Originally posted at Center for Security Policy By Frank Gaffney, Jr.
While debating Mitt Romney this fall, Barack Obama declared that he had decided to embrace the term “Obamacare” – a name originally coined and to that point only used by its detractors to tie the president firmly to the health care fiasco he had spawned. Perhaps he will, therefore, not object if we dub the escalating conflict in the Middle East by a similarly apt name: Obamawar.
After all, frantic efforts underway at the moment by assorted diplomats aimed at containing hostilities between Israel and the terrorist enclave known as the Gaza Strip (primarily by blocking Israel’s decisive retaliation) cannot obscure a dismal reality: The crescendo of rockets and missiles unleashed by the Palestinians on Israeli civilians are a predictable repercussion of President Obama’s reckless defense and foreign policies.
Consider how such attacks – and the danger to Israel and to us that is growing by day – have been aided and abetted by an Obama Doctrine that can be described in nine words: Embolden our enemies; undermine our friends; diminish our country:
- Let’s start with the hundreds of incomings Israel has sustained since Mr. Obama was reelected by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian franchise, the designated terrorist organization Hamas. These have been made possible and encouraged by the ascendancy of the Brotherhood throughout the Middle East and North Africa. That trend, in turn, has been enabled by the president’s assiduous legitimating of the world’s preeminent jihadist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, his engaging with its operatives, in some cases (notably, Egypt) his enriching them and in others (for sure Libya and probably Syria) his arming them.
As a result, it is not just the Islamists of Gaza who think they can act with impunity against America’s only enduring ally in the region, Israel. The same goes for: the Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi in Egypt (who sent his prime minister to the Gaza Strip last week to demonstrate tangibly solidarity with the terrorists there); Turkey’s Recep Tayyep Erdogan (whose open hostility and increasingly aggressive behavior towards Israel is materially supporting Hamas and other enemies of this country); and the jihadist elements in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and Syria.
- Then there’s Iran, whose inexorable pursuit of nuclear weapons has not been appreciably slowed, let alone derailed, by President Obama’s “engagement” with the mullahs in Tehran. His failure to check their ambitions and the advent of an imminent Iranian bomb is heartening to our foes, and adding tremendously to the volatility of the region.
Thanks in no small measure to such emboldening, the next shoe to drop in the region seems likely to be the overthrow of the king of Jordan. Other royals in the Persian Gulf are also in the Islamists’ cross-hairs, despite the longstanding practice by the former of generously underwriting the latter in the vain hope of buying them off. It is hard to overstate the dire implications of these prospective tectonic shifts and those accomplished in the recent past, thanks in no small measure to Team Obama and its embrace of the Islamists.
- President Obama has also contributed to the unfolding war by isolating, demeaning and otherwise undermining Israel. Arguably, for the first time in the history of the Jewish State, her enemies have grounds for thinking there is strategically exploitable “daylight” between the United States and its ally. Repeatedly in the past, even when that perception has not been warranted, the Arab nations have tried to drive the Jews into the sea. It is not hard to imagine that they will seize the present opportunity to try to achieve that long-deferred goal.
That response is made all the more probable if Israel’s enemies have the savvy to recognize favorable trends in what might be called a ”fundamental transformation” of the Democratic Party now underway that threatens to end its historic solidarity with the Jewish State. As the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo reported last week http://freebeacon.com/israel-in-the-balance/, the incoming class of congressional Democrats is, like the president, markedly more hostile towards Israel than their predecessors.
The prospects for, at a minimum, a terrible regional war are further increased by the last element of the Obama Doctrine: the diminishing of our country. Such an effect is particularly evident with respect to the wrecking operation the administration is pursuing with respect to the U.S. military. At particular risk is our armed forces’ ability to maintain the sort of presence and to project the sort of power that has proven effective in deterring aggression against us, our allies and our interests. Even if President Obama actually meant it when he said “we have Israel’s back,” he is greatly reducing our ability to honor that commitment.
History will, in due course, assign a name to the horrific war now in prospect. For the moment, it seems appropriate to give the dubious credit for helping to catalyze such a nightmare in the same way we have his monstrous health care legacy, by calling it Obamawar.
Barack Obama’s tiny victory may gratify the left, but it won’t be much comfort during the storms that lie ahead. Despite the apparent vindication of “The One”, the USA is running out of the liquidity required to fund his compulsive spending. Once that happens, trendy distractions such as “free” contraceptives will look incredibly silly.
The debt bomb will likely be a transformative event. It will shake up political alignments in ways that are hard to predict. The stereotypical 22 year old who voted for Obama in 2008 will be 30 in 2016, finally off the parental dime (and medical plan). He or she may be without a steady job, without benefits and without good career prospects and the wherewithal to start a family. A lost decade, indeed.
The election bitterly disappointed the conservative base of the GOP, who had serious reservations about Mitt Romney, but grew to respect him as a fighter and thought that liberation from the statist paradigm was at hand. But life goes on. We need to look at what went wrong, but more importantly, why our core message is so right. We must devise new ways of getting it across to more voters.
Drop by to hear a discussion of this challenge on the latest episode of “Italian Tomatoes” on Blog Talk Radio. We discuss the dynamics of 2012, and ways to reach those critical independent voters who proved so elusive this time around.
From The Art of War by Sun Tzu:
All warfare is based upon deception. If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate him, If equally matched, then fight him. If not–split and re-evaluate.
Politics is warfare and all politics is based upon deception, as well as perception. And right now, the perception of the Republican Party is that we are a bunch of clowns. Don’t believe me? Well, Chris Cilliza and Aaron Blake of The Washington Post have the numbers, and as my old college calculus professor used to say, “The numbers don’t lie”. According to the numbers, Mitt Romney out-performed eleven out of fifteen of the Republican Senatorial candidates, and the four that he didn’t out-perform were from very blue states that Republicans never win. In fact, I’ll let Mr. Blake fill you in on all of the details below:
The blame, as it often is, has been thrust on the candidates. And, at least in this case, for good reason. After all, Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin essentially gave away seats with their comments on rape and pregnancy.
But the trouble for the GOP wasn’t just in Indiana and Missouri.
In fact, as the chart below details, Republican Senate candidates under-performed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in most of the important races of 2012.
In five races, the GOP candidate under-performed Romney by at least nine points. This includes Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Rick Berg (R-N.D.), who both lost in states that Romney carried by at least 13 points. (Maine is a bit of a special case, since there was a third-party candidate in the Senate race.)
Meanwhile, the only Republican Senate candidates who out-performed Romney were four people running in very Democratic states that Republicans weren’t going to win anyway: Connecticut, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Hawaii. (Obama won all four states by double digits.)
Democrats did have more help from incumbency than Republicans, which makes the GOP’s under-performance in states like Ohio, Florida, Montana and Michigan more understandable.
In other words, if the problem was that Romney was a weak candidate (and the Republican brand was in good shape), then those numbers would be flipped the other way around. What the numbers tell us is that Mitt Romney performed well in those states in spite of the Republican brand–not because of it (people who came out to vote against Akin still voted for Romney).
Furthermore, as Robert Stacy McCain points out, Mitt Romney turned out to be a darn good candidate. Let’s face facts–he is an awesome debater, he drew very large, enthusiastic crowds, he didn’t make many big gaffes (other than the secretly taped 47% remark, which was similar to Obama’s secretly taped “bitter clingers” remark), he chose an excellent running mate in Paul Ryan and he’s extremely telegenic.
Moreover, even The New York Times concedes that Obama ran a very small and negative campaign, and that he’s a mediocre debater at best. In a nutshell, Obama’s entire campaign strategy was to paint Romney as The Devil, instead of putting forth an agenda that was larger than a pamphlet. (I thought that Romney won the third debate when he said, “Attacking me is not an agenda”, but I digress.)
However, even though Mr. Romney obviously gave this presidential race his all, many of his fellow Republicans continued to step on his message–and even sabotage his campaign–with their extreme lack of self-discipline, and frankly clownish behavior.
In order to really understand how the Republican Party evolved into The Clown College, one must first harken back to the Republican Primary. First of all, Barack Obama had a HUGE structural advantage going into this election cycle. He had no primary challenger (so he could focus immediately on the general election), he already had an excellent ground game in place from the 2008 election, he had the media in his back pocket, he had the advantage of incumbency as well as the ability to raise a ton of money, he has disciples who could care less about policy and would vote for him no matter what (even if he literally gave them the finger), and as Allahpundit recently pointed out, the electoral college lately seems to favor the Democrats. Therefore, Republicans had absolutely no room for error, lack of self-discipline or tomfoolery of any kind. I realize that this isn’t fair, but life isn’t fair. You have to accept the world how it is, not how you want it to be.
Now, given the the fact that President Obama was a superior enemy at the beginning of this race due to his many structural advantages, the best thing we Republicans could have done was to take Sun Tzu’s advice and evade him–i.e., focus like a laser and wrap up the Republican primary as quickly and with as little fanfare as possible so as not to draw attention to our nominee’s weaknesses. Furthermore, the quicker we wrap up the primary, the sooner our nominee can get in a position of strength by immediately raising money and setting up his or her ground game in the battleground states.
However, when the Republican Primary got underway, instead of focused, self-disciplined candidates, we seemed to have an endless clown car full of crazy. There was Donald Trump who wouldn’t shut-up about the “birth certificate”, Michele Bachmann claiming that the Gardisil vaccine caused “mental retardation”, Ron Paul who is…well, Ron Paul, and the charismatic Herman Cain whose entire economic plan seemed to be “999″ (well, at least it wasn’t 666), and who seemed to have never ending sex scandals.
And when voters saw poor Mitt Romney standing on stage–repeatedly–next to these clowns (there were way too many debates), they mentally associated him with them.
Then, there was Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich who were in a class all by themselves. When Rick Perry first entered the race, he accused Ben Bernake of “treason” and said that he should face “Texas Justice”. (This is the same Rick Perry who a few years before had suggested that Texas should secede from the union, but now he wants to be president…go figure.) Furthermore, I have seen sixth graders who were better debaters than “Governor Oops”. It was physically painful to watch him debate. In fact, I still haven’t completely forgiven him for making me suffer through that agony.
Now, Newt Gingrich has more baggage than a Louis Vuitton store, but he still decided to run for president anyway. Let’s see, there was the Clinton impeachment (yeah, that went over well with the country…rolls eyes), the fact that he’s on his third wife who looks younger than his daughters, not to mention, the fact that he left his two previous wives when both of them were ill. Oh, and his second wife claims that he wanted her to “share him” with other women. This dude would go over with women voters like a lead balloon–especially since he looks like the Pillsbury Dough Boy and thinks that good debating is yelling at the moderators (something suburban women would find boorish and clownish).
[On a side note, Newt Gingrich endorsed Dede Scozzafava who later endorsed the Democrat in the race when she lost her primary--and he also referred to Paul Ryan's entitlement reform plan as "right wing social engineering"--so I never really understood why people were fooled into thinking that Gingrich was a grass roots/anti-establishment candidate in the first place.]
By the third or fourth debate it was painfully obvious that Rick Perry was not presidential timber–and Newt Gingrich never had a chance in hell of winning–and yet they still hung around sucking up donor money to run ads against the guy who, after his win in the FL primary, was most likely going to be the Republican nominee. (Furthermore, a prominent FL blogger, who wishes to remain anonymous, told me that Perry really cooked his goose with many Republicans when he hired members of Charlie Crist’s old staff.)
Pundit after pundit has been on TV stating that Romney lost because, during February and March of 2012, Barack Obama and David Axelrod were able to run countless ads in battleground states like OH attacking his tenure as CEO of Bain Capital by painting him as a “vulture capitalist”. (BTW, it’s kind of pathetic that David Axelrod knew who our nominee was going to be before we did.) Well, actually Romney had already been “defined” as an evil corporate raider very early on in the GOP Primary. In fact it was Rick Perry who first referred to Romney as a “vulture capitalist” during the SC primary (see the videos below), and Newt Gingrich who first stated that “Bain Capital looted companies” during the NH primary (and Gingrich even went so far as to make a thirty minute video titled “King of Bain” where he called Romney a “corporate raider”).
It should be noted that Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich were so successful in “defining” Romney with their left wing attacks, that the Obama campaign even used quotes from Perry and Gingrich in their own anti-Romney ads. Furthermore, the liberal blog Think Progress even made a list of ten different anti-Bain Capital quotes that both Perry and Gingrich made that Democrats could use against Mitt Romney in the general election. Instead of ending the Republican primary strengthened with the wind at his back, Romney ended the primary in a weakened state and very short on cash so that he was unable to immediately combat the slew of negative attack ads from Team Obama (that were originally written with the help of Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich).
Look, I completely understand that at the beginning of a primary there is going to be infighting and that most people aren’t going to all initially agree on one candidate in particular (that’s why we have primaries). I, myself, was initially for Tim Pawlenty until the second debate when I came to the realization that he is a mediocre debater and has all of the charisma of vanilla pudding. Throughout the GOP Primary, it is a great thing to have a healthy, productive debate about who would be the best nominee, and everyone should advocate strongly and vociferously for the candidate of his or her choice. However, by the time the FL primary has wrapped up and there’s been over six or seven debates, a well disciplined party usually has an idea of who most likely is going to be its nominee, so continuing to demonize him or her (instead of just continuing to advocate for your candidate of choice)–particularly with left wing attacks that, literally, sound like they could have been written by bloggers over at Think Progress–is extremely counterproductive. It was almost impossible for Romney to set up an early ground game and concentrate on countering Obama’s attacks in OH back in February when he had to spend all of his time and money in February fighting off left wing attacks from his own side (and from guys who had no real shot at winning the primary)!!
In other words, at a certain point, anyone writing checks to Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich should have just cut out the middle man and sent their checks directly to David Axelrod because those guys were basically writing Obama’s talking points for him.
Oh, and if any of you think that, for one minute, during the 2008 Democratic Primary that the Democrats would have put up with two guys polling in the single digits (one who had won no states and one who had only won one state), repeatedly attacking Barack Obama (their likely nominee) with ads full of right wing talking points, then I’ve got a blind bird dog and some underwater real-estate to sell you. No, those guys would have quickly gotten a very nasty and threatening visit from Rahm Emanuel telling them shut up ASAP.
Furthermore, the lack of GOP self-discipline didn’t end when Republican Primary wrapped up and Mitt Romney secured the nomination. Next came Rush Limbaugh acting like a loudmouth by stupidly calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” sometime in mid May, which got Romney extremely off message. In a piece that I wrote last summer titled, If You’re Going to Play the Game of Politics, Play to Win, I wrote the following regarding the whole Fluke brouhaha:
The MSM is extremely biased and they will downplay flat out vile comments by liberal pundits and comedians, but will pounce like a hungry cheetah stalking a gazelle on the slightest infraction by any conservative–even random people on Twitter. Sandra Fluke should have been known as a law student who (while testifying in front of a fake congressional hearing) displayed a shocking lack of knowledge of the US constitution when she demanded that the government pay for her birth control. Instead, <a href=" Sandra Fluke should have been known as a law student who (while testifying in front of a fake congressional hearing) displayed a shocking lack of knowledge of the US constitution when she demanded that the government pay for her birth control. Instead, she was made a martyr by the MSM simply because Rush Limbaugh used a very poor choice or words.
So, the Democrats imaginary “War on Women” was born. (“Quick, run ladies–those evil Republicans are going to knock down your doors and confiscate your birth control pills if they get elected!”) However, even Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers admitted that the Democrats overplayed their hand in their “War on Women” campaign when they had Sandra Fluke speak at the Democratic National Convention and claim that people were trying to “silence her”. (Hello? She was SPEAKING at a convention. Who is trying to silence her?)
But then, Representative Todd Akin (who was running in the MO Senate race) had to open his big mouth in late August and play amateur gynecologist by claiming that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant. (Facepalm.) The “War on Women” was officially back in business.
However, then came the three presidential debates in early October and Mitt Romney finally caught a break. Even though the MSM had been extremely biased against him, almost half of the conservative blogosphere and some Tea Party members were still dumping on him (even after he picked Paul Ryan) and other Republicans were perpetually stepping on his message, Romney gave excellent performances in all three of the presidential debates–particularly in the first and third debates. In the first debate on the economy, he was more than equally matched with Obama–he was superior–so he fought him hard and clearly won. In the third debate, Obama was angry because of his poor performance in the first debate and because Romney was surging: so Romney irritated him and even The New York Times thought that Obama appeared petty and truculent. It was two weeks before the election, and the Gallup polls showed that Romney was surging and pundits started to believe that it was Romney’s race to lose.
Then, on October 23rd, less than two weeks before the election, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Murdock just had to open his big mouth and blurt out the following:
I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. I just struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.
Now mind you, this was after the Akin comment and the Limbaugh comment–and hanging in the backdrop somewhere was the fact that the VA House of Representatives had tried back in February to pass a mandatory transvaginal ultrasound law for women seeking an abortion. The cumulative effect of all of this creepiness was just too much for young single women to handle. Women didn’t vote against the Republicans because they honestly believed that they were going to take away their birth control pills–they voted against them because older men talking about “legitimate rape” and transvaginal ultrasounds grosses them out.
And if the Murdock/Akin/Limbaugh craziness wasn’t enough, Donald Trump decided to revisit the birth certificate issue again and was seen pretty much on every cable news channel–and again, this was happening with the presidential election less than two weeks away.
Then, the week of the election, Hurricane Sandy hit and NJ Governor Chris Christie–the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention–decided to basically endorse President Obama by effusively praising him, refusing to appear with Romney for an hour at a rally in PA that was twenty minutes away from Trenton, NJ, getting teary eyed that Obama got Bruce Springsteen to call him and seeming to diss Romney on Fox and Friends. Ramesh Ponuru hit it out of the park when he wrote the following:
Yes, he (Christie) helped himself in New Jersey. I think he harmed himself pretty badly with Republicans nationally — not because he said kind words about Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy, but because he was so fulsome, because he didn’t take any opportunity to loudly reiterate his support for Romney and because he talked about crying after his hero Springsteen talked to him on the phone. The first two, Republicans will hold against him as partisans; the last one, as adults.
So, in the last two weeks of the election, Romney went from surging to losing all because a bunch of blowhards couldn’t keep their big mouths shut. People forgot all about Romney’s great debate performances and promises to be more bipartisan than Obama was (Christie undercut that whole argument for him), and instead were inundated with creepy conversations about “legitimate rape” and were reminded of what a spectacle the birthers made out of themselves. Man, with “friends” like these who needs enemies?
Now don’t get me wrong–I’m all for being passionate about an issue whether your pro-life, pro-low taxes, pro smaller government (no free birth control), or feel that it’s important for people to work well together after a natural disaster (in fact, I’m all of these things). I just think that it’s completely possible to speak passionately about something that you believe in deeply without sounding like a complete and total dumbass.
However, what’s really scary is that my good friend Robert Stacy McCain informed me that this undisciplined, clownish “I gotta be me, so I can say whatever the hell I want–consequences be damned” attitude seemed pervasive at many of the rallies and Tea Parties that he attended as well. In other words, this utter lack of self discipline had seemed to spread like a disease throughout the entire party–from the elite to the grass-roots. To be specific, Stacy (who gave me permission to quote him) told me that he saw a lot of “selfishness masquerading as populism”, and that people weren’t “task oriented or mission focused”–i.e., they were only thinking of themselves and their particular pet issue instead of the big picture which is winning the White House. (Me,me,me…what about me?!)
In a recent column, Kathleen Parker nails down perfectly the self-indulgent, undisciplined and frankly clownish behavior that seemed pervasive in the Republican party this year:
Some Republicans stubbornly insist, of course, that the problem was that Romney wasn’t conservative enough. Really?
The real problem is the Republican Party, which would not be recognizable to its patron saint, Ronald Reagan. The party doesn’t need a poll or a focus group. It needs a mirror.
The truth is, Romney was better than the GOP deserved. Party nitwits undermined him, and the self-righteous tried to bring him down. The nitwits are well-enough known at this point — those farthest-right social conservatives who couldn’t find it in their hearts to keep their traps shut. No abortion for rape or incest? Sit down. Legitimate rape? Put on your clown suit and go play in the street.
Equally damaging were the primary leeches who embarrassed the party and wouldn’t leave the stage.
Did they have a right to persist in their own fantasies? Sure. But not if they were serious about getting a Republican in the White House. Thus, for months and months, Romney had to spend his energy and, as important, his money to prevail in the primaries against opponents who had no chance and who ultimately hurt him. During that same precious time, Obama’s campaign was busy pinpointing specific voters, practically learning the names of their dogs, and buying ads in niche markets.
Now, some people will blame Mitt Romney for losing this election, (even though the numbers clearly show that the problem was with the Republican party), because they don’t want to admit that their own vanity, recklessness and lack of self-discipline cost us this election. Victory has many fathers and defeat is an orphan. No one wants to believe that they had anything to do with their party’s loss–”It’s all the candidate’s fault”. However, as my good friend Amy Miller wisely pointed out to me in a recent conversation (she gave me permission to quote her), “If it was strictly the candidate’s fault, we wouldn’t hire consultants, staff, use the party apparatus and we wouldn’t take partial responsibility for the message by blogging, Tweeting, posting on Facebook and volunteering. The candidate can’t win if his party and support system is constantly stepping on his message and getting in his way.” In other words, a football team might have a great quarterback, but if the receivers consistently drop the passes and his offensive line doesn’t block for him, the team still loses the game.
Furthermore, Amy’s words ring particularly true because, in this election cycle, the Democrats had the self-discipline of Buddhist monks. They had the far worse candidate with a terrible record on jobs and the economy, who had a recent scandal/cover up in Benghazi and who had broken every campaign promise that he ever made to them with regard to closing down Gitmo or going through the budget line by line and being “transparent”. And yet, they completely circled the wagons around him. You didn’t see half of the liberal blogosphere trashing him throughout the election–in fact, they supported him 110%. No one in his party ran right wing attack ads against him or said a negative word about him. But most importantly, there wasn’t this constant stream of lunacy…this cacophony of crazy coming from their side. No Democrats were going on TV demanding to see Mitt Romney’s marriage license to prove that he wasn’t a polygamist, or saying that vaccines cause mental retardation. And most importantly, no Democrats were talking about rape!! (Oh, I’ve got a great idea–let’s talk about rape two weeks before the presidential election!)
And what’s more, we had a far superior candidate who is an extremely accomplished business man (he was WAY more accomplished than Obama was when he ran for president), and he is an excellent debater who had great hair and was extremely telegenic. Not to mention, he is extremely devoted to his family, has a squeaky clean personal life, and as John Hawkins points out, is an extremely kind and generous person. And what did we do with our candidate? Did we appreciate him or really try to help out his campaign–no, not really until he wowed us in the debates. Instead we formed a circular firing squad and relentlessly bitched about his weaknesses instead of focusing on his strengths because we were waiting for the mythical perfect candidate to come along who doesn’t exist. What’s more, we let third string candidates and retreads turn our primary into a circus and tear him down during the primary–after it was clear that he was going to be the nominee–and weaken him causing him to waste time and money. Furthermore, that primary made the entire party look bad. If we put on a circus, you can’t blame people for thinking that we’re clowns.
Our candidate deserved to win, but our party deserved to lose. This election cycle, the Democrats were far more self-disciplined than us and managed to stay on message most of the time, while we behaved like undisciplined clowns by constantly stepping on our candidate’s message. Mitt Romney wasn’t a rock star, but he was a good solid candidate who gave it his all. He deserved better than us.
Don’t get me wrong–the Democrats have way more than their fair share of crazies whom I have written about in the past in great detail. However, throughout this election cycle, the Democrats kept their clowns under lock and key, while we put ours on the front porch for all to see.
So in conclusion, I would like to leave you all with a stern lecture full of wise words, but I’m not really the stern type; therefore, I’m going to rip off Tywin Lannister from my favorite show Game of Thrones.
First, I’ll write out the lines pertinent to this post from the video below, so that you can skip the video if you like. Then, I’m going to re-write the exact same phrases, only I’m going to change the word “Lannister” to “conservatives”:
–Lannisters don’t act like fools.
–You want to say something clever? Go on, say something clever.
–I should be grateful that your vanity got in the way of your recklessness.
–It’s the family name that lives on, not your personal glory.
–You are blessed with abilities that few men possess. What have you done with your blessings?
–I need you to become the man that you were always meant to be–not next year, not tomorrow, now!
–Conservatives don’t act like fools.
–In this past election cycle, both our vanity and our recklessness got in the way of us winning the election. This would have been a winnable election if our party had even shown a modicum of self-discipline.
–It’s the conservative cause that lives on, not your personal glory, not your cause de jour, or any axe that you may have to grind. It’s not personal, it’s business.
–We were blessed with a really strong and competent candidate–minus the failed ORCA get out the vote experiment, which wouldn’t have been as necessary had we been with him all along, and had clowns not sabotaged him two weeks before the election. And what did we do with the good and capable candidate who really showed what he is made of in the debates? Did we rally around him early on–no, we formed a circular firing squad instead and then paraded out the clown of the week throughout the primary.
–We need to become the party we were always meant to be and used to be–not next year, not tomorrow, now!
You want to say something clever? Go on, say something clever. In fact you can call me names, call me a RINO, tell me you hate me–heck, you can say anything as nasty as you want if it makes you feel good. I don’t ask that you agree with me, or even for your courtesy. I just ask that the next time you do anything that represents the Republican Party, that you leave the bright red nose and big floppy shoes at home.
This is cross-posted at Right Wing News.
By The Wizard of Odd
Note to readers: I apologize in advance for treating you like an imbecile. I normally have great respect for my readers. But too many smart people have been saying stupid things since Mitt Romney lost. So here goes.
* * *
Imagine you’re an alien. You just graduated from Intergalactic University, and as part of a post-graduate fellowship, you were sent to Earth to study primitive civilizations. To narrow the focus of your graduate thesis (which still remains the best way to have your thesis published), you’ve decided to study a quinquennial of Earthen politics amongst the planet’s most advanced ape-descended primitives.
What did you find?
Galaxy ellipse cycle 5.412, Planet 2484-142801, the United States of America, (Earth year 2008 – 2012.)
In 2008, loud, permissive, boisterous, pink apes called Clintons were priming themselves to take over the nation-state America. The Clinton constituents are called Democrats. These are excitable, swarming, utterly credulous, lesser apes who seek to elevate one of their own to a position of broad, but limited powers to protect the nation-state, seize wealth from the most productive apes and redistribute that wealth to aged, derelict and deficient apes. This position is known as the Presidency, the nation-state’s highest office, elected once every 1461 Earthen days.
During 2008, the Clinton apes’ hegemony was challenged by several Democrat apes, most seriously by a Biden ape from state Delaware and an Obama ape from state Illinois. Though the Clinton apes and challenger apes made nearly identical promises to the Democrat swarm, the swarm’s favor began to shift away from the Clintons. Within six lunar cycles, the Democrats had all but abandoned the Clinton apes. The Obama and Biden apes joined forces, defeated the Clintons and won the Democrat swarms’ banner to challenge the Republican apes for the Presidency.
The Republican apes are a peculiar breed. Their candidates don’t promise redistribution of ape wealth. Instead, they promise ape freedom, insisting that individual apes – with natural intellect and acquired skill – acting in their own interest will create the best result for apes in general. (In a quinquennial of observation, this is the closest the apes came to advanced thought. Further study of Democrat presidents does show a strong trend away from freedom and toward state control. But a study of Republican governance shows the same trend. In fact, the trend toward statism is sometimes stronger among the Republican apes. Amidst the breadth of observed ape political behavior, this mote of clear thinking could be viewed as inadvertant and coincidental.) Also, the Republican apes don’t swarm like the Democrats. They establish their loyalties to candidate apes early and gradually abandon them as they run out of money. Once this happens, some Republicans will choose another ape. Others (the Ron Paul apes, most significantly) will abandon their interest in the race entirely.
The Republican apes chose McCain, a veteran of one of the great ape wars, to face the Democrats. (As evidence will prove, the Republicans trust and revere an ape newspaper called “The New York Times.” Republicans eventually nominate whomever this paper suggests is the most electable.) And the McCain ape lost without putting up much of a fight. The Obama/Biden team won by nine million ape votes.
Explanatory note: To grasp what follows, the isolation and remoteness of Earth must be understood. The planet is still classified as Unvisited. Earth’s most advanced society is at Baseline 4 in Phase I of Duptharq’s esteemed “Benchmarks of Early Civilization.” Nearly all of the planet’s leaders seek to solve micro problems with macro solutions. Only one Earthen species has the capacity for fourth dimensional thought, and that species invented radio communication just 3.278 IGT days ago. Earth is hundreds of lightyears away from the nearest Realm member-planet. They’ve just discovered winged flight. There is no common language. Their best physicians are still fighting disease with blades and handtools. Localist factions threaten each other with nuclear fission. They’re largely illiterate, arrogant, aggressive, status-obsessed, myopic, superstitious nativists with a penchant for controlling others. To encapsulate Earth’s primitive condition in one sentence: Many of their intellectuals are athiests.
After ascending to the Presidency during a fiscal crisis, the Obama ape focused nearly all of his energy on passing a law that would give government sweeping new controls over ape health. Millions protested in cities across the nation-state. The proposed law was immensely unpopular among both Democrat and Republican apes. Nevertheless, a unilateral Democrat vote made “Obamacare” the law of the land. Less than a year later, the Democrat apes bore the consequences for their unilateralism.
The 2010 elections were a massive denunciation the Obama and Democrat agenda. It was larger than the 2008 wave that swept Obama into power. Republicans filled legislative houses throughout the United States of America with candidates who promised to repeal the “Obamacare” law. It was the most massive defeat for the Democrat apes in three generations.
But the Republican apes couldn’t repeal Obamacare on their own. They needed a Republican president to fulfill their promises. They would have to wait two years for their shot at the Presidency.
Much of what happened in 2012 is beyond comprehension. The Republican apes nominated for President an ape named Romney. This Romney ape had previously endorsed and implemented Obamacare when he governed state Massachusetts. Moreover, Obamacare was modeled after Romney’s program. Then, of course, the Republicans lost.
Once again. In 2010, the Republican apes promised to repeal Obamacare. They won. They won in a landslide, were elected in historic numbers. In 2012, the Republican nominated an ape who couldn’t campaign against Obamacare because he had endorsed and implemented Obamacare. And they lost.
But as confounding as nominating the Romney ape was, what happened after he lost to Obama is perhaps the most inexplicable and mystifying ape phenomena ever recorded, even among a species that once sacrificed virgins to induce a bountiful harvest.
After the Romney lost on election day, the Republican apes expressed surprise. No one couldn explain why Romney lost. In post-election analysis, the apes spoke about Romney’s campaign tactics. They spoke about the Democrats superior system of getting voters to the polls. They focused on changing demography and the various shades of ape skin color. On a nationally broadcast news outlet, a Noonan ape told a Gigot ape that the Republican apes needed to rethink their “tone.” Some even speculated that the Republican apes might never win again.
It was like 2010 never happened.
On election day, Obamacare was unpopular as ever. The whole country wanted it repealed – still do, in fact. But Romney’s nomination took Obamacare off the table. Repeal was not and could not be a Romney campaign centerpiece. Mitt’s occasional promise of waivers came off as weak sauce. When they nominated Romney, Republicans ceded their winning argument. They had four aces, and they folded.
How could people miss that? Why didn’t pundits understand? Was it a media conspiracy? Mass hysteria? Collective hypnosis? Or just apes being apes?
* * *
By Chuck Muth
The GOP record is intact. Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity. And faced with the biggest failure of a president since Jimmy Carter, Republicans blew it.
Or, I should say, establishment Republicans blew.
You know, the same fine folks who gave us Bob Dole and John McCain before forcing Mitt Romney on us because he was the “electable” candidate.
How’d that work out us?
The only good news here is that there is no clear “it’s his turn” heir for the 2016 GOP nomination.
But this wasn’t just a Romney loss. Republicans got spanked up and down the ballot from sea to shining sea. There hasn’t been a slaughter like this Wounded Knee. Just a few lowlights:
Presented with a choice between a liberal northeast Republican and a liberal northeast Democrat, liberals in Massachusetts opted for the real deal. Republican Sen. Scott Brown is a senator no more. Go figure.
In Connecticut, Republican Linda McMahon’s last minute plea to voters was: Vote for the Democrat for president, but me for U.S. Senate. Instead, voters opted to go with someone from the president’s own party. Go figure.
In Indiana and Missouri, voters opted not to elect to the U.S. Senate a pair of Republicans – Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin – who would force raped women to bear the children of their rapists. Go figure.
Former governors George Allen (Virginia) and Tommy Thompson (Wisconsin) went down in flames.
And in races featuring rising-star conservatives, both Rep. Allen West in Florida and Mia Love in Utah came up short.
One of the few bright spots for the day: Republicans appear to have regained control of the state senate in Wisconsin after losing it just a few short months ago in that organized labor effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker.
But not much else to cheer about.
I’ll look closer at what happened in Nevada – equally ugly – later. But to all those Republican candidates who decided not to run on a platform of not raising taxes because they thought Democrats and independents want tax hikes, I give you the results of a trio of tax hike ballot questions:
- 2/3 of voters voted against a proposed tax hike to fund school repairs in Clark County.
- A tax hike to fund libraries in Henderson went down by ten points.
- And in Carson City: A whopping 68% of voters said “NO!” to their own library tax hike question.
Republican voters. Democrat voters. Independent voters. All said, “Read our lips; no new taxes!”
Think Gov. Brian Sandoval and other GOP “leaders” will get the message now?
Final thought: Thank goodness Romney didn’t win the popular vote. Had he, WAY too many Republicans would have embraced the suicidal notion of eliminating the Electoral College and moving to a national popular vote for president.
Gee, in a “popularity” contest, who do you think will win: The candidate who promises you ice cream with every meal…or the candidate who tells you to eat your broccoli?
Oh, and how much time will presidential candidates spend in a little state like Nevada when the game will be decided in big states with big populations?
The Founders founded the Electoral College for a reason. Nevada Republicans would be insane to support doing away with it.
That is all.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell today released the following statement:
“How is it so many Republican/conservative pundits had it all wrong? Though virtually every poll showed Obama winning, or within striking distance of virtually every battleground state, why were Noonan-Morris-Hannity-Barone-Bozell and so many others so incorrect? Perhaps it was because so many of us simply could not fathom that the United States of America would willingly choose a path to destruction. One could argue that in ’08 America didn’t know what she was buying. Not so this year. Obama’s record and agenda were there. We thought this time – this time! — America wouldn’t buy that message. But enough of us did.
“How did this happen? Some of us argued from the start that this would either be Obama by a hair or Romney by a landslide. And for good reason.
“In politics there are two irrefutable truths. First, define or be defined. He who succeeds in projecting of his opponent the negative perception, and of himself the positive one, wins. Given Obama’s atrocious record in his first term, arguably the worst performance in modern history; and given that he had nothing to offer for the next four years except more of the same, it should have been a cakewalk for Romney to define him. Hence the projected landslide.
“Unless Obama succeeded in defining Romney, in this case as some kind of corporate demon, the ‘greedy rich’ personified. If he could do that, perhaps he could squeeze out a victory.
“Second, it is a virtual surety that when Republicans distinguish themselves from Democrats they win. Conversely, when they go Democrat Lite, they lose. There’s a simple reason for this. Democrats almost always run to the liberal end of the political spectrum, where public support hovers around 20%. Conservatives always enjoy public support double that number, at least. In Obama’s case, his is a failed agenda that is the most radical in American history. Again, it should have been a landslide for Romney had he embraced a truly conservative agenda.
“But Romney is a moderate and his campaign embarked on a bizarre “prevent defense” from the outset. In my view Romney enjoyed only one good day in the entire general campaign: the first debate, when he took the fight directly to Obama, crushed him, and finally electrified the Republican base. By the third debate, when he did nothing to press Obama on his monumental foreign policy debacles, the momentum was lost, never to be regained.
“It is a testimony to Romney’s colossal failure, and Obama’s expert political enterprise that Obama won – handily.
“Republicans in Congress performed even more dismally, if this is possible. For the past four years, and emphatically for the past two, conservatives have been told that Republicans in Congress would finally choose to fight “when we take the Senate” in 2012. Time and again we conservatives warned the Senate leadership that “when” was “if” and “if” would never materialize unless Republicans took the fight to the Democrats, and gave conservatives a reason to galvanize behind them. We were ignored.
“As we were in the House. Time and again we expressed to the House leadership that symbolic, meaningless votes were useless; only a forceful agenda to address the looming entitlements crisis that threatens to bankrupt us, while ridding America of the unnecessary (PBS/NPR), the immoral (Planned Parenthood) and the inefficient (most everything else), would suffice – and honor their solemn commitments. We suggested for good measure that they demand and embrace a return to Constitutional government. We were told in response that “when we take the Senate” all things would be done. Then they fumigated the room when we left.
“The end result was predictable: the ‘when’ evaporated months ago when it became clear the Senate GOP would do nothing. The projected 6-7-8 seat pick-ups disappeared. They accomplished the impossible. They lost two seats. Not one Democrat incumbent was defeated.
“It is time for conservatives to say Enough. Enough with a Republican Party that has betrayed its own principles, and the promises that elected most of their members, repeatedly and with consistently disastrous results. It is time for conservatives to withhold any further support, financial and otherwise, to the Republican Party unless and until the GOP re-earns our trust. To do so, the following commitments must be made:
- A refusal to participate in any “Lame Duck” session that furthers the leftist Democratic agenda.
- At its earliest opportunity, vote to defund Obamacare as well as every other government boondoggle it has committed to terminate, from Planned Parenthood to PBS.
- Pledge to not raise taxes – any taxes on the rich or on the middle class.
- Aggressively support a Cut, Cap And Balance agenda to terminate wasteful spending, cap spending at 2008 levels, and put the country on a fast track toward a balanced budget.
- Aggressively support an agenda to undo the regulatory madness in Washington.
- Permanently ban earmarks.
- Reform the federal tax code.
- Return the country to Constitutional governance, with emphasis on individual freedom.
- Commit itself to a strong military, rejecting any measure to gut the military through sequestration.
- Embrace a strong social and culturally conservative agenda, in all its forms.
“The GOP has an excellent party platform. If you want our support, support your own platform first.”
ForAmerica (www.ForAmerica.org) is an online army of over 3 million people. The group is a non-profit 501(c)4 organized to educate Americans about traditional and contemporary American values, to relentlessly fight the growth of government, to oppose any substitute to freedom and self-government, to promote individual liberty and excellence, to promote economic opportunity, and to move America toward her founding principles. ForAmerica is chaired by L. Brent Bozell III, one of the most outspoken and effective national leaders in the conservative movement today.
On every measurable issue President Barack Obama has been a failure, we all know the numbers, so today… I hope they are satisfied!
For two presidential election cycles they told us “run moderates and you’ll win” I hope the Republican Party ignores said advice going forward… I’m not holding my breath!
The fiscal conservative wing of the party must take the wheel, I’ve been saying this for years but it’s now an imperative, or the Republican Party will be relegated to permanent minority status. Letting liberal to moderate republicans or the religious right to control the direction of the party will be it’s undoing.
That said, there’s a lot of blame to go around Mitt Romney nor the GOP are the real loser in this election, once again, it’s the American People who lose… ironically the group that voted for failure last night are the very people who will be affected most. Just like Californians who foolishly voted themselves new taxes yesterday the American people voted themselves higher taxes, higher food costs, higher gas prices, higher unemployment, more people on food stamps, an economic death spiral, more overburdening federal regulation, and the worst recovery since the great depression.
So remember the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero when pointing fingers and assigning blame:
“Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the ‘new, wonderful, good society’ which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean: more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.”
— Marcus Tullius Cicero
Spending Daily | November 7, 2012
Obama’s “lease renewed in trying economic times”
According to The Associated Press, “His lease renewed in trying economic times, President Barack Obama claimed a second term from an incredibly divided electorate and immediately braced for daunting challenges and progress that comes only in fits and starts. … The same voters who gave Obama four more years in office also elected a divided Congress, sticking with the dynamic that has made it so hard for the president to advance his agenda. … Even before Obama gets to his second inaugural on Jan. 20, he must deal with the threatened ‘fiscal cliff.’ A combination of automatic tax increases and steep across-the-board spending cuts are set to take effect in January if Washington doesn’t quickly reach a budget deal. Experts have warned that the economy could tip back into recession with an agreement.”
Fiscal Cliff First Post-Election Test
The Associated Press reports, “Democrats strengthened their hold on the Senate but failed Tuesday to recapture the majority in the House of Representatives they lost two years ago. President Barack Obama, in his freshly authorized second term, will face the same divided Congress in 2013 that has bedeviled efforts to enact his major legislation. … The first post-election test of wills could start next week when Congress returns from its election recess to deal with unfinished business – including a looming ‘fiscal cliff’ of $400 billion in higher taxes and $100 billion in automatic cuts in military and domesticspending to take effect in January if Congress doesn’t head them off. Economists warn that the combination could plunge the nation back into a recession.”
“Analysis: Both Sides See Mandate, Hard Road Ahead”
Charles Babington writes for The Associated Press, “President Barack Obama’s re-election, coupled with Republicans’ continued hold on the House, gives both parties a chance to rethink, and perhaps undo, the bitter partisanship that has gripped Washington for four years and frustrated Americans who see big problems going unsolved. It won’t be easy. Both sides claim, with some justification, a mandate from the voters. … Americans express exasperation at the partisan sniping and gridlock that pushed the nation to the brink of defaulting on its loans last year, and which might trigger new crises soon. The narrowness of Obama’s win accurately reflects the nation’s nearly 50-50 partisan divide. It’s a split that will make progress on any major issues difficult for at least another two years, and probably longer.”
“Fiscal Morass” Awaits The Lame Duck
According to Politico, “It’s the outcome Capitol Hill insiders feared most. The split decision voters rendered Tuesday night is the worst-case scenario for a quick resolution to the fiscal morass awaiting Congress in the lame-duck session. President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats both won reelection on their promise to raise taxes on the rich. Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans won back control of their chamber campaigning on the promise never to raise taxes. Someone has to blink — and so far neither side says they will.”
“China Gazes Over U.S. Fiscal Cliff”
The Wall Street Journal reports, “China’s main appearance in the U.S. election battle was Mitt Romney’s threat to name the country a currency manipulator. But the real threat to the Asian giant is from Washington’s impending ‘fiscal cliff.’ In the absence of a political agreement after the election, hefty automatic spending cuts will kick in on Dec. 31. The Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire on the same day. According to the International Monetary Fund, driving off the fiscal cliff would mean a tightening of the public purse strings equivalent to four percentage points of U.S. gross domestic product in 2013, enough to push the world’s largest economy back into full-fledged recession. … That outcome looks unlikely. But if it were to happen, the consequences for China would be far reaching.”
U.S. Job Openings Drop to Five-Month Low
Bloomberg reports, “Job openings in the U.S. dropped to a five-month low in September, signaling uneven progress in the labor market may extend through year-end. The number of positions waiting to be filled declined by 100,000 to 3.56 million from the prior month, the Labor Department said today in a statement. Openings have cooled since reaching a peak this year of 3.74 million in March. A slowing global economy and the risk Congress won’t avert $607 billion in automatic federal tax increases and spending cuts next year represent obstacles for American companies as they assess hiring plans. Today’s figures show the October jump in private payrolls, the biggest in eight months, may be difficult to sustain without faster economic growth.
“Best Rally in Decade May Slow as Obama Faces Congress”
Bloomberg reports, “Stock and bond investors enjoying the biggest advance in more than a decade under Barack Obama may see the momentum fade as the rallies age and the president confronts Congress over spending cuts and taxes. … The deficit this year is projected to reach $1.1 trillion, marking the fourth consecutive year the government has run trillion-dollar shortfalls. Federal debt has climbedmore than 75 percent in the past four years. At $11.3 trillion, or 73 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, publicly held debt is projected to reach the highest level since shortly after World War II, according to the CBO. Moody’s Investors Service warned in September it may join S&P in downgrading the U.S.’s Aaa credit rating if lawmakers don’t agree next year on a deficit-reduction plan.”
Obama Says He Will Work With GOP
The Associated Press reports, “President Barack Obama is sounding a conciliatory tone after his re-election victory, saying he has learned fromthose who supported him and those who opposed him. And he says he returns to Washington ‘more determined’ and “more inspired.’ He said he’s hoping to work with Republicans to solve the nation’s problems. He spoke to a cheering crowd in Chicago shortly after Mitt Romney told supporters in Boston that it’s time for the nation to unite behind the president. Obama said he wants to meet with Romney to discuss how to work together. As he starts his second term, Obama will once again be dealing with a Republican-controlled House and a Senate led by Democrats.”
Recently, we heard a story about a voter who was given a hard time because they were wearing a shirt bearing the logo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It seems poll watchers were dumb enough to think that the M.I.T. shirt was actually campaign gear referring to Mitt Romney.
Of course, it is against the rules to wear gear specifically referring to either candidate while in a polling place.
Sadly, it seems those oh-so-strict rules don’t apply to the walls. Take a look at this photo, which is making the rounds on Twitter.
It was taken this morning, INSIDE the 35th ward-D18 Franklin School polling place.
Spending Daily | November 6, 2012
“Toxic Brew” Waiting For Next President
The Associated Press reports, “The race for the White House is pretty much back where it started … Despite some detours, the emphasis is heavily on the nation’s lukewarm economy and President Barack Obama’s stewardship of it. … [A]s millions of Americans vote for president, Congress and thousands of state and local posts, the excruciatingly slow economic recovery and continued high joblessness were clearly weighing on their minds. … Economic issues will shape the national post-election agenda no matter who wins as the nation hurtles toward a toxic brew of expiring Bush-era tax cuts and more than $1 trillion in automatic defense and domestic spending cuts that will begin to take effect in January unless Congress can strike a deficit-reduction deal to stop it. Congress, as closely divided as the nation itself, so far has been unable to do so.”
“Tough Calls on Deficit Await the Winner”
Damian Paletta editorializes in The Wall Street Journal, “If the winner of the presidential election wants to tackle America’s groaning debt load, he will probably have to break a campaign promise or two. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have hammered at each other’s plan for tackling the nation’s growing debt. They are similar, though, in one key regard: Both offer prescriptions that largely exempt the vast middle class from the bitterest medicine. … ‘It’s an extraordinarily dangerous situation,’ said former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, describing the growth of the nation’s debt and a lack of consensus about how to address it. ‘I believe we underestimate the size of current financial imbalances and how difficult it will be to resolve them. We’re trying to do this without pain. There’s just no credible scenario in which that happens.’”
U.S. Gives Election-Eve Commitment To Solve Fiscal Crisis! Phew.
Bloomberg reports, “The U.S. gave an election-eve commitment to ‘carefully calibrate’ its budget retrenchment amid global warnings that a rush of austerity would harm the weak world economy. As Americans prepared to choose a president, Group of 20 finance chiefs said after talks yesterday in Mexico City that the U.S. pledged to avoid a ‘sharp fiscal contraction’ in 2013. That’s when $607 billion of automatic tax increases and spending cuts are set to take effect unless lawmakers act. … The push for U.S. action took center stage at the G-20 meeting during which finance ministers also agreed to dilute their two-year-old budget-cutting goals. Their new vow, to ensure the ‘pace of fiscal consolidation is appropriate to support recovery,’ highlights increased concern that government belt-tightening would threaten an expansion the G-20 labeled modest.”
Reuters reports, “If President Barack Obama wins re-election, he’s expected to move quickly, perhaps within a day, to renew his bid for a bipartisan deal to avert a ‘fiscal cliff’ that threatens to push the United States into recession, top Senate Democratic aides said on Monday. … If Republican challenger Mitt Romney wins, much of the work on a deficit-reduction deal that replaces the automatic cuts and reforms the tax code could be largely delayed until he takes office on Jan 20. … Democrats and Republicans have until the end of December to reach a massive deficit reduction deal or see the expiration of all tax cuts enacted under former president George W. Bush for millions of Americans, both the rich and middle class. In addition, $1.2 trillion in spending cuts would begin to kick in, delivering a blow to the economy that experts predict would lead to a recession.”
“Lame Duck looking lamer as fiscal cliff nears”
According to Politico, “The Washington defense establishment used to expect the life-or-death question of sequestration would be decided after Tuesday’s elections, in Congress’s year-end closing session. But the conventional wisdom has shifted: Now it appears that no matter who wins the White House, the lame-duck Congress is unlikely to have the last word. That’s the consensus of defense watchers across Washington, several of whom told POLITICO they even expect sequestration to take effect, at least for the first few weeks after its official start date, Jan. 2. Billions of dollars in defense spending ride on the outcome of the election, as President Barack Obama has pledged to draw down the military, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney has said he’d plus it up.
Obama’s Green Jobs Pledge “More Modest” Than Projected
Bloomberg repots, “Four years ago Obama pledged to make the U.S. less reliant on fossil fuels and create 5 million green jobs in 10 years. So far, job creation has been far more modest than Obama projected, and bankruptcies at government-supported companies, including solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, which received a $535 million loan guarantee, have generated a political backlash. The 2009 economic-stimulus plan spent $90 billion on clean energy and ‘saved or created’ 225,000 positions through 2010, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers reported in November 2010. Out of 113,247 participants in green-job training programs funded with $435 million in stimulus, 30,857 people were hired in new positions, the Department of Labor’s inspector general said in an Oct. 25 report.”
Crippling Strike By Greek Labor Unions To Protest Wage & Pension Cuts
Reuters reports, “Hundreds of thousands of Greeks began a crippling 48-hour strike on Tuesday to protest against a new round of wage and pension cuts that parliament is expected to approve by a narrow margin. The parliamentary vote on Wednesday is the biggest test yet for the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which needs victory to secure aid from foreign lenders but has failed to convince its smallest coalition partner and the public to back the reforms. The strike, called by Greece’s two biggest labor unions representing half of the four million-strong workforce, brought public transport to a virtual standstill and shuttered schools, banks and local government offices.”