Monday, January 31, 2011

Obama Health-Care Reform Act Ruled Unconstitutional

U.S. President Barack Obama lost the second of four court challenges to his health-care law as a federal judge in Florida ruled that the measure went beyond the power of Congress to regulate commerce.

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola declared the entire law invalid today in a 78-page opinion in a suit brought by 26 states. He said a provision requiring Americans over 18 to obtain insurance coverage violated the U.S Constitution. The U.S. Justice Department said it will appeal.
Read the full story HERE.

If you would like to read the 78 page ruling, go HERE.

More on the ruling Here:

Israel shocked by Obama's "betrayal" of Mubarak

If Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.

The complete story is HERE.

Mitch Daniels wins the straw poll in Washington

By more than a two to one margin, Roanoke Conference attendees selected Daniels as their top choice from the wide open field of potential Republican candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Sixteen potential candidates received votes. The results were as follows:

Governor Mitch Daniels, Indiana 31%
Former Governor Mitt Romney, Massachusetts 14%
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota 13%
Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey 9%
Senator John Thune, South Dakota 8%
Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana 5%
Representative Paul Ryan, Wisconsin 3%
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Georgia 3%
Senator Jim DeMint, South Carolina 3%
Former Governor Sarah Palin 3%
Governor Haley Barbour, Mississippi 2%
Former Governor Mike Huckabee, Arkansas 2%
Representative Mike Pence, Indiana 1%
Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Utah 1%
Representative Michele Bachmann, Minnesota 1%
Representative Ron Paul, Texas 1%

the full story can be found HERE.

PPP Polling: Obama losing handily to all but Palin statewide

You can add Nebraska to the list of 'Sarah Palin swing states.' She leads Barack Obama there by only a single point at 45-44.

If the Republican candidate for President next year is any of the other current front runners the state should remain in the red column where it's been reliably for years. Newt Gingrich leads him by 8 in the state (48-40), Mitt Romney leads by 12 (49-37), and Mike Huckabee is ahead by 13 (51-38). Romney and Huckabee's advantages are pretty comparable to the 15 point margin John McCain won the state by in 2008.
Favorable/Unfavorable/Not sure:

Mike Huckabee 44/33/23 (+11)
Mitt Romney 38/35/27 (+3)
Sarah Palin 42/50/8 (-8)
Newt Gingrich 34/43/23 (-9)

Head-To-Head (Obama/Candidate/Undecided):

Mike Huckabee 38/51/10 (+13)
Mitt Romney 37/49/15 (+12)
Newt Gingrich 40/48/12 (+8)
Sarah Palin 44/45/11 (+1)
PPP surveyed 977 Nebraska voters from January 26th to 27th. The survey’s margin oferror is +/-3.1%. Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, mayintroduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.
To view the crosstabs click the PPP icon below:

Mike Huckabee speaks at Israeli Knesset

After meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Mike Huckabee addressed the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee. He urged the world to keep an eye on the growing threat of Islamic extremism. Huckabee emphasized the crisis in Egypt and it's impact on the entire region, “a threat upon Israel is a threat upon all those in the world who love peace and freedom... Radical Islamic jihadism is an anti-freedom threat.“

Read the latest updates on Mike Huckabee in Israel:

GOP Presidential hopeful Huckabee: U.S. solidarity with Israel is organic; Any threat to Israel is a threat to the U.S.
"Any threat to Israel is a very real threat to the United States,And one of the reasons I come here is because I want to be an ambassador in my own country, to help explain that our solidarity with Israel is not merely organizational, but it is organic, and that we cannot afford to allow Israel to be threatened."
Mike Huckabee: Egypt situation could threaten world
"the situation could threaten the world and all those who seek peace and security. The real threat to Israelis not the bomb but the people behind it, not weapons but the madmen behind them."
Huckabee: Israel can build in West Bank, Jerusalem
Huckabee dismissed the notion that Jewish settlements are obstacles to peace. Instead, he backed the settlers' view that they have the right to build anywhere in the biblical Land of Israel, including the West Bank.

Huckabee: Events in Egypt create 'tenuous situation'

While in the Mount of Olives for a cornerstone laying ceremony, Huckabee said:
"The essence of freedom, the very heart of it, is self-determination and self-direction. And so today we dedicate this place not only as a place for people to live, but people to live free. Many people across the world live, but the real inner quest in every heart is to live free."

"I join you today," Huckabee told those gathered at the ceremony, "in celebrating this place as a place for people who will not merely live, but live free, as a testament to their commitment of making Israel a place where there is always a home for the Jewish people."

Cross Posted at: I Like Mike Huckabee 2012

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Meghan McCain's unfounded attack on Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee was a guest on Redeye with Greg Gutfeld. Gutfeld asked Mike Huckabee his thoughts on Meghan McCain's attack of Michele Bachmann. Being the gentleman that he is, Mike Huckabee defends Michele Bachmann while not commenting on McCain.

Meghan McCain tweeted this : McCainBlogette Meghan McCain
Governor Huckabee you are a former candidate for President and now you spend your time criticizing me on a show that airs on fox at 2am.

To which Greg Gutfeld replied: greggutfeld GregGutfeld
.@McCainBlogette actually huck didn't criticize u. he was far more gracious than u have been to Bachman, Palin, Malkin, etc. #redye

As we listen to the tape, we can clearly see that Mike Huckabee defends Michele Bachmann while not discussing Meghan McCain. It is the other guests who talk about McCain, not Mike Huckabee.

We can see from a past question on Meghan McCain that it is not in Mike Huckabee's nature to criticize her. Here we have another instance where Mike Huckabee defends the conservative principles of the Republican party without going after Meghan McCain.

We know from history that Meghan McCain is not a fan of Mike Huckabee because she finds him too socially conservative for her tastes. I am sure we will see more comments from her regarding Mike Huckabee when he announces that he is running for POTUS. Hopefully next time she will have her facts straight.

Cross Posted at: I Like Mike Huckabee 2012

A Better Way To Fight Sharia (Or Insert Your Favorite Boogeyman) Law

From Human Events:
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A legislative initiative aimed at preventing “a court or other enforcement authority” from enforcing foreign law in the Palmetto State was introduced today in both the S.C. House and Senate by Rep. Wendy Nanney (who drafted the bill) and Sen. Mike Fair respectively, who say the bill will preempt violations of a person’s constitutional rights resulting from the application of foreign law.

Legislators and other proponents of the bill say America has unique values of liberty which do not exist in foreign legal systems. Yet foreign laws are increasingly finding their way into U.S. court cases, particularly in the area of family law, involving divorce and child custody where, for instance, Islamic Shariah Law has been invoked in several U.S. states. 
I have worked briefly with Wendy Nanney, and I know that she is a conscientious politician. Her comments about Sharia law almost got her a Tancredo Award, but nevertheless, the actual bill is a much better one that what we saw in Oklahoma. By broadening the language of the bill to restrict any type of foreign law, conservatives appear more consistent in their beliefs.

They also refrain from singling out scary ethnic groups (although Nanney still got in a lick). There is no reason to pinpoint Sharia Law, because despite what Newt Gingrich thinks, there is no threat from secret Muslim conspirators who want to take over American courts. All together we can cite one criminal case where "Sharia Law" was invoked by a judge in New Jersey. His decision was later reversed and rightfully so. Yet, if Newt (and Nanney) is concerned about the use of arbitration in civil cases, then he ought to pick on the Jewish community, who daily are allowed to go before the beit din (rabbinic law court) to arbitrate "real estate deals, nasty divorces, and business disputes."

Of course, we all know that Newt and company aren't going to lead a crusade against the radical imposition of rabbinic law. There are no quality political points to be had in attacking God's people. Muslims, on the hand, are open season.

In the end, there are profound reasons why conservatives should guard against foreign law. But let's throw up a wall against all foreign law (see South Carolina bill), instead of smiling in the camera as we bash Islam (see Oklahoma law).

Cross posted at The Cross Culturalist.

IRS blunder: Hard to find HARD COPY of forms and directions

Sometimes I wonder about where the Government comes up with some of their ideas.

Case in Point, The 'TAX PACKAGE' that Uncle Sam religiously sent to you every year though the mail. In 2010, THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE!

I guess I'm old fashion in that I like a hard copy of what I fill out and want the copy of the 176 page directions in my hands. Well, not any more.

Post offices are supposed to have the hard copies on hand or at least, that's what I was told when I called the IRS.

After going to 2 smaller post offices in my city I thought, I'll go to the main one. There, I asked the man at the window if he could give me a copy of the IRS TAX PACKAGE. He scratched his head and told me WHY are you looking for them here. I then asked him to check in the back or with a superior. After some consultations on the side with 2 different individuals, he came back and told me, 'They didn't have any".

Well, here I am and I DON'T GET IT!. The forms or the rationale for not sending them any more through the mail to tax payers.

I know what the Government is trying to do, they are trying to FORCE people to do all the filing on-line. I refuse to file on-line. I believe something as important and as personal as this should not be floating around over the internet.

Is this NEW POLICY supposed to encourage people to file their taxes? I don't think so. Not if they have to play detective, to track them down.

Why is the 2012 Presidential race largely in shadows?

The Boston Globe ran an interesting piece today as to why they think candidates are holding back on committing to a 2012 run. The following are some highlights from the article:
Potential candidates are hoarding money and gauging the shifting winds of Tea Party activists and a Democratic incumbent whose popularity has risen. Formal campaigning has yet to begin, and major candidates are hinting that they won’t announce anything — if they have anything to announce — until the first crocus buds appear in the Granite State.

...........By this time four years ago, at least 11 Republicans and nine Democrats had made formal plans to run for president. Of the Republicans, everyone except Fred Thompson had formed a campaign committee, which allows candidates to begin raising money and is typically the first step of a candidacy.

...........“One of the big lessons from 2008 was these guys tripping over themselves in early January, burning through all the money, and giving the Republican Party fatigue by summer,’’ said Scott Reed, a Republican consultant who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. “I don’t think that’s going to happen this cycle. This is going to be more of a sprint than a marathon.’’  
I think also that many of the 2012er's have important decisions to make:

1. Do I really think I can win the primary THEN the general election? That's a very complicated question. Especially if you're in a lucrative position now that you will have to give up.
2. If you're an unknown, are there just to many NAMES (frontrunners) for you to make any real in roads towards the nomination.
3. Lastly, Can I RAISE THE MONEY?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Crisis In Egypt

Every weekend at my blog, I write a background piece (World Beat) about a given topic in international politics. This weekend, I have chosen to write about the crisis in Egypt. I wouldn't normally post a World Beat piece here at Right Speak since they don't necessarily deal with the conservative movement. However, I think that what is going on in Egypt will have large consequences on future American foreign policy making. And since I hope that a Republican will be in charge of such foreign policy making, I think that my piece on Egypt might be worth posting here.
Egypt is entering Day 6 of protests that have led to the death of over 100 people and caused limited changes within the current government. It is difficult to specifically tell who exactly are the protesters and what precisely is driving their angry, but they all seem to be united in their desire to see President Hosni Mubarak step down.

A casual glance among the crowds reveals that many of the protesters are young males. Muslim majority countries in North Africa and the Middle East have some of the highest percentages of young people in the world. The region's under 30 population is 60 percent of the broader population. The region also sports the highest unemployment rates in the world. Of course, young adults are not the only ones disillusioned with their country's lack of prosperity. Egypt at large has been hit hard by the economic crisis that began in 2008. The Egyptian pound is pegged to the American dollar and as the dollar has declined against other world currencies, the result in Egypt has been that food prices have risen.

Ellen Knickmeyer of Foreign Policy noted a recurring trend as she talked with young adults in North Africa and the Middle East. They all complained about needing a wasta (a connection) with the their country's ruling party, tribal leaders, and prominent businessmen. They often complained about the need to pay bribes to make such connections or their lack of money to pay those bribes in the first place.

Corruption in Egypt is especially notorious as it has been institutionalized by its leader, Hosni Mubarak, who has remained in power for the last thirty years. And leaving aside the rigged presidential elections, local elections have succumbed to government control. The New York Times has reported that "in local council elections in 2008, there were 52,000 open seats. Government decisions to disqualify candidates meant that 43,600 seats were uncontested and awarded to the ruling party. Out of a total of 51,546 seats, the ruling party won 99.13%."

The death of Trade unionism

Trade unions have been a part of the labor market dating back to the 19th century. In this post, I am going to explain why I think their era might be over.

I will discuss three different factors, but first, I'd like to start with why trade unions exist and why they can actually be useful.

In essence, a trade union is a form of cartel - several "sellers" of labor join together and push up the price (salaries) above it's natural level - the level it would have in perfect competition. Perfect competition, for the uninformed, is a state where every seller and buyer is too small to affect the price: Prices equal marginal cost (the cost it takes to produce the last unit sold), and if a seller raises his/her price just 1 cent, he/she would lose all her customers. At the same time, no buyer can demand that prices be lowered; a buyer who wants to pay 1 cent less than the market price will find that no-one is willing to sell to that price. No-one has any pricing power in other words.

But if it is a cartel, doesn't that mean it should be banned outright? After all, aren't private cartels banned or harschly regulated? The problem of course, is that even if trade unions were banned, the market would still not be in a state of perfect competition. Why? Because there are too few buyers of labor (companies, that is). Perfect competition requires lots and lots of buyers AND sellers. If you only have a lot of sellers but very few buyers, you get something called Oligopsony - the opposite to Oligopoly (where the number of buyers are large but the sellers are few).

So, allowing the workers to form cartels (unions) may actually be better and fairer than not doing so. You may get closer to perfect competition by allowing trade unions - strange but true.

It may also be easier for a company to do salary negotiation with one or a few union representatives rather than discussing with every single worker - this goes in particular for companies with a high workers/managers ratio (if every worker is going to have the same questions, demands and suggestions, it saves a lot of time only having to hear and discuss them once with a representative from the union).

The Battle For Egypt

It seems that 75% of the news today involves Egypt. Here is a sampling of that news and opinions:

Obama Makes Egypt About Himself: 'When I was in Cairo Shortly After I was Elected President, I Said...':

To read a transcript of the video, go HERE.

Charles Krauthammer: The Muslim Brotherhood must not achieve power:

Who is the Muslim Brotherhood?

Looters destroy mummies during Egypt protests

Sen. John Kerry: Premature to threaten cutting Egypt's $1.3B aid

Col. Ralph Peters: President Obama Siding Against History:

Jim DeMint: At the Senate Tea Party Caucus (01-27-11 video)

Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) addresses the crowd at the first ever U.S. Senate Tea Party Caucus meeting. Topics of interest included the Tea Party effect on electoral politics, the initiation of change in congressional politics, and unifying the disconnect between Washington politicians and American citizens.

Romney Leads Obama

Hi All,
In a new national poll released yesterday, Politicons Polling interviewed 573 likely voters between Jan 25 and Jan 27; ie, after the SOTU address. These folks were mostly moderate to conservative as the polling indicated disapproval for President Obama. The MOE was +/- 3.4 %
The results were :

Romney 45 Obama 44 ( + 1 % )
Obama 45 Christie 39 ( - 6% )
Obama 49 Gingrich 43 ( - 6 % )
Obama 48 Huckabee 42 ( - 6 % )
Obama 52 Palin 39 ( - 13 % )
Obama 48 Bachman 39 ( - 9 % )

Also, when asked who they would vote for in the GOP primaries

Romney 18 %
Palin 18 %
Christie 16 %
Huckabee 15 %
Gingrich 10 %
Bachman 3 %
Pawlenty 2 %
Daniels 2 %

Crosstabs can be viewed by clicking the icon below:

Very interesting results from a Conservative - Moderate sample


Friday, January 28, 2011

Mitt Romney met privately today with Massachusetts Republicans

Romney dashed into the Union Club, a private meeting spot just down the street from the Statehouse, joined by his brother, Scott, former campaign manager Beth Myers and senior adviser Peter Flaherty. An hour later, he exited, carrying an unfinished, open-faced sandwich, asking reporters if they wanted a bite.
He also denied seeking any campaign support.
"This is a great delegation. I care very deeply about this team, and they're doing great work and working very hard to get good jobs for the people of Massachusetts," he said. "That's what this is all about."
As for presidential politics: "I'm not doing any campaigning, thanks."
That's not what attendees took away from the meeting!

To read the full story go HERE.

Summarizing the state polling

Before I post my summary; I want to point out something. Today I found 3 states that have been polled by both Public Policy Polling (PPP) and Strategic National (SN). Since there has been numerous comments on various sites; I felt it necessary to research whether or not PPP is as bad as some claim. I wish I had more states to compare; but until very recently I had been deleting older polls as the newer ones came in. So, here is what I found to use to compare the two firms.

Iowa: Public Policy Polling 1/11/11 and Strategic National 1/25/11:

PPP: Huckabee 30% compared to SN 27.56% (2.44 point difference)
PPP: Romney 18% compared to SN: 18.54% (0.54 point difference)

Michigan: PPP 12/10/10 and Strategic National 1/28/11:

PPP: Huckabee 22% compared to SN: 18.8% (difference of 3.2 points)
PPP: Romney 22% compared to SN: 24.4% (difference of 2.4 points)

New Hampshire: PPP 1/9/10 and Strategic National 1/25/11:

PPP: Huckabee 13% compared to 13.83% (difference of 0.83 points)
PPP: Romney 40% compared to SN: 33.51% (difference of 6.41 points)

My analysis: 1. It sure doesn't look like PPP was trying to make things look all that great for Mike in New Hampshire. 2. The only difference in placements was that PPP had Romney and Huckabee tied in Michigan - which even surprised me - and PPP had Palin and Newt tied for third in New Hampshire. Are those differences really worth throwing out all of their polls? IMO - No, we'll use what we get.

Senator Rand Paul wants to end foreign aide. Including aide to Israel

Tea party-backed Republican Sen. Rand Paul favors cutting U.S. aid to Israel as part of a deficit-driven effort to slash government spending by $500 billion this year, drawing criticism from Democrats and Republicans who argue the U.S. must be unwavering in its support for the longtime Mideast ally.
Read the full story HERE.

Here is the CNN interviw referred to in the article. Fast forward to to the 10:00 minute mark:

Mike Huckabee headed to Israel

Mike Huckabee tweets that he is on his way to Israel. This will be his 15th visit to the Holy Land. He will be leading a tour through the holy sites and will visit Judea, Samaria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Last year Mike Huckabee met privately with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He is scheduled to meet again with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday.

While in Israel last year, Mike Huckabee interviewed President Shimon Peres for his 'Huckabee' show. Click here to watch the interview."

Mike Huckabee has been invited to speak to the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee. Huckabee will discuss diplomacy, anti-Semitism and Israel’s public relations effort.

Last year Mike Huckabee spoke to the Knesset where he emphasized the threat of a nuclear Iran and stated that he would become a voluntary ambassador for Israel.

Cross Posted at: I Like Mike Huckabee 2012

Conressman Paul Broun (R-GA) calls Obama a Socialist

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), also a physician, spoke with CBS News' Jill Jackson about why he tweeted after President Obama's State of the Union that he "believes in Socialism". Broun notes that the President's first two years in office have been an "abject failure".

Government is banning sledding. Say it ain't snow so!

Have Law suits gone amuck?

The complete story is HERE.

What Should President Obama do as turmoil hits the middle east?

The turmoil in Middle East also is generating chaos in Washington, where foreign policy experts in and out of the Obama administration are trying determine how America should respond.

The New York Times reported Friday that an analysis of WikiLeaks cables shows that U.S.-Egypt relations warmed up after President Barack Obama took office because he backed off of the Bush administration’s push for spreading democracy and human
rights in the Middle East. While the Obama administration continued to push Mubarak to make reforms behind the scenes, it toned down the public pressure regarding human rights. One cable, for example, told a visiting Gen. David H. Petraeus that the United States was seeking to avoid “the public confrontations that had become routine over the past several years.”

Now, there are indications the administration’s effort to play global politics to its advantage by soft-pedaling Egypt's abuses could be backfiring. The Times story notes: “This balancing of private pressure with strong public support for Mr. Mubarak has become increasingly tenuous in recent days.”
Read full Newsmax article HERE.
The Obama administration needs to “seize the moment” to grapple with the wave of anti-government protests sweeping through Egypt and other parts of the Middle East, several foreign policy scholars urged on Wednesday.

“My impression is that the administration has been basically closing its eyes and praying that it all works out, because anything else seems too hard and too risky,” said Robert Kagan, a foreign policy scholar at the Brookings Institution and co-chairman of a bipartisan Egypt working group of former officials that has been urging the Obama administration to prepare for what comes after the regime of Egypt’s octogenarian ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Read the full Politico article HERE.
The revolution may have started in Tunisia where ongoing protests forced the country's foreign minister to step down Thursday. It then spread to Egypt on Tuesday, taking aim at the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
And now it has migrated to Yemen, where tens of thousands of anti-government protesters demanded Thursday that another U.S. ally step down: Yemen's president, who has held power for 32 years.
Read the full Fox News Article HERE.

What should the President do? Should he do anything?

Romney up in Michigan

Hi All

New Michigan polling this morning from Mitchell Research:

Romney  28%
Huckabee  15%
Palin  10%
Paul  10%

More information can be found here.


Mike Huckabee Best Bet to beat Obama in West Virginia

Poll Watch: PPP (D) West Virginia 2012 Presidential Survey

PPP (D) West Virginia 2012 Presidential Survey

* Mike Huckabee 54%
* Barack Obama 36%

* Mitt Romney 50%
* Barack Obama 37%

* Newt Gingrich 49%
* Barack Obama 39%

* Sarah Palin 46%
* Barack Obama 42%

Among Independents

* Mike Huckabee 61%
* Barack Obama 20%

* Mitt Romney 61%
* Barack Obama 20%

* Newt Gingrich 56%
* Barack Obama 25%

* Sarah Palin 53%
* Barack Obama 30%

Among Republicans

* Mike Huckabee 86%
* Barack Obama 7%

* Mitt Romney 81%
* Barack Obama 8%

* Newt Gingrich 81%
* Barack Obama 10%

* Sarah Palin 75%
* Barack Obama 12%


* Mike Huckabee 48% / 27% {+21%}
* Mitt Romney 34% / 37% {-3%}
* Sarah Palin 41% / 47% {-6%}
* Newt Gingrich 33% / 43% {-10%}

Survey of 1,105 West Virginia voters was conducted January 20-23, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 2.9 percentage points. Party ID breakdown: 57% Democrat; 32% Republican; 10% Independent/Other. Political ideology: 45% Conservative; 40% Moderate; 15% Liberal.

Data compiled by The Argo Journal

Interesting Nuggets from PPP Blogspot:

West Virginia's one of the most conservative states in the country. But even there voters don't like any of the leading Republican candidates for President, with the exception of Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee's favorability in the state is a 48/27 spread. But the rest of the pack all have negative favorability ratings. Mitt Romney's at 34/37, Sarah Palin's at 41/47, and Newt Gingrich is at 33/43.

Only Huckabee can take advantage of the President's unpopularity in the state and build on the Republican margin of victory from 2008, leading Obama by 18 points at 54-36.

None of the Republican front runners, with the possible exception of Huckabee, can really build on the party's performance from 2008.

Cross Posted at: I Like Mike Huckabee 2012

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stimulus - what it is and why it doesn't work

I tried going off the cuff. I don't know, it could have gone worse. I talk about what the purpose behind a stimulus program is, and give four reasons why it doesn't work. Please leave a comment.

John Gustavsson

Republicans Need To Show Leadership In Cutting The Deficit, Cont'd

I have written about this quite a lot, but I just find it so intriguing. Yet another poll comes out saying the same thing. According to Ron Beasley,
Everyone wants to cut the budget and the Republicans are making it the center of their policy. As we have noted before there is a problem – the voters who want to cut the budget don’t actually want to cut anything.  Gallup’s most recent poll indicates that nothing has changed.
The only thing a majority want to cut is Foreign Aid which makes up less than one percent of the budget.  Even more striking was with the exception of  funding for the arts and sciences and military and national defense there was less than a ten percent difference between Democrats and Republicans.
Another great quip from Beasley: funding for Israel represents "the lion's share" of Foreign Aid, and therefore even cuts in that area will be problematic. It will be interesting to see the effect that Rand Paul's proposed cuts (which include Israel) take on the senator's grassroots popularity.

Cross posted at The Cross Culturalist

Chris Christie explains his meeting with Mitt Romney (video)

Mitt Romney met with Governor Chris Christie last week over dinner and much speculation:

Mike Huckabee's response to President Obama's SOTU address

Posted from Mike Huckabee's Huck Pac

January 27, 2011
The President's State of the Union Speech:
by Mike Huckabee

I was a bit confused when I listened to the President's speech Tuesday night - mainly because it sounded more like one of his campaign speeches from just two short years ago instead of the speech it should have been.

Somewhat surprisingly, the President doubled down on some of his campaign promises and again vowed to work with Republicans and even pleaded with Republicans to work with him; wanting everyone in Washington to look past Party politics and come together in order to accomplish greatness. Noble? Sure. But his speech sounded all too familiar and rang a bit hollow since we heard the same empty rhetoric during his campaign in 2008.

In fact, upon taking office, the President had the supreme chance to cross the political aisle and work with Republicans - but not only did he refuse, it seemed to many as though he put up an impassable velvet rope excluding Republicans and ultimately the American People from a seat at his table.

Instead the President and Congressional Democrats immediately passed dangerously unexplored and wildly unpopular legislation all the while refusing listen to a vocal majority who expressed civil but adamant concerns. Those concerns have become a reality as many of the President's pet programs are now rapidly bankrupting this nation - and the country knows it.

Ignoring the wishes of the American people cost the Democrats Congress and the President his popularity - but it has cost us much much more. Last night, the President renewed his promises and made a new push to spend more money to try and solve our problems despite the fact that the people overwhelming rejected that agenda this past November and the fact that it clearly hasn't worked.

It's time for the President and the Democrats to get on board with a new agenda that won't bankrupt our country. Now is the time to admit if we want Washington to change, we must first change Washington.

Cross Posted at: I Like Mike Huckabee 2012

Is a DeMint candidacy Mike Huckabee's and Sarah Palin's worse nightmare?

News that South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint will travel to Iowa on March 26 to address a conservative forum organized by Rep. Steve King is sparking another round of chatter that DeMint might launch a dark horse bid for the White House in 2012........
..............several of his closest advisers and political confidantes are now telling CNN that he is at least open to a presidential bid if a suitably conservative candidate fails to emerge from the early and wide-open GOP field......
.........."He would certainly be the odds on favorite here (South Carolina)," said Terry Sullivan, a South Carolina GOP consultant and longtime DeMint adviser. "He wouldn't be slam dunk, but he is definitely the favorite."

The complete story is HERE.

If he runs, what do you think that does to the South Carolina race? PPP polled SC awhile back with DeMint's name in the mix: (Click the results below for the crosstabs)

Is a DeMint candidacy Mike Huckabee's and Sarah Palin's worse nightmare?

CBO: Unemployment will still be high in 2012

The jobs crisis isn't going anywhere, according to the latest forecast from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which puts the national unemployment rate above 9 percent through 2011 and 8 percent through 2012.
Complete story HERE.

This is bad news if your out of work yet good news for Republicans. With the Economy and jobs still being front and center in the minds of voters, I would have to give an edge in the nomination to those candidates that have a strong background in business, job creation, and economic issues.

To view the CBO Report, go HERE.

Report: Mike Pence to run for Governor; Update: Confirmed by Pence

He's expected to make it official later this evening, but it appears to be a done deal.
A former operative for Rep. Mike Pence says the Indiana Republican won’t be running for president. Pence plans to reveal the decision about his political future Thursday, multiple outlets reported, and former Pence Political Director Jerry Alexander told Roll Call that the Congressman isn’t likely to announce much.

“There’s a 100 percent chance that he’s not going to announce a run for president,” said Alexander, who worked for Pence from 2001 to 2007.

That means Pence will be running for governor, ending more than a year of speculation about whether he’d seek national office. The Indianapolis Star said it would post Pence’s announcement after 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Read the entore story HERE

Update: Confirmed by Pence:
“In the choice between seeking national office and serving Indiana in some capacity, we choose Indiana,” Pence, R-Columbus, said of himself and wife Karen in a letter being sent to supporters. “We will not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.”

PPP Polling: Mitt Romney should not skip Iowa

I think Mitt Romney would be slightly crazy to not make a full hearted effort to win the Iowa Caucus. Here's why:
-If Mike Huckabee doesn't run, Romney would start out tied for the lead in the state! If you allocate all of Huckabee's supporters to who they said was their second choice on our poll there earlier this month you would end up with Romney and Sarah Palin tied for the lead at 23% each with Newt Gingrich at 18% and no one else with double digits. This is not a state where Romney would have to be coming from behind. Choosing not to compete there would basically be an admission that you assume you're going to blow it.

Click on the PPP icon below for the full story:

Palin to Headline Reagan 100 Celebration at Reagan Ranch Center Next Weekend

Young America’s Foundation announced today that Governor Sarah Palin will give the keynote address on February 4 at its Reagan 100 Opening Banquet at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California, for the 100th anniversary celebration of President Reagan’s birthday.


“I am very excited to have been selected to address Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan 100 dinner,” Governor Palin said. “Young America’s Foundation has been sharing the values of President Reagan with young people for more than 40 years, and there is no organization more committed to preserving freedom’s future.”

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth, Governor Palin will reflect on the seminal speech by President Reagan, “Time for Choosing,” that discussed the risks and rewards before an America at a crossroads in the early 1960’s. Governor Palin will draw parallels to today while calling for young people to continue the Reagan revolution into the future.

Read the entire article HERE

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sarah Palin analyzes the SOTU with WTF

Does this sound Presidential to you?

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin says, "There were a lot of WTF moments throughout that speech."

Sarah Palin later in the interview says, "That was another wtf moment," in regards to President Obama's sputnik reference.

Mitt Romney on the Sean Hannity Show (01-26-11 Videos)

Mitt Romney comments on President Obama's State of the Union address and other issues.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Jim DeMint introduces bill to fully repeal Obamacare with 35 cosponsors

Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) introduced legislation to fully repeal the Democrats’ government health care takeover that President Obama signed into law March 23, 2010.
Thirty-four Republicans have already cosponsored this bill.
“Republicans are standing with the American people who are demanding we repeal this government takeover of health care,” said Senator DeMint. “Repealing ObamaCare is vital to the future of our nation and the health of our people. ObamaCare will raise health costs, reduce choices, ration care, hike taxes, cut jobs, increase the national debt, and put bureaucrats between patients and their doctors. It’s time to start over and implement commonsense solutions that allow Americans to choose affordable plans across state lines, end frivolous lawsuits that drive up costs, and gives equitable tax treatment to those who don’t get insurance from their employer.”
Read the full news release and the names of the cosponsors at Jim DeMint's website HERE.

According to The Hill, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has signed on as a cosponsor to the bill. bringing the total of cosponsors to 35.

Rasmussen Survey: 33% of GOP Voters Hope Palin Isn’t 2012 Nominee

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin remains a top favorite of Republican voters, but she’s also the front-runner they least want to see get the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination.

1. Now I’m going to read you a short list of people in the News. For each, please let me know if you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression.

Mitt Romney 81%
Sarah Palin 79%
Mike Huckabee 77%
Newt Gingrich 70%
Ron Paul 53%

2.  Which potential candidate would you least like to see get the nomination for president…Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee or Newt Gingrich?

Sarah Palin 33%
Newt Gingrich 23%
Mitt Romney 15%
Mike Huckabee 13%
The survey of 1,000 Likely GOP Primary Voters was conducted on January 18, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. Likely GOP Primary Voters include both Republicans and unaffiliated voters likely to vote in a GOP Primary. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
Click the icon below for the complete story:

Arizona readies to pass 2012 eligibility law

A plan in Arizona to require presidential candidates to prove their eligibility to occupy the Oval Office is approaching critical mass, even though it has just been introduced.

The proposal from state Rep. Judy Burges, who carried a similar plan that fell short last year only because of political maneuvering, was introduced yesterday with 16 members of the state Senate as co-sponsors.

It needs only 16 votes in the Senate to pass.
Read the Full Story here.
View the actual bill here.

Jim DeMint Reacts to Obama's SOTU address

"......Sen. DeMint spoke to reporters after the speech and said, "It's hard to take the president seriously......
.........When asked about President Obama's statements about government investments, DeMint said, "Now the president is promising more spending, which he calls investments, when the time is to cut spending in Washington.. The president needs to tell the American people the truth.. That its time for the federal government to do less..............."
Full Story is HERE.

In a related interview, here is Demint talking with Neil Cavuto early yesterday before the SOTU address, about cutting spending and the national debt:

Mitt Romney's response to President Obama's SOTU address:

Posted from Mitt Romney's Free & Strong America PAC:
“President Obama knows where he wants to go, but he has no idea how to get there. Under President Obama's economic leadership, more Americans have lost their jobs than any time in modern history. The on-the-job economic education of the President has cost American families almost a trillion dollars in failed stimulus schemes and, unfortunately, he's still failing the course. Rhetoric, however soaring, does not put pay checks in pay envelopes at the end of the week. You can't build a high speed rail system fast enough to outrun the President's misguided regulations, higher taxes or lack of focus on jobs. Hopefully he is learning. American families are depending on him."

Mitt Romney meets with Chris Christie in NJ

Gov. Chris Christie hosted a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday night, sitting down with Mitt Romney for dinner at the governor's mansion.

Nearly two dozen people, including some of Christie's top political advisers and party leaders, gathered for the meeting with the former Massachusetts governor at Drumthwacket, according to three sources.
The complete story is here:

Of note, Romney had backed Christie for Governor when his poll numbers were low and it was thought he had little hope of winning. Over the course of Christie's campaign, Romney stumped with him several times on the campaign trail.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

PPP: Huckabee and Romney tied in New Jersey

Huckabee and Romney tied in New Jersey

Public Policy Polling

New Jersey Republican 2012 Primary

Mike Huckabee 18% [10%]
Mitt Romney 18% [28%]
Newt Gingrich 15%
Sarah Palin 14%
Ron Paul 8%
Tim Pawlenty 4%
Mitch Daniels 3%
John Thune 2%.

Amongst Conservatives

Mike Huckabee 21%
Newt Gingrich 17%
Sarah Palin 16%
Mitt Romney 14%
Ron Paul 5%
Tim Pawlenty 5%
Mitch Daniels 4%
John Thune 2%.

Amongst Moderates

Mitt Romney 24%
Mike Huckabee 13%
Ron Paul 12%
Sarah Palin 11%
Newt Gingrich 10%
Tim Pawlenty 2%
Mitch Daniels 2%
John Thune 2%.


Mike Huckabee 61%/ 17% +44
Mitt Romney 60%/20% +40
Newt Gingrich 54%/25% +29
Sarah Palin 58%/ 33% +25

January 6-9, 2011 survey of 400 Republican primary voters

[ ] indicates 2008 percentage

Tweets from PPP:

NJ GOP poll bad news for Mitt- should be doing better in Northeast, esp with comparatively moderate electorate

NJ GOP poll good news for Huck- shows appeal for him beyond the South

Romney's conservative problem- 4th place finish with them in NJ wipes out big lead w/moderates

Obama Feeds Media Anchors Lunch - They Feed Us BS

Obama Lunches with Chris Matthews

(H/T NRO) From a White House pool report, on the day of his State of the Union President Obama was seen heading for a lunch with  TV anchors and pundits, including Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, and George Stephanopoulos.

Blitzer and Brian compare notes on what to have for dessert

And from The Hill:

President Obama had lunch on Tuesday with several top TV news personalities and pundits, just hours before he was to deliver the State of the Union Address.
Among the figures spotted outside the White House at lunchtime were CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos from ABC (shown here), Brian Williams from NBC and Chris Matthews from MSNBC. It was unclear whether there were more attendees at the meeting.

The president has been known to meet with journalists occasionally for informal chats. The discussions are typically off the record, meaning that the content of Tuesday's conversations will likely remain unknown.

Well we might know the content of this afternoon's table talk, but I am sure we'll be privvy to what was requested by White House.

Dollars to donuts the reviews are "glowing" this evening.

Four Horsemen of the coming Democratic apocalypse

President Obama and his Democratic congressional allies in the 111th Congress dared not alienate the Big Lawyers special interest of class-action trial attorneys. The lawyers and three other special interests - Big Labor union leaders, Big Green environmentalists, and Big Insiders with billions of dollars in personal wealth and foundation grants -- together essentially dictate what Democrats can and cannot support on many key public policy issues.

Call them the Four Horsemen of the coming Democratic apocalypse.
Read the full story here.

PPP Polling: Romney top Republican against Obama in NC

In two polls conducted after the 2010 election, Mike Huckabee was the only candidate to still best the president in the Tar Heel State (leading him 46-45 last month), though Mitt Romney tied him in November. But now even Huckabee is behind, 45-49, and Romney holds steady at a 44-47 deficit. Newt Gingrich lags by the same margin as December as well, 44-50. But while Palin had trailed by 14 points last month, she now is down only 41-50, still the worst of the four. This poll contrasts to polls PPP has conducted nationally and in other states, in which Palin has been declining and Huckabee rallying.
Favorable/Unfavorable/Not sure:

Mike Huckabee 42/32/26
Sarah Palin 39/55/6
Newt Gingrich 34/45/21
Mitt Romney 33/36/31

Head-To-Head (Obama/Candidate/Undecided):

Mitt Romney 47/44/9 (-3)
Mike Huckabee 49/45/6 (-4)
Newt Gingrich 50/44/7 (-6)
Sarah Palin 50/41/9 (-9)
PPP surveyed 575 North Carolina voters from January 20th to 23rd. The survey’s margin of error is +/-4.1%. Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify
Click PPP icon below for the crosstabs:

President Obama SOTU: LIVE FEED 9:00 PM EST

I will have a live feed here tonight of the President's SOTU Address. It will begin on THIS POST at 9:00 P.M. EST for those of you who would like to watch, critique, and comment:

After the speech:

To WATCH LIVE Paul Ryan give the Republican's response and Michelle Bachmann give the Tea Party response, RIGHT CLICK The photo below and choose, "Open Link in New Window".