  Atlanta and Virginia in the coming months. Often accused of racism, The Tea Party is actually quite diverse. There is not just one Tea Party, with one message. They have many messages. Those messages go beyond race and ethnicity. The one that resonates with most is taxation and economic policy. In most cases, The Tea Party recognizes that the face and brand of the party needs to be re-tooled if the values they hold dear are to survive in a political environment. If all factions the GOP are not on one accord and truly perform minority outreach, we will read about this crucial time in books published years later and realize we watched the demise of the Republican Party.

Is Washington alive to the Sound of Santorum?

Santorum after his speech walks by WhiteHouse12, will he walk into the White House?

Rick Santorum appeared on stage with his family, introducing them he said they were not the von Trapp family and they weren’t about to sing. However as he set out on his speech to offer sweet music to conservative ears, he seemed to stumble a little, the speakers version of being out of tune.

But, he did get warmed up. He hit a number of high notes:

We must trust in “the conservative vision of bottom up” and show “how Obama policies have failed” America. This is what wins the race, Santorum crooned.

But he struck a bum note when he said we are not going to win this election with the candidate with the most money to beat up his opponent. Who could he possibly mean?

A sweeter note was sounded when he explained how liberals use sentimental ideas of stewardship to advance radical environmental policies.

Then onto a higher set of notes, when he reminded delegates that our rights come from a higher authority than the government. He was as clear as a bell when he chimed in that he is in this race because Obamacare is a game changer.

Rick Santorum was introduced as the only chance of winning in November as a fresh face, but there was little fresh material in this show.

Karen Santorum makes plans to let Rick go to exhibit hall, will she be making plans to change the White House decor?

That said he ended on a high note with “You are blessed to live in a time when America needs you”. He called on delegates to live in honor, ending with “The ‘how’ we are of America is the Constitution, the ‘who’ we are of America is the Declaration.”

To those who support Santorum, this speech will have been music to their ears. Whether he can light up the election with the sound of his brand of music remains to be seen.

 

 

 

A Populist CPAC, but where are the ideas?

Bookmark and Share Meeting Donald Rumsfeld today, the man who knows his knowns from his unknowns, he saw my media badge saying WhiteHouse12 and asked me “You’re from the White House?” I explained I was not, and we are a website covering the election, but I can’t be sure whether he was disappointed or not.

Being an election year, you would expect CPAC 2012 to be a populist fest of election themes, peppered with attacks on the Obama administration, and today’s line-up did not disappoint on that front. The worrying thing is that the slate of speakers, while inspiring the crowd, did not have ideas to inspire the folks with outside the conference hall. The speakers were long on broad principles but short on specifics.

CPAC 2012 Kicked off with a populist energy, but are speakers offering enough?

Marco Rubio got the crowd all whipped up, ready to be severely unwhipped by a windbag speech from Mitch McConnell. The House Senate Majority leader did the math well when he said that if you lose your job in the Obama economy it will take you 40 weeks to find a new one. However, his math failed him when he exceeded his 10 minute slot by some 20 minutes. Some disciplined editing down to 10 minutes would have given him a better speech. When he got a cheer at the end I couldn’t work out whether it was for his message or the fact that he had finished.

The schedule ran 30 minutes late for the rest of the day, and Michele Bachmann followed. Her speech was probably the most detailed of the day, focused on the series of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration. The former candidate launched a sustained attack on the policy failures, and blasted the president for not backing Mubarak, saying “Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt … The president spurned the President of Egypt when he took his first foreign trip to Cairo. In an absolutely shocking move, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood to hear his speech when Mubarak’s policy was to keep the Brotherhood at arm’s length.”

Bachmann attacked the president for not standing by Israel, “Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a judeo-christian nation.  I am here to say we are.” She concluded “The president’s foreign policy does change the history of the world, which is why Barack Obama cannot have a second term as president.”

Rick Perry got the crowd going as well, focusing on the economy he said “Success on Wall Street shouldn’t come at the expense of Main Street.” With the crash on the way, Perry said “Folks on Wall Street who saw it coming, they made millions; folks who didn’t see it coming, they got bailed out.” His parting shot was intended to strike an ominous note, saying “I’m fearful of what the score’s gonna be if we let the president start the second half as a quarterback.”

More populist notes were struck by Herman Cain, who told CPAC “A lot of people thought that after the character assassination that was launched against me that Herman was going to shut up and sit down and go away… Ain’t going to happen.” On his 9-9-9 plan, Cain told conservatives to press candidates for federal office to embrace his flat-tax solution before they are elected. He also invited “Joe The Plumber” Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District, to take a bow.

None of the main speakers offered endorsement messages for the 2012 GOP nominees, preferring instead to talk more generically about the need to stop a second Obama term. A late addition to the speaker slate was Rand Paul who arguably matched, perhaps exceeded, the rapturous applause received by Cain. Paul asked if the President hated rich people and poor people with jobs, but then went on to state “The president doesn’t really hate all rich people, just those who don’t contribute to his campaign.” He then rallied “If you’re a crony, if you’re a buddy, just stop by the White House.”

Paul rightly reminded attendees of Ronald Regan’s “optimism,” a president who he said “turned a whole generation of Democrats into Republicans.” His parting shot was “Who will be that next Ronald Reagan?” This gets to the heart of what folks are feeling, which ran though this whole first day, feeling the need for inspiration, the need for a positive approach, the need for American exceptionalism.

What was lacking was any real depth to the conservative messages today, and it will take more than the invocation of the name of Ronald Reagan and repeating the wrongs of the incumbent to put a conservative into the White House. Reagan brought more than sunny optimism to the White House, he brought some strong and deep ideas on the economy and foreign policy as well. I didn’t hear the equivalent depth of ideas today.

Tomorrow will see Gingrich, Romney and Santorum take the stage, but will they bring any more than today’s speakers? I may not know the knowns or unknowns of what tomorrow holds, but I know I won’t be holding my breath.

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Obama ruled eligible to be President by Federal Judge

The expected decision by Federal Judge Malihi to determine whether or not President Obama would be eligible as a candidate on the Georgia ballot has been released to the public.  Judge Malihi has ruled in favor of Obama and he will be on the Georgia ballot.

Clich here to read the final decision.

Transcripts released from Obama Georgia ballot eligibility case, decision expected soon.

The transcripts of the Powell, Swensson and Allen vs Obama case are now available to the public (click transcripts” to view).  This case was heard in a Federal Circuit Court in Atlanta last week.  All arguments were heard, though President Barack Obama and his representing attorney were not present at the hearing.

Based on the ruling, Obama may be kept of off the Georgia ballot.  Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, informed Obama’s attorney via letter (click “letter” to view) that he would proceed based upon the court’s ruling and the boycotting the court appearance is done “at your own peril.”

Do you think the burden of proof has been met my the plaintiffs?

The default judgment is expected to be released before February 4, 2012.

Hard Landing

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Newt Gingrich is limping out of Florida with no momentum, little money and not much to be happy about. After his substantial victory in South Carolina and visions of soaring to the moon, Newt has crashed back to earth. His supporters are pinning his loss on negative ads from the Romney side, but that argument is just sour grapes. The truth is that Newt hurt himself more than Romney did and very likely hurt the conservative cause in the process.

First, let’s dismiss the argument that negative ads are what sank Newt. That was true in Iowa. Conservative voters abandoned him and voted instead for Santorum. In New Hampshire without the attacks, the conservatives split fairly evenly between Gingrich and Santorum. In South Carolina, even with negative attacks, Newt won solidly. In Florida, Gingrich still won the conservatives – his voters did not run to Santorum as in Iowa. The negative ads didn’t bring Gingrich down. He secured his base, but it was a smaller base than in South Carolina. Hence, he lost.

To the moonHis real weakness was an inability to steal moderates from Romney. He only has himself to blame for that. His debate attacks were exposed as little more than stunts and his boasts exploded like over-inflated balloons. His image as a man with great knowledge and serious solutions backed by past experience suffered greatly. When he was caught with flagrantly incorrect ‘facts’ during the debates, it weakened trust in his criticisms of Romney. When his big spending promises in each State he’s campaigned in were called out during the debates, it weakened confidence in his ability to have real solutions. When his great claim to fame of balancing the budget was admitted to be false because it was done by robbing Social Security, it undermined his claim to be the experienced fixer the country needs. Gingrich didn’t just have some bad debates, he collapsed during them. His strong supporters may not see that nor admit it, but those who are not Newties were able to see it and the exit polls confirm it.

The real disservice Newt did in Florida was convince people that he is the only conservative who can beat Mitt. As a result, when Newt started to implode only voters who were shaky for Mitt stayed with him rather than go with another candidate. The race was viewed as being between Mitt or Newt and undecided voters found themselves with little choice than to support Mitt under the circumstances. Even if you add together the Gingrich and Santorum votes, Mitt still wins. That isn’t because of negative attack ads on Newt, but rather the inability of Santorum to gain undecided voters because they felt the only candidates who could win in November were Mitt and Newt. That two man view is something only Newt has been pushing and for which he must take the blame when his campaign stumbles resulted in an overall conservative loss.

Newt will likely double-down on his themes. He’ll say that he’s the only conservative that stands a chance. He’ll say that only he has the experience needed. He’ll whine about negative attacks. He’ll launch new attacks of his own which will likely be as weakly supported as his most recent ones in Florida that backfired. As I wrote after his loss in Iowa when he lost his temper and started his attacks on capitalism, Newt is his own worst enemy and his own undoing.

46 States to go…or so he says.

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Realigning the American Political Psyche Estblished by the Liberal Paradigm

Bookmark and Share   I have spent a lot of time listening to Democrats and President Obama in particular, preach about fairness and making people pay their fair share.  I have listened to an endless stream of liberals position themselves as federal cherubs who are trying to be little government sponsored guardian angels who just want to make sure that everyone is treated equally and that everyone gets what they deserve.    Sometimes I swear I am listening to Tinkerbell talking to Peter freaking Pan, or listening to Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, tell me that if I click the heels of my ruby red slippers together, I will suddenly find a magical rainbow that will lead me to a government provided pot of gold.

What bothers me the most is not that these liberal leprechaun would try to convince people that their American version of socialism would make everything better,  but that there are actually Americans who are really dumb enough to believe them.

But it is evidence of the fact that since the days of FDR, Democrats have come to believe not in strong economic policies for America, but rather in the kind of politics that can keep them in power by offering voters a choice between the truth of reality represented by the self determination which Republicans believe in, and the government fantasy version of reality that the left promotes.  It is the kind of politics that is rooted in dependency and it is comprised of a formula which seeks to make people believe that things can be easier if they keep Democrats in power because Democrats will give the people a litany of wonderful things by declaring them rights.

They will give you government provided health care, education, food, salaries, and services, and all these gifts will make our lives easier, and better.

It is a vicious cycle which all began by exploiting dependency,  a negative which Democrats now try to perpetuate.  For Democrats, their formula for electoral success relies mainly upon making more people, more dependent on government goodies so that come Election Day, the voters will embrace rather than bite the liberals hands that the people have literally come to expect to feed them.

Pursuit of this political formula for electoral success has unfortunately had a big impact on many Americans.  Without realizing it, many Americans have been brainwashed and come to embrace the liberal mindset which has successfully change the dynamics of American thinking.

Today, thanks to the left, the American constitutional paradigm which was a citizenry that granted limited powers to a federal government, has been forgotten and replaced with the thinking that starts from the premiss which has us now question how much power the government can give the people.  It is really all quite insane.

Today we take taxes for granted so much that the debate is not how much the government should take.  It is how much of what we earn  can we keep.  In this day an age we are grateful when a leader like Chris Christie comes along and proposes an across the board state income of 10%.  Thanks to liberal propaganda and decades of liberal training, we actually believe that politicians are doing us a favor by lowering our taxes.  But the truth is, that it is no favor!  It is the only decent thing to do!  Yet we have all fallen victim to a liberal agenda which has forced us to think backwards.  Whether we realize it or not, liberal thinking has shifted our mindset and so today we thank a politician for allowing us to keep more of our own money, when what we should actually be doing is reprimanding them for not giving us back more of our own money.

It’s time for people to wake up and realize that in America, the people do not exist because of government, government exists because of the people.  Americans need to realize that we should not be grateful for how much the government lets us keep, it is the government that should be grateful for what we the people are willing to give to it.   Until we all realize that,  we will all remain slaves to our government, and nothing more than the real servants to those who are suppose to be the government servants………the elected officials who we thank for allowing us to keep more of our money, and appreciate for giving us the permit and permission s to build a deck on our own private property or to go fishing or camping.

I recently listened to the elf-like liberal Congressman from Ohio, Dennis Kucinich.

Dennis was discussing President Obama’s State of the Union address and he told the listening audience that he believed “the rich should pay more”.  Other liberals phrase it differently.  President Obama likes to say that “the rich should be forced to pay their fair share”.  But what I need to know is what is fair and beyond that, who the hell has the right to tell us what is fair?  Is Dennis Kucinich the Fairness Fairy?

Fairness is arbitrary and our Constitution did not address fairness.  And as far as I known there is no twenty eighth amendment of the Constitution which defines fairness and articulates how government is suppose to legislate fairness.   But the Constitution of the United States does address government’s place in our lives and in doing so, it clearly states that we are granted our rights from our creator.   And just to make this clear, I need to tell you that the federal government did not create you or I.  Barack Obama can not take credit for me.  Nor can he legally take my rights away, even though several of his policies already have.

Another thing he should not be able to do is tell me how much I can earn, what I must do with my money, and who I must share it with.

Yet that is what the left has essentially lived for since the days of FDR.

They have lived for the opportunity to make me as good as the next guy by making sure that if the next guy is doing well, the government can redistribute his wealth to me.  Is that a definition of fairness?  Is it fair for me to profit from the work, ingenuity, work ethic, and committment of someone else?

These are the questions that President Obama and his Party have brought to the forefront in this election, more than any election we have seen in generations.

And while the economy is and should be one of the most important issues of the 2012 cycle, what America needs to really do is look at the dynamics behind the economy.  Then they must decide if we want to fully invest ourselves in to reconstructing our national foundation in to one that is the world’s preeminent government sponsored welfare state, a state which is the key element to the survival of each individual American.  Or do we want to strengthen the founding principles which were designed to get government and the federal bureaucracy out of the way so that we can practice the rights that we were endowed with by our creator and be free to dream well beyond the limits of the government bureaucracy?

That is the framework that this election must waged in. It is the question which the Republican nominee for President needs to condense every interpretation of each of their policies down to.

In 2012, the G.O.P. needs to remind people that dependency is not the American way and that our government was never meant to be the largest source of jobs in America.  In fact the purpose of our government is not to create jobs, it was designed to make sure that American people could create jobs.

People must be made to once again learn how things really work in America.

They must be retrained to understand that government created jobs do not generate profits that sustain the costs of the salaries paid to each government employee.  They need to understand that an employee of the EPA does not do create wealth, they consume wealth.  The American people must be made to once again realize that when the government creates a job, the salary for that job comes not from any federal profit…..it comes from the taxpayers, and in order to keep raising the money required to pay that government salary, the government will need to continue taking taxpayers money.

However, in the free market, profits create salaries and the more profits there are, the more salaries there are.

But there is even more to it than that basic fact.

Voters need to be made aware of the fact  that according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, civilian workers employed through the federal government have  an average wage of $81,258.  Yet at the same time, the average wage of the nation’s approximate 101 million private-sector workers  is $50,462.

This means that taxpayers, the people who are making money through jobs that generate profits, are paying federal workers 25% more than they make.  Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is increasing federal spending through so-called economic stimulus dollars, that is creating an even larger federal workforce, one that for a while was outpacing private sector job growth.  And that is a formula for further disaster.

Paying federal salaries, and more of them, that are higher than the salaries which provide the taxes that pay for those federal pay checks, is  a formula that leads to paying out more than we take in.  And that is just on government jobs.  It has nothing to do with the other more traditional forms of federal deficit spending based on entitlements and federal dependency programs.

All of this presents the next Republican presidential nominee a with a multifaceted challenge.

They must not just provide solutions and frame them in a way that wins people over, they must also educate people.  The next Republican presidential nominee must educate people on how America is suppose to work and they must teach them the reasons why the socialist model of contemporary liberal-progressivism does not work and how it is a system designed to keep the powerbrokers in power by making them the people we are dependent for our own survival.

In 2012 we make people understand that government is not a supernatural entity which can wave a magic wand over a problem and solve it without accountability and without there being future repercussions as Peter finally has to Paul.

Once people can be made to realize that, I mean really realize that, half the battle will be won.

Once that is achieved we then need to confront Democrats and tell them that if they want change the purpose of government, they, like President, should come right out and admit it.

When he was running for President in 2008, then Senator Obama declared that he wanted to “fundamentally change America”.  But few took him at his word.  And those that did, didn’t think he really meant he wanted to fundamentally change the constitutional responsibilities of government.  But now it is quite obvious that that is exactly what he meant.

In 2012 we must challenge Democrats to be truthful to the American people and force them to come before voters and admit that they want the federal government to have more control over our lives.  We must challenge them to be honest and admit that they do not like the fact that some people can be financially wealthier than others.  We must make the left come before the American electorate and let them know the America that liberals envision, is one in which everyone is made equal by lowering the overall quality of life rather than providing the type of environment which creates more opportunities for people to improve their quality of life.

We know for certain that class warfare is the name of the liberal game in 2012.  It’s nothing new.  But what Republicans must do now is reeducate the American people and make them realize why it is class warfare.  And we must then ask the American people to decide once for all, if they believe dependency on the federal bureaucracy is the best foundation for them to build their lives upon and for our nation to grow on, or is the independence behind our reason for being the more solid choice for the future of our nation and its people.

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Politics IS a Contact Sport

Newt hopes to land knock-out punch with attack ads, but is Mitt's mitt bigger and stronger?

So, Newt has launched an attack ad on Mitt, and no doubt the Democrats are watching with glee.  There are no doubt worries that attack ads damage the Republican Party, just as many worry that American politics is too divisive. Does all the “infighting” damage Republican chances?

Well, no.

Attack ads are part of politics. Politics is divisive. This is because folks disagree, and they rightly disagree on important points of principle and policy. Of course the candidates attack each other, and why not? The prize is big; these are passionate people who feel they deserve a run at the number 1 job on the planet. Otherwise, they might as well play paper and scissors for the right to run.

Cast your mind back to 2008, and the exchange of “shame” accusations by candidates Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton.

You can see her attack here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pPV1yd7sQg&feature=share and Obama’s response here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkR9kw81Cx8&feature=share. You can also see the Obama attack ad, comparing Hilary Clinton to Big Brother in Orwell’s 1984 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-lMZxjo, which is quite a laugh given that Democrats are the Orwellian nightmare party!

Both parties share the tactics of attack, and it goes a long way back. Hilary’s barb that Obama was following Karl Rove’s playbook was foolishness; it doesn’t take a village to work out that attacking the candidate, or in soccer parlance playing the man rather than the ball, goes back a lot further than Rove.

In fact, the earliest example of attack ads was launched by Lyndon B Johnson in 1964, in his attack on Barry Goldwater. Known as the “Daisy Spot”, it showed an innocent girl picking daisies followed by a countdown to nuclear catastrophe, which shocked audiences at the time. The idea was that Goldwater’s aggressive stance on the Cold War would lead to nuclear destruction. [You can view the ad here: http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/media/daisyspot/]This will be the same Johnson who thought escalating Vietnam was a good idea.

Hilary and Obama attacked each other without pulling their punches. She lost, Obama won, and despite all the punches Hilary laid on Obama he won the White House. Like Hilary’s husband said in 2008, “This is a contact sport, politics. You can’t complain about being attacked. It’s like Yao Ming complaining about being fouled playing basketball.”

The narrative that the attack by candidates is damaging is simply a way of attacking the Republicans, while President Obama as incumbent and the official nominee come September can stand serenely above the action and appear, well, presidential. That is, until his Republican opponent is selected and can turn his attention to attacking Obama’s record 100%.

For this reason ending the attacks is important, we need to see the main bout start. The chief result of Newt’s attacks on Mitt is to bring Mitt onto the canvas ready to land his punches. Newt’s attack ads are the last attempts to land some body blows on Mitt, but Mitt’s mitt appears to be the bigger and stronger of the two. Once the attacks are done, the choice is made, the Republican nominee can step onto the canvas and win the prize fight that will take him to the White House.

Bill Clinton was right, this is a contact sport. He was wrong to compare it to basketball though. This is a fight, and it is a fight to the end. Unlike Johnson’s Daisy ad the countdown is not to nuclear destruction, but losing to Obama will see more destruction of the American economy and the nation.

Obama Raised Taxes on Buffet’s Secretary!

Populism Gone Wrong

Last night, Warren Buffet’s secretary occupied  a place of honor as an invited guest of the Obama’s to the State of the Union address.  She got to sit with the First Lady, sort of like the Iraqi woman who was invited by Bush and showed off her ink stained finger for voting.  So what exactly did Buffet’s secretary symbolize?  The downtrodden middle class who somehow pay more taxes than billionaires like her boss Warren Buffet.

There is one glaring problem with Obama using Debbie Bosanek, Buffet’s secretary, as a prop for class warfare.  As Paul Roderick Gregory with Forbes Magazine calculates, Buffet’s secretary makes at least $200,000 a year.  Fortunately, she can still call herself part of the 99% because at $200,000 a year, she only made the top 3% of income earners, not the top 1%.

But here is the best part: Obamacare raises taxes on individuals making more than $200,000.  Because of Obamacare, starting next year Warren Buffet’s secretary will pay an additional 3.8% on investment income, and an additional .9% in Medicare taxes for a total tax hike of 4.7%.  And if Obama gets his way and the Bush tax rates are eliminated for individuals who make more than $200,000, Obama will have effectively raised Buffet’s secretary’s taxes by 7.7%, or possibly as much as 9.6% if she is in the highest tax bracket.

Good job, Mr. President.  Thank you for that ever-so-perfect State of the Union prop.

Speaking of Buffet

In case you were wondering why Obama canceled the Keystone pipeline, a move the Washington Post called “insanity”, we may get some clues by following the money.  According to Bloomberg, Obama supporter Warren Buffet stands to profit big time from cancellation of the pipeline.  Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway owns the rail companies who will transport the oil in lieu of a pipeline. Crony capitalism at its best, at the cost of thousands of American jobs.  Oh yeah, and for you environmentalists who opposed the pipeline, what sort of impact do you think transporting that oil on trains will have on the environment?  Maybe you should re-think this one.

Jacksonville TEA Party Straw Poll Picks Newt

In the first ever Angie’s Subs Caucus, TEA Party members from across the Northeast gathered at Angie’s Subs in Jacksonville, Florida to discuss local and national politics and have a straw poll.  323 votes were cast and the winner was Newt with 138 votes, or 43%.  Second place?  Ron Paul, gaining 26% of the vote.  Romney finished third.

Thursday, Jacksonville will be hosting the last debate before voters in this key state hold their primary.  Recent polls have wavered back and forth with Newt erasing a double digit deficit to now have a slight lead in most polls.

Rubio Flexes Influence

Newt Gingrich pulled an add calling Mitt Romney “anti-immigrant” after Marco Rubio called out the ad as deceptive.  What this shows is the incredible respect the current Republican godfathers have for the 2010 class.  And this is well deserved.  Marco Rubio, Alan West, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and a host of Republican governors including Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and others, represent the type of conservatism that the TEA Party loves, but that also resonates with Americans.  Part of the reason the 2012 Presidential field has been disappointing for some is because the giants of 2012 pale in comparison to the greatness of the younger Republican generation.

 

There Will Only Be One American Running for President In 2012

 

A Populist Agenda?

There will only be one American for president in 2012, and I am not talking about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

The 2012 election is in effect a Referendum on American Capitalism. If the Republicans choose Mitt Romney, as they surely must, he will represent American Capitalism. President Barack Obama will represent Europeanized State Capitalism. Go ahead America, make your choice.

President Obama wants the decision about who is too wealthy and who is not to be made by government. He wants a universal healthcare system. He wants a government-sponsored state capitalism to engineer poverty reduction. His “populist” agenda is nothing of the sort, it merely appeals to the lowest common denominator and will lead to European-style dependency and an entitlement culture.

What he doesn’t seem to want to do is create wealth. Who will create the wealth? His program can in no way be financed by the current parlous state of the nation’s finances, after all you can only print so much money and make so many promises. Look at the current state of Europe, do you want an America where states will be forced to bail out other failing states; a new republic of economic basketcases?

In President Obama’s “State of the Campaign” address, he sought to deflect from the campaign that on his watch there are now more than 13 million people out of work and the government debt stands at a record high of $15.2 trillion, up from $10.6 trillion when he took office. State? A complete mess!

Yet, conservatives in America have joined the baying OWS crowd in calling for equality, but in so doing they are asking the government to control the economy. There is a cultural shift which lies behind the attack on “big business”, “Wall Street” and “Fat cats.” This shift is best described as “resentment,”a well known emotion in Europe.

Whoever you support for the GOP nomination, the attack by conservatives on Romney’s wealth is the most absurd aspect of the current debate. I always thought doing well was to be admired in America. There was a good piece by David Brooks in the New York Times recently, where he made the wise observation of Romney: He may have character flaws, but he does not have the character flaws normally associated with great wealth. His signature is focus and persistence.The wealth issue is a sideshow.

Indeed, it is a sideshow! Front row spectator, with a wide grin, is President Obama. Think on that my friends.

The practical outcome is that “big business” becomes state-owned business instead, as it is in China, Russia, and the Middle East. The free market if not reaching an end becomes state-controlled markets. Who will defend the world against this State Capitalism if America, the paragon of liberal Capitalism, does not?

President Obama, OWS, and conservative attacks on Mitt Romney are all part of weakening America’s ability to ensure free markets, but, hey, if that’s what you want America, it’s a free country…but not for much longer.

The issue at the heart of the 2012 election will be whether America wants to continue with American Capitalism, in spite of its flaws, or embrace the intellectually flawed and alien European style State Capitalism. Get it right folks, President Obama is not a Socialist, and Europe is not Socialist. Communism and Socialism have failed, and they have been replaced by coalitions of single issue groups and state power interests.

President Obama is a statist. Europe is statist. The economy is the tool of state power and control over our lives, not in the interest of the working classes, and certainly not the middle class, but in the interest of the elite statists who “know better”.

The Italian Marxist writer Antonio Gramschi stated: “The revolutionary forces have to take civil society before they take the state, and therefore have to build a coalition of oppositional groups united under a hegemonic banner which usurps the dominant or prevailing hegemony.” What he argued was that leftists don’t need a revolution, they need to get their hands on the levers of power, which they have done in Europe for a number of decades…and now in the White House.

The constant whining “civil society” approach of Leftists is the tactic they use, and it is being used to usurp American Capitalism. President Obama has been reading Gramschi’s playbook, and conservatives are falling for it.

 

Trunkline 2012: Tuesday Tidbits From The Republican Presidential Race – 1/24/12

Bookmark and Share Today’s campaign trail news gives us a glimpse at how Billion Buck Barry intends to campaign for President, thoughts on Mitch Daniels’ entry in to the presidential race, news about how Ann Coulter and Chris Christie are sharing bunched panties, and news about Romney pulling even with Gingrich in favorable ratings, Democrats taking charges against Newt too far, and much more.  All in White House 2012’s Trunkline 2012.
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Gingrich Pays Much Higher Tax Rate Than Obama

The 99% should chew on this: Compared to Obama’s 24% effective income tax rate, Newt is paying a lot more.  Newt is paying an effective income tax rate of 31%, which is probably higher than even Warren Buffett’s secretary.

Here is my question.  Most people don’t know how to read their own tax return.  What is the big deal about releasing your tax returns?  Unless of course you are one of Obama’s cabinet members, in which case your tax return typically reads like an Enron financial statement.  Newt may think his higher tax rate than Obama and Romney will be a good thing to get out there.  Probably true.  Although, Newt should be hoping no one takes notice of his anemic giving percentage which hovers around 2% (although much higher than Biden’s charitable giving which is somewhere around .1%).

When Romney guestimated his tax rate at around 15%, I was surprised to see many columnists talk about how “many families” pay a higher rate than that.  Well, I do taxes for a living, so I thought I would apply some of my expertise and  see what “many families” actually means these days.  To pay a rate of 15% on income taxes, a husband and wife with absolutely no deductions would have to make more than $96,000 a year.  What I mean by no deductions is no mortgage, no kids, no education costs, no student loan interest, no retirement, etc.  The median income for dual income households is around $67,000.  So do you pay a higher income tax rate than Mitt Romney?  I’m going to go out on a statistical limb and say the answer is probably no.  If you do, did I mention I’m a tax accountant?…

 

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