Archives for October 2011
I really do think that, if he took the nomination, Ron Paul could potentially win the general. He couldn’t have done it in ‘08—he was simply too far out back then—but there is a slim chance that if he got there this year, he could do it. It’s definitely not a 100% possibility; I’m not saying he would, I’m saying he could. Why do I think so? Because of things like this, which I found in National Review Online last week:
On this Monday night, there is already a long line of people winding down an East Village street waiting to be admitted into Webster Hall, which brands itself as “NYC’s largest and longest running nightclub” and boasts that it has hosted Green Day, Prince, and Mick Jagger. There are college students drinking Four Loko out of a plastic water bottle; everyone is carded at the door; the bar in the middle of the venue is hopping; and when I identify myself as a reporter, an event organizer hands me a voucher for a free cocktail.
But this isn’t a concert. This is an event featuring a keynote speech by GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul.
It certainly seemed that Chris Christie was reconsidering running for the Republican nomination for president and would make final decision by mid-week, but the word out of Trenton today is that he will not run
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided against entering the race for president, most likely ending once and for all the GOP establishment’s hope for a new candidate in the 2012 race.
Christie has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference in his state’s capital, where he’s expected to announce that he will not seek the presidency. Two sources said he has started informing people of his decision in advance of his Trenton press conference.
“He is not running,” said a fundraiser informed of the decision. “Mary Pat and the gov just called tier one [donor] group to say he was out.”
There was skepticism that Christie could pull together an effective team quickly enough given that the first primary is scheduled for January 21st, a decision made just yesterday by the South Carolina Republican Party in reaction to a move by Florida to hold their primary on January 31st. Byron York explained the obstacles in front of Christie, including his inexperience:
While his numbers have been rising after a straw poll win in Florida, Herman Cain may have overplayed his hand in his criticism of Rick Perry, who was the subject of a recent Washington Post story dealing with hunting ground with a racially insensitive name. Matt Lewis gives us a rundown of what happened:
After Sunday’s Washington Post reported that Texas Governor Rick Perry had utilized a Texas hunting camp named “N*****head,” GOP candidate Herman Cain (a former pizza exec. and the only black candidate running for the GOP presidential nomination) wasted little time in accusing Perry of being insensitive to racial issues.
“Since Gov. Perry has been going there for years to hunt,” Cain told ABC’s “This Week,” think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place.”
When anchor Christiane Amanpour pushed back — noting that the rock had actually been painted over — Cain doubled-down, saying: “But how long ago was it painted over? So I’m still saying that it is a sign of insensitivity.’’
(Cain made similar comments on Fox News Sunday — demonstrating that this was not a gaffe made in response to a question that simply caught him off guard.)
Lewis explains that Cain’s comments, essentially allowing himself to be used to by the media to further a misleading piece on Perry, may show that he isn’t ready for this latest round of press:
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, host of Good Morning America, President Barack Obama admits that Americans are worse off now than when he took office — que the ads, boys — and says he is the underdog in 2012:
resident Obama on Monday took the extraordinary step of declaring himself the underdog in the 2012 race for the White House.
He acknowledged that voters are not better off than they were four years ago, and face a mortgage crisis, unemployment above 9 percent and a bumpy stock market.
“Well, I don’t think they’re better off than they were four years ago. They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we’re going through,” Obama said in a television interview.
“Nobody’s going to deny we’re not where we need to be,” said Obama, who after a tough primary fight sailed to election in 2008 on the promise of hope and change, winning states no Democrat had won in a generation.
“I don’t mind,” Obama said. “I’m used to being the underdog.”
By casting himself in that role, Obama is managing expectations for his reelection bid with both the media and his political base, which has been unhappy with White House concessions to Republicans.
Um, Barack Obama was not the underdog when he ran for the United States Senate in 2004 and, while the race against John McCain in 2008 was contentious, he had momentum nearly the entire campaign. Don’t play that card here. Yeah, his poll numbers are poor and most Americans — either pluralities or slight majorities — believe that he shouldn’t be re-elected; but he is still leading most of his potential Republican opponents.
In case you missed the story from Friday, the United States killed one of its own citizens, a New Mexico-born terrorist working with al-Qaeda, in Yemen without due process, a protected right by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution:
President Obama welcomed news of the death of one of the nation’s most-wanted terrorists, cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, in Yemen on Friday, calling it “another significant milestone” in the war against al-Qaida and its affiliates. Speaking just months after he ordered the killing of Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in his compound in Pakistan, Obama said Awlaki took the lead in “planning efforts to murder innocent Americans” as head of external operations for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Awlaki was a charismatic Yemeni-American who grew up in New Mexico and was considered the most influential English-speaking cleric preaching global jihad today. He was killed by a U.S. drone and jet strike in a joint operation of the CIA and the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, the Associated Press reported.
“The death of Awlaki is a major blow to al-Qaida’s most active affiliate,” Obama said at the retirement ceremony for Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen. Awlaki’s death is a “tribute” to the U.S. intelligence community, and the efforts of Yemen and its intelligence community, he said.
When you were a kid, what kinds of hobbies did you have? Remote control cars have always been popular. Me? I was intrigued with rockets. I built a couple but never got to launch them for a variety of reasons, but I always was fascinated by the idea that a kid could built something that would travel way up in the sky.
Of course, the United States government is less than intrigued. Tower Hobbies sent this out to their customers recently:
Dear Tower Hobbies Customer,
Many people are concerned with new government regulations that are designed to limit our hobby industry. You’ve probably heard about the new FAA regulations limiting our use of R/C airplanes and proposed shipping bans for R/C batteries.
New regulations are being considered regarding model rocket motors. This may not immediately impact your particular hobby but it’s just another step toward regulation of materials used in hobbies and deserves your attention.
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has recently advised that they propose to terminate a special permit under which model rocket motors and igniters have been shipped for the last 33 years. If the permit is terminated model rocket motors and igniters will no longer be able to be shipped as “Flammable Solids” and will instead have to be shipped as “Explosives.”
In 33 years there have been no incidents involved in the shipping and transporting of model rocket motors and igniters.
Hobbyists need your support. Attached is a sample e-mail that we request you send immediately to express your support.
We believe that shipping model rocket motors and igniters as “Explosives” would only cause unnecessary concern for hobby shops, educators, youth group leaders and families using model rockets for educational and recreational purposes.
While President Barack Obama has named a key part of his job destruction plan after him, Warren Buffett hasn’t exactly endorsed the proposal to tax higher income earners:
Investment guru Warren Buffett set off a political firestorm Friday with a series of interviews in which he appeared to distance himself from the tax policy proposal President Obama introduced under the billionaire’s name.
Buffett, making similar remarks in all three interviews, said he is happy with the use of his name on the legislation, but added he doesn’t know all of the details included in the proposal, and the only plan he advocated was a higher tax rate on people who “make money with money only.”
He noted he was describing a very limited number of wealthy Americans who earn the majority of their income through capital gains, which is taxed at a 15 percent rate.
“What I’m talking about would not apply to someone that made $5 million a year as a baseball player or $10 million a year on media,” Buffett said on Fox Business Network. “It would apply only to probably 50,000 people out of 309 million who have huge incomes, pay very low taxes. There should be a policy that applies to people with money who earn lots of money and pay very low rates. If they earn it by normal jobs what I say would not hit them at all.”
The billionaire businessman caused confusion with his remarks, and it was compounded by the fact that there have been no specific details from the administration regarding what additional taxes on millionaires would entail.
While President Barack Obama and House Republicans have emphasized the importance of pending free trade agreements as a method to create jobs — and they’re right, Senate Democrats are playing politics with China:
Senate Democrats now believe a measure targeting China’s currency practices will win broad support, leading some to question whether that undercuts the issue’s ability to rally voters for next year’s elections.
Generally speaking, targeting China on trade has garnered support from members of both parties, especially in Rust Belt states that have lost manufacturing jobs.
[C]andidates from both parties have tried to tar their opponents as not tough enough on China in recent election cycles, including in last year’s midterms.
Democratic officials, currently trying to defend a narrow majority in the Senate, contend that the issue could give them a boost in manufacturing states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) have all been prominent supporters of the China measure, which looks to pressure Beijing into letting the value of its currency rise.
In a sign of how important the China bill is to Senate Democrats, the chamber is proceeding with the measure before dealing with President Obama’s $447 billion jobs package. In advance of the vote, Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have said that policymakers’ best option for creating jobs is to level the U.S. trade deficit with China.
With the stock market posting its worst quarterly losses since the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis as it lost more than 12% of its value and the odds of a recession growing greater, President Barack Obama wants Americans to know that they’ve “gotten a little soft”:
President Barack Obama told a Florida TV station yesterday that the United States is facing economic difficulties because it has “gotten a little soft” during the last 20 years.
“This is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didnʼt have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” Obama said.
The fix is that “we need to get back on track,” he said, while urging Congress to pass his new $447 billion one-year stimulus bill.
Those comparisons between Obama and Jimmy Carter are just going to become more frequent as the comment bears resemblance to a speech the former president made during economic turmoil in the late 70s — hey, there’s a reason voters that were around to experience him still disapprove of him:
It’s been another interesting week in the battle for the Republican nomination for president. Rick Perry continues his free fall as Herman Cain benefits from a substantial amount of press coming off his straw poll win in Florida. Of course, Romney stands to benefit from this as he hasn’t had much of a tea party appeal.
In this latest version of our Power Rankings, Cain and Newt Gingrich are moved up, Bachmann drops down into the bottom tier. And while may disagree with this, Romney moves back to the top.