Saturday, November 17, 2012

op ed review 11/18

CIA Director David Petraeus testified in a closed door hearing that he knew the Benghazi attack was terrorism and that the talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice were different from the ones prepared by the CIA. Petraeus stated Rice's talking points were edited to downplay the possibility of terrorism.
“If Petraeus really does testify to this effect, he will inescapably be alleging under oath that the president was a liar. Even if the testimony is restricted strictly to Benghazi and not its aftermath, the crucial question remains: did the president abandon?.......For reasons that the public does not understand, the incident in Benghazi has started a full-blown power struggle that is raging beneath the surface of official Washington.”
An affair that was known to the FBI for months and kept from congressional oversight committees might explain his complicity in a false narrative of the Benghazi terrorist attack and the order to "stand down." The addition of sex to Benghazigate adds a dimension sure to keep the scandal going and one that does indeed make Watergate seem like a third-rate burglary.

Democrat-run California now has the highest poverty rate in the nation, twice as bad as West Virginia’s and substantially worse than the rates of poverty in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, according to a new measure of poverty developed by the federal Census Bureau.

“It’s Friday morning, and so far today, the Obama administration has posted 165 new regulations and notifications on its website. In the past 90 days, it has posted 6,125 regulations and notices – an average of 68 a day.”

Denny's Restaurants in Florida will add a five percent surcharge to customers' bills and will reduce employees' hours to pay for costs of Obamacare
Kmart, the discounting pioneer owned by Sears Holdings, is in the throes of a mass shutdown of stores.
If Obamacare doesn’t get them their unions will.  Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, is going out of business after striking workers failed to heed a Thursday deadline to return to work, the company said. Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”

As Republicans try to explain their Election Day losses in terms of policy, tactics, and strategy, one factor is emerging as the essential difference between the Obama and Romney campaigns on November 6: the absolute failure of Romney’s get-out-the-vote effort, which underperformed even John McCain’s lackluster 2008 turnout. One culprit appears to be “Orca,” the Romney’s massive technology effort, which failed completely. (Editor’s note: When I saw that the Obama campaign had a cell phone app that let democrats identify their democrat neighbors, I had a bad feeling…)

At a time when many Republicans argue the Defense Department cannot afford new spending cuts, Sen Tom Coburn, Congress's top waste-watcher, released a report arguing that in fact the Pentagon is awash in billions of dollars of non-security spending that should be cut. Examples:  an Office of Naval Research Research project that helped spawn Caffeine Zone 2, an iPhone application that tells people how to schedule their coffee breaks…..$100,000 for a 2011 workshop on interstellar space travel that included a session entitled "Did Jesus die for Klingons too?" The session probed how Christian theology would apply in the event of the discovery of aliens.
“When Taxmageddon hits on January 1, 2013, the financial devastation will be immense. You’ll pay higher income taxes and a higher payroll tax. And on top of all that, the immense expense of Obamacare will begin taking money out of your pocket too. What does this mean for you? Every household in America faces an increase of more than $3,800! Taxmageddon will hit middle-class and low-income Americans the hardest..”

Just in case the unaffordable price tag and rising costs of Obamacare don´t quite do the trick, America´s spiraling dearth of doctors will contribute heavily to the collapse of our re-engineered health care system, according to a new study:

Worse than Katrina, but you wouldn’t know it from the media coverage:  In Coney Island, a 67-year-old man sleeps with plastic bottles from the bodega, filled with hot water, tucked in his armpits. Toilets unflushed by modern means for a fortnight have created a stench in the Rockaways that is so bad that one man keeps incense burning in his apartment day and night. On Staten Island, people sit in “warming buses,” cozy and, like time itself these days, going nowhere.

Did Obama steal the election?  “More than one out of every five registered Ohio voters is probably ineligible to vote. In two counties, the number of registered voters actually exceeds the voting-age population: Northwestern Ohio's Wood County shows 109 registered voters for every 100 eligible, while in Lawrence County along the Ohio River it's a mere 104 registered per 100 eligible….Of the Buckeye State's 7.8 million registered voters, nearly 1.6million are regarded as "inactive."
The head of the Maine Republican Party claims that “hundreds” of unfamiliar black voters may have cast fraudulent ballots in his state on Election Day. “In some parts of rural Maine, there were dozens, dozens of black people who came in and voted on Election Day,” Charlie Webster told Portland’s NBC affiliate WCSH-TV on Wednesday. “Everybody has a right to vote, but nobody in town knows anyone who’s black…”

Nearly 200 high school hockey teams in Pennsylvania have been advised to eliminate the National Anthem because “it takes too much time to perform and costs too much money”

“Not everyone is jumping for joy at the prospect of four more years. Tens of thousands have put their names to secession petitions in 20 states, asking that they peacefully become independent from the rest of the country. The documents have been lodged on a government website We The People - and Texas has almost enough people behind its petition to warrant an official White House response.”

White House ‘secede’ petitions reach 675,000 signatures, 50-state participation


Byron York:  11/17
The latest post-election question is whether Republicans were blind to the defeat headed their way because they chose to live in a cocoon in which they paid attention only to Fox News, conservative talk radio and right-wing websites. Listening to outlets that told them what they wanted to hear, the thinking goes, left them with no idea what was in store for them on Nov. 6.

Out in the field, the Republicans actually involved in the election are talking about different things. For example, in Ohio -- the most hotly contested state in the entire race -- Republicans are asking why a large group of voters, carefully cultivated through personal contacts and putative supporters of Mitt Romney, just didn't show up at the polls.

In 2008, John McCain got 2,677,820 votes in Ohio. In 2012, according to a still-unofficial tally from the Ohio Secretary of State, Mitt Romney got 2,583,582. If before the election you had said to any politically involved Ohio Republican that Romney would receive fewer votes than McCain, you would have gotten a blank stare in return. "I would not have believed that," says Alex Triantafilou, head of the Republican Party in Hamilton County, a critical swing area that includes Cincinnati. "I would have argued strongly that that was not going to be the case."

Four years ago, white voters were 83 percent of the Ohio electorate. This year they were 79 percent. There has been no implosion of the white population in Ohio in those years. There was simply lower turnout among white voters -- somewhere in the 200,000 range, which is, again, more than Obama's winning margin. (Latino voters weren't a major factor in Ohio; they were 4 percent of the electorate in 2008 and 3 percent this time.)

There are several theories about those missing white voters, but the most plausible is that the ones who were undecideds or weak Republicans were deeply influenced by Obama's relentless attacks on Romney in May, June, July and August. A steady stream of negative ads portrayed Romney as a heartless, out-of-touch rich guy, and Romney didn't really fight back. The missing white voters didn't like Obama but were also turned off by the Republican, so they stayed home. That's the theory, at least; Republicans will know more when they actually interview lots of those nonvoters.

Jonah Goldberg:  “It’s always Gotterdammerung somewhere on the right. That’s not to say that the conservative movement and the Republican Party are doing great. But whether fueled by left-wing glee or right-wing dread, rumors of the right’s death are always exaggerated……….. total victories don’t exist in politics so long as the losing side doesn’t surrender. Just for the record, I see dismay, even despair, out there. But I don’t see much surrender.”

Quin Hillyer:  “Can we survive all this? Well, as Ronald Reagan would say, we are, after all, Americans. We are a rather hearty people, and an inherently decent people too. But never, ever, not even under Jimmy Carter, were we led by a president who thinks the United States has been anything but an overwhelming force for good in the world. Until now. And that should frighten us. In my first post-election column four years ago, I warned that Obama's Alinskyites would first find a way to steal a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (check), eventually try to undermine the filibuster entirely (check), liberalize laws and practices against vote fraud (check), abuse the power of the Justice Department (check), tilt the playing field in favor of unions, use regulations like a cudgel, inspire radical "street demonstrations" (check-check-check), and incrementally but steadily erode our civil rights (HHS mandate, anyone?). All of that is child's play compared to what Obama can do now that he no longer faces re-election, now that he can appoint more and more judges to rubber-stamp his abuses, now that he can issue more executive orders and administrative fiats, now that he can use the full and awesome power of the federal behemoth he has so assiduously expanded in size, scope, and authority……At some point the sleeping American public will rouse itself and insist that we are indeed Americans, and we are better and freer and stronger than the Eric Holders of the world think we are. The Obamites will not succeed. We will not let them.”

“According to exit polling data, Mitt Romney lost the presidential election in part because people did not believe he “felt their pain.” The Obama team effectively portrayed him as a cold, heartless, multimillionaire monster to the American people, a man willing to slash jobs, throw grandma off the cliff and let people starve in the streets while he and his wife sip champagne, eat caviar and, in the mind of one liberal journalist, celebrate while black people drown. In short, Mr. Romney was punished for his personal success. This is un-American. President Obama’s use of class warfare, personal attacks and character assassination, and an America that allowed such attacks to stick, tell the real story of the 2012 campaign. When Mr. Romney said 47 percent of the people wouldn’t vote for him, he was simply recognizing that a large segment of the American people have abandoned the self-reliance, personal independence and entrepreneurship that defined early America in favor of dependence, laziness, entitlement and decadence. Mr. Obama tapped into this apathy and hatred of the real American character…..The election should be a wake-up call. Americans need traditional American heroes now more than ever. Reconnecting with our independent, hardworking, common-sense, red-blooded past is the antidote to Obama-mania and the leftist destruction of America, but it has to start now. America lost this battle, but we can still win the war.”

"We conservatives may never reach a consensus among ourselves as to the main factors that caused our election defeat, but surely we can agree that we must do a better job of selling our ideas."
                  -David Limbaugh

"So the administration would have us believe that only after the election was the president told by the FBI that an investigation with possible national-security implications -- involving no less than the director of the Central Intelligence Agency -- has been going on since the summer. We're also to believe that the director's resignation after the election and before congressional hearings on Benghazi is purely coincidental. Not only that, but when the most powerful man in the world learned of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, he immediately ordered that everything be done to secure all personnel at the site -- but apparently, everyone ignored him. So he did what any commander in chief would do under such circumstances -- he went to bed. Yes, they really do think we're that stupid."
                  -Peter Kirsanow

"A cover-up in the Obama administration? I know what you are thinking: No way; not the most transparent, patriotic administration ever. It must be an act of the gods or perhaps the Mayan calendar. But really, the recent resignation of General Petraeus from the position of director of the C.I.A. has to be related to Benghazi. Either that or to the Bermuda Triangle. Because here is another remarkable coincidence: Neither the FBI, nor United States Marines are responsible for the security of consulates and embassies. The C.I.A. is tasked with that job. ... Notice how quickly the deputy director who is replacing Petraeus is ready to stand before Congress next week and truthfully testify by saying, 'I don't know, Senator'?"
                 -John Ransom

Below is an excerpt from ABC News Senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper´s just-released, "The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor," one of those harrowing, inspiring war stories so fantastic, it can only be true.

‘Destroy the idols,’ Egyptian jihadist calls for removal of Sphinx, Pyramids

A missile launch site in the Gaza Strip was set up by Hamas just half a block from a mosque and children’s playground.

Toronto Police are calling the vandalism of a Canadian war memorial “a hate crime.” A woman walking Sunday night by the sculpture in Coronation Park — called police after noticing someone had taken a black marker and written “Canada will burn; Praise Allah” on the memorial.

“Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it..”

A week after President Obama won re-election, two themes are dominant. First, that Mr. Obama kept his job because key elements of his base—notably young people, African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans—turned out for him. Second, that the growing size of these voting blocs represents a decisive challenge for the Republican Party. Both points are true, but most observers are overstating the gravity of the GOP's problem. In particular, they are paying too little attention to how weak a candidate Mitt Romney was, and how much that hurt Republican prospects. Here is what the exit poll found. Mr. Romney's personal image took a hard hit during the primary campaign and remained weak on election day….Throughout the campaign, Mr. Romney's favorable ratings were among the lowest recorded for a presidential candidate in the modern era…..Despite their weak candidate, Republicans increased their share of the presidential vote among many major demographic groups. Compared with 2008, they made significant gains among men (four percentage points), whites (four points), younger voters (six points), white Catholics (seven points) and Jews (nine points). Mr. Romney also carried the independent vote 50% to 45%. Four years ago, independents voted for Mr. Obama 52% to 44%.

Conservative pundit Dick Morris insists he was keeping hope alive when he boldly predicted Mitt Romney would win the White House in a landslide. On Tuesday’s “Hannity" show, Morris said supporters realized the Republican challenger was on the ropes as the election neared, and it was his job to boost their candidate’s profile. “I hope people aren’t mad at me about it…”

Mitt Romney, on a call with top donors, referred to some of the policies enacted under the Obama administration as “gifts” that helped him win young, minority and low-income voters. Romney also apologized to donors and said he was surprised by the loss.

The story of the 2012 election is that voters still blame Republicans for systemic problems caused by liberalism, and yet they credit Obama for victories brought about by applied conservatism. Now how does this happen? The answer is both a short story and part of a longer festering narrative……

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called on Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich.. “It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that….It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party.

“Can we, as the GOP base, demand an IQ exam as well as a test of basic knowledge from our congressional and presidential candidates? This is not a flippant suggestion: There were at least five Senate seats in this election cycle that might have been occupied by a Republican come January had not the invincible stupidity of the candidate stood in the way.”

With postmortems on the Romney campaign piling up faster than broken promises of relief to Sandy´s victims, there is time before the "big deal" gets cut and the national misery deepens to reflect briefly on what Mitt Romney did right -- and there was much he did right. Romney saved the House of Representatives from reverting to Nancy Pelosi´s rule.
Barone:  “In the decision desk at Fox News on election night, none of us paid much heed when it became clear that Republicans would maintain their majority in the House of Representatives. The information was broadcast quickly and everyone went back to talking about the presidential election. But actually it was rather extraordinary. Republicans won or are leading in 236 of the 435 House seats, down just six from the 2010 midterm. And they achieved this despite losing five seats because of partisan redistricting in Illinois and another five in California thanks to a supposedly nonpartisan redistricting commission….”

Krauthammer:  They lose and immediately the chorus begins. Republicans must change or die. A rump party of white America, it must adapt to evolving demographics or forever be the minority. The only part of this that is even partially true regards Hispanics. They should be a natural Republican constituency: striving immigrant community, religious, Catholic, family-oriented and socially conservative (on abortion, for example).

Raising taxes on the rich was the cornerstone of President Obama’s reelection campaign. But just how much deficit reduction would Obama’s tax hikes on the rich necessarily accomplish? Nothing, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

“Thanks, Obama voters. You just imposed on the rest of us degraded medical care and rising costs. This is no longer hypothetical or abstract. It's real. It's the law.  Here are some of the bad repercussions of your vote:…”

On Election Day, Rush Limbaugh advanced an intriguing notion given him by a friend. Rush fancied the idea "a fascinating little think piece." Here's the idea, per Rush: "If the Republicans win, they get to select the half of the country they want and the Democrats get the other half. You split this country right down the middle. Republicans pick the side they want; the Democrats get the other side. We have Mitt; they have Obama. You can live wherever you want to live. You choose which side you want to live in."

Interview with Lucianne Goldberg

Leno:  Both parties in Washington now agree that our country is headed toward a 'fiscal cliff.' The bad news: We just elected a guy whose campaign slogan was 'Forward.' ... But the good news: President Obama says we will run out of gas long before we get to the cliff. So don't worry about it….The economy is so bad, MSNBC had to lay off 300 Obama spokesmen……People are disappointed. A four-star general, highly decorated, brilliant strategist, director of the CIA — and yet he's behaving like your common congressman.

"The more people chant about their freedom and how free they are, the more loudly I hear their chains rattling."
                  -George Orwell

"One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary."
                 -Ayn Rand

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