UNEASY: Women, Independents, Older Americans Less Confident in Economy

Bloomberg published its weekly Consumer Comfort Index on Thursday.  While the index showed an expected drop from negative 36.1 to negative 37.5 since last week, some of the survey results driving the overall average were unexpected. While respondents gave personal finances a rating of 1.8 (the survey ranges from negative 100 to 100), respondents viewed the state of the economy as negative 71.7.

The demographic data showed great disparities of opinion among key voting blocks as well.  Overall, men came in at negative 30.2, but women trailed at negative 44.3, meaning that women are feeling far more uneasy about their state of affairs.  Further, those aged 18 to 34 felt significantly better about the economy than those older than 65.  Strangely enough, it’s the 18 to 34 year olds who have the highest unemployment rates.

Finally, Independent voters rated consumer comfort twice as low as Democrats suggesting that Democrats may be more financially secure than Independent voters – whether perceived or real.  Below are a few charts that show these disparities.  It seems that the consumer is still having difficulty trusting the markets right now.  But, don't worry, the private sector is doing fine, right President Obama?

The survey began in December 1985, and has included the following questions: Would you describe the state of the nation’s economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor? Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor? Considering the cost of things today and your own personal finances, would you say now is an excellent time, a good time, a not so good time or a poor time to buy the things you want and need?

 

STRYKER ON THE STAND? Congress To Investigate Abound Solar Loan

Bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Abound Solar's troubles are about to get a whole lot worse. The Washington Examiner is reporting that U.S. House investigators are asking executives and former executives of Abound Solar to testify before Congress regarding its $400 million taxpayer-backed loan.

Reports The Examiner:

The House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending invited the Abound Solar CEO and former CEO to testify, along with some Energy Department officials after the company announced it is filing for bankruptcy, despite drawing about $70 million of the $400 million available from the DOE loan guarantee.

The bankruptcy announcement comes after Abound laid off 280 employees in March. The DOE loan guarantee was projected to create 1200 permanent jobs.  

As in the case of Solyndra, which declared bankruptcy last year, a bundler for President Obama’s campaign has a financial stake in the solar company.  

Bohemian Companies, founded by Democratic mega-donor Pat Stryker, invested in Abound Solar in 2008. A year after the investment, but a year before Abound received a loan guarantee, Stryker apparently visited the White House.  “The White House did not confirm that the visitor was the Pat Stryker in question and did not provide details about the meeting,” the Sunlight Foundation reported.

Stryker has still not confirmed publicly that she met with the White House, or what might have been discussed. Now that Congress is investigating the defunct deal, it’s something worth unraveling.

As Todd Shepherd has exhaustively reported, Abound Solar had major problems before they got the loan, leading many to question how political connections helped the ailing company secure the loan.

If Congress is looking for a suggestion of people to subpoena, we might also suggest former one-term Governor Bill Ritter. According to The Denver Post, Ritter "hand delivered two letters of support" for Abound Solar directly to Obama's Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. After Ritter left office, Stryker's Bohemian Companies helped fund a $300,000 salary for Ritter at a new renewable energy center at CSU.

The more that comes out about Abound Solar the more it reeks of pay-to-play. It sure would be nice to put Pat Stryker and Bill Ritter under oath to find out exactly how taxpayers were put in a position to cover a $400 million loan to a politically connected company.  

(Photo Credit: NREL)


 

MORE PAIN: CO Manufacturing Shrinks Under Obama Economy

Recent reports of the US manufacturing sector shrinking for the first time in three years suggest that the policies of Obama and his Colorado cronies, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Dean Diana DeGette, and Rep. Jared Polis, have halted resuscitation of our sickly economy. No, friends, it’s not Bush’s fault this time.

Since President Obama took office, the Bureau of Labor statistics showed that CO lost nearly 15,000 manufacturing jobs. And these results are with a President who has made a PR show out of “breathing new life” into this ailing sector. 

Associated Press quoted analyst Dan Greenhaus, who seemed to be mentally wringing his hands, as he said, “This is not good…it is still a terribly weak number.”

Manufacturing in Colorado employs 5.6% of the state’s workforce, and the pay ain’t bad either: manufacturing compensation is 58% higher than other employers in the state, according to the National Association of Manufacturing.

According to the Denver Post, this news couldn’t have come at a worse time as “Colorado [is] among the laggards, ranking 46th among U.S. states [in job growth] with a 0.1 percent decline in jobs from January to June.”


 

THEY SAID WHAT? Senate Dems Name Fundraising Levels After Fireworks

A week or so ago, we rolled our eyes when a partisan web site needled the Colorado Republican Party for hosting a mini-golf tournament at which teams who donated $10,000 would have an elected official play on their team.  The guest blogger wrote, dripping with sarcasm, “the Colorado Republican Party will demonstrate their (btw, their should be “its”) accessibility to and compassion for the American middle class”. 

But, we did a double take when we received an invitation on July 2nd to attend the 2012 Senate Post-Session Event “Star Spangled Banner Happy Hour” on July 31st at the Glenarm Rooftop.  The State Senate Democrats, clearly the paragon of sensitivity and compassion, have named their sponsorship levels after fireworks – Uncle Sam, Statue of Liberty, Bottle Rocket, and Firecracker. 

As everyone knows, fireworks are banned throughout the state right now because of the high fire danger, and um, the many wildfires that have damaged or destroyed homes, threatened lives, and decimated our beautiful landscapes. 

Perhaps, State Senate Dems, you’ve heard of the Waldo Canyon Fire that destroyed over 350 homes in Colorado Springs or the High Park Fire that burned over 87,000 acres and more than 250 homes?  Or, perhaps ANY of the other fires that have been ravaging our state? 

All sarcasm aside, there are thousands of people who lost a tremendous amount with the fires that have swept through Colorado – we’ll keep them in our thoughts and prayers.  And, we’re sure that the Coalition for Colorado’s Future, a 527, would certainly be willing to donate part of what it raises through this event to the victims of fires in Colorado, right?  RIGHT?

Also, be sure to thank the top sponsors of this event – the unions, including AFL-CIO, AFSCME (Association of Federal, State, County, and Municipal Employees), AFT (the teachers arm of the AFL-CIO), the Colorado Education Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and SEIU, for putting on such a thoughtful and, dare we say, “compassionate” fundraiser.


 

UPDATE: Legislators Share Their Holiday Plans

Yesterday, we asked select Colorado legislators to reveal their plans for the Fourth of July. Below are a few of their responses.

Speaker Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch)

 

This Highlands Ranch legislator tells us that he will be at – where else - the Highlands Ranch Independence Day Parade and Community Festival – keep an eye out for him! 

 

Sen. Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora)

Senator Morgan Carroll tells us that she will be walking in the Byers Fourth of July Parade and stopping by the Aurora Fourth of the July Celebration.  No word on where the monkey might be.

 

Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray)

"My crazy 10 year-old decided he wanted to do a triathlon.  Lo and behold, there is one in Wray tomorrow, so I'm watching him do his first ever Tri.  And while I'm here, I will do the bike leg with some friends, Karla and Doreen.  I wanted to name our team Two Hot Chicks and a Dork, but they wouldn't let me.  I'm missing the 4th of July parade in Brush! for just the second time in 12 years."  Following the triathlon, Brophy will be BBQing and reading the Declaration of Independence. Sounds like a very full – and exhausting – Fourth. 


Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder)

Rep. Levy says, "I will be joining Democrats in Clear Creek Party for the 4th of July Parade in Georgetown. They have a fun parade and then a barbecue in city park with an old fashioned brass band. I'm going to try to make it to the Gold Hill pancake breakfast first to support the Gold Hill Fire Department. The early birds get homemade rhubarb sauce for their pancakes. After Georgetown, I will help a friend in the mountains clear pine needles away from his house to reduce the fire danger. Everyone who lives in the WUI (wildland urban interface) should take a fresh look at their home and property to check for fuel build up and other fire risks." Good idea.

Thanks ladies and gents for keeping us posted! 

Of course, we didn't hear back from Rep. Sal Pace, Rep. Joe Miklosi, or Sen. Brandon Shaffer, so we've created imaginary itineraries for these very busy politicians for today.

Rep. Sal Pace (D-Urination)

Pace (D-Urination) is under close campaign supervision to keep his family jewels under lock and key. (wink)  A suggestion to the poor staffer tasked with babysitting – waterproof shoes and a poncho?

 

 

Rep. Joe Miklosi (D-Hells Angels)

We imagine that Joe Miklosi is looking set for a rowdy weekend with the Hells Angels, who want to repay him for running their Hells Angels Protection Act of 2012, legislation that would offer them protection against discrimination for wearing black leather outside in 105 degree heat.  It's unclear whether the legislation also protects against the body odor that's sure to ensue. 

 

Sen. Brandon Shaffer (D-Screwed)

Oh, poor Sen. Shaffer.  We imagine he's drowning his sorrows at the bottom of the bottle, looking back to the last July 4 when he announced — oh, to be young again and have CD4 be actually winnable (until Pat Stryker shivved him in the back during redistricting). Note: For all you sensitive types out there, we are not suggesting that Sen. Shaffer has a drinking problem, but we are admitting that's probably what we'd do.

All kidding aside, we send our thoughts and prayers to Sen. Steadman as he just found out that his partner has pancreatic cancer and to Rep. Casso as he comforts his children following the death of their mother, as reported by Lynn Bartels.

UPDATE: More legislators share plans

Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Castle Rock)

"My husband and I had a long-planned 4th of July vacation with his family in Alabama – so we have gone completely Southern testing BBQ while we are here. I feel like Paula Dean – we had Dreamland BBQ with fantastic sauce and a good banana pudding. We had amazing pimento cheese grits with shrimp and collard greens! We are testing a new BBQ today that includes cheese biscuts for the 4th and then going to the riverfront to see fireworks and perhaps a baseball game with the Montgomery 'Biscuts' baseball team. I hate to think about all the time on the treadmill I'll have to do to work off this vacation! Happy 4th and God Bless America."

Rep. Nancy Todd (D-Aurora)

"We are celebrating our black lab, KJ's, 13th b-day, from eggs for breakfast to ice cream and carrots in the afternoon. It's too hot to be outside long so air conditioning is preferred location. She is the best lab recycler in Colorado!"

Rep. Cindy Acree (R-Aurora)

"Our family spent the Fourth of July at community events in Mission Viejo, Shenandoah and Smoky Hill neighborhoods. We visited with friends and constituents and celebrated my granddaughter's first birthday. I visited with Aurora firefighters and thanked them for their service and participation in fighting the fires that have consumed our state. Please keep them in your prayers.  They too are on the front lines."

Rep. Mark Waller (R-Colorado Springs) 

"We had a nice day at home grilling with family and friends.  Our day was capped off with a Sky Sox baseball game.  The highlight of the day was getting to throw out the first pitch while having my son Truman on the field with me."

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July! 

 

FACT CHECK: Women Have Fared Worse During Obama’s Presidency

On Sunday, Eva Longoria told a crowd of women that "there is no way women can vote Republican".  Yesterday, we pointed out that her perspective might be off seeing as she has nothing in common with the average woman.

As it turns out, Longoria’s statement was even more ridiculous than we first pointed out.  We’ve compiled some facts and figures below showing how women have prospered under Obama.  That’s sarcasm for you at home because women in Colorado haven’t prospered under Obama’s regime.  At all.

Unemployment (CO)
The unemployment rate for women in Colorado has increased from 4.3% in 2008 to 7.8% during Obama’s reign, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That means that there are 98,000 unemployed female Coloradans now.


 
Poverty (CO)
Since Obama stepped into the Oval Office, women are more impoverished.  According to the National Women's Law Center, the poverty rate among Colorado’s women has risen from 12.5% in 2009 to 13.1% in 2010 (when the organization stopped publishing this data).  Perhaps this data was not helpful to our fearless leader?

Why should Colorado women support him again? 

The good news is that more and more women are waking up to the inequalities that the Obama administration’s policies have thrust upon them.  According to a recent CNN poll, the top issue among women is the economy (51%) and a June Fox News poll showed that 52% of women think the Obama administration has mostly failed at creating jobs.

While Obama won 56% percent of the vote among women in 2008, a mid-June Gallup poll shows his approval rating among women at just 48%.  Ouch.

 


 

SHENANIGANS: Why Did The Conservative Majority Elect A Liberal To Lead The CU Board Of Regents?

A few weeks back, back before Obamacare was suddenly upheld as a tax, before the primaries, before Abound Solar declared bankruptcy, something else went awry. The CU Board of Regents elected a liberal Democrat, Michael Carrigan, to lead the group, despite having a conservative majority. Why bother having elections if the conservative majority is just going to hand over the keys afterwards?

What a number of Peak readers have asked is: Was there an inside deal? A little, old fashioned vote trading? What in the frick and frack is going on there?

There's enough that doesn't pass the smell test here that we think it's time for a re-vote.

With issues like discount tuition for illegal immigrants, guns on campus and tuition rates rising, you would think conservatives would want to retain a firm grip on the board. 

Speaking of making students from Kansas and Wyoming pay more to attend CU than illegal immigrants, Michael Carrigan is a supporter. In February he voted to provide the special class of tuition. 

On gun rights, Carrigan wants to ban firearms from campus housing despite the Colorado Supreme Court upholding unanimously the right to have licensed guns on campus. 

When it comes to spending, Carrigan pushed an amendment to allow six-figure salaried administrators to get raises, a controversial move in light of the Daily Camera investigation that found CU using tuition hikes to hike administrator's salaries. 

On the big issues of the day, Michael Carrigan is no friend of conservatives. Why did the conservative majority on the CU Board of Regents pick him to lead?


 

NOT SO DESPERATE: Eva Longoria Attempts to Speak for All Women

"Desperate Housewife" star Eva Longoria visited Colorado over the weekend to kick off Obama’s 2012 Panderpalooza to Women campaign in Colorado.  We’re so glad that he picked someone to which the average women can relate.  Oh.  Wait.  The chart below shows just how much in common Eva Longoria has with the average woman – which is absolutely nothing.

At the summit, Longoria, a national co-chair for the Obama campaign, said, “I don’t think it’s a hard choice if you’re a woman…We have to get out there and tell (others) ‘If you’re a woman, there is no way you can vote Republican.’”

Judging by the statistics, there should be no way that women could vote for Obama.  The unemployment rate for women in Colorado has increased from 6.4 percent to 7.8 percent under Obama, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  And, there are now nearly 100,000 unemployed women in Colorado.  It’s a far cry from cars that cost nearly a quarter million dollars.

According to Denver Post’s Sara Burnett, it was the first in a series of women’s summits the campaign is holding in swing states.

We can’t wait to see who the Obama campaign trots out next.  Today, we have millionaire Eva Longoria claiming that women can’t vote Republican.  A few months ago, we had “vulture” capitalist Federico Pena as a campaign co-chair, as the Obama camp was railing against Romney’s private equity experience.  And, let’s not forget celebrity Kal Penn, who foolishly left award-winning series “House” to work with Obama, that is after he starred as Harold in the "Harold and Kumar" series.


 

COULDA SEEN THIS COMING: Stryker Corps To Lay Off Employees Over Obamacare Tax

Who couldn’t see this coming? A company that built the wealth inherited by one of the biggest Democrat donors in the country is now laying off 5% of its staff because of the Obamacare Medical Device Excise Tax. 

The fortune of Pat Stryker — Colorado Democrats’ personal sugar momma – comes from the Stryker Corporation, a company started by her grandfather that specializes in medical equipment. Stryker has used that money to spend millions propping up liberal attack groups and make extensive donations to Democrats.

Now that political advocacy is wreaking havoc on the company that created her fortune.

Reports Michigan Live:

KALAMAZOO — Stryker Corp.'s plans to layoff about 5 percent of its worldwide staff to cut costs — a move announced by the medical products company last Thursday — have some worried about the spin-off effect it may have in the community.

…Stryker Chairman, President and CEO Stephen P. MacMillan said the decision was a result of “a challenging economic environment and a market slowdown in elective medical procedures,” as well as the need to prepare for the new tax.

The company said that it will look to cut its 20,036-person worldwide staff before the end of 2012 and restructure some of its operations in order to wring out about $100 million in pre-tax operating costs savings. It said it expects the Medical Device Excise Tax, which requires the makers of various medical devices to pay 2.3 percent of their gross U.S. revenues on such products beginning in 2013, to cost it about $150 million.

If Stryker does an across-the-board cut of its 2,250-person Kalamazoo-area workforce, about 112 local workers would lose their jobs. About 1,002 of its worldwide workforce would be cut. [Peak emphasis]

As the Boulder County Business Report detailed in May, the 2.3% Obamacare Medical Device Tax is weighing heavily on Colorado businesses that deal in medical equipment. Coming amid a stagnant economy — unemployment rose in Colorado in April and May — it couldn't be a less welcome change to struggling companies.  

It's also not the only tax about to take effect. As we recounted last week, Obamacare is riddled with tax increases — there's something in there for everyone to hate, at all income levels. 

It's unfortunate that Pat Stryker's political advocacy is killing jobs for hard working employees who weren't lucky enough to inherit a 10 figure fortune. And those on the left wonder why we denigrate limousine liberals…


 

CONSERVATIVES GATHER FOR POWERHOUSE SUMMIT

Published on July 2, 2012 by

The 3rd annual Western Conservative Summit was held this past weekend at the downtown Denver Hyatt Regency Hotel. Colorado Christian University and Centennial Instutute are sponsors of this gathering of powerhouse Conservative activists and thinkers, and this year, as in former years, they did not disappoint.

Centennial Institute is the “think tank” arm of Colorado Christian University and it has been indispensible in creating opportunities for politically active Conservatives to become educated and involved. Colorado leaders, John Andrews and Bill Armstrong, are the brains and hearts behind the Western Conservative Summit. Nearly 1,400 people from across the country attended the 2012 Western Conservative Summit, along with numerous press outlets including CSPAN and the Washington Times, and uncounted activists from various political campaigns.

About 40 vendors also promoted themselves at the Summit. Many Conservative book sellers, candidates, and organizations shared their goods and messages with the attendees.

Conservative luminaries and leaders filled the slate of presenters. Glenn Beck, a former star of Fox News channel who now runs his radio show and Glenn Beck TV, and Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, were the keynote speakers at Friday's dinner. The prevailing theme for the evening was “Conservative unity” and Glenn Beck urged people of all religions and political inclinations, from Baptists fo Mormons, and Libertarians to traditional Republicans, to unite to defeat Barack Obama in 2012. He said, “Americans are at their best when they are on the verge of losing everything. We are fighting a battle that it appears we cannot win, and that is why we will win.” Wayne LaPierre gave a fiery speech entailing the Obama Administration's scandal “Fast and Furious,” as well as its punishment of Arizona for attempting to enforce border security.

Discussion about the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare dominated portions of Saturday's meetings. Bill Bennett, former Drug Czar and head of the Department of Education under Reagan, gave a scathing criticism of Thursday's decision as penned by Justice Roberts. Hugh Hewitt, a Constitutional scholar and radio talk show host, conversely, provided a rationale for Roberts' decision when he keynoted dinner that evening. The afternoon sessions focused largely on national security and the international and domestic threats posed by infiltration by The Muslim Brotherhood. National Security expert, Frank Gaffney, talked about his research revealing extensive Muslim Brotherhood networks in the United States. Dutch Parliamentarian, Geert Wilders, who must be accompanied continually by bodyguards, gave a compelling speech about the loss of freedom of speech, and of the breakdown of European culture due to the penetration of radical Islam into Western countries.

Entertainment was provided by performance poet, Shawn Welcome, Christian comic, Brad Stine, and CCU's vocal quartet, Legacy. Sunday's sessions were highlighted by presentations by Fred Barnes, Star Parker, and Dick Morris. Several Conservative-oriented movies were screened each evening after the formal sessions, including Kirk Cameron's, “Monumental,” and the soon to be released documentary,“Obama's America: 2016.”

The Western Conservative Summit is a conference which is designed to unify Conservatives and to focus the conservative message. WCS 2011 focused largely on the Presidential primaries and the candidates who were emerging as potential GOP nominees. WCS 2012 was clearly designed to garner unified support for Mitt Romney and to win back the White House and the United States Senate in November. The Summit closed with a straw poll in which its attendees selected their favorite running mate for Mitt Romney. It surprised no one when Marco Rubio, the Republican Senator from Florida, won the Vice Presidential straw poll.  

 

 


 
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