He’s blowing it, really.
Pennsylvania presents a unique opportunity for the Romney campaign. Over the past few years we have seen Pennsylvania voting for a Republican senator and a Republican governor, and Republicans win control of the State House in addition to the State Senate. The western part of the Keystone State has become more conservative (and President Obama’s war on coal is very unpopular there), and Mitt Romney is more competitive in the voter-rich Philadelphia suburbs than any Republican nominee since 1988. This makes Pennsylvania a natural next step as we expand the playing field.
While the Obama campaign would like to wish it is 2008, the reality is that they are now forced to “play defense” in least six states (Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin) that they once believed were “safe” Obama wins.
As the Romney-Ryan message continues to resonate and GOP momentum continues to build, we are adding Pennsylvania to the long list of states where we are expending significant resources in order to bring real recovery to the country, while continuing to implement and fund full-scale efforts in all the target states.
As at least some of us said could happen, the Senate race has tightened along with the Presidential race. Consider the gap effectively closed. The Smithies deserve major credit with putting a floor under the GOP ticket in Pennsylvania. Significant credit for PA’s competitiveness also goes to AFP, which has done quite a bit of phone banking and has run some excellent TV ads.
Now National Review is out with an editorial exposing some hard-hitting facts about Casey (emphasis added):
More recently, Senator Casey has turned his back on the Keystone State’s energy sector, which hovers precariously between resurgence and retreat.
In June, Casey voted against a bill to block a bundle of EPA rules known as Utility MACT, which stands for Maximum Achievable Control Technology, a fitting name for progressive job-killing regulations if ever there was one. Nationwide, MACT is expected to cost $9.2 billion, destroy 39,000 jobs, and result in 700,000 new hours of paperwork each year. In Pennsylvania, it has already caused five coal power plants to shutter, costing the Keystone State over 3,000 megawatts of electricity and hundreds of jobs while raising energy prices for Pennsylvanians. And its impact is only just starting to be felt; more than 20 other plants in the state could fall idle before all is said and done.
Casey’s [FRAC Act] bill would turn over regulation of drilling in the region’s Marcellus shale formation to the federal government at the worst possible time, endangering as many as 240,000 jobs and sending a message to his state’s own regulators that they aren’t up to the task of balancing environmental concerns against economic exigencies.
Part 1 of 2 dealing with Middle East – once and for all
Pop Quiz 1: Which of the following is true:
A) It took Iran 25 years to build one subway line in its only major city, and 26 years to open a new airport.
B) Iran is once again garnering incredible attention in the presidential election. As a result, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ego has gone through the roof of the mosque.
C) Iran fell in line when the U.S. had a strong leader with a decisive policy on terrorism — on the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, the American hostages were released.
Answer: all of the above.
How is that possible? How can such a backwards country — despite its very educated and prodigious people — continually dominate headlines and so significantly affect American foreign policy?
Easy. Bi-partisan ineptitude and cowardice in dealing with the Middle East, especially Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Oh sure, we’re told by the “experts” that the Iranian situation is far too complex for the average American — a global chess game played by diplomatic masters.
Translation: Neither Party knows what the hell they’re doing.
Pop Quiz Two, again looking for true statements:
A) For years, Libya was a rogue nation that openly engaged in terrorism, harbored the training camp for the Achille Lauro cruise ship high-jackers, bombed the Rome and Vienna airports as well as the Berlin nightclub that killed a U.S. serviceman, and incinerated Pan Am Flight 103.
B) Libya fell in line when the U.S. had a strong leader with a decisive policy on terrorism (Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush).
C) Despite this, the U.S. chose to oust Muammar Gaddafi and help install a new regime comprised of Libyans who had traveled to Iraq to fight Americans.
D) That regime showed its appreciation by, at best, sitting idly by while the U.S. embassy in Benghazi was attacked and the American ambassador murdered.
Again, all of the above.
Sure, there are questions about why extra security requests at the embassy were denied, as well as why it took the Administration so long to acknowledge that an anti-Mohammed movie was not the reason behind the attack.
But the larger questions were totally missed: 1) why did we invade a friendly Libya in the first place; 2) why are Iran’s nuclear ambitions proceeding unimpeded; and 3) why is America’s overall policy in the region failing? Until these issues are addressed, the fuse on the Middle East powder keg will inch closer to detonation.
To solve the problem, we need to ensure that past mistakes of both Parties are not repeated. And their biggest one has been kicking the Middle East can down the road to future Administrations.
The first President Bush built a respectable worldwide coalition when he waged the Gulf War in 1991, but contrary to his generals’ advice, he stopped short of finishing off Saddam Hussein and his Republican Guard. Bush also reneged on his promise to assist the Kurds in their attempt to overthrow Hussein. Because of this, they were slaughtered, and Hussein remained in power. Bush left the Iraq problem to future Presidents, including, ironically, his son.
Likewise, President Clinton had Osama bin Laden literally in his sights, and could have eliminated the September 11 mastermind, but failed to act. Instead, Bin Laden plotted away, and the rest is history. Clinton, like the first Bush, left the problem to the next President.
George W. Bush originally acted as if understood the concept of decisive action. He invaded Afghanistan, took down the Taliban, and eliminated terrorist training bases. The bad guys were on the run, and the noose should have been tightened until they were crushed. Instead, the “need” to invade Iraq shifted American priorities, allowing many terrorists to escape and fight another day. Not coincidentally, there has been a huge resurgence of terrorist activity throughout Afghanistan, to the point where Americans cannot trust the very Afghanis they have trained.
And now we have an Obama Administration that betrayed Gaddafi, a reliable ally who did everything the U.S. asked of him. While no angel, and clearly acting out of self-preservation, Gaddafi nonetheless “played ball,” helping to root out terrorists and stopping his WMD programs. Despite Gaddafi being taken off the State-Sponsored Terrorism List and being praised by George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice, Libya was invaded with the sole purpose of regime change. The resulting message was that America could no longer be trusted.
Each of those Administrations has something else in common: none worked to achieve energy independence. If they had, Libya and Iran wouldn’t matter all that much. Bush I signed the offshore drilling moratorium, and neither Clinton, Bush, Jr. nor Obama made any genuine effort to lift it.
In addition to energy independence resurrecting America’s manufacturing base and fostering unprecedented growth, it would also give America and the world economic breathing room if and when military action becomes necessary to take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Sure, oil and gasoline prices would spike after an attack. But energy independence would make the blow exponentially less, since utilizing our vast domestic resources would alleviate America’s paralyzing dependency on Middle Eastern oil. In effect, energy independence, or at least tangible action toward achieving that goal, would de-sensitize world financial markets to a strike on Iran.
Is Iran months, or even minutes, away, as some would have us believe, from getting the bomb? Well, if their quarter-century long infrastructure progress is any indication, then the answer would seem to be “No.” But since Ahmadinejad obviously cares more about nukes than airport, it’s a good bet that the unthinkable is looming, requiring action sooner than later.
The only problem is that we continue to be bent over the Iranian oil barrel.
If we do nothing, Iran becomes a nuclear-weaponed state — one which will most likely provide those weapons to terrorists who wish to make New York uninhabitable for one hundred years. But since the United States is anything but energy independent, a strike will see oil spike over $200/barrel overnight, leading to gas prices of $10/gallon.
So what do we do?
For starters, deal with rogue nations in the only language they understand: steel resolve, an iron fist and the mettle to act, not just talk.
As published in Philadelphia Magazine:
Part Two will offer an analysis into dealing with rogue nations, including Iran.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com His self-syndicated model has earned him the largest cumulative media voice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com
October 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm Comments (0)
Ryan made a dramatic entry, walking on stage right off the plane at Atlantic Aviation in Moon and saying: “We are going to win Pennsylvania, and we are going to win this election.” Supporters twirled yellow Romney-Ryan towels in Terrible Towel fashion. The Secret Service estimated the crowd at 1,000.
The seven-term congressman from Wisconsin warned that Obama’s energy policies were hurting Americans, telling supporters to look no further than the gas pump for evidence.
“Look, gas prices are more than double what they were four years ago. Who knows what they’re going to be if he got four more years,” Ryan said.
“Not only are these policies wrong, not only do these policies cost us jobs, not only do they mean that American energy dollars go to the Middle East; they are keeping us from having a boon,” he said. “They are keeping us from having jobs. They are keeping us from making our paychecks stretch farther.”
Twenty Democrats showed to protest and complain.
SHOWING UP: Reader Christian Aranda is attending election-monitor training at Romney HQ in Philadelphia and reports: “Packed house.”
Maybe it’s because of stuff like this…
As political stunts go, this one is pretty cool, especially given that it strikes at the heart of deep blue Lower Merion:
Drivers are backed up four to six blocks on Montgomery Avenue, trying to take advantage of an incredible deal on gas.
It’s all part of an event, organized by local conservative group, Americans for Prosperity, at the Wark’s Liberty Gas Station on the 300 block of Montgomery Avenue in Merion Station. The group is offering gas at $1.84 a gallon between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to the first 150 customers.
The Americans for Prosperity say the event is part of a political statement. They claim the last time gas was only $1.84 per gallon was back in 2009 before President Obama took office.
“When gas prices are nearing four dollars you are changing my life,” said Jennifer Stefano of the Americans for Prosperity. “You are forcing women like me to make decisions between food or gas. That’s not a good place for families to be in America.”
NBC10 spoke with another woman who claimed the whole event was a “Republican ploy.” Yet with the amazingly cheap deal, there’s no doubt that people of all political backgrounds are trying to take advantage.
My favorite sign: “Gas prices are a Womens Issue!!!”
Nicely Done, Jennifer Stefano!
Let me second Alex. Yep…looks like he might.
There are a couple interesting tidbits that indicate that this poll might be for real.
The partisan breakdown is D/R/I 48/42/10. D+6 should be about right for PA in 2012. It was D+7 in 2008 and D+3 in 2010. Independents were underrepresented in this sample obviously, but if Romney is ahead with that group, that would mean his lead over Obama is slightly larger. The poll’s internals also say this:
Lee said Romney has made significant gains in the all-important suburbs of Philadelphia, a ring of counties that helped push Obama to victory in 2008.
“Republicans haven’t been able to do that in 20 years,” Lee said. “Romney has made some major inroads.”
Lee said Romney also gained ground in western Pennsylvania, where socially conservative, blue-collar Democrats have turned their backs on Obama.
In order for any Republican to win statewide, they need to do well in both the collar counties of Philly and the Reagan Democrats in the west. The internals seem to confirm that.
I so very badly want this to be true, so I’m not getting my hopes up. That said, November 6 might be a very short night for Mitt Romney.
A new poll shows Republican Mitt Romney leading in Pennsylvania, a state that Republicans had all but written off just weeks ago but which is now listed as a toss up by the Real Clear Politics website.
Susquehanna Polling and Research provided The Washington Examiner with a poll it conducted for state party officials that shows Romney with a 49 percent to 45 percent lead over President Obama.
It’s the first poll to show Romney leading among likely voters in the Keystone State.
“The polling is very clear that the race is certainly up for grabs and Republicans have a tendency to never believe it,” Susquehanna President James Lee told The Examiner.