21 Things: Romney Wins WI, MD, and DC April 5, 2012, Matthew Cochrane
We have a lot of links to get to, so let’s get started. Here are 21 links, videos, quotes and other random thoughts for your enjoyment:
1)Mitt Romney won three more contests last night in Wisconsin, Maryland, and D.C., making the remaining GOP primary contests little more than a formality:
Mitt Romney won all three of Tuesday's Republican presidential primaries, putting more distance between himself and his closest contender, Rick Santorum, who indicated he plans to fight on to his home state of Pennsylvania and beyond.
Romney's wins in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia put him past the halfway mark to the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination and add to a wide delegate lead that he holds over the other major GOP presidential candidates, according to CNN estimates.
Yet Santorum indicated Tuesday night he would compete in the April 24 primaries in five states, including Pennsylvania, where his campaign hopes a win would be a gateway to a run of May primaries in states where he can capitalize on higher percentages of conservative voters.
Romney, in a speech to supporters in Milwaukee, made no mention of his GOP rivals and instead mostly contrasted himself with President Barack Obama.
2)Mitt Romney’s victory speech focused almost exclusively on Barack Obama, ignoring his primary opponents:
3)Meanwhile, speculation grows that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan might get the nod to be Romney’s running mate. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza:
It’s not hard to imagine this thought in Romney headquarters this morning: You want to make the Ryan plan the centerpiece of this campaign? Fine. Game on. That’s a fight we want.
If you believe — and you should — that the dominant issue of this campaign is over which party has the best plan to put the country on sound financial footing then there’s no better way for Romney to drive a contrast with Obama than to put the face of the conservative approach to budgeting on the national ticket. (It doesn’t hurt that Ryan is telegenic, beloved by tea party conservatives and from a swing state like Wisconsin.)
I would obviously welcome Paul Ryan to the ticket. It would be a clear signal to conservatives that he takes our financial predicament seriously and is willing to look at tough, but necessary solutions. Ryan is one of the smartest and boldest leaders in the Republican Party today. Along with precious few others (Rubio, Jindal, etc.), he is the future of the GOP.
4)Here is Paul Ryan’s introduction of Romney last night:
5)President Obama: It would be “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” for Supreme Court to strike down health care law.
"Ultimately I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama told reporters today while speaking with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
Obama reminded reporters that conservative commentators, have complained about "judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint," that "an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law."
"Well, this is a good example and I'm pretty confident that this court will recognize this, and not take that step." Obama insisted.
"I'm confident that this will be upheld because it should be upheld," Obama concluded. "That's not just my opinion, that's the opinion of a whole lot of constitutional law professors, academics and judges and lawyers who have examined this law, even if their not particularily sympathetic to this piece of legislation or my presidency."
To say that the bill passed "a strong majority" of a democratically elected Congress, might be a bit of an overstatement, the bill passed the House with a vote of 219-212; a majority of seven votes.
In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president's bluff -- ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.
The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president's comments yesterday about the Supreme Court's review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was "confident" the Court would not "take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."
Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented -- since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise -- despite the president's remarks that implied the contrary. The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.
7)Joe Scarborough: Why would the president, a former Constitutional lawyer, question separation of powers? I have an idea: Demagoguery.
11)Oil drilling permits being issued have dramatically declined under Obama:
12)Too much, right? Nokia patents a tattoo that vibrates when someone calls you.
13)Mitt Romney to President Obama: Why don’t you fire that gas hike trio of yours?
“When [President Obama] ran for office, he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up,” Romney said. “He said that energy prices would skyrocket under his views, and he selected three people to help him implement that program. The secretary of energy, the secretary of interior and EPA administrator. And this gas hike trio has been doing the job over the last three-and-a-half years, and gas prices are up. The right course is they ought to be fired because the president has apparently suffered election-year conversion. He's now decided that gasoline prices should come down.”
Romney went on to say that once Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson submit their letters of resignation, Obama should “start drilling for energy here,” and pursue development of oil, natural gas, and coal resources.
Romney, who first called for their firing at a town hall meeting Saturday night in Collinsville, Ill., is talking more and more about gas prices and their impact on families across the country. He said the gas prices are pinching middle class families, who now struggle to fill up their tanks.
“I’m seeing more and more people, particularly women for instance, that say to me, ‘You know, it’s hard getting kids to school and to soccer practice when you don’t know if you can afford to fill up the car,’” Romney said.
A survey by Strategic Visions of 38,700 Democrats and Republicans found that the No. 1 car for Republicans is the Mustang convertible. Not hardtop. Ragtop…Notice, no one is buying Government Motors cars or Chryslers. Also notice the only car in the Democratic Top 5 that is hot is the Volvo, which used to be owned by Ford. An Acura TSX is fine. But the wagon version?
16)Jonah Goldberg: The solution to partisanship and gridlock in Washington is federalism.
The main advantage of federalism is more fundamental than the “laboratories of democracy” idea. Federalism is simply the best political system ever conceived of for maximizing human happiness. A one-size-fits-all policy imposed at the national level has the potential to make very large numbers of citizens unhappy, even if it was arrived at democratically. In a pure democracy, I always say, 51 percent of the people can vote to pee in the cornflakes of 49 percent of the people.
Pushing government decisions down to the lowest democratic level possible — while protecting basic civil rights — guarantees that more people will have a say in how they live their lives. Not only does that mean more people will be happy, but the moral legitimacy of political decisions will be greater.
In Boredom: the Literary History of a State of Mind, Patricia Meyer Spacks explains that boredom as such is a relatively recent invention, from the eighteenth century at the latest. Before that we had melancholy (which was a kind of affliction of the spirit) and, further back still, acedia (which was a sin). What’s distinctive about boredom is that we don't see it as either a condition of our own selves or a sin, but rather something that just happens to us. When we’re bored, we don't think there’s anything wrong with us: we think the world is at fault. Stupid old world — it doesn't interest me. And interesting me is the world’s job.
…in America as in Europe, the mainstream churches were cheerleaders for the rise of their usurper: the Church of Big Government. Instead of the Old World's state church or the New World's separation of church and state, most of the West now believes in the state as church — an all-powerful deity who provides day-care for your babies and takes your aged parents off your hands. America's Catholic hierarchy, in particular, colluded in the redefinition of the tiresome individual obligation to Christian charity as the painless universal guarantee of state welfare. Barack Obama himself provided the neatest distillation of this convenient transformation when he declared, in a TV infomercial a few days before his election, that his "fundamental belief" was that "I am my brother's keeper."
Back in Kenya, his brother lived in a shack on $12 a year. If Barack is his brother's keeper, why can't he shove a sawbuck and a couple singles in an envelope and double the guy's income? Ah, well: When the president claims that "I am my brother's keeper," what he means is that the government should be his brother's keeper. And, for the most part, the Catholic Church agreed. They were gung ho for Obamacare. It never seemed to occur to them that, if you agitate for state health care, the state gets to define what health care is.
I can only hope to be that limber when I am 86! - Michelle (04/05/12 2:01 PM)