Eric Erickson and Donald Trump sit down for a one-on-one interview for Human Events:
With less than 16 months to go, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sees opportunities in a laundry list of states that grows longer with each recruit.
Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra’s (R) decision this week to challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) keeps Michigan in the competitive category right when it seemed as if the Senator was cruising. The states to watch are Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Virginia and Wisconsin. Outside groups and the party committees have already turned their attention to Democratic incumbents there and have emphasized recruiting.
Democrats’ weak bench in North Dakota means the state’s open seat is already considered the party’s first casualty of the 2012 cycle.
Today, Senator Herb Kohl, Chairman of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, came out against the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, with the Senator stating in a letter to regulators:
“It will likely tend to substantially lessen competition, lead to consumers paying high prices with fewer choices, as well as lessen the innovation that has been the keystone of this industry in the last decade.”
In a coincidental move (most probably orchestrated by the anti-AT&T lobby and aligned “public interest” groups), others on the House side came out with their own statement today, calling for heightened scrutiny of the merger.
None doubt that Congress is right to take a close look at the merger. Senator Kohl’s letter, as well as that of the House members, is a normal part of this process. Ultimately, however, the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission must make the call whether consumers and the public interest are served.
Though one might conclude that one fewer competitor in a given market could harm choice and lift prices, effective competition is more than just market share. Most data show that the wireless market remains exceptionally vibrant for consumers. Post merger, three “national competitors” and numerous “local competitors” will remain in most U.S. markets, essentially leaving in place the present checks that constrain the market power and anti-competitive behavior of all wireless companies.
Though Senator Kohl and the others have their doubts, the marketplace will likely prove them wrong – it will continue to thrive, giving consumers great competitive services, devices and innovation at tremendous value.
The review process is long and fraught with many tricky obstacles that could doom the pro-consumer union of the two companies. One hopes, however, that it moves along expeditiously at the DoJ and FCC, as free as possible from the corrupting influence of special interests that either want to sink the deal out of animus for all things corporate, or want special handouts for their corporate sponsors who choose to blame the marketplace for their own failures. American consumers deserve no less.
This ad is running in various media markets across the country, refocussing the debate on immigration to the numbers. As the ad says, our nation’s immigration policy should be about the numbers, not about the people. 22 million Americans who can’t find a full-time job, yet Congress continues to import more than 1 million foreign workers each year.
1. The Senate leaders from both parties and President Obama will coalesce around the Gang of Six deal based on the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Commission.
2. After initially voicing reservations, House Speaker John Boehner and, perhaps, Majority Leader Eric Cantor will sign off on the deal in return for some unimportant modifications.
3. When the deal reaches the House floor, all hell will break loose and the rank and file Republicans will revolt en masse. Defying their leadership, they will reject the Gang of Six deal in caucus.
4. The House Democrats, who could provide the votes to pass the bill when their ranks are added to those Boehner-loyalists who back the proposal, will refuse to go along unless there are equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats voting for the Gang of Six proposal. Not wanting the albatross of passing the gang’s proposal as a Democratic plan, they will withhold the votes on the House floor for its passage. Boehner won’t bring it up for a vote.
5. The deadlock in the House will push the government beyond the August 2nd deadline and Obama will be forced to admit that it was a phony date all along. He will suddenly “discover” enough coming in via tax collections to pay for the debt service but other functions of government will have to be trimmed back or halted after the debt limit fails to pass.
6. Then a stalemate will ensue in which the House Republicans will call Obama’s bluff and stand firm against caving in to more tax increases.
7. And then???? Who knows who will win that standoff. The debt limit will go up. Really conservative Republicans will still be outraged. So will really liberal Democrats. But the majority of both parties will vote to pass it. And everyone will debate who the winner was politically.
“DON’T PUT THAT ON THE APPLICATION,” says the Medicaid official in Richmond, VA after a man posing as a wealthy drug dealer says he deals in illicit drugs and prostitution. The Worker gives medicaid application that states, “If you knowingly give false, incorrect, or incomplete information in order to help someone else receive benefits, you could be arrested and prosecuted for fraud.”
Spencer Meads reporting
Cable Anchors Wildly Distort Ronald Reagan’s Position on Taxes and Liken Him to Barack Obama
Alexandria, VA – “At least five MSNBC anchors since Tuesday have promoted a cherry-picked House Democratic Caucus video that distorts President Ronald Reagan’s position on the debt ceiling, inaccurately asserting that President Barack Obama is more in line with Reagan than the Republicans,” according to a new Media Research Center (MRC) analysis.
“If any of the anchors had played the entirety of Reagan’s 1987 radio address, instead of giving free air time to the Democratic Party’s deceptively edited spot, they would have heard Reagan articulate a position on the debt ceiling almost identical to House Republicans’ and nearly opposite Obama’s: ‘You don’t need more taxes to balance the budget. Congress needs the discipline to stop spending more, and that can be done with the passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.’”
MRC President Brent Bozell reacts to this outrageous misrepresentation saying:
“MSNBC is looking more and more like Pinocchio every day; its nose grows longer with every lie and the DNC obviously is pulling its strings. Ronald Reagan has absolutely nothing in common with Obama, especially not on taxes and the debt ceiling. It’s outrageous for this disgraced network to exploit the late President’s good name and his conservative economic brilliance.
“MSNBC is nothing more than DNC-TV. But are we really surprised? This is the same network whose dozens of viewers will soon start to salivate over the loony liberal Rev. Al Sharpton in the anchor chair.”
A doctored GAO report; the campaign to continue to discredit for-profit colleges; and scandals surrounding the Department of Education’s newly created “gainful employment” regulations, surely should be good fodder. Allow me to take you through a quick history of events:
- On August 4, 2010, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee, unveiled a flawed Government Accountability Office (GAO) report regarding an undercover investigation into for-profit colleges.
- On November 30th, GAO acknowledged that the same report was “riddled with errors…casting for-profits in the worst possible light.” An InsideHigherEd article stated at the time:
the pressure of issuing the report in time for Sen. Tom Harkin’s Aug. 4 committee hearing and in time to support the issuance of the Department of Education “gainful employment” regulations led GAO investigators to be less careful than normal.
The problem is that the “we were in a hurry” defense doesn’t explain why the errors all point in the same direction — one that happens to reflect the policy preferences of the chairman of the Senate HELP committee and of administration appointees at the Department of Education.
- While Sen. Harkin “seemed to be going to extraordinary lengths to change the subject” when questioned about the inaccurate GAO report, the fact still remained that GAO’s “unimpeachable reputation” was stained. One GAO source observed:
The bigger question is whether we can be confident that the GAO has caught all of the errors or is being honest with the report’s critics…the recent corrections could be just the “tip of the iceberg in terms of the mistakes made in the report. It calls into question the entire report because it shows that there were not sufficient quality controls in place for whatever reason.”
- Two day ago, the House Appropriations Committee confirmed and included in its report that:
The Committee notes that on August 4, 2010 testimony by the General Accountability Office before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on for-profit college sales and marketing practices received significant criticism from education experts, media and objective commentators for including significant mistakes and misstatements in its analysis of the for-profit college sector. In its investigation of its own report, the GAO determined that pressure to find errors in “15 out of 15″ schools and to finish the report within a short timeframe, as well as last-minute demands to include revisions to the report resulted in a flawed final product that, even with revisions, remains available for public reference. The Committee notes their concern about the impact flawed analyses can have on the industries GAO reports on; in this case, the for-profit educational sector; and directs the GAO report to report to the Committee by November 1, 2011, on what processes and procedures have been established to ensure errors of this nature do not repeat themselves in the future.
Sadly, the only victims affected by this faulty GAO report and government intrusion, are hardworking, non-traditional students – minorities, single parents, veterans, full- or part-time working adults – whose hard work and goal are to obtain an education, become role-models for their children and secure a higher paying income to support their families.
The White House and House Republican leaders are discussing a large deal to raise the debt ceiling that would include about $3 trillion in deficit cuts over 10 years, according to several congressional aides.
The aides, who declined to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly, said the proposal’s outline is broadly similar to a plan discussed previously by President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and a “Gang of Six” proposal to cut about $3.7 trillion in a decade, with the major exception that it would not raise significant tax revenue. The gang proposal, by contrast, would seek $1 trillion of its deficit cuts from new tax revenue.
That result would be a major and unexpected concession to congressional Republicans. And as described, the plan would enrage many Democrats in Congress, endangering its prospects in the Senate in particular. The mere fact the deal is under discussion already has Democrats up in arms.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: How Will Obama Team Spin Obama Referendum “Gaffe”?