Monday, August 13, 2012

Ryan, Romney raising cain

What’s New Today

Story # 1 and #2 are our signs for desperation for today.  #3 through #6 are stories on Ryan and what he is doing to the election.  #7 has three videos of the Medicare debate.  #8 tells of how four states have exempted Unions from stalking laws.  #9 is about the August 1 new rules from HHS that lets underage girls get sterilized without parental consent.  #10 is a fascinating article on China and the coming economic collapse.  

Today’s Thoughts

The selection of Paul Ryan by Mitt Romney is a fabulous move.  It puts all of Obama’s failings on the table and it will make the MSM cover the economy, the deficit, the debt, and entitlement reforms.  And why the Democrats think it is good for them, how long will they be able to resist actually giving some details beyond “that’s not my vision of America?”

The latest Rasmussen poll shows 21% strongly approve of President Obama while 44% strongly disapprove (-21%).  If these numbers hold, Obama needs to take 82.8% of the likely voters who neither strongly approve nor disapprove to be elected.

Phoenix neighborhood Preservation Inspector Dwayne Grierson stopped a Christian woman from giving away free water at a First Friday Festival.  The temperature was 112 degrees.  He told her that it was against the law to do this without a permit.  It seems it is against the law to sell without a license, but charity is still legal in Phoenix.

In the latest Battleground Poll Obama leads 47% to 46% a statistical tie.  In looking at the demographics 43% of those polled were Democrats, 40% were Republicans.  Romney leads among independents by 10%.  Translation:  Romney is ahead by at least 2%.  (note: this poll was done before the Ryan announcement).  

 Lie of the Day

"I have no idea the political affiliation of the folks who are associated with that SuperPAC." Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the Pro-Obama Priorities USA SuperPAC.

1.  Signs of Desperation

Lawmakers and operatives made the rounds on the Sunday morning news shows to weigh in on the pro-Obama super PAC ad that connects presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the death of a woman whose husband was laid off.

"That isn't stated in the ad. It's not a fair implication," David Axelrod, a top campaign adviser for President Barack Obama, told NBC's "Meet the Press" about a Priorities USA spot that features a Kansas City man who lost his job at a company that went bankrupt in 2001 after it was taken over by Bain Capital, a company founded by Romney.

"It's disgraceful," Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, countered on "Fox News Sunday."

The advertisement, which never aired on television, shows Joe Soptic, a former employee at GST Steel, who tells the story of losing his job and then his wife to cancer because he no longer had health insurance through his employer. However, his wife's employer continued to provide her with insurance, and she did not die of cancer until five years after Soptic lost his job, according to Politifact.

The Obama campaign tried to distance itself from the ad, saying that, by law, it does not and cannot coordinate with the super PAC, but officials were caught flat-footed earlier in the week. An Obama campaign spokeswoman claimed she had no idea about the ad's details and yet Soptic had been featured in an official campaign call in May…

Still in denial of what they know is the truth.  That’s politics Democrat style. 

2.  Signs of Desperation part 2 Video

From a Super Pak but getting very close to the truth as it explains the reasons for the desperation of Obama’s campaign. 

3.  Ryan and Romney

On the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk harbor, a coatless Mitt Romney named a tieless Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee.

Romney’s choice was not much of a surprise after he told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Thursday that he wanted someone with a “vision for the country that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country. I mean, I happen to believe this is a defining election for America that we’re going to be voting for what kind of America we’re going to have.”

This arguably describes some of the others mentioned as possible nominees, but it clearly fits Ryan.
He doesn’t fit some of the standard criteria for vice president. He hasn’t won a statewide election, held an executive position or become well-known nationally or even in much of Wisconsin.

But more than anyone else, more even (as impolite as it is to say) than the putative presidential nominee, Ryan has set the course for the Republican Party for the past three years, both on policy and in politics. From his post as chairman of the House Budget Committee, he has made himself not just a plausible national nominee but a formidable one by advancing and arguing for major changes in entitlement policy.
He has argued consistently that entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid — are on an unsustainable trajectory. Left alone, they threaten to crowd out necessary government spending and throttle the private sector.

Few public policy experts, on the center-left as well as the right, disagree. But many politicians, certainly those in the Obama White House, shy away from confronting the entitlement crisis. Better to demagogue your way through one more election cycle and kick the can down the road.

What’s astonishing is that Ryan has persuaded his fellow Republicans to follow his lead. Almost all House and Senate Republicans have voted for his budget resolutions. And they have included his proposal to change Medicare, for those currently younger than 55, from the current fee-for-service system to premium support, in which recipients would choose from an array of insurers, with subsidies to low earners.
Republicans rallied to the Ryan plan during the nomination contest. Newt Gingrich was lambasted for calling Ryan’s budget right-wing social engineering, while Romney over time moved to embrace the basic elements of Ryan’s budget and Medicare reforms.

Ryan campaigned enthusiastically for Romney in the Wisconsin primary, and there was clearly a rapport between these two number crunchers. Romney would defer to Ryan to answer and has made a point of staying in touch with him after clinching the nomination….

The big news in Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan is that he will not kick the can down the road, but has picked it up.  I seriously think the democrats are giddy about this pick because they know it death to touch the third rail of politics…at least it was the last time any of them were actually conscious (prior to 2008). 

4.  Romney Ryan on 60 Minutes

The new Romney-Ryan team, looking for all the world like two people who had been partners for far more than 36 hours, moved swiftly Sunday to try to blunt Democratic lines of attack on the Republican ticket. The pair used an interview with CBS to insist it is President Obama – and not Rep. Paul Ryan through his dramatic budget plan – who is “robbing” Medicare and threatening the nation’s elderly.

In a joint 60 Minutes interview that was partially aired Sunday night on television and partially posted online, presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his new running mate made clear they want to stop playing defense as Democrats mount withering attacks on the budget advanced by Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee.  The plan – embraced by the conservative establishment and to some extent by Romney -- preserves the current Medicare system only for Americans older than 55. Younger people would purchase Medicare or private insurance with the help of capped vouchers that might not keep up with costs.

Romney cast this as a noble act in the 60 Minutes interview with Bob Schieffer. “What Paul Ryan and I have talked about is saving Medicare, is providing people greater choice in Medicare, making sure it's there for current seniors,” Romney said in a segment of the interview that was posted online. He stressed there would be “no changes… for current seniors, or those nearing retirement.” But he acknowledged big changes for those younger. He said Republicans are telling them, “We're going to give you a bigger choice.” He suggested that is the only way to “make Medicare work down the road.”…

IPAB is the real change that Obama has put into Medicare.  Need a knee replacement?  There is no guarantee with the IPAB that will be available to you when you are a senior if Obamacare stands.  In fact, the IPAB has the power to basically ban any medical procedure by reducing the amount Medicare will pay for a procedure. 

5.  Krauthammer:  Ryan choice is a game changer

Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said that the choice changed the race by shifting it from a referendum on Obama to an idea-driven race powered by the young, “Kennedy-esque” Ryan.
“I think the picture sort of changes the dynamics of the race,” Krauthammer said. “Up until now it was Romney running as the guy who could do a better job — ‘I know how to fix the economy. The other guy is a failure.’ But it was a star-led choice, he’s a better technocrat. When you look at the two there are two things different than Ryan’s presence on the platform. The first is youth. I mean, he’s the future. He has a youthful look. If you like Kennedy-esque boyish enthusiasm and energy.”

Krauthammer said that Ryan’s speech indicated that it won’t be just a policy ideas Ryan will put forth, but a broader philosophical ones.

“But second is also the shift in grounds, the dynamic of the debate — the argument from stewardship, from who can do a better job. to ideas,” he continued. “When Ryan spoke, he mentioned our rights are from nature and God. That’s a fairly fundamental idea. It isn’t even a policy. It’s a philosophy. He wants to make the debate about the philosophy of government and the policies that then follow. And I think by doing this they are now running on what is essentially an argument, ‘No to the status quo.’ It’s a complete reversal of 2008. Obama in 2008 was hope and change. ‘You don’t like status quo, we’ve got ideas.’”

But with those two things, Krauthammer said it takes the 2008 “change” theme away from Obama and puts it on the side of the Republicans.

So the party that wouldn’t even pass a budget for the past three years is not in the position that will have to take a stand and provide details.  This is why Republicans are smiling. 

6.  Video: Here’s why Ryan is the VP nominee 

Liberals need to watch this and be afraid, very afraid. 

7.  More videos: Three videos on the Medicare Debate

If you don’t enjoy reading wonky policy papers, here are three videos about the Medicare debate that you might find of use. The first features Paul Ryan, explaining what’s wrong with Medicare today, and how the Wyden-Ryan approach to Medicare reform differs from Obamacare.

Some really excellent videos if you want to bring yourself up to date on what the real debate is about. 

8.  States exempt Unions from Stalking Laws

At least four states provide exemptions to anti-stalking laws for labor union officials conducting organizing activities, according to a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Every state in America criminalizes stalking, generally defined as repeated unwanted contact with another individual designed to cause some sort of mental or emotional distress. But Illinois, California, Nevada, and Pennsylvania offer broad exemptions for union officials.

A law in Illinois, for instance, exempts from stalking prohibitions individuals who are engaging in “any controversy concerning wages, salaries, hours, working conditions or benefits . . . the making or maintaining of collective bargaining agreements, and the terms to be included in those agreements.”

Pennsylvania law says that laws against stalking “shall not apply to conduct by a party to a labor dispute.” That could prove troubling for the owners of Philadelphia-based Post Brothers Apartments, who allege that the wife of one of the company’s owners “is routinely followed taking their toddler to pre-school by picketers” involved in a labor dispute.

The Chamber explains more generally why these exemptions are concerning:

What’s sauce for the goose….never mind. 

9.  Obamacare requires free sterilizations without Parental Consent

Thanks to an Obamacare regulation that took effect on Aug. 1, health care plans in Oregon will now be required to provide free sterilizations to 15- year-old girls even if the parents of those girls do not consent to the procedure.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finalized the regulation earlier this year.
It says that all health care plans in the United States--except those provided by actual houses of worship organized under the section of the Internal Revenue Code reserved for churches per se--must provide coverage, without cost-sharing, for sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives to “all women with reproductive capacity.”

In practical terms, "all women with reproductive capacity" means girls as young as about 12. That, according to the National Institutes of Health, is when girls usually start menstruating….

Is this a victory for women?  Is this an example of freedom of religion? 

10.China:  It’s Future

Death and taxes. You know how the saying goes. I’d like to add a third certainty: you’ll never become Chinese, no matter how hard you try, or want to, or think you ought to. I wanted to be Chinese, once. I don’t mean I wanted to wear a silk jacket and cotton slippers, or a Mao suit and cap and dye my hair black and proclaim that blowing your nose in a handkerchief is disgusting. I wanted China to be the place where I made a career and lived my life. For the past 16 years it has been precisely that. But now I will be leaving.

I won’t be rushing back either. I have fallen out of love, woken from my China Dream….

Modern day mainland Chinese society is focused on one object: money and the acquisition thereof. The politically correct term in China is “economic benefit.” The country and its people, on average, are far wealthier than they were 25 years ago. Traditional family culture, thanks to 60 years of self-serving socialism followed by another 30 of the “one child policy,” has become a “me” culture. Except where there is economic benefit to be had, communities do not act together, and when they do it is only to ensure equal financial compensation for the pollution, or the government-sponsored illegal land grab, or the poisoned children. Social status, so important in Chinese culture and more so thanks to those 60 years of communism, is defined by the display of wealth. Cars, apartments, personal jewellery, clothing, pets: all must be new and shiny, and carry a famous foreign brand name. In the small rural village where we live I am not asked about my health or that of my family, I am asked how much money our small business is making, how much our car cost, our dog….

Once you’ve purchased the necessary baubles, you’ll want to invest the rest somewhere safe, preferably with a decent return—all the more important because one day you will have to pay your own medical bills and pension, besides overseas school and college fees. But there is nowhere to put it except into property or under the mattress. The stock markets are rigged, the banks operate in a way that is non-commercial, and the yuan is still strictly non-convertible. While the privileged, powerful and well-connected transfer their wealth overseas via legally questionable channels, the remainder can only buy yet more apartments or thicker mattresses. The result is the biggest property bubble in history, which when it pops will sound like a thousand firework accidents….

In brief, Chinese property prices have rocketed; owning a home has become unaffordable for the young urban workers; and vast residential developments continue to be built across the country whose units are primarily sold as investments, not homes. If you own a property you are more than likely to own at least three. Many of our friends do. If you don’t own a property, you are stuck
When the bubble pops, or in the remote chance that it deflates gradually, the wealth the Party gave the people will deflate too. The promise will have been broken. And there’ll still be the medical bills, pensions and school fees. The people will want their money back, or a say in their future, which amounts to a political voice. If they are denied, they will cease to be harmonious…

… That is the increasing likelihood that there will be upheaval in China within the next few years, sparked by that property crash. When it happens it will be sudden, like all such events. Sun Yat Sen’s 1911 revolution began when someone set off a bomb by accident. Some commentators say it will lead to revolution, or a collapse of the state. There are good grounds. Everything the Party does to fix things in the short term only makes matters worse in the long term by setting off property prices again. Take the recent cut in interest rates, which was done to boost domestic consumption, which won’t boost itself until the Party sorts out the healthcare system, which it hasn’t the money for because it has been invested in American debt, which it can’t sell without hurting the dollar, which would raise the value of the yuan and harm exports, which will shut factories and put people out of work and threaten social stability.

I hope the upheaval, when it comes, is peaceful, that the Party does not try to distract people by launching an attack on Taiwan or the Philippines. Whatever form it takes, it will bring to an end China’s record-breaking run of economic growth that has supposedly driven the world’s economy and today is seen as our only hope of salvation from recession.

I highly recommend you read this article.  We know so little about China, but there is a recurring theme you see about a crash coming and this article explains how it will happen. 

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