CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

Newsmakers

ARCHIVE - MARCH 2014

The Best of The Best

Who is America's
best Senator?


Wisconsin's
RON JOHNSON!

And here's why!


Senate


Will Harry Reid hang
on as Senate Majority
Leader in 2014?
Photo from foxnews.com
It is looking like it
might slip away.

It's going to be close…
Keep an eye on our
election coverage!

House


Can John Boehner keep
his raucous caucus in
the driver's in 2014?
oxnews.com
Probably, but only if he
avoids unforced errors
like a bruising brawl on
immigration.

Keep an eye on our
election coverage. There
will surely be lots of
twists and turns.

WHICH PARTY, AGAIN, IS THE WORKING MAN'S PARTY?

2014/03/04 - There is a chap named Eugene Robinson who writes opinion pieces for the Washington Times. Generally, these articles are worthy of being ignored because this Robinson fellow usually writes things that are mostly incorrect. But with the pervasive concerns regarding employment, incomes and wages part of the national discussion, his piece last Monday (February 24) entitled “GOP poor-mouthing on the minimum wage” could not go unanswered.

He starts by saying “the federal minimum wage is far too low” which is wrong in two ways. First, as has been argued elsewhere, there cannot conceivably a single federal minimum, it seems reasonable that it should be state-by-state; and second, it is not obvious that the minimum is too low unless you choose to dispute the settled science of supply and demand.

The best way for a government to witness a rise in wages is to create an environment favorable for private sector job creation. If the environment is favorable for creating/expanding businesses, creating and expanding is what most assuredly will happen. And increased employment must of a necessity follow. An increase in demand for employees – job creation – will indisputably increase the wages of all workers – both those seeking employment, as well as those currently employed who employers will strive to retain.

Conversely, a government-dictated increase in wage rates would place a strain on businesses, and lead to a decrease in the quantity of labor demanded - at least Robinson acknowledges that much, along with the 2.5 million lost jobs as a result of this ill-advised policy. So why doesn’t he go all the way, and push for less regulation, and a more business-friendly environment?

The fact that wages are not being pulled up in the current economy is an unbiased, unspinnable repudiation of the Administration’s economic policies. If the polices were creating lots of good jobs, wages would of a necessity be rising. Instead, the Democrats’ complaining about income inequality and low wages at the low end, and insistence on extending long-term unemployment benefits, is self-incriminating. Take the 5th, guys!

Back to Eugene Robinson. At several points he makes unfounded and inappropriate attacks on Republicans’ motives, such as “GOP grandees try to paint themselves as champions of the working stiff”, or “inconsolably distraught” or “GOP’s sudden commitment to job creation is a sham” or “Republican orthodoxy opposes raising the minimum wage on ideological grounds”. These ad hominem attacks are unfounded, untrue, and, unexplained. Yes, he's won a Pulitzer Prize!

Let's make this clear: A core conviction of conservatives is to help people, and simultaneously strengthen the country, through higher wages produced by increased private-sector employment. Handouts and bailouts might seem like a nice, heartwarming thing to do, but they are the cause of the problem, not the solution.

After attacking John Boehner for a while he gets back on point: ”The purpose of raising the minimum wage is to give those at the bottom of the pay scale something that more closely approximates a living wage.” Again, this statement is falsely premised in two distinct ways: we should question the policies that put people in the sorry position of trying to make a living from a minimum wage type of job in the first place; and second, Soviet-style government-dictated price-fixing most assuredly will be the wrong policy prescription.

Again, the economically valid solution is job creation. C'mon, Democrats, "pivot to jobs" again, for the umpteenth time, and this time for real. But what instead does this Robinson propose? No, no, not jobs – this is the Democratic Party of the 21st Century! Yes, says Robinson, the solution to unemployment is a government hand-out – extend unemployment benefits! And who pays for that? He doesn’t say, of course.

Robinson also proposes another spendulus, extolling the virtues of the first one that allegedly created 1.6 million jobs for a mere $800,000,000,000. But there are many problems with his claim however. First, the previous day the New York Times reported the stimulus cost as $832 billion, $32 billion more than Robinson conceded, but what’s $32 billion between friends? Second, one must take the jobs number with skepticism: it came not from the bipartisan CBO, as Robinson falsely claimed (presumably to shore up its dubious credibility) but from the very partisan Council of Economic Advisors. If this Pulitzer Prize winning journalist is willing to mischaracterize his job data, and also fudge his cost numbers, how optimistic might the White House be its job creation claims? Thirdly, even taking the White House at its word (now there’s a laugh line!) it still works out to a shocking $130,000 per job annually! And finally, who would pay for Robinson’s counterproductive debtulus sequel? Again, he doesn’t say.

Mercifully, so endeth his op-ed. To which must be asked, what’s wrong with implementing proven job creation policies? Shouldn’t we be cutting regulation, and reforming our tax code, and approving Keystone XL? Instead, this Robinson proposes price-fixing, handouts, and debt spirals. It would be good if Robinson was just a soloist, but he is not, he is part of a rising chorus of economic nonsense coming from the left. Is this what the Democratic Party has come to? Hopefully the American public won’t actually buy into it.


Random Ramblings

Mar 26, 2014 - Whoa! Iowa Senate candidate Bruce Braley (D) really stepped in it, butting to the front of the line for the "Stupidest Thing a Politician Said Award" for the current election cycle.

Braley, a Congressman and formerly head of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, was at a fundraiser hosted by Texas trial lawyers. He made a direct appeal to the trial lawyers, urging them to support his campaign and ensure that someone (that would be himself) more like them (that would be the trial lawyers) was elected to the Senate, rather than someone more like folks from Iowa (that would be farmers).

The video is unambiguously damaging but you will need to go to Youtube to see it since the mainstream media will fastidiously avoid doing harm to a Democrat. Braley, who has been given a straight shot to the Democrat nomination, presently holds a slim lead, with many undecideds, over several little-known Republicans who are locked in a primary.

Dissing the Iowa farmer - it will be intriguing to see how that strategy plays out this fall!



Mar 18, 2014 - Obama has announced sanctions on seven Russians as a token finger-wagging for their involvement in invading Crimea. Yup, sanctions on seven people.

One of the sanctioned Russians, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, asked whether some "prankster" had reprogrammed Obama's teleprompter.

It's so exciting to see Obama finally tighten the screws on folks who cross his little red lines. I can picture these Russians writhing in agony. Or rolling on the floor laughing... probably the latter.

Seriously, three more year of Obama... and then Hillary Part 4 and more of her reset button?



Mar 12, 2014 - Massive explosion in New York City destroys several buildings.

Before

After



Mar 11, 2014 - Tonight David Jolly (R) defeated Alex Sink in a special election to hold Florida's 13th District for the GOP. This is an evenly matched district that Obama carried twice.

Sink had many advantages including name recognition, fundraising, and a more cohesive campaign. But all that mattered not as voters again expressed their displeasure with Obamacare. Democrats should be very worried that they could not pick off this seat.



Mar 07, 2014 - George Condon had a lopsided article today in National Journal, stressing "Obama's Leverage over Putin" in an interdependent world, while completely ignoring Putin's Leverage over Obama in that same interdependent world.

Okay, let's say Obama does pull those levers, and it comes down to a real economic war - sanctions vs. embargo - what do you want to bet that Russia's Oil & Gas customers cry uncle first? Just asking... but it seems like Putin has the greater leverage.



Mar 06, 2014 - Rob Astorino (R) launches his gubernatorial bid in the Bronx, making the point that he will leave no area of New York State uncontested in pursuit of victory.




Mar 05, 2014 - Rob Astorino (R), the Westchester County Executive, has declared his candidacy for governor of New York.

Astorino's double-digit victory over three-term incumbent Andy Spano in 2009 was a harbinger, overlooked by many on the left until it was too late, of the Republican wave of 2010.

Astorino's encore performance last year is less an indicator of potential Republican successes this year, than it is of Astorino's excellence as both an executive and politician.

Nonetheless, incumbent Andrew Cuomo (D) has a high approval rating and it will be a challenge to knock him down. But if anyone is up to the challenge, it's Astorino.



Mar 03, 2014 - Another great moment in American-Russian relations brought to us by the Obama Administration. Putin walks in and takes over the Crimean Penninsula. And we're going to let it happen.

That's in Europe, folks! A despotic regime militarily invades a peaceful country, and we... flail our arms while mumbling incoherently? That's what US foreign policy had shrivelled into during the watch of Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama, and John Kerry?

Another great moment, along with the Reset Button, the open mic with Medvedev, and giving away American leadership in Syria.

Congratulations, Hillary, try giving that Reset Button another whack - oh, right, you gave it away. And then you walked away and left the mess to John Kerry.




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