Archives for May 2012
With the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association staying away from the recall election in Wisconsin, the latest polls in the race show Gov. Scott Walker’s lead over Tom Barrett holding steady:
Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker has opened up a lead in his upcoming recall election, according to a poll released Wednesday by Marquette University Law School.
The results indicate that Wisconsin will be a hotly-contested political battleground into the November general election. The poll shows President Obama leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 46 percent to 44 percent among all registered voters. Obama and Romney are tied at 46 percent among likely recall voters.
The survey shows Walker leading Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 50 percent to 44 percent among likely recall voters. In the school’s previous poll in late April, Barrett led Walker 47 percent to 46 percent among all registered voters.
Walker also has a significant advantage over the Milwaukee mayor in the poll’s favorability ratings. Among all registered voters, 50 percent said they have a favorable opinion of Walker, while 45 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion. Thirty-seven percent of registered voters said they have a favorable opinion of Barrett, while 45 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of the Democrat.
Back in 2009, the Obama Administration announced that it planned to end the war on medicinal marijuana in states has had approved its usage. But three nearly three years later, the federalist approach promised on the issue has been nearly forgotten as raids continue on dispensiaries.
And as this war on sick people is being carried out in their names, Americans overwhelming disapprove of it, according to new polling by Mason-Dixon — and that disapproval reaches across party lines:
A poll conducted earlier this month by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research on behalf of the Marijuana Policy Project finds that 76 percent of Americans want President Barack Obama to end his crackdown on medical marijuana in states where medicinal use of the plant is legal.
According to MPP’s release, “Support for keeping the federal government out of state medical marijuana issues was universal across all demographics. With respect to political affiliation, 75% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans, and, notably 79% of Independents said that President Obama should respect state medical marijuana laws. Even among the least supportive group (those identified as over 65 years of age), 64% were in favor of respecting state law.”
You can read the full breakdown of the poll here. Below is a shot of the breakdown by political affiliation, age, and ethnicity:
Music is a passion of mine. In finding the music that most interests me, I’ve found Derek Webb. His album “Stockholm Syndrome” (one of my favorites) is a must have for anyone who has ever thought that maybe Christians were entirely missing the point on some current political and social issues. One of the songs on “Stockholm Syndrome” is a catchy little tune called “Jena & Jimmy.” It’s about date rape.
Well, kind of. ”Jena & Jimmy” is a political metaphor for the way grassroots movements often get intoxicated with power – power that ultimately brings the demise of the movement.
I often wonder if the Tea Party movement will become like Jena in this song. I certainly hope not, but I get concerned when I see so many Tea Party leaders working to spread their influence rather than working to advance the principles they claim to value.
For example, look at the Republican Senate primary in Nebraska. A candidate (Deb Fischer) won the election last night, largely because she was sporting endorsements from Sarah Palin and Herman Cain. Meanwhile, somebody like Don Stenberg (endorsed by Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, FreedomWorks, and Club for Growth) goes home a loser.
We really can’t fault Fischer for seeking out endorsements from Sarah Palin and Herman Cain; they certainly have sway with voters, and in a tight race, you need every edge you can get. The real issue here is the lack of vetting candidates by the people perceived as leaders in the Tea Party movement.
Why do people like Cain and Palin latch on to candidates who aren’t really great? Is it the attention they get? Is it the way people swoon at the site of them behind a microphone? Are they just looking for a way to extend their political influence?
It wasn’t exactly a surprise, given that the House did exactly the same thing last month, but the Senate yesterday unanimously rejected President Barack Obama’s budget for FY 2013. Unfortunately, the Senate also rejected other budget proposals that would, unlike Obama’s budget, put the country back on a stable fiscal path:
The US Senate unanimously rejected President Barack Obama’s proposed 2013 budget Wednesday and shot down a series of Republican alternatives, assuring a prolonged election-year fiscal battle.
The Democratic-controlled chamber has not adopted in three years a budget resolution, which lays out spending and revenue targets for the year ahead, and Republicans repeatedly highlight the fact as they hammer Obama’s administration for failing to take a proactive approach to fiscal responsibility.
The Senate voted 99-0 against Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget request, with Democrats stressing that the vote was unnecessary because lawmakers wrote spending caps into a deal agreed last summer to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
In March, the House of Representatives rejected Obama’s budget proposal in a 414-0 vote.
I’ll admit that it’s a gimmicky for Republicans to bring Obama’s budget to the floor for a voter, but it’s telling that Democrats aren’t willing to get behind Obama’s proposal because it’s politically toxic. But not only does this provide Republicans with a talking point for the Senate’s failing to pass a budget in three years, it also allows them to note that Obama’s budget did not receive a single vote in both chambers of Congress.
The freshman class elected to the House during the 2010 mid-term elections came Washington with a lot of hype. After all, this group of 87 members were dubbed the “Tea Party Class” thanks to coming to power during the height of the Tea Party movement. But not all of the members of this class have voted in the best interest of taxpayers, despite some still claiming the mantle of the Tea Party.
Yesterday, the Club for Growth released a study examining the votes of the class, showing that many have indeed been disappointments:
In the 2010 election, 87 freshmen House Republicans came to Washington pledging fealty to the Tea Party movement and the ideals of limited government and economic freedom. The mainstream media likes to say that the freshman class is the most uncompromising group of fiscal conservatives in history…but just how Tea Party are they? Did all 87 freshmen always vote to cut spending and limit the size of government, or did some of them vote like the big-spending R.I.N.Os of the past?
This study was compiled from the Club for Growth’s Congressional Scorecard, which evaluates lawmakers based upon their commitment to limited government and pro-growth policies. What we found was that while some freshmen have lived up to the promises they made to the tea party movement, dozens of them are big-spenders and are no different from many of the veteran Republicans they serve with.
We covered the Club’s Congressional Scorecard back in March, the results of which were based on dozens of voters related to fiscal issues, including the repeal of ObamaCare, cutting market distorting energy subsidies, and a wide range of spending cuts.
Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico (1995-2003) and 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee, has dropped his first ad of the general election campaign.
The ad, which has no narration, only captions, notes that Johnson vetoed 750 bills during his eight years in office, has the best record of job creation of any candidate running in the fall, including Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and left New Mexico with a $1 billion budget surplus at the end of his last term. The end of ad notes that the Libertarian Party isn’t just a party, rather it encompasses the “People,” urging voters to “participate in [their] freedom”:
The filibuster has been brought back up in American politics. Frustrated by the failure to move the Import-Export bill out of his chamber (though it did pass last night), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has once again brought up the idea of the so-called “nuclear option” to get rid of the procedural tactic to stall legislation:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will not attempt to strip Republicans of their power to filibuster before the November election but is leaving open the possibility if Democrats hang on to the Senate.
The Democratic leader caused a stir on Thursday when he slammed a Republican objection to passing Export-Import Bank legislation without amendments and said he should have listened to colleagues who pushed for changes in Senate rules.
But Reid on Monday said he has no plans to attempt to limit Republicans’ ability to block legislation by a tactic known as the constitutional option — or, by critics, as the “nuclear option.”
“We’re not going to do it this Congress,” Reid told The Hill.
Democrats are leaving open the option of rewriting the filibuster rule if they keep their Senate majority. Republicans are unlikely to push for such reform if they capture the chamber because they are ideologically opposed to curtailing the power of the Senate minority.
Should our government be able to indefinitely detain and deny a trial to American citizens suspected of a crime? Given the Constitutional guarantee of due process, that question could seem a bit absurd. Yet late last year the House and Senate gave us new provisions in the NDAA, one of which is the allowance of indefinite detention of American citizens.
This isn’t some heavy handed attack on freedom levied by the Democrats. It’s not even some measure that passed narrowly in the House before Harry Reid forced it on us in the Senate. No, this attack on freedom carries much bipartisan support. Both Republicans and Democrats support this insanity.
Last month I wrote a piece about Justin Amash, the Congressman from Michigan who is fighting to fix the indefinite detention provisions in the NDAA. Amash has been outspoken on this issue, and his time to fight is coming soon.
The answer to Amash’s concerns over the 2012 NDAA was to reinforce habeas corpus “for any person who is detained in the United States.” Though that sounds pretty good, Amash addresses this answer in a letter to his Republican colleagues:
Much like the 2010 mid-terms, the budget deficit will be an issue that we’ll hear a lot about leading into the fall. In a speech yesterday in Iowa, Mitt Romney gave us a taste of what to expect as he slammed President Barack Obama for his spending spree:
Mitt Romney today said he would lead Americans out of President Obama’s “debt and spending inferno,” warning a crowd that the country faces a financial crisis that “threatens what it means to be an American.”
Romney spoke today in the very room where he stood on the night of the Iowa caucuses in January, the candidate’s first trip to the state since then, this time no longer focused on the close results at the polls but instead solely on President Obama, whom he accused of “feeding” rather than “putting out” what he dubbed the “spending fire.”
“A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and across the nation and every day that we fail to act that fire gets closer to the homes and the children we love,” said Romney. “Now you know also that this is not solely a Democrat or Republican problem. The issue isn’t who deserves the most blame. The issue is who is going to do what it takes to put out the fire. Now the people of Iowa and America have watched President Obama nearly four years now. Much of that time, with Congress controlled by his own party. And rather than putting out that spending fire, he’s been feeding it.”
“He has spent more and borrowed more. The time has come for a president, a leader, who will lead. I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno. We will stop borrowing unfathomable sums of money we can’t even imagine from foreign countries we’re never even going to visit,” said Romney. “I will work with you to make sure we put out this spending and borrowing fire.”
With the conservative sphere beginning to finally coalesce around Mitt Romney, like a soap opera that has just gone on way too long, the conservatives are now going into full defense mode of the Mitt and his hairdo. He may not be the best choice, but as far as they’re concerned, he’s the only choice.
Which leads to idiotic tweets like this:
If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. That means if you’re not for Mitt Romney, you’re for Barack Obama.
— Kevin Eder (@keder) May 7, 2012
At this point, not voting for Romney is like being in a plane w/ no working engines but not jumping bc you don’t trust parachutes. cc @keder
— Will Antonin (@Will_Antonin) May 12, 2012
Or maybe even this:
Hardcore libertarians should vote for Romney because he’ll at least give you something and Obama would take everything @kesgardner
— Adam D Seidel (@AdamDSeidel) May 13, 2012
No doubt these tweets are emerging because of fear that disgruntled Republicans may vote for Ron Paul or, heaven forbid, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, instead for the GOP’s presumptive nominee.