"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why Conservatives Are Frustrated

It's pretty easy to understand why conservatives are frustrated:

1.  The President has at least three serious scandals:   Solyndra (corruption and cronyism); Fast and Furious (gun-walking to Mexican drug cartels); and now Benghazi-gate (murdered diplomats and abject security failures).   Two of the scandals involve ACTUAL DEAD PEOPLE!

2.  Each scandal exposes an absolute failure of liberal idealism.   Green energy (Solyndra) is a joke.  Gun control (Fast and Furious) is so much of a fetish that liberals are willing to facilitate mass murder to advance their agenda.   The "Arab Spring"/Facebook Revolution in majority Muslim countries in the Middle East has turned (predictably, if your conservative) to dominance by radical Islamists, terrorism, and anti-Americanism, resulting in the murder of Chris Stevens in Benghazi.  This is what happens when you put men and women with a teenager's view of the world in charge.

3. Each scandal has also been the subject of intense coverups by the Obama Administration, with demonstrated lies (Benghazi-gate) and specious assertions of executive privilege.

4. Yet the mainstream media, which ought to be salivating at the prospect of winning Emmy Awards and Pulitzer Prizes for investigative reporting, appears to be nearly uninterested in the scandals, and instead obsesses over polls and horse races and "narratives."  

5. Similarly, the economy increasingly looks like it will be entering a new recession beginning in 1Q 2013, while the ability to indulge in more Keynsian stimulus is thoroughly discredited and probably impossible given the country's $16 trillion in debt.   The entitlement crisis looms.   What is the President's plan?   The Buffett Rule?   Come on.   He has no plan.  

6. Yet, again, the mainstream media is willfully manipulating the news through skewed polling and stories about Romney's supposed "gaffes."  

7. If a Republican President had played a hundred rounds of golf and gone on The View and Letterman while skipping his daily intelligence briefings and being unable to find time to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, all the while the world appears to be falling into chaos, this election would be over.  

8.  If a Republican President partied with millionaires in Hollywood and Manhattan and vacationed on the taxpayer's tab in the poshest locales, all the while the American economy looks to be imploding, this election would be over.

But it's not.   That's why Republicans are frustrated with both the mainstream media and the American people, who appear to be falling for the propaganda like rubes falling for a con man's grift.



Friday, September 28, 2012

"Nobody Died in Watergate"

So says Mike Huckabee.

Let's see if we can understand the logic:

Scenario 1:   Republican President covers up third-rate burglary and is driven from office in disgrace by the mainstream media.

Scenario 2:  Democratic President covers up first-rate terrorist attack and is... reelected based in large measure on the propaganda of the mainstream media?!

Hmmmm.... I wonder what the determining factor is?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On "The Call"

It will be "the Call" in Wisconsin for a long time -- I mean the referee's call that gave Monday night's game to the Seahawks and stole it from the Packers.   Now ESPN has the following information about the referee who made the call:

Lance Easley, the side judge at the heart of the controversial call, never had worked above the Division III college level before becoming a replacement official.

The league provided information stating that Easley had four years of officiating experience, none above the Division III level.

Let me just list the Division III teams who are in the top 10 nationally:

Mount Union

Mary Hardin-Baylor

St. Thomas (Minn.)

Linfield

Wisconsin-Whitewater

Wesley

Bethel

St. John Fisher

Baldwin-Wallace

Hobart

I'm just casually thinking that the games played by these colleges -- and they are the best in D3 -- are nowhere near as fast as D1, must less the NFL.   I doubt there is a player on any of these teams who will be drafted in the NFL this year.   What could possibly have made anyone believe that someone with four years of experience refereeing in D3 could possibly referee an NFL game?

Obama's Lies, Part 1,000,001

Obama continues to refer to the film, "The Innocence of Muslims," as the cause of the embassy attack in Libya, including in his risible speech yesterday to the UN. Today the Libyan President unequivocally stated that the film had nothing to do with the attack:

In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Ann Curry, President Mohamed Magarief discounted claims that the attack was in response to a movie produced in California and available on YouTube. He noted that the assault happened on Sept. 11 and that the video had been available for months before that.

“Reaction should have been, if it was genuine, should have been six months earlier. So it was postponed until the 11th of September,” he said. “They chose this date, 11th of September to carry a certain message.”

Magarief said there were no protesters at the site before the attack, which he noted came in two assaults, first with rocket-propelled grenades on the consulate, then with mortars at a safe house.

Lie #1,000,001.   More to come.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Girl of the Day - Back to the 80s! (Heather Locklear)

The poor man's Farrah Fawcett for a time in the 1980s, Heather Locklear turns 51 today.


Three Thoughts on Polls

The Real Clear Politics average of polls has Obama up 3.8% over Romney today.   Here are three reasons why you shouldn't worry:

1. The polls are skewed.   There is no way that the turnout in 2012 will equal the turnout for Obama in 2008.   No chance, no how.   Democrats aren't as enthused, Republicans are much more enthused.   Young people are either older, or less enthused.   Blacks and Hispanics are mildly disenchanted, not enough to vote for Romney, but enough to stay home in significant marginal numbers.   If the turnout is 2-3% plus for Dems, instead of the 7-8% the polls often assume -- see this poll from the National Journal, which has D+6 -- that wipes out the Obama advantage right there.   Right now, I'd say this is a 45-45 election, with 10% undecided.

2.  The undecideds will not break for Obamaa.   Undecideds are people who haven't decided that they like the job Obama's doing, but haven't quite got their arms around voting for Romney.   Many are "low information" voters who may not pay attention until very late, and definitely not until after the debates.   In those debates, Romney's threshold will be "is he a plausible President?"   He will easiliy meet that threshold.   Expect the undecideds to break hard for Romney.

3.  Lying to pollsters.  I think there is still a significant percentage of Americans who naively do not wish to be labeled as a "racist" for saying openly that they oppose Obama.   Maybe it's not too many, but the undecideds and independents will be most susceptible to this "peer pressure."   Expect a 2-3% bump to Romney based on people simply lying about their preferences.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Girl of the Day - It's Almost Turtleneck Season!

Walter Russell Mead Lays the Wood to Media Bias

Walter Russell Mead just kills it here on media bias in the Age of Obama:

If the president were a conservative Republican rather than a liberal Democrat, I have little doubt that much of the legacy press would be focused more on what is wrong with America. There would be more negative reporting about the economy, more criticism of policy failures and many more withering comparisons between promise and performance. The contrast between a rising stock market and poor jobs performance that the press now doesn’t think of blaming on President Obama would be reported as demonstrating a systemic bias in favor of the rich and the powerful if George W. Bush were in the White House. The catastrophic decline in African-American net worth during the last four years would, if we had a Republican president, be presented in the press as illustrating the racial indifference or even the racism of the administration. As it is, it is just an unfortunate reality, not worth much publicity and telling us nothing about the intentions or competence of the people in charge.

The current state of the Middle East would be reported as illustrating the complete collapse of American foreign policy—if Bush were in the White House. The criticism of drone strikes and Guantanamo that is now mostly confined to the far left would be mainstream conventional wisdom, and the current unrest in the Middle East would be depicted as a response to American militarism. The in and out surge in Afghanistan would be mercilessly exposed as a strategic flop, reflecting the naive incompetence of an inexperienced president out of his depth. The SEALS rather than the White House would be getting the credit for the death of Osama bin Laden, and there would be more questions about whether killing him and then bragging endlessly and tastelessly about it was a contributing factor to the current unrest. Political cartoons of Cheney spiking the football would be everywhere.  It’s also likely we would have heard much more about how killing Osama was strategically unimportant as he had become an increasingly symbolic figure and there would have been a lot of detailed and focused analysis of how the foolish concentration on bin Laden led the clueless Bush administration to neglect the rise of new and potentially much more dangerous Islamist groups in places like Mali. The Libyan war would be widely denounced as an unconstitutional act of neocon militarism, with much more attention paid to the civilian casualties during the war, the chaos that followed, and the destabilizing effects on the neighborhood. The White House fumbling around the Benghazi murders would be treated like a major scandal and dominate the news for at least a couple of weeks.

If Bush were in the White House, the Middle East would be a horrible disaster, and it would all be America’s fault.
Many Americans still get their daily newspapers out of habit.   We like the funnies, and we have the habit of looking at the box scores, even though by morning we've already had all the sports information we need for many hours over the Internet.   But we don't read much of the news, and we don't read the op-eds, because we know they are irretrievably biased.   Pretty soon people like me will simply wake up and say I don't need to spend a couple of hundred smacks a year on a newspaper, not when information is so much easier to get online, and wifi is increasingly everywhere.

The decline of newspapers is happening as we speak, and like all deaths, when it comes, it will happen all of a sudden.   One day they'll be there, the next they won't.

VDH Brings the Gloom and Doom

Victor Davis Hanson assesses the Presidential race, and why Romney has an uphill climb:

There is not really any free press anymore, but instead a Ministry of Truth, in which PBS, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Newsweek, Time, AP, McClatchy, and Reuters are de facto extensions of the Obama campaign — far more highbrow and adept in disguising their partisanship than an overt Hannity or Limbaugh. Their “journalists” are fed favorable administration leaks when in the old days they had to sue to publish a hit piece. They care little whether ambassadors are left unguarded, or that the U.S. suffers the most costly attack on its air assets since Vietnam, or that administration officials offer lies about Libya that they know cannot be true.

Remember that the grandees of the universities, the foundations, the arts, the unions, and the government employees are all heavily invested in Obama — the class warrior who assures those of the upper classes that class and racial resentment will be turned against others. Remember the powers of presidential incumbency. Remember that millions are still mesmerized by teleprompted eloquence. Remember that each month thousands more go on food stamps, receive disability insurance, obtain unemployment insurance extensions, and are excused from the federal income tax rolls — and are loyal to those who enable them and hostile to those who might not. Remember that to criticize Obama still almost immediately earns the charge of “racist.”

It is not easy to overcome all that.

This is an election of smiley fantasies versus a harsh wakeup call to prevent looming financial and overseas catastrophes in the next year or so. And fantasies, not reality, are what half the population may now live for. That Romney is close is a miracle....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gallup Has It Tied.... Among Registered Voters!

So, among likely voters, Romney is likely up at least 2-3 points, if not more.






















So much for the Obama convention bump and voters' reactions to all of Romney's supposed "gaffes."   

Spin this, MSM!

Girl of the Day - Sophia Loren

I turned on the TV this morning for a minute to catch some Mike & Mike in the Morning, and flipped by AMC.   There was what appeared to be a bad 1960s comedy on starring Sophia Loren.   Lo and behold, it's her birthday!    Enjoy!



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Girl of the Day - More Sweater Weather!

I'm just sayin'...

Fairness

You can make the case that a progressive income tax is a reasonable way of funding the government and a reasonable reflection of our priorities that subsidizing things like raising children (child credits) in a home (mortgage deduction) and giving some money to your church (charitable deductions) are good things that we should do first, before the government starts taking money in taxes.   The following chart from the Heritage Foundation reflects that progressivity in the tax code:




What I don't think you can argue is that the top 1% or top 5% don't already pay their "fair share."   Maybe it would be necessary for them to pay more, or reasonable for them to pay more, or rational for them to pay more, but it isn't fair, and we ought not to fall for that rhetoric.  

And, by the way, the rest of us ought to be grateful, not bitter, toward the 1%.

Why We Need A Larger, Not a Smaller Navy

While we talk about videotapes and whether 47% of us are moochers and "gaffes" of various sorts, the larger world seems more and more to be entering a state of entropy.   Will a reporter today ask either Romney or Obama about a billion-plus population, second-largest economy in the world country -- China -- that seems intent upon provoking a conflict with one of our allies, Japan?

What should have been a fairly traditional, if uncomfortable, round of protests and counter-demonstrations in China and Japan over ownership of the Senkaku Islands is in danger of spiraling out of control. The islands sit off the northeast tip of Taiwan and are close to massive undersea oil and gas deposits. They have been administered by Tokyo since 1972 (as part of the reversion of Okinawa to Japanese control), but Japan, China, and Taiwan all claim ownership. Activists from both China and Japan have landed on the islands in recent weeks, sparked by Tokyo’s decision to purchase the islands from their private Japanese owners. This has led to massive protests across China and the targeting of Japanese diplomatic missions and businesses. Now, a number of Japan’s largest companies that do business in China are temporarily suspending operations, including Mazda, Uniqlo, and Aeon department stores. Others are the target of a coordinated boycott campaign.

That is not enough to bring about conflict, but actions in the waters off the Senkakus just might be. Last week, China sent six maritime patrol ships to the islands, where they were confronted by Japan’s Coast Guard. Most withdrew quickly, and those that remained left a day later. Now, China is upping the ante by sending eleven patrol ships back to the disputed waters. On top of that, a massive flotilla of up to 1,000 Chinese fishing boats is supposedly on its way to the islands as well. It is, in fact, Chinese fishing boats that are the cause of most of the tensions between China and its maritime neighbors in Asia. They enter contested waters to fish, and are invariably backed up by maritime patrol boats. This is what triggered a month-long standoff between the Philippines and China earlier this year in the South China Sea, and what caused a diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Tokyo over the Senkakus back in 2010.

Beijing continually tries to push the envelope, seeing how far other nations will go in protecting their territory (or, in China’s view, contested territory). In no cases of which I’m aware has Beijing reined in Chinese fishermen in order to contain tension. Instead, in almost every instance, it inflames such situations by sending in its patrol ships to back up the fishermen. Even those who are skeptical that China is really a menace to its neighbors would have trouble defending these increasingly aggressive actions.

Now Japan and China may be just one step away from a shooting incident.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Meanwhile, Our President Is Not a Serious Man

Michael Ramirez captures the current insanity of President Three-Putt:


The Regular Son Weighs In

Comments from the Regular Son, age 15 and eight months:

Let me give you some thoughts on Mitt's 47-percenting:

People are naturally inclined to believe statistics. This certainly applies to American politics. Romney's remarks are a) all statistics, and b) all true statistics. I think people, if they're not aware of the gravity of the unsustainable behemoth welfare state, certainly do not like thinking of themselves as part of the unsustainable behemoth welfare state. If there's one thing middle-class Americans don't like, it's a freeloader. And I think people are also very wary of the Occupy wing of the Democratic party, the libs on the Twitterverse and the blogosphere. I think this appeals to the average American's political mind: 90 percent of voters have sworn allegiance to one party or another. I think it appeals to independents, who don't much like the increasing polarization of red-blue America. And I think people view government aid to "the poor" with much more suspicion than they used to in, say, 1965. Now, will this help Romney? Of course not. Why? Because the way the media shapes public opinion is not through logic, facts and reason. It's by creating a tiny little voice in the back of people's heads that says "Mitt Romney hates people on welfare". It's by creating an aura around a candidate that they just can't shake. It's by Saul Alinsky politics--brand, define and demonize. So I see two scenarios. One, this does very little damage and, if anything, draws the focus of the campaign back to the leviathan moocher-state. Two, it brands Romney as the out-of-touch individualist who wants to shred the social safety net to make rope for his yacht. We shall see.

Liveblogging the Romney Video

Mother Jones just released it.   Here are my comments with the previously released parts bolded:

1.  Obama's foreign policy as "extraordinarily naive."
2.  Centerpiece of Romney foreign policy will be "strength."
3.  Obama "speaks loudly and carries a tiny stick."  (Great line:  no wonder Mother Jones didn't want this published.)
4.  Quotes Kissinger:  "we are perceived as weak."
5.  "Palestinians have no interest in peace."  
6.   Very sophisticated discussion of practical problems with independent Palestinian state.
7.   "The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up" is a bad idea.
8.   Question about "terrible misconception" about Romney as person...
9.    Romney:  "polls at this stage don't mean anything."
10.  "The President will engage in a personal character assassination campaign..."
11.  "Why not stick up for yourself?" re Romney's business career.
12.  What disappoints Romney the most is Obama's way of pitting one American against another by attacking success.   Cites Rubio's parents who wanted their children to succeed.
13.  47% of people who will vote for government no matter what.
14.  Our Navy is smaller and Obama wants to shrink it.   Our Air Force is smaller and Obama wants to shrink it.
15.   If we win, there will be optimism, and without doing anything there will be a boost to the economy.
16.   White papers won't have a significant impact, ads will.   "A highly intellectual discussion of issues doesn't win elections."
17.   "Are you disappointed that Obama's policies didn't work?   Yes.   Those people in the middle that we have to get voted for Obama and want to believe that they did the right thing, but he just didn't do the job.   'He's in over his head.'"
18.   "We use Ann sparingly... you will see more of her."

On the whole, the video seems pretty innocous, pretty much "inside baseball."   I don't think the snippets that the media has picked out will do Romney much harm, if any, and may actually help him.   I also think the line that Obama "speaks loudly and carries a tiny stick" could have some legs.

"Editorial Judgment" and Modern Journalism

"Prosecutorial discretion" is when a prosecutor makes prudential decisions about what crimes to prosecute.   Perhaps he goes after more drunk drivers and fewer casual marijuana users.   Perhaps he targets spousal abuse and ignores minor property crimes such as vandalism or theft from garages.  

The journalistic equivalent is "editorial judgment," in which journalists and their editors decide what stories to cover.   The problem with editorial judgment, like prosecutorial discretion, is that it can too easily become bias.   If a prosecutor targets certain crimes, he might sweep into law enforcement's purview more blacks and other minorities; if a journalist targets certain stories, he can too easily become a Democratic Party shill.

In the Internet age, editorial judgment is even more problematic, because the capacity exists to provide the public with the primary documents (or videotapes) and let the public itself make its own judgments.  Consider, for instance, the circumstance of Mother Jones magazine.   It obviously has video of a Mitt Romney fund raiser.   It has chosen selectively to release two snippets from that fund raiser, regarding Romney's comments on people who don't pay taxes, and Romney's comments on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.   Why doesn't Mother Jones simply place the whole video on its website so we can see the full context?   Doesn't their failure to do so show that they are not acting as journalists, but simply as Democratic Party hacks?

Taxation Without Representation

Amen, brother, I say:  "Amen!"

The Book of Mormon

Bret Stephens has a great piece up at WSJ contrasting the reaction to the hit Broadway musical The Book of Mormon and the Internet-only, seen-by-no-one movie called Innocence of Muslims:

The most "progressive" administration in recent U.S. history will make no principled defense of free speech to a Muslim world that could stand hearing such a defense. After the debut of "The Book of Mormon" musical, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded with this statement: "The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."

That was it. The People's Front for the Liberation of Provo will not be gunning for a theater near you. Is it asking too much of religious and political leaders in Muslim communities to adopt a similar attitude?

The work of pointing out the double standards of modern liberalism never ends.

Girl of the Day - Garbo!

It's Greta Garbo's birthday!


How the World Works -- On Romney's "47%" Comment

Let me tell you how the world works.   A few years ago I was involved in a major piece of litigation.   The claim was for something like $3 billion, with the potential for treble damages, which meant that, for my client, it was a "bet the company" case.   At some point during the litigation, an article showed up in the New York Times about the case that painted our client's conduct in an unfavorable light, which mattered going forward because the client was a publicly-traded company and obviously did not want bad publicity, because it affected their stock price.   We knew instantly that the story had been planted with the Times by our adversaries, a major NY law firm.   In short, what passed for news was really a planned and timed press release by the Plaintiff.

I think the same is true about the surreptitious film of Mitt Romney making comments at a fundraiser about how 47% of Americans don't pay income taxes so they will be hard to convince that lowering taxes would be good for the economy.   Put aside the fact that what Romney said is basically true, and essentially repeats what has been a truism of American political observation since Tocqueville, namely, that once a majority of the people figure out they can vote themselves money out of their neighbors' pockets, democracy cannot long survive.   The timing of the story by a minor, but well-known left-wing publication, Mother Jones, suggests to me that it is a plant by the Obama campaign.   I think they've had this film for many months, and released it at a time when they thought they needed to shift attention.   Consider:

  • The facts coming out of the Middle East show that the Obama administration either knew or should have known that attacks on our embassies on 9/11 were imminent.  
  • The Office of Inspector General report on Fast and Furious is due out either this week or next, and leaks have already suggested that it will be very hard on the Obama administration.
  • The economy continues to be tanking, and the jobs report for September, which is now due out two weeks from Friday, will likely be more of the same.
  • Polls are starting to show that the Obama convention bounce has dissipated, and internal polls must be showing that Romney could be ahead once the unlikelihood of repeating the 2008 Democratic turnout among blacks and youth is factored in.
The Democrats and Obama needed to change the subject.   Voila!   A manufactured "scandal" about an innocuous comment by Romney months ago that can be spun as a "secret" tape with appropriate scare headlines.

That's how the world works.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Are You Ready for Armageddon?

This is, sadly, making the rounds:



Just In Case There Is Any Confusion Regarding "Blasphemy" Laws

The Obama administration's Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights appeared today to be confused about whether criminalizing speech against a religion, i.e., "blasphemy," would be unconstitutional:



Weird.   He's a key federal government lawyer on civil rights, and he doesn't know the straight answer to the question, or doesn't think the straight answer should be the answer.   For his edification, here is the key language from a sixty year-old Supreme Court decision invalidating a New York statute that purported to prohibit "sacrilegious" films:

New York's highest court says there is "nothing mysterious" about the statutory provision applied in this case:
It is simply this: that no religion, as that word is understood by the ordinary, reasonable person, shall be treated with contempt, mockery, scorn and ridicule. . . .
This is far from the kind of narrow exception to freedom of expression which a state may carve out to satisfy the adverse demands of other interests of society.  In seeking to apply the broad and all-inclusive definition of "sacrilegious" given by the New York courts, the censor is set adrift upon a boundless sea amid a myriad of conflicting currents of religious views, with no charts but those provided by the most vocal and powerful orthodoxies. New York cannot vest such unlimited restraining control over motion pictures in a censor. Cf. Kunz v. New York, 340 U.S. 290 (1951).  Under such a standard the most careful and tolerant censor would find it virtually impossible to avoid favoring one religion over another, and he would be subject to an inevitable tendency to ban the expression of unpopular sentiments sacred to a religious minority. Application of the "sacrilegious" test, in these or other respects, might raise substantial questions under the First Amendment's guaranty of separate church and state with freedom of worship for all.  However, from the standpoint of freedom of speech and the press, it is enough to point out that the state has no legitimate interest in protecting any or all religions from views distasteful to them which is sufficient to justify prior restraints upon the expression of those views. It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches, or motion pictures.

Obama as President, and the officers in his administration, took an oath to uphold the Constitution.   To the extent that they are lurching close to criminalizing "blasphemy" against Islam, they are violating their oaths.  

Girl of the Day - Lauren Bacall

Not really my type, but, whoah, that voice!   Probably sexiest voice in the history of the movies.   Her birthday was yesterday; she would have been 88.

You Too Can Be My 100,000th Reader!

It's a small blog, but it's all mine.   Sometime in the next few minutes I'll have my 100,000th view.   Not bad... until you realize most of them are girls of the day, or my son, or my wife, or my mother.   Ah, well.   Wisdom for most people consists in growing in comfort with one's own anonymity.  

Then and Now - Obama in Cairo

In early July 2009, President Obama gave a speech in Cairo in which he addressed the conflict between the West and Islam in terms that suggested that, like the seas receding, Obama had the power (through force of personality? through the power of "just words"?) to change the relationship between the two divergent civilizations.   Here are some highlights that time has shown to be naive at best, America-blaming and pro-Islamist at worst:


We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world - tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.


I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, [America and Islam] overlap, and share common principles - principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.



As a student of history, I also know civilization's debt to Islam. It was Islam - at places like Al-Azhar University - that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.


So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.



The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism - it is an important part of promoting peace.



And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.


I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.

That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.


Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, where devout Christians worshiped freely in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. That is the spirit we need today. People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul. This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive, but it is being challenged in many different ways.


There need not be contradiction between development and tradition. Countries like Japan and South Korea grew their economies while maintaining distinct cultures. The same is true for the astonishing progress within Muslim-majority countries from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai. In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.


When you mistake a historic clash of divergent civilizations with incommensurable world-views for a Saturday night bull session in a college dorm where "we can all come together" over a bong full of choom... well, you get predictable outcomes, like an ambassador being dragged through the streets of Benghazi.

Hugh Hewitt Makes the Case Against Obama

Actually, his book title is The Brief Against Obama, but here it is on today's Hugh Hewitt blog in summary form:

*He has wrecked the "recovery," and is in the process of insisting on a recession via massive tax hikes as an exercise in the politics of envy. Unemployment is actually much higher than 8.2% and the president's policies are shutting the door on the prospects of a hiring surge.
*He has run up astounding amounts of debt that will cause the dollar to weaken and inflation to arrive with vengeful force.
*He has wrecked Medicare by looting it of $500 billion and Obamacare's roll out via the IPAB will institute rationing for seniors even as premiums in the private sector skyrocket and Medicaid collapses.
*He is stripping the military of men and assets, reducing the American nuclear deterent even as he denies our conventional forces of their edge via deep across-the-board cuts.
*He telegraphs weakness to all of our enemies and our enemies respond.
*He is stacking the courts with hard-left judges --including one who struck down even his own detention policy Friday-- and will stack the Supreme Court with more votes for the full flowering of government in a second term likely to see at least two vacancies.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Roger Simon Has... Well, Balls

Roger Simon offers himself up to the Obama administration in a thought experiment about the First Amendment:

Hillary Clinton, I insist that you have me arrested. I am thinking of making a movie about Mohammed.
I don’t want to brag, but as a film professional with an Academy Award nomination in screenwriting, I may do a better job than Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, alleged creator of the Innocence of Muslims.

But I have to admit one thing. Hopeless and inept as Nakoula may be as a filmmaker, I agree with the intentions of his movie. I too detest Islam because I happen to abhor misogyny and homophobia, both mainstays of that faith. And, like most Americans, I prefer freedom of religion to jihad, Sharia law, and a global caliphate.
 
Don’t let me criticize any of that.

I also happen to agree with Nakoula that making a movie about a faith whose prophet married a six year old and deflowered her at nine is of thematic and dramatic relevance. As a father, I am seriously concerned about child abuse, as is most of our film-going public, I would imagine.

Indeed, the beginnings of Islam are the very stuff of great theatre and cinema, reprehensible as the actions of the protagonist may be. In fact, it may be great because of those actions. After all, Richard III is not a classic for nothing.

So I am very tempted by the subject of Mohammed.

Arrest me, Hillary Clinton, before I start. Call Eric Holder!...

My film is likely to be inspired by a fascinating lecture I heard by the very Rushdie during which the novelist, who read Islamic history at Cambridge, explained the origins of that faith. He said it began with Mohammed’s ruthless and violent battle with the mother cults that then controlled Medina over local trade routes. It was about money then, but, as I will show in my movie, that war evolved into a kind of perpetual “War on Women” that has been waged by Islam since.

Interesting, huh? Good cinema. Action, adventure, sex (matriarchy vs. ultra-patriarchy), even a little meaty conversation like Lawrence of Arabia.

Don’t let me do it. There’s only one “War on Women” and you know it — the one your fellow Democrats ascribe to Mitt Romney and company. I wouldn’t want to undermine that.

So stop me, Hillary, before I write. The Bill of Rights is a fusty old document anyway, obviously subject to revision by an UN-approved committee of trans-global multi-culturalists.

Censor me all you want. I’m ready. I don’t want to cause any international incidents. I have enough sleepless nights as is.

But you will excuse me if, in the process, I think of you as the deepest of reactionaries. I knew you were a big time liar when you blamed the “right-wing conspiracy” for your husband’s obvious serial adultery. That was nothing compared to this, however. By blaming filmmakers, even the most amateurish ones, for the murderous actions of fanatical Islamists, you have placed yourself in complete opposition to everything our country ever stood for and to the essence of the U.S. Constitution.
***

Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds makes the argument that the picture below of the "film-maker" whose Youtube video about Mohammed allegedly caused the Middle East riots (note:  it didn't; Islamists simply used it as a pretext) being hauled off by authorities for midnight questioning ought to cost President Obama the election by itself:

When taking office, the President does not swear to create jobs. He does not swear to “grow the economy.” He does not swear to institute “fairness.” The only oath the President takes is this one:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated that oath. You can try to pretty this up (It’s just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.
Here's the picture:

Friday, September 14, 2012

This Sort of Thing Goes Too Far

Attack our embassies?  I'm mad.  But burn down a KFC?   You must pay.



Who knew we had Kentucky Fried in Beirut?   Mmmm... that's extra-crispy.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Romney's Bet

The accumulating weight of the Obama administration's failures is staggering.   Consider the record Obama must defend:

  • $16 trillion in debt, with nearly $6 trillion added in his first term.
  • $1 trillion plus deficits in each of his four years.
  • No plan to reduce entitlements, which are bankrupting our country.
  • His signature achievement, Obamacare, is a huge new entitlement we can't afford.
  • His second signature achievement, the 2009 stimulus, was a boondoggle that failed to jump start the economy and instead funneled nearly $1 trillion in taxpayers' money to unions and Democratic Party insiders.
  • The U.S. credit rating downgraded.
  • Unemployment over 8% for 43 months and counting.   Real unemployment if you consider discouraged workers who've dropped out of the workforce is much higher.
  • Fecklessness in foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East.
  • Offending Israel, our only natural ally in the Middle East.
  • Appeasing Iran, our enemy.
  • Botching the "Arab Spring," with the Muslim Brotherhood now in charge of Egypt and Libya.
  • A murdered ambassador in Libya.
  • Leading us to a fiscal cliff.
  • Leading us to a significant national security decline via the sequestration and its impact on military funding coming due on 1/1/13.
  • Solyndra and the cover-up.
  • Fast and Furious and the cover-up.
  • Gay marriage flip-flop.
  • Golf and the missed intelligence briefings.
  • Choosing Sandra Fluke and spoiled upper-middle-class slatterns over the Catholic Church and religious liberty.
  • Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, etc.
  • Chicago teachers' unions.

Obama is betting that the American people just aren't very smart, and will vote for him because he'll keep their gravy train going for another four years.   Romney is betting that they are smart enough to know a failure when they see one, but just haven't paid attention to the campaign much yet.   Once they start doing so, the litany of woes that the Obama administration has been should become more and more evident.  

Or, as mentioned below, perhaps we are just too far gone.

Big Sentence from a Big Brain

VDH has the crucial insight that the American MSM apparently cannot grasp:

Radical Islam hates the West not because of troops in Saudi Arabia, or Danish cartoons or Mr. Rushdie, or even, as Dr. Zawahiri and bin Laden once wrote, global warming and an absence of campaign-finance reform—or, this week, a low-rent, do-it-yourself crackpot video—but out of a deep sense of its own inferiority in a globalized world, whose causes run throughout traditional Middle Eastern society (e.g., tribalism, gender apartheid, statism, anti-intellectualism, a lack of freedom and transparency, religious intolerance, anti-Semitism, fundamentalism, and on and on).

Radical Islam will not forgive the West if we apologize for particular excesses of individuals exercising free speech.   They want to convert us to Islam and sharia law.    They want to take away our freedoms.  

We are in a thousand year plus battle against the forces of Unreason.   The sooner we stop apologizing and realize that it's a battle we have to win for civilization as we know it to continue, the more likely it will be that we can win it, and not descend into a new Dark Age.

Prescient, If I Say So Myself

On the morning of 9/11, if you glance a few posts down on the Regular Guy Believes, I had this to say about Obama's failure to attend the majority of his daily intelligence briefings:

What does it say then about President Obama's seriousness as a leader and as Commander-in-Chief that he's missed so many of his daily briefings?   What if an attack happened now?   How would the MSM spin Obama's golf-playing and fund-raising and ESPN-watching if thousands of Americans died?


Well, it wasn't thousands of Americans, but four, including our ambassador, who died in Libya later that same day.   And now we know how the MSM would spin it... they would make the story about the campaign and Romney's supposed "gaffe" at commenting on the episode.

Disgraceful.   And that goes for both Obama's feckless foreign policy and the mainstream media's shameless cheerleading for the Obama campaign.  

Girl of the Day - Jacqueline Bisset

She turns 68 today.   And, by the way, her real name was Winifred.   Either way, pretty scrumptious:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wisdom

Walter Russell Mead makes a good point, no less wise even though it's also obvious:

Yesterday’s events should remind us that all the models and all the “laws” of politics that political scientists labor to uncover are really just rules of thumb and probability calculations. Presidential elections are driven by events as well as by “forces”, and many of the most important events are inherently unpredictable until, quite suddenly, they occur.

November is still a very long way off, and the world remains a radically unpredictable place.

The Murder of an Ambassador Cannot Stand

Nearly twenty years ago it was reported that Saddam Hussein had plotted to murder former President George H.W. Bush on a visit to Kuwait.   My comment:  if I had been President (instead of Clinton), I would have been on national TV within 30 minutes, and I would have said something like this:

YOU DON'T THREATEN TO KILL A U.S. PRESIDENT.   PERIOD.   IF YOU DO SO, YOU AND EVERYONE WHO IS ASSOCIATED WITH YOU WILL BE KILLED BY U.S. MILITARY ACTION UPON MY ORDER.   PERIOD.  

This has to be the policy of the United States.  We have to be feared.   As harsh as this may sound, civilization survives because there are lines that you can't cross without the harshest possible punishment.

Today, after mobs in Libya broke into our Embassy -- our Embassy!  which is American soil as a matter of international law! -- and murdered our ambassador -- our Ambassador!   who is the representative of our government! -- the only appropriate response from the U.S. President should have been something like this:

YOU DON'T KILL OUR AMBASSADORS.   PERIOD.   IF YOU DO SO, EVERYONE WHO WAS INVOLVED, EVERYONE ASSOCIATED WITH ANYONE WHO WAS INVOLVED, EVERYONE WHO CONDONES BY WORD OR DEED THE MURDER, EVERYONE IN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COUNTRY WHERE IT HAPPENS WHO DOESN'T IMMEDIATELY ACT TO CONDEMN IN THE HARSHEST POSSIBLE TERMS THE MURDER, AND TO IMMEDIATELY DELIVER THE PERPETRATORS TO AMERICAN JUSTICE -- BY WHICH I MEAN SUMMARY EXECUTION -- WE WILL KILL ALL OF YOU.   PERIOD.  

SO, PRESIDENT OR PRIME MINISTER OR WHATEVER YOU CALL YOURSELF OF LIBYA, HERE'S YOUR OPTION.   YOU WILL GO ON NATIONAL TELEVISION IN LIBYA WITH A HOOKUP TO AL-JAZEERA AND YOU WILL ABJECTLY, GROVELINGLY APOLOGIZE TO AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR THIS CRIME.   YOU WILL COMMIT TO TURNING OVER THE PERPETRATORS TO AMERICAN JUSTICE AND EXECUTION.   OR ELSE BENGHAZI WILL BE IN FLAMES IN THE MORNING.

Too tough for you?    Too bad.  

The $16 Trillion Dollar Question

Peter Kirsanow frames the question precisely at NRO:

There are many similarities between Carter and Obama: embassies under siege, an invincible belief in the moral superiority of their policy positions, an initial instinct to apologize for American behavior, strategic myopia, a stance toward Israel that may charitably be described as “cool,”  a dangerously na├»ve view of Russia, an incoherent energy policy, a tendency to blame others for their own failures, zealous expansion of the regulatory state, ineptitude at grappling with high and persistent unemployment (7.5 and 8.1 percent at this point in their respective terms), and presiding over a nation perceived to be in decline, to name just a few.

Neither president could break above 50 percent approval for most of the last two years of their terms. Obama, however, has an advantage. Although  members of the press plainly favored Carter over Reagan, they didn’t protect and promote Carter with anything near the religious fervor accorded Obama.
Gallup had Carter up by four points over Reagan at this point in the election cycle. But fed up with four years of howling ineptitude and moral preening, voters ended up rejecting Carter  by a nine-point margin. And Carter didn’t have to defend Obamacare, annual trillion-dollar deficits, $5 trillion in added debt or a refusal to address a looming entitlement catastrophe.

The question this November  is whether American voters’ tolerance for failure (or appetite for government benefits) has grown so much in the last three decades that they won’t reward Obama with the same fate as his presidential cousin. 

Exactly so.   The question of this election is:  Just how far gone are we?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Items Contra Polls

Many in the conservative blogosphere have been disheartened by polls showing President Obama got a post-convention "bounce," while others have spent time analyzing the "cross-tabs" of the same polls to argue that they aren't credible.   But the emphasis on polls, so typical of America's politics of the trivial, is missing the real news that's coming out over the past week:

1. The horrible jobs numbers from the BLS last Friday.
2. Moody's caution that America could get another downgrade in its credit rating.
3. Germany's warning that American national debt is a threat to world stability.
4. Israel's increasing alarm over Iran's nuclear program, and Obama's unaccountable decision to snub Benjamin Netanyahu, who wanted to meet with him on his trip this month to the U.S.
5. Mobs attacking U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya -- so much for the "Arab Spring"!

Meanwhile, President Poll-Tested keeps going to fundraisers and keeps playing golf and keeps talking, talking, talking.

Fiddling. 

While.  

Rome.  

Burns.   

Connect the Dots

I have a clear memory in the aftermath of 9/11 of pundits chastising President Bush for failing to "connect the dots" to prevent the attacks from happening.   Apparently there were clues in the Daily Intelligence Briefings that could have -- in a purely hypothetical, hindsight world -- led him to understand that the attacks were imminent.   What does it say then about President Obama's seriousness as a leader and as Commander-in-Chief that he's missed so many of his daily briefings?   What if an attack happened now?   How would the MSM spin Obama's golf-playing and fund-raising and ESPN-watching if thousands of Americans died?

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, September 10, 2012

"No Comment" on Chicago Teacher Strike

When I am cross-examining a hostile witness, there is usually one moment in the questioning where I will stare at the witness with a "you gotta be kidding me" look on my face and say to him, "Now, let me get this straight."

Regarding President Obama's "no comment" on the Chicago Teacher Strike... let me get this straight:

1. Chicago is his hometown.
2. He made his political career as a "community organizer" in Chicago.
3. The teachers' unions are one of his primary sources of campaign funding and support, as well as being one of the primary financial supports for the Democratic Party as a whole.
4. Illinois is his home state.
5. Illinois, along with California, is in the midst of a fiscal meltdown largely driven by high wages and benefits grated to public employees, including teachers.
6. The battle between taxpayers and public employees, including teachers, is a national issue (witness the Scott Walker recall election in Wisconsin when he had the temerity to take on teacher pay and benefits).

And he has "no comment"?

Obama '12:  Four More Years of Voting "Present"

Girl of the Day - Feels Like Fall Edition

It's almost sweater weather.

Romney Ought to Hit This Hard... Obama is Actually Not Showing Up for Work

From the Washington Post:


President Obama is touting his foreign policy experience on the campaign trail, but startling new statistics suggest that national security has not necessarily been the personal priority the president makes it out to be. It turns out that more than half the time, the commander in chief does not attend his daily intelligence meeting.

The Government Accountability Institute, a new conservative investigative research organization, examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June 2012, to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) — the meeting at which he is briefed on the most critical intelligence threats to the country. During his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times — or 43.8 percent of the time. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just over 38 percent. By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting.


He plays an awful lot of golf, though, doesn't he?

Myths

A five second glance at the news headlines suggest that many Americans, including most Democrats, exist in a cocoon of false ideas, myths that they have been told by the media and by their leaders that simply aren't true.   Consider just these stories from today:

1.  GM loses $49,000 on every Chevy Volt.   Yet people believe the myth that Obama "saved" the auto industry and that "green" cars are the future.

2. Chicago teachers strike.   Because a 16% raise over four years wasn't enough for them.   Yet people believe the myth that public school teachers are in it "for the children."

3. Obama befuddled by iPhone.   Yet people still believe he is the smartest President evah!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

The Romer-Bernstein chart, updated with today's jobs numbers:



This is still literally the only thing voters should need to decide to vote Obama out of office.

Here's the take of the American Enterprise Institute on today's jobs report:

Now the depressing details of the jobs report:
– Nonfarm payrolls increased by only 96,000 in August, the Labor Department said, versus expectations of 125,000 jobs or more. The manufacturing sector, much touted by the president in his convention speech, lost 15,000 jobs.
– Since the start of the year, job growth has averaged 139,000 per month vs. an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.
– As the chart at the top shows, the unemployment rate remains far above the rate predicted by Team Obama if Congress passed the stimulus. (This is the Romer-Bernstein chart.)
– While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% from 8.3% in July, it was due to a big drop in the labor force participation rate (the share of Americans with a job or looking for one). If fewer Americans hadn’t given up looking for work, the unemployment rate would have risen.
– Reuters notes that the participation rate is now at its lowest level since September 1981.
– If the labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 11.2%.
– If the participation rate had just stayed the same as last month, the unemployment rate would be 8.4%.

Girl of the Day - Susan Blakely

Susan Blakely was one of the super-models whose face dominated my youth in the 1970s.   She turns 64 today.   A very pretty lady.   Here she is from even earlier, as a model for Seventeen in the 1960s.




The Jobs Numbers

The national debt went over $16 trillion on the first day of the Democratic convention.   Today the August jobs numbers were released.   On the surface, it looked like good news for the President:  the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%, still a bad number, but a significant uptick.  But looking behind the numbers, the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is very bad news for the country, and very bad news for Obama.   Consider this:  the labor-force participation rate dropped from 63.7% to 63.5%, and the civilian labor force dropped by 368,000.  That's 368,000 people who dropped out of the labor force, either from retirement or, more likely, from discouragement.    If the labor-force participation rate were what it was in January 2009 when Obama took office -- it was at 65.7% -- there would be more than 5 million more people looking for work.   Thus, arguably the "true" unemployment rate is something closer to 11.5%.  

I've said this before and I'll say it again:   the only data to look at that makes sense, that isn't artificial to some degree, is the employment-population ratio, because it measures the most basic data point -- how many of us are actually working.   Here's what that graph looks like:



Obama's economic policies have kept us flat for the past three years, when we ought to have been recovering from the recession.    He's failed, and he's got to go.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Drunkblogging the DNC

Just tuning in at 9:00 pm.   Slow Joe Biden in the middle of offering a paean to the American people.   You deserve a President who will never quit on you.   Meaningless pablum.   As opposed to what?   A President who plays golf all the time.   Oh, wait a minute.  

Republicans are dead wrong.  American is not in decline.   It's never been a good bet to bet against the American people.   We will not downsize the American Dream.   OK, so now we're going to have a straw man festival.

I see a future where women once again can control their own bodies.   Who doesn't?  I just don't want to have to pay for some adult law student's birth control pills.   I couldn't care less what Sandra Fluke does with her body.  

Depend more on clean energy at home and less on oil from abroad.  False choice.    We have a lot of oil and natural gas here that we can get right now.  

Joe is finishing by shouting at us.   Forward!  He's a very foolish man.  

P.S. I'm going to take a sip of ice-cold Gray Goose every time Obama says "fair share."

***

9:15.   Dick Durbin.   Why?   Makes an analogy of Obama to Lincoln... seriously.   Because letting two gay dudes pretend to get married is the same as freeing the slaves.   Or something like that.

Now we've got the obligatory infomercial about Obama. 

More Clinton.

The bailout of GM as politically courageous.

No one really knew the depths of the challenge we were facing.

Do people really think the bailout was a good idea?   They say there are 80,000 new jobs in the auto industry.   But we spent $25 billion on the bailout.   That's about $312,500 per job.   Hmmmm...

Obamacare as a "matter of principle."   Because his mother got big medical bills when she got cancer or something.    Nothing to do with the fact that Democrats have wanted nationalized healthcare on the British model since the end of World War II.  

Bin Ladin.   I had 100% confidence in our Navy Seals.

This is a guy who has a backbone like a ramrod.   Clinton:  I hope that's the call I would have made.   Oh, bullshit.   Anyone would have made the same call based upon the intelligence Obama had.

Michelle Obama introducing Barack.   Is this typical?   She's getting a lot of screen time in this convention.

Teleprompter alert.   Of course.   But I might have hidden it until he was ready to speak.

Weird music.     Couldn't they have gone a little more urban.   This is about as hip as Disney Channel.... oh, wait, it's U2... a sop to the environmentalists?

Here comes BO.   More anon.

***

9:27.   Hope in the face of uncertainty.   Hope has been tested... worst economic times in history.   Political gridlock.   Campaigns can seem small.  

Clearest choice of any time in a generation.   Right.   Between socialism on a European model, or freedom in the American vein.   Romney wants this, based on his choice of Paul Ryan.  

Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the world's strongest middle class.   Values like abortion on demand.   Values like payoffs to public employee unions.   Values like....

FAIR SHARE!   DRINK!

Republicans say tax cuts are the prescription for everything.   Well, yes.   That plus cutting spending.

Tax breaks for millionaires won't grow the economy.   Lie.   He's not proposing to tax millionaires, he's proposing to tax people who make over $250,000 a year.   That's a lot of small businessmen.  

Firing teachers and taking away student aid... Lie.  

The Regular Son thinks BO is being effective.   My view:  if you think bullshit is effective.   Which, sad to say, a lot of Americans apparently do.   

I'm taking an ice cream break.

***

Back at 9:38.   Obama is now saying what a great job he's done opening up new oil and gas fields.   He's kidding right?  Does anyone think that the Democrats are in favor of more drilling?   The crowd doesn't like this much.

Global warming is not a hoax.   O throws a bone to the enviro whackos.  

Education is the gateway to a middle-class life.   You have a choice:  you can gut education, or you can blah-blah-blah.  Because Republicans really want to "gut education."   Another straw man. 

Help me recruit another 100,000 math and science teachers in the next ten years.   Again, let's do the math... that's 10,000 teachers a year.   There are roughly 50,000,000 school-age children in America.   So one new teacher for every 500 children.   I'm just sayin'... that's not going to change American education.  

Leadership that has been tested and proven.   We ended the war in Iraq.   We are ending the war in Afghanistan.   Osama bin Laden is dead.   Taking credit for things that any President would have done.   Meanwhile, Iran is getting nukes, Egypt is in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, and China will have the world's biggest economy before 2016.  

My opponents are "new" to foreign policy.   He's really saying this.   Because he's done such a great job, and he was so experienced in 2008.  

It's time to do some nation-building right here at home.  

You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle-class.   In a word, no. 

Kick children out of Head Start so they can give tax breaks to millionaires.   Demogoguery.  

If you can't afford health insurance, hope that you don't get sick.   Demogoguery.   Caricaturing Republican positions.

You have inalienable rights.... apparently you have an inalienable right to have me pay for your kids' college educations.

I'm drinking just on principle now.

***

We don't think banks should be able to trick people into signing mortgages they can't afford.   Has he ever been to a closing on a mortgage loan?   How exactly can people be tricked into signing a mortgage?   There are umpteen disclosures that the law requires be made.   That's how it's been for decades.   You have to be a certified moron to sign a mortgage you can't afford.   Don't you know what you make every month?
It sounds like he's building to a climax.   You did that!

If you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for can't happen... I don't know why we should be cynical... after Solyndra, or Fast and Furious, or $5 trillion in new debt, or pushing through Obamacare on a party-line vote in a reconciliation process in the Senate that was never intended for major legislation.  

Oh, shit... another Lincoln reference.   I want to puke.

9:59.   I'm hopeful because of you.   You give me hope.   Family business... with 4,000 employees? 
Wait, what?   That's probably a $220-300 million payroll.   Sounds like a pretty freakin' big business to me.   Again, these speechwriters can't do math and don't know anything about business.

If you reject the notion that this nation's promise is reserved for the few, you need to stand up in this election.   Says the guy who spends his time fundraising with Hollywood elites.

10:03.   America, I never said this journey would be easy.   The Obama campaign is essentially that we haven't been successful as a President, but I never said that I would be successful, but the other guys are rich guys who don't care about you, so you should vote for me again.  

They're playing Bruce Springsteen's song, "We Take Care of Our Own" after the speech.   I am not drunk enough at this point.  



DNC and Competence

The blunder of not putting God and Jerusalem-as-the-capital-of-Israel in the DNC platform.   Then, the blunder of having delegates boo putting them back in on live TV.

The blunder of scheduling Obama's speech in a huge stadium and then having to move it to a 20,000 seat arena because of the likelihood that there would be thousands of empty seats.

The blunder of starting the convention with a video entitled "Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To," and then the blunder of disavowing your own video.

The blunder of a delegate on camera stating a desire to kill the candidate of the GOP.

The ongoing blunder of permitting people like Sandra Fluke -- utter non-entities-- speak in prime-time at a national convention.

The blunder of putting Elizabeth "Fauxcahontas" Warren front-and-center.   Is that the best your party has to offer?

The blunder of not convincing Hillary Clinton, your Secretary of State, to make an appearance.

The blunder of giving prime time to Bill Clinton so he can overshadow you.

When will people wake up and realize that the consistent attribute of everything Obama has touched as President has been incompetence, sheer, unadulterated incompetence?

Breitbart Lives!

The strategy of very calmly asking liberals questions that make them look at their own contradictions, which in my mind was popularized by the late (and great) Andrew Breitbart, lives on in this Reason video from the DNC, in which a nice young man asks delegates whether they are pro-choice on abortion, and then asks them why they aren't pro-school choice, pro-right-to-work laws, pro choice in matters of diet (i.e., against Bloomberg's nanny state large soda bans), pro-choice in what light bulbs to buy, pro-choice in being able to smoke cigarettes if you want, etc.   Not surprisingly, these Dems are fine with choosing to kill babies, but otherwise want government telling you what to do,

File This Under "If a Republican Said This..."

Well, of course, if a Republican delegate to their convention had been interviewed on camera and had expressed a desire to kill Obama, it would be national news and a sign of the "climate of violence" on the right.   But, of course, this Democratic delegate from New York named Julia Rodriguez won't make the evening news at all, I suspect:



The direct quote:   "Romney will destroy this country.   If I see him, I would like to kill him."   You can see the video here at The Blaze.

Now, do I think that this crazy old lady is really going to kill Romney.   No, of course not.   The real point for me is simply to ask:   How does a person like this who has such obviously low intelligence get herself into a position of being a delegate to a national political convention?   Are the Democrats really proud of having these sorts of folks be the face of their party?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Unforced Errors III

These people are fools. Here is a clip from the Democratic convention in which the chair rams through two amendments to add language back into the party's platform recognizing God and recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. Neither should have been controversial, but, as you'll hear, a substantial portion of the delegates voted no, and then booed when the chair essentially lied and decided that 2/3rds had voted "aye."



They call that stepping on your own message.   Is there any way the GOP won't be running ads using this clip?   I'll bet they have an ad up on Youtube by tonight, if they don't already.  

Not as Big as Wisconsin, But Still Big



A dollar bill is about 2.6 inches by 6.1 inches in size.   $16 trillion of them -- the national debt -- would, by my calculations, cover an area of more than 63,000 square miles.   That's larger than 27 of the 50 states, and just a tad smaller than my home state of Wisconsin.  

At President Obama's current pace, if he's re-elected, we should add about another 20,000 square miles in debt by 2016.   Idaho, here we come!

I'm Just Saying... Mike Trout is RIDICULOUS!



In case you've missed it, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, age 21, is having one of the greatest seasons by a player that age in the history of baseball.   25 homers, 108 runs scored, 75 RBIs, batting .333, 43 stolen bases and only caught four times.   8.3 WAR.   And there's nearly a month to go, and he missed nearly a month at the start of the season!   I looked it up... in the past 100 years, only four players at that age have had years even approaching Trout's.   Their names?  

Albert Pujols.

Ted Williams.

Joe DiMaggio.

Frank Robinson.

And their seasons aren't as good as Trout's, at least from a WAR perspective (Wins Against Replacement-Level Player).   If you go back one more year, to 1911, you find the only 21 year-old in the history of baseball (since 1871) who had a better season in terms of WAR.   His name?

Shoeless Joe Jackson.   All he did that year was hit .408 and score 126 runs in the dead-ball era.

In other words, baseball fans ought to put this year in the time capsule.   What Trout is doing doesn't come around very often.    Maybe once in a lifetime.   If you're lucky.  

Unforced Errors II

Hard to imagine a Republican prankster could come up with a more damning video than the one the Democrats showed to start their convention, with the tagline "Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To":



I am not a slave to government. I don't "belong" to government. I do not think of myself as being part of the government. I am an American. Our government is not the same thing as our country. It is a function, not a creed, not a family, not even a nation. The nation "America" exists apart from our government and is composed of people and organic traditions, beliefs, history, and ideas.    Ronald Reagan said it best:  we are a nation that has a government, not the other way around.

But Democrats think differently. They think that we all "belong" to the government, which means that government can confiscate the fruits of our labor, and that our very existence is granted to us by our lords and masters in Washington.

We're All Racists Now

This is the way out of our current societal morass on "racism"... make fun of liberals' tendency to shout racism at any disagreement:

Girl of the Day - Michelle O



Have to give it to her:  she gave a good speech last night.   I increasingly have the feeling that she is the one driving the bus in that family.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Unforced Errors

I've taken a look at the cliche-ridden festival of banality that is the Democratic Party's platform.   It's filled with what Orwell would have called "dying metaphors" and "meaningless words."   So what would it have mattered if they had included a few references to God?   But they chose to leave out all such references, presumably on purpose, and thus to offend the majority of Americans who are believers.    Are they brain dead?   Do they finally not care whether they win this election or not?

On the other hand, they also chose to leave out reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to insert language supporting government-funding of abortion.   So maybe they've figured that, if people are going to believe that they are hard-leftists (which they are), they might as well be true to themselves in their platform.  

God is dead.
Jews will be dead.
Babies ought to be dead.
The modern Democratic Party.  

Let the Hysteria Commence

"Hysteria" is the best noun to describe what will happen this week at the DNC, because it captures the hormonal, feminized, ovary-driven politics that will apparently be the Dems' mantra.   There will be plenty of "Get Your Government Off My Ovaries!" buttons on display.

Anyway, here's idiot Cory Booker today on Republicans' "war on women":

At a Planned Parenthood rally today, Newark mayor Cory Booker tore into the Republicans on abortion, delivering a harsh criticism of speakers at the GOP convention who had said they “love women.”

“Then I heard something that is one of the reflections, an echo of some of the most insulting things we’ve been hearing for a long time,” Booker said, referring to watching the convention. “I heard people stand up and say, ‘I love women.’ I heard people stand up: ‘I’ve got a sister. I’ve got a mother.’”

“That’s like saying you’re not a bigot ‘cause you have a black friend,” Booker retorted, drawing cheers and applause from the crowd. “That’s like saying I love Latinos, I go to Taco Bell every week. That is like saying that you are a person that is just and right because you know what, you like Jewish people.”

These people are nuts.