Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: March 20, 2012


Why Is The President Pushing Pond Scum?

Well the Washington Free Beacon has an idea:

President Obama’s most recent green energy fixation—algae—may suffer from the accusations of cronyism that have plagued his broader effort to promote non-fossil fuel energy sources through massive federal subsidies.

May suffer?  Read on:

Solazyme, a San Francisco-based firm that specializes in the plant matter, has received more than $25 million in federal grants and contracts as part of Obama administration’s controversial stimulus package, and is poised to receive millions more as part of the president’s recent efforts to promote green biofuels such as algae.

The firm employs a former member of the Obama-Biden transition team who, according to one online bio, “played a key role in developing the energy provisions in the economic stimulus bill.”

That’s right, the usual – crony capitalism.  And in this case, you get a twofer.  San Fran Nan’s district benefits.

Be nice if the guy who claimed he was going to change “politics as we know it” wouldn’t revert to “politics as usual” at every opportunity to pad his re-election campaign and help out his cronies, huh?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Economic Statistics for 20 Mar 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

In retail sales, Redbook reports a strong 3.6% year-on-year same store sales increase for the latest week. ICSC-Goldman Store Sales show a strong 0.9% weekly sales increase, with the year-on-year rate rising to 3.3%.

Housing starts were weaker than expected in February, coming in at a 698,000 annual rate. Permits were higher than expected at 717,000 annualized.

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Dale Franks
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Poll: Voters not particularly high on Obama’s performance in 3 key areas

As I’ve noted any number of times, there are polls which mean nothing (such as polls this far out comparing an incumbent president and GOP nominees) and there are those what present indicators or trends that give one insight into the prevailing mood of voters or the like.

The Hill produced one of the latter this past week.  Obviously a snapshot of the prevailing mood right now, it is not a poll with which the Obama campaign should be happy.

On Obamacare:

The poll indicated that 49 percent of likely voters said they expect a court ruling that is unfavorable to the Affordable Care Act, while just 29 percent think it will be upheld and 22 percent aren’t sure.

Economy:

On economic issues, 62 percent of voters say Obama’s policies will increase the debt, while 25 percent think they will cut it, and by a 48-percent-to-38-percent margin, voters believe those policies will increase joblessness rather than put people back to work.

Energy:

On energy, 58 percent say Obama’s policies will result in gasoline prices increasing, while just 20 percent expect them to cut prices — and by a 46-percent-to-36-percent margin, voters believe they will cause the United States to become even more dependent on foreign oil.

Now as far as I’m concerned, those are the three issues that are likely to (or should) dominate the election once a GOP nominee is decided on.  If they’re not, and the GOP allows the Democrats to frame the campaign on issues other than those, they stand a good chance of losing. 

Regardless of the outcome in the Supreme Court, ObamaCare remains very unpopular with a majority of the population.  The economy is one of those issues that is personal.  Despite media hype, voters judge the state of the economy on a personal level.  The “official unemployment number” can be made to look rosy, but in fact real people who are still unemployed or underemployed know who they are.  They are the real number and they’re not going to be happy with the state of the economy.

Finally, the energy tap-dance that the administration is doing is obviously failing.   Obama is failing miserably passing off the blame about gas prices if 58% are saying his “policies” are the problem.  True or not, perception is the rule.  Oh, and, frankly, it’s true.  See for yourself.

When you have consistent polls that say a vast majority of voters are unhappy with a president’s signature piece of legislation, that’s a place you focus your campaign.  When you have two important issues – the economy and energy – where significant majorities are down on the incumbent for his policies, you hammer that unmercifully.

This poll is an indicator of the issues the GOP should build its campaign around.  These points should be pushed relentlessly. 

Porn, contraception and other wedge issues should be avoided.   Sorry, but they’re net losers and true distractions.  They let the left frame the discussion and trust me, that’s where they’re going to take it every time.

Oh, as an aside, if you’re interested in what a useless poll looks like, check this one out.  Justices appointed to lifetime positions are hardly worried about “popularity”.  In fact, that’s the primary reason for such appointments.   While the poll may indicate public dissatisfaction with some rulings, it may also simply indicate a partisan divide.  But for the most part, it is irrelevant.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Biden–Osama Bin Laden raid the “most audacious plan” in 500 years

From the Vice President at a fundraiser in New Jersey, these quotes have come out of pool reports:

You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.

With all due respect to our SEAL brethren, I only had to go back a few decades to the Son Tay raid.  So I’ll write the VP’s remark off as the typical hubris and hyperbole of politics and the usual historic ignorance (see Rutherford B. Hayes) this crew displays fairly routinely(“D-day? No biggie”).  No real surprise there.

But, then this – and by the way, this is what all the hubris and hyperbole were leading up too:

Do any one of you have a doubt that if that raid failed that this guy would be a one-term president?

That’s right … politics.  This is an attempt to equate saying “yes” to the raid while sitting in a room in DC to the courage necessary to execute the raid.  That supposedly risking your political future is akin to actually risking your life in the raid.  This is an attempt to frame a decision that really wasn’t very tough at all into an agonizing, courageous and risky choice.

No-go.

Moving on:

This guy is willing to do the right thing and risk losing.

Two points.  “This guy” didn’t risk anything.  My guess is had the raid failed, we’d never have heard about it in terms of an attempt to get ‘bin Laden’.  In fact, we’d likely have only heard of it as an attempt to get a “high level” al Qaeda operative, if that.  And, there was no real decision to be made and most Americans know it.  The only bad choice he could have made was to not go after him, learn later he was there and have that information go public.

THEN he’d have been a one-term president.  THEN he would have actually risked something.

Oh and finally:

“Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,” he said, according to the pool report. “Think about it.”

I have.  Trust me.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO