1.) Mitt Romney would like you to bear with him for a second — “Having spent my career in the private sector, I know a thing or two about how jobs are created and how they are lost,” writes Mitt Homney in a Boston Herald op-ed. “The most important lesson I learned is that there are three rules of every successful turnaround: focus, focus, and focus.” Instead of employing Romney’s three-rule system, Pres. Obama “delegated the jobs crisis to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and he went to work on his own priorities, like cap and trade and government-run health care.” Government-run health care? OMG WHERE DID OBAMA GET THAT IDEA? Romney has a plan to fix the problem he helped create. We can reduce the tax burden for businesses, and then “offset the lost revenue by ruthlessly eliminating corporate loopholes and the special deals that reward political influence and punish productivity.” Also: “We need to establish an iron-clad ceiling on federal spending, setting it at a fixed percent of the GDP.” Unlike Romneycare, these are actually not horrible ideas!
2.) Beehive Tea Partiers: That Jon won’t hunt — “Interviews with more than a half-dozen Utah conservatives, including one Republican consultant, two GOP state legislators and three tea party activists, reveal Huntsman as an intelligent, gifted politician with extraordinary charisma who fell out of favor with his party’s base for a perception that he drifted to the left on key fiscal and social issues,” reports Roll Call. Breaking news: six people in Utah think Jon Huntsman is a RINO! Is there more to the story? Why, yes! Just as many Beehivers–if not a full dozen!–think he’s pretty swell. “LaVarr Webb, a political consultant who worked for former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt (R) for seven years as a policy deputy, described Huntsman, a former two-term governor, as among the most popular governors ever. Webb said that Huntsman especially appealed to mainstream Democratic, Republican and independent voters and that conservatives liked him personally.” At least, they liked him personally until Huntsman admitted to being scared of global warming but not all that scared of gays, and failed to protect a private school voucher program from repeal by referendum. Which is why going to work for Obama wasn’t so much a nail in the coffin as a reminder that Huntsman has been in the ground for a while now.
3.) Government employees don’t want to give tax dollars back, so they give them to each other — “Departing members of the House of Representatives awarded millions of dollars in extra pay to aides as they closed down their offices,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “The 96 lawmakers paid their employees $6.7 million, or 31%, more in the fourth quarter of 2010 than they did, on average, in the first three quarters of the year. That’s about twice as much as the 16% increase awarded by lawmakers who returned to the 112th Congress,” the Journal adds. Why did this happen? Is it because the fourth quarter is for partying/paying off bookies/checking oneself into therapy after listening to Sheila Jackson Lee abuse everyone around her? “Lawmakers interviewed for this article say aides work hard for smaller salaries than they could earn elsewhere, and that modest bonuses are one way of offering a reward. Some said they wanted to help employees as they look for new jobs.” Congress critters are so generous when their pocket books are filled with other people’s money.
4.) GOP secretly supports government-funded media — “The chief executive of the Association of Public Television Stations said private discussions with GOP members have revealed that it’s not just the Democrats who want to maintain taxpayer funding for radio and television stations,” reports The Hill. “It’s not going to be a unanimous vote, but I do think if there ever comes an up-or-down vote on public broadcasting itself, we’ll wind up with a bipartisan majority in favor of continuing our funding,” Patrick Butler told the Hill, adding that “public broadcasting ranks at the top among all news outlets in terms of trust and balance and objectivity.” Someone should perhaps tell NPR Senior Exective Ron Schiller.
5.) Why aren’t more high schools clamoring for Pres. Obama to speak to their graduates? — “An internal White House memo indicates that the White House is facing a shortage of applications less than a week before the deadline” for a contest to have Obama be some lucky school’s commencement speaker, reports ABC. Dated February 22, the memo noted that only 14 schools had applied. A week later, all of 68 schools had applied. But not even this number was good enough considering that the previous year, the White House received more than 1,000 applications. In keeping with Obama’s transparency pledge, the memo explicitly discourages release of the above numbers. “We do not want the actual application number out there (we didn’t release the number of applications we received last year until after the submission period)-so folks should not use it in their pitches.” OOPS.
6.) Jerry Brown will miss his deadline for saving California from ruin — “Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday he does not have enough Republican votes to pass his plan to address California’s $26.6 billion budget deficit, just days before the deadline he set for the state Legislature to call a special election and place a tax measure before voters in June,” reports the AP. “Brown needs those GOP votes to ask voters to extend temporary sales, income and vehicle tax hikes for another five years, which would be accompanied by $12 billion in spending cuts.” Yes, that’s right: Brown needs the GOP to vote for something so that he can then ask voters to vote for it. Meanwhile, Republicans want Brown to do something about the high salaries at the Department of Transportation and other agencies as a means of closing a $26 billion deficit. California is complicated. And possibly doomed.