Santorum, Rubio, Tops for VP Slot

Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio are the top two choices among U.S. Republican voters as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday.

Eighteen percent of Republican registered voters picked former Pennsylvania Senator Santorum out of a list of 19 potential running mates for Romney, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee in the Nov. 6 general election.

Seventeen percent chose Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida. Rubio was also the most popular pick among members of the Tea Party movement, a group that Romney wants to win over as he works to solidify his support among the party’s conservatives after a divisive primary fight.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush were tied for third among Republicans, with 13-percent support, and 12 percent picked former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

None of the other potential vice presidential picks was higher than 6 percent, largely because they are unfamiliar to most voters, Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson said.

Congressman Paul Ryan, well known in Washington for his cost-cutting budget plan, was one big name with scant support at just 4 percent. Despite campaigning with Romney in Wisconsin recently in what was seen as a try out for a possible vice presidential nomination, Ryan was familiar to only a third of the registered voters polled.

Almost a quarter of Tea Party members picked Rubio in the online poll, compared with 16-percent support among the group for Santorum, who ended his own presidential run last month.

But Rubio might not be the best choice of running mate if Romney wants to appeal to independent voters in the general election against President Barack Obama.

The 40-year-old Cuban-American senator was backed by only 4 percent of independents, behind other top Republican names mentioned in the vice presidential stakes.

There has been speculation he might help Romney win over Hispanics, with whom he trails Obama by a whopping 40 percentage points, but early polling has not borne that out.

Attribution: Newsmax

Pro-Choice

By Thomas Sowell:

Labor unions, like the United Nations, are all too often judged by what they are envisioned as being — not by what they actually are or what they actually do.

Many people, who do not look beyond the vision or the rhetoric to the reality, still think of labor unions as protectors of working people from their employers. And union bosses still employ that kind of rhetoric. However, someone once said, “When I speak I put on a mask, but when I act I must take it off.”

That mask has been coming off, more and more, especially during the Obama administration, and what is revealed underneath is very ugly, very cynical and very dangerous.

First there was the grossly misnamed “Employee Free Choice Act” that the administration tried to push through Congress. What it would have destroyed was precisely what it claimed to be promoting — a free choice by workers as to whether or not they wanted to join a labor union.

Ever since the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, workers have been able to express their free choice of joining or not joining a labor union in a federally conducted election with a secret ballot.

As workers in the private sector have, over the years, increasingly voted to reject joining labor unions, union bosses have sought to replace secret ballots with signed documents — signed in the presence of union organizers and under the pressures, harassments or implicit threats of those organizers.

Now that the Obama administration has appointed a majority of the members of the National Labor Relations Board, the NLRB leadership has imposed new requirements that employers supply union organizers with the names and home addresses of every employee. Nor do employees have a right to decline to have this personal information given out to union organizers, under NLRB rules.

In other words, union organizers will now have the legal right to pressure, harass or intimidate workers on the job or in their own homes, in order to get them to sign up with the union. Among the consequences of not signing up is union reprisal on the job if the union wins the election. But physical threats and actions are by no means off the table, as many people who get in the way of unions have learned.

Workers who do not want to join a union will now have to decide how much harassment of themselves and their family they are going to have to put up with, if they don’t knuckle under.

In the past, unions had to make the case to workers that it was in their best interests to join. Meanwhile, employers would make their case to the same workers that it was in their best interest to vote against joining.

When the unions began losing those elections, they decided to change the rules. And after Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, with large financial support from labor unions, the rules were in fact changed by Obama’s NLRB.

As if to make the outcome of workers’ “choices” more of a foregone conclusion, the time period between the announcement of an election and the election itself has been shortened by the NLRB.

In other words, the union can spend months, or whatever amount of time it takes, for them to prepare and implement an organizing campaign beforehand — and then suddenly announce a deadline date for the decision on having or not having a union. The union organizers can launch their full-court press before the employers have time to organize a comparable counter-argument or the workers have time to weigh their decision, while being pressured.

The last thing this process is concerned about is a free choice for workers. The first thing it is concerned about is getting a captive group of union members, whose compulsory dues provide a large sum of money to be spent at the discretion of union bosses, to provide those bosses with both personal perks and political power to wield, on the basis of their ability to pick and choose where to make campaign contributions from the union members’ dues.

Union elections do not recur like other elections. They are like some Third World elections: “One man, one vote — one time.” And getting a recognized union unrecognized is an uphill struggle.

But, so long as many people refuse to see the union for what it is, or the Obama administration for what it is, this cynical and corrupt process can continue.

“Sacaja-Whiner”

Elizabeth Warren and the Oppression Olympics

By: Michelle Malkin

Elizabeth Warren is the Harvard law professor running for Senate in Massachusetts as a Democratic populist-progressive champion. But don’t call her “Elizabeth Warren.” Call her “Pinocchio-hontas,” “Chief Full-of-Lies,” “Running Joke” or “Sacaja-whiner.”

Warren has claimed questionable Native American minority status for years to reap career “diversity” benefits. Now, Cherokee leaders, campaign rival GOP Sen. Scott Brown and an army of Twitter detractors have called her out for gaming the racial-preference system. Live by identity politics, die by identity politics.

The Boston Herald reported last Friday that Harvard administrators “prominently touted Warren’s Native American background … in an effort to bolster their diversity hiring record in the ’90s as the school came under heavy fire for a faculty that was then predominantly white and male.” When asked for proof of her tribal heritage, Warren’s campaign first denied that she had ever bragged about it. But from 1986 to 1995, Warren listed herself as a minority professor in a professional law school directory.

While the Democrat’s team scrounged for evidence over the weekend, Warren stalled for time by asserting that she didn’t need to provide documentation because family “lore” backed her up. Someone told her a story, you see, and magically conferred native status upon her. Through narrative, all things are possible! (Notorious “fake Indian” Ward Churchill is wondering why he didn’t think of this alibi first before the University of Colorado at Boulder fired him for academic fraud.)

On Tuesday, Warren finally discovered a great-great-great-grandmother supposedly “certified as Cherokee” and a random cousin somehow involved with a museum that preserves Native American art. There’s also a great-great-grandfather somewhere in Warren’s dusty genealogical records who spent time on a Cherokee reservation. Because walking a mile in someone else’s moccasins is now just as good as being born in them.

Native American officials aren’t buying Warren’s 1/10,000th Cherokee claim. Suzan Shown Harjo, a former executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, told the Herald: “If you believe you are these things then that’s fine and dandy, but that doesn’t give you the right to claim yourself as Native American.”

When Brown raised the issue, Warren and her progressive strategists traded in the candidate’s Native American blanket for a War on Women victim’s mask — because asking a privileged Harvard prof to verify her minority claims is sexist, of course.

“If Scott Brown has questions about Elizabeth Warren’s well-known qualifications,” her campaign manager railed, “he ought to ask them directly instead of hiding behind the nasty insinuations of his campaign and trying to score political points. Once again, the qualifications and ability of a woman are being called into question by Scott Brown, who did the same thing with the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan. It’s outrageous.”

Once again, the left’s incurable love affair with oppression chic is on naked display. It’s an Olympic competition of the haves to show their have-not cred. Just a few weeks ago, it was the White House tokenizing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor — the “wise Latina” — as “disabled” in an official graph promoting the administration’s minority hiring practices. What’s her disability? She has diabetes. No, it’s not debilitating, nor does it fall anywhere near the definition of disability under federal law.

But like their friend Elizabeth Warren, the Ivy League social engineers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. just couldn’t help embellishing their “diversity” record to score political correctness points. Birds of a manufactured feather flock together.

OOOHHH, Travelin Man

By: Toby Harnden

Barack Obama has already held more re-election fundraising events than every elected president since Richard Nixon combined, according to figures to be published in a new book.

Obama is also the only president in the past 35 years to visit every electoral battleground state in his first year of office.

The figures, contained a in a new book called The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign by Brendan J. Doherty, due to be published by University Press of Kansas in July, give statistical backing to the notion that Obama is more preoccupied with being re-elected than any other commander-in-chief of modern times.

Doherty, who has compiled statistics about presidential travel and fundraising going back to President Jimmy Carter in 1977, found that Obama had held 104 fundraisers by March 6th this year, compared to 94 held by Presidents Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.

Since then, Obama has held another 20 fundraisers, bringing his total to 124. Carter held four re-election fundraisers in the 1980 campaign, Reagan zero in 1984, Bush Snr 19 in 1992, Clinton 14 in 1996 and Bush Jnr 57 in 2004.

Doherty, a political science professor at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, has also analyzed presidential travel to battleground or swing states, which change and fluctuate in number with each election cycle.

In their first years in office, Carter visited eight out of 18 battleground states and Reagan seven out of 17. Bush Snr, Clinton and Bush Jnr all visited around three-quarters of battleground states while Obama went to all 15 within his first 12 months.

While the Obama’s campaign activities in office have been largely in line with historical trends, he is especially vulnerable to criticism because in 2008 he promised to change how politics works and to curb links with special interests.

Vowing in 2008 to ‘launch the most sweeping ethics reform in US history’ Obama said that if elected he would ‘make government more open, more accountable and more responsive to the problems of the American people’.

In his State of the Union speech in January, Obama bemoaned the ‘corrosive influence of money in politics’. The following month, he reversed course and announced he was allowing cabinet members and top advisors to speak at big money events for so-called super PACs – unaccountable outside groups raising money for his re-election.

During the 2008 election, Obama abandoned a pledge to opt for public funding of his campaign, instead opting to raise an unlimited amount privately. He then raised and spent approximately $730million, almost double the campaign funds of Senator John McCain, his Republican opponent.

Up to the end of March, Obama had raised $191.6million for his re-election bid, compared to $86.6million raised by his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. His frenetic fundraising activities are in part because he is lagging behind campaign expectations. Early last year, some advisers spoke privately of raising $1billion.

In his book, Doherty writes that in his first full month in office Obama visited Indiana, Florida, Colorado, Arizona and North Carolina – all battleground states – in 2012. ‘Clearly, the White House made a point of the president travelling to key electoral states early in his term in office.’

This week, the Republican National Committee (RNC) lodged a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about alleged misuse of taxpayer money by Obama.

The Obama campaign dismissed the complaint as a ‘stunt’ and the White House said that it would follow the same rules as previous administrations and refund the appropriate amounts.

In the complaint, Reince Priebus, RNC chairman, wrote: ‘Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as “official events,” thereby allowing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his re-election efforts.’

Doherty, however, said that although the tactic of labelling Obama’s activities as fraud was ‘novel’ in reality the opposing party always complained about a president facing re-election dressing up political events as official ones.

‘This is not new. The Republican complaint is more of a situational complaint than a principled complaint because they certainly weren’t complaining when George W. Bush did this eight years ago.’

He added: ‘In 2004, President George W. Bush broke all records for presidential fundraising in terms of time devoted to fundraising and in terms of money raised and at the time Democrats hit him hard for that.

‘Obama has already surpassed Bush [Jnr] in numbers of re-election fundraisers, but not yet in money raised.’

The rising costs of campaigns, lower contribution limits, the breakdown of the public financing system, the 24/7 media environment and the professionalisation of campaigns had all led to successive presidents having to devote more and more time and energy to raising money.

He added that the ‘big picture’ was incumbent presidents fearing defeat. ‘Until 1976 [when Carter beat President Gerald Ford] no sitting president had been defeated for re-election since 1932. It had been 44 years.

‘And then three of the next four presidents who tried [Ford, Carter and Bush Snr] lost. Of all the presidents re-elected since Ford lost to Carter, only Reagan has won in a landslide. George W. Bush’s re-election [in 2004] was close, Clinton got less than 50 percent [in 1996]. There is a very keen sense among presidents that they really might lose.’

Kirsten Kukowski, an RNC spokesperson, said: ‘It’s no surprise that the Campaigner-In-Chief has taken raising money for his re-election to a whole new level. The worst part is the American taxpayer has been footing the bill.’ The Obama campaign did not respond to a request for comment.