No justice at Justice. Surprise, surprise. The Justice Department announced last Friday that it will not prosecute its boss, Attorney General Eric Holder, for contempt of Congress. Deputy Attorney General James Cole sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner declaring that “We will not prosecute an executive branch official under the contempt of Congress statute for withholding subpoenaed documents pursuant to a presidential assertion of executive privilege.” What happens now? My bet is a lot of bluff, blustering and rhetoric, but not much else.
Finally, Obama said something I agree with. President Barack Obama was roundly criticized for his long, disjointed and uninspiring speech on the economy two weeks ago. But he said something in his conclusion that I’m sure most conservatives would agree with: “Your vote will finally determine the path that we take as a nation — not just tomorrow, but for years to come.”
Another recession coming? The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed something I wrote about in Are You Ready For Taxmageddon. The CBO estimates that if the George W. Bush-era tax cuts aren’t renewed at the end of this year, our economy will contract by 1.3 percent in the first half of 2013. Gross domestic product is already pretty anemic, increasing just 2.2 percent for the first quarter of this year.
Labor losses are mounting. I mentioned in Wisconsin Vote Stuns The Left how membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees plummeted in Wisconsin once the State stopped taking union dues from their paychecks. But it turns out that union support is declining in other States as well. The Wall Street Journal reported: “In the 12 months ended in February, Ohio’s membership fell 8.5%, Pennsylvania’s dropped 3.4% and Michigan’s declined 11.7%.” Look for union clout to continue to decline as more and more States challenge their power and more and more members decline to pay their dues.
No fair purging the voter rolls. Officials in Florida believe that as many as 182,000 non-citizens may be on the voter rolls in the Sunshine State. So Republican Governor Rick Scott ordered election officials to identify any ineligible names and purge them from the list. Now, however, the U.S. Department of Justice has ordered the process stopped. It says it must approve in advance any changes in voter-registration procedures. The Feds can’t allow any discrimination regarding who gets to vote — especially with major elections coming up in a few months.
More people join the ‘anybody but Barack Obama’ club. It was no surprise that Mitt Romney won the Republican primaries in Arkansas and Kentucky last week. But did you hear what happened on the Democratic side? Forty-two percent of the voters in the Democratic primaries in those two States voted against the incumbent President. In Kentucky, where there wasn’t even an opponent on the ballot, Democrats selected “uncommitted.” That’s almost as embarrassing as what happened in West Virginia, where 41 percent of Democratic voters chose a prison inmate rather than our current President.
Losing North Carolina? In last week’s column Barack Obama’s Really Bad Day, I discussed how Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage could hurt him in North Carolina — a State he carried by a razor-thin margin in 2008. The latest Rasmussen poll says it’s already happening; Mitt Romney has taken a decisive 51 percent to 43 percent lead over the President in the Tar Heel State. Adding to the Democrats’ woes, several gay-rights groups are demanding that that they move their national convention to another State to punish North Carolinians for supporting an amendment to the State constitution declaring marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
Where have all the workers gone? If you don’t have a job, but you’re no longer looking for work, guess what? You’re not counted among the unemployed. The Washington Post reports that if the same percentage of adults were in the workforce now as when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11.1 percent. While if you go back to when George W. Bush was sworn in, the unemployment rate would be 13.1 percent. I guess this means that if everyone stopped looking for work, Obama could claim the unemployment rate was 0.
Obama having trouble raising big bucks. The headline in The New York Times read “Obama Sees Steep Dropoff in Cash from Major Donors.” It looks like the big givers aren’t opening their wallets as they did in 2008. This time, most donors are giving less than $200 each. While the total lags behind the record amounts he collected in 2008, Barack Obama’s war chest is predicted to hit $1 billion this year — far more than Mitt Romney will have on hand. The President has already appeared at more than 100 fundraisers in the past year.
Obama is busy raising campaign funds. Although Barack Obama condemned “the corrosive influence of money in politics” in his State of the Union speech this year, it turns out that he wants to get his hands on as much of it as possible. A new book by Brendan J. Doherty, The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign, says that Obama has held more re-election fundraising events since taking office than the combined total of all five of his predecessors in the Oval Office. Doherty found that as of March 6, Obama had held 104 fundraisers.