Sunday, November 4, 2012

Quick Hits - November 1-3, 2012

The Presidential race is entering the home stretch - the last weekend before Election Day on Tuesday.

The blog is getting a bump in traffic over my series 'Wargaming the 2012 Election' - and my prediction for the Presidential race.  I'm finding that there are a lot of people I know who are very worried over Tuesday - mainly because they are just looking at / hearing the top line reports on the polls as pushed by so many in the mainstream media shilling for President Obama's reelection.  Almost none of them have looked into the internals of the polls - the regular double digit lead that Mitt Romney has built among self-described independents or the sample weighting that is based on a Democrat turnout model and enthusiasm that is significantly greater than 2008.

But among those who are looking closely at the polls and the internals, there is a growing level of confidence towards a Mitt Romney / Paul Ryan victory that is matching the growing crowds that the GOP ticket is getting.

In my prediction, I am seeing something that is far closer to 1980 than many other observers / commentators.    There are a couple of states, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where I have moved out on the limb on.  But seeing the prediction from one of the deans of political punditry, Michael Barone, made on Friday, I am not alone on that limb...

Michael Barone is predicting Mitt Romney winning the election by gaining 315 EV to 223 for Barack Obama.  He is going out on the limb and calling Pennsylvania for the GOP ticket - but not going as far as I do with Michigan (or allocating 1 EV from Maine towards the GOP).

Barone also sees as substantial the wave of independents that are moving to supporting Mitt Romney - a move that started right around the first Presidential election.  In PA - he also notes the stagnant economy and the effects of the Obama Administration's war on coal and fossil fuels.

Both candidates are busy making their closing arguments to the voters - and are crisscrossing the remaining battleground states.  Everyone of these states were states that Barack Obama won in 2008.  And several, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, are traditionally blue states.  Even in Minnesota - which didn't even vote for Ronald Reagan in his 1984 landslide, is now being considered in play as the preference surge towards Mitt Romney gains even more momentum.

Barack Obama is on the defensive - running a strategy that is designed to protect just enough to try to hold onto 270 EV.

Mitt Romney is on the offensive.  He has taken over the change mantra.  His closing argument is focused on a positive and upbeat vision for the next four years.

The Romney candidacy is also benefiting from a growing level of enthusiasm for each of his, and Paul Ryan's, campaign stops.  Barack Obama, on the other hand, is seeing the enthusiasm and size of his crowds wane.  In 2008, appearing in Cleveland late the in campaign, Barack Obama drew a crowd of 80,000.  This week, in the same venue, Barack Obama only drew 4,800.  Meanwhile, the same day elsewhere in Ohio, Mitt Romney had a crowd of 30,000 - 35,000.

Even with surrogates, we're seeing a major difference in crowds and enthusiasm.  Stevie Wonder, on the stump to help Obama, only brought out a crowd of 200 in Ohio.  Sandra Fluke, appearing in Florida, drew a crowd of under 40.  Well, I supposed I could call that a success, since she only drew a crowd of 10 in Reno, Nevada a couple of weeks ago.

Looking at the comparison between the Obama and Romney events, on cable news, on C-SPAN, and the Romney campaign events today look like Obama events of 2008, and Obama events of 2012 look like McCain events of 2008.

The pressure is getting to Barack Obama as I think he sees himself being that one-term President he predicted in early 2009 he would be if he failed to turn things around.  He is making a number of gaffes and missteps that the new media is highlighting - and that the mainstream media continues to ignore in their effort to drag his campaign across the finish line.

Hot Air's regular weekly feature - 'The Obamateurism of the Week' highlights these gaffes made by the President both on the campaign trail and while he did his photo-op in NJ in the wake of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy.

Reaching back to the Presidential debates, we have even more evidence that the Commander-in-Chief is totally unaware that bayonets remain standard issue in the US military... as he misleads the American public over his real focus and agenda towards national security.

He is touting his continued press for the government to not only pick winners and losers in industry, but continue the policies which have seen nearly $100 billion taxpayer dollars tossed down the drain of crony capitalism and over 50 failed green energy companies when he says, 'I want fuel efficient cars and long-lasting batteries and wind turbines manufactured here in China.'

Forgetting that he has a Secretary of Commerce as a member of his Cabinet, as well as nearly three dozen unaccountable 'czars', Barack Obama now wants to expand government so that it controls business when he says, 'We should have one Secretary of Business.'

This is the same President, during his photo op declaring success / mission accomplished over the government response to the devastation of Sandy, with millions still without power, telling those affected to 'go to the internet for updates' on what the federal government is doing for them.

Barack Obama will not answer any questions regarding the failures of his Administration around the terrorist attack on 9/11 in Benghazi, where someone in the State Department, or White House, or Defense Department, ordered military units to stand down and not move to rescue those being assaulted - but he will tell the victims of Hurricane Sandy that, 'We leave nobody behind'.... even as hundreds of thousands in lower Manhattan, in Queens, in Staten Island, in New Jersey, are not getting critical supplies of water, food, shelter, and clothing as temperatures drop into the 30's.

What Barack Obama will say while on the stump, now, is that his supporters have a new obligation and cause for which to vote for - revenge...


Revenge for what?  His failure to launch a vibrant economic recovery?  Creating a large pool of unemployed?  Vastly expanding the disability rolls?  Creating a food stamp nation?  Increasing the national debt by 50% - over $6 trillion in four years - after castigating his predecessor as being 'unpatriotic' for adding $5 trillion to the national debt across 8 years?

To me, this sounds like someone who believes he is entitled and angry that he is losing - and wants people to vote for him in the name of revenge - revenge on the 'unbelievers' - revenge on the country that is no longer accepting the cult of personality around Barack Obama.

To counter this, Mitt Romney has the response that encapsulates why Romney is winning and why Obama is losing -

The Romney campaign has also responded with a very strong closing argument advertisement that will run throughout the battleground states...

Friday was the release of the October jobs report - the last report prior to Election Day.  The top line is what the feckless mainstream media and Obama campaign are focusing on - the 171,000 new jobs created during October according to the BLS.  This number was slightly more than expected - but barely covers the pace of new jobs needed to keep pace with population growth.  I suspect that this is also like the pattern of 2010 and 2011 - where stagnant employment numbers earlier in the year see a slight increase in the last quarter before falling back again the first quarter of the new year.

The other main number was the 'official' unemployment rate - which increased to 7.9% - reflecting a far more realistic (and ungamed) household survey than in last month's outlier report.

Labor participation edged up to 63.8% - which also contributed to the 0.1% increase in the 'official' rate - but let's keep this in perspective as well.  In January 2009, when Barack Obama took office, the labor participation rate was 65.7%.  That rate was also at 65.7% in June 2009 when the recession officially ended and the Obama 'recovery' commenced.  When Barack Obama took office in 2009, the U-6 unemployment number, reflecting those underemployed as well as unemployed, stood at 14.2%.  In Friday's jobs report, the U-6 number, 40 months into the Obama 'recovery', is 14.6%.

All of these numbers are right around 31 year lows - where they were during the deep 1981 recession.  These numbers reflect that the Obama plan to stimulate the economy has failed.  In fact, the policies and agenda of the President has worked against the natural effects of the economy to recover and grow - and make the contrast between a Keynesian / Progressive plan and a Private Sector / Conservative plan even more plain.

In the spring of 2009, while arguing for the passage of the $862 billion stimulus program, the President and his economic team were telling the American people that if the plan was passed and implemented, in October 2012, the 'official' unemployment rate would be 5.2%.  It's not.  It's 7.9%.  That's quite a miss.

One last dismal note from the Labor Department released on Friday - average hourly earnings for non-farm payrolls declined yet again in October - and after being adjusted for inflation, the average hourly earnings have dropped 4.8% since the end of the 2008-9 recession in June 2009.  Think about it - nearly four years into a recovery - wages are down nearly 5% and still falling.

Lost in the news focus on Sandy, on the closing weekend of the election, and the October jobless report, comes another example of the fecklessness of the Obama Administration - and their increasing willingness to hide, obfuscate, and mislead the American people in the name of political expediency.

One of the strong knocks against the Obama Administration is their overreach into government regulations and the expansion of the power of the federal government.  Combine this with the Administration's arrogance in that they do not believe they have to be accountable to the American people or Congress - and we have an Executive Branch that accurately reflects the hubris of the Chief Executive.

Senator James Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, took to the airways to note that yet again the President is refusing to comply with a federal law requiring him to release his regulatory agenda - and the proposed regulations being worked on within the Executive Branch - because the release of this information, showing the executive overreach and the 'terrible cost' it would have on the economy and jobs (costing 887,000 jobs annually), would damage the President's reelection effort.

For those who think voter fraud isn't real and isn't happening... here's a clip from a North Carolina Democrat who is admitting on his Facebook page that he has already voted 4 times - and will vote once again on Tuesday.  

I'm wondering when he will be arrested for voter fraud?  Or does the 'D' provide him immunity - unlike a deluded Republican woman in Nevada who was arrested for voting twice in early voting in that state.

Libya continues to be a major scandal for the Obama Administration that the mainstream media, except for Fox News, Jake Tapper of ABC, and Sheryl Atkinson of CBS, is refusing to investigate or report on.  Four Americans died - and it's becoming clearer that elements of the Obama Administration made a decision to abandon several of these Americans in the name of political expediency.

The above cartoon reflects quite correctly the hypocrisy of the bulk of the mainstream media when it comes to their political advocacy - and the end of their credibility with their customers.

Oh, and my predictions for Congress?

In the Senate, the Democrats currently hold, counting the 2 Independents who caucus with them, a 53-47 majority.  I am predicting a 4 seat gain for the GOP in the Senate - leaving them in a 51-49 leadership position.  As for the House where the GOP holds a 25 seat majority?  A R+2 or 3 seat gain.

Finally, if you can, please donate to the private relief organizations who are working to bring assistance and needed materials to the victims of Hurricane Sandy -

The images from the devastation are astounding...

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