Archives for September 2011

Romney leads in Florida and Iowa

With Rick Perry’s campaign imploding, new polling out of Florida and Iowa shows Mitt Romney’s momentum continuing to build since the debate last week as he has taken the lead in both states.

The poll out of Florida, conducted by Public Policy Polling, was conducted between September 22nd, the date of the last GOP debate, to the 26th, so it includes a lot of post-debate opinions. Here are the results:

  • Mitt Romney: 30%
  • Rick Perry: 24%
  • Newt Gingrich: 10%
  • Ron Paul: 8%
  • Herman Cain: 7%
  • Michele Bachmann: 6%
  • Jon Huntsman: 3%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Gary Johnson: 1%
  • Other: 9%

The poll out of Iowa is from the American Research Group, which hasn’t polled there since July (before Perry got in the race). The last three polls out of Iowa, however, have showed Perry with a lead. This poll was taken between September 22-27.

  • Mitt Romney: 21%
  • Michele Bachmann: 15%
  • Rick Perry: 14%
  • Ron Paul: 12%
  • Newt Gingrich: 8%
  • Herman Cain: 6%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Other: 6%
  • Undecided: 15%

Bachmann is hanging her entire campaign on Iowa. If she doesn’t win there in the caucuses, she’s done. I’m mean, she’s done anyway, but can’t reasonable justify staying in the race at that point. It’s bad enough for Perry that he’s not leading here in this poll, but he’s in a statistical tie for runner up. If Romney takes Florida, Iowa and, New Hampshire…it’s game over. He’s your nominee.

A candid moment from a member of the FOMC

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke just announced Operation Twist, a new combat operation that will supposedly fix our market woes. Supposedly. (Hey, pass the vodka, will you? I need a drink before I listen to this guy.)

I am not a financial markets expert, and I have not heard that much on the actual details of Operation Twist, but, courtesy of CNN, here’s a brief explanation:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Federal Reserve announced “Operation Twist” Wednesday, a widely expected stimulus move reviving a policy from the 1960s.

The policy involves selling $400 billion in short-term Treasuries in exchange for the same amount of longer-term bonds, starting in October and ending in June 2012.


While the move does not mean the Fed will pump additional money into the economy, it is designed to lower yields on long-term bonds, while keeping short-term rates little changed.

The intent is to thereby push down interest rates on everything from mortgages to business loans, giving consumers and companies an additional incentive to borrow and spend money.

So basically, they’re selling bonds and buying bonds. Nothing exactly Earth shattering here. And definitely not anything that will get us out of this rut.

Interestingly, some members of the FOMC agree with my assessment, and one of them had a speech about it. Mr. Richard W. Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, had this to say about recent monetary policy, using a Nordic weather station as a metaphor:

DOJ appeals ObamaCare ruling to Supreme Court

It’s official, the Justice Department will appeal the ruling from last month out of the Eleventh District Court of Appeals on ObamaCare to the Supreme Court:

The Obama administration Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to settle the constitutional question over the 2010 health-care law this term, meaning that the decision will probably come next summer in the thick of the presidential campaign.

The Justice Department asked the justices to review the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, which is the only appeals court to say Congress exceeded its power in passing the law. The law requires almost every American to have health insurance.

“Throughout history, there have been similar challenges to other landmark legislation such as the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act, and all of those challenges failed,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “We believe the challenges to Affordable Care Act — like the one in the 11th Circuit — will also ultimately fail and that the Supreme Court will uphold the law.”

Obama holds small leads in Ohio and Pennsylvania

New polls out of Ohio and Pennsylvania, both could be crucial to Republicans in 2012, show President Barack Obama with small leads over prospective Republican opponents, including Rick Perry and Mitt Romney:

President Obama holds extremely narrow leads over Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in Pennsylvania and Ohio, two large swing states he won in 2008, according to new polls from Quinnipiac University.

In Ohio, Obama leads Romney by 44 percent to 42, and leads Perry by 44 percent to 41. In Pennsylvania, Obama leads Romney by 45 percent to 43 and has a 46 percent to 40 percent lead over Perry.
Obama won Pennsylvania by 10 points and Ohio by five points in 2008.

Ohio is particularly important since the eventual winner of the presidential race has carried the state since 1896. According to the poll, 51% of voters in Ohio don’t believe that Obama deserves re-election and 52% disapprove of his job performance.

Many believe Pennsylvania is ripe for the GOP due to the success they had during last year’s mid-terms and Obama’s 54% disapproval rating. Like Ohio, 51% of Keystone State voters don’t believe Obama deserves re-election.

If the economy gets worse or stays the same, it means that Republicans would likely pick up both states, depending on the nominee, as most undecided voters break against an incumbent.

Are We Hitting the Proverbial Fan?

I don’t usually give into notions like “Our democracy is being destroyed!” and “This administration is going to lead us straight into fascism!” (Or that they already have.) But lately, two events have stood out that really make me question where America is going.

The first is a really asinine comment made by the governor of North Carolina, Beverly Perdue:

As a way to solve the national debt crisis, North Carolina Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue recommends suspending congressional elections for the next couple of years.

“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” Perdue said at a rotary club event in Cary, N.C., according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”

Perdue said she thinks that temporarily halting elections would allow members of Congress to focus on the economy. “You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things,” Perdue said.

Read more:

And I thought I was insane.

ObamaCare headed to the Supreme Court?

After the individual mandate — a key element in ObamaCare — was struck down last month by a three-judge panel from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Obama Administration has opted to forgo a hearing from the full court and is likely to appeal directly to the Supreme Court:

The Obama administration chose not to ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to re-hear a pivotal health reform case Monday, signaling that it’s going to ask the Supreme Court to decide whether President Barack Obama’s health reform law is constitutional.

The move puts the Supreme Court in the difficult position of having to decide whether to take the highly politically charged case in the middle of the presidential election.

The Justice Department is expected to ask the court to overturn an August decision by a panel of three judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that found the law’s requirement to buy insurance is unconstitutional. The suit was brought by 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business, and several individuals.

Since the ruling, the Justice Department had until Monday to ask the entire 11th Circuit to review the case. Administration lawyers didn’t file the paperwork by the 5 p.m. deadline, so the ruling would stand unless the Justice Department asks the Supreme Court to step in.

We’ve got a third party…and then some

Matt Miller of the Washington Post thinks we need a third party.  He doesn’t feel that Democrats or Republicans are doing the job he feels needs to be done, so a new part needs to come in.  For example, Miller writes:

Three reasons, mainly. First, both parties’ chief aim is to win elections, not solve problems. Second, both parties are prisoner to interest groups and ideological litmus tests that prevent them from blending the best of liberal and conservative thinking. Finally, neither party trusts us enough to lay out the facts and explain the steps we need to take to truly fix things.

Wow.  Truly insightful.

Here’s the thing, Miller writes this in a nation where there are a plethora of political parties dedicated to various ideologies.  Ralph Nader, for example.  Ross Perot’s Reform Party is still around.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Miller’s call for a third party is typical, but ridiculous.  Not because he thinks there needs to be a new party to fill his particular ideological niche, but because it wouldn’t be a “third” party.  There’s to many who’ve beaten him to the punch.

Of course, as Matt Yglesias points out, Miller’s positions are exactly the same as what President Obama has expressed himself.  Greg Sargent, also of the Washington Post, points it out as well using different examples.  Sargent also goes so far as to hint that perhaps this is all just a way to get on the talk show circuit for a couple of weeks.  Who knows.

POLL: Who is your pick for the GOP nomination?

We’ve been meaning to run a poll here for sometime on the Republican nomination, but I haven’t gotten around to putting it together. But since I’m short on content this morning thanks to an incredibly busy evening last night, I figured this would be the perfect chance for it.

Below is our poll of the nine candidates Republican candidates that participated in the most recent debate. In other words, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, and Chris Christie aren’t included since they haven’t confirmed anything at this point.

Barack Obama is no George Washington

Earlier this week, our illustrious president performed his latest material from the “BHO World Comedy Tour”. Following up on some of his earlier knee-slapping, rib-busting Greatest Hits material such as “Mine Will Be the Most Transparent Administration in History”, “If You Like Your Insurance Plan, You Can Keep It”, “I Will Not Sign Any Bills That Contain Earmarks”, “There Will Be No Lobbyists in My Administration”, and of course, the very popular and hilarious “If You Pass This Stimulus Bill, Unemployment Will Stay Below Eight Percent”, Obama now releases his latest bit, “George Washington Agrees With Me on Taxes”. For a collector of comedy gems, this is an absolute must have.

This latest routine was performed from the White House’s Rose Garden. Showing a mastery of subtle comic genius, Obama performed this bit as if it were a serious policy speech. As it turns out, Obama was not attempting to land a sit-com on NBC after he leaves office. Depressingly, he actually believes this.

The purpose of his address was to garner support for his agenda of ever-increasing spending by government, and ever more private wealth confiscated by government bureaucrats and politicians to pay for it. Despite having these attempts repeatedly rejected by both houses of Congress and even by his own party (remember the 97-0 vote to reject his budget earlier this year?), Obama is still seeking to stoke populist rage against “the rich” in order to get his latest job-killing bill passed.

Obama still struggling in Virginia

The latest poll out of the battleground state of Virginia — this one coming from Roanoke College — continues to bring bad news for President Barack Obama, as both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry hold leads in prospective general election matchups; though the Senate race between George Allen and Tim Kaine remains very close (emphasis mine):

With 14 months remaining until the 2012 election, Virginia’s U.S. Senate race is a statistical dead heat. Republican George Allen leads Democrat Tim Kaine 42% to 39% with 19% undecided. President Obama trails some potential Republican opponents, but he leads others. The generic (unnamed) Republican leads Obama 41% to 33%; Mitt Romney leads 45% to 37%; and Rick Perry leads by an statistically insignificant 42% to 40%. At the same time, Obama leads potential opponents Michele Bachmann (46% to 35%), Ron Paul (43% to 33%), and Sarah Palin (50% to 31%). Looking only at registered voters, none of those margins change by more than 1 percent and several do not change at all. Within two key groups, Kaine leads among Moderates (52%-30%), but Allen leads among Independents (42%-33%). Obama also performs better among Moderates and not as well with Independents.*

The poll also shows that Obama’s approval rating is a pathetic 39%, while 54% disapprove. Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, is doing incredibly well with voters, as he can boast to a 67% approval rating. Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrats, also has a 67% approval rating, but he’s not up for re-election next year.

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