Friday, September 7, 2012

Eastwood says his convention appearance was ‘mission accomplished’

Carmel Pine Cone ^ | September 7, 2012 | Paul Miller

AFTER A week as topic No. 1 in American politics, former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood said the outpouring of criticism from left-wing reporters and liberal politicians after his appearance at the Republican National Convention last Thursday night, followed by an avalanche of support on Twitter and in the blogosphere, is all the proof anybody needs that his 12-minute discourse achieved exactly what he intended it to.

“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood told The Pine Cone this week. “Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle.” 

Breaking his silence For five days after he thrilled or horrified the nation by talking to an empty chair representing Obama on the night Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president, Eastwood remained silent while pundits and critics debated whether his remarks, and the rambling way he made them, had helped or hurt Romney’s chances of winning in November.
But in a wide-ranging interview with The Pine Cone Tuesday, he said he had conveyed the messages he wanted to convey, and that the spontaneous nature of his presentation was intentional, too. “I had three points I wanted to make,” Eastwood said. “That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who’s not doing a good job. But I didn’t make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it.” Eastwood’s appearance at the convention came after a personal request from Romney in August, soon after Eastwood endorsed the former Massachusetts governor at a fundraiser in Sun Valley, Idaho. But it was finalized only in the last week before the convention, along with an agreement to build suspense by keeping it secret until the last moment.
Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign aides asked for details about what Eastwood would say to the convention. “They vett most of the people, but I told them, ‘You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say,’” Eastwood recalled. And while the Hollywood superstar has plenty of experience being adored by crowds, he said he hasn’t given a lot of speeches and admitted that, “I really don’t know how to.” He also hates using a teleprompter, so it was settled in his mind that when he spoke to the 10,000 people in the convention hall, and the millions more watching on television, he would do it extemporaneously. “It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I’m Joe Citizen,” Eastwood said. “I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there.”
Eastwood is a liberal on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion, but he has strongly conservative opinions about the colossal national debt that has accumulated while Obama has been president, his failure to get unemployment below 6 percent, and a host of other economic issues. “Even people on the liberal side are starting to worry about going off a fiscal cliff,” Eastwood said. Last minute decisions But what — exactly — would he say to the Republican delegates about the $16 trillion national debt and 8.3 percent unemployment rate? Friends and associates weren’t as much help as he had hoped. “Everybody had advice for me, except the janitor,” Eastwood said.
Early Thursday morning, when Eastwood left San Jose Airport on a private jet headed for Florida, he was still making up his mind. And even with his appearance just a few hours away, all Eastwood could tell Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades and his aides, was “to reassure them that everything I would say would be nice about Mitt Romney.”
It was only after a quick nap in his hotel room a few blocks from the convention site, Eastwood said, that he mapped out his remarks — starting with his observation about politics in Hollywood, then challenging the president about the failure of his economic policies, and wrapping up by telling the public “they don’t have to worship politicians, like they were royalty or something.” But even then, with just an hour before he appeared on stage, it still hadn’t occurred to Eastwood to use an empty chair as a stand-in for the president. “I got to the convention site just 15 or 20 minutes before I was scheduled to go on,” he said. “That was fine, because everything was very well organized.” After a quick trip through airport-style security, he was taken to a Green Room, where Archbishop Dolan of New York sought him out to say hello. Then he was taken backstage to wait for his cue. And that was when inspiration struck. “There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down,” Eastwood said. “When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I’ll just put the stool out there and I’ll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn’t keep all of the promises he made to everybody.” He asked a stagehand to take it out to the lectern while he was being announced. “The guy said, ‘You mean you want it at the podium?’ and I said, ‘No, just put it right there next to it.’” Then, with the theme song from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” as a musical introduction, and a huge picture of him as Josey Wales as the backdrop, Eastwood walked out to tremendous applause.
“The audience was super enthusiastic, and it’s always great when they’re with you instead of against you,” he said. ‘Enjoying themselves’ Speaking without any notes, Eastwood recalled the good feelings the whole nation had when Obama was elected, but said they had been dashed as the economy stayed in the doldrums despite massive stimulus spending. He decried the “stupid idea” of closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and putting terrorists on trial in New York City, joked about Vice President Joe Biden’s intellect and quizzed empty-chair Obama about what he says to people about his failed economic policies. He pretended Obama told Romney to do something “physically impossible” to himself, said it’s time to elect a “stellar businessman” as president instead of a lawyer, and, as a final point, told the people, “You own this country.” When an elected official doesn’t “do the job, we’ve got to let ‘em go,” he said, and the crowd ate it up.
“They really seemed to be enjoying themselves,” Eastwood said. Originally, he was told he could speak for six or seven minutes, and right before he went on, he was asked to keep it to five, but he said, “When people are applauding so much, it takes you 10 minutes to say five minutes’ worth.” Also, there were no signals or cues of any kind, so “when you’re out there, it’s kind of hard to tell how much time is going by.” He also said he was aware he hesitated and stumbled a bit, but said “that’s what happens when you don’t have a writtenout speech.” As he wrapped up his remarks, he was aware his presentation was “very unorthodox,” but that was his intent from the beginning, even if some people weren’t on board. “They’ve got this crazy actor who’s 82 years old up there in a suit,” he said. “I was a mayor, and they’re probably thinking I know how to give a speech, but even when I was mayor I never gave speeches. I gave talks.”
Backstage, it was all congratulations and glad-handing, he said. And then he returned to the Green Room, where he listened to speeches by Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney. It wasn’t possible for him to watch the media coverage of his presentation. But the country was listening as the television reporters and commentators covering his speech reacted to it. And they hated it. “I have to say, as a fan, a movie fan, this was exceedingly strange. It just seemed like a very strange, unscripted moment,” said a shocked Andrea Mitchell on NBC. “That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at a political convention in my entire life,” said Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, barely concealing the condescension in her voice. Bob Schieffer of CBS said it was “a big mistake to put From previous page Clint Eastwood on before Mitt Romney.” On the Washington Post website, reporter Chris Cillizza wrote that “‘awkward’ may be the kindest term we can think of ” to describe Eastwood’s speech. “He hemmed. He hawed. He mumbled. He rambled,” Cillizza wrote. And on CNN, Piers Morgan said Eastwood was “going bonkers” on the stage and said his presentation “looked like complete chaos.” He pressured his guests with questions like, “Weren’t you in pain while he was up there?” But Eastwood wasn’t aware of any of it, and after the speeches were over, Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, came backstage to thank him. “They were very enthusiastic, and we were all laughing,” Eastwood said.
When he went outside to his car, a large crowd cheered and chanted lines from his speech. An overnight rebellion Back at his hotel, Eastwood had a room service dinner and went to bed. The next morning, he got up early and went straight to the airport, still unaware that his appearance was the No. 1 political topic in the nation. “I read the Tampa newspaper, and every article said something negative about the convention, but there wasn’t much about me,” Eastwood said. He had no idea that overnight, a rebellion had erupted online against the media’s condemnation of him, with thousands of bloggers, Twitterers and commentators calling him, “a genius,” “1,000 times more brilliant than the media,” and saying he’s “only gotten better with age.” They also started posting their own versions of Eastwood’s empty chair in droves (“eastwooding”), and, on YouTube, replays of his remarks at the convention were being viewed millions of times.
Even into his 80s, Eastwood has an unprecedented record of success in Hollywood, and is still making two movies a year. He’s currently starring in “Trouble with the Curve,” and is about to direct a remake of “A Star is Born” — things he obviously couldn’t do if he were a befuddled senior citizen. To locals who know him, the idea that he is uninformed or senile is laughable. Nevertheless, the bitter criticism has continued. On Tuesday, Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, called Eastwood “the perfect icon of the Republican tea party: an angry old white man spewing incoherent nonsense.” Eastwood said people, including reporters, who were shocked by his remarks “are obviously on the left,” and he maintained that, while many Americans didn’t like the way he handled his convention appearance, millions more have something else on their minds. “A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama,” Eastwood said.

Obama’s Convention (Why Oba-Meh's speech won't move the needle)

National Review ^ | 09/07/2012 | Yuval Levin

The president’s convention speech was never going to be a make-or-break moment for him in this campaign: People already have an opinion of him, they basically know his pitch, and unless he planned to offer a major new proposal or argument it wouldn’t have been easy for him to move anyone with his convention closer. But he surely could have done better than he did. He gave the fourth best speech of the Democratic convention, and the three better ones—Bill Clinton’s, Michelle Obama’s, and (rather surprisingly, at least for me) Joe Biden’s—weren’t spectacular. And he gave a speech that couldn’t rank near the top tier of his own presidential speeches.

The basic problem for a president running for re-election in hard times is to explain how the next four years would be different than the last four without making himself sound like a failure. Obama simply didn’t do that. He offered the Left’s usual confused nostalgia for the early postwar years followed by a vague vision of hope and a set of bland goals that had to leave his listeners wondering why he hadn’t done these things in the last four years, and therefore why we should expect him to be more effective with (almost certainly) even fewer votes in Congress on his side in the next four. He offered no sense that he thinks some significant change of direction is necessary, and therefore seems set on spending the fall insisting that things are on the right track but Mitt Romney would disrupt them. I suspect that won’t be an easy sell.
The president and his speechwriters must have recognized that this would seem strange, so they gave the speech two further themes—one defensive and one offensive. The defensive theme was an attempt to roll back his “you didn’t build that” gaffe by simply asserting that he and his party do believe in individual initiative, self-reliance, and earned success. He said there were some problems the government couldn’t solve, though he declined to name them. (Later in the speech he also acknowledged that he, not unlike Abraham Lincoln, actually had some failings, though he declined to name those too.) But even as he said this he persisted in the dominant trope of this convention—and, it seems, of contemporary progressive thought: the jump from the sheer fact of human interdependence to a defense of every federal program in precisely its current form. It’s the liberal welfare state or the law of the jungle, and no other alternative is imaginable. This mental gesture—which simultaneously offers an excuse for ignoring the imminent collapse of the liberal welfare state and for ignoring what conservatives are actually saying and offering—really deserves to be thought through. It is a fascinating indicator of the contemporary Left’s intellectual exhaustion.
The offensive theme was, however, far more ably developed, and it seemed to be the only part of the speech that the president really cared about. It was in part an outgrowth of the same self-righteous progressive error—of the sense that the Republicans are offering radical individualism and a cold and selfish you’re-on-your-own philosophy of government. And to this extent it was answered by a very revealing display of the left’s tendency to collapse all of society—all that stands between the individual and the state—into the state. Different speakers this week took this up in different ways (starting with the opening video in which one of the speakers said that government is the only thing we all belong to), and Obama’s way was to say that his party’s alternative to the every man for himself philosophy of the Right is an idea of citizenship. “We believe in citizenship,” he said, “a word at the very heart of our founding, at the very essence of our democracy.” It’s an odd claim, as the word “citizenship” doesn’t appear in any founding document (and to the extent that “citizen” does it describes a legal resident, and never seems to be assigned much significance) and the term citizen actually had a rather complicated place in the parlance of late 18th century Anglo-American politics, often used to refer derisively to radicals. Hamilton’s friends in the newspapers frequently referred to Thomas Jefferson as “Citizen Jefferson,” to Jefferson’s very great displeasure, to highlight his affinity for the French revolutionaries. For Obama, the term seemed to be useful as a way of identifying our commonality with our membership in a political community defined by its government. It is, again, a fascinating instinct, conveying at once both the best and the worst of the old progressive outlook but (it seems) without much reflection on its serious limitations. There is rich potential in the notion of citizenship, but only if it is seen as denoting membership in a society that consists of more than a government. Obama gave no real indication that the word has this meaning for him.
For the most part, though, the offensive theme was a simpler matter: attacking Mitt Romney and his supposed plans to eradicate all of government while giving tax cuts to the wealthy. The president sought to use the fact that the Republicans last week didn’t have much to say about their own agenda to try to describe that agenda for the country himself. This consisted largely of some indefensible interpretations of Romney’s budget goals and a downright falsehood or two about his Medicare proposal plus the assertion that someone with no foreign policy experience couldn’t be trusted to be president (which does take some gall for this particular president). But the thrust of it, again, was to suggest that Romney wanted to decimate the government for the sake of his rich friends.
This was really the only coherent message of the speech: Romney would be bad for America. The president laid out no discernible second-term agenda of his own, and his defense of his first term bore no resemblance to what that first term had involved.
After these two weeks, I think it’s fair to say that both Romney and Obama seek to make the election a referendum on the other guy. Both conventions only got specific in their criticisms of the opposing party, and neither did much to offer a particular agenda for the next four years. This is, at least to this wonk, a disappointing fact. But it does suggest that Romney has some advantage going into the final stretch: the idea that this election is a referendum on the incumbent president will certainly seem much more plausible to swing voters than the idea that it is a referendum on Mitt Romney. If neither side offers much that is new, our unhappy electorate will vote against the status quo.
Taken as a whole, the Democratic convention was surprisingly strident and culturally liberal, while the Republican convention was mostly just very dull. But if we compare only their 10pm hours—the only ones any moveable voters probably saw—the Democrats put on a better show. At the end of the day, it’s hard to see how these two conventions taken together will move the needle much either way. Good fun for us political junkies, but not a whole lot more.

The awful, awful August jobs report (What we have is a stagnant economy)

AEI ^ | 09/07/2012 | James Pethokoukis
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2012 2:36:07 PM by SeekAndFind

This was not the employment report either American workers or the Obama campaign were hoping for. A huge miss. It shows the U.S. labor market remains in a deep depression, generating few jobs and little if no income growth. As IHS Global Insight puts it:
All cylinders are not yet firing … manufacturing has at least temporarily run out of steam, and overall growth in output and employment is likely to remain at only a modest pace. … We expect second-half 2012 GDP growth to average 1.5%, slightly slower than the first half. Slower growth in exports and business capital spending will keep growth subdued.
And here is Citigroup’s take:
The unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% from 8.3%, but in this case with declines in both the labor force (-368,000) and the household-survey measure of employment (-119,000). With labor force participation falling back to a new cycle low of 63.5%, the drop in the unemployment rate should not be reported as good news.
Now the depressing details of the jobs report:
– Nonfarm payrolls increased by only 96,000 in August, the Labor Department said, versus expectations of 125,000 jobs or more. The manufacturing sector, much touted by the president in his convention speech, lost 15,000 jobs.
– Since the start of the year, job growth has averaged 139,000 per month vs. an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.
– As the chart at the top shows, the unemployment rate remains far above the rate predicted by Team Obama if Congress passed the stimulus. (This is the Romer-Bernstein chart.)
– While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% from 8.3% in July, it was due to a big drop in the labor force participation rate (the share of Americans with a job or looking for one). If fewer Americans hadn’t given up looking for work, the unemployment rate would have risen.
– Reuters notes that the participation rate is now at its lowest level since September 1981.
– If the labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 11.2%.
If the participation rate had just stayed the same as last month, the unemployment rate would be 8.4%.

– The Labor Department also said that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in June and July than previously reported. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised from 64,000 to 45,000, and the change for July was revised from 163,000 to 141,000.
– The broader U-6 unemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who want full-time work, is at 14.7%.
– The employment-population ratio is perhaps the broadest measure of the health of the labor market. It just shows how many Americans — not in the military or in prison — as a share of the population actually have some sort of a job. That number fell last month to 58.3%, just off its Great Recession lows.

– Each month, The Hamilton Project examines the “jobs gap” — the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing the people who enter the labor force each month. If we added 96,000 jobs every month, we would not close the jobs gap until after 2025, as this chart shows.

– The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in August. The manufacturing workweek declined by 0.2 hour to 40.5 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours.
– The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours.
– In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 1 cent to $23.52. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings rose by just 1.7 percent.
– In August, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged down by 1 cent to $19.75.
Again, a terribly anemic report that shows a stagnant economy — not one ready to boom.

Mr. Obama’s hazy agenda for a second term!

Washington Post ^ | Friday, September 7, 2012 12:23 AM | Editorial Board

“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy,” President Obama said Thursday night in accepting the Democratic nomination for a second term. “I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth.”

But as with Republicans in Tampa a week ago, the content of Mr. Obama’s remarks was short on those hard truths.

Addressing his party’s convention in Charlotte, Mr. Obama acknowledged problems that Republican nominee Mitt Romney ignored or dismissed in his own acceptance speech, such as the impact of global warming. He offered more specific goals than did Mr. Romney, many of which he had previously set: doubling U.S. exports, training 2 million workers at community colleges, recruiting 100,000 math and science teachers. Those, and a few new goals—creating 1 million manufacturing jobs over four years, cutting oil imports in half by 2020, cutting in half the growth in college tuition—are laudable. But Mr. Obama did not explain how he would achieve them or prepare the country for the difficult choices they would demand. …

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

GOP Calls Out Clinton's Bony Finger Wag as Character Reference for Obama ^ | September 7, 2012 | Rush Limbaugh


RUSH: Hey, I like this, folks. CNN: "Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night reminded at least one Republican of another time the former president stepped before the microphones. Former California Gov. Pete Wilson said Thursday at a fundraiser for GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan that Clinton's finger shake was reminiscent of the time he denied engaging in sexual behavior with a White House intern."

Remember him shaking that bony finger? He's up there shaking that bony finger at the convention. It bothered me. And Pete Wilson's right. (imitating Clinton) "I never had sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky, not a single time, and I never asked anybody to lie, not once." This is the guy doing character references for Barack Obama, and Pete Wilson of all people, doesn't matter, it's great. Finally somebody out fighting back against the Clinton speech, which supposedly owned the convention, it was the greatest thing under the sun.

This is the kind of stuff that's gonna have to happen, folks. We can't rely on my perception that I just shared with you carrying the day. It's gonna have to be told. The Romney campaign is going to have to campaign. The Romney campaign is gonna have to burnish Obama's record in the minds of every voter in this country. They're gonna have to highlight this unemployment news. They're gonna have to broadcast it. They're gonna have to focus on it: the dismal economic performance; the drop from 55 to 51,000 in average family income; the number of people on food stamps.

The campaign can't go lax. The campaign can't count on talk radio to carry the day. They can't count on public perception of the Democrat convention, because I don't know how many people saw it the way I did. I'm just telling you how I saw it. I know a lot of people still live in fear that no matter what the reality is, the left can spin it so that the public is lied to and believes the lies. I know people believe that. I know that no matter how bad Obama's speech was, people on our side still think that it can be spun and presented as the best speech he's ever made.

Although it isn't being spun that way.

Nobody's even trying that.

I mean, not even Debbie "Blabbermouth" Schultz went there! She didn't even try it. But that's great opportunity. They had all that time last night to go out and make the best case, to seize the moment, to try to redefine this race to be anything they want it to be -- and what did they do? It was stunning how incompetent it ended up being last night. How un-smart, how un-cool. It was striking to me. It really was. I can't emphasize enough that I literally felt physically ill before it started. It was new. I've not felt that way before.
But it ended up everything was fine and dandy when it was over.


RUSH: You know, I tell you, I like the idea Pete Wilson calling Clinton out. I like the Republicans calling Clinton out. And the unemployment numbers have given the Republicans an issue now to get energized on, and they're doing that. But, folks, you watch Bill Clinton, and a woman says to you, like she says to Alex Castellanos, "Golly, you know what? I watched Clinton last night, and I want to vote for Clinton, and I want to sleep with Clinton." That is the actual War on Women and an insult to their intelligence. Here is a guy, when you boil it all down, who has mistreated women, from interns to his wife, and the Democrat Party throws him up as somebody to fawn after and admire.

How Democrats’ ‘God’ Complex Handed Mitt Romney the Election in Three Minutes

The Washington Times ^ | September 6, 2012 | Joseph Curl

In just three short minutes, Democrats handed the 2012 election to Republican Mitt Romney.

In a surreal floor vote at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., at 5:04 p.m., long before prime-time viewers flipped on their TVs, delegates split — hard — on whether to include a simple mention of God in their platform, and to declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
“Awkward,” “embarrassing,” “stupid,” “unforced error,” said Democrat Paul Begala. That doesn’t even begin to capture what will be a game-changing event in the presidential election.
With no advance warning and no fanfare, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a rising star in the party, took to the podium. He gave the floor to the head of the platform-drafting committee, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.
“As an ordained United Methodist minister, I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the value we have expressed in our party’s platform,” he said. “In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and our party’s platform should as well.”
Well. The delegates voted — by yelling ‘yay’ or ‘no.’
Spotlight Mr. Villaraigosa. “In the opinion of the chair — let me do that again.”
He did. Another vote, half yay, half no.
“I, uh, I guess — ” said the by-now formerly rising party star, turning for help.
An unknown woman sidled up and told him, “You just gotta let them vote, and let them do what they’re gonna do.”
Finally, in vote 3, the “no’s” clearly won, but the teleprompter said otherwise and the motion was deemed passed: God and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel were back in the party platform.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Survey: Small businesses created NO jobs in August! ^

Small businesses created no jobs last month, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Federation of Independent Business.

The small business advocacy group said the survey of its members shows...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Why a Drop in the Unemployment Rate Is Tragic

Yahoo Finance ^ | 9/7/12 | Jeff Macke

According to this morning's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for August fell to 8.1% compared to 8.3% in July. If you like your news positive and grossly oversimplified stop reading now; the details on the report are hideous.


Nonfarm Payroll Employment rose by 96k compared to estimates of 125k - 130k and a far cry from the average growth of 139k in 2012. Last year the average monthly gain was 153k. July's NFP number was revised lower from 163k to 141k. The greatest gains came from the food services and drinking sector. In other words, from waiting tables or bartending. These are some of the most brutal, lowest paying jobs extant. The labor force participation rate fell to 63.5%, the lowest read in over 30 years.

When this number goes down so does the stated unemployment rate. To get to 8.1% unemployment, 368,000 Americans had to drop out of the labor force. No matter what you hear or read elsewhere, America's job picture is getting worse. Much, much worse.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Barack Obama's war on America's fresh water supply: China is buying up Lake Michigan!

Coach is Right ^ | 8/7/2012 | Suzanne Eovaldi

Barack Obama is keeping his promise to lower the sea levels, and he’s starting with the drought plagued Midwest where Lake Michigan water is being shipped by the boat loads over to China!
By using a little known loophole in the 2006 Great Lakes Compact, Obama minions are allowing Nestle Company to export precious fresh water out of Lake Michigan to the tune of an estimated $500,000 million to $1.8 million per day profit.

By draining the precious jewel of the Great Lakes in the middle of America, our federal water managers are allowing the export of our water out of our country across thousands of miles of oceans into the Asian basin plagued by huge population centers who are suffering from their constant lack of fresh water. How’s that for cutting America down to size?

The water is being sold at a “240 times markup,” that is, well over 240 times its production costs. (2) In 2006, then President George W. Bush signed into law a...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Campaign 2012 in a Nutshell: Wrong Ideas Vs. No Ideas ^ | September 7, 2012 | Jonah Goldberg

Charlotte, N.C. -- Going by the conventional rules of American politics, the Democratic Convention this week was an unmitigated disaster. And, going by the same rules, GOP convention was a disaster, too. So, either the rules of American politics have fundamentally changed, or at least one of the parties is taking an enormous gamble.

Since the Nixon years, the GOP has enjoyed a marked advantage over the Democrats at the presidential level. Cultural issues -- race, religion, abortion, patriotism -- have worked to the Republicans' advantage. Until Barack Obama's election in 2008, no Democrat has won the presidency without aggressively adapting to that fact.

Jimmy Carter, a Southern evangelical, defeated a very moderate Vice President Gerald Ford at a moment when the GOP was still reeling from the Watergate scandal and Ford's pardon of Nixon. Still, it's easy to forget that Carter was the choice of what would come to be known as the "Christian Right" (historian Steven Hayward reminds me that Carter got a lavishly generous reception on the fledgling "700 Club").
At the beginning of the general election campaign, Ford was behind 33 points and by the end had very nearly caught up with Carter. Had Carter not cast himself as a pious Southern veteran, small business owner, and conservative-leaning Democrat (opposed to busing, muddled on abortion), or if the GOP had not nominated such a liberal candidate so closely tied to the Nixon presidency, it's quite possible the Republicans would have won in 1976.
Since then, any Democrat who tried to run as an unapologetic liberal, particularly on cultural issues, lost. In 1992, the Democrats seemed to have figured that out. They nominated Bill Clinton, a pro-death penalty Southerner who wanted abortion to be "safe, legal and rare" and who campaigned against the "something for nothing" welfare state politics of his own party. He picked fights -- often symbolic, occasionally substantive -- with the left to prove he was a centrist.
Thanks to a host of complex reasons, many of them having to do with George W. Bush's mixed political legacy, the Democrats no longer feel the need to play Clintonian games. They yanked the "rare" language out of the abortion plank of the platform, supporting instead abortion on demand. Indeed, a layman watching the speeches from abortion activists, and more importantly the reactions of the delegates, would conclude that the ancestral party of the Free Silver movement had morphed into the free abortion movement. It's a remarkable shift given that the electorate is more pro-life today than it was when Bill Clinton ran in 1992.
On the symbolism front, in what even leading Democrats admit was a spectacular display of self-inflicted stupidity, they managed to scrub any mention of God from the Democratic platform. They also removed support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. When they realized how grievously idiotic these unforced errors were, they tried to fix them by amending the document. The result was an ugly moment where the delegates voted three times against, in effect, God and Jerusalem, until the chairman of the convention, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa simply steamrolled his own party like some Politburo bully.
It's an unspoken rule of politics that you're in a bad place when you're renouncing God on TV -- three times! Even Peter stayed away from the cameras when he renounced Jesus.
Meanwhile, the Republicans seem to have become Dukakified. It was Michael Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, who insisted that the election should be entirely about "competence, not ideology." Romney has avoided saying that in so many words, but it's certainly how he's campaigning. After running to the right in the primaries and boldly picking Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, Romney bizarrely seems to have retreated to an ideological and even intellectual crouch.
Though he doesn't say it explicitly, the tone and tenor of Romney's convention speech suggested that Obama failed because didn't have the right resume, not because he has the wrong ideas. Stuart Stevens, Romney's top strategist, has dismayed many on the right by operating according to the theory that Romney mustn't do anything to offend the delicate sensibilities of some statistical abstraction of a female voter in the Ohio suburbs. Listening to the Romney speech, you'd have no idea he picked a principled, fearless and brilliant conservative lightning rod as a running mate.
If Stevens' theory of the election is right, then the GOP convention was brilliantly executed. But that is a huge gamble -- as huge as Obama's bet that Americans have moved left. Right now, however, it looks too much like a contest between people with the wrong ideas against people without any.

Someone Needs To Literally Give Joe Biden A Thesaurus!

The Looking Spoon ^ | 9-7-12 | The Looking Spoon

He LITERALLY used that word 10 times in his DNC speech. I'm not sure any instance was even a proper use of the word.

Here's an example of "literally" used correctly...

Not only was the substance of Joe Biden's speech terrible, it's hard to say that it couldn't have been delivered any worse than it was.

Elizabeth Warren: Half Cherokee, Half-Truth! ^ | September 7, 2012 | John Ransom

Professors are really good at knowing the history of their topic in a way that the rest of us can’t fathom. And after listening to Professor Elizabeth Warren wax poetic about Obama as the Lobbyist-in-Chief for American families, I have a new-found respect for the breadth of their knowledge.

Because not only do they have to study facts and figures, but apparently they have to make things up too.!

It’s one thing to remember facts, but an entirely different art from to get your fiction straight.
Just imagine the imagination that it takes to come up with the fiction Warren bleated out at the Democrat National Carnival on Wednesday night, saying “American families didn’t have an army of lobbyists on our side, but what we had was a president – President Obama — leading the way,” according to

Thank goodness that Obama stood up to that army of lobbyists when he took their money and their appointments at the White House.

It’s a novel concept for a president to stand-up to lobbyists by taking their money and doing basically everything they want. But Obama, as we know now, is just the kind of guy who will stand up to lobbyists everywhere, as long as it's mostly only in his own imagination.
Because there is a $5 trillion of evidence that says Obama is a lobbyist’s dream president.
Our national debt is up 60 percent since 2009 to $16 trillion, and that means that every household in the country now is accountable for $136,260 per household according to calculations by Terrance Jeffrey at CNSNews.
“As of Friday, the debt was 16,015,769,788,215.80,” writes Jeffrey. “According to the Census Bureau, there were approximately 117,538,000 households in the country in 2010. Thus, the current debt equals about $136,260 per household. When President Obama was inaugurated in 2009, the debt was 10,626,877,048,913.08 and has since increased by 5,388,892,739,302.72. That equals an increase of about $45,848 per household.”
And if you think that the $5,3888,892,739,302.72 didn’t include 1,000 well-tailored lobbyists jostling for that money and just too eager to share some of it with president, then you missed the $2.97 dress Michelle Obama was wearing when she gave her speech at the DNC in $250 shoes.
I can tell you this much: When Obamacare was written, there were a ton of lobbyists around the table. They talked about a lot things, such as deductibles, co-pays, tax increases and fee-for-service schedules. But they didn’t talk about the things American families care about like broken bones, bad backs and grandma’s prescription drugs.
When the auto industry was being reinvented by the administration, sweetheart deals were cut for the biggest lobby of all-time- the labor unions- which cost U.S. taxpayers just around $25.1 billion, up $3.4 billion from previous estimates according to US Department of the Treasury, says Reuters.
And if you think we’re done paying the bill on that, then you aren’t paying attention.
When families hung in the balance waiting for jobs created by construction of the Keystone Pipeline, it wasn’t American families leaning hard on president Obama to scuttle the pipeline on the fictitious grounds of protecting the Ogallala aquifer. It’s was money from lobbyists on the environmental left that ultimately swayed him.
Warren, the half-Cherokee, half-truth US Senate candidate, wants us to believe that we didn’t build our lives or own successes.
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own,” Senate candidate and half Indian, Elizabeth Warren half-truthed to us months ago. “You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory.”
That’s good.
Thanks to president Obama American families are safe from marauding bands, says Warren. Marauding government instead will protect us from success that we create- gasp!- on our own.
Warren likes to tell us that the game has been rigged. And she’s right.
But she and president Obama are big winners in that rigged game.
And her fiction- like the fictions coming from the professional political class on both the left and the right- is designed to keep them winners even if they have to sacrifice every American family to do it.

Economy Adds Only 96,000 Workers, Disability Greater Than Decline in Unemployment Since June 2010

Confounded Interest ^ | 09/07/2012 | Anthony B. Sanders

The economy added 96,000 workers last month following a revised 141,000 rise in July that was smaller than initially estimated according to the Labor Department. The median estimate of economists was for a gain of 130,000. Unemployment unexpectedly fell to 8.1 percent. U6 unemployment fell to 14.70%.

Are we better off than we were at the beginning of recovery summer 2010? Yes and no. The number of people that are unemployed has fallen by 2 million, but we have added over 2 million people to disability.

A closer look at the numbers reveals that the civilian labor force FELL in August by -368,000. Ah, our civilian labor forced declined resulting in a decline in the unemployment rate of the survivors declined. That is, the decline in unemployment was less than the decline in the labor force.
What is interesting about this chart is the growth in the civilian labor force (green) under President Bush, but the growth in the labor force since 2009 has been much slower.
So, this was a disappointing jobs report. I hope The Fed didn’t notice!
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Mi Pueblo supermarket chain chief criticized for using E-Verify!

San Jose Mercury News ^ | 9/6/12 | Matt O'Brien

His rags-to-riches immigrant journey and good business sense crowned Juvenal Chavez the king of Latino supermarkets in the Bay Area, but now the CEO is fighting a harsh attack on the reputation of his 21-store Mi Pueblo Foods grocery chain.

Mi Pueblo stunned some of its more than 3,000 employees last month when it told them it had joined E-Verify, a Department of Homeland Security program that screens the immigration status of new hires.
Now, with union activists accusing Chavez of betraying his own undocumented immigrant roots and threatening a consumer boycott if he doesn't pull out of E-Verify by October, the entrepreneur is fighting back in a war of words against the union and political opposition.

A protest outside the chain's San Jose headquarters on Thursday was "part of an ongoing campaign against Mi Pueblo (to) damage our good name," said spokeswoman Perla Rodriguez, who accused labor unions of an underhanded campaign to distort the company's record of advocacy for the Bay Area's Latino community.
Lauded by city leaders around the Bay Area for buying up vacant or rundown big-box supermarkets and transforming them into colorful, festive Latin American food markets, Chavez is now confronting one of his biggest public-relations challenges since he founded the company in 1991 on San Jose's Eastside.
Among Mi Pueblo's most prominent critics is Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, who said in December that armed security guards escorted him from a San Jose store when he paid a visit after hearing complaints about work conditions. The company had said the visit by Cortese, a likely 2014 candidate for mayor of San Jose, was a union-organized "media stunt."
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Voter Fraud in Charlotte!

Environmental act increasingly unpopular [killing jobs]

San Francisco Chronicle ^ | September 6, 2012 | New York Times

Los Angeles--Environmentalists in this greenest of places call the California Environmental Quality Act the state's most powerful environmental protection, a model for the nation credited with preserving lush wetlands and keeping condominiums off the slopes of the Sierra Nevada.
But increasingly, the landmark law passed in 1970 has also been abused, opening the door to lawsuits - sometimes brought by business competitors or for reasons unrelated to the environment - which, regardless of their merit, can delay even green development projects for years or sometimes kill them completely.
"Something is broken," said Leron Gubler, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "A lot of jobs could have been saved if not for these lawsuits, as well as new jobs once these projects were completed."
Gubler said lawsuits and the threat of litigation had delayed at least seven recent projects in Hollywood, costing the area more than 6,000 jobs.
In one of those Hollywood projects, the developers of a mixed-use retail and residential project won a lawsuit against its building plans, but the owners declared bankruptcy and sold before the ruling. Work has finally begun under new ownership, but another lawsuit has been filed......
.....And it is not only big projects that are litigation targets......
Last month, Michael J. Rubio, a Democrat in the state Senate, introduced a bill that would have overhauled enforcement of the law. Although the bill was killed within 24 hours, he said he would try again next year.
...."It wasn't reform: It was gutting the law," said David Pettit, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The California Environmental Quality Act as we've known it for many years protecting the environment would go away in favor of a checklist approach."...
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Better Off?

Posted Image

Bend Over!

Posted Image


Posted Image

DNC Attendee!

Posted Image

Trick Question?

Posted Image

Jobs Council

Posted Image


Posted Image

Empty Chairs

Posted Image

Four More?

Posted Image


Posted Image

Mount Suckmore

Posted Image

Obama's Big Lie Campaign

Investor's Business Daily ^ | 09/06/12 | IBD Staff

Politics: President Obama says he deserves four more years in the White House so he can fix the huge mess he inherited. But to make that case, he's embarked on a massive disinformation campaign on full display this week.

How else do you run on a record that includes the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression, falling incomes, low-paying jobs and little hope of a brighter future? You trot out dozens of speakers at the week's Democratic Convention, culminating with Bill Clinton, to repeat untruths that would make George Orwell proud.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...