2012, you couldn't come soon enough.
This is the year, after four years of rule by redistributionists, after having the government takeover health care and a similar attempt with the energy industry, after green cronyism, after an onslaught of humanitarian ventures in non-threatening foreign nations, after four of having more and more of our economy being swallowed by government largesse, that we elect a new president.
Townhall readers and writers alike have been chomping at the bit for 2012. And now that it has finally arrived, it's time to clean house.
Happy New Year from the entire Townhall team!
This just in-Rick Perry won't go to New Hampshire following the Iowa Caucus, and will head straight to South Carolina instead.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will skip a campaign swing through New Hampshire and instead head straight to South Carolina following the Iowa caucuses, according to a campaign press release Saturday.
"Gov. Rick Perry will travel to Greenville, S.C. on Jan. 4," it said. "Details regarding other events are forthcoming."
The release noted Perry planned to participate in the WMUR/ABC Debate in Manchester, N.H., on Jan. 7 and the NBC News-Facebook Debate in Concord, N.H., on Jan. 8.
Two days ago, Perry was saying that he did plan to spend time in New Hampshire. One can't know his reasoning for sure, but his polling numbers (currently around 2.3% in that state) couldn't have helped. Perhaps the team decided that New Hampshire is a sunk cost by now, and his comparative advantage lies in socially conservative South Carolina.
Fox News is reporting that Virginia's Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, may intervene in the primary process to get more Republican names on the ballot. The Virginia ballot currently includes Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and...nobody else.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is intervening in the Virginia presidential primary dispute and plans to file emergency legislation to address the inability of most Republican presidential candidates to get their name on the ballot, Fox News has learned.
Rasmussen has the latest approval numbers for Congress, and it isn't pretty. Performance approval has been dropping and dropping, and has now hit an all time low of 5%.
Just when you think the numbers couldn’t get any worse for Congress, the end of session debacle over the payroll tax extension comes along and drives perceptions of Congress even lower.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just five percent (5%) of Likely Voters rate the job Congress is doing as good or excellent. Sixty-eight percent (68%) view Congress’ job performance as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
That’s the lowest level of congressional approval ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports. However, in the larger sense, it’s just a continuation of a downward trend as the percentage who give Congress good marks has remained in single-digits since mid-April.
A scant 1% says Congress is doing an 'excellent' job, with 4% rating Congressional performance as 'good' and an overwhelming 68% rating Congressional performance as poor. The most damning number, though, may be the 86% of respondents who say that members of Congress are more interested in their careers than in helping others.
Well, this is awkward. Hours after quitting his post, Michele Bachmann's Iowa Chair went on to endorse...Ron Paul. From the Washington Post:
Talk about fairweather friends. Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson (R), who was Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s state campaign chairman, endorsed Texas Rep. Ron PaulWednesday night.
At a rally in Des Moines, Sorenson told the crowd, “We’re going to take Ron Paul all the way to the White House.”
He did not tell Bachmann of his decision until he was en route to the Paul rally, billed as an event for veterans.
“This is hard,” he said of his decision to leave Bachmann, explaining that he felt obligated to defend Paul against the Republican establishment. He elaborated in a statement, saying he felt Paul was the most conservative candidate who had a realistic shot at defeating former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
In the meantime, the Bachmann camp is claiming that Sorenson was lured over with a large sum of money, something that both he and the Paul campaign are denying. Both are also admitting that Paul did a few favors for Sorenson back in the day. Sounds like the backscratching was finally reciprocated:
Sorenson added that Paul campaigned for him during his state Senate race last year.
“I thought it was my duty to come to his aid, just like he came to my aid during my Senate race, which was a very nasty race,” he said.
“Kent is an old friend,” said Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton. “We had talked seriously about it with him for several days. He said he has come to realize that this is a two-person race” and that “Ron is the only conservative alternative to Romney and the establishment status quo.”
Update: The deal is done:
House Republican leaders have decided to accept a short-term extension of the payroll tax cut, sources told ABC News this afternoon, preventing a hike in taxes just nine days before the tax break expires for 160 million Americans.
House GOP leaders appeared to be adopting a compromise suggested by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass the two-month extension in exchange for the Senate appointing members to a conference committee, which will negotiate a longer-term solution. The proposal won a nod of approval from President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The payroll tax deal has been causing headaches for a while now, but we may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling on House Republicans to accept the short term deal.
WASHINGTON—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), seeking to end an impasse on renewing the payroll-tax cut set to expire at the end of the year, on Thursday urged House Republican leaders to pass a short-term extension and said Senate Democrats should name negotiators to work out a longer-term deal.
The overture came as Republicans and Democrats remained at odds over how to prevent the payroll-tax cut from expiring. The House this week rejected a temporary solution approved 89-10 by the Senate on Saturday.
House Republicans have said Congress should instead pass a one-year extension and have said they won't sign off on the interim measure negotiated between Senate Republican and Democratic leaders.
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), working to appease his rank and file, was left in the difficult position of calling for renewed negotiations after the Senate already had recessed for the year, a situation that has drawn criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. Democrats have said the two sides are too far apart to negotiate a one-year package before the end of 2011 and that a temporary extension is the only solution right now.
I asked the same “What does $40 mean to you” question, except the other way around. The answer from the White House appears to be: “Not much.”
–Forty dollars could be given back to almost 14 million taxpayers for what went up in carbon neutral smoke on Solyndra.
–Forty dollars could have been sent to almost 21 million people for what was spent on the stimulus. That’s a lot of “Friday Family Pizza Nights” that could have been “saved or created.”
–Forty dollars is the “investment” of 6,250 taxpayers in each Chevy Volt.
–It took 2,500 taxpayers unwittingly shelling out $40 each just to pay for a separate flight to Hawaii.
Nobody in government — particularly this administration — should be asking taxpayers what difference $40 makes in their lives. Taxpayers should be asking the administration what $40 means to them.
The payroll tax issue will be settled, but the much larger, longer term problem isn’t budging.
Breaking news: top down planning doesn't work. Back in June, we brought you a story about LA schools sprucing up their menu as part of a new healthy eating initiative for elementary school children. Now that the corndogs, chicken nuggets and chocolate milk have been replaced with butternut squash and quinoa salad, I'm sure you will be shocked, shocked, to learn that most of the new food is ending up in the garbage.
Just over a week ago, residents of China's Wukan village drove local officials out in a protest over a land dispute. The local government had negotiated with a large real estate company to build new properties on land that was held by residents. Angered over this, the locals elected a well liked villager to negotiate with the government.
Two days later, his family was summoned to view his body. They were told that he had died of a heart attack, but the injuries he had sustained suggested otherwise.
Now Wukan residents are waiting to see what will happen next. No one has filled the power vacuum and police officers are beginning to surround the village. Could a Chinese Spring be next?
The Des Moines Register released an unabashed endorsement of Mitt Romney today. The headline following his picture, "He Is the Best to Lead" leaves little room for doubt concerning the editorial boards sentiments.
Sobriety, wisdom and judgment.
Those are qualities Mitt Romney said he looks for in a leader. Those are qualities Romney himself has demonstrated in his career in business, public service and government. Those qualities help the former Massachusetts governor stand out as the most qualified Republican candidate competing in the Iowa caucuses.
Sobriety: While other candidates have pandered to extremes with attacks on the courts and sermons on Christian values, Romney has pointedly refrained from reckless rhetoric and moralizing. He may be accused of being too cautious, but choosing words carefully is a skill essential for anyone who could be sitting in the White House and reacting to world events.
Wisdom: Romney obviously is very smart. He graduated as valedictorian at Brigham Young University and finished in the top 5 percent in his MBA class at Harvard, where he also earned a law degree. Romney also exhibits the wisdom of a man who listened and learned from his father and his mother, from his church and from his own trials and errors in life. He does not lack self confidence, but he is not afraid to admit when he has been wrong.
Judgment: Romney disagrees with Democrats on most issues, but he offers smart and well-reasoned alternatives rather than simply proposing to swing a wrecking ball in Washington. He is a serious student of public policy who examines the data before making a decision. His detailed policy paper on the economy contains 87 pages of carefully crafted positions on taxes, energy, trade and regulatory policy, complete with 127 footnotes.
According to the Townhall.com Poll Tracker, Romney is currently in second place behind Newt Gingrich, with 32% and 22% support respectively.