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31 January 2012

Hard Wuerk



-M.Wuerker, Wuerking Drawings

Why Doesn't Sarah Palin Just Endorse Newt Gingrich, Ctd.

I give you Exhibit B in our ongoing series, why doesn't Sarah Palin just endorse Gingrich already (Exhibit A is here)?


Newt Gingrich Robocall: Romney Forced Holocaust Survivors To Eat Non-Kosher Food

Wow.



Here is the script of the call:
As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney's compassion for our seniors? Tuesday you can end Mitt Romney's hypocrisy on religious freedom, with a vote for Newt Gingrich. Paid for by Newt 2012.
Commentary Magazine fact checks this line-of-attack:
First of all, it was a choice made by the nursing homes themselves, not the Massachusetts government. Second, it was never actually going to prevent kosher residents from accessing kosher food. And third, Romney's decision wouldn't have cut anything -- he simply vetoed additional funds, keeping funding at the status quo during a budget crisis year.
Any way you slice it, invoking the Holocaust is a stretch here. Wow.

In Three Years



2015 guys. Just sayin'.

[via a friend on Facebook]

Donald Trump: I Haven't Ruled Out Running

The Donald will do anything to keep his name in the headlines:
Donald Trump again refused to rule out a presidential bid Monday amid the increasing likelihood that Mitt Romney would win the Florida primary and the eventual Republican nomination.

The reality show television host, who at one point last year was leading the GOP polls, said that he planned to endorse a Republican candidate shortly, but that he would consider entering the race as an independent candidate if his choice did not emerge from the GOP field.

"I really want to endorse somebody and I'm going to be doing that over the not-so-distant future, and I'm going to be doing that, and if that person doesn't win, you know, we'll see what happens," Trump said on Fox News. "My preference is to endorse somebody, I love what I'm doing, as you guys know very well, I love it, I want to keep doing it, but I also love this country and we have to get somebody who is going to do that."
Even though he sounds as if he will go the non-risky route and endorse Mitt Romney, it appears as though Trump wants to be something of a political king-maker.

If he really wanted to make headlines, Trump would endorse someone like Rick Santorum. Or better yet, Buddy Roemer Gary Johnson.

Just sayin'.

The Inevitability In Florida

PPP Polling released a poll last night chronicling the probability of Mitt Rommney's win in the Florida primary election today:
PPP's tracking of the Florida Republican primary wraps up with Mitt Romney at 39%, Newt Gingrich at 31%, Rick Santorum at 15%, and Ron Paul at 11%. Our three days of tracking found very little movement in the race: Romney was at 39-40% every day, Gingrich was at 31-32% every day, Santorum was at 14-15% every day, and Paul was at 9-11% every day.

The lack of movement in the final 72 hours of the campaign is a far cry from the dramatic shifts Florida Republicans made in their preferences over the last four months. In late September we found Mitt Romney ahead of Newt Gingrich by 20 points in the state. By late November, as he surged nationally, Gingrich had taken a 30 point led over Romney. But then our first poll in early January, after poor performances by Gingrich in Iowa and New Hampshire, found Romney back on top by 15 points. Riding a (short lived) wave of momentum off his South Carolina victory, Gingrich led our Florida poll last week by 5 points. By the end of the week the race had swung back to Romney and over the last three days his lead has been steady in the 7-8 point range.
And awaaaay we go!

30 January 2012

Nontroversy Of The Week: The Muppets Vs. Fox News



From the video's description:
Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy hit back at Fox News during a UK press conference following the London Premiere of their new film. Fox had publically criticized the film for supposedly pushing a 'dangerous liberal agenda' at kids.
The Fox criticism to which the video refers can be found in a December 2011 article at the Huffington Post, as well as video at Media Matters:



Ugh.

Look, I took my kids to see The Muppets over the holidays and anyone who thinks that it is anything other than pure candy-coated entertainment needs to take a long vacation. Relax. Breathe in, breathe out.

I'm not saying that "liberal Hollywood" doesn't exist (gah), but the notion that Jim Henson's creations are trying to brainwash your children is, well, insane.

Dude. It's a f**kin' movie. With puppets.

Get a grip.

Why Doesn't Sarah Palin Just Endorse Newt Gingrich Already?

Geez.

Once again, Sarah Palin takes to her Facebook page to offer up some non-endorsement of Newt Gingrich. But, in the process, seems to send a couple of below-the-radar shots at Mitt Romney:
I spoke up before the South Carolina primary to urge voters there to keep this primary going because I have great concern about the GOP establishment trying to anoint a candidate without the blessing of the grassroots and all the needed energy and resources we as commonsense constitutional conservatives could bring to the general election in order to defeat President Obama. Now, I respect Governor Romney and his success. But there are serious concerns about his record and whether as a politician he consistently applied conservative principles and how this impacts the agenda moving forward. The questions need answers now. That is why this primary should not be rushed to an end. We need to vet this. Pundits in the Beltway are gleefully proclaiming that this primary race is over after Florida, despite 46 states still not having chimed in. Well, perhaps it’s possible that it will come to a speedy end in just four days; but with these questions left unanswered, it will not have come to a satisfactory conclusion. Without this necessary vetting process, the unanswered question of Governor Romney’s conservative bona fides and the unanswered and false attacks on Newt Gingrich will hang in the air to demoralize many in the electorate. The Tea Party grassroots will certainly feel disenfranchised and disenchanted with the perceived orchestrated outcome from self-proclaimed movers and shakers trying to sew this all up. And, trust me, during the general election, Governor Romney’s statements and record in the private sector will be relentlessly parsed over by the opposition in excruciating detail to frighten off swing voters. This is why we need a fair primary that is not prematurely cut short by the GOP establishment using Alinsky tactics to kneecap Governor Romney’s chief rival.
My emphases.

So, I'll ask again; why doesn't Sarah Palin just endorse Newt Gingrich already? Her husband has.

For what is the former Governor of Alaska waiting?

Ferris Bueller Sells Out For The Superbowl



I'll give Honda some credit here; it's a clever ad.

However, I have to ask one question: Will people under 25 get the reference? At all?

I'm 35-years-old. Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a classic movie -- from my childhood. My co-workers that are under 30 are vaguely aware of the flick, but it was not something that they were "brought up with".

Then again, how many people under 30 are buying a Honda CR-V? My guess is that they were thinking of people between the ages of 30 and 45 for this type of marketing.

ICYMI: Herman Cain's Endorsement



The former Godfather's Pizza CEO is throwing his Tea Party cred behind Newt Gingrich. CBS News:
"I had it in my heart and mind a long time ago" to endorse Gingrich, Cain said in a surprise appearance at the dinner. "Speaker Gingrich is a patriot, Speaker Gingrich is not afraid of bold ideas, and I also know that Speaker Gingrich is ... going through this sausage grinder. I know what this sausage grinder is all about. I know that he's going through this sausage grinder because he cares about the future of the United States of America."

Cain's ended his presidential bid in early December amid claims of sexual harrassement by several women who worked for him over the years and amid a charge from an Atlanta woman that the two carried on a longstanding marital affair. Until the allegations surfaced, Cain had been steadily gaining ground as a serious primary contender, attracting hundreds of people to his campaign events and winning over tea party activists with his outsider's message and calls for a "9-9-9" flat tax plan.

Cain and Gingrich walked onto stage together to a huge round of applause from the audience, whose excitement continued throughout the former candidate's brief remarks. As Gingrich took the stage after him, he joked that when he accepted the invitation to speak at the West Palm Beach County GOP Lincoln Dinner, he "had no idea it would be this interesting."

Gingrich's campaign can only hope that the support of the once-popular candidate will give a shot of life to his campaign, which is beginning to falter in Florida after a series of rough debates and nonstop attacks from Romney and a super PAC supporting Romney. But Cain's support may have lost his luster after nearly two months out off the campaign trail.
Cain, or Gingrich, should have made a quip about the sausage grinder as it relates to Cain being a former pizza CEO. That would have been a good laugh line.

Just sayin'.

Video via AP.

Mitt Romney: We Might Pull The Ad Featuring Brokaw

This morning on the Today Show, Matt Lauer chats with Mitt Romney regarding the appearance of old-school newsman Tom Brokaw's appearance in Romney's latest political ad:
MATT LAUER: Your campaign released an ad about Newt Gingrich 's fall from grace in the 1990s and the entire ad is basically -- a colleague of mine, Tom Brokaw recounting the fact that Newt Gingrich was asked to step down as House Speaker on ethics charges. NBC News, as you know, has asked you to pull the ad. Tom Brokaw released a statement saying, quote, "I'm uncomfortable with the use of my image in this ad. I do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign." Will your campaign withdraw the ad?

MITT ROMNEY: We'll sit down with the lawyers, talk to the folks at NBC and make a decision on that front. I think the reason it was so effective as an ad was this is not something which Speaker Gingrich could say was distorted or Romney was saying things not accurate. This is the news from the night when the speaker was sanctioned, reprimanded eed [sic] by his own members. People heard the news. Straight on. No heavy music that suggested a sinister background. instead, Tom Brokaw , a credible and respected journalist, reporting the news. I think it was devastating and pointed out what Speaker Gingrich was trying to hide is in the open.

LAUER: You will consider pulling it if that's what the decision of the campaign is?

ROMNEY: We'll certainly consider it very carefully. Obviously this was not something taken from hidden files. This was on the evening news. So it should hardly come as a revealing piece for people who watch it.
Despite making Brokaw 'uncomfortable', "History Lesson" is an extremely effective ad:


A Rare Response From Matt Drudge

While Matt Drudge clearly has bias in how he posts stories at the Drudge Report, he rarely makes overt commentary in response to charges of bias.

So, I was quite surprised when I visited his site today and saw that he has a link to a POLITICO story in which Fred Thompson declares that the Romney campaign has "got Matt Drudge in their back pocket" [it's actually a story from the New York Times to which POLITICO is linking].

Underneath the Drudge headline, "FRED DECLARES: Romney has 'DRUDGE in back pocket'..." Matt Drudge has placed three links. Each link goes to an archived page of the Drudge Report.

Link #1
Link #2
Link #3

The best part: Drudge uses some particularly snarky emoticons for the links [click image to embiggen]:

29 January 2012

Sunday Morning Music



You are listening to the groovy sounds of "Are You In?", the eleventh track from Incubus' 2001 album Morning View.

Enjoy your Sunday.

28 January 2012

Saturday Morning Cartoon

Eat your Cheerios -- it's cartoon time!

27 January 2012

New Gingrich Ad Asks, "What Kind Of Man Would Deceive?"



And the answer is "this man".

Wow. They're using stuff from last night's debate. Talk about rapid response...

UPDATE: Mike Huckabee responds to the use of his clip in the above ad:
Any use of an out of context quote from the Republican Presidential primary 4 years ago in a political ad to advocate for the election or defeat of another candidate is not authorized, approved, or known in advance by me. I have made it clear that I have not and do not anticipate making an endorsement in the GOP primary, but will support the nominee. My hope is to defeat Barack Obama and win majorities in both the House and Senate, not to attack any of the Presidential candidates who might be our nominee.
Well, the boat sailed on that one Huck because Newt TOTALLY used you to smear Mitt Romney.

Just sayin'.

Sh*t Samuel L. Jackson Says (NSFW)



WARNING: Totally and completely NSFW.

I am so utterly tired of the "sh*t [insert group of people here] says" meme. But, I thought this one was good, because the dude's impression of Samuel L. Jackson is spot-on.

Some humor for your Friday afternoon. Just make sure you turn down your speakers and that there are no children nearby...

Ron Paul "Signed Off" On Controversial Newsletters



It appears that the kindly Congressman from Texas hasn't been telling the truth:
Ron Paul, well known as a physician, congressman and libertarian , has also been a businessman who pursued a marketing strategy that included publishing provocative, racially charged newsletters to make money and spread his ideas, according to three people with direct knowledge of Paul’s businesses.

The Republican presidential candidate has denied writing inflammatory passages in the pamphlets from the 1990s and said recently that he did not read them at the time or for years afterward. Numerous colleagues said he does not hold racist views.

But people close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.

“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman.
Heretofore, Ron Paul has maintained that he didn't have editorial control of the newsletters in question (for the long backstory, check out James Kirchick's 2008 article at The New Republic), and that the controversial material had been written by a 'ghost-writer'.

Over at OTB, Doug responds to the newest chapter in this saga:
One of the reasons that Paul gets a break on some of this stuff, is simply because of his steadfastness on issues of principles. I can certainly understand that, but at some point one has to stand up and denounce something that’s wrong, and Paul not only didn’t do that in the 1990s, he apparently consciously decided to appeal to it in order to make his business more profitable. Far be it from me to deny someone the right to make a profit, but when you do it by pandering to base racial hatreds you’ve got some questions to answer for it. Whether one believes in those ideas or not, providing voice to them is a tacit endorsement, especially if one if a former Congressman and Presidential candidate.
My emphasis.

This latest revelation will likely have very little, if any affect on his most ardent supporters. They are the 'true believers' who think that the political establishment is trying to silence their candidate-of-choice.

BUT, I think that cumulative effect of this story has single-handedly ruined Ron Paul's chances of higher office. He could still act as something of a kingmaker if the GOP primary goes to a brokered convention (which it won't), but any thoughts of a cabinet position -- much less a VP consideration -- are long gone.

------
Photo: A. Nelles/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Nomination For The Craziest Campaign Ad This Year



Wow.

Note to candidates for public office: comparing anything to slavery is a bad idea. Whether it's in a speech or in a campaign ad, people will not react well.

In fact, I would argue that it's up there with comparing your political opponent(s) with Adolf Hitler on the list of "things that you probably shouldn't do".

The Tide Turns For Newt Gingrich (Again)



Dude. What happened Newt?

Seriously. One week ago, you were the darling of the Republican party. You stood up for yourself and swatted every attack that came your direction. By most accounts you won the debates in South Carolina, which (undoubtedly) carried you to a primary victory in the Palmetto State.

But last night, that candidate all-but disappeared.

I watched the 1,208,317th debate last night on CNN and I have to say Newt, you got clobbered by Mitt Romney. None of your attacks stuck. All of his rhetorical punches landed with a resounding 'thud'. Bruised and battered was your political appearance by the conclusion.

That's not to say that you didn't give it your best.

For example, this exchange with newsman and moderator Wolf Blitzer was priceless:


WOLF BLITZER: We're continuing the debate here in Jacksonville, Florida.

Let's get to the issue of transparency, because voters out there, they want to know as much about you four gentlemen as possible before they vote.

Tax returns - let me bring this to Speaker Gingrich.

Earlier this week, you said Governor Romney, after he released his taxes, you said that you were satisfied with the level of transparency of his personal finances when it comes to this. And I just want to reiterate and ask you, are you satisfied right now with the level of transparency as far as his personal finances?

NEWT GINGRICH: Wolf, you and I have a great relationship, it goes back a long way. I'm with [Rick Santorum]. This is a nonsense question. [APPLAUSE, CHEERS FROM CROWD] Look, how about if the four of us agree for the rest of the evening, we'll actually talk about issues that relate to governing America?

BLITZER: But, Mr. Speaker, you made an issue of this, this week, when you said that, "He lives in a world of Swiss bank and Cayman Island bank accounts." I didn't say that. You did.

GINGRICH: I did. And I'm perfectly happy to say that on an interview on some TV show. But this is a national debate, where you have a chance to get the four of us to talk about a whole range of issues.

BLITZER: But if you make a serious accusation against Governor Romney like that, you need to explain that. [BOOS AND JEERS FROM CROWD]
Newt, you have the Republican audience eating conservative fruit right out of your hand! Fantastic! Now, bring it on home with a slam on the liberal media, and you'll have this thing all wrapped up, with a pretty bow on top!

Then, just when I thought that your fellow Republican candidates would help you pile-on Wolf Blitzer for asking "nonsense questions", Mitt Romney jumps in:
Wouldn't it be nice if people didn't make accusations somewhere else that they weren't willing to defend here?
Damn.

That's where I think that the tide turned for you Newt.

There are lots of folks saying that last night's debate was your 'last chance' to make a stand Newt -- and I have to say that I am starting to agree. You surged upward in the polls last fall, then fell off. Last week, after some great debate performances and a strong finish in South Carolina's primary, you got another bounce in the polls, but have fallen off once again.

Unless there is some kind of game-changer (like, winning the Florida primary on Tuesday, for example), I really don't see how you come back again.

Time and time again, I have heard from those who support Newt Gingrich -- as well as from the former Speaker of the House himself -- that a chief reason for backing his candidacy in the Republican primary is his superior debating skill. Many a supporter has argued that Gingrich will be able to defeat Barack Obama in a series of Lincoln-Douglas style debates (over which, you seem to be obsessed Newt). After your performance last night, I would LOVE to hear from Gingrich supporters regarding this theory. It seems to me that Mitt Romney debated circles around you Newt. And that is being generous.

On Wednesday, GOP12's Christian Heinze outlined the reasons that the 'Newt-As-A-Superior-Debater' argument simply doesn't work. And there are three very good reasons...

Look Newt, I'm not telling you how to run your show. Clearly, you are a far-more experienced politician than I. However, I would argue that your continued candidacy in the 2012 primary for the Republican nomination will not help the eventual nominee.

Whomever that may be (*cough* ROMNEY *cough*).

26 January 2012

Mitt Romney: We Can't Afford To Take A Risk On Newt



Wow. And this one is from the Mitt Romney campaign, not some shadowy surrogate SuperPAC.

How Will Newt Gingrich Survive In Florida?

...if he has to sustain political advertisements like these:





Both of these ads are from Restore America's Future, Mitt Romney's SuperPAC. And man, they are effective.

As an independent, I cannot vote in the primary election in Pennsylvania. But if I could vote, and I had been subjected to a major ad-buy of this nature -- as I'm sure that the folks in Florida have -- there's no way that I would vote for Newt Gingrich.

Mitt Romney Tells The Truth


Mitt Romney concedes to radio host Laura Ingraham that it will be a tough argument to get people to vote for a Republican if the economy continues to get stronger.

Here is the much talked-about back-and-forth:
LAURA INGRAHAM: You’ve also noted that there are signs of improvement on the horizon in the economy. How do you answer the president’s argument that the economy is getting better in a general election campaign if you yourself are saying it’s getting better?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, of course it’s getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession, there is always a recovery. There's never been a time anywhere in the world where an economy has never recovered. The question is, has it recovered by virtue of something the President's done or has he delayed the recovery and made it more painful?

The latter is, of course, the truth. The President's policies have made it, have made this recession deeper, and have made the recovery more tepid, more difficult on the American people. This is the worst recovery we've seen from a recession since Hoover. And President Obama wants to take credit for things getting better, he in fact has made things worse. He's made this recovery take much longer.

But will our economy get better someday? Of course it will, and it will not be thanks to the President Obama. It will be in spite of President Obama, and that's of course the message we have to give. If people think the right course for improving an economy is to massively expand debt and grow the government, well they can vote for Barack Obama. But, we know better.

INGRAHAM: Isn’t it a hard argument to make if you’re saying, like, OK, he inherited this recession, he took a bunch of steps to try to turn the economy around, and now, we’re seeing more jobs, but vote against him anyway? Isn’t that a hard argument to make? Is that a stark enough contrast?

ROMNEY: Have you got a better one, Laura? (laughs) It just happens to be the truth. We're going to see the numbers, in terms of how the economy does. It's very possible, by the way, that the economy will go into a decline again. I can't tell you that I can predict that's it going to get better. But I think at some point it's going to get better.
I have to say, it's probably the most surreal thing that I've heard any of the GOP candidates say thus far in the 2012 primary campaign -- and Gingrich has suggested an American moon-base by 2020.

I think that I can hear Newt Gingrich's opposition research team drooling....

Quote Of The Day: Tom DeLay Dumps On Newt Gringrich

"What has been said about Newt is pretty much true. He had to step down because Republicans, conservative Republicans, wouldn't vote for him again as Speaker. Because 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." -former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), in a radio interview with KTRH-AM in Houston, Texas.

Head nod: Taegan Goddard

Bob Dole UNLOADS On Newt Gingrich

Daaaaaaaaaaaang:
I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late. 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.

Gingrich served as Speaker from 1995 to 1999 and had trouble within his own party. By 1997 a number of House Republican members wanted to throw him out as Speaker. But he hung on until after the 1998 elections when Newt could read the writing on the wall. His mounting ethics problems caused him to resign in early 1999. I know whereof I speak as I helped establish a line of credit of $150,000 to help Newt pay off the fine for his ethics violations. In the end, he paid the fine with money from other sources.

Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall. He loved picking a fight with President Clinton because he knew this would get the attention of the press. This and a myriad of other specifics like shutting down the government helped to topple Gingrich in 1998.

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. Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty bucket in his hand — that was a symbol of some sort for him — and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it, and I’m not certain he knew either.

The Democrats are spending millions of dollars running negative ads against Romney as they are hoping that Gingrich will be the nominee which could result in a landslide victory for Obama and a crushing defeat for Republicans from the courthouse to the White House. Democrats are not running ads against Gingrich which is further proof they want to derail Governor Romney.

In my opinion if we want to avoid a sweeping victory by Obama in November, Republicans should nominate Governor Romney as our standard bearer. He could win because he has the requisite experience in the public and private sectors. He would be a president in whom we could have confidence and he would make us proud.
I wonder if anyone will mention this in the debate tonight...

The Wealth Of Statesmen (Infographic)

An interesting (and timely infographic regarding Mitt Romney's wealth -- and taxation.

Wealth of Statesmen
Created by: Online MBA Programs

Hard Wuerk



-M.Wuerker, Wuerking Drawings

Newt Gingrich Appears To Have Lied About ABC News Story

GOP12:
The story in bullet points.

a. During Monday's debate, he said that he offered ABC "several" personal friends to dispute his ex-wife, Marianne's "open marriage" claims.

ABC said it received no such offer of personal friends, countering that Newt's daughters were the only ones offered and that they were, indeed, included in the story.

b. One day later, he repeated the "several" personal friends line to CNN and said it was "just plain baloney" when ABC denied Newt's claim.

c. Yesterday, Newt's spokesman finally fessed up, and admitted that the "several" personal friends were, simply, his two daughters, and nobody else.
If Mitt Romney's campaign doesn't capitalize on Newt's egregious error, they're stupid.

The argument doesn't have to be about Marianne Gingrich either. The argument that Romney -- or Santorum & Paul -- should make is that Newt is simply untrustworthy. Gingrich came out guns-a-blazin' at the CNN debate. He slammed John King and ABC News for their irresponsible reporting.

But it seems that Gingrich was the irresponsible one.

My Thoughts On President Obama's SOTU Remarks



So, I meant to post my reaction to the State Of The Union address yesterday, but work responsibilities got in the way (don't you hate it when that happens?). It may be a day late, but it's definitely not a dollar short. 'Cause it's free, dummy.

Firstly, if you missed it, here is the transcript. You can watch the entire thing here.

Okay, the good news is: I didn't feel like the entire thing was one big campaign speech. Particularly at the beginning.

But, now that I've read the speech (as opposed to watching it) and am now writing about it, some of the remarks come across as more-than-a-bit campaign-y. But, in the moment on Tuesday evening, it didn't feel that way.

What I found to be the most interesting and compelling moments were in the first several minutes of the address. Particularly this bit:
Let’s remember how we got here. Long before the recession, jobs and manufacturing began leaving our shores. Technology made businesses more efficient, but also made some jobs obsolete. Folks at the top saw their incomes rise like never before, but most hardworking Americans struggled with costs that were growing, paychecks that weren’t, and personal debt that kept piling up.

In 2008, the house of cards collapsed. We learned that mortgages had been sold to people who couldn’t afford or understand them. Banks had made huge bets and bonuses with other people’s money. Regulators had looked the other way, or didn’t have the authority to stop the bad behavior.

It was wrong. It was irresponsible. And it plunged our economy into a crisis that put millions out of work, saddled us with more debt, and left innocent, hard-working Americans holding the bag. In the six months before I took office, we lost nearly four million jobs. And we lost another four million before our policies were in full effect.

Those are the facts. But so are these. In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s. Together, we’ve agreed to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion. And we’ve put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable, so a crisis like that never happens again.

The state of our Union is getting stronger. And we’ve come too far to turn back now. As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.

No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits. Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.

This blueprint begins with American manufacturing.
My emphasis.

As the President started in with the "Let's remember how we got here...", I must admit that I was concerned that he was going to re-hash the 'failed policies of President Bush' talking points that, in essence, won Obama the 2008 election. At first this bothered me because, as I've talked about before, Americans aren't going to buy that argument this time around.

But when the President continued, "I will work with anyone in this chamber...", I started to worry less. While he was still hinting at 'remember, I inherited this mess' language, it seemed that he was turning something of a corner with some talk of the future, and his willingness to get things done.

Also worth noting, Obama followed that conciliatory tone with a strong call to arms for Democrats. The line about intending 'to fight obstruction with action' was some of the most forceful rhetoric that I have heard from Obama-as-President.

One of my biggest criticisms of President Obama in the last three years is that he has lacked, well, balls. Oh sure he's gotten some ballsy things done (bin Laden, healthcare, et al), but it is only in the aftermath of these ballsy things that the President seems to misplace his metaphorical testicles.

Let me put it another way; heretofore, I haven't felt like the President brags about his successes enough. He hasn't used forceful language enough. You may not agree with him on a whole host of issues (see above), but you have to admit that he got sh*t done.

It appears that this campaign may be different. And it should be.

While the President is well known for his 'laid-back' persona, looking very comfortable on the stump, this election is not going to be based on 'hope and change' imagery. Voters this time around are going to be looking at the President's record over the last three-plus years. Barack Obama needs to stand up and fight for what he and his administration have done -- and what he plans to do in the next four years.

You may think me naive, but I was also impressed by the call for bipartisanship using our nation's military as an example:
At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, [the military of the United States] exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.

Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.
What I heard was, "You know what? Democrats and Republicans are too bitterly divided. We haven't gotten much done in Washington, D.C. because of our partisan gridlock. If we pattered our governance after the the example of teamwork and leadership that our military sets -- we would be in much better shape."

Now, Jason Kuznicki at The League thinks differently:
[T]o imagine that our economy and the rest of our society should be run just like the military is the very essence of fascism.
...and while I think that Jason has a point about the militarization of America, I'm not so sure that this is what Obama was referring to in his speech.

On the contrary, I interpreted the President's rhetoric as a plea to set aside our political and ideological differences and work together towards a common goal: getting our country working again. I don't think that the President is suggesting that all Americans need to 'fall in line' like the military does -- for, as Kuznicki points out, surely that would be fascism. I think that Obama was simply going for a 'teamwork' message here.

...and at the same time, he got to plug the successes of our nation's military members. What President politician would pass on an opportunity to do that?

James Joyner and I agree on that last point:
Like John Kennedy’s famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” this is simultaneously uplifting and outrageous. It’s beautiful speechcraft and political theater; who could dare not applaud this and be seen as not supporting the troops?
Indeed.

All in all, save for the things that I've talked about, the speech was (sometimes eerily) similar to previous State Of The Union addresses. The RNC put out an extremely effective web ad that speaks to this:



Much of the speech was indeed standard boilerplate from an incumbent President up for re-election. But, as I mentioned above, I think that I sensed more of a fire in the President's belly.

We'll see just how strong that fire is in the coming months.

------
Photo: U.S. President Barack Obama gets a standing ovation as he makes his State of the Union address to a joint session of congress and the American people in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. UPI/Pat Benic


25 January 2012

New DNC Ad Hits Romney On Banks And Tax Returns



For my money, this ad is not particularly effective. The accusation that Romney 'parked his money in off-shore accounts' and Swiss banks is one that rings hollow to me.

So what? Romney is free to do with his money as he pleases.

Now, if there is mounting evidence that he was doing this solely to avoid paying his taxes, then I've got a (small) problem with that -- but I still don't see it as a major campaign issue.

SEALs Rescue Hostages In Somalia In Overnight Raid

Dang.
In a daring nighttime raid Tuesday, U.S. Navy SEALs rescued two hostages, including one American, who were being held by kidnappers in Somalia, U.S. officials tell NBC News.

American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, were working for a Danish relief organization in northern Somalia when they were kidnapped last October. U.S. officials described their kidnappers as heavily armed common criminals with no known ties to any organized militant group.

According to the U.S. officials, two teams of Navy SEALs landed by helicopter near the compound where the two hostages were being held.

As the SEALS approached the compound on foot gunfire broke out, the U.S. officials said, and several of the militants were reportedly killed. There is no word that any of the Americans were wounded.

The SEALs gathered up Buchanan and Thisted, loaded them onto the helicopters and flew them to safety at an undisclosed location. The two hostages were not injured during the rescue operation and are reported to be in relatively good condition.
This must be why the President said, "Good job tonight" to Leon Panetta at the State Of The Union address last night.

More as it develops...

24 January 2012

Santorum: It's Not My Job To Defend The President

So, yesterday at a townhall event, a woman told Rick Santorum that "I never refer to Obama as President Obama because legally he is not. He constantly says that our constitution is passé, and he ignores it as you know and does what he darn well pleases. He is an avowed Muslim and my question is, why isn't something being done to get him out of government? He has no legal right to be calling himself president."

Today, Santorum defended his non-action on Morning Joe saying that it is not his job to defend the President:



Rick Santorum is more concerned about saving the feelings of an 'elderly lady leaning on a cane' than he is about setting the record straight -- even if he has already done so in the past.

I may disagree with John Heilman on many things, but he is right in saying that Santorum needs to take a page out of John McCain's 2008 playbook. Santorum should quickly and deliberately put down the falsehoods and not let these untruths continue.

I will concede that it is not Santorum's job 'to defend the President', but he rightly points out that others do not correct his record when presented with inaccuracies.

Hey, I've got an idea; anytime you are at a political rally and are presented with rhetoric that is blatantly false, call out the presenter. Regardless of who it is.

Joe The Plumber's Confusing Advertising

So, I was perusing this very interesting article by Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller and when I scrolled down the page I saw this advertisement:


Now, if you'll note the image contained in that ad, Mr. The Plumber is standing and chatting with then-Presidential -candidate Senator Barack Obama. Obama appears to be, well, lecturing the plumber-turned-Congressional candidate.

My question: Why use an image that includes President Obama? Ostensibly, Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher is running as a darling of the Tea Party, right?



Right.

So, why would a rabid anti-Obama candidate for Congress use an image of said candidate and Obama?

Seriously. I'm really asking.

Boehner: "Obama's Policies Are Almost Un-American"

The Speaker of the House is not mincing words:
House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday forcefully denounced the Democrats' campaign theme that they are for the middle class and Republicans are for the wealthy – saying the policies the president is running on are "almost un-American."

"This is a president who said I'm not going to be a divider, I'm going to be a uniter, and running on the policies of division and envy is – to me it's almost un-American," said Boehner.

Speaking to a small group of reporters in his Capitol office ahead of the president's State of the Union address, Boehner said Democrats have been trying to push the same middle class versus wealthy theme for "eighty years" and suggested it won't work for President Obama.

"He can run, he can hide, make all the noise he wants – but it's going to be a referendum on his policies, and they haven't worked," said Boehner.
My emphasis.

So, the pre-State of the Union fireworks appear to have begun.

Mitt Vs. Newt



-R.J. Matson, St. Louis Dispatch

Gingrich Supported The Death Penalty For Drug Smuggling

This past weekend on MSNBC, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson highlighted something about Newt Gingrich that I'd never heard before:



Foreal? Newt Gingrich supported the idea that people bringing drugs into the United States should be put to death?

And sure enough, there it is at the Library of Congress:
HR 4170 IH

104th CONGRESS
2d Session

H. R. 4170
To provide a sentence of death for certain importations of significant quantities of controlled substances.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 25, 1996


Mr. GINGRICH introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL
To provide a sentence of death for certain importations of significant quantities of controlled substances.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996'.

SEC. 2. INCREASED PENALTIES FOR INTERNATIONAL DRUG TRAFFICKING.

Section 1010 of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960) is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(e)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall sentence a person convicted of a violation of subsection (a), consisting of bringing into the United States a mixture or substance--
`(A) which is described in subsection (b)(1); and
`(B) in an amount the Attorney General by rule has determined is equal to 100 usual dosage amounts of such mixture or substance;
to imprisonment for life without possibility of release. If the defendant has violated this subsection on more than one occasion and the requirements of chapter 228 of title 18, United States Code, are satisfied, the court shall sentence the defendant to death.
`(2) The maximum fine that otherwise may be imposed, but for this subsection, shall not be reduced by operation of this subsection.'

SEC. 3. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE.

(a) INCLUSION OF OFFENSE- Section 3591(b) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
(1) by striking `or' at the end of paragraph (1);
(2) by striking the comma at the end of paragraph (2) and inserting `; or' at the end of paragraph (2); and
(3) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
`(3) an offense described in section 1010(e)(1) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act;'
(b) ADDITIONAL AGGRAVATING FACTOR- Section 3592(d) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after paragraph (8) the following:
`(9) SECOND IMPORTATION OFFENSE- The offense consisted of a second or subsequent violation of section 1010(a) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act consisting of bringing a controlled substance into the United States.'.
Wow. Conor Friedersdorf makes a great point:
More noteworthy still is what actually sponsoring a bill like this says about Gingrich's moral compass. For him, exercising the most extreme, irreversible, and morally fraught power that the state possesses -- the power to kill someone -- is appropriate as a punishment for a nonviolent crime.

This insufficient regard for the sanctity of human life and willingness to pander with the death penalty is problematic enough when exhibited by a powerful legislator. Electing a president with that mindset is terrifying, especially now that President Obama has recklessly set the precedent for secret extrajudicial kill orders to be issue by the executive branch. Though Gingrich still insists the War on Drugs should be fought more aggressively, it is admittedly unlikely that drug smugglers would be executed by the federal government were he elected. At the same time, it's extraordinary likely that he'll make judgment calls about officially sanctioned killings and appropriate punishments for transgressions against the law. Do Republicans really want to trust those decisions to a man who once tried to apply the death penalty to marijuana smugglers?
My emphasis.

To Mr. Friedersdorf's last question: yes. Right now it appears that Republican want to trust this type of a decision to Newt Gingrich. Next week? Who knows...

Congressional Reaction To SOPA/PIPA Protests



The graphic speaks for itself.

[via the ProPublica Nerd Blog, head nod: Dish]

Bad Lip Reading With Mitt Romney



Head nod: TYWKIWDBI

23 January 2012

By The Way, President Obama Is Out There Too



...lest you think that the President is sitting on his laurels. Quite the contrary.

I know that I've been posting quite a bit (understatement) about the GOP primary battle -- but Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and the other Republicans aren't the only high-profile politicians running advertisements.

President Obama's re-election machine has just released this ad, as something of a defense of his first term.

It's a quick 15-second spot -- but it illustrates the message quite well. I have to admit that I like the infographic-y look to the ad.

Newt Gingrich On The Air In Florida



Via BuzzFeed:
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is buying airtime in Florida and will be up state-wide on Fox News Channel beginning tomorrow, a source tells BuzzFeed.

The ad has the same title as the one he released last week in South Carolina, "The Moment," that highlighted the best moments from his debate performance in last week's Fox News debate in Myrtle Beach. It remains to be seen whether Gingrich will incorporate Thursday's CNN debate or tonight's NBC debate in the new ad.

The impact of Gingrich's debate performances on his South Carolina victory on Saturday is hard to understate — with this ad serving as a closing argument of sorts — which is why the selection is understandable. It also matches Gingrich's broader theme: That he is the larger man, a heavyweight contrast to Obama and a plausible conservative president.
If you ask me, Newt should find a way to use last Thursday's CNN debate to his advantage. After all, it helped him win the state...

Senator Mark Kirk Hospitalized For Stroke

The Senator from Illinois is now recovering:
Sen. Mark Kirk was hospitalized after suffering a stroke over the weekend and underwent surgery Monday in Chicago, his office said.

According to a statement, Kirk, 52, checked himself in to Lake Forest Hospital in the Chicago area on Saturday, where doctors discovered a carotid artery dissection in the right side of the neck.

After being transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, further tests showed the senator had suffered an ischemic stroke.

On Monday, Kirk underwent "successful" surgery to relieve swelling around his brain that resulted from the stroke, the statement continues.

"Due to his young age, good health and the nature of the stroke, doctors are very confident in the senator's recovery over the weeks ahead," Kirk's office said.

Mitt Romney Steps Up Attacks On Newt Gingrich

Both in advertising:



And in stump-speech rhetoric. Romney, in Florida:
So I've had the experience of leadership. Now Speaker Gingrich has also been a leader. He was a leader for four years as speaker of the House. And at the end of four years it was proven he was a failed leader. And he had to resign in disgrace. I don't know if you knew that. He actually resigned after four years in disgrace. He was investigated under an ethics panel and had to make a payment associated with that and then his fellow Republicans, 88 percent of Republicans, voted to reprimand Speaker Gingrich. He has not had a record of successful leadership.
This is quite a large deviation from Romney's strategy. Heretofore, Romney has been focusing nearly all of his criticism on President Obama -- staying above the fray, as it were -- but now it seems that his campaign is adopting a different tack.

Weekend Snow Day, FTW!



Had a great time this weekend with The Pajama Family. On Saturday morning, we awoke to nearly seven inches of the powdery white stuff. Awesome.

After suiting-up the kiddos, we walked to my folks' house to fetch our sleds (which had been left there since LAST winter). Then we headed back to our house (in the background on the video), where there are some small hills nearby.

That's my daughter in the sled and my son falling up the hill. TPW is the cheering her daughter on...

Now: back to the grind.

22 January 2012

Gabby Giffords Announces That She Is Stepping Down

Big news regarding Congresswoman Gabby Giffords via POLITICO:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was severely wounded just over one year ago in a shooting rampage, announced Sunday that she is resigning from Congress.

“I have more work to do on my recovery so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week,” she told supporters in a video message. “I'm getting better, every day.”

Giffords says she will resign this week from Congress so that she can devote herself to her rehabilitation, which has been under way for more than a year since a bullet pierced her brain during the mass shooting in a Tucson parking lot that left six people dead.
Here's the YouTube video announcement.

Sunday Morning Music



You are watching & listening to the Beastie Boys' "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win (featuring Santigold)", from their eighth studio album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.

Enjoy your Sunday.

21 January 2012

Newt Gingrich Wins The South Carolina Primary

CNN has just projected that Newt Gingrich will win the South Carolina primary for the Republican nomination for President.

It looks like the debate on Thursday evening really benefitted Gingrich.

More on Monday.

Saturday Morning Cartoon

Eat your Wheaties -- it's cartoon time!



Is it just me, or does this cartoon -- Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, from 1974 -- look like a very early predecessor for the 2003 Disney/Pixar film Cars?

Nah. It's just me.

20 January 2012

SOPA/PIPA Gets Put On Hold

For now, at least. Via POLITICO:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said today that his committee won't take up SOPA until "there is wider agreement on a solution." "I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy," he said in a statement. "It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products."
And as for PIPA...
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has put off Tuesday's vote on anti-piracy legislation, according to his spokesman. "In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday's vote on the PROTECT IP Act," Reid said in a statement, according to a tweet from his communications director, Adam Jentleson.
More as it develops.

On The Republican Debate In South Carolina

In case you missed it, here is the transcript of the debate.

Here is the full video of the debate:



As I see it, there were two winners at the debate last night -- and one loser.

Newt Gingrich was the first winner.

Right out of the gate, he was strong. CNN's John King asked Newt to address the interview that his ex-wife Marianne Gingrich gave to ABC News and The Washington Post -- and Gingrich fired back. Hard.



While I do believe that the personal lives of the candidates is a factor for most voters, I do NOT believe that this line of questioning is appropriate for the debates. There is a very big difference between a campaign issue and a debate issue. The bottom-line is that voters will look at a candidate's record -- both in their public and private life -- and make a decision. The debate format is no place to tackle this kind of thing.

Gingrich's passionate and heated response was appropriate. And it scored him some BIG points right off the bat.

The rest of the debate was good for him, but this will be the moment that everyone remembers from this debate.

The other winner was Rick Santorum.

Santorum had a free pass all evening. Nobody attacked him and -- on the flip side of things -- he was all over everyone else.

For example, Santorum goes full torque after Newt Gingrich's, err, larger than life personality:


[via Buzzfeed]

"Grandiosity has never been a problem with Newt Gingrich"? DAMN. Santorum goes on to say that he doesn't want to have a candidate where he is "worried about what he's going to say next." Ouch.

Rick Santorum also went after both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Romney, as expected, bore the brunt of Santorum's "Romneycare" attacks. But Santorum also continued to go after Gingrich for supporting an individual mandate in healthcare. After a long back-and-forth on the topic, I think this exchange was the most damning to Gingrich:
MR. SANTORUM: The core of "Obamacare" is an individual mandate. It is what is being litigated in the Supreme Court right now. It is government top-down telling every business and every American what kind of health care that you will have. That is the problem with "Obamacare" at the core of it. And the speaker supported it repeatedly for a 10-year period. So when he goes and says, I can, you know, run rings around President Obama in a Lincoln-Douglas debate, you can't run rings around the fact, Newt, that you supported the primary core basis of what President Obama's put in place.

[snip]

MR. GINGRICH: Well, one -- just one brief comment. Of course you can. I can say, you know, I was wrong, and I figured it out; you were wrong, and you didn't. (Cheers, applause.)

MR. SANTORUM: You held that -- Newt -- Newt, you held that position for over 10 years. And, you know, it's not going to be the most attractive thing to go out there and say, you know, it took me 10 or 12 years to figure out I was wrong, when guys like Rick Santorum knew it was wrong from the beginning. (Cheers, applause.)
Yikes.

Sorry Newt. Using the argument 'I made a mistake and know better now' works for a high school student in detention -- not for a Presidential candidate.

To this end, yesterday on the Twitters, Allahpundit made a great point:
The very worst argument for Gingrich is this fantasy that the debates will become gamechangers because he'd TOTALLY PWN Obama [1]

General-election debates almost never matter. And O's not remotely the stammering idiot that the TOTUS caricature makes him out to be [2]
So, Santorum comes out clean with some very effective attacks on the current (former?) front-runners.

That sums up the winners. Now: the losers.

The first is CNN.

I'm sorry gang, the CNN hosted a great debate -- but that first question-and-response between King and Gingrich just made CNN look terrible. It feeds directly into the hands of the 'liberal media is outta getcha' meme that dominates so much of our political discourse these days. CNN made a HUGE mistake in asking that question -- much less leading off the debate with it.

The second loser is a good one: SOPA/PIPA.

Alex Howard noted:
At [last night's] debate in South Carolina, the remaining 4 candidates for the Republican nomination for president were asked if they supported the Stop Online Piracy Act. An unprecedented day of online protests over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate and the resulting coverage on cable and broadcast news networks finally brought one of the most important questions about the future of the Internet into a presidential debate.

[snip]

Santorum, Romney and Gingrich have publicly come out all against these bills. If asked last week, would they have given the same answers? I’ve been frustrated that so few questions about the Internet and technology have been asked. Clearly, the political calculus around supporting them has shifted. At least Ron Paul is consistent; he — and Rep Michele Bachmann — came out against SOPA weeks ago.
So, this is a good type of loser, if you ask me. The more high-profile politicians that come out against SOPA/PIPA (regardless of political party), the better.

So, the no-pun-intended 'elephant in the room' is, of course, Ron Paul.

Congressman Paul performed very well. As usual, he stated his positions and policy ideas -- but he didn't have any 'testy' moments like the other three candidates had. His debate performances have been very even-keeled. He doesn't make too many mistakes, but on the other hand he never really gets much traction with post-debate analyses this this.

All in all, I think Newt Gingrich -- despite sustaining some withering attacks from Rick Santorum -- fares best in the wake of this debate. He had been gaining on Mitt Romney in the polls, and is now overtaking in some, and I think his red-meat Republican performance at this debate only helps his cause.

It will be interesting to see the votes come in on Saturday. If Newt wins South Carolina, I'm sure that his performance at the CNN debate will be why.

19 January 2012

Dems Propose Regulatory Board For Oil Company Profits

And -- I'm not making this up -- the group would be called the "Reasonable Profits Board". Oy:
Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a "Reasonable Profits Board" to control gas profits.

The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a "windfall profit tax" as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit.

The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784, would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding "a reasonable profit." It would set up a Reasonable Profits Board made up of three presidential nominees that will serve three-year terms. Unlike other bills setting up advisory boards, the Reasonable Profits Board would not be made up of any nominees from Congress.

The bill would also seem to exclude industry representatives from the board, as it says members "shall have no financial interests in any of the businesses for which reasonable profits are determined by the Board."

According to the bill, a windfall tax of 50 percent would be applied when the sale of oil or gas leads to a profit of between 100 percent and 102 percent of a reasonable profit. The windfall tax would jump to 75 percent when the profit is between 102 and 105 percent of a reasonable profit, and above that, the windfall tax would be 100 percent. The bill also specifies that the oil-and-gas companies, as the seller, would have to pay this tax.
Now, I'm no fan of huge windfall profits that these "big oil" companies receive. I'd love it if Exxon/Mobile and their ilk felt the same tax burden as the average middle-class American.

HOWEVER, the idea that we should create a regulatory 'board' dedicated to ensuring 'reasonable profits' is, well, crazy.

What is to stop a regulatory body like this to move from the oil companies to, say, the entertainment industry? Or convenience store chains?

It is not outside of reasonable assumption to say that a group of regulators will eventually work their way into the private lives of individuals who they feel are making too much money.

Bottom line: it's a slippery slope folks.

Rick Perry's Announcement And Endorsement



"I believe Newt [Gingrich] is a conservative visionary who can transform our country. We've had our differences, which campaigns will inevitably have. And Newt is not perfect, but who among us is? The fact is there is forgiveness for those who seek God. And I believe in the power of redemption, for it is a central tenet of my Christian faith. I have no question that Newt Gingrich has the heart of a conservative reformer with the ability to rally and captivate the conservative movement, the courage to tell those Washington interests to 'take a hike', if that's what in the best interest of our country." -Texas Governor Rick Perry, with a luke-warm endorsement of Newt Gingrich earlier today.

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