Saturday, August 20, 2011

op ed review 8/21

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States has fallen back to 11%, the lowest level since December 2008 and just four percentage points above the all-time low recorded in October 2008.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/149063/Americans-Satisfaction-National-Conditions-Dips.aspx

President Obama not only had his worst overall week in Gallup’s presidential job approval survey last week--with only 40 percent of American adults polled saying they approve of the job he is doing as president—but his approval also tied all-time lows among women and blacks while hitting an unprecedented low among Democrats.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-s-approval-hits-all-time-lows-wome

Poverty soars under Obama: One in five American children now living in poverty according to new report

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2027013/Child-poverty-1-5-American-children-living-poverty.html#ixzz1VOL4B2yS

President Obama barnstormed the heartland to boost US jobs in a taxpayer-financed $1.1M luxury bus the government had custom built -- in Canada.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/canucklehead_obama_bus_ted_gyztvw89k5MyKNS4B7Qp7O

Mitt Romney called the president’s trip the “Magical Misery bus tour”.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/08/mitt-romney-dubs-obamas-trip-the-magical-misery-bus-tour.html

President Obama clashed with Tea Party members during an Iowa town hall..One citizen wanted to know how Obama can call for more civility when "your vice president is calling people like me, a Tea Party member, a 'terrorist.'"

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2011/08/obama-clashes-with-tea-party-member/1

And now he’s on vacation at Martha’s Vineyard. “The president will spend the next 10 days holed up at a tony, 28-acre elite playground called the Blue Heron Farm as the country plummets toward a double-dip recession. Not the common touch: With its million-dollar buses, the Obama “jobs” tour of the Midwest failed to strike the intended populist note. Does nobody in the White House realize how poorly this act is playing? Hitting three Midwest communities in two sleek, specially outfitted, Canadian-made million-dollar campaign buses, the president came off like a visiting Marie Antoinette, out among the besieged peasantry for a few days to preach his newfound religion of jobs.”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/bam_great_pr_bus_NDH3jYUG7CAgpmWkEg0jzO#ixzz1VOMIA3iN

“President Barack Obama's much-maligned holiday vacation turned into an even bigger PR nightmare today as it emerged that he and his wife took separate government jets to Martha's Vineyard just hours apart.”

http://tinyurl.com/4yya5cs

Twelve states constitute the likely battlegrounds for the 2012 election, based on Gallup’s state-by-state ratings of President Obama’s approval level. The ratings came out just as Gallup was releasing its latest tracking poll showing Obama’s approval nationwide at 39%, the lowest in his presidency. “If Obama’s national approval remains stuck at that level -- or even in the low 40s – then state-by-state assessments probably won’t matter much.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-inside-gallup-20110815,0,2201869.story

The Obama Administration’s new fuel economy standards will result in the retail price of average motor vehicles to increase over $11,000, according to a study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-fuel-economy-regs-can-cause-vehicl

Organized labor won't sit out President Obama's reelection campaign and let a Republican win the presidency, the AFL-CIO's political director said Wednesday.

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/177271-afl-cio-labor-will-stand-by-obama-

President Obama will this week launch a counter-offensive branding the GOP contenders 'Tea Party lackeys'.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2026091/Obama-approval-rating-hits-time-low-brands-GOP-candidates-Tea-Party-lackeys.html

After Hispanics warned Obama about the 2012 election, the administration said it would postpone the deportation of illegal immigrants without criminal records and allow them to apply for work permits as it reviews over 300,000 cases.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.4a32e73d06c0936d1f612feda972b621.351&show_article=1

Democrats in both chambers are cheering the more lenient rules. The top House Republican on the Judiciary Committee said the move is part of a White House plan “to grant backdoor amnesty to illegal immigrants.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/177453-dems-cheer-obamas-new-immigration-policy

According to a new report, "The US….is losing ground to global competitors as its space policy undergoes a major transition…..the US was the only nation with "four straight years of competitiveness declines."

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2011/08/18/07.xml&headline=Futron%20Study:%20U.S.%20Losing%20Ground%20In%20Space

A Republican presidential campaign that has been slow to take shape suddenly snapped into focus Sunday, with an unlikely three-person top tier of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and the newest entry, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republican-race-snaps-into-focus-with-unlikely-top-tier-of-romney-bachmann-perry/2011/08/14/gIQAbiwvFJ_story.html

“Seattle's 'green jobs' program a bust”…..Last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization. The unglamorous work of insulating crawl spaces and attics had emerged as a silver bullet in a bleak economy – able to create jobs and shrink carbon footprint – and the announcement came with great fanfare……As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers….

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/127844048.html

Union organizer suspected of shooting non-union Ohio employer

http://thedc.com/qisebh

A proposal now moving through the California Legislature would require that hotels use fitted sheets. “We are now going to make it a crime in California not to use a fitted sheet? Really?..” asked one Republican legislator.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/08/16/1719429/california-bill-would-require.html

One of the most outrageous "open secrets" of U.S. government policy these days is that the Federal Reserve is still paying big banks not to lend money.

http://www.businessinsider.com/government-paying-banks-not-to-lend-2011-8

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Matt Patterson 8/18

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?

Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a "community organizer"; a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote "present"); and finally an unaccomplished single term in United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions. He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as legislator.

And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama's "spiritual mentor"; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama's colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: “To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass.”

Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass -- held to a lower standard -- because of the color of his skin. Podhoretz continues: “And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) "non-threatening," all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?”

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon -- affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don't care if these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self esteem resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist. Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin -- that's affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism, then nothing is. And that is what America did to Obama.

True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Obama speaks?

In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people -- conservatives included -- ought now to be deeply embarrassed. The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that's when he has his teleprompter in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth -- it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years.

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small and small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in the Oval Office.

But hey, at least we got to feel good about ourselves for a little while. And really, isn't that all that matters these days?

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/obama_the_affirmative_action_president.html

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BOOKS, FILM

“Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism Is Harming the Environment” by Todd Myers.

http://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2011/08/18/eco-fads_feel-good_policies_replace_science_106249.html

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ISLAM

France is doomed. “Islamic mosques are being built more often in France than Roman Catholic churches, and there now are more practicing Muslims in the country than practicing Catholics. Nearly 150 new mosques currently are under construction in France, home to the biggest Muslim community in Europe.

http://bigpeace.com/elcid/2011/08/19/report-islam-has-overtaken-catholicism-in-france/

Europe -- transnational, post-modern, post-democratic and post-Christian -- believes less in freedom than bureaucracy while clinging to multiculturalism, an ideology the leaders of France, Germany and the U.K. acknowledge has failed but can’t manage to replace. The natives have even stopped having children at replacement rates while immigrant communities from the Muslim world grow by leaps and bounds. Militants within those communities impose their religious laws and warn the “infidels” not to interfere. Who today – other than American intellectuals of the Paul Krugman variety – could possibly want to emulate Europe? Who really believes that a Europeanized Islam is more likely than an Islamized Europe?

http://townhall.com/columnists/cliffmay/2011/08/18/atat%C3%BCrk,_the_arab_spring_and_europes_fall/page/full/

“Dogs are viewed as “unclean” in Islam and therefore wantonly brutalized by local Muslims.”

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/08/canine_cruelty_by_our_afghan_allies.html

Every single Palestinian Authority terrorist held in an Israeli jail receives a monthly salary from the PA. Terrorists who committed the most heinous crimes – and therefore received longer sentences – receive the most money. . The PA treasury receives cash from two main sources: the US pays about 50 percent of the money, and the rest is mostly from European Union member nations. Since some of the victims of PA terror are American citizens, the information means that US taxpayers pay monthly salaries to the people who murdered their fellow citizens. The terrorists' wives and children receive additional cash.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/146779#.TkkpJmFUb1F

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LEFTIST WATCH

“Not only is George Soros an evil, shadowy figure manipulating foreign governments and hell-bent on creating a global One World Order, he’s also kind of a dick. According to friends of the 81-year-old billlionaire, Soros used to make his 28-year-old girlfriend (now ex) sit at the children’s table during Sunday brunches.”

http://www.mediaite.com/online/report-george-soros-made-his-28-year-old-ex-girlfriend-sit-at-the-children%e2%80%99s-table/

A liberal political action committee whose top funders include three labor unions, the financier husband of a Democratic Maine congresswoman, and billionaire George Soros, announced the “second wave” of an ad blitz targeting House Republicans whose seats it considers “some of the most vulnerable” in 2012.

http://thedc.com/rm4yiN

The Obama administration thinks handing out food stamps creates jobs. “If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it. All of those are jobs…”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/08/16/obama_ag_secretary_vilsack_food_stamps_are_a_stimulus.html

Daily Beast/Newsweek: “Michele Bachmann Has 'Christian Plot' for 'Domination'”

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2011/08/15/daily-beastnewsweek-michele-bachmann-has-christian-plot-domination#ixzz1V7hOV6f0

The Delaware ACLU has filed court papers to stop sex offenders from being evicted from a safe house that is located near a new day care center

http://radio.foxnews.com/2011/08/16/aclu-sides-with-sex-offenders/

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GLOBALONEY

A sharp divide has emerged between two leading Republican presidential candidates on the issue of climate change. While apparent front-runner Mitt Romney believes the world is getting warmer and that humans are contributing to that pattern, Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday called that “a scientific theory that has not been proven.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/perry-and-romney-split-on-climate-change/2011/08/17/gIQAgawNLJ_story.html

Alarmists have seized on the coincidence of rising temperatures during the latter part of the 20th century to assert a causal relationship that is not found throughout the thousands of years of history of which we have reasonable knowledge. Even a casual investigation reveals that carbon dioxide levels are not the driver of global temperatures. Rather, a combination of solar activity and other earthly phenomena, most notably cycles associated with the oceans, explain the rise and fall of global temperatures that have gone on for millenia. The global warming hoax illustrated by charts……

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/08/the-global-warming-hoax-in-charts.php

A NASA affiliated researcher warns that extraterrestrial beings might destroy humanity if “they view global warming as symptomatic of a civilization growing out of control.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/aug/18/aliens-destroy-humanity-protect-civilisations

That is correct. The latest government research — peer reviewed, mind you — shows that the Arctic ice sheet will stabilize or expand in the next few decades, which of course will prove global warming. And if the computer model errs and the ice melts, well, that too proves global warming

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/40241

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THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Ron Paul, once seen as a fringe candidate and a nuisance to the establishment, is shaping the 2012 Republican primary by giving voice to the party's libertarian wing and reflecting frustration with the United States' international entanglements. The Texas congressman placed second in a key early test vote Saturday in Ames, coming within 152 votes of winning the first significant balloting of the Republican nominating contest. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota won the nonbinding Iowa straw poll, but Paul's organizational strength and a retooled focus on social issues set him up to be a serious player in the campaign.

http://news.yahoo.com/once-fringe-candidate-paul-shaping-2012-race-205132862.html

Foes of Rick Perry have tried for years to find dirt on the Texas governor, running down rumors he's gay or has messed around, and they have come up empty handed so often that some are urging the national Democrats to find another avenue to hit the surging GOP presidential candidate on. Just this week, political gadfly, critic, and Ron Paul backer Robert Morrow ran an ad in a Texas weekly newspaper seeking "stripper...escort...or 'young hottie' " who had been with Perry.

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/08/19/dangit-so-far-no-dirt-on-perry

Forget about death and taxes. Today, there are only two sure things in life: Every few years Rick Perry will run for office, and every few years Rick Perry will grind his opponents into dust. Since 1984, the man once derided as “Governor Good Hair” has participated in ten contested elections and won all of them. A few were against relatively weak opposition, but many were against prominent figures who were expected to give Perry a run for his money.

http://www.texasmonthly.com/2011-09-01/feature7.php

When Rick Perry graduated from Texas A and M in 1972 he was commissioned a lieutenant in the US Air Force, completed the pilot training program and became a C-130 transport pilot. He served five years as an officer, flew thousands of hours and left the military as a captain in 1977 to return to the family farming business in Texas……Few Ivy Leaguers will appreciate an experience like Perry’s. But Governor Perry’s early background is a better proof of intelligence and leadership than Barack Obama’s early years as a community organiser.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamescorum/100100756/why-rick-perrys-usaf-experience-could-change-the-outcome-of-the-presidential-race/

Before the 2000 presidential election, most Americans assumed the mechanics of elections functioned smoothly. The thirty-six day battle for the presidency demonstrated otherwise. Today, most Americans still assume the institutions, firms and foundations that fight about election law disputes are equally matched and similarly funded as between left and right. That is a dangerously incorrect assumption, especially with the 2012 election fast approaching. From an election administration perspective, the 2012 presidential election is already upon us. And the Left is fully engaged.

http://frontpagemag.com/2011/08/12/the-left-owns-the-election-law-industry/

While the massive union effort to overturn the Wisconsin state senate failed, in California the Left quietly moved its agenda forward this week when Governor Jerry Brown signed the "National Popular Vote" bill whose purpose is to award the state's 55 electoral votes to the presidential candidate with the most popular votes nationally.

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/08/12/lefts-agenda-inches-forward

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ARTICLES

Some stories have “legs.” They don’t disappear after a day or so but stay in the news, especially if they help move a liberal agenda. Think of global-warming findings or New York’s assault on marriage. Tuesday’s recall elections in Wisconsin won’t have legs. That’s because union-backed Democrats failed to gain control of the state Senate in perhaps the most expensive off-year campaign in history. Of six Republicans up for recall, just two were defeated. One was in a heavily Democratic district that gave President Obama more than 60 percent of the vote in 2008, and the other senator had dumped his wife and moved in with his mistress. On the day after the election, ABC’s “Good Morning America” did not bother to report on it. CBS‘ “Early Show” gave it a liberal slant…. NBC’s “Today show,” mentioned the vote result only once in four hours.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/12/left-wing-wisconsin-recall-amnesia/

Someone at long last has had the courage to tell the plain, honest truth about race. After mobs of young blacks rampaged through Philadelphia committing violence -- as similar mobs have rampaged through Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee and other places -- Philadelphia's black mayor, Michael A. Nutter, ordered a police crackdown and lashed out at the whole lifestyle of those who did such things. "Pull up your pants and buy a belt 'cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt," he said. "If you walk into somebody's office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won't hire you? They don't hire you 'cause you look like you're crazy," the mayor said. He added: "You have damaged your own race."

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2011/08/16/social_degeneration/page/full/

The Obama administration is finally going to focus on jobs—again. Jobs, jobs, jobs. And nothing says jobs like food stamps, unemployment insurance, and a shiny new federal department of ... yes, jobs!

http://reason.com/archives/2011/08/17/obamas-department-of-failed-id

Michelle Malkin: “Everything that's wrong with the so-called debt "super-committee" can be summed up in the personal partisan hackery and policy ignorance of Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Reid named Murray co-chair of the dog-and-pony deficit-reduction panel tasked with identifying $1.5 trillion in spending cuts by late November. Murray, an unrepentant Nanny State cheerleader and patron saint of the Washington lobbyist, is a double-exclamation point on the debt deal's rotten joke.”

http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2011/08/12/the_debt_panels_patty_murray_problem

So Virginia, how is that law that allows people with concealed weapons permits to carry their firearms into bars and restaurants working out for you? (Gun crimes dropped 5%)

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/40302

“Ann Coulter is that rarest species of culture warrior-princesses, the feminista republicana. But although Coulter is a one-of-a-kind phenomenon (much to the relief of countless liberals), there’s no denying that she’s a feminist icon. To make her point on the front lines of today’s toughest rhetorical battlegrounds, Coulter uses wit, logic and a fearlessness that reminds her opponents that she is, in fact, a real-live lawyer.”

http://thedc.com/p5pEfu

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

The Texas governor’s campaign has released an inaugural video introducing Perry to the few primary voters who may never have heard his name before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0n3NLgSsAg

http://www.rickperry.org/about/

The RNC is up with a new website poking fun at President Obama’s vacation. Visitors can send postcards featuring Obama relaxing, with one-liners critical of his leadership of the economy.

http://www.obamagetaway.com/

A number of celebrities own these big million dollar buses, but you get to pay for Obama’s.

http://globalgrind.com/news/obamas-big-boy-bus-photos?page=0

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WISE WORDS

"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 expence [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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