September 24, 2011

Cain’s Convincing Fla. Straw Poll Win Refutes Press Meme That GOP Nomination Is Two-Person Race

Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll tonight, winning the votes of 37% of those who participated. No other candidate came within 20 points of Cain.

As of 8:20 p.m., roughly two hours after the result was announced, the Associated Press’s Philip Elliott and Kasie Hunt had a blatantly obvious contradiction in their 6:51 p.m. story (“Perry works to show he’s strongest GOP contender”; saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes), as seen in this comparison of Paragraph 2 to Paragraphs 12-14 (bolds are mine throughout this post):

(Paragraph 2)

Perry lost a key test vote in Florida to businessman Herman Cain on Saturday after making a strong effort to win. Perry’s second-place finish in the straw poll came just days after he faltered in a debate in Orlando, Fla.

(Paragraphs 12-14)

Cain captured 37.1 percent of the vote at Saturday’s Presidency 5 straw poll in Orlando, with Perry coming in second with 15.4 percent. Mitt Romney came in third with14 percent and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania followed with 10.88 percent. (Complete standings are here — Ed.)

While all declared candidates were on the ballot, the first-tier candidates did not compete. Perry bought hundreds of activists’ breakfasts on the sidelines before heading to Michigan. Romney skipped and didn’t send representatives to the forum. Romney and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota both left Florida before the voting began and their campaigns discounted the straw poll’s role in the campaign. Bachmann finished eighth with 1.51 percent in the straw poll.

The results were unlikely to shuffle the campaign’s standings. Instead, they were mostly a popularity contest among the delegates selected by local party organizations.

What?

Geez guys, make up your minds:
(more…)

Fla. Straw Poll: Cain’s Triumph is Plain

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:46 pm

herman-cain_052111Take that, media rats and Republicrats.

Okay, it’s a straw poll. But what I’ve told fellow broadcasters Matt and Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion in the past applies here, namely that straw polls mean nothing — unless the people I like do well. :–>

In all seriousness, the excerpted text and the margin of victory would seem to give Herman Cain’s runaway Florida straw poll win far more than minor significance:

Herman Cain wins GOP Florida straw poll; Rick Perry in second place

Former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain won the Presidency 5 straw poll here Saturday, delivering a blow to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s frontrunner status and a victory for a candidate who has struggled to transform his grassroots popularity into strong showings in national polls.

“Tonight’s winner is Herman Cain,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced. “It shows you something, the road to the White House come through Florida, and it pays to spend time here.”

He received 37 percent of the more than 2,600 votes cast.

“Thank you to the Republican voters for this incredible honor of being named the winner of the Presidency 5 straw poll in Florida today,” Mr. Cain said. “This is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored. I will continue to share my message of ‘common-sense solutions’ across this country and look forward to spending more time in Florida, a critical state for both the nomination and the general election.”

The two national frontrunners — Mr. Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — placed second and third. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, meanwhile, landed in fourth place; Rep. Ron Paul of Texas landed in fifth place; and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, sixth. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann finished last.

The specifics:
- Herman Cain, 37.1%
- Rick Perry, 15.4%
- Mitt Romney, 14.0%
- Rick Santorum, 10.9%
- Ron Paul, 10.4%
- Newt Gingrich, 8.4%
- Jon Huntsman, 2.3%
- Michele Bachmann, 1.5%

Tonight, Florida was plainly Cain’s domain. His victory margin is nothing short of a good old-fashioned butt-kicking, and throws the race to the nomination wide open, as it should be.

There’s also more than a little historical significance:

Previous straw polls have predicted the GOP nominee.

Ronald Reagan won in 1979, George H.W. Bush in 1987 and Kansas Sen. Bob Dole in 1995. The Republican Party of Florida, however, has not organized the test vote in recent years.

This proves the absolute truth of what Mark Levin and several others have properly been insisting for a few weeks, and what I’ve been meaning to say for some time: This is NOT a two-person race, no matter how aggressively the establishment press and establishment Republicans try to force-feed the rest of us that ridiculous notion.

Solyndra Lessons Which Won’t Be Learned Until 2013 — If Then

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:27 am

In the final web page of Stephen F. Hayward’s “President Solyndra — and His Mean, Green, Wealth-Wasting Machine” article at the Weekly Standard (bolds are mine):

While there seems little doubt that the White House took an inordinate interest in Solyndra and bigfooted the loan through the DOE, the Solyndra story should be understood more broadly for what it highlights about the economic illiteracy of liberalism today, especially in its “green energy” guise.

… Quite aside from the issue of how many of the loans end up being squandered is the more fundamental question of why we’re doing this on such a scale in the first place. How far we’ve come since 1979, when there was a serious national debate about whether it was appropriate for the government to provide a mere $1.5 billion loan guarantee to Chrysler​—​a legacy company with more plausible prospects for profitability than Solyndra. Opponents argued then that once the government starts backstopping individual businesses, it will undermine the discipline of the marketplace and create a moral hazard. Now we’re bailing out auto companies directly and handing out billions in loan guarantees like Halloween candy to shaky startups, with scarcely any debate. Looks like the Chrysler loan critics had a point.

The rationale for the energy loan guarantee​—​that such “public-private partnerships” reduce risk and catalyze private capital where it otherwise wouldn’t go​—​is probably wrong, and is certainly a less than productive use of private capital.

… The “green tech” bubble is already bursting; even the New York Times has noticed, with a story in mid-August under the headline “Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises.” There are actually fewer “clean tech” jobs in Silicon Valley today than 10 years ago, according to a recent Brookings Institution study.

… The shame of it is that the Obama administration could point to more promising initiatives in energy if it had the wit, especially the ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, modeled after the Pentagon’s legendary Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) unit of the Department of Energy. ARPA-E is intended to conduct research into ways of overcoming the formidable technical barriers necessary to make alternative energy sources from batteries to biofuels scalable at a reasonable price. Like DARPA, ARPA-E is exempt from the usual civil service bureaucracy (and things like Davis-Bacon rules) to allow it to be nimble in ways that are exceedingly rare in the federal government. ARPA-E was set up by legislation passed in 2007, but wasn’t funded until 2009. ARPA-E’s total budget was only $400 million in its first year​—​less than the Solyndra loan. But the thing to note is that research efforts like ARPA-E aren’t about creating jobs, green or otherwise, which is why the agency has been of little interest to the White House. It is meant to expand our base of technical knowledge, leading to new and better options in the future.

But since that future is open-ended and unpredictable, it won’t arrive before the next election cycle, and it doesn’t offer rewards for political supporters.

… The Solyndra bankruptcy, alas, is not an outlier but a harbinger. This is the kind of economic calamity we will see more of unless the Obama administration sheds its ideological blinders​—​or until it leaves office. Meanwhile, capital will continue to be misallocated through perverse incentives and outright political favoritism, and large amounts of patiently acquired wealth will be wiped out.

Those who believe they can redistribute wealth and reallocate capital contrary to market forces end up destroying wealth and sending capital into hiding.

Mark Levin Wants Chris Christie to Run …

Filed under: Economy,Education,Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:09 am

… but not because he’s a fan (30 seconds in):

The mystery is why someone like Ann (“Annie Get Your Gun“) Coulter would be a big Christie fan.

Christie’s done some good things in New Jersey, but I have a real problem with many of his positions having potentially negative national impact, some of which Levin identifies in the audio.

The last half of the audio concerns in-state tuition for illegals and Mitt Romney’s hit at Rick Perry on Social Security. Perry’s position on in-state tuition is problematic. Christie’s probably is too.

Positivity: American medical expertise saves Antiguan baby’s life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:30 am

From St. John’s, Antigua — and Minneapolis, MN:

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

A young Antiguan boy is said to be recovering well in the US where he successfully underwent surgery for a life-threatening condition.

Sixteen-month-old Ezekiel Burrowes suffered from a very rare tumour in his mouth. Melanotic neuroectodermal tumour of infancy, as it is known, is a condition so uncommon that only 200 such cases are recorded in medical literature.

The first sign of something seriously wrong with Ezekiel’s came when he was only six months old.

His mother says local doctors had no idea what the growth in his mouth was, with some advising her to take the baby to a dentist.

But the intervention of an Antiguan resident of Minnesota resulted in Ezekiel making the 3,000-mile journey to the Amplatz Children’s Hospital at the University of Minneapolis.

The hideously disfiguring tumour – which had considerably impaired the lad’s ability to feed – was removed successfully by surgeon Dr David Hamla.

Since then, Ezekiel has reportedly made a remarkable recovery. He recently started to walk and talk for the first time.

Dr Hamla expects his young patient to have a normal life and no one is more grateful and relieved than his mother.
Stoyann Burrowes remembers the panic she felt upon being told that her son’s condition was so urgent that he should be taken to the US right away or else he would die.

“I think coming here saved his life,” she said speaking from Minneapolis. “If he was at home he would have died.”

Concerning her son’s newly blossomed abilities, she remarked, “Everything he’s doing now is new. He couldn’t turn, roll over or do anything. Now he’s doing everything; learning to eat, learning to walk, to talk, everything. It’s really amazing.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.