Archives for July 2012
Over the last few weeks, the Obama campaign and their friends in the main stream media have had a field day. First, going after Romney for having a Swiss bank account and several offshore accounts. This line of attack, has been followed by a relentless series of attacks over exactly when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital.
Both of these attacks were opportunities for Romney and his campaign team to turn the tables aggressively on Obama and on the media. At a time when unemployment remains over 8% and with our nation teetering on the verge of fiscal collapse, the Obama/media fascination with the minutiae of Mitt Romney’s background is an example of grotesque political slight of hand. It is the ultimate distraction from the issues that matter most.
Unfortunately, Mitt the timid and his camaign have - so far - failed miserably at fighting back.
On the issue of the offshore accounts, why didn’t Romney come forward and say “yes, I had accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, but guess what? There is absolutely nothing illegal about these accounts and, indeed, these accounts are the product of an overly complex and uncompetetive tax code that Obama and Democrats are hell bent on defending!”
On the issue of when he left Bain, why hasn’t Mitt and his campaign said “who cares!?” What if Romney was still at Bain after 1999? Does that suddenly change Obama’s failed record as President? Does that suddenly balance our budgets? Does it suddenly create jobs? Of course not. Why in God’s name is the Romney campaign taking the bait on these distractions?
If Mitt the timid thinks he can just run out the clock and win this election, he is sorely mistaken. The Obama campaign has shown how ruthlessly it will distort and distract, and Obama has the giant megaphone of the main stream media as his willing accomplice.
Following up on my piece last week on the newest version of the DISCLOSE Act, which failed a cloture vote to overcome a GOP filibuster last night, and which will face another cloture vote around 3pm Eastern today, I wanted to share this interview of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), the lead sponsor of S.3369, conducted by progressive talk radio host Sam Seder at this year’s Netroots Nation conference.
Around the 1:35 mark, Sen. Whitehouse says (emphasis added)
As I explained last week, Senate Republicans were close to the 34-members needed to prevent the UN-backed Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) from being approved. According to Hot Air, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has secured the vote needed to kill the treaty when it comes to the floor, assuming Senate Democrats even bother at this point.
Here’s pertinent part of the release from Sen. DeMint’s office:
[Four] additional senators have joined in opposition to LOST, including Mike Johanns (R-NE), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). With 34 senators against the misguided treaty, LOST will not be ratified by the Senate this year.
Americans are often told that Washington doesn’t work anymore because of hyper-partianship on both sides of the aisle. Many point to the the 1990’s as the “good ol’days,” when President Bill Clinton and a Republican-controlled Congress were able compromise on important domestic polices.
While the friction in Washington is often blamed on Republicans, President Barack Obama has certainly contributed substantially to the inability to compromise. His latest stunning move is to roll back welfare reform, one of the best bipartisan policy achievements of the last 20 years:
The Department and Health and Human Services announced the agency will issue waivers for the federal work requirement of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program — considered a central facet of welfare reform in 1996 — Thursday.
The “Information Memorandum” states that the agency will be issuing waivers for TANF’s work participation requirements for parents and caretakers as a way to find new approaches to better employment outcomes.
Over the last couple weeks, it has become clear that President Barack Obama has a problem with young voters. That’s not to say that he won’t win them in the end, but perhaps not by the margin he carried them in 2008. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 59% of voters between 18-29 say they plan on voting in November:
President Obama obviously realizes this is a problem for his re-election bid. During a radio interview yesterday, Obama urged young voters to get behind his campaign:
President Obama dismissed suggestions that young voters who backed him in 2008 were less enthusiastic this election cycle, saying that he believed they wanted to “finish what we started.”
In an interview with local Washington D.C. station WJLA released Sunday, the president predicted young voters would again rally behind his presidency.
“2008, obviously your first time around in some ways it was lightning in a bottle. There were so many young people who just automatically got involved and, you know, we’ve gone through three and a half tough years. The economy is tough, especially for young people,” Obama acknowledged, according to a transcript of the interview.
You’d think Congress would learn its lesson. After much of the nation revolted in protest this year, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was killed in the House, as was its counterpart (PIPA) in the Senate. Americans don’t want government regulating and policing the Internet. Beyond that, the bill was bad for technology.
SOPA got pulled. We won. We sent a clear message that Congress should keep its grubby paws off the Internet. Victory is sweet!
But now it’s happening again.
Lamar Smith, the stubborn Republican from Texas is pushing his Intellectual Property (IP) legislation back into the forefront, and it seems that his latest effort, the Intellectual Property Attache Act, is on the fast track to be rushed through Congress before the public really understand what’s going on.
TechDirt reported yesterday about how the IP attaches that would be created would be for pushing maximalist policy globally:
Their role is not to support more effective or more reasonable IP policy. It is solely to increase expansion, and basically act as Hollywood’s personal thugs pressuring other countries to do the will of the major studios and labels. The role is literally defined as pushing for “aggressive support for enforcement action” throughout the world.
President Obama has been accused of conducting class warfare. His supporters, obviously, disagree. They see Obama merely as fighting for the rights of the lower and middle classes against the all-powerful wealthy. However, this latest quote from the president takes a shot that may just go astray:
If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
Yes. He really said that.
However, let’s look at the whole context:
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
As we’ve noted since the Supreme Court’s decision in the ObamaCare, the White House has refused to acknowledge that the individual mandate is a tax. They’ve called it a penalty, but admitting its a tax gets into another area of politics where Team Obama hadn’t wanted to go.
But while campaigning in Virginia this weekend, President Obama called the individual mandate a “tax,” indicating that they may finally be acknowleding the decision:
President Obama used the word “tax” to describe the health care mandate under his reforms, a departure from his prior etymological stance that it is a penalty.
“By the way, if you’ve got health insurance, you’re not getting hit by a tax,” the president said during his Friday rally in Roanoke, his third Virginia campaign event of the day. “The only thing that’s happening to you is that you now have more security because insurance companies can’t drop you when you get sick.”
And let’s keep in mind that the entire post-decision rhetoric was a ruse. The Obama Administration argued that the individual mandate was tax before the Supreme Court. For them, it’s only a tax when it’s convenient.
Today, I launched a new politics/sports politics called The Sport of Politics. Episode 1 talks a great deal about a battle in the Arizona desert between the Phoenix Coyotes and the libertarian think tank Goldwater Institute. Joining me to talk about this fight, as well as the future of hockey in non-traditional hockey towns and the prospects for the Nashville Predators in the post-Ryan Suter era is UL contributor George Scoville!
Early last month, Ron Paul conceded that his delegate total wouldn’t be enough to contest Mitt Romney for the Republican Party’s nomination in Tampa. Paul did, however, note that his supporters would be at the GOP convention in August, looking to make some changes to the party’s platform.
Paul had also hoped to earn a speaking slot at the convention, which would have been possible with wins in five states. Unfortunately, that hope seemed to die this weekend when Paul’s supporters were unable to score a majority of delegates in Nebraska:
Paul’s forces had hoped to pull out a victory at the Nebraska majority of delegates here would have guaranteed their candidate a speaking slot at the GOP convention in Tampa late next month.
Under party rules, a candidate cannot have his name entered into nomination at the convention unless he has won a majority of delegates in at least five states. Paul had won four.
In the end, Paul won only two delegates, to Romney’s 32.
Some will no doubt say that the Ron Paul Revolution hit with a thud since the campaign failed to gain a significant number of delegates with which to shake up the convention. They will say that this shows that Paul’s message was limited. However, Jack Hunter puts it all into a perspective: