Just Saying

A few good words about my home state from Michael Barone in the Washington Examiner….

If you want to see a place where the private sector in America has been booming and generating jobs, you should look at Texas. That’s my take from these absolutely fascinating numbers compiled from Bureau of Labor Statistics figures by The Business Journals, tracking the increase or decrease in private sector jobs in the ten years between April 2001 and April 2011….

In those 10 years, Texas gained 732,800 private sector jobs, far ahead of the number two and three states, Arizona (90,200) and Nevada (90,000). The nation overall lost more than 2 million private sector jobs, with the biggest losses coming in California (623,700), Michigan (619,200) and Ohio (460,900).

 Texas’s gain was also impressive as a percentage of jobs at the beginning of the period. Texas had job growth of 9%, more than any other state except much smaller North Dakota (19%), Alaska (17%), Wyoming (16%), Montana (12%) and Utah (10%). The biggest losers in percentage terms, by far, were Michigan (16%) and Ohio (10%)…..

The lesson of the previous decade seems clear: if you take a previously prosperous and creative state and subject it to high taxes and intrusive regulations, it loses 5% of its private sector jobs; if you take a previously somewhat less prosperous and creative state and govern it with low taxes and light regulation, it gains 9% more jobs, even as the nation’s economy is suffering.

And another thing of interest from Fox News…..

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday he is considering a run for the Republican nomination in 2012, saying he’ll decide after the current legislative session ends next week.

“Yes sir, I’m going to think about it,” Perry said in a response to a question from a reporter, “but I think about a lot of things,” he added with a grin.

Laughter ensued.

And another article from Fox News….

Perry, who has been governor for more than a decade, is a favorite of the Tea Party movement for his tough stands on state sovereignty, border security, taxes and gun rights. Anybody who packs heat when he jogs so he can blow away coyotes that mess with his Labrador retriever and hangs out with Ted Nugent at a Tax Day rally is going to have serious street cred with the Republican base.

Perry has his problems, but there isn’t a friggin’ GOP candidate who doesn’t.  I’m not exactly endorsing Perry (just like Rush Limbaugh wasn’t exactly endorsing Perry last week). I’m just saying…..

Another Fun Appointment

Good Lord – I’m loving this stuff.  Ron Paul appointed to the House Subcommittee in charge of Federal Reserve oversight.  You have to be kidding.  This is great!

Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, one of the most outspoken critics of the Federal Reserve, will lead a congressional panel next year with oversight over the central bank.

 Paul, who wrote a book entitled “End the Fed,” told Bloomberg Television in an interview this morning that he will “not really, not right up front” push for an end to the Fed.

 “But obviously that’s the implication,” he added. Paul said he will first focus on oversight.

 When Republicans take over the House next year, Paul will chair the House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee, which is part of the Financial Services Committee. Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, chairman-elect of the Financial Services Committee, announced the new leaders of the committee yesterday…..

Paul’s scrutiny of the Fed has bolstered his libertarian credentials in the eyes of his supporters. On Wednesday, a coalition of about 30 Tea Party-aligned groups wrote a letter to Bachus and incoming House Speaker John Boehner in support of Paul’s appointment to chair the financial subcommittee, the Washington Post reports. The letter came after reports that GOP leaders may have given the chairmanship to someone else because of Paul’s views.

This is really a brilliant move.  First, Jeff Flake is appointed to Appropriations – now this.  Keep ’em coming Mr. Boehner.

Obama Has Left The Building

Hey Kids!  This in an activity that invites participation from all of our blog readers and my fellow moderators. Here are the instructions:

Watch the following YouTube video of President Obama’s joint press conference with former President Bill Clinton.  The video is over 30 minutes (it involves Bill Clinton).  I’d urge you to watch all of the video because it is informative, but I’d ask, at least, that you watch the first 11 minutes to gain full context.  The critical moment is at 10:24. And then observe at least a little beyond that to watch Clinton’s interactions with the reporters.

Just check it out and let me know what hits you.  I won’t comment in the body of this post.  I’ll wait and make my observations later.  I’m interested in hearing your comments concerning how this reflects on Obama and what it has to say about Hill and Bill.  This is incredibly significant in so many ways, in my opinion.  Let’s see if you agree.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ac9uDLUdSs]

A Good Start On Congressional Spending

Good news in the House when it comes to earmarks…

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner is supporting fiscal conservative Rep. Jeff Flake’s bid to join the Appropriations Committee. 

In a bow to fiscal conservatives, Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday he would support Flake’s effort to join Appropriations. 

“I support Congressman Jeff Flake in his effort to be appointed to serve on the Appropriations Committee, and I join with incoming Majority Leader Cantor in expressing hope that other reform-minded Members of Congress will follow Jeff’s example in seeking appointment to the committee,” Boehner said Monday in a statement.

Flake and other fiscal conservatives have sought to aggressively cut spending in the next Congress and end practices like earmarks, on which the House and Senate GOP have adopted a voluntary moratorium. Flake’s appointment to the Appropriations panel would be seen as a major tidal change for the committee.

Boehner, himself, doesn’t do earmarks.  And the GOP leadership in the House and Senate has vowed to take on earmarks.  Whiny little grassroots folks like us are constantly reminded by establishment Republicans, Democrats and their MSM consorts that Congressional earmarks account for so very little in the grand scheme of federal spending.  But we all know it’s a good step forward to eliminate them. 

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake’s appointment to the Appropriations Committee is excellent news that signals the House GOP leadership is serious about this battle.

Gay Voters in 2010

I receive at least an email a month (sometimes more) from somebody asking how I can be gay and Republican at the same time.  Other times, I receive an email from a gay or lesbian individual who is shocked that others, like them, actually exist. Usually the person copies the other moderators on this site (so they know what I am talking about).  You would have to research back to this blog’s early days or scroll through other seemingly-unrelated posts that delved into the subject in order to rehash all the reasons.  Suffice it to say – this is a question that I will always be asked and a discussion that will never end to everyone’s satisfaction.

But the tide is turning, my friends.  When I read this news piece from Politico, I was pleasantly shocked.  “Shocked” doesn’t really begin to describe it.  I almost feel the onset of vindication.

More self-identified gay voters chose the GOP in the midterm elections than in previously recorded totals, according to a CNN exit poll.

Thirty-one percent of self-identified gay voters cast their ballots for Republicans on Tuesday, 4 percentage points more than in 2008, according to a similar CNN exit poll.

Put that into perspective.  Nearly one-third of gay voters went GOP this time around.  That’s 31% of “self-identified” gay voters.  Imagine how many closeted gay voters probably filled in a bubble or clicked a button for the GOP.  CNN.com tried to downplay the sample size, but the numbers clearly show growth.

“The gay left would have you believe that gay conservatives don’t exist,” said GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia. “Now we see that almost a third of self-identified gay voters cast ballots for Republican candidates for Congress in this year’s midterm.”

“This should be a wake-up call for the out-of-touch so-called leadership of Gay Inc. in Washington, D.C., which has become little more than a subsidiary of the Democrat Party,” he said in a statement.

Yes.  We exist in numbers that the gay left wouldn’t believe (or at least – admit to).  I always say that the gay community is more diverse than people realize.  The other possibility at play here is that gay Americans are beginning to realize that the US public is more accepting than ever before.  The rights of gay and lesbian Americans are guaranteed in this nation to an extent never before known in our nation’s history. 

I won’t begrudge gay civil rights groups their due in this historic progression.  Gay rights groups affected change over the past few decades just as labor unions did for workers in the earlier part of this century.  But their partners in the Democrat party began to take them forgranted as a dependable voting constituency.  Democrat policy has become nothing more than lip-service in recent years.  Change at the social level accounts for so much more these days.

Given that, we all know that the 2010 elections were primarily abount one issue – the economy.  Gay Americans like all other Americans were asked to decide who would do the best job of turning things around.  They were asked to consider whether the policies of Obama, Pelosi and Reid were making things better or making them worse.  Like a majority of Americans, a significant portion of gay and lesbian voters likely decided that the GOP had a better probability of turning things around.

I’m not a professional pollster, and I don’t have all the data at my fingertips.  So some of my analysis is a matter of reading into gay and lesbian intentions based on the mood of the general populace.  But after all – we are all part of the general populace.  And more of our community appears to be realizing that the concerns of American voters as a whole directly coincide with their own.  It’s not “us versus them ” anymore.  We’re all in this together.

House Updates

I’m going to keep the House and Senate separate.  I will track party pick-ups here rather than detailing all the incumbents who keep their seats. Refresh often for updates.

House Pick-Ups:

  • Sandra Adams (R) beats incumbent Suzanne Kosmas (D) in FL-24
  • Robert Hurt (R) beats incumbentTom Perriello (D) in VA-5
  • John Carney (D) defeats Glen Urquhart (R) for DE- at large
  • Larry Bucshon (R) defeats Trent Van Haaften (D) in IN-8
  • Daniel Webster (R) defeats incumbent Alan Grayson (D) in FL-8
  • Morgan Griffith (R) defeats incumbent Rick Boucher (D) in VA-9
  • Todd Young (R) beats incumbent Baron Hill (D) in IN-9
  • Scott Rigell (R) beats incumbent Gleen Nye (D) in VA-2
  • Frank Guinta (R) defeats Carol Shea-Porter (D) in NH-1
  • Diane Black (R) defeats Brett Carter (D) in TN-6
  • Steve Southerland (R) defeats incumbent Allen Boyd in FL2
  • Chuck Fleischmann (R) beats out John Wolfe (D) in TN-3
  • Scott DesJarlais (R) defeats incumbent Lincoln Davis (D) in TN-4
  • Bill Flores (R) defeats Chet Edwards (D) in TX-17  KICK ASS!!!!
  • Stephen Fincher (R) defeats Roy Herron (D) in TN-8
  • Dan Benishek (R) beatsGary McDowell (D) in MI-1
  • Mike Kelly (R) defeats Kathy Dahlkemper (D) in PA-3
  • Lou Barletta (R) defeats incumbent Paul Kanjorski (D) in PA-11
  • Austin Scott (R) beats incumbent Jim Marshall (D) in GA-8
  • Thomas Marino (R) beats incumbent Christopher Carney (D) in PA-10
  • Andy Harris (R) defeats incumbent Frank Kratovil (D) in MD-1
  • Bob Gibbs (R) over incumbent Zack Space (D) in OH-18
  • Alan Nunlee (R) defeats incumbent Travis Childers (D) in MS-1
  • Bobby Schilling (R) defeats incumbent Phil Hare in IL-17 (There ya go Steve!)
  • Cedric Richmond (D) beats incumbent Joseph Cao (R) in LA-2 (We expected this)
  • Jeff Landry (R) defeats Ravi Sangisetty (D) in LA-3
  • Mick Mulvaney (R) beats incumbent D leader John Spratt  in SC-5
  • Rick Berg (R) defeats incumbent Earl Pomeroy (D) in ND- at large
  • Randy Hultgren (R) beats incumbent Bill Foster (D) in IL – 14 (Steve, What did you do?)
  • Adam Kinzinger (R) beats incumbent Debbie Halvorson (D) in IL-11
  • Kevin Yoder (R) defeats Stephene Moore (D) in KS-3
  • Michael Fitzpatrick (R) beats out incumbent Patrick Murphy in PA-8
  • Steve Stivers (R) defeats incumbent Mary Jo Kilroy (D) in OH-15
  • Cory Garnder (R) beats incumbent Betsey Markey (D) in CO-4
  • Thomas Reed (R) beats Matthew Zeller (D) in NY-29
  • Bill Johnson (R) defeats incumbent Charlie Wilson in OH-6
  • Jim Renacci (R) beats out incumbent John Boccieri (D) in OH-16
  • Allen West (R) defeats incumbent Ron Klein (D) in FL-22 YES!!!!
  • Reid Ribble (R) beats incumbent Stephen Kagan (D) in WI-8
  • Steven Palazzo (R) beats incumbent Gene Taylor (D) in MS-4
  • Vicky Hartzler (R) defeats incumbent commitee chair Ike Skelton (D) in MO-4
  • Richard Hanna (R) defeats incumbent Michael Arcuri (D) in NY-24
  • Paul Gosar (R) defeats incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick (D) in AZ-1 (GO MEL!)
  • Steve Chabot (R) beats out incumbent Steve Driehaus in OH-1
  • Mike Keown (R) defeats incumbent Sanford Bishop (D) in GA-2
  • Tim Walberg (R) beats incumbent Mark Schauer (D) in MI-7
  • Charlie Bass (R) defeats Ann Kuster (D) in NH-2
  • Jon Runyan (R) beats incumbent John Adler (D) in NJ-3
  • Mike Grimm (R) defeats incumbent Michael McMahon (D) in NY-13
  • Nan Hayworth (R) defeats incumbent John Hall (D) in NY-19
  • Christopher Gibson (R) beats incumbent Scott Murphy (D) in NY-20
  • Renee Elmers (R) defeats incumbent Bob Etheridge in NC-2
  • Jaime Herrera (R) defeats Denny Heck (D) in WA-3
  • David McKinley (R) beats Mike Oliverio (D) in WV-1
  • Sean Duffy (R) defeats Julie Lassa (D) in WI-7
  • Martha Roby (R) defeats incumbent Bobby Bright (D) in AL-2
  • Rick Crawford (R) beats Chad Causey (D) in AR-2
  • Steve Pearce (R) defeats incumbent Harry Teague (D) in NM-2
  • Kristi Noem (R) defeats incumbent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) in SD – at large

 

Florida, Illinois, Virginia and Tennessee are delivering for the GOP big time!

2 Dem Pick-Ups

NOTE:  This is where I end for the night.  This is not an exhaustive list.

Senate Updates

Sorry I was running a bit late, but I’m settled in now.  Here’s how we start (these seats are being called without final results).  I will be updating this post, so refresh often.

Senate Races Called:

  • Dan Coats (R) picks up Indiana’s seat from Dems  (GOP GAIN)
  • Rand Paul (R) maintains Kentucky’s seat for the GOP
  • Pat Leahy (D) retains his seat in Vermont
  • Rob Portman (R) keeps Ohio’s seat for the GOP
  • Marco Rubio (R) keeps Florida’s seat for the GOP
  • Richard Blumenthal (D) hangs onto Connecticut’s seat for Dems
  • Christopher Coons (D) retains Delaware’s seat for Dems
  • Kelly Ayotte (R) keeps New Hampshire’s seat with the GOP
  • Roy Blunt (R) hangs onto Missouri’s seat for the GOP
  • Barabara Mikulski (D) keeps her seat in Maryland
  • Richard Shelby (R) also keeps his seat in Alabama
  • Johnny Isakson (R) keeps his seat in Georgia
  • Jim DeMint (R) keeps his seat in South Carolina
  • Tom Coburn (R) keeps his seat in Oklahoma
  • John Boozman (R) picks up Arkansas for the GOP (GOP GAIN)
  • John Manchin (D) keeps the West Virginia seat for the Dems
  • Richard Burr (R) retains his seat in North Carolina
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (R) keeps her seat in New York
  • Jerry Moran (R) keeps Kansas in the GOP
  • Chuck Schumer (D) keeps his seat in New York
  • John Hoeven (R) picks up the North Dakota seat for the GOP (GOP GAIN)
  • David Vitter (R) keeps his seat in Louisiana
  • John McCain (R) keeps his seat in Arizona
  • Chuck Grassley (R) keeps his seat in Iowa
  • Mike Lee (R) retains the Utah seat for the GOP
  • Ron Johnson (R) picks up the Wisconsin seat for the GOP (GOP GAIN)
  • Barbara Boxer (D) keeps her seat in California
  • Ron Wyden (D) keeps his seat in Oregon
  • Daniel Inouye keeps his seat in Hawaii
  • Pat Toomey (R) picks up the seat in Pennsylvania (GOP GAIN)
  • Mark Kirk (R) picks up Obama’s seat for the GOP in Illinois (GOP GAIN
  • Harry Reid (D) unfortunately keeps his seat in Nevada

Tuesday’s Revolution

I love foreign affairs, foreign policy issues, international news, etc.  But I also enjoy peeking around the corner to understand foreign perspectives on American events – particularly politics.  The London Daily Telegraph is always a great source.  And this article by Janet Daley is more introspective in terms of Tuesday’s elections than any American source I have read.  It’s amazing how much clarity is realized from the outside looking in.

More than three centuries ago, the residents of America staged a rebellion against an oppressive ruler who taxed them unjustly, ignored their discontents and treated their longing for freedom with contempt. They are about to revisit that tradition this week, when their anger and exasperation sweep through Congress like avenging angels. This time the hated oppressor isn’t a foreign colonial government, but their own professional political class.

Daley appropriately identifies the Tea Party movement as a grassroots reaction against the political establishment rather than some arm of the Republican Party.  And she correctly identifies the terms of the Tea Party’s tentative support of the GOP in this election in her evaluation of the upcoming midterm elections.

My Republican friends, perhaps surprisingly, were not gloating. They were too furious. But contrary to the superficial British assumption (heavily promoted by the BBC), they were not devoting their excoriation exclusively to the Obama Administration – or even to its clique of Congressional henchmen, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. That they were opposed to the Big State, European social democratic model of government which Obama had imported to Washington went almost without saying. But they were at least as angry with the leadership of their own party for having conceded far too much of the argument…..

So the Republicans are, if anything, as much in revolt against the establishment within their own party as they are against the Democrats. And this is what the Tea Parties (which should always be referred to in the plural, because they are not a monolithic movement) are all about: they are not just a reaction against a Left-liberal president but a repudiation of the official Opposition as well.

Assuming that the GOP benefits resoundingly from voter anger on Tuesday, the Republican leadership should be fully aware that this mandate is not a response to their establishment policies or agenda.  It is not even an endorsement of the GOP platform.  Their mandate will come from a total rejection of Obama, Reid and Pelosi’s attempts to push Big Government.  And many of the voters who put the GOP into power will be independent voters, unaffiliated with either political party.

I am socially conservative on most all issues.  I also want a strong miltary and an emphasis on national defense (independents won’t disagree with this).  But this election is about the economy and overbearing government intrusion.  And that intrusion finds itself creeping into many of the social causes that I hold dear.  The thing that I hold in common with the frustrated independent voters is a desire to get the government out of our lives.  This may seem libertarian, but is also a basic tenet of our nation’s founding principles.

It seems like voters are returning to those foundations in the face of the frightening alternative.  The GOP will likely benefit from this phenomenom based on the philosophical underpinnings of the Republican Party in contrast to the Democrat philosophy of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.  The GOP will be entrusted with a very specific mandate.  And if they screw up like they did last time or misinterpret that mandate – I can assure you that the wrath from voters will be equally swift next time around.

Endorsement From The Deceased

I could be totally off-base on this one, but I consider this development in the Alaska Senate race sick and twisted.

Incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski is set to air a television ad this week featuring a video endorsement by the late Sen. Ted Stevens, who filmed the clip shortly before his death in a plane crash earlier this year.Murkowski, who launched a write-in campaign after losing the Aug. 24 primary to Tea Party-supported attorney Joe Miller, was originally slated to air the footage this summer but pulled the ads after the legendary 40-year Senate veteran’s death.

Stevens’ daughter, Sue Covich, not only approved of this twisted campaign ad, but also appears in the ad.  I don’t care if the family approves of this morbid use of the dead for political gain.  Consider the fact that Stevens’ endorsement came before the GOP primary was decided.  He endorsed Murkowski to be the GOP nominee.

Now Murkowski has mounted this write-in campaign like a spoiled 4th-grader who can’t deal with reality.  Would Stevens have supported this juvenile effort at the possible expense of the rightful GOP nominee (Joe Miller)?  We can’t know for sure.  But Murkowski and Covich pretend to make that assumption for the deceased.

I can’t help but to think that there are Alaska voters who, like me, will find this repulsive and offensive.  I was never a huge Stevens fan though I did respect him as one of the GOP’s elder statesmen.  I can’t say for sure that Ted Stevens would do the correct thing by supporting the GOP nominee (although I believe he would), but I do know that this action by Murkowski reeks of desperation, narcissism and a total lack of class.

Black Republican Answers Obama

I’ll bet you didn’t know these tidbits:  1) 32 Black Republicans ran for Congressional office in the 2010 primaries, 2) 14 Black Republicans are now contesting Democrats for Congressional seats in the 2010 general election.

There are 3 Black Republicans who are well-situated to win their races.  The candidate most assured of a seat is Tim Scott who is running for a House seat in South Carolina.  I appreciated this article from theLondon Daily Telegraph – that’s London, England.

Campaigning a few miles from Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861, Tim Scott described last week how he was born into poverty and a broken home, much like Barack Obama…..

But the conclusions that Scott, 45, drew were very different from those of Obama. When he was 15, a man who ran a Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant taught him “that there was a way to think my way out of the worst conditions”. Scott went on to became a small businessman and a proud “conservative Republican”.

Barring a cataclysmic upset, Scott will be elected to Congress on November 2nd. There, he will be a ferocious opponent of Obama, to whom he gives a withering “failing grade” for his presidency.

What I really love is the Telegraph’s commentary on Obama.  I had to do a double-take to make sure that the words weren’t a quote from Scott.  I’m so accustomed to the left-wing tripe from the American MSM, that this was a total shock.

Rather than ushering in a post-racial era, Obama’s election to the White House appears to have intensified racial divisions in America. This is not, as the Left asserts, because Right-wing opponents are full of white-hooded bigots who refuse to accept a black man as President. Obama’s own strange myopia on race has played a big part.

This article is too great to miss.  Be sure to read it in its totality.  The Telegraph levels a charge that the GOP has “ceded black votes to the Democrats and failed to recruit candidates like Scott to winnable congressional seats.”  And I don’t disagree with that for one moment.

While most of us would consider it self-evident that GOP values agree strongly with the traditional values of the black and hispanic communities, we must also realize that the effort to highlight those areas of agreement has been neglected by the GOP.  Republican presidents have nominated women, blacks and hispanics to the Supreme Court and have appointed them to their cabinets.  But the presence of minority GOP members of Congress has been lacking.

The obvious reason for this is that their vocal leadership and Democrat elites have convinced minority voters that the Democrat Party is the only vehicle to secure their interests.  The GOP’s failure to counteract that false message is a travesty at best and a total disservice to be sure.

If Scott is the only black Republican on Capitol Hill in 2011, he will be all too easily marginalised and treated as a curiosity. That would be a shame because he has some interesting views on cutting the deficit and shrinking government.

“I’ve been black for a long time,” Scott says wearily whenever he is asked about race. He wants to be judged on his character and policies rather than the colour of his skin. At Fort Dorchester, encouragingly enough, not one pupil asked Scott about race or why a black man would be a Republican.

Obama made history by winning the White House. But it will take the likes of Scott to break down the racial barriers in America that the first black president has been content to leave in place.

One last note – there are 3 races where Black Republicans look poised to take a Congressional seat.  Aside from Scott, there is Allen West in Florida and Ryan Frazier in Colorado.  But there are other candidates with a chance.  One of my favorites is Rev. Stephen Broden, who is trying to upend scandal-ridden Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in Dallas.  He was actually endorsed by the Dallas Morning News (who had repeatedly endorsed Johnson) over the 12-term incumbent. Visit Broden’s website and donate at http://www.brodenforcongress.com/