Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No-Class Warfare

No-Class Warfare

by John Hinderaker in Obama administration

Before Barack Obama, have we ever had a president who divided the country for political gain; who pitted some Americans against others; and who tried to scapegoat unpopular groups of Americans for his own failures? Yes. It was Franklin Roosevelt. But that doesn’t excuse Obama’s reprehensible practice of the politics of division. Michael Ramirez editoria:

Of the Ignorant, By the Ignorant, For the Ignorant

Of the Ignorant, By the Ignorant, For the Ignorant

by John Hinderaker in Energy Policy, Obama administration, The sick left
President Obama’s State of the Union address was a sorry performance in many ways, but let’s note just one Big Lie that he tried to get away with. In the course of defending his administration’s disastrous record on energy, Obama said:
Over the last three years, we’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration…. But with only two percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough.
Obama has trotted out this canard before; we and many others have exploded it. In fact, the United States has more fossil fuel resources than any country in the world–more than Russia, more than Canada, more than Saudi Arabia. The problem is that terrible policies at the federal level prevent us from developing our own resources and employing many thousands of Americans in doing so.

Why does Obama think he can get away with this Big Lie? Because he knows that very few Americans are aware of the technical definition of oil “reserves” that is enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Under American law (other countries record as “reserves” whatever is in the ground), oil isn’t counted as part of our “reserves” unless it can legally be developed under current regulations, and it would be economic to develop at current prices. So when Obama says we only have two percent of the world’s oil “reserves,” he is documenting the extent to which the Democratic Party, by blocking energy development, is destroying jobs and making us all poorer.

Obama’s Big Lie on energy is supported by lots of little lies on the part of his minions in Congress. The Democrats believe that their voters are ignorant, and they do their best to keep them that way. A case in point: the Democrats know that their killing of the Keystone pipeline is unpopular and will hurt them in November. So they are desperately trying to change the subject. The House Energy and Power Subcommittee is holding hearings on Keystone, and the appalling Henry Waxman weighed in this morning to try to distract voters from the damage the Obama administration is doing to our economy:
House Democrats are using the billionaire Koch brothers to score political points in their fight against the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) suggested at a hearing Wednesday that Koch Industries — the Kansas-based conglomerate helmed by David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch — could benefit financially from approval of the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline. By linking the Keystone XL pipeline to the Koch brothers, who have supported a slew of conservative causes, Democrats are hoping to raise questions about Republicans’ motives in supporting the project. …
Waxman, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called Wednesday for a minority hearing on Keystone, with testimony from Koch Industry officials.
In a letter requesting the hearing sent Wednesday to committee Republicans, Waxman pointed to documents filed with the Canadian government by Flint Hills Resources Canada, a Koch subsidiary, that say the company has a “direct and substantial interest” in developer TransCanda Corp.’s pipeline application.
Waxman’s grandstanding is contemptible for at least two reasons. First, no doubt some companies–along with millions of Americans–would benefit from construction of the pipeline. So what? Other companies (like Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe) will benefit if the pipeline is not built. Since when does the issuance of a permit depend on which companies will benefit?
But, second, Waxman knows perfectly well that Koch Industries has nothing to do with the Keystone pipeline. We wrote about this here. Koch has taken no position on the pipeline. It would not ship oil on Keystone, and Keystone would not deliver oil to any Koch refinery. If anything, as we explained, Koch’s financial interests would be advanced if the pipeline were not built.
Further, the language quoted by Waxman about “direct and substantial interest” is the legal recitation that goes with intervening in the Canadian administrative proceeding concerning the pipeline, which Koch did in order to monitor the status of the proceeding before Canada’s National Energy Board. Being an intervenor in the administrative process does not mean that Koch has a financial interest in the pipeline; other intervenors include Sierra Club Canada and the Alberta Federation of Labour, along with many companies and individuals who, like Koch, have zero financial interest in the project. You can read Koch’s response to Waxman’s demagoguery here.

Like Barack Obama, Henry Waxman is lying. He knows he is lying. He is doing it to mislead voters in the desperate hope that the Democratic Party can hang on to power in Washington. The Democrats count on the belief that voters are ignorant–a condition they try to perpetuate. All too often, they are proven correct. But the shamelessness of the lies the Democrats are now telling, large and small, becomes more evident with each passing day.

Romney stronger in FL than Gingrich against Obama by 14 points

Suffolk poll: Romney stronger in FL than Gingrich against Obama by 14 points

 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday evening, Suffolk University released a poll of likely voters in Florida — but not for the Republican primary. Instead, they surveyed 600 likely Florida voters in the general election, and found some interesting dynamics in a state that will be crucial to the strategies of both parties in the Electoral College fight:
Despite Newt Gingrich’s momentum within the Republican Party, he would be a weaker contender than Mitt Romney in a general election contest against President Barack Obama, according to a Suffolk University/7NEWS (WSVN-Miami) poll of likely voters in Florida.
Romney led Obama by 47 percent to 42 percent in the Florida survey, while Obama topped Gingrich by 9 points, 49 percent to 40 percent. Among independents, Obama led Romney 44 percent to 38 percent and opened up a 56 percent to 29 percent advantage over Gingrich. Gingrich grabbed 12 percent of registered Democrats, while Romney secured 18 percent of registered Democrats.
“Newt Gingrich is weak among Florida independents and likely Democratic voters compared to Romney,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “If Florida is one of six key states that swings the national election, independents in Florida hold that key, and this poll suggests that Newt won’t be able to secure Florida for his party.”
That’s a difference of 14 points between the two head-to-head matchups (Romney +5, Gingrich -9). This poll comes as Gingrich’s momentum has slowed with Republicans in the state, and it reflects the wide disparity in favorability between the two men in Florida. Mitt Romney has a positive but somewhat weak 44/37 favorability rating, but Gingrich’s is deeply negative at exactly a 2:1 ratio, 29/58 in a sample that is only a D+4, 41/37/23. Barack Obama’s job approval rating among likely Florida voters is only a 40/49, which means that Obama only outperforms his job approval by two against Romney but nine against Gingrich. Obama’s favorability numbers are also underwater at 47/48, which means voters aren’t inclined toward him anyway.

Plenty of speculation surrounds Marco Rubio as a running mate for Republicans to help keep Florida in the red column in November, but the Suffolk poll suggests that may be a bad idea. The survey only polled head-to-head with running mates with Romney as the nominee, and adding Rubio makes it a slightly closer race. As popular as Rubio is with conservatives nationwide, his favorability in Florida is just 43/32 — not bad, but not explosively great either. Romney goes from a +5 at 47/42 against Obama to a +2 for a Romney-Rubio vs Obama-Biden ticket. If Obama picks Hillary Clinton to replace Joe Biden, it swings the polling significantly to a seven-point lead over Romney-Rubio, 49/42. Interestingly, having Chris Christie on the ticket for Romney makes it a one-point race with Biden or Clinton on the ticket for Obama, although with Clinton, Obama gets a one-point lead rather than a deficit.

Gingrich might still win a Florida primary, which is closed to all but Republicans, but he’s going to make it significantly more difficult to win Florida in a general election, unless his numbers change a lot.


40 Years After The 1972 Campaign, "Dirty Tricks" No Longer Matter To MSM

40 Years After The 1972 Campaign, "Dirty Tricks" No Longer Matter To MSM
The single biggest storyline out of Florida and concerning the GOP presidential nomination isn't getting much attention.

It is the attempt by President Obama and his allies to pick the Republican nominee.

It is the manipulation of the Tea Party by the hard-left activists of the ACORN-wing of the Democratic Party.

The president and the Chicago Gang as well as their allies in Big Labor want the GOP nominee to be Newt Gingrich.

This is a fact and isn't intended as a slam on the former Speaker. He and his supporters can easily say "President Obama had better watch what he wishes for," and leave it at that.

But there is no denying the president's campaign of what we used to quaintly call "dirty tricks."

Here's how the Orlando Sentinel's Scott Powers put it in yesterday's front page story: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has an unlikely ally this week in his Florida primary battle against Mitt Romney: the Democratic National Committee.

The Democrats are targeting Mitt Romney as if he were already the Republican nominee running against President Barack Obama, with campaign ads, Internet videos, daily news conferences and dozens of news releases attacking the former Massachusetts governor.
Traditional Democratic partners are jumping in, too. Both the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees' and Service Employees International Union's political-action committees are running their own TV commercials in Florida this week — attacking Romney.
Gingrich and the other two Republican candidates, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas U.S.Rep. Ron Paul, are being all but ignored by the DNC and its allies.

Richard Nixon's operatives have long been accused of pushing George McGovern on the Democrats in 1972, a result of the campaign of "dirty tricks" the Committee to Re-Elect the President waged on Ed Muskie.

Now, because President Obama is cheating in plain sight, campaign skullduggery doesn't interest the Manhattan-Beltway media elites.
AFSCME has bought nearly $1,00,000 in television time to hit Romney with negative ads.

SEIU has bought $800,000 in negative radio spots to hit the former Massachusetts governor.

And those are just the "above the horizon" expenditures that can be tracked from various sources.

Democrats are trying to Muskie Romney. But with much larger dollars and an obviousness that hides the audacity of the maneuver in plain sight.
Does anyone think the DNC operatives quoted in the Sentinel are acting without the president's approval? Does anyone think that Big Labor isn't at least taking its cues if not its outright marching orders from David Axelrod? Axelrod wants the president to run against Gingrich. The Chicago kingmaker is making a bold play to take out the strongest of the GOP candidates, and MSM doesn't even raise an eyebrow.

Had Karl Rove orchestrated millions in hit pieces on John Kerry or Howard Dean in early 2004, would the moral authorities of MSNBC and the New York Times have objected?

We know the candidates cannot tell the "super PACs" what to do or say, but we know that what the candidates or their operatives do or say directs their allies from a convenient distance. That is the First Amendment at work and it is fine.

But we have never, ever before seen and shrugged off such a blatant manipulation of the other party's nomination processor.

Why isn't this news? Why isn't every detail of the unions' massive expenditures and the DNC's concerted effort to direct their fire being picked over by MSM? And more to the point, where is the Manhattan-Beltway media elite reserve of outrage that used to pour out at the names of Donald Segretti or Dick Tuck, famed for their rather low-level mischief.

They don't see it the problem, and they don't see the story because they are simply blind to anything the president and his team comes up with. "Fast and Furious?" Recess appointments when there is no recess? The vast reaches of the crony capitalism endemic to this Administration?

It has been 40 years since the "Watergate Campaign" of 1972. The hardball hasn't changed, just the MSM's interest in being outraged by it.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Support for Renewable Energy Yields ‘Poor’ Results

Support for Renewable Energy Yields ‘Poor’ Results

Renewable electric energy from nonhydroelectric sources — chiefly wind and solar — contributed only 3.6 percent of total U.S. generation in 2010 — yet received 53.5 percent of all federal financial support for electric power.

And wind power alone, which provides 2.3 percent of generation, received 42 percent of all support.

Wind and solar renewable energy have failed to thrive despite government support because they face substantial “market impediments,” according to Benjamin Zycher, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

“Energy policies in the United States for decades have pursued energy sources defined in various ways as alternative, unconventional, independent, renewable, and clean in an effort to replace such conventional fuels as oil, coal, and natural gas,” Zycher states on the AEI website, and “renewable electricity receives very large direct and indirect subsidies from the federal and state governments.

“These long-standing efforts have, without exception, yielded poor outcomes.”
Among the “market impediments” to large-scale development of renewable energy resources is the amount of land required for wind farms and solar facilities.

A wind farm would require 500 windmills, each producing 2 megawatts (MW) of energy, to generate 1,000 MW — assuming the farm operates at full capacity, which would be virtually impossible. Since wind turbines must be spaced apart to maximize production, a 1,000 MW farm needs from 48,000 to 64,000 acres of land — from 75 to 100 square miles.

In contrast, a 1,000 MW gas-fired plant needs about 10 to 15 acres.
As for solar facilities, it takes a square meter of solar energy-receiving capacity to produce, at best, enough power for a single 100-watt light bulb, according to Zycher.

Renewable energy also presents transmission problems. Wind farms are best suited for the Midwest and solar facilities for the Southwest, far from the coasts where most electricity is consumed, and this creates significant transmission costs.

One survey found that wind projects would have a median transmission cost of $15 per megawatt hour, compared to $3.60 in transmission costs for coal and natural gas.

Looking ahead to 2016, “the projected cost of renewable power is at least five times higher than that for conventional electricity,” says Zycher, author of the new book “Renewable Electricity Generation: Economic Analysis and Outlook.”

He concludes: “Despite these excess costs, political support for wind and solar power remains strong. No state has formally abandoned or weakened its renewable electricity requirements, and federal policies to promote renewable technology in electricity production remain in place.”

Newt goes nuclear: Gingrich slams Romney over the unfairness of it all

Newt goes nuclear: Gingrich slams 'pro-abortion, pro gun-control, pro tax-increase moderate' Mitt Romney

The obituaries for his campaign are already being written and Newt Gingrich doesn't like it one bit. Yesterday, an event at a Spanish-speaking church billed as a "Hispanic town hall" drew about 80 people, a number of whom had left by the time the candidate rolled in 55 minutes late.

Gingrich looked crestfallen. He spoke desultorily for just over six minutes and then abandoned the Question and Answer format, instead deciding that "Callista and I will come down and get pictures with each and every one of you and have a chance to say hi".

At the back of the hall, the small band of travelling reporters were in open revolt over chaotic arrangements that had left some facing bills of several thousand dollars just to fly from Orlando to Palm Beach and then on to Tampa.

Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista at a Hispanic event in Orlando. Photo: Toby Harnden.

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond, unshaven, exhausted and evidently under pressure, was peppered with questions about botched campaign logistics and poor organisation. Initially, he insisted that his tetchy responses were all off the record but he gave up as more and more tape recorders came out.

Politically, it was an event suffused with the sickly stench of death. The next stop in Orando, at an evangelical church, had an enthusiastic crowd of over 1,000 who gave Gingrich several standing ovations.

But there is not getting away from the fact that Gingrich is not getting the crowds he did when he arrived as the conquering hero of South Carolina. And the polls now seem to spell doom next Tuesday: NBC/Marist has Romney up 15 and Miami Herald/Mason-Dixon has Romney up 11.

Just as he did when he began to tank in December after briefly leading the polls in Iowa and nationally, Gingrich has become increasingly, visibly frustrated. His language about Romney has got tougher and more extreme and, at times, uncontrolled. On Saturday, he was seething and today he blew his top and went nuclear.

When asked by Jake Tapper of ABC News on the This Week programme whether Romney had the character to be president, Gingrich said that his opponent had a "very serious problem" in this area and "would not be where he is today" (presumably Gingrich meant leading in the polls) "if he had told the truth".

He groused about Romney's "relentlessly negative campaign" and the "carpet-bombing" of him with attack ads that were "breathtakingly dishonest".

And then he went even futher in a media availability after attending a service in a megachurch in Lutz, Florida this afternoon."I believe the Republican Party will not nominate a pro-abortion, pro gun-control, pro-tax increase moderate from Massachusetts." The phrase was deliberate because he repeated it minutes later.

He thundered: "I have had a long record as a very hard-hitting Reagan conservative and the idea that that record would be deliberately falsified by a Massachusetts moderate using money from Wall Street, from the very companies who have been getting money from the federal government, is really about as big an outrage as I've had in my career."

At the next stop at The Villages, a swathe of intrer-connected retirement communities in which sun-tanned seniors zip around on golf carts, Gingrich decided that he was mincing his words by calling Romney moderate and instead branded him "liberal".

This seems to be about where the Romney campaign wants Gingrich - steam blowing out of his ears and hyperbole spitting from his lips as he rails against the unfairness of it all.

A central part of Romney's strategy this week has been to rattle Gingrich - "rushing the quarterback", as Romney adviser David Kochel put it - by goading him with congressmen Jason Chaffertz and Connie Mack (the so-called "proxies with moxie") goading his staff at events, and Romney teasing him as being like Goldilocks and the like on the stump.

Pushing Gingrich into casting aspersions on Romney's character was exactly what Team Romney wanted. Given Romney's sober lifestyle, 42-year marriage and unquestioned wholesomeness, his character is always going to be a strong point with voters, especially when compared to the tempestuous life of the thrice-married Gingrich.

Just as George W. Bush responded that John McCain was "over the line" when he said in a 2000 campaign ad that Bush "twists the truth" like Bill Clinton, Romney's surrogates came out one by one today to express faux horror that Gingrich would attack Romney's character. Tim Pawlenty used the term "over the line".

To goad your opponent into saying something intemperate and then smack him in the chops the moment he does it is an old trick in politics. And Stuart Stevens, the Bush campaign ad man who cut the 2000 Bush ad hitting back at McCain, just happens to be chief strategist of the 2012 Romney campaign.


Dem lawmaker says 20,000 Keystone XL jobs 'not that many'

Dem lawmaker says 20,000 Keystone XL jobs 'not that many' - The Hill's Floor Action
 By Josiah Ryan
Chicago Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) drew fire from Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) on Wednesday when she dismissed the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, suggesting the 20,000 jobs it could create were relatively insignificant in the scheme of the greater economy.

“Twenty thousand jobs is really not that many jobs, and investing in green technologies will produce that and more,” she said on Chicago’s WLS Radio Don Wade and Roma Show on Wednesday morning. “But I’ll tell you what, you know it seems to me that the Republicans would rather have an issue than a pipeline.”

Schakowsky contacted The Hill on Thursday to clarify that she supports job creation but thinks it ought to be done on a larger scale.

"We need to be talking about millions of jobs and that’s what the American Job Act does," she said, speaking of the latest iteration of President Obama's job plan, presented at the State of the Union on Tuesday. "[W]e have to be thinking big."

Coats, a vocal proponent of the Keystone project, which would transport oil from Alberta, Canada, to America’s Gulf Coast, swiftly responded in a separate interview on the same show later on Wednesday morning, suggesting Schakowsky has spoken insensitively.

“Tell that to the 20,000 people that woke up this morning and didn’t have a job to go to,” said Coats. “ ‘Well, these don’t really matter’ — I mean, this not only is jobs, this is less dependence on Middle East oil.”

“And here we have, you know, the president talking about becoming energy independent, but he turns down the easiest way to do that,” the freshman senator continued.

President Obama has frustrated Republicans by standing by his decision to delay construction of the proposed pipeline while studies of its environmental impact are completed.

Schakowsky also told The Hill on Thursday that she believes Congress should focus primarily on creating government jobs "in order" to jump-start the economy. As such she authored legislation last summer that would create 2.2 million government jobs.

"I am all for private sector jobs but there are a few ways to stimulate the economy," she told The Hill. "Lets help grow the economy, put people to work so they can actually go out and spend some money."

This story was updated on Thursday to reflect comments Shakowsky's made to The Hill.


The right drops a bomb on Newt

The right drops a bomb on Newt: Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen
Newt Gingrich better hope voters who lapped up his delicious hits on the “elite media” and liberals don’t read the Drudge Report this morning.

Or the National Review. Or the American Spectator. Or Ann Coulter.

If they do, Gingrich comes off looking like a dangerous, anti-Reagan, Clintonian fraud.
It’s as if the conservative media over the past 24 hours decided Gingrich is for real, and they need to come clean about the man they really know before it’s too late. This is just a sampling of what’s hitting Newt:

• The overnight Drudge Report banner: “Insider: Gingrich repeatedly Insulted Reagan.” The headline linked to a devastating takedown by Elliott Abrams in the National Review, who wrote, among other things, that Gingrich had a long record of criticizing and undermining Reagan’s most transformative policies.

• Drudge also linked prominently to the American Spectator’s R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s similarly harsh takedown of Gingrich over character: “William Jefferson Gingrich.” In it, Tyrrell writes: “Newt and Bill are 1960s generation narcissists, and they share the same problems: waywardness and deviancy. Newt, like Bill, has a proclivity for girl hopping… His public record is already besmeared with tawdry divorc
es, and there are private encounters with the fair sex that doubtless will come out.”

Drudge runs hundreds of links to stories of all stripes about candidates, but has been seen by Republicans as favorable to Romney in the past.

• Bob Dole issued a scathing statement Thursday that the Romney campaign provided to the National Review in which he said “it is now time” to rally to stop Gingrich, blamed the former Speaker for losing House Republican seats in 1996, and warned that it could happen again, at all levels of government.

“I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late,” Dole said. “If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway.”

Dole added, “In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads and in every one of them Newt was in the ad. He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year.”

• Conservatives are circulating a piece written by the editors of the National Review: “The Hour of Newt.” The editors, who have been extremely critical of Gingrich for weeks, waved conservatives off the Gingrich bandwagon. “Gingrich backers say that he is inspiring. What he mostly seems to inspire is opposition.”

• Ann Coulter, the conservative columnist writing on her self-titled website, warns: “Re-elect Obama, Vote Newt!” She, too, gets Drudge promotion, with a column punctuated with this punch: “Hotheaded arrogance is neither conservative nor attractive to voters.”

Tom DeLay, a top deputy to Gingrich during the Republican revolution of the mid-1990s, joined the chorus of other conservative members breaking their silence about Gingrich’s erratic leadership style. In a radio interview with KTRH, DeLay said: “He’s not really a conservative. I mean, he’ll tell you what you want to hear. He has an uncanny ability, sort of like Clinton, to feel your pain and know his audience and speak to his audience and fire them up. But when he was speaker, he was erratic, undisciplined.”

A top conservative media figure said the flood of attacks reflects a “Holy crap, it could happen” moment in the movement, as Republican leaders began to realize after Gingrich’s South Carolina victory that he could become the nominee, the global face and voice of their party and theology.

“It could happen, and it would be a disaster,” said the conservative, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect private conversations. “All of us who were around and saw how he operated as speaker — there’s no one who’s not appalled by the prospect of what could happen. He thinks he embodies conservatism and if he wakes up one day and has a grandiose thought, he is going to expect all of us to fall in line behind him.

“There’s just so much risk on so many levels,” the official continued. “Everyone’s thinking, ‘It could really happen.’ He could win the presidency if there’s a way to win with 45 percent — a second recession or a third-party candidate. The immediate worry is him winning the nomination and losing the election, tanking candidates down-ballot. In a worst-case scenario, you could see unified Democratic governance, and we’d be back where we were in ’09 and ’10. It’s insane.”

The conservative media is voicing what dozens of Republican lawmakers, governors and top establishment have told POLITICO in recent weeks in private conversations. Because Gingrich looks like he could win, many of these elected officials are reluctant to go public with their concerns.

As POLITICO reported on Monday, Romney allies are putting pressure on conservatives to break their silence, and do it quickly before the Florida primary, because a Gingrich win would virtually guarantee a very long, divisive race.

A super PAC supporting Romney, Restore Our Future, is running ads in Florida that echo many of the charges mentioned above, especially Gingrich’s claim that he is the logical successor to the Reagan legacy. “Reagan rejected Newt’s ideas. On leadership and character, Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan,” the group’s ad says. Romney himself is hitting on the same themes in speeches, with an edge rarely seen by the cautious former governor.

Gingrich, who has shown a sharper instinct than Romney and the establishment for playing the rawest frustrations of activists, will crank up his Newt vs. the establishment rhetoric to beat back the attacks.

Remember 2010 (Gingrich certainly does): The establishment doesn’t have a great track record in picking candidates and warned primary voters against tapping Sharron Angle in Nevada and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware because they were too radioactive and couldn’t win in the November general elections. The voters didn’t listen, and it cost Republicans the Senate.

Remember 2010 (Romney certainly does): Republicans lost two elections they should have won.


Swing States poll: Romney and Obama tied; Gingrich trails
WASHINGTON–Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney essentially ties Barack Obama in the nation's key battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States survey finds, while rival Newt Gingrich now trails the president by a decisive 14 percentage points.

That reflects a significant decline by the former House speaker since early December, when he led Obama by three points.

The poll of the dozen states likely to determine the outcome of November's election addresses the electability argument that has driven many Republicans: Which GOP contender has the best chance of denying Obama a second term?

In a head-to-head race, Romney leads Obama by a statistically insignificant percentage point, 48%-47%, the survey finds.

But Obama leads Gingrich, 54%-40%. The president's standing against him has risen nine points since early December; Gingrich has fallen by eight.

Gingrich fares less well than Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who trails Obama by seven points, 50%-43%, and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who also trails by seven points, 51%-44%. 
Gingrich's efforts to win the Republican nomination have set back his efforts to win the general election," says political scientist Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota. Trying to appeal to Tea Party conservatives has "moved him out of the mainstream of American politics."
The Swing States survey focuses on the nation's most competitive battlegrounds: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The findings presumably reflect the barrage of attacks on Gingrich's temperament and record by Romney and other prominent Republicans, from Arizona Sen. John McCain to former Senate majority leader Bob Dole. The former House speaker has drawn fierce fire since winning the South Carolina primary on Jan. 21 and surging to the top of national polls.

In Florida, which holds its primary Tuesday, Romney led Gingrich in a Marist Poll released Sunday by 15 points, 42%-27%.

Gingrich blamed his fall on negative TV ads aired by Romney and his allies. "He has a basic policy of carpet bombing his opponent," Gingrich said on Fox NewsSunday. "It has an effect."

Romney, campaigning in Naples, Fla., said Gingrich should "look in the mirror" to see why his support has dropped.

Voters in both parties rate Romney higher than Gingrich on a series of positive characteristics. Nearly six in 10 say Romney has the personality and leadership qualities a president should have; 42% say Gingrich has those qualities. Fifty percent call Romney sincere and authentic; 38% say that of Gingrich.

Neither does particularly well when asked whether they understand the problems Americans face in their daily lives: 44% of those surveyed say that applies to each.

The survey of 737 registered voters, taken Tuesday through Saturday, has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points. 

White House/DOJ Working with ACORN, Massive Voter Registration Fraud

White House/DOJ Working with ACORN, Massive Voter Registration Fraud

by Tom Fitton

With the 2012 elections just months away, the ACORN-connected group Project Vote (and Obama campaign ally) is redoubling its efforts to undermine the integrity of the 2012 elections – and they are evidently doing it with the participation of the Obama White House and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In January, Judicial Watch obtained additional documents about meetings held between Estelle Rogers, Director of Advocacy for the ACORN organization Project Vote, and officials from the Obama White House and the DOJ.

Judicial Watch is investigating the extent to which Project Vote, which once employed Barack Obama, has been working with the Obama administration to use voter registration laws to register greater numbers of low-income voters, widely considered to be an important voting demographic for the Obama presidential campaign.

Judicial Watch was already well aware that the DOJ was heavily involved in this scheme based on documents previously obtained, but the latest batch of records implicates the Obama White House directly!

According to the records, obtained by Judicial Watch in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed on August 19, 2011:
  • On April 27, 2009, Estelle Rogers wrote to Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sam Hirsh regarding an upcoming meeting on April 30, 2009. In addition to Rogers and Hirsh, other attendees included: Nicole Kovite, Director of Public Agency Project for Project Vote; Spencer Overton, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy; and two officials from the Obama White House: Celia Muñoz, then-Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and recently promoted to Director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Tino Cuellar, Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy. (Muñoz, you will recall, is the former senior vice-president of the National Council of La Raza who has been funneling tax dollars to radical Mexican separatists ever since she joined the Obama White House.)In her email, Rogers referenced documents she forwarded in preparation for the upcoming meeting on the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), to which Hirsch replies that he looked forward to “reading these materials” and to “seeing everyone on Thursday.”

    • On February 23, 2011, Rogers wrote to Associate Deputy Attorney General Robert Weiner, asking him to “make some headway with Attorney General [Eric] Holder in enforcing Section 7 of the NVRA.” The email notes that the DOJ had not yet filed any Section 7 lawsuits, which Rogers dubbed “deeply disappointing.” The first such DOJ lawsuit (against Rhode Island) was filed on March 18, 2011, less than one month later. Of particular note, is Rogers’ comment that “We have received oral assurances from [Assistant Attorney General Thomas] Perez on several occasions that enforcement action was imminent,” suggesting that Rogers was privy to internal discussions inside the DOJ regarding pending legal action.
    • On March 29, 2011, Rogers wrote to Associate Attorney General [Thomas] Perrelli, urging him to review and “make improvements” to a document she was sending following another meeting held on March 17, 2011, between Project Vote and the DOJ on Section 7 compliance with the NRVA. Accompanying the document was a previous letter she had sent to the Civil Rights Division plus “additional comments on the Q and A.”
    These documents raise fundamental questions about the politicization of the DOJ under Eric Holder and demonstrate that the ACORN-connected Project Vote is throwing its weight around the DOJ and driving the agency’s voting rights agenda.

    And, evidently the Obama White House is now directly implicated in this growing scandal. It is now clear that Project Vote and the Obama/Holder DOJ are conspiring to file DOJ lawsuits to help re-elect Barack Obama. This collusion between Project Vote and the Obama administration is a significant threat to the integrity of the 2012 elections.

    To have Project Vote involved in DOJ voting rights enforcement is like having the Mafia run the FBI! And Estelle Rogers is one of Project Vote’s key “bosses.”

    As Director of Advocacy for Project Vote, Estelle Rogers ‒ a former attorney for ACORN, which was besieged with charges of corruption before declaring bankruptcy in November 2010 ‒ is a primary contact person on policy matters at Project Vote at both the state and federal levels and has been actively involved in voter registration issues. Using the threat of a lawsuit under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), Project Vote has aggressively sought to manipulate voter registration laws in various states in an effort to increase the registration of people receiving public assistance.

    On August 4, 2011, Judicial Watch released documents obtained from the Colorado Department of State showing that ACORN and Project Vote successfully pressured Colorado officials into implementing new policies for increasing the registration of public assistance recipients during the 2008 and 2010 election seasons. Following the policy changes, the percentage of invalid voter registration forms from Colorado public assistance agencies was four times the national average. Project Vote also sought a “legislative fix” to allow people without a driver’s license or state identification to register to vote online.
    n addition to pursuing public agency registration cases in Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia and New Mexico, Project Vote and the NAACP filed a lawsuit on April 19, 2011, against the State of Louisiana alleging violations of the NVRA. Less than three months later, on July 12, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division/Voting Section sued Louisiana on the same grounds, claiming that “Louisiana officials have not routinely offered voter registration forms, assistance and services to the state’s eligible citizens who apply, recertify or provide a change address for public assistance or disability services.”

    The DOJ’s March 11, 2011, lawsuit against Rhode Island led to policy changes intended to increase the number of voter registration applications processed by “public assistance and disability service officers.” These two lawsuits, filed within five months of each other, are the first such lawsuits filed by the DOJ since 2007.

    Project Vote and ACORN have both been linked to massive voter registration fraud. A total of 70 ACORN employees in 12 states have been convicted of voter registration fraud. And as documented in a July 2009 report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of the 1.3 million registrations Project Vote/ACORN submitted in the 2008 election cycle, more than one-third were invalid. (And don’t believe the line that ACORN is dead. As we documented in our special report “The Rebranding of ACORN,” the corrupt organization is alive and well and ready to wreak havoc in the 2012 elections.)

    A storm is fast approaching in 2012. The integrity of our elections is under attack by ACORN and Project Vote. And it now appears that the Obama administration is complicit in a plot by these community organizations to steal the elections. Trust Judicial Watch to do what it can to uphold the rule of law against this very real challenge to our election system.


    Sunday, January 29, 2012

    36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes

    36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes

    Pete Souza / White House (Obama addresses his White House staff, file)
    Pete Souza / White House (Obama addresses his White House staff, file)
    How embarrassing this must be for President Obama, whose major speech theme so far this campaign season has been that every single American, no matter how rich, should pay their "fair share" of taxes.

    Because how unfair -- indeed, un-American -- it is for an office worker like, say, Warren Buffet's secretary to dutifully pay her taxes, while some well-to-do people with better educations and higher incomes end up paying a much smaller tax rate.

    Or, worse, skipping their taxes altogether.

    A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama's executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. These people working for Mr. Fair Share apparently haven't paid any share, let alone their fair share.

    Previous reports have shown how well-paid Obama's White House staff is, with 457 aides pulling down more than $37 million last year. That's up seven workers and nearly $4 million from the Bush administration's last year.
    Nearly one-third of Obama's aides make more than $100,000 with 21 being paid the top White House salary of $172,200, each.

    The IRS' 2010 delinquent tax revelations come as part of a required annual agency report on federal employees' tax compliance. Turns out, an awful lot of folks being paid by taxpayers are not paying their own income taxes.
    The report finds that thousands of federal employees owe the country more than $3.4 billion in back taxes. That's up 3% in the past year.

    That scale of delinquency could annoy voters, hard-pressed by their own costs, fears and stubbornly high unemployment despite Joe Biden's many promises.

    The tax offenders include employees of the U.S. Senate who help write the laws imposed on everyone else. They owe $2.1 million. Workers in the House of Representatives owe $8.5 million, Department of Education employees owe $4.3 million and over at Homeland Security, 4,697 workers owe about $37 million. Active duty military members owe more than $100 million.

    The Treasury Department, where Obama nominee Tim Geithner had to pay up $42,000 in his own back taxes before being confirmed as secretary, has 1,181 other employees with delinquent taxes totaling $9.3 million.

    As usual, the Postal Service, with more than 600,000 workers, has the most offenders (25,640), who also owe the most -- almost $270 million. Veterans Affairs has 11,659 workers owing the IRS $151 million while the Energy Department that was so quick to dish out more than $500 million to the Solyndra folks has 322 employees owing $5 million.

    The country's chief law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice, has 2,069 employees who are nearly $17 million behind in taxes. Like Operation Fast and Furious, Attorney General Eric Holder has apparently missed them too.

    As with ordinary people, the IRS attempts to negotiate back-tax payment plans with all delinquents, whose names cannot be released. But according to current federal law, the only federal employees who can be fired for not paying taxes are IRS workers.

    Gingrich Slams Romney Over Immigration

    Gingrich Slams Romney Over Immigration

    DORAL, Fla. — Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that Mitt Romney lacks concern for some illegal immigrants’ “humanity” and chided the former Massachusetts governor for how he makes money.
    Newt Gingrich speaks with Univision News anchor, Jorge Ramos at the “Meet the Candidates” forum, hosted by Univision, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Miami Dade College in Miami. ( Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan)

    Speaking at a GOP candidate forum put on by Univision, the Spanish-language television network, Mr. Gingrich mocked Mr. Romney for suggesting at Monday’s debate in Tampa that illegal immigrants would self-deport for their own benefit. And at the same time, he got a dig in at President Barack Obama.

    “You have to live to in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatic $20 million a year income for no work to have a fantasy this far from reality,” Mr. Gingrich said. “This is an Obama-level fantasy… He certainly shows no concern for the humanity of people who are already here.”

    The Gingrich campaign is trying to make inroads with Miami’s large Cuban population as it tries to gain momentum in Florida. In a Spanish-language radio ad, the campaign refers to Mr. Romney as “anti-immigrant.”

    Romney spokesman Ryan Williams shot back at Mr. Gingrich, saying “He is using dishonest, liberal attacks to smear Republicans.”  He called Mr. Gingrich “a failed leader who is desperately trying to prop up his sinking campaign.”
    In the past, Mr. Romney has countered that he supports “legal immigration” while the former House speaker is proposing “amnesty” for  many who entered the country illegally.

    Mr. Gingrich is suggesting a path to residency, not citizenship, for illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least 20 years. Pressed by moderator Jorge Ramos about what he would do with the millions of others in the country illegally, Mr. Gingrich suggested work permits, but it was unclear who would receive them.

    Mr. Romney will speak at the forum this afternoon.

    Fact Checking President Obama’s Claims About Domestic Energy Production

    Fact Checking President Obama’s Claims About Domestic Energy Production
    The Obama campaign just released a website that purports to provide “the facts of President Obama energy record.” This is an intentional effort by the Obama campaign to distort the President’s abysmal energy record. After all, energy production on federal land is down under President Obama and the Obama campaign is trying their hardest to hide and obfuscate this basic fact.

    Obama Claim: “Since President Obama took office, oil imports have been reduced by an average of 1.1 million barrels per day.”

    Reality: A reduction of imports has happened without President Obama, not because of him.  More than half of the reduction is because the ongoing recession and much higher price have made fuel so expensive that consumers are using less of it.

    In January 2009, when President Obama was inaugurated, the U.S. produced 5,154,000 barrels of oil a day.[1] By November 2011, the last month for which we have data, the U.S. was producing 5,874,000 barrels of oil a day. This 700,000 barrel a day increase isn’t happening on federal lands, for which President Obama would justifiably claim some credit, but on private and state lands.

    The reality is that oil production on federal lands is falling, while production on private and state lands is rising.[2] There is a long term trend of decreasing oil production on federal lands. In fact, oil production on federal lands has fallen by 43 percent over the past 9 years according to the Obama administration’s Energy Information Administration.[3] And it has dropped rapidly on President Obama’s watch.

    In fact, because of the actions taken by the Obama administration such as severely limiting the offshore areas where oil can be produced, cancelling oil leases, and withdrawing other oil leases, oil production on federal lands will most likely continue to fall. (More of the Obama administration’s anti-energy actions can be found here.)

    Not only is the Obama administration making it more difficult to produce energy on federal lands, they are leasing much less lands than the past. The following chart shows the decline in leasing on onshore lands over the past 30 years. This lack of leasing on federal lands will only result in lower production on federal lands in the future.

    Obama Claim: 2010 domestic crude oil production reached its highest levels since 2003.

    Reality: This is true, but the average production per day for 2011 is only 0.3 million barrels per day higher than in 2009.  And, as noted above, the reason that U.S. crude oil production is increasing is because of production on private and state lands while production on federal lands is decreasing. The President cannot honestly take credit for the production on private and state lands, but he can take partial credit for decreasing production on federal lands.

    Obama Claim: 2010 natural gas production reached its highest level in more than 30 years.
    Reality: Yes natural gas production is up, but this is because of production on private and state lands because production on federal lands is decreasing. [4]

    Obama Claim: The U.S. has become a net energy exporter.

    Reality: This claim is 100 percent false. Because the Obama campaign does not provide a single citation or source for their information, it is impossible to know how great its ignorance of energy facts extends. Every year, the Energy Information Administration, which is part of the Obama administration’s Department of Energy, publishes an Annual Energy Review. If the Obama campaign understood energy facts, they would have looked at Table 1.4 of the 2010 Annual Energy Review. They would have found a table titled, “Primary Energy Trade by Source, Selected Years, 1949–2010.” That table shows that in 2010, far from being a net energy exporter, the U.S. had net imports of 21 quadrillion Btus of energy of the 98 quadrillion btus used.

    Obama Claim: The Obama administration has proposed a five-year offshore drilling plan that makes more than 75 percent of undiscovered oil and gas resources off our shores available for development, while putting in place common-sense safety requirements to prevent a disaster like the BP oil spill from happening again.

    Reality: When President Obama was inaugurated nearly 100 percent of the offshore areas were available for exploration and development. Since then, the Obama administration has imposed limitations and made it far more difficult to produce energy on offshore areas. For example, even though there is bipartisan support from the Virginia delegation, including the state’s Democratic Senators, the Obama administration refuses to allow energy exploration off Virginia’s coast.

    Politicians taking credit for something good happening on their watch is nothing new, but as we have shown, the reduction in oil use is because of economic dislocation visited upon millions of American families by the longest sustained economic downturn since World War II, while the increase domestic production is occuring on state and private lands, while production on government lands over which he has control is going down.  In this sense, the president’s claims are simply breathtakingly in their apparent assumption that no one will bother to fact-check his numbers.

    [1] Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, Table 3.1 Petroleum Overview, http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec3_3.pdf.
    [2] See Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review 2010, Table 1.14, Fossil Fuel Production on Federally Administered Lands, Selected Year 1949–2010,
    [3] Id.
    [4] See Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Review 2010, Table 1.14, Fossil Fuel Production on Federally Administered Lands, Selected Year 1949–2010,
    Daniel Simmons

    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    Obama’s Government vs. Your Family

    Obama’s Government vs. Your Family

    by John Hinderaker in Liberals, Obama administration

    Today Barack Obama released a proclamation commemorating the 39th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the low water mark of American constitutional jurisprudence since the Dred Scott case. Obama’s proclamation was not widely noted, except in circles that take (as Scott put it long ago) the sacramental view of abortion. But I happened to read it, and was struck by this brazen bit of Obama BS:
    As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters.
    If that doesn’t provoke hollow laughter, you haven’t been paying attention. Do President Obama and his fellow Democrats seriously believe that “government should not intrude on private family matters?” Let us count the ways! First, compare Obama’s declaration today with what he said when Michelle Obama announced her anti-childhood obesity project. Did you think that how much your kids weigh is a “private family matter,” in which “government should not intrude?” Don’t be silly:
    I have set a goal to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight. The first lady will lead a national public awareness effort to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity. She will encourage involvement by actors from every sector — the public, nonprofits, and private sectors, as well as parents and youth — to help support and amplify the work of the federal government in improving the health of our children.
    So the future weight of your minor children is a “goal” of the federal government. Of course, that is just one example out of many. For example, do you think it is a “private family matter” whether you feed your children Cheerios and corn flakes for breakfast? Think again.

    Is it an imposition on “private family matters” when a pediatrician cross-examines your child about whether you own a gun? The liberals don’t think so.

    You might be so silly as to believe that teaching your children about sex is a “private family matter.” I won’t even bother to provide a link for this one.
    The subject of Obama’s declaration was abortion. But suppose your teenage daughter can get an abortion without your even finding out about it: is that a government intrusion on “private family matters?” Sure, but one that liberals like Obama favor.

    How about the electricity that your family uses? If you have a large family, or one with a lot of computers and other electronic equipment, you probably use more electricity than your neighbors, and are willing to pay for it. But in many communities, there is a sliding scale for usage, so that if you consume, say, 20% more electricity than your neighbors, you pay a 40% higher bill. This is because liberals believe it is their business how we live, and how much power we consume.

    Electric power reminds me of light bulbs. Did you think that your choice of light bulbs is a “private family matter?” Until a few years ago, it would not have occurred to anyone to disagree with you. But not today, as President Obama and his allies in Congress now dictate what light bulbs your family can use to illuminate your house.

    Disposing of garbage used to be a “private family matter.” Not anymore. Every community has laws and regulations about recycling that inject the government into your garbage.

    One might have said that providing for your family’s health was the quintessential “private family matter.” But that was before Obamacare, which not only will require you to buy health insurance, but will require it to be in a form dictated not by you and the insurance company, but by the federal government, so that you pay for dozens of coverages that your family doesn’t want or need.

    Did you think that how your children plan their futures is a “private family matter?” That isn’t what the Democrats believe. If you have children in public schools, you are aware that they are constantly bombarded with global warming propaganda. Several years ago, when my youngest child was in the 4th or 5th grade, she had a homework assignment in which a series of questions hectored her as to what she intended to do in her future life to combat global warming. I was proud of her when she wrote answers like, “I will never fly in more private aircraft than Al Gore,” and “I will never live in a bigger house than John Edwards.” (That, by the way, was before we suspected that Edwards was destined for the Big House.)

    Speaking of school: is where you send your children to school a “private family matter?” Of course not! The District of Columbia had a school choice scholarship program that allowed parents some discretion in selecting schools for their children, but Barack Obama and the Democrats killed it.

    When parents think about private family matters, one thing that comes to mind is babysitters. Until now, you could negotiate a reasonable fee with a 16-year-old neighbor and, if you live in a neighborhood like ours, feel confident that your kids will be well cared for. No longer; not here in Minnesota, anyway: Minnesota’s Democrats are pressing for unionization of all child care workers! If they have their way, you and your wife won’t be able to go out to dinner without dealing with union bosses–not because of your free choice, but because of government intervention into private family matters.

    The idea that liberal Democrats like Barack Obama regard anything as a “private family matter” is ludicrous. As far as they are concerned, every single thing that you and your family do is a proper subject for government regulation. The doctrine of “choice” ends once your child is born. If you think that there is some other aspect of your life, or your family’s that is so personal and so private that the Democrats couldn’t possibly want to regulate and control it–well, then, you are a fool.

    But Barack Obama utters bullshit like today’s Roe v. Wade proclamation, secure in the knowledge that no one will call him on it except for a few amateurs like us, who, for whatever reason, are willing to spend our Sunday evenings calling the president on his whoppers, rather than pursuing private family matters.

    Can a Standing O Shake a Worldview?

    If you did not see the standing ovation given Newt Gingrich when went “smackdown” on John King during last night’s debate, here it is:

    I came to the debate afew minutes late so I didn’t see it live. At the end of the debate, when CNN replayed “highlights” the standing-O wasn’t included (it certainly seemed like a “highlight” whether one liked it or not), so I only became aware of it thanks to the internet, and social media.

    This morning I got an email from a friend who scours the papers, and he wrote:
    AP and others did not even mention the standing O
    I took a quick look around at various mainstream reports and discovered that my friend was correct. Even pieces identifying themselves as analysis of “winners and losers” or “views from the bleachers” made no mention of the standing ovation that accompanied Newt’s smackdown of King. From the bleachers, this is what it looked like to CNN:
    He opened by offering Newt Gingrich a chance to respond to his allegations from his ex-wife in an interview on ABC. Gingrich delivers a flat “No” and the segmented crowd becomes uniform in its applause as Gingrich attacked the media.
    The writers, Soledad O’Brien and Rose Arce (two sets of eyes!) were in the bleachers and saw the crowd “become uniform,” but they can’t bring themselves to report what they actually saw.

    Several reports did make mention of the other unusual moment of the night, when John King asked Santorum, Gingrich and Romney about their pro-life positions and then then moved on. The audience (and even my husband and I at home) yelled at the moderator, “what about Paul! He’s a doctor!” And King was forced to allow Paul to be part of the discussion. The press was right to mention the moment, but — as my friend said — they seem to be determined to ignore Newt’s standing-o, which is something completely foreign to debates; in my memory it has never happened before. That alone makes it news-worthy and yet it’s not considered mentionable. To the press, it was not a “highlight.”

    Which means we must ask, why is that?

    Perhaps they are in denial. They have a very tidy playbook about how to go about destroying Republican candidates: you call them stupid; you call them crazy; you feature ugly or unflattering pictures of them; you delve into their trash and their college transcripts (but only theirs) or you expose their sins (but only theirs), confident in the knowledge that people are sheep, susceptible to gossip and the media’s leading leash; conservatives, after all, are judgmental “values voters” who will (according to the playbook) be repelled by tawdry stories of narcissistic (Republican, only) politicians who serially cheat on their wives!

    And last night, John King asked a question about Newt Gingrich’s past marriage issues — this is a big gun that’s supposed to do serious damage — and the thing backfired on them; it blew up in their hands as the audience “became uniform” in expressing its disgust not for the tawdry politician, but for the press that has become so nakedly overt in its bias, and so selective in what it finds newsworthy and what it does not.

    The standing ovation for Newt’s remarks were not an endorsement of his behavior — many conservatives are troubled by Gingrich’s past and character does matter to them, while other conservatives are remembering their own sins and falling back on what they know of mercy, for the time being. No, that ovation was an endorsement of Gingrich’s disdain for the mainstream media, which they share, and a declaration to that same media that their playbook is played-out. It said:
    “We are done responding like Pavlovian dogs to your bells; we no longer trust you; we understand that you are no longer a press that is free, but one that is enthralled to its own ideologies and agendas. From this point on, a candidate is going to rise or fall on the substance of their ideas and abilities, not on your prosy gushes about his brilliance, or stern warnings about her stupidity. You savaged George W. Bush you savaged Sarah Palin and you got away with it. You carried your own preferred, utterly inexperienced, passionate ideologue into the White House with over-effusive rhetoric and you have buffeted him from inquiry (tax returns? Hell, we’d just like to see Obama’s college transcripts!), or what you perceive to be damaging stories, but you elevated your favorite at the cost of your own credibility, and now it comes back to bite you. Because a press with no credibility has nothing to offer us. It has nowhere to go, now, except into the arms of the political machine it has loved. Just like Pravda, actually.”
    The mainstream press does not want to discuss last night’s standing ovation because it shakes their worldview. They were supposed to be able to control the narrative; they were supposed to be able to corral the sheep. And last night, the sheep indicated that they’re no longer willing to be herded, no longer going to allow their own moral judgments to be exploited in a time when the nation is facing serious issues. They’ve decided they’re going to make up their own minds, thank you, about who they think is up to dealing with those issues. They’re looking at the press and saying, “Scallywags, heal thyselves!”

    This has to be a true shake-up for the press. No wonder they don’t mind, so much, the idea of the government being able to shut down the internet at will. Without it, it will be so much easier to hide what they’d rather not have to discuss.

    Which is precisely why we really need to make sure the internet remains unencumbered. Shutting it down may be the only play the mainstream media has left.

    Understand, this is not about loving or hating Newt; this is simply a look at the press and where it’s at and how it got here.

    UPDATE: In the combox, Kathy Shaidle from Five Feet of Fury has a different interpretation of the ovation, one that I admit did not occur to me, likely because I am (as usual) part of the stone-throwing rabble, and I think her point is certainly one that is worth consideration:
    To me they are the equivalent of the OJ jury:
    Yeah, we know he’s guilty, but THIS is for all the innocents (we think) were “wrongly accused”/roughed up by cops, etc
    That is not the dignified, intelligent position, no matter how deeply tempting it is and no matter whose side adopts it.
    The response was one of a team scoring a touchdown. And the Blue/Red “team” mentality of electoral politics is part of what’s wrong with it, not something to be encouraged.
    Yes, the media is hopelessly biased and corrupt. I’ve been blogging for 12 years and bow to no one in my championship of alternative media. Everything you’re saying about them is 100% true. I don’t even believe in “not stooping to their level” — I say stoop away. Anything else is a mug’s game.
    And yet: that standing o was so “reptilian brain” it curdled my stomach.
    A bit of conscience-singe for Christians? Perhaps. As I said, it’s worth pondering, and asking, “is it me, Lord?” We are, after all, supposed to be better than all that.

    Meanwhile Francis Beckwith,
    who before the debate wondered if some think it’s better to be an adulterer than a Mormon, has a followup: on Gingrich, Romney and the Evangelicals

    The slings and arrows of Christianity, kids — we have to ask these questions seriously and answer them honestly. Otherwise we’re just clanging gongs.
    A look back: at how we got here


    Obama's Energy Claims Are Dishonest--First Obama Re-Election Ad Filled With Fibs

    Obama's Energy Claims Are Dishonest - Investors.com
    First Obama Re-Election Ad Filled With Fibs

    Energy: In his very first TV ad of the 2012 campaign, the president is feeding the public false information about America's dependence on foreign fuels. His twisted statistics actually celebrate the Obama recession.

    The Obama re-election campaign is already shaping up as the most deceitful in American electoral history. "For the first time in 13 years our dependence on foreign oil is below 50%," the commercial declares, accompanied by goose-bumpy music.

    Major economic downturns, in fact, unfailingly produce declines in oil imports. And so do higher gas prices — which went from an average of less than $2 a gallon at the time Obama took office to nearly $4 in the middle of last year and remain well above $3 today.

    How could gasoline demand not drop with so many people out of work, businesses dying and jittery investors sitting on a trillion dollars?

    Obama's ad dishonestly suggests he's been engineering an alternative energy economic renaissance in America. As hard-hatted workers are shown assembling solar panels, the ad says, "America's clean energy industry? 2.7 million jobs and expanding rapidly."

    It's saying Obama created — or "saved" — 2.7 million new clean energy jobs, right? Uh-uh. Turns out that the Brookings Institution report that the ad cites as its source on the 2.7 million was referring to already-existing green jobs.

    You'd never know from the Obama commercial that what Brookings actually said was: "Overall, today's clean economy establishments added half a million jobs between 2003 and 2010, expanding at an annual rate of 3.4 %" — a half-million over eight years being a tiny gain. And that "this performance lagged the growth in the national economy, which grew by 4.2% annually over the period."

    You wouldn't know, Brookings said, that "many longer-standing companies in the clean economy — especially those involved in housing- and building-related segments — laid off large numbers of workers during the real estate crash of 2007 and 2008, while sectors unrelated to the clean economy (mainly health care) created many more new jobs nationally."

    And Brookings' assessment that the green economy is "expanding rapidly"? Its report's conclusion actually warns "against excessive hopes for large-scale, near-term job-creation from the sector" because "the U.S. clean economy remains small where it is fast-growing and relatively slow-growing on balance ... their status as major employers remains a few years off."
    In truth, Obama's energy policy is a disaster as to reducing foreign energy dependence. As the Institute for Energy Research points out, "oil production on federal lands has fallen by 43% over the past nine years, according to the Obama administration's Energy Information Administration. And it has dropped rapidly on President Obama's watch."

    Dan Simmons, IER's director of regulatory and state affairs, told IBD he's convinced "President Obama is afraid of charges of crony capitalism regarding Solyndra," the solar panel company that got $535 million in taxpayer-funded stimulus loan funds from the administration, then soon went bankrupt.
    That's why the Obama re-election campaign's first big lie is that he is the energy president.