December 27, 2012

Jean Schmidt’s Finest Hour

Filed under: Economy,OH-02 US House,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:54 pm

I had no intention of bringing up outgoing congresswoman Jean Schmidt again before her career ends in just days.

But then I came across an item by Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator’s Spectacle blog, which in turn led me to search on Ronald Reagan’s last name at COAST’s blog and find an item (“Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution?”) from March of last year.

COAST, which worked mightily to defeat Schmidt for almost seven years, even when her opponents were among some of the most pathetic individuals ever to appear on a congressional ballot — including someone who inarguably voted illegally as an absentee for several years (really) — finally got its way in early March when Brad Wenstrup defeated her in the 2012 GOP primary.

COAST argued in late March why, in their view, Schmidt’s defeat several weeks earlier was important (bolds are mine throughout this post):

However, within that spectrum, we have seen the policy and political disasters wrought by unprincipled GOP politicians from George W. Bush (and George H.W. Bush) to Bob Taft, to Jean Schmidt and Kevin DeWine. And we have seen dramatic successes written on the walls of history by those who have followed the lead of Ronald Reagan.

With respect and kindness towards our Republican brothers who all-too-consistently back the more centrist elements in the GOP, and in many cases the unsavory and corrupt elements in the Party, we ask: Do you want to continue to remain on the wrong side of history?

The invocation of Reagan, and the in-essence casting of Schmidt as the anti-Reagan, doesn’t exactly square with Schmidt’s voting record, which includes a 100% rating from the tough graders at the Club For Growth in 2010.

COAST’s false take also doesn’t square with what Schmidt did last week (some paragraph breaks were removed):

Reagan’s House Heroes Stop Plan B

Call it a Reykjavik Moment. An Air Traffic Controllers Moment. Both of which were Reagan Moments.

Moments in American history when, under extreme pressure, Ronald Reagan simply refused to buckle. Against all the chorus shouted from the media and congressional bleachers — that he had failed by walking out on a bad deal with Gorbachev or recklessly fired striking air traffic controllers who were striking against federal law — Ronald Reagan never blinked. And the fact that he didn’t blink made America — and the world — an infinitely better place.

Thursday night 13 conservative House Republicans defeated the Rule for the vote on Speaker Boehner’s highly controversial “Plan B.”

Those conservatives, by name (an asterisk denoting those who will not be returning to Congress next year) are: Justin Amash of MI, Paul Broun of GA, Trent Franks of AZ, Louie Gohmert of TX, Tim Huelskamp of KS, Walter Jones of NC, Jim Jordan of OH, Andy Harris of MD, Jeff Landry of LA*, Thomas Massie of KY, Ron Paul of TX*, Jean Schmidt of OH*, Joe Walsh of IL*

… What is the take away here?

This was a botched GOP House Leadership issue. It is exactly what happens when the governing principle is deal making and not principle.

House GOP Members began to realize that, intended or not, they were perceived as trashing the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

Three cheers for those thirteen GOP House conservatives for standing up, Reagan-style, for principle.

They had a Reykjavik Moment. An Air Traffic Controllers Moment. They had a Reagan Moment.

And whatever happens next, the Reagan Thirteen are heroes.

Which means that Jean Schmidt, in one of her final acts as a Congresswoman, is a heroine. (Update: This sentence was changed because Congress may be reconvening over the weekend.)

Schmidt’s principled stance on Plan B when it counted — she could easily have mailed it in and sold out to John Boehner’s poorly thought-through maneuvering, but didn’t — shows how big the shoes are which Brad Wenstrup must fill.

On balance, and though far from perfect, Jean Schmidt was much more often than not part of the solution.

Is COAST up to congratulating Schmidt on her “Reagan Moment,” or will it stay spiteful to the bitter end?

Is Brad Wenstrup going to be part of the problem, or part of the solution? We’ll have to see. I certainly hope for the latter.

Going forward, will COAST call out Wenstrup’s screwups, or is it so vested in his success that it will ignore and/or excuse them? We’ll have to see about that too.

WSJ Op-Ed: Gun-Banning Efforts in the UK, Australia ‘Haven’t Made People Safer’ (In Fact, They’re Less Safe)

It doesn’t take much of an effort to find plenty of establishment press reports (just four such examples are here, here, here, and here) about the reaction to the Newtown, Connecticut coming out of Dunblane, Scotland, the site of a 1996 school massacre where sixteen children and one adult were murdered before the gunman committed suicide.

Most reports note that strict gun legislation was passed in the wake of the massacre, but don’t cover the laws’ impact. One of the four reports just cited, from CNN’s Peter Wilkinson, called “How UK school massacre led to tighter gun control,” waits 19 paragraphs before discussing results, and then fudges (bolds are mine throughout this post):

(more…)

Initial Unemployment Claims (a DOL Wild Guess): 350K SA; NSA Claims Down 11% from Year Ago

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:02 am

From the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending December 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 350,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 362,000. The 4-week moving average was 356,750, a decrease of 11,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 368,000.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 440,887 in the week ending December 22, an increase of 39,458 from the previous week. There were 497,689 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

Last week’s original 361,000 was only slightly revised up to the 362,000 noted above.

This week’s seasonal conversion factor was 125.9, while the comparable figure from last year was 129.5. If last year’s figure had been applied to this year’s raw claims, the seasonally adjusted figure would have been 10,000 claims lower (440,887 divided by 129.5 rounds to 340,000). Both years had a full work week prior to Christmas.

Overall, this would appear to be somewhat of an improvement, but an Associated Press report indicates that it’s essentially a wild guess:

A department spokesman said many state unemployment offices were closed Monday and Tuesday and unable to compile complete data. Fourteen states provided estimates and the department estimated the numbers for five additional states.

The government might estimate one or two states in a typical week, but 19 state estimates are unusually high. The estimates are usually fairly accurate, the spokesman said. Even so, the government will likely revise the figures by more than normal next week.

Betcha the direction is upward by “more than normal.”

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Right to Work: Is Ohio Next?’) Is Up

Filed under: Ohio Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:01 am

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Saturday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (122712)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

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

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Positivity: Family’s Christmas village started with medical miracle

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Crittenden, Kentucky:

12:46 AM, Dec 23, 2012

Skaters glide on a pond while little children line up to sit on the lap of jolly St. Nicholas.

Nearby, cut trees are piled high in the corner of the Christmas tree lot.

Santa’s sleigh, pulled by six reindeer, soars overhead.

The scenes are part of an intricately detailed Christmas village in the home of Bill Lannigan of Crittenden. Now in its 18th year, the annual display for family and friends is more than just tradi tion to Lannigan – it is a reminder that Christmas miracles do happen.

Always enthusiastic about the holiday season, Lannigan spent days each year decorating his home inside and out, but in 1994, there were no decorations. There wasn’t even a tree. Lannigan and his wife, Mary, had spent each day since Thanksgiving at the hospital with their only child, Michelle.

Not quite 2 years old, Michelle had been diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that offered little promise of survival. When she was released just before Christmas, Lannigan wanted to add a little holiday spirit. A Christmas village was purchased and a new tradition was born.

“We stopped and got this 10-piece set and figured we’d at least set up something for Boo Boo,” Lannigan said, calling his daughter by the nickname he still uses when speaking to her. “That original set included a doctor’s office, but it was never lit. I said we were done with doctors when we first came home.”

Michelle wasn’t done with doctors, though. She underwent major surgery and five years of additional testing, visiting the hospital two to three times each week. The doctors called her a miracle.

“Every time the doctors saw her, they’d say she shouldn’t even be alive,” Lannigan said.

The following year, he invited his little girl, who was regaining her health, to help him set up the display, which now included a few additional pieces.

“I remember setting it up as a kid. I remember the different variations,” said Michelle, now 19 and healthy. …

Go here for the rest of the story.