Sunday, October 31, 2010

Looking ahead to 2012 in the U.S. Senate

The New York Times has a short piece today, looking ahead to the 2012 election cycle and the U.S. Senate seats currently held by each party.  The outlook for the Democrat Party for Tuesday’s 2010 midterm looks positively rosy, compared to their prospects in 2012:

The results of this year’s Senate elections are not even in the books, but senators and political analysts are already looking ahead to 2012, when the Senate math adds up to a daunting prospect for Democrats.

The numbers are stark. Democrats will be forced to defend 24 seats in the 2012 election, including those of two independents aligned with them, compared with just 9 seats for Republicans.

Even if Republicans fall short of capturing control of the Senate on Tuesday, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has expressed confidence that his party will finish the job in 2012. The numbers seem to bolster his case.

Unfortunately, the Times article doesn’t get into the numbers.  It touches on a few key races but doesn’t define the whole playing field.  That gives me an opportunity to do so.  In 2012, the Democrats will attempt to defend the following incumbents:

  • Dianne Feinstein, CA
  • Tom Carper, DE
  • Bill Nelson, FL
  • Daniel Akaka, HI
  • Ben Cardin, MD
  • Debbie Stabenow, MI
  • Amy Klobuchar, MN
  • Claire McCaskill, MO
  • Jon Tester, MT
  • Ben Nelson, NE
  • Bob Menendez, NJ
  • Kirsten Gillibrand, NY
  • Jeff Bingaman, NM
  • Kent Conrad, ND
  • Sherrod Brown, OH
  • Bob Casey, Jr., PA
  • Sheldon Whitehouse, RI
  • Jim Webb, VA
  • Maria Cantwell, WA
  • Open, WV
  • Herb Kohl, WI

In addition, there are two Independents who caucus with the Democrats.  These are:

  • Bernie Sanders, VT
  • Joe Lieberman, CT

Unless my 1st grade math teacher was wrong, or unless I’m missing someone, this makes 23, not 24, seats to be defended by those who are or vote with the Democrats. There are two seats being decided in a 2010 special election, NY and WV.  Those two seats will be up for grabs again in 2012.

Early betting would probably have Bill Nelson (FL), Stabenow (MI), McCaskill (MO), Tester (MT), Ben Nelson (NE), Conrad (ND), Brown (OH), Casey (PA), Webb (VA) and Kohl (WI) as the most endangered incumbents.

By contrast, the Republicans will attempt to defend the following incumbents:

  • Jon Kyl, AZ
  • Richard Lugar, IN
  • Olympia Snowe, ME
  • Scott Brown, MS
  • Roger Wicker, MS
  • John Ensign, NV
  • Bob Corker, TN
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison, TX
  • Orrin Hatch, UT
  • John Barrasso, WY

I’m counting 10 here.  Are you?  Are we really that much better at counting toes than the New York Times? At any rate, only Scott Brown (MA) is from a traditionally Democrat state and would be the most competitive of the races for incumbent seats.

Hutchison (TX) still hasn’t said whether she’ll seek reelection.  If she decides to retire, Democrats would probably run hard for that seat. I think the effort would be futile. Snowe (ME), Ensign (NV) and Hatch (UT) are also likely targets for conservative/Tea Party primary challenges. Of the three, Snowe losing a primary would put that seat at the highest risk of flipping. Depending on the outcome of the special election in West Virginia, the GOP might also be defending that seat, and it too would be a high value target for the Democrats.

I’m counting ten races that will be highly competitive and difficult for the Democrats to defend, and maybe two competitive races that would be a challenge to hold for the Republicans.

If the GOP takes say, eight Senate seats on Tuesday night and then takes eight more in 2012, it would give the GOP a 57-43 majority in the Senate.  If conservative Democrats like the Nelsons in Florida and Nebraska and Tester in Montana can be persuaded to invoke cloture, a lot of good work can be done dismantling the structure the left wing has assembled in the 111th Congress.

Is it too early too look ahead to 2012?  Perhaps.  But it’s still fun to speculate while pointing out that liberals—like the staff at the New York Times—are bad at math.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Presidential Hypocrisy

I’m  sure the right-channel blogosphere will light up with similar comments today, but El Presidente’s weekly radio address has me steaming. The gall, the hypocrisy of this man is absolutely incredible.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Saturday chided the two top Republicans in Congress, challenging his rivals to make a fresh start and build a bipartisan effort to boost growth after next week's election.

Speaking three days before a midterm congressional election in which his Democrats are expected to suffer heavy losses, Obama said lawmakers had a "duty" to seek common ground.

"That's why I found the recent comments by the top two Republicans in Congress so troubling," Obama said in his weekly radio address, in which he urged Democrats and Republicans to work together on issues like extending middle-class tax cuts.

"The Republican leader of the House actually said that 'this is not the time for compromise.' And the Republican leader of the Senate said his main goal after this election is simply to win the next one," Obama said, referring to Representative John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the same man who told Hispanic voters that they needed to go to the polls and “punish our enemies.” When was the last time the President of the United States of America labeled his own citizens “enemies?”  This is also the same man who, using that tired and idiotic car-in-the-ditch metaphor, told supporters that Republicans could go along for the recovery ride, but that we had to “sit in the back.”

And now, three days before the electorate will hand him and his liberal, left-wing radical Democrat Party a first class ass kicking, he has the gall to tell us what our duty is?  Merriam-Webster defines a “hypocrite” as one who “acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.”  In other words, someone who says one thing but does another is practicing hypocrisy.

This is hypocrisy taken to a whole new level.  For the last two years, this man and his minions in Congress have refused every opportunity to work with Republicans.  On Stimulus.  On Healthcare. On Financial Regulation.  On the takeover of the automobile industry. On extending the Bush tax cuts.  And he says it’s our duty to work with him?

Not no, President Hypocrite.  Not no, but HELL NO. There will be no compromise of principles. No quarter, whatsoever. If you want to work with the new Congress, it’s you who must do your duty, asshole.

Friday, October 29, 2010

ABC News hires Andrew Breitbart and Loesch for Election Night coverage, lefty blogosphere goes BOOM

This is on the order of MSNBC turning to Glenn Beck as a contributor.  Or, CNN hiring Michelle Malkin for commentary.  ABCNews has confirmed an agreement to have Big Government’s Andrew Breitbart and Dana Loesch on the air next Tuesday night, providing “live coverage” of election night.

ABC announced their election night coverage early on and Big Journalism Editor Dana Loesch will join the network in studio for 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. election night; Bigs founder and head of the Breitbart empire Andrew Breitbart will be bringing analysis live from Arizona.

Providing analysis and historical context will be ABC News contributors George Will, Cokie Roberts, Donna Brazile and Matthew Dowd. They will be joined by Ron Brownstein, Editorial Director for the National Journal Group and conservative commentator Dana Loesch.

The Bigs will bring you up-to-the-minute live election coverage with editors liveblogging, video streaming, and broadcasting round-the-clock coverage from sources including ABC, Hugh Hewitt / Salem Radio Coverage, CNN, MSNBC, PBS News Hour, and CBS news.

That sound you just heard was the entire left blogosphere detonating like a suspicious package tucked into the cargo hold of a New York bound UPS plane.

Although the left can’t admit it, the fact is that ABC is recognizing that Americans really do want fair and balanced coverage, and won’t watch a news broadcast with the standard fare of liberal commentator after liberal commentator blasting the people they voted for.  Leftists who want that crap will turn to MSNBC, and by God that network will probably see dozens and dozens of new viewers tuning in.

UPDATE: Jake Tapper, former host of ABC’s This Week and the network’s Senior White House correspondent, took a blistering from lefty bloggers and Tweeps.  As a result, a Twitter hashtag game started on Twitter and is now trending as the #3 topic in the US.

Gene Taylor, conservative Blue Dog from Mississippi, in trouble

As late as last week, Congressional Quarterly had the 4th Congressional District of Mississippi rated as Safe Democrat.

Today, it’s yellow—tossup.

Folks, Gene Taylor would never get elected as a Democrat in a state like California or Michigan.  He’s too conservative.  He’s the guy who said he voted for John McCain in 2008.  He also voted against Obamacare. He’s also one of the Democrats who said he’d support someone other than Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House.

But his challenger, Steven Palazzo, is flooding the south Mississippi airwaves with an impressive and positive ad, while Taylor has turned negative.

Palazzo is also running his ads on WBUV News Radio 104.9, a coastal Mississippi talk radio station with a strong conservative bent.  The people most interested in news and politics in the three most populous counties in the state listen to 104.9 (including me when I’m in the area for business).  I haven’t heard one of Taylor’s ads on that station, and neither has a business associate of mine who lives in Gulfport.

Taylor and Palazzo meet in their first and only debate of the campaign tonight at 6:00 pm CDT. You can listen live here.

At first, Taylor wouldn’t even respond to Palazzo’s requests for a debate.  That Taylor agreed, and that the debate is happening on the Friday night before the election, has to be a troubling omen for Democrats hoping to hold the seat.

Rare, late season Tropical Storm Tomas forms

You can get the latest official forecast—and plots of the global forecast models used by the National Hurricane Center—at the Tropical Update Page.

Right now, most of the forecasts have the storm just south of Jamaica by Wednesday of next week.  After that, the models agree that the storm will be picked up by the trough currently off the East Coast.

We’ve been extraordinarily fortunate this year. Tomas is the 20th named storm of the season, but we haven’t had a single major storm make landfall in the continental US.

Halliburton supplied faulty cement, says panel

image Already a popular target of left wing activists due to its ties to the equally magnetic target Dick Cheney, Halliburton may now be forced to shoulder some of the blame for the Deepwater Horizon rig blowout and ensuing Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.

The National Oil Spill Commission has determined that the cement supplied by the company was unstable and unfit for use, despite testing showing that it was not the Right Stuff.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Tests performed before the deadly blowout of BP's oil well in the Gulf of Mexico should have raised doubts about the cement used to seal the well, but the company and its cementing contractor used it anyway, investigators with the president's oil spill commission said Thursday.

It's the first finding from the commission looking into the causes of the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. And it appears to conflict with statements made by Halliburton Co., which has said its tests showed the cement mix was stable. The company instead has said BP's well design and operations are responsible for the disaster.

If this holds up, it should be a huge relief for BP, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars in potential fines under the Oil Polution Act of 1990.  BP already faces tens of billions in fines under the statute, but if findings show that the company was grossly negligent, the fines increase and BP is on the hook for billions more.

BP, in its own internal investigation, also found flaws with the Halliburton cement cocktail, and the latter company promptly objected to that study’s findings.  The Commission’s determination could go a long way to giving BP a way to argue against fines for negligence.

I would look for some of the state governments, environmental activist groups and trial lawyers to cry foul over this development. It takes an awful lot of money off of the table and gives less credence to gross negligence as a cause of action.

Authorities investigating “suspicious packages” aboard multiple aircraft. Dirty Bombs? UPDATED

Obviously a developing story.

image Authorities are investigating a suspicious package found on a UPS plane that arrived at Philadelphia International Airport Friday.

A crew member arriving on a UPS flight from Paris notified authorities of a suspicious package on board describing a potential radiological component, a local CBS affiliate reported.

Philadelphia police and firefighters greeted the inbound flight shortly after 9 a.m. and the two occupants exited the aircraft, the station reported.

Potential radiological component?

This has all the markings of an Al Qaeda plot to blow up aircraft over major US cities, using radiological material.  Aka, Dirty Bomb.

Fox News is also reporting that the packages are said to have originated in Yemen. That’s where this worthless piece of human scum lives.


Updates as they become available.

UPDATE 11:15 CDT: Fox is now reporting that there are no radiological components found.

UPDATE 11:50 CDT: Associated Press and Fox News are both reporting that the planes were halted and searched after receiving tips from an “overseas ally.”  Fox News continues to suggest that this “could be” a terrorist dry run.

I don’t think so.  Terrorists don’t do dry runs.  If they see a weakness they can exploit, they exploit it. Calling it a dry run is like saying a sniper shoots blanks to see if he can fire on his target without detection…

UPDATE 14:00 CDT: Fox News Channel now reporting that a civilian, commercial passenger airliner is being escorted to JFK Airport.

UPDATE 14:30 CDT: Aircraft now on the ground. @Foxnews twitter account says “United Arab Emirates official tells AP that package found in air cargo shipment in Dubai from Yemen contained 'explosive device'.”

Might as well fold the “big tent.” Dem caucus to shift left in 112th Congress

Nice piece in Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller today, describing an ideological shift in the Democrats’ caucus after the November elections.

That whole “big tent” thing about Democrats embracing diverse views among its party members?  Might as well fold it up and return it to the rental joint.

While members of the liberal Congressional Progressive Caucus are relatively safe in a tough year for Democrats, the more moderate Blue Dog Democrats in the House will be on the endangered species list after Tuesday’s election.

In fact, a Daily Caller analysis of House races shows that a member running in a Blue Dog district is about five times more likely to be at least somewhat vulnerable than a Progressive Caucus member.

Based on the RealClearPolitics ratings of House races, 62 of 76 seats held by a member of the Progressive Caucus are “safe.” For the Blue Dogs, the picture is much more bleak. Of the 54 districts held by a member of that caucus, only six are “safe.”

Some of the vulnerable Blue Dogs include members like Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry, Georgia Rep. Jim Marshall, North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler and Mississippi Rep. Gene Taylor.

“It’s clear that the new House Democratic Caucus will be smaller, more liberal, and more California-centric,” remarked one senior GOP aide. “That’s going to make it even harder for them to reach out to the independent and moderate Americans whose support they have lost.”

There are four things that should jump out at you when reading this story.

The first is that moderate and “conservative” Democrats made their own bed in the 111th Congress, especially in the House. They gave into pressure from Democrat leadership in Congress and caved on Healthcare and Porkulus. Had they stuck to their fiscal conservatism and voted the way their constituents expected them to, they wouldn’t be in this predicament.  Sound familiar?  When you abandon your principles, voters pay you back by ousting you, just like they did to Republicans in 2006 and 2008.

Secondly, the chief reason why so many liberal seats are safe is because of gerrymandering.  A huge majority of them are in Districts carefully drawn to make sure that their constituents are leftists.  Houston’s Sheila Jackson-Lee.  Atlanta’s John Lewis and Hank Johnson.  San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi.  Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But the 2010 election is also about downballot races, so giving your governor a GOP-controlled legislature can help fix some of that foolishness and make  these people compete on the quality of their ideas, not the color of their skin or the demographics of a cobbled-together District.

Third, the fact that the Democrat caucus will shift so far left means that their willingness to compromise with a GOP-led House is virtually nil.  What gets accomplished in the House will be accomplished by Republicans, with little Democrat support.

And last of all, the likelihood of those Blue Dog Democrats regaining power in 2012 dims considerably, if their Republican replacements toe the line of fiscal conservativism.  A GOP Congresscritter in a conservative District who sticks to smaller government, lower taxes and better business environment for job creation always wins. Always.

Meek: Bill Clinton didn’t ask me to drop out. It was… Charlie Crist


What else will Charlie Crist try in his desperate attempt to remain relevant?

The Democrat running in a 3-way Florida Senate race has a message: Bubba did not tell me to back down.

Rep. Kendrick Meek vehemently denied reports that former President Bill Clinton tried to persuade him to drop out, insisting that it was really Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent.

But Clinton's spokesman told Politico that the former president convinced Meek twice to abandon the race and endorse Crist.

Polls show that Meek is trailing behind. The logic behind the withdrawal is that it could swing liberal votes to Crist, giving him a better shot at taking on GOP front-runner Marco Rubio.

Crist has also been chatting up the White House. There’s only one chip that Crist is bargaining with in his backroom, secret discussions with in his state and national Democrats.  If he wins, he’ll caucus with the Democrats.

I’m frankly disgusted with any moderate Republicans who still back Crist.  There can’t be many, but there have to be a few.  What are they thinking?

I think most of Crist’s “support” is actually coming from the far left Democrat base, who will be puking their guts out when Rubio wins the three-way race with an outright majority.

Although Meek himself is a liberal who embraced Obama’s sweeping socialist agenda, I find it equally disgusting that the left would abandon their principles and vote for Crist just to keep Rubio out. As disgusting as it is, it’s deeply ironic that the left is abandoning principle and breaking for Crist, who abandoned his principles to stay relevant.

Birds of a feather.

GDP grew 2.0% in 3rd quarter, Federal spending up 8.8%

In the last piece of major economic news to be released before the crucial 2010 midterm elections, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says that the US economy grew at the glacial pace of 2.0% in the quarter between July 1 and September 30:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and propertylocated in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2010,(that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released bythe Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.7 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 3).The "second" estimate for the third quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on November 23, 2010.

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions frompersonal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, nonresidential fixedinvestment, federal government spending, and exports that were partly offset by a negative contributionfrom residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The small acceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected a sharp deceleration inimports and accelerations in private inventory investment and in PCE that were partly offset by adownturn in residential fixed investment and decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and inexports.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 8.8 percentin the third quarter, compared with an increase of 9.1 percent in the second. National defense increased8.5 percent, compared with an increase of 7.4 percent. Nondefense increased 9.6 percent, comparedwith an increase of 12.8 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 0.2 percent, in contrast to an increase of 0.6 percent.

Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 9.7 percent in the third quarter, compared with anincrease of 17.2 percent in the second. Nonresidential structures increased 3.9 percent, in contrast to adecrease of 0.5 percent. Equipment and software increased 12.0 percent, compared with an increase of24.8 percent. Real residential fixed investment decreased 29.1 percent, in contrast to an increase of 25.7percent.

Though the 2.0% figure is mostly in line with analyst estimates, it still indicates that the economy is not growing robustly enough to stimulate job creation or change the Fed’s mind about the need for quantitative easing—a monetary policy move that risks inflation and further erodes the dollar in foreign exchange markets.

Two key pieces of data in today’s release:

Residential investment, one of the best leading indicators of expected growth, fell by an eye-popping 29% and federal expenditures increased by nearly 9%.  This means that government spending is the primary reason for the GDP growth.  The private sector is still struggling and is not likely to liven up anytime soon.  Meanwhile, the federal government continues to spend at nearly a double-digit pace, using money that must be borrowed and increasing the federal debt.

This pace is absolutely unsustainable.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

With a stroke of a pen, let’s make history again

This is a radio ad running in the Mobile, Alabama media markets.

These aren’t actors.  They’re real people on the Gulf Coast whose lives have been affected by the Obama regime’s erosion of our liberties “with the stroke of a pen.”

Let’s make history again.  With the stroke of a pen.

New York City’s Ballot: Worse than the infamous Butterfly Ballot

image The Butterfly Ballot was used in Palm Beach County, Florida in the 2000.  It was so confusing that some media outlets blame it for costing Al Gore Florida’s electoral votes and thus, the White House.

But there’s a new challenger for the crown of the country’s Worst Ballot in the History of the Republic™ and it hails from New York City.

The ballot’s even been nominated by the Center for Plain Language WonderMark Award, given as a booby prize for ambiguous or confusing language on government documents:

New York City's election ballot is so confusing it's starting to get national recognition.

The city's paper ballot has drawn jeers in recent weeks over a series of potential flaws, leading to the firing of the election board's director on Tuesday. Most prominently, the instructions tell voters to fill out the oval "above or next to" a candidate's name, though the corresponding ovals on the ballot are actually below each candidate's name.

The nation got a taste of the problems poorly designed ballots can cause during the 2000 presidential election fiasco, when Florida's confusing butterfly ballots wreaked havoc at the polls. Lawrence Norden, with the Brennan Center for Justice, drew attention to the New York ballot instructions in a letter to state officials last week.

"A voter who follows the directions and chooses the oval above the candidate's name will actually be voting for a different candidate than she intends," he wrote.

The New York Post first reported that the Queens election ballot was set up so that the name of one of the other Democratic candidates, Ruben Wills, would appear in the same column as the Republican candidates. The Board of Elections fired its executive director George Gonzalez shortly afterward.

I use the Florida 2000 election fiasco often when lecturing on project planning and project management.  My shtick goes something like this:

“I was in a conference in South Florida a year or so back.  After a rather long morning roundtable session, the nine people in my group decided to vote on where we’d all go to lunch.  The conference organizers were paying for lunch, so we had to pick one place so there’d only be one tab.  The choices were a famous chain restaurant where attractive young ladies serve beer and pretty good chicken wings or a trendy bistro with low fat wraps, salads and other healthy fare.

“We discussed it among ourselves and everyone had their say.  Then, we took the vote.

“Four voted for Hooters, three voted for Bistro Lite and two voted for Pat Buchanan.”

“Those were the best damned wings I’ve ever tasted.”

Obama’s defecting coalition is led by Main Street Moms

image A fresh New York Times/CBS poll shows that the coalition of demographics that came together and swept Obama into the White House is falling apart and breaking for Republicans in the midterms.

Click the image on the right to see the New York Times story.

Women, Catholics, the middle class, independents went strongly for Obama in 2008. In 2010, they’re breaking for Republicans in numbers that exceed even those of 1994, the last major wave election that favored the GOP.

College graduates and suburban dwellers, which split about evenly between Obama and McCain, are also now strongly favoring the GOP.

Women are the key this year.  Even in the Glorious Revolution of 1994, women favored Democrats and gave rise to the so-called “gender gap” that persisted throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s.

The “gender gap” now favors the Republicans.  Political analysts and the chattering classes will spend hours upon hours and chew up terabytes of bandwidth trying to explain why women have shifted so strongly.

I think I can sum it up in one sentence:

Women, particularly those who have children or grandchildren, are strongly concerned about the future of their country and  their children.

The 1990’s were a period of transition between the Cold War and the 21st Century, which Bill Clinton skillfully used to campaign on women’s issues while playing on fears that Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole, were insensitive to the needs of middle class families.

The Obama coalition played from a nearly identical sheet of music, but then governed in the first two years as a clear and present danger to the long term financial solvency of the country.

No woman who loves her children and wants to see them live in a better future can look at the current fiscal situation and conclude that her children will be better off tomorrow than she is today. I think another strong undercurrent is that many of the most popular candidates running for office in 2010 are women just like the Main Street Mom.  They’re successful, strong-willed and well-educated women who have juggled the hectic concoction of home and professional life.  They are women of character, commitment and confidence.  If they can handle marriage, work, kids and community, restoring America’s commitment to prosperity is a cinch.

GOP Ad: Beautiful in its simplicity

It’s only four lines, and it’s on a three-color sticker that measures 3” x 3” and placed on the front page of today’s Mobile Press-Register final Print Edition.

This ad is beautiful in its simplicity. 

I hope it’s effective as it is beautiful.


On Tuesday, November 2

With the stroke of your pen…

Make history again


Vote Republican

Weekly jobless claims take another dip, down 21,000

Fresh data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Website:

In the week ending Oct. 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 434,000, a decrease of 21,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 455,000. The 4-week moving average was 453,250, a decrease of 5,500 from the previous week's revised average of 458,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5 percent for the week ending Oct. 16, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's revised rate of 3.6 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Oct. 16 was 4,356,000, a decrease of 122,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,478,000. The 4-week moving average was 4,447,250, a decrease of 38,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,485,750.

These are the last weekly claims figures to be released prior to next week’s midterm election.  New applications for unemployment compensation have been stuck in a range between 450,000 and 475,000 for months, now.

Half of last week’s decrease of 23,000 new claims was accounted for by an upward revision in the previous week’s data and the moving average remains stubbornly stuck above 450,000.

While there is nothing particularly rosy or damaging in this week’s data, it still highlights a very weak job market and an economy struggling to keep its head above water.  We should get confirmation of the sluggish economy with tomorrow’s estimate of Q3 GDP growth.  Analysts expect something on the order of 1.5% to 2.0% annual growth.

It’s in this setting that voters will go to polls next week and issue a referendum on the efficacy of President Obama’s economic policies.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Revealing story from Tea Party eyewitness

George Hewes, a man who would have been just as happy practicing his cobbler’s trade in Boston, was instead swept up in one of the most compelling stories of protest in American History.

Here is his recounting of the events of December 16, 1773:

image "The tea destroyed was contained in three ships, lying near each other at what was called at that time Griffin's wharf, and were surrounded by armed ships of war, the commanders of which had publicly declared that if the rebels, as they were pleased to style the Bostonians, should not withdraw their opposition to the landing of the tea before a certain day, the 17th day of December, 1773, they should on that day force it on shore, under the cover of their cannon's mouth.

"On the day preceding the seventeenth, there was a meeting of the citizens of the county of Suffolk, convened at one of the churches in Boston, for the purpose of consulting on what measures might be considered expedient to prevent the landing of the tea, or secure the people from the collection of the duty. At that meeting a committee was appointed to wait on Governor Hutchinson, and request him to inform them whether he would take any measures to satisfy the people on the object of the meeting.

"To the first application of this committee, the Governor told them he would give them a definite answer by five o'clock in the afternoon. At the hour appointed, the committee again repaired to the Governor's house, and on inquiry found he had gone to his country seat at Milton, a distance of about six miles. When the committee returned and informed the meeting of the absence of the Governor, there was a confused murmur among the members, and the meeting was immediately dissolved, many of them crying out, "Let every man do his duty, and be true to his country"; and there was a general huzza for Griffin's wharf.

"It was now evening, and I immediately dressed myself in the costume of an Indian, equipped with a small hatchet, which I and my associates denominated the tomahawk, with which, and a club, after having painted my face and hands with coal dust in the shop of a blacksmith, I repaired to Griffin's wharf, where the ships lay that contained the tea. When I first appeared in the street after being thus disguised, I fell in with many who were dressed, equipped and painted as I was, and who fell in with me and marched in order to the place of our destination.

"When we arrived at the wharf, there were three of our number who assumed an authority to direct our operations, to which we readily submitted. They divided us into three parties, for the purpose of boarding the three ships which contained the tea at the same time. The name of him who commanded the division to which I was assigned was Leonard Pitt. The names of the other commanders I never knew.

"We were immediately ordered by the respective commanders to board all the ships at the same time, which we promptly obeyed. The commander of the division to which I belonged, as soon as we were on board the ship appointed me boatswain, and ordered me to go to the captain and demand of him the keys to the hatches and a dozen candles. I made the demand accordingly, and the captain promptly replied, and delivered the articles; but requested me at the same time to do no damage to the ship or rigging.

"We then were ordered by our commander to open the hatches and take out all the chests of tea and throw them overboard, and we immediately proceeded to execute his orders, first cutting and splitting the chests with our tomahawks, so as thoroughly to expose them to the effects of the water.

In about three hours from the time we went on board, we had thus broken and thrown overboard every tea chest to be found in the ship, while those in the other ships were disposing of the tea in the same way, at the same time. We were surrounded by British armed ships, but no attempt was made to resist us.

"We then quietly retired to our several places of residence, without having any conversation with each other, or taking any measures to discover who were our associates; nor do I recollect of our having had the knowledge of the name of a single individual concerned in that affair, except that of Leonard Pitt, the commander of my division, whom I have mentioned. There appeared to be an understanding that each individual should volunteer his services, keep his own secret, and risk the consequence for himself. No disorder took place during that transaction, and it was observed at that time that the stillest night ensued that Boston had enjoyed for many months.

"During the time we were throwing the tea overboard, there were several attempts made by some of the citizens of Boston and its vicinity to carry off small quantities of it for their family use. To effect that object, they would watch their opportunity to snatch up a handful from the deck, where it became plentifully scattered, and put it into their pockets.

"One Captain O'Connor, whom I well knew, came on board for that purpose, and when he supposed he was not noticed, filled his pockets, and also the lining of his coat. But I had detected him and gave information to the captain of what he was doing. We were ordered to take him into custody, and just as he was stepping from the vessel, I seized him by the skirt of his coat, and in attempting to pull him back, I tore it off; but, springing forward, by a rapid effort he made his escape. He had, however, to run a gauntlet through the crowd upon the wharf nine each one, as he passed, giving him a kick or a stroke.

"Another attempt was made to save a little tea from the ruins of the cargo by a tall, aged man who wore a large cocked hat and white wig, which was fashionable at that time. He had sleightly slipped a little into his pocket, but being detected, they seized him and, taking his hat and wig from his head, threw them, together with the tea, of which they had emptied his pockets, into the water. In consideration of his advanced age, he was permitted to escape, with now and then a slight kick.

"The next morning, after we had cleared the ships of the tea, it was discovered that very considerable quantities of it were floating upon the surface of the water; and to prevent the possibility of any of its being saved for use, a number of small boats were manned by sailors and citizens, who rowed them into those parts of the harbor wherever the tea was visible, and by beating it with oars and paddles so thoroughly drenched it as to render its entire destruction inevitable."

-- George Hewes  

AP Voter Guides Released

The Associated Press has been publishing state-by-state voter guides since I trotted into the voting booth behind my Dad.  I was given the important job of reading, then carrying the newsprint version during this important task.

The 2010 version is out.

The modern versions sadly don’t have the detailed, local flavor that they did back in the day, and I doubt many local papers will run print versions in the days ahead.  Today, they’re a collection of links to useful sites in each state.

Here’s the link to the national summary.

And here are the state-by-state summaries.









  1. (7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
  2. Office of the State Election Commissioner
  3. Delaware 2010 Ballotpedia

District of Columbia

  1. (7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
  2. District of Columbia Board of Elections & Ethics
  3. District of Columbia 2010 Ballotpedia


  1. (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
  2. Florida State Voting Information
  3. Project Vote Smart 2010 ballot measures


  1. (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
  2. Georgia Secretary of State My Voter Page
  3. Project Vote Smart 2010 ballot measures


  1. (7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
  2. Hawaii State Office of Elections
  3. Project Vote Smart 2010 ballot measures


  1. (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
  2. Idaho Secretary of State Elections, Campaign Disclosures and Lobbyists
  3. Project Vote Smart 2010 ballot measures


  1. (6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
  2. Illinois State Board of Elections
  3. Project Vote Smart 2010 ballot measures
















New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota







West Virginia



About that car… in the ditch… and the slurpee… PICS!

You know that car in the ditch that El Presidente has been talking so much about?

Found it.



We found Obama, too.  Guess where he was?  At Tacky Jack’s.  Sipping on a Slurpee, or something.



Later on, he and his hug buddy Charlie Crist went to the beach.  Wow.  Boobs on the beach.




Obama didn’t make it to this beach, though.


Oh well.  At least Michelle didn’t get stuck in the ditch.  She had reservations in a modest secluded, getaway on the coast of Spain.


Meanwhile, back in the US of A:


And the President does what he does best:


Fraud, fraud everywhere… FRAUD!

News from Pennsylvania.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

One of the bluest of the blue metropolitan areas in the country.  Heavy Democrat demographics.  Heavy union membership.  Heavy participation by state, local and county government officials.  And a load of absentee ballots.

What could go wrong?

A trio of Bucks County residents backed by the county Republican committee say they have evidence linking Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy's campaign to a scheme to flood the county voter registration office with fraudulent applications for absentee ballots.

In a petition filed Tuesday, county Republicans say the name of Murphy's campaign manager appeared on a Bristol post office box where voters were urged in a series of letters paid for by the state Democratic Committee to send absentee ballot applications.

The county Republicans submitted with the petition a photograph of a note inside the mailbox that said, "Tim Percico and Paul Hampel only pick up mail." Tim Persico is Murphy's campaign manager, although his name is misspelled in the note. Hampel is a volunteer for the Democratic state committee who said he collects mail from the box.

In response to the Republican petition, the Bucks County Board of Elections scheduled a hearing 9:30 a.m. Friday at the courthouse to hear evidence of what the Republicans characterize as a coordinated effort to trick voters into improperly applying for absentee ballots and efforts to submit fraudulent applications for absentee ballots.

"While some of these invalid applications have been caught and rejected by the Board of Elections, we believe many other defective and objectionable applications were inadvertently approved by the Board of Elections due to the pervasive nature of the fraud," the petition says.

The petition also asks county election officials to secure all completed absentee ballots at the courthouse in Doylestown until the board of elections can conduct an investigation of the claims.

Smells like SEIU, doesn’t it?

Here’s the scam:  You get a boatload of people to send in applications for absentee ballots. You send in so many that the local officials can’t possibly examine them all for propriety in the rush to process so many.  The ballots are returned to a central location, where people “not connected” with the Democrat organization complete the ballots and mail them in, swamping the system with absentee ballots that were dutifully signed off on by the Registrar’s office and by all appearances, look valid.

Kudo’s to the watchful Republicans who filed the petitions.  This is the kind of stuff that’s been going in in places like Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and other Democrat districts for decades.  Stopping it will take a long term, concerted effort by local, honest citizens who believe in the principle of “one man or woman, one vote.”

Sharron Angle’s Campaign accusing Harry Reid of vote fraud

image Yesterday, it was the story about voters finding Harry Reid’s name already being selected on the touch screen machines. Maybe he was just the default choice, huh?

Now, it’s stories like offering free food, gift cards and other such goodies, if people would just be so kind as to turn out and mash the button.  After all, if Reid’s name is already picked on the ballot, even a brain-dead Zombie can vote for Dingy Harry.

From Angle Campaign Attorney Cleta Mitchell:

Two days ago, the Democratic Secretary of State announced that voters can be provided "free food" at "voter turnout events." Harry Reid has been offering free food and, according to other reports, some Democratic allies such as teachers' unions are offering gift cards in return for a vote for Reid.

What Harry Reid is doing is clearly illegal. Nevada law (NRS 293.700) provides that, “A person who bribes, offers to bribe, or use and other corrupt means, directly or indirectly, to influence any elector in giving his or her vote or to deter the elector from giving it is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.”

We've seen evidence of this sort of voter 'enticement' by groups such as ACORN - where, in 2008, two ACORN workers in Milwaukee were accused of offering pre-paid gasoline cards or restaurant gift cards to people in exchange for registration.

John Fund wrote in his book Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, cited reports from the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader (South Dakota) and the election in 2004, where certain residents were quoted saying that "people on the streets were saying you go vote, they would give you gas money, $10, maybe a pack of cigarettes..."

Now, this week in Las Vegas, at our election hotline, we received reports that some teachers' union representatives were offering Starbucks cards to people to get them to vote for Harry Reid. It is even more disturbing and may be possible that they are using their influence and authority as educators to entice students on behalf of Reid.

If these kinds of activities are going on—and knowing Democrats like we all do they most certainly are—then someone needs to go to jail.  The Nevada Secretary of State (a Democrat, natch) fired back, calling the allegations “conjecture” and “speculation.”


Fortunately, it appears that Angle is pulling away from Reid.  She’s a 3-to-1 favorite to win according to this forecast and polls are showing the typical, late breaking shift towards the challenger/leader.

If this race isn’t close, then Reid can’t steal it.