Tags: Beck | Slams | Attacks-on | Morris | Romney Won Miamis Cuban Vote | Obamas Wind Subsidy Under Fire | San Jose named Most Competitive City

Glenn Beck Slams 'Inexcusable' Attacks on Dick Morris; Romney Won Miami's Cuban Vote; Obama's Wind Subsidy Under Fire

By    |   Sunday, 18 November 2012 05:29 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Despite Claims, Obama Did Not Win Cuban-American Vote
2. Glenn Beck: Attack on Dick Morris 'Inexcusable'
3. Government Blamed for Sandy-Like Storm Damage
4. Most Expensive US College Now Tops $60K a Year
5. San Jose Named America's 'Most Competitive' City
6. 88 Organizations Call for End to Wind Energy Subsidy

1. Despite Claims, Obama Did Not Win Cuban-American Vote

Some reports claim President Barack Obama greatly improved his standing among Cuban-Americans and won their vote in Florida's Miami-Dade County in the recent election.

But a new analysis shows that Mitt Romney actually won that vote — by a hefty 16 percentage points.

Obama won just 36 percent of the Cuban-American vote in Miami-Dade in 2008. This year, Obama campaign officials claimed that Romney's pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate would hurt the GOP ticket among those voters, citing his past support for lifting sanctions against the Cuban dictatorship.

"While Congressman Ryan's position on Cuba policy had evolved years before the election, it certainly created suspicion among some Cuban-American voters," said Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of Cuba Democracy Public Advocacy.

"The Obama campaign took full advantage of the opening created by the Ryan pick."

Obama won Miami-Dade County in 2012 by 68,884 more votes than in 2008, according to Claver-Carone.

The Obama campaign and several exit polls (Fox News and Pew) claimed that he improved his showing in Miami-Dade by winning the Cuban-American vote by a margin of 49 percent to 47 percent.

Bendixen & Amandi International, a Democratic polling firm that has worked for Obama, found that Obama had won among those voters by 52 percent to 48 percent.

However, Claver-Carone's organization analyzed the vote in large Cuban precincts in Miami-Dade County and found that Romney actually won the Cuban-American vote there by a margin of 58 percent to 42 percent.

More than 50,000 absentee ballots submitted by Cuban-Americans in the county over age 60 were not captured by Fox News and Pew exit polling.

This demographic, Claver-Carone points out, is traditionally the most Republican demographic in Miami-Dade.

The conclusion: There was a significant reduction in Cuban-American support for the Republican candidate, but not as dramatic as the exit polls found.

Editor's Note:

2. Glenn Beck: Attack on Dick Morris 'Inexcusable'

Talk radio host Glenn Beck and others in the media are debunking a charge that political analyst Dick Morris misled viewers when he predicted a landslide victory by Mitt Romney on Election Day.

The charge came from Politico.com, which claimed that Morris "confessed on Fox News yesterday that he deliberately misled viewers."

Politico referred to Morris' appearance on Sean Hannity's show on Fox News after the election and quoted him as saying: "I think that there was a period of time when the Romney campaign was falling apart, people were not optimistic, nobody thought there was a chance of victory and I felt that it was my duty at that point to go out and say what I said."

Beck told listeners on his radio show: "Morris said according to Politico that he only predicted a landslide because he wanted to help Romney.

"That's shocking. He thought it was his duty to go out and say what he said because people didn't believe that Romney would win.

"That's what Politico ran. But listen to what Politico didn't run immediately before and immediately after."

Beck played the excerpt of Morris on Fox News, showing that his full statement was this: "I called it as I saw it from the polling, and I did the best I could. I spoke about what I believed, and I think that there was a period of time when the Romney campaign was falling apart, people were not optimistic, nobody thought there was a chance of victory and I felt that it was my duty at that point to go out and say what I said. And at the time that I said it, I believe I was right."

Beck commented: "There is no scandal here. Dick Morris is not lying to you. Dick Morris does not need, nor probably does he want, me defending him. But what Politico did was inexcusable. He said [he believed it] before and he said it immediately after.

"You had to go in and tightly edit to be able to make him sound like he was saying something he wasn't saying."

NewsBusters senior correspondent Mark Finkelstein also took issue with the Politico item. He wrote: "As Professor William Jacobsen has pointed out at Legal Insurrection, Politico — and Taegan Goddard at Political Wire whom Politico cites for its quotes — conveniently omitted the final part of Morris' statement, in which he said: 'And at the time that I said it, I believe I was right.'

"In other words, Morris had not, contrary to Politico's claim, 'deliberately misled' viewers. He believed what he was saying."

Morris predicted on Fox News right before the election: "We're going to win by a landslide. It will be the biggest surprise in recent American political history."

He told Hannity on Tuesday that polling favoring Romney was insufficient because of Hurricane Sandy, and said he believed disillusionment with the president would lead to a Romney win.

Editor's Note:

3. Government Blamed for Sandy-Like Storm Damage

Damage caused by hurricanes such as Sandy and other similar extreme weather events has increased significantly over the past 50 years, but not because storms are becoming more damaging.

Rather, the blame lies in the fact that more people have been choosing to live in danger zones — encouraged by taxpayer-backed insurance plans that create incentives to build there, according to a report from the Reason Foundation.

And future storms could bankrupt those plans.

Superstorm Sandy killed more than 85 Americans, knocked out power for millions, and did damage sure to exceed $40 billion, which would make it the most expensive storm to hit the U.S. since Hurricane Katrina.

But there doesn't appear to be trend in the number or intensity of storms, nor a relationship between the effects of the storms and climate change.

The increase in storm damage is largely due to government intervention, the report maintains.

The number of people living along the coast has increased dramatically. From 1960 to 2008, coastal population rose by 84 percent, while the non-coastal population rose by only 64 percent. As a result, there is more valuable property in coastal areas that is likely to be affected when a damaging storm hits.

And one reason coastal population has risen to such an extent is the implementation of government disaster insurance programs.

The National Flood Insurance Program is the federal government's second largest fiscal liability next to Social Security. Many states also run property insurance plans to provide lower insurance costs for owners of homes and businesses in more risky areas. Such state-run insurance plans are offered through Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plans, Beach and Windstorm plans, or in Florida and Louisiana, state-run insurers of "last resort."

The number of FAIR and Beach Plan policies has increased from 931,550 in 1990 to 3.3 million in 2011, and the total exposure to loss covered under those policies increased from $54.7 billion to $884.7 billion.

"When disaster strikes and a significant proportion of those insured suffer major losses, the state's insurance fund may suffer a catastrophic shortfall — with dire consequences for the state's fiscal position," the report states.

"Government subsidies to insurance may have been well intentioned but by incentivizing people to build homes in danger zones, they have created enormous fiscal risk," the report concludes.

"To reduce the scale of future damage from storms like Sandy, and the threat of fiscal implosion, federal and state governments should get out of the insurance business."

Editor's Note:

4. Most Expensive US College Now Tops $60K a Year

For the first time ever, an American college has passed the $60,000 mark in total cost for a single year.

Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, N.Y., costs $61,236 a year for tuition, room and board, and fees, according to Campus Grotto, a website that covers a range of college issues including costs.

College costs began to rise at a rate faster than inflation in the early 1990s, and this year 74 colleges charge more than $55,000 a year — up from just 19 last year.

The default rate on federal student loans is at 13.4 percent for the first three years that students are required to make payments, and student debt now tops $1 trillion.

"Between costs approaching $60,000 a year, an increase in student loan defaults, and over $1 trillion in student loan debt, it's clear that the current model of raising tuition every year (at a rate higher than inflation) is unsustainable," Campus Grotto observes.

High college costs impact taxpayers as well. In its fiscal 2013 budget request, the Department of Education said the federal government in fiscal 2012 would provide $217 billion in grants, loans and work-study assistance for college students.

In terms of tuition and fees, Columbia University in New York City is the most expensive college as of September 2012, at $47,246 a year, ahead of Sarah Lawrence ($46,924) and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. ($46,270).

But factoring in room and board, Sarah Lawrence is tops, followed by New York University ($59,837), Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif. ($58,913), Columbia University ($58,742), and Wesleyan University in Macon, Ga. ($58,202).

Those figures do not include books, supplies and personal expenses.

Rounding out the top 10, with total costs for tuition, room and board, and fees of at least $57,580 a year, are Claremont McKenna College, Dartmouth College, Drexel University, University of Chicago, and Bard College.

Among Ivy League schools, Yale University costs $55,300 and Harvard College costs $54,496.

One high-priced private school has opted to freeze tuition, room and board for the second year in a row. Mount Holyoke College, an all-women's school in South Hadley, Mass., will remain at $53,596 this year — $41,270 for tuition, $12,140 for room and board, and $186 for fees.

The price freeze dropped Mount Holyoke from 61st on the most expensive list all the way to No. 94.

Campus Grotto said: "It will be interesting if we see more of these tuition freezes in the coming years."

Editor's Note:

5. San Jose Named America's 'Most Competitive' City

An economic modeling organization has devised a formula for analyzing the competitiveness, in terms of job creation, of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, and finds that San Jose, Calif., is America's "most competitive" metro.

EMSI (Economic Modeling Specialists Intl.) calculated the "competitive effect" by subtracting the expected jobs — the number of jobs expected for each metropolitan statistical area (MSA) based on national economic trends — from the total jobs actually in that MSA.

The result provides the percentage of jobs in each MSA that are due to the competitive effect from 2010 to 2012. If the percentage is positive, then the MSA has exceeded expectations and created more jobs than national trends would have suggested.

The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSA has the highest percentage, 3.5 percent, among the nation's 100 most populous MSAs. The Silicon Valley area has created nearly 36,000 more jobs than expected since 2010, largely in the information sector — including Internet publishing and broadcasting and software publishing — and electronic computer manufacturing.

Close behind is the Texas MSA of Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, at 3.4 percent. The strongest sectors there are wire telecommunications carriers, trade agents and brokers, and corporate managing offices.

Third is Bakersfield, Calif., at 3.1 percent. The MSA has high unemployment rates but better-than-expected job growth in the construction and agricultural sectors.

Rounding out the top 10 are Provo-Orem, Utah, at 2.8 percent; Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas, 2.7 percent; Salt Lake City, Utah, 2.6 percent; Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich., 2.4 percent; Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa, 2.4 percent; Raleigh-Cary, N.C., 2.1 percent; and Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich., 2.1 percent.

At the other end of the scale, the MSA centered around Augusta, Ga., has the lowest competitive effect of the 100 MSAs, -3.9 percent, having lost nearly 9,000 more jobs than expected, mostly in waste treatment and disposal, employment services and services to buildings and dwellings, according to EMSI.

Next lowest is Albuquerque, N.M., at -3.4 percent, followed by Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla., -3.3 percent; Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., -2.4 percent; and Modesto, Calif., -2.3 percent.

Among the nation's larger cities, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, has the most favorable competitive effect, 1.4 percent. The New York City and Miami MSAs are at 0.0 percent; Los Angeles at -0.2 percent; Boston, -0.5 percent; Chicago, -0.7 percent; and Philadelphia, -2 percent.

Editor's Note:

6. 88 Organizations Call for End to Wind Energy Subsidy

Americans for Prosperity has released a coalition letter supported by 88 federal, state, and local organizations opposed to the extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy.

The PTC was created in 1992 to help the wind energy industry get off the ground, and it is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

In its letter the coalition calls on Congress "to end special tax provisions that distort the energy market and increase energy prices."

The organizations in the coalition in addition to Americans for Prosperity (AFP) — a nationwide group fighting for free markets and economic opportunity — include FreedomWorks, National Taxpayers Union, Heritage Action for America, and American Energy Alliance.

The letter released on Thursday states: "The undersigned organizations and the millions of Americans we represent stand opposed to extending the wind PTC. This special provision continues the deplorable practice of using the tax code to favor certain groups over others.

"Whenever the government protects a particular industry, as it has with wind energy production, the industry tends to remain dependent. We're still providing a $5 billion special tax break each year for an industry that supplies just over 2 percent of our power.

"If a new technology truly has worthwhile benefits for American consumers such as lower cost, higher efficiency, or environmental benefits, then that technology will demonstrate its value by competing in the open market for consumers' dollars — not by living off special provisions in the tax code."

In August, the Senate Finance Committee passed a measure that would renew and expand several targeted tax credits for renewable energy, including wind power, for 2013.

"It's long past time to let the wind Production Tax Credit expire," said AFP director of policy James Valvo.

"It's been in place for 20 years and the sector is still entirely dependent on the credit and renewable electricity mandates to exist.

"Congress would be wise to finally allow the tax credit to expire. Millions of citizens and dozens of organizations across the country are calling on them to do so."

Back in August, Kansas GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, expressed opposition to an extension of the subsidy.

"An extension continues this unsettling policy trend in which citizens are asked to bear all the risks and gain none of the rewards," he said.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama vowed to invest $15 billion a year over a 10-year period in renewable energy, which includes wind.

But Pompeo said: "President Obama talks about the need to 'invest' in alternative energy sources. But the reality is that he is not investing his money. He's spending yours."

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Editor's Note:

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Sunday, 18 November 2012 05:29 PM
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