These are my links for September 10th through September 12th:
Attack Planned: US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and 3 other Americans killed in protest over film ridiculing Prophet Mohammed– Tuesday night’s deadly assault that killed the American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was planned by attackers who used protests as a diversion, sources told CNN today.Earlier reports said the Americans were killed when a mob of protesters and gunmen overwhelmed the US Consulate in Benghazi, setting fire to it in outrage over a film that ridicules Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.Libya’s new president apologized Wednesday for the attack, which underlined the lawlessness plaguing a region trying to recover from months of upheaval.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate Tuesday evening, many of them firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
By the end of the assault, much of the building was burned out and trashed. Stevens was the first US ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.
A Libyan doctor who treated Stevens said he died of severe asphyxiation, apparently from smoke. In a sign of the chaos of during the attack, Stevens was brought alone by Libyans to the Benghazi Medical Center with no other Americans, and no one at the facility knew who he was, the doctor, Ziad Abu Zeid, told The Associated Press.
Stevens was practically dead when he arrived close to 1 a.m. on Wednesday, but “we tried to revive him for an hour and a half but with no success,” Abu Zeid said. The ambassador had bleeding in his stomach because of the asphyxiation but no other injuries, he said.
Peggy Noonan: Romney not ‘doing himself any favors’– The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan is criticizing Mitt Romney’s response to the death of a U.S. diplomat in Libya, telling Fox News today she doesn’t feel that the Republican presidential nominee “has been doing himself any favors” in the past few hours.“I was thinking as he spoke, I think I belong to the old school of thinking that in times of great drama and heightened crisis, and in times when something violent has happened to your people, I always think discretion is the better way to go,” Noonan said. “When you step forward in the midst of a political environment and start giving statements on something dramatic and violent that has happened, you’re always leaving yourself open to accusations that you are trying to exploit things politically.”In a statement last night, Romney slammed the Obama administration for sympathizing “with those who waged the attacks” rather than condemning the attacks outright. Romney doubled-down on that attack today during a press conference, telling reporters the statement was “akin to apology” and that it was “disgraceful to apologize for American values.”But Romney’s effort to politicize the violence in Libya was met with blowback not just from the Obama administration but from the media. “[Romney’s] doubling down on criticism… is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign,” Time magazine’s Mark Halperin wrote on his blog.
The Insane MSM Questions Romney Faced at Presser– So if a presidential candidate gives remarks about a foreign-policy crisis, you’d be forgiven for thinking that in the Q&A held immediately afterward, reporters would ask him about . . . foreign policy. But when Mitt Romney took questions today after talking about the situation in Libya and Egypt, the dominant theme of the questions was all about process and politics. Here are the seven questions asked:1. Reporter brings up that Romney had a “toughly worded statement last night,” and asks, “Do you regret the tone at all given what we know now?”2. “Do you think, though, coming so soon after the events really had unfolded over night was appropriate, to be weighing in on this as this crisis was unfolding in real time?” Follow-up: “What did the White House do wrong then, Gov. Romney, if they put out a statement saying they disagreed with it?”3. “The world is watching. Isn’t this itself a mixed signal when you criticize the administration at a time that Americans are being killed? Shouldn’t politics stop for this?”
4. “Some people have said that you jumped the gun a little bit in putting that statement out last night and that you should have waited until more details were available. Do you regret having that statement come out so early before we learned about all of the things that were happening?”
5. “If you had known last night that the ambassador had died, and obviously, I’m gathering you did not know . . . if you had known that the ambassador had died, would you have issued such a strongly-issued statement?”
6. Reporter comments that Romney is running on his “economic know-how and private sector experience,” and adds, “but now that foreign policy and the situation in the Middle East has been thrust into the presidential campaign, can you talk about why specifically you think you are better qualified than President Obama to handle these issues?”
7. “How specifically, Governor Romney, would a President Romney have handled this situation differently than President Obama did? You spoke out before midnight, when all the facts weren’t known. How would you have handled this differently than the president did?”
Only the last question even addressed what Romney would have done if he was in office. None of the questions asked Romney to give details or be more specific about what he thinks the United States should do going forward.
Open mic captures press coordinating questions for Romney “no matter who he calls on we’re covered”– Before Romney issued his statement today, an open mic capture the press coordinating questions to ask Romney, with one saying “no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question”. I’ve transcribed it to the best of my ability but the audio is below for verification:I’ve labeled one as the CBS News reporter as I believe it is Nancy Cordes who works for CBS News. If I’ve gotten that wrong I apologize and will correct.UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: …pointing out that the Republicans… *unintelligible* …Obama….CBS REPORTER: That’s the question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: *unintelligible*
CBS REPORTER: Yeah that’s the question. I would just say do you regret your question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Your question? Your statement?
CBS REPORTER: I mean your statement. Not even the tone, because then he can go off on…
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And then if he does, if we can just follow up and say ‘but this morning your answer is continuing to sound…’ – *becomes unintelligble*
CBS REPORTER: You can’t say that..
CBS REPORTER: I’m just trying to make sure that we’re just talking about, no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you stand by your statement or regret your statement?
Dead Ambassador dragged through streets, MSM furious at Romney criticism of Obama– If there ever were a doubt, no matter how small, that the mainstream media is deeply in bed with the Obama campaign, the reaction to the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and several other Americans should put such doubt to rest.Beginning early this morning, when news was just breaking, the left-blogosphere and mainstream media, led by MSNBC, has attempted to shift the focus from the Obama administration’s failure to protect our embassies and for its apologies (both before and after the attack on the Cairo Embassy) to whether Mitt Romney was wrong to criticize Obama last night.No, I’m not kidding.
No Record of Intel Briefings for Obama Week Before Embassy Attacks – According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing–known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)–in the week leading up to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the murder of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff:
Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze on Dish TV– Glenn Beck is set for a TV comeback with his online channel TheBlaze launching on Dish Network Wednesday.“TheBlaze has helped revolutionize television over the Internet and now we are excited to bring the revolution back to traditional television,” Beck said in a press release. “TheBlaze will be home to news, information and entertainment programming with the facts and stories people care about most and we look forward to kicking things off with DISH.”The 24-hour online network will be available to Dish viewers starting on Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. Viewers with Dish’s America Top 250 package will be able to watch the channel, or can purchase it separately for $5 a month. TheBlaze — which celebrated its one-year anniversary on Wednesday — will continue to be available online, the release noted.“After being phenomenally successful with his online streaming network, we’re pleased to host Glenn Beck’s return to broadcast TV, especially during this exciting and important political season,” DISH CEO and President Joseph Clayton said in a press release on Wednesday announcing the launch. “With Glenn’s return, DISH is truly th
Obama, Romney locked in tight race in Nevada– President Obama travels to Nevada on Wednesday to further his attempt to win the state’s six electoral votes in the face of the country’s worst unemployment rate and a sputtering housing market.The conventional wisdom around the Silver State is that while Obama faces significant headwinds to repeat his 2008 victory in Nevada, he remains the favorite given his slight but steady lead in polls.“With 56 days to go, basically both campaigns would privately acknowledge that Obama is ahead,” said Jon Ralston, one of the state’s top political commentators. “The question is, how far ahead? The Obama folks think they’re above the margin of error. And the Romney folks think they’re within the margin of error.”
Obama Announces Letterman Appearance on Day He Snubbed Netanyahu– President Barack Obama will be visiting one of his biggest fans soon – late night talker David Letterman.The president will chat with the “Late Show” host during a trip to New York City next week, according to the National Journal. Letterman’s nightly monologues mostly spare the president from satirical ribbing, saving his most cutting remarks for the Romneys … or even former President George W. Bush.The news comes on the same day Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he couldn’t meet with him due to a scheduling conflict.
United States and Israel Engage in Public Spat Over Iran Policy – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel inserted himself into the most contentious foreign policy issue of the American presidential campaign on Tuesday, criticizing the Obama administration for refusing to set clear “red lines” on Iran’s nuclear progress that would prompt the United States to undertake a military strike. As a result, he said, the administration has no “moral right” to restrain Israel from taking military action of its own.
Polls: Ryan beats Biden in popularity– Paul Ryan has had a higher favorability rating than Vice President Biden in every major nonpartisan national poll since the Wisconsin lawmaker was picked for the GOP vice presidential slot.In these polls, Ryan averaged a likability factor 7.5 percentage points higher than Biden, and he even bested President Obama’s favorability rating four out of six times.
Poll Shows Allen Up 5 Over Kaine in Virginia Senate Race – The same Gravis Marketing Poll released today that showed Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama by 49-44 in Virginia showed Republican George Allen leading Democrat Tim Kaine 47-42 in the Senate race. For Allen, today’s 5 point margin reflects a 2 point increase from a poll conducted a month earlier by the same firm
Noonan’s Blog: Everyone Will Watch the Debates– 1. People will be watching. Convention viewership may have been down, but almost every voter who can, will watch at least some of the debates. Three reasons. First, nothing else has moved the needle, the race has been neck and neck for months. Second, a lot of people will use the debates to test and double-test their preliminary judgments. Is Romney really strong enough for this job? Is Obama really who I want to stick with? Third, it’s a contest, it’s combat. Someone will cross the goal line, one of them will beat the other. Someone will emerge the champ, or at least an undamaged contender. Unlike a convention, a debate is something a candidate can win right before your eyes.So: everyone will watch. What do they hope for? They’d like to think by the end, “That guy is a president” and turn it off and go to bed, resolved. They will also accept, “My guy didn’t screw up! It was a tie, but he didn’t lose, I’ll watch the next one.”
Depending on Dependency – – Thomas Sowell– The theme that most seemed to rouse the enthusiasm of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte was that we are all responsible for one another — and that Republicans don’t want to help the poor, the sick and the helpless.All of us should be on guard against beliefs that flatter ourselves. At the very least, we should check such beliefs against facts.Yet the notion that people who prefer economic decisions to be made by individuals in the market are not as compassionate as people who prefer those decisions to be made collectively by politicians is seldom even thought of as a belief that should be checked against facts.Nor is this notion confined to Democrats in America today. Belief in the superior compassion of the political left is a worldwide phenomenon that goes back at least as far as the 18th century. But in all that time, and in all those places, there has been little, if any, effort on the left to check this crucial assumption against facts.
White House pushes back on claims from Woodward book– Bob Woodward’s new book on the collapse of the grand bargain has put the Obama White House on the defensive on economic policy just as the 2012 campaign enters its most crucial phase.Republicans have seized on The Price of Politics as evidence President Obama is in over his head on the economy.The White House on Monday pushed back against Woodward’s latest conclusions: that weak leadership by Obama worsened last year’s debt-ceiling crisis and led to the failure to enact a deficit grand bargain.Obama’s leadership during the crisis was “significant,” according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, and reflected a “sincere and deliberate” effort to compromise.
Washington Post-ABC News Poll Among Likely Voters: Obama 49% vs. Romney 48%– Last week’s Democratic National Convention helped President Obama improve his standing against Republican Mitt Romney, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, but did little to reduce voter concern about his handling of the economy.The survey shows that the race remains close among likely voters, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 48 percent, virtually unchanged from a poll taken just before the conventions.But among a wider sample of all registered voters, Obama holds an apparent edge, topping Romney at 50 percent to 44 percent, and has clear advantages on important issues in the campaign when compared with his rival
California ranked 4th worst in business legal climate– California ranks 47th in the nation in its courts’ “fairness and reasonableness” regarding business lawsuits, according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform.Not only is the state’s legal climate as a whole ranked fourth worst in the nation, just ahead of Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia, but Los Angeles County has the second worst lawsuit climate among local jurisdictions and San Francisco fourth worst..Delaware, the legal home of many major corporations, ranks No. 1 in business legal climate.The rankings are based on a survey of corporate general counsels and senior attorneys, conducted by Harris Interactive.The annual survey has been conducted for the past decade, and California’s standing has declined during that period. The survey report called California courts “havens for class action lawsuits because judges certify cases for trial that wouldn’t be certified in most other parts of the country.” It noted that the largest asbestos verdict in the nation this year – $48 million for one plaintiff – came in a Los Angeles jury trial.
GM’s Volt – The ugly math of low sales, high costs – loss of $49K each– General Motors Co sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt sedans in August — but that probably isn’t a good thing for the automaker’s bottom line.Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts.Cheap Volt lease offers meant to drive more customers to Chevy showrooms this summer may have pushed that loss even higher. There are some Americans paying just $5,050 to drive around for two years in a vehicle that cost as much as $89,000 to produce.And while the loss per vehicle will shrink as more are built and sold, GM is still years away from making money on the Volt, which will soon face new competitors from Ford, Honda and others
9 states where the race will be won– The presidential race has narrowed to a core of nine states, a collection of margin-of-error battlegrounds spread across nearly every region.From New Hampshire in the Northeast to Nevada in the Rocky Mountain West, there is little disagreement between the two campaigns about the places where the election will be won and lost. Aside from those two swing states, there are seven others: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.Some of them are familiar presidential battlegrounds, accustomed to playing a pivotal role every four years. Others are relative newcomers to the swing state roster. Every one of them was carried by President Barack Obama in 2008.According to interviews with campaign officials and strategists, here’s the state of play and the forces at work in the nine states:
Romney going up in Wisconsin with TV ads– Mitt Romney’s campaign will be launching TV ads in Wisconsin, reflecting its belief that the state is within its grasp. It was not an easy or risk-free choice to spend money there.The last two months of a campaign are when political consultants earn their keep. There are only so many hours in a day, so much airtime to be bought and so much money (even in an election with as much money already sloshing around as was spent in the entire 2008 race). One of those is where to try to expand the map for your candidate.A senior Romney adviser told me the spate of ads rolled out Friday in eight states was shipped before the Democratic National Convention and before the rotten August jobs numbers were known. But the campaign guessed right in making the ads intensely focused on jobs (even breaking down the number of jobs each state could hope to add under a Romney presidency) and emphasizing that Romney has a jobs plan. That economic message will be pounded home throughout the fall. There was a reason Obama was so glum in Charlotte on Thursday; the economy was and remains critical in the election and we are at best going sideways at a time the economy should be rolling full-steam ahead.
Re: Romney and Obamacare – Pre-existing Conditions?– I reached out to the Romney campaign for clarification about Mitt Romney’s remarks this morning about liking some parts of Obamacare. An aide pointed out that Romney first said on Meet the Press that “I say we are going to replace Obamacare. And I am replacing it with my own plan.”In reference to how Romney would deal with those with young adults who want to remain on their parents’ plans, a Romney aide responded that there had been no change in Romney’s position and that “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for. He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to offer those particular features.”UPDATE: In reference to pre-existing conditions, a Romney aide responds, “Governor Romney will ensure that discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited,” and refers me to these remarks Romney made in Florida in June:
A teleprompter obscures U.S. President Barack Obama as he speaks during a campaign event at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio August 21, 2012.
These are my links for August 21st through August 23rd:
Obama: Team Romney coming on strong, playing dirty, time to ‘put them away’– President Obama joined a group of former NBA stars at a fundraiser at New York’s Lincoln Center Wednesday night. With Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley and other basketball legends sitting nearby — “It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person,” Obama said — the president made a few obligatory remarks about opponent Mitt Romney’s tax and economic plans. And then he addressed the presidential horse race — or basketball game.“I can’t resist a basketball analogy,” Obama told the crowd, according to a White House pool report. “We are in the fourth quarter. We’re up by a few points but the other side is coming on strong and they play a little dirty.”
Tropical Storm Isaac Heads Toward Florida Ahead of Convention– Tropical storm Isaac, which is gathering strength in the Caribbean, could strike Florida, hurricane forecasters say, triggering concern it might force a postponement or cancellation of the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week.It is still too early to predict whether the storm could make a direct hit on the city. Forecast models show Isaac’s center following a path that could take it as far west as the Gulf of Mexico and as far east as the Atlantic Ocean by next Monday. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands braced for torrential rains on Thursday as the storm churned waves as high as 10 feet in the Caribbean and threatened to become a hurricane. Some flooding was reported in eastern and southern regions of Puerto Rico as the storm approached.
Polls: Obama’s Lead Cut in Florida, Wisconsin– The presidential race has tightened slightly in Florida and Wisconsin since the rollout of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as Mitt Romney’s running mate, according to new CBS News/Quinnipiac University/New York Times polls released early Thursday. But President Obama’s lead in Ohio remains unchanged over the past three weeks.Obama’s advantages in Florida and Wisconsin have been reduced to within the margin of error, the polls show. But in Ohio, Romney remains unpopular, and the president is still ahead by a statistically significant, if single-digit, margin.The polls show Romney with an advantage among seniors, but voters in each state think Obama would do a better job on Medicare, and by wide margins, oppose changing Medicare in the ways Ryan has advocated as chairman of the House Budget Committee.
GM Goes From Bad to Worse Despite Obama Bailout– Things are different now. General Motors’ market share in the U.S. is below 20 percent. It has gone through bankruptcy and exists now thanks to a federal bailout. But Barack Obama seems to think that it’s as closely aligned with the national interest as Wilson did.”When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse,” Obama told a campaign event audience in Colorado earlier this month, “I said, let’s bet on America’s workers. And we got management and workers to come together, making cars better than ever, and now GM is No. 1 again and the American auto industry has come roaring back.”His conclusion: “So now I want to say that what we did with the auto industry, we can do in manufacturing across America. Let’s make sure advanced, high-tech manufacturing jobs take root here, not in China. Let’s have them here in Colorado. And that means supporting investment here.”
Was he calling for a federal bailout of other American manufacturing companies? And what does he mean by “supporting investment”? White House reporters have not asked these obvious questions, for the good reason that the president, who has been attending fundraisers on an average of one every 60 hours, has not held a press conference in something like two months.
GOP Recasts Path to Senate Majority — Without Missouri– Pressing on with his Senate bid against the broader GOP’s wishes, Missouri Republican Todd Akin introduced a new campaign theme Wednesday: “Let the people decide; not party bosses.” Of course, such is the premise of all elections. But the “party bosses” in this case are looking at a much bigger picture than Akin is, and facing a critical decision of their own: How to win control of the upper chamber if Missouri stays in the Democratic column?Republicans need to gain four seats in November –three if Mitt Romney wins the presidency and Paul Ryan subsequently holds any tie-breaking votes –to earn a majority in the U.S. Senate. Before Akin told a local television show on Sunday that “legitimate rape” usually doesn’t cause pregnancy, the Show-Me State had long been considered the easiest GOP pickup. (As one Republican strategist described it, “Akin could have sat on his front porch and won.”)
Team Romney calls out Obama for misspelling ‘Ohio’ at campaign stop– President Obama needed a do-over to spell “Ohio” correctly on the campus of Ohio State University this week.Although Obama and several students at a campaign stop Tuesday morning at Sloopy’s Diner on the campus of OSU tweeted out photos of the president correctly posing as the “I” in Ohio, another student supplied a photo of a spelling mishap to Mitt Romney’s campaign.photo, tweeted by Romney’s Ohio communications director, Christopher Maloney, shows Obama and three students all a little confused about how to spell the state’s name, with Obama holding his hands up in what seems to be an “H” and as the third letter.
“A word of advice to @BarackObama: It’s ‘O-H-I-O’ that has 18 electoral votes, not ‘O-I-H-O,’ ” Maloney tweeted.
Team Obama breaks precedent to try to spoil Romney’s convention– Bucking protocol, President Obama and the Democrats are planning a full-scale assault on Republicans next week during their convention.Bucking protocol, President Obama and the Democrats are planning a full-scale assault on Republicans next week during their convention.Presidential candidates have traditionally kept a low profile during their opponent’s nominating celebration, but Democrats are throwing those rules out the window in an attempt to spoil Mitt Romney’s coronation as the GOP nominee.
President Obama, Vice President Biden and leading congressional Democrats have all scheduled high-profile events next week to counter-program the Republican gathering in Tampa.
AD-38: Assembly Contenders Wilk & Headington Visit VIA to Vie for Votes– Democratic Assembly candidate Edward Headington and Republican Scott Wilk broke bread at the Valley Industry Association’s August luncheon, then broke out their different views of the district’s political future.Wilk sees himself as picking up the flag of past Republican Assemblymembers Keith Richman and Cameron Smyth.“Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, who has endorsed me, is up there working hard for you Monday through Thursday slamming his head against the wall because in the 80 member body only 27 of those are Republicans,” said Wilk.
However, Wilk said “Good news is on the way” and envisions the Republicans gaining up to 34 seats in the next election due to redistricting.
Tea Party Tony Strickland’s First Ad Tries to Trick Voters | DCCC– Tea Party congressional candidate Tony Strickland (CA-26) introduced his first ad today and it’s chock full of hypocrisy and lies in an effort to disguise his own extreme positions, particularly on Medicare.“Tea Party Tony Strickland has toed the extreme Republican Party line his whole career, so voters shouldn’t be tricked into thinking he would do any different in Washington,” said Amber Moon of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Tea Party Tony is willing to do or say anything to get elected, even repeating false claims to distract from his own record.”
Romney Camp Sees Upper Midwest Coming Into Play– Lost amid the daily uproar over embattled Senate candidate Todd Akin’s refusal to drop his Missouri bid is a growing effort by the GOP to spotlight a tightening presidential race in the Upper Midwest.The Republican National Committee has pounced on new polling data in Michigan and Wisconsin that show President Obama losing ground to Mitt Romney after the latter announced Paul Ryan as his running mate. And in what may — or may not –have been a coincidence, Vice President Joe Biden made a pair of campaign stops in Minnesota on Tuesday and will make several more in Michigan today.
Who’s sorry about the Roberts ruling on ObamaCare now?– Any year now, Democrats may start to ask themselves if it might have been better had John Roberts not changed his mind. If they would be better off with Obamacare out of its and our misery, a bone of contention now safely buried, and not as a bone in their throats. For one thing, they still have the issue upon them –the historic triumph they don’t dare mention but which Republicans happily do.Second, were Obamacare no longer the law, we might be seeing an uptick in hiring right now. Instead, that will be deferred until after November (and then possibly only if Romney’s elected), and unemployment is rising in 44 states. Unemployment rising in 44 states is not what you want when just ten or so states will decide the election and unemployment has been 8 percent or higher for 41 months.Third, had Roberts done otherwise, they might still have the issue of Medicare, which at this point they do not. When Paul Ryan was chosen to run with Mitt Romney, liberals planned to rip him to pieces over plans to trim Medicare. Somehow, they forgot that their own health care plan did much the same thing, covering 30 million new clients by draining millions from providers of Medicare. Although these cuts will not directly lead Medicare clients to pay more or lose coverage, they will end with many doctors and hospitals refusing to treat them at all.
MO-Sen: For Those Wondering About Missouri Write-In Bids…– So Sarah Steelman and John Brunner, who lost the GOP Senate primary, are not eligible to run as write-in candidates.Of course, for a write-in bid to succeed, one would need ideally a simple name, one that is not easily misspelled, since we know election lawyers will attempt to disqualify any ballot that is unclear in any way.If only some figure, well known to Missouri voters and trusted by them, would step forward and declare, “The name’s Bond… Kit Bond.
AP-GfK poll: Obama 47% vs. Romney 44% shows White House race still tight– or allFor all the attention it got, Republican the attention it got, Republican Mitt Romney’s selection of Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate has not as his running mate has not altered the race against altered the race against President Barack Obama. The President Barack Obama. The campaign remains neck and campaign remains neck and neck with less than three months to go, a new AP-neck with less than three months to go, a new AP-Overall, 47 percent of registered voters said they Overall, 47 percent of registered voters said they planned to back Obama and Vice President Joe planned to back Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in November, while 46 percent favored Biden in November, while 46 percent favored Romney and Ryan. That’s not much changed from Romney and Ryan. That’s not much changed from a June AP-GfK survey, when the split was 47 a June AP-GfK survey, when the split was 47 percent for the president to 44 percent for percent for the president to 44 percent forAt the same time, there’s a far wider gap when At the same time, there’s a far wider gap when people were asked who they thought would win. people were asked who they thought would win. Some 58 percent of adults said they expected Some 58 percent of adults said they expected Obama to be re-elected, while just 32 percent said Obama to be re-elected, while just 32 percent said they thought he’d be voted out of officthey thought he’d be voted out of office
How Obama can fix his welfare problem– Thank goodness all that veepstakes/Paul Ryan business is over and we can get back to welfare reform.If you remember, back before we were temporarily distracted, Romney TV ads had attacked Obama for planning to give states waivers from welfare work requirements, thereby opening the door to diluting (and in some cases, eliminating) them. The Romney camp must at least think its (oversimplified) attacks on the issue are working, because it’s back with another welfare ad today.At some point, if these ads keep biting, the attitude of Obamaites is going to shift from ‘Why can’t the MSM protect us from Romney’s lies!’ to ‘Stop the bleeding!” But stopping the bleeding won’t be easy. The Obama campaign has righteously defended the new HHS rules, after all. If the President suddenly repudiates them he might look guilty, or weak, or not in control, or all three. Even after the rules are withdrawn, many voters might doubt that Obama’s actually changed his mind. Won’t he pursue the same waivers once he’s reelected? If the waivers are bad isn’t that a cause for worry? Romney’s campaign could easily stoke these suspicions.
“Issues” or America?– There are some very serious issues at stake in this year’s election — so many that some people may not be able to see the forest for the trees. Individual issues are the trees, but the forest is the future of America as we have known it.The America that has flourished for more than two centuries is being quietly but steadily dismantled by the Obama administration, during the process of dealing with particular issues.For example, the merits or demerits of President Obama’s recent executive order, suspending legal liability for young people who are here illegally, presumably as a result of being brought here as children by their parents, can be debated pro and con. But such a debate overlooks the much more fundamental undermining of the whole American system of Constitutional government.
Romney Racks Up Big Cash Advantage– Mitt Romney’s cash advantage over President Obama and the Democrats more than doubled in July, as intense Republican fund-raising and heavy spending by Mr. Obama and his allies left Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee with $62 million more in the bank than the Democrats at the end of last month.Mr. Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee spent $91 million in July, significantly more than the $75 million the Democrats raised, underscoring the investments Mr. Obama made in technology and field staff as well as nearly $40 million his campaign spent on advertising that month. While Mr. Romney continued to husband his resources for the fall – he spent less than half of what Mr. Obama did on advertising – conservative “super PACs” and other outside groups stepped into the breach, spending millions of dollars on ads attacking Mr. Obama.
TAPPER: And that’s not comparable to what Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke?
MAHER: To compare that to Rush is ridiculous – he went after a
civilian about very specific behavior, that was a lie, speaking for a
party that has systematically gone after women’s rights all year, on
the public airwaves. I used a rude word about a public figure who
gives as good as she gets, who’s called people “terrorist” and
“unAmerican.” Sarah Barracuda. The First Amendment was specifically
designed for citizens to insult politicians. Libel laws were written
to protect law students speaking out on political issues from getting
called whores by Oxycontin addicts.
TAPPER: What about all the clips of you saying rather “edgy” things –
offensive to many people, no doubt – from your show on HBO, “Real
MAHER: Of course if you take out of context over 10 years snippets
inside comedy bits you can make anyone look bad – and sometimes, I
have been! Not perfect, but not misogyny. In general, this is an
obvious right wing attempt to dredge up some old shit about me to
deflect from their self-inflicted problems. They are the kings of
And through it all, I have defended Rush’s right to stay on the air!
Not what he said, that was disgusting – but the right to not disappear
because people who don’t even listen to you don’t like what you said.
That really bothers me. I never hear Rush Limbaugh unless a guy in the
next truck at a stop light has it on; it would be arrogant for me to
say “he has to disappear” and deprive the people who do listen to him
of what they like. We all have different tastes and different
opinions, that’s America.
Why Ron Paul May Cut a Deal With Mitt Romney – For Ron Paul, victory is finally in sight. No, not a swearing-in ceremony next January 20, or even a single statewide win. Halfway through the primary season, Paul has won only a preference poll in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and he is running dead last in delegates among the four GOP candidates for President. He has spent a lot, if not always wisely: the $31.55 he has dropped per vote (more than even Mitt Romney) is a sum that might shock even a Democrat.
But winning the presidency was never Paul’s foremost goal, and as he nears the end of his last presidential crusade, he has one more chance to promote his ideas. The Republican race is a muddled mess. Even after his southern losses, only Romney has a real shot at amassing the 1,144 delegates required to wrap up the nomination, and he would then face the task of unifying the GOP’s warring factions. Which is why Paul’s campaign has sent discreet signals to Camp Romney that the keys to Paul’s shop can be had for the right price.
They include Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, media mogul Fred Eychaner, Pfizer executive Sally Susman, Stoneyfield Farms president and CEO Gary Hirschberg, and Microsoft executives Suzi Levine and John Frank. Several have each raised more than half a million dollars for 2012, according to estimates provided by Obama’s campaign.
His writings showed clearly that the latter was the path he chose. His previous writings had been those of a sensible man saying sensible things about civil rights issues that he understood from his years of experience as an attorney. But now he wrote all sorts of incoherent speculations and pronouncements, the main drift of which was that white people were the cause of black people’s problems.
Bell even said that he took it as his mission to say things to annoy white people. Perhaps he thought that was better than being insignificant in his academic setting. But it was in fact far worse, because the real damage was to impressionable young blacks who took him seriously, including one who went on to become President of the United States.
The Tea Party has drowned – The Tea Party is over. In the way of parties that end, there are still people around. Those who remain search for a return of the old energy and make unconvincing demonstrations of people having a good time. But the central focus, the excitement, the purpose of the thing is dissipating. That is because the bad stuff that its members and boosters put out — lies, slanders, paranoia, ignorance — is losing what grip it had over the minds of people with minds. What’s left, though, is something else, which will not go away: the identification of moral choices blurred and contemporary indifferences ignored.
GRAPH: The escalating cost of Obamacare – So I’ve created the updated graph below. Notice how low the numbers are in the 2010 to 2013 time period and how they quickly soar. All the spending to the right of the black line wasn’t reflected in the CBO’s estimate for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) at the time of passage.
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.
These are my links for July 26th from 13:45 to 14:54:
Is US Debt Downgrade Inevitable? – Democrats and Republicans will present their own version of budget cuts later in the day on Monday, but is the estimated $2.7 trillion in cuts being proposed enough to avoid a credit rating downgrade?
Credit watchdogs at Standard & Poor’s have warned that unless $4 trillion in cuts are made, with long term sustainable fiscal policies to balance the budget, the US will lose its coveted AAA status within 90 days. Moody’s said the same thing this month, only gave the US 12 to 18 months to get its financial house in order before getting dropped from the triple-A list.
US government debt is considered the safest in the world. A lose to triple A status would cause every money market and Treasury bond fund to change its covenants that, until now, require holding AAA rated debt only.
“You’ll want to buy stock in a printing press company because if the US loses its triple A status, funds will be printing millions of notices to shareholders explaining the sudden and extraordinary change in its investment profile away from triple A debt and allowing for double A in their portfolios,” says Ron Weiner, president and CEO of RDM Financial Group in Westport, Conn, a $600 million asset manager.
While the market is not pricing in a default on US debt obligations, it is definitely pricing in the likelihood of a downgrade.
Looks like it….
Great news: Downgrade could come as soon as Friday – Barack Obama has spent the last several weeks warning that a failure to raise the debt ceiling by the “drop-dead date” of August 2nd would cause a ruinous downgrade of Treasury bonds and an economic disaster for the US. However, the downgrade may come sooner than that, because the debt ceiling is actually a secondary condition to the ratings agencies. The problem, as they see it, is not that America can’t pay its debts next month, but that America has grown its debt to such a degree that we can’t pay them in the long run without serious restructuring of the federal government — and this administration refuses to consider it:
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Debt-Ceiling Chicken by Thomas Sowell – The big news, as far as the media are concerned, is the political game of debt-ceiling chicken that is being played by Democrats and Republicans in Washington. But, however much the media are focused on what is happening inside the Beltway, there is a whole country outside the Beltway — and the time is long overdue to start thinking about what is best for the rest of the country, not just for right now but for the long haul.
However the current debt-ceiling crisis turns out, the current economic turmoil in financial markets around the world should cause some serious thoughts about the long run, and about the whole idea of a national-debt ceiling.
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Leadership by Default – They used to say that Richard Nixon had a “secret plan” in the 1968 presidential campaign to end the Vietnam War. Pres. Barack Obama outdid Nixon with a secret plan to control the deficit.
He kept telling us of all the virtues of his plan. It was balanced, responsible, courageous, and fair. It was just very, very secret.
Obama favored a $4 trillion “grand bargain” that now looks dead. It allegedly contained $3 trillion in cuts and $1 trillion in new revenues over ten years. But no one could learn with any certainty what the specific new cuts were, or the specific new revenues. They were the great mystery at the heart of the debt-limit debate.
How extraordinary is the spectacle of the president of a country beset with a debt crisis who claims to have a big, game-changing plan to alleviate it — that he keeps all to himself. He’d whisper it in the ear of House Speaker John Boehner behind closed doors in the White House, but the erstwhile champion of transparency didn’t dare make it public.
Why was the president who rode into the White House on a wave of overexposure, who wrote two memoirs and is constantly on TV, so shy and retiring about this one matter? Few things would be more galvanizing in the nation’s budgetary politics than a liberal Democrat breaking ranks on entitlements. It would make possible changes heretofore unthinkable, and partly redeem Obama’s promise of post-partisan government.
Yeah, pretty ridiculous for the transparency President