Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bad News for Obama and America

Despite all the Rosy predictions coming out of the White House,  it seems that the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) isn't quite so optimistic.

Here is a current note form The Hill:

News from The Hill:

CBO projects $1.08T deficit, higher unemployment
By Erik Wasson


"The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday predicted the budget deficit will rise to $1.08 trillion in 2012.

CBO also projected the jobless rate would rise to 8.9 percent by the end of 2012, and to 9.2 percent in 2013.

These are much dimmer forecasts than in CBO's last report in August, when the office projected a $973 billion deficit. The report reflects weaker corporate tax revenue and the extension for two months of the payroll tax holiday."


Guess it's still not 'morning in America' and you can bet folks aren't better off now than they were four years ago.

Stothert's Outstanding Fundraising Effort

Pity the poor fire and police unions and anyone that might want to take on Omaha City Councilwoman Jean Stothert in 2013 when she runs for re-election, OR maybe mayor. We noted our surprise last week in Councilman Festersen's war chest.   Will his just got dwarfed by Stothert who took in more than $85,000 in contributions last year bringing her war chest to almost $113,000!

Big donors for Stothert included Joe Moglia ($5,000), Sid Dinsdale ($1,500), Howard Hawks ($1,000), Gail Robertson ($2,500), Pete Ricketts (($2,500), Mogens Bay ($1,000), Ken Stinson ($2,500), Mike Cassling ($2,500), Mike Simmons ($5,000), John Y. McCollister ($500), Jerry Slusky ($500), Hal Daub ($500) just to name a few of the more recognizable.

Business donors include HDR (($2,500), Metropolitan Omaha Builders Association (($2,000), Celebrity Homes (($1,000), Hawkins Construction ($1,000), Fullencamp law firm (($1,000), the Committee to Re-elect Chuck Sigerson ($500--eat your heart out Councilman Mulligan), First National Bank ($1,000), PDM, Inc ($1,000), Kutak Rock ($500), Lanoha Nurseries ($1,000), U.P. Railroad ($500), Swain Construction ($2,500), Seldin Properties LLC ($333) and the Lund Company ($1,000)  to again just name a few of the more recognizable.

We believe that Stothert is well positioned for re-election and we're sure that she's capable of raising considerable more funds over the next 400 some days.   She has no baggage and is well-liked.   Frankly, given her support in the community and her financial support by those mentioned above (and many others), Stothert is well positioned to run for mayor.  Unlike Brad Ashford, Stothert has the star power to not only raise money but to challenge Jim Suttle come 2013.

Kerrey, Heineman: No Where Close to Check or Checkmate

With the revelation that Bob Kerrey has a poll that 'says he can beat all Republicans other than Heineman', a couple of other blog sites are discussing what we opined last Thursday (The Kerrey Chess Game and Sacrificial Lambs).  

Bob has done exactly what we said he would; gone home, called Paul Johnson, run a poll.   At this point Kerrey hasn't released the results of that poll which allegedly says he beats all comers other than Heineman.   What does this mean?  NOTHING!

If and when Kerrey and team release the details of the poll perhaps it will have some credibility, but until then it is just part of the Kerrey/Nelson/Obama/Democrat Senatorial Committee/Paul Johnson chess game.   We've only heard that the 'poll' says Kerrey 'can' beat the others.   What does that mean?   Does it mean he beats them before the push-poll where folks are asked, "Would you be more likely to vote for Bob Kerrey if you knew that Jon Bruning was a self-enriching slime ball?"  We wonder what the answer to a poll question would be if it were, "Knowing that Bob Kerrey will not vote for repeal of Obamacare and knowing that he cast the 60th vote to 'save Bill Clintons's presidency, resulting in the largest tax increase in history, would you be more inclined to vote for Don Stenberg?"   Kerrey's poll probably didn't ask that question and if it did probably won't admit it.

The poll is just the next move in a chess game and you can bet that the political tension will continue to rise until Heineman or Kerrey blink on or before February 15, at least in Heineman's case.  

Of course, Heineman could decide to file 'as a place keeper' before February 15 and let Kerrey make the next move.   If Kerrey files, Heineman is off and running.   If Kerrey doesn't, Heineman can have a change of heart and ask his name be removed.  We wouldn't expect Dave to do that but then who knows?

 Of course, that wouldn't be the end of the chess game because the Democrats could do what they've done successfully in past years, have Kerrey's name put on to fill an empty position when they convene at their state convention in June or August.   Of course, they'd have to have three other Democrats who have already filled for the seat, Larry Marvin, Sherman Yates and Steven Lustgarten, including the one who wins their primary, remove their/his name(s) from contention...



Still lots of scenarios and chess moves.   It's not checkmate or even check yet.

It's a Revenue Issue. Sure Senator, Your Revenue

Senator slime ball, oops, Schumacher's constitutional amendment to legalize gambling got it's hearing on Monday with virtually no one supporting it.  

The self-serving conflict of interest keno and gambling advocate senator was quoted as saying, “We have gambling opportunities, What we don’t have is the money. … This is a revenue measure, not a gambling revenue.”   

Yes, it sure is Senator.  It;s a revenue in your own pocket issue!

A Senate Attempt to Revive The XL Pipeline

Yesterday, 44 U.S. Senators announced that they would co-sponsor legislation to move the Keystone XL Pipeline forward.   Sadly, they are all Republicans.  Among them is Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska who through his misguided efforts helped give the president grounds to veto it to begin with.   We're glad he's trying to make amends.


On the other hand, for some reason the grumpy old loser, Nebraska's Judas Ben Nelson's name isn't on the bill.   Of course, he too bears responsibility for giving the president fodder to reject the pipeline.   Unlike his comrade Senator Johanns, Nelson apparently isn't repentant enough to care about his misdeed and those American jobs and energy security.  

Longing For Sarah or Mike or Marco or Paul - Doug Patton

Unless someone drops out before you read this, there are four men left standing in the race for the Republican presidential nomination: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. One of them will face Barack Obama in November. Who will it be? More important, who should it be?

At the risk of getting cyber hate mail from the Ron Paul brigade, even he knows he will not be the nominee. Santorum should be on the short list to be anyone’s running mate, but he will probably run out of what little money he has long before the finish line. He is a good man, but we most likely will not be calling him Mr. President anytime soon.

So it has come down to this, and the pundits and the politicos are choosing sides — Romney or Gingrich. Acid-tongued author-commentator Ann Coulter has endorsed Romney, which is a mystery to me (but then, I’m still trying to understand her irrational political crush on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, so I’m not really sure where Ann is coming from anymore.)


Sarah Palin, who broke my heart when she decided not to run, has said that if she were a voter in either South Carolina or Florida, she would "vote for Newt just to keep this thing going. "


MSNBC host and former Congressman Joe Scarborough has all but thrown himself into traffic to get people to listen to his diatribes about what a horrible leader he claims Gingrich was when he was Speaker of the House. Scarborough, who served under Gingrich, seems positively apoplectic about the Gingrich candidacy. Concerning Newt’s tenacious nature, Scarborough has written that three species would likely survive a nuclear attack: "Cockroaches, Cher and Newton Leroy Gingrich. " It was not meant as a compliment.

Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, has enthusiastically endorsed Newt, as has former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson, who took a run at the GOP nomination himself four years ago.


Perhaps more telling is the list of aging RINOs who have come rushing to Mitt Romney’s defense since Newt cleaned his clock in South Carolina — DC dinosaurs like Bob Dole, who joined geriatric political establishmentarians like John Sununu and John McCain in attacking Newt and promoting Mitt.


Let me just state that I have grave reservations about both these candidates. Romney has demonstrated little to suggest that he is the conservative he claims to be. A look at the timid proposals on his web site belies the notion that he would be bold in dealing with the aftermath of an Obama presidency.


With Newt, despite the fact that we all love him in debates, we should ask ourselves how his pugnacious demeanor will come off against the suave, slick persona of Barack Obama.


I have had the opportunity to meet Gingrich on a couple of different occasions. I found him to be a driven visionary with a great love of country and an even greater love of self. He does, indeed, have an idea a minute. Some of them are brilliant; some are completely off the wall. One of his wrong-headed notions was to advocate for an individual mandate to purchase health insurance. Romney has also embraced this idea. Two major differences: Newt has repudiated the concept while Romney still defends it. And it is Romney, not Gingrich, who has actually enacted it into law.


Newt Gingrich has been a movement conservative for the last three decades. No such claim has ever been made about Mitt Romney. Newt engineered the first Republican House majority since the fifties in 1994, and then held it during re-election in 1996 for the first time since the twenties. And as Speaker, Newt pulled Clinton far enough to the right to pass major welfare reform, tax relief and four balanced budgets.


I know there are those who still long for a Sarah Palin or a Mike Huckabee, a Marco Rubio or a Paul Ryan. But they are not running. Newt, Mitt, Rick and Ron are. Make your choice. Because the one thing is certain: the United States of America, as we know it, cannot survive four more years of you know who.
______________________________________________________________________________
© 2012 by Doug Patton
______________________________________________________________________________
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at dougpatton@cox.net.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Brad Ashford Will Run for Mayor in 2013!

It's only 442 days (April 16, 2013) until Omahans go to the polls to whittle down their mayoral candidates to two in preparation of the May 14, 2013 general election.   At this point there are a lot of names out there but we can tell you today that one of those will be Brad Ashford, now State Senator Brad Ashford who is term limited and is out of government work as of January 1, 2013(We stand corrected, 2015).   But not for long if he gets his way.   Yes, we have learned from several reliable sources that Ashford is planning his run for mayor as we write this.

You may recall that Ashford has shed his R.I.N.O. (Republican in Name Only) title only recently with his change of voting status to 'independent' or 'non-partisan'.   That change just made official the vacillation that has characterized his political career, moving from Democrat to Republican and now to nothing.  

So at this point, it is for sure that Ashford will face Suttle who has every intention of running for re-election.   Interestingly, Ashford's change and his antipathy for anything Republican, or Democrat for that matter, will put him in a strange position as he looks for votes.   While the mayor's office is officially non-partisan, both the Republicans and Democrats will have 'their' candidates in the race and both parties will be actively and energetically involved in working for and financially supporting their candidates.

Ashford can probably expect the support of the local daily which displays its adoration for him at every given opportunity.   He will have some big players who will make token contributions to his campaign, but most of those will continue to support Suttle, recognizing that if a challenger were to beat him they could quickly make amends financially. 

Ashford ended 2011 with $16,479 in his legislative campaign fund after raising only $2,250 last year.   With a sixty day legislative session there probably aren't a lot of 'potential contributors' he can extort money from for supporting their bills.   And, most people aren't going to give him money for 2013 with a 2012 campaign season under way.   So where does an independent already underfunded soon-to-be-ex-senator (term-limited) go for big bucks?   Nowhere.

Who the Republicans will run is still open.   Dave Nabity no doubt plans on running given his non-stop ego-maniacal campaign for the office since Suttle's inauguration.   We believe that Councilwoman Stothert, Councilman Thompson or former Councilman Dan Welch would be very credible candidates who bring competence and certainly much less arrogance and baggage to the race than Nabity.  A competent Republican will bring much support from the business community and the public considering Suttle's tax and spend history and Ashford's public support for the same, i.e., increasing city sales taxes to 7.5%.

Given that those who vote in primaries are generally very liberal or very conservative, our prognosis for Ashford is that he will simply crash and burn.  But for the time being the race is joined.

Pro-Lifers Take to Streets


Nebraskans turned out en masse at their capitol in Lincoln to share their pro-life beliefs Saturday at the annual Nebraska Walk for Life. Our correspondents were there and marching.   Our friends at Nebraskan Right to Life tell us that more than 5000 were there and that the following elected officials were present:
Included in the speakers were:
  • Governor Dave Heineman
  • Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy
  • Congressman Lee Terry
  • Attorney General Jon Bruning
  • State Treasurer Don Stenberg
  • State Auditor Mike Foley
  • State Senators Dave Bloomfield
  • State Senator, Lydia Brasch
  • State Senator Colby Coash
  • State Senator Deb Fischer
  • State Senator Tony Fulton
  • State Senator Paul Lambert
  • State Senator Beau McCoy
  • State Senator Pete Pirsch
A number of other candidates were also in the crowd.
 
P.S.  By the way Senator Brasch, we didn't see your mentor Senator Bill Avery whom you asserted recently "is pro-life."   

More of thos Silly Legislative Resolutions

We'd be remiss if we didn't continue to acknowledge those Nebraska Senators who continue to introduce legislative resolutions that waste unicameral time, money and printing expense acknowledging the few while ignoring the many.

Here's the latest batch:
  • LR 378: Senator Schilz:  Congratulate the Ogallala High School one-act play for winning the 2011 Class B state championship
  • LR 379:  Senator McCoy: Congratulate the Elkhorn South High School girls' golf team for winning the 2011 Class B state championship
  • LR 380:  Senator McCoy: Congratulate the Elkhorn South High School boys' tennis team for winning the 2011 Class B state championship
  • LR 381: Senator Fulton:  Recognize the achievements of Colonel Harry Francis Cunningham on the eightieth anniversary of the completion of the State Capitol and request the Lincoln City Council to rename a portion of "J" Street in his honor. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reflections on Current Issues

There is just so much out there to comment on that our unpaid staff just can't deal with everything in detail.   So here is our brief consensus on some of those issues:
  • Our applause goes to Mike Groene of North Platte for the effort he and others have started to roll back the numbers of signatures required on statewide petitions.  Requiring 115,000 signatures to put a issue before the voters is unrealistic.   It used to be 49,000 signatures until the Nebraska Supreme Court looked at the unintended consequences of legislation at that time that prompted the change.   In a single house state, the voice of the people should be heard without overcoming onerous hurdles.

  • Despite the opposition by most of Nebraska's county boards, it's time to eliminate the inheritance tax.   Nebraska is one of the few states in the country that still punish the dead and their families who've already paid taxes on assets.  Governor Heineman is right to want to end this.   A phase in over five years could end this archaic tax and give counties time to adjust.

  • Good riddance to the failure of Lake Lautenbaugh (formerly Lake Daub) to advance.   Yes, it would have been nice to have our own Lake of the Ozarks near Omaha, but the money to study it would have been wasted because there is no way it could have overcome the environmental and financing challenges it would have faced.   This might have been a good idea in 1958.   It might have been doable in 1935.   It isn't today.

  • Warren Buffett should quit whining about the 'undue' publicity his secretary is getting.   HE IS THE CAUSE OF THAT.   He has made her the poster girl for his guilt-driven need to pay more taxes.   Maybe if 47 million Americans who pay no taxes and in many cases get someone else's money back (Unearned Income Tax Credit) paid a little and had some ownership in their government his secretary's taxes could be reduced along with everyone else's.

  • We've opined on it before, but it's time for Senator Fischer's LB 745 bill on occupation taxes to be passed.   The egregious misuse of such needs to be stopped--Can you say Jim Suttle's 2.5% restaurant sales, oops, occupation tax?  It's time to let citizen vote on new occupation taxes. 

Mulligan's Fund Raising Efforts

In the last two days we took a look at the stellar fund raising effort of City Councilman Festersen and the mediocre one of Councilman Gernandt.   Today we thought we'd look at the effort of neophyte liberal appointed councilman Tom Mulligan.  

Actually, Mulligan had a pretty good year given he started it with zero dollars in his campaign fund.   He finished the year with $38,600 on hand, having spent about $6058 in expenses.  

Most of his funds came from those who sponsored an October event at the Champions Club (invitation below).  Names on that invite and on his contributors' list that catch our eye are Robert Bates ($1000), Dennis Hogan ($2724), Dick Holland ($1000), Donald Klein ($300), Walter Scott ($500), Michael Yanney ($2682) and Jim Young ($1000).   Lots of Democrats. 

From businesses, Mulligan collected most of his donations from those who will likely need his vote in the future.  They include Big Red Keno ($1000), Burlington Capitol Group ($1000), Cox Communications ($2000), Fullencamp law firm ($400), Kutak Rock ($500), Union Pacific ($500) and the Metro Omaha Builders Association ($2500).

Mulligan will need every dollar he can extort from donors in the coming year as he prepares for 2013.   He's told folks that he is a shu-in and that he is so popular (in his own mind) that he could run for mayor.    Frankly, given his liberal orientation he will be hard pressed to successfully get re-elected in former Councilman Sigerson's conservative Republican district given his RINO (Republican in name only) orientation.    And, we know that he will be opposed by real Republicans.

Denny Hogan

and


Roger and Suzanne Arney Don and Kim Kleine
Senator Brad Ashford Elizabeth Kleine
Clayton and Irma Byam Larry and Cynthia Kritenbrink
Joe and Rose Byam Greg and Mary Jo Logsdon
Brenda Clark John Marchant
Bob and Shirley Corn Jim and Jeanne McGowan
Henry Davis Jerry and Colleen Morrissey
Jerry and Pat Davis William and Betsy Mulligan
Dennis and Ruth Duffy William Nolan
Nick and Rosemary Elsener John and Terry Paladino
Joe and Pam Grier Steve and Sue Scholer
Doug and Nancy Glass Walt and Joan Slobotski
Fr, Lloyd Gnirk Greg and Mary Lynn Schwietz
Roger Helgoth Tom Wurtz
Andy Holland Mike and Gail Yanney
Dick Holland Jeff Young
Tom and Karen Jacobi Jim and Shirley Young
Dennis and Betty Jacobson


please join us in support of
OMAHA CITY COUNCIL
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Champions Run Country Club
13800 Eagle Run Drive * Omaha, Nebraska
$200,00 Per Person
Reply Card Enclosed
mulliganforcitycouncil@gmail.com
Responsible
Leadership For Omaha

Obama's Growing Euro-Socialist State

There is an interesting article by John Merline in the January 26, Investors Business Daily, "Is President Obama Creating a Nation of Dependents?"  We've talked about he huge increase in food stamp dependency in the past but we thought the article was worth sharing given some of the other information he provides.   It doesn't exactly make one feel good about the future of our country or the mindset of our president......

"If the Republican primaries are any indication, one big debate in the upcoming election will be whether President Obama is pushing the country toward a European-style welfare culture.

Mitt Romney, for example, argues that "over the past three years, Barack Obama has been replacing our merit-based society with an entitlement society."
Newt Gingrich has taken to calling Obama "the best food-stamp president in American history."

Obama, in contrast, says the government must play an increasing role — what he likes to call "shared responsibility" — to ensure a society that is fairer.

So is Obama turning the country into a welfare society and away from one focused on opportunity?

While it's true that the country has been headed in this direction for many years — with the explosion in entitlements since the 1960s and the aging of the population — Obama has, in fact, greatly accelerated the trend. Examples:

Direct payments. The amount of money the federal government hands out in direct payments to individuals steadily increased over the past four decades, but shot up under Obama, climbing by almost $600 billion — a 32% increase — in his first three years. And Obama's last budget called for these payments to climb another $500 billion by 2016, at which point they would account for fully two-thirds of all federal spending.

People getting benefits. According to the Census Bureau 49% now live in homes where at least one person gets a federal benefit — Social Security, workers comp, unemployment, subsidized housing, and the like. That's up from 44% the year before Obama took office, and way up from 1983, when fewer than a third were government beneficiaries.

Food stamps. This year, more than 46 million (15% of all Americans) will get food stamps. That's 45% higher than when Obama took office, and twice as high as the average for the previous 40 years. This surge was driven in part by the recession, but also because Obama boosted the benefit amount as part of his stimulus plan.

Disability. The number of people on Social Security disability has steadily climbed since the 1970s, thanks mainly to easier eligibility rules. But their numbers jumped 10% in Obama's first two years in office, according to the Social Security Administration. That sharp rise was due largely to meager job prospects since the recession ended in 2009. When employment opportunities are scarce, experts note, many who could otherwise work sign up for disability benefits instead."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Councilman Gernandt Fundraising Efforts -- What Efforts?

Yesterday, we looked at Councilman Festersen's extraordinary fundraising efforts.   To be fair we look at Councilman Garry Gernandt's efforts today.  His efforts are certainly less extraordinary given the fact he actually spent more in 2011 than he took in..

Gernandt closed out the year with $23,114 on hand after starting it with $26,928.   So he spent $4,119 last year and took in NO DONATIONS.  

We've often reflected upon Gernandt's lack of competence when he was president of the council.   It seems that the same level of competence has spelled over into his fundraising.   

While the next primary election is more than fifteen months away, there are at this point no other declared candidates.    We suspect that at some point, however, Gernandt will wake up and start writing fund-raising letters to some of Councilman Festersen's donors since he is an easy vote for any of them.  

'nough said......

Let's Audit Senator Mello's Purchases

We wonder where Nebraska State Senator Heath Mello's television and appliances were made?   We wonder if he has looked at the labels in his clothing?  We're sure they are all made in America.  Right?  Yeah.....

Well, in his hypocritical liberal Democrat-minded, 'progressive' appeal to his union base, he wants Nebraska State government to build its infrastructure, its roads, its bridges, its airports, its railroads and its buildings with only American made steel, iron and manufactured goods. Thus he is proposing LB 923.

Like his mentors, the president, Senator Avery and even Senator Schumacher he wants to do this because it apparently feels good, not because he has the slightest idea of the statistics or the validity of them.   He doesn't know how much the state government currently spends on non-American manufacturing products.   He doesn't know how many more millions of dollars his law will cost Nebraska taxpayers.   Like the president he says his 'infrastructure bill' will create jobs, but like the failed president's efforts, Mello doesn't even have an estimate of how many. 

Various Nebraska governmental entities and state departments have already estimated that Mello's bill would cost tens of millions of dollars.  Mello says his bill would make an exception if buying domestic products would drive up the cost of the project by 10%.   We're glad he's so interested in protecting the citizens who elected him.  Forget that they have to pay the taxes that build the project and pay his salary. 

The effort which Mello has fallen for is "Buy American", a campaign sponsored by manufacturers, unions and their lobbying groups.   What it is is an admission that those businesses can't compete (because of their out-of-line labor costs) and thus need more protectionist legislation to save their butts.   Mello's proposed law would just be a cave-in to that mentality that would punish Nebraska taxpayers.

If Mello is truly serious about his effort, why doesn't he go all the way?  Prohibit the purchase of any foreign made product by Nebraska government.   No laptops, no autos, no oil, no nothing not manufactured in the U.S.   

And, of course, maybe the hypocrite liberal union-owned Mello ought to start by promising to spend his money only on American made goods.  No more of those cheap made in Laos suits, shirts (check your labels, Senator) and shoes.

P.S. Given the ludicrousness of his proposed legislation, we are pleased to award him the coveted "Bill Avery Court Jester Fool Award".

Ben Nelson: A Grumpy Old Loser

Judging from Judas Ben Nelson's Wednesday attack on Governor Heineman, one can only assume that the reality of his 'loss' of the U.S. Senate seat is beginning to set in.   And we did say 'loss' because his forthcoming retreat to his turkey farm is simply a loss without being on the ballot, a loss that saved his over-inflated ego an even greater shock had he not been talked into not seeking re-election. 

One might have thought that Ben was thinking of running for governor or afraid that Heineman might decide yet to run for the senate given Nelson's acidic rhetoric.  He criticised the governor on the Beatrice Development Center, the C.I.R. and the Keystone Pipeline.    To suggest that Heineman, "offers no ideas to address the major issues in the state" is at best an admission that Nelson is totally non compos mentis or simply an angry man about to see his political career come to an end through no one's fault except his own through his betrayal of those Nebraskans he pretended to but misrepresented.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Omaha City Council Member Festersen Bringgin' in the Big Bucks

In the next few days all Nebraska most Nebraska office holders will be required to file their year-end financial summaries, showing how much cash they have on hand and where they got it from over the last year or since the last filing.

We've taken a look at the Omaha City Council members and as of today we've reviewed the reports for Councilmen Festersen, Gernandt and Mulligan.  For this post, we'll stick with Councilman Festersen.

We were struck by the size of the war chest that Festersen has accumulated.  For a guy that we've often heard doesn't much enjoy being on the council he has done an extraordinary job raising funds.   He started 2011 with $38,024 on hand and raised $57,909 during the year bringing his cash on hand to $90,678!!!!    That's pretty impressive more than a year away from the next city council election and one can assume that if he, in fact, chooses to run for re-election rather than mayor or something else that he will be sufficiently financed to discourage other candidates.  It might even discourage the fire union from going after him....And he's got yet another year to raise money!

Festersen got his money from the traditional Democrat liberals you'd expect for the most part.   They include Susan Buffett ($1000), Keith Edquist ($500), Mike Fahey ($1000), Tom Fellman ($1000), Richard Holland ($1500), and Willie Theiesen to name a few.   Other prominent names, some Republican, include Trea Brashear ($500), John Kotouc ($500), Frank Krejci ($1000), Dainel Neary ($1000), Jay Noddle ($1000), Walter Scott ($1500), Jerry Slusky ($500) and Ken Stinson ($1000).   Some of these, obviously have business before the council and wouldn't want to offend Festersen by not supporting him...



Festersen has also done a solid job of 'tapping' lots of business entities, many of which come before the council fairly regularly.   They include the Crocker/Huck law firm ($1000), EHPV Lottery Services ($1000), First National Bank ($1000), Fraser Stryker law firm ($1000), Fullencamp law firm ($1000), Hawkins Construction Company ($500), HDR ($1000), Holland Basham Architects ($500), Kiewit Corporation ($1000), Kutak Rock ($500), the Lund Company ($1000), Lyman-Richey ($500), Pansing and Hogan law firm ($1000), PDM Inc. ($500), Union Pacific Railroad ($500), the Nebraska Realtors PAC ($500) the State Health PAC ($1000) and the Steamfitters and Plummers Labor Union 464 PAC.   Again, it's not a stretch to say the latter have lots of interests before the council.

While we've seen folks raise large amounts of dough well in advance of an election we have to say that Festersen has obviously been working hard at it and done so successfully.    With that said, it's also clear that many, if not most, of his contributors will appear before the Omaha City Council at some point, many points in some cases, looking for a favorable vote from Pete.   Likely, they will get it.

We don't begrudge Festersen his efforts and we'd acknowledge the same generosity extended to Republicans and probably will shortly.   It's easy to see how such contributions could impact (euphemistically speaking) one's judgement, but such is political reality.  

Frankly, we'd like to see an ordinance that would require every council member to acknowledge any donation of $250 or more for any contributor who comes before the council.   We think it would be instructive to the citizenry of Omaha and would also acknowledge what could be potential conflicts of interest for the sake of transparency.   Sorry, we're sounding like some of those liberal groups.

Until then, good work councilman.

Bachman Rises from the Ashes

From our friends at Roll Call we're told that Michele Bachmann has announced her candidacy for re-election.    We knew it wouldn't take long from the time she left the presidential race.   We hope she prevails as it is nice to have someone in Congress say what they believe.

Here's what Roll Call said:

"After a failed bid for the White House, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said she will run for a fourth term in Congress this year.

"I'm looking forward to coming back and bringing a strong, powerful voice to Washington, D.C.," the conservative Republican said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Depending on the final map — Congressional redistricting in Minnesota still remains uncertain — Bachmann will likely have a good shot at joining the 113th Congress.

Sabato's Crystal Ball: The Republican Newt-mare

We follow Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball pretty closely because we think he provides a fair appraisal of what is going on in the political environment  He has an interesting post this week, now in video, about what he describes at the Newt-mare.   It looks at likely electoral votes for Newt and likely electoral votes for Romney against Obama.  We think it is incisive and worth thinking about:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Obama Gets the Finger

Well, he did.   In a heroic effort Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona took no guff from the Nobel Laureate Prince of Peace President of the World of Equal Nations Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama when he landed to continue his lying State of the Union diatribe in her fair state.   Seems he made it clear upon meeting the governor on the tarmac that he didn't like what she wrote in her book about their last meeting in the Oval Office back in 2010.  

Although she will no doubt be accused of some heinous crime--we're surprised the Secret Service wasn't instructed to shoot her on the spot--it's nice to see someone in a political capacity that doesn't tolerate his lying crap.  

Our congrats to Governor Brewer!   If the lying excuse for a failed presidency can't stand the heat he should get out of the kitchen!!!!

The Kerrey Chess Game and Sacrificial Lambs

The longer it takes for Bob Kerrey to decide whether he is going to run for the U.S. Senate the more confusing things become, or do they?

We pretty much expected Kerrey to tell us his decision by now.   Because he hasn't we can only conclude a few things:
  • His ego is such that he really wants to run and hasn't faced the need to say "no"
  • He's made a decision to run and he is getting together with Paul Johnson who has run his and Nelson's campaigns to craft a 'hit-the-ground" announcement
  • He is waiting for one of the other potential candidates to put together his/her campaign announce, plan, etc.
  • He's playing a chess game with the governor.   If Kerrey wants to wait until after February 15, that will prevent the governor from filing as he is regarded as an incumbent and can't file after that date while Kerrey or a non-office-holding Democrat could wait until March 1 to file.
We think it would have been nothing short of politically naive of Kerrey, which he isn't, to come back to Nebraska on a 'listening' tour and immediately announce a run for the senate seat.    He would of course want to talk to his and Nelson's previous consultant Paul Johnson and get things in line as to a campaign plan, formal announcement plan, etc.    Kerrey is too smart to just come back and say, "I'm going to run." without working out the details.   And, he wouldn't do so without doing a poll.  These things take time.

On the other hand, if he has told his party big-wigs that he isn't going to run, he would want to give them a little time to recruit a candidate and give that candidate time to put together a campaign plan.

It would appear that the longer Kerrey waits the more likely it is that he will run since by making no announcement he prevents a Democrat from filing and initiating a campaign, unless of course Kerrey already knows who that person is and is just going to let him/her make their announcement prior to his announcement that he won't run.

This is turning into a chess game.   At this point, we think Kerrey has already made his decision and is just waiting for an ally to announce or waiting out the governor as he puts his own plan together.


Our bet, is he won't run and we'll be hearing something soon from another sacrificial lamb......

Dollars for Freshmen

At the risk of sounding somewhat cynical (we'd never do that would we?) the folks at Politico provided the following information regarding the Republicans in the Class of 2010 congressional elections as to the funding they've received from big business P.A.C.s.   At this rate, it probably won't take these freshmen long to forget who they work for.....

"EXCLUSIVE: WHO OWNS THE FRESHMAN CLASS? Corporate America spent big to get to know the 87 freshman House Republicans in 2011. The top 50 contributors doled out $8.7 million in 2011, according to numbers compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Honeywell International topped the list of companies and trade groups, contributing $469,000 to GOP freshmen. Honeywell's Rob Ferris told PI that the company's PAC 'supports those who support the policies that are most important to our business' and will help the economy grow and grow jobs.

National Beer Wholesalers Association ($331K), National Auto Dealers Association ($300K), PricewaterhouseCoopers ($273K) and American Bankers Association ($267K) round out the top five downtown PAC contributors.

NBWA's Mike Johnson said that building a relationship with new lawmakers is important to forward the industry's agenda. 'With this many new freshman, there certainly was an education challenge,' Johnson said, noting that many of the freshman got to Congress by being anti-regulations. 'When it comes to alcohol, we don't share that viewpoint. An effective, balanced regulatory system is important to a marketplace that is fair and competitive.

SO WHICH MEMBERS GOT THE MOST $$? Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) took in about $212,000, the most of all GOP freshman. Reps. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) both got just over $200,000 in PAC money. Reps. Francisco Canseco (R-Texas) and Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) round out to the top five."

Call a Rat a Rat and a Fraud a Fraud

We couldn’t help but be amused at the editorial lead by the local daily on Tuesday, “Don’t bet on it’s passage.” The cutesy headline was supposed to be about Nebraska State Senator Schumacher’s gambling proposal, LR 375 CA, the constitutional amendment resolution, the number not even cited.   

While some may have hoped that the new editor of the page might show some occasional guts in calling a spade a spade, the editorial was tepid and euphemistic,

As you might recall, we recently opined on the senator’s bill (Senator Schumacher: Who Does He Think He Is Fooling? ). Unlike the local daily we weren’t as unduly polite. Here are some of the phrases used in the editorial:
  • The proposal "is a genuine head-scratcher"
  • "This curious legislation"
  • "A novel concept....But not exactly convincing"
That’s about blunt as the daily got although to its credit it did say:
  • “It is remarkable that the Legislature is being asked to take up its time considering such an idea.”
  • “The vagueness of the proposed amendment is another problem.”
  • “Should this proposal be approved, casino legalization could take place in Nebraska without the casinos having to spend a dime.”
  • “The Nebraskan who called in 2003 for a statewide vote was Paul Schumacher, a lawyer and keno representative from Columbus heavily involved in promoting the 2004 casino proposals.”
In its final iteration the editorial opined, “Schumacher is an energetic lawmaker who offers constructive ideas on a lot of issues, but on this one, he should fold his cards.”

So much for cuteness, the local daily picked euphemism over a tough stand. What it should have said is:
  • This bill is a sham to get around a real debate on legalized gambling.
  • It’s not a “head scratcher”, it’s a fraud pepetrated on the citizens.
  • On the surface, if you were to believe the earnestness of the proposal, it’s extortion
  • Its “vagueness” is intended to confuse and hide the real purpose, legalize casino gambling in Nebraska
  • Schumacher is not just the guy that proposed the 2004 casino proposals, he is a self-enriching slime ball whose legislation was proposed then and now to further enrich himself and his cronies in the casino business.
  • This is a pure case of a conflict of interest and Schumacher should be ashamed of himself.

We’d suggest that both Schumacher and the local daily ought to be ashamed of themselves: Schumacher for his continued efforts to foist casino gambling on Nebraskans under an unethical guise to enrich himself, and; the local daily for its refusal to call a rat a rat (Schumacher) and his bill a fraud.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Terry Leads on Energy

His critics are quick to criticize, but we think Congressman Terry has done an outstanding job representing not only those in his district but also all Nebraskans when it comes to his leadership in getting the Keystone XL pipeline built.   While other Republican leaders in the state (Heineman, Johanns) just gave the president fodder to turn down the pipeline, Terry led and pressed.

In today's "The Hill Overnight" we received the information below which shows that Terry isn't about to led the issue die, even if the president somehow failed to mention his veto of the pipeline while trying to convince Americans last night in his State of the Union speech that he cared about energy and jobs. 

Here, according to "The Hill" is what Lee is doing today:

"State of play: House Republicans are holding their first hearing Wednesday on President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline, giving the GOP a high-profile opportunity to attack the administration for killing the project.

A panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear testimony from Kerri-Ann Jones, the State Department’s Keystone point woman, about the decision.

Lawmakers will also examine legislation authored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) that would put the final verdict on the pipeline into the hands of the independent Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission (FERC), not the State Department. The bill instructs FERC to issue a permit and limits its discretion to reject the project.
Terry told The Hill Tuesday that he plans to press Jones on the State Department's reasoning for rejecting the pipeline, arguing a report justifying the decision did not offer enough detail.

"I thought the report to Congress was really vague," Terry said. "It didn’t say anything about national interest, which was the only basis for turning it down. So as far as I am concerned they violated the law unless there is a clearer reason than what was issued in the report, so I think we will have some questions about what their real reasoning was."
Obama, who denied the pipeline last week, had faced a Feb. 21 deadline to make a decision about Keystone under the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut enacted in December.
GOP leadership is eyeing Terry’s bill, among other measures, in its effort to overturn Obama’s rejection of the pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield, a top Republican on the committee, said Tuesday he plans to move Terry's legislation through the panel.

"The administration had more than enough time to review the pipeline and make a decision," a GOP committee staffer said in a statement. "Since politics prevented the president from saying yes to the pipeline and yes to tens of thousands of jobs, we are taking politics out of the equation by relieving the president of his decision making authority."

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the committee, said last week he
hopes to include a measure aimed at forcing approval of the pipeline in upcoming legislation to extend the payroll tax cut for the rest of the year. House GOP leaders are weighing that approach, and Terry also said Keystone provisions could find a spot in separate infrastructure legislation."

Republicans Go On Record Opposing National Popular Vote Compact

You may not have heard about it but there is an effort known as the 'National Popular Vote Compact' which would drastically change the way our presidents are elected.  It would eviscerate the Electoral College Process through a questionable maneuver by changing the rules of presidential elections via a compact between as few as 11 states rather than the 38 required to amend the U.S. Constitution. 

Such a compact would undermine the authority of states and give more populated media markets the power to determine who would become president.   In fact, if implemented a non-member state's electoral votes would become irrelevant because member states' electoral votes would number greater than 270 and would simply award their votes to the national popular vote winner.

Can you say Al Gore?   Can you say who cares about Nebraska and Iowa?  Can you see that New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas and other large urban liberal cities would decide who would become president?  Can you say only Democrats?   Can you say only a plan liberals could love?

The Nebraska Republican Party went on record against the compact notion at its meeting on January 21 although the mindless un-inquisitive reporting of the local media apparently didn't think the issue was worth reporting.   Can you hear us Robynn?

So why worry about it?   Well, maybe because there is a bill before the Nebraska legislature to joint such a compact!  Yes, LB 583 was introduced last year by Senator Ken Haar, another liberal Democrat.   It is rests before the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee chaired by none other than liberal Democrat Bill Avery (the kissing senator).   

According to the "Introducer's Statement of Intent",

"LB 583 adopts the Interstate Compact on the Agreement Among States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.   The compact will become effective when states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes have enacted this compact.

Currently (Feb. 2011) the compact has been enacted by six states, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington and the District of Columbia representing 73 electoral votes or 27% of the 270 needed to bring the compact into effect.   When the National Popular Vote compact takes effect it would assure that the person elected President of the United States has won the most popular votes nationwide."

Did you notice the states that have approved?   They are all liberal Democrat states that would like to take away the input guaranteed smaller states by the U.S. Constitution.   These liberal populated states would benefit by virtue of having the candidates skipping over others as they went to their population centers to win, and only the liberal would win!

If the Democrats want to enhance their ability to steel elections they should at least do it through a constitutional amendment.    In the meantime we hope some of those 33 'non-partisan' Republicans (including Lydia Brasch who is enamored with Bill Avery) will have the good sense to not drink any more of the Kool Aid being served by LIBERAL UNAPOLOGETIC DEMOCRATS such as Senators Haar, Avery, Mello, Nordquist, etc.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Utopia -- Doug Patton

My wife was four months pregnant with the first of our two sons when the infamous Roe vs. Wade ruling was announced. Overnight, the world changed. On the 21st of January 1973, she had no legal right to do anything but carry him to term. The following day, January 22nd, the United States Supreme Court handed her the power of life and death. Had she been so inclined, she could have snuffed out his life — and the life of his younger brother two years later — and I would have had absolutely no legal say in the matter.

Today, we cannot imagine what life would have been without them, even with all the challenges that inevitably come with raising children, and now we are blessed with grandchildren. But it did not have to be so. At a crucial moment in their lives, the women who bore our grandchildren also had to make the decision to grant life or bestow death. We thank God they chose life, but in fifty million cases over the last 39 years, that was not the choice, and the heartbreak that has resulted is almost beyond calculation.

Seven men on the U.S. Supreme Court gave this power to American women, a power many are discovering they should never have had. With the sweep of their pens, these men cast a vote for death on a scale that dwarfs most of the atrocities of the 20th century. The decision has been compared to the Nazi Holocaust. In many ways, it is worse, both because of its scale and because of its voluntary nature.

Roe was supposed to create an atmosphere where every child was a wanted child. However, the reality never matched the theory. The notion of "unwanted" children was a lie from the beginning, for even though the number of abortions performed each year is staggering, it has always been outpaced by the number of parents desiring to adopt babies.
Instead of becoming the liberating event utopian feminists touted it to be, Roe became an albatross around the necks of millions upon countless millions of sad, depressed women who bought the lie and suffered the consequences. Consider the lament of one woman, who had an abortion because her baby had been conceived as the result of a rape:

"I have confessed to God, repented for my actions, and felt forgiveness," she says, "but actions have consequences. I've never stopped wondering who that child was and what the now-23-year-old would be doing as an adult. These thoughts slam my conscience as strongly as a fist to the face. I wish I'd known that a temporary situation did not require a permanent solution...Even in my case of calculated rape, the trauma passed just as the pregnancy would have passed. Life would have gone on. I traded one kind of trauma for a longer-lasting one. What I do know no with hindsight is that children are completely innocent. They do not choose their parents. They do not deserve to die...Better a baby on my knee (or an adoptive mother's knee) for a few years than on my conscience forever."

A funny thing happened on the way to Utopia. For the first time since Roe was decided, more young Americans identify themselves as pro-life than pro-choice. According to a Gallup poll in 2009, 51 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds in the United States said they were pro-life, while 45 percent called themselves pro-choice. There is a reason for this. These young people understand that fifty million members of their generation were sacrificed on the altar of radical self-indulgence. They also know that it will be they who will be tasked with changing it.
______________________________________________________________________________
© 2012 by Doug Patton
______________________________________________________________________________
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at dougpatton@cox.net.
______________________________________________________________________________

Stenberg Touts Conservative Beliefs

Our correspondents were at the Republican Luncheon at the Rockbrook Cafe yesterday where State Treasurer and candidate for the G.O.P. senate nomination Don Stenberg spoke.   

Stenberg continued to talk about his endorsements from talk show host Mark Levin, Red State, the Madison Project and, of course, Jim Demint's Senate Conservatives Fund.   In regard to the latter, Stenberg bragged of the $300,000 or so Demint's group has already contributed to his campaign through its independent advertising.   As we've noted a couple of weeks ago, Stenberg has said that he expects Demint's group to spend up to $1 million throughout the campaign.  Although Stenberg has never raised significant funds for his campaigns, he seems to have struck gold with the Demint endorsement. 

Stenberg's rhetoric was pretty much what we've heard over the last months.   He said he wanted to deal with four major issues.   Those are the massive increases in regulations, Obamacare, energy policy, and earmarks.    On regulations, Stenberg said he would introduce legislation to repeal every regulation passed by the Obama administration and would introduce legislation requiring congress to vote on every major new regulation.   Stenberg said he would repeal Obamacare, noting that Nebraska's Governor Heineman has estimated that it would cost Nebraska taxpayers more than $100 million per year.   He called energy a national security and economic issue and said the country can't continue to rely on unstable Middle East oil.  He also indicated he would oppose any earmarks or bailouts. 

In a commitment we haven't heard from any senate or congressional candidate for some time, Stenberg said that he would eliminate the Department of Education and the Department of Energy, neither of which have worked or accomplished their goals.   He did note that the Nuclear Regulatory Agency would have to be retained and placed  in some other agency.  

Stenberg indicated that if elected he would work with senators to establish and build a conservative block, those senators mentioned being Demint, Paul, Toomey, Lee.

When asked about the Keystone Pipeline, Stenberg seemed pretty much in sync with Governor Heineman and Senator Johanns in wanting it built but not through the Sand Hills or over the Ogallala Aquifer.

Asked about what he would do after repealing Obamacare, Stenberg suggested tort reform and allowing health insurance to be purchased across state lines, suggesting free market principles of competition.

Further revealing his conservative viewpoint when asked about Social Security, Stenberg suggested that young people should be able to opt out and contribute to a private plane if they so desired. 

Lastly, on his primary competition (excuse the pun) Jon Bruning, Stenberg continued his harangue that he, Stenberg, was the true life-long Republicans and that he had not used his office as an opportunity to become a millionaire.  

We like Don Stenberg.   There is no doubt about his conservative credentials although we also believe his primary opponents possess the same basic conservative values.  At this point, we are not nearly as inclined to dismiss Stenberg's electability as we were prior to his gaining Demint's endorsement and funding.   While Bruning still has much more money to use as he deems appropriate (Stenberg can't do that), having a constant barrage of radio and television ads can't but help Stenberg's chances.

Is Gingrich Goldwater 2?

We don't disclaim that we like Stu Rothenberg and generally respect what he says.   We think he has a good sense of reality for the most part which is why we share the following column with you.   We particularly like Rothenberg's musings as to whether this is an election that is a referendum or a 'vision one'.   The 'red' is our highlighting>


Will GOP Risk Goldwater II With Newt Gingrich in 2012?
In each case, the party’s rank and file embraced what it thought was a truth-teller who reflected the core values of its party and promised to lead a movement. And, of course, both candidates lost badly, though Goldwater’s defeat did have a positive long-term effect on his party.

It isn’t yet clear whether Republicans are willing to roll the dice on a risky nominee this year, but after three nominating contests, it’s impossible to discount that possibility.

The difference between 1964 and 1972, on one hand, and 2012, on the other, is that the incumbent president this year is weak and extremely vulnerable in the general election.

Throwing away a nomination to make a statement is one thing when the nomination probably doesn’t matter. It’s another thing when that nomination looks valuable.

Whatever his weaknesses, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is getting plenty of mileage from his strong debate performances and attacks on the establishment and the liberal elite media.

His populist message makes conservatives feel good, much as former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s angry message of change resonated with Democrats in late 2003 and much as Goldwater’s “in your heart, you know he’s right” message won over conservatives almost 50 years ago.

Republican grass-roots conservatives unquestionably are angry — at President Barack Obama, at the national media and, most importantly, at their own party leaders, who they believe have been too willing to compromise on core concerns. They might be so angry that they are willing to overlook Gingrich’s character flaws — character flaws they would scream about in a liberal Democrat.

Looking forward, there were two particularly interesting things to glean from South Carolina exit polls.

First, a majority of GOP primary voters who said that the ability to defeat the president was their top concern voted for Gingrich.

Gingrich almost certainly won the electability argument in South Carolina because of his debate skills and combativeness, but it also isn’t unusual for people to assume that the person they prefer is also the strongest general election candidate. It’s an easy rationalization to make.

The reality of the situation is different, at least so far. Gingrich’s personal ratings have been worse than Romney’s nationally, and polls to this point repeatedly have shown former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney running far better against Obama than does Gingrich. That means future general election trial heats could affect the GOP race’s outcome.

Second, self-identified evangelicals and those who said the candidates’ religious beliefs mattered “a great deal” or “somewhat” were willing to overlook Gingrich’s adultery and the charges coming from his second wife that he proposed an “open marriage.”

For evangelicals, past behavior is less important than what “is in your heart” — at least when it comes to self-professed conservative Republicans. Gingrich’s acknowledgement of past errors and talk of his turning to God was enough for evangelicals who were motivated either by populist anger or by Romney’s Mormonism.

But that’s where evangelicals are different from nonevangelicals.

Republican insiders are so worried about Gingrich at the top of the GOP ticket because they doubt his ability to win the presidency, don’t believe that the former Speaker’s character and behavior will be so quickly forgotten by general election voters and are worried that he would be a horrible president, even if he were to win.

The former Speaker likes to say that he will present a strong contrast to Obama in what will be an election offering two very different visions.

He could be right about that, but an election of “visions” is not what Republicans should want or need this year. They should want the election to be a referendum on the president’s performance. The more the 2012 presidential contest is a “choice” rather than a “referendum,” the better it is for the president and his
re-election campaign.


Gingrich sees himself in such historic terms that he won’t allow the election to merely be about Obama. He’ll want it to be about his vision — which will automatically make it about him. And that’s politically dangerous, given Gingrich’s ego, his lengthy record in Washington, D.C., his personal life and his tendency to over-dramatize and exaggerate.

Unfortunately for Gingrich (and for his party, if he is the nominee), the larger electorate is less religious than Republican evangelicals, and they are less likely to excuse Gingrich’s personal failings simply because he says he has asked for divine forgiveness.

Most swing voters are likely to see a man who dumped two wives (the second while he was lambasting the Democratic president for cheating on his wife), who claimed Freddie Mac hired him as a “historian,” who was reprimanded by the House and who pushed the envelope in who knows how many other ways — and they will start to wonder about his values and judgment.

Romney is still more likely than not to be the GOP nominee — most members of the media have a tendency to overreact about the last primary, and Gingrich isn’t on the ballot in Virginia — but the increased nervousness among party insiders, from elected officials, strategists and party leaders, is both understandable and warranted.



Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.

Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste!

We're beginning to think that Ron Paul has taken the Rahm Emanuel playbook to heart by never letting a crisis go unused.   Yes, within hours of Ron's son Rand being 'detained' by the TSA, we've received an e-mail from Congressman Paul asking us to send him money, another 'money bomb', a mini-money bomb', so he can win the presidency and get even, err eliminate the TSA.  

Whether you appreciate Dr. Paul or not he will be with us to Tampa and probably beyond and you can bet he will never miss an opportunity to ask for money.   In this case, he really did learn from the Obama/Emanuel machine!

Here's his e-mail:

"Dear       :

Earlier today, the internet was buzzing with the rallying cry “Free Rand Paul!”

And this image was at the top of the Drudge Report:



What happened to set off such a firestorm?

My son, Senator Rand Paul, simply stood up for his right not to be the latest victim of the TSA’s disgusting full body pat-down.

I’m writing today to ask for your help in fighting back against the out-of-control TSA, but first, let me tell you what happened.

After an “anomaly” turned up in his body scan as he was trying to board a flight in Nashville, Rand showed that he was clearly no threat and asked to go through the scanner a second time.

Instead of tolerating this common-sense idea, TSA officials demanded he undergo a full body pat-down.

Rand stood up for his rights and refused – and was then detained by the TSA and prevented from getting on his flight.

Though the TSA finally caved after Rand didn't back down for two hours - and allowed him to go through the scanner again- Rand caught a later flight but missed his commitment to speak at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

As soon as word got out that Rand was being detained, grassroots Americans responded in outrage over this latest abuse of power by the TSA.

Which leads me to a critical point.


Rand was able to speak up for liberty today thanks to the platform he has as a U.S. Senator.

I’m proud of my son’s stand, but just imagine those who receive this kind of treatment every day in our nation’s airports and can’t fight back?

The elderly. The disabled. Little kids.

All victims of an out-of-control police state that, while doing nothing to make us safer, is working overtime to strip away our freedoms, our rights, and our basic dignity.

Thanks to your support, I have a chance to stand up for all those who have been assaulted by the TSA and END these abuses once and for all.

As President, I pledge to do everything in my power to strengthen our national security by ending the theatrical sham that is the TSA.

I know it’s short notice, but we’ve put together a
mini-Money Bomb to bring even more attention to this critical issue tonight and tomorrow.
Will you help me win this race and fight back for our civil liberties by making your most generous contribution right away?

You see, not one of my establishment opponents – and certainly not the incumbent, who stands idly by every day while this disgrace operates in our airports –will lift ONE FINGER to stop the TSA, stand up for our Constitution, and preserve passengers’ dignity.

I have led on this issue with my Plan to Restore America, which, along with cutting $1 trillion during the first year of my presidency, abolishes the TSA!

My Plan will take the responsibility for security from this reckless bureaucracy and return it to the private property owners who will do everything possible to keep their customers safe.

Whether it’s honoring our promises to our veterans, or securing our borders, or ending the policies that keep our troops under the thumb of the UN, not one of my opponents measure up to the standard we need when it comes to this nation’s defense.

Sure, they’ll talk a good game on the campaign trail, but every one of them ignores the simple truth that national security begins at home.

Let’s follow “Free Rand Paul” with another rallying cry – “End the TSA!”

And this election gives us a better chance than ever before to do just that.

Please, give whatever you are able right away to our
End the TSA Money Bomb to help us keep the spotlight on this out-of-control organization and restore respect for freedom and common decency to the White House.

For Liberty,

Ron Paul

P.S. Earlier today, my son, Senator Rand Paul, was detained by the TSA in Nashville, prevented from making his flight, and missed his commitment to speak at the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

All because he refused to be the latest victim of the TSA’s disgusting full body pat-downs.

I’m proud of my son’s stand, but there are many more who receive this kind of treatment every day – and never have a chance to speak out.

My Plan to Restore America stands up for the rights and privacy of every traveler by abolishing the TSA.

Please, make your most generous contribution today to my
End the TSA Money Bomb so I can have every possible resource to win this race, abolish the out-of-control TSA