Saturday, May 28, 2011

op ed review 5/29

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told supporters in a midnight email early Sunday that he is opting against a 2012 presidential run, a decision that will again roil the GOP field and leave many party establishment figures looking for alternatives. In the end, he said, he couldn't convince his family to get on board. His wife, Cheri, was known to have concerns about a campaign.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55424.html

Mitt Romney is the candidate who'll be able to build a Republican coalition, but no one does better than Sarah Palin on connecting with GOP voters on social issues, according to a new Gallup poll.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55805.html

Sarah Palin has announced a "One Nation" bus tour of American historical sites and declared "I have fire in my belly," further fuelling speculation that she will run for the White House in 2012.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/sarah-palin/8542799/Sarah-Palin-presidential-speculation-mounts-as-she-announces-bus-tour.html

After months of resisting calls to join the contest, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday he would consider it. That could reshape the GOP field, adding a sitting governor who has never lost an election.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/27/3110435/texas-gov-rick-perry-says-he-will.html

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced Sunday he will run for the 2012 Republican U.S. presidential nomination. Here are some facts about him:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-politics/8529943/Tim-Pawlenty-facts.html

In a weighty case with far-reaching implications, the Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law that requires all businesses to check to make sure new workers are in the country legally — and in the process signaled the states can have a greater say on immigration issues.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/26/supreme-court-ok-arizonas-business-immigration-law/

It's not often that the murder, rape and assault of American citizens can be tied directly to a court decision. But that's the foreseeable consequence of the Supreme Court's outrageous ruling on Monday in Brown v. Plata. Justice Anthony Kennedy's order -- joined, unsurprisingly, by his four liberal brethren -- forces California to release 46,000 convicted criminals. It is, as dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia dubbed it, "the most radical injunction issued by a court in our Nation's history." Kennedy's dangerous decision is based on the claim that California provides inadequate medical care for its convicts -- care so poor as to violate the Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment." What's the main cause of this violation? According to the court, prison overcrowding. Thus, it has ordered California to reduce its prison population.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_supremes_order_up_crime_wave_osurbyUs8zNMreY2lPtbJO

President Ronald Reagan once famously said that a stack of $1,000 bills equivalent to the U.S. government's debt would be about 67 miles high. That was 1981. Since then, the national debt has climbed to $14.3 trillion. In $1,000 bills, it would now be more than 900 miles tall. In $1 bills, the pile would reach to the moon and back twice.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/19/us-usa-debt-size-idUSTRE74I5TL20110519

The Spanish Socialist Party has suffered its worst defeat since the country returned to democracy in 1978.

http://frontpagemag.com/2011/05/25/spanish-socialists-get-trounced/

Gov. Chris Christie is pulling New Jersey out of the region’s "gimmicky" cap-and-trade program by the end of the year.

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/05/gov_christie_to_announce_nj_pu.html

The Senate’s top watchdog on government waste, in a new report, said taxpayer money has gone to fund such programs as Jell-O wrestling at the South Pole, testing shrimp’s exercise ability on a treadmill and a laundry-folding robot, all funded by the National Science Foundation.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/26/tax-dollars-shrimp-treadmills-jell-o-wrestling/

“The White House is hoping to strong-arm banks into paying off the mortgages of irresponsible homeowners at the expense of the rest of us. The idea is to tap financial institutions to create an unregulated $20 billion slush fund to pay off the principal for people who are upside-down and delinquent on their housing payments. Political appointees in the Obama administration would get to choose the winners and losers in the house pay-off lottery.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/24/obamas-20-billion-mortgage-shakedown/

Do as I say, not as I do: “U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood unveiled new fuel-economy window stickers for cars and trucks, saying "we're not just sitting around waiting for high gasoline prices to come down." His ride of choice to the unveiling: A 12-mpg Chevy Suburban SUV.”

http://jalopnik.com/5805503/us-transportation-secretary-rolls-up-in-suv-to-unveil-new-fuel-economy-stickers

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee appears to drive a foreign car, despite criticizing Republican presidential candidates for supposedly favoring foreign auto manufacturers.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/163567-dnc-chairwoman-doesnt-drive-american

President Obama rejected the invitation from the British Royal Society, a world-leading group of scientists, and instead chose to visit a school where pupils had won an award for designing a lunchbox which folds out into a plate. Members of the Royal Society were “deeply offended” by the snub…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/8535741/Barack-Obama-snubs-British-scientists-by-refusing-to-receive-Royal-Society-medal.html

The Washington State Legislature has approved changes to the state's health-care program, keeping children of illegal aliens enrolled, but raising their premiums a bit.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015148928_childrenshealth26.html?syndication=rss

A democratic congressman says that President Obama is "tilting toward Hamas" – a reference to the Palestinian group the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/163003-house-lawmakers-side-with-netanyahu

A burglar in the UK was let out of jail because locking him up breached his family’s human rights. In a staggering judgment, the Appeal Court ruled that the rights of Wayne Bishop’s five children were more important than those of his victims or the interests of justice.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1391512/Burglar-claimed-jail-sentence-infringed-childrens-human-rights-freed.html

This year’s election for the U.N. Human Rights Council has, once again, produced a body that has fewer “free” countries – 21 of a total of 47 – and has more than one-third of the seats held by members of the Islamic bloc. http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/free-countries-once-again-minority-un-hu

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

C. Edmund Wright 5/22

In the shadow of the CNN complex and totally ignored by much of Atlanta's local drive- by media, Herman Cain officially divulged a very poorly kept secret Saturday: that he is running for the Republican nomination for President. And in case anyone is not sure exactly what Mr. Cain's intentions are, he clearly said that he is running with only one thing in mind -- which is to finish number one.

So while that idea may seem fanciful to the pundits and the mainstream media (and of course beltway bubbled conservatives like Charles Krauthammer), the impressive size and staggering energy of the 15 thousand folks at Olympic Centennial Park gave the rally the feel of a winning movement. Sure, I am hardly objective. However, as a veteran of political rallies and campaigns off and on since 1980 -- and a sometimes operative since 1992 -- I do not reach that conclusion lightly. Frankly, I've never been to a political event that had this energy. The closest thing I can think of to describe it was the televised introduction of Sarah Palin in September of 2008 and a Reagan rally I attended in 1980 in Columbia, S.C.

It is no coincidence that the feel of Cain events has been compared to Palin events and Reagan events. They have that same unmistakable energy and Cain has an "it" factor that is simply undeniable. He is a happy but intense warrior like Reagan, and can even pull off the cowboy hat look. (Memo to Mitch Daniels, don't try this at home).

Moreover, I cannot separate what I experienced Saturday from the knowledge that Cain has routed the current and expected GOP fields in several Iowa Caucus polls and has been second and first in respective Zogby Polls. Gallup, in a poll that managed to find Republican voters who had not heard of either Palin or Mitt Romney, showed Cain with a low name recognition but higher favorables than any other announced or expected candidate.

Knowing this, the atmosphere was super charged with the passion and newness of an insurgent campaign, plus the confidence gained by a remarkable few weeks that started with the South Carolina debate "win" and ended with Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee declining to run, and Newt Gingrich imploding about four times in 72 hours. The Cain campaign advanced six months in those 22 days.

In addition, in a more intimate setting I was able to find out how Cain has meticulously picked a team and implemented a plan that is extraordinarily well conceived. With the same focus and planning that one would expect from a CEO with business turnaround experience, he has launched a campaign from nothing that has now some 200 thousand internet based volunteers and a donor base growing by leaps and bounds.

Cain handpicked his internet guru for the campaign that put this plan in place, but also sports a computer science degree himself. Cain was a techie before techie was cool, one of the many impressive things about his resume lost in the "pizza man" jazz. At 65, he has a very modern campaign structure around the internet and social networking……

Thus, when announcement day in Atlanta drew larger crowds than anyone expected and the atmosphere was electric, I was not that surprised. There is more to the Cain Train than most know. And there was not just a festive atmosphere and a lot of cheering, those cheers came from many cheeks moist with tears that a Cain candidacy is actually what real hope and change should feel like for America.

I am confident that were there operatives involved with the Romney or Gingrich or Pawlenty campaigns in attendance, it is very likely that they were busy tapping out frantic emails or texts to their headquarters. In spite of the heat, the combination of white country music performers and black clergy juxtaposed with a super charged audience that was quintessential "tea party plus" was a scene unfamiliar to most of American politics. Any political veteran would instantly recognize the "scent of a winner." It's hard to describe, but if you're around this game for any length of time, you know it when you are around it. And you also know it's contagious.

Certainly, anything can happen in politics and with a fledgling campaign, the next 22 days might be as bad for Cain as the last 22 have been good……But the main reason I think Cain's candidacy will continue to develop is Cain himself, combined with the times we are in. Herman Cain is a meticulous CEO whose life story is the essence of the American dream. His campaign, like his life, will be the sum of his focused planning plus his irrepressible personality and persona. He has a connection with people that is amazing, and for some reason, he just looks and sounds exactly as a man with his experiences should. And having stared stage 4 cancer in the eye and beaten it, he is fearless -- and his "give a damn" is broke.

All of which makes him refreshingly bold and honest. You get the idea that a Cain-Obama debate would be the wise grandfather taking the arrogant silly whippersnapper to the wood shed. That thought alone will likely bring supporters Cain's way and keep his campaign relevant for a long time to come.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/05/rock_you_like_a_hermancain.html

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"All of our ruling-class institutions -- academia, courts, government, media and entertainment industries -- are teeming with closed-minded, hard-Left ideologues who seek to 'fundamentally transform America.' Consider that, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, self-identified liberals outweigh their conservative counterparts in the mainstream media by a 5-1 margin. Likewise, a 1999 North American Academic Study Survey (NAASS) of students, faculty and administrators in colleges and universities throughout the United States determined that five times as many college faculty members vote Democratic as Republican. ... Still, liberals -- or 'progressives,' as they prefer to be called -- persist in laboring under an embarrassing misconception: They honestly believe they remain the nonconformists. It's precious. In fact, today's liberals are nothing of the sort. They compliantly conform -- like little windup, patchouli-daubed lemmings -- to a carnival-prize caricature of what they imagine nonconformity to look like. You know, the usual stuff: neo-Marxism, environmentalist activism, sexual relativism, big-government nanny statism, an actions-without-consequences rendering of reproductive rights, and other such populist nonsense. Simply put, today's progressive nonconformist conforms."

-J. Matt Barber

"The poor have been used as human shields behind which the expanding welfare state can advance. The goal is not to keep the poor from starving but to create dependency, because dependency translates into votes for politicians who play Santa Claus. We have all heard the old saying about how giving a man a fish feeds him for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Independence makes for a healthier society, but dependency is what gets votes for politicians. For politicians, giving a man a fish every day of his life is the way to keep getting his vote. 'Entitlement' is just a fancy word for dependency."

-Thomas Sowell

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LEFTIST WATCH

Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney appeared on Libya TV supporting Gaddafi.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/05/former_rep_cynthia_mckinney_ap.html

Typical civility on the left: MSNBC has suspended Ed Schultz, host of the “The Ed Show,” for one week without pay for calling conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham a ‘right-wing slut’ on his syndicated radio program Tuesday.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/0511/MSNBC_suspends_Schultz_for_calling_Ingraham_a_slut.html

“MSNBC is a cesspool of misogyny”

http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/26/msnbc-is-a-cesspool-of-misogyny/

The spouse of the White House’s new “Director of Progressive Media and Online Response”, is closely tied to the infamous General Betrayus ad for MoveOn.org.

http://bigjournalism.com/driehl/2011/05/26/is-there-a-traitor-in-the-white-house/

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BOOKS

Sarah Palin has commissioned a feature-length film from director Stephen K. Bannon about her governorship in Alaska that will debut in Iowa next month and then be released nationwide. The film seeks to recast Palin in a more favorable light, and its existence--a secret until now--suggests strongly that Palin is planning to run for president.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/the-sarah-palin-disaster-movie/239448/

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ARTICLES

It‘s cost $600 billion of your money. And it was supposed to rescue the economy. But has Ben Bernanke’s huge financial stimulus package, known as “Quantitative Easing 2,” actually worked as planned? Turns out the program has created maybe 700,000 full-time jobs — at a cost of around $850,000 each. House prices are lower than before QE2 was launched. Economic growth is slower. Inflation is higher.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qe2-was-a-bust-2011-05-21?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Fat City: A retired professor exclaims: “Thank you, Illinois taxpayers, for my cushy life.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/fat-city_567621.html

The Democrats’ upset victory in New York’s special election Tuesday shows that Tea Party candidates could prevent Republicans from winning the White House and Senate, GOP senators say.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/163625-spoilers-from-the-tea-party-worry-gop

We thought that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's attempt to reform Medicare had struck a fatal blow against the "third rail" mentality in Washington -- that cultural defect whereby politicians run in terror from anything new, no matter how necessary it is. Unfortunately, we are being proven wrong -- not by voters, and not by Democrats' "Mediscare" tactics, but by Republicans who are going wobbly, distancing themselves from Ryan in search of a political advantage. Given the dire need for Medicare reform, these Republicans are imperiling the nation's future, to say nothing of the GOP's political fortunes.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/2011/05/republicans-form-circular-firing-squad-over-ryan-plan

A tale of two strong conservative women:

http://dailyinterlake.com/opinion/columns/frank/article_dfecfe12-842f-11e0-a0fa-001cc4c002e0.html

“I used to be a drunk, but now I’m bipolar.” A guy who was applying for Social Security disability benefits once said these words, which sum up the problem with this entitlement program. Thursday’s Wall Street Journal article about a “just say yes” Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ) in West Virginia who granted benefits to 100% of the people on his case docket during this fiscal year highlights one problem with the program, but its roots are deeper.

http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/21/i-used-to-be-drunk-but-now-i%E2%80%99m-bipolar/

Imagine the newspaper headlines if President George W. Bush had written the wrong date in the Westminster Abbey guest book; or if he had continued toasting the Queen of England after the British national anthem started playing. Obama did both of those things on Tuesday, and while media outlets reported the incidents, there was no suggestion that he is a blundering fool.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/british-newspaper-blasted-bushs-etiquett

Even those conservatives who will not vote for Herman Cain to win the Republican nomination should hope that he does run -- and that his candidacy lasts a long time during the nomination process, perhaps even succeeding. Here are the top reasons to support Cain:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/top_ten_reasons_to_support_her.html

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Dr. Thomas Sowell, distinguished economist and Hoover Institute Senior Fellow, explains “Economic Facts and Fallacies”

http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uncommon-knowledge/79146

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LATE NITE

Jay Leno: They drive on the other side of the road there, so Obama had to switch sides — kind of like Mitt Romney is doing over here…..I don’t want to say Tim Pawlenty is boring, but Joe Biden is accusing him of identity theft. President Obama told the Irish people that America will always stand by them, to which Israel laughed……Obama was also in England, where the queen suggested that we go back to the pre-1776 borders. …….According to Osama bin Laden’s diaries, he wanted to attack Los Angeles. He changed his mind when he realized he didn’t have anything against the Mexican people.

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WISE WORDS

"There are many well-meaning people today who work at placing an economic floor beneath all of us so that no one shall exist below a certain level or standard of living, and certainly we don't quarrel with this. But look more closely and you may find that all too often these well-meaning people are building a ceiling above which no one shall be permitted to climb and between the two are pressing us all into conformity, into a mold of standardized mediocrity."

-Ronald Reagan

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