NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney 51% vs. Obama 45%
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney 50% vs. Obama 46%
NATIONAL (American Research Group): Romney 49% vs. Obama 47%
NATIONAL (GWU/Politico): Romney 49% vs. Obama 47%
NATIONAL (Reuters Tracking): Obama 46% vs. Romney 46%
NATIONAL (Monmouth University): Romney 48% vs. Obama 45%
NATIONAL (NBC News/Wall Street Journal): Obama 47% vs. Romney 47%
NATIONAL (PPP Tracking): Obama 48% vs. Romney 48%
NATIONAL (ABC/Washington Post Tracking): Obama 49% vs. Romney 48%
NATIONAL (UPI): Romney 48% vs. Obama 47%
NATIONAL (CBS News): Obama 48% vs. Romney 46%
COLORADO (Rasmussen): Romney 50% vs. Obama 46%
FLORIDA (Angus Reid): Romney 51% vs. Obama 46%
FLORIDA (PPP): Romney 48% vs. Obama 47%
FLORIDA (SurveyUSA): Obama 47% vs. Romney 46%
IOWA (PPP): Obama 49% vs. Romney 48%
IOWA (Rasmussen): Obama 48% vs. Romney 48%
MISSOURI (PPP): Romney 52% vs. Obama 46%
NORTH DAKOTA (Rasmussen): Romney 54% vs. Obama 40%
NORTH DAKOTA (Fargo Forum): Romney 57% vs. Obama 32%
OHIO (Angus Reid): Obama 48% vs. Romney 48%
OHIO (Gravis): Obama 47% vs. Romney 47%
OHIO (PPP): Obama 49% vs. Romney 48%
OHIO (Pulse Opinion Research): Romney 47% vs. Obama 46%
OHIO (Suffolk University): Obama 47% vs. Romney 47%
PENNSYLVANIA (Pulse Opinion Research): Obama 48% vs. Romney 44%
PENNSYLVANIA (Gravis): Obama 48% vs. Romney 45%
VIRGINIA (PPP): Obama 49% vs. Romney 47%
VIRGINIA (Pulse Opinion Research): Obama 47% vs. Romney 46%
VIRGINIA (Wenzel Strategies): Romney 49% vs. Obama 47%
WISCONSIN (Grove Insight): Obama 47% vs. Romney 44%
WISCONSIN (Pulse Opinion Research): Obama 50% vs. Romney 47%
THE FINAL DEBATE: The dream of Lynn University namesake Christine Lynn comes true tonight. It is costing the school $5 million to host the third debate, and over 3000 journalists will be in attendance. The university is across the street from where IBM invented the first personal computer.
The topics are: America’s role in the world, Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan, Red Lines – Israel and Iran, The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism [30 minutes] and The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World.
Unfortunately foreign policy debates have typically mattered less than discussions of domestic issues. Survey data indicates the swing voters both candidates are trying to woo care little about foreign affairs right now.
You can expect considerable discussion of the Benghazi attack and China’s monetary policy. The debate is important because while Romney has a clear lead on economic issues, the President has a 10 point advantage in foreign policy according to the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. Tonight is Romney’s best chance to close that gap.
We expect all of these topics to be covered tonight but we would have swapped “soft power” for “Syria.” Our guess is that Syria will be in the debate headlines on Tuesday morning.
Romney has already made it a sharp contrast and says “In Syria, I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets.”
What is the Romney vision? he says “Obama thinks America’s in decline. It is if he’s president. It’s not if I’m president.” In his 2010 memoir No Apology, Romney has a chapter titled “Why Nations Decline.” He says the “improbability of decline by the great has long piqued my interest.”
He goes on to observe that “No great power in history has endured indefinitely.” The Ottomans, the Portuguese, the Spanish, and the British — all great powers in their day — eventually crumbled, one after another. In Romney’s estimation, each succumbed to some combination of isolationism, protectionism, profligacy, or cultural decay.
Each ignored the warning signals of impending collapse, “turning their ears instead to the comforting voices that claimed continuity and comfort.” Now, Romney argues, it is America that is spending too lavishly and borrowing too heavily.
America’s culture — defined by hard work, educational attainment, risk taking, and religiosity, according to Romney — is “under attack.” Indeed, he writes, “each of the conditions that existed in the failed great states of the past is present in America today. This alone is cause for concern.”
In the past, world powers failed to correct their course because of their “failure to see growing threats, the short-term self-interest of common citizens.” There were “warning voices” among the Ottomans, Spanish, and British, he notes, but they were ignored. Romney will once again give us that warning tonight.
Former Sen. George McGovern (D-SD) died this morning. You are supposed to speak kindly of the departed, and McGovern did have an admirable record in World War II. However, during his 18 years in the Senate he represented the worst of the radical left, and always advocated unilateral disarmament.
He does deserve credit for admitting some of his mistakes. His Stratford Inn in Connecticut went bankrupt in 1991 primarily because of excessive government regulations.
McGovern said he understood why people did not like him, and wished he had run a business before he began legislating on things that affected them. He wrote: “After two and a half years with the loss of all my earnings from nearly a decade of post-Senate lecture tours, I gave up on the Stratford Inn. But not before learning some painful and valuable lessons.
“I learned first of all that over the past 20 years America has become the most litigious society in the world. Today Americans sue one another at the drop of a hat — almost on the spur of the moment.”
He said we need to “cut down vastly on the incredible paperwork, the complicated tax forms, the number of minute regulations, and the seemingly endless reporting requirements that afflict American business. Many businesses, especially small independents such as the Stratford Inn, simply can’t pass such costs on to their customers and remain competitive or profitable.
“If I were back in the U.S. Senate or in the White House, I would ask a lot of questions before I voted for any more burdens on the thousands of struggling businesses across the nation.”
Three years ago McGovern again broke with the left when he came out in opposition to the union card check legislation.
FLASHBACK – Laredo, Texas in 1961: The city is unique for having the distinction of flying seven flags. They include the Six Flags of Texas plus the flag of the brief Republic of the Rio Grande (Laredo was its capital). In 1836, when Texas revolted, there were less than 2,000 citizens in Laredo.
The army of Mexican General Santa Ana marched through Laredo, the “gateway to Mexico,” on their way to the Alamo. Today the population is over 250,000.
From 1965 to 1967, NBC aired a western television series called Laredo, which was a spinoff of The Virginian. The song “The Streets of Laredo” has been recorded by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Roy Rogers.
Congratulations to State Rep. Doreen Costa (R-RI) who is on the front page of today’s Providence Journal for being one of the few lawmakers to have a perfect 100% attendance score. Also, Politifact’s “Truth-O-Meter” ranked her claim as “true,” when she said “This is the only state in the country that bypassed the General Assembly to authorize in-state tuition for undocumented and illegal immigrants.”
She is sponsoring legislation to repeal the decision, and says “There is a process that should have been followed but the Governor chose not to do it.” She says this is a decision for the legislature to make, not a board handpicked by the liberal Governor.
Rhode Island and Hawaii are the most Democratic states in the nation, but Costa has been able to gather support from 19 of the 38 state senators and 26 of the 75 state representatives to repeal the decision.
The policy has already been repealed in Wisconsin.
April 22nd 1865: The funeral procession for President Abraham Lincoln at Sixth and Chestnut streets in Philadelphia. The catafalque is followed by a crowd of mourners congesting the street and sidewalk. Soldiers are seen holding back the crowd. A recruitment poster advertising enlistment salaries for “Maj. Gen. Hancock’s Army Corps,” adorns a storefront.
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was at Lincoln’s deathbed in the Petersen house at 7:22 am on April 15th when the doctor said “He is gone.” A minister said a prayer and Stanton was the first to reply, “Now he belongs to the ages,” and lamented “There lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen.”
Today is the 25th anniversary of the stock market crash of 1987. The Dow fell 23% in one session and lost over $500 billion. It remains the largest one-day percentage-point drop ever.
Markets in nearly every country around the world plunged in a similar fashion. Many economists predicted we were heading for a second great depression. The losses continued through that week, and by the end of the month most markets had suffered huge falls.
It began in Hong Kong which dropped 41% by the end of the month. The Federal Reserve immediately intervened to prevent an even greater crisis. Short-term interest rates were instantly lowered and the markets recovered fairly quickly.
There was even a post-crash bull market driven by companies that bought back their stocks which they considered undervalued after the market meltdown.
There could be another crash, but it will not have the same driver as 1987. The derivatives which contributed to Black Monday no longer exist.
The prophets of doom were wrong in 1987 and the long-term turnaround was remarkable. A decade after Black Monday, Bill Clinton finally agreed to sign legislation passed by the GOP Congress to significantly cut capital gains rates. Along with the Reagan recovery, it ranks as the greatest economic expansion in American history.
Last night Obama insisted that oil production has been up and that the oil companies have been granted permits to drill but refuse to do so. Governor Romney pointed out that the government is not granting many permits to oil companies, particularly on federal land.
Romney said: “Oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9 percent. Why? Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters.”
Obama’s Interior Department has banned drilling on 11.5 million acres of petroleum reserve.
The granting of oil drilling permits under Obama is down 36 percent compared to the Bush administration and Clinton administrations.
The GM bailout was a topic in last night’s debate. What was not said was that Obama allowed very generous terms for his UAW supporters. He did not help GM trim costs, and he reversed the strict conditions imposed by Bush.
Taxpayers are expected to lose a minimum of $23 billion on the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. According to the Heritage Foundation, “The administration violated basic principles of bankruptcy law and transferred money to the UAW at taxpayer expense. The government could have executed the bailout with no net cost to taxpayers” if it had followed standard Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules.
Instead, the Obama administration granted of preferential creditor status to the UAW which cost an extra $26.5 billion. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says “the deal eschewed the typical wage corrections associated with reorganizational bankruptcy and there were no union pay cuts at GM. ”
Had the car companies just gone bankrupt without government interference, they would have had the protection of the courts, and union contracts would have been renegotiated or just torn up. Barack Obama rescued the UAW, not GM and Chrysler. Romney’s December 2008 op-ed article in opposition to the bailout is being criticized. He advocated a structured bankruptcy with no special treatment for the UAW.
A formal bailout failed in the Senate in 2008 because conservatives did not believe the conditions were stringent. Bush deserves credit for setting tough targets for the two companies — a two-thirds cut in debt, a 50% reduction in payments to health care funds for UAW retirees, and proof of net positive value by March 31, 2009. The money Bush lent was repaid in April 2010.
Obama increased the loans to $80 billion and the government still owns GM stock in connection with the company’s June 2009 out-of-court prepackaged bankruptcy. Once again, it was orchestrated by the Obama administration to protect the UAW. Bond holder rights were subordinated to UAW rights.
The bond holders were essentially wiped out. The United Auto Workers, as an unsecured creditor, received a 17.5% ownership interest in General Motors and 55% of Chrysler, while the companies’ bondholders got hosed.
Finally, the government caused part of GM’s problem. For three decades fuel-economy rules ensured that Detroit couldn’t specialize in its most profitable models—pickups, minivans, SUVs—and had to continue making smaller sedans at high-cost UAW-organized factories that it sold at a loss.