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Monday, September 15, 2014

Senate Polls Portend Bad News For GOP's 2016 Presidential Run

ALSO AT "AMERICAN THINKER" LINK

Electoral-Vote.com the site that gives an analysis of political races based on the "poll of the day" (or an aggregate of polls if more than one for a particular race comes out on the same day) has good news for the GOP. Its current map for the senate has the Republicans up 51 to the Dem's 48, with Kansas "tied" (which is how they get around having an independent in the lead there at the moment.) FIGURE 1


Clearly the good news for the GOP is that even with, the probably unlikely, loss of Kansas they still would win the senate with 51 seats (they need 51 as a tie would see VP Biden give the casting vote for the administration. The site map shows that on current polling the southern states of Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina would be won by Republican challengers. With Alaska returning to its tradition conservative fold, and Kansas back where it has been since the 1920's, the GOP can afford to lose one of the southern states, North Carolina for instance and still have the majority.

That southern states and Alaska, all of which,except NC, were won by McCain and Romney with substantial margins, should swing back to the Republicans in these second term mid-terms when the sitting president is unpopular to say the least is hardly a mystery. That the current polling shows the GOP candidates leads as very slim, and in some instances disappearing now and then, under the substantially propitious political environment is a cause for concern no doubt, but the picture for 2016 can be considered as very bleak.

Electoral-Vote.com's senate seat apportionment based on up to the minute polling sees Michigan, Virginia, New Hampshire and Minnesota as solidly blue. These states had good to large margins for President Obama in 2008 and 2012 and they could be considered as long shots regardless of the political climate.

That being said, there must be a degree of disappointment that, at present, the GOP candidates aren't making much of a fight of it in these states. Of course anything is possible, and if the pollsters have got their calculations for Republican turnout and enthusiasm and Democratic stay at home and disillusion wrong, or if there is some October surprise of a negative nature then any of these states, except for Virginia, might tip into the GOP's hands-but they are not needed at the moment.

The problem for the GOP going forward is the polling in Iowa and Colorado. Electoral-Vote.com and Real Clear Politics has them both in the blue column-Colorado is also in the Dem's column in the governors race. Not by much but, given the current climate it might well be expected they too would be marginally Republican.

Looking at the Electoral College map for 2016 if Virginia, which has gone Democratic twice in a row, quite comfortably actually, Colorado and Iowa vote blue then there appears no path to 270 electoral votes needed for a GOP win even if they regain Florida and Ohio. In fact, even if the Republicans win Virginia they would still need either Iowa or Colorado to get to 270 as the map at  270ToWin shows. Being behind in these three states at present portends disaster frankly and running another "Establishment" candidate, when three of such out of the last four have lost, doesn't seem a remedy. FIGURE 2

Perhaps it is time for the Republicans to run a grass roots candidate who can rouse the millions of conservatives who have stayed home, especially if Hillary runs. In what manner another centrist candidate can motivate the base and overturn the trends to the Dem's in these three crucial states is not easy to fathom. 


If however the establishment persist in running such candidates the only remedy, apart for an economic collapse which nobody wants, is to wait until the next census. At that point the drift to the south which gave the GOP extra electoral votes in 2012 would see them get past 270 (if they win Florida/Virginia/Ohio of course) without Iowa and Colorado. 

If Virginia is solidly in the Dem's column it may take many such mathematical and population drift arrangements by which time the GOP may have folded their tents. The choice is up to the Establishment or, a consummation devoutly to be wished, the rank and file in the primary season.

                                                        FIGURE 1

FIGURE 2



Monday, September 8, 2014

Tax Cuts Ended Depression-Created Decade Long Expansion

This extract from Wikipedia on the economic policy under the Harding administration, in respect of the stimulus effects of tax cuts, speaks for itself. There were brief recessions within the subsequent boom period but all that means is the business cycle is an inherent aspect of capitalism. 

That tax cuts are better than deficit spending seems beyond discussion. Even if deficit spending does eventually stimulate the economy, and look how much deficit spending has been done under Obama with limited effect so far, the end result is inflation and debt. Tax cuts increase government revenue over time,cut unemployment and any inflationary effects are easily managed through traditional mechanisms.


On March 4, President Harding assumed office while the nation was in the midst of a postwar economic decline, known as the Depression of 1920–21. By summer of his first year in office, an economic recovery began.
President Harding convened the Conference of Unemployment in 1921, headed by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, that proactively advocated stimulating the economy with local public work projects and encouraged businesses to apply shared work programs.[118]
Harding's Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon, ordered a study that claimed to demonstrate that as income tax rates were increased, money was driven underground or abroad. Mellon concluded that lower rates would increase tax revenues. Based on this advice, Harding cut taxes, starting in 1922. The top marginal rate was reduced annually in four stages from 73% in 1921 to 25% in 1925. Taxes were cut for lower incomes starting in 1923.[119]
Revenues to the treasury increased substantially. Unemployment also continued to fall. Libertarianhistorian Thomas Woods contends that the tax cuts ended the Depression of 1920–21—even though economic growth had begun before the cuts—and were responsible for creating a decade-long expansion.[120] Historians Schweikart and Allen attribute these changes to the tax cuts.[121]Schweikart and Allen also argue that Harding's tax and economic policies in part "...produced the most vibrant eight year burst of manufacturing and innovation in the nation's history."[122] The combined declines in unemployment and inflation (later known as the Misery Index) were among the sharpest in U.S. history. Wages, profits, and productivity all made substantial gains during the 1920s.
Daniel Kuehn attributes the improvement to the earlier monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, and notes that the changes in marginal tax rates were accompanied by an expansion in the tax base that could account for the increase in revenue.[123] However:
Robert Gordon, a Keynesian, admits, “government policy to moderate the depression and speed recovery was minimal. The Federal Reserve authorities were largely passive. … Despite the absence of a stimulative government policy, however, recovery was not long delayed.” Kenneth Weiher, an economic historian, notes, “despite the severity of the contraction, the Fed did not move to use its powers to turn the money supply around and fight the contraction.” He then briskly concedes that “the economy rebounded quickly from the 1920-1921 depression and entered a period of quite vigorous growth.”[115]


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Three Historic Convention Speeches that Changed History;Bryan 1896 Reagan 1976 Palin 2008



Governor Sarah Palin's vice-presidential nomination speech at the Republican convention 2008







 The climactic portion of William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech at the Democratic convention of 1896.The applause went on for thirty minutes and propelled the barely known ex-congressman from Nebraska to the nomination



  Governor Ronald Reagan's impromptu address to the 1976 Republican convention after he had,narrowly, lost the nomination to president Ford "Reagan's Impromptu Speech at 1976 GOP Convention" http://youtu.be/fy57g5ptpSs

GOP Can Have 58 Senate Seats These Mid-Terms

UPDATE:


Also at American Thinker as;

( Click title for  link)  58 Senate Seats for the GOP?"


A substantial number of political prognosticators, bloggers and professional psephologist including the likes of the highly respected Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight site give the Republican's a substantial chance of not only picking up senate seats in November, but of getting at least 51 and thus a working majority (50 seats would see a tie with Vice-President Biden giving the Dem's a majority).

Where the seers differ is not only the percentage probability of the Republicans gaining control of the senate, just how many seats the GOP will end up with. This is where the tracking poll sites like "Real Clear Politics" and "Electoral-Vote.com" come to the fore.

 Their weekly, or even daily, results as to which party is leading in the contestable states varies according to the most  recent polls they track but for some considerable time the GOP has been in a majority, or near majority situation.

RCP gives the GOP 52 seats, one above the required number for a majority based on seven pick ups. These include South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana all three of which even the most partisan Democratic party support sites have given up on.That takes a more or less guaranteed floor for the GOP of 48 seats (from the current 45).

RCP also assigns to the GOP, based on current aggregate polling, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina. These highly contested states see leads of under two points and of course any or all could go to the Dem's. 

But given the current state of President Obama's approval rating and a general feeling of malaise in the country as well as foreign policy problems, it is just as likely that the GOP will win all four. That brings the total to 52, seven pick up's, which is exactly what RCP advises the current situation is 

Electoral-Vote.com which assigns states based on the latest reputable poll has a 50-50 tie at present, having Iowa as an exact tie but assigns Alaska to the GOP based on the first post Republican primary poll. Alaska would be the 53rd seat and, given the states voting history that is a result with a more than strong possibility.

Are there any further realistic possibilities for the Republicans? yes, absolutely. If we look at the RCP aggregate polling which have Democrat's currently in the lead, the leads are such that they are well within reach. 

If for example President Obama makes a major policy statement on immigration, or some foreign policy drama unfolds or, as in 2008 there is a significant stock market correction, then the comparatively small leads can be overturned. 

In point of fact it might not even need some dramatic event, rather a depressed Democratic voter base staying home whilst an energized Republican base votes in large numbers, as is historically the case in the mid-terms.

Thus Democratic leads of 2.5 in Colorado and 3.8 in Michigan are hardly beyond the bounds of probability. In fact, Electoral-Vote.com assigns Colorado to the GOP as of today  based on the most recent polling of the state.

 The lead of 6.6 points in New Hampshire does, on the face of it look prohibitive, but remember RCP is an aggregate poll and the latest individual poll shows Republican Scott Brown within only two points. These three would take the GOP to 56 senate seats.

And the two further seats to get to 58? These could come from two senators switching from Dem to GOP.
Again, this is well within the bounds of being possible. Firstly Senator Manchin in West Virginia might see the omens from his state moving solidly into the Republican column in the presidential elections. 

He might take further note of West Virginia;s Republican senate candidate Shelley Moore Capito holding  a 17 point lead over her Dem opponent and bow to the obvious will of the people and the fact that he is at odds with the Democratic position on coal That takes the total to 57.

And the 58th seat? Maine's Independent senator Angus King has been the subject of such switching speculation since at least April and has left the door wide open; (Washington Post) "Angus King suggests he may caucus  with GOP if they retake the senate." 

To make this 58th seat more than mere speculation King advised  that "I'll make my decision at the time  on what I think is best for Maine." There is also the possibility of high powered senate committee appointments which might come into the thinking of these gentlemen.

Perhaps it might be for the best for the Republicans-and the country too if the GOP stopped at this maximum result. If two more seats were available and a veto overriding majority and even an impeachment majority came into play the results might be sub-optimal for the GOP's 2016 presidential or even congressional results.

Fifty eight senate seats might see some solid conservative legislation passed, which could signal to the country that in 2016 a Republican senate majority would be worth continuing with in what would normally be a Democratic party year based on the seats being contested.







Saturday, August 30, 2014

Attended A Meeting Of Brave & Dedicated Women Setting Up Refuge In Bangladesh

As Leprosy Mission's Ambassador To Ethnic Communities I was honored to be invited to a forum by Shakti Ethnic Women's Refuge to set up a similar group based in Bangladesh. 

These are women of courage and determination as some of the horrific,unbearable to see, violence against women images shown proved. 

The challenges to overcome religious/social/bureaucratic hurdles is immense but their will and the need can make it happen. Here are the fantastic women of the steering committee and my delightful host Sharmen.



Friday, August 15, 2014

Liberal "Newsweek" In Last Issue Finally Tells The Truth About Obama;"inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, "

From Lanahi at C4P

"The liberal Newsweek 
Magazine is going out of business. This is their last 
cover before they fold. As many of you know, Newsweek has a reputation 
for being extremely liberal. The fact that their editor saw fit to print
the following article about Obama and the one that appears in the 
latest Newsweek, makes this a truly amazing event, and a news story in 
and of itself.
By Matt Patterson (Newsweek Columnist - Opinion Writer)
"Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 
election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, 
the result of a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the 
witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so 
devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he 
could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most 
powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?
Imagine a future historian examining Obama's 
pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League, despite 
unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a 
"community organizer;" a brief career as a state legislator devoid of 
legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, 
less often did he vote "present"); and finally an unaccomplished single 
term in the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to 
his presidential ambitions.
He left no 
academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a 
legislator. And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: 
the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as 
Obama's "spiritual mentor;" a real-life, actual terrorist who served as 
Obama's colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future 
historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man 
elected president? There is no evidence that he ever attended or worked 
for any university or that he ever sat for the Illinois bar. We have no 
documentation for any of his claims. He may well be the greatest hoax in
history.
Not content to wait for 
history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question 
recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be sure, no white candidate who 
had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah 
Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers, would have lasted a
single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in 
the eyes of liberal Dom to have hung out with protesters against various
American injustices, even if they were 'a bit' extreme, he was given a 
pass. Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass - held to a lower 
standard because of the color of his skin.
Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history 
matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had
said) "non-threatening," all of which gave him a fighting chance to 
become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism 
to rest?
Podhoretz puts his finger, I 
think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon - affirmative 
action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the 
motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations,
which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white
liberals, feel good about themselves.
Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves
on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which 
they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable 
poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don't 
care if these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to witness 
the emotional devastation and deflated self-esteem resulting from the 
racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist. Holding someone 
to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin - that's 
affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism, then nothing
is.
And that is what America did to 
Obama. True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of 
achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he
was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at 
Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a 
mediocre record in Illinois; he was told he was good enough to be 
president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every 
step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in
spite of ample evidence to the contrary.
What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display 
every time Obama speaks? In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked 
executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills,
intellect, and cool character. Those people -conservatives included - 
ought now to be deeply embarrassed.
The 
man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clich� and that's when he has 
his Teleprompters in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can 
barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from
his mouth - it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed 
over and over again for 100 years. (An example is his 2012 campaign 
speeches which are almost word for word his 2008 speeches)
And what about his character? Obama is constantly 
blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it 
was bad luck; I inherited this mess. Remember, he wanted the job, 
campaigned for the task. It is embarrassing to see a president so 
willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own 
incompetence. (The other day he actually came out and said no one could 
have done anything to get our economy and country back on track). But 
really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for 
anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly? In short: our 
president is a small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the 
intellect to handle his job. When you understand that, and only when you
understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity 
make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such an impostor in 
the Oval Office."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sarah Palin Act 2; Ready For Hillary



Sarah Palin Act 2

It would of course be absolutely correct to advise that "Sarah Palin Act 2" would be a well out date topic given her numerous "rebirths" since 2008-taking her vice-presidential nomination as an arbitrary starting point. 

Her resignation as Governor of Alaska, rebirth as a television "reality show" star, media pundit, then a bus tour media frenzy possible presidential run, Fox pundit, ex-Fox pundit, Fox pundit again and various other manifestations of Palin activity can all be assigned as Acts 2 through-well the number would be arbitrary and anyone's guess.

However, a constant running through all these activities and media speculations was that the personality, or rather persona of Sarah Palin who rocked the political world to its foundations at the Republican convention in 2008, was basically the same from then till now. 

Certainly there were low moments where the basic, almost impenetrably bounciness that friend and foe alike have come to know as "Sarah Palin" seemed to lose a little of its normally 1000 watt brightness but for the most part the sunny uplands that was the visage and aura of Palin remained pretty much the same.

Until her address at The Western Conservative Summit meeting in Denver

The absolutely correctly appellated "Virginia Gentleman" a stalwart of the long term Palin support site "Conservatives4Palin" commented, in his unique manner, on her address " Watch the fire in her eyes. The firm and purposeful set of her jaw. The supremely confident body language. You are looking at the woman who will be POTUS45."  

Such near hagiography is understandable from long term supporters, and finds its expression from amongst those who are emotionally and, it is fair to say, spiritually dedicated to advancing the cause of Governor Palin. 

But, even if such strength of feeling is distilled from the particular event which gave rise to it, I believe even a dispassionate observer, in fact it would be, perhaps, not going to  far to say that even a political enemy, would see that something has happened to the previously well known personality.


What ever number of "acts' on the political, media or what ever else level eventuate, they will be happening under "Act two" of a new Palin persona. "Virginiana Gentleman" is correct, what was shown in Denver was a gravitas not seen heretofore. 

Certainly a vigorous Palin, an angry Palin, has been on display during speeches and interviews but the basic imperturbable person was not far below the surface and soon bounced back, usually preceded by a quip or a take down.

What was noticeable was that even with, what is normal for a speaker, Palin's opening light hearted remark seemed almost throwaway rather than given with the bounciness that such remarks usually were made with. 

Anyone who was at the speech, or who watched it on video, would have noted a clear change of mood from many previous address that I can recall. Here was a sober,(but certainly not sombre) sharp witted, at times caustic with a sabre-not the wooden sword of past speeches Palin.

This Palin, if asked by Charlie Gibson what her attitude to "the Bush doctrine" was would have said not "in what respect Charlie" but "Mr. Gibson you and perhaps 1% of Americans would be the only people with a clue as to what the purported :Bush doctrine is but I'll answer your question anyway." 

This "Act 2 " Palin would have dismissed Couric as a buffoon and her other media critics as hardly worth considering. Most importantly, the Palin on display in Denver would be, at least, an equal for Hillary Clinton.

"Virginia gentleman" went on to say "she is on war footing and is not taking prisoners. I rather expected that she would take Obama to the woodshed and beat him bloody and I wasn't disappointed. She flayed the skin off of him! " One wonders how long President  Obama can take being beaten up verbally by Palin like this, especially as his media sycophants are deserting him one by one but if he does respond the new Palin will be ready as she was with her reply to Eric Holder in Denver.

 Is Palin Act 2 on display in Denver the first real indication of a 2016 run? If it is it would be enough by itself to put  fear into the other potential candidates. This is indeed a formidable, tempered and tough politician and the media should take note,treat her with respect due to her station amongst the rank and file or they will, as in 2008, be left at the starting gate with dust and egg on their collective faces.

"Virginia Gentleman's" full review of Governor Palin's speech can be  found at this LINK
And Governor Palin's Denver Address at this LINK






Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Finally-A Sensible, Intellectual, Insightful New Blog From The Center-Left; "The Sheppard Post"




Highly Recommended "The Sheppard Post"   http://sheppardpost.com/

There is,at last, a center-left site of intellect and in-depth analysis, everything that Ezra Klein's newish "Vox" set out to be but failed because of overt partisanship.

There is here much food for thought that even conservatives can mull over e.g. the article on "What would a Rand Paul presidency look like"-an unexamined question by anyone in the media that I am aware of, and a question of much import.

the current generation of leftist commentators are either umbilical cord attached to President Obama, Weigel, Klein etc etc and are forever JournOlist conspiracy condemned to be so.Or,they are stuck in the Bush years of ultra-partisanship and irrational hate to anything not deemed "progressive.

Examples  such as Daily Kos, have "progressed" beyond Obama worship to the outer fringes of radical leftism as for example has Firedoglake. The mad sites such as Gawker, and the execrable Wonkette, are beyond any sort of intellectual reckoning as are the supposed hipster sites like New York Magazine and Esquire Politics where Charles P. Pierce rants and raves.

The Sheppard Post represents the voice of an unencumbered new generation on the left who can see things without the fog of "Hope and Change" still clouding their eyes, and such dispassionate,albeit center-left viewpoint can attract conservatives who can agree to disagree in the battle of idea and ideals.

A warm welcome to the team at The Sheppard Post and let the battle begin! LINK