Archive for the ‘2014 Election’ Category

Making the next two years count

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Rush Limbaugh followed through on his interview with Chris Wallace, which he previewed on his Friday show.

His key point was that the Republican establishment secretly wants to pass immigration reform, and is using the “threat of the consequences of a government shutdown” as cover for why Republicans are not going to confront President Obama for the next two years.

Rush Limbaugh does not do television interviews, having been burned too many times. This may be an indication that he feels his radio show no longer has the clout it had back in the Newt Gingrich era, when he was the king maker. Nobody credits Rush with inspiring the 2014 Senate victory.

Now – here is the bad news. In 2016, there will be at least 34 seats up for reelection. 24 of those currently are held by Republicans. These were the seats won in 2010 and two special Elections. Even if Democrats who lost all 10 seats, that would still give Republicans only 64 votes – not enough to override a presidential veto.

Back in 2012, I pointed out that the US Senate was the “only race that really counted”, as a Republican president with a Democratic Senate would not be able to make significant changes. Having said that, George W. Bush blew his time in office – giving us Medicare part D, the GM Bsilout and laying the foundation for the police state that Obama now controls.

Republicans have the ball. If they are able to pass Paul Ryan’s budget and the related appropriation bills in the Senate, I would consider that a major victory. My expectation is at imposition of a real budget will find massive unauthorized spending for the past six years when everything was on autopilot – IF the Republicans want to find it.

Who showed Eric Cantor the door?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Eric Cantor is the 2nd most important Republican in the US House of Representatives. He represents the mostly white, mostly Republican, affluent part of Richmond Virginia – the 7th Congressional district.

He lost his primary race to an economics professor from a small liberal arts college who had only about $80,000 to spend on his campaign.

background and results

Cantor lost by about 6,000 votes in light turnout. While the TEA party is claiming this trophy, Virginia has an open primary and there was no Democratic Party contest. It’s very likely Democrats unseated Cantor.

As Wikipedia is quick to point out, Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in Congress and a prolific fundraiser.

A few years ago, when US Senator (and Democratic VP candidate) Joe Lieberman from Connecticut was defeated in his primary race by a more radical left wing Democrat, the Republican Party in Connecticut abandoned their own candidate and supported Joe Lieberman’s successful “independent Democrat” candidacy. The establishment is about power, not political party.

Even though the 7th Va. district normally votes 60% Republican, it’s a pretty safe bet Democrats will take this seat – unless of course there is an NSA
File on David Brat or there is a friend from high school who creates a story that he once said something hurtful to a minority group – in which case maybe Eric Cantor could still reclaim his seat.

Music Rights issue about to clobber radio

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

The Department of Justice is now involved. Just before World War II, the radio business decided to “break” ASCAP, who the NAB felt was increasingly abusing its control over payments to Composers and lyricists and artists [hold that correction!]. The NAB created BMI and the radio industry refused to play music unless musicians signed with BMI. The performers didn’t back down and for a couple years, radio was filled with Country music and R&B artists that were beneath the dignity of ASCAP to handle.

The showdown eventually ended with a consent decree that granted ASCAP and BMI joint protection from antitrust actions in exchange for government regulating their rates. That worked until Satellite radio and Internet streaming and iTunes arrived.

Radio currently does not pay the performers, but Pandora, Spotify and Sirius/XM do. Clear Channel has been working the edges of this mess by negotiating deals outside of BMI and ASCAP (and SESAC) directly with music producers. The black music artists have been particularly vocal that they have been screwed by the current system.

Eric Holder is black, and Americans have difficulty talking openly about race. The Department of Justice has formally announced it is going to review the Consent Decree with an eye to ending it or modifying it. Congress has also been active in this contest of wills. The loudest voice in Congress is John Conyers, who represents Detroit and has former Motown artists as supporters and friends.

Many in the radio business are still living in the 1960s when teenagers would hear a song on the radio and rush to the local radio store to put down $.99 to buy $.01 of vinyl. That world no longer exists, and kidz are not listening to radio to find new music. Those radio stations would go out of business before ever paying $.01 in “tax” to the musicians for their performances because the record companies would not exist without radio!

Politicians know that their access to radio and TV (and at what rates) has a huge effect on their elections – and most are siding with the NAB for now.

It’s showdown time, and the stakes for radio are very high. Cumulus betting the ranch on Country music is not unrelated.

TEA Party is Toast

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Today was primary day for six states. The Republican “establishment” didn’t even break out in a sweat.

Mitch McConnell will either be reelected to the US Senate or Democrats will retain control.

Dinesh D’Souza has plead guilty to violating campaign laws and headed to Prison. Perhaps he can spend the 10 months writing another book about Barack Obama.

It’s primary day in North Carolina

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

The incumbent Senator is Kay Hagan, a Democrat. She had been a State Senator for 10 years and 6 years ago defeated incumbent Senator Elizabeth “Liddy” Dole (wife of former US Sen. Bob “Buy Viagra” Dole) in the 2008 Obama landslide.

She is about as much a North Carolina person as Hillary is from New York. While she was born in North Carolina, her father left his job as a tire salesman in Rural North Carolina for Lakeland Florida, where he became Mayor and a rich real estate developer. Her uncle (her mother’s brother) was Lawton Chiles, the former Governor of Florida. It’s probably just a coincident that her uncle was an influential politician and her family’s sudden arrival of power and wealth.

She did return to North Caolina to attend Wake Forest Law School, did some work in banking, then became a state Senator.

There are 8 Republicans running today – 3 of which are plausible possibility to get in a runoff if the leader doesn’t get 40%

The leader (apparently) is Thom Tillis, the leader in the NC House who passed all that “crazy” stuff like requiring photo IDs to vote (but not until 2016!). He’s the “Republican Establishment” candidate who will follow orders. He probably can win in November. He is not interested in fighting unwinnable battles like repealing Obamacare.

The one that has Karl Rove worried is Greg Brannon. He’s the Freedomworks anti Washington Libertarian. He’s running on repealing Obamacare and defanging the NSA. If you should win and Republicans gain control of the Senate, expect him to have an office in the basement with a view of the furnace. The establishment wants nothing to do with a guy like him and there aren’t enough of people like him to change that.

The wildcard is Mark Harris, a Baptist minister from Charlotte. His platform is very vague, but the ability to get people to the polls might cause a surprise second place for him.

Polls close at 7:30 PM Eastern time

Obama proposes turning Interstate highways into toll roads

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Then we can sell them to China