The Locker Room

November 1, 2010

Obama lies to protestors

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 8:56 PM

In the face of AIDS protesters at a campaign stop in Connecticut President Obama said "we’re funding global AIDS, and the other side is not." Of course, as President he knows that the Bush Administration coerced money from taxpayers to fund AIDS relief in Africa at record levels. So this means that he knowingly lied to score a political point. So what he means is that, as with so many other policies, he is continuing the Bush legacy.

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Last PPP prediction: Blowout in the General Assembly

Posted by John Hood at 4:06 PM

The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling has released its final statewide survey for the 2010 campaign cycle. The headline, not surprisingly, was a 12-point lead for Richard Burr in the Senate race. But if you pull down the pdf of the full results, you’ll also see PPP’s final generic-ballot test for the state legislature: 51 percent Republican to 40 percent Democratic.

If that’s an accurate prediction of voter sentiment, and it's reflected in swing and leaning-Democrat seats, the Republicans won’t just win control of the legislature. It’ll be a blowout.

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Party identification elusive

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 2:59 PM

When the News & Observer runs an Associated Press headline like "NC House candidate apologizes for 2 DWI charges," you know the "candidate" has to be a Democrat.

[Randy] Wolfe, a former producer for the CBS Evening News who recently moved to Surry County, said Monday he turned off his campaign web site Monday morning but hadn't withdrawn from Tuesday's election against Republican Rep. Sarah Stevens.
The AP reporter never uses the "D" word in the article.

I am no John Hood when it comes to election analysis, but I am going to predict a Stevens victory in NC House 90.

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Signs point to wave election for N.C.

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:08 PM

As we approach Election Day, John Hood says all signs seem to point toward a "wave election" in North Carolina. That means the potential for major changes in the makeup of the General Assembly and the state's congressional delegation.

Hood shared his analysis during a presentation today to the John Locke Foundation's Shaftesbury Society. In the video clip below, Hood mentions the legislative races he'll be watching most closely Tuesday night.

2:40 p.m. update: Click play below to watch the full 1:04:01 presentation.

You'll find other John Locke Foundation video presentations here.

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Seventh and 8th Congressional Districts now ranked 'toss ups'

Posted by David N. Bass at 2:02 PM

The Cook Political Report has moved the 4th Congressional District (David Price vs. B.J. Lawson) from "leans Dem" to "strong Dem," but has shifted the 7th Congressional District (Mike McIntyre vs. Ilario Pantano) from "leans Dem" to "toss up."

That means Cook now has two of North Carolina's congressional districts — the 7th and the 8th — as swing.

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Civitas: Glazier trails GOP foe by 10 percent

Posted by David N. Bass at 1:52 PM

A new Civitas poll has Democratic incumbent Rick Glazier of Fayetteville trailing Republican foe Jackie Warner by 10 percent:

According to the poll of 300 registered voters in that district, comprised of Cumberland County, 51 percent of voters said they would vote for Warner if the election for state representative were held today. Forty-one percent of voters said they would vote for Glazier, and 8 percent said they are undecided.

Democratic support for Glazier remains strong as 67 percent said they would vote for him if the election were today. Conversely, Warner has garnered the support of both Republican (80 percent-16 percent) and unaffiliated voters (60 percent-19 percent).

“While this is a leaning Democratic district, Glazier is undoubtedly in an uphill battle to hold onto his seat as Warner is appealing to a variety of voters,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes.

Carolina Journal included the 45th Senate District in its list of second-tier legislative races this year.

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New Carolina Journal Online exclusive

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:40 AM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features David Bass' report on tight N.C. House races in the 6th and 116th districts.

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Don Boudreaux versus Ezra Klein

Posted by George Leef at 11:30 AM

No contest in this battle of wits.

Editor, Washington Post
1150 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20071

Dear Editor:

Ezra Klein pities politicians for all the time the poor dears must spend raising
money from donors who can choose whether or not to contribute ("For lawmakers
like Evan Bayh, the price of fundraising is too steep," Oct. 31). I pity
taxpayers for all the time politicians spend taking money from them, whose only
choice is to hand it over or go to jail.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University

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N.C. Senate District 28: A race to watch tomorrow night

Posted by David N. Bass at 11:00 AM

North Carolina's 28th Senate District wasn't supposed to be competitive, but internal squabbling in the Democratic Party has made it so — at least to some degree. It's one third-tier race to watch tomorrow night.

The district encompasses southwest/central Guilford County. Democrats enjoy an almost 60 percent advantage in voter registration, compared to Republicans' 22 percent. In 2008, the district broke for Obama over McCain 70-30 percent.

So why is it even remotely competitive? Because Democrat-turned-independent candidate Bruce Davis mounted a successful petition drive to get his name on the ballot, Democrats fear the vote could be split between Davis and the real Democratic nominee, Gladys Robinson.

Republican Trudy Wade, a current member of the Greensboro City Council and former Guilford County commissioner, is vying to take the seat from the Democrats' hands.

Another factor that makes the district more competitive is that it's an open seat. Incumbent Democrat Katie Dorsett, a four-termer, decided not to run for re-election at the last minute.

Republicans hope the following scenario plays out: Democrats split their vote between Robinson and Davis, clearing the way for Wade to win a plurality of votes and snag the seat. In the event of that unlikely outcome, the seat would be very tough to defend for the GOP in 2012, given its demographics.

At the very least, it'll be an entertaining race to watch tomorrow night.

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Barone: Voters see what Obama's economists didn't see

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:02 AM

Michael Barone's latest Washington Examiner article attempts to provide some answers to Democratic supporters who are puzzled by the public's response to their policies this election season:

Heading into what appears to be a disastrous midterm election, the Obama Democrats profess to be puzzled. The president's record, they insist, is moderate, accommodating, if anything overcautious. So why do most American voters seem to be angrily rejecting it?

That's one way of looking at it. Another way is to say that the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress have increased government's share of gross domestic product from 21 percent, where it's hovered for the last several decades, to about 25 percent and have put the national debt on a trajectory to increase from 40 percent to 90 percent of GDP.

Voters have noticed -- and don't like it.

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Yes, you CAN teach an interesting economics course!

Posted by George Leef at 10:00 AM

In today's Pope Center piece Jane Shaw writes about an event we sponsored last Friday, bringing together several econ profs to share their ideas on how to make the subject interesting to students.

The crucial thing: steer away from the mathematized approach that has become commonplace and instead focus on the logic of decision-making in a world of scarcity and trade-offs. Not only will students find the course more understandable and appealing, they'll also be apt to learn lessons that will make them averse to the interventionist nostrums that politicians usually peddle.

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Latest dispatches from the campaign trail

Posted by David N. Bass at 08:20 AM

  • Sign stealing emerges in McIntyre-Pantano race in the 7th Congressional District.

  • The Greensboro News & Record endorses Republican incumbent Howard Coble in the rarely discussed 6th Congressional District.

  • N&O: Nearly 1 million have cast ballots in N.C.

  • In an e-mail, former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt writes that if Republicans take control of the legislature, they will “unravel progress."

  • U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-10th, faces Democratic challenger Jeff Gregory.

  • G.K. Butterfield, Democratic congressman from North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, still sees challenges as he seeks a third term in office.

  • Democrat McIntyre’s conservatism in the 7th Congressional District might help Republican challenger Pantano.

  • N&O: Secret donor money floods into four N.C. congressional races.

  • GOP’er Ashley Woolard is sure he’ll beat Butterfield.

  • Republican Jim Davis looks to electorally "off" incumbent Democrat John Snow in the 50th Senate District.

Republican B.J. Lawson runs an ad attacking Democrat David Price's record in the 4th Congressional District.

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One suspects TIME’s cover story was designed to raise red flags

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:13 AM

By focusing on Tea Party-endorsed challengers who helped shake up the Republican Party establishment, the latest TIME cover story seems designed to plant a seed of doubt into voters’ minds.

But, in general, David Von Drehle plays his piece pretty straight, as when he discusses Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio:

The theme of the drama is clear. In an age of Big Government solutions to crushing public problems, the new script for the GOP is adapted from the famous words of the late William F. Buckley Jr., conservative guru. The Republican Party is standing athwart the Age of Obama, yelling, Stop! The party may not have an agenda, entirely, but it certainly has a battle cry. As Rubio has put it, "We have reached a point in our history when we must decide if we are to continue on the free-market, limited-government path that has made us exceptional or if we are prepared to follow the rest of the world down the road of government dependency."

For embattled Democrats, facing the looming loss of the House of Representatives and a much weakened position in the Senate, this is rich. They can't help feeling that talk of fiscal discipline from the GOP is like a Sunday-morning temperance sermon delivered by a Saturday-night drunk. It's especially galling because they believe the mess of broken glassware and dirty ashtrays is being blamed on them.

There’s a reason for this blame, Democrats. If the free spending under George W. Bush was bad, you could describe the past two years as — to quote Roy — “George W. Bush on steroids.”

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Time for TIME’s Curious Capitalist to learn about the fallacy of government stimulus

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:12 AM

Zachary Karabell strikes a sour note again this week when his “Curious Capitalist” column contends:
The net result is that the days of government stimulus appear over at precisely the time it may be needed most. The U.S. economy is stuck in second gear, but the populist view dictates that more spending is a culprit and can’t be a solution.

Mr. Karabell ought to satisfy his curiosity by learning about the problems associated with government stimulus.

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One way in which Washington could emulate Europe

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:11 AM

Rather than push demand-management policies that would lead to crowded, European-style cities dependent on mass transit, perhaps our politicians needs to follow European leaders’ example in other ways. TIME offers an example:
The British budget cuts are just the latest sign — the demonstrations in France are another — that the European democracies are tackling their economic problems with a zeal that startles many observers elsewhere. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy is pressing ahead with legislation to delay retirement benefits, while street protests appear to be tailing off. Osborne has pledged to reduce Britain's budget deficit of £149 billion ($245 billion) to £37 billion by 2015, or 2.1% of GDP. That entails squeezing the spending of most government departments by 19%.

Yes, the Euros occasionally have some great ideas.

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Budget reforms on other states’ ballots

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:09 AM

North Carolinians must rely on the General Assembly to enact much-needed budget reforms, but voters in California, Colorado, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia are all considering budget changes, as Bloomberg Businessweek reports:

Colorado voters will consider amending their constitution to ban state borrowing as of 2011. If approved, Colorado would be the only state prohibited from issuing bonds to fund infrastructure projects, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The measure would also impose new borrowing limits on all local governments. California voters will decide whether its legislature can adopt a spending plan with a majority instead of the current two-thirds vote, a requirement that contributed to a record 100-day delay in approval of a budget this year. Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia voters will consider proposals to boost rainy-day funds for state emergencies.

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Not just ‘anti-establishment’

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:08 AM

A Bloomberg Businessweek profile of Ohio’s Republican U.S. Senate candidate, Rob Portman, includes the following:
A landslide win by Portman on Nov. 2 would defy logic in this anti-Establishment year. The former U.S. Trade Representative embodies everything the Tea Party and its offshoots are not: a polished Washington insider reaching the next rung in a political career that began, and some predict may end, at the White House.

This, of course, misses the key point: Portman has nothing to do with the failed policies of President Obama.

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In the long run, his ideas still aren’t dead

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:07 AM

There’s plenty of evidence that Keynesian economics makes no sense. That’s why the following Bloomberg Businessweek assessment of U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is so disturbing:

Geithner's team prepared for the G-20 meeting by dusting off the IMF's founding document, which includes, as the secretary noted in an Oct. 6 speech in Washington, "a now-obscure paragraph" requiring the Fund to investigate countries with chronic trade surpluses and recommend how to shrink them. Finishing the thought in Gyeongju, he advocated a 4 percent limit on the size of countries' trade surpluses as a share of their economic output.

In so doing, Geithner was playing a role made famous in the 1940s by the British economist John Maynard Keynes. Geithner warned in Gyeongju, as he has many times before, that global growth will be hindered if indebted nations are forced to bear the full brunt of correcting imbalances. He urged surplus nations to shift "away from export dependence and toward stronger domestic-demand-led growth." Keynes said the same thing more ornately in 1942, vowing to "offset the contractionist pressure which might otherwise overwhelm in social disorder and disappointment the good hopes of our modern world."

Geithner is channeling his inner Keynes, at least on trade matters, for the simple reason that it's in his nation's interest to do so.

Roy Cordato would beg to differ that it’s ever in the nation’s interest to follow Keynesian ideas:

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New Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:59 AM

The latest Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Amanda Vuke's profile of the N.C. House District 25 race between Democratic incumbent Randy Stewart and Republican challenger Jeff Collins. 

John Hood's Daily Journal focuses on interesting voting tidbits one day before Election Day. (Hood will offer more election analysis during today's John Locke Foundation Shaftesbury Society luncheon.)

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