Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brazil's Very Bad, No Good Days in Antarctica

When it rains, it pours:

Brazilian Government Hides December Sinking off Coast of Antarctica of Ship Carrying 10,000 Liters of Oil

Two Killed as Brazilian Base in Antarctica Destroyed by Fire

Brazilian Antarctic base burns (photo by Chilean Navy)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Right Scoop: Newt owns Piers Morgan over Obama 'Koran' Apology

Updated to include video footage.

The Right Scoop has video footage here.

The political and philosophical maturity that Newt Gingrich shows here is amazing. I can't imagine either Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney doing anything half this good--at least not Santorum at his current personal maturity level.

Newt's utter self-confidence in his position and ability to explain it without defensiveness or histrionics is impressive.

Romney is good on one liners.
"Romney on Obama: 'He's out of ideas, he's out of excuses, and in 2012 he's going to be out of office.'"
. . .
"More Romney, on cutting fed money for PBS: 'I think it's OK for Big Bird and Kelloggy's Corn Flakes to be on the same program.'"
But, giving real explanations that convince doesn't seem to be in Romney's DNA.

H/T Ian Lazaran tweet

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Best Debate Statement: Government as Central Provider Is a Move Towards Tyranny

From CNN's transcript:
"GINGRICH: Well, the reports we got were quite clear that the public health department was prepared to give a waiver to Catholic hospitals about a morning-after abortion pill, and that the governor's office issued explicit instructions saying that they believed it wasn't possible under Massachusetts law to give them that waiver. Now, that was the newspaper reports that came out. That's something that both Senator Santorum and I have raised before. But I want to go a step further, because this makes a point that Ron Paul has been making for a generation and that people need to take very seriously.

"When you have government as the central provider of services, you inevitably move towards tyranny, because the government has the power of force.


"You inevitably -- and I think this is true whether it's Romneycare or Obamacare or any other government centralized system -- you inevitably move towards the coercion of the state and the state saying, 'If you don't do what we, the politicians, have defined, you will be punished either financially or you will be punished in some other way like going to jail.'

"And that's why we are, I think, at an enormous crossroads in this country. And I think the fact is, for almost all of us who have been at this for any length of time, we're now looking at an abyss that forces you to change what you may once have thought -- and I suspect all four of us are much more worried today about the power of the state than we would have been -- with the possible exception of Congressman Paul -- than we would have been at any point in the last 25 years."
[emphasis added]

12 Heroes Who Died in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Dubai February 3 to February 21, 2012

February 3 - Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, 49, of Fairfax, Va., died in Kabul province, Afghanistan.

February 7 - Sgt. 1st Class Billy A. Sutton, 42, of Tupelo, Miss., died in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan.

February 10 - Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca, 20, of North Arlington, N.J., died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

February 11 - Pfc. Cesar Cortez, 24, of Oceanside, Calif., died in the Kingdom of Bahrain. CORRECTION: Feb. 13, 2011 -- The theater of operations is corrected from United States Mission Iraq to Operation Enduring Freedom.

February 14 - Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyler L. Estrada, 21, of Maricopa, Ariz., died as a result of a non-combat related training incident in Djibouti.

February 16 - Sgt. Jerry D. Reed II, 30, of Russellville, Ark., died in Paktika province, Afghanistan.

February 17 - Petty Officer First Class Paris S. Pough, 40, of Columbus, Ga., during a port visit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

February 18 - Died when their U-28 aircraft was involved in an accident near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

- Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colo.

- Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29, of Newnan, Ga.

- Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 26, of Upper Marlboro, Md.

Justin Wilkens
- 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens, 26, of Bend, Ore.
 Stuart Tomlinson reports:
"'He was an extraordinary guy who lived life to the fullest,’ [a friend, Kalon] Pluma said. 'I believe he had his pilot’s license before he had a drivers license. It was his life.'

"Pluma said Wilkens was home-schooled, and was 'extremely outgoing and friendly, inquisitive, talented and brave.'

"'He was strong minded, strong bodied and could fix almost anything in a pinch,' Pluma said."

February 21 - Sgt. Allen R. McKenna Jr., 28, of Noble, Okla., died in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pew: Unemployment Rate Difference Between Young and All Adults Widest in Recorded History

The Pew Research Center reports that the current difference in unemployment rate for the young and all working adults is the highest recorded.
"The unemployment rate at the end of 2011 was 16.3% for 18- to 24-year- olds, compared with 8.8% for all adults ages 18 to 64. In the past three years, the gap in the unemployment rate between 18- to 24-year-olds and all working-age adults is the widest in recorded history."
Those over 65 have been hit the least by the recession.
"Middle-aged adults have not been immune from the hard economic times. If any group has weathered the storm more easily than others, it has been older adults—those ages 65 and older. Looking at the impact the recession has had on personal finances illustrates this point. In a 2004 Pew Research survey, roughly equal proportions of young, middle-aged and older adults rated their own personal financial situation 'excellent' or 'good.' When asked again at the end of 2011, the ratings of young and middle-aged adults had fallen dramatically, while the ratings for older adults were virtually unchanged."
This undoubtedly has a lot to do with the vast majority of those over 65 not being in the job market and thus not directly impacted by high unemployment. But wait until inflation catches up.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Game Change: Palin More Interesting to the Left than Obama or Hillary

The book Game Change is about Obama, the Clintons, McCain and Palin.
"In Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, two of the country’s leading political reporters, use their unrivaled access to pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. How did Obama convince himself that, despite the thinness of his rÉsumÉ, he could somehow beat the odds to become the nation’s first African American president? How did the tumultuous relationship between the Clintons shape—and warp—Hillary’s supposedly unstoppable bid? What was behind her husband’s furious outbursts and devastating political miscalculations? Why did McCain make the novice governor of Alaska his running mate? And was Palin merely painfully out of her depth—or troubled in more serious ways?"
The book is about four major political figures (well, five including Bill Clinton). The HBO movie Game Change is about one: Palin, Palin, Palin and Palin. It starts with her selection as McCain's running mate and ends with their presidential campaign loss. In other words, it only cares about McCain in his relationship to Palin. Had he not been her running mate, he too would have gotten the zero emphasis Barack Obama and the Clintons get.
"Starring Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris, HBO Films’ GAME CHANGE follows John McCain’s (Harris) 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (Moore) as his running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election."
Byron York points out how odd this is. Instead of focusing at least equally on three people who today hold high public office (Obama, Clinton and McCain--with Obama even running for re-election as President)
". . . HBO decided to focus on an out-of-office, former half-term governor of Alaska who was on the losing ticket in the 2008 election and isn't running for anything today."*
Why? The left loses its sanity when it comes to Palin. She lives rent free in their heads blocking out everyone else. Even the first black President and first woman presidential candidate from a major party aren't interesting enough to figure prominently in an adaptation of book in which they are more than half the story and Palin less than 1/5th (appearing in only 4 of 23 chapters).
"Everyone knows that Hollywood, the entertainment industry as a whole, and much of the liberal establishment all suffer from a continuing obsession with Palin. So in the end, it's no surprise HBO turned 'Game Change' into a Palin biopic."
UPDATE: *Palin was a game changer in the 2010 elections (with over 60%** of her endorsed candidates winning) and may be a game changer in the 2012 primaries and elections (cf. Gingrich's huge unexpected win in South Carolina after two great debate performances and Palin saying she would vote for him). She also was the most cheered speaker at the latest CPAC meeting, and is the only living Republican able to rally huge crowds of tens of thousands. For an in depth view of Palin's amazing success in 2-1/2 years as Alaska's governor see The Undefeated.

**The Washington Post which tracked Palin's endorsements in 2010 didn't bother to track Obama's or anyone else's endorsements. Hmm. But, Wapo did track the losing issues. Hmm #2.

Romney Surrogate Jim Talent Continues to Trash His Own Senatorial Record

Senator Jim Talent, now a Distinguished Fellow with and a Romney surrogate, has been busily attacking Senator Rick Santorum the last couple of weeks on issues it turns out Talent himself supported. This has taken throwing people under the bus to a new level. Talent is now trashing his own senatorial record.

First, Talent attacked Santorum for voting for Medicare Part D. But, it turned out that Talent himself not only voted for it but bragged about his part in passing Medicare Part D in his losing 2006 senatorial re-election campaign. From Talent's campaign page:
"In December 2003, Senator Talent was a leader in helping pass the Medicare Prescription Drug plan which is now providing affordable prescription drug coverage to hundreds of thousands of Missouri seniors, many for the first time."
Then Talent attacked Santorum for being pro-Big Labor and union-friendly.
"Other than social issues, Santorum is 'a member of the liberal wing of the Republican party,' former Sen. Jim Talent told reporters on a conference call this week, adding that Santorum supported union-friendly bills that 'intrude on employer rights.'"
Guess who was even more big labor and union-friendly than Santorum? You guessed it, Senator Talent.
"These are Santorum's [AFL-CIO] ratings for the rest of his time in office: 1997, 19; 1998, 15; 1999, 17; 2000, 14; 2001, 14; 2002, 14; 2003, 12; 2004, 12; 2005, 11; 2006, 13.

"For some comparisons, in 2004, 2005, and 2006, Sen. Talent's ratings were 16, 15, and 22 -- all higher than Santorum's."
Now the Distinguised Fellow and Romney surrogate is decrying Santorum's plan to incentivize manufacturing.
"'Senator Santorum’s treatment of manufacturing amounts to a very substantial government interference in the way the market would invest capital,' Talent says. 'When you have that big a difference, in particular, in the corporate-tax break on manufacturing, then you’ll have all the logical consequences of the government getting involved.'"
Well, guess who was for government interference, tax breaks and incentives for specific types of businesses when he was in office? Yep. From Talent's 2006 senatorial campaign page:

on incentivizing agricultural development:
"[Senator Talent] fought for agriculture assistance centers and tax incentives that would aid our producers, help bolster the economy and create jobs in rural America. Senator Talent's legislation to provide value-added grants for agriculture innovation centers was signed into law as part of the 'Agriculture Risk Protection Act.'"
on incentivizing women led businesses and home businesses
"In particular, [Senator Talent] succeeded in . . . restoring the tax deduction for those operating businesses at home, helping women start their own businesses . . . .
not only incentivizing renewable energy but requiring oil companies to get into renewable fuels:
"In the summer of 2005, Senator Talent led the fight to add a Renewable Fuels Standard to the Energy bill against the oil companies who opposed the plan. Senator Talent succeeded and now the oil companies are required to add at least 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel to the nation's fuel supply by 2012."
This would be comic if it didn't reflect so poorly on Governor Romney's campaign,, and reporters like Robert Costa at National Review who obviously did no research on Talent's "incentivizing" background.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

PEBB Doubles Down on Intrusion into Employees' Lives

The State of Oregon Public Employees' Benefit Board voted 5-4 to continue financial penalties of $20 (for singles) to $35 (for couples) per month for state employees who do not sign up for the PEBB's "Health Engagement Model" wellness program. All the labor representatives voted "no". The management representatives and the chairman (Sean Kolmer) voted "yes".

The management representatives point to the 85% participation after the fines were instituted. (Duh! Though one still has to admire the 15% who have refused to join.)

Of about 50,000 state employees covered, the rate of enrollment has skyrocketed from about 4% to 85% since the fines were introduced. But only 40% of those who signed up since October have "filled out a required health risk questionnaire". And only a meager "10 percent have completed the two online wellness lessons required by the HEM." Maybe there's a good reason the online lesson participation is so low (e.g., website technical problems), but on the face of it 10% is embarrassingly low. Maybe people forced to sign up are showing their disgust with the PEBB board and its program by refusing to do the lessons.

Should one expect another round of penalties to make the employees who signed up actually complete the two requirements?*

Of course, completing the "requirements" does not mean a change in health lifestyle. The Health Engagement Model FAQ states:
"Q: Do I have to lose weight, quit tobacco or meet any other goal?
The only expectation is that members follow through on their commitment to take the assessment and education steps. No one will be held accountable for a measure of success – just for taking the these steps."
One wonders at the intelligence of people who think health problems are due mainly to ignorance. As though completing a questionnaire and two lessons would suddenly make clear that smoking, drinking, drug taking, and fast foods are not good for one's health. No one has heard those things before, right?

Even putting the equivalent of "You're going to die!" on cigarette packages for decades hasn't eliminated cigarette smoking as a health risk (see question quoted above). So now, with this extra push "tobacco" use will go away? And, as Gary Taubes keeps pointing out, the obese already face becoming social outcasts. So, a questionnaire and online lessons will now do what sometimes severe social sanctions have failed to do?

This would be funny if it weren't such a bald display of unwarranted intrusion in employees' personal lives. That this is only the first step is clear since the program is unproductive as is and can only become effective as it becomes more and more tyrannical.

H/T Oregon Watchdog

*UPDATE: Yes, penalties are coming by the end of March.
"The Workers in Local 3581 are upset about monthly penalties of as much as $35 they must pay if they don't participate in the HEM, which requires them to fill out a detailed online health questionnaire and take two web-based wellness lessons of their choice.

"The deadline for filling out the health questionnaire is March 31. People who have signed up for the HEM but do not finish the survey by the end of the month will face penalties.

"'Those penalties may not seem like a lot to some people, but other folks are barely making ends meet month to month,' [Local 3581 President Joe] Laria said. 'The added penalties of this program can be devastating to a monthly budget.'"
[emphasis added]

Paul Rahe on "Is Romneycare Constitutional?" (Hint: No.)

Dr. Paul Rahe answers the question why a mandate like Romneycare is as unconstitutional as Obamacare and less conservative than taxing for medical care.
"There is a simple answer to the question posed by ParisParamus. Government exists first and foremost for the sake of our protection. Without it, our lives and our property would not effectively be our own. Government exists also to promote our well-being. For its support, however, taxation is necessary, and we have tacitly agreed that, to be legitimate, these taxes must be passed by our elected representatives. By our own consent, we give up a certain proportion of our earnings for these purposes.

"The money left in our possession, however, is our own -- to do with as we please. It is in this that our liberty largely lies. Romneycare and Obamacare, with the individual mandate, changes radically our relationship vis-a-vis the government. The former presupposes that state governments have the right to tell us how we are to spend our own money, and the latter presupposes that the federal government has that right as well. Both measures are tyrannical. They blur the distinction between public and private and extend the authority of the public over the disposition of that which is primordially private. Once this principle is accepted as legitimate, there is no limit to the authority of the government over us, and mandates of this sort will multiply -- as do-gooders interested in improving our lives by directing them encroach further and further into the one sphere in which we have been left free hitherto."
. . .
"Our liberty depends on forms and formalities. The distinction between public revenues derivative from the taxes we pay with an eye to furnishing ourselves “with the power of enjoying, in safety and tranquillity, [our] natural rights and the blessings of life,” on the one hand, and the property we have a natural right to acquire, possess, and protect, on the other, is a sacred one.

Progressives reject forms and formalities. To achieve their ends, they are prepared to run roughshod over them – and over us. John Adams and the people of Massachusetts in 1780 understood what Mitt Romney, ParisParamus, and James of England have forgotten. If we are to win the battle in which we are now engaged, we must have recourse to the first principles that the Progressives so readily discard, and we must find a standard-bearer capable of eloquently making the argument. Only then can there be a new birth of freedom. Otherwise, our destiny will be to surrender to liberal democracy’s inexorable soft despotic drift."
[emphasis added]
The whole piece is excellent and deserves careful reading.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sarah Palin: Good Advice from Isaiah 8

From yesterday's interview with Eric Bolling [video below], Sarah Palin shares good advice about handling personal attacks.
[5:40 mark] Eric Bolling: "But with 'it' comes the attacks. Comes the liberal mainstream media who are the haters, the drive byers who want to take shots at you. How do you maintain Sarah Palin, Governor Palin, uniter, conservative? How do you maintain it with the drive by attacks?"
. . .
[7:00 mark] Sarah Palin: "Personally, the way I deal with it. I just read a verse the other day that kind of summed up for me in the Old Testament how to handle it. And its, I believe it was Isaiah 8:12 and 13. Basically it says, get the chip off your shoulder. Don’t ever say that there is a conspiracy out there against me. Don’t ever say that you are dreading something. Because if you get into that mindset then life becomes drudgery. Life’s too short to be stuck in a rut and to be bummed out. So, taking a verse like that and trying to live it out--get the chip off my shoulder, remember what’s really important in life. To me, it’s my family, and I have a well-rounded, diverse, very full family, keeps me busy. It’s my faith in God, and it’s the freedom that I have as an American. I know what really matters, so all that other stuff can go away."

Isaiah 8:
12"You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!'
In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy,
And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.

13 "It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy.
And He shall be your fear,
And He shall be your dread."

H/T Stacy Drake

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

State of Oregon Ahead of the Curve on Penalizing Poorest Workers

The State of Oregon is among the 10% of employers who penalize their poorest workers.
"The Public Employees' Benefit Board put itself ahead of the curve — but not too far ahead — when it decided to penalize state workers who don't participate in its new wellness program, experts say."
. . .
"PEBB's wellness program, called the Health Engagement Model, has been a source of controversy since Oregon workers first learned of its adoption. Most objections have revolved around the $20 to $35 monthly penalty assessed against people who decline to participate in the HEM."
Well, who could PEBB be targeting? What class of people tend to smoke more, drink more and eat fast food more? One might call them, using old terminology, the "undeserving" lower class. And the PEBB society builders want to tell them how to live.

The real issue is not health costs. Even people who live "healthy" get diabetes, heart disease and cancer since there are hereditary factors that play significant roles in those diseases. Same with stroke and Alzheimer's. Actually, stroke has racial, age, gender, even (surprise!) socioeconomic factors as well.

We are told that 20% of people account for 80% of health care costs.
"'Statistics show that 20 percent of the population are the ones accounting for approximately 80 percent of health care costs," [Rose Stanley, a consultant with WorldatWork] said. 'It's that 20 percent they're trying to get to, but employers can't force you to go and get your screenings done, so they have turned to incentives or penalties.'"
But 30% of that 80% of costs is apparently due to end-of-life care. Since everyone dies, end-of-life care is spendy whether you lived healthy or not. Maybe more so if you lived healthy and die of a years long decline body part by body part or the need for constant daily care and declining physical health that shadow Alzheimer's or dementia.

The real issue here is not unhealthy lifestyle and significant lowering of health costs, the real issue is control. The PEBB has chosen the stick approach to force employees to follow state rules not only at work but 24/7. Since the employer as feudal lord works best with people who are at the lower end of societal power, PEBB is betting on financial penalties over rewards.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Palin Wows with Humor, Teaching and Political Philosophy at CPAC

Sarah Palin gave a great speech with a Reaganesque mix of humor, teaching and political philosophy.

Some of the highlights:
- The Tea Party rose up because Americans woke up. [3:45]

- Candidate Obama, he promised to fundamentally transform America, and that’s one promise that he has kept. Transforming a shining city on a hill into a sinking ship. Promising to cut deficits in half, and instead he’s piled on trillions more in debt, trillions more. $135,000 per taxpayer just in this new debt, $3 million dollars more a minute, and no plan to stop it. No plan. No budget. Going on a thousand and some odd days and still no budget. He mucked it up. Folks, this government isn’t too big to fail, it’s too big to succeed; it is too big to ignore, and it’s too big to bear anymore. [4:35]

- Hope and change. Yeah, you gotta hope things change. [6:40]

- Well, Mr. President we don’t want an economy built to last. We want an economy built to grow, and we certainly we don’t want your economy built to last. We want your administration to end. [9:35]

- We believe real recovery can’t get underway until government gets out of the way. [10:45]

- Government digging us deeper and deeper into debt, it’s not because the tax is too little, it’s because it spends too much. We know how to deal with that debt. You cut it, gut it, get rid of it. Americans shouldn’t have to spend their lives working so hard so Washington can spend easy. [11:10]

- He says that he has a jobs plan now, a jobs plan to win the future. WTF. I know. And I’m the idiot. WTF plan. Well he’ll invest your money in bullet trains to nowhere, but he’ll stop Boeing from building airplanes anywhere. Bankrupt green energy companies get sweet loans and grant offers, but oil pipelines not allowed to give you job offers. . . . We have a better jobs plan, and it’s called the free market. And it worked before this president, and it will work again after this president. [11:40]

- We believe that every child is created equal with that right to life. And I ask you to stand up for those who cannot stand for themselves. If not us, who? [14:35]

- No, we will never apologize for America’s strength and our greatness. And we will refuse to accept that a weaker America means a better and safer world. [17:35]

- The divide between Washington and the rest of the country, it has never been greater, and it has never been more dangerous. While America struggles, Washington prospers. And while our real estate markets crash, Washington’s is strong. We’ve suffered massive job losses out there, but Washington is hiring. But the question is they‘re hiring for what? They don’t manufacture, they don’t mine, they don’t drill, they don’t harvest. They produce nothing, and the services that they provide, they increase dependency not freedom. They don’t create wealth; they take it. This is Obama’s Washington. It’s not the Washington of our Founders, but the Washington of the permanent political class. [19:10]

- Friends, there is no such sense of urgency here in Obama’s Washington. Because life around here is really good materially. Our permanent political class is content. They’re immune to the realities that the rest of us face. See, they exempt themselves. They play by a different set of rules. Look at, say, their EPA. EPA, it’s imperiling private industry. It’s imperiling our energy independence, the steps that we need to take to be secure, and it’s enslaving us really to these foreign, dangerous supplies of energy instead of tapping into our own God-given sources of energy here under foot. That’s what the EPA’s all about right now. And, you have to ask yourself, though, well when was the last time you saw the EPA prevent constructing, say, a new government building. Maybe instead of calling Washington a swamp, we should call it a wetlands. Maybe that will slow down the growth of government. [21:10]

- But this Washington is a place where politicians they arrive as men and women of modest means, and they become plutocrats. The money making opportunities for D.C. politicians are really endless. But they don’t just enrich themselves off of you for themselves, they spread the wealth around to their pals. And this has a name. It’s called crony capitalism. I said in a speech in America’s breadbasket over the summer I said this isn’t the capitalism of free man and free markets, of risk and sacrifice, of innovation and hard work. No, it’s the capitalism of connections and of government bailouts, and handouts, and waste, and corporate welfare and corruption. This is the capitalism of Barack Obama and the permanent political class. And it’s why I say to the Occupy protesters: You’re occupying the wrong place. You’re protesting the wrong thing. This crony capitalism is a root of our economic problems. It has spurred the expansion of government which diminishes, of course, freedom and opportunity for all to rise and to succeed. See some politicians get elected by promising more programs and new freebies and new favors and then government grows to accommodate their promises. It never shrinks. And that crowds out the liberating individual initiative and equal opportunity that America was built upon. It swallows up the work ethic that we try to teach our children and it extinguishes that independent, pioneering American spirit. Now often they come to D.C. denouncing the place as you know the cesspool of corruption, but after a year or two they decide it’s not a cesspool. More like a hot tub. And they’re hopping in and enjoying the jacuzzi. Well, America, it is time that we drain the jacuzzi, and we throw the bums out with the bath water. [22:45]

- Be aware, Washington, Tea Party patriots are alive and well. We’ll elect more, and this time, Establishment, we expect them to get leadership posts in Congress. [27:15]

- But to fix Obama’s Washington, to return power to the people, we must replace Obama at the ballot box. He is sinking our ship of state. When a ship is going down the last thing you need is a community organizer just reorganizing the deck chairs while singing “Let’s Stay Together”. [27:35]

- We should not forget that for all of his lofty rhetoric and all of his song, you know, President Obama is a Chicago politician where graft, cronyism, quid pro quo, that’s the Chicago way. I came from a state with a corruption problem too. The difference is, though you don’t make many friends in the establishment doing it, I fought the corrupt political machine. Barack Obama, though, he used it. He used it to advance. He never challenged it. He never changed it. He brought it here with him. [28:10]

- We don’t know who our nominee will be, but we know that this election will be hard fought. Our nominee must be ready, strong, fortified, passionate, a fighter for American ideals. Our candidate must be someone who can instinctively turn right to constitutional conservative principles. It’s too late in the game to teach it or to spin it at this point. It’s either there or it isn’t. [29:30]

Ann Coulter's Shrinking Conservatism

Ann Coulter spoke at CPAC, but she didn't seem to have much to say. Oh, yes, some of her lines were funny. Like that Obama would be a good neighbor as long as you're not Chinese--he'd always be borrowing stuff. [video below]

But, Coulter had no serious content besides complaining about the unemployment rate. She couldn't even do much on that since her candidate, Governor Mitt Romney, has said he is for indexed minimum wage. The minimum wage is one of the all-time big job killers. (It is especially damaging to the poor and unskilled. Fortunately, in Romney's view they have a "safety net" so jobs for them don't matter so much, though Coulter did not mention that.)

Ann Coulter has cut the ground out from under herself in her groupie-like support of Governor Chris Christie. In her speech she claimed Christie is a once in a generation politician "taking on the evil empire of our day". For Coulter the evil empire of our day turns out to be . . . [drum roll] . . . public sector unions!?! What an idiotic comparison. How many gulags do public sector unions have and how many millions of people have they killed? Maybe this would make sense had Christie taken on really dangerous people like Jihadists or those who want to fundamentally change our way of life and impose sharia law. But, Governor Christie calls people worried about sharia law crazies.

Then, of course, what to say about Coulter's shrinking conservatism in order to support Romneycare? For Ann, conservatism now equals the 10th Amendment. If it's done by a state, whatever it is, it's okay. Apparently the only question for conservatives is about what the federal government does because the constitution allows states to do just about anything. (Well, maybe not slavery.) The view that the 10th Amendment is the preeminent determiner of political right and wrong is just plain incoherent.

Then there’s the hypocrisy of lecturing us on the need to have a candidate who can appeal to moderates and independents after years of famously railing against that standard. Ann Coulter has now taken up the same canard used to beat on conservatives, including Reagan, for decades. We were told in 1980 that Howard Baker and George H. W. Bush were much better candidates because they were more likely to win moderates and independents than Reagan who was a sure loser because of his conservatism.

Ann Coulter's fundamentals of conservatism have morphed to two notes: the 10th Amendment and winning votes from moderates and independents. It's a small vision, and, alas, not likely to win either conservatives or moderates and independents.

Second part of the speech and Q & A here.

H/T Noel Sheppard

Jonah Goldberg Meets Group Think and Escapes

Jonah Goldberg writes to explain last week's strange column urging conservatives to get behind Governor Mitt Romney.
"Okay, I give up.

"About a week ago, I wrote a column making a case for Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee. My argument was aimed at fellow conservatives who just can’t get their minds — or at least their hearts — around a Romney candidacy."
. . .
"The reason I wrote the column in the first place was that I felt the cold steel barrel of reality’s revolver pressing up against the back of my head, saying 'write it.'

"Romney’s going to be the nominee. He’s vastly preferable to Obama. If he’s the inevitable nominee, then better for conservatives to make peace with the idea.

"And then, lo and behold, Rick Santorum bursts into the motel room, knocks the gun from reality’s hands and puts reality in a chokehold. 'Not so fast.'"
Welcome back, Jonah, from your strange trip to Reality's abduction room! Actually, it wasn't "Reality" but group think aliens disguised as "Reality".

The beta unit they left as your replacement wasn't working out well. He was speaking conservative as a second language--a dead giveaway for beta units.

Not only did the Jonah beta unit write crazy things about politicians having to honor their vows (obviously not conversant with Earth politics) but even said strange stuff in an interview with Peter Robinson about Goldwater accepting Nixon as the nominee but nothing about Reagan not accepting the 1968 Nixon nomination until the convention. (Peter took it all in stride. Didn't give even a flicker of acknowledgement that he knew it was a beta unit. But, Peter knows these things having worked for Reagan and seen what aliens dressed as reality leave behind.)

Anyway, no more opening the door to strangers. Okay? And when "Reality" seems to be telling you to write something the next time, just close your eyes and say three times "the constitution and conservatism". If it still doesn't go away, call Dr. Thomas Sowell.

All kidding aside, this is what group think is like. What the group thinks to be true seems so real and incontrovertible. Until facts get the upper hand.

Fortunately, Jonah Goldberg's escape from group think came quickly and left few bruises. Many of his pundit colleagues have not been so fortunate. Indeed, welcome back, Jonah!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Xfinity/Comcast: Huh?

Xfinity/Comcast has a "story" out today on high earning jobs. The tease?
"Ever drive by a gorgeous home and wonder what the owner does for a living?"
The tease photo is of the Pittock Mansion! The Pittock Mansion is "owned" by the City of Portland's Bureau of Parks and Recreation. (Maybe an unintended message is the way to get rich is to work for the government).

Even using its original owner, Henry Pittock, as an example, his Oregonian, now owned by the very wealthy Newhouse family has been laying off Oregonian employees right and left. So, the other message may be make sure you inherit money rather than trying to work for it.

This is a small matter for Xfinity, but it shows how dishonest bait and switch tactics easily infiltrate even the "helpful news" side of organizations.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Santorum Proving More Effective Fighter than Romney

Mitt Romney's campaign punching has opened him up to even better Santorum counter punches.

Donald Trump, a Romney surrogate who endorsed Governor Romney last week, today asked why someone who lost by 19 points in his last election would then decide to run for president. This referred to Senator Rick Santorum's loss in 2006.

The Santorum original counterpunch:
"'I was in a 71 percent Democratic district,' Santorum continued. 'I had a 90 percent conservative voting record. It was a hard thing to do. My district was more Democrat than the state of Massachusetts, and I stood up and fought for the conservative principles. I didn't do what Gov. Romney did in 1994 [when Romney ran for Senate against Sen. Edward Kennedy]. I was running the same year he ran, in 1994. I ran in the tough state of Pennsylvania against an incumbent. Gov. Romney lost by almost 20 points. Why? Because at the end of that campaign, he wouldn't stand up for conservative principles, he ran from Ronald Reagan, and he said he was going to be to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights, on abortion and a whole host of other issues. We want someone when the time gets tough -- and it will in this election -- we want someone who's going to stand up and fight for the conservative principles, not bail out and not run to the left of Ted Kennedy.'"
Senator Santorum added to that critique noting that when he ran in the tough 2006 election on his conservative principles, Governor Romney decided not to run on his conservative principles in Massachusetts for a second term as governor.

As to who is the Washington insider:
"The 2012 hopeful also said Romney was wrong to call himself 'Mr. Outsider' when he had supported the government takeover of healthcare and the Wall Street bailout. 'Mr. Private Sector was Mr. Big Government when he was out there running from the private sector,' he said."
This is a point Bill Kristol noted about Romney surrogate, Tim Pawlenty, Monday:
"Here's Tim Pawlenty today, as a Mitt Romney campaign surrogate, on a conference call criticizing former senator Rick Santorum for . . . having voted to raise the debt ceiling: 'He voted numerous times to raise the debt ceiling and here we as a nation facing fiscal crisis, I mean literally on the edge of the fiscal abyss. We need a next president who’s been strong and proven in fiscal and spending matters, and we had Rick Santorum voting numerous times to raise the debt ceiling.' (The quotation is from the Romney press shop’s transcript.)

"Here's a question: Did either Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney speak out at the time against any of the debt ceiling hikes Rick Santorum voted for as a member of Congress?"

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Palin Proved Right: We Are Seeing "Unexpected" Strength in Santorum and Weakness in Romney

Governor Sarah Palin again shows how prescient she is. She has consistently said that only an extended primary season will show who the best Republican candidate is.

That Governor Romney is much weaker than the national press has reported has been shown tonight. That Senator Rick Santorum is much stronger is clear in his three state win tonight. One win was in Colorado a presumed Romney strong hold since he won 60% of its votes in 2008. Tonight Romney got less than 2/3rds that amount in a losing effort.

Totals tonight:

Santorum 55%
Romney 25%
Paul 12%

Santorum 45%
Romney 35%
Gingrich 17%
Paul 12%

Santorum 40%
Romney 35%
Gingrich 13%
Paul 11%

Rick Santorum not only showed unexpected strength as a vote getter, his victory speech was his strongest yet. It showed that he does have fire in the belly and can inspire.

Santorum spoke of Obama's overreach in implementing policies which presume he knows better than the individual what is best for each person. That same overreach has caused the Obama administration to attack religious liberty of Catholics and Catholic institutions this week. It was a strong, rousing speech based on conservative principles and values.

Santorum's speech stood out in contrast with Mitt Romney's more stable presentation of himself as technically able to handle the economy because he is a successful businessman and turned around the Olympics. Governor Romney did paint President Obama as a failure by Obama's own standards, but the main bit of life came in talking about how his father, George, worked his way up from nothing to success. (I remember Governor George Romney's campaign in 1968 ending not long after the gaffe of saying that he had been brainwashed by American military leaders into supporting the war in Vietnam. The talk at the time was that someone so easily misled didn't have the leadership skills necessary for taking on the challenges of the Cold War and negotiating with the Soviets.)

Ironically gaffes [Mitt Romney's statement about not being concerned about the very poor and then compounding that (with conservative voters) by saying he was for an indexed minimum wage] again may be playing a big role in a Romney campaign 44 years later.

Mitt Romney's bad stumbles tonight also breathe new life in Speaker Newt Gingrich's campaign. Romney's losses have derailed the narrative that Romney is the inevitable nominee. These losses will also force the Romney campaign to turn its negative campaign fire from Speaker Gingrich to Senator Santorum. This will further paint Romney as primarily a negative (and dirty) campaigner without a truly positive message. Which, unfortunately, is underlined by his speech tonight targeting Obama's failures rather than Romney's plans for success.

The campaign seems wide open again, and Republican voters will have the chance to weigh which of the three leaders really does have the beliefs and skills necessary to win the presidency and deal with the nation's economic and foreign policy woes.

Congratulations to Senator Rick Santorum on three huge wins tonight!

Reagan's Vision for Space Exploration Leaves Romney and Santorum in the Dust

Jeffrey Lord writes on Reagan's space legacy:
"The night of the Challenger tragedy, a tragedy of space exploration, Ronald Reagan sat down at the Resolute desk, a desk that was itself the literal symbol of man's quest for exploration over 100 years earlier. Reagan looked Americans in the eye, and, with an assist from his speechwriter Peggy Noonan, he said, in part this:
"'And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's take-off. I know it's hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.…'

"'We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.…"

"'There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete.'

"'The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.''

"'Thank you.'
"Of the three remaining major candidates in the Republican race for president, we now, embarrassingly, have two -- Romney and Santorum -- who are indicating they have no conception of the meaning behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office at which they wish to sit."
[emphasis added]
Beautiful. Too bad Peggy Noonan has forgotten her Reagan speech writing. Here's a link to a recent Noonan column with thoughts on the Florida primary. Not a word about Reagan's commitment to the pioneer spirit and exploring space. Good thing Mr. Lord is here to remind us of Ronald Reagan's policies and vision.

Another nugget of Reagan's vision from this short speech:
"We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us, but for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that."
Ronald Reagan believed in wonders and dazzle because he believed in touching the face of God and American exceptionalism.

H/T William Jacobson

Monday, February 06, 2012

Pathetic Conservative Leaders

No, I am not talking about Ann Coulter, though I do expect an upcoming column on "Three Cheers for State Cap and Trade and Gun Control Legislation" and crowing that not only did Governor Romney fool Massachusetts liberals* into voting for him, but has added conservative Republican primary voters to the list.

I am talking about serious conservatives at National Review who write articles advising Mitt Romney how to attack Obamacare without attacking mandates requiring individuals to purchase government approved healthcare plans (like in Romneycare). Perhaps it will be the first in an NR series on how to make failed liberal policies palatable to voters tired of government failures. Next installment: How to Defend an Indexed Minimum Wage.

Or how about brilliant, insightful conservatives like Mark Steyn and Jonah Goldberg making the case that voters should vote for Romney and HOPE for the best. Huh?

Goldberg argues that Romney, upon being elected, must honor his promises.
"If elected, Romney must follow through for conservatives and honor his vows to repeal Obamacare, implement Representative Paul Ryan’s agenda, and stay true to his pro-life commitments."
This is just a bizarre statement. Since when has any politician been required to "honor his vows" and "commitments"? Jim Geraghty has a running joke pointing out how many promises Candidate Obama made that President Obama has broken. The "we made you and you owe us" mantra rarely works in politics because there is a general election in which voters of different political stripes have weight.

Then there is Mark Steyn who really, really, really does hope that Romney will be a conservative. He "hopes" three times in the following two minute segment of a C-SPAN BookTV interview yesterday.

That's what conservative thinkers are reduced to. No robust defense of conservative principles and policies. No rallying cry about conservative candidates overturning establishment road blocks and foot dragging that have demoralized the 2010 victors. The one hope now is that Mitt Romney will honor his promises. Pathetic.

Then the always thoughtful Victor Davis Hanson holds out hope today that if the media goes after Romney's Mormonism they will have to go after Obama's un-vetted past.
"And with this new emphasis on transparency, are we to expect that the media will demand this summer that both candidates disclose to press adjudicators their complete medical records in John McCain fashion, as well as their college transcripts? I think that’s where we are headed, given that the media is protective of one candidate for reelection and is simultaneously demanding an intimate level of inquiry about his possible opponent. Is the logic that an un-vetted Obama is now vetted because he has been president for three years and undisclosed information supposedly did not play a role in the manner of his governance? Are we to take that assumption as gospel, and accept that such thinking cannot apply to other candidates (as in, 'Don’t vet me, and then when I am in office, I am de facto vetted')?"
The answer is "yes" the press will say Obama has already been vetted. After all he has been the president for almost four years. What else do people need to know about him? Actually, it's a good argument. We have Obama's record as president. We don't have Governor Romney's record as president.

Dr. Hanson, I have the misfortune to inform you that going after Governor Romney does not mean the press will go after President Obama anymore than sending a small army to Alaska to uncover everything possible about Governor Palin (the vice-presidential candidate) in 2008 meant also sending a small army to Chicago to uncover everything possible about then Senator Obama (the presidential candidate). It's as though Hanson has never lived through a presidential election.

Even though Mark Steyn got it right in the clip above about unfairness being part of the system, he and Victor Davis Hanson will in the general election rightly follow Newt Gingrich's example of complaining about the unfairness and bias (not to mention corruption) in the electoral process. There will be easy voting for the dead and Mickey Mouse in Chicago, unfair mainstream media coverage and huge funding and governmental advantage for Barack Obama.

It's not wrong to complain about those things. That's the only way the voters will be allowed a say on the power of the establishment, big money, false charges, and media bias playing a significant part in who gets elected. It's not whining to point out things that are wrong even if fixing them is impossible. The voters can at least vote against them in principle by voting for this candidate over that candidate.

Mark Steyn's complaint against Gingrich is short-sighted. He shoots himself in the foot for any complaint he will have about unfairness in the 2012 presidential election.

Victor Davis Hanson's hope that if the media unfairly go after one candidate they will be forced to go after their favorite candidate as well is a nice dream, but sadly only a dream.

Some, like Mark Levin and Dr. Thomas Sowell, have not lost their head. But, their number is dwindling.

UPDATE: Thomas Sowell again shows how a conservative intellectual leader is supposed to act:
"But Romney’s statement about not worrying about the poor — because they 'have a very ample safety net' — was followed by a statement that was not just a slip of the tongue, and should be a defining moment in telling us about this man’s qualifications as a conservative and, what is more important, as a potential president of the United States.

"Mitt Romney has come out in support of indexing the minimum-wage law, to have it rise automatically to keep pace with inflation. To many people, that would seem like a small thing that can be left for economists or statisticians to deal with.

"But to people who call themselves conservatives, and aspire to public office, there is no excuse for not being aware of what a major social disaster the minimum-wage law has been for the young, the poor, and especially for young and poor blacks."
[emphasis added]
*Coulter boasts: “I say [Romney] tricked liberals into voting for him.” [about the 14:05 mark]

Cold Wave Kills More than 300 in Europe

"More than 300 people have died as a severe cold wave continued to paralyse life in large section of Europe.

"The cold weather has claimed lives in Ukraine, Poland, France and Italy.

"The thick blanket of snow cover has reached as far as North Africa.

"In several countries transport system has been badly hit by the thick snow cover.

"Ukraine has been badly affected by the cold weather with around 131 people reportedly dead in the cold snap, media reports said.

"Several people who were frozen to death were homeless, reports said.

"Bad weather has affected lives in Italy also where the capital Rome witnessed heaviest snowfall in 27 years.

"Cold weather has claimed the lives of 5 people in Poland so far.

"Greece has declared a state of emergency in the Peloponnese peninsula after heavy rain caused flood,media reports said."
Global Warming, uh Climate Change, at work. MaxRedline has the link for the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society two hour 40 minute discussion on "Anthropogenic (human caused) global warming? A look at the science, both the logic and the evidence. Is this the greatest scientific myth of our generation?". One warning from Chuck Wiese is to be prepared for much tougher winters in Oregon. (see pages 33 and 34 of his presentation)

The 300 who died in Europe would have profited if their leaders had paid attention to similar warnings for Europe. Will Oregon leaders pay attention in time?

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Newt Gingrich on Obama Administration's "War on the Catholic Church"

On the Obama administration having "declared war on the Catholic church" and growing restrictions on religious liberty.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Full interview below.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

James Nicholas has a great post on another aspect of Democratic shutting down religious liberty.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Character Matters: Byron York vs. Brit Hume

There's a very interesting "character matters" tweet debate going on between Byron York and Brit Hume. It involves the Romney charge against Gingrich that he resigned as Speaker of the House because of ethics charges and is thus an "embarrassment"* to the Republican party. Hume thinks the charges are fair politics. York thinks they amount to a "political hanging" because they are based on false charges.

York wrote a recent in-depth summary of the Gingrich ethics case based on his reporting from the 1990's. His conclusion: "The bottom line: Gingrich acted properly and violated no laws. There was no tax fraud scheme."

Yesterday York linked to Mark Souder's piece in The Weekly Standard noting in two tweets linking to the article that Souder was a former "Gingrich colleague (and foe)" who says "Gingrich 'has been unfairly maligned by Mitt Romney, and the full story needs to be told.'" and that the "[e]thics case against Gingrich was 'political hanging, not impartial justice.'"

Brit Hume responded defending the Romney campaign: "re: Gingrich quitting in 'disgrace:' Look up the word. It seems within rough ready bounds of political discourse."

York responded that though disgrace can mean many things still this is a "political hanging":
"Agree that 'disgrace' can be in eye of beholder, but I think Souder's point about 'political hanging' of Gingrich is valid…" 
In a follow up tweet York made the point that:
"Romney has adopted 90's Dem critique of Gingrich, and also embraced Brokaw's interpretation of events…"
After various back and forth tweets (1, 2, 3) the discussion has come to differing conclusions (so far).

Brit Hume: "While ethics case was not immediate cause of ouster, it was part of long chain of events that caused Gingrich's loss of favor."

Byron York: "Absolutely. Then IRS 1999 'Gingrich was right' report made it kind of surreal in retrospect."

Hume says because all these things happened to one man they tie together. York says because the ethics charge was proved wrong, you can't tie them together. It's "surreal" to leave out the point that the main "fact" was disproved by the IRS.

For my money, using charges you know have been proven false is a major character issue. It goes to the question of what someone with power will do to target political enemies. If Governor Romney will target a leading member of his own party with disproven ethical charges, what will he do to political opponents as well as anyone among the "common people" who cross him?

As for Brit Hume, this denigrates his journalistic ethics. It is undoubtedly true that the ethics charges had a part in Gingrich's resignation--but is it honest or competent journalism to bring that up without making it clear that the charges were false?

We usually call people who stick to disproved theories by terms like "truthers", "birthers", or just plain "nutters" to acknowledge that most don't have a moral flaw of denying the truth but a rational problem in putting evidence together. But what to call people who just leave out key evidence and think that's okay?

*Governor Chris Christie who made the allegation against Gingrich seems to have embarrassed himself too.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Trump Endorsement Shows Weak Romney?

Compare the visuals of the Donald Trump endorsement with Governor Chris Christie's endorsement of Governor Romney.

In the Christie endorsement, Romney is definitely in charge and introduces Christie who stands humbly to the side awaiting his turn to speak.

In the Trump endorsement, Romney and wife Ann stand hand in hand patiently awaiting Trump's endorsement. Trump is in charge and introduces Romney.

Unlike with Governor Christie, the visuals are that Romney needs Trump. Not a good visual for someone who wants to hold the most powerful position in the world-- president of the United States.

Mitt Romney: The Republican Gaffe-Matic

Governor Mitt Romney is rapidly becoming his own Joe-Bidenesque gaffe-matic.

1. "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."

2. "I'm not concerned about the very poor." (And he keeps digging.)

3. Proudly accepts Donald Trump endorsement and sets up a national break-into-the-news-stream TV press event to broadcast it. A press event sure to get lots of coverage because both Romney and Trump will speak at it and is back to back with Romney's "I'm not concerned about the very poor" gaffe. (Romney's big conservative intellectual we-know-best supporters had just finished bashing Trump as a clown and endorser of candidates who attract "the unserious, the unpresidential, the uninformed and the unpalatable".)

Which is why the Democrats no longer need to worry about keeping Vice President Joe Biden on the ticket. Governor Romney "trumps" even him.

4 Heroes Who Died in Afghanistan January 22 to February 1, 2012

January 22 - Capt. Joshua C. Pairsh, 29, of Equality, Ill., died in the United States of a non-combat related illness.

January 25 - 1st Lt. David A. Johnson, 24, of Horicon, Wis., died in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered after encountering an improvised explosive device while conducting a dismounted patrol.

January 31 - Sgt. William C. Stacey, 23, of Redding, Calif., died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

February 1 - Lance Cpl. Edward J. Dycus, 22, of Greenville, Miss., died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Drudge "Acorns" His Readers; Ignores Romney Gaffe

Bias has its professional downside. Memorandum is reporting about Governor Romney's gaffe among its top items (with lots of links). For pro-Romney Matt Drudge, it hasn't happened. The poor people who depend on Drudge for news are getting "acorned" on this story.

Here's Memeorandum's current front page:

Here's Drudge's current front page (without a hint of the Romney gaffe):

Mr. Electable Not Concerned About The Poor

Governor Romney's comments in an interview today:

"'We will hear from the Democrat party, 'the plight of the poor,' and there’s no question, it’s not good being poor. . . . We have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it, but we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor."
We have a safety net for the very poor? At least Speaker Gingrich wants jobs for both the poor and middle class. Instead of jobs, Governor Romney would fix the safety net (like he did in Massachusetts with Romneycare?).

What a way to make headlines on the day after a big Florida win. This is Mr. Electable?

UPDATE: The most troublesome part of Governor Romney's formulation is not that he doesn't care about the poor. The real problem is his unstated assumption that a good (or at least a reasonable) life for the poor is summed up in safety nets. It begs the question of whether the poor are substantially different from the middle class. Because, of course, if the middle class get poor enough they too will have the safety nets. So, not to worry?

H/T Mark Steyn