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Poll: majority believe Obama has changed country for the worse
Numbers show Unemployment Rate Drops in states with GOP gov

“A new poll for The Hill”, reports Sheldon Alberts in that journal, “found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

Meanwhile “every single one” of the 17 states elected new Republican governors in November 2010 . . .

. . . has seen its unemployment rate decline since January 2011. Three of them have had unemployment drop by more than 2% (Michigan, Florida, and Nevada). The average drop in the unemployment rate in these states was 1.35%. For a comparison, in January 2011 the U.S. national unemployment rate stood at 9.1%. It is currently 8.2%, meaning that the national unemployment rate has declined by just 0.9% since then. Based on these percentages, it can be said that the job market in states with new Republican governors is improving a full 50% faster than the job market nationally.

By contrast, the “average drop in the unemployment rate in” states which elected a new Democratic governor “0.95%, approximately the same as the drop seen nationally.”  (H/t Weasel Zippers via a formerly left-leaning lesbian reader’s Facebook page.)

Wonder how much many more jobs would have been created had the president, through his big-government policies, not changed the nation for the worse.  Mr. Romney would do well to highlight some of the Republican executives’ successful policies to better contrast them with the president’s failed agenda.

With just such a contrast, the presumptive Republican nominee can help make the elecction “a referendum on the incumbent” — and his policies.  If it is just such a referendum, as Ed Morrissey writes, looking at the Hill poll, “as re-election efforts almost always are — then Obama’s going to need to keep that champagne on ice permanently.

More fascination with Romney’s handful of fundraisers in tony locales than with Obama’s multiple such shindigs?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:09 pm - July 9, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Last month, Tina Daunt reported in the Hollywood Reporter that

Some of the president’s most ardent entertainment industry supporters quietly tell The Hollywood Reporter that while they realize he needs to deploy all of his weapons to compete with deep-pocketed Republican super PACs, they fear the increasing reliance on stars and celebrity contests could backfire with swing voters and mobilize the right.

. . . .

Reaction was particularly strong to the $40,000-a-plate dinner co-hosted June 14 by Sarah Jessica Parker and Vogue editorAnna Wintour with guests including Meryl StreepAretha Franklin and Bravo’s Andy Cohen. Critics say the tony, heavily promoted event­ — Parker sent an e-mail to supporters promising the evening would be “fabulous,” and Wintour posted a video online urging supporters to enter a lottery for two tickets — risked creating the impression of an elitist, out-of-touch candidate in a period of ongoing distress and growing economic inequality.

Two weeks earlier, Charlie Spiering counted 28 celebrity fundraisers that president had attended.  And yesterday some folks were all a-flutter that Mr. Obama’s rival had attended three fundraisers on a “tony stretch of Long Island.

Despite this media buzz, it’s important to note which candidate has attended more fundraisers in such tony locales  — and with such high rollers. (more…)

In memoriam Ernest Borgnine–a great actor & a good man

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:48 am - July 9, 2012.
Filed under: Great Men,Hollywood Legends,Movies/Film & TV

One of the truly great character actors of the last century has passed.  According to IMDb, “Ernest Borgnine, the rugged, stocky actor with a brassy voice and the face of the local butcher, died today in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of renal failure. He was 95.”

A few years ago at Outfest, I had the good fortune to meet this great actor and good man.  He was attending the screening of a film in which, I believe, he played a bit part.  He was a real class act, agreeing to pose for pictures with volunteers and other festival patrons.  When I told him how much I enjoyed his performance in Marty (for which he won an Oscar) — and how that film has stood the test of time, moving us still today, his face lit up in a smile.  “We made a good picture”, he said.

This the concluding scene from that very, very good picture.

He didn’t always play lovable butchers, playing heavies in such films as From Here to EternityBad Day at Black Rock and The Wild Bunch.  And although he was, in life, a nice guy, on screen he made the malice of this dark characters readily manifest.

To my father’s generation, he was one of the most ubiquitous and versatile character actors on the big screen and the lead in the TV series, McHale’s Navy for which he won an Emmy nomination.  My generation got him in TV movies and mini-series.  And my nieces and nephews know him primarily as Mermaidman on the long-running cartoon, SpongeBob SquarePants.  This first generation American (his parents were born in Italy) has indeed had a distinguished career.

Ernest Borgnine has been gainfully employed in the entertainment industry for over six decades — and leaves behind an incredible body of work, including a number of classic films.  He will be missed, but his performances will endure.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  “He”, observed ohiochili, “could make you believe he was a saint or a scumbag.”  Yes, he could.

Romney needs make clear his plan for economic growth

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:45 am - July 9, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Economy,Real Reform

On FoxNews Sunday yesterday, Bill Kristol pointed to a poll which showed why Mitt Romney is lagging in the polls despite the sour economy:

“I think the Fox News poll actually has the key to what the problem is for the Mitt Romney campaign. Do you think Barack Obama has a clear plan for improving the economy or not? Yes, 41; no 53. It’s not great for an incumbent president. The economy is slow. And you are only at 41-53,” said Kristol.

“Do you think his challenger, Gov. Romney, has a clear plan for improving the economy or not? Yes, 27; No, 55,” he continued.

“I don’t think you can beat an incumbent president, even if the economy is slow, if 27 percent of the voters think you as the challenger don’t have a clear plan for improving the economy,” Kristol said.

Although Kristol tends to be a Gloomy Gus. He’s on to something here. So, just read the whole thing.

Given how close the polls are — and how high are Mr. Obama’s negatives, Romney could vault into the lead with a good one-two punch, one, fire back against the Democrat’s dishonest TV ads and two, make clear his plan for improving the economy and spell it out repeatedly at campaign stop and in TV spots.

Americans are far more familiar with Mr. Obama than they are with Mr. Romney, making it much harder for the Democrat to move his numbers.  If voters don’t think the president, after three-and-one-half years in office has a plan on the economy, there’s little he can do in the next four months to convince them he does.

Romney, however, remains unfamiliar to most voters, particularly those who have yet to tune in to the campaign.

With just over one-quarter of voters believing Romney has a clear plan for improving the economy, it’s amazing he’s running as well as he is when the economy top voters’ concerns.  Imagine how much better his numbers would be if just 40 percent of Americans thought he had a clear plan. (more…)