Thursday, November 29, 2012

Welcome Home, Debra Miller!

Debra Miller, 38, considered missing by her worried family for the last 11 days is home, safe and sound.

We called Tinicum Police this morning to ask if there were any developments in the case.

"She's back," said Chief Steve Edmiston.


"She's home from her trip to Florida," he said. "She just needed to get away."

She got in a 1 a.m. this morning and called her father.

"She didn't know she was missing," the chief said, adding, "We were kind of leaning that way the whole time."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Welfare Beats Working Harder

Check out this graph that shows the attractiveness of collecting welfare benefits to earning more money. It comes from our own state Secretary of Welfare Gary D. Alexander.

See more here. And get this...

That's right. For every 1.25 people employed in the private sector, 1 person receives welfare or works for the government. 

Liberal and Moderate Obama Face Off

Harvard economist Greg Mankiw gets into the head of our reelected president concerning the budget crisis.

Good read.

Poverty Stricken?

Check out the way the U.S. government now defines poverty: If you are married, living with your wife and two kids in a home with air-conditioning and a flat screen TV and have health insurance but you only make $37,900 a year, you live in "poverty."

Robert Rector has more here.

To sum up:

The goal of fighting poverty is no longer about meeting physical needs; instead it has been covertly shifted to equalizing incomes, or “spreading the wealth.”
Divorced from actual living conditions, the new government report on “poverty” is merely an advertising tool for expanding the welfare state.
No kidding.

White on Rice

Maureen Dowd questions Susan Rice's credibility on Benghazi. Racist!

The Congressional Black Caucus and the Washington Post tell me so.

With liberals of a certain mindset, the race-baiting never ends.

Where's Debra Miller?

Probably, Orlando on vacation. My print column is up.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: Debra Miller does have a Facebook account. Either Chief Edmiston misspoke or I misheard him.

UPDATE II: I have received a couple of emails from people who claim there are other inaccuracies in today's column.

One comes from a Teresa Sierchio, who identifies herself as the mother-in-law of Micky Sullivan, Miller's brother.

She writes that Miller hadn't yet graduated from the trade school she was attending, that she was going to at the end of December. She points out that Miller was close enough to her family to have recently attended her nephew's birthday party at the end of October so it is unlikely that she would miss her own daughter's 14th birthday.

Also that Miller's cat was left inside her house. "She would not leave her pet to starve to death," Sierchio wrote.

She also raised the question that if she had recently "cleared out" her bank account, why she would attempt to withdraw money she would have known wasn't there? (I didn't write that Miller "cleared out" her account, only that, according to Chief Edmiston, she made a withdraw shortly before she disappeared. Police believe when she disappeared she had a couple of thousand dollars in cash.)

Sierchio wrote that she would like to know whether the police have checked the cameras at the ATM where the withdraw was made.

Good, fair questions.

Also, another reader wrote in to say that the police have Miller's cell phone.

I have reached out to Sierchio and others in hopes learning more. I also have another call in to reach Chief Edmiston for any further developments.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: She's back!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Brain Surgery Made Fun


Developmentally Challenged

Setting up Obamacare's health insurance markets is going to be harder than anticipated. And, of course, more expensive.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Unaffordable Care Act

That light at the end of the tunnel isn't daylight. It's a train called Obamacare. My print column is up.

Meanwhile, Michael Tanner writes about how the implementation of Obamacare will cost an estimated 800,000 new jobs and billions of dollars.

The NEW current estimate for the cost of Obamacare:

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Unintended Consequences...

... of Obamacare. Pennsylvania community college slashes instructors jobs to avoid paying the ACA penalty.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No Laughing Matter

A movie could be made of John Felder's attempt to kidnap the Main Line heir to a pharmaceutical fortune. But it wouldn't be a comedy. My print column is up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"We Just Kids"

The Chester girls charged in the beating of a middle-aged, mentally handicapped neighbor, give their side of the story. My print column is up.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

So Long Ding Dong...

not to mention Twinkies.

Some 18,000 workers have lost their jobs.

UPDATE: And if that's not bad enough remember the Zombie killers. They love Twinkies

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"We Gotta' Get Outta' Here!"

Another killing in Chester. My print column is up.

The Railroading of Joe Paterno

Documentarian and Paterno defender John Ziegler has made a mini documentary that blasts the media, and the PSU Board of Directors for getting a whole lot wrong during and after the scandal. Take a look, it's worth watching.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So, To Sum Up the Election...

It's the Economy, Stupid - Part XXXXXXL

Pretty good advice from WSJ's Bret Stephens. Here's a bit of it...

Fellow conservatives, please stop obsessing about what other adults might be doing in their bedrooms, so long as it's lawful and consensual and doesn't impinge in some obvious way on you. This obsession is socially uncouth, politically counterproductive and, too often, unwittingly revealing.
 Also, if gay people wish to lead conventionally bourgeois lives by getting married, that may be lunacy on their part but it's a credit to our values. Channeling passions that cannot be repressed toward socially productive ends is the genius of the American way. The alternative is the tapped foot and the wide stance.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Now Playing

Say It Ain't So, Elmo

Elmo accused of child sex abuse.

"Hey Mister, watch your hands!"

Life and Death

The short, sweet life of Tyreece Charlow. My print column is up

Friday, November 9, 2012

Liberal Intolerance

Today NYT's Paul Krugman argues that President Obama shouldn't give Republicans an inch when it comes to budget negotiations. Better to go over the fiscal cliff, says the brilliant Nobel Prize winner.

Meanwhile, just the other day, the good professor was dismissing Red America as not being worthy of  liberal concern or consideration. Thomas Franks asked "What the matter with Kansas?" Krugman responds: Who cares? They're not like us.

James Taranto analyzes:

How do you unite a collection of groups that have disparate and often conflicting interests? By turning them against a common enemy. In an early-morning postelection blog post, former Enron adviser Paul Krugman revealed this ugly truth:

One big thing that just happened was that the real America trumped the "real America." And it's also the election that lets us ask, finally, "Who cares what's the matter with Kansas?"
For a long time, right-wingers--and some pundits--have peddled the notion that the "real America," all that really counted, was the land of non-urban white people, to which both parties must abase themselves. Meanwhile, the actual electorate was getting racially and ethnically diverse, and increasingly tolerant too. The 2008 Obama coalition wasn't a fluke; it was the country we are becoming.
And sure enough that more diverse and, if you ask me, better nation just won big.
The lack of self-awareness here is something to behold. Krugman identifies a racially defined out-group, excludes it from the "real America," and declares the in-group to be a "better nation" than the out-group (which is, in fact, part of the same nation). All this in the name of tolerance.

Democratic Triumphalism

The very smart and ever reasonable Megan McArdle explains why the so-called Emerging Democratic Majority is far from a sure thing.

2. Ethnic coalitions are inherently unstable.  It used to be a sort of natural law that urban Catholics voted Democratic.  Then Reagan won them in huge numbers.  And--contra those who are saying that the GOP now has to move left--they didn't win by getting more liberal.  Rather, the Democrats got more liberal, on crime and bussing, and the white ethnics who felt victimized by these policies fled.  The more ethnic groups you have, the more likely it is that you will eventually find the goals of those ethnic groups in direct conflict.  And the Democrats sure do have a lot of groups.  
3.  We are heading for a showdown between public sector unions and taxpayers.  That's going to put Democrats in a very tough spot.  Those unions are the backbone of the Democratic political operation.   But their pensions are, in many places, simply not payable.  Thanks in part to the late 1990s stock market boom, and in part to really scandalously bad accounting standards, politicians made a lot of promises they didn't pay for.  Those promises now can't be shed in bankruptcy, and all of the possible deals--which including hiking taxes to "tax revolt" levels, or shafting all the younger public sector workers--are bad for Democrats.  

The GOP can fairly easily fix at least one big demographic problem; the Democrats advantage with Hispanic voters. Republicans can reach out to Hispanics by supporting reasonable immigration reform; amnesty for those who are here and then securing the border. Who better to lead that fight than emerging GOP star Sen. Marco Rubio.

Hispanics are natural conservatives; religious, hard-working, family-oriented, pro-life. Democrats and the Obama team exploited the harsh and stupid language of the law-and-order anti-immigrationists. But that's all that really separates this constituency from the GOP base. Over the next two years, if they are as smart as they think they are, Republicans will embrace an inclusive immigration reform law and with it gain a whole new slew of potential voters.

UPDATE: Micky Kaus disagrees.

King Con

Barack Obama won because he is a better "confidence man" than Mitt Romney. And he had a better ground game. Now the question is this: Can he actually govern? My print column is up.

My editor says I sound a little bit "bitter." You decide.

UPDATE: I'll settle for being more or less agreed with by Frank J.:
I still don’t understand what Obama did during Sandy that was impressive. He walked around a bit and looked concerned, but did he do anything you couldn’t train a collie to do?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama Wins...

And there goes the Dow...

RIP American Exceptionalism?

For months Roger Kimball was predicting a Romney landslide. Oops! In his piece today, he writes:

I fear that what an English friend just wrote me is true:
You just don’t care about being a Great Power any longer. That’s what this is about. The world should start sucking up the China instead now, as Americans have shown they’ve no appetite for world leadership any longer. You’ve had a century in the sun, and now you’ve decided to become Sweden instead of shouldering the burden. The 47% have won and you’re going to slip into social democracy and in 4 years time no-one — Christie, Rubio, Ryan — will be able to do anything about it.
          RIP American Exceptionalism
That might be overstating it just a bit but it's close. The thing about the Swedes, however, isn't completely true. They have no interest in leading the world. But at least they actually pay for their own social welfare state. They tax everybody to do it. Here, we put it on a credit card and ask the next generation to pay for it.

Republicans have been no better than Democrats to face up to the fiscal reality of unsustainable entitlement spending. And neither have the voters.

We are going to have to reform entitlements, which means future beneficiaries are going to get reduced. Or/and we are going to have have to raise taxes on people other than just the rich because what we soak them for won't begin to cover what has been promised. 

What's Race Got To Do With It? Not Much!

And that's something to be thankful for sez Walter Russell Meade:
Even those who voted for Romney can take heart in one aspect of the 2012 campaign: racism continues its historic retreat in the United States.
In the heat of the campaign, voices were heard saying that a defeat for Obama in 2012 would be a sign of racism in America. We could never buy that. Though we have no illusions that dark forces like racism, anti-Semitism and other kinds of bigotry still linger in the U.S. and in other places around the world, it seemed to us that electing an African American president in the first place was a pretty clear indication that white racism in America continues, thankfully, to wane. 
The President’s re-election should be further evidence of deep change in America. While the President did not do as well among whites as among other groups, partisan loyalty and the mixed economic record of his first term account for the fall off in his support. A white president in his shoes would have also faced a tough fight for re-election and would have lost some states that he carried the first time around.
No doubt. And this win is a tribute to Barack Obama as a campaigner. Now, it's time for him to govern.


Nate Silver: Genius

The NYT's Nate Silver, who was referred to on blog yesterday as "brilliant," once again correctly predicted an Obama victory. He clobbered the pundits, especially the conservative ones, (including little ol' Spencerblog) by correctly reading dozens of state polls and the weighting them appropriately.

Hats off to the young statistician, who kept his head while some other very smart folks were guilty of wishful thinking.

Here We Go Again

Jenkins: The prez gets a do over.
On Wednesday, we woke up to the same old reality, a divided government and overextended fisc whose options are steadily narrowing. The country may start to wonder what the pundits are good for, when it figures out how little help they provided in the voting booth.
Mr. Obama now can be expected to claim a mandate, one whose content he will perhaps share in his memoirs. Judging by his campaign, he expected his victory margin to come from single women frightened that their abortions and contraception would be taken away.
This is a mandate to do what? That is, besides a mandate to keep frightening women about abortion and contraception every time Democrats need to scare up a few votes in close races?

Thank God for Sandy!

MSNBC's Chris Matthews is ecstatic:
"I am so proud of the country. To reelect this president and overcoming -- not because of the partisanship or even the policies. Here's an African-American guy with an unusual background -- part immigrant background, part African-American background -- with all this assault on him from day one. From Mitch McConnell, from the clowns out there that will never be elected, never will be to anything. 
And the way he took it, as someone said, with coolness and charm and dignity and took it and took it and kept moving forward and doing his job. And the American people, and I know we look at these percentage, 40% of white vote. Fine. That's about right among Democrats in the last couple cycles, three cycles or four. Good work for them. Good work for him. A good day for America.
 I'm so glad we had that storm last week because I think the storm was one of those things. No, politically I should say. Not in terms of hurting people. The storm brought in possibilities for good politics."
Not so glad we had that storm last week...

Locally, The Usual Suspects All Won

Who needs, who wants, change? Not Delco.


Meehan, Pileggi, Killion, Kirkland, Vitali, Micozzie, Miccarelli, Barrar, Davidson, Adolph, and Hackett...

All win.

A Pyrrhic Victory?

The old joke is that a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. The same can be said about the reelection of President Barack Obama.

He is the first sitting president to be returned to office with a smaller margin of victory than in his first go round.

When it was pointed out to John Kennedy that he barely limped into office in 1960 against Richard Nixon, he reportedly said something to the effect "Well, he's there and we're here."

Quite right.

Or as the president might say, "I won."

Obama won by cobbling together a coalition of union workers, liberals, single women, young people and minorities. He also won by effectively demonizing his opponent as an out of touch oligarch, especially in the places it mattered most: the battleground states of Ohio, Virginia, Florida.

In Florida, it was Hispanics who put the president over the top. In Ohio, union workers. In Virginia, government union workers. And in all three places; single women, who Democrats managed to convince that the GOP had declared "war" on them. It was both cynical and very effective.

The president also eked out a 51-48 win in the popular vote. The only thing he didn't win was a mandate. The voters returned control of the House to Republicans; and control of the Senate and the Oval Office to Democrats. What we have is the status quo ante. Apparently, the nation's voters like divided government.

So now what? Again, there is a looming budget crisis, one that the president and Republican leaders failed to deal with last year and kicked down the road. Either the president recognizes the extremely divided nature of the country and invites Republicans leaders in to work on a legitimate compromise that angers both the left and right wings of their parties. Or he stands firm on the need to raise taxes only on the wealthy, refuses to cut government spending in any significant way and kicks the entitlements' can down the road for another two years.

That America remains on a completely unsustainable fiscal path is undeniable. The "blue state" model of governing simply can't pay for itself. The bluest of the blue states, Illinois, California and New York are basket cases. Either reform is coming or bankruptcy. They will not be bailed out by a Republican-controlled House, no matter how badly the president and his fellow Democrats would like to.

In his victory speech last night, the president said "The best is yet to come." The question is, the best compared to what? It won't be hard for the U.S. economy to do better than it did these last four years. The economic recovery was the worst in American history. GDP growth remains sluggish and the jobless rate, downright depressing.

In cities like Chester, the first African-American president was unable to do anything to actually spur job creation or economic development. Unemployment among America's blacks now stands at a whopping 14.4 percent. Candidate Romney vowed to shrink government and lower tax rates to allow the private economy to grow. The old idea being a rising tide lifts all boats.

Instead, we will have a president who vows to make education a national priority. Given the deplorable state public education in America's cities, where drop-out rates are almost as depressing as student test scores, the likelihood of seeing any significant improvement in our nations public schools brought about by federal intervention is virtually zero.

Candidate Romney ran a gallant but flawed campaign. President Obama and his men ran a very smart and effective campaign. Now the question is can he preside over a smarter and more effective government?

Four More Years of....

... "I won"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Oooooh Scary!

Oh please. Anyone who is frightened of a New Black Panther needs to grow a set. But, ok, yeah, Democrats would be going nuts if a member of the Klan was out in front of a polling place in full regalia. Big deal!

County Turnout "Brisk," Voter Suppression Not!

As of 2:45 p.m. yesterday, Delaware County Republican Chairman Andy Reilly was reporting no major voting problems or glitches. Turnout is "brisk," and that's neither too bad nor too good for either presidential candidate.

Reilly said he remains "optimistic" about Romney's chances in Delco. Four years ago, McCain lost the county by 64,000 votes. Reilly said if the GOP can cut that margin to 20,000 or less, Romney had a decent chance to win Pennsylvania. He will need the help of apathetic Obama supporters in Philadelphia. If Philly turns out like they did in '08, 650,000 to 700,000, odds favor the incumbent Democrat. But if only 400,000 turn out -- look out.

Reilly also reported that the county worked things out nicely with the U.S. Justice Department. Yesterday, we reported that Voting rights section of DOJ wanted to send federal monitors into a polling place in Thornbury Township, apparently concerned that the rights of Cheyney University students might somehow be oppressed.

At a meeting between county officials and DOJ yesterday, Reilly said he asked if there had been any complaint or problem reported to to DOJ that justified concern. He said he was told no, that this was just a routine request.

Reilly said the federal agents were told they would be welcome inside the polling place but only with a court order or an official designation by the U.S. Attorney General himself that the polling place was somehow suspect.

No court order or designation was forthcoming. So instead, according to Reilly, a couple of federal agents did show up at the township building and stood outside the polls for a couple of hours. They asked exiting Cheyney students - all of them - if they had any problems voting. None were reported, according to Reilly.

"A great use of taxpayer funds," said Reilly, "exit polling."

In Ohio, in the walk up to the election the Cincinnati Enquirer raised grave concerns about "white people" showing up at polling places in "minority communities."
Especially in minority communities, they say, the mere presence of a white person who looks and perhaps acts like an election official can have a chilling effect on some voters, particularly if the person seems to be paying close attention to how a voter is processed at the polls.
Anyone who dismisses the fact that such attitudes persist in 2012, they add, is probably not black.
They writer of this piece does not immediately identify who "they" are. But "they" - and he - are obviously numbskulls to think that black people are so afraid and intimidated by white people who show up in minority communities to do a job. Anyone who thinks so is probably a white liberal who doesn't know many black people.

What "they" would say about white federal agents quizzing black college students on their voting experience we shudder to imagine.

Meanwhile, in Chester....

At 9th and Kerlin streets a white van boasting Obama/Biden placards and loud speakers is blaring "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now." A recorded voice urges residents to get out and re-elect the president.

At my favorite Chester polling place, Mano's Gulf Station/Cocco's Pizzeria, Romoxie Bivens stood outside handing out Obama literature.

He's a member of Laborer's International Union 413, and out of work. He's 37 years old and he's been out of work for sometime. I asked him how the turnout has been.

"Good," he says. "A lot of people are concerned and want to see Obama with four more years to try to  turn this thing around. Four years wasn't enough to accomplish what he wanted to do. So it would be fair to give him one more term." After all, "the past two presidents both received two terms a piece."

And if he doesn't get a second term? Bivens shrugs.

Some people, I tell him, are suggesting that it will be because of race.

"And money," Bivens says quietly. "It will be between the two, race and money. Romney's promising a lot of tax cuts."

But race? Bivens shrugs. "Everybody has their opinion." On the racial question, his isn't that strong. In any case he doesn't believe Romney will be the answer to anyone's prayers, except rich people's.
"I heard he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth."

Down at the polling place at 3rd and Parker, poll worker G. Pete Lewis says voters in Chester's 7th District are "very enthusiastic, more this time than last time." I ask him why he thinks that is.

"Because it's a tighter election. People are very motivated. At this precinct here (the president) is way ahead." I think that's safe bet.

I asked Lewis the same question I asked Bivens: If the president loses will it be because of race. Biven says he's not going to lose. I repeat, "if."

Lewis doesn't think so.

"I think people are looking more at his record. In order to get a raise on a position you have to be productive. If you don't produce your opponent is going to attack you for your lack of production."

Sounded reasonable to me. He said the president "inherited a bad deficit, a bad situation and he tried to bring bills to the table and they (the Republicans) denied him. What good is it to give a man the right to do something but not the means to do it with? He didn't have no support from the right wing. They threw the poison in."

Actually, it was the American people who threw the poison in. In 2010, voters across the country elected a bunch of Republicans to stop the Democrats' agenda of more spending, bigger deficits, and bigger government.

Lewis maintains a healthy skepticism toward politics. He says most politicians are "parasites," and it hasn't escaped his notice that many of the congressman and senators in Washington are millionaires. He's right.

I ask him what he thinks Obama has done in the last four years to help the people of Chester.

"Infrastructure and economic development. Like the soccer stadium." But the soccer stadium was built before Obama took office. Well, he did say "like."

And what can he do in the next four?

"Bring more factories back from China."

And how can he do that?

"He's got to figure that out."

There's always hope. But so far, too little change.

Welcome to Kender Garden

They arrived in the parking lot of Strath Haven Middle School chanting "U.S.A., U.S.A." and waving little American flags. They ranged in age from 5 to 10 and were driven by Cathe Kender, grandmother to two, day-care provider to the other four.

She does this every year on Election Day. Last year her polling place was at the high school. It's here this year. It is my polling place too.

My wife and I voted first. We were asked for our ID's. She immediately presented hers. I declined. This seemed to flummox the Keeper of the Voter Registration Book. I pointed out that I was not required by law to show my ID so I would not be showing it today.

"Do you have it with you?" he asked.


He kept holding out his hand as if he expected me to give it to him. I told him again I was not required by law to produce it so I wasn't going to.

Next to me, I felt my my wife staring at me and shaking her head. I ignored her.

I reached for the pen he was holding to sign my name but the Keeper of the Book hesitated.

"What's the hold up?" I asked.

Finally, he relented and allowed me to sign in but he seemed unhappy about it.

"You're the first person to refuse," he said.

I'm all for Voter ID, so I took that to be a good sign.

After I canceled out my wife's votes, I did a little exit polling. Kender came out with the kids, several of whom were allowed to go with her into the voting booth.

"I love taking them into the booth," Kender said in the lobby as the kids gathered round. She introduced me to her grandson, Richard Davison. He's 10. He said it was his first time at a polling place and declared it "pretty cool." He volunteered that he watched the presidential debates.

"Weren't you bored?" I asked.

"Not that much," he replied.

I asked him who he was rooting for.

"I'd say Romney." And when I asked him why he said it was because at the debate, "Obama was making faces at Romney when he was speaking." And because "He said, 'Now vote for revenge.'" He agreed with a guy on television who said, "Only losers have to have revenge. Winners don't need revenge."

When I asked him if he was sure it was the president who was making faces, not the Vice President Joe Biden in his debate, he said he was.

"I saw him. He was just like..." And then he did a pretty imitation of Obama scowling at Mitt Romney.

Avery Cavanagh, 8, volunteered that they held a mock election at her school (Wallingford Elementary) and Obama won. I asked her if she voted for him.

"No," she said, "I voted for Mitt Romney."


"Because I had a feeling that he'd be a good president."

When I asked Matthew Jones, 5, his presidential preference, it was 5-year-old Mallory Cavanagh who spoke up for him.

"He's voting for Mitt Romney."

I asked him if that was right. It wasn't.

"I'm for President Obama," he said, which caused the young Miss Cavanagh to roll her eyes and sigh, "Whatever."

Catherine Davison, 6, was a bit of a fence sitter. As her older brother explained, "She was going to be voting for Mitt Romney but then they handed out a paper at school that at the bottom was a picture of Obama and he had a dog, so..."

I pointed to my wife and told Richard, "That's why she's voting for Obama too."

Richard said he and his mother attempted to reason with Catherine.

"Me and my mom told her she was going to be voting for Mitt Romney, but then she started crying." So who knows. But then Catherine is under 35, female and single so demographically she's a natural Obama supporter.

Last, but not least was Megan Dostillio, 9, who lives in Wallingford and goes to NPE. In her school's mock election she said she went with Romney.

So based on early exit interviews and if can extrapolate parents likely voting patterns from their children and grandchildren, Romney's chances - at least in Wallingford - look pretty good.

As Kender went to sign-in, a couple of the kids took off running.

A Good Day for Regime Change... Or Not!

Spencerblog will traveling the county today, visiting a number of polling places and talking to voters. You can check in here for an anecdotal pulse of the county.

Later, DT Editor Phil Heron and I will be at county Democratic and Republican headquarters live streaming at as the returns come in.

As far as predicting the outcomes, here goes:

In the county all the incumbents win. Not because they so much deserve to hold office on their own merits but because they are simply the lesser of two evils, though evil is too strong a word.

Senator Zero wins but O doesn't. That's O for Obama.

I has felt for sometime that the justifiable drop off in enthusiasm for this president would make it difficult for him to win reelection. Mitt Romney has proven himself a viable alternative for many Independent voters. Also recent polls show there are slightly more voters identifying themselves as Republicans than Democrats for the first time in history. Given the rebuke voters gave the president's agenda in 2010, it's hard to believe a majority of them will vote to reelect him. But stranger things have happened.

The NYT's brilliant electoral prognosticator Nate Silver is saying that there is something like a 90 percent chance of Obama being reelected. He bases this mostly on the polls in the battleground states. His only caveat is that if those polls are "biased" in favor of the incumbent, Romney could eek out a victory. My sense is that they are. But then, I'm a little biased myself.

Silver gives Romney only a 16 percent change of winning. That seems odd given that national polls have the race a dead heat, with Obama having only the slightest of slight edges in the electoral college.

Of course, it all comes down to who turns out to vote. Which reminds me...

See you at the polls.

UPDATE: In an otherwise sensible column, which predicts a Romney victory, Larry Kudlow writes:
I am not blaming Barack Obama for all the country’s ills. He was dealt a very bad hand. But he chose the wrong course. He relies too much on big government and too little on the enterprise of ordinary people. He is operating a historically discredited model.
Actually it was the country that was dealt a bad hand and it was Barack Obama we picked to play it. He asked for the job claiming to understand how lousy the hand was. He not only played it badly, he and his Democratic cheerleaders went all in with $820 billion of OUR money. After the flop, Fiscal Reality had the nut flush. Phil Ivey for President.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Death in Nether Prov

This is horrible. And this question needs to be answered: Who thought it was a good idea to give this man custody of a child?

Kirkland's Family Plan

State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland is big on family and big on government. My friend Bill Bender explores how the twain meet...
IT PAYS to know Thaddeus Kirkland - better yet, perhaps, to call him your father-in-law, your pastor or your dad.
Kirkland is a rainmaker in his riverfront city of Chester, and the entrenched state representative from Delaware County has helped steer hundreds of thousands of dollars in state money to organizations close to his family:
* The Baptist church where he preaches.
* The arts center where his wife is the president and his son-in-law served as the executive director.
* The annual cultural festival that boosts his political profile and has paid his daughter to sing.
About $800,000 in grants from Harrisburg have gone to those organizations since 1998 as part of a funding process that appears rife with potential conflicts.
I thought he explained all this quite well at our endorsement meeting. This is just how communities are well served by their hard-working representatives. Why should deserving family members be excluded?

The Republican Id?

Found this at the top of a NYT Bill Keller column. Where is the Democratic Id in the shape of a jackass? For it would surely include:

You Didn't Build That!
White Guilt
Tax Increases
Saul Alinsky
Defense Cuts
Solar, Wind
Food Stamps

UPDATE: Oh yeah, and the guy with the pointer would have a pony-tail, a peace symbol and an OWS button.

Take Us to Our Leader

Frank J. on the crazy idea that the POTUS is the "leader" of America.
We keep hearing that on November 6 we will elect the leader of America. We will pick whom we want to set the course for our nation and inspire us to move forward. Someone who will take on all our problems and set things right. Someone who will write up a nice kill list of people who should be dead.
So where did we get this idiotic idea?
I mean, really, why does everyone believe the president is the leader of our country? What he is, is the head of our government, i.e., he is the leader of the least part of our country. We have two groups in America: the people who work hard and create businesses and jobs and all the things that make our country great, and the screw-ups who get in the way of that. Government is by far the greatest force of the latter. So why do we as citizens think the guy we put in charge of the government and all the bureaucrats — “King Idiot,” basically — is our leader? That’s like saying a pothole is in charge of the road.
Read it all here.

Voter Suppression in Delco?

Delco GOP honcho Andy Reilly tells me that the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division has notified the county that it intends send federal monitors to the Thornbury Township polling place. Why? That's not clear. But Cheyney University students vote there. And if I had to guess, it's because the Obama Administration suspects some sort of voter suppression effort.

It can't be because Eric Holder's DOJ is concerned that voter fraud might be committed. Right?

Democrats and other critics of the Pa.'s new voter ID law have complained that the state has been vocal enough about the court ruling post-poning the law from going into effect and are concerned that
Democratic voters will be confused about what their voting rights are. More to the point, Obama supporters are paranoid that poll workers will misinform would-be Obama voters about their right to vote.

As during the primary, voters will be asked for a picture ID but will not require one to be presented in order to vote.

Reilly said Chester County got the same notice. He doesn't care for the implication and is not even sure that what Holder's feds want to do is legal. When it comes to voting issues, the feds only have jurisdiction over states that have in the past shown a disregard for minority voting rights. Pennsylvania has no such history, unless you count the New Black Panthers who showed up at a Philly polling place in full combat regalia in 2008. They were never prosecuted.

More later.

UPDATE: I called and emailed DOJ attorney Dan Freeman, the author of the letter to Delaware County asking for the reasoning behind the monitoring effort. I will report back when and if I hear from him.

In the meantime, Reilly tells me that radio talk show host Dom Giordano is all over it.  

UPDATE II: Here's a copy of the letter. Check the date. Trick or Treat?  By the way, Reilly says he asked if anyone locally raised concerns or asked for federal monitoring and DOJ said no.

UPDATE III: Feds are headed to Ohio as well, ostensibly to make sure no votes are suppressed OR stolen.

UPDATE IV: Can't get photocopy of letter to image up.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Crazy Barry

His prices are IN-SANE!