Defamation and Felony

While a felony can land you in court, slander and libel can get you in legal trouble too.  However, in the dirtiest of political campaigns, defamation is the name of the game.  That is what Obama is running: the dirtiest of political campaigns.    Even still, cries of one’s opponent being a “felon” are usually relegated to the third party shenanigans of an “issues” candidate who has no hope of winning.  Such charges could also be associated with peanut gallery observers and shock personalities like Sean Hannity or Bill Maher.  However, now it is also a tactic of the Obama campaign.

Can Obama sacrifice all credibility and still win?

Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for the Obama campaign, suggested that Mitt Romney is either a liar or a felon and could face criminal prosecution.  Why?  Because either she is a liar, or the Obama administration is incompetent when it comes to corporate structures and SEC filings.

At issue is whether Mitt Romney was running the show at Bain Capital after 1999.  Everyone at Bain Capital, including Democrat Obama supporters, say no.  Everyone at the Olympics say Romney was there.  The only people who think Romney was at Bain after 1999 are in Obama’s campaign.  They blame Romney for everything that happened in Bain up to 2002.  Kind of like how they still are blaming Bush for 8.2% unemployment.

So why do Cutter and Obama think Romney is a felon?  The Boston Globe came out with a story showing that Romney signed SEC documents as the President, Director and CEO of Bain Capital up until 2002.  The Washington Post, Fortune Magazine and Factcheck.org explain this.  Romney left to save the Olympics before any sort of replacement could be found and remained listed as President and CEO until his shares were passed on.

Typically liberal Washington Post embarrasses Obama even more with a follow up fact check story, giving Obama another three Pinocchios.

Obama’s outright false and defamatory Bain attack is designed to get Romney to release more tax returns.  Obama believes he is gaining ground by highlighting the low percentage Romney pays in taxes.  However, another Washington Post factcheck story shows that even this line of attack is dishonest.  In fact, one of the reasons Romney’s tax rate is lower is because he gives as much to charity as he pays in taxes.

Media organizations have not been able to back Obama up on this one.  Even CNN’s John King backed up Romney’s side of the story.

In addition to exposing himself as a liar and a dirty campaigner, Obama has exposed himself to an easy rebuttal from the Romney campaign.  In fact, while Obama’s campaign is cheering any unfair negative press they can get on Romney, the result is Romney sitting in front of CNN, Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC cameras, on their dime, explaining how Obama is wrong and not living up to his promises of running an issues centered campaign.

In fact, as John Sununu pointed out, Obama’s bringing up things like felonies and outsourcing is really a liability for Obama.  Obama can be tied to Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojavich, Bill Ayers, and more recently Eric Holder and the Fast and Furious scandal.  You want to talk about secretive.

Here is my challenge to the Obama campaign.  Bain executives, Olympic executives, and anyone who knew Romney in 1999 knew that he was no more running Bain Capital than Bush was running a timber company in 2004.  So why doesn’t Obama send Eric Holder to arrest Mitt Romney for listing himself as CEO of Bain in 2002?  It wouldn’t be a waste of Holder’s time, he’s busy not turning Fast and Furious documents over to Congress and not enforcing Congress’s vote of contempt against him.  Send Holder to arrest Romney for supposedly committing the felony of being the president of a company he wasn’t running or involved with.  Then we can all have a good belly laugh at Obama and get on with our lives.

Obama has been consistently dishonest in this election season.  Eventually more people than just the political junkies like you and me will figure this out.  When a President lies several times during a campaign, the average joe on the street might miss every instance.  When a President lies continually, eventually every American will experience his dishonesty.  And when not even CNN and the Washington Post can backup Obama, his credibility is gone.  Can Obama win with no credibility?

Newt vs. the CBO

You can tell the left is afraid of someone when they bring out the big guns.  Relying on his credentials as a former conservative, Bruce Bartlett has come out attacking Newt Gingrich for policies from over a decade and a half ago that Bartlett claims are responsible for today’s Congressional malaise.  Apparently, Ginrich’s reforms were not so terrible that Nancy Pelosi would want to change them when she had the chance.

One of Bartlett’s grips is that Gingrich consistently calls for an end to the CBO because of the way the CBO does projections.  Unfortunately for Bartlett, his faith in the CBO does not have a great track record to back it up.  After recalculating Obamacare costs and tax savings of all the various bi-partisan deals that have come out, the CBO has recently had to come out and admit they blew their projection of how much Obama’s stimulus was going to save the economy, and the number of jobs saved.

The problem with the CBO is that they don’t do dynamic budgeting.  They do projections.  In other words, Bartlett points out that the CBO figured the losses from the Bush tax cuts to be $3 trillion, but those losses are calculated based on the growth during Bush’s presidency and assumes that growth would have happened no matter what.  On the other hand, dynamic budgeting would look at this prolonged Obama recession and see that we have lost close to a trillion dollars a year in tax revenues because of stagnant growth and 9% unemployment.  The CBO, and Bartlett, are not smart enough to figure that out.

Bartlett thinks the CBO is smarter than Newt.  Actually, they just use different processes.  CBO processes are the perfect product of government bureaucracy economics that assume all things are equal and that policies will have no effect beyond the typed text of the bill.  On the other hand, Newt attempts to anticipate how ideas will affect other areas of the economy.  It’s more of a successful business approach where the results of the study mean more than giving one party ammo to sell a bill, like Obamacare.  For more info on the CBO’s recent record, there is a less than flattering article over at Biggovernment.com.

So which budgeting approach is better?  Depends on if you actually care about the results, or if you are a jaded former conservative writing for the New York Times.

Yes, he can?

In the volatility of the Republican 2012 primary, one thing is for sure.  Calling this race now would be like predicting the Superbowl in September.  How ’bout them Eagles.  Of course, I called the Eagles faltering before the season started.  I’m usually pretty good with my football picks.  So, allow me to apply some of that prophetic magic here.  FYI, this post is not for the faint of heart.  I’m just giving it to you straight.

Romney is all set as the Republican establishment candidate.  He has had that spot locked up really since before Mitch Daniels dropped out of the race.  Now the one stable thing in this race is that Romney will get the establishment vote.  He will also get a lot of mainstream Republican votes.  But he is going to run into a real issue, and that is with the anti-establishment movement within the Republican party.  All that is about to blow wide open this week as the NYT releases a story about opinions among establishment Republicans of the TEA party.  The GOP is about to have a civil war on its hands.  Whether they can recover by next November will be huge in determining whether or not Barack Obama is President in 2013.  Mitt Romney absolutely must nail down his conservative support and soon, or he will lose Iowa, South Carolina and Florida.

Cain's 999 plan could be his undoing

I like Herman Cain a lot.  I think he would make a great Vice President.  I think he would be a star on the campaign trail.  I think he would bring a lot of conservatives to the table and would bring the TEA party and anti-establishment wing to the table.  Here’s the problem: Herman Cain’s 9 9 9 plan sucks.  He would do better to drop that plan completely and advocate a Fairtax, which I also oppose for various reasons you can find here.  But even the Fairtax is better than 9 9 9.  Cain’s 9 9 9 plan has several Achilles’s heels hidden in its simplicity.  Perhaps the worst is the 9% flat tax on corporation’s gross profits minus purchases and dividends.  Unless Cain plans to include payroll with purchases, his 9% flat tax could turn into an effective 99% tax, or even higher, on low margin service industries with high labor costs.  But simplicity and feel good soundbites are what drives the Cain campaign.  Sometimes those soundbites are the common sense we are all thinking, but nobody who represents us is saying.  In those times, I love Herman Cain.  Other times it’s not much better than the soundbites written on a Wall Street mob sign.  Great for riling you up, until you stop and think about it.

Right now, we are watching the French Revolution in the TEA party and anti-establishment wing of the Republican party.  And who can blame them?  I should say, who can blame us.  Our party had the President who initially signed TARP.  Now, of course I don’t think Bush ever imagined TARP would be used to give the treasury secretary ultimate powers to steal companies from their bondholders, sell them overseas and give the proceeds to unions.  But he should have.  Conservative Constitutionalists are praying, quite literally, that we don’t get fooled again.  The result has been the rise and fall of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and now Herman Cain.  Each time, the anti-establishment establishment is looking for that perfect, conservative candidate that we can get behind and support.

Now, suddenly Newt Gingrich is inching back into the top three.  In fact, while Cain tops out the very volatile state of Florida, Gingrich has hit double digits.  As a matter of fact, Gingrich’s facebook page shows a photo of him on the Drudge Report with a story about how he is still in this.  And he definitely is.

The difference between Newt and the other candidates is that Newt’s laundry has been on the line for years now.  Everyone knows who Newt Gingrich is.  He isn’t going to come out with a plan that sinks his campaign a month from now.  No one is going to learn during a debate about him forcing 12 year old girls to get vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases.  Everyone knows how imperfect his past is.  That’s why he hasn’t been in this race up to now.  And that is why he will be very dangerous if Cain falls on 9 9 9.  Of course, I mean “dangerous” in the best way possible.  Newt versus Mitt with no specter of late arrivals and no more candidates left to shoot up to the top could solidify January’s primaries.

Newt can carry Iowa and South Carolina easily once the other social conservatives lose their votes to him.  Newt was the first in the debates to really highlight how Obama was preventing jobs from coming to South Carolina.  And Iowa will pick the social conservative every time.  In a Newt/Mitt race, it will all be about Florida.

Could the debate in Jacksonville, FL determine the next President of the United States?

On January 26th, Republicans will hold the last GOP debate that matters before the primary.  I know, there will be one in Tampa the night before the primary.  No one is going to change their mind because of the Tampa debate.  It will all come down to January 26th in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mitt Romney versus the TEA party favorite.  The last time the Superbowl was held here, the Patriots won.

The Field Is Set: And Herman Cain Could Win

Sarah Palin has now announced she will not be running.  It appears the 2012 GOP Primary is ready to kick off.  So you heard it here first: barring a major disqualifying gaffe, Herman Cain will win the 2012 primary.  Here’s why.

Cain passes on the right to pull even with Romney

Ok, seriously.  No one knows at this point how this  is going to go down.  Candidates surge and fall, as Rick Perry has proven.  I don’t really know that Herman Cain is going to win the primary.  But he does have a clear path to victory.  Right now it is his race to give up.

But wait, isn’t Romney leading the polls??  Yes, but as I pointed out in my last blog Romney’s majority is an illusion caused by a split vote among social, TEA party candidates.  As Perry continues to fade and Cain continues to pick up his supporters, you will see more polls like the most recent CBS poll that shows Cain and Romney tied.  Perry’s demise is all upside for Cain while Romney maintains his solid base of support.

So why Cain?  Why didn’t Bachmann, Gingrich, or Santorum gain any momentum from Perry’s fall?  Perry dropped 11 points in this CBS poll while Cain jumped 12 points.  Gingrich and Santorum both got small bumps, but are still considered unelectable and still cannot shake their baggage from the last 20 years.  Santorum continues to come across as an unelectable champion of family values with a support base that loves what he says and believes but won’t vote for him because they’d rather have Obama gone than lose with the most socially conservative candidate on the stage.  For Gingrich, conservatives have already written the USA Today, Time Magazine and New York Times headlines in their heads about his failed marriages, hypocrisy in the Clinton impeachment, global warming commercials with Nancy Pelosi, and other things from his decades in the spotlight.

Bachmann, with a relatively small public history, is a different story.  Although her message, naivete on some issues, and ability to stir a TEA party crowd mirror Herman Cain, she somehow comes across differently.   While Herman Cain gets away with announcing that no future President will raise the rates on his 999 plan, Bachmann promises $2 a gallon gas and becomes the laughing stock of the mainstream media and even conservatives.  Bachmann tells stories of raising her kids and foster kids and is seen as homely and amateurish.  Cain tells stories of him and his brother sneaking drinks from the Whites Only drinking fountain as kids and the story simply tugs at anyone’s heart strings.  Bachmann embellishes Perry’s Merck connection and the potential health risks of the HPV vaccine and the media drags her through the coals on it.  The media tried to make hay out of Cain’s comment about blacks being brainwashed into voting Democratic and the story was dead on arrival.

Perhaps the greatest difference that speaks to American hearts is that Cain is not bitter or angry.  Yes, he is the first to tell us that Obama’s policies are destroying the country.  But he does it with an air of policy sincerity, not partisan gamesmanship.  Cain doesn’t seem to have a racist bone in his body, to the extent that some Democrats seem to think he is racist against blacks.  Cain simply comes across as a successful American who believes in America and in every American’s ability to become whatever they want to be.  Cain brings back with sincerity something that politicians have been falsely touting for years: a sincere belief in the American dream and the ability of Americans to achieve it.  His simple, Reaganesque faith in the American people and freedom will be enough to preserve his seat as the top social conservative.  As other social conservatives call it quits, Cain will continue to swallow up their supporters and surpass Romney.

Just a month ago Cain was barely on the radar.  With Perry’s self-destruction and the Florida straw poll, Cain now has the potential momentum to carry him through.  The key will be surviving early Romney primary wins until the race narrows to just Cain and Romney.  From there he can coast to GOP victory.

Hung Out to Dry

If ever there was a time for conservatives to stand up for Sarah Palin, now would be it. Palin is certainly a front runner for the Presidency, even as a TEA Party outsider in the Republican Party. This makes her an easy target.

Oops, did I say target? The absolute ridiculousness with which the left has attempted to tie Jared Loughner to Sarah Palin should have every Republican up in arms. The ease with which Loughner’s actual political leanings and mental stability can be documented should add fuel to a conservative fire that overturns years of a subtle left-wing bias in the media. It should be pretty obvious right now which way the mainstream leans.

So why aren’t conservatives standing up for Palin? When given the chance to stand up for Palin and shred the media’s unjust attacks, Newt Gingrich stated that Palin is the one who needs to be more careful about what she says. Immediately left-wing bloggers seized on Gingrich’s words and reposted them with glee.

Shortly after the Tuscon shooting, left-wing loudmouth Keith Olbermann associated Loughner with Palin. Though he obviously put his foot in his mouth, speaking out of ignorance, mainstream Republicans did not respond. Finally Palin did.

The result? Palin was attacked by the left for responding. But she was also attacked by the right. Ross Douthat, supposedly a conservative New York Times columnist (yeah, I hear they found bigfoot and UFOs too), echoed the establishment complaint that Palin’s response was unpresidential. I wonder if anyone ever confronted Andrew Jackson, blood flowing from an open wound, gun still smoking, fresh from winning a duel (or losing as he did on one occasion) that he was acting unpresidential.

This one was a slam dunk. Loughner was a druggie, fed on 9/11 conspiracy theories and hatred of women in power. He didn’t listen to talk radio and certainly wouldn’t have followed the details of Palin’s TEA Party successes this past fall. Republicans had a chance to take on the the lies that were coming out and show the country exactly how the left had chosen to politicize the shooting. But they didn’t.

I have tried to reconcile the lack of conservative response. The person who came closest to defending Palin and the TEA Party movement was the President himself when he called on Americans not to blame each other or point fingers.

Most likely, mainstream potential candidates are trying to avoid putting themselves in a situation where they face the same grueling attacks that Palin has. Possibly, some establishment candidates may be secretly satisfied to see their stiffest competition for the 2012 primaries knocked out as a result of the media’s unnecessary roughness.

Dark Horse Potential?

From George Washington to Teddy Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower, the US has a long tradition of the “war hero” President.  In most cases, this has been beneficial for the US.

So why not have a candidate who has stayed out of the political rancor of the last three elections, has a blank political slate, has served both President Bush and Obama, and has succeeded once already in a war that was pronounced unwinnable?  It should also help that he has a Masters of Public Administration and Ph.D. in International Relations from Princeton.

I am speaking about the highly decorated four star general, Gen. David Petraeus.  Even the Moveon.org attack ad in the New York Times from a few years ago has done nothing but bolster Gen. Petraeus’ popularity among most in America.  After the last few White House occupants, Petraeus seems to carry an air of honor and earned respect that seems almost unworthy of this highest post.

General David Petraeus

Gen. Petraeus is certainly qualified.  So why isn’t he showing up in any media chatter or straw polls?  Probably because among all the candidates who have claimed they have no interest in running, his claim sounds the most sincere.  When asked about it in a 2007 Foxnews interview, Petraeus offered what he called a “Shermanesque” response.  Sherman was the popular Civil War general, who when asked if he would run for office responded by saying “I will not accept if nominated, and I will not serve if elected”.

Was Petraeus simply participating in the time honored tradition of denying Presidential ambitions until the time is right?  I tend to feel that was sincere, but only time will tell.

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