Sunday, September 02, 2012

Cruising the Web

Mark Steyn notes that Republicans get "carded" now for racism just as they get carded for buying alcohol. And all this hand wringing about supposed racism in Republican speeches just serves as a distraction.
Time’s Mark Halperin wrote this week that “Obama can’t win if he can’t swing the conversation away from the economy.” That’s a pretty amazing admission. The economy is the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters, and, beyond that, the central reality of Obama’s America. But to win the president has to steer clear. That doesn’t leave a lot else. Hence, the racism of golf, the war on women, the carcinogenic properties of Mitt Romney.

George Will lampoons the way that so-called progressives now want to halt any sort of change or progress.

Steven Malanga explains why so many of New York's legislators are getting hauled off to jail.
One cause of persistent scandal is the unusual role that taxpayer-funded nonprofits play in New York's political life. Politically ambitious people use these neighborhood groups as a stepping stone to elected office, and then they place their friends, families and allies in key positions thanks to loose rules governing funding. No surprise that scandal follows.

As James Taranto points out, the Democrats are freaking out because they can't take it when Republicans laugh at them and their guy.
It is healthy for America that the president be criticized and even mocked. Deference to a Dear Leader has no place in a democracy. It's healthy for race relations, too, that he be judged on his record rather than held to a lower standard in the name of racial progress. When a black politician is treated just like any other politician, that's genuine progress.

If Obama had been subject to the usual rigors of politics in 2008 and before, and if his backers in the media and elsewhere had not been so keen before and during his presidency to deflect criticism by invoking race, he probably would have a thicker skin, better arguments and a deeper understanding of America. Those qualities would make an incumbent a better bet for re-election. Then again, without the racial symbolism and all the accompanying baggage, he probably would still be the junior senator from Illinois (if that). Life is full of trade-offs.

Michael Walsh explains how the Romney campaign's efforts to take midwestern states such as Wisconsin and MIchigan is the political equivalent of Ulysses Grant's Vicksburg campaign. It's a bit of a stretch, but fun to contemplate.

The only way for Democrat Jon Tester to win in Montana is to trumpet how he voted against Obama. Of course, that ignores how he voted for Obamacare. The Montana state GOP is countering Tester's claims by giving him an "I heart Obamacare" bumper sticker.

The Obama campaign lies even in their accusations that Romney is lying.

William A. Jacobson links to this mash-up of the ad for Detroit that Clint Eastwood narrated for the Super Bowl and Eastwood's talk at the convention. They actually fit together rather nicely.

Remembering last summer when Obama chose to fundraise in one part of Iowa rather than visit a flood-damaged area in another part of the state. And unlike Louisiana which is going to go Republican in November, Obama's choice last year was in Iowa which is now becoming a swing state.

Thomas Sowell reflects on Obama's attitude to intellectual debate.
After reading Barack Obama's book "Dreams from My Father," it became painfully clear that he has not been searching for the truth, because he assumed from an early age that he had already found the truth — and now it was just a question of filling in the details and deciding how to change things.

Obama did not simply happen to encounter a lot of people on the far-left fringe during his life.

As he spells out in his book, he actively sought out such people. There is no hint of the slightest curiosity on his part about other visions of the world that might be weighed against the vision he had seized upon.

As Professor Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago Law School has pointed out, Obama made no effort to take part in the marketplace of ideas with other faculty members when he was teaching a law course there.

What would be the point, if he already knew the truth and knew that they were wrong?
The closing of Obama's mind is clear in his ignorance of history and economics.

John Hawkins presents his favorite 30 quotes from the Republican convention.

Should we care that Paul Ryan gave the wrong time for a marathon that he ran in 1991? I heard the interview with Hugh Hewitt in which Ryan claimed to have run the marathon in under three hours and now it is clear that he took about an hour off his time. Hewitt, who runs marathons, was quite impressed and talked about Ryan's time the rest of the evening. Was this just a case of faded memories leading to braggadocio? The Democrats sure would like to see it as emblematic of Ryan's supposed lack of honesty. The Yin Blog notes that some of Ryan's critics are probably the same people who thought it was just fine for Bill Clinton to have lied about sex. I suspect that this will be another Rashomon-like moment with liberals and conservatives having different reactions ranging from outrage to a shoulder shrug.

This video of a teacher leading students in bullying and abusing a fellow student in class is astounding. And what is truly mind-blowing is that the teacher did not get fired immediately. Instead he's just been transferred to another school while the school superintendent says that the teacher didn't deserve firing because it was just one incident in a 13-year career as a teacher. What does it take to get rid of a teacher? And would he even have gotten in trouble if another student hadn't videotaped the incident on his cell phone?