Rough Sledding For Steele
Two weeks after he declared for re-election as Republican National Chairman, Michael Steele will have a difficult battle at the RNC’s winter meeting January 14. Last week, Steele lost one of his strongest allies, as California Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel announced he is backing Wisconsin State Chairman Reince Priebus for the national chairmanship. Prior to the surprise announcement from Steel (who had long defended Michael Steele from criticism and humorously referred to the RNC chairman as “Cousin Michael”), a count by Hotline showed Priebus with 24 offically committed RNC members, Steele with 13, Michigan GOP National Committeeman Saul Anuzis 11, former RNC co-chairman Ann Wagner 11, and former RNC Political Director Gentry Collins 3. Another candidate, former Bush Administration official Maria Cino, just picked up the backing of New York State GOP Chairman Ed Cox bringing her total of committed supporters to five.
What If Russians Walk on Start?
One of the questions frequently raised by Senate opponents of the New START Arms Treaty before it was finally ratified last week was whether the U.S. would continue to operate within the parameters of the treaty if the Russians ever abandoned it over the issue of a U.S. missile defense system. When HUMAN EVENTS Political Editor John Gizzi posed that question at the White House two days before the Senate vote, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he would contact Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright (the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a key player in briefing lawmakers on START) for an answer. When Gizzi posed the same question a day later, Gibbs said: “John, what I should have said yesterday was that it’s a question that I’d consider answering when and if it happened.”
Public Still Says Repeal Obamacare
Although the numbers have shifted slightly since Obamacare was enacted last March, a solid majority of American voters still favor repeal of the controversial, Democrat-crafted healthcare package. According to a just-completed CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, 54% of voters nationwide oppose the new law, and 43% favor it. Last March, the same poll found that voters opposed the health care bill 59% to 39%. CNN’s latest findings also showed that 60% oppose the mandate that all Americans have health insurance and only 38% support the provision (which is now working its way toward the Supreme Court to determine its constitutionality).
Tarp-Bailed Banks On Ropes
Despite more than $4.2 billion in emergency spending from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), 98 banks are now in danger of failing. According to an analysis of third-quarter financial results conducted by the Wall Street Journal last week, the total of 98 is up from 86 banks in danger of bailing in the second quarter. As of last month, seven banks receiving TARP bailout funds have failed, meaning a lost of $2.7 billion in TARP money. The 98 banks had a median size of $439 million in assets as of September 29 and the median TARP infusion was $10 million, reported the Journal.
Even Castro Says Moore’s Over the Top
In 2007, Michael Moore unveiled a so-called documentary film Sicko, which praised Cuba’s womb-to-tomb healthcare system. But, according to U.S. diplomatic cables posted by WikiLeaks, the Communist dictatorship of Fidel and Raul Castro knew the film depiction was “mythical”—so much so, in fact, that they banned the film in Cuba. The Castro brothers, a U.S. diplomat wrote in ’08, “know the film is a myth and do not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities which are not available to the vast majority of them.” The cable pointed out that the high-class treatment center filmed by Moore for his film is reserved for top government officials and foreign tourists—and ordinary Cubans are banned from it.
NLRB Strikes Again
For the first time since it was created in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that employers must post notices about employees’ rights to organize unions. In a ruling last week, the NLRB—now dominated by Obama appointees—said it would require companies to post notices on their bulletin boards and perhaps send out e-mails to inform employees of their right to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act. The ruling came on the heels of a statement by the NLRB’s acting general counsel that he would push for stronger action to create a “fair” atmosphere for unionization drives. “These actions are consistent with a general ramp-up of enforcement against employers we are seeing across-the-board,” Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president for labor policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the New York Times.