A Rough Sunday for Team Obama
By Guy Benson 5/21/2012
The Sunday morning network chat shows typically distill and explore the major political themes of the week, with Republicans and Democrats grappling for narrative control. This week's programs were no exception, and suffice it to say that the Obama campaign didn't have a very productive weekend. Three of its surrogates strayed off message, handing the GOP a series of golden talking points:
(1) Former top economic adviser Austin Goolsbee admitted what we've known for some time: President Obama is the "undisputed Debt King." Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace laid down the facts, and Goolsbee could do nothing but stare the truth in its face:
Wallace: "The fact is, Mr. Goolsbee, that under this president, the debt has increased by five trillion dollars, or almost 50 percent."
Goolsbee: "Look, I don't dispute that the deficit has increased."
In an emailed statement to the media, the Romney campaign chuckled that "its nice to see that the president's campaign isn't disputing the facts, for once." It's a backhanded compliment, of course, but I'm not sure how much credit Goolsbee really deserves. Acknowledging empirical math shouldn't be a laudatory act; it should be common practice. Barack Obama has presided over an unprecedented (some might say "unpatriotic") bloating of the national debt and has institutionalized trillion-dollar-plus deficits, rupturing his early pledge to halve the annual deficit by now. This reckless record of spending -- accompanied with unforgivable inaction on long term debt solutions -- is one of Mitt Romney's top indictments of the president. Goolsbee's frank admission thus affirms a primary Republican election year message.
As religion becomes an ever-more significant issue on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney's Mormonism will be off-limits as a subject for the opposition, Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod said on Sunday. "We've said that's not fair game," he said on CNN's State of the Union. When asked whether the campaign "repudiate[s] the idea that Mormonism should be on the table" this election season, Axelrod insisted: "absolutely." He added, however, that Romney should to come out stronger against attacks on Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Some Obama allies haven't gotten this message -- two elected Democrats have made inflammatory statements about polygamy in recent weeks. And as for Axelrod's gripe about Romney's reaction to the Wright reports, I'm not sure what else he could have done to satisfy Axe's repudiation thirst. He came out and thoroughly rejected the hypothetical Wright attacks within hours, to the chagrin of some conservatives. I guess he has to keep the gravy train chugging along somehow, right?
(3) Finally, Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker -- last seen participating in an Abbott and Costello routine with Chris Christie -- appeared on Meet the Press and totally cut the legs out from under Team Obama's Bain Capital demagoguery:
"If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses to grow businesses, and this [Obama strategy] to me...I'm very uncomfortable with it."
In condemning The One's Bain strategy as "nauseating," Booker also made the point that public pension funds invest with companies like Bain to help **noallow** strong retirement funds, dealing another blow to the silly notion that only Romney and his top deputies benefited from robust investment returns. Recapping: Conceding Republican's valid criticisms on deficits and debt, taking Mormonism off the table, and praising Bain Capital's strong investment record. What does that leave for Democrats to run on? Perhaps the Washington Post should start digging into how Romney treated his pet goldfish in middle school.
UPDATE - Booker is back-tracking on his Bain defense, almost certainly at the behest of Team O:
People are describing that has a "hostage video." Yeah, pretty close. The RNC is circulating a "Stand with Cory" petition, just to rub it in. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal asks the trenchant question in all of this: If Bain just devoured and destroyed companies, why are people still lining up to do business with them decades later? Answer: Because the point of their business model is to save and grow businesses -- and they're damn good at it.
Publicado: 05-21-2012 01:11 PM
Hotair ^ | 05/21/2012 | Ed Morrissey
Today's Roman Catholic calendar lists May 21st as the feast day of St. Christopher Magallanes, a martyr killed for celebrating Mass during the Cristero War in Mexico. Perhaps Catholics today may want to recall St. Thomas More -- the patron saint of lawyers, who was executed for refusing to agree to a mandate that gave Henry VIII the prerogative of defining religious expression in England. Dozens of Catholic institutions filed lawsuits todayagainst the Department of Health and Human Services over its mandate and its narrow definition of religious practice:
Catholic archdioceses and institutions filed suit in federal district courts across the country Monday against the so-called contraception mandate, claiming their 'fundamental rights hang in the balance'.
The plaintiffs include a host of schools and organizations, including the University of Notre Dame and the Archdiocese of New York. The lawsuits, though related, were filed individually.
The schools are objecting to the requirement from the federal health care overhaul that employers provide access to contraceptive care. The Obama administration several months back softened its **noallow** on the mandate, but some religious organizations complained the administration did not go far enough to ensure the rule would not compel them to violate their religious beliefs.
Kathryn Jean Lopezposts a brief statement from Timothy Cardinal Dolan, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and one of the chief critics of the HHS mandate:
We have tried negotiation with the Administration and legislation with the Congress – and we’ll keep at it – but there’s still no fix. Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now. Though the Conference is not a party to the lawsuits, we applaud this courageous action by so many individual dioceses, charities, hospitals and schools across the nation, in coordination with the law firm of Jones Day. It is also a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty. It’s also a great show of the diversity of the Church’s ministries that serve the common good and that are jeopardized by the mandate – ministries to the poor, the sick, and the uneducated, to people of any faith or no faith at all.
The institutions filing lawsuits don’t just comprise a few ultraconservative institutions, either. The University of Notre Dame hosted a speech by President Barack Obama in 2009, but today insists that Obama and his administration are attacking religious freedom in their complaint:
This lawsuit is about one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference. It is not about whether people have a right to abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. Those services are, and will continue to be, freely available in the United States, and nothing prevents the Government itself from making them more widely available. But the right to such services does not authorize the Government to force the University of Notre Dame (“Notre Dame”) to violate its own conscience by making it provide, pay for, and/or facilitate those services to others, contrary to itssincerely held religious beliefs. …
If the Government can force religious institutions to violate their beliefs in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the Government’s power. Such an oppression of religious freedom violates Notre Dame’s clearly established constitutional and statutory rights.
The First Amendment also prohibits the Government from becoming excessively entangled in religious affairs and from interfering with a religious institution’s internal decisions concerning the organization’s religious structure, ministers, or doctrine. The U.S. Government Mandate tramples all of these rights.
Franciscan University also filed suit, and its president Father Terence Henry published this video statement:
Noting that Franciscan University did not go looking for this battle, Father Henry said the University retained Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, with whom the University has had a relationship for the past twenty years, “because it has the resources to fight the government as long as it takes, and we will settle for no less than a restoration of our First Amendment right to freedom of religion.”
Father Henry concluded, “Under no circumstances can Catholics be both in compliance with this new law and at the same time live the faith that we believe. Franciscan University will continue to stand with the Church in its opposition to this mandate. Our ancestors came to America because they knew that on these shores they would be free to faithfully live what they believed. This mandate is not only a grave infringement on religious liberty; it is a betrayal of those who sacrificed to make this country what it is today.”
All of this probably makes the New York Times’ analysis of how Obama will win Catholic votes little more than wishful thinking. This oppressive move may well cast Catholics off from the Democratic Party for a generation. This will be a “come to Jesus” moment for many Catholics, and a wake-up call to the USCCB about the nature of government mandates in general.
It seems to us hardly a coincidence that this suit is taking place in our centennial year. Founded 100 years ago by then-Father John Noll, Our Sunday Visitor from its beginning sought to inform Catholics about the issues of the day, form them in the Faith, and defend that Faith from attack. It was Father John Noll who stood up to those who attacked Catholic immigrants as un-American and seditious. It was Father John Noll who faced down false preachers who spread slanders about the Church. It was Father John Noll who resisted the power of the Ku Klux Klan when it was such a powerful political force. And it is in his courageous spirit that we invoke as we engage in this great struggle today.
We know that many Americans — and even many Catholics — are confused about this debate. Politicians and elements of the news media have sought to make it a war against women or contraception, and they have portrayed the Church as seeking to impose its values on others or as being covertly political.
We also acknowledge that many Catholics do not understand the reasons for the Church’s moral opposition to contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. This lack of understanding points to a significant catechetical need that the Church should address internally.
We reiterate, however, that this is not about the legality of such practices in society, nor is it about how many Catholics understand the Church’s **noallow**. It is about the Church’s right to practice what it preaches.
This is a critical moment for religious freedom in the US. If the federal government can define religious expression, then it can control or even outlaw it.
Update II: LifeNews has a statement from Notre Dame’s president, Fr. John Jenkins, who extended the invitation to Obama in the first place:
Let me say very clearly what this lawsuit is not about: it is not about preventing women from having access to contraception, nor even about preventing the Government from providing such services. Many of our faculty, staff and students — both Catholic and non-Catholic — have made conscientious decisions to use contraceptives. As we assert the right to follow our conscience, we respect their right to follow theirs. And we believe that, if the Government wishes to provide such services, means are available that do not compel religious organizations to serve as its agents. We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the Government not impose its values on the University when those values conflict with our religious teachings. We have engaged in conversations to find a resolution that respects the consciences of all and we will continue to do so.
This filing is about the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives. For if we concede that the Government can decide which religious organizations are sufficiently religious to be awarded the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission, then we have begun to walk down a path that ultimately leads to the undermining of those institutions. For if one Presidential Administration can override our religious purpose and use religious organizations to advance policies that undercut our values, then surely another Administration will do the same for another very different set of policies, each time invoking some concept of popular will or the public good, with the result these religious organizations become mere tools for the exercise of government power, morally subservient to the state, and not free from its infringements. If that happens, it will be the end of genuinely religious organizations in all but name.
Indeed. And as some have suggested, the administration’s arrogance and obstinacy in dealing with this issue raises the question of whether that’s not their preferred outcome anyway.
Update III: Replaced “its” with “Notre Dame’s” in Update II to clarify reference.
Publicado: 05-21-2012 03:56 PM
Under Obama: 30 Worst Months of Employment in the Past 25 Years.
The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes monthly tallies for the employment-population ratio. That stat shows something rather straightforward: Among those who are living in America and are free to pursue employment, what percentage are employed? (The bureau excludes those who are under 16 years old, are active-duty military, or are — in the bureau’s own words — “inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged),” from its tallies.)
Over the past quarter of a century (a total of 300 months), dating back to May 1987 and the Reagan administration, here are the 30 worst months (that is, the bottom 10 percent) for the employment-population ratio, along with the president who happened to be in office at that particular time.
05-23-2012 02:25 PM - editado 05-23-2012 02:31 PM
Obama's Anti-Capitalism Strategy is Getting Poor Reviews
By Donald Lambro 5/25/2012
President Obama's anti-capitalism attacks on Mitt Romney's long career as an investor who bankrolled businesses and created jobs isn't playing well in some Democratic circles.
Indeed, the Democratic backlash Obama's campaign has been getting about its ads attacking Bain Capital, Romney's successful venture capital firm, is the political equivalent of a "man bites dog" story.
Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, a close ally of Obama and a rising star in the Democratic Party, called Obama's ads "nauseating."
Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr., another party leader who once headed the centrist-leaning Democratic Leadership Council, said he agreed with "the core" of Booker's remarks defending Bain Capital's numerous success stories.
"Private equity's not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances," Ford said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Even one of Obama's own economic advisers winced at the sorry spectacle of the president's campaign trying to argue that Romney's private capital investment company has been bad for the economy.
"I don't think there's anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about," said Steven Rattner, who was the Obama administration's car czar and one of the president's economic advisers.
To the contrary, what Rattner and others seem to be suggesting is that Obama ought to be embarrassed by ads that are attacking private investment, which is the mother's milk of business expansion and job creation.
"I have to just say from a very personal level, I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity (investment)," Booker said on Sunday's "Meet the Press" when David Gregory asked him about Obama's ad.
The TV ad singles out one of Bain Capital's investments in an Indiana steel company that ended up laying off 250 workers, but says nothing of dozens (rescue over 300 companies creating more tan 200,000 jobs, with 95% success) of companies Bain invested in that ended up creating thousands of jobs.
In the ad, a laid-off worker at the plant calls Romney a "job destroyer."
Booker suggested this kind of sleazy distortion is both dishonest and reprehensible. "If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses," Booker said. "And this (Obama's attack ad), to me, I'm very uncomfortable with."
"This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It's nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity," he said.
The president's chief campaign strategist, David Axelrod, must have come down on Booker like a ton of bricks. Shortly after that, Booker released a hastily made YouTube statement to "clarify" his remarks and reiterate his support for Obama, though he stood by his earlier comments.
Speaking at the end of the NATO Summit in Chicago, Obama responded with a confused statement that said private equity investing in the economy was "not always going to be a good thing for businesses or communities or workers."
His **noallow** grew even more entangled as he talked with reporters, saying, "When you're president, as opposed to the head of a private-equity firm ... your job is to think about how those communities can start creating clusters so that they can attract new businesses."
In Obama's government-centered world, private venture capital is OK up to a point, as long as the investors don't make too much money and aren't too successful. Profit's OK, but only up to a point.
Obama wants the middle class to do well, but does not see the role that people with risk-taking capital play in building job opportunities for economic advancement at all income levels.
His anti-capitalism ad focuses on one of Bain Capital's failures as if this proves that the company's investments were not a good thing for the overall economy. But failure can be a byproduct of risk-taking, which is what made our country the greatest economy in the world.
Henry Ford's first car company went out of business before he invented the manufacturing assembly line that put automobiles within the reach of average Americans. R.H. Macy weathered repeated failures in his retail career before he succeeded. Something on the order of half of all new businesses fail. But most try again, and many succeed.
Obama should know something about failure. Several of the "clean energy" firms he invested in went bankrupt. But in his case, the taxpayers had to pick up the tab. When a private equity firm's investment fails, it usually comes out of the investors' pockets.
One of Obama's biggest bankruptcies -- the solar panel company Solyndra -- cost taxpayers half a billion dollars.
This election is going to be decided by the economy and the jobs picture, both of which remain weak. The Gallup Poll has Obama and Romney tied in a dead heat, and The Washington Post poll has them running even on who can best fix the economy.
Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a state-by-state report on the nation's high unemployment levels. The national news media ignored the story, but the BLS said that "just 16 states have seen job growth since President Obama took office," Investors Business Daily reported.
"The remaining states have lost a combined 1.4 million jobs since January 2009. Even 34 months after the recession officially ended in June 2009, there are still 11 states that have fewer people people working now than at the start of the recovery," IBD said.
Obama really seems to believe he can win a second term by trying to convince enough Americans that more private investment in our economy is "not always going to be good for business" or new job creation.
Think about that for a moment.
Publicado: 05-25-2012 11:15 AM
Video: Planned Parenthood Employee Urges Woman to Seek a SX Selection Abortion
By Daniel Doherty 5/29/2012
Perhaps most Americans have read about the discriminatory SX-selection abortions taking place in countries like China and North Korea. But how many realize the practice is morally acceptable– and even encouraged – in the United States of America?
The investigative pro-life group Live Action, which has released videos exposing the abuses at the Planned Parenthood abortion business across the country, has released a new video today showing a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Austin, Texas encouraging a woman to get a SX-selection abortion.
The video shows a Planned Parenthood staffer encouraging the woman to obtain a late-term abortion because she was purportedly carrying a girl and wanted to have a boy. The video is first in a new series titled “Gendercide: SX=Selection in America,” that Live Action tells LifeNews will be exposing the practice of SX-selective abortion in the United States and how Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion industry facilitate the selective elimination of baby girls in the womb.
“I see that you’re saying that you want to terminate if it’s a girl, so are you just wanting to continue the pregnancy in the meantime?” a Planned Parenthood counselor named “Rebecca” offers the woman, who is purportedly still in her first trimester and cannot be certain about the gender.
“The abortion covers you up until 23 weeks,” explains Rebecca, “and usually at 5 months is usually (sic) when they detect, you know, whether or not it’s a boy or a girl.”
While this bone-chilling video is unsettling to watch, it does raise an important question: if this type of “advising” is permissible at one clinic in Austin, Texas – and there are 820 Planned Parenthood clinics in the United States – how many other PP staffers are offering similar advice? Lila Rose, who is the president of Live Action, recently told Townhall Magazine that the battle to stop abortion is “the greatest civil rights movement” of our time. And Rose and her supporters aren’t just employing empty rhetoric; they’re at the vanguard of the movement, exposing Planned Parenthood’s radical agenda and seemingly growing obsession with eugenics.
Incidentally, I can’t watch the clip above without reflecting upon Congressman Ron Paul’s (R-TX) moving pro-life advertisement he released during the heady days of the 2012 Republican presidential primary. As it happens, after walking into a hospital room one day during a late-term abortion, Dr. Paul watched as specialists terminated a pregnancy and placed the aborted, breathing fetus into a bucket to die. Meanwhile, in an operating room down the hallway – perhaps only a few feet away – doctors were frantically scrambling to save the life of a baby born prematurely. The message was simple: how can we – as ostensibly moral human beings – arbitrarily decide who lives and who dies?
“Unless we resolve this and understand that life is precious,” Paul explains during the spot, “we can’t protect liberty.” Indeed.
Publicado: 05-29-2012 02:00 PM
Romney and Obama: The gratitude divide
One of Mitt Romney's personal traits that goes unmentioned in the Obamedia is his humility. Much like Ronald Reagan, Mitt has that "aw, shucks" kind of modesty about himself and his accomplishments that is particularly appealing when contrasted with the windy, self-congratulatory cockiness of his Democrat opponent. Make no mistake, Mr. Romney has a lot to be proud of. His business acumen dwarfs that of the entire B.O. administration. He has a beautiful, successful family and an impeccable personal history. His missionary work and charity work and continued donations to his church and the needy are exemplary. Especially compared to someone like, oh, for instance, Joe Biden. When it comes to charitable contributions, Cement-head Joe treats nickels like they are manhole covers.
Despite a complete dearth of actual accomplishments in the real world, a history of nasty and under-handed campaigning and morally repugnant stances on abortion, health-care for seniors and the state of Israel, B.O. was comfortable with his media enablers referring to him as a Messiah. He actually suggested that the seas would cease to rise as a result of his being elected. Never mind that he can't get a single Congressional representative to vote for his lame budget proposals and hides his college transcripts and maybe even about his " two sons."
Perhaps he is waiting until October to reveal that he sprouted fully formed from the head of Zeus. Yeah, that's why there is no birth record. Mitt Romney, as wealthy and successful as he is, comes across to me as a good neighbor who is humbly grateful to have been born an American and to have had the opportunity to thrive and the freedom to build a great life here. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is grumbly hateful that America hasn't given him and his whiny minions that to which they have come to feel entitled. A great majority of Americans seem to be coming to this same conclusion. November can't get here soon enough.
Please follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphAlter
Publicado: 05-30-2012 11:31 AM