March 23, 2012

How Has Mitt Romney Demonstrated That He’s More Than ‘A Little Different’ From Barack Obama?

So Rick Santorum gets deliberately mischaracterized by AP, and the Romney universe jumps all over him.

Here, again, is how Santorum is finally quoted by AP in Paragraph 4 of its report in comparing Barack Obama and Mitt Romney (AP tells you what he supposedly said without using quotes in Paragraphs 1 and 2, which isn’t what he said at all):

“If they’re going to be a little different (Romney compared to President Barack Obama), we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”

It is NOT obvious that Mitt Romney is more than “a little different from Barack Obama,” as this comment I made at Powerline yesterday (the very first) in response to Steven Hayward’s condescending post (Did Everyone Take Stupid Pills This Week?”) demonstrates:

Well Steven, the GOP will be challenging an incumbent president who wants a slow march to a single-payer healthcare system; who really wants to make same-sex marriage a national reality if his political calculations tell him he can pull it off; and who could give a darn about the nation’s constitution, the oath he swore to uphold it, and the rule of law.

If Romney is the challenger, the GOP will have nominated an candidate who began the slow march to a national single-payer healthcare system; who began the process of making same-sex marriage a national reality by unilaterally enforcing Goodridge even though the legislature hadn’t passed the law the Court recognized was necessary for doing so; and who by doing what he did in response to Goodridge showed that he could give a darn about the state’s constitution, the oath he swore to uphold it, and the rule of law.

Rick Santorum is thus in three very key areas correct in his assessment of Romney v. Obama. So spare me the sanctimony.

No one at Powerline or any of its commenters has tried to respond to the comment, even though the post now has 26 total comments. I’d like to think that it’s because no one — not even Hayward or the Romniacs at Powerline — can compose a convincing rebuttal. Any readers who believe they can — have at it.

It’s up to Mitt Romney to demonstrate that he’s more than “a little different” from Barack Obama. He hasn’t.

People who lean on Romney’s business record, even if everything they say about it is true, don’t understand the disturbing “rule of law” element in Romney’s record, and they don’t fully understand why this economy is underachieving.

Almost three years after the recession ended, the economy is underperforming largely because the Obama administration has so brazenly disregarded the constitution, its separation of powers, and the rule of law. By doing so, it has created unprecedented conditions of business uncertainty which are still holding back investors, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs from investing and creating jobs.

Mitt Romney has demonstrated in his handling of Goodridge (handled as it was to keep a specific 2006 campaign promise) that he doesn’t respect the rule of law. If the business community gets even a slight indication that Mitt Romney will continue the regime of uncertainty, no matter how pleasant its mask, you can expect continued economic underperformance as the country careens towards a fiscal crisis which threatens to end America as we have known it.

Romney continues to defend his handling of Goodridge. Thus, he continues to defend his disregard for the oath of office he took as governor, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts written by John Adams and its specific separation of powers which dictated that he do nothing about the Goodridge ruling until the legislature passed an enabling law. When it mattered, the rule of law didn’t matter.

In Goodridge, Romney demonstrated that his outlook is no different from Barack Obama’s.

Where’s the evidence going in the opposite direction, in any other matter of importance?

_____________________________________

UPDATE: Gregg Jackson has much, much more.

AP Deliberately Deceives on Santorum’s Conditional Statement Comparing Romney and Obama

Rush Limbaugh was right yesterday when he suggested that “If I were you, I would regard every AP (Associated Press) story, particularly this year, as nothing more than a propaganda piece for the reelection of Barack Obama.” Rush fan Matt Drudge, who currently has a deliberately misleading AP report linked at the top of his Drudge Report, would do well to heed Rush’s suggestion.

The AP story by Will Weissert concerns what GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum said yesterday about Mitt Romney. What Santorum actually said was that “If they’re going to be a little different (Romney compared to President Barack Obama), we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.” Notice that the statement is conditional, and that if Romney can demonstrate that he is more than “a little different,” Santorum’s concern is no longer valid. That’s not what Weissert’s headline or copy portray (HT to a NewsBusters emailer; bold is mine):

(more…)

Obama’s Broken Window Company — And His Larger, More Serious Damage

SeriousEnergyReprieve022412An intimidating message to business which still resonates.

______________________

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

______________________

Readers who detect a disturbing echo from the past in the next several paragraphs aren’t imagining things.

On February 23, a California-based company which owns a window manufacturing plant in Chicago announced that it would close the facility because of poor business conditions, specifically citing “ongoing economic challenges in construction and building products, collapse in demand for window products, difficulty in obtaining favorable lease terms, high leasing and utility costs and taxes, and a range of other factors.”

The very next day, the company, Serious Energy, Inc., went all Orwell:

Members of the press received incomplete and incorrect information that Serious Energy would be closing the facility immediately. The Chicago plant remains open at this time, and the parties are working together to find a new owner if possible and explore all other options. Both UE and Serious Energy apologize for any resulting confusion.

“UE” is United Electrical Workers Union Local 1110. Serious Energy made no mention of what drove the change which it said wasn’t a change but really was, namely that shortly after its original announcement, “about 65 people, mostly employees, locked themselves inside the 268,000-square-foot facility.” In other words, the union and its workers re-occupied the plant.

That’s right, they “re-occupied” it. The plant’s original occupation, in many respects the precursor of the lawless Occupy movement which “somehow” appeared in September of last year, came in December 2008. That’s when its then-owner, Republic Windows and Doors, having lost $10 million in the past two years, told employees that it would close the plant in three days. Workers “occupied the building,” and said they wouldn’t leave “without assurances they’ll receive severance and vacation pay.”

Bank of America, which had cut off the company’s credit line because of its deteriorating financial condition, was unfortunately but understandably intimidated by the assemblage of politicians, activists, and leftist rabble which had gravitated to what they thought might be the start of a movement. As a result, six days later, it made “an additional loan” (the bank’s words) of $1.35 million to make the problem go away. For some reason, J.P. Morgan Chase also “pledged” $400,000.

The Associated Press’s headline called this result “successful.” In reality, it may be the most costly $1.75 million shakedown ever conducted — if not for the workers, certainly for their nation.

Here’s a synopsis of the plant’s subsequent history:

  • In mid-December 2008, Republic filed for bankruptcy.
  • Serious Energy bought the plant in February 2009.
  • In a March 2009 press release followed by an April visit, Vice President Joe Biden declared that the administration’s stimulus plan would “increase demand for its products.”
  • The $5 billion “weatherization” element of the stimulus plan which was supposedly going to keep the plant and other window makers going was “initially delayed for seven months while the federal Department of Labor determined prevailing wage standards for the industry.” Since then, it has been an epic fail, accurately characterized as a “a complete cesspool of waste” by the conservative fiscal watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste.
  • Despite the glowing promises, the union now says the company “never hired back more than 75″ of the plant’s workers.
  • Serious hasn’t promised to keep the Chicago facility open, but has instead said it will spend 90 days from the date of its announcement trying to find a buyer — and presumably installing really strong locks on its doors and gates.

That’s not all. On February 22, the day before Serious’s original closing announcement, the Federal Trade Commission trumpeted consent agreements it had obtained from five window manufacturers relating to their claims that consumers could cut their home energy bills by 40% to 50% with replacement windows alone (it’s really more like 7% to 15%, according to Consumer Reports). One of the five? You guessed it. It seems quite likely that these companies’ exaggerated claims were used as a basis for estimating how much energy savings the government’s weatherization program would achieve. “Seriously,” you can’t make this stuff up.

The harm done to the nation’s economy by the original Republic occupation was far more serious, and is still with us.

You see, one of those who took the workers’ side in 2008 was President-elect Barack Obama — a point which has gone virtually unmentioned in recent media coverage of the plant’s impending demise. On December 8, Obama pointedly lent his support to the workers’ cause while failing to call out their lawless behavior:

“The workers who are asking for the benefits and payments that they have earned, I think they’re absolutely right and understand that what’s happening to them is reflective of what’s happening across this economy,” Obama said.

Two days later, the banks caved.

Yours truly immediately recognized the much larger problem with what Obama had done:

It won’t take very much of this before businesses conclude that putting employees on the payroll must be avoided as long as possible, if it’s to be done at all. They will more frequently use temporary agency employees as long as they legally can. They won’t replace employees who retire or leave. They’ll have more work done in other countries. They won’t pursue business ideas that require U.S. employees. The trend toward professional employment organizations (PEOs, or “leased employees”) will accelerate.

More such appearances by Obama as rabble-rousing community organizer in chief will go a long way towards ensuring that his “get worse before it gets better” prediction about the economy becomes tragically true.

In hindsight, I believe that Obama’s unprecedented reaction to what had been a private business dispute marred by union and worker lawlessness played a critical and immediate role in deepening and extending the recession, and that it continues to hold back the alleged recovery.

Keep in mind that he, along with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, had already spent the previous six months going back to the beginning of what I have been calling the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy since mid-2008 frightening investors, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs with what they said they would do if they achieved power. Those promises were radical: government control of health care, massive income and Social Security tax increases, and cap-and-trade, to name just a few. Employment, which had been declining, began to completely tank.

Obama’s first thirty days as President-elect, though overbearing in many ways, gave some people hope that his Democratic administration, like Bill Clinton’s, might not be as radical as first feared. Obama announced that he would defer originally planned tax increases. His early economic appointments, though insufferably Keynesian, were at least not off-the-chart socialists. What’s more, it was plausible to believe that the economy, thanks to low interest rates and a return of gas prices to under $1.70 per gallon from over $4 five months earlier, might be righting itself, or at least that the worst of the bleeding might almost be over.

Obama’s statement about the Republic situation completely dashed those hopes. What’s more, his community organizer in chief pronouncement came just in time for January, which is always the worst month of the year for layoffs and terminations. 3.25 million private-sector workers lost their jobs in January 2009, the largest raw number of job losses in the seventy-plus years monthly records have been kept — by over 700,000. January 2009 was also the worst month on record after seasonal adjustment. The mid-February 2009 passage of the stimulus plan and the Obama-condoned AIG executive intimidation campaign only confirmed what everyone in business pretty much already knew, namely that this would become the most aggressively commerce-hostile administration since Franklin Delano Roosevelt — well on its way, especially after considering its mob-rule acolytes, to becoming the worst in U.S. history. Subsequent actions far too numerous to mention here have cast that evaluation in concrete. The worst post-downturn economic performance since the Great Depression is their tragic result.

My response to the administration’s tired propaganda claim that the national economic situation was sooooo much worse than they thought when they first took office is as follows: Even if that’s true, it’s because your guy made it that way.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (032312)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:45 am

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

__________________________________________

Sandra Fluke Says She Didn’t Know Target Sells Birth Control Pills for $9.” Such a brilliant woman. (/sarc)

Obama second-term preview“Warning: Obama Proposes Tripling Dividend Tax Rate”

Mr. Kucinich Goes to Washington, as in Washington State.

EPA loses U.S. Supreme Court ruling 9-0 in Idaho couple’s home permit dispute.” I would bet that this will be a low-coverage item in the press. They hate it when the government loses. They hate it even more when government enviros lose.

Jim Geraghty at National Review“Salazar Lied About Oil Production on Federal Lands.” This is despite the fact that a “DOE report on energy contradicts WH, Salazar.” Lying for the administration seems to be Salazar’s only reason for being.

Positivity: Judge Forces Obama Admin to Stop Harassing Pro-Life Activist

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:43 am

From Denver:

A federal judge’s ruling has forced the Obama administration to drop its harassment of a Colorado-based pro-life advocate who provides abortion alternatives to women outside Denver abortion facilities.

As LifeNews reported in January, pro-life attorneys were successful in getting a judge to stop an attempt by the Obama administration to silence a pro-life activist who, for years, has been helping women outside abortion centers find positive alternatives. Thomas More Society attorneys defeated a request by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for a preliminary injunction against longtime Denver area pro-life activist Ken Scott. After a full-day hearing, U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer ruled that the Attorney General would not be reasonably likely to prove at trial that Scott physically obstructed employees of the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains abortion facility in Denver.

The Attorney General had asserted ten separate violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act against Scott, seeking a $10,000 fine against him and an injunction to keep him 25 feet away from the facility.

Now, TMS attorneys tell LifeNews they secured agreement from the U.S. Attorney General’s office to dismiss all of the civil charges pending against Scott, who had been accused of physically obstructing clients and employees of the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains abortion facility.

“This is a monumental vindication of the free speech rights of those who offer assistance at the nation’s abortion clinics,” said Peter Breen, executive director & legal counsel of the Thomas More Society, which represented Scott.

Breen added, “The charges against Scott, like a flurry of other charges the Justice Department recently has brought against pro-lifers all over the country, were fundamentally flawed and repugnant to the United States Constitution. The Government here sought to criminalize leafleting on a public sidewalk, which is clearly protected by the First Amendment, even when that leafleting occurs outside an abortion clinic.”

The Thomas More Society retained Denver attorney Rebecca Messall to assist with the defense of Scott. The agreement resulted after a settlement conference held this afternoon at the Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse in Denver. …

Go here for the rest of the story.