Sunday, October 28, 2012
Must read journalism – Mark Steyn’s latest weekend column.
For future reference just go to the NRO website every Saturday (it should be there among your bookmarks) and click on the featured column – it’s Steyn’s.
As usual, it’s difficult to select just one representative excerpt, but here’s one involving (old reliable) Joe Biden. (Charles Woods is the father of Tyrone Woods who died while courageously defending the Benghazi consulate. The son died along with three others, as Steyn relates in his column, because of a political calculation made by President Obama).
At the photo-op staged for the returning caskets, Obama et al. seem to have been too focused on their campaign needs to observe even the minimal courtesies. Charles Woods says that at the ceremony Joe Biden strolled over to him and by way of condolence said in a “loud and boisterous” voice, “Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?” One assumes charitably that the vice president is acknowledging in his own inept and blundering way the remarkable courage of a man called upon to die for his country on some worthless sod halfway across the planet. But the near-parodic locker-room coarseness is grotesque both in its inaptness and in its lack of basic human feeling for a bereaved family forced to grieve in public and as crowd-scene extras to the political bigshot. Just about the only formal responsibility a vice president has is to attend funerals without embarrassing his country. And this preening buffoon of pseudo-blue-collar faux-machismo couldn’t even manage that.
I’ve linked the video of the “voting for Barack Obama is like losing your virginity to a really cool guy” ad that Steyn references. The Romney campaign should help Democrats get this message as much exposure as possible. It appeals to the idiot youth demographic, which is large, but already locked up by Obama. Meanwhile, serious undecided voters will view it as silly (at best), irritating and repulsive.
As a contrast to the garbage above, here's an ad that has been running locally. It was produced by a private citizen, Thomas Peterffy, who grew up in socialist Hungary.
One more thing. To elaborate on what Mr. Peterffy is saying, here is George Will, citing Nicholas Eberstadt's "A Nation of Takers : America's Entitlement Epidemic".
Will, Eberstadt and the countless other conservative commentators (Steyn is one) who repeatedly identify and condemn our dependency culture, are not motivated by avarice or to engage in some abstract academic exercise. They do so in the genuine hope that their warnings will inspire policy makers to dismantle that culture and repair the damaging effects it has had on our society. Will's column quantifies many of these effects and (without going into details) I have seen some of them on a personal level. My own experience is infinitely less extensive than that of Thomas Sowell who has noted, "the war on poverty has been able to accomplish what slavery, Jim Crow Laws, and other forms of discrimination has not: it has largely destroyed the black family."
That is the true cost of the welfare state.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Kimberley Strassel in today’s WSJ.
With 10 days until the election, Barack Obama's latest strategy is to claim that his opponent has developed "stage 3 Romnesia." Mitt Romney, the argument goes, is conveniently forgetting his real agenda, flipping his positions to better appeal to the electorate. Since Mr. Romney's conservative base would surely disagree, this raises the question of whether the president isn't himself suffering from a psychological malady that experts call "projection."
Strassel goes on to cite just some of Obama’s politically expedient policy shifts, as described in his own words. Here are a few on her list.
"I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program"—Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama, June 2003.
"I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter"—President Obama, August 2009.
"If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election"—Sen. Obama, 2007.
"We've made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election"—Sen. Obama, June 2008.
"I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign"—Sen. Obama, June 2008.
"The way Bush has done it over the last eight years is . . . [he] added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. . . . That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic"—Sen. Obama, July 2008.
"I don't remember what the number was precisely. . . . We don't have to worry about it short term"—President Obama, September 2012, on the debt figure when he took office ($10 trillion) and whether to worry about today's $16 trillion figure.
"[Sen. Hillary Clinton believes] that . . . if the government does not force taxpayers to buy health care, that we will penalize them in some fashion. I disagree with that"—Sen. Obama, Jan 2008, opposing the individual mandate for health insurance.
"I'm open to a system where every American bears responsibility for owning health insurance"—President Obama, June 2009, supporting the individual mandate.
"I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages"—Obama questionnaire response, 1996, while running for Illinois state Senate.
"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage"—Sen. Obama, November 2008, while running for president.
"It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married"—President Obama, May 2012.
Here’s one Obama statement that Strassel didn't cite, made during his anti gay marriage period.
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian…it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
Even God gets thrown under a bus, (a BFD for a devout Christian like Obama), when it suits our president's political needs.
And Peggy Noonan on Bob Woodward's latest book, "The Price of Politics".
The portrait it contains of Mr. Obama—of a president who is at once over his head, out of his depth and wholly unaware of the fact—hasn't received the attention it deserves. Throughout the book, which is a journalistic history of the president's key economic negotiations with Capitol Hill, Mr. Obama is portrayed as having the appearance and presentation of an academic or intellectual while being strangely clueless in his reading of political situations and dynamics. He is bad at negotiating—in fact doesn't know how. His confidence is consistently greater than his acumen, his arrogance greater than his grasp.
...In negotiation he did not cajole, seduce, muscle or win sympathy. He instructed. He claimed deep understanding of his adversaries and their motives but was often incorrect. He told staffers that John Boehner, one of 11 children of a small-town bar owner, was a "country club Republican." He was often patronizing, which in the old and accomplished is irritating but in the young and inexperienced is infuriating.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
That would be The Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz. Here she comes up with a pitch perfect analogy to illustrate Obama’s “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” routine -
acted out most recently with the Benghazi fiasco.
In the 1967 film "A Guide for the Married Man," a husband, played by a peerless Walter Matthau, is given lessons in ways to cheat on his wife safely. The most essential rule: "Deny! Deny! Deny!"—no matter what. In an instructive scene, he's shown a wife undone by shock, and screaming, with reason: She has just walked in on her husband making love to a glamorous stranger.
"What are you doing," she wails, "who is that woman?"
"What woman, where?" the husband serenely counters, as he and the tart in question get out of bed and calmly dress.
So the scene proceeds, with the distraught wife pointing to the woman she clearly sees before her, while her husband, unruffled, continues to look blankly at her, asking, "What woman?" Confused by her spouse's unblinking assurance, she gives up. Two minutes later she's asking him what he'd like for dinner.
...Team Obama clung to its original story—the (Benghazi) attack had come spontaneously at the hands of a mob enraged by that now famous video insulting to the Prophet—long after it was clear that it had been an organized terrorist assault by an al Qaeda affiliate. By Tuesday's debate, we saw a Barack Obama in high dudgeon over suggestions that his office might have deliberately misrepresented the facts. It was, he fumed, an intolerable insult that such charges could have been made about him, the president who had had to receive the bodies of the slain Americans—and who then had to set about getting to the bottom of this murderous terror assault.
Profound and urgent concerns indeed—which, the president neglected to say, had not prevented him from jetting off to his fundraiser in Las Vegas the day after the murders.
... More and more clearly, the Obama administration has put its faith in the view that the governed, who must be told what is best for their lives, whether they want it or not (see ObamaCare), can also be told that they have not seen what they've seen, have not heard what their ears clearly told them. When the "if you've got a business, you didn't build that" speech proved to be a political land mine, team Obama instantly charged malicious, out-of-context distortion. The president was only talking about—infrastructure! About government-built roads vital for businesses, transportation, etc.
It isn't likely that Americans who had heard the Obama address failed to understand, rightly, its sneering tone directed at those who believed they had a right to think they were responsible for their own success. Not likely that they didn't notice the icy thrust of those words, "I'm always struck by people who feel, 'Well, it must be because I'm just so smart.'" The president had revealed, with unforgettable clarity, his contempt for faith in individual enterprise—a value Americans of every station hold dear.
And John Stossel with a few well chosen words about one of the left's favorite platitudes.
"Community" is a loaded word. Statists misuse it to criticize individualism, as though the two don't coexist, as if, without government, people don't work together. But this is nonsense. Real communities emerge organically from individuals who volunteer to come together for common purpose. Communities are not created by government edict, which amounts to a threat of violence against peaceful people. As classical liberals like Herbert Spencer and F.A. Hayek taught, there is no conflict between individualism and social cooperation. These are two sides of the same coin of freedom. Individualists form families, clubs, charities, churches and softball leagues, and participate in thousands of voluntary communities.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
I see dead people.
“On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes – and I see many of them in the audience here today – our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.”
On a related note, be very afraid, Christian Brossard.
"One such translator was an American of Haitian descent, representative of the extraordinary work that our men and women in uniform do all around the world -- Navy Corpse-Man Christian Brossard."
Make sure those kids aren’t just faking asthma to cover up their drinking.
“Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma. They end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs when, if you, they just gave, you gave, treatment early, and they got some treatment, and uhhh a breathalyzer, or uhh, an inhalator, not a breathalyzer...”
I felt like an effing retard.
"No, no. I have been practicing...I bowled a 129. It's like -- it was like Special Olympics, or something."
I’m pretty sure it’s called givenundtaken in Sudetenese.
“'It was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There’s a lot of -- I don’t know what the term is in Austrian -- wheeling and dealing, and people are pursuing their interests, and everybody has their own particular issues and their own particular politics..."
And expose the Republican War On Women, babe.
"Hold on one second, sweetie, we're going to do - we'll do a press avail."
Now if we could just move Detroit to a different location…
''The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries.''
My powers of persuasion are astounding.
"The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system."
"UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems."
“Have no friends not equal to yourself”. – Confucius
"Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's...”
You should’ve seen her trying to dance at my wedding.
"The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person…”
Not only are we going to New Hampshire ... we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York! And we're going to South Dakota and New Hampshire and Oregon and Texas and Washington and Michigan and Arizona and South Carolina! And New Hampshire and Oregon and New Mexico! And…and…Texas! And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House, Yeeeeeaaaaaargh!
"It is just wonderful to be back in Oregon. And over the last 15 months we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states; I think one left to go."
We are deeply indebted to those brave soldiers who stormed the beaches at Normandy and saved us from a steady diet of kielbasa and pierogies.
“Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale, and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.”
Two would be just about right.
“When four Americans are killed, it’s not optimal.”
Where do those birthers get their cockamamie ideas anyway?
"When I meet with world leaders, what's striking -- whether it's in Europe or here in Asia..." (Obama in Hawaii)
Maldives, Malvinas, Malapropism, whatever.
“And in terms of the Maldives or the Falklands, whatever your preferred term, our position on this is that we are going to remain neutral.”
After Obama said this the UK Daily Telegraph reported that “Barack Obama made a gaffe more associated with predecessor George W Bush".
Really? I’ll give a gold star to anyone who can cite an example of Bush misnaming a geographic entity.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Give credit where credit is due. The left is adept at concocting political ads so outrageously off the mark and so lacking in subtlety as to make them genuinely entertaining. The hilarious production of Paul Ryan Throws Granny Off A Cliff (link) is a classic example. Much like Ed Wood movies, these ads are so bad, they’re good.
Among the most misleading and funniest ads are those that show a bunch of paunchy, late middle aged, pinstriped suited, white (always white), men (always men) beating up, stealing from or otherwise manhandling small, helpless, innocent children. One current version running locally has a group of these well-dressed bullies infiltrating a football game being played by a bunch of youngsters. They steal the ball, take over the game and end up performing celebratory dances much to the puzzlement and consternation of the pitiable tots. The voice over message is that so–and –so gave tax breaks to rich, fat cat CEOs and paid for it by cutting school funding. One is left wondering how this unspeakably crass and mean-spirited a--hole ever got elected to public office in the first place.
What actually happened in this case is that so–and –so supported a business tax cut to encourage investment and job growth in a state (Michigan) which had been disproportionately hurt by the recession and eight years of Governor Jennifer Granholm. (As the ad would have it, all business tax cuts go directly and exclusively to the CEO). Separately, so–and –so voted to reduce and re-direct education funding away from the teachers’ unsustainably large retirement budget and toward local schools. Thus the “children” - a leftist euphemism for “teacher’s unions” - actually benefitted. It was the teachers that had to make do with less in their retirement. (And only those hired after September 2012).
The problem in Michigan as in many other states and the nation as a whole is this - as the entitlement policies of the left expand and consume more of the culture and the economy, growth and productivity slow, and there is less innovation, less employment, less prosperity. As people become poorer, advocates for "social justice" demand more government assistance - longer terms of unemployment insurance, greater reliance on food stamps, calls for subsidies for housing, education, energy and the like. This strains government's budgets, especially with the reduced revenues resulting from low economic growth. The left's prescription is higher taxes, especially on the "rich". Higher tax rates on job creators further impedes economic growth and fortifies and perpetuates this vicious cycle of entitlements and dependence. This scenario is currently being played out, and we are worse off for it.
The alternative is a virtuous cycle - Stop punishing success. Lower the barriers to investment and innovation by implementing a simpler tax code, lower tax rates and a sensible regulatory environment. (An example of a non-sensical regulation - declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant). This will spur economic growth, improving living standards for everyone while raising government revenues. These revenues can then be utilized for legitimate government functions like defense (priority one of course), basic scientific research, infrastructure spending, and assisting the truly needy (who will be vastly reduced in number). Local governments, should they choose, could then apply a fiscally responsible portion of income to subsidizing benefits for its workers. Even teacher's unions will be pleased with the result.
We've been spoiled, ironically, by that which the left so despises, free market capitalism. A common belief seems to be that wealth somehow falls out of the sky and into the laps of greedy industrialists reluctant to distibute even miserly portions. "Share the wealth", Obama commands. This is dangerous nonsense. Share the wealth? The wealth is gone. The nation is $16 trillion in debt. That's $16 with 12 zeros after it, heading to $20 trillion and beyond. Want to fix it by taxing the rich? Hey, I'll go one better. Let's confiscate all of their assets. Take away everything - all the money, stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, art, baseball cards, everything, from every "millionaire" and "billionaire" in the country. The resulting sum would just about cover one year of Obama's deficits - never mind the debt. (And plunge us into a deep depression). Share the wealth? No. Create the wealth. And nothing does it better than capitalism. That there exists in the world any degree of prosperity can be credited to the development of this remarkable system.
Economist Walter Williams divulges one the great secrets of our time.
There's nothing intellectually challenging or unusual about poverty. For most of mankind's existence, his most optimistic scenario was to be able to eke out enough to subsist for another day. Poverty has been mankind's standard fare and remains so for most of mankind. What is unusual and challenging to explain is affluence -- namely, how a tiny percentage of people, mostly in the West, for only a tiny part of mankind's existence, managed to escape the fate that befell their fellow men.
As its silly ads demonstrate, the left repeatedly demonizes business people. It ridicules the strategy of removing obstacles to the free exchange of goods and services in order to improve living standards. That this is a politically effective ploy doesn’t speak well of an electorate generally ignorant of that strategy. And it doesn't speak well of its leaders. Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven (NRO) argue that even the President of the United States seems shamefully unaware of the glorious benefits of having motivated people chasing profits. (To help illustrate their point, the writers use the unlikely example of potato chips).
Because it's relevant to the subject, I'm posting the following link again.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Of all the contrivances offered in support of Barack Obama’s performance as president, most fallacious is this – when he took office nearly four years ago the nation faced unprecedented challenges so severe that merely managing its survival over that time should be considered a significant achievement. Thus, rather than asking whether we are better off than we were four years ago, we should be thankful we’re not rummaging through garbage cans amidst a nuclear winter.
Admittedly, Obama inherited a difficult situation with the country in a recession precipitated by – and this can’t be repeated often enough – government interference in the housing market. But Ronald Reagan took office under similar circumstances, except that Reagan also had to deal with runaway inflation and usurious interest rates along with slow growth and high unemployment. Within two years his remedy (supply-side stimulation), and that of the Fed (tight money) had reduced unemployment, shrunk inflation and began generating GDP growth in the 6-8% range on the way to nearly 20 years of prosperity. For good measure, Reagan collapsed the Soviet Empire with increased defense spending and the threat of the Strategic Defense Initiative.
Aside from the shaky economy, Obama had everything else going for him – approval ratings approaching, and at times exceeding 80%, (apparently even the racist class supported him), strong Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, an adoring media, and a general perception that his predecessor had left him an intractable mess.
But things weren’t nearly as bad as advertised. With TARP’s enactment in October 2008, credit markets had stabilized. We were approaching the final stages of the recession, (it officially ended in June 2009), and the economy was poised for recovery. The bane of George W. Bush’s presidency had been resolved as well, with the surge in Iraq having produced a tenuous, yet solid victory, and dealing al-Queda a crushing defeat. (Which Obama is in the process of frittering away). Most importantly, the national security architecture that Bush had erected ensured that his successor would be provided the necessary tools to prevent an attack equal to or greater than the one carried out on September 11, 2001. It was the perfect setup for a successful reign – in both substance and perception.
By contrast, when Bush took office, he was confronted with a narrowly split Congress (Jim Jeffords switched his party affiliation from Republican to Independent giving Democrats control of the Senate in June 2001), an opposition party that questioned the legitimacy of his authority because of the Florida electoral controversy, and a hostile press. In addition Bush came into office immediately following the two decade Reagan boom – a tough act to follow. And he was facing a sagging economy caused by the bursting of the tech bubble (that bubble which had propelled the economy under Clinton). Then, nine months into his term, the 9/11 attacks triggered a recession. Yet Bush quietly assumed his responsibility. He never complained that he got a raw deal, never blamed anyone. Never.
Obama and his apologists have taken the opposite tack, whining about the hand he was dealt and blaming Bush and a profusion of unrelated factors to try to explain away the administration’s failures. His entire re-election campaign is built on the premise of his powerlessness.
Victor Davis Hanson (NRO) examines the gulf between the illusory Obama narrative and the reality and how a great opportunity for achievement has been squandered.
...the future seemed to be all Barack Obama’s. Bill Clinton’s second term offered an easy blueprint of what bipartisan centrism might achieve. Balance the budget and create jobs, and the nation will forgive anything, from lying under oath to romancing an intern in the Oval Office.
And what happened?
Barack Obama chose to ram down the nation’s throat a polarizing, statist agenda, energized by the sort of hardball politics he had learned in Chicago. Rather than bring the races, classes, and genders together, he gave us an us-versus-them crusade against the “1 percenters” and the job creators who had not “paid their fair share,” accusations of a Republican “war on women,” and the worst racial polarization in modern memory. Statesmanship degenerated into chronic blame-gaming and “Bush did it,” as he piled up over $5 trillion in new debt. Financial sobriety was abandoned in favor of creating new entitlement constituencies, and job creation was deemed far less important than nationalizing the health-care system.
And so here we are, three weeks before the election, with a squandered presidency and a president desperately seeking reelection not by defending his record, but by demonizing his predecessor, his opponent — and half of the country.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Not only was Joe Biden in character in his debate with Paul Ryan Thursday, playing the obnoxious clown to perfection, his trademark dishonesty was also on full display, documented here by the National Review editors.
As NR noted, Biden lied most brazenly on the subject of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the subsequent Obama administration coverup. That scandal is a microcosm of the administration's foreign policy failure, as demonstrated by its impotence, incompetence, perfidy, confusion and lack of strategic and tactical vision. As one would expect, the scandal has been mostly ignored by the mainstream media. Not, thankfully, by Messrs. Andrew McCarthy (NRO), John Fund (NRO), Steve Hayes (Weekly Standard) and Thomas Joscelyn (Weekly Standard). (Mark Steyn's commentary was linked in my previous post).
How important is this issue? McCarthy explains,
"...even if there were not a thousand other reasons for denying President Obama a second term, the Libya scandal alone would be reason enough to remove him."
Saturday, October 13, 2012
September 7, 2012
As for Joe Biden, I love him and will hear nothing against him. He's like Democrats the way they used to be, and by that I do not mean idiotic. I mean normal—manipulative only to a normal degree, roughly aware of the facts of normal life, alert to and even respecting of such normal things as religious faith.
October 12, 2012
Last night Mr. Biden was weirdly aggressive, if that is the right word for someone who grimaces, laughs derisively, interrupts, hectors, rolls his eyes, browbeats and attempts to bully.
...Did Mr. Biden look good? No, he looked mean and second rate. He meant to undercut Mr. Ryan but he undercut himself. His grimaces and laughter were reminiscent of Al Gore’s sighs in 2000 – theatrical, off-putting and in the end self-indicting.
Since it’s Saturday, there’s also Mark Steyn and this week he takes on the growing Benghazi scandal. Steyn makes too many salient points to provide excerpts. However, here’s one bon mot of note.
The United States is the first nation in history whose democracy has evolved to the point where its leader is provided with a wide-body transatlantic jet in order to campaign on the vital issue of public funding for sock puppets.
Read the whole thing here.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Here are a couple of comments from admittedly conservative writers on the GOP nominee for president.
Whatever you may think of the former Massachusetts governor’s politics, there should never have been any hesitation about Romney the man. This is a bright, self-made man, one whose public and private philanthropy, which puts most of us to shame, should be legendary. It is not. That’s because his good works weren’t done to burnish his political credentials and his decency discourages their exploitation toward that end. You don’t have to agree with Romney on everything to see that he is a mensch. He obviously loves the America that is — the land of opportunity that has rewarded his work ethic. Like most of us, he wants that America preserved, not “fundamentally transformed.”
If you got your information from the mainstream media … you would never know Romney is an impressive man. You would never know he has been successful in most everything he has ever done. You would never know he was bright, experienced, or capable. Or warm, decent, and charitable.
And Romney’s opponent? Well, have you seen the recently released video of President Obama’s speech to a mostly black audience in Virginia in 2007? Below is a link to a brief excerpt of the angry 40 minute outburst, including a shout out to "mah pastor, Dr. Jeremiah Wright". As you watch, remind yourself that this is the future President of The United States speaking. I can’t believe it either.
Bloomberg’s scrolling news feed noted that “Obama video injects race into campaign”. This anodyne spin obscures the utter depravity of Obama’s speech. Here is an Ivy League educated child of privilege assuming a “negro dialect” (per Harry Reid), and race pandering in the worst tradition of Sharpton, Jackson and Farrakhan. As for his drawl, Obama doesn’t talk this way and never did. Imagine the pushback if a white politician, say a Hillary Clinton or a Joe Biden pulled the same stunt. (Wait, never mind – bad examples).
Worse than Obama’s pretention and incitement is his breathtaking mendacity. Characteristically, he outright lies about the issue that just “steams him up”.
In fact, ten days before Obama gave that speech, Congress had waived the Stafford Act requirement for Katrina. He was well aware of that fact, too. After all, he was one of only 14 senators to vote against the waiver. It was part of a bill to fund the war effort in Iraq. That is, to pander to his Bush-deranged, anti-war base, Obama decided that squeezing New O’leans was a price worth paying. Then, he lied about what happened in order to foment racial resentment — an atmosphere that he calculated would help his presidential bid.
Meanwhile there’s this.
The Gallup poll released Friday (8/24) found that 54 percent of Americans say Obama is the more likable between him and Romney. Thirty-one percent said Romney was more likable.
Perhaps I will inhabit a more comprehensible world in my next life.
Contrary to the left's caricature of her (and to some on the right) as a mindless, invective hurling demagogue, Ann Coulter is a smart, witty writer and speaker who presents well researched and tightly crafted arguments to support her positions. Just read her books. In this interview with Mark Levin, she comments on the Obama video and then talks up her new book on the racial demagoguery of the left, “Mugged”.
Friday, October 5, 2012
When Solicitor General Donald Verrilli ineffectively argued the case for the constitutionality of Obamacare before the Supreme Court last spring, leftist commentators blasted his supposed incompetence. What they didn't understand/overlooked/ignored (choose one) was that Verrilli had no case to argue. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives Congress the power to compel a person to purchase a product. As Charles Krauthammer pointed out, Clarence Darrow would have fared no better than Verrilli trying to convince thoughtful (aka, conservative) justices otherwise. Only John Roberts' weakness in the face of left wing pressure, his misreading of the bill's text and his obtuse understanding of taxation saved the obnoxious thing (at least temporarily).
Mitt Romney's debate victory Wednesday night came about not because of President Obama's poor attitude, his lack of preparation, a weak moderator, or the rare air in Denver (Al Gore's interpretation - exactly what one would expect from that clown). It happened because Obama had, and continues to have, no case. He's been a terrible president and the results are obvious, or should be, to anyone paying attention. He's lied about Romney's proposals and his own (e.g. - $4 trillion to be cut from the deficit) and aided by a compliant press, gotten away with it. In the debate, Romney exposed those lies. On top of that, Obama's vaunted intelligence and talent for communication have been grossly overestimated. "Obama is the single most overrated politician of my lifetime," is how Jonah Goldberg put it. Without a teleprompter on which to prop his empty thoughts, Obama is lost. The most revealing line of the night was Obama's desperate appeal to moderator Jim Lehrer, “You may want to move on to another topic.” How about the Nationals' playoff chances. Anything but taxes.
Romney remains the underdog. This is still a popularity contest with judges whose qualifications are suspect. But at least we're back in the game. Next up - The better half of the ticket, Mr. Ryan, gets his turn to dispel myths, lies and misconceptions.
Mona Charen has an excellent column (NRO) on the debate and how Romney made the articulate case that conservatives have long been waiting for.
Also, speaking of Obamacare, a column in today's WSJ by Heather R. Higgins and Hadley Heath reports that in a survey, independents became much less likely to support the bill when they were presented with information they had been previously unaware of.
An excerpt follows - (Support for Romney/Obama is used as a proxy for support for Obamacare. IWV refers to Independent Women's Voice, the group that conducted the survey).
The change was startling. The numbers moved a net +14 points, from 44%-42% in favor of Mr. Romney among the control group (which had received no IWV messaging) to 50%-34% in favor of Mr. Romney among the test group (which had received the IWV messaging).
Just what were the little-known facts about ObamaCare that the 24,000 independent households found so persuasive? You can find them, and their sources, at HealthReformQuestions.com, but here are a few examples:
• Americans know that ObamaCare requires insurance companies to allow families to keep adult children up to age 26 on their parents' policy. They are less likely to know that the provision increased the average family premium—even for families that didn't add adult dependents—by $150-$450 in 2011.
• The average family's health-insurance premiums are already up $1,300.
• Young workers who buy their own insurance will see a 19%-30% increase in premiums as a result of ObamaCare.
• Remember the 700,000 people whom the Congressional Budget Office predicted would make use of ObamaCare's federal high-risk program? Just 78,000 people have enrolled. As a result, each person in the program costs taxpayers millions of allocated dollars. Americans, when they hear this, know instinctively that there must be a better way to address the problem.
• ObamaCare was sold as the solution to covering the 47 million uninsured in America, but 10 years after the law is implemented, 30 million Americans will still be uninsured. What problem, exactly, is ObamaCare solving again?
• Americans are also generally familiar with Medicaid's problems, among them the refusal by many doctors to accept Medicaid patients. What most people don't know is that approximately 10 million of those who gain insurance under ObamaCare will just be dumped into the already cash-strapped Medicaid system.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The political season is upon us and the electorate is seemingly poised to repeat and endorse the disastrous error it committed four years ago. That is the backdrop to this futile attempt to educate a badly misguided public - a link to the clearest, most concise argument for free-market capitalism that I have read, six years to the day it originally appeared in the WSJ.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Jay Nordlinger (NRO) on media bias, Romney and the Convention.
"Media bias does not mean everything. And it can be overcome. But it means a lot.
Every Romney error is magnified; every Obama error is diminished. There are even some Romney errors that are not quite errors: such as his recent performance abroad, and his comment on our embassy in Cairo.
If you got your information from the mainstream media — I wish there were a better term — you would never know Romney is an impressive man. You would never know he has been successful in most everything he has ever done. You would never know he was bright, experienced, or capable. Or warm, decent, and charitable.
You would think he was a moron. And a jerk, to boot.
...You remember those “ordinary people” at the Republican convention who told about the extraordinary acts of charity Mitt Romney has performed? If Obama had performed those acts, they would be famous. They would be legends, they would have entered the national lore. Schoolchildren would be instructed to sing about them.
...Whatever the current wisdom is, I enjoyed the Republican convention a lot, and thought it was excellent. I thought the “ordinary people,” testifying about Romney, were wonderful. I thought Mrs. Romney was fantastic. I thought Chris Christie was formidable. I thought Condi Rice was great. Paul Ryan’s speech was master-crafted. Marco Rubio was well-nigh brilliant. Clint Eastwood was weird as hell, but effective in the end, I think. And I thought Romney was very good. I might have preferred a more red-meaty speech. But I’m a partisan nut."