Saturday, July 28, 2012

op ed review 7/29


THIS WEEK’S NEWS
President Obama may have won the argument over his health reform law at the Supreme Court — but he's losing it in the states. Since the Supreme Court upheld most of ObamaCare, six governors have said they will not abide by it. Four others have said that they will not set up the health insurance exchanges the law envisions, and 15 others are considering other options or waiting for the outcome of November's election. That's half the states.

About one in 10 employers plan to drop health coverage when key provisions of Obamacare kick in less than two years from now, according to a survey to be released Tuesday by the consulting company Deloitte.

Business owners will pay $4 billion more in taxes under Obamacare, more than the Congressional Budget Office had previously expected.

President Obama may believe "you didn't build that," but 72 percent of Americans disagree, according to a newly-released poll by Rasmussen.

In Portland, Oregon, President Obama thanked a man named Terry Bean for organizing the reelection campaign fundraiser he was speaking at.   So who is Terry Bean?   Terry Bean is, according to the New York Post, a "gay-porn kingpin."

“Solyndra figures attend swank Obama fundraiser”

The Obama administration's new plan to grant temporary work permits to many young, illegal immigrants who otherwise could be deported may cost more than $585 million and require hiring hundreds of new federal employees to process more than 1 million anticipated requests.

Rasmussen:  “Romney has lead by four or five points for three consecutive days. That’s the largest advantage enjoyed by either candidate in over a month.”
NBC/WSJ released their latest poll on the presidential contest. They "find" that Obama is leading Romney by 6-points, 49%-43%.  What they don't report, however, is that their poll sample is way overweighted for Democrats. Their sample is D+11, 46% Democrat, 35% Republican--a level we haven't seen in the electorate since the post-Watergate GOP meltdown. “Does NBC just think we are all idiots? What games will they play in October? Use polls that only sample French adults?”

Mitt Romney's campaign is asking the Virginia Attorney General to launch an investigation into voter-registration forms that are being sent to Virginia residents and addressed to deceased relatives, children, family pets and others ineligible to vote. 

Mitt Romney outlined Tuesday an assertive American nationalism that would guide his foreign policy, calling for a more aggressive posture in confronting the United States’ rivals and more consistency in dealing with its allies.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush thinks Sen. Marco Rubio is ready to be vice president and he shared those thoughts with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, he said Wednesday.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is determined to block a fast food chain from opening stores in Chicago because the company president is outspoken about his views on traditional marriage.  “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values.”
But the Chicago Mayor welcomes anti-semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Fox News Channel host and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has declared August 1 “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
Ditto says the American Family Association

Oakland Zoo officials on Wednesday removed a monument from zoo property that a group of atheists objected to because it featured the Ten Commandments.

University of Colorado officials disclosed Monday that mass shooting suspect James Holmes was being paid $26,000 a year for his studies — money that could have financed the cache of firearms, ammunition and explosive devices found in his apartment.

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
David Gelernter  7/23

What Keeps This Failed President Above Water?

The utter failure of this president is rank. History’s most expensive plan ever for buying your way out of recession barely propelled the economy uphill, and now, in a squeal and stench of smoking tires, the Obama Special (sweating, straining, roaring, leaking dollars) is slipping back down again. The president’s signature approach to governing is to ram through some wildly-unpopular measure and then take a bow as the audience hoots. He did it with his famous unreform of healthcare, and again with the blocked Keystone pipeline. His attorney general would be a joke if he weren’t so dangerous, but Obama likes him. The president did give up such unpopular ideas as closing Guantanamo, card-check, a criminal trial for KSM in Manhattan à la P.T. Barnum, cap-and-trade–but only because there was no way to push these things through. (Although when Obama can govern by decree instead of by legislation, he is only too happy. Legislation has always struck him as a monumental bore.)

Iran disdainfully snubs him, Russia snubs him, Europe ignores him, the Israelis can’t stand him, the world grows more dangerous by the hour. He did indeed take out Osama, and has moved aggressively to kill terrorists. But any other president would be deemed to have turned these victories into defeats by his tone-deaf campaigns afterward to squeeze out maximum political gain–as if he had killed Osama himself, bare-handed. The cost to US intelligence sources or the dignity of the office matters nothing, evidently, as the Obamiacs mash every last drop of juice out of the pulp. In fact this is a man to whom “cost” seems like a foreign concept, a word he has never learned.

But even more surprising than his political super-buoyancy is the resurrection of big-government, 1930s-style economic thinking in the Democratic party long after it was taken out with the trash along with Jimmy Carter, and once more (for good measure) after Gingrich smashed Clinton in the ’94 midterms. The failure of central planning and state-managed economies is one of the big themes of the 20th century. But Obama’s handlers have yet to tell him.

His biggest asset is being black. People feel virtuous when they vote for him, or support him, or at least don’t trash him. We all like to feel virtuous. One has the impression that most commentators write off the whole question of his surprising political resilience by assuming, implicitly, that race explains everything.
But it doesn’t. There is more to this story. Obama perfectly fits the personal profile of the Culture Machine that runs so much of the American elite nowadays.

The Machine is run by PORGIs, who are just like Obama: post-religious, globalist, intellectuals or at least intellectualizers……And his being black, with an African father, an African name (icing on the cake) and a childhood spent in a Muslim nation (the cherry on top!) makes him beyond perfect–makes him nearly divine. We’re unlikely to hear anyone say so during this campaign as frankly as Evan Thomas of Newsweek did in 2009: reviewing the president’s speech in Cairo, Thomas explained to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above—above the world, he’s sort of God.” But we all get the idea.

He is post-religious: he took his family to a church where the religion seemed to be America-hatred. There are no biblical echoes in his speeches, as there have been in the speeches of so many presidents, left and right, and such other American leaders as Martin Luther King. “Pandering to religious nuts” is the way PORGIs analyze such references. Another way to describe them is quintessentially American. We are, after all, a biblical republic. The idea of America– freedom, equality, democracy, and America as the promised land–grew straight out of the Bible. Obama is the first American president to put all that stuff behind him. As for American Zionism, American Exceptionalism, the city on a hill—it is one part of the American creed that Obama simply rejects.

He is the perfect globalist. America is intellectually and spiritually too small for him. He and his colleagues in the PORGIate rise as effortlessly as hot-air balloons to the level of global versus merely national. Obama Obaminates America’s acting alone. He likes to pull into the mix not only our allies but our opponents. Russia must help with Syria. Russia and China must help with Iran. In the globalist worldview, “enemy” is a childish idea and has been eliminated. Venezuela, North Korea, Iran are not criminally dangerous, they are naughty, and must be reasoned with, scolded and eventually welcomed home with a big hug.

You might think that Obama makes a poor intellectual: he doesn’t seem to read; ideas evidently mean nothing to him. But notice that he governs on the basis of theories and not facts. And he graduated from Columbia and Harvard. Case closed.

If conservatives were serious, they would think much harder about the Culture Machine (aka the Establishment) and the ways in which Obama is typical instead of exceptional—typical of a new type of Establishment leader, the new Machine Man. We’re used to old-fashioned political (usually Democratic) machines. But those political machines compare to the modern Culture Machine like a stick of dynamite to an H-bomb. While conservatives worry about debt and taxes and huge problems abroad, the left is busy pulling the whole country out from under them. While conservatives fiddle around on the roof, robbers are rifling the house and stealing the children.

Conservatives might consider climbing down and having a look. Obama is only the first of a new breed.



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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"Horizontal drilling and fracking have made oil shale and tar sands rich sources of oil and natural gas, so much so that the United States may prove to possess the largest store of fossil fuel reserves in the world -- in theory, with enough gas, oil and coal, we may never need any imported Middle Eastern energy again….Widespread American use of cheap natural gas will do more to clean the planet than thousands of Solyndras. If the United States utilizes its resources, then its present pathologies -- massive budget and trade deficits, mounting debt, strategic vulnerability -- will start to subside. These new breakthroughs in petroleum engineering are a largely American phenomena, reminding us that there is still something exceptional in the American experience that periodically offers the world cutting-edge technologies and protocols. ... Who would have thought that a few fracking innovators in Texas would change the world's carbon footprint far more than did Nobel laureate Al Gore -- while offering a way for the U.S. to be energy-independent."
                       -Victor Davis Hanson

“The only explanation for Fast and Furious is that it was a program to prop up a losing gun control argument. ... Republicans refuse to state this clearly because they can't prove it. Instead, they just keep chattering about the documents that haven't been turned over and subpoenas that haven't been answered. ... This isn't just another government program gone bad -- a $300 ashtray, stimulus money fraud, Solyndra or Van Jones. ... It would be as if the Bush administration had implemented a covert operation to dump a dangerous abortifacient in Planned Parenthood clinics, resulting in hundreds of women dying -- just to give pro-lifers an argument about how dangerous abortion clinics are. That's what Fast and Furious is about."
                       -Ann Coulter

"[T]he chain that owns the theater where the [Colorado] massacre took place has a no-weapons policy, which oddly enough did not deter the shooter any more than Colorado's strict laws against murder did."
                       -James Taranto

"The news media ... believe they have a higher calling than reporting news. In order to understand this, I offer this anecdote. A number of years ago, I was asked to moderate a panel of judges that included a former, very liberal, California Supreme Court justice. At one point, the justice said that his role as a judge was to fight inequality, poverty and racism. ... People on the left think the way the judge did. The primary purpose of every profession, as they see it, is to increase what they call social justice. ... So when [ABC's] Brian Ross linked the Aurora mass murderer to the Tea Party, in his mind, he was doing the right thing. Is there one person in America who believes that if Ross had discovered a James Holmes in Aurora active in the ACLU, he would have reported it? ... [D]efeating the right is more important than moral or factual accuracy."
                       -Dennis Prager
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ISLAM
A man has admitted to plotting to fly remote-controlled toy aircraft packed with explosives into the US Capitol building and the Pentagon. Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, a Muslim-American with a physics degree, pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court to attempting to damage a federal building with an explosive and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

Iranian assets positioned in the United States have been activated and are actively working to acquire intelligence and equipment that might be useful in terror attacks, according to a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

As we watch, a large chunk of humanity is slipping backward, toward something very ominous for them, and for us, too. Paul Simon's lyrics set the stage: Slip slidin' away, slip slidin' away….That is, on that stage, as we watch, the Islamic world, despite faltering steps towards democracy and modernization, is slip-slidin' ever faster into a chaos out of which, unless unchecked, will emerge a desolateness beyond imagination...
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LEFTIST WATCH
ABC's The View honored Roseanne Barr with a guest-host spot on July 19, which shows they probably aren't in the habit of evaluating her sanity based on her Twitter rants. Take her wishing cancer on Chick-Fil-A fans this morning: "anyone who eats S--t Fil-A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4Christ".
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BOOKS, FILM
Conservative praise for the "The Dark Knight Rises":   "Rises" is about many things, but it is mostly about a rousing defense of an America under siege by a demagogue disguising his nihilistic rage and thirst for revenge and power as a noble quest for equality. From a purely cinematic standpoint, director/co-writer Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" is a genuine masterpiece…...let me just say that the final few minutes of "Rises" represent one of the most intensely satisfying movie moments of my life. In a Hollywood lost in shallow, narcissistic depravity, Nolan has himself risen as the New Iconoclast -- simply for believing in what is good and being able to express it in a universal way that touches us all.

“The Death of Liberalism” by R. Tyrrell. “The grave is dug, the headstone carved, the hearse idling out front. A once-potent political and cultural scourge of our time, Liberalism, is breathing its last―and loudest―breaths. In this provocative postmortem, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. traces the dubious rise and inevitable fall of the deeply flawed Liberal-Progressive movement, which has culminated in the nation's first stealth socialist, President Barack Obama―the unwitting pallbearer for American Liberalism. While exposing this nonsensical worldview, Tyrrell also winsomely reaffirms the timeless values Liberalism has endeavored to undermine: free enterprise, personal liberty, limited government, empiricism, reason, and common sense. Ultimately, Tyrrell welcomes conservatives, moderates, independents, and the heretofore apolitical to step forward at this crucial juncture, and take the final steps necessary to administer Liberalism's last rites.

A striking clash between those who feel a profound duty to report that the young Obama was nurtured by Marxists, socialists, and Communists and those who think it is a better idea to erase this information from the public record is on display in two current books.
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ACTIVISM
There is a tremendously feisty, extraordinarily effective and yet mostly unheralded conservative non-profit advocacy group whose work over the past three decades has exposed many of the most controversial corruption stories in the nation’s capital. It’s name is Judicial Watch and a strong case can be made that it is among the best friends ever of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and of the public’s right to know how its business is being conducted.
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ELECTION
President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech now stands poised to become a defining issue of the 2012 campaign. At the very least, it has moved the conversation away from accusations regarding Mitt Romney’s years at Bain Capital and trained the spotlight on the president, whose supporters now ruefully acknowledge that the week-old issue is not going away on its own. This leaves them in the unenviable position of playing defense, mostly by parsing the president’s words: never a good place for a candidate or his backers to be.

Mitt Romney was fired-up. “The president actually said, if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.” He paused and threw his hands up before adding: “Really?” Sitting in a small office attached to a local shale industry company for an interview with the Trib, Romney remained agitated and energized. The agitation was personal because he is genuinely appalled by President Obama’s attitude toward business. “I could not believe he said that. And it wasn’t just a twist of phrase, he actually goes on to explain what he meant by that,”

“Pat Sajak, of all people, best characterized the effect of this defining moment on public opinion: “It's as if President Obama climbed into a tank, put on his helmet, talked about how his foray into Cambodia was seared in his memory, looked at his watch, misspelled "potato" and pardoned Richard Nixon all in the same day.”

Fading rock star Obama. There are few things more uncomfortable to witness than a fading rock star in the process of slipping down the ladder he seemed to scale so adeptly and nimbly what seems like not so long ago.

Obama:  His personal favorability, once a strong point for Obama, has vanished and is now being replaced by a personal dislike that is dragging him down. These data, buried deep in the latest NY Times/CBS poll (of registered voters, not likely voters) are both stark and important……. He is now no longer the sunny, optimistic, friendly person he portrayed himself as being in 2008. Instead, a nasty, surly, angry image has taken over.
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ARTICLES
Mark Helprin: “The Hunt for Blue October”  As the president travels about, yelling at America and dividing the population into good people and bad people (the bad ones being, purely by coincidence, those who don't vote for him), he has adopted an extraordinary war cry that might make both Huey Long and Spiro Agnew smile in their graves: Millionaires and billionaires. Income or net worth, he doesn't say, the idea being to grab a billionaire, turn him upside down, and shake money out of him. But in the president's logic, this includes, for example, a couple earning $125,000 apiece. The trick is that you can indeed get a lot of money out of such people if you call them billionaires and turn enough of them upside down……Perhaps the most brazen language diktat has been the mischievous switch of political colors. Stalin would hardly believe it, but blue now supposedly signifies the left and red the right.”

For a long time, the United States had one economy. Now we have two economies that compete for America's wealth: A private economy and a public economy……..From the 1960s onward, the professional Democratic Party began to lose its relationship with the private economy…..Today the private and public economies are in head-to-head competition for the nation's wealth—with the private economy calling that wealth capital or income, and the public economy calling it tax revenue and making moral claims for spending tax revenue.
There has been a lot of class-warfare talk from Barack Obama and his cohorts in the media that either intimates or baldly states that the rich are getting richer, the poor poorer, and the gap between them is ever-widening in America. In addition, talk has been bandied about that the rich pay less taxes than the rest of Americans. But according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), neither of these leftist canards is true

Taking Down the Second Amendment: The Connection between Fast and Furious and the Trayvon Martin Case

For such a supposedly fantastic speaker, it's sure hard to bring to mind any outstanding Obama quotes. I remember nothing from his big post-racial race speech, his inaugural, his state of the union addresses. What I remember is when he goes off teleprompter.
"Why can't I just eat my waffle?"
"I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go."
"The private sector is doing fine."
"At a certain point, you've made enough money."
"The Cambridge police acted stupidly."
"I bowled a 129. It's like -- it was like Special Olympics, or something."
"They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."
"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
"You didn't build that."

Big Government's Best Friends: Nontaxpayers:  In 2010, 41 percent of all tax returns filed had no income tax liability. This represents over 58 million income tax filers. Nonpayers have grown substantially over the last two decades. In 1990, only about 21 percent of returns had no tax liability, about half of what it is today……The threshold at which a typical married couple with two children will likely be a nonpayer is now $47,000.
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
Karl Rove's weekly 50-state electoral map of the '12 race

Pipe manufacturer and Ohio job creator Arnie Kaufman -- President of Woodhill Supply Inc. -- discusses the devastating effects President Barack Obama's tax hikes will have on family-owned manufacturers like Woodhill

“This is the best political ad since Reagan’s Morning in America”
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WISE WORDS
"[T]he right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave."
                           -John Adams

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