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If there’s a message coming from Newt Gingrich’s op-ed, it’s that Republicans must put together a compelling message to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Gingrich reminds Republicans that “passing serious legislation is very hard work. There is still a great deal to do, and the timeline is incredibly tight”, adding that “The Joint Committee on Taxation has already provided preliminary analysis for the bill. Its estimates are static and assume tax cuts will have no impact on growth. As a result of this bad assumption, the JCT incorrectly estimates the bill would create a significant budget shortfall, $1.43 trillion over 10 years.”

Gingrich continued, saying “The truth is, our gross domestic product is growing at 3 percent, largely due to deregulatory efforts by the Trump administration and the expectation of tax cuts. Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would further spur GDP growth, so the bill should be scored dynamically. The Tax Foundation has made dynamic estimates on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which show the bill would ‘significantly lower marginal tax rates and the cost of capital, which would lead to 3.9 percent higher GDP over the long term, 3.1 percent higher wages, and an additional 975,000 full-time equivalent jobs.’ This economic growth would raise federal revenues by nearly $1 trillion over 10 years, according to the Tax Foundation. In the end, this new revenue could bring the bill close to neutral, depending on what baseline is used to score it.”

Let’s get serious about something. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will speed up the economy. That’s indisputable even though Nancy Pelosi insisted in this speech that it would kill jobs. Ms. Pelosi has told lots of whoppers in the past. This is another whopper. Republicans seem interested in self-destruction.

Sen. Lankford has announced his opposition to it because it supposedly increases the deficit. Here’s a simple question for Sen. Lankford. If Republicans fail to pass this bill, what’s the likelihood they’ll have to vote on a Democrat budget that would hurt job creation and economic growth? What’s the likelihood that a Democrat budget would increase the deficit more than this bill would?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act isn’t perfect but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. There’s economic growth happening right now. This isn’t just the right time to pass tax cuts. It’s the best time to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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Much internet bandwidth has been used on who won Monday night’s presidential debate. Two of the best political thinkers think that Trump won. Pat Caddell, Jimmy Carter’s pollster, has some interesting statistics that indicate some interesting things that contradict conventional wisdom. In this article, Caddell notes that “48 percent said Clinton did a better job, compared to 43 percent, who said Trump did the better job” before noting “95 percent of the people we contacted told us they were not going to change their vote based on the debate.”

Caddell then noted that “Trump won on the most critical factor, on whether Clinton or Trump was more ‘plausible’ as president, 46 percent to her 42 percent,” saying that “that, for him, was what this debate was really about.” Dovetailing off of that is the fact that, according to Caddell, “forty-eight percent of respondents said in the debate Trump showed he would be a strong leader, compared with 44 percent for Clinton.”

That’s the statistical side of things. Newt Gingrich’s op-ed provides the analysis:

The Intellectual Yet Idiot class that dominates our news media fell all over themselves critiquing Trump and praising Holt and Clinton. In doing so, they repeated the mistake they have made about every debate since August 2015.

Trump wins strategically because in a blunt, clear style, he is saying things most Americans believe.

With 70% of the country thinking that we’re heading in the wrong direction, it’s a major victory for a candidate to win the people’s trust. That’s confirmed by Salena Zito’s reporting, which Gingrich cited here:

Salena Zito is one of the country’s most perceptive journalists, in part because she is grounded outside of Washington and New York. Her column about the debate, “How Trump Won Over a Bar of Undecideds and Democrats,” should be required reading for everyone who wants to understand why Trump strategically won the debate.

After that, Gingrich mocked the elitists:

Trump has a hard time with media elites because they earn a living by talking. The media values glibness. In their world you can speak nonsense if you do it smoothly and convincingly. Trump is a blunt, let’s-make-a-deal, let’s-get-the-building-built, let’s-sell-our-product businessman. The first debate showcased a blunt, plain spoken businessman and a polished professional politician.

In other words, the fight was word salad vs. leadership. Here’s how that worked out:

Time: Trump 55 Clinton 45
Fortune: Trump 53, Clinton 47 (New Jersey): Trump 57.5, Clinton 37.78
CNBC: Trump 68, Clinton 32
WCPO Cincinnati: Trump 57, Clinton 37
Variety: Trump 58.12, Clinton 41.88
Slate: Trump 55.18, Clinton 44.82
WKRN Nashville: Trump 64.58, Clinton 35.42
Las Vegas Sun: Trump 82, Clinton 18
Fox5 San Diego: Trump 61.45, Clinton 33.69
San Diego Tribune: Trump 65, Clinton 35

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Last night, Newt Gingrich was on Hannity’s TV show after Hannity interviewed Sen. Cruz. Newt’s words should serve as a wake-up call to Trump. Among the things that Gingrich said was that Trump getting down in the mud over Sen. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, would hurt Trump in California.

Gingrich said that Trump’s ratings were already bad with women, that Trump can’t afford further erosion of support with women and that women make up a “huge” part of the GOP electorate in California. According to this LA Times poll, Trump leads Sen. Cruz with likely primary voters by a 36%-35% margin.

According to Gingrich, Trump will be in trouble if Trump doesn’t start acting more stable and being more of a gentleman. The odds of that happening are roughly equivalent to the odds that Hillary Clinton will walk into FBI headquarters this week and signing a confession that she lied to FBI investigators. In other words, there’s no chance of Trump starting to act like a gentleman.

Newt said that he thinks Sen. Cruz will do pretty well in Wisconsin and that “this ought to be a wake-up call to Trump, that he’d better rethink some of the underlying patterns of his campaign.” I think that’s the right advice. I don’t think, though, that Trump will pay much attention to Newt’s advice. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that Trump’s ego is bigger than the Grand Canyon and that it might be as big as the state of Texas.

Rethinking things isn’t Trump’s strength.

Newt explains things perfectly here:

Look, Donald Trump had a very easy answer to that truly stupid — I think it was actually a Facebook ad that was sent out. The answer was simple. Melania was a supermodel on a professional shoot for a very famous magazine. He’s very proud of her and she’ll be a very beautiful first lady. Now, if he had just said that and moved on, then the Cruz campaign would’ve looked stupid. The issue would’ve been over. He would’ve seemed more disciplined and more pleasant and a gentleman. Instead, he gets down into this mud that I really think has hurt him. I’m not sure that anyone in the Trump campaign understands yet what a big mistake this is and they can’t keep doing this stuff and expect to win this nomination.

Gingrich thinks that Trump’s threatening Heidi Cruz will hurt him with women, especially in California. I’ll simplify this for the Trump campaign. If Trump doesn’t win California, he won’t be the GOP nominee. Sen. Cruz has outhustled him in too many states. If Trump isn’t the nominee on the first ballot, he’s history.

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This editorial by the Mesabi Daily News’ Editorial Board beautifully defines who’s fighting against the Keystone XL Pipeline project:

So why should the Barack Obama administration continue to drag this “good for the USA” project out after six years of review and a recent Nebraska Supreme Court ruling paving the way on a local level for the pipeline?

We see no reason other than the president being controlled by the far-left environmental wing of the Democratic Party that is so far out of step with the vast majority of Americans that you need some powerful binoculars to even find its members.

Let’s be blunt. The environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party isn’t just out of step with “the vast majority of Americans.” It isn’t that you’d “need powerful binoculars” to see these activists from America’s political mainstream.

It’s that the environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party isn’t interested in anyone’s opinions. They’re like crazed cult members. Though these environmental activists don’t respect other people’s opinions, that doesn’t mean they’ll pick fights with the people that support their agenda:

And we would also like to hear what both Sens. Klobuchar and Franken think about what the anti-Keystone zealots say about the thousands and thousands of construction jobs that would be created by the pipeline.

The people that make up the environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party will never get asked difficult questions by politicians like Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken. That’s because politicians like Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken know that environmentalists are significantly more reliable Democrat votes than construction union members are.

Members of the local pipefitters or other unions sometimes meander away from the Democratic Party. Politicians like Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken know that. They also know that environmental activists vote for Democrats almost as reliably as journalists or trial attorneys. Private sector union workers don’t.

That’s why Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken voted against cloture on S.1, the bill that would force the Obama administration to permit construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline:

The motion passed with strong bipartisan support by a 63-32 margin. Five senators didn’t vote. Democrats mocked Republicans for coming up with slogans like “Drill, baby, drill” and “Drill here, drill now, pay less”:

It isn’t that Democrats are stupid when it comes to energy policy. It’s that they’re that beholden to those crazed cult members known as environmental activists. You know the type. They’re the wing of the Democratic Party that’s “so far out of step with the vast majority of Americans that you need some powerful binoculars to even find its members.”

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First, I’ll stipulate that Newt Gingrich is a flawed man who’s paid a hefty price for his mistakes. Next, I’ll state what I emphatically believe: that Newt Gingrich the visionary isn’t just the right tonic for what’s ailing the GOP. He’s the perfect strategist to lead Republicans to victory. Newt’s speech at CPAC this year is a perfect illustration of what I’m talking about:

The reason why Newt’s got the right strategy is because his speeches aren’t about politics. They’re about improving life with a political twist. Check out this part of Newt’s speech:

NEWT: We must stop being the opposition movement. We must become the alternative government movement that will help make the life of every American better so that they would understand what we would do that we would do right, not just what the left is doing wrong.

The biggest thing that conservatives can do to guarantee the best shot at victories this fall is telling the American people that a) we’re the solutions party and b) we trust families and small businesses to make great decisions.

That necessarily means trusting people with lots of options. If we trust families, we should be the party whose health care reform legislation gives families tons of options to fit their families’ needs. By doing that, Republicans will highlight the difference between Harry Reid’s and Al Franken’s one-size-fits-all plan, aka the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and Republicans’ legislation that trusts families.

That’s a perfect segue into another major point in Newt’s speech:

The smartphone will be the leading public health device of the 21st Century. It’ll be the leading learing device. It’ll be the leading management tool. Congressman Dr. Michael Burgess has a smartphone that has 8 medical applications on it. He can do an electrocardiogram with his smartphone. Now the Food and Drug Administration, seeing the dramatic rise in applications that improve your health, now wants to take over approving applications for smartphones.

Now if you want to see a fight where we can be on the side of young Americans and the left is hopeless, you just go out to any college campus and you say ‘how would you like Washington bureaucrats slowing down the number of new applications you can get, most of them, by the way, are free’?

The party of excessive government can’t control its appetite for controlling people’s lives. Young people naturally love lots of options. In that fight, Democrats lose bigtime.

If Republicans become the party that trusts small businesses to innovate and make families’ lives better, they’ll win decisively because people of all demographic backgrounds will want what we’re selling.

If conservatives return to Reagan’s and Kemp’s and Thatcher’s belief that great ideas that make families’ lives better also makes for great politics, then conservatives will win decisively.

The point isn’t about sounding more conservative or more moderate. It’s about who has great ideas. I’m not advocating for moderation. I’m advocating that makes families’ lives better through entrepreneurship and innovation. Conservatives will jump all over that because it’s from the private sector. Apolitical people will jump all over it because their lives will be improved by the innovations that’s only possible through entrepreneurship.

Watch Newt’s entire speech if you want to see how to win the future. You’ll want to hear Newt’s connecting the dots between the Bakken and defeating Putin. Newt’s speech isn’t getting the buzz like others’ speeches. It’s just the blueprint that’ll make the GOP the dominant party again.

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According to Newt’s article, it’s apparent that conventional wisdom was wrong…again. Based on the latest CNN poll, it’s apparent that the American people blame Republicans, Democrats and President Obama equally for the shutdown:

When asked in the CNN poll whom they are angry at, 63% said Republicans, 58% said Democrats and 53% said Obama. That is a 10-point margin for the president and only a 5-point margin for Democrats, compared with a 23-point margin in November 1995. Independents said they blamed all three equally (60% GOP, 59% Democrats, 58% Obama). This is so clearly within the margin of error that it is for all practical purposes a tie.

After weeks of the media focusing blame on House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Ted Cruz and the House Republicans, it is clear the American people are not buying it.

Earlier in the article, Newt talked about polling during 1995 shutdown:

A CNN poll at the time showed Americans blamed Republicans over President Bill Clinton for the first shutdown by almost 2-to-1, 49% to 26%. Republicans fared only a little better in the second shutdown of the mid-’90s. A CNN poll after it began showed the American people preferred Clinton’s approach to that of the Republicans by 52% to 38%.

Sixty-two percent said they had negative feelings about the Republican leaders during that conflict, compared with only 49% about Clinton.

It’s pretty apparent that the American people are perfectly capable of understanding the different dynamics at play in this shutdown vs. the 1995-96 shutdown. In 1995, Gingrich’s troops didn’t hide the fact that they a) took seriously the fact that they controlled the purse strings and b) that they wanted to change the direction of the country. They didn’t hide the fact that they were will willing to shut government down if that’s what it took to win the longterm fight.

President Clinton understood that. He didn’t hesitate in negotiating with Republicans. By doing that, he looked reasonable. Fast forward to today. This time, it’s Boehner’s Republicans who look reasonable compared with President Obama’s mean-spirited character.

After weeks of the media focusing blame on House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Ted Cruz and the House Republicans, it is clear the American people are not buying it.

There have been too many days of the president saying, “I will not negotiate.” The country believes him. They can see he’s a big part of the reason the government is shut down.

That’s why it’s impossible for me to believe the Gallup and Rasmussen polling that shows President Obama with a job approval rating near 50%. There’s no way to square up the CNN and AP polling with Rasmussen’s and Gallup’s polling.

If House Republicans continue to pass targeted, clean continuing resolutions to fund parts of the government and Senate Republicans demand day after day for the right to vote on these popular measures, the margin of blame may begin shifting from virtual parity to a solidly Democratic problem.

If the Republicans repeat every day their willingness to negotiate and Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid repeat every day their refusal to negotiate, this may become catastrophic for the Democrats.

I don’t expect President Obama to take that hardline approach much longer. He’s got to be seeing polling that shows his popularity tanking. That’s why it’s impossible to believe President Obama will stick to his guns.

That said, House Republicans have done their Senate colleagues a ton of good during this fight. They’ve forced Mark Begich, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor to take votes they’ll regret next November. Voting against funding of the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and voting to keep the national parks closed just isn’t popular. It’s too early to predict that the entire group of Democratic senators will lose in November, 2014. Still, they might want to start drafting an outline for their concession speeches.

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During the last couple of weeks, I’ve highlighted how the St. Cloud Times editorial staff gone overboard. I’d hoped they’d gotten it out of their system. Unfortunately, this editorial proves that the Times isn’t just occasionally foolish. It’s more a way of life. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Though Republicans have generally represented the St. Cloud area, this race may serve as a reality check for the party.

That statement is factually inaccurate. The seat currently held by Tama Theis is definitely a GOP seat. By contrast, the seat now held by Zach Dorholt, who isn’t anything close to a moderate, has been represented by Democrats, with King Banaian the sole exception for the past 20 years. Sauk Rapids and Sartell are pretty reliably liberal at the local level. Ditto with Waite Park.

This statement deserves additional scrutiny, too:

Can it find a moderate candidate, or will it resort to another flamethrower backed by the big money of special interest groups? We can cross our fingers for the former.

Talk to King Banaian about the special interest money the DFL spent to defeat him. The DFL’s attack/smear operation spent tens of thousands of dollars last year to defeat King. I haven’t seen the Times editorial page utter a thing about the tons of DFL special interest money spent to defeat King.

Further, this obsession with moderates is overrated. This past election, the DFL legislative candidates ran as moderates. Then the DFL legislature passed the biggest budget in state history. Then the DFL legislature passed the biggest tax increase in state history, too. In addition to those things, the DFL legislature ignored federal labor law, specifically the NLRA, when it passed a bill that seeks to turn private sector employers into public employees.

It’s worth noting that Michele Bachmann is an expert on regulations, banking procedures, taxes, health care and national security. The Times won’t admit that because of their outright hatred of her.

The reality is that people want politicians who either stop bad things from happening or politicians who gets positive things accomplished. In Michele’s 8 years in Congress, she’s either been in the minority or she’s had to deal with a corrupt, inept Democrat president. It’s difficult getting positive things done in that environment.

Finally, there’s this laugher:

Unlike Democrats, the Republican Party has everything to lose in this election.

I have a simple question for the Times. What are they smoking?

According to this Weekly Standard article, Dianne Feinstein’s anti-Second Amendment bill would exempt government officials:

Not everyone will have to abide by Senator Dianne Feinstein’s gun control bill. If the proposed legislation becomes law, government officials and others will be exempt.

“Mrs. Feinstein’s measure would exempt more than 2,200 types of hunting and sporting rifles; guns manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action; and weapons used by government officials, law enforcement and retired law enforcement personnel,” the Washington Times reports.

In other words, the elitists have a right to protection but Main Street doesn’t have the right to self-protection. That’s typical elitist behavior. Compare that with ‘evil’ Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America:

FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;

Liberal elitists villify Speaker Gingrich and sing praises to Sen. Feinstein, which is odd considering the fact that Sen. Feinstein apparently thinks elitists like her are entitled to special treatment.

Why shouldn’t Main Street Americans be entitled to self-protection with the weapons Sen. Feinstein wants to ban? Don’t Main Street Americans contribute mightily to the health of this nation? Shouldn’t they be entitled to the same protection as elitists like Sen. Feinstein?

I’d love hearing Sen. Feinstein argue against that argument.

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John Boehner is failing. He’s playing President Obama’s game on President Obama’s court. He’s prosecuting the wrong case. Rather than discussing the terms of the fiscal cliff debate, Speaker Boehner should be talking about why Republicans’ pro-growth tax policies are America’s only hope for a variety of Obama-created ills.

First, Speaker Boehner should highlight the fact that President Clinton’s high tax rates didn’t trigger the great economy. He should remind the nation that it was Newt’s capital gains tax cuts that sent the economy into high gear. Prior to those tax cuts, the economy was doing ok. After cutting the capital gains tax, growth exploded.

Another thing that Speaker Boehner must do is remind people that Republicans’ insisting on balancing the federal budget helped strengthen the dollar, which led to a dramatic shrinking of America’s trade deficit. That especially affected gas prices.

Third, Speaker Boehner should shout from the rooftops that revenues during the Bush tax cuts were significantly bigger than revenues are today. If Speaker Boehner asked President Obama why he’s insisting on anti-growth policies that tamp the economy down rather than implementing new pro-growth policies that strengthen the economy, President Obama might well blow a gasket.

This is the debate we should start. This is the debate President Obama can’t win. This is the conversation that would expose President Obama’s motivation for imposing higher tax rates.

Rather than the pattern of proposal-counterproposal, then a counter offer to the counterproposal, with each side publicly stating that the other side needs to put forth a serious proposal, Speaker Boehner should ditch that pattern, especially the taunting language.

Instead, Speaker Boehner, followed by every Republican in Congress talking with their local newspapers and TV outlets about how cutting spending is what’s fair to taxpayers and how reforming the tax code, highlighted by fewer deductions and lower tax rates, would strengthen the economy.

Highlight the fact that this was the real reason why the economy was strong during the Clinton administration. Highlight the fact that the economy didn’t take off until Newt changed the trajectory of the debate.

President Obama is too arrogant to be frightened by that debate, which means Speaker Boehner should be able to turn this situation into a discussion on getting America’s economy going for the first time during President Obama’s administration.

With expensive utility bills, shrinking paychecks, high gas and grocery prices and unacceptably high unemployment rates, the indictment against President Obama’s mishandling of the economy should be lengthy and powerful.

Finally, he should unleash Paul Ryan. Speaker Boehner should insist on a televised fiscal cliff summit, with Ryan leading the prosecution of the case against President Obama’s reckless spending. Dave Camp should prosecute the case for why the GOP tax reform plan will strengthen the economy.

GOP senators and governors should take part in this summit, too. One tactic President Obama has overplayed is saying that ‘we can talk about that’ on a variety of policies, then dropping that position the minute he’s out of the room. Republicans should tell him that implementing a pro-growth economic plan is non-negotiable.

Finally, make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates won’t affect the Warren Buffetts of the world because their income comes from investments, not wages. Make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates will hurt small businesses, not the evil Wall Street fatcats President Obama always talks about.

President Obama’s policies are failing. Speaker Boehner’s ineptitude in highlighting those failures has the fiscal cliff conversation heading in the wrong direction. It’s time to change the direction of that conversation.

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Newt Gingrich is one of the best political strategists of our time. Whether you agree or disagree with his policies, whether you think he’s too temperamental or whether you think he’s utterly brilliant, there’s no denying the fact that he’s got a fantastic knack of understanding main street. This video is a tour de force presentation by Newt:

Here’s the first thing Newt said that caught my attention:

It’s great. It’s the American drama. After all the talk, after all the ads, after all the pontificating, the American people get to tell us.

I’ll just say this. It’s about time. Let’s get this started. I’ve had enough of looking at deceitful polls. I’m tired of listening to President Obama’s stump speech. It isn’t time for the pontificators to leave the stage. It’s just time for them to add insight into why the American people made the decision they made.

This is the next thing Newt said that caught my attention:

I’ll give you one example. They’re talking about Democratic early voting in Ohio but they’re counting the counties along the Ohio River, which is coal country, which are Second Amendment gun rights country, which are God-fearing counttry, which are the very things that Obama had contempt for in San Fransisco. Those Democrats are going to vote against Obama.

It’s wrong to think of these coal-mining Democrats as Romney Democrats, at least at this point. It’s possible they’d be accurately described as Romney Democrats. It’s entirely possible they’ll just join the GOP.

At this point, though, it’s best calling them anti-Obama Democrats. At this point, they’re best described as people agitated that a Democrat wouldn’t fight for the blue collar Democrats that once was the backbone of the Democratic Party.

This statement spoke volumes to me:

NEWT: I was struck by something Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times, hardly a right wing reporter, said that the states he’d been in this week, his phrase was “The organic enthusiasm was for Romney.” There was a mechanical machine for Obama but there was an organic enthusiasm for Romney. My experience in politics is that organic enthusiasm,. the whole wave effect, always defeats the mechanical machine.

Notice that Newt didn’t criticize the machine. He simply said that a mob of genuinely enthusiastic voters will defeat the machine every time. I couldn’t dispute that if I wanted to.

Later, they talked about Todd Akin. Here’s what Newt said there:

Well, first of all, Callista and I have both been out campaigning with him. I’ve really liked Todd Akin. He was given a very bum rap by the national establishment. She is a very Obama-like voter in a state that voted by 71% against Obamacare and then she voted for Obamacare six weeks later. And Romney’s going to carry the state by 8-12 point so I think Akin wins by 3 points.

Frankly, I hadn’t thought about the folks along Ohio River Democrats voting early for Mitt but it makes sense. If that’s what’s happened, then that drops Ohio comfortably into Mitt’s lap. Similarly, if Mitt’s winning Missouri by double-digits and if Missourans don’t like Claire McCaskill like I think is the case, then I think Todd Akin wins.

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