As you have likely heard, the Federal Reserve, in coordination with other central banks around the globe, injected cash into world markets to ensure that credit remains available to European countries in need of cash:
The central banks of the wealthiest countries, trying to prevent a debt crisis in Europe from exploding into a global panic, swept in Wednesday to shore up the world financial system by making it easier for banks to borrow American dollars.
Stock markets around the world roared their approval. The Dow Jones industrial average rose almost 500 points, its best day in two and a half years. Stocks climbed 5 percent in Germany and more than 4 percent in France.
Central banks will make it cheaper for commercial banks in their countries to borrow dollars, the dominant currency of trade. It was the most extraordinary coordinated effort by the central banks since they cut interest rates together in October 2008, at the depths of the financial crisis.
“The purpose of these actions is to ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses and so help foster economic activity,” the central banks said in a joint statement.
China, which has the largest economy in the world after the European Union and the United States, reduced the amount of money its banks are required to hold in reserve, another attempt to free up cash for lending.
The display of worldwide coordination was meant to restore confidence in the global financial system and to demonstrate that central banks will do what they can to prevent a repeat of 2008.
As you know, Newt Gingrich has emerged as the latest anti-Romney candidate. His campaign is riding high right now, coming off an important endorsement from New Hampshire’s Union Leader. While others that have managed to find this niche in the GOP field, albeit temporarily, Gingrich is more likely to stick around because conservatives know him and generally respect him.
Gingrich is often lauded as the intellectual conservative who took on Bill Clinton, managed to work in bipartisan fashion for welfare reform, and balance the budget. They’re also more willing, it seems, to gloss over the not-so-conservative marks in his long record, among them are his support for TARP and expansion of Medicare. Yesterday, Joe Scarborough, who served as a Republican in the House from 1995 to 2001, laid into Gingrich for often supporting statist positions:
Even though Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) decided against a primary challenge, it doesn’t mean that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is out of the woods. It looks as though State Sen. Dan Liljenquist will make a run against Hatch, according to a recent interview:
“God bless Orrin Hatch for his service to the state,” he said in the interview. “But we have a different philosophy on what the federal government should and should not do.”
Previewing what would likely be a line of attack against Hatch in a campaign, Liljenquist said Hatch was “advocating in the early nineties for the individual mandate, that the federal government role was to drive people into insurance products.”
“To me, I’m looking for leadership. And I haven’t seen it,” he said.
Liljenquist, who studied at Brigham Young University and later went to law school at the University of Chicago, said entitlement reform would “absolutely” play a major role in his campaign if he runs.
Liljenquist has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president.
“In the state of Utah, Romney is very well respected for what he did on the Olympics,” he said.
Liljenquist said he and his wife will make a decision about getting in the race by the end of the month and an announcement will be made by early next year.
The biggest consideration is how a campaign will affect his six kids, he said.
Newt Gingrich is the lastest Flavor of the Month for the conservative movement, which is feverishly looking for an anti-Romney candidate. But the former Speaker of the House has been forced to fight back against accusations that he lobbied for Freddie Mac, the government-created housing giant:
As he tried to leverage his recent rise in national polls into a full-fledged bid for the Republican nomination, Newt Gingrich was badly knocked off message on Wednesday by repeated inquiries about the more than $1.6 million he got in consulting fees from the mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which had a role in the housing collapse in recent years.
At a campaign event, Gingrich said that he characterized his work for the mortgage-finance entity as offering “strategic advice” and not as lobbying. He said he provided “strategic advice for a long period of time” after he resigned as speaker of the House in early 1999. The federally backed mortgage lender has been the target of a backlash since the collapse of the subprime-mortgage market and the deep recession in the housing market.
Gingrich said his lucrative association with Freddie Mac as a consultant – he has also said he was paid for his knowledge as an historian – should not trouble voters, he told reporters on Wednesday. “It reminds people that I know a great deal about Washington,” he said. “We just tried four years of amateur ignorance, and it didn’t work very well. So, having someone who actually knows Washington might be a really good thing.”
Erick Erickson, the editor of RedState and political commentator, wrote a lengthy post yesterday declaring that if Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination that conservatism will somehow die.
Should Mitt Romney win the Presidency, conservatives will find this pattern play out repeatedly. Romney will head in a direction conservatives do not like and they will bitch and moan repeatedly and maybe, just maybe, he’ll part his hair in their direction.
We’ve seen this play out over and over. Jon Huntsman comes up with the best economic plan of all the candidates, Herman Cain follows up with 999, Perry comes out with a flat tax, and Romney refuses to do anything. Until he does something.
Mitt Romney is not the George W. Bush of 2012 — he is the Harriet Miers of 2012, only conservative because a few conservative grand pooh-bahs tell us Mitt Romney is conservative and for no other reason.
That is precisely why Mitt Romney will not win in 2012. But no worry, once he loses, Republican establishment types will blame conservatives for not doing enough for Mitt Romney, never mind that Mitt Romney has never been able to sell himself to more than 25% of the GOP voters. It’s not his fault though, it is the 75%’s fault.
Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee. And his general election campaign will be an utter disaster for conservatives as he takes the GOP down with him and burns up what it means to be a conservative in the process.
I realize there is an anti-Romney sentiment in the conservative movement and among tea partyers.That’s understandable given, as I’ve written here many times, that Romney has no real core principles. The man will say anything it takes to get elected and therefore lacks authenticity.
The latest ad from Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), which will be airing in Iowa and New Hampshire, focuses on the consistency of his message over the years while targeting Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney over their support of the Wall Street bailout:
Coming off what was arguably his worst debate performance, Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan is still taking fire from conservatives and libertarians over the fact that the national sales tax portion of the plan is essentially a value added tax (or VAT).
The Herman Cain campaign released details of the revenue expected to be collected from his 9-9-9 tax plan. Here are the estimates for 2010:
- $701 billion from the 9 percent personal income tax.
- $753 billion from the 9 percent retail sales tax.
- $863 billion from the 9 percent business VAT.
Yikes! By far the largest tax haul under the Cain plan would be from the business VAT—a tax which would be hidden from most voters.
By the way, the Cain business tax is not a tax on “corporate income,” as some media stories are identifying it. The new revenue data makes it clear that it is a tax on all value added by all businesses in the nation—corporate, partnership, and proprietorship.
It’s been a couple of weeks since our last round of the GOP Presidential Power Rankings. Rick Perry has dropped off dramatically, though his fundraising is very solid, and Herman Cain has risen substantiall in the polls. Mitt Romney’s support has remained steady, but that’s not exactly a promising sign. But we’ll get to that in a minute…
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:
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.