Archive for August, 2012

Poll Position: If WMDs are used in Syria, should U.S. intervene?

Everyone waiting for an “October surprise” from the Middle East has tended to focus on Israel and Iran. But earlier this week, U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war was put on the table — by President Obama.

Unlike in Libya, where potential mass killings of civilians by forces loyal to then-dictator Moammar Gadhafi prompted Europe and the U.S. to side with the rebels, Syria’s 1.5-year-old conflict has already claimed 20,000 lives, more than half of whom reportedly were civilians. Monday, in a rare Q&A session with the White House press corps, Obama warned both sides in the conflict against using weapons of mass destruction:

We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region, that that’s a red line for us, and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front, or the use of chemical weapons. That would change my calculations significantly.

It was the strongest indication from Obama yet about what it …

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‘The rich’ can’t bankroll Obama’s big-government plans

Finally, a top Democrat has revealed the cost of following Barack Obama’s plans for the size of the federal government. Unfortunately, his name is not Barack Obama.

Instead, it was Obama’s former top economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, who painted the picture in an op-ed published by the Financial Times.

Now, to be fair, “the cost of following Barack Obama’s plans” is not how Summers put it. Rather, he referred to the cost of “preserving the amount of government functions the U.S. had before the financial crisis,” and he argued this future was inevitable whoever is president come 2013.

The problem with his assertion of inevitable government growth is that Obama and Mitt Romney are not proposing the same things.

It is Obama, not Romney, who argues such a level of government will somehow remain affordable. It is Obama, not Romney, who would have you believe any changes will affect someone else — usually “the rich.”

Still, Summers’ outline of how government …

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In ‘war on women,’ the tables are turned on Democrats

Oh, the irony (from the Daily Caller):

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem and several chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW) have condemned the Democratic National Committee for “discrimination against mothers with young children” during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

“Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women,” Steinem said in a statement. “It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist.”

Goodness gracious, what kind of discrimination could be going on? Is the DNC not allowing mothers to be delegates? Read on …

The NOW chapters of Southern California — including Hollywood, Long Beach-South Bay, Pacific Shore and Palm Spring — voiced concern this week that the Democratic National Convention will not offer automatic access for young children on the convention floor, and will not be providing childcare during the event.

Whoa. Denying free stuff that women …

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So far, Obama’s Mediscare attacks aren’t working

From The Fix at the Washington Post (headline: “Seniors [heart] Paul Ryan”), a result that cannot be received well at Obama 2012 headquarters:

Grandma isn’t scared of Paul Ryan.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 41 percent of Americans view the new GOP vice presidential nominee favorably, while 37 percent rate him unfavorably — slightly improved from last week’s polling.

Among seniors, though, the numbers are even better for Ryan: 50 percent favorable and 35 percent unfavorable. Fully one-third of seniors say they have a strongly favorable view of the Wisconsin congressman, while one-quarter have a strongly unfavorable view.

In fact, those seniors whose view of Ryan is “strongly favorable” virtually tie all those who view him unfavorably to any degree, 33 percent to 35 percent. This suggests seniors don’t buy Democrats’ false attacks that Ryan and Mitt Romney would change the deal for current retirees.

For the record, that “slightly improved” standing for Ryan among …

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2012 Tuesday: GOP to tap a sure bet in one congressional seat, an underdog in another

Today’s the primary runoff election in Georgia. None of the races in my area went unresolved last month, so I’m sitting this one out. Metro Atlanta races of interest include commission races in Cobb and Gwinnett and the sheriff’s race in Clayton County.

The big election news in the state tonight will come from Republican races in two congressional districts. State Rep. Doug Collins and radio talk-show host Martha Zoller are in a heated race in the Northeast Georgia district centered on Gainesville: Collins bested Zoller by just 734 votes out of nearly 110,000 cast last month. To the east, the district that stretches from Augusta down almost t0 Savannah pits state Rep. Lee Anderson against Augusta businessman Rick Allen: Anderson led with 34 percent in the first round, while Allen barely made the runoff ahead of two other candidates.

Either Collins or Zoller is almost certain to win the very conservative 9th District’s general election in November, so after tonight one of them …

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11th Circuit upholds most of Georgia’s illegal-immigration law (Updated)

UPDATE at 5:50 p.m.: Regarding the section of the law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport or harbor illegal immigrants, the court found not only that Georgia’s law infringes on the federal prerogative to make immigration law. The court further ruled that Georgia could not make it illegal to induce an illegal immigrant to enter the state once already present in the U.S. Those provisions remain blocked from taking effect by a court injunction.

To be clear, and to correct my inapt phrasing in the original post, the court did not say the other sections of the law are constitutional. A lower court had enjoined two sections from taking effect while the question of constitutionality is argued. The section of the law dealing with checking detainees’ immigration status is still being challenged, although the Supreme Court’s ruling about a similar law in Arizona suggests that section is likely to remain in place until and unless there are specific challenges to the way it is …

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Todd Akin and the perils of ‘personhood’

Two weeks ago, Missouri’s Todd Akin took a big step in his quest to go from the U.S. House to the U.S. Senate by winning the state’s Republican primary for the seat. Instead of moving toward unseating incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, however, Akin may have taken an even larger step back this weekend with his remarks about rape and abortion during an interview with a St. Louis TV station:

First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

From his bizarre distinction between “legitimate rape” and, well, I’m not sure what (maybe Whoopi Goldberg could help him out with that?) to his crackpot notion that the female body “has ways to try to shut [pregnancy by forcible rape] down,” Akin has created a …

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Barge gets it wrong by opposing charter-schools amendment

Few people claim to be a true conservative by complaining about preventing judicial activism and saving money. But state schools superintendent John Barge tried it last week.

On Tuesday, Barge proclaimed his opposition to a constitutional amendment that would ensure the state’s authority to create charter schools. Barge cited three key factors: his support for local control, his desire to limit government, and the $430 million he said the amendment would cost the state over five years.

But Barge left out a few things.

I won’t spend much time on local control. As I’ve explained before, no control is more local than that wielded by parents and students, who would be empowered by this amendment. To fret over whether the state or a local school board grants them that power is to focus on the wrong question.

Barge’s reference to limited government concerns the state charter schools commission which the amendment would re-establish, reversing a 2011 state Supreme Court …

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Poll Position: Should Obama dump Biden from the ticket?

After a week when Joe Biden employed his best Delaware drawl to warn “y’all” the GOP wants to put you “back in chains,” told the same Virginia crowd that they would help President Obama win North Carolina this year, and declared America perfectly capable of leading the worldwide automotive industry well into the 20th century, the vice president is catching plenty of heat. Naturally, the rumors are swirling that he will, or should, be replaced on the Democratic ticket this year.

Should Obama dump Biden from the ticket?

  • No, Biden’s still the man (367 Votes)
  • No (because Biden helps the GOP!) (328 Votes)
  • Yes — for Hillary! (264 Votes)
  • Yes, even if Hillary won’t do it (194 Votes)
  • I don’t know (40 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,193

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Ed Klein, author of a book about the Obama administration, said last night on CNBC that Hillary Clinton was offered, and turned down, the job — two weeks ago. Personally, I would be surprised if that entire conversation — from Obama …

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Ex-Democrat Artur Davis to speak at GOP national convention

There are a few moments in any national presidential-nominating convention that are designed for drama: the keynote address, the speech by the running mate and, of course, the speech by the nominee. But the GOP this year is trying to add another one in a Zell Miller-esque address by a longtime Democrat.

Democratic congressman-turned-2012 RNC speaker Artur Davis (Source:

Democratic congressman-turned-2012 RNC speaker Artur Davis (Source:

And this longtime Democrat happens to be one of the first members of Congress to endorse Barack Obama for the presidency in 2008, the man who seconded Obama’s nomination at the Democratic convention in Denver: Alabama’s Artur Davis.

Davis’ switch to the Republican Party earlier this year was well-publicized, but I’m not sure anyone predicted he’d be a headliner at the 2012 GOP convention, announced alongside four people Mitt Romney reportedly considered as potential running mates: Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Sen. Rob …

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