October 5, 2011

CSM’s ‘Decoder’ Twists MSNBC Criticism of Cain Strategy Into ‘Leaving the Campaign Trail’

herman-cain_052111This afternoon, Jack Coleman at NewsBusters noted how MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow took a shot at GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain for supposedly “taking a month off the campaign trail — taking a month off — to go on a book tour.”

The original source for this “claim” is a very poorly written and quite deceptively headlined October 3 item at the Christian Science Monitor by David Grant. The trouble is, Grant badly distorted an item at MSNBC’s First Read blog which, while quite critical of Cain, said nothing about “suspending” or “taking a month off” from the campaign (internal links are in original; paragraph breaks added by me):

Raising (and lowering) Cain: After his straw-poll win in Florida, Cain is getting a second look from conservative opinion-makers. The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger has called Cain “a credible candidate” who “deserves a serious look,” while Michael Barone now labels him “a contender.” And over the weekend, Cain won another straw poll, this one sponsored by the National Federation of Republican Women.

One reason why he’s resonating with conservatives is that he’s a non-politician with a business record (which might explain why Cain’s getting a second look but Rick Santorum isn’t). So Cain now has his moment, and guess what: He doesn’t appear to be using it. For starters, with about three months until the Iowa caucuses, he’s going on a book tour for much of October. Second, he’s not scheduled to be back in Iowa until mid-November. And third, his communications director just left his campaign — to work for the re-election of Louisiana’s lieutenant governor (!!!).

Those aren’t just signs of someone who’s unlikely to win the GOP nomination; they’re signs of someone who isn’t really trying to win, a la Mike Huckabee in 2007-2008. Cain does, however, meet with Donald Trump today. If you judge Huckabee’s 2008 campaign as a success, then Cain is on a successful path.

MSNBC’s take is at least plausible (though I believe incorrect), but please note that there’s no reference to campaign suspension or “leaving the trail.”

That didn’t stop the CMS Decoder’s Grant from making it up in an item posted on Monday (note: before Chris Christie’s noncandidacy announcement; bold is mine):

Herman Cain leaving the campaign trail: Why now?

The Hermantor Experience is, by almost any measure, the hottest thing going in the GOP presidential primary (not named Chris Christie).

As Decoder wrote last week, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain is romping in straw polls (Florida, and, this weekend, the National Federation of Republican Women), killing it on social media, climbing in at least one national poll, and promoting a new book. Columnists at the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Examiner have both given him love.

It’s momentum and recognition that the Rick Santorums and Jon Huntsmans of the GOP world must be lusting after.

But Cain seems destined to squander it. And here’s why.

As NBC’s thoughtful First Read points out this morning, Cain’s promoting a book – and appears to be taking himself off the campaign trail for almost a month.

Isn’t that great? The headline treats it as a given that Cain is “leaving the campaign trail,” while the content subjectively opines that he “appears to be” doing so. The headline seems disgracefully deliberately designed to mislead some readers into thinking that Cain is not serious.


… Cain won’t be back in the key state of Iowa until November. With all of the jiggering of the Republican primary calendar, that means he’ll have six weeks (at best) to pound the trail before the Iowa caucuses in early January.

Perhaps equally telling, Cain’s well-regarded communications director and her deputy are both leaving the campaign, with the director headed to… run press operations for Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in a tough primary election. That’s not exactly a vote of confidence in Cain’s presidential prospects.

… Cain won’t be back in the key state of Iowa until November. With all of the jiggering of the Republican primary calendar, that means he’ll have six weeks (at best) to pound the trail before the Iowa caucuses in early January.

Perhaps equally telling, Cain’s well-regarded communications director and her deputy are both leaving the campaign, with the director headed to… run press operations for Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in a tough primary election. That’s not exactly a vote of confidence in Cain’s presidential prospects.

… When you take yourself off the campaign trail just to flog a book, it raises the question: Why are you still around, Herman Cain?

Conceding that staff turnover is usually not the best thing in the world, as of this moment, at least five other items make Grant’s critique particularly grating:

  1. As of today, it’s not a done deal that Iowa’s caucuses are going to be in early January (“Iowa’s Caucuses may be held in the first week of January, with the possibility of a December date if New Hampshire’s primary moves much earlier”). Somehow, I think the Herminator can flex to a different timetable if he has to.
  2. Plenty of candidates have either written books (or had books written for them) and “flogged” them during their campaigns. There’s nothing unique about that.
  3. Cain’s calculation may be that spending October on as many talk radio and TV shows as possible might be a better way to gain the visibility and everyday voter awareness he sorely lacks and badly needs. Whether or not that turns out to be successful strategy, the idea that doing what he is doing is somehow not a form of “campaigning” is beyond absurd.
  4. Campaign 101 says that the ground game doesn’t become critical until about 2-3 weeks before the electoral event, especially one that doesn’t have “early voting.”
  5. There’s nothing preventing Cain from running radio and/or TV ads in Iowa well ahead of the caucuses. Or is that not “campaigning” either, Mr. Grant?

At to Mr. Grant’s political acumen, roughly ten days ago, in a snarky Decoder item entitled “Why every GOP contender not named Rick Perry or Mitt is still running,” he asked: “What the heck are all of these no-shot presidential contenders doing in the GOP field?” Cain was obviously among the “no-shots.” Grant speculated that Cain wants to “elevate himself to ‘party elder’ status.” He seems to have forgotten two “little” things:

  • On the day he announced his candidacy to a wildly enthusiastic crowd of 15,000 in Atlanta, he told the audience as only Herman Cain can, “I’m not running for second!”
  • Cain has a pretty good track record of achieving the goals he sets. (/understatement)

That Maddow ran with Grant’s twist is hardly surprising.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


Filed under: General,Positivity — Tom @ 7:52 pm

Steve Jobs (extended biography here).

Very few people can say that they’ve left a universally recognizable, personal, and indelible mark on the entire world while on balance materially improving the human condition. While far from perfect, Steve Jobs was one of them. We could have used another 35 years like his last 35.

UPDATE: From an emailer –

His name describes his legacy….

He created millions of JOBS.
No JOB was too difficult.
It was his JOB to dream.
He made the JOB of living easier.
His JOB on Earth is complete.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011
God bless him.


Filed under: Activism,General,Positivity — Tom @ 12:26 pm

Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth (brief bio; extended 1997 bio).

My, My, What a Surprise, The ‘No-On-Issue 2′ Folks Engage in Lies

Filed under: Economy,Ohio Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:43 am

OhioContinuesToLoseJobsLie0911(Originally posted just after midnight, and carried to the top for most of the day.)


The grab seen at the right from one of the ads encouraging Ohio voters to vote “no” on Issue 2 is of a statement which is a flat-out, disgraceful lie.

Here is the relevant text from the source identified in the ad:

Ohio’s unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in August, up slightly from 9.0 percent in July, according to data released this morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased 700 over the month, from the revised 5,117,200 in July to 5,116,500 in August.

Well, okay, the Buckeye State lost 700 seasonally adjusted jobs in August. But does that mean the state “continued to lose jobs”? Uh, no (full dataset for January 2006 to August 2011 is here):


In fact, Ohio’s economy added seasonally adjusted jobs in January, and continued to add jobs each and every month through July, until losing a “whopping” 700 in August. So far this year, the state’s economy has added 82,300 jobs, the sixth-best performance in the entire nation in terms of percentage of workforce growth. That’s in stark contrast to the 425,000 jobs Ohio’s economy lost during 2007-2009, and the paltry 31,000 it picked up during 2010.

There is no record of “continued job losses” since John Kasich took office. The above statement in the linked anti-Issue 2 ad is a lie.

Sadly, this is one of many self-evident lies, misleading statements and deceptions in the ad, as seen in the follow analysis of its script (referencing screen graphics where necessary):

Gregg Jackson Reviews Mike Huckabee’s Mitt Romney Interview, Finds the Same Old Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage Lies

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:42 am

RomneyNo0808Mitt Romney’s Sunday interview with former Arkansas Governor and Fox show host Mike Huckabee was fraught with falsehoods.

Gregg Jackson exposed the two biggest — the Mittster’s contention that RomneyCare’s abortion coverage with a $50 copay wasn’t his fault, and that he fought to prevent same-sex marriage in Massachusetts (claiming he fought for an after-the-fact state constitutional amendment, an exercise author Amy Contrada describes in her book, “Mitt Romney’s Deception,” as “doomed to failure”).

First, regarding abortion coverage in RomneyCare (bolds are mine throughout; internal links are in original):

Whopper #1: Romney claimed that Romneycare doesn’t cover abortions at $50 each and that the supreme court put it into place and that he had no choice but to sign a healthcare bill into law that covered elective surgical abortions for $50 each.

Fact: … The truth is, that Romneycare includes a $50 co-pay for any elective surgical abortion which Mitt Romney and Mitt Romney alone signed into law 3 years AFTER his fake “pro-life conversion.”

Here are the facts Romney conveniently omits when he falsely claims that the courts forced Romneycare to subsidize abortions at $50 each which you can see for yourself here.

The court decision Romney is referring to is a 1981 MSJC (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court) decision that ruled that the state constitution required payment for abortion services for medicaid eligible women. (Moe v Secretary of Admin & Finance, 1981) which was re-affirmed in1997 in (Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts v. Attorney General, 1997). Both were only declaratory OPINIONS. The court can only interpret the law in specific cases. But they can’t make law. Only the legislature can do that. The Mass Courts have no power to create, suspend, or alter law. In short, these opinions were just that… opinions. They were not orders. And the legislature never created any law that required any government subsidized healthcare plan to cover abortions. Romney’s bill (that was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton) was the first that included this provision.

Romney used his line item veto authority to strike down eight sections of the bill that he found objectionable, including the expansion of dental benefits to Medicaid recipients. But he did not strike Planned Parenthood’s guaranteed board representative role on his advisory board (with no pro-life representative appointee incidentally) and did nothing to prohibit tax payer funded abortionsin his plan. (”Romney’s Health Care Vetoes,” Associated Press,4/12/06 [link not available -- Ed.])

Next, same-sex marriage:

Whopper #2: Romney claimed that he “fought to protect marriage between one man and one woman in Massachusetts.”

Fact: Mitt Romney, and Mitt Romney alone, unilaterally, illegally and unconstitutionally authorized the alterations to and issuance of marriage licenses to same sex couples in Massachusetts in violation of at least 8 article of the oldest functioning constitution in the world, the Massachusetts Constitution authored by John Adams (Proof Here).

While he falsely claimed that the “court legalized same sex marriage in Massachusetts” and that he was merely “following the law” and was “under a court order,” the fact of the matter is that even the Goodridge court admitted that they didn’t even have the authority to alter the existing marriage laws to accommodate same sex “marriage” in any way and that if the marriage laws (chapter 207 of the Mass General Laws) were ever to be altered or amended in any way to accommodate same sex “marriage”, it would have to be done via the legislature, which, to this day, the legislature still has never done! … (This) means that the same sex “marriage” licenses are as legally null and void today in 2011 as the were when Mitt Romney first began illegally altering and issuing them in 2003 (Proof Here).

… Mitt Romney ushered in homosexual “marriage” to America via the Cradle of Liberty, Massachusetts. … After all, Romney had made certain campaign promises to certain homosexual Republican activist groups when running for governor (Proof Here).

Here is the key passage from the New York Times item Gregg cited:

… over breakfast one morning in 2002. Running for governor of Massachusetts, he was at a gay bar in Boston to court members of Log Cabin Republicans.

Mr. Romney explained to the group that his perspective on gay rights had been largely shaped by his experience in the private sector, where, he said, discrimination was frowned upon. When the discussion turned to a court case on same-sex marriage that was then wending its way through the state’s judicial system, he said he believed that marriage should be limited to the union of a man and a woman. But, according to several people present, he promised to obey the courts’ ultimate ruling and not champion a fight on either side of the issue.

“I’ll keep my head low,” he said, making a bobbing motion with his head like a boxer, one participant recalled.

As Gregg explained, there was nothing to “obey” until the Leglislature passed an enabling law. It never has. Mitt Romney unilaterally imposed same-sex marriage all by himself. As Bryan Fischer at the American Family Association’s Rightly Conerned blog asserted in June: “The U.S. Has Gay Marriage Because of Mitt Romney” — even though it has never won approval in any statewide popular vote (31 failures through November 2009).

Huckabee’s non-response to Romney’s false claims about his role in implementing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts is odd, simply because in the run-up to John McCain’s vice-presidential selection in August 2008, he said that Romney should not have “complied” (as noted above, there was nothing with which to comply, because a court opinion is NOT a court order).

Huckabee’s Sunday failure to bring his August 2008 position up again was truly negligent.


BizzyBlog Blast from the Past, December 6, 2007 — “The NY Times’s Accidental Journalism Reveals the Full Scope of Mitt Romney’s Same-Sex Marriage Deception, and His Unfitness to Be President”:

Even though there was no “ruling” to obey, only a court opinion that the legislature had not enabled into law, Mitt Romney extra-constitutionally, and in direct violation of his oath of office, imposed same-sex marriage in the Bay State.

Please grasp the significance of this: It isn’t that Mitt Romney was weak and simply caved in to pressure, or was misled by “bad advice.” Instead, Romney consciously kept a 2002 campaign promise to the Log Cabin Republicans to (in typical Times mischaracterization) “obey the courts’ ultimate ruling,” and considered that promise more important than the oath he swore when inaugurated as governor to uphold and follow the Massachusetts Constitution.

This is not arguable.

Not that any answer he provides would be credible, but someone should ask Mitt Romney what presidential oath-breaking promises he has made to groups whose last interest is the rule of law.

Yet this is a man who has now been endorsed for president by some of the alleged leading lights of conservatism, even of social conservatism.

This is madness. It must be stopped.

What he has consciously, proactively, and cynically done to break the oath he swore to the people of Massachusetts, and before God, while pretending now to be a warrior against the very thing he put into place, makes him objectively unfit to serve as president.

Our country’s Founders would agree.

And that, folks, is also not arguable.

ADP Private-Sector Jobs, +91K; ISM Non Manufacturing, 52.6%

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:41 am

First, ADP, from its press release (bolds are mine):

According to today’s ADP National Employment Report, employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose 91,000 from August to September on a seasonally adjusted basis. Employment in the private, service-providing sector rose 90,000 in September, up slightly from an increase of 83,000 in August. Employment in the private, goods- producing sector rose a scant 1,000 in September, while manufacturing employment declined by 5,000.

“Like August, this month’s jobs report continues to show modest job creation,” said Gary C. Butler, Chief Executive Officer of ADP. “The number of jobs added to the private sector in August and September were virtually identical. Once again, the small business services- sector led the way, contributing almost two-thirds of all new jobs. Small businesses overall showed positive growth for the 22nd straight month and averaged 73,000 jobs a month for
the past 12 months. Professional business services, education and healthcare, and leisure services led all other sectors in new jobs added.”

According to Joel Prakken, Chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, “Today’s ADP National Employment Report suggests that employment grew moderately in September. The recent trend in private employment, as indicated by the ADP National Employment Report, remains moderate, and probably is below a pace consistent with a stable unemployment rate.

The result matched Business Insider’s email prediction, though others (here and here) expected 75,000. The new is nothing special, but at least there’s nothing especially negative beyond the negativity we’ve long since become used to.

Now to the Institute for Supply Management’s Non Manufacturing Index:

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in September for the 22nd consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

… “The NMI registered 53 percent in September, 0.3 percentage point lower than the 53.3 percent registered in August, and indicating continued growth at a slightly slower rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased 1.5 percentage points to 57.1 percent, reflecting growth for the 26th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased by 3.7 percentage points to 56.5 percent. The Employment Index decreased 2.9 percentage points to 48.7 percent, indicating contraction in employment after 12 consecutive months of growth. The Prices Index decreased 2.3 percentage points to 61.9 percent, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in September when compared to August. According to the NMI, nine non-manufacturing industries reported growth in September. Respondents’ comments reflect an uncertainty about future business conditions and the direction of the economy.”

Business Insider’s email predicted 52.6 percent.

Obviously, the reported employment contraction (any reading below 50 percent represents contraction) is not helpful. It’s also not encouraging that the balance between industries reporting expansion and those reporting contraction was only 9-8.

Zero Hedge is quite correct in noting the uniformly downbeat nature of respondents’ comments.

The two reports probably won’t do much to the current employment-growth predictions for Friday’s employment report. Current jobs-added estimates are as follows: 60,000 at Reuters, 56,000 at AP, and 90,000 at Bloomberg. The current consensus is that the unemployment rate will stay the same.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (100511)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:59 am

Rules are here.

Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.


“Herman Cain rises, Rick Perry slides in new CBS News poll” — No candidate has more than 17%.

“September (Announced) Layoffs Highest in Two Years” — “Employers announced 115,730 planned job cuts last month, more than double August’s total of 51,114, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.” Bank of America and the Army dominated the numbers.

“Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t know who Van Jones is” — “Politico reports that Van Jones was vetted by Joe Biden himself. Van Jones wrote about the VP on the White House website.”

At the Weekly Standard’s Blog“Obama Campaign Says GOP Blocking Jobs Bill–After Reid Blocks Jobs Bill” — “about ten minutes later.”

CBS News Reporter Says White House Screamed, Swore at Her Over Fast and Furious”

As Dick Durbin tells Bank of America customers toGet out of that bank” in response to the debit-card fee the bank established in response to the rate-cap amendment Durbin included in financial reform (which was carried out by the Fed), Barack Obama tells banks that (in the Daily Caller’s paraphrase) “Banks should accept a lower profit so their customers won’t have to pay for debit cards.” B of A lost $8.8 billion from continuing operations in the second quarter, and over $15 billion in the past four quarters.

Ford and the UAW have a tentative settlement, under which “Ford workers will get at least $16,700 over the four-year contract, in the form of a $6,000 signing bonus, $7,000 in lump-sum and inflation protection payments and at least $3,700 in profit-sharing this year. That’s more generous than GM’s agreement, which guarantees workers at least $11,500.” Despite the contract’s basic wage freeze, I would argue that the UAW did all it could to make Ford less competitive than Goverment/General Motors.

Say that “Obama = Hitler”? You get banned from introducing Monday Night Football. Say that McCain = Hitler in a planned-out concert production? You get to be the Super Bowl’s halftime entertainer.

Positivity: Fathers for Good launches Respect Life Month resources

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From New Haven, Connecticut:

Oct 4, 2011 / 01:35 am

The pro-family group Fathers for Good is announcing the launch of online resources for Catholics as the U.S. Church gears up to celebrate Respect Life Month in October.

“Every Catholic father should be a protector and promoter of human life in all its stages,” Brian Caulfield, site editor, told CNA on Sept. 28.

“It is important for us to learn what the Church teaches on the important life issues so we can hand these truths on to our children.”

Fathers for Good will post a different pro-life resource each week on its site, www.fathersforgood.org, starting with a recent statement from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Cardinal DiNardo said in a Sept. 26 letter that Respect Life Month is a time for prayer, reflection and action to advance the right to life and to resist efforts that “silence” moral truth and violate religious liberty.

The Respect Life program began in 1972 and is observed in the 195 Catholic dioceses in the U.S. It begins on Respect Life Sunday, the first Sunday in October. …

Go here for the rest of the story.