Thursday, October 4, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for October 5, 2012

Old Jarhead's Political SitRep for October 5, 2012
Robert A. Hall

Romney owned the debate
Okay, I went off my diet and drank too much wine to get through it, and I'm biased, but I though Romney owned the debate. Obama wasn't as bad as commentators are saying, but Romney was great with facts, figures, some great lines and personal stories. I've been pro-Romney because I want to defeat Obama, and at least postpone the coming fiscal disaster. For the first time, I'm enthusiastic about a President Romney. It will be interesting to see how the media can spin this as a Romney loss. If Chris Matthews got a leg tingle last night, it was warm, wet and yellow. If the same Romney shows up for the next two debates, I think he’ll be president. Being coddled with softball questions from the media for four years did Obama no favors. Lots of debate news and comments in today’s blog, all worth reading. And the rest of the world has rolled alone, so don’t miss those items either. ~Bob

Mitt’s response to the 47% Video
Many pundits still expect Obama to hit Romney on the 47% video. Here’s what I think he should say: “The President is right that my point was poorly expressed. The point I was trying to make is that President Obama has spent the last four years buying votes with money borrowed from China, that all of our grandchildren will have to pay back. A trillion dollars a year in vote-buying has an impact. A lot of people who received your grandkids’ dollars are not able to see the long term fiscal disaster that the President has created for our children, and will reward him with their votes. But, unlike the President and his Attorney General, I don’t see just one ethnic group as “my people.” I see all Americans as “my people,” and will do my best to give all their children a secure fiscal future, regardless of how they vote on November 6th.” ~Bob

Debates Matter
I have debate experience, of course. It was a debate that won the state senate seat for me. Joe Ward was considered the best speaker in the Senate. One Boston paper headlined my victory, “Silver Tongue Stilled.”
Still, no one but me thought he’d accept a challenge to debate. I was 26, had just graduated from college. Ward was 59, had ten years in the senate, had run for governor, and been Secretary of State. I knew he wouldn’t want to appear frightened of a young, inexperienced challenger. Whatever I might have said about Joe, he was a fighter. I picked up a used book about the Ward-Volpe governor’s race in 1960, The Complete Politician. Ward lost that race by being too aggressive, by going on the attack in ways the public thought unfair. And he had a temper. I thought I could use that.
So a debate was set, in Gardner, Massachusetts, the smallest of the three cities in the district. Held at Mount Wachusett Community College, my alma mater, with professors on the panel, the vote was broadcast on the local cable station. I’d guess there were at least 20 people watching.
Joe came in full of confidence and without checking the rules carefully. When told they were going to flip a coin to determine who went first, he replied, “Oh, let the challenger go first.” Very generous, of course, but it meant he went second, and could hit me without rebuttal, going into the question phrase.
But since it also meant I got the closing statement at the end of the debate, I agreed.
I had three issues: government reform, taxes and being a full-time senator, and I knew to “stay on message,” as the politicians now say. But a hidden issue was Joe’s law practice. The word on the street was that if you lost your driver’s license, for $500 Joe would get it back. This was perfectly legal. If you gave Senator Hall $500 to get your license back, it would be an illegal bribe. But if you gave it to Senator Ward, an attorney, it was a legal fee. And if he was more effective with the court or registry of motor vehicles due to being a senator, well, welcome to democracy.
Of course, we couldn’t prove this, so I couldn’t say it. But hints are fair, right?
We hammered away at each other, with me working hard to get him angry. When it came time to make my closing statement, I judged his mood, took a breath and a chance, and closed with, “I want to promise you one thing. When you bring your problems to Senator Hall, you won’t have to bring your checkbook.”
Boom! Joe leaped up and began yelling at me. The cameras kept grinding. The moderator tried to tell him that, under the rules, I had the closing statement. He kept yelling. I offered my hand, which he refused, on camera, calling me a “snide, slimy young man.”
I resisted the impulse to kiss him, though I couldn’t have been happier with his reaction.
Reporters asked me about my closing statement. I said I thought there was an inherent conflict of interest between accepting legal fees to represent clients before courts and state agencies, and accepting pay as a senator to set the budget and pay for those courts and agencies.
The next day we demanded an apology, in ads and news releases. The debate was a hot topic of conversation, and every cable station in the district re-ran it. Thousands watched. Suddenly, one mistake by the incumbent, and I’m a serious candidate.
Joe was 89 when he went to his reward in 2003. He never did apologize for the name-calling. But I didn’t really mind.
After that one debate, Senator Ward refused to debate me again. That was fine with me. One win, no losses and we could slam him for refusing to appear.
But I did have fun at a candidates’ night in Leominster. Senator Ward wasn’t there. After the congressional candidates appeared, it was my turn. In the back of the room, handing out roses with “Vote for Ward” stickers, was one of the Senate court officers (a patronage job).
This fellow was known for an inability to string three words together. I said I was sorry that Senator Ward couldn’t appear, but that to be fair, I wanted to invite his campaign worker up on stage to speak for him.
The court officer turned and ran from the room, slamming the door behind him, to gales of laughter.
“Well,” I grinned, “It’s a hard case to make.” End of the “debate.”
Lesson: Never underestimate a Marine.

Let the Spin Begin!

Worth Reading: The Real Mr. Obama Showed Up - by Andy Weddington
Excerpt: The silent audience and lack of teleprompter was not good for Mr. Obama. Nor did he have opportunity to slip into his phony diction - "dolla" for dollar; "togetha" for together; and "famly" for family, for example. The format and setting did not allow him to preach, to make up his own facts, and feed off a dopey, worked up congregation urging him on.

Romney Wins Debate, but How Much Does It Matter? By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley
Excerpt: It’s pretty obvious who turned in a stronger performance in the first presidential debate last night. And it certainly wasn’t the incumbent. This may have been Mitt Romney’s best debate ever, and it almost certainly was Barack Obama’s worst. The question is, will it matter and, if so, how much will it matter?

Liberal pundits disappointed with Obama’s performance on debate night
Excerpt: Liberal pundits across the networks were resoundingly negative about President Obama's performance during Wednesday's debate, with most expressing disappointment that he was not more aggressive in the first face-to-face meeting of the two candidates.

Chris Matthews Freaks Out At Obama: "What Was He Doing?"
Excerpt: "I don't know what he was doing out there. He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. Romney, on the other hand, came in with a campaign.

Romney lands punches against subdued Obama in first debate. By Justin Sink and Amie Parnes
Excerpt: Mitt Romney dominated the critical first presidential debate Wednesday night, landing punch after punch on a noticeably subdued President Obama. The GOP nominee came into the evening needing to shake up the narrative of the race, and he appeared to succeed.

Six reasons Mitt Romney won the first debate. By Aaron Blake
Excerpt: Most everyone agrees: Mitt Romney won the first debate of the 2012 presidential election on Wednesday. A CNN/Opinion Research poll released after the debate showed 67 percent of viewers thought Romney won, while just 25 percent said the same of President Obama. And a CBS poll showed 46 percent of undecided voters said Romney won, compared to 22 percent who said Obama won.

NCPSA Fact Checker: Obama-Romney Debate: Medicare Cuts
Excerpt: What the president considers strengthening Medicare, others would call gutting Medicare.

Excerpt: Valerie Jarrett — who Ed Klein called ”Ground Zero in the Obama operation” — is the senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement….She served on the board of the Joyce Foundation with Michael Brewer, the husband of Commission on Presidential Debates executive director Janet Brown, beginning in 2002. (Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet, you can’t win. --Robert A. Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long.)

Iowa veterans see a leader in Romney
Excerpt: Nearly all of the 15 or so members of American Legion Post 42 who gathered Wednesday night in this suburb north of Des Moines had long since decided to vote for Mitt Romney. But they were still looking for something: a better sense of the Republican presidential nominee as a leader, a plausible commander in chief, a man.

Top Obama aide says performing in debates is 'not the President's strong suit' and asks for media's help against Mitt Romney
Excerpt: Axelrod, speaking on a campaign conference call, made an appeal to reporters to make the points that Obama himself had failed to make in the debate

Debate Quotes
That wasn't a debate so much as Mitt Romney just took Obama for a cross country drive strapped to the roof of his car. --Mark Hemingway

It will be interesting to see who Obama blames for his poor performance in last night's debate. Unable to take responsibility himself, he will blame someone else, never doubt it. I'll bet he thinks Jim Lehrer, normally a reliable ally, and Romney tag teamed him. --
Larry W.

“I’m going to say something controversial here,” Gore said on Current TV. “Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet and you only have a few hours to adjust — I don’t know.” --Al Gore, blaming Obama’s performance on the altitude.

Excerpt: More than 58 million people watched the first Presidential debate last night between President Obama and Mitt Romney, up substantially from the first debate in the 2008 election cycle, which had 52.4 million viewers.

The 25 funniest tweets about the debate
Excerpt: But the faceoff between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney produced no shortage of humor on Twitter, where observers cracked jokes about everything from Romney's perceived swipe at "Sesame Street's" Big Bird to Jim Lehrer's passive moderating style.

Obama looks like a tourist reading a map. By Greg Gutfeld
Editor's note: Greg Gutfeld, "Red Eye" host and co-host of "The Five" followed Wednesday's debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on Twitter. Here are some of his top tweets.

Tweet from ‏@Txsleuth
Sununu after being asked if Obama w/b better prepared for next debate: "When you're not that bright you can't get better prepared". OUCH!

Excerpt: Yesterday my blog predicted that last night's debate would be "vanilla" and shed very little light on the candidates' issues. I was wrong! Last night Mitt Romney mopped up the floor with Barack Obama. Romney used facts and statistics to literally destroy the Obama camp's six month campaign of lies and distortions.

Romney's strong debate showing puts Europe on edge
Excerpt: President Barack Obama's lackluster performance in the first U.S. election debate provoked uneasiness in European capitals on Thursday, where hopes are mostly, if unofficially, pinned on his securing a second term.

Excerpt: During Wednesday evening’s presidential debate, President Barack Obama repeated his support for the controversial Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — often dubbed by conservatives as Obamacare’s “death panels” — in a back-and-forth with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney…. “This one is the real baby right here — and most people missed this,” Roe told TheDC back in 2011.

Who buried the middle class? Update: Manufacturing orders drop 5.2% in August. By Ed Morrissey
Excerpt: In last night’s debate, the term “middle class” only got eight mentions: two by Mitt Romney (the first and the last), and six by Barack Obama. Given all the rhetoric that Team Obama has floated in this cycle about middle-class concerns and how out of touch Romney is with them, one would have expected Obama to hammer on this theme — especially in a debate that focused on domestic policy.

Non-Debate News and Opinion

Worth Viewing: Best political ad for IL (and CA, NY, etc.)
Please circulate. Cordially, Larry Greenberg

Turkish Parliament authorizes military operations in Syria
Excerpt: Turkey’s Parliament authorized military operations against Syria on Thursday and its military fired on targets there for a second day after deadly shelling from Syria killed five civilians in a Turkish border town. For its part, Syria admitted it was responsible for the shelling that killed five people in Turkey and formally apologized for the deaths, a top Turkish official said. (Is this how it starts? --Ron P.)

Excerpt: In a video that surfaced on YouTube Wednesday morning, a young state Sen. Barack Obama is seen explaining from a church pulpit that the principle of nonviolent resistance for social change applies more readily to the wealthy than to Americans in lower social classes. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed,” Obama says in the video, shot on Jan. 21, 2002 at the University of Chicago, “but rich people are all for nonviolence. …. They want to make sure folks don’t take their stuff.” (The reason for the “free phones’ is community organization for flash mobs….Barb)

Excerpt: “Treasury was clearly in the center of the decision to terminate the pensions of Delphi’s salaried workers,” Camp said in a release. “Instead of withholding important documents, Treasury should release all documents without further delay and give these hardworking Americans answers as to why Treasury believed they were not entitled to their full pensions. ... The finding directly contradicts the testimonies of several Obama administration and White House officials, and means several communications the Treasury Department sent to Congress may have been false.

Excerpt: But the Obama administration responded the same way to the Joplin tornado as the Bush administration had after Katrina, by declining to cover the entire cost of disaster relief….In August of 2011, the Obama administration temporarily cut funds sent to Joplin residents in order to aid other Americans, those affected by Hurricane Irene. That decision left behind destroyed roads, leveled buildings and many homeless Missourians.

What is the Secretary of State Project?
Excerpt: While the polls show Obama and Romney in a statistical dead heat, the media is already claiming that the Romney camp should be preparing for a loss in November. Why would they be stacking the deck so high against Romney before the first debate? Glenn said it all ties to the Soros-funded Secretary of State Project, an organization whose goal is to secure the Secretary of State position for Democrats in key swing states.

Obama’s America has Worse GDP Growth than Cuba. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The United States is already below 75 percent of the world in GDP growth. That means we’re well below EgyptMexico and Albania. Forget beating China, which is No. 10 while we’re No. 166 and falling, we need to start figuring out how to get ahead of our immediate rivals, BosniaJamaica and Cuba.

A Dangerous Sport: Obama Offers To Reimburse Companies If They Violate Federal Labor Law
Excerpt: However, that is precisely what Barack Obama’s administration is trying to do by encouraging defense contractors to violate federal law. … So, there you have it: The President of the United States putting his re-election above of the law–something that America’s Founding Fathers sought to avoid. When America becomes ruled by men in all their capriciousness and not by laws, tyranny is sure to shortly follow.

Two More Border Patrol Agents Gunned Down: The news comes amidst new revelations about Operation Fast and Furious. By Bob Owens 
Excerpt: Details released to the media have been minimal so far: a Border Patrol unit that was dispatched to check an alarm triggered by a ground sensor east of BisbeeArizona, came under fire shortly after 1:30 a.m. in what appears to have been a hasty ambush. Three agents were part of the patrol. One agent, Nicholas Ivie, a married father of two, was killed at the scene: Capas said the agents reported over the radio that they had come under fire as they were following a trail into the area.

Pelosi Suggests GOP To Blame For Lack Of Security In Libya
Excerpt: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on CNN Tuesday tried blame the Republican led congress for a lack of security that helped facilitate the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in BenghaziLibya.

Stella Paul's new book: What I Miss About America
I'm thrilled to report the publication of What I Miss About America, my first e-book, which is now available at:
What I Miss About America takes you on a tragicomic tour of what’s gone missing in America, during our Golden Age of Hope and Change. With a barrage of one-liners, it summons up the lost world of American greatness, and inventories the treasures that have been snatched from under our noses. … What I Miss About America is attractively priced for the Obama economy at just $1.99. –Stella Paul. (I often link to her columns in this blog—Good writer. ~Bob.)

A Hero's Humble Ethos: When his grenade launcher failed, a Marine slew a Taliban fighter with a rock. By James D. Hornfischer
Excerpt: Normally the elite Marine sniper would have been up front, protecting his "embedded training team" as it ventured into harm's way. But the corporal had taxed the patience of headquarters, having cajoled his lieutenant into too many risky patrols. So on this fateful day he was left to "babysit the trucks." (This is a great story, of a guy who was just a good Marine.... who, when his people were in deep trouble, defied orders and went to help them, no longer thinking of his own life at all, assuming death was likely, but determined to go ahead to find his people anyhow. He did whatever was necessary to find and kill the enemy on the way, to finally find and recover the bodies of his friends. I have seen him interviewed, and he is a simple, low key guy, but with the strength of a granite pillar. Oorah! –Del. I read the book last week. A simply told story by this young man (w/ some polish by Bing West) - about doing what had to be done. Recommend. --Andy)

Warren showed softer side to Wall Street behind the scenes as Obama aide
Excerpt: They show Warren offering an olive branch to financial executives who were broadly skeptical of the CFPB and fought against its inclusion in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. (Don’t want to dry up those too-big-too-fail contributions to Obama from his Wall Street buddies. ~Bob.)

When Doctors Stop Taking Insurance. By Roni Caryn Rabin
Excerpt: Private health insurance used to be the ticket to a doctor’s appointment. But that’s no longer the case in some affluent metropolitan enclaves, where many physicians no longer accept insurance and require upfront payment from patients — cash, checks and credit cards accepted.

Video Ad by OPSEC Team - Bump In The Road
Excerpt: STOP the politicians, President Obama and others from politically capitalizing on US national security operations and secrets!

Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires
Excerpt: Al-Qaeda has been blamed for a recent series of forest fires across Europe, as the head of Russia's Federal Security Service claimed they were set by arsonists as part of the group's low-cost attack strategy. (We’ve had a few fires in the US, too. But I’d think they’d be taking credit. ~Bob.)

Christian Students Executed by Boko Haram in Nigeria; Believers Pray for 'Change of Heart'
Excerpt: While there is speculation as to the motive of the massacre, sources close to the human rights watchdog Open Doors USA confirm that the massacre was performed by Boko Haram. … Open Doors USA sources confirmed that the gunmen separated the Christian students from the Muslim students, addressed each victim by name, questioned them, and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat. (So much for the story that it was over student politics. Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: Two Egyptian Christian children, Nabil Rizk, 10, and Mina al-Farag, 9, have been taken from their parents and arrested after a Muslim man accused the two youngsters of desecrating the holy Qur’an in a small village in Bani Sweif in the Nile Delta region.

Losing Afghanistan: Clerics now openly support the Taliban. By Chris Sands
Excerpt: Mawlawi Ataullah Faizani took time out from teaching Islamic studies at a girls’ school in Kabul to explain why Afghans have a duty to resist the occupation of their country. (That would mean the amputation of thieves' hands, stoning of adulterers, the killing of apostates from Islam, the denial of free speech, and institutionalized discrimination against women and non-Muslims. These have been the features of Islamic law everywhere it has ever been implemented. Yet in the United States the mainstream narrative is that Sharia is amorphous beyond all description and/or perfectly benign and compatible with Western principles of human rights -- and if you don't believe that, you're a greasy Islamophobe. –Robert Spence,

Worth Reading: Left Wants Multiculturalism to Trump Free Speech. By Victor Davis Hanson 
Excerpt: The American Left used to champion free expression. We were lectured -- correctly -- that the price of being repulsed by occasional crude talk and art was worth paying. Only that way could Americans ensure our daily right to criticize those with greater power and influence whom we found wrong and objectionable. … Female circumcision or honor killings in the Muslim world don't merit our attention in the way that a woman's right to free abortion pills from her Catholic employer does in the West. 

48% Know Someone Who’s Quit Looking for Work in Bad Job Market
Excerpt: Confidence in the U.S. job market remains near record lows for the year.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 21% of American Adults think the job market is better than it was a year ago. That’s down three points from early August and the lowest finding since February. Forty-one percent (41%) think the job market is worse than it was this time last year, down slightly from the previous survey but only the second time this year that pessimism has climbed into the 40s.

Islam's centuries long crusades
Excerpt: At last someone who dares expose the lies about Islam and Christianity told in our churches, schools and in our media. At last someone who tells the truth about Crusades - i.e. that the ONLY crusades were Muslim (murderously successful and lasted centuries) while the Christian version was short, defensive, a failure and of course a COUNTER CRUSADE. --Dr Bill Warner: Why We Are Afraid

China firm sues Obama over blocked US wind farm deal
Excerpt: A Chinese-owned firm in the US is suing President Barack Obama after he blocked a wind farm deal on national security grounds.

Portugal announces higher taxes as strike is called
Excerpt: Portugal has announced several new austerity measures, which were met with a call for a huge strike next month. These include reducing Portugal's income tax brackets from eight to five. This replaces a social security tax rise that was shelved due to its deep unpopularity.

People who voted for "Hope" and "Change" are suddenly demanding specifics from Mitt Romney.

Excerpt: A favorite talking point among redistributionists is to say the tax code was much “fairer” under President Bill Clinton, than it has been since the Bush tax cuts of 2003. New Congressional Budget Office (CBO) figures show that the top 1% paid 21.3% of all federal taxes from 1993 to 2000, when Clinton was president, but they paid 25.1% from 2003 to 2008, after the Bush tax cuts. If 21.3% was a fair share in the Clinton years, then the top 1% has been paying much more than its fair share since 2003.

University Of Wisconsin-Madison May Be Illegally Assisting Obama Campaign. By Tony Lee
Excerpt: The University of Wisconsin-Madison, in claiming President Barack Obama’s visit to the campus on Thursday is an official visit and not a campaign rally, may be violating Wisconsin state law. The law prohibits the use of public resources to assist candidates in campaigning. And an official university website acted as a portal to the Obama campaign webpage, where students have to give phone numbers and e-mails to the Obama campaign to attend the rally. 

Boy crazy: The United States is a new Mecca for parents who choose their baby's sex
Excerpt: Some couples want a baby boy badly. So badly they're willing to fly halfway around the world to get one. Destination? The United States. (The War on Girl Babies. ~Bob.)

FL: Law school dean tells students how to vote because it’s ‘what lawyers must do.’ By Yaël Ossowski
Excerpt: An assistant dean at the University of Miami School of Law is facing new questions he solicited students’ votes to retain Florida judges in next month’s merit retention election. William VanderWyden, assistant dean for professional development, encourages law students to vote “yes” on retaining state Supreme Court Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince because it is “what lawyers must do.”

Al-Shabaab is executing Somali journalists for the crime of reporting on sports
Didn’t get the memo. Muslims dead from Allahmurder. What else is new? ~Bob. Excerpt: Abdirahman Mohamed Ali was abducted as he left his mother’s house in Mogadishu two weeks ago. His body, dumped next to a restaurant, was discovered the next morning, arms tied behind his back, decapitated head placed on his chest. Evidence indicated he’d been tortured first.

Excerpt: Yet there is plenty of evidence that the story about her parents eloping because her mother was Native American is not true, Warren didn’t self-identify as Native American until she was 38 and climbing the law professor ladder, and even her own adult nephew who researched family genealogy called the Native American claim just rumor. The Boston Globe’s attempt to back up this family lore actually ended up calling it into serious question.

Scroll down for the chart. ~Bob.

Is Japan’s nuclear-free pathway an environmentally friendly choice?
Excerpt: Originally, the Japanese government had planned to increase nuclear power to 45% and renewables (including hydro) to 20% by the year 2030, up from 26% and 10% respectively in 2010. After the accident, the National Policy Unit in Japan hinted that the original plan was likely to be scrapped in favour of a new scenario, whereby the nuclear target was to be reduced to somewhere between 0–35% and the renewables target increased to 20–30%. Even with an increased share of renewables, the shift away from nuclear under any of the proposed scenarios will lead to greater use of fossil fuels. (While I think the author’s doom & gloom is unjustified (they are firm believers in CAGW, after all), their point about increased use of fossil fuels is exactly correct and unavoidable. Regardless of your opinion on CAGW, burning more fossil fuels is an uneconomic solution to a purely political problem [unfounded fear of nuclear power]. --Ron P.)

Security In Benghazi Cut Prior to 9/11 Attack. By John Sexton 
Excerpt: The new revelation about cuts in security comes on the heels of a letter Rep. Issa sent Tuesday to Secretary of State Clinton. Citing whistle-blowers, the letter states that multiple requests for additional security at the Benghazi consulate were denied by officials in Washington prior to the attack. Rep. Issa further revealed Wednesday that there had been 13 threats or attacks on the Benghazi consulate prior to September 11.

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