Archive for January, 2012

  • Newt is Running out of Steam

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    The flavor of the day (month?) continues in the GOP race for the nomination.

    One thing’s for sure: No one can say that this race is dull. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich was obviously resurrected because of his sharp-tongued response to CNN’s John King in the South Carolina debate, which played a significant factor in his big victory in the state. This caused a near panic in the Romney camp and Republicans across the country.

    The battle between Mitt and Newt has thrown conventional theories and pundit models out the window. The polls are erratic because the voters are erratic as they move from one candidate to another with unusual frequency. They do not know whom they can trust and have emerged as a flighty and unpredictable group.

    By all measures of political scrutiny and facts Romney should win in Florida. He has the campaign organization. He has the money advantage. He has the advantage of thousands of mail-in ballots already cast.

    However, even though Romney is gaining back some ground in the polls today and had a strong performance against Gingrich in last night’s debate, this race has proved anything can happen. The Florida primary is a week away, and a week is an eternity in this erratic political game.

    I predicted a Romney victory in South Carolina and was way off. But I sense that Newt’s second resurgence is running out of steam.

  • Cliffhanger in South Carolina

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    Newt Gingrich once again finds himself in the right place at the right time — this time in South Carolina. Mitt Romney has struggled with questions over his taxes and offshore bank accounts while losing bragging rights over winning Iowa. Rick Perry threw in the towel, along with his support for Gingrich. And polls now show the primary in South Carolina tomorrow — the first in the South — is a toss-up.

    Marianne Gingrich delivers a January surprise for Newt

    Newt’s newfound momentum doesn’t change the fact that it’s just a matter of time before he will self destruct — and it may already be underway. Yesterday’s string of events, including the bombshell interview with Newt’s ex-wife, haven’t been factored into the polls and we will unlikely know how they’ll affect the results prior to tomorrow evening.

    Good timing for Marianne Gingrich, but unfortunate timing for Newt. After all, this is the South Carolina primary tomorrow, and its heavily evangelical and social conservative constituencies may sour on the former Speaker after digesting Marianne’s charges just as they began turning to him. Is this still someone they can get behind?

    Newt has moved into a slight lead over Romney in the polls, but not significant enough to assure a win. I predict that Romney will eek out victory in South Carolina. As far as Newt goes, he does not deserve to win a single primary.

  • American Doctors in Crisis, Many Going Broke

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    I have written often about crisis doctors are facing with the challenges government policies are presenting for them.

    Now CNN Money has a new article out about how doctors across America are going broke, and we need look no further than Obamacare and the related changes in Medicare to know why.

    The article quotes Dr. William Pentz, a cardiologist in Philadelphia:

    …recent steep 35% to 40% cuts in Medicare reimbursements for key cardiovascular services, such as stress tests and echocardiograms, have taken a substantial toll on revenue.

    These cuts have destabilized private cardiology practices,” he said. “A third of our patients are on Medicare. So these Medicare cuts are by far the biggest factor. Private insurers follow Medicare rates. So those reimbursements are going down as well.

    This crisis isn’t limited to cardiologists. We know that many doctors have quit seeing Medicare patients entirely, and more are sure to follow. Many health facilities, including hospitals and hospices will fail. Further Medicare cuts will total $575 billion over the next decade and 7.5 million people will lose their Medicare Advantage plans and be forced into paying higher premiums for fewer benefits.

    America’s once superb healthcare system is crumbling before our eyes. Reversing this trend must begin with a change in leadership at the top in 2012 and the repeal of Obamacare. President Obama and his allies in socializing our healthcare system cannot be allowed to continue pushing forward. We’re seeing the results of their handiwork already.

  • Dismal Economy, Lack of Clue is Obama’s Problem

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    I arranged to have my family to join me for a Christmas celebration at a West Virginia ski resort. We have so much to be thankful for and we all enjoyed our time together. At this most wonderful resort were employees working in all departments offering not only first class service but they were real down to earth nice people. I was frequently reminded that the employees were ever so grateful for a thank you, a monetary tip, and especially that they were employed.

    The new "community center"

    The employees came from surrounding states: Ohio, Pennsylvania and of course West Virginia. Many shared with me that they “did not think things could get as bad as they are”. Too many in their communities were not only unemployed, they were living in homeless shelters and being fed by churches in their communities. They previously had good jobs in the various manufacturing, retail and service sectors but now lack the resources needed to look for real jobs. One remarked that she had heard her parents talk about the Great Depression in the 1930’s and that they could not believe that this was happening to her friends and family members.

    Focused on more pressing matters

    I stopped to think about this and I was saddened. We hear about the perils of the extraordinarily high unemployment rates across the country and that there are no jobs being created. For many, these are just statistics, but for folks like I met over the holidays, our economic situation is nothing short of a catastrophe.

    We see no attempt by this administration to change this situation and create an environment for economic recovery and job creation. Nearly four years later, the economy is only mustering very weak signs of recovery while our president, who hasn’t held a real job, takes yet another lengthy vacation in Hawaii. Was this his tenth or eleventh vacation of the year?

    Recently-departed GOP candidate Herman Cain said in an interview last night that he will continue to get the message out about the failure of Obama to effectively and sincerely lead us to recovery. While many point to Obama’s low 42% approval rating as a weakness, Cain points out that this means 42% of Americans are clueless as to how bad the president is. Good point.

    The dismal economy is a major threat to Obama in the election. That he still doesn’t have a clue over what to do about it is an even bigger one.

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    Unemployment office image: Grand Rapids Press

  • A New Year, Another Shake-up in the GOP Race

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    This past year has been an unusual year to say the least! A new Rassmussen Poll shows that Republicans have a 47% to 39% to defeat Obama this year. But which candidate? The latter part of 2011 was inundated by debates and more debates and seemingly every candidate has had their day in the limelight. It reminds me of famous ice cream shoppes with their flavor of the day! Always changing from one non-Mitt to another.

    Consolidating

    And change it does. Since  my last post we witnessed Gingrich fall far from the top with Ron Paul and Mitt Romney battling it out on a daily basis over 1 or 2 points. And coming up from the rear in the past few days is Rick Santorum who had entirely been written off two weeks ago.

    Romney took Iowa, but with Santorum right behind him by only eight votes. I expect we’ll have a smaller field of candidates by the primary in New Hampshire (Perry and Bachmann are likely out). Romney is obviously strong in the Granite State, but this race has proven that anything can happen. What ever the outcome, I expect this race to continue evolving with more surprises to come.

    Surging

    The question today is “does Iowa matter?” Probably less so had Ron Paul or Rick Santorum won, as they would have struggled to translate that victory in to more victories in other states. Romney can take his Iowa win to New Hampshire and fuel some potential momentum.

    I still hear talk of Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump waiting to see how things turn out, although Christie has been campaigning for Romney and may be setting himself up as his running mate.

    On to New Hampshire and South Carolina!