April 10, 2012

Santorum Withdraws

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:05 pm

As I said after Florida, “Boy, are we in trouble.” Long-term trouble.

A rundown of just how much may be on the way.

Assuming Romney prevails in Tampa, which is a seeming certainty unless the GOP suddenly acquires a conscience, 2012′s general will make Nixon-McGovern in 1972 look like a competition between two archangels. As I’ve said before, Romney’s only hope is that the economy is so bad that the Team Obama’s hits (too many of them far too accurate) don’t matter.

April 11: Rush — “I will just say this: If the Republican establishment is not careful, they are going to destroy themselves in the process of this campaign. If they screw this up… We’ve never had a better chance to win than this. If they screw this up, folks…”

_____________________________________

UPDATE: Santorum’s withdrawal email
(more…)

AP, In Essence, on Individual Mandate: ‘Those Dumb Supremes Don’t Understand’

At the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar is floating the notion (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) that members of the Supreme Court who seem inclined to strike down ObamaCare might do so without fully understanding it. Translation: Those dummies.

The AP reporter makes a claim which reads like a desperate talking point from Team Obama (and maybe it is). The essence of the “argument” is that if you have a required minimum plan design which includes many items individuals and families would never use and would never buy if left to their own devices, and you force them to purchase a health insurance policy with that design (or possibly better), it really isn’t a bad thing any more if you allow some choice in copays and deductibles.

Of course, Alonso-Zaldivar was able to quickly find several people to back up his assertion that certain of the Supremes might be “misunderstanding” the situation, while almost completely avoiding the core Commerce Clause-violating idea that not buying is not an option. Excerpts follow (bolds, including the four bolded words — “that may be true” which nuke the asinine argument being made, are mine):

(more…)

IBD: ‘Slow Jobs Growth Underscores Obamanomics’ Failure’ — As Does One Particular Unemployed Engineer

Of course it does, if you think growing the economy is the administration’s paramount goal. It’s not.

What follows are excerpts from Monday evening’s related Investor’s Business Daily editorial, with a nice follow-up on a specific Obama-related example from January:

Darin Wedel, an out-of-work Texas electronics engineer who more than two months ago sent his resume to the White House at the request of President Obama, is still unemployed. It’s a tale for our times.

Wedel sent his resume to the White House after Obama told Wedel’s wife in a Jan. 30 Internet forum that the U.S. doesn’t have enough home-grown engineers to fill all the opportunities.

Turns out, that’s not exactly true. “Not even recruiting companies are calling anymore,” Jennifer Wedel, a Fort Worth, Texas, mother of two, said of her jobless hubby.

As the Wedel family might tell you — and as April’s mediocre gain of 120,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs shows — the economy’s employment engine isn’t in high gear.

Today, a record 100.5 million Americans older than 16 don’t have jobs, up 34% since 2000. As Eddy Elfenbein, editor of the Crossing Wall Street blog, notes, “If we were to have the same jobs-to-population ratio as 12 years ago, there would have to be 14.6 million more jobs, or 22.6 million fewer people.”

That’s the scale of the damage done to our economy.

It may come as a surprise to Americans who’ve been fed a steady diet of stories claiming a ripping recovery is either here or on the way, but this remains the worst jobs recovery since the Depression.

By miles.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (041012)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:45 am

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

__________________________________________

Solyndra loan guarantee was rushed. But we all really knew that.

__________________________________________

Another credit downgrade for Uncle Sam, this time from an outfit called Egan Jones. It’s not news at the Associated Press (don’t want anybody to worry, eh?). It is, to an extent at the Washington Post.

But we all really knew that more things like this were coming — and still are.

__________________________________________

Widespread stimulus fraud.

Say it ain’t so, Sheriff Joe (Biden).

But we all really knew that, just not its extent.

__________________________________________

Changes in private-sector employmentHere’s what the Congressional Budget Office says:

Change in the Number of Workers Between December 2007 and December 2010:
Fewer than 50 workers, -7.1 percent
50 to 499 workers, -8.1 percent
500 or more workers, -5.4 percent

It would require more research, but the traditional mantra has been that small businesses create a disproportionate number of jobs during a recovery. It would be interested to see what has happened since June 2009 when the recession ended, or in the past two years since the economy (finally) began gaining some (but nowhere near enough) jobs.

We all intuitively knew that small businesses were, relatively speaking, suffering compared to large firms in this crony capitalist economy.

__________________________________________

From the “We Knew That; We Just Didn’t Know How Much (and It Will Only Get Worse)” Dept.:

Health-care law will add $340 billion to deficit, new study finds

President Obama’s landmark health-care initiative, long touted as a means to control costs, will actually add more than $340 billion to the nation’s budget woes over the next decade, according to a new study by a Republican member of the board that oversees Medicare financing.

The study is set to be released Tuesday by Charles Blahous, a conservative policy analyst whom Obama approved in 2010 as the GOP trustee for Medicare and Social Security.

Excuse me while I question the Post’s characterization of an Obama-approved “policy analyst” as “conservative.” If he were, one would think that Obama wouldn’t have approved him in the first place.

Positivity: Teenager who jumped 15ft from burning home in March thanks passersby who

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From the UK:

Sunday, April 8, 2012 6:00 PM

A teenager who jumped from the first floor of her burning home has said an emotional thank you to the passersby who saved her life.

Grace Coe leapt from a height of about 15ft as flames engulfed the family home in January and was found in the road by three Tradelink employees on their way to work.

The 17-year-old was in a coma for a week after the fall, which happened as her family were all away celebrating her sister’s wedding in Scotland.

The teenager fractured her spine and suffered bleeding on the brain but, three months later, the March resident is looking forward to returning to a “normal life”.

The former Neale-Wade Community College student said: “I don’t remember jumping at all but I feel really lucky to be alive. Everyone asks me what happened but I can’t tell them because I don’t remember. I just want to say thank you to the men who found me. They saved my life.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.