Derision 2012! – He who jumps first is …….. an idiot

Looking at you CNN, and FOX, and CBS, and several news organizations and individual news people on twitter, too many to name believe it or not.  A quick recap of the stakes.

Today was the day the United States Supreme Court handed down it’s ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act or ACA, or socialized medicine , depending on what side of the crazy you inhabit.  The biggest issue was the mandate stating all Americans must purchase health care.  If that was struck down the whole law would likely fall.  If the mandate was upheld, the Republicans would get their rallying cry for November.

Rally cry Ho!

The court ruled the mandate is constitutional, but not the way it was written.  It is not constitutional to mandate health care under the commerce clause, but it is so, under the taxing authority of the government.  That little subtlety is where the news organizations crapped on themselves.  More on that in a second.

Game with in the Game

Chief Justice Roberts, a conservative put on the bench by President Bush 43, wrote the decision for the majority, meaning he ruled in favor of the law. Truly a big surprise there.  Not as big but still a shocker, Justice Kennedy, the most liberal of the conservative justices, sided with the minority conservatives.  He went as far as to say the law should be struck down entirely.  So much for claiming partisan politics on this deal.  That’s a small blow really, for conservatives but in my opinion a bigger win overall.

A sleeping giant

The pizazz is missing from team Romney.  His party is in like with him, not in love.  This might be the spark that ramps up the love.  Well probably not, it will more likely ramp up the hate for the President.  The last time that happened – 2010 when a lot of D’s lost their jobs over this very issue.  The Tea Party is drying their powder right now, I can assure you.  To steal and modify a line from the President’s chief advisor David Axelrod, that sound you hear is the buzz of Karl Rove’s super pac bombers revving their engines.

Wisconsin: in a word – meaningless   

Remember the most important election of our lives, you remember, the recall election of Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin.   That was fun.  I predicted that event would have little impact on the November election and ultimately be meaningless if for no other reason than timing.  Way too much time between that fight and November.  Well the Supreme Court just moved the Wisconsin election to meaningless-ville.  It’s still June folks, this decision may move there as well.  Who knows what will happen between now and each party’s conventions in late summer?  A lot of golf left my friends, which ever side you are on, trust me, the Presidential election was not decided today.

Jump first, blush second, wait, is it jump first look second, no, no it’s read first jump second, or… oh hell just jump. 

Such in the journalistic motto of my friends at CNN.  All the news outlets came on the air an hour before the decision was handed down.  All but MSNBC failed to wait that one crucial minute and read past the first paragraph.  The Supreme Court is not an elected body.  Those folks serve for life, cannot be removed unless they break the law, and do not have to campaign.  There was never going to be a press conference to announce the decision.

It was handed down they way all Supreme Court rulings are handed down, in written form.  Each network had one press pass to be in the room when the decision was handed out.  They were then required to go outside to report.  Only Pete williams and Chuck Todd took the 2 minutes necessary to read it.  John King and Wolf Blitzer of CNN now wish they had used those two minutes.

CNN folks read the first sentence and then went to Breaking News – Health Care Law struck down!  Whoops.  The first lines detailed how using the health care law as part of the commerce clause was in fact unconstitutional.  That was good enough for King and Biltzer.  They went nuts about the blow to Obama.  FOX did the same but CNN’s melt down was so much more epic that the FOX gang was overlooked.  At least the FOX reporter was reading the ruling as she was reporting.

But at CNN you could hear the voice of John King slow to a “oh crap, it’s not repealed, it stands, what did I just do” silence.   Wolf was left holding the flaming turd bag trying desperately to put it out as King decided that shutting up might be the best course of action.  That only lasted a minute, maybe 90 seconds, but it was the funniest thing I’ve seen on TV in a while.   King is still on the air but he looks a lot like Charlton Heston did in Ten Commandments after he went to see the burning bush.

CNN’s John King before reading shouts “Struck Down!”

King seconds after finding out “It Stands!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

So let it written, so let it be done.

Be advised, this fight is far from over.  In fact it may have just started.

Stay tuned.

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Derision 2012! No Recall in Wisconsin and I ain’t talkin bout cheese

In case you haven’t been glued to the state of Wisconsin politics for the last 9 months, Frank’s Place has been and is here to fill you in.  In the “He Who Smelt it Delt It” recall election of 2012, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker held off his challengers and won the recall election.

This all started when Governor Scott Walker restructured the bargaining contract with government unions in Wisconsin.  That caused a little 1960’s reenactment of the sit-in; a form of civil disobedience.  Angry Wisconsinites?, Wisconsiners?, whoever, staged a little protest in the state capitol and several democratic state senators fled to Minnesota to keep the state legislature from voting on the government union reforms proposed by Gov Walker.  Cause you know, Minnesota is where everyone flees to when they can’t stand the heat of Wisconsin or they fail to uphold their oath of office.  Looking at you Farve.  In case you were wondering, Walker is a tea party republican and the state legislature is, save those cowardly democrats who ran, is mostly conservative.

Once order was restored and those spineless democratic state senators returned to fulfill their oath and do their job, the reforms were passed.  That sparked a small grassroots movement to have the governor recalled.  Now a recall is normally used when misdeeds or corruption or provable crimes are committed by an elected official or an administration.  I can’t think of a time in our history where it was used because one political ideology just didn’t like the ideology of the opposition.  Not sure I’m fond of the precedent they set, but what do I know.  Gray Davis, former governor of California, was the last to be recalled.  He truly drove California into a ditch from which they have yet to recover.  Ineptness and lack of control over his administration led to Davis’ recall.  Plus they are still arresting some low level members of his administration.  That allowed Arnold the Governator to win the California Governor’s seat.

The grass roots movement in Wisconsin started gaining some momentum and managed to get enough signatures to trigger a recall.  That recall election occurred tonight.  It pitted Walker, the current governor, against Democrat Tom Barrett, the guy who lost to Walker in 2010.  Walker was twice as nice.  He smoked Barrett again.  Rebecca Kleefisch, the Lt. Governor, also a republican retained her seat as well.  Besides the Governor and Lt Governor, 4 state republican senators were also recalled.  It appears it will be a six pack for the GOP as they should win all six recall elections.

So, you know, well done Wisconsin democrats, well done.  It may be helpful next time if you’re going to bitch and moan about something, you remember to man up at the moment of truth.  As President Bartlett said on Twitter tonight, “way to take a slam dunk and turn it into an air-ball.”  Yes, the president from the show West Wing is on twitter, as is most of the cast.

I’m not a fan of Scott Walker.  He’s a conniving used car salesman.  However, Wisconsinites seem to like his union reform.  A key indication of that – once union dues became voluntary, unions across the state were reporting heavy losses to membership.  Some unions shut down completely.  Now we’re talking state government unions, not private unions.  Big difference.  The governor has no control over private unions.   At least not yet.  This victory tonight might signal other republican governors that state unions are now fair game and it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.  Could private unions be far behind if this becomes a trend?  It would be interesting to know how many of those who dropped out of the union when they we able, actually voted for Walker.

From the “egg on their face”  department I give you the network and cable news outlets.  They were using exit polling data that suggested this race would be close.  As the polls closed they all claimed the race was too close to call based on the exit polling showing each candidate with 50% of the vote.  Actual results started coming in and what do you know, a funny thing happened on the way to the teleprompter.  The results were no where near what the exit polling claimed.  Walker and his LT Governor crushed their respective opponents.  Which brings us to the  “what does this all mean” department.

Tonight’s election means a few things to me.  First, the death of the tea party has been greatly exaggerated.  They quietly kicked some serious hind parts in Wisconsin tonight.  I don’t agree with anything they have to say but you have to respect the effort and the outcome.

Second, Obama is smarter than I thought.  He’s going to get blamed by Wisconsin Dems for not coming to the cheesehead state once during this whole process.  Guess who was smarter.  Had the President campaigned actively for Barrett, who wasn’t even the union’s first choice to run against Walker, and the guy still lost by this much, it would have been a disaster.  This stink-bomb would have soiled the President for months, causing him headaches possibly up to the convention in September.  Now this story is a non-issue in a month maybe two.  It will not cause ripples in November.  The President’s campaigning for Tom Barrett would have not mattered one bit, so large was the margin of victory.

Third, exit polling (asking people how they voted after they come out and then projecting a percentage based on their answers) will come under some serious scrutiny during the Presidential Election in November.  It’s likely you’ll see the networks shy away from using exit polling too much.

Lastly, anyone saying this will mean anything in November is crazy.  It’s the first week of June, can you imagine the crisis; political, financial, natural, and man-made, that will occur between now and the first week of November?

My mantra during the GOP primary was delegate count, not voter count, wins primaries.  My mantra for the Presidential Election is this.  Anything that happens before the National Conventions for both parties later this summer will be meaningless to the actual election.  Now if either the President or the Governor were to be arrested, caught with a hooker,  died, etc… then all bets are off.  But for the most part, this election tonight will not cause neither Romney nor Obama to gain or lose votes.

By the way, those same exit polls that had the recall election at 50-50, had the President whacking Romney by some 15% points if the Presidential election were held today .  Guess what the Romney camp will be saying about the accuracy of those number tomorrow.   And they’ll be right.

God, I love this game.

Derision 2012! The Birth(er) of a Nominee.

The stars at night, shine big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.  Sing it with me.  Governor Romney secured the republican nomination for President last night; winning 90 of the 155 delegates up for grabs in the Texas primary.  That brings the Governors’ total to 1198, with only 1144 needed to become the nominee of his party.  So it’s official, Willard Mitt Romney is the republican nominee for President of the United States.  If he doesn’t get a handle on his newest big money donor, presidential nominee is the highest title the governor will ever get.

The Donald has become a big time spokesman for the Romney campaign.  His first effort in that regard came on the day Romney clinched the nomination.  Trump trotted out the old birther issue.  This was a mistake on so many levels.

First of all Trump is a bit of a kook and his dogged pursuit of an issue long laid to rest by the government of the state of Hawaii is only cementing the kook persona.  The Donald went at it on CNN with Wolf Blitzer Tuesday; trading blows over the absurdidty of the birth certificate released by Hawaii.  Trump maintains it’s a fake and claims a lot of prominent people agree with him.  When Blitzer pressed Trump on who exactly agrees, Trump pulled the old “I don’t name names” line.  Tough to name names when you don’t know any.   Keep in mind Trump is an entertainer and, as the President put it, a carnival barker.  This is all upside for the Donald, and all downside for Governor Romney.

To me the bigger issue is the mud.  The President was the first to crawl in it with all the attacks over the dog, the alleged bully incident, and the inaccurate Bain Capital attacks.  The Governor should have let the Obama campaign wallow in the muck by themselves.  Romney should have been happy to let the President have all that low ground to himself.  The President and his campaign did a masterful job in 2008 building up Obama’s person as an enlightened, above the fray guy.  Someone that high has a long way to fall and the thud will be loud.  Once more, the President’s own campaign seemed eager to get the fall rolling with all the idiotic moves they made early on.  Romney didn’t even have to work for it, they were tripping themselves.

Ultimately Trump is a carnival barker who always works himself to the center of any spotlight, good or bad.  He believes in the axiom of any press is good press.  Maybe when you’re trying to get ratings, but votes are different.  Romney has hooked his wagon to a carnival barker with no filter and an ego unmatched in human history.  Not sure I like that combo.  If I was advising the Governor I would tell him to use Newt’s line, yes that Newt.  Gingrich said yesterday “….we believe this is a American born, job killing, President.”  I would have Romney word it differently, make it more declarative.  He needs to say “I have no doubt that President Obama was born in America, just as I have no doubt he has been wrong for America and here’s why.”  Boom.  End the birther issue and pivot to your economic message in one easy sentence.  You’re welcome Governor.

Spel Chek Dipartmint

Rarely do the gaffes associated with a campaign originate with the nominee himself.  This is one of those cases but Romney will get tagged with it for a week, maybe two.  His campaign sent an iPad/iPhone app to Apple.  It’s supposed to be an advertisement and a campaign tracking app all in one.  Problem: the app’s opening page has the slogan “A Better Amercia”.   It happens, it’s embarrassing, it’ll go away by next week, especially with Trump on board.  And there is the one up side of embracing Trump, any gaffe your campaign or you make will be quickly overshadowed by The Donald’s antics.

Good luck Governor, I think you’ll need it now.

Tracker Change

With the nomination all sewn up, the primary voting tracker and delegate tracker on the right side of Frank’s Place will be removed.  In it’s place will eventually be opinion and polling trackers.  These will become more significant after each party has its national nominating conventions late this summer.

Stay tuned.