Mitt Delusional Over Women’s Vote

Romney surrogate Bay Buchanan (Pat’s sister — nuff said) believes that Mitt will do fine with women voters and argues that the Republican party “hasn’t made its case yet with women.”*

I would say the GOP has made its case loud and clear, and it’s one that’s going to lose by huge margins, a gender chasm rather than a gender gap.   Don’t probe me, Bro!

*  “Romney surrogates say GOP can win with women in November,” Emily Schultheis, Politico

Mitt Backer Calls Him Timid

I’m not a billionaire, but Sheldon Adelson and I do have something in common.  He and I both think that Mitt is weak.

Having poured $16.5 million down the rat hole that is the Gingrich campaign, Adelson is supporting Mitt, but in a very back-handed way:

“The problem with Romney — he’s not the bold decision maker like Newt Gingrich is.  Every time I talk to him he says, ‘Well, let  me think about it.’  Everything I’ve said to Mitt, ‘let me look into it.'”

Adelson went on to say that Mitt is “like Obama,” which isn’t helpful to the Romney campaign either, but I also think it’s unfair to Obama.

Uh, Oh, What’s Santorum Going To Do Now?

As we all know, Rick Santorum is just the best little Catholic boy in the whole world.  If he does say so himself.

Now the Pope is calling for an end to the American embargo of Cuba that has been in place for 50 years.  Rick and the GOP support the embargo.

Rick has to choose between his party and his Pope.

Will Rick call for an end to the embargo?  No, he’ll just ignore this, as he does other Catholic doctrine he doesn’t like, like opposition to pre-emptive war and capital punishment.  But Catholics who ignore the birth control stuff?  You’re definitely going to Hell.

Rubio Sees Ryan in Rear-View Mirror, Hurriedly Endorses Mitt

With Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) making noises about being Mitt’s VP, Florida Senator Marco Rubio raced to endorse Mitt on Fox News today.

Marco Rubio — has there ever been a politician with more of that “lean and hungry” look?

Ryan has praised Mitt’s economic plan, but hasn’t officially endorsed him.

Who does Mitt want more — Hispanic voters or those obsessed with the federal budget?  Mitt knows he definitely needs Florida.

Newt Wanted To Be Transformational Figure, Ends Up Laughingstock

From “Newt puts political legacy at risk,” Jonathan Marin and Alexander Burns, Politico:

“‘A lot of us who were around him before and didn’t think this was a good idea from the beginning were worried this was the way it was going to end,’ said Rich Galen, a top Gingrich aide in the 1990s.  ‘He’s in danger I think of becoming a laughingstock.’

“It didn’t have to end this way.  Gingrich could have withdraw graciously after twice proving his resilience and relevance in a race where few gave him much of a chance at being a contender, let alone winning the nomination.  But those who know Newton LeRoy Gingrich will say that to think he’d retreat quietly to McLean as a lion in winter, is to fundamentally misunderstand the man.  The same forces that propelled him to attempt a comeback at this late moment in his career is [sic] what keeps him in a race he almost certainly can’t win.

“Now though, with $1.5 million in debt, no realistic hope for winning another state, a downsized press corps following him and no debates left to grab attention, his attempt to remain in the race until Tampa seems more delusional than determined to some of his old associates.

“Galen predicted there’s going to be an ever-growing cost — both financially and to the former speaker’s reputation — to pressing on in a ‘reality distortion field.’

“‘I don’t understand the concept of continuing to pretend you’re in a campaign when you can’t travel,’ Galen said.  ‘At some point, even Fox will stop having him on for interviews.  Every day that he continues this it’s going to cost him weeks or months of repair down the road.'”

Lion in winter?  More like jackass in winter.  I especially like that “even Fox” reference.

Um, Mitt, What Electability Argument?

Mitt’s main argument to GOP voters is, “You may not like me much, but I’m the best one to beat Obama.”  Really?  That’s not what the latest CNN poll of registered voters shows.  Although bear in mind that polls of registered voters aren’t as reliable as polls of likely voters.

The CNN poll shows Obama beating Mitt 54% to 43%.  Obama beats Santorum 55% to 42%, so not much difference between Mitt and Santorum as the GOP nominee.

Mitt is also like Santorum in having his favorables/unfavorables upside down.  Obama’s are positive — 56%/42%.  Mitt’s are 37%/49%, and Santorum’s are 35%/42%.  You don’t win when your favorables are in negative territory.

SCOTUS Splits Ideologically on Obamacare Fate

Just as yesterday the justices seemed split along ideological line about whether or not the individual mandate (which requires all Americans to buy health insurance) was constitutional, today they seemed split on what would happen to Obamacare if the mandate is removed.

The liberal members appeared to believe that the law itself could survive, while the conservatives seemed to think that killing the mandate would kill Obamacare entirely.

The Obama administration argued that without the mandate the parts of the law covering those with pre-existing conditions and limiting premium costs for especially sick Americans would have to go as well.

Essentially, the Obama administration took the side of the health insurance industry’s lobbyists, who agreed not to fight Obamacare in exchange for the mandate, which gives them millions of new customers, including many young, healthy people.

You’ll recall that during the 2008 campaign, President Obama himself opposed an individual mandate, while Hillary Clinton supported it.

Newt Runs Out of ($2.50) Gas

With his campaign in the red, and his superPAC having run through Sheldon Adelson’s $16.5 million, Newt has fired his campaign manager, Michael Krull, and a third of his full-time staff.  He’s making Vince Haley campaign manager.  Haley was already both deputy campaign manager and a policy adviser, so kind of a two-fer.

Newt is also scaling back his travel to the remaining primary states.  He says he’ll get his message out through social media, videos, and the Internet.

Kind of like that other scary giant head, the Wizard of Oz.  But we already know what’s behind this curtain.

The Scary Specter of Structural Unemployment

From the WSJ*, while unemployment falls, the long-term unemployed struggle.  Bad news for them and for our society:

“The diverging fortunes of the long and short-term unemployed worry many economists because it suggests the emergence of deeper, structural problems that could persist long after the rest of the economy recovers.  Rather than returning work…the long-term unemployed could effectively break off from the normal job market, ultimately forming an underclass of the more of less permanently unemployed.

“Economists generally divide unemployment into two categories.  Cyclical unemployment stems from weakness in the overall economy, which pushes down demand for goods and services, and therefore the need for the workers that provide them.  Structural unemployment reflects deeper problems, such as a mismatch between the skills workers have and the ones employers need.  Structural unemployment, unlike cyclical, doesn’t disappear when the economy improves.

“”But some economists argue that in the wake of a severe recession, the lines between cyclical and structural unemployment can become blurred.  Workers who lose their jobs because of cyclical factors…might stay out of work so long that they become effectively unemployable.  Their skills erode, they fall behind on the latest technologies and industry trends, or they become stigmatized by employers who assume there must be something wrong with anyone who has been unemployed so long.”  Emphasis added.

*”Time Not on Side of the Jobless,” Ben Casselman

Justice Kagan’s Good Point

Justice Kagan’s good point:*

“Justice Elena Kagan, herself a former solicitor general, called out the GOP lawyer Paul Clement’s contention that not everyone is in the health insurance market and that the government wants to force them into it.

“’Well, doesn’t that seem a little bit, Mr. Clement, cutting the bologna thin?’ she said. ‘I mean, health insurance exists only for the purpose of financing health care. The two are inextricably interlinked. We don’t get insurance so that we can stare at our insurance certificate. We get it so that we can go and access health care.'”

I think the attempt to argue people’s freedom to buy health insurance at the expense of recognizing that all of us need and use health care (while not all of us need or want to buy a house or car) is silly.

* “How the Liberal-Leaning Justices Did A Better Job Defending ‘Obamacare,'” Sahil Kapur, Talking Points Memo