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DOJ: No Kindles for the Blind!

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Christian Adams

When my book Injustice launched last October, I was attacked for describing the radical policy of Eric Holder’s Civil Rights Division as it relates to Kindles with talk features.  The DOJ flexed its muscle and prevented the launch of the new Kindle because it did not have a button in Braille to make it talk.  You can read all the details of the absurd radical program in my book Injustice (which I am shamelessly compelled to mention hit the New York Times bestseller list).

Naturally, the left went crazy – which is always a good sign you’ve hit a nerve.  If they don’t feel pain, they don’t yell.

Eric Holder is at it again, pushing a radical disability policy.  (No, this one does not involve recruiting the mentally ill to work as lawyers at DOJ.  That was last week’s radical disability policy.)  This week, Eric Holder is stopping libraries from making available Kindles that don’t have Braille push-to-talk buttons.

The U.S. Justice Department says it has reached a  settlement with the Sacramento (California) Public Library over a trial program the library was conducting that  let patrons borrow Barnes and Noble NOOK e-book readers.

DOJ and the National Federation of the Blind objected to the program  on grounds that blind people could not use the NOOK e-readers for  technological reasons.

The Justice Department said the settlement is aimed at stopping  discrimination: “Emerging technologies like e-readers are changing the  way we interact with the world around us and we need to ensure that  people with disabilities are not excluded from the programs where these  devices are used,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez in a  news release.

The name Tom Perez will be familiar to PJ Media readers.  He is the truth-challenged head of the infamous Civil Rights Division.  Let’s get this straight – DOJ threatened to sue a library because they gave out e-readers.  Because the versions of these e-readers don’t have an easy push to talk feature, DOJ threatened to sue under the Americans With Disabilities Act.  To get the machines to talk, it takes more than a one-push button.  And therein lies the DOJ complaint.  Never mind the alternative is a paper book.  An e-reader isn’t good enough to people out to change the world, and federal muscle followed.

Most sane Americans recognize advancements like the Kindle or Nook as amazing achievements.  When they hear about this absurd DOJ policy, laughter follows.  To regular common sense Americans, the federal government suing to stop a library from giving away a Kindle is a whiff shy of crazy.  But to bureaucrats at the DOJ and their radicalized political overseers, the Kindle, as constituted, represents discrimination against the disabled.

When you are done laughing, consider that they don’t think it is funny.  In fact, if you scrutinize DOJ policies, they will call you mean and cruel, sort of like the reflexive branding as racists that their ideological comrades have employed recently.

Consider Sam Bangenstos.   He used to be a political appointee under Perez and is probably the architect of some of the nuttier policies of this administration.  He naturally finds a home in academia where he opines about disability policy.  When I reported a straight factual recitation of their policy here at PJ Tatler, Bagenstos huffed on Twitter my reporting on these facts was “hateful and ignorant.”  Never mind the story had not a word of opinion.  It was all facts, facts that harm his cause if widely known.

Sam Bagenstos

Bagenstos is the same person who was once ridiculed by a federal court for producing amateur work.  As Hans von Spakovksy wrote at National Review, Bagenstos is responsible for this laugher:

Bagenstos recently appeared in federal court in New York, arguing against a motion to dismiss one of the Division’s lawsuits. The Division’s complaint was so badly written under Bagenstos’s supervision that the judge at one point compared the government’s pleading to that of a pro se litigant, which is as close as a federal judge can come to calling you incompetent.

But none of this criticism matters to these folks because they live in a bubble.  If you write about this absurd Kindle settlement, they tut-tut at you.  If you laugh at these absurd policies, then they turn surly.   Such are the luxuries of academia.  But in most parts of the nation, these radical policies have crippled businesses.  That’s why in a few short months, many more of those “who can’t” will be looking for jobs with Bagenstos in the ivory tower.  Even if they write like a pro se litigant, nothing will slow them down.

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Obama Campaign Source of Endless Amusement

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Charlie Martin

I already put this up as a headline: after Romney announced he was visiting New Orleans, Obama announced plans to visit on Monday.

When the story got around, Jay Carney announced that really, it had been planned all along. They thought of it first.

The only problem?  In the story linked above, Politco notes that …

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told POLITICO earlier Friday that the president had no plans yet to visit the Gulf state and review damage from Hurricane Isaac, even though Mitt Romney announced plans to visit Friday.

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A Tale Of Two Elections: Obama Now Chasing The Crowds

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Stephen Kruiser

In the comedy club business this is known as “papering the room.

In 2008, Barack Obama’s acceptance speech was moved to a larger venue to accommodate the crowd. This year, convention organizers are trying to move the crowds to accommodate the venue.

Barack Obama filled stadiums on a regular basis during his 2008 presidential campaign but has steered clear of them for his final White House bid.

So the decision to deliver his nomination-acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention next Thursday in a football stadium with nearly 74,000 seats has raised a basic, if uncomfortable, question: Can he fill the venue?

The president’s team is working hard to do just that by distributing free tickets at campaign offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the convention is being held, and throughout the state.

Residents of neighboring states such as Virginia and South Carolina will travel to Charlotte as well to fill up spots at the Bank of America stadium, the home of the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers.

Perhaps the petulant response to Clint Eastwood’s “Empty Chair” speech at the RNC last night was prompted by a fear of seeing too many of them in Charlotte.

Unable to mount a vigorous defense of his record, the Obama campaign is desperately trying to bring back some of the incredible enthusiasm and magic of his historic 2008 run, when he had no record.

A large part of that magic was fueled by the passion of young voters who, unfortunately for President Obama, can be as fickle as they are passionate.

The Obama For America campaign slogan is now “Forward,” which is deliciously ironic given its laser-like focus on traveling back in time.

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Romney in Louisiana Touring Flood Damage: Obama to Visit Monday

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Rick Moran

I have no doubt that Mitt Romney is genuinely concerned about the damage caused to property and people’s lives as a result of hurricane Isaac’s destructive path through Louisiana. I also have no doubt that he knows that traveling to the storm ravaged state in the immediate aftermath of the convention is very good politics.

In fact, it’s so good that he has forced president Obama to schedule a visit to the state on Monday. The Obama campaign announced they were cancelling an event in Cleveland on Monday so that the president can also tour the disaster area.

Daily Mail:

President Barack Obama was today forced to announce he will fly to storm-hit Louisiana on Monday – hours after Mitt Romney beat him to the punch by deciding to head there this afternoon.
After it emerged that Obama was still taking time to fit in a campaign stop in Cleveland, Ohio before checking out how clean-up operations are proceeding in the Bayou state, the Obama campaign abruptly cancelled that event.

‘In light of the President’s travel to Louisiana to meet with local officials and view ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Isaac, President Obama will no longer travel to Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, September 3,’ the campaign said in a terse statement.

Romney had changed his schedule to head to an affected town outside New Orleans while Obama, who has yet to visit the Tropical Storm Isaac zone, headed off to Texas to campaign.

[...]

Romney’s last-minute trip to New Orleans came as his wife Ann told CNN that swing women voters in particular had told her that ‘it’s time for the grown-up to come, the man that’s going to take this very seriously and the future of our children very, very seriously’.

He opted out of a joint campaign appearance in Richmond, Virginia with Paul Ryan, his vice-presidential running mate, to head to Louisiana

Even if Romney had no political intent whatsoever in visiting Louisiana — a doubtful proposition — the press and the Obama campaign would frame the visit that way anyway. At this point, there is no such thing as an unscripted moment; every act, every word uttered by both candidates will be framed by its political value and given political context.

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The Real Photo of Obama in His Chair

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Patrick Richardson

I don’t suppose I have anything to add, except you can find it here.

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Do-gooder Romney

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Neo-Neocon

We’re used to sob stories about politicians, meant to tug at the heartstrings, both to laud politicians and to attack them. But usually they are about the supposed results of policies those politicians have promoted or blocked: Romney’s Bain caused the death of my wife; Obamacare meant I got health insurance despite my pre-existing condition. That sort of thing is standard

But the stories told at the Republican Convention last night about Romney’s extraordinary kindness and caring were not the usual tales about how his policies have helped people; they were personal, and specifically religious in nature, because they described hands-on (in some cases, literally) acts Romney performed in the service of his Mormon faith and his position as a Mormon lay minister.

I have never seen a politician use that sort of approach before. Perhaps it’s because few if any politicians have a record like that they might point to. Perhaps it’s also because Romney may have needed to point it out more than most would have, because of his naturally cool demeanor, and because the campaign against him has relied so far almost entirely on character assassination.

Whatever the reasons, the degree to which Romney has been a practitioner of personal kindness and good works is extraordinary. Whether he wins the election or not, it’s clear that Romney is a very unusual human being, with a combination of brains, hard-nosed business sense and competitiveness, and personal kindness that goes way beyond anything most people consider necessary or even possible. For a politician, this is so unusual as to be unique.

So far, the Obama campaign’s “narrative” about Romney has been rather simple: out of touch, flip-flopping, women-despising, rapacious exploitative capitalist (pig, although they don’t say it). But the funny thing about lies is that all it takes to refute them is the truth, and there’s plenty of refutation available in the true story of Romney’s life. If people could learn those things, Obama’s Romney narrative would be blown out of the water.

But will people be allowed to learn them? If the stories had been about Obama, they already would have been hyped to the skies. But of course that’s not the way the MSM rolls for Romney.

There’s another thing about these tales. They seem almost too good to be true—very corny, very touching. In our cynical and ironic age they are almost unbelievable, like some sort of parody. What a square, goody-two-shoes—although the kind of square you might want to have around in a crisis.

People keep saying about Romney, “the more I know of him the more I like him.” It strikes me that Obama is just the opposite—the more people know of him the more they dislike him.

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Senators Ask Pakistani Leader to Free Christian Girl Accused of Blasphemy

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

A bipartisan group of senators today urged Pakistani Prime Minister Asif Ali Zardari to free a mentally disabled Christian girl accused of desecrating Koran pages.

Rimsha Masih, 11, is being held in solitary confinement in Islamabad and could be charged with blasphemy, which carries a maximum of the death penalty. The girl was reportedly abused by a mob in her village and Christians had to flee the neighborhood; it’s been reported that either she collected the Koran pages while scavenging paper in a waste dump or the pages were maliciously planted in her bag.

“We urge you to take immediate action to ensure the protection and equitable treatment of all Pakistani citizens, regardless of their religion,” wrote the senators, led by Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). “…We urge your government to do more to prevent abuse, as blasphemy allegations have resulted in the lengthy detention of, and violence committed against, Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus and other religious minorities, as well as members of the Muslim majority community.”

Also signing the letter were Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.).

“While we do not condone the destruction of any religious document or artifact or the defamation of any religion, the application of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws undermines the State’s obligation to protect the rights of all religious groups in Pakistan and in fact has repeatedly been used to harass and intimidate members of minority religious groups,” they wrote. “…These violations run counter to the Pakistani constitution and the vision of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan, when he stated ‘you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan.’”

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Carney: Obama Planned His Louisiana Visit Before Romney Announced His

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One today that President Obama’s Monday visit to areas affected by Hurricane Isaac was planned before GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced plans to visit Louisiana today.

Isaac, now a tropical depression, has dumped more rain on the region than Hurricane Katrina, and is moving up the Mississippi Valley with more threats of flooding and tornadoes. Though New Orleans was generally spared, some Gulf Coast areas saw worse flooding than Katrina.

Obama is skipping a Cleveland campaign event to go to Louisiana on Monday, but keeping a Toledo date that day before flying south.

Carney refused to answer a question about whether the White House thought that Romney’s quick visit could be a “distraction” to relief efforts.

“The broader question is one I think you would need to address to state and local officials. I just don’t have any way to assess that,” the press secretary said. “…Obviously, as has been the case with previous natural disasters and other events similar to that, there are assessments being made all the time about whether the president should visit and when, and always the caveat is introduced that we want to make sure that we’re not affecting response efforts.”

Carney also carefully answered a question about what a private citizen like Romney could accomplish in a Gulf visit.

“I think that it’s always important to draw attention to the fact that individuals and families and business owners are profoundly affected by storms like Isaac, and that’s an important thing to do,” he said.

Carney said Obama “did not have an opportunity to watch any of the convention coverage last night” because “the president tends to consume his news the old-fashioned way, via print.”

Regarding Clint Eastwood’s speech, Carney said, “I wasn’t quite sure what I was watching last night.”

The press secretary said he spoke for himself in criticizing the lack of Afghanistan mention in Romney’s speech. “I was surprised not to hear mention of the 70,000 men and women who are serving in Afghanistan, executing a mission that is profoundly important to America’s national security in a conflict that was the direct result of an attack on the United States by al Qaeda,” he said.

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Ros-Lehtinen: IAEA Report Shows There are ‘No Excuses’ Left in Dealing with Iran

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

The head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said that the latest report on Iran’s nuclear program from the International Atomic Energy Agency shows that the administration needs to “stop wavering” in its stand against the Islamic Republic’s activities.

The IAEA report said that Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges kept in an underground facility protected from airstrikes, rapidly increasing the enrichment capacity at the Fordow site.

“Iran is now at the precipice of acquiring nuclear weapons capability. Reports of aggressive efforts to complete an underground nuclear production facility and accelerated uranium enrichment are clear evidence of Iran’s goal of becoming a nuclear weapons state,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).

“The repercussions of a nuclear Tehran will not be contained to the Middle East but spread around the world through the regime’s support for ruthless dictators and violent extremists,” she said. “We have the opportunity to prevent the Iranian regime from gaining a devastating advantage in its crusade to export violence and hatred through the full enforcement of bilateral and multilateral sanctions.”

The subject of Iran’s nuclear program was barely mentioned in the speeches at the Republican National Convention this week. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) will speak before President Obama at next week’s Democratic National Convention, but he’s expected to focus on Iraq, Afghanistan, and the slaying of Osama bin Laden.

“We cannot let the moment pass by doubting the evidence that is right in front of our eyes. Our sanctions measures must be fully enforced, and violators must be punished,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “It is the duty of the administration to stop wavering, stop wasting time with meaningless dialogue, and fully implement and enforce sanctions against this dangerous pariah, no excuses.”

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Counterattack! Obama Team Lays into Romney Following Speech

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Rick Moran

Considering that there was a universal piling-on on Paul Ryan following his speech, I wonder if the fact checkers are going to go after President Obama with equal relish now that the president has responded to Romney’s address.

No, I’m not smoking anything right now, and yes, I took my meds today.

Allow me to put on my pointy hat and play fact checker for a while — especially since no one else seems to be on the job at the moment. Maybe all the the fact checkers are going to that “Jumah at the DNC” to fact check the imam who said that Muslims discovered America.

AFP:

President Barack Obama’s team ripped into Republican Mitt Romney’s big convention speech on Friday, complaining it lacked a governing vision and disguised plans to punish the middle class.

Perhaps the president would do us the honor of explaining what “governing vision” he has been operating under for 3 1/2 years. Sorry, but spending money like a drunken sailor and blaming George W. Bush for your failures, while playing the politics of class envy, isn’t much of a vision — more like a nightmare.

And about those “disguised” plans to “punish”(?) the middle class; if they’re disguised, how did you discern those plans, and please supply motivation for Romney to “punish” the middle class. What did they ever do to him?

Sometimes, being a fact checker can be easy and fun.

“I think that what people were tuning in hoping to hear were practical solutions to the challenges that we face,” Axelrod told MSNBC.

“You know, what they got were some snarky lines about the president, some gauzy reminiscences about the past and some buzzwords for the base.”

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that while the convention may have succeeded in warming people up personally to the Republican nominee, practical solutions were lacking.

“It was more about tearing down Barack Obama than leaving the American people with the impression of what Mitt Romney’s presidency would be,” she told CNN, ahead of the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Obama’s campaign also released a web video, assailing Romney for what it said were his plans to add tax burdens to the middle class, further enrich the wealthy with tax cuts and gut state-financed health care for seniors.

“When you learn about the Romney plan … is it any wonder he doesn’t have much to say?” the narrator said, over pictures of a sad looking Romney.

Yes, Mr. Axelrod, about those “practical solutions to the problems we face…” I hate to be the fact checker that points this out, but it would help if Mr. Obama offered some solutions of his own — practical or otherwise — and gave us even just a general idea of what he plans for his second term. I know it’s a lot more fun to bash Mitt Romney and excoriate the wealthy, but when were you and your boss going to let us in on the secret “solutions to the problems we face”?

Just asking.

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(UPDATED: The ‘Replace Biggs With Steinberg’ Drive) Jason Biggs: My Doppelganger Goes Full Bigot

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by David Steinberg

UPDATED: Customer pressure appears to be mounting on Nickelodeon, Biggs’ current employer — he is the voice of Leonardo on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (Interesting fact: I briefly worked for Nickelodeon in my twenties, and a confused intern actually thought Jason Biggs was the new Administrative Assistant.)

So — I’m in, I don’t want to go down with this ship. The “Replace Biggs With Steinberg!” movement commences now. Any readers able to design some t-shirts?

—————————————-

In certain lighting and following a reasonably stiff drink, strangers start to inform me that I look like that actor who had erotic relations with an apple pie. This has resulted in a few evenings of fun for me over the years, as when we notice people whispering “is that the guy?” and pointing in dark restaurants, my wife and I pretend to be having an emotional conversation about a wayward friend named “Stifler”.

After last night’s performance, this is not a person I ever wish to be associated with, even mistakenly. He revealed himself to be a classic jerk, a careless, dehumanizing, misogynist bigot pushing the worst sort of Leftist demonization. Twitchy has compiled the filth to read; I’d rather not repost it here. But you should see it, if only for a glimpse at what a Hollywood Leftist feels he can safely get away with if the target is conservatives or Christians.

My guess is even Hollywood will respond negatively to this — but only for the misogyny. Perhaps Biggs will be needing a new agent by this evening. I’ll be at home, dyeing my hair.

****

Cross-Posted at PJ Lifestyle.

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Behold the Self-Hating White Person

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Robert Wargas

Since progressivism is largely a status game, in which people compete for social prestige by repeating a set of approved phrases and opinions to other status-seeking mandarins, it’s not surprising that some will go to sado-masochistic lengths to remain part of the alpha group. By now, the increasingly creepy tendency of using the word “white” as a glib insult has become well established in left-wing commentary. Here’s Geoffrey Dunn, doubtless partly aggrieved by his Anglo-Saxon name, writing about the Republican National Convention for The Huffington Post:

Sources have confirmed that “Dirty Harry” himself, Clint Eastwood, is about to sweep into the Sunshine State to serve as the so-called “Mystery Speaker” tonight at the Republican Snooze Fest–better known as the Gathering of Pasty White People–in Tampa.

“The Gathering of Pasty White People”: this is how Dunn prostitutes himself to the sociopaths and racists in his movement. As in the Soviet Union, one must continually prove oneself to be part of the correct crowd. Purity, you see, comes from ritual self-abasement, from flogging oneself in columns and blog posts and from swearing through gritted teeth that you love every minute of it.

Dunn continues:

Eastwood, of course, has a political resumé of his own, having served a two-year term as mayor of the upscale and frighteningly white community of Carmel–with a population of 3,800, there were only eight African Americans recorded in the 2010 census–very close in size and demographics to Sarah Palin’s Wasilla, albeit without the meth labs and strip malls.

Among progressives, low-rent snark like “frighteningly white” is required to prove you are part of the in-crowd. Imagine being part of a movement that not only requires regular self-immolation, but demands that you enjoy it and hector those who bristle at such cheap and pathetic bullying. Be glad you’re not a part of it, and be glad that, until now, you never heard of Geoffrey Dunn.

 

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Now Up on the PJ Media Homepage

Friday, August 31st, 2012 - by Ed Driscoll

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Obama, MSM Tacking to ‘Foreign Affairs and National Security’?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by David Steinberg

If there is an area of Obama’s oeuvre in which he appears weaker — and more prone to attacks he simply cannot defend against — than the economy and unemployment, it is the epochal rise of Islamism and neo-Sovietism that occurred on his watch and with his blessing.

Uh, cue the TelePrompTer? The following went up at 11:35 p.m. on Thursday, moments after the GOP convention wrapped up. Note that the editorial is titled “Mr. Romney Reinvents History”, yet the html link reads “http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/opinion/the-hidden-subject-in-tampa.html”. The “Reinvents” part refers to Romney’s inference that the country was willing to unite behind the newly elected Obama in 2008. This is the lede on the editorial, though it seems like a quick add-on, as the rest of the piece focuses on “foreign affairs”, which was apparently “the hidden subject in Tampa”, prefab.

So the NY Times goes with a prewritten editorial published moments after a speech, and it focuses on topics that were hardly mentioned during the speech.

Folks, this is a PR rollout, not editorializing.

But seriously — this is the next play? Are we in the “NBA garbage-time” phase already, with Coach Axelrod pulling his starters? “Checking in for Race Card and White Misogyny … it’s Foreign Affairs, and National Security. Give it up for Race Card!”

Here’s the piece, in full:

Mitt Romney wrapped the most important speech of his life, for Thursday night’s session of his convention, around an extraordinary reinvention of history — that his party rallied behind President Obama when he won in 2008, hoping that he would succeed. “That president was not the choice of our party,” he said. “We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.”

The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, Fla., is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security — even if it meant holding the nation’s credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda.

Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention. Republicans have offered precious little of substance but a lot of bromides (“A free world is a more peaceful world!”) meant to convey profundity and take passive-aggressive digs at President Obama. But no subjects have received less attention, or been treated with less honesty, than foreign affairs and national security — and Mr. Romney’s banal speech was no exception.

It’s easy to understand why the Republicans have steered clear of these areas. While President Obama is vulnerable on some domestic issues, the Republicans have no purchase on foreign and security policy. In a television interview on Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, could not name an area in which Mr. Obama had failed on foreign policy.

For decades, the Republicans were able to present themselves as the tougher party on foreign and military policy. Mr. Obama has robbed them of that by being aggressive on counterterrorism and by flexing military and diplomatic muscle repeatedly and effectively.

Mitt Romney has tried to sound tough, but it’s hard to see how he would act differently from Mr. Obama except in ways that are scary — like attacking Iran, or overspending on defense in ways that would not provide extra safety but would hurt the economy.

Before Thursday night, the big foreign policy speeches were delivered by Senator John McCain and Ms. Rice. Mr. McCain was specific on one thing: Mr. Obama’s plan to start pulling out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014 is too rapid. While he does not speak for Mr. Romney, his other ideas were unnerving, like suggesting that the United States should intervene in Syria.

Mr. Romney reportedly considered Ms. Rice as a running mate, and she seems to have real influence. But Ms. Rice is a reminder of the colossal errors and deceptions of George W. Bush’s administration. She was a central player in the decision to invade Iraq and the peddling of fantasies about weapons of mass destruction. She barely mentioned Iraq in her speech and spoke not at all about Afghanistan. She was particularly ludicrous when she talked about keeping America strong at home so it could be strong globally, since she was part of the team that fought two wars off the books and entirely on borrowed money.

Ms. Rice said the United States has lost its “exceptionalism,” but she never gave the slightest clue what she meant by that — a return to President Bush’s policy of preventive and unnecessary war?

She and Mr. McCain both invoked the idea of “peace through strength,” but one of the few concrete proposals Mr. Romney has made — spending 4 percent of G.D.P. on defense — would weaken the economy severely. Mr. McCain was not telling the truth when he said Mr. Obama wants to cut another $500 billion from military spending. That amount was imposed by the Republicans as part of the extortion they demanded to raise the debt ceiling.

Ms. Rice said American allies need to know where the United States stands and that alliances are vitally important. But the truth is that Mr. Obama has repaired those alliances and restored allies’ confidence in America’s position after Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice spent years tearing them apart and ruining America’s reputation in the world.

The one alliance on which there is real debate between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama is with Israel. But it is not, as Mr. Romney and his supporters want Americans to believe, about whether Mr. Obama is a supporter of Israel. Every modern president has been, including Mr. Obama. Apart from outsourcing his policy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements, it’s not clear what Mr. Romney would do differently.

But after watching the Republicans for three days in Florida, that comes as no surprise.

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Video: Protesters Threaten Tatler Editor on Last Night of GOP Convention (Update from Bryan)

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston
YouTube Preview Image

Paul Ryan was right: it all comes down to math: A distaff member of Occupy Wall Street (or perhaps Occupy Tampa?) has learned how to count to two.

Update (Bryan): Thank you, Ed, for getting these posted so quickly.

I shot both clips with my iPhone after the conclusion of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech. Chris Salcedo and I were walking down Ashley Street in Tampa when we encountered the large occupier/anarchist protest that was blocking the streets outside the security perimeter near the convention center. Police lined both sides of the street two or three deep in places, and were making sure that the occupiers only occupied the street and could not get up onto the sidewalks or into the buildings. Mounted police held a very stout security line where the media checkpoint had been all week. The police were diverting conventioneers around the back of the Sheraton that sits on the corner, taking us away from the protest and away from my car, which was parked in a garage down the street.

Chris and I came up onto the scene, and told the police officers that we were media and wished to cover the protest and also get to our transportation. The police obliged and we walked down the sidewalk.

It’s next to impossible to make out, but in the first clip there was a woman and man pair who spotted me and watched me as I walked by. Whether they were mugging for the camera or not I don’t know, but they both directly threatened me. The woman pointed directly at me and said, “We’re coming after you.” The man then followed suit and said the same thing. But for the fact that the police officers were between us, I have little doubt that they would have tried to start something. And all I was doing was walking by and capturing the scene on my camera in my role as media.

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Rubio Makes Pitch to Those Who Have Had ‘Faith in the Promise of America’ Tested

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told the Republican National Convention tonight that the purpose of November’s election is “to make sure that America is still a place where tomorrow is always better than yesterday.”

“This is a big honor for me,” the senator said of the speaking slot to introduce GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. “Not so long ago I was just a underdog candidate. The only people who thought I could win all live in my house. Four of them were under the age of 10.”

Rubio said that the only consistent advice he received about what to say in this pivotal speech was “don’t mess it up.”

“Our problem with President Obama is not he is a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband, a good father, and thanks to lots of practice, a good golfer,” he said. “Our problem is not that he is a bad person. Our problem is that he is a bad president.”

“Do you think he’s watching tonight? Because his new slogan is the word, forward. Forward,” Rubio continued. “A government that spends $1 trillion more than it takes in? An $800 billion stimulus that treated more debt than jobs? A government intervention into healthcare paid for with higher taxes and cuts to Medicare, scores of new rules and regulations. These ideas do not move us forward. These ideas move us backwards.”

“These are tired and old big government ideas that have failed every time and everywhere they have been tried. These are ideas that people come to America to get away from,” the senator said. “These are ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world instead of helping the rest of the world become more like America. As for his old slogan, under Barack Obama, the only change is that hope is hard to find.”

November’s election, he said, “is not simply a choice between a Democrat and Republican. It is a choice about what kind of country you want America to be.”

Acknowledging that, for some in the TV audience, the last few years “have tested your faith in the promise of America.”

“You want to believe we’re still that special place where anything is possible. You just do not seem — things not seen to be getting any better, and you wonder if things will ever be the same again,” he said. “Yes, we live in a troubled time, but the story of those who came before us reminds us that America has always been about new beginnings, and Mitt Romney is running for president because he knows, if we are willing to do for our children what our parents did for us, life in America can be better than it has ever been.”

On the subject of new beginnings, Rubio began his speech with a nod to a country’s a few hundred miles away from Tampa.

“There is no freedom or liberty in Cuba, and tonight, I ask for your prayers that soon freedom and liberty will be there as well,” he said.

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Romney: Obama Wants to Heal the Planet, I Want to Help Your Family

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney needed to give the speech of his life at the Republican National Convention tonight, and managed to work the crowd into a frenzy with a balanced mix of policy and the personal.

“I wish President Obama had succeeded, because I want America to succeed,” Romney said after accepting the party’s presidential nomination. “But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something. And with your help, we will do something.”

Romney said that debt, division, and unemployment were not the hope and change America voted for — “not just what we wanted,” but “what Americans deserved.”

“You deserved it because during these years, you worked harder than ever before. You deserved it because when it cost more to fill up your car, you cut out movie nights and put in longer hours,” he said. “Or when you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour with benefits, you took two jobs at 9 bucks an hour and fewer benefits. You did it because your family depended on you. You did it because you’re an American and you don’t quit. You did it because it was what you had to do.”

“Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, ‘I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!’”

His speech capped off a night that touched on his Mormon faith more than at any other point in the campaign, when fellow church members came before the audience to talk about kindnesses he had done for their families as a congregational leader.

“We were Mormons and growing up in Michigan; that might have seemed unusual or out of place but I really don’t remember it that way. My friends cared more about what sports teams we followed than what church we went to,” Romney said.

He also addressed the Democrats’ war on women meme with a familial reference. “When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, ‘Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?’”

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Eastwood Turns in a Performance to Remember at RNC

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Legendary actor Clint Eastwood put on a skit tonight that’s destined to be oft-referenced in political convention lore.

“I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, what’s a movie tradesman doing out here? You know, they are all left-wingers out there, left of Lenin. At least that is what people think,” he said at the Republican National Convention. “That is not really the case. There are a lot of conservative people, a lot of moderate people, Republicans, Democrats, in Hollywood. It is just that the conservative people by the nature of the word itself play closer to the vest. They do not go around hot-dogging it.”

The 82-year-old Eastwood, opening for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, used a prop of an empty chair and teleprompter to ask an invisible President Obama “a couple of questions.”

He reflected on election night four years years ago. “I just thought, this was great. Everybody is crying, Oprah was crying,” Eastwood said. “I was even crying. And then finally — and I haven’t cried that hard since I found out that there’s 23 million unemployed people in this country.”

“So, Mr. President, how do you handle promises that you have made when you were running for election, and how do you handle them?” he asked the chair. “…And I thought, well closing Gitmo — why close that, we spent so much money on it. But, I thought maybe as an excuse — what do you mean shut up? OK, I thought maybe it was just because somebody had the stupid idea of trying terrorists in downtown New York City.”

He then referenced the war in Afghanistan. “We didn’t check with the Russians to see how they did it — they did there for 10 years.”

“I wondered about when the — what do you want me to tell Romney? I can’t tell him to do that. I can’t tell him to do that to himself,” Eastwood quipped. “You’re crazy, you’re absolutely crazy. You’re getting as bad as Biden. Of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it.”

The actor said he was glad that Romney and Paul Ryan came along as he “never thought it was a good idea for attorneys to the president, anyway.”

“I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen. Something that I think is very important. It is that, you, we — we own this country,” Eastwood said. “And — so — they are just going to come around and beg for votes every few years. It is the same old deal. But I just think it is important that you realize , that you’re the best in the world. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or whether you’re libertarian or whatever, you are the best. And we should not ever forget that. And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.”

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Photos from the Big Night

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Some photos from the convention. We’ll keep updating this post as I grab new ones. Scroll to bottom for latest photos.

Rep Darrell Issa talks with a constituent on the floor at #GOP2012:

 

Sen Orrin Hatch @ #GOP2012:

Fox Business Channel’s Neil Cavuto #GOP2012:

Scary Larry O’Donnell. Just as scary in real life:

Lone stars:

At the CNN booth:

With the Big Man, Chris Christie:

With two of Fox’s The Five:

Ann Romney @ #GOP2012 #nextfirstlady:

USA! USA! Miracle Mike from the 1980 US hockey team:

Fox’s Shannon Bream gets ready to report from #GOP2012:

Here comes Clint:

Clint is a hit:

Mitt’s time to shine at GOP 2012:

@PaulRyanvp heading for the stage @ GOP 2012:

More as they come in; follow me on Twitter, where you can see these images first.

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Video: Newt Gingrich Enters Floor of Convention

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston
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A transcript of Newt and Callista Gingrich’s speech at the RNC is online here.

Update: Video of speech:

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Jeb Bush Calls Out Obama’s Blame Game at RNC

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) got something off his chest, in his words, at the Republican National Convention tonight.

Bush called his grandfather and father “incredible role models to me … and my brother — well, I love my brother. He is a man of integrity courage and honor and during incredibly challenging times he kept us safe.”

“So Mr. President, it is time to stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policies,” Bush said. “You were dealt a tough hand but your policies have not worked.”

“In the fourth year of your presidency, a real leader would accept responsibility for his actions and you haven’t done it,” he concluded before moving into a speech about education.

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Excerpts from Mitt Romney’s Address to the Republican National Convention

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by The Tatler

Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.

When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future.

That very optimism is uniquely American.

It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.

They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life.

***

Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead a little more, put aside a little more for college, do more for their elderly mom who’s living alone now or give a little more to their church or charity.

Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team.

Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future.

This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.

This was the hope and change America voted for.

***

I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division.  This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.

Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, “I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!”

So here we stand. Americans have a choice. A decision.

To make that choice, you need to know more about me and about where I will lead our country.

***

My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all – the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO.

Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren.  All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family – and God’s love– this world would be a far more gentle and better place.

***

My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?”

I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.

***

Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church. We had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregations of all walks of life and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways.

And that’s how it is in America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families for our joy, our support, in good times and bad. It is both how we live our lives and why we live our lives. The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, our faiths.

***

When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.

So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.

***

That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know.  An office supply company called Staples – where I’m pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we’d ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.

***

But for too many Americans, these good days are harder to come by. How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?

Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I’d ask a simple question:  If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him.

***

Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.

To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.

To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.

Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn’t take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.

What America needs is jobs.

Lots of jobs.

***

To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.

I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.

And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.

First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.

Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.

Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.

Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.

 

And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.

***

President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family.

***

We will honor America’s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman, and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.

***

The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.

Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.

That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother’s confidence that their children’s future is brighter even than the past.

That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.

That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our constitution.

That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.

That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.

If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.

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Paul Ryan’s Words Brought To Life

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Andrew Klavan

“College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.” So said Paul Ryan at the GOP convention.

And now this absolutely brilliant video made by my friends at Madison McQueen for Crossroads Generation brings those words to vivid life:

Cross Posted from Klavan on the Culture

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Video: Meet the Businesswoman Who Plans to Take Down Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston
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DNC chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) may be sent into political retirement if businesswoman Karen Harrington has her way. The Florida Republican is set to square off against Schultz this fall and is running an aggressive campaign in which she is tying the DNC chairman to President Obama and the national Democratic Party agenda. I caught up with Harrington here at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Watch the video to hear a warning from Harrington about Schultz’s political aspirations.

Related: DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Stonewalls Conservative Media… at RNC.

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When the Levee Breaks: Zeppelin Reference Generates Buzz Flood for Paul Ryan

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Take a look at this graphic, which appeared here in Googleland today. During his vp acceptance speech Wednesday night, Paul Ryan noted that as a Generation Xer his iPod playlist “goes from AC/DC to Zeppelin.” That line became the most searched portion of his entire speech.

Ryan struck a nerve all over. Check out Myra Adams’ Classic Rock and Cheap Wine at PJ Lifestyle.

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Sound File: RNC Chairman Reince Preibus Blasts ‘Unhinged’ Chris Matthews

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

In an interview Thursday afternoon with America’s Radio News (ARN) Network hosts John McCaslin and Chris Salcedo, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, slammed Chris Matthews, saying the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” has become “unhinged . . . bizarre . . . hysterical.” Mr. Priebus’ comments followed a testy exchange between Matthews and Priebus when both men appeared Monday on MSNBC’ “Morning Joe.” Skip ahead to 2:30 to 4:30 for the best stuff.

Asked about Democratic infiltration into the RNC, Priebus hinted of things to come when the Democrats meet in Florida, saying that whatever they do this week, the Republicans can do back “ten times over.”

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Sandra Fluke Turns Up at the RNC

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Well, look who’s here, not answering questions from the conservative media: Sandra Fluke, lifelong college student and charter member of the Give Me Free Stuff and Pay For My Lifestyle Choices Party.

Fluke will be among the speakers at the DNC who will fail to generate a tenth of the buzz that GOP hopefuls like Mia Love and Ted Cruz have generated here in Tampa.

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Mystery Speaker: Is it Clint? (Update: Confirmed)

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

Fox claims to have the scoop:

Officials confirmed Wednesday that a surprise guest was still on the schedule but declined further comment.

One Republican source told FoxNews.com that Eastwood is indeed the mystery speaker, following an online report that claimed the actor is planning to travel to Tampa for the convention.

US News seconds with a named source:

A close friend of Mitt and Ann Romney confirmed to Whispers Wednesday night that Clint Eastwood is indeed Thursday’s mystery speaker at the Republican National Convention.

“It’s him,” said Paul Gilbert, who has known the Romney family for nearly a decade and served as the GOP presidential candidate’s Arizona state chair. “I can confirm that, 100 percent.”

Eastwood is almost alone among the A-list of Hollywood’s A-list. There’s no question that he can deliver a line as well as anyone and better than just about everyone. If he is the mystery speaker, tonight is going to be a very good night.

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Obama Camp Sends ‘Least Effective’ Surrogate, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to the RNC to Dodge Tough Questions

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

DNC chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz turned up on radio row at the Republican National Convention today. How did she get credentialed to get past security and into the convention center? That remains a mystery. According to America’s Radio News anchor Chris Salcedo, the congresswoman’s  spokesman refused to answer any questions about her presence here, or how she got in. But a clue may be found in the media to whom she chose to grant one-on-one interviews. While on radio row, she spoke exclusively to liberal public radio shows.

Did these public radio shows somehow slip DWS a credential to enter the Republican convention?

After those softball interviews, the chairman walked down the hall in a gaggle, only taking questions from the Huffington Post and similar left-leaning outlets.

There may be a reason for that. As word of Wasserman Schultz’s surprise visit spread, so to did a document about her effectiveness at the helm of the Democratic National Committee. According to the document, the DNC raised just $10 million in July while spending $32 million, leaving the Democratic committee with just $15.4 million on hand. Under Wasserman Schultz’s watch, the DNC is failing to keep up in the vital money race as the campaign moves into the home stretch.

Additionally, behind the scenes the Obama campaign’s Chicago headquarters is extremely unhappy with her performance as a campaign spokeswoman. Obama campaign focus groups have rated Rep. Wasserman Schultz as the Obama campaign’s least effective surrogate spokesperson. As in, dead last.

Perhaps Rep. Wasserman Schultz is a bit gun shy about creating more headaches for her own side.

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Breaking: Court Blocks Texas Voter ID Law

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Christian Adams

A federal court in Washington D.C. has refused to preclear Texas’ photo voter identification law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The opinion is here.

While many may be surprised by this decision, PJ Media has been forecasting this outcome for some time. The seeds of today’s decision were planted in 2006 when Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act. Not only did Congress extend the law, but it changed the substantive requirements to a virtually insurmountable standard for any election integrity measure such as voter ID. In other words, some blame for today’s decision lies more with the Voting Rights Act itself. In 2006, the statute was amended to impose unconstitutional and unrealistic burdens on the states. The revised standard required covered states to prove the absence of “any” discriminatory effect or purpose. Any, of course, means greater than zero.

Now Texas has paid the price, twice in one week. (The same court rejected legislative districts under Section 5 earlier this week.)

Today, the three-judge panel ruled that Texas failed to prove the absence of any discriminatory effect with Voter ID. Judge David Tatel (Clinton appointee), writing for the court, and joined by Judge Rosemary Collyer (Bush 43) and Judge Robert Wilkins (Obama), determined that Texas could not prove the absence of a discriminatory effect.

It is notable that the court declined to rule on DOJ’s efforts to paint Texas as purposefully racist in passing voter ID. Tens of thousands of your tax dollars were spent in that quest, as they are now being spent to prove that South Carolina remains an enclave of Klan-like racism in the voter-ID trial taking place this week.

The court adopted reasoning rejected by other federal courts, such as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals: “Importantly, it costs money to obtain any of these documents. This means that EIC applicants — i.e., would-be voters — who possess none of these underlying forms of identification will have to bear out-of-pocket costs.”  This is the ancillary-cost argument. Since getting ID might require you to do other things, just like voting might require you to get out of bed and to the polls, then voter ID is a burden.

The court also goes into great detail about Texas’ decision to submit the law first to the DOJ for administrative preclearance, a step I have urged should have been avoided. The court focuses on the delays in providing the DOJ data, and the confessed unreliability of that data. The court was supposed to review the case de novo, meaning fresh, but obviously decided to consider the administrative DOJ objection. This is a warning to future states: avoid DOJ getting a free shot at you.

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Kerry Deploys Swift Boat Reference to Help Obama Raise Cash

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

The Democrats’ presidential nominee in 2004 penned a fundraising email for President Obama today, urging supporters to “respond quickly and powerfully to attacks from the other side.”

“What makes 2012 different from when I ran for president in 2004 is that the other side doesn’t have to wait for an outside group to come along with false attacks,” said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). “Consider this: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth spent about $23 million on smear ads against me in 2004. This year, the Romney campaign and super PACs have promised to spend more than $1 billion.”

It was probably little coincidence that the Dems deployed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman the day after two speeches — those by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — hit hard at the administration for a failed foreign policy.

“Barack Obama has been a tremendous leader who has moved our country forward in more ways than we even probably now realize. He needs another four years to get the job done,” Kerry said. “If you tune in to the convention, you’ll see that Mitt Romney and his allies have no qualms about misleading voters if it means defeating President Obama.”

“But their attacks won’t work if enough people step up to protect the President’s record,” the Kerry email continued. “Don’t let them get away with it.”

Kerry has been given the prime speaking slot just before Obama next Thursday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. His speech is expected to focus on Afghanistan, Iraq, and the killing of Osama bin Laden, with no love lost for fellow Massachusetts politician Romney.

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Biden’s ‘Paul Ryan’ Calls Budget Chairman’s Speech ‘Very Disappointing’

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

The congressman who will be prepping Vice President Joe Biden for his face-off with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that his congressional colleague gave “a very disappointing speech” last night.

“Republicans have claimed that they want to have a serious conversation about the issues. And last night proved that they’re not serious at all,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), ranking member on the Budget Committee, told CNN today. “That speech that Paul Ryan delivered contained so much misinformation in distortion that it’s kept the fact checkers up all night.”

Van Hollen hit at Ryan for criticizing President Obama for not adopting the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction recommendations even though Ryan voted no on the proposal as a member of the commission.

Other Obama surrogates made the rounds for Monday morning quarterbacking of the vice presidential nominee’s big night, including to fundraise on Ryan’s remarks.

“If you’ve seen any coverage of Paul Ryan’s speech in Tampa, you know that the consensus among journalists and independent observers is that it was … factually challenged,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in an email to supporters.

“He lied about Medicare. He lied about the Recovery Act. He lied about the deficit and debt. He even dishonestly attacked Barack Obama for the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin — a plant that closed in December 2008 under George W. Bush. He also failed to offer one constructive idea about what he would do to move the country forward,” Messina said. “Don’t roll your eyes. We can’t just groan and shrug and remark to our like-minded friends that this is ridiculous, because this is a significant moment in this campaign.”

Obama staffers tread carefully on Ann Romney’s speech Tuesday night.

“I think that it was pretty clear last night that she loves her husband and respects her husband, and we respect that,” deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said on MSNBC. “I think it was a good speech… my take-away is that she really loves her husband.”

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Obama: You Know, My Real Problem is that I Just Haven’t Talked Enough

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

This is not a repeat from a couple of weeks ago, when President Obama blamed his lack of “storytelling” for his weak poll numbers. Wait, it is repeat of that. That’s exactly what this is.

You said one of the mistakes you see in the first term was not telling that story better. What does it mean to tell the story better in the next four years?
Well, what I meant by that is that we were in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime crisis, so we had to just do stuff fast. And sometimes it wasn’t popular. And we didn’t have the luxury of six months to explain exactly what we were doing with the Recovery Act, which was basically a jobs act and making-sure-middle-class-families-didn’t-fall-into-poverty act.

23 million unemployed = failure.

And there were all kinds of things we could do to have explained that effectively, but we didn’t have time. The auto bailout — now a lot of people are coming around and saying that was the right thing to do. But at the time, I think it polled at 10%. And we didn’t have time to worry about that. We had a million jobs at stake in places like Ohio and Michigan, and we needed to make sure that we acted quickly.

So moving forward, what I want to make sure the American people understand is that investments in education, investments in basic science and research, an all-of-the-above American energy strategy, in making college more affordable, in rebuilding our infrastructure, our roads and our bridges and our ports and our airports — all those things that help make us grow are compatible with fiscal discipline as long as everybody is doing their fair share.

And that’s a story I’m doing my best to tell during the campaign. That’s a story I will continue to try to tell, if I’m fortunate enough to have a second term, in Inaugurations, in States of the Union. I want to make sure that people understand that I’ve got a focus on growing this economy, not growing the public sector, but doing enough to ensure that we’ve got the best workers in the world, we’ve got the best technology in the world and we’re competitive in the 21st century.

So, four more years = more of the same policies and more speeches to convince us not to believe our lyin’ eyes.

The Romney campaign, here in force in Tampa, was quick to respond. Romney spokesman Ryan Williams pounced: “Just last night, Paul Ryan clearly communicated that the problem with the Obama Administration is a lack of leadership in the White House, not a lack of empty political rhetoric. But President Obama believes that he hasn’t communicated enough and would use a second term to focus on becoming a better storyteller. America doesn’t need a storyteller-in-chief. We need a leader who will work to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and turn around our economy.”

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Axelrod Email: ‘If the president loses…’

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bryan Preston

How worried are the Democrats now? So worried that they’re raising their fundraising panic level to 11. During last night’s speeches at the RNC in Tampa, Obama guru David Axelrod sent out the following email. It defends a job killing policy that the majority of Americans did not and do not want. But it’s all Team Obama has.

Subject: If the President loses…

From: David Axelrod

Friend –

Judging from the number of times they’ve said it this week, you would think repealing Obamacare on Day One is the most urgent goal of the Republican Party and number one reason to elect Mitt Romney.

I’d like to know what’s noble about making it harder for people to get health care.

President Obama refused to give up on this legislation because he knew it was about real people — people like his own mother who, in her final days, battled cancer and mounting bills, or my daughter Lauren, whose intractable epilepsy, at just seven months old, nearly bankrupted our family and burdened her with a pre-existing condition that threatened her future coverage.

Today, there are millions of families like ours who won’t have to suffer through needless heartache over situations beyond their control.

If the President loses, Republicans are guaranteeing those protections will be gone with him.

You can make sure that doesn’t happen. Donate $3 or more before this Friday’s critical FEC deadline.

When the Supreme Court affirmed the Affordable Care Act, I was moved to tears. This week, the Republicans are moving a lot of people to act as well — to make sure they can’t take their destructive platform to the White House.

The next time you hear someone at the Republican convention attack Obamacare, remember what they’re actually trying to take away:

https://donate.barackobama.com/What-Matters

Thanks for standing with the President.

David

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Missouri GOP Senator: Huckabee Likely Sympathetic to Akin Because of Presidential Run

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 - by Bridget Johnson

Missouri’s Republican senator said that by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) staying in the race to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), he’s actually working against the issues he professes to hold dear.

“The things he’s for are actually being held back by all the focus on him and some comments he’s made. So it’s not helpful,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told MSNBC. “He’s a person who I think ultimately has got to look at this and try to figure out the greater good. And we’ll see.”

But the senator noted that he’s not “confident” Akin will do just that.

“I’m hopeful he will and I believe he will. He’s an engineer, he’s a quantitative guy,” Blunt said. “I think at some point you have to add up the columns here, and my belief is that by any way you add them up, they don’t add up.”

He said he hasn’t talked to outspoken Akin supporter Mike Huckabee about the race, but feels that since Huckabee was asked to end his presidential campaign he feels for the calls against Akin.

“I think to some extent, you know, when you’ve run for president, when you’ve been at a place where people are asking you to — it’s time to end your campaign, you have a little more sympathy maybe for others in that environment, but, again — Governor Huckabee also needs to look at the greater context,” Blunt said.

Host Chuck Todd noted that one delegate told him she wanted to wear a T-shirt that said, “Hi, I’m from Missouri, please don’t ask me about Todd Akin.”

“Maybe I should have worn that T-shirt,” Blunt laughed.

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