Friday, October 10, 2014

GOP Strategy

With less than four weeks to go before the midterms, the Republican strategy is coming into focus. They want their candidates to be seen and not heard and they want to go negative with their opponents.

Second point first. Negative campaigns are effective. The Obama 2012 campaign was nothing but smears and character assassinations leveled against Mitt Romney. One of the worst--possibly the very worst--incumbents in history maintained the levers of power because they turned their opponent into a caricature of himself. The Republicans should have taken notes.

The brains of the GOP, for lack of a better term, need to realize that what works for their opponents might not work for them.  They expect the news media to connect the dots and to be impartial. Keeping one's silence--i.e. refusing to define oneself or tell the public what they will do if elected, or to discuss core values even when the stated core values are wildly popular--can be a deadly passive strategy. Define or be defined.

It's not as if the Republicans do not have some memory of success. 1994 and 2010 were two campaigns where the Elephants shouted the concerns of the silent majority. In 2012 the Republicans nominated a presidential candidate who was absurdly combative in the primaries but chose to play nice and go on the defensive and run out the clock. The GOP establishment likes to blame uberbuffoon Todd Akin who stupidly declared that a woman could not be impregnated by rape. They don't lay any blame on Romney who had an opportunity to drill the disgraceful president for his flagrant dereliction of duty and subsequent lies surrounding the Benghazi tragedy and chose to punt.

The problem with advancing undefined candidates is that the fourth estate is greater than 99% pro-Democrat. They cannot be expected to remind the public of the horrors of Obamacare, the still-growing national debt, the decline in median income, the loss of jobs, the real dangers of ISIS/jihad/workplace safety, the porous southern border that spews terrorists, gangsters and disease vectors, institutionalized corruption, abuses of power...things that used to be considered political fodder. Don't expect APMSNBC to call attention to a Democrat's deficiencies. We are left with two machines slinging mud. What is lacking is product differentiation.

We have a half dozen Senate races that were favoring the Republicans that are now too close to call. Same with gubernatorial races. In New Hampshire the Republicans grabbed both congressional seats in 2010 with a vocal strategy and lost both of them in 2012 with a strategy of silence. Both races are too close to call in 2014.

Maybe Priebus will run the tables and surprise us all.  Doesn't look that way now. The Republican establishment is much more fearful of its grass roots (the tea party before it got hijacked) than of their friendly rival Democrats. Shut up and let us do the talking. We will soon see how this game plan works. I am not optimistic.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Enter The Reagan Seniors Or This Is Not Your Father's Grandma and Grandpa

Here's an interesting analysis from the Boston Globe. Seems that the old FDR Senior is being slowly replaced by a different type of senior voter.

High Praise For Joe Biden From a Mafia Hitman

I read "I Heard You Paint Houses" years ago and was it convinced me that Frank Sheeran killed Jimmy Hoffa. I no longer have my copy but I do remember that Sheeran liked Joe Biden. Doug Ross refreshes my memory on this subject.

In 1972 Sheeran received a visit from “a very prominent lawyer” he knew who was “very big in the Democratic Party” in Delaware. The November general election was approaching, and the race for the U.S. Senate seat held by a Republican was expected to be close. The lawyer wanted help in preventing the distribution of a paid Republican political ad – an insert in the Delaware-wide newspapers – that would run for a week and expose the campaign misrepresentations by the Democratic challenger. Sheeran promised the operative that he “would hire some people and put them on the picket line.” He added, “People nobody would mess with.”
The picket line went up, the papers were not delivered all week, and, as Sheeran said, “The day after the election the informational picket line came down, and the newspaper went back to normal and Delaware had a new United States Senator.” His name was Joe Biden. Thereafter, said admitted extortionist, thief and murderer Sheeran, of Biden, “You could reach out for him, and he would listen.” [Emphasis added.]
So, there you have it. The Vice President of the United States got his job as U.S. Senator with help from a Mafia hit-man and Delaware Teamster boss. No wonder Barack Obama keeps Joe as his running mate.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Marilinda Garcia Blacklisted by NRCC

There will no more money for Marilinda Garcia coming from the NRCC after the candidate for representative from New Hampshire's second congressional refused to say she would vote for John Boehner for House Speaker.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

House Republicans want jail time for Holder and Tim Geithner must give up his personal memoirs

A motion filed by lawyers for the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform and posted here reads in part:
October 1 has come and gone and the Attorney General has not produced to the Committee any documents.
Accordingly, the Committee now moves for entry of an order that directs the Attorney General to show cause, if any, why he should not be found in civil contempt for his failure to comply with the Court’s August 20 Order. Should the Court determine that the Attorney General has violated that Order, the Court should impose on the Attorney General an appropriate penalty to coerce his compliance with the August 20 Order, including an escalating daily monetary fine against Eric H. Holder, Jr., to be paid by Mr. Holder out of his personal assets, converting to incarceration if the payment of daily monetary fines does not produce compliance within a reasonable period of time.
In 2012 the House Committee filed suit in U.S. District Court before Judge Amy Berman Jackson. For more than 2 years the case has been hobbled by delays and negotiations. In a hearing on August 20 Judge Jackson found that the documents fell into 2 groups; those in which Obama could make a claim of executive privilege and another group in which no such claim could be supported. She ordered the Justice Department to begin turning over the documents from the second group by October 1. Justice threatened to appeal the ruling but never did nor did it turn over any documents to Oversight.
Last month, lawyers for Holder requested an extension of the Wednesday deadline, arguing that it made more sense for Jackson to rule on all the disputed records and then take the case to the D.C. Circuit for an appeal rather than proceed piecemeal. Committee lawyers said they want any documents they’re entitled to now, rather than waiting. The House committee did indicate earlier that it would not object to extending the deadline until Nov. 3. However, the new House motion argues the extension Holder sought was not to apply to all the documents he was required to turn over. The Justice Department contends it does.
Gee! Just as Holder thought he could slip out of town and spend some quality time with his ohbeeguynee wife and maybe take up mahjong or macrame in his golden years Republicans want to throw him in the slammer. One suspects that the Oversight lawyers know it will complicate and delay the case further if it is not settled while Holder is still AG. Also it would help to have something to leak to the public just prior to the election.
DOJ did not fare well in its other case where the claim of privileged information has been made. I have written several posts about the McGraw Hill lawsuit and the "retaliatory defense" but for those not familiar with the case here is a brief summary.
In August of 2011 shortly after Standard and Poor downgraded the U.S. credit rating Harold McGraw III, CEO of McGraw Hill, the parent company of Standard and Poor received an angry phone call from then Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who warned that such an action could not occur without a response from the government. All 3 credit rating agencies, S&P, Moody's, and Fitch, were publicly blamed by the Obama administration for contributing to the financial meltdown of 2008 yet only S&P was named in a lawsuit. McGraw Hill lawyers argue the case was brought in bad faith as retaliation for the downgrading of U.S. debt. By reviewing the White House log they pinpointed the time of Geithner's call as 5 minutes after he left Obama's office meaning it was probably made from the White House.
After some back and forth District Court Judge David Carter allowed S&P to pursue its "retaliatory defense". Probably the DOJ was feeling pretty cocky about its chances at this time since Obama would surely claim executive privilege but funny thing happened on the way to a slam dunk victory. Geithner wrote his best selling book, “Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises.” Rather than subpoena White House records S&P lawyers subpoenaed Geithner's personal memoirs that he used to write his book. His lawyers say requests to hand over the papers compromise his privacy.
Nice try but no cigar!
“A former official cannot, on the one hand, withhold information in a case of significant public importance, while on the other, collect money from sales of a tell-all book that contains much the same information. The public has a right to every man’s evidence,” wrote Judge Carter.
On the brighter side this could return Geithner's book to the New York Times Bestseller’s list where it spent a month after debuting at number 4.

Another great moment in the war on drugs

If the adage, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, holds true citizens of Georgia have plenty to fear from their government as it is gifted with near infinitesimal knowledge of even high school botany. With a helicopter above police in paramilitary uniforms surged onto the property of Dwayne Perry of Cartersville ready to confiscate and destroy his okra crop.
“We’ve not been able to identify it as of yet, but it did have quite a number of characteristics that were similar to a cannabis plant,” Capt. Kermit Stokes, of the Georgia State Patrol, said.
He means it had pointed leaves but one would think the Governor's Drug Task Force for drug suppression would have cultivated a modicum of intelligence in its years of experience. A marijuana plant has 7 leaves; an okra plant has 5. Given the low mentality of drug enforcement agencies in general no one should be surprised the war on drugs was lost a decade ago. Declare victory and stay home.