Friday, August 31, 2012


With all of these special interest meetings and events, will the delegates have time to nominate Obama-Biden?  There seems to be a meeting for almost anyone. . .except the Family Research Council, James Dobson, etc.


Democrat comedians ridicule Republicans.


Romney put Obama on the defense--this election may be very interesting.  Romney announced at the end of the convention that he would tour devastated Louisiana.  Where was the president?  Why wasn't he going?  Obama realized about 12 hours later that this would look bad--a sitting president ignoring a disaster scene.  It was reminiscent of President Bush's flyover of Katrina, which resulted in much Democrat criticism of Bush.  You have got to give this one to the Romney campaign.

President Barack Obama was today forced to announce he will fly to storm-hit Louisiana on Monday – hours after Mitt Romney beat him to the punch by deciding to head there this afternoon.

After it emerged that Obama was still taking time to fit in a campaign stop in Cleveland, Ohio before checking out how clean-up operations are proceeding in the Bayou state, the Obama campaign abruptly cancelled that event. 

Seven years ago, President George W. Bush was lambasted for inaction and incompetence in dealing with Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and much of the Mississippi and Louisiana gulf coast.


From the Bureau of Indigeneous Muslim Affairs:  They are expecting 20,000.  It looks like the Democrats are trying to capture the Muslim vote.

BIMA’s purpose in rallying large numbers of Muslims to participate in this event, Jumah at the DNC, is to make the general public aware that the Muslim community is a healthy and vibrant component to the American society. Being that these events will occur between August 31st and September 3rd; which happens to be the Labor Day weekend, we felt that it would be most convenient for Muslims to be able to travel without being inhibited by their work schedules and other obligatory duties. Also it is the best time for Muslims to capture national and international attention.

Just saw this update (9/1):  It has been taken off the official Democrat Convention program.  But the program still has a variety of other religious groups listed.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Washington's policies on low interest rates are hurting retirees, causing insurance premiums to rise, etc.  This means retirees and others have less money to spend on jump-starting the economy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


WAPO:  Companies are not creating drugs the will deal with future pandemics--this could be a big problem in the future.  And if some of the labs are in China, aren't we vulnerable to the Chinese government and its scientists' abilities?

Between 1945 and 1968, drug companies invented 13 new categories of antibiotics, said Allan Coukell, director of medical programs at the Pew Health Group.

Between 1968 and today, just two new categories of antibiotics have arrived.

In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration approved one new antibiotic, which fights one of the many bacteria, Clostridium difficile, causing deadly hospital-borne infections.

“What kept us out of trouble for the last 60 years is that every time drug resistance caught up to us, the pharmaceutical companies would go back to the drawing board and develop the next generation of drugs to keep us ahead of the game,” said Brad Spellberg, an infectious diseases physician in Los Angeles who heads a microbial resistance task force for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “That’s the part of the equation that’s changed. Drug companies are no longer trying to get one step ahead.”

Friday, August 24, 2012


From Investor's Business Daily.  The issue is that as states struggle to pay increased medicaid costs they will have to cut back on support to higher education.  As a result tuition will go up and students will have to pay more for their educations.

According to the Budget Crisis Task Force, over the past decade, Medicaid costs have climbed an average 7.2%, nearly double the growth rate of tax revenues.

At the same time, states have steadily shifted the burden for college onto students and parents. Today, tuition accounts for about 40% of the costs, up from 23% in 1985.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


From Wired.

Over the past half century, none of our threatened eco-pocalypses have played out as predicted. Some came partly true; some were averted by action; some were wholly chimerical. This raises a question that many find discomforting: With a track record like this, why should people accept the cataclysmic claims now being made about climate change? After all, 2012 marks the apocalyptic deadline of not just the Mayans but also a prominent figure in our own time: Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who said in 2007 that “if there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late … This is the defining moment.”

Actually he could go back farther into history than the last 50 years or so.  In the past religious apocalypses were more the rage. . .now we see scientific-based apocalypses.  Some time something will happen, I am sure, but being obsessed with something can generate a lot of terrible public policy in addition to the human worry that takes place.

The writer calls himself the "Rational Optimist"--is there such a thing as a "Rational Pessimist?"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Having visited shortly after the collapse of communism, the destruction of the cities' old buildings is sad.  It is actually a beautiful city and if the historic central part of the city could be preserved, it could become a "Prague" for tourists (at least in summer).


Jake Tapper is hardly a right-winger, but he is joining Mark Halperin in taking the media to task for following the Obama story line and not dealing with tough issues out there.  This has been quite evident on the evening news--important issues are being ignored.  One can't but help think that if Bush were in office the media would be skewering Bush for 8.3% unemployment of the failures in foreign policy.  If Obama has done something that is working, cover it, but if his policies are failing that should be covered as well.

"A lot of people are hurting out there. Unemployment is 8.3 percent. That doesn’t even take into account the underemployed,” he said, arguing that too much time has been spent not talking about the economy.

Tapper also criticized the media for not giving enough attention to the war in Afghanistan. 

"We are spending a lot of time in the last few weeks, those of us in the political world, political journalists and also politicians, talking about things other than the economy," said Tapper. "[A] lot of people are hurting out there. I’d like to see more action taken and more emphasis given to this issue.”

Monday, August 20, 2012


From Politico 

President Barack Obama’s campaign team, celebrated four years ago for its exceptional cohesion and eyes-on-the-prize strategic focus, has been shadowed this time by a succession of political disagreements and personal rivalries that haunted the effort at the outset.


Sunday, August 19, 2012


Surprised to see this published in the leftist Newsweek. It is lengthy but the most telling criticism of the Obama administration's failure to produce that I have seen documented.  Niall Ferguson admits to being an advisor to John McCain.  However, you cannot argue with the statistical data he uses in comparing what Obama said he would do and what has happened.  And it would be interesting for Obama/Biden to have a face-to-face debate with Romney/Ryan on medicare, foreign policy, and the economy.

Some interesting quotes:

Yet the question confronting the country nearly four years later is not who was the better candidate four years ago. It is whether the winner has delivered on his promises. And the sad truth is that he has not.

In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.

And all this despite a far bigger hike in the federal debt than we were promised. According to the 2010 budget, the debt in public hands was supposed to fall in relation to GDP from 67 percent in 2010 to less than 66 percent this year. If only. By the end of this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it will reach 70 percent of GDP.

According to Ron Suskind’s book Confidence Men, Summers told Orszag over dinner in May 2009: “You know, Peter, we’re really home alone ... I mean it. We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes [of indecisiveness on key economic issues].”

No one seriously doubts that the U.S. system needed to be reformed. But the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 did nothing to address the core defects of the system: the long-run explosion of Medicare costs as the baby boomers retire, the “fee for service” model that drives health-care inflation, the link from employment to insurance that explains why so many Americans lack coverage, and the excessive costs of the liability insurance that our doctors need to protect them from our lawyers.

America under this president is a superpower in retreat, if not retirement. Small wonder 46 percent of Americans—and 63 percent of Chinese—believe that China already has replaced the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower or eventually will.

August 24, 2012:  Here is a reaction to Ferguson's article which gives some of the criticism Ferguson was given by the Left for his comments. The Left doesn't leave a lot of room open for academic freedom.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Obama is interviewed by a radio station in New Mexico.  I am not sure Obama, or any candidate, could do well in a situation like this.  But these are the questions the President gets by local media when there are so many serious problems out there?

Thursday, August 16, 2012


From the Chicago Tribune:  A marker has been placed at the Baskin-Robbins where Barack first kissed Michelle!  You can see the brass marker on a granite stone with a picture of the first kiss (I assume it was a later one).  As a historian this strikes me as a really strange monument--I can't recall anything like this for previous presidents, although I am willing to be corrected.  I am certainly happy for them to be remembered for the first kiss, but normally monuments are erected for great diplomatic, political, or economic contributions.

But maybe this reflects our culture--it's all about money and tourism:  The 3,000-pound granite boulder, commissioned by the owners of Dorchester Commons, was 2 1/2 years in the making, according to Jonelle Kearney, a spokeswoman for Mid-America Asset Management, which manages the shopping center. She said the idea came about after several queries from visitors.

"It's a marker for the community, for posterity and tourism, too," she said.

Linda Swift, 67, said the marker gives tourists another reason to visit Hyde Park, the Obamas' old stomping ground. It's not far from the Hyde Park Hair Salon on Blackstone Avenue, where the barber chair Obama used to sit in to get his hair cut is on display, enclosed in glass.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Medicare needs to be reformed if for no other reason than to help future generations of retirees.  The nuances and implications of Ryan's program will become part of Democrat election attacks.  But somehow a serious discussion has to take place.  Medicare and social security are going broke.

According to, “Democrats are still hammering an old, and since replaced, GOP proposal, claiming it would ‘end Medicare,’ and cost seniors $6,000 more a year for their health care.”
In 2005 Obama called for serious Medicare reform, but Democrats have not done anything to reform it or social security.

Erskine Bowles, a Clinton advisor, calls Ryan's plan "sensible, honest, serious."  Surely there is some way for Republicans and Democrats can come together on this issue with demagoguery.  And more here on Bowles' comments that Obama scutlted the deficit commission. 

Ryan's words:  “They turned Medicare into a piggy bank to finance ObamaCare,” Ryan said. “And we want to point that out. And we want to … restore those cuts to prevent that raid. … And so we propose no changes to anybody in or near retirement so that the guarantee of Medicare is for them. That's a clear contrast with President Obama's plan.”
From CNN.

Forbes:    As to the supposedly draconian nature of Mitt Romney’s Medicare cuts, they’re only exceeded by the severity of the Medicare cuts in…Obamacare.  According to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare will reduce Medicare spending by $716 billion between 2013 and 2022, relative to prior law. These cuts directly affect current retirees. By contrast, both the Romney and Wyden-Ryan plans only affect retirees younger than 55. In other words, for better or worse, President Obama cuts Medicare more than Romney would.


The Russian attack submarine was evidently undetected.  This is a bit unsettling and shows some flaws in the US anti-submarine defense.  Putin has been showing his muscle, which makes it unclear why Obama, in an open microphone statement to Putin earlier this summer, said that he would be able to work more with him after the election.

The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July, and highlights a growing military assertiveness by Moscow.

Monday, August 13, 2012


The author seems to have multiple examples and also deals with unreported racial violence of blacks on whites and Asians.  I know that after the Trayon Martin affair a number of attacks on whites were reported as black youth supposedly retaliated.  But whether some of this is racial or just crime will never be known until crimes are reported, recorded, and studied.


From Michael Gerson, Seattle Times:  "Kicking the Can Down the Road."  If Gerson is right, the US faces some serious problems in the future.  Postponing dealing with problems may result in more serious problems in the future.

Obama has not only continued George W. Bush's global war on terror -- whatever it is currently called -- but has expanded its scope and lethality. The legal and physical infrastructure of the conflict -- from the Patriot Act to Guant?namo Bay -- remains in place. The mommy party, in this instance, has become daddy with a drone and a hit list.

In many parts of the world, the Obama doctrine has become an exercise in kicking the can down the road -- avoiding or downplaying problems that will only grow more complex and dangerous with time. There have been some admirable exceptions -- Libya is certainly one -- but Fouad Ajami describes the sum as a "foreign policy of strategic abdication."

Ideology is partly responsible. Mann's book describes an Obama foreign-policy team that holds a "distinctly more modest and downbeat outlook on America's role in the world." Its members seem deeply impressed by America's limitations -- its fiscal constraints and challenged primacy. These beliefs tend to be self-fulfilling. They make a virtue of ceded leadership.


A call for Obama to investigate the use of porn in Washington agencies as a result of several scandals reaching back to the April 2012 Colombian sex investigation related to the secret service and military.

Bloomberg quotes a cybersecurity expert saying the Missile Defense Agency’s use of porn is concerning because “many pornographic websites are infected and criminals and foreign intelligence services such as Russia’s use them to gain access and harvest data.”


Obama's comments are summarized at the Iftar dinner in White House noting his comments on President Jefferson as the first president to hold such a dinner to reach out to Muslims.  His quote about Jefferson holding an Iftar dinner is inaccurate or at least subject to extensive debate.  The State Department's view which is not particularly critical.  The view at JihadwatchJefferson does not appear to be thinking this was an Iftar dinner.

There was a dinner that Jefferson attended, but it may be a stretch to see this as a "pleasant" Iftar dinner given the recent troubles with the Barbary pirates.


I have seen a number of instances of trying to change web sites when unwelcome political news or improper affiliations come out.  This is one of the Obama campaign or hsi supporters trying to distance himself from a political interest group with a message that is not helpful in the current campaign.  I don't know how all these internet gurus find the caches of these kinds of pictures, but it reminded me of how Stalin tried to airbrush opponents out of pictures in the 1930s.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


At this point I can't say if Ryan is the best VP nominee or not.  But I find it ironic that the media is criticizing Ryan for not having "private sector experience."  Obama and Biden have no such experience and in fact were applauded by some in the Democrat Party for not having it.  Most Democrat candidates have not had private sector experience--Gore got his experience after leaving office and Kerry married into money. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012


From the Chronicle of Higher Education (not a right-wing publication):  a review of Stanley Kurtz's new book, Spreading the Wealth:  How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.

Spreading the Wealth, however, bears directly on the economic prospects of higher education. Kurtz’s provocative thesis is that under bland-sounding labels such as “regionalism” and “Building One America,” Obama has laid the regulatory groundwork for curtailing the political autonomy and the economic vitality of the nation’s suburbs. He traces Obama’s animus against the suburbs back to his days as a community organizer and traces the community organizers Obama worked with in the 1980s and 1990s forward to their participation in White House meetings during Obama’s presidency. A principal figure in this is Mike Kruglik, a longtime community organizer who was one of Obama’s first bosses in Chicago in the 1980s, and who remains one of Obama’s close confidants and White House guests.


Interesting.  Pelosi is hearing the voices of past suffragettes (and seeing them).  Their spirits are communicating with her.

Pelosi says, "He's (Bush) saying something to the effect of we're so glad to welcome you here, congratulations and I know you'll probably have some different things to say about what is going on--which is correct. But, as he was saying this, he was fading and this other thing was happening to me."

"My chair was getting crowded in," said Pelosi. "I swear this happened, never happened before, it never happened since."

"My chair was getting crowded in and I couldn't figure out what it was, it was like this," she said.
"And then I realized Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, you name it, they were all in that chair, they were," said Pelosi. "More than I named and I could hear them say: 'At last we have a seat at the table.' And then they were gone."

Here is the youtube video.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


From RealClearPolitics:  Bachmann and Reid are treated differently when they raise charges that can't be substantiated.  Bachmann was criticized for her statements, even by follow Republicans, but no one seems concerned about Reid's unsubstantiated charges.

Conservatives often complain of two sets of standards in politics: one for Democrats and another for Republicans. Sometime that double standard is imaginary. Often, it's quite real.

Not only are Democrats and the White House unwilling to denounce him publicly, but Reid himself claimed in an interview with his home state media that the Obama campaign is delighted by his underhanded tactics and wants to see him continue to drive the media discussion of Mitt Romney’s tax returns.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Obama stresses the role of government in the creation of jobs; conservatives stress independent businessmen:  CNBC tries to put this debate into some perspective.

Economists agree that economic growth is aided by things like school systems and reliable infrastructure. Although they often say "less is more" when it comes to regulation (a view championed by Republicans), they generally say a certain amount of regulation is necessary — such as efforts to prevent another financial crisis (echoing Democrats on this point). 

Economists also agree that tax policy will have an impact on the job climate. Here they see a delicate line to walk. America's need now, according to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, among others, is to set a less profligate course for the long run, while not allowing the nation to go over a "fiscal cliff" when Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of this year. 

Many forecasters worry that a rise in tax rates would slow economic growth and perhaps even tip a weak economy back into a recession. But at the same time, failing to address chronic budget deficits won't do much to inspire the long-term confidence of businesses and investors.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Saturday, August 04, 2012


Australian, Dr. John Dickson, addresses the criticisms of the Old Testament and Christianity as "violent" religions.