As We Head Into July 4th Weekend…

Just A Few – These and That’s

Remember when earmarks were put back in place and we talked about the foolishness of it? We were clear that all it would do is drive up the deficit, as politicians played hero and dolled out money.
Well, here’s a report from OpenTheBooks.com, a spending watchdog group.
More than $16 billion was spent last year on “pork-barrel projects” that lawmakers slipped into bills for their home districts and states.
That comes after a decade long hiatus on earmarks was lifted. (When Democrats took full control of Congress in 2021.)
When Republicans regained the House this year, they agreed to continue earmarking — with some new limits.
OpenTheBooks said there is an “obvious reason” for Republicans to keep the fat flowing:
They are addicted to the money, too, spending $6.4 billion.
Democrats held the overall lead, with $9.1 billion.
Here’s an interesting quote from the watchdog’s founder, Adam Andrzejewski:
“Restoring earmarks in today’s Congress was like opening a bar tab for a bunch of alcoholics.”

I couldn’t agree more. Stop earmarks, balance the budget. Every billion counts.

Bidenomics

A little trouble for Bidenomics with auto unions. It’s with the administration’s stance on electric vehicles.
Why and what’s happening?
President Biden’s aggressive push for electric cars is part of “a reinvestment in American manufacturing,” but many auto workers aren’t on board. 
The union is withholding an endorsement of Biden in 2024. (They backed him strongly in 2020.)   
The issue is most UAW members are still building gas-powered vehicles and they are worried that EV factories won’t employ as many people as traditional plants. (The EVs are simpler to build.) 
Former President Trump went to Michigan last week and told the union that “EVs would lead to a decimation of Michigan’s auto industry.”
It will be most interesting to watch where this goes from here. Could EV’s be a challenge to the longstanding alliance between the union and the Democratic Party?

Then add this analysis out today:
Heavy spending on electric vehicles that don’t make profits is forcing American automakers to slash more than their production of gas-guzzling cars. They are cutting thousands of jobs.
Ford announced roughly 1,000 North American layoffs this week after billions of dollars in losses from its EV venture. Ford has had even larger layoffs in the past year.
General Motors and Stellantis (the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep), have offered sizable employee buyouts.
U.S. EV startup Lordstown Motors filed for bankruptcy protection this week, and German auto giant Volkswagen announced a reduction in EV production.
Automakers are facing economic challenges from electrifying their fleets as the Biden administration pushes to accelerate the EV transition.
As part of President Biden’s climate change agenda, proposed EPA emissions rules would force the majority of new vehicles sold to be electric by 2040.


I’ll repeat what we’ve written here since the administration announced its plans on EV’s. We’re not ready and you are rushing what should be a natural progression.
Hybrids were the next step and would lead a natural move to electric vehicles. We’ll never meet the deadlines, and only chaos lies ahead without a change.

A Sneak Peak At 2024

Chris Christie promised to take on Donald Trump, and yesterday he leveled a dramatic charge.
With stories that Trump was using campaign contributions to pay his legal troubles, combined with the now known fact that Trump spent little to support his chosen candidates in 2022, Christie let loose:
“(Trump is) the cheapest S.O.B. I’ve ever met in my life. What Donald Trump is good at is spending other people’s money.”

The highly respected Sabato Crystal Ball, from the U of Va. Center of Politics, released its first 2024 outlook.
Here’s some interesting findings:
They project the Democrats have 260 electoral votes and the Republicans have 235.
They identify just four true “toss-up” states:
Arizona (11 electoral votes), Georgia (16), Nevada (6) and Wisconsin (10).
Since you need 270 to win the election, the Republican has to win Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin.
Now consider the Republican leader, Donald Trump, and those states today.
He has divided the Republican Party in Georgia.
Remember, he said Stacey Abrams would be a better Governor than the reelected Brian Kemp – because Kemp did not support his stolen election theory.
Then he was largely responsible for the two lost senate seats in the state that cost Republicans the Senate. Remember Hershel Walker?

In Arizona he divided the party, calling the popular Republican Governor names, after he degraded John McCain in his home state, and lost not only the Presidential race but the Governorship last year.

Okay, let’s say he (Trump) can still win those two.
That leaves Wisconsin.
Here’s a poll from Wisconsin yesterday that tells you all you need to know:
The WI GOP primary with a full field: 
Trump at 31%, DeSantis at 30%, PENCE at 6%, Sen. SCOTT at 5%, former Gov. HALEY and VIVEK RAMASWAMY at 3% each. Christie is at 1%.

Head-to-head DeSantis beats Trump, 57% to 41%.

However, President Biden is leading both for the general election.
He leads DeSantis, 49% to 47%,.
He leads .Trump by 9 points, 52% to 43%.

When you look at all that, who do you think has the best chance to defeat Biden in 2024?

Here’s the Sabato graph for you to take a look at.
https://centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/062923eleccollege.png

Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend.

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