2012 elections

For Obama, this is a feature, not a bug

When my daughter was in fifth grade, we read (together) a sort of primer on economics called Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? It cited earlier versions of the following report, information that she hasn't forgotten.  My, how things have changed in just a few years.

Via the Daily Caller and Weasel Zippers, the Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report:

...the Fraser Institute released its “Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report.” Analyzing data from 144 countries based on 42 distinct variables, the study’s authors rank countries according to their relative level of economic freedom.

After ranking 2nd in 2000, the U.S. falls to 18th in this year’s report. As the authors explain:

“[T]he United States has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 and 19th  in 2010 (unadjusted ranking of 18th). By 2009, the United States had fallen behind Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Chile, and Mauritius, countries that chose not to follow the path of massive growth in government financed by borrowing that is now the most prominent characteristic of US fiscal policy. By 2010, the United States had also fallen behind Finland and Denmark, two European welfare states. Moreover, it now trails Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar, countries that are not usually perceived of as bastions of economic freedom.”

But as Michael Tanner points out at NRO

...when it comes to defending economic liberty, Mitt Romney has spent most of his time in a defensive crouch. He occasionally breaks form to promise he won’t really reduce taxes on the wealthy, won’t cut Medicare, and wants to keep some parts of Obamacare. He’s actually running ads attacking the president for not confronting China over trade.
 
Americans instinctively know the importance of economic freedom. They know that it is their ability to invest, start businesses, and hire workers that builds a prosperous country. They know that millions have come to this country and prospered because they had freedom to pursue their economic aspirations as well as their personal ones. And they find this freedom now slipping away.
 
They need a candidate to speak for them . . . and for freedom.
Come on, Governor Romney.  Time to trust your pants and take off the kid gloves.  It's time for bare-knuckle boxing.
 

Constitution Day is September 17th...

...that's tomorrow, folks, and we need to make sure it's not the last time we mark the day.

At the LATimes:

Alleged 'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker taken in for interview
 

Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim world...

Glenn Reynolds writes at Instapundit:

...By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated that oath. You can try to pretty this up (It’s just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.
 
He won’t resign, of course. First, the President has the appreciation of free speech that one would expect from a Chicago Machine politician, which is to say, none. Second, he’s not getting any pressure. Indeed, the very press that went crazy over Ari Fleischer’s misrepresented remarks seems far less interested in the actions of an administration that I repeat, literally sent brown-shirted enforcers to launch a midnight knock on a filmmaker’s door.
 
But Obama’s behavior — and that of his enablers in the press — has laid down a marker for those who are paying attention. By these actions he is, I repeat, unfit to hold office. I hope and expect that the voters will agree in November...
So while the economy and foreign policy are critical, this election is more fundamental than that.
 
As Chris Muir points out in today's Day By Day (which appears daily over there in the left sidebar), let's all "Feel the Paine":
 
 
 

Choose Life!

A couple of great videos...pass them on.

And here is Michelle Malkin's intro to the second video:

The speech of the night at last night’s DNC was not sputtering Joe Biden’s or plodding Barack Obama’s. It was NY Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s courageous closing benediction upholding the sanctity of life, religious liberty, and natural law. You probably didn’t see it because most of the networks and the DNC official livestream cut him off while unhinged lefties on Twitter cursed him out.


While they treat the archbishop as an extremist, the nutballs who turned the DNC into abortion-palooza have been embraced and exalted.

 


Here's the text of the prayer:

***

With a “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,” let us close this convention by praying for this land that we so cherish and love:

Let us Pray.

Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank you for showering your blessings upon this our beloved nation. Bless all here present, and all across this great land, who work hard for the day when a greater portion of your justice, and a more ample measure of your care for the poor and suffering, may prevail in these United States. Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us.

We beseech you, almighty God to shed your grace on this noble experiment in ordered liberty, which began with the confident assertion of inalienable rights bestowed upon us by you: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile.

We praise and thank you for the gift of liberty. May this land of the free never lack those brave enough to defend our basic freedoms. Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding. May our liberty be in harmony with truth; freedom ordered in goodness and justice. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love. Make us ever-grateful for those who, for over two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg the protection of your mighty arm upon our men and women in uniform.

We praise and thank you for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries.

We praise and thank you for the American genius of government of the people, by the people and for the people. Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Congress, the Supreme Court, and all those, including Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself. With your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy.

And finally Lord, we beseech your benediction on all of us who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who yearn to conduct their lives in freedom and justice. We beg you to remember, as we pledge to remember, those who are not free; those who suffer for freedom’s cause; those who are poor, out of work, needy, sick, or alone; those who are persecuted for their religious convictions, those still ravaged by war.

And most of all, God Almighty, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country.

For we are indeed “one nation under God,” and “in God we trust.”

So dear God, bless America. You who live and reign forever and ever.

Amen!

Last straw

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a national "Catholic" social justice lobby, is a disgrace.

In an interview with The Weekly Standard's John McCormack, Campbell said this:

TWS: On the legal question, do you think there should be penalties against abortion doctors? I mean, should it be illegal to perform abortions?
 
CAMPBELL: That’s beyond my pay grade. I don’t know.
 
“The fact is my vast preference is that all women would have the support to carry their babies to term,” Campbell continued. “One of the things I find so horrifying in the Romney-Ryan budget is that they want to take those supports away. And then they claim they’re pro-life. That just drives me nuts!”
 
So Campbell knows that the Romney-Ryan budget is "horrifying" because it spends less on social welfare programs than Obama, but she's agnostic about passing laws to stop abortions...
Sorry, "Sister," but if you're Catholic, whether or not abortion on demand at any point in a pregnancy is permissible is not a matter of "pay grade" or opinion.  Period.
 
In case you've forgotten, "Sister's" reference is to a remark candidate Obama made in August, 2008, in answer to a question asked by Pastor Rick Warren:
Q. Now, let’s deal with abortion. 40 million abortions since Roe v. Wade. you know, as a pastor I have to deal with this all of the time. All of the pain and all of the conflicts. I know this is a very complex issue. 40 million abortions. At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?
 
A. Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade... 
Actually, "Sister's" messiah, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., thinks it's perfectly fine to throw unwanted babies into trash cans. Catholics, however, are supposed to be opposed to that sort of thing.
 
I know that no one pays attention to party platforms, but let's have a look at the two 2012 platforms anyway, shall we?
 
The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life
 
Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child
has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non- consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form—and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell re- search to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
 
We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.
Protecting A Woman’s Right to Choose. The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
Notice "regardless of ability to pay." Translation: everyone will pay for abortions via their taxes, regardless of conscience.
 
The platform plank on "Protecting A Woman's Right to Choose" goes on to say:
Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.
For Catholics, however, abortion is not "an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy" (love that last bit they threw in about clergy).  It's wrong.  Period.
 
Perhaps "Sister" was among the Dems at the convention booing and hissing at the re-insertion of "God" into the Dem platform.
 
So we have a supposedly Catholic "sister" who's more concerned with Paul Ryan's shocking notions that we can't afford—in terms of both dollars and moral hazard—all the social welfare programs that she's so enamored of than she is with innocent life being slaughtered.  
 
We have serial womanizer Bill Clinton being a featured speaker at the convention.
 
We have a tribute at that convention to another serial womanizer—and I'm just going to say it, murderer of a young woman—Ted Kennedy.  
 
We have DNC (empty) chair and pathological liar Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz dismissing RNC female speakers, who included a former Secretary of State, three sitting Governors, a US Senator, a mayor, three US Congresswomen, a former Lieutenant Governor, and an Attorney General, as "shiny packaging."
 
And Republicans are waging a war on women?
 
These people are sick, including "Sister" Simone.
 
Why any woman would vote for any candidates who associate themselves with what the Democrat Party has become in 2012 is beyond me.
 
 

 

Dirty jobs are pretty hard to outsource

Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, roustabouts, roughnecks...if you need one of these folks to work on your house or your car or your drill rig, they need to be here, not in India.

This is not a concept that Democrats seem to have, at least not as expressed in the Democrat Party 2012 platform:

...To help keep college within reach for every student, Democrats took on banks to reform our student loan program, saving more than $60 billion by removing the banks acting as middlemen so we can better and more directly invest in students. To make college affordable for students of all backgrounds and confront the loan burden our students shoulder, we doubled our investment in Pell Grant scholarships and created the American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, and we're creating avenues for students to manage their federal student loans so that their payments can be only 10 percent of what they make each month. President Obama has pledged to encourage colleges to keep their costs down by reducing federal aid for those that do not, investing in colleges that keep tuition affordable and provide good value, doubling the number of work-study jobs available to students, and continuing to ensure that students have access to federal loans with reasonable interest rates. We invested more than $2.5 billion in savings from reforming our student loan system to strengthen our nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska, Hawaiian Native Institutions, Asian American and Pacific Islander Institutions, and other Minority Serving Institutions. These schools play an important role in creating a diverse workforce, educating new teachers, and producing the next generation of STEM workers...

STEM stands for science/technology/engineering/math, by the way.

So, dag nabbit, every kid's gonna go to college.  You vill do it and you vill like it—ve haff vays of making you like it.

And we'll just keep printing money and borrowing from China and turning the thumbscrews on uncooperative colleges for as long as it takes. 

Oh, and there is no higher education bubble, the one we rednecks have written about here, herehere, and here.

However, Pundette writes

...Obama's obsolete idea that college should be the default option for every young person is not only way behind the curve but harmful to the kids and the economy.

That observation sprang from a column by Mike Rowe:

...mikeroweWORKS grew out of a TV show called Dirty Jobs. If by some chance you are not glued to The Discovery Channel every Wednesday at 10pm, allow me to...introduce myself...

When Dirty Jobs premiered back in 2003, critics called the show “a calamity of exploding toilets and misadventures in animal husbandry.” They weren’t exactly wrong. But mostly, Dirty Jobs was an unscripted celebration of hard work and skilled labor. It still is. Every week, we highlight regular people who do the kind of jobs most people go out of their way to avoid. My role on the show is that of a “perpetual apprentice.” In that capacity I have completed over three hundred different jobs, visited all fifty states, and worked in every major industry.
 
Though schizophrenic and void of any actual qualifications, my resumé looks pretty impressive, and when our economy officially crapped the bed in 2008, I was perfectly positioned to weigh in on a variety of serious topics. A reporter from The Wall Street Journal called to ask what I thought about the “counter-intuitive correlation between rising unemployment and the growing shortage of skilled labor.” CNBC wanted my take on outsourcing. Fox News wanted my opinions on manufacturing and infrastructure. And CNN wanted to chat about currency valuations, free trade, and just about every other work-related problem under the sun.
 
In each case, I shared my theory that most of these “problems” were in fact symptoms of something more fundamental – a change in the way Americans viewed hard work and skilled labor. That’s the essence of what I’ve heard from the hundreds of men and women I’ve worked with on Dirty Jobs. Pig farmers, electricians, plumbers, bridge painters, jam makers, blacksmiths, brewers, coal miners, carpenters, crab fisherman, oil drillers…they all tell me the same thing over and over, again and again – our country has become emotionally disconnected from an essential part of our workforce.  We are no longer impressed with cheap electricity, paved roads, and indoor plumbing. We take our infrastructure for granted, and the people who build it.
 
Today, we can see the consequences of this disconnect in any number of areas, but none is more obvious than the growing skills gap. Even as unemployment remains sky high, a whole category of vital occupations has fallen out of favor, and companies struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. The causes seem clear. We have embraced a ridiculously narrow view of education. Any kind of training or study that does not come with a four-year degree is now deemed “alternative.” Many viable careers once aspired to are now seen as “vocational consolation prizes,” and many of the jobs this current administration has tried to “create” over the last four years are the same jobs that parents and teachers actively discourage kids from pursuing. (I always thought there something ill-fated about the promise of three million “shovel ready jobs” made to a society that no longer encourages people to pick up a shovel.)...
Absolutely, positively, read the whole thing. Then go back and re-read the higher education plank from the Dem platform, above.
 
And Dems say Republicans are out of touch?
 

Leaked! The Secret Agenda of the Democratic National Convention

And I'm sure CSPAN will offer coverage without any talking heads:

 
 7:00 pm OPENING FLAG BURNING
 7:15 pm PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
 7:20 pm Max Baucus PROPOSES A TOAST TO Barack Obama
 7:25 pm OPENING PRAYER - Reverend Jeremiah Wright
 7:45 pm CEREMONIAL TREE HUGGING - Darryl Hannah
 7:55 pm Max Baucus PROPOSES A TOAST TO Darryl Hannah
 8:00 pm GLOBAL WARMING OMFG!!!!!!!!! - Al Gore
 8:30 pm WHY FOURTH TRIMESTER ABORTIONS MATTER - Barbara Boxer
 8:55 pm Max Baucus PROPOSES A TOAST TO Barbara Boxer
 9:00 pm CHARGING OUR TROOPS WITH WAR CRIMES - John Kerry
 9:30 pm MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SADDAM HUSSEIN AND MUAMMAR GADDAFI - Cindy Sheehan and Susan Sarandon
 9:55 pm INCOHERENT RAMBLING ABOUT COWBOY POETRY, ETC. - Harry Reid
10:00 pm Max Baucus PROPOSES A TOAST TO Susan Sarandon
10:05 pm COLLECTION DRIVE FOR THE OSAMA BIN LADEN MEMORIAL FUND - Cher
10:30 pm FREE THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS FROM GUANTANAMO BAY - Sean Penn
11:00 pm OVAL OFFICE AFFAIRS - William Jefferson Clinton
11:45 pm Max Baucus PROPOSES A TOAST TO Susan Sarandon's Rack
11:50 pm A PLEA FOR MASS PARDONS OF THE OCCUPY WALL STREET RAPISTS - Howard Dean
12:15 am FREE THE MINUTEMEN IN AFGHANISTAN'S PRISONS - Michael Moore
12:25 am Max Baucus PROPOSES A TOAST TO Jessica Alba
12:30 am SATELLITE ADDRESS - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
12:45 am NOMINATION OF BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA - Nancy Pelosi
12:55 am Barack Obama ACCEPTS NOMINATION, GRAMMY, AND TONY AWARDS
1:15 am THE TRUE STORY: HOW I KILLED BIN LADEN - Barack Obama
1:25 am Max Baucus SINGS NATIONAL ANTHEM
1:30 am CORONATION OF BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
1:55 am Max Baucus PROPOSES A TOAST TO Mitt McRyan
2:00 am Bill Clinton asks Max Baucus to drive Hillary home.
 
Blogger Maetenloch at Ace of Spades says, "Apparently the ritual stoning of the Boy Scouts and candlelight memorial for the victims of Mitt Romney have been moved to later in the week."
 
Heh.
 

Monday is National Empty Chair Day!

Every day from now until November 6th should be National Empty Chair Day:

“We own this country . . . Politicians are employees of ours . . .

And when somebody does not do the job, we’ve got to let them go.”

–Clint Eastwood

h/t Tom

The progressives are always helping the poor, aren't they?

Remember this Van Jones interview that first surfaced just about three years ago?

So, we're going to stop the oppression—not to mention outright poisoning—of poor people by "gray capitalism" by replacing it with "green eco-capitalism."

Maybe not.

Cornell Professor Robert Frank wrote in a NYT op-ed recently that

...Climatologists are the first to acknowledge that theirs is a highly uncertain science. The future might be better than they think. Then again, it might be much worse. Given that risk, policy makers must weigh the potential cost of action against the potential cost of inaction. And even a cursory look at the numbers makes a compelling case for action...
 

...The good news is that we could insulate ourselves from catastrophic risk at relatively modest cost by enacting a steep carbon tax. Early studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that a carbon tax of up to $80 per metric ton of emissions — a tax that might raise gasoline prices by 70 cents a gallon — would eventually result in climate stability. But because recent estimates about global warming have become more pessimistic, stabilization may require a much higher tax. How hard would it be to live with a tax of, say, $300 a ton?...

Read the whole thing.

More policy-making based on "it's a fact that it's a possibility" reasoning.

And maybe the question the professor should have asked—but didn't—was who would have the hardest time living with such a tax?

Robert Zubrin at NRO answers that question with, you know, arithmetic:

...A ton of carbon dioxide contains 248 kilograms of carbon, so a tax of $300 per ton of CO2 would be equivalent to taxing carbon at a rate of $1.21 per kg...
 

...Coal is about 90 percent carbon by weight. The green tax would thus multiply the cost of coal by nearly a factor of 40. A thousand cubic feet of natural gas contains about 18 kg of carbon. Taxing its carbon at a rate of $1.21 per kg would thus increase the price of a thousand cubic feet of natural gas from its current level of $2.50 to about $24.30, a tenfold increase. A barrel of oil contains about 110 kg of carbon. The green tax would thus hike the price Americans pay for oil by $133 per barrel over the world price (i.e., to about $230 per barrel today). As coal and natural gas provide the energy to produce not only the bulk of the nation’s electric power, but also most of its steel, aluminum, fertilizer, pesticides, food, plastics, electronics, glass, and many other products, and as oil provides the fuel to transport them, the cost of all of these would soar as well.

So who ends up paying? Under America’s current tax system, the top 5 percent of income earners pay 59 percent of all federal income taxes, the next 45 percent pay 39 percent, and the bottom half pays next to nothing. But because basic commodities such as food, electricity, and fuel are bought in similar amounts per capita regardless of income (i.e., a working-class family living on $30,000 per year in Harlem uses about the same amount of electricity and food as the family of a money manager living on $30 million per year on Park Avenue; and rural Americans, of whatever class, spend much more on gasoline than either), the $2.78 trillion green tax would be spread nearly evenly on all Americans, not as a fixed “flat tax” percentage of income, but as a fixed cost regardless of income.
 
Divided evenly among 300 million Americans, the green tax works out to a burden of $9,270 imposed on every man, woman, and child. While this would be a pittance for the most affluent Americans, it would take away 40 percent of the total income of a family of four supported by two wage earners making the average U.S. salary of $45,000 each, and it would be a virtually fatal burden for the poor...
 
So the party that has always touted itself as the party of the poor and working people would, with such a green tax plan, declare war on the poor and working people.
 
Democrats don't drive past the hood of their car.
 
Vote Republican!
 
h/t Tom
 

No Country for Old Men...


...like Barack Obama.

The transcript of the speech is here.

The jawbone of an ass

"The jawbone of an ass is just as dangerous a weapon today as it was in Sampson's time." -- Richard Nixon

So I figure this guy

just wielded one of these in Tampa:

First, Maine delegates were replaced with Romney people. Then, rules chairman John Sununu and GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner stood on stage at the RNC to rule on the compromise rules report. No minority report was mentioned. When asked for yeas and nays on the report, the room seemed equally divided. Boehner forged ahead and approved the report over loud boos and calls of “point of order” from activists on the floor.

No vote on the minority report.

FW’s Dean Clancy observes: “If @SpeakerBoehner had been wielding the Speaker’s gavel instead of the GOP convention gavel, he wouldn’t have gotten away with that trick.”

By all means, read the whole thing.

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