The Iowa Republican straw poll has the power to alter the character of the 2012 presidential race even though it’s only a mock election. Candidates who fare poorly — at least in the eyes of the media — can go from Prince Charming to pumpkin faster than you can say Tommy Thompson. And sometimes the fairest of them all is the candidate who comes in second.
The candidates who are doing the best in media polls are not necessarily the ones who rise to the top in Ames. That fact makes the straw poll hard to predict, and there are a few extra wrinkles this year. The poll’s significance and fairness are always up for discussion as well.
"It is time to get America working again and that's why with the support of my family and unwavering belief in the goodness of America, I declare to you today as a candidate for the president of the United States," he said in a speech at a RedState Gathering of conservative activists in Charleston, South Carolina.
Saturday's Iowa Straw Poll marks the first time Republican voters weigh in on the GOP presidential field with ballots and comes just as Gov. Rick Perry of Texas (enters) the campaign during a visit to another early nominating state.
"The Iowa Straw Poll is the first measurable proving ground for our Republican candidates for president," Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn said.
After that, just four months remain before the leadoff Iowa caucuses.
“He’s got the supporter passion of a Bachmann with the organization of a Pawlenty,” said one senior Iowa Republican strategist unaffiliated with any of the campaigns. “He builds on 2007 and the caucus last time, and I think he can turn out the 3,000 votes he needs to win.”
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and the National Rifle Association have called for Holder's resignation over "Operation Fast and Furious," the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives investigation that monitored suspicious gun sales. Several of the weapons have been recovered from drug gangs in Mexico and two guns were found at the scene of the shooting death of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent last December.
However, when asked at a roundtable with Spanish-language print media on Monday whether Holder should quit, Obama said flatly, "No."
While the massive union effort to overturn the Wisconsin state senate failed, in California the Left quietly moved its agenda forward this week when Governor Jerry Brown signed the "National Popular Vote" bill whose purpose is to award the state's 55 electoral votes to the presidential candidate with the most popular votes nationally.
Why is this significant? California is the eighth state (along with the District of Columbia) to pass this legislation. It is written to take effect if and when states representing a majority of the 538 electoral votes have passed similar legislation. This means that if Candidate A wins the vote in your state, but Candidate B wins it nationally, your state's electors would be required to vote for B.
The Electoral College is made up of delegates appointed by each party's nominee in a number equal to the state's representation in Congress. Historically, electors vote for their party's nominee (with a few exceptions over the years). Thus, the candidate who wins the state gets its electoral votes.
This was part of the check-and-balance system built into the Constitution by its writers. James Madison argued in Federalist Paper No.39 that the Constitution was to be a mixture of state-based and population-based government. Congress would have two houses: the Senate would be state-based; the House population-based. The president would be elected by a mixture of the two.
California's AB459 originally had some Republican sponsors until it was explained to them that its effect would be to make the 224-year-old electoral vote system irrelevant. They withdrew their names. The legislation passed the legislation without any Republican votes.
Thus far, only "blue" states have passed this legislation, such as Vermont, Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey, along with the District of Columbia. John Koza, a Silicon Valley computer scientist who founded the group that is pushing the “National Popular Vote Project” in 2006, was quoted in the Sacramento Bee this week as saying, "We just try to push the noodle along every year in every state where we can push it along." He and his friends have succeeded in pushing "the noodle" to the point where they have 132 electoral votes cornered. That is 49 percent of what they need to reach a majority (270 votes).
The customary way to change the Constitution is to amend it. This, of course, requires passage by two-thirds of both houses of Congress, a presidential signature and ratification by 38 states.
It's not easy to do, which was just what the Constitution's writers intended.
The Left wants to do accomplish its goal by doing an end run around the Constitution. Why?Given population trends of recent decades, if the NPVP were in effect the winner of the six or seven largest metropolitan areas would determine the outcome of the presidential election. And, who controls those areas? Democrats. Therein lies the purpose of this national campaign.
California proponents of the NPVP argue that its national passage would require candidates to actively campaign in states controlled by one party, such as California. This is window dressing.
In all the years in which there have been political parties, in only three elections have the electoral vote winners not also had the most popular votes: 1876, 1888 and 2000. Those electoral vote winners were all Republicans: Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush. Since Mr. Koza and his supporters were born long after Hayes and Harrison were around, it is hard to avoid concluding that they are still seeking revenge on Bush for ever becoming president.
Republican State Sen. Doug LaMalfa said of Brown's signing the NPVP legislation that it rejects the "American tradition that protects the fabric of our country from fractionalization and mob rule."
Peter was closely associated with the late President Ronald Reagan for a number of years, beginning in the 1970s. He was vice chairman of the Governor’s Consumer Fraud Task Force, then the governor’s sole public appointee to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s governing board, then Assistant to the Governor and Director of Public Affairs in the Governor’s Office, Sacramento.
When Mr. Reagan’s second term expired, Peter and another senioir aide, Michael Deaver, founded a public affairs/public relations firm in Los Angeles (Deaver & Hannaford, Inc.) and Mr. Reagan became their lead client. They managed his public program until his election as president. In his 1976 campaign for the presidential nomination, Peter was his co-director of issues and research. In the 1980 campaign he was senior communications consultant to Mr. Reagan.
With the Reagan victory in November 1980, both men could not go into the White House. Mike Deaver did, as deputy chief of staff, while Peter continued with the company to manage it. He movedits headquarters to Washington, D.C. During the Reagan years he was involved in a number of volunteer activities including membership on the United States Information Agency’s Public Relations Advisory Committee, the board of trustees of the White House Preservation Fund, consultant to the President’s Privatization Commission and active in the President’s Private Sector Initiatives program.
After nearly three decades in Washington, Peter returned to his native state of California in 2006.
He remains a member of the board of directors of the Washington-based Committee on the Present Danger and a senior counselor of APCO Worldwide, a Washington-based public affairs/strategic communications firm. Currently, he is chairman of the Humboldt County Republican Party and lives in Eureka.
He is the author of 11 books (most of them about U.S. presidents) and a frequent contributor to opinion magazines and their online editions.
The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, found that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but also ruled that the rest of the wide-ranging law could remain in effect.
The legality of the so-called individual mandate, a cornerstone of the 2010 healthcare law, is widely expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Obama administration has defended the provision as constitutional....
"This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives," a divided three-judge panel said.
...there was frustration in his voice, in case anyone missed the point — came amid a series of polls showing that people are disgusted with political dysfunction and are dispensing blame all around, including on Obama....
Obama sought to channel the public's anger in order to avoid being sunk by it himself. He urged the public to tell Washington lawmakers they'd had enough with the bickering and stalemates.
"You've got to tell them you've had enough of the theatrics, you've had enough of the politics, stop sending out press releases. Start passing some bills that we all know will help the economy right now," he said. "That's what they need to do. They've got to hear from you."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, promptly responded with a news release, calling the president's remarks "political grandstanding" and urging him to deliver on promises to outline recommendations to rein in the nation's deficits.
Tickets for both events were $35,800 per person, according to a Democratic official, the maximum legal contribution to both a candidate and political party combined. All money benefits the Obama Victory Fund.
Fox News, the Washington Examiner and the Republican Party of Iowa are sponsoring the first debate in Iowa for the Republican presidential contenders - the two-hour Republican Presidential Debate takes place tonight, Thursday, August 11, at Stephens Auditorium at Iowa State University... The debate, with commercial breaks, starts at 9 p.m. Eastern tonight... Moderators will be Byron York and Susan Ferrechio from the Washington Examiner newspaper, one of the debate co-sponsors, and Fox News anchors Chris Wallace and Bret Baier.... Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn will address the audience briefly before candidates take the stage.
Eight candidates have qualified for the Fox News/Iowa GOP debate Thursday night.
Expected to appear on the nationally-televised stage in Ames are: Massachusetts’ Mitt Romney, Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, Texas’s Ron Paul, Georgia’s Herman Cain, Utah’s Jon Huntsman, Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum and Georgia’s Newt Gingrich, according to Michael Clemente, Fox’s vice president of news.
Rules required eligible candidates to have an average of at least one percent in five non-online national polls by a deadline of 4 p.m. today.
Much to their dismay, some candidates were shut out, including Michigan’s Thaddeus McCotter, who is the most recent to enter the race, and California’s Fred Karger, an openly gay candidate. McCotter’s name will still be on the ballot for the Iowa Straw Poll on Saturday because his campaign paid the $15,000 necessary to participate in the Republican Party of Iowa fundraiser.
He all but confirmed it himself in his interview with Halperin, but this is the first hard “yes” to come out of his camp after weeks and weeks and weeks of teasing. It’s newsworthy if only for that reason, although I’m intrigued by the timing of the leak. Why not wait another 48 hours and let him end the suspense himself on Saturday? Are they a tiny bit spooked by Palin’s arrival in Iowa, maybe, and looking to preempt that with solid news about him running? Or is this all about ensuring that his name is mentioned at the debate tonight?
“Many politicians claim to be pro-Second Amendment and pro-gun ownership, but more often than not their voting record says otherwise,” Larry Pratt, the organization’s executive director, said in a press release. “In Ron Paul’s decades in government, he has been an unwavering champion of the Second Amendment by introducing legislation protecting gun owners’ rights – and their privacy.”
Team Romney hit back after revelations Obama's re-election campaign has reportedly hatched a plan some dubbed "Kill Romney" to undermine the Massachusetts governor.
In an ad, the Romney campaign uses Obama's own words from a speech in which the president had previously called for "a more civil and honest discourse."
After showing news clips relating to Obama's reported plan, text appears asking, "Win at any cost? You decide."
The ad's rollout comes on the heels of a Politico report that Obama's re-election campaign will try to "destroy" Romney with a "ferocious personal assault" on Romney's "character and business background."
Further fragmenting the media, President Obama is kicking off his own bus tour and will be in Iowa on August 16th (don’t miss the top 20 names for his “jobs” bus tour — my favorite: “Titanic on Wheels”). (His) tour will end in a place that serves as a monumental symbol of these tough economic times: Martha’s Vineyard.
At a New York political event last week, Republican and Democratic office-holders were all bemoaning President Obama’s handling of the debt-ceiling crisis when someone said, “Hillary would have been a better president.”
“Every single person nodded, including the Republicans,” reported one observer.
His 11-day stay will require the Coast Guard to keep ships floating near Obama's farm, a presidential helicopter and jet at the ready and security agents on 24-hour duty. Armored SUVs dubbed "war wagons" have been flown in to carry the presidential family around the island....
Obama's vacation comes at an awkward time because of the economic turmoil roiling the nation and Wall Street. Surveys show that a growing number of Americans can't afford even small vacations.
An official White House photo of a saluting Obama was distributed to news media and published widely. It also was posted on the White House website as the "Photo of the Day." It showed Obama and other officials in silhouette and did not depict caskets.
Doug Wilson, head of public affairs at the Pentagon, said the department did not know the White House photographer was present and had no idea a photo of the event was being released until it became public. He said the photographers who routinely travel with the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were not allowed to go to the event, and no official Pentagon photos were taken or released.
“The president and the chairman discussed the outlook for the recovery and for jobs as well as fiscal issues, including the need to tackle long-term deficit reduction,” according to a readout of the meeting provided by the White House.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Wednesday down 520 points, shedding all its gains from Tuesday, and then some.
Nobody in the left-dominated media bothers to note that in the last years of the Bush presidency Democrats controlled the Congress and thus had a death grip on the nation's economy, having complete control over the nation's purse strings.
They spent and spent and spent the yet-uncollected taxes of future generations — as well as our own — as if there were no tomorrow.
It wasn't a Bush Congress that jammed the incredible costs of Obamacare down the throats of the American people and their children and grandchildren — it was our spendthrift president and his allies on Capitol Hill doing their classic imitation of the legendary drunken sailors on shore leave. Read the rest
The criticism running through much of the liberals’ complaints never acknowledges, of course, that the problem is not simply Obama but the ideas he advances. That, of course, would be much more problematic than one failed president. Given a choice between blaming Obama and blaming Keynes, Obama is going to lose every time. (read the rest, lots of links
Georgetown University professor C. Christine Fair has written a post at Registan.net alleging that Nicholas Schmidle’s New Yorker cover story detailing the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound may be a fraud.
Nicholas Schmidle, the author of Getting Bin Laden, is the son of a senior Army general, which explains in part how the kid was given such “special access.” Can’t blame the kid for jumping at the story of a lifetime. Normally it is up to the editor at the New Yorker to recognize mythology being passed off as the “insider” account... So let’s go through Schmidle’s story methodically.
Let’s continue with the New Yorker’s cub reporter, Nick Schmidle, and his tale of the killing of Bin Laden by America’s hero President, Barry Soetoro Obama, by focusing on the timeline. Worth looking at the story based on the actual local times and the time distance facts.
We incorrectly said that reporter Nicholas Schmidle had spoken with the Navy SEALs who participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Schmidle used information from others who had debriefed the SEALs; he did not speak with them himself.
Jesus Christ! The boy was writing fiction. Every thing he wrote about what the SEALs did was based on info from someone who was not there.
Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi could not strong-arm enough Democrats to pass legislation to allow the president to take control of our energy sector, the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is aggressively rewriting and reinterpreting environmental regulations to accomplish the same end result: government control of energy.
Crain denied that Perry's Saturday announcement was in any way upstaging the straw poll. He said the group wanted people to write in Perry's name in Ames -- he is not on the ballot because he is not yet an official candidate. The group's staff, which includes college students who flew up from Austin, was driving around the state in a white van emblazoned with posters saying "Write In Perry."
Kansas's move brings the total amount of the returned exchange-related federal grants to almost $90 million as Republican governors seek to block implementation of the healthcare law supported largely by Democratic lawmakers.
"...The progressive ideal of administrative cadres leading the masses toward the light has its roots in a time when many Americans had an eighth-grade education or less," Mead writes. That is still the mind-set of the Obama Democrats. Ordinary people are treated as victims who need government programs like Obamacare to help them out.
But Americans prefer to see themselves as doers rather than victims. They do not see themselves, as the masses in the Progressive Era a century ago may have done, as helpless victims of large corporations and financial interests.
They want public policies that enable them to earn success, and they resent policies that channel money to the politically well positioned or to those who have not made decisions and taken actions necessary for earned success. They want to be empowered, not patronized....
Roughly 140 people attended the $7,500 per plate event at the home of Don and Katrina Peebles, raising $1 million for his re-election campaign. Roughly 60 people attended the second fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel in downtown D.C., according to a press report which did not include any financial data.
At a Pentagon briefing on May 2, a defense official was asked if it was a Navy SEAL team that found and killed the world's most wanted man. The terse response was: "Not going to comment on units or numbers."
The next day, Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Washington's Ritz Carlton Hotel at a dinner event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Council. "Let me briefly acknowledge tonight's distinguished honorees," he said. "Adm. James Stavridis is the real deal. He can tell you more about and understands the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday."
...It was a bit like a slow-motion car crash. After a while, one stopped listening to the blather and simply watched the stock ticker go down and down. And down some more.
Obama had all weekend and the best he could come up with was a reiteration of his plea for a “balanced” approach to deficit control. That’s right. We have a tumbling stock market, over 9 percent unemployment and a flight to gold (some investment advisers say it will be at $2,500 per ounce by year’s end). All he can do is promise to raise taxes....
President Obama’s approval rating is in free fall. His RealClearPolitics average is below 45 percent. In the most recent CNN poll show him at 54 percent disapproval, tying his all-time high (low?). Sixty percent ( a huge jump from 36 percent in April) believe that “the economy is still in a downturn and conditions are continuing to worsen.” A large plurality (48 percent) think the cuts in the debt-ceiling bill didn’t go far enough.
And all of those numbers were was accumulated before the stock market slid 635 points today. The losses were deep and widespread
Standard &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Poor’s historic downgrade of the U.S. credit rating is an attempt to bring adult oversight to the political squabbling over out-of-control government spending. But rather than “eating his peas,” President Obama is throwing a tantrum....
The White House’s baloney growth and deficit projections are the type of politically motivated numbers that caused S&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;P to question the ability of the United States to end its orgy of deficit spending. Rather than waging political war on the ratings agency, the White House should come clean and submit a budget proposal with honest assumptions that better reflect the damage Mr. Obama has wrought on the economy.
“Look, he is accusing the tea party because it threatened default, for causing this,” Krauthammer said. “He himself said openly he would veto any debt ceiling extension that wasn’t long enough to get him into 2013. He was going to veto it over the length, which incidentally turns out to be, as you point out, irrelevant. He got what he wanted on length and we still got the downgrade.”
...“But here he is accusing others of holding debt as hostage as a bargaining chip when he said he would himself,” Krauthammer continued. “So he’s been completely contradictory. I was sort of stunned by his appearance today. I said, ‘Why did he go out there?’ He went out there with the Dow at minus-400. And after he spoke, it went down minus-600. He looked weak, plaintive and small. I mean weak and plaintive because he comes out there and he blames of course the tea party, Europe, Japan and the Middle East, probably God because he’s the author of earthquakes — everybody except for him.”