James Pethokoukis discusses the five worst economic ideas of 2011. And then for good measure, he adds in 12 good ideas for launching economic growth in 2012.
The best thing about a Ron Paul win in the Iowa caucuses is that it could kill off the caucuses as an important political moment in the presidential campaign. Of course, its history of not picking the winners might have done that years earlier. And the Iowa Straw Poll has certainly meant little, but that doesn't stop the media from saturation coverage of a meaningless vote bought by the candidate who wants to spend the money and energy to bring in supporters.
If you haven't read Mark Steyn's article, The Gingrich Gestalt, do yourself a favor and head on over to read it.
More bad news for Governor Bev Perdue of North Carolina. The Carolina Journal reports that someone in the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has been leaking news of the unemployment numbers to her office and Mike Easley's office ahead of time. This is a violation of federal law. You can imagine the financial gain someone could make while having that information ahead of the rest of the world. It's not clear that they were doing anything with the advance information except crafting PR statements, but they should have been aware that they were receiving illegal information and reported it.
With Rick Santorum getting an endorsement from a leader of evangelical Christians in Iowa, he seems set for becoming the next not-Mitt candidate. He makes a lot more sense than Newt Gingrich did for those opposing Mitt to coalesce around. Their problem is that they waited so late in the game to do it. He doesn't have the money to make a big push and the holidays are going to interfere with the bounce he might get from this endorsement. Perhaps if they had done it earlier, he might have had more of a chance. The big knock on Santorum was that he seemed hopeless to win. Well, most candidates who have zoomed up to the non-Mitt lead seemed hopeless when they started. It's about time that Santorum got a chance.
With all the focus on the extension of the payroll tax holiday, people have lost sight of the fact that the patch on the Alternative Minimum Tax is set to expire. And then there's the Doc Fix some other tax loopholes that are also going to expire. But the Congress and President want their vacation. Lovely. Meanwhile, businessmen have to make decisions on their own policies without the certainty of knowing what their taxes are going to be over the next few years. No wonder they sit on their money and don't expand.
Fred Barnes argues that Barack Obama is so transparent that we can all see through him.
Whining about political ads is not a good strategy. What does Newt think will happen if he gets the nomination and goes up against the Obama juggernaut? And, as Jennifer Rubin points out, most of the negative ads are simply quotes of things that Gingrich himself has said or references to what he has done.
Eliot Abrams rightly calls out Thomas Friedman and Joe Klein for their anti-Semitic complaints about the pro-Israel lobby. What is the difference between what they have written and what Pat Buchanan said in 1990? We recoiled from Buchanan's words back then, but Friedman and Klein write from honored positions at major publications. Shame.
John Hawkins at Right Wing News publishes his list of the 50 Best Political Quotes of 2011. It's a good list. Find out which quote from Barack Obama makes the list and then marvel that he not only said it, but then did nothing about it.