Pinboard Links

The Afternoon Flap: November 1, 2011

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These are my links for November 1st from 13:51 to 14:56:

  • Satire on Occupy Wall Street Trips Up Rick Perry– Last Friday, at the swanky Barley House tavern in Concord, N.H., Mr. Perry took a little jab at the Occupy Wall Street crowd, referencing an amusing quote his son had sent him from a protester occupying Toronto.“I don’t know if it can be proved up or not,” Mr. Perry conceded, “the young man’s name was Jeremy and he was 38 years old. But he said, ‘We got here at 9 o’clock, and those people, this was in Toronto, I think Bay Street is their comparable [Wall Street], he said those bankers that we came to insult, they’d already been at work for two hours when we got here at 9 o’clock, and when we get ready to leave, you know, they’re still in there working. I guess greed just makes you work hard.”
  • Democracy Versus Mob Rule – Thomas Sowell– In various cities across the country, mobs of mostly young, mostly incoherent, often noisy, and sometimes violent demonstrators are making themselves a major nuisance.Meanwhile, many in the media are practically gushing over these “protesters,” and giving them the free publicity they crave for themselves and their cause — whatever that is, beyond venting their emotions on television.
  • Lawyer: Cain accuser wants to talk but is barred by agreement– One of the women who accused GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment wants to tell her side of the story but is barred by a confidentiality agreement, her attorney in Washington said Tuesday.Lawyer Joel P. Bennett called on the National Restaurant Association, where the woman and Cain worked in the late 1990s, to release the woman from her written promise not to talk about the allegations or disparage the trade group.
  • Who Are the 1 Percent? – There is a real and potentially fatal problem with the “Us vs. Them” narrative that Occupy Wall Street has made the focal point of its campaign — most famously with the “99 percent against the 1 percent” rhetoric — and that is that it does not transmute smoothly into the more intimate “Me vs. You.” It is one thing haphazardly to generalize about “the 1 percent,” or “the rich,” or “Nazi bankers” and “fascist policemen,” and quite another to get down to cases. When I interviewed a lady who labeled the bankers and the police “Nazis,” she was notably reluctant to describe any one of those to whom I pointed in such extreme terms — “Well, maybe not him personally . . .” Put a face on an epithet, and the vitriol soon dwindles; indeed, the targets who retain their “miscreant” sticker even when named tend to be a long, long way away — far enough removed to be usefully employed as abstractions. This was something I noticed particularly keenly on Friday, at Occupy Wall Street’s march on the banks.
  • The Gingrich revival– Just a few months ago, Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign looked like it was in its death throes. His poll ratings were in free fall after his criticism of fellow Republican Paul Ryan’s plan to reform Medicare as “right-wing social engineering”, and his top staff had quit en masse. But somehow, Gingrich has managed to gradually rebuild his campaign and rehabilitate himself in the eyes of Republican voters.The chart below shows how Republican’s views of Gingrich have changed over the course of the campaign. You can clearly see his ratings sliding in May-June, but then recovering slowly since July. Although they’ve levelled off in the last couple of weeks, they’re now almost back up to the very strong numbers he enjoyed when he launched his campaign and put him just about on a par with Mitt Romney.

    More than likely, the only anti-Romney candidate left.

President 2012

President 2012: Can Rick Perry Be the Comeback Kid?

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Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Cornerstone Speech Highlights

The answer is NO.

The conventional wisdom has coalesced around the view that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, with his sizable bankroll, is the obvious choice to emerge again as Romney’s chief primary challenger. His campaign is now up with ads in New Hampshire and Iowa, reintroducing himself to the voters.  And businessman Herman Cain, with the latest scandal, could find himself falling in the next round of polls.

But I’m not so sure that, even with the Texas governor’s significant resources, his rebranding campaign will work.  Perry’s collapse since entering the race really has been remarkable.  Unlike other recent candidates who entered the race with high expectations only to fall flat (Fred Thompson, Wesley Clark, Rudy Giuliani), Perry boasted executive experience, a largely conservative record, and success in some hotly-contested gubernatorial campaigns.  On paper, he had that resume that translates to a presidential campaign.  That’s why many Republican voters initially viewed him so favorably, thinking he was the most electable conservative in the race.

But he was utterly unprepared to make the transition to the national stage, alienating the establishment with his weak debate performance and infuriating the base on illegal immigration.  The Republican chattering class now is convinced he doesn’t have what it takes to defeat a vulnerable President Obama, and the base is awfully skeptical that he’s the principled conservative they once thought.  That’s hard to turn around with a bunch of 30-second ads.

I have to agree. And, I can make a list:

  1. Gardasil
  2. Ponzi Scheme
  3. Illegal Immigration
  4. Debate performance
  5. Weird factor (see above)
  6. Too Bush

Is that enough?

Rick Perry won’t make it to Super Tuesday.

Ronald Reagan

Photo of the Day: Reagan Statue at National Airport

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From left: Frederick Ryan Jr., chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation; former Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole; Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Charles Snelling, chairman of the Board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, unveil the statue of President Reagan, on Nov. 1, 2011, at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport.

The statue at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport — renamed from Washington National Airport in 1998 — stands 9 feet tall and portrays the suited president mid-step as he welcomes travelers to the original airport terminal.

The $900,000 statue is the last of four privately funded centennial statues endorsed by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.