PPP’s newest national poll finds Marco Rubio as the early choice of Republicans for 2016. 18% would like him to be their nominee to 14% for Chris Christie, 12% for Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan, 11% for Mike Huckabee, 8% for Condoleezza Rice, 7% each for Sarah Palin and Rand Paul, and 4% for Rick Santorum.
Rubio’s ahead because of his strength with the most conservative wing of the party. Among ‘very conservative’ voters he’s at 23% to 17% for Paul Ryan and 13% for Mike Huckabee. He also had the advantage with folks describing themselves as ‘somewhat conservative’ at 22% to 14% for Chris Christie and 13% for Jeb Bush. Christie has a big lead with moderates at 35% to 20% for Bush and 11% for Huckabee with Rubio all the way back at 5%. But there just aren’t that many moderates left in the Republican Party.
Here’s how all the Republican hopefuls stack up in terms of net favorability:
|Potential Candidate||Net Favorability|
|Paul Ryan||+59 (74/15)|
|Mike Huckabee||+58 (73/15)|
|Condoleezza Rice||+55 (73/18)|
|Marco Rubio||+51 (62/11)|
|Jeb Bush||+49 (63/14)|
|Sarah Palin||+42 (66/24)|
|Rick Santorum||+39 (56/17)|
|Rand Paul||+31 (53/22)|
|Chris Christie||+21 (49/28)|
The thing that really stands out here is Christie being at the bottom of the pile. Although his cooperation with President Obama in relation to Hurricane Sandy doesn’t seem to have hurt him with Republicans in New Jersey, these numbers suggest it has caused some irritation with him outside the state. His favorability with folks describing themselves as ‘very conservative’ is only 42/31, with every other person we tested over 60%.
One other note on the Republicans: 20% think Reince Priebus should continue as chair, 37% think he should be replaced, and 43% don’t have an opinion either way.
On the Democratic side it continues to be no contest. Hillary Clinton leads the way at 61% to 12% for Joe Biden, 5% for Andrew Cuomo, 4% for Elizabeth Warren, 2% for Martin O’Malley, and 1% each for Deval Patrick, Brian Schweitzer, and Mark Warner.
If neither Clinton nor Biden runs the big winner is ‘undecided.’ 45% of voters aren’t sure who they would support with Cuomo leading at 21% to 16% for Warren, 8% for Patrick, 5% for O’Malley, 3% for Warner, and 2% for Schweitzer.
Clinton has at least 60% support with all three major ideological factions of the party- ‘very liberal’ voters, ‘somewhat liberal’ ones, and moderates. One thing that really stands out in the crosstabs is that 74% of African Americans want her to be the standard bearer next time. There doesn’t seem to be any residual ill will over her 2008 battle with Barack Obama.
Beyond Clinton and Biden none of these folks are particularly well know:
|Potential Candidate||Name Recognition|
All 9 of the Republicans we tested have at least 73% name recognition with their party base. Only Clinton and Biden reach that level among the Democrats, and beyond that only Cuomo and Warren even reach the 50% name recognition level. It’s really going to be wide open if neither of the big names runs on the Democratic side.
And for what it’s worth here are the net favorabilities of all these folks among the entire electorate, regardless of party:
|Potential Candidate||Net Favorability|
|Chris Christie||+22 (48/26)|
|Condoleezza Rice||+22 (51/29)|
|Hillary Clinton||+21 (57/36)|
|Marco Rubio||+8 (35/37)|
|Joe Biden||+2 (46/44)|
|Jeb Bush||Even (38/38)|
|Mike Huckabee||-1 (38/39)|
|Paul Ryan||-1 (41/42)|
|Elizabeth Warren||-2 (25/27)|
|Rand Paul||-6 (32/38)|
|Mark Warner||-7 (9/16)|
|Deval Patrick||-7 (10/17)|
|Rick Santorum||-10 (30/40)|
|Andrew Cuomo||-10 (23/33)|
|Brian Schweitzer||-12 (4/16)|
|Martin O’Malley||-12 (5/17)|
|Sarah Palin||-23 (33/56)|
Christie finds himself at the top largely because of his appeal to Democrats, 42% of whom rate him favorably to 25% with a negative opinion. The question of course is whether he can appeal enough to voters on the right wing of his party to actually win the nomination. Rice is the most popular of the potential candidates with independent voters, 55% of whom see her favorably to 26% with a negative opinion. If there’s anyone who could pull off a successful third party campaign these days it’s probably her. Those two and Clinton are in a class by themselves in terms of their popularity, and of course Clinton has the clearest path to a spot on the ballot.
In an interview today on The Peter Schiff Show, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he didn’t understand why congressmen would be purged from their committees for simply supporting balanced budgets.
Earlier this week, Reps. Justin Amash, David Schweikert, and Time Huelskamp were removed from their congressional committees by party brass. Reps. Boehner, Cantor, and McCarthy — who control committee assignments — were reportedly upset at the congressmen for not voting in sufficient lockstep with Republican leadership.
Having “shown their true colors,” Sen. Paul said, “If any of these people want to run for president, maybe they’ll have to explain why they wanted to purge people from their committees who wanted to balance the budget.”
The House minority leader blames DeMint after Senate Republicans block disabilities treaty. “Anyone who’s a party to that, I wish them well wherever they are going,” Pelosi says.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi won’t miss Sen. Jim DeMint when he leaves the Senate next month.
DeMint will resign to head up the conservative Heritage Foundation, he announced Thursday.
But Pelosi isn’t gutted by his decision — particularly in light of what happened earlier this week, when a group of conservative Republican senators blocked ratification of a U.N. disabilities treaty.
“I think what we saw the night before last in the U.S. Senate was one of the saddest…of all occasions,” Pelosi told reporters.
Cliff Notes: A Confederacy of Dunces
Yesterday in an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the Obama administration is “absolutely” prepared to go off the cliff if Republicans don’t budge on raising tax rates for those making more than $250,000 a year. On the same day, the White House told the Pentagon to start planning for across-the-board spending cuts if Congress fails to act. Sounds like a far cry from the “grand bargain” that President Obama predicted in an interview with the Des Moines Register in October. But keep in mind that this is the same administration that (just a few months earlier) confidently promised the American people that the sequestration “will not happen” and issued letters to defense contractors telling them not to issue layoffs. With the House focused on eliminating the word “lunatic” from federal law while Speaker Boehner says talks are going “nowhere,” it’s not surprising that the American people are losing whatever little confidence they had in Washington.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SAYS IT’S “ABSOLUTELY” PREPARED TO GO OFF THE CLIFF
Is The White House Prepared To Go Off The Cliff? “Absolutely”:
“President Barack Obama’s administration will ‘absolutely’ let the United States fall off the fiscal cliff as scheduled, unless Republicans give in to his Obama’s demand to raise tax rates at upper income levels, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday.” (“Geithner: Obama Administration ‘Absolutely’ Willing To Go Off Fiscal Cliff,” Associated Press, 12/6/12)
BUT MONTHS EARLIER THEY WERE TELLING DEFENSE CONTRACTORS THE EXACT OPPOSITE
President Obama Has Said For Months That Sequestration “Will Not Happen.” Administration Told Businesses Not To Issue Layoffs:
“Obama: Defense Sequester ‘Will Not Happen.’” (Lori Montgomery, “Obama: Defense sequester ‘will not happen,’” Washington Post, 10/22/12)
The White House Sent Letters To Defense Contractors Pressuring Them Not To Plan For The Fiscal Cliff. “The Obama administration issued new guidance intended for defense contractors … reiterating the administration’s position that the companies should not be issuing layoff notices over sequestration.” (Jeremy Herb, “Obama administration tells contractors again: Don’t issue layoff notices,” The Hill, 9/28/12)
The Labor Department Called Preparing For Sequestration “Inappropriate.” ”The Labor Department issued guidance in July saying it would be “inappropriate” for contractors to issue notices of potential layoffs tied to sequestration cuts.” (Jeremy Herb, “Obama administration tells contractors again: Don’t issue layoff notices,” The Hill, 9/28/12)
The Office Of Management And Budget Promised Compensation. “Friday guidance from the Office of Management and Budget raised the stakes in the dispute, telling contractors that they would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration — but only if the contractors follow the Labor guidance.” (Jeremy Herb, “Obama administration tells contractors again: Don’t issue layoff notices,” The Hill, 9/28/12)
Des Moines Register: “Obama Confident Of ‘Grand Bargain.’“ “President Barack Obama told The Des Moines Register this week that he thinks he can reach a ‘grand bargain’ with Republicans in the first six months of winning a second term that will decide the question of what government will do and how to pay for it.” (Kathie Obradovich, “Obama confident of ‘grand bargain,’” Des Moines Register, 10/25/12)
Now The White House Is Telling The Pentagon To Prepare For Across-The-Board Cuts:
“The Pentagon said on Wednesday the White House budget office has directed it to begin planning how to implement billions of dollars in across-the-board spending reductions if Congress and the president fail to agree to avert the cuts before January 2.” (David Alexander, “After months of delay, Pentagon told to plan for ‘fiscal cliff’,” Reuters, 12/6/12)
WHILE WASHINGTON DEBATES “LUNATICS” AND “IDIOTS,” FISCAL CLIFF TALKS GO “NOWHERE”
House Votes Overwhelmingly To Remove The Word “Lunatic” From Federal Law (“Idiot” Remains). “The U.S. House voted to remove the term ‘lunatic’ from sections of federal law, while the word ‘idiot’ would remain. The bill, which passed 398-1, would amend a section of the U.S. Code that defines the meanings of certain words used in acts of Congress.” (Timothy R. Homan, “Congress Erases ‘Lunatic’, Keeps ‘Idiot’ in Federal Law,” Bloomberg, 12/5/12)
House Speaker John Boehner: “Right Now I Would Say We’re Nowhere. Period. We’re Nowhere.” (Greg Clary, “Boehner ‘Flabbergasted’ At Fiscal Cliff Proposal,” CNN.com, 12/2/12)
MEANWHILE, SHOPPERS AND BUSINESSES PREPARE FOR THE WORST
New Survey: Shoppers Across The Country Are Already Cutting Back, Holiday Spending “Virtually Flat” Amid Fiscal Cliff Concerns:
“Despite more economic optimism compared with a year ago, the CNBC All-America Economic Survey finds holiday spending will be virtually flat as uncertainty and fiscal cliff concerns weigh on consumers.” (Steve Liesman, CNBC’s Squawk Box, 12/6/12)
Businesses Are Rapidly Moving To Shield Themselves From The Fiscal Cliff Fallout:
Businesses Have Held Back On Buying Capital Goods Until The Outcome Of Negotiations In Washington Becomes Clear. “’The impacts of the potential cliff are already being felt,’ Brian T. Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America Corp.’s, said. In the bank’s survey of chief financial officers, ‘the number one issue they see is the fiscal cliff. They tell us it’s affecting their business plan. That uncertainty continues to hold back the recovery. Simply put, our clients tell us they will not be aggressive in times of uncertainty.’” (Hugh Son, “BofA Chief Moynihan Says Fiscal Cliff Already Hurts Economy,” Bloomberg, 11/13/12)
Corporate Executives Say They Are Slowing Or Delaying Big Projects To Protect Profits Amid Easing Demand And Rising Uncertainty. “‘The whole world is looking for stability and clarity from the United States,’ said David Seaton, chief executive of Fluor Corp., a large engineering and construction firm. If uncertainty isn’t removed, he said, ‘People will sit on their war chests of cash and return it to shareholders. You’ll have a retarded growth trajectory.’” (Sudeep Reddy and Scott Thurm, “Investment Falls Off a Cliff,” Wall Street Journal, 11/18/12)
Business Owners And Investors Are Rapidly Maneuvering To Shield Themselves From The Prospect Of Higher Taxes Next Year, A Strategy That Is Sending Ripples Across Wall Street And Broad Areas Of The Economy. “’In my 30 years in practice, I’ve never seen such a flood of desire and action to transfer a business and cash out,’ said Kenneth K. Bezozo, a partner in New York with the law firm Haynes and Boone. ‘We’re seeing a watershed event.’” (Nathaniel Popper and Nelson D. Schwartz, “Investors Rush to Beat Threat of Higher Taxes,” New York Times, 11/18/12)
Because of personal issues I haven’t given the events in Egypt any coverage, that couldn’t really been helped but for all the fuss about fiscal cliffs and pregnant princesses the protests of the last few days might in fact be the most consequential events of the 21st century, for the entire world.
On Thanksgiving day just a few hours after being praised by Obama/Clinton team for his role in the cease-fire that prevented Israel from wiping out Hamas sites where rockets had been launched against Israel from (a cease-fire the Muslim Brotherhood needed badly to safe face) President Morisi claimed far-reaching powers over the state and the courts in a rather dramatic move that caught many Egyptians by surprised and was almost totally ignored by Americans busy with Turkey, Football and Black Friday shopping.
Since then there have been loud protest reaching a point where Morsi actually fled the palace for a short period of time.
However the Muslim Brotherhood was not going to sit back and let this happen, yesterday they organized counter-protests and that means violence:
The Egyptian army has begun to clear demonstrators and media organisations from outside the presidential palace in Cairo.
It follows violent overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi that left five people dead and 644 injured.
Yesterday While picking up a pizza at a local place the protests were on the air on a satellite channel in Arabic, the owner of the place in Fitchburg talked about the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood in an attempt to suppress protests.
There isn’t much news in English from the Horse’s mouth but here is something from the Egypt Daily News.
First of all, I would like to thank you. If it wasn’t for the massive organised effort and insane amount of money that you poured into having a strong showing in Giza and Alexandria last Saturday, and the full Panic mode that you put all the secular people of Egypt (who are now the majority after five months only of your rule), we wouldn’t have seen yesterday’s massive, nay, colossal turn out in all of the governorates. Not only did we pack Tahrir, we completely covered the huge area surrounding the Presidential palace (despite security checkpoints placed there by your security forces to divide the crowds and make the numbers look small, and which were naturally removed by the protesters), not to mention the massive turnout in Alexandria, Assiut, Minya, Daqahliya, Suez, Port Said, 6th of October, Mahalla, Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, Damanhour, Damietta, Aswan and others.
Wanting to get a few from the front lines I took a look at the twitter feed of Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey to get a better idea of what is going on and discovered something interesting…
It seems that every day now brings another business owner in the news talking about cutting workers’ hours or making other cost-cutting moves in anticipation of Obamacare’s impact in 2013.
Here are just a few of the business owners’ comments on the health care law:
- “We’ve calculated it will [cost] some millions of dollars across our system. So what does that say—that says we won’t build more restaurants. We won’t hire more people,” Zane Tankel, chairman and CEO of Apple-Metro, which runs 40 Applebee’s restaurants. >> Tweet this quote
- “There’s no other way we can survive it, because we think it will cost us 50 cents a sandwich. That’s just the actual cost. If you have 40 or 50 employees at a restaurant, and the penalty is $2,000, and you’re going to pay $80,000 or $100,000 penalty, there goes the profit in your restaurant.”—Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of Jimmy John’s subs, who said he was considering cutting workers’ hours to come in under the Obamacare mandate threshold. >> Tweet this quote
- “It’s a great concept. We want to have everyone insured. The problem is, who is going to pay for it and how are we going to accomplish this?” — John Metz, who operates roughly 40 Denny’s locations and five Hurricane Grill & Wings franchises in Florida, Virginia, and Georgia, and has said he may have to add an Obamacare surcharge to his menus. >> Tweet this quote
- “New unit construction will cease if we have to allocate moneys for that construction to the [Affordable Care Act]. And building new restaurants is how we create jobs.” — Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.
Heritage’s Alyene Senger explains that these businesses are responding to Obamacare’s employer mandate, which has a job-killing effect:
Obamacare requires all businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a $2,000 penalty for each employee after the first 30 workers. The employer mandate creates incentives for businesses to avoid higher costs by, for example, hiring part-time employees instead of full-time employees, since businesses will not be penalized for failing to provide health insurance to part-time employees….Businesses can also avoid penalties by keeping the number of employees under the mandate threshold of 50, which further discourages creating new jobs.
These businesses’ plans are only the effects based on what we know about Obamacare. There are still many, many crucial details that we don’t know. Health and Human Services (HHS) just released some of the new rules that will govern what kind of coverage insurers must offer —and Heritage’s experts are still going through the 300-plus pages of regulations to sort out what they mean.
In the meantime, forget President Obama’s “if you like your plan, you can keep it” promise. Two government agencies have estimated that more than 11 million people will no longer have their employer-sponsored health coverage once Obamacare is fully implemented. Other studies have put that number much higher.
With employers dumping employees into government-run insurance exchanges or Medicaid (which are still unsettled proposals), the future of health insurance will be taxpayers footing the bill. This is a huge money problem on top of the skyrocketing entitlement programs that already exist. But on a personal note, it’s not the best solution for the under-employed or under-insured.
Take Dave Willingham, a 32-year-old interviewed by Huffington Post after taking a job at a community college cafeteria in Washington State. “When he recently accepted his job after a bout of unemployment, he was told up front that he would not be getting more than 19 hours per week. That’s because workers who average 20 hours per week qualify for benefits like health care, vacation and sick pay, he said.”
In his cafeteria job, Willingham earns a little more than minimum wage and receives food stamps. But this isn’t the situation he wants for himself:
“That subsidy is a huge blessing for me,” Willingham said. “But at the same time, I’d rather have the agency and dignity that would come with actually having more money coming in and getting to make that decision for myself….Ultimately, it would be nicer to feel more in control of my own life and destiny.”
Becoming dependent on the government for health care is not a step toward personal control or an improved life situation for workers like Dave Willingham. But sadly, that is exactly where Obamacare is taking hourly workers.
Obamacare and the Employer Mandate: Cutting Jobs and Wages by Brian Blase
Bronson Stocking, a member of Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, contributed to the preparation of this article.
Got this from AFP today:
Like us, you’re probably concerned about the ongoing debate over taxes and big government spending, and with good reason. Every single taxpayer in the country is at risk, with nearly $500 billion in new taxes set to take effect at the start of 2013. At the same time, our government continues to spend more than we bring in and is putting the nation further in debt.
AFP is excited to announce the launch of a funny, witty, new website that puts everything in perspective: www.MerryTaxmas.org.
Here you can see our Naughty or Nice list of legislators, send them a special message on Twitter, and even share a humorous e-card with your friends!
Check it out right now and let us know what you think. Visit www.MerryTaxmas.org to have some fun and send a message to Washington that you’re not happy about the Merry Taxmas they’re cooking up for us.
Americans for Prosperity
P.S. While this new site is a bit silly, the issues we’re facing are very serious. Please click here to see our most recent statement on the budget negotiations.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint will resign his seat in the Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., the senator announced Thursday.
DeMint will replace Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner, who has led the organization since its founding 36 years ago.
From DeMint’s statement released Thursday morning:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) announced that he will leave the Senate at the beginning of January to become the next president of The Heritage Foundation, the largest and most respected conservative think tank in America.
“It’s been an honor to serve the people of South Carolina in United States Senate for the past eight years, but now it’s time for me to pass the torch to someone else and take on a new role in the fight for America’s future.
“I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight. I’ve decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.
“I’m humbled to follow in the footsteps of Ed Feulner, who built the most important conservative institution in the nation. He has been a friend and mentor for years and I am honored to carry on his legacy of fighting for freedom.
“My constituents know that being a Senator was never going to be my career. I came to Congress as a citizen legislator and I’ve always been determined to leave it as citizen legislator. South Carolina has a deep bench of conservative leaders and I know Governor Haley will select a great replacement.
“One of the most rewarding things I’ve done in the Senate is work with the grassroots to help elect a new generation of leaders who have the courage to fight for the principles of freedom that make this country so great. I’m confident these senators will continue the legacy of conservative leaders before them.”
Jim DeMint was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 after owning a successful advertising and market research company for twenty years. DeMint left the House after limiting himself to three terms and then was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2010.
During his time in office, DeMint has been tireless advocate for Americans taxpayers. His goal has been to support and defend the Constitution, which was written to preserve liberty by restraining the federal government. Toward that end, he authored legislation to balance the budget, ban earmarks, replace the tax code, and reform our entitlement programs. He also led the fight against unconstitutional power grabs like the Wall Street bailout and Obamacare.
I believe this will ultimately be the best thing for both the Conservative movement and Jim DeMint personally. As Erick Erickson wrote:
While my initial reaction was one of sadness that we are losing the clearest voice in the Senate for conservatives, the upside on Jim DeMint’s departure from the Senate is mind boggling. Mitch McConnell likes it when people compare McConnell to Darth Vader, seemingly clueless that Vader lost the Death Star twice to a rag tag group of rebels in really beat up, hand-me-down spaceships.
If McConnell smiles at hearing the news Jim DeMint is leaving the Senate, he should remember Obi Wan Kenobi telling him . . . errrr . . . Darth Vader, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” Jim DeMint’s power in the conservative movement just grew exponentially. A man who was going to retire in four years anyway, will now be leading the conservative movement from its base of operations for years to come.
Without Jim DeMint we would most likely not presently have in the United States Senate Pat Toomey, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, Ron Johnson, and Ted Cruz. We would not have a Republican establishment that now worries conservatives might actually primary them.
Without Jim DeMint we would still have a conservative movement that is part and parcel the Republican Party in name, word, and deed. DeMint showed the Republican Party can be challenged from within and that conservatism can be distinctly voiced from within the party moving it right, not moving with it.
I agree, though sand that we’re losing a conservative warrior in the Senate the establishment leadership has failed to lead and made it impossible for conservatives to advance much needed conservative principles and policies to fix the immense problems of overgrown government, out of control spending, unprecedented debt & deficits, and high taxes.
Gods speed, Mr. DeMint!
High profile layoffs continue to dominate the business news. Citigroup just announced that it will cut 11,000 positions and take a $1 billion restructuring charge (Bloomberg/Businessweek) . The decision marks a departure from ousted CEO Vikram Pandit’s strategy to grow the business and take advantage of an anticipated global economic recovery.
Unfortunately, the recovery has proved lackluster while the regulatory requirements imposed after the 2008/2009 meltdown are taking their toll, especially stringent capital requirement rules. Citi could not escape the pressures faced by its competitors, who are slashing payrolls with a vengeance:
Financial services firms have announced more than 300,000 job cuts globally since the start of 2011, Bloomberg data show. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and UBS AG (UBSN) are among competitors focused on reducing costs.
Cost-cutting by investment banks needs to be severe as new capital rules designed to forestall a future credit crisis crimp bank finances, Sanford C. Bernstein analysts said last month. Firms must curtail pay and personnel, replacing some traders with computers, and dispose of almost a third of their trading- business assets to earn even half the returns they once made, the analysts wrote.
The political classes in Washington DC have consistently told the American public that the combination of bailouts, regulation and quantitative easing has fixed the malaise affecting the financial sector. But it is clearly not healthy and thus not likely to help promote a general economic recovery.