Senate races are key to Romney success

In all the excitement of seeing an October surge for Romney, the serious ass-whooping delivered by Romney in the first debate, and the glee taken as Joe Biden made a complete and utter ass of himself in the VP debate, there’s one topic that seems to me is still running under the radar of discourse at a crucial time: Congressional races.

Especially the Senate.

Because let’s face it, if Romney wins the presidency, and assuming Republicans retain the House, there is still the matter of the Democrat-controlled US Senate. Republicans need the trifecta that Obama enjoyed for his first two years – control of the House, Senate and Presidency – in order to achieve anything significant.

The Senate has 100 total seats, and currently the mix is 51 Democrats and 47 Republicans, with 2 Independents. This year, 21 Democratic seats are up for re-election; 10 Republican; and both Independents. My home state of Iowa doesn’t have a dog in the Senate hunt this time around*, but Senate races elsewhere around the country are critical.

Here are a few of the more interesting ones in my estimation:

Virginia – A swing state with unemployment over 10 percent in some areas, a retiring incumbent, and a really close Senate race in 2006. Republican Governor Bob McDonnell once enjoyed approval ratings over 60 percent and was entertained as a potential Romney VP, but now he’s back down in the low 50’s at least in part because Democrats seized an opportunity to hammer on a specific legislative decision involving abortion.

Wisconsin – Republican Senator Herb Kohl won big in 2006, but he’s retiring which means his seat is up for grabs in a swing state with a controversial Republican governor in a nationally televised battle with organized labor.

Ohio – A large swing state with a Democrat incumbent where Obama currently leads in a better-than-regional economy, but where people have been turning out in droves to meet-and-greet with Romney in a mid-October surge. The experts say Romney can’t win the White House without winning Ohio.

Florida – Interesting/important primarily because it’s the largest swing state. Romney is leading in the Presidential race, but the incumbent Senator was a big-win Democrat in 2006.

Missouri – Republican challenger Todd Akin had a rough summer because he dared to answer a question about abortion with some erroneous information, but he is within six percentage points of the Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill, whose victory margin in 2006 was minimal.

Connecticut – Independent incumbent Joe Lieberman is retiring after 24 years in the Senate, and Republican Linda McMahon is saying she’ll bring the same independent thinking to the seat. While Obama leads Romney here by a wide margin, McMahon and Democrat Chris Murphy are in a five-point contest.

Massachusetts – The home state of the Kennedy family dynasty has been solidly Democrat for decades, but the entrenched left got a big surprise in 2010 when the late Ted Kennedy’s vacated seat was narrowly won by Republican Scott Brown. While Brown has a relatively moderate Senate record with no big mis-steps, challenger Elizabeth Warren is well-supported by an angry Democratic machine.

Make no mistake, the Republicans need to do more in their Senate races than just get a slim majority – they need to win BIG so there’s no chance that an occasional rogue vote could undercut key legislation. Unless Republicans take control of the House, the Senate and the Presidency, there is no hope of repealing Obamacare or of achieving much else on the immediate agenda. And that, my friends, is simply setting Mr. Romney up for failure.

*Iowa has no Senate races this year, but we are seeing two interesting challenges in the House: Democrat lifer Leonard Boswell is up against experienced Republican challenger Tom Latham; and long-time Republican incumbent Steve King is having his ankles bitten repeatedly by bleeding-heart Democrat Christie Vilsack, former Iowa First Lady and wife of Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, who held a rally this past week in Sioux City that was ONLY attended by Slick Willy Bill Clinton because it was held within shouting distance of a strip club.

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The Million Mover March

Speaking of frivolous “Million” ideas, I had a doozie this morning. I am thinking that it would be completely, utterly AWESOME if one million Americans showed up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, 2013, to help the Obamas move OUT of the White House, and the Romneys move IN! And I further think it would double the awesomeness if they were joined by an ARMY of moving vans representing this nation’s business owners! HAHA, what a message that would send, no?

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The pawns are revolting

It’s refreshing to see and hear about people standing up and refusing to be used as pawns by the increasingly dishonest Obama campaign and its many supporting factions. Here are a few examples from just the past few days that really stand out:

Linda Morrison – an Illinois woman who asked a simple question of Paul Ryan at a rally in Iowa, and got a straight answer that satisfied her… but who was then characterized as having called Ryan out by the Obama campaign. Linda responded with a letter to the editor of the Quad City Times, and appeared on “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren, to clarify what really happened.

Sesame Workshop – While an administration-wide cover-up of the terrorist attack on our embassy in Benghazi is unraveling right before their eyes, the Obama campaign spends precious time and resources focusing on a trumped-up war on Big Bird. They even go so far as to use clips of the popular Sesame Street character in an anti-Romney ad. But the non-profit organization that actually owns Sesame Street, Big Bird, and all associated characters trademarks asks them to knock it the hell off, since they are a non-profit organization that doesn’t participate in political campaigns. (Kinda have to wonder why Planned Parenthood hasn’t managed to distance itself in a similar fashion.)

Stacey Dash – Miss Dash, an actress and reality television celebrity, recently Tweeted her support for Mitt Romney and was immediately vilified by Obama supporters who told her – among other things – that she wasn’t black enough, that she should kill herself, and much much worse. Miss Dash quietly stood above the fray, and simply reiterated that she was entitled to her opinion, even in the face of comments like this: “YOU MAKE ME SICK U A NIGGA IN A COWBOY HAT DON’T SEEM LIKE YOU CARE ABOUT BLACKS EITHER. GODDAMN TRAITOR.”

I would love to be able to add a fourth example here – I’d like to see the AP photographer who was shooting Romney’s impromptu visit with Virginia school children call out the photo editor for gross malpractice.

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Twitter needs a ‘like’ button

I’ve recently launched another Twitter account (for this very blog! and have been making a very conscious effort to use it. I often come across some interesting links worth following, and frankly I enjoy the challenge of expressing myself within the 140-character limit. But, something is missing from Twitter – something that would make my experience a lot more convenient, enjoyable and valuable.

Twitter needs a “Like” button.

And here are four instances where I’d use it:

1. Someone says something really clever, or “right on,“ but it’s several hours before I see it. I want them to know I liked their thought, but I don’t want to compose a whole tweet referencing “that thing you said 14 hours ago.” (Because that phrase in itself takes up 32 of my 140 characters!)

2. And even if I see it right away, I might want to acknowledge that I saw it without a re-tweet (RT) and without remarking on it.

3. Someone replies to one of my tweets, but it’s several hours before I see it. I just want to acknowledge the fact that they spoke back to me, without rehashing the point.

4. Someone posts a link and I want them to know I liked it, even though it’s not something (for whatever reason) I would RT to my own followers.

In all of the instances above, I just want to be able to acknowledge something someone tweeted without getting into a conversation about it and without making it a “favorite.” (Favoriting a tweet hardly EVER makes sense to me – except maybe when saving links.)

So how about it, Twitter – give us a LIKE button!

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Mr. President: I’m not gullible. I just don’t like you.

In the aftermath of the first Presidential debate, we’ve been treated to all kinds of excuses that attempt to explain the President’s abysmal performance. These have run the gamut from the plausible (he didn’t prepare enough) to the ridiculous (he was affected by the altitude) to the downright insulting (he’s too smart to do well in a debate).

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of being mocked by a President who is supposed to represent me. Too smart to do well in a debate – as if I should therefore just accept his words and deeds because his plan must be beyond my ability to comprehend.

This is exactly the same tactic he used to spin America’s disgust with his stimulus plan, where he said he didn’t do a good enough job ‘selling it’ to the American people.

No, it’s not that Mr. Obama didn’t talk enough – certainly, more words are not going to make a bad idea suddenly seem good. I am not that gullible.

What I am – is completely against the things this President stand for: big government, government seizure of entire industries, government oversight of personal liberties, and the “world view” which says we should even the economic playing field by redistributing the personal wealth of those who have earned it, and by bringing America down rather than lifting other nations up.

So, no: it’s not that he’s too smart to do well in a debate. And it’s certainly not that the altitude threw him off his game. It’s that he under-estimated his opponent, and so he didn’t prepare. The fact that he came out looking like an idiot is sweet, sweet justice for those who are tired of having their intelligence insulted by a sheltered, arrogant President who’s acting like he no longer even wants the job.

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The First Presidential Debate of 2012: Romney vs. the empty chair

Okay I just have to say right off the bat, I really liked the debate format used in the first Presidential debate. I felt like it gave the candidates a chance to get a lot more information out there, without the usual deer-in-the-headlights glare that comes from constantly being under the gun of the two-minute timer.

Another point that really goes without saying: Romney won this debate, hands-down. He was more than present – he was Presidential. Obama appeared utterly uninterested, unprepared, defensive, and petulant.

Now with all that out of the way, here are the things I reacted to most strongly throughout the debate, in no particular order of importance:

A. Early on, Obama made reference to spending on domestic issues “… the money we’re saving as we wind down two wars.” My problem here is that the “money we’re spending” is not money at all – it’s debt. And if we’re truly winding down two wars on which we’ve spent billions of borrowed dollars, we should be talking about how we’re going to STOP SPENDING instead of talking about how we’re going to KEEP BORROWING.

B. I liked that Romney, on several occasions, made the point that he would return responsibility for certain functions back to the states. This is where programs like education and health care belong.

C. Obama tried to suggest that Romney was disingenuous for not supporting Obamacare, when he (Romney) implemented “the same plan” in his own state of Massachusetts. Romney absolutely skewered this accusation by pointing out that in Massachusetts, he as a Republican governor assembled a bi-partisan plan that received yes votes from all but 2 of his state legislators – whereas Obama rammed his plan through with no bi-partisan support whatsoever. Romney also stated that his plan worked in Massachussetts, but that the needs of each state are different and so states should be entrusted to create their own plans.

D. Role of Government – Obama stumbled around about government having an opportunity to build “ladders of success.” Romney said the first role of Government is promote and protect the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. SKEWERED AGAIN.

E. Closing statements: Obama absolutely squandered his opportunity, trotting out the tired “fair shot” rhetoric he’s been using. Romney on the other hand talked about his concern for the path America is on, and how he and Obama represent two very different paths for the future. He alone drove home the main point of this entire debate: there is a very clear choice, America, and the path you choose in 2012 will make or break our future.

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Our budget woes are just beginning

It is becoming increasingly apparent that President Obama does not care if America fails, at least economically, on a massive scale. We are now sitting at the top of a very slippery slope regarding our nation’s budget.

This was a little tangled because I had to look up some definitions and timelines. But now I get it, and it’s ugly – so bear with me.

The WARN Act, passed in 1988, requires businesses to give at least 60 days’ notice to workers who may be laid off. This is designed to give workers a chance to seek other employment or additional job training, and avoid a period of unemployment if possible.

Meanwhile, in 2011, Obama signed the Budget Control Act which mandated massive and far-reaching budget cuts across all federal programs if Congress should fail to produce a working budget by January 2013. This “sequestration” provision was meant to motivate Congress to actually pass a budget – because after all, we can’t have anyone cutting needed programs like Medicare, can we?

But, the plan back-fired. The Senate has NOT passed a budget (in fact has not passed ANY budget since Harry Reid took over as Majority Leader), and the massive mandated cuts from the Budget Control Act are now looming with the January 2013 deadline only 90-some days away.

Because of these looming cuts, federal contractors – that is to say businesses who have contracts with the government – are looking at massive layoffs and the need to give workers 60 days’ notice. Because 60 days from January 2013 is November 2012, a Presidential election month, Obama does not want these notices going out to hoards of workers 60 days in advance in accordance with the WARN requirements.

At first, he simply asked the contractors not to send out layoff notices in accordance with WARN. Now, however, he has upped the ante: he has told the contractors that the federal government will pay the costs associated with failing to properly notify affected workers of pending layoffs as long as they don’t issue the notices.

Think about that for just a moment: the President is telling businesses to ignore a federal statute and is screwing workers out of their advance layoff notices, all because he doesn’t want the massive layoffs to affect his re-election.

Not only that, he’s telling those businesses that the government will cover the costs they incur from ignoring that federal statute. To give you a sense of what that might look like: Employers who violate WARN are liable to each affected employee for an amount equal to back pay and benefits for the period of the violation, up to 60 days. Employees, their unions, and/or local governments can also bring individual or class action lawsuits against employers for violating WARN.

Of course, the federal government has no money of its own – it uses TAXPAYER DOLLARS to fund its expenditures. So that means, not only will We the People have trillions of dollars in new debt and billions in new taxes all thanks to Obamacare, but we will also have to pony up hundreds of millions more to fund contractors’ WARN violations. We’ll also have to contend with the billions in spending cuts to critical programs such as defense and Medicare, not to mention potentially hundreds of thousands of additional unemployed neighbors.

All because we are relying on Congressional Democrats to pull their heads out of their collective ass and do their job of passing a budget – a job they have petulantly refused to do since 2007.

Why anyone would vote for ANY Democrat this year is completely beyond me.

10-2-12 Update: Looks like the President’s bribe worked with Lockheed Martin & others. Lockheed Martin says it won’t issue layoffs until after election

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Hey Libya, you didn’t build that!

Okay this is why I believe that the current US administration does not have America’s best interests at heart: this double-standard they have toward our own economic recovery, vs. the economic recovery in other nations.

Hillary Clinton’s recent remarks at the G-8 Deauville Partnership gathering of Arab ministers in New York show clearly that she and the Obama Administration believe that small businesses in Libya and other “transitioning nations” are a strong enough economic engine that they deserve to be unshackled by regulation. Fair enough, if it weren’t for their words and deeds at home, where they prove time and again that small businesses in the United States deserve to be saddled with the costs of massive programs like Obamacare.

I also find this comment interesting: “And, when people have the opportunity to unleash their talents and create something of their own, they are more invested in their communities…”

Um excuse me… since when does this administration believe that business owners create something of their own? Mr. Obama has made it abundantly clear that small business owners do not build something of their own – what they build is only possible because of government largesse, and its profits need to be regulated and re-distributed among those who haven’t built anything.

Clinton’s remarks are a great example of why it’s clear: this Administration’s world view is completely contrary to the world view of the people they represent and those they pretend to govern. They are moving us in a dangerous direction, giving away America’s greatest gifts while brow-beating their people at home with the weaponry of class warfare.

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USPS: increase junk mail to increase profits

The US Postal Service has announced that it’s wishing upon a star for an increase in the flow of junk mail to increase profits. This from the agency that once decided the answer to customer complaints about long waits in its lobbies was to remove the clocks from the lobbies.

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I’m sure glad everyone is okay following the fire on Ann Romney’s plane, but I’m now re-thinking my entry into the “On Board with Mitt” contest…

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