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San Francisco Bans Happy Meals

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

San Francisco has banned McDonald’s Happy Meals. Are we surprised? Nah. But McDonald’s is fighting back. From the SF Weekly:

​On Thursday, Dec. 1, the city’s de facto ban of the Happy Meal commences. San Francisco has accomplished what the Hamburglar could not. Or has it?

In order to include a toy with a meal, restaurants must now comply with city-generated nutritional standards. Those are standards that even the “healthier” Happy Meals McDonald’s introduced earlier this year don’t come close to meeting. (As SF Weekly noted in January, the school lunches our children eat aren’t healthy enough to qualify, either).

And yet it seems McDonald’s has turned lemons into lemonade — and is selling the sugary drink to San Francisco’s children. Local McDonald’s employees tell SF Weekly the company has devised a solution that appears to comply with San Francisco’s “Healthy Meal Incentive Ordinance” that could actually make the company more money — and necessitate toy-happy youngsters to buy more Happy Meals.

It turns out San Francisco has not entirely vanquished the Happy Meal as we know it. Come Dec. 1, you can still buy the Happy Meal. But it doesn’t come with a toy. For that, you’ll have to pay an extra 10 cents. ​Huh. That hardly seems to have solved the problem (though adults and children purchasing unhealthy food can at least take solace that the 10 cents is going to Ronald McDonald House charities). But it actually gets worse from here. Thanks to Supervisor Eric Mar’s much-ballyhooed new law, parents browbeaten into supplementing their preteens’ Happy Meal toy collections are now mandated to buy the Happy Meals.

Today and tomorrow mark the last days that put-upon parents can satiate their youngsters by simply throwing down $2.18 for a Happy Meal toy. But, thanks to the new law taking effect on Dec. 1, this is no longer permitted. Now, in order to have the privilege of making a 10-cent charitable donation in exchange for the toy, you must buy the Happy Meal. Hilariously, it appears Mar et al., in their desire to keep McDonald’s from selling grease and fat to kids with the lure of a toy have now actually incentivized the purchase of that grease and fat — when, beforehand, a put-upon parent could get out cheaper and healthier with just the damn toy.

​Messages for Mar and his legislative aides — who are, at this moment, in a Board of Supervisors meeting — have not yet been returned.

In any event, it appears the fast food chain’s sharpie lawyers have McTopped San Francisco’s legislators. Count this city’s lawmakers as the latest among the billions and billions served.

I’ve got an idea. Let’s ban San Francisco.

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Obama Administration Bans Knowledge of Islam

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Raymond Ibrahim

The Obama administration’s censoring of photographs of the late Osama bin Laden, lest they “offend” Muslims, is one thing; but what about censoring words, especially those pivotal to U.S. security?

After CAIR-linked Muslims threatened the U.S. government with non-cooperation, a U.S. official declared:

“I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”…

Read the rest.

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Gingrich Jumps to Big 30-Point Lead in Florida, But…

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

…what are the polls really telling us, and how solid are they?

Here’s why I try not to get wrapped around the axle every time a new poll comes out. This one, from left-leaning PPP, has Gingrich up over Romney 47-17. But primary electorates can be very volatile.

In November 2007, guess who the front-runners were in Florida? If you guessed Obama and McCain, you get the game show buzzer.

In a hypothetical matchup of the front-running presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Republican Rudy Giuliani in Florida by 51 percent to 42 percent, according to a poll taken this week by CNN/Opinion Research Corp.

The poll nearly reverses the results of a Mason-Dixon poll taken in Florida earlier this month, which indicated Giuliani led Clinton by 50 percent to 43 percent.

It’s hard to tell whether the contradictory results reflect shifting opinions over a couple of weeks, different polling methods or an ambivalent electorate. Perhaps it merely indicates a volatile, wide-open campaign that could shift several times before the Florida Primary on Jan. 29 and the general election next November.

That’s from November 28, 2007, analogous to this week in the election cycle. The first sentence almost reads like bad comedy now. Neither Giuliani nor Clinton ended up winning their nominations, though both were “front-runners” in Florida in late November 2007. Rudy totally flamed out. Hillary got steamrolled by Captain Hopenchange and his back-up singers in the media.

I’m not going to turn from that and then argue that policy matters, look at the candidates’ records, etc. The fact is, of the group of major candidates on both sides who were looking for victory in Florida in 2007, the least credible and least experienced of the bunch ended up winning the whole thing. Giuliani would have been a better president. Hillary would have been a better president. Maybe. She couldn’t have been a whole lot worse. Neither of them won.

Do polls matter? Well, they make for splashy headlines and blog fodder. They make fundraising either easier or harder depending on where you rank in them. But they’re not necessarily predictive at this point of how the vote will actually turn out.

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Herman Cain: Things aren’t always as they seem

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bookworm

It’s an old story: A man and a woman meet at work and they hit it off. They’re both married, although not to each other. One lunch turns into two, two into three, and eventually they’ve got a pattern. For years, they get together two or three times a week as regularly as clockwork, share daily emails, and call each other frequently. Each makes the other happy because, in many ways, they are kindred spirits. During their get togethers, they do not worry about their respective spouses. Pretty sordid, huh?

Except it’s not. I’ve described my decade-long friendship with my fellow blogger, Don Quixote. Because we are each deeply committed to our own marriages, our relationship never veers from the enjoyably and respectably platonic. Indeed, one of my favorite lunch companions is Mrs. Don Quixote, who joins us whenever she’s not at work. She is a most delightful person, and I’m as pleased to count her among my friends as I am Don Quixote himself. Don Quixote and I are just best friends, in much the same way two women or two men share a purely non-sexual friendship. I know I feel blessed to have this friendship, and I’m pretty sure he does too.

Fortunately, our family and friends know us well, which means that they know our values well, so I don’t believe there’s ever been the breath of suspicion hovering about our friendship. But were either he or I to enter the public world and face the scrutiny of those who don’t know us, the evidence would be damning: regular assignations, phone calls, emails. It’s all there. Our honest, righteous protestations of innocence would certainly fall on innumerable deaf ears.

As I write these words, I’m aware of very limited solid evidence to support Ginger White’s claim that she had a 13 year long affair with Herman Cain. She’s pointed to phone calls. He’s admitted them, but claims that they are innocent. I also know that Ginger White doesn’t strike me as an exceptionally savory person. One could take her spotted history to mean that she’d have no compunction about having an affair with a married man, or one could take it to mean that she has a somewhat strained relationship with the truth. I don’t know.

And that’s the point: the only two who know based upon the slender evidence available are Ginger White and Herman Cain. One of them is lying. I, however, am loath to convict a person based upon what could be, as Cain says, evidence only of friendship. I happen to know a couple of older men, men in Cain’s age group and socio-economic stratum, who have gone out of their way for younger women, helping them financially or with work. Both these men adore their wives and there never was evidence (or accusation) of any impropriety. Both of them, however, clearly enjoyed the role of avuncular helper to an attractive, slightly younger, woman. It was good for their egos, although it didn’t involve anything sordid.

I haven’t been impressed with the way in which Cain has handled these sexually based allegations — although, if one assumes these attacks are indeed smears (and, absent better evidence, I do), it’s virtually impossible to rebut them in an impressive way. In the “he said/she said” battle that plays out over the liberal media, the conservative black man is always wrong.

Incidentally, I don’t have a dog in this fight. Although I briefly considered Cain as a candidate, he simply doesn’t float my boat. I like some of his ideas, I like his charm, I like his commitment to America, but he’s not the candidate for me. The one thing I’m not going to do, though, is turn my back on the man because of unsubstantiated allegations that I know, for a fact, can be subject to other, entirely innocent, interpretations.

(Photo of Herman Cain by Gage Skidmore)

Cross-posted Bookworm Room

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Boeing, Union Reach Deal that May End NLRB Lawsuit

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Interesting.

After secret talks that began in earnest in mid-October, Boeing and the Machinists union have reached a landmark tentative agreement that would ensure the 737MAX is built in Renton and lead to settlement of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case against the company.

The deal may also bring more Air Force tanker work to the Puget Sound region.

A four-year contract extension is also part of the pact, the union said at a news conference Wednesday.

Members must approve the agreement, and union leaders who’ve endorsed the contract said it will be put to a swift vote next week.

“The 737 MAX has landed here in the state of Washington,” said Tom Wroblewski, president of local district Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists (IAM). “This is a new day, the start of a new way of doing business.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Jim Albaugh confirmed the deal in a statement.

“If our employees ratify a new agreement, building the 737 MAX in Renton will secure a long and prosperous future there, as well as at other sites in the Puget Sound area and in Portland, Ore., where 737 parts are built,” Albaugh said.

I have to wonder about the timing. Craig Becker’s term on the NLRB ends at the end of the year, which denies the board a quorum. But as I’ve blogged previously, the NLRB planned for a lack of quorum by publishing a finding that if there was no quorum then its general counsel could carry on its lawsuit against Boeing and other rule changes. The NLRB was set to vote today on a controversial rule, but scuttled that plan at the last minute after Brian Hayes, the board’s lone Republican member, went public and threatened to resign. His resignation would have denied a quorum and forced the board to either abandon the vote or expose their general counsel move. Now we get a deal with the machinists union that seems to allow Boeing to proceed with the South Carolina Dreamliner plant.

Is this a sign that the NLRB and Obama are finally getting the message? I doubt it, but it’s an interesting possibility.

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Rep. Allen West Calls on Cain to ‘Move On’

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

As in, drop out.

Florida Rep. Allen West is the latest conservative to call on Herman Cain to move out of the 2012 spotlight, calling him a “distracter” and said he needs to “move on”.

“I think that really beyond reassessing his campaign, he probably needs to understand that he is a distracter for what’s going on right now, and we should move on,” West told the WMAL Morning Majority radio show. “That would be my advice to him if I had the opportunity and he asked me.”

At the very beginning of the 2012 race, I was fond of the slogan “Go West, Raise Cain.” Those were good times.

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Romney Kind of Bombs in Fox Interview

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Brett Baier does the grilling, and Romney does the spilling. The man whom Jonah Goldberg described as the “candidate that East German scientists would come up with in a lab” short circuits a bit on tough questions. He does finish strong.


Watching Romney’s testiness when Baier asks tough but fair questions, I couldn’t help but notice the similarity between Romney’s reaction and Barney Frank’s reaction during an interview with Savannah Guthrie earlier yesterday.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Both Romney and Frank seem insulted to be asked about things they have actually said and done while in office. That similarity — which seems to come down to arrogance in the face of fair questions — is as far as the similarity between them goes, but it’s there.

On policy, Baier calls Romney out for hacking at Gingrich on immigration when Romney’s policy is nearly identical. Romney tries a laughably unconvincing dodge — “I can’t tell you what Speaker Gingrich would say” after attacking him for what he said.

Romney’s chief argument is his “electability.” That’s mainly because he cannot run on his record as effectively as he did in 2008, and at that time the GOP voters decided to send up one of the least inspiring Republicans in America against Captain Hopenchange. Hopenchange now has an awful record to defend, so he won’t be able to get away with the same snow job he got away with last time around, but we should be very careful with this whole “electability” argument regardless. Electability is ephemeral, based more on emotions and perceptions than hard facts. It changes with the breeze. Romney could lose his “electability” with a few more prickly policy-based interviews like this one, that expose his policy holes and lame yet hostile defenses of same. Gingrich could lose his “electability” too, one way or another. If either had strong and consistent records to fall back on, their “electability” would be less of a perception and more of a real thing. But they don’t.

h/t Ace

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Cain to CNN: Will make decision “in the next several days”

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Alexis Garcia

In an interview today, the former Godfathers CEO told CNN reporter Jim Acosta that he will make a final decision about his campaign “in the next several days.”

After new claims of a 13-year affair surfaced this week, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is reported to be “reassessing” his candidacy. The big question: will the Georgia businessman withdraw from the race in light of these new allegations?

His campaign manager, Mark Block, told ABC News last night that there was “no way” Cain would be dropping out and an email to supporters sent yesterday afternoon, Cain reaffirms his commitment to the 2012 election by stating, “Let me assure you, I am not deterred. America’s future is too important. We will continue on this journey to make America great once again.”

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Gingrich Beats Obama in Head to Head Matchup

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Sam Levine

So far, the most notable criticism of Newt Gingrich has been that he is unelectable due to his heavy “baggage.” However, Rasmussen reports:

The Newt Gingrich surge has moved him to the top of the polls in Iowa, big gains in New Hampshire and now a two-point edge over President Obama in a hypothetical general election match-up.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters finds Gingrich attracting 45% of the vote while President Obama earns support from 43%. Six percent (6%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

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A Kennedy May Run for Barney Frank’s House Seat

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Imagine that. The slack-jawed liberals in Taxachusetts will probably vote him right on in.

A scion of the famed Kennedy clan, Joseph P. Kennedy III, an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, said he will consider running for US Representative Barney Frank’s congressional seat next year.

Kennedy, a Democrat,

Gee, there’s a surprise.

told the Globe yesterday, “I haven’t had an opportunity to give it a whole lot of thought, but I will give it some thought in the coming days and weeks.’’

Kennedy, 31, the son of former US representative Joseph P. Kennedy II, does not live in the Fourth Congressional District, but residency is not required to run for the office.

And going by the evidence proffered by that district over the past 31 years, sentience isn’t required to vote.

Take the name “Kennedy” out of the following and give this next section a read.

Since moving from the the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office to the Middlesex prosecutor’s office in September, Kennedy said he has been living with his father in Brighton and his mother in Cambridge.

Kennedy said he loves his job as a prosecutor and considers it a fulfillment of the family’s long commitment to public service.

If he were to run, he would not be the first Kennedy to take a new address to run for Congress. His father moved into the Eighth District from Marshfield when Thomas P. “Tip’’ O’Neill Jr. announced he would give up the seat in 1986.

His great-uncle, John F. Kennedy, moved to Beacon Hill to run for Congress in 1946, and his uncle, Max Kennedy, bought a house in West Roxbury, intending to run in 2001 for the late J. Joseph Moakley’s congressional seat, but he withdrew from the race. His great-great grandfather, John F. “Honey Fitz’’ Fitzgerald, was elected to represent a Boston-based district while maintaining a home in Concord.

If he wasn’t a Kennedy, he would be a 31-year-old who got his job through family connections still lives with his mom and dad. And his family would be nothing but a bunch of slithery carpetbaggers who gamed the system to amass power and get themselves on the government dole.

That, friends, is the Kennedy clan. Massachusetts, you’re welcome to them provided you can contain the damage they do (you can’t if they’re in Washington). But don’t lecture us southerners on, well, anything.

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The Cain allegations: notice the word “or”

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Neo-Neocon

It’s interesting to see how Ginger White’s cell phone history with Herman Cain has morphed. Think he’s on record as making late-night or early morning phone calls or sending late-night or early-morning texts to her? So do a lot of people.

But think again. These are the actual allegations as originally reported:

She showed [Fox in Atlanta] some of her cell phone bills that included 61 phone calls or text messages to or from a number starting with 678. She says it is Herman Cain’s private cell phone. The calls were made during four different months– calls or texts made as early as 4:26 in the early morning, and as late as 7:52 at night.

So, if we’re going to talk about this, let’s get it straight. The messages were calls or texts, and they were to or from Cain. And unless you think 7:52 is late at night, the only late ones were so late they were early. We do not know whether those were made by Cain or by White, either; it certainly might have been White herself doing the off-hours calling or texting.

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Muslim Brotherhood Says They Have the Lead in Egypt’s Elections

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Brotherhood starts to party like it’s 1979.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s party said Wednesday its alliance was leading in Egypt’s election, which would give the nation’s oldest Islamist group a powerful parliamentary platform to challenge the authority of ruling army generals.

State television said first-round results in Egypt’s first free election since army officers ousted the king in 1952 would be issued Thursday, a day later than scheduled because of a high turnout in the largely peaceful poll.

One party said it doubted the alliance led by the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party had won 40 percent of the vote, as stated by an FJP source, but other parties provided estimates that were in line with the figure.

The results, if confirmed and repeated in the two remaining phases of a six-week election process, would position the Brotherhood to jostle for power with the military council that replaced Hosni Mubarak in February after a popular uprising.

The council, under increasing pressure to make way for civilian rule, has said it will retain powers to choose or dismiss a cabinet. But the FJP leader said Tuesday the majority in parliament should form the government.

“The Brotherhood’s goal is to end corruption and start reform and economic development and that’s what attracted many to join it, including myself,” 28-year-old Ali Khafagi, who is head of the FJP’s youth committee, told Reuters.

“Freedom and Justice Party.” That’s about as honest a name as the quota-devoted, legislating-from-the-bench Democratic Party. As for the Brotherhood promising to end corruption and promote economic development, well, politicians make lots of promises. It’s what they do that counts. The Brotherhood was revived by a man who thought sock hops were grotesquely immoral. They’re not about freedom in any true sense of the word, except perhaps the freedom of the grave for all us infidels.

If the Muslim Brotherhood wins, the Middle East changes for the worse, probably in a hurry. If you like the direction Pakistan is going in, and if you think the Iranian mullahcracy is peachy, you’re gonna love the new Egypt under the Brotherhood. For starters, the killing of Osama bin Laden, an unambiguously Good Thing, has left Ayman al-Zawahiri in charge of al Qaeda. He’s not just a Brotherhood supporter, he hails specifically from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The Mubarak government imprisoned and exiled Zawahiri for his and the Brotherhood’s role in the assassination of President Anwar al-Sadat. With Zawahiri atop al Qaeda and his old chums atop Egypt, a strategic alliance between Arabia’s largest and most influential state and al Qaeda is not out of the question.

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Some Questions about the Cain Allegations

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Robert Wargas

Unlike some people, who think all the allegations against Herman Cain can be dismissed by referring to a “liberal media conspiracy,” I prefer to approach the issue more scrupulously. I was once enthusiastic about Cain but now find my support waning for the following reasons, none of which have to do with a “conspiracy” against him:

1. Cain admitted to paying his latest accuser. You can yell all you want about how this was just financial help to a struggling friend, but consider the next point–

2. The latest accuser claims to have actual late-night text messages from Cain. We don’t know the content of these messages yet, but I don’t have good feelings about them. The words “text” and “pay” don’t go well together.

3. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about Cain’s responses to these allegations that never quite sat well with me; there’s an element of hucksterism to them. How would you respond to being accused of multiple counts of sexual harassment and a thirteen-year-long affair if the charges weren’t true? Would you immediately start talking in boilerplate about the “Cain Train” and your tax plan? The needle on my B.S.-meter hiccuped a bit.

That said, the latest allegations about the affair strike me as equally odd, for the following reasons:

1. This woman, Ginger White, claims to have had a thirteen-year affair with Cain. This tells me she cares about him in some way. You don’t sleep with someone for thirteen years and feel nothing for them. Why would she want to turn on him like this? She stands to gain from these strategic revelations. It’s a fallacy, however, to assume that she’s lying about the affair just because she might benefit from revealing it. Related to this point is the fact that–

2. This woman is not a victim. She says she enjoyed the alleged affair. It was consensual, insofar as any extra-marital affair can be (it’s never “consensual” for the cheated spouse, except if you’re Ayn Rand’s husband). She was treated well. She alleges no coercion or harassment. What’s her motive, then, for coming out with this now except to—yes, I’ll use the word—”derail” his campaign? She told George Stephanopoulos that Cain wouldn’t be a good president. Is that all she can say? A strange thing for an alleged lover to say if she doesn’t want to be seen as a political tool.

3. She admits the payments were not in exchange for sex and also claims that Cain never asked her to keep the alleged affair a secret. Some might think this undermines her case, but it does so in such an obvious way it’s hard to tell what’s true or false anymore.

I have no definitive answers. All I know is that, as a political figure, Herman Cain is starting to yield diminishing returns. Despite yells about a “conspiracy,” three accusations by three different women has to start sounding the alarm bells in your head. What remains to be seen is the extent of Cain’s financial aid to this woman. A successful businessman, with the consent of his wife, loaning a few grand to a friend over the course of a few years to pay the bills is one thing, but if it comes out that there were secret transactions of thousands within a relatively short span of time then you can’t ignore the creepiness factor. And, once again, what’s in these text messages? If there are any  ; ) then I’m pulling the emergency brake on the Cain Train, grabbing my bags, getting off, and looking forward to wandering the empty fields without a candidate to support, because none of these guys is doing it for me.

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Texas is Doubling the Rest of the Nation on Job Growth

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

One career politician dukes it out with another wannabe career politician. Meanwhile, a certain governor continues to build up the best actual record in the nation.

Since Perry became Texas Governor in December of 2000, Texas has added 1,078,600 net new jobs, while the other forty-nine states have lost 2,190,100 net jobs (1,111,500 lost net lost jobs, nationally). Looking at only the job-adding states over that time, 2,392,900 new jobs were created. 1,078,600 is 45.08% of 2,392,900.

In other words, since Perry has been Governor, Texas has added more than 45% of the entire nation’s net new jobs among job-adding states. Keep in mind that Texas has about 8.1% of the nation’s population. You could also say that Texas, during Rick Perry’s tenure as Governor, has added more jobs than the other 49 states combined.

There’s more at the link. Does Perry deserve credit for all of this job growth? No. But he does deserve credit for a great deal of it. When the economy tanked he could have gone the big government route. When the media and Democrats were making health care the crisis du jour, he could have done what Romney did and signed off on a massive expansion of government power. But he didn’t do either one. He keeps Texas’ government out of the way despite the never-ending push to expand the power of government. For a conservative, that’s a good thing.

One could argue that, well, Texas is big so of course it’s leading on job growth. Problem with that argument: California is bigger, and its jobs record is a whole lot worse than Texas’. Policy does matter.

I know, I know, Perry’s had some bad debates and a gaffe or two or three. That makes him a dicey prospect against Obama in the debates next year, unless he can improve that part of his candidacy. But unlike Cain, who has been great in the debates, Perry has an actual record in office, and it’s a very strong record. Unlike Romney and Gingrich, he also has a record of not chasing the latest policy fad (global warming, national health care mandates) and of standing his ground. His higher education reforms ought to become a national model. He has a record of helping turn the Democratic Party in Texas into a shell of its former self.

President Obama is so awful, dangerous and occasionally clueless that I’ll happily vote for whoever wins the GOP nomination. They will be a vast improvement just by not being Obama. I’ve always been a Republican, but Obama has made me a yellow dog Republican. But there is an idea floating around out there that I think is appropriate as we get closer to the first caucuses and primaries. A candidate who is weak at debating can become better at it, but no candidate who has a weak record or no record at all can go back and create a good record.

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UK Closes Iran Embassy; Germany Recalls Ambassador

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

Barack Obama may still want to negotiate with the psychotic mullahs, but it seems Old Europe is starting to wake up:

LONDON – Britain said on Wednesday it had ordered the immediate closure of Iran’s embassy in London and had closed its own embassy in Tehran after it was stormed by protesters.

“The Iranian charge (d’affaires) in London is being informed now that we require the immediate closure of the Iranian embassy in London and that all Iranian diplomatic staff must leave the United Kingdom within the next 48 hours,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament.

[snip]

German media reported on Wednesday that Germany has recalled its ambassador to Iran for consultation after the British diplomatic mission in Tehran was stormed on Tuesday.

Spiegel Online on its website cited the German Foreign Ministry as saying Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had decided to recall the ambassador. Magazine Stern also reported the ambassador has been called back to Germany.

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Obama Disturbed by the ‘Storming of the English Embassy’

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Heh.

YouTube Preview Image

There is no “English” embassy in Iran, hasn’t been for a very long time.

A gaffe’s a gaffe, and this statement by the President of the United States regarding Iran’s actions manages to dodge the main facts, but I’m a little less interested in what Obama said than in how the MSM deals with it. Header over to the AP’s page for this video on YouTube. They have “U.K.” in the video title and even helpfully reworked Obama’s statement for him.

Declaring himself ‘deeply disturbed’ by the storming of the British Embassy in Tehran, President Barack Obama strongly urged the Iranian government to hold those responsible to account. (Nov. 29)

Hey Airbrush Press, Obama didn’t say “British Embassy.” He said “English Embassy.” Perhaps there’s one of those in all 58 states? Make amends, Mr. President, and send them all an iPod.

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Block: Cain Is Not Dropping Out

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The campaign is re-working their “reassessment”:

Although Herman Cain told his senior staff this morning that he was “reassessing” his campaign’s livelihood in light of an accusation by an Atlanta woman of a 13-year extra-marital affair, Cain’s campaign manager, Mark Block, said in an interview tonight that there is “no way he’s dropping out.”

Block said the term “reassessment” was meant to imply a “strategic reassessment” and “not a reassessment of withdrawing” from the race.

Cain, said Block, will outline the specifics of that strategic reassessment during a campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio tomorrow. In Ohio, Block said, Cain “will lay out his way forward.”

Block added that two things could get Cain out: Mrs. Cain, and if no one shows up at their events.

Meanwhile, Ginger White says Cain flew her around to big events like the infamous Tyson-Holyfield boxing match.

Cain has vehemently denied the affair, which broke Monday, telling the reporters that White was simply a “destitute” friend whom he was trying to help out.

“It’s very disappointing that he would call me troubled and it’s unfortunate,” said White, who said she received gifts and money consistently from Cain in the past two-and-a-half years. Besides the trip to Palm Springs, Calif. White said Cain flew her out to Las Vegas for the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight.

“I can’t make this stuff up,” said a soft-spoken White, adding the trips and gifts were “not sex for cash.”

“The truth of the matter is when I entered into this inappropriate relationship with Mr. Cain, I was single. I was not married. Mr. Cain has been married through the relationship.”

Unlike the other accusers, there is evidence of communication and at least an admission that he had paid White over the years. There should be more evidence if all this travel took place as she said. Let’s see it.

We’re once again confronted with the possibility — slim, in my view — that Cain is innocent but has so badly bungled his response that he looks guilty. The lawyerly statement at the start of this story gave a strong appearance that Cain is guilty; based on that statement he either is guilty, or that was appallingly bad communication on his part.

Regardless of this story, there are many other reasons Cain would make a poor nominee for the GOP. He thought the Taliban was fighting for control of Libya. He didn’t know about the wet foot-dry foot policy on Cuban refugees. He didn’t understand the “right of return” and he said he would release all the terrorists in Gitmo for one captured American. He can’t give a straight, coherent answer on whether he’s pro-life or not. He said America needs a “leader, not a reader,” whatever that means. And though he says as president he would rely on the knowledge of others to make decisions, on his campaign he retains staff who blunder about contradicting themselves and who may have launched his campaign with illegal money. And, in the face of attacks, the Cain campaign’s first choice was to smear another, innocent, Republican campaign rather than just deal with the allegations in a straightforward way.

Cain led a couple of mid-sized corporations out of trouble, and did well in those roles by all accounts. But whether Ginger White is telling the truth or not (I’m agnostic but suspicious on that), he has not stepped up to show that he has a command of the issues that makes him worthy of the GOP nomination.

See also: Six Questions About the Cain Allegations

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Obama’s Pathetic Statement on the Iranian Storming of the UK Embassy

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

This is weak even by Obama’s standards.

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the storming of the British Embassy in Tehran. Iran has a responsibility to protect the diplomatic missions present in its country and the personnel stationed at them. We urge Iran to fully respect its international obligations, to condemn the incident, to prosecute the offenders, and to ensure that no further such incidents take place either at the British Embassy or any other mission in Iran. Our State Department is in close contact with the British government and we stand ready to support our allies at this difficult time.

Embassies in foreign lands are, legally, territory of the countries that own the embassies. That UK embassy is British territory; the attack on it was an attack on the UK. Obama’s statement suggests that the Iranians have some sort of responsibility to condemn the attack, which would be silly of them to do since they authorized the attack. “Prosecute the offenders” is likewise silly, since the offenders were acting on the orders of the mullahcracy. Does Obama expect them to prosecute themselves?

And since when has the terrorist state in Tehran respected any of its “international obligations”? How about “never.” They’re not going to start now that Obama has issued a mildly worded statement that doesn’t really address the facts of the attack.

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Tunisia: More News from the So-Called ‘Arab Spring’

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

Via Israel Hayom:

The new Tunisian government is gearing up to ratify a new constitution, and its language includes a section condemning Zionism and ruling out any friendly ties with Israel.

Tunisia was the first country to experience a popular uprising in what would later be known as the Arab Spring, sending former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fleeing to Saudi Arabia in January. Tunisians held their first open elections on Oct. 23 in which the moderate Islamist Ennahda (Renaissance) party, lead by Rachid Ghannouchi, won 30 percent of the 217-seat assembly. The second largest percentage of votes went to the secular and liberal Democratic Progressive Party.

Both leading parties are believed to support constitutional clauses that oppose the normalization of ties with Israel.

(Thumbnail on Tatler homepage by Shutterstock.com.)

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Video: Unrepentant Terrorist Bill Ayers Brags About Hosting a Fundraiser for Barack Obama

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Just a guy in the neighborhood. Who happened to have a career in domestic terrorism.

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The video is from October of this year. Ayers is describing that fundraiser that he and his terrorist wife, Bernardine Dohrn, hosted to kick off Barack Obama’s political career.

Bill Ayers recently appeared before a group of activist teachers to encourage them to keep up the fight.  He told them about the assistance he provided in getting the very radical Bob Peterson elected president of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association.

Hoping to wow his friendly audience, he also gushed about another leader he helped.

Ayers admitted he hosted a fundraiser at his home for Barack Obama in the 1990s.  “I thought he wanted to be mayor of Chicago – that’s the limit of my imagination,” he told the audience in a video released exclusively by Education Action Group.

Ayers has never disavowed his terrorist past, in fact he says he and his band didn’t do enough. Since those days as a violent radical, Ayers has taken to bringing about fundamental change via left wing indoctrination in the educational system. He is still just as radical as ever, just a bit smarter in his tactics.

I’d say this sort of relationship merits more coverage than it’s currently getting in the MSM. But maybe that’s why I don’t work in the MSM.

Just a guy in the neighborhood who helped launch a presidency…

 

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Muslim Sheikh Prays for Evil

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Raymond Ibrahim
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Soon after publishing “Muslim Prayers of Hate”—which linked to an Arabic video containing various Muslim clerics invoking Allah to strike their enemies with pain and disease, including cancer—YouTube removed the video. Researching the web in connection to another article (dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood’s assertion that all who reject Sharia law are “drunks, druggies, and adulterers”), I came upon a “related video” of none other than Sheikh Abdullah Nihari—the most animated of all the clerics in the original video removed by YouTube.

This version (above) also provides more context: apparently Nihari’s rage is directed at those “Westernizing” Muslim authorities who, while limiting Quran/Islamic studies, do little to prevent the spread of “alcohol, drugs, and adultery.” At the 00:36 mark, he issues his “prayer,” as follows:

Lord, Lord, we condemn them before you!! Freeze the blood in their veins!! Strike them with evil, or at the very least freeze the blood in their veins—until they pray for death, but do not receive it!! O lord! O lord! O lord!…

(Read the article and see how other high profile Muslim leaders “pray”—including formal Mecca prayers supplicating Allah to make the lives of Christians and Jews “hostage to misery; drape them with endless despair, unrelenting pain and unremitting ailment; fill their lives with sorrow and pain and end their lives in humiliation and oppression.”)

At any rate, one need not understand Arabic to appreciate the intensity of the hate: watch the video from 00:36 on (before it, too, is taken down) and see the gesticulating Sheikh Nihari issue his curse—all while striking the floor with a stick, hurling a picture, and pounding on the wall.

[http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/11/muslim-sheikh-prays-for-evil.html]

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The Perfect Seasonal Lyrics for PJM Readers by cfbleachers

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Belladonna Rogers

Amazing things can happen when you write a column for PJ Media. Amazing.

I posted my weekly advice column today and — from the cerulean cyber-heaven above arrived a truly original Christmas carol for you and me.  It came in the form of a comment, urging fellow readers to rejoice in the wonders wrought by The One and his political pals.

So, with the permission of the lyricist, cfbleachers, whose astute comments appear on many PJM blogs, and who has also written for PJM himself as an author,  I hereby present some great lyrics to cheer you through the next month at least, possibly all the way to November 6, 2012. Here’s his comment:

I think the best way to get through the season is to embrace the spirit through a song or a carol.

Try this one:

Hey comrade,
I’ve been thinkin’
I passed a park
And it was stinkin’
I then passed it at night
It gave me a fright
Camping in a Marxist Wonderland

Gone away, is our housing
Barney Frank needs de-lousing
He cooked Fannie Mae
Then gave it away
Welcome to a Marxist Wonderland

In the White House there exists a showman
The press pretends that he is just benign
Debtors ask will you pay us fairly
And we say “no, man”
The Workers Party took their place in line

In Oakland
And Zucotti
They found
Another body
It’s the means and the ends
What’s a rape among friends?
Camping in a Marxist Wonderland

In the Senate, there’s a mouthpiece clown
In the House his counterpart’s a witch
They steal, they cheat, they shred the Constitution
Tearing down the system and blaming all the “rich”

When it crashes
Ain’t it thrilling
Cause we’ve stopped all the drilling
Brazil gets our pay
In the old Soros way
Camping in a Marxist Wonderland

Steal their wealth if you wanna
Send it off to Botswana
The free market chokes
On a new climate hoax
Camping in a Marxist Wonderland

Occupy ….Oklahoma
Drugged out and in a coma
We sleep in a tent
It saves us on rent
Camping in a Marxist Wonderland.

Camping in a Marxist Wonderlaaaaaaaand!

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Rep. John Kline Moves Legislation to Rein in the National Labor Relations Board (Updated)

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Rep. John Kline (R-MN) held a conference call this afternoon to detail the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act.The Act would address and undo some recent rulings made by the National Labor Relations Board. Kline blasted the board and President Obama for their “assault” on employers and employees.

Rep. Kline described the National Labor Relations Board as “very busy,” in an “absolute rush” to issue sweeping rulings that will be “devastating” to the private sector. He said that the board is trying to move before Craig Becker’s term expires, and that according to Brian Hayes, the lone Republican member of the board, the Democratic majority has abused the system in moving so quickly. Kline singled out the Specialty Healthcare decision, which would allow micro-unions to form in workplaces where a majority of workers have not elected to unionize. Coupled with the board’s “snap elections” decision, employers could quickly find themselves negotiating with a host of unions even among relatively small workplaces. There is a Senate bill that would scuttle that decision, but the Democrats control the Senate at the moment. Kline said that the NLRB’s actions are among the “blizzard” of regulations coming from the Obama administration at the private sector, regulations which have created a great deal of fear and uncertainty in the economy. All tolled, Kline said that the Obama administration is moving on 219 new regulations that each could impact the economy by more than $100 million.

Kline’s Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act would slow down the NRLB’s “snap” elections and reinstate traditional union voting standards, while protecting worker privacy. One NLRB rule change would allow unions to obtain very intrusive private information on workers in workplaces considering unionization. It’s not difficult to see how unions might abuse access to such information. Kline’s Act would allow the workers to determine which personal information the unions would be able to obtain.

Rep. Kline announced that the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act passed out of committee in the House along a party line vote. It still faces a floor vote in the House and action in the US Senate, before it could move on to the president’s desk for a signature.

I asked Klein whether, in the current environment, his legislation would really make a difference. He acknowledged that the Senate still has to pass it, but he added that the GOP is moving to curb the NLRB’s actions along three lines; legislation such as his bill, by filing lawsuits to halt some actions, and through the congressional oversight process. Kline said “elections have consequences,” noting that President Obama could move to stop the board but has chosen not to. Kline added that there aren’t enough Republicans in Congress (meaning the Senate) to fully rein in the NLRB yet.

Update: Kline’s Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act was actually introduced on Oct. 5. Now that it’s out of committee, it could get a floor vote as early as tomorrow.

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Six Dead Ideas Walking in Michael Medved’s Romney Zombie Wall Street Journal Op/Ed

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Dave Swindle

During the holiday weekend The Wife and I finished the first season of AMC’s Walking Dead on Netflix streaming. So it seemed appropriate to augment this week’s article with five more recommendations of underrated walking dead media. As we finish up the remaining Thanksgiving bounty let us be grateful we do not live in a world overrun with hordes of mindless zombies. Now back to discussing the GOP primary, its overrated candidates, and their true believers — all of which in no way resemble the apocalyptic scenarios of our entertainments…

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One of the truisms of our political culture today is that “centrist” establishment Republicans are less “ideologically-driven” than “hard right” Tea Partiers. (All these terms are in quotations because none of them actually means anything empirical.) According to this view, “moderate” conservatives are the adults who care more about governing reasonably. We “extreme” Tea Partiers who advocate for the New Deal welfare state’s disassembly do so out of blind-eyed zeal, not a rational analysis of the price America pays as FDR’s economic chickens finally return home to roost.

The irony, though, is that those who most rely on the “Left,” “Right,” and “Center” lens to interpret the political landscape are actually the ones who claim to be above ideological purity: the “pragmatic,” “reasonable,” “grown-up” so-called RINOs who now sneer at those who doubt the electability of their White Knight Mitt Romney.

This column in The Wall Street Journal by talk radio host Michael Medved is a perfect example. Medved’s Zombie-like devotion to Right/Left/Center thinking yields a column filled from beginning to end with lifeless arguments responding to made-up opponents. (And they get worse as the column goes on.)

Medved is not a stupid man at all and he remains a gifted defender of free societies. But Ideology — the political word’s theology — kills brain activity and makes automatons of otherwise thoughtful human beings. Instead of thinking about a question for ourselves we just go with the “common sense notion” of our peer group, regardless of whether the political culture still sustains it. This is why Dennis Prager — who comes before Medved on KRLA here in Los Angeles — insists on the importance of thinking a second time. Howard Bloom promotes the same injunction in his book The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism as his second rule of science: look at everything under your nose as though you’re looking at it for the first time. Bloom’s first rule is “the truth at any price, even the price of your life” and right from the beginning of Medved’s column he ignores this ground zero of rational thought. We start with the sixth most-zombie-like idea in the column:

6. You can name an opponent, cite a specific piece, and then rebut arguments it does not make.

In headlining a typical blog post, Erick Erickson of RedState.com laments: “Mitt Romney as the Nominee: Conservatism Dies and Barack Obama Wins.”

Such projections of doom portray Mr. Romney as the dreary second coming of John McCain—a hapless moderate foisted on the disillusioned rank and file by the GOP’s country-club establishment, with no real chance to rally the conservative base or draw clear distinctions with Barack Obama.

This analysis, endlessly recycled on the right, relies on groundless assumptions about recent political history.  Three myths in particular demand rebuttal…

Read Erickson’s bold piece right here. Then note the three “myths” that Medved dedicates his article to rebutting. I’ll summarize them now and reveal their shortcomings in a moment:

A) John McCain lost in 2008 because he was a RINO who did not inspire conservatives to get out and vote.

B) RINO Republican elites “forced” McCain on good conservatives who did not want him.

C) Conservatism is a winning political message that cannot be beaten. Ever. Anywhere.

None of these strawman arguments appear in Erickson’s article. And this sets the pattern for the piece: it’s really just Medved misrepresenting Tea Partiers instead of engaging us as his intellectual and moral equal.

Is anyone surprised that throughout his op/ed Medved doesn’t quote his opponents’ actual arguments?

I’m not. One need only listen to Medved’s radio show to understand why he doesn’t respect Erickson enough to respond fairly. Medved’s style of argumentation in his column is related to why he’s the only KRLA talk radio host that provokes me to change the station. Glenn Beck from 6-9, Dennis Prager from 9-12, Medved from 12-3, Hugh Hewitt from 3-6, Mike Gallagher from 6-8, and then Dennis Miller from 8-11. Why do I avoid Medved if I’m driving around town when he’s on? It has nothing to do with ideology (some of my dearest friends have similar views and so did I a few years ago) and everything to do with temperament. When listening to Beck, Prager, Hewitt, Gallagher, and Miller, I don’t feel as though I’m being talked down to by a teacher who disdains his students. Each of them acknowledges their mental limits and seems genuinely eager to learn from others whether it’s a random housewife calling in or a Ph.D. promoting a book. But not Medved. When I listen to his show he seems more interested in forcing his opinion on others rather than joining his guests and listeners as we try to discover the truth together. And that manifests in his column too: He does not even have enough interest in others’ ideas to rebut them.

Next: Let the burning of the straw men commence. Help yourself to a torch.

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Gingrich Tells OWS To “Take A Bath, Get a Job”: Only 43% in Poll Agree

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Belladonna Rogers

Those of us who subscribe to the daily Rasmussen Polls, have wondered recently why this august and trustworthy institution has seen fit to come up with headlines based on polls of “Likely U.S. Voters” that yield what one wag has called, “penetrating insights into the blatantly obvious.”  One example, timed to coincide with college graduations last June revealed,

89% Say New Graduates Will Have Tough Time Finding a Job

As the irresistible Mark Harmon in the role of Jethro Gibbs on NCIS would say, “Ya think?”

Similarly, two weeks ago, Rasmussen reported:

90% Say They’re Paying More For Groceries Compared To A Year Ago

In August, just ahead of the return to classrooms across the nation, Rasmussen managed to find just over a quarter of our fellow “likely U.S. voters” who revealed that

26% Say U.S. Public Schools Provide World-Class Education

Rasmussen regularly asks, to paraphrase the words of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, “How’s the U.S. Doing?”  As of last Wednesday, November 23, the answer was:

Right Direction or Wrong Track:

17% Say U.S. Heading In Right Direction

It’s difficult to imagine where Rasmussen was able to locate Likely U.S. Voters within reach of a landline (are caves now equipped with wall-mounted phones?) who’ve stepped outside, checked around, and reached the conclusion that the country is heading in just the right direction.  I only hope those 17 % aren’t driving on two-way streets these days.

Maybe it’s not the cave: maybe it’s what’s in the pipe.

Now, in the run-up to Christmas, Rasmussen has helpfully focused on a phrase that the Über-Solicitous Führers of Political Correctness foisted on an ungrateful nation some years back, and for which they’re finally getting their long-awaited comeuppance:

70% Prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ Over ‘Happy Holidays’ on Store Signs

Take that, Mr. and Mrs. O. So Very Sensitive.

Other days, one has to wonder about the views of some of these “likely U.S. voters.”  Take today — please!–when Rasmussen greeted its subscribers with this headline:

Gingrich Tells Protesters to Take A Bath, Get A Job: 43% Agree

Only 43% agree?  Yep, that’s how the poll turned out.  How can anyone be against bathing and working?  Am I such a Calvinist (see reference to Mark Harmon above, for contrary view) that I can’t see the virtues of grime, crime and sloth?  Apparently so.  According to Rasmussen,

Rising Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich made news recently when he suggested that the Occupy Wall Street protesters should stop protesting and get jobs after taking a bath.  Voters are evenly divided over whether that’s a good idea.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with the former House speaker and think the protesters should take baths and get jobs. But an identical number (43%) disagree, and 14% more are undecided.

The 43% of Likely U.S. Voters who tell Rasmussen that they disagree with Newt on this are also the group most likely to tell the pollster they disagree with Newt that the sun rises in the east.  That I understand.  But the 14% who can’t decide?  Get a grip — or don’t vote.

 

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Using the Feudalism Formula to Destroy Private Ranchers

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Howard Nemerov

The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) distributed an email regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed animal ID program. This would require identifying and certifying all interstate livestock transportation (registration). All animals would be micro-chipped, with all the attendant expense from investing in technology, bookkeeping, and hiring new bureaucrats to oversee the program.

This is allegedly about preventing disease outbreaks. (Gun control rationale: “If it saves one life, it’s worth it.”)

Here’s another example of banning something–in this case free enterprise–because something bad might happen. The bottom line is that this government regulation would benefit bureaucrats and large agribusinesses, while burying small ranchers under the expense of following the new rules. As FARFA notes:

“These new regulations will harm rural businesses while wasting taxpayer dollars that could be better spent on the real problems we face in controlling animal disease, food security, and food safety.”

Since 1990, Agribusiness has donated over half a billion dollars to federal election campaigns. Even though the sector traditionally gives 68% to Republicans, Obama–whose USDA is promoting this anti-business regulation–was the second-biggest recipient in 2008, and is currently the third-biggest for the 2012 election cycle. Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow is the top recipient. She just coincidentally happens to be Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, which of course oversees the USDA.

You can submit comments to the USDA here. Ask them to consider the following points:

  • If there is value in animal ID, then exporters and businesses growing meat for export should pay the costs and offer economic premiums to livestock producers to encourage them to participate in a voluntary system.
  • If there’s some value in this proposal, why aren’t agribusinesses stepping forward to lead on this using free market dynamics?

This proposal would simply cost jobs and damage the economy by stymieing exports, small business, and free enterprise.

Urge the USDA to withdraw their proposed animal ID rule. This is just another attempt by feudalists to use fear to induce us to surrender more Liberty in the name of safety, knowing that while we won’t be any safer, the government will be safer from us.

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Cain Admits Paying Woman

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Christian Adams

It seems the Cain Campaign is in Act V, Scene III.   On a conference call that just ended, he said about the latest accuser:

“I have been attempting to help her financially because she was out of work and destitute, desperate. So, thinking that she was a friend — and I have helped many friends — I now know that she wasn’t the friend that I thought she was. But it was a just a friendship relationship.”

Lots of PJ Media readers have been quick to defend Cain and attack the media. But sorry, when a presidential candidate, already facing charges from numerous directions regarding questionable behavior, THEN admits paying one of the accusers, we’ve reached the end.  And this isn’t about the liberal media. This isn’t about mysterious establishment conspiracies. This is about a presidential candidate admitting he engaged in some very questionable behavior.

Yes, questionable behavior includes paying a woman, texting her in the middle of the night, and doing all sorts of other things.  I once worked for an elected official who refused to sit in a room alone with a woman without the door open so as to avoid charges like this.  The only person who can save the Cain campaign now is Mrs. Cain, and only if she says she knew about the payments to this woman, agreed with them, and they were purely charitable.  Doubt it?  Ask your wife.

This isn’t about the liberal media anymore.  This is about a man who seems to have made very poor decisions.  The sooner Cain’s most loyal defenders realize the show is ending, the better.

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Cain ‘Reassessing’ His Candidacy

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

No decision yet on whether he will continue his quest for the GOP nomination, but a decision could come within the next few days.

“Obviously, you’re all aware of this recent firestorm that hit the news yesterday,” Cain began, his voice somber. “First thing I want to do is say to you what I have said publicly: I deny those charges, unequivocally. Secondly, I have known this lady for a number of years. And thirdly, I have been attempting to help her financially because she was out of work and destitute, desperate. So thinking that she was a  friend, and I have helped many friends, I now know that she wasn’t the friend that I thought she was. But it was a just a friendship relationship.”

“That being said, obviously, this is cause for reassessment,” he continued. “As you know, during the summer we had to make some reassessments based upon our financial situation. We were able to hang in there; we reassessed the situation and kept on going. We also did a reassessment after the Iowa straw poll and we made another reassessment after the Florida straw poll. When the previous two accusations, false accusations, came about, we made another assessment. The way we handled those was, we continued on with our schedule. We made an assessment about what was going to happen to our support. But our supporters, and even some folks that we didn’t have as supporters, they stood with us, and they showed it, not only in terms of their verbal support, they showed it in terms of their dollars.”

“Now, with this latest one, we have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud, in some people’s minds, as to whether or not they would be able to support us going forth,” Cain said.

Cain also noted that Ginger White’s allegations have taken an “emotional toll” on himself and his family. Yesterday’s non-denial from Cain’s lawyer didn’t help, obviously, nor did the admission that he has helped her financially, or the late night text messages to her from his personal phone. The lawyer statement sounded like an admission that, today, Cain is contradicting on the record.

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Gallup: Just 30% of Independents Approve of Obama (Update: Worse than Carter)

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

His numbers are weak across the board in Gallup’s latest, but shockingly weak among “pure independents.”

Obama’s approval rating has decreased among all six partisan/ideology groups Gallup tracks on a regular basis since January, but it has dropped the most — 10 percentage points, from 40% to 30% — among pure independents. These are the roughly 14% of national adults who neither identify with one of the two major parties nor indicate a leaning. Obama’s approval rating has declined by nearly as much — eight points — among moderate/liberal Republicans, from 29% to 21%.

Obama’s approval rating has changed the least in 2011 among the two groups on the far left and right of the U.S. political spectrum. Most liberal Democrats and very few conservative Republicans approved of him in January and this remains the case today. Additionally, conservative Democrats’ views also showed little change — likely because their approval was already at a dampened 70% at the start of the year.

Obama’s response seems to be, “Yeah I stink now, but re-elect me and I’ll stink less.”

Update: Jimmy Carter has long been the gold standard for crappy presidents. But Obama is set to eclipse him.

President Obama’s slow ride down Gallup’s daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history.

Since March, Obama’s job approval rating has hovered above Carter’s, considered among the 20th century’s worst presidents, but today Obama’s punctured Carter’s dismal job approval line. On their comparison chart, Gallup put Obama’s job approval rating at 43 percent compared to Carter’s 51 percent.

This is reviving talk of swapping Joe Biden out for Hillary Clinton on the Dem ticket. They would get a temporary bump out of that, but would still have the problem that Obama remains on the top of the ticket.

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Chris Christie to Obama: ‘What the hell are we paying you for?’

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

This video doesn’t need much by way of introduction. NJ Gov. Chris Christie reacts to the Obama spin that the president didn’t involve himself in the super committee negotiations because it was doomed to fail.

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Christie calls Obama a “bystander in the Oval Office”:

“I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well then what the hell are we paying you for?” Christie said during a press conference in Camden, N.J. “It’s doomed for failure so I’m not getting involved? Well, what have you been doing, exactly?”

Even though he said both parties deserve blame for talking at each other instead of talking with each other, Christie ultimately maintained that the buck stops with the nation’s highest in command and pointed to his own governance in the Garden State as a model for effective leadership.

Christie builds a narrative here of a disengaged president who isn’t leading, and for the most part it’s an accurate narrative. Obama isn’t leading in the way we’re accustomed to see presidents lead. But I maintain that President Obama has abandoned the legislative process to pursue his goals via the regulatory state. The super committee was just for show, the jobs bill is just for show, what little interaction the administration is having with Congress is just for show. The real action is in the decisions being made and implemented, sometimes in what appear to be illegal means, to fundamentally transform the economy and the nation. The NLRB continues to push union power and membership, the EPA continues the drive to force Americans away from fossil fuels and onto “alternative” energy, and until it’s overturned, ObamaCare continues to fundamentally alter the relationship of the citizen to the state.

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“Students” Storm British Embassy in Tehran

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Michael Ledeen

It’s a party!  As usual, accounts conflict with one another;  some say hostages taken, others say no, the staff escaped out the back door.  As I posted last night, the internal situation is very explosive.  Literally.  So the regime is looking for opportunities to demonstrate its “strength.”

Maybe the regime is jealous of Occupy Wall Street.  Or maybe Supreme Leader Khamenei thinks the Queen of England organized the explosions at Iranian military bases?

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Election Crimes, and Solutions, in Minnesota

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - by Christian Adams

Minnesota has seen literally hundreds of voter fraud convictions in the last few months. People illegally voted in both the 2008 and 2010 elections.  In Minnesota, you can prove your identity by having someone “vouch” for you at the polls.  Last year, the legislature passed a voter ID law overwhelmingly, but the law was vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton (Democrat).  In 2012, groups like Minnesota Majority are trying to add a voter ID constitutional referendum to the ballot to bypass Dayton’s veto.  It’s likely to pass overwhelmingly because nearly 80 percent of Minnesotans support it.

 I will be debating Minnesota State Representative Ryan Winkler about voter ID tomorrow at the University of Minnesota law school in Minneapolis at 12:15 p.m., and of course, will be signing copies of my book Injustice afterwards. 

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“The Anthony Weiner Internet Nitwit Award Goes To….”

Monday, November 28th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

It’s a tie between Aaron Blake of the Washington Post and Zeke J. Miller of Business Insider (for retweeting the digitally-challenged Blake) for not understanding what anyone with an IQ in triple digits knows since the ignominious downfall of Anthony Weiner – people actually read Twitter.

The oh-so-sophisticated Blake, of the WaPo’s supposedly even-handed The Fix, went on Twitter in public searching for dirt on Newt Gingrich: “Hey Tweeps: Looking for outlandish/incorrect predictions and quotes from Newt Gingrich’s past. Any ideas for me?” (Confidential to CIA: this Blake guy is not for you.)

The “soigné” (you can look that one up, genius) Miller retweeted the clueless Aaron. As the perspicacious Noel Sheppard notes, Miller doesn’t seem to be neutral on the former Speaker either. To wit: “Ouch #newt RT @jimsummers: Barney Frank: Let me be very clear: I will be neither a lobbyist nor a historian.”

I think we can all agree on the historian part. Nevertheless, Blake and Miller once again have given lie to the absurd, indeed laughable, myth of media neutrality. But do they care at the WaPo? I doubt it. They’re probably relieved Blake wasn’t sending around nude shots of his lower extremities.

(Hey, Aaron, at least you made Drudge.)

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Can Anybody Translate/Decode This Mysterious Note I Found While Walking Maura This Morning?

Monday, November 28th, 2011 - by Dave Swindle

Since starting full-time at PJM a few months ago I’ve had the opportunity to push the reset button on the daily routine and try and start getting into healthier habits. So far the life change that’s been showing some of the most dividends is my morning run with Maura, our 2 1/2 year-old Siberian Husky. Every day (minus when April and I take our DisneyLand Sabbaths) Maura and I leave the house around 6:30 or 7 just as the sun is rising. Here’s this morning’s Sunrise as shot with my cell phone:

I’ll have a longer slideshow over at PJ Lifestyle soon about the odd, abandoned objects Maura and I have found on our walks in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. But I thought I’d share one here at the Tatler that I found this morning. Is anyone capable of making out the language/symbols of this note I found on the ground? Consider it the day’s brain teaser. I don’t even know what the correct orientation of the page is but this is my best guess:

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Armageddon! Maxine Waters Seeks Top Democratic Seat on Banking Committee

Monday, November 28th, 2011 - by Belladonna Rogers

This has turned into one of those days that gets you thinking of the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”  Not all good news stays put as good news.  Sometimes, it gets up and bites you where it can really hurt, in this case, your imagination.

As PJM’s Bryan Preston reported this morning,

…with Frank retiring Maxine Waters is slated to be the ranking Dem on the banking committee. Waters marched right alongside Frank in defense of Fannie & Freddie, and once let slip that she would like to “socialize”, as in seize for the government, oil companies. She also told the Tea Party to “go straight to Hell” …

The fiery Los Angeles Congresswoman, 73 and far from mellow, who’s served in Congress since 1990, has been under a House Ethics investigation since 2010. According to Politico, Waters has been working the phones today, calling Rep. Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat colleagues to announce her plan to fill Frank’s banking post in the next Congress, as if she had nary an ethics care in the world:

After news reports on Waters’s involvement with OneUnited’s federal bailout broke, an ethics investigation into the California Democrat was initiated. In June 2010, Waters was hit with three ethics charges accusing her of violating the letter and spirit of House rules and federal regulations by assisting OneUnited, including using her official position to benefit her personal finances.

Waters has vehemently denied the allegations and asked for an ethics trial to clear her name.

But those proceedings were postponed in mid-Nov. 2010. The Ethics Committee said the delay was due to new evidence uncovered during the probe, but POLITICO later reported that two Ethics Committee staffers helping run the Waters case were suspended after allegations they improperly communicated with Republicans, including its current chairman, Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner, on the secretive panel.

In July, … an outside counsel, Billy Martin, was appointed to take over the case. Martin’s deadline for reporting back to the Ethics Committee with his recommendations is Jan. 2.

Waters’s attorneys have asked for the charges against her to be dismissed, but it is not clear whether that will happen, meaning the California Democrat could go into 2012 facing a potential ethics trial while seeking the top Democratic spot on Financial Services.

According to The Hill, Wall Street is bracing for the worst:

 “She’s not a good face of the issues,” one financial executive said. “She’s too much of a bomb thrower.”

Democratic leaders may look to someone other than Waters, the second-ranking Democrat on the panel, to take over for Frank.

Waters is wrestling with a long-running ethics investigation over whether she helped secure federal funding for a bank in which her husband owned stock and previously served as a board member. Waters has maintained her innocence, and two attorneys on the House ethics committee were placed on leave for mishandling the case. An outside attorney is now investigating the matter.

“They’re going to go with people who are universally respected,” said the financial executive. But a trade group president and former Hill staffer believed the top spot is Waters’s to lose. This source pointed out that Waters brings geographical and racial diversity to the committee.

Jumping over Waters to another Democrat would also be a headache for Democratic leaders because it would risk angering the Congressional Black Caucus.

So anyone planning to drink a toast tonight to the retirement of Barney Frank might want to think again.  Happy days do not appear to be here again, especially if the Democrats re-take the House.  Duck-and-cover would likely become the new motto in the banking industry if that were to come to pass.

 

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