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Republicans and Blacks

by Speranza ( 186 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, Economy, Elections, Mitt Romney, Republican Party, unemployment at March 26th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Rand Paul – unlike most Republican activists – actually seems interested in expanding the Republican Party. The day we can get 20 -25% of the Black vote is the day that the Democratic Party sinks into irrelevance but the first thing we need to do is actually show ourselves in Black neighborhoods and rebuild our urban arm. Instead of promoting vanity candidates such as the pizza guy, look more to serious thinkers such as Thomas Sowell.

by Thomas Sowell

Recently former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice added her voice to those who have long been urging the Republican Party to reach out to black voters. Not only is that long overdue, what is also long overdue is putting some time — and, above all, some serious thought — into how to go about doing it.

Too many Republicans seem to think that the way to “reach out” is to offer blacks and other minorities what the Democrats are offering them. Some have even suggested that the channels to use are organizations like the NAACP and black “leaders” like Jesse Jackson — that is, people tied irrevocably to the Democrats.

Voters who want what the Democrats offer can get it from the Democrats. Why should they vote for Republicans who act like make-believe Democrats?

Yet there are issues where Republicans have a big advantage over Democrats — if they will use that advantage.  [......]

The issue on which Democrats are most vulnerable, and have the least room to maneuver, is school choice. Democrats are heavily in hock to the teachers’ unions, who see public schools as places to guarantee jobs for teachers, regardless of what that means for the education of students.

There are some charter schools and private schools that have low-income minority youngsters equaling or exceeding national norms, despite the many ghetto public schools where most students are nowhere close to meeting those norms. Because teachers’ unions oppose charter schools, most Democrats oppose them, including black Democrats up to and including President Barack Obama.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent cutback on funding for charter schools, and creating other obstacles for them, showed a calloused disregard for black youngsters, for whom a decent education is their one shot at a better life.

But did you hear any Republican say anything about it?

Minimum wage laws are another government-created disaster for minority young people.

Many people today would be surprised to learn that there were once years when the unemployment rate for black 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds was under 10 percent. But their unemployment rates have not been under 20 percent in more than half a century. In some years, their unemployment rate has been over 40 percent.

Why such great differences between earlier and later times? In the late 1940s, inflation had rendered meaningless the minimum wage set in 1938.  [.......]

Young people need job experience, at least as much as they need a paycheck. And no neighborhood needs hordes of idle young men hanging around, getting into mischief, if not into crime.

Republicans have failed to explain why the minimum wage laws that Democrats support are counterproductive for blacks. Worse yet, during the 2012 election campaign Mitt Romney advocated indexing the minimum wage for inflation, which would not only guarantee its bad effects, but would put an end to discussing those bad effects.

Are issues like these going to switch the black vote as a whole over into the Republican column at the next election? Of course not. Nor will embracing the Democrats’ racial agenda.

But, if Republicans can reduce the 90 percent of the black vote that goes to Democrats to 80 percent, that can be enough to swing a couple of close Congressional elections — as a start.

Even to achieve that, however, will require targeting those particular segments of the black population that are not irrevocably committed to the Democrats. Parents who want their children to get a decent education are one obvious example. But if Republicans aim a one-size-fits-all message at all blacks they will fail to connect with the particular people they have some chance of reaching.

First of all, Republicans will need to know what they are talking about. There are books like “Race and Economics” by Walter Williams, which show that many well-meaning government programs have been counterproductive for minorities. And there are people like Shelby Steele and the Thernstroms with valuable insights.

But first Republicans have got to want to learn, and to be willing to do some thinking, in order to get their message across.

Read the rest - Republicans and Blacks

Rodan Addendum: Roger L. Simon from PJ Media discusses the racist nature of the Progressives.

As one of the relatively few people (percentage wise) to have spent more than a decade on both sides of our political divide, and also to have participated personally in the civil rights movement in the South in the sixties, I am going to say something that will be extremely controversial to liberals, indeed make them hate me.  Given all those years I spent on the two sides, I have observed liberals to be vastly more racist than conservatives and libertarians.

 It isn’t even close. During the time I was on the left, I heard  many racially disparaging comments by my associates either offered in confidence or as off-hand remarks.  During my time on the right,  I heard such a comment only one time — and that was by a Frenchman. (Frankly, it didn’t surprise me.  I have spent a certain amount of time in France and heard more racism around the dinner table than I ever have in this country.)  I will add that, though I don’t classify myself as a Tea Party member, in the seven years I was CEO of PJ Media, I met or spoke on the phone with dozens of  Tea Partiers.  Not a single one of them ever said or did anything that approached racism to me.  And I was certainly paying attention. That was my job.

The roots of this divide are not just the obvious Freudian projection — those who accuse you of something evil are usually the ones perpetrating it.  That’s true enough.  But it’s far more than that.  The Democratic Party has been waging a War on Black People since the Great Society of 1964-65 (actually for far longer than that) that has reached horrifying proportions in our time.  That nearly 73 percent of African Americans are currently born out of wedlock, 67 percent living in single parent homes, is nothing short of disastrous with yet more disastrous auguries for the future.

And all this during the administration of our first black president.  The level of hypocrisy is astronomical.

I experienced first hand Progressive racism in the NYC Public Schools in the Pre-Guiliani era. I saw Immigrant students from Eastern Europe put in regular classes. Immigrant students from Latin America were thrown in ESL classes. The implication is that Spanish speakers are biologically inferior to East Europeans. Sadly many in the Republican Party refuse to call out this racism.

(Hat Tip: Iron Fist)

Things Are Looking Up For The Right!

by Flyovercountry ( 134 Comments › )
Filed under Conservatism, Economy, Libertarianism, Regulation, Republican Party, Tea Parties, The Political Right, Uncategorized, unemployment at February 27th, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

I believe some perspective might be in order, so that the significance of this next item may be fully appreciated in its broader context. Harry Reid it seems went to his fellow minions in the Senate, and as their minion leader, found that little more than half of his sub minion drones were on board with the latest bit of class warfare du jour.

I am referencing of course the proposed federal minimum wage hike to $10.10 per hour, euphemistically referred to as, “giving America a raise.” For purposes of perspective, let’s discuss what these little bits of class warfare truly are, and especially the minimum wage hike. They are the go to plays within the Democrat play book that are pulled out whenever electoral trouble is spotted on the horizon. The minimum wage hike is the Democrat equivalent to the Steelers running their bubble screen each and every time they face a second and long and are down by a touchdown or more. They are the equivalent of Peyton Manning coming to the line of scrimmage and declaring authoritatively, “Comanche,” every single time his offense faces a third and long. The minimum wage hike is the go to play, and before now, it has worked every single time, (in terms of electoral politics anyhow. Economically, it has always resulted in disaster.)

From the Hotair article linked to above:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday delayed action on legislation raising the minimum wage, the centerpiece of the Democrats’ 2014 agenda.

The Nevada Democrat made the surprising move amid escalating Democratic resistance in the wake of a Congressional Budget Office report released last week estimating that hiking the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could cost the equivalent of 500,000 jobs by late 2016.

Reid has not yet unified his caucus on the issue, which is a constant in the Democrats’ election-year playbook. Of the 55 senators who caucus with the Democrats, only 32 have signed on as official co-sponsors of Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) bill.
Let’s get this straight. This is Obama’s highest domestic agenda priority item, and the chamber which his party controls can barely get half of their caucus to sign onto it? That’s some genius work at the White House. Who’s their legislative liaison these days?

The issue, of course, is that the CBO actually scored the proposal before Reid could advance the bill. Their estimate of 500,000 jobs lost in just two years would be a boat anchor on any legislation, but especially in an economy where workforce participation looks like this:

The Democrats who still have jobs in Washington, and are not tenured enough in their careers as professional wielders of power are worried. They have internal polls, and those internal polls are telling them to forget about 2016, but worry instead about 2014. They can read the tea leaves and those tea leaves are telling them that America is not in a mood to elect Democrats to the office of county dog catcher. This is the reason why we are seeing a huge increase in the retirements from the demographic of Democrat Congressional Leaders. These fine folks are not interested in being in Congress and not being afforded the opportunity to wield power to the degree that they feel entitled.

What we’ve just witnessed, to continue the pro football analogy, is the first snap from scrimmage during a playoff game sailing over the head of the quarterback, while the whole stadium anticipated and feared the bubble screen. The Democrats tried to label Obamacare bi-partisan, and that will never work. Then they tried to laud it as a giant success, that won’t work either. Next they tried the whole populist play book, and received a bizarrely luke warm reception from a nation fatigued with previous consequences from earlier forays into populism. After that, the calls to fix rather than scrap Obamacare were sounded to various focus groups. The response of course was this:

“You can’t fix this car Spicoli!”

The tried and true minimum wage hike was supposed to be their go to play. The good news is that as of now, they can’t even sell it to their own. Demonizing political opponents is all they have left now. Expect to see that soon. It may work, and it may not, but one thing is clear, reports of the death of the GOP may have been premature, once again.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Perception

by Flyovercountry ( 252 Comments › )
Filed under Business, Economy, unemployment at January 30th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Take a good look at the graph above. This is from the St. Louis Federal Reserve. Yesterday, and last night, I heard about an economy currently, “firing on all cylinders,”. What the above graph shows is the percentage of Americans who actually have jobs as compared to the entire population. This is called the labor force participation rate. The more astute among you might notice that the graph shows bad news irrespective of the reported unemployment rate coming down over the last couple of years. This shows that the percentage of Americans with jobs had not only declined sharply during the 2008 and 2009 time period, but never recovered in the slightest. This my fellow gentle snow flakes is what those of us who live here call reality. In the land of reality, we don’t have Unicorns to ride, and the Green Fairy has not provided the jobs of the future as promised by a man child President wielding a magic wand. In the land of reality, a record number of Americans now need federal assistance in order to feed their families. In that land, 1 in 5 among us are on food stamps, a percentage that matches the reality of the Great Depression which occurred during the 1930′s. In the land of reality, nearly one half of all Americans are not working. That is what 5 years of Obamanomics have done for us. We may be destined to experience 3 more years, with the ability to mitigate the final two of them, but there is no reason why we should subjugate ourselves further beyond that point. (Here’s my shout out to the impeach him now crowd. Even if we impeach this pock on our nation, that would give us a President Biden, which would in no way be different.)

Unfortunately for our friends who live in that Unicorn infested Universe, reality has some very real consequences that tend to intrude themselves upon both the believers and non-believers alike. When the President and his minions use accounting tricks to obfuscate the unemployment rate, and more specifically the labor statistics which drive that headline, it will produce not one steak more for the tables of Americans sitting down to enjoy their meals. People know the difference between actual groceries, and those wonderful food pellets that are doubtless on our horizon should we continue down this Socialist path. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, the citizenry who lived under that oppressive system invited the world in to see an entire nation which resembled Detroit of today. The Soviet leadership also had a track record of publishing glowing economic reports and forecasts for its citizens. That tactic didn’t work there either.

As bad as all of this is, it pales in comparison with what’s coming next. As the November deadline for the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act nears, businesses with employees greater than 50 will begin taking the necessary measures to insure that they survive the coming storm. At that time, our President who has taken to unilateral decision making in terms of which pieces of any law he deems fit to enforce, and which pieces he deems fit to let slide, and has even gone to the lengths of enforcing some laws for certain citizens while allowing political allies to be granted immunity, will be faced with a decision. He will have to decide if he wants to allow the monstrosity that he authored to destroy any hope he has of maintaining some semblance of an alliance with the Legislative Branch, or whether he wants to, yet again, take the measure of forcing the little people that he cares so much about to subsidize another delay of big business’ share of the massive expense concerning this behemoth. Either way, many or most of those who still have their health insurance supplied through an employer sponsored plan will find themselves kicked off. Greedy Executives and an obstructionist GOP will of course be blamed, but I’m sure by now, even the dumbest among us know that the greedy executives and the GOP had nothing to do with the passage and implementation of this law. (By the bye, the fine this year for noncompliance is $95. Next year’s kick in the pants is scheduled to be $395. It of course will go up from there.)

It might be possible to completely fool enough people in a populace for a short period of time, but ultimately, reality will always shine through. Sunlight really is a great disinfectant. Those families on food stamps, one out of five people in our nation, all know that they are on food stamps. Those who belong to the 20 Million demographic, the ones who did not need food stamps prior to Barack Obama’s inauguration and do now, they realize their reality as well. Maybe the folks who are part of the generational ward of the state demographic are willing to accept their circumstances and are content with their absence of opportunity, but those who have recently moved among that strata of society, not so much. America knows it’s not raining, but the other thing entirely. We’re going to see a wave election come November. I know it, and based on that bit of Kabuki Theater that I saw last night masquerading as a Joint Session Address to Congress, Barack Obama knows it as well.

Every aspect of Liberalism, or Progressivism, or what ever they’ll call themselves and their philosophy next has failed. That failure has been laid bare, and no amount of lipstick will make this pig any prettier. November of 2013 was the turning point. When historians look back on these dark days a hundred years from now and proclaim Barack Obama to be the single worst President in our nation’s history, his epitaph will begin with that point in time. They’ll also note that it was him getting everything that he wanted which ultimately did him in.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Overheard At An ObamaCare Exchange

by Bunk X ( 213 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Business, Communism, Corruption, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Economy, Fascism, Health Care, Healthcare, History, Liberal Fascism, Open thread, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, Socialism, unemployment at November 14th, 2013 - 8:00 pm

“Hello, Ma’am. May I help you?”

“Yes, I’m here to sign up for ObamaCare because my insurance carrier dropped me.”

“I can help you with that, but I need some information first. I need your age, weight, height, current medical status and your Social Security ID card with an ID.”

“Here’s my card and my driver’s license. I’m 67, 5′-7″, 210 lbs., diabetic, smoker, varicose veins, and have high blood pressure.”

“Do you drink alcohol?”

“All I can get.”

“Do you own a firearm?”

“What? Yes I do. For self defense.”

“Huh. Are you aware that ObamaCare provides free contraceptives and coverage for pregnancy?

“I’ve had a hysterectomy.”

“That doesn’t matter, because you’ll still be covered just in case. Who did you vote for in the last presidential election?”

“What does that have to do with medical insurance?”

“I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I need that information to process your enrollment.”

“I voted for Mitt Romney.”

“Okay. I’ve got your info entered and it looks like you qualify for ObamaCare Plan 9.
Please proceed down the hall to Waiting Room 2, Door 314, and an ObamaCaregiver will be with you shortly. Have a nice day.”

ObamaCare Exit

What a bizarre nightmare of bureaucratic fascism Obamacare has become. It has nothing to do with so-called “affordable health care” because it’s more insidious than that. Look beyond the facade of the ObamaCare website fiasco, and there’s nothing but expensive darkness, economic gloom, substandard medical care and more.

Make no mistake, the aging “baby boomer” generation, those of us born between 1946 and 1964, are the targets, because we’re old enough to remember atrocities perpetrated by the Left here and abroad. ObamaCare is just another vehicle designed to erase the past in order to promote a radical leftist agenda, and it’s got lethal teeth.

People still wonder how mass murderers like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Ho Chi Minh & Pol Pot came to power and killed off millions of their own people. We’re witnessing the same process today, via a clever but insidious program known as ObamaCare, and that’s not hyperbole. If ObamaCare is fully enacted, the Missus and I will suffer, but I worry for my kids who will suffer more, because they won’t know why.

Teach Your Children Well.

[Crossposted here, just because.]

More People Sign-up for One-way Ticket to Mars Than Sign-up for Obamacare

by huckfunn Comments Off
Filed under Barack Obama, Business, Corruption, Cult of Obama, Debt, Democratic Party, Economy, government, Headlines, Health Care, IRS, Marxism, Misery Index, Regulation, Socialism, taxation, unemployment at October 18th, 2013 - 8:41 am

I’m shocked… shocked. The Obamacare monstrosity is the worst law ever imposed on the American people. I hope the voters will remember that next year.

A startup venture recruiting people for a one-way, 43 million mile trip to live on Mars has generated more signatures than all the Obamacare health insurance plans combined.

Just 712 people in Vermont have enrolled in the state’s new health insurance exchange, despite $9 million in outreach, advertising and other PR expenses paid for by the federal government.

The entire state of Alaska has yet to register a single person, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

(‘Juneau how many people have signed up?’ asks one cheeky blogger. ‘Hint: It’s a round number!’)

A CNN medical correspondent has found that the online Obamacare system, which was reportedly first tested just days before its Oct. 1 launch, is now spontaneously deleting some Americans’ passwords.

The website itself, according to The Weekly Standard, includes pilfered source code but excludes a required copyright notice required by its author.

With $394 million in contracts in the rear-view mirror, the Obama administration has an online white elephant on its hands that hasn’t worked as advertised.

Krystal Ball, an MSNBC commentator best known for a series of racy ‘naughty Santa’ photos that circled the Internet in 2010, confessed on Thursday that she was ‘embarrassed to admit’ she once worked for the company that created the federal government’s Obamacare website.

Is the Affordable Care Act officially the most dysfunctional and disaster-prone launch in history?

Congress, which suddenly has time on its hands after weeks of shutdown and debt-Armageddon liars poker, is about to ask some tough questions.

Read the entire article here. 

Obama approval rate 37%; Unemployment rate 31%…

by Guest Post ( 121 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Economy, Marxism, Progressives, unemployment at October 9th, 2013 - 12:00 pm

Guest Blogger: Doriangrey


The Fifth Column Treasonous Media have been working genuine miracles here in Marxist Utopian America. During the Great Depression of the 30′s, the unemployment rate reached a staggering 22 percent. Oh for those halcyon days of your when only 22 percent of the nation was unemployed. As Investors Business Daily shows us, the real unemployment rate in America, not the lies that the Obamanation Administration and the Fifth Column Treasonous Media have been foisting off on an unsuspecting American public claim, but the real unemployment rate is actually 31 percent.

The government’s official unemployment report in September showed 11.3 million people, or about 7.3% of the labor force, without jobs. Not good, but not disastrous, right?

Well, those data exclude a lot of people — particularly the millions of discouraged workers who have simply given up looking for a job. So the real unemployment number is bigger — a lot bigger.

In our IBD/TIPP Poll, we ask a different question: “How many members of your household are currently unemployed and are looking for employment?”

Not surprisingly, the answer we get differs greatly from the government’s data. This month’s survey, completed Thursday night, indicated that 47.9 million Americans are looking for work. No, that’s not a misprint: 47.9 million.

Out of a workforce of 154 million, that yields a gross unemployment rate of 31%. Among all households, 26% have at least one member looking for work.

We also find data on “Job-Sensitive Households” — those with one or more people looking for work plus those saying they’re “concerned” about a member of the household losing a job. That number is 31%, up from 23% as recently as April.

Our country’s labor markets, in short, are in far worse shape than you’ve been led to believe.

Government reports in recent months have shown gains of fewer than 200,000 jobs — mediocre at best. Still, experts in Washington and on Wall Street speak of a “firming.” Our data, however, show no such thing.

Our survey, unlike the Labor Department’s, reflects those Americans who have sunk so deeply into economic despair they are no longer counted by the government. This is a more realistic gauge of unemployment, and we are not alone in our findings.

The venerable Gallup Poll’s “Underemployment Rate” — measuring both the unemployed and part-time workers who want to work full-time — stood at 17.1% in September, up from 15.9% in October 2012.

The job “recovery” under Obamanomics is now in its 43rd month, the longest it’s taken since before Truman’s time for the economy to return to its previous employment peak. And we’re still millions of jobs away.

In delaying the official jobs report, the government shutdown may be doing us all a favor by exposing a truly dark employment picture that otherwise wouldn’t see the light of day.

Now, contrast the real unemployment rate 31% with Obama’s approval rate 37%.

AP poll: Obama at 37% approval

Readers have to get halfway into the Associated Press report on its new AP-GFK poll to find this out, but Barack Obama’s job approval numbers have cratered in the shutdown. His overall job approval is now 37/53, and a majority want Obama to start cooperating more with Republicans, as 63% want Republicans to meet Obama part-way, too:

Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown as public esteem sinks for all players in the impasse, President Barack Obama among them, according to a new poll. It’s a struggle with no heroes. …

Most Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, the poll suggests, with 53 percent unhappy with his performance and 37 percent approving of it. Congress is scraping rock bottom, with a ghastly approval rating of 5 percent.

Indeed, anyone making headlines in the dispute has earned poor marks for his or her trouble, whether it’s Democrat Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, or Republican John Boehner, the House speaker, both with a favorability rating of 18 percent.

The amusing headline in this instance is “GOP gets the blame in shutdown.” However, the data shows that plenty of blame is being heaped on all sides, by all sides:

— Sixty-eight percent said the shutdown is a major problem for the country, including majorities of Republicans (58 percent), Democrats (82 percent) and independents (57 percent).

— Fifty-two percent said Obama is not doing enough to cooperate with Republicans to end the shutdown; 63 percent say Republicans aren’t doing enough to cooperate with him.

Only 30% approve of raising the debt ceiling, clean or otherwise. And despite the best (that is to say, most malicious) efforts of the National Parks Service, more than 80% have had no impact from the government shutdown. That’s not exactly the kind of momentum Obama and the Democrats hoped to generate for pressure on Republicans, and their “no negotiations” stand is practically designed to backfire, if this poll accurately reflects public temperament.

When the history books are written about Obama’s tenure as POTUS, if they are indeed written by honest, objective scholars, then Herbert Hoover will move up a spot to be replaced by Barack Insane Obama as Captain of America’s economic Titanic. More importantly, if those historians record an honest factual and objective record of the scandals that plagued the Obamanation Administration, well then, Obamanation Administration is the exact title that they will attach to the Obama Administration. Their accounting will begin with the phrase, “No Presidential Administration in American history was more destructive, scandal prone, corrupt, incompetent or lied about by the media then the Obama Administration”.

Sadly though, the likelihood of those so called future “scholars” being honest or objective is as much in doubt, as the Fifth Column Treasonous Media renouncing their Leftist Progressive Marxist agenda and once again returning to their Fourth Estate roots and seeking to protect the Great American Experiment. American Academia is perhaps the only institution in America even more thoroughly infiltrated by Marxist subversives than the Fifth Column Treasonous Media, sheltered from reality in their Ivy Towers, they continue to indoctrinate American Youth with the utterly evil and corrupt Marxist Ideology, and are likely to continue doing so for a very long time.

Nazi Propaganda Minister Joesph Goebbels discovered a painful and insidious truth while serving Adolph Hitler. If you control the information that a nations people receive, and you repeat a lie often enough, and their is nobody to publicly refute those lies, then the majority of that nations people will accept as truth, even things they know are lies.

Benjamin Franklin, the father of America’s Fourth Estate believed that a free, honest and objective press was the cornerstone of Liberty and Freedom and that without a free, honest and objective press, tyranny was soon to follow. Joesph Goebbels on the other hand proved without a doubt, that a corrupt propaganda machine masquerading itself as a free press was the bedrock upon which stood every tyrant and dictator.

(Cross Posted @ The Wilderness of Mirrors)

Mitt Romney was right; Obama Boom: 169,000 jobs added in August but 516,000 dropped out of the labor force

by Speranza ( 114 Comments › )
Filed under Bailouts, Barack Obama, Cold War, Economy, Elections 2012, France, Health Care, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republican Party, Russia, Syria, unemployment at September 6th, 2013 - 7:00 am

He was right on just about every thing he said about Russia, Obamacare, and the economy. Too bad he chose to be guided by people like Stuart Stevens and had a backstabber named Chris Christie  around.

by McKay Coppins

Ten months after Mitt Romney shuffled off the national stage in defeat — consigned, many predicted, to a fate of instant irrelevance and permanent obscurity — Republicans are suddenly celebrating the presidential also-ran as a political prophet.

From his widely mocked warnings about a hostile Russia to his adamant opposition to the increasingly unpopular implementation of Obamacare, the ex-candidate’s canon of campaign rhetoric now offers cause for vindication — and remorse — to Romney’s friends, supporters, and former advisers.

“I think about the campaign every single day, and what a shame it is who we have in the White House,” said Spencer Zwick, who worked as Romney’s finance director and is a close friend to his family. “I look at things happening and I say, you know what? Mitt was actually right when he talked about Russia, and he was actually right when he talked about how hard it was going to be to implement Obamacare, and he was actually right when he talked about the economy. I think there are a lot of everyday Americans who are now feeling the effects of what [Romney] said was going to happen, unfortunately.”

Of course, there is a long tradition in American politics of dwelling on counterfactuals and re-litigating past campaigns after your candidate loses. Democrats have argued through the years that America would have avoided two costly Middle East wars, solved climate change, and steered clear of the housing crisis if only the Supreme Court hadn’t robbed Al Gore of his rightful victory in 2000. But a series of White House controversies and international crises this year — including a Syrian civil war that is threatening to pull the American military into the mix — has caused Romney’s fans to erupt into a chorus of told-you-so’s at record pace.

In the most actively cited example of the Republican nominee’s foresight, Romneyites point to the candidate’s hardline rhetoric last year against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration. During the campaign, Romney frequently criticized Obama for foolishly attempting to make common cause with the Kremlin, and repeatedly referred to Russia as “our number one geopolitical foe.”

Many observers found this fixation strange, and Democrats tried to turn it into a punchline. A New York Timeseditorial in March of last year said Romney’s assertions regarding Russia represented either “a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics.” And in an October debate, Obama sarcastically mocked his opponent’s Russia rhetoric. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” the president quipped at the time.

That line still chafes Robert O’Brien, a Los Angeles lawyer and friend of Romney’s who served as a foreign policy adviser.
[.........]

Indeed, earlier this summer, Moscow defiantly refused to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to the United States, prompting Obama to cancel a meeting he had scheduled with Putin during the Group of 20 summit. Russia has blocked United Nations action against Syria. And on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told lawmakers that Russia was one of the countries supplying Syria with chemical weapons.

To Romney’s fans, these episodes illustrate just how unfairly their candidate was punished during the election for speaking truths the rest of the country would eventually come around to.

[.........]”

Admirers point to other examples of Romney’s unrewarded wisdom, as well.

During a foreign policy debate in October, the candidate briefly expressed concern over Islamic extremists taking control of northern Mali — an obscure reference that was mocked on Twitter at the time, including by liberal comedian Bill Maher. Three months later, France sent troops into the country at the behest of the Malian president, bringing the conflict to front pages around the world.

On the domestic front, Obamacare — which Romney spent more time railing against on the stump than perhaps any other progressive policy — is less popular than ever, while the federal government struggles to get the massive, complicated law implemented. (One poll in July found for the first time that a plurality of Americans now support the law’s repeal.)

And while the unemployment rate has, in the first year of Obama’s second term, gradually fallen to post-crisis lows, the still-ailing U.S. economy, which served as the centerpiece for Romney’s unsuccessful case against Obama’s reelection, was given a potent symbol earlier this summer when Detroit became the largest American city ever to declare bankruptcy.

The Motor City became a symbolic battleground during the election, with Romney proudly touting his father’s ties to the auto industry, and the Obama campaign relentlessly attacking the Republican for a Times op-ed he had written years earlier headlined “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

“The president took the title of that op-ed, which of course was written by editors of the New York Times, and used it to say Gov. Romney was being insensitive about his own home city,” complained former campaign spokesman Ryan Williams. Romney’s article argued that beleaguered automakers should consider going through a managed bankruptcy instead of taking a bailout but, Williams said, “the president’s campaign intentionally tried to blur the lines. It worked. And several months later, the city is going bankrupt because of liberal democratic officeholders.”

Referring to the bankruptcy, Putin’s posturing, and the Mali conflict, Williams added, “Obviously, it would have been nice if any of these incidents would have occurred during the campaign to vindicate Romney.  [........].”

Romneyites are processing these feelings of vindication in different ways. The campaign’s chief strategist, Stuart Stevens, said he has been disappointed to see their central message — that Obama would be unable to restore America’s strength — turned out to be so accurate: “If there is a part of the world in which America is stronger, it’s hard to find. What’s the president doing? Attacking a talk radio host. He has criticized Rush Limbaugh with more conviction than the leaders of Iran… We can only hope it improves. ”

And Jennifer Rubin, the conservative Washington Post blogger who became Romney’s most outspoken advocate in the press, accused members of the news media of failing to take the Republican’s arguments seriously, while allowing the incumbent skate through the race untouched.

“As for the media, they are the least self-reflective people I know,” Rubin said. “The left-leaning media has carried the president’s water faithfully, eschewing the least bit of critical analysis. Now they don’t like the result?”

For Zwick, perhaps the closest thing to a true Romney loyalist on the campaign last year, the belief that his candidate turned out to be right offers little comfort.

“It’s frustrating because there’s no way to correct it,” Zwick said. “We don’t do what they do in the U.K. and lead the opposition party when you lose. When you lose there is no way to sort of be vindicated. There’s no way to say, ‘OK, well, I didn’t win the presidency but I’m going to continue to fight.’ There’s no fighting. There’s no platform to do that. Fifty million Americans voted for the guy and yet it’s all for nothing.”

[........]

Read the rest - Was Mitt Romney right about everything?

 


Addendum: The Obama Boom: 169,000 jobs created in July, but 512,00 dropped out of the labor force

The Obama Boom continues to defy economic logic. A meager 169,000 jobs were created in August. Still, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% which should not be happening with this anemic figure of job growth. The reason the drop occurred is the same story we have been reading about, people are dropping out of the workforce. 90,000 of the jobs created are just government estimates via the birth/death model, not actual jobs.

Job growth was less than expected in August as the U.S. economy added 169,000 positions, raising questions over whether the Federal Reserve will begin a pullback on its historically easy monetary policy.The Bureau of Labor Statistics also said the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent, its lowest since December 2008, but due primarily to fewer Americans in the labor force.

A more encompassing rate that counts the underemployed and those who have quit working also fell, dropping to 13.7 percent.

[....]

July’s number got knocked down to 172,000 from 188,000, and June’s tumbled all the way from 162,000 to 104,000.

[....]

The labor force participation rate slumped to 63.2 percent, a 2013 low and its worst reading in 35 years.

More than half the jobs added came through estimates the government does each month of the amount of positions gained or lost through new business openings and closures. The so-called birth-death model added 90,000 to the total.

[....]

And job quality was at the low end of the income spectrum, as retail led the way with 44,000.

The crew at Zerohedge dug deeper into the numbers and found that 512,00 dropped out of the labor market. Even worse the total number of Americans not working is at 90 Million!

While the Establishment survey data was ugly due to both the miss and the prior downward revisions in the NFP print, the real action was in the Household survey, where we find that the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 516,000 in one month, which in turn increased the total number of people outside the labor force to a record 90.5 million Americans.

America’s 13 year stagnation continues.

 

Part-time nation

by Speranza ( 100 Comments › )
Filed under Health Care, unemployment at August 28th, 2013 - 9:00 am

That is pretty much Obama has turned America into and it will only get worse thanks to “Obamacare”.

by Grace-Marie Turner

The Obama administration continues to discount the huge impact its health overhaul law is having in turning America into a part-time nation, calling reports anecdotal and not based on complete data.

To paraphrase Groucho Marx:  Who are you going to believe?  Me, or your own eyes?

An avalanche of “anecdotes” continues to pile up as workers across the country are having their hours cut and their health benefits slashed across a broad range of industries.

Loren Goodridge, the owner of 21 Subway franchises, says he has no choice but to cut the hours of his employees to 29 a week to avoid the law’s penalties.

[.......]

Joseph Hansen, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union that originally supported the law, says the health law will have a “tremendous impact as workers have their hours reduced and their incomes reduced.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the ratio of part-time to full-time jobs has completely flipped this year from historical trends.  Last year, six full-time jobs were created for every one part time job.  This year, only one full-time job is being created for every four new part-time jobs.

The shift to part-time has accelerated over the past several months because of the “look back” provision in ObamaCare that sets the baseline this year for the number of full-time workers a company employs to determine their compliance with the employer pay-or-play mandate.

[........]

The statute is very clear that the employer mandate is to take effect on January 1, 2014, not a year later as the White House now has directed.  The House of Representatives was more than happy to give the administration legal authority to delay the employer mandate and passed legislation in July to make the delay legal.  But, astonishingly, the president vowed to veto the legislation if it were to reach his desk – which it will not because Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid will not bring it up for a vote.  The president would rather rewrite the law by administrative edict instead of following the Constitutional route of asking Congress to change it.

The damage is real, and the one-year delay is unlikely to have a significant impact on hiring.  Businesses are not going to hire full-time workers for year or less only to have to fire them next year.

According to a survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 71% of small businesses say the health care law makes it harder to grow.  One-half of small businesses that must comply with the employer mandate say they will either cut hours of full-time employees or replace them with part-time workers. Twenty four percent say they will reduce hiring to stay under 50 employees.

[.......]

And big businesses are being hit, too.

A recently-leaked letter from Delta Air Lines to the Obama administration states that the “cost of providing health care to our employees will increase by nearly $100,000,000 next year,” much of it due to Obamacare.

The delivery giant, UPS, is cutting eligibility for spouses of employees who have access to health coverage elsewhere.  It says that the costs the law imposes are forcing changes, citing the law’s research fee and a tax of $63 per member to help shore up the health exchanges. Other factors are the act’s ban on annual and lifetime coverage limits and its requirement to cover dependent children up to age 26, UPS said.  The University of Virginia also is limiting spouse health benefits.

Forcing employers to provide health insurance that soaks up their profits or cuts into operating revenues causes a cascade of distortions.  Clearly, the law already is resulting in layoffs, fewer hours, and reduced hiring. It may even force some businesses to shut down.

In our still struggling economy, we should be making it easier for businesses to grow. Instead the law is causing huge dislocations in the labor force and imposing major new costs on businesses — money that could have been invested in growth and new hiring.

Washington needs to recognize the damage that ObamaCare is doing to our economy and, as a first step, delay the law’s implementation for a year.  Then a new Congress can put us on course to health reform that will actually help our economy grow and improve our health sector.

Read the rest – It’s Fact, Not Anecdote, That ObamaCare Is Turning Us Into A Part-Time Nation

Can An Accounting Change Save America? Have You Ever Actually Seen A Unicorn?

by Flyovercountry ( 40 Comments › )
Filed under Business, Economy, Progressives, Socialism, unemployment at August 12th, 2013 - 7:00 am

Way back in a former life, I managed stores for the F.W. Woolworth Company. As with many retail operations, managers were compensated handsomely through profit bonuses. In the case of the Woolworth Store that I managed for instance, The company wrote up a contract where by, I was paid 10% of any increase in net profit excluding my salary, beyond a figure that was $10,000 less than when I took the store over. If I kept the same profit, I made a $1000 bonus.

Sometime during July of 1994, I attended a district meeting hosted by our District Manager. During that meeting, our boss informed us of an accounting change that was being made policy by the upper management of the Woolworth Division. The change would make us more profitable, and the nuts and bolts of it were really nothing that we could control or should worry about in any way, save one. Since our stores would be made more profitable due to something that we had nothing to do with, the old contracts were being redone, and new ones to reflect increases in profitability were being sent out, in which the deal was somewhat soured. (As it happens, I was the only manager in the Chicago Region to beat my contract that year.)

The more astute of you may have looked out over our fruited plains recently and realized just now, that they are absent of any Woolworth Stores. As it turns out, there is a correlation between accounting chicanery and a corporation’s over all health. Whether this is a, “chicken and egg,” argument I couldn’t say, but I have learned something valuable. While I don’t often understand the exact details of them, accounting changes are a sign. If you work for a corporation which institutes one, dust off your resume. If you live in a nation that institutes one, count your fingers, you’re about to be taken to the proverbial cleaners.

From Market Watch, a subsidiary of The Wall Street Journal:

What’s the upshot? The rate of growth hasn’t changed all that much, though there are big shifts in a few time periods. But the level of output is higher — $559.8 billion larger, with $526 billion of that amount due to definitional changes.

The above quote came from a news blurb describing the Commerce Department’s institution of an accounting change in how it measures GDP output and growth. Notice the chart at the top of the page. Magically, the GDP growth rates have remained somewhat constant through the inception of our government’s official measure of this metric, and suddenly taken off from 2007 through the present. I’m sure that this is just a conveniently happy coincidence for our current dear comrade leader, B. Hussein Obama, and not part of some more egregiously deceptive attempt to hide the pathetic real growth of our economy. Personal history however has taught me to be somewhat wary.

For the more masochistic among you, click this link to read the 27 page official government document concerning those accounting changes. It is a downloadable and printable pdf.

In case you’ve missed it, I wrote this yesterday. As you may have guessed, it received some commentary by those who read it. I have reproduced one such comment here, in its entirety.

You won’t get an argument from me about Hillary, but since you’re so fond of facts, maybe the verifiable ones should be right?

Fact: Real GDP grew 2.5% in 2010, 1.8% in 2011, 2.8% in 2012.

Fact: Government spending grew at a rate well over 5% after every recession except the 2008 one. In fact, it grew over 7.5% in 5 out of 8 of Reagan’s years.

Fact: The recession officially ended 4 years ago, not 5.

Fact: Microsoft didn’t write the ORCA software. More than $14 million went to the company of Romney’s Director of Digital. The full version of ORCA was built by IT people and volunteers, who were as competent at that as everything else they did.

Fact One:
Getting to the crux of his argument against my facts, let’s put that quote pulled from the Market Watch article in perspective. The GDP growth rate was revised up from the original figure of $33 Billion, to the more palatable $559 Billion. This accounting change improved the GDP growth rate by 1600%, give or take. So Mr. Mari, get your eggs straight in your basket before you throw them. Now, just to put the exclamation point on all of this, my retort hasn’t even taken into account the wonderful quantitative easing that has been happening non stop since 2009. Your GDP growth rates were doubtless expressed in 2013 dollars, as is government practice these days. Real GDP growth, expressed in pre-quantitative easing dollars would be a far more accurate view of the economy’s actual growth. In short, your comment was so egregiously dishonest, I felt it deserved some exposure to sunlight.

Fact Two:
I know that our government’s usual response to a recession is to increase its spending as an attempt to, “stimulate,” the economy. The fact is that our government should not answer the blind chants of, “do something,” by doing something. Just because Reagan made the deal with Tip O’Neil and agreed to spending now in exchange for spending cuts on Tuesday does not mean that the deal was a good one. If everyone else jumped off of the Brooklyn Bridge, would you follow? As for your contention that Spending has not increased dramatically, and well beyond 5% over the last five years, this is just jaw droppingly absurd. I don’t know where you’ve cherry picked your spending figures from, but this scrubbed version from the accountants of Unicorn City, the Capitol of Obama Green Fairy Land will only ever be accepted by the other moronic citizens who live there with you.

Fact Three:
As for when the recession officially ended, I have this to say, what ever dude. That is hardly important to any point that I was making, which by the way was entirely about not just accepting as Conservatives, that Hillary would be a fait accompli for the White House in 2016.

Fact Four:
Mr. Mari, this last fact of yours needs to be discussed in particular.

About your statement concerning Microsoft not selling Orca to the Romney team, no I have not seen the actual invoice. I did however get to sit through several agonizing conference calls in which Microsoft was identified by Romney’s people as the author of that program. Microsoft programmers identified themselves as representatives of Microsoft on many of those calls, fielded questions, took credit for their work, and boasted about how their spiffy new program would change election day activity for decades to come. So, my question for you, since you’ve cast some aspersions on Mitt Romney, like an actual allegation of him violating FEC rules and all, what evidence do you have to support your claim? It is one thing to get facts wrong, it is another to allege actual criminal behavior. Can you back that up? Have you forwarded you allegations and proof to the proper authorities? If Mitt Romney is guilty of a crime, he should answer for that crime, as should any other American citizen.

One of the reasons I find arguing with liberals so tiring is this. We, the good guys are concerned with trite little things like real life flesh and blood consequences to actual people. Liberals are all about the spin. How can they spin reality to place themselves in a better light. Maybe that’s how they have been so adept recently at winning elections on the national level. I still maintain however that spin will only get them so far. The real life consequences of hunger and power outages will not be received well by Americans at large, no matter how may accounting changes Barack Obama institutes.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

UPDATE:

Written by Vern Shotwell.

It’s worth noting that the title of all 8 pages of the linked slide show is:

The new GDP methodology: What you need to know
U.S. economy over $500 billion larger due to new definitions

Think about that for a moment! Nothing has changed, we just decided that knowledge has intrinsic value.
By this strange point of view, Knowledge becomes a capital investment and no longer a cost of producing goods.
But what of failures? Since investment was made, such failures are included as growth.
And what of phenomenal successes? Ideas are occasionally developed that return hundreds, thousands of times the investment! Such items as well go unadjusted: only the raw time and effort is thereby accounted for.
An example of either Socialism or Communism, is it not? Success goes unrewarded for it’s merits ….
“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” …Karl Marx

Nanny Bloomberg: New York City might be the next Detroit

by Speranza ( 100 Comments › )
Filed under Bailouts, Crime, unemployment, Unions at August 8th, 2013 - 7:00 am

Let the  municipal unions call the shots along with the civil rights racketeers and sure, why not?

by David Shepardson

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said every U.S. city needs to heed the lesson of Detroit’s recent bankruptcy filing and urged cities to diversify their economies.

“Avoiding the hard choices is how Detroit went bankrupt. And it’s the road to ruin for any city,” Bloomberg said in a speech Tuesday in New York.  [.........]

Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy restructuring in July, citing more than $18.5 billion in debt, the largest American city to file for bankruptcy. About half of its debt is pension and retiree health care costs.

The Big Apple nearly went bankrupt in 1975 with $14 billion in debt with a deficit of about $2.2 billion, but won a reprieve when Congress and President Gerald Ford approved $2.3 billion in short-term loans and required dramatic fiscal restructuring to get the city’s books in order.

“Now, it would be easy to sit back and think that what happened in Detroit could not happen here in New York City. But the truth is it did almost happen here, back in 1975. [.........]

Bloomberg said “one of the major reasons that Detroit could not stop its downward spiral was that its labor costs — especially its retiree costs for pensions and health care — crowded out its ability to invest in the things that make a city an attractive place to live and visit.”

The mayor said New York City’s pension costs rose to $6.3 billion in fiscal year 2009 from $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2002

“The reality is,” Bloomberg said, “we may be a long way from Detroit, but we are only a short distance from relapsing into decline, if we allow healthcare and pension benefits to crowd out the investments that make New York City a place where people want to live, work, study, and visit.”

Bloomberg can’t seek re-election because of term limits. More than a dozen candidates are vying to replace him, and one of them took issue with Bloomberg’s Detroit speech.

City Councilman Bill de Blasio said Bloomberg’s speech didn’t note New York has serious problems as well.

[........]

In contrast with New York in 1975, the Obama administration has pointedly ruled out any bailout for the city, but said it is monitoring the situation.

This isn’t the first time Bloomberg has talked about Detroit. In May — touting New York’s record low murder rate — Bloomberg highlighted Detroit’s high murder rate.

New York has more than 11 times the Motor City population, but recorded only a few additional murders than Detroit.

“Last year, we had a record-low 419 murders. If instead we had Detroit’s murder rate, 4,500-plus New Yorkers would have been murdered last year,” the mayor’s office wrote on Twitter.

Detroit had its highest murder rate 2012 in more than two decades, and among the nation’s largest cities, it has the highest or nearly the highest murder rates.

Read the rest -  New York Mayor Bloomberg: NYC might be the next Detroit

From The Detroit News: