I had the pleasure of meeting Pamela Gorman a couple weeks ago at RightOnline in Las Vegas. I was familiar with the AZ-3 race, but was highly impressed with her, and am happy to be able to support her. I’m going to tell my favorite Pamela Gorman story, as she told it to us on the Tammy Bruce Show while we were broadcasting from Vegas:
“Most recently I served in leadership in the [AZ state] Senate, I was the Senate Majority Whip. And I got a little bit ot notoriety, probably not outside of Arizona. I had been brought in one day and told that the Governor, the Republican governor, wanted a billion dollar a year tax increase during a recession. I said ‘well, tell her no, we’re not going to do it’. And for a couple weeks the guys held with me on it… Jan Brewer right now is, you know, the darling, because she got forced politically into signing a bill she never wanted to see, but, God bless her, she signed it, so we’ll flip her that. During her beginning time as Governor, she was not elected, she ascended into that position when Napolitano went to Washington, and we were handed complete disarray in her office, not of her own doing, but they didn’t have anything to go on. So she had told the Legislature, go do what you do, get a budget together, I’ll trust you. You know this stuff, I don’t, get it going.
So that’s what we did. We set about putting together a responsible budget with proper spending cuts so that we could balance the budget. We had a 38% downturn in revenue, it was serious in Arizona. Continue reading →
Yes, you all know that the monstrosity of a health care bill made it through the house late Saturday night. It was bi-partisan… in that ONE Republican – Anh Joseph Cao – decided to become a One Term Representative by voting for it.
Meanwhile, 39 Democrats voted AGAINST it, bringing the final vote to 220 – 215. Aren’t you glad a full 1/6 of our economy passed with such a decisive victory? I know that’s at least a comfort. The true bi-partisanship was in the opposition.
In my opinion, the Stupak Amendment put it over the top. It was the amendment that placed limitations on abortions. Which sounds like a good thing, right? In this case it so wasn’t. All it did was give the fence-sitters cover. They could vote for it with a clean conscience, and a lot of them did. Obviously. Joke’s on them though, because the amendment will probably be done away with in committee.
Well done, GOP.
I’m not going to lie, the defeat stung. We busted our tails – all of us. I was amazed at how many people turned. And a vote that close renders it that much harder to force through in the Senate. I hate to say it’ll never go through, because honestly, things stopped surprising me a long time ago. They forced this victory. They postponed until enough votes could be hustled… and make no mistake, that’s how all the last minute votes were pulled together. If it were a slam dunk they would certainly not have postponed the vote, brought Obama in for a pep rally, or anything of the sort.
One thing I can say is that it was the first thing to bring Republicans together in a long time. Who knew that many had a back bone? I won’t give them too much credit – they’re realizing how much power we have. A lot of it is a political move. But regardless, they’ve decided to listen. Too bad the Democrats don’t care.
After Thursday, I was totally wiped out, but Rep. King called for another rally at the Capitol on Saturday. A ton of GOP Representatives were there, and there was a great crowd for less than a day’s notice. Here are some of the photos:
Two of my favorite women. Clearly a serious moment.
Pretty shot of Michele Bachmann
They unraveled the bill - pages stuck end to end - and it ran along the entire lawn all the way up the stairs into the building.
Three copies of the monstrosity.
Rep. Shaddegg got riled up and chucked it from the podium. I had my Flip.
Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) — Senate Republicans vowed to block President Barack Obama’s nominee for surgeon general and other health officials unless the government drops what they said is a “gag order” barring insurers from lobbying their Medicare policyholders on the health-insurance overhaul.
The move by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and seven other Republicans would delay confirmation of almost a dozen nominees for Health and Human Services positions, including Dr. Regina Benjamin to become surgeon general.
“Until your department rescinds its gag order and allows seniors to receive information about matters before Congress, we will not consent” to move forward with the confirmations, the eight Republicans said in a letter today to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
How’s that whole transparency thing working out, huh? I’m actually kind of shocked that they called it what it is – a gag order. What else can you really call legally silencing a private company?
Humana has every right in the world to disseminate information to their insured. In fact, they have an OBLIGATION to do so! There are Clintonian rules still in place that allow insurers keep their insured informed about legislative changes.
But why on earth would the one calling for dialogue and action work so hard to shut down opposing voices? Easy: the facts are inconvenient. The “solution” driven left seems to ignore the fact that there are ethics involved. That maybe companies have a reponsibility to let the people that rely on them for their health care know that their coverage may be affected.
“Republicans jeopardize their own credibility when they choose to defend big insurance companies trying to make false claims about senior citizens,” Schultz said.
Except… they may not actually be false. No one can seem to prove otherwise. Instead of doing so, they issue nothing short of a gag order to keep the whole thing under wraps, and hope it goes away.
Read the letter to Sebelius here. Yes, that’s Grassley’s signature… I was surprised too.
My bet? They’re hanging on by a thread, desperately trying to sell this false ideological argument, and praying that the short attention span of the general public allows this to slip through.
If anything, the Democrats’ problem is that they permit too much dissent—unlike the Republicans, who demand “lockstep marching.” In fact, if Democrats would learn to be just a little less tolerant of dissent, they might get a lot more done.
Yeah, they just get STEAMROLLED. Poor little Democrats, bullied by the Republicans over and over again. Like that time they kept the House floor open to make sure that Republicans also had time to speak. Or maybe that time they took the time to hear the concerns of the public on the stimulus package before it was rammed through.
Or maybe when they listened so closely to concerns about health care. They were SO RECEPTIVE to widespread concern that President Obama didn’t have to go on TV 4 times a day for an entire 3 month stretch to say the SAME THING over and over. Republicans were just bastards who didn’t bother offering any other plans.
Uh, right. (Side note: I need a sarcasm font desperately.)
They have a 60 seat supermajority in the Senate. They have a 70 seat advantage in the House. They have a President who is willing to ram through as much horrible legislation as possible. They don’t need one Republican to accomplish anything. Not one nasty little GOPer has the ability to stand in the way of the their Utopian society under Team Lightbringer.
I have no patience for the pity game. Man up, lefties. You have the power to do whatever you want. You claim the the whole world wants your version of America. In the words of our President, “the stars have aligned”. Why aren’t you making this happen?
Democrats are realizing that their constituents don’t want them to support these proposals. They’re risking their jobs by consistently casting “yes” votes for bad bills. We are the ones that hired them. We have the ability to fire them.
WE are the ones standing in their way- you, me, and everyone else who has voiced their opposition. Keep holding their feet to the fire.
Upside of this administration: We all thought the GOP was dead. And slowly, they’re remembering what it means to be a Republican. Stacy Mott has said, and I’ve often quoted, that Obama is currently the leader of the conservative movement.
Let’s face it, he’s done more to mobilize us than anyone else has. The numbers from the 9/12 march, and at rallies across the country, have proved that this is more than a fringe contingent of the right. Despite what any media source would have you believe.
You have named men to office so wildly irresponsible, so extreme in their positions, so vulgar in their means of expression, that they have made the Republican Party regain its of gleam of gentility and good graces. I am not talking only about the tough guy/ballet dancer Rahm Emanuel, who screamed like a jilted drunken sorority girl at GOP leaders after Joe Wilson’s outburst (itself a disgrace) last Wednesday night.”
He has brought more energy and conviction to Republicans and the right than I thought possible six months ago. So, for that I thank you, President Obama. You are exposing the flaws in liberal policy faster than anyone else in recent history has been able to – even Jimmy Carter.
A few months ago I’d given up on the party. Now, I see a glimmer of hope. I see Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Mike Pence turn out for the 9/12 rally, and say the things that conservatives have been dying to hear from their Congressmen.
Granted, there are those that still need to be held accountable. There are those that I still have no use for. McCain adviser Mark McKinnon said this last week:
Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and other Republicans, said there is an “opportunity for Republicans” to tap into legitimate fears about an overreaching federal government. But he said that “right-wing nutballs are aligning themselves with these movements” and are dominating media coverage.
“It’s bad for Republicans because in the absence of any real leadership, the freaks fill the void and define the party,” McKinnon said.
So now we’re not only extremists, nut jobs, a mob, racist, etc… but one of the men who was supposed to be one our side refers to us as “freaks”. McKinnon, maybe if there were a leader who did his job and stopped pretending to be a Democrat to appeal to both sides, we wouldn’t have an absence of leadership. The fact that we don’t have a real leader tells me two things:
This is a movement of the people. This is bottom up. This is grassroots. There is no top down organization happening – anyone paying attention knows there ISN’T anyleadership.
The former leaders have been pushed aside, because we have decided that they don’t represent us. And I’m good with that.
I can honestly say that at this moment I’m grateful Barack Obama won the election, if for no other reason than to get us off our butts and force us to pay attention. I have very little faith that John McCain would have done a better job… and Republicans would still have been taking the blame. If Obama is the fall out from 8 years of Bush, I would hate to see what the fall out would be if another Republican screwed things up. The rapidfire legislation and the grandeur of this administration has provided a stark contrast, and put things in perspective for many.
For the first time, I say thank you, President Obama. You’ve given us the wake up call we needed to mobilize.
George Washington University’s annual Battleground poll is hailed as one of the most accurate polls in American politics. It is a bipartisan poll, conducted by both Republican and Democrat pollsters.
I spoke this morning with Ed Goeas, President and CEO of the Tarrance Group, to get his take on some of the data.
The overall theme of the numbers is that President Obama is being tested on his spending. That is what people are now paying attention to… which accounts for his relatively low job approval in relation to his personal approval. The trend, according to Goeas, is an opportunity for the GOP.
“The biggest thing was the intensity of the Republican voters. This is the first time we’ve had that advantage in five or six years,” he explains. In addition, the generic ballot is only +3 for Democrats.
How significant is that +3? Not very, according to Goeas, who cites Michael Barone’s theory that the plus three is actually relatively even when you take minority districts into account. Both men draw a parallel to the numbers of the Republican Revolution of 1994.
In addition, the the Independent voters are swaying with the Republicans for the first time in five or six years as well – and in some cases, the intensity of the Independent voter is even stronger than that of the Republicans. The lack of intensity in some scenarios, says Goeas, is a carry over from the significant disappointment experiences by Republicans in recent years.
“The determining factor is Independent voters. They respond to thematics, not specifics.” And they’re responding to the Republican thematics in a big way.
The Obama administration seems to have fallen into a trap. They ran the most researched campaign in history, spending $30 million in September and October alone… more than the Republicans and Democrats combined spend in the last three elections. That has continued into the presidential term – they’re still investing heavily in polling.
What are they really gaining from the polling? According to Goeas, they’re learning which words get them high poll numbers. They’re not refining policy to raise numbers, they’re rephrasing the question. The language changes – we’re gone from “is the stimulus working” to “Is the stimulus on track”. We started with “health care reform” and moved in to “insurance reform”. They figured out that people don’t care as much about universal coverage as they do about lowering cost… so that has become the focus.
People still trust the Democrats on the three largest issues: health care, education, and the economy. Those are long time Democratic strongholds, and that is powerful. How powerful? Ed reminds us that regardless of the inherent trust on issues, Republicans have won on specifics in these areas before. It’s possible.
So I asked Mr. Goeas what the takeaways from this survey should be. What exactly were the opportunities he was alluding to? He summed it up in three points:
GOP intensity is rising. That momentum could be good in Virgina and New Jersey. Voters are passionate, and that is good.
The Independents are swinging to the right. Bonus.
The GOP is doing well with the senior vote. That matters. Generally, in non-presidential election years, the senior vote rises 5% and the youth vote drops 5%. This could mean good things for mid terms.
Go check out the numbers. Seize the opportunities. Knowledge is your friend.
So Sarah Palin. I tried to avoid writing about her resignation, mainly because the coverage was relentless. That was, until today of course, when Michael Jackson’s funeral dominated all major new coverage.
Can I sum up that coverage for you? He’s still dead. I promise. You can hold me to that if you like.
I’ve thought about Palin a lot over the weekend. I like her, despite some of my past criticism. I think she’s smart, her record in Alaska is undeniable, and she’s got a lot of potential. More than anything, I appreciate her small government, fiscally responsible instincts. My main criticism is that she inspires an Obama-esque cult of personality. Her supporters seem to have a hard time acknowledging when she does something questionable – which she has done and will do again should she stay politically involved. While she may be one of the most promising figures on our side, she is not above reproach, and we can’t blame EVERYTHING that comes out of her mouth on the media. Sometimes she is just human, sometimes we are going to disagree with her, and that’s okay. We need to hold people accountable – ESPECIALLY the ones on our side.
In addition, I believe that she has been entirely too silent on particular issues. She has avoided discussing amnesty, in particular, and this is a problem. We need to hear more. This is also okay – for now. She’s new, she’ll develop. But we need to let her do so and not throw her into the Oval Office until we know more – for the sake of her political future, and for our own well being.
I equate her resignation in a way to John McCain’s stunt during the election. When economic collapse hit, he suspended his campaign in order to return to Washington and participate in the original bailout negotiations. That was a huge opportunity. Obviously, he ended up blowing it by refusing to take any stand or have any real role in the process.
I believe this is where Sarah Palin is right now. She has resigned in order to increase her effectiveness. She has a huge opportunity. If she takes this opportunity to begin her 2012 run, her career will completely implode on itself. The act will be rightly viewed as a completely selfish political stunt. If she actually uses the time to help raise money for other candidates, harnessing the draw that she has and using it to raise money for a financially struggling Republican Party, then she’ll come out looking good.
I really don’t think I have an opinion on this either way until I see what she actually does with it. Then I’ll know what her actual motives are… call me a cynic. I think this was a huge risk, and how it turns out is entirely in Sarah Palin’s hands. For now, I have faith that her good instincts will take her away from a 2012 run.
Maybe people are waking up? This is me being uncharacteristically positive… here’s some GOOD news this week:
Polls are showing that a majority realize Obama’s economic policies aren’t working. From Gallup:
Americans have become increasingly less positive about Obama’s handling of the economy in recent months, and are most negative when asked to say whether they approve of his handling of the federal deficit and federal spending.
So while is overall ratings as a person are still positive overall, they’re eroding. Which is normal – the honeymoon is over. We’re getting past the novelty of having a shiny new president, and his actions are finally being looked at. The part I’m seeing as a positive is that Obama won the election in large part because he was seen as our economic savior. If he fails on that front, it’s a huge blow to his popularity.
His numbers regarding spending are also critical. While he’s still popular personally, he’s losing support for the reckless proposals. Whether or not he cares enough to even think twice about it, it’s going to hurt come 2010 and 2012. We can flip Congressional control. I’m becoming more hopeful that he’ll only be a one term president.
On to Rasmussen – check out these numbers from last week.
Surveys of 1,000 Likely Voters June 3-6, 2009
This is the first time in over two years of polling that the GOP has held the advantage on this issue. The parties were close in May, with the Democrats holding a modest 44% to 43% edge. The latest survey was taken just after General Motors announced it was going into bankruptcy as part of a deal brokered by the Obama administration that gives the government majority ownership of the failing automaker.
Voters not affiliated with either party now trust the GOP more to handle economic issues by a two-to-one margin.
Republicans also now hold a six-point lead on the issue of government ethics and corruption, the second most important issue to all voters and the top issue among unaffiliated voters. That shows a large shift from May, when Democrats held an 11-point lead on the issue.
“I am pleased today to endorse Governor Charlie Crist for the United States Senate. With his record of reform in Florida, I know that Governor Crist will bring a fresh perspective to Washington in our efforts to fight for lower taxes, less government, and new job creation for all Americans. Charlie Crist is a tireless advocate on behalf of all Floridians and one of only three Governors who earned an ‘A’ from the CATO Institute for his efforts to restrain spending and cut taxes last year.
Except that’s a lie. Crist is not a tax cutter. Quite the opposite, actually. Taxes in Florida are higher than they’ve ever been. You accepted more stimulous money per person than even California.
And he needs to chill out on the fake tan. Seriously.