Mike Flynn

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T Minus 36: GOP Begins Breakout From Stalemate

The midterm elections, despite months of news coverage and media battles, are only now wrapping up the pre-season. The campaigns begin in earnest this week, as a critical fundraising deadline passes and voters only now begin paying real attention to the critical contests. Democrats, with a horde of cash, fought the pre-season to a draw or a slim decision-on-points. Despite its numerous missteps, the Republicans are beginning to breakout of the political stalemate. Sep 29, 2014 9:44 AM PT

'Nanny' Bloomberg Fail: Smoking Rises in NYC

Under Mayor Mike Bloomberg, New York City was an anti-tobacco zealot's utopia. Nagged by Bloomberg, the city forced bar and restaurant owners to ban smoking in their premises and prohibited smoking in public parks. The city spent millions on public advertising and education and enacted the highest cigarette taxes on the planet. The oft-stated goal was to force people to quit smoking. It isn't working. Sep 23, 2014 5:01 PM PT

Politico, WSJ, WaPo Give 'Messaging' Advice To Left Wing Think Tank

On September 12th, the Center for Responsible Lending, a left-wing group advocating for greater regulation of the banking industry hosted a national "messaging" conference on "bank reform," with a special emphasis on curtailing "payday lending". A centerpiece of the conference was an "off-record" discussion with financial reporters from Politico, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and trade publication, The American Banker. According to conference organizers, the reporters gave the activists "advice" and "insight" for their advocacy campaigns. Sep 23, 2014 6:26 AM PT

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg: 'Economy In Very Good Shape'

Two billionaires, the head of Goldman Sachs and a politician walk into a bar. Actually, this isn't the start of a joke, but a recent forum on "small business", sponsored by Goldman and Bloomberg News. Maybe it is a joke, because billionaire bon vivant Michael Bloomberg kicked off the discussion by noting that "the economy is in very good shape." What color is the sky in Bloomberg's world? Sep 18, 2014 11:38 AM PT

T Minus 47: Dems Stuck, GOP Waging Three Front War

This week, news of the battle for the Senate has been dominated by Democrats' improving chances of holding onto the majority. The Washington Post forecasting model actually finds Democrats slightly favored, with 51% odds they will keep the Senate. Most other models still give Republicans an edge, but their odds have gone down in recent days. The real story, though, is that Democrats seem to have hit a ceiling of support while the GOP is locked in a 3-front fight, mostly of its own making. Sep 18, 2014 11:31 AM PT

T Minus 48: Dems Dominate Ad Spending

This week, the race for the Senate has been dominated by analyses showing Democrats faring better than expected in the most competitive races. Election models from Nate Silver, Washington Post and New York Times all downgraded Republicans chances of taking control. While it is still early in the cycle and there are many factors affecting individual races, there is one common denominator. Democrats are dominating the ad wars. Sep 17, 2014 12:23 PM PT

T Minus 49: GOP Odds of Senate Takeover Downgraded

With just over 7 weeks until the midterm elections, Republican chances to take control of the Senate have tumbled slightly. Two weeks ago, political handicapper Nate Silver estimated the GOP had a 64% chance of winning a Senate majority. On Tuesday, Silver lowered his estimate to 55%. The landscape still favors the GOP, but the trend-lines are ominous. Sep 16, 2014 1:42 PM PT

My Email Turns Republicans Into Conservatives

For the past several weeks, a group calling itself the "NRSC" has been inundating my inbox, warning that Obama was about to "grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants." I could combat this by donating money to ensure the Republicans win control of the Senate. Apparently, this "NRSC" is the National Republican Senatorial Committee who previously spent that past year and a half trying to pass amnesty under the guise of "comprehensive immigration reform." I must have a new email filter that turns even Republicans in Washington into conservatives. Sep 16, 2014 8:50 AM PT

T Minus 50: Looking For Signs of GOP Wave

The midterm elections are 50 days away. In many states, early and absentee voting will begin in the coming days. National polling numbers can hardly get worse for President Obama and the Democrats. Substantive news, whether the economy or foreign affairs, is unlikely to evolve favorably with Obama's policies. In addition, it is hard to imagine a political landscape more favorable to Republicans. Yet, with the election fast approaching, it is still an open question whether the GOP will capture the Senate. What is going on? Sep 15, 2014 11:37 AM PT

Ian Paisley: The West's Religious Fanatic

Ulster unionist and Protestant minister Ian Paisley died Friday in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A polarizing political figure, Paisley's death affords partisans of all "colors" the opportunity to absorb and define his legacy. With sectarian violence again engulfing the Middle East and Africa, however, Paisley's life reminds us that the West is not as far removed from religious bigotry as we would like to believe. Sep 15, 2014 7:37 AM PT

Obama's 'Now Watch This Drive' Moment A Political Tipping Point

In politics, gallons of ink and countless hours of argument and debate can be swept aside or solidified by a single inflection point. Carter battling the "killer rabbit," Reagan thundering that he "paid for this mic" or Bush prematurely swaggering beneath a "mission accomplished" sign cemented voter perceptions far more than countless opinion writers or pundits were able to achieve. Moments like these define a Presidency. Obama's moment came as he reached for a driver, moments after speaking to the world about the beheading of American journalist James Foley. Sep 12, 2014 3:37 PM PT

House GOP Offers Parting Gift to Reid, Senate Dems on Budget

Late Tuesday, House GOP leadership unveiled its proposal to extend government funding through mid-December, avoiding a potential government shutdown at the end of the month. Leadership plans to vote on the massive funding measure on Thursday, just over 24 hours after its public disclosure. If enacted, Congress would have to again revisit government spending just before the end of the year, after the midterm elections, but before a new Congress is sworn in. The GOP plan guarantees Harry Reid one more opportunity to shape the federal budget before, potentially, giving up control of the Senate. Sep 10, 2014 12:12 PM PT

Whiff: Big Jobs Miss in August, Just 142K Added

On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the economy gained just 142,000 jobs in August. The number was a big disappointment, as economists had been expecting a gain of around 230,000. The unemployment rate for the month was unchanged at 6.1%. Sep 5, 2014 6:00 AM PT

Libertarianism Is Incoherent Foreign Policy, 'Bush Doctrine" Little Better

On Wednesday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul seemed to reverse course on the crisis in the Middle East, calling now for the military destruction of the Islamic State terrorist organization. In recent weeks, Paul has vacillated between downplaying the threat of IS to ruminating that previous US action was somehow responsible for the group's rise. Christian Whiton rightly takes Paul to task for this, but, in his critique, suggests that more robust intervention by the US in the Syrian civil war would have blocked IS. The two arguments are flip sides of the same flawed coin. Sep 3, 2014 2:36 PM PT

Union Bosses Scramble to Save Democrat Agenda

On Monday, as millions of American workers gathered with family and friends to celebrate and mark the end of summer, the nation's union bosses were preparing to inject tens of millions of dollars from their members' paychecks into the midterm elections in November. Unions have already spent $70 million to protect the Democrat majority in the Senate. Even this amount is likely to be dwarfed by a flood of money and manpower in the final weeks of the campaign. Sep 2, 2014 7:29 AM PT

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