Friday, October 15, 2010

Obama Lifts Ban On Deep Water Drilling. Or Does He?

The headlines of liberal newspapers trumpeted the news across the land. Obama lifts ban on deep water drilling for oil.

This is a curious, if obviously political, move. Certainly Obama wants to gain the support of moderates for the Democratic Party going into the next election. However, there is little widespread backing across the country for such an action right now.

Many conservatives question continuing deep water drilling at this point, while others support its resumption. I personally wonder why we are blocking access to potentially productive land based pools. We can fix problems with these wells in a matter of days. Wells under a mile of ocean obviously present larger issues when they fail. As for the Left, they are already disenchanted with this president and will be more so after this decision.

The Heritage Foundation points out that this announcement means nothing. Newspapers play it up, but no permits have been approved for resumption of drilling. Without permits, there will be no wells. So it remains to be seen whether this is actually a policy change, or just more slipperiness from this administration.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Secretary of State Tennant Is Too Thin Skinned

I saw this first on House candidate Cindy Frich's Facebook page. Then, thinking it was a statement by the Secretary of State herself, I looked up a part of the piece. It actually comes from the website of a TV station in Harrisonburg, Virginia of all places. Obviously a journalist wrote this piece at some point. Note the heavy bias in the piece.

But that is not the issue. The issue is that this is an election year and each political party and candidate will try to gain whatever advantage it can. WVGOP chair Mike Stuart is putting pressure on the Democratic Secretary of State in the same way that Bobby Huggins this winter will work officials at West Virginia basketball games. You want them to know that you are paying attention and will react if you are not doing your job properly.

It's business. It's part of the job. It's Mike Stuart's job to gain advantages for the state Republicans and part of Tennant's job to fairly administer elections. Secretary of State Tennant needs to toughen up a little because she is reacting too personally to Republican challenges.

CHARLESTON — Once again West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant is standing by the law when it comes to conducting elections in the state of West Virginia.
The latest baseless allegation from the state Republican Party says that Monongalia County Democratic Headquarters cannot be located in an area near an early voting site.
“Instead of working in a posi­tive manner for the betterment of West Virginia, the West Virginia Republican Party chairman con­tinues to issue personal attacks and frivolous lawsuits against me and this office, when in fact we are standing on the West Virginia code,” Tennant said.
West Virginia code section 3-3-2a(d)(5) says: “No person may do any electioneering … on the property of the county court­house, any annex facilities or any other designated early vot­ing locations within the county, during the entire period of regu­lar in-person absentee voting.”
This code shows that a head­quarters can be located near a county’s early voting site because the 300-foot election­eering zone is not applicable during early voting.
“GOP Chairman Mike Stuart threatens to open a Republican location near the site and I say ‘go for it.’ I am sure the Mountaineer Mall would appre­ciate the boost in its economy for the next three weeks.
“Furthermore, if he wants to continue with his personal attacks on me, my background and who I am, that is fine, I can stand up to them. If he is attack­ing me, then he is not picking on someone else,” Tennant said.
Tennant also said that she has the utmost confidence and respect for the Monongalia County Clerk Carye Blaney and knows that the clerk will not tol­erate any campaigning at the early voting site.
“Time and time again we have proven Chairman Stuart’s frivo­lous allegations incorrect and at every turn we have followed the law.”

From the Media Research Center, a Transcript of an Interview With the PA Governor

As this interview from CBS This Morning demonstrates, the mainstream media is starting to take notice of this administration's faults. You also see the complete lack of acknowledgement that Obamacare and other initiatives are even unpopular.

7:10AM ET
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: President Obama will be back on the stump today trying to fire up the Democratic base. On Sunday, he was in Philadelphia, hoping to get voters excited about the Democrat Joe Sestak, who is trailing Republican Pat Toomey. Only about 18,000 supporters turned out, which is about half the number who attended an Obama rally two years ago.
BARACK OBAMA: On November 2nd, I need you as fired up as you were in 2008. Because – because, we've got a lot of work ahead of us.
RODRIGUEZ: Joining us now from Washington, Pennsylvania Governor and former Democratic Party Chairman Ed Rendell. Governor, good morning to you.
ED RENDELL: Good morning, Maggie.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Campaign Crossfire; Obama Hits the Trail as State Races Heat Up]RODRIGUEZ: So your party has this opportunity to have the President of the United States come to your state to try to convince the voters to go Democratic in three weeks and he spends a good chunk of the time accusing the Republicans of trying to steal the election with money from foreign companies. Don't you think, Governor, that voters would rather hear how he's going – how Democrats are going to create jobs and grow the economy?
RENDELL: Well, sure. But, the President does that pretty much every day. In fact, the reason I'm in Washington, Maggie, is we're having a press conference about the President's plan on infrastructure, which I think is the single-best job creator we can do right now.
RODRIGUEZ: But, why did he spend so much time talking about the Republicans trying to steal the election? Offering no evidence of that. Isn't it a bit undignified for the President to resort to that?
RENDELL: Well, the President's got dual roles, he's the commander-in-chief and he sets policy, like the infrastructure conference today, but he's also the campaigner-in-chief. And his goal in this campaign is to get Democrats off their duff and get them to the polls. And sometimes you do that by talking not only about the good things that Democrats have done in the Congress, and he sure as heck spends plenty of time talking about those, but also about what's to be afraid of. And the influence of outside money, the unreported money that's coming into this campaign through groups that we'll never know who contributed to, that's something our citizens should be worried about.
RODRIGUEZ: If you gave them evidence to support that claim, it would be one thing. But, to make claims like this without backing them up, seems not right.
RENDELL: Well, but, I think, Maggie, you know, for example, that Crossroads and groups like that are putting millions of dollars into this campaign and under the Citizens United decision, they don't have to report who gave the money. So, money's coming into the campaign, mostly on the Republican side, that's unreported and that goes against everything we've always held in this country. You can give money to a campaign, but the public's got a right to know who's supporting each candidate.
RODRIGUEZ: Okay. Let's say that that's happening. It can't all be the Republicans' fault that the numbers are so bad for the Democrats in the polls. Where do you think that your party and the president are failing to get out the message?
RENDELL: Well, I think from the very beginning, we got out-spun on things like stimulus and health care reform, which have done great things for the citizens. For example, on health care reform, there have been seven things that have happened since September 23rd, all of them very popular. Like you can't deny children health care because of pre-existing condition anymore, seniors getting a $250 check to fill that doughnut hole in prescription drug coverage, those things are enormously popular, but we got out-spun. The message at the beginning was bad and once you lose that message war, it's tough to make up ground.
RODRIGUEZ: Governor Ed Rendell, we thank you for your time, sir.
RENDELL: My pleasure.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Is This Going to Be Like 1994? Even Better, Will It Be Like 1894?

Experts on both sides have been talking about this year's potential congressional shift as being like the historic 1994 elections. In those elections, Republicans picked up 54 seats in the House and eight in the Senate, giving the GOP control of both houses.

Some have started to describe the potential impact of this year's results as being closer to those of 1894. The 1880s and early 1890s were an era of what some have called political deadlock. Elections in the years leading up to 1894 for Congress, president, and governors generally produced tight results. The economic disaster of 1893 and 1894 convinced voters that Republicans could solve the economic problems of the nation. Several states, including West Virginia, which had voted Democratic for decades, moved to the Republican column. West Virginia remained Republican until 1932. Republicans gained 130 seats in the House of Representatives in 1894 and captured the presidency in 1896.

Our current economic crisis is serious and deep. Even though some indicators rise and fall, unemployment remains at severely high levels. Democratic intervention has not helped and has actually made the debt worse. We do not have the financial capability at this point to engage in the minor deficit spending recommended by John Maynard Keynes that was used from time to time by Democrats in the last century. Our entire conception of political expectations needs to be overhauled and government reduced considerably. Liberal media types say that the GOP has no program and no vision, just "no." Such claims are out and out lies. We know what needs to be done, but do we even have the guts to do it when we return to power?

Elections, however, are not won in the beginning of October. Democratic pollsters are claiming that Republican leads in some areas are narrowing, so we cannot relax over the next month.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hat Tip: Sean Gibson Via CNN--Every Republican Vote Counts!

CNN 100: Democratic stronghold in West Virginia up for grabs
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
West Virginia-01:
Rep. Alan Mollohan ousted in primaryPrimary: May 11, 2010
Location: Northern West Virginia
Days until Election Day: 22
Veteran Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan's primary defeat may have actually improved his party's chances of holding on to this historically Democratic West Virginia seat.Mollohan has been beset by ethical questions stemming from a 2006 complaint that he had benefited financially from nonprofit organizations in his state. He has maintained that he did nothing improper, and no charges were ever filed. But in a year that has already proven difficult for incumbents, the controversy opened an opportunity for Democratic state Sen. Mike Oliverio to take on the congressman, who had up until this year encountered few serious challengers during his 14 terms in Congress.
Oliverio soundly defeated Mollohan in the May primary, and now faces Republican David McKinley in the race for West Virginia's northernmost district. Despite a strong Democratic history, Republicans have begun to earn favor in the region, a trend that can be attributed to the Democratic Party's push for more stringent environmental policies that are often at odds with the region's prominent coal mining industry. The Republican nominee has won West Virginia in the last three presidential elections, and Sen. John McCain carried this district by 15 points over then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008.
Now McKinley, a former state delegate and former state Republican Party chairman, is vying to win back this Democratic stronghold. On the campaign trail, McKinley espouses a fiscally conservative platform, promising to ban earmarks, end tax-payer funded campaigns, and to end congressional retirement benefits. The Republican has also sought to connect Oliverio, who has said he would "support the Democrats' choice for speaker," with Nancy Pelosi and President Obama, who have never been viewed favorably in the state. In the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton won West Virginia with 67 percent of the vote over Obama's 26 percent.
But whereas Democrats in other parts of the country have found their popularity decline simply because of their party affiliation, Oliverio may be saved by West Virginia's traditionally loyal Democratic base. A current state Senator, the pro-life, pro-gun Democrat appeals to the state's conservative population. He too has been critical of the health care reform bill, and advocates for fiscal reform.
Nonetheless, both national parties consider the race a nail biter, and have accordingly poured significant resources into the district. The National Republican Congressional Committee named McKinley to its "Young Gun" recruitment program, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Oliverio to its "Red to Blue" program. Both programs provide competitive candidates with financial and strategic support.
Prominent political handicapper Charlie Cook rates this race a "toss up," but notes that Oliverio still has time to swing the race back in his favor. The two candidates both have just over $300,000 cash on hand, strong support from their respective political parties, and positions that are at times complementary. This race may come down to whether the district's Democratic base comes through for their candidate in November.

McKinley Picks Up Another Endorsement


Backing of Business Group Complements His Labor SupportWASHINGTON, D.C. – First District nominee for Congress, David McKinley, has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in next month’s general election. The chamber is the nation’s largest federation of businesses and business organizations, with three million members.In the 2008 elections, 213 of the 265 Chamber-endorsed candidates were elected.“Your support of pro-business issues earned this endorsement,” Thomas J. Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the chamber wrote McKinley. “We believe that your election to the U.S. House will help produce sustained economic growth and help create more jobs.”For 30 years McKinley has been principal of a Wheeling-based professional engineering and architectural design firm involved in $1 billion in construction projects. His work has resulted in thousands of jobs sharing $600 million in payroll.McKinley’s relationship with construction trades has also earned him the endorsement of several labor organizations as well:
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
Sheet Metal Workers International Association
Upper Ohio Valley Building and Construction Trades Council
International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers
Laborer’s International Union
North Central West Virginia Building and Construction Trades Council
Teamsters Union Local 697
“This election is all about jobs,” McKinley said. “My goal in Congress is to help get business and labor working together in Washington as they have with me in West Virginia.”