Saturday, September 29, 2012


Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post.

It takes a supreme ego to assert that because Obama failed at the central task of his presidency, economic revival, no one else could have done better. He made a series of policy choices that had real ramifications, both economic and political. He made poor choices and now doesn’t want to accept the consequences of those choices.

It is up to Romney to point out what choices Obama made and the consequences of those choices (e.g. a credit rating downgrade, enormous debt, anemic growth). Romney is saying he will “fact check” Obama in the debate. Bad idea. He needs to give the country a reality check. He can start by debunking the idea that we are on the road to prosperity and Obama did the best that any president ever could have.


The interview of the lady who is going to vote for Obama because she received a free "Obama" phone is all over the internet.  Patheos gives a bit of the history of this program and looks at the issue of why some are calling it a free phone from Obama.

When you click the link at to apply for a free cell phone, you’re redirected to…wait for it… That’s right. The same website that decried the “false rumor” and “incorrect term” of The Obama Phone Program has another website, surely desired to attract search engine traffic, that advertises The Obama Phone Program. Nice.

UPDATE: The website has already been changed! Visit now, and you’ll get something like a blog with no pictures of Obama, as though they’re in the process of dismantling the site. But surely there’s nothing to see here, folks! Let’s talk about Mitt Romney’s tax forms!

Here is the Left's analysis of the Obama phone controversy.


I am not so sure the Benghazi terrorist attack on the US embassy equals Watergate, but for Obama to say for 9 days Benghazi was not a terrorist act when it occurred on the anniversary of 9/11 and Libya's own leader was calling it a terrorist act indicates some kind of foreign policy ineptness or agenda behind the cover-up.  Even some Democrats are questioning the administration on their position.

A FOX report of the cover-up.  But even Andrea Mitchell at NBC is raising questions.

Friday, September 28, 2012


The Muslim Brotherhood are poised to create problems in Jordan.


"ACLU: Bush administration quadrupled warrantless wiretaps. Just kidding. It was Obama and Holder."  Justice Department documents released today by the ACLU reveal that federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications, and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight, or meaningful accountability.  (

You can check out the ACLU web site and see the graphs on this trend.  The media is not talking about this, but it does raise issues of big-brother looking in on people who may dissent. I thought liberals hated wiretaps and were big defenders of civil liberty?????

Thursday, September 27, 2012


This is very unusual. . .a liberal who will not vote for Obama.

Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can't bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn't believe in Darwinian evolution, and they'll nod along. Say that you'd never vote for a politician caught using the 'n'-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney's flaws, which I've chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama.

Don't they see that Obama's transgressions are worse than any I've mentioned?

I don't see how anyone who confronts Obama's record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I'd have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers. 

He details his reasons in the column in the Atlantic Monthly. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


An analysis of why the Obama administration  didn't want to refer to the attack as a "terrorist attack."

This sort of official dissembling is as appalling as it is standard-operating procedure for U.S. governments. Why would it take several weeks for Obama and his administration - the one that was going to be so transparent about everything, right? - to come even vaguely clean about the attack? And even in yesterday's U.N. talk, Obama seemed to be suggesting that recent and rampant anti-American actions in the Middle East had more to do with "The Innocence of Muslims" than with larger issues of U.S. policy in the area.

Monday, September 24, 2012


The Congressional Budget Office weighs in and calls electric cars a waste of money, at least how Washington has funded and directed the program.  The government subsidizes inefficiency.

From the CBOAssuming that everything else is equal, the larger an electric vehicle’s battery capacity, the greater its cost disadvantage relative to conventional vehicles—and thus the larger the tax credit needed to make it cost-competitive.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


China has signed an agreement to build a canal in Nicaragua.  Where is US investment?  This will be a signifant entry of Chinese economic power into the Westerm Hemisphere.

According to spokespeople, the canal will take an approximate 10 years to be built, and will cost $30 billion US dollars. According to the agreement, the Nicaraguan canal will be partially built by 2019, by which time it will have the capacity to transport 416 million metric tons, which would represent 3.9% of the world’s maritime load.


From the Boston Globe.   The column challenges both candidates to act less like Rambo and more like Kissinger.  It is interesting that the columnist would want to go back to Kissinger who was not well-liked by many Democrats, particularly for his Vietnam policy (I assume the columnist is a Harvard liberal since the overwhelming number of university professors are liberals).  But time and history add perspective.

He is right to recognize the realistic and nuanced conduct of policy under Nixon and Kissinger.  The column also caught my eye because I talked to a person who worked in the State Department in more recent years and felt it was a mess.  He actually mentioned that probably the best years of US foreign policy were in the Nixon-Kissinger years because Kissinger managed to head-off many of the disastrous decisions of the State Department bureaucrats.  Except maybe for Reagan, presidents after Nixon (whether Democrat or Republican) have had a hard time countermanding the ineptness of the State Department bureaucracy.

Friday, September 21, 2012


There is a lot of debate about who caused the collapse of budget negotiations:  Obama or Boehner. 

From the liberal New York Times (Matt Bai, author):   If you shake hands with a guy on the price of a car, and you agree to talk again after the car has been inspected and the loan has been approved, you don’t really expect to show up and find out that car now costs $5,000 more. This is essentially what happened to Boehner. What both Tuesday’s panicky calls from the White House and the subsequent counteroffer make clear is that Obama knew he was changing the terms and felt he had no choice.

ABC News interviewing Bob Woodward about his new book, The Price of PoliticsBut at one critical juncture, with an agreement tantalizingly close, Obama pressed Boehner for additional taxes as part of a final deal -- a miscalculation, in retrospect, given how far the House speaker felt he'd already gone.

James Pethokoukis, Reuters:  Blame Obama.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


This review paints a pretty bleak picture.

This pre-emptive attempt to define the epitaph of the Afghanistan war (made by a U.S. official at NATO) could almost be the one-line summary of Rajiv Chandrasekaran's Little America. The author himself spreads the blame even wider. "Our government was incapable of meeting the challenge. Our generals and diplomats were too ambitious and arrogant. Our uniformed and civilian bureaucracies were rife with internal rivalries... Our development experts were inept. Our leaders were distracted."

We need not stop at Nawa and Garmser. The whole operation in Afghanistan departed far from its original objectives, which were to deal a blow to al-Qaeda and reduce its chances of attacking America again. The United States could surely have dealt al-Qaeda a greater blow with the half a trillion dollars that it has spent in Afghanistan, if it had spent a large part of that money elsewhere (Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Mali...). As this book implies, it would have done a better job in Afghanistan, too, if it had spent less money and been more focused on its original goal.

Here is the transcript of interview Hugh Hewitt had with the author of Little America, Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

From WAPO:  Obama's troop increase was misdirected (excerpts from the book).   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


A review of a new book by Ross Douhat, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.

Douthat, a columnist for the New York Times and a film critic for National Review, argues that our problem isn’t the disappearance of religion, as religious conservatives argue, or an excess of religious fervor threatening our freedom, as the secularists and religious liberals counter. Rather, our problem is “bad religion: the slow-motion collapse of traditional Christianity and the rise of a variety of destructive pseudo-Christianities in its place.”

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I post this more for how the media can misinform the public by leaving out words or phrases that a candidate might use.  It deals with a report in the Huffington Post (which if you subscribe to AOL is the news summary that pops up everytime you check email) about Romney's remarks regarding the middle class.  Both Romney and Obama essentially agreed, but by changing the wording it made Romney's position differ from Obama's.

(Someone else has reported that the Huffington Post was just using an AP story so it may not be its fault).


FactCheck at WAPO gives Bill Clinton's defense of the new welfare rules two pinocchios.

In his high-profile speech at the Democratic convention, Clinton himself came to Obama’s defense, claiming that the change in rules actually would require “more work, not less.”

It is a complicated read, but Obama has changed the welfare reforms of the Clinton era.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Interesting article on looking back at what the 2008 Democrat platform accomplished in the area of science and technology.  Some of  the highlights:
  1. The platform promised more spending on research and development, but spending on these key areas have gone down.  For what it’s worth, in constant dollars total federal R&D spending peaked under the George W. Bush administration in 2007 at $154.4 billion. 
  2. Sex education.  The number of abortions has remained stable for the last decade.
  3. Embryonic stem cells can be used in research but support for cloning is not supported.
  4. Abortion is protected.
  5. The 2008 platform said America "could not drill its way to energy independence.  President Obama proudly pointed out in his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention last week that the use of renewable energy has doubled under his administration and that thousands of Americans have jobs building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries. In addition, the U.S. has cut its imports of oil by 1 million barrels per day while opening up “millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we'll open more.”  With gas at $4 a gallon there would be a decline in imports, but it appears drilling is okay now with all of these acres being opened up to oil exploration.
  6.  What about drilling? President Obama correctly claims to have opened millions of acres to drilling for hydrocarbons. But how does that compare with previous administrations? In its first three years, according to the Bureau of Land Management, the Bush administration leased 8.8 million acres for oil exploration and production, compared to 5.3 million for the Obama administration. The Clinton administration leased 11.4 million acres in its first three years.
  7. New wells drilled on federal land.  The first three years of the Bush administration saw 9,276 new wells drilled, whereas under the Obama administration 9,693 wells were.
  8.  The 2008 platform called for 5 million green energy jobs.This goal is not being met -- look at the unemployment statistics and firms like Solyndra which have gone belly up.And then there are t he wind turbines being built in China!
  9. The 2012 Democratic Platform declares, “We are expediting the approval process to build out critical oil and gas lines essential to transporting our energy for consumers.” Really? It is true that the Obama Administration has approved the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline?
  10.  No support for space exploration.
  11. They are still working on climate change policies and green house gases in the 2012 platform. . .but As it happens, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are back down to their level in 1992. This is largely not due to Obama administration green energy policies, but because fracking has produced an abundant supply of cheap natural gas.


From Der Spiegel.  The Germans see it as in "ruins."

Here are some interesting maps showing where Muslim protests are taking place.

Friday, September 07, 2012


From Taxprof:  Given all the Democrat rhetoric this was a bit of a surprise. (There is a table to compare numbers).

Among the tax reform plans of the major presidential candidates, Mitt Romney’s proposal to lower rates and eliminate credits and deductions comes far closer than that of President Obama to the widely-praised and bipartisan framework of the Simpson-Bowles tax reform commission.

President Obama’s tax plan, however, is largely at odds with any commonly held notion of tax reform, including Simpson-Bowles.


The fact checkers at Annenberg analyzed Obama and Biden's speeches at the Democrat Convention--go there to see the complete analysis.  I guess I expected more of the President and was most disappointed on his total misquotes of Romney on Iraq and bin Laden.

  • President Obama boasted that his plan would cut the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years, citing “independent experts.” But one such analyst called a key element of the plan a “gimmick.”
  • Vice President Biden quoted GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney as saying “it’s not worth moving heaven and earth” to catch Osama bin Laden. Actually, Romney said he’d target more than just “one person.”
  • The president said U.S. automakers are “back on top of the world.” Nope. GM has slipped back to No. 2 and is headed for third place in global sales this year, behind Toyota and Volkswagen.
  • Biden said “the experts” concluded Romney’s corporate tax plan would create 800,000 jobs in other countries. One expert said that. She also said the number depends on the details, and foreign jobs could grow without costing U.S. jobs.
  • Obama quoted Romney as saying it was “tragic” to “end the war in Iraq.” What Romney was criticizing was the pace of Obama’s troop withdrawal, not ending a war.
  • Biden claimed Romney “believes it’s OK to raise taxes on middle classes by $2,000.” Romney actually promises to lower middle-class taxes.
  • Biden said Romney and running mate Paul Ryan “are not for preserving Medicare at all.” Actually, the plan they endorse would offer traditional Medicare as one option among many.
  • Obama said his tax plan would restore “the same rate we had when Bill Clinton was president” for upper-income taxpayers. Not quite. New taxes to finance the health care law also kick in next year, further burdening those same taxpayers.

  • It is interesting that Annenberg had trouble fact-checking Bill Clinton's speech, because he gave so many statistics to run down!

    By the way here is the critique of Romney's convention speech. One difference I saw is that he did not purposely misquote Obama (as Obama does him).  Romney is taken to task for "exaggeration and puffery."

    Thursday, September 06, 2012


    For Democrat views on tolerance start viewing at 12:00.  Daily Show, September 5, 2012.


    From CNN.  I think the "no's" have it!  This was not well-handled.  First you take "God" out and then you try to put "God" back in to all of these boos.

    Here is a Republican campaign ad!   "Three Times They Boo God."


    Bob Woodward has written about Obama's "fury" when the debt deal collapsed.  One can make an argument for fault being laid at the feet of Boehner and the Republicans, but it looks to me that Obama pressed too hard to get more.  One needs to know when to push further and when to realize that you cannot get more out of the person you are negotiating with.

    But at a critical juncture, with an agreement tantalizingly close, Obama pressed Boehner for additional taxes as part of a final deal -- a miscalculation, in retrospect, given how far the House speaker felt he'd already gone. 

    But it also looks like Pelosi ignored Obama.  Democrats sure didn't help him.
    Obama phoned in to deliver a "high-minded message," he writes. Obama went on so long that Pelosi "reached over and pressed the mute button on her phone," so they could continue to work without the president hearing that they weren't paying attention. 

    Wednesday, September 05, 2012


    From U.S. News & World Report:  The Republican controlled House has a plan to cut $2.5 trillion from the budget over the next 10 years.  The list is quite extensive.  The Democrats will fight for a number of these programs.


    The Wall Street Journal asked several leading Democrats to give advice to Obama on what he should do in his second term.  There is no way to know for sure what would happen, but these writers do give a bit of a vision into the future.


    Forbes has an column on an article published in the New York Times.  The title of the Forbes column is:  "New York Times Proves Clint Eastwood Correct--Obama Is a Lousy CEO."  Evidently the NYT article is critical of Obama's leadership style--normally nothing critical of Obama is ever published in the NYT so this is a bit of a surprise.  Two flaws are noted:  1) Obama "vastly overrates" his capabilities and 2) he "spends a lot of time and energy competing in trivialities"


    Running from the Reagan question? --  "Are you better off today than you were four years ago."  It has been interesting to see how Democrats have jumped around this question.

    Investor's Business Daily gives the economic statistics on whether we are better off.  Here is the Democrat response and another one here.


    The drop began in the Bush administration but it has escalated under Obama.  The US dropped 2 points in the last year to 7th.  But some of the other statistics are alarming.  These statistics are compiled by the World Economic Forum -- it is not a branch of the Republican Party or the vast right-wing conspiracy.

    • The U.S. scores 42nd in property rights, behind Namibia and Uruguay.
    • The U.S. ranks 59th in government favoritism, behind Guinea and Bolivia.
    • The U.S. scores 76th in wastefulness in government spending, behind Mali and Nicaragua.
    • The U.S. also is 76th in the burden of government regulation, behind Kenya and Thailand.
    • The U.S. scores 69th in extent of taxation, behind Gambia and Ethiopia.
    • The U.S. ranks 103rd for total tax rate, behind Greece (!) and Philippines.


    From Politico.  Most are from 2008, but one is from 2011.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2012


    A sobering column by Victor Davis Hanson.  I am waiting to see if any of these issues will be addressed in the election campaign. . .but I have my doubts.   Young and old face some serious challenges as a result of decisions in Washington.

    In other words, we are seeing the proverbial chickens coming home to roost in an economy that has run up $16 trillion in debt, regulated its way into paralysis, hounded the private sector, and demonized profit-making. The strange thing about the 2008 disaster was not just that hand-in-glove with Wall Street banks Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae created a huge real estate bubble and then watched it pop (one inflated through private speculation and government-backed sub-prime loans), but that the blame went not to the intrusive, incompetent federal government or even to a Goldman-Sachs-like bundler (a firm from whom Obama got more campaign money than did any other prior presidential candidate), but to the vague “private sector” — as if the well-driller or timber man had somehow collapsed the economy. The result was that Obama’s medicine from 2009 onward was worse than the original disease.

    Sunday, September 02, 2012


    Well, this is interesting!  A number of Democrat-oriented retirement systems and even the University of California are invested in Bain Capital.  How do you demonize Romney for Bain Capital when you are making money from it?????


    From WAPO.  The article begins with Obama's promises that he would bring Democrat and Republican together when he won the presidency in 2008 and what happened to lead to so much "gridlock" today.  It deals with the question:  Why has President Obama fallen so far short of what he so passionately described as a candidate four years ago?

    Basically there are two sides to the issue:

    That Obama ran into a wall of opposition from the Republicans on many of those initiatives is indisputable. What is at odds in these varying interpretations is whether anything might have changed that. Republicans say it could have been different. But there is little evidence that, once their leadership decided to oppose Obama, there was much he could have done to win them over — and there are plenty of examples showing how dug in they were.

    There are also questions about how hard Obama tried. His advisers cannot point to a clear strategy for trying to create a climate of cooperation — other than their belief that the support he won in the election and the economic crisis would create those conditions. They argue that he incorporated Republican ideas into the stimulus and spent months waiting to see if a bipartisan health-care plan would emerge from the Senate Finance Committee.

    Both parties and Obama dropped the ball at various times resulting in the confrontations that exist today.  Obama and Republicans no longer represent the kind of leaders that go back to the "partnership" of Senator Dirksen (Rep., IL) and President Johnson (Dem.) who were willing to cooperate on a number of important issues.