The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Preference Cascade—II

In watching the final days of the 2012 presidential campaign, it appears that we're witnessing a rapidly accelerating preference cascade. Whether it's a broad spectrum of polls that show an undeniable (except by people like David Axlerod) shift toward Romney, or the surprising number of liberal newspapers that have switched to endorse Mitt Romney, or anecdotal counts of bumper stickers in battleground states, the trends are clear. I suspect that the Obama campaign is beginning to worry—really worry. The question is—why has all of this occurred when Obama was a "dead-lock" according to most of the MSM little more than a month ago?

Jennifer Rubin provides an interesting explanation:
It is worth recollecting the array of attacks from the Obama camp that failed to carry the day. Romney’s approval rating is now higher than Obama’s and the Obama team tried portraying Romney as: 1) the “vulture” capitalist; 2) a tax evader and/or a felon for signing (or not signing) Bain documents after he left to run the Olympics; 3) killer of Joe Soptic’s wife; 4) outsourcer of jobs to China; 5) determined to take contraception away from women; 6) ready to give a tax cut to the rich and hike middle-class taxes; 7) egging on the auto industry’s demise; 8) willing to throw granny over the cliff on Medicare; 9) President George W. Bush’s political twin; and 10) Big Bird terminator.

In big and large assaults, some petty and some sweeping, Obama and third-party groups have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to make Romney an unacceptable alternative. It seems to have failed, spectacularly so. You can attribute a great deal of that wipeout to Romney’s outstanding debate performances. You can give him and his campaign staff credit for (belatedly) focusing on the beleaguered middle class and his positive agenda to restore them to prosperity. And you can even credit some in the mainstream media — and many more in conservative media — for debunking the attacks.

But you do have to wonder if Obama’s throw-the-kitchen sink approach was ever going to work. The Obama team’s arrogance, I suppose, did not allow for the realization that the truth might be an impediment to its negative onslaught or that voters would be able to judge Romney for themselves ...
In going so negative for so long, Barack Obama painted himself as a small, even petty campaigner—arrogant, crass, unpresidential, and finally, desperate. Instead of using the power of his office to present a clear plan for the future and to tout his achievements (undoubtedly, a challenge), Obama and the political hacks who run his campaign demonized Romney—over and over and over again. It worked until the public got to see Romney unplugged and then—a preference cascade in the contender's favor.

I predicted that a preference cascade would happen, but even I am surprised by its strength and depth. Some blue states are now in play, and a number of battleground states are clearly in Romney's camp.

No one has a crystal ball, but if I had to guess based on current trends, I'd say that Mitt Romney will win the Presidency, not because he had all of the answers, but because the current President has demonstrated he has almost none.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


In a tweet yesterday, Robert Reich, a left-wing economist and rabid supporter of Barack Obama tweeted (@RBReich) the following pithy question:
“Will we comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable under President Obama, or do the exact opposite under President Romney?”

Although Reich is undoubtedly speaking for himself, I have to wonder how many other Obama supporters would subscribe to his comment. I also have to wonder whether the President doesn’t quietly agree.

But “afflict the comfortable?” Really?

In my online dictionary, the word afflict is defined as “cause pain or suffering to; affect or trouble …” I suspect that Reich was tweeting metaphorically, but his choice of words is a fascinating look into the Left-wing mindset.

What happened to taxing “millionaires and billionaires” or “private jet owners” who don’t pay their “fair share?” No, now it’s afflicting “the comfortable.” Since Reich is an economist, you’d think he quantify comfortable in some meaningful way. Are “the comfortable” the 10 percent of taxpayers who pay 70 percent of all income taxes collected? Are they comfortable enough to be afflicted? Or maybe it’s the 100 – 47 percent who are not dependent on government assistance of some kind—are they “comfortable” enough to qualify for affliction?

What we’re seeing in Reich’s tweet is a natural extension of Barack Obama’s class warfare rhetoric. First, we see moral preening that suggests that only Barack Obama (and his supporters on the Left) can “comfort the afflicted.” Then the easy slide from suggesting that the “rich” pay their “fair share” to a new meme—the implication that the “comfortable” deserve to be punished (afflicted) is some morally satisfying way.

In betting his campaign and his presidency on the notion that “middle class” voters resent and envy Americans who have built businesses, acquired wealth, and yes, have become “comfortable,” Obama cynically divided Americans in a manner that is unbecoming of a modern President. We’ll see whether his bet pays off next Tuesday.


It occurs to me that under President Obama the number of “afflicted” has certainly grown substantially. Whether it’s the number of Americans collecting food stamps, or the number who are unemployed or on disability, or the number of Americans whose average family income has fallen by $4,000, there are certainly a lot more afflicted people to “comfort.” Maybe it’s time for a new President who will reduce those numbers. Except according to Robert Reich, only Barack Obama can do that, even though his abysmal first-term record tells us that he can’t.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thomas Peterffy

In Florida, the best ad of this campaign season comes from neither Obama or Romney. It was developed and paid for by Thomas Peterffy and goes to the core theme of this campaign. To wit, does the class warfare (some would say veiled-socialist) meme espoused by Barack Obama lead to effective governance, a better economy, more jobs, and less debt?

But wait ... Thomas who? Here'a quick bio from Youtube:
Thomas Peterffy grew up in socialist Hungary. Despite the fact that he could not speak English when he immigrated to the United States in 1956, Thomas fulfilled the American dream. With hard work and dedication, he started a business that today employs thousands of people. In the 1970s, Thomas bought a seat on the American Stock Exchange. He played a key role in developing the electronic trading of securities and is the founder of Interactive Brokers, an online discount brokerage firm with offices all over the world.

The President's supporters in the media has done oppo research on Mr. Peterffy and have launched their usual attacks to disqualify him as a voice in this debate. After all, Peterffy is a Greenwich, CT billionaire, the founder of a Wall Street firm, a hyper-successful immigrant, and well ... opposed to their world view. Therefore, the message he delivers is unacceptable, right? For those who may not have seen it, here's Peterffy's message:

Over the years I have met many, many people who fled from communist countries during the 1950s and 1960s, as well as many Cuban immigrants who fled from Castro's Cuba. Today, in South Florida, it's not hard to run across immigrants from Chavez's Venezuela. To a man and woman, they say what Thomas Peterffy says. Yet in the United States, supporters of the President seem unconcerned, even supportive of the President's Left-wing ideology. They revel in class warfare rhetoric and praise the tax and spend policies of social democracies in Europe, even as those democracies slide slowly into insolvency. They cheer when the President suggests that taxing-the-rich is a solution to our problems, even as wealthy Europeans flee high-tax countries, taking their investment income with them.

I suspect that at some level a majority of the American people reject the socialist ideal espoused by Barack Obama and his supporters. We'll see whether that's true in just a few days.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Nice Booklet

Even after the President's win in the third debate*, the preference cascade accelerates. The RCP average of polls in battleground states (however unreliable and structurally biased the polls are in favor of Dems) have begun to indicate clear trending in favor of Mitt Romney. As a consequence, Obama and his worried supporters are likely to become more vicious during the final two weeks—spending millions on mendacious attack ads, and obsessing on big bird, binders, and bayonets. Those of us in the Center are a bit more concerned about what Barack Obama might do about debt, deficits, and divisiveness, not to mention jobs, government dependency, and a broad implosion of his foreign policy.

Instead of a plan, Obama seems obsessed with his latest snarky attack on his opponent, riffing on "Romnesia"—very presidential,BTW. Like many things that Barack Obama does and says, there's just a bit of projection in that phrase. The President plays fast and loose with the facts, and the compliant media rarely calls him on it. In the last debate, he suggested that "sequestration" had nothing to do with him. Just so happens that it was the White House that insisted on defense cuts as part of the sequestration negotiations and it was Barack Obama who signed the sequestration agreement. But ... it's Romney who has Romnesia.

Anyhow, back to Barack Obama and his "plan" for improving a bad economy that he made much worse. To use a favorite phrase of Obama's supporters, the President's plan is an empty binder—a rehash of taxing the rich, hiring more teachers, building roads and bridges with the money "saved" after we leave Afghanistan, and ... well ... it reads like something written by a 9th grader who has listened to a 20 minute lecture on the economy presented by Paul Krugman.

On the day of the debate, the Obama campaign made a big show of releasing their latest "plan" for healing the economy. CNN reporter Jessica Yellin (like most CNN reporters, a enthusiastic advocate for the President) was honest enough to state:
"There's not anything significantly new in here, it's just all compiled in a nice booklet now."
Hmmm. "A nice booklet." At least that will fit easily into Obama's empty binder.


* It's interesting to note that many post-debate focus groups of undecided voters didn't feel it was a significant win for Obama. See this video from CBS, paying particular attention to the shocked and saddened look of the CBS newsreaders at the very end of the 30 second clip.


To quote Richard Fernandez on why a debate win may not lead to an win in this election:
President Obama’s problem is simple. He has not produced. He is running against his record and his record is winning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zig ... Zag

Barack Obama delighted his supporters by continually attacking Mitt Romney during the last presidential debate. In so doing, he was the winner, but I suspect it really won't make much difference relative to the election's outcome. Early CNN polling indicates that debate watchers, although giving the win to Obama, were unlikely to change their view of or position on the candidates.

The President was well-prepped, and if you were to discard the facts on the ground, you'd think that his foreign policy was an enormous success. Unfortunately, Obama's lofty claims of success simply don't match reality. Amir Taheri provides a snapshot of Barack Obama's foreign policy failures around the world:
Encouraged by a perceived weakness on the part of the Obama administration, Russia has cast itself as an adversary, adopting an aggressive profile in regions of vital US interest. A clear signal in Moscow’s change of attitude has come with the installation of S400 missiles close to the Caspian Basin and of long-range missiles in Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave next to Poland.

For its part, China has sped up its military buildup and flexed its muscles against Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam. Beijing has also accelerated the building of a blue-water navy to challenge the US in the Pacific and Indian oceans. And, by undervaluing its currency, China has continued what amounts to low-intensity economic warfare.

Efforts on North Korea have faded away, as Pyongyang pursues its quest for a nuclear arsenal with impunity.

Iran? The facts speak for themselves. On Obama’s watch, Iran has increased its uranium-enrichment capabilities more than tenfold and hardened its defiant rhetoric. The mullahs are also pursuing an aggressive policy in Syria, while doing as much mischief as they can in Bahrain.

US relations with Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East, are at low ebb with Obama’s decision to snub the Israeli prime minister during the latter’s visit to New York.

In the “Arab Spring” countries, Obama started by supporting the beleaguered despots (especially in Egypt), and then abandoned them without forming alliances with new emerging forces. As a result, the United States is regarded as a fickle friend by some and an unprincipled power by others.

In Europe, lack of clarity in Obama’s policies has left the US no longer consulted even on crucial economic issues. And for all his promise to make the oceans recede, Obama has failed to provide the leadership needed to bring the allies together on environmental issues. Even the minimum accords negotiated by the Bush administration have been put on the back burner.

Hopes of reforming such international institutions as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, not to mention the United Nations itself, have faded. Lack of US leadership has also led to an impasse in the Doha round of global free-trade negotiations.

In Latin America, the anti-American bloc led by Venezuela and Cuba has won new adherents in Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua; even Argentina is adopting “anti-Yankee” accents. Meanwhile, efforts to unite the region’s pro-American nations, partly through free trade, have been dropped under pressure from Obama’s union supporters.
I'll readily admit that foreign policy is difficult for every president (and will be difficult for Mitt Romney), and that no president can control all of the world's hotspots.

But Barack Obama's failures in this area are indicative of a feckless approach that seems to zig when it should zag (e.g., lack of support for the green revolution in Iran), act when it should talk (e.g., Libya) and talk when it should act (e.g. Iran). It's indicative of a foreign policy that disses allies (e.g., Israel) and encourages enemies (e.g., the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt). It's representative of a foreign policy that is naive (e.g., ingenuous praise for the Arab spring) and cynical (e.g., telling Russia (in an unguarded moment) that "more flexibility" will be in the offing after the election) It's ... well ... it's Barack Obama.

Winning a debate is one thing. Establishing a foreign policy that shapes events in a way the benefits our nation's interests is another. Barack Obama accomplished the former, but over the past four years, he's come up short on the latter.

Monday, October 22, 2012


The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also know as Obamacare, is rarely mentioned in the campaign. It benefits neither candidate, so we get silence. But the reality is that if Barack Obama is re-elected, the ACA will become fully enacted law and with it, we'll get a spectrum of unintended side effects that will further cripple an already weak economy, move the United States ever closer to bankruptcy, and hurt many middle income wage earners in ways they don't yet understand.

Economist Robert Samuelson writes:
Obamacare's relentless march to full-fledged introduction in 2014 demonstrates that, for all its good intentions, it will make the health care system more confusing (see above), costly and contentious. It won't control health spending -- the system's main problem -- and will weaken job creation.

Consider the treatment of full-time and part-time workers as an object lesson ...

Employers have a huge incentive to hold workers under the 30-hour weekly threshold [recently established by the IRS under ACA legislation]. The requirement to provide insurance above that acts as a steep employment tax. Companies will try to minimize the tax. The most vulnerable workers are the poorest and least skilled who can be most easily replaced and for whom insurance costs loom largest. Indeed, the adjustment has already started.

As first reported in The Orlando Sentinel, Darden Restaurants -- owners of about 2,000 outlets including the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains -- is studying ways to shift more employees under the 30-hour ceiling. About three-quarters of its 185,000 workers are already under, says spokesman Rich Jeffers. The question is "can we go higher and still deliver a great [eating] experience." The financial stakes are sizable. Suppose Darden moves 1,000 servers under 30 hours and avoids paying $5,000 insurance for each. The annual savings: $5 million.
The harsh reality is that Darden will not be the only company that tries to do this. In fact, part-time work may become increasingly common as companies try to avoid the extra costs imposed by the ACA.

Samuelson concludes:
The argument about Obamacare is often framed as a moral issue. It's the caring and compassionate against the cruel and heartless. That's the rhetoric; the reality is different. Many of us who oppose Obamacare don't do so because we enjoy seeing people suffer. We believe that, in an ideal world, everyone would have insurance. But we also think that Obamacare has huge drawbacks that outweigh its plausible benefits.

It creates powerful pressures against companies hiring full-time workers -- precisely the wrong approach after the worst economic slump since the Depression. There will be more bewildering regulations, more regulatory uncertainties, more unintended side effects and more disappointments. A costly and opaque system will become more so.
And who will be hurt the most by Obamacare? If a trend toward part-time employment is precipitated by the ACA, middle income and low income wage earners, that's who. You know, the very people that Barack Obama claims to care so much about.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Two of Barack Obama's criticisms of Mitt Romney's tax restructuring plan is that it will "increase taxes on the middle class by $6,000 per year" (absolute nonsense) and that it will "take away" much loved tax deductions (see the following). Typically, Obama can only envision big government that dictates to its citizens, rather than allowing them options and choices.

The Wall Street Journal comments on a rather interesting proposal that Mitt Romney made during the past debate:
The Obama campaign and the press corps keep demanding that Mitt Romney specify which tax deductions he’d eliminate, but the Republican has already proposed more tax-reform specificity than any candidate in memory. To wit, he’s proposed a dollar limit on deductions for each tax filer…. The idea may be even better politically. The historic challenge for tax reformers is defeating the most powerful lobbies in Washington that exist to preserve their special tax privileges. … This is one reason President Obama wants Mr. Romney to be more specific: The minute he proposed to limit the mortgage-interest deduction, the housing lobby would do the Obama campaign’s bidding by running ads against Mr. Romney’s plan. Mr. Romney is right not to fall for this sucker play. By limiting the amount of deductions that any individual tax filer can take, Mr. Romney is avoiding this lobby-by-lobby warfare.
In essence, Romney showed more political acumen in one sentence that Barack Obama has shown in four years. Rather than eliminating deductions in what would result in a partisan political mine field, Romney would simply cap all deductions at some number ($17,000 was proposed), thereby allowing each taxpayer the ability to choose those deductions that are most important. Since middle income taxpayers don't typically take $17,000 in deductions, they would be unaffected, but their tax rate would be reduced. Upper income taxpayers would be affected, thereby keeping the net amount they pay in taxes at about the same level, even though rates would be reduced for all.

Glen Reynolds, the conservative blogger at Instapundit, summarized:
Romney’s plan to lower tax rates while simultaneously capping deductions is truly brilliant, though little understood. It would operate essentially as a cafeteria plan, where taxpayers get a certain maximum dollar amount of deductions– say, $17,000– and then are allowed to select from a variety of deductions up to the maximum amount.

This is brilliant because it allows each taxpayer to take those deductions he needs/wants the most. For those who own expensive homes or multiple homes, they could use the mortgage interest deduction (up to the maximum limit). For others– perhaps those who rent–other deductions would be prioritized, such as those for student loans, medical expenses, or business expenses.

Not only is this cafeteria-style plan individually customizable and flexible, it avoids the nasty politics typically associated with any attempt to reform deductions. In all other reform efforts, special interests/lobbyists have screamed about the consequences of reducing or eliminating their own deductions. Romney’s cafeteria approach avoids these screaming fests, for the simple reason that no existing deduction would be targeted for reduction or elimination.

It is a win, win approach for everyone. Brilliant.
Of course, Obama and his legion of media advocates have conveniently ignored this element of a common-sense approach to tax reform. After all, it's so much more satisfying to continue to promote the canard that Romney will reduce taxes for "the rich." and doesn't care about the middle class.

Barack Obama and his supporters obsess about increasing the taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" and use this ploy as the center piece (well, actually, it's the only piece) of his efforts to reduce a $1 trillion deficit, improve a 44-month record of horrid unemployment statistics, and "build the recovery from the middle out (whatever that means)." The fact that it will do none of those things and will likely drive us into a second recession is irrelevant. After all, it's all about "social justice."

At the same time, Obama rants about Mitt Romney's plan and suggests that the math doesn't work. If there's one person who should't lecture us on math, it's Barack Obama. Using his "math," $1 trillion dollar deficits are now the new normal.

And what about Barack Obama's tax restructuring plan? He. Doesn't. Have. One. But that should come as no surprise, because when you're moving "forward," you really don't need a plan. Only hope and change.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Preference Cascade

For the past few months, even when the polls showed Mitt Romney behind Barack Obama by double digits, I suggested that a "preference cascade" was coming and that Barack Obama would lose his presidency as a consequence. The reasons were both obvious and compelling. Obama presents the American people with a four year record that is so bad that it is difficult to ignore. High Unemployment, high indebtedness, unconstrained spending, growing government dependency, intrusive government regulations, extreme partisanship, divisiveness, out of control federal agencies (e.g., the EPA) ... the list is long.

In a whimsical piece dedicated to the subject, Jim Geraghty conjures the image of a group of young Obama campaign operatives, sitting around a campfire listening to ghost stories about a "preference cascade" that could ruin their candidate. A wizened campaign veteran speaks:
“It [the preference cascade] sniffs out weakness and vulnerability in a well-known candidate’s job approval numbers,” he said, pointing his finger. “Sometimes voters avert their eyes from an incumbent’s flaws — he’s in there, they hope he does well. Sometimes they won’t like what he’s doing, but they’ll avert their eyes. They’ll come up with all kinds of excuses. But the Preference Cascade’s catalyst triggers this change, and suddenly all of that repressed disapproval comes tumbling out. It’s not that the candidate has suddenly irked these voters so much; it’s that they’ve been irked for a while and they suddenly feel okay expressing it. And once they see more people expressing it, they express it louder themselves — swaying the people around them. It’s like a feedback group that gets louder and more intense and faster as time goes on.”

By now the young [Obama] campaign consultants around the campfire were wide-eyed.

The youngest found his voice, just loud enough to whisper, “Once the Preference Cascade starts hunting your candidate, how do you stop it?”

The old timer looked the young consultant in the eye with a grim, haunted look.

“Nobody knows.”
I do — have a record that shows real, not imaginary, accomplishment and run on that record, rather than trying to demonize your opponent.

Oh, that's not possible in Barack Obama's case? Then don't look into the darkness beyond the campfire because the preference cascade is lurking in the darkness and getting stronger with every passing hour.


The Tennessean is a Nashville Newspaper with a long Liberal tradition. In fact, it once employed Al Gore early in his career. Yesterday, the Editorial Board of The Tennessean surprised readers with their endorsement for President of the United States:
"The next president must be the one with the best chance to get the crushing, $16 trillion national debt under control, coupled with the more immediate need of enabling a vibrant job market.

It is because the economy is paramount that The Tennessean endorses Gov. Mitt Romney for president."

Today, the NYT reports:
Four years after The Sentinel, central Florida’s largest newspaper, endorsed Barack Obama’s candidacy for president, the newspaper’s editorial page said Mr. Romney is the better choice this time.

“We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years,” the editorial in Friday’s edition said. “For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are recommending Romney in this race.”

... the preference cascade is lurking in the darkness and getting stronger with every passing hour.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Broken Clock

As a member a relatively small group of despicable national leaders that include Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabee, Hassan Nasrallah, and Hafez Assad, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stands alone. An anti-Western, anti-Semitic, Holocaust denier, this near-psychopath blithely and repeatedly threatens the annihilation of Israel, while many in the West, and most on the Left, argue that it's all rhetoric, that he doesn't really mean it.

Ahmadinejad is wrong almost all of the time. But even a broken clock is right twice a day, and with that in mind, it's worth considering a report of an interview he recently gave Iran's official news agency IRNA and reported by The Jerusalem Post:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted the impending downfall of the "US empire," blaming the collapse on a combination of the country's massive debt and its loss of legitimacy within the international community, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported Thursday.

“How long can a government with a $16 trillion foreign debt remain a world power?” he asked at a press conference with Kuwaiti media personnel. "The Americans have injected their paper wealth into the world economy and today the aftermaths and negative effects of their pseudo-wealth have plagued them.”

He added: “An empire, or a government, remains in power so long as the people under its power support it, but today the Americans have acted in a way that the world nations do not like them at all, and therefore, their international legitimacy is annihilated.”

Ahmadinejad also predicted that the West would soon drop their alliance with the "Zionist regime," saying that Westerners and US politicians are increasingly "at a loss" as to why Israel exists.
Over the past four years under Barack Obama, the United States has suffered from dramatically accelerating debt. (“How long can a government with a $16 trillion foreign debt remain a world power?”) Worse, if Barack Obama is re-elected it is a virtual certainty that our current debt will increase to $20+ trillion or more by 2016. ("The Americans have injected their paper wealth into the world economy and today the aftermaths and negative effects of their pseudo-wealth have plagued them.”)

Obama's foreign policy in the middle east is imploding rapidly, providing an opening for Islamists like Ahmadinejad. Worse, Vice President Joe Biden, smiling maniacally during his debate, tried very hard to minimize the threat posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions. Showing a profound lack of understanding of nuclear issues, Mr.Biden suggested that building a weapon is the hard part. He's absolutely wrong. The hard part is what Iran is doing right now -- enriching Uranium to weapons grade. Despite sanctions and the President's rhetoric, they continue unimpeded on that path.

The Middle East is a b-a-d neighborhood, and Israel stands alone as a modern liberal democracy and ally of the United States. And yet, Barack Obama, despite the tenuous protestations of his rabid supporters, has repeatedly and consistently distanced his administration and his policy from Israel. ("...the West would soon drop their alliance with the 'Zionist regime' ...)" I wonder what has led Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to believe that?

Does he believe Obama will win a second term and that our "alliance" with Israel will be further weakened?

As I said, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is wrong about almost everything. I certainly hope he's wrong about his implied assumption that Obama will win a second term.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Little Things

Two debates down, and one to go.

It appears that the President's supporters and his cheerleaders in the MSM were thrilled by the fact that Barack Obama was active enough to fog a mirror in this second debate. Overall, I'd say the result was a push—both candidates arguing points but no real blood was drawn. If, however, you can believe the CNN instant "scientific" polling immediately after the debate, it looks like the edge goes to Romney on most substantive issues.
"Mitt Romney was seen as better able to handle the economy, taxes, and the budget deficit among the debate audience, but it seems that issues were trumped, or at least blunted, by intangibles, including the expectations game," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

By a 49%-35% margin, debate watchers thought that Obama spent more time attacking his opponent. The president was expected to be more forceful in attacking Romney following his lackluster performance in the first presidential debate in Denver two weeks ago.

Other questions showed little daylight between the two candidates among debate watchers on some key characteristics. Romney had a 49%-46% edge on which candidate seemed to be the stronger leader and 45%-43% margin on who answered questions more directly, while Obama had a 44%-40% advantage on which man seemed to care more about the audience members who asked questions.

No matter. The President needed a knock out, and he didn't get one. Even though national polls are skewed in the Dem direction, poll after poll is showing a shift toward Romney. The President's vaunted advantage among women has disappeared (so much for the "war on women"). Obama's advantage in swing states has largely evaporated, and even blue states like PA are now in play.

But you'll also see it in little things. In Florida, the number of Obama campaign ads has diminished noticably—probably because internal polling indicated that Romney now has an insurmountable lead in the Sunshine State and further expenditures need to be shift to states that Obama thought were his and his alone—MI, PA, VA, WI, NV, and others.

In OH, a state that was solidly Obama, there is something interesting going on: A commenter at Instapundit writes:
For what it’s worth: Obama is making an appearance today at Ohio University in Athens, in the rural, Southeastern corner of the state. The OU Democrats requested his appearance, and it’s being sold as the product of their elbow grease. But just observing the logistical nightmare involved in moving the POTUS around makes you realize that this trip isn’t happening because some scrappy young college Dems wished it so. Although this area of Appalachia is very poor and can trend conservative outside the city of Athens, generally speaking the district couldn’t lean more to the left unless they air-lifted reinforcements in from Madison or Ann Arbor. Seriously, the voters here are congenitally incapable of rejecting any ballot initiative that involves a tax levy. Republicans are curiosities; faculty Republicans (like me), endangered species. So it begs the question: just why is Obama going to the trouble of showing up? The last sitting president to do so was Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and he was launching the war on poverty at the time. One can only imagine what Chicago’s internal polling is telling them about the state of the race in Ohio (and/or among college-aged, suburban voters from Columbus and points north, who disproportionately attend the school), if they feel compelled to shore up this bastion of Great Society liberalism in the Valley That Time Forgot.
Polling of independents heavily favors Romney. But even among staunch 2008 Obama voters, there seems to be erosion. District #29 in deep-blue IL, an affluent district with a significant percentage of Jewish voters, went for Obama in 2008 by a margin of 28 percent. Polling in recent weeks, gives Obama a 2 percent lead! It won't change the result in IL, but it's an indicator for places like FL, PA, NV, VA, MI and others.

None of these things, when taken by themselves, means much. But when taken together, they indicate that something is happening, and it's not good for the election prospects of Barack Obama. A preference cascade began quietly a few weeks ago, and now, it looks like it's accelerating.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


In a break from the seemingly never-ending presidential political conflict, a beautifully implemented CGI music box. Enjoy.

Friday, October 12, 2012


After last night's VP debate in which Joe Biden found amusement in -- let's see-- the fact that we're borrowing vast sums of money from china, the fact that Iran is producing copious amounts of fissile material, the fact that his President has proposed exactly nothing in his four years (including two with overwhelming congressional majorities) to correct the profound structural problems that threaten both Medicare and Social Security with bankruptcy, the fact that our Libyan ambassador was murdered by an al Qaida affiliate and the subsequent White house cover-up (oops, I mean misunderstanding), the fact that ... oh, it wasn't amusement? It was derision of Paul Ryan -- a lying, liar who lies!!!! Classy, Joe, real classy.

Of course, the rapidly shrinking army of Obama supporters cheered the derision and are now "re-energized." How nice.

But on a more serious note -- no smiles -- as if to support the President's obsession with big bird at a time of domestic and international crisis, we learn that the President's supporters are planning a "million muppet march." You can't make this stuff up. It's worth noting that the million muppet march is necessary given that over the past week the President mentioned the big yellow muppet no less than 13 times on the campaign trail in a pathetic attempt to be derisive (hmmm, that word again) when discussing Mitt Romney. But like Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney is a lying, liar who lies!!!! Classy, Mr. President, real classy.

But on an even more serious note -- no smiles -- we now see the specter of the Obama White house, desperate to extricate itself from the growing scandal that even some in the MSM are beginning to call "Bengazigate," blaming first "the intelligence community" for the "misinformation" that compelled Susan Rice -- certainly not a lying, liar who lies (after all, she's not Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan) to, well, purposely misstate the reason for the attack on five different Sunday morning talk shows. But it gets even better. Now the White House appears to be trying to lay the blame on the State Department, you know, the agency headed by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Would the President throw Hillary under the bus, and if he does, how will Bill and Hillary react? Get out the popcorn folks, there may yet be a real reason to smile.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Contributor Verification

There is a election fraud scandal that has been simmering below the surface for a number of weeks. Unfortunately, in its efforts to promote and protect Barack Obama, the main stream media has once again chosen to look the other way. Investor's Business Daily reports:
A new study suggests that President Obama's campaign systematically pursued foreign contributions to fuel his run for the presidency, a violation of law. Is America's democracy now for sale to the highest bidder?

The Government Accountability Institute, which is headed by Stanford University Professor Peter Schweizer, used sophisticated Internet investigative tools — including something called "spidering" software — to determine how the web is being used to raise political funds.

What it found should be of concern, since it suggests that many in Congress and, more importantly, the Obama campaign have systematically exploited loopholes in the law to raise millions of dollars overseas — a big chunk of it in the People's Republic of China.

How is this done? Through the mundane use of what's called in the credit-card world the Card Verification Value, or CVV. It's the three-digit number on the back of a card that helps positively identify that the person using the card has it in his or her possession. It's a key anti-fraud weapon, used by nearly all legitimate e-commerce businesses and charities.

Obama's campaign doesn't use it. Mitt Romney's does.
If this story gives you a feeling of deja vu, it's because the same accusations were made during the 2008 campaign, but the MSM chose to ignore them. Not only were there no investigative reports (imagine if John McCain was accused of the same thing, or for that matter, the Romney campaign, today), there was almost no mention of the accusations themselves.

Barack Obama is a failure as a President, but he is an excellent fund-raiser. In fact, the volume of "small donations" he receives is staggering. Again from the IBD report:
In September, for instance, Obama's campaign announced it had raised $181 million. But if you're looking for transparency, you won't find it: Just 2% of that amount — $3.6 million — has to be reported to the FEC.

Of special concern are funds flowing into the Obama campaign from foreign sources, especially China.

The Daily Beast (to its credit as a pro-Obama website) reports that the Obama campaign is equally unconcerned about uncovering fraudulent donations:
But it isn’t just foreign donations that are a concern. So are fraudulent donations. In the age of digital contributions, fraudsters can deploy so-called robo-donations, computer programs that use false names to spew hundreds of donations a day in small increments, in order to evade reporting requirements. According to an October 2008 Washington Post article, Mary Biskup of Missouri appeared to give more than $170,000 in small donations to the 2008 Obama campaign. Yet Biskup said she never gave any money to the campaign. Some other contributor gave the donations using her name, without her knowledge. (The Obama campaign explained to the Post that it caught the donations and returned them.)

This makes it all the more surprising that the Obama campaign does not use a standard security tool, the card verification value (CVV) system—the three- or four-digit number often imprinted on the back of a credit card, whose purpose is to verify that the person executing the purchase (or, in this case, donation) physically possesses the card. The Romney campaign, by contrast, does use the CVV—as has almost every other candidate who has run for president in recent years, from Hillary Clinton in 2008 to Ron Paul this year. (The Obama campaign says it doesn’t use the CVV because it can be an inhibiting factor for some small donors.) Interestingly, the Obama campaign’s online store requires the CVV to purchase items like hats or hoodies (the campaign points out that its merchandise vendor requires the tool).

We also focused on the Obama campaign because it is far more successful than Romney when it comes to small donors—which the Internet greatly helps to facilitate. In September the Obama campaign brought in its biggest fundraising haul—$181 million. Nearly all of that amount (98 percent) came from small donations, through 1.8 million transactions.
Hmmm. 98 percent "small donations" and no attempt to verify that they are domestic and legitimate. And the Obama campaign is obsessed with calling other people "liars?"

At least the Obama campaign is being consistent. They are violently opposed to voter verification the United States, and they're doing everything possible to subvert campaign contributor verification during the 2012 campaign.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Lies? - II

If you were to believe the claims of the Obama administration, the President's handling of the Afghan conflict and his enormous escalation of military activity within the country has tamed the Taliban and set Afghanistan on the road to democracy.

Lara Logan, a well-respected CBS correspondent who covers the Middle East provides us with a somewhat different perspective. The Chicago Sun Times reports on a recent speech by Logan:
Her ominous and frightening message was gleaned from years of covering our wars in the Middle East. She arrived in Chicago on the heels of her Sept. 30 report, “The Longest War.” It examined the Afghanistan conflict and exposed the perils that still confront America, 11 years after 9/11.

Eleven years later, “they” still hate us, now more than ever, Logan told the crowd. The Taliban and al-Qaida have not been vanquished, she added. They’re coming back.

“I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated . . .” Logan declared in her native South African accent.

The lie is that America’s military might has tamed the Taliban.

“There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” Logan said. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban,” she added sarcastically. “It’s such nonsense!”
Any objective observer understands that. What is fascinating is that the MSM hasn't explored the Obama administration's foreign policy failure in Afghanistan in greater detail. If they had, they would have exposed the "lie" that Logan refers to and in so doing, added another still another foreign failure to a growing list that has emerged over the past few months.

Monday, October 08, 2012


Now that the image of the fantasy Obama has been obliterated in the first presidential debate, the Obama campaign and its supporters/surrogates in the media have decided that Romney's "lies" are fertile ground for the next phase of their demonization efforts. The core of their argument goes to a supposed middle class tax hike proposed by Romney. After all, President Obama really "cares" about the middle class and the rapacious capitalist Mitt Romney doesn't, right?

In a recent email the Obama campaign states:
"Even the studies that Romney has cited to claim his plan adds up still show he would need to raise middle-class taxes ... In fact, Harvard economist Martin Feldstein and Princeton economist Harvey Rosen both concede that paying for Romney’s tax cuts would require large tax increases on families making between $100,000 and $200,000."
Princeton economist Harvey Rosen responded to this mendacious claim in an email:
I can’t tell exactly how the Obama campaign reached that characterization of my work. It might be that they assume that Governor Romney wants to keep the taxes from the Affordable Care Act in place, despite the fact that the Governor has called for its complete repeal. The main conclusion of my study is that under plausible assumptions, a proposal along the lines suggested by Governor Romney can both be revenue neutral and keep the net tax burden on taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 about the same. That is, an increase in the tax burden on lower and middle income individuals is not required in order to make the overall plan revenue neutral.
Lies? Really?

Isn't it about time for the Obama campaign to begin talking about the President's major domestic accomplishments over the past four years, about the way he has rebuilt the economy, reduced the deficit and lowered our debt. About the way fewer and fewer people are dependent on government (e.g., food stamps, disability), and about the constructive recommendations he has made to save entitlements from coming bankruptcy.

Oops, can't do any of that, can they? So ... demonizing Mitt Romney is all they've got. It worked for a while, but it's not going to work going "forward."

Update (10/9/12):

A comment by Rich Lowry is worth noting:
Democrats have convinced themselves that all the president needs to do to come roaring back in the next debate is rebut Romney’s dishonesties, which will expose his indefensible agenda and shallow reinvention. The president’s team evidently underestimated Romney once already. If it believes this “lying liar” interpretation of the debate — rather than pushing it in the media for lack of anything else to say — it will underestimate him yet again.

Mitt Romney bested President Obama on the merits in Denver. Anyone insisting otherwise simply can’t handle the truth.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

A Deficit Graph

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is a non-partisan government agency that acts as the fiscal analysis arm of the government. It evaluates the government's budgets and reports on fiscal reality as best it can, constrained by certain rules that often make its projections too optimistic, not too pessimistic.

With that in mind, consider that yesterday the NYT trumpeted the very suspect* drop in the unemployment rate from 8.1 to 7.8 percent. In their effort to help Barack Obama who had a very, very bad week, the NYT suggests that this might be an economic turning point. That assertion is laughable in light of the downward trend in GDP (a trend that the NYT gave short shrift) and recent projections by the CBO that indicate ruinous deficits in a second Obama term and thereafter. And by the way, the CBO suggests that the White House budget projections are "optimistic" in the extreme.

Consider the following graph (hat tip: Instapundit):

As you can see, the deficits during the eight Bush years were far too high, but they pale in comparison to the first four years under Barack Obama. Worse, Obama's deficits bottom out this year and then begin to rise again (the red represents CBO projections, the tan/pink represents White House projections, and gray represents actual results). And even worse than that, Obama's deficits for 2010 - 2012 are considerably higher than the CBO projections for those years!

As a simple example of Obama's nonexistent fiscal discipline and his total disregard for debt, spend a moment examining the area under the histogram for 2001 through 2008 (the Bush years with an on-going war in Iraq and a lower level conflict in Afghanistan) and then the area under the histogram for 2009 to 2012 (with a low level conflict in Iraq and a war that Obama foolishly escalated in Afghanistan, a stimulus that simply didn't accomplish it's goals, and significant expansion of government programs). Now examine the CBO projections for 2013 to 2016—the end of Obama's second term, should he be re-elected.

It's not a pretty picture. But it's one that should appear on the refrigerator of every pro-Obama soccer mom who cares about the economic future awaiting her children.

* After 43 straight months of 8.0+ unemployment and job creation this month of less than 114,000 (anemic) the only reasonable explanation of the drop is that even more people simply dropped out of the job hunt. In fact, if all unemployed were counted in these statistics, the actual unemployment number would likely top 10 percent.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Fantasy Election

Even five days after the presidential debate, supporters of the president in the media (and that means the vast majority of MSM "reporters" and commentators) express surprise at the outcome. But with shock in their eyes and disappointment in their voices, they continue to suppress news of important domestic and international events with the hope that it will not exacerbate Obama's self-inflicted damage. They try out daily excuses or try to change the subject, but the bitterness remains.

Andrew Klavin captures discusses the reasons for this bitterness when he writes:
The Obama of the imagination is the media’s Obama. Out of their fascination with the color of his skin and their mindless awe at his windy teleprompted rhetoric, they constructed a man of stature and accomplishment. Now, with the White House on the line, they’re waging an ongoing battle against the undeniable evidence that he has never been, in fact, that man. The result in these quadrennial autumn days has been media coverage of a fantasy election, an election in the news that may bear no relation whatsoever to the election as it is. Polls consistently skewed to favor Democrats in percentages beyond any reasonable construct of reality have left us virtually ignorant of the state of the race. Orchestrated frenzies over alleged gaffes by Mitt Romney have camouflaged an imploding Obama foreign policy, an Obama economy threatened by a new recession, and an Obama campaign filled with vicious personal attacks and lies.

Governor Romney’s unprecedented dismantling of the president in their first debate—an encounter so one-sided it reminded me of the famous cartoon in which Godzilla meets Bambi, with predictable results—was surprising only for Romney’s warmth and clarity. Obama’s hapless fumbling, bad temper, and inarticulate inability to defend his record were actually thoroughly predictable. They were simply facets of the man as he truly is, unfiltered by the imagination of his media supporters: a man who has succeeded, really, at almost nothing but the winning of elections; a man who cannot distinguish between his ideology and life; a man who does not seem to know how the machinery of the world actually works.

Fantasy is a powerful thing, but reality will out. Perhaps by Election Day, the public will have awakened from the media’s dream.
Perhaps, but fantasy is a very strong driver, and far too many people prefer the fantasy of Barack Obama to the unpleasant reality of a long string of economic, domestic, and international failures. They prefer the fantasy that Obama "cares" about the middle class to the reality that any caring politician would have modified his ineffective approach to economic recovery, worked with his opponents, and established programs/policies that would get middle class people back to work. They prefer the fantasy that Obama the "great orator" could use his mellifluous words to bring peace to the Middle East and reset our relations with Arab nations to the reality of violence and an imploding foreign policy.

To many in the United States, the allegiance to the fantasy Barack Obama is akin to a religious experience. I just hope there will be enough heretics to defeat him at the polls.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Big Bird

After the President's abysmal performance in this week's debate, Obama supporters and their media extensions are only too happy to change the subject. Hence, the heavy media coverage of the ridiculous suggestion (joke?) by the President that Romney wants to balance the budget on the back of Big Bird. After adding almost 5 trillion dollars in debt over the past four years, Barack Obama could liquidate the assets of PBS and every other media outlet in the United States and still not come close to erasing the debt he has created.

Under this President, the media in general has become an extension of the government. It does little to question the President's actions, his statements, or his record. It's as if CNN, and the other alphabet networks are channeling Pravda (from the old Soviet Union) by avoiding news that might hurt the current leader altogether, or soft-pedaling treatment of it by relegating it to a brief mention. And like Pravda, any challenger to the existing power structure is denigrated mercilessly by the supposedly independent media. That's bad enough, so there's absolutely no reason for the feds to continue even partial funding for still another media outlet, in this case PBS.

PBS is a fine network with some excellent programming. It should be able to support itself or, if that is not possible, migrate its programming to other networks that can. But government funding of PBS is an artifact of another era—a time when there were only 6 or 7 channels on your TV "dial," and none of them provided equivalent programming to Sesame Street, Nova, high-brow dramas, interview shows, and the like. Today, there are literally hundreds of channels to choose from, some dedicated to children's programming (NickJr), others to science (the Science channel), the world (NatGeo), excellent dramas of all kinds (HBO), and current events (ahem, CNN?). None of these receive government funding and all of them proper.

This is what Romney said during the debate: “I like PBS. I love Big Bird, but I’m not going to … to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

Only a fool would suggest that when Mitt Romney stated that he'd cut federal funding for PBS, he was trying to balance the budget or cut our debt. The money involved is a blip on the balance sheet. Romney's statement was a symbol of the need to pare down unnecessary government expenditures. But Obama's (joking?) reference to Big Bird is representative of his big government philosophy. This president never saw a government expenditure that couldn't be increased, unless that expenditure was despised by his supporters. In the end, defending government funding on Big Bird tells us everything we need to know about Barack Obama's promises to reduce the deficit.

Thursday, October 04, 2012


Commentators who point out (correctly, I might add) that Mitt Romney crushed Barack Obama in the first presidential debate completely miss the point when they state that "The President didn't bring his 'A' game." Shell-shocked Obama supporters completely miss the point when they wail that Obama never even mentioned the '47 percent' and had he done so things would have been different.

This debate demonstrated a few things that took a while to evolve:

1. Over the past three months the Obama campaign created a false narrative about Mitt Romney in its desperate effort to hide Obama's atrocious presidential record. That false narrative (e.g., Romney, the rapacious capitalist, Romney, the out-of-touch plutocrat, Romney, the tax cheat) worked moderately well in 30 second TV spots, but like many memes that the Left creates, it crashed when it encountered reality. Last night the meme encountered reality.

2. The Obama campaign believed its own B.S. When the supporters of the President claim that he is a great leader who saved the country from collapse, a great statesman who has calmed a turbulent world, a great intellect who is "deliberative" and open to opposing ideas, a great orator who can sway even his strongest detractors,a bipartisan politician who is more than willing to reach across the aisle, the President has to deliver. Unfortunately, without his ubiquitous teleprompter this president can't even fake being those things, and this debate was a stark demonstration of that.

3. The Obama campaign wanted desperately to make this election about "choice," not a referendum on this president (understandable). The supposed geniuses who run Obama's campaign seem incapable of realizing that even if the election is about choice, the key criteria that the public will use to choose lie in the President's record, not his empty words. Mitt Romney exposed the President's record in a way that made Obama look very defensive (possibly because that's the only response when you've done more harm than good).

4. Leadership requires preparation, it requires a vision that dovetails with the majority of those you lead, it requires a true effort to work with those who don't. To paraphrase Lloyd Bensten, 'I've seen and worked with true leaders, Barack Obama is not one of them.' His lack of preparation, his extreme ideological positions, his partisan demonization of opponents are hard to defend, particularly when face-to-face with a man who understands how to lead.

5. A true leader doesn't obfuscate. If you listened to the President last night, you'd think that 'education" was the core issue facing America today. Like a life preserver, Obama returned to it, over and over again—probably because a handler told him it resonated with soccer moms. The problem is that when you're talking about debt, jobs, and big government, using platitudes about education seems oddly out of place.

It struck me that Barack Obama was like a guilty, spoiled child throughout this debate. His father, Mitt, calmly confronted him on his myriad failings, his fibs, his lack of effort. And like a small child, Obama decided to hide behind the same excuses, repeated over and over again, even after the father demonstrated that they were, well, lies. In a way, it was sad, but in another way, it was very instructive.

The true Barack Obama came to light last night. The public, possibly for the first time, saw clearly that this emperor has no clothes. Let the preference cascade begin!

Update (10/4/12):

After discussing the profound disappointment among Obama's most ardent supporters in the media, James Taranto writes:
What we saw last night was the real Obama--a bright but incurious and inexperienced man who four years ago was promoted well beyond his level of competency. The Obama that guys like [Chris] Matthews and [Andrew] Sullivan expected instead was a character in a fairy tale--a fairy tale written by guys like Matthews and Sullivan.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Obfuscation and Deflection

For three days after the attack on our diplomatic compound in Libya, all the media could talk about was Mitt Romney's public "attack" on the Obama administration's handling of the situation. Of course, this allowed the media to avoid discussing early indications that the President's foreign policy "success" in Libya (and the broader Middle East) had begun to implode. The liberal media was outraged that Romney had the temerity to break the unspoken rule that there should be no criticism while a foreign event is in progress. Some conservative commentators chimed in, and as a whole, it appeared to be a debacle for Romney. With hindsight, there's only one problem. Romney was right.

In a deconstruction of the events surrounding the murder of our ambassador and three others and the sacking of our embassy, Bret Stevens summarizes the situation so far:
The U.S. ignores warnings of a parlous security situation in Benghazi. Nothing happens because nobody is really paying attention, especially in an election year, and because Libya is supposed to be a foreign-policy success. When something does happen, the administration's concerns for the safety of Americans are subordinated to considerations of Libyan "sovereignty" and the need for "permission." After the attack the administration blames a video, perhaps because it would be politically inconvenient to note that al Qaeda is far from defeated, and that we are no more popular under Mr. Obama than we were under George W. Bush. Denouncing the video also appeals to the administration's reflexive habits of blaming America first. Once that story falls apart, it's time to blame the intel munchkins and move on.

It was five in the afternoon when Mr. Obama took his 3 a.m. call. He still flubbed it.
The M.O. of this President is to obfuscate first, and then when obfuscation no longer works, find a scapegoat and throw him under the bus. Obfuscation began with the administration's insistence that the Libyan attack was driven by an anti-Muslim film trailer and this continued for a number of days, even though there was clear evidence of a terrorist attack. A few media folks raised their eyebrows but generally looked away. When obfuscation began to fall apart, the administration claimed that they were only presenting the best information they has at the time, but if information was unclear, wouldn't a "deliberative and calm" President simply tell the media, "We don't know and refuse to speculate about the cause of the attack." When this line of defense crumbled, the blame game began. The intelligence services were forced to fall on their swords and admit an intelligence failure. The administration hoped they would look blameless or duped by incompetent intel — failing to recognize that the President has responsibility for acquiring good intel (after all, Bush was labeled a "liar" because of bad intel, wasn't he?).

Obama's unsavory strategy of obfuscation and deflection (blame) works only because the media is unwilling to out it. In this case, it's reasonably clear that we had warning of al Qaida operation in Libya long before the attack, but that the administration couldn't process that information because it ran counter to its narrative that (1) Libya was a success story, and (2) al Qaida was defeated or weakened to such an extent that it was irrelevant ("OBL is dead," after all).

If this were a one-off event, it might be easy to give Obama a pass. But the obfuscation and deflection strategy is one that this President uses in virtually every policy arena. When his policies fail (often catastrophically), he obfuscates as long as he can and then, when outed, deflects blame by finding a scapegoat.

I'll explore this in greater detail in a follow-on post.

Monday, October 01, 2012


This past week's anti-Romney media narrative is that Mitt Romney has already lost the election. After all, the MSM tells us that Obama has double digit leads in almost every battleground state, and that the polls tell us that all is lost for Romney. They tell us that the debates don't matter, and that little things like high unemployment, crushing debt, a murdered ambassador followed by a blatant cover-up, a fast and furious scandal, attempts by the White House to bribe defense contractors in a way that dissuades them from issuing lay-off notices mandated by law four days before the election are irrelevant. The MSM has decided that the war in Afghanistan isn't important news and that the murder of US service members by our Afghan allies deserves only a quick mention, if any mention at all.

Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast goes so far as to fantasize about an "Obama landslide," and he's not alone. For example, over at HuffPo Cenk Uygur pens a piece entitled: "The Election is already Over, Obama has Won." These are partisan articles, but they're just hyperbolic versions of this week's MSM commentary and spin.

Tomasky writes (that after his imagined landslide):
First, a marvelously amusing recriminations war among Republicans and conservatives about what happened, and it will result in the conservative movement marginalizing itself from mainstream America even further. It will start with arguments over political strategy. Romney was a squish. Romney ran too far right. Ryan was a bad choice. Ryan was a great choice but he wasn’t allowed to be Ryan. We should have gone with Santorum. We should have gone with Newt. Even Herman Cain would have done better (someone will say it!).

He goes on to hypothesize about all of the wonderful things that Barack Obama will accomplish in his second term. With the GOP crushed by his overwhelming victory, there will be no stopping Obama.

Every voter (well, almost ever voter) will rally around the re-elected President, jettison their misgivings, and embrace an era of low unemployment, reduced debt, larger government at lower cost. A recession in 2013—not a chance.

After all, since we're fantasizing about a landslide let's continue. Barack Obama has done such a terrific job lowering unemployment during his first term, and his debt reduction efforts, outstanding! Who can criticize a $16 million dollar debt, oh, wait, I think it's $16 trillion, but who cares about a few zeros (the president himself was unsure of the actual number when he appeared on Letterman—unimportant details). And balancing the budget? All we really have to do is tax those darned millionaires and billionaires, you know, the ones who don't pay their "fair share," and we've got the problem solved. Entitlements? Obama's strategy of doing nothing is absolutely on target—after all, worrying about insolvency is so right-wing, isn't it? And foreign policy—things couldn't be going better. The Middle East is calm, the Islamic countries love us because of the President's conciliatory words, the Arab spring has ushered in true secular democracy everywhere, Iran has closed down its nuclear plants. And the recent "bumps in the road?" If it wasn't for that nasty movie trailer, everything would be perfect, just ask our UN ambassador Susan Rice.

So, yeah, we're going to see an Obama blow-out, a landslide, and slaughter! We are ... really, we are. The media tells us so.

And since the media has become so enamored of polls that show Obama ahead by double digits, they might want to consider one more poll. It's the one that indicates that 60 percent of the American public trusts little, if anything, than the media tells them.