Monday, October 31, 2011

VIDEO: Herman Cain Interview with Greta Van Susteren

And William Jacobson's got an excellent entry, "A taste of the medicine."

And talking about the original Politico hit piece, Glenn Reynolds adds:
Would Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman, Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel have put their names on a similar piece, with no named sources, aimed at Barack Obama? Would Politico have run it? I think we know the answer.
More links at the post.

Also, at Memeorandum and London's (salacious) Daily Mail, "'I don't even remember her name': Herman Cain denies sexual harassment claims as he admits he knew BOTH women."

PREVIOUSLY: "Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Scandal Upends GOP Presidential Race."

Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Scandal Upends GOP Presidential Race

I'm just now getting back on the grid, and Herman Cain's story seems to be going through some transformations. Here's the short version of Cain's denial of the allegations on Fox News this morning:

I listened to the longer version this morning at Hot Air, "Cain: “I was falsely accused” of sexual harassment at trade group." Cain sounded completely confident and he gave a flat-out denial.

Except, was it the truth? Maybe there's some shading going on and the story's basically the same. The update's at Hot Air, "Revealed: Cain describes hand gesture that led to harassment claim; Update: Small settlement, says Cain." Check that post. One of those interviewed in the original Politico report is no longer taking questions. I'm still learning on this, but The Other McCain has huge roundup, "Herman Cain at the National Press Club." And here's video of Cain's statement at the Press Club:

Time has that, "Facing a Media Scrum, Cain Boisterously Denies Harassment Allegations":
Ever since he began topping presidential polls, the media has been drafting pieces of Cain’s political obituary: unpacking his campaign’s organizational woes, his tortured answers to questions on abortion and foreign policy, his puzzling scheduling strategy. Now they wanted to witness the last breaths. But the candidate showed up boisterous and smiling, and after skating through a stump speech laden with humor and light on policy, Cain mopped a patina of sweat from his brow and stepped to the lecturn to face his questioners. “I would be delighted to clear the air,” he said.

“Number one, in all of my over 40 years of business experience … I have never sexually harassed anyone,” Cain announced. “Number two, while at the restaurant association, I was accused of sexual harassment. Falsely accused, I might add. I was falsely accused of sexual harassment, and when the charges were brought, as the leader of the organization, I recused myself and allowed my general counsel and my human resource officer to deal with the situation. And it was concluded after a thorough investigation that it had no basis.

“As far as a settlement,” Cain continued, “I am unaware of any sort of settlement. I hope it wasn’t for much, because I didn’t do anything.” He declined to speculate whether the source of the Politico article cataloging the allegations was an opposition leak, called the kerfuffle “a witch hunt,” and suggested there was nothing further to pursue.
And now back to Politico for the latest, "Cain acknowledges settlement details."

I don't expect too much damage to Cain's candidacy, barring any 11th hour revelations. What's troubling is the changing story line, which makes Cain looks amateurish if not inept. His demeanor is vigorous in responding, fortunately, but these late acknowledgements raise questions of veracity.

An upside is that Cain's getting a lot of "earned" media (which really unearned, in a sense) which may have the salutary effect of bolstering Cain's rise in the polls, especially if regular folks agree that these are specious allegations amounting to an opportunistic witch hunt, as Cain suggests.

Here's the latest Memeorandum link. I'll have more later.

Added: From Jennifer Rubin, "Cain gets tripped up on the facts: Will this kill the campaign?:
The error Cain made was in not getting the entire story out early, completely and truthfully. He left the day with voters and the media more confused than ever.

This may not be the end of the Cain campaign, but it will take a toll. The never-ending stories here suggest Cain hasn’t been honest with the public. That’s going to be harder to explain than the original allegations.
He should be okay if that's the end of the allegations. But if more facts come out that Cain hedged or denies, well, it's not going to be pretty.

Legal Insurrection in the O.C.

Last Tuesday, William Jacobson published a picture of the windmills off Interstate 10 near Palm Springs: "Open – A Tape from California." It turns out William and his wife flew into Orange County Airport and rented a car to head out to Rancho Mirage for a legal conference. I contacted William and we met up for some coffee last night near his hotel near the airport.


He posted an update on their travels last night: "Open – Live from The OC."

It was great meeting William and his wife. We hit it off and had lots to talk about, but there wasn't enough time. I'll look forward to seeing them again, either in New York or perhaps next time they make it to California. It's a bummer the county's so big sometimes, although that's one of the great things about blogging: I've met more wonderful people over these last few years. It's been something to really cherish.

Head on over to see what's going on at the blog. He's just as big a blogging junkie as I am!

World Population Grows by 1 Billion in Only 12 Years

At the Occupy Orange County protest the other day, I asked a guy passing by at the information booth what he thought of the movement. He kept saying "they" have a plan to control the world economy. And I asked who's "they"? He's said "it's not a conspiracy or anything, but the 1 percent really do control the whole world." And from there he somehow squeezed in some yammering about how the world's population was now at 7 billion. I didn't really make the connection, but then I saw news reports that the world's population was about to hit 7 billion. Well that was it, I thought, no doubt this gives left-wingers plenty more fear-mongering material.

See Los Angeles Times, "World population hits 7 billion on Oct. 31, or thereabouts."
It took only a dozen years for humanity to add another billion people to the planet, reaching the milestone of 7 billion Monday — give or take a few months.

Demographers at the United Nations Population Division set Oct. 31, 2011, as the "symbolic" date for hitting 7 billion, while acknowledging that it's impossible to know for sure the specific time or day. Using slightly different calculations, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 7-billion threshold will not be reached until March.

Under any methodology, demographers agree that humanity remains on a steep growth curve, which is likely to keep climbing through the rest of this century. The U.N.'s best estimate is that population will march past 9.3 billion by 2050 and exceed 10.1 billion by the end of the century. It could be far more, if birthrates do not continue to drop as they have in the last half-century.

Nearly all the projected growth this century is expected to occur in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, while the combined populations in Europe, North America and other wealthy industrialized nations will remain relatively flat. Some countries, such as Germany, Russia and Japan, are poised to edge downward, their loss made up mostly by ongoing growth in the United States, which is bolstered by waves of immigrants.
That's so ominous sounding, "they" had to pick Halloween for the date, or something.

Of course, not mentioned is the fact that the earth can sustain billions more without any problems. See Power Line, "POPULATION BOMB EPIC FAIL."

This Was the Week That European Democracy Died

From Janet Daley, at Telegraph UK:
So this is where we are. The agreed EU “stability union” triumphantly paraded before the media in Brussels will have the power to approve or disapprove budgets of countries in the eurozone – that is, to vet and police them – before they are submitted to the elected parliaments of those countries. In other words, parliaments which are directly mandated by, and answerable to, their own populations will not control the most essential functions of government: decisions on taxation and spending. Even without the ultimate institutions of economic and political union, which still elude the EU, actual power over fiscal policy will be taken from the hands of national leaders. And if, as a voter, you cannot influence your prospective government’s tax and spending policies, what exactly are you voting for?

'Occupy' Protest at St. Paul's Cathedral in London Splits Anglican Church

At New York Times:

LONDON — In a city where demonstrations of every kind are part of the daily syncopation, there has rarely been any with quite the same potential for amplifying the protesters’ cause as the one that has settled in recently on the historic forecourt of St. Paul’s Cathedral, setting off a painful crisis of conscience for the Church of England .

For the last 15 days, St. Paul’s has been the backdrop for London’s counterpart to the Occupy Wall Street tent city in Zuccotti Square in New York. Here, the protest has taken on aspects of a medieval carnival, a jumbled tent city with buskers and rappers and clothing stalls and a panoply of banners and a makeshift cafeteria. There have been pet dogs, and a man dressed as Jesus declaiming against the usurers in the temple.

Where Princess Diana appeared to pealing bells after her marriage to Prince Charles, where a nation grateful for deliverance in war watched the caissons arrive for the funerals of Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill, beneath Christopher Wren’s great dome that stood defiant amid the smoke and fire of the Luftwaffe’s blitz, Britain’s anticapitalist battalions have pitched camp.

Scores of similar encampments have sprung up in cities around the world, echoing the continuing protest in Wall Street’s heart against the bankers and corporate barons and complicit politicians the protesters hold responsible for global financial distress.

But few, if any, of the protests outside New York have had the resonance the St. Paul’s campers have achieved in Britain by choosing as their venue what many regard as the country’s most iconic religious landmark.
Continue reading.

Occupy Ottawa

See Blazing Cat Fur, "The Battle of Occupy Ottawa: Blood, Urine & Feces Featured As Buddhists & Marxists Clash!"

Following the links takes us the University of Ottawa Marxist Students Association, "Why We Left Occupy Ottawa."

That solidarity thing isn't working out as planned, as noted previously.

Arrests at Occupy Denver

The New York Times has a report, "Occupy Protesters Regroup After Mass Arrests."

On Saturday, for the third consecutive night, dozens of demonstrators defied the curfew and inhabited the site, chanting and waving signs and huddling for warmth in the 40-degree weather. The police made no new arrests overnight.

In Denver, most of the arrests on Saturday were over a police rule prohibiting structures, including tents, from being erected in public parks. Some accounts said that tensions escalated when the protesters climbed the State Capitol’s steps during a march by as many as 2,000 people. No public demonstrations are allowed on the steps without a permit.

But a media liaison with Occupy Denver, Jeannie Hartley, said on Sunday that the protesters had never made it to the steps, which were blocked off.

Most of the 20 arrests, a police spokesman said, were made when officers moved to keep people from erecting tents across the street from the Capitol at Civic Center Park. Several videos showed the police using pepper spray. Two protesters were arrested and charged with felony assault on a police officer after officials said he was knocked off his motorcycle, and other officers were kicked, said the spokesman, Lt. Matt Murray.

Lieutenant Murray said that the police requested reinforcements after the officer was knocked off his motorcycle and that the enlarged force then moved into the park where most of the arrests were made.

One video posted on the Occupy Denver Facebook page also clearly showed tension and conflict within the protesters’ ranks. At one point, a man, shouting in anger, is seen being pushed from the crowd to confront the officers, who are lined up with shields and batons.

“I will fight back!” he screamed as other protesters pulled him back. One demonstrator, who had pushed to the front, confronted the man: “We are nonviolent — do not instigate that!”

“They hit me!” the first man shouted.

“Yeah, and they’re going to keep hitting you!” the other said.

“They don’t have a right!”
More at American Glob, "Democrats Are Going To Regret Their Support For #Occupywallstreet," and Marooned in Marin, "#OWS Weekend Insanity In Denver, Orange County CA & Elsewhere."

Occupy Wall Street and the Illusion of Solidarity

John Sexton at Verum Serum visited the Occupy Wall Street encampment Saturday in downtown Los Angeles. He's got coverage in three parts:

* "My Day at Occupy LA (Part 1)."

* "My Day at Occupy LA (Part 2)."

* "My Day at Occupy LA (part 3): Thoughts and Observations."

And here's some of John's observations at that last post:
The media has been reporting for weeks that the Occupiers don’t have demands or a clear message. That’s right but it’s also very wrong. It’s not that the occupiers don’t have a message, it’s that they have a hundred messages, not all of which are compatible with one another. As we saw just last week, even the folks at Occupy LA can’t agree with one another. They literally held something like a coup over the no weed policy. Solidarity is an something of an illusion.

There’s one exception to this, and that’s the near universal dislike for authority in general and the police in particular. Disliking the cops when they show up to roust a campsite is probably the only thing that can truly unify these folks. No wonder Occupy Oakland is now the emotional center of the movement.
There's more at the link, but I'm interesting in that "no clear message" theme, which is something I discussed at my Saturday photo-essay: "Occupy Orange County: 'Get Money Out of Politics'." In Los Angeles there's clearly a bias toward Marxist-Leninist revolutionary agitation, with a bit of hippie-doper culture thrown in. There wasn't much of that in Irvine. The socialist agitation that was on hand in the O.C. was associated with the Obama-Democrat-Progressive-Socialists. These are the folks looking to expand the socialist welfare state from within, using stealthy Alinskyite union thuggery and conspiracy. Richard Trumka personifies these types, fat and well-fed at the public trough. But among establishment progressives there's a "no enemies on the left" program, and the MSM furthers it by positioning the occupy movement as an acceptable --- even wholesome --- rival to the tea parties. That's all pretty messed up, in any case. More on that at my earlier entry, "Communist-Progressive Coalition Lobbies Congressional 'Super-Committee' Against Proposed Cuts to Social Security."

Taylor Swift Nude Scandal!

At London's Daily Mail, "Taylor takes Swift action against website claiming it has 'topless private pic' of the country star."

1990 Nissan 300ZX

See Doug Ross, "How many 22-year old cars still look modern and up-to-date in 2012?"

With Weak Economy, Obama May Lose Key Demographic Groups

See LAT, "Obama's demographic support may not weather economy."

Actually, blacks are still enthusiastic about the president. See NYT, "Black Voters’ Support for Obama Is Steady and Strong." But check the graphic at LAT, "Key States for Obama's Reelection." White voters in Florida, Ohio and Nevada will be especially crucial, and Latinos as well, who aren't going to be as wedded to the Democrats as black voters. Colorado and New Mexico will be problematic as well, despite higher levels of college educated whites. Perhaps that's why Obama continues to ramp up the class warfare rhetoric. Polls show a lot of sympathy with the occupy movement. No doubt the White House hopes the protesters don't start turning on him, mentioning that he's in the pocket of these same big banks and Wall Street brokerages. See Weasel Zip, "Obama Uses Occupy Wall Street’s Language, Rails Against “The Top 1%”…"

Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Allegations

At Los Angeles Times, "Herman Cain denies allegations of sexual harassment."

The full coverage is at Memeorandum, and see The Other McCain, "Cain Spokesman: ‘Smear Campaign Meant to Discredit a True Patriot’."

'Diaper Need Awareness Day'

You gotta read this piece from Mark Steyn, at National Review, "Adult Babies: There’s almost nothing you can’t get government to pay for."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Orange County: 'Get Money Out of Politics'

My initial reaction to Occupy Orange County was that it was almost like a tea party. But after turning out for the protest march at the Irvine Civic Center yesterday, I'm going walk back that analogy just a bit. The Orange County protests definitely have a suburban feel to them, but activists have established an encampment similar to New York and other major occupations. (See: "Irvine council lets Occupy group stay overnight.") And along with the tents comes a wider diversity of kooks and hippies, bolstered by a lot of Democrat-Socialist and communist-conspiracy-mongers. These are hardly limited government types.

I arrived around 11:45am, just in time for the group of over 100 protesters to begin their march at Harvard Avenue and Alton Parkway. Irvine City Councilman and former Democrat presidential candidate Larry Agran gave the movement his blessings. (See: "Occupy Orange County Morale Still High and Gaining Supporters.") And if there was one theme I noticed, it was the overall sense of conspiratorial one-world government and "End the Fed" ideology. Some folks are warning about "ideotic conspiracies." Perhaps ASFL progressives will take after their own "morans."


Here's the scene at parking lot at the Irvine Civic Center. I'm reminded of William Jacobson's bumper sticker coverage. This guy's car is classic. Notice the "Obama 2012" sticker in the window, right next to "UNIONS = JOBS." And not to mention the obligatory "Bush Lied People Died." And a couple of recent ones as well, like "America's 99% Solution":


If you're sporting "Millions of Dead Cops" bumpers stickers, I'm not sure if pulling up in front of the Irvine Police Station (at the Civic Center) is a good idea. It's a free country, I guess:



The procession gets under way at the corner of Alton and Harvard:


There were more "End the Fed" types than "End Israeli Apartheid" activists, but this guy was clearly of the latter variety:


At the information tents:




Now walking West on Alton toward Jamboree:


The Democrat-Socialists:


Lots of anti-Federal Reserve protesters:


Protesters were chanting: "You. Are. The 99 Percent! You. Are. The 99 Percent!"








I'm seeing more of this, anti-work ideologies: "Jobs Are Not the Answer." Seriously?


People before profits, ad nauseum:





Heading back over to Harvard, there's the encampment on the corner. You've got the suburban vibe:


Sitting on the corner is this old-timer with the "Remember Wisconsin" sign. He's holding forth on how Occupy Wall Street is the country's last chance to save democracy:



He's a dreamer:

Is this idealism, or fearmongering? I guess if Martin Luther King, Jr., said it, that's cool:


Now moving over by the information table:


That's Kyle on the right, the spokesman in charge yesterday morning. Interesting guy. He said two weeks ago, he'd never been involved in politics. He's talking to the woman who had a lot of questions. She was sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street but had seen the less savory coverage. She still had some reservations. Kyle responds with, "Well, there's a lot of different opinions out there." As I listened it didn't seem like he was articulating any real coherent agenda. So I asked him, "Can you summarize the movement down to one or two specific demands?" And he responded with, "Get money out of politics." And I said: "What would that do?" He says, "We'd have government by the people." It wasn't particularly edifying.


There wasn't a whole lot of literature set out at the table.


Maybe the dude should spend some time looking at the Occupy Orange County website. I asked Kyle if he supported revolutionary change, overthrowing capitalism in the United States. He said no. And with the exception of the anarchists with the "Millions of Dead Cops" bumper sticker, and the group hanging out with that pro-jihad dude, the Orange County protesters evinced more of a reformist agenda than some of the more radical occupy protests that have been in the news. That said, the information table had laid out a copy of the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. And it's available at the Occupy Orange County website. And it's a fairly revolutionary manifesto. So I'm taking this as more the official position, which is Marxist and internationalist:
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rare Pre-Halloween Storm Blankets East Coast With Snow

A report at Fox News, "Early Storm Pelts East Coast With Wet, Heavy Snow." And at New York Times, "Nearly Two Million Lose Power as Snow Coats Region."

And Dana Pico has pictures, at Common Sense Political Thought, "Afternoon Snow Pictures":



Progressive Race-Based Attacks on Herman Cain

Herman Cain's race shouldn't be an issue in this campaign. We already have a black president. And as we've seen for almost four years now, the substantial racism we've seen in politics has been an exclusive domain of the left. This clip with Karen Finney is a perfect demonstration of leftist racism. The woman even admits "it's harsh" to talk the way she does. What a perverse investment. Radical progressives invent a racist Republican base at the same time that national public opinion polls see Herman Cain as the GOP frontrunner. No wonder the Democrats are in the death throes going into 2012. They can't relate to average Americans without insulting them as racists.

See William Jacobson, "Saturday Night Card Game (Race-based attacks on Herman Cain expose left-wing hypocrisy, once again)."

And lots more commentary at Maggie's Farm and Memeorandum. And see Allahpundt at Hot Air:
Cathy Young wrote an article for Reason a few days ago about the left’s endless race-baiting of Cain, but I don’t know what she was thinking in rushing that piece out now. There’s literally months of this to come, and it’ll be ten times as obnoxious if he pulls the upset in Iowa and suddenly looks poised to make a real run at the nomination.
Okay, what the heck? Here's Young's piece: "The Left's Race-Baiting of Herman Cain."

Yeah, it's still early. Get ready for a vicious season of progressive racism.

17 Die as Suicide Blast Hits U.S. Bus in Afghanistan

At New York Times, "17 Are Killed as Suicide Bomb Hits a U.S. Bus in Afghanistan."

KABUL, Afghanistan — At least five American soldiers, eight American contract workers and four Afghans were killed when a Taliban suicide car bomber attacked an armored shuttle bus in Kabul on Saturday, a military official said.

It was the single deadliest attack for Americans in the capital since the war began, military officials said, and follows brazen Taliban assaults on the American Embassy and NATO headquarters in the city last month.

A NATO official said all of the contract workers were Americans, but the coalition did not officially confirm that.

Such high-profile attacks have been seen as a shift in Taliban strategy as they struggle against a surge in American troops that has loosened the militants’ grip on the Taliban heartland in the South and compromised their ability to stage more conventional attacks on NATO forces. American officials see the latest assaults as the Taliban’s attempt to shake confidence in the Afghan government, which is taking over security from NATO in Kabul and other areas of the country.

Communist-Progressive Coalition Lobbies Congressional 'Super-Committee' Against Proposed Cuts to Social Security

The far left is launching an inside lobbying effort against the congressional super-committee charged with finding $1.5 trillion in cuts from the federal budget.

At the video, chief union-thug Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO --- the guy who's had more access to the Obama White House than any other interest group representative in the country --- channels the Occupy Wall Street movement and attacks corporations for purportedly ripping off the middle class.

And here's more #OWS-style class warfare, from Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, at PuffHo, "Message to the 99%: Help Stop the 1% From Using the Super Committee to Rob the American People." (Via the communist Digby at Hullabaloo and Memeorandum.)

Well, it turns out that Nancy Altman is the co-director of Social Security Works and co-chair of the coalition to Strengthen Social Security. Here's the roster of the coalition's partners, which is a who's who of America's far-left Alynskyite unions and revolutionary communist organizations: "Strengthen Social Security: Campaign Members." One of the groups cited there is the Soros-back Campaign for America's future, which has joined the lobbying effort as well: "Don’t Let Dems Cut Medicare, Social Security for the 99%." The Campaign for America's future is a key Democrat-Socialist front group that led the drive to elect Barack Obama as the first socialist president of the United States. According to Discover the Networks:

In the 2004 presidential election, CAF partnered with both the Democratic Party and a number of far-left special interest groups in a campaign to oppose tax cuts. The Democratic National Committee stated, “The Democratic Party is partnering with, People for the American Way, Campaign for America's Future, and dozens of other groups representing millions of Americans to organize a massive public mobilization … [J]oin us by calling and emailing your representatives in Congress to let them know that the majority of Americans oppose more irresponsible tax cuts ...”

CAF also endorsed “Invest in America,” an anti-tax-cut statement supported by: ACORN; Alliance For Justice; the American Friends Service Committee; the Center for Community Change; the Center For Women's Policy Studies; the Children’s Defense Fund; the Democratic Socialists of America; the Environmental Working Group; the League of United Latin American Citizens; the League of Women Voters; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; the National Council of La Raza; the National Lawyers Guild; the National Organization for Women; the National Women's Law Center; the Older Women's League; Peace Action; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Planned Parenthood; Public Citizen; the Service Employees International Union; the United States Student Association; Veterans For Peace; and Women’s Action for New Directions.
So now this exact same coalition is mobilizing an end-run around the GOP-majority in the House, whose resistance to tax increases in last summer's budget stalemate led to the formation of the congressional super-committee. And now with the Occupy Wall Street movement in full swing, the institutional left is shoehorning in on popular frustration at the Obama Depression to oppose any meaningful economic rationalization required to get this country back on track. Even the Communist Party USA is on board. See Trevor Loudon, "Senior Communist Lobbies “Super Committee” for Defense Cuts."

Behold the stealth campaign for the communist-progressive future. This is how institutional left-wing politics in America works, and we know that top officials in the Democrat Party are working right there behind the scenes to further this radical agenda.

Get the truth out about these thugs.

Added: The Other McCain links, "Did Anybody Think The Super Committee Was Anything Other Than An Exercise In Pluckin’ That Chicken?" Also, at Lonely Conservative, "Unions and Commies Lobby Deficit Super Committee."

'Because the Night'

Some music until later, Patti Smith:

NASA Launches Latest NPP Earth-Observing Satellite from Vandenberg

It's the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, NPP.

At LAT, "NASA launches satellite from Vandenberg at night." And PC Magazine, "NASA Weather, Climate Satellite Launches Successfully."

The Hate Speech Bugaboo

This is an unbelievably ridiculous piece, from Erna Paris, at Toronto's Globe and Mail, "There *are* limits to free expression."

And from the comments:
Hate speech is less prevalent in Canada today because Canadians don't like it and don't want it, not because of any law. Canada is not a more fragile place than in 1990; it's a much, much stronger and more tolerant place. The bizarre fear-mongering in this opinion piece is not only logically incoherent, it's completely unjustifiable.
Via Scaramouche.

Bill Whittle's Afterburner: 'How to Steal Power'

Via Instapundit:

Bill Whittle: 'One Thing About Being a Conservative is You Don't Have to Lie'

Funny, but that's exactly the opposite of progressives: They lie about everything.

See: "WFP Interviews Bill Whittle." Talking about how he frames arguments and creates his video productions, Whittle says that "the great thing about being a conservative is you don't have to lie and you don't have to invent stuff..."

Yeah, that is a great thing, at about 3:00 minutes:

Europe Needs Economic Growth

At Los Angeles Times, "Europe debt crisis plan hinges on economic growth":
Reporting from London — The latest plan to save Europe from its debt crisis was greeted with a burst of self-congratulation from the bleary-eyed leaders who negotiated it and a respite from the months of pounding by the continent's financial markets.

But the politicians who struck an early-morning deal in Brussels to avert financial collapse still face another ominous threat: a slide back into recession for their economies that could undermine the debt agreement as well as bring even greater social disorder to their streets.

The realization appears to be taking hold in some capitals that any "grand plan" to restore confidence in the Eurozone will fail without accompanying economic growth. Cuts in government spending that have been prescribed to get budget deficits under control also lead to job losses, along with the hardship and fear that foment social unrest.

Evidence is already coming in. From riots in Britain to peaceful protests by thousands of youths in Spain, from the angry unions marching through tear gas in Greece's streets to the far-right populist parties surging in popularity in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, the consequences of a hard economic squeeze are creating a backlash on the streets and making governments nervous.
More at that top link.

Britney's Femme Fatale Tour, London

Lots of pics, at Daily Mail: "Britney bares a whole lot of skin in risqué stage outfits as the Femme Fatale tour hits London."

How Taxes Destroy Liberty

It's not just taxes per se, but the increasing scope of government power to redistibute income for economic and social engineering.

Read this essay, from Myron Magnet, at City Journal, "On Tyranny and Liberty."

Benefits Run Out for Spain's Jobless

The report's at Wall Street Journal, but click through at Google:
Spain's jobless rate, hovering above 20% since early 2010, reached its highest rate in 15 years in the third quarter, the government reported Friday, at 21.5%—driven up in part by public-sector cuts. The number of households without any income also hit record levels, rising to 559,900, or 3.2% of Spain's families, the government said.

One reason: Three years into the economic crisis, more and more jobless Spaniards are seeing their unemployment benefits expire. The Spanish social safety net for the long-term unemployed runs out more quickly than in many Western European countries, and its unemployment rate is the highest in the European Union.

Most wage-replacement benefits in Spain—which top out at about €1,400 ($2,000) monthly for workers with two children—run out or significantly decline by 24 months, compared with three to five years in some countries, including Belgium and Denmark. Mr. Tuesta's benefits expired late last year.

The government on Friday announced plans to spend an additional €24 billion ($34 billion) on job development from 2012 through 2014. Those expenses could require cuts elsewhere. The euro zone, trying to contain a debt crisis, wants Madrid to slash its budget deficit to 3% of gross domestic product by 2013, from more than 9% last year.

Even as it has frozen pensions and cut public-sector salaries, Spain's government has been loath to trim assistance for the jobless. Still, in August, 71% of Spain's jobless collected unemployment benefits, compared with more than 79% in the summer of 2010, according to the Spanish Labor Ministry.
That's the crisis of the European welfare-state model right there, and right here at home protesters at Occupy Wall Street are campaigning for the exact same fiscal bankruptcy and welfare state nightmare.

It's an upside down world.

RELATED: At Reuters, "Spain's Bankia, Popular 'can meet new capital rules'."

'Truth is the New Hate Speech' — Pamela Geller Speaks at Sugar Land Tea Party

Pamela's got lots of updates on her recent free-speech episode in Texas.

See, "Video: Pamela Geller in Sugar Land, Texas — The Speech That Was Banned by Hyatt Place."

Plus, "Liberty Counsel Demand Letter to Hutton Hotel," and "'Hyatt Place Regrets Decison'."

Brown Risks Backlash on Pensions

This is one case where fiscal reality trumps destructive progressive ideology. Pigs will fly if he actually gets this through the legislature.

At Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown risks backlash on pension plan":
Reporting from Sacramento -- Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a sweeping overhaul of California pensions that would require public employees to pay more for their retirement and cut benefits for those hired in the future, setting the stage for a fierce battle with fellow Democrats and some of his main political supporters: unions representing government workers.

Brown's 12-point plan, announced Thursday, would require that all public workers have at least half the cost of their pensions deducted from their paychecks. Most state employees already make that contribution, but many in cities, counties and school districts across the state pitch in far less.

The governor also wants future employees to receive up to a third of their retirement income from a 401(k)-style plan rather than a traditional guaranteed pension. And he urged that the retirement age for most new public workers be raised from 55 to 67.

"I try to protect working people whenever I can," said Brown, 73, "but I'm also responsible to the taxpayer and making sure we have a solvent state government."

California's public pension system has been strained by ballooning obligations to current and future retirees. Brown, who says he does not draw a pension, has called the system unaffordable and unsustainable. He wants to cut the state's long-term pension needs in half.

His plan would have to pass the Legislature, which is dominated by Democrats whose close political allies include labor unions. Brown would need the approval of two-thirds of state lawmakers to place key parts of it on the November 2012 ballot for voters to consider.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Michele Bachmann Slams 'Stealth Attack' by Rick Perry Supporters

She really unloads at the interview. I was watching this afternoon. Bachmann is especially riled by folks trashing her tea party creds.

At CNN, "TRENDING: Bachmann accuses Perry camp of 'stealth' political attack" (via ioic).

Four Reasons Keynesians Keep Getting It Wrong

From Allan Meltzer, at Wall Street Journal:
Those who heaped high praise on Keynesian policies have grown silent as government spending has failed to bring an economic recovery. Except for a few diehards who want still more government spending, and those who make the unverifiable claim that the economy would have collapsed without it, most now recognize that more than a trillion dollars of spending by the Bush and Obama administrations has left the economy in a slump and unemployment hovering above 9%.

Why is the economic response to increased government spending so different from the response predicted by Keynesian models? What is missing from the models that makes their forecasts so inaccurate? Those should be the questions asked by both proponents and opponents of more government spending. Allow me to suggest four major omissions from Keynesian models...

Occupy Phoenix: 'When Should You Shoot a Cop?'

At Hot Air, "Flier at Occupy Phoenix asks, 'When should you shoot a cop?'"

And at Verum Serum, "The Man Behind the 'When Should You Shoot a Cop' Pamphlet."

Continuing Lies by Cowardly Hate-Blogger W. James Casper in Left's Demonic Workplace Intimidation Campaign

W. James Casper continues to lie about his involvement in the long campaign of workplace attacks that have been repudiated by the army of righteous conservatives in recent weeks. (See: "Online Disagreements and the Offline World We Live In...")

Typically, the epic coward at American Nihilist ignored the universal moral approbation directed against all of those making the attacks. Further, he's now justifying the attacks by saying that both sides do it and that it's not just a progressive thing, or something. Casper keeps claiming that "right-of-center" bloggers are also among those who've launched demonic campaigns. And that's just more lies. Specifically, Casper is lying about E.D. Kain's ideological attacks of workplace harassment. I blogged about E.D. Kain because he betrayed me and a number of other bloggers who he burned by pulling the plug on Neo-Constant without even so much as a thank you or acknowledgment of their contributions. Kain did that because he embarrassed himself by selling out the right to join up with the likes of communist Freddie deBoer. I didn't like it. I blogged about it. I make no apologies. That's life. And Erik Kain's a cowardly little prick and Andrew Sullivan wannabe. I don't like him. But I never lied about him. I never contacted him personally. I simply wrote about my disagreements online. I wrote the truth. And for that E.D. Kain contacted my employer not once but twice. As many have pointed out, including law professor William Jacobson at the time, it's extremely bad form to contact someone's work, especially if you're unhappy that someone posted things about you that are entirely true, no matter how inconvenient. That is, you don't have a right to harass someone for speaking their mind, but that's what E.D. Kain did and that's what W. James Casper has endorsed. Indeed, that's who James Casper is.

W. James Casper, who, folks will recall, endorsed racist attacks against me by The Pale Scot, praises the workplace campaigns as not only deserved but effective:
Donald barely mentions any of the people who contacted LBCC, anymore...
That's another malicious falsehood. There's only one person I've stopped mentioning, one of the asshats at Lawyers, Guns and Money, and that's because there's a legal arrangement in place that prevents me from making references to this asshole at the blog. As for the others, they haven't been worth my time, but it's not because their attacks have been effective, as racist W. James Casper claims. In fact, that's just more lies from Comrade Racist Repsac3. I called out E.D Kain in June, for example: "Erik Kain of Forbes: Wishy Washy Pussy." And I'll continue to call him out when I see fit. Kain's a weasel. He'd prefer the world not know about his cheap ass ideological opportunism, so he attempted to get someone fired rather than just debate the issues like a man. And for the record: E.D. Kain long ago came out as a progressive. Despite this, W. James Casper, for over a year, has been spreading a disinformation campaign about how Kain's allegedly right-of-center. He's not, and he said so himself at the hardline progressive blog Balloon Juice: "Why I am Not a Conservative."

And that's yet another example of the kind of routine lies spread by Racist Repsac3.

Now I probably wouldn't be commenting on this again, but some of Racist Repsac3's lies are particularly egregious. For example, there is no moral equivalence between the left's campaign to get me fired and the right's response to whatever happened years ago to Jeff Goldstein. The fact is that a deranged progressive troll named Deborah Frisch threatened Goldstein's family. See: "Blog blunder fells UA teacher." And at Black Five, "Dr. Frisch (did I mention she's a psych[o] professor at the University of Arizona?) has repeatedly and quite disturbing levied DEATH THREATS against Jeff's 2 year old child."

When someone makes death threats it's damned right for people to be concerned. But I don't endorse workplace attacks for any reason. And I take exception to W. James Casper's sick moral relativism. In Casper's nihilist hate world, speaking my mind on my blog is tantamount to making death threats like those of Deb Frisch against Jeff Goldstein's 2 year-old child. And let's be clear about this, THAT IS EVIL. W. James Casper is consumed by hatred of difference. My conservative posse stood up because they saw evil directed against me, by Carl Salonon, E.D. Kain, Alex Knepper, the atheists, and now Captain Fogg. Am I forgetting anybody? Because that's a progressive thing. IT'S THE LEFT THAT DOES THIS.

[Added: I did forget somebody, Captain Fogg's sleaze-blogging ally, (O)CT(O)PUS) of The Swash Zone: "Libel Blogger David Hillman (Swash Zone) Workplace Harassment Fail."]

And to top it off, Repsac3 alleges that I had it coming. No, asshole W. James Casper. It's never okay to campaign against someone's work because someone legally spoke their mind on a blog. Hey asshole W. James Casper, there's no justification for it, and everyone can see through the bullshit and lies that you're spewing. You are a hate-blogger and stalker. I close the comments to my posts (like this one) not for ideological reasons, but because you are banned. YOU ARE BANNED, GET IT, STUPID FUCK? You are not to comment here because I said so. But you have no values, no morals, so you continue your hate campaign, attempting to harass and intimidate at my comment threads. You are a stalker. You long ago crossed the line, and that's what my conservative posse called out, and that's what your own commenter has ridiculed. It's not funny anymore: YOU HAVE CROSSED THE LINE.

Stop the hate. Stop the intimidation. Stop the threats against me. Stop endorsing, promoting, supporting, republishing, distributing, and football spiking the workplace attacks against me. These are designed for one thing and one thing only: to do me harm because progressives can't stand the light of truth being flashed on their ideological hatred. And that's why you continue to back the attacks. And that's why you have escalated to a personal campaign against me and my family.

Stop contacting me, W. James Casper. Stop attempting to intimidate me. And for God's sake, stop lying about your involvement in all of these attacks. American Nihilist has been the one-stop shop for the workplace attacks against me from day one. You are a sick, sick asshole. Quit e-mailing me. And get some help:


Cardinals Stun Rangers, 10-9, in 11 Innings to Force Game 7

Hey, hoping for another night of baseball? You got your wish.

At Los Angeles Times:

Reporting from St. Louis — St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa probably summed it up best.

"You had to be here to believe it," he said.

But even after seeing St. Louis rally three times in the final three innings to deny the Texas Rangers a World Series title Thursday, it was still hard to believe.

David Freese's leadoff home run in the 11th inning provided the deciding run in the Cardinals' 10-9 victory in Game 6, forcing the exhausted teams to return to Busch Stadium on Friday for a decisive game.

Yet while that one swing may have won the game, it was the Cardinals' grit and heart that may swing the count.

Twice, St. Louis was a strike away from its winter vacation — but both times the Cardinals came back.

"We never quit trying," La Russa said. "I know that's kind of corny, but the fact is we never quit trying.

"The dugout was alive even when we were behind. And sometimes it works."
Also at Hot Air, "Video: The greatest World Series game ever?"

Occupy Wall Street: The Enemy Within

See Discover the Networks, "Occupy Wall Street":

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is a movement whose activism is planned and coordinated via a free, open-source social-networking website that is maintained by an independent group of organizers who describe themselves as “committed to doing technical support work for resistance movements.” Strongly anti-capitalist, OWS characterizes America as a “ruthless,” materialistic society where the chief objective is to “always minimize costs and maximize profits”; where “lives are commodities to be bought and sold on the open market”; and where “the economic transaction has become the dominant way of relating to the culture and artifacts of human civilization.” The “deep spiritual sickness” that necessarily results from this repugnant philosophy of perpetual economic "growth for the sake of growth," says OWS, has caused “vast deprivation, oppression and despoliation ... to cover the world.” OWS's prescribed remedy is to replace the foregoing arrangement “with a society of cooperation and community” – i.e., a socialist economy....

Front groups of the community organization ACORN played a major role in organizing the OWS protests nationwide. For instance, the Working Families Party (WFP), a longtime ACORN front, helped mobilize the demonstrations in New York City. "[We are] actually trying to change the capitalist system that we have today because it’s not working for any of us," WFP organizer Nelini Stamp told Laura Flanders of Free Speech TV in an interview.

Meanwhile, ACORN’s newer front groups were likewise deeply involved in launching and expanding the OWS movement throughout the fall of 2011. For instance, New York Communities for Change -- led by longtime ACORN lobbyist Jon Kest -- helped WFP organize the demonstrations in lower Manhattan. In Pennsylvania, Action United participated in the "Occupy Pittsburgh" rallies. In Florida, Organize Now took part in "Occupy Orlando." The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment led the "Occupy L.A." protests. And New England United for Justice, headed by former ACORN national president Maude Hurd, participated in the related “Take Back Boston” rallies in Massachusetts.

The Communist Party USA (CPUSA) was also heavily involved in OWS's formation and early growth. At the heart of "Occupy Los Angeles," for instance, were two Southern California communists -- veteran Party leader Arturo Cambron and his comrade Mario Brito. In early October 2011, Brito declared that OWS's chief objective was to achieve “economic justice,” and added: “This is an international movement ... The vast majority of Americans actually believe income inequality is a major problem. The only reason they haven’t acted upon it is because there hasn’t been a mass movement.” In an October 15, 2011 address to the nearly 3,000 attendees at an "Occupy Chicago" rally, John Bachtell, a spokesman from the CPUSA's national board, claimed to “bring greetings and solidarity from the Communist Party”; he received a number of loud ovations from the crowd.

The early OWS demonstrations imposed considerable monetary costs on the cities in which they were staged. By mid-October 2011, for example, the protesters' then-month-long siege of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan had already cost New York taxpayers some $3.2 million for overtime police pay. Meanwhile, Boston City Council president Stephen Murphy reported that the costs resulting from the protests in his city were approaching $2 million.

Quite popular at OWS demonstrations across the United States are T-shirts and speeches glorifying such renowned Marxists as Che Guevara, Emiliano Zapata and Mao Zedong; lionizing convicted cop-killer Troy Davis and WikiLeaks collaborator Bradley Manning; promoting the DREAM Act and 9/11 Trutherism; and denouncing Fox News, the American Legislative Exchange Council, Wisconsin's Republican governor Scott Walker, the Koch family, the New York Police Department, and "Nazi Bankers" and Jews.

Indeed, anti-Semitism is clearly in evidence at many “Occupy” events nationwide, where placards and chanted slogans denouncing the alleged conspiracies of “Jewish bankers” (and "Zionist Jews") square neatly with OWS's relentless condemnations of “greedy Wall Street bankers” and thus go unchallenged by the protesting throngs. According to the American Nazi Party, which supports OWS, the movement strikes a welcome blow against an obscenely corrupt "Judeo-Capitalism."
Check the link for the full entry.

IMAGE CREDIT: Communist Lalo Alcaraz.

Israel Matzav on Erick Erickson's Anti-Semitic Attack on Jennifer Rubin

Carl in Jerusalem picks up on my second post on Erick Erickson's attack on Jennifer Rubin.

See: "Eric Erickson charges Jennifer Rubin with dual loyalty, then backtracks":
What I want to get to is Erickson's labeling of anyone who advocates for Jonathan Pollard's release as having dual loyalties (yes, that still comes through in his apology) and of automatically not being a conservative. Over the last year, Lawrence Korb (formerly Caspar Weinberger's number 2 at the Defense Department), former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, former Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former US Secretary of State George Schultz, and Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree have all come out in favor of releasing Pollard. Of those, to the best of my knowledge, only Mukasey is Jewish and only DeConcini and Ogletree are not Republicans.

Additionally, some 500 American Jewish and Christian leaders called for Pollard's release in a letter to President Obama in January. That letter cites all of the following (some of whom are already listed above) as favoring Pollard's release:
Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Senators Charles Schumer and Arlen Specter, Harvard Law Professors Charles Ogletree and Alan Dershowitz, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame, Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP, former federal Judge George Leighton, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olsen, Pastor John Hagee, and Gary Bauer.
And 39 members of Congress.

Would Erickson accuse all of them of dual loyalty? Are none of them Republican or conservative enough for Erickson? Surely Hagee and Bauer (at least) ought to be. And if that's the case, why is Erickson going after Jennifer with a charge like this and not after any of them?

Pollard committed a crime and he's paid for that crime disproportionately. It's long past time to let him go. Unfortunately, much of the American Jewish community cannot find its voice on this issue precisely because it is intimidated by the type of dual loyalty charges made by Erickson against Jennifer Rubin. But the American Jewish community ought to find its voice.
There's still more at the link, and Erickson's getting beaten up in the comments.

Also, at The Other McCain, "Erickson’s ‘Anti-Semitic Screed’?"

Michael Moore: I'm Not in the 99 Percent!

It's not just the hypocrisy. Michael Moore's lying through his teeth on national television. It's really pathetic. At The Rhetorican, "RICH MAN, POOR MAN, YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE, MAN!"

And the key quote:

Well, then, if you believe that about me, then that’s really something, isn’t it? That, even though I do well, that I don’t associate myself with those who do well. I am devoting my life to those who who have less and who’ve been crapped upon by the system. And that’s how I spent my time, my energy, my money on trying to upend this system that I think is a system of violence; it’s a system that’s unfair to the average working person of this country, and it was a mistake to ever give me a dime, from the day Time Warner, actually, gave me money to buy Roger & Me… I hope they rue the day that they ever allowed me up on the movie screens.

And at NewsBusters, "OWS Supporter Michael Moore Lies on National Television About His Wealth: No I'm Not Worth Millions."

Also, from Peter Wehner, at Commentary, "Michael Moore, Hypocrite and Liar":

Greeks Attack Merkel Government as Nazi Regime

At London's Daily Mail, "Furious Greeks lampoon German 'overlords' as Nazis with picture of Merkel dressed as an SS guard."

Greeks angry at the fate of the euro are comparing the German government with the Nazis who occupied the country in the Second World War.

Newspaper cartoons have presented modern-day German officials dressed in Nazi uniform, and a street poster depicts Chancellor Angela Merkel dressed as an officer in Hitler’s regime accompanied with the words: ‘Public nuisance.’

Greeks are furious at the deal, even though it means the banks will write off 50 per cent of the country’s debt and Socialist prime minister George Papandreou said Greece had ‘avoided a mortal national danger’.

Opposition parties blasted the landmark agreement, with conservatives warning it condemned the country to ‘nine more years of collapse and poverty’.

But it is the fury of ordinary Greeks which is raising eyebrows.

Greek government officials who agreed to the belt-tightening moves have been portrayed in cartoons giving the Nazi ‘Sieg Heil’ salute.

And German visitors flocking to ancient tourist sites are being met with a hostile welcome from some Greeks.

Berlin’s interference has revived historical enmities and evoked comparisons to the massive destruction of Greece at the hands of Hitler’s Germany more than 65 years ago.

That's pretty cheap.

Of course, Greece is the freeloader of Europe, so naturally they'd attack the powerful Germans as "Nazis."

This is What Mobocracy Looks Like: Street Artist 'Above' Hangs Banker in Effigy Along Florida's I-95

Taking things too far?

Hardly, this is where things are headed.

At Weasel Zippers, "Effigy of Wall Street Banker Hung From a Noose Over Miami Highway…"

And London's Daily Mail, "Is this taking the protests too far? Occupy Wall Street-inspired artist hangs dummy of banker from telephone wire."

Iran Defeats the United States in Iraq?

From Frederick Kagan and Kimberly Kagan, at Los Angeles Times, "Out of Iraq":
Iran has just defeated the United States in Iraq.

The American withdrawal, which comes after the administration's failure to secure a new agreement that would have allowed troops to remain in Iraq, won't be good for ordinary Iraqis or for the region. But it will unquestionably benefit Iran.

President Obama's February 2009 speech at Camp Lejeune accurately defined the U.S. goal for Iraq as "an Iraq that is sovereign, stable and self-reliant." He then outlined how the U.S. would achieve that goal by working "to promote an Iraqi government that is just, representative and accountable, and that provides neither support nor safe haven to terrorists."

Despite recent administration claims to the contrary, Iraq today meets none of those conditions. Its sovereignty is hollow because of the continued activities of Iranian-backed militias in its territory. Its stability is fragile, since the fundamental disputes among ethnic and sectarian groups remain unresolved. And it is not in any way self-reliant. The Iraqi military cannot protect its borders, its airspace or its territorial waters without foreign assistance.

Although Obama has clearly failed to achieve the goals for Iraq that he set five weeks after taking office, Iran, in contrast, is well on its way to achieving its strategic objectives. Since 2004, Tehran has sought to drive all American forces out of the country, to promote a weak, Shiite-led government in Baghdad, to develop Hezbollah-like political-militia organizations in Iraq through which to exert influence and intimidate pro-Western Iraqi leaders, and to insinuate its theocratic ideology into Iraq's Shiite clerical establishment. It has largely succeeded in achieving each of those goals.
Well, they don't beat around the bush, do they?

There's more at that top link.

And see Omri Ceren, at Commentary, "Untangling Ideology From Incompetence on Obama’s Iraq Withdrawal."

Protesting Outside People's Homes — Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

From Elizabeth Ames, at Fox News:
Protesting at people’s homes ... is not about asserting an opinion. It is a warning of potential violence. It implies, 'We’re outside your house because we're angry enough to hurt you unless you do what we want.'
But they're progressives, and thus purely virtuous.


Archaeologists in France Discover Underground Remains of 21 German Soldiers from World War I

At Der Spiegel, "WWI Grave Find Tells Story Germans Want to Forget":
Archaeologists in northern France have unearthed the bodies of 21 German soldiers from World War One in an elaborate underground shelter that was destroyed in a French attack in March 1918, and hasn't been opened since.

Individual war casualties are still frequently found during construction work on the former Western front battlefields of France and Belgium, but the discovery of so many soldiers in one location is rare.
The tomb, poignant and grisly, sheds light on the lives of the soldiers who died in explosions from heavy shells that penetrated the tunnel.

"It's a bit like Pompeii," Michaël Landolt, the French archaeologist leading the dig, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Everything collapsed in seconds and is just the way it was at the time. This is an extraordinary find."
Fascinating. It turns out Germans don't really like digging up the past, so to speak. German newspapers buried the story on the inside pages.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Obama Gets a Lifeline on Reelection?

President Obama's toast in 2012, right?

I think he'll lose reelection, but my prediction is based on continued high unemployment and depressed presidential approval ratings. So it's interesting that Obama's getting some improvement on those measures today.

The New York Times has the report on the new third-quarter GDP numbers, "Economic Growth in U.S., Though Still Modest, Speeds Up." And Gallup has the latest approval numbers, which show some improvement in the president's standing, "Obama Job Approval Showing Modest Improvement, Now 43%."

On the economy, continued improvements in economic growth rates must translate into a decline in the unemployment rate. We're still at 9.1 percent nationally, and higher in key states like Florida, Michigan, and Ohio. (BLS data is here.) My hunch is that unemployment needs to come down to below 7 percent nationally by next summer, and perhaps to a similar degree in some of those key battleground states.

On public opinion, Charlie Cook's out with a new analysis, at National Journal, "Underwater":
With the 2012 presidential general election just a year away, it’s a good time to look at the national polling and talk about the state of play. Obviously, we have to make allowances for changing circumstances and unexpected events.

The best barometer of how a president is going to fare is his approval rating, which starts taking on predictive value about a year out. As each month goes by, the rating becomes a better indicator of the eventual results. Presidents with approval numbers above 48 to 50 percent in the Gallup Poll win reelection. Those with approval ratings below that level usually lose. If voters don’t approve of the job you are doing after four years in office, they usually don’t vote for you. Of course, a candidate can win the popular vote and still lose the Electoral College. It happened to Samuel Tilden in 1876, Grover Cleveland in 1888, and Al Gore in 2000. But the popular votes and the Electoral College numbers usually come down on the same side.

In his 11th and most recent quarter in office (July 20-Oct. 19), President Obama averaged a 41 percent approval rating among registered voters, according to Gallup. His average for the month of September was the same. For the week of Oct. 17-23, the president’s approval was 41 percent with a disapproval rating of 51 percent. It’s worth noting that in the Oct. 17-23 aggregation of Gallup tracking, Obama’s job-approval rating among independents was only 38 percent. This was a group he carried by 8 percentage points over John McCain in 2008, 52 percent to 44 percent. Among “pure” independents, those who don’t lean toward either party when pushed, the president’s approval rating was 32 percent.

Focusing on the big picture and that target of 48 to 50 percent among the total electorate, if Obama is to win in 2012, he needs to raise his approval rating at least 7 to 9 points. (Obama got some good news on Wednesday when the CBS/New York Times poll, conducted Oct. 19-24, pegged his approval rating at 46 percent—closer to his target.)
Keep reading.

Well, Obama's up 2 points in the latest Gallup survey, so things are heading in the right direction. And as I reported yesterday, the president, while unpopular, performs better in head-to-head matchups in recent polls. So, Obambi's looking a little more competitive. But it still early and there's lots still to shake out between now and November 2012. And I'll be keeping an eye on things.

'Pushin Too Hard'

The Seeds, from my afternoon drive time on Tuesday:

2:01 - American Woman by Guess Who

2:01 - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds by Elton John

2:07 - Pushin Too Hard by Seeds

2:17 - Dangerous Type by Cars

2:21 - Light My Fire by Doors

2:28 - Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie

2:32 - D'yer Mak'er by Led Zeppelin

2:36 - In The Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett

2:39 - Take It On The Run by Reo Speedwagon

2:49 - Life's Been Good by Joe Walsh

2:57 - Lookin' Out My Backdoor by CCR
And speaking of pushing too hard, I hope Tania doesn't. See: "Chasing 26.2." Just go nice and easy, my friend.

Harvard's Stephen Walt: 'The Myth of American Exceptionalism'

At Foreign Policy.

I saw this a couple of weeks back and wasn't the least bit surprised, especially since I learned that Walt was a featured speaker at communist Code Pink's Jew-hating anti-AIPAC conference in May. I considered writing a full take-down, but thought better of my time. Besides, Walt gets hammered in the comments:
Typical Revisionist Thinking

As an American, I have absolutely no qualms with the content of this article. That said, we all need to take a deep breath and realize that this is just another contribution to the millions of pages of standard revisionist political thinking in the US. And it seems like every time another page or two is written, the author and/or his/her readers act as though they have just unearthed a treasure trove of hidden truth that typical "brainwashed" Americans have never heard before.

There is nothing in this article that is not taught in every basic US history class (at least at the university level), that has not been widely reported in the US media, or that is not a common topic in US political discussion. As much as people outside of the US like to think of Americans as lost in a world of false euphoria stemming from their very "Americanness," the harshest critics of the United States, much like this author, are to be found right within the US itself, teaching at its universities, publishing articles in its journals and newspapers, lecturing at events, and participating in public political discussion. Believe me, as a nation, we are quite sober and objective.
This is a full-length feature in the magazine's November/December issue, and it might be useful for international relations course syllabi. Or, well, perhaps as part of a debate on exceptionalism. Either that, or as a museum piece of elitist (egghead) political science, worth a read for its curiosity value (at the link)

Blackbeard's Cannon Recovered After Almost Three Centuries Underwater

At Telegraph UK, "Blackbeard's pirate ship cannon recovered from ocean."

Also, at London's Daily Mail, "Blackbeard's cannon salvaged from wreckage of pirate's ship on ocean floor."

Polls Suggest Obama Victory in 2012, But Economy Suggests a Defeat

This bugs me.

But campaigns matter, so we won't know for sure until the GOP race is settled in early 2012.

See Wall Street Journal.

I still think Obama's cooked in November 2012.

REMEMBER: "New Poll Finds Deep Distrust of Government."

Thailand Floods Bring Fears of Escaped Crocodiles

Interesting piece, at WSJ, "As Floodwaters Rise, So Do Thais' Crocodile Fears: Reptiles Escape Farms, Spurring Bid to Bring Them Back Alive."

Perry Steps Up Attacks on Romney for Changing Positions

The report's at Wall Street Journal.

And Perry's got his work cut out for him. See Time, "CNN/TIME Poll: Romney Leads Republican Rivals in First Four Primary States."

Mitt Romney's Finest Hour?

I don't recall WSJ's editorial board making any endorsements in the GOP race, but this sure comes close, "Romney's Finest Hour":
A friend of ours quipped recently that Mitt Romney could do his Presidential candidacy a lot of good if he took even a single position that is unpopular in the polls. Well, we can report that he has done that on housing policy, that he's being pummeled for it, and that it may be his finest campaign hour. It also contrasts favorably with the latest temporary, ad hoc and futile housing effort from President Obama.

Campaigning last week in Nevada, the epicenter of the housing bust, Mr. Romney was asked by the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board what he would do about housing and foreclosures. His reply:

"One is, don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up. Let it turn around and come back up. The Obama Administration has slow-walked the foreclosure processes that have long existed, and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang."

How's that for refreshing? After five years of politicians trying without success to postpone disclosures and levitate the housing market, Mr. Romney dared to tell the truth. Parts of the U.S., including Nevada, still have too many homes, and that supply needs to be sold off and fixed up so the market can find a bottom before home prices can start to rise again. The faster that process proceeds, the faster the recovery will take hold.
That sounds good to me. I just wish Romney was so sure-footed on some other issues, like collective bargaining in Ohio.

Continue reading the editorial at that top link.


Toronto Airport Security Employee of the Month!

Via Kathy Shaidle, "Toronto airport security employee hopes plane blows up! (video)"

Herman Cain 'Impresses' in Power Outsiders Poll at Huffington Post

From Mark Blumenthal, "Herman Cain Impresses GOP Power Outsiders":
Businessman Herman Cain may be the latest in a string of Republican presidential candidates to enjoy a bump in the national polls, but his appeal is real, even among GOP activists and party regulars in early primary and caucus states. That's the key finding of the latest Power Outsiders survey conducted by The Huffington Post and Patch.

Cain has impressed these local influential Republicans with his story of success and his advocacy of conservative issues. A surprising number believe he can beat President Barack Obama in 2012, although they are more hesitant about Cain's ability to win the Republican nomination.

The HuffPost-Patch Power Outsiders poll of political activists, party officials and officeholders in the early primary and caucus states attempts to listen in on the "invisible primary" under way among influential local activists and political insiders that has historically driven the outcome of party nomination campaigns. This week, we heard from 51 Power Outsiders in Iowa, 45 in New Hampshire and 63 in South Carolina.

As with the announced and prospective candidates tested previously, we began by asking respondents to pick just one word to describe Herman Cain. Nearly three out of four (74 percent) used a positive word to describe Cain, a slightly more favorable response than we have recorded for any of the others tested to date, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Chris Christie. The most frequently used positive words were "impressive," "leader," "successful," "likeable" and "charismatic."
Check the link for the tag cloud.

And you gotta love this. The poll shows Cain with the highest favorables among the entire GOP field:


There's lots more at the link.

GOP activists, party leaders, and elected officials were polled in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. It's not a scientific random sample, but the list of participants looks pretty good.

See also Fox News, "Fox News Poll: GOP Primary Voters Get on the Cain Train" (via Memeorandum).

RELATED: At The Other McCain, "James Carville Trashes Herman Cain."