May 11, 2009

Waiter! I’ll Have What Steve Hoffman Is Having…

“Sure ma’am, Mr. Hoffman is having our ‘Falsehoods & Innuendo’ entree with a side dish of hate.”

Oh…never mind…I’ll stick with an order of truth, thanks.

I’ve been meaning to get to this laughable editorial by Steve Hoffman (ABJ).  It’s almost as if Steve was in a hurry to get it posted and didn’t have time to “check his work.”  Relevant however, is the clear sign of what we are going to see en masse from the liberal press as they scramble to help the democrats maintain seats in 2010…

Here is the tripe in its entirety (counterpoints are outside the block):

In the catbird seat, thanks to John Kasich

Strickland looks strong against another ideologue

By Steve Hoffman
Beacon Journal editorial writer

When the head of a well-respected think tank on public policy solutions for Ohio recently described Ted Strickland as ”in the catbird seat,” the hope being expressed was that the governor would eventually end up in an enviable position in budget negotiations.
Once the House (dominated by Democrats) and Senate (led by Republicans) pass their versions of the two-year spending plan, a conference committee will sort out the bloody details. And that, perhaps, could provide Strickland with political cover.
Stop. Why Steve, because it would be “bad” if Republicans slow the damage that [your] man-crush Mulligan has done to this state, or are you saying nothing “Republican” could ever be good?  Wow, your Uncle Karl would be so proud of you Steve-o…

Such a scenario seems wildly optimistic. When asked about it, Strickland said he sees himself ”in the hot seat” instead as Republicans criticize his spending blueprint as too dependent on one-time money to be sustainable in the long run.

Stop. So you condone Strickland taking a one-time, federal hand-out to plug holes in the state budget leaving us to clean up the mess after we throw [your] man-crush Mulligan out of office?  We’ll remember that Steve, when you complain about any, future budgets…

Last week, the House passed a budget bill to the governor’s liking, hiking spending by using rosier projections. But this week, Strickland’s budget director, Pari Sabety, projected a $600 million deficit in the current budget year, which ends June 30. That will put a big dent in the $948 million rainy day fund, which Strickland was counting on for the next two fiscal years.

Stop. Strickland can’t count Steve, that is the problem.  Your man-crush Mulligan is a buffoon.

Republican Bill Harris, the Senate president, indicated the Senate might have to draw up a whole new budget. Will Republicans blink and agree to a tax increase, even a temporary one? Don’t bet on it. Instead, they will cut, even if it means trashing Strickland’s sweeping plan to change school funding. Republicans will blame Strickland for acting irresponsibly, then portray themselves as bravely (and responsibly) making the tough choices.

Stop. Oh that’s rich.  You will blast Republicans for making tough choices in light of how Strickland has “turned around” education for the most vulnerable in this state?  Funny, I cannot find one post where you criticized your man-crush Mulligan for stripping (vetoing) vouchers away from disabled children, And how did he “turn that around?”  Well, instead of making provisions for them in the education budget, he (and the other “for the children” democrats) are trying to make small businesses pay for the gap through their insurance (via the costly HB 8 entrenched in this year’s budget)  Wow, nothing says “I love you educational lobby and want to pay you back for getting me elected,” like taking resources from disabled children.

From a public policy perspective, it’s hard to see how anything good would come out of that, since what Ohio needs to change course is increased investment in education and technology.

Still, it is entirely possible, even likely, that Strickland will be elected to a second four-year term next year. His path to the catbird seat isn’t a House-Senate conference committee, but the Republican Party’s apparent determination to nominate another right-wing ideologue as its candidate, John Kasich.

After sending Ken Blackwell up against Strickland in 2006 in a campaign that saw Strickland get 61 percent of the vote to Blackwell’s 37 percent, the Republicans might want to reconsider returning to the pragmatic, centrist approach that rebuilt the party in the 1980s.

Stop. Clearly you haven’t you been paying attention.  Republicans governing “in the center” is exactly why they have experienced the blood baths of 2006 & 2008.  While some might argue that NO Republican was going to win in 2006, Blackwell’s ideas were fine to most until he came out of the primary battered, bruised & broke and allowed the centrists up at the ORP (who were responsible for that condition), to run his campaign.  Note to Kevin DeWine & John Kasich.

But it’s probably too late for that. Kasich filed papers last week to begin raising money for next year’s race. Possible primary opponent Kevin Coughlin, a state senator from Cuyahoga Falls, is said to be getting out of the race.

Kasich is a former U.S. House member from central Ohio, not a position that generates statewide visibility. He is an on-air commentator for Fox News and was, for six years, managing director of Lehman Brothers’ investment banking division, until the company collapsed last fall.

Democrats are already targeting the Lehman Brothers connection, and being a television commentator might not be the kind of experience Ohioans want to turn to during a budget crisis.

Stop. Maybe not, but in 1994, John Kasich set out to get Washington’s house in order, and by 1997 his budget committee balanced the nation’s budget for the first time in 30 years.  Make no mistake Steve-o, THAT is EXACTLY the kind of leader we want.

Kasich’s big idea (Blackwell had his proposed constitutional amendment to cap state spending) is to gradually eliminate the state income tax, already trimmed 21 percent by members of his own party when they were in power in Columbus. (In fairness, the final phase of the cut is under Strickland’s watch.)

Stop. Ha!  By now we all know you haven’t ANY interest in being fair.  Regarding spending, that’s the problem with you marxists…you all think that it is good to spend more than any budget takes in…

Rather than stimulate the economy, growing it to the point where a lower tax rate generates the same or additional revenue, the tax cuts so far have helped contribute to the state’s bleak fiscal future, a structural deficit.

Stop. Ha!  That’s the other problem with marxists…you say things as if they are fact when they are only [hopeful] opinions that fit whatever cockamamie narrative you are trying to spew.

The end of Ohio’s income tax would result in the loss of 34 percent of the state’s revenue, a stunning number even in good times.

Stop. Gee, you forgot to mention here the upside of eliminating the income tax, the revenue it would generate, or give examples of the nine states like Texas, who currently run just fine without it.

So, yes, a recent Ohio Poll from the University of Cincinnati shows Strickland’s approval rating dropping to 56 percent, 5 percentage points less than a year ago, among Ohio adults. Given the circumstances, that’s not bad.

Stop. Interesting, whatever happened to “if the incumbent is barely breaking 50%, he’s in trouble” guideline?  Additionally, if very few have heard of Kasich as you assert, then I think those numbers are pretty impressive, especially with so much time left.  Lastly Steve, I can’t seem to find a post where you made the same allowance for G.W. Bush with something like: “The President’s poll numbers are dropping, but he did inherit a recession, had to deal with 9/11, successfullly prioritized national security, not to mention is dealing with a inept Congress & even more inept press corps.  Given those circumstances, his ratings aren’t bad…”

The latest statewide survey of Ohio voters by Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Conn., shows Strickland looking strong in a matchup with Kasich, beating him 51 percent to 32 percent, Blackwellian territory.

Stop. Ha!  Dream on sparky, even the most uninterested citizen is not going to buy a Blackwell comparison…

Sadly, Republican primary voters show signs of knowing better. In a hypothetical gubernatorial primary between former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine and Kasich, DeWine would win 35 percent to 23 percent. DeWine would lose to Strickland, but by 48 percent to 36 percent, if the race were held now.

Stop. Ha!  Funny you mention DeWine…there are many who plan on throwing [your] man-crush Mulligan out of office with as much fervor as they did DeWine.  You see, it’s not about D or R for many of us…it’s about good, responsible, LIMITED government, and Strickland simply isn’t getting it done.

Numbers like that have kept the former senator below the political radar as 2010 approaches. Not so with Kasich, something for which Strickland should give thanks every day.

So which is it, Steve?  A few paragraphs ago, you said it was unlikely that [your] man-crush Mulligan would be re-elected.  Now, Strickland should be happy that Kasich will be fraudulently beat up by two-bit partisan hacks pretending to be journalists who will “sway” the vote?

Don’t flatter yourself…you’re not that talented.

Quick Morning Moves

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:16 am

Life is intervening for a few hours, to be followed by a PJM column-drafting session, so posting by yours truly will be light.

In the meantime here’s advance notice that workers at the Hartmarx plant that makes President Barack Obama’s suits, and which was the subject of this post on Friday, are poised to do to it what unionized workers did with Obama’s blessing to Republic Window in December. This is from a “Workers United, an SEIU affiliate” press release (bolds are mine):

Chicago-area Factory Making President Obama’s Suits is Threatened with Closure by Bailout Recipient Wells Fargo

Union Workers Rally and Hold Historic “Sit In” Vote to Save their Jobs at Hartmarx Corp.

“Wells Fargo has received $25 billion in taxpayer assistance through TARP. In other words, the workers Wells Fargo may throw out on the street have been subsidizing its operations during these tough economic times. So much for returning the favor.” – Congressman Phil Hare

500 Hartmarx Workers Will Be Joined by SEIU President Andy Stern, Rep. Phil Hare, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias & Other State, National Leaders

CHICAGO, May 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — This Monday, May 11, 500 workers at the Chicago-based apparel firm Hart Schaffner & Marx will hold a rally and historic “sit in” vote to fight for their jobs as major lender and TARP fund recipient Wells Fargo & Co. pushes for a bankruptcy closure of the facility.

Mirroring the struggle of 250 Republic Windows and Doors workers who succeeded at saving their jobs last December, Hartmarx workers, members of the union Workers United, an SEIU affiliate, are receiving growing support from state and national leaders who are slamming Wells Fargo — a $25 billion taxpayer bailout recipient — for shortsightedly refusing to invest in U.S. companies and workers. Illinois Treasurer Giannoulias has vowed “Unless the company remains open, [Wells Fargo] will not be doing business with the state of Illinois any longer.”

The Hartmarx workers’ struggle sounds the alarm on what could be a firestorm of job losses and company closures perpetuated by U.S. financial institutions. Ruby Sims who has worked at Hartmarx for 31 years states “I can’t believe that a bank that got some of this [TARP] money would turn around and do us like this.”

In an effort to hold banks that have received over $450 billion in taxpayer bailout funds accountable for mounting costs to U.S. workers, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will announce the formation of a toll-free hotline to gather stories of workers hurt by shortsighted banking practices at Wells Fargo and other financial institutions.

Chicago-based Hartmarx, the largest menswear manufacturing company in the nation, filed for bankruptcy protection in January after U.S. banks curtailed its lines of credit. The clothing maker employs 3,500 across the nation, with about 1,000 of its employees located in Rock Island and suburban Des Plaines where suits for President Obama are made.

WHEN: Monday, May 11th at 10:00 a.m.-Noon CDT; Press Conference at 11:00 a.m. CDT

WHERE: Hart Schaffner & Marx factory, 1680 E. Touhy in Des Plaines.

**Reporters and camera crews will be allowed to observe an up or down vote on a “sit in” and interview workers afterwards. No one will be allowed inside the plant after 10:45 a.m. A rally will follow.

WHO: 500+ Hartmarx suitmakers, SEIU President Andy Stern, Rep. Phil Hare, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, other state and national leaders.

Workers United, an SEIU affiliate, is a union representing more than 150,000 workers in the US and Canada who work in the laundry, food service, hospitality, gaming, apparel, textiles manufacturing and distribution industries. Workers United is a the new incarnation of the former ILGWU, ACTWU, UNITE and UNITE HERE unions. ….

Somebody” thought that Republic Window was a test run for similar future efforts in December.

The other related item is this from Glenn Beck. It’s related because TARP lenders got rolled here too: