Thursday, August 9, 2012

Critics Blast Obama For Gutting 1996 Welfare Reform Law!

New American ^ | 8-9-12 | Brian Koenig

Republican critics and presumed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney are slamming President Obama for reversing a landmark welfare reform law instituted in 1996 under the Clinton administration. The 1996 law enacted a number of reforms, including a time limit on how long families could receive aid, a requirement that recipients must eventually find work, and a provision that replaced a federal entitlement with grants to the states.

The debacle underscores the work requirements attached to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the federal assistance program that became welfare in 1996. Currently, the program includes a series of requirements that address work activities, including on-the-job-training, subsidized or unsubsidized employment, and pursuing high school or GED certification. Further, the reform law mandates that states monitor the hours welfare recipients spend in these work activities, with 50 percent required to participate (or lower if they reduce their caseloads).
The controversy centers on the fact that last month the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an order providing an exemption to states if they meet certain requirements. Families would still be required to get jobs or at least prepare for employment, but states can now receive waivers from the original standards.
But while the administration touts the effort as an innovative measure to get more families off the welfare rolls, Republican lawmakers and conservative advocates blamed the HHS’ move for terminating the program’s work requirement. “This is a brazen and unwarranted unraveling of welfare reform,” asserted House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), who helped draft the 1996 law.
Mr. Romney also joined the fray, blasting the President for eliminating key welfare reform measures. “You wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job,” stated a new ad by the Romney campaign. “They just send you your welfare check.”
Political activist and champion of welfare reform Star Parker also railed against the waiver, adding that Obama and the White House “really like people enslaved to government dependency.” Ms. Parker, who herself had been on welfare for seven years, played a chief role in the 1996 law’s passage.
During a recent Conservative Women’s Network event at The Heritage Foundation, CNSNews.com asked Parker about the administration’s controversial move: “The Obama administration has waived the work requirements in welfare reform. You were obviously a huge champion of that reform in the 90s, what’s your initial reaction and what effect will this move have on the program?”
“Well, my initial reaction is — what are they not going to destroy?” Park responded. “We were very successful with the work requirements in welfare reform. The women were successful. We’re talking 5 million women and 9 million children whose lives changed because of work requirements. These children, for the first time in their lives, had an opportunity in America to be prosperous because of their mom bringing in more than the welfare would pay.”
However, regardless of how the programs are administered, Parker indicated, the ultimate goal is to curb expansive entitlement programs that are squandering taxpayer dollars and further bloating government deficits.
“[W]hen you promise somebody that you’re going to take care of them from womb to tomb, the end result is larger numbers dependent, which is what’s happening in food stamps and more bankruptcy, if you will, for our government coffers,” she continued. “We’re not going to be able to limit the size and scope of government, reduce that size, if we continue to allow for these out-of-control poverty programs.”
Strangely, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius boasted that the administration eliminated the TANF work requirements to boost employment among welfare recipients. Further, the agency asserts that states receiving a waiver must “commit that their proposals will move at least 20 percent more people from welfare to work compared to the state’s prior performance.”
However, as Heritage’s Amy Payne indicates, given the trends of welfare turnover rates, a quick-fix method for states to meet the requirement will be to boost the number of people on welfare in the first place. “On the surface, [the 20-percent requirement] sounds impressive, but a state can meet this goal merely by raising its monthly employment exits from, say, 5 percent to 6 percent of caseload,” Heritage’s Robert Rector adds. “That kind of change will occur automatically as the economy improves, even without bureaucratic action.”
In effect, the new HHS standard is, according to Rector, merely a ploy by the Obama administration to exempt liberal-leaning states from the traditional TANF participation rates without disclosing its true intent.

Don’t fire me, Obama says: ‘We’ve got too many jobs to create’!

The Examinier ^

President Obama urged Colorado voters to support him today by citing, among others, the very reason that he remains a vulnerable incumbent.

“[W]e’ve come too far to turn back now,” Obama said in Pueblo, Colo. “We’ve got too much more work to do. We’ve got too many good jobs we’ve got to create. We’ve got too many teachers we still need to hire. We’ve got too many schools we need to rebuild.” He also emphasized his belief in the renewable energy industry in Colorado, the need to support college students, and to disengage the military from foreign conflicts.

If Obama had fewer jobs still in need of creating, he might not have to fight so hard to keep his own. The national unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent last month — the second time it has increased this year — as it remained above 8 percent nationally for the 42nd straight month.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...

CNN Hammers Vicious Obama Super PAC Ad That Networks Ignored Entirely

NewsBusters.org ^ | August 9, 2012 | Matt Hadro

For the second straight day, CNN blew the whistle on a nasty and misleading Obama super PAC ad that ABC, CBS, and NBC entirely ignored as of Wednesday night. CNN hammered the ad, which links Mitt Romney to a woman's death from cancer, each hour from 6 p.m. through 10 p.m. and twice grilled the man responsible for the ad, Bill Burton of Priorities USA.

"I think it is deliberately mendacious," stated CNN's Piers Morgan on Wednesday. "It is a deliberate attempt to lie and smear about Mitt Romney. And I find it contemptible. I mean I'm really appalled." The three networks showed no such disdain for the ad which will air in battleground states, because they failed to even mention it on Tuesday and Wednesday. [Video coming soon.]

Bill Burton was President Obama's national press secretary during the 2008 campaign, a connection that CNN reported and which makes his super PAC's ad all the more relevant during an election season where the media should be policing false and misleading ads.
"The President cannot hide behind a Super PAC on an ad as nasty as this one when that Super PAC is run by a friend and longtime deputy," stated Erin Burnett. "Bill Burton knows the President's ethics very well and it is fair to hold him up to this standard."
"The facts on this ad don't even add up," reported Burnett. Anderson Cooper called it "a factually bogus ad from the leading pro-Obama super PAC." Correspondent Brianna Keilar, whose critical fact-checking first aired on Tuesday evening, stood by her reporting on Wednesday.
"So it just seemed like there was very much an incomplete picture in this ad," she said, adding "I think it's inaccurate" and "there are a number of factors that aren't mentioned in the ad."
"When you do an ad that seems to leave the impression that he [Romney] was at least indirectly responsible for a woman dying from cancer, that is so powerful, that is so tough, that goes beyond what you guys should be doing," host Wolf Blitzer lectured Burton.
Overall, CNN devoted over a half-hour of coverage to criticizing the ad on Wednesday from 6 p.m. through 9 p.m, although some of that airtime went to scrutinizing the Romney campaign's campaign ad that CNN had whacked for dishonesty.
The Situation Room gave 17 minutes to the super PAC ad during the 6 p.m. hour. Erin Burnett gave it over six minutes on her 7 p.m. show OutFront, and Anderson Cooper devoted over 11 minutes to the ad but focused some of that time to Romney's ad. Piers Morgan attacked both Obama and Romney during his 9 p.m. show Piers Morgan Tonight.

Arrested illegals who were released charged with 16,226 subsequent crimes!

Daily Caller ^ | 08/09/2012 | Neil Munro

President Barack Obama‘s decision not to deport some arrested illegal immigrants has enabled a crime wave — but no American or immigrant victims have been publicly identified, and GOP politicians have mostly remained mute.

Illegal aliens who have been released from custody between 2008 and mid-2011 have been charged with 16,226 subsequent crimes, including 19 murders, 142 sex crimes and thousands of drunk-driving offenses, drug-crimes and felonies, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

“Rather than protect the American people he was elected to serve, President Obama has imposed a policy that allows thousands of illegal immigrants to be released into our communities,” said a statement from Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House judiciary committee.
The criminals “were in the government’s custody, were identified as illegal immigrants and then let go because this administration has refused to request the resources to hold them and deport them,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
The White House press office did not respond to The Daily Caller’s questions.
The CRS study uses data subpoenaed from the federal government by House Committee on the Judiciary. The data details 159,286 cases where legal and illegal immigrants were arrested, identified via FBI databases and then let free, said the report.
Over a 33-month period, from October 2008 and July 2011, roughly one-sixth of those let go were later arrested for crimes.
The data shows that 26,412 of the 159,286 released legal and illegal immigrants were arrested later for 57,763 crimes, said the CRS.
The CRS found the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency “likely” had authority to deport only 7,283 — or 40 percent — of those repeat offenders. The other 19,129 had some form of legal status, and would not be liable for deportation until after conviction in a civil court.
After being released, the 7,283 deportable aliens were later charged with 16,226 crimes, including 19 murders, 142 sex crimes — such as rape or child molestation — almost 1,000 other major criminal offenses or violent crimes, plus 489 cases of theft, 551 traffic violations, 1,929 DUI violations and 156 parole violations.
Together, the released 26,412 illegal and legal immigrants were charged with 59 murders, 542 sex crimes, 6,270 drug crimes and up to 5,342 “major criminal offenses … [or] other violent crimes.”
“It is amazing to me there hasn’t been more fallout … [but] it is the Messiah’s administration [and] the media isn’t making a fuss,” Krikorian said. “It’s appalling.”
So far, the GOP “is cowed and scared that Hispanics won’t vote for them if they highlight illegal-alien murders” of Hispanics, he said. “It is so ridiculous, because the victims of immigrant gang-members are other immigrants.”
Chairman Smith, however, has pushed the issue. Obama’s “unwillingness to enforce immigration laws puts our communities at risk and costs American lives. We elect leaders to protect us — not put us in danger,” he said.
The new data about crimes committed by released legal and illegal immigrants comes as the administration rolls out a variety of new measures to boost the administration’s support among Hispanic voters. (RELATED: Obama immigration policy loosens work permit requirements)
The administration has also boosted welfare programs for legal and illegal immigrants and has redefined nearly all welfare programs to bypass laws barring welfare-receiving immigrants from residency or citizenship.
The Internal Revenue Service has also rolled back oversight of fraud in a program intended to handle immigrants taxes and refunds, according to an investigation by the IRS inspector general. The program provided $6.8 billion in refunds to immigrants, said an Aug. 8 report in The Washington Times.
Illegal immigrants were fraudulently given $4.2 billion in 2010 child-support tax credits, according to a July 2011 report by the Treasury Department’s inspector general. In 2012, that illegal claims likely will reach $7.4 billion, said the report.
In 2012, top Senate Democrats blocked a reform of the refund process.
Administration officials have rolled back enforcement of immigration laws, and have directed immigration-officers to release illegals, including some who have been approved by judges for deportation.
In recent months, the administration has offered what conservatives call a de-facto amnesty to an estimated 1.76 million illegal immigrants, including an estimated 350,000 illegals with little or no high-school education. The policy will more easily grant work permits, and will allow them to compete for jobs against 23 million unemployed or under-employed Americans.
The two-year amnesty, dubbed “deferred action,” is being offered free to illegal immigrants, including people also schedule for deportation. However, the illegals will have to pay the standard cost of $465 for the work permit.
The amnesty will not include convicted felons, drunk drivers or people who committed a series of felonies.
However, immigrant officers will not try to find out if amnesty applicants have committed crimes, such as identity theft, an administration official said Aug. 6. “We want to maximize participation.”
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Forget North Dakota — There's A New Shale Oil Boom State In Town (Texas!)


TBI ^ | 8-9-2012 | Rob Wile

You probably saw our big feature on reporter Robert Johnson's trip to Williston, North Dakota, the capital of the state's Bakken shale oil boom has led to defacto full employment.
But we may have journeyed to the wrong region.
A new report from IHS Global Insight (as noted by Professor Mark J. Perry) suggests the Eagle Ford play near San Antonio, Texas, is poised to overtake the Bakken as the country's most promising oil reservoir:
“Our analysis at IHS indicates that Eagle Ford drilling results to date appear to be superior to those of the Bakken,” said Andrew Byrne, director of equity research at IHS and author of the study. “Although the well counts aren’t nearly as high at this point in development of the Eagle Ford, the peak of the well-distribution curve compares favorably with the Bakken.”
The firm found Eagle Ford sites capable of producing around 300 to 600 barrels-per-day for a peak month production average, compared with 150 to 300 barrels-per-day for the Bakken. The Eagle Ford also has better average peak-month production rates.
Here's a neat GIF showing how the play has exploded in the past few years:

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...

Limbaugh: ‘what is Planned Parenthood if not a death squad?’

LifeSiteNews ^ | 8/9/12 | Kathleen Gilbert

August 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Radio host Rush Limbaugh this week said that Democrats should take a harder look at their own sources of funding before they criticize the GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney for making his fortune as co-founder of asset management firm Bain Capital.


“So they say now in the Huffington Post that Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, way way back when it was originally founded, was seeded with money from Latin America deaths quads,” said the conservative radio guru August 8. “Well let me ask you a question. What’s the difference in that and the Democrats being underwritten by Planned Parenthood and NARAL?”

“If they’re not death squads, I don’t know what is. How many abortions every year, 1.73 million or something? ... What do you call Planned Parenthood if that’s not a death squad? And who - plenty can object, but who can disagree?”


The remarks came on the tail similar remarks from a North Carolina legislator who called Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, “murder for hire” in response to a campaign seeking to convince state lawmakers not to cut the group’s funding.

Planned Parenthood “deals out nothing but deception, death, personal devastation, and moral degradation,” said State Representative Larry Pittman in reply to a pre-written letter signed by a local woman and prepared by Planned Parenthood, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.


“Never will I agree to give that bloody, indecent, immoral organization one penny. I will not be satisfied until it is outlawed,” said Pittman, who called Planned Parenthood “a murderous organization … getting wealthy on murder for hire.”

Planned Parenthood routinely downplays the role of abortion among its services, claiming that the procedure accounts for only three percent of services offered to women. However, critics have said that the group minimizes that number by separating various services performed during an abortion visit as different “services,” so that even for a patient who came solely for an abortion, the abortion would account for only a small percentage of the “services” listed.

In fact, abortion is the most lucrative service Planned Parenthood offers by a drastic margin, accounting for as much as 51 percent of its annual clinic income, or $150 million, according to calculations by the American Life League.

Former Planned Parenthood clinic worker Abby Johnson said she was turned off from the organization when she learned that, rather than aiming to reduce abortions through birth control, Planned Parenthood considered the procedure its “cash cow” and imposed abortion quotas for its clinics. The national organization recently made it mandatory for each of its affiliates to offer abortions in at least one of its facilities.

Pittman stood by his statements after he was contacted by the Tribune for further comment.

“To say that [Planned Parenthood] would try to reduce the incidence of abortion is like saying a baker would go around trying to get people to stop eating bread,” he said.

Obama camp acknowledges knowing man's story (Updated)

Politico ^ | 8//9/12 | Byron Tau

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki acknowledged Thursday that the campaign was no longer pleading ignorance about the story of a man who has appeared in both a super PAC ad and a campaign ad.

"No one is denying he was in one of our campaign ads. He was on a conference call telling his story," Psaki told reporters on Air Force One. Missouri steelworker Joe Soptic starred in an Obama campaign ad and participated in a conference call with the campaign in May, as POLITICO reported Wednesday.

(Excerpt) Read more at lucianne.com ...

High-ranking Mexican drug cartel member makes explosive allegation: ‘Fast and Furious’ is not what your think!

The Blaze ^ | August 9, 2012 | Jason Howerton

A high-ranking Mexican drug cartel operative currently in U.S. custody is making startling allegations that the failed federal gun-walking operation known as “Fast and Furious” isn’t what you think it is.

It wasn’t about tracking guns, it was about supplying them — all part of an elaborate agreement between the U.S. government and Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa Cartel to take down rival cartels.

(Excerpt) Read more at theblaze.com ...

Obama Buddy Bill Burton: We Completely Stand By Our Romney 'Cancer' Ad

Townhall.com ^ | August 9, 2012 | Guy Benson

Greg pulled the clip last night and Allahpundit wrote it up, but it's worth revisiting for a few reasons. I'll let AP set the stage:

The first 3:45 is just background stuff, so feel free to skip it, and (b) the rest of it represents quite possibly the most sustained bout of skepticism on cable TV towards an Obama mouthpiece that Team Hopenchange has had to endure in four years. If you can’t watch it all, just watch Burton for two or three minutes starting at 4:15.

The Obama campaign has been shamelessly lying its collective ass off about this ad, so why not allow Obama's SuperPAC mouthpiece to insult your intelligence for a few minutes? This is surreal:

Obama's Super PAC Founder: Our Ad In No Way Suggests Romney Responsible For Woman's Cancer

I could barely stomach this clip, to be honest, but I'm glad I persevered because we learned a thing or two during the interview: (1) Some MSM figures can at least feign genuine disgust with the HopenChange Brigade. All three CNN correspondents seemed truly put off by the stench of what Burton was shoveling. (2) Obama's SuperPAC is so proud of the ad that they're airing it in swing states, as part of a $20 million buy. (3) This spot is merely one in "a series of ads," meaning that the worst may still be yet to come. (4) Obamaworld not only has no regard for the truth, they also harbor precious little respect for your intelligence. It was astounding to watch Burton claim that this ad in no way attempts to link Romney to this woman's death. That "reality," Burton helpfully explained, is "clearly lost on some folks." And by "some folks" he means "every single person who isn't a paid hack." Go back and watch the clip. The whole point is to tie Romney to this tragedy and heavily imply that he was responsible by obscuring the timeline. Burton insists that the timeline isn't pertinent. The man's sleaze virtually drips off the screen with every word, especially when he openly laughs at the CNN crew for pointing out the obvious. Allahpundit notices that without the disgusting implication of Romney's culpability in Mrs. Soptic's demise, the ad has...no point at all:

The amazing thing is that the spot is completely devoid of any actual point or argument. The closest it comes is suggesting that layoffs are always unconscionable because people depend on the insurance they get from their jobs. But Burton can’t argue that; Obama has enough problems with business that he can’t afford to flirt with “only monsters lay people off” demagoguery. So he’s left here arguing … nothing. Really.

Let's recap: The Obama campaign knows nothing about a man whose personal story they've recounted in their own ads and featured on a conference call. Also, a commercial clearly designed to link Romney to a woman's cancer-related death through grotesque innuendo was actually doing nothing of the sort, despite what the pro-Rommey paranoiacs at CNN and MSNBC (!) seem to think. These people continue to out-do themselves.

  Three parting thoughts:

(1) Since Burton still remains deliberately unfamiliar with Romney's effective departure date from Bain Capital (February 1999, according to everyone except Obamaphiles), how would he explain the fact that Soptic's layoff -- which was delayed by eight years by Bain's attempt to save the failing company -- occurred when a top Obama donor was actively managing the company? Since Jonahthan Lavine closed the GST factory, made money for himself, then donated to Barack Obama years later, is Obama complicit in Soptic's wife's death via the blood money, or whatever? Oh right, I forgot. They're not blaming anyone for that tragedy. They're just describing it in excriciating (and incomplete) detail in a television ad, the entire purpose of which is to attack Romney. My mistake.

(2) In the original ad, Soptic says he believes Romney "isn't concerned" about the pain he, ahem, "caused" -- including the death of Soptic's wife, which was the theme of the ad. Even if you take Burton at his word that Priorities USA had no intention of tying Romney to her death (and I absolutely do not), isn't the assertion that Romney doesn't even care about that tragic outcome complete conjecture? This is vile.

(3) The top three arguments Democrats have advanced against Mitt Romney over the last few months are that he outsourced American jobs at Bain Capital ("no evidence" - FactCheck.org), that he's a tax cheat ("Four Pinocchios" - Washington Post), and that his heartless actions led to a poor woman's death ("outrageous" - CNN). As the links demonstrate, each one of these attacks has been a wholly inaccurate smears. Since they continue to lie, why should any voter believe a word Team Obama says about anything -- and isn't the fact that they're forced to invent these smears evidence of Romney's laudable character and actual record?

Obama Policies Killed 59,757 …and Counting

Townhall.com ^ | August 9, 2012 | Daniel J. Mitchell

French president Francois Hollande wants to set the top tax rate in France at 75%, for those who make over €1,000,000 a year.

As a result "Les Riches" Have Tax Indigestion and are looking to move outside France.
“We’re getting a lot of calls from high earners who are asking whether they should get out of France,” said Mr. Grandil, a partner at Altexis, which specializes in tax matters for corporations and the wealthy. “Even young, dynamic people pulling in 200,000 euros are wondering whether to remain in a country where making money is not considered a good thing.”

Because there are relatively few people in France whose income would incur such a tax — perhaps no more than 30,000 in a country of 65 million — the gains might contribute but a small fraction of the 33 billion euros in new revenue the government wants to raise next year to help balance the budget.

There is no question Mr. Hollande is under fiscal pressure. He has pledged to reduce France’s budget deficit, currently 4.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, to 3 percent by next year, to meet euro zone rules.

The matter of how best to hit that target, though, is as much a political question as a fiscal one. Mr. Hollande was elected in May on a wave of resentment against “les riches” — company executives, bankers, sports stars and celebrities whose paychecks tend to be seen as scandalous in a country where the growing divide between rich and poor touches a cultural nerve whose roots predate Robespierre.

Half the nation’s households earn less than 19,000 euros a year; only about 10 percent of households earn more than 60,000 euros annually, according to the French statistics agency, Insee.

There is currently no plan to change the tax rates for most people, which is 14 percent for the poorest and 30 percent for the next rung. For higher earners — people with incomes above 70,830 euros a year — the tax rate will soon rise to 44 percent, up from 41, in a change that was already set before Mr. Hollande’s election.

Taxes are high in France for a reason: they pay for one of Europe’s most generous social welfare systems and a large government. As Mr. Hollande has described it, the tax plan is about “justice,” and “sending out a signal, a message of social cohesion.”

France has a 33 percent corporate tax rate — the euro zone’s second-highest, after Malta’s 35 percent. That contrasts with the 12.5 percent rate in Ireland, which has deliberately kept a lid on corporate taxes as a lure to businesses.

“It is a ridiculous proposal, but it’s great for us,” said Jean Dekerchove, the manager of Immobilièr Le Lion, a high-end real estate agency based in Brussels. Calls to his office have picked up in recent months, he said, as wealthy French citizens look to invest or simply move across the border amid worries about the latest tax.

“It’s a huge loss for France because people and businesses come to Belgium and bring their wealth with them,” Mr. Dekerchove said. “But we’re thrilled because they create jobs, they buy houses and spend money — and it’s our economy that profits.”
Essential Math

The New York Times estimates that fewer than 30,000 make more than 1 million euros.

However, Sophie Pedder, writing for The Economist came up with a much lower number in an NPR interview.

"Probably no more than about 3,000 French households will be affected by this. But that's an absolutely tiny fraction of the whole. So, once you start looking at numbers like that, you realize how this is very much a symbolic gesture," said Pedder.

That's a big difference. But whatever the number is, the government will collect far less than it thinks.

The current top tax rate is 41%. It's a big jump to 75%. And the more someone makes over €1,000,000 a year, the bigger the incentive to move.

Tax Rate Comparison

According to Pedder the UK lowered its top tax rate to 45% from 50%. Sweden has a top rate of 57%, and Belgium at 55% so "France sticks out really like a sore thumb on this one."

I strongly suggest this move by France will backfire. When it does, Hollande will probably seek to raise taxes on the next rung lower to make up for it.

Government Spending Over Half of French GDP

In Quick Facts on France, Heritage says "Government spending has increased to a level equivalent to 55 percent of total domestic output. The deficit remains more than 6 percent of GDP, pushing public debt up to more than 80 percent of GDP."

In a recent panel discussion in Spain, Paul Krugman said he would start to worry when government spending is over 50% of GDP.

France is there now, and the US headed there unless we rein in the deficit, which Krugman does not want to do.

The Mitt Romney Obama’s lapdog press doesn’t want you to know!

Flopping Aces ^ | 08-09-12 | DrJohn


Mitt Romney has been called a "vulture capitalist" and even a "murderer" by Obama sycophants and the press does little to disabuse voters of it. CJ gave us ten reasons for liberals to hate Mitt Romney and I'd like to expand even more on that. There's a lot more to Mitt Romney than the Obama press allows.
The Bain Story- the real one

Given the political controversy over private equity and Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, it’s worth taking time to ask, how did Bain Capital perform for its investors? To get some perspective, it’s first worth acknowledging that the average private equity firm has delivered better returns to its investors than those investors would have earned in the stock market. In a recent paper, Bob Harris, Tim Jenkinson, and I estimate that $1 invested in a private equity fund delivered 20 percent more than $1 invested in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.1 In our sample alone, the outperformance works out to more than $120 billion in additional value to investors. This performance benefited the pension funds, endowments, and other limited partners that invested over this period.
Even in an industry with such strong performance, Bain Capital stood out. During Romney’s tenure, the firm raised five private equity or buyout funds. All five outperformed the typical private equity fund. Four of the five were well into the top quartile of performance.
In other words, Bain Capital and Romney delivered strong results for their customers, better than other private equity firms that on average outperformed the public markets. Today, those customers include the California State Teachers' Retirement System and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
Bain Capital also made venture capital investments from other funds in start-ups and other earlier stage companies that are not included in the performance measure mentioned above. Those venture capital investments included successful investments in Staples, Sports Authority, and Gartner Group.
How many jobs did Bain create?

Among Bain Capital’s investments under Romney, the large job creators are clearly Staples and Sports Authority. Both of these were small, young companies when Bain Capital invested in them. Bain invested in Staples when it had only one store, so there were likely fewer than 200 employees at the time. Bain appears to have invested in the Sports Authority when it had fewer than ten stores. Unfortunately, there are no public data to say how many people were employed at that time. At the end of 1998, Staples had more than 42,000 employees, Sports Authority had almost 14,000, Gartner Group had almost 3,000, and Steel Dynamics had over 500. So at the beginning of 1999, when Romney left Bain Capital, these four companies alone employed almost 60,000 total employees. While some of the job growth at Sports Authority came from acquisitions, there is no doubt that these four companies created tens of thousands of jobs over the period. Fast forward to today. By the end of 2011, Staples had about 89,000 employees. Sports Authority is now a private company. The last time it reported employee numbers, in 2006, it had 14,300 employees. In addition, Gartner Group had over 4,400 and Steel Dynamics had over 6,000 employees. Using the most recently available data, these four companies alone employed almost 125,000 total employees.
Bain Capital also successfully turned around several existing businesses during Romney’s tenure. For example, Bain Capital bought Wesley Jessen Vision Care for $6 million in 1994. It had been a division of Schering Plough and was not profitable. Bain Capital and a new CEO turned it around and sold it to Ciba Geigy for over $300 million in 2001. When it was sold, it appears to have had 2,600 employees. Today, the company is part of Ciba Vision.
Overall, then, the companies Bain Capital funded under Romney have created tens of thousands of jobs using any measure.
Mitt Romney gave away his entire inheritance to charity
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...

Border Patrol whistle blowers hand election to Romney, IF he'll take it!

Coach is Right ^ | 8/9/2012 | Doug Book

Union heads of both the ICE and Border Patrol Councils have stated that Barack Hussein Obama has deliberately handed a get out of jail free card to illegal alien criminals.

In June, Obama bypassed Congress, issuing an unconstitutional executive order which requires Border Patrol agents to release illegal aliens who CLAIM to have: “come to the United States under the age of 16 and are not more than 30; lived in the U.S. for five straight years; are currently in school of have graduated high school; obtained a GED or been honorably discharged from the military; or have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor and are not a threat to public safety.”

And CLAIM is indeed the operative word in this, Obama’s latest betrayal of the American people, for upon being detained by ICE or Border Patrol agents, illegals need only...

(Excerpt) Read more at coachisright.com ...

A Tea Party Creed

The turn will come when we entrust the conduct of our affairs to men who understand that their first duty as public officials is to divest themselves of the power they have been given. It will come when Americans, in hundreds of communities throughout the nation, decide to put the man in office who is pledged to enforce the Constitution and restore the Republic.

Who will proclaim in a campaign speech: “I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.

I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.” - Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative

The Last Ticket to Fantasyland Expires in Three Months!

Townhall.com ^ | August 9, 2012 | John Ransom

The presidential playbook generally calls for a successful candidate to swing to the middle when they are running unopposed for their party’s nomination.

But as we enter perhaps the final months of the Obama administration, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for anyone to make an appeal to the center, if indeed a center even exists in American politics anymore.

Obama has destroyed the political center in this country, and for that we can be thankful.

Because Obama’s policies have exposed the basic problem with the bipartisan approach favored by establishment Republicans and so-called Blue Dog Democrats.
Both of those centrist elements have often led the country to believe that limited government meant accepting half the social and economic agenda that more radical Democrats propose.
Romneycare is a great example of that. In attempt to provide half-a-loaf- or perhaps half and aspirin is better-Romneycare offers the worst of socialism with none of the benefits of capitalism. Romenycare is nonsense, filled with wonkishness, wrapped in the Beltway- and it doesn’t even attempt to address the problem of spiraling healthcare costs that it was originally supposed to solve. In fact, it pushes costs higher.
Somewhere along the line, however, voters got wise to the Washington dodge: You don’t really have to solve problems in DC or state capitals- actually you can even try to make them worse- you just have to wrap “solutions” into a complicated system. Now your job is to convince everyone that the system doesn’t work because it’s someone else’s fault.
The days of that dodge are drawing rapidly to a close.
That’s what happens when you spend 40 cents of every dollar on government, but yet still cry for more; that’s what happens when you spend us to the brink of default and still can’t figure out how to stop the spending; that’s what happens when spend more money in ten years then the top ten years of the New Deal added together; and then you try to tell the country the patently ridiculous lie that it’s not enough.
A sagging economy, world-wide unrest, spiraling debt, domestic dissatisfaction fueled by internet social organizations have given rise to populist movements of the Tea Parties and Occupy Wall Street, that while fundamentally different, are still expressions of the same unrest.
And still Obama remains stuck at the far left of his party’s spectrum, fueling leftist fantasyland policies that don’t work, often with an assist by the center of American politics.
But no matter how far left Obama swings, it won’t be enough for his critics on the left. In the meantime, the rest of us suffer from policies crafted by compromise and outright deceit.
One candidate in the Nevada Senate race is running a grassroots campaign by calling out Obama’s failed policies in the housing sector, by promoting policies that will hurt housing worse still.
Nevada real estate has been particularly hard hit by dropping real estate prices, so running against the administration’s policies makes sense. The candidate opposing Obama’s policies however isn’t Republican Dean Heller, who is also vying for the Silver State’s Senate seat.
Instead it’s Democrat Congress-tron Shelley Berkley (D-Confused).
Earlier this year Berkley was running ads on Facebook under the heading: “Big Banks are to Blame,” with text that says: “Millions of Americans lost their homes b/c of big banks, yet Pres. Obama WON’T investigate. Shelley Berkley is asking why not? Join her.”
The click-through directs people to a petition site that asks: “Tell President Obama: Hold Banks Accountable.”
Let’s get back to shareholders holding companies accountable. Let’s stop rendering our economy unto 435 tyrants in Congress plus one Cesar Chavez in the White House.
Because when Shelley Berkley had the opportunity to hold banks accountable, she voted for TARP.
In fact, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have Berkley on their “Dishonorable Mention” list, for mixing personal profit with politics. She’s an opportunist even amongst the professional class of opportunists operating in Washington.
But that won’t stop some in the GOP from reaching across the aisle and trying to craft a compromise, punitive measure that punishes banks, kind of- because that’s what opportunists do.
Voters have three months; and one hell of an opportunity.  

No, Romney Won't Raise Your Taxes $2,000 (Here's why it's superior to Obama's and a winner)

American Spectator ^ | 08/09/2012 | PETER FERRARA

Mitt Romney's tax plan is a winner, and, lacking a serious rebuttal, President Obama settles for fabricating charges.

In a campaign stop at Rollins College in Florida last week, Barack Obama suggested that the middle class should resent Mitt Romney's tax proposals:

"I want everybody to understand here -- he's not asking you to pay an extra $2,000 [in taxes] to reduce our deficit; he's not asking you to pay an additional $2,000 to help care for our seniors; he's not asking you to pay an additional $2,000 in order to rebuild America or to fight a war," the president said. "He's asking you to pay more so that people like him can pay less."

But here is the actual truth: Mitt Romney is not asking the middle class or anyone else to pay more taxes. Mitt Romney is proposing to cut tax rates for everyone, across the board. That would finally liberate the economy for a long overdue recovery. Increased revenues from that booming economic growth, combined with savings from cutting Obama's runaway spending and closing loopholes that mostly benefit the highest income taxpayers, would enable a U-turn, from the four straight highest deficits in world history to a balanced budget in 5 years.
The roadmap for doing that is Paul Ryan's 2013 budget, which has already been adopted by the Republican controlled House. (The Democrat majority Senate, by contrast, has never shown up for work.) This is classic tax reform, cutting rates and closing loopholes.
Obama's Tax Plan: Higher Taxes, No Jobs
The only candidate in this race proposing to increase taxes is Barack Obama. He has already enacted increases in the top rates of virtually every major federal tax, which will go into effect January 1. That is when the tax increases of Obamacare will hit,
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...

How Labor makes some workers disappear (Now, even U6 figures under-report joblessness)

New York Post ^ | 08/09/2012 | John Crudele

President Obama can thank Bill Clinton for the fact that the unemployment situation doesn’t look worse.
Thanks to a tiny tweak in definitions made by the Clinton White House back in 1994, Obama’s life is a whole lot easier.

Don’t get me wrong — not easy, just easier.

Last Friday, the Labor Department announced that the headline unemployment rate for July — the one followed in the newspapers — notched up one-tenth of a point to 8.3 percent. And the president is certainly going to have a hard time explaining why the jobless level is still so high.
But there’s another figure — called the U-6, buried deep in the Labor report — that should really be of concern to the president. And here’s where Clinton did all future presidents a favor: making the U-6 number look better than it really should.
U-6 is defined as “total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.”
Are you clear on what this number is? Of course not — it’s gobbledygook.
It means that U-6 includes people out of work plus anyone who wants a full-time job, can’t find it and is settling for part-time work.
The unemployment rate in the U-6 definition rose to 15 percent in July from 14.9 percent in June. It had been 16.3 percent in July 2011.
But it’s those Americans not in the definition — discouraged workers — that you will want to know about.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...

Free Contraceptives or Child Support...your choice!

The Free Republic ^ | 8/9/2102 | Mr. K

Ann Coulter made a brilliant point last night that I think went right over Hannity's head.

She screamed (literally) at single women, who are shaping up to be a voting block for Obama.

She said somethign to the effect that Obama may give them free contractptives but they will lose child-support if their ex does not have a job!

The Rich Pay Their Fair Share in Taxes — And Then Some!

Townhall.com ^ | August 8, 2012 | Jeff Jacoby

ARE AMERICANS EAGER for higher taxes on the affluent?

Barack Obama and his allies clearly think so. The president who came to office vowing to "spread the wealth around" by raising taxes on individuals with incomes above $200,000 is doubling down, making a tax hike on the rich the centerpiece of his campaign for reelection.

"We should ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more," he urged a White House audience last week. "We're talking about folks like me going back to the tax rates that existed under Bill Clinton.… And here's the thing -- there are a lot of well-to-do Americans, patriotic Americans, who understand this and are willing to do the right thing, willing to do their part to make this country strong."
An Obama campaign ad summarizing "President Obama's plan" drives the point home succinctly. "Wealthy Pay More," the on-screen title says; "Middle Class Pays Less."
Meanwhile, the union-funded activist group Americans United for Change is out with a quarter-million-dollar preposterous accusation that Mitt Romney "has not paid taxes for ten years," thanks to the "many tricks" for avoiding taxes that "people who make as much money as Mitt Romney have … at their disposal."
Few things get liberal Democrats salivating like populist red meat. But if voters generally shared the left's weakness for soak-the-rich nostrums, Nancy Pelosi would be speaker of the House, the Occupy movement would be riding high -- and Republicans would still wince at the memory of Ronald Reagan losing the White House to Walter Mondale in a 49-state landslide.
But voters, by and large, don't yearn to see the wealthy stripped bare by the tax collector. In a new nationwide poll, Gallup asked Americans to rank a list of policy proposals for the next president to address. Respondents gave highest priority to "creating good jobs," "reducing corruption in federal government," "reducing the federal budget deficit," "dealing with terrorism and other international threats," and "ensuring the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicaid." Raising taxes on the wealthy placed last. Even among Obama supporters, no issue on Gallup's list was deemed less important.
Blasting the wealthy for not paying their "fair share" in taxes may rev up what Howard Dean called "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." But measured by any reasonable yardstick, rich Americans pay their fair share. And then some.
One reasonable yardstick might be the average rate paid when all federal taxes -- including not just income taxes but also payroll taxes -- are considered. The Congressional Budget Office reported last month that in 2009, the top 20 percent of taxpayers paid an average of 23.2 percent of their income in federal taxes -- more than double the 11.1 percent paid by the middle quintile, and 23 times the 1 percent paid by the lowest quintile. Even within the top 20 percent, average tax rates rose with income: The richest 1 percent paid 28.9 percent of their earnings in federal taxes.
Or perhaps a more reasonable yardstick would compare the share of federal taxes paid with the share of national income earned. The CBO ran those numbers too. In 2009, the bottom 20 percent of taxpayers earned approximately 5 percent of the nation's income but paid just 0.3 percent of all federal taxes. Households in the middle quintile, which earned almost 14.7 percent of national income, paid only 9.4 percent of federal taxes. Yet Americans in the top quintile, who earned 51 percent of the nation's income, paid a whopping 67.9 percent of all federal taxes.
And the much-demonized 1 percent? They took in 13.4 percent of all income in 2009 -- and shelled out 28.9 percent of all federal taxes.
Reasonable minds can debate whether income inequality is good, bad, or neutral; whether "fair" tax rates should be flat or graduated; whether income-redistribution is a legitimate function of government. But what's clear is that wealthy Americans pay plenty -- far more than plenty -- in taxes. Maybe that's why voters aren't clamoring to make them pay even more.

E-mails about clean-energy loans provide new details on White House involvement!

Washington Post (!) ^

President Obama’s staff arranged for him to be personally briefed last summer on a loan program to help clean-energy companies, two months before the program was thrust into headlines by the collapse of its flagship, the solar com pany Solyndra, records show.

About the same time, then-White House Chief of Staff William Daley resolved a dispute among administration officials over another project in the program, clearing the way for a $1.4 billion loan, according to documents and sources familiar with the situation.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...

'Mad Dog' Harry Reid

Townhall.com ^ | August 9, 2012 | Cal Thomas

To call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a "mad dog," as Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank did, is an affront to the canine community and those suffering from legitimate mental illness. Reid was completely sane when he spread hearsay about an anonymous Bain Capital investor who allegedly told him Mitt Romney paid no taxes for 10 years.

Doesn't Reid, a Mormon like Romney, subscribe to the prohibition in the Ninth Commandment: "Thou shall not bear false witness"? He appears to pay no political price because he's a Democrat and unlike Joe McCarthy, to whom some are comparing him, no prominent fellow Democrat or top media figure has asked Reid the question put to the commie-hunting McCarthy by attorney Joseph Welch in 1953: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"
Reid is a sideshow, a clown in a political circus that seeks to draw the public's attention away from President Obama's record. Romney's tax returns won't create a single job or revive the economy. Romney must change the subject by shifting the focus to where it belongs: to President Obama, his failed promises and his disastrous economic mismanagement.
If he wants to belabor the point, Romney can challenge Obama to release his college records and other information mentioned in his book "Dreams from My Father." He can offer to release more years of his tax returns in return for the transparency Obama promised.
Or Romney can reiterate that he has fully complied with the law, including the payment of all taxes owed. Would his critics prefer he pay more than his legal obligation? In addition, Romney has certainly made sizable charitable contributions, while Biden and his wife, according to USA Today, averaged just $369 in annual charitable contributions over a 10-year period.
What about the president? Here's what Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler wrote: "When then-presidential candidate Obama released his tax returns during the 2008 campaign, it was revealed that he began making significant gifts to charity after he started making serious money from his books -- and after he decided to run for president.
Here's what the numbers look like: 2005: $77,315 to charity out of income of $1.66 million (4.6 percent); 2004: "$2,500 out of $207,647 (1.2 percent); 2003: $3,400 out of $238,327 (1.4 percent); 2002: $1,050 out of $259,394 (0.4 percent)." In 2010, the number increased to 13.6 percent.
We can go tit for tat on contributions or income taxes forever. The tax returns issue is a smoke screen for the Obama administration's failures. The Romney campaign now appears to be doing what it should to reclaim and redirect the narrative. Romney can prevail if the issue becomes government spending.
People know that waste is a moral failure. Romney could go after Pentagon waste. Washington Post columnist Walter Pincus recently wrote: "How can the Pentagon keep $2.5 billion left over from a canceled program sloshing around for 'reinvestment by the Army' when Capitol Hill and the White House are worried about Pentagon budget cuts and national security?"
Romney has begun to press the president on his "reform" of welfare reform. The Department of Health and Human Services announced last month it will consider waivers to the work requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Requiring welfare recipients to work was a hard-won provision of the landmark welfare reform law passed by a Republican Congress and signed by Bill Clinton in 1996. And it worked. Those receiving welfare benefits, instead of relying on government assistance, were compelled to transition themselves toward work or educational opportunities as a way of creating a better life for themselves and for their families.
Senator Reid is a stink bomb at the garden party. Let "Dirty Harry," as some have dubbed him, continue to demonstrate his flawed character. Romney should not descend to the gutter with him. He should ignore Reid and focus on what most Americans care most about: rebuilding our shattered economy.

Can Obama Win It on Likability? (What's There to Like?)

Townhall.com ^ | August 9, 2012 | Michael Medved

Will Barack Obama’s innate likability turn out to be the decisive factor that keeps him in the White House?

Several polls suggest that the president’s biggest advantage over Mitt Romney involves the strong tendency of Americans to see him as more friendly, accessible, and personally appealing than his GOP challenger. Even with dark clouds surrounding the economy and highly energized, well-funded conservatives preparing to storm the seat of power, Obama strategists view Fortress Likability as the final, secure stronghold that will deliver them from all electoral dangers. The Romney camp counters with arguments that cite several emerging factors sure to undermine Obama’s perceived personality advantage and hope that voters will make their ultimate choice on a more substantive basis.
The recent past certainly indicates a strong popular preference for likable candidates: in the 32 years since 1980, all eight presidential contests have gone to the contender who came across as more genial and down to earth to the press and the public. With his sunny disposition, Ronald Reagan easily dispatched Mr. Malaise himself, Jimmy Carter, and then enjoyed even more smashing success against the dour Walter Mondale.
George H.W. Bush could come across as stiff, inauthentic, and insufferably preppy but he had the great good fortune in 1988 to run against the beetle-browed, grumpy Gus, Michael Dukakis. When he tried for a second term, however, he faced an earthy Arkansan named Bill Clinton, whose winks and nudges about his own, down-home rascality only seemed to make him more endearing to many Americans. Clinton against Dole? No contest in that one when it came to charm and seduction skills.
Though millions of citizens still despise him, George W. Bush also benefited from a likability edge that delivered his back-to-back victories. In one celebrated 2004 poll, the American people chose the incumbent commander in chief over Democratic rival John Kerry as the candidate who’d provide better company while sharing a beer–an ironic advantage considering Bush’s well-advertised teetotaling as a reformed problem drinker. Kerry, like Al Gore before him, conveyed a strikingly supercilious attitude of Ivy League pomposity while W., with his goofy gaffes (“a man has to work hard to put food on his family”), his cowboy swagger, his heart-on-the-sleeve Christian faith, and his West Texas twang, struck people as a good ol’ boy–never mind his membership in the same super-elite Secret Society at Yale that had tapped John Kerry just two years ahead of him.
This contrast between reserve and friendliness, between preening privilege and ordinary-guy accessibility, is supposed to work to President Obama’s advantage in his reelection battle against Mitt Romney. After all, as a fresh-faced “hope-monger,” freshman Senator Obama easily bested the crotchety war hero and Senate fixture John McCain in the personality contest of 2008. This year, a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll showed registered voters choosing Obama as more likable by a 2-to-1 margin, 60 to 30 percent. Three months earlier, an April Washington Post–ABC News Poll gave the president an even wider advantage with 64 percent selecting Obama as the “friendlier, more likable candidate” and only 26 percent choosing Romney as a potential pal.
Mark McKinnon, a one-time strategist for President George W. Bush, told The Washington Post that “likability is keeping Obama in the game at this point. But Romney has a lot of potential to improve his likability numbers, particularly during the convention … Romney hasn’t really revealed much of his personal story or his personality, so he’s got a lot more potential to grow.”
To stifle that potential, forces aligned with the Obama campaign have spent literally hundreds of millions of dollars to define Mitt Romney negatively, piling on with an avalanche of hard-hitting ads about his tax returns, his record at Bain Capital, his off-key singing voice, his offshore bank accounts, his wife’s horse, his Jet Ski, and even the tired old tale (laughingly told by Romney’s own sons about a family trip 30 years ago) of the Irish Setter on the roof. A highly critical cover story in Newsweek focused on Romney’s purportedly fatal “Wimp Factor” and in the course of the article even anointed him a “weenie.”
In the end this emphasis on angry and highly personalized attacks (even when they don’t come from the president himself) could end up doing as much damage to Obama’s own likability as to Romney’s. The candidate of hope and change, who promised to transcend the petty bickering of Washington and to usher in a new era of cooperation and harmony, now becomes a desperate battler in a barroom brawl who will pick up any available bottle or table leg to whack his opponent over the head. Polls show a growing perception that the president’s been waging a more negative campaign than his opponent—and it’s not just because he’s spent far more money on attack ads so far.
Sure, Romney’s unleashed his own barrage of harsh advertising and critical speeches, but they all concentrate on Obama’s feckless performance as president: slamming him for economic failures, looming fiscal disaster, broken promises, and bungled foreign policy. Meanwhile, the Democratic assaults on Romney take aim at his personal life, his private-sector career, even his impeccable family. The American people can sense the difference.
For that reason, the all-out attack on Romney’s character has so far proven an all-out bust, with the two candidates locked in a close race that’s barely budged for months. The same USA Today/Gallup Poll that gave President Obama the big edge in likability also provided powerful good news for the Romney camp. The survey posed the question: “Now, I’d like you to think about Mitt Romney’s background in business, including his time as head of Bain Capital. Do you think his business background would cause him to make good decisions or bad decisions as president in dealing with economic problems the U.S. will face over the next four years?”
By a stunning margin of 63 to 29, respondents believed that Romney’s past as a businessman would lead to better decisions. Even 34 percent of Democrats saw his career in the private sector as an advantage. They also gave Romney a 19-point advantage in dealing with the federal budget deficit, a 10-point margin in general handling of the economy, and a 5-point edge in having the characteristics to “get things done.”
While Obama loyalists cling to his nice guy image as a counterweight to Romney’s perceived competence, there’s reason to believe that the president’s surviving likability advantage is not only overrated but profoundly misunderstood. Unlike Clinton and George W. Bush, he doesn’t display an effortless common touch, and he’s hardly an easy-going, down-to-earth guy. His public profile increasingly conforms to the descriptions of his closest acquaintances: he’s a driven, tightly wound, fiercely competitive intellectual. It’s not his race that disqualifies him as the neighbor across the fence, or even his high falutin’ Ivy League education: it’s the sense of anything-to-win desperation, and the inescapable mean streak, that increasingly mar his campaign.
Compare the president with his own running mate: Vice President Joe Biden, even when uttering the most inane, hyperpartisan, or incoherent sentiments, projects the unfailing image of a decent guy. He can be a doofus, most certainly, but it’s hard to avoid the impression of a genial, well-meaning, comfortable old pol with a warm, beating heart. Obama, by contrast, can seem reptilian, positively cold-blooded in his calculation—and especially unappealing when he’s pounding away at low-blow assaults that he doesn’t even seem to believe himself, suggesting that Republicans want to throw kids out of preschool and deny medical care for Alzheimer’s patients.
In the 2008 hope-and-change campaign he largely avoided such strident attacks because the economy then visibly collapsing under George W. Bush made them unnecessary. But this time the economic realities work against the sitting president. The essence of Obama’s likability and magnetism in his first campaign involved his promise to bridge gaps and build solidarity, crashing all the ugly barriers of race, class, gender, and ideology. Instead, his presidency has proven the most polarizing of recent years. He can try to blame his Republican foes for the gridlock and back biting and lack of constructive communication in the nation’s capital, but he can’t deny that they exist. And he’s been the man in charge these last four years.
Romney supporters insist that their man will emerge as more lovable after his convention showcase and the televised debates, but it may matter more to the outcome of the race that Obama seems less lovable—as he will if his campaign persists in its slashing attacks while paralysis in Washington approaches a crisis. When the incumbent is running one of the most ferociously negative campaigns within memory, he can hardly dodge responsibility for the toxic and increasingly dangerous divisions in the nation’s capital.
It’s entirely possible that by the end of an endless and exhausting campaign, both candidates will look distinctly unlikable, so that voters can finally put aside the geniality contest and chose between the off-putting pair based on the best ability to cope with the nation’s dire challenges. Most voters get serious as Election Day approaches, which explains the unbreakable pattern of fringe-party contenders always getting fewer votes in the final tally than last-minute polls predicted. Especially in presidential contests, most Americans feel a sense of responsibility and earnestness by the time they cast their ballots and prove reluctant to waste their precious franchise on empty gestures.
By the same token, personality preferences may play a big role in summer polling three months before the election, but in the fall most voters will make their ultimate decision based less on likability and more on a capacity to tame the deficit. At a moment of inescapable social stress and looming economic catastrophe, one can only hope that the electorate won’t shape its final judgment based on perceived “friendliness” but will focus instead on “the ability to get things done.”

Obama camp denies knowledge of cancer tale it told in May!

Yahoo News ^ | Aug. 8, 2012 | Olive Knox

Oops! President Barack Obama's re-election campaign washed its hands Wednesday of an independent group's vicious (and misleading) ad effectively blaming Mitt Romney for the death of a laid-off steelworker's wife from cancer. Campaign officials flatly denied any knowledge of the facts in the case—but it turns out the widower told the same story on an Obama campaign conference call in mid-May.

The extraordinary thing about Soptic's remarks is the careful, sleazy lawyer job somebody at the Obama campaign did in preparing them for him to read. Here's what he said on the Obama campaign's conference call:



After we lost our jobs, we found out that we were going to lose our health insurance, and that our pensions hadn't been funded like Bain promised they would be. I was lucky to find another job as a custodian in a local school district. They gave me some health insurance, but I couldn't afford to buy it for my wife. A little while later she was diagnosed with lung cancer. I had to put her in a county hospital because she didn't have health care, and when the cancer took her away, all I got was an enormous bill. That put a lot of stress on me: I thought I'd be paying it off until I died myself. That probably wouldn't have happened if Bain kept its promise and I was allowed to keep our health insurance.



Note how all the events are compressed, much like the editing of Obama's life story in Dreams from my Father, to omit the six years from Soptic's layoff to his wife's cancer diagnosis, her having a job with health insurance for two years, and leaving that job. Soptic didn't do that piece of sleazy word smithing on his own. It had to have been done by an Obama lawyer skilled in creating false narratives by omitting and compressing events and time frames. The similarity of that statement to the one issued by the Obama super pac also show the whole hit was illegally coordinated.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...

You...You...Right-Wing Hate Monger, You!

Alan Levy's Soul | 8/9/12 | Alan Levy

"You....You...Right-Wing Hate Monger, You! Why don't you and your Klan buddies go iron your sheets! The only reason why you and your Nazi friends in the Tea Party hate Obama so much is because he's black!"

If you don't hear this crap at least once a day as a Conservative, you're simply not fighting the good fight. Like all real Conservatives, if I got a dollar every time I was called a racist for believing in limited Constitutional government, I'd be a millionaire with a Swiss bank account, sort of like DNC Chairthing Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Sadly, the rules don't work that way, and being called a wascally wacist is one of the many indignities I'm forced to endure every day, just like most of you out there.

Now, I could recount the racist beginnings of the Progressive Bowel Movement to disprove the above nonsense. I could bore the socks off of you talking about how Margaret Sanger envisioned family planning (AKA--The Pro Death Movement) as a way of exterminating blacks. Heck, for that matter, we could talk about Woodrow Wilson segregating the military as well. For those who like their racism more recent, we could talk about Bull Connor and Orval Faubus, two proud segregationists and two proud members of the Democrat Party. Uh-oh! I'm not bringing enough diversity to my roll call of leftist racism, so if I know what's good for me, I better not forget to mention Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson or Al "Crown Heights" Sharpton. If we really wanted to get controversial, we could discuss CAIR, La Raza, or Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela singing "Kill the Farmer, Shoot the Boer". (No, I didn't forget our dog-eating, homosexual agenda pushing Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama. Why must everything be about that piece of human debris, anyway ?)
I could do all of those things, but I don't feel like writing a book report about Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism or Ann Coulter's Demonic. They're great books and among my all time favorites, but I thought for this column, we'd go in a different direction. Let's see, oh, I don't know, what Tom Metzger, the bottom feeding dirtbag director of the "White Aryan Resistance" thinks about the Conservative Movement, Conservatives, and the Right in general.
And awaaaaaaaaay we go, from a 2005 interview on Resist.com:
(Emphasis will be added where appropriate. Snarky comments will be in brackets [ ].)
***
"Interviewer: Let's get it straight. Is White Aryan Resistance a right wing organization? Do you identify yourself with the right wing movement?
Metzger: No, I do not identify with the right wing. I was a right winger into the 70's but I left the right in late 70's. The right is so reactionary it goes nowhere....."
"Interviewer: '[T]hey mislead their followers' you said. What do you mean by 'misleading'? Convincing the members of their organizations that two plus two equals five?
Metzger: They do the same old failed things over and over never winning anything. They waste time with uniforms and flags and rallies. I promote revolution against the Capitalists and the Social Marxists." [Talk about doublethink! What a maroon!]
"Interviewer: [Ignorant question, sounding like it came from the Dailykos or Alternet]
Metzger: [Racist crap, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda..... Oh look, this is interesting!] They don't even know that National socialism was a leftist idea. Here they sound like National Capitalists.
[Normally, I would put the link where I got this rat poop from here. However, I have way too much respect for Free Republic to post the link openly. If you want the link to check my sources, feel free FR mail me. Tom Metzger is a chunk of vomit, and he certainly doesn't deserve to have a link to his cheap, little rent-a-site on Free Republic, of all places.]
***
Yeah, I feel like taking a shower, too.
I know that earlier in this column that I didn't want to talk about our dog-eating, homosexual agenda-pushing, Catholic persecuting, Jew-hater in Chief Barack Hussein Obama, but he's a hard guy to ignore, especially since he's destroying the Free World. Once again, here's dullard Tom Metzger, giving his opinion on the First Foreign Born President:
***
"The corporations are running things now, so it’s not going to make much difference who's in there, but McCain would be much worse. He’s a warmonger. He’s a scary, scary person--more dangerous than Bush. Obama, according to his book, Dreams Of My Father, is a racist and I have no problem with black racists. I’ve got the quote right here: 'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s white race.' The problem with Obama is he’s being dishonest about his racial views. I’d respect him if he’d just come out and say, 'Yeah, I’m a black racist.' I don’t hate black people. I just think it’s in the best interest of the races to be separated as much as possible. See, I’m a leftist. I’m not a rightist. I hate the transnational corporations far more than any black person."
http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/racists-support-obama-061308#ixzz22del0mAW
***
Now, I know as well as you do that writing this article is kinda like passing gas in the middle of a hurricane. It really isn't going to matter in the grand scheme of things. The Ignorant Left will always believe that 2+2=5 no matter how much evidence to contrary is presented to them. They're always going to run around calling Conservatives "right-wing hatemongers". (If you don't believe me, look at what the arrogant and lazy media is doing with the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin, calling the Neo-Nazi shooter a "right-winger".) However, for those of us who know 2+2=4, it's further proof that the Right is, well, right.

NEW SMART DRUG TO BEAT CRIPPLING PAIN OF ARTHRITIS

Express (UK) ^ | August 9,2012 | Jo Willey

A POTENT new pill has been developed which harnesses the body’s natural inflammation-busting ability to beat crippling arthritis.
The “smart” drug not only helps relieve the devastating joint inflammation which leaves sufferers in daily agony but researchers also say it has no side-effects.
The breakthrough offers real hope that the hundreds of thousands of Britons struck down by rheumatoid arthritis could soon be treated with a powerful medication which uses their own body to fight the disease naturally.
Current drug treatments, once the disease has taken hold, have unpleasant and potentially dangerous side-effects.
Methotrexate, or MTX, is the standard treatment but for one in three patients it causes side-effects including nausea, diarrhoea and hair loss.
Now Dr Ulrich Flogel at Dusseldorf university in Germany has developed a drug which dramatically eases joint inflammation without harmful side-effects.
Although this study is still at an early stage we welcome any research that advances our knowledge in this field and could lead to better treatment options and improved outcomes for patients
Chief executive at the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society Ailsa Bosworth
It is a chronic autoimmune disease which occurs when the immune system attacks the joints.
Patients suffer severe pain and stiffness in their joints as well as fatigue and loss of mobility and it is estimated that the total cost to the UK economy of the condition is at least £4.75billion a year.
One patient in four is registered disabled within three years of diagnosis with three-quarters moderately to severely disabled within 20 years.
This new research, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, showed that the drug called chet-AMP reduces inflammation without leading to a drop in blood pressure.
The drug works by harnessing a molecule called CD73 which the body naturally uses to fight inflammation. Chet-AMP is activated only when CD73-covered immune cells are present in inflamed joints, which helps keep nearby tissues unaffected.
Ailsa Bosworth, chief executive at the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: “People with rheumatoid arthritis often have to take anti-inflammatory drugs alongside disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs to combat the symptoms of their rheumatoid arthritis and taken long term, this type of medication can have unpleasant side-effects.
“Although this study is still at an early stage we welcome any research that advances our knowledge in this field and could lead to better treatment options and improved outcomes for patients.”
The disease can strike at a young age, unlike the more common osteoarthritis, which mainly strikes older people.
It usually affects hands and feet, although any of the body’s joints can become inflamed and painful. It can also lead to crippling flare-ups. Although there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, a variety of treatments are available that can slow down the condition and keep joint damage to a minimum. The earlier someone starts treatment, the more effective it is likely to be.
The current more common treatment involves painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs which tackle the pain and swelling. Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs or DMARDS – of which MTX is the most common – are used to slow down the progression of the disease.
Jane Tadman, from Arthritis Research UK, said: “While this work is interesting, it is very early, experimental research in mice.
“There is a long way to go before any claims that this is a new drug, without side-effects, can be substantiated.”

Show and Tell

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Robin Da Hood

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Cars

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Context

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Tea Party

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Spreading the wealth

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McLiberals

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Another Comity by the DNC

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Prove it!

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Greedy?

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Piss

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Average American

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The Rover

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2012 Election

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I didn't build that?

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Fake Recovery

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Posting

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Poll Vault

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Proof?

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Mulims

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Dirty Liar Harry

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The Pool

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Immigration and the GOP

National Review Online ^ | August 8, 2012 | John O'Sullivan

Last week saw two contrasting events concerning the significance of the immigration issue in the forthcoming U.S. presidential election.

The first event was the inaugural meeting of the Billionaires for Open Borders (BOB) campaign at New York’s Union League Club. Several members present (including, alas, the great Rupert Murdoch) reportedly urged Mitt Romney to soften his immigration policy in order to win more Hispanic votes.
Romney seems to have resisted this pressure on the grounds that he would lose more votes than he gained by “flip-flopping” on the issue. (He would lose something in personal reputation, too.) He might have added that his current policy is already a reasonable, indeed generous, compromise because it balances opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants with policies for expanding legal immigration and giving skilled immigration priority over the endless “chain migration” of extended families.
The second event was the upset victory, 57 to 43 percent, of the Tea Party–backed outsider, Ted Cruz, over a strong establishment GOP candidate in Texas’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.
In addition to a focus on jobs, Mr. Cruz’s campaign positions included support for traditional marriage, the defense of U.S. sovereignty against global governance, and, not least, an ambitious program of reforms (protecting the border, ending chain migration, reducing overall numbers) to ensure that immigration serves the national interest rather than sectional interests, whether economic or ethnic. Cruz is even listed as a “true reformer” on the NumbersUSA website because his reforms are as “comprehensive” as President Obama’s or John McCain’s but point in a different direction.
At first glance, these two events reveal yet again the GOP’s longstanding difficulty with immigration as a political issue: Its donors want open borders, and its voters want higher fences. But there are deeper lessons, too, and they revolve around the question: What kind of issue is immigration?
Immigration is usually listed as a “social issue” when the pollsters and commentators get around to classifying it. This then marks immigration as something mainly of concern to “the religious Right,” which in turn indicates to many centrist voters that immigration can therefore be of no interest to them.
The phrase “social issues” is, however, a misnomer. As used in American politics for the last 30 years, this phrase refers to issues such as abortion, gay rights (now including same-sex marriage), school prayer, pornography, gender equality and sex roles, and capital punishment. What links these issues is that they are intertwined with morality and religion. Capital punishment is on the list, for instance, whereas crime in general is not, because of the high moral significance of taking a human life. So it would make better sense to call these matters “moral issues” and to exclude immigration from the list.
Insofar as immigration is a moral issue — and morality is a component of almost every political issue — it divides the religious Right exactly as it divides all Americans and almost all groups of Americans. Its grassroots members favor less immigration, and its leadership (in both the Catholic Church and evangelical Protestantism) wants more immigration with fewer restrictions. So immigration is not a “social issue” as usually understood, and it’s not generally favored by the “religious Right,” either.
It might perhaps be classified as a “social-fabric issue” alongside, say, crime and family breakdown. The case for such a classification has been reluctantly advanced by the distinguished Harvard social scientist Robert D. Putnam, who concluded, following a rigorous study, that “diversity” erodes trust both within and among ethnic groups. That in turn leads to such results as less willingness to volunteer, lower involvement in community projects, less confidence in local institutions, less giving to charity, but more involvement in politics and social protest and more time spent watching television.
In short, immigration, by increasing diversity, slowly frays the social fabric. It helps to transform a society rooted in local social cooperation into one organized around political conflict over larger regional or national outcomes from which many people simply opt out into apathy.
Both Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party might be cited as examples of the social-protest movements that are spawned by diversity. But there is protest and there is protest. OWS is the reductio ad absurdum of social distrust and political conflict, whereas the Tea Party seeks to restore a Tocquevillian America of social cooperation at the local level. That’s why the Tea Party is particularly keen to restore fiscal and constitutional restraints on the federal government — a necessary step to reviving Tocqueville’s America.
Far from coincidentally, immigration is also a constitutional issue — and not simply because the Obama administration is exceeding its constitutional limits in seeking to prevent the states from enforcing those federal immigration laws it dislikes. Who belongs to the polity is a fundamental question for a nation-state. Allowing millions of people to live and work illegally in the U.S. — and to draw social benefits and use public services — erodes the distinction between citizens and non-citizens and dilutes the value of U.S. citizenship. It weakens the collective bonds of nationhood, and, in general, it aggravates the negative aspects of diversity.
Immigration is also a fiscal issue. As many studies have shown, the net fiscal impact of legal and illegal immigrants on federal and state budgets is negative. This is not because immigrants don’t work (they do). Nor because they don’t pay taxes (they do). But on average they have significantly lower levels of education than native-born Americans, earn less as a result, pay less in taxes, and receive more from various social programs.
Billionaires for Open Borders tends to discount these fiscal costs as modest compared to the larger economic gains from immigration. Well, there is something in that, but not much. Almost all the economic gains of immigration go to the migrants themselves. The net gain to native-born Americans is very modest, and most of it goes to employers and owners of capital; lower-paid Americans actually lose income or jobs, sometimes both. The net effect is to increase income inequality. Still, one can see that business owners might not notice all the flaws in a system of mass immigration that gives them the advantages of cheap labor and imposes its social and fiscal costs on taxpayers across the board.
All the same, there is a hidden problem down the road for BOB — and for Republicans. Mass immigration of unskilled workers increases the constituencies in favor of higher government spending on social programs, higher taxation, and greater legal protection for labor unions. See California, passim. The late James Chapin, UPI’s distinguished political analyst, pointed out the consequences for a GOP that thought lax immigration control was necessary to win Hispanic votes. “Republicans,” he said, “can either change their policy on immigration or change their policies on everything else.” Billionaires might want to ponder the same point as it affects their interests.
But, gentlemen, be of good cheer. Such dire results are the results not of immigration as such but of our current confused, irrational, and accidental immigration policy. A policy that reduced overall immigrant numbers but admitted more highly skilled immigrants, restricted family reunification to the nuclear family, and encouraged illegal immigrants to “self-deport” by such measures as E-Verify would go a long way toward meeting the legitimate aims of corporate America, reducing or even reversing the fiscal deficit, and improving the economic prospects of lower-income native-born Americans.
Would it also repair the damage done by “diversity” to the social fabric? And if so, how? We know the answer to the second of these questions from American history. Until the 1960s, immigrants were themselves converted into Tocquevillian Americans by the process called assimilation — or, more candidly, “Americanization.” This process was not all flags, brass bands, and street parties. It had its painful side. Norman Podhoretz has described it as a “brutal bargain” in which the immigrant surrendered some of his ancestral customs and loyalties (but not, significantly, his religion) in return for becoming an American in a full sense.
Not all ethnic groups became Americans quickly. Michael Novak’s Eastern European “unmeltable ethnics” melted only from the early Seventies onward — not long after the publication of his book on them in 1972. As Novak points out, however, in a 2006 essay revisiting his earlier thesis, these immigrants’ entry into the American majority required not only the majority’s willingness to welcome them but also the willingness of some ethnic leaders to lead them to the foundry. Without far-sighted and unsentimental leadership on both sides, the newcomers might have remained outsiders for many more years. The actual moment of their full absorption into the American majority was when they became “Reagan Democrats” in 1980. That did not necessarily mean they became Republicans. It meant that they no longer felt obliged to vote Democratic but were free to cast their votes on grounds of policy or principle rather than ethnic loyalty.
America’s Hispanics may now be on the brink of a similar moment. Until now, the Democrats have had the great majority of Hispanics in their camp, but as a distinct ethnic group with its own interests and loyalties rather than simply as Americans. Modern Democrats see their party as a coalition of minorities whose cement is ethnic loyalty. Even Bill Clinton, let alone Obama, was quite prepared to stir up ethnic loyalties, indeed ethnic antagonisms, in order to shore up the Democratic coalition.
Republicans by contrast have never quite known how to appeal to Hispanic voters. They have gloomily assumed that appealing to them simply as Americans would get the party nowhere. As for appeals to ethnic solidarity, the Democrats could always outbid them on that. So they tried defensive assurances, insisting that the GOP wouldn’t really be very different from the Democrats on issues such as immigration, quotas, and bilingualism — which undercut and demoralized those Hispanics who had made the leap into a full and unqualified American identity and wanted to be so treated.
Maybe nothing could really be done until some younger people from this Hispanic minority emerged onto the political stage and seized leadership roles for themselves. Marco Rubio and Miguel Estrada have already done so in politics and the law, respectively; with the primary victory of Ted Cruz, Hispanic GOP leadership is becoming a trend. And what makes Cruz so interesting — and to the mainstream media, so alarmingly inexplicable — is that he makes no concessions to the usual etiquette of either class or ethnic politics.
Cruz is a Hispanic politician, the son of a Cuban immigrant, and he is proud of that and of his parents. But his political appeal owes very little to his Cuban ethnicity. His is essentially an American appeal that, significantly again, speaks to all ethnic groups in Texas.
Cruz is also an “establishment man” from a social and educational standpoint. He is an Ivy League–educated lawyer who was law clerk to Chief Justice Rehnquist and who has pleaded nine cases before the Supreme Court (winning five). But his political identity is rooted in the grassroots insurgency of the Tea Party; and the political causes he supports, both in politics and in his legal career, belong squarely in the conservative camp.
Most interesting, among the causes he has embraced, as we saw above, is conservative reform of immigration, as if to say, “Hispanics should judge this matter not as a hot-button single issue for Hispanics but as a matter of national interest for all Americans.” There are risks in this approach. The Democrats will cry disloyalty, and some Hispanics (including some conservatives) will not want to weaken their sense of separateness. But it could lead to a moment like the revolution of Reagan Democrats.
If Cruz wins in November in a state with a large number of Hispanic voters, as seems likely, he will establish himself as the natural leader of the most natural Republican constituency among U.S. Hispanics, namely those who want to follow (or who have already followed) the Italians, the Irish, and the Poles into an unhyphenated American national identity. And that would threaten the Democrats like nothing else.
John O’Sullivan is editor-at-large of National Review.