Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Every Light

Hiding Place
“The reality is that we didn’t try to hide from it,” he (President of NBC News Steve Capus) said. “We did an awful lot of work after it happened. We did an exhaustive investigation, I did interviews with a lot of publications to get the message out, but we probably should have done it on our own air.” Mr. Capus said that they were so busy cleaning up the mess “inside our own halls,” that they neglected to loop in the audience. In that sense, the process was probably too “self-reflective,” he added. (NYT, 4/22/2012)

Note to Mainstream Media: this is why we believe that you are dishonest. Here's the background. NBC News edits tape to make George Zimmerman appear biased. When they are exposed, an internal investigation is undertaken. But they never aired an apology (a.k.a. looped in the audience). The only conclusion that a logical man can make is that they were too...."self-reflective." You cannot make this stuff up. 

Flush the Fashion
Many critics view The Times as constitutionally unable to address the election in an unbiased fashion. Like a lot of America, it basked a bit in the warm glow of Mr. Obama’s election in 2008. (Arthur S. Brisbane, Public Editor, New York Times, 4/21/2012)

An astonishing admission from the Times. 

Skipping School
In 2007, then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama missed two votes on the student loan interest bill that he now wants Congress to extend. Obama twice skipped the Senate vote on the College Cost Reduction and Access Act when the bill came to the Senate floor first in July and again in September of 2007, according to public records. (Politico.com, 4/23/2012)

Maybe Obama WILL be vetted this time!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Roads Were As Many

In Dreams
In the governor's dreams, green jobs will replace all of the "tangible jobs" that the state's losing in agriculture, manufacturing, warehousing and construction. But "green energy doesn't create enough energy!" Mr. Kotkin exclaims. "And it drives up the price of energy, which then drives out other things." Notwithstanding all of the subsidies the state lavishes on renewables, green jobs only make up about 2% of California's private-sector work force—no more than they do in Texas. (WSJ, 4/21/2012)

This from the Journal quoting Joel Kotkin, professor at Chapman University in Orange, California. Want to see what the U.S. looks like if Obama gets another turn? Look at California first and then Greece. Vermont is not far behind. And what does the professor have to say about future wealth confiscation by Liberal government?

It's "a very scary political dynamic," he says. "One day somebody's going to put on the ballot, let's take every penny over $100,000 a year, and you'll get it through because there's no real restraint. 

Liberals scare seniors by falsely accusing Republicans of wanting to take away their Medicare. But a friend and loyal reader forwards a schedule of planned Medicare premium increases. According to an e-mail sent from a health care provider, seniors will be paying 237% more in 2014 compared to 2012! The provider notes that these increases are included in Obamacare and notes wryly: just so seniors know who is throwing them under the bus!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hang Your Hat

Climb High
Congressional redistricting, a decennial process that generally allows the party in legislative power in each state to draw new lines, has not created many opportunities for new seats for Republicans, as the party’s leaders once expected. But it has forced multiple House Democrats, viewing their odds in new districts as slim, into retirement. Many of those districts are now either in play or solidly Republican, making the climb for Democrats all that more onerous. (NYT, 4/19/2012)

The New York Times got themselves all twisted up here trying to explain why re-districting was not going to help Republicans much. In a previous article which they link to they gave us this:

On paper, the sweeping gains Republicans enjoyed last year in statehouses across the country gave the party a profound advantage in the nascent and increasingly contentious power struggle to create new Congressional districts. 

But those gains are likely to add up to fewer than 10 seats in the House of Representatives, largely because Republicans took so many seats from Democrats in 2010 that there are not many left to change hands through redistricting. (NYT, 6/11/2011)

So Republicans are victims of their own success......or something like that!

The President's Socialist rival is a throwback of a different sort. Fran├žois Hollande's campaign has adopted a fiery old-left style that most had taken for dead after the Socialists' 2007 defeat. All of Mr. Hollande's major economic policy plans have roots in a punitive populism that would make U.S. Congressional class warriors blush. According to the latest polls, he leads Mr. Sarkozy 29%-24% in the first-round vote and by an even wider margin in the likely runoff.

Mr. Hollande says he's "not dangerous" to the wealthy—he merely wants to confiscate 75% of their income over €1 million, and 45% over €150,000. (WSJ, 4/19/2012)

Sarkozy's rival in France echos RedStateVT's call for confiscation....er, a fairness tax, on all wealth above a stated amount. Call it Le Rule d'Buffett Billion.

So, of course, RedStateVT has been having fun at the expense of Liberal billionaires who know that a higher tax rate is not going to hurt them given their tax shelters and trusts. They can appear populist by volunteering to pay more (although they never do) knowing that it is not going to pinch them financially. The Buffett Billion Rule facetiously proposed by RedStateVT is designed to get them thinking about what happens AFTER the Buffett Rule proposed by Obama, i.e. what happens when Liberals start coming for the principal of billionaires. Think it won't happen? Read up on what Colonel Bernie Sanders has to say about the inheritance tax!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Out Of The Bunker

Credit Default
Deathly afraid that Obama will be defeated, the state-controlled media is ramping up its reelection efforts. From whispering about Romney's religion to absurd polling the media campaign is now underway. Make no mistake, defeat of Obama is an almost equal rebuke of the Liberal press. Hence we get Chris Matthews commenting yesterday that Republicans would not give Obama credit for killing bin Laden, but want to blame him for the GSA scandal. The connection between the two is absurd as is the contention. Overwhelmingly, Republicans gave the president props for taking out bin Laden. There was certainly some grumbling that the intelligence gathered to do the job took place under Bush and that Obama had been critical of Bush policies in this regard. Nonetheless, the notion that Obama was not given credit is false. With respect to the GSA scandal, Republicans will certainly use this to their political advantage as Democrats would if the situation was reversed. Republican criticism - to our ears - has been more directed at out-of-control government spending and waste and a bloated federal bureaucracy. Republicans are certainly happy to have Democrats and the president on the defensive, but outright blame of Obama has not been the predominant theme of their comments. 

Ben Eisenberg, finance director for the Sanders campaign, said that since 2007, Sanders has received donations from 58,846 individuals, including 2,965 Vermonters. In the first quarter of 2011, contributions came from 19,337 individuals, including 546 Vermonters, Eisenberg said. 

Since 2007, the campaign has raised a total of $5,244,240, of which $479,062 came from Vermonters — or about 9 percent. 

From 2007 to 2011, about 19 percent of the money donated to Sanders came from Vermonters, with the rest originating from outside the state, according to the OpenSecrets.org website, which tracks money in American politics. (Burlington Free Press, 4/18/2012)

So here are the numbers:

-Since 2007, 95% of contributors were non-Vermonters
-In 2011, 97% of contributors were non-Vermonters
-Since 2007, 91% of money contributed from non-Vermonters

And Colonel Sanders wants to overturn Citizens United? What is he hiding? Vermont's junior senator is bought and paid for by outside interests. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Communicating With Vladimir

Freak Out!
Scientists may hesitate to link some of the weather extremes of recent years to global warming — but the public, it seems, is already there. A poll due for release on Wednesday shows that a large majority of Americans believe that this year’s unusually warm winter, last year’s blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming.
When invited to agree or disagree with the statement, “global warming is affecting the weather in the United States,” 69 percent of respondents in the new poll said they agreed, while 30 percent disagreed.

“My sense from around the country and the world is that people definitely understand that things are getting freaky,” said William E. McKibben, the founder of 350.org. “During that crazy heat wave in March, everyone in Chicago was out enjoying the weather, but in the back of their mind they were thinking, this is not right.” (NYT, 4/17/2012)

So taking up the line of reasoning championed by Middlebury's enviro-alarmist McKibben, RedStateVT dug into the issue of Chicago temperatures. It took three minutes, maybe less. The 2012 Chicago average temps were 5 degrees higher than the previous historical average. And when was that? Why it was in 1945! So let's play this out. Back in 1945 were Chicagoans "freaked out" by the warm weather? Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. Did they attribute it to man-made global warming? Of course they didn't. Could McKibben attribute the 1945 highs in Chicago to global warming? Not with a straight face! So what "caused" those highs in 1945 and might whatever it was have also "caused" the 2012 highs?

Or maybe it is just that highs and lows happen all the time. Those who think that humans have a "right" to steady and predictable weather are the real climate-deniers. And what about that poll? Can we trust it? Let's look at another poll on the same subject:

On a relative basis, Americans tend to worry more about environmental threats to the nation's water supplies than those that affect other parts of the environment. The highest levels of worry this year are for contamination of soil and water by toxic waste, pollution of drinking water, and pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

Concern about global warming is lowest of the seven environmental issues tested, even though it is up slightly this year from last year. (Gallup.com, 4/13/2012, linked from ClimateDepot.com)

Partial Thanks
President Barack Obama holds a nine-point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney thanks in part to the perception that the president is more likeable and more in touch with the problems facing women and middle class Americans, according to a new national poll. (CNN.com, 4/16/2012)

Registered voters are evenly split between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama. The poll finds 46 percent support Mr. Obama, while as many prefer Mr. Romney. (NYT, 4/18/2012)

Speaking of polls, RedStateVT advises readers not to look at the presidential polls. They have become politicized. Last night we even saw MSNBC run a segment on a poll asking people who they THINK is going to be elected. The results were two to one in favor of Obama. Whereupon Liberal pundits then opined on how bad this was for Romney. Really, who do you THINK is going to be elected? Add to that nonsense small and biased sample sizes and the majority of polls mean nothing. 

Flame Out!
If it were learned that the car driven by the average American is 10 times more likely to burst into flames than the car driven by the richest 1%, what should the policy response be? Should it be to mandate that cars driven by the rich burst into flames more often?

Income inequality is a strange obsession, at least to the extent the obsessives focus their policy responses on trying to adjust the condition of the top 1% rather than improving the opportunities of everyone else.  (Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, 4/17/2012)

Well put by Jenkins. The Liberal worldview is that wealth is static. If someone accumulates it, they are depriving someone else of it. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Don't Underestimate The American Worker

Present Times
Speaking to reporters in Washington, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned of more violence as the Taliban’s spring offensive unfolds. “We’re going to continue to see suicide attacks,” Mr. Panetta said. “We’re going to continue to see efforts by them to try to undermine confidence in Afghanistan that we’re headed in the right direction.” He added: “It hasn’t worked in the past. I don’t think it’ll work in the present.” (NYT, 4/16/2012)

Yesterday RedStateVT speculated on how the press would have covered the recent Taliban raids in Afghanistan during the Bush administration. Our belief is that there would have been extensive questioning of the efficacy of Bush's strategic goals and objectives. So one day later the passage above is the sole reference to the Obama administration, coming in the last paragraph of the New York Times article. 

Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty have spent the last decade tracking the incomes of the poor, the middle class and the rich in countries across the world. More than anything else, their work shows that the top earners in the United States have taken a bigger and bigger share of overall income over the last three decades, with inequality nearly as acute as it was before the Great Depression. (NYT, 4/16/2012)

The intellectual parents of the Democrats' redistribution ideas are - it turns out - two French economists, one of whom teaches at Berkeley. Why are we not surprised? Note the antiquated view that wealth is static, ergo the rich are 'taking more' from the poor.

Don't Let The Sun Go Down
America's largest solar panel manufacturer is laying off 2,000 workers and closing factories in response to waning demand and increased competition from China. (NYT, 4/17/2012)

Now we can't blame Republicans for this...or can we?

Pressed Measures
Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a move to open debate on the so-called Buffett Rule, ensuring that a measure pressed for months by President Obama and Senate Democrats to ensure that the superrich pay a tax rate of at least 30 percent will not come to a decisive vote. (NYT, 4/16/2012)

The Senate has, so far, not taken up the Buffett Billion Rule recently proposed by RedStateVT wherein all individual wealth above $1 billion is returned to the government by way of a fairness tax. Write your Congressman today. Demand the Senate pass the Buffett Billion Rule!

So It Was
It was Sex Week at Harvard, a student-run program of lectures, panel discussions and blush-inducing conversations about all things sexual. The event was Harvard’s first, though the tradition started at Yale in 2002 and has since spread to colleges around the country: Brown, Northeastern, the University of Kentucky, Indiana University and Washington University have all held some version of Sex Week in recent years. (NYT, 4/16/2012)

What your $200,000 buys. We are speechless.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Enter To Win Dinner With Barack

The Clash
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner defended his boss Sunday against charges from Mitt Romney that women have "suffered" under the Obama administration -- in what has become one of the first big clashes between the two sides since Romney emerged as the presumptive GOP nominee. (Foxnews.com, 4/15/20120)

The Obama administration rolls out the Treasury Secretary to keep the "War on Women" topic alive. Just who is this Geithner anyway?

During the confirmation hearings of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner three years ago, we learned that he failed to pay self-employment tax on income from the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Geithner partially blamed the oversight on the TurboTax software he had used, claiming it wasn't formatted "in a way that caught" his embarrassing mistake. 

This excuse is now memorialized in tax lore as the "TurboTax defense." The IRS waived all penalties against Mr. Geithner—a waiver not customarily offered to ordinary taxpayers, who routinely face a 20% accuracy penalty (plus interest) on back taxes. (WSJ, 4/16/2012)

Oh, now we remember!

Ms. Speaking
On Chris Matthews today, former Clinton Press Secretary (and apologist) Dee Dee Myers excused (her admitted friend) Hilary Rosen's comment disparaging Ann Romney. 'It was all a misstatement, she didn't mean it, she apologized, etc.' And besides said Myers, she doesn't speak for the White House. Well alright, RedStateVT says that Rush Limbaugh does not speak for the Republican party....notwithstanding Democrats who recently held Limbaugh out as the voice of the GOP.

Matthews - to his credit - then said his stay-at-home mother raised five boys and its was a hard job. Bravo!

The recent news includes a daring and deadly Taliban raid in Afghanistan, a government boondoggle scandal that wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax-payer money and a prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service. The state-controlled media has made little effort to tie these to the Obama administration. We cannot help but think of the headlines had the very same scandals taken place under George Bush:

--Deadly Raids Undercut Bush Claims of Progress in Afghanistan

--Did Lack of White House Oversight Lead to GSA Excesses?

--Critics Say Macho White House Culture Led To Secret Service Sex Scandal

Sunday, April 15, 2012

For The Turnstiles

Face Time
Although Mr. Obama has made a point of not accepting contributions from registered lobbyists, a review of campaign donations and White House visitor logs shows that special interests have had little trouble making themselves heard. Many of the president’s biggest donors, while not lobbyists, took lobbyists with them to the White House, while others performed essentially the same function on their visits. 

More broadly, the review showed that those who donated the most to Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party since he started running for president were far more likely to visit the White House than others. Among donors who gave $30,000 or less, about 20 percent visited the White House, according to a New York Times analysis that matched names in the visitor logs with donor records. But among those who donated $100,000 or more, the figure rises to about 75 percent. Approximately two-thirds of the president’s top fund-raisers in the 2008 campaign visited the White House at least once, some of them numerous times. (NYT, 4/14/2012)

Exactly the kind of investigative reporting that the New York Times does when Republicans are involved and that it needs to do more of if it has any hope of ever being seen again as an objective arbiter of the news. Obama's green energy sinkhole, Fast and Furious and the new GSA scandal are all still sitting out there waiting to be really investigated. What do you say New York Times, are you in?

People Persons
Sen. Bernie Sanders is among congressional lawmakers leading the call for a constitutional amendment to end corporate spending in elections. 

But his ideas on “corporate personhood,” the treatment of corporations as people under the law, are drawing criticism from some amendment advocates. They say his approach unfairly favors unions and nonprofit corporations and might clash with the wishes of some Vermonters.
“We appreciate Bernie Sanders for many things, but we think that he has created an exemption that is intellectually dishonest,” said David Cobb, of Move to Amend, a grassroots group that has worked on local campaigns in Vermont and elsewhere. (Burlington Free Press, 4/14/2012)

Taking up the challenge thrown down by RedStateVT, supporters of Colonel Bernie Sanders note his hypocrisy. (Political donations from corporations bad, political donations from unions good.)  Tip of the hat to "Move to Amend." No doubt, RedStateVT would disagree with them on most things, but they get our respect for calling out Bernie.

Friday, April 13, 2012

At The Station

Not Optimal
Mr. Obama opted out of the public financing program in 2008, breaking a campaign pledge, and went on to outspend the Republican nominee, John McCain, by four to one. (NYT, 4/12/2012)

Obama is a different kind of politician....not.

Lost in Space
On Friday, the satellite disintegrated in a different kind of fireworks. The rocket carrying it exploded midair about one minute after the liftoff, according to American, South Korean and Japanese officials. The rocket and satellite — which cost the impoverished country an estimated $450 million to build, according to South Korean government estimates — splintered into many pieces and plunged into the gray blue waters of the Yellow Sea. 

Hours later, despite the embarrassing setback, Mr. Kim was upheld as the new head of the national defense commission, his country’s highest state agency, during a parliamentary meeting in the country’s capital, Pyongyang, on Friday. That was the last among the top military, party and state posts that have been transferred to him from his father, Kim Jong-il, who died in December. (NYT, 4/13/2012)

As in American politics poor results do not always translate to lack of advancement.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama had a combined income of $789,674 in 2011 but paid a lower tax rate the president's secretary, who made less than $100,000, the White House confirmed Friday. (Foxnews.com, 4/13/2012)

Like his billionaire friend Warren Buffett, President Obama refuses to lead by example. Not happy with the amount of taxes you are paying? Show the country you are serious and pay more! We guess that the president would rather "lead from behind."

The Obamas paid more than $160,000 in federal taxes last year. (Foxnews.com, 4/13/2012)

As RedStateVT has reported, Mitt Romney paid over $3 million in taxes in 2010.

Independents' Day
By a 7-point margin, more voters think Romney has the best experience to fix the economy (46-39 percent). Romney’s advantage widens over Obama to 41-28 percent among independents. (Foxnews.com, 4/13/2012)

Democrats want to talk about the women's vote, but the big story is straight up independents.... where Obama is trailing by 13%!

Living Well
It looks like the courts will get to decide whether the controversial "living wage" bill about to be enacted by the City Council is legal. Mayor Bloomberg dropped a bombshell on his weekly radio show today by announcing that his administration intends to file a lawsuit to block the law from taking effect.

"We certainly will go to court and sue," the mayor declared. "Whether you win or not, you never know."

The proposed law requires that businesses accepting $1 million or more in city subsidies pay their workers at least $11.50 an hour, or $10 with benefits. The current minimum wage here is $7.25 an hour.

Bloomberg compared the mandate to communism. "The last time we really had a big managed economy was the USSR and that didn't work out so well," he said. "You cannot stop the tides from coming in." (New York Post, 4/13/2012)

It seems that even New York's Liberal mayor understands a thing or two about how capitalism works.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

RedStateVT Proposes "Buffett Billion Rule"

Today RedStateVT is proposing the "Buffett Billion Rule." Here is how it works. Anybody with a net worth of over $1 billion is required to pay a "fairness tax" to the government equal to any excess above that amount. The rationale is simple: what possible use could any one individual have for accumulating wealth in excess of $1 billion? (A 50 year old with $1 billion - the maximum amount allowed under the Buffett Billion Rule - who lived to be 90 years old could spend $68,500 per day! Who couldn't live on $68,500 per day?) The government would agree not to touch the billionaire's remaining billion dollars thereby providing a rather substantial floor (and peace of mind) to the billionaire. Amounts collected by the government by way of the Buffett Billion Rule could be used to redistribute to others in need, pay down the deficit, pay teachers more money, rebuild bridges, fund green energy start-ups, etc.

To provide one measure of the amount of money that could be collected, RedStateVT reviewed the Forbes list of the world's richest people and randomly selected seven billionaires representing various levels of billionaireness. The names included Warren Buffett ($44 billion) for whom the rule is named, Michael Bloomberg ($22 billion), George Soros ($20 billion), David Geffen ($5.5 billion), George Lucas ($3.2 billion), Steven Spielberg ($3 billion) and Oprah Winfrey ($2.7 billion). Application of the Buffett Billion Rule would result in additional government revenue of $93.4 billion from these billionaires alone!!

RedStateVT urges all registered (and unregistered) voters to call their congressperson today and demand that the federal government enact the Buffett Billionaire Rule. Alternatively, you may choose to visit your representative at their official government office.  (Note: proper ID required for entry.)

Hoping Against Hope
"And we’re hoping that because of its simplicity and clarity, perhaps that Republicans this time will heed the call of their constituents, read the polls at least, as I hear they sometimes do, and act accordingly because it’s a matter of basic fairness and it makes economic sense.”

-- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney discussing President Obama’s call for a millionaires tax.  (Foxnews.com, 4/12/2012)

Speaking of polls, Carney added that President Obama has indeed read the polls saying that two-thirds of Americans are opposed to Obamacare and that he is now going to issue a 50 state exemption. Just kidding!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Everybody Knows The Secret

Stalled Out
Public employees are working without contracts in cities and counties across New York State, as labor negotiations stall because local governments say they cannot afford to raise wages. 

But many union members are still taking home larger paychecks, thanks to a state law that allows workers to continue receiving longevity-based salary increases after their contracts expire. (NYT, 4/10/2012)

Still think the public sector employee game is NOT rigged? For this, we can thank feckless politicians, largely Democrats, who buy labor votes with our tax dollars.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee was finishing up a bill barring youths from using tanning beds Tuesday morning when the panel took a surprise detour.

With barely a word said about it, the panel voted 3-2 to attach a physician-assisted death bill to the tanning bed bill, a maneuver that sets up a possible Senate floor vote on the controversial end-of-life issue that had failed to make it out of another committee. (Burlington Free Press, 4/11/2012)

Liberals want to snuff out life at conception and at old age. They respect the sanctity of life only when defending someone on death row. 

Battle of Britain
Loyal readers know that RedStateVT is studying the life of the great Winston Churchill whose steadfastness in the face of Nazi aggression was awe-inspiring. So why did President Obama - as one of his initial presidential acts - return the bust of Churchill lent to the U.S. by the British? Now we may have our answer. It seems that after the defeat of Hitler, Churchill's biggest fear was the spread of socialism. He railed against it in speech after speech seeing it as an enormous threat in post-war Europe. 

Obama keeps telling us he is not a socialist, but his actions speak volumes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Starting Line

If five of our present justices broadly prohibit the federal government from providing accessible health care, Congress should consider using its constitutional power again to add two more justices — and impose a reasonable limit on the length of time that a mere mortal should hold so much political power. (Paul D. Carrington, law professor, Duke University, NYT Op-ed, 4/10/2012)

Don't waste your money sending your kids to Duke Law if this is what qualifies for reasoned analysis. Carrington is frustrated that conservatives hold a (slim) majority on the Supreme Court. With lifetime judicial tenure this concerns Liberals who, no doubt, want to get on with their agenda (free government-run healthcare, legalized marijuana, free government-supplied marijuana, etc.) 

His answer? Sprinkle in some more justices. No doubt he means Liberal judges.

Best Defense
In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act by huge bipartisan votes -- 342 - 67 in the House and 85 - 14 in the Senate. President Bill Clinton signed the measure into law.

Now, the Obama administration says DOMA, which permits states to refuse to recognize gay marriages from other states and creates a federal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, is unconstitutional. (Byron York, Townhall.com, 4/10/2011)

It is nice to be periodically reminded of these things.

The conventional wisdom in Washington is even more demented than usual in its confident prediction of an Obama victory. The fact is that a careful analysis of the polling suggests that he faces the likelihood that his political base will underperform in the 2012 election, voting with their feet by staying home. (DickMorris.com, 4/3/2012)

Count RedStateVT among those who don't believe the media line that it will be a close race. Look at it this way...do you know ANYONE who voted for McCain and is now going to vote for Obama? Likely you do not. On the other hand, we have heard of many who voted for Obama and now would vote for anyone but. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Long Time Coming

Winding Paths
Now, with a record that includes winding down the Iraq war and killing Bin Laden, coupled with the success of the military strikes in Libya and the removal of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, political and national security experts have embraced the Obama campaign’s belief that this could be the year when national security issues actually help a Democrat. (NYT, 4/6/2012)

Obama "leads from behind" on Libya, blinks on Iran and promises Putin more concessions ("flexibility") after he is re-elected and does not have to answer to the country on weakening U.S. defenses. But national security is going to help him? 

The relationship between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Romney — nurtured over meals in Boston, New York and Jerusalem, strengthened by a network of mutual friends and heightened by their conservative ideologies — has resulted in an unusually frank exchange of advice and insights on topics like politics, economics and the Middle East. (NYT, 4/7/2012)

Oh, and one more thing on Obama's national security bona fides - apparently the Israelis don't like or trust him.

Same Old
The Obama administration is responding to the recent report that shows a federal agency spent more that $800,000 on a lavish conference near Las Vegas by putting some of the blame on the Bush administration. (Foxnews.com, 4/7/2012)

Good to see that team Obama is sticking to its "Blame Bush" strategy. Even honest Dems must be tired of this one. 

Among Democrats, Obama has cited Bill Clinton more than 60 times and Franklin Delano Roosevelt 45 times at public events. Jimmy Carter? Four times. (Foxnews.com, 4/7/2012)

It is surely obvious to all why Obama would not want to bring up Jimmy Carter!

Locked Up
Partisanship is four Democrat-appointed justices giving lock-step support to a law passed by a Democratic Congress and a Democratic president — after the case for its constitutionality had been reduced to rubble. (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, 4/5/2012)

Why yes!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Constitutional Law Follies

And so it was on Monday that Barack Obama, anticipating a loss before the Supreme Court, added the third branch of government to the list of villains he will run against in his re-election campaign. (Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 4/4/2012)

On Monday, President Obama shocked even his fellow liberals when he claimed that it would be "an unprecedented, extraordinary step" for the Supreme Court to overturn "a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress." (Which Obamacare wasn't.)

He added: "I'd just remind conservative commentators that for years what we've heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint."

I guess now we know why Obama won't release his college and law school transcripts!

It was so embarrassing that Obama attempted a clarification on Tuesday, but only made things worse. He said: "We have not seen a court overturn a law that was passed by Congress on an economic issue, like health care," since the '30s.

Except in 1995. And then again in 2000. (Do we know for a fact that this guy went to Columbia and Harvard Law?)  (Ann Coulter, 4/4/2012)

“Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” he said on Monday. 

Because the vote by which the health care law was enacted was razor-thin and largely partisan, and because the court’s powers have been established since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, the president’s words were false on both counts, PolitiFact.com declared. 

Mr. Obama and his aides have tried to explain what he meant, but they have relied on arcane arguments that may fall beyond the grasp of ordinary voters who have not studied the distinctions drawn over the commerce clause and the Lochner judicial era that preceded the New Deal. (NYT, 4/5/2012)

We fully expected the Wall Street Journal and Ann Coulter to give us some gems as a result of Professor Obama's latest misadventures. Having the New York Times weigh in was akin to getting to celebrate your birthday twice.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tell Barack You're In!

Fire Away
For Mr. Obama, painting the conservative lawmaker as a sort of wild-eyed wingman to Mr. Romney carries clear benefits, according to his advisers: it yokes Mr. Romney to the unpopular elements of the Ryan budget — from deep cuts in cherished social programs to a Medicare overhaul that could drive up costs for future retirees and fundamentally change the popular health plan — and it makes it tougher for Mr. Romney to tack to the center once he gets past the primaries. 

“He’s very much lashed to Ryan and the House Republicans,” said David Axelrod, a top strategist for Mr. Obama. “They share an economic view and a view on the budget. By essentially embracing the framework of Ryan, Romney is also embracing the steps that would be necessary to implement it.”  (NYT, 4/4/2012)

Political "genius" Axelrod wants to tie Romney to Congressman Paul Ryan? Have at it, we say. It will only serve to point up the deficiencies of Obama. Ryan is smart-as-a-whip and is proposing real solutions to real problems. Problems like budget deficits that Obama made worse and entitlement reform which Obama ignores. We believe that the usual Democrat/Axelrod strategy of maliciously trashing political opponents will not work with Paul Ryan.

I would lament a ruling striking down the individual mandate, but I would not denounce it as conservative justices run amok.  Listening to the arguments and reading the transcript, the justices struck me as a group wrestling with a legitimate, even difficult, constitutional question.  For the president to imply that the only explanation for a constitutional conclusion contrary to his own would be out-of-control conservative justices does the court a disservice. (Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, 4/2/2012)

The White House clarified Wednesday that Obama was not trying to intimidate the Supreme Court when he said this week that it would be unusual for the court to overturn a congressional law. (Washington Post, 4/4/2012)

Even Liberals were appalled by Obama's attack on the Supreme Court! But, of course, he wasn't really trying to intimidate them.... What did Obama think? That Justice Scalia could be browbeat by a constitutional lightweight?

"I always get criticized for being 'Middle Class Joe,' which I'm proud of. And I always talk about the middle class. It's more than that," Biden said. "When the middle class is not growing, everybody suffers. It is the backbone of America." (Washingtonexaminer.com, 4/3/2012)

Actually, no one EVER criticizes Biden for his middle class roots. They criticize him because - after a career in politics - he has become a 1%er! How did that happen on a public servant's salary?

Guests From Hell
No South Burlington officials were invited to the airport to be part of the welcoming group, and the president didn’t mention the host city. Beyond the presidential cold shoulder the city is out about $4,200 for the public safety costs of his visit and the short campaign trip to Vermont in June by first lady Michelle Obama, the city police chief said. (Burlington Free Press, 4/5/2012)

Creating havoc wherever they go!

Shout It Out
The obscure federal agency that has come under intense scrutiny after a report it spent $820,000 of taxpayer funds on a lavish Las Vegas bash, spent another $250,000 on an employee's incentive program. (Foxnews.com, 4/5/2012) 

In a story not reported in the New York Times, another $1 million of your tax dollars wasted under the Obama administration. Ho-hum. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Goods And Services

Right before our eyes, American conservatism is becoming something very different from what it once was. Yet this transformation is happening by stealth because moderates are too afraid to acknowledge what all their senses tell them. (E.J. Dione Jr., Washington Post, 4/1/2012)

Liberals know that they cannot win in November if they are perceived as Liberals. Ronald Reagan made the word itself toxic. In response, Liberals were reborn first as Progressives. We have not seen polls on the favorability of that term, but our instinct is that "Progressive" may track LESS favorably than "Liberal." What are Liberals/Progressives to do? It is now increasingly clear that they are going to rebrand as (are you ready?) Moderates. As RedStateVT has shown you, the New York Times editors have hilariously called the Liberal minority justices on the Supreme Court Moderates. And now, reading from the same playbook, columnists like Dionne have taken up the cause. By our count, he uses some version of the word "Moderate" seven times in this piece. Just for good measure, he throws in "Centrist" once. Good luck selling this one.

(Good Morning America's Jake) Tapper highlighted the "long, bruising" Republican presidential primary and compared it to Clinton's 1992 campaign: "You turned it around. Can [Romney]?" An ABC graphic trumpeted, "Bill Clinton: Romney Can't Win." Clinton piously asserted that his presidential campaign endured "one long character attack."  (NewsBusters.com, 4/2/2012)

RedStateVT actually watched the original interview with (disgraced former President) Clinton described by NewsBusters.com. It was surreal. Here's the backdrop: new poll numbers show that Romney has dipped in several battleground states. Of course, previously he was up...and before that down...and before that up... You know how polls go. In any event, rather than ask Douglas Schoen for comment, or Patrick Caddell, or Larry Sabato, GMA ask the disgraced former president if Romney can recover from this dip (with 7 months to go before the election!) The disgraced former president bites his lip and solemnly opines that Romney cannot turn it around. Thanks for the expert, objective opinion. If we did not see, we would not have believed it.

Narcissist that he is, the disgraced former president then goes on to talk about his favorite subject: how he was unfairly treated during his presidency. 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was operating under the influence of painkillers during Republican presidential debates earlier this election cycle, a new e-book by Mike Allen and Evan Thomas claims. (Huffington Post, 4/3/2012)

Next up, the inside story on why Joe Biden continues to put his foot in his mouth. Just kidding!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

For A Ride

The four moderates on the court have a leftish bent, but they see their role as stewards of the law, balancing the responsibility to enforce the Constitution through judicial review against the duty to show deference to the will of the political branches. In that respect, they and the conservatives seem to be following entirely different rules. (NYT editorial, 3/31/2012)

Proof (again) that Liberals are not anchored to reality and, therefore, cannot be reasoned with. RedStateVT would never call justices like Scalia and Thomas anything other than conservatives, but the Times calls Kagan and Sotomayor moderates. And wherefore this argument that the moderate (aka Liberal) justices are noble upholders of the Constitution while the conservatives bow to their political masters?

For assistance in understanding such nonsense we turn again to Timothy Dalrymple:

Since liberals control the American education establishment and nearly all of the major news organizations, conservatives generally are better educated in liberal ways of thinking than liberals are in conservative ways of thinking. How many of us, in high school or college, heard thorough, eloquent, and charitable defenses of conservative theories of society, economy, and government? The faculties at major universities and the staffs at major news organizations are overwhelmingly liberal. This has not served our country well. Liberals in general get their views of “conservatism” second-hand through liberal caricatures, and this has made them better able to demonize conservatives than understand them. (Timothy Dalrymple, 3/30/2012 quoting from his own July 2010 post, Patheos.com)

Simply and stunningly well reasoned.

New Yorker Abake Assongba has pledged to help President Obama win reelection, and as one of his 400 volunteer fundraisers, she has delivered $50,000 to the cause.  But she is also trailed by some controversy, accused in court of defrauding a businessman out of $657,000, impersonating a bank official and dodging creditors.
Last month, the Obama campaign said it would return $200,000 in donations from the Chicago-area brothers of a Mexican casino magnate linked to violence and corruption. (Washington Post, 3/31/2012)

Maybe it's the criminal money and not the corporate money that we have to worry about in politics.

At a Senate subcommittee panel with armed forces and Environmental Protection Agency experts, Sanders solidified an emerging energy policy that he said would not only save the lives of soldiers, but likely reduce the likelihood of further wars for oil. (Burlington Free Press, 3/31/2012)

"Further wars for oil?" Why do we then have $4/gallon gas? If we are going to have "wars for oil" then let's get some benefit from them! Beyond, of course, removing threats to our national security....