Friday, July 23, 2010

Gallup: Rank Level of Confidence – Congress Hits Bottom - Untold - Unions, Public Schools, The Media, the Presidency Well Below 50%

Gallop Poll on Trends July 2009 to July 2010 click to enlarge

Congress grabbed the attention in Gallup’s Trending Survey on Confidence in Institutions yesterday. Congress came in ranked dead last with an 11% confidence rating – down 6% points from last year’s poll. That said, Confidence in certain institutions which, in the past (circa 1950’s, 1960’s) were held as the epitome of trustworthiness, now fall with Congress at levels that should serve as a road map for Conservatives who would work to improve Washington, and the way we, as a nation are currently stymied by organized labor and woefully under performing public schools (also organized labor).

Congress may have an 11% approval ranking, losing 6 points over the past year, however, they are not alone: the Presidency has dropped 15% from a year ago, to a 36% confidence ranking - even with the Supreme Court, and above the following institutions: the public schools (34%), criminal justice systems (27%), newspapers (25%), banks (23%), Television News (22%), Organized Labor 20%, Tied at 19% Big Business (who actually gained 3 points) and HMO’s.
Who do American’s trust the most? The Military tops the list, followed by Small Business, the Police and Organized Religion – so much for the “Progressive Message”. What the balance of the poll suggests is that, “we the people” (or “the masses”) are not as trustworthy of institutions that appear to be owned and or affiliated with our government.

For example, Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, a Republican in a state known to run as blue as Massachusetts with a state government just as corrupt, faced down the “powerful teachers” union, and regularly spars with the press. He recently held the New Jersey legislature “hostage” until he got a vote to lower and cap the states property tax (Business week) – no mean feat.

Now, Christie faces the wrath of the unions and the teachers (unions again) as told by the press: Headlines in the past twenty four hours: “NJ’s largest state workers union warns lawmakers of cost for working with Gov. Christie” (Star-Ledger), and Salary Cap to Limit School Salaries”> (North

Apparently, in New Jersey, and one can suspect elsewhere, the public no longer trusts the public schools to deliver a quality education, knowing full well that unions have become nothing more than lobbyist for the DNC, making money off the backs of, in most cases, degreed individuals who are in no more need of a union than a lobotomy. (Anyone capable of earning a master’s degree should be capable of holding and maintaining a job with benefits, without the aid and abet of a “union”. The only unions that should be chartered are those that support individuals who work in dangerous and life threatening environments, public or private and should not be extended to positions that would appear to be supervisory in nature. Additionally, unions should be, by law, unable to use dues collected for any other purpose than pensions and lawyers to wrangle with management – to whit, they have no place within our government or our schools.)The people get it, which explains the ranking. Chris Christie also gets it, which explains his success.

Shockingly (sarcasm), the press, both print and television news, take a beating this time out, (no change from last year), fully three-quarters of the nation do not trust the print and or televised news to deliver the goods in a trustworthy manner. From the largest newspapers and network news, to the local daily and NBC (or CBS, ABC) nightly news – the message is clear and “on-point” - any opposition to the President and or the Democrat Party is non-existent, (either in main news, sports, lifestyle and the real estate section, never mind editorials) should a Republican or Conservative (or God Forbid (God’s till popular) a member of the Tea Party, trip over a shoelace, it’s big news, for days on end – the public apparently has noticed. This accounts for the ratings over at Fox News, being through the roof as they offer an alternative, and also the falling subscriber base and the overall woes of a government run and progressive minded media.

Should someone wake up and decide to run a small business newspaper that delivered - news- without a slant to the left or right (leaving editorial where it belongs in the editorial section) - one might see a resurgence of the press, and a return of the economic health of the industry that once was looked upon as the pinnacle of trustworthiness – think Lois Lane.

Banks are caught between a rock and a hard place by none other than the government (Congress) who regulates and now, in some cases, outright owns them. (due to regulations - see Barney Frank) This particular ranking is in itself a double edged sword as it indicates confidence in the economy is not where it should be.

Therefore, when looking for someone trustworthy – one can still turn to the military (as long as the President is nowhere near it), the local police and ones neighborhood small business – organized religion is also considered somewhat “trustworthy”. All truly deserving institutions, to be sure, but what saddens those who may have seen teachers, banks and the Presidency and even the press - all held to a high esteem - those institutions once thought to be the backbone of our society - scoring so low in confidence – it denotes that there is work to be done.

Surely there is a way to bring confidence back to education, to the media, the Congress and the Presidency. 2010 is one of the building blocks to the future, with the public electing governors, congressional representatives and senators who share the principals and frankly the tactics of the Governor of New Jersey – 2012 will finish laying the foundation to a return of confidence in the power of the people to determine the course of our destiny – as defined by our Constitution.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Poll 2012 – Any Unnamed Republican Will Best Obama – Untold Story – Democrats Approval Tanks - Now On Par with Tea Party

A change in the offing? Will the Donkey be Replaced by a Symbol not yet Chosen? Image news political dot com

A QuinnipiacPoll released on July 21, 2010, which projects that President Barack Obama can be bested by any Republican in 2012 has been receiving a good deal of attention, however, there is more to the poll that indicates problems for Democrats in general through the next two election cycles.

Question 4 on the survey ask a general approval question for Congressional Democrats, the “score” given overall is 31% approval – 28% of Democrats Polled disapprove - including 28% of Democrats polled voting no confidence. In Question 15 on the survey which asks to rate approval for the Democrat Party overall – 34% disapprove of the Political Brand, opposed to Republicans who received a rating of 33% - that said, 21% indicated that they had not heard enough about the Republican Party in order to form an opinion, while 14% indicated they had not heard enough about the Democrat Party to form an opinion.

The Tea Party movement trends approximately even with the Democrats and Republicans: Question 16 reveals a 33% approval for the Tea Party, with 35% Not having heard enough in order to form an opinion. This indicates an opportunity exists for the Tea Party Organization to eventually brand ahead of Democrats and even with Republicans, thereby forming a viable third or replacement political party.

Question 2 of the Survey asks a general question regarding political preference should the 2010 elections be held (100 days approximately from the mid-term), now; voters would choose the Republican by 43 to 38%. The generic ballot question has run approximately the same across all polls, regardless of the type of pollster for the past six months.

In reviewing the Quinnipiac poll, one finds a badly damaged Democrat Brand going into 2010 and beyond for Barack Obama. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the trending of the Tea Party on parity with both the Republican and Democrat parties. This sets the stage for a viable 3rd or replacement party in the near future, historically, the last change in major political parties, was in 1860, when the Republican Party replaced the Whig Party, formed a platform and nominated Abraham Lincoln as their candidate. As there has been little shift in power between the Republican and Democrat Parties in the ensuing decades, should the Tea Party form a platform, they would stand in place of the less dominant major political party – as of now, that would be the Democrat Party.

Finally, on "Buyer’s Remorse": Question 26, 37 to 35% of the respondents feel that the nation would have fared better under McCain’s leadership. That could be attributed to the low approval Obama receives on everything from the economy to the handling of the Arizona Law Suit. The survey was conducted using a sample of over 2000 voters, with marginals showing a correct portion of party affiliation, neither skewing the poll left or right based on 2008 trends. A word document is available for download which gives trends from past Quinnipiac polls as well as the marginals statistical data for the respondents here.

With the Fed projecting the unemployment rate to remain high through 2012, and the massive tax increases about to be put into play (2011) which will affect every household in the United States regardless of income status, may just be the final nail in the political coffin of the Democrat Party.

Taxes as any school child should be aware, was the reason for the formation of the United Sates, and the temperament of our nation regarding taxation has not changed in over three hundred years. It is without a doubt the economy that leads the concerns of the nations and determines the vote, however, with this particular poll, other issues of concern, from Afghanistan to the Arizona border, will continue to dog the administration and Democrats in general through the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Snow (R-ME) and Collins(R-ME) join Senate Democrats in Vote to Extend Unemployment Benefits – For 3 Months

The two Republican Maine Senators, Olympia Snow and Susan Collins, aremost often aligned with the Democrats on issues that divide the two major political parties – in the case of extending unemployment benefits for three months, voted as predicted – with the Democrats. As Nancy Pelosi touted the economic stimulus benefits of unemployment benefits one headline that has drawn attention – “Congress Prolongs Agony by Extending Unemployment Benefits” speaks volumes. In a year where almost every seat in Congress is up for reelection and the Democrat party stands to lose the majority, the extension of Unemployment benefits to 2.5 Million unemployed, is one of the largest political gambles of late.

News articles on the subject invariably point to the Republicans as obstructing millions from receiving extended benefits, using such adjectives as ”stubborn” (AP), while the Democrats, to insure the necessary vote, hastily swore in the temporary replacement for Robert Byrd, Carte Goodwin, D-WV in order to get the job done.

Herein lays the problem, the benefits are temporary and the cost of which will be added to the deficit. The Republicans, in practice, were attempting to force the Democrat majority to use other means, including unspent stimulus funds, in order to pay for the benefits, rather than add additional debt to the taxpayer. The Democrats countered that the Stimulus funds were to be used to create jobs (as yet those jobs created are at inflated salaries, and limited in scope), while Speaker Pelosi, infamously countered that unemployment benefits are a stimulus – therefore, no matter how one sliced it, the Democrats were determined to pass the extension in order to gain the possible 2.5 million much needed votes and at the same time paint the Republicans as opposed to extending a lifeline to the unemployed.

There are pros and cons to the extension as regards to the necessity and overall economic impact from the aforementioned “Congress Prolongs Agony by Extending Unemployment Benefits”. Citing findings from the Heritage Foundation, the article notes:

According to Heritage research:
o Extending either the amount or the duration of unemployment benefits increases the length of time that workers remain unemployed.
o Roughly one-third of workers receiving unemployment benefits find work immediately once their benefits expire. This happens both when unemployment is high and when unemployment is low, said a report in Industrial and Labor Relations Review.
o Each 13-week extension of benefits increases the average length of time workers receiving benefits stay unemployed by approximately two weeks.
o Families respond to unemployment benefits by reducing other income. Research in the Journal of Labor Economics found that wives’ earnings fall by between 36 and 73 cents for each dollar of benefits married men receive.

Here’s an interesting forum post that backs up the Heritage Foundation findings:

“Gentex, my main customer, has billboards on the highway hours away, ads on busses, ads in magazines and online. Unemployment is over 16% and growing, but it's such a good deal to be unemployed, they can't find enough workers. Frustrating.”

On one hand, local businesses that need to hire, cannot find workers, and/or as one New York Times article noted factories are ready to hire, however, they cannot find skilled employees.

The question, remains, however, where those 4.3 million American’s who have been out of work for more than 52 weeks” (Dept. of Labor cited in article as the source) will find work that suits them. The fact that large business, in general, has literally gone into hiding, due to a lack of confidence the Obama administration’s policies, and general uncertainty regarding the economy has a hiring freeze in place, even though the cash is available to resume hiring is also frustrating.

Therefore, we have a Congress and administration in place that will spend at will to conveniently supply aid and comfort to millions in the form of entitlements, with some business losing out as they cannot find employees, and others pushed to the brink (larger business) insuring that no large-scale hiring will take place, either scenario insures that without workers, there will be fewer taxes generated in order to pay for those entitlements.

It is assumed that the average voter will not notice that the “compassion of the Democrats” in passing the unemployment must, at some point, come to an abrupt end, with no way to continue to pay due to a continually reduced tax base. That assumption did not work 30 years ago under President Jimmy Carter, and, as the present administration has done its best to follow Carter’s example with the like result, it follows that with growing public angst, regardless of passing unemployment extensions, or berating the opposition by telling half truths, Congress and possibly the Senate will change political hands – at which point, historically speaking, businesses may grow less leery, begin to hire, and get the economy back on foot, however recovery from Carter policy was slow and painful – and voters took notice, well past the mid-term and into the general election.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Focus on Illinois U.S. Senate Seat – Obama to Campaign for Giannoulias – Home Turf Test of Political Capital.

Giannoulias and Obama - Chicago Politico's - image

From Politico Headline: “Obama to stump for Alexi Giannoulias” - details the President’s plan to lend personal support to one Alexi Giannoulias, who would, if elected, replace former Illinois Governor Blagojevich’s appointed interim Senator, Roland Burris in November. Giannoulias will face Republican Congressman Mark Kirk in the November Election – the announcement of Obama’s aid by the Giannoulias Campaign suggested the same tired rhetoric which has voters growing increasingly bored:

The President's visit will reinforce the importance of the clear choice Illinois voters face between Alexi, who supports helping the president move America forward and career Congressman Mark Kirk, who wants to go back to the same failed Bush policies that got us into this mess."

This tells us that either the powers that be are not reading the polls, or the President could lose additional “face” should his personally vacated Senate Seat fall into the hand of a Republican. Apparently, the Republican candidate campaign is in significantly better financial shape than that of Giannoulias, which prompted the Presidential trip to Illinois.

According to the FEC Republican Mark Kirk has raised $6,665,710, dispersed about half and has zero debt, while Giannoulias, has raised 4,783,438, spent two thirds and has a deficit of $150,000 - In viewing contributors to both candidates, one finds Giannoulias receiving donations from Washington Post Attorney David Adams among other notable Illinois Democrats and finally, the Democrat Party has kicked in approximately $25,000.

In reviewing Kirks filing: donations are coming from Homemaker, retirees, physicians and the like, while receiving no report from the RNC - PACs, primarily insurance or health care related, have picked up where the RNC has lagged (or is non-existent).

One can get a snapshot of a candidate and their fiscal philosphy through their disclosures: On the one hand Giannoulias has raised 4.7 million, spent two thirds and has a deficit, while Kirk, has raised 6 million plus, spent half and has zero debt.

Time to call in Obama – will he help?

In the short term Obama has the ability to raise some cash specifically in the town that has consistently shown financial support in abundance for Democrat candidate.

The Chicago Media:

Being Chicago, the Globe (one news outlet) headline speaks to the Giannoulias family bank as being tied to the organized crime
“Giannoulias tries to shake bank issue” with the tag line: “Democrat attacks Kirk for focusing on controversial loans to crime figures”.

What were Giannoulias ties to his family bank? Apparently, the Bank of Giannoulias, made large loans to felons. The article goes on to note that at the same time, the candidate was in a senior position at his family bank, and working toward improving his political chances. (Shame on that Mark Kirk for drawing a conclusion that any second grader might make - something fishy may be afoot with Obama's candidate in the fist place.)

Therefore, you have an Illinois Politician with ties to the mob, who Is not spending wisely, asking for an Obama bailout. Perfect.

It is not all Roses for the Republican Kirk, who is now, according to Public Policy Polling in a statistical tie with Giannoulias, who has a one point lead 31-30 over Kirk. Apparently, a green party candidate is polling at 24% - the article goes on to suggest Illinois Voters are disillusioned. One would think at this point, they should be.

There are cities where crime and politics tend to go hand and hand, Boston for instance - nary a day goes by before some state representative, senator, auditor, or brother of, is indicted, but Chicago takes the cake. Massachustts Citizens have, for the most part, become disgusted enough to maintain a serious interest in several Congressional Races, so much so, that two of which are receiving funds from the NRCC in the form of advertising, which is currently generic, given the fact that the primaries are in September. Come September, should that activity increase, one can bet the house, that at the very least 3 seats will change political hands in Massachusetts.

That said, it remains to be seen if the populace of Illinois has had enough, so to speak, and will move to change the face of the nation – or follow party lines and elect a politicians who is endorsed by Obama, and has family ties to the mob. One would love to see the Vegas Lines on this one.

Enter the “what if”: What if the citizens of the State of Illinois are of a similar mindset to those of Massachusetts? What if, they decide, going into October that they would prefer the “Bush Republican” to the “Obama endorsed candidate? The fact that Obama has not done well on the campaign trial in recent months in either raising funds, crowds, and or the political prospects (especially important) of the individual for whom he stumps, make this particular race all the more interesting. Should the Republican pull this off, and polls remain virtually unchanged (within the margin of error), this leaves Obama in a 2006 Bush Campaign State – in other words, shunned by members of his own party, and looking more like Jimmy Carter by the minute (that’s happening in any case).

The Globes competition, The Chicago Sun Times and their Suburban newspapers group, which touches every hamlet surrounding Chicago, also wrote about the Obama visit, in much the same tone and manner as the Glob what one finds on the Sun Times is in their comment section under the article: “This may just be the "Kiss of Death" for Giannoulias!” Apparently, some in Chicago have been closely following Obama’s track record vis a vis candidates he supports.

Not for nothing, the Blagojevich Trial will begin again with the Defense calling witnesses and having access to FBI tapes that just could change the winds of political fortune in the Windy City as well as Washington, D.C. Giannoulias is reported to be on the “witness list” for the defense.

To get the pulse of Chicago, and this race in particular, one suggests, in addition to the Globe and Sun Times, a visit to . Hillbuzz, a collaboration blog with a fantastic sense of humor used to deliver fact, has several interesting articles on this particular race.
Only in America – this is why we love this country so deeply! The drama, the intrigue! Reality television just can’t compete with American Politics.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

UK Article: Obama Cozies Up to Bill Clinton – Hillary More Viable as U.S. 2012 Presidential Candidate

Barack Obama - Making Friends with Clinton to Salvage the 2010 Elections - Photo: Telegraph UK

An article coming out of the United Kingdom via the Telegraph here, speaks to the developing relationship between Barack Obama and Bill Clinton – Clinton, who had been called into the White House last Wednesday to offer insight on job creation to Obama and company, now finds himself befriended by the President.

The UK article contends that as Obama’s optical fortunes sink (poll specific), Clinton, who, during the 2008 Presidential Primary was one of Obama’s most vocal critics in defense of his wife, Hillary, appears to be on brink of helping Obama turn the tide for the Democrats going into the 2010 general elections. Polling released by Fox News/Opinion Dynamics suggest that the President is a hindrance to those Congressional members trying to hold onto their seats. Apparently, sending Clinton, according to the poll, increases members chances of being elected. This particular poll follows on the hells of several special elections, in which, when Obama appeared to campaign for the Democrat candidate, the Republican pulled out handily. Cases in point: Virginal, Massachusetts and most notable: New Jersey. The trips by Obama to the Garden State to try to revive former Governor Corzines campaign produced one of the most notable forces in politics today, Republican Governor Chris Christie.

Therefore, when an offer to assist comes from President Obama, the only candidate, to day (known) that believed the President might help, was Harry Reid. Reid, whose campaign is on virtual life-support, might not have been the best choice for the President as far as odds are concerned. Conservative who might be taking odds on certain races, hope the President starts to campaign for Barney Frank in the 4th District of Massachusetts as well as Nancy Pelosi in the California 8th, thereby, giving their opposition a leg up (so to speak). By calling in Bill Clinton, and staying out of the political fray (see George Bush and the 2006 elections specifically), those who feel endangered would be better served by Clinton.

The article closes with an interesting summation:

“For among family loyalists, there is still the hope that if Mr. Obama looks like becoming a one-term liability, the party may yet ditch him for a more experienced candidate for the next presidential campaign – Hillary 2012”

One can assure the Telegraph that, aside from family loyalist, there are hordes of Democrats who would turn back the clock and do away with the Super Delegates allowing the woman who won the popular vote to have become the next President. (That might also extend to moderate Conservatives as well as independent voters.) The fact that they allude to Obama as a one-term president, is also consistent with historical data from the Carter period, considering similar tactics were used by both men, with similar outcomes.

Finally - what’s in a press photo? For the most part, Secretary of State, Hillary Clintons, press photographs are not always complementary (from a purely aesthetic point of view), however, in recent days, one finds photos of Ms. Clinton gracing the pages of newspapers and websites, in which she appears presidential. Absolutely in charge and full of wisdom. Two examples are striking: one photo from anunews shows Clinton is a very patriotic light, the second, from the The Drudge Report, show Clinton, glasses et al, appearing very presidential, and ready to make that decision.

Clinton Patriot - from ANUNEWS

From the main page July 18, 2010, Clinton in Command - source noed as with Yahoo Article (not found).

Understanding that a photo taken any day, can be good or bad, it is that with Ms. Clinton, the press appears (or more appropriately) appeared to find the worst possible light in which to place the former contender for Barack Obama’s current position. Now that polls are going south and the real possibility exists not only of a turnover in Congress in 2010, but a turnover in the White House in 2012, the news pertaining to (including video and stills) Ms. Clinton, may truly begin to take on an air of command. Naturally, there are many, including this blog, who would have suggested last August, when the only three candidates left Standing were McCain, Obama and Clinton, that Clinton was the best choice for multiple reasons. Her record in the Senate for one, and her experience, which trumped the other Democrat candidate that went on to win the nomination backed by super delegates; Once Barack’s nomination was secured, those that would have favored Clinton, turned to McCain and Palin, (once announced).

Should she decide to run (and it is early) it would set up at least a snowballs chance that a Democrat will get elected to the White House in 2012.

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