Political Miscellania

Political Miscellania: 1/17/12

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The first of our Political Miscellanias for 2012.

1.  Newt Gingrich v. The Food Stamp-President-Gingrich demonstrated at the debate last night why he was once in first place  in the race.  He is unwilling to let the media set the terms of the agenda;  in the cut and thrust of debate he is unmatchable;  and he is invincibly politically incorrect, at least on the stump.  As to the importance of early jobs, he is correct.  My high school job, scrubbing dishes and floors, taught me some valuable early lessons about work, money and savings that have stood me in good stead throughout my life.

2.  Santorum won Iowa-It looks like Rick Santorum probably won the Iowa caucus.  I have heard that his margin of victory is probably about eighty ballots.

3.  Jon Huntsman drops out-Every Democrat’s favorite Republican has dropped out of the race.  Mandarin Chinese teachers in this country are devastated.  Huntsman’s campaign never took off, and his Waterloo arrived swiftly when he came in third behind Ron Paul in New Hampshire.  Although it obviously did not help him, Huntsman will always have a warm spot in my heart for this campaign commercial:

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Political Miscellania 10\27\10

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A roundup of recent political news less than a week before the election.

1.  Debbie Does Delusion-  Reason TV Porker of the Month is one of my favorite internet monthly videos.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz , Congresswoman for Florida 20, is one of the more telegenic of the Democrat members of Congress, and one of the most eager to appear on television.  It is said that one of the most dangerous places to be in DC is between her and a tv camera.  Somehow though, I doubt if she will appreciate her Reason TV feature.  Her pro-life opponent Karen Harrington has been waging an aggressive uphill campaign.  It is an overwhelmingly blue district, but if it is a night for political miracles next Tuesday, I hope that Karen Harrington can free Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for a full time TV career.

2.  To Dream the Impossible Dream-Speaking of uphill fights, John Dennis, a libertarian Republican, has been going full bore against Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, and fondly designated by me as The Lying Worthless Political Hack.  California 8 in San Francisco is the blue heart of liberalism in this country, and therefore it would take a political earthquake of biblical proportions for Dennis to win, but that hasn’t stopped him from campaigning with endless energy and humor:

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If a candidate deserves to win simply due to energy, style and sheer brio, it is John Dennis.  May Saint Jude be paying attention to this race.

3.  How Low Can He Go?- Harris interactive poll had the President at 37% approval yesterday, a new low mark for him.  Coincidentally, on Monday our post-partisan President said that Republicans were welcome to work with him as long as they sit in the back of the bus.  “We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”  It’s a generous offer Mr. President, but after next Tuesday I think the Republicans will be sitting up front with you. Continue reading

Political Miscellania 10\20\10

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A roundup of political news less than two weeks from the midterm elections.

1.  Kentucky Fried Political Suicide-Jack Conway decided to lose the Kentucky Senate Race with a bang not a whimper.  His video resurrects a college prank pulled by Rand Paul almost three decades ago and attempts to use it to brand Paul an apostate from Christianity.  I have seen lots of ludicrous attack ads over the years but this one takes the case.  And the woman who was tied up in the prank?  Here is her take:

The woman — who was made available to me for an interview by GQ reporter Jason Zengerle in response to the Paul campaign’s denunciations of his article — said she didn’t mean to imply that she was kidnapped “in a legal sense.”

“The whole thing has been blown out of proportion,” she told me. “They didn’t force me, they didn’t make me. They were creating this drama: `We’re messing with you.’”

The woman said that much of the subsequent coverage of her allegations missed a key nuance: As a participant in a college ritual, where lines between acquiescence and victimization are often blurry, she was largely playing along with the notion that she was being forced to follow Paul’s orders.

“I went along because they were my friends,” she said. “There was an implicit degree of cooperation in the whole thing. I felt like I was being hazed.”

By all accounts the ad is backfiring big time on Conway and will probably ensure a double digit Paul victory.  Most voters understand that college students are young and often immature, at least I was,  and can act in fairly foolish ways at times as a result.  Besides, attempting to turn this into an attack on Paul’s religious faith is misplaced.  I am as confident as I can be that when Paul was tying up the coed the last thing on his mind was religion.

2.  Ohio Fried Political Suicide-Steve Driehaus is the Democrat Congressman for Ohio 1.  He doesn’t want you to see the ad above.  He is desperate because he trails his opponent Steve Chabot by double digits according to a recent poll.  He is one of the incumbent Democrat Congressmen who have been cast adrift by the Democrat party because their re-election races appear hopeless.  He is also one of the “pro-life” Democrat Congressman who voted for ObamaCare.    The Susan B. Anthony List paid for a billboard to remind the constituents of Driehaus that ObamaCare allows for public funding of abortions.  Driehaus complained to the Ohio Election Commission, claiming that the ad is misleading.  A hearing is scheduled for the end of October.  The attorneys for Driehaus strong armed the owner of the billboard not to allow the ad until the Commission has issued a ruling.  The President of the Susan B. Anthony List Marjorie Dannenfelser has stated in regard to Driehaus and his lack of familiarity with the first amendment:

The Ohio Elections Commission has allowed Steve Driehaus to achieve his strategic objective of preventing constituents from learning the truth about his vote in favor of taxpayer funding of abortion in the health care reform bill. We are disappointed and surprised that the complaint was not immediately dismissed. The fact that the health care reform bill allows for taxpayer funding of abortion has been agreed upon by every major pro-life group in the country, including National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Focus on the Family, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The larger problem here is a public official’s attempt to use a criminal statue to silence legitimate debate on his record. The proper place for public policy debate is in the public square, not in an Elections Commission or criminal court. The SBA List will see this process through to the end and vigorously defend our position that the health care reform bill, supported by Steve Driehaus, allows for taxpayer funding of abortion. Moreover, we will use every vehicle possible within our First Amendment rights to communicate this message to the people of Congressman Steve Driehaus’ district between now and the hearing.

Of course by attempting to suppress the billboard, Driehaus has ensured that it has been seen by far more people over the internet and in newspaper and television stories than would have ever seen the billboard.  Brilliant.  Desperate and stupid is a poor combination in politics. Continue reading

Political Miscellania 10\14\10

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A roundup of recent political news.

1.  O’Donnell-Coons race- Christine O’Donnell takes aim in the above video at the major weakness of Chris Coons in the Delaware Senate race:  he does have a history of being in favor of tax increases.  Saturday Night Live mocks O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” ad here.  Polls show O’Donnell some 16-20 points behind Coons.  In a normal election year I would assume that she had no chance, but this is far from a normal election year.  Additionally Mike Castle had a substantial lead over O’Donnell in the polls until a few days before she beat him in the Delaware primary.

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Political Miscellania 10\6\10

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A roundup of recent political news.

1.  I am not a witch!  Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” opening salvo in her ad campaign.  Normally an ad from a candidate denying she is a witch would be the last thing heard from a campaign doomed to defeat and oblivion.  However, these are far from normal times.  O’Donnell does two things with this ad.  First, she shows the public that she is a real person and not the cartoon character created by the mainstream media and the denizens of the Left, and she begins to position herself as what she is:  the ultimate outsider.  Not a bad strategy in a political year that will be kind to outsiders and cruel to insiders.

2.  Gallup Poll-Gallup for some reason has been late this year applying a likely voter screen in their polls.   The closer you get to an election the more reliable likely voter polls get, and the less reliable registered voter polls are.  In a high turnout election, Gallup predicts a 13 point Republican advantage among likely voters and in a low voter turnout election Gallup predicts an 18 point Republican advantage among likely voters.  Go here to read the results of the poll.  For comparison’s sake, in the 1994 election when the Republicans took both the House and the Senate, in the Congressional elections the GOP had a six point advantage on election day. Continue reading

Political Miscellania 8/31/10

A roundup of recent political news:

1.  GOP Takes Unprecedented Lead On Gallup Generic Congressional Ballot- Gallup has been running the generic Congressional ballot since 1942.  Yesterday it showed Republicans ahead by 10 points.

The Republican leads of 6, 7, and 10 points this month are all higher than any previous midterm Republican advantage in Gallup’s history of tracking the generic ballot, which dates to 1942. Prior to this year, the highest such gap was five points, measured in June 2002 and July 1994. Elections in both of these years resulted in significant Republican gains in House seats.

2. The Senate Is In Play- Albert Hunt is a political reporter who has been around forever.  He is also a political liberal.  That made his column yesterday especially interesting:

Forget conventional wisdom: Republicans have a real shot at taking control of the Senate, as well as the House, in the U.S. midterm elections.

Go here to read the entire column.   I of course have been predicting since last December that the GOP would take both the House and the Senate. Continue reading

Political Miscellania 7/14/10

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A roundup of recent political news. 

1.  Deficit Cancer-Erskine Bowles, co-chairman with Allan Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming, of President Obama’s debt and deficit commission, is Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff.  Therefore I was somewhat surprised at how forthright he was recently when he made this statement: 

Bowles said that unlike the current economic crisis, which was largely unforeseen before it hit in fall 2008, the coming fiscal calamity is staring the country in the face. “This one is as clear as a bell,” he said. “This debt is like a cancer.” 

The commission leaders said that, at present, federal revenue is fully consumed by three programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. “The rest of the federal government, including fighting two wars, homeland security, education, art, culture, you name it, veterans — the whole rest of the discretionary budget is being financed by China and other countries,” Simpson said. 

“We can’t grow our way out of this,” Bowles said. “We could have decades of double-digit growth and not grow our way out of this enormous debt problem. We can’t tax our way out. . . . The reality is we’ve got to do exactly what you all do every day as governors. We’ve got to cut spending or increase revenues or do some combination of that.” 

Statements like this help keep spending and the national debt at the forefront of the issues confronting the nation and that is not good news for Obama and the Democrats in November. 

2.  Obama 40-On January 5, 2009 I made the following prediction here:  “8.   Obama’s popularity rating will be around 40% by the end of 2009.”  The latest ABC-Washington post poll here indicates that is about the amount of support the President currently enjoys: 

Public confidence in President Obama has hit a new low, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. Four months before midterm elections that will define the second half of his term, nearly six in 10 voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country, and a clear majority once again disapproves of how he is dealing with the economy. 

A CBS poll released yesterday also shows Obama at 40% 

 
3.   Hurricane GOP- Charlie Cook is one of the best political prognosticators in the business.  Personally his politics lean in the port direct, but I have always found his analysis to be very accurate.  Here is what he thinks is ahead in November in an article entitled Hurricane GOP On The Way:
 

Among all voters, there has been a significant swing since 2008 when Democrats took their new majority won in 2006 to an even higher level. But when you home in on those people in this survey who are most likely to vote, the numbers are devastating. The NBC/WSJ survey, when combined with a previously released NPR study of likely voters in 70 competitive House districts by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and Republican Glen Bolger, point to an outcome for Democrats that is as serious as a heart attack. Make no mistake about it: There is a wave out there, and for Democrats, the House is, at best, teetering on the edge.
To be sure, things could change in the four months between now and November 2. The GOP’s failure to get Republicans to vote in the May 18 special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th District underscores that the party can’t just sit back and await spontaneous combustion in terms of turnout. Still, the potential is here for a result that is proportional to some of the bigger postwar midterm wave elections. These kinds of waves are often ragged; almost always some candidates who looked dead somehow survive and others who were deemed safe get sucked down in the undertow. That’s the nature of these beasts. But the recent numbers confirm that trends first spotted late last summer have fully developed into at least a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.
Given how many House seats were newly won by Democrats in 2008 in GOP districts, and given that this election is leading into an all-important redistricting year, this reversal of fortune couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Democrats.
Go here to read the rest at the Cook Report. Continue reading

Political Miscellania 6/24/10

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A roundup of recent political news.

1.  Nikki Haley, see the above video, crushed her opponent in the runoff 65-35.  She survived bizzare accusations of infidelity, attacks on whether she is a Christian, her parents are Sikh immigrants, and outright racism.  She is only 38 years old, her youth being something she has in common with the new generation of conservatives running and winning this year.  She has a 20 point lead on her opponent in the general election and is the odds on favorite to win in the fall and be the next governor of South Carolina.

2.  Tim Scott handily won his runoff against Paul Thurmond for the Republican nomination for Congress from South Carolina 1.  This is a heavily Republican district, so Mr. Scott, who many consider to be the most conservative member of the South Carolina legislature, will now almost certainly be the first black Republican congressman from South Carolina since Reconstruction.

3.  The bad news for the Democrats for November just will not stop.  Gallup released a poll this week which shows a huge enthusiasm gap in favor of the GOP.

The current average is based on four measures of this enthusiasm question since February, including the recent June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll. In that poll, 53% of Republicans said they were more enthusiastic than usual about voting and 39% were less enthusiastic, while 35% of Democrats said they were more enthusiastic about voting and 56% were less enthusiastic.

Republicans’ net score of +14 more enthusiastic in the latest poll compared with the Democrats’ net score of -21 represents the largest relative party advantage Gallup has measured in a single midterm election-year poll. More generally, Republicans have shown a decided relative advantage in enthusiasm throughout 2010, averaging a net score of +28, compared with Democrats’ net score of 0.

(Gallup instituted a separate enthusiasm question in March on its Daily tracking survey, which asks voters to say how enthusiastic they are about voting this year as opposed to comparing their current enthusiasm to their enthusiasm in prior elections. This new enthusiasm question lacks a historical trend but has also shown a consistent Republican advantage throughout the year.)

The 28 percentage-point party difference in net scores on the “more enthusiastic than usual” question in 2010 is the highest Gallup has measured in a midterm election year, with 1994′s 17-point Republican advantage the only other midterm election-year gap coming close. (See the table at the end of the article for full data by party.)

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Political Miscellania 6/16/10

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1.  As the above video indicates, Congressman Bob Etheridge (D.NC) does not realize that he is living in the age of video cell phones and Youtube.  His GOP opponent, Renee Ellmers, reminds him of the current facts of political life.

2.  If you are a Democrat, you know that political times are bad for you if National Public Radio runs a poll which indicates that your party is going to be creamed in November.

Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Glen Bolger conducted the first public battleground poll of this election cycle. They chose the 70 House districts experts regard as most likely to oust incumbents this fall. What they found was grim news for Democrats.

For this poll, Bolger and Greenberg chose the districts where incumbents are considered the most vulnerable, and, in the case of open seats, the ones most likely to switch party control in November. Sixty are currently held by Democrats — many of whom won these seats even when voters in the same district preferred Republican John McCain for president in 2008. The other 10 districts are the flip side — held by Republicans in the House, even though their voters went for Barack Obama in 2008.

These are this year’s swing seats — the political terrain where the battle for control of the House of Representatives will be won or lost. In this battleground, voters are choosing Republicans over Democrats 49 percent to 41 percent. Continue reading

Political Miscellania 5/25/10

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A roundup of recent political news.

1.  Rule one of a sex scandal:  Do not have your mistress interview you on the topic of abstinence education as Congressman Mark Souder (R.Ind) did in the above video.  Souder had the common sense to resign , and the Republicans should be able to hold the seat.  As for Mr. Souder, when you preach social conservatism, the first person you must convince is yourself.

 2.  Republicans lose Pennsylvania 12 special election.  I always thought this one was a long shot.  The Democrats enjoy a 2-1 voter advantage, and the corrupt Jack Murtha who had held the seat since 74 won re-election in 2008 in spite of being under investigation and calling his voters racist.  Perhaps there is some truth in this old Saturday Night Live video from 2008.

3.  Republicans win Hawaii 1.  Charles Djou is going to Congress as the first Republican congressman from Hawaii in 20 years.  Djou got in because the Democrats fielded two candidates and neither one would bow out.  The Democrats are confident that they will take the seat back in November.  I am not so sure.  Djou is a formidable campaigner and the Democrat vote may still be fractured come November with all the bad blood that has been generated, with a fair amount of Democrats deciding to sit out the vote or crossing over to vote for Djou.

4.  Best political campaign ad thus far in this cycle:

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Political Miscellania

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A round up of various political items of interest:

1. We lead off with the above video.  Contessa Brewer, MSNBC’s representative journalist for the empty-headed bimbo demographic, is just so darned ticked off that the Time’s Square Would Be Bomber turned out to be a jihadist and not, presumably, some more politically correct villain.  This perhaps is of limited political significance, other than to demonstrate yet again that MSNBC should only be viewed for purposes of unintentional humor.

2. David Obey (D. WI.) announced his surprise retirement.  When Obey was first elected to Congress in 1968 I was 11 years old.  Needless to say, it is long past time for him to be moving on to other things after 42 years, but his retirement this late in the campaign season indicates to me that this was not planned far in advance, and probably was due to the fact that he was facing a tough race and the prospect of the House flipping to the Republicans. This is bad news for the Democrats as it puts one more Democrat seat in play and is yet another sign of the political disaster awaiting the Democrats in November.

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