Saturday, July 23, 2011

op ed review 7/24

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

The US is facing the weakest economic recovery in the post-World War II era -- the worst in over 62 years -- and this is happening despite the fact that the recession officially ended in June 2009, according to a new report from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a net growth of only 18,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate reached 9.2 percent.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/america-weakest-economic-recovery-1948-n

With the space shuttles retired, the U.S. is now without a way to get into space for the first time since Dwight Eisenhower was president. And Americans are unhappy about that, according to a new IBD/TIPP Poll.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/578923/201107201854/Majority-Opposes-Shuttle-Shutdown.aspx

The Republican-controlled House voted to slice federal spending by $6 trillion and require a constitutional balanced budget amendment to be sent to the states in exchange for averting a threatened Aug. 2 government default. “The 234-190 vote marked the power of deeply conservative first-term Republicans, and it stood in contrast to calls at the White House and in the Senate for a late stab at bipartisanship to solve the nation's looming debt crisis.”

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Debt-hope-Obama-praises-Gang-apf-120819518.html?x=0

The White House warned President Obama will veto GOP legislation to “Cut, Cap and Balance”.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/171997-obama-officially-threatens-to-veto-cup-cap-and-balance

What alternate universe does he live in? President Obama claims 80 percent of the public supports Democrats' demand for tax increases. ?????

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/171743-obama-public-sold-on-tax-increases-in-debt-ceiling-deal

Reality: Just 34% think a tax hike should be included in any legislation to raise the debt ceiling. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% disagree and say it should not. Fifty-eight percent of Democrats want a tax hike in the deal while 82% of Republicans do not. Among independents, 35% favor a tax hike and 51% are opposed.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/taxes/july_2011/55_oppose_tax_hike_in_debt_ceiling_deal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said despite early hopes of striking a "grand bargain" on debt reduction he has now concluded it is impossible to find a real solution while President Obama remains in the White House

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/170903-mcconnell-budget-solution-unattainable-while-obama-in-white-house

New analysis by Pew Foundation on voter identification finds that “the electorate’s partisan affiliations have shifted significantly since Obama won office nearly three years ago.” One of the most notable shifts is the GOP gain among white voters, most specifically “the young and poor.” “A seven-point Democratic advantage among whites under age 30 three years ago has turned into an 11-point GOP advantage today. And a 15-point Democratic advantage among whites earning less than $30,000 annually has swung to a four-point Republican edge today.”

http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/07/study-democrats-losing-support-of-poor-whites.html

But President Obama has shattered first quarter fundraising records for a White House incumbent by raising $86 million for the first quarter – dwarfing the 2012 GOP field’s total take and breezing past his own target of $60 million.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/58861.html

In fact, as America’s poorest wait for Social Security checks that may never come on Aug. 3, President Barack Obama will be out celebrating a milestone birthday at a party where tickets cost up to $35,800 each. Obama has chosen the first day of the potential default to throw his 50th birthday bash, combining it with raising money for next year’s election.

http://nation.foxnews.com/president-obama/2011/07/17/obama-plans-pricey-birthday-bash-default-day

Fly your flag. Just a brief exposure to an image of the American flag shifts voters, even Democrats, to Republican beliefs, attitudes and voting behavior even though most don't believe it will impact their politics, according to a new two-year study just published in the scholarly Psychological Science. What's more, according to three authors from the University Chicago, Cornell University and Hebrew University, the impact had staying power. "A single exposure to an American flag resulted in a significant increase in participants' Republican voting intentions, voting behavior, political beliefs, and implicit and explicit attitudes, with some effects lasting 8 months,"

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/07/20/shock-study-us-flag-only-boosts-gop

A new promotional video released by the Department of Homeland Security characterizes white middle class Americans as the most likely terrorists. “Despite encouraging viewers not to pay attention to a person’s race in determining whether or not they may be a terrorist, almost all of the scenarios in the clip proceed to portray white people as the most likely terrorists. Bizarrely, nearly every single one of the “patriotic” Americans who reports on their fellow citizen is either black, Asian or Arab…..this strange reversal must have been deliberate on the part of the DHS, but why?...”

http://www.infowars.com/dhs-video-characterizes-white-americans-as-most-likely-terrorists/

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’ll likely decide in two or three weeks whether he’ll run for president.The conservative Republican has long been scornful of Washington, and he says even now he doesn’t wake up wanting to be president. But Perry says he also knows his wife, Anita, and others want him to run and he’s getting used to the idea. Perry told the Des Moines Register that he’s "getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I’ve been called to do. This is what America needs."

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/20110717rick_perry_comfortable_with_idea_of_presidential_run/srvc=news&position=also

“If you’re looking for a sign that Governor Rick Perry of Texas is about to run for President of the United States then the execution of one Humberto Leal Garcia is probably it.”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100096182/american-way-texas-execution-signals-rick-perry-is-poised-to-run-for-president/

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's appeals to the religious right are earning him a surge of support among evangelical leaders, many of whom are urging him to enter the 2012 presidential race. While the religious leaders have not endorsed Mr. Perry, some have concluded that he is the most electable Republican among those who share their priorities. "What everyone is looking for is somebody who is right on the issues but also has the highest chance possible to beat Obama," said Gary Bauer, a Reagan White House aide.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304223804576448260568989824.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

Rep. Michelle Bachmann gets severe migraines.

http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/18/stress-related-condition-incapacitates-bachmann-heavy-pill-use-alleged/#ixzz1SYwwG0cK

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign said that he will not sign a conservative Iowa Christian group's far-reaching pledge opposing gay marriage, making him the first Republican presidential candidate to reject it.

http://news.yahoo.com/apnewsbreak-romney-rejects-gay-marriage-pledge-230845356.html

Your tax dollars at work: “two Navy behemoth ships have never gone on a mission, were never even completed, yet they cost taxpayers at least $300 million. Now the vessels are to be scrapped at a Texas salvage yard, with no money coming back to the U.S. Treasury.

http://hamptonroads.com.nyud.net/2011/07/two-neverfinished-navy-ships-head-scrap-heap

California tax dollars at work: The highest-paid state employee in California last year, a prison surgeon who took home $777,423, has a history of mental illness, was fired once for alleged incompetence and has not been allowed to treat an inmate for six years because medical supervisors don't trust his clinical skills.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/california-prison-doc-patients-earned-777423-year/story?id=14062247

California now requires lessons about gays and lesbians in public school social studies classes.

http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110714/ap_on_re_us/us_teaching_gay_history

The California state legislature has passed a book-banning law. Nobody is calling the book ban a book ban because the books the book ban bans offend homosexuals. If the legislature had extended legislative protection to the hurt feelings of, say, Mormons or evangelical Christians, then everyone would have agreed that it’s a book ban. But it doesn’t, so don’t call the book ban a book ban. You just might get banned, too…

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=44764

The state of Arizona is soliciting private donations to build a fence along its border with Mexico. The effort's Republican backer warns the fence is needed to keep out "drug cartels, violent gangs... illegal aliens, and even terrorists". He hopes to raise $50m for the effort. Only 44% of the 2,000-mile US-Mexico border is under "operational control", the US has said

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14222573

The Ohio legislature joined five other states and passed a bill to ban abortions beyond the point at which the baby is considered "viable," or can live outside the womb.

http://www.npr.org/2011/07/02/137557268/abortion-wars-taking-it-to-the-states

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

George Will 6/24

In the 1850s, on the steps of the Waco courthouse, Wallace Jefferson’s great-great-great-grandfather was sold. Today, Jefferson is chief justice of Texas’s Supreme Court. The governor who nominated him also nominated the state’s first Latina justice. Rick Perry, 61, the longest-serving governor in Texas history and, in his 11th year, currently the nation’s senior governor, says these nominations are two of his proudest accomplishments.

French cuffs and cowboy boots are, like sauerkraut ice cream, an eclectic combination, but Perry, who wears both, is a potentially potent candidate for the Republican presidential nomination because his political creed is uneclectic, matching that of the Republican nominating electorate. He was a “10th Amendment conservative” (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”) before the Tea Party appeared. And before Barack Obama’s statism — especially Obamacare’s individual mandate — catalyzed concern for the American project of limited government.

Social issues, especially abortion, are gateways to the Republican nominating electorate: In today’s climate of economic fear, a candidate’s positions on social issues will not be decisive with his electorate — but they can be disqualifying. Perry — an evangelical Christian, like most Republican participants in Iowa’s caucuses and the South Carolina primary — emphatically qualifies.

Pausing in his enjoyment of a hamburger the size of a hubcap, Perry, the Eagle Scout son of Democratic tenant farmers, says that he entered politics as a Democrat: “I never met a Republican until I was in the Air Force.” Perry’s father had been a B-17 tail gunner flying out of England in 1944. Perry, stationed abroad flying C-130 transports, became a captain and a believer in American exceptionalism.

He matriculated into the culture wars in the riotous year of 1968. As the University of Texas at Austin was becoming a bastion of liberalism, Perry headed to Texas A&M, which was transitioning from an all-male military school but not from conservatism. He became a Republican in 1989 — “I made both parties happy” — at a younger age than Ronald Reagan did, and he has never lost an election.

Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner, might be easier to elect than to nominate. The reverse might be true of Perry. Is he a wine that will not travel? To win the White House, a Republican must be competitive among independents, including women, in places like Montgomery County outside Philadelphia. Perry — his accent, his Westerner’s body language, those boots — is proof that, in spite of the culture’s homogenizing forces, regional differences remain remarkably durable. But so, too, do regional antipathies, some of which have intensified as voters have become more polarized, partly because of a Texas governor who became president.

Obama will not win another term stressing his accomplishments, which consist of an unpopular health-care law, a failed stimulus and an anemic recovery. So Obama’s campaign must be relentlessly negative, decrying the Republican nominee’s “extremism.” Democrats have worked that pedal on the political organ frequently — successfully against Barry Goldwater, futilely against Ronald Reagan.

Supposed examples of Perry’s extremism evaporate in sunlight. One is that he intimated support for Texas’s secession from the Union. After people shouted “Secede!” at a rally, he said that he understood their frustration but added: “We’ve got a great union. There is absolutely no reason to dissolve it.” He signed a law requiring women seeking abortions to be shown sonograms of their babies. Do people objecting to this mandatory provision of information object to the new graphic warnings on cigarette packs?

The Republican contest probably will become a binary choice — Romney and the Not Romney candidate. If Perry becomes the latter, he will do so by his visceral appeal to social conservatives, and by trumping Romney’s economic expertise with “Texas exceptionalism”:

Between 2001 and last June, Texas — a right-to-work state that taxes neither personal income nor capital gains — added more jobs than the other 49 states combined. And since the recovery began two Junes ago, Texas has created 37 percent of America’s net new jobs.

Perry would rather not run, but his wife, who has a nursing background and is alarmed by Obamacare, says that sometimes desires are secondary to duties. Perry, who sensibly did not watch the Republicans’ recent New Hampshire debate because the Aggies were on ESPN playing Florida State in the NCAA baseball tournament, says, “I’m a long way from being a candidate.” But he did not finish the hamburger. Perhaps he is in training for something strenuous.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/rick-perry-a-texans-exceptionalism/2011/06/24/AG79PejH_print.html

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"The country is on a high-speed bullet train to bankruptcy (the only kind of bullets liberals approve of), and the Democrats' motto is: Spend! Spend! Spend! Democrats are at an advantage in the 'should the U.S. go bankrupt or not?' debate because, based on their economic policies so far, they obviously favor bankruptcy. This allows them to sit back and demand that Republicans propose all the spending cuts and then turn around and scream that Republicans have declared war on the poor and disadvantaged. It's a nice trick, especially considering Republicans control only the House. Meanwhile, the Democrats control all other branches of our government: the Senate, the White House, and The New York Times op/ed page…."

-Ann Coulter

"No one thinks the federal government is spending too little money. The problem is, most of us think the government is spending too much money on programs which benefit someone else. ... I was listening to the all-news station on my way to the office and I was subjected to ad after ad from group after group telling me, in the most heart-wrenching terms, why the government must not cut funds from its program. Cut someone else. Every dollar of the $3.7 trillion dollars that the Federal government is scheduled to spend before September 30, 2011 has got a patron -- someone who believes that dollar is not just a good and necessary expenditure; but better and more crucial than any other of the dollars the government is scheduled to spend. Cut someone else. They all can't be the most important. Some of those dollars have to be less important than some of the other dollars. ... Well, boys and girls, the days of pretending we can have as much we want and for it we can pay as little as we want are over."

-Rich Galen

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BOOKS, FILM

The failures of federal, state, and local officials of both major parties, over many years, have primed a ticking bankruptcy bomb for America that will explode the American Dream if we do not disarm it. The latter is the opening line of economist Peter Ferrara's important new book, “America's Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb”.

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/07/19/book_review_americas_ticking_bankruptcy_bomb_by_peter_ferrara_99134.html

Los Angeles spent $111 million in stimulus money to create 55 jobs. Since the Obama administration has taken office a new trend has emerged: Government by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats. So says author Iain Murray in his shocking new expose: Stealing You Blind: How Government Fat Cats are Getting Rich Off of You.”

http://www.amazon.com/Stealing-You-Blind-Government-Getting/dp/1596981539/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311347797&sr=8-1

Preview of Tim Groseclose’s new book “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.”

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/07/left-turn-a-modest-experiment-part-2.php

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GLOBALONEY

Another ‘green energy’ company bites the dust. Evergreen Solar stock is plunging into a black hole of probable bankruptcy. The losers…are the taxpayers from Massachusetts. Their government, just in the last few years, awarded Evergreen $58 million in taxpayer subsidies.. Within two years of opening, Evergreen closed the factory and shifted operations to China. Now it looks like even that move is coming up a cropper.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/07/the_solar_plant_to_nowhere.html

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ISLAM

Norway came under a co-ordinated double attack in what is being described as the worst atrocity it has faced since the Second World War. Terrorists are believed to be responsible for a massive car blast at a government office block in the capital Oslo and a man disguised as a police officer opened fire on an island hosting a youth summer camp. A group called 'Helpers of the Global Jihad' is said to have posted a message saying this is reaction to publication of Muhammed cartoons.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2017709/Oslo-explosion-Huge-bomb-blast-kills-maims-dozens-attack-government-office-block.html#ixzz1SrWhJIEO

Fundamentalists in Yemen have drawn up cartoon sequences for a film designed to inspire children to take up acts of terrorism. The drawings feature armed raids and assassinations, as well as terrorists at prayer.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8649907/Al-Qaeda-plans-cartoon-to-fight-the-West.html

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LEFTIST WATCH

They record every word, every gesture, every aside, every remark made by GOP candidates. They stalk their quarry, going from town to town, speaking engagement to speaking engagement, hoping against hope that a Republican candidate will make a mistake like saying there are 57 states in the US, or averring that there is an Austrian language. Their goal is to make a video that goes viral on YouTube and sinks the Republican's chances to get elected.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/07/dems_send_out_crazed_stalkers_to_shadow_gop_candidates.html

A taxpayer-funded exhibit in Michigan equates Republican governors with Nazism.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/07/taxpayer-funded_exhibit_slurs_gop_govs_as_nazis.html

It was another bruising year for the liberal judges of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as the Supreme Court overturned the majority of their decisions, at times sharply criticizing their legal reasoning.. The Supreme Court reversed or vacated 19 of the 26 decisions it looked at from the 9th Circuit this judicial term, issuing especially pointed critiques.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ninth-circuit-scorecard-20110718,0,159915.story

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ARTICLES

Spengler: President Barack Obama's best hope of re-election lies in provoking Republicans to force the United States into technical default, engineering a brief but severe financial crisis in order to appear as crisis-manager-in-chief. The Tea Party movement may be marching into a political ambush, in which Obama will be able to portray the born-again budget-cutters as irresponsible fanatics who threaten to tip America into a new depression. The now unpopular president then would assume the role of national savior in time of crisis.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/MG19Dj01.html

In short, the lifestyles of most "poor" Americans are vastly at odds with dire government statistics about poverty in America -- statistics that invariably send liberals and media pundits into hand-wringing fits and moralistic outrage. Now comes an antidote to this absurdity -- a report released on Monday by the Heritage Foundation that is appropriately titled: "Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?" …..being poor in America today actually has little to do with what most Americans regard as deprivation. Even so, the Obama administration is nevertheless poised to expand these absurdities -- making the definition of poverty even more divorced from reality than it already is…..the president will further sever the connection between poverty and "deprivation" -- by reclassifying poverty as being all about "inequality.".

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/obama_redefining_poverty.html

“…..let us open ourselves to wonder how, minus miracles, a 10-year-old boy without obvious talent who had lived in Indonesia since age six ends up with an eight-year scholarship to Hawaii's most exclusive school; a scholarship to Occidental College; a transfer into Columbia University; acceptance into Harvard Law School, and editorship of its law review; and how he goes from job to prestigious job without apparently mastering any of the previous ones. No wonder some of Barack Obama's supporters treat him as if he were anointed by an extraterrestrial power. No less an object of awe and curiosity is the seamlessness of Obama's mentality. Without marbling or inconsistency, it is serviceable as a definition of contemporary American leftism, and leads one to wonder what earthly environment could have produced such a pure specimen….”

http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1852/article_detail.asp

Every culture is either self-propagating, or by definition it is self-destructive. Culture has no meaning and no value unless it is passed on to the next generation. Think of it as a generational relay race, with the belief systems of a group of people being the baton that is passed on from runner to runner…..It is this picture which must inform our discussion of education as we try to understand why the America of 2011 looks nothing like the America of 1911.Somewhere along the way, the baton of proud American traditions, brilliant accomplishments and upstanding virtues became a thing of shame….

http://dailyinterlake.com/opinion/columns/frank/article_74a44fb8-afe8-11e0-9656-001cc4c03286.html

Dissecting the Demagoguery About 'Tax Cuts For The Rich' By THOMAS SOWELL

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=578623&p=1

“It has taken three decades, but Americans are finally living through Jimmy Carter’s second term. Now we’ve got Jimmy Jr. barking at us from the White House about eating our peas and ripping off our Band-Aid. He might not even let us have our Social Security checks. These are just the latest in a long line of nagging lectures……. One of the most unpleasant things about Mr. Carter was the condescending disdain he could barely disguise for struggling Americans and their irritating malaise. Increasingly, Jimmy Jr. is having difficulty concealing that very same disdain for us…”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/12/hurt-welcome-to-jimmy-carters-2nd-term/?page=all#pagebreak

"I do not want and I will not accept a deal in which I am asked to do nothing. In fact, I'm able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don't need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds that they've got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans."

-Barack Obama

"If you read between the lines, which doesn't take much decoding, President Obama effectively believes that any income you have which you don't 'need' belongs to the government."

-John Steele Gordon

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Top 10 most egregious government regulations:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=44874

Classic ad: Dinah Shore sings “See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet”

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/16/classic-ad-see-the-u-s-a-in-your-chevrolet/?hp

Tom Watson hits a hole-in-one on the sixth hole of the Open Championship.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6771813

Size of the universe

http://primaxstudio.com/stuff/scale_of_universe/

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HUMOR

A Senator was seated next to a little girl on an airplane so he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger." The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?" "Oh, I don't know," said the Senator. "How about global warming, Universal health care, and stimulus packages?", he smiled smugly. "OK," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass!. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?" The legislator, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it, saying, "Hmmm, I have no idea." To which the little girl replied, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss global warming, universal health care, or the economy, when you don't know &#!&?" And then she went back to reading her book.

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LATE NITE

Leno: It’s so hot, Casey Anthony thought she was already in hell. ……President Obama’s motorcade was fined $16 for traffic it caused while in the United Kingdom. Typical for Obama, he said, “My grandkids will pay for it.”…….There’s a move to divide California into two states: the state of poverty and the state of bankruptcy……..The problem is coming up with a new name for Southern California. “New Mexico” is already taken……..According to a poll, if the election were held tomorrow, a no-name Republican would beat Obama. When Tim Pawlenty heard that, he said, “No-name Republican? That’s me.”

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WISE WORDS

"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution ... taking from the federal government their power of borrowing."

-Thomas Jefferson

"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation."

-John Marshall

"Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one."

-Thomas Paine

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