Archive for May 27th, 2009

Charlie Crist challenger Marco Rubio picks up endorsement of Jeb Bush, Jr.; reportedly will soon receive Mike Huckabee’s endorsement for 2010 Florida US Senate race

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

CNN:

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has rolled out a succession of endorsements from national Republicans since announcing his entrance into the 2010 Senate race.

Now his Republican primary rival, former Florida House speaker Marco Rubio, has a national endorsement of his own from a conservative heavyweight: Mike Huckabee.

The former Arkansas governor will formally endorse Rubio in about two weeks, according to a Florida Republican familiar with the plans. The details of where the endorsement will take place have not been decided.

Rubio endorsed Huckabee’s presidential bid in late 2007.

Hodge at Race42012: The first Democratic ad against a Republican nominee Charlie Crist

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Benjamin Hodge at Race42012.com:

Remember how a good number of Americans were/are convinced that Barack Obama would be a more fiscally-responsible president, and a lower-taxing president, than John McCain?

If Democrats appear to the right of Republicans on basic GOP issues (national defense, taxes, the courts), Republicans don’t have a chance.  And you can bet that Gov. Charlie Crist just peeled off at least 2-3% from his margin of victory in a general election, by doing two things for which he will be attacked by the Democratic Party:  raising taxes and going against his no-new-tax pledge.

If there are details or intracacies here that I’m missing, please let me know.  From what I understand at this moment, this is not a difficult situation that Crist is in, with regard to whether or not he should sign or veto the tax increase.  This was not good policy, nor was it a good political move; if Crist is expecting Democrats to reward him for his pragmatism, then he will be disappointed.

The Hill’s Reid Wilson on Nevada Senator Harry Reid’s high disapproval poll ratings

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

The HIll:

Half of Nevada voters view Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) unfavorably, according to a new poll, but he’s still without a serious challenger.

The poll, conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, also showed just 38 percent see him in a positive light. A full 45 percent say they will definitely vote to replace Reid, with just a third saying they will vote to reelect him. Seventeen percent will consider another candidate.

Gov. Parkinson visits National Center for Aviation Training in Wichita

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Eagle:

WICHITA – Surrounded by construction equipment and protected by hard hats, Sedgwick County commissioners on Tuesday showed off the National Center for Aviation Training to Gov. Mark Parkinson.

Parkinson was wowed.

“What impresses me is that you’ve not only recognized the need, but you’ve done it in such a first-class way,” Parkinson said of the campus at Col. James Jabara Airport.

Calling the research and training campus a “bright star” for Wichita and Kansas, Parkinson noted that “we’re always encouraging people to think big, and you’ve obviously thought very big.”

LJ World: KU’s interim provost Joseph Steinmetz leaving for job at Ohio State

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

LJ World:

On that date, Danny Anderson, vice provost for academic affairs, will assume Steinmetz’s responsibilities as new interim provost.

Steinmetz is the third high-ranking KU academic official to announce he would leave his position this summer.

Provost Richard Lariviere will become president of the University of Oregon, and Chancellor Robert Hemenway will retire to return to teaching and writing, both effective July 1.

Anderson said turnover is common in higher education leadership, and he would seek to ensure continuity as a priority when he begins work in his new position.

Kraske on recent Funk’s Front Porch: Gloria insists NY Times story on Funk is “a good thing”

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Prime Buzz:

This week’s Funk’s Front Porch:

Dear Folks,

This Week’s City Business

The Mayor will deliver his State of the City speech this Thursday in the Legislative Chamber on the 26th floor of City Hall at 1 p.m. He has worked long and hard on putting together a speech that is an unvarnished version of the state of Kansas City. (more…)

Politico: Roland Burris still a 2010 wild card for Illinois Senate

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Politico:

Yet Burris says he’s still considering running in 2010, confounding his colleagues in the Senate and Democrats in his home state. His strategy, at the moment, is to point out the value he’s created by simply showing up to work every day the past four months and voting for the agenda of his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

Tim Huelskamp: ‘No Cap-and-Trade in Kansas’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

From Kansas Senator Tim Huelskamp:

Fowler, KS – Senator Tim Huelskamp is applauding the passage of legislation authorizing a new coal plant in Western Kansas with no carbon tax mandate.  “I am excited we were able to get this bill passed,” said Huelskamp. (more…)

LA Times on Prop. 8: Schwarzenegger says he’ll carry out court’s ruling

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

LA Times:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said this morning that he would carry out the Supreme Court’s ruling backing Proposition 8 but that he believes gay couples should have the right to marry and would obtain it someday through an initiative or the courts.

“He voted no on Prop. 8. He supports the idea of giving same-sex couples the right to marry. I think he was hoping it would go the other way,” said spokesman Aaron McLear.

Salena Zito: Obama, DSCC chair Sen. Bob Menendez, Arlen Specter so far unsuccessful at bullying Dem. Congressman Joe Sestak out of the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

RCP:

Word out of Washington is that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the political wise-guys from the Obama administration plan on “visiting with” Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak. Their objective? A clear message: Get off of the stage and out of a possible primary race against “incumbent” Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter. (more…)

Washington Post editorial opinion on ‘Government Motors:’ GM’s new owner (the Obama administration) should stop bullying the company’s bondholders

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

The Post:

IN THEORY, a government bailout should provide a short-term infusion of cash to give a struggling company the chance to right itself. But in its aggressive dealings with U.S. automakers, most recently General Motors, the Obama administration is coming dangerously close to engaging in financial engineering that ignores basic principles of fairness and economic realities to further political goals.

It is now clear that there is no real difference between the government and the entity that identifies itself as GM.

Reuters: IRS not doing its job in protecting privacy by destroying sensitive tax papers

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Reuters:

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – Sensitive documents about U.S. taxpayers were found in trash outside all Internal Revenue Service sites visited in a investigation, putting the people at risk of identity theft, an inspector’s report says.

The tax collection agency must bolster oversight of contractors who dispose of papers with personally identifiable information, the inspector general for tax administration at the U.S. Treasury said in the report released on Thursday.

2010 battleground states for redistricting: Five Thirty Eight

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Source:

At present, Democrats control the governorship and the legislature in 17 states, while Republicans have complete control in 10 states (22 states have divided party control, and one, Nebraska, has a nonpartisan legislature). If Janet Napolitano is confirmed as US Secretary of Homeland Security [note: this subsequently occurred], Republicans will gain complete control in AZ as well. (more…)

Video: Craigslist prostitution ring busted in New York City

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Video at WCBS TV.

Obama’s new global warming-based fuel efficiency requirements to cost US auto industry 50,000 jobs by

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Keith Hennessey:

There is not yet much data available on the President’s CAFE announcement.  Luckily, we have a huge base of analysis that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did in 2008 that allows us to infer a lot from what was announced.  Here are the specific data points we have from the President’s announcement:

  • The average fuel economy standard will be 35.5 mpg in 2016.  That’s a weighted average of all cars and light trucks sold in the U.S.
  • Assuming that the Wall Street Journal’s reporting is accurate, they would require cars to hit 39 mpg by 2016, and light trucks to hit 30 mpg by 2016.

These fuel standards are the implementation of a law proposed by President Bush in January 2007, and passed by (a Democratic majority) Congress and signed by President Bush in December, 2007.  The Bush Administration developed rules to implement the law and brought them right up to the goal line, but did not finalize them before the end of the Administration.  The Obama Administration has now significantly modified the Bush rules.

Michael Lewis at The New Republic reviews Alice Schroeder’s biography, ‘The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

TNR:

There is now a long shelf of books about Warren Buffett, but this is the first time he has gone to any trouble to add to it. Reportedly Buffett now regrets his decision–he has apparently put some fresh distance between himself and his official biographer. If so, it’s not hard to see why. Alice Schroeder is a former Morgan Stanley research analyst, able to understand and to explain Buffett’s money-making, but she declined to confine herself to the business at hand. She has sought to describe Buffett’s psychological landscape as clearly as his financial one. For the reader, the results are pretty terrific–there are not a lot of 838-page narratives that leave you wanting more–but for Buffett they are no doubt upsetting.

Over his long and admirable career, the famous billionaire has been shockingly honest about who he is and what he does. Now along comes this first-time author who insists on seeing his pleasant honesty and raising it, painfully. Even worse: she’s a woman! Buffett has a long and happy history of admitting attractive, intelligent women into his life, which Schroeder describes without mentioning how neatly she fits into the pattern. These women have invariably felt the need to shelter and to protect their man, and to subordinate their own needs to his–until now. Buffett should have known better: you should never completely trust a writer. Especially if she is any good.

KC Star: UK, NC, KU basketball – The race to 2,000 wins

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Upon Further Review:

Of course, it is impossible to predict when KU will pass UK with any hope of accuracy. It’s even possible it will never happen, however if it does, it will be monumental because Kentucky has led since somewhere around the last ice age – or at least as long as I can remember – whichever was most recent. Of course, there is that little buzzing fly called North Carolina to deal with – who right now is only two wins behind Kentucky (KU trails by 18). Anyway, I’ll break it all down. The magical 2,000 win level is coming up and the team that gets there first will have a big prestige advantage.

Video interview, ‘All the President’s Newsmen,’ Reason Online’s Michael Moynihan on Ben Cardin’s Newspaper Revitalization Act, and why Washington should not bailout newspapers: ‘why should the government support an industry that consumers are rejecting?’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Reason Online:

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) has introduced the Newspaper Revitalization Act, a bill that would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) warns of the “serious consequences for our democracy” if his hometown paper, The Boston Globe, goes belly up. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has publicly argued for an antitrust exemption to save the San Francisco Chronicle, a paper that has long supported her political career. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)  recently argued that “If Congress does not act…a major city in the United States will be without a newspaper in the fairly near future.”

Washington can give newspapers tax breaks or generous subsides to keep them afloat. There are many ways of extending the life of a terminally-ill by forcing onto life support. But why should the government support an industry that consumers are rejecting?

“Most of those supporting a newspaper bailout were also critical of the media’s behavior in the run-up to the Iraq War,” says Reason senior editor Michael Moynihan. “Now imagine the reaction if the very same journalists wrote the very same stories about Iraq in 2002 but were reliant upon the Bush administration for their survival.”

 Video:

LA Times: Business groups have outmaneuvered workers groups, labor unions say their side has gotten disorganized, ‘card checked’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

LA Times:

…key components of the bill are in serious jeopardy. And the legislation has produced one of the biggest surprises in Washington since Democrats swept the White House and Congress: The nation’s labor unions, which organized so effectively last year to help elect President Obama, have been outmaneuvered so far on their top priority by their opponents in the business community. (more…)

John Tamny, editor of Real Clear Markets: The Flat Tax vs. the Fair Tax

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Real Clear Markets:

So while there’s good reason right now to be pessimistic, there’s also reason to be optimistic given the certainty that we’ll eventually move in the other direction. On the tax front, whatever the result of President Obama’s attempts to move the cost of success upward, his efforts insure a strong response from those eager to simplify the income tax, or abolish it altogether.

When it comes to tax simplification, the debate seems to come down to the merits and demerits of the Flat Tax and the Fair Tax. The former would tax income at one flat rate, while the latter would tax our consumption.

At first glance, it should be said that both tax solutions are dreamy when we consider their economic implications. Both, if applied correctly, would lead to the abandonment of all manner of deductions that distort behavior and retard economic growth. If either were passed, the economy would no longer suffer under economy enervating incentives that cause people to plow money into sinks of wealth like housing, not to mention the purchases of federal and municipal debt that would be much less attractive absent their tax advantages. For the abolishment of the various deductions alone, the economy would boom given the more rational path that capital would take in the direction of productive investment.