February 1, 2012

Well, That Didn’t Take Long

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:57 pm

Mitt Romney, this morning (HT Taranto at Best of the Web), in a statement which fits the “he’s trying to lose” theory:

“I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor–we have a safety net there,” he said Wednesday. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich–they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”

O’Brien jumped in, asking him to clarify his statement that he’s not concerned with the very poor. “I think there are lots of very poor Americans who are struggling who would say, ‘That sounds odd,’” she said.

“Well, you had to finish the sentence, Soledad,” Romney replied. “I said, I’m not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net, but if it has holes in it, then I will repair it.”

“But my campaign is focused on middle income Americans,” he added. “My campaign–you can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich. That’s not my focus. You can focus on the very poor. That’s not my focus.”

Taranto nails the substance:

When Romney says “the very poor,” we take him to mean what sociologists call the “underclass,” defined by Gunnar Myrdal as “an unprivileged class of unemployed, unemployables, and underemployed who are more and more hopelessly set apart from the nation at large and do not share in its life, its ambitions and its achievements.”

We disagree with Romney’s assertion that “we have a safety net” for that segment of the population. Instead, we have a system of perverse incentives that encourage self-destructive behavior and dependence on government. It’s also worth noting that since Myrdal’s day, “underclass” problems have increasingly bubbled up to the “working class” …

The current administration likes it that the “underclass” problems have increasingly bubbled up. It’s why they really don’t seem terribly bothered that the recovery has been weak, arguably by design. If you don’t think that the “by design” argument is plausible, you don’t believe that Larry Summers was sincere when he directly told Obama in late 2008-early 2009 in essence that the stimulus wouldn’t work, but it would be great for rewarding cronies and supporters.

ObamaCare is all about sucking the entire working class into virtually permanent government dependency. If you don’t believe it, look at the unspeakably perverse disincentives to self-improvement and intact families embedded in its subsidy structure.

Jonah Goldberg nails the politics:

… great politicians on the morning after a big win, don’t force their supporters to go around defending the candidate from the charge that he doesn’t care about the poor. They just don’t.

Of course they don’t. Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney isn’t even a mediocre politician.

Boy, are we in trouble.

GOP-Governed and Right-To-Work States Saved the Economy’s Bacon in 2011

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:30 pm

Blue and union-dominated states were mostly mediocre, or worse. Indiana has noticed.

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Note: This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Monday.

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The government’s State and Local Employment and Unemployment report for December released on Tuesday showed that many red states, including most of the “newly-reds” where Republican governors replaced or succeeded Democrats after the 2010 elections, made meaningful progress in job growth and unemployment rate reduction last year. Many blue states didn’t do nearly as well. 2011 again saw right-to-work states significantly outperform those which are not.

Let’s start with the four states where the unemployment rate increased. The worst performer by far was Illinois (all amounts and rates in this column are seasonally adjusted):
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Ohio’s Insurgent State Central Committee Slate (See Updates)

Filed under: Ohio Politics — Tom @ 9:20 am

I had the list which follows below forwarded to me this morning, along with an accompanying email, most of which I have excerpted (bolds are mine):

Once again GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine is trying to manipulate the primary election to protect the GOP from Tea Party influence. Brietbart’s got it now

We believe that this effort to change the Permanent Rules of the Party is an act of desperation by DeWine to protect his job from a growing number of state central committee candidates and incumbents, who are not happy with his stewardship. (You mean that “standing ovation” Kevin says he received wasn’t unanimous? — Ed.)

The State Central Committee (meeting) scheduled for this coming Friday may be the most contentious in the history of the party as he tries to change the rules for qualification to run for state central committee, after voting has already begun. With the new rule requiring that state central committee candidates vote in three consecutive GOP primaries, the Ohio GOP would disqualify 1) Operation Chaos voters who switched to vote in the democratic primary for Hillary Clinton against Barack Obama in 2008, as suggested by Rush Limbaugh, 2) Young people, 3) People who may be elderly or have had a medical condition that kept them from voting in the proper number of consecutive GOP primaries, 4) American servicemen who may have missed a primary election as a result of their service to our country, 5) New residents in Ohio (Karl Rove would be disqualified as a state central committeeman for at least 6 years after moving to Ohio) … I am sure there are even more categories of people who would be excluded from the list of “Qualified” people by DeWine’s proposed rule change. It may even include some incumbent state central committee people.

DeWine is also expected to ask the state central committeemen to endorse themselves for re-election so that party funds can be spent defeating their Republican challengers in the primary, that would otherwise be spent defeating Barack Obama and Sherrod Brown in the general election. Everyone in this state should find out whether or not his/her incumbent state central person supports Kevin DeWine’s position on this; that their own re-election and the protection of DeWine’s job as state Chairman is more important use of Party funds than defeating Obama and Brown. And to remember that when you vote for state central committee people.

To find your incumbent state central committee persons, click on http://www.ohiogop.org/index.php/learn/, then on State Committee, and then on your area and senate district. If you’ve come this far, give them a call or send them an email and tell them where you stand. Have all your members contact them. Most have them have never had that happen before. …

DeWine has lost his way. He is in the weeds, blinded by his own self-interest. If he had full control of his faculties, he would realize that it is time for him to bow out gracefully in the best interests of the Party, the country, and his own political future. He would appoint a highly regarded and generally acceptable interim chairman who would oversee a proper and compassionate transition until the newly elected state central committee arrives to elect a new Chairman.

But if DeWine has to be forced out of office clawing and scratching with his fingernails as he is dragged out, jeopardizing our ability to regain control of our republic in 2012, he will have aborted any political future he may otherwise have had. He needs more people telling him and state central committee incumbents that he has gone too far, and that if he goes any further he will be committing career suicide. …

… (Our recommended) list includes recommended Tea Party candidates, Kasich supported candidates, incumbents and independents; this is our best shot at coming up with the best overall slate for all districts. It even includes RINO’s we would not normally support. But these are not normal times.

… Look for names on the list that you recognize, and be sure to support them if you can with your donations and your hours. These are fellow patriots who are sticking their necks way out, and they need and deserve our support.

Our special thanks to Michael Boerger who is running against Kevin DeWine himself, and Mary Ann Schmidt running against arch-DeWine loyalist Brenda Lewis in DeWine’s home district.

Yours truly,
Jim Woods of The “Others”

I should also note that Ohio’s 2008 GOP primary had very few contested elections, and that no statewide office, including that of U.S. Senator, was at stake. The presidential primary was virtually over (Mike Huckabee didn’t concede until the day after the primary, but John McCain’s inevitability was already obvious). I’m big on voting even when it doesn’t matter much, but it’s pretty hard to make a case that Republicans who didn’t vote in the 2008 primary were extraordinarily derelict to the point where that non-act should disqualify them from the Central Committee.

The list:

OhioSCCinsurgentSlate2012

The original was apparently color-coded to identify Tea Party and non-Tea Party candidates, but what I received had no color coding. If I get that information, I will update. Udate, 12:45 p.m.: Got the coded list.

Update, 2:30 p.m.: I’ve been emailed a couple of separate comments objecting to specific candidates listed above. Rather than relay them from email, I’m going to ask folks who have comments to submit them through BizzyBlog (not in the comment box, which doesn’t work, but in the comment pop-up, which does; sorry for the center-justification; it ends up looking okay in the full post).

ADP Employment Report: +170K, December Revised Down 33K

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:45 am

From ADP, concerning private-sector employment growth:

Employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 170,000 from December to January on a seasonally adjusted basis. The estimated advance in employment from November to December was revised down to 292,000 from the initially reported 325,000. Employment in the private, service-providing sector rose 152,000 in January, and employment in the private, goods-producing sector increased 18,000 in January, while manufacturing employment increased 10,000.

I deliberately didn’t look at the predictions. I’m guess that this is a disappointment. Let’s see …

Well, yes, but only slightly. Bloomberg had a prediction of +182K. Reuters had +185K.

The downward revisions to December really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (020112)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Hero Rescues Woman From Submerged Car

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Redding California:

POSTED: 9:15 am PST January 24, 2012
UPDATED: 9:31 am PST January 24, 2012

A Redding man is called a hero for rescuing a woman from a submerged vehicle. Police say Daniel Johnson saved the woman’s life.

The car overturned in Onley Creek Sunday, with the driver was stuck inside and unable to breathe.

Fortunately Johnson was driving by with his family and noticed the car in the water. It was pure chance that Johnson was in the area. He was ready to watch football at his family’s house but realized he forgot something so he turned around with his wife, and four kids in the car.

That little twist of fate may have saved 20 year old Carolyn O’Connor’s life. A coincidence not lost on Johnson’s wife, Stephanie.

“We came back and got the bag and my son said you know mom if we never went back and got the bag we wouldn’t of been here,” said Stephanie.

The second time around the family noticed commotion in the street and a car in the water, that’s when he jumped into action. …

Go here for the rest of the story.