Monday, April 30, 2012

Reuters: Obama needs vote fraud

Reuters: Obama needs vote fraud
  by Don Surber

Democrats have gotten too clever for themselves in battling voter ID. Requiring people to show the same ID to vote that they must show to buy cigarettes or beer somehow disenfranchises them according to those great super-duper thinkers on the Left. It’s comical. And the British Canadian business wire service, Reuters, bought into the liberal line so much that it inadvertently makes Barack Obama seem like one big crook.

From Reuters: “The new laws – many of which include measures requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls — could carve into Obama’s potential support in Florida, Ohio and a few other politically divided states likely to be crucial in the November 6 election, analysts say. The analysts note that massive registration drives in 2008 helped put millions of people aged 18 to 29 on voting rolls, and that age group — which makes up roughly one-quarter of the U.S. electorate — helped propel Obama to victory, voting 2-to-1 for him. Rock the Vote, a nationwide organization that mobilizes young voters, said the new laws would make it more difficult for the group to educate people on how to sign up to vote.”

Might I suggest that if you are too ignorant to figure out how to sign up to vote, you really are not intelligent enough to vote? Getting a driver’s license is much more difficult.

This shows that voter fraud really is rampant — so rampant that the reform has forced liberal front groups, such as the League of Women Voters, to quit. From the article: “The League of Women Voters also could sign up fewer voters this year, partly because it has joined Rock the Vote in suspending voter registration drives in Florida as the groups challenge that state’s new restrictions in court.”

ACORN, too, is gone.

Look, I don’t mind someone canceling my vote. I do mind someone doing so illegally. Campaign reform begins at the ballot box as far as I am concerned. This will not cost Obama the election. 4 years of incompetence will.

Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Little Old Lady Edition

Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Little Old Lady Edition

Thu Apr 19 06:31:04 PDT 2012

SAPD: Gun-toting granny sends burglar running

A burglary suspect on the city’s east side probably never expected his 89-year-old victim to be packing heat. view full article

“A burglary suspect on (San Antonio’s) east side learned that even little old ladies may be packing heat.” When Fannie Mae Brown woke up to the sound of someone breaking into her home, she did what any 89-year-old woman would do to protect herself. Knowing she’d be no match for the burglar physically, she picked up a tool designed to equalize things a little . . .

She reached for her .38 revolver. From
Fannie Mae Brown says she saw the burglar’s flashlight inside the house and realized the intruder was headed toward her bedroom. She fired one shot toward the light, police said, which sent the suspect running off into the night.
Gosh. An old woman who’d otherwise be defenseless against a burglar intent on God-knows-what was able to protect herself because she owns a gun. Chances are, she’d never had a self-defense lesson or had even been to a shooting range.

She just made like Nikon – point and shoot. “Brown said she will be keeping her gun next to her from now on.” Why didn’t we think of that?

The Great California Exodus--what's driving the middle class out of the Golden State

Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus

A leading U.S. demographer and 'Truman Democrat' talks about what is driving the middle class out of the Golden State.


'California is God's best moment," says Joel Kotkin. "It's the best place in the world to live." Or at least it used to be.

Mr. Kotkin, one of the nation's premier demographers, left his native New York City in 1971 to enroll at the University of California, Berkeley. The state was a far-out paradise for hipsters who had grown up listening to the Mamas & the Papas' iconic "California Dreamin'" and the Beach Boys' "California Girls." But it also attracted young, ambitious people "who had a lot of dreams, wanted to build big companies." Think Intel, Apple and Hewlett-Packard.

Now, however, the Golden State's fastest-growing entity is government and its biggest product is red tape. The first thing that comes to many American minds when you mention California isn't Hollywood or tanned girls on a beach, but Greece. Many progressives in California take that as a compliment since Greeks are ostensibly happier. But as Mr. Kotkin notes, Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere.

Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.

The scruffy-looking urban studies professor at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., has been studying and writing on demographic and geographic trends for 30 years. Part of California's dysfunction, he says, stems from state and local government restrictions on development. These policies have artificially limited housing supply and put a premium on real estate in coastal regions.
"Basically, if you don't own a piece of Facebook or Google and you haven't robbed a bank and don't have rich parents, then your chances of being able to buy a house or raise a family in the Bay Area or in most of coastal California is pretty weak," says Mr. Kotkin.

While many middle-class families have moved inland, those regions don't have the same allure or amenities as the coast. People might as well move to Nevada or Texas, where housing and everything else is cheaper and there's no income tax.

And things will only get worse in the coming years as Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and his green cadre implement their "smart growth" plans to cram the proletariat into high-density housing. "What I find reprehensible beyond belief is that the people pushing [high-density housing] themselves live in single-family homes and often drive very fancy cars, but want everyone else to live like my grandmother did in Brownsville in Brooklyn in the 1920s," Mr. Kotkin declares.

"The new regime"—his name for progressive apparatchiks who run California's government—"wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles."

Housing is merely one front of what he calls the "progressive war on the middle class." Another is the cap-and-trade law AB32, which will raise the cost of energy and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions. Then there are the renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that a third of the state's energy come from renewable sources like wind and the sun by 2020. California's electricity prices are already 50% higher than the national average.

Oh, and don't forget the $100 billion bullet train. Mr. Kotkin calls the runaway-cost train "classic California." "Where [Brown] with the state going bankrupt is even thinking about an expenditure like this is beyond comprehension. When the schools are falling apart, when the roads are falling apart, the bridges are unsafe, the state economy is in free fall. We're still doing much worse than the rest of the country, we've got this growing permanent welfare class, and high-speed rail is going to solve this?"

Mr. Kotkin describes himself as an old-fashioned Truman Democrat. In fact, he voted for Mr. Brown—who previously served as governor, secretary of state and attorney general—because he believed Mr. Brown "was interesting and thought outside the box."

But "Jerry's been a big disappointment," Mr. Kotkin says. "I've known Jerry for 35 years, and he's smart, but he just can't seem to be a paradigm breaker. And of course, it's because he really believes in this green stuff."

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.

Of course, there are plenty of jobs to be had in energy, just not the type the new California regime wants. An estimated 25 billion barrels of oil are sitting untapped in the vast Monterey and Bakersfield shale deposits. "You see the great tragedy of California is that we have all this oil and gas, we won't use it," Mr. Kotkin says. "We have the richest farm land in the world, and we're trying to strangle it." He's referring to how water restrictions aimed at protecting the delta smelt fish are endangering Central Valley farmers.

Zina Saunders

Meanwhile, taxes are harming the private economy. According to the Tax Foundation, California has the 48th-worst business tax climate. Its income tax is steeply progressive. Millionaires pay a top rate of 10.3%, the third-highest in the country. But middle-class workers—those who earn more than $48,000—pay a top rate of 9.3%, which is higher than what millionaires pay in 47 states.

And Democrats want to raise taxes even more. Mind you, the November ballot initiative that Mr. Brown is spearheading would primarily hit those whom Democrats call "millionaires" (i.e., people who make more than $250,000 a year). Some Republicans have warned that it will cause a millionaire march out of the state, but Mr. Kotkin says that "people who are at the very high end of the food chain, they're still going to be in Napa. They're still going to be in Silicon Valley. They're still going to be in West L.A."

That said, "It's really going to hit the small business owners and the young family that's trying to accumulate enough to raise a family, maybe send their kids to private school. It'll kick them in the teeth."

A worker in Wichita might not consider those earning $250,000 a year middle class, but "if you're a guy working for a Silicon Valley company and you're married and you're thinking about having your first kid, and your family makes 250-k a year, you can't buy a closet in the Bay Area," Mr. Kotkin says. "But for 250-k a year, you can live pretty damn well in Salt Lake City. And you might be able to send your kids to public schools and own a three-bedroom, four-bath house."

According to Mr. Kotkin, these upwardly mobile families are fleeing in droves. As a result, California is turning into a two-and-a-half-class society. On top are the "entrenched incumbents" who inherited their wealth or came to California early and made their money. Then there's a shrunken middle class of public employees and, miles below, a permanent welfare class. As it stands today, about 40% of Californians don't pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid.

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. What you've done by exempting people from paying taxes is that they feel no responsibility. That's certainly a big part of it.

And the welfare recipients, he emphasizes, "aren't leaving. Why would they? They get much better benefits in California or New York than if they go to Texas. In Texas the expectation is that people work."

California used to be more like Texas—a jobs magnet. What happened? For one, says the demographer, Californians are now voting more based on social issues and less on fiscal ones than they did when Ronald Reagan was governor 40 years ago. Environmentalists are also more powerful than they used to be. And Mr. Brown facilitated the public-union takeover of the statehouse by allowing state workers to collectively bargain during his first stint as governor in 1977.

Mr. Kotkin also notes that demographic changes are playing a role. As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California's politics become even more left-wing. It's a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, "the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees."

So if California's no longer the Golden land of opportunity for middle-class dreamers, what is?

Mr. Kotkin lists four "growth corridors": the Gulf Coast, the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, and the Southeast. All of these regions have lower costs of living, lower taxes, relatively relaxed regulatory environments, and critical natural resources such as oil and natural gas.

Take Salt Lake City. "Almost all of the major tech companies have moved stuff to Salt Lake City." That includes Twitter, Adobe, eBay and Oracle.

Then there's Texas, which is on a mission to steal California's tech hegemony. Apple just announced that it's building a $304 million campus and adding 3,600 jobs in Austin. Facebook established operations there last year, and eBay plans to add 1,000 new jobs there too.

Even Hollywood is doing more of its filming on the Gulf Coast. "New Orleans is supposedly going to pass New York as the second-largest film center. They have great incentives, and New Orleans is the best bargain for urban living in the United States. It's got great food, great music, and it's inexpensive."
What about the Midwest and the Rust Belt? Can they recover from their manufacturing losses?

"What those areas have is they've got a good work ethic," Mr. Kotkin says. "There's an established skill base for industry. They're very affordable, and they've got some nice places to live. Indianapolis has become a very nice city." He concedes that such places will have a hard time eclipsing California or Texas because they're not as well endowed by nature. But as the Golden State is proving, natural endowments do not guarantee permanent prosperity.

Ms. Finley is the assistant editor of and a Journal editorial page writer.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Poly Wanna Cracker? Another attack on Romney predictably backfires.

Poly Wanna Cracker? Another attack on Romney predictably backfires.

[botwt0420] Associated Press
Gov. Schweitzer: "kinda ironic."
Another day, another effort by an Obama supporter to portray Mitt Romney as weird. This time it's Brian Schweitzer, governor of Montana, in an interview with the Daily Beast. When Schweitzer "said Romney would have a 'tall order to position Hispanics to vote for him,' " reporter Ben Jacobs observed "that was mildly ironic since Mitt's father"--George W. Romney, who served as Michigan's governor from 1963-69 and sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1968--"was born in Mexico":
Schweitzer replied that it is "kinda ironic given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he'd have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy." Women, he said, are "not great fans of polygamy, 86 percent were not great fans of polygamy. I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.
Schweitzer's claim is factually accurate. As Jacobs notes, the elder Gov. Romney "was born in Mexico in 1907 to a family of American Mormons who fled to Mexico when the United States government cracked down on the practice of polygamy." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had already renounced polygamy (in 1890), but some Mormons still practiced it in Mexico.

Mitt Romney's grandparents, Gaskell and Anna Romney, however, were not among them. They wed in 1895, and it was the only marriage for each of them. You have to go back three generations, to Gaskell's father, Miles Park Romney (1843-1904), to find a polygamous ancestor of Mitt Romney.

To be sure, that's still unusual. Most of Western civilization rejected polygamy centuries ago, so that very few non-Mormon Americans are of such recent polygamous descent. But we can think of one major exception among prominent U.S. politicians: a powerful officeholder whose very father was a polygamist:
[Barack] Obama's father, who apparently converted to Catholicism while attending a Roman Catholic school, was also polygamous in keeping with local custom, taking an informal Kenyan wife who preceded Obama's mother but remained a consort, according to accounts by local people and the senator himself.
That quote comes from that right-wing birther maniac Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, who visited Obama Sr.'s childhood village of Kogelo, Kenya, in December 2008. Kristof fretted:
Frankly, I worry that enemies of Obama will seize upon details like his grandfather's Islamic faith or his father's polygamy to portray him as an alien or a threat to American values. But snobbishness and paranoia ill-become a nation of immigrants, where one of our truest values is to judge people by their own merits, not their pedigrees.
Not to mention the pedigrees of their supper! Which is actually very much a related point. The Obama campaign and its surrogates have shown an amazing inability to anticipate the ways in which their attacks on Romney backfire against their own man.

First they claimed Republicans were waging a "war on women," which seemed to be working for them until Democratic superstar Hilary Rosen declared her contempt for women who spend their lives raising children at the expense of more elevated pursuits like flacking for the record industry and BP.

Then the effort to shame Romney over his unusual treatment of a family pet went to the dogs when Obama turned out to have a canine tooth, and we don't mean his cuspids. As a result, otherwise unrelated stories have become occasions for laughter at the president's expense.

CBS News reports that Greg Stokes, one of the agents fired in the Colombia prostitution scandal, "was recently listed on the internet as the supervisor of the Canine Training Section of the Secret Service." We hear they once asked Stokes to double as the president's food taster, but he had to turn down the assignment because it would be a conflict of interest.


Another Mormon-related question we expect Obama supporters to raise is the LDS church's unfortunate record vis-à-vis race. The church did not permit the ordination of blacks as priests until 1978--which sounds shocking, but perhaps less so when you reflect it was only 14 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. But Obama's in the clear here, right? It's not as if he ever belonged to a church with out-of-the-mainstream views on race. Yeah, Wright . . .

Charges of racism have already been flying fast and furious. Yesterday Romney visited a shuttered factory in Ohio and unveiled a new slogan, "Obama Isn't Working." Mediaite's Tommy Christopher finds this "evocative of a nasty racial stereotype about black men": "Just to be sure it wasn't just me, though, I asked several friends about the banner, and four out of four pointed out, unprompted, the stereotype of the 'lazy,' 'shiftless' black man."

OK, so when Tommy Christopher and his friends hear "isn't working," they immediately associate the phrase with--in Christopher's words--"the 'lazy,' 'shiftless' black man." That's quite a confession, but you can hardly blame Romney for Christopher's invidious associations.

If Obama's supporters are going to bring up imaginary racial antipathy on Romney's part, there is ample real Obama material with which the Romney campaign can strike back. Here's a passage from the second paragraph of the first chapter of "Dreams From My Father," in which Obama describes his life on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at age 21 (circa 1982):
When the weather was good, my roommate and I might sit out on the fire escape to smoke cigarettes and study the dusk washing blue over the city, or watch white people from the better neighborhoods nearby walk their dogs down our block to let the animals [defecate] on our curbs--"Scoop the poop, you bastards!" my roommate would shout with impressive rage, and we'd laugh at the faces of both master and beast, grim and unapologetic as they hunkered down to do the deed.
We're entirely sympathetic with the young Obama's vigilance about the neighborhood's quality of life. But what does it tell you about him that in writing this story years later, when he was in his 30s, he made it specifically about "white people"?

The truth is that Romney and Obama are both products of distinctively American subcultures--respectively, the Mormon church and the academic left. The difference is that whereas the Mormons, for more than a century, have aspired to join the American mainstream, the academic left is aggressively adversarial. It's true that there is much about Mormonism that seems odd to people of other faiths. But a contest over whose opponent is weirder is one Obama cannot possibly win.

Green Bureaucrats Nix US Timber, Common Plastic in New Plan

Green Bureaucrats Nix US Timber, Common Plastic in New Plan
The U.S. Green Building Council has begun floating a series of progressive amendments to its building certification program, stirring controversy within the construction, forestry and chemical industries that warn the proposal is radical environmentalism masquerading as reasonable regulation.

The proposed changes to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, administered by the private USGBC group but since adopted by the federal government, disallows the use of over 75 percent of America’s certified forests and the third most commonly produced plastic worldwide.

A building must cross varying green thresholds — accruing credits through an exhaustive review of sustainability, water efficiency, energy and materials — to earn one of the program’s four accreditation levels. As written, the four new accreditation levels will bar the usage of products containing Polyvinyl chloride, better known as PVC, or lumber sourced from over three-fourths of American certified forests.

In a preferential nod to one forestry certification group, LEED stipulates that credits will be awarded for the “responsible extraction of raw materials” that qualify as “[Forest Stewardship Council] or better.”

Unlike other green building rating tools like Green Globes and the National Green Building standard that recognize all forest certification standards, LEED’s critics say the insistence on FSC-certified forests or the undefined “better” baseline has erected an artificial and ambiguous barrier to American timber.

“‘FSC or better’ is neither logical nor scientific,” Michael Goergen Jr., executive vice president and CEO of the Society of American Foresters, said of the decision. “Especially when it continues to reinforce misconceptions about third-party forest certification and responsible forest practices.”

But whereas industry forces acquiesced to the technical provisions in earlier models, the proposal to ban products containing PVC has put on edge the construction and chemical industries.

The effective banning of the third most widely-produced and consumed plastic worldwide means a tremendous, new burden on the industrial and construction sectors, as the pair will be forced to use other, more expensive alternatives whose own environmental merits are ambiguous by the government’s own account.

While the outright banning of PVC has been a goal of the environmental lobby for some time — GreenPeace has a campaign to “phase out this poison plastic” — USGBC’s assent, some say, runs counter to the group’s long-held posture towards the chemical.

A 2007 study by the USGBC revealed PVC outperformed a number of still-approved alternative materials in ecotoxicity, eco depletion and contribution to climate change. Specifically, the report found:

“PVC performs better than some alternatives studied for window frames, siding, and drain-waste-vent pipe;”

“Relative to the environmental impact categories (acidification, eutrophication, ecotoxicity, smog, ozone depletion and global climate change), PVC performs better than several material alternatives studied;”

“If buyers switched from PVC to aluminum window frames, to aluminum siding, or to cast iron pipe, it could be worse than using PVC;”

“The evidence indicates that a credit that rewards avoidance of PVC could steer decision makers toward using materials that are worse on most environment impacts.”
The USGBC must “develop guidelines for approval of innovation credits that move the industry forward,” the report advised. “Recognizing that there are many possible ways to address this challenge, the capabilities and motivation of the marketplace should be engaged as a resource.”

So much for that.

Yet some say the radical bent is not particularly surprising, considering the environment-as-religion disposition of LEED’s founder, Robert Watson.

Once the chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change until it was reported he began “advocating more openly for global climate change policy, rather than just assessing the science,” Watson famously said that “buildings are literally the worst thing that humans do to the planet.”

Others point to what they call an unseemly kinship with the federal government, which they say has largely preserved the certification program’s revered status globally.

Government officials in the U.S. General Services Administration, which manages the functioning of other federal agencies and bureaus, have mandated all federally-owned facilities be built to LEED’s Gold specifications, the second highest certification the USGBC offers. GSA officials announced earlier this year it had enrolled 50 additional existing properties in the program. (Nearly 19 million square feet is LEED-certified in the District of Columbia.)

Sometime later this year, the agency will begin considering adopting LEED 2012.

That the GSA, whose own judgment has been impeached in the wake of its lavish government-sponsored conference in Las Vegas, was tasked by the White House to consider implementing these new regulations is enough to give pause to sensible government-watchers.

If these high-roller bureaucrats apply the same poor judgement here, their decision will effectively ban American timber and PVC for the federal government. Private industry, of course, will take cold comfort in the knowledge that government bureaucrats will likewise be handicapped by terrible regulations.

John Ruberry edits the Illinois political blog Marathon Pundit.

Federal Workers Make Nearly Twice Private Sector Compensation

Federal Workers Make Nearly Twice Private Sector Compensation

In their new book, Debacle: Obama's War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future, Grover Norquist and John Lott, Jr. explain just how bloated the pay and benefits of government workers have become.
According to Norquist and Lott, the average private sector worker in America earns $61,000 annually in pay, pension benefits, and health care benefits. That compares to state and local government workers who make $80,000 and federal workers who bag $120,000 taxpayer dollars in pay, pension, and benefits.

So how many government workers are there in America?

In Debacle, Norquist and Lott report that "there are 2.2 million federal civilian workers, 1.5 million active-duty members of the armed forces, 5 million state employees in the 50 states, and 14.1 million local employees."

The cost to taxpayers over a government workers career is sizable. Norquist and Lott explain that the hiring of a single federal worker at age 25 will cost taxpayers between $2.73 million and $8 million in wages and benefits, depending on the speed with which the government worker is promoted.

As Norquist and Lott note, "federal law requires that government look to see what jobs now being done by government workers could be done by the private sector." But we know that isn't happening; even the liberals in the Clinton Administration cited 850,000 jobs that could be done by private workers. Indeed, as the authors explain, the average savings to taxpayers when hiring a private worker instead of a government worker is 30%.

Norquist and Lott's book is chock-full of similar policy solutions and insights designed to reduce the burden big government places on taxpayers. Voters and lawmakers should read it.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


by Steven Hayward in Energy Policy

Over at my regular “Energy Fact of the Week” feature on, I look at the relationship between the price of gold and the price of oil, and come to no firm conclusion about how much of the price volatility of oil can be attributed to a weak dollar. But along the way I thought that it is worth reminding people of what Democrats said about Reagan’s decontrol of oil price in 1981. (Also, Investor’s Business Daily gives me a nice shout out on this point, so why not share the love with Power Line readers?)

One of Reagan’s first acts upon entering office was to complete the decontrol of oil prices begun tentatively by Jimmy Carter. Liberals seemed to compete with each other for the most risible expression of economic illiteracy in response. In the annals of public policy prognostication it is difficult to find such a wide assembly of wrongheadedness. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio said took to the Senate floor the day after to predict that “we will see $1.50 gas this spring, and maybe before. And it is just a matter of time until the oil companies and their associates, the OPEC nations, will be driving gasoline pump prices up to $2 a gallon.” Sen. Don Riegle of Michigan said that “It will hurt our people within a matter of days.” Sen. Dale Bumpers of Arkansas had previously predicted that “without rationing, gasoline will soon go to $3 a gallon,” and added that “Decontrol is designed to see how much we can squeeze out of the American people before they take to the streets.”

  Maine’s Sen. George Mitchell said “Every citizen and every family will find their living standards reduced by this decision.” Democratic Congressman Ed Markey said “I believe that decontrol as a cure will prove to be worse than the disease of oil addiction.” A Naderite advocacy group predicted that oil prices might go as high as $870 a barrel “under assumptions which many experts believe are realistic.” Instead oil prices started falling almost immediately; gasoline pump prices fell from an average high of $1.41 in February 1981 to a national average of 89 cents a gallon in the spring of 1986.

Worth keeping in mind when liberals today say increased domestic production will make little difference to oil markets, as well as prattling on about “speculators.” As if we really needed any more evidence that liberals do not get markets, and are inherently hostile to the private sector.

Obama Campaign Trots Out Bin Laden, Spikes the Football

Obama Campaign Trots Out Bin Laden, Spikes the Football (Updated: Romney Responds)


Barack Obama's reelection campaign has released a new ad that focuses on the president's decision to go after Osama bin Laden:

The narrator in the ad is former President Bill Clinton.
This latest ad contradicts President Obama's own pledge after he took out bin Laden. "You know, we don't trot out this stuff as trophies," Obama told CBS soon after the terrorist mastermind had been taken out. He added: "Americans and people around the world are glad that he's gone. But we don't need to spike the football."

With the Obama campaign's latest ad, it's pretty safe to say that the president is now OK with "trot[ting] out this stuff" and "spik[ing] the football," as long as it helps him get reelected.

UPDATE: Mitt Romney's campaign responds with this statement from press secretary Andrea Saul: “The killing of Osama bin Laden was a momentous day for all Americans and the world, and Governor Romney congratulated the military, our intelligence agencies, and the President. It's now sad to see the Obama campaign seek to use an event that unified our country to once again divide us, in order to try to distract voters' attention from the failures of his administration. With 23 million Americans struggling for work, our national debt soaring, and household budgets being squeezed like never before, Mitt Romney is focused on strengthening America at home and abroad.”

Third smoking gun in Fast and Furious?

Third smoking gun in Fast and Furious?

New book claims FBI cover up of third gun in murder of border patrol agent
The Department of Justice is using the liberal “watchdog” group Media Matters for America to deflect questions about the Fast and Furious scandal, including those regarding a gun that might have been used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

A new book raises questions as to whether the FBI hid the existence of a weapon recovered at the scene of murdered U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Conservative commentator and author Katie Pavlich lays out evidence she says points to a FBI cover-up to protect a confidential informant in her recently released book, Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-up,

In response to an inquiry from the Free Beacon, a Justice Department spokeswoman said in an email that she “was told to direct your questions to the FBI, and also to provide you with a link to this story:

The link was to a story at the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America supposedly refuting many of Pavlich’s claims. Media Matters is a partisan organization whose founder, David Brock, is also running a pro-Obama super PAC.

In Operation Fast and Furious, federal agents allowed more than 2,000 weapons to be smuggled across the U.S.-Mexican border and into the hand of violent drug cartels, with the intent of tracking them to learn more about the cartels.

Two weapons connected to Fast and Furious were discovered at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was gunned down in the Southern Arizona desert in 2010 by five criminals armed with AK-47s.

However, Pavlich asserts there was a third gun. The book details three separate pieces of evidence that point to a third weapon being recovered and then covered up by the FBI and the Justice Department.

Border Patrol agents, who have since been issued gag orders, were overheard at Terry’s funeral discussing the third gun.

“The idea that the border patrol agents were issued gag orders and not allowed to talk about this is very telling,” Pavlich said in an interview with the Free Beacon.

An email sent less than 12 hours after Terry’s death also mentioned the weapon.

Finally, an audio recording of a discussion between Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company, and ATF agent Hope MacAllister also references a third gun.

The investigation of Fast and Furious revealed that at least six FBI informants were involved in the operation, as well as an unknown number of DEA informants. Pavlich claims in her book that a confidential source told her the FBI hid the third gun from evidence because it was linked to a confidential informant or the brother of the informant.

“The reason they’re covering up the third gun is because it could lead to the confidential informant,” Pavlich said. “They’re protecting him at the cost of justice to Brian Terry and his family. I am not an expert on what confidential informants are allowed to get away with, but I guarantee they’re not allowed to kill federal agents.”

Friday, April 27, 2012

The State of the Race — What Might Change?

The State of the Race — What Might Change?

by Paul Mirengoff

My view of the presidential race has been consistent during the past 15 months. Throughout that period, it has seemed to me that President Obama’s re-election chances, assuming the Republicans nominate Mitt Romney, are between 45 and 55 percent. And so it seems now.

But more useful than odds-making is an analysis of what might cause the race, wherever it stands now, to change, and which candidate the change would likely benefit. The main thing that could change the race is what Harold Macmillan (and John Hinderaker) would call “events” – major developments that come more or less out-of-the-blue. However, by their nature we cannot reliably predict what these developments will be, how the candidates will react, and who they will favor.

We do know that economic developments could significantly alter the race. It seems likely that the economy will continue to improve over the next months, but that any improvement will continue to be very slight. Obama might gain in this scenario, but only marginally.

Mitt Romney’s image might change, now that he’s not under constant attack from his own party and now that he has more freedom to present himself as less stridently conservative. Swing voters may begin to notice that he looks presidential and seems knowledgeable and competent when it comes to economic matters.

But a stiff is a stiff. Since he stopped being governor, Romney has spent more than two years campaigning for president. If he had the ability to connect meaningfully with voters, we would have seen it manifested by now. Romney may gain as Republican support consolidates, but only marginally.

Oddly, it may be Obama, the incumbent, whose image changes significantly. Polls show that his personal popularity is what’s keeping him afloat. Voters don’t very much like his policies and his results, but they continue to like him.

The reasons are pretty straightforward. First, he made a great first impression, and such impressions tend to last. Second, people want to like their president. Third, people want to like the first black president.

As his presidency has faltered, though, Obama has become increasingly irritable and negative. It’s unlikely that many voters have noticed because few follow the day-to-day utterances of the president.
But the electorate pays attention during the final months of the campaign, and especially during the presidential debates. If they see the whiney, defensive, and nasty side of Obama, he will pay a price.

In theory, Obama should be able to avoid this pitfall. His surrogates can do the attack dog thing, while he takes the high road. As for the debates, history shows that the sitting president is allowed one bad debate, especially if it’s the first one. So Obama just needs to keep his inner nasty partisan in check for a few hours.

But Obama’s arrogance works against him here. This is the man who famously proclaimed himself a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, a better political director than his political director, etc.
Presumably, he also considers himself a better attack dog than his attack dogs. If Obama continues to sense that his presidency may be slipping away, he is unlikely to leave to others the dirty work he feels is needed to preserve it.

The adverse consequences of such self-indulgence may well be more than marginal.

Climate Alarmist Calls For Burning Down Skeptics’ Homes

Climate Alarmist Calls For Burning Down Skeptics’ Homes

“Let’s start keeping track of them…let’s make them pay”
Paul Joseph Watson

Writing for Forbes Magazine, climate change alarmist Steve Zwick calls for skeptics of man-made global warming to be tracked, hunted down and have their homes burned to the ground, yet another shocking illustration of how eco-fascism is rife within the environmentalist lobby.
Comparing climate change skeptics to residents in Tennessee who refused to pay a $75 fee, resulting in firemen sitting back and watching their houses burn down, Zwick rants that anyone who actively questions global warming propaganda should face the same treatment.

“We know who the active denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies. Let’s start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let’s make them pay. Let’s let their houses burn. Let’s swap their safe land for submerged islands. Let’s force them to bear the cost of rising food prices,” writes Zwick, adding, “They broke the climate. Why should the rest of us have to pay for it?”

As we have profusely documented, as polls show that fewer and fewer Americans are convinced by the pseudo-science behind man-made global warming, promulgated as it is by control freaks like Zwick who care more about money and power than they do the environment, AGW adherents are becoming increasingly authoritarian in their pronouncements.

Even as the science itself disproves their theories – Arctic ice is thickening, polar bears and penguins are thriving, Himalayan glaciers are growing – climate change alarmists are only becoming more aggressive in their attacks against anyone who dares question the global warming mantra.

Earlier month we highlighted Professor Kari Norgaard’s call for climate skeptics to be likened to racists and ‘treated’ for having a mental disorder. In a letter to Barack Obama, Norgaard also called on the President to ignore the will of the people and suspend democracy in order to enforce draconian ecological mandates.

But that’s by no means represents the extreme edge of eco-fascist sentiment that has been expressed in recent years.

In 2010, UK government-backed global warming alarmist group 10:10 produced an infomercial in which children who refused to lower their carbon emissions were slaughtered in an orgy of blood and guts. After a massive backlash, the organization was forced to remove the video from their website and issue an apology.

The same year, ‘Gaia hypothesis’ creator James Lovelock asserted that “democracy must be put on hold” to combat global warming and that “a few people with authority” should be allowed to run the planet because people were too stupid to be allowed to steer their own destinies.

In 2006, an environmental magazine to which Al Gore and Bill Moyers had both granted interviews advocated that climate skeptics who are part of the “denial industry” be arrested and made to face Nuremberg-style war crimes trials.’s Mark Morano is encouraging AGW skeptics to politely inform Steve Zwick ( that calling for people who express a difference of opinion to be tracked and have their houses burned down is not a rational argument for the legitimacy of man-made global warming science.

Indeed, it’s the argument of a demented idiot who’s obviously in the throws of a childish tantrum over the fact that Americans are rejecting the global government/carbon tax agenda for which man-made global warming is a front in greater numbers than ever before.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

Why Liberals Are the New Squares

Why Liberals Are the New Squares
I was amused to read Maureen Dowd’s recent column titled “State of Cool” in the New York Times, calling Hillary Clinton “cool,” because I was about to write just the opposite — not just about Hillary, but about her (and my) whole generation of liberal-progressive-whatevers. They are anything but cool. They are the New Squares.

But allow Dowd to state her cool case:
Hillary Clinton cemented her newly cool image and set off fresh chatter about her future when she met at the State Department with two young men who created a popular Internet meme showing photos of the secretary of state on a military plane, wearing big sunglasses, checking her BlackBerry and looking as if she’s ready to ice somebody.
The pictures, as Raymond Chandler would say, make Hillary look “as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.”
The meme, which exploded on Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter, was dreamed up last Wednesday by Hillary fans Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe, communications specialists here in Washington, at the gay sports bar Nellie’s.
Wow. An old person trying to emulate the hipster young. Dowd goes on to detail various snarky tweets attributed to “Hillary” (Romney should start drinking, etc.). How cool.

Well, actually not. It’s pathetic. How could a generation that has not changed its worldview one jot since 1968 be considered cool? That’s 44 years dancing to the same DJ with no alteration of rhythm or style or even a change of venue. Since the sixties, it’s been one long variation on The Twist — and Chubby Checker did it so much better in the first place.

So what follows is not going to endear me to this group.

It is my personal observation — having been there and done that in more ways than one — that the ones making the loudest noises now were some of the biggest losers then. This is true not just because Clinton looked rather, excuse the term and the sexism, dowdy as a Yale Law student, but for the deeper reason that what we have around us now are the cowardly also-rans of the sixties and seventies.

That is not to say that Mark Rudd, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Huey Newton, Angela Davis, etc., etc. were and are anything but execrable, often horrifically violent, individuals. At least, however, they did something. What I mean is this: the leaders of modern liberalism are the people who stood by and watched them, too cautious to join in but admiring (to some degree at least) of their actions. These are the people who didn’t drop acid but kind of wish they had.

So they have spent the last 44 years making up for it, stuck in time as if Haight-Ashbury were still the place to be and the Airplane was still playing at the Fillmore.

That would be harmless enough, but this need to be thought “cool” by a decades old measure permeates much more significant aspects of our culture than whether you sport a tie-dye shirt or still smoke an occasional reefer. It infects the values of practically everything and literally dictates the views of our mainstream media. The MSM is shot through with sixties also-rans, desperately trying to make up for their not quite cool pseudo-left, pseudo-hippie high school years.

This affects the ability to see clearly and makes advocating significant change practically impossible. No wonder many of these poeople still cling to the welfare state when every bit of evidence shows it poised to bankrupt our country. To go against the liberal orthodoxy would be uncool — something particularly anathema for those who weren’t cool enough (or thought themselves not cool enough) in the first place.

But there is nothing more square then to stay the same for decades (literally generations) as the world changes. Liberals have become the New Squares, conventional and predictable to an almost unfathomable degree. Like the very reactionaries they excoriate, they are always thinking backwards, trying finally to get programs right that were first tried in 1932 (and in some cases 1917) and have failed dozens of times since in literally dozens of countries.

If that’s not square, what is?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"All Transactions To Be Conducted In The Presence Of A Tax Collector"

Guest Post: "All Transactions To Be Conducted In The Presence Of A Tax Collector"
Tyler Durden's picture
 by Simon Black of Sovereign Man

In the terminal collapse of the Roman Empire, there was perhaps no greater burden to the average citizen than the extreme taxes they were forced to pay.

The tax 'reforms' of Emperor Diocletian in the 3rd century were so rigid and unwavering that many people were driven to starvation and bankruptcy. The state went so far as to chase around widows and children to collect taxes owed.

By the 4th century, the Roman economy and tax structure were so dismal that many farmers abandoned their lands in order to receive public entitlements.

At this point, the imperial government was spending the majority of the funds it collected on either the military or public entitlements. For a time, according to historian Joseph Tainter, "those who lived off the treasury were more numerous than those paying into it."

Sound familiar?

In the 5th century, tax riots and all-out rebellion were commonplace in the countryside among the few farmers who remained. The Roman government routinely had to dispatch its legions to stamp out peasant tax revolts.

But this did not stop their taxes from rising.

Valentinian III, who remarked in 444 AD that new taxes on landowners and merchants would be catastrophic, still imposed an additional 4% sales tax... and further decreed that all transactions be conducted in the presence of a tax collector.

Under such a debilitating regime, both rich and poor wished dearly that the barbarian hordes would deliver them from the burden of Roman taxation.

Zosimus, a late 5th century writer, quipped that "as a result of this exaction of taxes, city and countryside were full of laments and complaints, and all... sought the help of the barbarians."

Many Roman peasants even fought alongside their invaders, as was the case when Balkan miners defected to the Visigoths en masse in 378. Others simply vacated the Empire altogether.

In his book Decadent Societies, historian Robert Adams wrote, "[B]y the fifth century, men were ready to abandon civilization itself in order to escape the fearful load of taxes."

Perhaps 1,000 years hence, future historians will be writing the same thing about us. It's not so far-fetched.

In the economic decline of any civilization, political elites routinely call on a very limited playbook: more debt, more regulation, more restriction on freedoms, more debasement of the currency, more taxation, and more insidious enforcement.

Further, the propaganda machine goes into high gear, ensuring the peasant class is too deluded by patriotic fervor to notice they're being plundered by the state. 

And just in case anyone falls out of line or starts thinking too much, they give a handful of people badges, weapons, and the authority to terrorize the population.
Whether direct taxation in the form of outright theft, or indirect taxation in the form of inflation, these tactics have been used for millennia to maintain privilege for an elite few at the expense of everyone else.

This time is not different.

At $780 billion, the US government's budget deficit for just the first six months of FY2012 is more than the entire GDP of Indonesia. This is absurdly unsustainable, yet there is no end in sight to reckless spending habits... let alone paying back what's owed.

Meanwhile, a whopping $5.5 -trillion- worth of US debt is maturing over the next three years. And it's unlikely that foreigners will continue to generously loan their hard earned savings to Uncle Sam at sub-inflation rates.

Further, given the millions of new entitlement recipients, it's unlikely that intragovernmental agencies like Social Security will have the cash flow available to mop up any meaningful portion of this debt.
That leaves the old tried and true options-- direct confiscation from the people through debilitating taxes and capital controls, and indirect confiscation through painfully higher inflation.

Like the 5th century Romans before us, people may be ready to abandon civilization itself to escape the burdens placed on them by today's ruling class. Only, by the time this happens, it may be too late to start doing anything about it.

Every day it becomes harder to take actionable steps towards safeguarding freedom. It becomes harder to open a foreign bank account, to move and store gold abroad, to purchase firearms... even to travel abroad or renounce your citizenship.

Doing what politicians do-- kicking the can down the road-- is really going to limit your options in the future. But taking some simple steps today will pay huge dividends in the years to come.

Surveys: Republicans more open-minded, better informed than Democrats

Surveys: Republicans more open-minded, better informed than Democrats
Yet another new survey shows that Republican supporters know more about politics and political history than Democrats.

On eight of 13 questions about politics, Republicans outscored Democrats by an average of 18 percentage points, according to a new Pew survey titled “Partisan Differences in Knowledge.”

The Pew survey adds to a wave of surveys and studies showing that GOP-sympathizers are better informed, more intellectually consistent, more open-minded, more empathetic and more receptive to criticism than their fellow Americans who support the Democratic Party.

“Republicans fare substantially better than Democrats on several questions in the survey, as is typically the case in surveys about political knowledge,” said the study, which noted that Democrats outscored Republicans on five questions by an average of 4.6 percent.

The widest partisan gap in the survey came in at 30 points when only 46 percent of Democrats — but 76 percent of Republicans —- correctly described the GOP as “the party generally more supportive of reducing the size of federal government.”

The widest difference that favored Democrats was only 8 percent, when 59 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats recognized the liberal party as “more [supportive] of reducing the defense budget.”

The survey quizzed 1,000 people, including 239 Republicans and 334 Democrats.

However, Pew’s data suggests that the Democrats’ low average rating likely is a consequence of its bipolar political coalition, which combines well-credentialed post-graduate progressives who score well in quizzes with a much larger number of poorly educated supporters, who score badly.

For example, the survey reported that 90 percent of college grads recognized the GOP as the party most supportive of cutting the federal government. But that number fell to 54 percent of people with a high-school education or less.

In contrast, the Republican party coalition is more consistent, and has few poorly educated people and fewer post-graduates.

Pew’s new study echoes the results of many other reports and studies that show GOP supporters are better educated, more empathetic and more open to criticism than Democrats.

A March 12 Pew study showed that Democrats are far more likely that conservatives to disconnect from people who disagree with them.

“In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS [social networking sites] because of one of these reasons, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates,” said the report, tiled “Social networking sites and politics.”

The report also noted that 11 percent of liberals, but only 4 percent of conservatives, deleted friends from their social networks after disagreeing with their politics.

A March Washington Post poll showed that Democrats were more willing to change their views about a subject to make their team look good. For example, in 2006, 73 percent of Democrats said the GOP-controlled White House could lower gas prices, but that number fell by more than half to 33 percent in 2012 once a Democrat was in the White House.

In contrast, the opinions of GOP supporters were more consistent. Their collective opinion shifted by only a third, according to the data. In 2006, 47 percent in believed the White House could influence gas prices. By 2012, that number had risen to 65 percent up 17 points compared to the Democrats’ 40 point shift.

Much of this polling and survey work has been backed up by novel research from the University of Virginia.

UVA researchers have used a massive online survey to show that conservatives better understand the ideas of liberals than vice versa. The results are described in a new book by UVA researcher Jonathan Haidt, “Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.”

The book uses a variety of data to argue that conservatives have a balanced set of moral intuitions, while liberals are focused on aiding victims, fairness and individual liberty. Conservatives recognize how liberals think because they share those intuitions, but liberals don’t understand how conservatives think because they don’t recognize conservatives’ additional intuitions about loyalty, authority and sanctity, Haidt argues.

The academics’ work is also being backed up by commercial research into the tastes and political views of potential customers.

For example, researchers have learned that Internet sites offering financial information, sports scores, online-auctions attract far more interest from Republicans than from Democrats, according to a 2010 study by National Media Research, Planning and Placement, based in Alexandria, Va.
In contrast, Democrats outnumber Republicans at online dating sites, job-searches sites, online TV and online video-game sites, said the firm.

This commercial data-analysis is often used by companies to identify and attract customers. For example, the firm also conducted a study of chain restaurants’ customers, which concluded that the customers of Popeyes, White Castle, Dunkin’ Donuts and Chuck E Cheese were mostly Democratic, while the customers at Cracker Barrel, Chik-fil-A, Panera and Bob Evans were mostly Republican.

The same restaurants study showed that the customers at Cracker Barrel, Panera and Bob Evans were the most likely to vote in elections.
Read more:

Obama Dog-Eater Joke of the Day

Obama Dog-Eater Joke of the Day
by John Hinderaker in 2012 Presidential Election, Jokes

No, Barry! We said PEPperoni, PEPperoni!

The Obama Eats Dogs theme is silly, of course, but as many others have said, it is silliness with a purpose. The Obama campaign seriously intended to make an issue of the fact that decades ago, Mitt Romney put the family dog on the roof of his car, in some sort of kennel or container, because there was no room inside. The dog was fine, but the Democrats crowed that focus group testing showed that the incident would make voters dislike Romney. I think that claim was sheer fantasy, but in any event, the Democrats won’t be able to talk about Seamus now that everyone knows that Obama used to eat dogs.

Something similar happened with the Democrats’ “war on women,” a more important campaign theme. It blew up like an exploding cigar when Hilary Rosen, acting as the administration’s avant garde, attacked Ann Romney. Also, it turned out that the Obama White House pays women 18% less, on the average, than men. So much for the “war on women,” although the Democrats haven’t given up on that particular dead horse yet.

While in the microcosm these issues may seem silly, they are important in the context of the 2012 campaign. The Democrats can’t defend Obama’s record and want to talk about anything in the world other than the economy and the federal debt. Thus, their campaign will consist of one distraction after another. The Romney campaign’s ability to hit back, turn the faux issue back on Obama, and return the conversation to the economy will be critical. At the moment, Romney’s counterpunching against Obama’s irrelevancies is looking strong.

Romney’s oft-stated belief that Barack Obama is a nice guy is part of the same dialectic. This formula–”I think he’s a nice person. I just don’t think we can afford him any longer”–is a good one, even though there is little or no evidence of Obama’s supposed niceness. Few Republicans will agree with this personality assessment, but that isn’t the point. The point is that the election isn’t personal, it is about policy, about the economy and about government spending. Personality is a distraction, like dogs. So if the Democrats want to go off on irrelevancies, fine; we will talk about dogs, or whatever, for 30 seconds and then go back to the economy and the federal debt.

ONE MORE THING: Muslims don’t eat dogs. Barack Obama lived with a Muslim stepfather in a Muslim area of Indonesia. Dogs were not eaten there; presumably not in Obama’s Muslim household. So Obama’s claim in his autobiography that he ate dog in Indonesia may well be false–an error introduced by Bill Ayers or whoever actually wrote Obama’s autobiography. But it is way too late now for Obama to disavow the autobiography that he allegedly wrote.

Messaging the 2012 election

Messaging the 2012 election
Examiner Columnist

"I don't think there are any of those things that are not part of the American consciousness today." - Mitt Romney, April 20

That's part of an answer Gov. Romney gave to me on Friday's radio show. If he's right, it's very good news for everyone hoping to defeat President Obama in November.

The question I had asked: "Governor, with a couple of minutes left, there is a list of a dozen words I carry around with me, maybe a couple more -- Obamacare, stimulus, unemployment, debt, deficit, gas prices, Keystone, Gulf oil spill, EPA, Solyndra, Boeing, Gibson Guitar, Fast and Furious, GSA, Israel, flexibility. Are you afraid of any of those words, Governor? Do you want those words to sort of cue the conversations that are going to drive this election?"

If Romney is right, and the collective American consciousness has absorbed the impact of those words, the president has very little chanced to redefine the election no matter how often he repeats his choice of words and phrases, which include Bain, silver spoon and the 1 percent.
If voters are talking about and thinking about my list, they are also thinking about the president's record on those words, and it is record of failure.

Romney's full answer to my question:

"I think they demonstrate the failure of this presidency. I mean, he laid out what he thought success would be defined by, and on his own measures, he has failed. He has not created jobs, there have been one problem after another. You've described a number of them in that long list, and I was listening pretty carefully. I don't think there are any of those things that are not part of the American consciousness today. And people need to be reminded that this president has been over his head and swimming in the wrong direction. You know, many people feel he's a nice guy, but you know what? We just can't afford him any longer. We've got to get him out of office if we're going to create jobs, rise the incomes, and a brighter future for the next generation."

Elections are decided on phrases and word packages that are efficient yet not overly simplistic.
"It's the economy, stupid," was famously the message that drove Bill Clinton's campaign against George H.W. Bush. Lots of other phrases have framed campaigns, including "compassionate conservative" and "hope and change."

When Ronald Reagan defeated a sitting president, he introduced the "misery index" and famously asked, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"

That index and that question grew out of the record of the incumbent president and made sense in the context of an appeal to change course. The challenger was urging the electorate to look back over what the sitting president had done and measure it against what he had promised, and to choose.
Neither Govs. Reagan nor Clinton had to spend much time explaining what they were saying. Both could count on the experience of the average American to hear the brief message -- condensed and repeated again and again -- and to extrapolate what the challenger was communicating.

On Saturday I heard Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner ask two governors for an opinion on "Keystone." Neither he nor they had to explain to the audience what it meant.

Nor does Gov. Romney have to explain "Keystone," or any of the other words and phrases on my list. All he has to do is keep the election focused on them, a task he has been performing quite well. This comes to the dismay of the president and the Chicago gang, who would rather talk about anything but the president's record.

Examiner Columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Former GE CEO Jack Welch Blasts Obama’s Leadership

Former GE CEO Jack Welch Blasts Obama’s Leadership

 By: Bruno J. Navarro

President Obama’s “divide-and-conquer” approach isn’t what great leaders do, Jack Welch said Thursday.

The renowned former General Electric CEO chided the president for blaming others for economic woes.

“It was the insurance executives in health care. It was the bankers in the collapse. It was the oil companies as oil prices go up. It was Congress if things didn’t go the way he wanted. And recently it’s been the Supreme Court,” he said.

“He’s got an enemies list that would make Richard Nixon proud.”

Welch, who helmed GE for 21 years and founded the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, penned an op-ed article for Reuters with wife Suzy Welch this week in which he tackled the idea of Obama’s enemies list.

“Surely his supporters must think this particular tactic is effective, but there can be no denying that the country is more polarized than when Obama took office,” Welch wrote, making a case for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“Without doubt, Romney is not the model leader (his apparent lack of authenticity can be jarring), but he has a quality that would serve him well as president — good old American pragmatism,” he wrote. “Perhaps that’s the businessman in him. Or perhaps you just learn to do what you’ve got to do when you’re a GOP governor in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts or the man charged with salvaging the scandal-ridden Salt Lake City Olympics. If Romney’s long record suggests anything, it’s that he knows how to manage people and organizations to get things accomplished without a lot of internecine warfare.”

In 1981, Welch became GE’s youngest CEO, and increased its market value by $387 billion, making it the world’s most valuable company. But the move came in part by slashing GE’s workforce by more than 100,000 workers, earning him the nickname he despised, “Neutron Jack,” a reference to the bomb designed to eliminate people while leaving buildings intact.

On “The Kudlow Report,” Welch argued that “great leaders are interested in coalescing” the way they would run a company.

“You don’t have one division pinned against the other,” he said. “You try to get the whole company pull together.”

Asked by host Larry Kudlow whether he thought Romney could win the White House, Welch agreed.

“Absolutely,” he said. “It’d be great for the country. We’d be a stronger country. We’d have more jobs. We’d have more people getting a piece of the pie. And we wouldn’t have this divisive nature that we have with this president, screaming at one group and then screaming at the next group in a high-pitched voice.

“He was in Florida this week screaming and yelling about rich people. He went after the Supreme Court. We’ve got to stop this, Larry.”

Earlier in the interview, Welch said he was seeing modest growth in short-cycle sectors such as food and chemicals, along with “real strength” in non-residential construction and infrastructure.

“While the economy was strong, it wasn’t accelerating the way I thought it would after the fourth quarter,” he said.

Tailwinds included consumer confidence and the Federal Reserve.

“On the negative side, though, we’ve got gasoline prices, we’ve got Europe, we don’t know where China is going and we’ve got tax increases right around the corner,” he said.

Tune in:

"The Kudlow Report" airs weeknights at 7 p.m. ET.
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