September 26, 2011

Cain Has Double-Digit Lead in Zogby Poll (Update: CNN/ORC, Not So Much)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:58 pm

Back in 2000 and 2004, those who followed John Zogby’s polls often criticized them for varying from the others by more than would seem warranted. Gore and Kerry always seemed to be ahead, and we know how those two elections turned out.

This one probably fits that outlier category, but since it shows Herman Cain in the lead, I’m going to put it out there anyway:

ZogbyGOP092611

No, I don’t think the Herminator could possibly pick up 16 points in two weeks. I also don’t recall Cain being in the lead in any other poll back in June and July. He’s always had the intensity thing going, i.e., those who have met him, seen him, or heard him usually end up liking him — a lot.

But there’s little doubt that Big Mo is in Cain’s corner for now — despite the press’s attempts to suppress and discount it.

I also don’t believe that Michelle Bachmann’s fade is as disastrous as indicated.

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UPDATE: Wildly at variance — Perry 28, Romney 21, Gingrich 10, Cain 7, Paul 7, Palin 7. It’s from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation. Never forget that ORC is the Clintons’ designated polling organization.

AP Delays Dedicating a Story to Cain’s Fla. Victory Until ‘Today’ Puts Him on the Defensive

herman-cain_052111Herman Cain’s victory in Saturday’s GOP straw poll in Florida didn’t become headline news at the Associated Press until after the candidate’s Monday morning “Today Show” interview. Earlier today at NewsBusters, Kyle Drennen noted how “Today’s” Ann Curry tried to frame the result as some kind of “protest vote.”

Having delayed dedicating a story to Cain’s victory for roughly 36 hours, the headline in AP’s unbylined story this morning was: “GOP’s Cain says win in Fla. straw poll not a fluke.” In other words, it didn’t become news at the wire service until someone else in the media put the candidate on the defensive about the significance of his win, thus avoiding giving him any moment of unvarnished recognition for the good old-fashioned butt-kicking he delivered (37% Cain, 15% Perry, 14% Romney, 11% Santorum, all others under 10%). How convenient.

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Quick Hits (092611, Evening)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:45 pm

At the Daily Caller (HT RedState): “EPA: Regulations would require 230,000 new employees, $21 billion.” That’s not a misprint.

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Soooooo predictable: “SEC May Recommend Legal Action Against S&P”

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At TaxProf (HT Instapundit): “Income Gender Gap Narrows as Male Income Falls.” Now that’s progressive. (/sarc)

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Victor Davis Hanson at Pajamas Media (“Why Does the Good Life End?”):

And as we know from past collapses (of civilizations), a new entitlement in a matter of minutes becomes an institutionalized right whose withdrawal causes far more anguish than its prior nonexistence.

Almost every sentence is memorable. Read the whole thing.

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Andrew Malcolm at the LA Times: “New gaffe: Obama confuses Jews with janitors”

The president has been muffing lines all over the place recently. Last week, also peddling his jobs plan at a bridge that won’t qualify, he hailed America’s building of “the Intercontinental Railroad.” You don’t seem to hear much about these gaffes in the media for some reason.

Ya think?

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Absolutely stupid and dangerous: “OTC inhalers to be phased out to protect ozone layer.” Prescription-only “green” inhalers will apparently cost three times as much.

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This would appear not to bode well for an incumbent president:

GallupOnSatisfactionWithGovt092611

You could argue that it doesn’t help Congress either, but that isn’t how it has worked out historically. And if this hostility does hurt Congress, why wouldn’t it hurt recalcitrant Democrats more?

Video: Solyndra Execs Take the Fifth

It’s not gripping TV, but it’s a legitimate news story.

As Brent Baker at NewsBusters noted on Sunday morning, despite the story’s legitimacy, “neither ABC nor NBC mentioned the development Friday night and CBS allocated a mere 25 seconds.” I’d have been okay with 25 seconds at each place, but the ABC-NBC non-coverage was inexcusable.

The counterargument will be that we all knew it was coming, but that’s too easy. The American people needed to see it. (They didn’t have a problem making time for Ollie North in Iran-Contra, did they?)

So consider the following a partial offset:

Key pulls:

(0:48) Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida: … only two months ago, Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison met with me in the committee offices. He looked me in the eye and assured me that everything was just fine, and the company was on track to be cash-flow positive. Mr. (Brian) Harrison told me and other members of this committee that Solyndra was continuing to make excellent progress, that it was meeting all its cost and performance milestones, and that revenues were projected to nearly double in 2011.

I was hoping that Mr. Harrison would testify today and explain to me and to this committee how he could make those representations in late July about Solyndra’s improving prospects when the company was on the path to bankruptcy just 30 days later.

It seems clear to me that Mr. Harrison knew or should have known in July that the company was going to restate its financial projections to reflect increasing market and pricing pressure on its product resulting in decreased revenue.

When the committee invited Mr. Harrison and Mr. Stover (W.G. Stover, Jr.) to testify at last week’s hearing, Solyndra’s counsel said that Mr. Harrison would appear voluntarily, and would answer the Committee’s questions. However, Solyndra’s counsel asked the committee to postpone their testimony by one week, claiming that Mr. Harrison and Mr. Stover were involved in active negotiations to potentially sell the company, and that an earlier sale might potentially result in a better recovery for the taxpayer at the company’s bankruptcy. I agreed to this request provided that Mr. Harrison appear this week and testify.

In return for postponing his testimony by one week, I was provided written assurance by Solyndra’s counsel that Mr. Harrison would answer the committee’s questions.

Unfortunately, we won’t get those answers today. Mr. Harrison’s and Mr. Stover’s counsel informed the committee three days ago that they would decline to answer the committee’s questions, and would invoke their rights under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. I respect the witnesses’ rights under the Fifth Amendment, but I want to make it clear today that this this subcommittee’s investigation will continue.

… (3:57) We are also determined to know why DOE allowed the taxpayers to be subordinated to the private investors during that restructuring in violation of the clear letter of the law.

The oath-taking and Fifth Amendment invocations begin at the 5:23 mark.

New Home Sales: Still Scraping Bottom

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:25 am

From the Census Bureau:

Sales of new single-family houses in August 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 295,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 2.3 percent (±13.9%)* below the revised July rate of 302,000, but is 6.1 percent (±18.8%)* above the August 2010 estimate of 278,000.

Right after the release, the Associated Press’s Derek Kravitz said it all nicely in three paragraphs (report may be revised during the next few hours):

Sales of new homes fell to a six-month low in August. The fourth straight monthly decline during the peak buying season suggests the housing market is years away from a recovery.

The Commerce Department says new-home sales fell 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 295,000. That’s less than half the roughly 700,000 that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market.

This year could be the worst for sales since the government began keeping records a half century ago.

Here’s the updated trailing twelve months graph:

NewHomeSales12MosThrough00811

To avoid 2011 coming in as the worst on record (in truth, the worst since World War II), actual sales during the final four months of the year will have to average 28,000 a month or more — a monthly clip which would be 22% higher than the final four months of last year.

That’s not impossible, given how horrid 2010 was, but it seems doubtful.

UK Telly Picks Up IMF Lending Limit Problem Bloomberg Concealed and AP Missed or Ignored

(Originally posted shortly after midnight; carried forward because of the importance of the underlying story.)

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Sometimes, I think that we wouldn’t have a useful press at all if it weren’t for the British press.

The big news out of the International Monetary Fund this weekend was, as reported by the UK Telegraph, that it “may need billions in extra funding.” Specifically, it “may have to tap its members – including Britain – for billions of pounds of extra funding to stem the European debt crisis.”

In other words, the IMF doesn’t have enough money to address the potential problems it sees on its own:

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Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092611)

Filed under: General — Tom @ 8:48 am

Rules are here.

Positivity: Two Trapped Women Saved

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Marlton, New Jersey (video is at link):

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011; Updated 10:31 AM EDT

Amazing Video: Car Crashing Through Jewelry Store

fitness consultant was being hailed a hero after his calm and swift actions possibly saved lives after an SUV barreled into a South Jersey jewelry store over the summer.

The whole incident happened the morning of July 30 at Jay Roberts Jewelers on Route 73 in Marlton, N.J.

The terrifying moments of impact as a car traveling up to 50 mph crashed into the front window of the store were all caught on surveillance video as the vehicle crashed through a front window, shattering glass and crumbling jewelry cases like an accordion.

“The car was still coming, I just started to scream, ‘shut it off, shut it off,’” employee Olivia Pantalone said.

Pantalone and fellow employee Joan Morein could have been killed in the crash were it not for the quick thinking of Anthony Baynard, a fitness consultant from Texas who just happened to be in New Jersey at the time of the crash.

Bernard quickly sprang calmly into action taking the driver’s foot off the accelerator and turning off the engine.

“(The driver) said, ‘Young man did i kill anybody?’” said Bernard. “What i told her was — not knowing anything was, ‘No mam, everybody is fine.”

Baynard was able to carry Morein out of the rubble.

But Pantalone was still in trouble — pushed under a pile of debris.

“She was laying there pretty motionless at first,” said storeowner Jake Spigelman. “I actually froze because I thought she was dead under there.”

Baynard lifted Pantalone out of the debris, wrapping her wrist in a tourniquet and guiding her to hold her hands in the air.

“I was losing a lot of blood and he did save my life — he acted very quickly, very unselfishly,” Pantalone said Tuesday at a ceremony honoring Baynard. …

Go here for the rest of the story.