January 3, 2012

Phooey on Fouhy: AP Reporter Needles GOP Candidates For Rarely Bringing Up George W. Bush

In 1984, an Associated Press writer covering the Democratic primaries wrote that “In a presidential contest dominated by concerns over the economy, inflation, and unemployment, the Democratic candidates have been loath to acknowledge the extent to which Carter administration policies contributed to those problems. Democrats have also controlled Congress for most of the past three decades, which made it relatively easy to enact the policies Carter pursued.”

Of course, that AP report really never happened. The establishment press never razzed Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, and the other 1984 Democratic presidential candidates about the ruinous Carter-Era inflation, 20%-plus interest rates, and high unemployment against which the Reagan administration was making significant progress in the early 1980s. But on Tuesday morning, Beth Fouhy at the Associated Press felt it necessary to wonder why this year’s GOP primary candidates are rarely mentioning George W. Bush, even though the economy under Barack Obama is making relatively scant progress towards a genuine recovery and makes a much more appropriate target for criticism. Here was her comparable paragraph, plus the two which followed:


Santelli Does the Government vs. Family Budget

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:39 pm

The inimitable Rick Santelli uses somewhat more up-to-date numbers than those shown in the graphic at this post earlier today (HT to Gestetner Updates via commenter dscott):

Santelli’s co-host: “We would call that household bankrupt, wouldn’t we?” (Uh, yeah)

Santelli’s wrap: “This shows we’re not trying hard enough!”

No kidding.

So Much Material, So Little Time, Part 5: A De Facto Anti-Romney Testimonial From a Surprise Source

(Note: Go to the end of this post for a compendium of Romney-related posts since November 2010.)


Well, at least it will be a surprise for those who aren’t long-term followers of this blog. (If you are, do me a favor and keep it a secret until I reveal it, okay?)

Two days after the Goodridge same-sex marriage ruling, a well-known mainstream Republican took to the pages of the Weekly Standard and gave then-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney some powerful advice (no link yet, as I’ll reveal the author later; presented in full for fair use and discussion purposes):

Just Say “No”: Calling Governor Romney and the elected representatives of Massachusetts
The Weekly Standard; 11/20/2003

“JOHN MARSHALL has made his decision,” Andrew Jackson is said to have remarked in the aftermath of a Supreme Court decision he disliked, “now let him enforce it.”

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would be well advised to ponder that line long and hard over the Thanksgiving holidays.

It is an interesting time for the Massachusetts Supreme Court to have seized control of the elected branches in its state, given the connection between Thanksgiving and the Bay State. Unlike its neighbor to the north, the Look-at-Me State of Vermont, Massachusetts actually has a place in the collective national consciousness and Americans of all regions are interested in its history. Now, in the aftermath of Tuesday’s radical diktat from four justices to Massachusetts’ elected representatives, Americans are interested in the state’s future as well.

Romney should seriously consider indifference. The governor noted that the ruling declaring same-sex marriage a mandate of the Massachusetts constitution is contrary to the sweep of recorded history, but it is more than that. The ruling is also absurd in its reasoning and breathtaking in its arrogance.

The state that was birthed in the Mayflower Compact, sparked a revolution against unrepresentative government, embraced abolitionism out of religious zeal, and championed learning and debate has been presented with a lengthy bit of cultural posturing dressed up as a court decision. Like Captain Picard at the controls of the Entreprise, the four justices have waved their collective hand and declared “Make it so.”

The legislators and the governor have been given 180 days to change 387 years of Massachusetts history. That history begins around the time of the Compact, with its signatories’ promise of “all due submission and obedience” to the “just & equall Lawes, ordinances, Acts, constitutions, & offices,” flowing from a “Civill body politick.” Of course the nature of that “body politick” has evolved in the four centuries since its launch, but nowhere along the way did it embrace the concept of four philosopher kings delivering commands.

The decision is illegitimate, and the appropriate response will be to ignore it. Some law professors will shudder (though two well know(n) in the blogosphere, Eugene Volokh and Glenn Reynolds did not … Volokh in fact thinks such inter-branch confrontations are useful in the life of constitutional republics). Editorial writers will shout. Senator Kennedy may even brand Romney a Neanderthal, as he did Justices Brown, Owen, and Judge Kuhl earlier this month.

But the storm will pass and the people of Massachusetts will applaud. They didn’t sign up for a banana republic run by pretenders in robes, and no one in the state’s illustrious history ever sacrificed life or limb–from Boston Harbor to Concord, Antietam or the battlefields of Europe and Asia–for the proposition that four judges get to change everything when they decide to conjure up a reason for doing so.

Romney and the legislature ought to stand back and say no. In fact, if the court threatens with penalties, they ought to threaten back. An outrageous overreach is only as strong as the passivity with which it is greeted.

This isn’t primarily about gay marriage, and it isn’t primarily about Massachusetts. It is primarily about self-government and limiting courts to their constitutional duties. And Massachusetts, again, has a central role to play.


That’s really, really powerful stuff. This author agrees with the well-known and respected lawyers I identified two weeks ago who said that Mitt Romney had no duty to impose same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, as Rick Santorum told the nation at the last GOP debate in Iowa in December, Romney did impose it, and did it because he promised that he would. In fact, he had a duty to do nothing, which of course at the time would have been seen by a nation badly in need of an important constitutional lesson at a hypercritical moment — especially by the gay-friendly press corps in Boston — as “defiance.”

This author, who is a law professor, really hit the nail on the head about Goodridge, telling Romney to “ignore it,” that “Romney and the legislature ought to stand back and say no,” and that we can’t become “a banana republic run by pretenders in robes.”

Who was this courageous columnist?

If you don’t know, you may have a hard time believing it:

John Hawkins: No to Mitt Romney, Because ‘(His) Electability Is A Myth’

http://www.bizzyblog.com/wp-images/RomneyNo0808Hawkins gets all but one of the reasons on the table. Individually, they’re compelling. Collectively, especially with my Number 8, they’re absolutely damning (bolds other than category items are mine):

7 Reasons Why Mitt Romney’s Electability Is A Myth

Mitt Romney was a moderate governor in Massachusetts with an unimpressive record of governance. He left office with an approval rating in the thirties and his signature achievement, Romneycare, was a Hurricane Katrina style disaster for the state. Since that’s the case, it’s fair to ask what a Republican who’s not conservative and can’t even carry his own state brings to the table for GOP primary voters. The answer is always the same: Mitt Romney is supposed to be “the most electable” candidate. This is a baffling argument because many people just seem to assume it’s true, despite the plethora of evidence to the contrary.

1) People just don’t like Mitt: The entire GOP primary process so far has consisted of Republican voters desperately trying to find an alternative to Mitt Romney.

Let’s be perfectly honest: Mitt Romney excites no one except for Mormons, political consultants, and Jennifer Rubin. To everybody else on the right, Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama would be a “lesser of two evils” election …

2) He’s a proven political loser: There’s a reason Mitt Romney has been able to say that he’s “not a career politician.” It’s because he’s not very good at politics. He lost to Ted Kennedy in 1994. Although he did win the governorship of Massachusetts in 2002, he did it without cracking 50% of the vote. Worse yet, he left office as the 48th most popular governor in America and would have lost if he had run again in 2006. Then, to top that off, he failed to capture the GOP nomination in 2008. … Choosing Romney as the GOP nominee after running up that sort of track record would be like promoting a first baseman hitting .225 in AAA to the majors.

3) Running weak in the southern states: Barack Obama won North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida in 2008 and you can be sure that he will be targeting all three of those states again. This is a problem for Romney because he would be much less likely than either Gingrich or Perry to carry any of those states.

4) His advantages disappear in a general election: It’s actually amazing that Mitt Romney isn’t lapping the whole field by 50 points because he has every advantage.

… Yet, every one of those advantages disappears if he becomes the nominee. Suddenly Obama will be the more experienced candidate in the race for the presidency. He will also have more money and a better organization than Mitt. Moreover, in a general election, the establishment and beltway media will be aligned against Romney, not for him. Suddenly, Romney will go from getting a free pass to being public enemy #1 for the entire mainstream media.

5) Bain Capital: … in a year when Obama will be running a populist campaign and Occupy Wall Street is demonizing the “1%,” Mitt Romney will be a TAILOR MADE villain for them.

… Did you know Ted Kennedy beat Romney in 1994 by hammering Mitt relentlessly on his time at Bain Capital? No wonder. The ads write themselves.

6) The Mormon Factor: … You should also keep in mind that if Mitt Romney gets the nomination, Hollywood and the mainstream media will conduct a vicious, months’ long hate campaign against the Mormon Church. They will take every opportunity to make Mormons look weird, racist, kooky, scary, and different. Would this be a decisive factor? I’d like to say no, but by the time all is said and done, it’s very easy to see Romney potentially losing hundreds of thousands of votes across the country because of his religion.

7) He’s a flip-flopper. Maybe my memory is failing me, but didn’t George Bush beat John Kerry’s brains in with the “flip flopper” charge back in 2004? So now, just eight years later, the GOP is going to run someone that even our own side agrees is a flip-flopper right out of the gate?

There’s an eighth reason, which is simply this: Social conservatives will not enthusiastically support him, and many (people, I guarantee you that the number is in the millions, and it could conceivably be in double-digit millions) will not vote for him under any condition, based on his same-sex marriage, abortion, and healthcare track records.

Iowans get a chance to stop this madness emphatically before it gains any traction. Please, please do so.

Ben Shapiro: ‘No on Mitt Romney’ Based on His Massachusetts Record

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Activism,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:49 am

http://www.bizzyblog.com/wp-images/RomneyNo0808Brilliant analogy, and a great list of how failed Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney’s four years as the Governor of Massachusetts really were, including several I haven’t heavily emphasized (which I have therefore bolded where appropriate):

These days, (con man in “The Music Man”) Harold Hill goes by a different name: Mitt Romney.

Throughout the Republican debates, Romney has somehow suckered much of the conservative world into believing that he is a solid fiscal, social and foreign policy conservative. He says many of the right things — though he looks supremely uncomfortable saying them — and this has been enough to send the GOP establishment, which loves a blue state Republican, into spasms of ecstasy.

But as my dad told me when I was 10 years old: Don’t watch what people say, watch what they do. And what Mitt Romney did when he had power in Massachusetts wasn’t just non-conservative — it was all out liberal.

First off, he raised taxes. He called these fees, but Romney’s push for a balanced budget meant that he proposed raising tuition at state schools; he raised fees for buying a home; jacked up fees to receive a certificate of blindness (that’s right, he tried to place a stumbling fee in front of the blind); raised corporate taxes; tried to raise fees for driver’s licenses, marriage licenses and gun licenses; and increased a special gasoline fee. Romney may now take a harsh anti-tax stance — but when he faces deficits that dwarf what he faced in Massachusetts, why wouldn’t he apply the same solutions he did then?

Second, Romney rammed through Romneycare. At a time when his state was going bankrupt, he decided — like President Obama — that the most important problem was lack of affordable private sector healthcare.

… Third, on social issues, Romney was about as strong a social conservative as RuPaul would have been. In May 2004, he told town officials across Massachusetts to start issuing marriage licenses for two men or two women. He also signed into law one of the most restrictive anti-gun measures in state history. When it came to appointing conservative judges, Romney failed miserably — at the end of his term, he actually refused to fill certain vacancies, leaving them to be filled by his liberal successor. According to the Boston Globe, a 2005 review of Romney’s appointments showed that he had “passed over GOP lawyers for three-quarters of the 36 judicial vacancies he has faced, instead tapping registered Democrats or independents including two gay lawyers who have supported expanded same-sex rights.”

… What the record reveals isn’t a conservative attempting to play nice with liberals only to sucker-punch them with right-wing policy that works. The record shows that Romney was willing to change positions repeatedly in order to attain power, and once in power, he was willing to change positions repeatedly in order to maximize it.

… Nominating Mitt Romney would be a betrayal not only of conservatism but also of the greatest opportunity for resurrection of American greatness in a century.

Which brings us back to Iowa. By the end of “The Music Man,” Iowans have changed Harold Hill rather than the other way around — Hill has become a small-town values conservative. But Mitt Romney is not Harold Hill. He was, is and always will be a politician of convenience. If Iowans don’t recognize that threat, they’ll be undercutting their own case to lead off the primary season and buying into conventional wisdom instead of standing up for themselves. They’d no longer be Iowa stubborn — they’d be Iowa pushovers.

Don’t be fooled, Iowa.

Framing 2012, in Five Easy Numbers

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:35 am

Hopefully, leadership in Washington had as one of their New Year’s resolutions to acquire sufficient spine and willpower to do better — much, much better — than this (HT to an emailer):


Even though the collection number above is a bit low and the spending number a bit high, the situation is STILL worse than it appears.

That’s because the national debt was actually $15,126,000,000,000 as of last Thursday. The analogous family credit card balance is really $151,260, over $8,500 higher.

Assuming that this fiscal year’s debt addition will be $1.1 trillion (roughly equal to the Congressional Budget Office’s anticipated $989 billion increase in Debt Held by the Public plus the $120 billion decrease in collections caused by extending the payroll tax cut), the national debt will increase by an average of $3 billion a day between now and September 30. The analogous family credit card balance will continue going up by an average of $900 a month.

If the economy has a hiccup and tax collections lag further, or spending accelerates (that would never happen — /sarc), we could bust the increased debt ceiling of $16.4 trillion which Congress will probably wave through shortly before November 6.

This is all so simple even a Democrat might understand it (I didn’t say they’d care about it, just that they might understand it).

No one can possibly believe that this is sustainable.

Yet our President’s apparatchiks and his lapdog press proudly proclaim that “much of the year will focus on winning a second term” (read the fully story, and you’ll see that “much” really means “almost all”).

As I’ve noted several times, the above may not even be sustainable for the next ten months. I can’t help but suspect that things might come to a head before Election Day, and that this occurrence may not be unplanned.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (010312)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:30 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Passers-by save 3 kids from icy river drowning

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Salt Lake City; the truth is that one passer-by with a gun made the saving of three lives possible:

January 2, 2012 6:51 AM

Former police officer Chris Willden didn’t hesitate when he realized children were trapped in an upside down car in an icy Utah river. He pulled his handgun, pushed it up against the submerged windows and shot out the glass.
Then he reached inside.

“I was trying to grab arms, but I couldn’t feel anything,” Willden said. “I’m thinking … what are we going to do?”‘

But he turned to see up to eight other passers-by had scrambled down the embankment to help after coming upon the accident along U.S. 89 in Logan Canyon on Saturday afternoon.

Highway Patrol Lt. Steve Winward said that after shooting out a window, the rescuer cut a seatbelt to free one child. He said the rescuers helped turn the Honda Accord upright in the Logan River.

They lifted the car enough to free the three trapped children.

The driver, Roger Andersen, 46, of Logan, had lost control of the car as he tried to brake while heading northbound in slippery conditions. His 9-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son were trapped along with a second 9-year-old girl.

“(The driver) was panicked, doing everything he could to get in through the doors, but they wouldn’t budge,” said Willden, who had jumped into the water with his own father.

“I remember thinking to myself, ‘You’re going to see some dead kids, get ready.’ I’ve got three of my own and it was going to be (an awful) start to the New Year.”

Willden said he tried unsuccessfully to open windows and doors. He then used his firearm just as he had done in training for his current job as a bodyguard and Department of Defense contractor.

Go here for the rest of the story.