October 18, 2010

A Kucinich KO? Please Let It Be So

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:06 pm

This Weekly Standard item from Bill Kristol is so tantalizing to Ohio’s sensible conservatives that you have to keep telling yourself not to get your hopes up:

Dennis Menaced?
Is Kucinich in trouble?

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has obtained the results of a private poll conducted last night in Ohio-10, the Cleveland-area district held for seven terms by Democrat Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich has been widely viewed as safe—even though he fell short of 60 percent of the vote in 2008, and the district has a Cook PVI of only Dem +8. (Note: According to Gallup in July, the whole state is Dem +7 — Ed.).

The poll (based on a small but respectable 319 person sample, with a margin of error of 5.6 percent, weighted to eliminate gender bias) shows Kucinich ahead of his opponent, Peter Corrigan, by only 4 percent. The profile of undecided voters suggests they may break for Corrigan by about 3-2. And Corrigan’s 4 percent deficit turns into a 4 percent Corrigan lead when voters are given information on Kucinich’s ties to corrupt local Democratic leaders, and on Kucinich’s support for illegal immigration. These are signs that undecided voters could be pushed to go Corrigan’s way. Furthermore, Corrigan is running even with Kucinich among those who’ve already requested their absentee ballot, as early voting has already started in Ohio.

Look at 2008′s results, and you realize that an upset is not out of the question:

Kucinich (D) — 157,268 (57%)
Trakas (R) — 107,918 (39%)
Conroy (L) — 10,623 (4%)

Jim Trakas ran hard in a terrible year for Ohio Republicans with virtually no help from the state or national GOP — and lots of antagonism from ORPINO (the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) for having the nerve to challenge ultimate general election loser Greg Hartman for a while in the GOP Secretary of State primary in 2006. The guess here is that Barack Obama did far better in the 10th District against John McCain than Kucinich did against his opposition.

Can a strong candidate like Corrigan pull off a miracle? Watch the vid at his web site and you’ll see that he’s clearly a no-nonsense, analytical guy with real-world experience who is surely running a professional, thought-through campaign.

The Libertarian candidate seems to be a non-entity.

Kucinich? There has to be lingering resentment over his comical, embarrassing 2004 and 2008 presidential runs. There has to be fallout from the pervasive corruption in Cuyahoga County and his at least indirect association with it. There has to be a Tea Party-driven wind against him this time around from western suburbs like Bay Village and Rocky River. Yeah, the Plain Dealer inexplicably endorsed him after not doing so in 2008. But Kucinich’s reliance on votes from the West Side of Cleveland gets more problematic with each successive term, because people continue to leave Cleveland in droves, with African-Americans leaving at a faster rate than other population groups.

Will all of this be enough to unseat the Congressman from Outer Space?

Don’t know, but if scenarios like this one are emerging in supposedly untouchable seats in other parts of the country, we may have to find a new word to replace “landslide” on November 3.

Barney Sends Sean Bielat a Heckler

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:57 pm

“Do you guys believe this?”

When Barney Frank is in panic mode, something anyone could tell when back in August he all of a sudden decided that we should abolish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after being their champions for decades, I’ll believe anything.

I also believe that Sean Bielat will be a much better Congressman than Barney Frank has ever been. Ads like this one demonstrate Frank’s record of indefensible defense of the two mortgage monsters:

Lucid Links (101810, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:38 am

From the alternative universe known as the Toledo Blade:

TPS teacher who watched Obama sign bill is laid off

As Toledo Public Schools teacher Amanda VanNess stood in the Oval Office and watched President Obama sign an education stimulus bill, she already knew she’d lost her teaching job back home to budget cuts and low seniority.

The $26 billion stimulus bill, designed to save 160,000 teacher and other government jobs across the nation, couldn’t save her position at Pickett Elementary.

In fact, Ms. VanNess has been laid off twice from TPS this year.

TPS hasn’t spent a dollar of the $7.6 million in teacher rehire money it received from the Aug. 10 bill, opting instead to save it for next school year to rehire or retain a myriad school employees – probably not teachers.

The legislation allows the one-time money to be spent that way over the two school years.

And Ms. VanNess’ job loss has become political foil for the anti-Obama right as midterm elections approach.

Blade reporter Christopher D. Kirkpatrick is being such a tool. Sure, Obama badly wanted the legislation, but Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had to get it through Congress and the Senate — and you don’t have to “anti-Obama” or on the right to note what a completely dishonest charade the entire “mini-stimulus” exercise and its claim to have saved 160,000 teaching jobs has been.

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A commenter at my Pajamas Media column yesterday revealed additional issues in the foreclosure documentation mess:

The real problem has come to light in non-trust deed states where judicial foreclosures are required. Homeowner’s attorneys have the right to “discovery” to obtain all relevant documentation of the mortgage and its ownership history and in several cases in 7 states last I heard including California, lenders have been thrown out of court for failure to be able to demonstrate that they actually own the mortgage they seek to foreclose upon. In most cases, they haven’t even been able to find the original note. Uh-oh. The lender just lost its ability to foreclose. As more attorneys began to question lender documentation by filing suits in response to foreclosures in trust deed states – thus requiring judicial oversight, the lenders reasoned they could no longer maintain the subterfuge, and decided to pull back and examine what they’ve been doing – hence the current crisis.

I suspect the answer will be that congress will bail out the lenders in passing federal legislation which forgives or waives the necessity of compliance with local laws regarding proper written documentation and allowing electronic documentation to suffice. Without it, Fannie and Freddie will encounter untold losses, which the U.S. government has unfortunately agreed to make good. The current situation incentivizes NOT paying your mortgage, as the lender cannot foreclose in many if not most cases. A wave could well become a tsunami of mortgage defaults and bring down the entire system – Cloward-Piven. That’s why I believe the waiver legislation is coming.

The trouble with being confident that “the waiver legislation is coming” is that the Cloward-Piven Candidate is now the Cloward-Piven President, and Tim Geithner’s open-ended guarantee to provide relief without limits for Fred and Fan’s losses for the next few years appears to open the door to the opportunity to bring down the entire system.

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Meant to get to this a few weeks ago. Its relevance clearly hasn’t diminished. It’s from an alleged White House insider (“What the Hell Have We Done?”; HT RedState):

… we got Congressmen and Senators running for re-election right now whose political careers are about to be ended because they supported a president and a Democratic Party leadership that told them to do so. They trusted they would be politically protected, that the American people would agree with the agenda. Well guess what? That hasn’t happened. Good people, good Democrats, are being tossed aside like so much trash – and this White House DOES NOT GIVE A DAMN. In my eyes that is absolutely unforgivable. You just don’t do that to your own people. And some of these politicians are talking. They are – but for the most part the media is ignoring them because they don’t want to hurt the administration. To that I say enough! Do your damn job. Report what is going on within the Democratic Party. We need to clean up this mess, and it starts by getting the truth out there. …

… This White House doesn’t give a damn for the concept of loyalty, dedication, sincerity. This White House is the most self-centered, arrogant, and ignorant…they just don’t care to know what they are doing. And when they do it – consequences mean nothing to them. NOTHING. …

… right now – the man is simply not up to the task, and yet it is loyal Democrats who are paying the price for his incompetence and incoherence. The health care bill? Do you know I was told he has never read the bill? Not one part of it? NOT ONE. Sounds like something you would hear on one of the talk radio shows, right? And I wouldn’t normally consider such a possibility, but this came directly from one of those good Democrats who might now see their political careers ended because they supported that bill and now its being used against them like some political sledgehammer. How is that supposed to make someone who put their career on the line feel? Betrayed.

Guess what? The president was briefed on the bill – he never read it – it was a damn running joke among all of them! But leading up to the vote, back when the battle was raging in Congress, President Obama was throwing fits over the delays, telling his aides something to the effect, “I don’t care what it is I just want something on my desk to sign. Get me a –expletive- bill. Just get me something to –expletive- sign.” And that is just what those Democrats in Congress did – they got the president a bill. And now they are paying a very high political price, and this president appears to care less. He is basically telling members of his own party “You got me my bill and thank you very much. Now go to hell.”

“What the hell have we they done?” indeed — to us.

My well of compassion for them has run dry. Many of them were close enough to Obama to have an understanding of what they were getting into — and did so anyway. Victory uber alles. Others who compromised what they claim are their core beliefs, including Democrats who claim to be prolife like OH-01′s Steve Driehaus, should have suspected that they’d be thrown overboard if others more worthy required saving.

As to the idea that “that the American people would agree with the agenda” — horse manure. They knew better. They thought (sadly, mostly correctly) that they could get “the agenda” through knowing full well that a significant majority of the American people would oppose it once they understood it. They didn’t care, because they thought their incumbency and GOP clumsiness would protect them. They didn’t anticipate the Tea Party movement. Oops.

As to the media, they won’t turn on Obama unless/until they recognize that he’s not able to advance the statist agenda. Despite the complaints noted, we’re not there.

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Paging KathleenShut up and eat your costsSebelius:

Health Care Reform Blamed for Huge Hike in Premiums

The state has given Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield the go ahead to raise premiums by as much as 47 percent for some members, and says health care reform is the reason why.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Insurance Commissioner Thomas Sullivan on Oct. 6, asking what he called “excessive” increases were approved without full consideration of all the facts. His letter mentioned rate increases for both Anthem and Aetna.

The new rates took effect Oct. 1, and include increases from 19 percent all the way to 47 percent depending on the individual, the Hartford Courant reported.

Sullivan responded to Blumenthal saying the new rates included “very rich benefits” mandated by federal law.
“There is not one person in the state of Connecticut who will see an increase in their current premiums based on what the department approved for Anthem and Aetna,” Sullivan said in a release. “The rates that were filed and approved reflect the current cost to deliver care and the impact of more comprehensive benefit designs required under the federal healthcare reform law. If the attorney general wants to complain to someone, he should complain to Congress.”

Sebelius threatened to cut companies whose rate increases are “excessive” and who — correctly — blame them on ObamaCare out of health insurance exchanges. What is she going to do to a state bureaucracy that does the same thing?

RIP, Mildred Jefferson

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Massachusetts Citizens for Life, in an e-mail:

Mildred Fay Jefferson, MD, nationally known pro-life leader, has died at the age of 84. Dr. Jefferson was the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School. She was the first woman to be a surgical intern at Boston City Hospital and the first woman admitted to membership in the Boston Surgical Society. Dr. Jefferson was the recipient of honorary degrees from twenty-eight colleges and universities.

Nationally known for her leadership in the right-to-life movement in America, Dr. Jefferson asserted, “I became a physician in order to help save lives. I am at once a physician, a citizen, and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow the concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged, and the planned have the right to live.”

Dr. Jefferson helped to establish the National Right to Life Committee and served three times as its president. At the time of her death, Dr. Jefferson served as President of the Right to Life Crusade, Director of NRLC, and Director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. She was a founding member of the Board of Governors and a past President of the Value of Life Committee of Massachusetts. She was also active with the American Life League and Americans United for Life Legal Defense Fund and Black Americans for Life.

Born in Pittsburg, Texas, Dr. Jefferson was the daughter of Guthrie (Roberts) Jefferson, a public school teacher, and Millard F. Jefferson, a Methodist minister. She attended public schools in East Texas, earned a B.A. degree summa cum laude from Texas College in Tyler, Texas and a M.S. degree from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts before attending Harvard Medical School.

After her Harvard Medical School graduation, Dr. Jefferson served as a general surgeon with the former Boston University Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at Boston University Medical School.

More: National Right To Life Committee press release.

Also: An item about the near-absence of media coverage of Dr. Jefferson’s death is here at NewsBusters.org.