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So what happened to all of those hundred million dollar Koch brother checks?
Was it all a myth, a bluff? If so it may have motivated Democrats to give more and given Republican fat cats reason to sit on their wallets. About a month ago I predicted that the official Romney campaign would face cash flow problems and a couple of weeks later media reports started reporting that the Romney campaign had borrowed $ 20 million]and was spending considerably less than the Obama campaign.
Now a careful look at media buys is showing a curious result.
Where are those huge Super Pac media purchases by right wing billionaires?
Last week total media buys for all campaign and super Pacs topped $55 million but of that the Obama campaign spent 40% of the total. The two largest Super Pacs involved in buying media last week? Number one was Omaha billionaire Ricketts who just started buying spots with more than $ 8 million and number two was the Obama Super Pac which spent $ 3.4 million.
President Obama, Mitt Romney, and outside groups spent more than $55 million on advertising running between Sept. 25 and Oct. 1, according to sources watching the advertising market. Obama's campaign alone spent $21 million during the last week, while Romney's campaign dropped $14 million on its own advertising.
All told, Obama's team has spent a total of $285 million on broadcast, cable, and radio advertising, while Romney's camp has spent $117 million. Add in outside spending and the total spent on the general election tops $724.6 million to date. With 39 days to go until Election Day, the 2012 campaign has already eclipsed the total amount spent in the 2008 cycle.
Ohio, Florida, and Virginia continue to be top targets for candidate advertising. The two sides are spending a combined $11.4 million reaching Buckeye State voters; $12.6 million in the Sunshine State; and $10.5 million in the Commonwealth this week alone. All three states have seen more than $114 million spent on advertising already.
So where are all of the tens of millions of the Koch brothers. Were they idle boasts? If so they may have crippled the Romney campaign because as I predicted (which was met with almost universal skepticism) the Romney campaign seems to have fallen way way behind the Obama campaign in media buys, in fact buying $ 170 million less.
If Romney has a less than great debate performance he could see his donor base quietly pack up their check books while the billionaires find other objectives for their political play money.
And then there is this;
When the Romney campaign ran short of money the borrowed against unused deposits of primary contributions.
They have already started paying that money back.
While other candidates will borrow to go into the hole it is generally understood that they don't have the resources to cover that debt and they have to spend time after the campaign to raise money to pay it off. With Romney's vast personal wealth he knows that once the election is over no one is going to donate one penny to him. He will have to write personal checks for every cent. My guess is that after the campaign is done the Romney campaign will have no debt.
So it may be that the original prediction of Romney's cash flow problems may have been under stated. It may be that not only will the official campaign have cash flow problems but that the Super Pac money will turn out to be tens of millions less than advertised.
Posted by grantcart | Sun Sep 30, 2012, 08:30 AM (11 replies)
The sniping has already begun but it is rather obvious that on Nov 7th two things are going to happen in the Republican Party;
1) Mitt Romney will become known as the man who gave the election to the President aka the most hated man in the party (which with equally disdainful feelings of the Democrats and the Independents for different reasons) will make him the most hated man in America.
In order to try and undermine the President's second term they will completely take apart the man who ran against him. The meme will be "of course Obama won, look at the idiot that ran against him'.
2) There will be serious talk about structural Republican demographic problems, especially among Hispanics. From the Republican point of view the Hispanics are the most church going anti abortion ethnic group in America, that and the fact that they are the fastest growing means that the only way forward is that they must capture the Hispanic vote to win.
There is only one Republican candidate who has legitimate Hispanic credentials, Jeb Bush. Jeb is married to a wealthy Mexican national and is fluent in Spanish. His views will be portrayed as 'moderate'.
So expect to see;
1) More Romney sniping, cascading into 'he's an idiot' among punsters. You might even see cable anchors look into the camera and cover their face and mutter "sweet Jesus" after watching Romney on the stump.
2) More Romney financial cash flow problems. Now this requires some discipline because people mix up the huge funds of the Presidential campaign and those of the SuperPacs. The SuperPacs can buy ads but for most campaign activities they cannot. In the swing states of Ohio and Florida the Obama campaign has run 10,000 more ads than Romney. (I am also beginning to think that these hundred million dollar Koch checks maybe more myth than reality - in which case they had probably let a lot of Republicans think that they didn't need to contribute anything).
The truth is that the Bush/traditional Republican hierarchy never opened up their pocket books for Romney.
3) Strange polling. What kind of strange polling? Polling in the middle of a Presidential campaign that would suggest that the Bush Brand is not doing that badly, especially compared to Romney:
George W. Bush posts better favorability ratings than Mitt Romney in new Bloomberg survey
For all the talk about whether Mitt Romney should distance himself from George W. Bush –and the policies of the last GOP White House — a new survey shows that the former president actually has better favorability ratings than the Republican nominee.
A Bloomberg News National Poll released Wednesday has Bush receiving a favorable rating from 46 percent of those surveyed and an unfavorable rating from 49 percent. That’s compared to Romney’s 43 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable.
You really have to admire the quality of the Bush machine. Even when they are this obvious most Republicans have no idea what is happening. By December 1st they will be marching in step behind a new movement, "Only Jeb can save us now".
Karl Rove may be a POS but he can run an effective Republican operation.
Posted by grantcart | Fri Sep 28, 2012, 08:29 AM (42 replies)
Babyloniansister posted this thread about Janiya Penny's meeting of the President captured in one of the most arresting pictures every taken at the White House.
We don't know what circumstances led to Janiya getting listed on the 'Make-a-Wish' list but we know there is a mountain of heartbreak weighing on the family of every child who is on that list.
In the picture you will see that Janiya is overcome by joy at meeting the President.
You can see the joy of the parents.
The President is completely in the moment and after greeting Janiya has turned to connect with her parents, who undoubtedly have been through their own personal torment in accompanying Janiya through her challenges.
If that was all in the picture it would be a candidate for the shortlist for iconic White House pictures.
But glance up wards and view the picture with the melancholy view of President Lincoln witnessing the event.
That additional framing gives an added almost surrealistic level to the painting. It shows the completed circle that goes from a compassionate leader who pays the greatest sacrifice to illustrating how progressive policies can transform real people's lives.
And the wise compassion of one leader becomes the foundation for the wise compassion of another.
And in her innocence Janiya becomes not only our sister but shows us how politics does in fact impact real people.
And we all share in her joy.
And grateful to those who have sacrificed before us so that we can share the moment with her.
Posted by grantcart | Sun Sep 23, 2012, 01:09 AM (49 replies)
Romney is definitely in the 47% of the country that are 'takers'.
Their family benefits from tens of millions of US dollars that have gone into decades of research on neuro related diseases in general and MS in particular.
Had a neighbor who suffered tremendously from MS and died young and I don't wish it on anyone.
But I am completely baffled at what kind of morally bankrupt person with a basic education of how society works could see how people suffer with MS and not become more empathetic with their plight.
The National Institute for Health invests in advancing the research and treatment of MS does that make your wife Ann Romney a Taker?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct research in laboratories at the NIH and also support additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Scientists continue their extensive efforts to create new and better therapies for MS. One of the most promising MS research areas involves naturally occurring antiviral proteins known as interferons. Beta interferon has been shown to reduce the number of exacerbations and may slow the progression of physical disability. When attacks do occur, they tend to be shorter and less severe. In addition, there are a number of treatments under investigation that may curtail attacks or improve function. Over a dozen clinical trials testing potential therapies are underway, and additional new treatments are being devised and tested in animal models.
1) Added an aggressive form of MS to qualify for the "Compassionate Allowances Initiative" at the Social Security Administration. This initiative will allow those individuals that qualify to receive Social Security Disability Insurance quicker than the average applicant.
Established new federal funding avenues that thus far, have yielded over $20 million for MS research. In FY 2008, nearly $4 million was dedicated for MS research in a Department of Defense competitive program. MS activists then successfully advocated for a distinct funding stream that has allocated over $16 million or MS research in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
2) Introduced legislation to allow Medicare Part D to cover off-label drugs for people living with MS.
Promoted awareness and importance of a wide range of caregiving initiatives for people living with disabilities. As part of this effort, advocated for increased funding for and reauthorization of the Lifespan Respite Program, which improves access to quality respite for family caregivers, and supported introduction of legislation o support Adult Day Achievement Centers.
Posted by grantcart | Wed Sep 19, 2012, 03:18 PM (4 replies)
Not the Super Pacs (although they may not be getting any more either) but the official Romney campaign.
First thing is Romney has a very small base of contributors and the highest percentage of maxed out contributors.
Second thing is that with debacle after debacle event only the most diehard contributors will stay, most will go to Senate campaigns.
Third Romney never really engendered diehard contributors but more fair weather friends, and the sky is very cloudy.
Posted by grantcart | Wed Sep 12, 2012, 09:58 PM (36 replies)
One of Danny Devito's scummy characters.
Could have been Owen from Throw Mamma from the train
washed up actor Martin Weir in Get Shorty
Priebus is playing the ambulance chasing attorney Deck Shifflet in the Rainmaker.
You remember the shiftless, scummy attorney who spends his time handing out business cards to neighborhood kids while Matt Damon is meeting with the dying client.
Posted by grantcart | Wed Sep 12, 2012, 11:58 AM (2 replies)
“Their map has many more routes to victory,” said a top Republican official. Two officials intimately involved in the GOP campaign said Ohio leans clearly in Obama’s favor now, with a high single-digit edge, based on their internal tracking numbers of conservative groups. Romney can still win the presidency if he loses Ohio, but it’s extremely difficult.
. . .
In the end, what gives both camps the sense that Obama is better positioned, is the map of 10 states they are fighting on. Two months ago, a top Romney official said they had to have at least one or two of these states in the bag, preferably Florida, to be on course to win. They don’t.
“Our problems are Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire,” a top official said. “Our opportunities are Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado. We can’t trade our problems for our opportunities and win the presidency. If we trade our problems for our opportunities, we lose.”
Stevens said Romney remains unfazed by the hand-wringing among Republicans and staff.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/80949_Page2.html#ixzz2605NloBj
Posted by grantcart | Sun Sep 9, 2012, 03:06 PM (2 replies)
A lot of numbers will be thrown around and while it looks very good now and PPP is tweeting that tonight will yield more good news for Obama I think that too often the focus is on the wrong numbers.
First what number is the most important? The simple "who are you going to vote for" or "who do you approve of" are not the most important. Expressions for a candidate cover the gambit of 'yeah he's ok' to 'I am 100% behind this candidate'. Negative numbers are a lot more specific; "I don't like this guy".
The President's negative numbers have remained very stagnant, right around the 44% mark. Given that there is 40% of the population that are die hard Republicans/and or racists that will never support an African American Democratic candidate it is good news that of the remaining 60% of the population only 7% of that number is against the President.
Now look at Romney's numbers in all of the national polls. He is at 44/45%. He was at 44/45% and he remains there. It is his hard ceiling. It is telling that Romney's hard ceiling is the same as Obama's negatives. What this means is that Romney has basically persuaded no one that has an open mind.
For years ago when Secretary of State Clinton entered the Democratic race she had 42% and a big lead when there were 5 candidates. When the race was over she still had 42% which of course suffered when there were only two candidates. (With a little more time both Clintons are going to find that the American public is going to have an entirely different memory and perception in 2016). Sometimes campaigns have a ceiling that just won't move.
With no affection from any sector Romney is one of those candidates. He is stuck at 45%, and those are the same 45% that don't approve of the President.
Now there is very little chance of an incumbent President's negatives going up. If you haven't found a reason to not like him in the last 4 years you will not find one during the campaign.
Romney faces a different reality. A great deal of the country knows very little about him and there are lots of reasons for people to discover a reason that they don't like himl. In fact wherever there has been a sustaine primary campaign, like Iowa, Romney's numbers all go down.
Keep your eyes on three key numbers: the President's negatives ( set at around 44/45%), Romney's highest approval (same 44/45) and Romney's negatives (highest negatives of a Presidential candidate starting a campaign, likely to go up up up).
Posted by grantcart | Sun Sep 9, 2012, 01:34 PM (3 replies)
A little context.
After I left the UN I wanted to see what I could do in the private sector. I started a small business in my garage. Eventually we had to move out of the garage, we had to get more room, eventually room for 440 employees. We made furniture in Thailand mostly for the European market.
They took down the damned Berlin Wall (very inconsiderate that they couldn't have waited another 24 months until I got my IPO) and Poland and the Czech Republic actually became cheaper than Asia because their currencies had collapsed. Wipeout number one.
I made appointments to see the CEO's of other factories that I knew were growing and asked the astonished owners if they could take twenty or thirty of my excellent workers (they thought I was there to ask for a VP job). All my employees got a job offer.
Returned to the US and worked as a subcontractor and hired more employees. Got wiped out a second time. Promised Mrs. grantcart I would never hire again, couldn't stand the wipe outs. So I drew a line in the sand. Just do personal production, never hire again, never again would I be a 'job creator'.
I kept my resolve for 3 years. For 3 years I weathered yet another wipeout, this one because I couldn't buy health insurance, lost yet another house, but Mrs. grantcart understands the persistent cycle of kharma was just having fun messing with our minds so just grinned and bear it, atleast I wouldn't have to worry about hiring a bunch of others and all of the problems that brings, no more job creator.
Then my little sliver of the economy got a lot better. Yes I read about other DUers who are facing hard times, have been wiped out and are near that edge that I have had my toes overhang a couple of times. I know what its like to go to the landlord and have to ask for an extra couple of weeks and to finish out the last two weeks of a month on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Everytime I read one of those threads it hits me hard.
But my business kept getting better and now I am basically able to work every day but holidays. I can only make it to DU when somebody has to cancel an appointment.
My next scheduled day off is November 12th. The reason for that is I broke down and hired a secretary. She had been on unemployment for 2 years. She couldn't afford a phone, fix her car or use the internet. The same month that I hired her she went on Social Security. She works for me about 15 hours a week and earns about $ 400 (its based on output not hours and she keeps my schedule full).
I only did it because the President's optimistic outlook is so persistent and so infectious that if you give it half a chance it will take over. And that's the reason I hired a devout Catholic 62 year old that goes to Church 4 times a week to pray for others. And that's why when she told me that this job allowed her to fulfill a dream that she gave up 40 years ago when she had a teenage pregnancy. And that's why I am paying for all of her college expenses.
Yes we can go down the list of all of the policy victories that this President has either accomplished or tried, but this country will get another huge dose of "Yes we Can" and "Yes we have in the Past" and "We can be greater" and "I don't care how many times the Republicans diss me I still like them and think that I can get them headed in the right direction" and "I am still breathing so I believe that great things can be done" Obama-isms.
It reminds me of a 25 year old guy I used to know. He went to countries like Singapore and Indonesia and Malaysia and Thailand and when no one else believed that more could be done and that countries could modify a policy on refugees he got them to modify a policy, or a 32 year old guy I used to see that filled his garage with tables so that he could cut templates for some furniture.
Now I could call the appointment in Temecula tonight and postpone it so I could watch the President on the TV.
You see the 38year old mother of 5 who just re-entered the job market that I just hired for another full time position can't wait to get started, so you see its' the President's fault that I am going to miss the speech and I blame him.
I also understand that beyond the policies this President has given this nation what it needs most, a level of optimism that is almost obnoxious if he weren't so damn sincere about it.
He's got us believing in ourselves again.
Posted by grantcart | Thu Sep 6, 2012, 10:01 AM (15 replies)
Updated Gallup just felt it too!!!!!!
No not an earthquake.
A Great Big Post Convention Bounce is starting to rumble to the surface, Baby.
Posted by grantcart | Tue Sep 4, 2012, 10:20 PM (88 replies)
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