As usual the loony left talks without the facts. From IBD:
As of the third quarter of last year, the oil industry earned just 6.7 cents per dollar of revenue, less than the average for all manufacturing of 9.2 cents (see chart).
This year, even after a spike in prices, the oil industry ranks 90th in profitability out of 215 industry groups.
This is just one of the tricks used by the left to tar the industry, which employs 9.2 million people and accounts for 7.7% of the total U.S. economy.
As for "billions in subsidies" — oil gets $4 billion a year, a drop in a very large bucket, and far less than the $29 billion-plus a year for so-called alternative energy.
Unable to run on the president's record, Team Obama has already started the general election message deception game. From NBC's First Read:
Obama isn’t necessarily running against Mitt Romney; he’s running against the Republican Party brand -- and making sure that Romney owns that brand. In fact, Romney’s biggest challenge over the next two or three months will be for him to differentiate himself from the brand. There’s been a lot of focus of late on how damaged Romney has become in this process (his high negatives with indies, etc). But we’ve noticed a larger trend: The brand of the GOP is what’s been damaged; Romney may simply be collateral damage. And this is why he has to figure out a way to either improve the GOP’s brand or differentiate himself.
To some extent I concur - things are going to get nasty in the general. From The Weekly Standard's William Krisol:
[T]he good news is that Romney is cold-blooded and hardheaded. He didn't put himself through all this to run a respectable losing general election race. He may be more willing and able than most politicians to change his team, to challenge conventional thinking, and to invite fresh ideas for the conduct and strategy of his fall campaign.
But to defeat the incumbent, Romney will need to appear bolder, more forward-looking, in a sense the more youthful alternative. He might want to reread Machiavelli: "It is better to be impetuous than cautious, because fortune is a woman. ... And one sees that she lets herself be won more by the impetuous than by those who proceed coldly. And so always, like a woman, she is the friend of the young, because they are less cautious, more ferocious, and command her with more audacity." I like the odds of ferocity and audacity against warmed-over hope and change.
From NBC's First Read:
Latinos are going to be one of the most important groups to watch this election year -- if not the most important group -- as no other population has grown more in the U.S. over the last decade.
A new Pew Hispanic Center poll out Wednesday finds, as reported by our sister site NBC Latino:
- 75% say they prefer a bigger, expanded role for govt, much more than the general public,
- Less than 1-in-5 (19 percent) believes in smaller government, and
- Though 32 percent consider themselves conservative (compared with 34 percent of the general public), 30 percent say they are either liberal or very liberal, a higher number than the general public at 21 percent.
Yours truly said the same thing at U.S. News & World Report BEFORE Michigan voted. The New York Times' Nate Silver has more:
Nevertheless, I’m interested in the question of what historians will see as the turning point when they look back on the 2012 Republican race. This is intended as a purely retrospective exercise, not a predictive one, making no apology for taking advantage of the hindsight we now have.
Nevertheless, in my view, the consensus of evidence seems to point toward one of these dates in particular: Michigan (and Arizona) on Feb. 28.
Yes, you can look at Michigan as representing just 16 of the 646 delegates that Mr. Romney now has. But it voted at an early enough stage of the race that Mr. Romney’s lead in delegates was not all that large and the delegate math did not matter all that much. Mr. Santorum would have had plenty of time to make up ground if he had won Michigan and changed the momentum of the race.
Had Mr. Romney lost Michigan, perhaps he would have lost Ohio on Super Tuesday and accumulated significantly fewer delegates on the evening. Had he lost Ohio, perhaps he would have lost Illinois. Had he lost Illinois, he might have lost Wisconsin. Who knows — perhaps you would be reading an article about when Rick Santorum had clinched the Republican nomination. Or perhaps a late-entrant candidate would have jumped in. These things follow a path-dependent course. I thought at the time (and still think) that one could make a strong case for Mr. Romney’s vulnerability until he secured Michigan.
Political prognosticator Stuart Rothenberg says Romney will be the nominee without a doubt. From The Rothenberg Political Report:
No, not everyone agrees that the race is over. Like when a baseball team leads the league by 20 games in August, there is still a statistical chance it could lose the race.
Although Romney has not yet accumulated the necessary 1,144 delegates to the Republican National Convention in August in Tampa, Fla., the chances are evaporating — make that have evaporated — that he can be denied his party’s nomination.
While Romney has been unable to broaden his appeal to pile up increasingly large percentages of delegates, Santorum has also been unable to do so. Nobody ever seems to mention that.
Romney has not won the Republican nomination because he has been a perfect candidate or because he has learned how to appeal to primary voters who were initially suspicious of him. He won because he had a well-funded, national campaign that could destroy his opponents, respond to attacks at a moment’s notice and recover from mistakes.
Those assets may or may not allow him to win in November. But they allowed him to win the nomination.
Hardly a shocker. PS: What happened to President Obama's budget? From The Washington Post's Ezra Klein:
The message of President Obama’s budget speech today was this: In 2012, the Republican nominee for president is going to be Paul Ryan. And that’s true even if Mitt Romney wins the nomination.
Even when Romney is specific, he’s vague. Romney released a fairly detailed plan to reform Medicare into a premium-support system, but he left out the most crucial piece of information: Whether his vouchers would keep pace with the cost of medical care. Ryan’s budget included few such mysteries.
But Ryan’s budget was fulsomely endorsed by Romney. “I applaud it,” he said. “It’s an excellent piece of work, and very much needed.” And then it was passed by 228 House Republicans. Romney might wish to be vague, but he — and his party — have signed onto something quite specific.
More potential headaches for Team Romney. From Ryan Lizza, Joshua T Putnam and Andrew Prokop at The New Yorker:
So what does this all mean? Romney will be 22 delegates short of the 1,144 he’ll need to win the nomination. That might sound like good news for Rick Santorum, but according to Putnam’s count there will also be 598 unbound delegates remaining at this point. These delegates can support any candidate, either because they are chosen in non-binding caucuses or conventions, or because they’ve been directly elected in primaries. If Romney is only slightly short of his magic number, it will be easy for him to win the support of unpledged delegates from states that he won, like Illinois, Maine, and Washington.
For Santorum to have a shot at blocking Romney’s nomination, he actually needs to hold Romney well below the magic number by the time the remaining contests end. One of the only ways that could happen is if California, where we assume Romney will win 154 out of 172 delegates, behaves in the exact opposite way our model predicts.