The Numbers Keep Going Down

This is an election season so all news reporting has to take that into consideration. Anything you read has to be checked against another source and then sorted through to figure out what you weren’t told. Sometimes it gets very frustrating. One of the items that has come up in this campaign is the U.S. economy. President Obama and Hillary Clinton say that it is great, and Donald Trump says it is not doing well. What do the numbers say?

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday that has some answers.

The article reports:

The U.S. economy expanded in the second quarter of 2016 with real GDP growing 1.1 percent, a lower rate than previously estimated, according to the second estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“The downward revision to the percent change in real GDP primarily reflected downward revisions to state and local government spending and to private inventory investment and an upward revision to imports,” the bureau said.

Real GDP represents the inflation-adjusted value of goods and services produced in the economy. The second quarter growth of 1.1 percent, which includes performance from April, May, and June, was an increase from the 0.8 percent growth recorded in the first quarter of 2016.

Second quarter growth this year was lower than second quarter growth in 2015, when GDP expanded at 3.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“Today’s disappointing news that the economy expanded even slower than reported is another reminder that we cannot continue President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s failed economic policies for another four years,” said Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee. “Economists say Hillary Clinton’s tax plan alone will slow economic growth, reduce wages, and kill jobs.”

We have had eight years of Democratic policies running the economy. The excuse given by most Democrats is that President Obama started with a mess because the housing bubble had burst. However, when you look at the roots of the housing bubble, you are a little less likely to blame President Bush for the collapse (see Burning Down The House. If in the future YouTube takes down the video, I have embedded it in various articles in this blog–use the blog search engine to find it and watch it.) It is time to let an experienced businessman try his hand at running the American economy. That is the only hope the American workers have.

Support The Eleventh Commandment

If you are under 50, you may not be familiar with the Eleventh Commandment. The Eleventh Commandment was created by the California Republican Party and popularized by President Ronald Reagan. The Eleventh Commandment reads, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” If you have watched any of the Republican debates, you are aware that the Eleventh Commandment has died a violent death.

Holly Robichaud, who writes a column for the Boston Herald, posted her observations on the subject in today’s Boston Herald.

Ms. Robichaud notes:

Where is the Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus?

He is the leader of the Republican Party — not just the establishment wing. It is time for him to lead the entire party by stopping the civil war.

There have been plenty of times when conservatives have been less than thrilled to vote for the Republican nominee, but once the selection had been made there was no ranting or raving about our objections. We kept our nose-holding to ourselves and loyally supported the nominee.

The establishment is having a massive hissy fit over the Trump candidacy. They are not helping the other Republican presidential candidates. They are only hurting our chances to win the White House in November. Shame on them for their self-indulgent whining.

As I have stated many times before, Donald Trump did not get my vote in the Republican primary (North Carolina has early voting, so I have already voted). However, if he wins the votes in the Primary Elections around the country, he is entitled to the nomination.

The maneuverings of the establishment Republicans are amazing. They have ignored the party’s base for years, and now wonder why the base is choosing to ignore them.

The article further reminds us:

Earlier in this election cycle, Priebus got Trump to sign an agreement to not run as a third-party candidate if he did not win the primary. Was it a one-way agreement? Where is the protection for Trump? He’s winning these primaries fair and square. It wasn’t even close in Massachusetts.

Priebus is going to be the last chairman of the Republican National Committee if he doesn’t stop the establishment’s temper tantrum.

What could Priebus do? First and foremost, he needs to shut off all money to people who speak ill of the soon-to-be nominee. That will motivate them.

Second, Priebus can give them a collective dope slap. To suggest that Trump would be a lousy president due to some business failures is beyond ridiculous. According to Forbes magazine, 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months. Businesspeople have successes and failures.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton should be indicted over the email scandal! On her watch as secretary of state, four Americans died because she refused to act! The Clinton Foundation is a disgrace!

The Republican Party is in danger from its own establishment. The establishment that has gone along with higher taxes, more spending, and not using every weapon available to fight ObamaCare and executive orders is reaping what it has sown. The Republicans hold the House and the Senate. Does anyone believe that if the Democrats held the House and the Senate that they would not manage to advance their agenda? If the Republicans continue to avoid success and replace it with whining that they cannot do anything because of President Obama, they deserve to be removed from whatever office they hold. Attacking each other only adds to their problems. If the republican leaders continue to act in a way that ignores the base and encourages attacks against the leading candidate, they may find themselves without a party to lead.

An Explanation Of The Debate About The North Carolina Primary Date

North Carolina’s Republican Presidential Primary: The Date Matters!

Written by Mark D. Jones

1st Vice Chairman

Craven County Republican Party

 

North Carolina could be a major player in the race to determine the 2016 Republican Presidential nominee.  With 72 delegates (6thhighest in the country), the key word is “could”.  A combination of obscure and unfair Republican National Committee (RNC) rules and North Carolina legislative actions could spoil this opportunity.

The RNC makes the rules related to how Republican delegates are apportioned, and the North Carolina Legislature has the authority to set the date of our Primary.  The RNC has developed a concept known as the “proportionality window” which imposes two potential penalties on 46 of the 50 states for holding primaries before March 14.  Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are exempt from these penalties, and you will hear a lot of talk about early Primaries in these states next year.  The first of the penalties mentioned above means that any other state that chooses a Primary date before March 1 will lose a significant percentage of its delegates.  North Carolina originally planned for a February Primary which would reduce our delegate count from 72 to 12 and make our state insignificant.

The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a Bill (H.B. 457) that would move the Primary date to March 8, 2016.  This restores our delegate count to 72 but comes with another pitfall.  Any state, other than the four exempt states already mentioned, that holds a Primary the first two weeks of the month will be forced to allocate those delegate on a proportional basis.  This means that if 5, or even 15, candidates are on the ballot, each candidate will receive a percentage of our delegates commensurate with the percentage of the vote they receive.This may sounds like a fair process on the surface, but as usual, there is more to the story.  The RNC’s penalty will mean that a number of very conservative states,with high delegate counts like Texas, Virginia, and North Carolina, that intend to hold early Primaries, will be forced to divide their delegates among multiple candidates.  In fact, 10 of 15 Southern states plan to hold their Primaries in this window. Conservative stalwarts like Colorado and Utah also plan to hold Primaries in this window.  It is highly unlikely any candidate will emerge from these conservative states with enough delegates to establish a significant lead or gain momentum in the race to be the Republican nominee before March 14.

Then along comes the period after March 14.  States are then allowed to grant their delegates on a winner-take-all basis.  This is when Primaries will be held in more liberal states like Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.  These states can, and likely will, grant all of their large delegate counts to one candidate who gets a simple majority.  As a result, these states will almost certainly determine who wins the 2016 nomination to be the Republican candidate.  It will almost certainly be a liberal,Establishment candidate rather than a Conservative.

So, what is the solution?  The RNC could change the rules, but it is unlikely this will happen.  The reason why is clear.  Conservatives are left with no good choice.  Do nothing, and the liberal northeast will pick the candidate.  Gamble on something the RNC does not expect, and maybe things can change.  The only thing we can control at this point in North Carolina is the date of our own Primary.  House Bill 457 made the crossover to the North Carolina Senate before the April 30, 2015 deadline.  Our Senate can now amend the Bill to hold the Primary after March14 and make North Carolina a winner-take-all state.  With the already mentioned 6th highest number of delegates in the Country, North Carolina will become ground zero for candidates hoping to be our nominee.  A winner-take-all Primary will energize Republican activists and workers and bring all the leading candidates to our state.  For those of us hoping for a conservative Republican nominee, we can only hope other conservative states see the pitfalls of the early Primaries and change their dates as well.

There is still time to contact your Senator about this important issue.  Educate them about the details and importance of this issue and ask that they support awinner-take-all Primary after March 14.  All Senators are important, but members of the Senate Rules and Operations Committee and the Senate Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee are critical.  Senator Bob Rucho (919-733-5655) from Mecklenburg County is Chairman of the ElectionsCommittee.  It is important for Republicans to contact these leaders and all Senators and make their voice heard about this critical issue.  With a change to a winner-take-all Primary, and hopefully a little help from other conservative states, North Carolina may well be a huge player in determining the nominee to represent the Republican Party in the 2016 Presidential race.  Information about North Carolina Senators can be found at the following link: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Senate/Senate.html

(Information for this article was obtained from an article published September 3, 2014 on National Review.com and titled: New RNC Rules Stymie Conservatives in the Primaries by Henry Olsen.Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/386913/new-rnc-rules-stymie-conservativesin-primaries-henry-olsen)

 

 

The Fight To Be Heard

One of the frustrating things about watching the political scene right now is the feeling that only rich people and lobbyists are being heard by our elected officials. I am willing to admit that I often have that feeling. However, sometimes the obstacles that keep average Americans from being properly represented come from the parties that claim to represent them.

I spent today in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the state legislative buildings. I was part of a group that spoke with a number of state representatives and senators. I also attended a committee hearing on education issues. So what did our group accomplish? First of all, I need to explain that we were a group of eleven Republicans from the 3rd Congressional District of North Carolina. We went to Raleigh to talk to our representatives about a number of issues.

The North Carolina legislature is structured in such a way that if a House of Representatives or Senate bill does not make it out of its committee by April 30th, the bill will not be heard in this year’s session. Because it is April 28th, the legislative building was a very busy place. There were an awful lot of lobbyists running around. We were a group of unpaid, ordinary citizens. However, we did speak to a number of legislators.
One of the issues our group was concerned about was the date of the Republican Presidential Primary Election in North Carolina. The primary was originally scheduled for one week after the South Carolina primary, which would have put it in February. The Republican National Committee told the State of North Carolina Republicans that if their primary was held before March 1st, they would have 12 delegates attending the Republican National Convention, rather than the 72 they were originally assigned. The State Republicans were told that if they held their primary before March 15th, the delegates would be distributed proportionally according to the results of the primary election. If the primary were held after March 15th, it would be a winner-take-all primary. Currently a bill has passed out of committee in the North Carolina House of Representatives to hold the Republican Primary on March 8. Many North Carolina Republicans are hoping the date on that bill will be changed to March 22–the first Tuesday after March 15th. So what is this all about? An article posted by National Review on September 3, 2014, explains exactly what is going on in its headline, “Proportional allocation of delegates in early-voting states will make it hard for non-establishment candidates to rack up leads.”

That is the game being played, and that is the reason that grass-roots candidates are having such a hard time in the Presidential primaries.

The article reports:

This is a potential death sentence for the conservative candidate. Most of the highly conservative southern states traditionally hold their primaries inside of the March 1–14 window. If that occurs again in 2016, a conservative candidate will probably not gain many delegates over the establishment choice by winning the states in his base. Even if a southern state in the window allocates, as many non-southern states do, three delegates to each congressional district on a winner-take-all basis, the proportional allocation of the statewide delegates will place a conservative statewide winner at a severe disadvantage. He or she will then have to compete in less hospitable states that have the freedom to select all of their delegates by winner-take-all methods.

The article shows how the new rules could prevent a conservative from winning the nomination:

The 2016 preliminary lineup already foreshadows this danger. According to the website FrontloadingHQ.com, ten of the 15 southern or border states (including Texas, Virginia, and North Carolina) are currently scheduled to hold their contests before March 14. Three other caucus states where conservatives traditionally do well (Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado) are also scheduled to hold their contests before the window closes. Conservative Utah is also in this group, as are the two midwestern states where Rick Santorum did best in 2012, Michigan and Ohio.
 
Under the RNC’s new rules, a conservative could run the table in these events and yet barely open up a delegate lead. The establishment choice could easily make up ground and then some in less conservative states such as Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

The Republican Party is signing its death warrant if it continues to attempt to shut out conservative voters and conservative candidates. The energy in the party has come from the conservative movement, and the boots on the ground have generally been conservative. The establishment wants to hold the power, but they are not generally the ones doing the groundwork.

I am hoping the North Carolina legislature will move the Republican primary to March 22, but I am not optimistic.

Being Flexible Will Give North Carolina A Voice At The Republican Convention

North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest has issued to following statement:

Lt. Governor Dan Forest in Support of March 22, 2016 Presidential Primary Date

RALEIGH—Today Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest issued the following statement of support for moving the North Carolina Presidential primary election date to March 22, 2016.

“I understand the original intent of moving up our Presidential primary to the first Tuesday after South Carolina. However, circumstances have changed. If we stay where we are, our state delegation will be decimated at the National Convention. All our voting strength will be negated and smaller states will play a greater role in determining the nominee for our party.

I also understand the efforts behind those who would move our primary to March 1st, which would protect the size of our delegation at the national convention to its full voting strength. However, I believe it would be a greater benefit to the voters of North Carolina to hold our primary on March 22, 2016. Although the March 1st date would protect our delegation at the convention, it means our state would not qualify for ‘winner take all’ status. In other words, our state would be worth a fraction of its true value to the ultimate winner, because with the crowded primary field, no one candidate would win a large majority of the vote. In addition, we would be marginalized by the sheer number of states competing on that same day, which currently stands at eight states.

By setting our primary date at March 22, 2016, North Carolina would position itself as the largest ‘Winner Take All’ state at stake on that day, with only three states currently positioned to hold primaries at that time. This positioning would correspond to a narrower field of candidates, as several will have dropped out by that point. However, North Carolina would find itself as a must have state for serious candidates still in the hunt. In my opinion, the March 22nd date captures the intent of the original effort to move up our primary to make our state more relevant in selecting a future President of the United States.

If this reasoning makes sense to you, please call your state senator or representative and ask them to vote to move the primary to March 22, 2016.”

Because of the way the law is written, moving the primary to March 22nd would allow the voters of North Carolina to be properly represented at the Republican Convention. This is important.

“Tis The Season Of Fact Checking

The Washington Examiner posted a story today about a comment made by Senator Mark Warner of Virginia during a debate with former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.

The article reports:

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., earlier this week pushed back on estimates that approximately 250,000 Virginians will lose their health insurance policies as a result of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature piece of domestic legislation.

That figure is “completely made up,” Warner said this week during a debate with Republican challenger, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.

“My opponent’s charge and this figure of 250,000, actually, the head of the Association of Virginia said that number was completely made up. And [Gillespie’s] attack has been called by … PolitiFact, simply false,” the Democratic incumbent said, citing the noted fact-checking group and Doug Gray, the executive director of the Virginia Association of Health Plans, an association group.

Republicans on the committee calculated the figure based on remarks Gray made at a Sept. 10 hearing when he said that approximately 60 percent of Virginians with individual plans renewed early. There are an estimated 400,000 policyholders in the Virginia market. So take 60 percent of all policyholders, apply it to the state’s 400,000 and you now have roughly 250,000 affected Virginians.

The article goes on to explain that the number of 250,000 was reported in the news, but all the news stories relied on the same source, which have not proved to be reliable. However, the article also explains that there are some serious problems with the implementation of ObamaCare in Virginia in terms of rapidly rising premiums and cancelled policies.

Polls indicate that Senator Warner is leading in this election, so the problems with ObamaCare may be irrelevant. However, American voters need to realize that if they want to avoid the problems that ObamaCare will continue to bring, they need to vote for people who will be willing to overturn it–generally those people are not Democrats.

 

Happening In Massachusetts

If you are upset that the gasoline tax in Massachusetts is now indexed to inflation, here is how you can change that:

TANK THE AUTOMATIC GAS TAX HIKES

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               August 6, 2013Contact: Holly Robichaud
781-378-1798

 

TANK THE AUTOMATIC GAS TAX HIKES

 

Ballot Initiative Will Stop Taxation Without Representation

Boston, MA…Today a group of taxpayers gathered on the outside State House stairs to announce that they are filing a ballot initiative to cut the linkage between the gas tax and inflation which the legislature recently passed.

“It is outrageous that Beacon Hill is increasing our gas tax every year for the rest of lives without a vote.  That’s taxation without representation.  It is wrong and we are going to stop it,” said Steve Aylward, who is the Republican State Committee man that ran the very successful signature drive for Mike Sullivan last winter.

The initial supporters of the ballot initiative include Marty Lamb, Chris Pinto, Republican National Committee woman Chanel Prunier, Les Gosule who passed Melissa’s law in 2012, Jeff Bailey, State Representative Leah Cole, Stephen Coulter, Alex Vispoli, State Representative Geoff Diehl, State Representative Jim Lyons, State Representative Marc Lombardo, Rick Gleason of the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association, Rich Howell, Paul Craney of Mass Fiscal, Desiree Awiszio, Jamie Kang, Mike Mosca, Marylou Daxland, Katie Regan, State Representative Shaunna O’Connell, John O’Mara of the Northborough Tea Party, Barbara Anderson of Citizens of Limited Taxation, and many more.

Last month the legislature passed the so-called transportation bill which included a gas tax hike, a new tax on computer software, and a cigarette tax increase. It also linked the gas tax to CPI which allows the gas tax to increase every year without a vote of the legislature.

“This year our state took in over $600 million above projections.  We don’t need this tax package.  I voted against this bill in the House and I am not going to sit on the sidelines now while the state reaches into our wallets every year for the rest of our lives for more and more money without an accountable vote being taken,” said State Representative Diehl.

“How much more will Beacon Hill take from our wallets?  We don’t know.  We just know it is going up automatically with no debate, no input and no oversight,” said Pinto. 

“Our elected officials have failed us.  Our only alternative is to pass a ballot question that will stop this taxation without representation,” said Marty Lamb. 

The attorney for the group is former U.S. Attorney Mike Sullivan.

Since launching the facebook page last week the group has over 695 friends.  The plan is to launch a website shortly in preparation for collecting  100,000 raw signatures. 

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A Republican Leader Finally Figures Out How To Deal With The Media

It would be naive at best to assume that the mainstream media is fair when dealing with Republicans and Democrats. I am sure that the fact that NBC and CNN are planning film projects very favorable to Hillary Clinton as she seeks to be the Democrat candidate for President in 2016 is purely coincidence.

Normally the Republican establishment would stand back and watch this and do nothing, but evidently there is currently some leadership and some backbone in the Republican party. Yesterday Politico reported that the Republican National Committee ChairmanReince Priebus, has stated that if NBC and CNN go ahead with their plans for a Hillary Clinton movie, he will deny them access to the Republican debates.

The article at Politico reports:

In open letters to the leadership of NBC Universal and CNN International, Priebus expressed his “deep disappointment” over those networks’ decisions to produce films “promoting former Secretary Hillary Clinton ahead of her likely candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.”

Should the networks fail to pull those films by the RNC’s Summer meeting on August 14, Priebus writes, he will “seek a binding vote of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor.”

“As an American company you have every right to air programming of your choice. But as American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded by your actions, which appear to be a major network’s thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 election,” Priebus wrote in his letters to NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt and CNN president Jeff Zucker.

Diane Lane will star as Hillary Clinton in the NBC miniseries.

 

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Looking Past The Headline To The News

John_F_Kennedy_1964_Issue-5c.jpg

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times posted a story with the headline, “Election laws tightening in GOP-run states.” Interesting headline. Why are election laws being strengthened in Republican rather than Democrat states? There are two ways to look at this–the Democrats would have you believe that the Republicans are trying to hinder minority voters, the Republicans would have you believe that they are combating voter fraud. Which is closer to the truth?

The article reports:

But Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the GOP drive was triggered by “the infamous example of ACORN,” the collection of community organizations which, he said, submitted 400,000 fraudulent registrations in 2008. He called the new laws “common-sense proposals” to “preserve the sanctity of our elections by ensuring that only eligible voters vote.”

The results of the election of 2008 would not have been changed had voter fraud not existed, but in a close election, voter fraud can change the results. It s an accepted fact that Mayor Daley stole the election in 1960 for John F. Kennedy.

Wikipedia (not my favorite source) reports:

Known for shrewd party politics, Daley was a stereotypical machine politician, and his Chicago Democratic Machine, based on control of thousands of patronage positions, was instrumental in bringing a narrow 8,000 vote victory in Illinois for John F. Kennedy in 1960. A PBS documentary entitled “Daley” explained that Mayor Daley and JFK potentially stole the 1960 election by stuffing ballot boxes and rigging the vote in Chicago. In addition, it reveals, Daley withheld many votes from certain wards when the race seemed close.

I have no problem with requiring voter identification. Identification is required to do many things in our society that are considerably less important than voting–rent a video, board an airplane, cash a check, buy cigarettes, buy alcohol, and receive any sort of federal assistance. Voting is at least as important as any of these.The election of 2012 may be close. I would prefer that whatever the result is, it represents the rule “one man, one vote.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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