Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cruising the Web

Happy Halloween! I still remember what a thrill it was to find out that strangers would give me candy and all I had to do was ask for it. What a country!

What a shame. Partisanship is tainting the retirement heaven that is The Villages.

Here's a cute little Lincoln factoid that I hadn't remembered. Find out what he bought on the day he was elected president.

John Yoo explains the federal statutes concerning Election Day. He argues that it is up to the state legislators if they need to do something different than hold the election on Tuesday.

Seven fake Sandy photos that have been circulating around the web.

Oh, gosh! Every disaster that strikes seems to bring out the same stupidity of someone arguing that this will work out to be a good thing for that area's economy. I remember the same idiocy after Katrina and 9/11. Veronique de Rugy puts the smackdown on Peter Morici who made this argument in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

David Ignatius of the Washington Post argues that there are questions on Benghazi that we deserve answers to.

This is a point that I've been pondering for several days: the media cheered on Cindy Sheehan when she took her anguish over her son's death into attacks on President Bush. Ty Woods' father has been much more restrained than Sheehan, but the MSM just ignores his questions about what happened in Benghazi that ended with his son's death. The contrast is startling evidence on how biased the media is.

Jonah Goldberg has also been pondering the "media Benghazi bugout."

Is there anything that liberals won't use as an argument to increase the size of the federal government?

Apparently, only liberals are allowed to politicize a hurricane.
Greenpeace cares more about saving whales than children.

Major Garrett explains why it is not likely that Romney could win the popular vote and lose the electoral vote. However, it is possible that Hurricane Sandy could alter everyone's math. However, Nate Cohn pours cold water on the idea that Romney could win Pennsylvania. Matthew Kaminski, however, sees some hope for Romney in suburban Philadelphia. It will all come down to the sort of turnout that Obama can get from his base in Philadelphia.

Rich Lowry analyzes the insulting patronizing message Obama has for women.
The likes of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton argued that women were just as capable of rational deliberation as men. The conceit of the Obama campaign is that, to the contrary, they are quite susceptible to a few powerful dog whistles and unable to see beyond their gender. To paraphrase a notorious post on the Obama campaign’s Tumblr page, “Ladies vote like their lady parts depend on it.”
Bob Krumm explains why liberals remain so optimistic about this election. He also explains why Romney supporters shouldn't get excited by Gallup's survey of early voting with Romney leading Obama by 7% among early voters.

Obama says that the reason he made that comment to Medvedev about having more flexibility after the election was simply because he'd have more time when he wasn't campaigning to pay attention to foreign policy and negotiate a treaty with Russia. Oh, come on! As if he would be the one personally negotiating the treaty. Some diplomat would negotiate it and the President would swoop in for the signing ceremony. He made that comment back in March. So is he admitting that he hasn't been able to pay suitable attention to foreign policy all year?

Why do pop psychologists think that they can psychoanalyze people from afar and then turn their analysis to politicians. Newsweek, demonstrating why they have lost readership steadily over the past decade, publishes a pseudo-scientific analysis of the brains of the candidates and how much testosterone and estrogen, serotonin, and dopamine they have coursing through their systems.

Gallup reports that its polling shows that turnout would be less than it was in 2004 and 2008.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cruising the web

I voted yesterday. I love the location for early voting in my area. It is set at a community center and they have us walk through the woods so that we come in from the back door and can exit through the front door. I always enjoy that nature walk through the woods as eager political volunteers hand out their brochures - I love that combination of civic virtue and nature. I even shook the hand of the Democratic candidate for governor here in North Carolina, Walter Dalton, who is purportedly headed for a deep defeat. I'm not sure what it gets a gubernatorial candidate to shake a handful of hands outside an early voting site, but I was polite and didn't tell him I'd be voting against him. It always impresses me how many volunteers we get to serve at the polls. There seemed to be dozens of people there to move us along quickly. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. There was no waiting at all and everyone was so friendly and cheerful. It always puts me in a good mood. I hope that there will be no problems in voting for those in the path of the storm and that election officials will be able to get their election machines and volunteers to work for election day. My thoughts keep going to those people suffering through this storm.

Polling is going to be even more problematical for this election. Horrors! Poll junkies like me will just have to, you know, actually wait for election day to learn what is going to happen. Eek. It reminds me of the time when the networks had to throw out all their exit polls and just report the vote counts as they came in without being able to project the winners using any exit polls. I can't remember what year that was - maybe 2002 - but I remember how the anchors on TV election night had to spin things without any news to report. This may be the same this year. Though if you want to read about what the polls say up to Hurricane Sandy, Josh Jordan has a good summary. And Guy Benson tries to make sense of Gallup's report that Romney leads 52/46 among the 15% of early voters. It's not limited to swing states so it could be that Romney's numbers are being run up in red states that don't matter so much to the outcome, but it is interesting to compare this year's poll of early voters to 2008.

With the nation watching destruction wreaked by nature, it is so disconcerting and disgusting to read of fans in San Francisco wreak their own type of destruction to celebrate the Giants win the World Series.

Now Obama is talking about having a "secretary of Business" if he wins reelection. I guess Obama forgot that we already have a Department of Commerce. Just what we need - more government interference in the economy and private business. Jonah Goldberg wonders who would be Obama's SOB.

Jonathan Last defends Nate Silver.

Forget any idea of postponing the election. Obama can't do that unilaterally, of course. Congress would have to quick pass a new law and then states would have to pass laws to comply with that change. The most that could happen is for states to extend voting hours and allow more provisional ballots. The law really is silent on the issue. When people talked about provisional plans to postpone the election in 2004 in case of a terrorist attack, Joe Biden was against it.
“I think that is the worst idea in the world,” Biden said in a 2004 interview on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” according to a transcript. “Essentially acknowledging to the whole world we think we’re going to be attacked before this happens, I think it is absolutely mindless with all due respect.”
A natural disaster is different from a terrorist attack, but we did manage to hold an election in the midst of a Civil War; I think we can do it a week after a hurricane. What might be of more benefit for Congress to do is to allocate emergency funds to send generators and perhaps poll workers to polling stations in the afflicted areas.

Jonah Goldberg wonders why there has been no feeding frenzy on Benghazi compared to the frenzy when news of George Bush's 24-year-old DUI arrest the week before the 2000 election. The media would rather talk about Richard Mourdock's attempt to explain his views on rape and abortion than talk about the accusation that sources on the ground pleaded for seven hours for support during the attack on the consulate in Benghazi and were told to sand down, yet the rest of the media are just ignoring the story. The President has told us that he ordered everything to be done to protect our people there. Well, that wasn't done. So either someone disobeyed orders or Obama lied. Shouldn't we want to find out the truth? As Goldberg writes,
This isn't an "October surprise" foisted on the media by opposition research; it's news.

This story raises precisely the sort of "big issues" the media routinely claim elections should be about. For instance, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last week that the "basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on, without having some real-time information about what's taking place." If real-time video of the attack and communications with Americans on the ground begging for assistance doesn't constitute "real-time information," what does?
If you haven't watched it yet, you should watch Pat Caddell's cri de coeur over the media's lack of coverage over the Benghazi story.
Glenn Reynolds explains why even Obama's supporters should be disappointed in him. And right on cue Richard Cohen writes in the Washington Post about how disappointed he has been in Barack Obama who seems to love himself even more than his fans do. Cohen wishes that Obama could have been a person who cared as much for the poor and downtrodden as Robert F. Kennedy did. One quibble is that Cohen writes that RFK gave his life for his opposition to the war in Vietnam. That is false. He was killed by a Palestinian militant who was angry about Robert Kennedy's support of Israel. Interesting how that fact has gotten written out of history.

I don't understand why Obama even flew to be in Florida yesterday thinking he could get a rally in ahead of the storm. Then he had to abandon those plans and fly back to D.C. because his aides feared he wouldn't be able to fly back into Washington and it would look bad for him not to be able appear as a leader during the hurricane from the nation's capital. They had all the forecasts; why did they even send him down there in the first place? Was he so determined to keep on campaigning that he was willing to risk the bad optics of flying down first and then coming back?

Are swearing grannies really what Michael Moore thinks will sway voters?

Matt Lewis explains why the public doesn't care about Romney's pivot to the center.
But as frustrating as it may be, the one consistent thing Romney's opponents have learned is that voters don't much care about your past flip so long as your current flop is in their direction. In the primary, grassroots conservatives were generally okay with him flipping to their points of view. Now, voters looking for a serious moderate are relieved to see Romney flop their way.

And the truth is that voters often go with their intuition — and at the "gut" level, Romney is a moderate. It's entirely plausible that the reason Romney is now surging — the reason he is now more likeable — is that this Mitt Romney is actually more authentic than the "severely conservative" Mitt Romney.

Either way, politicians should quit expecting voters to care about consistency (even if we agree they should care). Voters aren't like a jury sworn to weigh the evidence and then hold people accountable for past actions or inconsistencies. Instead, they are more like a committee tasked to hire someone for the future.

Expecting someone to be shocked that a politician would move to the right (or left) to win a primary, and then tack to the center, is like Casablanca's Captain Renault being shocked — SHOCKED! — to find gambling at Rick's CafĂ©.
All my sympathies and hopes for a swift recovery go out to those in the path of the storms.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A campaign in amber

Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake explain how Hurricane Sandy will freeze the 2012 campaign in place. Few, except political junkies like myself, will be paying much attention to the race while the news is dominated by reporting on the damage from the hurricane. A hurricane that is hitting the two major media markets of New York City and Washington, D.C. will turn the focus of the media to the hurricane over the campaign. The candidates will have to change the tone of their message in this last week so that they don't seem unduly harsh.

I'll add in this thought that I had. We hear that the refusal rate in phone polling is about 91%. What do you think is going to happen to the refusal rate to polling phone calls when a significant area of the country is caught up with surviving the hurricane? Polls during the next week may be even more sketchy than usual.

Not the campaign of a winner

Rick Wilson says that the election comes down to the candidate who is closing big rather than the one who is closing ugly.
His campaign grows more shambolic, vicious and noisy by the day. And you might say I’m characterizing the President’s homestretch message this way just because I’m a Republican and strong Romney backer; that’s your right.
But the evidence is clear. More than any policy or issue, the closing month of Obama’s campaign death spasm will be remembered for Big Bird, binders, bayonets and the word “bullsh--ter” (that’s what Obama called Romney in a Rolling Stone interview) — a succession of absurd attempts to mock Romney on the smallest terms, at a time when the stakes couldn’t be larger.
His attempt to get the term “Romnesia” to catch on — the President pushing a too-clever-by-half meme about his opponent supposedly forgetting his own stances — was especially pitiful.
If you really want to know what a campaign cares about, you look at what it’s spending money on. And ad after ad from his campaign seems to address smaller and smaller issues. Obama’s campaign spots of the last month are unintentionally hilarious, and almost entirely tone-deaf. I’ll leave the Lena Dunham ad, which compares voting for the President to having sex, to history, but if Obama doesn’t have the waifish Brooklyn female TV hipster vote locked down, he’s got larger problems than even I suspected.
This isn't the Obama who sent thrills up the legs of the electorate four years ago. This is not the guy who was touted as "the adult in the room" when we were staring into the abyss of economic collapse four years ago.

As Victor Davis Hanson writes, Obama's "appeal to Cool, Inc." may do more to turnoff middle-of-the-road voters than it does to whip up enthusiasm with his young base.
The uncertainty with all this, however, is whether the appeal to Cool, Inc., will really energize the base more than it turns off the undecided middle-of-the-road voter who gets wind of all this pizzazz and thus wonders why Obama jets to Vegas (once an Obama no-no) after the Libyan attack, or why he talks to disc jockeys and not the prime minister of Israel, or why he goes on chat talk shows but does not hold press conferences — and, of course, identifies more with a Lena Dunham’s psychotherapeutic inner voice and angst than with a woman in Ohio or Michigan who may have lost her job or is married to someone who is unemployed, or can’t afford filling her car up at the pump or has no equity in her home or lacks the ability to help her jobless kids pay down their growing student loans. There is a reason, after all, why Sandra Fluke draws ten people to a Vegas shopping center, and why to millions Lena Dunham will sound more self-obsessed than empathetic.
Now all Obama has left is to demonize and ridicule his opponents. He rushed out a glossy pamphlet when even the media started to notice that he didn't have any real proposals for a second term. He is not running as if he's ahead and has a vision of where to take the country. He's trying to energize an enervated and disenchanted base by being the cool guy on Jon Stewart, David Letterman, or in Rolling Stone. But all he has to promise those young people is more free stuff to paid for by themselves if they ever do get a job.

Cruising the Web

Andrew Ferguson watches the Obama campaign and notices how similar it is to the last desperate days of George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Ross Douthat puts forward his explanation of why Obama's support among female voters has been declining. The Obama campaign assumes that women vote mostly on social issues rather than economic issues.

Jonah Goldberg finds and ridicules the inherent contradictions in Obama's approach to technological innovation, the economy, and his derision of Romney's defense plan just being a game of Battleship.

Frank Bruni, a liberal and Obama supporter, examines why Obama isn't doing as well as he should be in this election. He discounts the usual explanations and argues that Obama had massive advantages in this election and he squandered them.
The main cause for this contest’s closeness is arguably Obama — and the ways in which he has disappointed, confused and alienated some of the voters who warmed and even thrilled to him four years ago. During his first term, he at times misjudged and mishandled his Republican opposition. As a communicator, he repeatedly failed to sell his policies clearly and forcefully enough.

His tone is markedly changed from 2008, a tactical decision that may not be the right one. And his moments of genuine oratorical transcendence are interspersed, as they’ve always been, with spells of detachment, defensiveness, disgruntlement. Denver wasn’t the first or only time that he seemed put out by the madness of the political merry-go-round, even though it’s a whirl he himself elected.
And that is what a supporter says about him. Imagine what the rest of us are seeing.

This seems a pretty accurate prediction of what we may hear if Romney wins.

Jonah Goldberg dissects the Panetta doctrine that we shouldn't "deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on." As Goldberg points out this would mean that we would never use forces to repel a surprise attack. That's a heck of a message to send terrorists.

The former head writer from "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" recalls how an applause meter used while asking the audience whom they were supporting had better predictive value than the polls in 1980, 1984, and 1988. It's also pleasant to remember when a late-night comedy show really was non-partisan.

Jay Cost examines the polls and pinpoints Obama's problem - he is losing independents to Romney. Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post sees the same problem for Obama but thinks it is because independents aren't really independent and GOP-leaning independents are more fired up than Democratic-leaning independents.

My younger daughter who lives in Maryland pointed me to this story demonstrating the economic theory of Bootleggers and Baptists by how West Virginia casino owners and anti-gambling groups are uniting to oppose spreading gambling in Maryland.

Brad Smith explains why, as a libertarian, he's voting for Mitt Romney.

Here is a reminder of what the Ohio polls looked like at this point in 2004. I'd forgotten how nerve-wracking that was back then.

When will Democrats understand that Obama's vision of women is demeaning and patronizing? We are much more than our "ladyparts."

This shows how very serious the Obama campaign is about going "Forward!". They've taken the extraordinary step of adding an exclamation mark.

David Axelrod can't defend the negativity of Obama's campaign except by attacking Romney and Republicans. They're ignoring the conventional wisdom that the last weeks of a campaign should be stressing the positive reasons to vote for their guy rather than the negative reasons to vote against the other guy.

This is amusing - see how a Republican and a Democrat would annotate the other side's PR memos about how well their side is doing in Ohio.

Bob Krumm has a typically insightful and data-driven post debunking the optimism of the Obama team.

Jonathan Last ponders whether the "collective, public freak out" on the left after the first debate in this age of Twitter might have harmed Obama more than the actual debate. I've been thinking that, sometime after the election if Romney wins, I should rewatch that debate and see if the CW that quickly congealed about it was worse for Obama than it should have been.

Surprise! The much touted plan of President Obama to reduce college costs is still a mirage.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

So what does the President do when he takes responsibility?

After Hillary Clinton beat the President to playing the responsibility card, the President chimed in to say he also takes responsibility. This is what he said in an interview with MSNBC to be aired on Monday.
“What my attitude on this is is if we find out there was a big breakdown and somebody didn’t do their job, they’ll be held accountable,” said Obama in an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, according to a report on that network’s website.

“Ultimately as Commander-in-Chief I am responsible and I don’t shy away from that responsibility," Obama added.
Well, what exactly does that mean - to take responsibility? Does it mean being the guy who comes in after the fact to criticize those who made the wrong decisions in the first place? Sometimes that is all that a leader can do. No one expects him to be aware of the multitude of quotidian decisions being made in the federal government.

Though when it comes to national security we do have the right to expect that the President is being made aware of hot spots around the globe particularly in situations where he has sent Americans. We expect him to be asking pertinent and demanding questions of those briefing him - not just reading the reports on his blackberry while he's out campaigning. Shouldn't he have already known that parts of Libya were still under very ominous threats from terrorist groups especially when there had already been several attacks on westerners in that part of Libya? I'd read that on the internet myself before September 11. Did Obama ever ask about these attacks and what was being done to assure ourselves of the safety of Americans who might be in the region including our own diplomats?

And when news of the attack in Benghazi was known in Washington so that people in the State Department were watching it as it unfolded, what was the President doing and what advice was he getting.

William Kristol has some good questions for the White House about whom the President was consulting with on September 11 while the seven-hour battle was going on in Benghazi.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD understands that it will take some time to "gather all the facts" about what happened on the ground in Benghazi. But presumably the White House already has all the facts about what happened that afternoon and evening in Washington—or, at least, in the White House. The president was, it appears, in the White House from the time the attack on the consulate in Benghazi began, at around 2:40 pm ET, until the end of combat at the annex, sometime after 9 p.m. ET. So it should be possible to answer these simple questions as to what the president did that afternoon and evening, and when he did it, simply by consulting White House meeting and phone records, and asking the president for his recollections.

1.) To whom did the president give the first of his "three very clear directives"—that is, "make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to?"

2.) How did he transmit this directive to the military and other agencies?

3.) During the time when Americans were under attack, did the president convene a formal or informal meeting of his national security council? Did the president go to the situation room?

4.) During this time, with which members of the national security team did the president speak directly?

5.) Did Obama speak by phone or teleconference with the combatant commanders who would have sent assistance to the men under attack?

6.) Did he speak with CIA director David Petraeus?

7.) Was the president made aware of the repeated requests for assistance from the men under attack? When and by whom?

8.) Did he issue any directives in response to these requests?

9.) Did the president refuse to authorize an armed drone strike on the attackers?

10.) Did the president refuse to authorize a AC-130 or MC-130 to enter Libyan airspace during the attack?
The CIA has denied that they denied any request for help for those on the ground and the White House has issued its own denial. So it seems that it is all on Leon Panetta's shoulders. But didn't the President get consulted at all during these discussions? The President is saying that we need an investigation to find out what was wrong, but presumably he should be able to find out pretty quickly what was going on in Washington D.C. as decisions were being made. And Kristol further points out that the White House was quick to send out information to the media about an hour-long phone call that he had with Benjamin Netanyahu that very same day. It was important to get that information to the press to alleviate criticisms that he had snubbed the Israeli prime minister by not meeting with him earlier when he was in New York at the U.N.
While Americans were under assault in Benghazi, the president found time for a non-urgent, politically useful, hour-long call to Prime Minister Netanyahu. And his senior national staff had to find time to arrange the call, brief the president for the call, monitor it, and provide an immediate read-out to the media. I suspect Prime Minister Netanyahu, of all people, would have understood the need to postpone or shorten the phone call if he were told that Americans were under attack as the president chatted. But for President Obama, a politically useful telephone call—and the ability to have his aides rush out and tell the media about that phone call—came first.

So here are a few more questions for the White House: While President Obama was on the phone for an hour, did his national security advisor Tom Donilon or any other aide interrupt the call or slip him a piece of paper to inform him about what was happening in Benghazi? Or was President Obama out of the loop for at least an hour as events unfolded and decisions were made? On the other hand, national security staff were obviously with the president during and immediately after the phone call—otherwise how could they have put out their statement right away? Surely his aides told the president about what was happening in Benghazi. Was there then no discussion of what was or what wasn't being done to help, pursuant to the president's first directive that everything possible be done?
Now we're hearing leaks that the President was indeed watching this as it unfolded in real time. Literally watching it, as Biden might say. That makes sense. We have the capability and had the drone in place transmitting pictures. With the President in the White House, wouldn't he have watched some of this unfold? There had to have been discussions as this was going on of what to do. The Secretary of Defense had to have consulted with the President. He would need permission either way to send military help or not send military help. If the rumors are true that the CIA in Benghazi was painting a target on the ground and calling in air support, why would they have been doing that if there was not an armed air attack that could have been called in?

The White House was quite happy to distribute a picture of Obama in the Situation Room while the raid on Osama bin Laden was going on. They even have cooperated with a Hollywood filmmaker to make a movie about the raid and one of their big supporters is tweaking his own film to give more credit to Obama as his film will air days before the election. The information that the White House leaked has even landed the doctor in Pakistan who helped us identify OBL's remains into a Pakistani prison. So they have no compunction about leaks of what should be classified information when it makes their guy look good. Is that what Obama's idea of responsibility truly is?

What about now? He can mouth words about taking ultimate responsibility but it sure doesn't seem that he is doing anything to own up to what taking responsibility really means when something doesn't go right and may tarnish his image as the guy who killed OBL and has al Qaeda on the run.

No wonder that both he and his administration preferred to mislead the American public that it was all about some video instead of acknowledging that he had misjudged the damage to al Qaeda and that it was still a threat, one against which he had not protected Americans on the ground beforehand and presumably while the attack was going on. Instead they are spinning madly and sending blame anywhere but at the man who then goes on TV to claim that he is ultimately responsible. Well, if that is so, how about acting like it?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cruising the Web

No surprise here - it turns out the big move by Gloria Allred to hurt Mitt Romney turns out to be an enormous nothingburger, just as the supposedly big announcement by Donald Trump. Can this be the week when we bury these two blowhards and ignore them from now on?

Rich Lowry is distinctly unimpressed by Obama's glossy pamphlet that supposedly touts his second term agenda.
The pamphlet is quite a comedown for the president. Gone are the days when he was over-promising. Now, he’s trying to cover for his lack of anything new to promise. The Berlin speech in 2008 and the second-term pamphlet are the antipodes of the Obama phenomenon. He has gone from airy and grandiose to airy and picayune in the span of four short years.

A group of Seals say we'll see your politically motivated movie on killing OBL with our own anti-Obama ad.

Bob Krumm has another very perceptive post comparing 2012 to Bush's reelection race in 2004 to explain why Obama is not doing as well as Bush was at this point in the election.

If Romney does win, he'll have up to ten Democratic senators from states that Romney may well win this year. Thus he'll have some room to work with those senators on some grand compromise when it comes to addressing the economy.

Liberals pretend to be so concerned for the poor, but just take a look at the results of their policies and what they've done to the poor in states like Illinois and California. In Illinois, they are paying so much in pensions for public workers that it is estimated that in just five years, "if the projected deficits were paid for by borrowing, debt service costs would grow to consume all sales tax and income tax collections." This is what happens when a state is run for years by Democrats throughout the government. Let it be a warning to the rest of the country.

When Obama talks about Romney's flip-flops, he ignores his own history of flip-flopping.

We may be waiting until Nov. 17 to find out how the vote went in Ohio. What a mess!

I think that, when we look back at this election, we will point to the arrogant smallness of the Obama campaign as a fatal mistake. Or as Peggy Noonan writes, it was illuminating to see the real Obama in the debates.

Spending on White House dinners has soared under Obama. Some of his dinners cost close to $5000 per person.
And for an added bonus there is a whiff of crony capitalism as Obama outsources event planning to a supporter of his rather than using White House staff to plan the events as previous presidents have done.

Obama campaign throws swing voters under the bus

The Obama campaign thinks it is so cool and cutting edge. Now it's running an online ad starring Lena Dunham, creator of the show "Girls," to encourage young women to take as much consideration into voting for the first time for Obama as they do in choosing the first man they have sex with. If you haven't seen it already, follow the link and watch.

Conservatives have been having lots of fun on Twitter ridiculing this appeal to young women and sex. Romney supporters are pointing out to the barely employed cohort of Lena Dunham as represented by her character in her show that perhaps they should be thinking more about getting a job rather than sex when they vote.

Here are some of my favorite Tweets ridiculing the ad.‏
@bdomenech If voting is like sex, you're doing one of them wrong.
@politicalmath Looks like Obama team's "First Time" video as gone viral. I told them this would happen if they didn't use protection.

@thesavvy Women went from "I don't need a man to survive" to "I can't survive without Barack Obama."

@amandacarpenter "First he asked for your wedding gifts, then your yard sales and now he has asked for your daughters."

@LisaDeP College Kids: It's easier to get sex on a regular basis when you have a job. #justsaying #VoteRomney

‏@Cameron_Gray I'm hoping that Romnesia will one day help me forget that Lena Dunham ad

‏@keder Dear college kids: trust me on this, having a job when you graduate is WAY more 'cool' than voting for Barack Obama. I PROMISE. #Mitt2012

‏@benshapiro Nothing says you're courting the women's vote like saying women should have sex with you.

‏@clayjohanson @Messina2012 Not shown: Obama never calls her again, having gotten what he wanted; she ends up with a raging case of herpes.
And what makes this even more ridiculous is that they copied the idea from an ad for Vladimir Putin. Rather telling, isn't it that the Obama campaign looks to Putin for their model?

Is this the only sort of argument that they think appeals to young people - sex? Do they have so little respect for young women that they think that they're only motivated by their lady parts?

Seriously, is this the way that the father of two young girls thinks one should talk to young women? And when will the Obama campaign realize that their task is to win over swing voters? Does this appeal to them? Does it appeal to parents of young women to hear their president air an ad like this? The campaign seems to think that they can target just young people through an ad that will go viral, but they ignore the fact that others see their ads and won't find it cool but disgusting to equate voting for Obama with sex. Somehow I doubt that most Americans don't want to think of sex in conjunction with their president.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cruising the Web

This is a very good ad. They should edit it down and run it on TV.

CNN reports that US Intelligence believes that some of the Benghazi attackers are connected to al Qaeda in Iraq. Hmmm. Why were they there? They're also in Syria. This region is getting more and more treacherous. No wonder the Obama administration preferred to blame a video.

John Podhoretz notes how scared Obama is about losing Jewish voters.
Obama’s determination to make the case that he is Israel’s closest pal is the most potent sign yet that something significant — and potentially threatening to Obama’s re-election hopes — is going on inside the American Jewish community.
As Podhoretz points out, if Obama drops about 20% of the percentage of Jewish votes that he got in 2008, that could make the difference in some key states and not just Florida. That sort of drop from 2008 could mean 15,000 to 20,000 votes in Ohio. I sure hope that those Ohio Jews see through Obama's name-checking of Israel during the debate.

Ross Douthat writes that the Obama campaign is acting like they're losing by the way their acting by going negative and by how they keep changing their message and try to magnify Romney comments on Big Bird and binders.

Paul Ryan gave a great speech on poverty yesterday in Cleveland. It's as powerful a statement on the conservative vision to help the poor as I've seen.

I see that Obama faced the usually tough questions from Jay Leno.

Joel Pollak has an intriguing chart demonstrating how GDP growth completely leveled off as soon as Obamacare was passed. Barack Obama told the Des Moines Register that he has absolutely no regrets about turning his focus from the economy to push Obamacare. And no regrets about how Obamacare has introduced so much uncertainty into the economy and frozen any economic growth that we might have experienced.

Deroy Murdock reminds us of Mitt Romney's basic decency. I've never heard any similar stories about Barack Obama behaving so generously in private to personally help others in need.

Jon Ralston explains why he thinks that Romney is campaigning in Nevada. He may have a slight chance in Nevada, but the real goal is to help the down-ballot candidates.

Jonah Goldberg explains why early voting actually increases partisanship.

Paul Mirengoff puts forth why this election is more like 1980 than 2004.

Daniel Henninger explains why Obama now has a credibility gap.

The WSJ explains how Obama's approach to foreign policy and military strategy demands a bigger Navy than he's budgeting for.

Mary Katharine Ham explains how the gender gap is about men, not women.

Obama went wrong from the get-go

Ben Domenech has a very smart column recognizing that the basic mistake that Barack Obama made from the very beginning of his presidency was to cede the center and allow the far left in his party to craft his big policies.
Every voter who chose Obama in 2008 still wants him to succeed. But not all are convinced he can, and that’s partly because he has stopped trying to be the president he said he’d be. The need to fix Washington, the need for a bridge-building, post-partisan presidency was uppermost in centrist voters’ minds when they elected Obama, and he’d made that the core of his campaign. Washington is still broken – more so than before – and Obama is no longer even trying to mend it… The president’s error wasn’t that he refused to compromise. It was that he compromised so reluctantly, denying himself ownership of his own policies and making every accomplishment seem like a defeat.”

There are a number of reasons this is true, but in surveying the past four years, it’s incredible how much Obama has ceded the big policy decisions to others within his own party, failing to take command of the situations he was presented with. The contrast with Bill Clinton is not just a stylistic or ideological one – it’s a basic approach to dealing with intransigence in ways which allow you to claim victory with a smile instead of grinding your teeth as you defend a policy result no one particularly likes. We should’ve seen this from the get-go considering how Obama conceded leadership on not one but two major policy fights – the unsuccessful push for cap and trade, passed by the House but left to rot in the 60 vote majority Senate, and the ironically named Obamacare, which bears little in common with the health care plans he outlined for the American people in 2008.
He had the overwhelming majority in the Senate and just figured that he'd go for what the liberals had been panting for since the GOP took the Congress in 1994. He totally flipped off any chance of working with the Republicans in Congress, telling them "I won."

As the WSJ writes, Obama lied in that interview when he implied that Mitch McConnell led the Republicans senators led filibusters against his agenda from the beginning. He ignores that he had 60 votes in the Senate from spring of 2009.
By spring 2009, when Minnesota's Al Franken was seated, the White House had 60 votes and a GOP-only filibuster wasn't even possible. "We have the votes. F-- 'em," declared then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, according to the first-100-days chapters of Bob Woodward's new book.

The President is also missing the larger import of the Register's question. As Mr. Obama likes to remind voters now, in 2009 the economy had suffered a financial heart attack and needed to be nurtured back to health. That required careful management and attention to reviving consumer and business confidence.

Yet rather than work with both parties to fashion a growth agenda, he went all-in for a Keynesian spending blowout and subcontracted the details to House Democrats. And rather than wait to see how strongly—and even whether—the economy then recovered, he dove headlong into fighting to pass 40 years of pent-up liberal social policy.

It wasn't merely ObamaCare. The President also tried to impose a cap-and-tax on carbon energy production, end secret ballots for unions via card check, while promising to raise taxes in 2011 until he was stopped when voters elected a GOP House in 2010.

Mr. Obama likes to say he inherited "the most severe economic emergency we've had since the Great Depression," but then he claims that it didn't matter that he staged a two-year fight to remake one-sixth of the economy and threatened to remake another four-sixths.

If recessions following financial crises really are worse than normal, as the President also told the Iowa editors, then why didn't he take special care to postpone legislation that would add new costs to business, undermine confidence and thus weaken the recovery?

Mr. Obama didn't really answer the Register's question, so we will. He didn't focus on the economy because he didn't and still doesn't understand how the private economy works. He doesn't understand that incentives matter, or how government policies and regulation can sabotage growth. He really believes that government is the engine of economic prosperity.

Anyone who thinks the second term will be different should consult Mr. Emanuel's incisive counsel above.

Just ponder a minute to picture an alternate universe where Obama had compromised a bit to bring in some of the moderate Republicans to craft the stimulus or on healthcare. He would have been able to boast about how he had been bipartisan and reached across the aisle. I'm not even daydreaming about his having adopted some of the deeply held beliefs that conservatives have long desired to implement. I'm talking about picking up a few of the RINO senators. But Obama couldn't even do that. He was so arrogant that he figured it didn't care. And so now it is Mitt Romney who is playing the bipartisan card and Obama doesn't have any credibility to even pretend that he'd be able to work better with Republicans in a second term. No one believes that. He can talk all he wants about what he'd like to do in a second term, but why should anyone think he'd be able to do that better after the election if he were to win?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cruising the Web

Well, that puts the lie to their original cover story on Benghazi. Official emails show that within two hours after the attack, an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack.

Even Gawker is tired of Obama's shtick. "2008 called. It wants to know what happened to Barack Obama." Well, he never was that guy in the first place.

The White House is denying Bob Woodward's claim that it was the administration who came up with the idea of sequestration despite Obama's statement that it was Congress that came up with it. They're both at fault since both Congress and Obama signed on to it.
“No one thought it would happen. The idea was to design something … that was so onerous that no one would ever let it happen. Of course, it did, because they couldn’t reach agreement,” he said. “They all believed that the supercommittee was going to come up with a $1.2 trillion deficit-reduction plan, so there would be no sequestration. Of course, the supercommittee failed and so the trigger went off, which has all of these very Draconian cuts.”
But how pitiful is it that we're at the state that the government has to pass some god-awful proposal in order to bind their hands to do what everyone knows has to be done in the first place?

Rich Lowry describes how Barack Obama lives in a bubble where people think he's witty and brilliant. His audiences love his cracks at Romney. His jokes amuse my students - that's basically all they can remember from any of the debates. However, it just doesn't play well beyond his base. And that's what makes the difference in a close election.

Victoria Toensing dissects all the lies in how the Lilly Ledbetter case has been portrayed by the Democrats and the media.

Which candidate talks more about the nation's poor? You'd be surprised.

Obama talked during the debate about how the Navy needs submarines and aircraft carriers these days instead of whatever Romney was talking about. However he's been cutting back on the numbers of each compared to what the Navy brass says it needs.

Here is a touching story about how a dying woman was so eager to vote for Mitt Romney. When her son wrote the Romney campaign about his mother, Ann ROmney called to talk to his mother.

Obama is a man full of disdain. That's why the more Americans get to know him the less they like him. And he doesn't seem to like people much either.

This is new Crossroads ad based on the "Dollar Shaved Club" is great.

Residents of Sderot don't appreciate Obama using them as a campaign talking point. Romney forbore to point out that he had also visited Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum and Sderot just as Obama had.

Obama's real record on Israel should help those who care about Israel's fate to see beyond his smooth-sounding rhetoric in the debate. His coldness to Israel goes much beyond his snubs of Benjamin of Netanyahu.

Josh Jordan aka @Numbersmuncher offers Romney supporters hope in Ohio despite polls showing Obama ahead.

Obama has a Louis XIV complex.

Obama is making phony claims about how many jobs have been created on his watch. He's counting only from March 2012 and ignoring the 4.3 million jobs that were lost in his first year. The only way he can sell himself to Americans these days is to lie about his record and the turn around and lie again about Romney.

Obama still doesn't have a second-term agenda

Facing criticism from several in the media that he wasn't giving voters a reason to vote for him by not presenting an agenda for a second term. the Obama campaign issued a booklet yesterday that purports to be that agenda. So, two weeks out from the election he suddenly has a plan. As you might expect, there is not much there there. The WSJ has looked through the booklet and describes how empty it is.
Voters may okey doke themselves if they believe this document, which is heavy on backward-looking and discredited factoids and light on economic specifics. For example, Mr. Obama wants to spend money to hire 100,000 math and science teachers for public schools. Isn't that what happened in 2009? And didn't his own Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, say that class size barely matters to education outcomes?

The President says he'll use community colleges to train another two million workers "for good jobs that actually exist," perhaps to distinguish these from the jobs he said the 2009 stimulus would create but actually didn't. And he says he'll create a million new manufacturing jobs by 2016 via a new temporary tax credit for U.S. companies that expand domestic hiring.

All of this is merely a kind of Junior Achievement version of the stimulus, trying to create jobs with more government spending that isn't affordable, or temporary tax favors that fail because they are, well, temporary. Businesses hire based on total employee costs, not one-off tax benefits. Since 2009 the country has lost 610,000 net manufacturing jobs, despite such preferences.
There is some empty rhetoric pretending that he supports our oil and gas energy production although he is still predicting that in 23 years 80% of our electricity will come from "clean" energy sources. So it's obvious he doesn't mean his talk about supporting gas and coal.

So what else is he promising? Not immigration reform. That is ignored as I guess he hopes that Hispanics will believe his promises just as they believed him before his first election.

Otherwise, all he is promising is more of the same.
Perhaps you've heard that the President wants to raise taxes on the top 2% of U.S. taxpayers. If you haven't, well, the pamphlet mentions that once or twice. Left unsaid is that this plan increases revenue only between $50 billion and $80 billion a year, a rounding error in the $1 trillion-plus deficit era. Mr. Obama does claim to have a plan to reduce the gap by $4 trillion over the next decade. Mostly this comes from unwinding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are already being unwound and assorted budget gimmicks.

But what about a grand budget bargain? Won't that be Mr. Obama's crowning second-term achievement? The pamphlet's sections on health care and entitlements show that his real budget priority is to preserve all of the government he expanded in the first term.

He promises to protect the Affordable Care Act from repeal or Republican amendments. He also says he'll "protect retirement security" by opposing "efforts to gamble Social Security in the stock market"—which no one is proposing—and "stop proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher system." Having thus stopped serious entitlement reform, he'll be left to fiddle around the edges with the usual cuts to providers or reducing benefits for seniors he thinks are "rich."

Mr. Obama's real agenda is to lock in the historic spending levels of 24% or 25% that he achieved in his first term, with ObamaCare spending set to grow by leaps and bounds after he's left office. Taxes and spending are already set to rise unless Congress acts to stop it, and the President won't let House Republicans do that.

One of Mr. Romney's most effective arguments is that Mr. Obama's second term will reprise his first. The President's new-old pamphlet with new-old ideas proves Mr. Romney's point. The guy is tapped out.
So Romney is right to ask why we should believe that anything would be different in our economy in a second term under Obama. All he's proposing is more of the same. It hasn't worked yet and there is no reason to believe it would work if we did more of it. A vote for Obama is a vote for our economic situation to continue.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cruising the Web

Chris Christie takes just a few minutes to just demolish Obama and his claim that you can't change government from the inside.

Think that this campaign is ugly. Well, it has nothing on our first dirty presidential campaign in 1796.

Nancy Pelosi is maneuvering behind the scenes to try to block Steny Hoyer's rising to leadership against her.

Leaders around the world are just waking up to the idea that Obama might not win this election.

Just in case you doubted that Obama went on an apology tour, here are some clips from that tour.

Josh Jordan takes down "Nate Silver's Flawed Model." Basically Silver underweighs polls that are good for Romney and overweighs those that are good for Obama.

Slate is right there to ell us all the ways that our military still uses bayonets today.

Thomas Sowell asks if there is anything that Obama hasn't deceived us about?

Awww. One of Romney's grandsons asked Obama "What do you have against my granddad?"

Obama's advisers are already backpedaling on Obama's statement that sequestration won't happen.

Thoughts on the last debate

I think this debate was a good argument to have only two presidential debate.

I think Bob Schieffer did a very nice job - I like the moderators to just stay out of the way and let the candidates hash it out.

I don't think that Obama did much for his likability numbers tonight. He was snark, arrogant and condescending. I guess that is his way of compensating for his lackluster performance in the first debate. But the Obama we saw tonight was the guy who told Hillary, "You're likable enough, Hillary." Just not a very likable guy.

Chris Wallace just said that if he'd come here from out of space, he'd have thought that Romney was the president and Obama the challenger. I'm not sure that space aliens understand our political system, but the shorter version of Wallace's comment is that Romney is presidential and Obama isn't.

The two fact-checks that Chris Wallace just did on the Status of Forces Agreement and Romney on bailout were in Romney's favor.

I guess Romney decided that he didn't want to be on the attack for this debate to slash Obama on Benghazi and some other points. He showed that he knows the foreign policy and passed the commander-in-chief test. He gambled that it was better to come off as the nicer guy who is willing to work in a bipartisan fashion rather than being the angry warrior that Obama is.

I kept remembering the SNL skit from 1988 when Jon Lovitz played Michael Dukakis saying "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy." Obama seemed to have that look on his face the entire debate.

At times Obama seemed like the unsmiling equivalent of Joe Biden in the vice presidential debate. I don't think that plays well.

Here are some thoughts from others on the debate.

Michael Barone was struck by the degree to which there was consensus between Romney and Obama last night.

Philip Klein thinks that Romney just wanted to run out the clock while denying Obama the chance to paint him as a Bush clone.

Robert Costa says that Romney's strategy was indeed to project a "relaxed, informed Romney" with Obama's arrogant, defensive demeanor.

Jonathan Tobin notes that Obama is worried about the Jewish vote as we can tell by the way he hugged Israel last night. And Obama performed last night as if he knew he was behind but he failed in his goal to paint Romney as a dangerous extremist.

Matt K. Lewis thought that Romney won the debate because he stayed "calm and disciplined, typically spouting non controversial platitudes, “hugging” Obama on areas where his policies are popular, and occasionally drawing a contrast on predetermined “safe” issues (such as not cutting defense spending, standing up to China, etc.)" Romney passed the credibility test and that was what he needed to do last night.

John Podhoretz thinks that Romney may have well sealed the deal last night.

Michael Walsh thinks that Obama's "horses and bayonets" line might seem clever to Obama's base but offended the military and probably lost Obama the state of Virginia.

Rick Klein at ABC News thinks that nothing happened to change the trajectory of the race and so Romney did what he needed to do last night.

Fred Barnes thinks that Romney passed the commander-in-chief test and the debate won't hurt Romney.

Tim Stanley also thought that Obama emulated Biden last night.

Charles Krauthammer thinks it was an equivocal victory for ROmney who won both tactically and strategically.

Daniel Pipes is disappointed and thought that Romney stumbled because of all that he didn't mention.

Brian Montopoli at CBS thinks that the debate last night was unlikely to change people's minds.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blogging the debate

I appreciate the reminder that this is the 50-year anniversary of the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis. That is indeed a sobering reminder.

Romney preempts Obama on OBL by congratulating Obama and then saying "We can't kill our way out of this mess."

Romney seemed to let Obama off the hook on Libya. Romney barely talked about Benghazi at all. Maybe he's saving it for his closing like Obama saved 47% for his closing in the previous debate.

All very nice for Romney to talk about what Muslim scholars say we need to do to help these societies. How are we going to do that?

9:11 The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Haha. I don't think such a canned line goes over well.

"Attacking me is not an agenda." Good line, but of course that is what we are here to listen to.

9:13 I knew that Obama's line about having more flexibility after the election would make an appearance. Romney should use that more clearly. I think people who weren't aware of that comment won't know what he's referring to.

9:15 Obama has his own numbered list. Romney's style is catching on. But does anyone really believe that Obama really has Israel as #2 on his list.

9:22 Romney gives the goal of removing Assad and says he doesn't want military involvement. Can it really be done just by leaving it to Turkey and other countries?

9:23 So what is Obama doing to promote a moderate Syrian leadership?

9:24 Obama keeps mentioning Israel and now he's quoting "red lines." He is pretending to be more of a friend of Israel than he really has been. I hope Mitt nails him on that.

9:27 always good to criticize previous administrations; support of Mubarak.

Romney making good points on how our economy is weakening our position in the world. Good to bring i sequestration. But I wonder if undecided voters even know what that is.

Nowhere in the world is the American role in the world than it was stronger. Obama got shafted a bit in not being able to answer that directly.

9:29 People vote for peace? Didn't Gaza vote in Hamas and Egypt just vote in the Muslim Brotherhood.

Good to connect economy to foreign policy.

9:31 America is one indispensable nation. Does that make us exceptional?

It's a myth that our alliances were weaker before Obama came in. Such a canard.

Now Obama tells us he has a plan. Why hasn't he done all these wonderful things in the past 4 years?

9:33 I wish Mitt would stop telling us he knows what it takes to create a stronger economy. Now we're going to hear his five simple steps again. He's done that each debate. I think people are a bit tired of it.

I guess these guys would rather talk about the economy instead of foreign policy.

9:35 Now we're going to talk education - why even bother having a foreign policy debate.

And why should the President being the one to hire new teachers?

Romney is right - the research shows that class size doesn't make a difference. It's the quality of the teacher. And nothing the federal government does is going to help that.

So Massachusetts has smart kids. Was that really due to anything Romney did?

Notice how they just overran Bob Schieffer's desire to talk about foreign policy.

Why is Schieffer interrupting with his skepticism on Romney's spending plans?

9:42 I guess we've totally thrown out the idea of a foreign policy debate.

Obama says sequester won't happen. Let's remember that.

Obama's own defense secretary said how dangerous those defense cuts are. Though his line about horses and bayonets was good.

But I wonder how his contemptuous snark is playing with undecided women.

9:45 Just repeating that Iran getting a nuclear weapon is unacceptable is "just words."

9:48 Romney has seven points on Iran! Take that five-point plans.

What would indicting Ahmadinejad do? As if we could get the UN or any international body to go along with that.

Why didn't Romney nail Obama on how he's treated Israel and Netanyahu I guess the Romney strategy is to be nice, confident, and firm so he seems presidential instead of hitting Obama in his weak spots.

9:53 Good list of how Obama has projected weakness to Iran. Though the CNN undecided gadget twirlers didn't like it.

9:55 The world was not divided when he came into office.

9:56 Romney was excellent there talking about Obama skipping Israel and going to other nations to criticize US. We don't dictate to other nations; we free nations from dictators.

9:57 Obama is prepared to talk about Israel - when he visited in 2007. I hope Mitt Slams him on how he's treated Israel. You can tell he's worried about losing the Jewish vote.

10:02 Ah, here comes the touchdown dance on bin Laden. You knew it was coming. And now he's bragging that he made a better decision than Joe Biden. But is he really trying to say that Romney or any other president (except Joe Biden) would have given that order. "I killed bin Laden." It's all about The One.

10:05 So how is Romney going to keep Pakistan stable?

10:07 They're all ignoring the reality of what Afghanistan will become as soon as we leave. They're becoming a mess already.

Now we're back to the economy.

10:11 If terrorists are going to come rushing back into Afghanistan, why are we so blithe about leaving it?

10:15 Ohio and Pennsylvania name-dropped. Drink.

It's not government that makes business successful! So true.

Romney has an interesting rhetorical device of using how another nation looks at us and how they're seeing us as weak. I think it's a strong way to call Obama weak but use the other nation as the one doing it.

10:21 Romney had a strong answer on China and Obama comes back with the lame and discredited attack about how Romney invested in companies that sent jobs overseas.

10:23 Once again we're rehearsing the same points on the auto bailout. I'm so tired of how Obama has mischaracterized Romney on that.

Good point that investing in companies is not investing in research.

I guess we need Bob Schieffer to play the Candy Crowley role and fact check on Obama's lies on what Romney said about the auto bailout.

Romney left out that Obama shafted the people who had invested in GM so he could give money to the union. And he left out that the car companies then went through bankruptcy anyway.

Good pivot of Romney to say we don't want to go backward to the policies of the past 4 years. Good to talk about what a tragedy this economy has been as Romney looks Obama right in the eyes.

I love teachers too!

Cruising the web

Bruce McQuain makes the argument that the preference cascade in favor of Romney has already begun. Note especially his list of reasons why anyone who cares about the fate of Israel should vote against Obama. It's a list that Romney would do well to list in the debate. It's quite devastating how Obama has gone out of his way to insult Netanyahu yet curry favor with those in the reasons who want to destroy Israel.

This is not how winners campaign.

Robert Samuelson explains the incentives within Obamacare for employers to change full-time employees into part-time employees - exactly not what we want as we try to recover from the recession.

Of course, one Time writer thinks that the "binders of women" comment reminds women of guys looking at porn magazines or something. And she finds it insulting that Romney would talk about working women who wanted to rush home to be there when the kids came home from school or to make dinner. What she misses is that there are lot of women out there who liked what Romney was saying about flex time for women and didn't care what he thought women did with their flex time but that he arranged for them to have it.

Irwin Stelzer has some fun with how the NYT reported on last week's debate and was able to read much from the gaze of Romney and Obama.

Instead of worrying about all these non-issues, how about a real issue that will be affecting many, especially in blue states, when their public pension programs run out of money.

Can you imagine the cries of racism and questioning our patriotism if a Republican said that Barack Obama is "not one of us." even some members of the media are pretty disgusted.

A good question: Why would anyone believe Obama will focus on jobs in a second term?

John Hawkins highlights the seven most trivial campaign issues that Obama has embraced. You wouldn't think our nation was facing any problems if this is what the Obama campaign keeps talking about. Along the same lines, here is a list of five ridiculous things Obama cares about.

Oh, this should kill Romney's electoral chances. Not only doesn't he swear, but he uses words like "smitten" to talk about how he felt when he first met his future wife. Gosh. We can't have someone in the Oval Office who doesn't swear up a storm, can we? And think how uncomfortable that would make everyone else around him. Definitely a vote-killer there.

Stephen Hayes has a devastating article on how the administration is hoping to write al Qaeda out of the Benghazi story so that they can continue claiming that Obama has decimated al Qaeda. Meanwhile John McCormack has a question we still haven't heard the answer to - when did the President first learn that the assault on Benghazi was a pre-planned terrorist attack and not a spontaneous uprising about some video? Was it before or after he spent a week on pop culture shows saying that he didn't know or when he went before the UN and spent a lot of his time talking about how America rejects such video insults to religion?

If Bob Shieffer is stuck for questions to ask in the debate, here are 20 questions on Libya that the President hasn't yet answered in his talks with David Letterman, the ladies on The View, or Jon Stewart.

So surprising that the Holder Justice Department is doing little to make sure local election officials are fulfilling their legal responsibilities to mail out ballots to those in the military serving overseas.

A former secretary of the Air Force refutes the nonsense Joe Biden was spouting in his debate that it didn't matter if Iran got fissile material because they lacked a delivery system.

Josh Jordan peers into the newest polls from Ohio and finds a lot of good news for Romney even though the polls show the race about tied there. They're oversampling Democrats and Romney has a good lead among independents there.

Lots of scandal and sex in San Fernando's city government.

Apparently, Mitt Romney's biggest weakness as an executive was his reluctance to fire people.

What a stupid story from NPR on dopey metaphors that one could use for this campaign - all of which make Obama look good and Romney look bad.

Here's an image I bet you never had: Justices Scalia and Kagan going antelope hunting together. Justice Kagan talks to University of Tennessee students and admits that she probably wouldn't have been nominated if she hadn't been a woman. Ya think?

For tonight, these are the topics that Bob Schieffer has selected for the debate.
* America’s role in the world
* Our longest war – Afghanistan and Pakistan
* Red Lines – Israel and Iran
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – I
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
* The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World
These were selected 10 days ago so they might have changed.

Oh, of course. Obama will go on Leno on Wednesday. Anything to avoid questions from someone who is not a pop figure.

Colleges that host debates like tiny Lynn College in Boca Raton which is hosting the foreign policy debate have to really put a lot into their bid to host the debate.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cruising the web

Sean Trende has an interesting explanation of how JFK lost the popular vote in 1960. Notice how the role of historians in how to interpret the screwy vote in Alabama has colored a bit of the history of JFK's presidency ever since. If 1960 were added to 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000 as the years when the man who lost the popular vote went on to be president, it would have been an interesting footnote that would have tarnished that whole Camelot image.

The Democrats show how to take a mildly funny phrasing by Mitt Romney and then beat the joke into the ground. If "binders of women" is the best they've got against Romney followed by Big Bird and Seamus the dog, they've got a pretty pitiful campaign. In fact, the way the Obama campaign is running on what trends on Twitter is what's wrong with politics today, or at least the Obama campaign. When incumbents talk like this, it's a sign of their desperation. And why binders of women should be more of a storyline than the increasingly disturbing news we're getting about the repeated requests for more security in Benghazi and the evidence that the CIA reported within 24 hours that it was a terrorist attack shows how puerile the Obama campaign and their media cheering section are.

Peter Kirsanow tells us what is really not optimal. Mitt Romney could take this list and run with it on Monday night. He likes lists. And I'd add in the fact that we've had to listen to Letterman, The View, and Comedy Central in order to hear our president answer questions about the killing of four Americans, including the first ambassador killed since 1979. And many in the media are just fine with that. No wonder that the mother of one of the diplomats killed in Benghazi is furious.

Jay Cost explains where Romney fits in to modern conservatism.

Even those people who support Obama don't know what he'd do in a second term. He's just running on empty and hoping that his aura will bring out enough voters this time. Oh, and of course, he can always demagogue on social issues. That's all he's got. And it might not be enough. This might be where all those scary ads the Obama campaign ran over the summer have backfired. As Allahpundit writes after seeing Obama's 19-point edge among women in Florida deteriorate down to only one point,
There’s your best evidence yet of how useless, and maybe even counterproductive, all the “war on women” crap was. They turned Romney into such a gargoyle over the summer that once women finally got to see him in action at the debate, the scariness seems to have melted away almost instantly.
If Romney wins, political scientists will be rewriting the book on the value of negative and early advertising.

Well, we do know he'd be more "flexible" with Russia. Expect to hear that term in Monday's debate.

James Rosen explains the three timelines we need to learn more about to judge what happened in Benghazi.

In these days when all political junkies have to cling to is poll results, here is some interesting analysis of how Romney is doing better in Ohio than the polls seem to indicate.

An appreciation of George McGovern. They don't make many liberals like that anymore.

Reason rounds up how New York City is abusing eminent domain.

Why Romney's proposed cap on deductions is smart both politically and economically.

Heh. Barack Obama resisted giving women positions when he was the head of the Harvard Law Review. I guess he didn't want to look at binders of women back then.

You know Romney must be doing well when the media starts focusing on Mormonism.

George Allen demonstrates how to go on offense on defense.

Philip Klein tells us how Romney is different from George W. Bush.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cruising the Web

xkcd nails all the things that have never happened in American election history until it happens.

Obama doubled down on his disastrous green energy policies. He totally ignored what a failure those policies have been.

Just in time for the foreign policy debate is a report from the Congressional Research Service that economic sanctions on Iran have failed.

Jim Geraghty says just what I believe: a politician "taking responsibility" means nothing if nothing changes.
n recent years, we’ve seen a new approach; it’s become the new standard of the Obama administration — the loud proclamation of three powerful words: “I take responsibility.”

‘Responsibility’ means nothing to worry about: President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at a basketball game in Washington.
The catch? Afterward, nothing really changes. It’s the appearance of accountability, without all the complications and headaches of actual responsibility.

When you or I take responsibility for a mistake, we take action to fix it. We apologize for bad judgment, re-examine our conduct and consider what to do differently next time. People may get demoted or lose jobs, if the consequences are severe enough.

That’s not how politicians use the term “taking responsibility.”
Geraghty has a whole long list of people in the Obama administration, including Obama, "taking responsibility" and then continuing on with the same people and similar policies.

If you care at all about Israel, the choice in this election is a no-brainer.

Obama can't defend the math of his own deficit plan.

Applebee's and Jimmy John's warn employees that Obamacare taxes will lead to cutting their numbers of employees.

Let's not forget how comfy lobbyists have gotten in the Obama White House.

Michelle Obama might think that we're in the midst of a "huge recovery." Er, no. This is what a huge recovery looks like.

Jonah Goldberg ponders how liberals interpret Catholicism.

For once I agree with someone at Daily Kos. It is penny wise and pound foolish to cut out exit polling in states deemed non-competitive. I'd add in that we use exit polls to examine the state of the electorate at large and like to compare across years and now we will no longer be able to do that.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cruising the Web

Liberals seem to think that, if they can make snarky comments on the internet about "binders of women," then their guy clearly won. They're as misguided on that as they were about Big Bird. How do they think that executives find women to offer jobs to when they're pressed to hire more women They get resumes in folders or binders. so the phrasing is slightly humorous, but it's totally irrelevant. One woman whom Romney hired through reading her resume in what of those binders was totally happy to have gotten the job and didn't give a hoot about the remark. If all they liberals have to talk about after the debate is "binders of women" they Mitt Romney did even better than his campaign might have thought. As one female commentator at Slate who doesn't support Romney or Ryan at all writes, this is exactly what employers should do to hire more women.
In a rush to discredit Romney’s position entirely, commenters are strangely spinning his underlying point—when female candidates don’t apply for jobs, employers should find them, and hire them about half the time—as somehow anti-feminist.
As Jim Geraghty writes,
How many women are going to hear the “binders full of women” anecdote and feel worse about Romney? How many will feel better and wish their boss had the same attitudes?

(Particularly if that boss ran a “hostile workplace,” as Obama’s former communications director, Anita Dunn, described the White House.)

Romney’s lucky. The only way the Democrats post-game focus could go better for him is if they try “Big Bird” again.
And what is Obama talking about today? Binders and wind energy. Apparently, Obama thinks that the job for women is to be a teacher. As a teacher, I don't find anything wrong with that, but is that what feminists are talking about when they make their phony complaints about women earning less than men? Ace contrasts what Obama is running on with what Romney is running on.
Battleground Watch notes all the journalists who have been commenting on how Obama doesn't have an agenda for a second term. No wonder Obama has to talk about binders and wind energy.

Oh, and Obama was just wrong on his characterizations Romney's position on the Arizona immigration law. If we followed the Democrats' MO, we should be shouting "Obama lied" from the rooftops. Well, it's an option.

Another misstatement by Obama was how he characterized the Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire decision.

So President Obama admitted to the guy who questioned him at the debate about Libya that he had been misleading the public about the Benghazi attack being a terrorist attack. Apparently, he wanted to get this story out but didn't see fit to tell the TV audience his newest excuse. As James Taranto writes,
So the administration spent two weeks giving out disinformation in order to avoid giving out disinformation?

Here is Biden's ridiculous response to Norah O'Donnell's question if he should have been told about the request for extra security at the Benghazi consulate is "Well, I'm not going to speculate about that." Huh? Shouldn't that be the kind of thing that the President and his NSC including the VP should be told about? Libya is, after all, one of Obama's main foreign policy initiatives. An if there are threats to our diplomats there, shouldn't that be included in a daily security briefing? And shouldn't they be ticked off if it wasn't?

Watch the ad that Tammy Baldwin, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Wisconsin, tried to get spiked.

K. C. Johnson laments what has become of U.S. history taught in college today.

Peter Kirsanow explains why Romney won the debate.
Obama can’t win with a campaign that’s been reduced to “Romney’s rich and I’m not comatose.” His arguments persuaded no one but those set to vote for him anyway. And the polls show that that’s no more than 46–48 percent of voters.
Gosh, I hope he's right.

Iowa voters apologize for voting for Obama in 2008. I hope that there are a lot of them out there. It's become quite a common observation.

These are the sorts of undecided voters who will swing the election. It shows why flash polls, particularly of undecided voters, are so questionable.