Monday, October 26, 2009

[Ed.1] In this edition → → → → →

Former Vice President Dick Cheney took a hard-line stance against the Obama administration for its unwillingness to face problems for what they are…

Pew research group released a poll on October 22nd that showed 57% of Americans believe that man is responsible for global warming, down from 77% three years prior…

The Obama administration has finally found a war that it is more-than-willing to fight – and its not in Iraq or Afghanistan

Oil prices rose above $82 a barrel briefly, the Canadian dollar is near parity with the US dollar, the Euro rose to $1.4976, the British pound rose to $1.6447 from $1.6370…

Stewart Nozette – a scientist who worked as a technical adviser for a consultant company that was wholly owned by the Israeli government – was arrested this past week in an FBI sting…

Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, will appear on Oprah Whinfery’s show November 16th

Reality versus academia, Cheney takes on hope with no change

Former Vice President Dick Cheney took a hard-line stance against the Obama administration for its unwillingness to face problems for what they are.

In a speech to Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C, Mr. Cheney lambasted the Obama administration for its public waffling on Afghanistan, “[sending] signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries…The White House must stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger.”

Mr. Cheney also stated the President isn’t keeping the promise he made regarding in Afghanistan last March, “President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission”

So why is the former Vice President now being so critical of the Obama Administration? One would guess it was prompted by Rahm Emanuel when he stated on national television that, “…the Bush Administration hadn’t asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.”

But Cheney’s criticism of the Obama administration, while warranted, doesn’t address the deeper issue – and that is, Barack Obama is and always has approached issues from an academic standpoint. While Mr. Cheney has 40 years of public service as a congressman, Assistant to the President, a White House Chief of Staff, US House Minority Whip, Secretary of Defense, and Vice President, Mr. Obama has been a community organizer, a college professor, a state senator, and a US Senator (the former two lasted much longer than the latter or about 30 years less than Mr. Cheney.)

Candidate Obama and President Obama don’t seem to have much divergence, though reality is knocking, Mr. Obama prefers not to answer. In October 2007, Candidate Obama gave a speech to the Caucus for Priorities in which he stated, “As president, I will end misguided defense policies…” and continued, “I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems, and I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Defense Review is not used to justify unnecessary spending…I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material, and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.”

Lofty promises indeed, but pre-2008 Candidate Obama and President Obama certainly don’t seem to differ; the only fly in the ointment of this agenda is a nuclear Iran and North Korea, a power-grabbing Russia, and those stubborn Islamic-fascists that populate Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, oh and FOX News.

Karl Rove and Dick Morris have both concluded the White House’s current course of action to war against a cable news network to be a political strategy to distract the American public from the administration’s failings, both foreign and domestic, but it might well be Mr. Cheney is right, that President Obama believes his words coupled with feel-good intentions and a cult of personality will cause the world to change; it isn’t – but here’s to hoping it will.

-- The Editors, Killswitch Politick

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Monday, October 19, 2009

The democrats can't win for losing, but the GOP can

There is no doubt the American people are not favorable to government health care reform. The issue tanks in approval polling and has the democrat party fractioning...

Bailout fallout: GM shuts down Saturn

General Motors announced it will shut down Saturn brand after failing to reach a purchase agreement with Penske Automotive Group...

A Rush to judgment

Rush was blitzed out of an investment consortium by an all out media blitz that seems to be a false start. Red flags were immediately thrown...

The Dow and unemployment, each toward ten

For a brief moment in over a year, the Dow Jones Industrial Index momentarily hit 10,000. While a large amount of the economy is still declining...

Inching toward chaos

As President Obama continues his public waffling on Afghanistan, the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate...

Letting air out of the balloon

For a few hours, it captured the nation and caused every cable network to switch leads. It was perhaps one of the most bizarre headlines of the year...

The democrats can’t win for losing, but the GOP can

There is no doubt the American people are not favorable to government health care reform. The issue tanks in approval polling and has the democrat party fractioning.

To spite the public disapproval, the latest end-around strategy by the democrats is to get something, anything through the Senate and House somehow, no matter what and no matter how. One wonders just what it is the democrat majority is doing on this kamikaze path.

Rasumussen Reports shows that while 50% of Americans are against government health care reform, 44% are for it. The problem for the 44%, who responded favorably, is what are they for? At present, there are several different bills between the House and Senate and the only one with news-making headlines, the plan proposed by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) doesn’t yet have any legislative language to define exactly what it would and wouldn’t include.

What is so puzzling about this debate is the opposed to this or that plan are doing so because they know full well once anything is passed it will be the eye of the needle through which a fiscal albatross passes. On the other hand, those in favor of health care reform don’t seem to be at all concerned with the consequences, whether they are fiscal, privacy concerns or quality of care.

And that may be the greatest consolation for the unpopular majority party – they are working hard to get their base something their base wants. But that as it stands now, that will almost certainly cause them to lose big in 2010 as they head strongly ignore the economy and pay little more than lip service to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While this may be good news for the Republican Party, it’s only as good as they make it. Should the GOP win big in 2010, they will have done so (at present) simply for not being democrats – kind of like the President winning the Nobel Peace Prize for not being George W. Bush. This will be a precarious place for the republicans – especially if they win a majority in the House. Any opposition to Mr. Obama plans will be labeled partisanship and it will be said that racism is yet to die among the voters.

The GOP will walk a fine line if they gain a significant number of seats or win outright; simply to oppose the president won’t be enough, they’ll have to put forth better alternatives and demonstrate why they’re so doing.

The democrat majority appears to be on an electoral suicide mission, but that mission will be complete if they can enacted a foothold in the door toward universal health care – once in, there will be little to no chance of slamming the door shut.

-- Killswitch Politick

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Numbers don’t lie (what the polls and audits really say)

There are inescapable facts in life: 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks a year; plus the oldest two: death and taxes. There are also inescapable facts in politics and the economy but unlike the number of hours in a day, those facts can change quickly.

Then how could they be “facts”? Facts by their very definition do not change – unless of course, you’re talking politics or the economy and that is precisely why so many Americans do not trust politicians, talking head pundits, the media-at-large and all those polls they throw at us.

Let’s start with the presidential approval polls:

Real Clear







RCP Average

9/24 - 10/12






10/9 - 10/11

1547 A




Rasmussen Reports

10/9 - 10/12

1500 LV




CBS News

10/5 - 10/8

829 A





10/1 - 10/5

1296 A




Associated Press/GfK

10/1 - 10/5

1003 A





9/29 - 10/5

2630 RV




Pew Research

9/30 - 10/4

1500 A




FOX News

9/29 - 9/30

900 RV




National Journal/FD

9/24 - 9/28

1200 A




As the chart denotes, Real Clear Politics averages a 13.1% positive margin for Mr. Obama. Yet there is only one poll in the nine cited that actually has any historical authenticity – Rasmussen Reports. Why? Because it is the only poll sampling people who actually vote, LVs or Likely Voters. These are individuals who vote in both in-year and off-year elections. The only other two worth noting are Quinnipiac and FOX News who sampled RVs (Registered Voters). The other six are worthless as they are a sampling of As or All/Adult voters.

This being the case, Rasmussen is the most accurate, reflecting that Mr. Obama’s approval rating has fallen below that of his election-win percentage of 53%, bad news for the President.

Now onto the latest in health care reform wherein Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) put forth a health care reform bill that was said to have been scored by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) at costing under one trillion dollars plus, would reduce the national deficit by slightly more than $80 billion over the next decade. But it wasn’t long before reports surfaced the CBO was scoring what amounted to nothing. The official bill language wasn’t included, so the score was derived from speculative figures. What’s more, is the insurance industry has published findings made by a trade group the Baucus plan would cost the average individual $1,500 more per year and about $4,000 a per family.

Which to believe? Simple, ask yourself has the government every enacted a program that reduces spending and cuts the deficit? Perhaps that's why 56% of Americans say the country is on the wrong track.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Too smart by half

Too smart by half

The President ran on a platform of hope and change, problem is, now he has to deliver. His camp set the bar high on reform and post partisanship but nine months into his presidency, the American people are loudly rejecting his centerpiece reform of health care and by all indications of his policy leanings, he is decidedly to the far left in a center-right country.

Mr. Obama’s present troubles largely come from what he promised during his campaign. The now infamous Fred Armisen/Saturday Night Live spoof hits the nail directly on the head – Candidate Obama over-promised for 20+ months but President Obama has not delivered though he has a democrat majority in both the House and Senate:

  • Candidate Obama promised to close Gitmo; President Obama did so yet it remains open
  • Candidate Obama promised to withdraw from Iraq; President Obama has not order a withdrawal
  • Candidate Obama promised to focus on the war in Afghanistan; President Obama is waffling on his commitment
  • Candidate Obama promised transparency; President Obama has largely been stealthy
  • Candidate Obama promised to reduce the deficit and reign in spending; President Obama signed a budget busting “stimulus”
  • Candidate Obama promised to bring back jobs; President Obama presides over 9.8% unemployment figure that continues to rise
  • Candidate Obama promised to go through the federal budget line-by-line and make cuts; President Obama doesn’t have line-item veto power

In my last post I outlined what the President should be doing. Instead of pushing health care reform, he ought to be engaged on three fronts: the economy and jobs, the war in Afghanistan and Iran. Should he take decisive action on these issues, the poll numbers would swing his way.

The problem for the President is he can’t do any of those things without alienating his base: giving corporations tax breaks and other incentives to up productivity and begin hiring won’t go over well with democrats and most independents. Taking a tough stance on Iran will make the left apoplectic and sending more troops to Afghanistan will cause the anti-war crowd to go insane. By contrast, republicans and center-right independents would support such policies, but at the cost of his base.

Candidate Obama ran on a slogan of change we can believe in and his supporters believed him. With such lofty promises, Candidate Obama has made President Obama’s job near impossible.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Turn strategy…what Mr. Obama should be doing

As I wrote in my last post, “President Obama’s approval ratings are slipping and support for his policies are likewise sliding; this has caused an early but seemingly plausible forecast for both 2010 and 2012.

But why is he having such a difficult time?

There is one simple reason: the President is trying to enact far left-of-center policies in a center-right country (all except for one major issue: the war in Afghanistan). Moreover, he’s not making any sense in doing what he’s doing.

Back in September when candidate Obama was sliding in the tracking polls, I suggested a turn strategy – that is, a new direction and dynamic that would refocus his campaign. Fortunately for candidate Obama, Hillary’s helping hand and McCain’s pitiful campaign were just enough to put him in the White House.

What the President needs to do now, frankly, is stop pissing everyone off. He’s angering practically every constituency group in one way or another and doesn’t seem to have a clue or worse, care.

Allow me to expound:

Unemployment is nearly 10% -- President Obama jets off across the pond to pitch for the 2016 Olympics to be held in his “home town”.

The left wants out of Afghanistan, the president commits more troops in a surge and six months later, troop deaths are rising, the General in-charge is asking for more troops to secure the region and the President isn’t responding. Meanwhile, the right wants to give the General more troops and again, the President isn’t responding.

Foreclosures are at an all time high and Mr. Obama is traveling around the country talking about health care.

Iran is thumbing their nose at us with their nuclear ambitions and the President says we’ll continue to talk tough, effectively throwing Israel under the bus.

One day, illegal immigrants will be given the same coverage under Obamacare, the next, not-so-much, but wait a week and that too will change.

The economy continues to get worse after passing a stimulus package and the President is talking about passing another.

Good grief man, no wonder Mr. Obama’s poll numbers continue slopping downward. What needs to be done now is for the President to be in the here and now – stop bludgeoning everyone to death with health care reform and start paying attention and speaking about the economy. Forget about the Olympics and focus on the war in Afghanistan.

What this translates into is a President aloof, putting his agenda ahead of the country’s problems. This damages his standing and makes for confusion; since he ran on a platform of change, none one thought the change would be for the worse.

If Mr. Obama would just concentrate on what is affecting Americans most, not only would his poll numbers rise, but so would his credibility.

-- KillswitchPolitick

Thursday, October 1, 2009

White guilt and 2012

President Obama’s approval ratings are slipping and support for his policies are likewise sliding; this has caused an early but seemingly plausible forecast for both 2010 and 2012.

Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, Dick Morris pointed out that Mr. Obama is in the same boat Bill Clinton was in his first term – tacking too far to the left after running as a center-left moderate and then staying there in hiding until the republican’s won the majority in the House in 1994. Morris also pointed out this made Bill Clinton reassess his presidency and we all know what came of it, Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay got their agenda through the White House. Bill Clinton was now a bi-partisan, centrist president.

Fast forward to 2009, wherein President Obama finds himself in the same dilemma; just as in 1993, Congress’ approval ratings were also tanking as they are now. The momentum has shifted since 2006, and the republicans look primed to pick-up many seats, if not outright win the majority in the House.

And herein lays the road to 2012: should the republicans win control of Congress, Obama can win a second term, should the republicans not win control of Congress, Obama may still win a second term.

How so? One answer: white guilt.

Should the republicans win control of the Congress and move against Mr. Obama, come 2012, white liberals will rally to their President because of the mean, dastardly republican majority. Any problems won’t be his fault, after all he tried to fix this or that, but the right-wingers in Congress just wouldn’t let him. And let’s not forget the black and Hispanic vote; they’re well likely to share the same sympathy – not letting the first black President succeed.

Should the republicans win a Congressional majority as they did in 1994, Mr. Obama would likely have no trouble throwing his party under the bus, move to the center and ride bi-partisan popularity to reelection.

In the event that the democrats keep control of Congress that too could work in Mr. Obama’s favor. The sympathy wouldn’t be all that different – just replace a republican majority with boogie man right-wing zealots and the huge mess George W. Bush left behind.

Though the tide is definitely against Mr. Obama and his party, the tide is largely comprised of distrust and anger. As Rush Limbaugh has pointed out, that might be enough for republicans to take back the majority, but it won’t be enough to sustain them through 2012. They’ll need to keep in a leadership mode and continue to offer better ideas. But that may be all Mr. Obama needs to get enough white guilt to eek out a second term in 2012.

-- KillswitchPolitick