Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pelosi: President Obama's Been to Israel ‘Over and Over Again’

Wow. I'm involved with the Emergency Committee for Israel. We have an ad up in several states calling attention to the fact that President Obama, who's been quite the world traveler, has never visited Israel as president. Did we make a terrible mistake? Were we unjust to President Obama? Do we have to pull down the ad? - Bill Kristol/Weekly Standard

No, no, and no. Contrary to Pelosi's apparent claim, President Obama hasn't been to Israel over and over again. He's never been as president, which is certainly what Pelosi implied. Well, maybe he visited Israel "over and over" before becoming president, and that's what Pelosi meant to say? No. When he was senator, Obama went on two trips to Israel, once with several other freshmen members of Congress, and then as a presidential candidate. And he'd never been interested enough in Israel to visit as a private citizen. So much for the notion that Obama's been "over and over again."

Pelosi: Republican Jews 'Being Exploited' - "And they're smart people." - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard

Pelosi Says Republicans Use Israel To Distract (Transcript) - Al Hunt/Bloomberg

"Phone from Home" - Help WIN this election!

The Republican National Committee's "Phone from Home" tool, found on the Social Victory Center, makes it easy and convenient for you to make phone calls to identify Republican voters without leaving the comfort of your own house.

Join our online phone bank and become an invaluable member of the GOP team today! This is one way you can help Republicans win in November – right from your own home!

Here’s how you can get started:
1. Just enter your phone number and click “Begin”.
2. A voter’s number will appear with a “Call Now” button. Click the “Call Now” button to begin.
3. You will receive a phone call that will connect you to the voter and hide your personal phone number from the voter.
4. If the voter picks up, follow the call script that appears in the window below filling in answers as you go through the script. If you receive an answering machine, click the “Voicemail Script” button and read the displayed message.
5. When you are done, select the appropriate response code and stay on the line to select a new phone number to dial and you will be automatically connected.

Super-Easy Calling for Mitt Romney--From Your Home!

Help send Mitt Romney to the White House without ever leaving your home. California may be a lost cause, but there's a battle going on for the swing states. You can make a differemce. The "Volunteer for Mitt" program is up and running for supporters who can spare a few minutes to make personal calls to other voters across the country.

Click here to learn how you can Get Involved!
To learn more about Call From Home
click here to view the instructional video or to
view step-by-step written instructions, click here.
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“My view is that the EPA — if it keeps to its mission and does not use its power to foster or further an anti-carbon energy agenda — would be a more effective department,” Romney told the crowd. - Audrey Hudson/Human Events @AudreyHudson

Romney Policy Director: “Obama Has No One but Himself to Blame” for Weak Economy

The following memorandum was issued by Lanhee Chen, Policy Director for Mitt Romney's Presidential Campaign: - Luke Gunderson/Mitt Romney Central

This Sunday marks 100 days until Election Day. Poll after poll shows us that jobs and the economy are the most important issues on the minds of the American people. Voters will be asking themselves a simple question: Which candidate is best equipped to finally get our economy back on the right track?

Under President Obama, the economy continues to weaken. Today’s GDP estimate, which revealed that our economy grew by a paltry 1.5% last quarter, is only the latest sign that we are moving in the wrong direction. Some economists have expressed fears that we are heading toward a period of zero growth – or worse. America’s jobless rate has been over 8% for 41 straight months and is likely to remain chronically high for the foreseeable future. The number of Americans living in poverty is at record levels. China has overtaken the United States in manufacturing for the first time ever. All the while, our national debt climbs higher and higher, leaving a multi-trillion dollar unpaid bill for future generations.

President Obama has no one but himself to blame for the state of our economy. Shortly after taking office, he promised to turn things around in three years or he’d be looking at a “one-term proposition.” He said he welcomed the responsibility of solving the serious problems our country faces. But he has not solved them. Now, instead of solutions and substance, the Obama campaign will offer little more than diversions and distractions over the next 100 days. Since the President can’t run on his record, this is all his campaign can do.

Americans are too smart – and too tired of politics as usual – to be fooled by this. They know President Obama has had enough time to live up to the promise of his last campaign. They know they aren’t better off than they were four years ago. Most importantly, they know they have the final say – and a clear choice.

In Mitt Romney, the American people will find someone who has the kind of personal strengths and professional experience they are looking for. As a businessman, and later as governor, he compiled a record of promoting innovative solutions, turning around struggling enterprises, and creating jobs. Unlike President Obama, he has a comprehensive plan to unleash the potential of the American economy and give hope to middle-class families that are struggling. He knows the power of free enterprise and free people – and he believes small-business owners and entrepreneurs deserve every last bit of credit for serving as the backbone of America’s economy.

From Day One of his presidency, Mitt Romney will be focused on job creation and economic growth. He will lead where President Obama has not, and he will succeed where President Obama has failed. Just over 100 days from now, the change we need will finally arrive.
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Dan Rather: Obama has lost his mojo; presidential race is flat and boring

And by “mojo” Rather means “teleprompter.” - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin
“The Presidential race is flat, relatively uninteresting, even boring,” Rather complained on his Facebook page. - - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @CharlieSpiering
Dan Rather Reports

You want context?

We’ll give you context, on the Romney quote about Britain being a “tiny little island that makes stuff nobody wants.” - neoneocon
But, as Althouse rightly points out in her contextualizing post:
But you know the rule in journalism: Taking things out of context is okay when you do it to hurt conservatives.
"Romney book: Britain is a tiny island that makes stuff nobody wants." - Althouse

Now Foreign Policy — a respected journal? — ends its out of context squib with snark: "Its roads and houses are small? The trees probably aren't the right height either." I'm giving you the whole context that Foreign Policy didn't want to deal with. It's about the British decline into socialism. What do you say we take that seriously?

Socialism/capitalism — that's how campaign 2012 has been framed. Let's stare that issue in the face. Sorry if the Brits' feelings are hurt, but this is about us.

RIDE the RAILS with us on 1940s local Speeder Crew Cars along the Bay!

Come out to Samoa tomorrow Saturday 7/28 and RIDE the RAILS with us on 1940s local Speeder Crew Cars along the Bay! Rides from 9:00am to 4:00pm on the 1/2 hour. Roundhouse will be open along with historic steam engines on display, plus more. Reserve tickets today @ or take chance as a walk-up. Please SHARE. ◼ The Timber Heritage Association on Facebook

‘Abysmal Failure’

That’s how the 2008 TARP bailout is described by Neal Barofsky, the former special inspector general (“SIGTARP”) who was responsible for investigating how the funds were spent. - The Other McCain

Did you know, for example, that the Treasury Department still owns 61% of the “too-big-to-fail” insurance giant AIG, and that bailout recipients still owe taxpayers more than $100 billion?

Those are a few of the unpleasant facts Barofsky details in his new book, ◼ Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street.

TARP Was Even Worse Than You Think: “An Abysmal Failure,” Barofsky Says - Aaron Task/Daily Ticker

Friday, July 27, 2012


I don’t think liberals appreciate how much conservatives laugh at this stuff. - Jonah Goldberg/National Review

We’re constantly being told we’re racists and that conservatism is full of racist codes and dog whistles aimed at conservatives. And yet the only people who consistently decipher these codes or hear these dog whistles are liberals themselves. Most of the time it’s a form of projection of course. Liberals see themselves as sinless and heroic on matters racial, so their opposite numbers in politics must be sinful and villainous on matters of race. It’s a form of lazy categorical thinking that completely fails to take account of reality in order to sustain a self-serving narrative....

Dan’s post on Jonathan Chait’s entry into the “if it’s bad for Obama, it’s racist” games is a keeper:

The GOP’s Use of ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Is Racist - Daniel Foster/National Review

Inevitable – Obama “you didn’t build that” speech not going over well because said in “black dialect” - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

◼ The article in question: The Real Reason ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Works - Jonathan Chait/New York Magazine

Rep. Kelly's Rousing Floor Speech Receives Standing Ovation and Chants of "USA!"

The key to the election rests with the ability of the Obama campaign to discourage those now pre-disposed to vote for Romney because of the economy or disappointment with Obama

Pawns in the Obama Re-Election Campaign? - Steve McCann/American Thinker

Thus the never-ending message over the past two months from the Obama re-election team that Romney is dishonest, unethical, cares only for the rich, outsources jobs, perhaps is a felon, has off shore bank accounts ostensibly to hide money and, as he must have skeletons in his past, he refuses to release his tax returns.

While the polling results to date have not shown any real movement as a result of this scorched earth campaign, it has succeeded in maintaining the status quo. However, if this were any other time in America's recent past, with similar economic circumstances, Barack Obama would be down by double digits among likely voters in any presidential preference poll.

While it is up to the Romney campaign, the Republican National Committee and various conservative super-pacs to offset and vigorously attack Obama for not only his record but the lies and demagoguery regarding Mitt Romney -- and they need to do a much better job than what has been done to date -- it is time for many unenthusiastic conservatives and libertarians to understand what is at stake in this election.

CBO: Obamacare levies $1 trillion in new taxes

President Obama’s health care law raises taxes by $1 trillion, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @Joelmentum


According to Census figures, some 200,000 small businesses disappeared from the rolls between 2008 and 2010. Those businesses were responsible for some three million jobs. - Ben Shapiro/Breitbart

Not surprisingly, Gallup finds that business owners are turning on President Obama. The national poll showed a 59-35 disapproval/approval split. Workers are split in favor of Obama, thanks in large part to Obama’s heavy emphasis on class warfare.

These Hands: Nevada

Mitt Romney Interview With Brian Williams


We Republicans in California are clear-eyed about our challenges. We are laying the foundation for our recovery. The Democrat excesses provide us the opportunity to demonstrate renewed leadership— and provide a path to restoring the Golden State

California's changing political tide - Tom Del Beccaro/Politico

What's the difference between a calm and cool Barack Obama, and a rattled and worried Barack Obama? Four words, it turns out.

Strassel: Four Little Words -

"You didn't build that" is swelling to such heights that it has the president somewhere unprecedented: on defense. Mr. Obama has felt compelled—for the first time in this campaign—to cut an ad in which he directly responds to the criticisms of his now-infamous speech, complaining his opponents took his words "out of context."

..."You didn't build that" is swelling to such heights that it has the president somewhere unprecedented: on defense. Mr. Obama has felt compelled—for the first time in this campaign—to cut an ad in which he directly responds to the criticisms of his now-infamous speech, complaining his opponents took his words "out of context."

...The Obama campaign's bigger problem, both sides are now realizing, is that his words go beyond politics and are more devastating than the Romney complaints that Mr. Obama is too big-government oriented or has mishandled the economy. They raise the far more potent issue of national identity and feed the suspicion that Mr. Obama is actively hostile to American ideals and aspirations. Republicans are doing their own voter surveys, and they note that Mr. Obama's problem is that his words cause an emotional response, and that they disturb voters in nearly every demographic.

It's why Mr. Obama's "out of context" complaints aren't getting traction. The Republican National Committee's response to that gripe was to run an ad that shows a full minute of Mr. Obama's rant at the Roanoke, Va., campaign event on July 13. In addition to "you didn't build that," the president also put down those who think they are "smarter" or "work harder" than others. Witness the first president to demean the bedrock American beliefs in industriousness and exceptionalism. The "context" only makes it worse....

Fallout continues from President Obama‘s “you didn’t build that” comments from last week. - Matt K. Lewis/Daily Caller
The president implies that his opponents don’t think government has any purpose at all, or that laws are necessary for free markets, and don’t recognize the fruits of any common efforts in American history. That’s just ridiculous. - Yuval Levin/National Review
link - Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post
Obama's Biggest Blunder Yet - Andrew Sullivan/The Daily Beast


The Voter Participation Center appears to be spoofing the Virginia State Board of Elections. The Voter Participation Center appears to be receiving forms that respondents believe are going to the Virginia State Board of Elections, but are not. Why? How many states is the VPC operating in? - Pat Dollard

Why Is the Voter Participation Center Spoofing the Virginia State Board of Elections’ Return Address? - Bryan Preston/PJM

Earlier today, news broke that the Romney campaign is requesting a state-level investigation of a voter registration group in Virginia. That group, the Voter Participation Center, has been sending out voter registration forms to people all over the commonwealth, hundreds of thousands of forms per month. The Washington Post and the Richmond Times-Dispatch have published stories on the Voter Participation Center and the allegations that the Romney campaign has levied against it. But both stories barely hint at what the VPC may be doing.

The center’s registration forms, some of which have been addressed to the dead, children, even pets and felons ineligible to vote in Virgina, state that recipients are eligible to vote. They come with some personal information already filled in, and instruct recipients to send the forms in to the Virginia State Board of Elections via Business Reply Mail to an address pre-printed on the form. But where do the returned forms really go?

...The address for the State Board of Elections is correct up to the zip code. But the zip code on the form will send it somewhere other than the actual State Board of Elections....

The evident misdirection of the return address and the permit number registered in Pennsylvania all beg for an answer: Why? These returned registration forms contain real personal information including full legal names, date of birth, and even Social Security numbers. What is the Voter Participation Center really up to, in having forms returned to an address that it says is controlled by a state entity, when that is not the truth? Additionally, where are the completed forms really going?...

Asked if the group is complying with Virginia’s request that it stop pre-populating its voter registration forms, Gardner said that the group is going to stop.

I asked her about the zip code issue, explaining that on the group’s forms the return address for the state election board is correct up to the zip code, which is not the correct zip code but a zip code owned by the VPC. Gardner said that she did not understand the question, so I asked it again and directed her to our story. She replied that the zip code is “assigned by the postal service so they can track business reply mail.” That does not explain why the zip code leads to a post office in Richmond, VA or what happens to the forms en route to the state elections officials....

The Voter Participation Center appears to be spoofing the Virginia State Board of Elections. The Voter Participation Center appears to be receiving forms that respondents believe are going to the Virginia State Board of Elections, but are not. Why? How many states is the VPC operating in? - Bryan Preston/PJM

...Asked if the group is complying with Virginia’s request that it stop pre-populating its voter registration forms, Gardner said that the group is going to stop.

I asked her about the zip code issue, explaining that on the group’s forms the return address for the state election board is correct up to the zip code, which is not the correct zip code but a zip code owned by the VPC. Gardner said that she did not understand the question, so I asked it again and directed her to our story. She replied that the zip code is “assigned by the postal service so they can track business reply mail.” That does not explain why the zip code leads to a post office in Richmond, VA or what happens to the forms en route to the state elections officials....

“There’s been an extensive effort by the Obama campaign to rewrite the president’s record on Israel.”

Click image to enlarge

Jewish group launches ad featuring liberal criticism of Obama’s record on Israel - Daily Caller

“We hope the impact of this ad is to show that the Obama campaign rhetoric about his record doesn’t match up to reality,” Pollak said. “There’s been an extensive effort by the Obama campaign to rewrite the president’s record on Israel.”

Pollak cited White House spokesman Jay Carney’s refusal to identify the capital of Israel as either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem on Thursday as evidence that “the Obama campaign doesn’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Tel Aviv is home to the United States Embassy in Israel, and somewhere former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk became very familiar with. Some of Indyk’s comments, made to Nahum Barnea of the daily Tel Aviv newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth in May, are featured in the ad: “From his [Obama's] first day in the White House, he put the Middle East at the top of his political agenda,” Indyk said. “Unfortunately for him, his personal involvement only made things worse.”


Daily Presidential Tracking Poll - Rasmussen via Drudge
Rasmussen: Romney leads by 5 percent nationally: 49-44 - Jonathan Easley/The Hill

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Marco Rubio to raise cash for Mitt Romney in Texas

Rubio, a rising Republican star, and Romney’s brother, Scott, will headline two fundraising events for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on Aug. 15 in San Antonio... - Scott Wong/Politico

Saturday’s visit to Ronnow Elementary School, where Rubio attended as a child, represents the first solo campaign event for the vice presidential prospect. In recent days, close Rubio allies — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Romney adviser Al Cardenas — have urged the presidential hopeful to tap the freshman senator for the No. 2 job.
But most pundits believe Romney will go with a safer pick, such as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty or Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

Still, the 41-year-old Rubio generates enormous enthusiasm among conservatives, and the Cuban American senator could help shore up support for Romney among Hispanics, a group that overwhelmingly favors President Barack Obama.

"It Worked"


Those wondering why the Department of Justice has refused to go after Jon Corzine for the vaporization of $1.6 billion in MF Global client funds need look no further than the documents uncovered by the Government Accountability Institute that reveal that the now-defunct MF Global was a client of Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer’s former law firm, Covington & Burling. - Breitbart

There’s more.

Records also reveal that MF Global’s trustee for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy retained as its general bankruptcy counsel Morrison & Foerester--the very law firm from which Associate Attorney General Tony West came to DOJ.

And more.

As Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer explains in the Washington Times Thursday, the trustee overseeing MF Global’s bankruptcy is former FBI Director Louis Freeh. At Holder’s Senate confirmation hearing Freeh served as a character witness for Holder and revealed that Holder had previously worked for Freeh. “As general counsel,” Freeh said, “I could have engaged any lawyer in America to represent our bank. I chose Eric.”

Until now, the conventional wisdom for why Holder wouldn’t throw the book at Corzine was that Corzine is an Obama campaign bundler. Indeed, as Breitbart News reported, four of the top officials at the Department of Justice--Eric Holder, Thomas Perrelli, Karol Mason, and Tony West--were also big money bundlers for Obama.

But the newly understood crony connections reveal conflicts of interest that extend well beyond mere political support for a common candidate--they go to a tangle of prior business dealings that further underscore the need for a special prosecutor in the Corzine case.

...This isn’t going away.

Carney Unable to Identify Capital of Israel

White House Press Briefing July 26, 2012 - Weekly Standard

Obama ad: “It’s a scary time to be a woman”

“I’ve never felt this way before, but it’s a scary time to be a woman,” says 30-something “Jenni.” “Mitt Romney is just so out of touch.” - Erika Johnsen/HotAir

A female narrator chimes in: “Romney opposes requiring insurance coverage for contraception and Romney supports overturning Roe vs. Wade. Romney backed a bill that outlawed all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.”

Busted… Team O Plants 3 “Surprised” Veterans at Out-of-the-Way Diner to Speak With Obama – Then Releases Their Bios

“No, they were not regulars.” The waitress who served President Obama, Mary, told me the veterans with whom the President discussed “health care” were not regulars. “Well, maybe one of the guys came in here before…” - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit

In fact, the Obama Campaign even had a copy of their bios on hand.
And, one of the veterans just happens to be an Obama for America volunteer!

What a complete surprise.
It was all manufactured – just for Obama.

UPDATED: Split Pea Soup and a Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Victoria Taft
Some surprise, Team Obama planned meet with 3 Veterans (actually, campaign volunteers) at diner in "surprise" stop - Dan Riehl
The three veterans who had lunch with President Barack Obama Tuesday in outer Northeast Portland didn't just happen to wander into the Gateway Breakfast House. - Oregon Live

All have connections to the Obama reelection campaign and were presumably chosen for good political reasons.

After all, Obama had given a speech Monday at a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, so the Portland lunch reinforced the message that president cares about vets. In addition, the local vets -- Thomas Foeller of Oak Grove and Mark Peterson and Dean Dilley, both of Portland -- are retired white males, a demographic the Obama campaign would certainly like to do better with.

Some surprise, Team Obama planned meet with 3 Veterans (actually, campaign volunteers) at diner in "surprise" stop - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

Report: 80% of Obama’s Top 2008 Campaign Bundlers Received Political Appointments…

Nearly 80 percent of bundlers who raised $500,000 or more for Mr. Obama were appointed to posts in the administration, according to a 2011 report by the Center for Public Integrity, which tracks campaign finance issues. - Weasel Zippers

While most envoys got perches in coveted capitals like Prague, Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen or Oslo, a few were sent to commercially or politically delicate posts like Canada and South Africa.

...A few of Mr. Obama’s fund-raisers cycled through their diplomatic posts quickly enough to be back in time for this election.... - NYT

Proposition 32, on the ballot in November, would curb union power.

Leftists attack Prop. 32 campaign reform - CalWatchDog

Not surprisingly, the major leftist organizations in the state oppose it, beginning with Common Cause and the supposedly unbiased League of Women Voters.

“I’m all for campaign finance reform,” said Derek Cressman, western regional director for Common Cause. “I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life working for campaign finance reform. I know campaign finance reform, and, friends, Prop. 32 is not campaign finance reform.”

But without this reform, the state really will go bankrupt — if it hasn’t already — because of union looting.

...So it’s going to be tough the get this reform passed. A similar reform, Proposition 75, was on the ballot in 2005 as one of four initiatives on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reform platform in that year’s November Special Election. The whole reform plank was badly conceived. And Schwarzenegger gave it his usual half-hearted attempt. He only ever campaigned hard for himself. After his reform plank was defeated, Schwarzenegger turned sharply to the left, passing massive new regulations, such as AB 32 and tax increases, that left the state in ruins similar to those on that island at the end of his movie “Commando.”

But the joke is on the unions, unCommon Cause, the League of Liberal Women Voters and their leftist cohorts. There’s no more money. Business and jobs are fleeing the state. California is going to have to cut union pay, perks and pensions — no matter what.

When you strangle the goose it no longer lays Golden State eggs.

Building on what you’ve built: A GREAT Story

10:57 min

My Patheos colleague Tim Dalrymple has a story and video that really should make everyone stop in their tracks and think about what we all mean when we say (or sneer) at each other: “success”, “capitalism”, “share”, “evil corporations”, “collectivism” and “church.” - The Anchoress

I like the clearly visible love, loyalty and respect that all of these folks in the video have for each other; I like that mass is offered daily “for those who want to come” — there is nothing compelled; I like that the people helped by this program do not simply find their success and forget about who helped them, but come back and help others.

CALIFORNIA: State budget is just sham to push tax hikes

It adds up to yet another sham budget instead of real reform. It also means this tired play will be back for another showing this fall and next year. - Tom Del Beccaro/Press-Enterprise

(T)his budget is not a balanced budget; it is a contingent budget. So-called “balance” is achieved by relying on voters to pass a tax increase this fall. Voters, however, have turned down the last eight statewide tax increases and they will turn down the tax increases on the ballot this fall just as they turned down the Prop. 29 tax increase in June.

What will happen then? The budget calls for automatic cuts to programs.

The programs facing those cuts will be used politically by Gov. Jerry Brown to scare voters into tax increases this fall — i.e. if you don’t pass this tax increase, we have to cut education, parks, public safety, etc. Everyone in Sacramento knows, however, that those automatic budget cuts, as they are currently formulated, will not actually be made. When push comes to shove, those cuts will be revised.

In other words, the current budget is not and never was meant to be the real budget. It is a political document Brown and the Democrat leaders will use to push tax increases.

Civil disobedience has never tasted so delicious! — and defense of the First Amendment from the forces of government-aimed political correctness never so child friendly and welcoming!

“Chicago Alderman to Chick-fil-A: No deal” - Protein Wisdom
Chick-fil-A President Pays the Cost of Being a Christian in America - George Rasley/Conservative HQ

In the wake of the anti-Christian attacks on Dan Cathy, and Chick-fil-A, FOX News commentator Mike Huckabee is organizing August 1 as "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." A day on which Governor Huckabee is encouraging people to patronize the fast food chain as a way of “affirming a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse.”

GM no longer #1, despite Obama’s campaign-trail claims

General Motors is no longer the number one automaker in the world, as President Obama has been touting on the campaign trail. - Ryan Lovelace/Daily Caller

GM spokesman Jim Cain told The Daily Caller via email GM sold 4.67 million automobiles through the first six months of 2012, which is 300,000 vehicles behind the 4.97 million automobiles Toyota sold during the same time frame according to the Associated Press.

“We were the largest automaker in 2011,” Cain said. “This year, Toyota has sold more vehicles CYTD (calendar year-to-date) as they continue to recover from [the] earthquake and tsunami.”

Such information puts a damper on President Obama’s ability to take credit for reviving GM with a bailout in 2009.

Government Motors Still Owes Taxpayers $42 Billion - Katie Pavlich/Townhall

Body Armor

Yesterday, the Senate narrowly voted (51-48) to raise taxes on 1.2 million small businesses, which will likely kill more than 700,000 jobs at a time when nearly 13 million Americans are out of work.

Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jim Webb (D-VA) joined all Republicans in bipartisan opposition to the tax hike. - Amy Payne/Heritage Morning Bell

This is President Obama's economic plan. This is what he asked Congress to do. And he recently told a fundraising crowd that his economic plan has been working...

The President's plan, now endorsed by the Democratic majority in the Senate, has little chance of going anywhere in the House of Representatives. But it has put the 51 Senators who want to raise taxes on record.

As Fiscal Cliff Nears...

Despite proclaiming that he’s eager to work with Congress on new legislation this year and determined not to let the country to drift over the looming “fiscal cliff,” President Obama has mostly stopped meeting with the main person who can help him get that done, House Speaker John Boehner. - White House Dossier

The country faces a massive tax increase and draconian automatic spending cuts at the end of the year if budget deals aren’t reached. Yet Obama’s last meeting with Boehner was more than two months ago, on May 16 at the White House. It was one of only two meetings Obama has had with Boehner all year....

The White House teed up 2012 with a spokesman’s remarkable statement that, “In terms of the president’s relationship with Congress in 2012 . . . the president is no longer tied to Washington,” adding that securing a year-long extension of the payroll tax cut was the last “must-do” piece of legislation for Obama.

The White House subsequently tried to reel that one back in, suddenly proclaiming it wanted a robust working relationship with Congress and hoped to get all kinds of great things done.

But the year has mostly panned out as first forecast, with Obama having little formal contact with even members of his own party while unceasingly wandering the country panhandling for campaign cash.

It undermines public faith in the entire state system of government. If the parks department could hide all of that money for all of that time, what are other departments doing?

Losing trust because of found money - SF Chronicle

The California Department of Parks and Recreation found $54 million and lost something far more valuable - the public's trust.

That's the upshot of last week's unsettling revelation that the Parks Department hid $54 million in special funds for more than a decade.

Over the past four years, the cash-strapped state slashed the department budget by more than $50 million. The parks' many supporters responded to the department's desperate pleas for funding under the threat of closure. By beating the bushes, supporters were able to raise just enough money to keep the parks open.

Or so they thought. Now it turns out that the department had money all along, even if $33.5 million of it is part of the Off-Highway Vehicle Fund and can't be used for general operations. This is terrible news for two reasons: First, because the public will be loath to do further fundraising for the park system, and second, because it undermines public faith in the entire state system of government. If the parks department could hide all of that money for all of that time, what are other departments doing?

The state must immediately address this matter with greater transparency. No department should be allowed to hide money from either the Department of Finance or the public.

California parks scandal: Honor system used to keep track of $37 billion in public funds - Santa Cruz Sentinel

With state leaders scrambling to find out how state parks officials kept tens of millions of dollars hidden for more than a decade, California's top finance officials Tuesday acknowledged what could be a far bigger problem: They have no system in place to account for $37 billion in "special funds'' scattered throughout state government.

Instead, finance officials revealed, they rely on an honor system to track money that could be stashed away in untold accounts similar to the funds that turned up last week, sparking a scandal in the state parks department.

Each year, dozens of state departments report how much money they have in more than 500 special-fund accounts, which are separate from the general-fund budget and mostly tap into user fees to make up more than a quarter of all state spending. But no one checks to ensure that the special-fund figures being reported match the actual cash left in the accounts....

The scandal has been a huge embarrassment for the Brown administration, which in campaigning for a November tax initiative had argued that the state was so broke it needed to close dozens of parks.

Hidden Funds, Unaccounted Funds and Tax Increases—Oh My! - Joel Fox/Fox&Hounds

We Need Mitt Romney

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Face your rival, Sen. Feinstein

It would benefit voters to hear both candidates articulate their positions on important issues. - LA Times Editorial

Sen. Dianne Feinstein had an excuse for not debating her opponents in the first round of this year's election — there were 23 of them. But now that the voters have winnowed the field to two, the four-term Democratic incumbent owes it to California's voters to appear publicly with Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken.

Emken, an advocate for autistic children, is obviously the underdog in this election. But she received 12.6% of the primary vote in the crowded field, almost twice as many votes as the third-place finisher. More to the point, as the only alternative to Feinstein, she has earned the right to challenge the incumbent on the issues — and to be challenged in return. It would be a disservice to the voters — and perhaps self-defeating — for Feinstein to remain aloof from any give and take with her opponent.

...Feinstein's long tenure and familiarity with California were obviously assets for her in the primary — she is, by most measures, the state's most highly regarded public official. But the risk for any long-serving official is the perception that she is taking her public trust for granted. Nothing screams "entrenched incumbent" more than a refusal to debate an opponent.
Elizabeth Emken

Capitol Alert: California appellate court turns back challenge to Proposition 13

Proposition 13, the landmark property tax limitation passed by California voters in 1978, has survived another legal assault.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles on Tuesday denied, without comment, an appeal of a lower court decision rejecting a challenge to the measure from Charles Young, the former chancellor of the UCLA campus.

Although Proposition 13 was upheld by the state Supreme Court shortly after its passage, Young contended that by requiring a two-thirds legislative vote for imposing new taxes, the measure constituited a "revision" of the state constitution that could not be enacted by voters.

While voter-approved initiatives can amend the constitution, revisions -- a more fundamental form of change -- must go through a constitutional convention or a constitutional revision commission.

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association: We just won a major legal battle against a UCLA professor who was suing to have Prop. 13 abolished by the courts. Yesterday, a California appellate court sided in our favor, dismissing his ridiculous arguments!

House passes Ron Paul’s ‘audit the Fed’ bill

In a move that serves as a capstone to Rep. Ron Paul’s colorful career, the House on Wednesday approved a bill that would let Congress’s chief investigators conduct a full audit of the Federal Reserve’s shrouded decision-making process. - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times

The overwhelming 327-98 vote sends the bill to the Senate where Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has previously expressed support for an audit — though it’s unclear he’ll carve out time for the legislation this year.

But House passage already marks a high-water mark for those who for years have been pushing for an audit, led by Mr. Paul. The Texas Republican rode the issue to prominence in two different presidential campaigns, and said the bill is a chance for Congress to begin to reclaim the money and banking powers it is given in the Constitution, but had delegated to the Fed.

“It is up to us to reassert ourselves,” Mr. Paul said during floor debate Tuesday.

"Ron Paul's 'Audit The Fed' bill is a reminder of his tireless efforts to promote sound money and a more transparent Federal Reserve," Romney posted on Twitter. - ABC

"...Ron Paul's 'Audit The Fed' bill is a reminder of his tireless efforts to promote sound money and a more transparent Federal Reserve," Romney posted on Twitter....

While Wednesday's passage in the lower chamber is a victory for Paul and his supporters, the bill is considered dead on arrival in the Senate. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Democrat, has vowed not to put it to a vote.

Presidential busts: The worst of all: Barack Obama

Editor's note: It's a presidential election year, so we thought we'd weigh in with our list of the five worst presidents. We start with, yes, the current incumbent. - UT San Diego

The runner-up: Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
Third place: James Buchanan (1857-1861)
Fourth place: Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
Fifth place: Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)

It’s now clear that Obama will have to campaign hard in Michigan just to play defense, and that will mean shifting resources from states like Ohio and Virginia that Republicans have to win back this year to beat him

New poll shows Romney edging Obama in Michigan - The race in Michigan looks slightly worse for Barack Obama after two recent polls cited by the Detroit News this morning. - Ed Morrissey/HotAir
Polls: Romney gaining in Michigan - Detroit News
Michigan: Romney vs. Obama - RCP Average
Michigan voters think the economy is in rough shape, but President Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney in that state. - Rasmussen

Video: Mitt Romney Addresses VFW Convention (Full Speech)

Mitt Romney

NFRW: Political Briefing for the Week of July 23, 2012

Political Briefing for the Week of July 23, 2012 - Women Cannot Afford Another Four Years of Obama
Under President Obama, the number of women in poverty has skyrocketed.
Women have been hit hardest in every poverty-related category.
17 million women are now in poverty, 800,000 more than when Obama took office.
7.5 million women are in the extreme poverty category.
4 out of 10 female-headed families are stuck in poverty.
The poverty rate for Hispanic women is growing faster than any other group.
2.5 million women over 65 are impoverished.
In the job market in Obama's economy, women are not faring as well as other groups.
Men are gaining 4 times as many jobs as women.
Over three-fourths of a million more women than men are unemployed.
Poverty, unemployment, fading hope. That's not the change Americans voted for.

Obama's Immigration Plans
On July 3, the Washington Times' front page headlines underscored the fact that Obama's "federal immigration authorities have begun granting tentative legal status to illegal immigrants under President Obama's deportation halt."

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) revealed that he has learned illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than five years have had their deportations canceled even though Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had reported the five-year mark as one of the criteria for canceling deportation. Rep. Smith claimed to have documents laying out how immigration enforcement officers "should actively search for illegal immigrants who are 'apparently eligible' to have their cases dropped." Those immigrants would then be "granted tentative status."

Obama and Secretary Napolitano announced that they will unilaterally halt deportations for illegal immigrants who would have qualified for the Dream Act – legislation that never passed Congress. Since the legislation never passed, Obama is relying on eligibility rules that his administration has put into place.

The Washington Times, which has obtained the documents referred to by Rep. Smith, explained that, under Obama's plan, those granted a stay of deportation are given permission to work in the U.S., which could lead to hundreds of thousands newly-legal workers entering the economy.

Voter-registration forms being sent to Virginia residents and addressed to deceased relatives, children, family pets and others ineligible to vote.

Romney camp asks Va. to probe voter forms - Richmond Times-Dispatch

Nearly one in 10 employers to drop health coverage

Do Blue States Expand Medicaid? By Paying Doctors Less - Obamacare includes a temporary, two-year bump in Medicaid fees for primary care, expiring in 2014. Progressives hope that this bump will become permanent, in the way that the Medicare “doc fix” has. But our $1.4 trillion budget deficit makes that outcome unlikely. - Avik Roy/Forbes
Could ObamaCare Make The Uninsured Problem Worse? - John Merline/IBD
Examiner Editorial: Obamacare will provide less at greater cost - Washington Examiner
...Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released a new cost estimate for Obamacare incorporating the Roberts opinion, which upheld the individual mandate as a tax. Previously, the CBO estimated that some 27 million Americans would pay some $54 billion in penalties through 2022, and still go without health insurance. Yesterday, the CBO updated the numbers, predicting that some 30 million Americans will pay $55 billion in taxes and still go without health insurance.

In addition to the $1 billion tax hike on some 3 million Americans, the vast majority of whom make far, far less than $200,000 a year, Roberts' decision also increased the likelihood that employers will face penalties for not complying with Obamacare's employer mandate....
Nearly one in 10 employers to drop health coverage - Paige Winfield Cunningham - The Washington Times

“Once you had the county clerk and once you had the Democratic commissioner, you had control,” he said

Drug money funds voter fraud in Kentucky - Eric Shawn/FOX

American Crossroads: "Replay"

I could have put this ad into one of our other posts on the latest “You didn’t build that” developments, but it really deserves a post of its own. - Ed Morrissey/HotAir

Democrats Plan To Go Nuclear On Romney “You Didn't Build This” Attack - Zeke Miller/Buzzfeed

3 hurdles for Romney as campaign intensifies - Byron York/Washington Examiner
Obama complains Romney is ‘knowingly twisting my words’ on business - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @CharlieSpiering
Romney: Context of Obama business comments worse than the quote - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @CharlieSpiering
MSNBC rushes to defend President Obama’s anti-business remarks - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @CharlieSpiering

Gov. Sununu: Obama and his campaign are delusional

The topic was mainly Obama denying that he was attacking businesses and success, of which Sununu said he’s delusional. He said that of course Obama meant it, noting that every time Obama gets into “that funny-talk cadence of his” you know he’s about to spout class warfare. - The Right Scoop

“It Worked!” President “Doing Fine” Obama Proud of Failed Economic Policies - John Boehner

Obama on the economy: ‘We tried our plan — and it worked’ - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @Joelmentum

Freddoso on Twitter: Obama's comment that he tried his economic plan "and it worked" is more damning than than #youdidntbuildthat

President Obama has misjudged the American spirit - Elizabeth Ames/Daily Caller

President Obama thinks he can attract voters by persuading them that their problems would disappear if only “rich people” paid “their fair share” and were less rich. Not everyone realizes that the top ten percent of earners already pay 70 percent of all federal income taxes. But most people in our entrepreneurial nation understand that you can’t have employees unless you have employers. If you make doing business harder and more expensive through costly regulations and higher taxes, fewer jobs will be created. That’s why the Obama economy is limping today.

New Chart Shows Feds Strangling U.S. Business in Red Tape

“If you talk to any small businessperson in America — somebody who worked hard, took a risk, risked capital, built something — the first thing they say is, ‘With all due respect, Mr. President, I built this business, you didn’t,’” Hensarling observed. - Deroy Murdock/National Review

“The second thing they’re going to say is, ‘Mr. President, since there has now been a 52 percent increase in major regulations or red tape in your administration and more regulations on the books than in any time in the history of America, not only did you not build this business, you’re hurting this business.’”

“The blunt truth is if the U.S. gets it right, the rest of the world has a chance to get it right. If we get it wrong, the rest of the world is in trouble.”


So why is this election critical? You know why. We are truly at one of freedom’s crossroads and it’s not just us, it’s the world. The blunt truth is if the U.S. gets it right, the rest of the world has a chance to get it right. If we get it wrong, the rest of the world is in trouble....

Democrat Senator: Obama White House Behind National Security Leaks

Feinstein to Obama: National security leaks are coming from the White House - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @Joelmentum
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., confirmed that a recent spate of national security leaks originated in the White House as she called for President Obama to stop the flow of information out of the White House.

“I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from it’s ranks,” Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman, said yesterday during her address to the World Affairs Council. “I don’t know specifically where, but there — I think they have to begin to understand that and do something about it.”

Feinstein added that “the importance of this has to be really set by the president himself, and hopefully he will do it.” She explained the real-world consequences of the leaks during her talk. “The human intelligence comes from people, and therefore those people who are called assets for intelligence officers are in danger, and I can tell you without any doubt that with the recent leaks they have been jeopardized,” she said. “I can tell you without any doubt that with the recent leaks, they’ve been jeopardized.”

Feinstein also said that “the importance of this has to be really set by the president himself, and hopefully he will do it.”

...Before Feinstein had concluded her investigation, Obama denied categorically that the leaks had come from the White House. “The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive,” Obama told reporters in June. “It’s wrong.
Romney agrees with Feinstein remarks–Blames White House for intelligence leaks - Seth McLaughlin/Washington Times
Feinstein walks back claim that White House is behind national security leaks - Matthew Boyle/Daily Caller
Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said at a Monday event, “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from its ranks. I don’t know specifically where, but I think they have to begin to understand that and do something about it.”

After quoting Feinstein in a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nevada, Romney called the White House’s conduct during this leaks scandal “contemptible.”

“It betrays our national interest,” Romney said. “It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel, with explanation and consequence. Obama appointees, who are accountable to President Obama’s Attorney General, should not be responsible for investigating the leaks coming from the Obama White House.”

After Romney’s speech, Feinstein decided to walk her comments back.
Sununu: Feinstein got 'Cory Bookered' - Politico
“Sen. Feinstein said yesterday that it did come out of the White House,” Sununu said Tuesday night on Fox News’s “Hannity.” “Today, she got Cory Bookered and she walked it back, but the fact is that this president is trying anything to change the subject from his failures as a president.”
Axelrod: Obama didn’t ‘authorize’ anyone at White House to leak - The Hill

Could California Go the Scott Walker Way?

When it comes to stopping systemic reform, the California affiliates of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers will spend as much money as they can to do so.

Nine years ago, the two unions spent profligately to defeat a school choice initiative. Two years later in 2005, the two unions spent millions — including $58 million from the NEA branch alone — to defeat then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ballot initiative to increase the number of years newly-hired teachers gained near-lifetime employment from two years to five, and other initiatives aimed at reducing state spending. In the process, the NEA and AFT helped their public sector union allies weaken Schwarzenegger’s efforts to overhaul the state’s byzantine government structure and fix its woeful fiscal condition.

...the two unions have gotten their way on nearly every educational issue — including the passage of a law last year that bans districts from laying off teachers at the expense of fewer days in school for children in need of more time in classrooms, and Brown’s decision to cancel funding for the CalTIDES teacher data system (effectively ending efforts to overhaul teacher evaluations).

But now, the NEA and AFT find themselves on the defensive where it counts: The millions in union dues it collects annually from rank-and-file members (including teachers forced to pay so-called agency fees despite not being interested in union membership). Thanks to Sacramento-based election lawyer and ballot mastermind Tom Hiltachk, the two unions (along with other public sector unions such as the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) must now deal with Proposition 32, a campaign finance law that would stop them from using member dues for financing ballot and political campaigns. Taking a page out of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s successful passage of the collective bargaining ban, which also put an end to the NEA and AFT forcing teachers and others to pay dues to them, Prop. 32 would only allow the two unions to collect campaign cash from members and those teachers who aren’t members but are generally supportive of their defense of traditional public education policies and practices.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Apple buys land for Austin, Texas, expansion

Apple Inc. has bought three properties in Austin, Texas, as it prepares to expand a campus there by about 1 million square feet. - Silicon Valley Business Journal

Apple has said it plans to bring 3,600 new jobs and invest more than $300 million in Austin as it races to keep up with its growing sales.
In return it has been given about $37 million in incentives from local governments and the state of Texas.

These Aren't Gaffes


California appeals court sides with multistate firms on taxes

Multistate corporations scored a major victory Tuesday in their long-running legal battle with California tax authorities over how they are to be taxed, one that could cost the state treasury hundreds of millions of dollars. - Dan Walters/Sacramento Bee

Obama still trying to explain ‘you didn’t build that’ comment

Amid signs that Republican Mitt Romney’s attacks on President Obama’s economic views are having an impact, Mr. Obama is trying for the second straight week to clarify his comments that self-made entrepreneurs aren’t entirely responsible for their own success. - Washington Times

And there’s evidence the attacks are gaining traction with voters. A USA/Today Gallup poll released Monday found that a record number of Americans express skepticism about Mr. Obama’s view of the activist role of government: 61 percent say the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Gallup said it was the highest number since the polling outfit began asking the question in 1992.

Rev C.L. Bryant: What has the Republican Party Done for African Americans?

In an interview with the Rev C.L. Bryant on the Rob and Dave Show at 640 WGST Radio in Atlanta Bryant takes a caller to task and explains how the democrat party is the party of slavery and how the republican party has been the party of civil rights from the very beginning right up to today.

NOTE : the term African-Americans is a Political Correct statement. Political correctness is the thing that is most divisive right now in America. We are either Americans or we are not. You can be black or white or brown. But if your a citizen of these United States then your a JUST "AMERICAN". a member of one Race. The Human Race!

Runaway Slave - A Film About Freedom

Trailer #1

Trailer #2

RUNAWAY SLAVE is a compelling, insightful look at how government policies have systematically re-enslaved the black population in the United States. Through entitlements and other government programs, a perpetual state of welfare exists, creating what can only be described as a form of modern slavery for a large percentage of the African-American community. The documentary features Rev. C.L. Bryant, who proudly refers to himself as a "runaway slave." This former NAACP chapter president left the organization after concluding its goals were more about political posturing than actual civil rights. Rev. Bryant says he escaped the bondage of progressivism and denounced the shackles of entitlements. He now has committed himself to helping others secure the blessings of liberty that are guaranteed by the Constitution. While Rev. Bryant's compelling story helps launch the film, we soon discover he is not alone as he treks across the new Underground Railroad in America.
"Run away from the slavery of tyranny toward the blessings of liberty!"

Community honors Supervisor Jimmy Smith at his last meeting

Photo: The Journal 2008

First District Supervisor Jimmy Smith received numerous accolades this morning during the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting in honor of his service. - The Times-Standard

Smith spent the first two hours of the meeting receiving more than 15 plaques and presentations from government officials and organizations. Congressman Mike Thompson gave a presentation by way of video from Washington, D.C., thanking Smith for his mentorship.

”You will always be one of my best friends,” Thompson said.

Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro and a representative from Sen. Noreen Evans' office gave in-person presentations.

”You care deeply and it's not easy to do this work when you have the kind of heart you have,” Chesbro said to Smith.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Fish and Game, the local American Cancer Society, the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Eureka City Council, the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce, the North Coast Integrated Regional Water Management Plan board, the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, county Veterans Service Office and representatives of supervisors in Sonoma, Mendocino and Trinity counties all spoke about Smith.

Jacque Smith, Jimmy Smith's wife of 44 years, addressed the board and her husband. She said ever since her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic lymphoma in 1992 -- a disease he beat -- he's been on a mission to serve the community. Smith now faces another battle with lymphoma and will be stepping down from office on Aug. 3 after more than a decade of service.

Additional speakers included Sheriff Mike Downey, Public Works Director Tom Mattson, Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich, Chief Probation Officer Bill Damiano, Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro field representative John Woolley and 1st District Supervisor-elect Rex Bohn. Bohn was recently appointed by the governor to take over the rest of Smith's term.

Each of the supervisors took the opportunity to thank Smith for his service, using the words “mentor,” “gentleman,” “friend” and other terms of endearment to describe Smith.
Smith thanked all the presenters and more than 20 public speakers for their kind words. He thanked each of the supervisors for their work and support during this most recent hurdle in his life.

”I'm so honored to be a little part of your lives,” Smith said.

Senator Rubio Meets with Leaders in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS: First Lady Of Haiti, UNAIDS Executive Director & Sir Elton John


The hidden Mitt Romney

Romney is, people who know him best say, a man who has performed acts of kindness over the years. But he won’t talk about it, and his campaign, which has studiously avoided highlighting his faith this cycle, makes little effort to fill out the page. - Maggie Haberman (@maggiepolitico)

...A high-level Romney backer said Romney “feels it’s unseemly to talk about that stuff. And it’s really hard for him to get around it. And I think he’s had to make compromises to deal with this process. … Do you know how much money he gives away? It’s enormous.”
The backer acknowledged there is “an overlay” in terms of concern about focusing attention on the church: “He doesn’t want to visit his publicity, his celebrity in a way that causes the church [scrutiny],” he said.

Who's to blame for the Calif. GOP collapse?

The dismal state of the Republican Party in the nation’s largest state is a subject that's beyond debate. But the question of who or what is responsible for the collapse of the California GOP remains a highly charged issue, as indicated by the response to Adam Nagourney’s New York Times report today. - Charles Mahtesian/Politico

Nagourney writes that the state party is “caught in a cycle of relentless decline, and appears in danger of shrinking to the rank of a minor party.”

There is not a single Republican holding statewide office. Democrats overwhelmingly control the State Assembly and Senate. In interviews, Republicans were unable to come up with any names of credible candidates preparing to run for statewide office. By contrast, the Democratic bench is bustling with ambitious younger politicians who are waiting for their moment.

Tom Del Beccaro responds on Facebook:

The New York Times piece is grossly inaccurate. It reads like someone who wrote it by doing minimal surface research and calling the usual suspects/detractors. At the start of this year, we were told that Republicans would lose seats in the Congress, Senate and Assembly - that Armageddon was around the corner. However, independent analysts without an ax to grind now see the Republicans holding serve in Congress, possibly picking up seats in Congress and holding on to their Senate seats. This November, Prop 32 could well pass bring reforms to our system including barring direct contributions from corporations and unions and paycheck protection. When that passes, California will have a more level playing field, Republicans will have a new day and be rather competitive statewide.

Calif. GOP chair slams Times story - Charles Mahtesian/Politico

The chairman is correct that, aside from the presidential race, this could be a decent year for the state GOP — at the congressional level at least, the situation no longer looks as grim for the California GOP House delegation.

But even with the reforms Del Beccaro points to, it’s still a long road back to the days when Marin County was competitive, when Orange County could accurately be called “America’s Most Republican County,” and California regularly produced nominees for the national GOP ticket.

The 19 most left-wing members of the U.S. Senate

According to the American Conservative Union, the following 19 Senators compiled the most left-wing voting record in 2011. -

A score of 0.00 indicates that the senator voted against the conservative position in each of these 20 votes (in a few instances, the senator did not cast a vote).
Alaska Democrat Mark Begich - Score of 0.0 in 2011
California Democrat Barbara Boxer - Score of 0.0 in 2011
Delaware Democrat Chris Coons - Score of 0.0 in 2011
Hawaii Democrat Daniel Akaka - Score of 0.0 in 2011
Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin - Score of 0.0 in 2011
Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski - Score of 0.0 in 2011
Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin - Score of 0.0 in 2011
[running for reelection this year]
Michigan Democrat Carl Levin - Score of 0.0 in 2011
Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow - Score of 0.0 in 2011
[running for reelection this year]
Minnesota Democrat Al Franken - Score of 0.0 in 2011
Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar - Score of 0.0 in 2011
[running for reelection this year]
Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill - Score of 0.0 in 2011
[running for reelection this year]
Nevada Democrat Harry Reid - Score of 0.0 in 2011
New York Democrat Chuck Schumer - Score of 0.0 in 2011
Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown - Score of 0.0 in 2011
[running for reelection this year]
Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey - Score of 0.0 in 2011
[running for reelection this year]
Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed - Score of 0.0 in 2011
Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse - Score of 0.0 in 2011
[running for reelection this year]
West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller - Score of 0.0 in 2011

Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll: Romney leading Obama by 3 points nationally

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Mitt Romney attracting 46% of the vote, while President Obama earns support from 43%. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) more are undecided. - Rasmussen

IN MEMORIAM: Alexander Cockburn was a wonderful neighbor.

Friendship From Right to Left - Peter Hannaford/American Spectator Online

It seems to be next to impossible these days to bridge the gulf between right and left and make friends with someone on the other side, but it can happen. Thanks to a newspaper columnist, this Reagan Republican met and became good friends with the self-professed "Old Leftist," Alexander Cockburn, 25 or so years ago.

The late Herb Caen, who for years chronicled the daily doings in and around San Francisco, dropped me a note saying, "Say hello to your neighbor and my friend Cockburn." I'd heard he had moved in down the road in our quiet, rural valley on the northern California coast. I thought of him as a fire-breathing, sharp-penciled excoriator of all things conservative. Nevertheless, I stopped by and introduced myself.

I found Alex to be friendly -- actually cordial -- and somewhat self-effacing. We agreed to get together for a talk over drinks soon, and did. Thus began a friendship that lasted until last weekend when he died unexpectedly of cancer. Almost none of his friends was aware that he was contending with the ailment.

He and his daughter, Daisy, came to dinner in the late spring and he looked as he always did, disheveled, but cheerful. No word about his health. In the early summer he went to Paris to join Daisy and some friends. In an e-mail he said he expected to return to California in August. Instead, he checked into a treatment center in Germany where he passed away at age 71.

Anglo-Irish by birth, Alexander Cockburn became an American citizen. He was amused by the irony that one of his ancestors had led British troops in burning Washington, D.C. in the War of 1812. He enjoyed irony, for it often drew attention to human folly, of which he thought there was an endless supply. His sparkling sense of humor could turn a recitation about some humdrum event into a hilarious send-up.

A prolific writer he was featured at various times in the Village Voice, the Nation, the Los Angeles Times, even the Wall Street Journal. He authored or co-authored several books and lectured on many college campuses.

He was motivated by a deep sense of fairness. Sometimes it manifested itself in over-the-top comments, but it was always heartfelt. He also had a strong libertarian streak. On quite a few issues, our views coincided. For example, when it came to the 9/11 "Truthers," who believed that George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld engineered the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, he thought their view was preposterous. When an apolitical civil engineer offered to write an article showing how planted explosives (part of the "Truthers" belief) could not possibly have brought down the buildings, Alex devoted an issue of his newsletter, Counterpunch, to it.

He thought Al Gore was a fraud and that global warming was, if not a hoax, at least the product of self-delusion.

He attacked the "recovered memory" phenomenon of about 20 years ago, in which some feminist sociologists set out to "prove" that most fathers had molested their daughters.

Similarly, he was highly critical of the rush-to-judgment atmosphere surrounding several alleged play school scandals in which young children supposedly claimed that the owners conducted Satanic rituals in school. In several of these cases, the resulting hysteria caused lives to be unjustly ruined by prison sentences.

He had an interesting hobby -- a fondness for automobiles made by Chrysler. Over the years he had many -- usually four or five at a time. There were Plymouths and Dodges, but his long-time favorite was a 1956 red Chrysler convertible which made its anti-royalist owner look regal driving down the road.

As friends do, we shared many meals, stories, ideas, and did occasional favors for one another. He was a good neighbor and a good friend. All of us who knew him will miss his effervescence, his warmth, and -- even when we disagreed -- his passion.

Peter Hannaford’s latest book is Reagan's Roots: The People and Places That Shaped His Character.