CONTENTS: Iowa – Romney squeaked; Murdock Tweeted Rick; Strassel – Mr. Good Enough; Mitt to landslide NH; VA locked out Newt/Perry; TruetheVote.org; GWill – Progressives & Energy; Charen – GOP estab?; Republican Paul; Simon – Paul’s foreign policy RIP; Holder chases Swiss banks; bO erased 4th Amendment; Barry Rubin – dumb choices; Espersen – privatize schools; Meade – midwest labor fites; UAW to target Benz, Beetle; 1932; Urban legend –BO’s citizenship; Ledeen – Iran’s convulsions; JPost – Egypt-ISR; Bogus IDs
Announcements: p. 11 and athttp://www.deadcatsandclippings.com/?page_id=394
January 4th: Feast Day of Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint.
January 4, 1896: Utah became the 45th state. (Bennett & Cribb, 2008)
New Hampshire GOP Debate: January 7th, 9 PM ET, ABC. Participants To Be Decided
Also January 8th (9 AM!), Concord, NH, TBD
January 16th, Myrtle Beach, SC, TBD.
Mr. Romney had eight more votes than Mr. Santorum. Did the crass questions about Rick’s daughter increase his tally as voters saw first-hand the contrast between his traditions and those of the liberal media? McCain promised to endorse Mitt today, Virginia will not put Gingrich and Perry on the ballot. Gingrich a sore loser, Perry has to think, and Bachmann may be broke…
Jennifer Rubin, WaPo: A Virtual Tie…and Some Big Losers
“It was refreshing not to have the TV news anchors predict the outcome. For the candidates and their supporters, it was a nail-biter. In the end, it was a virtual tie. As of this writing, Mitt Romney trailed Rick Santorum, who rallied from the back of the pack to become the newest and perhaps most viable not-Romney candidate, by 13 votes.
“Santorum, who spent a fraction of the money that his rivals did, operated on a shoestring campaign and demonstrated a work ethic that showed, even in the Twitter era, there is still something to retail politics. The final outcome may yet flip again, but this will rightfully be considered a tie with a margin that makes Florida in 2000 seem like a landslide.
“Several thousand votes behind the leaders was Rep. Ron Paul…”
Byron York, Washington Examiner: Romney Squeaked By
“DES MOINES — For months Mitt Romney worked to lower expectations for his performance in the Iowa caucuses. Then, just a few weeks ago, despite his best efforts, those expectations began to creep up after Romney, who mostly stayed away from Iowa during the summer and fall, saw the possibility of success and began to return here, engaging with voters he had previously ignored. By the time Romney began a Christmas-week rush of campaigning across the state, he had managed to raise everyone’s expectations — including his own.
“In the last days before the caucuses, the campaign buzzed with confidence as Romney’s experts foresaw an increased caucus turnout that would push him to victory. A few days before the voting, word got out that Romney, rather than flying to New Hampshire on caucus night, would instead stay in Des Moines — a sure sign Romney sensed an opportunity to give a victory speech. Aides worked overtime on that very speech. On caucus night, it was written and ready to go — but the voters did not cooperate.
“At the moment Romney planned to claim victory, he was instead watching returns that showed out-of-nowhere rival Rick Santorum ahead by a few votes. The two candidates’ totals went back and forth until Santorum, still ahead, finally emerged at his suburban Des Moines headquarters to deliver what most observers would call his best speech of the campaign, claiming moral, if not outright numerical, victory. And it began with a head-on challenge to Romney: ‘Game on.’ …”
from Daily Caller:
Brian Stelter: NYT: Murdoch Tweets Rick
“His comments were significant not only because Mr. Murdoch controls Fox News Channel and The Wall Street Journal, but also because they were made on Twitter, a Web site that allowed for his support to be forwarded far and wide on the eve of the Iowa caucuses. Mr. Santorum was a paid analyst for Fox News before he announced his bid for the presidency last year.
“Mr. Murdoch seemed to stop short of an outright endorsement. “Can’t resist this tweet,” he wrote, “but all Iowans think about Rick Santorum.” It was unclear if he was saying that all Iowa voters are thinking about Mr. Santorum, or should be thinking about him…”
Kimberley Strassel, WSJ: “Mr. Good Enough”
“…Voters aren’t convinced by Mitt Romney. They’re not certain of his convictions; they wonder if he is the leader for these times; they’re not sold on his policies or his personality. Yet voters may be about to make the former Massachusetts governor the Republican nominee for the presidency. Mark this down as the triumph of strategy over inspiration.
“As Iowans head to their caucuses Tuesday, Mr. Romney has come from behind to lead in the polls. A victory here—where he was once written off—followed by a coup in New Hampshire could well knit up the nomination. That outcome would be the result of a lot of luck, mistakes by his rivals, and a shrewd—and ruthless—campaign by Mr. Romney himself…”
Reuters: Mitt to Landslide NH
“Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts who has a vacation estate in New Hampshire, has 43 percent support among likely primary voters in a 7 News/Suffolk University daily tracking poll, and 41 percent in a survey by the polling firm Magellan Strategies.
“He has a double-digit lead over his nearest rival Texas congressman Ron Paul, who polled at 21 percent in the Magellan Strategies survey and 17 percent in the 7 News/Suffolk University survey.
“A large proportion of Romney supporters now say they are unlikely to change their minds, said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center…”
WaPo: Virginia Primary – VA AG Cuccinelli Will Not Pursue Changes to Let in Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry, Seen as Benefiting Romney.
“IF THE AIM of Virginia was to host a presidential primary that no one cared about, it seems to have succeeded. Only two candidates — former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) — qualified to appear on the ballot, and many voters may be discouraged by a foolish loyalty oath requirement by the Republican Party. It’s too late to change the requirements for access to the 2012 ballot, but a priority of the returning General Assembly should be to review a primary system that has so little regard for the interests of voters.
“The failure of former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry to qualify for the March 6 primary has renewed scrutiny of the state’s cumbersome laws governing ballot access. Seen as among the nation’s most stringent, the Virginia rules demand that a candidate collect 10,000 voter signatures, an unusually high number, with additional requirements on how they can be collected, where and by whom. Clearly, Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Perry, who has gone to court in a bid to get his name on the ballot, must accept responsibility for not gathering the requisite number of names; the rules are well known and have been in place for years.
“Nonetheless, those most hurt by their failure are the voters. Elections are about choices, and voters are best served by having the broadest field of candidates…”
Voter Fraud and Catherine Engelbrecht: TrueTheVote.org
She sparked groups in Austin, Texas, to opposed Eric Holder’s meddling in their elections. She also works with Andrew Breitbart.
Lots of material at her site, http://TrueTheVot.org.
She’s also involved with http://VerifyTheRecall.com, a site that monitors election participation in Scott Walker’s recall election in Wisconsin.
WaPo: George Will – Progressives and Energy
“…Imagine what a horror 2011 was for progressives as Americans began to comprehend their stunning abundance of fossil fuels — beyond their two centuries’ supply of coal. Progressives responded with attempts to impede development of the vast, proven reserves of natural gas and oil here and in Canada. They bent the willowy Obama to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to carry oil from Canadian tar sands; they raised environmental objections to new techniques for extracting gas and “tight” oil from shale formations.
“An all-purpose rationale for rationing in its many permutations has been the progressives’ preferred apocalypse, the fear of climate change. But environmentalism as the thin end of an enormous wedge of regulation and redistribution is a spent force…”
Tom Harris, PJM: Canadian Senate Hears from Warming Skeptics
“On December 15, four leading scientists appeared before the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources to challenge global warming advocacy. The hearing was the first of its kind in Canada. (Video of the hearing can be found here.)
“Guelph University Professor of Economics Dr. Ross McKitrick led off the hearing, explaining that the foundation of the climate scare — the science as promulgated by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — cannot be trusted:
‘The so-called Climategate emails confirmed the reality of bias and cronyism in the IPCC process. … IPCC Assessments are guaranteed merely to repeat and reinforce a set of foregone conclusions that make up the party line.’
“McKitrick explained how his research showed that much of the warming seen in the IPCC surface temperature record is almost certainly a result of urbanization, agriculture, and other land use changes, not greenhouse gases (GHG). He also found that the 50-year record of temperatures measured by balloons does not show the warming trend forecast by climate models…”
Mona Charen, NRO: GOP “Establishment”?
“…Republicans are telling themselves fables too. One suggests that the “Republican Establishment” is attempting to foist Mitt Romney on an unwilling electorate, just as it “always” forces Republicans to accept moderate, squishy nominees.
“The Republican Establishment, like the “international community,” is more of a figment than a reality. Whom did the so-called establishment support in 2008? Do conservative voters believe that Republican elites somehow engineered the selection of the least loyal and reliable Republican in the U.S. Senate? And how did that work exactly? John McCain was considered the frontrunner in early 2007. Yet by the summer he was languishing in the polls and so broke that he was forced to take out loans. Was it the establishment that earned McCain the nomination or was it the fact that Rudolph Giuliani ran a terrible campaign, Fred Thompson never got airborne, and Mike Huckabee undermined Mitt Romney’s Iowa sling-shot strategy?
“What about 2000? Did the establishment pick George W. Bush? It might seem so, based on primogeniture. But the comfort with Bush came from the grassroots up, not from the top down…”
Michael Gerson, WaPo: About “Republican” Ron Paul
“…No other recent candidate hailing from the party of Lincoln has accused Abraham Lincoln of causing a “senseless” war and ruling with an ‘iron fist.’ Or regarded Ronald Reagan’s presidency a ‘dramatic failure.’ Or proposed the legalization of prostitution and heroin use. Or called America the most “aggressive, extended and expansionist” empire in world history. Or promised to abolish the CIA, depart NATO and withdraw military protection from South Korea. Or blamed terrorism on American militarism, since “they’re terrorists because we’re occupiers.” Or accused the American government of a Sept. 11 “coverup” and called for an investigation headed by Dennis Kucinich. Or described the killing of Osama bin Laden as “absolutely not necessary.” Or affirmed that he would not have sent American troops to Europe to end the Holocaust. Or excused Iranian nuclear ambitions as “natural,” while dismissing evidence of those ambitions as “war propaganda.” Or published a newsletter stating that the 1993 World Trade Center attack might have been ‘a setup by the Israeli Mossad,’ and defending former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and criticizing the ‘evil of forced integration.’
“Each of these is a disqualifying scandal. Taken together, a kind of grandeur creeps in. The ambition of Paul and his supporters is breathtaking. They wish to erase 158 years of Republican Party history in a single political season, substituting a platform that is isolationist, libertarian, conspiratorial and tinged with racism. It won’t happen. But some conservatives seem paradoxically drawn to the radicalism of Paul’s project. They prefer their poison pill covered in glass and washed down with battery acid. It proves their ideological manhood…”
Roger Simon, PJM: Paul’s Foreign Policy Died Last Night
“After listening to so many Republican debates I can no longer count them, one thing became clear: There were almost no significant policy distinctions between the candidates in the domestic arena. All were basically minor differences, although often inflated for political purposes. What set the candidates apart were qualities of personality, electability and experience, not the issues.
“Much of the bickering concerned who would best follow through on their conservative principles, something which is of course mere speculation until they are elected.
“Only in the area of foreign affairs was there a substantive policy difference and in that area one candidate — Ron Paul — stood out. He was the sole isolationist (or even relative isolationist) on the stage. Every other candidate was considerably firmer than the incumbent president in his or her support for a strong American defense, not to mention for a steadfast opposition to a nuclear Iran. Paul was by himself on the opposite side, further to the left on national defense than Barack Obama.
“So it was Ron Paul’s foreign policy views that were repudiated by Iowa Republicans on Tuesday.
“And they were roundly repudiated — 79 to 21 by the vote percentages…”
WSJ: Holder Pursues Swiss Banks
“DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
“The U.S. indicted three Swiss bankers for allegedly participating in a conspiracy that hid more than $1.2 billion in assets from the tax authorities, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.
“The indictment filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court said Michael Berlinka, Urs Frei and Roger Keller worked for an unnamed Swiss bank and claims they conspired with various U.S. taxpayers and others to hide the existence of certain Swiss bank accounts as well as the income they generated from the Internal Revenue Service.
“The indictment also claims the three bankers opened and serviced dozens of undeclared accounts for U.S. taxpayers in 2008 and 2009, seeking to win customers lost by UBS AG (UBS, UBSN.VX) and another large international Swiss bank–also unnamed–in the midst of widespread news reports that the IRS was investigating UBS for helping U.S. taxpayers evade taxes and hide assets in Swiss bank accounts…”
VisionToAmerica: BO Erased the 4th Amendment with NDAA
“President Obama signed the National Defense Appropriation Act, a law that ends the 4th Amendment in the United States unless the Supreme Court overturns it.
“He offered this explanation.
‘The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.’
“Here is a man with a law degree telling us that he signed a bill into law, despite serious reservations. Who cares what reservations he has? He signed it into law…”
E.D. Cain, Forbes: National Defense Authorization Act
“‘The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it,’ the president said in a statement. ‘I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.’
“Worse, the NDAA authorizes the military to detain even US citizens under the broad new anti-terrorism provisions provided in the bill, once again without trial.
“There is some controversy on this point, in part because the law as written is entirely too vague. But whether or not the law will be used to indefinitely detain US citizens domestically, it is written to allow the detention of US citizens abroad as well as foreigners without trial.
“Obama’s signing statement seems to suggest he already believe he has the authority to indefinitely detain Americans—he just never intends to use it…”
Jonathan Turley, Guardian: NDAA’s historic assault on American liberty
“President Barack Obama rang in the New Year by signing the NDAA law with its provision allowing him to indefinitely detain citizens. It was a symbolic moment, to say the least. With Americans distracted with drinking and celebrating, Obama signed one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties in the history of our country … and citizens partied in unwitting bliss into the New Year.
“Ironically, in addition to breaking his promise not to sign the law, Obama broke his promise on signing statements and attached a statement that he really does not want to detain citizens indefinitely (see the text of the statement here)…”
Barry Rubin, PJM: Dumb Career Choices
“I’ve recently made the acquaintance of a young man who has a problem. He is 28 years old; smart, of good moral character, and willing to work hard at part-time jobs. He does not expect anyone else, including the government, to support him. Yet he is puzzled and increasingly bitter that he cannot make a good living.
“What’s his difficulty? It’s not the economy (in this specific case) but the fact that he has a degree in linguistics and is now studying Oriental philosophy at a fine university. His case is not altogether typical, but is immensely revealing.
“Here’s the secret: He cannot make a living because the market for people with degrees in linguistics and in Oriental philosophy is limited. He should have known that. Someone should have told him that. The calculation of practicality should have been made. It wasn’t…”
Michael Espersen, PJM: Privatize the Schools
“No argument consistent with the principles of a free society can ever be used to justify the premise that it is imperative to force a person to know a certain thing. If this is true, then it is equally true on a larger scale. Thus, there is no reason that children must particularly be familiar with a higher understanding of the English language, algebraic expressions, scientific principles, and historical events, among other subjects that agents of government have arbitrarily deemed ‘core subjects.’ (One might wonder whatever happened to ‘budgeting.’)
“Hundreds of millions of Americans get by every day without profound proficiency in every one of these areas, to no fault of their own. What a working adult knows or ought to know is no business of his countrymen. Unfortunately, for as long as the public school monopoly has been in existence, what young adults working in the classroom know and ought to know has been just that. Every day of the school year, children learn things not because they feel it betters them or advances their position in life, but because politicians compel them to do so, a problem that can only be solved by the free market.
“There is a case to be made that if one is unsatisfied with the results, or lack thereof, of the public school system, then private schools or homeschooling are viable alternatives…”
See also: Murray, Charles (2008) Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality. NY: Crown.
And Murray’s Coming Apart: The State of White America appears January 31st, hardcover for $17, Ebook for $14.
“In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.
“Drawing on five decades of statistics and research, Coming Apart demonstrates that a new upper class and a new lower class have diverged so far in core behaviors and values that they barely recognize their underlying American kinship—divergence that has nothing to do with income inequality and that has grown during good economic times and bad.
“The top and bottom of white America increasingly live in different cultures, Murray argues, with the powerful upper class living in enclaves surrounded by their own kind, ignorant about life in mainstream America, and the lower class suffering from erosions of family and community life that strike at the heart of the pursuit of happiness. That divergence puts the success of the American project at risk…”
Walter Russell Meade, American Interest: Labor Battles in the Midwest
“Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio made headlines in 2011 with their fights against unions in their states. Walker won but was weakened; Kasich lost. Scarcely three days into the new year, Indiana is carrying this tradition into the new year with a debate over a right-to-work law that may reach the Statehouse by February…”
John Ransom, TownHall: UAW to Target Daimler & VW
“Specifically, Reuters has learned, the union is going after U.S. plants owned by German manufacturers Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG, seen as easier nuts to crack than the Japanese and South Koreans.
“It’s a battle the UAW cannot afford to lose. By failing to organize factories run by foreign automakers, the union has been a spectator to the only growth in the U.S. auto industry in the last 30 years. That failure to win new members has compounded a crunch on the UAW’s finances, forcing it to sell assets and dip into its strike fund to pay for its activities.
Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail: 1932
“…we should look back exactly 80 years, to the cold wintry days when 1931 gave way to 1932…”
“…as the experience of 80 years ago suggests, the political and social ramifications would be too terrible to contemplate. For in many ways, the 12 months between the end of 1931 and the beginning of 1933 were the tipping point between democracy and tyranny, the moment when the world plunged from an uneasy peace towards hatred and bloodshed.
“In the East, new powers were already on the rise. At the end of 1931, Imperial Japan had already launched a staggeringly brutal invasion of China, the Japanese armies pouring into the disputed province of Manchuria in search of raw materials.
“Today the boot is on the other foot, with China ploughing billions into its defence programme and establishing de facto economic colonies across Africa, bringing copper, cobalt and zinc back to the mother country.
“Indeed, future historians may well look back and see the first years of the 2010s as the moment when the Chinese Empire began to strengthen its global grip.
“In the Soviet Union in 1932, meanwhile, Stalin’s reign of terror was intensifying. With dissent crushed by the all-powerful Communist Party, his state-sponsored collectivisation of the Ukrainian farms saw a staggering 6 million die in one of the worst famines in history.
“By these standards, the autocratic Vladimir Putin looks almost cuddly…”
Urban Legend: BO’s Citizenship to SCOTUS
A Bucks County TEA group published the following and it appears to be an email hoax. I contacted Bucks County … there has been no response…
“Email: Obama Citizenship Case Reaches Supreme Court, College Transcript Revealed
By David Emery, About.com Guide
See More About:
Dec 7, 2011
Purported AP news story claims Occidental College transcripts reveal that Barack Obama received a Fulbright Scholarship under the name “Barry Soetoro” usually only awarded to foreign-born students.
Description: Email hoax
Circulating since: April 2009
Status: False (see details on next page)
Michael Ledeen, PJM: Iran’s Convulsion
“Big news today from Iran, confirming once again that the hapless regime in Tehran proceeds down its death spiral. The first is the spectacular collapse of the national currency, which has lost 35% of its value since September. The second headline, in an extraordinary press conference by the effective commander of the revolutionary guards, is the admission that the incarcerated leaders of the green movement have so much powerful support that the regime dares not prosecute them…”
“…Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will not recognize Israel “under any circumstance,” the party’s deputy leader Dr. Rashad Bayoumi told Arabic daily al-Hayat in an interview published on Sunday.
In recent Egyptian elections the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 36.3 percent of the list vote, while the ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour Party took 28.8%.
When asked whether it is a requirement for the government in Egypt to recognize Israel, Bayoumi responded by saying: “This is not an option, whatever the circumstances, we do not recognize Israel at all. It’s an occupying criminal enemy…”
The guys who make and sell bogus IDs for college kids expect a banner year in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh….