Saturday, February 11, 2012

op ed review 2/12

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Santorum sweeps 3 GOP contests. The former Pennsylvania senator came out on top in the voting in all three contests Tuesday night, including an unexpected five-point victory in Colorado's caucuses. Santorum also won the Minnesota caucuses, by an 18-point margin, and he won by 30 points in the Missouri primary. Santorum moves on without any new delegates, but plenty of momentum.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505267_162-57373062/santorum-stunner-sweeps-3-gop-contests/

In all three states Mr. Romney won fewer voters than he did in 2008, signaling that he hasn't been able to hold onto those who turned out to pull the lever for him last time.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/feb/8/behind-numbers-romneys-tuesday-disaster/

However, Mitt Romney won The Washington Times/CPAC Presidential Straw Poll on Saturday, and also nipped Rick Santorum as the top choice of conservatives nationwide, according to a new version of the poll conducted for the first time this year that suggests Mr. Romney retains strong support among self-identified conservatives.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/From-the-Wires/2012/0209/Marco-Rubio-a-CPAC-darling-hammers-Obama

“Last week Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan lashed out at the Obama Administration for forcing religious organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. New Obama regulations will force Christian organizations to provide free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion drugs to workers even though this violates Catholic Church teaching….This week- the military is telling Catholic Chaplains what they can and cannot say about the Obama Administration.”

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=49306

“Catholic League Poised To Go To War With Obama Over Mandatory Birth Control Payments”

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/02/06/catholic-league-poised-to-go-to-war-with-obama-over-mandatory-birth-control-payments/

After a week of intense heat, the White House offers compormise: “President Obama will announce an attempt to accommodate these religious groups”

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/white-house-to-announce-accommodation-for-religious-organizations-on-contraception-rule/

However Catholic bishops said Friday night that they would not support the compromise.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577217181415407806.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

Mark Steyn: “The president of the United States has decided to go Henry VIII…..Whatever religious institutions might profess to believe in the matter of "women's health," their pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities and immunities are now subordinate to a one-and-only supreme head on earth determined to repress, redress, restrain and amend their heresies.

http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/church-339789-one-catholic.html

“Secular progressive bias in the media was never more evident than in the past few weeks with the difference in coverage of two major news stories — the temporary cutoff of funds from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to Planned Parenthood and the ultimatum from the Obama administration that the Catholic Church and its institutions had a year to find a way to violate their consciences. When the abortion giant's funding was in jeopardy, the media provided 24/7 coverage with a decidedly liberal slant. When the feds assaulted First Amendment religious freedom, you could hear the crickets chirp.”

http://news.investors.com/Article/600445/201202071903/planned-parenthood-defended-not-catholic-church.htm

Gallup: “Obama's approval below reelection standard

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/gallup-obamas-approval-below-reelection-standard/364946

The American public's dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.

http://news.investors.com/Article/600452/201202080802/government-dependence-jumps-under-president-obama.htm

A top official with the National Rifle Association said Friday that President Obama will move to "destroy" gun rights and "erase" the Second Amendment if he is re-elected in November.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/feb/10/nra-official-obama-wants-outlaw-guns-2nd-term/

“FBI Terrorist Alert: Beware of Those Who 'Reference the Constitution or Bible'”

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2012/02/09/fbi-terrorist-alert-beware-of-those-who-reference-the-constitution-or-bible/

Ousted Susan G. Komen for the Cure vice president Karen Handel accused Planned Parenthood of "hijacking" the breast-cancer charity and conducting "the most unbelievable shakedown that I think we've seen in a long time."

http://times247.com/articles/former-komen-vp-planned-parenthood-flap-absolutely-outrageous

A Chrysler ad aired during the Super Bowl Sunday night has inspired ire among some Republicans and admiration among some Democrats — with both sides seeing a political message that boosts President Obama. In an ad touting the resurgence of the American auto industry, Clint Eastwood declared that it’s “halftime in America and our second half’s about to begin,” which could be interpreted as a reference to Obama’s second term.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/karl-rove-offended-by-clint-eastwoods-chrysler-ad/2012/02/06/gIQAYt3HuQ_blog.html

Clint Eastwood: ‘I am certainly not affiliated with Obama’

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/7/clint-eastwood-i-am-certainly-not-affiliated-obama/

Clint should have been more careful: : “Two members of the creative team that produced the two-minute minute spot donated their personal time in 2008 to make pro-Obama art.”

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/clint-eastwood-chrysler-super-bowl-commercial-287778

A three-judge panel of the (you guessed it) 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages, is unconstitutional. The court ruled 2-1 to uphold the decision of a lower court judge, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco, who determined in Aug. 2010 that Prop. 8 was a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/02/07/150967/

“Administration names official advocate for illegal immigrants”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/feb/7/administration-names-official-advocate-illegal-imm/

National Education Association Staffers Set Sail on 7-Day Caribbean Cruise with stops at Cozumel, Grand Cayman Island and Isla Roatan.” for an “Advocacy Retreat” with the theme “Building Our Unionism.”

http://townhall.com/columnists/kyleolson/2012/02/07/eag_exclusive_teachers_union_staffers_set_sail_on_7day_caribbean_cruise

America’s tactical air force fleets fade away with Obama budget cuts. “With the exception of our airlift fleet, we have a geriatric Air Force,” said retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, a former F-15 Eagle pilot and Operation Desert Storm war planner. “We’re flying fighters that are 30 years old. What people seem to miss is, a fighter is not like an airliner, where you take off from Point A and go to Point B. Our pilots put six to nine G’s on these things every day.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/5/fleets-fade-away-with-pentagon-budget-cuts/

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Thomas Sowell 1/26

The Republican candidates' circular firing squad now seems to be using machine guns. Whoever the eventual "last man standing" turns out to be, he may not be standing very tall or very steadily on his feet -- and he may be a pushover for Barack Obama in the general election, thanks to fellow Republicans.

Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an independent, this is a very serious and historically crucial time for the United States of America. What Mitt Romney did or did not do when he was with Bain Capital, or what Newt Gingrich did or did not say to his ex-wife, are things that should be left for the tabloids. With the economy still faltering and Iran on its way to getting nuclear bombs, surely we can get serious about the issues facing this nation. Or can we?

Mitt Romney's boasts about what he did at Bain Capital are as irrelevant as Newt Gingrich's demagogic attacks on Romney's role there. Romney is not running to become head of Bain Capital. While Gingrich backed away from his demagoguery about Bain Capital, Romney is continuing to press ahead with his charges that Gingrich was a lobbyist for Freddie Mac. As someone who has been a consultant, but never a lobbyist, I know the difference.

As a consultant, I have offered advice to people in government and in private organizations, both businesses and non-profit organizations. But I have never gone to a government official to urge that official to make a decision favorable to those who were paying me, or to those for whom I did free consulting. It takes two to tango, and lobbying requires not only a lobbyist but also someone who is being lobbied. With more than 500 people in Congress alone who could have been lobbied, and additional officials in the bureaucracies, if Romney cannot find even a single person to say that Gingrich lobbied him or her, then it is long past time for him to either put up or shut up. On the other hand, if Romney just wants to sling a lot of mud in Newt's direction and hope that some of it sticks, then that should tell the voters a lot about Romney's character.

So much of what has been said by various Republican candidates, as well as by the media, has been in the nature of unsubstantiated, peripheral or irrelevant talking points for or against particular candidates, rather than serious statements about serious issues confronting the nation……"The politics of personal destruction" -- as Bill Clinton called it, and as he himself practiced it -- is not the way to solve the nation's problems. It has already poisoned the well of political discourse this season and claimed Herman Cain as its first victim, on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations by women with checkered pasts of their own. Whether Herman Cain was good, bad or indifferent as a candidate, and whether his chances of winning the Republican nomination were substantial or non-existent is not the issue. Nor is this the issue as regards Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney or any other candidate.

Poisoning the well of political discourse may be one of the reasons why we see such unsatisfactory sets of candidates for political office in both parties, not only this year but in previous election years as well. Many able and decent people are understandably reluctant to subject themselves and their families to a mud-slinging contest or to media "gotcha" questions. The creeping acceptance of such practices is hardly a justification, but is itself part of the degeneration of our times.

The time is long overdue to get serious.

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/01/26/is_anybody_serious/page/2

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

“Only last month a committee of the legislature of the state of Washington approved something innocently called the “Reproductive Parity Act” requiring private health-insurance plans to cover abortion through all stages of pregnancy. If a health-insurance plan covers a full-term live birth, it has to cover late-term abortions. Ideology like that can only be imposed by law. This is what terrifies not only bishops and evangelical preachers, who recognize a slippery slope even when most people can’t, but terrifies the Americans whom President Obama scorns as those who “cling to God and guns.” Mr. Obama takes comfort only in the applause of liberal churchmen who endorsed his condoms-for-everybody scheme—liberal Jews, Unitarians, stray Muslims, something called the “Planned Parenthood Clergy Advisory Board,” and the usual preachers to empty pews. The Obama White House may not be a coven of radicals out to impose their secular vision of what American could be, if only they could silence the religious conscience. But the president and his men are eager to do the work of such radicals. Only this week, an interviewer asked President Obama why he hadn’t been the “transformative” president he promised to be four years ago. “I deserve a second term,” he said. “We’re not done.”

-Wes Pruden

"The Susan G. Komen foundation succumbed [Friday] to a relentless barrage of political bullying, a fact that is not only sad news for those who cherish the sanctity and dignity of all life, but also for all of us who believe that a private philanthropic organization shouldn't be subjected to such harassment. That the Komen foundation apologized for its decision to halt contributions to Planned Parenthood is another illustration that political correctness is running amok. ... Consider the facts: The Komen Foundation is a private philanthropic organization. It has every right to fund or not fund charities or causes of its choice. That certain individuals and causes are 'outraged' over Komen's announcement is, in itself, outrageous. ... Planned Parenthood is regularly lobbying for even more federal subsidies. So not only do they now want to take more of your money via taxes -- but they also want to be able to tell private foundations whom they (should) give to!”
-Jim Daly

"A study to be published in June in the New York University Law Review finds that our Constitution 'appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere.' 'Among the world's democracies,' writes David Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia, 'constitutional similarity to the United States has clearly gone into free fall. Over the 1960s and 1970s, democratic constitutions as a whole became more similar to the U.S. Constitution, only to reverse course in the 1980s and 1990s.' The New York Times' coverage of this study finds 'lots of possible reasons' for the decline. 'The U.S. Constitution,' it says, 'is terse and old' and 'guarantees relatively few rights.' ... The Constitution doesn't seem to be of much use to Barack Obama, either. The president ... recently lamented that the Founders 'designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes.' ... A lack of respect for the Constitution isn't peculiar to Obama. It's shared among Democrats, in particular, even Democrat-appointed Supreme Court jurists. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Clinton appointee, said last week on Egyptian television that if she were drafting a constitution in the year 2012, she wouldn't look to ours. She reportedly recommended the South African Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the European Convention on Human Rights. ... We're not ashamed to declare the U.S. Constitution a magnificent document that, along with the Declaration of Independence, forms the greatest national charter in human history. No other document has ever guarded freedom the way it has, and no other contract has provided such a foundation for prosperity. It's not perfect, but it's as close to perfect as man has come."

-Investor's Business Daily

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BOOKS

“Fifty thousand for what you didn’t plant, for what didn’t grow. That’s modern farming -- reap what you don’t sow.” That’s a line from a song about farm subsidies, “Farming The Government,” by the Nebraska Guitar Militia. But these days it applies to more and more of the U.S. economy, as Charles Sykes points out in his new book, “A Nation Of Moochers: America’s Addiction To Getting Something For Nothing.”

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2012/02/its-takers-versus-makers-and-these-days-takers-are-winning/2170511

Author Charles Murray’s new book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” analyzes the increasingly separate upper and lower classes in America.

http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2012/02/04/charles-murray-answers-questions-on-americas-growing-class-divide/?KEYWORDS=Demetria+Gallegos

Charles Murray interview: The New Upper Class and the Real Reason We Dislike Them. Resentment of the wealthy elite is at an all-time high, but it's not just their money that sets them apart

http://ideas.time.com/2012/02/07/the-new-upper-class-and-the-real-reason-we-dislike-them/#ixzz1ljEmgjqk

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GLOBALONEY

Earth's Polar Ice Melting Less Than Thought

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/02/08/earths-polar-ice-melting-less-than-thought

The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows. The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/08/glaciers-mountains?intcmp=122

German electric utility executive: 'I Feel Duped on Climate Change'

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,813814,00.html

In Europe, 400 people have died in one of the worse winters in memory. In the Ukraine, 122 people died as temperatures have dropped to as low as -22. The European Commissioner for Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva said she feared, “the worst is yet to come.” So what do the global warming people blame? Why, global warming.

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/51146

Here comes another one: Fisker Automotive looks like it is on its way to a slow-motion crash, which would leave taxpayers on the hook for more than a half-billion through a loan the Obama administration co-signed. The company makes electric/hybrid luxury cars in Finland that are sold in the United States.

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/51121

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ISLAM

The Iranian government…has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people. The doctrine includes wiping out Israeli assets and Jewish people worldwide.

http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/

German Bank Now Offers ‘Islam-Compliant’ Investments

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/german-bank-offers-islam-compliant-investment_626308.html

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THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Al Cardenas, head of the American Conservative Union, has said that Republican turmoil might lead to a brokered convention in which Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, would emerge as a “possible alternative” party nominee.

http://harndenblog.dailymail.co.uk/2012/02/top-republican-at-cpac-jeb-bush-could-emerge-as-nominee-at-a-brokered-convention-.html

“Head-to-head, horse-race polls this far out don't mean a LOT, but they do show important trends. In that light, behold Rasmussen's newest, which shows Rick Santorum as the only Republican to beat Obama head to head. This is the latest in a week-long series of polls, from pollsters left, right and center, showing Santorum doing better against Romney than Gingrich or Paul…..”

http://spectator.org/blog/2012/02/04/santorums-slow-mo-surge-contin

Gingrich’s Speech — How to Make a Bad Night Worse

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/290188/gingrich-s-speech-how-make-bad-night-worse-victor-davis-hanson

Mitt Romney met quietly with a small group of conservative leaders in Washington on Thursday in an effort to reassure Republicans who remain skeptical about his candidacy…. Romney huddled with a group of 30 people - which included officials from the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union along with some Republican donors - for about an hour.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/09/romney-meets-privately-with-conservative-leaders-at-cpac/

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino executive keeping Newt Gingrich’s presidential hopes alive, has relayed assurances to Mitt Romney that he will provide even more generous support to his candidacy if he becomes the Republican nominee…..The signals from Mr. Adelson, whose politics are shaped in large part by his support for Israel, reflect what the associates said was his deep investment in defeating President Obama and his willingness to play a more prominent role in the Republican Party and conservative causes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/us/politics/gingrich-patron-adelson-said-to-be-open-to-aiding-romney.html?_r=1

Newt Gingrich says he is the conservative choice in the 2012 presidential race, but five states into the campaign, Mitt Romney has won more self-identified conservative voters, according to an analysis by The Washington Times of entrance and exit polls.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/5/gop-voters-belie-gingrichs-claim-to-conservative-m/

Ann Coulter serves up jokes and red meat at CPAC: “The way the Right can beat Obama, she continued, is not to attack Obama as a person by calling him an “Kenyan colonialist” and the like, but to go after his policies, as Reagan did with Carter. Meanwhile, she continued, the Left will try to take down the GOP field they only way it knows how — by calling the candidates stupid or crazy. But that won’t work with Romney. The most you can say about Romney is that he’s square. But, she added, “I think we’ve had enough of hip. Hip has nearly wrecked the country. Let’s try square for a while.” When asked by an audience member about criticism hurled at female conservatives, Coulter said that — as her bodyguard can attest — “all pretty girls are right-wingers.”

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/watch-ann-coulter-serve-up-jokes-and-red-meat-during-her-cpac-speech/

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ARTICLES

“Can I suggest that you try the following experiment? Gather up a group of bright, reasonably well-educated 18-year-olds and ask them what world event occurred in 1945. They will, almost certainly, be able to give you an informed account of how the Second World War ended, and at least a generally accurate picture of its aftermath. Now try asking them what historical milestone came to pass in 1989. I am willing to bet that this question will produce mute, blank looks. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism which followed it are hugely important to any proper understanding of the present world and of the contemporary political economy. Why is it that they have failed to be addressed with anything like their appropriate awesome significance..?”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9061328/The-lessons-of-the-fall-of-communism-have-still-not-been-learnt.html

Indiana's move to become the Rust Belt's first "right-to-work" state has intensified debate over the issue in neighboring Michigan. Supporters of right-to-work laws say they're more convinced than ever that Michigan should take a similar step in hopes of lessening union clout and attracting more jobs.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-righttowork-michi,0,7910572.story

“The President & The Prophet: Obama’s Unusual Encounter with Eric Metaxas”……difficult-to-watch spectacle of seeing a president forced to uncomfortably read a speech which had just been shredded to pieces by a man who couldn’t possibly have known what was coming. And as he did so, the audience in that room likely left with Metaxas’s four-word condemnation, intentional or not, of the 44th president of the United States ringing in their ears: “God is not fooled.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/290393/president-prophet-obama-s-unusual-encounter-eric-metaxas-mark-joseph#more

Planned Parenthood—with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion—does little in the way of screening for breast cancer. But the organization is very much in the business of selling abortions—more than 300,000 in 2010, according to Planned Parenthood. At an average cost of $500, according to various sources including Planned Parenthood's website, that translates to about $164 million of revenue per year.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204369404577206692451108960.html

In the UK, Girls as young as 13 have been fitted with contraceptive implants at school without their parents knowing.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9065998/Girls-13-given-contraceptive-implants-at-school.html

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

What would happen if a website covered the left in the same way that the left covers the right? What picture of the world would one have in mind if the morning paper read like the New York Times—but with the subjects of the stories and the assumptions built into the text changed to reflect a conservative, not liberal, worldview?..You are about to find out. The Washington Free Beacon is here to enter the arena of combat journalism. Our talented staff will add to the chorus of enterprising conservative reporters, publishing original stories, seeking out scoops, and focusing on the myriad connections between money and power in the progressive movement and Obama’s Washington. Our research and war room divisions will supplement that reporting with context, additional materials, and breaking video. At the Beacon, you will find the other half of the story, the half that the elite media have taken such pains to ignore: the inside deals, cronyism cloaked in the public interest, and far-out nostrums of contemporary progressivism and the Democratic Party.

http://freebeacon.com/combat-journalism/

Super Bowl commercials, in case you missed them. (not as good as last year)

http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/46/commercials?module=HP11_hot_topics#video=09000d5d826a09d0

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WISE WORDS

"How can we not believe in the greatness of America? How can we not do what is right and needed to preserve this last best hope of man on Earth? After all our struggles to restore America, to revive confidence in our country, hope for our future, after all our hard-won victories earned through the patience and courage of every citizen, we cannot, must not, and will not turn back."

-Ronald Reagan

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."

-Thomas Jefferson

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