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Tags: Romney | Backer | Predicts | 2016-Run | Netanyahu Sees Islamist-Nazi Tie | Rand Paul Veering From Tea Party | More Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs

Romney Backer Predicts 2016 Run; Netanyahu Sees Islamist-Nazi Tie; Rand Paul Veering From Tea Party

By    |   Sunday, 21 September 2014 03:39 PM EDT

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Big Romney Backer Predicts He'll Run Again in '16
2. 'Poor' Americans Have Surprising Amenities
3. Netanyahu Likens Islamic Militants to Nazis' 'Master Race'
4. Report: Sen. Rand Paul Retreating From Tea Party Positions
5. One in Three Voters Don't Know Who Controls Congress
6. More Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs


1. Big Romney Backer Predicts He'll Run Again in '16

One of Mitt Romney's biggest backers on Wall Street during the 2012 presidential race says the former Massachusetts governor will run for the White House again if other favorites like Jeb Bush don't seek the nomination.

Anthony Scaramucci, founder of the investment firm SkyBridge Capital, helped raise millions for Romney's campaign as his national finance co-chair, Business Insider reported.

In an interview with Fox Business on Sept. 15, he said of a possible Romney run in 2016: "I don't think he's 100 percent made the decision. But a couple of factors could happen: If Jeb Bush drops out or declares that he's not going to run, I think that puts Gov. Romney in position."

Scaramucci praised Romney for maintaining strong support among Wall Street moguls.

"I can tell you right now, the governor has a very strong following, including myself. And he'd be my No. 1 draft pick."

Romney has consistently said he is not planning another White House run. In a recent interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday," he was asked if there are circumstances under which he would consider a run. Romney replied flatly: "Chris, I'm not running. I'm not planning on running."

And in an earlier interview with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt reported by The Lid website, Romney declared: "I'm not going to be running. I had the chance of running. I didn't win. Someone else has a better chance [of winning] than I do."

But after acknowledging that there is a "one in a million" chance he might run, Romney appeared to leave the door slightly ajar when he told Hewitt: "Let's say all the guys that were running all came together and said, 'Hey, we've decided we can't do it. You must do it.' That's the one in a million we're thinking about."

And Scaramucci insisted: "I think he's going to do it. I don't think there's any reason for him not to do it. His family is behind him."

Veteran political commentator and former GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that Romney should run again. He said: "It's very hard for me to see how someone could look at the fact that he's got a real shot at the nomination and then walk away from it when the man believes he ought to be president."

Editor's Note:


2. 'Poor' Americans Have Surprising Amenities

Much has been made of the persistent poverty rate in the United States more than 50 years after President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the launch of an "unconditional war on poverty in America."

But the actual living conditions of the more than 45 million people considered "poor" by the Census Bureau today "differ greatly" from popular conceptions of poverty, according to a report from The Heritage Foundation.

The reason: In determining who is below the poverty line, the Census Bureau considers earned income almost exclusively, ignoring nearly all government means-tested spending on the poor.

Yet U.S. taxpayers have spent more than $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs, in 2012 dollars, since 1964. Last year the federal government administered over 80 means-tested welfare programs providing cash, housing, food, medical care, and other social services to poor and low-income Americans.

These programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, and food stamps.

"Because the official Census poverty report undercounts welfare income, it fails to provide meaningful information about the actual living conditions of less affluent Americans," Heritage observed.

The foundation used data from various government reports to compile these eye-opening facts about "poor" Americans:

  • Nearly three-quarters of households classified as living in poverty in a recent year have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more.
  • 80 percent have air conditioning.
  • Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite television.
  • Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more.
  • 43 percent have Internet access.
  • 92 percent have a microwave.
  • Nearly half live in separate single-family houses or townhouses, 40 percent live in apartments, and just 9.5 percent live in mobile homes or trailers.
  • 42 percent own their own homes, and their average home has three bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Over two-thirds of their homes have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual — average citizen, not average poor citizen — in France, Sweden, Germany, or the United Kingdom.
  • A U.S. Department of Agriculture survey found that in a recent year, about 83 percent of poor households reported that they had enough food to eat, and 82 percent of poor adults said they were never hungry at any time in the prior year due to a lack of money for food.

"The poor clearly struggle to make ends meet, but they are generally struggling to pay for cable TV, air conditioning, and a car, as well as food for the table," conclude Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, the report's authors. Rector is a senior research fellow and Sheffield is a policy analyst in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at Heritage.

"The average poor person is far from affluent, but his lifestyle is equally far from the images of stark deprivation purveyed by advocacy groups and the mainstream media."

Editor's Note:


3. Netanyahu Likens Islamic Militants to Nazis' 'Master Race'

In their efforts to establish Islam as the "master faith," militant Muslim groups like ISIS, Hezbollah, and Hamas resemble the Nazis and their claims to represent the "master race," says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The tactics are uniform. Terror first of all against your own people," Netanyahu said in a speech commemorating the 9/11 attacks at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism's annual conference in Israel.

"There's a master race; now there's a master faith. And that allows you to do anything to anyone, first of all to your own people and then to everyone else," Netanyahu continued.

Adolf Hitler in his speeches and writings spread his beliefs in racial "purity" and in the superiority of the "Germanic race" — what he called an Aryan "master race."

Netanyahu cited a "moral divide" between militant Islamic groups and Western democracies.

"All of Israel mourned on September 11. In Gaza, they were dancing on the roofs. They were handing out candy," he said. "That's the moral divide. We mourn; they celebrate the death of thousands of innocents.

"And then when the U.S. took out bin Laden, I, speaking for virtually the entire country, congratulated President Obama. In Gaza, Hamas condemned the U.S. and called bin Laden a 'holy warrior' of Islam. That's the moral divide. We celebrate; they mourn the death of an arch-terrorist.

"Now that moral divide has never been clearer than it is today because Hamas, like al-Qaeda and its affiliates al-Nusra or its new growth ISIS, or Boko Haram, al-Shabab, Hezbollah supported by Iran — all are branches of the same poisonous tree. All present a clear and present danger to the peace and security of the world and to our common civilization."

These Islamic groups "have absolutely no moral or other impediment to their mad desires. Once they have massive power, they will unleash all their violence, all their ideological zeal, all their hatred, with weapons of mass death.

"And they all have one common goal. The goal is we establish a new Islamist dominion, first in the Middle East and in their warped thinking, throughout the world. They all agree on that. Their goal is to take the entire world, to cleanse it of infidels — first their own people, Muslims, and then everyone else.

"If they gain ground, if they were to succeed, they would return humanity to a primitive early medievalism where women are treated as cattle, as property, and gays are stoned and minorities persecuted if they're left alive at all."

But Netanyahu asserted that militant Islam will ultimately be defeated, just as Nazism was in the last century, because "I think it's a grand failure. It doesn't know how to manage economies, it cannot offer the young people to which it appeals any kind of future."

Editor's Note:


4. Report: Sen. Rand Paul Retreating From Tea Party Positions

Sen. Rand Paul has earned a reputation as a libertarian ideologue who enjoys widespread support from tea party advocates.

But the Kentucky Republican, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, has been seeking to broaden his appeal by softening or backing away from some earlier stances on foreign and domestic policy.

"While he has maintained his core support for cutting spending and protecting Americans' privacy rights, Paul has shaded, changed, or dropped some of the ideas that he espoused as a tea party candidate and in his confrontational early days as a senator," The Washington Post observed on Monday.

The Post reviewed Paul's speeches, op-eds, and pieces of legislation he has authored, and interviewed several Paul advisers, to map out the freshman senator's policy shifts.

In June, when Islamic State militants had taken control of large parts of Iraq, Paul expressed skepticism about possible American airstrikes and U.S. military intervention in general.

But after the beheadings of two American journalists, Paul had what the Post called a "stark change of heart" and came out in support of airstrikes and other actions to destroy the militant group.

In 2011, Paul proposed eliminating all foreign aid, including aid to Israel. But he soon changed his position and instead called for cutting aid to $5 billion a year, providing Israel with its full share of more than $3 billion.

In 2012, Paul called for immediate changes in Medicare, replacing the current system with subsidies to seniors to buy coverage from private insurers. Two years later, he is now working on a different Medicare plan, according to an aide, who said the senator might propose preserving the old system after all.

Paul previously criticized the construction of a fence along the Mexican border, saying it reminded him of the Berlin Wall. More recently he supports building two fences, one behind the other, according to the Post article written by David. A. Fahrenthold.

Last year Paul introduced legislation that would declare a fertilized egg a human being whose life is protected by law. But earlier this year he softened his stance, acknowledging that the country is "somewhere in the middle" on the abortion issue and "we're not changing any of the laws until the country is persuaded otherwise."

Paul earlier expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage, but he has stated that the GOP ought to "agree to disagree" on such issues to welcome a broader coalition of voters into the party.

Paul was elected in 2010 with 56 percent of the vote in the general election, with solid support among tea party advocates. He helped form the Senate Tea Party Caucus, and delivered the tea party response to President Obama's State of the Union speech in February 2013.

His retreat from his earlier positions could negatively impact Paul if he runs for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, Fahrenthold points out.

Paul's "transformation carries enormous risk," he said. "As Rand Paul seeks to broaden his appeal, he may damage his image as an authentic non-politician who is unafraid to stand up for his beliefs."

In an interview with The Federalist published on Wednesday, Paul claimed the Post article was a "hit piece" and "full of inaccuracies." Fahrenthold responded that Paul's office had refused to elaborate on the inaccuracies of the reporting.

Editor's Note:


5. One in Three Voters Don't Know Who Controls Congress

With the crucial midterm elections in November set to determine which party controls Congress, one in three U.S. voters are unaware of who currently controls the U.S. House and Senate, a new poll reveals.

The Rasmussen Reports survey of likely voters found that just 63 percent know that Republicans have a majority in the House, and the same percentage are aware that Democrats control the Senate.

Twenty percent of respondents mistakenly believe that Democrats control the House, with 17 percent not sure, and 18 percent think Republicans are in charge of the Senate.

One-third of voters believe it is better for the nation when one political party controls both the House and the Senate, while 44 percent think it is better when a different party is in charge of each chamber. Twenty-three percent are undecided.

No Republican in the House or Senate voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act, yet 31 percent of those polled are not sure how their representative in Congress voted on Obamacare.

It is not surprising, then, that just 9 percent of respondents believe that most Americans are informed voters regarding major policy issues.

Other findings of the Rasmussen poll include:

  • 54 percent believe it is at least somewhat likely that Republicans will take control of the Senate in November, but only 20 percent believe it is "very likely."
  • 20 percent say they don't know enough about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to offer an opinion of him, and 27 percent say the same thing about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • Just 6 percent of the likely voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job, while 65 percent say its performance is poor.
  • 25 percent of voters think their own member of Congress deserves re-election, the lowest percentage in nearly five years.


Editor's Note:


6. More Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs

The national "quit rate," which measures how many American workers voluntarily leave their jobs, is at its highest level since 2009.

And that's a good sign, indicating an increase in available positions. Because when jobs are scarce and people are worried about finding work, they are less willing to abandon a paying job.

"The quit rate is a useful measure of how much confidence workers feel and how many opportunities they have to switch to a more attractive job," Steven Davis, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Davis noted that some might call the rate the "take this job and shove it" index.

In the years before the recession, the monthly quit rate among non-farm workers was consistently above 2 percent. It peaked at 2.9 percent in 2001 (the rate was first calculated in 2000) and stood at 2.5 percent in 2006.

During the recession, it dropped to a 10-year-low of 1.3 percent, according to The Fiscal Times, and it remained low for several years even after the recession officially ended.

But in the past two years, the monthly quit rate has been rising, hitting 1.8 percent in February of this year.

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said at a conference in August: "More workers voluntarily quit their jobs when they are more confident about their ability to find new ones and when firms are competing more actively for new hires. Indeed, the quit rate has picked up with improvements in the labor market over the past year, but it still remains somewhat depressed relative to its level before the recession."

According to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the quit rate remained at 1.8 percent in June, when 2.53 million workers quit their jobs.

The highest rate was for workers in "accommodation and food services," 4 percent, and "leisure and hospitality," 3.8 percent.

The lowest rates were for government workers, including federal, state, and local — just 0.6 percent — and manufacturing employees, 0.9 percent.

The rate also differed by region. It was highest in the South (2.3 percent) and lowest in the Northeast (1.2 percent).

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Editor's Note:


Editor's Notes:

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Big Romney Backer Predicts He'll Run Again in '16 2. 'Poor' Americans Have Surprising Amenities 3. Netanyahu Likens Islamic Militants to Nazis' 'Master Race' 4. Report: Sen. Rand Paul Retreating From Tea Party...
Romney, Backer, Predicts, 2016-Run, Netanyahu Sees Islamist-Nazi Tie, Rand Paul Veering From Tea Party, More Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs, One in Three Voters Dont Know Who Controls Congress, Netanyahu Likens Islamic Militants to Nazis Master Race, Poor Americans Have Surprising Amenities
Sunday, 21 September 2014 03:39 PM
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