Thursday, February 7, 2013

Maybe Rove Has a Point

Maybe Rove Has a Point

Let's put ideology aside for a moment.

Karl Rove, architect of the George W. Bush-era Republican victories, says he's sick of fanatics running his party into the ground. So he's devised a strategy to pre-emptively sink unelectable candidates early in the process. He's formed a new super PAC to implement this strategy. It's called the Conservative Victory Project, and it's led by a guy named Steven Law, who was the head of another super PAC, called American Crossroads, which went something like 0-7 in the 2012 election cycle. (Not that anyone's counting.)

Grass-roots conservatives, needless to say, are quite perturbed. "I'm filing the paperwork to form a super PAC to support freedom-loving conservative alternatives to (Karl Rove) on FOX," tweeted former Rep. Joe Walsh. Surely, he won't be the last to counter Rove's efforts.

Suspicions about establishment Republicans are well-founded, but Rove has a point, as well. Purely as a tactical matter, why not weed out inept -- or insane -- candidates before they start spouting off about a woman's organic ability to prevent pregnancy when raped? I'm no Sun Tzu, but winning elections seems to be a crucial part of politics. And if being right were enough, I'd be buying my lunch with a $20 bill featuring former two-term president Barry Goldwater.

Law says that Republicans have "blown a significant number of races" because candidates prone to the chillingly bizarre have won GOP primaries before falling to Democrats. We need not relive them all.

Then again, it's also fair to say that if the "establishment" had gotten its grubby RINO paws on GOP primaries, America would be without some of the most interesting Republicans out there -- Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, for starters. All this only proves that you can be successful (SET ITAL) and (END ITAL) philosophically committed (well, as committed as a politician can be).

Actually, you needn't look further than President Barack Obama, whether you're a fan or not, to see what the entire package looks like -- a man who is dedicated to ideology and has the political acumen to spin populist demagoguery and, ultimately, enjoy political success.

So the GOP civil war is based on a false choice. Surely, people exist in America who can placate both sides of the divide. Surely, there are charismatic candidates available to articulate enticing arguments in defense of limited government. Surely, there are limited-government types who can successfully implement fiscal conservative reforms (even in far-flung places, such as Wisconsin) and remain popular.

And just as surely, not every candidate can look the same. The Conservative Victory Project says that its aim is to institutionalize William F. Buckley's rule: Support the most conservative candidate who is electable. The most electable conservative candidate in the Northeast isn't going to be a social conservative. It's that simple.

"If ... people think the best we can do is Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, they're wrong," Rove recently explained. "We need to do better if we hope to take over the United States Senate. We need to get better conservative candidates and win." Rove may be the wrong person to play kingmaker, but what's wrong with the sentiment? Republicans, despite the belief of many grass-roots activists, don't have a crisis of philosophy (the party is about as conservative as ever); they have a roster problem. A message problem.

A persuasion problem. Right or wrong, they're not winning arguments.

So though Rove's recent history might not be impressive, he's got a point: If Republicans worried as much about quality as they did about purity, they might be better off.

Who Cares About Jobs When You Can Regulate Happy Meals?

I wish Obama and the Democrats could be as passionate about jobs as they are about, say, the contents of Happy Meals. Or the dust from cement factories. Or the habitat of the red-cockaded woodpecker.

While the wizard of DC remains a master of illusion and delusion, focusing everyone’s attention on the man behind the curtain- and his 20 Little Martyrs- the jobless recovery now enters its fifth year with no signs that hiring will be picking up soon.

So instead of worrying about the peckers, I wonder about the 12 million martyrs who remain unemployed. And the 3.6 million martyrs who are not in the labor force. And the 8 million martyrs who can only find part-time work. That’s almost 24 million martyrs, plus their families.

Jobless claims went up fractionally last week, showing little progress in tackling unemployment. Jobs numbers for December weren’t even enough to cover those entering the workforce.

This is exactly what we’ve come to expect under Obamanomics, which has dumbed-down our economy like it was Greece or California.

According to the BLS household data, 192,000 people entered the workforce in December while only 155,000 jobs were created. Those numbers are consistent with trends established in 2011 and in 2012.

“December's overall figures were only slightly better than 2012's average growth of 153,000 per month,” says CNN Money, “which mirrored the 2011 pace. That's not enough to make a significant dent in the unemployment rate, economists said.”

And that has a negative effect on the net economy.

Yet still CNN files the story under “America’s Comeback.”

At average weekly wages of $818.69, that’s about $13 billion of immediate spending and investment missing from our economy every week or nearly $700 billion per year.  And that’s not counting the underemployed workers working just part-time.

To put that number in perspective that comes out to about $150 billion in missing tax revenues per year for the federal government counting payroll taxes and income taxes.  If money had any velocity in our economy, the number would likely be twice that because dollars would move through the system with some rapidity.

But Obama seems set on doing whatever he can to keep the economy bouncing along the bottom until if goes over what U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee calls the “Regulatory Cliff.”

“Last week it was the Soot Rule, now it’s Boiler MACT and Cement MACT,” said Inhofe on Christmas Day.

“It’s clear that with the election over, the President is intent on taking the nation over the Regulatory Cliff. I predicted this would happen after the election in my report, A Look Ahead to EPA Regulations for 2013, which I published a month before the election. These rules will cost industry billions of dollars to comply with, meaning that tens of thousands of jobs are going to disappear.”

It’s clear that if you are looking for good news you can’t turn to Washington and our elected leaders for it.

“One positive note is that there was a notable rise in the number of unemployed re-entering the market,” said Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at CohnReznick according to CNN. “The figure jumped nearly 8% in December, possibly signaling a renewed sense of optimism among the jobless.”

Well that’s only because there are so many jobless.

Thank God for the 24 million jobless who are there to provide optimism for the rest of us that Obama and Congress won’t provide.

24 million martyrs? Jobless? Discouraged?

There’s not much to pick between the terms.

In any event, they serve DC just fine whatever one wants to call them. 

Ahmadinejad: "The people of Iran are ready to march on Israel to wipe it out if it launches into an adventure against Tehran"

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Still more genocidal threats. And the world still yawns. "Iranians can ‘wipe out’ Israel if attacked: Ahmadinejad," from AFP, February 6 (thanks to Voice of the Copts):
The Iranian people are ready to march on Israel to “wipe it out” if the Jewish state attacks the Islamic republic, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in statements published Wednesday by Egypt’s state news agency. 
“The people of Iran are ready to march on Israel to wipe it out if it launches into an adventure against Tehran” and attacks the country, the Iranian president told Egyptian newspaper editors, according to excerpts published by MENA.
“The Zionists... hope to aggress Iran and attack it, but they are very afraid of the Iranian reaction and of the consequences of such an attack,” he said in the Arabic transcription of the comments made during a visit to Egypt.
“Our defense forces are capable of dissuading any aggressor and making him regret his act,” Ahmadinejad said....
Much of the international community fears that Iran’s nuclear program includes efforts to develop nuclear weapons, a charge that Tehran denies.
Israel believes that Iran must be prevented from reaching military nuclear capabilities at any cost and refuses to rule out military intervention to achieve this.
Ahmadinejad is on historic visit to Egypt, the first by an Iranian president since Tehran severed diplomatic ties with Cairo in 1980 in protest at the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.
While in Cairo, he is attending a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [.]
Norquist: Sequestration ‘Fine Way’ to Stop Overspending
By: Paul Scicchitano / Newsmax

With time once again running out to avoid $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, conservative activist Grover Norquist, who invented the “anti-tax increase” tax pledge embraced by Republicans, tells Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg that conservative legislators should allow the cuts to proceed barring an 11th-hour shift in the president’s negotiating tactics.

“The president has put exactly nothing on the table with the exception of sequestration, which is the law of the land,” said Norquist, appearing Wednesday on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV in New York.

“The sequester is going to take effect because Obama has no interest in managing spending restraint more artfully than the sequester and his idea of replacing or delaying the sequester is a complete nonstarter,” said Norquist.

The Malzberg show is broadcast by Newsmax Media Inc. It will also be carried live on SiriusXM’s Channel 166 nationwide, and will soon air on major radio stations. The show can be seen live on Newsmax's website.

On Tuesday, Obama urged Congress to postpone the across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1 to avoid what he described as “real and lasting impacts” on U.S. economic growth.

He urged lawmakers to instead act on a smaller package of spending cuts and changes to the tax code that would increase revenue, such as limiting tax breaks, to replace part of the $1.2 trillion sequestration.

Norquist dismissed the president’s plea as disingenuous.

“Sequestration is a fine way to cut the budget from Obama’s overspending,” Norquist asserted. “Now the president hoped that Republicans were so scared by the idea of nicking the Pentagon’s budget that when push came to shove — when we came to the time for sequestration to start — the Republicans would come and beg him, ‘Oh please, let’s do something other than reduce any military spending at all.’”

Republican leaders have also said they expect the spending cuts to take effect, partly because they won’t agree to new revenue measures that Obama and some other Democrats have said they want.

Norquist believes that sequestration is all but inevitable.

“It will begin. It will last 10 years. It will be good for the economy. It will be very helpful,” he predicted. “Are there alternative ways to save that same amount of money? Sure, and I know the Republicans will put those forward. Do I believe for a moment that the president will entertain those? No.”

While the cuts will be particularly hard on the military, Norquist said that Republicans know “better than anyone else” that a lot of money can be saved at the Pentagon.

“Defense is an important thing for the government to do but it’s important not to waste money, so budget cuts are a good idea,” he said. “We need to do them as gracefully and as artfully and as thoughtfully as possible.”

The Harvard-educated president of Americans for Tax Reform started soliciting signers to the no-tax-increase pledge from state capitols to Capitol Hill in 1986 with the passage of the landmark Tax Reform Act.

Norquist acknowledges that there could be a better alternative to sequestration if Democrats would be open to compromise.

“Sequestration is a little bit of a meat-ax approach, which is why Republicans several times, twice now, passed alternative savings for the same dollar amount, if you wanted to look at doing it slightly differently,” observed Norquist. “The Republicans are committed to saving $1.2 trillion of the president’s overspending over the next 10 years. The Republicans are open to saving it different ways.”

He believes that the president’s focus on tax loopholes is yet another example of class warfare, but one that would not simply affect wealthy Americans.

“Your home mortgage — interest on your home mortgage — the state and local taxes, the property taxes that people deduct from their income, when they pay their income taxes, charitable contributions,” he explained. “Those are the big ones. That’s what the president’s talking about. He’s not talking about corporate jets or something like that.”

Congress created the automatic cuts in August 2011 as part of an agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. They were set to begin in January, though Congress delayed them for two months in a Jan. 1 measure that let tax rates rise on top earners’ income.

Norquist added that if Democrats want to avoid the automatic cuts, they should push through an alternative in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

“This is a law that’s passed. You want to alter this law, you write something down in legislative language. You get 51 or 60 Democrats in the Senate to vote for it,” admonished Norquist. “Don’t come and talk to us about essays written — a haiku about what might be. Write it down, pass it in the Senate, then we could look at it.”
Op-ed:
A shrinking economy...Obama owns it
By: Diane Sori

Here it is folks...more unhappy news from Obamanation...the US economy, the biggest in the world, shrunk by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, the first time in three and a half years.  Why...because American businessmen were and still are nervous about ObamaCare and how it will affect their payrolls, because they're worried about Obama’s still most likely raise in taxes on capital, and because private companies cut back orders to reduce their stocks due to a decline in exports.  

So while economists had hoped for at least a mild growth of about 1%, even a 1% growth would NOT have mattered all that much as the fact remains that in order to see that any true economic recovery has really begun a 3% to 4% growth number is needed, and that number will NOT be seen for quite some time.

But NO...our media anointed 'lord and savior', Barack HUSSEIN Obama, says the economy shrunk because the government isn't spending enough and that he needs to spend more.  Needs to spend more...can you believe the audacity of this man when he and his cronies are spending a record 25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)* and running up $1 trillion deficits.

So NO matter what Obama says, the simple truth is that the economy slowed because of his out of control spending and the fact that a record number of Americans are still out of work...as in the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 % in January from December's 7.8%%, and in the week ending January 26th (the latest date numbers are currently available for) the new first-time claims for unemployment benefits was 368,000, an increase of 38,000 from the previous week's figure of 330,000.

Some economic recovery, huh...I don't think so but Obama and the msm say all is moving along quite nicely so it must be so (gag).

And now into this NOT happy little mix of economic stew comes the do-nothing Congress who must try to avert the automatic $1.2 trillion in negotiated cuts that were agreed upon in order to end the recent debt ceiling roadblock.  And with Obama 'ordering' (yes 'ordering') Congress to pass short-term spending cuts and tax reforms (tax increases is more like it) if they want to avoid the automatic cuts, Barack HUSSEIN Obama has once again overstepped his bounds by 'ordering' Congress to do anything.  Can a president 'order' Congress to do their bidding, NO I don't think so, as I believe this to be but another of his thinly veiled threats to try and force both parties to pass a budget resolution by March 1st which he knows is highly unlikely, and therefore he knows he will get the automatic domestic and military spending cuts that he so wants...and those monies he will funnel into his freebie and handout programs to keep those whose votes he bought happy.

Automatic spending cuts...in a word sequestration...totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years...NOT good when the national debt currently stands at more than 16 TRILLION and climbing.  And NOT good when most of those cuts are to our defense budget which is oh so dangerous in this day and age of the islamic terrorist.

But especially cutting our military budget is something Obama is salivating over as he wants to see our military weakened, for even a perceived weakness in our military strength only strengthens the military might and determination of his muslim brethren, the very ones Barack HUSSEIN Obama truly stands and sides with.

So with revisions to the GDP number due in February and March, and with the final figure most likely going up (NOT good), and with the highly probable budget cuts looming, this new negative GDP number could very well undermine the slightly improving consumer confidence that some economists speak about, and send our economy NOT just into a slight downturn but into a full-blown recession.

And guess what, the days of blaming Bush are long over as Barack HUSSEIN Obama and his wild spending sprees owns it all.



* The GDP is the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year equal to total consumer, investment, and government spending, plus the number of exports and the value of imports.