the Morning Briefing every morning at no charge.
August is such a vacuum in Washington. I would like to think the GOP might seize on it to focus on two things for which I do not think there is sufficient outrage.The first is Barack Obama’s bus tour. It is a campaign trip. The administration is doing little to hide it and a passive press corps is even describing it as a bus tour while minimizing the fact that American taxpayers are footing the bill in its entirety.When George W. Bush took his own bus tour, he did so with campaign funds. Barack Obama is expecting you, me, and everyone else to fund his re-election campaign. At a time when 17% of the country is either unemployed or underemployed, it is appalling that the President would use our money to fund his re-election and that re-election message would be that we need to give him even more of our money.Sell the damn buses and refund the money, Mr. President. It is a campaign trip pure and simple and your campaign should fund it. It is outrageous that you would buy million dollar buses from Canada in order to drive around the countryside demagoguing private jet owners.Even more appalling than that is his Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, declaring the expansion of the food stamp program to be a stimulus. I don’t know about you, but I think if I were dependent on food stamps, I would not exactly feel stimulated.He has the temerity to say that for every food stamp dollar spent, $1.87 is turned by into the economy. He, of course, ignores all the additional money consumed by the bureaucracy and administration costs of the program and the waste, fraud, and abuse the President goes on and on about.Not only that though, but Vilsack actually brags that the Obama administration has expanded the food stamp program and . . . wait for it . . . has consequently expanded the stimulus.And on top of it all, with 17% of Americans either unemployed or underemployed, Barack Obama has the nerve to tell us on his taxpayer funded campaign trip that sometime after he gets back from vacation in September he will have a jobs program. Finally. More than 900 days into his administration, Captain Bull Malarkey and the Banana Republic bunch will show up with a jobs plan.Please click here for the rest of the post.
The loss of jobs is only half of the result of the government interventionist equation. The other casualty of an economy driven by taxation, regulation, litigation, subsidization, monetary intervention, and debt is the crippling cost of living for all Americans. [Yes, I was about to say middle class, but we would be wise to eradicate that sort of socialist innuendo from our vernacular.]Earlier today, the latest wholesale inflationary numbers were released. The core PPI rose 0.4% in July, while year over year PPI is now close to a three year high at 7.2%. Additionally, food prices rose another 0.6% in July. These numbers are quite disconcerting, given the sharp slowdown in economic activity. The higher wholesale costs are inevitably passed down to consumers, forcing them to pay more for basic products, such as energy, food, and transportation.While there are many cyclical factors that affect the price of food and fuel, and by extension, everything else; nonetheless, clearly central planning from the government has kept prices artificially high.Please click here for the rest of the post.
I’m getting a lot of disagreement with my earlier statement that the race is still Mitt Romney’s to lose. Some of it is irrational exuberance from Perry supporters. Some of it is legitimate. Your mileage may vary on my thinking, but I did want to lay it out.Please click here for the rest of the post.
Rick Perry’s biggest problem to getting the Republican nomination and winning a general election is Rick Perry. He is going to have to overcome attacks both from Karl Rove acolytes helping Mitt Romney and also from Democrats painting him as the second coming of George W. Bush. He will have to appeal to swing, independent voters, women, and people who are still a bit tired of the last Christian/military pilot/Texas Governor.But all the people saying Rick Perry’s comments on Ben Bernanke hurt him have some serious Beltway-itis.Dude got the President of the United States to respond personally and directly to him — not to the field, not to the generic Republican, but to Rick Perry.Even more importantly, Barack Obama’s comments were on how Rick Perry, in effect, needed to do his job. Imagine that, the man who has killed more jobs than saved wants to lecture an opponent on how to do his job.More so, Ben Bernanke is not exactly Mr. Popular.In 24 hours, Perry managed to get Karl Rove to attack him and Barack Obama to attack him. About the only down side is that most Americans are probably getting their kids back to school this week and did not notice.Please click here for the rest of the post.
Democratic State Rep. Michael Sturla is apparently not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Speaking of the impact of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom on Pennsylvania, Sturla said:“Also, aside from building roads so their trucks can get to drill sites and doing a little stream work to mitigate damage from their road building, exactly what are all those things the drillers are doing for the local communities? Patronizing the bars at night? Driving up the cost of rental housing? Spreading sexually transmitted disease amongst the womenfolk? …”Amongst the womenfolk? Why do I feel like I am watching an episode of Bonanza?Please click here for the rest of the post.