May 24, 2011

Don Surber Blisters the AP Fact-Checkers in Coverage of Pawlenty Announcement Speech

The Charleston Daily Mail writer and blogger found Paw-lenty of errors in the AP’s coverage.

Final score: Pawlenty 6, AP 2.

Excellent job — by Don. Absolutely pathetic and sadly typical performance by AP.

Re the Negative Reax to Herman Cain’s Fox Sunday Appearance: We’re Clearly Not Used to Politicians Who Are Fully Responsible Adults

Amazingly, Herman Cain is getting grief, even apparently from the network itself, over his Fox News Sunday interview (video and transcript).

As far as I can tell, the two main complaints are that:

  1. He didn’t know what the Palestinians’ right of return demand is.
  2. He wouldn’t articulate a strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

As to Number 1, the “right of return” demand hasn’t exactly been front and center during the past few decades except among the talking-to-themselves press, basically because it’s a stupid topic as long as Hamas and the Palestinians won’t concede that Israel has a right to exist.

But the important thing here is that Cain demonstrated his instincts, and got it right. Once he understood the nature of the demand, he said:

Yes. But under — but not under Palestinian conditions. Yes. They should have a right to come back if that is a decision that Israel wants to make.

Back to — it’s up to Israel to determine the things they will accept.

Bingo.

Now, you could argue that Cain’s nearly next statement that “I don’t think they (the Israelis) have a big problem with people returning” is a gaffe. No, it just shows that Cain doesn’t realize how many Palestinians are involved, because if he did, he’d know that the Israelis aren’t keen on getting outnumbered. But again, Cain’s deference to our ally Israel is the ruling principle.

As to Number 2, here’s Cain’s allegedly problematic response:

WALLACE: We have been at war in Afghanistan for almost 10 years. And yet you say — and you say it quite proudly — you have no plan for what to do in Afghanistan. You’d have to wait until you got into office, until you met with the experts, until you met with military officials and then you decided.

Don’t you owe to people who are thinking of voting for you to give them some idea about what you would do about a major U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan?

CAIN: I do. And here’s what I owe them — I owe them the right approach to the right decision such that we’re not there 10 more years.

WALLACE: So, what is the right approach?

CAIN: The right approach is: the day I’m elected president, I will start on that plan such that the day I was sworn in, I will be able to implement the plan.

WALLACE: But that doesn’t tell anybody what you’re — I mean, do you support counterinsurgency or counterterrorism?

CAIN: Chris, let’s go back — let’s go back — let’s go back to the fundamental question. We’ve got to work on the right problem. I think it is disingenuous to tell the American people what I would do when I don’t have the intelligence information. I don’t have all of the factors that are affecting this particular situation.

I owe the American people a responsible decision and a responsible plan. And I don’t think any candidate can responsibly say what they would do if they are elected president.

How refreshing to see someone who’s willing to say, “Hey, I don’t know because I don’t have access to the necessary information,” instead of watching people who don’t know anything act as if they do. What Cain did is what adults do when they don’t know the answer to something they can’t possibly know: They admit that they don’t know the answer because they can’t possibly know. I’m told that even the people at Fox are having a hard time accepting Cain’s perfect answer, which means they too need to get out more.

If these are the worst raps people can pin on Herman Cain, the children who criticize him are in for a long 18 months.

Another POR Economy Grim Milestone

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:53 am

Today’s information from the Census Bureau on actual monthly home sales tells us that for first time since records have been kept, and certainly for the first time since World War II, sales of new single family homes during the most recent twelve months came in at less than 300,000:

Trailing12MosHomeSales1208to0411

The POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy continues to set previously unimaginable records.

IBD: Obamacare Is ‘Crony Health Care’

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:43 am

Investors Business Daily employs a very apt term in the final sentence of its very strong editorial:

Big Surprise: AARP Joins Waiver-gate

The seniors group that lobbied heavily for ObamaCare and stands to profit handsomely from it now has its own waiver. As the White House picks winners and losers, AARP wins and the rest of us lose.

Although not specifically mentioned by name in the rate review rules finalized last Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the rule that exempts Medigap insurance providers is clearly designed to benefit the largest seller of such policies and the biggest lobbyist for ObamaCare — the American Association of Retired Persons.

So you can add AARP to the list of favored unions, corporations, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s constituents and even entire states such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Nevada that have received exemptions or waivers from various requirements of ObamaCare.

… A recent report released by GOP members on the House Ways and Means Committee, “Behind The Veil: The AARP America Doesn’t Know,” says AARP may have been on board simply because it was a good deal for the organization, as well as a good investment.

That report also documented how ObamaCare would produce a billion-dollar windfall for AARP by forcing millions of seniors to lose or drop their Medicare Advantage plans they were promised they could keep, plans that were the only real competition to the Medigap policies AARP provides or endorses for a fee.

The millions forced by ObamaCare to lose the Medicare Advantage coverage will result, the report said, “in a massive migration of seniors to Medigap plans. AARP is the nation’s leading provider of Medigap plans and has a contract in which AARP financially gains for every additional Medigap enrollee.” Cha-ching!

… The amount AARP will gain from ObamaCare, with cost-effectiveness mandates that will lead to rationed care, less medical innovation and health care decisions made by bureaucrats rather than doctors and patients, is staggering.

Equally staggering is the brazenness exhibited by the Obama administration and the beneficiaries of what can only be called crony health care.

Read the whole thing.

It will surprise no one that AARP, in its daily bulletin email, headlined yesterday’s fountain of fibs from the Associated Press about how Americans supposedly think that Social Security and Medicare should be left alone.

Positivity: Archbishop Dolan, Rep. Ryan talk Catholic social teaching in budget debate

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:58 am

From Washington (a fuller review of the exchange is at the Corner via Kathryn Lopez):

May 21, 2011 / 05:41 pm

U.S. bishops’ conference president Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has praised Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) attention to Catholic social teaching in the federal budget debate, but he emphasized the need for “special consideration” for the poor.

“In any transition that seeks to bring new proposals to current problems in order to build a better future, care must be taken that those currently in need not be left to suffer,” Dolan said in a May 19 letter. While the bishops appreciate assurances that the budget will be attentive to these concerns, their duty as pastors will motivate their “close attention” to the reality of the House’s proposed budget.

Rep. Ryan had sent a four-page April 29 letter to Archbishop Dolan defending the proposal.

“Catholic Americans are blessed to have the social teaching of the Church as moral guidance as we consider legislative proposals such as the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget,” the congressman wrote. He said there was a moral obligation “implicit” in Catholic social teaching to address “difficult basic problems before they explode into social crisis.”

Ryan cited a passage from Pope John Paul II’s 1991 encyclical “Centisimus Annus” which criticized the “social assistance state” for leading to “an inordinate increase of public agencies” dominated by bureaucratic thinking and accompanied by an “enormous increase in spending” and “a loss of human energies.”

Ryan also cited the “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,” claiming that the House budget was informed by the principle of subsidiarity. This principle holds that higher-level social associations should not do what lower-level associations can.

Archbishop Dolan, who is president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, responded in a May 18 letter saying he “deeply” appreciates Ryan’s assurances of his attention to Catholic social justice.

“As you allude to in your letter, the budget is not just about numbers. It reflects the very values of our nation,” Dolan wrote.

The archbishop also cited “Centisimus Annus,” noting it stated that the poor have a claim to “special consideration” in defending the rights of individuals. He also noted that the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, the commitment to the common good of all, are “interrelated.”

The archbishop said that the Catholic faith, anchored in the Bible, Church tradition and the natural law, can help guide “solid American constitutional wisdom.” He commended the letter’s attention to the dignity of the human person, the poor and the vulnerable, and the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.

“The principles of Catholic social teaching contain truths that need to be applied,” the archbishop continued, noting the necessity of “prudential judgment” in applying these principles.

Archbishop Dolan wrote that he hoped the exchange of letters will be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue in service of the country and “the religious convictions that have always inspired sound citizenship and generous public service.”

Negotiations in Washington are underway to agree upon a budget in exchange for raising the national debt limit. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has demanded $2 trillion in budget cuts, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has said closing tax loopholes should also be considered. Reid’s suggestion aside, Democrats have yet to unveil their own federal budget proposal.

On May 19 Speaker Boehner said that he welcomed Archbishop Dolan’s letter and that he was encouraged by the dialogue between House Republicans and the bishops.

“Our nation’s current fiscal path is a threat to human dignity in America, offering empty promises to the most vulnerable among us and condemning our children to a future limited by debt,” he said.

Echoing Ryan’s letter, he said “Americans are blessed to have the teachings of the Church available to us as guidance as we confront our challenges together as a nation.”

Go here for the rest of the story.