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Archive for June, 2010

Johnson Launches First TV Ad

It appears it’s been available on YouTube since midnight.  In my opinion, it’s good.  In fact, it’s very good.  Gets right to the point and much more down to Earth than Feingold’s first ad, which in comparison, makes it look like Russ is lecturing us.

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Cartoon of the Day

This reminds me of an “Emotions of Chuck Norris” t-shirt I own.

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Rest in Peace, Big XII

(Of course, if the Big Ten re-learned how to count, we’d be the new “Big Twelve.”  But I digress.)

Say goodbye to college football and college athletics as you once knew them.

All signs are pointing to a Nebraska move to the Big Ten.

A source close to the Nebraska program told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that athletic director Tom Osborne informed athletic staff members within the past 24 hours that the Cornhuskers were going to make the move to the Big Ten conference.

A source close to the Nebraska Board of Regents told Orangebloods.com the regents met informally Wednesday and have agreed to move to the Big Ten and that a formal announcement Nebraska is leaving will come Friday — the deadline set by the Big 12 for Nebraska and Missouri to state whether they intend to leave the conference.

University of Nebraska regent Kent Schroeder told the Lincoln Journal Star earlier Wednesday there was a planned executive conference call this afternoon which he believed would include discussion about possible conference realignment.

An executive call does not involve all board members, just the Executive Committee, which consists of board chair Bob Phares and fellow regents Bob Whitehouse, Howard Hawks and Schroeder.

An athletic director in the Big 12 told ESPN’s Joe Schad that Nebraska has had discussion with the Big Ten and that there was a “good chance” Nebraska would join the Big Ten as early as Friday.

A Nebraska source told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz late Tuesday that a decision on whether to commit long-term to the Big 12 or leave for a potential Big Ten invitation could come Friday and a Big 12 executive told the Omaha World-Herald that Nebraska could decide to join the Big Ten as early as Friday. However, the source told Katz the consensus within the athletic department is that Nebraska wouldn’t separate itself from the Big 12 without some assurance that a Big Ten invitation would come.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that FoxSports in Ohio says an invitation from the Big Ten to Nebraska is either on its way, or already been issued.  If that happens, the Cornhuskers are now part of “Big Ten Country.”

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“Decades of Epic Fail”

The NRSC’s web people apparently have been waiting for that primary out in California to be over; one wonders how long they were sitting on this puppy.

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Taco Bell Wants to Bring Back the Jefferson

$2 Bills?  Don’t think I’ve had one of those in my hand since high school.

From Washington Whispers:

A public relations stunt by one of the nation’s largest fast-food chains could expand circulation of $2 bills, a favorite of collectors and older Americans. Taco Bell tells Whispers that they plan to go public with a campaign tomorrow when they will pay for a full-page ad in USA Today to urge the government to print and circulate the little-used $2 bill.

The effort is part of the restaurant’s bid to promote its new $2 meals. To build the effort, the firm has started a Facebook page to collect signatures on a petition. The $2 bill hasn’t been in demand and production for years and accounts for less than 1 percent of all bills in circulation, said the firm. The last one was printed in 2006.

The company thought it would be a quirky way to promote the $2 bill and its new $2 menu. In an excerpt provided to Whispers, Taco Bell’s USA Today ad reads: “This summer, more than ever, Americans are searching for value. Here’s our solution. Cooler than a $5. Twice as powerful as a $1. And thanks to our new $2 Meal Deal, only at Taco Bell can Americans get three items for two bucks. Which is why we’re writing to you today: Taco Bell is asking the Federal Reserve to circulate more $2 bills. As we head into the summer season, please help us better serve the American consumer by circulating more $2 bills. We’ll be happy to discuss this in-person. We’ll bring the Chicken Burrito, Doritos and Pepsi. You bring the Jefferson.”

Traditionally, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving only prints $2 bills about once a decade.  There’s just never been too much call for the circulation of them out there.  Best of luck to Taco Bell on their publicity stunt.

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Quote of the Day

Blogger Mickey Klaus, in his concession statement. (Via InstaPundit)

I’m a blogger. I spent about $40,000. I had one part-time aide, a recent college grad who was prepping for his LSATs. We had no headquarters, no pollsters, no highly paid strategists and consultants. We had a couple of laptops and an old Volvo. And we still ripped off more than 100,000 votes from a three term incumbent because there is a large group of voters who are dissatisfied with the prevailing dogma of the Democratic party. . . . The pols are leading us down a dead end. This election has shown their weakness.

100,000 votes on only $40,000.  Not a bad return on investment.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Let the Razorback Blame Game Begin

It isn’t even midnight yet on the East Coast as I type this and already a budding Civil War between the Obama White House and the traditionally-friendly Union groups such as the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and others over the result of the Democratic Primary Runoff in Arkansas.  There, the White House and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee backed incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln, while the unions poured some $10 Million dollars to support Lt. Governor Bill Halter.

Here’s what the White House told Ben Smith at the Politico after the results came in.

A senior White House official just called me with a very pointed message for the administration’s sometime allies in organized labor, who invested heavily in beating Blanche Lincoln, Obama’s candidate, in Arkanas.

“Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toiled on a pointless exercise,” the official said. “If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.”

Lincoln relied heavily both on Obama’s endorsement, which she advertised relentlessly on radio and in the mail, and on the backing of former President Bill Clinton, who backed her to the hilt.

Lincoln foe Bill Halter had the unstinting support of the AFL-CIO , SEIU, AFSCME, and other major unions.

Labor has spun the Halter loss as a “moral victory,” and they responded to Smith less than twenty minutes after he went to press with the above.

The major labor federation AFL-CIO took sharp objection tonight to a White House official’s assessment that they’d “flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet” in the “pointless exercise” of supporting the failed bid of Bill Halter to unseat Senator Blanche Lincoln.

“If that’s their take on this, then they severely misread how the electorate feels and how we’re running our political program. When we say we’re only going to support elected officials who support our issues,” said AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale. “When they say we should have targeted our money among some key house races among Blue Dog Democrats –that ain’t happening.”

“Labor isn’t an arm of the Democratic Party,” Vale said. “It exists to suport working families. And that’s what we said tonight, and that’s what we’re gong to keep saying.”

Labor not an arm of the Democratic Party…wow, they sure had me fooled.  I guess I’ll just bare it as coincidence that half the events at this upcoming weekend’s Democratic Party of Wisconsin State Convention are sponsored by organized labor in one way, shape, or form as pure coincidence.

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Photo of the Day

From the State GOP, a picture of their billboard advertisement on the road leading to their state convention; scheduled for this weekend in Middleton, just northwest of Madison.

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Survey Says…Bigger Liberal You Are, Bigger Economic Idiot You Are

Gee…one would have thought the last 16 months would have been enough of a case study, and they could have avoided the academic study?  Guess not.

Admittedly, I first heard about this survey a few weeks ago, but one of the researchers, George Mason University Economics Professor Daniel Klein has a nice op-ed on the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page today.  Here it is:

Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents’ (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian.

Rather than focusing on whether respondents answered a question correctly, we instead looked at whether they answered incorrectly. A response was counted as incorrect only if it was flatly unenlightened.

Consider one of the economic propositions in the December 2008 poll: “Restrictions on housing development make housing less affordable.” People were asked if they: 1) strongly agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) somewhat disagree; 4) strongly disagree; 5) are not sure.

Basic economics acknowledges that whatever redeeming features a restriction may have, it increases the cost of production and exchange, making goods and services less affordable. There may be exceptions to the general case, but they would be atypical.

Therefore, we counted as incorrect responses of “somewhat disagree” and “strongly disagree.” This treatment gives leeway for those who think the question is ambiguous or half right and half wrong. They would likely answer “not sure,” which we do not count as incorrect.

In this case, percentage of conservatives answering incorrectly was 22.3%, very conservatives 17.6% and libertarians 15.7%. But the percentage of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly was 67.6% and liberals 60.1%. The pattern was not an anomaly.

The other questions were: 1) Mandatory licensing of professional services increases the prices of those services (unenlightened answer: disagree). 2) Overall, the standard of living is higher today than it was 30 years ago (unenlightened answer: disagree). 3) Rent control leads to housing shortages (unenlightened answer: disagree). 4) A company with the largest market share is a monopoly (unenlightened answer: agree). 5) Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited (unenlightened answer: agree). 6) Free trade leads to unemployment (unenlightened answer: agree). 7) Minimum wage laws raise unemployment (unenlightened answer: disagree).

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

Americans in the first three categories do reasonably well. But the left has trouble squaring economic thinking with their political psychology, morals and aesthetics.

UW Law Professor and blogger Ann Althouse points out the next couple of paragraphs in the article, which even to me shows that the survey be tweaked to get a more insightful answer that would give a better picture on the subject.

To be sure, none of the eight questions specifically challenge the political sensibilities of conservatives and libertarians. Still, not all of the eight questions are tied directly to left-wing concerns about inequality and redistribution. In particular, the questions about mandatory licensing, the standard of living, the definition of monopoly, and free trade do not specifically challenge leftist sensibilities.

Yet on every question the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31%) was more than twice that of conservatives (13%) and more than four times that of libertarians (7%). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61%) was more than four times that of conservatives (13%) and almost three times that of libertarians (21%).

I’ve known plenty of folks who are politically-liberal (admittedly, mostly on social issues) but are very intelligent on economic issues.  That said, I do believe Dr. Klein is on to something with his initially findings.

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