I Think I’ve Figured This Out

On Wednesday I was driving around and I had on the radio the Rush Limbaugh Show. I don’t listen too often because, well, Rush usually doesn’t tell me anything I don’t already know; his opinions that I agree with are already internalized and those I don’t agree with never shake me from my views. But, there he was, happily talking away. And then he said it – he asserted that it is absurd to think that we can get Apple to return I-phone manufacturing to the United States…I can’t remember the exact words, but it was something along the lines of there are 500,000 people working for Apple in China with a built infrastructure for the entire manufacturing process and we just can’t duplicate that in the United States. It infuriated me to hear anyone say that the United States can’t do a thing – and then later that day I happened to run across several other people making the same assertion. And said assertion is nonsense.

I know – labor costs. I realize that China pays it’s workers nearly nothing. I also realize – though our Capitalist Captains of Industry never like to mention it – that to do business in China requires massive bribery…but with that bribery you can pretty much do as you like. No need to trouble yourself too much over environmental regulations, safety measures or other trivia like that. But even with that, I just don’t buy the notion that you can’t make something better and cheaper in the United States.

Go to a hardware store and look for a hammer – I’ll bet dollars to donuts that almost all you find are made in China. What is a hammer? Just a piece of steel fashioned in a certain shape. It isn’t rocket science. It isn’t a complex device. I defy anyone to tell me that we can’t replace that Chinese factory using 500 workers to make hammers with a factory in the United States employing 50 workers in a highly automated manufacturing system…and by using our ability to automate along with our superior infrastructure to make that hammer cheaper than the Chinese can, especially as they then have to ship it thousands of miles before it even arrives in the American market. Oh, I realize that right now – at the moment – we can’t because our tax and regulatory system makes it exceptionally difficult to build and open a factory. But don’t tell me it can’t be done. It darn well can be – as soon as we want to do it. It just takes the political will to say “screw you” to people raking in profits off of sweated Chinese labor.

And thinking all that over, it occurred to me – there is the appeal of Trump in a nutshell. Lay aside for a moment the nauseating racists and anti-Semites who have latched on to him, solely on the strength of his early immigration comments. Such people are numerous, but not all that much – remember, we live in a nation of 317 million people, if even 1% of them hold to a particular view it can seem like a lot – especially with Social Media to magnify their voices (Twitter seems gigantic, until you realize that every day 83.31% of Americans don’t use Twitter, at all). A guy getting Trump’s vote totals – and goosing up GOP turnout numbers to some-times record levels – isn’t getting that because a few people like his Great Wall of Trump idea. He’s getting that level of support because a lot of regular folks are moving his way. And my view is that they are turning out for him because he says we can be great.

Keep in mind when someone says, “those jobs aren’t coming back”, it is invariably someone with a well-paid gig that isn’t affected by jobs moving to China. Lawyers, bureaucrats, corporate executives, consultants, MSMers, professional politicians…it is that sort of person who tells the blue collar slob that his blue collar job is gone for good…and even if he takes a job at Disney at 60% of his previous factory wage, he’ll have to train a foreign replacement, brought in quite legally via the H-1B visa program. Meanwhile, China doesn’t seem to want us to outsource our army of consultants and lawyers probably because the Chinese are smart enough not to want such people in large numbers lawyering and consulting an economy into ruin. An army of experts will rise to ridicule the idea that we can make things in the United States better and cheaper than foreigners can – and I’ll bet not one in a thousand of the people telling us such things have ever made one thing in their whole lives. And the people who do make things are rather angry that they are reserved for the “short end of the stick” portion of American life.

This is the United States of America! We’re the people who in just over a century rose from a colonial backwater to the most powerful nation in human history. We went to the Moon! And someone is going to tell me that this nation that did all that can’t make a hammer? Can’t even make a belt or a pair of shoes? Nonsense! It is our economic policies which have priced American manufacturing out of world markets, not some fundamental inability of Americans to compete. And let me tell you, if you really hold the view that we can’t out build and out compete every nation on Earth, then we might as well close up shop as a nation – allow ourselves to be annexed by some other nation with a bit more grit and determination. Grab a clue – a nation which can’t make things eventually can’t buy things, either. American consulting isn’t going to be enough on the global market to satisfy our demand for consumer goods, folks – in order to continue to get, we’re going to have to give. For 50 years we’ve just been giving money – magically printed up for the occasion by the Federal Reserve…but eventually you can’t print enough money to convince people to provide your needs and desires. Eventually they will want something and your degree in business management won’t be it.

I have been saying for a while now that the way to beat Trump is to out-Trump him – not in the vulgarity, but in the gut…where people live and feel. People who back Trump rather absurdly believe that Trump is on their side even though there is zero evidence that he is actually on their side…but he’s saying he is, and it is working with large numbers of people. So, beat him at it – say you’re on their side, as well…assert that the United States will be the manufacturing leader of the world; the export leader of the world; the agricultural leader of the world; the mining leader of the world; the energy production leader of the world…that we’ll clear out of the way every last tax and regulation which makes it hard for Americans to build and grow. Leave it to the Democrats to tell their voters that they’ll manage the decline and provide a bit of welfare and job training for non-existent jobs…we take the path that says, “we’ll reform things so that there will be X Million new manufacturing jobs by 2020”.

Of course, results will matter – once you promise, you’d better deliver. But if all you’re promising is low-rent stuff like “improving opportunity” then you’re not saying anything at all. What is “improving opportunity”? It is a meaningless phrase which makes it sound like you’re going to do something, maybe. Tell people you’ll bring the jobs back from China and it sounds much more vigorous…and as you’re not Trump, you can actually come up with some plans which will do just that. Part of our problem, of course, is that Rubio and Cruz are both lawyers…lawyers have a hard time understanding regular folks (so, too, do real estate tycoons like Trump…but somewhere along the line he found out that people at least want to hear that something concrete is going to get done for regular folks which doesn’t amount to a government poverty hand-out). Come on, Ted and Marco – think about it! And then go out and say it. Sure, those invested in the current system will rise in fury and scorn over any promise to bring jobs back…but you can see how much such words work regarding votes. And you guys needs some votes – the only way to really stop Trump is to get more delegates than he does, and time’s a wasting.

Anyways, that is how I see it right now – Trump is at least speaking to desires; Rubio and Cruz are speaking to theories and playing around with “vote for me because Trump sucks”. That won’t do the trick…might deny Trump a first-ballot nominating majority, but it won’t actually stop him, nor get either Cruz or Rubio in to the White House.

Expanding Middle Class?

There’s an interesting article in the on-line edition of the Washington Post this afternoon. Another in a long line of election post-mortems, but citing a figure that I’ve not seen or heard before:

Romney won voters earning between $50,000 and $100,0000 by 52 percent to 46 percent. That’s less than what Bush got in 2004 (he won that group by 12) but they were 28 percent of the electorate in 2012 and just 18 percent electorate in 2004.

I had to read that a couple time to make sure I was reading it right.  In an economy that virtually everyone admits is the worst recovery from a recession since WW2, the number of people who have moved into the upper middle class has increased by over 55%.  And half as many (percentage-wise) of these upwardly mobile Americans voted for Romney as voted for Bush in 2004.  That made zero sense to me until I thought back to my response to Canadian Observer in the previous thread.  Given that a single mother of 3 making minimum wage has as much disposable income as a married couple with 2 kids making $60,000 a year, that puts a lot more Americans (and Obama voters) in that $50,000 to $100,000 demographic.  There’s probably another explanation, right?

Post Election Open Thread

A bit of a re-write, because initially this thread was ungraciously titled.  Listening to Romney speak tonight reminded me that we’re bigger than that.

Obama has won a narrow victory – with the exceptional rarity of a President winning a 2nd term with a lower vote total than he won his first term with.  We on our side clearly did not put together a good enough program to convince a solid majority that we were best for the nation – but neither did Obama.  He got it together and managed to get the win, but it is a hollow victory.

Our liberals are convinced that now all the Hope and Change of 2008 will finally come to pass – that some how or another the policies which have failed so miserably over the past four years will now bear fruit.  I don’t see how anyone can rationally believe that – I can understand having faith, but not having faith in policies which have never worked, not even once.  But, now they’ve got their chance.  Obama is inheriting Obama – if his brand of economic policies work then we’ll know for certain by election day, 2016.

A lot of conservatives will now start to pan Romney.  I won’t.  He ran an excellent campaign and I don’t see a real mis-step.  Sure, we can all look back with 20/20 hindsight and say he should have done this, that or the other thing…but as it was unfolding, I don’t see what was missed.  I thought we had this thing won.  I’m still flabbergasted that we didn’t.  But I won’t spend any time or effort re-hashing what happened.

The things we need to work on are many – to just name a few:

1.  Yes, we need to have an amnesty for illegals.  Don’t look all shocked: I’ve been advocating for it since 2007.  I know all the arguments against – but none of them work against the stark reality that there are 10 million of them here, many of which have been long domiciled in the United States.  Secure the border, amnesty the otherwise law-abiding illegals we have and then ensure that no more illegals can get in.  This is not a play for Latino votes – this is a rational way to get the entire issue off the table while at the same time adhering to our finest national ideals.  We must amend the Constitution to change the definition of citizen to read, “all persons born of an American citizen are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside”.

2.  We need to break our ties entirely with Big Business – to make it clear that Big Government and Big Business are two exceptionally nasty sides of the same disgusting coin; that they, together, are ruining our nation and they both must go if we are ever to really recover our prosperity and our freedom.  Big Government includes Big Government Union, by the way – we must continue the fight that Walker has started and carry it to total, nationwide victory.  Democrats live and die by Big Government and Big Business – destroy them and we destroy the Democrat party as it is currently constituted.

3.  We must start to work, on a State-by-State level, for a Freedom of Conscience Restoration Amendment to the Constitution – to ensure that no matter what cockamamie ideas our liberals come up with that our religious bodies – in the widest possible definition – are entirely immune from government dictates.

4.  We must attack and attack and then attack some more the growing immorality in our popular culture.  As part of the war against Big Business we must point out that the nauseating filth in our popular culture is brought to us by Big Business in order to make profits off the ruination of people’s lives.

There is plenty more – all of it needs to be worked on.  All of it can be done.

So, stout hearts an in to the future with confidence.

Election Day Open Thread

We’ll add important updates in this post today. You can also follow me on Twitter, where a majority of my Election Day coverage will occur.

UPDATE:  Instapundit is getting e-mail updates from voting precincts around the nation; just “man on the street”, as it were.  The trend seems to be strongly that in heavily Democrat areas turnout is so-far light while in heavily Republican areas turnout is strong.  One thing to always keep in mind – as one old general once said when report of a military disaster was brought to him, “the situation is never as bad, or as good, as first reports indicate”.  Don’t put too much stock in anything you hear throughout the day – not anecdotal reports, not leaked exit polls, not MSMers saying that “trends” indicate an Obama victory.  Until the votes actually start to be counted, no one really knows.  The only job you have today is to vote.  Do that and let things fall where they may.

UPDATE II:  An interesting story about how the early voting went in Ohio.

UPDATE III:  From Russ over at Ace of Spades – this is Operation Visine:  Get the Red Out!

UPDATE IV:  GOP turnout way up in Ohio.

UPDATE VHuge turnout in Louisiana and Missouri.  Why is this important in these certain-to-go-Romney States?  Because it is a gauge of GOP engagement…very, very high.  Also, it might drag Akin across the finish line and help us gain a Senate majority.  Also helps Romney run up the popular vote score in case it does come down to 10 or less electoral votes separating the candidates and no one knows who wins tonight.

UPDATE VI:  Early exits show the economy is the number one issue and that people think the economy sucks.  Remember:  the exits are not the last word on anything.  Whatever they say, don’t let them get you elated or down…go vote if you haven’t already.  But it is bad news for Team O that Big Bird, lady parts and revenge are not high up on the list of voter concerns…

UPDATE VII:  Vigo County, Indiana, a bellweather county (has picked the Pres winner since 1956) has a big swing to Romney.

UPDATE VIII:  Right now Romney is winning the popular vote 50% to 48%…

Election Eve Projections

Battleground Watch: Romney 331, Obama 207

Ali A. Akbar: Romney 285, Obama 253

Karl Rove: Romney 285, Obama 253

Joe Trippi: Obama 303, Romney 235

James Pethokoukis: Romney 301, Obama 237

Michael Barone: Romney 315, Obama 223

Baseball Crank: Romney 271, Obama 267

UPDATE: In anticipation of lots of Election Day coverage off the blog, I’ve added my Twitter feed and Ali Akbar’s to the sidebar.

UPDATE , by Mark Noonan:  Well, here we are – on the eve.  Yes, I’ve had the jitters – but one must keep things in perspective.  Prayer calms the soul.  Try it, if you’re feeling nervous.

Obama’s rally today was half empty – the sure sign that the bloom is completely off the rose and this is not 2008.  Only a 2008 type turnout (or a completely unexpected collapse in GOP voting) can really pull it off for Obama.  Obama’s team and their lapdog media are playing a gigantic mind game with us – touting their early vote and their ground game not so much in confidence that they have it in the bag but in hopes that it will depress us and lower our turnout.  The truth of the matter is that the Democrat early voting totals have collapsed from 2008 – Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan genuinely are in play…and even if they do wind up falling to Obama it will be by tiny margins…and that drop in vote will translate all across the nation, ensuring that Obama loses every 2008 State he won by 10-12 percentage points or less – that, by itself, gets Romney to 266 electoral votes, which is the bottom I see for him tomorrow:  he won’t get less than that (yes, Obama will lose Ohio).  This means that all Romney need do is win one of NH, PA, MI, MN, IA, WI, CO and NV.   Romney is leading in CO, tied in PA, WI and IA and within the margin of error (with Obama under 50%) in the rest.

But, still, there is that chance that Obama wins.  So be it.  If the American people want four more years of Obama, then God bless us all and we’ll just have to endure it.  It will be real bad next year no matter who wins – but if Obama wins then it will not only be much worse but much more extended in time.  And we’ll get to look forward to utterly crushing the Democrats in the 2014 mid-terms (always deadly for the party in power in the 2nd term of a President – see 2006 for confirmation).  And then as 2016 we’ll get to choose between Ryan, Sandoval, Rubio, Santorum, Jindal, Haley, West, Perry…while Democrats get to choose between Hillary, Biden and Cuomo.  I’m telling you, nothing but fun for us in there (and this leaves aside the fact that Benghazi is already a cancer eating at the Obama Presidency…if he “wins” tomorrow then he loses).

I don’t think that will happen.  I trust my fellow Americans – I trust the fact that Democrats I know are nervous and “confident” that Obama will win it narrowly while Republicans are thinking it may even come out as a landslide.  I am encouraged by Latina Americans I know personally who are voting for Romney…talk about Obama’s demographic collapsing in front of his eyes.  It could be a landslide – it could be a big win; we’ll have to see.

God bless you all (yes even you liberals out there) and good luck to all of us tomorrow.


Really? Sabato Says Obama Wins Handily

Yup, the same guy who predicted John Kerry would win in 2004, and said that Bush needed a miracle to win reelection, is saying that Obama wins in handily.

His key arguments for the 11th hour shifts in the battleground states are as follows

  • Hurricane Sandy provided him with a boost.
  • The last jobs report, by not being horrible, was good for him.

Let’s consider these arguments.

I can’t buy the argument that the jobs report, which had the unemployment go up, thus pointing it higher today than it was when Obama took office, was a net positive for Obama. A mixed jobs report isn’t likely to change any minds either way, in my opinion, and hardly changes the fundamentals: There are fewer people employed today than when Obama took office, people are making less money, and more people are on food stamps.

Now, the bigger point: Hurricane Sandy. While one could make the case that Romney’s momentum was halted for a few days, I find it harder to suggest a shift in momentum in Obama’s favor. Even after the first days when Obama benefited from positive coverage, the aftermath of Sandy’s wrath has once again exposed the flaws in the federal government’s disaster response… after Obama said everything was going well.

So, both of these arguments don’t provide a strong case for an 11th hour shift in Obama’s favor. Michael Barone argues that if you look at the fundamentals, there is potential for a Romney landslide. I don’t think it will be a landslide, but I think Romney can win decisively. A recent poll , and it took a D+11 poll for CNN to achieve a tie between Obama and Mitt, and Mitt was winning independents by 22 points. The candidate the wins independents wins. Plain and simple.

Polls show a tied race in the battleground, Pennsylvania in play, and plenty of evidence to suggest that the results of tomorrow’s election will largely be decided on the ground game and voter ethusiasm. Fred Barnes makes the case for this better than I can. Romney is attacting huge crowds, bigger than Obama, and taking all factors into the equation, makes me very confident Mitt Romney will win tomorrow.

Updated Electoral Prediction

My updated map makes some assumptions based on my confidence on select states, based on polling and anecdotal evidence.

FL, NC, VA are good for Romney.

As is OH and CO. Based on what the 2012 battleground state slate is, these states get him to 275 electoral votes and the win.

In gray are swing states that I’m not ready to call but are all, in my view, bonus states to win. If Mitt wins by only one state, you can bet your life that the results will be contested. So, he needs to win MI, or PA, or either MN or WI plus IA or NH to give Obama no opportunity to contest the results.

And while I still think PA is a long shot, as I just reported, Bill Clinton is making an 11th hour push there, and as Obama’s best surrogate, that suggests Obama’s internal polling shows a race within the MOE.


State of the Union

As we enter the final weekend before the most important election of our lifetime, the State of the Union is weak. Mediocrity, misery and economic malaise permeate every corner of our great country, with misery taking the forefront for those pour souls who were subject to Sandy’s wrath. As those in NJ, NY, PA, etc., scramble to simply find food, I have to think that they will be less than excited to rush to the polls on Tuesday to vote for a President that only found time to fly in for a photo op. As those in NY see the huge generators being set up, and the money coming in to conduct a marathon, I can’t think that they will be excited to walk to the polls on Tuesday to vote for four more years of misery and malaise. Today’s jobs report inched up unemployment to 7.9%, unemployment amongst blacks is 14.3%, job participation is just 63%, disability claims are at record levels, family incomes continue to decline, gas lines grow in the hurricane effected area with gas prices inching towards $6/gallon, and food stamp usage has more than doubled. This is the fundamental transformation Obama promised in 2009, and it is a promise of which that has only enriched him and his supporters. He has no plan going forward, and will continue to spend money that we don’t have, further plummeting this country to bankruptcy, and more families to despair.

The new progressive Democratic party has controlled Congress since 2007, and the White House since 2009, and they are responsible for the current State of the Union. A state of which must change on Tuesday.