February 7, 2012

Santorum Crushes Opposition in MN and MO; Colorado Early, Close (Updates: Santorum Pulling Away, Wins Colorado)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:10 pm

I think jaws are dropping throughout the land.

I also think I’m correct in saying that Rick Santorum is the first candidate to win a majority in a primary — and don’t bring that garbage about the Show Me State only being a “beauty contest” in here.

Those who want to check for the rest of the night can go to these links:

As of just after 11 p.m.:

  • Missouri (97% reporting) — Santorum, 55% (declared winner); Romney, 25%; Paul, 12%
  • Minnesota caucuses (44% reporting) — Santorum, 45% (declared winner); Paul, 27%; Romney, 17%; Gingrich 11%
  • Colorado caucuses (11% reporting) — Romney, 37%; Santorum, 37%; Gingrich 17%; Paul, 9%

As I asked this morning: Has the establishment GOP’s favorite ever been so despised by the rank and file?

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UPDATE: With 29% counted in Colorado, Santorum has opened up a 10-point lead on Romney (41%-31%). Holy cow.

UPDATE 2, Feb. 8, 8 a.m.: Santorum wins Colorado with 40% (Romney 35%, Gingrich 13%, Paul 12%. This was supposed to be a Romney lock.

Obama Contradicts Holder and Others on Iran’s in-U.S. Terror Capability; Lauer Seemingly Clueless

ObamaLauer020512In his pre-Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer on Sunday, President Obama was asked the following question about Iran in light of the heightening tensions over its nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli air strike: “(In repsonse) Do you fear that they will wage attacks within the United States on American soil?” Obama responded as follows: “We don’t see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now.”

Really? The President’s statement directly goes against statements made recently by other government officials, up to and including Attorney General Eric Holder. Lauer, who is paid to look good while delivering the news and conducting interviews but not necessarily to deliver on substance, especially if it might disturb the American people before the Big Game, totally missed the contradiction. Fortunately, Ed Lasky at American Thinker didn’t (internal links added by me):

President Obama has a very serious short-term memory problem

As Josh Gerstein writes in Politico, “Obama’s statement was a curious one, since an intelligence community assessment that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper presented to Congress last week said that some Iranian leaders “are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime.”

Gerstein notes only one problem behind Obama’s cheery assessment. “There is one more significant issue that reveals a great deal about Obama’s mindset. America just a few months ago was subject to an Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador and attack the Israeli Embassy here in America. The attack on the Saudi Ambassador was to take place in a public spot, killing Americans along side the Ambassador. Yet, Obama says “we don’t see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now.” Obama’s own officials believe that Iran was behind this plot.

CNN reported back in November, for example (that) “U.S. agents disrupted an Iranian assassination-for-hire scheme targeting Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, U.S. officials said Tuesday. Elements of the Iranian government directed the alleged plan, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.”

… Perhaps if one lived in Barack Obama’s fantasy land there are no problems with Iran.

… What exactly does he do all day? Does he read the news? Or does he just sit around all day checking off boxes on memos sent to the Oval Office?

The rest of the media has, as expected, been completely incurious. Just two examples:

  • An unbylined Associated Press report only dealt with Obama’s views on the upcoming game.
  • At USA Today, Aamer Madhani mentioned other Iran-related questions Obama answered, but not the one about possible attacks on U.S. soil.

Matt Lauer had a chance to follow up on Obama’s (take your pick) memory lapse, frighteningly uninformed naivete, or flat-out falsehood and failed, leaving Lasky’s disturbing questions wide open. It’s virtually unthinkable to imagine that he would have let a contradiction like Obama’s slide had he been interviewing a Republican or conservative president.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

‘Santorumentum’ Update

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:28 pm

At the Washington Times:

The Republican presidential race could be headed for another reshuffle Tuesday as Rick Santorum, who has lagged behind since his surprise Iowa victory, is once again challenging the dominance of front-runner Mitt Romney.

Polling over the past week shows Mr. Santorum statistically tied with Mr. Romney in Minnesota, besting him in Missouri, and running second to him but ahead of rival Newt Gingrich in Colorado, all of which hold contests Tuesday.

At USA Today:

Polls: Santorum poised for ‘big day’ in GOP contests

New polls show Rick Santorum poised for a “big day” in today’s GOP presidential contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

Bragging rights are the only thing at stake in the three states, which won’t award delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa until state conventions or caucuses later this year.

The surveys by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling show Santorum possibly headed for a victory tonight in Missouri, where he leads Mitt Romney, 45% to 32%. The former Pennsylvania senator is also leading Romney in Minnesota, 33% to 24%.

Romney’s best showing in the PPP surveys is in Colorado, where he has a 10-point lead over Santorum, 37% to 27%. Newt Gingrich is at 21% in Colorado, followed by Ron Paul at 13%.

“Rick Santorum has the potential to firmly establish himself as the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney today,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.

Obviously, it remains to be seen how this plays out (and yes, it’s a Dem polling firm, so caution is warranted), but Santorum’s leads have considerably lengthened in Missouri and Minnesota — two states where Obama lost by less than 4,000 votes and won, respectively, and (write it down, people), Romney will lose if he’s nominated.

Has any “front-runner” for the GOP nomination ever been so obviously despised by the rank and file for such an extended time period?

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UPDATE: Michelle Malkin — “Santorum’s Got Game”

Sowell on Romney and the Minimum Wage

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:55 am

To Thomas Sowell, the gentleman who is perhaps the premier true intellectual in the land, Mitt Romney’s idea to index the minimum wage to inflation is more evidence, as if we needed it, that there isn’t a conservative bone in his body.

The following is from Sowell’s syndicated column (browser window title: “Minimum Wage Laws Are a Social Disaster for the Young and the Poor”) as it appeared at Investor’s Business Daily yesterday:

Romney Should Know Better About Minimum Wage Law

… Romney’s statement about not worrying about the poor — because they “have a very ample safety net” — was followed by a statement that was not just a slip of the tongue, and should be a defining moment in telling us about this man’s qualifications as a conservative and, more important, as a potential president of the United States.

… to people who call themselves conservatives, and aspire to public office, there is no excuse for not being aware of what a major social disaster the minimum wage law has been for the young, the poor and especially for young and poor blacks.

It is not written in the stars that young black males must have astronomical rates of unemployment. It is written implicitly in the minimum wage laws.

We have gotten so used to seeing unemployment rates of 30% or 40% for black teenage males that it might come as a shock to many people to learn that the unemployment rate for 16- and 17-year-old black males was just under 10% back in 1948. Moreover, it was slightly lower than the unemployment rate for white males of the same age.

How could this be?

… (The reason is that) there was in practical effect no national minimum wage law in the late 1940s.

… It was in the wake of … (1950s minimum wage) escalations that black teenage unemployment rose to levels that were three or four times the level in 1948. Even in the most prosperous years of later times, the unemployment rate for black teenage males was some multiple of what it was even in the recession year of 1949. And now it was often double the unemployment rate for white males of the same ages.

For those for whom “racism” is the explanation of all racial differences, let me assure them, from personal experience, that there was not less racism in the 1940s.

… In Western European countries whose social policies liberals consider more “advanced” than our own, including more generous minimum wage laws and other employer-mandated benefits, it has been common in even prosperous years for unemployment rates among young people to be 20% or higher.

The economic reason is not complicated. When you set minimum wage levels higher than many inexperienced young people are worth, they don’t get hired. It is not rocket science.

It’s also not “compassionate” or “conservative” to condemn young people to unemployment when they could be developing the kinds of work-related skills which can only be learned on the job.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (020712)

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: Tim Tebow Doesn’t Play for the Prosperity Gospel

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

In a column at Real Clear Religion by Bill Flax, making it clear that the Denver Broncos quarterback’s kingdom is not of this world:

Tim Tebow is back in the news after cancelling an appearance with a group of pastors spouting the Prosperity Gospel. Apparently, Mr. Tebow agreed to speak before he realized whom he was supporting. …

Read the whole thing.