Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A week until the Florida Primary

What’s new Today

Story #1 talks of 11 revelations from Larry Summers’ secret memo to Barack Obama.  I really like number 2 as it asks 15 questions Obama would be asked if he were a Republican.  #3 wonders if Romney will get is mojo back.  #4 relates Romney had a good debate on Monday night. #5 relates Newt’s comments on Meet the Press about Saul Alinsky and Obama.  #6 talks about who the Progressive really are. 

1.   11 stunning revelations from Larry Summers’s secret economics memo to Barack Obama

A lengthy piece in New Yorker looks at policymaking in the Obama White House. A key source for writer Ryan Lizza is a 57 page, “Sensitive & Confidential memo written by economist Larry Summers—eventually to be head of Obama’s National Economic Council—to Obama in December 2008. Here’s some of what I learned about Team Obama’s thinking as the financial crisis was exploding, followed by quotes from the memo itself:

1. The stimulus was about implementing the Obama agenda.

The short-run economic imperative was to identify as many campaign promises or high priority items that would spend out quickly and be inherently temporary. … The stimulus package is a key tool for advancing clean energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments.

2. Team Obama knows these deficits are dangerous (although it has offered no long-term plan to deal with them).

Closing the gap between what the campaign proposed and the estimates of the campaign offsets would require scaling back proposals by about $100 billion annually or adding new offsets totaling the same. Even this, however, would leave an average deficit over the next decade that would be worse than any post-World War II decade. This would be entirely unsustainable and could cause serious economic problems in the both the short run and the long run.

3. Obamanomics was pricier than advertised.

Your campaign proposals add about $100 billion per year to the deficit largely because rescoring indicates that some of your revenue raisers do not raise as much as the campaign assumed and some of your proposals cost more than the campaign assumed. … Treasury estimates that repealing the tax cuts above $250,000 would raise about $40 billion less than the campaign assumed. … The health plan is about $10 billion more costly than the campaign estimated and the health savings are about $25 billion lower than the campaign estimated….

…11. The financial crisis wasn’t just Wall Street’s fault.

A significant cause of the current crisis lies in the failure of regulators to exercise vigorously the authority they already have….

This is definitely worth looking at. 

2.  15 Questions the Press would ask a Republican Obama

During the practically endless series of Republican debates, we have heard almost every question imaginable asked to Republican candidates – if by every question imaginable, you mean horribly slanted, often irrelevant questions designed to make them look bad and help Obama. We've heard questions about contraceptives, religion, Newt's angry ex-wife, Gardasil, etc., etc., etc. So, what would happen if the mainstream media treated Barack Obama the exact same way that they treat Republicans? The questions might sound a little something like this.

1) Numerous Mexican citizens and an American citizen have been killed with weapons knowingly provided to criminals by our own government during Operation Fast and Furious. If Eric Holder was aware that was going on, do you think he should step down as Attorney General? Were you aware that was going on and if so, shouldn’t you resign?

2) In 2010 you said Solyndra, which gave your campaign a lot of money, was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.”  Today, Solyndra is bankrupt and the taxpayers lost $500 million on loans that your administration was well aware might never be paid off when you made them. What do you say to people who say this is evidence of corruption in your administration?

3) Unions invested a lot of time and money in helping to get you elected. In return, they gained majority control of Chrysler, the taxpayers lost 14 billion dollars on GM and GM received a special 45 billion dollar tax break. What do you say to people who view this as corruption on a scale never before seen in American history?

4) Through dubious means, you and your allies in Congress managed to push through an incredibly unpopular health care bill that helped lead to the worst election night for the Democratic Party in 50 years. Since the bill has passed, many of your claims about the bill have proven to be untrue. For example, we now know the bill won’t lower costs and despite your assurances to the contrary, big companies like McDonald’s say they may drop health care because of the health care reform Since the American people have rejected your health care reform and it doesn't do what you said it would, shouldn't you work with the Republicans to repeal it?

5) When you took office, gas was $1.79 per gallon. Since then, you've demonized the oil industry, dramatically slowed offshore drilling, blocked ANWR, and killed the Keystone Pipeline. Now, gas is $3.34 per gallon. How much higher do you anticipate driving gas prices?

6) Occupy Wall Street has been protesting against Wall Street and the richest 1 percent in America. You are in the top 1 percent of income earners in America and you have collected more cash from Wall Street than any other President in history.  So, aren't you exactly the sort of politician that Occupy Wall Street wants to get rid of?...

Actually these are pretty good questions.  What do you think Obama would do or say if someone did ask these questions? 

3.  Romney tries to get His MoJo Back

The prospect of being flattened by the Newt Gingrich steamroller wonderfully concentrated Mitt Romney’s mind during last night’s NBC debate in Florida. Romney, suddenly in second place and falling fast after Gingrich slaughtered him in South Carolina, sent a simple and unambiguous message to GOP voters: This guy is trouble.

In the most uncomfortable confrontation yet in these debates, in the first half-hour, Romney and Gingrich cut out the middleman — NBC’s Brian Williams — and went at each other. The problem for Gingrich and his undeniable momentum was that the issue was Gingrich….

Romney is in trouble.  I didn’t get to see this debate but will see the debate on Thursday.  The next story tells pretty much the same thing, but doesn’t see it changing much. 

4.  A Good (and Lucky) Night for Romney

After two combative debates in South Carolina that helped change the trajectory of the Republican race, the first of two debates in Florida was relatively low key and seems unlikely to change anything. With good answers and very good luck, Mitt Romney recovered after a tough week that had two mediocre debate performances, nagging questions about his taxes and wealth, and a 12-point loss in South Carolina, state polls had him leading by double-digits just six days before Saturday’s vote…

… Still, unlike Gingrich’s memorable moments from the two South Carolina debates, nothing in Monday’s debate seems likely to alter the race in Florida in any serious way, either by boosting Romney or slowing Gingrich’s momentum.

These debates are good for the Republicans.  It makes the candidates better as they face each other.

5.  Obama and Alinsky

David Gregory, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," asked Newt Sunday if he could "win independent voters in a general election campaign" talking about Obama's ties to Alinsky and other "radical left-wingers." Newt said "absolutely," and we would argue that if the GOP and Sen. John McCain had done that in 2008, and had the media followed the lead in our series, "The Audacity of Socialism" Obama might still be organizing communities in Illinois.

Gingrich told Gregory, a poster child for the liberal media elites Newt has targeted, that "nobody's ever gone back and looked at what Saul Alinsky stands for. Nobody ever asks what neighborhood organizer meant. He wasn't organizing Boys & Girls Clubs. He was teaching political radicalism."

Newt pointed out what should be the obvious when he said "the objective fact is he (Obama) believes in a very radical vision of America's future that is fundamentally different from probably 80% of this country.

"And nobody in the elite media has ever wanted to dig into it, ever wanted (to find out) why would he veto the Keystone pipeline? Why would he kill jobs in America? Why would he have a National Labor Relations Board attack Boeing? Because it fits the model of Alinsky radicalism."

Alinsky's radicalism despises capitalism, entrepreneurship, individualism and, most of all, American exceptionalism. It is the genesis of Obama's demonization of the successful and his passion for the redistribution but not the creation of wealth. It's at the heart of his ongoing apology tour where he tells the world we are sorry for acting like we are mankind's last best hope for mankind, a belief Newt Gingrich shares with President Ronald Reagan…

Four years ago, when the right tried to bring up Obama’s radicalism they were drown out by a fawning media telling the American people it was nothing.  However today, someone like Gingrich can make the case and show how this radicalism has been part of Obama’s record with his deficit spending, his war on jobs, the Keystone pipeline, etc.  Gingrich is smart enough to make the case and Obama has a record that will let him connect the dots.

6.  Amnesia and the Left

Liberalism used to be a respectable position for intelligent, well-meaning, and informed people. That was a long time ago. No longer.

Today the "liberal" faith requires an extraordinary act of ignorance, purposeful forgetting, and constant spinning. To be a faithful "liberal" today you have to forget the whole 20th century, and its 100 million victims of the radical left -- that is, victims of Obama's brand of leftism. You have to shut out of your mind the fact that Obama hails from today's Chicago Machine, the most storied and undemocratic political machine since Boss Tweed….

….All those facts have to be sunk into your capacious black hole of memory, along with the history of the Soviet Union and its 100 million helpless victims. The Nazis only had 13 years to kill six million Jews, and even more Gypsies, homosexuals, Poles, democratic Germans, and of course, the religious. The Soviets and Chinese had seventy years or longer, and killed correspondingly more millions of victims with the same style of sociopathic control freakery. North Korea is the biggest Communist museum piece today, but nobody on the liberal side seems to take any responsibility for it -- just as they deny their alliance with Muslim fascists all over the world, who are agitating for another century of mass murder.

As Michael Ledeen recently pointed out, the Hitler-Stalin alliance is alive today, only the names have changed. It's now called Left-Islamofascism. The same old murderous alliance under a new label.

If you are a self-labeled "liberal" today, you own that history; therefore you must deny and evade it.

After watching "modern" liberals for a couple of decades, I've come to suspect that their viciousness (what we see in the media and the left every single day) is a result of deep and abiding guilt.…

This actually is the story of the left.  They quit being liberals over 100 years ago when they abandoned individual liberty and became Progressives (which spawned fascism and communism) and gave up being Progressives when they stopped believing in progress. The TV show Boss, starring Kelsey Grammer tells the story of a modern progressive Tom Kane.  Early on in the series, Kane tells another character that he (Kane) is a bad man who has done bad things, but for the right reasons. We are treated to rationalizations about “collateral damage” and asked the question what other city is run as well for the people than is Chicago.  It is a good example of what this article is all about.

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