Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pelosi Stepping In

Former Speaker and House Minority Leader hopeful Nancy Pelosi has decided to get involved in the race between Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn for Minority Whip, and is apparently decided to organize a compromise. Sources saying she is doing what she can in order to avoid The House having to cast dividing votes. One idea that seems to be making the rounds is that one would get Minority Whip, which means one person would be in charge of making sure that the party members vote along party lines, and the other would head the House Caucus Chairman. An issue that has come up is the fact that Clyburn is an African American with support from the Congressional Black Caucus. Both men are saying that they have all the support they need, and the upper hand. Aides to both have claimed that even behind the scenes, it is calm and relatively peaceful between the two.

Can the Economy Save Obama?

Democrats will tell you that the economy was what really hammered them in this election cycle. But will the conditions be the same in 2012? Economists say, not really. While slow growth is the main expectation of 2011, economists say that there will be better growth and job market improvements in 2012, which may help the president's reelection. Unemployment is at 9.6 percent, and is expected to just be over 9 next year. The long term outlook is better: at least 8.1 percent on Election Day 2012, with some going so far as to say 7 percent by then. That, to me, is kind of a stretch. I  think you are far more likely to see it in the 8 percent region during the election, I would say around 8.5 or higher. Although, that still may be no help to him, in my mind. He has presided over an anemic economy so long that by this point there's nothing he can really say or do. It would take a miracle, friends and neighbors.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The death Of Liberalism?

Wisconsin is normally a very Democratic state. So it came as a big shock, to me anyway, when Russ Feingold, the man who opposed Iraq and Afghanistan, opposed the Patriot Act, supported the health care bill, among other liberal's ideas, lost to Ron Johnson. A conservative victory in Wisconsin has triggered the talk that liberalism is dead, or at least very injured. If you had asked people a year ago, they would have told you that there was no way Russ feingold could lose, barring a big mistake or a major scandal of some kind. But then the Tea Party showed up, and we started going down the rabbit hole. While some are saying that liberalism is dead, however, there are others saying it'll be back. After all, Wisconsin elected another conservative republican fifty years ago. His name was Joe "The Mad Communist Hunter" McCarthy, who was only taken down after a question of decency. Liberalism is gone, yes, but it will be back in time. And it will start in one of the most liberal states in history: Wisconsin.

Republicans For Limited Government

But really, what else is new? They are feeling emboldened, obviously, because they have also vowed to rool back the health care reform. The President said that he accepted responsibility for not providing economic security, as well as not changing the hyper-partisan, closed room deals. At the same time, he also said that the health care reform was the right thing to do. And while the president has said that he is willing to try to work with the Republicans, the Republicans are obviously not too keen on the idea of working with him. Republican leaders have achieved their goal of removing a majority leader who actually got things done, and will replace her with John Boehner, of whom no one has a freaking clue about. In the meantime, some Republicans are warning their party, saying that the party has to build trust with people and actually produce results, in a time when people are very unhappy with both parties.

Meg Whitman loses, despite heavy spending

It's amazing to hear: Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, the woman who has poured more than $142 million into her campaign, the woman who bought many ads saying she would scale back state government and fix the state, has lost her race. Voters picked Jerry Brown, who has spent over thirty years in politics. Even more amazing is that he spent only $30 million of his own money on the race. It could be fair to say that it didn't help that she had so many ads running. After all, a year of saying the same things over and over, people might get tired of it. Brown served from 1975 to 1983, and the only reason he could run this time was because he was governor before term limits were introduced.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pennsylvania Match Could End In Court

And it wouldn't be a freaking surprise. After all, there are already allegations by both sides that the other is trying to steal the elections. It seems that allegations of absentee voter fraud have started cropping up. The Eighth district is currently represented by Patrick Murphy, who beat Mike Fitzgerald by 1,500 votes. And now they are facing off again. The struggle between the two have been started by two things. The first is a mailer that was sent by the state Democratic Party. It was sent in order to increase absentee voting. And while such a mailer is not illegal, it has been labelled as misleading, as the state office it's supposed to be from doesn't exist. Republicans have accused Democrats of tampering with these ballot applications. The second match was that the GOP elections board has set aside ballots to be challenged, most of which are from Democrats. We will probably not see any winner here for months: think Al Franken and Norm Coleman months.

End Of Tax Breaks?

Not if you listen to the GOP and the Democrats. They are both promising extensively that there won't be tax raises. (Can anyone say, Ronald Reagan?) But with the economy to recover, switch promises are foolish. Most tax experts are saying that the government should rethink the more than two hundred tax breaks that are in the code. Yes, that includes all those really popular ones. These breaks make up one trillion dollars. To give you an idea, basically, this is about one third of our budget. The Bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget have a plan (thank heaven that someone does.) put out a paper of ideas that could raise 1.7 trillion dollars over ten years. The problem, however, is not getting everyone to agree that tax cuts need curbing. the problem is getting agreement on which should be ended, or at least trimmed. I don't know, how about all of them? We may finally get back to having a surplus. Either that or cut some services.

Lisa Murkowski Caucus

After reports started surfacing saying that she might decide to break with her party, Lisa Murkowski has told that she will, without a doubt, stay with the Republican caucus. The stories started after Joe Miller accused Ms. Murkowski of considering switching parties, going so far as to issue a press release. Ms. Murkowski pushed back, saying that she would stay a Republican, which she has been since she was 18. I kinda wish she had switched, just to mess with the party who had dumped her like an old chair on the side of the road.

No Double Dip Seen On Horizon

From the Economic Cycle Research Institute, (No, I have never heard of them before this.) the leading economic indicators show that we are not headed for another recession. In fact, according to this group, we are on the track that all recessions and recoveries have made since World War Two. That's the good news. However, we're not out of the woods just yet. the lack of growth we saw in 2010 will continue in 2011. And so, the Fed will continue quantitative easing, or creating more money in the hopes of improving the economy. This could create many more problems than it would solve, as it would be based on past economic performance factors and hard to measure variables. Because of this, as well as poor timing on the Fed's part, and their giant sheets, we may seeing bigger booms and busts with more frequent recessions.