May 17, 2010

Latest Washington Examiner Opinion Zone Post (‘Pushing Portman’) Is Up

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:44 pm

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog early on Thursday morning (link won’t work until then), so I can carry it forward during the day if it seems appropriate.

One thing that didn’t get into the post: The immature, overgrown frat-boy video (since pulled in a copyright dispute) put out by the Republican Senatorial Committee targeting Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Lee Fisher. The “level” of “humor” in the ad stopped being funny to most adult Ohioans once they reached the age of about 20. Yeah, it leverages something really foolish Lugubrious Lee did last June, but it didn’t have to go where it disgracefully went.

Rob Portman also didn’t have to wait a couple of days to denounce the ad. But he did. It’s because, as I noted at the Examiner post, Portman and his campaign think they can operate in cruise control and drift to victory in November. No they can’t — not if they want to win, and especially not if they want to win big.

Rob Portman 2010 may equal Dick Thornburgh 1991.

Thank You, Chuck Green

This goes back a few months at the Aurora, Colorado Sentinel (HT to an e-mailer), but it’s well-timed given that the establishment press is crowing about how successful they’ve been in marketing the patent falsehood that the current economy is still George W. Bush’s fault (and even though President Obama supported all of the ill-advised things Bush 43 did in his final months in office):

Obama is a victim of Bush’s failed promises

Barack Obama is setting a record-setting number of records during his first year in office.

Largest budget ever. Largest deficit ever. Largest number of broken promises ever. Most self-serving speeches ever. Largest number of agenda-setting failures ever. Fastest dive in popularity ever.

Wow. Talk about change.

… Of course, they don’t see it as self imposed. It’s all George Bush’s fault.

George Bush, who doesn’t have a vote in Congress and who no longer occupies the White House, is to blame for it all.

He broke Obama’s promise to put all bills on the White House web site for five days before signing them.

He broke Obama’s promise to have the congressional health care negotiations broadcast live on C-SPAN.

He broke Obama’s promise to end earmarks.

He broke Obama’s promise to keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent.

He broke Obama’s promise to close the detention center at Guantanamo in the first year.

He broke Obama’s promise to make peace with direct, no pre-condition talks with America’s most hate-filled enemies during his first year in office, ushering in a new era of global cooperation.

He broke Obama’s promise to end the hiring of former lobbyists into high White House jobs.

He broke Obama’s promise to end no-compete contracts with the government.

He broke Obama’s promise to disclose the names of all attendees at closed White House meetings.

He broke Obama’s promise for a new era of bipartisan cooperation in all matters.

He broke Obama’s promise to have chosen a home church to attend Sunday services with his family by Easter of last year.

Yes, it’s all George Bush’s fault. President Obama is nothing more than a puppet in the never-ending, failed Bush administration.

… It is all George Bush’s fault.

Will the failed administration of George Bush ever end, and the time for hope and change ever arrive?

Will President Obama ever accept responsibility for something — anything?

Read the whole thing. Given the passage of time, perhaps readers can come up with additional examples beyond those Mr. Green cited.

Strickland Administration Drive For Dependency Datum of the Day: Already-Bloated Welfare/TANF Caseload Is Way Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:08 am

money-down-the-drainThe percentage of Ohio’s population receiving “traditional welfare” benefits (i.e., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF) has been much higher than the national average for many years, for no apparent reason.

But what I discovered in the course of drafting my column (at Pajamas Media; at BizzyBlog; Friday’s BizzyBlog tease) on Oklahoma’s economic progress since the Sooner State passed immigration law-enforcement reform in 2007 should stun every Ohioan concerned about whether the Buckeye State can ever reverse its slide into economic oblivion.

Ohio’s welfare/TANF caseload as of September 2008 was 178,652, or about 1.55% of the state’s population. Ohio’s share of the national caseload excluding certified basket case California (where TANF enrollment as a percentage of the population is almost four times the average for the rest of the country) was 7%, even though the state’s population as a percentage of the country’s total population excluding California was about 4%.

That’s bad enough, but in the next 12 months, Ohio added almost 49,000 recipients to the welfare rolls. I’m not kidding. As of September 30, 2009 the caseload was 227,363 — a 27% increase.

No other state besides Oregon (roughly +0.53%) added a larger percentage of its population to its TANF/welfare rolls during fiscal 2009 than did Ohio (+0.42%, to a total of 1.97%) — not even California (0.35%). Only one other state (Washington, at 41%), came close.

Sorry, but Ohio’s certifiably awful economy is not an excuse, because that doesn’t explain away the following:

  • In Illinois (of all places), where the unemployment rate has been running in tandem with Ohio’s for about the past two years, total welfare/TANF enrollment as of September 30, 2009 was only 55,394, or 0.43% of the state’s population, and only went up by about 900 (that’s not a misprint) during the twelve previous months. Ohio’s caseload as a percentage of the state’s population is over 4-1/2 times higher than that of Illinois.
  • Kentucky’s unemployment rate went from 6.9% to 10.9% during the same period, but its TANF caseload only increased by 2,000.
  • In Michigan as of June 2009 (lastest data available), the caseload was 1.6% of the state’s population and fell  – that’s right, fell – by about 5,000 during the previous 12 months.

Given the facts and surrounding circumstances, it’s hard not to conclude that the Strickland administration, building on a 10-year legacy of failure by ORPINO (Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) governors who preceded him to pursue the national welfare reform law of 1996 as aggressively as the rest of the country, has mounted a determined drive to increase the number of government-dependent Buckeye State residents — and, not coincidentally, Democrat-inclined voters.

What else explains this?

Positivity: Survey again shows self-identified pro-lifers slightly outnumber pro-choice in U.S.

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 7:20 am

From the Catholic News Agency (underlying Gallup report, entitled “The New Normal on Abortion: Americans More ‘Pro-Life,’” is here):

A Gallup poll of Americans’ views on abortion again reports that slightly more Americans self-identify as pro-life instead of pro-choice. While the number of pro-life Democrats is down, a shift is apparent among Republicans and Independents.

A poll conducted May 3-6 showed 47 percent of Americans say they are pro-life while 45 percent say they are pro-choice, Gallup reports, claiming a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Particularly large increases in pro-life sympathies are apparent among young adults and those aged 50 to 64 years.

In 2009, 56 percent of Gallup respondents said abortion was morally wrong, a number which declined to 50 percent this year. Gallup said in light of this fact it was “not entirely clear” why Americans are more likely to embrace the pro-life view.

Since 2003, Republicans have been more likely to call themselves pro-life, as 68 percent now do so. Republican-leaning independents have been trending pro-life since 2005 and 61 percent say they self-identify as such now. Independents without a party preference became more likely to call themselves pro-life between 2003 and 2006 but have since held steady. …

Go here for the rest of the CNA story, and here for the Gallup report.