Saturday, September 8, 2012

op ed review 9/9


THIS WEEK’S NEWS
It was a truly astonishing spectacle at Wednesday’s Democratic National Convention. Bill Clinton, the once disgraced former President was cheered,  while amending the Democratic Party platform to include a single reference to God as the source of human potential was jeered and booed. Nothing speaks louder to what is at stake in this election than the reaction of rank and file Democratic Convention delegates to referencing God in their Party platform.

The DNC banned dozens of Charlotte churches from distributing gift baskets to delegates because the congregations “hold values that are contrary to the party platform.”  56 churches of mainline denominations put together gift baskets featuring Carolina Pralines and a letter welcoming them to the city... “We were just trying to display Southern hospitality……They told us our views on women’s rights are contrary to the platform.”  So instead of gift baskets, the churches asked if they could send welcome letters to the delegates. Again, the DNC refused – “because the churches hold pro-life values.”

An illegal immigrant was given a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, where she championed President Obama’s recent decision to stop enforcing certain aspects of immigration law.

A record 88,921,000 Americans are ‘Not in Labor Force’..  The Labor Department counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, not in the military or an institution, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks.

The 69.9 per cent labor force participation rate for men is at lowest level recorded since the US government began tracking it in 1948.

The White House response to the jobs report:  “Important Not To Read Too Much Into (it)”

A record 46.7 million Americans received food stamps in June, up 0.4 percent from the previous month.

The U.S. government debt, which topped $16 trillion for the first time at the close of business on Friday, now equals approximately $136,260 for every household in the country.

The United States has slipped further down a global ranking of the world's most competitive economies, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) survey.  The US economy dropped two positions to the 7th spot - marking its fourth year of decline.

A majority of voters believe the country is worse off today than it was four years ago and that President Obama does not deserve reelection.

After a week as topic No. 1 in American politics, former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood said the outpouring of criticism from left-wing reporters and liberal politicians after his appearance at the Republican National Convention last Thursday night, followed by an avalanche of support on Twitter and in the blogosphere, is all the proof anybody needs that his 12-minute discourse achieved exactly what he intended it to. “President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood told The Carmel Pine Cone this week. “Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle.”

Feds quietly end probe of 'America's toughest sheriff' Joe Arpaio; no charges.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s female aide resigned amid allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior with men.

Are 60% of Milwaukee’s black voters from 2008 missing? That’s what a study from the New Organizing Institute claims, which estimates that as many as 160,000 black voters in the city from the last presidential election have disappeared. ??????
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Janet Daly, The London Telegraph  9/2

Whatever the outcome of the American presidential election, one thing is certain: the fighting of it will be the most significant political event of the decade. Last week’s Republican national convention sharpened what had been until then only a vague, inchoate theme: this campaign is going to consist of the debate that all Western democratic countries should be engaging in, but which only the United States has the nerve to undertake. The question that will demand an answer lies at the heart of the economic crisis from which the West seems unable to recover. It is so profoundly threatening to the governing consensus of Britain and Europe as to be virtually unutterable here, so we shall have to rely on the robustness of the US political class to make the running.

What is being challenged is nothing less than the most basic premise of the politics of the centre ground: that you can have free market economics and a democratic socialist welfare system at the same time. The magic formula in which the wealth produced by the market economy is redistributed by the state – from those who produce it to those whom the government believes deserve it – has gone bust. The crash of 2008 exposed a devastating truth that went much deeper than the discovery of a generation of delinquent bankers, or a transitory property bubble. It has become apparent to anyone with a grip on economic reality that free markets simply cannot produce enough wealth to support the sort of universal entitlement programs which the populations of democratic countries have been led to expect. The fantasy may be sustained for a while by the relentless production of phony money to fund benefits and job-creation projects, until the economy is turned into a meaningless internal recycling mechanism in the style of the old Soviet Union.

Or else democratically elected governments can be replaced by puppet austerity regimes which are free to ignore the protests of the populace when they are deprived of their promised entitlements. You can, in other words, decide to debauch the currency which underwrites the market economy, or you can dispense with democracy. Both of these possible solutions are currently being tried in the European Union, whose leaders are reduced to talking sinister gibberish in order to evade the obvious conclusion: the myth of a democratic socialist society funded by capitalism is finished. This is the defining political problem of the early 21st century.

Mitt Romney had been hinting, in an oblique, undeveloped way, at this line of argument as he moved tentatively toward finding a real message. Then he took the startling step of appointing Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, and the earth moved. If Romney was the embodiment of the spirit of a free market, Ryan was its prophet. His speech at the convention was so dangerous to the Obama Democrats, with their aspirations toward European-style democratic socialism, that they unleashed their “fact checkers” to find mistakes (“lies”) in it. (Remember the old Yes Minister joke: “You can always accuse them of errors of detail, sir. There are always some errors of detail”.) When Romney and Ryan offer their arguments to the American people, they are, of course, at an advantage over almost any British or European politician. Contrary to what many know-nothing British observers seem to think, the message coming out of Tampa was not Tea Party extremism. It was just a reassertion of the basic values of American political culture: self-determination, individual aspiration and genuine community, as opposed to belief in the state as the fount of all social virtue. Romney caught this rather nicely in his acceptance speech, with the comment that the US was built on the idea of “a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today’s.” Or as Marco Rubio put it in his speech, Obama is “trying ideas that people came to America to get away from”…….

So how effective will all this turn out to be? Can Romney and Ryan reawaken the self-belief in American independence and real community solidarity? Quite possibly, but the odds are always in favour of the incumbent in US presidential elections. There is, however, a wild card in this game. I suspect that in 2008 a great many voters of good conscience would have felt the moral force of voting for the first black president, in order to exorcise the nation’s hideous racial history. But having proved that America is no longer a land of bigots, they will not feel it necessary to make that point again. Now they will be able to judge Mr Obama as they would any other political leader, and the US will truly have arrived at post-racial politics.

But in the course of this campaign, however it concludes, we are all going to get an education in what it might be possible to say if economic reality was actually confronted. Mr Ryan wound up his acceptance speech for the vice-presidential nomination with the chorus, “Our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.” Some of us would like to have that debate here. We even think we might have a chance of winning it.


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"The Democrats gathering in Charlotte this week are united behind President Obama but more than a little nervous about their November prospects. The thrill of 2008 is gone, replaced by an almost grim determination. The party of hope and change has become the party of grind-it-out, slug-it-out, and hope to win as less awful than Mitt Romney. ... Democrats of the Obama era are united by cultural liberalism, but above all else they agree on the goal of expanding the reach of government. ... The vanguard of ideas for the Obama White House is the Center for American Progress, which churns out proposals for government to mediate every sphere of economic life. In this view, the entire American economy is a giant market failure…..Health-care costs can be controlled by dictating prices and medical practice. The climate can be controlled by putting coal out of business and subsidizing wind, solar and ethanol. Wall Street can be controlled by more rules and hanging the occasional banker in the public square as an example. Most important, government spending can conjure private growth by 'investing' in whatever seems like a good idea.... Democrats made a generational bet in 2009-2010 that the country was ready to be yanked sharply to the left, and they know that nearly all of their grand ambitions will be undone if Mr. Obama loses. ... Thus the frowning resolve to grind out a victory by whatever means possible. It's hardly an optimistic vision and it's far from commanding the oceans, but if Democrats win, what you've seen is what you'll get."
                        -The Wall Street Journal

“While the vast majority of voters are more concerned about jobs and the economy, the DNC grotesquely pushed the idea that any woman should be able to get an abortion any time, anywhere -- and taxpayers should pick up the tab if she can't afford it……..The Democrat platform from the Clinton years called for abortion to be "safe, legal and rare." Now, in a country that's becoming decidedly more pro-life, including a third of all registered Democrats, the DNC is calling for abortion to be early, late, often and free of charge.”
                        -Patriot Post

"It is poetic that as the Democrats unveil their 2012 platform, their 2008-12 legacy [reached] an important milestone: The official national debt [crossed] the $16 trillion mark. There are tens of trillions more in unfunded entitlement liabilities lurking off the official books, and the Democrats' 2012 platform contains not one serious proposal for addressing these potentially catastrophic obligations."
                        -National Review

"Obama never stops taking bows for keeping America's automotive industry in business. What he fails to mention is that by turning GM over to the UAW, he not only screwed the shareholders, he put 2,200 car dealerships out of business. Thanks to Obama's stimulus, GM is still hanging around, but the American taxpayer is out over $21 billion."
                        -Burt Prelutsky
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LEFTIST WATCH
The left's war on traditional marriage took a truly disgraceful turn Monday. The folks at Salon actually published a piece entitled "Gay Couples Have Happier Kids." The sub-headline read, "Studies show that the traditional nuclear family is not better. It's a dying model -- and that's a good thing":

Among all the bizarre ideas that emanate from the callow and sciolistic mind of the modern American liberal, the statistical disparity argument is one of the most fallacious. It has permeated and destroyed so many aspects of society. It is now being offered by Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, in the area of disciplining school students.

“Anti-Christian Hate Speech Spews From The Palm Beach Democratic Chair:  “fundamentalist Christians….want Jews to die..”

“South Carolina Democratic chairman Dick Harpootlian compared his state's Republican female governor, Nikki Haley, to Hitler's mistress….The comparisons of Nazis and Hitler to the Republicans seems to be an emerging theme from this Democratic convention. Yesterday, a top Democratic delegate from Kansas compared Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to Hitler. The day before, a Democratic delegate from California compared Ryan to Nazi Joseph Goebbels.”
There’s a name for this:   “Reductio ad Hitlerum”

"We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion and scorn toward those who disagree with us."
                   -Vladimir Lenin

“The political history of the slogan "Forward" is, of course, quite consistent with Obama's agenda of taking over industries, punishing the wealthy, rallying citizens along class lines, assuming control of health care, and "sharing prosperity."  And Obama, raised and educated by communists and socialists, knows this.  His campaign's catchword is meant, in part, to tease his opponents, like a child waving a cookie just beyond the reach of a dog on a leash.  Everyone knows what he is saying, but no one can "pin it on him."  The 2008 campaign was all about concealing Obama's personal history, his affiliations, and his past statements, and portraying him as the model centrist…..This time…..they are prepared to define Obama as the leftist that he has always been, but to do so in a benign fashion, under the clever partial cover of dying euphemisms.  "We all know what the words mean -- but surely he doesn't really mean them that way." He does.

Liberals will call this social progress:  The Brazilians have granted their first civil union to a trio, an act so unprecedented that there isn't a word for it in Portuguese. Uniao poliafetiva is the label used.  "Polyfidelitous union" is the best guess for an English translation.
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DNC CONVENTION
So many things went terribly wrong on the first day of the Democratic National Convention it’s hard to pick which one was the most damaging. First, the Treasury Department confirmed yesterday that the federal government’s debt officially passed $16 trillion. Then, Occupy Charlotte protestors got into a fight with Obama supporters outside the convention hall….Then Democrats kicked off their official convention program with a video from the host committee titled, “Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To.” Mitt Romney immediately tweeted out in response, “We don’t belong to government, the government belongs to us.” Realizing what an epic disaster the video’s message was, the Obama campaign quickly retreated, disavowing all knowledge of it.

The second night was even worse:  “Horror show: Wednesday night at the DNC…The day started off with the flap over platform language. That in turn led to the spectacle of Democratic delegates booing the vote to put back Jerusalem and God back into the platform. It was even in the eyes of the most Obama-sympathetic media a horrid disruption, signaling both incompetence and hostility to things that many if not most Americans hold dear.

Monica Lewinski’s former Rabbi gave the benediction after Bill Clinton’s address to the convention.

Needled by Mitt Romney and other Republicans, Democrats hurriedly rewrote their convention platform Wednesday to add a mention of God and declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel after President Barack Obama intervened to order the changes. The embarrassing reversal was compounded by chaos and uncertainty on the convention floor, requiring three votes before overruling the delegate voice vote and declaring the amendment passed. Many in the audience booed the decision. The episode exposed tensions on Israel within the party, put Democrats on the defensive and created a public relations spectacle as Obama arrived in the convention city to claim his party's nomination for a second term. (“Democrats deny God three times?”)

First Lady Michelle Obama’s pitch to voters.. relied on the premise that she and her husband understand what it is to struggle to make ends meet. She spoke movingly about their early years--about how a young Barack Obama drove a car that was “rusted out" and found his furniture “in a dumpster,” how they both came from families that had to “scrape by.” Her fairy tale--however well-delivered--was one great, big, colorful lie. Both Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama attended elite prep schools, were accepted to Ivy League schools despite undistinguished credentials, and both attended Harvard Law School….They had expensive tastes, reflected in the $277,500 two-bedroom condo they bought in 1993--a high price even by today’s standards. Several years later, they moved into their $1.65 million mansion in Hyde Park--with the help of fraudster Tony Rezko. If, as the Democrats eagerly pointing out, Mitt Romney enjoyed the privilege of private wealth, the Obamas have enjoyed privilege funded by public money and public life. And until entering the national spotlight, they gave little to charity, contributing instead to a church that preached racial grievance.
Charles Krauthammer:“If I hear one more story of people walking eight miles in the snow, without shoes walking uphill both ways, I’m going start longing for Clint Eastwood spontaneity out here.”

“The Kennedys who can't stay married, drive, handle their liquor, drugs or govern, remain role models in the Democratic Party.”

Democrats passing out “vote black” buttons:

One of the hottest selling items at the Democratic National Convention is a 2013 calendar titled "Keep the Dream" that features 16 flattering photos of the First Family and their dogs. In honor of the President's birth month, a picture of Obama's birth certificate was used for August. The caption read "Heaven Sent" and proceeded to quote John 3:16 underneath, as if he were the actual Messiah.

Krauthammer on Obama speech: 'one of the emptiest speeches I have ever heard on a national stage'
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BOOKS, FILM
Even as Democrats cheered the politics of big government in Charlotte this week, the books that Americans are actually reading tell a different story about the America they want. “Obama’s America,” a critical examination of President Barack Obama’s anticolonial worldview and an analysis of his deeper agenda, by Dinesh D’Souza, claimed the No. 1 spot on the New York Times Sept. 16 bestseller list, after debuting at No. 5 when it was released in August

‘2016: Obama’s America’ shocks film industry after becoming a box office success despite having virtually no promotional budget 

The Occupy Wall Street movement’s dark underbelly is on full display in an explosive new documentary set for release later this month. "Occupy Unmasked," produced by the non-profit group Citizens United and the late Andrew Breitbart, in one of his last projects before his death last March, examines the movement and its possible links to organized labor and leftist groups
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ACTIVISM
Nickelodeon, the kids' TV channel, apparently sees no problem with directing children to the Twitter feed of one of its voiceover stars, Jason Biggs - even if Biggs tweets reprehensible things about conservative political women like Janna Ryan, wife of VP candidate Paul Ryan. It would be difficult to describe Biggs' tweets as anything other than the worst sort of human depravity. You can see them here, but be warned, they are offensive.
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ELECTION
Chuck Norris' dire warning for America 'Our country as we know it may be lost forever'

Lloyd Marcus:  “As We Approach the Final Battle to Save America”

“The DNC platform reveals Obama's influence in many ways. He is personally cited over 200 times -- on 38 of 40 pages -- in the official party document. Obama's presence is so prevalent that the platform's writers must have figured that any mention of God would either pale in comparison or be redundant. So they removed any reference to God in the document -- at least until public outcry forced them to put it back.”
               -Patriot Post

Karl Rove's newest State of the Race commentary: "Mitt Romney gained ground in two important swing states according to polls conducted during the week of the Republican National Convention. "Both Nevada and Michigan moved from "lean Obama" to "toss up" status.
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ARTICLES
If you’ve been waiting around to buy a new car, better hurry up. If Obama gets his way, the only car you will be able to buy will be a small hybrid cube and will cost more than you can afford. The Obama administration has finalized new fuel economy rules that will require the fleet-wide average of new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. to double over the next 13 years. The average fuel economy must reach 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, up from 28.6 mpg at the end of last year.

Interesting article on the history of envy:  “Every writer in the Western tradition has regarded envy as contemptible.  It is only among the followers of Saul Alinsky that envy is regarded as a good, because for them, it is a useful tool for gaining power.  Envy, according to the British philosopher Robert Burton, is nothing less than "a foretaste of hell upon earth."  Obama's campaign rhetoric offers more than a glimpse of what that infernal world would be like.”

VDH:  I’ve witnessed two of the most radical developments in my lifetime the last four years — changes far greater than those brought on by the massive new increases in the national debt, the soaring gas costs, the radical decrease in average family income, the insolvent Medicare and Social Security trajectories, or the flat housing market. One is the fact of less than 1% interest rates on most savings (well below the rate of inflation), and the other is an epidemic of 20-something unemployment. All that is the new normal……In short, in four years we have become Europeanized: young people with no jobs who are living at home and putting off marriage and child raising — a “lost” generation in “limbo,” etc. etc……We have become emasculated Italians, our economy ossified and socialized to such an extent that few are taking risks to open new businesses in Illinois, build a pipeline across Nebraska, plant a 600-acre irrigated field, or open a timber mill or mine in California. Only so many of the unemployed can land a government job monitoring delta smelt populations or suing to shut down another power plant………these days, the game has changed somewhat — or rather been downscaled: the PhD is not being hired for anything other than part-time teaching; the JD is reduced to the law library gofer; the freshly minted MD is the equivalent of a salaried, high-paid nurse; the credentialed high-school teacher is subbing; the engineer is a draftsman; the carpenter is cobbling together home repair mini-jobs. The new plum job?  Landing one of those federal or state regulatorships, inspectorships, or clerkships, which are paid for with borrowed money,  produce little, and grow as those they audit and fine shrink.”

VDH:  “….today the liberal vision — the blue-state model, the Democratic orthodoxy, whatever we wish to call it — is a rigid creed that demands ever more government spending and ever more government redistribution. It fosters an ever-growing elite technocracy that oversees the system but wins the capital and influence to be unaffected by the ramifications of its own ideology. Reactionary liberalism, as some sort of cult, assumes that its policies are exempt from audit, and that indeed to audit them casts suspicion on the motives and aims of the auditor himself.”
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
Clint Eastwood reloaded

Compare the Republican and Democratic platforms here.  Phyllis Schlafly thinks we have the most conservative  Republican platform ever.

Allen West’s video showing the Democrats at their convention”  “Three times”.

Stories from the Obama economy:

Women are in a bad relationship with Barack Obama….RNC urges voters to “Breakup with Obama”

Romney uses Clinton’s 2008 words in latest ad:
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LATE NITE
Leno:……President Obama's speech was moved from the Bank of America stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena. They had to move out of the big venue into a smaller place. Like a lot of homeowners in the past four years…..In a related story, Vice President Joe Biden's speech also was moved to a smaller venue — the back room at Denny's, the booth in the corner……..The stoner comedy duo Harold and Kumar are starring in a new promo for the Democratic convention alongside President Obama, which is pretty impressive. The only other person to go from smoking pot with buddies to the White House is President Obama……..President Obama's re-election campaign said that this year they'll knock on 150 percent more doors than they did in 2008. Well, of course they will. They have to. There's so many foreclosures it's tough to tell where people live……..They announced today that they are moving President Obama's speech tomorrow night indoors, from the 74,000-seat stadium to a smaller venue due to the possibility of severe weather. See, apparently the campaign is concerned about this well-known weather phenomenon known as empty seats.
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WISE WORDS
"Can anyone look at the record of this administration and say, 'Well done'? Can anyone compare the state of our economy when [this] administration took office with where we are today and say, 'Keep up the good work'? Can anyone look at our reduced standing in the world today and say, 'Let's have four more years of this'? I believe the American people are going to answer these questions ... and their answer will be, 'No, we've had enough!'"
                           -Ronald Reagan"



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