Thursday, May 24, 2012

Political Digest for May 24, 2012

The Old Jarhead Blog: Bringing you news and information the MSM is too busy covering American Idol, celebrity affairs and sensational missing person cases to cover. Please forward to friends who need to be informed.

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on. In some cases I post things sent to me by readers I might not have posted on my own, to get ideas circulating.

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. E-Book available at Smash Words:
Please forward and post where possible.

Sat next to a nice young British lefty political organizer en route to Madison. He heeded the all-hands-on-deck call for anti walker troops.

Important: Analysis finds Wisconsin’s Act 10 saving taxpayers big
Excerpt: The Walker Reforms are working! ~Bob. Excerpt: While a lightning rod for controversy and recall, Wisconsin's Act 10 has paid significant dividends to taxpayers, according to a new analysis by the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research, at Suffolk University in Boston.  Act 10, which curbed collective bargaining for most unionized public employees, in the whole has saved taxpayers more than $1 billion, according to The Economic Impacts of the Wisconsin Budget Repair Act. The study is slated for release this week by Beacon Hill Institute, a prominent free market think tank.

Excerpt: Today the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel unveils a special report, revealing that the Milwaukee Police Department has been misreporting and misclassifying violent crimes — hundreds of beatings, stabbings and child abuse cases — resulting in public summaries that claim violent crime is decreasing in the city… when the numbers are actually increasing modestly.

Rough Night… Obama Loses 36 Arkansas Counties to Unknown Democrat – Loses 67 Kentucky Counties to “Uncommitted”
Excerpt: Obama only won 52 counties out of 120 in Kentucky with 99% reporting.

Obama challenged in Arkansas primary
Excerpt: With 61 percent of precincts reporting in Arkansas, Obama took 60 percent to 40 percent for Wolfe. In Kentucky, with nearly all precincts reporting, 42.1 percent of Democratic primary voters opted for “uncommitted” rather than backing the president, who received 57.9 percent. Those results come two weeks to the day after Keith Judd, a convicted felon incarcerated in Texas, won 41 percent of the vote against Obama in the West Virginia primary. (The old political saying is, “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.” But apparently you can get 42% of the Democrat vote against Obama with nobody. In 1968, Eugene McCarthy got 42% of the vote against incumbent President Lyndon Johnson in the NH primary, which forced Johnson out of the race. I’d say the anti-Obama voters here were just racists, but they are Democrats, and we all know that only Republicans can be racists. ~Bob.)

'Uncommitted' Gives Obama a Run in Kentucky
Excerpt: 'Uncommitted' is keeping it closer than expected in the Kentucky Democratic presidential primary. With 104 of 120 counties counted, President Barack Obama leads 'Uncommitted' by only 20 percentage points. (…) UPDATE: With 99.8 percent reporting, Barack Obama has 119,245 votes, while 'Uncommitted' has 86,789 votes. That is, Obama has 57.9 percent of the vote, while 'Uncommitted' has 42.1 percent. (I’m doing my best to contain my glee, but it’s difficult. I suspect the fact is the same things that make the more rural states doubt Obama are the same things that make the inner cities love him. And, I note, the USA is no longer a rural country and hasn’t been for forty years or more. --Ron P.)

The anti-Obama Democrats
Excerpt: In the five states where there was an actual named opponent, though, Obama’s share of the vote is considerably lower: 72.7 percent.

Funny Tweets on the Dem Primaries: Andrew Kaczynski@BuzzFeedAndrew
Right now American's Elect is looking at brokered convention between Uncommitted, John Wolfe, and Keith Judd.

I think if Uncommitted had run a serious campaign, it could have had a real shot at the White House.

Worth Reading: It’s bain or Greece Romney’s vision — and Bam’s. By Jonah Goldberg.
Excerpt: It’s telling but not surprising that Dionne looks to Europe, home of the welfare state, as the inspiration for the kind of capitalism he wants here. European capitalism has things to recommend it, particularly if you have a job — especially a government job — and can live your life before the bill for the social market comes due, as it has in Greece.

Boehner tops Pelosi with $70M
Excerpt: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has raised more than $70 million for Republicans since winning the Speaker’s gavel, easily topping his fundraising haul for the previous two years in the minority.

Democrats balk at Obama campaign’s sustained attack on Bain Capital
Excerpt: Some influential Democrats on and off Capitol Hill are refusing to give President Obama political cover for his attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. 
Despite pushback from more than a half-dozen Democrats, the Obama campaign on Tuesday defended how it has scrutinized Romney’s business background.

Deval Patrick defends Bain
Excerpt: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) defended Bain in an interview with CNN Tuesday, saying, “I respect what Bain does and its role in the free market system.”

Worth Reading: Washington Post Editorial—President Obama wants it both ways on private equity
Excerpt: Yet the minute Mr. Obama conceded those complications — admitted, in effect, that the private equity business, like most endeavors, involves tradeoffs, and that its benefits might be shared among more than a handful of fat cats — he undercut his distinction between “maximizing profit” and the common good. He also undercut his case against Mr. Romney, since Bain had its share of success stories on the former Massachusetts governor’s watch. What we’re left with is a president who seems content to present an even-handed view of private equity at his news conferences while propounding a much more tendentious one in his campaign advertising.

Romney rocks the independent vote
Excerpt: In the seesaw battle between presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama, there’s one surprising and rarely discussed constant — Romney is consistently beating the president among voters who consider themselves independent. That suggests that Romney doesn’t need to pivot dramatically to the center, shed partisan identity or turn his back on the GOP base to gain favor with nonpartisans. He’s already got their tentative but increasingly solidified support.

"Teenage Political Maverick" -- Madeleine McAulay -- Fox and Friends -- 5-23-12
I follow her on Twitter. Sharp young woman. ~Bob.

Should Black People Tolerate This? By Walter Williams.
Excerpt: It's a tragic commentary to be able to say that young black males have a greater chance of reaching maturity on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Newark and other cities. A much larger issue is how might we interpret the deafening silence about the day-to-day murder in black communities compared with the national uproar over the killing of Trayvon Martin. Such a response by politicians, civil rights organizations and the mainstream news media could easily be interpreted as "blacks killing other blacks is of little concern, but it's unacceptable for a white to kill a black person." (As always, Williams has, and makes, a great point. But, there are problems. First, holding everyone to the same standards of conduct and “hate-speech” has been denounced as racist for decades (by whom? Blacks.). When different standards are objected to in school admissions, hiring decisions, and so many other cases, the objector is invariably painted as the reincarnated Bull Connor (painted so by whom? Blacks.). No white person who hopes to have a moment’s peace in the remainder of his/her life is going to open this door; the cost of opening it is simply too high. If this is going to be solved, like so many similar problems, it MUST be solved by those most affected, the blacks themselves. No amount of hectoring by whites is going to have any positive impact. In the America I dream of, everyone IS held to the same standards and protected by the same laws that today are applied inequitably with different sets of criteria for different “cases.” I suspect M. L. King, Jr.’s dream America is much closer to mine than the one in the mind of the race-baiters, but that may be just my own arrogance showing. But, I can recommend a good first step: find a way to deny political power and wealth to those who seek to divide us rather than unite us. Ron P.)

Who Is Barack Obama? His autobiography paints a disturbing picture. By Michael Gledhill
Excerpt: Who is Barack Obama? Obama the presidential candidate presents himself as a man who has loved America from his earliest childhood, a man proud of his mixed-race roots who comfortably transcends polarized racial politics, a man who eschews the ideologies of Left and Right, an optimistic healer. But in his critically acclaimed autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, Obama is something else entirely.

The Chronicle of Double Standards: In higher ed, civility is for liberals only. By Frederick M. Hess
Excerpt: We then shifted gears and examined discussion of conservative individuals and institutions. It turns out that insult-laced attacks on conservative individuals and ideas are something like a monthly occurrence.

Excerpt: The result is that all sorts of trivia will come up, as much as handlers insist they are irrelevant, and I don’t think anything is going to be off the table for a variety of reasons. The Obama campaign, as it demagogues the Bain Capital connection, can always (and correctly) note that they are doing nothing different from what conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry did during the primary, often to some effect. And if we are going to go back 50 years to Romney’s school days and Ann Romney’s horse-riding, then surely strange artifacts like Obama’s college transcripts, inter alia, are fair game — especially because all during the 2008 campaign and the first years of his presidency, Obama played on the image of a “sky-high IQ,” and in the words of one presidential historian was the smartest person ever to assume the presidency.

Consider California, Illinois EU-Style Failed States
Excerpt: The euro zone isn't the only economy reeling from "failed states." The United States has several of its own — most notably California and Illinois. According to the CIA's world factbook, California's economy is the ninth largest in the world with a gross state product of $1.9 trillion. Illinois' economy is the world's 23rd largest economy with a gross state product of nearly $630 billion.
Excerpt: Hunter responded: “I’ve been told in my life that you’d have to threaten the president to get arrested, and she kept telling me over and over again people were arrested for disrespecting and slandering the president. At the time, I wanted to laugh.”

Obama to tout renewable energy in Iowa
President Obama will travel to Iowa on Thursday to put pressure on Congress to quickly extend key renewable-energy tax credits, the White House said. … The wind industry has launched an aggressive public relations and lobbying campaign to extend the production tax credit, which provides a credit for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced from wind. The American Wind Energy Association, an industry’s trade group, says a failure to extend the tax credit, which expires at the end of the year, could cost thousands of jobs. (Much needed. Without the tax credits, how would Obama reward his Green supporters? How would the industry keep down the Eagle Menace by building more bird-choppers? ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: The Continuing Failure of Green Conceit. By Kenneth Green
Excerpt: When talking about our bold green energy future, President Obama held up Spain as an example of what America should be doing. Spain invested heavily in wind power and other types of renewable energy. Alas, after studying the Spanish Experience, Professor Gabriel Calzada Álvarez and colleagues at Spain’s Universidad Rey Juan Carlos found if America followed Spain’s example, for every renewable energy job that the U.S. managed to create, the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 traditional jobs on average. And they found that green jobs are costly: each green job created in Spain’s effort cost about $750,000, and only one in ten of the new green jobs were permanent.

Three Views of the "Fiscal Cliff"
Excerpt: Barring action by the president and Congress, a combination of tax increases and spending cuts are set to be imposed in 2013. There are multiple perspectives on this occurrence that are informed by widely varying economic theories. In drawing our own conclusions, it is crucial to understand each one individually, focusing on the three primary schools of thought, says Edward P. Lazear, a professor at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and a Hoover Institution fellow.

Getting a Good Deal With Iran: Beware 'confidence-building' measures that never force Tehran to verifiably abandon its pursuit of a nuclear-weapons capability. By Lindsey Graham, Joseph I. Lieberman and John McCain
Excerpt: As negotiations resume Wednesday in Baghdad between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany (the "P5+1"), there are growing hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. This sense of optimism has been buoyed by the hopeful statements of the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after his visit to Tehran this week.

Israeli Everest climber saves Turkish ‘brother’
Excerpt: Lifting Irmak over his shoulders, Ben-Yehuda carried his Turkish-New Yorker
friend alongside his Sherpa guide for about eight hours back down to Camp
IV – without gloves, as they made the rescue process too challenging – and
without oxygen, as his mask had already broken. … To Ben-Yehuda, the choice to forgo his summit climb and save his new friend was simple, a no-brainer.

South Carolina AFL-CIO Leader Bashes Nikki Haley Pinata
Excerpt: Dewitt whacks the piñata down and continues to wail away at it once it’s fallen. Onlookers cheer her on, urging her to continue hitting the piñata. “Give her another whack. Whack her again,” a woman screams. “Hit her again” another man says. (Didn’t get Obama’s memo about the new civility in politics. Or was it just sent to conservatives? Of course, The Governor is female, so beating on women is okay with Democrats. ~Bob.)

Old tone: South Carolina AFL-CIO president beats pinata with Nikki Haley’s face on it
Excerpt: Where does this fit on the spectrum of union leaders acting like cretins in their politicking? I’m going to say it’s worse than a teachers’ union official joking about praying for Chris Christie’s death, roughly as bad as James Hoffa talking about taking out those tea-party sons of bitches, but not nearly as bad as Richard Trumka once hinting darkly that those who hire replacements for striking union workers are playing with matches and apt to get burned.

Afghan girls poisoned in second anti-school attack
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. And isn’t “conservative radicals” an oxymoron? ~Bob. Excerpt: More than 120 schoolgirls and three teachers have been poisoned in the second attack in as many months blamed on conservative radicals in the country's north, Afghan police and education officials said on Wednesday.

UN panel queries Havana on human rights abuses, prison deaths
Excerpt: A U.N. panel on torture Tuesday demanded that Cuba provide information on the deaths of several political prisoners, the repression of dissident groups such as the Ladies in White and the 2,400 arrests of government critics reported last year. (Maybe Michael Moore will make a movie about Communist torture. No? ~Bob.)

Vietnamese Police Learning Judicial Leadership Skills Come to College Park
Excerpt: A first-of-its-kind criminology graduate program that started in Vietnam 16 months ago has now moved to the University of Maryland for six weeks of study. The groundbreaking partnership between UMD and Vietnam's People's Police Academy in Hanoi began in April, 2011 when 38 police officers became the first cohort to enter the master of professional studies program in justice leadership. (OK, so the notoriously repressive Vietnamese police force is being trained here now? Actually, they could instruct police here on the best ways to oppress the population, using a combination of oppressive and arbitrary laws plus good, old-fashioned beatings and holding people for long periods without trial or access to lawyers. Maybe they're going to learn how actual law enforcement professionals in a free society try to treat the population with consideration and respect? Sure, that's why they're here! --Del)

Excerpt: A Pakistani doctor who helped the U.S. track down Usama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison on Wednesday for conspiring against the state, officials said, a verdict that is likely to further strain the country's relationship with Washington. (But, but, they didn’t know bin Laden was there, were looking for him for us, right? I suppose they will ell him to us, but we owe him. ~Bob.)

GOP discovers that Mitt Romney could win
Excerpt: Top Republicans, long privately skeptical about their presidential prospects, are coming around to a surprising new view — that Mitt Romney may well win the White House this November. Margin-of-error polling, fundraising parity last month, conservative consolidation around Romney and a still-sluggish economy has senior GOP officials increasingly bullish about a nominee many winced over during a difficult primary process.

Worth Reading: A Book for Republicans. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Democrats have been having a field day with the cry of "tax cuts for the rich" -- for which Republicans seem to have no reply. This is especially surprising, because Democrats made the same arguments back in the 1920s, and the Republicans then not only had a reply, but one that eventually carried the day, when the top tax rate was brought down from 73 percent to 24 percent. … Those who argue that "the rich" should pay a higher tax rate, and that the revenue this would bring in could be used to reduce the deficit, assume that higher tax rates equal higher tax revenues. But they do not.

Excerpt:. No, the new “Basketball” ad subtly goes after those who were swayed by presidential candidate Obama’s eloquent offer of hope for change and the disappointment they are now experiencing. As the New York Times puts it, the ad is not a “searing denunciation” of Obama. It is more a soft-pedaled, deeply researched, delicately worded story of a struggling family let down by Obama’s failure to make things better.

Crossroads GPS: "Basketball"
Great ad. ~Bob.

Reagan Vs. Obama - Social Economics 101
Clever cartoon. ~Bob

In Memoriam: The Old Obama, Who Wanted to Bring People Together
Not dead—evolved. ~Bob. Excerpt: The 2004 version of Barack Obama, who captured the nation with a dazzling speech about unity and went on to win the presidency on a message of hope, died on Monday. He was 8 years old. The cause of death appeared to be a bitter realization that he needed to win reelection in an increasingly partisan political environment, a cancer that he had been battling for months if not years.

War-Gaming Greek Euro Exit Shows Hazards in 46-Hour Weekend
Excerpt: Over the two days, leaders would have to calm civil unrest while managing a potential sovereign default, planning a new currency, recapitalizing the banks, stemming the outflow of capital and seeking a way to pay bills once the bailout lifeline is cut. The risk is that the task would overwhelm any new government in a country that has had to be rescued twice since 2010 because it couldn’t manage its public finances. (I would not want to be there. Or here, when it catches up with us, as it will. When the socialist chimera collapses, there will be no soft landings. ~Bob.)

Debt crisis: live
Excerpt: Germany's central bank indicates Greece leaving the eurozone would be the lesser of two evils if austerity measures are not followed, while euro nations are reportedly told to prepare for a Greek euro exit.

Actually, the Obama spending binge really did happen. By James Pethokoukis
Excerpt: Until Barack Obama took office in 2009, the United States had never spent more than 23.5% of GDP, with the exception of the World War II years of 1942-1946. Here’s the Obama spending record:

The E.U. calls stoning of Jews a Muslim human right.
Excerpt: A statement issued by the European Union on Tuesday seemed to suggest that they call Muslims throwing stones during nonviolent protests on Jews human rights activists. The statement, released Tuesday by the spokesman for Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy, criticized Israel for punishing Muslim Bassem Tamimi of stone throwing and protesting illegally.

Excerpt: The new Quinnipiac poll has some good news for Marco Rubio. After 18 months on job, he has his highest job approval ratings ever. As Christian Heinze notes, “His job approval rating is 54%/27% for +27%, and he scores big with nearly every demographic, including indies (+27%), men (+33%), women (+20%), and Hispanics (+26%).”

The Wheels are Very Loose. By Rich Galen
Excerpt: There's a very useful idiom: "The wheels are coming off." That's not a description of the campaign of President Barack Obama. Yet. But if the past two weeks are any indication, it's time for the campaign to check the lug nuts. (I’m praying the wheels fall off entirely and the rusty hulk of liberalism implodes upon itself. But, it seems unlikely. The Dems have been playing the political game since the 1830s. They aren’t going to roll over and play dead just because we want them to. This merely gives us a moment, brief though it may be, that we might be able to take advantage of if Romney’s people are smart enough and fast enough. We have lots of work ahead, but reaching the goal IS possible. --Ron P.)

He’s back! NBPP official: we’re not hanging crackers ‘yet’
Glenn Beck is not always someone I watch now that he's on his own website, but the link there to the super hotshot New Black Panther spokesman is one you might want to activate. Just to hear how really far out some crazy people get. –Del

Rep. Olver unhurt, but car in shop after crash
Excerpt: The good news is that Rep. John Olver (D-Mass.) wasn’t hurt after crashing his car over an embankment and into a stream on Tuesday. The bad news? His set of wheels may need a little TLC. (I saw John in DC in April. We came into the Massachusetts senate the same year, 1973. While we disagree about a lot of policy issues, I always found him trustworthy. He’s in his 70s, retiring this year, looking forward to more gardening and rock climbing. Glad he’s okay. ~Bob.

The Emerging Democratic Divide
Excerpt: The Booker brouhaha exposed an important dynamic. Booker is a leading figure in the centrist faction, and he didn’t hide that fact when he called out the Obama campaign attacks against Romney’s private-equity work. He first made a name for himself by challenging the party’s establishment in the 2002 Newark mayoral race, taking on the cronyism that was endemic in city government. (Basically, the author is saying there ARE moderate Democrats (who knew?). The problem voters face, then, is telling who is or isn’t a moderate. Obama was touted as a uniter who would work in a bipartisan way; what we got is a would-be king who embraces only the leftyist of leftists. The only safe thing to do is to not vote for any of them. Ron P.)

Iran Summons Azeri Ambassador over Insult to Religious Sanctities
Excerpt: Baku has in recent months launched a serious campaign against Islam and Islamic values , including destroying mosques, banning Hijab (veil for women), detaining Muslim activists, killing Islamists and insulting
religious scholars.

NASA Astronauts Announce Second Letter to NASA at Heartland Conference
Excerpt: At the Heartland Conference in Chicago this morning, four of the forty-nine signers of the March letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (discussed at WUWT here, here, and here) appeared to discuss their reasons for signing that letter and to announce a second letter responding to NASA’s response. (The full text, as signed by 48 of the original 49 authors, is reprinted in the article. It seems they’ve caught NASA off base again. Ron P.)

Was Columbus secretly a Jew?
Excerpt: Everybody knows the story of Columbus, right? He was an Italian explorer from Genoa who set sail in 1492 to enrich the Spanish monarchs with gold and spices from the orient. Not quite.

Why the Bishops Are Suing the U.S. Government
Excerpt: The main goal of the contraception mandate is not to protect women's health. It is a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda. (It seems a lot of people really don't understand what this is about, and they think it's about violating women's rights. It is not, every woman in this country can get contraception drugs, and not too expensively at WalMart. Even women working for Catholic organizations that don't automatically cover birth control can still get the drugs covered if a doctor prescribes them for the woman based on some medical need. We don't make Amish and other pacifists subject to military draft, we have always respected sincere religious beliefs that do not harm anyone. [Forget any Islamic argument for "female circumcision" or marrying 9 year old girls or wife beating, etc. Those may be OK under Sharia Law, but that has not been and will not be recognized in this society.] As the writer below says, this is not about some concern for women, it is about imposing political agenda on anyone/everyone in whatever form those in power wish. This is NOT remotely what America is about. --Del)

Too Funny: Barack Obama, the First Tea Partier
Excerpt: Yes, that really is Barack Obama wearing a regimental coat and carrying a tricorn hat in his hand. And that flag behind him really is a Gadsden flag, with its serpent and its "Don't Tread On Me" slogan. You may want to let all of this sink in a bit, especially if you're a Tea Party-bashing progressive.

Plastic Bag Ban Will Put Los Angeles In Landfill: Proposal would provide no environmental benefits and deepen city’s economic depression.
Excerpt: There’s a crisis in Los Angeles. Is it the city’s projected $250 million budget deficit? The city’s $10 billion shortfall in pension obligations? Its crumbling infrastructure? A public school dropout rate approaching 50 percent? No, the City of Angels is facing catastrophe in the form of grocery bags.

Wisconsin News Gets Worse for Dems
Excerpt: More troubling is a recent Marquette University poll which shows Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in a statistical dead heat in Wisconsin at 46 percent each. … If Wisconsin flips into the red column, it would be a major loss of a state generally assumed to be safe for the Democrats.

The Daily Caller Gun Giveaway
Excerpt: The FMK9C1 is an American-made high capacity 9mm designed by Jim Pontillo and manufactured in California. Each gun is engraved with the Bill of Rights and comes in one of three colors.

Typical: Full Metal Racket. Studio distributing Navy Seals movie hosted Obama fundraiser on lot
Excerpt: A movie about SEAL Team Six’s killing of Osama bin Laden that is the focus of a growing controversy over possible national security breaches is being distributed by a production company with very close ties to the Obama administration and the Democratic Party. “Zero Dark Thirty” will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, a production house owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has publicly thrown its support behind President Obama.

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