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Archive for June, 2010

More on the Obama “Recovery”

Truly sad headline on this truly sad story.

Jobs Market Barely Budges in June as Hiring Stays Weak

U.S. private employers added just 13,000 jobs in June, according to a report published Wednesday that suggested expectations of a big drop in the government’s upcoming nonfarm payrolls report were on target.

We must reverse course, yet there are no signs that the current administration and congressional leadership are ready to acknowledge the failure of their economic policies.

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Bobby Jindal Beats Barack Obama

Louisiana voters are telegraphing their support for Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s leadership in the wake of the oil spill — and for offshore drilling. Rasmussen repors that 74 percent approve of Jindal’s performance while only 26 percent disapprove.

Meantime, Louisiana voters solidly reject President Obama’s desire to stop the drilling, as do all Americans.

Even as oil washes up on their shores from the still-spewing leak in the Gulf of Mexico, 79% of Louisiana voters believe offshore oil drilling should be allowed, and nearly as many (72%) support deepwater drilling. But then, according to Reuters, President Obama’s six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling affects 38,000 Louisiana workers in an industry that generates about 16% of the state’s gross domestic product.
Nationally, 60% of voters support offshore oil drilling. Forty-nine percent (49%) of Americans favor continued deepwater drilling, while 31% are opposed.

Meantime, Rasmussen’s presidential index shows continued deterioration of support for the job President Obama is doing. Yes folks, policies DO matter and Americans are rejecting this administration’s policies.

Overall, 45% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove.

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Erin Brockovich, Mayor Meeker, and Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane

Carolina Journal’s Rick Henderson reports on celebrity activist Erin Brockovich’s appearance in Raleigh to advocate on behalf of the state takeover of four hydroelectric dams owned by Alcoa. During the press event, Brockovich displayed a knack for sound bite rhetoric but a clear lack of understanding of the fundamental issues involved here. (emphasis is mine)

When asked what she hoped to accomplish with her visit, Brockovich was unable to cite any specific aspects of the legislation.

“I haven’t really looked at the licensing issue,” she said. “It is probably going to be really your state’s issue.”

When a reporter asked what she thought about Alcoa’s contention that seizing the dams and surrounding land would amount to an unconstitutional taking of private property, she said, “I don’t get into eminent domain issues.”

Brockovich said she hoped the bill would pass, “putting money into a trust [so] you can put people to work, you can create green jobs, you can clean up the pollution, and you can put some sense of justice and well-being into a community.

Huh?

Henderson also lays out the connection between Brockovich’s visit, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, and Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane. The details are here.

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This is the Obama “Recovery”

Economic policies have consequences, and the consequences of the current administration’s policies — “stimulus”, huge expansion of government, astronomical deficits — are negative.

Stung by falling stocks and sick of waiting for jobs to come back, Americans are in a sour mood about the economy. And it’s getting worse fast.

Consumer confidence fell dramatically last month, adding to the evidence that the nation is in no mood to spend its way back to growth and raising fears of a double-dip recession.

Businesses have been cautiously building up inventories to prepare for increasing demand as the economy improves. The darkening mood leaves them with a question: Who’s going to buy all the cars, dishwashers and clothes heading to stores and showrooms?

When will President Obama take Steve Forbes’ advice? Let’s hope it’s soon.

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Ruling Frees Former Lottery Commissioner Kevin Geddings From Prison

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the “honest services” area of law means former North Carolina lottery commissioner Kevin Geddings will be let out of prison. Geddings has been serving a four-year term in a Georgia prison after being convicted under “honest services” law for essentially profiting from his role as lottery commissioner and failing to disclose ties to a key lottery game vendor.

Here’s the kicker, however, from the News & Observer story on Geddings.

“As a result of this ruling,” prosecutors said in their filing Tuesday, “it is no longer a federal crime for state public officials to corrupt their public offices by engaging in undisclosed self-dealing.”

Okaaaaayyyyyyy.

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Remember when Democrats demonized the Tea Party?

Remember in the early days of the Tea Party movement, say, in the spring of 2009? First the media ignored the growing phenomenon, and after it could not longer ignore it, it demonized it? Democratic members of Congress called the brown shirts and violence-prone when they wouldn’t listen to the standard Washington-insider blather designed to make citizens feel they didn’t know enough to ask questions.

Well, things are different now. Reports are surfacing of Democratic candidates for local office actually showing up at Tea Party gatherings:

The significance of this can’t be overestimated. For over a year the media has been painting tea party members as wild eyed extremists. Congressmen and women have avoided town hall meetings in fear of encountering them and now sitting democratic members of the General Court attend events.

When N.C. Democrats Brad Miller, Bob Etheridge and David Price show up at a Tea Party rally, we’ll really know the the movement has succeeded.

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“One kind earns a profit. And nowadays that’s enough to make you suspect.”

The Obama administration has trained its regulatory beam on for-profit colleges. In this excellent piece, The Weekly Standard’s Andrew Ferguson lays out the administration’s plan to crack down on the industry. I urge you to read the entire piece. Then you won’t be surprised when this scenario plays out. A search of the website of the Career College Association shows 23 colleges in North Carolina.

To oversee the for-profits from a perch at the all-seeing Education Department, President Obama last year appointed Robert Shireman, an activist who had spent much of his career chastising for-profit schools. Like most activists, he himself was not-for-profit. This spring Shireman gave a speech to school administrators that signaled Washington’s intense interest in the schools. He singled out for-profit companies by name, ticking them off one by one—from Kaplan to DeVry, Strayer to the University of Phoenix. With heavy sarcasm he “congratulated” them for the large number of students they had recently enrolled, despite “these difficult economic times,” and expressed mock admiration for the size of their revenue streams.

Then he dropped the sarcasm and compared the schools to the financial companies that had run amok before the collapse of 2008, and reminded them, pointedly, of the severe regulations that might be imposed as a consequence.

“Nice business you got there,” Shireman seemed to be saying, sniffing the carnation in his lapel. “I’d hate to see anything happen to it.”

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It’s None of New York’s Business

It should be called The Expensive New York Hotel Protection Act. New York state senators want to ban property owners from renting to people for less than a month, a popular move among vacationers/tourists seeking accommodations that are cheaper than a hotel. Nothing like squashing the rights of a property owner. Aside from ensuring against fraud, the government has no business telling a property owner what he/she can/can’t do with a home or apartment. Bottom line: hotels don’t like competition and this legislation would protect them from it even though the marketplace is demanding other options.

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“10,000 little measly dollars”

From Durham comes another example of the ease with which politicians give away other people’s money. Durham commissioners voted 4-0 to continue funding Durham Companions even though the group has failed to provide required reports on how it has used its funding. Its grant application “leaves so much to the imagination” according to one commissioner quoted in the Herald-Sun story.

The nonprofit wanted $15,775 from the county. Incredibly, commissioners ignored the group’s flouting of the rules and voted to provide part of the money now, while committing to providing the rest in the spring if Durham Companions files required documentation.

In a revealing comment that illustrates how easy it is to give away other people’s money, Commissioner Joe Bowser, after agreeing lack of documentation is a problem, said this, according to the paper:

“I’m not going to sit here and beat you up over 10,000 little measly dollars with this county when I see them spending big dollars in other places.”

If $10,000 is so “measly,” I suggest the commissioners return it to the taxpayers who worked very hard for it.

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Will Mike Beitler Pull More Votes From Burr or Marshall?

RealClearPolitics has an interesting analysis of the Burr vs. Marshall race for U.S. Senate, with one important caveat. The story fails to factor in Libertarian Mike Beitler, who is on the ballot as well.

So who will Beitler help and hurt politically? 2008 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Dr. Mike Munger received 2.87 percent of the vote and he notes that exit polls show he drew more votes from Democrat Beverly Perdue than Republican Pat McCrory. Will we see a repeat of that pattern? A lot of factors will play into the calculation, including national political winds, anti-incumbent anger, anti-spending and anti-deficit anger, Dr. Beitler’s campaigning skills, amount of support Marshall receives from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Sen. Burr’s ability to attract voters who didn’t live here when he ran the first time, etc. Stay tuned.

Here are the candidate websites:

Sen. Richard Burr (R)
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D)
Dr. Mike Beitler (L)

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