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Archive for December, 2010

Marty Beil No Doubt Approves

Old news by now, the if true, this fills the stereotype of every public employee union in the country.

Selfish Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts — a disastrous move that turned streets into a minefield for emergency-services vehicles, The Post has learned.

Miles of roads stretching from as north as Whitestone, Queens, to the south shore of Staten Island still remained treacherously unplowed last night because of the shameless job action, several sources and a city lawmaker said, which was over a raft of demotions, attrition and budget cuts.

“They sent a message to the rest of the city that these particular labor issues are more important,” said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was visited yesterday by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed the shameless plot.

Halloran said he met with three plow workers from the Sanitation Department — and two Department of Transportation supervisors who were on loan — at his office after he was flooded with irate calls from constituents.

The snitches “didn’t want to be identified because they were afraid of retaliation,” Halloran said. “They were told [by supervisors] to take off routes [and] not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file.”

New York’s Strongest used a variety of tactics to drag out the plowing process — and pad overtime checks — which included keeping plows slightly higher than the roadways and skipping over streets along their routes, the sources said.

The snow-removal snitches said they were told to keep their plows off most streets and to wait for orders before attacking the accumulating piles of snow.

Word out of New York is Mayor Bloomberg is doing what he always does when it’s crisis time: Sit in a corner sucking his thumb.  Reports are New York State out-going Governor David Paterson may be the one investigating the New York Post‘s article.

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2010 Predictions: How’d I Do?

To read the original post, go here.

And away we go…

1: Oil will trade at over $100 a barrel for a portion of 2010, sending gas prices again over the $3 a gallon barrier.  Congress will do nothing to alleviate the price spike (i.e. increase domestic supply) and do the usual (Sue OPEC, Blame Speculators, Hold Congressional Hearings with Oil Copany Executives, etc.) song and dance.

International currencies — especially the U.S. Dollar and the Euro — tanked to such a level that the price of oil this year was more of a function of exchange rates than of supplies.  Gas never reached $3 a gallon until the closing weeks.


2: No liberal blogger in Wisconsin will predict Scott Walker will win the Governor’s Mansion, while no conservative blogger in Wisconsin will predict Tom Barrett will win the Governor’s Mansion.

Was dead on about the liberal bloggers, as for conservative bloggers…my habit of never reading her blog, along with not knowing her pathological hatred of Scott Walker made me completely forget that Cindy Kilkenny was out there.

As for Cindy’s standing as a “conservative blogger,” well…that is open to debate among the remnants of the BBA and has been for years.


3: Wisconsin’s outstanding budget mess is bigger than anyone expects it to be or has been sold in the press.  Due to the manipulation of the 2009-2010 budget by JFC co-chairs Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) and State Senator Mark Miller (D-Madison) to avoid a politically suicidal vote in an election year, the 2011 budget repair bill will be left to the next Governor and Legislature, and hence part of the 2010 Governor’s race.

The state budget repair bill’s total price tag is anywhere between $100 to $300 Million; and the overall state structural deficit is in the $3 to $4 Billion range.  This is a mess and a half to clean-up.

The budget hole was THE issue — along with jobs and the economy — during the Governor’s race.


4: Bob Ziegelbauer will be re-elected as Manitowoc County’s County Executive to another four-year term.

Re-elected by a margin of 57% to 43%.


5: “An Institutional Magazine” like TIME, Newsweek, or U.S. News & World Report will either close its doors and end the magazine or go completely digital.

Newsweek was sold for $1 to the husband of a California Democratic Congresswoman and then merged with Tina Brown’s “The Daily Beast.”  It still produces a weekly, but it’s clearly on a downward spiral.

UPDATE FROM COMMENTS – Steveegg points out to me that U.S. News & World Report is indeed going completely digital after it’s December issue; the statement from the publishers is here.  It came out in early November.  I was sort of busy at that time.


6: The only Wisconsin sports team (Pro or Division I) to either win or get close to winning a sports championship will be UW-Madison’s Women’s Hockey Team.

Right school, right sport, wrong gender.  The UW-Madison’s MEN’s Hockey team made the NCAA Championship, but lost it to Boston College with a score of 5-0.


6a: UW-Whitewater will have its third consecutive D-3 Football Championship match-up against Mount Union.

The match-up (Actually the 6th consecutive) happened, like clockwork, on December 18th.  UW-Whitewater was the victor, just like in 2009.


7: The NFL and the NFLPA will not reach a new collective bargaining agreement, increasing the chances of the 2010 season being “Uncapped” and the 2011 season being possibly played by replacement players.

The 2010 season was indeed “Uncapped” — it’s how the Vikings were able to increase Brett Favre’s salary by $3M without a moment’s notice — and despite talk of a “CBA” by the next Super Bowl, no new one currently exists.


8:  Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan stays put and is not removed from office.

Still there and glad to hear he sought help for his dependency.


9) Neither the Packers or the Vikings are the NFC representative to Super Bowl XLIV.

The Saints did.  Winning the game over the Colts.


10) “Iron Man 2” out-performs the original at the box office.

Opening Weekend “Iron Man” – $98,618,668.  Opening Weekend “Iron Man 2” – $128,122,480.


11) For the second straight year, Fox Broadcast wins the ratings battle of the four major broadcast networks.  NBC reconsiders the move of Jay Leno to 10 Eastern/9 Central.

The train wreck of the most-recent season of “American Idol,”  just barely put Fox above CBS for the year.  Had the Leno-NBC stuff spot-on within a month of the original post.


12) Something called “Health Insurance Reform” passes both chambers of Congress, but it never is enacted as it is held up perpetually in the Courts.

ObamaCare came to pass in March of this year, and the lawsuits followed.  Already the one in Virginia has struck a possible deathblow to the Individual Mandate and the big one in Florida (That’s the one with 22-plus Attorney Generals, soon to include Wisconsin’s J.B Van Hollen, suing in Federal Court.) is set to be heard in the new year.


13) Justice John Paul Stevens will retire from the Supreme Court of the United States.

Yeah, this was a no-brainer.  It’s why I predicted it.  Greetings Associate Justice Kagan.


14) A major social network (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace) will go out of business.

Sadly, my hoped demise of MySpace did not come to pass; but I have yet to run into anyone older than 25 who admits to still having a “MySpace.”


15) The GOP will capture the State Senate by capturing at least two seats and the State Assembly by capturing five or six seats while losing only the Brett Davis seat.

GOP actually captured four seats (5th, 21st, 23rd, and 29th) and retained the one seat Democrats thought they had a shot at — the 1st with the return of Frank Lasee to state politics.   As for the Assembly, the GOP gained 13 seats and we saw the 80th Assembly District fall into Democratic hands.


16) Scott Walker wins the Governor’s election 52% to 48% over Tom Barrett.

Walker won the Governor’s election by a 52% to 47% margin.


17) J.B. Van Hollen wins re-election as Wisconsin’s Attorney General.

Van Hollen beat Scott Hassett 58% to 42%.


18) Dawn Marie Sass doesn’t survive her primary challenger for re-election for State Treasurer.  (No prediction for General election since GOP candidate Joe Punzel just announced he was withdrawing from the race.)

Marie Sass’ primary opponent got weighed down in a scandal if I remember correctly and dropped out.  She would go on the lose to Kurt Schuller for the State Treasurer position.


19) Russ Feingold is re-elected to the U.S. Senate.

Never before have I been more proud to have helped prove myself wrong.


20) Despite headlines in Politico and the MSM, desires of liberal Democrats, and noise made by fights between the NRSC/RNC/NRCC and the blog RedState and others, no “Civil War” ever materializes between “Establishment Republicans” and “the Tea Party Movement” in 2010.

Do I need to go into the countless media headlines which proved me right?


21) GOP nonetheless captures four to seven Senate seats.  One of them being Connecticut’s Chris Dodd who refuses to retire or step aside to help ensure the seat stays in Democratic hands.  The GOP captures between 25 to 30 House seats.  In Wisconsin, history repeats itself, but not in a manner Steve Kagen wants.  Like in 1978, a Roth defeats a two-term Democrat in WI-08 who used two straight cycles of anti-Republican sentiment to stay in Congress.  In WI-03, Kapanke makes it close, but comes up short.  While in WI-07, Sean Duffy fails in his bid, but is close enough he’s put at the top of the list of “go-to guys” to run for the seat when Obey final retires.

Okay, let’s break this down….

GOP gained 6 U.S. Senate seats.

GOP gained 63 House seats.

Chris Dodd retired, his seat won by a guy who made up a story he served in Vietnam but never did over the wife of the WWE guy.  (Connecticut politics used to be so boring until 2006…)

Kagen lost, but to Reid Ribble who beat Roth by a 2 to1 margin in the GOP Primary.

Obey retired in a move no one saw was coming in May of 2010 and Duffy captured the seat in 2010 over a lackluster campaign by Julie Lassa.

Kapanke made it close, but came up short.

(One-Quarter Correct)

22) Speaking of Congressional retirements, talk begins to swirl after November about Sensenbrenner, Petri, Obey, and Kohl all being possible retirements.

In the past month, we’ve all seen the begging of Madison liberals to get Herb Kohl to retire to bring back Russ Feingold and I’ve heard ponders about Petri hanging it up which I don’t buy.

Obey already is gone, and Sensenbrenner is wished retired by liberals throughout the state.

(Half Correct)

23) I finally breakdown and buy one of the following tech devices this year: A Digital SLR camera, an HD TV of 720P or more, or the new rumored Apple tablet.

Bought none of the above.  Got a new Toshiba laptop instead.  Probably getting the D-SLR camera and TV in 2011, waiting until I need and iPad to get an iPad.


24) There will be more talk about Brewers GM Doug Melvin’s off-season moves (or lack thereof) than Packers GM Ted Thompson’ off-season moves (or lack thereof).

Actually thought I had blown this one, and then Melvin makes the trade for Zach Greinke and makes the 2011 Brewers pitching rotation a potential force to be reckoned with.


The Cardinals again repeat as NL Central Champions.  The Phillies win the World Series.

We saw the return of “The Big Red Machine” as Cincinnati is crowned NL Central Champions, Phillies lose in the NLCS to the eventual World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.


25) Neither Steven Avery or Brandon Dassey will be granted a new trial for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

Avery was denied his request for a new trial in January (he’s appealing that decision); Dassey saw his request denied earlier this month.  No word if Dassey is going to appeal.


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Guess What Dennis, It Happens

CNN is reporting that since Ohio isn’t just losing one, but two Congressional Districts in the 2012 redistricting due to the Census, the likeliest targets will be one of the areas around Cleveland — which is losing people in droves because of decades of economic malaise.

(The futility of their sports teams is just an unfortunate curse happening to otherwise good people)

Not waiting to see if he is the one who will suddenly find himself in a newly-drawn district competing against another Democrat, liberal firebrand Dennis Kucinch isn’t wasting any time rallying his current constituents for his next race.

The state of Ohio will lose two congressional seats thanks to the latest U.S. Census figures, and liberal stalwart Dennis Kucinich is worried his seat is on the chopping block.

In an e-mail to supporters Wednesday, the seven-term Democratic congressman and two-time presidential candidate says the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature is likely to eliminate his heavily Democratic Cleveland-area district.

But Kucinich says he’s not just going to stand by while that happens.

“I will not wait until a new Ohio map is produced to begin this crucial discussion of the consequences of congressional redistricting,” writes Kucinich. “I will not wait until the Ohio Legislature produces a new map to start thinking of the options. The question will not be: Who is my opponent? The question will be: Where is my district? Seriously.”

He’s also calling on supporters for ideas on how to proceed:

“We are going to have to prepare for a different kind of election, possibly in a different place because my district may be eliminated. We are going to have to organize in a different way, now. The question will remain: Where? This discussion is consequential. Please participate by providing your insight and advice.”

‘A different kind of election,’ yes Congressman Kucinch, it’s called “A Primary.”

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Today’s Sign the End is Nigh

The Wikileaks guy has reportedly signed a book deal worth $1.5 Million for his memoirs.

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder currently out on bail following his arrest on a sex-crimes warrant, confirmed Sunday that he has landed a lucrative deal for his autobiography.

He said the sum — about $1.5 million — will be used to fight the allegations that he sexually assaulted two women in Sweden. The deal is with U.K. publisher Canongate, who will handle the translation rights according to business website Daily Finance, and U.S. publisher Alfred A. Knopf, who will provide the bulk of the salary to the tune of $800,000.

“I don’t want to write this book, but I have to,” Assange told Britain’s Sunday Times. “I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat.”

Wikileaks, which continues to cause international controversy for its releasing of nearly 250,000 classified US State Department cables, has been facing further financial difficulties after Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard and PayPal blocked donations to the site.

Assange remains in Britain fighting Sweden’s efforts to extradite him for the sexual assault claims. A hearing in London is scheduled for February 7. There have also been reports that the U.S. is looking at ways to extradite him for the State Department leaks.

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My Favorite Christmas Tradition

NORAD continues to track Santa; and here’s why.

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.

Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world. In addition, we now track Santa using the internet. Millions of people who want to know Santa’s whereabouts now visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website.

Google has been helping with the tradition in recent years, using their analytical software to pinpoint where those visiting the website are coming from and its “Google Earth” map program now gives you a “3D” look of the jolly fat-man’s trip around the world.  Also, searches of “Santa” on your mobile phone’s Google Maps Application will get you the live-track on your phone.

The entire thing is made possible through the donations and charity of “evil, soulless, multi-national corporations.”

He should be in Chinese airspace as of this morning.

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Wisconsin Prison Population Declining

The snarky, immature College Republican in me wants to go “HA HA!” to United Council.  This really puts a drag in their usual complaint about where their money goes come state budget time.

(Not that it will stop them mind you…)

It’s been getting a little less crowded in Wisconsin’s prisons. Department of Corrections Secretary Rick Raemisch says the number of inmates in state prisons was at about 22,000 at the end of fiscal year 2009, down nearly 1,800 over the past three years. The numbers reflect a three-percent drop in the population over the last five years.

Raemisch says it’s the result of efforts launched by Governor Jim Doyle nearly eight years ago, with a push for programs that hold offenders accountable and give them the tools needed to avoid re-offending when they get out of prison.

Raemisch says there are actually empty beds now in Wisconsin’s prisons, which translates into some big savings for the state. It costs about $33,000 a year to house an inmate in a Wisconsin prison, compared to about $3,000 to properly supervise them in the community.

As of earlier this year, the state’s prison population was up slightly for 2010.

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Priebus Nets Big Fish in RNC Chairman’s Race

Don’t know if it will seal the deal for him, but it’s going to send some shock waves inside the RNC’s upper echelon.

One of the best-known conservative voices on the Republican National Committee will support Reince Priebus in the race for national party chairman next month, according to an email sent to committee members today.

Priebus, the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party, has won backing from Indiana national committee member Jim Bopp, a prominent Republican attorney and the founder of a group of conservative members of the RNC.

Bopp’s group, the Republican National Conservative Caucus, was formed just before the 2009 RNC election. Many saw it as a way to coalesce behind a candidate other than Michael Steele, who went on to win the chairmanship.

Priebus “has successfully employed in Wisconsin and intends to implement in the RNC a leadership team approach, which I believe is vital for any Chairman’s success. This means bring together a top notched group of RNC members and professionals … to guide the RNC’s activities,” Bopp wrote in an email to fellow RNC members.

Bopp’s endorsement means 18 of the 168 members of the RNC publicly back Priebus, far more than support any other candidate for the chairmanship. And Bopp’s endorsement will help Priebus convince wavering conservatives that he is the right candidate for the job.

Bopp’s name may be familiar to some in Wisconsin.  He was lead attorney during the Wisconsin Right to Life vs. FEC Supreme Court case in 2007 which was the first break in the dam of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance bill.

Bopp has also been a constant and vocal critic of current RNC Chairman Michael Steele.  By getting the Bopp endorsement, that should help alleviate fears being tossed around by some trying to say Reince would be a second Steele Chairmanship; something he won’t for sure.

CNN has the full letter Bopp wrote to the 168 voting members here.  This is the meat of it:

As to vision, it has two parts in my view. First is how one understands the proper role of the RNC within the current political environment. Years ago, we elected Politicians as our “Leaders,” who told the People what government policies they should support and what Politicians they should elect. The Party was a support group for the Politicians. This paradigm has been destroyed. The most prominent manifestation of this is the tea party movement, but it is universal, cutting across all ideological lines. Now, it is the People who are in charge, who are the leaders. Politicians are elected to do a job that the People need done and the Party is to be the People’s agent, holding Politicians accountable for carrying out the will of the People.

The second part is that what we do as a Party and our Politicians do in office must be based on the core Republican principles contained in our Party Platform. When we deviate for this, as in 2006 and 2008, we suffer defeat; when we embrace them, as in 2010, we achieve victory.

By this measure, I have found Reince, based on his actions as Wisc. Chairman, on his efforts as General Counsel, and on my in depth discussions with him, to have the best grasp of both parts of this vision. He is willing to implement this vision as RNC Chairman. I think he understands that we need more active RNC member participation and that members need to be empowered to hold the leadership accountable.

As to skill set, first Reince has the personal characteristics, analytical mind and communication abilities to be an effective Chairman. Second, he has the demonstrated management, administrative and fundraising ability. I have major conservative clients in Wisconsin and they are unanimous in verifying this. Third, he has successfully employed in Wisconsin and intends to implement in the RNC a leadership team approach, which I believe is vital for any Chairman’s success. This means bring together a top notched group of RNC members and professionals together to guide the RNC’s activities.

Finally, are there any disqualifiers? I have already publicly spoken of this and I invite you consider my findings, after asking the hard questions and seeking verifications where appropriate.

I particularly wanted to mention that the concern about his involvement in his law firm’s effort to profit on stimulus funds is not well founded. I have talked to the people at the law firm and have found that his name was listed as involved in this project without his knowledge or consent and that a review of his billing records discloses that he did not work on this project.

As a result, I believe that Reince Priebus is the best choice for Chairman. It was a close decision, particularly between Saul [Anuzis, Michigan Committeeman] and Reince, since I think Ann [Wagner] has an insurmountable difficulty reaching a majority of the votes, because of our unfair gender requirement for Co-Chairman.

Priebus, Anuzis, and Wagner are seen as the top three candidates for the position not named Michael Steele.

The “disqualifiers” Bopp mentions is a nonsense story being circulated — mostly by conservative blogs backing Wagner — saying that Priebus set up a division at his law firm, Michael Best & Friedrich, to help companies in Wisconsin navigate the compliance of regulations for the stimulus bill.  MBF and Priebus have denied he was ever part of the work and his name was placed on the project by mistake.

If, as MBF is telling Bopp, the firm has the billing records showing Priebus was never involved, that should end the story to any concerned RNC Committee members.

Same probably can’t be said about Dan Riehl, the blogger who started it all.  He may still be calling anyone who thought Christine O’Donnell had no chance of winning in the Delaware Senate race was not a true conservative.

(Yeah Dan, we preferred to be called “Realists.”)

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Incoming House GOP Announces Rule Changes

I especially like this one.

On the spending front, Republicans plan to implement a series of rules called CUT/GO — a conservative answer to the PAY/GO rules instituted by Democrats. Under CUT/GO, increases in mandatory spending would have to be offset by spending cuts in other programs. Mandatory spending refers to the autopilot portion of the budget covering Social Security, Medicare and other programs designed to make payouts based on eligibility criteria rather than a set dollar figure each year.

Under CUT/GO, offsets could not be achieved by raising taxes, according to the summary.

In addition, GOP leaders will eliminate the so-called Gephardt Rule, which has long allowed House members to avoid a direct vote on raising the nation’s debt ceiling. The rule provided that a bill increasing the debt limit was automatically generated when the House adopted a conference report on the annual budget resolution.

As someone who had to read more about “PAYGO” in the past eight months than he thought was possible, the House GOP’s “CUT/GO” will have actual teeth to it.  “PAYGO” has been a joke — especially under past Congresses.  To put it to you another way, all spending under the Obama Administration — where they increased the national debt to the tune of over 3 Trillion dollars — was legal under the PAYGO rules.

This way seems to actually do something about increases in government spending since past PAYGO “offsets” have never been offset in future budgets.

As for the elimination of “the Gephardt Rule,” that’s a transparency and accountability measure which should have happened a long time ago.  (Gephardt’s been out of Congress since 2004 if my memory’s correct.)  Not only in the past has Congress hid the debt limit increase in budget resolutions, but they hid them in controversial bills like TARP, the Stimulus, and various “must-pass” Omnibus spending bills.

Other rules the House GOP are implementing or returning are term limits on committee chairmanships to six years (Dave Obey and Charlie Rangel demanded that one had to go after the 2006 midterms),  restoring or changing the names of some committees, and limiting access to the “Members Only” gymnasium for ex-members of Congress who become lobbyists.

The only real question is how the Chairman rules will apply to the current sitting ranking members who are set to become the Chairman of these committees.   If that rule applies, Paul Ryan will only have this Congress to be House Budget Chairman since he has been Ranking Member since 2007.

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MKE Television Viewers Discover NCAA Football is a Cartel

I’m not one of those “Congress Must Break Up the BCS” people.

For starters, I believe it has much more important things to deal with than college football.  Secondly, believe the act of even holding a hearing on the subject is a gross over-extension of Congress’s use of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution (Sorry Senators from Utah who root for BYU and Utah.).

Finally, I went to a Division III football school (UW-Eau Claire), where an actual champion is crowned on the field, not by a computer program.

But this just continues to highlight that the NCAA gave up on the best wishes of student athletes decades ago.  TV cash is King.

The request by WISN-TV (Channel 12) to carry the Rose Bowl has been declined, said Jan Wade, the station’s president and general manager Monday.

This is the first year that the Rose Bowl has not been available on free TV.

As part of a four year agreement with the Bowl Championship series, cable sports channel ESPN has exclusive rights to the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl and BCS championship through 2014.

The Rose Bowl is played Jan. 1, and because the Wisconsin Badgers are playing WISN-TV had hoped to be allowed to broadcast ESPN’s coverage of the game, as it does when the Green Bay Packers play on Monday Night Football.

In an e-mail, Wade said that the decision to not let them carry the game did not come from ESPN, but from the NCAA “who does not operate under the same ‘home market’ rules that the NFL does.”

The station also had its request for a “viewing party” declined “again due to a rights issue,” Wade said.

No report yet for the other TV markets in the state and if they requested waivers or not.  Given how the NCAA is, they will probably be coming shortly.

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HHS Bought “ObamaCare” Google Search

(H/T George Scoville of the CATO Institute)

The White House clearly has lost the branding war over it’s top policy initiative.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has bought a Google advertisement to steer people searching for “ObamaCare” to a page that is customized to detect searchers’ locations and steer them both to local health insurance information and to a list of “what’s in the law for you.”

“We are using a bunch of search term[s] to help point people to HealthCare.gov. Part of our online efforts to help get accurate information to people about the new law (i.e. also use Facebook, Twitter, blogs and webcasts),” an HHS official confirmed by e-mail.

For those unfamiliar with how Google Search ads work — here’s a refresher when two firms of trial lawyers in Wisconsin went at it over Google ads — you pretty much pay Google a certain amount to make sure your website or link appears as the first page in a search.  This method of advertising is actually how Google makes most of its revenue I’ve been told.

So, the question I have is this:  What sort of bidding war did (or could) go on with the White House and various conservative groups opposed to the health care law to lock down this specific search?

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