Saturday, August 13, 2011

op ed review 8/14

President Obama is facing mounting doubts within his own party about his re-election prospects, with fellow Democrats beginning to ask if Hillary Clinton would have made a better president.

Amidst riots in central Europe that have now spread to London and a debt downgrade that threatens to plunge the United States into a double-dip recession, Americans’ lack of confidence in their leadership is so crippled that they are now “pre-revolutionary,” according to pollster Pat Caddell. A new Rasmussen poll shows that just 17 per cent of Americans believe that the U.S. government has the consent of the governed, an all time low.

After a White House sponsored Ramadan event, President Obama said "Islam has always been part of our American family."

Maybe that’s why 80% of Muslim Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job.. Compare that to 65 percent of Jewish Americans, 50 percent of Catholics; 37 percent of Protestants, and 25 percent of Mormons.

The White House thinks “unemployment benefits could create up to one million jobs..” ???

A new survey in New York gives President Obama a negative approval rating for the first time.

A slow-moving Republican presidential campaign came to life Thursday night in a GOP candidates' debate that featured the fiercest face-to-face exchanges of the 2012 contest. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has lagged behind in national public-opinion polls, came out swinging: He jabbed front-runner Mitt Romney, mocking his wealth, and he criticized surging fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann for what he called her lack of experience and successes.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will announce Saturday that he is running for the Republican presidential nomination in a move expected to fundamentally reshape the race and divert attention from other contenders.

Gov. Perry calls global warming "all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight."

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it is unconstitutional to require all Americans to buy insurance or face a penalty.

A judge on Friday threw out Obama administration rules that sought to slow down environmental review of oil and gas drilling on federal land.

After tens of millions of dollars, dozens of attack ads and exhaustive get-out-the-vote efforts, Democrats on Tuesday fell short of their goal of taking control of the Wisconsin state Senate and stopping the agenda of Gov. Scott Walker. Republicans won four of six recall races, meaning the party still holds a narrow 17-16 majority in the Senate.

“A stand by Wisconsin Republicans against a massive effort to oust them from power could reverberate across the country as the battle over union rights and the conservative revolution heads toward the 2012 presidential race.”

The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is proposing to cut its workforce by 120,000 jobs and to withdraw from the federal health and retirement plans because it believes it could provide benefits at a lower cost. The layoffs would be achieved in part by breaking labor agreements, a proposal that drew swift fire from postal unions. The plan….could be precedent-setting, with possible ripple effects throughout government. It would also deliver a major blow to the nation’s labor movement.

Your tax dollars at work. “On some days, the pilots with Great Lakes Airlines fire up a twin-engine Beechcraft at the Ely, Nev., airport and depart for Las Vegas without a single passenger on board. And the federal government pays them to do it……The fight over the subsidies was a key sticking point that led to the recent political standoff in Washington that temporarily shut down the Federal Aviation Administration.”

Americans overwhelmingly believe that members of Congress should take pay cuts until there is a balanced federal budget, according to a new Rasmussen Poll. A slight plurality also thinks that the president should take a 50 percent pay cut -- and the survey found that voters believe that neither the president nor Congress should receive federal pensions after leaving office.

The two Hollywood filmmakers crafting a movie on the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden plan to release it as an “October surprise” next year.

Kansas became the second U.S. state to return a large federal grant meant to help it set up Obamacare.

Several prominent Democrats and their media friends have charged the Tea Party with being “economic terrorists” during the congressional budget debates, but most voters don’t see it that way. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Likely U.S. Voters, in fact, say members of the Tea Party are not economic terrorists. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 29% believe Tea Party members have been terrorists during the budget debates, while another 16% are undecided. Perhaps tellingly.

“An online campaign to pressure the producers of "Sesame Street" into having lovable roommates Bert and Ernie get married is gathering steam.”

45,000 CWA and IBEW members are on strike against Verizon, A video posted online appears to show a Verizon picketer pushing his young daughter in front of an oncoming truck — presumably carrying non-union employees — and then taunting the passengers with profanity-laced statements.



Investor’s Business Daily 8/12

The Game-Changer From Texas

Bypassing Iowa may have consequences for his candidacy, but Rick Perry's entry into the race will change everything. Will the public and his party be willing to put another Texas governor in the White House?

In what the chattering class perceives as a deliberate snub, Perry decided to forgo the chance to stand between Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul in Iowa, preferring to announce his candidacy for the White House in South Carolina. Why, they ask, would he try to steal the thunder from the Ames straw poll?

Perhaps because he feels he doesn't need it. The average of polls showed Perry in second place with 15.4%, trailing the presumed front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, by five points. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who hasn't announced a candidacy, places third, in a near-tie with Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, an announced candidate who polls fourth.

Perry, the longest-serving governor in the history of Texas, the nation's second-largest state, brings a lot to the table. He was a self-proclaimed "10th Amendment conservative" before the Tea Party existed and has led the fight against ObamaCare and EPA regulations as violations of state powers under the U.S. Constitution.

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. In the last two years, Perry's Texas has created 37% of America's net new jobs.

Perry may have chosen South Carolina as his entry into the race because it's a right-to-work state embroiled in a battle with the National Labor Relations Board over aircraft giant Boeing's plans to expand and create jobs there. It's a battle Perry relishes.

Tort reforms, including medical malpractice, signed into law by Perry have helped make Texas a business-friendly state. Perry has also battled the administration on the pivotal issue of illegal immigration, decrying a "porous" border that can let in potential terrorists as well as illegal aliens.

Critics say that the governor of Texas really doesn't have all that much power and influence, that the state kind of runs itself and that in any event it was the rise in oil prices that fueled its boom. Yet it happened on Perry's watch and under his leadership, and he's prepared to make the argument for and show the benefits of low taxes, less regulation, limited government and the development of domestic energy.

He is unabashedly pro-life and recently signed a law requiring women seeking abortions to be shown sonograms of their unborn children, a law that does not sit well with those who tolerate the new graphic warnings on cigarette packs. It will appeal, however, to a broad swath of social conservatives.

On the subject of entitlements, Perry favors the Galveston plan for Social Security reform. Before 1983, when Congress shut the door, cities and municipalities were allowed to opt out of Social Security, which Galveston and two other Texas counties did in 1981.

Their creation of personal retirement accounts has avoided the fiscal train wreck that faces this nation due to runaway entitlements and their unfunded liabilities. Over the last decade, the accounts have earned 3.75% to 5.75% each year, with an average around 5%.

A middle-income worker making $51,200 would get about $1,540 monthly from Social Security, but $3,600 under the Galveston plan. Contributions are in an account with the worker's name on it, and the entire amount is considered part of the estate that can be passed on to heirs.

The rabid left will no doubt attack Perry on this and the other stuff, but it's a debate Perry is ready for and America needs to have. America is tired of the community organizer from Chicago. It could be we are ready for a no-nonsense conservative from Paint Creek, Texas.



"The Obama administration and congressional Democrats are betting their political futures on the hope that the American electorate is ignorant and forgetful, and hence the memo has gone out to functionaries hither and yon, from David Axelrod to John Kerry: This is to be called the 'tea-party downgrade.' That this is said with straight faces bespeaks either an unshakable contempt for the mind of the American voter or an as-yet unplumbed capacity for Democratic self-delusion......Democrats believe that they have discovered a cartoon villain in the Tea Party, and they are hoping that American voters are gullible enough to be distracted by the political theatrics. Come November 2012, Americans should keep in mind both the insult and the injury -- to the nation and its credit."

-National Review

"Had the Republicans gone along with President Obama's original request for a 'clean' bill ... would that have spared the country the embarrassment of having its government bonds downgraded by Standard & Poor's credit-rating agency? To believe that would be to believe that it was the debt ceiling, rather than the runaway spending, that made Standard & Poor's think that we were no longer as good a credit risk for buyers of U.S. government bonds. In other words, to believe that is to believe that a Congressional blank check for continued record spending would have made Standard & Poor's think that we were a better credit risk."

-Thomas Sowell

"The White House and much of the chattering class cooed on Friday when unemployment dropped to 9.1 percent and 117,000 jobs were reportedly created in July. But these numbers, upon closer inspection, show no progress on the jobs front. Buried in the job stats was a number -- 193,000 -- that dwarfed all the rest. That is the number of workers who left the job market. If 193,000 left and only 117,000 jobs were added, we lost 76,000 jobs."

-Jennifer Rubin



“After America: Get Ready for Armageddon” by Mark Steyn: “What will a world without American leadership look like? It won’t be pretty—not for you and not for your children. America’s decline won’t be gradual, like an aging Europe sipping espresso at a cafĂ© until extinction. No, America’s decline will be a wrenching affair marked by violence and possibly secession. With his trademark wit, Steyn delivers the depressing news with raw and unblinking honesty—but also with the touch of vaudeville stand-up and soft shoe that makes him the most entertaining, yet profound, columnist on the planet.



Islamist organizations are hard at work creating Muslim enclaves in the West, including right here in the United States. These efforts are designed to create Islamic autonomous areas, often with the expressed desire of incrementally bringing the host country completely under Sharia-based governance.

The Tampa, FL police department cowers in fear of violence from Muslims if it tells the truth about an Islamic honor killing. Police claim that Fatima Abdallah killed herself by repeatedly beating her own head against a coffee table.

In what must be considered one of the most ridiculous statements uttered recently in the already absurd world of international diplomacy, Iran called upon Britain to show “restraint” with the rioters who are looting and burning in London. The Iranian Foreign Ministry also called for the British government to open a “dialogue” with demonstrators and for human rights groups to investigate the behavior of the London police.



Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) decried the Tea Party's efforts as "hostage-taking," saying, "It's as if someone puts a gun to your head and says give me your money." He even gestured with his fingers as if pointing a gun at his head……Williams Yeomans, former chief aide to Ted Kennedy, asserts, "It has become commonplace to call the Tea Party faction in the House 'hostage takers.' But they have now become full-blown terrorists. They have joined the villains of American history who have been sufficiently craven to inflict massive harm on innocent victims to achieve their political goals." New York Times scribe Maureen Dowd: "The maniacal Tea Party freshmen are trying to burn down the House they were elected to serve in. It turns out they wanted to come inside to get a blueprint of the historic building to sabotage it." Times columnist Thomas Friedman: "If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the GOP on a suicide mission." Likewise, Times columnist Joe Nocera opined the nation "watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans waged jihad on the American people."

Liberals like to describe themselves as the most compassionate ones, the ones that believe like Hubert Humphrey did that the moral test of a society is how it treats its vulnerable citizens in the dawn and the twilight of life. That's not the party line at the Daily Kos: “….the world is wildly overpopulated…..We Could Really Use a Global Superplague'



London Daily Mail: “So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value. The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society. Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as Right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age…”

London Telegraph: “This crisis has been building for years. It is the result of a major cultural shift that took place in the 1960s and 1970s, and the long-term decline of the conservative values and institutions that had underpinned British society since the late 19th century. This process was marked by a collapse in the belief in marriage, a retreat of the police from the streets, a move away from tough penalties for property crime, the rise of moral relativism and rampant consumerism, the diminution of stigma as a restraint on bad behaviour and the entrenchment of welfare dependency. It was not about poverty, but a collapse in values. Today, the benefits system sustains the underclass and poor state schooling is unable to compensate for the harm caused by broken homes and absent fathers. Inadequate policing cannot suppress the symptoms of crime and disorder. These communities are trapped in a vicious circle, where violence, crime, intimidation and hopelessness are quotidian. It is a world from which most of us are insulated until it spills into the wider community, as it did so nightmarishly this week…..As was evident during the emergency session of Parliament on Thursday, the (Labor) party still fails to grasp the extent of its own failure in this regard or understand how public opinion has hardened against the failed nostrums of the past four decades…”

Theodore Dalrymple “British Degeneracy on Parade: The riots should surprise no one who’s been paying attention. The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their British form. A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice….”

VDH: We are witnessing a widespread crisis of faith in our progressive guardians of the last 30 years. These are the blue-chip, university-certified elite, employed by universities, government, and big-money private foundations and financial-services companies. The best recent examples are sorts like Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, Robert Rubin, Steven Chu, and Timothy Geithner. Politicians like John Kerry, John Edwards, and Al Gore all share certain common characteristics of this Western technocracy: proper legal or academic credentials, ample service in elected or appointed government office, unabashed progressive politics, and a free pass to enjoy ample personal wealth without any perceived contradiction with their loud share-the-wealth egalitarian politics.

“It’s already happening – the liberal dream of a perpetual social welfare state where deadbeat liberal constituencies feed off of the work of productive conservative citizens in perpetuity is dying. There’s no doubt about that; the only question left is how long and hard the process will be as the hideous leviathan the utopian liberal establishment has created convulses and dies. It’s going to die hard. And ugly. The collapse is well-underway in Europe…”



Conservative celebrities:

Sarah Palin’s Facebook post on the S&P downgrade:

A real toe tapper at the Ryman:



Leno: Congress is now appointing a debt committee to deal with the debt. I thought Congress was the debt committee. Aren’t they the ones who put us in debt?.......According to the Mexican government, the number of people leaving Mexico for the United States is now practically zero. It’s true. The other day I was in downtown Los Angeles and I heard something down there I haven’t heard in years: English…….Did you know that China has the exact same credit rating that we do? You’d think their credit would be better, but it’s not. Look who owes them all the money…….There have been huge riots in England the past couple of days. People are fighting, throwing rocks, smashing windows. And they're doing it the hard way, without a soccer game.



"No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable. ... Cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible: avoiding occasions of expense [and] avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt ... not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves ought to bear."

-George Washington

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