Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Obama Tips His Hand: Defense Cuts Come First

That headline on Drudge takes you to a Business Insider article that reads in part:
The Washington Post's Bob Woodward ripped into President Barack Obama on "Morning Joe" today, saying he's exhibiting a "kind of madness I haven't seen in a long time" for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns.
"Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, 'Oh, by the way, I can't do this because of some budget document?'" Woodward said.
"Or George W. Bush saying, 'You know, I'm not going to invade Iraq because I can't get the aircraft carriers I need?'" Or even Bill Clinton saying, 'You know, I'm not going to attack Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters,' ... because of some budget document?"
American military resolve goes back even further. Reagan renewed America's military confidence after it had been eroded by the Vietnam War and a feckless President Jimmy Carter. President Carter's only use of the American military was to crash a bunch of helicopters in the Iranian desert in a failed attempt to free the hostages. But the article above also calls to mind Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet. Roosevelt sent the fleet, which was based in the Atlantic Ocean, around the world, but not everyone approved of it:
Senator Eugene Hale, the chairman of the Senate Naval Appropriation Committee, threatened to cut the fleet's funding.
Responding in typical fashion, Roosevelt replied that he already had the money and dared Congressional leaders to "try and get it back."
In light of the President's recent funding priorities, is the Benghazi debacle really surprising?

Political Brinksmanship: Sequester Edition

Sequestration is coming. It arrives March 1st.

Heritage Action's Dan Holler reports that the sequester cuts amount to only a 2.4% cut, so instead of spending $9.863 billion per day, we'll only spend $9.622 billion per day. But even that is a little misleading because of baseline budgeting. As Paul Roderick Gregory at Forbes explains in an op-ed titled: The $995 billion Sequester Cut is Actually a $110 billion Spending Increase:
The sequester “cuts” are subtracted after increasing appropriations subject to the sequester at the rate of inflation and adding back in more than a trillion dollars (over ten years) of spending exempted from the sequester.
Each year federal spending is increased based on population growth and inflation. That increase becomes the new baseline budget. That annual bump is about 6% this year, so a 2.4% sequester half-way through the fiscal year means that this year's budget will be more than 4.5% larger than last year's.

But, according to the President, this trivial cut is the end of the world. The White House has launched the classic FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) campaign against the coming sequester. Politico reports that the administration is: "releasing state by state details of the pain and suffering the sequester will cause..." TrimTabs president and CEO Charles Biderman doesn't think that they can be serious:

Biderman goes on to make the point that the government does not want to cut anything.

Nonetheless, as Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) made clear earlier this month (video): "Spending cuts will occur on March 1st. Sequestration will happen."

It's a classic game of brinksmanship. The Democrat view of the economy is that economic success is driven by government spending so cutting government spending will harm the economy. Republicans see a world where smaller government gets out of the way of business unleashing economic growth.

This is only the opening act. The real fight will occur after the sequester goes into effect on March 1st and both sides try to get the press to report their economic outlook.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Standing Firm Against Medicaid Expansion

Yesterday, both and Hennessy's View reported that the Missouri GOP seems to be flirting with the Medicaid expansion.

I just listened to St. Louis Public Radio's Politically Speaking Podcast.  They had some surprising comments. Around the 22:30 mark in the NPR audio at that link, Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies, and Jason Rosenbaum speculate that Republican Speaker of the Missouri House, Tim Jones, may be moving toward compromise with Liberal Gov. Jay Nixon on Medicaid expansion.

At last weekend's state-wide Lincoln Days, Jones was crystal clear on the Medicaid expansion. At 24:45 in the video below, he's asked about Gov. Nixon's effort to implement Medicaid expansion. Jones takes a hard line against it, which is exactly what the conservative grassroots expects.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Country Club Republicans and the Country Class

Angelo Codevilla has a great article in Forbes: As Country Club Republicans Link Up With The Democratic Ruling Class, Millions Of Voters Are Orphaned:
The ever-growing U.S. government has an edgy social, ethical, and political character. It is distasteful to a majority of persons who vote Republican and to independent voters, as well as to perhaps one fifth of those who vote Democrat. The Republican leadership’s kinship with the socio-political class that runs modern government is deep. Country class Americans have but to glance at the Media to hear themselves insulted from on high as greedy, racist, violent, ignorant extremists. Yet far has it been from the Republican leadership to defend them. Whenever possible, the Republican Establishment has chosen candidates for office – especially the Presidency – who have ignored, soft-pedaled or given mere lip service to their voters’ identities and concerns.
Read the whole thing--it's quite good.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

#IL02: Paul McKinley has the Chicago Machine Panicking

Paul McKinley is the Republican running to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. Earlier this month, Jackson plead guilty to misusing campaign funds. In fighting among the Democrat candidates may create an opportunity for McKinley to pick up this traditionally Democrat seat.

Monday, February 18, 2013

#MO8: Interview with Jason Smith

Jason Smith was recently chosen to represent the Republican Party in the special election to fill the vacancy in Congress created by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's departure. I had an opportunity to catch up with Smith at the Missouri GOP's Lincoln Days in St. Louis. I asked him about his background, what he hopes to accomplish in DC, and what he's doing to win the June 4th special election. You can learn more about Jason Smith, donate to his campaign, or volunteer to help him in the special election at his website:

Photos: 2013 Lincoln Days in St. Louis

The Missouri Republican Party held their annual state-wide Lincoln Days gathering in St. Louis in this weekend. These are the photos I got at the event.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Video: 2013 Missouri Lincoln Days with John Barrasso (R-WY)

The Missouri Republican Party held their state-wide 2013 Lincoln Days gathering in St. Louis this weekend. The Friday night dinner saw speeches from party Chairman Ed Martin, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, State Rep. Tim Jones, State Senator Tom Dempsey, 2012 GOP gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence, GOP candidate for Missouri's 8th Congressional District, Jason Smith, Auditor Tom Schweich, Rep. Ann Wagner, Senator Roy Blunt, and keynote speaker Senator John Barrasso (R-WY).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

#MO8: Jason Smith Promises to take Missouri Experience to Washington, DC

Ed Martin, Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, introduces Jason Smith at the 2013 Lincoln Days in St. Louis. Smith was recently chosen to represent the Republican Party in the special election to fill the vacancy in Congress created by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's departure. Smith has served in the Missouri General Assembly as a State Representative since January of 2006.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Republican Jason Smith gets GOP Nominiation in #MO8

The video above is of Republican State Representative Jason Smith at the Cape Girardeau candidate forum last month. The Kansas City Star just reportsed that Smith has won the Republican nomination in Missouri's 8th Congressional District:
State Rep. Jason Smith prevailed after six rounds of voting by an 84-person committee of local Republican leaders, and immediately becomes the favorite in a June 4 special election in the GOP-leaning 8th District.
Smith is the favorite to win this conservative district in the June 4th special election.