Sunday, August 12, 2012

Political Digest for August 13, 2012

As previously mentioned, I’m out of town until 8/12/19 for family time followed by my lung transplant evaluation, a 4-day, somewhat intrusive process. Postings will be light until I return. I have little computer time, but pulled a few items below. Thanks to all for limiting e-mail. I’m only getting about 120 a day, 1/3rd of the usual incoming. ~Bob

Worth Reading: Ten Reasons Ryan is Right for Romney. By Kevin McCullough 
Excerpt: Paul Ryan--as the pick for Vice President--is a demonstrative, serious, commitment by Governor Mitt Romney to fulfill the vision of returning America to fiscal sanity. There exists almost no more important reason for this selection to be lauded, by people of every race, religion, ethnic influence, sexual orientation, skin color, and way of life. 

Romney’s campaign raises $2M after Ryan veep announcement
Excerpt: Mitt Romney’s campaign is reaping a financial boost from the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as running mate.

Mitt Hops on the Ryan Express. By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley
Excerpt: The favored Republican adjective for Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan is “bold.” The favored adjective for Democrats is “risky.” The word that historians will choose to describe the selection, though, is anyone’s guess.

A Risky Rationale Behind Romney’s Choice of Ryan. By Nate Silver
Excerpt: When a prudent candidate like Mitt Romney picks someone like Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, it suggests that he felt he held a losing position against President Obama. The theme that Mr. Romney’s campaign has emphasized for months and months — that the president has failed as an economic leader — may have persuaded 47 or 48 or 49 percent of voters to back him, he seems to have concluded. But not 50.1 percent of them, and not enough for Mr. Romney to secure 270 electoral votes.

Peace in the (13th) Valley. By Doug Bradley
Excerpt: But then one day I opened Publishers Weekly and saw a piece by freelance writer Neil Baldwin praising The 13th Valley, a new novel about the war by a Vietnam vet named John M. Del Vecchio. By the time I'd finished reading Baldwin's piece, I'd gone out and bought The 13th Valley and didn't put it down for three days. As exhausted and overwrought I was from reading The 13th Valley, I was strangely upbeat. Finally, somebody had gotten it right -- the language, danger, cadence, frustration, and racial tension were all how I'd remembered them, even if I wasn't engaged in combat myself but rather reported on soldier's exploits from the rear. (One of the great books of the war, about a time in the war that has not really been written about very much, if at all. Highly recommended. (OK, full disclosure- yes, John is a relative, his grandfather and my grandfather were brothers, makes us some kind of cousins. But the book stands entirely on its own. --Del)

The Case Against Re-Election, By Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: The stewardship case is pretty straightforward: the worst recovery in U.S. history, 42 consecutive months of 8-plus percent unemployment, declining economic growth -- all achieved at a price of another $5 trillion of accumulated debt. The ideological case is also simple. Just play in toto (and therefore in context) Obama's Roanoke riff telling small business owners: "You didn't build that."

The United States Of Dependency?
Excerpt: New reports suggest America is not only hurting economically under President Obama, but also on a dangerous road to fiscal decline and growing dependence on government. This is the real legacy of Obamanomics. Before you shrug this off as an exaggeration or chalk it up to scare-mongering, check out the reports that have emerged. (Some very interesting, maybe shocking, statistics from IBD. I certainly had some idea that things were not exactly going well lately, but these numbers really got my attention. One part in particular got me- a large number of immigrants who stay on welfare of 20 years after arriving. The immigrants I know best are the Vietnamese, and they get off welfare ASAP after arriving here. The other immigrants I know a good deal about would be my parents' generation of Italians, and they didn't stay on welfare for sure, since there were no such programs for them back in those days. But I note that in Australia, Britain, Canada, Holland, and a couple other European countries, many (but certainly not all) of the Muslims who come in are well known to stay on welfare for many years. I don't know how that plays out here, but I would be interested to see the breakdown of the 43% who stay on and the 57% who get off welfare. In any case, we sure have a situation with this level of dependency going on, and apparently only getting worse all the time. We need some changes in policy, and the sooner the better. But I don't think there's any chance of that before January, and then only if there's a new face at the Oval Office. --Del

California fiscal disaster to cost taxpayers billions
 Excerpt: Due to the financial hurricane hovering over California, many cities have or intend to file for bankruptcy as a method to escape over-promised trillion-dollar union pension payments and failing public school bureaucracies. Just how dire is the Golden State’s financial woes? Bad. 
ALLEN WEST: Obama Dishonors Military with Ohio Voting Lawsuit. Greg McDonald
Excerpt: “We have a president and we have his campaign cronies that don't see the specialness of the service that these guardians of our liberty, and truly America's honor, are making out there for us,” West told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Wednesday. “I don't think they understand what it means to serve in this United States military.”

VIDEO: Why Liberal Nuns are Dying Off. Rod Dreher
Excerpt: Take a look at that video, as much of it as you can manage without laughing so hard you pee your pants. The speaker is a California New Age guru named Barbara Marx Hubbard, who apparently survives on kombucha and pot brownies. This dear old thing descended from the clouds to be the keynote speaker at this week’s annual conference of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main organization of U.S. Catholic nuns, whom the Vatican is trying to bring back to reality.

Obama: Let’s Repeat Auto Bailout with Every Industry
Excerpt: Barack Obama bragged of his success, even though it is showing to be majorly unsuccessful, of his decision to provide taxpayer money to the auto industry. Now Obama says he wants to do the same thing with the manufacturing industry.

Can organ-harvestors be Number One? By George Weigel
Excerpt: I’m not buying [that China is the new world power]. I didn’t buy “Japan is Number One” when that was the mantra two decades ago, because Japan had severe demographic problems—as in, very few children; its lack of the most basic form of people power in the most elementary form, I thought, would soon become evident in economic weakness (as it has). China also has serious demographic problems.

VIDEO: Now You're Just Obama That I Used To Know. By Erika Johnson
Excerpt: With the song being run ragged over the radio waves, parodies abound — but I’m posting this one because I actually think it pretty accurately portrays the mood of disappointment and disenchantment young people are feeling with President Obama these days.

Investors Seek Safer Shores: Norway. By Nathaniel Popper
Excerpt: Just about every day, the front desk receptionist at DNB takes cold calls from investors wanting to buy Norway’s bonds or some other asset tied to Scandinavia’s healthy economy. “A few years ago, these people wouldn’t have known where Norway was on the world map,” said Clifford Queen, a DNB bond trader in New York.

Greece to Sell State Assets.
Excerpt: The items include the International Broadcasting Center, the state lottery, the public gas corporation, the gas grid operator, the Elliniko site, the state gambling company, the horse racing organisation and land in Corfu and Rhodes.

The Mystery Man. By David M. Shribman
Excerpt: Barack Obama, though, is the most enigmatic president since Jimmy Carter, the most mysterious since Lyndon Johnson, the most unfathomable since Franklin Roosevelt. Political professionals sometimes say of public figures that what you see is what you get, more or less. But with Obama, what you see is both more and less than what you get. (This columnist appears to not be holding either a strong Democrat or strong GOP view. He makes an interesting commentary on Mr. Obama and his presidency, and where we are now in facing the oncoming election. --Del)

Brace Yourself for the Global Warming Non-Debate. By Michael Porfido
Balanced Discussion. ~Bob. Excerpt: Recently it was reported that last month was the warmest July for North America since temperature recording started in 1895. This should predictably bring all of the global warming alarmists out of the woodwork, demanding action. They like to wait for a moment such as this to seize upon possible fear, and set aside rational debate.

56% Put Border Control First
Excerpt: Most voters continue as they have for years to put border control ahead of legalizing the illegal immigrants already in this country. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% of Likely U.S. Voters think gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living here. 

Ryan's energy platform: 'Ending cronyism'
Excerpt: Months before vaulting to the top of the veepstakes, Rep. Paul Ryan got under President Barack Obama's skin by calling for killing the president's favored green-energy subsidies. A fiscal blueprint passed by Ryan's House Budget Committee in March called for “Ending Cronyism and Corporate Welfare.”

Worth Reading: Exploding the Myths About Vietnam. By Lien-Hang Nguyen
Excerpt: IT is commonly believed that North Vietnam decided to go to war in 1959-60 to save the southern insurgency from eradication and that the Communist Party enjoyed the unflagging support of the Vietnamese people until the war’s end in 1975. But recent evidence reveals that the party’s resolution to go to war in South Vietnam was intimately connected to problems at home. (I’m currently reading Black April, an excellent, well researched and documented history of the fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75, drawing on newly-open North Vietnamese sources. I may not finish, as it makes me so angry, sad and bitter, but I recommend it to more objective readers. ~Bob.)

Three more U.S. soldiers killed by Afghans in grim day for NATO
Excerpt: Three U.S. Marines have been shot dead by an Afghan worker on a military base in southern Afghanistan, in a deadly 24 hours for NATO-led forces during which six American soldiers were killed in rogue attacks. The shooting took place on Friday night in the Garmsir district of Helmand province, where three U.S. special forces soldiers were killed by an Afghan policeman and comrades earlier in the day.

Nuclear ruse: Posing as toymaker, Chinese merchant allegedly sought U.S. technology for Iran
Excerpt: The Chinese toymaker said he was seeking parts for a “magic horse,” a metal-framed playground pony. But the exotic, wildly expensive raw material he wanted seemed better suited for space travel than backyard play.

Quote quibbles aside, teachers unions don't look out for kids
Excerpt: Late last month, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivered an education speech in which he lambasted the policy agenda of teachers’ union officials. To help make his point, Romney cited a famous remark attributed to the late Al Shanker, former longtime president of the American Federation of Teachers. In 1985, an editorial in the Meridian (Miss.) Star quoted Shanker: "When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of schoolchildren."

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