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Archive for June, 2012

How Obama Changed His Mind on Immigration

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

How Obama Changed His Mind on Immigration
Beth Reinhard, Natl Jnrl
On July 25, 2011, President Obama told a leading Hispanic advocacy group that as much as he wanted to stop deporting young illegal immigrants, his hands were tied.”I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own,'' the president said, as the audience interrupted with shouts of “Yes you can!''

“Angry” Money Boosts Romney, GOP
Michael Barone, DC Examiner
There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth as, in the spring, it appeared that forces supporting Mitt Romney would be able to raise about as much money as those supporting Barack Obama. There's even more now that it seems likely that the pro-Romney side will raise and spend more money than the pro-Obama side.Four years ago, the Obama forces heavily outspent those supporting John McCain. The Obama campaign had enough money to target — and carry — heretofore Republican states like North Carolina and Indiana.That experience made the Democrats spoiled. The prospect that the…

The Man Who Bet Against Facebook & Won
Maria Bartiromo, USA Today
Facebook has dominated the talk on Wall Street since going public on May 18. But after the hype and excitement surrounding the $100 billion deal, the chatter has been for all the wrong reasons. The stock plummeted from its offering price of $38 a share. Technical glitches, overvaluation and questions about the business model created disarray and confusion. Former star technology analyst turned investor Dan Niles expected all that. Today he is among the happiest Facebook investors because he bet against the company. I caught up with the manager of the AlphaOne Capital Partners $100…

Parties Strategize Over Health Care Law

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

Parties Strategize Over Health Care Law
Weisman & Shear, NY Times
WASHINGTON — House Republicans are not waiting for the Supreme Court verdict on the new health care law to plot their strategic response. If the measure is not thrown out entirely, House leaders plan to force a vote immediately to repeal the law to reinforce their deep opposition to the legislation, opposition that has become central to their political identity.

Republicans Are Blocking Jobs Growth Measures
President Barack Obama
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Over the last few weeks, I've been talking a lot about America's economic future. I've told you how I believe we should go about creating strong, sustained growth; how we should pay down our long-term debt in a balanced way; and most of all, what we should do right now to create good, middle-class jobs, so people who work hard can get ahead. This isn't some abstract debate or trivial argument. I've said that this is the defining issue of our time, and I mean it. I've said that this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and I…

Romney’s Reaganesque Challenge
Ronald Brownstein, National Journal
In 1984, Ronald Reagan won the most decisive presidential landslide of the past three decades. It’s a measure of the challenge facing Republicans that to beat Barack Obama, even narrowly, Mitt Romney may need to equal Reagan’s towering performance in one key respect. It’s a measure of the challenge facing Obama that it’s not inconceivable Romney will do just that.Reagan won 58.8 percent of the vote, 49 states, and an unmatched 525 Electoral College votes. But he did so in a country demographically very different from today’s America. Those…

Why Romney Is the Favorite
Peter Wehner, Commentary
Why is Barack Obama’s road to re-election so steep and uncertain at this stage?There are five important reasons.1. An indefensible record. Every election which features an incumbent is, at least in good measure, a referendum on the record of the incumbent. The problem facing Obama is that he can’t offer a convincing case that his policies have succeeded. Recall that at the outset of his presidency, Obama told NBC’s Matt Lauer, “I will be held accountable. I’ve got four years… If I don’t have this done in three…

Silly Season, 2012

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

Silly Season, 2012
Charles Krauthammer, National Review
Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama is not exactly Jefferson-Adams or Lincoln-Douglas. No Harry Truman or Bill Clinton here, let alone FDR or Reagan. Indeed, it's arguable that neither party is fielding its strongest candidate. Hillary Clinton would run far better than Obama. True, her secretaryship of state may not remotely qualify as Kissingerian or Achesonian, but she's not Obama. She carries none of his economic baggage. She's unsullied by the past 31 / 2 years.

Obama’s Classified Leaks Aren’t Prosecutable
Andy McCarthy, PJ Media
In my post over the weekend about the folly of pushing for a special prosecutor on the Obama administration’s intelligence leaks to the New York Times, I argued that holding the president politically accountable is far more important than indicting the leakers; therefore, Congress should do its job and shine intense light on this scandal rather than abdicate to a criminal investigation — ultimately supervised by Obama and his attorney general — which would simply bury it. Among the points I made was that the criminal case is probably a loser anyway:

Romney’s Spending Cuts Would Doom Economy
Paul Krugman, NY Times
Hope springs eternal. For a few hours I was ready to applaud Mitt Romney for speaking honestly about what his calls for smaller government actually mean.Never mind. Soon the candidate was being his normal self, denying having said what he said and serving up a bunch of self-contradictory excuses. But let's talk about his accidental truth-telling, and what it reveals. 

Obama Listens to Rich Liberals, at His Peril

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 13th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Obama Listens to Rich Liberals, at His Peril
Michael Barone, DC Examiner
Who does Barack Obama listen to?Not Republican politicians. Evidently weeks go by between his conversations with Speaker John Boehner, who determines what legislation comes to the House floor.Not Democratic politicians. We have it on good authority that he seldom talks to Democratic members of Congress. Lyndon Johnson used to be on the phone constantly, cajoling and inveigling but also on the alert for shifts in opinion.

Romney Scaling the “Blue Wall”
Josh Kraushaar, National Journal
For much of the presidential campaign, President Obama’s top strategists have outlined their numerous paths to 270 electoral votes: win Florida, sweep the Southwest, or pick off a Southern state or two. But they didn’t prepare for the possibility that working-class white voters in the Rust Belt could abandon the president en masse, throwing his well-laid plans into disarray.With the economy struggling to pick up steam, three must-win “blue-wall” states are looking increasingly winnable for the Romney campaign: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Both…

Would Truman Blame Paris?
Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal
The Europe of Charlemagne, Marco Polo and Churchill, after millennia of undoubted achievement, has finally spent itself to the verge of collapse and irrelevance. Witnessing this historic catastrophe, Barack Obama, the president of the United States, is complaining that it's bad for business in Pittsburgh. What electorates in Europe and here have long suspected is proven true. Ours is the age of small men.Europe is in the grip of a financial plague wiping out a generation of wealth and opportunity for millions of its citizens and threatening the world's economies. Does anyone believe…

More Half-Measures From Europe

D.C. Props Up a Warped Financial System
John Hussman, Hussman Funds
Over the past 13 years, the S&P 500 has underperformed even the depressed return on risk-free Treasury bills. Real U.S. gross domestic investment has not grown at all since 1999, and even as a share of GDP, real investment remains weak.The ongoing debate about the economy continues along largely partisan lines, with conservatives arguing that taxes just aren't low enough, and the economy should be freed of regulations, while liberals argue that the economy needs larger government programs and grand stimulus initiatives.

Why U.S. Needs Universal Health Care

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

Why U.S. Needs Universal Health Care
Froma Harrop, Providence Journal
For now, let's drop the talk about wanting a liberal America or a conservative America. What we truly need is a modern America. No country can be modern spending twice what its rich competitors do on health care while leaving millions without any coverage.If the U.S. Supreme Court declares the essential “individual mandate” in the federal Affordable Care Act unconstitutional — or Republicans throw out the reforms — then it's back to the past, back to the economy-dragging health care mess we've been calling a “system.”Republicans say that Americans…

The War on Old Folks
Susan Douglas, In These Times
I’m sitting here feeling my bile rise as I eye the cover of the publication I most love to hate, AARP The Magazine. This one features Diane Keaton and promises to explain “How she stays forever young.” The featured tip? “Take risks – do things you can’t imagine!” Month in and month out, this rag features well-preserved, wealthy, beaming celebrities who suggest that aging can be defied, and also that it’s just one big blast. 

George W. Bush’s Legacy Still Hangs Over GOP
Michael Crowley, Time
George W. Bush is gone from Washington — and sometimes the city seems to have forgotten him. For all the passions that he inspired, the 43rd President’s legacy has been absent from the 2012 campaign. Mitt Romney’s dog and Barack Obama’s college girlfriends feel like larger presences in this election season than the President who invaded Iraq, bailed out the banks and slashed taxes.Bush’s legacy was strangely absent from the Republican primaries, his name almost never mentioned in the countless debates. Romney seems allergic to Bush’s…

Obama’s Right, Sound-Bite Duel Lacks Context

Stop These Dangerous Whispers

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

Stop These Dangerous Whispers
Rep. Peter King, New York Daily News
In his press conference on Friday, President Obama said that recent leaks “touch on critical issues of war and peace, and they’re classified for a reason: because they’re sensitive, and because the people involved may in some cases be in danger if they’re carrying out some of these missions.”The President is right about that.He also said that the “notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong.”

The Tipping Point for Obama
John Ellis, RealClearPolitics
In 2008, 43% of white voters cast their presidential ballots for Sen. Barack Obama. That was more than he needed to win. Today, according to the most recent Fox News poll, 35% of white voters say that they support President Obama's re-election. This is what makes the 2012 presidential election "too close to call."The over-riding fear of Team Obama is that the president's support among white voters will collapse. The math is simple. If Romney gets 65% of the white vote (which will likely comprise — at least — 72% of the electorate) then he gets 48% of the total…

Government Is the Solution
E.J. Dionne, Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Why don't Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things. One of those valuable things is that government creates jobs — yes, really — and also the conditions under which more jobs can be created.You probably read that and thought: But don't Democrats and liberals say this all the time? Actually, the answer is no. It's Republicans and conservatives who usually say that Democrats and liberals believe in government. Progressive politicians often respond by apologizing for their view of government, or…

Bailing Out Banks, Not the Unemployed

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

Bailing Out Banks, Not the Unemployed
Paul Krugman, New York Times
Oh, wow "” another bank bailout, this time in Spain. Who could have predicted that?The answer, of course, is everybody. In fact, the whole story is starting to feel like a comedy routine: yet again the economy slides, unemployment soars, banks get into trouble, governments rush to the rescue "” but somehow it's only the banks that get rescued, not the unemployed.

Government Cuts Would Hurt Economy
Greg Sargent, Washington Post
The big story out of Obama’s press conference today will be that he said that “the private sector is doing fine.” This choice of language does seem like a pretty serious misstep, and Republicans are salivating over the opportunity it has given them to portray the President as out of touch with people’s economic suffering.But at the same time, something else noteworthy happened at the presser, and it shouldn’t get lost in the discussion of Obama’s gaffe. He offered one of his most extensive cases yet for government spending as the…

Who’s Really Doing Fine: Big Government
James Pethokoukis, American
"The private sector is doing fine" "“ Barack Obama, June 8, 2012.There's a deeper issue here than just Obama being thoughtlessly glib about the slow-growth nature of the U.S. economic recovery. (In an earlier post, by the way, I highlighted some of the ways in which the private sector is most certainly not "doing fine.")The remark reveals the government-centered nature of Obama's thinking. He just doesn't give private enterprise very much thought, particularly when it comes to all the ways government can muck up the free…

Europe, Not ObamaCare, May Decide 2012
Dana Milbank, Washington Post
But if you really want to know who will win the White House in November, you should ask the Europeans. They aren’t eligible to vote, but they may well cast the deciding ballot — and for President Obama, it’s looking grim.I took a break from American politics to spend a week across the Atlantic, where I worked as a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in the 1990s. This wasn’t an ideal time for a European holiday: Germany and France are warring, and smaller European states are taking sides — while England sleeps.

What Do Historians Think of Obama Now?
Edward Klein, FOX News
You're logged in as AccountWednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ETOn Air Now » Anchors and Reporters » Previous Slide Next Slide By Edward Klein, Edward KleinPublished June 08, 2012FoxNews.com2012 Getty ImagesOn the evening of Tuesday, June 30, 2009″"just five months into his administration”"Barack Obama invited a small group of presidential historians to dine with him in the Family Quarters of the White House. His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, personally delivered the invitations with a word of caution: the meeting was to remain private and off…

Demographic Shifts in Key States Could Aid Obama

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

Demographic Shifts in Key States Could Aid Obama
John Harwood, NYT
MADISON, Wis. — In this traditionally Democratic state, where Republicans triumphed in Tuesday’s failed recall of Gov. Scott Walker, President Obama holds a thin cushion against economic and political woes: the shape-shifting November electorate. 

Public Workers Must Live Within Public’s Means

Bernanke’s Cliffhanger

The Rot of Citizens United Is Universal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 7th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

The Rot of Citizens United Is Universal
Charles Pierce, Esquire
It is a capital mistake to study the corrosive effect of the utterly corrupt Citizens United decision only in the context of the presidential contest, or in the context of other highly visible individual races, like the one for a U.S. Senate seat or last night's Wisconsin recall. The rot in the system is poisonous, general, and spreading. (And have I mentioned really how utterly stupid it is to have an elected judiciary, especially in the current cash-soaked political atmosphere? It is the second-worst idea ever behind the Balanced Budget Amendment, aka The Stupidest Fking Idea…

The Unions’ Biggest Loss Was in California
Andrew Rotherham, Time
Bad news for teachers and other public-sector employees: America is more than ready to cut your pensions and benefits. While most politicos had been focusing this week on the Wisconsin recall, an election 2,100 miles away in San Jose, Calif., may be a bigger harbinger of the kind of austerity voters are developing a taste for. In this city of about a million residents an hour south of San Francisco, voters on Tuesday approved arguably the country’s boldest pension cuts.

Obama, Post-Post-Partisanship
Steve Erickson, American Prospect
Over the past month or two, as the president’s political position has continued to erode and he becomes more vulnerable, an extraordinary and vaguely preposterous conversation has taken shape. Variations on it have been advanced by everyone from former presidents chatting with Hollywood moguls on news cable TV to esteemed Sunday-morning newspaper columnists picking their way through the racial bric-à-brac of the presidential psyche. In a way, it’s the corollary of the birther discussion at the other end of the spectrum, which is to say that it’s a…

Ann Romney Begins Campaign Push for Her Husband
Erin McPike, RCP
Ann Romney plunged into solo general-election campaigning this week with a pair of public events in Florida, finally following the lead of Michelle Obama, who has been zipping around the country on her own for months as her husband's surrogate-in-chief.Mrs. Romney is an experienced campaigner, to be sure, and held plenty of her own events when husband Mitt was campaigning for the presidency in 2007 and 2008. She did so again in this cycle's primary, but this week marks the first time she's been on her own for public political events since Rick Santorum ended his presidential…

Should Obama Be More Like LBJ?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 6th, 2012 11:08 pm by HL

Should Obama Be More Like LBJ?
Kevin Drum, Mother Jones
I'm catching up on stuff that I missed while I was on vacation, and today I read the big New York Times piece on Barack Obama's terrorist “kill list.” I'll have more on that later "” I'm still digesting it at the moment "” but in the meantime one sentence of the story caught my attention for an entirely unrelated reason:When the administration floated a plan to transfer from Guantánamo to Northern Virginia two Uighurs, members of a largely Muslim ethnic minority from China who are considered no threat to the United States,…

Walker-Barrett II a Replay of the Original
Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee J-S
In the end, after all the ground-breaking rancor and searing conflict and mind-boggling money and crushing attention, Scott Walker’s 2012 victory for governor looked a lot like his 2010 victory for governor. Just as he did against Democrat Tom Barrett in 2010: Walker won men and lost women. He lost voters under 30 and won every other age group. 

Three Takeaways From the Recall Vote
Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics
The Democrats' attempt to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came to an end Tuesday night, as the incumbent increased his victory margin beyond his five-point 2010 win over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. There are three important takeaways from this:1) The results don't tell us much about 2012 . . . Basically, this spin from progressive sites right now has some truth to it (except that this is somehow good news for President Obama). This is a special election, held in June, to recall a governor. Special elections have notoriously poor track records predicting general election…

Red Flags All Over for Obama in Wisconsin
Josh Kraushaar, National Jrnl
President Obama wasn't on the ballot in Wisconsin, but Gov. Scott Walker's decisive victory in last night's gubernatorial recall is a stinging blow to his prospects for a second term.  The re-election was a telltale sign that the conservative base is as energized as ever, that the Democratic GOTV efforts may not be as stellar as advertised, and that the Democratic-leaning “blue wall” Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania will be very much in play this November.

Wisconsin Changes the Game