Saturday, June 4, 2011

op ed review 6/5


The last month has been a horror show for the U.S. economy, with economic data falling off a cliff, according a fund manager at M&G Investments in London.

Obama’s worst nightmare: The slow economy slows some more

Crossing party lines to deliver a stunning rebuke to the commander in chief, the vast majority of the House voted Friday for resolutions telling President Obama he has broken the constitutional chain of authority by committing U.S. troops to the international military mission in Libya.

Uh oh: President Obama faces waning enthusiasm from union members as he prepares for his 2012 re- election bid, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said. “It will be more challenging this time than it was last time to motivate our members,”

A Rasmussen poll shows that 35.6 percent of Americans are now Republicans, compared to 34.0 percent who are Democrats. That’s a higher tally for Republicans, and the widest margin between the two parties, than at any time since the GOP took control of the House in January. A year ago, only 32.0 percent of Americans were Republicans, while 35.1 percent were Democrats. So that’s a swing of 4.7 percentage points..

U.S. military veterans and those currently on active military duty are less likely to approve of President Obama's job performance than are Americans of comparable ages who are not in the military.

How politics works: As part of the White House's deal to permit Comcast to buy NBC Universal, the government forced Comcast to promise to provide 2.5 million low income households: (i) high-speed Internet access service for less than $10 per month; (ii) personal computers, netbooks, or other computer equipment at a purchase price below $150; and (iii) an array of digital-literacy education opportunities." Who are the lucky beneficiaries among all the Americans who fit this category? Are you sitting down? "Poor blacks in Chicago are the ones getting Comcast's sweet deal , because who needs the Internet more than voters in the President's home town, which is now run by his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel?”

La Jolla, CA’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show now requires an environmental impact statement?

“Obama Sits in Front Row and Chews Gum at Joplin Memorial Service”

“Obama Plays Golf on Memorial Day”

Do as we say, not as we do: While you were being encouraged to trade in your gas guzzler and buy an expensive electric golf cart, the size of the government’s limo fleet was almost doubling: The number of limousines owned by the U.S. government increased by 73 percent during the first two years of the Obama administration.

“We find strong evidence that members of the House have some type of non-public information which they use for personal gain,” according to four academics who authored the study, “Abnormal Returns From the Common Stock Investments of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Greg Anders, head of the Heritage Flight Museum and son of astronaut Bill Anders, announced that he’ll run against U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, in 2012. In his announcement, he stressed the importance of job creation, strengthening our national security and showing fiscal discipline.

In a unanimous vote last week, the Texas senate adopted ‘loser pays’ tort-reform legislation, which says that a plaintiff must pay the winning party’s legal fees if their complaint is judged to be groundless. On Wednesday, the Texas house concurred. Governor Perry, who had championed the legislation from its inception, signed it Monday night. “This Texas upgrade will build on reforms in 2003 and 2005 that have vastly improved the legal climate in what has not coincidentally become the country’s best state for job creation.” Immediately following Perry’s earlier reforms, the number of physicians applying to practice rose by 60 percent, filling a increasing need across the state



Ben Shapiro 5/18

Republicans have an unfortunate habit. It's a habit cribbed from the Academy Awards, in which Hollywood rewards somebody who has been around forever with a special trophy. Republicans have their own Lifetime Achievement Award. It's called The Presidential Nomination, and it generally goes to dues-paying members who have spent their last few decades working for the party and clawing their way to the top. Members of the Republican Lifetime Achievement Award club include Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush and John McCain. The latest nominees for the Lifetime Achievement Award include Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, both of whom have the excitement factor of dish soap. Now those rebels inside the Republican Party are clamoring for an insurrectionist pick like ... Mitch Daniels.

Democrats, unlike Republicans, treat their presidential races like good general managers treat their baseball teams: the most talented kid, no matter how little he's labored in the minors, gets the call to the Big Show. Barack Obama is the Stephen Strasburg of politics: a nobody who suddenly developed a 100 mph fastball, jumped almost directly to the major leagues, and flamed out almost immediately. Bill Clinton was an Albert Pujols -- a late draft pick who turned out to be immensely talented and then had a long and productive career.

In short, Democrats reward talent; Republicans reward hard work. And talent wins elections.

Republicans have to stop thinking about whether candidates have "paid their dues." They have to stop worrying about whether candidates have labored for the party. They need to start worrying about whether candidates have the "it" factor.

There are only a few who do: Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain. All of them have flaws, however. Christie isn't running; Palin's character has been assassinated by the media; Bachmann is a congresswoman rather than a governor or senator; Cain has no political experience. All, however, would be better picks than any of the so-called frontrunners.

The best pick of all would be a first-term senator of minority ethnicity, with a charming family, an earnest style and the ability to speak off the cuff. He would be likeable without being common and brilliant without being pedantic. In other words, a less arrogant mirror image of Obama with conservative principles.

His name is Marco Rubio. He's out there, and the Republican Party is foolish not to recognize him. Rubio has already stated that he will not run for president or vice president in 2012. No doubt some of that is due to the prevailing wisdom that states that Obama is virtually unbeatable -- but part of it is also due to Rubio's knowledge that a young party outsider with a short resume isn't welcome in the halls of Republican power politics. No matter. We must draft him.

His story is wildly compelling. His parents fled Cuba after Castro's rise, winding up in Miami, where Rubio was born. They moved to Las Vegas, where his father worked as a bartender and his mother as a housekeeper. When they moved back to Miami, his dad kept bartending while his mom became a Kmart stock clerk. "No matter where I go or what title I may achieve, I will always be the son of exiles," Rubio says.

Rubio attended college on a football scholarship before transferring to the University of Florida and then to the University of Miami for his law degree. At the age of 29, Rubio joined the Florida House of Representatives, serving for the next eight years as a conservative stalwart and rising to become Florida's Speaker of the House.

The difference between Rubio's narrative and Obama's could not be more stark: Rubio's parents fled foreign tyranny to pursue the American dream and sacrificed for their children to succeed, while Obama's mother fled the United States as often as possible and taught him to dislike his country. Rubio worked his way up the ladder at a young age because he knew what America promised, while Obama worked his way up and found doors open to him, but he never accepted that only the American way of life made this possible. Their contrasting narratives manifest in Rubio's tremendous optimism and patriotism and in Obama's contrasting pessimism about what America is and should be.

Rubio's family is straight out of a magazine: His wife is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader and he has four gorgeous children. He speaks fluent Spanish. He is religious and has attended both Catholic and Protestant churches; he is now Southern Baptist. He is one of the leading members of the tea party in Congress -- he wants to slash taxes and revamp benefits programs, which would free American business. He's also a solid social conservative across the board, from abortion to same-sex marriage.

Will the Republican Party anoint him? To do so would require a tremendous change in philosophy, from one of dues-paying to one of merit. It's about time that the GOP underwent that process. Both the GOP and America would be better for it.



"Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is launching a $500 million program to teach kids how to 'sit still' in Kindergarten. Maybe they should take the money from Michelle Obama's 'Let's Move' initiative."

-former Sen. Fred Thompson



In clips that will hit the Internet to promote a new book, producers including "Friends" co-creator Marta Kauffman and "House" creator David Shore say Hollywood discriminates against and belittles conservatives. Some of TV’s top executives from the past four decades may have gotten more than they bargained for when they agreed to be interviewed for a politically charged book that was released Tuesday, because video of their controversial remarks will soon be hitting the Internet.

“Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV” by Ben Shapiro. ….the story—told in their own words—of how television has been used over the past sixty years by Hollywood writers, producers, actors, and executives to promote their liberal ideals, to push the envelope on social and political issues, and to shape America in their own leftist image.



DNC Chair: “Republicans Want to Make it a Crime to Be An ‘Undocumented Immigrant’” Huh??

Nancy Pelosi believes Democrats "have a very good chance of winning the House" in the 2012 elections, in part by hammering Republicans on their plan to revamp Medicare.



Prof. Steven Jones, one of Britain’s most eminent scientists, has warned that the level of inbreeding among the nation’s Muslims is endangering the health of future generations. The geneticist said that it was common in the Islamic world for men to marry their nieces and cousins. “Prof Jones, who lectures at University College London, is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments.”



Aspen Mountain will reopen for skiing this weekend with a better base depth of snow on Memorial Day than it had on New Year's Day.

As excited as whitewater rafters are about a snowpack that is an average of 204 percent of normal statewide, those itching to enjoy outdoor pursuits such as high-country hiking aren’t so happy. Memorial Day weekend typically marks the beginning of the summer recreation season, but recreationists are more likely to find conditions in the mountains that seem like winter.



Nile Gardiner: Why Barack Obama may be heading for electoral disaster in 2012

Recent voter registration data show that Democrats have lost ground in key states that Obama carried in 2008, an early warning siren for the president's re-election campaign.

Conservatives who dominate the Republican presidential nomination contests will applaud parts of Jon Huntsman Jr.’s five-year record as Utah governor: a statewide flat tax, business incentives and private school vouchers. They’re likely to cringe at others, including his support of cap and trade as a response to climate change, his backing of civil unions for gay couples, and his support for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

Stephen Moore: A 62% Top Tax Rate? Democrats have said they only intend to restore the tax rates that existed during the Clinton years. In reality they're proposing rates like those under President Carter. That's more than double the highest federal marginal rate of 28% when President Reagan left office in 1989. Welcome back to the 1970s.

Sen Jim DeMint: “Well, this is not just a South Carolina issue or a Boeing issue. It really is a freedom versus tyranny issue. I thought I had seen everything from this administration and I’ve really been outraged out. And people don’t know half of it because so many businesses, associations, companies, come through our office and tell us what this administration is doing to make it harder and harder to have a business, to hire people, and to produce in any kind of cost effective way. But what’s happening with Boeing is truly extraordinary...”



Jay Leno: President Obama arrived in France for the G8 summit, a meeting of the world's top economic powers. To give you an idea of how bad our economy is doing, when the president arrived, the other countries were like, 'What are you doing here?'



"Unionism seldom, if ever, uses such power as it has to insure better work; almost always it devotes a large part of that power to safeguarding bad work."

-H.L. Mencken

"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."

-Daniel Webster

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