Monthly Archives: November 2010

Remember When They Warned Us That Japan Might Not Always Buy Our Debt

I was young, but I remember the news stories and the dire warnings from family friends, parents and uncles: Japan owns us .. and they may not always want to.  Yeah, that was a long time ago and a major player has changed, but the warning is still relevant.

Before the Japanese asset price bubble burst (sound familiar? – yeah, different article .. I know) in the early 1990’s, Japan was the single largest holder of U.S. Treasuries (our debt).  I can vividly remember being reminded of cheap Japanese goods flooding U.S. markets, the “Buy American” campaign and the fact that if Japan ever stopped buying our T-Bills, we’d be screwed.  Japanese firms were buying up U.S. real estate and there were even conspiracy theories that they would call in the debt if it went bad and take our National Parks or mineral-rich land.  Sounds nothing like today …

We apparently never learned our lesson.  We kept on borrowing and spending as-if we would never have to pay it back.  Japan’s economy collapsed and another manufacturing giant took its place as America’s sugar daddy – China.

Oh, I know, all that noise about the Japanese not wanting to purchase our debt never happened and another benefactor showed up to take their place when the Tokyo couldn’t.  So, “why so serious”?  Things are different now.

From 1970 to 2008, we can call it the BB period (before Barry), the highest debt load as a percentage of GDP was 40.8% (yeah that includes G.W. Bush’s tenure). In 2009 we suddenly spiked to over 60% and it’s scaring some folks – namely those who hold large portions of our debt.

It might have a different slant if 2009 was projected to be an out-lier, but the Obama administration and money-drunk Progressive Congress have gone all out.

  • $56 Billion in new regulations
  • $1 Trillion health care reform
  • $785 Billion Stimulus
  • Billions in foreign aid
  • Pushed Unemployment to a record-high 99 weeks of benefits
  • my stomach is turning flips .. can’t go on with the list – but you get the point

This irresponsible spending of money that America does not have is pushing our debt to “unsustainable” levels.  In 2010 it’s projected to be 67.1% of GDP and take a wild guess for 2011 – down?  nah .. 70.1% of our national gross domestic product will be represented by debt.  The cause of the mess is obvious, but that’s not the point of this post – it is the dire effects that about to hit us all smack in the face.  Just like the young adult parents have to let feel the pain of their poor choices – our benefactors are leaving us to fend for ourselves.

As the Fed released a torrent of printed money at our debt, outside investors are running away from purchasing our debt.  The Fed’s monitization of the debt was supposed to cause higher bond prices and therefor lower yields (interest rates).  That would make credit easier to get and savings less attractive.  All of this to get us to go out and spend money that many don’t have and some are too afraid to spend.  It didn’t work.

Americans aren’t looking for more credit, they’re looking for jobs.  The Chinese and Europeans aren’t looking to have yeilds go down and they have absolutely no interest in seeing a flood of pretend money in international markets.  They seem to have had enough.  Americans aren’t borrowing and now it appears the rest of the world may no longer be lending.

Despite the printing of gobs of cash and buying our own debt with the monopoly cash – yields rose.  The only cause for that is that the Fed may be the only one buying T-bills in any decent volume.  As a side effect, Americans get to watch the dollars buy less.  Hello late 1970’s .. inflation, milk, gas, you name it.. out of reach.  Oddly enough, Paul Volcker was there then too.

Is it too late for American austerity?  Remember when they warned us?

Debt Commission Almost Gets It Right

After reading the Co-Chair’s draft, proposed, possible recommendations that might, if lucky, ever become real – report.  I posted a “just the facts ma’am” article earlier but wanted to add my thoughts on the proposal.

It’s a 50-page blur of bullet-points, charts and graphs, but it does illustrate one thing – at least they’re really thinking about proposing some tough ideas.

The Good

Discretionary spending caps.  Only worth $88 Billion in the first year of the plan, but increases rapidly to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars per year in savings.

They push for the simplification of the tax code into a three tier structure of much lower rates than are currently paid, gets rid of AMT for good and lowers corporate rates to internationally competitive levels.  The removal of earned income and child tax credits will also broaden the tax base by including lower-income workers who now tend to pay nothing into the system and actually get money back.  Three options are presented, but one of them (option 3) looks like someone scratched out a terrible idea in a hurry just to make sure there were three options.

Option 3 – “Tax Reform Trigger”: Ask Finance, Ways and Means Committees and Treasury to develop and enact reform by end of 2012. Across the board cut for itemized deductions, empluyer health exclusion, and general business credits that are due to start in 2013 if no reform is enacted.  Cuts should increase over time. Gradually increase gas tax (15 cents in 2013) to fully fund transportation spending.  Adopt chained CPI to correct for government over-statement of inflation

Of course, the removal of deductions also includes the reform of the mortgage interest tax deduction.  As a home owner, this one was borderline good/bad.  The reform proposes to only allow the deduction on a single residence, not on second mortgages and only for loans up to $500,000.  I left this in the good column because we will all need to pitch in to reduce the debt.  Getting a much lower tax bill and not fearing AMT inclusion in trade for losing this deduction will be a trade-off I can take.

The draft proposes the reduction in the number of federal employees by 10%, cuts 250,000 contractors and freezes all government pay for 3 years. I can’t wait to see SEIU go nuts over these ideas.

On health care, finally, someone is talking about tort reform as a means to control the cost of medical care in America. Lacking specifics, and heading to a Congress full of lawyers – not sure how viable this is.

Raising the Social Security retirement age to 68 by 2050 and 69 around 2075 is a reasonable adjustment.  This won’t affect anyone just about to retire on the government’s underfunded, beaten and robbed Trust Fund, but offers a more-logical solution than just leaving the age at 65 forever while we all continue to live and work longer.

The Bad

The main cost-cutting measure for health care is to cram-down the cuts by forcing Doctors to take less money for their services.  Pare that with the dropping of the College loan subsidies and there are going to be a lot of debt-strapped doctors with a much smaller income.  I have no idea how this is supposed to attract more Americans to become physicians.

The draft increases the gas tax by 15 cents in 2013 and keeps increasing it until if fully pays for all transportation costs (and this one gets worse see: Ugly).

The Ugly

While they protected the Transportation Trust Fund from being cross-infused from the general fund, no protections against the continued theft of money from the Social Security Trust Fund was considered.  The plan will make sure that revenues increase and outlays are reduced, but there is nothing to prevent Congress from replacing every last dollar in the fund with IOUs.

The Transportation Trust Fund (highway Trust Fund) is suggested to be moved to “mandatory expense”.  This will relieve it from the discretionary spending caps proposed in the draft.  Tie this with the ever-increasing gas tax to pay for Transportation and the environment is ripe for Congressional members to do what they always do – spend at our expense.

Obamacare is not offered up as a sacrifice.  800-pound gorilla anyone?

The real ugly here is the likelihood of these reforms being accepted.  14 of the 18 members must approve the measures and the final report is due out in just over 2 weeks.  If any of the measures with real teeth actually make it out of the commission, Congress gets a shot at them.  It may take 2012 and a Conservative Senate before we see any real action on the national debt.

Gov. Christie Being Attacked by Transit and Justice Departments

Obama administration goes after Chris Christie

The Obama administration seems to be upset with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  The Department of Justice is now saying that the Governor stayed at posh hotels while he was a U.S. Attorney.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has elevated his national political profile as a conservative cost-cutter since taking the state’s highest office, used taxpayer money to stay at luxury hotels while serving as a federal prosecutor, according to a new Justice Department report

The timing of the allegations is more-suspect than the actual report.  The audit is a normal function of the branch, but, as politico reported, this subject was broached during the Gubernatorial elections.

Christie’s expenditures came up during last fall’s gubernatorial campaign. At the time, Christie defended his actions, saying he had no other option.

As a coincidence a separate federal agency came after the governor just one day earlier.  On November 8th, the Federal Transit Authority requested that New Jersey return $271 Million that the feds had given to the state for the Hudson River Tunnel project recently cancelled by the Governor.

The Obama administration has made public its annoyance at Gov. Christie’s cancellation of the Hudson River Tunnel.  The tunnel represents the kind of public works projects thought by progressives to put the economy back on track.  Governor Christie shut down the project after it was obvious that the project would soon experience multi-billion dollar overruns and New Jersey tax payers would be on the hook for the costs.

Progressives are watching the extreme-left agenda be rejected, repudiated and “refudiated” at every turn.  Perhaps the Obama administration is looking to stem the tide as a whole new flock of fiscally Conservative Republican Governors head to their new offices in coming months.

Obama’s Debt Commission Releases Recommendations

Today the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Obama’s deficit reduction panel,has released a 50-page draft proposal that includes recommendations intended to “stabilize then reduce the national debt”.  These actions, if taken, would hopefully avoid a situation in 2020 where we will be paying $1 Trillion a year in interest.

Summary

The Co-chairs draft proposal puts some big ideas out there:

  • Freeze all Government salaries (Federal Employees and Dept of Defense) for 3 years
  • Slow increases in Federal spending
    • Change cost of living adjustments to be the more moderate “Chained CPI” instead of the current inflation index
  • A continuing increase in the Social Security retirement age to 68 near term and 69 by 2075
  • Simplify the tax code and remove the most impactful deductions and credits
    • Create just 3 individual tax rates and a single corporate rate
    • Remove mortgage interest deduction on homes over $500,000, second mortgages or second residences
    • Drop earned-income and child tax credits
    • Permanently remove AMT, PEP and Pease provisions from the tax code
  • Leaves Medicare alone but pushes cost savings onto Doctors and Lawyers
    • Cut reimbursement to doctors for services
    • Enact tort reform
  • Increase the amount of income that can be taxed for the Social Security Trust Fund
  • Reduction to the Defense Budget
    • Cut overseas bases by 1/3
    • Cut Defense contractors
  • Cut the size of government
    • Reduce federal employers by 10%
    • Cut 250,000 government contractors

Breaking it Down

The report suggests that some changes to the tax code be made as well as slowing down the annual increases in federal spending must be performed and refers to the proposals as “shared sacrifice”.  The draft posits that the recommendations achieve nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction through 2020:

  • 50+ specific ways to cut outdated programs and strengthen competitiveness by making Washington cut and invest, not borrow and spend.
  • Reduces the deficit to 2.2% of GDP by 2015, exceeding President’s goal of primary balance (about 3% of GDP).
  • Reduces tax rates, abolishes the AMT, and cuts backdoor spending in the tax code.
  • Caps revenue at or below 21% of GDP and gets spending down to 22% and eventually to 21%.
  • Stabilizes debt by 2014 and reduces debt to 60% of GDP by 2024 and 40% by 2037.
  • Ensures lasting Social Security solvency, prevents projected 22% cuts in 2037, reduces elderly poverty, and distributes burden fairly.

Obama debt panel recommendations

To reach these goals, the report made five basic recommendations:

1. Enact tough discretionary spending caps and provide $200 billion in illustrative domestic and defense savings in 2015.
2. Pass tax reform that dramatically reduces rates, simplifies the code, broadens the base, and reduces the deficit.
3. Address the “Doc Fix” not through deficit spending but through savings from payment reforms, cost-sharing, and malpractice reform, and long-term measures to control health care cost growth.
4. Achieve mandatory savings from farm subsidies, military and civil service retirement.
5. Ensure Social Security solvency for the next 75 years while reducing poverty among seniors.

Tough Discretionary Spending Caps.  Cut Domestic and Defense Spending

  • Rolls discretionary spending back to FY2010 levels for FY2012, requires 1% cut in discretionary budget authority every year from FY2013 though 2015
  • Discretionary Budget Authority (BA) indexed to inflation from FY 2015 through FY2020
  • Discretionary spending would be $204 billion (16%) below the President’s budget and $127 billion (10%) below the CBO baseline in 2015 15

These spending caps will pull $88 Billion out of the budget in just 2012 as compared to President Obama’s proposed budget for that year.  In 2015, the proposal will save $204 Billion when contrasted with the Obama administration’s spending plan which represents a 16.2% reduction in Discretionary spending.

To prevent the usual number-fudging that has been ever-present in Congressional finance, the caps are proposed to have a firewall between defense and non-defense spending.  The proposl also moves Transportation Trust Fund spending to be mandatory instead of discretionary and prevents the movement of general revenues into the fund to rescue it from over-spending due to earmarks.

To reduce the cost of national security by $100 Billion, the report now proposes that Department of Defense salaries be frozen for three years, double Sec. Gates defense contracting cuts, cuts one-third of overseas bases, modernize Defense health care (tri-care), puts civilians in jobs where military are performing commercial activities, cuts R&D by 10%, puts military children into U.S. public schools, and integrates of the different branches retail operations (commissaries and exchanges).

Another $100 Billion in domestic spending will be achieved by reducing Congressional and White House budgets by 15%, freezing a  federal salaries for three years, cut the federal workforce by 10%, eliminate 250,000 contractors, slow the growth of foreign aid, eliminate a number of Rural Utility Service programs, eliminate funding of commercial spaceflight, selling excess federal property.

Comprehensive Tax Reform

The Co-Chair’s proposal seeks to lower rates, simplify the code, include more payers, remove all spending in the tax code, improve compliance and make America more business-friendly while reducing the debt.

Three options for achieving these goals were presented in the draft.

Option 1 – “The Zero Plan”: Reduce the tax code to three individual rates (8%, 14% and 23%) if we take all spending out of the tax code (mortgage interest, child, and earned income tax credits) and a single corporate rate (26%) .  If we keep all those credits in the code the rates would be 13%, 21%, 28% and the corporate rate would be 28%.  AMT, Pease and PEP will all be eliminated either way.  Capital gains and dividends are treated as ordinary income.

The report makes the case that we should eliminate tax expenditures/credits because the top 1% enjoy 13% of the benefits while the bottom quintile only see a 1%-7% benefit which makes them highly regressive in-nature.

Option 2 –  “Wyden-Gregg Style Reform”: Repeal AMT, PEP and Pease, establish three fixed rates 15%, 25, 35%, triples the standard deduction ($15,000 for individuals, $30,000 for families), eliminate state and local tax deduction and several other itemized deductions (cafeteria plans), limit mortgage interest deduction to one residence and will not include interest on second mortgages or loans over $500,000.  Limits on charitable deduction with floor at 2% of AGI, caps deductible for employer-provided health care coverage.

Reduces corporate tax rate to 26%, permanently extend the research credit and international tax reform.

Option 3 – “Tax Reform Trigger”: Ask Finance, Ways and Means Committees and Treasury to develop and enact reform by end of 2012. Across the board cut for itemized deductions, empluyer health exclusion, and general business credits that are due to start in 2013 if no reform is enacted.  Cuts should increase over time. Gradually increase gas tax (15 cents in 2013) to fully fund transportation spending.  Adopt chained CPI to correct for government over-statement of inflation.

Because options one and two eliminate PEP, Pease and AMT they are the two best options for simplifying the tax code.  PEP and Pease are provisions that phase out individual deductions relative to income and AMT is the alternative minimum tax that was intended to prevent wealthier tax payers from paying too little.  By instating a simpler rate structure these laws are unnecessary.

Reducing Health Care Costs

The proposal puts the onus of reducing health care costs on providers and lawyers.  They intend to pay doctors and hospitals less while also adopting comprehensive tort reform to reduce defensive medicine.

Mandatory Savings

Switch to chained-CPI for all indexed programs which will slow the growth of federal spending where cost of living raises are given. Reduce farm subsidies by $3 Billion per year.

A reform of Military and Civil service retirement payments.  The highest 5 years of income will be used to calculate civil service pensions, federal workers will contribute 1/2 the cost (an increase from the current 1/14th), reform of the cost of living adjustments for civilian and military early retirees.  Military retirees cannot collect until age 60.

The plan eliminates in-school interest subsidies for student loans.  This subsidy is where the Federal government pays the interest on student loans while the person in enrolled in school.

Reforming Social Security

For the “working poor”, the draft proposes a new wage-indexed minimum benefit to keep those who earned minimum wage their whole lives above the poverty level.

Provide a benefit boost to older retirees who may outlive their other sources of income.

Reduce payments to those above the 50th percentile in lifetime income. Increase the retirement age by one month every two years after it reaches 67 under current law.  This would make the retirement age 69 by roughly 2075 but also provides a hardship exemption for anyone unable to work past 62.

Apply the chained-CPI to Social Security cost of living adjustments.

To improve the revenue side of Social Security the draft proposes to include newly hired state and local workers in Social Security after 2020 and increase the amount of income that can be taxed for Social Security.  This will remove the Social Security tax exemption that several Federal employee groups have enjoyed and increase the amount paid in by higher earners.

What is Chained CPI

This term is mentioned in several of the proposals.  The Congressional Budget Office explains it this way

Many federal programs and parts of the tax code are currently indexed to increases in the consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to many analysts, however, the CPI overstates increases in the cost of living because it does not fully account for the fact that consumers generally adjust their spending patterns as some prices change relative to other prices.

Basically, as things get more expensive, people adapt and buy generics or sale items which effectively lowers the amount of money they spend on every day products.  The CBO purports that this will more-properly index for inflation.

Status of the Draft

Today’s release comes in the form of the Co-Chair’s recommendations and are not the final recommendations from the full panel. To make the final draft, 14 of the 18 panel members must vote to accept the individual initiatives to make the final report which is due December 1st.  To actually enact them, it will literally take an act of Congress.

GOP Must Return to Consistent Conservatism

Republicans are feeling pretty good about themselves. In addition to picking up sixty-one seats in the House and gaining control of that legislative body for the first time in four years, they now control a majority of the states, and are poised to give themselves a long-term advantage by redistricting next year. The White House and Senate are still in Democrats’ hands, but the voters overwhelmingly rejected one-party rule, and Republican politicians clearly believe that the American people are on their side.

They couldn’t be more wrong. The GOP is fractured, like a fragmented vase held together by tape. It made it through the election by riding a wave of antiestablishment anger; many voters, especially independents, did not so much vote for Republicans as they voted against Democrats. Americans wanted to say “no” to liberal socialism, and did, but Republicans now have to offer the electorate something to say “yes” to. Unfortunately, they can’t seem to agree on what that something should be.

There is an ideological rift in the Republican Party, a division that could prove to be fatal if those in control refuse to release their stranglehold on power. There are the old Republicans—the establishment—who first feared the Tea Party, then attempted to infiltrate and control it, and the new Republicans, a far more ideological bunch who would rather drive their own party into the ground than see it head in the wrong direction. These conservative idealists want the best for their country, and view the GOP as a means to an end. Like a tool, the party will be used to complete a task. And, like a tool, it will be discarded if it doesn’t get the job done.

Those who think the Tea Party is a right-wing rejection of Obama’s presidency and policies would do well to remember that this antiestablishment movement—this revolution, for that’s what it is—was brewing while Bush was in office, as conservative groups like Campaign For Liberty blasted his administration’s big-government policies. Yes, the Tea Party led the charge against House Democrats in 2010, and the GOP owes its victories to a decentralized grassroots network of conservative activists, but the movement’s libertarian core will oppose Republicans just as vehemently if they squander the opportunity they have been afforded.

Republicans who stood by and said nothing as the Bush administration increased the size of the federal government, transferred power from the legislative branch to the executive, interfered in the affairs of sovereign nations, and perpetuated failed Keynesian economic policies cannot seriously believe that Americans want to return to an era of unprincipled, unconstitutional pseudo-conservatism, yet already there has been talk of replacing or improving ObamaCare rather than repealing it. Already, some speak of meeting in the middle, working across the aisle, instead of drawing a line in the sand.

Today’s right-of-center voters want something more than the compromising blend of social conservatism and fiscal liberalism that was once marketed as “compassionate conservatism.” They prefer consistent conservatism, a hypocrisy-free doctrine of less government, lower taxes, and more freedom. If the GOP does not reject the ideological inconsistencies that led to its becoming a minority party in the first place, it will find, sooner rather than later, that the Tea Party is perfectly willing to toss it overboard.

Liberals: Americans Didn’t Know What They Were Doing When They Voted

Obama, Pelosi and a number of extreme-left pundits have spent the last several days trying to convince American voters that they voted for for the wrong reasons and that they probably didn’t even understand why they were voting.  Obama has said many times that he believes that progressives just failed to get a message out that voters could understand, Pelosi thinks they lost because they didn’t accomplish enough of their far left-wing agenda, and Sen. Harry Reid is claiming the vote was a re-asking of Rodney King’s famous question, “can’t we all just get along”.

Fox News reported that our Commander-in-chief had a different perspective on why liberals faired so poorly in the mid-term elections:

Obama on Wednesday directly attributed GOP gains to frustration over the economy, declining to sign on to claims that it was a referendum on his decisions.

Americans are certainly upset by the failing economy and it’s obvious that the Obama-Pelosi agenda has not yielded the results that Obama himself had expected. Seriously though, voters weren’t simply voting on today’s economy – they voted on the failed economy that Obama’s policies were all but guaranteeing.   The President seems to be struggling with the thought that his overbearing handling of American policy is unpopular:

  1. Obama’s opposition to keeping taxes where they are instead of raising them
  2. The ramming-through of a back-room hashed-out health-care reform law, his preference to raise taxes on small business owners and successful families
  3. His attempt to lump the blame of the financial crisis totally on Wall Street when Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the liberal push to put everyone in a house were key causes might be unpopular – if not dangerous – to Americans

Checking in with the outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, she espoused that liberals lost the election because they weren’t able to accomplish more of the far-left agenda.

From: The Daily Caller

“Let’s understand the message,” Pelosi told ABC’s Diane Sawyer. “The message was not, ‘I reject the course that you are on.’ The message is it didn’t go fast enough to produce jobs.”

..

“As to the agenda that we’ve put forth, progress wasn’t fast enough. And that’s really what the challenge is,” she said.

Are they right?  Did Americans dump Democrats because they hand’t gone far enough left?  Or was this was an attempt to stop an alarming leftist agenda in its tracks.  Splitting Congress is by-far the single-best way to cease Congressional action.  Americans seem to have felt that Pelosi and Obama had moved far too fast and in the wrong direction.

Even Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) owned up to the real issues that concerned Americans – when the citizens spoke up, instead of re-thinking their terrible policies, Democrats “doubled-down”

How far out-of-touch are the Democrats?  A recent Rasmussen poll shows that Americans have not changed their mind on the progressive-left’s plan to get some car out or that now-infamous ditch.  Almost 60% believe that increased federal spending will do increasing damage to the country.  Only less than 25% think that Obama and Pelosi’s spend more to save more hypocrisy has any chance to improve the national fiscal situation.

Voters continue to believe that raising taxes and increasing government spending will dig our economy deeper in a hole, and they don’t see things getting any better under the Obama administration.

While actual Americans are visibly upset over the left-wing extremist agenda, Congressional Democrats don’t seem to get it.  Now it appears that the now more-extreme left Democrats intend to keep the orchestrator of their House losses as the leader of their party in the lower chamber.  All signals point to Nancy Pelosi as the next minority leader of House Democrats.  Even though many in Pelosi’s own party don’t think she’s the right person to lift them up for 2012:

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) compared the situation to that of a sports team that has had a bad season. “When you suffer a defeat as big as we have, you have to change something. And often you have to change the person who led you in that direction,” he said.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said Friday, before Pelosi’s announcement, “My perception of what the minority leader does is communications, and I don’t think that’s her skill set.” Yarmuth, a liberal who calls himself “a big fan” of Pelosi’s, later announced that he would support her for minority leader.

And who could leave out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Reid stated that the election results prove that Americans want more bi-partisanship.

“I think the main message that we should have received last night … is that the people of Nevada and the American people want us to work together,” he said.

Of course he’s always been a fan of cross-party co-operation .. right?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’ll ditch bipartisanship in the Senate if it means getting a health care reform bill.

The tin-ear responses from the top posts in the Democrat party are indicative of the entire progressive movement, but not all Democrats.  After Democrat candidate Alex Sink lost her bid to become the Governor of Florida, she said what many on both sides of the aisle are now thinking:

Sink calls the White House “tone-deaf” in an interview published Saturday on Politico, saying Obama’s aides weren’t interested in hearing her concerns..

Maybe Ms. Sink understands American voters much better than our White House and Congressional leaders – and ex-leaders.

Nancy Pelosi to Run For House Minority Leader – May Divide Democrats

Nancy Pelosi’s twitter account, SpeakerPelosi, tweeted this:

Driven by the urgency of creating jobs & protecting #hcr, #wsr, Social Security & Medicare, I am running for Dem Leader.

This despite calls from many in her own party for her to step down from leadership.  Fox News reported that many moderate Democrats such as Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) are not backing her run for the position.  In fact, Rep. Boren portrays it as a sort of moral dilemma:

Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), one of the most-conservative Democrats in the House and a member of the Blue Dog caucus, tells FOX he cannot “in good conscience support Pelosi” if she were to run for minority leader.

“I intend to support a more conservative Democratic alternative,” Boren said.

As many on the left are pushing for a push to the center for the liberals, the extremist progressives are making the case that the party should shrug off “blue dog Democrats” like Rep. Boren.  This mass email from The DailyKOS, a liberal blog illustrates their frustration with centrist Democrats.

Democrats suffered serious losses on Tuesday, but no one was hit harder than the corporatist Blue Dogs. Over half their members are gone. Apparently, being the GOP’s best friends on issue after issue wasn’t the political winner they claimed it was.

But getting drubbed hasn’t made the Blue Dogs humble. Now, they have Nancy Pelosi in their sights, demanding she step down as Democratic leader in the House. The Blue Dogs want to replace her with one of their own, so they can deliver our entire party to Wall Street.

Don’t let the Blue Dogs take over. Sign the petition letting Nancy Pelosi know she has your support as Democratic leader in the House.

Pelosi will decide whether to run for House Minority Leader within the next week, so she needs to hear from her supporters ASAP. At Daily Kos, we will deliver your signatures to her personally, so she knows you’ve got her back.

Pelosi led Democrats to historic victories in 2006 and 2008. We are confident she can reclaim her gavel in 2012. But to do so, she first has to ward off the Blue Dog threat.

Sign the petition showing your support for Nancy Pelosi. The fight for 2012 begins NOW.

The divides that have existed in the left-of-center are re-emerging.  Under stress, the cracks are showing.

Ex-lax and Quarters: Initiating Noob Voters

Upon completion of Boot Camp, new soldiers in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) hike to the top of an isolated mountain fortress. The fortress is Masada – where in 73 A.D. a group of Jewish rebels committed mass suicide rather than allow themselves to be taken prisoners or killed by the Roman Legion besieging them. Once the IDF soldiers reach the summit they participate in a ceremony initiated by former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. Considered sacred ground by Israelis, Masada was chosen by the IDF for swearing-in ceremonies because of its rich heritage in Jewish history. At the conclusion of the ceremony the newly-minted soldiers cry out “Masada Shall Not Fall Again!”

Given the collective national nightmare currently being endured by the citizens of the United States of America, perhaps a similar ceremony should be held for all teenagers when they reach their 18th birthdays – voting age. It would be an awe-inspiring ritual designed to ingrain within young minds full of mush the idea that freedom isn’t cheaply won.

Before sunrise on their 18th birthdays a bus stops in front of each teenager’s home. Rustled from bed by a driver with such ginormous ears that even the dudes at IHOP would be like ‘daaayyyyymmmm!’  – Each young adult is handed a Slurpee and then told to sit in the back of the bus. Why, you ask? – Because the front seats are already filled with commies, scum-sucking liberals, socialists, Marxists, illegal aliens, and Jerold Nadler, not necessarily in that order. A bus is the preferred method of transport cuz’ it’s considered the worst way of getting a murdered corpse to its dump site. It’s like “dude let’s not take the bus. This corpse ain’t getting any fresher!” Besides, there’s plenty of room under it – More on that later.

Minutes later, a herd of Skittles-pooping purple unicorns charges out from under a rainbow, while tooting their own horns. Mimicking the aggressive nature of snipes, which have been known to attack RVs, the unicorns ram the right side of the bus again and again, forcing those in the back to cower near the emergency exit while hugging Nancy Pelosi. Eventually, all the unicorns wander off, leaving the noobs holding the bag. Of course, by this time the Slurpees are almost gone – which royally sucks.

Before starting out again, the driver passes out bottles of Ex-lax and rolls of quarters. Each noob is then told to swallow the quarters, washing each coin down with a big swig of the laxative. Now, properly filled with Hope and Change, the new recruits are ready for the next stage – which goes quite smoothly at times.

Upon arrival at a make-believe voting precinct the young minds full of mush (hmmm, same thing could be said for their colons) are ordered out of the bus and then intimidated by members of the New Black Panther Party.  Police arrive on the scene almost immediately, along with a judge, who sets up a Kangaroo court. The newly-arrested Black Panthers are tried and sentenced by the judge. Just when it appears all is lost – Eric Holder appears, sprinkles fairy dust on the Black Panthers and declares them innocent – although they’ve just been convicted. Inspired by the turn of events, the Black Panthers head back out to the parking lot to await the next group of pimply-faced teens.

Ready or not, the noobs are ushered into the actual voting location. Here they are instructed that voting is a privilege given to a citizen to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country. Example: Guy A: Who are you voting for? Guy B: I am going to vote for Barack Obama for ’09. Like the dudes at IHOP said, ‘daaayyyyymmmm!’

Now they are instructed in the fine art of voting. A popular belief among noobs is dispelled. It seems young-uns think that they elect the president directly. Wrong! You actually choose people to vote, called electors. These electors promise that if they are elected, they will vote for a specific candidate. However, they do not have to hold to this, and last minute bribes can be done. If there is enough time, the youngsters enter the Holodeck, where they get the chance to visit Las Vegas and experience massive voter fraud first-hand. Sharon may have had her Angle, but Hairy had his Reed. Money can buy anything, including ballots.  Noobs are taught to vote early, and often! They are instructed in the fine arts of voting while dead, voting while in prison, voting in multiple precincts, and impersonating an elections official. This is all done while Hippies in the background chant “We want it all! We want it all! We want it all! And we want it now!” Apologies to Queen.

Now comes the fun part. The Black Panthers come in, demand cash from the noobs, and then give it to union workers, who have been out back smoking a few joints. This leads to a group discussion on socialism. Some noob points out that a socialist is just a person who thinks that the hard working people should share their paychecks with their lazy neighbors, just because they have more money. At that point the noob gets knee-capped. And the poor noob has to pay for his own health care because there is no more money in Obama’s stash, or something.

At this point the noobs are in the proper state of mind for a serious discussion on Barack Insane Obama – the Messiah for brain-dead Democrats.  Now the tables start to be turned. The grope leader (oops, sorry Bill Clinton), I meant “group” leader, explains that Obama is a term for taking from one group and giving to another with no rhyme or reason, other than to buy votes. The recipients of such largesse then typically spend their Obama money on smokes, booze, or lottery tickets. For example: I got my Obama check today. I gonna go buy some cigarettes and beer now.

By now the quarters start popping out with such force that they embed themselves in the Hippies leaning up against the wall facing the noobs’ buttocks. The noobs are anxious to peek at the peace-loving mess but the group leaders show them no quarter. Now that’s change we can believe in!

It’s been an exhausting day. But there is still one lesson to learn. The House of Representatives has been saved. The Senate isn’t quite within grasp. And Captain Kickass is still in the White House until 2012. Marched back out to the parking lot, the noobs are attacked by the Black Panthers and thrown under the Loser Cruiser. And then, broken but unbowed, and down but not out, the noobs finally get a clue. Their defiant voices are heard coming from under the bus. “The United States shall not fall again!”

It was all worth it. Noobs no longer, the new voters take their places alongside their elders, ready to do battle in 2012. Coming at you, Barry! Teanami, the Movie…take two!

Why Conservatives Should Be Excited About 2012

First, in three words,

The Electoral College

Thanks to failed Liberal political and economic strategies, key liberal progressive states are losing electoral votes.  The 2010 census demonstrated that key Democrat states lost a significant-enough portion of the population that it will cost them electoral votes for the next decade.  No wonder they hate the Constitution.  Some clearly Conservative states picked up many of those electoral college appointments.

Barack Obama’s Illinois will lose a vote as will Barney Frank’s Massachusetts.  Michigan and New Jersey will also lose a seat at the electoral college table.  New York will lose 2.

Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah, all historically red states, will gain one seat a piece.  Florida will gain two and Texas will gain FOUR. That’s a 10 vote gain, while losing a seat in Missouri will set the Republicans back one vote for a net of 9.

Overall, definite lefty states will lose a net of 6 electoral votes while Conservative states will pick up 9 and the remainder go to swing states.  With 538 total electoral votes on the table, this is just slightly less than a 2% shift.  When you consider that George Bush beat out Al Gore by only 5 electoral votes in 2000, a 6-vote shift could be significant.

The Candidates

The serious contenders have not yet filed, but the current thoughts are that these Conservative well-knowns may run:

  • Sarah Palin
  • Jim DeMint
  • Steve Forbes
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Mitt Romney
  • Gov. Tim Pawlenty
  • Gov. Haley Barbour
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Gov. Mark Sanford
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal
  • Sen. John Thune
  • Gov. Mitch Daniels
  • Rep. Mike Pence
  • Rep. Ron Paul
  • Rick Santorun
  • John Bolton

We’ll keep track of the real contenders on the Conservative Daily News election 2012 page.

Those that have filed with the Federal Election Commission are serious unknowns:

  • Jon Greenspon (Montana)
  • L. John Davis, Jr. (Colorado)
  • Lowell Jackson “Jack” Fellure (W. Virginia)
  • Kenneth Gates (Florida)
  • Richard Allen Kline (Missouri)
  • Dennis Jerome Knill (Arizona)
  • James Koch (Florida)
  • Josue Larose (Florida)
  • Steven Kay Neuenschwander (Washington)
  • Mosheh Thezion (a.k.a Luis Edwardo Correa) lol, a Presidential candidate with an alias?
  • Michael Walton (Florida)

CBO Fact Checks Obama’s Cheaper Prescription Drug Promise

Campaigning in Newport News, VA, Obama tells us that he will help us get cheaper prescription drugs.

“First, we’ll take on the drug and insurance companies and hold them accountable for the prices they charge and the harm they cause… And then we’ll tell the pharmaceutical companies, ‘Thanks but no thanks for overpriced drugs’. Drugs that cost twice as much here as they do in Europe and Canada and Mexico. We’ll let Medicare negotiate for lower prices. We’ll stop drug companies from blocking generic drugs that are just as effective and far less expensive. We’ll allow the safe reimportation of low-cost drugs from countries like Canada.”

Of course, what actually happened was Obama’s back room deal with Drug companies and lobbyists.  You know, the “most transparent administration” kind of thing.

The Congressional Budget Office today published an innocuously-titled  post on the CBO website.  The entry, entitled “The Effect of the March Health Legislation on Prescription Drug Prices” is actually the direct publication of a letter addressed to Rep. Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee.

The letter is in response to Ryan’s request to examine how provisions in two pieces of legislation affect prescription drug prices.

As you requested, this letter describes how the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzed the effects on prescription drug prices of certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA, (P.L. 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152). As you requested, this letter describes how the Congressional Budget Office(CBO) analyzed the effects on prescription drug prices of certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA, (P.L. 111-148) and theHealth Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152).

So the CBO went and analyzed the reality of health care reform and discovered that – shock – things may not be as rosy as Obama promised.
For drugs covered by Medicare’s drug benefit, CBO estimated that those provisions of the legislation would raise the prices paid by pharmacies less any rebates paid to insurers by manufacturers by about 1 percent, on average. That increase in prices would make federal costs for Medicare’s drug benefit  and the costs faced by some beneficiaries slightly higher than they would be in the absence of those provisions
The letter went on to discuss how new drugs entering the market will be affected.

For newly introduced drugs purchased through Medicaid, CBO estimated that those provisions would raise the prices paid by pharmacies by about 4 percent, on average..

The CBO tries to balance out the negative findings by stating that the law constrains manufacturers’ ability to raise prices on drugs that are already on the market.  Just how long will it be until Drug companies slightly re-formulate, re-brand and introduce as new every money-making drug they already have on the market?
It gets worse.  As the administration has never understood that when they tax a company or put fees on manufacturers, those companies don’t actually pay those fees and/or taxes.  They are all passed directly on to the consumers through higher prices.  The CBO gets it:
The legislation also imposes an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of brand-name drugs. CBO expects that the fee will probably increase the prices of drugs purchased through Medicare and the prices of newly introduced drugs purchased through Medicaid and other federal programs..
The government take-over of health care is going to end up costing Americans much more.  We’re seeing our premiums increase as insurance companies with slim profit margins (3% on average) are being forced to take on the highest risk patients and consumers are being forced into plans with far more coverage than they might have wanted to take on or can pay for.
This won’t slow progressives down, but it should put more powder in the magazine for Republicans as they seek to replace Obamacare with a more thoughtful and studied replacement.

Senator Mark Kirk to the Rescue

Mark Kirk reports for work on November 15th. You might not recognize Mark’s name right now – but you will. I guarantee it.

Captain Kickass

The midterm elections were historic in that a sitting president of the United States was practically hung in effigy by an angry electorate mob. That’s the only thing we can agree on with Captain Kickass – that we’re angry. But Captain Kickass, a.k.a. Captain Obvious, can’t quite grasp the obvious. The American people kicked Captain Kickass by proxy from Florida to Montana. But he is still so utterly clueless that he can’t quite come to grips with the fact that America has totally rejected him and his little dog too. Frankly, my Barack, we don’t give a damn. The earth didn’t heal, the oceans continued their rise, and Captain Kickass lost his game of leap-frog with his Skittle crapping Unicorn. Are those hemorrhoids, Barry, or are you just a sore loser?

So what exactly happened Tuesday night? Oh, nothing much, unless you count the total implosion of the Democratic Party as newsworthy. I’m not going to rehash all the results of the Teanami – you know the results as well as I do. Suffice it to say that it could very well take a generation for the Donks to recover from the beating they got this week. It was almost like a flogging at Marine Boot Camp. “Thank you, sir! May I have another?” Of course you can, Barry – just wait two years. Be patient, Jackass…one swift kick deserves another. It’s going to happen again, Captain Kickass. No problem.

Senator Mark Kirk

Senator Mark Kirk

So where do we go from here? That’s where the esteemed Senator-Elect Mark Kirk comes in. Why am I so excited about Kirk when so many other wonderful things went down on Tuesday night? Well, it’s kind of like it isn’t what you’ve done for me. It’s more like what have you done for me lately? The reason Kirk is my hero is that as the winner of the Special Senate Election in Illinois, replacing the honorable (or not) Senator Roland Burris, Kirk takes office immediately. He doesn’t have to wait until January, 2011 to assume his office and duties like all of the other new Tea Party senators and congressmen – blessed be their names. No, Kirk is in and Burris is out. And with the lame duck session of Congress set to begin on November 15th Kirk is in a powerful position to wreak havoc with the well-laid plans of Captain Kickass, Hairy Reed, and Nazi Pelosi to jam as much of their communist agenda through Congress before the conservatives take power.

Like Scott Brown before him, Kirk, all by himself, has thrown a monkey wrench in the Donks’ plans for the lame duck session. Pelosi can ram all the idiotic legislation she wants through the House of Representatives. Barney Frank can blubber all he wants about the need to further screw up our financial system with lunatic regulations. Steny Hoyer can act the part of the elder statesman while he screws us in the back. Henry Waxman can do his puffed-up-in-pride routine. And Alan Grayson can moan on about his gerrymandered district. But none of it is going to matter one whit. And that is because no matter what insane legislation passes out of the House of Representatives during the lame duck session – it is going to end up in the U.S. Senate. And Kirk will be waiting for it.

You see, Kirk provides one more vote to sustain a filibuster in the senate. The Donks need 60 votes to override filibusters. Prior to Kirk’s arrival the Republicans had 41 votes, which is just the bare minimum to sustain a filibuster. So far, so good on the vote count – but wait, there’s more! You see, we have a big RINO problem. Olympia Snowe and her faithful sidekick, Susan Collins, are card-carrying RINOs. They have proven time and time again that the horns on their faces tilt to the left. Kirk provides some well-needed conservative backup to negate the defection of one of Maine’s RINO twins. Now the GOP can afford a defection and still keep its filibusters intact.

Also working in our favor is the fact the Snowe is up for re-election in 2012. Snowe is slightly saner than Obama. Though she frequently lets her inner commie rise to the surface, Snowe has got to be dropping some chips after Tuesday night – And we all know that when the chips stop falling, the buffalo is empty. She may not admit it, but she knows very well that any vote she makes on a substantive issue from here on out means she suffers the same fate in 2012 that befell the Donks Tuesday evening.

To understand Neville Chamberlain is to understand Olympia Snowe. She is an appeaser. Harry Reid says “Assume the Position” and Snowe grabs her toes. She is convinced that if she votes with the Donks that they will eat her last. Now Snowe is between Barack and a hard place. On the one hand her inner commie envisions herself stepping off the plane in glory, proclaiming “Peace in our Time!” On the other hand, she is painfully aware that any such behavior in the future means signing her own death warrant. I feel fairly confident that Snowe, corrupted like so many politicians by power, will vote to save her skin. And that’s a good thing for us.

Collins is a tougher nut to crack. Make no mistake, she is a nut. Collins, too, exhibits moments of schizophrenia – on the one hand pretending to be a conservative while simultaneously screwing us all in the back. I don’t trust Collins further than I can throw my igloo. And I’m one weak penguin. What makes her dangerous is the fact that she doesn’t have to face the voters until 2014. She could very well figure that any votes she makes now will be forgotten by her constituents four years from now. Can you spell weasel? That’s Collins. Calculating. Devious. Commie-loving appeaser. We can’t count on Collins to do the right thing. She has a long track-record of RINOisms. Her vote is uncertain.

And this is why Kirk is so important. If Collins chooses Barack instead of the hard place then Kirk’s dependable vote counter-balances her Benedict Arnold tendencies.

Lisa Murkowski

Daddy's Little Senator - Lisa Murkowski

Now things get even riskier. You see, Lisa MadCowSki and Joe Miller are still locked in their election fight in Alaska. For the moment, MadCowSki is still a senator and can vote in the lame duck session until Joe Miller, if he wins the battle with her, could replace her. Miller is a devoted conservative and can be depended on to vote the right way. MadCowSki is nothing but an opportunist. We have all seen her desperation and utter bitterness these past couple of months after her lost the GOP primary in Alaska to Miller. Daddy’s Little Senator is utterly addicted to power. She has amply demonstrated that fact for the entire world to see. You guessed it. I don’t trust her either. Now, if Collins defects, Kirk counters with a conservative vote and then Murkowski sides with Harry Reid, it’s over. Game, Set, Match for Harry Reid and Captain Kickass. Unless…

The conservative (and I use that term loosely) Democrats in the Senate could potentially cross the aisle. If that happens we win again. I count Ben Nelson of Nebraska as the most likely Donk to take that route. Nelson got the message after his vote for ObamaCare when he visited a pizza parlor back home and got heckled so bad by the patrons that he fled the joint. Nelson is no fool. He is also up for election again in 2012. He saw what happened Tuesday night. If he votes for the Obama agenda during the lame duck session he will be gone in 2012 – and the vote won’t even be close. He has to decide if he wants to fall on his sword for Obama. I’m betting he wants to visit that pizza joint again. He could easily vote with the GOP. In fact, there are reports that the GOP has even invited him to come across the aisle. It remains to be seen if he is that brave. My gut feeling is that he is a coward and won’t make the switch. But, being a coward isn’t totally a bad thing. His cowardice could be what gets him to vote with the GOP during the lame duck session. He might cave. We’ll see.

Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is another swing vote. He pulled a MadCowSki before it was cool. A shrewd politician, you can bet old Joe is reading the tea leaves. Once again, my gut feel is that he won’t desert the Donks as far as who he chooses to caucus with, but it is possible he defies Reid and Obama and votes with the GOP.

The lame duck session is going to be extremely dangerous for all freedom-loving patriots. If we can stop the Donks in the Senate we will win a great victory. We don’t control the Senate, but the momentum we have coming off of that total blowout election could very well give us de facto control of the upper house of Congress. Fear is a good thing, and the Donks are full of it right now. Of course the Donks are always full of it, but you know what I mean.

Lots of Blue Dog Democrats got wiped out in the midterms. Now they have nothing to lose in the midterms. I suspect they will all show their true colors now that they have nothing more to lose. The debate right now is do the Blue Dogs defy Pelosi because her agenda and their forced votes in support of it cost them their jobs? Or are the Blue Dogs nothing but commies in disguise? I suspect the latter. But once again, we’ll have to wait and see. Regardless, I don’t see any way Pelosi doesn’t get her way in the House of Representatives during the Lame Duck session. The Donks there have nothing to lose.

The firewall against the full onslaught of Obama’s communist agenda is the Senate. Let’s hope the fear of the voters in 2012 is enough to hold the line. If not, our freedoms will slip away before the Tea Party army can come to the rescue in January, 2011. We are indeed living in perilous times. Our liberties will hang by a chad during the lame duck session. The infighting is going to be brutal. America, the election was nothing but an opening skirmish. The next battle is the lame duck session. Keep the pressure on Collins, Snowe, Nelson, and Leiberman. Call them. Fax them. Write them. Pressure them. They need to feel the full force of the Tea Party. Be afraid, RINOS. Be very afraid, Donks. Remember, just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean the Tea Party isn’t out to get ya!

Anyway, no matter what happens, no hard feelings, okay, Barney Frank?

Contact Information

Senator Susan Collins
413 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2523
Fax: (202) 224-2693

Senator Olympia Snowe
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5344
Toll Free: (800) 432-1599
Fax: (202) 224-1946

Senator Ben Nelson
Washington, D.C.
720 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 1-202-224-6551
Fax: 1-202-228-0012

Senator Joe Leiberman
706 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
202.224.4041 (Voice)
202.224.9750 (Fax)

How the 2010 Election WILL Change Things

Rasmussen published a “State of the Day” that was somewhat disturbing: 46% expected noticeable change if Republicans took control of both houses while 33% did not.  Now that Republicans have only taken control of one house of Congress, are people less-likely to expect any noticeable results?  If they don’t they only have themselves to blame.

If we stop sending the letters, emails, making the phone calls, writing in blogs and commenting on articles that criticize or praise our newly-elected officials, they will forget this election in short-order.  If we instead remind them at every opportunity that we brought them into that office and we can surely take them back out, they will be more motivated to accomplish what they promised.

The votes that were cast in this mid-term will make this much easier.  State Houses all over the nation flipped from Democrat to Republican precisely at the time when Congressional districts will be re-drawn in response to the 2010 census.  That means that districts that have long been drawn to favor Democrats will be more-fairly apportioned so that voters can select their candidates instead of the opposite.

Secondarily, we have the nation-wide Conservative take-over of Governor’s mansions.  As the Christian Science Monitor reported, the executive branch of each state can also have an effect on the 2012 election.

A change in governors can have import beyond the individual states, political observers point out. Many governors will have a say in the redistricting of congressional seats in their states – a process that takes place after the 2010 Census. In addition, in 2012, a popular and active governor can be a big asset in a presidential campaign, particularly in a swing state. And already, commentators are talking about some new governors possibly becoming presidential candidates.

Not only did House seats change hands, but leadership and seniority have been totally scrambled a bit.  The majority party controls the chair of each of the House committees, so many new power positions will go to Republicans.  In many cases, the previously-selected senior Republican on each committee will get a promotion.  The now minority Democrats will be downgraded to just being senior Democrat members on each committee, obviously less-powerful than the committee chairman.  Some notable exceptions are the previous Democrat chairpersons that are no longer members of Congress:

  1. Ike Skelton (D-MI) is now the outgoing chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee after having lost to Vicky Hartzler (R-MI)
  2. John Spratt (D-SC) lost to Mick Mulvaney(R) and will leave the House Budget Committee headless
  3. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) will be leaving an open chair on the Senate Agriculture Committee which will be given to another Democrat as Republicans did not get a majority in the Senate

A non-election consideration is how the Census numbers will re-apportion House seats to the states.  The number of  House districts and seats is determined by the population of each state.  Progressive states such as Michigan and California have experienced net emigration due to failed economic policy and climates unfriendly to businesses.  That means more House seats for the Conservative states that have experienced net immigration due to opposite political and economic climates.

Consider all of these things together and there is a real opportunity to affect real change.  Certainly Republicans could rest on the haunches and blame gridlock for any lack of progress, but a more productive tact would be to remind the Democrat Senators that many of them remained untouched in the 2010 election only because their seat comes up in 24 months.  They could be seen as obstructionists against the wishes of the American electorate.  This puts a different spin on the “party of no” label.  Where Republicans were trying to stop unpopular policies, Democrats would be seen protecting those same unpopular policies with obstructionist tactics.

The message must be clear.  Our leaders must extend, if not make permanent, the Bush tax cuts.  They must de-fund, if not replace Obamacare with a common-sense, affordable reform of the American health care system.  They must address entitlement spending.  If Democrats want to stand in the way of a well-purposed train, I can see 2012 from here.