Mitch Kokai

Senior Political Analyst

Posts by Mitch Kokai (page 2,354)

  • ‘It was very mysterious. … We spent less money than we took in.’

    That’s the secret Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels “reluctantly” revealed to Peter Robinson during an “Uncommon Knowledge” interview segment about the Hoosier State’s efforts to erase its budget hole.
    Mitch Kokai, March 17, 2011
  • The president as Hamlet

    Victor Davis Hanson makes the connection in a new column posted at National Review Online. Hamlet couldn’t quite ever act in time — given all the ambiguities that such a sensitive prince first had to sort out. In the meantime, a lot of bodies piled up through his indecision and hesitancy. President Obama wanted to give us all universal health care. But then he discovered that the country was broke and that most people did not like his massive federal takeover. So we got both his health care and, so far, more than 1,000 exemptions from his landmark plan for unions, corporations, and entire states. The president wished to please his liberal supporters with more government redistributive programs and higher taxes on the wealthy. But such entitlements cost lots of money — more than $4 trillion in new borrowing in just three years – and scare to death the job-creating private sector. So the president not only borrows at record levels, but also sets up a commission to warn us that his borrowing will soon bankrupt the country. He damns the “fat-cat bankers” and the rich who “at some point” have made enough money, even as he courts them for campaign donations and begs their companies to start hiring new employees. ...
    Mitch Kokai, March 17, 2011
  • Hayes on the Obama administration’s transparency efforts

    You’ll have a chance next month to hear Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard discuss the latest Washington political news during an April 28 John Locke Foundation Headliner luncheon in Raleigh. In the meantime, you might enjoy Hayes’ take — along with those of Charles Krauthammer and Kirsten…
    Mitch Kokai, March 17, 2011
  • Barnes profiles the Congressional Black Caucus’ most conservative member

    Fred Barnes' latest Weekly Standard article focuses on the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus, new U.S. Rep. Allen West of Florida. Barnes suggests West's relationship with the CBC could be interesting: "Chances are, West and the CBC’s 42 Democratic members won’t find much on which to agree—unless he pulls them to the right." West ... has done nothing to mask his conservatism. When he addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February, he said federal spending should be capped at 18 percent to 20 percent of GDP and the corporate tax rate slashed to 25 percent from 35 percent. “Liberal progressivism,” he said, “has been tried and has repeatedly failed all over the world. So why should we think it can be successful here?” And if the health care law enacted in 2010 “is so great, someone explain to me why over 200 Democratic political groups are going to the president and asking for waivers.”
    Mitch Kokai, March 17, 2011
  • Gizzi has the skinny on Head Start

    Former John Locke Foundation election panel Headliner John Gizzi is surprised that President Obama would choose to draw a line in the sand to protect Head Start's budget. Gizzi explains in a new Human Events article: “There are going to be certain things that House Republicans want that I will not accept,” Obama told the White House press corps. “The notion that we would decide that, under the Republican budget proposal, to eliminate 200,000 Head Start slots that also would mean the layoffs of 55,000 teachers—that doesn’t make sense.” Cutting Head Start doesn’t make sense? What really doesn’t make sense is that at a time when the President has said, “We’ve got to live within our means" and “get serious about managing our budget,” he then draws a line in the sand over an agency on which, Congress, without seeing any solid results, has spent $167.5 billion from its founding in 1965 as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society until two years ago. Head Start, which was designed to boost disadvantaged children before they enter elementary school never had a thorough evaluation of its effectiveness until Congress mandated one in 1998. “We are broke, everything the federal government does needs to be looked at for how cost-effective it is,” freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R.-Ill.) told HUMAN EVENTS. “Head Start, as the vast majority of the research and evidence suggests, does not make an appreciable long-term difference in the lives of the children it works with."
    Mitch Kokai, March 17, 2011
  • New Carolina Journal Online features

    Kristy Bailey’s latest Carolina Journal Online report focuses on a bill that would deny UNC and N.C. community college admission to illegal immigrants. John Hood’s Daily Journal focuses on North Carolina’s need for leaders who take the state’s problems seriously.
    Mitch Kokai, March 17, 2011
  • Barone tackles the presidential nomination process

    Michael Barone's latest Washington Examiner column explores the curious system political parties use to identify their presidential candidates. The weakest part of our political system is the presidential nomination process. And it's not coincidental that it's the part of the federal system that finds least guidance in the Constitution. There is no provision in the Constitution that says that Iowa and New Hampshire vote first. The idea of giving any two states a preferred position in the process of choosing a president would surely have struck the Framers as unfair. But we are stuck with Iowa and New Hampshire voting first because no politician who contemplates ever running for president -- i.e., most politicians -- wants to arouse the ire of the political and journalistic establishments of Des Moines and Manchester. Another feature of the nominating system is that it tends to exclude those with experience in foreign and military policy, the two areas in which presidents tend to have the greatest leeway. ...
    Mitch Kokai, March 16, 2011
  • A reading list for Bernie Sanders

    In the latest Newsweek, Vermont’s Socialist U.S. Senator offers an explanation for the demonization of socialism. You call yourself a democratic socialist. How did “socialism” become a bad word in America? I think what obviously happened over many years is that some of our right-wing friends…
    Mitch Kokai, March 16, 2011