Mia Love, The Haitian-American woman running for congress in Utah against a well-known entrenched democrat, spoke before the Republican National Convention. The Salt Lake Tribute reported that two of her remarks did not make it pass the republican censors – er editors. This is interesting because Mike Huckabee has been stating that he was given free rein in his speech. One wonders if any of his remarks were edited as well. What were the edits of Love’s speech? They were two references to race. First, here is the speech that Love gave at the RNC.
“Let me tell you about the America I know. My parents immigrated to the U.S. with ten dollars in their pocket, believing that the America they had heard about really did exist. When times got tough they didn't look to Washington, they looked within.
So the America I came to know was centered in personal responsibility and filled with the American dream.
The America I know is grounded in the determination found in patriots and pioneers, in small business owners with big ideas, in the farmers who work in the beauty of our landscape, in our heroic military and Olympians. It's in every child who looks at the seemingly impossible and says, "I can do that." That is the America I know!
President Obama's version of America is a divided one — pitting us against each other based on our income level, gender, and social status. His policies have failed! We are not better off than we were 4 years ago, and no rhetoric, bumper sticker, or campaign ad can change that.
Mr. President I am here to tell you we are not buying what you are selling in 2012.
The American Dream is our story. It is a story of human struggle, standing up and striving for more. It's been told for over 200 years with small steps and giant leaps; from a woman on a bus to a man with a dream; and the bravery of the greatest generation, to the entrepreneurs of today.
This is our story. This is the America we know because we built it.
With Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan we can restore the America we know and love. The world will know it, our children will tell it and our grandchildren will possess it for years to come!
God bless America.”
Now here is what the Salt Lake Tribune reports:
In the draft of her speech leading up to the convention, Love had planned to say that Obama has "attempted to pit us against each other based on the color of our skin, our gender, income level, age and social status."
Also gone was a later reference to race, where Love said: "The truth is that the president’s policies have made minorities and the most vulnerable in society more desperate and dependent on government, less self-reliant, less upwardly mobile and ultimately less free."
Blast those weak-kneed republicans! Love would have said what needs to be said to all Americans but especially to those black Americans who still will vote for Obama strictly because he is a democrat and especially because he is black. What needs to be said by all republicans is that the policies of democrats have robbed the poor of incentives and have created a spiral of dependency. Coming from a black woman this message is particularly powerful. Too bad, the censors at the RNC are gutless.
I think it was George Will who referred to the republicans as the “stupid party”. Sadly that has been historically true. The lasting vision of republicans has been the old white country clubber with the blue-haired wife embarrassed by fundamental Christians and conservatives. The Tea Party was certainly not welcomed with open arms by the mainstream republican establishment. But like them or not, the Tea Party fielded candidates under the republican label. The reason being that third party races would guarantee continued leadership by the congressional democrats. Now we have a conundrum. First, the republican platform committee is picking a fight with the conservatives seeking to dilute dissident voices. Of course, they are shortsighted because if those on the right get nominated then they could purge the moderates as well. Second, Mitt Romney who is touted as the candidate of the moderates, had to approve the list of speakers at the convention. Who did we get the first day? Va. Governor Bob McDonnell, Sen. John Hoeven (ND), Rep Marsha Blackburn (TN), Rick Santorum, Sen Kelly Ayotte (NH), Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Wis Gov. Scott Walker, Nev Gov. Brian Sandoval, Texas senatorial candidate Ted Cruz, Gov Nikki Haley (SC), former democratic Rep Artur Davis, Gov Chris Christie (NJ) and my favorite, Utah rep. candidate Mia Love. None of these are mainstream moderates. All are dedicated conservatives, young, mainly minorities and extremely bright. Look at who the dems will have speaking at their convention and see whose future looks brightest. The republicans and more importantly, the country.
I was always under the impression that less than 50 percent of eligible adults voted. This is because in elections around the world we hear of 90+ percent participation while it was significantly less in the US. So I went to the census bureau (www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p20-562.pdf) and found out the following. In the presidential election of 2008, 64 percent of voting age citizens voted which was not statistically different from the presidential elections of 2004. You would think that since this was an historic election with Barack Obama being the democratic nominee that there would be a higher percentage voting, but no. However, blacks voted at the higher levels since those statistics have been recorded. Nonetheless, the likelihood of blacks voting was still only 65 percent. One would have thought that voter participation among blacks would have been much higher. Non-Hispanic whites voted at 66 percent while Asians and Hispanics were only at a dismal 49 percent. I have no clue why the Asian participation rate is so low but you would have thought that given the dustups over immigration and Hispanics now constituting the largest minority group, that their voter participation would be greater. However, the number of minority voters did increase. There were 5 million more voters in 2008 than in 2004. Of that number 2 million were black, 2 million were Hispanic and 600,000 were Asian. The number of non-Hispanic white voters stayed about the same. Consequently, both the number of black voters increased along with black voter participation. Nonetheless, 65 percent participation is still surprisingly low. The census also reported that of the 225 million adults, 206 million were citizens and 146 million were registered and 131 million voted. This means that while only the voting rate for the total population was 58 percent. Of the adult population 64 percent were registered and 90 percent of those voted.
Several days ago I contacted three dear friends who are yellow dog democrats to have them educate me on why a rational thinking person would vote for Obama. One replied "I just love him". One replied it was because of mandatory universal health insurance (Obamacare). I had sent her a blog explaining how the problem could be solved at a fraction of the cost but she said that it did not matter, she was voting for him regardless. Both are white. My black friends who are dems - with two exceptions - are voting for him regardless and make excuses for him. The third (also white) friend replied thusly and reinforced my belief that some differences are simply intractable.
Here is what she wrote.
"Short answer: Obama beats the alternative.
A more elaborate response: Romney is, and has always been, out of touch with the way the majority of Americans live their daily lives - as anyone who has been wealthy all of their lives generally tendsto be. And you can't govern well if you can't understand what your constituents needs are.
Also, I think that, left to his own devices, Romney is as much (if not MORE) of a loose cannon as Joe Biden! Mainly because he seems to not understand one WHIT about how what he says will impact his listener. Example: his disastrous European "tour" after his visit to the Olympics. How many international leaders did he offend in the span of only one week?! Just think how much damage he could do to our world standing in four years!!
As to your quandary: I feel that a "partisan believer" will never be able to see the "rationality" of another person's opposite viewpoint.
And you qualify as a partisan believer, m'dear, BECAUSE you stated upfront that you think supporting Obama is irrational.
Maybe support for a candidate you abhor seems irrational to you - and maybe it is to some non-sentient, unthinking Obama's supporters. But I base my preference on rational gathering and culling of TONS of information and a careful observance of each candidate's behavior, rhetoric, background and performance.
Hope that answers your question."
The Obama camp sure got huffy over Romney’s comment that no one has asked to see his birth certificate. Almost instantaneously, they released a comment with righteous indignation. And this is from the same bunch that has called Romney a felon, a tax cheat, an animal abuser and most famously a murderer. Compared to all that, Romney’s comments were timid and tame. I posted yesterday on Todd Akin and the dems reaction to it with NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Sandra Fluke and other pro-abortion speakers at their convention. A dear friend who is a yellow dog dem thinks this is a mistake. She says that abortion is one issue that should not be up front and in your face at the convention because even dems think that it is something that should be private and even unseemly. Since most Americans identify themselves as pro-life and even most dems find the act unsavory, to have it displayed so prominently at the convention is a mistake. Also, Obama still is very strong among Hispanics. She thinks that if the republicans have any smarts, they will through the super pacs and Ryan (who is catholic) blanket the Hispanic markets with the pro–abortionists' speeches. It should be interesting.
Todd Akin’s stupid comment on rape has caused the polls to flip. Akin’s lead has vanished and now McCaskill is leading by 10 points. Also Romney now trails Obama in Missouri by one point despite he and Ryan and all the republican honchos in Missouri denouncing Akin. Apparently the powers that be in the democratic hierarchy have decided to feature Akin, rape and abortion at their convention. Since the comment, the speakers at the democratic national convention have been announced. Among the speakers are Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the openly gay Democratic Senate candidate, Illinois congressional candidate and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Eva Longoria, national co-chair of Obama's campaign, Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, Lilly Ledbetter a women’s equality activist and Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late president. But also speaking are Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Nancy Keenan president of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) Pro-Choice America and Sandra Fluke who gained notoriety when Rush Limbaugh lampooned her wanted to have others pay for her birth control. Is there any doubt that these women will try to tie Romney and Ryan to Akin? Well there shouldn’t since Fluke previewed of her speech in an email released by the president's re-election campaign. Romney and Ryan, Fluke wrote "they're in lockstep with Akin on the major women's health issues of our time. There is a clear choice for women in this election."
Really? Has the irony of also having Bill Clinton – an accused rapist and a widely recognized sexual predator – keynoting the same democratic convention been lost on the media, on the democrats or more importantly, on women? Maybe the republican superpacs can use the Clinton speech in an ad where they flash pictures of Kathleen Willey, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky while the former president is speaking. For those who have forgotten the sordid escapades of Clinton see what one female democrat wrote:
The Obama campaign has released the stand-ins for the debate. While the republicans say that no stand-in is needed for Romney and Ryan, the democrats have announced that John Kerry is the stand-in for Romney and Chris Von Holen is Ryan’s stand-in. There is no truth to the rumor that Goofy was being considered as the stand-in for Biden.
Romney congratulated Condelezza Rice for her membership in Augusta National. Do you think Obama will congratulate either her or the other new female member, Darla Moore, also a republican? So who is having a war on women?
Why is it that there are no success stories in welfare? Namely, there must be someone who has used welfare to spring into the mainstream and from there into prosperity. Surely with all the trillions spent there must be evidence of success - or is success defined as staying on welfare?
Didn’t Obama say he was going to evaluate every federal program and if it wasn’t working to get rid of it? I guess he concluded that they all were working.
Isn’t it stunning that because of the drought and its impact on the US corn crop that the UN has asked the US to suspend its ethanol requirements and use the corn for food and feed rather than for fuel. The UN? Of course, it is dumb to burn up your food and feed in the first place. Again, if Iowa didn’t have that first presidential caucus we would have cheaper food. What happened to switchgrass?
Isn’t it also stunning that the dems are actually saying with a straight face that cutting $700+ billion from medicare will not have any impact on benefits? Rather they are saying that the cuts will come from increased efficiency and reduction of fraud. So is there any evidence of increased efficiency in any government activity? And there is $700+b in fraud in the medicare program? Shouldn’t somebody go to jail? And people actually believe this? If so, I bet they own swamp land in Florida and a couple of bridges. What isn’t stunning is that the dems have not been pilloried by the media.
What is also not surprising is the lack of media scrutiny over Obama’s not going to speak at the NAACP convention, Obama’s not offering an apology over Biden’s “put ya’ll back in chains” remark but what about Obama’s remark when he was asked why has he done so little for his black constituents and his answer that he isn’t just the president of black people but the president of the United States of America. You would have thought that at least the black sycophants could be up in arms and the press would have shouted the last remark to the heavens. But no. Just silence.
How about Joe Biden’s week? There was the chains comment, thinking he was in North Carolina when he was in Virginia (actually that reminded me of the Southwest Airlines commercial when the singer thank the crowd using the wrong city – “want to get away?”) and not knowing what century is this. Biden has always been a gaffe machine but as Jim Geraghty at National Review says Biden is “an ill-informed, tactless, often obnoxious, loudmouthed, bloviating rhetorical time-bomb”. Wow. Wish I had said that. But isn’t it stunning that we have not seen the media comparing Paul Ryan with Biden saying “who do you want a heartbeat away from the president?” No. Not stunning at all. But this may be one of the few elections where the vice presidential candidate may actually make an impact on the election and push the few undecided to vote one way rather than another.
Why are idiots on the left immune from derision? What would the press say if Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Joe Biden were republicans?
When Paul Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate I was wondering if the democrats (of all people) would start running ads wondering if Ryan was a closet atheist in an effort to suppress the vote from the Christian right. That is because of Ryan’s professed love for Ayn Ryan who was a free market atheist. Well in an interview with Fox’s Britt Hume Paul Ryan was asked about his affection for Ayn Rand. He answered that Atlas Shrugged triggered his interest in economics and "she showed how the pitfalls of socialism can hurt the economy." (Note: Ryan has also said in the past that the works of Ludwig Von Mises and Freidrich Hayek, were “required reading" for his staff and interns.) Then Ryan said to Hume "I later in life learned about what her philosophy was," Ryan said, "It's called objectivism. It's something I completely disagree with. It's an atheistic philosophy."
I think what really attracted Ryan to Rand is that the first four letters of her name are r-y-a-n.
And I am sure you have noticed that Ron Paul’s son, the senator from Kentucky, is named Rand.
Another in the continuing saga of the differences between men and women. Watching the rally in Norfolk my girlfriend said of Paul Ryan: “Well. He’s going to get the women vote.” I said “huh?” She said “Oh he is so good looking.” I said “Him? Good looking? I think he looks like a nerd.” Obviously she was right. The press has blown up over Ryan’s looks. Here is an article from Politico “Forget the budget: Paul Ryan is hot!” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79632.html.
Isn’t it interesting that in the hero worship that conservatives have for Reagan no one ever mentions his single biggest mistake – that of picking Bush rather than Jack Kemp as his vice president. If Kemp had been picked, he would have solidified the Reagan agenda, served for two terms, brought blacks back into the republican party. Instead by picking Bush, we got Clinton (who was not half bad as a president while being a lousy human being). The second Bush gave us Obama.
Former Georgia football coach Jim Donnan has ben charged by the SEC as being in a ponzi scheme that took in $80 million mostly from football coaches and players and only returned $12 million. When the local newsperson in Knoxville read the needs, she felt the need to define “ponzi scheme” to the listeners. Her definition was straight from Wikipedia. She said a ponzi scheme was a fraudulent investment vehicle that pays returns to its investors from their own money or money from subsequent investors. Hum. Sounds like social security to me.
On May 12 I posted that Joe Biden was the gift that keeps on giving and that “If Joe Biden were a republican he would be ridiculed and lampooned and make Dan Quale look like Einstein.” That comment could not be more true. Biden is a gaffe machine. During the first campaign when addressing a black group he said that the only time that many blacks would be together at a republican gathering, they would be wearing white coats. He also referred to Obama as "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." Just in case you do know it, blacks are offended if referred to as “articulate” as Biden implies when he says its “storybook”. Of course, he apologized. The implication is that the condition is rare amongst blacks. Remember when he said "you cannot go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. Oh I'm not kidding!" In 2007 in an interview with the Washington Post, Biden opined why the schools in Iowa perform better than those in Washington D.C. saying "There's less than 1% of the population in Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4 or 5% that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with." Then yesterday, before a mixed group Biden said “We got a real clear picture of what they all value,” Biden said. “Every Republican’s voted for it. Look at what they value and look at their budget and what they’re proposing. Romney wants to let the — he said in the first hundred days he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, ‘unchain Wall Street.’ They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” Now can you imagine what the outrage would be if he had been a republican? If you add up all the comments, a republican would be called a racist for uttering only one of them. So is Biden a racist?
I was listening to Rush Limbaugh today when he got a call from a woman who said that the republicans need to counter the democrat claims that Ryan's medicare plan is radical by pointing out that it is the same plan used by the congress. Rush said he didn't know that but after the break came back and said that it was true and cited an article in the New York Times. I then sent him an email saying that it was not the same plan. But just like in the earlier email I sent him telling him that the great recession was not caused by subprime mortgages and the government forcing the banks to make loans to people who couldn't repay, he will probably ignore this one as well (see http://www.adisgruntledrepublican.com/2009/03/are-cra-clinton-and-carter-really-to.html).
What Ryan said in his Wall Street Journal op ed piece on April 5, 2011 was that his plan was similar as that of the congress (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703806304576242612172357504.html). However it is not identical. Ryan's plan calls for people to opt either for the current medicare plan or for a voucher of a fixed initial amount that grows with the CPI. The plan for the congress is not indexed to the CPI but rather to the average change in private insurance premiums (see http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/comparing-ryans-medicare-plan-to-what-congress-gets/). This is an important distinction. Much like college tuitions growing faster than the CPI because of increases in federal funding, Ryan's plan would spiral out of control as insurers would be able to jack up their rates with impunity. Of course, it would make sense if everyone were placed under the same plan adjusted to either the CPI or the wholesale price index. The reason why it would not be linked to the insurance average is that the government would then be motivated to place some sort of price control mechanism on the insurance companies. As has been shown repeatedly, this type of government interference in the market will result in distortions that do more harm than good. The question is whether even the republican dominated House would enact a change to their program to conform to that which Ryan wants to give the public as one of its choices?
In an effort to ward off charges of racial profiling the TSA has adopted a policy of randomly searching anyone, regardless of the likelihood of that person being a terrorist. Although virtually all of the terrorists have been young muslim males, the TSA has famously search old people, people in wheelchairs and beauty queens. Therefore, somewhat like New York's stop and frisk, the TSA should explicitly target young muslim males. I think it is interesting that I have never once been targeted by the TSA even when I was flying almost 100,000 a year. Now most times when I fly I am with my girlfriend who has been targeted every time we have flown out of Knoxville. She has been humiliated and infuriated. Now when we fly together, we fly out of her home town of Kingsport where she is waved on through. Obviously the TSA feels that it is better to tick off everyone rather than one particular group, although I think that they are just gropers and voyeurs.
I am against racial profiling, mainly because I belong to a group that is routinely profiled. I have been pulled over several times by the cops for DWB (driving while black). My son while living in Knoxville was stopped, told to assume the position and "asked" if they could search his car - perhaps blacks who drive expensive foreign convertibles are all drug dealers. Since I have a fairly high profile in the city, I got apologies from each of the cops and had the one citation I received thrown out of court. I also got targeted at the Johannesburg airport - as a tourist. One of the airport security people place a 375 H&H shell in my bag. I said I don't own that caliber and anyway, I am bow hunting. To avoid getting carted off to an interrogation room and missing my connecting flight, I had to pay a $50 bribe. As a consequence, the vast majority of those who favor profiling don't belong to a group that is likely to be profiled. I know, you will say that whites in particular old whites are not likely to be bombers. But what about Bernadine Dorn or William Ayres? Believe me, if the TSA started profiling muslims then al-Quaeda would start recruiting blond blue eye bombers.
So what can be done. There are those civil libertarians and many on the right and left who argue that the TSA impinges on our liberties. Many cite Ben Franklin who famously said "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety." Yet must you choose less freedom in order to be safe and secure? This seems to be a Hobson's choice - which is one or the other. (Note: I know some say Hobbesian choice after the philosopher but its really Hobson after the livery owner). I do not believe the two are conflicting at all. Rather, the TSA could adopt a policy much like that of El Al, the Israeli airline that is considered the world's safest against terrorism. It is said that El Al does not search passengers randomly nor does it profile. In Israel, 15 percent of the citizens are muslim but instead of profiling El Al watches for suspicious behavior. This can pay dividends for it apprehended several blonde women from Scandinavia who had bombs placed (unknowing to them) in their belongings by their muslim boyfriends. However, the truth is different. El Al profiles. In 2010 two brothers who were Palestinian Israelis sued and were awarded damages from EL Al for their treatment at a New York airport. The two were part of a group of 17 Israeli insurance agents on a business trip. At the airport, El Al security assigned a female security guard to watch them until their plane departed. The 15 Jews went through security with no problem but the two brothers were questioned, searched, had their baggage and carry-ons searched. Then they were told to have the security guard see them at all times. When one of the brothers went to the bathroom without permission, an argument ensued. He was told to either apologize to the guard or not board the flight. He apologized. In court, El Al admitted that the brothers did not pose a security threat but was acting under Israeli security guidelines. The Arab Association for Human Rights says that El Al which conducts its own security at foreign airports regularly subjects its Arab passengers regularly subjected to body and strip searches, had items including computers confiscated, kept in holding areas, escorted directly on to the plane and had their luggage tagged with colored stickers (see http://electronicintifada.net/content/el-al-sued-racial-profiling/8793).
Therefore, it seems to me that what should be done is to do what El Al is said to do rather than what it does. Rather than profile, watch for suspicious behavior. Although TSA may actually have prevented some terrorism just by being there, the high profile cases where terrorism has been prevented have been where the terrorist got on the plane and the passengers thwarted the attack. As some wag has said, if TSA changes its policy, instead of being evil and useless it will only be useless.
I was watching the news the other day and there was a story on the number of killings in Chicago. The numbers are truly horrific with 259 murders in the first six months of 2012. There was a call by some for Chicago to enact a stop and frisk procedure like New York. Chicago is only one third the size of New York but New York has had "only" 193 murders during the same period. However, Chicago mayor Raum Emanuel has resisted calls for stop and frisk and New York's may vigorous defends the policy while currently being sued for racial profiling. Is it racial profiling? In Chicago. even though only 33 percent of the population is black 201 of the 259 killed were black. Moreover, 75 percent of those killed were males between 15-35, 143 were gang members and 133 of those had criminal records (see http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/12217-chicago’s-murders-for-2012-likely-to-exceed-2011).
As to New York, last year there were 686,000 stops and 80 percent were black or Latino. In May, a federal judge granted class-action status to a civil suit filed on behalf of people who were frisked on the streets and released. The judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, condemned what she called the city’s “deeply troubling apathy towards New Yorkers’ most fundamental constitutional rights” (see http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/judge-allows-class-action-status-in-stop-and-frisk-lawsuit/). New York's Mayor Bloomberg has justified the stops saying that it takes guns off the street and reduces crime. On the one hand, there seems to be an inverse relation between stops and gun seizures. In 2002, 4,069 guns were taken in 96,000 stops. During the first six months of this year 1,613 guns were seized on 337,434 stops (see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/13/stop-and-frisks-arent-pulling-more-guns-off-new-york-city-streets-nypd-data-shows_n_1772197.html?utm_hp_ref=new-york). Yet on the other hand, the decrease in New York's murder rate actually ranks it as one of the safest American cities.
Again, as in Chicago must of the murders were minority on minority with most killed being young males with gang affiliation. Thus, it is no surprise that the vast majority of those being stopped are minorities. The usual activists have charged racial profiling and can be ignored. What is important is to see what the black community thinks of the practice. Does it consider itself safer or does it feel targeted. Indeed, although there are always cases of innocent people dying in the shootings, more times than not it is some bad guy. Residents could even argue that they would be less safe if those 10,000 people had lived. What is instructive is that when there was a protest march against stop and frisk in New York in June, along with the usual suspects were religious groups and ordinary citizens.
It is interesting that both New York and Chicago have very restrictive gun laws. In both cities, very few applicants can get a license and those that do have to go through a long, tedious and expensive procedure. The murder rates in the two cities show the futility of such restrictions. Again the bad guys get the guns but fortunately use them mainly on each other. The question is whether less restrictive gun laws will result in fewer murders. The answer is probably not however it may result in less crime. How is that? Well lawbiding citizens would be able to protect themselves against burglars and other criminal activities. However, it is doubtful if this would have any impact on the gang related violence.
Nevertheless, the racial profile argument has some merit. Of the 686,000 stopped 93% of whom were males -- 54% were African-American, 33% were Hispanic, 9% were white and 3% were Asian. This is not surprising since most of the stops occur in minority neighborhoods. But note that only 5 percent were arrested. Thus it seems to me that New York should state that it is implementing a policy that will only stop those who exhibit suspicious behavior. This is similar to what El Al is said to do in the screening of passengers. Hum? Isn't this starting to sound like what some say should be the policy of the TSA?
• The moderators of the three presidential and the one vice presidential debates have been announced. The moderators are from Jim Lehrer of PBS, Bob Schieffer from CBS, and Candy Crowley from CNN with ABC's Martha Raddatz moderating the vice presidential debate. Surely, NBC cannot be pleased from being omitted but the glaring omission is Fox which has higher viewer ratings than CNN. Indeed, in the week of July 30, CNN attracted only 318,000 viewers to its primetime shows. It is also striking that Candy Crowley - who is perhaps the more open minded of the four - made the comment that "some party members" were concerned that the pick of Ryan was an overly doctrinaire "ticket death wish". Although the comment may be true given the wobbliness of moderate republicans, citing unidentified sources is often a cover up of just making things up.
• Who is David Axelrod and why is he the democratic attack dog in chief?
• I saw a democratic commercial with seniors talking about how Ryan's medicare plan scares them, because they will become worse off. Obviously no one told them that those 55 and older would be exempt from the changes. It reminds me of my late father once telling me to let him know when he became a fool. He said that he was getting all these solicitations seeking to scare him into taking some action since he was 85. Dad said "they must think that I am a fool." But since obviously the solicitations were successful, then there must be a lot of old fools out there so "please tell me when I become a fool."
• The scurrilous democratic commercial of the steelworker who blames Romney for his wife's death from cancer has been well documented as being false - even by the Washington Post. One wishes that the republican superPACs would run a commercial with interviews from auto dealers and employees who were shut down by Obama's takeover of Chrysler and General Motors or even better of Delphi whose 20,000 nonunion workers lost their pensions as part of the bail out.
• Does anyone really believe Obama anymore? I heard him say in a speech that GM was again number one and was profitable? Really? Toyota is number one. As to profitability, doesn't GM still owe us the taxpayers $25 billion and Ally (GMAC) owes $14.5 billion. Also, GM's stock is trading at $20.40. The government owns 500 million shares of GM. In order to recover just what GM owes us, the stock would have to rise to $53.
. Lastly, why is it that only the republicans can tick off the independents? If the republicans ran an "Obama killed my wife" or "Obama is a felon" or "Obama is a tax cheat" commercial they would be vilified for "losing the independents". So why is it that the democrats don't alienate the independents with their attack ads?
The Summer Olympics are now on. I generally split the screen and watch the Braves or the Reds play and swap over the Olympics if there is something on of interest (thus far women's gymnastics and track and field). Otherwise I stick with baseball. Several questions come to mind. First, When they do the medal count, do they count just one event or all the medals earned in that event (1 gold for women's soccer or 10 golds for the team)? Second, some have touted Michael Phelps as the greatest Olympic athlete of all time. There is no doubt that he has displaced Mark Spitz as the greatest swimmer but greatest athlete of all time? Swimming and gymnastics are sports with multiple opportunities to win medals with team and individual sports. If you just look at Phelps' individual gold medals he has the same as Carl Lewis (sprints and long jump). Lewis medaled in the 100, 200, 4x100 relay and the long jump in two separate Olympics. The great Jesse Owens did the same with golds in the same four events in the Berlin Olympics. By going back to back, Lewis displaced Owens as the greatest track athlete but his eight golds keep him in the argument for greatest Olympic athlete of all time. I know that some will argue Usain Bolt. But Bolt may be the greatest runner - he does only track and not field events. Speaking of Jesse Owens - whose name is actually James Cleveland (J.C.) Owens. Much is made of the fact that Adolf Hitler refused to shake his hand. But I thought that Hitler only shook the hand of German winners - so he would not have shaken Owens' hand even if he were white. You can understand the snub - if there was one but can you explain why FDR snubbed him? There was no commendation, no visit to the White House, no acknowledgement at all. Truman ignored him as well and it was left up to a Republican, Dwight Eisenhower, to finally honor him. This is just another long line in the irony of American politics where the democrats are the racists and the republicans (Lincoln, Eisenhower, Reagan (MLK birthday), civil rights votes) are not and yet the republicans are branded as racists. Go figure.
RJ III is in a ton of commercials. Where is Andrew Luck? If it were reversed, would we be hearing charges of racism?
Obama has not apologized to Mitt Romney even though either Obama or his surrogates have accused Romney of being a felon, a tax cheat, a racist, a bully and lately a murderer. Romney’s wife has also been assailed for her wardrobe, for owning a horse, and for being a home maker. Of course, Obama has admitted to drug use, associations with known felons and will not release information regarding his past. So what has Romney or the Romney camp called Obama? Nothing to my knowledge, not even incompetent. Why? Do you think his color makes him unassailable?
What happened to Obama's call for civility?
Can you imagine the ridicule that the press would heap on the republicans if their spokesmen were Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz?
Obama has often referred to himself as a constitutional scholar having served on the University of Chicago faculty. He has also referred to himself as a law professor. If so, then he is one of the few professors with no evidence of scholarly work. In reality he held the position of senior lecturer which is given to part-time faculty. This is not a trivial position or a trivial university. However, I have seen some defenders cite that Judge Richard Posner also holds the position of senior lecturer. Bad comparison. Prior to being elevated to the federal bench, Posner was an established scholar with a chaired full professorship at Chicago.Posner has also been a prolific scholar with over 40 books and the founding editor of the Journal of Legal Studies.
I posted on Aug 3 that Romney should ignore Harry Reid and concentrate on Obama's secrets saying I will release my tax returns if you release all the documents that you have been hiding. Now comes Donald Trump saying the same thing and on August 6 comes the following from Wayne Ally Root. Root says that he was in Obama's class at Columbia but did not know him and none of his classmates knew him either. He postulates that the reason that Team Obama has worked so hard to keep all of his school records closed is that Obama matriculated at Occidental and Columbia as a foreign exchange student. Outlandish? Well prove him wrong. Here is the link
Here is some of what Root says.
If anyone should have questions about Obama’s record at Columbia University, it’s me. We both graduated (according to Obama) Columbia University, Class of ’83. We were both (according to Obama) Pre-Law and Political Science majors. And I thought I knew most everyone at Columbia. I certainly thought I’d heard of all of my fellow Political Science majors. But not Obama (or as he was known then- Barry Soetoro). I never met him. Never saw him. Never even heard of him. And none of the classmates that I knew at Columbia have ever met him, saw him, or heard of him.
But don’t take my word for it. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that Fox News randomly called 400 of our Columbia classmates and never found one who had ever met Obama.
Now all of this mystery could be easily and instantly dismissed if Obama released his Columbia transcripts to the media. But even after serving as President for 3 1/2 years he refuses to unseal his college records. Shouldn’t the media be as relentless in pursuit of Obama’s records as Romney’s? Shouldn’t they be digging into Obama’s past–beyond what he has written about himself–with the same boundless enthusiasm as Mitt’s?
The first question I’d ask is, if you had great grades, why would you seal your records? So let’s assume Obama got poor grades. Why not release the records? He’s president of the free world, for gosh sakes. He’s commander-in-chief of the U.S. military. Who’d care about some poor grades from three decades ago, right? So then what’s the problem? Doesn’t that make the media suspicious? Something doesn’t add up.
Secondly, if he had poor grades at Occidental, how did he get admitted to an Ivy League university in the first place? And if his grades at Columbia were awful, how’d he ever get into Harvard Law School? So again those grades must have been great, right? So why spend millions to keep them sealed?
Third, how did Obama pay for all these fancy schools without coming from a wealthy background? If he had student loans or scholarships, would he not have to maintain good grades?
I can only think of one answer that would explain this mystery.
Here’s my gut belief: Obama got a leg up by being admitted to both Occidental and Columbia as a foreign exchange student. He was raised as a young boy in Indonesia. But did his mother ever change him back to a U.S. citizen? When he returned to live with his grandparents in Hawaii or as he neared college-age preparing to apply to schools, did he ever change his citizenship back? I’m betting not.
Then Root says
It’s time for Mitt to go on the attack and call Obama’s bluff.
Fox News reported that the state democratic committee in Ohio is suing the state to deny soldiers ability to vote and they were joined by the DNC. Of course I was incensed with visions of Florida – when the dems tried to get the absentee ballots of soldiers thrown out in the Gore-Bush contest. Well the truth is somewhat different. Yes it is true that the dems have sued the state over the change in its early voting laws. Two things are at play here. First, the republicans are obsessed over voter fraud and see two contributing factors: no picture ID and early voting. While I have been able to find justification linking no picture ID to fraud, I have yet to find evidence linking early voting and voter fraud. The Ohio legislature is republican dominated and passed a bill ending early voting three days before an election, except for active duty military and citizens living abroad. The state has said that since the elections are on Tuesday, that keeping the polls open through the weekend caused logistical problems such as adequate staffing. However, it appears that the polling places will still be open under the new law but with reduced staffs. The dems want no distinction to be made and the law applied equally to all. State attorney general Mike Dewine has said “I’m just outraged by this. I can’t believe that the Obama campaign [and] the state Democratic party, are actually saying there’s no rational basis for a distinction between someone who is in the military voting, and somebody not in the military. Our whole history in this country, we’ve made a distinction between the two, recognizing the difficulties, and the unique situation that people in the military are in.” The question to me as whether this was actually vote suppression in Ohio like it was in Florida? Of course it depends on the lawsuit so I read it. Does the lawsuit want the military to adhere to the Friday deadline or does want everyone else to vote until Monday? The suit calls for “restoring in-person early voting on the three days immediately preceding Election Day for all eligible Ohio voters.” Thus, if the suit fails, then the two deadlines remain (Monday for the military and Friday for everyone else). If, however, the suit succeeds, then the deadline is Monday for everybody. So there is no suppression of the military vote in either circumstance. This is sloppy reporting on the part of Fox but Fox News is not alone. I read several other sources and all implied vote suppression. Maybe it is because DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement in support of the Ohio suit. Normally if Wasserman Schultz opens her mouth it is reasonable to assume that she is on the wrong side of the issue. In this rare case, she is right.
Progressive Insurance is at it again. First was the creepy box called "snapshot" that Progressive Insurance wants to put in your car to monitor your driving. I commented that I was surprised it was not mandated by Obamacare. Then there is the commercial right out of Orwell's 1984 where Progressive's Flo is on all the TV monitors around the country shilling insurance while everyone is motionless. Well now comes the following press release from the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Federal Government May Soon Require "Black Boxes" in Cars
Big Brother May Ride in Your Car With You
Will Record Where You Go and When, Plus How Fast and How Well You Drive
Washington, DC - Possibly coming soon to a new car near you - mandatory tracking and recording of your automobile usage.
So says National Center Adjunct Fellow Horace Cooper in a just-released National Center for Public Policy Research paper, "Coming to a Car Near You? The Department of Transportation's Creepy Black Box."
Cooper says the federal government could soon adopt a measure - already approved by the U.S. Senate - mandating that every new car sold in the United States after 2015 include an event data recorder (EDR) - a so-called "automobile black box."
The EDRs are expected to monitor speed, driving habits, locations visited and distances traveled, seat belt utilization, number and weight of passengers carried, and perhaps some 15 other different data measurements. Under the provisions of the measure adopted by the Senate when it voted to reauthorize federal highway transportation programs this summer, the U.S. Department of Transportation, not the car's owner, would determine exactly what data the boxes would record.
"Essentially supporters argue that being able to download the data from the EDR's memory will help law enforcement and even federal regulators to better understand what happened in the event of an accident and how the safety systems performed, and particularly in cases where other techniques are inconclusive, help establish culpability," says Cooper in the paper.
"The EDRs, if made mandatory, will provide a wide open door to the comings and goings of every American," adds Cooper. "Tracking not simply how fast you drive or whether you ride your brakes, EDRs have the ability to collect the location and distances of where you drive every time you get into your car. Want to know how often you eat out? Alternatively, how often you use the dry cleaners or go out for ice cream? Just ask your EDR."
Cooper continues: "If your spouse or business partner wants to know where you've been going during your lunch break, they can just ask the EDR. Do you sit too close to the steering wheel, too far? Could you stand to lose a few pounds? Are you an early braker? A late braker? Do you drive close to the shoulder or close to the centerline? Do you drive exactly the speed limit at all times? Do you travel the same roads when going to work? Do you have a new girlfriend that you're visiting frequently? Do you stay overnight? Just ask the EDR and you'll find that these answers and more are available."
Cooper believes mandating the use of black boxes in cars may be unconstitutional: "Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court confronted the issue of government tracking automobiles in United States v. Jones. In that case, an FBI task force had attached a GPS tracking device, without first obtaining a valid warrant, to an accused drug dealer's Jeep Grand Cherokee while it was parked in Maryland. For four weeks, the government tracked the movements of the Grand Cherokee with accuracy to within 50-100 feet. Remarkably, the federal government sought to claim that it was perfectly legal to gather this data and use it in court without a warrant. In a major blow against the surveillance state and a win for privacy, the Supreme Court ruled that this constituted a form of search protected by the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately the ruling still leaves open the question of whether government mandated EDRs would be treated differently than surreptitiously placed tracking devices. Other remaining questions include what the standard should be for allowing warrants for these devices or how much data should be allowed in and over what period."
Cooper's paper, "Coming to a Car Near You? The Department of Transportation's Creepy Black Box," is available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA639.html. Other recent papers by Cooper for the National Center for Public Policy Research are available at http://www.nationalcenter.org/legal.html.
Horace Cooper is an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a member of the African-American leadership group Project 21 and a legal commentator. He taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia and was a senior counsel to Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) when Armey served as U.S. House Majority Leader.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters. In 2011, it received about two percent of its revenue from corporate sources and the vast majority of its revenue from over 350,000 individual gifts. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated .
I have a conundrum. When I offer criticism to someone and that person in turn criticizes me, I usually say "what does that have to do with what I just said?" I generally hate the deflection technique but think in the following instance it may be justified. The left has been clamoring for 10 years of Mitt Romney's tax returns. Harry Reid says a birdie told him that Romney is hiding the fact than in several years, he paid no federal income tax. Romney's response has basically been to ignore it all. Yet one wonders if he should not fight fire with fire. He could say that Reid and the left have not criticized the 49 percent of wage earners who pay no federal taxes - probably unwise due to the disparity in income. But Romney could cite all the evidence of rich democratic politicians who shelter income. He also could issue a challenge to the president and say "show me yours and I'll show you mine." This is because of the well documented stuff hidden by Obama. Not only the birth certificate, but the records from Occidental College and from Columbia and Harvard graduate schools. The missing thesis, the missing Illinois legislative records, even his high school transcript, his selective service record, the multiple social security cards, the lack of signed articles when he edited the Harvard Law Review,passport records and even more. Steve Baldwin reports (http://www.westernjournalism.com/exclusive-investigative-reports/the-mystery-of-barack-obama-continues/) that Team Obama has spent over $1.4 million to hide these and other documents. Then, of course, there is the use of executive privilege to deny access to the records on Fast and Furious. Indeed, there is a commercial out now asking for signatures on a petition to invalidate Obama as a candidate because of the missing documents. Romney should say "What are you hiding?"
I am not one who says “I told you so” but I told you so. As is well known, I am no Fed apologist. Rather I have been hard on Bernanke – even calling him the second worse Fed chairman in modern times (the worse being William Miller). Bernanke is no William McChesney Martin, Paul Volcker or even Alan Greenspan – all of whom had some rocky times. Bernanke has been a handmaiden of both Bush and Obama. His Fed has been monetizing the national debt by purchasing treasurys directly from the Treasury rather than purchasing them from the private sector. I have said for years that this practice should be made illegal but thus far have not been able to get a single legislator to pay any attention to me. However, having taught at our universities for 40+ years, I am used to being ignored. Yet I have defended Bernanke for his purchases of asset backed securities – except those purchased from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or any other government entity. The reason is that the Fed steps in as a lender of last resort – one of its well defined functions. So when the Fed created special purpose facilities during the financial crisis to purchase asset backs, it was doing its duty as a lender of last resort. Without the Fed, the commercial paper market would have collapsed. Indeed, the Fed is singularly responsible for the economy not falling from recession to depression. Yet the Fed, paradoxically is also responsible for the economy not recovering and growing at such a slow pace. If the Fed did not step up and buy Treasurys, it would force fiscal responsibility upon our irresponsible elected officials in Washington. Those Fed haters have rallied against the Fed purchasing asset backed securities from the “fat cat” banks and businesses. However, as I have pointed out, the Fed is not subsidizing anyone. Its purchases are actually loans (repurchase agreements) and at maturity, the borrower buys back the assets at a positive interest rate. Moreover, the loans are overcollaterized in case the market moves downward so if the Fed has to sell the assets, it will not do so at a loss. Well the Wall Street Journal has published a piece stating that the US government is in the processes of selling the remaining assets acquired during the crisis. It seems that the government is going to make money and the main money losers are to no one’s surprise, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, the Fed has fully recouped its money from the banks and the Fed of New York has actually gained $5.2 billion in its loans to entities such as AIG. The Wall Street Journal says that when its all over, the total gain to the government is likely to exceed $10 billion. As I have pointed out before, it is ironic that the bulk of the criticism has centered on the Fed’s loans to the private sector and not the public sector. Excuse me, but that criticism is misdirected. The evidence clearly supports that by fulfilling its role as lender of last resort, the Fed knows what it is doing.
The president has several recurring themes in his stump speeches. One of them is that he has "created" 4.4 million jobs. I am not going to revisit my earlier posts on why the government cannot create jobs but it is obvious that the president is either deliberately misleading or just ignorant (or a combination of the two). First, the misleading part is that saying he created 4.4 million jobs is akin to my saying that since I started dieting I have lost 450 pounds. Of course, during that time I have also gained 451 pounds leaving my weight at 205. The same is true for job creation. Since Obama has been in office, the total number of jobs in the economy is a half million less. So the job creation has not kept up with the job destruction. The ignorant part is that president apparently does not know that job creation is the norm not the exception for the economy. It is rare indeed for a month to go by in which people are not hired. The 4.4 million jobs created over the past 28 months equates to 156,000 jobs per month. Yet to wide out all the jobs destruction, the economy would need to create 204,000 jobs per month for the next two years just to get back to the employment level when Obama took office. So if the president wants credit that he has "created" 4.4 million jobs, then he also shoulders the blame for having destroyed 4.9 million jobs.
In the dustup over Chick fil a I am again struck by the intolerance of the Left. One of my friends has been trying for years to get Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levine off of local radio. I asked him if he listened to them. He said "no!" But he did not want anyone else to listen to them either because "they spread hate" amongst those who do listen. No amount of talk will ever change his mind, so there is no use in trying. Look at the comments of the mayors of Boston, DC and Chicago who do not want Chick fil a in their cities. Look at all the pro-gay marriage pickets outside of Chick fil a buildings. Most of the signs they carry have equated anti-gay marriage to hatred against gays but for most of us the two are completely separate issues. It was interesting hearing Raum Emanuel saying that Chick fil a is not welcome in Chicago because it does not espouse Chicago values. Is that because there is not at least three killings a week in Chick fil a restaurants? Another irony was that in Washington, DC where the mayor had said that Chick fil a was "hate chicken" that a group of black ministers held a press conference condemning Obama for his change from the Chick fil a president's view to endorsing gay marriage. Lastly, lets return to the issue of intolerance. As one Knoxville politician has said, the gay lobby has become the bullies of politics yet the media and politicians on the left seem to think (without any corroboration) that in today's world only Tea Party members are bullies. Consider the reaction against Chick fil a. Jim Henson's company severed its ties to the company, gay groups picketed and are going to have "kiss-ins" in the restaurants and on college campus petitions are being circulated to kick the restaurant off of campuses. Yet, there was an unprecedented show of support for the company on August 2nd. Now what about the reactions of those on the right under similar circumstances? Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is giving $2.5 million to the campaign to defend Washington state’s gay marriage law.Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates each donated $100,000. Also, other prominent Pacific Northwest businesses and their leaders have publicly supported the law including Starbucks and Nike. What has been the reaction from the right? Mike Huckaby and Sean Hannity have professed their love for Amazon, Starbucks and Ben and Jerry's - another leftist company. Rush Limbaugh is probably the most prominent lover of all things Apple. Not a peep from any of them or anyone of stature on the right about a boycott of companies with leftist CEOs.
I have already commented on the opening day uniforms for the US team. However, those "butt uglies" are stylish compared to the podium uniforms. Who designed these - Robert E. Lee? Actually, its not only the US that is afflicted. I looked at the other uniforms and all are hideous: the opening uniforms, the ones worn on the sidelines and the ones on the podium. Did you see the Russian coaches at the women's gymnastics? Actually, the performance uniforms are not bad - except for the US basketball team. But the others are woeful.
I have not watched a single Olympics opening ceremony so I was told about the one in London. It was said to be a tribute to all things British: the Queen, James Bond, pop music, and the national health system. Apparently they left out the bad cuisine. But a tribute to the national health system? USA Today reported that the ceremony was mostly fun “But the dancing sick-kids salute to the National Health Service, complete with a Mary Poppins air raid and a giant Franken-baby? Much less fun, and more than a bit bizarre. "I don't know if that's cute or creepy," said NBC's Matt Lauer proclaimed about the baby, as if "cute" were actually an option.” What brought this to mind was when I was watching Sportscenter this morning and there was a GE commercial about how GE donated incubators to a hospital in London (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAtHF6dQfDU). This has ironies on many counts. The first question is if national health care is so great then why couldn’t they buy their own incubators. Second, are they saying that premature babies are more at risk under national health care than in the US? Third, was this a warning to the US about Obamacare? Fourth, isn’t GE the darling of the Obama administration with its chairman Jeffrey Immelt a famous friend of Obama? Isn’t Immelt the chair of Obama’s mostly symbolic Council of Jobs and Competitiveness despite exporting 25,000 jobs oversees, its X-ray unit to China and building airliners in China that will compete with Boeing? Also, itsn’t GE the poster child on tax avoidance (GE paid no corporate taxes last year)? Now here is this commercial on donating incubators that stabs Obamacare in the back. By the way, who will donate incubators to the US once we get Obamacare?
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com