"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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why Aren't More Politicians This Smart?

Pretty Pathetic Poll

That's what PPP stands for apparently.   In today's poll of Ohio voters, they have Obama up five in a D+9 poll.   Over at Hot Air they capture the absurdity nicely:

Oh, let’s just skip the rest of the preliminaries and go right to the sample.  The D/R/I on this poll is a ridiculous 45/36/19 that assumes Democrats will add six points to their 2008 turnout while independents largely stay home.  In 2008, recall, the exit polls showed the electorate at 39/31/30, and the 2010 midterm put it at 36/37/28.  Has anyone produced any evidence of such a wave of Democratic enthusiasm?  Even the CBS/NYT/Q-poll today showed GOP enthusiasm leading by 14 in Ohio, 57/43.

Democrats will not turn out in greater numbers in Ohio in 2012 than they did in 2008 during the wave of Obamamania.   Independents are a growing segment of the electorate, not a shrinking segment.   Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats.   Every responsible poll should reflect these basic facts.   If they don't, they're worthless.  

The Irony Metastasizes

Here's Obama speaking about the relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy:

“We leave nobody behind.  We make sure that we respond as a nation and remind ourselves that whenever an American is in need, all of us stand together to make sure that we’re providing the help that’s necessary.”

Apparently lessons he's learned only since 9/11.  

October Surprises Can Go Both Ways, You Know

Newt Gingrich today dutifully played the role of trial-balloon floater regarding potential surprises for the Obama team:

On Tuesday night’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on the Fox News Channel, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that major news networks might have secret emails proving that the White House canceled plans to assist the besieged U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Gingrich said that the bombshell emails could be revealed within the next two days.

“There is a rumor — I want to be clear, it’s a rumor — that at least two networks have emails from the National Security Adviser’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down,” Gingrich said. “But they were a group in real-time trying to mobilize marines and C-130s and the fighter aircraft, and they were told explicitly by the White House stand down and do nothing. This is not a terrorist action. If that is true, and I’ve been told this by a fairly reliable U.S. senator, if that is true and comes out, I think it raises enormous questions about the president’s role, and Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser’s role, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has taken it on his own shoulders, that he said don’t go. And that is, I think, very dubious, given that the president said he had instructions they are supposed to do everything they could to secure American personnel.”

After noting that the rumor, if true, would have a substantial impact on the presidential election, Gingrich pointed to another possible “October surprise” in the coming days.

“The other big story, I think, that is going to break is on corruption and extraordinary waste in the solar power grants and direct involvement by the Obama White House, including the president, in the solar panel grants involving billions of dollars, and I suspect that’s going to break Wednesday and Thursday of this week,” Gingrich added.

In Watergate the Washington Post Demanded to Hear the Tapes

Sean Hannity reports that there are audiotapes of Ty Woods, the Navy Seal killed defending the Benghazi consulate, apparently begging for air support.   Hannity says the tapes, according to his sources, are
"damning."




Where is the press?  Where are the questions shouted across the tarmac to a ducking President?  

Obama lied, four men died.

Girl of the Day - Anna Kendrick's Cup Dance

The Regular Daughters are driving us crazy with practicing the "cup dance" from the movie Pitch Perfect, as performed by Anna Kendrick.   So I might as well drive you crazy with it:




Pretty cool stuff.  

Independents Rule

I generally look to Rasmussen and Gallup as the most reliable pollsters.   Both have shown consistent Romney leads.   But other pollsters are also showing Romney winning big, if you read between the lines.  

The key data points for me are the figures for independents.   I assume that Republicans will vote overwhelmingly for Romney and Democrats will vote overwhelmingly for Obama, because my observation over the past few years is that we have become a more polarized country.  

Put differently, do you know what you call a Reagan Democrat in 2012?   A Republican.

I also assume that Republicans and Democrats will turn out about evenly in 2012.   Republicans may get a slight edge because of higher enthusiasm, but there is no way that Democrats will have a D+7 advantage like they produced in 2008 in a giant wave election for the first black President.   No way.  

So, if Republicans and Democrats are split evenly, the race will be decided by independents.

In the recent polls, here are the figures:

  • CBS/NY Times (10/28) - Romney leads among independents by 12 points, 51-39.
  • Pew (10/28) - Romney leads among independents by 8 points, 48-40.
  • Investors Business Daily (10/27) - Romney leads among independents by 8 points, 46-38.

Independents are about a third of the electorate.   That means that, if Romney has a roughly ten point lead among independents, even if Republicans and Democrats split evenly and turnout evenly, Romney will win by 3-4 points.  

And that's before the undecideds vote, who will break, as they almost always do, against the incumbent.  

I'm going to be conservative and say Romney wins 52-48.  

If he does that, there is no way he loses the Electoral College.  

Romney Rally Rescheduled

And the Regular Son and I are planning to wear blue jackets and red ties.   Sort of like this guy.  :)

Sandy Costs

The most important "costs" of Hurricane Sandy remain the costs in human life.   As of this morning, according to FoxNews, 55 people have lost their lives in the storm.   I wrote yesterday that, while tragic, these figures are actually relatively small, given that more than 120,000 Americans die every year in accidents.   Nevertheless, the dead and the injured and their families all deserve and need our prayers and help.

Estimates of the financial impact of Sandy are also coming in.   Again, from Fox:
Forecasting firm IHS Global Insight predicted Tuesday the storm will end up causing about $20 billion in damage and $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business. Another firm, AIR Worldwide, estimated losses up to $15 billion.
But, again, let's put those figures in perspective.   If there is a total at the outside of $50 billion in damage and lost business (which is also a kind of damage), that's a lot, but when you think that last year the federal government ran a deficit of $1.1 trillion, the damage from Hurricane Sandy amounts to a little more than two weeks of federal borrowing.   And, of course, if you consider "damage" as simply the lost wealth of the nation as a whole, the federal deficit is a kind of "damage" too, because it theoretically represents liens that third parties (China, etc.) hold against our property.   So while Sandy is damaging, the federal deficit is much much more damaging.



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Dems "Politicize" Sandy Already

We know the Washington Post and the New York Times are in the tank for Obama.   We know they will print what amount to press releases from the Obama campaign.   It's Tuesday, literally the morning after Hurricane Sandy hit.   Which means that the editorials in this morning's Post and Times were written last night.   Which means that the talking points that they reflect were crafted yesterday... before the storm hit!

If they aren't cribbing Democratic talking points, how do you explain these paragraphs' similarities?

New York Times:
Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of “big government,” which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states. He not only agreed, he went further.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.” Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was “immoral” for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt.
It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning.
Washington Post:

Back when he was being “severely conservative,” Mitt Romney suggested that responsibility for disaster relief should be taken from the big, bad federal government and given to the states, or perhaps even privatized. Hurricane Sandy would like to know if he’d care to reconsider.

The absurd, and dangerous, policy prescription came in a GOP primary debate in June. Moderator John King said he had recently visited communities affected by severe weather and noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency “is about to run out of money.”

“There are some people . . . who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role,” King said. “How do you deal with something like that?”

Romney replied: “Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”

Romney went on to express the general principle that, given the crushing national debt, “we should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, ‘What are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do?’ ”

King gave him a chance to back off: “Including disaster relief, though?”

Romney didn’t blink. “We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” he said, adding that “it is simply immoral . . . to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids.”
Both articles cite the same quotes from the same debate, both characterizing the issue as a choice between "big government" and the "absurd" notion that state governments should handle disaster relief.   This is not an accident, but supposedly independent journalists serving as the puppets for Democratic Party arguments.   Does anyone really believe that the Times editorial board or the Post's Eugene Robinson didn't get emailed the gist of these stories yesterday before the hurricane hit?  

Would anyone at either paper answer questions for a news story about how news stories get manufactured?   In a world where our reality is increasingly mediated by unelected "journalists," doesn't it matter that there is an organized propaganda machine from one party that can reach into the highest editorial rooms of the country's leading newspapers and shape narratives?

This May Seem Callous

Drudge has a headline up that the death toll for Hurricane Sandy has now gone over thirty.   Now, this may seem callous.   To the thirty families of those who have died, their deaths are tragedies.   But they are not news, at least not news on the level of wall-to-wall 24/7 coverage of the type we've been getting for the past 48-72 hours.   Consider, according to the CDC in 2011:

  • 596,339 people died of heart disease
  • 575,313 people died of cancer
  • 122,777 people died of accidents
  • 84,691 people died of Alzheimer's
  • 73,282 people died of diabetes
  • 53,667 people died of influenza or pneumonia
  • 38,285 people died of suicide

So a little more than 100 people a day are killing themselves, and about 300 people a day are dying in accidents.   Every day.   Every year.   And that's before you get to the 3000 people a day who are dying from heart disease or cancer.  

Again, I don't mean to be callous.   But weather happens.   And weather-related deaths happen.   (In fact, according to this article, lightning kills an average of 55 people a year, tornadoes 56, floods 140, cold 600-700, and heat 3000+.   Every year.)   This is not to say that Hurricane Sandy isn't a big story, it's just that it's not the only story, and there's this other thing happening called the election that some of us think is pretty important for the future of the country.

The Shame of American Journalism

Michael Ramirez says "shame" to American journalists who are obviously consciously ignoring the burgeoning Benghazi scandal:

The Race for 50 in the Senate

Most observers consider the House safe for Republicans.   Increasingly, it looks like Mitt Romney will win the Presidency.   That will make Paul Ryan as Vice President the deciding vote in a 50-50 Senate to repeal Obamacare and to pass the key pieces of legislation Romney will want to get through quickly upon taking office.   Right now RealClearPolitics has the Senate at 46-44 (with leaners) for the Democrats, with 10 "toss up" races.   Can the Republicans win 6 of 10 and get to 50 votes in the Senate?   Maybe.

1. Arizona - Jeff Flake has a significant lead in the latest Rasmussen poll.   (I'm looking only at Rasmussen polls for consistency, and because I trust his accurcy and methods.)   That's R+1.

2. Connecticut - Linda McMahon is behind by six points and probably won't win in this blue state.

3. Indiana - Richard Mourdock was ahead significantly until his supposedly controversial abortion/rape comments.  (They were nothing of the kind, but that didn't keep the MSM from trying to tar him.)   I think he still pulls this out in a red state that will go hard for Romney.   Call it R+2.

4. Massachusetts - Scott Brown trails Fauxcohontas by five points in the latest poll.   I'm afraid he won't be able to pull the rabbit out of the hat, and we're going to have Elizabeth Warren to laugh at for the next six years.   (P.S.  The hard left loves her, and there's some chance she would be a Presidential candidate in 2012.)

5. Missouri - Todd Akin is the biggest wild card.   He's way behind a deeply unpopular liberal Senator, Claire McCaskill.   I don't think he can pull it out, although I wish he would.   He's a good man who misspoke about "legitimate rape," but I don't think he can unring that bell.

6. Montana - Denny Rehberg is currently tied with Jon Tester, the incumbent.   I think if he's tied this late wiht an incumbent, he wins on election day.   That makes R+3.

7.  Nevada - Dean Heller is up five in Rasmussen, and should coast to victory.   Hopefully he drags Romney along a little in Nevada to get those six EVs too.   That's R+4.

8.   Ohio - Josh Mandel is currently four points back of incumbent Sherrod Brown.   I think Ohio will be very close in the Presidential race, and I'm afraid Mandel will lose a close one.

9.  Virginia - George Allen is one point back, and with Romney pulling away Allen will win.   That makes R+5.

10.  Wisconsin - Tommy Thompson, the former governor, will pull away from the uber-liberal Tammy Baldwin, and win his Senate race and hence, the Senate for Republicans.   R+6.   I'm calling it.


You can see why the Dems and the MSM jumped all over Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin... those are seats Republicans ought to win easily.   If Akin loses, the GOP can still get the Senate.   If Mourdock loses too, it becomes a very small needle to thread.

More hopefully... in a wave election for Romney, which I hope happens, I can see Akin surprising in MO and Mandel coming from behind in OH.   If that happens, it would be 52-48 GOP, and, as they say, happy days are here again.

File This Under: If You've Lost Richard Cohen...

The Washington Post writer Richard Cohen is an honest liberal.   Today he writes what I'm sure many are thinking as we watch the last death throes of the Obama presidency:
One of the more melancholy moments of the presidential campaign occurred for me in a screening room. The film was Rory Kennedy’s documentary about her mother, Ethel — the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. Much of it consisted of Kennedy-family home movies, but also film of RFK in Appalachia and in Mississippi among the pitifully emaciated poor. Kennedy brimmed with shock and indignation, with sorrow and sympathy, and was determined — you could see it on his face — to do something about it. I’ve never seen that look on Barack Obama’s face....

.... somewhere between the campaign and the White House itself, Obama got lost. It turned out he had no cause at all. Expanding health insurance was Hillary Clinton’s longtime goal, and even after Obama adopted it, he never argued for it with any fervor. In an unfairly mocked campaign speech, he promised to slow the rise of the oceans and begin to heal the planet. But when he took office, climate change was abandoned — too much trouble, too much opposition. His eloquence, it turned out, was reserved for campaigning.

Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival. This is the gravamen of the indictment from the left, particularly certain African Americans. They are right. Young black men fill the jails and the morgues, yet Obama says nothing. Bobby Kennedy showed his anger, his impatience, his stunned incredulity at the state of black America. Obama shows nothing....

On the movie screen, Robert F. Kennedy’s appeal is obvious: authenticity. He cared. He showed it. People saw that and cared about him in return. With Obama, the process is reversed. It’s hard to care about someone who seems not to care in return. I will vote for him for his good things, and I will vote for him to keep Republican vandals from sacking the government. But after watching Bobby Kennedy, I will vote for Obama with regret. I wish he was the man I once mistook him for.

So Cohen will still vote for Obama.   OK.   But for all the Reagan Democrats and all the independents and all the wayward moderate Republicans who voted for Obama in 2008, Cohen here confirms what they've all realized only belatedly... the emperor truly has no clothes.   Obama is a shallow narcissist, unworthy of the hopes of those who voted for him.

Narrative Busting

The vaunted Democratic ground game is building up a big lead among early voters, one that Romney will have a hard time making up on election day.   That's the narrative we've been told for weeks by the mainstream media, dutifully reporting the DNC's spin.

Er, not so much:


GALLUP: Romney Up 52-45% Among Early Voters



The Regular Guy's explanation?   Obama's victory in 2008 led the media to vastly overstate his political skills. With an unpopular President, a weak candidate, an imploding economy, and the first black Presidential candidate, Obama was going to waltz to victory regardless of his campaign's organization or lack thereof. The argument advanced at the time that Obama was qualified to run the executive branch because he'd run his campaign so well was hopeful at best, foolish at worst.

Here's what we know now in 2012 that we didn't know in 2008: based on the evidence of his actual governance, Obama isn't a very good manager of a large organization. So we shouldn't expect him to be a very good manager of his campaign.  That includes creating a not-very-good GOTV organization.

Romney, meanwhile, based on all evidence throughout his life, is an exceptional manager of large organizations.   We would expect him to be a good manager of a campaign, and that would include creating a good to very good GOTV organization.

So it shouldn't be surprising at all that the GOP has a plan, is executing its plan, and will be successful. The early voter turnout numbers are evidence that Romney and the GOP may have known what they were doing all along.

Girl of the Day - Wet and Windy Edition (Sophia Loren)

For a wet and windy country after Hurricane Sandy, we need a wet and windblown GotD:

Benghazi Continues to Metastasize

Sandy may distract the mainstream meda from Benghazi-gate long enough to ensure Obama's re-election, but it can't keep him from being impeached if he is re-elected.   The lid is starting to come off.   Retired Admiral William Lyons, former Commander of the Pacific Fleet (in other words, a real guy who undoubtedly has real sources within the military), writes today in the Washington Times:

Having been in a number of similar situations, I know you have to have the courage to do what’s right and take immediate action. Obviously, that courage was lacking for Benghazi. The safety of your personnel always remains paramount. With all the technology and military capability we had in theater, for our leadership to have deliberately ignored the pleas for assistance is not only in incomprehensible, it is un-American.

Somebody high up in the administration made the decision that no assistance (outside our Tripoli embassy) would be provided, and let our people be killed. The person who made that callous decision needs to be brought to light and held accountable. According to a CIA spokesperson, “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need.” We also need to know whether the director of CIA and the director of National Intelligence were facilitators in the fabricated video lie and the overall cover-up. Their creditability is on the line. A congressional committee should be immediately formed to get the facts out to the American people. Nothing less is acceptable.

Tough words from a career military man whose stature should make him difficult to ignore.
Admiral Lyons also goes on the record with what have been subterranean rumblings about the real purpose for Stevens being in Benghazi, and why the ongoing cover-up ensued:
We now know why Ambassador Christopher Stevens had to be in Benghazi the night of 9/11 to meet a Turkish representative, even though he feared for his safety.  According to various reports, one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 – portable SAMs – to Islamists and other al Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria. In an excellent article, Aaron Klein states that Stevens routinely used our Benghazi consulate (mission) to coordinate the Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Qatari governments’ support for insurgencies throughout the Middle East. Further, according to Egyptian security sources, Stevens played a “central role in recruiting Islamic jihadists to fight the Assad Regime in Syria.”
In another excellent article, Clare Lopez at RadicalIslam.org noted that there were two large warehouse-type buildings associated with our Benghazi mission. During the terrorist attack, the warehouses were probably looted. We do not know what was there and if it was being administrated by our two former Navy SEALs and the CIA operatives who were in Benghazi.  Nonetheless, the equipment was going to hardline jihadis.
Benghazi as Fast and Furious on a global scale?   You can see why the Obama Administration didn't want that coming out in the weeks before the election.

When will the mainstream media start covering this huge and burgeoning scandal?   There are Pulitzers lying around, just waiting to be snatched up.

Naive Liberalism

Victor Davis Hanson hits a home run today, describing the naivete of contemporary liberals:
Large percentages of the population now work for government — federal, state, or local. Millions more are divorced from the tragic world of mining or drilling where nature is unforgiving. That distance has allowed Americans in droves to disengage from both the private sector, where one either makes a profit or goes broke, and the grimy processes by which we live one more day. A San Francisco professor, a Monterey lawyer, and a Sacramento bureaucrat do not know how hard it is to raise beef, grow peaches, find and pump oil and gas, and haul logs out of the forest and into Home Depot as smooth lumber, or what it takes to build a small Ace Hardware business. The skills needed to keep a 7-Eleven viable in a rough neighborhood, I confess, dwarf those of the classics professor.
In the elite liberal mind, there is instead a sort of progressive Big Rock Candy Mountain. Gasoline comes right out of the ground through the nozzle into the car. Redwood 2x4s sprout from the ground like trees. Apples fall like hail from the sky; stainless steel refrigerator doors are mined inches from the surface. Tap water comes from some enormous cistern that traps rain water.  Finished granite counter tops materialize on the show room floor. Why, then, would we need Neanderthal things like federal gas and oil leases, icky dams and canals, yucky power plants, and gross chain saws — and especially those who would dare make and use them?
My one caveat -- I think this describes, not just a political position (liberalism), but a more general condition of modern America, where we generate college graduates like Tribbles (the ever-replicating furry creatures from the Star Trek episode in the 1960s called "The Trouble with Tribbles"), and where we get ever more distant from the labor that enables our lifestyles.  

Read the whole thing.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Latest from the Regular Son

On commission from a neighbor whose daughter is learning how to fly.   She had an opportunity recently to fly a vintage P-51.   If I can be forgiven some parental pride... the Regular Son can really paint!


Weigel!

George Weigel is always among my "must read" pundits, because when he opines on moral issues and/or Catholicism, he's authoritative.   Not quite Cardinal Dolan or Pope Benedict authoritative, but pretty close.

Anyway, today his article on NRO hits on a number of themes that I've touched on, albeit with less authority.    First, regarding Joe Biden:
The vice president of the United States, for example, is not just a man whose natural exuberance makes him prone to gaffes. He is a national embarrassment, and from the point of view of his fellow Catholics he is an ecclesial embarrassment. Biden’s moral incoherence during the VP debate was a disservice to both church and state. For he not only misrepresented the sources of Catholic teaching on the inalienable right to life by suggesting that this conviction was some sort of weird Catholic hocus-pocus; he also distorted the public-policy debate by claiming that moral judgments could not be “imposed” on a pluralistic society (a nonsensical claim that is flatly contradicted by his defense of Obamacare).

Worse, Biden either lied or exhibited grotesque misunderstanding of the policy of the administration of which he is the putative second-in-command — and he surely boggled Paul Ryan’s mind (and the mind of any Catholic who has been paying attention for the past ten months) — when he claimed that the HHS “contraceptive mandate” did not require Catholic institutions to include coverage of contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs in the health-care benefits they provide their employees. The next morning, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement saying flatly that the vice president was wrong — a point underscored the previous night by Congressman Ryan, who quite rightly asked the clueless (or mendacious) Biden why he thought more than 40 Catholic institutions and employers were suing the administration over the HHS mandate....
Next, here's Weigel on the Lena Dunham "Your First Time" ad:
Voting as analogy to recreational sex underwritten financially by tax dollars: That’s what the Obama campaign imagines to be a winning strategy in fighting what it is pleased to call the “War against Women.” Showcasing Sandra Fluke at the Democratic National Convention was not, as the Marxists used to say, an accident: This is an administration that seems to imagine that America is a nation of Sandra Flukes (and their gigolos), and that this is a Good Thing.

Even attempting to parse this kind of vulgarity seems demeaning, although it’s clear enough that the administration is committed to an ideology of lifestyle libertinism that it is eager to “impose on a pluralistic society” (as the vice president would not put it). So let’s just say that the Lolita ad is ugly, coarse, breathtakingly stupid, and profoundly anti-woman — which tells us something about the character of the people who create and authorize such ads, even as it further clarifies their vision of the American future.
Finally, here's Weigel on the choice between a candidate who, whatever else you think of him, is a man of basic decency, and an Obama administration that seems increasingly to lack such basic decency:
The choice in 2012 is not between two parties that, in relative degrees, inadequately embody the Catholic vision of the free and virtuous society. The choice is between a party that inadequately embodies that vision and a party that holds that vision in contempt, as it has made clear in everything from the “HHS mandate” through the Charlotte convention votes against God to the Lolita ad. Catholics who do not like their Church, or their vote, or themselves to be held in contempt could make the decisive difference in 2012 — not so much as a “Catholic vote” bloc, but as a community of American citizens determined to restore the decencies to public life and American culture.

Weathermen

I was just down in the athletic club getting in a quick (but slow) run, and I couldn't help watching the news in the locker room.   It's all hurricane, all the time.

Ironic, isn't it?  In 2008 you couldn't get the mainstream media to talk about Weathermen.

Joe Biden is Not a Real Catholic

The Democrats have issued a web ad featuring Joe Biden proclaiming his status as a "practicing Catholic" and touting Catholic social doctrine, which Biden appears to interpret as welfare state liberalism:




Biden says in the ad that President Obama shares the values of Catholic social doctrine, saying "it's about recognizing the dignity of every man and woman"...   Well, yes and no.   Yes, Catholic teaching recognizes the dignity of every human person.    But, no, President Obama does not share those values, because he is pro-abortion, just as Joe Biden is pro-abortion. 

Look, all you need to know about Joe Biden as a "practicing Catholic" is that, when he was first running for vice president, his tax returns showed that he had given away just $3,690 to charity over the previous ten years (about 0.2 percent of his income).  

Joe Biden.   He doesn't give to his church.   And during the time he's been a Senator or Vice President, more than 40 million babies have been aborted in America, a systematic culture of death he's been all too happy to support.   Put bluntly, he's either a very bad Catholic, or not a Catholic at all.

As a converted Catholic, perhaps I have either greater insight or greater honesty about this issue.   But it seems to me that if you don't give to your church and your don't believe in the central tenet of the religion as announced repeatedly by the last two Popes, John Paul II and Benedict, the dignity of every human life from conception through natural death, then you have no business calling yourself a Catholic, practicing or otherwise.   It's a religion, it's not a race.   You can choose to believe or you can choose not to believe, but if you don't believe, then you're not a member of the faith, period.

And proclaiming yourself a "practicing Catholic" because you're in a close election where Catholic votes in states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania may be decisive.... well, that's rank and offensive hypocrisy, isn't it?

Horse and Bayonets and Battleships Redux

Mark Helprin, who in addition to being one of the greatest living novelists, is a high-level thinker on matters military, writes today about America's current naval policy vis-a-vis China:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's diplomacy in the South China Sea is doomed to impotence because it consists entirely of declarations without the backing of sufficient naval potential, even now when China's navy is not half of what it will be in a decade. China's claims, equivalent to American expropriation of Caribbean waters all the way to the coast of Venezuela, are much like Hitler's annexations. But we no longer have bases in the area, our supply lines are attenuated across the vastness of the Pacific, we have much more than decimated our long-range aircraft, and even with a maximum carrier surge we would have to battle at least twice as many Chinese fighters.
 
Not until recently would China have been so aggressive in the South China Sea, but it has a plan, which is to grow; we have a plan, which is to shrink; and you get what you pay for. To wit, China is purposefully, efficiently, and successfully modernizing its forces and often accepting reductions in favor of quality. And yet, to touch upon just a few examples, whereas 20 years ago it possessed one ballistic-missile submarine and the U.S. 34, now it has three (with two more coming) and the U.S. 14. Over the same span, China has gone from 94 to 71 submarines in total, while the U.S. has gone from 121 to 71. As our numbers decrease at a faster pace, China is also closing the gap in quality.
 
The effect in principal surface warships is yet more pronounced. While China has risen from 56 to 78, the U.S. has descended from 207 to 114. In addition to parities, China is successfully focusing on exactly what it needs—terminal ballistic missile guidance, superfast torpedoes and wave-skimming missiles, swarms of oceangoing missile craft, battle-picture blinding—to address American vulnerabilities, while our counters are insufficient or nonexistent.

Maybe Obama thinks we don't need more ships in our Navy.   But China is happy that we have fewer.   Who are you going to believe?   Who has skin in the game?

Girls of the Day - Hurricane Edition

A wind-blown blonde:






































Plus a skinny girl in the rain:


























Equals.... Sandy!

A Benghazi Question

Mr. President, there has been a suggestion from your administration that military assets could not reach the Benghazi consulate from our air force base in Sigonella, Sicily in time to help during the attack of 9/11/12.   Yet CIA security personnel reached Benghazi from Tripoli to help defend the embassy and the CIA annex.   On my map, Sigonella (the "A") doesn't look much further from Benghazi than Tripoli, and both require flights over water.   So why was one possible and the other somehow impossible?

The Regular Guy Crawls Out on a Limb

Here's my prediction for 11/6.   I'm out on a limb, but I think things will break hard this week for Romney and he'll win going away.   People are fed up, no one is talking about how much they want another four years of Obama, Democrats will stay home, independents will either stay home or break hard for Romney, Republicans will be up early and voting, and then volunteering to call others, drive people to the polls, etc.  

So here goes:

































If everything really cascades, Romney could also pick off Michigan, Minnesota, Maine - 1st District, and Oregon.   That would get him to 355 and be a huge repudiation of liberalism, and it would also likely bring the Senate with him.  

If True, We're Doomed

If this is really America, we're doomed:




























Luckily, I think there's still a different America out there.   Call it the "Silent Majority."   It's worked before.

Your First Time Fail

President Obama apparently is seeking as one of the constituencies of a liberal majority the vacuous vote, if one observes the evidence of this ad by actress Lena Dunham (of HBO's new show Girls):




There are so many things wrong with this ad.   One is the assumption that the default experience for young women is to lose their virginity at some point with a "great guy" who they nevertheless have no intention of marrying.   Is that really a message that the President of the United States wants to be propagating -- no pun intended -- in a country where the rate of unwed motherhood has skyrocketed, and where the social science correlating unwed motherhood with crime, drug and alcohol abuse, poor school performance, etc. is so settled?   Is that what he tries to teach his own daughters?  

Another thing that's wrong with this ad is it's simultaneous celebration of and condescension to youth, and particularly to young women.   Apparently we are supposed to think that this vacuous young woman is brilliant and clever, yet to any reasonably mature adult she seems ridiculous.   (Hence the immediate parodies that sprung up in reaction to the ad.)   Does the Obama campaign really believe that the shallowness of youth is to be celebrated?   Or, conversely, do they really believe that, because young women are shallow, the only way to reach them is to appeal to their basest interests?   The Regular Guy has six nieces, ages 15 to 29.   All of them have high intelligence and ambitions.   I can't see any of them identifying with this young woman with her tattoos and her winking vulgarity.  

Finally, and this perhaps ought to go without saying... for most people the "first time" is messy, disappointing, embarrassing, unsatisfying, and, as a rule, both unforgettable and something you wish you could forget.   Sort of like the first four years of Obama's Presidency.

In the history books the first debate will probably be viewed as the turning point of this election.   But this ad may be mentioned as the moment when the Obama campaign truly jumped the shark.   If you are so out of it that you thought this would work, you have completely lost touch with America.   Where were the adults in the room when this idea was pitched?   Or was it all just twenty-somethings tweeting each other and laughing at their inside jokes?

Ironic, Isn't It?

From Ann Althouse:

It was 4 years ago that Obama gave that grandiose "this was the moment" speech where he said "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow...." What irony if the rise of the oceans thwarts his reelection!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Best Line of the Weekend

From Mark Steyn, of course:

The Obama administration created a wholly fictional story line, and devoted its full resources to maintaining it. I understand why Mitt Romney chose not to pursue this line of argument in the final debate. The voters who will determine this election are those who voted for Obama four years ago and this time round either switch to the other fellow or sit on their hands. In electoral terms, it’s probably prudent of Mitt not to rub their faces in their 2008 votes. Nevertheless, when the president and other prominent officials stand by as four Americans die and then abuse their sacrifice as contemptuously as this administration did, decency requires that they be voted out of office as an act of urgent political hygiene.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Benghazigate

Scott Johnson at Powerline notes that the President failed to answer a direct question from a Denver reporter yesterday about whether requests for help from the Benghazi consulate were denied during the 9/11 attack.   But I think he actually did answer the question... with a lie:

KYLE CLARK: Were the Americans under attack at the consulate in Benghazi Libya denied requests for help during that attack? And is it fair to tell Americans that what happened is under investigation and we’ll all find out after the election?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. These are folks who served under me who I had sent to some very dangerous places. Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do. But we want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people, we’re going to bring those folks to justice. So, we’re going to gather all the facts, find out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesn’t happen again but we’re also going to make sure that we bring to justice those who carried out these attacks.
KYLE CLARK: Were they denied requests for help during the attack?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we are finding out exactly what happened. I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.

So President Obama is saying that he gave a "very clear directive" to "do whatever we need to" to "make sure that we are securing our personnel."   But, the same day, CIA Director General David Petraeus stated that no one at the CIA gave operatives in Benghazi the order to stand down, notably not denying that such an order was given by someone.   And Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard, with long experience in Washington, argues here that the only person who could have given such an order to stand down was the President.  

So which is it, Mr. President?   Did you give a "very clear directive" to "do whatever we need to" to "make sure that we are securing our personnel"?   Or did you give an order to "stand down"?  

If the former, please tell us who disobeyed those orders from the Commander in Chief and explain why they haven't been fired yet.

If the latter, please explain (oh, please, please, please, try to explain) why the Commander in Chief would ever leave Americans hung so far out to dry.

***

UPDATE:   What I noticed above is getting noticed elsewhere too:

Francis “Bing” West, who served as an assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan, told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that the president’s explanation about his actions when the U.S. mission in Benghazi was attacked should be easily verifiable.

“President Obama today said that he gave an order to everyone while the attack was going on to do everything they could to secure the personnel,” West said. “Now that’s really big because that means that those who were turning down [former Navy SEAL] Ty Woods when he was asking for the help were going against the orders of the president of the United States.”

Woods was one of four Americans killed in the Libya assault. Obama on Friday wouldn’t answer directly whether pleas for help on the ground were denied during the attack, telling KUSA-TV, “the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.”

“A chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff doesn’t take an order from the president when he says ‘do everything’ and not put that in writing and send it out to the chain of command,” West said. “If that actually happened the way President Obama today said it happened, there’s a paper trail and I think people reasonably enough can say, ‘well can we see the order?’ because hundreds of others supposedly saw this order.”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bon Voyage, Mom!

The Regular Grandma, age 82, leaves tomorrow for Buenos Aires, and then on to Antarctica, the only continent she hasn't visited yet.  Why not?

Bon voyage, Mom!   If you see this guy, say hello.

Toast

A very detailed and comprehensive analysis by Dan McLaughlin at Red State of the data on turnout and party ID going toward November 6 yields this conclusion:

The waterfront of analyzing all the factors that go into my conclusion here is too large to cover in one post, but the signs of Obama’s defeat are too clear now to ignore. Given all the available information – Romney’s lead among independents, the outlier nature of the 2008 turnout model, the elections held since 2008, the party ID surveys, the voter registration, early voting and absentee ballot data – I have to conclude that there is no remaining path at this late date for Obama to win the national popular vote. He is toast.

The Perfect Storm









































We are living in very strange times indeed, and we may very well look back on the next ten days and tell stories about it to our grandchildren.   At the same time we have a huge breaking national security scandal and cover up (Benghazi) and a close and contentious presidential election, we may also have a once in a century meteorological event, Hurricane Sandy, which is forecast to hit the Atlantic coast on Tuesday of next week.   Here's what's being said about it, all of which freaks me out:

“The more data I see, the more I think we’re going to be talking about this storm for decades.” That’s what meteorologist Nate Johnson said last night on the WeatherBrains live show about Hurricane Sandy. It’s a sentiment I keep seeing expressed again and again, in various forms, by pretty much everyone with pertinent meteorological knowledge. Not just serial alarmists, but everyone.

"This is a beyond-strange situation. It’s unprecedented and bizarre. Hurricanes almost always bend out to sea in October, although there have been some exceptions when storms went due north, but rarely. No October tropical systems in the record book have turned left into the northeast coast.  The strong evidence we have that a significant, maybe historic, storm is going to hit the east coast is that EVERY reliable computer forecast model now says it’s going to happen."

"New York City is at particular risk for serious impacts from storm surge. If Sandy moves inland on the New Jersey coast, huge amounts of water will flow toward New York’s harbor, so predictions of storm surge will be critical. … “I am personally very concerned about storm surges in New York City,” says [Philip Orton of the Urban Ocean Observatory of the Stevens Institute of Technology] … “City managers and scientists agree that we’re not ready for a 100-year flood event, in major part because we haven’t had one in well over 100 years,” Orton says. …"

"A very prominent and respected National Weather Service meteorologist wrote on Facebook last night, “I’ve never seen anything like this and I’m at a loss for expletives to describe what this storm could do.”  Yes, I’ve never seen anything like it either nor have our modern meteorological tools. As I wrote yesterday afternoon, we don’t know whether our tools are up to the task because no storm of this nature has occurred in the modern meteorological era."

Which is More Scandalous?

The Obama administration's coverup of its malfeasance and misfeasance in the Benghazi debacle?

Or the mainstream media's willing assistance in that coverup?

This story has been the lead story on FoxNews all day:































But if I look at it on the front pages of the websites for ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times or the Washington Post, I can't find anything regarding the story anywhere.

The lede writes itself.  

The father of one of the Navy Seals who died trying to save Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi on 9/11 has called the people in the administration who gave the order to deny help to his son during the attack "murderers."  

Sounds like a front page story, right?   Run with that baby, as they used to say back in Watergate days.

Or how about a question shouted at the President across a tarmac for national news?

"Reporter:  Mr. President, there are reports out today that the men who died in Benghazi asked for help on multiple occasions while the attack was going on, and were denied.    Would you care to comment?"

Where is the mainstream media?

Biden and Mourdock - Compare and Contrast

Richard Mourdock, the Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana, has been excoriated for stating what are garden-variety beliefs of many Christians and Catholics, that abortion is always wrong, even in cases of rape and incest, because the unborn child is always innocent human life that must be protected.   Yet somehow his statement of this position is deemed so far outside the pale of acceptable political speech -- somehow being viewed as an assault on women or an approval of rape -- that he is forced to apologize.

Meanwhile, there's Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States:

The father of one of the Navy SEALs who was killed in the Libya consulate attack has criticised the White House reaction to his son's death - especially a bizarre and obscene comment Joe Biden made to him.

 
Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, said he thought Barack Obama had 'no remorse' over the attack and felt Hillary Clinton was 'not telling the truth'.

 
And he revealed that at the ceremony for the return of Tyrone's body, the Vice President approached his family and asked, 'Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?'

Maybe it's just me, but that seems disqualifying.

Navy Seal's Father Lays Waste to the Obama Administration

Wow.   Just wow.



  


CHARLIE WOODS:  I don't know much about weapons but it's coming out right now that they actually had laser targets focused on the mortars that were being sent to kill my son. They refused to pull the trigger. … I'm an attorney.   This may not be the legal test of murder but to me… those people who made the decision and who knew about the decision and lied about it are murderers of my son.   That's a very strong statement for me to make, but for their benefit they need to clear their conscience, they need to stand up and change the direction of their lives.   I want to say right now you know who you are.   I totally forgive you.   But I hope years from now you change the direction of your life.

MEGYN KELLY: Charlie, do you feel you're getting straight answers from the administration. 

CHARLIE WOODS:  This is all a pack of lies.   That's one thing as a father whose son is killed, I do not appreciate lies.   I do not appreciate cowardice and I do not appreciate lies.   I'm a loving person, I love my son, I want to honor him.   I hope I'm not speaking too strongly, but I'm very glad the facts are coming out right now.  

Girl of the Day - Suzy Parker

The biggest model of the mid-1950s and the co-star (with Cary Grant) in a good-bad movie about WWII Navy flyers on leave in San Francisco called Kiss Them for Me, which for some reason has always been one of my favorites.   She would have been 80 today. 

Benghazi Is About to Break Wide Open

People have wondered out loud about why the President and his administration would be so intent on covering up what happened in Benghazi.   This may be why:

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11. 

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to "stand down," according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to "stand down." 
Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight. 

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours -- enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators. 

Premise:  President Obama can't run on the economy so he needs to run on foreign policy.   The argument that he has been a good foreign policy President goes something like this -- by decimating al Qaeda and helping to liberate Libya from Qaddafi, he has brought a new hope to the Middle East.   But reality intruded on 9/11/12... al Qaeda is actually resurgent in Libya and attacking our embassy.   If we engage the enemy in a full-scale firefight, the story of "new hope" in the Middle East that we are trying to push falls apart.   So we order our men to stand down in Benghazi, hoping that the attack will somehow dissipate on its own.   When it doesn't, we need a new story, and the Internet video meme is already available, so that's what we push.   It was a desperation move, but they were desperate.  

***

UPDATE:  this story is going apeshit on the conservative blogs.   Comments at Ace of Spades are apoplectic.   This is going to be big.  



Romney's Benghazi Sidestep

The mainstream media is starting to bite hard on the Benghazi coverup story, with headlines like this:

E-mails: White House knew of extremist claims in Benghazi attack


By Elise Labott, CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter
updated 10:54 PM EDT, Wed October 24, 2012
Washington (CNN) -- Two hours after first being notified of an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, a government e-mail to the White House, the State Department and the FBI said an Islamist group had claimed credit, according to a copy obtained by CNN.
An initial e-mail was sent while the attack was still underway, and another that arrived two hours later -- sent from a State Department address to various government agencies including the executive office of the president -- identified Ansar al-Sharia as claiming responsibility for the attack on its Facebook page and on Twitter.
The group denied responsibility the next day.
However, the e-mails raise further questions about the seeming confusion on the part of the Obama administration to determine the nature of the September 11 attack that left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.

***

I now think I understand the Romney strategy in the debate.   Recall that the very first question was a hard-hitting question from Schieffer about Benghazi that was almost like chum in the water trying to get Romney to bite.   It took a lot of discipline not to rise to that bait:

SCHIEFFER: The first segment is the challenge of a changing Middle East and the new face of terrorism. I'm going to put this into two segments so you'll have two topic questions within this one segment on the subject. The first question, and it concerns Libya. The controversy over what happened there continues. Four Americans are dead, including an American ambassador. Questions remain. What happened? What caused it? Was it spontaneous? Was it an intelligence failure? Was it a policy failure? Was there an attempt to mislead people about what really happened?

Governor Romney, you said this was an example of an American policy in the Middle East that is unraveling before our very eyes.

SCHIEFFER: I'd like to hear each of you give your thoughts on that.

Governor Romney, you won the toss. You go first.

ROMNEY: Thank you, Bob. And thank you for agreeing to moderate this debate this evening. Thank you to Lynn University for welcoming us here. And Mr. President, it's good to be with you again. We were together at a humorous event a little earlier, and it's nice to maybe funny this time, not on purpose. We'll see what happens.

This is obviously an area of great concern to the entire world, and to America in particular, which is to see a — a complete change in the — the structure and the — the environment in the Middle East.

With the Arab Spring, came a great deal of hope that there would be a change towards more moderation, and opportunity for greater participation on the part of women in public life, and in economic life in the Middle East. But instead, we've seen in nation after nation, a number of disturbing events. Of course we see in Syria, 30,000 civilians having been killed by the military there. We see in — in Libya, an attack apparently by, I think we know now, by terrorists of some kind against — against our people there, four people dead.

Our hearts and — and minds go out to them. Mali has been taken over, the northern part of Mali by al-Qaeda type individuals. We have in — in Egypt, a Muslim Brotherhood president. And so what we're seeing is a pretty dramatic reversal in the kind of hopes we had for that region. Of course the greatest threat of all is Iran, four years closer to a nuclear weapon. And — and we're going to have to recognize that we have to do as the president has done. I congratulate him on — on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in al-Qaeda.

But we can't kill our way out of this mess. We're going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the — the world of Islam and other parts of the world, reject this radical violent extremism, which is — it's certainly not on the run.

ROMNEY: It's certainly not hiding. This is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries, and it presents an enormous threat to our friends, to the world, to America, long term, and we must have a comprehensive strategy to help reject this kind of extremism.

Schieffer clearly wanted Romney to talk about the coverup by the Obama administration, the lame story that the attack had been caused by an Internet video.   He wanted to get a brawl started at the outset.   If Romney had risen to the bait, the opening moments of the debate would have been extraordinarily negative and contentious, and a lot of voters, but women voters and independents in particular, would have been turned off.

But look at Romney's answer.   He doesn't talk about the President misleading anyone, he doesn't talk about the video, he doesn't really talk about Libya or Benghazi much at all.   Instead he sidesteps to talk in the most general terms possible about our policy in the Middle East, preemptively congratulates the President on taking out Osama bin Laden, but then offers more of an olive branch than a big stick to the region, saying "we can't kill our way out of this mess."   It was all a very disciplined presentation of a calm leader who isn't the bellicose warmonger Democrats would paint him, and all designed to reach suburban women voters who don't like the idea of more wars.   I would have been tempted by the question, and I would have responded with a vigorous takedown of the administration's conduct with regard to Benghazi, but that's why I'm not going to be elected President.

Romney knew that the story wouldn't go away and that it would eventually get into the mainstream press, and he was confident enough and disciplined enough to let them carry that water and to keep his focus on the big prize.   A savvy move in retrospect by a very smart man who understands that intelligent leadership isn't about snarkiness.  

A Thought Experiment

A gay man working to help elect a gay liberal Democratic congressman to the seat vacated by Tammy Baldwin, the openly lesbian Congresswoman now running for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, was viciously attacked and beaten by a man who said he had been "warned."   The beating occurred days after anti-gay slurs were spray-painted on his car, slurs that included the hate speech word "faggot."   The national media has immediately focused on this story in the swing state of Wisconsin, questioning whether the "radical right" has become violent in its desperate efforts to roll back the advances gays have made over the past decade, including with regard to gay marriage.   Pundits have openly discussed whether the attack, because it provides such clear evidence of Republican "extremism," could so shock independent and moderate voters as to swing Wisconsin to President Obama, providing him the final electoral college votes he needs to be re-elected to the Presidency.

Oh, wait.   I misread that story:


Wisc. Gay GOP Worker Hospitalized in Politically Motivated Attack

Violent left-wing thuggery in Wisconsin is becoming a trend in the weeks leading up to November's presidential election. After the son of State Senator Neal Kedzie, Sean, was brutally beaten late last week, another individual with ties to a GOP politician has suffered a severe beating with explicitly political motivations. 


If true -- and I hasten to add that it might not be, as I can see a scenario where this is a copycat of the earlier Wisconsin incident -- this could be a huge story, a national story, and there is no question in my mind that it would be if the facts were as I described above, where a liberal Democratic activist were attacked because of his sexual orientation.   But it's not.   Because the liberal media doesn't care about individual gay men or women, they only care about gay men or women as constituencies of liberal Democratic politicians.  
 
***
 
UPDATE:   It turns out that my caveat above ("If true -- and I hasten to add that it might not be, as I can see a scenario where this is a copycat of the earlier Wisconsin incident -- this could be a huge story") was prescient.   The "victim" has recanted.   An elaborate hoax by a sick individual.    

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

For What It's Worth

The Regular Guy was travelling today.   When I take cabs from airports I always try to talk to the cabbies, just to get a sense of another perspective that's different from mine.   Today my cabbie from Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton was a Haitian immigrant (who proudly told me he was an American citizen).   Large black guy with a great Caribbean accent.   He has three kids, boys, 14, 12 and 10, so we had a lot in common.   (Note:  forget about politics... you always have more in common with people who have kids.)

Anyway, for what it's worth he told me that he had voted for Obama in 2008 but was going to vote for Romney this time around because Romney will be better for the economy and jobs.   He also interestingly told me that many of his black friends won't vote against Obama, but won't vote for him this time, and will instead stay home and sit this one out.

As I said, for what it's worth.  

Put Colorado in the Bank

Romney at Red Rocks last night:


































Crowds matter.   Enthusiasm matters.   Excitement matters.   Turnout matters.   Hope matters.   Change matters.   Obama had it in 2008.   Romney has it in 2012.

So put Colorado in the bank.   Along with Virginia after Obama's bizarre argument that the Navy doesn't need to be building more ships... Virginia has a big Navy presence and shipbuilding industry.  Florida and North Carolina are already gone.   So, as I've previously suggested, Romney is really already at 257 electoral votes.   He needs 13 more.   There are many routes there, including:
  • Wisconsin and New Hampshire (14)
  • Wisconsin and Iowa (16)
  • Wisconsin and Nevada (16)
  • New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada (16)
  • Michigan (16)
  • Ohio (19)
  • Pennsylvania (20)
Or, if my predictions of a preference cascade building for Romney hold, take all of them and go to bed early on 11/6.

But, in the meantime, be prepared for a lot of TV ads running on Milwaukee stations.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Is the Cake Baked?

From Hot Air:

Total television viewers according to Nielsen’s preliminary estimate were 53.9 million, which is predictably way off the pace of the first and second debates. Too much competition last night with the NLCS and “Monday Night Football” and likely not enough interest in foreign policy. It may also be that low-information voters decided they didn’t need a third look at Romney. He killed in the first debate and was perfectly acceptable in the second, so he’d already cleared the bar of viability. And he knew it, which is why he was playing prevent defense last night.

Reviewing The RG's Debate Predictions

All in all not quite what I expected... sort of like Sunday's episode of Homeland.

Debate predictions:

1. Obama will talk about ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and his role in the Arab Spring, arguing that while it's not too soon to declare victory in the former, it's too soon to declare defeat regarding the latter.

This pretty much happened.   Obama can do no wrong.   He's the Light-Bringer.   Or so he thinks.

2. Obama will mention that he "got" bin Laden about a hundred times.  Romney won't question the morality, legality, or efficacy of extra-judicial murders of our enemies abroad, and the moderator won't push Obama about it.   (The moderator also will not push Obama about his promises to close Gitmo, try terrorists as criminals in federal court, etc.   The moderator won't push Obama about drone strikes generally as a tool of American foreign policy.   What happened to liberals?)

Check.  Given the way in which Obama tries to portray himself as a foreign policy/terrorism hawk, you would think he would get some pushback from the left.   But they don't really care about Guantanamo or torture or drone strikes... all they care about is maintaining liberalism in power.   "Killing Arabs abroad, killing babies at home" is the new Democratic slogan.

3. Obama will hit Romney on China as a "flip flopper" because he outsourced jobs there in his Bain days.

Check.   Obama has no concept that an investment manager owes fiduciary duties to his investors, period.   If he's not maximizing their return on investment, he's not doing his job.   But then, doing your job isn't Obama's forte.

4.  Obama will express outrage at even being questioned about his various "narratives" about the Benghazi attacks.

Surprisingly didn't happen.   Romney made a calculated decision not to get into the weeds of Benghazi, not to give Obama a chance to attack him for politicizing the death of Ambassador Stevens, to look Presidential, to not throw stones, etc.   Didn't agree in the moment, but I think I agree now.   Let surrogates keep hitting Obama on this.   The people know what happened:  "Obama lied, Stevens died."
5.  Obama will try to do a Johnson "mushroom cloud" bit on Romney as Goldwater regarding Iran and Israel, saying Romney's bellicosity toward Iran could lead to war in the Middle East.

I think Romney's calm and unthreatening demeanor disarmed Obama's ability to play this card.   Think of the Left's standard schticks about Republicans.   They're mean.   They're stupid.   They're warmongers.   They're angry.   Romney defused all of them.

6. Romney will try mightily to draw the connections between a strong economy and strength in foreign policy, arguing that energy independence will improve our options in the Middle East and defund radical Islamists, lowering our deficits will defund China's military, enhancing free trade will bring us closer to our allies, etc.

Check, check, check.   Awkward at times to rope economic issues into the foreign policy debate, but I don't think voters cared or noticed.   Romney continues to make the case that he can turn the economy around.

7. Romney at some point ought to say, but probably won't say something like this:  "What does it say about President Obama that Chavez, Castro and Putin all support him?"

Didn't happen.   Romney played the nice adult, Obama the snarky teenager.   Obama won... if you think of politics like a sit-com, where the kids are always smarter and quicker-witted than the parents.   Romney won if you care about leadership in the real world.

Afghanistan Horse Soldiers Monument Unveiled Last Week!

Last freakin' week!    Do you think the MSM will call Obama on his asininity?   Will they understand what a gargantuan gaffe his supposedly brilliant comment was?


Romney 50, Obama 46 in Rasmussen!

Alert, alert, alert.   Romney is up by four in the latest Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll!   And up five points in the swing-state tracking!

Preference cascade?   Here it comes.


Romney Channels Reagan

Or at least that is what he seemed to be doing in his upbeat closing statement last night (with key words highlighted):


MR. ROMNEY: Thank you, Bob, Mr. President, folks at Lynn University — good to be with you. I'm optimistic about the future. I'm excited about our prospects as a nation. I want to see peace. I want to see growing peace in this country, it's our objective. We have an opportunity to have real leadership. America's going to have that kind of leadership and continue to promote principles of peace that'll make a world the safer place and make people in this country more confident that their future is secure.

I also want to make sure that we get this economy going. And there are two very different paths the country can take. One is a path represented by the president, which, at the end of four years, would mean we'd have $20 trillion in debt, heading towards Greece. I'll get us on track to a balanced budget. The president's path will mean continuing declining in take-home pay. I want to make sure our take-home pay turns around and starts to grow. The president's path means 20 million people out of work struggling for a good job. I'll get people back to work with 12 million new jobs. I'm going to make sure that we get people off of food stamps not by cutting the program but by getting them good jobs.
America's going to come back. And for that to happen, we're going to have to have a president who can work across the aisle. I was in a state where my legislature was 87 percent Democrat. I learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle. We've got to do that in Washington. Washington is broken. I know what it takes to get this country back. And we'll work with good Democrats and good Republicans to do that.

This nation is the hope of the earth. We've been blessed by having a nation that's free and prosperous thanks to the contributions of the Greatest Generation. They've held a torch for the world to see, the torch of freedom and hope and opportunity. Now it's our turn to take that torch. I'm convinced we'll do it. We need strong leadership. I'd like to be that leader, with your support. I'll work with you. I'll lead you in an open and honest way. And I ask for your vote. I'd like to be the next president of the United States to support and help this great nation, and to make sure that we all together maintain America as the hope of the earth. Thank you so much.

Optimistic.

Future.

Peace.  

Opportunity.

Leadership.

Hope.

This was a very carefully crafted closing argument in the vein of Reagan that Romney delivered very well.   He asked for people's votes and for the people who watched all three debates, I think he's going to get most of them and be our next President.