Thursday, January 21, 2010
A revolution begins
By Boston Herald Editorial Staff
It was - for the second time in Massachusetts history - the shot heard round the world, or at the very least from coast to coast and surely in the halls of Congress. Scott Brown won this one fair and square with his down-to-earth charm, his hard work and his forthright position on issues - and with the help of that much-disparaged by the opposition pick-up truck.
But it is also true that Brown was the right candidate at the right time with the right message. And it’s that message that the White House and congressional Democrats can no longer ignore. After all, if the people of Massachusetts can send a Republican to the U.S. Senate to fill the seat Ted Kennedy had a lock on for 47 years, then the revolution has indeed begun. And like that battle in Concord more than two centuries ago, this is only the opening round.
Her fellow Democrats will attempt to blame the loss entirely on Martha Coakley, her inability to connect with voters, her verbal blunders and on assuming her primary victory was all she needed. Much of that is true, but it is also true that Coakley promised to be simply more of the same. And voters here are tired of more of the same.
They don’t see the point of an expensive new health care bill that threatens to damage the health care industry here, disrupt service to Medicare recipients and tax us all - especially when we already insure 97.4 percent of our people.
They don’t see the point of paying higher and higher energy costs, when the world’s pollution is not our fault.
They don’t see the point of growing the deficit so that our children and grandchildren will be paying for today’s policy mistakes - including a $787 stimulus bill that didn’t.
Most of all they are simply tired of the kind of Washington arrogance that says “don’t worry, we know what’s best for you.” Voters of Massachusetts wanted to take back the power that has been so sorely abused. Yesterday they did.
A blessing in disguise for the Democrats?
By Jeff Jacoby
IT REALLY IS the people's seat, and on Tuesday the people of Massachusetts took it back. But in electing Scott Brown instead of Martha Coakley to replace Ted Kennedy in the US Senate, the Bay State's voters did more than hand the GOP its most improbable and thrilling come-from-behind victory in a generation. They did more than embrace a charismatic, upbeat Republican and reject a dour, gaffe-prone Democrat. And they did more than prove that no political party has a permanent lock on any state's electoral loyalties.
They also gave President Obama and the Democratic left a blessing in disguise -- if only they are wise enough to recognize it.
Brown ran explicitly against Obama's polarizing domestic agenda -- especially the radical health-care overhaul that the president has made his No. 1 priority. Not long ago, such a campaign strategy would have been dismissed as suicidal. But the harder the administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress have pushed their health legislation, the more unpopular it, and they, have grown. At a Coakley rally in Boston on Sunday, it spoke volumes that Obama made not a single direct reference to the health-care bill he has championed -- and that Brown promises to be the 41st vote against.
Politically, ObamaCare has backfired. No president in the modern era has ended his first year in office with disapproval ratings so high. Much of the goodwill with which he entered the White House has been squandered, and any effort to try to force the health bill through Congress now would drive what's left of that goodwill right over a cliff.
But that isn't going to happen. Brown and the voters of Massachusetts have killed ObamaCare for good. In so doing they have given the president a priceless second chance to adjust his political course, move toward the center, and deliver at least some of the bipartisan cooperation that was at the heart of his once-enormous appeal. They have given him that chance, moreover, nearly 10 months before the 2010 midterm elections. If Obama seizes the opportunity that Massachusetts and its likable senator-elect have just given him, those elections need not be a calamity for his party. With some restraint and wisdom now, the brightest days of his presidency may be still to come.
A blue collar approach pays off for GOP
Republican Scott Brown shocked the nation and turned Massachusetts politics on its head. But how did he do it? A Suffolk University poll taken Nov. 8 showed Democratic candidate Martha Coakley leading by 31 points -- a staggering advantage most political observers believed could not be surmounted by Brown, one of just five Republicans in the Massachusetts state Senate.
But a series of factors conspired to allow Brown to do what seemed impossible in November, and his luck began to change right after the state's Democratic primary that month, when Coakley made what many now view as an unwise decision to take a break from campaigning.
Brown, on the other hand, hit the ground running, going door to door in working-class neighborhoods across the commonwealth in his old pickup truck, delivering a populist message that resonated with people suffering under the state's sour economy. Brown talked about job creation, the deficit and overspending in Washington. And he pledged to put the brakes on the unpopular Democratic plan to reform health care. "He's been going door to door, town to town," said Brown backer Shawn Littlehale, of Norwell. "Martha Coakley has been hiding."
Brown also put out a series of well-received ads, including one in which he seemed to appear in a campaign ad produced by John F. Kennedy when he ran for the same seat in the 1950s and promised a tax cut. Brown also used social media like Facebook, Twitter and text messages to supporters to get voters to the polls and for a massive rally to counter a Sunday appearance by President Obama.
While Brown capitalized on Coakley blunders that became almost too numerous to count, it was his substance and style that eventually won over voters, even in the face of an onslaught of negative campaign ads put forward by the Democratic National Committee. "Brown focused the discussion on the issues that really matter in Massachusetts," Ron Kaufman, former adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, told The Examiner. "And it connected with the voters in a big way."
Voters said that aside from his political stance, they liked Brown's low-key, authentic style, which contrasted to what many perceived to be an aloof and out-of-touch Coakley. His appeal was so great, even Coakley volunteers were swayed by him, including phone bank worker Carol Caryl, 70. "He has a certain amount of charisma, driving that truck," Caryl said.
Can You Say "Lame Duck"?!
Albert Einstein, whom even the most zealous Obamatons would have to admit was at least a trifle smarter than their own icon, once defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Mr. Obama, welcome to your padded room. We trust you will find the straight-jacket more than comfortable.
Even as Scott Brown was obliterating Martha Coakley in the race for "Ted Kennedy's seat," a typically petulant Barack Obama was sending out the word that he was right, the American people were wrong – and they had better change their ways. As the popular Washington newspaper Politico reported just before the results begin pouring in: "President Barack Obama plans a combative response if, as White House aides fear, Democrats lose Tuesday's special Senate election in Massachusetts, close advisers say."
So, there you have it. And one is reminded of the late Dick Tuck's concession speech after his loss in the 1966 California State Senate election: "The people have spoken, the bastards."
Make no mistake about it: The Coakley defeat in Massachusetts was an outright and utter rejection of Barack Hussein Obama and his entire leftist agenda. He can twist and spin it anyway he wants; he can bob and weave, shuck and jive, attempt to end run the legislative system, and attack the American people as much as his unrepentant heart desires.
But, the fact is: Denial is not just the name of a river in Egypt. Martha Coakley ran as an Obama Democrat. She embraced his every deficit spending spree, tax increase, and Big Government takeover scheme – just as she embraced the man, himself, when he journeyed north to give her his ringing endorsement. That endorsement was supposed to turn the tide. It was supposed to make people's eyes once again glaze over and prompt them to pull the leftwing lever as they had done for the Wizard of Ooze barely a year ago.
But something has clearly changed – and that something is the view the American people now have towards a president who openly rejects their values, cynically denigrates their mores, and angrily denounces their "trifling" objections to his overriding will.
So, now, over the next four to five days, the world will watch while Barack Obama makes a decision that will fix his place in history: will he reorder his steps and work the people's will – or will he double down on insanity? Let's put it this way: If the smart money could talk, it would likely query, "Can you say "lame duck"?
White House Hopes for Economic Growth But Wont Change Its Counterproductive Policies
Yeah, well, good luck with that! The irrational policies coming from this administration couldn’t be more wrong. If they were truly trying to promote an economic expansion, without a doubt they would change them. The tried and true methods to promote economic growth don’t include any of the following: tax hikes, a weak dollar, trade wars, additional regulatory burdens, increased energy costs or a takeover of the health-care industry.
Only a year ago, Democrats were mouthing phrases denoting the sheer folly of raising taxes in a recession. Having passed their massive public spending free for all they called a “stimulus” and wasting a mountain of taxpayer dollars are results that are, at best, unimpressive. It has resulted in the creation of a large number of bogus jobs but very few real ones. But it has been fairly good at increasing the wages of public sector employees (people who are already employed) and building a few skate parks.
Now their sensible tone along with any notion that fixing the economy as job one is gone. The Obama Administration, along with Congress, has been thrown under the progressive bus in favor of their standard class warfare vernacular, an ideology they are much more comfortable articulating. Once again they’ve wrap themselves in the mantle of public savior, guarding the poor and saving the planet and the workingmen and women of America from evil capitalists and business owners everywhere. Righteous crusaders, who but for the lack of an extra trillion or so more tax dollars can make all of our wildest dreams come true.
It is the focus of their ire, businesses and the rich whom I call capitalists (you know, the ones with capital) who will actually lead us out of this economic malaise. Whether the time is right for them to lead is dependent solely upon their own very rational assessment of the business climate going forward, and that outlook is not promising. The President and his advisers hope that browbeating bankers will lead to more business borrowing to expand output and create additional jobs. He acts as though CEO’s will plow ahead, willy nilly, borrowing and investing no matter how many additional burdens he and his political allies on the hill ask them to bear.
As far as private sector job creation goes, the Obama has missed the point entirely. This is quite possibly because very few of his advisers know anything about the private sector, as most of them have never worked in it. So I’m going to let him in on the dirty little secret of job creation, one that those of us out here in the real world already know. Businesses borrow money only so that they can earn additional profits, jobs that are created are really incidental to their focus, which is to grow the bottom line. Many of the policies the President promotes serve only to diminish the ability of a business to earn a profit. No Profit! No Growth! No Jobs!
The Business world is totally different than the political world. Companies don’t have to expand. Investors don’t have to risk their capital. They only do so when the conditions in place enable them to forecast an increased profit. When CEO’s look at projections showing a bottom line that is shrinking, their thoughts are not of expansion and job creation, but rather they work nonstop trying to rationalize their cost structures to insure profitability, enabling them to survive the downturn. Labor savings is at the top of the heap when it comes to cutting expenses.
The good news is that an accelerated recovery can get underway any time the administration wants, but it will require them to make that hard pivot they have been talking about. They need to turn away from raising taxes, encourage the production of our domestic energy resources and stabilize the value of the dollar.
Domestic drilling will directly create thousands of jobs in US oil fields and have the added benefit of reducing energy prices, enabling a more robust economic recovery and the jobs that come along with it. The prospect of lower taxes and a stable dollar will renew the incentive for investors and their capital who are clearly watching from the sidelines to get back into the game of providing the fuel for economic growth. The nightmare of a health care bill, which seeks to punish healthy people with higher premiums and younger folks with fines for being young needs, to be scrapped in order to promote an economic environment that is, if not employer friendly, at least not hostile.
Stealth propaganda: "An obscure 2008 academic article gained traction with bloggers over the weekend. The article was written by the head of Obama’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein. He’s a good friend of the president and the promoter of the contradictory idea: ‘libertarian paternalism.’ … Obama’s Regulation Czar is so concerned about citizens thinking the wrong way that he proposed sending government agents to ‘infiltrate’ these groups and manipulate them. This reads like an Onion article: Powerful government official proposes to combat paranoid conspiracy groups that believe the government is out to get them … by proving that they really are out to get them.”
Russia diversifies into Canadian dollars: "Russia’s central bank announced on Wednesday that it had started buying Canadian dollars and securities in a bid to diversify its foreign exchange reserves. Analysts said the move could be a sign of increased diversification of emerging market central bank assets away from the dollar and into investments denominated in other commodity-linked currencies, such as the Australian dollar. Adam Cole at RBC Capital Markets said if taken in isolation, Russia’s announcement that it was buying Canadian dollars was not significant, but if it was part of a broader trend, then it was an important step. “If it is a barometer for the activity of other central banks, then its is structurally positive for the currencies of countries like Canada and Australia that have a commodity bias in their economies,” he said. Although not officially confirmed, traders said that other emerging market central banks, including some in Asia which hold large foreign exchange reserves, have also been active in the foreign exchange market in recent weeks buying both Canadian dollars and Australian dollars. [Obama's red-hot printing press has destroyed confidence in what was for many years the world's most trusted currency -- the U.S. dollar]
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 9:04 PM