Support for Occupy Wall Street falls

While Occupy Wall Street enjoyed a brief moment of decent polling, their increasingly violent and hostile protests has started to turn public opinion against them, according to a new survey from Quinnipiac:

A sign that the Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t the best long-term vehicle for Democrats to connect themselves with: A new Quinnipiac poll, showing a plurality of voters viewing the group unfavorably.

The poll, released today, show 30 percent of voters surveyed view the movement favorably, 39 percent unfavorably, with an additional 30 percent not hearing enough to have an opinion. It’s one of the first national polls to suggest voters are growing skeptical of Occupy Wall Street- and it comes as police have clashed with protesters in several cities. Previous national polls have shown a plurality of adults supporting the movement.
Among independents, the Occupy Wall Street movement and Tea Party movement are now viewed equally unfavorably. Occupy Wall Street has a net -13 favorable rating with independents (29% favorable/42% unfavorable), while the Tea Party holds a net -11 favorable rating (34% favorable/45% unfavorable).

Hey, Aren’t You Forgetting Someone?

I’m always heartened to see third parties, of any stripe, get more attention in the news media. Such as this story from the Daily Caller:

The Occupy Wall Street protests have attracted significant support from Democratic Party politicians. But two of the country’s most significant third parties say that the message of the protests is that the two-party system is broken.

Green Party Media Coordinator Scott McLarty told The Daily Caller, “the claim from some people that the Occupy Wall Street and related ‘Occupy’ protests express support for the Democratic Party is more than disingenuous, it’s plain dishonest.”

“Organizers have made it repeatedly clear that the protests are not partisan, to the point of barring representatives of political parties from speaking publicly at the protests,” McLarty said. “The protests aren’t only driven by anger over the Wall Street’s greed and recklessness, but also by the two party political status quo that enabled Wall Street’s theft of the country’s future.”

Now, I may not agree with the Green Party on a lot of things, but I completely agree that it was both parties that led us to where we are today (and if we look at the unemployment trends for the next decade, then yes, I also agree that they “enabled Wall Street’s theft of the country’s future,” via bailouts, bad regulation, and out-and-out collusion.)

Yes, Rick Perry backed TARP

Rick Perry was asked last week if the supported the Wall Street bailout — also known as TARP. That bill, passed in November 2008, has been frequently criticized by libertarians, fiscal conservatives and tea partyers as it was corportism at its worst. However, several of the candidates seeking the nomination - including Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain, supported the bailout.

Perry responded, in his usual Texas drawl, “No, ma’am.” But Perry has played both sides of the issue:

As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Perry co-signed a letter with Joe Manchin, the Democrat Governors Association chairman encouraging leaders in Washington to, “leave partisanship at the door and pass an economic recovery package.”

Later that day, Perry issued a second statement, that read, “In a free market economy, government should not be in the business of using taxpayer dollars to bail out corporate America.”

The letter signed by Perry and then-Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is very clear in its support of the bailout, though they called it the “recovery package” (emphasis mine):

We strongly urge Congress to leave partisanship at the door and pass an economic recovery package. We both believe that it’s time to stand together for our country.

There is a time for partisanship and there is a time for getting things done. No one likesthe hand they’ve been dealt, and now is not the time to assign blame. It is time forWashington, D.C. to step up, be responsible and do what’s in the best interest of American taxpayers and our economy.

Holding the Line for Fiscal Sanity

Perhaps nothing more acutely demonstrates the divide between the political class and the rest of America that the ongoing debate over raising the debt ceiling. With less than two weeks to go before the August 2nd deadline designated by Treasury Secretary and tax cheat Tim “Turbo Tax” Geithner as the date when America runs out of money, there is still no deal for raising the debt limit. House Republicans, swept into power in November 2010 on the TEA Party/anti-spending tidal wave, have held the line admirably. Even Speaker of the House John Boehner has been more resolute than I would have expected in insisting that there be no new taxes as part of the deal (although this could be less from principle than the realization that to cave in on the tax issue would guarantee a challenge to his Speakership).

At the center of the controversy are the terms of raising the debt ceiling, which currently stands at $14.3 trillion, with President Obama asking for trillions more. Republicans demand a deal which allows the debt limit to be increased in exchange for cuts in spending. Democrats just want the debt ceiling to be raised period, and loathe spending cuts because it would reduce the size and scope of the imperial federal government, and in doing so take away from their ability to dole out taxpayer dollars to favored constituencies in exchange for votes.

It has been an established understanding for decades now that the Democrats can’t be trusted with national defense. It should be clear now to every sane American that Democrats can no longer be trusted with economic matters either.

Want to spend more? Just raise your debt limit!

The folks over at Reason TV put together this short video back in March. It shows a family (the United States) that has nearly reached their credit limit because they have spent too much by money buying homes and bailing out banks. Instead of fixing the problem, the husband’s solution is to just “get more credit cards.”

Given the stalemate between the White House and Republicans, it’s looking like a real deal to address these problems won’t be reached and we’ll just see a capitulation to increase the debt ceiling and enable Washington to spend more.

UT Senate: Chaffetz leads Hatch

In a defense against criticism against his fiscal record, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch recently claimed in a interview on Fox News that he is “one of the top conservatives in the history of this country.” The Club for Growth, a group that has not hid their contempt for Hatch, noted that his record has several negatives, including voting for the TARP bailouts, expansion of Medicare and No Child Left Behind.

While Hatch has declared that he will not share the same fate as his former collegue, Bob Bennett, a new survey from Public Policy Polling of a likely primary matchup with Rep. Jason Chaffetz shows that Utah Republicans may do just that.

Utah GOP Senate Primary

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (i): 43%
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz: 47%
  • Not sure: 10%

Interestingly, 60% of Utah Republicans approve of the job Hatch has done. However, only 45% of them believe he should the nominee against a generic “someone more conservative,” which received 44%. In case you’re wondering, Chaffetz is viewed favorably by 61% of Utah Republicans. Only 17% view him unfavorably.

Republicans in the state don’t necessarily hold a normal primary, at least not right off. To win without a primary, a candidate has to receive 60% of the vote during the state party’s convention. If no candidate receives 60%, the top two from the convention will go head-to-head statewide.

Anyway, if you’re Orrin Hatch, you certainly don’t like the outcome of this poll; but this will likely be a very messy primary.

Is Krugman a Fascist?

I had the displeasure of reading a Paul Krugman column a short while ago after reading a link to it in a Reason comment thread. (That, of course, was quite pleasant.) Naturally, Krugman spouts off utter stupidity:

Watching the evolution of economic discussion in Washington over the past couple of years has been a disheartening experience. Month by month, the discourse has gotten more primitive; with stunning speed, the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been forgotten, and the very ideas that got us into the crisis — regulation is always bad, what’s good for the bankers is good for America, tax cuts are the universal elixir — have regained their hold.

On the face of it, this seems bizarre. Over the last two years profits have soared while unemployment has remained disastrously high. Why should anyone believe that handing even more money to corporations, no strings attached, would lead to faster job creation?

And now trickle-down economics — specifically, the idea that anything that increases corporate profits is good for the economy — is making a comeback.

The Trouble with Herman Cain

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The Amazingly Accurate Predictions of Ron Paul

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Gingrich loses more campaign staff

Nearly two weeks after senior staffers and others abandon his campaign, Newt Gingrich has taken another blow; this time losing his fundraising team:

Newt Gingrich’s top two fundraising advisers resigned on Tuesday, and officials said the Republican candidate’s hobbling presidential campaign carried more than $1 million in debt.

The departures of fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman were the latest blow for the former House speaker who watched 16 top advisers abandon his campaign en masse earlier this month, partly because of what people familiar with the campaign spending described as a dire financial situation.

These people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the campaign inner workings, said the former Georgia lawmaker racked up massive travel bills but money had only trickled in since he got into the race earlier this spring.

A spokesman for Gingrich says that the campaign will continue, “We are going to duct-tape together one coalition of Americans after another that believe in his large, bold vision of change.” I’d like to say that you can’t get elected on unicorns and rainbows, but I’m reminded of Barack Obama, who ran his campaign on two words; “hope” and “change.”

Over at the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza reminds us that Gingrich didn’t have the money to participate in the Ames Straw Poll, which is arguably the most important event for a presidential campaign supposedly trying to attract grassroots supporters.

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