March 10, 2012

"And yet the perception is that last week was bad for Republicans and good for the Dems. What gives?"

Says Instapundit, noting today's Rasmussen tracking poll that has Romney at 48, Obama 43 and even Santorum at 46, with Obama at 45.

As an example of that perception he's referring to, check out Jonathan Chait:
Today's report that the economy added 227,000 jobs last month, and far more than expected the previous two months,  seems as good an occasion as any to take stock of President Obama’s electoral standing.

Obama has clearly improved his position.... Pretty much everything has moved his way all at once. The recovery, which stalled last year, is picking up speed, and perceptions of the economy are improving along with it. The Republican candidates have all hurtled rightward and lost popularity in the center. Obama has managed to establish a contrast against the wildly unpopular Republican House rather than allow himself to be sucked down into its dysfunction.
And here's Rush Limbaugh — the infamous Rush Limbaugh — on his show yesterday, talking about the media as "now just willing accomplices of the Democrat Party." Excerpt:
Just remember, folks, in 2005, 2006, unemployment in this country was at 5% under the hated, despised, and dreaded George W. Bush.  "Job Growth Remains Brisk in February."  "Healthcare Continues to Lead Employment Growth," TheHill.com.  "Employment Grows Solidly for Third Straight Month."  So the new normal is more than twice as high as unacceptable unemployment under Bush.  The new normal, what the media says is a roaring economy; what the media says is a steady economic upbeat; what the media says is job market improving; what the media says is brisk job growth.  Eight-point-three percent unemployment is more than twice as high as what was unacceptable unemployment during George W. Bush. 

108 comments:

Hagar said...

and in 3-4 weeks there will be a quiet Friday night "dump" that, no, the numbers were not quite that good - in fact the growth rate was about half of what we said, and the unemployment half as much again.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I was in Tampa on Monday and I noticed the sea level was down two inches.

MayBee said...

Yeah, the idea that 227,000 jobs/month is enough, or an unemployment rate around 8% is good is just bizarre.

As is the idea that Obama is doing anything to change the economy right now. His two big accomplishments this year have been to mandate free birth control for women and extend a cut on social security taxes. As far as I can tell, he's got no plans for his second term except to not leave us on our own.

Kevin said...

Today's report that the economy added 227,000 jobs last month, and far more than expected the previous two months, seems as good an occasion as any to take stock of President Obama’s electoral standing.

Well, one reason why Obama isn't getting credit for this is that it is becoming increasingly evident that the government is lying about the economic numbers. Gallup's survey indicates that unemployment is increasing, not decreasing.

We are seeing increasingly that the government comes up with a good economic number, which the legacy media trumpets, and a few weeks later, the government quietly issues a "correction" revising the number sharply downwards. This has happened repeatedly with the quarterly GNP numbers.

I think people simply no longer believe Obama - but he's free to run on how the economy is doing. Good luck with that.

Jay said...

Um, half the jobs "added" were temporary.

The idea that America is on some "comeback" because Obozo says so is silly.

PS, will we ever reach the point when politicians don't tour factories with the goggles on? Obama, who has never had a real job, looks especially silly doing that.

edutcher said...

If you saw Insta yesterday, he featured one piece where the U3, if truly measuring the WPI, could be as high as 10.8. Gallup has the U3 at 9.1 and the U6 at 19.1.

There was also a piece featured asking if the jobs numbers can be trusted. After a month of articles such as these, the Administration's contention that the U3 stayed flat has no credibility.

So, people are listening to the Republicans.

Yeah, they're sweating big time at 1600.

AJ Lynch said...

Obamanomics is a failed economics policy so the prez is a Dead President Walking [in a re-election sense].

How many Americans know someone who has been out of work or temping for the last 2-3 years? How many Americans believe the unemployment rate is only 8.3% More Hope & Change will not overcome the sense of futility many many Americans feel towards the Prez and his record.

dreams said...

In Jan 2007 when the Democrats took control of both houses of congress the unemployment was 4.6% and you can google it.

Jay said...

Mark Steyn this weekend:

As I understand it, Sandra Fluke is a young coed who attends Georgetown Law, and recently testified before Congress.

Oh boy Ann, you better set him straight!!!

AprilApple said...

8.3% is a lie. It's 9.1%. And if you factor in people who stopped looking for work the percentage is as high as 18-20%.

MayBee said...

It isn't just the unemployment rate, or knowing people who are unemployed. How many people feel they could sell their house for a good price right now? How many people know someone who can't sell their house? Even people who aren't in distress are affected by the low comps from neighborhood short sales.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's possible that enough people are realizing that they elected an inexperienced, empty suit joke for President.

edutcher said...

Hoosier, are you stealing Hatman's thunder?

(wash your hands if you are, it's all frothy)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ever stop and think that this contraceptive issue is tied to the unemployment? Since all these folks have nothing else to do but sit home and screw, maybe Obama is keeping them from producing a whole new generation of welfare recipients.

Think about it.

Amexpat said...

Most of the polls I've seen have Obama ahead. More important, Obama has been inching up at Intrade and is now at a 61% chance to win.

That seems about right to me, but if anyone thinks that the MSM is skewing facts to alter the perception of Obama's chances of getting reelected, then they can place $40 now at Intrade and get $100 back in November.

shiloh said...

Rasmussen tries desperately to keep conservative hope alive!

As always, see 'ya after Labor Day when mittens is no longer able to read from a script and has to appear on cable news show answering questions re: how his tax plan for the rich will add to the debt, etc.

Althouse, mittens has changed a bit since the day he was born and certainly not in the last (6) years. Are you expecting a reincarnation/transformation come September? :D

Can you imagine how depressed Reps would be if they didn't have Rasmussen or fixednoise? Rhetorical.

shiloh said...

hasn't changed a bit ~ god love him!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Never knew what hatboy means by frothy. Is that a gay term? Being firmly entrenched with the preference for poontang, I'm not well versed in the gay vernacular.

Writ Small said...

Never knew what hatboy means by frothy. Is that a gay term?

Google "Santorum." It's a Dan Savage epithet. Andrew Sullivan is fond of using it, too. It's "hilarious" and "edgy."

Writ Small said...

My worry is that we're dealing with a delayed reaction. Remember how the early polls for Cain didn't change right away when the bibmos erupted? It is eight months until November, which is an eternity for the press to trumpet the idea of a recovering economy.

edutcher said...

Amexpat said...

Most of the polls I've seen have Obama ahead. More important, Obama has been inching up at Intrade and is now at a 61% chance to win.

Most of the polls are commissioned by the Establishment Media and skewed - the last NBC poll's sample only had 27% Republicans.

As for Intrade, most of those guys have been betting on the wrong horse for years.

"Rasmussen tries desperately to keep conservative hope alive!"

Yeah, too bad he's the most accurate in the biz.

And Milton's been on all the cable shows - O'Really, Cavuto, Hannity, Greta.

I ♥ Willard said...

Eight-point-three percent unemployment is more than twice as high as what was unacceptable unemployment during George W. Bush.

When George Bush became president, the unemployment rate was at 4.2%, the lowest at any point during his two terms. When George Bush left office, the unemployment rate was at 8.3%.

Rush doesn't seem to be good at math, and he's not helping the Republican cause by saying stupid things every day.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

A. The MSM is in the tank for the regime. They have to be, or they are denied access.

B. The MSM has to spin the numbers to try and place the regime in a good light. Just watch ABC 'Whirled' news or MSLSD. Its a parallel universe. U3 numbers are cooked and the U6 are really a better indicator of reality - but 'bad' for the regime.

C. The regime must carry on with 'change' at any cost. How else can the 'transformation' be completed??? This is the narrative.

A+B=C.

Mark said...

"What gives" is the echo chamber effect. The liberal press sees what (for them) isn't a horrendous week and celebrates.

I think a lot of the commentariat will be honestly shocked on November 7.

Canuck said...

It's early to depend on daily or weekly tracking polls. I watch monthly trend lines and the job report numbers.

Roger J. said...

only poll that counts is in early November--and after that poll is accomplished, we can make ex post facto judgments about the accurace of the numerous polls out there.

Its a long way until November--the prudent person might want to wait a bit before putting skin in the game.

John M Auston said...

Mark Steyn this weekend:

As I understand it, Sandra Fluke is a young coed who attends Georgetown Law, and recently testified before Congress.


First of all, "young" does not really apply, does it? She is a "middle-age" coed, in my book. She is technically old enough to be Obama's daughters mother.

Secondly, she "testified before Congress" (as thatphase is commonly used) in about the same sense I could say I had, were I to have waited outside on the steps, and starting opining when a few departing congresspersons, and a camera, were within ear and eye-shot.

Roger J. said...

Canuck: good strategy--I would add gas prices to your watch list, because thats something that all Americans see whenever they fill up

cubanbob said...

I have a home work project for Shiloh:

1-first look up the percentage of public sector hires to private sector hires in this latest report and of those hired in the private sector how many were temporary hires, low wage hires, long term unemployed hires, job switchers and new entrants to the labor force.

2-in the same period how many lost jobs, how many were public employees, how many private employees, how many were long term employed, how many temp employees, how many low paid employees, new entrants, how many were private sector good salary employees.

When you finish please get back to us so when we see numbers from the government we can judge what they really mean.

Being the cynical guy that I am, I suspect when the data is analyzed it won't be so pretty because otherwise the administration would be crowing about the great recovery. But being a fair minded person I will hold judgment until you get the assignment done. Thanks in advance and have a nice day.

I ♥ Willard said...

Yeah, too bad he [Rasmussen]'s the most accurate in the biz.

From Wikipedia:

After Election night that year, Silver concluded that Rasmussen's polls were the least accurate of the major pollsters in 2010, having an average error of 5.8 points and a pro-Republican bias of 3.9 points according to Silver's model. He singled out as an example the Hawaii Senate Race, in which Rasmussen showed the incumbent 13 points ahead, although in actuality Inouye won by 53 – a difference of 40 points, or "the largest error ever recorded in a general election in FiveThirtyEight’s database, which includes all polls conducted since 1998".

Does accuracy have a different meaning at Althouse? o_O

Barry Dauphin said...

We have a tax holiday for a portion of Social Security taxes, not a tax cut. Allowing the administration to get away with the term "tax cut" is to let them talk like Reagan while acting like Keynes.

cubanbob said...

I ♥ Willard said...
Eight-point-three percent unemployment is more than twice as high as what was unacceptable unemployment during George W. Bush.

When George Bush became president, the unemployment rate was at 4.2%, the lowest at any point during his two terms. When George Bush left office, the unemployment rate was at 8.3%.

Rush doesn't seem to be good at math, and he's not helping the Republican cause by saying stupid things every day.

3/10/12 1:46 PM

Nice try Willard but you forget the rest of the story. The stock market crashed just before he took office (under Clinton) and the trend line for the economy was going south not north and then 9 months later the economy took a one day trillion dollar hit on 9/11. Next time, try harder.

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, we shall see what $5 a gallon gas this summer does to Obama and the Dems, esp. when their response is to double down on "green" energy giveaways to their friends and the promise of algae.

Amexpat said...

As for Intrade, most of those guys have been betting on the wrong horse for years.

If you think the odds at Intrade are wrong most of the time then why don't you trade there and pick up some easy money?

Personally, it makes little difference to me if Obama or Romney is the next president. But if I had to bet, Obama would be a good bet at even money.

shiloh said...

"And Milton's been on all the cable shows - O'Really, Cavuto, Hannity, Greta."

Actually, he hasn't had an in-depth interview on fixed either for quite some time ...

Since the end of November, when Bret Baier made him look totally cringeworthy er uncomfortable in his own skin.

Indeed! flip/floping his legs @ 5:00.

Hey, if he's afraid of friendly fox, no wonder he won't appear on MTP as it wouldn't be prudent at this juncture! :D

I ♥ Willard said...

Nice try Willard but you forget the rest of the story. The stock market crashed just before he took office (under Clinton) and the trend line for the economy was going south not north and then 9 months later the economy took a one day trillion dollar hit on 9/11. Next time, try harder.

Oh, great points! And since our black Muslim commie president inherited a strong, booming economy from President Bush, he has no excuses (like Bush had) for the performance of the economy.

then 9 months later the economy took a one day trillion dollar hit on 9/11.

It really infuriates me when liberals try to blame President Bush for 9/11. How can they hold President Bush accountable for actions by terrorists that were set in motion during his summer vacation?

What liberals need to remember is that President Bush had a lot of bad luck. Our country would have been in much better shape if Saddam Hussein hadn't declared war on the United States and forced us to spend trillions defending our country against Iraqi aggression.

JohnJ said...

Oh, I get it; the media are biased toward the Dems.

This is news to anyone?

Here’s the reality:

Level playing field—Romney wins.

Slighted tilted playing field—Romney wins.

Grossly distorted playing field—tight race, …so we work a little harder.

shiloh said...

"Level playing field—Romney wins.

Slighted tilted playing field—Romney wins.

Grossly distorted playing field—tight race, …so we work a little harder."

Althouse lemmings incessant whining notwithstanding, cry me a river!

Reps bunkered down in that omnipresent bubble, refusing to go outside lol.

I ♥ Willard said...

Speaking of liberal media bias, check out this partial list of the most popular radio programs in the US:

The Rush Limbaugh Show
The Sean Hannity Show
The Savage Nation
Glenn Beck Program
The Mark Levin Show
The Neal Boortz Show
The Laura Ingraham Show

Writ Small said...

When George Bush left office, the unemployment rate was at 8.3%.

Rush doesn't seem to be good at math, and he's not helping the Republican cause by saying stupid things every day.


Curious that the Obama administration estimated unemployment wouldn't top 8% with passage of the stimulus. There's a math error in there somewhere.

shiloh said...

Indeed ♥, preaching to the choir 24/7 aside, conservatives are just having a hard time spewing their propaganda to the general public lol.

The koch boys are probably gonna have to put a tad more of their daddy's $$$ into the kitty come Sept.

>

Quite amusing that w/out $$$, mittens would be losing to (3) train wrecks!

Unknown said...

So next Saturday when the superficial economic anecdotes looks bad will we see the headline. "Obama stumbles, Economy turns for the worse, voters flock to Romney as the new savior"

I ♥ Willard said...

Curious that the Obama administration estimated unemployment wouldn't top 8% with passage of the stimulus.

The Obama administration did that too? I only remember an estimate from the Romer-Bernstein report issued by advisors prior to Obama becoming president.

I ♥ Willard said...

Quite amusing that w/out $$$, mittens would be losing to (3) train wrecks!

Without $$$, Willard would not be Willard, if you will.

Canuck said...

Roger J.-

Yep - I agree - gas prices are also key. And anything that can cause economic or political shock - the Euro/Iran.

I watch for rates of increase and decrease in the job numbers. The three-four months before the election are critical.

Unknown said...

The trouble with the GoP is that they are unable to deliver this as a negative message about Obama. they are inclined to John McCain the message. The GoP is missing the "Win" Gene.

Unknown said...

And we should have a modern metric that gives weight to how many permanent full time jobs at $25-$40 an hour are being replaced with retail work at $8-$10 an hour. There is a lot of that going on in today's economy.

JohnJ said...

“Speaking of liberal media bias, check out this partial list of the most popular radio programs in the US:”

But it would be silly for anyone to expect to get his or her factual news from any of those outlets.

Maybe it’s na├»ve to expect unbiased reporting from the MSM news outlets—ABC, NBC, CBS and the major metropolitan newspapers. (I think of CNN & Fox as mostly opinion/entertainment media.) But it’s embarrassing to watch their clownish attempts to filter and slant events toward a more favorable view of the “progressive” agenda.

edutcher said...

I see the Lefty circle jerk is unbroken.

Chef Mojo said...

Speaking of liberal media bias, check out this partial list of the most popular radio programs in the US:

The Rush Limbaugh Show
The Sean Hannity Show
The Savage Nation
Glenn Beck Program
The Mark Levin Show
The Neal Boortz Show
The Laura Ingraham Show


Are you really that stupid? The shows are about opinion and editorializing, and don't pretend to be otherwise.

NPR, on the other hand, to cite one od hundreds of media examples, is a bought and paid for subsidiary of the Democrat Party, masquerading as hard news.

Please tell me you understand the distinction before I proceed to mock your imbecility.

Whoops. Too late.

Mike said...

Who knew that The Bamster thinks he has a future career as a litigator? It's been said that a "litigator" can make a jury believe that bullpuckey tastes like vanilla ice cream.

The Bamster thinks he can do that. He's certainly been trying. But let's just say that this is a case of Obozo misOVERestimating himself.

shiloh said...



Being mocked by Chef Mojo is a quite an honor. Much like being on Nixon's enemies list, it adds to your prestige! :)

cubanbob said...

I ♥ Willard said...
Nice try Willard but you forget the rest of the story. The stock market crashed just before he took office (under Clinton) and the trend line for the economy was going south not north and then 9 months later the economy took a one day trillion dollar hit on 9/11. Next time, try harder.

What liberals need to remember is that President Bush had a lot of bad luck. Our country would have been in much better shape if Saddam Hussein hadn't declared war on the United States and forced us to spend trillions defending our country against Iraqi aggression.

"Oh, great points! And since our black Muslim commie president inherited a strong, booming economy from President Bush, he has no excuses (like Bush had) for the performance of the economy."
3/10/12 2:13 PM


Willard you are entitled to your opinions but not your fact. That said, Bush's mistake was allowing one bubble, the stock market bubble to be replaced by another, the housing bubble. And don't forget that bubble has the democrats finger prints all over it. I don't recall any democrats trying to put the breaks on that bubble, on the contrary when Bush made a feeble attempt, they hammered him for it.

As for Iraq, please. The democrats signed on to mission as well.If Bush was wrong, he was wrong to rely on Clinton's CIA director, the UN, the French, Russians and the British intelligence services. The great thing about the internet is it is no longer possible to so easily re-write history. So do you think not taking Saddam out would have been a good? You really think the pre-war no-fly zone and sanctions on Iraq would have lasted to this day? I rather doubt it. Maybe you think letting an Arab nazi stay in power, free to develop nuclear weapons along side the Iranians would have been a good thing, but most sane people would beg to differ. And by the way, since our planes were getting shot at regularly under the UN mandated no fly zone Saddam did indeed declare war on the US just like the Afghan Taleban-AQ state declared war on us on 9/11.

And compared to what Obama has spent keeping federal and state and local drones employed is pocket change.

Even now, thanks to the feds cheap money policy and the massive federal borrowing we are seeing yet another bubble in the stock market. When CD's pay one percent and inflation is five percent all that does is inflate the stock market without any underlying real economic growth to justify the growth.

The real economy isn't growing, at best its stabilizing, which is better than continuing to drop but that isn't due to anything the democrats have done but in spite of them.

Writ Small said...

The Obama administration did that too? I only remember an estimate from the Romer-Bernstein report issued by advisors prior to Obama becoming president.

The Romer-Bernstein report was isued Jan. 9, 2009 and was authored by Christina Romer, the incoming chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser for incoming Vice President Joe Biden.

I guess Romer and Bernstein were part of another Obama administration.

Unknown said...

I ♥ Willard

Interesting that if one lets the lefties have their way, then Clinton never provided the foundation for 9/11. It was all GWB generated. And Obama never caused the current mess 3 years into his term. It was all GWB generated. Does not follow.

9/11 was a huge shock. Shortly after that Ken Lay one upped Osama Bin Laden and worked to finish the destruction of the US economy. Enron is the equivalent of Al Quadia in the US economy.

The failure of the left and the right here is not to realize that most of these companies are too large and that the government is over regulating the economy without solving the too big problem.

shiloh said...

Conservatives please stop dwelling in the past and look towards the future when mittens will lead you guys to the promised land.

Unite behind the child prodigy! :D

Unknown said...

Chef Mojo said...


Please tell me you understand the distinction before I proceed to mock your imbecility.

Your comment here pretty much means you're immature and can't be taken seriously yet. Hopefully not old enough to vote. You probably want to at least make an effort at wisdom or good humor.

JohnJ said...

“Unite behind the child prodigy!”

There seems to be a cult-like opinion among some that it is somehow unfashionable to elect a president who has been successful in most of the endeavors of his adult life.

What’s that about?

Chef Mojo said...

Your comment here pretty much means you're immature and can't be taken seriously yet. Hopefully not old enough to vote. You probably want to at least make an effort at wisdom or good humor.

Spare me the passive-aggressive shtick, Unknown. I've been suffering pinheaded dolts like you for most of my adult life. I've been voting since 1978, and have schooled delusional brats like you the whole way since.

Like Maher, you wouldn't know good humor if it crawled up your ass and burped. As for your perception of wisdom? Here's a clue: Your last fortune cookie wasn't "wisdom."

cubanbob said...

Unknown said...

A small detail, Enron happened under the Clinton watch and was cheered on by that tool Paul Krugman.

Now as for Enron being the AQ of the economy, Enron was a nickel and dime deal compared to what came later like AIG. And we can thank client number 9 for that train wreck. And then of course there is the delayed time bomb laid by LBJ on us when he privatized Freddie and Fannie while allowing them the full faith and credit of the United States. There is blame enough to spread on both party's both at the end of the day, the IED's to the economy were planted by the democrats and the republicans are to blame for not really trying hard enough to defuse them when they could have.

I ♥ Willard said...

But it would be silly for anyone to expect to get his or her factual news from any of those outlets.

Ouch! I hope Althouse readers don't hold a grudge. :(

I ♥ Willard said...

I guess Romer and Bernstein were part of another Obama administration.

I guess so since there was no Obama adminstration until he became president.

I ♥ Willard said...

Shortly after that Ken Lay one upped Osama Bin Laden and worked to finish the destruction of the US economy.

Ken Lay? Wasn't he George Bush's pal?

I ♥ Willard said...

As for Iraq, please. The democrats signed on to mission as well.If Bush was wrong, he was wrong to rely on Clinton's CIA director, the UN, the French, Russians and the British intelligence services.

It's a good thing that the French, the Russians and the UN supported the Iraq war! :)

I ♥ Willard said...

That said, Bush's mistake was allowing one bubble, the stock market bubble to be replaced by another, the housing bubble.

That was Bush's mistake? Haven't we conservatives spent the last three years blaming the consequences of the housing bubble on our black Muslim commie president? o_O

Please try to stay on message!

Alex said...

Yeah, the idea that 227,000 jobs/month is enough, or an unemployment rate around 8% is good is just bizarre.

As is the idea that Obama is doing anything to change the economy right now.


You see this is what frustrates the hell out of me when it comes to you faux-conservatives. What should Obama be doing about the economy? Like Rush says, get the government OUT of the way so the friggen capitalists can create jobs!

Alex said...

Bush's mistake was allowing one bubble, the stock market bubble to be replaced by another, the housing bubble.

Another faux conservative who thinks the job of POTUS is to direct the economy.

cubanbob said...

I ♥ Willard said...
Shortly after that Ken Lay one upped Osama Bin Laden and worked to finish the destruction of the US economy.

Ken Lay? Wasn't he George Bush's pal?

3/10/12 3:37 PM
I ♥ Willard said...
As for Iraq, please. The democrats signed on to mission as well.If Bush was wrong, he was wrong to rely on Clinton's CIA director, the UN, the French, Russians and the British intelligence services.

It's a good thing that the French, the Russians and the UN supported the Iraq war! :)

3/10/12 3:41 PM

You must have missed the part that Ken was a friend to a lot of democrats as well. And by the way, did you miss the part where Panetta said he didn't need any stinking authorization from congress as long as the action was approved by the UN and the international community. I'm sure you didn't support any democrat that voted for the wars or claimed that Saddam had to go just because you are so principled.

Alex said...

Is there a single free market conservative running for President? I know Santorum and Gingrich think the government should be engaged in all kinds of social engineering. Mittens has not really struck me as being a very pro-small business kind of guy.

I ♥ Willard said...

you are so principled.

Thank you for noticing. :)

Ken was a friend to a lot of democrats as well.

But Ken Lay and George Bush were especially close, right?

Lay, who President Bush affectionately referred to as "Kenny-boy" when the two forged an alliance in the 1990s to advance Bush's political ambitions and Lay's business prospects, contributed $122,500 to Bush's gubernatorial campaigns in Texas. Lay would later explain to a PBS "Frontline" interviewer that, though he had worked closely with former Texas Governor Ann Richards, the Democrat incumbent who Bush challenged in 1994, he backed the Republican because "I was very close to George W."

Needless to say, once Bush became governor, Lay got his phone calls returned. A report issued by Public Citizen in February, 2001, months before the Enron scandal broke, identified Lay as "a long-time Bush family friend and an architect of Bush's policies on electricity deregulation, taxes and tort reform while Bush was Texas governor."

No wonder Lay had Enron give $50,000 to pay for Bush's second inaugural party in Austin in 1999 -- a showcase event that was organized by Karl Rove and others to help the Texas governor step onto the national political stage.

After Bush gave Enron exactly what it wanted in 1999, by signing legislation that deregulated the state's electrical markets, Lay knew he had found his candidate for president.

When Bush opened his campaign, Lay opened the cash spigots.

As a "Bush Pioneer" in the run-up to the 2000 presidential election, Lay was a key member of the Bush campaign's fund-raising inner circle. Under Lay's leadership, Enron ultimately gave Bush $550,025, making the corporation the Texan's No. 1 career patron at the time the 2000 election campaign began, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Lay personally pumped almost $400,000 into Republican hard- and soft-money funds, while Enron slipped another $1.5 million into the GOP's soft-money cesspool.

Phil 3:14 said...

Shovel ready,

now piled higher and deeper

I ♥ Willard said...

Ken Lay and George Bush: Special Friends (continued)

But that was just the beginning. Lay sent a letter to Enron executives urging them to contribute to Bush's campaign. More than 100 of them -- including Skilling, a major Bush giver since 1993, when he cut his first $5,000 check to GW's gubernatorial campaign -- did just that. Dozens of spouses wrote, including "homemaker" and frequent $10,000 donor Linda Lay, gave as well, making the Enron "family" a prime source of the money that gave Bush his early advantage over Republican rivals such as Arizona Senator John McCain.

All told, it is estimated that, over the years prior the company's bankruptcy, Lay, his company and its employees contributed close to $2 million to fund George W. Bush's political rise.

Lay found other ways to help, as well. He put Enron's corporate jets at the disposal of the Bush campaign in 2000. He kicked in $5,000 to pay for the Florida recount fight, while a top Enron "consultant," former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, ran the Republican's recount effort. He even paid for his own bookkeeping, chipping in $1,000 to help the Bush-Cheney campaign comply with campaign-finance laws. And Lay and Enron gave $300,000 to underwrite the Bush-Cheney inauguration festivities in 2001.

Did all that giving pay off? You bet!

Lay cashed in even before Bush was sworn in as president, entering into the inner circles of the new administration and using the access he had paid for to craft its agenda on the issues that mattered most to Enron.

Bush took good care of his contributor-in-chief, appointing the Enron founder as one of five members of the elite "Energy Department Transition Team," which set the stage for the Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force and administration policies designed to benefit corporations such as Enron. A report on "Bush Administration Contacts with Enron," compiled at the request of Congressman Henry Waxman, D-California, by the minority staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, found evidence of at least 112 contacts between Enron and White House or other Administration officials during the month prior to the corporation's very-public collapse in late 2001. At least 40 of those contacts involved top White House officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, presidential advisor Karl Rove, White House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsey, White House personnel director Clay Johnson III, and White House energy task force director Andrew D. Lundquist.

As Waxman explained in a 2001 interview, "The fact of the matter is that Enron and Ken Lay, who was the Chief Executive Officer of Enron, had an extraordinary amount of influence and access to the Bush Administration. Lay was called a close friend by both the President and the Vice President. When the Vice President chaired an Energy Task Force, Ken Lay had an opportunity to meet privately with the Vice President and to have a great deal of influence in their recommendations."

machine said...

Shorter Republican message:

Obama is making inadequate progress getting us out of the hole we dug for him despite our opposition to every program he proposes.

Alex said...

Paul Ryan is the only Republican who is speaking eloquently in defense of capitalism:

Paul Ryan's Heritage Foundation Speech

Alex said...

machine said...

Shorter Republican message:

Obama is making inadequate progress getting us out of the hole we dug for him despite our opposition to every program he proposes.


So please tell me how Obama is supposed to rescue the free market economy?

cubanbob said...

Alex said...
Is there a single free market conservative running for President? I know Santorum and Gingrich think the government should be engaged in all kinds of social engineering. Mittens has not really struck me as being a very pro-small business kind of guy.

3/10/12 3:55 PM

Short answer, no, other than that loon Ron Paul. But since he isn't going to be the nominee the question you have to ask yourself is whom is worse? Obama or the other guy?

cubanbob said...

machine said...
Shorter Republican message:

Obama is making inadequate progress getting us out of the hole we dug for him despite our opposition to every program he proposes.

3/10/12 4:10 PM

Maybe because the republican's see the democrats trying to use a backhoe to keep digging the hole instead of a bulldozer to fill the hole. Leftist don't understand the proper use of power equipment. leftist confuse being a tool with knowing how to use a tool.

ALH said...

I am not a mathematician, but I believe that 8.3 is not 5 x 2. Still, I get the point Rush is making.

Alex said...

cubanbob - I am tired of choosing the lesser of 2 evils. Since I live in a blue state, it won't make any difference if I vote for Mittens or not, so I'll just not vote for POTUS and vote on the other races.

I ♥ Willard said...

Maybe because the republican's see the democrats trying to use a backhoe to keep digging the hole instead of a bulldozer to fill the hole. Leftist don't understand the proper use of power equipment.

Exactly! We need to make sure every liberal reads the book "How to Balance the Budget" by George W. Bush.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I ♥ Willard said...

Yeah, too bad he [Rasmussen]'s the most accurate in the biz.

From Wikipedia:

After Election night that year, Silver concluded that Rasmussen's polls were the least accurate of the major pollsters in 2010, having an average error of 5.8 points and a pro-Republican bias of 3.9 points according to Silver's model.


Here's the part you left out:

In 2010, Nate Silver of the New York Times blog FiveThirtyEight wrote the article “Is Rasmussen Reports biased?”, in which he mostly defended Rasmussen from allegations of bias

But, never mind, right? After all, the Gray Lady only publishes the pure, unbiased truth. (Gagging sounds.)

Alex said...

Willard - explain me the logical chain of events from Obama policy initiatives to improvements in the economy since you're so damn smarter then us.

Alex said...

Rasmussen poll was biased in 2010

cubanbob said...

I ♥ Willard said...

After reading your novel the take away is that even after adjusting for inflation Lay's contribution is still small beer compared to Maher's contribution to the SuperPac and that is nickels and dimes compared to Soros. And you still forgot to notice Lay's democrat friends. And never quote Waxman, he is idiocy personified. By the way, just how much money did Warren Buffet make and is going to make by Obama canceling the Canadian pipeline. Buffet's unpaid back taxes are in the same ball park figure as Enron's losses.

Now not to excuse Enron, but most of the damage happened under Clinton's watch. Where was Clinton while this was going on? Probably diddling Monica. And where was the great NYT economics columnist, hero to the progressives and Nobel Prize winner at the time? Pimping for Enron. Now how much was the Enron fiasco? And how much was the Solydra and other Obama green failures? And compared to Freddie and Fannie these are pool inflatables compared to a super carrier task force. And then you have client number nine under whose watch got rid of competent management of AIG that was reducing AIG's exposure to swaps and had replaced with hacks that just loaded AIG up with swaps. And notice how many democrats had a revolving door practice with Goldman Sachs? Corzine and MF ring a bell? Rubin and Citigroup?

That you drag out Enron and cut and paste the part that fills the narrative you want to create and ignore everything else simply is an admission on your part that the republicans while no saints are nevertheless choir boys compared to the democrats. When it comes to corruption, republicans are amateurs and democrats are the undisputed masters. The problem for the republicans is that no one really like petty thieves but do admire bold and brazen big time thieves. Now I for one don't like getting robbed but when given a choice I'd rather have my wallet pinched than my bank account, investment account, my retirement account and my kid's account stolen.

Your double comment reminds me of the bar owner obsessing with the bar maid's comping a drink here and there to garner better tips while ignoring her boyfriend cleaning out the stockroom.

cubanbob said...

Alex said...
Bush's mistake was allowing one bubble, the stock market bubble to be replaced by another, the housing bubble.

Another faux conservative who thinks the job of POTUS is to direct the economy.

3/10/12 3:47 PM

Yes Alex as long as congress and the president can connive with the federal reserve to make shit up and create bubbles. Now when the fed is curb from acting as a market maker and is tasked solely with preserving the value of the currency then your comment will make sense.

machine said...

Cuban, if President Obama is "us[ing] a backhoe to keep digging the hole", why is the economy growing in spite of republican opposition as every corner?

cubanbob said...

Alex said...
cubanbob - I am tired of choosing the lesser of 2 evils. Since I live in a blue state, it won't make any difference if I vote for Mittens or not, so I'll just not vote for POTUS and vote on the other races.

3/10/12 4:28 PM

Its still a free country so that is your right. But not voting is a default vote for Obama. Correction, you live in a blue state so you do have that luxury. But I live in a purple state so I don't.

Would I love to see a genuine fiscal conservative and small government type candidate run? You betcha! But unfortunately that candidate isn't on the ballot so between the two evils the lesser is still better.

Bill S. said...

The "perception" is the product of what the liberal media feeds us daily---in support of their candidate. For most of us, the "reality"is a bit different. The outcome of the election will be determined by the answer to the question "do you feel better about things than you did 3 1/2 years ago"?

Alex said...

cubanbob - I'll vote for Ron Paul as a write-in if I have to. He's the only one who stands for Constitutional governance.

cubanbob said...

I ♥ Willard said...
Maybe because the republican's see the democrats trying to use a backhoe to keep digging the hole instead of a bulldozer to fill the hole. Leftist don't understand the proper use of power equipment.

Exactly! We need to make sure every liberal reads the book "How to Balance the Budget" by George W. Bush.

3/10/12 4:41 PM

And it's companion best NYT best seller list opus by Obama " How to Double Down on Stupid" and that other Obama economics classic " Top Ten Ways To Tank an Economy And Feel Really Good About It".

I ♥ Willard said...

Here's the part you left out

Mr. Slothrop,

Why would I include the irrelevant information you posted when the specific subject I was addressing was the claim that Rasmussen is "the most accurate in the biz?"

Please pay attention in the future. Thank you. :)

Rusty said...

Alex said...
cubanbob - I'll vote for Ron Paul as a write-in if I have to. He's the only one who stands for Constitutional governance.


We have a constitution?
Really?
When did this happen?

I ♥ Willard said...

Willard - explain me the logical chain of events from Obama policy initiatives to improvements in the economy since you're so damn smarter then us.

Thank you for noticing! :)

Since I'm not a supporter of our black Muslim commie president, I'm disinclined to post anything that would lend support to his campaign.

cubanbob said...

machine said...
Cuban, if President Obama is "us[ing] a backhoe to keep digging the hole", why is the economy growing in spite of republican opposition as every corner?

3/10/12 5:08 PM

Because it isn't. And besides the only reason the economy is stabilizing instead of shrinking is precisely because the republicans are thwarting as best as they can Obama's use of leeches and blood letting as cures for the economy. Put it this way Obama and the democrats had 18 months with a super majority in congress that republicans can only fantasize about. And what did they accomplish? Nothing except make things worse. And nothing they propose now or since those 18 months has made any economic sense.

Maybe you can tell us what economically great ideas the republicans have blocked because no one has seen them.

Michael said...

Machine. The economy is growing at less than half the rate of post recession recoveries. If the left thinks the economy is their strong point in this election I do so hope they start talking up how great things are. Because they arent.

Alex said...

Willard - you're scum that you keep invoking race in every single damn comment. Is that what Obama is going to do every time a Republican challenges him - call him a racist?

I ♥ Willard said...

That you drag out Enron

Are you having reading and memory problems, sir? I responded to someone else who first mentioned Ken Lay and Enron. It is he who is responsible for "dragging out Enron."

I hope your reading and memory lapses are a temporary problem. Have a super day!

machine said...

No one said things are "great"....just better than Bush left them...and getting better.

We will run on that against the father of Obamacare...

I ♥ Willard said...

And it's companion best NYT best seller list opus by Obama " How to Double Down on Stupid"

Your reading and memory lapses continue. :(

Apparently I need to remind you that your comment singled out democrats and "leftists" as the source of our national economic problems. But now your clever "comeback" implicitly acknowledges that republicans are guilty too. :(

Sir, unlike you, I don't pretend that we conservatives are perfect and all liberals are incompetent. My position is that Willard and I are perfect and most everyone else is a dunce.

I ♥ Willard said...

Willard - you're scum that you keep invoking race in every single damn comment. Is that what Obama is going to do every time a Republican challenges him - call him a racist?

In every single comment? Are you really such a poor reader? o_O

I haven't accused anyone of racism. I'm sure the same can't be said of other Althouse readers. :(

cubanbob said...

Alex said...
cubanbob - I'll vote for Ron Paul as a write-in if I have to. He's the only one who stands for Constitutional governance.

3/10/12 5:16 PM

Actually you are on to something. Paul is a nut when it comes to foreign policy and maybe a bit weird about Jews but he is right about small government and to a large degree on economics. Here is my small fantasy; Larry, Curly and Moe wind up in a brokered convention and Paul is the kingmaker. The price? Paul as AG and Ryan head of Treasury or OMB. And Bachman as head of the IRS. Santo gives it up in exchange for being head of something fairly harmless and Newt for Sectary of State which would great and entertaining. Willard seems like the kind of guy that when he makes a deal he keeps to it and he knows just how bad the economy really is. And if he has any memory will remember how the democrats sand bagged Bush 41 over spending cuts and tax hikes. Under the current reality this probably the best possible fantasy outcome.

J Greathouse said...

All elections has consequences. But the american election has impact on everyone in the world in terms of their investments. Read my article if you like, http://munchadoaboutnothing.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-will-happen-to-your-investment-if.html

yashu said...

Romney may well lose. Most likely it'll be a very close election, either way.

But, as someone who lives in a very blue state, this is the first election that I've felt there's any remote chance at all, any conceivable possibility-- exceedingly tiny though it is-- that my state could, perchance, go red for POTUS.

Even if hell froze over, Bush or McCain over Obama would never in a million years or alternate universes ever ever win here.

But Romney over Obama 2012? The odds are overwhelmingly against it, in this dependably blue state. It would take something like a miracle. But it's *conceivable*. It's not beyond the realm of absolute possibility-- at least looking at it from here, 8 months out, a long way from Tipperary.

So I'd ask those anti-Obama blue-staters who are ambivalent about Romney and think their vote superfluous-- so why not vote Libertarian or whatever-- to reconsider. Don't deprive yourself of the satisfaction of *really* voting against Obama. Not against Obama in principle (with a write-in candidate), but against Obama in effect.

If nothing else, I'm dearly wishing for a popular vote tsunami against the SCOAMF. I'm dreaming, I know. But my vote, even in a blue state, can be an infinitesimal part of that.

Of course, I'm one of those RINOs [sic] who not only thinks Obama is a disaster of a POTUS, but also thinks Romney has the potential to be a very good POTUS. No need to twist my arm to very happily vote for Romney. With a song in my heart.

cubanbob said...

Willard speaking of reading comprehension....seriously.
Did I ever say Bush was perfect and saintly and the republicans completely unblemished? Someone as perfect as you can do better. I know, its an off day but have a super duper nice day as well!

Machine you are brilliant! Running Son Of Frankenstein against his old man! Good God man! Sheer brilliance!

If only Mel Brooks were young enough to write the screenplay and somehow using CGI cast Peter Boyle And Boris Karloff in "Frankenstein & Son: Frenemies Forever. A Love Story!" And the supporting cast, what a dream to cast. Machine I take it all back. You are a genius!

shiloh said...

"We will run on that against the (((father))) of Obamacare..."

Indeed as mittens and Obama can unite over mittenscare as once again Obama has found common ground w/Reps albeit a flip/flopping RINO Rep who is in search of an identity.

Kumbaya! :)

machine said...

I would LOVE to see Peter Boyle again!

Steve Koch said...

I ♥ Willard usually is all snark all the time. This transition to making reasoned arguments based on fact is a big improvement.

-----------------------------

Anonymous is making a lot of good points. Wish he would pick a more distinctive name.

------------------------------

It is still 8 months before the election but it is encouraging that the GOP looks to be competitive. What would be much more interesting would be to look at the polls for the battleground states since the results from those states will determine who wins the prez election.



It would be so much more useful to look at

Steve Koch said...

The dems want to talk about Bush II but nobody else is interested since Bush has been gone for over 3 years. As always, the economy will be a huge factor. The economic misery of Obama's regime will be a huge impediment to Obama's reelection.