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Archive for May, 2012

Cops, Witnesses Back Up Zimmerman’s Version

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 18th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Cops, Witnesses Back Up Zimmerman’s Version
Matt Gutman, ABC News
Two police reports written the night that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin said that Zimmerman had a bloody face and nose, according to police reports made public today.The reports also note that two witness accounts appear to back up Zimmerman's version of what happened when they describe a man on his back with another person wearing a hoodie straddling him and throwing punches.

The Breitbart Scoop: How Did Media Miss This?
Tim Stanley, Telegraph
Whatever you think of Breitbart.com’s punishing vetting process, it has exposed just how little work the mainstream media did in investigating candidate Obama back in 2008. Not all of Team Breitbart’s revelations have been election-deciders, but they have often been stuff that a simple Google would have uncovered. If they revealed tomorrow that he’d had his own cross-dressing-themed sitcom on primetime TV in the 1980s, I wouldn’t be surprised.The latest find is a fascinating inversion of the birther conspiracy. Breitbart.com has…

Obama’s Gay Marriage Contradiction
Charles Krauthammer, Wash Post
There are two ways to defend gay marriage. Argument A is empathy: One is influenced by gay friends in committed relationships yearning for the fulfillment and acceptance that marriage conveys upon heterosexuals. That’s essentially the case President Obama made when he first announced his change of views.No talk about rights, just human fellow feeling. Such an argument is attractive because it can be compelling without being compulsory. Many people, feeling the weight of this longing among their gay friends, are willing to redefine marriage for the sake of simple human sympathy.

Wright Distracts From Obama’s Awful Record
John Podhoretz, NY Post
Yesterday’s breathless campaign hysteria arose out of a not-really-much-of-a-scoop from the broadsheet across town: A rich guy in Omaha wants to spend a lot of money defeating Barack Obama.Stop the presses. Eek.Said rich guy sought the advice of a controversial consultant (who’d very much benefit from getting the rich guy’s commission) on a strategy. The consultant proposed reviving the 2008 controversy over Obama’s relationship with his egregious pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

On Health Care, State Doesn’t Know Best

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 17th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

On Health Care, State Doesn’t Know Best
Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe
Prices were out of control at the end of third-century Rome, and the Emperor Diocletian was determined to rein them in. In AD 301 he issued his famous Edict on Prices, a complex piece of legislation that banned speculation and established price ceilings for a wide range of goods and services. But the ambitious law failed. Though violators could be punished with death, inflation and speculation persisted. Goods were hoarded, or sold on the black market. The economic crisis worsened. Eventually the law was abandoned. Like countless rulers before and since, Diocletian discovered the hard way…

Believing in Obama
Charles Blow, New York Times
You gotta have faith. Democrats have it. Republicans don't. That is the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll that was released on Tuesday. The poll found that:

Occupy Movement, RIP
Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest
Remember when Occupy Wall Street was sweeping the nation? The media branded it the left's answer to the Tea Party, the start of a grand national mobilization; depending on who you ask, half of America once supported the OWS protestors, double the amount who back the Tea Party. The Huffington Post even launched a separate page devoted entirely to coverage of OWS.How the mighty have fallen. The New York Times may still be trying to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation on the decomposing OWS corpse, attributing continuing policy influence sans evidence of any kind to a movement that has…

Is There a Drone in Your Backyard?
Andrew Napolitano, Reason
Earlier this week, the federal government announced that the Air Force might be dispatching drones to a backyard near you. The stated purpose of these spies in the sky is to assist local police to find missing persons or kidnap victims, or to chase bad guys.If the drone operator sees you doing anything of interest (Is your fertilizer for the roses or to fuel a bomb? Is that Sudafed for your cold or your meth habit? Are you smoking in front of your kids?), the feds say they may take a picture of you and keep it. The feds predict that they will dispatch or authorize about 30,000 of…

Europe’s Fate, and Obama’s, May Ride on G8
Alexis Simendinger, RCP
President Obama has a weekend challenge ahead of him: Can he persuade European leaders gathered in the Maryland woods outside Washington, D.C., to adopt the U.S. fiscal example of short-term bailouts, government stimulus and long-range plans for belt-tightening in order promote growth and stave off a fiscal meltdown in the Eurozone?Obama's re-election chances, pinned to his promises of a rosier U.S. economy and more jobs here, could ride on what his peers in Europe decide to do.U.S. economists have said continued writhing in Europe over a solution to the debt crisis, and even…

Pennsylvania in Play for November? Maybe

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Pennsylvania in Play for November? Maybe
Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call
I never include the Keystone State in my list of presidential swing states for November. Am I making a mistake? Possibly.There are plenty of reasons to leave the commonwealth of Pennsylvania off any list of the most competitive states that will decide the next president.While the 2000 national election split the country almost down the middle — then-Vice President Al Gore (D) beat George W. Bush (R) in the popular vote by one-half of 1 percent — Pennsylvania went for the Democrat by more than 4 points. 

Portman: Best of the Boring White Guys
Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg
The minute Senator Rob Portman, the Republican from Ohio who helped Mitt Romney win his state’s primary, walked into the room, I knew that he would be the Republican vice presidential candidate.As he conceded proudly, he is a Boring White Guy, which is the phrase of the moment after “a Republican official familiar with the campaign’s thinking” told Politico that’s what Romney is looking for in a running mate. (The actual phrase was “incredibly boring white guy,” but for our purposes the initials BWG will suffice.) What…

Why Wrigley Field Must Be Destroyed
Rich Cohen, Wall Street Journal
Having not won a World Series since 1908, and having last appeared on that stage in 1945—a war year in which the professional leagues were still populated by has-beens and freaks—the Chicago Cubs must contemplate the only solution that might restore the team to glory: Tear down Wrigley Field.Destroy it. Annihilate it. Collapse it with the sort of charges that put the Sands Hotel out of its misery in Vegas. Implosion or explosion, get rid of it. That pile of quaintness has to go. Not merely the structure, but the ground on which it stands. 

Expect a Desperate Obama to Dump Biden

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 15th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Expect a Desperate Obama to Dump Biden
Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh PG
Vice President Joe Biden isn't invited to Sunday campaign strategy meetings at the White House, The New York Times reported May 4.President Barack Obama designated Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., his top surrogate on foreign policy issues, fueling speculation he'd be secretary of state in a second Obama administration.So Washington is abuzz with rumors the president will replace Mr. Biden with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.He ought to. Slow Joe is a national embarrassment.Osama bin Laden made plans to assassinate the president and Gen. David Petreaus, according to captured documents….

Big Government: The Grand Experiment Has Failed
Bernie Marcus, IBD
Since the financial crisis and throughout the sluggish economic recovery, working families and small-business owners have watched as the federal government has engaged in a grand experiment in government-led economic engineering. That experiment has failed. The latest jobs report underscores the need to change our country's direction. April's unemployment rate was 8.1%, but if you include those who are underemployed, that rate shoots to 14.5%. 

Obama Campaign’s Off to a Shaky Start
John Podhoretz, New York Post
So how good is the Obama reelection campaign going to be?By "good," I mean competent, able to plan elaborate events and respond quickly and effectively to fast-breaking news. Obama supporters have every reason to be concerned "” which is not to say Romney supporters have any reason to be complacent.

Issa’s Monstrous Holder Witch Hunt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 14th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Issa’s Monstrous Holder Witch Hunt
Juan Williams, The Hill
Since taking over as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last year, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has been investigating President Obama's administration with the tenacity of Captain Ahab in “Moby Dick.

The Boom on the Farm
Robert Samuelson, Washington Post
MARION, Iowa — Sitting in the cab of a $350,000 John Deere tractor pulling a $150,000 Deere corn planter, Greg Carson embodies modern American agriculture. It's capital-intensive, high-tech, efficient — and now immensely profitable. Looking for a bright spot in the U.S. economy? The farm belt is it.Driven by high grain and soybean prices, farmers' cash income hit a record $109 billion in 2011. Land values have followed high crop prices. Since 2006, an average acre of Iowa farmland has doubled. Last year, the increase was 33 percent to $6,708, reports Michael Duffy of Iowa State…

The Amateur: Book Offers Withering Portrayal of Obama
Ed Lasky, AT
Edward Klein's new book on Barack Obama, The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House, is a withering portrayal of a radical adrift, in over his head, drowning in his own incompetency — while being weighed down by a small circle of “advisers” who are compounding the problem of the Amateur in the White House.Klein's book begins with a talisman-like quote uttered by Barack Obama when his recently appointed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner tried to boost Obama's ego by telling him, “Your legacy is going to be preventing the second Great Depression.” …

The Big Flip: U.S. Parties Have Switched Roles
Todd Purdum, Vanity Fair
In July 1854, a man by the name of Erastus Haven, a professor of English and Latin at the University of Michigan, dared to speak up at the first state convention of a new American political organization. For his trouble, he was hotly denounced by the Detroit Free Press, which condemned the event as an exercise in “fanaticism and political charlatanry” and called for the professor’s ouster. Haven’s sin was to address the just-born Republican Party, founded on a platform of stopping the spread of slavery, and while he might not recognize the…

We Don’t All Wish to Be California
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post
If Greece’s economic woes are not a flashing red light for U.S. policy makers, perhaps they will take California’s example to heart. This weekend California Gov. Jerry Brown broke the news to his state: What was projected in January to be a $9 billion budget deficit is now $16 billion.How does that happen, exactly? It’s mind-boggling unless you understand that California has the worst business climate in the country and its revenue projections turned out to be wildly over-optimistic. Reuters explains: “The deeper deficit forecast reflects the…

President Seeks to Energize His Liberal Base

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 12th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

President Seeks to Energize His Liberal Base
Jonathan Easley, The Hill
President Obama is focusing his campaign efforts on the voters who turned out for him in force in 2008 and who he will need to mobilize again this year. The president’s most high-profile move came this week when he reached out to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, a group with which he took 70 percent of the vote in 2008, by personally endorsing gay marriage.  But Obama has also engaged in a sustained push to re-energize young voters. He won the support of 66 percent of voters age 18-29 in 2008 against GOP rival Sen. John McCain (Ariz.),…

After Decades of Borrowing, Europe Faces Hard Choices

Book: Bill Clinton Calls Obama “Amateur”
Carl Campanile, New York Post
Bill Clinton thought so little of President Obama — mocking him as an “amateur” — that he pressed his wife last summer to quit her job as secretary of state and challenge him in the primaries, a new book claims,  “The country needs you!” the former president told Hillary Clinton, urging her to run this year, according to accounts of the conversation included in Edward Klein’s new biography of Obama.  The title of Klein’s explosive, unauthorized bio of Obama, “The Amateur”…

Chris Christie’s Remarkable Popularity
Aaron Blake, Washington Post
Chris Christie is really, really popular — by New Jersey standards.Christie’s 56 percent approval rating in a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll this week may not seem all that remarkable, but when it comes to New Jersey, it is.The reason: New Jersey voters are notoriously tough on their politicians. Consider this:* President Obama hasn’t gone higher than 56 percent approval in Quinnipiac polling of the state since June 2009 — slightly after he took office on a high note.

Poll Shows Growing Economic Pessimism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 11th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Poll Shows Growing Economic Pessimism
Agiesta & Raum, Associated Press
Americans are growing more pessimistic about the economy and handling it remains President Barack Obama's weak spot and biggest challenge in his bid for a second term, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

Mitt’s Troubling Incidents From Prep School
Jason Horowitz, Wash Post
Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t…

What Has Made Congress More Polarized?
Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics
Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein ignited a bit of a firestorm with their column describing Republicans as main drivers behind Washington's problems. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has made some excellent points with regard to Mann and Ornstein's qualitative arguments, and other thorough responses abound. Rather than revisiting these points, I would like to focus my attention on the quantitative arguments made at the end of the article. Mann and Ornstein note that:"[P]olitical scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, who have long tracked historical trends in…

On Gay Marriage, Obama Is on the Right Side of History

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 10th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

On Gay Marriage, Obama Is on the Right Side of History

Why the Right Really Hates Obama
Theo Anderson, In These Times
How much influence has the Tea Party really had in American politics?The movement scored real successes in the 2010 election, when the GOP won control of the House and narrowed the Democrats’ majority in the Senate. That success bolstered the GOP’s budget-cutting fervor and set up the debt-ceiling showdown last summer. And wins by Tea Party candidates at the state level have helped create the wave of abortion restrictions recently passed by state legislatures. 

How Obama Played the Press on Marriage
Richard Benedetto, FOX News
Little happens by accident in the Obama White House, or the Obama reelection campaign for that matter — if there even is a difference between the two. And the dramatic decision by the president to come out Wednesday in support of same-sex marriage is no exception. Contrary to what many in the news media would have us believe, the decision was carefully planned and timed.

Dems Have Real Chance to Hold Senate Majority
Paul Kane, Wash Post
Republicans need to pick up four more seats to take control of the Senate, and a year ago they had many plans for how to do so — none of which envisioned a battle to hold on to Indiana.But Tuesday’s landslide victory in the GOP primary by Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a staunch conservative who beat longtime Sen. Richard G. Lugar, gave Democrats hope for claiming a seat they have not seriously contested in three decades.

Long, Hard Slog Ahead in Presidential Race
Michael Barone, DC Examiner
Just as the political air is filled with talk of the inevitability of Barack Obama's re-election — we are told that the kids at his Chicago headquarters are brimming with confidence — in come some poll numbers showing him behind.Not by anything statistically significant, mind you. But when you get the Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls and the Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll all showing Mitt Romney leading Obama by 1 point, an Obama victory seems far from inevitable.

Scott Brown Goes Birther on Warren

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 9th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Scott Brown Goes Birther on Warren
Nick Baumann, Mother Jones
On Tuesday, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) went birther on Elizabeth Warren. “Serious questions have been raised about the legitimacy of Elizabeth Warren's claims to Native American ancestry,” Brown said in a statement released to the press. But given the available evidence concerning Warren's ancestry, Brown is essentially implying there may have been an elaborate, years-long effort to fake his opponent's heritage—not unlike the conspiracy envisioned by right-wing activists who sought “answers” about President Obama's citizenship.

Romney Saved Detroit Only in His Dreams

Fanatical GOP Could Cause Constitutional Crisis
Jon Chait, NY Magazine
The defeat of Richard Lugar in the Indiana Republican Senate primary is the kind of event that would have been shocking just a half-dozen years ago, and has since grown routine. Incumbent Senators used to have almost no fear that they might be deposed by members of their own party for ideological or partisan deviations, and now that threat has become the most powerful disciplinary tool available to activists. And it's a tool, moreover, that is being deployed asymmetrically "“ the homogeneously conservative Republican Party has winnowed out virtually all its moderates,…

Obama’s Ridiculous To-Do List

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 8th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Obama’s Ridiculous To-Do List
David Harsanyi, Washington Examiner
President Barack Obama has compiled a handy to-do list for Congress that, “if acted upon quickly, will create jobs and help restore middle class security,” according to the White House's blog. And it's about time. This is most certainly not, as cynics might suggest, another transparent political scheme. After all, these initiatives, the White House claims, enjoy bipartisan support — which, I gather, is meant to impress you, even if it's not exactly true.Regrettably, the sentiment of the to-do list does garner bipartisan support and illustrates how cheap populism…

Larry Summers vs. the Long-Termers
Ezra Klein, Washington Post
In August 2005, Raghuram Rajan, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, predicted the financial crisis. And he did it at possibly the least friendly of venues: a conference of high-powered economists who had convened in part to honor Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Rajan presented a paper titled “Has Financial Innovation Made the World Riskier?” His answer, put simply, was “Yes.” He was dismissed by the assembled masters of the universe. “Misguided,” said Larry Summers. But Rajan was…

2012 Grads Must Tone Down Egos & Shape Up Minds
Bret Stephens, WSJ
Dear Class of 2012:Allow me to be the first one not to congratulate you. Through exertions that—let's be honest—were probably less than heroic, most of you have spent the last few years getting inflated grades in useless subjects in order to obtain a debased degree. Now you're entering a lousy economy, courtesy of the very president whom you, as freshmen, voted for with such enthusiasm. Please spare us the self-pity about how tough it is to look for a job while living with your parents. They're the ones who spent a fortune on your education only to get you…

The Academic PC Mob Silences a Blogger
Naomi Schaefer Riley, WSJ
Recently, the Chronicle of Higher Education published a cover story called “Black Studies: 'Swaggering Into the Future,'” in which the reporter described how “young black-studies scholars . . . are less consumed than their predecessors with the need to validate the field or explain why they are pursuing doctorates in their discipline.” The “5 Up-and-Coming Ph.D. Candidates” described in the piece's sidebar “are rewriting the history of race.” While the article suggested some are skeptical of black studies as a discipline, the reporter…

The Cleveland Five: Occupy’s First Terrorists
Rich Lowry, NRO
The Cleveland Five are a sad-sack collection of wannabe terrorists if there ever was one. The amateurish young men who plotted to destroy a bridge outside Cleveland last week give the impression of needing the attention of a guidance counselor as much as a federal prosecutor.