Friday, August 31, 2012

Calling Out


Ryan Express
“So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the left isn’t going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program and raiding it.” (NYT, 8/29/2012)

Best line from Ryan's acceptance speech.

“College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life,” he said midway through his speech,” eliciting laughter and delighted applause. (NYT, 8/29/2012)

...Or maybe this one was.

After School
Wednesday night, Rice endorsed another would-be president unschooled in world affairs – conspicuously, embarrassingly so – and this one is already seemingly in thrall to the hard-liners. (Bill Keller, NYT, 8/29/2012)

One would have to go back and read Keller's previous columns to learn what he said - or didn't say - about candidate and community-organizer Obama's foreign policy experience. But that would be cruel and unusual punishment. Here is what we know about said foreign policy experience: once nominated, Obama gave a speech in Berlin.

Meanwhile, as a business man and governor, Romney traveled the world and met with world leaders. He has maintained a close relationship for years with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, one of America's closest allies...whom Obama privately (and publicly) derides. 

Hold The Pepper
The two speeches — peppered with statements that were incorrect or incomplete — seemed to signal the arrival of a new kind of presidential campaign, one in which concerns about fact-checking have been largely set aside. (NYT, 8/30/2012)

Loved this one. About twenty-six paragraphs on Republican "inaccuracies" about Obama's record. One mention, one, of Obama distortions. And no mention whatsoever of Obama campaign assertions that 'Romney is a felon...a tax cheat...a murderer.' Just another day at the New York Times. 

Bouncy
Romney’s was not a great speech, but it did at least familiarize its hearers with aspects of his personal journey of which they were unaware. He is likely to get some bounce out of his convention, but it will be short-lived as media attention shifts abruptly to the Democrats’ conclave in Charlotte right after Labor Day. (E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post, 8/31/2012)

Best comment from a reader about Dionne's predictable Liberal analysis of Romney's speech: "E.J....you scared, bro?"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coming Up



Refusal
Also, while much of his program involves spending cuts, he has effectively raised taxes on low-income workers and homeowners by slashing tax credits. But he vetoed a temporary surcharge on millionaires while refusing to raise the state’s gasoline tax, which is the third-lowest in America and far below tax rates in neighboring states. Only some people, it seems, are expected to make sacrifices. (Paul Krugman, NYT, 8/26/2012)

Krugman has obviously been asked by Obama '12 to knock Christie down a peg or two given the New Jersey governor's role in the Republican convention. We won't go through all of Krugman's hit piece (where to start?), but we will briefly focus on this one point. Krugman castigates Christie for not raising the gasoline tax (God forbid! It's the third lowest in the U.S.). But right before that he excoriates Christie for raising taxes on low income workers....who would be disadvantaged by higher gasoline taxes! Does Krugman read his own column?

Imposition
But he also tells the story of what he has managed to get done despite having a Legislature controlled by the opposite party: he has overhauled teacher tenure laws, and pensions and benefits for state employees, and has imposed a property tax cap. (He may not mention that some of these were Democrats’ ideas.) (NYT, 8/27/2012)

Continuing the assault on Christie, the Times now accuses him of stealing ideas from Dems! Yes, because Dems are at the forefront of scaling back public sector employee benefits and reigning in teachers. Just kidding!

Considerable
Consider the record. His failed personal effort to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. His failed personal effort to negotiate a climate-change deal at Copenhagen in 2009. His failed efforts to strike a nuclear deal with Iran that year and this year. His failed effort to improve America's public standing in the Muslim world with the now-forgotten Cairo speech. His failed reset with Russia. His failed effort to strong-arm Israel into a permanent settlement freeze. His failed (if half-hearted) effort to maintain a residual U.S. military force in Iraq. His failed efforts to cut deals with the Taliban and reach out to North Korea. His failed effort to win over China and Russia for even a symbolic U.N. condemnation of Syria's Bashar Assad. His failed efforts to intercede in Europe's economic crisis. (Bret Stephens, WSJ, 8/27/2012)

Notwithstanding, the Liberal media gives Obama the edge in foreign policy over Mitt Romney.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Matching Backs To Burdens



Injection
Mitt Romney, who has denounced the nasty personal tone of the presidential campaign, seemed to make a joke about President Obama’s birth certificate while speaking to voters here on Friday, reinjecting the issue of the president’s birthplace into the campaign. (NYT, 8/24/2012)

After months of being accused of being a tax cheat, a felon, and a potential murderer by Harry Reid, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Stephanie Cutter and other assorted Obama surrogates Romney finally pokes back (gently). Well good for him. The Obama campaign will be outraged, but so what. They are the ones who have been running a gutter campaign. And as EVERYONE knows, Obama DID produce his birth certificate......more than ten years after he entered politics.

Unspecified
The documents, obtained and published by Gawker.com, do not specify the stakes held in the funds by the Romney family trusts or by other investors. But they highlight the range and complexity of Mr. Romney’s investments at a time when those very qualities have been the subject of the Obama campaign’s main attacks against him, including demands that Mr. Romney release his tax returns to clear up any suggestion that he might be benefiting financially from legal loopholes or tax shelters. (NYT, 8/23/2012)

God forbid! Romney might be following the law and benefiting from "legal loopholes." Well we certainly hope that he is. After all, such loopholes are...legal.

Exploitation
When thousands of delegates, elected officials and party leaders begin arriving in Tampa, Fla., for the Republican National Convention, hundreds of lobbyists, corporate executives, trade associations and donors will be waiting for them, exploiting legal loopholes — and the fun-house atmosphere — that make each party’s quadrennial conventions a gathering of money and influence unrivaled in politics. (NYT, 8/25/2012)

Here we go again with those Republicans and their "legal loopholes." Such loopholes which have been deemed to be...legal.

Privatize
More than a quarter of the 50 million beneficiaries receive coverage through private Medicare Advantage plans, mostly health maintenance organizations, and Medicare’s drug benefits are delivered exclusively by private insurers, subsidized by the government.

Obama administration officials, lawmakers from both parties and beneficiaries have generally been satisfied with the private plans.

“Medicare Advantage premiums down 7 percent on average, enrollment up 10 percent,” the administration announced in February, and it said the quality of care under Medicare Advantage was improving. (NYT, 8/25/2012)

Romney-Ryan now accepting apologies from Obama-Biden.

Bizarro
Confusing language in the health care reform law has raised the possibility that millions of Americans living on modest incomes may be unable to afford their employers’ family policies and yet fail to qualify for government subsidies to buy their own insurance. This is a bizarre development that undercuts the basic goal of health care reform — to expand the number of insured people and make their coverage affordable. (NYT editorial, 8/25/2012)

A hastily constructed albatross of a bill, not subject to review, passed in a controversial way by a minuscule partisan majority. "We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it." Well, now we know. The Times calls this "a glitch." What do you call it?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Look Of The Moment



Likelihood
The Romney-Ryan proposal to reshape Medicare by giving future beneficiaries fixed amounts of money to buy health coverage is deeply unpopular in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to new polls that found that more likely voters in each state trust President Obama to handle Medicare.
...
In Florida and Wisconsin, where Mr. Obama had led Mr. Romney by six percentage points in polls conducted before the selection of Mr. Ryan, the race is essentially tied. (NYT, 8/22/2012)

More poll madness from the New York Times. Obama better on Medicare than Romney! (Oops, Obama trails Romney...) 

Energy
Exelon’s top executives were early and frequent supporters of Mr. Obama as he rose from the Illinois State Senate to the White House. John W. Rogers Jr., a friend of the president’s and one of his top fund-raisers, is an Exelon board member. David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s longtime political strategist, once worked as an Exelon consultant, and Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor and Mr. Obama’s former chief of staff, helped create the company through a corporate merger in 2000 while working as an investment banker. (NYT, 8/22/2012)

Halliburton, Halliburton, Exelon, Exelon....

Effortless
Efforts led by the United States and Israel to isolate Iran suffered a setback on Wednesday when the United Nations announced that Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general, would join officials from 120 countries in Tehran next week for a summit meeting that Iran has trumpeted as a vindication of its defiance and enduring importance in world affairs. (NYT, 8/22/2012)

Proving - once again - that the biggest obstacle to curbing rogue states is...the United Nations.

Extremes
A court on Friday sentenced Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who admitted killing 77 people, to at least 21 years in prison after ruling that he was sane when he carried out his country’s worst peacetime atrocity. The sentence was the most severe permitted under Norwegian law, but it can be extended at a later date if he is still deemed to be a danger to society. (NYT, 8/24/2012)

Liberals want the U.S. to be more like Europe where they are so....civilized.

Spinning Around
International nuclear inspectors will soon report that Iran has installed hundreds of new centrifuges in recent months and may also be speeding up production of nuclear fuel while negotiations with the United States and its allies have ground to a near halt, according to diplomats and experts briefed on the findings. (NYT, 8/23/2012)

Sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions. This is the war cry of Liberals. Sanctions never work.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mercy



New York Times Politics Section Headlines for the Day (partial list) 

Akin Controversy Stirs Up Abortion Issue in Campaign
"...a politically volatile topic for Mitt Romney and other candidates."

G.O.P. Approves Strict Anti-Abortion Language in Party Platform
"...no explicit exceptions for cases of rape or incest."

Former G.O.P. Hero Plays Down Label
"Senator Scott P. Brown...distancing himself from the Republican ticket."

On Trail, Obama Attacks Romney on Student Aid

Patients Would Pay More if Romney Restores Medicare Savings, Analysts Say

Romney's Attack on Energy Found Not So Clear-Cut

You could never accuse the Times of not doing all they can to help Obama. Meanwhile, to see what other topics the Times COULD have included, we turn to the Drudge Report:

$500,00 of stimulus cash spent to air Obama ads during Olbermann, Maddow shows...

Romney raising cash from traditionally Dem cities

CHICAGOLAND: Valerie Jarrett's Role In Controversial Housing Developments...

'Risk of double-dip recession' rises...

Private Thoughts
Since the spring, President Barack Obama's re-election campaign has repeatedly hit Mitt Romney for his career as a private-equity executive and has aired ads accusing his former firm, Bain Capital, of ruining businesses and sending jobs overseas.

At the same time, the Obama White House played a central role in encouraging another private-equity firm to rescue a Philadelphia oil refinery, whose imminent closure by owner Sunoco Inc. SUN -0.17% threatened to send gasoline prices higher before the election. (WSJ, 8/21/2012)

The White House response is something along the lines of...'we would NEVER have done this deal with Bain Capital.'

Not Normal
Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the pro-marijuana group NORML, doesn’t get many calls like this. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin rang him up last week, he said, and told him he’d like to be a national spokesman for the marijuana reform movement. (Burlington Free Press, 8/6/2012)

Apologies for not reporting on this previously. Apparently things are going so swimmingly in Vermont that Governor Shumlin has time to work on other issues...


Monday, August 20, 2012

Res Ipsa Loquitor



Vouch For
Overlooked in the furor surrounding Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal — a plan, it should be recalled, that wouldn’t start until 2023 and even then would affect only new beneficiaries — is a just-published study in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggesting that, well, Ryan might be right. The study finds that a voucher-type system might noticeably reduce costs compared to “traditional” fee-for-service Medicare. Three Harvard economists did the study, including one prominent supporter of President Obama’s health-care overhaul. (Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, 8/19/2012)

It is absolutely indisputable that entitlement programs like social security and medicare are unsustainable in their current form. Democrats can confiscate all the wealth they can from taxpayers - rich and otherwise - and the programs would still eventually collapse. Republicans propose solutions. You might not like what they propose, but they offer possibilities. Democrats offer no solutions and accuse Republicans of wanting to turn off granny's oxygen. 

Party's Over
President Barack Obama’s campaign team, celebrated four years ago for its exceptional cohesion and eyes-on-the-prize strategic focus, has been shadowed this time by a succession of political disagreements and personal rivalries that haunted the effort at the outset. (POLITICO.com, 8/20/2012)

Reliable shills Politico.com and Newsweek (see following post) publish shockingly negative stories about the Obama administration. Why? We can only guess that they may finally suspect that Obama may not get his second term, in which case they would be left with a damning trail of puff pieces on Obama and hit pieces on Romney. Maybe some modicum of journalistic credibility remains after all. 

Behavioral
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, the civilian proportion of drone casualties was 16 percent last year. Ask yourself how the liberal media would have behaved if George W. Bush had used drones this way. Yet somehow it is only ever Republican secretaries of state who are accused of committing “war crimes.” (Niall Ferguson, Newsweek - Hit the Road, Barack, thedailybeast.com, 8/19/2012)

And the Liberal media responds how?

Inheritance Tax
After inheriting the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, President Obama poured vast amounts of money into efforts to stabilize the financial system, rescue the auto industry and revive the economy. (NYT, 8/19/2012)

Just in case you were wondering....


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Front Row



Jester
In Obama’s own on-camera commercial — “the choice . . . couldn’t be bigger” — what’s his big idea? A 4.6-point increase in the marginal tax rate of 2 percent of the population.

That’s it? That’s his program? For a country with stagnant growth, ruinous debt and structural problems crying out for major entitlement and tax reform? Obama’s “plan” would cut the deficit from $1.20 trillion to $1.12 trillion. It’s a joke. (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, 8/16/2012)

Krauthammer nails Obama on the essence of his campaign: "Everything would be better if only we could collect more taxes from the rich." It also occurred to us that past Democrat efforts to win the presidency by painting the other guy as rich (e.g. GHWB, W) did not work. The average American does not despise the rich as Dems do.

The Haunting
It was Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, who adopted the policies that now haunt the church. He described black people as cursed with dark skin as punishment for Cain’s murder of his brother. (John G. Turner, assistant professor at George Mason University, NYT, 8/18/2012)

As predicted, the 'national discussion' of Mormonism begins notwithstanding repudiation by the Mormon church almost thirty-five years ago of past racist practices. The headline proclaims that "Race is still a problem for Mormons." Such discussion, of course, could have begun when Democrat Harry Reid became Senate majority leader. (If race is still a problem now for Mormons, was it a problem several years ago?) Better though (for Obama) to have the discussion when running against a Republican Mormon.

Ain't No Sunshine
From the Media Research Center
The three networks have, thus far, ignored the revelation that American taxpayers will only recover a mere $24 million of the $527 million lost on Solyndra, a new report by the Dow Jones newswire revealed last week.

The evening newscasts and morning shows have skipped the announcement. (WSJ, 8/15/2012)

Consider the headlines if Halliburton lost $500 million of government money. Nancy Pelosi would demand that Dick Cheney be arrested and the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, and NBC would have wall-to-wall coverage. This is why it is so hard for Republicans. 


Friday, August 17, 2012

Rally Round


By The Numbers
Mr. Romney made the remarks at a hastily arranged news conference at an airport in South Carolina, calling the interest in his personal tax returns “small-minded” in light of the nation’s problems. Nonetheless, he said that he had examined the last 10 years of his personal tax returns after Democrats suggested that he might not have paid anything at all in some years.

“Every year, I’ve paid at least 13 percent,” he said, referring to his effective federal income tax rate, which is a higher effective rate than most people pay. (NYT, 8/17/2012)

So let's do the math. Assume Romney made on average $15 million for 9 of the last ten years. We know that he made about $22 million in year ten, so $15 million is a conservative estimate. $15 million at 13% equals $2 million per year for nine years for a total of $18 million. Plus the $3 million that he paid in year ten equals taxes paid of $21 million for the decade. 

Did Mitt Romney pay "enough" taxes? Well $21 million sure sounds like a lot of money to us. How many thousands and thousands and thousands of families benefited from government programs funded by Romney's taxes? We are certain that they are glad that Romney was a successful businessman and that he "built" Bain Capital.

By The Numbers (Too)
“With Mitt, his approach to problem solving is first to identify the problem, make sure you’re solving for the problem actually there; second, look at best practices; third, apply best practices to the problem at hand; and fourth, execute on it,” said Beth Myers, a top Romney adviser who worked on his transition team in 2003, when he became governor of Massachusetts. (NYT, 8/16/2012)

By contrast, the Obama approach is to first blame Bush; second, call for higher taxes on the rich; third, talk about the need for green energy jobs; and fourth, secretly tell Putin that he will give him what he wants after the election.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Be Their Guest


Cheers
So while financiers may cheer Mr. Ryan’s pro-market policies, they may want to reassess just what those policies mean for their businesses. (Andrew Ross Sorkin, NYT, 8/13/2012)

Contributions from Wall Streeters to Obama's re-election coffers are down, what with the non-stop demonization and all. Along comes the helpful New York Times to warn Wall Street that Ryan may not be the savior that they hope for. Ryan, who if elected would become, not the president, but the vice-president.

Push Back
Four years ago, John Brooks cast his ballot for Barack Obama, becoming one of the voters won over by his promise for changing Washington. This time, he had been undecided, but he said Mitt Romney made his decision easier by placing Representative Paul D. Ryan on the Republican ticket.

The choice pushed him back to President Obama, said Mr. Brooks, 43, a sales manager at a Chevrolet dealership, who said that until now he had thought Mr. Romney was really a moderate, and he had been open to voting for him before he picked a running mate whose views on the budget he found extreme.

The storyline that The New York Times has been asked to advance by the Obama campaign is this: people who might have considered voting for Romney are now deciding for Obama after all because Paul Ryan is too "extreme." And so they "uncover" one of these people and write the story. But then they end with this: 

Mr. Brooks, the Iowa man who had counted himself in that category, said his mind was made up before Mr. Obama unexpectedly stopped by his table at the Pump Haus restaurant in downtown Cedar Falls on Tuesday. (NYT, 8/15/2012)

In the Liberal media decoding world that RedStateVT occupies, we call this "the tell." Yes, just coincidentally Obama shows up at the table of someone who wasn't going to support him, but has changed his mind. 

Stages
A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top executives. (NYT, 8/15/2012)

So Democrat governor, senator, bundler and power broker Corzine is going to walk. And friends wonder why we are cynical...

No Problema
Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Monday the campaign had “no problem” with Vice President Joe Biden’s controversial “chains” comment earlier Monday. (Washington Free Beacon, 8/15/2012)

Democrats also have "no problem" with Harry Reid's spurious allegation that Mitt Romney did not pay taxes for ten years nor with Obama's Super PAC ad accusing Romney of complicity in murder. Welcome to the modern Democrat party.

Toxic Running Mate (The Washington Post's headline for E.J. Dionne's 8/15/2012 column)
If you thought Dionne was commenting on Joe "Punchline" Biden you are wrong!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Front Row



Funky Time
Italy may be in a funk, with a shrinking economy and a high unemployment rate, but the United States can learn a lot from it, and not just about the benefits of public health care. Italians live longer. Their poverty rate is much lower than ours. If they lose their jobs or suffer some other misfortune, they can turn to a more generous social safety net. (Eduardo Porter, NYT, 8/14/2012)

So Eduardo thinks Italy is just the cat's pajamas, what with all the free stuff. Well let's check in with another source: The New York Times. Oh, wait a minute, it's the same source.

...For many Romans, this seaside town at the fringe of the capital has long been an arena of summertime rituals, where crowds of children built wobbly castles of soot-colored sand, parents snoozed in clusters, and beachfront resorts bustled with sun-soaked hordes of vacationers.

Not this year. Even now, at the height of the summer, chairs sit forlornly under the colorfully patterned beach umbrellas. Where there were once waiting lists for changing cabins, now there are vacancies. Despite their whimsical names — il Corallo (the coral), il Delfino (the dolphin), l’Oasi (the oasis) — the dozens of bathing establishments that have served as a seasonal escape for generations of Romans cannot escape hard times. (NYT, 8/14/2012)

Oops! Seems like we have a bit of cognitive dissonance here.

Eco-Boost
What is feasible is to look at the overall impact of a set of policies. For example, a general increase in socialistic policies tends to lower economic growth. And, more specifically, the Obama administration's weakening of individual incentives to work and produce by its sharp expansion of transfer payments can be reasonably viewed as retarding the U.S. economic recovery since the end of the recession in 2009. (Robert J. Barro, professor of economics at Harvard, WSJ, 8/14/2012)

The Romney-Ryan ticket gets another boost today when about 400 prominent economists from industry and academia endorsed his economic revival and jobs plan. We came across an advance copy of the statement which reads: "We enthusiastically endorse Governor Mitt Romney's economic plan to create jobs and restore economic growth while returning America to its tradition of economic freedom. The plan is based on proven principles: a more contained and less intrusive federal government, a greater reliance on the private sector…" The statement refutes many of the Obama campaign's loud claims that Mr. Romney's math doesn't add up. (WSJ, 8/14/2012)

So - taking a page out of the Liberal playbook - RedStateVT declares that the failure of Obama's economic policies is now "settled science."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pictures Grim



Ties That Bind
Less well-known are Mr. Ryan’s close ties to the donors and activists who have channeled Tea Party anger into a $400 million political machine, financed by a network of conservative and libertarian donors that now rivals, and occasionally challenges, the Republican establishment behind Mr. Romney.

Mr. Ryan is one of a very few elected officials who have attended the Kochs’ biannual conferences, where wealthy donors sit in on seminars on runaway government spending and the myths of climate change. (NYT, 8/13/2012)

The Times intends to vigorously review the candidates' past affiliations. Excepting, of course, Obama's ties to Bill Ayers.

Moving On
...Mr. Obama has always shied away from directly debating Mr. Ryan on health care and spending. He changed the subject or moved on to someone else. The President knows that Mr. Ryan knows more about the budget and taxes than he does, and that the young Republican can argue the issues in equally moral terms. (WSJ, 8/13/2012)

Forget Ryan versus Biden, the debate we want to see is Ryan versus Obama. It would destroy forever the Liberal myth of Obama as the smartest guy in the room.

Lightly
For one thing, Ryan has no significant private-sector experience...But Ryan’s Washington experience is also light, at least for a potential President—which, after all, is the main job description of a Vice-President. Ryan has worked as a think-tank staffer and Congressman, but he’s never been in charge of a large organization, and he has little experience with foreign policy. (Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker, 8/11/2012)

When a trusted stringer initially sent us this link, we thought it was meant to showcase a new comedic talent. Imagine our surprise when we learned that Lizza is serious! But perhaps we are being too harsh and Lizza's next column will review Obama's private sector, foreign policy and "large organization" experience. Does being head of the "Choomba Group" count?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Precious Survivals



If Obama Loses
RedStateVT has been wondering what stories the Liberal media will write if Obama loses in November. Here are our thoughts:

Story One: It's the Super PACs!
The Koch brothers bought the election because of the Citizens United ruling decided by a radical right wing Supreme Court. Expect Colonel Bernie Sanders to push this hard.

Story Two: It's all George Bush's Fault!
Bush screwed the economy up SO badly that Obama - try though he might - just could not turn it around. Expect Nancy Pelosi to spin this yarn.

Story Three: It's Racism!
Obama was denied a second term due to the rampant racism that STILL exists in this country. Expect to hear this from senior Obama adviser Al Sharpton.

Story Four: It's His Own Fault
Obama is a flawed politician. He never cultivated relationships within his party and he failed to learn the lessons of Bill Clinton. Who will tell this story?

Convictions
A new book due out in September alleges that Tony Rezko, the convicted felon serving a 10 1/2 year jail term for corruption and who was involved in shady land deals with then-state senator Obama, funneled $25,000 in cash to Obama’s campaign in 2008.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the book Golden: How Rod Blagojevich Talked Himself out of the Governor's Office and Into Prison" suggests Blagojevich was referring to money given by Rezko to a Chicago official named Bruce Washington. (Breitbart.com, 8/9/2012)

Will the Washington Post write this story? We doubt it, but they did see fit to write a front page epic on how Mitt Romney was alleged to have bullied somebody 50 years ago.  It's hard to be a Republican candidate these days.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cultural References


Le Vow
President Fran├žois Hollande is vowing to impose a 75 percent tax on the portion of anyone’s income above a million euros ($1.24 million) a year....A chill is wafting over France’s business class as Mr. Hollande, the country’s first Socialist president since Fran├žois Mitterrand in the 1980s, presses a manifesto of patriotism to “pay extra tax to get the country back on its feet again.” The 75 percent tax proposal, which Parliament plans to take up in September, is ostensibly aimed at bolstering French finances as Europe’s long-running debt crisis intensifies.

But because there are relatively few people in France whose income would incur such a tax — an estimated 7,000 to 30,000 in a country of 65 million — the gains might contribute but a small fraction of the 33 billion euros in new revenue the government wants to raise next year to help balance the budget. (NYT, 8/7/2012)

The wealthy Liberal elite in the U.S. who piously claim that they should pay more in taxes (but likely use every legal measure possible to minimize their taxes), are generally seen to have what is called "screw you" money. The definition is: enough money so that it really does not matter if Obama takes a bit more for redistribution. The key here is "a little more." But what about if Obama decides that he needs 75% like France? Would they threaten to leave the country as the article says some rich French have? Would the wealthy Liberals become..... conservatives? 

Wealthy Liberals are not worried, but they should be. And they should be listening to what Vermont's Colonel Bernie Sanders wants to do with the estate tax. If Liberals realized that a significant portion of their wealth would be confiscated at their death, and not passed on to their children, they just might say "screw you" to someone else.

(Special irony is the New York Times pointing out that even if enacted Hollande's proposed tax would have negligible effect on French finances - the exact point made by Republicans about Obama's "tax the rich" scheme. The Times is unable or unwilling to make the connection. All of which validates Republican philosophy that the answer is not more taxes, it's less spending.)

Reaching Out...Touching You
Stories abound of big donors who stopped giving as much or working as hard because Obama never reached out, either with a Clinton-esque warm bath of attention or Romney-esque weekend love fests and Israeli-style jaunts; of celebrities who gave concerts for his campaigns and never received thank-you notes or even his full attention during the performance; of public servants upset because they knocked themselves out at the president’s request and never got a pat on the back; of V.I.P.’s disappointed to get pictures of themselves with the president with the customary signature withheld; of politicians disaffected by the president’s penchant for not letting members of Congress or local pols stand on stage with him when he’s speaking in their state (they often watch from the audience and sometimes have to lobby just to get a shout-out); of power brokers, local and national, who felt that the president insulted them by never seeking their advice or asking them to come to the White House or ride along in the limo for a schmooze. (Maureen Dowd, NYT, 8/7/2012)

An absolutely stunning admission by Dowd, no friend of any Republican. Dowd echoes and amplifies the brief comment that Chris Matthews let slip several months back which spoke to the same point. Obama is an island unto himself. He is no politician, and seemingly disdains the process. It appears he has few friends in Washington and few even in his own party. 



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Settled Pattern


Attribution
The cultural difference between Israel and its Arab neighbors is so striking that you would think it beyond question. But when Mitt Romney attributed the gap between Israel’s economic performance and the Palestinians’ — “Culture makes all the difference,” he said in Israel — the roof came down on him. PC police the world over raised a red card, giving him demerits for having the temerity to notice the obvious. (Richard Cohen, Washington Post, 8/6/2012)

Liberal opinion writer Cohen echoes RedStateVT's contention - and the contention of others as well - that Romney's comment in Israel on Arab culture was accurate. We wish he had not waited a week to say so.

Prime Time
The Democratic National Convention Committee and Obama for America announced Tuesday that former President Jimmy Carter will be addressing the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte via video cast....Carter left office with a job approval rating of 34 percent.

At first we thought that this was a joke courtesy of the Romney campaign. Jimmy Carter? Will he speak before or after Elizabeth Warren? The Republicans have got to be thanking their lucky stars. Who better to make the case that Obama does not deserve a second term then an idealistically misguided one term Democrat president who presided over a disastrous economy and has - in retirement - become even more of a punch line than when he was in office?

Lawless
The Georgetown law student famously insulted by Rush Limbaugh for backing insurance coverage of birth control will introduce President Obama at an event in Denver on Wednesday, a campaign official confirms to POLITICO. (POLITICO.com, 8/7/2012)

The good news just keeps coming! By all means, bring back recreational sex expert Fluke. It will remind America of her desperate struggle to pay for condoms. 


Monday, August 6, 2012

Ancient Sources


Catch This
The attempt to portray Romney as not catching on and as dropping in the polls is ludicrous.  It is, at best, the product of incompetent polling and, at worst, the result of deliberate media bias.  But Romney is winning and expanding his lead each week.  That's the real story. (DickMorris.com, 8/6/2012)

As RedStateVT has reported. The majority of polls are biased.  A clear example - little reported on - were the polls that showed the Wisconsin recall race as neck-and-neck when, in fact, Walker won it handily.

Fear and Loathing
A rising number of manufacturers are canceling new investments and putting off new hires because they fear paralysis in Washington will force hundreds of billions in tax increases and budget cuts in January, undermining economic growth in the coming months. (NYT, 8/5/2012)

As we recently told a friend, business is sitting on the sidelines waiting for the results of the November elections. The floodgates of hiring and capital spending will open with a Romney victory which brings with it a more favorable regulatory environment and the repeal of Obamacare. Neither of which are discussed in this article.

RedStateVT Advises Romney Campaign On Release Of Tax Returns
Democrats quickly fired back, headed by Reid's Chief of Staff David Krone and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“What Harry Reid said is the fact of what he was told," Krone told Politico. "To turn it around, all their childish rants this weekend about calling Reid a ‘liar’ and all that, it just shows you how scared they are that Harry Reid was telling the truth."

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Pelosi mirrored Krone's certainty.  "Somebody told him," she said. "It is a fact. Whether he did or not can easily be disposed of: Mitt Romney can release his tax returns and show whether he paid taxes." (Huffington Post, 8/6/2012)

RedStateVT has today advised the Romney campaign of the optimal date for the release of the candidate's tax returns. Our advice is that they should be released three years into Romney's first term. After all, this is when Obama finally released his long-awaited birth certificate.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Protocol


The Chickens Is Organizing
“If the thought police come to Armitage Baptist Church, we will meet them at the door, respectfully, unflinchingly, willing to die on this hill holding a copy of the sacred Scriptures in one hand and a copy of the U.S. Constitution in the other.” (Charles Lyons, Pastor of Armitage Baptist Church, Chicago, quoted on Foxnews.com, 7/31/2012)


Last week, so-called YouTube sensation Antoine Dodson made it public that, unlike most in the gay community, he supports Chick-fil-A in the wake of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s radio interview remarks condemning gay marriage...“A lot of people from the gay community was actually telling me not to eat at Chick-fil-A and then you know, I started having these flashback because I started believing like, the gay community — we have went from being bullied to becoming bullies,” he said. (Foxnews.com, 8/5/2012)


Two of our favorite quotes on the chicken controversy. 


Stats
Mitt Romney should win the presidential election this November....And yet, despite all of those factors clearly working against him, Obama is either statistically tied or ahead in key swing-state polling— suggesting that writing his political obituary today is decidedly premature. So, what gives? Call it the political equivalent of the nature vs. nurture debate. (Chris Cillizza, Washington Post, 8/5/2012)


We will use Cillizza's marginally comprehensible column to answer the question: Why is Obama ahead/tied in the polls? The answer is ridiculously simple. The polls are rigged. ('The results of our poll of 25 Democrats and 5 Republicans show President Obama ahead of challenger Mitt Romney by...') Given a press that will endlessly and erroneously report Romney's London comments as a gaffe and fail to challenge Harry Reid on his accusations that Romney has not paid taxes, does any thinking person believe for even one nanosecond that they would not misrepresent and distort polling numbers? 


The Liberal media has proven time and time again that they will do whatever is necessary - whatever it takes - to advance their agenda. Given the diligence of Fox, the Wall Street Journal and the wonderful Brent Bozell, their job is certainly more difficult than it used to be. Which is exactly why they have resorted to using seemingly more objective sources/measures to advance their storyline. But the truth is that they will manipulate the polls and their various 'fact-checkers' in the same manner in which they will tilt a news report. 


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fearful Forfeits


Gaffer
What about the alleged gaffe that dominated reporting from Israel? Romney averred that Israeli and Palestinian economic development might be related to culture. A Palestinian Authority spokesman obligingly jumped forth to accuse Romney of racism, among other thought crimes.


The American media bought it whole, despite the fact that Romney’s assertion was a direct echo of the United Nations’ Arab Human Development Report, written by Arab intellectuals and commissioned by the U.N. It unambiguously asserted that “culture and values are the soul of development.” And went on to report how existing cultural norms — “including traditional Arab culture and values” — are among the major impediments to Arab economic progress. (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, 8/2/2012)


All major media outlets announced that they would be issuing retractions to their earlier contention that Romney committed a gaffe. Just kidding!


Futuristic
When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988 , I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.


But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.
...
We can solve the challenge of climate change with a gradually rising fee on carbon collected from fossil-fuel companies, with 100 percent of the money rebated to all legal residents on a per capita basis. This would stimulate innovations and create a robust clean-energy economy with millions of new jobs. It is a simple, honest and effective solution. (James E. Hansen, Washington Post, 8/3/2012)


There is a surprising sentiment emerging even in the traditional (Liberal) media. The perception is that climate warming/cooling/chaos theorists are losing the support of the general public. In other words, the 'climate deniers' have gained the upper hand in the debate. This explains the increasing desperation of Hansen, McKibben, Gore and the like. And so their response, of course, is to double down. ('Things are even worse than I thought!')


Reasonable people are concluding that the 'science' they have been told about is far from 'settled.' And with proposals like those of Hansen (more taxes, more magical green energy jobs), public opinion will continue to move against them.


Birthday Boy
President Obama is turning 51 on Saturday, with just three months until Election Day. So he will celebrate in true political fashion: spending “downtime,” as an e-mail invitation put it, at a party at his Chicago home with a bunch of strangers who made campaign donations to be there. (NYT, 8/3/2012)


The month’s jobless rate brings the average for 2012 to 8.2 percent, compared with an average in 2011 of 9 percent, though most of the “improvement” is because of a shrinking labor force, not more hiring. (NYT editorial, 8/3/2012)


Once again RedStateVT has to acknowledge the New York Times for letting just a bit of truth shine through.




Friday, August 3, 2012

Fortify The Faith


Lashes
Mr. Obama himself chose to lash his re-election bid to his tax hike for the rich. His tax hike isn't valuable to him because of the revenue it would raise (which isn't much). It isn't valuable to him because it somehow fits into his green-eyeshade management of the budget (neither he nor his party in Congress have shown much interest in managing the fisc).


His tax hike is only valuable to him because it nominates a villain for the campaign season—the greedy, undeserving, unpatriotic rich. It's valuable because it affords a rhetorical escape route when the subject of unsustainable spending comes up. He can talk about making the rich pay their "fair share," not about the chasm that would persist between spending and revenues, with or without his score-settling tax hike. (Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, 7/31/2012)


Politicians bash other politicians, we expect that. But rarely has a politician gone to such extremes as Obama to denigrate a particular segment of Americans. His contempt for the rich shows in the unscripted moments (You didn't build that!). And yet, he seemingly ignores that a large number of his own supporters are the very same wealthy people (who he has no problem asking for the fruits of their labor to re-elect him). One can only wonder at the mental gymnastics that Obama must engage in to reconcile all of these things.


WSJ Columnists Echo RedStateVT
Team Obama will play the Mormon card at some point too. Count on it. (Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, 7/31/2012)


But actually, what Romney said was not a gaffe in any sense of the word that this column understands. (James Taranto, WSJ, 7/31/2012)


Daddy Day Care
Sweden's paternity-leave benefits, enjoyed by citizens and foreign residents alike, are the most generous in the world—and a debate is under way nationwide over whether to extend them even further. Sweden should require men to take a minimum of three months' leave, instead of the current two months, some politicians argue.


Fathers currently can take off work for as long as 240 days with a government-backed paycheck. Even if a father decides to take a more modest leave than allowed, he must take at least two months before the child is 8 years old to receive the government benefits....The Swedish government will pay 80% of a parent's salary—up to a cap of about $65,000—for 13 months. (WSJ, 7/31/2012)


Right now - as we write this - drafters of the Democrat Party platform are rushing to add this idea....and kicking themselves that they didn't think of it first. 


Why Sweden is not now, and never will be again, a world power. 


Choices
Republican lawmakers will spend much of the week railing against impending cuts to the military that also resulted from the debt-ceiling legislation. Democrats are largely focusing on an effort to renew the Violence Against Women Act, and supporting a provision in the health care law requiring most employers to cover contraception, which takes effect on Wednesday. (NYT, 7/31/2012)


It struck us that nothing so clearly outlines the fundamental political differences in this country as this. Republicans demand a strong military. Democrats demand legislation for ridiculous fringe issues. To wit, apparently absent the Violence Against Women Act it is perfectly legal to assault a women in this country. Otherwise, why do we need a law prohibiting it? Also, the soaring cost of condoms cries out for government intervention.