Running Against Opponents Funded By Outside Sources

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, currently running for re-election.

The article reports:

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is one of three attorneys general in the country who knows his opponent this fall has the backing of California billionaire and political activist Tom Steyer, but told the Washington Free Beacon he believes his track record of focusing on local issues and the rule of law will be a better hand come November.

Steyer’s efforts on the national stage have been flashy. He has poured his resources into the “Need to Impeach” television campaign and pledged hundreds of millions to help Democrats retake the majority in the House of Representatives.

However, Steyer has not abandoned local politics, keeping an eye out for local races that interest him. In this instance, he is backing the Democratic nominee January Contreras, who has experience as a county and state prosecutor, but has never run for elected office until now.

“It’s been said that you can judge a person by their opponents, so I don’t know if I should take it as a badge of honor that a California billionaire with a radical-left agenda has decided to target me,” Brnovich told the Free Beacon in a recent one-on-one interview.

There are certain state offices that are vital to the Democrat’s agenda. For instance, a state Attorney General can decide not to report illegal aliens to immigration services. A state Attorney General can decide to look the other way regarding certain laws. A state Attorney General has the power to take the blindfold off of justice and corrupt the system of justice in a state. A Secretary of State is in charge of elections in most states. There is tremendous potential for mischief in that office.

Targeting certain state offices in not a new Democrat tactic. The video “Rocky Mountain Heist” (available at YouTube) explains how a group of wealthy men targeted certain key offices in Colorado and turned a red state blue.

I have embedded the video here because I am not sure how much longer it will be available at YouTube:

One example of how state politics can have a national impact. Ted Kennedy died in August 2009. His vote was needed to get ObamaCare past a Republican filibuster. During the time Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts legislature had passed a law saying that any Senate vacancy would be filled by a special election rather than by appointment of the Governor. Massachusetts law now requires a special election to be held on a Tuesday, no fewer than 145 days, nor more than 160 days from the date of office vacancy. When Ted Kennedy died, Governor Patrick (a Democrat) appointed the Executor of Ted Kennedy’s will to fill the vacancy temporarily. The special election was held in January–after the Senate had voted on ObamaCare. The reason that ObamaCare was passed through reconciliation rather than being voted on again in the Senate was that after Scott Brown won the election in Massachusetts, he would have been the vote that blocked ObamaCare. State politics make a difference nationally.


The Internal Revenue Service Scandal Raises More Questions Than It Answers

Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted a story that asked the following question:

…could someone at the IRS have leaked Romney’s tax information to Reid? At the time, Reid claimed he learned of Romney’s tax background from someone who had once been an investor in Romney’s firm, though he wouldn’t say who.

The question arises because it has come to light that for the last two years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been targeting conservative groups and leaking confidential information to liberal groups.

Harry Reid used his position as Senate Majority Leader to level charges at Mitt Romney that would have been impossible to disprove without totally compromising any bit of privacy Governor Romney might have had. In essence, he demanded that Mitt Romney prove a negative. The narrative went something like this:

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Reid claimed he had been called by someone who had invested in Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital. That person said Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” Reid told the liberal news outlet. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”

Romney’s campaign denied Reid’s accusations, eventually releasing a summary of the former Massachusetts governor’s taxes that — according to Romney staffers — showed he paid taxes over the last 20 years.

But Reid continued to argue that Romney’s tax returns included something that the Republican didn’t want everyone to see.

“He’s hiding something,” Reid said on a conference call. “He’s hiding something! It is so evident he’s hiding something!”

First of all, I seriously doubt the charges were true. However, since when did investors get to see the tax returns of board members of the companies in which they were investing? If in fact Harry Reid actually knew anything about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, where did he get that information?

Just a note–last year was the first year my husband and I have ever been audited. I am on the membership list of a number of conservative groups that probably have applied for tax exempt status. Hopefully, that is just a coincidence.

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The New York Daily News Endorses Mitt Romney For President

The New York Daily News is not known as a Republican leaning newspaper, but they have endorsed Mitt Romney.

Here are some excerpts from the endorsement:

Paychecks are shrunken after more than a decade in which the workplace has asked more of wage earners and rewarded them less. The decline has knocked someone at the midpoint of the salary scale back to where he or she would have been in 1996.

Then, the subway fare, still paid by token, was $1.50, gasoline was $1.23 a gallon and the median rent for a stabilized apartment was $600 a month. Today, the base MetroCard subway fare is $2.25, gasoline is in the $3.90 range and the median stabilized rent is $1,050, with all the increases outpacing wage growth.

…Four years ago, the Daily News endorsed Obama, seeing a historic figure whose intelligence, political skills and empathy with common folk positioned him to build on the small practical experience he would bring to the world’s toughest job. We valued Obama’s pledge to govern with bold pragmatism and bipartisanship.

The hopes of those days went unfulfilled.

…First came emergency economic stimulus. Because Obama gave free rein to House and Senate Democrats in deciding how to spend $800 billion, the legislation was heavily designed to satisfy the party’s constituencies and hunger for social programs, and inadequately weighted toward job-multiplier projects like building and repairing bridges and railroads — including subways.

After originally projecting that the program would produce 4 million more jobs than the country now has, along with a 5% jobless rate, Obama pleads that he saved Americans from more dire straits.

Next came Obamacare. While the country bled jobs, the President battled to establish universal health insurance — without first restraining soaring medical bills. Then he pushed one of the largest social programs in U.S. history through a Democratic-controlled Congress without a single Republican vote.

R.I.P. and never to be resurrected — Obama’s promised bipartisanship.

…Romney’s approach is the stronger.

Critically, he has tailored his policies to create jobs, jobs, jobs.

The centerpieces of Romney’s plan call for spending restraint and rewriting the Internal Revenue code to lower rates by 20%. He would make up much of the lost revenue by eliminating deductions and loopholes that have made the tax system a thicket of strangling complexities. On its own, paring the personal and corporate rules to the basics would catalyze business and consumer spending.

The endorsement concludes:

Offering a rosy vision of a country already on the rise, Obama argues that he would lead a resurgence by staying the course. He posits that spending in areas such as education and clean energy would be beneficial, and he sees raising taxes on high-income earners as key to “balanced” deficit reduction. Each on its own is attractive, but the whole comes up short.

The presidential imperative of the times is to energize the economy and get deficits under control to empower the working and middle classes to again enjoy the fruits of an ascendant America.

So The News is compelled to stand with Romney.

This is a newspaper that four years ago endorsed President Obama.

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The First Real October Surprise I Have Seen This Year

Yes, I know it’s November, but this is truly an October surprise. How do you recognize and October surprise? First of all, you look at the source. Second, you look to see if there is any way the issue can be clearly resolved before the actual election. Third, you look to see what impact the October surprise will have on the uninformed voter, because that is the target audience. To be an effective October surprise, there must be no traceable link to the candidate who will gain by the damaging (but not generally relevant) information contained in the surprise. Here we go. has posted the following information featuring the headline “BREAKING: Mitt Romney Charged With Violating Federal Ethics Law!”:

As of November 1, Mitt Romney is one of the first presidential candidates ever to be charged with violating federal ethics law.

United Automobile Workers (UAW) and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have just charged Romney with hiding between 15.3 to 11.5 million dollars from the auto industry bailout in his wife Anne’s “blind” trust to conceal the gain and reduce taxes on it.

“The American people have a right to know about Gov. Romney’s potential conflicts of interest, such as the profits his family made from the auto rescue,” the groups said in a statement. “It’s time for Gov. Romney to disclose or divest.”

It’s time to expose just how unscrupulous Romney is about making his fortune off the misfortunes of others. Please, support UAW and CREW by calling on Romney to reveal exactly how much he made and continues to make off the auto bailout!

PETITION TO MITT ROMNEY: It’s time to come clean. We demand to know how much money you hid in your wife’s supposed blind trust, and how much you continue to make thanks to the gutting of the auto industry.

There are a few problems with this. The UAW was one of the beneficiaries of the auto bailout and is a strong supporter of President Obama. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is working hard to undo the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which Mitt Romney supports. Each group has a horse in this race. It makes sense that Mitt Romney would be invested in the auto industry–he is a ‘car guy’ from Michigan. This charge is bogus, and my hope is that it will go nowhere. I am posting this because I want people to be aware that there may be more attacks like this one in the remaining few days before the election. One of the goals here is to remind us that Mitt Romney is rich and that we should dislike him because he is rich. The other is simply to convince voters that there is something dishonest here. I rather doubt there is.

The thing to remember here is that is a site set up for people to start petitions and espouse causes. Any special interest group can go to and set up a petition. I have no idea how much traffic they get, so I don’t know how many people will be aware of this attack, but it is a true example of an October surprise.

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About Those Voting Machines

On October 24, I posted an article about voting machines in North Carolina that were malfunctioning ( Well, it seems that North Carolina is not the only place where voting machines have a mind of their own.

The Marion Star is reporting today that a voting machine in Marion, Ohio, showed a vote for President Obama when the voter voted for Governor Romney.

The article reports:

Joan Stevens was one of several early voters at the polls on Monday. But when Stevens tried to cast her ballot for president, she noticed a problem.

Upon selecting “Mitt Romney” on the electronic touch screen, Barack Obama’s name lit up.

It took Stevens three tries before her selection was accurately recorded.

So if you are not paying attention, it would be very easy for your vote to be recorded incorrectly. Please vote carefully–regardless of how you vote.

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The CNN Memo About Tuesday Night’s Presidential Debate

The actual CNN staff memo as it appeared in the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday:

Let’s start with a big round of applause for Candy Crowley for a superb job under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. She and her team had to select and sequence questions in a matter of hours, and then she had to deal with the tricky format, the nervous questioners, the aggressive debaters, all while shutting out the pre-debate attempts to spin and intimidate her. She pulled it off masterfully.

The reviews on Candy’s performance have been overwhelmingly positive but Romney supporters are going after her on two points, no doubt because their man did not have as good a night as he had in Denver. On the legitimacy of Candy fact-checking Romney on Obama‘s Rose Garden statement, it should be stressed that she was just stating a point of fact: Obama did talk about an act (or acts) of terror, no matter what you think he meant by that at the time. On why Obama got more time to speak, it should be noted that Candy and her commission producers tried to keep it even but that Obama went on longer largely because he speaks more slowly. We’re going to do a word count to see whether, as in Denver, Romney actually got more words in even if he talked for a shorter period of time.

There is absolutely nothing I can add to this.

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Exactly What Is The Role Of A Moderator?

This story is based on two sources–a Mediaite article posted last night and a article posted this morning.

Mediaite reports some comments made by Candy Crowley this morning:

“I heard the president speak at the time. I, sort of, reread a lot of stuff about Libya because I knew we’d probably get a Libya question so I kind of wanted to be up on it,” said Crowley. “I knew that the president had said, you know, these acts of terror won’t stand. Or, whatever the whole quote was.”

“Right after that I did turn around and say, but you’re totally correct that they spent two weeks telling us this was about a tape and that that there was this riot outside the Benghazi consulate which there wasn’t,” Crowley added.

“He was right in the main, I just think he picked the wrong word,” Crowley concluded. She went on to say that her instinct forced her to correct Romney even though his “thrust” was correct.

Where were the corrections to the many falsehoods Obama told–domestic energy production, job creation, the budget deficit, etc.?

Breitbart reports:

Crowley made Lehrer look like an amateur. She interrupted Obama nine times, (although four of those were when he wouldn’t respect the time limit when discussing assault weapons; he went over his time limit all night long), but when it came to Mitt Romney, she was utterly beyond the pale.

Crowley interrupted Romney 28 times. 28 times. Her desperation to keep Romney from scoring points was so patently obvious that it wasn’t really a surprise when she had her infamous moment: the moment when she interrupted and falsely claimed Romney was incorrect in accusing Obama of refusing to call the Benghazi attack an act of terror.

The article at Breitbart cites a number of incidents where Ms. Crowley did not act as a moderator, but took sides. It is unfortunate that the sponsors of the debates cannot find moderators who do not favor one candidate. I think of all the debates, Jim Lehrer has done the best job of all–he let the candidates state their cases without interference.

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Random Notes On Last Night’s Debate

Smart Politics posted an interesting article on the debate last night between President Obama and Governor Romney.

The article reported:

Obama spoke for 42 minutes and 40 seconds or 52.7 percent of the candidate-allotted speaking time.

And while Romney at times appeared to interrupt moderator Jim Lehrer, perhaps he did so for good reason.

A Smart Politics analysis finds that Mitt Romney spoke for 38 minutes and 14 seconds, or 47.3 percent of the candidate-allotted speaking time – a full four minutes and 26 seconds less than Barack Obama.


I enjoyed the debate. I liked the format–it gave both candidates a chance to state their case and dispute any questionable facts given by the other candidate. I also liked the fact that the moderator kept a low profile and let the candidates talk.

The article further reports:

Lehrer, meanwhile, seemed to disappear and at times lose control of the debate – speaking significantly less than debate moderators from the GOP primaries this cycle.

Lehrer spoke for just 8 minutes and 10 seconds, or 9 percent of the total time between himself and the two nominees.

During the GOP presidential primary debates, moderators spoke for an average of twice that amount (19.8 percent) ranging from a high of 27 percent to a low of 14 percent.

The debate should be between the candidates–not a stage for the moderator. I liked the way Jim Lehrer moderated the debate.

One final thought:

“80 percent of success is just showing up”  — Woody Allen


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Watch The Media Play Trivial Pursuit Today

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there is a crisis in the Arab world. American Embassies are being attacked and American soldiers are dying. Because that crisis seems to be related to American foreign policy (and President Obama), the press would rather look the other way. So where are they looking? They are going after a presidential candidate who told the truth.

The following quote from good reads applies to America today:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
Alexis de Tocqueville

The New York Times reported on a video clip of Governor Romney obtained by Mother Jones:

In one clip, Mr. Romney describes how his campaign would not try to appeal to “47 percent of the people” who will vote for Mr. Obama “no matter what.” They are, he says, “dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.”

He says those people “pay no income tax,” and “so our message of low taxes doesn’t connect.” Mr. Romney adds: “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

I am sorry the New York Times is so offended by this remark. I tend to agree with it. Everyone in America needs to pay income taxes. The free ride for those who pay no taxes and receive money from the government has to end. I think Mitt Romney told the truth. It is unfortunate that we have evidently reached the point in the presidential campaign where telling the truth is not a good idea.

As you listen to the news today, understand that the Romney story and the timing of the release of it is an October surprise designed to take attention away from the crisis in the Middle East. You have the choice of whether or not to be manipulated by the press.


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You Can’t Win If You Are Not Willing To Fight !

The Washington Examiner posted an editorial yesterday about the fight that went on at the Republican convention about rules changes the Romney campaign wanted to make.

The editorial points out:

Ginsberg’s (Romney campaign lawyer Ben Ginsberg) rule change, launched without warning Friday morning, would have given the presidential campaigns the power to replace any of the delegates pledged to them, functionally giving them the power to select every state’s delegation. Many in the conservative movement saw this as a power grab by party insiders at the expense of grassroots conservatives, with the Paul threat serving merely as a bogeyman.

The article concludes:

…As they learned in the Bush era with the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers, conservatives often achieve better results by holding a Republican president’s feet to the fire. In the event of a Romney administration, conservatives must learn from this small fight and keep up their efforts. We hope Romney learns from it, too.

The bottom line here is simple. If the conservative wing of the Republican party intends to wrest control of the party from the establishment Republicans (who are not noticeably different from the Democrats on many issues), they need to increase their numbers in Congress and fight hard. We can win this battle without forming a third party–we just need to be willing to fight the battle.

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The Impact Of Paul Ryan On The Presidential Campaign

Yesterday Fred Barnes posted an article at the Wall Street Journal explaining how Mitt Romney‘s choice of Paul Ryan as his Vice-Presidential running mate has impacted the presidential campaign.

The choice of Paul Ryan has moved the future of Medicare to the front of the debate.

The article states:

The economy remains a central issue, as do Mr. Obama’s overall record and Mr. Romney’s past one. But now the looming fiscal crisis, Medicare, and the size and role of government are front and center of the campaign. The presidential contest has been elevated into a clash of big ideas and fundamental differences. Neither presidential candidate, but especially Mr. Obama, could have imagined this. Credit Mr. Ryan.

This shift has been damaging to the president and helpful to Mr. Romney. The slogan of Mr. Obama’s campaign is “Forward,” but he’s become the status-quo candidate. Mr. Romney, having adopted slightly revised versions of Mr. Ryan’s bold plans for reducing spending and reforming Medicare, is now the candidate of change. This might have happened to some extent without Mr. Ryan in the race, but it certainly wasn’t inevitable.

There have been a lot of personal attacks on Mitt Romney from the Obama camp during this campaign. Mitt Romney has been accused of being responsible for the cancer death of someone’s wife, insinuations have been made that there is something unseemly about his wealth, and he has been accused of all sorts of nefarious things. The addition of Paul Ryan to the ticket will not only spread out the attack–it will change to debate to actual substance.

The more Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan talk about issues, the more foolish the President’s minions look when they engage in personal attacks.

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Can Cold Hard Facts Beat Out Name Calling ?

This week on Fox News Sunday DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz provided a preview of the attack aimed at the Romney-Ryan ticket. She repeatedly called Paul Ryan‘s budget proposals extreme (while conveniently not mentioning that it has been more than three years since the Democrats made a serious budget proposal) and stated that reducing spending by any significant amount would harm the fragile recovery. (Recovery???)That is the preview of what is to come.

Michael Barone posted an article at the Washington Examiner today explaining that the choice of Paul Ryan as the Vice Presidential candidate puts the entitlement crisis at the center of the presidential campaign. At this point I would like to state that Social Security is not an entitlement–the people who will be collecting Social Security from this point on have paid more into the program than they will get out. The problem is not Social Security–it is the fact that since the mid 1960’s, Congress has spent the money that was supposed to be set aside for Social Security on other things. However, Medicaid and Medicare spending has increased so dramatically above what was originally projected, that there is no way to cover the rising costs without major modifications to the programs. Social Security also needs to be modified, but again, I resent calling it an entitlement when I was forced to pay into it my entire working life.

Michael Barone’s article concludes:

For Ryan and Romney can make the point — lost in the shuffle when this is a low-visibility issue — that their plan leaves the current Medicare system in place for current recipients and those over 55. Those who have made plans based on the present program can continue to rely on it.

But they can also make the point that their reforms are necessary in order to make sure Medicare is sustainable in the long run. Polls show that many voters under 55 doubt that they’ll ever get the Medicare and Social Security benefits they’ve been promised.

One more thing about Ryan, I think, appealed to Romney. He has already shown he cannot be intimidated by the most eminent opponent. Watch the video of Ryan’s five-minute evisceration of Obamacare at the president’s Blair House meeting. You can tell that Obama didn’t like it one bit.

He better get used to it. Obama’s side is relying on trash-talking ads. Romney’s selection of Ryan shows he wants a debate on whether America should follow Obama on the road to a European-style welfare state.

Make up some popcorn, there is going to be a show!


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A New Low In Political Ads

The group Priorities USA has produced a pro-Obama ad recently that essentially blames Governor Romney for the death of Joe Soptic’s wife. It seems that Mrs. Soptic died seven years after Governor Romney left Bain Capital. A company that Bain Capital had invested in during the time that Governor Romney led the company had gone out of business, and Mr. Soptic lost his health insurance. Thus Mr. Soptic blames that fact (and Mitt Romney) for his wife’s eventual death from cancer.

Breitbart posted an article yesterday explaining more of the timeline.

Breitbart reports:

The emotional thrust of the new ad is Soptic blaming Romney and Bain Capital for his wife’s death. He says she became ill “a short time” after he lost his job and his health care. But the timeline being presented in this ad is extremely misleading. According to a notice in the Kansas City Star uncovered by Politico, Soptic’s wife died in June 2006. That’s five years after the GST Steel plant was closed in 2001 and more than seven years after Romney left management of Bain to work on the 2002 Olympics in February 1999.

Politico asked Priorities USA to explain what Mitt Romney had to do with the death of a woman years after he’d left the company. Priorities strategist Bill Burton responded “We’re illustrating how long it took for communities and individuals to recover from the closing of these businesses.” But length of impact is clearly not what the ad tries to depict. It says the illness happened “a short time after” and then emphasizes the wife’s death just 22 days after being admitted to the hospital. In other words, the ad is intentionally misleading, suggesting to viewers that this happened shortly after the plant was closed, not years later.

The article further points out that Mrs. Soptic was still employed after her husband lost his job and still had health insurance until about 2002 or 2003.

I have a few comments on this. Why in the world would a husband exploit the death of his wife for political purposes when the facts don’t add up? What was the husband thinking? The ad is so outrageous to begin with, are the American voters supposed to take it seriously? Why lie about something that can be so easily checked? During my working career I worked for two different companies that were closed down, can I blame them for the fact that I was not able to save enough money so that I didn’t have to take out loans for my children’s college education?

I am truly sorry that Mr. Soptic lost his wife to cancer. That has to be a devastating experience. I also understand that ‘blame’ may be part of the grief process. However, this is ridiculous.

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The New Definition of Independent and Non-Partisan

Today’s Weekly Standard posted an article about President Obama’s recent claim that an independent, non-partisan organization ran all the numbers on Governor Romney’s plan and concluded that any revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney has proposed would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.

Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but as Senator Moynihan used to say, ““Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Let’s take a look at this non-partisan, independent study. It was done by Samuel Brown, William Gale, and Adam Looney.

The article reports:

As Looney’s biography page at the Brookings Institution states, “Looney was the senior economist for public finance and tax policy with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and has been an economist at the Federal Reserve Board.”

It gets even better. This is a copy of some of the White House visitor logs included in the article at the Weekly Standard showing William Gale visiting the White House twelve times:

If you believe that the study the President cited was an independent, non-partisan study, there’s a bridge I would like to sell you in Brooklyn.

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Why Does Anyone Still Listen To This Man ?

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner posted an article about a recent statement by Senator Harry Reid.

Senator Reid stated:

“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said, in reference to George Romney’s standard-setting decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in the late 1960s. Saying he had “no problem with somebody being really, really wealthy,” Reid sat up in his chair a bit before stirring the pot further. A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.

“Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” Reid recounted the person as saying.

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” said Reid. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?

“You guys have said his wealth is $250 million,” Reid went on. “Not a chance in the world. It’s a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don’t pay taxes for 10 years when you’re making millions and millions of dollars.”

There are a number of obvious problems with this statement. First of all, the article asks, “How would an investor in Bain Capital have access to Governor Romney’s tax returns?” Secondly, do you honestly believe that a public figure (as Governor Romney was after the Olympics) who earned the kind of money that Governor Romney earned would not have had his tax returns examined very carefully by the IRS.

The article also reminds us:

And in what Romney has released of his tax returns, he paid $6.2 million in taxes over two years.

This is the lowest form of sleaze so far in the campaign.

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Look! A Shiny Object!

I was listening to the news this morning and heard the criticism of Governor Romney’s speech in Israel. I wondered what he had said that had caused the problem. The press reported that the Palestinians were upset because the Governor commented that the culture of Israel provides a fertile ground for economic prosperity. That statement really doesn’t seem all that offensive. I knew that the Governor had stated that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, and wondered if that were the real source of the problem. Anyway, I went to Governor Romney’s campaign website to read the speech. The attacks on the speech are another example of the mainstream press’s “Look–a shiny object over here! Don’t look there!” campaign for President Obama.

Governor Romney’s speech outlined some of the political and cultural ideas that have allowed both America and Israel to prosper. Those ideas included democracy, the rule of law, God-given rights, and free enterprise. I can understand how the Palestinians would be upset at these concepts–generally speaking, these are foreign ideas to all of the Arab countries in the region.

One of the things that under-girds national prosperity is the rule of law as it applies to property rights. A man is less likely to improve his property if he does not own it. Also, property rights give the average citizen a means to acquire an asset that will increase in value (generally real estate increases in value) and gain some measure of wealth that he can pass on to his family.

Another thing not mentioned in the Governor’s speech that plays a very important role in a nation’s prosperity is the use of all human resources. When a country excludes women from participating in the work force and excludes the voices of women from government, it decreases by half the flow of ideas and innovation into the economy and into the government. I am not saying that every woman should work or be involved in government, but I am saying that every woman who has something to contribute should be allowed to contribute it.

The corrupt governments of the nations that surround Israel do not encourage prosperity for the average man. The well-connected steal the wealth of the country and the average citizen lives in poverty. The culture of respecting your fellow man and helping him become prosperous is not part of that society. That may be the biggest reason that the culture of Israel creates prosperity and the culture of the Arab nations surrounding Israel does not.

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The Old Media Shows Why We Need The New Media

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about the press coverage of Governor Romney’s trip to Europe. When he was interviewed by the British press, the Governor stated (in true CEO fashion) that he was concerned about some of the logistics issues surrounding the Olympics. He was soundly criticized by the British press for even implying that things might not be perfectly planned out. Although that statement has turned out to be accurate, there have been no apologies from the press or comments from the press stating that what he said turned out to be true.

The Governor then traveled to Israel where he was met with cheers (and raised $1 million from contributors). The press reported how upset the Palestinians were about his comments that the Israeli culture provides a fertile ground for economic prosperity.

The article at Power Line quotes an Associated Press (AP) report on Governor Romney’s trip:

It was all intended to demonstrate he was ready to handle foreign affairs smoothly and lead during dangerous times.

Instead, as he made his final stop of a three-nation tour in Poland late Monday, Republicans and Democrats alike were shaking their heads in the U.S. Though Republicans said they saw no lasting harm, Democrats raised questions about Romney’s ability to handle delicate topics with sensitivity on foreign soil, even under the friendliest conditions.

Any resemblance between what actually happened and what AP reported is purely coincidental. It really is a shame that the American press has forgotten that it is supposed to supply voters with accurate information–particularly during an election season.


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What Really Happened In Massachusetts

On July 6, Mona Charen posted an article at explaining what happened in Massachusetts regarding healthcare and how Obamacare is different from Romneycare.

The article points out that before Mitt Romney became governor, Massachusetts had a number of laws that resulted in a very expensive healthcare system. Governor Romney was attempting to rein in those costs. Unfortunately, he was dealing with an 85 percent Democratic legislature that totally twisted his ideas and passed something very different than what he had envisioned.

The article points out:

Romney’s idea was to permit Massachusetts insurers to sell catastrophic plans. As Avik Roy explained in Forbes, “Shorn of the costly mandates and restrictions originating in earlier state laws, these plans, called ‘Commonwealth Care Basic,’ could cost much less. Romney also proposed merging the non-group and small-group markets, so as to give individuals access to the more cost-effective plans available to small businesses.” Romney’s plan would also have involved a degree of cost sharing so that those receiving subsidies would have an incentive to minimize their consumption.

This is very different from the plan that was eventually passed. The law was later changed under Governor Deval Patrick, requiring insurance companies to offer three tiers of coverage — all of them far beyond catastrophic care.

The article further reminds us:

Romney’s proposed reforms included fraud prevention measures for Medicaid, requiring the income of both parents to be considered in children’s Medicaid eligibility, medical malpractice tort reform, and giving individuals the same treatment as small businesses in the purchase of health plans. He envisioned a system of increased competition and choice.

Had the bill that Governor Romney wanted passed, healthcare in Massachusetts would be a good example for the nation. The plan the legislature passed and Governor Patrick modified is a nightmare for the sate and the nation.


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Beware Of Misleading Campaign Tweets

The economy is struggling right now, and many people are looking for a place to put their anger and frustration at being unemployed or underemployed. The Obama presidential campaign is fully prepared to direct this anger anyplace other than the man who has been in charge of the country’s economy for the past three and a half years. It has gotten so bad that even the Washington Post (not a bastion of conservatism) is fact-checking what the Obama campaign says and awarding the appropriate number of Pinocchios.

Mitt Romney is rich. He has earned his money. (The advantage of having a rich president is that he and his family spend less taxpayer money on vacations.) The Obama campaign put out the following tweet:

“FACT: In 2010 and 2011, Romney paid less than 15% in taxes on $42.5 million in income—much less than what many middle-class families pay.” (awarded Three Pinocchios by the Washington Post)

This was specifically designed to stir up envy and class warfare among voters. The problem with the tweet is that it is not true. The Washington Post awarded it three Pinocchios.

The Washington Post reports the actual facts:

Romney released his 2010 tax return and an estimate of his 2011 return earlier this year. He earned a little more than $20 million each year, a good chunk of it in capital gains and dividends, which are taxed at a preferential rate as low as 15 percent.

But that’s not the only reason why Romney’s tax rate is at that level. He also donates about 14 percent of his income to charity, which gives him a pretty big tax deduction. (As we have noted, President Obama in 2010 also gave about 14 percent of his income to charity.)

Indeed, Romney gives about as much to charity — $3 million — as he pays in taxes. Those itemized deductions are counted against income that would ordinarily be taxed at a 35-percent rate. We figure that without those donations to charity, his effective tax rate would be at least 19 percent.

Just in case you are buying into the lie that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes, the Washington Post also posted the following information:

Effective Tax Rates (taxes paid on tax return)

Bottom 20 percent (0-$17,000):         -5.8 percent

Second 20 Percent ($17,000-$33,500):  1.3 percent

Middle 20 percent ($33,500-59,500):  9.2 percent

Fourth 20 Percent ($59,000-$103,500): 12.9 percent

Top 20 Percent ($103,500+):  20.6 percent


Effective Tax Rates (also including payroll tax paid by employer)

Bottom 20 percent (0-$17,000):         1 percent

Second 20 Percent ($17,000-$33,500): 7.8 percent

Middle 20 percent ($33,500-59,500): 15.5 percent

Fourth 20 Percent ($59,000-$103,500): 18.7 percent

Top 20 Percent ($103,500+):  24.3 percent

We live in a country where almost 50% of the people do not pay taxes. Until this changes and all voters pay taxes, our tax system will probably not get fixed. Right now, the tax code is a tribute to special interests who have successfully lobbied Congress for tax breaks. The answer to the tax code is simplicity and transparency. It’s time to elect people who will make the necessary changes–not people who lie about what the tax code actually is.


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Just A Short Rant (Well, Not So Short)

I am a registered Republican. I am not always in agreement with the Republican party (particularly here in Massachusetts), but it’s the best I can do at this particular moment. I will be voting for Mitt Romney unless the October surprise from the Obama campaign is proof that Mitt Romney is an alien ax murderer sent from the planet Zenon to invade the earth. Then I might possible rethink my vote–but I doubt it. Anyway, I listen to talk radio and I listen to the people around me, and I hear a lot of comments about Governor Romney and the fact that he was Governor of Massachusetts when the Massachusetts healthcare law was passed. I am not a fan of Massachusetts healthcare. I will tell you why.

I have had cataract surgery twice. Both times I had good medical insurance through my husband’s workplace. The first surgery cost me $250 out of pocket, and the second surgery cost me $2450 out of pocket. What was the difference? In both cases the lens of my eye was replaced with a prescription lens–I have worn thick glasses since I was a small child. Before Massachusetts healthcare was passed, the prescription lens was included. After Massachusetts healthcare was passed, the prescription lens was optional–I could have had them put in a clear lens and it would have cost me $250, but if I wanted the best possible outcome–being able to see without glasses, it was extra. Think about this–the medical care I needed was available–the lens with the cataract was replaced, but if I wanted the best outcome, it was not covered by insurance. That is what government insurance does–it saves money by compromising on the quality of care.

Now, about Mitt Romney and Massachusetts healthcare. The people of Massachusetts (after all, this is Massachusetts) wanted universal health coverage. Universal coverage was going to pass the legislation. There was no way Mitt Romney could have stopped it. He did attempt to curb some of its provisions, but there was no way it was going to be stopped. I don’t blame Mitt Romney for Massachusetts healthcare–I blame the voters of Massachusetts who are content with a one-party state that allows corruption at a level where it is routine for the Speaker of the House to serve jail time for his actions as speaker. This has happened often enough so that it is almost routine. Don’t blame Romney–blame to voters!

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The Fact-checker Must Have Been On Vacation That Day

On Friday, Newsbusters posted a fact-check on a Washington Post article that claimed that Mitt Romney got rich by sending jobs overseas while he was at Bain Capital. The story in the Washington Post was a good political story–it just wasn’t true.

These are the actual facts from Newsbusters:

 (Example 1) … What CSI (Computer Software Inc.) actually did was provide U.S. software developers with technical support and sales. Example: It provided domestic outsourcing — which is different than overseas offshoring — for call centers and help desks. As far as its international business goes, CSI was reseller of U.S. software in European markets. In other words, they helped distribute U.S. software around the world.

(Example 2) … overseas call centers in the WaPo story (relating to Stream International Inc.) were based in Europe and Japan, and serviced international customers of U.S. companies in their local languages.

(Example 3) … what Modus Media did was help companies like Microsoft and IBM sell their products internationally. Products destined for American consumers were manufactured here at home.

(Example 4) … GT Bicycles had overseas suppliers before Bain invested in the company.

(Example 5) … (printed circuit board manufacturer) SMTC wasn’t even acquired until months after Romney left Bain Capital. Is Romney running for president or is Bain?

(Example 6) … (computer chipmaker and tester) Chippac was purchased in March 1999, a month after Romney left Bain Capital. Prior owner was Hyundai, a South Korean company that already had factories in Asia at the time of sale. So buying a company with foreign factories is the same, apparently, as “shipping jobs overseas,” according to the Washington Post.

Pay attention–we are definitely in the midst of the silly season.



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With Friends Like These…

One of the things that we all need to remember (not necessarily happily) about the November election is that on November 7, 2012, the 2016 presidential campaign begins. Obviously, one of the major players in that campaign on the Democrat side will be Hillary Clinton. Hillary has kept her head down during the past three years and behaved very well. Predictably, her husband has not.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story today about some of President Clinton‘s recent statements. President Clinton remarked that Mitt Romney had a ‘sterling’ record when he ran Bain Capital. President Obama has used attacks on Bain Capital and Mitt Romney’s record there as a major part of his campaign. Unfortunately, Bill Clinton was not the only Democrat who felt the attacks were not helpful.

Mr. Morrissey explains the problems with the attacks:

While Obama attacked Romney for normal private-equity management, he’s been trying to raise money hand over fist from the same industry.  In fact, a Bain executive, Jonathan Lavine, is one of Obama’s major bundlers and was with the company (and Romney was not) when GS Industries shut down the steel plant, a decision used to slam Romney in an Obama campaign ad.

I am not sure the average voter is aware of the hypocrisy here, but at suspect at some point the Romney camp will point it out.

The article rightly concludes:

However, it’s also just as true that Clinton waited for quite a while to defend Romney’s business record, and his advice in this case — to find another line of attack — is probably a lot smarter than Simon’s advice to keep beating a very dead horse.

Expect to see a lot more of Bill Clinton in the next four years.


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Opposition Research Used To Mean That You Did Research On The Candidate

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal posted an article about the Obama Administration’s actions toward a private citizen who donated to the Romney campaign.

Frank VanderSloot, the CEO of Melaleuca Inc., gave $1 million dollars to Restore Our Future, the Super PAC that supports Mitt Romney last August. Since then, Mr. VanderSloot has been harrassed and investigated.

Three weeks ago, the Obama campaign website “Keeping the GOP Honest” named eight people who were major donors to the Romney campaign. They posted brief snippets of information about each person that were less than flattering.

The article reports:

About a week after that post, a man named Michael Wolf contacted the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls in search of court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot. Specifically, Mr. Wolf wanted all the documents dealing with Mr. VanderSloot’s divorces, as well as a case involving a dispute with a former Melaleuca employee.

Mr. Wolf sent a fax to the clerk’s office—which I have obtained—listing four cases he was after. He would later send a second fax, asking for three further court cases dealing with either Melaleuca or Mr. VanderSloot. Mr. Wolf listed only his name and a private cellphone number.

Some digging revealed that Mr. Wolf was, until a few months ago, a law clerk on the Democratic side of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He’s found new work. The ID written out at the top of his faxes identified them as coming from “Glenn Simpson.” That’s the name of a former Wall Street Journal reporter who in 2009 founded a D.C. company that performs private investigative work.

It didn’t stop there. Mr. Vandersloot’s children have been harassed, and when Mr. Vandersloot released a statement that the smears against him were false, his accusers doubled down and repeated the lies.

The article concludes:

Mr. VanderSloot acknowledges that “when I first learned that President Obama’s campaign had singled me out on his ‘enemies list,’ I knew it was like taping a target on my back.” But the more he’s thought it through, “the public beatings and false accusations that followed are no deterrent. These tactics will not work in America.” He’s even “contemplating a second donation.”

Still. If details about Mr. VanderSloot’s life become public, and if this hurts his business or those who work for him, Mr. Obama will bear responsibility. This is what happens when the president makes a list.

I don’t have a problem with opposition research, but this is going too far.


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Misusing The Office Of President

On Thursday the Wall Street Journal posted an article about some of President Obama’s campaign tactics.

The article sited a post of one of the President’s campaign websites:

Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules. This past week, one of his campaign websites posted an item entitled “Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors.” In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having “less-than-reputable records,” the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that “quite a few” have also been “on the wrong side of the law” and profiting at “the expense of so many Americans.”

This is simply unacceptable. All Americans are free to donate to any candidate of their choosing.

The article concludes:

The Obama campaign has justified any action on the grounds that it has a right to “hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable,” but this is a dodge. Politics is rough, but a president has obligations that transcend those of a candidate. He swore an oath to protect and defend a Constitution that gives every American the right to partake in democracy, free of fear of government intimidation or disfavored treatment. If Mr. Obama isn’t going to act like a president, he bolsters the argument that he doesn’t deserve to be one.

We need to remember these actions in November. We have a choice–do we want a President who supports the Constitution or do we want someone whose roots in Chicago politics have clouded thier judgement on abuse of power.


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It’s Getting Hard To Sort The Truth From The Spin

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The Republican primary race seems to have come down to a contest between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. I am totally willing to admit, political junkie that I am, that I haven’t made up my mind yet. I am willing to admit that I think that both leading candidates have totally forgotten President Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment.

There are a few things I am watching in deciding who will get my support–who is supporting each candidate and who is opposing each candidate. It was obvious at the start of the campaign that the Obama campaign was preparing for Mitt Romney as their opponent. Romney was ‘the next in line’ which, unfortunately, seems to be the way the Republicans choose their candidates. It doesn’t work very well, but they keep doing it. The Occupy Wall Street movement was the perfect prelude to a campaign against Mitt Romney–the man is obviously wealthy–he has worked hard and accomplished many things to obtain that wealth, but an opposing campaign could overlook that and just characterize him as the ‘evil rich.’ Governor Romney seems to be the choice of the Republican ‘establishment.’ Newt Gingrich is the rebel candidate. He has been knocked down twice already and just seems to bounce back up. He seems to be the Tea Party candidate (although I seriously doubt he was their first choice). Newt is a bit of a loose cannon, but seems to have an ability to explain things so that ordinary people can understand them and to get things done (although he steps on peoples’ feet in the process). As I have posted earlier, the ethics charges against him in the mid 1990’s were later proven to be completely false by the IRS. I believe he was run out of the House of Representatives on a rail (so to speak) because he was a threat to both the Republican and Democrat Washington establishment. If he can make that case to the public, he will win the nomination and the election.

On Friday, January 27, posted a short article discussing some of the attacks on Newt Gingrich. Ronald Reagan’s eldest son Mike Reagan has issued a statement regarding the claim that Newt Gingrich did not support Ronald Reagan.

The article posted the statement:

I am deeply disturbed that supporters of Mitt Romney are claiming that Newt Gingrich is not a true Reaganite and are even claiming that Newt was a strong critic of my father.

“Recently I endorsed Newt Gingrich for president because I believe that Newt is the only Republican candidate who has both consistently backed the conservative policies that my father championed and the only Republican that will continue to implement his vision.

“It surprises me that Mitt Romney and his supporters would raise this issue — when Mitt by his own admission said he opposed my father in the 1980s claiming he was an ‘independent,’ and later supported liberal Democrat Paul Tsongas for president.

“As governor of Massachusetts, Romney’s achievement was the most socialistic healthcare plan in the nation up until that time.

“Say what you want about Newt Gingrich but when he was Speaker of the House he surrounded himself with Reagan conservatives and implemented a Ronald Reagan program of low taxes and restrained federal spending.

“Newt’s conservative program created a huge economic boom and balanced the budget for the first time in more than a generation.”

Mike Reagan concluded: “I would take Newt Gingrich’s record any day over Mitt Romney’s.”

Beware of the spin! Listen to the people who are closest to the events and have nothing to gain or lose by telling the truth.


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