April 30, 2012

In Going After Apple’s Tax Avoidance, NYT Never, Ever Criticizes Calif. and U.S. Government Spending and Bloat

At the New York Times on Saturday (in Sunday’s print edition), reporters Charles Duhigg and David Kocienewski, in a report riddled with conceptual flaws and misleading statistics, bemoaned “how technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age and ill suited to today’s digital economy.” They focused their attention almost entirely on Apple, seemingly in simultaneous awe and disgust at how “Apple’s accountants have found legal ways to allocate about 70 percent of its profits overseas, where tax rates are often much lower, according to corporate filings.”

Well guys, a look at Apple’s latest 10-K annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Page 73 reveals that Apple’s net sales in “The Americas” geographic segment — from the northernmost portion of Canada to the southernmost tip of Chile — in the year ended September 24, 2011 were $38 billion out of a companywide total of $108 billion. Apple doesn’t segregate U.S. sales, but it would seem that they probably aren’t any more than $30 billion of that $38 billion. So the vast majority of Apple’s sales are “overseas.” An even larger majority is outside of the U.S. Even after allowing for aggressive tax-avoidance maneuvers, why should it surprise anyone that the large majority of profits are also earned overseas?

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AP Won’t Let Go of ‘Government Budget-Cutting’ As Reason For Tepid First-Quarter GDP Growth

AP_logo2012On Friday evening, it was Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman. Today it’s Martin Crutsinger. Together with Derek Kravitz (who isn’t in on the latest offense — yet), perhaps the just-named quartet of alleged journalists should be named “The Four Distortsmen.”

Today, it was Crutsinger who, in the wake of a mediocre report on consumer spending, again invoked “government budget-cutting as the primary culprit explaining why the economy only grew by an estimated annualized 2.2% during the first quarter:

The government reported Friday that the overall economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the January-March quarter. That’s down from 3 percent annual growth in the October-December period. The weakness mainly reflected government budget-cutting and weaker business investment.

Since they’re not letting go of their false meme, I’m not about to stop debunking it, this time with the help of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.
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From the ‘We Never Really Intended to Get Money Out of Politics’ Dept.

From Toby Harnden at the UK Daily Mail:

(J. Breandan) Doherty, who has compiled statistics about presidential travel and fundraising going back to President Jimmy Carter in 1977, found that Obama had held 104 fundraisers by March 6th this year, compared to 94 held by Presidents Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.

Since then, Obama has held another 20 fundraisers, bringing his total to 124. Carter held four re-election fundraisers in the 1980 campaign, Reagan zero in 1984, Bush Snr 19 in 1992, Clinton 14 in 1996 and Bush Jnr 57 in 2004.

And six months remain in the campaign. To the extent the establishment press has noticed, its coverage has been largely favorable and only occasionally neutral, with no previous administration comparables ever brought to light.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (043012)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

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

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Positivity: Diabetic says pollsters saved her life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:10 am

From New York City:

April 21, 2012 at 4:55 PM

A New York woman says two telephone pollsters saved her life after her she grew confused and began breathing heavily while being questioned for a poll.

“I owe these two my life,” Bobby Berlin, a 79-year-old diabetic, told the New York Post Friday.

During a telephone call for a poll on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Monday, Berlin became confused and started breathing heavily, said Jason Sokolowski, a poll-taker for the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Sokolowski, a 20-year-old college junior who is a communications major, said he became alarmed and alerted his supervisor, Daniela Charter, 37.

“From the instant I said hello and the woman said hello back to me, it was evident that something was wrong,” Charter said.

Charter called 911, and the dispatcher took Berlin’s phone number and called emergency workers.

Authorities later informed Charter Berlin was going to live.

On Wednesday, Berlin, a former New York City elementary school teacher and stockbroker, met Sokolowski and Charter.

Go here for the rest of the story.

War on Terror Over? AP’s Dozier Says ‘No,’ With Evidence

A week ago, National Journal’s Michael Hirsh quoted an unnamed State Department official who claimed that “The war on terror is over. Now that we have killed most of al Qaida, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.” If it’s so over, then why were government officials referenced in Kimberly Dozier’s Associated Press report this evening about the state of Al Qaida a year after Osama Bin Laden’s death “on condition of anonymity because they say publicly identifying themselves could make them a target of the terrorist group”?

Dozier is a noteworthy exception to the usually dreadful reporting at the wire service, and has a personal reason for having her eyes open. While she was with CBS News in May 2006, she was critically injured by an IED in Iraq. After nine months, she returned to work. According to Wikipedia she joined the AP in the spring of 2010.
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April 29, 2012

Romney Dog on Roof-Obsessed Gail Collins at NYT Has Ignored 2003 Rescue Story Her Paper Published

Per her bio, Gail Collins at the New York Times “joined the New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board and later as an op-ed columnist. In 2001 she became the first woman ever appointed editor of the Times editorial page.” So she was hanging with the Old Gray Lady in 2003.

The columnist’s presence at the paper that year is quite relevant. You see, Ms. Collins has brought up the 1983 story of Seamus, the Mitt Romney family Irish setter, who the presumptive GOP presidential nominee put “into a dog carrier on the roof of his station wagon for a 12-hour trip to Ontario,” on dozens of occasions in her Times column in the almost five years since the story first appeared. Yet during those five years, it seems she has never recognized (and if she has, she certainly has not been chastened by) the existence an exceptionally positive dog-related Romney story printed in her employer’s own paper on July 8, 2003. It follows the jump (underlines are mine; presented in full for fair use and discussion purposes):

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Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (042912)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

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

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A Year Ago, IBD Noted Venezuelan Funding of Deeply Flawed ‘Gasland’ Documentary on Which EPA’s ‘Crucify’ Official Collaborated

A year ago in March, an Investor’s Business Daily editorial (“America’s Enemies Don’t Want U.S. Drilling”) informed readers that “the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington put out a Twitter post expressing disappointment that the documentary ‘Gasland’ didn’t win an Academy Award.” Specifically: “Sadly, ‘Gasland’ didn’t win an Oscar, because a Vzlan helped make it,” Venezuela’s Twitterer whined.” IBD went on to note that “Gasland” had “a Venezuelan production assistant, Irene Yibirin, who … (has) ties to the (Chavez) government’s Foundation National Cinematheque. … [O]n the site, she praised Chavez.”

Why is this relevant? Well, as another IBD editorial on Thursday noted, EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz, who became deservedly infamous last week when his public articulation of his “Crucify Them” philosophy towards enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in a speech a year ago was exposed, really loves the film, which industry officials have shown is riddled with deceptions and outright falsehoods. Not only that, he was also involved in making it:

Armendariz said in the same speech his proudest moment in his first year at EPA was to have its enforcers watch “Gasland,” an anti-fracking propaganda documentary financed by the government of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, who also opposes all U.S. drilling. Armendariz collaborated with its makers, and got his name in the credits.

IBD could have and perhaps should have gone much further in its criticism of Antagonistic Al. Armendariz, whose resume communicates what should be a high level of relevant scientific expertise, had to throw any fealty he had to the scientific method overboard by becoming associated with the “Gasland” and praising its final result.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America’s Energy In Depth blog thoroughly debunked so much of what is in “Gasland” in June 2010 that one almost has to conclude that the list of truths in the film was miles shorter than the list of false assertions and contentions. The film misstated facts about provisions in laws passed by Congress; misrepresented the degree to which fracking is currently regulated; completely miscommunicated key facts relating to the fracking process; recycled long-discredited environmentalist memes; and in at least seven instances, in the blog post’s words, was “just making stuff up.” In February 2011, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ignored industry objections to the film’s eligibility for an Academy Award. Well, at least it didn’t win. Sorry, Hugo.

Further, it would appear that:

  • One of the film’s “hooks,” namely that producer Josh Fox was offered $100,000 for the right to drill on his land, is highly questionable at best and complete fiction at worst. This claim was parroted in a June 1, 2010 Associated Press story, which also relayed Fox’s claim (with what I believe to be little or no skepticism) that he was still receiving such offers. A separate EID blog post on June 7, 2011 by Tom Shepstone makes a compelling case that it’s virtually impossible that Fox received such an offer, and that if he did, it couldn’t have come from the company whose documents are, according to Shepstone, the only ones which conform “with the format and wording of the document displayed in Gasland.”
  • Another dramatic hook, namely “the much-vaunted and disturbing image of flammable running water from faucets,” is similarly bogus in the supposed “lesson” it tries to communicate: “Well yes, apparently many can (do this) – but sadly for Gasland, for reasons au naturelle. Fox highlights the instance of a flammable faucet in Fort Lupton, Colorado pinning the blame on gas development. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission however disagree(s), maintaining, ‘Dissolved methane in well water appears to be biogenic [natural occurring] in origin” and they found “no indications of oil and gas related impacts to the water well.’”
  • In general, filmmaker Josh Fox is a guy who isn’t exactly wedded to the concepts of total accuracy and thorough vetting, having been quoted as follows: “I’m sorry but art is more important than politics. … Politics is people lying to you and simplifying everything; art is about contradictions.”

Armendariz’s involvement with “Gasland,” especially as an alleged scientist, his praise of its deeply deceptive content, and his eagerness to brainwash his subordinates with it, all should make it obvious that he is unfit to hold his EPA post or any other position involving regulation.

Following the lead of the Obama administration, which IBD correctly asserted is protecting Armendariz, the establishment press is ignoring the aforementioned crucial elements of this story. Just two examples: The Associated Press, which on Thursday covered the EPA administrator’s “apology” while erroneously reporting that Armendariz’s outlook only applies to “bad players” who are “not complying with the law (Christopher Helman at Forbes made mincemeat of that claim by recounting the EPA’s fantasy-based attempted crucifixion of Range Resources), has done no follow-up story in the intervening 2-1/2 days. Similarly and just as incorrectly, John M. Broder at the New York Times’s Green Blog on Thursday claimed that Armendariz’s crucifixions remarks targeted “some violators of pollution laws.” Helman demonstrated that Range Resources violated no laws, and thanks to its corporate spine eventually forced an EPA courtroom retreat.

What’s described here exemplifies yet again how reading key stories and editorials at Investor’s Business Daily is indispensable if one wishes to be truly informed, because it so often addresses and exposes matters the establishment press should be covering — and won’t — and is absolutely fearless in calling them out.

As to Armendariz’s continued presence at EPA, I wrote on Thursday that “If this guy holds onto his job — forget the ‘apology,’ which can’t possibly undo Armendariz’s outlook as practiced — we will know all we need to know about the Obama administration’s regulatory mindset.”

Well, now we know, and there can be no remaining doubt.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

April 28, 2012

Per AP, Tepid GDP Growth Largely Due to Government ‘Budget-Cuttting’

In the first quarter of 2012, the federal government spent $966 billion. That’s 10% more than the $877 billion spent during the previous quarter, and 2% more than the $949 spent during the first quarter of 2011.

Yet the party line Friday evening from Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, is that economic growth in the first quarter, which the government preliminarily told us yesterday was an annualized 2.2% (trailing consensus estimates of 2.6%), was so mediocre because of “government budget-cutting.” A closer look indicates that if anything, they should have tagged it as defense budget-cutting and never did; the rest of government spending continues to balloon out of control. The pair’s opening six paragraphs follow the jump.

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The Election Should Be All About Barack Obama’s Record

Three likely stark reminders of just how bad it is will arrive just before Election Day.

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On April 13, at Swampland, a blog at what’s left of Time magazine, Joe Klein took Bill Galston at the New Republic to task for daring to write that Barack Obama’s successful reelection will be difficult “if the people don’t approve of his record.”

That’s about as non-controversial as it gets — but not for good ol’ Joe, who called Galston’s assertion “political science mythology.” Klein proceeded to offer three elections (2008, 1988, and 1976) which supposedly showed that a president’s record in office doesn’t matter. Readers can and should be forgiven for wondering why he chose those three campaigns, given that none of them involved incumbents seeking reelection.

In the interest of bringing Klein up to speed, let me remind him of the three of the four most obvious relatively recent instances when the incumbent president’s record was of the utmost importance (the fourth is Bill Clinton’s defeat of Bush 41 in 1992, which was built on Clinton’s lie about “the worst economy in the past 50 years,” Bush’s breaking of his “no new taxes pledge,” and most critically the quixotic candidacy of Ross Perot).

In 1980, Jimmy Carter was seeking reelection against challenger Ronald Reagan. Carter’s administration was busily producing inflation, unemployment, and high interest rates all at once, a trifecta once thought impossible. It wasn’t the “killer rabbit” that did Carter in, just as it won’t be Obama’s youthful penchant for eating dog meat; it was the brutal economy. Despite a third-party effort by John Anderson which probably pulled more votes away from Reagan than Carter, Reagan won in a landslide.

In 1984, Reagan was the incumbent. All the Gipper needed to do to win against the hapless Walter Mondale was:

  • Demonstrate that his age wasn’t an issue — which he did, while wisecracking that he wouldn’t hold his opponents’ youth and inexperience against him.
  • Plaintively ask: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” For the vast majority of Americans, the answer was a resounding “Yes.”

What resulted was a 49-state Electoral College rout.

In 2004, George W. Bush sought reelection against John Kerry. While the challenger had many shortcomings, not the least of which was his failure to remember who was president in December 1968 (Kerry referenced something said by Dick Nixon, but the president at the time was still lame duck Lyndon Baines Johnson, making his “Christmas in Cambodia” story an obvious fable), the election was really about Bush’s record on the economy, his prosecutions of the Iraq War, and progress in the overall War on Terror. The country was very divided on the matter, but Bush prevailed.

So while it would be nice from Joe Klein’s and Barack Obama’s perspective if the 2012 campaign were about, oh, I don’t know, Obama’s well-recited movie introductions, Michelle Obama’s frequent TV appearances, and their kids’ vacations (oops, we’re not allowed to talk about that), the 2012 campaign  – like it or not, guys — will be primarily about what Obama has and hasn’t done during his first term.

The central problem with Barack Obama’s presidential record is that it is chock full of records — almost all of them painful, harmful, or both. What follows are just a few of them, focusing in the interest of space on the economy and the federal government’s finances.

Most trillion-dollar annual deficits rung up (as well as the only ones): 4.

The deficit during the last eight months of the fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2009, the first eight full months of Obama’s presidency, was $1.02 trillion. That was followed by full fiscal-year deficits of just under $1.3 trillion in 2010 and 2011. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that fiscal 2012′s full-year deficit will be $1.2 trillion. Unless David Axelrod’s Ministry of Information Management (otherwise known as the Obama For America campaign) intervenes, the Treasury Department will release final results for fiscal 2012 in mid-October, right in the middle of early voting and about three weeks before Election Day.

Most consecutive months of seasonally adjusted unemployment above 8%: 38, and counting.

Every single full month of Obama’s presidency has seen an unemployment rate at least that high. Other related records are far too numerous to specifically mention, but there is no reasonable doubt that the pain inflicted on the long-term unemployed during the barely noticeable to non-existent recovery has been far more severe than at any time since the Great Depression, and markedly worse than what we saw for a relatively brief time during the early 1980s. The recent surge in jobless claims and March’s disappointing job creation make it fairly likely that the unemployment rate won’t fall below 8% before Election Day — and even if it does, the shocking shrinkage in the workforce during Obama’s term will render such a result completely unimpressive.

Unless it also gets the ax from Axelrod, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will issue the October employment report on November 2, the Friday before Election Day.

Number of post-recession quarters required for a post-World War II economy to return to its pre-recession size: 9.

Believe it or not, the previous record was three. And since Obama’s best buddy these days seems to be Warren Buffett, I should note that based on the personal benchmark of the billion-dollar ower of Omaha, we’re far from achieving a true recovery, which he defines as when “real per capita GDP gets back to where it was before.”

The government’s last report on economic growth will arrive on October 26; I don’t think David Axelrod will have the nerve to try to delay that one, no matter what it says. That’s eleven days before Election Day. There’s no good reason to believe it will be anywhere near the 4%-plus annualized growth needed for meaningful job creation coming out of a recession (or in this case, out of a barely noticeable to non-existent recovery). Forecasts for full-year growth in 2012 tell us that attaining even the 3% needed to claim anything resembling acceptability will be difficult.

No president since World War II has a poorer record of economic and fiscal stewardship than Barack Obama. The frightening tax hikes on the horizon for January 2013, increases he will almost certainly allow to take effect once he’s reelected, will make his first term seem like a picnic. His only hope appears to be to pretend that it’s 1936 and, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt did that year, make the election about demonizing the successful and convincing the disengaged that it is noble to confiscate and redistribute their income and wealth.

The world has changed quite a bit in the past 76 years, and a president’s ability to hide the truth from the public is nowhere near what it was when FDR reigned supreme but presided over a tragically underperforming economy. But I wouldn’t rule out Obama’s ability to successfully play the envy and class warfare cards, especially given the Republican Party’s decidedly non-conservative nominee. Heaven help the American people if a majority of us let him get away with it.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (042812)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

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

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Positivity: Prison mates promote cause of heroic Korean War priest

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:10 am

From Wichita, Kansas:

Apr 27, 2012 / 10:25 am

The head of the cause for the beatification of an American priest who died in a Communist prison during the Korean War says the chaplain’s fellow inmates are the real promoters of his sainthood.

Father John Hotze told CNA on April 18 that there is great support for the cause of Korean War chaplain Father Emil Kapaun “especially among the men who were in prison with him.”

“They have been promoting his cause of holiness and that he be awarded the Medal of Honor since they left prison in 1953.”

Fr. Kapaun’s prison mates are now all in their 80s.

In November of 1950, Fr. Kapaun met up with soldiers besieged by Korean troops at the Battle of Unsan. The Army chaplain chose to stay with the wounded and was imprisoned at a concentration camp near Pyoktong, North Korea, where he was tortured.

For six months he ministered to other prisoners, often giving others his own food rations, and was subjected to forced labor. He celebrated baptisms, heard confessions, offered the Mass and administered last rites. The priest eventually developed a blood clot in his leg and fell ill with dysentery and pneumonia.

According to the testimony of his prison mates, he died in prison on May 23, 1951 and was buried in a common grave near the Yalu River.

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 27, 2012

Obama ‘Protecting’ EPA’s Antagonistic Al ‘Crucify Them’ Armendariz

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:52 am

Concerning the EPA’s Al Armendariz, I wrote yesterday that:

If this guy holds onto his job — forget the “apology,” which can’t possibly undo Armendariz’s outlook as practiced — we will know all we need to know about the Obama administration’s regulatory mindset. You’ll find it under “T” for “tyranny” (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”).

Well it looks like we know.

From an Investor’s Business Daily editorial last night (bolds are mine):

An EPA official who apparently made good on a threat to “crucify” an oil company to make the entire energy industry “easy to manage” should resign or be fired. So why is the White House protecting him?

EPA regional administrator for Dallas Al Armendariz told a city council meeting in a taped speech two years ago that his “philosophy” of enforcement was to single out an oil company, punish it “as hard as you can,” and make an example of it to scare others into submission.

Besides the Range Resources saga described at yesterday’s post, IBD had this to add:

… “Totalitarian” may seem extreme, but Armendariz said in the same speech his proudest moment in his first year at EPA was to have its enforcers watch “Gasland,” an anti-fracking propaganda documentary financed by the government of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, who also opposes all U.S. drilling. Armendariz collaborated with its makers, and got his name in the credits.

But incredibly, the White House, already mired in scandals involving other abuses of power in other agencies, has said Armendariz would stay. “I think he’s apologized, and what he’s said is clearly not representative of either the president’s belief” or EPA practices, said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

In light of the evidence telling another story, the only conclusion is that Armendariz is doing exactly what the White House wants. He just made the error of saying it.

The White House has blocked drilling in U.S. waters, halted the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and sent regulators out like flying monkeys to harass the oil and gas industry. Why it’s protecting this lawless regulator with a grotesque “philosophy” bears investigating, too.

This guy isn’t an “administrator.” He’s an globaloney-obsessed anticapitalist zealot.

The administration’s defense of Armendariz demonstrates that anyone fully aware of this situation who still votes to reelect Barack Obama is a willing co-conspirator in regulatory tyranny (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”), and a co-protector of the surely hundreds if not thousands of others with the mindset of Al Armendariz sprinkled across dozens of federal agencies.

Positivity: In 2003, Mitt Romney Rescued Capsized Boaters — And Their Dog — With Sons’ Help

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:57 am

Yes, this story crosses into the political realm because of who it’s about. Readers surely know I am deeply concerned about his politics and public record and what I still believe is his objective unfitness for public office (but of course nowhere hear as unfit as his general election opponent), but heroism is heroism.

It also shreds an establishment media and Democratic Party (but I repeat myself) obsession.

That doesn’t change the fact that it qualifies as a Positivity story. Here it is — From Waltham, Massachusetts, eight year ago (HT Hot Air):

Romney rescues capsized boaters

Posted Jul 06, 2003 @ 08:00 PM
Last update Jul 19, 2007 @ 05:36 PM

Gov. Mitt Romney rode to the rescue over the weekend during a vacation trip — using his Jet Ski to help pluck a New Jersey family and their dog out of Lake Winnipesaukee after their boat sank.

The drama began at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, as Romney and his family were relaxing at their lakeside summer home in Wolfeboro, N.H.

Gubernatorial son Josh Romney told the Herald yesterday that he and brother Craig were cleaning the beach while their father puttered in the garage when the quiet night air was pierced with screams.

“We heard a whole bunch of screaming,” said Josh Romney, who immediately hopped onto his Jet Ski. “We tore out of there and my dad hopped on the other Jet Ski and came out right after us.”

Roughly 300 yards out onto the lake, six adult family members and their dog were floundering in the water, after their boat suddenly sprung a huge leak — sinking in less than 90 seconds, Josh said.

While water temperatures were a balmy 75 degrees, the deepening darkness obscured other boaters’ vision — prompting the victims’ terrified howls as they were buzzed by other vessels cruising in the entrance to Wolfeboro Bay.

Chasing fleeting glimpses of “bobbling heads” in the water, the Romney trio arrived on their two Jet Skis to find three women and three men wearing lifejackets they hadn’t even had time to buckle.

The governor pulled the two younger women aboard his three-seater Jet Ski and zoomed back to shore, while his sons helped the mother of the family onto their vehicle.

In the middle of the rescue, the governor actually took a dunking himself — thrown off the Jet Ski as one anxious boater scrambled aboard and tipped the craft off-balance.

The rescuing Romneys also managed to snatch the family dog, McKenzie, from a watery grave — grabbing the Scottish terrier first because it was the only passenger without a lifejacket.

“It looked like it wasn’t going to last much longer,” said Josh, who held the waterlogged pooch on the ride back to shore.

With Josh and Craig hovering nearby, the three men treaded water until the governor returned and made two more trips to ferry them back.

The weekend incident actually marked the Romney clan’s second heroic rescue on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Several years ago, the elder Romney — who was then heading up the Olympics — and the boys had to rush out in a boat and scoop up a batch of kayakers who were being battered and run onto rocks by fierce winds.

Josh Romney shrugged off the “hero” label.

“We were just lucky to be in the right place,” he said. “We did what anyone else would have done.”

Go here for the full story.

While on the topic of positivity: One must also admire Romney and his family holding back on telling the above story while being savaged over something far less consequential which happened twenty years earlier. And yes, yours truly erred in buying into the presumptive assessment of Ana Marie Cox at Time Magazine made here (last item at link) in early 2008.

To those who cynically see it as the ultimate in effective strategy (i.e., wait until someone else eventually finds it, or tip someone to it at the opportune time) — Unless someone can prove that the incident didn’t happen as described (highly doubtful), so what? The only people hurt by the strategy are people who deserve it.