Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From the Morning Examiner

Morning Examiner: Obama's secret plan
By Conn Carroll

President Obama has a secret plan. He told Iowans Monday his “very specific plan” would boost the economy, create jobs, and control the deficit. What are the details of this plan? Sorry, Obama has to travel to Martha’s Vineyard for a ten day vacation first.

According to National Journal, Obama’s secret plan is part of a new White House strategy to counter the “growing perception that President Obama is a weak leader.” Apparently, the president’s senior advisers believe Libya, Egypt, and the debt hike debate “have done serious damage to his leadership image.” The polling backs this belief up. NJ reports: “In April 2009, Gallup found 73 percent of Americans who said that Obama was a “strong leader.” In May 2010, that had declined to 60 percent. In March 2011, Gallup had it down to 52 percent. There has been no more recent polling on that issue.” And that leadership fall all happened before Libya and the debt hike.

Obama’s solution? Blame Congress. But how can Obama blame Congress for his own leadership failures? That is where the “very specific” secret plan comes in. Obama hopes to convince Americans that 1) he has a plan to cut the debt and create jobs, and 2) only “unreasonable” Republicans in Congress stand between America and success. Will it work? That depends on how compliant the press is.

Obama has not submitted a specific plan to address the debt since he submitted his budget to Congress in February. That plan was rejected by the Senate 97-0. Obama has since given many speeches about the debt, but as Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf testified to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, “We don’t estimate speeches. We need much more specificity then was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis.”

If Obama does submit his “very specific plan” to the CBO so that it can be scored on an equal footing with the Republican budget, then the country will benefit from a great debate. But if Obama just gives another speech, backed up only by bogus economic projections from his Office of Management and Budget, then his secret plan should be exposed for the fraud that it is.

Around the Bigs
The Wall Street Journal, Obama Aims to Keep White Voters on Board: President Obama’s taxpayer-paid Midwest trip is allowing him to address a central challenge for his re-election: His very low approval ratings among white voters. While white working class voters already chose Republicans over Obama by 18 points in 2008, the gap has opened up to 30 points today.

The Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart Frets Over Uncertainty: Wal-Mart Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley told investors on a conference call Tuesday: “Our core customer continues to be strained. The volatility in the headlines doesn’t help the customer. They are really stretched right now.” Last week, more upscale retailers like Macy’s and JC Penny’s also said their customers are worried about the economy as well.

The New York Times, Europe’s Debt Crisis Weakens Quarterly Growth: Official figures released Tuesday showed that the Germany economy has slowed to a standstill and growth across Europe has fall to its lowest rate in two years. The data show that uncertainty generated the debt and economic problems in countries like Greece and Italy is infecting the rest of the 17-country euro zone.

The Los Angeles Times, Firearms from ATF sting linked to 11 more violent crimes: The Obama Justice Department has admitted to Congress that weapons from ATF’s botched Operation Fast and Furious investigation have turned up at the scenes of at least 11 violent crimes across the United States.

The Washington Examiner, Barone: Harry S. Obama?: Michael Barone explains that Obama is unlikely to repeat President Harry Truman’s comeback 1948 reelection campaign.

The Wall Street Journal, Unions Set for New Battle in Turf War: The National Union of Healthcare Workers is expected to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that Kaiser Permante, the largest private health care employer in the state, gave the Service Employees International Union preferential treatment in the last union election.

Public Policy Polling, Sentiment moving against Walker recall: According to the latest PPP poll, 50 percent of Wisconsin voters oppose a recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, while 47 percent are in favor. Those numbers are flipped from PPP’s last Wisconsin poll, in May, which found 50 percent in support of a recall and 47% opposed.

Campaign 2012
GOP Field: According to a Rasmussen poll released yesterday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry now leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 11 points, 29 to 18 percent. Rep. Michele Bachmann came in third with 13 percent.

Perry: Texas Gov. Rick Perry refused to retract or apologize for saying about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Monday, “If this guy prints more money between now and the election … we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.” On Tuesday, Perry explained: “I am just passionate about the issue, and we stand by what we said.”

Righty Playbook caught MSNBC’s Ed Schultz selectively editing video of Perry saying, “That big black cloud that hangs over America, that debt that is so monstrous,” to just “That big black cloud that hangs over America, is so monstrous.” Schultz used the doctored to quote to accuse Perry of racism.

Under the header Rick Perry’s bad, Obama-style medicine, Michelle Malkin calls Perry “Governor Gardasil, R-Merck.” and lays into him for “his odious Gardasil vaccine mandate for children.”

Lefty Playbook
Brendan Nyhan pops liberal dreams
that Obama could be the next Truman, pointing out that in 1948 the U.S. economiy was growing at a sizzling 6.8 percent clip.

Daily Kos Joan McCarter links to an MSNBC transcript where Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., tells Chuck Todd that Democrats will not be pushing an increase in the Super Congress. McCarter comments: “The “everything but tax increases is on the table” strategy is the one the Republicans are pushing. It’s not entirely helpful to have it come from the Democratic side, too.”

The Washington Post‘s Brad Plummer makes the case that Claifornia’s high-speed rail project is not a boondoggle … yet.

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